Ducati 899 Panigale

898CC 148 BHP 99 NM
1st_photo_blog Thinning the boundary between a Supersport and a Superbike, that’s exactly what Ducati did with their ultra magnetic Panigale 899 (and now the Panigale 959). But Ducati isn’t the only one who has done this, Suzuki has long been making the GSX-R750 which is regarded as the motorcycle having a perfect combination of Superbike like power with the agility of a Supersport. Running low on budget? buy you favourite Ducati motorcycle on OLX.?  When it comes to making motorcycles for people, things become different than racing. Categories that are always clearly defined in racing, as per the cubic capacities, become broader and broader outside of the track. And this is something which has become increasingly apparent over the last 10 years. CEATPirelli_2 Many people out there looking to buy a motorcycle won’t mind what segment it falls into as long as it satisfies their requirements. And manufacturers understand that and try their best to come out with offerings that have the best mix of elements that more than one segment has to offer. This means categorizing motorcycles become rather confusing at times.
IMG_4201 IMG_4211 IMG_4213 Ducati’s Panigale 899 is that kind. It is clearly out of the Supersport (600cc) segment with that 898cc engine, however, this also means it is not a Superbike either. It is somewhere in the middle. Today, the 899 has been succeeded by the Panigale 959, but even before that, the 899 was considered one of the best compromises between a 1000cc litre-class and a 600cc sportbike. It produces 148 BHP at 10,750 RPM and 99 NM of torque at 9,000 RPM while weighing an impressive 193 kg ready-to-ride. IMG_4216 IMG_4209 IMG_4175 Launched in 2013, the Panigale 899 is one of the most successful motorcycles to ever come out from Italy. It is based on Ducati’s new approach towards designing minimal chassis and making the engine a core member of it. Unsurprisingly, the company has picked up this philosophy from their previous generation MotoGP race bike. The Panigale lineup is entirely different from any full-faired sportbike that Ducati has ever put into production. From the liquid-cooled L-twin engine to the design and to the chassis, everything has broken company traditions. IMG_9000 IMG_9001 The entire frame (main and sub) is made of cast-aluminium and is minimalistic in design and mass. It integrates the air-box, fuel circuitry and the steering head at the front. The engine is the core part of the main frame and acts as the frame itself. The rear sub-frame connects directly at the head of the rear cylinder. This makes for exceedingly compact dimensions and helps in keeping the overall weight low. Then there’s the liquid-cooled engine giving a totally new dimension to Ducati’s middle-weight sportbikes. It is easily one of the best motorcycles that Ducati made. IMG_8988 IMG_4179 Even though it can’t compete in World Supersport and World Superbike championships, the 899 has been hugely successful in the market. The biggest reason for that it is one of the best compromises between a 600cc Supersport and a 1000cc Superbike. For experienced riders, the power is more manageable and it is very much capable of rubbing shoulders with the faster sportbikes on the road. IMG_4207 IMG_4210 Ducati now has a successor of the 899 which is the 959 Panigale. The 899 can’t be found in showrooms anymore and for anyone who would still like to have one will have to look it up on OLX as a second-hand bike. IMG_4220 IMG_8964 We would also like to thank Dr. Neharika Yadav for her time and letting us spend some enjoyable moments with her motorcycle, the 899 Panigale.

