Monday, 13 April 2015

KTM Duke 390

The KTM 390 Duke is 373.2 cc (22.77 cu in) displacement single-cylinder engine motorcycles made in India by Bajaj Auto, in collaboration with Austrian manufacturer KTM. The 390 Duke standard debuted at the 2012 EICMA show in Milan, Italy, and went on sale in India in June, 2013.T he RC390 was presented at EICMA the following year. After the Duke's initial release, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer announced plans to export the 390 Duke to the US for 2014, which would make it the first Indian-made KTM motorcycle sold in the US market. Bajaj said eventually the bike will be sold in 80 countries worldwide.
In its home market, the 390 Duke's engine displacement and weight place it in the midrange size, and it sells for more than three times the average price of a motorcycle in India. As one Indian reviewer put it "The 390 Duke may well be a simple little A2 license commuter for the European rider, but in the environs of Mumbai traffic, it’s a proper rocket-powered scalpel." In the US market, the same motorcycle is considered small-displacement, lightweight, and relatively inexpensive. Similarly, the UK Sunday Times said, "Given that the 390 Duke weighs less than 150kg when it's full of fuel, you have to sit on it to stop it blowing away. It's as agile in traffic as a push-bike and whippet-thin," saying the bike was ideal for young riders with the A2 license, limited to 47 bhp (35 kW), who would find it easy to ride and confidence-inspiring, while feeling "fast and sporty". Such a bike in the UK would also appeal to experienced riders looking for a practical and efficient commuter bike and runabout. The 390 Duke won the 2013–14 Jury's Choice Bike of the Year in TheBloomberg TV India Autocar India Awards. IndianCarsBikes said that with a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph) and a 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) time of 5.5 seconds, the 390 Duke is the fastest motorcycle made in India as of January 2014.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Aprillia RSV4 RR and RSV4 RF 2015

Aprilia has introduced the latest production versions of its World Superbike Championship-winning RSV4, with the 2015 models—designated the RSV4 RR and RSV4 RF—sporting numerous major updates intended to provide even better performance.

Unlike the certifiably mad Tuono V4 engine, the RSV4 powerplant had to stay under 1000cc in order to remain legal for World Superbike competition, so bore and stroke remain the same at 78 x 52.3mm. Literally everything else has been modified, including the induction system, resulting in a claimed increase of 16 hp and a weight loss of 1.5kg (3.3 pounds). For starters, the cylinder heads are all-new, with revised porting specs and combustion chambers that are now CNC-machined for accuracy and consistency. The valves are now all titanium, with new oval-section valve springs and new camshafts that are 500 grams lighter. As with the Tuono V4, the RSV4’s crankshaft now has smaller 36mm rod pins, and the Pankl connecting rods are a total of 400 grams lighter.
2015 aprilia rsv4 rr rf first look
The 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR will come in this "Ascari Black" motif and gets a host of upgrades, including 16 more horsepower and a more advanced aPRC electronics package.

