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Video: Yamaha Showcases Future of Three-Wheelers With 03Gen Concepts

Video: Yamaha Showcases Future of Three-Wheelers With 03Gen Concepts

The dawn of a new age has arrived, or at least that’s what Yamaha wants you to think after pulling the covers off of a pair of new concepts it’s touting as the future of scooters.
The concepts, filed under the name “03GEN”, are actually three-wheeled scooters that the House of Iwata is showcasing to give us a brief glimpse of what we think we can expect from the company in the near future.

Details are scant on the two prototypes, but this 51-second video does give us brief glimpses of both models, dubbed the “03GEN-f” and the “03GEN-x”.

According to Yamaha, the 03GEN-f is the more aesthetically cutting-edge of the two concepts. The sporty panels and the aggressive front cowl lends to that perception, as do
the polished silver and pearl white colors that adorn the prototype.

On the other hand, the 03GEN-x is the more rugged of the two, designed to be a three-wheeler that riders can take anywhere, be it within urban jungles or roads that lead to beaten paths.

Personally, I like the look of the 03GEN-f more than the 03GEN-x, but that doesn’t mean that the latter doesn’t have its own endearing qualities. The x-shaped headlight is a nice touch and the two front wheels are separated far enough that they actually look like two front wheels that function independently of the other.

I’m sure some people will have their own opinions of the two concepts that will be different from mine. But that’s what Yamaha wants to happen. It doesn’t care which one people like more, just as long as they’re talking about them.

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Suzuki Files Patent For Possible Recusion Concept-Based Model

Suzuki Files Patent For Possible Recusion Concept-Based Model

The Suzuki Recursion Concept turned a lot of heads at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Not surprisingly, the Japanese bookmaker is putting the interest surrounding the concept to good use by filing a patent application for the technology behind the concept. But before anybody starts jumping for joy, it’s important to remember that the patent application doesn’t necessarily mean that the Recursion Concept is hitting production.

But it does open the door towards that happening, which is reason enough to get a little excited. These patent filings , which features alternative designs that’s different from the Recursion Concept, also leaves the possibility that Suzuki could use it for a separate bike altogether, at least something that’s different from the concept we saw in Tokyo.

A few elements do stand out from the drawings, namely the placement of the turbocharger in front the engine and just below the radiator. This is a different take from the one used by Kawasaki on its H2 and H2R superbikes when it placed a supercharged just behind the cylinders. The turbocharger’s placement also opens up the exhaust stream from the header pipes, spinning a turbine to pressurize the air intake, which then sends the pressurized air up into the intercooler found just below the front end of the seat.

Suzuki’s also apparently working on a few intercooler designs, including one that looks like a hollow rectangular box with a dividing wall that runs across most of its length and an alternative design that adds a gap in the intercooler for improved cooling.

As far as the design is concerned, I’m not ready to say that these drawings will reflect what Suzuki’s production plans are for this model, if it even gets to that point. What I don know is that these patent filings are tied to the Recursion Concept and at this point in the bike’s perceived development, any indication that Suzuki could send the concept into production is good enough for me.

Continue reading to read more about Suzuki’s new patent filings for a possible Recursion Concept-based model.

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2015 Honda CRF250 Rally Concept

2015 Honda CRF250 Rally Concept

The Honda SFA Concept may be getting the lion’s share of the attention among Honda’s Osaka Motorcycle Show-bound concepts, but don’t sleep on one of the other prototypes that will be showcased at the annual event. This bike is called the CRF250 Rally Concept and from sheer looks alone, it’s already got a grip on my fluttering heart.

Granted, the bike may have a passing resemblance to the Honda CRF250L bike that’s used in the Dakar Rally, but there are also a lot of new components added into the mix to justify its concept designation. From a visual standpoint, the CRF250 Rally Concept exudes the spirit of a mini rally racer. That’s an attractive characteristic that can’t be swept under the rug. Give Honda credit for doing its part to make it look as such, including additions not he bike’s body and chassis. There’s a lot to like about the Honda CRF250 Rally Concept and I am excited to hear from Honda when the bike makes its debut in Osaka this weekend.

