Aston Martin Thinks Hypercars Could Save Le Mans Racing

Currently, only Toyota is still committed to LMP1

No Obligation, Fast & Simple Free New Car Quote

With PorscheAudi, and Nissan now out of LMP1, the top level of endurance racing, Toyota is the only manufacturer left to compete at Le Mans. Since it’s not particularly exciting to watch one works team race itself, this has left the sport in an unstable position. But if Aston Martin gets its way, the FIA would try to save LMP1 by allowing road-based race cars.

Speaking to Autocar recently, Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, said officials from the FIA had approached him about potentially changing regulations to attract more automakers. His suggestion? Open LMP1 up to race cars based on production models.

“My personal perspective is very clear: Aston Martin will never compete in a prototype category because it has no relevance to us,” he said. “But if they allowed racing derivatives of road cars, that would be very interesting to us and, I suspect, the fans.”

The way Palmer sees it, having production-based cars compete in LMP1 would go beyond attracting more manufacturers. It would also keep with Le Mans tradition. “Road-derived race cars fighting for the win is in keeping with the history of sportscar and Le Mans racing,” said Palmer. “And the prospect of the likes of Valkyrie fighting against McLaren P1, LaFerrari and more would be interesting to more than just me, I suspect.”

When Autocar asked Palmer if Aston Martin would race the Valkyrie in LMP1 if the FIA adopted his rules suggestion, he responded, “Watch this space.”

We’re not sure how likely such a rule change is, but the man makes a point. Plus, if no other manufacturers want to take on Toyota, the FIA might not have a choice.

Source: Autocar

Source: http://ift.tt/JPPTFe

Aston Martin Thinks Hypercars Could Save Le Mans Racing

Currently, only Toyota is still committed to LMP1

No Obligation, Fast & Simple Free New Car Quote

With PorscheAudi, and Nissan now out of LMP1, the top level of endurance racing, Toyota is the only manufacturer left to compete at Le Mans. Since it’s not particularly exciting to watch one works team race itself, this has left the sport in an unstable position. But if Aston Martin gets its way, the FIA would try to save LMP1 by allowing road-based race cars.

Speaking to Autocar recently, Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, said officials from the FIA had approached him about potentially changing regulations to attract more automakers. His suggestion? Open LMP1 up to race cars based on production models.

“My personal perspective is very clear: Aston Martin will never compete in a prototype category because it has no relevance to us,” he said. “But if they allowed racing derivatives of road cars, that would be very interesting to us and, I suspect, the fans.”

The way Palmer sees it, having production-based cars compete in LMP1 would go beyond attracting more manufacturers. It would also keep with Le Mans tradition. “Road-derived race cars fighting for the win is in keeping with the history of sportscar and Le Mans racing,” said Palmer. “And the prospect of the likes of Valkyrie fighting against McLaren P1, LaFerrari and more would be interesting to more than just me, I suspect.”

When Autocar asked Palmer if Aston Martin would race the Valkyrie in LMP1 if the FIA adopted his rules suggestion, he responded, “Watch this space.”

We’re not sure how likely such a rule change is, but the man makes a point. Plus, if no other manufacturers want to take on Toyota, the FIA might not have a choice.

Source: Autocar

Source: http://ift.tt/JPPTFe

Cathing Up With: Alfonso Albaisa, Head of Nissan/Infiniti design

Alfonso Albaisa, head of Nissan/Infiniti design since spring 2017, has had a surprisingly simple and straightforward career in car design. Nissan was his first automotive employer 35 years ago, and he has been with the firm since. He’s been there through the ups and downs, including a dark period when catastrophically bad management drove it into the purchase/merger fusion with Renault that resulted in the Alliance. Carlos Ghosn, who masterminded Nissan’s revival, says it’s the only “merger of equals” that has actually worked.

Albaisa had run Nissan design outposts in La Jolla, California, and London, England, before moving to headquarters in Japan fairly recently. His succession to Shiro Nakamura, which was carefully orchestrated behind the scenes by Nakamura and Ghosn, came as a bit of a surprise to him. A lot of things in his life have been a surprise to Florida-born Albaisa, 52, whose parents fled Castro’s Cuba early in his regime. “It’s hard for me to realize that a poor Cuban kid could come so far,” he told us at Pebble Beach last summer.

Especially, one might think, for a boy whose youthful behavior might be considered a bit eccentric. “I dressed only in Napoleonic-era costumes when I was a boy,” he says. “Until I was 19, my mother made all my clothes. Then I was impressed by my brother’s grunge style, so I changed to be like him.” Eccentricities aside, Albaisa was always serious about his education and adding to his knowledge. One of his instructors at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, which he attended—he graduated from Pratt Institute in New York—eventually talked him into a more conventional presentation, which seems to have stuck. But he has managed to keep the cheerful, fun-loving attitude that has been his hallmark.

The underlying idea for the Prototype 9, the first Infiniti concept car to appear during his period in charge, is that—in the alternate universe supposed for the purpose—there were some really advanced Japanese aircraft designers who made a race car and mothballed it somewhere safe during the war years. Then, as a “barn find,” it could be refurbished and presented at Pebble Beach. How it managed to have acquired a grille shape that hadn’t existed in 1933 for a nameplate that came to market in 1989 with no grille at all is an open question. Albaisa says it made good sense to use the shape that has evolved from a quarter century of production. It certainly doesn’t look anachronistic or out of place on the Prototype 9. He also notes that there was a serious racing history at Prince Motor Company, acquired by Nissan long ago. We talked with Albaisa recently about how the concept came about, especially the most striking aspect of the design: a huge rise in the middle of the hood’s length. “It was inspired by the way the Howard Hughes’ H-1 world air-speed-record airplane looked when it was sitting on the ground, the rounded cowling standing up and everything falling away behind it,” he said.

