Raves, rants and reviews
Raves, Rants & Reviews

Motoport Ultra II Kevlar Mesh Intelligent Alternative ADV Jacket

22/10/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to jackets for adventure motorcycle riding. They are available in different types of material and designs for different types of conditions. Pricing varies a lot too; you get what you pay for.

The only difficult part – and the most confusing – in choosing a jacket, adventure riders will tell you, is finding a do-it-all jacket. Some brands have jackets with good crash armour protection but they can be heavy and stiff. Others have excellent rain protection but they are too hot in summer.  Read more…

Yamaha Dark Side MT-09 850cc Naked Triple

12/06/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

In a classical marketing stint, Yamaha released a “The Dark Side of Japan” video teaser of a “secret” new bike. On 11 June 2013, Yamaha launched the MT-09 850 triple, to be named FZ-09 in the USA.

Featuring Yamaha’s brand-new 850cc transverse three-cylinder Crossplane engine, it is not only the new technology that is exciting but the fact that, after a recession-driven hiatus, the motorcycle industry is on the move again. BMW launched the semi-watercooled R1200GS, KTM introduced the mighty 1190, and Suzuki, Indian, Victory and others have new machines in the making.  Read more…

New generation Unimog

18/05/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

Unimog stands for UNIversal-MOtor-Gerat – Universal Motor Machine. Universal it is indeed; this dinkey-toy lookalike four wheel drive Mercedes has been crossing rivers and mountains and all kinds of obstacles since 1947.

It was developed to be used as agricultural vehicle but has found favour with many armies in the world. With a strong chassis and huge amount of torque, there is little that can stop the versatile Unimog. It can carry and pull big loads.  Read more…

Adventure trick bikes

23/04/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

The on-off road adventure motorcycle market offers a wide variety of super-nice toys. The mid-size faithfuls have been around for 30-odd years and are still going strong: Kawasaki KLR650, Suzuki DR650 and Honda XR650L. Add the BMW G650GS Sertao, Yamaha XT660Z Ténéré and Husqvarna TR650 Terra and you’ll be spoilt for choice.

They’re all nice bikes but if you suddenly hit a sandy twisty or rocky hill any of them suddenly weighs a ton-and-a-half. Drop it a few times and even the BMW G650 X-Challenge, KTM 690 Enduro R and Honda XR650R become back-breakers.  Read more…

Ferrari F12belinetta and LaFerrari

15/04/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

Quicker than the Ferrari Enzo around Fiorano, Ferrari’s test track, the 730-bhp F12berlinetta is furiously fast, capable of 340km/h (211mph). It accelerates from 0–100km/h (62 mph) in 3.1 seconds.

But faster still is the LaFerrari, the 963bhp petrol-electric supercar that reaches the 100km/h mark in less than 3 seconds and runs past the F12berlinetta’s top speed, reaching 349km/h (217mph).  Read more…

10 tips for safer car travel

27/03/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

1. Safe car – before you leave, check your tyre pressure, water, oil, brakes, windscreen wipers and the condition of the spare tyre. Refer to your car manual for safety checks.

2. Plan ahead – even if you have driven the route a hundred times, stop for a few minutes every hour to refresh your body and brain.

3. Seat belts can save the lives of the driver and the passengers sitting in front and at the back. Buckle up!  Read more…

Extreme Lada Niva hill climb

13/03/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

What do you call a Lada Niva on top of the hill? A miracle.

You probably know a few Lada Niva jokes yourself but actually Lada is having the last laugh. It was the first mass-produced 4×4, launched in 1977, and still being manufactured in numbers. Sure, they might break easy but they are easy and cheap to fix. And for that reason you’ll find them all over the world, tackling the roughest terrain and usually beating it.  Read more…

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7

17/01/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7

The seventh generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the C7, is one of the most modern-looking American cars and one of the best looking cars in the world. “An instant classic,” comes to mind.

The small block LT1 6.2L direct injection V-8 pushes 335kW (450 bhp) through a 7-speed manual or 6-speed paddle shift auto gearbox – with an 8-speed auto shifter said to be in the planning – to the 19-inch  rear wheels. The 285/35 wide tyres are needed to handle the 610Nm (450 lb/ft) torque which will pull 1g in cornering.  Read more…

Boeing 787 Screamliner

16/01/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 – the first of which took to the skies in September 2011 – is said to be one of the most advanced, quietest and most fuel efficient airliners ever. On paper its specifications fitted the “Dreamliner” tag perfectly, prompting the most pre-launch orders ever for a wide-body passenger jet, 677. But it hasn’t been all plain sailing.

Production of the 787 Dreamliner has suffered a number of setbacks since its inception in 2003. Several design and logistical problems led to a number of delivery delays. And to add insult to injury, the few 787s that has been delivered has been grounded for various manufacturing faults, turning the Dreamliner into a “Screamliner.”   Read more…

Big bore motorcycles 2013

14/01/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

Big bore bikes in the 700-pound-plus weight class always impress. As the saying goes, “There is no replacement for displacement.” And while this is not always true in terms of horsepower, it is indisputable in sound power. Press the happy button, stand back and enjoy the moto symphony. If Brahms was alive today he probably would have ridden a Harley.

Or a Victory. Or a Vulcan. Or is it the new Moto Guzzi California? You see, here’s the counterpoint in the economy: big bad budgets and big bad bikes seem to form the perfect harmony. How it works only Wassily Leontief could have explained.  Read more…

« Previous | Next »