honda unicorn
Weight / Measurements
Specifications Kick Start / Self Start
Dry Weight (Kg) 126 (Kick)
130 (Self)
Kerb Weight (Kg) 139 (Kick)
142 (Self)
Length (mm) 2090
Width (mm) 750
Height (mm) 1095
Wheelbase (mm) 1340
Seat Height (mm) 790
Ground Clearance (mm) 168
Fuel Tank Capacity (Full ) - (Lt) 13
Reserve Tank Capacity - (Lt) 1.3
Specifications Kick Start / Self Start
Max Speed - (Kmph) 101
Acceleration (0-200m) - (Sec) 12.1
Overtaking Acceleration for
200 m (at 40kmph) - (Sec)
Acceleration (0-60 kmph) - (Sec) 5
Mileage (in Indian Mode) - (Kmpl) 60
Specifications Kick Start / Self Start
Frame Advanced Design
Diamond Frame
Front Suspension Telescopic
Rear Suspension Advance Technology Monosuspension
Front Tyre 2.75 x 18"
Rear Tyre 3.00 X 18"
Front Brake Type 240 mm Disc
Rear Brake Type 130 mm Drum
Engine & Transmission
Specifications Kick Start / Self Start
Engine Type 4 St, Air Cooled
OHC Single Cylinder
Displacement - (cc) 149.1
Net Power 13.3 bhp @ 8000 rpm
(9.9 kW)
Torque 1.3 Kg-m @ 5500 rpm
(12.8 Nm)
Air Filter Paper Type
Carburettor CV Type
ACG Power Generating Capacity - (Watt) 125
Oil Capacity - (Lt) 1.2
Transmission Constant Mesh,
5 Speed gear (1 down - 4 up)
Gear Shift Pattern 1 Down - 4 Up
Specifications Kick Start / Self Start
Ignition Digital CDI (Multi Mapping)
Battery 12V - 2.5 Ah(Kick)
12V - 7 Ah(Self)
Headlamp Halogen (12V/35W)
Tail / Stop lamp 12V - 21W(5W)

2008 Suzuki Hayabusa First Ride

Editor’s Note: Suzuki recently invited a bunch of journalists to Chicago to sample its new Hayabusa at a dragstrip and out on the Road America racetrack. Our invitation must’ve been lost in the mail or something. We’re not happy about it, as you might expect, but we’ll be sending over Team S some fresh-baked cookies in the hopes of appeasing them. Anyway, we believe our dear readers deserve to be kept up to date on the latest bikes, so we worked off Suzuki’s press kit for the important news and asked one of our good buddy journalists, Neale Bayly, to let us know what it was like to ride in the new Busa’s saddle. That’s the best we can do for now, but Suzuki has promised a test bike at some point in the future. Stay tuned!


Suzuki’s Hayabusa enhances its legend status with its 2008 revamp that includes an extra 20 horsepower!

When Suzuki’s Hayabusa debuted in 1999, it inspired controversy for two aspects that would go on to become iconic: its controversial aerodynamic styling and its ability to open a giant can of whup-ass on anything else on the showroom floor.

After word got out about its 9-second abilities down the quarter-mile and its 190-plus-mph top speed, its “Eye-Abuse-Er” nickname became less prevalent. Soon the Busa was seen by some groups as the hottest thing on the street, and the mighty falcon became one of the primary canvases on which to polish frames and bolt on big-tire kits to up the bike’s badass-ness.

Now nine years on (and with a manufacturers’ agreement to limit top speeds to a laughably sedate 186 mph), the Busa was hit on the chin in 2006 by the Kawasaki ZX-14. The Kawi proved to be quicker and more powerful but also smoother and more comfortable. Regardless, the Busa remained as popular as ever and was unmatched for its street cred. Fearing a “New Coke”-type backlash, Suzuki engineers didn’t want to stray too far from the original Busa concept in this new redesign you see here. It’s still unmistakably a Hayabusa even if every fairing panel has been remolded. And it’s not much different underneath, either.

