What Makes a V4 Engine So Special?


Engine configuration is a compromise, and for a motorcycle it’s a vital one considering its interaction with the rest of the machine – both in terms of package and dynamically. However, there’s clearly more than one way to do it since there are a wide variety of possible motorcycle/engine configurations that work well, with all of their creators claiming that they are the panacea. So let’s think about the advantages and disadvantages of some…

Width is probably the most important dimension regarding how a motorcycle feels, especially for the novice rider. Simple, then: let’s build a single or a V-twin. While this is good for width at the top of the engine, the gearbox is probably the widest part – getting the gears and the clutch on a single shaft dictates this. So a two-cylinder bank probably gives the minimum practical width. And a V-configuration is nearly always more expensive to manufacture than an inline one for any given number of cylinders, too.

Of course wel all like performance, and to generate it more cylinders always helps. This is because for the same capacity and bore/stroke ratio smaller cylinders give a shorter stroke, and this, within mechanical limits, gives the ability to rev. The Honda VFR800F engine has the same bore and stroke of the original 800 from 1998, which shared its bore and architecture with the Honda RVF759R (RC45) superbike, so it can clearly make power.

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Historical Shah Alam Stadium Hosts FIM Asia Supermoto Championship 2016 Finale!


Round , Shah Alam Stadium, 17 – 18 December 2016. Gates will drop for the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship 2016 series at the world-renowned Shah Alam Stadium on 17 and 18 December 2016 from 9AM – 6PM (+8:00GMT), with over 20 international riders from 14 countries contending for the last time for overall standing and championship title.

Home to Selangor FA and host to countless global concert tours and football competition including the Chelsea FA and Arsenal FA’s friendly match against Malaysia’s national team, the stadium has the capability to hold a capacity of 80,372 audiences. This remarkable moment for the FIM Asia Supermoto Championship will transform its vicinity into a show stunning track to crown the overall champion of the 2016 series.

Satheswaran Mayachandran, CEO of Asia Supersports Group, said that the stadium has its charm and is the perfect venue to host the finale. “Shah Alam Stadium has a strong history and reputation in hosting various international sports and activities. Crowning the championship’s overall champion will be historical for the race.”

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Yamaha YZF-R3 engine problems after recall fixed


I have to confess that these past few months have been a bit busy. Most of us have been on the road for the most part. This meant the Yamaha YZF-R3 has been a bit neglected of late. Hence the low amount of kilometers on the clock.

The last time you heard about the little blue machine, everything was hunky-dory, and I was just waiting for some new tires. Around the same time, Yamaha had issued a recall of Yamaha YZF-R3. This was to replace some faulty components – the oil pump assembly and the clutch pressure plates. To be honest, I hadn’t had any problems such as clutch slippage or oil pump failure, so I was considering ignoring the recall. But then I decided against that. Why take a risk? So off it went to be fixed.

Now that the motorcycle is back, I really can’t tell any noticeable difference. But considering you really don’t feel anything wrong with the clutch or oil pump till they start malfunctioning, this isn’t saying much. But since the motorcycle also got a full service along with the recall, it has become a lot smoother and feels a lot tighter. It’s come back with a nice layer of polish on it too, and it looks shiny and new.

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Forged Wheels or Cast Wheels


Casting is relatively simple: first you create a mold, then you pour molten metal into it. This only works for simple shapes though. Casting thin sections, for example, is difficult, as the liquid metal cools quickly as it enters these and solidifies before they’re filled.

Forcing the metal in under pressure fills the mold more quickly, giving the metal less time to cool, but this causes bubbles to form.

This is a problem for two reasons. One is that it weakens the metal, so you need more to retain enough strength, and it weighs more. Second, it means you can’t machine the metal very much. Go too deep and you’re into the porous inner, which means you get a much weaker structure and, on a wheel, it might not be airtight either.

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The Lego Technic BMW R1200GS Adventure Set


It can be siad that today’s Lego sets feature too many unique parts capable of building only specific models. Surprisingly, the same has also become applicable for the more mechanically-inclined Lego Technic sets.

