The big bike end of Harley-Davidson’s India line-up has received three new additions in the Softail, Touring and CVO categories with the new Breakout, Street Glide Special and Limited models. [Read more…]
Having visited the Triumph factory at Hinckley, it was time to savour the Daytona at the historical Mallory Park. Here is what the experience was like.
Story: Aspi Bhathena
Photography: Aspi Bhathena and Triumph Motorcycles
After the plant visit it was time to ride the Daytona 675R and the British Supersport Championship leading Daytona at the historical Mallory Park circuit. The Mallory Park was well known in the past for the race of the year and especially for that epic battle between John Cooper and Giacomo Agostini where John beat Ago and his 500-cc factory MV Agusta on a production-based 750-cc BSA Rocket 3.
It was midday by the time I had finished the paperwork at the circuit office and the two stunning Daytona bikes were ready for me in the pits. The crystal white 675R is a very sharp and aggressive looking motorcycle. The 600 Supersport class was dominated by the Japanese big four until the launch of the Daytona. Apart from the three-cylinder engine configuration of the Triumph, there is hardly any difference between the English motorcycle and its Japanese counterparts.
The new short-stroke three-cylinder motor has a bigger bore and a shorter stroke, allowing it rev 500 RPM higher, and a broader spread of torque, at the same time lowering the piston speed for less wear and tear. For the first time a production motorcycle from Triumph has been fitted with titanium valves. The lighter metal allows the valves to be shaped for better gas flow. Now the cylinder-block is separate from the crankcase and has Nikasil bores compared to the cast-iron wet liners.
The fuel injection system has two injectors per cylinder for accurate fuelling throughout the rev range. The ram air intake is routed through the head stock. The power output is up by 3 PS to 128 PS and the maximum torque is up by 2 Nm to 74 Nm. The three-cylinder motor is mated to a six-speed gearbox via a slipper clutch. The slipper clutch prevents the rear wheel from locking up under aggressive downshifts. The six-speed ‘box now has a quick shifter for track and road use.
The all-new frame incorporates improved air-flow to the air-box through the head stock and uses fewer sections in its construction, improving strength and reducing the number of welds required. The rear sub-frame is made of two-piece high pressure die-cast aluminium. The wheelbase is shorter thanks to the sharper head angle. They have achieved better mass centralisation by moving the under-seat exhaust to below the engine.
KTM thrilled many with their RC200 and RC390 sport models when they first showcased them. Now though, the website update would mean that they will be in India sooner than we expected.
The KTM India website states that the RC200 and RC390 are ‘coming soon to India’. This means that the launch is likely to take place in the first half of 2014, rather than the latter half as we first expected. The bikes will roll out of Bajaj’s Chakan facility and are expected to carry price tags only slightly higher than their respective Duke siblings.
Both bikes retain the same engine specifications as the Duke line, but feature parts and bodywork specifically made for the RC line. Thus, you get a four-valve, liquid cooled single cylinder motor: 199.5cc and 25 PS in the RC200 and 373.2cc and 43.5 PS in the RC390. The tank capacity is only marginally lower at approximately 10 litres usable. The dry weights for the RC200 and RC390 are 137.5 kg and 147 kg respectively.
The RC line will offer a much sportier riding position than the Duke line and come packing full fairings, aggressive styling and what is sure to be nimble handling. The RC line is the first derivative of their Moto3 program. However, expect performance to be thrilling while being offered in a package which lasts longer and brings higher levels of refinement and durability. For the uninitiated, KTM’s track bike and Moto3 contender, the RC250R, makes 50 PS at 13,000 rpm from a 249.5cc single. The bike weighs only 83 kg. That’s a power-to-weight ratio of 602 PS/tonne!
We expect Bajaj to showcase the KTM RC200 and RC390 at the upcoming Auto Expo. The response they generate will in all probability decide the time of launch, and it looks set to be sooner rather than later already.
See more of what you can expect from these bikes in this video:
Story: Jim Gorde