Your 9-second streetbike has arrived.
Turnsignals set into the ram-air intake ports and angular dual exhaust canisters are clues you’re looking at a 2008 Busa.

While it’s the new skin that first grabs your attention, it’s the unholy monster motor underneath that has earned the Hayabusa its veneration. Potent and durable, it has been the inspiration for a closer relationship with god among those who have twisted its throttle to the stop. For ’08, this legendary lump has received a 2mm longer stroke to yield 1340cc instead of the old bike’s 1299cc. New forged pistons are lighter and stronger and produce a 1.5-point increase in compression ratio to 12.5:1. Also forged is the crank, as it attaches to new chro-moly rods that are now shot-peened for added strength. Cam chain adjustment is now accomplished hydraulically, which also helps reduce mechanical noise.

Up top are 16 new titanium valves that save 14.1 grams on each intake and 11.7 grams on each exhaust for a significant weight loss in this critical area, allowing the replacement of double valve springs with lighter single springs. Valve sizes remain the same, but a new camshaft now forces greater lift on both the intake and exhaust poppets and has revised timing. It’s all fed by a pair of double-barreled 44mm throttle bodies. They use a version of Suzuki’s Dual Throttle Valve system that has a secondary throttle valve mounted above the primary that’s controlled by the bike’s electronic brain to maintain the ideal velocity of the intake charge based on rpm, throttle opening and gear position.

Controlled by a new high-powered Engine Control Unit, Suzuki says that the Busa has the company’s “most powerful, most advanced digital fuel-injection and engine management system.” Another important task of the ECU is controlling the different parameters of Suzuki’s Drive Mode System. Like the GSX-R1000 and ’08 Gixxer 600/750, the Busa has a handlebar-mounted switch to set the power mode into three available positions. It produces full power in mode A, the default setting, while mode B has a bit of the power edge clipped off. Mode C might be an asset in the rain, but it neuters all the excitement out of the muscular motor.

'Suzuki claims the new bike cranks out 194 horsepower at the crankshaft'

How muscular, you might ask? Suzuki claims the new bike cranks out 194 horsepower at the crankshaft, a 21-horse (12.1%) improvement. Torque is boosted 8.5% to 114 ft-lbs. The old 1299cc engine produced about 160 ponies at the rear wheel, so we expect this new one to spit out around 175 horsepower on a rear-wheel dyno.

“The new 2008 Haybusa is just so freakin’ fast it is unreal,” relates Neale Bayly from his experience at the press launch. “Accelerating off the corners with a quiet whoosh from the twin pipes like it had been shot out of a Howitzer, it feels like some sort of macabre video game flicking through some of Road America’s tighter sections. It starts making lots of power early, and by the time the needle is past five grand all hell is letting loose. It pulls without a break until the rev limiter kicks in with a bang somewhere around 11 grand.”

Suzuki claims a 21-horsepower increase in the new Busa, which should yield about 175 ponies at the rear wheel. Yee haa!
Although it shares no bodywork with the previous model, the ’08 Hayabusa remains as distinctive as ever.

Bayly also told us that the response from the high-tech fuel-injection system is flawless, aided by injectors with fine-atomizing 12-hole squirters instead of the previous four. “Giving superb throttle response from very low in the rev range all the way till the rev limiter kicked in, the system was faultless. One area that can cause problems with fuel-injection systems is at lower rpm on small throttle openings, but this was not the case with the big Suzuki.”

At the dragstrip, journalists struggled to break the 10-second barrier, but Jordan Motorsports Racer Aaron Yates was able to just nip into the 9-second bracket. We expect an epic duel between this uprated Busa and the more powerful 2008 ZX-14 for the honor of quarter-mile champ. Out on Road America, the new Busa handles a lot like the old Busa with extra power. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering that the bike’s twin-spar aluminum frame is nearly identical to previous, so we’ve got the same 23.4-degree rake and short 3.7 inches (93mm) of trail. A revised swingarm shortens the wheelbase a scant 5mm to 58.3 inches and features an additional strengthening rib for less flex.

