51Honda CBX 1000 - Before Honda made Gold Wing, they made this!
The thing about these big automobile companies is that their history is often filled with certain remarkable events that have impacted their course of action in some way or the other.
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Their past actions and choices are like a hint of their intent towards the two-wheeler industry. In fact, many of the motorcycles launched by the manufacturers are the result of the requirements of a particular market. The kind of vehicles people prefer and ride in their country is what they want the future products to be unless they get something even better.
In 1969, one of the biggest motorcycle giants in the world, Honda, made something that went on to be known as the world’s first Superbike. It was the CB 750 and Honda made it primarily for the American market. That bike changed motorcycling forever.
But as they say, progress is inevitable. While the world was still getting the hang of the performance of inline 4 engines, Honda went one up in 1978 by introducing their first 6-cylinder motorcycle, the CBX 1000. To this day, it remains Honda’s only inline 6-cylinder sportbike and it was in production for five years till 1982.
It isn’t going to be a big guess work. After the unimaginably successful introduction of the CB 750, Honda found themselves somewhat in the same boat nearly 10 years down the line. Other manufacturers, from Japan, were starting to catch up to Honda and the CB 750 was no more the world’s most special sportbike in production. Honda again found itself lacking in the American market (it was possibly the most important market in those times). And this time, the company needed to do something even more radical of course.
The CBX was the answer to the “bigger and faster” requirement of the American market. Suffice to say that the CBX was the quickest and the fastest motorcycle of its time, and at full chat, it almost sounded like an F1 race car. There were no strict emission and sound norms back then, so even the stock exhausts produced a mesmerizing aural note.
The Honda CBX
Also known as the CBX 1000 to distinguish from the rest of the CBX series, the CBX had a Double Overhead Cam 1047cc inline 6 engine with a total of 24 valves! It could produce 105 BHP of maximum power at 9,000 RPM and around 70.8 NM of torque at 6,500 RPM. With a top speed of up to 216 km/h, Honda had it covered in the performance department.
Because of the engine, the CBX was a bit wide, although, it maintained its overall proportions quite well especially when a rider was on board. The engine was not any wider than the rider’s legs and so it did not really look awkward. Unusual, yes, but not awkward.
While the inline 6 engine was unconventional, rest of the design of the motorcycle was mainstream. It had a classic styling with a standard fuel tank, wide and high handlebar, round headlamp and the flat seat. The frame was a steel tube structure with conventional telescopic forks at the front with twin disc setup. At the back, there two shockers doing the shocking absorbing duties along with a single disc brake.
Riding a motorcycle as special as the CBX is like living your most cherished dream. There would not be many CBX’s in the world right now that would be completely functional, so this opportunity that is given to us makes us feel highly privileged and fortunate.
First off, it doesn’t like any other motorcycle that you’ve heard. We often talk about distinctive exhaust notes – from V-twins, the inline 3s and the R1’s crossplane – but this particular Honda is like one in a billion. At high RPMs, the CBX sounds almost like a Formula 1 car and that is not an exaggeration. And while this looks quite passable, there is no way on earth it can be ignored while on the move purely on the basis of how it sounds.
We did not really think that it would be possible but we had more fun riding this 1978 model than many modern motorcycles of today. And not because it was weird to ride, it wasn’t, but because by the looks of it this motorcycle doesn’t really look like it’s made for speed. Yes, it has got a big engine, but then it is a classic and an old piece of machinery. But it knocked us right out of the park as soon as we thumb started it and put it in gear. Let us make this clear, there have been very few motorcycles that impressed us so much in so little time. And this is the only vintage motorcycle to do so.
The CBX has been known to do the quarter mile run (0 to 400 metres) in 11.36 seconds with a top speed of 189.82 km/h. Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to check out its acceleration due to the road and traffic conditions at hand. Still, we did get the essence of the performance lurking inside that wide engine from the short ride we had.
If this is to be made today, we can tell you with surety that it would be one of the most sought after motorcycles among the motorcycle enthusiasts. It is fast, comfortable, looks solid and substantial. What more do we really need!