Honda VFR 800

781.7CC 108.5BHP 82NM
1st_photo_blog Think about a movie which is quite faultless in execution with the perfect cast and the matching background score, but it isn’t commercialized enough for you to consider it making it a flop on the box office eventually. Or that it is simply lacking something, an x-factor, which doesn’t excite you enough to watch it. You know it’s there and that it is probably one of the best movies you’d ever see, yet, you won’t take the plunge. You would rather prefer something more conventional perhaps. Running low on budget? buy your favourite Honda motorcycle on OLX.?  VFR 800 by Honda is like that movie. It’s been quite brilliantly built, especially the latest one, with all the mechanicals and software working in harmony giving their best while the exhaust note isn’t too bad either. However, it hasn’t ever been as big a commercial success as Honda would like it to. Something in it didn’t quite get the hearts singing in most riders. CEATPirelli_2 But this is where the likeness between a movie and the motorcycle ends. A movie is made and the same one can’t be upgraded. It can only be remade and that one can either be better or even worse than the first one. With motorcycles, however, manufacturers continuously update them with newer technologies as and when possible and in all likeliness, the new one is always a better motorcycle than the previous iteration. Spartan pro gear template Honda launched the VFR 800 in 1998 as the successor of the VFR750F. One of the major differences between the two motorcycles is that the 800 is fuel injected and the 750F carbureted while the similarity remained in the fact that both had the V4 engine.
Other than having the V4 engine layout, the most popular element of the VFR 800 remains the V-Tec system which was introduced in the 2002 model. Because the engine had 4-valves per cylinder, V-Tec allowed only two valves to operate in lower RPMs (engine speed) and all 4 valves would operate from around 6,800 RPM and above. This would ensure good low to mid-range torque while very good top end power. IMG_0481 However, the one we rode is the earliest version which did not have the V-Tec. Its V4 engine displaces 781.7cc and the unit churns out around 108.5 BHP at 10,500 RPM and 82 NM of torque at 8,500 RPM. It was quite a remarkable motorcycle for its time with the single-sided swing-arm and attached to it is Honda’s pro-link mono-shock. The front suspension is conventional telescopic forks. IMG_0498 IMG_0502 IMG_0503 IMG_0506 Instilling sport into touring for years VFR 800 has been considered one of the best sport-touring motorcycles for years and this is not without a reason. The riding position is forward leaning but it maintains a fine balance between comfort and aggressiveness. It can be ridden for hours in the saddle without much tiredness coming into effect. The engine, on the other hand, is exceedingly friendly at all speeds even though the V-Tec models were known to have a noticeable surge of power at higher RPMs when all 4 valves would work. IMG_0509 IMG_0510 IMG_0511 The VFR has gone through a number of iterations so far – from the side exhaust of the earliest model it went to the under seat setup in 2002 (and this is the one that got the V-Tec) and now, in its current variation, it has again gone back to the side-mounted exhaust. The latest version of the VFR 800 is naturally the most advanced one. While the engine is more or less unchanged, it’s got the completely new bodywork which includes LED headlight and the tail-light. Also, it gets all the basic safety features like ABS and Traction Control. IMG_0477 IMG_0480 So why does it not sell much if it’s that good? If we had to guess, we would say that the looks aren’t enticing enough. It’s not bad, but then, it’s not right up there as well. Honda is often known to create simple-looking designs (leading to boring, at times) for their motorcycles irrespective of what segment they are in. Perhaps, the VFR 800 suffers a bit there. Although, it could also be that making a motorcycle look radical may not be too easy if you’re chasing practicality especially when that includes a pillion. IMG_0499 IMG_0517 Looking at the lifeline of the VFR 800, one thing is apparent, it is one of the most reliable and long-lasting motorcycles in Honda stable. The engine is literally bullet-proof; the fact that it is mostly unchanged in the latest version says a lot about its unparalleled usability. Sadly, it is not available in India, it never was. If you or I want one, we would have to look for a second-hand specimen perhaps. Here, platforms like OLX can help a great deal in finding a motorcycle of our choice and at much lower cost. IMG_0528 We would like to thank Mr. Jai Tokas for taking out his time and allowing us to spend time with his dependable Honda VFR 800i.

Bajaj V15

149.5CC 11.8 BHP 13NM
1st_photo_blog-Recovered Let us ask you a question – what purpose do companies have in selling commuter motorcycles? It is to get the maximum number of them out on the road bringing as much money to the manufacturers as possible. While the commuter motorcycles also make an inseparable part of a normal service class person’s life, and that’s why too they are made, there’s no doubt they get lots of cash to their makers. Well, that was an easy answer to contemplate, wasn’t it! Having a tight budget? Buy you favourite Bajaj motorcycle on OLX. It would also mean that all commuter motorcycles are more or less the same when it comes to the intent of their development, that too, especially in India. However, this segment has long broken the boundary of 100cc engines as it has spread its legs to up to 150cc at least. This is also due to a reason that 150cc motorcycles today are quite fuel efficient. But there is one exception in all of them and it comes from Bajaj – India’s second largest bike maker. CEATPirelli_2-Recovered Among the plethora of Pulsars that Bajaj makes, there’s a new motorcycle called the V15 (it is not a pulsar). It isn’t a sportbike, it is very much a commuter, but it comes with the feeling of patriotism. You see, the metal which has been used in the creation of V15 comes from a very special source – a ship. And it’s not just any ship, it was the first aircraft carrier used by the Indian Navy for many years which was instrumental in many battles that India fought in the last century. Spartan pro gear template-Recovered It was known as the INS Vikrant; was, because it doesn’t exist today. After serving Indian Navy for years, it was decommissioned in 1997 and announced for dismantling in 2013 because it could no longer be maintained. The V15 comes from there. WRANGLER_Template-Recovered From Vikrant to V15 In V15, ‘V’ indicates, of course, Vikrant while 15 means that it has a 150cc engine. Even though only the fuel tank is made out of the metal from Vikrant, the essence is in the whole motorcycle. There’s no dearth of commuter motorcycles, in fact, they are overflowing and so, the V15 from Bajaj doesn’t really give anything special as far as practicality is concerned.
It is a simple motorcycle with a 149.5cc DTS-i engine churning out 11.8 BHP of power at 7,500 RPM and 13 NM of torque at 5,500 RPM, hardly performance numbers there. But then the motorcycle rides high on the feeling of patriotism. Motorcycles have always been an integral part of our defence services or throughout the world for that matter. So, if you’re feeling patriotic enough and are looking for a motorcycle then you may want to look at the V15. It is not every day that you have a basic commuter motorcycle which would have the ability to make you feel special. IMG_2506 IMG_2508 IMG_2511 But yes, the V15 has a distinct style – the front headlight is unconventional as far as Indian motorcycles are concerned, it is not even akin to what is found in the likes Yamaha FZ and Suzuki Gixxer. It is just different, but overall, it is still triangular. The fuel tank is the brawniest part of the motorcycle and it holds 13 litres of fuel. The rear wheel is 16-inch while the front is 18-inch giving the motorcycle a different perspective than others. IMG_2517 IMG_2534 IMG_2526 There’s really nothing more to it other than the fact that it has been made out of respect for India’s first aircraft carrier, a hero that didn’t really breathe, but it played a major role in the defence of our country. IMG_2519 IMG_2520 IMG_2502 It got old and was given a heartfelt farewell. The respect is much deserved. And now, Vikrant gets life in a motorcycle, what else could be a better tribute?

