Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The shaft drive UJM isn't dead, it just retired to Italy

In the glory days of the mid 1970s through to later 1980s, every single one of the "Big Four" Japanese manufacturers had at least a couple of UJM's in their line-up.
If you never heard the expression, UJM stands for "Universal Japanese Motorcycle" - a no bullshit, unpretentious, basic street bike that's just as good at getting you work every day, as it is for a coast to coast adventure trip. Such bikes came in many configurations - 2, 3 or 4 cylinders, air or water cooled, engine size varying from "medium" to "massive" - but most had one thing in common: they were available with a reliable, easy to maintain shaft drive option.
Moto-Guzzi V7 blue/white 2015
official Moto-Guzzi V7 promo image

Thursday, 11 June 2015

2015 Kawasaki Shaft Drive Motorcycle Lineup

Shame on you, Kawasaki Heavy Industries!

With a history of legendary shaft drive models like the Drifter 1500, KZ1300 and KZ1100 Spectre, the 2015 lineup contains but a single such machine, the Kawasaki Concourse 1400.

Are motorcycle enthusiasts really on course for a purely belt- and chain-driven future?

Monday, 8 June 2015

2015 Yamaha Shaft Drive Motorcycle Lineup

In the current model year, Yamaha Motor Co. are only offering three shaft drive machines, namely the FJR1300, the V-Max and the Super Tenere.

Let's say this again: the second largest manufacturer in the world, with a palette of some 30-odd models, offers a mere three types of shaft drive machine.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

2015 Honda Shaft Drive Motorcycle Lineup

In the current model year, Honda Motor Corp. are offering the following shaft drive machines:

  • GL1800 Gold Wing Grand Tourer
  • Gold Wing F6B and F6C Baggers
  • ST1300 Pan European
  • VT1300CX Fury
  • CTX1300
  • NM4 Vultus
  • VT750 Shadow

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Yamaha Super Ténéré XTZ1200

Yamaha have been making large dual purpose motorcycles under the (Super) Ténéré banner for something like 20 years now, but none of the earlier models have a lot in common with the new monster that is the Super Ténéré 1200. Clearly the crew from Iwata are dead set to seize the "big bore dualsport" crown from BMW's R 1200.

The new Super Ténéré sports its own unique high-tensile steel backbone frame and fuel injected 270-degree parallel twin engine, which work together to centralise the bike’s mass and lower its centre of gravity.