The RSV4 faces stiff competition from the thuggish Ducati Panigale 1299 and the bonkers Kawasaki H2.
Like the new Tuono engine, the RSV4’s upper crankcase half is now made using a shell fusion process for increased strength and less weight, and internal ventilation holes reduce pumping losses at higher rpm. The RSV4 engine’s lubrication system has been revamped, with a new oil sump design ensuring that there is no cavitation due to the oil pump pickup becoming exposed under hard acceleration or high lean angles; this was done because the overall oil level in the crankcase has been decreased in order to reduce friction. The oil pump intake line now has an overpressure valve with thinner mesh filter, the piston cooling oil nozzles were replaced, and the gearbox now has a direct oil feed instead of the usual splash lubrication. That transmission now has lighter primary gears, and the ratios have been changed to better take advantage of the increased power.
2015 aprilia rsv4 rr rf first look
The 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RF model comes with the usual Öhlins suspension front and rear as well as an Öhlins steering damper, plus forged aluminum wheels. Top-shelf Brembo M430 aluminum monobloc calipers and 320mm discs provide superb stopping power.
Down below, the entire exhaust system has been redesigned with new electronic valve management and an additional oxygen sensor. Up top, the airbox has been revamped, with the air filter now perpendicular to the airflow. The upper “shower” injectors are all-new, and the variable-length intake stacks now have increased travel for more influence on engine powerband.
Chassis changes include increasing swingarm length 14mm for better rear tire grip and less wheelie tendency with the new engine. The engine has been lowered in the chassis to the lowest position (the RSV4 is only sportbike that has adjustable engine height within the frame) to also compensate for the new engine’s increased power. As before, the RSV4 RR comes equipped with Sachs fork and shock, while the RSV4 RF comes with Öhlins suspension front and rear as well as an Öhlins steering damper, plus forged aluminum wheels.
2015 aprilia rsv4 rr rf first look
As with the new Tuono V4 1100, the high-end RSV4 RF model will only come in this "Superpole" racing livery.
The latest RSV4 gets the same aPRC electronics upgrades as the new Tuono V4 1100, with the third-generation system still featuring eight different traction control settings adjustable on the fly and using a more refined operating logic that alters the percentage of tire slippage allowed depending on the speed in the turn. The aWC (Aprilia Wheelie Control) still comes with three settings, but map 1 (the least intervention) has been recalibrated to for better acceleration and a smoother drop of the front wheel when activated. Both the aLC (Aprilia Launch Control) with three settings for track starts and the aQS (Aprilia Quick Shift) for full-throttle upshifts return unchanged.
The new advanced Race ABS also comes standard on both RSV4s, with three levels of activation that also utilize the new RLM (Rear Lift-up Mitigation) feature. Level 1 is intended for track use (but Aprilia also says it’s approved for street use), while Level 2 is for sport riding on public roads and engages the RLM progressively based on the bike’s speed, and Level 3 is for poor grip conditions such as rain.
2015 aprilia rsv4 rr rf first look
The 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR will also be available in this "Bucine Grey" color scheme.
Those three Race ABS settings can be combined with any of the three new engine maps, all of which also have their own dedicated engine brake management maps. The classic Track and Sport maps have now been joined by the new Race map, which has engine braking control reduced to a minimum for very aggressive circuit riding.
The new RSV4 also has the ability to pair up with the Piaggio Multimedia Platform V4-MP, which offers Active electronic setup for corner-by-corner electronics management using the GPS on your smartphone (either automatically using database parameters recommended by Aprilia Racing or your own preferences), Immersive virtual telemetry that records engine and user performance over the course of a lap, and Adaptive race assistant that provides tips in real time to help you safely achieve your best on lap on the track with your RSV4.
The RSV4 RR and RF will be available in the US in May 2015. No prices were confirmed at post time.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