“Don’t expect to go diving up the inside of any supersport bikes at a track day,” says Bayly, “but do perfect your passing wave as you cream them coming off the turns. Not that any of this should be surprising when you consider the bike weighs in around 500 pounds full of fuel, it is just a good idea to remind yourself of these facts before all that horsepower lets you get carried away.”

The old Busa’s most glaring shortcoming was the performance from its old-tech six-piston front brakes that were barely up to the task of slowing this earth-bound missile. We’re happy to report that Suzuki has now fitted up-to-date radial-mounted four-piston calipers to the magic Bus. They bite on 10mm-smaller 310mm discs that have a half-mil extra thickness (5.5mm) to handle the heat. Bayly tells us they are a major improvement.

Also aiding heavy braking is the new slipper clutch that Bayly says it quite effective. The clutch also has the Suzuki Clutch Assist System that increases the amount of force on the clutch plates without using stiffer clutch springs. The clutch also features a new friction material for better feedback at the engagement point. In addition, the width of a few transmission gearsets were revised and the upper three gears are sprayed with oil for reduced wear and quieter operation.

As for the Hayabusa’s new clothes, we’ll leave the aesthetic judgments to you. Aerodynamic efficiency, something the old Busa had over the more powerful ZX-14, is optimized with a wider fairing and a 15mm-taller windscreen to better shelter its rider. The body panel joints are now smoother and have no exposed fasteners, and the top of the fuel tank is lower to allow a tighter full tuck. The tailsection has an enlarged speed hump that will stir some commotion on the message boards, and it also sports integrated turnsignals that are said to “evoke a jet engine motif.” Front turn indicators are nestled into the edges of the air intakes in the nose.

Aesthetically speaking, the Busa’s new tailsection and mufflers are going to take some getting used to.
Does the new Hayabusa have what it takes to handle the newly upgraded Kawasaki ZX-14? We can’t wait to find out.

'The clutch also has the Suzuki Clutch Assist System that increases the amount of force on the clutch plates without using stiffer clutch springs.'

Also sure to be controversial is the Busa’s new exhaust system. The triangular muffler canisters on the 4-into 2-into-1-into-2 arrangement look ungainly but are a product of more stringent emissions standards. A catalytic converter is placed where the four head pipes meet under the engine.

“Listening to the sound of Aaron Yates and the new Suzuki Hayabusa going past a few feet from pit wall at close to 190 mph, I just couldn’t believe how quiet the bike was,” Bayly relates. “Almost knocking me off the wall, the sound of the windblast was actually louder than the exhaust.”

In the unrestricted environment of a racetrack, the burlier Busa doesn’t fail to thrill, allowing full use of its mega power. “With walls and fences everywhere, and the big fairing allowing me to get right under the airflow, the view across the clocks was surreal,” says Bayly. “The closeness of the walls greatly exaggerated the already intense speed, and every time you crank the throttle the track just seems to come at you in fast forward. The power is seamless and oh so abundant.”

So, depending on how you think about streetbikes, perhaps Suzuki’s claim of the new Hayabusa as “the ultimate sportbike for the road” has some merit. For some, it’s just too heavy and too powerful, but for others, this invigorated Busa is exactly what they’re looking for. We’ll give Bayly the last word.

“As the first significant overhaul to the all-conquering Japanese bird since 1999, the new 2008 Haybusa is everything the old one was and more. Faster, better handling, and with stronger brakes, the performance element is not going to disappoint. Looking sharper and more modern, without losing its distinct appearance, Busa lovers are not going to be unhappy either.

“And for the rebel without a clue, who thinks their V-Twin’s 67 horsepower and a set of loud pipes makes them a Bad Ass, well they are still going to hate the big, ugly lump of plastic as it goes by them at close to the speed of sound.”

