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Monday, September 22nd, 2014

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Review: 2014 KTM RC 125 - The Midday Demon

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Product Review KTM
Author: Jean-Francois Robert
Location: 
Paris, France
click to see where Austria is on the map
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Since this is a translation directly from French, some of the colloquialism may seem a bit strange at times, for which I apologize. It's not easy to translate. Any mistakes below are mine, and mine alone.
KTM logo
Le Repaire des Motards logo
The 2014 KTM RC 125 test report was originally published in French on the Le Repaire des Motards.com Open lerepairedesmotards link in a new window web site.

Click here to read the original review of the 2014 KTM RC 125 Open Click here to read the original review of the 2014 KTM RC 125 link in a new window (in French)
The Midday Demon

A revised and streamlined version of the Duke 125, the RC 125 landed in our cities with a muscular frame and the airs of a middleweight. A real KTM, sporty and intelligent that did not disappoint us.

The leading European manufacturer, KTM extends its range to small displacement bikes to conquer new markets. Associated with the Indian Bajaj which produces 3 million motorcycles per year (!), the Austrian brand has created a "platform" of three displacements (125/200/390) which are assembled in Asia. First proposed in small roadsters, the Dukes, they come to us now equipped with fairings in sportier versions. While waiting for the 390, we discover the 125 and note that, unlike the Duke, the 200 version will not be distributed in France.


Review 2014 KTM RC 125

Discovery

The impression of robustness is immediate. With a trellis frame, the strengthened swingarm, its big tires and sturdy 43mm inverted fork, the "small" RC gives an illusion and even good impression. The style is not overdone like a custom, it is genuine.

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

In this combination, the MRF 150 rear tire does not complain, even if one suspects that the 15 horses raging is not going to make it sweat outrageously. To keep the price of this jewel within reasonable limits, the Austrian giant has made some concessions. The first and not the least is to make the bike in India with its partner Bajaj. With a very low cost of locally available labor, construction and assembly of the bike becomes much cheaper. Another tip: standardization. The engine as a whole is identical to the Duke, which is already the best-selling 125 in Europe. The only difference between the two models: the power of the upper alternator on the RC with its double optics. Swingarm, electronics, dashboard are also identical to the Duke. In part, the structure is similar, but the caster angle has been reduced from 1.5 ° to improve handling. Finally, we also note the front fork that serves as the handlebar support and the rear seat backrest made of foam which also serves as a passenger seat. One piece, but two functions, well though out!

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

In The Saddle

Correctly installed on a slightly firm saddle, not leaning too forward, we find a small dashboard full of very small numbers to indicate the revvs. It's not easy to read (probably more difficult at 50 than at 16 years, and some), but it has a shiftlight that tells you when to shift gears. Gear indicator, average fuel consumption, remaining range, average speed, driving time, two trips and time of the next maintenance is on the menu. Not bad right? The interface is excellent, but with levers that are not space adjustable, to keep the cost down. In a nutshell this is the first look at the bike for the owner.

Ready to go?

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

In The City

Stomping ground for small displacement engines, the city is no problem for this sportsbike. No overheating or heat release, a muffled sound (too much?) that you will not attract the ire of pedestrians. With its light weight, an excellent turning radius and a flexibility of the engine, you are ready to go to school, to college or to work, distinguishing you from the herd of scooters and without breaking the bank. Only regret, the mirrors are not very effective, but we have seen worse! Very positive therefore this first round.

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

On Secondary/Country Roads

Another playground, another facet of the character of our small single. Rather playful, the little "KTMer" likes high revs. I must say that its small displacement requires you to juggle the gearbox, a bit violent when changing gears on the fly, to stay in the revs, that is to say, after 7000 and up to 10,000 in order to have a little pep. Below this, it is flexible, perfect for riding at a constant speed, but to overtake or to accelerate, no way! In a pure attack, do not hesitate to go to the lower gears, the best is not to brake in order to keep up a maximum of speed.

The chassis is well up to scratch, with good quality suspensions that adequately cushion the bumps and ensure proper comfort. The handling is perfect in all circumstances. It must be said to convey that, given its size and power, is hardly surprising. The BYBRE braking (which means By Brembo!) is excellent too, however, experienced pilots who will push it to its limits then discover an inconsistency which requires tightening the lever with 4 fingers during very hard braking. In fact the power is managed more by lever travel than lever pressure due to a slightly spongy control during heavy braking. A detail that bothers most seasoned rider. But we must recognize that even during fast riding, the performance is there and braking will not surprise beginners or experienced riders. Only bikers in the soul will feel these nuances.

