Just announced at EICMA 2016 is the 2017 Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer, Bologna’s interpretation of the genre created by the British. Unlike the original Scrambler, the Cafe Racer is all about pavement pounding and racing from one coffee shop to the next, just as the Ton Up Boys would have done 50 years ago. With that in mind, the Cafe Racer ditches the 18-inch front wheel of its other Scrambler cousins and replaces it with a 17-inch hoop to match the rear. The Pirelli Scorpion tires are also tossed in favor of the road-oriented Diablo Rosso II – a 120/70-17 sits up front, and a 180/55-17 in the rear – for proper corner-carving abilities.
We’re just days away from the 2016 edition of EICMA, the world’s largest motorcycle show. As usual, Ducati opens up the EICMA festivities with a presentation the day before the official media day, and you can watch it streamed live right here on MO on Nov. 7 at 10:30 am EST (7:30 am PST).
Within the past week, Ducati has published two videos on its YouTube page teasing two new Scrambler variants: the Cafe Racer and Desert Sled. The first video, published on October 11, teases the Cafe Racer model. The 14-second long video doesn’t reveal too much, obviously, other than a man in a dimly-lit garage standing next to the Cafe Racer, about to install its nicely-styled leather-wrapped seat onto the bike. Seeing as there’s hardly any light in the garage, it’s difficult to make out any features of the new Scrambler. However, the California Air Resources Board has already certified both the Cafe Racer and Desert Sled models, so we know both bikes are based on the standard 803cc Scrambler and not the smaller Sixty2. Given the Cafe Racer name, it’s reasonable to expect lower bars, possibly a solo seat with a cowl over the tail, and street-biased tires on 17-inch wheels instead of the knobs and 18-inch front wheel on the standard Scrambler.
Having low expectations exceeded is always preferable to high expectations not being met. With all the hype surrounding Triumph’s Bonneville Thruxton reboot, I attended the press launch under the premise of the Thruxton being a stylized Bonneville racer lacking the performance for which it’s namesake implies. How surprised was I to discover that a traction-control system was the only thing keeping the fuel tank from smacking me in the chest when grabbing a fistful of throttle for the first time.
You probably know Ryan Reynolds from his many acting gigs, including his most recent gig as the star of the action/anti-superhero flick, “Deadpool.” But did you know he also rides motorcycles? A rider since the age of 15, when he bought a Honda CB750 – a “pile of crap,” as he calls it – from a friend of his. The machine itself may have been in tattered condition, but the experience changed his life as he has loved riding ever since.
Recently, Bimota gave us a preview of the new models and technologies it would be unveiling at EICMA 2015. Among them was a new Tesi 3D RaceCafe model utilizing the famous hub steering seen in the rest of the Tesi line. Now we finally have photos of the Tesi 3D RaceCafe to go along with the specs revealed earlier.
Spy photographers have spotted what appears to be a café racer-styled prototype with what looks like the Single-cylinder engine and frame of the KTM 690 Duke. Now, the test rider’s KTM-branded helmet and jacket may foreshadow an orange-clad future for the finished product, but the H-branded gloves and café racer style suggest the new model will instead wear Husqvarna blue, white and yellow once the camouflage is lifted.
Star Motorcycles has added to its pair of performance bobbers, the Bolt and Bolt R-Spec, with the 2015 Bolt C-Spec. However, when you have a model line that’s selling well, you don’t want to change it too much. So, Star massaged a little cafe racer into the Bolt’s attitude. While the power train remained the same, the pulled back bar was tossed and replaced with clip-ons. The pegs were moved 6 in. rearward, and the passenger accommodations are swapped for a sporty seat cowl. The front and rear suspensions were bumped in length a tad to gain some cornering clearance, resulting in a Bolt that likes to go around corners a little more than its older siblings.
What do you do when you have a two-year-old cruiser platform that has not only sold well since its inception, but also has risen to the top of your brand’s sales? If you’re Star Motorcycles , you look at how this successful platform can be tweaked to be sold alongside the existing models, hopefully securing an even larger slice of the pie. This is exactly what Star has done with the 2015 Bolt C-Spec. With the Bolt, there was really only one direction to go with this new model. Neither a Bolt Tourer nor a Bolt Classic (complete with deeply valence fenders and chrome baubles) fit the Bolt’s stripped-down aesthetic. Instead, Star decided to inject a little more caffeine into its self-described performance bobber. The result is the C-Spec.
Never underestimate the power of a man determined. Umberto Borile is a testament to this fact. Inspired by the late John Britten, Borile made it a mission to create his perfect bike – a cafe racer. However, being Italian, it was in Borile’s blood to add his own Italian flare to his creation. The result is the Borile B500CR. In this week’s Church of MO feature, Yossef Schvetz tells us what it’s like to be the first journalist to test ride a distinctly Italian take on a thoroughly British specialty.
In a world of increasing electronic complexity, Royal Enfield’s Continental GT is a bastion of motorcycling simplicity. And that’s just how Enfield’s CEO, Siddhartha Lal, likes it. Over lunch on our Continental GT media ride, he relates how the more simple a motorcycle is, the more reliable the bike and the easier it is to fix if there is a problem. No argument there, but what’s his underlying point?
After 90 years, BMW wants to send a message. Yes, the company’s representatives and press releases said that the 2014 BMW R nineT is a present for the company, its customers and motorcyclists – which is to be expected. Doing anything for 90 years is admirable, and being, arguably, at the top of your game as you celebrate the anniversary is even better.