That silvery record-holder was a huge achievement in the ’30s, exactly the period of the Infiniti 9. Albaisa said: “I wanted the shapes to look like lofted curves, between parabolic curves and some with more tension … between a tango and a Mexican wrestling match.”

Automobile Magazine: Where was the concept car made?

Alfonso Albaisa: It was actually made at our Oppama factory, the oldest one in the company. Once we got started on the project, the engineers got into it and wanted to make the “fake brake” you liked. Then the factory workers wanted in on the project. They learned to work the sheet steel by hand.

AM: The car is made of steel, not aluminum?

AA: Yes, we borrowed a bit of the steel used to stamp production parts right there in the factory. But we promised to give it back.

AM: So all of this was done by people who ordinarily don’t make prototypes?

AA: Yes, the whole thing was like a drink of water for the team. For the designers, it was a way to take us out of decoration. … The whole project, carried out in very little time, was a labor of love, done with a tongue-in-cheek attitude.”

AM: But with absolute seriousness, we’d say.








The post Cathing Up With: Alfonso Albaisa, Head of Nissan/Infiniti design appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

Source: http://ift.tt/LhoIaq

KTM Adventure Rally Returns for 2018

The KTM Adventure Rally is an exciting opportunity for KTM Adventure owners to ride some incredible terrain in Europe with other like minded owners/riders. There are only 150 spots available, so don’t sleep on this one…

Begin Press Release:


December 11, 2017 – KTM is excited to announce the second installment of the European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY will be held in Sardinia at the end of June 2018.

A KTM ADVENTURE RALLY is for those who want to fully embrace the KTM READY TO RACE spirit, sharing tarmac and dirt passes in incredible surroundings to form lasting friendships and unforgettable memories with likeminded riders – including KTM ambassadors and employees – and will be exclusive to the first 150 KTM ADVENTURE-owning riders who sign up.

Complementing existing established KTM ADVENTURE events that have taken place annually in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and South Africa, 2017 saw the first European staging in Bardonecchia. The exclusive group of riders got to experience incredible road and offroad riding in the mountainous area of Northern Italy. Following customer feedback, the beautiful island of Sardinia has been chosen for 2018 for the KTM ADVENTUREs to conquer its incredible variety of endless sea view sandy trails, twisty mountain passes and even extreme offroad routes with unexplored terrain.

Florian Burguet (Managing Director KTM Europe): “The goal of KTM ADVENTURE RALLIES is to bring together riders off all abilities who share KTM’s unique adventure spirit and who want to exploit the performance of their machines to create unforgettable experiences. The first European rally was a big success and following feedback from those who attended and our own experience, the venue for 2018 shifts from the mountains of Italy to the beautiful island of Sardinia. For the lucky 150 KTM ADVENTURE riders who confirm their place, it will present them with a wide range of stunning roads and paths to explore while simultaneously providing the kind of unrivaled experiences a KTM ADVENTURE motorcycle was created to provide.”

Fully organized by KTM, the three-day guided rally is tailored to suit all rider abilities – from first year ADVENTURE riders up to seasoned ADVENTURE professionals – and is open to just 150 places for owners of the following KTM bikes: 640, 690, 950, 990, 1050, 1090, 1190 & 1290 ADVENTURE models.

Registration opens at the beginning of 2018 at http://ift.tt/2nfOxMd with more details to follow shortly on the entire content of the event.

KTM Adventure Rally Returns for 2018 appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Source: http://ift.tt/Xzx9iy December 14, 2017 at 08:15PM

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black | First Ride Review

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Our first ride on the new Bobber Black was cut short by heavy winds and rain, but eventually the sun returned and we took advantage, flogging the bikes up (and down) the famous Ronda Road in southern Spain. Photos by Kingdom Creative.

The 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber was one of the most highly anticipated new models to be released last year, an instant hit that quickly became the fastest selling new model in the company’s 115-year history. True to its Bonneville roots, it’s a prototypical bobber, with a solo tractor seat floating above a rear shock hidden within its hardtail-look frame, a small gas tank best suited to bombing around town, a big 19-inch front wheel (wire spoked, of course) and “bobbed” fenders.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The Bobber Black looks good from just about any angle. Thoughtful touches like the central seam on the fenders and the “hoop” around the rear fender add to its authentic look.

Jenny’s Gear
Helmet: Bell Star MIPS-Equipped
Jacket: Furygan Legend Lady
Pants: Bolid’ster Jeny’ster
Boots: Rev’It Royale H20

It made a great first impression on me when I first rode it back in December 2016 (read the First Ride Review here), despite several weaknesses (wimpy brakes, a pogo stick fork and that small gas tank). It’s so smooth and powerful—a complete package—that I was forced into calling a draw when it came down to choosing between the Triumph and the Indian Scout Bobber in a recent bobber comparo. (Read the comparison test here.) If I’d had this new Bobber Black version, however…well, who knows.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black
The Bobber Black is a darker, more muscular version of the classically styled standard Bobber.

The Black is easily differentiated from its more gentlemanly twin by its smaller 16-inch front wheel (the standard Bobber’s is a 19-inch), fat front tire, dual front brake discs and black-on-black color scheme. A closer look will also reveal a chunkier 47mm (compared to 41mm) front fork, standard one-button cruise control and an LED headlight with daytime running light (DRL).

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The instrument display tilts to adjust for different riding positions (the seat is movable fore and aft). LCD display includes info like fuel economy, traction control and riding mode settings, fuel level, gear indicator, time, and odometer and trip meters.

