▲ 2017 Harley-Davidson Road King Special. Powered by the new 1,750cc (107-cubic-inch) Milwaukee Eight engine, this freshly released Hog "exudes a bold new attitude and much darker edge." We're wondering just how much bolder, darker, meaner, moodier and macho these bikes can get. But all the same, we could find a warm, dry spot for this in the Sump garage. The 'bars are a little tall for our taste, but that Olive Gold colour hits the spot and the 111.4 lbs-ft of torque starts our motors. Other colours include Vivid Black, Charcoal Denim, and Hard Candy Hot Rod Red Flake. The price is £19,995. Hmmm ...
Bid your fond farewells to the long-serving and indomitable Yamaha YBR125, and then raise your hat to its successor, the YS125. Details of the new 125cc SOHC pretender have just been released, and it looks as though Yamaha has still got its finger firmly on the pulse of this model. The YBR125 was introduced in 2005. Yamaha sold shed loads (often quoted at around 150,000 units). But the encroaching Euro4 regulations have, we're told, hammered the last nail in the coffin of this very popular bike, so it's out with the old and in with the new. Features of the new model include a single engine counter-balance shaft, electric- and kick-starting, ABS, fuel injection, a revised cylinder head, and an increased fuel tank (up from 13-litres to14-litres offering a claimed 200 miles per tank).
Visually, the bike sports a new front cowl, a black upswept exhaust and clear indicator lenses. The seat is said to be around 15mm higher at 795mm (31.2-inches). The hike won't be welcomes by everyone, but it's worth mentioning that the path-to-ground is fairly short. So the vast majority of riders won't have much trouble planting both feet on the tarmac when astride these wheels. [More...]
Venhill H-D cable kits
Venhill Engineering has sent us details of its replacement clutch and throttle kits for Harley-Davidsons. These, take note, are universal "proper DIY kits" for "home mechanics", and we're advised that they're made to Venhill's usual high standard. First, here's what Venhill says:
"The Dual Throttle and Idle cable kits come in both push-fit and threaded versions, to suit a wide range of models. Extra long – at 1350 mm / 53 inches – they allow for bikes fitted with high handlebars, and come with either 90° or 75° bends, in a choice of black or braided steel outers. The black cables have longitudinal conduit (not coiled) which won't pinch on bends, so they won't restrict cable movement.
"The Clutch cable is also made extra long - at 2080 mm/82 inches - and comes in black or braided steel finishes to match the throttle. Like all Venhill cables, they're designed to deliver improved performance and durability, along with smoother action." [More...]
Maybe we're just wimps. But after 11 hours more-or-less-non-stop in the saddle, we start to feel a little uncomfortable. It was different when we were young. Back then we could spend nine gruelling days perched on our bikes, living on teeth-bugs and rainwater, and often stopping only to rebuild the engines at the roadside or water a passing bush. Does that sound like you too? Well, probably not if we're honest. Fact is, everything gets uncomfortable after a while, not least motorcycle perches. That's what this updated Airhawk seat cushion is all about. Strap it on your saddle, park your derriere, weigh the anchor and ride. But wait! Is it really any better than the saddle the manufacturer provided? Truth is, we don't know. We haven't yet availed ourselves of this kind of supportive technology. But we understand the non-rocket science concept behind it. Manufacturers of all kinds of products have to compromise on materials, design, build quality, etc. So standard bike saddles are ... well, generally pretty standard. Not necessarily built down to a price, but manufactured to a fair quality for the money. However, for those longer jaunts, or simply for those more (ahem) sensitive regions, a little extra comfort down-under is required. [More...]
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