But there’s a glimmer of hope with platforms like OLX that offer a chance to own these kind of rare motorcycles. Who knows that if we try then we may find one on OLX.
We would like to extend our thanks to Mr Joe of Joe’s Garage to let us ride this truly wonderful piece of machinery and one of the most historic motorcycles ever made by Honda.
50Boss Hoss - How big is big enough
How big is big enough? That is the questions indeed. Is it not?
We often talk about the size of a motorcycle while talking about its practicality especially for city riding or day-to-day riding. Motorcycles big in size are usually a bit handful in traffic. They are difficult to manoeuvre and as a result, can get terribly slow to move. And big bikes normally have powerful engines capable of churning out high performance which is best enjoyed on open roads – be it curves or straight highways.
Simply put, they are uncompromising and don’t make any excuses about their mass. So, let’s take a look at few big motorcycles that we know of – to start off let’s consider Hayabusa and the ZX-14R, they might not be too big but they are substantial enough. Then we have grand tourers like the Honda Gold Wing, Indian Chieftain or Roadmaster and other similar motorcycles that easily qualify as big. And last, but the not the least, how can we forget the Triumph Rocket 3? These motorcycles are meant for wide open roads where they can flex all their muscles.
But there’s one more motorcycle which defies virtually all boundaries of bulk and makes everything listed above practically a toy. It’s made in America and it is called the Boss Hoss – the only globally approved V8 motorcycles manufacturer.
A Small Dose of History
Boss Hoss has been making V8 powered motorcycles since 1990, the year it came into existence. The company’s founder, Monte Warne, is a commercial aircraft pilot and holds a degree in Aviation Airframe and Power plant.
Since 1990, Boss Hoss has grown their vehicle lineup from V8 motorcycles to V8 Trikes (three-wheeled motorcycles).
The Bulk and the Beast
Boss Hoss is a beast. If you thought that you haven’t seen a bigger engine than Rocket 3’s 2300cc 3-cylinder behemoth, the Boss Hoss’s V8 engine rewrites the concept of “big” in a motorcycle. The V8 engine is derived from Chevrolet and is 6,200cc in displacement! Yes, you’ve read that right!
This massive engine is transversely mounted in the motorcycle’s frame and showcases 4 cylinders on each side. At the front, there’s a pair of fat 63mm upside-down forks with double disc setup and 130mm tyre on a 16-inch wheel. At the back, there’s the mammoth 300mm wide rubber mounted on an 18-inch wheel with twin shockers and a single disc for the company. The suspension employs, what is called, air-suspension technology. The fuel tank nicely complements the bulk of the engine with its 32-litre capacity. Everything on this motorcycle is large.
The Riding Experience
Riding a Boss Hoss motorcycle is like having your wildest fantasies come true. You may find it hard to believe it’s happening when it’s actually happening! Swinging a leg over it is such a unique experience. The 6,200cc V8 engine produces an unimaginable 445 BHP of power at 5,750 RPM and an equally mind-blowing 603 NM of torque 4,750 RPM. Imagine these figures being put to use in a motorcycle and you seriously cannot imagine the kind of acceleration you’re going to get.
We sincerely thank The Bikers Cafe, Gurgaon for allowing us to shoot inside the cafe. Special thank to Mr.Sanjay for all the cooperation.
Bikers Cafe, Gurgaon: Ground Floor, Emaar MGF Palm Spring Plaza, PSP-, 12, Golf Course Road, Suncity, Sector 54, Gurgaon, Haryana 122003
We took it for 15 odd km spin in all kinds of roads – in traffic, empty straights, narrow roads, potholed roads and I came away mighty impressed with what they have achieved. And mind you this is as American as its gets too – V8 Chevrolet engine fixed onto a chopper. Everything is big, bling and fast here. It does not scream for attention it sucks attention like a black hole sucks light.