BMW K 1300 S

1293CC 172.9 BHP 140NM
1st_photo_blog Kawasaki’s ZX-14R and Suzuki’s Hayabusa are often categorized as ‘Hyper-sports’ and ‘Hyperbikes’ while constantly being labelled as high-speed sport-tourers as well. Even though these two are hardly as comfortable as, say, a Yamaha FJR1300 or even the Ninja 1000 and Suzuki GSX-S1000F, Hayabusa and ZX-14R remain extremely capable mile-munchers. They’ve got ample of space, great engines to haul long distances in speed while remaining comfortable enough compared to the typical Superbikes. Running short on budget? Find you favourite BMW motorcycle on OLX. There’s isn’t really any other motorcycle which competes with the above two. However, BMW had one in their lineup which while wasn’t really made to go as ballistically fast, it did offer an abundance of comfort which wasn’t made to be provided by the other two. It is called the K1300S – the most unique of the lot. CEATPirelli_2 Launched in 2008 and powered by a 1,293cc inline 4, DOHC, liquid cooled, 16-valve engine, the K1300S produced 172.9 BHP of power at 9,250 RPM and 140 NM of torque at 8,240 RPM. Just look at these figures separately and it would be a given that the motorcycle is ferociously fast for all paved roads. However, this is clearly not its trump card. Spartan pro gear template WRANGLER_Template What makes the K1300S stand out is the remarkably forgiving riding ergonomics which includes the almost-flat seat for the rider and the pillion and the truly unique front and rear suspension which is typical of BMW. 254 kg kerb weight is actually lowest between itself, Busa and the 14R.
IMG_7961 IMG_7976-Edit IMG_7990-Edit IMG_7987-Edit IMG_7965-Edit But this occasional comparison is a mere formality because the K1300S is supposed to be in the same segment; it is, however, a very different motorcycle which goes about its way in a rather calmer manner. The highlight is the front Duoloever suspension which is engineered to not dive under braking. While this gives a very smooth feel to the ride when riding normally, there’s a noticeable setback as you start to have some more fun. IMG_8079 IMG_8024-Edit Apparently, the dive-not nature of the front suspension robs it off the frontend feel (and feedback) that riders seek when riding enthusiastically which would also involve hard braking. This can often lead to confidence issues when pushing the motorcycle more in certain situations like entering a corner hard. IMG_7975 IMG_8006-Edit IMG_8049-Edit Generally, though, the K1300S (and BMW) have received more or less positive feedbacks about the quality and the performance of the suspension. Soon enough and especially over the years, the K1300S has been considered an extremely comfortable sport-tourer. Something that we would like to call a Hyper-tourer. We’ve occasionally heard some people saying things like that BMW couldn’t beat the Busa and the 14R or that the K1300S isn’t as quick or fast. We would like to believe that it’s an unfair point of view. If there are any companies that can beat the two Japanese in their game of speed then BMW is certainly one of them. We just need to look at the S1000RR for example. IMG_7951-Edit K1300S isn’t as fast as either of the two simply because BMW didn’t make it like that. The Bavarian company wasn’t really looking to be the quickest and the fastest production motorcycle on the planet with this big and burly sportbike. They wanted it to be fast enough while offering probably unmatched levels of comfort over long distances in its segment. And they have very well achieved this feat. The motorcycle also benefits from the shaft drive (instead of the chain final drive) for its intended purpose. The shaft drive is virtually maintenance free and quiet, at the same time, the system isn’t as performance oriented as the conventional chain drive because it’s heavier. Clearly, the K1300S is in a class of its own. IMG_8318-Edit BMW doesn’t make it anymore, they now have the more capable K1600 GT/GTL as their sport-tourer with an inline 6-cylinder engine. But the K1300S is still a lovely motorcycle and that is why many of us still might want one. Luckily, we have platforms like OLX which can make it possible to find and own a second-hand motorcycle. So give it a try. IMG_8347 Finally, we would like to wholeheartedly thank Mr. Anurag Kapur for his time and allowing us to ride his beloved motorcycle.