It shares everything else with its brother, including the hardtail-look frame hiding a KYB preload-adjustable shock with 3 inches of travel, a still too-small 2.4-gallon gas tank, a 59.4-inch wheelbase and a 27.2-inch seat height. There’s also the host of rider aids like two riding modes (Road and Rain, both with full power but different throttle maps), ABS, switchable traction control and an easy-pull assist clutch. These are complemented by a stylish single-dial analog speedometer and multifunction LCD display, and of course the smooth, powerful, liquid-cooled, 1,200cc high-output parallel twin that doled out 74.4 horsepower and 73.4 lb-ft of torque on the Jett Tuning dyno.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The trick new LED headlight includes an LED daytime running light (DRL).

With such an excellent engine and a 6-speed transmission that snicks positively into each gear, the Bobber would benefit from some performance enhancements, and that’s where the Black comes in. Replacing the Bobber’s 41mm KYB fork is a beefy 47mm Showa cartridge-style fork, and on our short test ride the difference was noticeable. While it has the same 3.5 inches of travel, its plush, responsive character is better suited to a sporty pace, especially when things get a bit bumpy.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The 16-inch front wheel makes the Bobber Black quicker to turn in than the original Bobber, despite its fat front tire.

Turn in is quicker too, thanks to the 16-inch front wheel. If you read my bobber comparison test review, you saw that one of my nitpicks on the Triumph is its slowish steering. While stable in smooth corners, the original Bobber takes a bit of effort to maneuver, especially at low speeds. I wasn’t sure if the fat 130/90 front tire (the original wears a skinny 100/90) would offset any gains, but it turns out I needn’t have worried; the Black is more flickable at higher speeds and easier to handle at low speeds, while seeming to sacrifice little in the way of stability. Plus it looks cool.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Brakes received a much-needed upgrade, with dual discs now squeezed by Brembo calipers. I would upgrade to sintered brake pads if the Black was mine, as I prefer more bite, but the new stoppers work much better than before.

My biggest gripe on the original Bobber, however, is with its brakes. In short, they aren’t strong enough and they provide little feedback. So imagine my relief when we learned the new Bobber Black would be fitted with dual 310mm front discs instead of one, and the 2-piston calipers are up-spec Brembo units that replace the original’s Nissins. Riding hard on twisty mountain roads, braking response was markedly improved, the new dual discs hauling on the Black’s reins and making it easier to keep the chassis loaded through multiple S-curves. I would still prefer more bite and better feel, but after speaking with one of the Triumph employees who owns an original Bobber, he suggested simply upgrading to fully sintered pads.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The fork and brake upgrades are significant enough that, in my opinion, Triumph should put both on the original Bobber as well, making the Black essentially a cosmetic, blacked-out, fat tire version.

All of the Bobber Black’s other differences are mostly cosmetic, including a trick new LED headlight with DRL and the obvious blacked-out treatment (you can choose between two different versions of black: glossy Jet Black or Matte Jet Black). The exception is newly standard cruise control, which is easily operated by a single button on the left switchgear. Heated grips are still a dealer-installed option.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The Black’s looks will likely appeal more to Americans than the original, and its performance is sure to please.

I could still complain about the small, 2.4-gallon gas tank, which limits the fun to around 114 miles (as tested). But although soft saddlebags are available as Triumph genuine accessories, if you’re in the market for a touring or road trip machine it would be best to look elsewhere. The Bobber and its Black twin were built to cruise around town—and in the right hands the Black will surprise some sport riders in the canyons.

The heavier front tire and fork, plus enhancements like the second brake disc, have resulted in what Triumph says is a 21-pound weight gain, but I can honestly say I didn’t notice it. Perhaps that would change if I were to ride the original and the Black back-to-back, but it’s a testament to the Black’s upgrades that it feels lighter on its feet than the original Bobber.

Thanks to rain and heavy winds that surprised the Costa del Sol (“Sun Coast”) on our sole riding day at the launch in Marbella, Spain, my first ride was all too short—only about 4 hours including photo and coffee stops. Or maybe Triumph has somehow figured out how to bend the weather to its will, because after my brief taste I’m only left wanting more.

Triumph says we can expect to see the Bobber Black in dealerships starting in February 2018, with a base price of $13,150 (Jet Black; Matte Jet Black carries a $250 upcharge).

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black.
2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black Specs

Base Price: $13,150 (Jet Black)
Price as Tested: $13,400 (Matte Jet Black)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: triumphmotorcycles.com

Engine

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin
Displacement: 1,200cc
Bore x Stroke: 97.6 x 80.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Valve Train: OHV, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 12,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: Multipoint sequential EFI w/ 44mm throttle bodies x 2
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.0-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated assist wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain

Electrical

Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 558 watts max.
Battery: 12V 10AH

Chassis

Frame: Tubular-steel cradle & tubular-steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 59.4 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.8 degrees/3.5 in.
Seat Height: 27.2 in.
Suspension, Front: 47mm cartridge-style Showa fork, no adj., 3.5-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload, 3.0-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 310mm discs w/ 2-piston Brembo floating calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 255mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Spoked, 2.50 x 16 in.
Rear: Spoked, 3.50 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/90-B16
Rear: 150/80-R16
Dry Weight (claimed): 524 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 2.4 gals., last 0.5 gal. warning light on
MPG: 87 PON min. (avg) 47.5
Estimated Range: 114 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,500

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Source: http://ift.tt/1cvLdIj December 14, 2017 at 07:48PM

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black | First Ride Review

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Our first ride on the new Bobber Black was cut short by heavy winds and rain, but eventually the sun returned and we took advantage, flogging the bikes up (and down) the famous Ronda Road in southern Spain. Photos by Kingdom Creative.