The tank itself is humungous with several dials piggybacking it. There are two gears – D, Overdrive – and a Reverse. There’s also a Neutral, of course. The gearbox is semi-automatic as you put the bike into the D mode through a foot lever, but there’s no clutch lever to pull. It does take some time to get used to, but we would say it is easier to operate overall. However, we had to keep reminding ourselves not to twist the throttle on a red light without being in Neutral lest the bike rockets forward. The sitting position was comfortable but seemed a little awkward due to the sheer width of the engine below.
The first few kilometres were quite scary as we were trying to test the throttle response without getting any nasty surprises. The rear tyre has a tendency of tramlining on our potholed roads and the suspension was quite stiff. Clearly, this was made for the open roads and smooth highways.
Yet, we would be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy riding it. It is like a once in a lifetime experience and for this very reason, it is the one to cherish forever.
This is a special motorcycle and shall be treated as one. Just for the sheer size of it and the beastly power it packs, we wouldn’t really recommend it like any other sportbike or a big cruiser. We aren’t even sure if you’d find it on OLX but one can always try.
We would like to thank Mr Hemant Sahai for giving us this opportunity and an experience of a lifetime.
49Triumph Bonneville Scrambler – The Scrambler with a Difference
Scrambler – one of the most popular forms of motorcycles today, shot up the fame ladder like a bullet after Ducati revived one of its classics by the same name couple of years back.
But this time we are bringing you a Triumph Scrambler, and it’s not a regular one. In fact, in a way, it is made in Pune, in India!
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A small lesson in history
Now, Triumph has been making Scrambler since 2006 and it has proven to be an extremely capable motorcycle. Originally designed as a Bonneville with high mounted exhaust, slightly longer travel suspension and soft off-roading capabilities, the Scrambler has been a preferred choice for riders who love classic motorcycles but with more versatility.
In essence, it is the same bike as a standard Bonneville but with the little bit of off-roading prowess thrown in. The 865cc parallel twin air-cooled engine is same is the previous generation Bonneville engine which produces around 59 BHP of power at 6,800 RPM and 68 NM of torque at 4,750 RPM, however, the difference is in the firing order. While the Bonneville has a 360-degree firing interval between its two cylinders, the Scrambler has 270 degrees of it to make the engine sound closer to a v-twin. The performance and the numbers remain same.
Made in India Scrambler!
Like we said, the Scrambler we rode isn’t the usual kind. It is a normal Bonneville modified into one and it is done by Triumph Pune. You’ve read that right!
So what makes this one special?
The most visible differences are the high mounted Arrow exhaust which is a part of Triumph’s official accessory. Then the whole front suspension which has been taken from the Tiger XCX model – the WP upside-down forks, spoked wheel and the twin disc brake setup. The rear wheel is also taken from the Tiger itself.
This change inherently gives the Bonneville some decent off-roading capability. There is also a pair of hand guards on each end of the handlebar that is finished in bright orange colour. The headlight is also a much-advanced unit with a pair of projector lamps and LEDs.
We sincerely thank Triumph Motorcycles, Pune (B U BHANDARI AUTOMOTIVE P LTD) for letting us ride their motorcycle.
Aptly named Scrambler, the motorcycle is finished off with a custom paint job with the matte grey paint and orange stripes running across the fuel tank.
The motorcycle looks fantastic and purposeful and is a pretty good ride as well. This is basically a custom Scrambler and not something that can be bought from a showroom. And if you’re looking for one, well, you won’t really find this particular motorcycle anywhere, but you can definitely try your luck on OLX for a factory Scrambler. Chances are, you’ll get lucky.
48Benelli Tornado 302 – One More in the Battlefield!
Earlier this year, Benelli revealed four motorcycles at the 13th Auto Expo that they plan to launch in the near future. One of them is a full-faired sportbike, Tornado 302, and it is clearly directed at the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Yamaha YZF-R3.