Benelli TNT 899

898CC 119.3BHP 85.6NM
1st_photo_blog Benelli is one of the oldest Italian motorcycle manufacturers established in 1911. They have been making motorcycles since then, although, they also made shotguns! Running short on budget? Buy your favourite Benelli bike on OLX.?  Given the longevity of the company it wouldn’t be really out-of-place to assume that it is a very successful brand, but the reality is a little bit different. The Italian company has had its fair share of troubles with various ownerships through the years that didn’t really enable it to reach the desired levels of success. However, Benelli did hard to produce some very interesting sportbikes with designs simply ahead of their times and features that were literally not found in any other production motorcycle. CEATPirelli_2 For example, the Tornado Tre Superbikes had the radiator fitted under the rear seat and the radiator fans that could be seen clearly from the back. From a distance, they looked like a pair of under seat exhausts. Incredible! Who would think of that? Spartan pro gear template However, design wise, it wasn’t the most radical thing that Benelli had made. For that, we will have to look at the less streamlined Benelli, the one which exposes more flesh than the Tornado and comes with the TNT moniker. We actually also raced the Benelli TNT 899 and the 1130 at the Buddh International Circuit in the 1000CC superbike category and it performed quite well!
TNT – Tornado Naked Tre – are the naked or the streetfighter motorcycles from the Benelli stable. And for the uninitiated, ‘Tre’ means ‘Three’ (in Italian) for the inline 3-cylinder engines found in the Tornado Tre 1130 and the TNT 1130 and the TNT 899. Today, under the ownership of the Chinese motor group Qianjiang, Benelli is looking to make a statement in various markets. Since the company’s entrance into India, it has left majorly no stone unturned to get itself noticed and become a prominent player in our market. While it is not easy to compete against the more established and successful brands, Benelli has done quite well so far and offers six motorcycles from the 250cc to the 1131cc. 1 2 One of those motorcycles is the TNT 899 with the 898cc inline 3-cylinder, liquid cooled, DOHC, 12-valve engine. It produces 119.3 BHP of power at 10,000 RPM, 85.6 NM of torque at 8,000 RPM and weighs 231 kg ready-to-ride. It looks like a robot transformed into a motorcycle. No wonder I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in a Transformers movie. The headlight has a sort of a diamond-like shape and it looks like a face of a humanoid. Frankly, that is enough to give it a personality. But the rest of the motorcycle carries the same design language throughout. The fuel tank is substantial and sharp enough but not overly edgy and the tank shrouds house the radiators. The seat is well-padded but a bit slim. What adds to the TNT’s looks is the twin-tube steel frame and the similarly manufactured swing-arm and they are both finished in bright red colour. The swing-arm, particularly, is quite unconventional. The rear sub-frame further adds to the fleshy design of the motorcycle. The 3-into-1 under seat exhaust might tell something about the not so low centre of gravity. Italians are known for their design and the TNT 899 isn’t short of that. The fit and finish of parts are good but clearly, it is not as good as that of a Ducati for instance. Overall, it is an interesting looking motorcycle. At the front, there’s a pair of Marzocchi upside-down forks along with twin-disc Brembo brakes. At the back, there’s a mono-shock with a single disc to assist the stopping duties. There’s no ABS on offer and that is one of the biggest downfalls of the motorcycle today. ABS is the most basic safety feature which is now available in most motorcycles and the TNT 899 doesn’t get that. 4 3 The 898cc inline 3 engine is quite smooth and generates a nice inline-cylinder hum, however, there’s a lot of mechanical noise at idle and lower revs at times. The seat height feels a bit tall for shorter riders but it’s not intimidating at all and the ergonomics are not bad for city riding at least. Handling is predictable but tight U-turns can be a bit tricky at times at very low speeds and since there’s no ABS, braking on not-so-perfect surfaces require lots of concentration. In corners, the TNT turns predictably but seemingly it is not in the league of, for instance, the Monster 821. Lack of development since its launch in 2008 is quite clear. It is like stuck in two worlds – the design makes it look futuristic, otherwise, though, it is quite outdated. It needs to lighter first and foremost, then the under seat exhaust needs to go for better centre of gravity and pillion comfort. And no matter how cool it may look, it is long in the tooth and is begging for a styling upgrade as well along with a brand new engine. This becomes continually apparent as you spend more time in the saddle. Yet, it is impressive that the TNT 899 still looks as futuristic as ever. The motorcycle hasn’t lost its appeal at all as far as aesthetics are concerned and Benelli needs to be applauded for that. With all the trouble it has been through, this company which has its roots in Italy continues to produce some of the sharpest looking motorcycles. And with their rising popularity in India, which is again a very bit motorcycle market, we only wish that Benelli will come out with ever more stunning and cutting-edge motorcycles.
benelli 899
TNT 899

