Month: December 2016

New metal – Ducati 1299 Superleggera

HyperFocal: 0

Meet the Ducati 1299 Superleggera, the latest word in desirable, two-wheeled exotica.

The bike is a limited edition version of Ducati’s superbike, and its engineers have gone to town breathing their magic on the bike – this is the lightest and most powerful, street-legal machine that the Borgo Panigale factory can produce.

The quest for lightness has been relentless and this bike uses a carbon fibre chassis (frame, swingarm, wheels, and bodywork) to make it as lights as possible – it weighs just 162kg wet.

Then there’s the Akrapovic race exhaust, which mirrors the system used on Chaz Davies’ WSBK winning bike.

In race trim the bike makes 220bhp, and this has been achieved through titanium valves, a crankshaft with tungsten inserts, and lighter con-rods.

Suspension is handled by Öhlins, with fully adjustable FL963 forks and TTX36 rear shock. Meanwhile, braking is handled by M50 Brembo calipers up front, mated to 330mm discs.

The electronics on the Ducati 1299 Superleggera have been upgraded as well, with an inertial measurement unit (IMU), being fitted to the superbike. The IMU not only powers the Superleggera’s anti-lock brakes, which have a special algorithm to work on the race track, but it also powers electronics that affect the rear wheel. This means that the Ducati 1299 Superleggera effectively has slide and spin control, which can be set independently of each other, in the traction control package. This upgrade comes courtesy of Ducati’s MotoGP and World Superbike racing efforts, and is a derivative of what Ducati Corse uses in those series.

Ducati Launch control (previously seen on the Ducati XDiavel) has also been added to the 1299 Superleggera, enabling flawless starts from a standstill.

The 1299 Superleggera costs £72,000 and only 500 units will be produced worldwide.



An eclectic mix of funky retro and contemporary design, the Scrambler Desert Sled is the most ‘scrambler’ model in the Scrambler range.

The bike uses the same 803cc air-cooled Desmodue L-twin motor as the rest of the range, but it has a gold 19in front and 17in rear with both wearing Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR rubber.

The steel trellis frame has been strengthened to cope with off-road work, and the Desert Sled also has a bashplate and bear-claw footpegs with removable rubber inserts.

Up front there’s fully-adjustable 46KYB forks, while the rear is also fully-adjustable.

New metal – 2017 MONSTER 1200/ 1200S / R


The 2017 Monster gets more power, concerning ABS and a new, sleeker tail and tank.

The new aesthetics bring the new bike ever closer to the original Monster in terms of looks, and there are three versions to choose from – the 1200, the 1200S and the R.

The entry-level 1200 sees the latest version of the Testastretta breathed on, and the engine now pumps out 150bhp at 9250rpm – a 25bhp boost over the outgoing model.

The 1200S receives upgraded Brembo M50 calipers and 330mm discs, fully adjustable Öhlins forks and rear monoschock, three Y-spoke wheels, a carbon front fender and LED front indicators.

The R has a further 10bhp to enjoy and a wider rear tyre.

All versions still sport Ducati’s comprehensive electronics package including cornering ABS and Ducati Wheelie Control.


New metal – Ducati Multistrada 950


Ducati’s new Multistrada 950 is the lighter, smaller touring bike in Ducati’s brilliant Multistrada range.

Featuring a 937cc Testastretta engine taken straight from the Ducati Hypermotard and putting out a claimed 113bhp and 71lb.ft of torque, the bike should have character in spades.

The styling combines elements from the Multistrada 1200 and 1200 Enduro, but with seat height of 840mm, there’s nothing small about this bike.

It’s a proper Multistrada bitsa – the front is from the Multistrada 1200 front-end, as is the adjustable screen and fuel tank, while the seat, passenger seat, rear grab rail and exhaust and swingarm are all taken from the Multistrada Enduro.

There’s also a set of alloy wheels – 17in front and a 19in rear – 48m upsidedown Kayaba front forks and Brembo Monobloc M4.32 calipers at the front. And then there’s a suite of rider aids including eight-way traction control and four riding modes.

The bike will cost £10,995, compared to the standard Multistrada 1200 at £13,432.


New metal – BMW G310 GS


The baby GS is the second bike to be released into BMW’s G310 family, and is set to take the smaller capacity market by storm.

Featuring the same GS styling as its bigger siblings, the G310 GS has a tubular steel frame, cast five-spoke wheels and a 313cc liquid-cooled single, complete with reversed 4v DOHC cylinder head which pumps out 34bhp.

There’s also an 11-litre tank, a six-speed gearbox, chain final drive, ABS as standards and an all LCD dash.

This being a BMW means there is a huge range of official accessories to choose from including 12-volt power sockets, heated grips, luggage and a centrestand.