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The Tornado 302 is based on the naked TNT 300 which means it has the same 300cc parallel twin engine. It is liquid cooled, has 4-valve per cylinder and DOHC. The power is speculated at 36 BHP at 12,000 RPM and 27 NM of torque at 9,000 RPM. While the power figure is around 3 PS lower than the TNT 300, the torque is about the same. What’s ironic is usually the full-faired versions produce equal or more amounts of power than their naked siblings.
Also, the TNT 300 scales at 196 kg ready-to-ride. This is a pretty heavy motorcycle and we believe that with all this bodywork, the Tornado 302 will likely weigh even more. That is not going to be an impressive number against the likes of Ninja 300 and R3 that weigh 172 kg and 169 kg respectively.
What’s going for it?
The motorcycle looks pretty good. The design is proportionate and gives a big bike feel to the motorcycle, just like in the case of Kawasaki and Yamaha.
As far as the engine specifications are concerned, the Tornado 302 doesn’t offer anything over the Ninja and the R3, Yamaha being the most powerful of the trio. None of the three motorcycles has ABS (in India) while the Tornado has twin disc setup up front making it look sportier. Unlike the Ninja 300, the 302 does not offer the Slipper & Assist Clutch. Also, the Tornado has upside-down forks at the front compared to the conventional telescopic suspension on both the Ninja and the R3.
We sincerely thank DSK Benelli for letting us ride the Tornado 302.
The ride quality is pretty good and it offers sporty yet comfortable riding stance. The acceleration from the engine is linear and there are no surprises in store. Overall, it is a well-made motorcycle put together nicely, but is that enough?
Can Benelli make a difference?
Let’s understand one thing – It is not easy to compete against the Japanese and especially for someone who doesn’t compete at the same level. Benelli might have its roots in Italy, but today, it is owned by a Chinese motor group Qianjiang. The Tornado 302 is heavier and makes the smallest numbers between the three. The only way Benelli can hope to disrupt the market of the two Japanese is by pricing their motorcycle aggressively.
All said and done there is one aspect which could make people lean towards this bike – it is how it sounds. If you have heard the sound of the TNT300 naked which is sold right now in India, you will be pleasantly surprised at the sweet aural note the bike has – it almost sound like an inline four 600 at mid to high rpms. In a country where looks and anything which can be a ‘swag’ matters, this is indeed a big plus for the bike.
For now, all we can do is play the waiting game!
47Harley Davidson Road King – King of the Highway
It’s about living the American dream, and what is it? Is it just one or many? What we know for sure is rolling down on an open wide highway on your favourite set of wheels without a worry in the world is definitely one of them.
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Harley Davidson, one of the oldest and longest running motorcycle manufacturers in the world, is quintessentially American. The Milwaukee based company has been a symbol of freedom in the United States of America from the time it became mainstream. And that is a long time back. Barring few exceptions, each Harley Davidson motorcycle has been promoted as the ultimate tool to take on a highway.
Their motorcycles, or more specifically cruisers, have been synonymous with the idea of freedom that motorcycling brings and what better place to express it than covering miles after miles on something like the Route 66.
King of the Highway
Well, the Road King might make the Americans feel patriotic, but to the rest of us, it is just supposed to be a good motorcycle and do what it’s supposed to do.
King of the highway – this is what Harley likes to call the Road King. One of the motorcycles in their touring lineup, the Road King is meant to take you places in the abundance of comfort and some laziness. And by no means have we meant it in a negative sense, because here, we are inferring laziness as being carefree. It is a motorcycle where the sense of speed doesn’t matter or that it doesn’t exist. You want to ride something like this when you intend to take the ambience in your stride, when you want to notice every beautiful tree, farm field, plateau and mountains on the way to your destination. It is like taking a stroll in a park, you just want to enjoy the atmosphere and feel good about the life.
This is what this motorcycle is all about – feeling good and at ease. Numbers do not matter and if you talk to someone who loves this kind of a motorcycle, he will tell you that numbers don’t make sense. They are there just to state some facts about what the engine is capable of doing, like the 138 NM of torque which is available at just 3,500 RPM from the 1,690cc V-twin engine. It is enough to allow this 371 kg heavy metal of a motorcycle to cruiser comfortably at triple digit speeds all day long and has more than enough power in reserve to make overtakes on lardy vehicles on highways.