It’s still unclear whether the CRF250 Rally Concept will drop that “concept” designation in the future, but if I’m Honda, I’m going to have my ears on the ground in Osaka just so I can gauge the public’s interest on the model. If it proves to be a hit, then I’ll begin to seriously consider the possibility of bringing it to production. Maybe not in the near future, but sometime down the road.

Click “continue reading” to read more about the Honda CRF250 Rally Concept.

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2015 Honda SFA Concept

2015 Honda SFA Concept

Motorcycle concepts don’t get nearly the same amount of shine as their automotive counterparts. But any bike lover will tell you that our love for bike concepts runs deep. This weekend, the 2015 Osaka Motorcycle Show opens its doors and Honda is one of the manufacturers that’s expected to roll up with an army of concept bikes that may or may not be hints at potential models down the road.

One such prototype is the SFA Concept, which isn’t really entirely new, having already made an appearance at the Indonesia Motorcycle Show in October 2014. But apparently, that’s not stopping Honda from bringing the SFA Concept to another auto show, only this time, it’s going to be right in Honda’s proverbial backyard.

The Honda SFA Concept isn’t the only prototype that’s making an appearance at the Osaka Motorcycle Show. Honda’s also readying the CRF250 Rally Concept, an adventure bike based on the CRF250L and the RC213V-S, a road-going machine that’s said to share its main mechanism with the vaunted RC213V MotoGP works bike. Yep. The same one that Marc Marquez will be riding on his way to a potential third straight MotoGP title.

Needless to say, Honda’s coming to Osaka ready to impress and from the looks of what it’s got planned for the show, it’s got a few sick ones ready to for their turn in the spotlight.

Click “continue reading” to read more about the Honda SFA Concept.

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Audi Launches New Sport Racing Bike

Audi Launches New Sport Racing Bike

Audi was out in full force at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and while the undoubted star of its booth was the new R8 supercar, eagle-eyed observers noted that there was another vehicle there that wasn’t getting as much attention as the new 2016 R8.

But no such thing happens here, which is why I’m devoting some space to give some love to the Audi Sport Racing Bike. Yep. Audi has a new bicycle in the fold, joining the likes of McLaren, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin as automakers that have recently released their own bicycles.

The Audi Sport Racing Bike is a pretty special ride and I don’t throw that word around too often. It was built by the company in collaboration with CarbonSports, who as some of you may now, is the company that produces those cool Lightweight bikes.

If I’m going to give Audi any credit here, it’s because of the decision to enlist the help of CarbonSports to develop this bike. Not only does it look incredibly sexy, but it carries some materials that you normally would use in an R8. The inspiration is heavy on this one, indeed.

Take the bike’s frame and forks for example. They’re not just made from your run-of-the-mill aluminum; they’re actually made from T1000 carbon, the same material used in the cockpit of the R18 e-tron Quattro. The use of this unique carbon material resulted in the frame weighing just 790 grams. Do the math and that’s not even 1 kilo! Impressed now?

All in all, the Audi Sport Racing Bike weighs only 5.8 kilos, and that already includes a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and 3T finishing kit, a Selle Italia saddle dressed up in the same Fine Nappa leather used in the R8, and an individual limited edition badge.

Audi’s only selling 50 units of this special bike. Really, everything about it is special, including its astronomical price tag of €17,500, which is about $18,620 based on current exchange rates.

Click "continue reading" to read more about the Audi Sport Racing Bike.

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Moto Guzzi X-Rally 1200 Concept by Oberdan Bezzi

Moto Guzzi X-Rally 1200 Concept by Oberdan Bezzi

Oberdan Bezzi is a heavyweight in the motorcycle design scene, having penned some sweet designs for the likes of Ducati, Cagiva, Aprilia, Benelli and Moto Guzzi. It’s no secret that the man has a gift for design and even when he’s not actually doing work for these manufacturers, Bezzi’s still churning out some incredible pieces of art.

