Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 10 10

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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2001 Milan Motorcycle Show priorities. And just to concentrate hi and other Western minds still better a window on the future world 0 motorcycling was displayed on th Hyosung stand at Milan. The Korea manufacturer unveiled its own 600c Comet V-twin naked sports bike powered by a liquid-cooled eight valve 90-degree V -twin engine tha owes nothing to any other manufac turer, with a corresponding 75-degre V2 smaller sister, the Comet 250. Bu it's the bigger bike which will put th frighteners on European - and Japan ese - manufacturers, producing claimed 65 horsepower at 9000 rp from its 79 x 61.2mm 600cc engine slotted into a twin-spar steel fram heavily reminiscent of a Honda Bro of less than 10 years ago, fitted wit upside-down forks and a 300m front disc, which the Koreans say wil employ ABS. Selling for the same price as a Italian-made 250cc scooter, th Hyosung Comet is just the tip of the Oriental iceberg that established bike manufacturers all know is heading their way. DUCATI By ALAN CATHCART PHOTOS BY KYOICHI NAKAMURA AND JOE BONNELLO MlLAN,ITALY, SEPT. 19 double shadow hung over the opening of the 59th Milan Motorcycle Show, cast not only by the terrorist atrocities in America just eight days earlier, but in a commercial sense by the sharp downturn in the small-capacity scooter market in Italy, which underpins the profitability and even the very existence of firms such as Aprilia, Piaggio, Malaguti and Benell!. A 43-percent reduction in sales of 50cc scooters over the first half of the year (to just 115,000 units against 353,000 12 months prior) sounded plenty of alarm bells in what is Europe's largest market for powered two-wheelers, even if motorcycle sales had a correspondingly healthy increase over the same period, up 28 percent over 1999. Lots of pressure then, for companies like Piaggio, to refocus on proper bikes, with the re-Iaunch of the Gilera brand at Milan with a Suzuki GSXR600-powered Supersport, Benelli to finally kickstart production of the street version of its Tornado Superbike triple, and Aprilia to concentrate even harder on promoting sales of its RSV1000 V-twin range - to the extent, perhaps, of focusing still more closely on World Superbike success A by paying Noriyuki Haga the billions of lire needed to persuade him to race the Mille in World Superbike next season, if necessary at the expense of being late for school in GP1 with the three-cylinder four-stroke they have under development. (Above) One of the surprises of this Milan Motorcycle Show was the Korean-made Hyosung Comet. How about a 800cc sportblke for about the same price as a 250cc Italian scooter'? That's what the Comet is. (Right) Dubbed "a machine for a realĀ· world rider" by Ducat! chief designer Pierre Terblanche, the Multlstrada made Its debut at the Milan show. It's a desmo V-twin sportblke that Isn't a sports tourer. COMET In commercial terms, Superbike success sells product, while Grand Prix racing is all about corporate egos: a hard-headed realist like Aprilia owner Ivano Beggio may be unlikely to think twice about the balance of Meanwhile, two companies in different but comparable sectors stood out at Milan as brimming with selfconfidence and technical innovation in their specialist, but by no means niche, market segments: KTM from the off-road sector, and Aprilia's

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