Specifications: 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa

Engine Configuration 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-cylinder
Engine Displacement 1340cc
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Valves Per Cylinder: 4
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 mm x 65.0 mm
Valve Angle From Vertical IN: 14 degrees, EX: 14 degrees
Valve Train Type: Bucket tappets, chain cam drive
Intake Valve Diameter: 33.0 mm
Exhaust Valve Diameter: 27.5 mm
Intake Valve Maximum Lift: 9.0mm
Exhaust Valve Maximum Lift: 8.6mm

Intake Valve Timing
Open: BTDC 43°
Close: ATDC 58°
Exhaust Valve Timing
Open BTDC: 62°
Close ATDC: 24°

Fuel Delivery System: Fuel Injection 12-holes; 44 mm throttle bodies
Air Filter Type: Paper
Ignition System: Fully transistorized
Lubrication System: Wet sump

Oil Capacity:
Oil Change 3100cc
With Filter Change 3300cc
Overhaul 4000cc

Fuel Capacity: 21L (5.5 US gal.) for E03 / 20L (5.3 US gal.) for E33
Transmission Type: 6-speed, constant mesh
Clutch Type: Wet multi-plate, manual
Clutch Actuation System: Hydraulic
Clutch Spring Type: Coil
Number of Clutch Springs: 6
Number of Clutch Plates: 10 Drive; 9 Driven
Primary Drive: Gear
Primary Drive Gear Teeth: 83 / 52
Final Drive Sprocket Gear Teeth: 43 / 18

Transmission Gear Teeth
1st: 34 / 13
2nd: 31 / 16
3rd: 29 / 19
4th: 27 / 21
5th: 25 / 22
6th: 24 / 23

Frame Design (Material): Twin-spar (aluminum alloy)
Rake / Trail: 23.4 degrees / 93 mm
Wheelbase: 1,480 mm (58.3 in.)
Seat Height: 805 mm (31.7 in.)
Front Suspension Type: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Front Suspension Adjustment: Compression and Rebound damping, Spring Preload
Rear Suspension Type: Link type, coil-spring, oil damped
Rear Suspension Adjustment: Compression and Rebound damping, Spring Preload
Front brake: Radial mount, 4-piston calipers, 310 mm dual disc brake
Rear Brake: 1-piston caliper, 260 mm disc brake
Front Wheel Travel: 120 mm (4.7 in.)
Rear Wheel Travel: 140 mm (5.5 in.)
Front Wheel: 17 M/C x MT3.50, cast aluminum alloy
Rear Wheel: 17 M/C x MT6.00, cast aluminum alloy
Front Tire: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Rear Tire: 190/50ZR17M/C (73W)
Dry Weight: 220 kg (485 lbs), 221 kg (487) CA. Spec
Overall Length: 2,190 mm (86.2 in.)
Overall Width: 735 mm (28.9 in.)
Overall Height: 1,165 mm (45.9 in.)
Ground Clearance: 120 mm (4.7 in.)

2008 Victory Models

With the steadfastness to be in business more than 50 years and a 2006 sales figure of $1.7 billion you would think that with Polaris as your parent the future might be limitless. Approaching its tenth birthday, Victory Motorcycles, a subsidiary of Polaris Industries, is still marching forward but with a cautious eye on the future.

about its plan to reduce shipments in the third quarter of this year, due in part to cooling consumer enthusiasm. While attending the 2008 Victory model press ride, asked Mark Blackwell, Vice President of Victory Motorcycles and International Operations, Polaris Industries, if Victory has as a response similar to Harley's toward a slowing motorcycle industry: "We have a goal of 10-15% retail growth next year," Blackwell stated. Those figures seem in line with Victory's 13% increase in sales in 2006, which, coincidentally, was also the motorcycle maker's first year of profitability since launching in 1998.

Citing the current state of macro economics in the U.S., Blackwell explained that the core of the bike market consists of people who carefully consider where money earmarked for the purchase and maintenance of a bike could be spent otherwise. "The guy driving the hundred-thousand-dollar motor home isn't going to notice an extra two hundred dollars to fill his tank, but most buyers are going to be holding back and waiting to see what happens," Blackwell commented. In order to achieve the modest growth for the coming year, Victory is planning to gird up its dealer network (360-strong) rather than expand it, by "focusing on training" of existing dealer sales staff.

The "V" is everywhere. A receding motorcycle market may seem like gloom is on the horizon after so many years of growth, but Victory is still marching forward. Though with more realistic plans for its own growth.