The 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber was one of the most highly anticipated new models to be released last year, an instant hit that quickly became the fastest selling new model in the company’s 115-year history. True to its Bonneville roots, it’s a prototypical bobber, with a solo tractor seat floating above a rear shock hidden within its hardtail-look frame, a small gas tank best suited to bombing around town, a big 19-inch front wheel (wire spoked, of course) and “bobbed” fenders.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The Bobber Black looks good from just about any angle. Thoughtful touches like the central seam on the fenders and the “hoop” around the rear fender add to its authentic look.

Jenny’s Gear
Helmet: Bell Star MIPS-Equipped
Jacket: Furygan Legend Lady
Pants: Bolid’ster Jeny’ster
Boots: Rev’It Royale H20

It made a great first impression on me when I first rode it back in December 2016 (read the First Ride Review here), despite several weaknesses (wimpy brakes, a pogo stick fork and that small gas tank). It’s so smooth and powerful—a complete package—that I was forced into calling a draw when it came down to choosing between the Triumph and the Indian Scout Bobber in a recent bobber comparo. (Read the comparison test here.) If I’d had this new Bobber Black version, however…well, who knows.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black
The Bobber Black is a darker, more muscular version of the classically styled standard Bobber.

The Black is easily differentiated from its more gentlemanly twin by its smaller 16-inch front wheel (the standard Bobber’s is a 19-inch), fat front tire, dual front brake discs and black-on-black color scheme. A closer look will also reveal a chunkier 47mm (compared to 41mm) front fork, standard one-button cruise control and an LED headlight with daytime running light (DRL).

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The instrument display tilts to adjust for different riding positions (the seat is movable fore and aft). LCD display includes info like fuel economy, traction control and riding mode settings, fuel level, gear indicator, time, and odometer and trip meters.

It shares everything else with its brother, including the hardtail-look frame hiding a KYB preload-adjustable shock with 3 inches of travel, a still too-small 2.4-gallon gas tank, a 59.4-inch wheelbase and a 27.2-inch seat height. There’s also the host of rider aids like two riding modes (Road and Rain, both with full power but different throttle maps), ABS, switchable traction control and an easy-pull assist clutch. These are complemented by a stylish single-dial analog speedometer and multifunction LCD display, and of course the smooth, powerful, liquid-cooled, 1,200cc high-output parallel twin that doled out 74.4 horsepower and 73.4 lb-ft of torque on the Jett Tuning dyno.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The trick new LED headlight includes an LED daytime running light (DRL).

With such an excellent engine and a 6-speed transmission that snicks positively into each gear, the Bobber would benefit from some performance enhancements, and that’s where the Black comes in. Replacing the Bobber’s 41mm KYB fork is a beefy 47mm Showa cartridge-style fork, and on our short test ride the difference was noticeable. While it has the same 3.5 inches of travel, its plush, responsive character is better suited to a sporty pace, especially when things get a bit bumpy.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The 16-inch front wheel makes the Bobber Black quicker to turn in than the original Bobber, despite its fat front tire.

Turn in is quicker too, thanks to the 16-inch front wheel. If you read my bobber comparison test review, you saw that one of my nitpicks on the Triumph is its slowish steering. While stable in smooth corners, the original Bobber takes a bit of effort to maneuver, especially at low speeds. I wasn’t sure if the fat 130/90 front tire (the original wears a skinny 100/90) would offset any gains, but it turns out I needn’t have worried; the Black is more flickable at higher speeds and easier to handle at low speeds, while seeming to sacrifice little in the way of stability. Plus it looks cool.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Brakes received a much-needed upgrade, with dual discs now squeezed by Brembo calipers. I would upgrade to sintered brake pads if the Black was mine, as I prefer more bite, but the new stoppers work much better than before.

My biggest gripe on the original Bobber, however, is with its brakes. In short, they aren’t strong enough and they provide little feedback. So imagine my relief when we learned the new Bobber Black would be fitted with dual 310mm front discs instead of one, and the 2-piston calipers are up-spec Brembo units that replace the original’s Nissins. Riding hard on twisty mountain roads, braking response was markedly improved, the new dual discs hauling on the Black’s reins and making it easier to keep the chassis loaded through multiple S-curves. I would still prefer more bite and better feel, but after speaking with one of the Triumph employees who owns an original Bobber, he suggested simply upgrading to fully sintered pads.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The fork and brake upgrades are significant enough that, in my opinion, Triumph should put both on the original Bobber as well, making the Black essentially a cosmetic, blacked-out, fat tire version.

All of the Bobber Black’s other differences are mostly cosmetic, including a trick new LED headlight with DRL and the obvious blacked-out treatment (you can choose between two different versions of black: glossy Jet Black or Matte Jet Black). The exception is newly standard cruise control, which is easily operated by a single button on the left switchgear. Heated grips are still a dealer-installed option.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The Black’s looks will likely appeal more to Americans than the original, and its performance is sure to please.

I could still complain about the small, 2.4-gallon gas tank, which limits the fun to around 114 miles (as tested). But although soft saddlebags are available as Triumph genuine accessories, if you’re in the market for a touring or road trip machine it would be best to look elsewhere. The Bobber and its Black twin were built to cruise around town—and in the right hands the Black will surprise some sport riders in the canyons.

The heavier front tire and fork, plus enhancements like the second brake disc, have resulted in what Triumph says is a 21-pound weight gain, but I can honestly say I didn’t notice it. Perhaps that would change if I were to ride the original and the Black back-to-back, but it’s a testament to the Black’s upgrades that it feels lighter on its feet than the original Bobber.