the Energy Independence and Security Act is repealed, 50-mpg cars will be thick on the street in a decade. If you find this notion depressing, take solace in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat’s ability to binge-drink premium fuel. Stomp the throttle as if you own a private pipeline and this hellion can burn 1.5 gallons of high test in a minute flat. Texans with the pumps and space to indulge such ­pleasures can suck this car’s tank dry in the time it takes to read this article.
Other Hellcat stats are equally astonishing. This is the first American sedan armed with 707 horsepower. The one German four-door capable of beating it to 60 mph, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S, costs nearly three times the Charger’s $64,990 base price and falls shy of the Dodge’s claimed 204-mph top speed. Massive Brembo brakes and 20-inch Pirelli gumballs make this family hauler much more than a straight-line special.
With pump prices dipping below three bucks a gallon and the Saudis discounting crude to thwart the fracking tide, the super Charger arrives at an opportune moment. Designed in Michigan, assembled in Canada, and powered by a Mexican-made engine, it’s a poster child for NAFTA pragmatism. Also thank Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne, who waved a figurative arrivederci to Ferrari with one hand while welcoming the Challenger and Charger Hellcats to the menagerie with the other.
No rocket science was needed to spank GM and Ford. The pushrod V-8 wearing one of the engine world’s most revered nameplates first appeared in 2003 Ram pickups—albeit minus the actual hemispherical combustion chambers of yore. The Charger’s chassis parts were handed down by Mercedes a decade ago during the ill-fated DaimlerChrysler lash-up. This year’s nicely rendered face lift replaces the stale gun-sight grille with seven air-inlet and -outlet ports. Sinister HID headlamps, growling cat badges, and a manly pair of pipes are also new.
Children cower at the sound of a blown Hemi starting; at full throttle, its supercharger whine and exhaust howl carry for miles. During cruising, the mighty engine murmurs barely audible bass notes, its tailpipes restricted by computer-controlled butterfly valves.
Pity the Hellcat’s 275/40ZR-20 tires futilely attempting to put down more than 8000 pound-feet of torque (650 pound-feet at 4800 rpm from the engine multiplied by 12.34 through the driveline in first gear). Pirelli’s stock rises a notch every time a driver lights the smoke grenades under the rear fenders. Thanks to a hair-trigger throttle, remedial right-foot reprogramming is essential to in-town puttering. Mashing the gas to pass will snap the traction at 40 mph on dry pavement, or as high as 80 in the wet. In the hands of a driver lacking respect for what was once known as war emergency power, the Charger SRT Hellcat is the loosest of all road cannons.
But in capable hands, it will thrill and amaze. To wring Chevy Corvette Z06 acceleration from this 4592-pound sedan, we disabled the stability controls, warmed the rear tires, set the transmission to track mode, placed the dampers in sport mode, and squeezed the throttle pedal with due deliberation. The tires bite in 1.6 seconds, the time it takes to reach 30 mph, then yowl again during the 1-2 shift at 40. What sounds like shredding titanium is the engine protesting the momentary power reductions accompanying each upshift. What feels like teleportation flings you to 60 in 3.4 seconds and to 128 mph in the quarter-mile. From rest to 170, the hairy Hemi posts an average 0.34 g of acceleration. Pleasure receptors think they’ve been treated to great sex, a tasty sirloin, and Dutch chocolate ice cream—all at once.
Exemplary braking and cornering performance are also part of the deal. Massive Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers grabbing two-piece rotors halt this car from 70 mph in 153 feet—averaging 1.07 g’s—with virtually no fade. Pirelli P Zero rubber stuck the Hellcat to our skidpad at 0.94 g. While there’s some understeer at the limit, that’s really no issue when the lightest brush of the accelerator will step and hold the tail out as wide as you like for as long as you deem appropriate.
The steering is heavy during parking maneuvers, but, once you’re rolling, the extra effort falls in sync with the quick ratio. Actual nuances of road feel are transmitted through a rim wrapped in perforated leather. The ride quality is remarkably poised for a 200-mph muscle car. Front buckets trimmed with suede are supportive but could use stiffer side bolsters to resist this car’s prodigious cornering loads. Rear passenger heads ride beneath the dot-patterned shading of the back glass, but there’s adequate room and comfort for two, plus a slim child.
Top: In darkness it creeps, enfolding the night in its black wings. Or something. We've been listening to a lot of old Tom Waits records.
Tap the SRT button on the dash and the 8.4-inch touch screen becomes the ultimate gaming console. Track, sport, custom, and default modes let you tune engine output, damper effectiveness, the traction helpers, and transmission and shifter activity. In Race Options, you can configure launch control and an upshift light. Valet mode allows you to relinquish the car to a parking attendant without fear of catastrophe. In Performance Pages, you can read instantaneous power, torque, and boost, or conduct a full road test by recording acceleration times, braking distances, and peak g’s in all four directions. There’s even an eco mode complete with a green-leaf graphic. This is for comic relief.
What’s most remarkable about this Charger is that it’s the complete package—daily commuting comfort combined with berserk special-occasion performance, all at a realistic price. Further, it cracks the door to subsequent products, such as a supercharged Viper and a Jeep Grand Chero­kee Hellcat. Until GM and Ford chime in with their 700-hp sedans, or until the fuel sippers arrive—whichever comes first—the Charger SRT Hellcat is the uncontested king of American four-door performance.