His latest creation is derived from a current bike Moto Guzzi is selling: the Stelvio NTX1200. We all know what the Stelvio is and what it isn’t. It’s a very useful bike that offers decent range and has plenty of comfy amenities for long distance rides. It’s also pretty big relative to its segment and that girth adds some serious weight that makes it a little difficult to ride in less than ideal road conditions. Bezzi, though, has the solution. He calls it the Moto Guzzi X-Rally 1200 and while it still carries the same v-twin engine as that of the Stelvio, the X-Rally 1200 redefines itself by looking sleeker, lighter, and more fun to drive than the bike that is based from.

There’s beauty in the simplicity that Bezzi utilized to bring life to this design. The bike itself looks like it’s ready to be produced, although I don’t think this is what Bezzi intended when he penned it. He simply wanted to show another side to the Stelvio that nobody thought it had if you give it a few nips here and few tucks there. Once again, Oberdan Bezzi has outdone himself, although at this point, none of what he does comes as a surprise anymore.

Click “continue reading” to read more about Oberdan Bezzi’s Moto Guzzy X-Rally 1200.

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Video: Yamaha Pulls The Covers Off Of The Root Concept

Video: Yamaha Pulls The Covers Off Of The Root Concept

Back in February 2015, I brought to your attention an interesting bike concept Yamaha Corporation was developing as part of Project AH A MAY, a program that allowed two groups of designers to build something of the other’s expertise. Yamaha Corporation is of course famous for building musical instruments, among other things, so when they got the chance to build a motorcycle - the specialty of Yamaha Motor Co. - well, we know how that came out.

The bike is called the Yamaha Root and true to their intrepid creative minds, the designers from Yamaha Corp. really went and build something we haven’t seen before and quite frankly, may never see again. Really, the bike’s design speaks for itself. From the radical seat that looks more like a curved surfboard and extends all the way to the front of the bank to the reduced rear subframe, every thing about the Yamaha Root screamed unconventional.

Recently, Yamaha finally gifted us with a short teaser video of the Root and yes, it looks about as nutty now as it did when we all first saw it. Do yourself a favor and check out the video. Once you’re done, ask yourself if you’re going to ride a bike like that on the road.
I already know what my answer is: nope.

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Harley-Davidson LiveWire Prominently Featured in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Prominently Featured in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Hollywood has always been a tremendous platform for car and bike companies to show off their new creations to a huge audience. More often than not, the association with some of these blockbuster movies tend to last longer in consumer’s heads, making it a great avenue by which brands can promote their products. We saw it with the Chevrolet Camaro in the Transformers franchise and now, it looks like we’re about to see the same thing with Harley-Davidson’s long-standing association with Marvel Studios.

After having appeared in the two Captain America movies, Harley-Davidson is returning to the big screen in Avengers: Age of Ultron. But instead of showcasing one of its production bikes, the American bike brand decided to switch things up a little by giving the all-electric LiveWire Concept a stage to strut its stuff. Really, what bigger stage is there right now than the highly anticipated sequel to the Avengers?

Not only is Harley capitalizing on the expected global success of the movie, but having the LiveWire play a prominent role as Captain America’s chosen stead will go a long way in establishing some semblance of credibility for the bike. It’s still unclear how far Harley’s going to take the project - it’s still a concept at this point - but with its presence in the movie, coupled with the recent announcement of a global tour, there’s no denying that the all-electric LiveWire concept is getting a whole lot of mainstream attention.

Click "continue reading to read more about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire’s participation in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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2015 Yacouba Feline

2015 Yacouba Feline

Vehicles that cost more than a quarter-million are pretty common in the auto industry these days. But motorcycles? That’s a different story altogether. Rare is the time when a bike fetches anything close to six figures, but more than $250,000? It’s even rarer to see something like that hit the market today.

All that is true, but the Yacouba Feline is here to be the exception. Built by Feline Motorcycles in collaboration with French designer Yacouba Galle, the Yacouba Feline is probably the most expensive bike in the market today. That’s a distinction you earn when you’re priced at $280,000.