Thanks to rain and heavy winds that surprised the Costa del Sol (“Sun Coast”) on our sole riding day at the launch in Marbella, Spain, my first ride was all too short—only about 4 hours including photo and coffee stops. Or maybe Triumph has somehow figured out how to bend the weather to its will, because after my brief taste I’m only left wanting more.

Triumph says we can expect to see the Bobber Black in dealerships starting in February 2018, with a base price of $13,150 (Jet Black; Matte Jet Black carries a $250 upcharge).

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black.
2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black Specs

Base Price: $13,150 (Jet Black)
Price as Tested: $13,400 (Matte Jet Black)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: triumphmotorcycles.com

Engine

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin
Displacement: 1,200cc
Bore x Stroke: 97.6 x 80.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Valve Train: OHV, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 12,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: Multipoint sequential EFI w/ 44mm throttle bodies x 2
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.0-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated assist wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain

Electrical

Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 558 watts max.
Battery: 12V 10AH

Chassis

Frame: Tubular-steel cradle & tubular-steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 59.4 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.8 degrees/3.5 in.
Seat Height: 27.2 in.
Suspension, Front: 47mm cartridge-style Showa fork, no adj., 3.5-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload, 3.0-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 310mm discs w/ 2-piston Brembo floating calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 255mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Spoked, 2.50 x 16 in.
Rear: Spoked, 3.50 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/90-B16
Rear: 150/80-R16
Dry Weight (claimed): 524 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 2.4 gals., last 0.5 gal. warning light on
MPG: 87 PON min. (avg) 47.5
Estimated Range: 114 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,500

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Source: http://ift.tt/1cvLdIj December 14, 2017 at 07:48PM

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black | First Ride Review

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Our first ride on the new Bobber Black was cut short by heavy winds and rain, but eventually the sun returned and we took advantage, flogging the bikes up (and down) the famous Ronda Road in southern Spain. Photos by Kingdom Creative.

The 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber was one of the most highly anticipated new models to be released last year, an instant hit that quickly became the fastest selling new model in the company’s 115-year history. True to its Bonneville roots, it’s a prototypical bobber, with a solo tractor seat floating above a rear shock hidden within its hardtail-look frame, a small gas tank best suited to bombing around town, a big 19-inch front wheel (wire spoked, of course) and “bobbed” fenders.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The Bobber Black looks good from just about any angle. Thoughtful touches like the central seam on the fenders and the “hoop” around the rear fender add to its authentic look.

Jenny’s Gear
Helmet: Bell Star MIPS-Equipped
Jacket: Furygan Legend Lady
Pants: Bolid’ster Jeny’ster
Boots: Rev’It Royale H20

It made a great first impression on me when I first rode it back in December 2016 (read the First Ride Review here), despite several weaknesses (wimpy brakes, a pogo stick fork and that small gas tank). It’s so smooth and powerful—a complete package—that I was forced into calling a draw when it came down to choosing between the Triumph and the Indian Scout Bobber in a recent bobber comparo. (Read the comparison test here.) If I’d had this new Bobber Black version, however…well, who knows.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black
The Bobber Black is a darker, more muscular version of the classically styled standard Bobber.

The Black is easily differentiated from its more gentlemanly twin by its smaller 16-inch front wheel (the standard Bobber’s is a 19-inch), fat front tire, dual front brake discs and black-on-black color scheme. A closer look will also reveal a chunkier 47mm (compared to 41mm) front fork, standard one-button cruise control and an LED headlight with daytime running light (DRL).

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The instrument display tilts to adjust for different riding positions (the seat is movable fore and aft). LCD display includes info like fuel economy, traction control and riding mode settings, fuel level, gear indicator, time, and odometer and trip meters.

It shares everything else with its brother, including the hardtail-look frame hiding a KYB preload-adjustable shock with 3 inches of travel, a still too-small 2.4-gallon gas tank, a 59.4-inch wheelbase and a 27.2-inch seat height. There’s also the host of rider aids like two riding modes (Road and Rain, both with full power but different throttle maps), ABS, switchable traction control and an easy-pull assist clutch. These are complemented by a stylish single-dial analog speedometer and multifunction LCD display, and of course the smooth, powerful, liquid-cooled, 1,200cc high-output parallel twin that doled out 74.4 horsepower and 73.4 lb-ft of torque on the Jett Tuning dyno.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The trick new LED headlight includes an LED daytime running light (DRL).

With such an excellent engine and a 6-speed transmission that snicks positively into each gear, the Bobber would benefit from some performance enhancements, and that’s where the Black comes in. Replacing the Bobber’s 41mm KYB fork is a beefy 47mm Showa cartridge-style fork, and on our short test ride the difference was noticeable. While it has the same 3.5 inches of travel, its plush, responsive character is better suited to a sporty pace, especially when things get a bit bumpy.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The 16-inch front wheel makes the Bobber Black quicker to turn in than the original Bobber, despite its fat front tire.

Turn in is quicker too, thanks to the 16-inch front wheel. If you read my bobber comparison test review, you saw that one of my nitpicks on the Triumph is its slowish steering. While stable in smooth corners, the original Bobber takes a bit of effort to maneuver, especially at low speeds. I wasn’t sure if the fat 130/90 front tire (the original wears a skinny 100/90) would offset any gains, but it turns out I needn’t have worried; the Black is more flickable at higher speeds and easier to handle at low speeds, while seeming to sacrifice little in the way of stability. Plus it looks cool.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Brakes received a much-needed upgrade, with dual discs now squeezed by Brembo calipers. I would upgrade to sintered brake pads if the Black was mine, as I prefer more bite, but the new stoppers work much better than before.