Yamaha YZF-R1M

998CC 197.2BHP 112.4NM
1st_photo_blog The litre class Superbikes have always been designed to go best on racetracks. Their aerodynamic bodywork, aggressive riding dynamics, engine power and suspension setup – everything has been developed to extract the maximum performance out of them. In essence, they are the most performance-oriented production motorcycles on the planet. Falling short on cash? Find your favorite Yamaha Motorcycle listed on OLX for sale.?  For this reason, alone, riders who are regular on track, highly experienced with setup and performance changes for track riding, often end up upgrading their Superbikes with better suspension, tyres and few other performance modifications to improve their motorcycle’s track performance. If you want the best out of your sportbike, changes required do not really come cheap. It requires investment and deep understanding of how stuff works. Also, you need time. CEATPirelli_2 But not everyone is knowledgeable enough about modifications and perhaps, not everyone would want to invest in aftermarket parts as there’s a risk of messing things up. Spartan pro gear template In comes the race-spec or the higher-spec versions of Superbikes that are made specifically to extract that extra ounce of performance and these motorcycles come right out of the factory floor. For some years now, motorcycle manufacturers have been offering these “upgraded” versions of base Superbikes as production motorcycles. These are usually not limited production motorcycles. And of course, these come at a premium. But they do prevent the effort required to turn your sportbike into a better weapon on the track using aftermarket parts.
Today, we have one of the best race-spec versions of one of the best Superbikes available on the market. We are talking about the YZF-R1 and the YZF-R1M (the one intended to make you feel like Rossi more than ever). Yamaha YZF-R1M (18) When the current generation YZF-R1 was launched, it was considered closest to a MotoGP race bike, especially the YZR-M1 out of which it is derived from. Then Yamaha also launched the M version of the R1 called the YZF-R1M which is even closer to the M1. Manufacturers are literally going crazy with technology now. Yamaha YZF-R1M (3)Yamaha YZF-R1M (8)Yamaha YZF-R1M (1) Now, the R1 is equipped with various cutting edge technologies like Front Lift control, Launch control, Slide control, cornering or lean-sensitive Traction control and Unified ABS. There’s also the Inertia Measurement Unit (IMU) which gathers information regarding motorcycle’s lean, front dive, front and rear lift and every possible force that the motorcycle goes through while in motion and then helps all the other electronics to work and intervene as precisely as possible. Front and rear suspensions are fully adjustable and it’s from KYB. Yamaha YZF-R1M (5) Yamaha YZF-R1M (16)Yamaha YZF-R1M (26) Yamaha YZF-R1M (21) Yamaha YZF-R1M (22) Yamaha YZF-R1M (23)Yamaha YZF-R1M (36)Yamaha YZF-R1M (32) The R1M goes even further and gets Ohlins Electronic Racing Suspension which, like other electronics, works with IMU and electronically adapts itself according to the surface. Then there’s the Communication Control Unit (CCU) which has data logging functions and records information like lap times, the position of the throttle, speed, GPS tracking and lean angle. When downloading or changing all this data, CCU can also be used to communicate with Yamaha Ride Control system. Lastly, it also gets carbon fibre bodywork for overall reduced weight. Yamaha YZF-R1M (10) Yamaha YZF-R1M (19) The engine is unchanged and so is the power and torque. However, with several other improvements over the standard R1, the R1M performs better and with a wider 200mm rear tyre (R1 gets 190mm), the motorcycle can be leaned even more. Yamaha YZF-R1M (9) Yamaha YZF-R1M (17)Yamaha YZF-R1M (15) All these hardware and software systems work in harmony to provide the best possible performance out of the motorcycle. For example, the Slide Control system allows the rear tyre to slide just enough so that the rider can go through a corner as quickly as possible. If you see MotoGP, then you’d notice, especially slow motions, all riders are literally drifting through corners. This is racing technology at its best. Yamaha YZF-R1M (25) Yamaha YZF-R1M (27)Yamaha YZF-R1M (7) Yamaha YZF-R1M (28) Yamaha YZF-R1M (29) Yamaha YZF-R1M (30)Yamaha YZF-R1M (33) These motorcycles don’t come cheap and the R1M retails at around 35 Lakhs in Delhi. This is far from gettable for many people out there. However, one can always try his or her luck on OLX and who knows, you might get a great second-hand deal. Yamaha YZF-R1M (31)Yamaha YZF-R1M (13) We would also like to thank Mr. Sandesh Sandy for allowing us to experience this absolutely amazing Superbike up close.
Yamaha YZF-R1M

Ducati Multistrada Enduro Review: Enduring Dirt!

1198.4CC 160BHP 136NM

Text: Jesse Miller
Photos: Sundeep Gajjar

When I woke up this morning I didn’t think I would be getting chased down an airport runway on an unfamiliar motorcycle by a stranger in a plane. I digress.

If I was going to buy any motorcycle today it would be the Ducati Multistrada Enduro. It’s not that the Enduro is perfect, it doesn’t boast the kind of teutonic conquest in function over form that we have become accustomed to in the adventure market. It doesn’t have bars to bolt your GPS, rally course notes, or kindle to, and it’s not as easy as removing a sparkplug to evacuate water from the cylinder if you, or your movie star friend, happen to drown it in some remote Mongolian river! But I can’t help thinking that after you’ve bent a conrod thanks to hydraulic lock, the trouble of removing the tank to access the top of the new Desmodromic V-twin might not seem so significant, and really, what’s more adventurous/manly than reading a map and then assuming you can remember all the directions to the next fuel stop unprompted? No, the Enduro, does adventure with a distinctly Italian flare, like wearing your stilettos to do your grocery shopping. The Ducati Enduro is beautiful…

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Ducati did a great job with styling the normal Multistrada, but the Enduro is bigger, it’s bulgier, thanks to the enlarged fuel tank, now 30 litres, and it’s taller thanks to longer travel suspension and a new 19″ front wheel. Some people scoff at the notion of some bikes having more character, or soul, than other bikes, but look a Multistrada in the eye and you can see its soul is up for anything. I imagine it covered in mud like a Navy SEAL recruit who’s just come through a muddy training course, standing steadfast and defiant as some drill sergeant does their best to break them, but that could be the fantastic green colour of our test bike that can be best described as “military” and only adds to the toughness of the bike overall.

This is not a hard core ride review, partly because I’m not a hard core racer, or motocross madman, and partly because we were touring around looking for scenic places to take pictures, which is probably exactly the sort of duties most of these bikes will see with their loving owners. Our journey saw us negotiate the heavy traffic of the inner city as we rode around looking for urban shots, much like picking through a daily commute to work. I found the “urban” setting worked wonders in taming the beast while I became accustomed to the big twins sharp throttle and short clutch in the start-stop traffic. From there we headed out onto the highway and further afield to find some off-road locations.