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

On Highways

With its 15 horses, the RC inserts itself with dignity into the stream of vehicles, subject to well keeping your momentum and not to be straddled by a too large or heavy rider, because in these conditions, aerodynamics and weight / power ratio are in net decline, greatly lowering performance. Beware of risky overtaking, you should be prepared! So thanks to my reasonable weight (63 kg in my birthday suit) and my leather suit much less penalizing than colleagues' jackets, inflated by the wind (jackets, not colleagues), I was able to maintain contact with the leading "biker" on the 120 km memorable ride!

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

On Motorways

Capable of exceeding 125 kph on the counter (even reach 134 at the limiter during a slight downhill), the little RC will comply with the exercise, with the same reservations about the size and equipment of the rider. Very robust (made to last 80,000 km according to the manufacturer), the single takes the treatment unflinchingly, provided that you let it slow down a little from time to time.

At the occasion of a good rain, we enjoyed the very proper protection against the elements offered by the fairing. Vibrations are not felt and if riding long distances, intercity motorways will not scare it.

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

Brakes

We have already discussed this point, which will satisfy 99% of users. The 4 radial caliper pistons and 300 mm disc do the job, with a slight lack of consistency that will be felt in very fast road or track riding . The rear brake can be forgotten, it is perfect. Perfect also is the disconnectable ABS which never triggered inadvertently, in the rain nor the dry, despite a very fast riding rate. Supplied as standard, it is really blameless. On bumps, it "unhooks" of course, but it happens also to a lot of more sophisticated high-end motorcycles. One detail that highlights the outstanding quality of the suspensions and their proper calibration of origin, because thanks to them the wheels do not lose contact with the road.

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

Practical Aspects

Let's start by mentioning the pleasant surprise that the Indian MRF tires never disappointed or surprised us, nor on the dry or the wet. A real tip of the hat, as you could expect the worst with an "exotic" brand.

Fuel Consumption

Note also the low appetite of the RC, despite the shock treatment it has undergone. If the onboard computer is telling the truth, it is merely 2.5 L / 100 at a very steady pace really. It remains to be seen, but by opening the fuel cap, it is actually found that the fuel level was still very high. The KTM manager confirmed to me, telling me that in general for the 120 km, he put in about 3 L. He explained to me that moderation was a requirement of the specification, as in emerging countries, consumption is closely monitored. Some of my colleagues, however, showed sometimes up to 4.5 L, while we were riding together, even if they may have made some "burns." So without being able to say 100% that this value is correct, we can say that the 125 RC is really fuel economical.

Review 2014 KTM RC 125

Conclusion

Despite a modest level of performance required by the legislation which limits power to 15 horses, the little KTM is really attractive and fills young aspiring pilots with happiness. Quality and craftsmanship, its fittings do not have to be ashamed of its Indian origins. It is a true KTM! Besides, those who come to Europe, all go first to Mattighoffen, where the factory is located, for an ultimate quality control. We really enjoyed being behind these handlebars! If you have €4,595 in your pocket and a 125 riding license, you will not be disappointed by the great toy. Come on, roll youth!

Strong PointsWeak Points
  • Manufacturing quality
  • Highly efficient chassis
  • The ABS
  • Fuel economy
  • Reputation for reliability
  • The limited power (legislation)
  • The lack of pep at low revs
  • The duo
  • The disappointing engine sound


Via: Le Repaire Des Motards




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Brammo Seeking More Financial Investments Via Crowd-Funding

Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under  Electrical Brammo
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where USA is on the map
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There are quite a lot of crowd-funding sites around, most of them allow you to help fund the development of a product or service, and in exchange you get the product for cheaper than when it goes to market. But there is another crowd-funding site that looks for money but this is more serious since we're talking about expanding the capital of a company by you taking a direct interest in their capital, i.e., you hold a financial stake in the company..

Brammo logo
In this case, the company is Brammo Open link in a new window, the American electric motorcycle manufacturer. Brammo is a green-field company, meaning a company that got created from scratch to make electric motorcycles. This in contrast with establish ICEInternal Combustion Engine. An engine in which the combustion of a fuel (normally a fossil fuel) occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. motorcycle manufacturers who are branching out into electrical bikes. Companies like Brammo don't have as deep pockets as the likes of BMW, KTM and others.

So to raise more capital allowing them to expand their operation, Brammo could of course go to the stock exchange. But going to Nasdaq or NYSE is very cumbersome, and involves a lot of steps (and lawyers, bankers, bureaucracy, etc). So Brammo have adopted another interim step; that of looking for crowd-funding money, but instead of getting perks like cheaper electric motorcycles, or a Brammo hat, you can buy into their capital, meaning you would be a part owner.