We sincerely thank Eagle Riders for letting us ride their motorcycle.
There’s the big windshield to ease high-speed riding and it is removable as well. The hard bags at the back on either side of the motorcycle can carry lots of luggage, at least for a single rider, and help keep the looks of the motorcycle clean. But the single piece rider and the pillion seat is a good place for a two-up riding, and on a motorcycle like this, it is good to have a companion every now and then. I mean, what’s the point of enjoying the scenery alone? You are not on a rocket ship where your primary purpose is to enjoy the acceleration of the motorcycle and on which you’re a bit too concerned about the weight distribution.
In India, it retails at 25 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi, not cheap by any means. But of course, a platform like OLX is always there where one can find an expensive motorcycle like the Road King within their budget. So give it a try.
At the end of it, we would say that this one really doesn’t belong in the city and it should be bought when you actually intend to ride to far off places. Just make sure that the route is filled with good tarmac!
46BMW K 1600 GTL – The Sportiest Luxury Tourer
The thing about big automobile manufacturers is that they don’t believe in doing something just to be a “me too”. No matter what the segment is, they make sure that they make their presence felt and that their vehicles speak for themselves. Certain products are just so good right from the start that no matter whether they have entered a market late or are early, they make the timing of their arrival appear spot on.
Case in point, the K1600 GTL from BMW Motorrad. Launched in 2010 to compete against the Honda Gold Wing (which has been selling with an 1832cc flat-six engine since 2001), the K1600 GTL came like a breath of fresh air instead of looking like a late comer. It comes powered by an inline 6 cylinder 1649cc DOHC liquid cooled 24-valve engine which is developed new from the ground up. It produces 160.4 PS of power at 7,750 RPM and 175 NM of torque at 5,250 RPM. It is quite a powerhouse. In comparison, the Gold Wing churns out around only 118 BHP and 167 NM of torque.
But more power may not always be a big deal. BMW introduced the K1600 ten years later and so more power is the least that is expected. The only inline 6-cylinder production motorcycle in the world has few more things up its sleeve that makes it look like it is from the future. This big 6-cylinder engine is only 2.6 inches wider than K1300’s inline 4 engine making it the most compact inline 6 engine in the world to have ever been produced.
It is also the first motorcycle in the world that features Adaptive Headlight technology. What this means is even though the headlight assembly is fixed with the fairing, it turns left if the bike is turning left and hence lights up the entire corner. Not just that, when the bike is at lean, the headlight beam remains flat so that the lighting on the road ahead remains consistent. Optionally, there’s electronically adjustable suspension which adapts to the changing road conditions on the go.
The German motorcycle manufacturer has also done a pretty good job in keeping the overall weight of the motorcycle relatively low at 348 kg. The Honda, on the other hand, breaches 400 kg mark at 421 kg ready-to-ride.
A Fantastic Blend of Luxury and Sportiness
K1600 GTL is basically the sportiest luxury tourer. While the Gold Wing has impressed everyone with its dynamic handling characteristics over so many years, this BMW pushes the boundaries even further.
Take a look at the K1600 GTL from the sides, and the design looks like a great mix of a luxury cruiser and a high-speed sport-tourer. There’s a sense of sophistication in the styling which enhances the thoroughly modern appeal of the motorcycle.
We sincerely thank Mr. Siddique Bajaria for taking out his time and letting us ride his motorcycle.
It is supremely comfortable, as it should be, for all day riding and is sporty enough to be enjoyable at curves. There’s a unique positive feeling when a motorcycle of this scale enables the rider to go around a corner relatively enthusiastically. The frame is made up of cast aluminium, the front suspension is BMW’s famous Duolover and the rear is Paralever. All this together ensure that the handling remains closer to a sportbike and nothing remotely like a cruiser.