My biggest gripe on the original Bobber, however, is with its brakes. In short, they aren’t strong enough and they provide little feedback. So imagine my relief when we learned the new Bobber Black would be fitted with dual 310mm front discs instead of one, and the 2-piston calipers are up-spec Brembo units that replace the original’s Nissins. Riding hard on twisty mountain roads, braking response was markedly improved, the new dual discs hauling on the Black’s reins and making it easier to keep the chassis loaded through multiple S-curves. I would still prefer more bite and better feel, but after speaking with one of the Triumph employees who owns an original Bobber, he suggested simply upgrading to fully sintered pads.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The fork and brake upgrades are significant enough that, in my opinion, Triumph should put both on the original Bobber as well, making the Black essentially a cosmetic, blacked-out, fat tire version.

All of the Bobber Black’s other differences are mostly cosmetic, including a trick new LED headlight with DRL and the obvious blacked-out treatment (you can choose between two different versions of black: glossy Jet Black or Matte Jet Black). The exception is newly standard cruise control, which is easily operated by a single button on the left switchgear. Heated grips are still a dealer-installed option.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The Black’s looks will likely appeal more to Americans than the original, and its performance is sure to please.

I could still complain about the small, 2.4-gallon gas tank, which limits the fun to around 114 miles (as tested). But although soft saddlebags are available as Triumph genuine accessories, if you’re in the market for a touring or road trip machine it would be best to look elsewhere. The Bobber and its Black twin were built to cruise around town—and in the right hands the Black will surprise some sport riders in the canyons.

The heavier front tire and fork, plus enhancements like the second brake disc, have resulted in what Triumph says is a 21-pound weight gain, but I can honestly say I didn’t notice it. Perhaps that would change if I were to ride the original and the Black back-to-back, but it’s a testament to the Black’s upgrades that it feels lighter on its feet than the original Bobber.

Thanks to rain and heavy winds that surprised the Costa del Sol (“Sun Coast”) on our sole riding day at the launch in Marbella, Spain, my first ride was all too short—only about 4 hours including photo and coffee stops. Or maybe Triumph has somehow figured out how to bend the weather to its will, because after my brief taste I’m only left wanting more.

Triumph says we can expect to see the Bobber Black in dealerships starting in February 2018, with a base price of $13,150 (Jet Black; Matte Jet Black carries a $250 upcharge).

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black.
2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black Specs

Base Price: $13,150 (Jet Black)
Price as Tested: $13,400 (Matte Jet Black)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: triumphmotorcycles.com

Engine

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin
Displacement: 1,200cc
Bore x Stroke: 97.6 x 80.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Valve Train: OHV, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 12,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: Multipoint sequential EFI w/ 44mm throttle bodies x 2
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.0-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated assist wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain

Electrical

Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 558 watts max.
Battery: 12V 10AH

Chassis

Frame: Tubular-steel cradle & tubular-steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 59.4 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.8 degrees/3.5 in.
Seat Height: 27.2 in.
Suspension, Front: 47mm cartridge-style Showa fork, no adj., 3.5-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload, 3.0-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 310mm discs w/ 2-piston Brembo floating calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 255mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Spoked, 2.50 x 16 in.
Rear: Spoked, 3.50 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/90-B16
Rear: 150/80-R16
Dry Weight (claimed): 524 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 2.4 gals., last 0.5 gal. warning light on
MPG: 87 PON min. (avg) 47.5
Estimated Range: 114 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,500

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Source: http://ift.tt/1cvLdIj December 14, 2017 at 07:48PM

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black | First Ride Review

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Our first ride on the new Bobber Black was cut short by heavy winds and rain, but eventually the sun returned and we took advantage, flogging the bikes up (and down) the famous Ronda Road in southern Spain. Photos by Kingdom Creative.

The 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber was one of the most highly anticipated new models to be released last year, an instant hit that quickly became the fastest selling new model in the company’s 115-year history. True to its Bonneville roots, it’s a prototypical bobber, with a solo tractor seat floating above a rear shock hidden within its hardtail-look frame, a small gas tank best suited to bombing around town, a big 19-inch front wheel (wire spoked, of course) and “bobbed” fenders.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The Bobber Black looks good from just about any angle. Thoughtful touches like the central seam on the fenders and the “hoop” around the rear fender add to its authentic look.

Jenny’s Gear
Helmet: Bell Star MIPS-Equipped
Jacket: Furygan Legend Lady
Pants: Bolid’ster Jeny’ster
Boots: Rev’It Royale H20

It made a great first impression on me when I first rode it back in December 2016 (read the First Ride Review here), despite several weaknesses (wimpy brakes, a pogo stick fork and that small gas tank). It’s so smooth and powerful—a complete package—that I was forced into calling a draw when it came down to choosing between the Triumph and the Indian Scout Bobber in a recent bobber comparo. (Read the comparison test here.) If I’d had this new Bobber Black version, however…well, who knows.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black
The Bobber Black is a darker, more muscular version of the classically styled standard Bobber.

The Black is easily differentiated from its more gentlemanly twin by its smaller 16-inch front wheel (the standard Bobber’s is a 19-inch), fat front tire, dual front brake discs and black-on-black color scheme. A closer look will also reveal a chunkier 47mm (compared to 41mm) front fork, standard one-button cruise control and an LED headlight with daytime running light (DRL).

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The instrument display tilts to adjust for different riding positions (the seat is movable fore and aft). LCD display includes info like fuel economy, traction control and riding mode settings, fuel level, gear indicator, time, and odometer and trip meters.