The Maddest Motor

Chrysler’s director of advanced and SRT powertrain, Chris Cowland, led the team that twisted the 6.2-liter V-8 Hellcat’s tail to 707 horsepower, a record for an American production engine.
The Chrysler crew began by upgrading practically all the major components of the Hemi. The cast-iron, deep-skirt block has thickened webs and enlarged cooling passages. The forged steel crankshaft is induction-hardened. Forged steel rods have cracked bearing caps for extra-secure clamping. Each forged aluminum piston must withstand more than 10 tons of combustion force. The wrist pins have a diamond-like coating to minimize friction.
While the heat-treated aluminum heads lack true hemispherical combustion chambers, they do have twin spark plugs and large, canted valves. There’s one 2.14-inch intake valve and one 1.65-inch exhaust valve per cylinder, the latter with sodium-filled stems to dispense heat.
IHI Turbo America manufactures the Lysholm-type twin-screw supercharger, capable of blowing more than 1000 cubic feet of air per minute. Maximum boost is 11.6 psi, and an electric pump circulates 12 gallons of coolant through the intercoolers and two front-mounted heat exchangers every minute. Half-inch fuel lines slake the Hellcat’s thirst for premium. At peak power, eight injectors shower the intake ports with a pint of gas every seven seconds.
There’s minimal ruckus from the blower during idle and cruise modes. Legging the throttle cues a subtle whine accenting a louder intake thrum and a more insistent exhaust beat. No artificial noise is contributed by the audio system.

The Hellcat V-8 is teamed with an upgraded ZF 8HP90 eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Thanks to the wide ratio spreads and two overdrive gears, the Charger SRT achieves 22 mpg in EPA highway tests. A 13-mpg score in city tests drags the combined figure down to 16 mpg, resulting in a $1700 gas-guzzler penalty. Hey, what did you expect? It’s a Hellcat, not a miracle worker.

Bajaj Pulsar 200RS

 Bajaj had earlier opened sales of the motorcycle announcing a price of Rs 1.18 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. As you know the motorcycle is based on the Bajaj Pulsar 200NS but is formatted to look like a supersport motorcycle. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s changed

The frame is the same as the Pulsar 200NS but it wears a bunch of metal stays needed to mount the fairing now. In the process of this and the plastics of the complex looking fairing itself, the weight has gone up by a substantial 12kg, 6kg of this comes from the mounts and plastics alone while 2.5kg comes from the ABS unit and bigger magneto for the twin projector lamps. You don’t feel it but the engine most certainly has to work harder to produce performance. The new bodywork et al also move the centre of gravity a smidgen forward which Bajaj says gives a more secure feel at the front. Other changes? Well, the swingarm is about 5mm longer.
Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 (2)
On the engine front, this is a fuel injected motorcycle and that’s about it. There is some sprocketing work and the overall gearing is a little shorter as well
On the engine front, this is a fuel injected motorcycle and that’s about it. The rear sprocket gets two additional teeth and the overall gearing is a little shorter as well. Bajaj further says that because of the fairing, a lot of work has been done on ensuring serviceability and many check and replacement intervals are now farther apart.

What’s the performance like?

Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 (8)
The engine is able to use the gearing to push the bike to a higher top speed and we saw 151kmph on the clocks
I think the RS200 feels a little more linear in power delivery terms than the 200NS but that aside it isn’t very different. The engine develops 1PS more and is able to use the gearing to push the bike to a higher top speed and I saw 151kmph on the clocks (assume 10-15 per cent speed error on this) before having to turn into the super fast last corner of Bajaj’s test track at Chakan. Bajaj have altered the engine head to accommodate the Fi and bigger throttle bodies now. Speaking of fuel injection, the unit is the same one which is made by Bosch and is also in use in the KTM 200 Duke. However, for the RS200, it gets a new software and different state of tune.

How is it in corners?

Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 (1)
Turn is quick enough – but not very quick – and the motorcycle feels sporty without really feeling too sharp for new riders
It’s very responsive and confident though bumps at really high speeds need you to have the confidence to stay on the throttle. Turn is quick enough – but not very quick – and the motorcycle feels sporty without really feeling too sharp for new riders. Bajaj has, in the past shown an ability to manage the ride and handling balance rather well and the RS200′s capabilities are no surprise.

Single-channel ABS, eh?

Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 (5)
It’s a cost saving measure to be sure but the ABS version of the RS200 only works on the front wheel
Yeah. It’s a cost saving measure to be sure but the ABS version of the Pulsar RS200 only works on the front wheel. This isn’t a problem because most of a motorcycle’s braking does happen at the front wheel. That said, I do feel that Bajaj should have gone the whole hog and ABS’d the rear wheel as well. I guess better that some people are able to afford this safety device than not, right?


Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 (10)
The clocks are one of the most comprehensive this side of the Duke 200
The Bajaj Pulsar RS200 packs no surprises. It is based on a competent platform and Bajaj has carefully chosen not to break a working formula. I do have issues with how busy the motorcycle’s styling is but in the same breath, I’ll admit that in the flesh it doesn’t look quite so out there either. Finish levels look acceptable and overall, the motorcycle is pretty easy to decide to purchase. The Pulsar RS200 without ABS is Rs 23,000-odd more expensive than the NS, which is a reasonable jump considering the plastics and the fuel injection system. ABS adds another Rs 12,000 to the bag and if I were buying an RS (actually any motorcycle at all), I would certainly pay the difference and get the ABS-equipped motorcycle.
Bajaj Pulsar RS200, ex-Delhi
Without ABS: Rs 1.18 lakh
With ABS: Rs 1.30 lakh

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Hero Splendor iSmart claims 102.5kmpl making it the world's most fuel efficient motorcycle

Just after Bajaj launched the new Platina 100ES with a whopping 96.9kmpl, arch rival Hero MotoCorp has followed suit. Hero’s Splendor iSmart has now pipped the Bajaj Platina 100ES with a claimed fuel efficiency of 102.5kmpl. The Splendor iSmart was launched late last year and is the first Hero motorcycle to have a low cost stop-start technology. At the time of launch, like its other products, Hero didn’t specify the fuel efficiency numbers but it seems the heat from the competition finally got onto the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer.
Hero Splendor iSmart (3)
The Hero Splendor iSmart is powered by a proven 97.2cc single cylinder air cooled engine which makes 7.8PS/8.04Nm. The start-stop technology switch is located where you should usually find the engine kill switch. At traffic signals, when the bike is in neutral and the clutch is not engaged, after 10 seconds the engine shuts off and when you want to start the engine, simply pulling in the clutch does the trick. In our stringent city fuel efficiency tests, the Hero Splendor iSmart had returned 46.25kmpl with the iSmart system switched off and 2kmpl more with the system on. Do note that this test was conducted with the motorcycle being ridden in the worst of traffic conditions. In regular conditions, the Splendor iSmart returned 56.3kmpl, which was still significantly lower than other 100-110cc motorcycles.

Yamaha R1 and R1M launched in India

Back in December last year, There news that Yamaha India is looking at bringing the all-new YZF-R1 and R1 M here by March 2015. And yes, now the motorcycles are listed under ‘available’ on Yamaha India’s website at a price of Rs 22.34 lakh for the R1 and Rs 29.43 lakh for the track-oriented R1 M, ex-Delhi. The 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 is available in two colours, Racing Blue and Racing Red while the YZF-R1 M can be ordered in only Silver Blue Carbon.
These are all-new motorcycles according to Yamaha with only the crossplane crankshaft and the legendary R1 name retained from the older versions. The new Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1 M use a four-cylinder, liquid-cooled 998cc engine which is good for 200PS/112.4Nm. This is before taking into account the ram air effect which liberates a few more ponies. A slipper clutch, new crankshaft, Titanium con rods and a larger airbox are some of the new features. Inspite of all these add-ons, the wet weight remains at a relatively ‘lower’ 199kg. Yamaha says that the weight reduction is achieved with the help of the new cast magnesium alloys (weighing 2kg less than before) as well as the asymmetric aluminium frame.  The minimum ground clearance is 130mm while the fuel tank capacity is 17 litres.
2015 Yamaha YZF-R1
While the looks of the motorcycle will generate different reactions from different people, we believe Yamaha couldn’t have made the new YZF-R1 more outlandish. The new Yamaha YZF-R1 is inspired by the company’s MotoGP bike, the M1, with those gills on the tank and faired-in small headlamps. The graphics on the motorcycle by themselves feel a little bland.
Looks apart, the new Yamaha R1 gets a host of electronics including Intuitive Slide Control System, ABS with EBD, launch control, wheelie control, Inertial Measurement Unit and many more. In India it will compete with the Kawasaki Ninja H2 which was launched recently, Honda CBR 1000RR, BMW S1000RR and the Suzuki GSX-R1000.