Another weapon in Victory's arsenal against a retracting market is its unique-looking entry into the touring category, the Vision. By reaching beyond the custom cruiser market with the Vision, Blackwell sees Victory as nearly "doubling" its sales opportunities. Of the polarizing appearance of the 106 cubic-inch 50-degree V-Twin, aluminum-framed tourer, Blackwell said, "We knew people were going to love it or hate. We're okay with that... we're glad to have the growing number of people who do like it."

Even if less and less bike buyers waltz euphorically into dealers in the coming months or years, and Victory Motorcycles (presumably other manufacturers too) suffer, Victory, like so many teenagers and twenty-somethings, has its parent to lean on. Speaking on behalf of Polaris, Blackwell highlighted the company's successes in the ever-strong ATV segment, the burgeoning side-by-side category and even the wheezing snowmobile industry.

"Even though we're [motorcycle industry] coming down, it's from an all-time high."

Victory row.

As an indication of confidence in the ATV market (or maybe mankind's propensity for self-destruction) Polaris ATV has gone full-force into the military arena. A key objective of Polaris' mission in providing U.S. Armed forces ATVs and the like was to be able to offer a vehicle that fills the gap between the "solider carrying a 60-pound pack and a Humvee." Blackwell acknowledged that motorcycles are currently being utilized in the military, but is confident that the relative ease-of-use of ATVs and their carrying capacity makes them ideal candidates for military action.

So, with Harley reeling in year-end projections, and Victory being cautiously optimistic as well, should the motorcycle consumer recoil in fear? Perhaps revert to riding the rusty, dusty, unmaintained UJM hidden under blue tarps in the dark corner of the garage, and pass on that new bike purchase? "Don't jump off the bridge yet," quipped Blackwell.

Even though the industry appears to backing off a 15-year climb, Blackwell reminds us that "this kind of growth can't last forever, and even though we're coming down, it's from an all-time high."

2008 Victory Line-up

With the exception of the all-new Vegas Low and Kingpin 8-Ball, we've seen and sampled all the major changes in Victory's line-up. The full Vision introduction was held in June of this year, and the New American Motorcycle company detailed revisions to the remainder of its products in July. So, nothing new that's under the sun at this point, but in the interest of awakening your new-bike cravings without burdening you with a full recount, we'll touch on some of the changes and give a few impressions.

Victory's signature Freedom V100/6 air/oil-cooled, SOHC, 50-degree V-Twin received a number of refinements and enhancements this year. The compression ratio was reduced from 9.8:1 to 8.7:1 in order "to prevent spark knock and add more ignition timing...more horsepower and torque," larger 45mm throttle bodies are fed by a new, fully-sequential, closed-loop injection system and a change to the oil-cooling system wrap out the major upgrades to the mill.

By altering the path of oil flow to cool the critically hot "exhaust valve bridge," Victory avoided reducing the size of the 31mm exhaust valve, an alternative used in a four-valve head that would achieve a similar cooling effect but would also pinch off some power. A benefit of the redesigned oiling allowed the use of an oil cooler that was not only smaller, it also integrates into the bike's design far better than the previous cooler.

Arlen and Cory Ness signature models receive number plates this year.

Noise pollution was on the mind of Victory engineers this year. Some of the target areas included: a taller sixth gear (first gear is shorter, but not for noise reduction purposes) that purportedly reduced tranny meshing noise and reduced cruising rpm by 3%, a split-gear clutch and a "re-tuned" compensator, a primary cover with more sound-deadening ribbing, a quieter alternator and finally, slower valve closing speeds combined with longer closing ramps are said to reduce annoying top-end "tick."

Last year you could climb aboard any Victory model and expect the venerable name of Brembo to be there with you. Not so this year, as the brakes on all models now proudly display the name Victory. A little poking and prodding discovered the calipers to be of the Nissin variety. For reasons not disclosed, Victory chose to go Asian this year. Unfortunately, the Victory-branded four-piston binders lack the excellent feel and power of the Brembo units.