Milestone at XBhp
We have had two wonderful opportunities to ride this biggest BMW motorcycle. Once in 2011 when we took it to New York from Los Angeles covering well over 6000 kilometres in 14 days, and another one in 2014 when we rode it to the INTERMOT show from Munich to Cologne in Germany. That has been one of the most scenic journeys that we have undertaken so far. You can see those rides here:
BMW motorcycles are some of the most expensive in our country as of now and the K1600 GTL is at the far end of “expensive”. Although, people can try their luck on OLX and see if they can get it a bit cheap. However, motorcycles like these are purposeful and definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. But they sure are some of the best ways to travel the country and the world.
45Honda Gold Wing – Unmatched Luxury
“Buy a luxury vehicle” – most of the times, the conversation around this would immediately lead to a discussion on an expensive car offering abundant comfort with various other features to pamper you with mechanical sophistication. And to get something of that sort, you need money, probably lots of it if you wish to be treated with 5-star comfort by a vehicle.
However, if you have that sort of money, but you’re much more into motorcycles than cars, you do have few options that would make even luxury car owners go green with envy. You could get yourself a Harley Davidson CVO or Indian Roadmaster, both excellent motorcycles and offer royal comfort, yet, against one particular rival, they both fall a bit short in probably almost every aspect other than looks.
Consider a Honda Gold Wing and things might appear more advanced by that much.
Gold Wing, Honda’s luxury tourer with a flat engine which is in production since 1974. The Gold Wing started its journey as GL 1000 with standard styling and a flat or boxer 4 engine displacing 999cc. It was Honda’s first liquid-cooled engine in a production motorcycle and for the next 13 years, it went on to become GL 1200 and finally in 1987, Honda came out with the GL 1500 which had a 6-cylinder flat-six engine and could produce 100 BHP and 150 NM of torque. This model was in production till 2000.
In 2001, the flat-six engine was upgraded to 1832cc which remains the most powerful engine in Gold Wing till date. It produces 118.3 PS of maximum power at 5,500 RPM and 167 NM of torque at 4,000 RPM. It has a Single Overhead Cam design and is liquid-cooled. As of today, the motorcycle’s wet weight is 421 kg.
Facts and figures aside, Gold Wing’s specialness lies in its ultra smooth engine which generates a seamless flow of power and the unique Jet turbine like soundtrack. The exhaust note from that boxer-six engine is unlike anything else, although, it is generally quite.
The Gold Wing is the only production motorcycle in the world to come with an electronic reverse gear! That’s right, it is easier to reverse the Wing than other equally bulky motorcycles. Also, it comes with an optional airbag which would prevent the rider from banging into the windshield in case of a collision.
Honda is not known to make bad-handling motorcycles, and for this reason, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Gold Wing, quite literally, handles like a dream for its size. Of course, it comes as a surprise at first, but then as you start realizing that the motorcycle is held together by an aluminium frame and a single shocker at the back, it all starts to come together nicely. In its category, after the BMW K1600 GT, the Gold Wing is the next best handling motorcycle. And the performance from its boxer-six engine outperforms every V-twin luxury tourer in this class of motorcycles.
It indulges you in comfort like very few motorcycles can do. The seat is literally like a sofa, the pillion seat is even more so. The windshield is adjustable at six heights and then there’s heated handlebar grips and the seats. There’s also a mechanism to keep the legs warm in winters. There’s music system and an air-conditioner as well. Yes, you have these in other similar motorcycles, but what you do not get is the kind of overall package that the Gold Wing is. It is in its own way very unique.
In India, the big Honda retails over 31 Lakhs on-road Delhi, no means affordable to many people out there. And no matter how good a handler it is, the Wing is still quite a handful in our traffic. Yet, if you still want it and feel it is out of your budget, perhaps a search on OLX can help you in getting it within your budget.
That aside, we would love to travel the world on it. The world.
