Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Author Passed Away

Robert Pirsig, author of the iconic novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, has died at the age of 88 ‘after a period of failing health’.

After being rejected by more than 120 publishers, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was published in 1974 to rave reviews and huge popularity. It remained near the top of the best-sellers list for a decade and has sold around five million copies.

Loosely autobiographical, it is a first-person father-son story that draws on a 17-day motorcycle trip Robert Pirsig took across the US in 1968 with his 11-year-old son, Chris. The story is widely viewed as a reflection on metaphysics and existential philosophy rather than a book on how to repair a motorcycle. It also contains flashbacks to a period in which the author was diagnosed as schizophrenic.

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The Affordable Road Legal Ducati V4 Desmosedici Confirmed

The ongoing story of Ducati’s forthcoming V4-powered road-legal superbike is sure to be the story in the business for 2017, and now the Ducati motorsport director Paolo Ciabatti has dropped more details about it.

Speaking to the press at the Imola WSBK round, Paolo Ciabatti confirmed the new motorcycle will be powered by a variation of the latst Desmosedici MotoGP engine.

‘There is not much I can say about this, honestly, but it is a kind of evolution of the plan for sportsbikes for Ducati,’ he said.

Developing a new engine for MotoGP in 2015 – which is what we are still using with some modifications and updates – was a good base for a production engine.

The project is there and you do not have to design a brand-new engine. You just need to make that concept work into a production engine.

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Valentino Rossi Declared Fit to Ride at Mugello MotoGP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi is declared fit to participate in this weekend's Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley.

Earlier this afternoon the nine-time World Champion underwent a routine medical check-up at the Autodromo del Mugello. VR46 fans from all over the world can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that FIM Medical Director, Dr Giancarlo Di Filippo, the Chief Medical Officer of the Mugello Circuit, Dr Remo Barbagli and the MotoGP Medical Director, Dr Angel Charte have found Rossi to be in a suitable condition to take part in his home Grand Prix, starting with tomorrow's free practice sessions.

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Thai Made Honda Rebel 500 Officially Launched in Indonesia

Yesterday evening the Thai made Honda Rebel 500 (CMX500) was officially launched in Indonesia. The new Honda Bobber-styled motorcycle received a positive response from the people that attended the launch party at the main Honda motorcycle dealer in Jakarta.

At the single evening event Honda was able to sell more than 40 Honda Rebel 500 motorcycles. The first Honda Rebel 500 motorcycles are expected to be delivered not later than August.

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The Suzuki GD110HU - Fuel Efficient Urban Commuter

The Suzuki GD110HU is the quintessential commuter motorcycle – comfortable and efficient. It’s aimed at urban commuters with an eye on fuel efficiency. We’ve been consistently getting a figure of around 60 kilometers for a liter of fuel. This 113cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine is simple and reliable.

The engine revs quite freely which makes it easy to build speed. Low-end torque is adequate but we would have liked more, especially when there’s a pillion onboard.

Despite its humble positioning, the Suzuki GD110HU can teach a thing or two about refinement to competing motorcycle of its class. Rev it and you will be greeted by a nice exhaust note and no vibration. Feels nice when cruising around as well. The clutch isn’t too sharp though and you need to coax the engine at the beginning to get it moving. But the motorcycle feels light and agile.

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The Royal Enfield Continental GT750 Parallel-Twin Seen in India

After spy picture first emerged from Spain, the upcoming Royal Enfield 750cc twin has been spotted in India. The Royal Enfield Continental GT750 gets an all-new 750cc air-cooled, fuel-injected parallel-twin engine that exhales through twin exhausts pipes.

The Royal Enfield Continental GT750’s engine is expected to make around 50 horsepower, significantly higher than the Continental GT500’s 29 horsepower.

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Yamaha Looks Back on 500 Grand Prix Wins

Yamaha reached the 500th Grand Prix victory milestone at the Grand Prix de France at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit. This exceptional achievement is a splendid occasion for Yamaha's racing stars of earlier years to celebrate the highlights of the company's 56-year run in Grand Prix racing.