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Once up and running the agility of the bike belies its mass to the point that you may forget how tall and heavy it really is, until a low speed near drop while manoeuvring for a picture makes for a strenuous lesson learned. It’s bloody heavy when you can barely reach the ground. This is not a complaint about the bike, because it’s actually not heavy for a 2-up ADV bike, but rather a compliment about how confidence inspiring it is.

We didn’t venture too far from the black-top, just far enough to see where that track went, or if there was anything interesting to see, which is again in keeping with the likely use for the bike. There’s nothing worse than riding all day to go and explore somewhere, and not being able to do the last kilometre because the bike you’re on doesn’t agree with the road surface.

It was one of these brief sojourns off the road that saw us stop at an airfield. No sooner had we pulled up than “Tom”, an aerophile standing by the runway came over to inspect the bike and offer his approval. While Tom was looking at the bike “Sally”, who we had passed on the road earlier, rode up on her bicycle with her dog in a basket on the back. Sally wanted to have her picture taken with the Ducati. Just then a plane landed, turned round, and taxied back to where we were standing. “Bob” the pilot, had come to see what all the fuss was about and we took the opportunity to push our luck and get some pictures on the airstrip.

The grass on the side of the runway gave me a good opportunity to try out both the Multistrada’s traction control and enduro mode. The traction control worked brilliantly on the wet grass, but the activation was noticeable. In enduro mode the bike became tail happy, enough for a novice like me to get a thrill and a little nervous, but obviously smooth and controllable enough that, with some practice, gravel roads would provide great enjoyment.

Now was the time. Lined up at the end of the runway beside the aircraft was one of those moments you dream of as a motor loving boy. Adrenalin pumped, but not enough for me to forget about the propeller next to me, and all those air crash investigation television shows I’ve seen! We tore down the runway. Initially the plan was for the plane to pop a wheelie, and as we approached take off velocity and my steely nerved Motographer friend, I tried to decide if I should wheelie too? Something I’m no good at, because I’m not a stunt rider. But it was too late. A slight gust of wind, or a touch too much air speed and the plane lifted off rather than wheeling. Bob broke left, climbed, and I tore past the other side of the camera, then parked the bike back with its small crowd of admirers.

After circling around, and landing Bob pulled back up where Tom and Sally, and Sally’s dog, stood waiting by the bike. It was at this point that I remembered that saying about meeting the nicest people on a Honda, but the most interesting on a Ducati. The Multistrada Enduro is as quintessentially Italian as an adventure bike could be. It doesn’t compromise on function for form, it recognises that form is a big part of function. It’s like wearing your stilettos to the grocery store because you just never know who you might meet and what adventures that may lead to.

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So what’s new?

A hell of a lot! The Ducati Multistrada Enduro isn’t a regular MTS with knobby tyres and a raised suspension. The Bologna manufacturer has in fact used 266 new parts in the Enduro to make it dirt ready, which is almost 30% of all the parts used in the bike! This shows the level of commitment from Ducati to ensure that their bike is ready to rumble.

Visually, the 19 inch front spoked wheel, 30 litre fuel tank and high seat height on the Enduro make this immediately different from the MTS. The suspension travel has been increased to 200mm, ground clearance is up by 31mm and rake angle has been increased by a degree to 25 degrees. The rear sprocket gets 3 additional teeth. Electronics have been tweaked. New sump guard. New higher mounted silencer. Handlebar height has been increased by 50mm to make riding while standing easier. The wheelbase is up by 64mm. The side panels are now aluminium and the front beak is longer to save the rider from flying mud! The seat is slimmer than on the MTS, which allows the rider to get his foot down, even though the seat height is considerable. A double sided swingarm which is more rigid and longer helps maintain stability in the dirt. The foot pedals are steel which bend and not break, so stay safe in case of a crash, the rubber mountings on the pegs are easy to remove to show the dirtbike claw pegs below it. And all these are just what are visible!

What hasn’t changed is the solid Testastretta engine churning out 160 bhp and the chassis which has proven itself yet again.

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The bigger they are the harder they fall!

Riding a big, heavy bike on dirt is generally a recipe for disaster. Any off-road rider will tell you, fall you will, fall you must. But Ducati has tried to reduce your tipping points to a bare minimum. Along with Ducati’s Skyhook suspension system, wheelie control, traction control, and cornering ABS, the bike also gets Vehicle Hold Control. VHC gets activated when you are on a steep incline and releases the rear brake gently even after you have removed your foot off the pedal, this is to help you get moving when you find yourself stuck trying to climb a steep mud slope. In Enduro ABS only the front brake is controlled, which allows you to slide the rear to your heart’s content!

Most importantly, though, power in Enduro mode is restricted to 100bhp. Ample for your needs, without being downright scary! All these safety nets are necessary, because if you do drop your bike, picking it up alone won’t be quite a walk in the park and paying the repair bills will surely be no picnic!

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Ride Ready!