Of course there are always risks, but then again, we are bikers and we take risks every day when we ride our motorcycles. Brammo have chosen EarlyShares Open EarlyShares link in a new window for their crowd-funding objectives. EarlyShares is a serious outfit that will show you on their site an initial overview of the project, but only when you have been accepted as an accredited investor will you get to see the details of the transaction. This is done to protect both the company and investors, since often Joe Public investors will not realize the severity of the steps they are about to undertake and might end up in financial problems. So EarlyShares want to be sure that if you are planning to invest in a company such a Brammo, that you know what you are doing.

Brammo Girls Eicma 2011

Brammo are looking to raise US$3 million, and the minimum investment is US$25,000. But that not only gives you an ownership interest, it also gives you US$2,500 discount on their products.

If I were CEO of Honda, Suzuki or any other larger manufacturer without an electric motorcycle offering, I would snap this up.

On its own, it's a pretty good idea by Brammo. It can bring in much needed money to expand their operations, and for early investors, it can give you a foot on the ground for the future. Just imagine if you were given this opportunity when Microsoft or Apple were looking for initial money via a site like EarlyShares? In this offering, you not only get stock, but at the minimum a good discount for their products?

Good idea, or not?

Click here to go and read more about it, or to invest in Brammo Open Earlyshares link in a new window.

Via: Electric Motorcycle Forum




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China: Riding Motorcycle During A Storm, Not A Good Idea

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  Safety
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
click to see where China is on the map
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It is definitely not a good idea to ride a motorcycle during a storm, but that goes double so for riding a heavily loaded motorcycle during a hurricane/typhoon. Ouch....

Storm riding dangers China
© Reuters

Reuters logo
A motorcycle (C) falls on the street as residents ride their vehicles against strong wind and heavy rainfall under the influence of Typhoon Kalmaegi, in Haikou, Hainan province September 16, 2014. Typhoon Kalmaegi brought gusts of up to 125km/h (78 mph) in the past hour as it swept past on its way towards China's Guangdong province and Hainan Island after it plunged northern parts of the Philippines into darkness and inundated farmland. REUTERS/Stringer


Via: News Yahoo & Reuters




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Friday, September 19th, 2014

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Top Internet Motorcycle Stories - 19 September 2014

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Web
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
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Top News icon
One more week and the motorcycle exhibition hell season starts again. I've been training everyday, walking with a heavy backpack for hours on end, and I've been reading a lot. Here are some of the interesting motorcycle articles that have appeared last week that you may have missed.





Enjoy

An Open Letter To The Motorcycle Industry Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite: Expedition Portal Open link in a new window
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 13SEP
Summary: Noah Horak, adventure rider down to the core, writes an open letter to the motorcycle industry asking them to really look into motorcycle design.


KTM Makes Changes For Indian Conditions, Strengthens Alloy Wheels Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: India flag  India
Date: 13SEP
Summary: KTM needs to make changes to their motorcycles to enable them to ride on the roads of India. European models do not fare well on Indian roads!


Product Review: Chase Harper 950Xm Tank Bag Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite: Tilted Horizons Open link in a new window
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 13SEP
Summary: A detailed review of the Chase-Harper 950XM tank bag.


Talk About The Development Of The KTM Freeride E Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite: Ktm Blog Open link in a new window
Country: Austria flag  Austria
Date: 16SEP
Summary: KTM's R&D expert talks about KTM's electric off-road motorcycle, the Freeride E.


One Truly Cool And Feasible Bike Garage Idea Video 86676 Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: Romania flag  Romania
Date: 17SEP
Summary: Interesting idea for someone who has no garage.


Study: Electric cars cheaper to insure than gasoline equivalents Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 17SEP
Summary: What goes for cars goes for motorcycles. Electric motorcycles are cheaper in usage, and that goes for insurance as well.


Read related articles
Monday, September 15, 2014 - 15 (De)Motivational Posters - Part 5

(De)Motivational Motorcycle Poster
(De)Motivational Motorcycle Poster
Here are 15 (de)motivation poster centered around motorcycles and riding. This is the 5th part in the series. Have fun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - Park Your Motorcycle In Your Garage Easily - Easy-P

Easy P Parking Stands
Easy P Parking Stands
Great idea for those who have never enough space in their garage for their motorcycle(s). This Italian system called Easy-P allows you to park your motorcycle or scooter anywhere, even dead corners or under shelves. Easy.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - Review: TireMoni - Tire Pressure Monitor

Review TireMoni
Review TireMoni
Here is my detailed review of the German Tire Pressure Monitoring System from TireMoni. A small portable device that can go in your pocket.
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 - Lumina Trailers - Bring More Stuff With You On Your Motorcycle

Lumina Motorcycle Trailer
Lumina Motorcycle Trailer
Here is another trailer to hitch behind your motorcycle. It's Lumina and it's popular. Low weight, lots of storage space.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - Review: 2014 Indian Scout - Custom, Cruiser or Roadster

Review 2014 Indian Scout
Indian logo
A detailed review from a top French web site of the 2014 Indian Scout - Custom, Cruiser or Roadster
Sunday, September 14th, 2014 - Cezeta Reborn, Beautiful, Powerful and Electric

Cezeta Type 506
Cezeta logo
Back from the dead, the funky and beautiful Czech scooter from Cezeta (late 1950's) is making the Type 506 - - a beautiful electric scooter based on the old vintage models. What more do you want; hand built, affordable and great looking.