44Ariel VB 600 – Vintage Overload
The idea of riding a vintage motorcycle is to feel connected to one’s past or simply to take a peek into the past. Do all old, outdated and classic motorcycles make a person feel this way? No one can really say. However, there are some (or few) motorcycles that would literally take you back in time, so much so, that by the time you are back, you might have left some part of your heart there.
Meet the Ariel VB 600 from 1933.
Classic girder front suspension, rigid frame and spring seat – vintage, yes, but we have seen these features a bit too often already in many other old bikes. So, what really is special about this particular motorcycle from Ariel? Take a look at the gear lever and you may not find it where it usually is. This motorcycle has got a hand-shifter on the right side of the fuel tank and using it is an experience in itself. It is not just different, it is a totally new way of making a motorcycle work.
There are few other things as well that really sets it apart. It has got an “inspection lamp” which lights when there’s something wrong with the bike’s electronics. It is operated by the battery directly and so it will work even when the motorcycle is not on. And for such an old bike, it also had a clock as an accessory! Few other things like the oil pressure meter can be considered usual stuff.
The engine is a single cylinder 4-stroke 598cc unit having a single side valve. It could produce up to 15.5 BHP of maximum power at 4,400 RPM. Too low and slow for today’s standards, but enough for the 1930s.
Ariel’s Background and its Present
Ariel was established way back in 1870 in Bournbrook, Birmingham, however, they made their first motorcycle in 1902. Before making motorcycles, the company made bicycles. In 1932, Ariel became Ariel Motors. In 1951, Ariel was sold to BSA.
Ariel has made many interesting motorcycles back then one of which is an interesting four-cylinder engine in which the engines were configured in a square – two front and two back – and it was called the four-square engine!
We sincerely thank Mr. Desh Deepak for taking out his time and letting us ride his motorcycle.
The company is said to be defunct in 1970 until it was resurrected as Ariel Motor Company in 1991 and based out of Somerset, England. As of today, it makes light-weight and high-performance cars and a motorcycle named Ace which is powered by a Honda VFR1200 V4 engine.
This is truly a unique vintage motorcycle and something which should be kept for as long as it is possible. It is a perfect example of what is a rare motorcycle. Fortunately, with platforms like OLX, there is a possibility to find these kinds of motorcycles. This one that we rode is quite flawlessly maintained and we are compelled to hand it to Mr Desh Deepak for doing such a remarkable job. He’s an enthusiast and we thank him for his time and letting us ride this truly special motorcycle from Ariel.
43Ducati Monster 821 - A Beautiful Monster!
A monster is not something which is assumed to be beautiful, stunning and attractive to look at. Although, it sure can relate to your dark side, but then, it is not something a person would ideally behold dearly. It is supposed to be intimidating and loath worthy. Interestingly, a human mind can work in funny ways. As innovative as we are, we can even make a monstrosity remarkably desirable, sophisticated and controllable!
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Here’s a Monster which is made by men and women with their hearts, minds, hands and tools, whose idea was born in Italy. It is made with love, it comes in red and the world loves it. Meet the Ducati Monster. And this one is called the Monster 821. It’s modern and it wants you to grab it by the horns and have some fun!
The Monster lineup was introduced in 1993 and has been one of the most successful motorcycle brands by Ducati. It is a deadly combination of practicality and great aesthetics that probably only a few other motorcycles can match. While the styling has continuously evolved over the years, it remains recognizable even in its latest guise.
The current generation of Monsters is powered by liquid cooled engines housed inside a completely redesigned chassis. The frame is inspired by Ducati’s Superbike, Panigale, where the trellis frame is ultra compact and is bolted directly on the heads of both cylinders. The engine is literally an extension of the frame and the rear mono-shock, sub-frame and the swingarm are directly attached to the engine as well.
The 821cc L-Twin Testastretta 11 engine is taken from the Hypermotard. It is liquid with Double Overhead Cams and 4-valve per cylinder and produces a very healthy 112 PS of power at 9,250 RPM and 89.4 NM of torque at 7,750 RPM. The motorcycle carries a wet weight of 205 kg which is impressive considering that the fuel tank is 17.5 litres.