The Enduro is in a different league on dirt when compared to the MTS, but on tarmac it is no slouch either. Even on its stiffest setting it is still too softly sprung for being manhandled on asphalt, but that is a trade-off one has to live with on an off-road biased motorcycle. Though taking its size, weight and bulk into account, the Enduro does a respectable job on tarmac as well.

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Ducati Multistrada Enduro Review Technical Specifications

The Ducati Multistrada Enduro lines up with its biggest competitor the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

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Multistrada 1200 Enduro Vs BMW R1200GS
Multistrada 1200 Enduro Vs Multistrada 1200S
Multistrada Vs Aprilia Caponord
Multistrada Vs BMW S1000 XR
Multistrada Vs Honda Africa Twin
Multistrada Vs KTM 1290 Adventure
Multistrada Vs Suzuki Vstrom
Multistrada Vs Triumph Tiger
Multistrada Vs Yamaha Super Tenere
Comprehensive Specs Sheet - Ducati Multistrada Enduro
Ducati Multistrada
Ducati Multistrada Enduro
Multistrada Enduro

Triumph Tiger 70

249CC 16BHP
1st_photo_blog Tiger is one of the most popular motorcycle lineups by a motorcycle manufacturer today. Tiger is also a reason why adventure-touring motorcycles have become a huge success in the recent years – it is big but not quite as intimidating as BMW’s gigantic R1200 GS. Running low on budget? Buy you favourite Triumph motorcycle on OLX.?  But clearly enough, Tiger is not a new brand by Triumph, it is old, very old. In fact, history of Tiger motorcycles dates back to 1930s! And today, we have one of the earliest Tigers – the Tiger 70 – with a 249cc single cylinder engine having overhead valve (OHV) and naturally air-cooled. CEATPirelli_2 It is a 1934 model and we would wholeheartedly like to thank Mr. Gurmukh Singh for giving us this truly unique opportunity to come face-to-face with this classic. A person would be lucky to even find it on OLX but taking a chance won’t hurt anybody. So go ahead and try out your luck if you’re looking for a motorcycle like this. Spartan pro gear template The styling of the Tiger 70 is of a typical classic – a standard fuel tank which resides on a basic frame and it’s rigid in nature (no suspension at the rear), round headlamp up front along with girder suspension. Then there is the single rider seat only (no such provision for the pillion) as this was supposed to be a race model. The single rider seat exposes the full rear fender making the design of the motorcycle appear streamlined. Also, the original pain of the motorcycle was silver and black but Mr. Gurmukh painted it in racing pink. This color was once an official color in Triumph. WRANGLER_Template Although, there are two elements of Tiger 70 that stand out today because – they are terribly outdated but this is how engineering was back then. First is the 4-speed hand-shift gear lever which is on the right side of the fuel tank and secondly, the valve spring that is clearly visible from the outside of the cylinder head. They can be seen moving as the valve operates, just like looking at an engine’s inside, fascinating.
IMG_9477 It came with two exhausts (each on one side) even though it was single cylinder motorcycle. The exhausts are angled up like in a Scrambler type of a motorcycle. Since it was a racing model, the headlight could be easily removed to place the racing number plate. Also, there are adjusters for the front suspension with the most basic of settings you could imagine at that time – soft and hard – simple. IMG_9617 IMG_9512 IMG_9486 Riding a motorcycle like the Tiger 70 is very tricky for people like us and potentially dangerous as well for the fact that it has a hand gear shifter. While we won’t argue if it’s easy or difficult to operate but it’s definitely not as fuss free as a conventional foot shifter that is on the correct side (left). It is also highly distracting. The age old engine was good enough to produce around 16 BHP of power at 5,800 RPM which wasn’t bad for its time. It is said to have a top speed of nearly 105 km/h. IMG_9499 IMG_9498 IMG_9478 Tiger 70 demands lots of concentration while riding. There are no two ways about it. Hand shifter alone makes things ultra complicated and the whole riding experience completely different. It is a proper period motorcycle if you ask us. Everything from the design to the mechanicals will take you to an entirely different time. Today, look how the Tiger has become, totally unbelievable! IMG_9496 DSC_0142 We would sincerely like to thank Mr. Gurmukh Singh for giving us the time and the opportunity to have a glance at his Triumph Tiger 70. IMG_9622-Edit