It wasn't all about number tweaking and reducing noise for '08. A few aesthetics were considered. Redesigned handlebar grips, the aforementioned oil cooler, elimination of the fast-idle lever and a smaller airbox cover clean up the look of returning models. Heated grips were added to the growing line of parts and accessories.

The Freedom V100/6 (five-speed on 8-Ball models) and V106/6 of the Vision models have torque o' plenty on tap at virtually all times. The tranny was and still is easy to use, albeit with a reassuring thunk in first gear. Fueling is glitch-free and instantaneous. Truth of the matter is that these were already good powerplants, but Victory felt compelled to institute the changes cataloged above to improve and enhance "drivability." You have to like a company that wants to make what was good, better.

New for '08, the Kingpin 8-Ball (right) is blacked out just like the Vegas 8-Ball, but still has all the comfort and handling of the standard Kingpin.

2008 Kingpin 8-Ball

Taking its styling cues directly from the Vegas 8-Ball, the Kingpin 8-Ball retains the good handling and comfortable ergos of the Kingpin, but does so with a blacked-out badass attitude. The unfortunate part about 8-Ball models is that they run a five-speed transmission as part of the "cool value package," rather than the six-speed gear-set on all other models. About the only impact this might have on prospective buyers would be the loss of the true overdrive experience that makes cruising endless freeway miles a breeze. Snick into sixth, and watch the revs drop as you drone on the slab.

This is one good looking cruiser. About the only things that aren't blackened are the exhaust, headlamp nacelle, speedo housing and clutch and brake levers. Otherwise, it's lights out on this dark beauty!

The Vegas Low should appeal to many women with its low saddle, pull-back bars, more rearward footpegs, lower rear suspension and adjustable brake lever. Many dudes should like it for the same reasons.

Vegas Low

The Vegas Low represents the only truly new model this year besides the Vision Street and Tour. Though it's the new kid on the block, the Low is simply a Vegas with a two-inch pull back on the bars, footpegs set 2.25 inches farther back, 1.5-inch narrower sidecovers, lowered rear suspension, an adjustable brake lever, and a low 25.2-inch (ladened) seat height. Can you tell where Victory might be heading with such a model? If you said it's one for the ladies, you're on target. Of course anyone can ride the thing, but for the first time Victory has openly embraced the female audience with a bike that can make riding more accessible to many women.

But being a modest 5-foot-8 myself, I can tell you that many men will appreciate this bike. The two-inch pullback on the bars is the most obvious announcement of this bike's diminished dimensions. They create a very comfortable, upright riding position without feeling cramped, or cramping the cruiser style. The other big ergo change are more rearward pegs. The shortened leg extension really makes for a cozy rider triangle when combined with the handlebars. The one drawback to the Low is no passenger seat or footpegs.

The Low offers easier custom cruiser ergos without losing custom styling or the good nature of the Vegas.

Though ground clearance is cruiser-typical (a half-inch less for the Low), the Vegas models and Kingpins are fun and capable mounts, thanks especially to their more reasonable 180-section rear tire. Steering is light, and save for the occasional peg grind, the bikes track well through turns with plenty of torque propelling you to the next bend.

Would you believe this was a precursor to the Vision we know today?

A Vision of the Future?

As we get closer to the end of one year and the beginning of another, do you find yourself asking, "Hey! Whatever became of that weird, bulbous scooter-looking thing that Victory unveiled at the International Motorcycle Show two years ago? And didn't they call it the Vision?"

Well, we asked ourselves that, especially as Polaris' Director of Industrial Design, Greg Brew, reminded us of it.

Believe it or not, the Victory team used that wacky Vision 800 as a type of litmus test to gauge rider reactions. Brew highlighted the fact that, though unconventional, the 800 held all of what Victory calls its DNA: smooth flowing lines, long and low proportions, frame the engine and pipes (hard to see that point on the Vision 800), voluptuous and inviting forms, modern and distinctly American design. Not only was Victory gauging public reaction, it was also using the 800 as a way to "get people to think of Victory as a modern motorcycle and prepare them for the Vision," explained Brew.

