Cars & Motorcycles
Australian Motorcycle News

Australian Motorcycle News Vol 69 Issue 18

Australian Motorcycle News covers all things motorcycling from around the world, featuring new-model releases as well as comprehensive bike comparisons and race reports in every issue.

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25 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
muppet show

THE SELFISH EVIL of a toilet paper hoarder – which wasn’t even a thing a few weeks ago – ain’t far away from the same selfish road muppet that changes lanes on top of a motorcyclist, then refuses to even hand out a wave of apology. It’s time we all got in a big room of mirrors and took a long hard look at ourselves The same mindset that refuses to take on the responsibility of making a mistake on the road, and we all make them, stubbornly staring straight ahead after nearly rubbing a fellow human on the bitumen, is the same kind of person that thinks “stuff everyone else, as long as I can wipe my butt, the rest of you can just hose it off”. Who to blame for…

1 min.
german cruiser closes in

WHEN IT COMES to keeping secrets, BMW has had a bad run in recent months with design patents for all its latest models falling into our hands long before the final production machines are unveiled. Now its R 18 cruiser has joined the likes of the S 1000 XR, F 900 XR, S 1000 RR and F 900 R in leaking via the Brazilian patent office. It turns out the R 18 range will start with two models; a traditional naked cruiser and a faired bagger complete with comfier seating and standard luggage. We already know the R 18’s all-new, air-cooled boxer twin engine has an 1802cc capacity and four pushrodoperated valves for each massive 901cc cylinder. Two spark plugs in each cylinder head help burn the big gulps of air…

1 min.
look at me!

STARTING WITH THE straightforward version, the naked cruiser’s styling is virtually identical to the R 18/2 concept bike shown at EICMA last year. While it lacks the concept’s low-ish bars and small nose cowl, the seat and rear fender look much the same. It also gains traditional wire wheels instead of cast alloys. The fork looks much the same as the concept, but the radial-mount Brembos are replaced by smaller, conventionally-mounted calipers and less imposing discs. The naked bike’s exhaust, already seen in some earlier spy shots, is likely to be divisive. The design – with a slightly blobby-looking silencer on each side, ending in a stylised fishtail – is clearly intended to avoid an obvious, separate end can, but it’s not entirely successful from a styling point of view. No…

1 min.
big bruiser

BOTH VERSIONS ARE likely to weigh 300-plus kilos. That engine is vast, and BMW’s own figures show it weighs 110.8kg. Despite alloy wheels, the faired bagger version will be the heaviest with long fenders and a wide fairing, which turns with the bars. Two panniers give it a modicum of luggage space, and the seat is much thicker and plusher than the naked version. The petrol tank is taller and wider, giving more capacity and a longer touring range, and the handlebars are lower and pulled further back. The exhausts are lower and more conventional-looking but also look like they’re going to restrict lean angle more.…

1 min.
honda hints at vfr revival

IF YOU ARE disappointed Honda’s new Fireblade isn’t a MotoGP-inspired V4, you will be pleased to know the firm hasn’t written off its traditional engine configuration. The long-running and highly-regarded VFR800 disappeared from the Australian market in 2018 but we have seen a new patent application that shows Honda is still working on V4 machines, with a new generation likely. The designs shown here appear to be a development of the VFR1200F, although since the focus is on the engine rather than the model it’s illustrated in, there’s a good chance that any updates will actually appear in the adventure-style VFR1200X. The patent relates to the fairly dull issue of misfire detection, where sensors measure crankshaft speed and pick out the tiny variations that indicate a cylinder isn’t firing properly. It’s a technology…

5 min.
coronavirus the facts

HOW BAD ARE the flow-on effects going to get of the new virus that is sweeping the world? Researchers are struggling to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, which is closely related to the SARS virus. The infection, first identified as coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has now infiltrated into more than 100 countries. Australia’s government has allocated $1 billion for the public health response, while the US has put up over $8 billion and the United Nations $15b. Economic experts are predicting the possibility of an economic meltdown, fuelled partly by the panic buying of essentials, but also the disruption to worldwide supply chains as countries go into lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. HAMISH COOPER and BEN PURVIS investigate the potential effects on the world of motorcycling. MOTOGP AND…