It shares everything else with its brother, including the hardtail-look frame hiding a KYB preload-adjustable shock with 3 inches of travel, a still too-small 2.4-gallon gas tank, a 59.4-inch wheelbase and a 27.2-inch seat height. There’s also the host of rider aids like two riding modes (Road and Rain, both with full power but different throttle maps), ABS, switchable traction control and an easy-pull assist clutch. These are complemented by a stylish single-dial analog speedometer and multifunction LCD display, and of course the smooth, powerful, liquid-cooled, 1,200cc high-output parallel twin that doled out 74.4 horsepower and 73.4 lb-ft of torque on the Jett Tuning dyno.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The trick new LED headlight includes an LED daytime running light (DRL).

With such an excellent engine and a 6-speed transmission that snicks positively into each gear, the Bobber would benefit from some performance enhancements, and that’s where the Black comes in. Replacing the Bobber’s 41mm KYB fork is a beefy 47mm Showa cartridge-style fork, and on our short test ride the difference was noticeable. While it has the same 3.5 inches of travel, its plush, responsive character is better suited to a sporty pace, especially when things get a bit bumpy.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The 16-inch front wheel makes the Bobber Black quicker to turn in than the original Bobber, despite its fat front tire.

Turn in is quicker too, thanks to the 16-inch front wheel. If you read my bobber comparison test review, you saw that one of my nitpicks on the Triumph is its slowish steering. While stable in smooth corners, the original Bobber takes a bit of effort to maneuver, especially at low speeds. I wasn’t sure if the fat 130/90 front tire (the original wears a skinny 100/90) would offset any gains, but it turns out I needn’t have worried; the Black is more flickable at higher speeds and easier to handle at low speeds, while seeming to sacrifice little in the way of stability. Plus it looks cool.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Brakes received a much-needed upgrade, with dual discs now squeezed by Brembo calipers. I would upgrade to sintered brake pads if the Black was mine, as I prefer more bite, but the new stoppers work much better than before.

My biggest gripe on the original Bobber, however, is with its brakes. In short, they aren’t strong enough and they provide little feedback. So imagine my relief when we learned the new Bobber Black would be fitted with dual 310mm front discs instead of one, and the 2-piston calipers are up-spec Brembo units that replace the original’s Nissins. Riding hard on twisty mountain roads, braking response was markedly improved, the new dual discs hauling on the Black’s reins and making it easier to keep the chassis loaded through multiple S-curves. I would still prefer more bite and better feel, but after speaking with one of the Triumph employees who owns an original Bobber, he suggested simply upgrading to fully sintered pads.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The fork and brake upgrades are significant enough that, in my opinion, Triumph should put both on the original Bobber as well, making the Black essentially a cosmetic, blacked-out, fat tire version.

All of the Bobber Black’s other differences are mostly cosmetic, including a trick new LED headlight with DRL and the obvious blacked-out treatment (you can choose between two different versions of black: glossy Jet Black or Matte Jet Black). The exception is newly standard cruise control, which is easily operated by a single button on the left switchgear. Heated grips are still a dealer-installed option.

2018 Triumph Bobber Black
The Black’s looks will likely appeal more to Americans than the original, and its performance is sure to please.

I could still complain about the small, 2.4-gallon gas tank, which limits the fun to around 114 miles (as tested). But although soft saddlebags are available as Triumph genuine accessories, if you’re in the market for a touring or road trip machine it would be best to look elsewhere. The Bobber and its Black twin were built to cruise around town—and in the right hands the Black will surprise some sport riders in the canyons.

The heavier front tire and fork, plus enhancements like the second brake disc, have resulted in what Triumph says is a 21-pound weight gain, but I can honestly say I didn’t notice it. Perhaps that would change if I were to ride the original and the Black back-to-back, but it’s a testament to the Black’s upgrades that it feels lighter on its feet than the original Bobber.

Thanks to rain and heavy winds that surprised the Costa del Sol (“Sun Coast”) on our sole riding day at the launch in Marbella, Spain, my first ride was all too short—only about 4 hours including photo and coffee stops. Or maybe Triumph has somehow figured out how to bend the weather to its will, because after my brief taste I’m only left wanting more.

Triumph says we can expect to see the Bobber Black in dealerships starting in February 2018, with a base price of $13,150 (Jet Black; Matte Jet Black carries a $250 upcharge).

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black.
2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black Specs

Base Price: $13,150 (Jet Black)
Price as Tested: $13,400 (Matte Jet Black)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: triumphmotorcycles.com

Engine

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin
Displacement: 1,200cc
Bore x Stroke: 97.6 x 80.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Valve Train: OHV, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 12,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: Multipoint sequential EFI w/ 44mm throttle bodies x 2
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.0-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated assist wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain

Electrical

Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 558 watts max.
Battery: 12V 10AH

Chassis

Frame: Tubular-steel cradle & tubular-steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 59.4 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.8 degrees/3.5 in.
Seat Height: 27.2 in.
Suspension, Front: 47mm cartridge-style Showa fork, no adj., 3.5-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload, 3.0-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 310mm discs w/ 2-piston Brembo floating calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 255mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Spoked, 2.50 x 16 in.
Rear: Spoked, 3.50 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/90-B16
Rear: 150/80-R16
Dry Weight (claimed): 524 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 2.4 gals., last 0.5 gal. warning light on
MPG: 87 PON min. (avg) 47.5
Estimated Range: 114 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,500

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Source: http://ift.tt/1cvLdIj December 14, 2017 at 07:48PM

Diamonds in the Ruf

You’ve seen the tape, right? Stefan Roser, a 1987 Yellow Bird and a VHS cassette at the Nürburgring. The footage from that record-breaking drive is perhaps the first viral video ever created. As a result, most motoring enthusiasts know about the CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ and RUF Automobile, the ingenious company that created it. Like the Yellow Bird nickname, that Nürburgring video lap sensation wasn’t planned: it just happened, catapulting the hitherto relatively unknown manufacturer firmly into the consciousness of car fans the world over.