Latest and the Best
Monster 821 is one of the best Streetfighters that Ducati has made along with the Monster 1200. They are faster and more comfortable than all their previous generations. Riding ergonomics are now better suited for longer rides. The redesigned fuel tank looks more muscular and is the most beautiful element of the whole design. Given that the frame is now smaller, the fuel tank has much more prominence visually than ever before.
The side mounted double-barrel exhaust generates a distinctive L-twin sound that screams performance. At idle, it has enough bass and a feeling of restlessness, unlike most twin engines. On the move, the sound has a sense of fearlessness and acts as a confidence booster for the rider.
It is a thoroughly modern motorcycle with the inclusion of Ducati Safety Pack (DSP) which includes ABS and 8-level Traction Control. The bike also gets three riding modes – Urban, Touring and Sport – along with the Ride by Wire throttle.
All this makes the new Monster quite tamable, but no less fun than before. In fact, overall better performance and friendly ergonomics allow the rider to enjoy the ride in all conditions. It handles better than ever before, it’s more stable on the straights and in the corners.
The Monster 821 is a little over Rs 11 Lakhs on-road in Delhi, which is by no means cheap, but not exorbitantly expensive either. However, if you must have it and it’s out of your budget, you can try and search it on OLX where you might find one.
42R1200GS Adventure – BMW Motorrad’s All Terrain Vehicle
Often argued as the best motorcycle ever made, the R1200 GS is BMW’s most prized creation ever. And it was launched only 12 years back in 2004. It does, however, feature the German manufacturer’s oldest running engine architecture – the phenomenally versatile Boxer Twin.
Boxer Twin (or Flat Twin)
BMW has used the same engine to power their adventure tourer, street, classic and sport bikes since the engine’s debut in 1921, and in a slightly different state of tunes, the Boxer Twin has excelled in all their motorcycles. It has become synonymous with BMW Motorrad. So much so, that the S1000RR inline 4 engine, which is otherwise one of the most mainstream motorcycle engines, feels like a move away from the company’s tradition.
The Legacy of GS
The first GS, called the R80 G/S, was introduced in 1980 with a 797cc air-cooled Boxer Twin. The GS brand itself is pretty diverse and has included motorcycles from single-cylinder, parallel twins to, of course, Boxer Twins. From the 797cc Boxer Twin of the R80 G/S, the GS has grown up to 1170cc liquid cooled engine as of today.
The R1200 GS was launched with an air-cooled engine as a replacement of the R1150 GS and has become BMW’s most successful motorcycle over the years. And before BMW came out with the wonderful S1000RR and claimed its stake in the Superbike segment, the R1200 GS has quite literally been the face of BMW Motorrad.
The Grandest GS
The 1200 Adventure variant was introduced in 2005 and we got the chance the ride the latest R1200 GS Adventure which comes powered by the latest liquid cooled 1170cc Boxer Twin engine which produces 125 BHP at 7,750 RPM and 125NM of torque at 6,500 RPM. This is the most powerful and modern Boxer Twin that has powered a GS motorcycle.
The Adventure model has an extra large fuel capacity of 30 litres (compared to 20 litres in standard R1200 GS) and comes with two standard riding modes – Road and Rain. Also, there are spoke wheels and higher travel suspension. As adaptable as it is to different riding conditions, the 1200 Adventure has been the preferred choice for riders who like to mix their touring with some off-roading adventure.
Of course, it doesn’t come cheap and is one of the most expensive motorcycles in the BMW stable in India. For most of us, it will remain a distant dream for this very reason. Although, searching on OLX for a second-hand R1200 GS Adventure might bring some respite for some of us.
The R1200 GS Adventure is possibly the biggest adventure-touring motorcycles in production right now. It looks intimidating especially with the tall seat height and overall bulky dimensions. Nonetheless, it is a great motorcycle to ride and like many modern motorcycles, it is pretty easy to ride around. And no doubt, it is just a wonderful feeling to spend some time on one of the best motorcycles ever put into production.