Gone is the era where you had only generic parts and you could build whatever your imagination let you. But we really don’t mind when the only model you can build is a faithful replica of a BMW R1200GS Adventure motorcycle.

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Lightweight Wheels Worth Buying?


Some motorcycle owner asked me are lightweight wheels worth buying. A few years back I fitted a set of lighter BST carbon-fiber rims to my Ducati 1098. I was very impressed about the lighter wheels, and would recommend them to anybody who can afford them, especially if the motorcycle has heavier cast items like the Ducati Multistrada from the person who asked about lightweight wheels.

I have used lightweight wheels over the past 10 years, and have never been disappointed by the performance they deliver. Whether you’re on road or racetrack, the significant reduction in unsprung mass dangling at the end of your fork and swingarm is revelatory.

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The 2017 Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer and Scrambler Desert Sled


The Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer and Scrambler Desert Sled are two new variations to join the 803cc Ducati Scrambler family.

With 17-inch wheels shod in Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires, raised clip-on handlebars, bar-end mirrors and Termignoni exhaust system, the Scarmbler Cafe Racer also has fully-adjustable, black anodised upside-down forks, a unique seat and cover, along with a cut-down front midguard and small nose fairing. It also gains a radial master cylinder for the radially-mounted four-pot Brembo single caliper brake.

The number ‘54’ on the side boards once belong to Bruno Spaggiari, a highly successful Ducati rider who raced in 1968, on a single-cylinder 350cc machine.

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The Lifan KP150 - 150cc Liquid-Cooled Commuter


When I was asked to look at the Lifan KP150 I didn’t have great hopes for the around 59,000 THB 150cc single-cylinder naked-bike. How can they possibly produce a good motorcycle for so little cash?

The liquid-cooled 150cc single-cylinder, four-stroke engine runs a conventional carburetor, which means you have a manual choke and even a fuel tap – just like the motorcycles from yesteryear. In its favor over some other 150 to 200cc motorcycles in the same price range, you have good working disc brakes front and rear, a single rear shock with preload adjustment, and they’ve even tried to make it sporty looking with a small top fairing, and some nice looking aluminum alloy wheels.

The fueling might not be as perfect as some fuel-injected engine, but there is a pleasing bark from the single exhaust pipe. The exhaust note is actual a bit reassuring, with some of the latest small-capacity motorcycles I have a hard time figuring out if the engine is still running, of course I can open the throttle but opening the throttle on a 150 to 250cc motorcycle waiting at the traffic lights being my age would seriously look strange...

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Human Behavior and Motorcycling


Human beings are never satisfied. It just isn’t built into our wiring. Forgive me for just having discovered this. You see, I firmly believe I have the best job in the world. My work lets me play with my machines. And by that I mean ‘mostly’ motorcycles. I am free to do what I like, and I usually do. So far I seem to have behaved myself well enough for this to be acceptable to all parties involved.

I make enough money to buy a motorcycle or two, feed myself and most importantly, afford and buy enough motorcycle gear to keep myself safe. So I cannot complain right?

If you ask my wife about this, she would have burst out laughing at this point. And she would be right.

The other day, over a round of drinks, a friend asked me the simplest question of all, ‘If you were to lose your job right now, what would you do?’ I am still surprised by my first reaction. ‘Why, I’d take motorcycle and disappear for a month.’ And after that? ‘I figure I’ll have two months of frugal living within which to find a new job.’

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Max Biaggi Returns to the MotoGP Racing Circus


Max Biaggi will return to the MotoGP paddock, this time as the team manager of the Mahindra Racing Moto3 outfit. The Italian double WSBK champion and four-time 250cc Wold Champion, has also been signed on by Mahindra Racing as brand ambassador ahead of the 2017 season of the championship.

Starting in March 2017, Max Biaggi will be the team principal of a Mahindra-factory-backed team in the Italian CIV championship, as well as in some races of the Spanish FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 junior World Championship.

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Poll

How many times have you crashed your motorcycle in the last three years?

  •  Never
  •  Once
  •  Twice
  •  Three times
  •  Four times
  •  Five times
  •  More than 6 times
  •  More than 10 times
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