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. 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Suzuki GSX 1100G - the Shaft Drive Gixxer

When the GSX1100G was introduced in 1991, the bike press didn't really know what to make of it. Here was a derivative of the mighty GSX-R1100 "slingshot" engine, in a heavyweigt touring chassis with distive retro styling reminiscent of the VX800 model introduced around the same time.

Just like the earlier GS Suzuki models, ”G” after the model name tells that GSX1100G was shaft driven. The package was completed by 5-speed gearbox, oversize disc brakes front and rear, and 6-spoke light alloy wheels.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Simson AWO 425

The AWO 425 has the distinction of being the only four stroke motorcycle manufactured in the former East Germany. In production from 1950 to 1961, the AWO was a popular base for choppers and custom bikes during the 1970s and 1980s,  retains a cult following both as custom bike and classic restoration right through to the present day.
Following WW2, the gun factory in Suhl was converted into the Soviet controlled Avtovelo bike company, in order to raise funds for war reparation payments. Later, Avtovelo turned into the German-owned Simson company (more famous for making 50cc mopeds) and to distinguish from the mopeds, enthusiasts always referred to the large bikes as AWO.
Despite the 425 in the model number, the Simson has a 250 cc engine, foot-operated 4-speed gearbox with auxiliary hand shift, and shaft drive to the rear wheel. Popular legend has it that the machine was originally planned with chain drive, however in the post-war economy there was a lack of good quality chain so shaft drive was used instead.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Honda NTV, Revere and Deauville

The Honda NTV was introduced in 1988 as a follow-up model for the VT 500, to recapture some of the success of the legendary CX 500 series. In a way this makes the NTV the last shaftdrive UJM.
The original NTV650 (sold in some markets as "Honda Revere") was a naked bike with a 57 horsepower 650cc water cooled V-Twin engine, mounted in the traditional position with one cylinder in front of the other, and a technologically advanced single-sided swingarm suspension known as "Pro Arm".
The engine shares many similarities with those in other Honda V-Twin models like Africa Twin, Shadow or Bros/Hawk. In fact, the Bros/Hawk series sold in North America and Japan is in many ways simply a chain-drive version of the NTV.
The bikes have a reputation for extreme reliability, with many examples covering in excess of 250,000 miles without any major repairs. Once things go wrong however, the revere is not an easy bike to work on! How about removing the water cooling system just to change a spark plug?