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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Page 126 of 127

With all the important street bikes that are always on display at Milan. sometimes the dirtoriented machines can slip through the cracks. Allowing that to happen would be a serious mistake, as there are invariably several unique and newsworthy dirt bikes that get unveiled. Here is a brief synopsis of some of the more interesting off-road machines that were to be found in Milan. D Following the lead of Yamaha and its lauded 250F four-stroke models, several European manufacturers are IAbovel A blue MY? The production _rsIon of the F4 SPR sportblke was on display along with a k1tted-up version featuring varlous MY Agusta aftermarket parts that are now available. !Belowl The Honda RC51-engined Mondlal PIega Superblke is allegedly ready to go into production In December with the first 150 units slated for assembly in the company's fac:toIy near Monza. Company .....resentatives say the bike will be ready for homologation for World Superl)lke racing In 2002. introducing quarter-liter thumper machines themselves. KTM has been racing one at the World Championship Enduro level, and Husqvarna debuted a 250cc four-stroke at the recent ISDE (American Fred Hoess raced one). Like Hoess' bike, this TC250 motocross version features an electric starter (and no kickstart lever). and like Yamaha's YZF, it is legal in the 125cc twostroke class. Makes one wonder if it's got Steve Lamson's name on it... Here's another Italian 250cc four-stroke motocrosser, this one from VOR, which recently opened up an American office near San Diego, Califomia (they're in the same buildling as Italian plastic manufacturer Acerbis' U.S. importer). Noteworthy trickery includes the aluminum fuel tank, perimeter frame and bizarre forward-swinging kickstart lever. firms Suzuki's leading position in large-capacity urban transport - the company was the first to produce a maxi-scooter, in 1999 - and it's sure- ly only a matter of time before this transmission technology appears on a motorcycle. Maybe they should talk to Italjet. Kawasaki presented no completely new models at Milan, but concentrated instead on detail improvements to Hs existing range, headed by a revamped version of the ZX- 12R with more than 140 changes, with a restyled frontal appearance and various engine modifications, including a heavier flywheel giving 20-percent more inertia for a smoother pickup, and a remapped EFI. The stiffer chassis has revised steering geometry, with a wider 25-degree fork angle and reduced 28mm offset on the revised front suspension, to give more trail all aimed at enhancing stability, while the rear swingarm has a revised link for the Uni-Trak rear end. The IX-9R has also been improved, this time with more than 130 detail changes, with a 10-percent heavier crank and various chassis modifications, including a swap to four-piston brake calipers from sixpiston ones. Still no fuel injection on this model, though, nor on the new Speaking of electric starters, check out this aftermarket system that was spied on a Yamaha YZF model by our photographer at Milan. Honestly, we don't know much about the unit, other than the fact that it's apparently made by a company called Ramirez, and it doesn't exactly blend in with the stock motor's lines. 636cc version of the IX-6R, which is essentially unchanged apart from a 2mm overbore compared to the existing 599cc model which will continue to be produced for sale in the USA, thus making it eligible for worldwide Supersport competition - just as well, Here's a Vertemati that looks pretty much like bikes we've seen in the past from that Italian manufacturer of extremely trick four-stroke dirt bikes, except for the "450" sticker on the swingarm. The bike is no doubt a response to the AMA's rules limiting four-stroke d1isplacement to 450cc in the 250cc two-stroke class. since it appears set to wrap up the AMA Supersport 600cc title this season and has a shot at clinching the World crown. The extra 37cc is aimed at enhancing torque and rideability this on the bike which was already the most user-friendly in real-world road riding conditions - rather than outright power, and is a fascinating step given current efforts by the FIM and series promoters Octagon to allow a 10-percent capacity hike for exactly the same reasons to fourcylinder 750cc machines taking part in the World Superbike Championship. Sounds like an 820cc IX- 7R would soon be on the cards, if (when?) that happens: maybe in Munich, a year from now. _ Now that didn't take long: With Honda's much-anticipated CRF450R four-stroke motocrosser barely off the assembly line, the Japanese manufacturer's European importers are already tinkering with it. This motard version is extremely clean, especially considering how little time was available to come up with it.

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