The Vision's existence is probably due in part to the Vision 800 unveiled by Victory at the International Motorcycle Show two years ago. We'll have to wait and see what Victory designers are hinting at with the Vision chassis as a possible platform for a future model.

So, if you're someone who doesn't like the looks of the Vision of today, you may only have yourself and your riding buddies to blame for not poo-pooing the Vision 800 sooner.

In what is becoming classic Victory methodology, Brew included as part of his presentation a slide of a bare-bones Vision frame in order to highlight the chassis, then asked, "What's coming next?" After leaving us high and dry for an answer to that question, I can't help but think the Victory team have taken a note or two from Hollywood hype machines as they've become masters at tantalizing us with glimpses into their future plans.

Mugen Bikes

May 16, 2005 - It's no secret that we love Honda around these parts. We haven't (totally) succumbed to the drifting trend, so we still lovingly latch on to our B-series-engine-powered rides. Who cares if these cars are front-wheel drive? They're economical, fun-to-drive, and have a generous aftermarket.

Speaking of the Honda aftermarket, there is no name that commands as much reverence as Mugen. Mugen, or M-Tec as it's now known, is Honda's "official" tuning arm. Sure, Mugen is technically not related to Honda in any way, but it was founded by Soichiro Honda's son, so you know that there is some kind of nepotism at work.

Who cares if nepotism played a hand in making Mugen one of the leading aftermarket companies? Mugen has proven itself time and time again, powering not only street-tuned Hondas, but F1 cars, JGTC cars and more.

...Speaking of that "and more" statement, imagine our surprise when we found out that Mugen also tuned Honda motorcycles. We were just browsing the web, trying to avoid doing any real work, when...BAM! We see this hot Mugen-approved bike you see here. Of course, in true Mugen fashion, these parts are extremely expensive.

Take a look at this Mugen-tuned CBR1000RR. The stock CBR1000RR is a race-ready bike right off the showroom floor, with 94 ps pushing just 210 kg. This Mugen-spec CBR adds goodies such as a JDM-approved exhaust, titanium bolts for the crankcase cover and carbon-fiber front and rear fenders. A complete Mugen package (minus the bitchin' paint job) will run you about 365,555en (about $3,420). Of course, you would need to spend about 1,312,500en (about $12,272) to buy the stock bike first.

If the $12K entry cost of the CBR1000RR is a little too prohibitive, or if 94 metric horses scare you, Honda also offers a race-ready CBR600RR. Though it has a smaller engine (just 599cc - compared to the 1000RR's displacement of 998cc), it is still a very potent performer. The DOHC inline four of the 600RR pushes out 69 ps. We're sure that number increases with the addition of the Mugen exhaust. As a bonus, all of the Mugen dress-up items make the 600RR look cool. Expect to pay 218505en ($2,044USD) for the Mugen package.

XR400 Motard
Don't let the looks of this bike fool you: the XR400 is a road-going bike. It sure looks like a dirt bike, but according to the Honda Japan site, it isn't. That's not a bad thing, we guess, as it would look odd to have a bad-ass dirt bike called the "Motard". Well... "Motard" is a dumb name for a street bike, too.

Anyway, the Mugen XR400 Motard doesn't look that much different from its stock counterpart. Mugen just supplies a slip-on exhaust cover, mirror guards and seat for this bike. Stupid name aside, the Motard sure looks cool when equipped with all of this Mugen stuff. It will run you just a hair over $900 to get all three pieces.

It's too bad that there is no official U.S. distributor for Mugen motorcycle parts. We guess Mugen doesn't want Americans killing the parts when they try to "stunt", or whatever it is they call that motorcycle ballet crap. If you want some of this Mugen stuff for your bike, hop on the next flight to Japan and bring an extra suitcase and a lot of extra cash. You will then have a JDM-approved bike that matches your Mugen-tuned EG! Chicks will dig it!

2008 Kawasaki KX100 Review

kawasaki kx100
Launch pad to the big leagues.