According to Galle, the design of the Feline was inspired by a panther, although if you look at it, you might notice that there are some scorpion-like details in there, too. But the bike’s aesthetics is only one part of what the Feline is offering to anybody willing to pay that much money to buy one. The bike also has a pretty stout 800 cc four-cylinder engine that packs 170 horsepower. Combine that with its dramatic styling and the expensive materials used on the machine and you get what is arguably one of the most dynamic bikes in the market today.

Click “continue reading” to read more about the Yacouba Feline.

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Vyrus Offering Ducati Customization Program

Vyrus Offering Ducati Customization Program

Italian boutique bike brand Vyrus is back to its eccentric ways again. Having previously offered to turn any Honda CBR600RR into a Vyrus 986 M2, the company is now setting its sights on transforming old Ducatis into a Vyrus. What that means is still unclear, but judging from the company’s history, it’s safe to say that Vyrus has something special in store for these old Ducatis.

The process towards turning your old Ducati into a Vyrus is pretty straightforward, even if it could turn into a wallet-burning exercise. All you need to do is fill up a form and pretty much explain why you want to get the full Vyrus make-over on your Ducati. Sounds simple enough, right?

Once that’s done, Vyrus might test your patience a little bit, but as soon as it replies, you could be well on your way to scoring a truly one of a kind ride. That would be a real score and hopefully, you’ll send me some photos of your new ride once Vyrus sends it back to you.

Note: Photo is of the Vyrus 897 C3 4V.

Click past the jump to read more about Vyrus’ offer to turn your old Ducati into a customized Vyrus.

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Victory Set To Enter NHRA Drag Racing

Victory Set To Enter NHRA Drag Racing

Victory Motorcycles is jumping into waters unknown after signing up to be part of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Drag Racing series. If that’s not enough indication of Victory’s plans to be included in the NHRA, the motorcycle company has also formed Victory Factory Racing, which the team plans to stock up to become a force in the world of the NHRA.

Anchoring Victory Factory Racing’s pursuit of drag racing glory will be the husband-and-wife team of Matt and Angie Smith. Matt Smith, in particular, is a well-known commodity in the NHRA scene, having won two world titles during his illustrious career. Likewise, Angie Smith is no lightweight on the drag racing scene, either. She’s been known to throw down with the best of ‘em, and with together with her husband, the two are expected to become a formidable team that can turn some heads for the newly created Victory Factory Racing.

Despite having been around only since 1998, Victory Motorcycles has grown to become a prominent American bike maker in the world, which makes this entry into the world of the NHRA a stroke of good timing. Having the Smiths serving as riders and ambassadors for the brand will not only give Victory Factory Racing the cache it needs to be taken seriously in the series, but it also has two very capable drivers who can actually score some wins for the new outfit.

That much we can all look forward to when the new NHRA Pro Stock season opens on March 13, 2015 at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. Keep a close eye on Victory Factory Racing during the season-opening race. The team and its drivers might give us an unexpected show.

Click past the jump to read more about Victory Motorcyles’ entry to the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Drag Racing.

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The SilentHawk Could Be The Future Of Electric Military Bikes

The SilentHawk Could Be The Future Of Electric Military Bikes

The military is always a cool place to start if you’re looking for the latest in vehicular technology, or at least in this case, motorcycle technology. Sure, there’s already a proliferation of battery-powered bikes in the market, but there’s always something new and something better out there, right?

Logos Technologies and Alta Motors, with help from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), may have a project on its hands. It’s called the SilentHawk, and if its name is any indication, it’s being prepared to become a military bike that has the best of both worlds: the efficiency of an electric motorcycle and the performance of a standard dirt bike.

The SilentHawk is still in its development phase, but the project appears to have the backing of people who can really turn it into something special. From what we know, Alta Motors’ Redshift motocross bike is the starting point of the project and that the company is teaming up with Logos Technologies to make it happen. It also the financing from DARPA to see this project through, which, you know, always helps. The objective, it seems, is to have it ready over the next 18 months.

It’s still unclear how the parties involved plan to do that, but at least we know that it has an idea on how to circumvent the obvious limitations of an electric motorcycle by slapping a supplementary power source that can at least address questions about its performance capabilities.

That much is all we know, but if the SilentHawk does come alive, it could serve a really good purpose for the military, be it in the near or far future.

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