Yamaha is proud to have reached the 500th Grand Prix milestone today at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit in France. This achievement has been reached through solid partnership and teamwork within the 'Yamaha family'.

Yamaha secured victories in the 125cc (47 wins), 250cc (165 wins), 350cc (63 wins), 500cc (120 wins), and MotoGP class (105 wins), adding up to 500 Grand Prix wins in total, according to FIM statistics.

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MotoGP Maverick Viñales is Victorious in Le Mans

Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales came out fighting, dominating the MotoGP field to take a sensational victory at the Grand Prix de France, sealing Yamaha’s 500th Grand Prix win. Valentino Rossi also showed a blistering pace in the French sunshine at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit. He was scrapping with his teammate in an epic podium battle for the win, but suffered an unlucky fall on the last lap.

Viñales was strong right from the beginning of the 28-lap French round. Starting from pole, he flew off the line to take the holeshot and slotted into second as he dived into turn 3, behind Johann Zarco. The Spaniard was on the case, shadowed by his teammate. With 22 laps Viñales made a textbook move on the satellite Yamaha rookie to take over the lead.

Now at the front, the Spaniard put the hammer down. He did everything in his power to escape from Zarco. He managed his pace to perfection and made sure he held on to his P1 position until he got in a fierce battle with a rapidly approaching Rossi, but the number 25 rider held firm. He was leading on the last lap, when the Doctor crashed out of the race, allowing him to bring his YZR-M1 over the finish line, 3.134s ahead of his closest rival.

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Motorcycling and the Future

For years, I’ve been laboring the point that motorcycle design and technology follows that of cars. And often with a lag of many years. The finances of the motorcycle industry are very little compared to the automobile world, which is why for many years the two arguably most innovative two-wheel companies are Honda and BMW. Both have car divisions that can bankroll their less profitable motorcycle siblings, and cross-pollinate a whole bunch of technology that they could otherwise simply not afford.

It’s also why I was one of the few who openly applauded Audi’s takeover of Ducati. And me, a 1098owner, no less. Has Ducati lost its Italian flair in the interim, as everyone feared? Nope. But their financial is certainly more secure.

Well, despite this inspired wisdom on motorcycle hand-me-downs, things might be about to change. Road transportation is at a turning point, after which, cars are going to be very different beasts than the ones we’ve grown up with. Some of the latest car design studies have no windows, because nobody will need to see where they’re going. Afew interiors offer swiveling seats around a central table, so the occupants can have a business meeting, or share in a friendly family environment while hurting down the highway. One recent BMW study featured bookshelves no less, illustrating the company’s confidence in accident-free autonomous motoring.

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The 2017 Honda X-ADV Scooter or Crossover Motorcycle

Honda combining its expertise in adventure bikes and scooters, the new Honda X-ADV crossover motorcycle is the brainchild of Italian Honda designer Daniele Lucchesi, whose aim was to take an easy-to-ride, nimble and frugal city commuter, give it some genuine back road ability and throw in a hint of off-road potential for good measure.

After some initial hesitation, Honda finally gave the green light for the project, and the first crossover motorcycle or adventure scooter, whichever way you want to look at it was born. It sounds outlandish, but in a way it makes a lot of sense: if you can have practicality and ability in the same package then why not? But is it a motorcycle or a scooter, and most importantly, what’s it like to ride?

It takes a while for me to take it all in as I stand and stare at the Honda X-ADV. It’s not only the concept of a crossover motorcycle that needs some processing, it’s also all the detail jumping out and demanding your attention. The angular, almost origami-like design has so many surfaces and intricate details that you could look at the motorcycle for hours. The build quality is just superb; every panel and component joins together with incredible accuracy.

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Do you like MotoGP racing? Which team do you like?

  •  Yamaha
  •  Honda
  •  Ducati
  •  Apriiia
  •  Suzuki
  •  KTM
  •  No Specific Team
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