Technology would again play into RUF’s hands, its manufacturer status seeing it being included in Sony’s smash hit PlayStation game Gran Turismo 2 when Porsche itself wasn’t. That gaming exposure further cemented the small, bespoke manufacturer’s status among petrolheads, but for all the Yellow Bird’s 211mph achievements, RUF still flies under the radar.

Deliberately so, RUF remains something of an enigma. We know it produces its own cars, having had manufacturer status since 1981, but, really, few know anything else. The Pfaffenhausen-based company opened 78 years ago in 1939 with Alois Ruf Sr, a talented engineer repairing, improving and building vehicles. However, it was his son, Alois Ruf Jr, who would indulge in his passion for sports cars – and specifically the 911 – within the family business.

RUF attracts a different audience – a discerning clientele, who appreciate the engineering, the subtleties that define RUF’s models. Sure, a yellow, 469hp, turbocharged narrow-bodied 911 that monstered a performance test for American magazine Road & Track’s 1984 and 1987 ‘The World’s Fastest Cars’ features doesn’t exactly describe that, but then you don’t humble contemporary Ferraris, Lamborghinis and, yes, Porsches, without next-level engineering capability and skill.

It is that which defines RUF, that exacting attention to detail, with the focus on integrity rather than simply beautifying. If form follows that function it’s a bonus. RUF is about hand-built, small-volume vehicles, built as Alois and his family like them, and by family, that also includes its loyal customers.

US-based Arling Wang is among them. A long-time Porsche enthusiast and owner of LA specialists Rstrada, he’s also had a close relationship with Ruf for over six years now. Even better, he personally owns four RUF creations, and has visited Pfaffenhausen on countless occasions – so he’s better qualified than most to comment on Alois Jr’s enigmatic concern. Wang begins describing it, “With RUF it’s much more about a personal relationship. Every car you buy, you get to know them more.”

Wang buys into that relationship as much as he does the cars themselves, adding: “Ultimately the RUF package speaks to a certain owner, somebody who likes to have different things. For me, it’s about being low key, yet more sophisticated. If you know, you know; with a RUF it’s very much for you, it’s not for other people.” He adds: “It’s such an interesting company, all they do in-house is essentially run a family business, they don’t really care about what people say about their product, they only care about the people who believe in them.”

For the full article on Ruf Automobile’s incredible 911-based creations, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 160 in stores now or get it delivered to you via our online shop. Alternatively, download a digital copy to any device via Apple Newsstand or Google Play

Source: http://ift.tt/2aDm7KV

Diamonds in the Ruf

You’ve seen the tape, right? Stefan Roser, a 1987 Yellow Bird and a VHS cassette at the Nürburgring. The footage from that record-breaking drive is perhaps the first viral video ever created. As a result, most motoring enthusiasts know about the CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ and RUF Automobile, the ingenious company that created it. Like the Yellow Bird nickname, that Nürburgring video lap sensation wasn’t planned: it just happened, catapulting the hitherto relatively unknown manufacturer firmly into the consciousness of car fans the world over.

Technology would again play into RUF’s hands, its manufacturer status seeing it being included in Sony’s smash hit PlayStation game Gran Turismo 2 when Porsche itself wasn’t. That gaming exposure further cemented the small, bespoke manufacturer’s status among petrolheads, but for all the Yellow Bird’s 211mph achievements, RUF still flies under the radar.

Deliberately so, RUF remains something of an enigma. We know it produces its own cars, having had manufacturer status since 1981, but, really, few know anything else. The Pfaffenhausen-based company opened 78 years ago in 1939 with Alois Ruf Sr, a talented engineer repairing, improving and building vehicles. However, it was his son, Alois Ruf Jr, who would indulge in his passion for sports cars – and specifically the 911 – within the family business.

RUF attracts a different audience – a discerning clientele, who appreciate the engineering, the subtleties that define RUF’s models. Sure, a yellow, 469hp, turbocharged narrow-bodied 911 that monstered a performance test for American magazine Road & Track’s 1984 and 1987 ‘The World’s Fastest Cars’ features doesn’t exactly describe that, but then you don’t humble contemporary Ferraris, Lamborghinis and, yes, Porsches, without next-level engineering capability and skill.

It is that which defines RUF, that exacting attention to detail, with the focus on integrity rather than simply beautifying. If form follows that function it’s a bonus. RUF is about hand-built, small-volume vehicles, built as Alois and his family like them, and by family, that also includes its loyal customers.

US-based Arling Wang is among them. A long-time Porsche enthusiast and owner of LA specialists Rstrada, he’s also had a close relationship with Ruf for over six years now. Even better, he personally owns four RUF creations, and has visited Pfaffenhausen on countless occasions – so he’s better qualified than most to comment on Alois Jr’s enigmatic concern. Wang begins describing it, “With RUF it’s much more about a personal relationship. Every car you buy, you get to know them more.”

Wang buys into that relationship as much as he does the cars themselves, adding: “Ultimately the RUF package speaks to a certain owner, somebody who likes to have different things. For me, it’s about being low key, yet more sophisticated. If you know, you know; with a RUF it’s very much for you, it’s not for other people.” He adds: “It’s such an interesting company, all they do in-house is essentially run a family business, they don’t really care about what people say about their product, they only care about the people who believe in them.”

For the full article on Ruf Automobile’s incredible 911-based creations, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 160 in stores now or get it delivered to you via our online shop. Alternatively, download a digital copy to any device via Apple Newsstand or Google Play

Source: http://ift.tt/2aDm7KV