New metal – 2017 BMW R1200GS


The R1200GS range gets two new additions for 2017 – the Exclusive and the Rallye.

The Exclusive is the road-focused version of the pair, aimed squarely at riders who want their GS for mile-munching duties. Essentially a well-specified but subtle GS, this bike features cast wheels and an ‘Iced Chocolate metallic’ paintjob.

This is basically an entry-level bike, meaning that no other special parts come with it, leaving owners to spec it up as they see fit.

The Rallye is the bike for riders who wish to have a more off-road focused GS without having to go for the full bore GSA.

The GS Rallye comes on cross-spoked laced rims for enhanced off-road ability, and owners can even specify it comes on knobblies if they desire.

Other features include a Rallye seat, sports screen, radiator and frame guard, and wider endure footrests. Tougher, longer-travel suspension is also an option.

New metal – APRILIA RSV4 RF


The RSV4 RF is more an evolution than a revolution, but Aprilia has done enough to keep the package competitive.

Featuring improved suspension and brakes, the RSV4 RF also has as an updated electronics package, which includes Bosch’s brilliantly effective cornering ABS system.

Changes to the powerplant ensure the RSV4 RF is compliant with the Euro 4 emissions standard, although Aprilia has managed to keep the bike’s 201bhp / 84.8lb.ft power and torque ratings by raising the RSV4 RF’s redline by 300 rpm. The engine also gets lighter pistons and a number of friction-reducing treatments, while a linear sensor has also been added to the gearbox for easier   quick-shifting up and down the box.

Other electronics changes include a new Aprilia Traction Control system, which is adjustable on the fly, Aprilia Wheelie Control, which is adjustable to three levels, and a new track use only Aprilia Launch Control system.

New metal – Aprilia Shiver / Dorsoduro 900

There is no replacement for displacement, as the old saying goes, and to this end both the Aprilia Shiver and Dorsoduro get an engine and electronics upgrade for the 2017 model year.

The new 896cc 90° V-twin engine is a stroked out version of the old 750cc motor (stroke increased from 56.4mm to 67.4mm), which allows Aprilia to meet Euro4 emission standards, while keeping performance specs more or less the same.

To that vein, peak horsepower is now 95hp at 8,750 rpm, while peak torque is 66lb.ft at 6,600 rpm. Other changes include a new smoother ride-by-wire throttle, three-level traction control, and dual-channel ABS brakes.

Both models also get a visual overhaul, with new fuel tank covers, panels and the 4.3in TFT display from the Tuono and RSV4.

Other improvements include a new set of Kayaba front forks, which has preload and rebound adjustment. Only preload adjustment can be made to the rear shock suspension.

New metal – Ducati 959 Panigale Special Edition


Ducati has added a ‘special’ to its ranks with the release of the 959 Panigale Special Edition.

Essentially a 959 tricked up with the best Ducati performance parts, this limited-edition bike comes with the Akrapovic titanium racing silencer exhaust system, as well as components made from carbon fibre and billet aluminium.

Created solely for the UK market, just 25 bikes will be available, with each bike being individually numbered by laser etching the steering head and accessorised to truly unleash the full potential of the 959 Panigale.

This limited-edition bike is available in two forms, the Ducati Performance option and with the addition of the carbon pack.

The Ducati Performance option comes with the titanium Akrapovic under-engine racing silencer exhaust system and lower fairings, a billet race tank filler cap, racing articulated levers, brake lever protection, a plastic seat cowl and Ducati Corse oversized screen.

The carbon pack adds a carbon ignition switch cover, carbon shock cover, carbon heel guards, carbon and alloy tail tidy, carbon front sprocket cover, billet aluminium handlebar weights, carbon fuel tank protector, carbon shark-fin chain guard and carbon rear mudguard.

The Ducati Performance option is £15,995, while the addition of the carbon pack sets the retail price at £16,995.


Racing – Marquez finishes the year with a bang


Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez finished the year off in style, winning the 2016 Superprestigio races and claiming his second dirt title.

The 2016 MotoGP champion crushed the opposition in the qualifying heats, setting his stall out early that he was the man to beat this year.

Choosing the inside gate for the final, he entered the first corner in good position, with AMA star Brad Baker right on his tail.

This was the duel everyone wanted to see – but while Baker has had the beating of Marquez previously, this year the boot was on the other foot and Marquez quickly built up an impressive lead.

Baker, meanwhile, was having to deal with the impressive Toni Elias, who slid past into second, leaving Baker to battle with Chareyre for the final podium spot.

Howeve, Chareyre crashed out hard after trying a desperate lunge with a couple of laps to go, leaving Baker to cross the line in third.

Marquez’s win means he is now tied with Baker on two Superprestigio titles apiece.