Suzuki RMX 450

1st_photo_blog Why did we really choose this one? We already covered the TVS RTR 300 FX, so, why a Suzuki RMX now? First of all, these two are different motorcycles even when they might look more or less similar. Secondly, While the RTR 300 is an Indian product ridden by an Indian rider, the Suzuki RMX 450 has been used by India’s number 1 rally racer, CS Santosh. Reasons big enough for us to give this motorcycle attention. Running short on budget? Find your favourite Suzuki bike on OLX.?  Our man CS Santosh won the 2015 Desert Storm on this motorcycle and also participated in the grueling Dakar Rally in 2016 with Suzuki. Unfortunately, he couldn’t finish the rally due to certain technical issues. CEATPirelli_2 What this tells us about the motorcycle is that it is not your conventional dirt or a Motocross bike, it is a far more capable machine which is designed to run on possibly the most challenging terrains in the world (off-roading could be an understatement) nonstop for hours challenging both man and machine. Spartan pro gear template Motorcycles like this one are some of the most purpose-built motorcycles in production and there are some key differences between an Enduro motorcycle, as in Suzuki RMX 450, and a Motocross bike. WRANGLER_Template The RMX 450 is based on the RM-Z450 featuring the same engine with modifications that affect (increase) low to mid-range torque and revised 5-speed gearing. There is also a separate coolant reservoir tank so that the engine performance over grueling tarmac remains consistent and reliable by not getting overheated.
1 2-1 The chassis is a twin spar unit, lightweight and made of aluminium alloy. It is made with both cast and extruded technology to employ both of their benefits. The aluminium alloy swing-arm is also derived from the RM-Z450. This gives the RMX excellent handling characteristics. Also, at the front, there’s a dedicated space which houses an ultra compact, but information rich, speedo console which can be considered for two modes – standard and sport. 2 3 4 While the Sport mode displays Timer, Average Speed, Tripmeter and Tyre Diameter correction, the Standard mode displays a slightly different information with Speed, Time, Two trip meters and Voltage. On a special note, the tyre diameter allows for precise monitoring of the speed and the distance. Lastly, the RMX 450 comes with both the kick start and the electric start so that the rider will always have one of the ways to start the motorcycle thereby avoiding the situation of push-starting the motorcycle. This particular RMX of CS Santosh also has a larger fuel capacity of 17 litres. 5 6 7 8 9 10 Clearly these motorcycles are not sold in India, but as we can see with professional racers like CS Santosh and Aravind KP, there can be a good future of such motorcycles in India. Who knows, we might have more people into such sports if these motorcycles are actually available for people to buy and experience them. 11 12 13 14 15 16 As of now, one of the only few places that can bring any luck for someone looking to buy such a motorcycle is OLX. So try it out. 17 And last but not the least, we would like to thank CS Santosh for spending is valuable time for us and giving a good peek into his own career and the motorcycle.

Indian Chief Vintage

1212CC 40BHP
1st_photo_blog-Recovered For anyone who is unaware, the ‘Chief’ isn’t a new model in the Indian’s motorcycle lineup. It is being made since 1922 even though it has been revived in 2014 with an all-new 1811cc V-twin engine under the extremely fruitful ownership of Polaris Industries. This remarkable event occurred in 2011 when the American company, Polaris Industries (renowned for making All-Terrain Vehicles), bought another American company, Indian Motorcycle Company, to revive America’s oldest bike brand. The rest is history. Running short on budget? Look for your favourite motorcycle on OLX CEATPirelli_2-Recovered Now that we have acquainted you with the recent history of the marquee, let’s go a bit deeper into the Chief’s past. Indian Chief Made since 1922, the Chief is one of the two most popular motorcycles built by Indian. The other being Scout. And if we delve a bit deeper, Chief, in essence, is not just one motorcycle, it is a lineup of motorcycle (Chief Classic, Chief Roadmaster, to name a few). This time, we are talking about the bare bone cruiser which is only called – Chief. WRANGLER_Template The quintessential cruiser design A look at the Indian Chief will make you realize that this is the design which has gone to define how a typical cruiser should look like – wide-swept single-piece handlebar, a basic round headlamp, a seamlessly styled fuel tank which is wide at the front and narrow at the opposite end, a seat which rests the whole bum of the rider and lastly, an absolutely circular rear wheel fender to finish off the smooth looks. All this is supported by the spoke wheels. It is a conventional laid-back design offering the without-a-worry-in-the-world riding stance. It’s comfort written all over it.
A motorcycle like this is meant to be ridden with all the time in the world. It isn’t a speed monster and neither is it meant to take you to your destination in the shortest possible time. That is not the point of the Chief. You ride it when you want to take in the whole atmosphere, every beautiful tree, nook and corner along your journey. It is about being at ease in life. You are not supposed to hurry on it, you don’t. 1 2 3 Of course, why anyone should get these feelings is not really a rocket science. It is all possible because of the way they are designed to look and deliver the power. The Indian Chief is fondly called the “Big Twin” due to its 1200cc V-twin engine. This old unit churns out around 40 BHP of power which is not much, but then, cruisers are more about effortlessly ticking through the highway. Time is not really a factor to consider. 4 5 6 7 8 But this is all still common to the cruiser category. The Big Twin is a special motorcycle. Indian has always had a unique style statement for their motorcycles with the valanced fenders at front and rear. Then there’s the Indian mascot on the front fender which also acts as a parking light. Lastly, this Indian Chief has a hand shifter and the foot clutch which is popularly called the ‘Suicide clutch’. Why? Because the foot operated clutch was never as smooth as the hand-operated clutch and the motorcycle always had a jerky motion ahead as soon as it was disengaged risking an accident. 9 10 11 Also, the throttle was on the left side of the handlebar which was another completely opposite arrangement. All this made the bike quite unfriendly to many people and even then, it is considered one of the most popular cruisers ever built by any motorcycle manufacturer. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18-1 18 19 For our India in 0 to 100 Motorcycles project, we would like to thank Mr. Desh Deepak, who is the owner of this lovely piece of motorcycling history, for sparing his time for us. 20 21 For our India in 0 to 100 Motorcycles project, we would like to thank Mr. Desh Deepak, who is the owner of this lovely piece of motorcycling history, for sparing his time for us.