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Free High Quality Motorcycle Web TV - Cycle Torque TV

Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under  Video Feeds Entertainment
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where Australia is on the map
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Cycle Torque logo
The motorcycle world is richer a high quality TV program that is streaming on the internet. Thanks to Australian magazine Cycle Torque Open Cycle Torque link in a new window, you can now follow a good content, for free, on your PC/Mac.

The program is called Cycle Torque TV, and their first episode streamed last week. Their very first episode lasted 27 minutes and they tested several motorcycles, like the Ducati Diavel Carbon, the vintage Vincent and the funkier 4-wheel Polaris Sportsman Ace. They also showed riding/touring in Vietnam, something that is on my bucket list. Like a real TV program, they even have some pretty good TV commercials in between the program.

It's a good program, and it's great listening to the Australian accent. Filming is high quality, and they used a lot of cameras and angles.

Cycle Torque TV Episode 1

You can see the first episode below, or head on over to their site to see it or read their articles.

NOTE: In the mean time, episode 2 has arrived: click here to see Cycle Torque TV Episode 2 Open click here to see Cycle Torque TV Episode 2 link in a new window.

Cycle Torque TV Episode 1 from Cycle Torque TV on Vimeo.



Click here to go to Cycle Torque TV 1st Episode Open Click here to go to Cycle Torque TV 1st Episode link in a new window
Click here to go to the Cycle Torque web site Open Click here to go to the Cycle Torque web site link in a new window
Click here to access the Cycle Torque Facebook page Open Click here to access the Cycle Torque Facebook page link in a new window






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India: Funny Enough You Will Need A Lot Of Water To Clean Them

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  Travel
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where India is on the map
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Well, obviously it's not funny, but these motorcycles got so dirty because of excessive water, and now you'll need a lot of water to clean them.

Silt Covered Motorcycles
© AFP Photo/Punit Paranjpe

AFP  logo
Silt-covered motorcycles are pictured as floodwaters in the area recede in Srinagar (AFP Photo/Punit Paranjpe)


Via: News Yahoo & AFP




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Thursday, September 18th, 2014

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Cezeta Reborn, Beautiful, Powerful and Electric

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Electrical Scooters
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
click to see where Czech Republic is on the map
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Cezeta logo
Once upon a time, in the Czechoslovakia (now known as the Czech Republic), lived a scooter manufacturer called Cezeta (which was part of the more famous CZ Open CZ in a new window motorcycle manufacturer).

Cezeta Open Cezeta in a new window made between 1957 and 1964 some very advanced, both in style and performance, scooters. Their scooters have been featured in many "old" movies. They basically had two models, the Type 501Cezeta Type 501 and Type 502Cezeta Type 502 (put your mouse over the type to see an image of them).

In 1964 they closed their factory doors. But as is the case with many of these older brands, they don't stay away from the scene for very long. Many older brands, like Bultaco, Matchless, Ariel, and Norton (just to name a few) have come back to the international motorcycle scene. And this is the case for our Czech friends.

Cezeta Type 506

Last year Cezeta started hand-building a beautiful scooter that is based on the original Types 501 and 502. It has the same torpedo form, double seat, low center of gravity and the engine is ..... electric.

Cezeta Type 506

The Cezeta Type 506 Open Type 506 link in a new window uses an electric engine powered by 5 kWh Lithium-ion batteries. The batteries will last you a good 75 to 85 kilometers of city riding. With an optional regenerative braking, you can add 5-10% to the range.

The batteries are charged from a standard household electrical socket, and will take about 4.5 hours to go from 0% to 100% charge.

Cezeta Type 506

This hand built scooter is relatively cheap in purchase compared to its bigger scooter brothers (like BMW C Evolution), or electric motorcycles. The base price will set you back €9450 (remember that electricity is cheaper than gasoline, and there is practically no maintenance). There are a couple of optional extras, like special vintage lights, paint jobs etc.

The Type 506 electric scooter looks like a winner. It's beautiful, vintage combined with high-tech. What more do you want (to bad I just bought the BMW C Evolution).

Click here to read more about the Cezeta Type 506, or to order it Open Cezeta link in a new window.
Click here to access the Cezeta Facebook page Open Facebook link in a new window

Via: Electric Motorcycle Forum




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