Test Ride

This bike is way worth it. This bike is very quick. It is comparable to the speed of a 400ex or Yamaha Warrior. It can keep up with the 250F and 450F riders through the whoops and is awesome for kids wanting to upgrade from an 85, but not ready for the 125. I was very impressed with the handling and how easily it jumped. This is just an awesome bike overall.


If you are on a four stroke and are looking to move on up to a two stroke, this is what you want. It is very fast and is perfect for the track or trail. I strongly request this bike for anyone who is looking for quality in a racing dirt bike! It’s a real easy bike to handle, the power band is very smooth, not as much hit as the other bikes but I still like it, it’s very easy to control. Great bike, Kawasaki.

2008 Kawasaki KX100

60.2008 Kawasaki KX100
2008 Kawasaki KX100

Once riders outgrow the mini ranks, they are often forced to leap straight to a full-on Lites-class motorcycle. Providing a seamless continuity from the mini ranks to the full-size classes is the Kawasaki KX™100 motorcycle. With its larger wheels, and tires, the KX100 provides adolescent racers with an appropriately-sized machine, allowing them to focus on riding technique instead of on controlling excessive power.

The KX100’s bigger 99cc liquid-cooled, two-stroke engine breathes through a 28mm carburetor with a carbon-fiber intake reed valve to aid throttle response and is fitted with the Kawasaki Integrated Power Valve System (KIPS®) that helps produce a broad powerband with good low-end torque and top-end power. The engine is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed transmission, which gives the KX100 a gear for every situation on the race track.

The engine is bolted into a high-tensile steel perimeter frame that has a specially designed gas tank to lower the fuel load, which lowers the center of gravity for improved handling. Adjustable long-travel suspension at both ends helps to smooth even the roughest motocross courses. The 36mm inverted cartridge fork has compression damping adjustment capability and the UNI-TRAK rear suspension system comes equipped with a shock that is fully adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping. In the braking department, both front and rear discs are mounted with shoulder bolts for easier maintenance.

The KX100 also features aggressive Kawasaki Lime Green and Black graphics just like larger KX models.

Those who race their KX100 at designated events are eligible to receive support from Team Green™, Kawasaki’s amateur racing support program. Each year, Team

Green provides regional support vehicles and highly trained technicians at more than 100 events, offering technical information and assistance to those who race Kawasaki products. Kawasaki also offers a comprehensive contingency program for amateur and professional riders who place well at designated events.



61.2008 Kawasaki KX100
2008 Kawasaki KX100

Liquid-cooled Engine

  • Right-hand engine cover provides a separate clutch cover for quick servicing without removing the water pump cover
  • Assures greater reliability
  • Bridges between intake and exhaust ports are machine finished for increased durability
  • Magneto with lower inertial moment improves low-rpm response
  • Rotor comes with rare-earth magnets –the unitized piece is small, light and more efficient
  • Connecting rod big-end bearing has more rigid cage for improved durability
  • Intake port shape and cylinder skirt allow cooling air into the crankcase chamber
  • Primary gear is secured using a lock-nut to help reduce mechanical noise
  • Metafoam gaskets for the generator and water pump covers improve sealing

89.2008 Kawasaki KX100
2008 Kawasaki KX100

Kawasaki Integrated Power Valve System (KIPS®)

  • KIPS system varies exhaust port height for increased horsepower and torque at all rpm’s
  • Produces a broad powerband with more low-end torque while retaining excellent top-end power
  • Breather in KIPS cover improves high-rpm and overrun performance

28mm Keihin Carburetor

  • Crescent slide carburetor puts the needle closer to the intake ports for excellent throttle response
  • Adjustable for various conditions


  • Clutch hub rides on needle bearings for smooth action
  • Large clutch plates are 119mm in diameter for durability and control
  • Clutch-release lever ratio provides light clutch lever action
  • Thick clutch basket housing improves durability
  • Clutch plate service cover simplifies maintenance and utilizes a metal-carbon composite gasket

Six-speed Transmission

  • Fifth and sixth gears on the input shaft ride on bushings for added reliability
  • Positive shifting action and rugged durability
  • Allows the engine’s full potential to be realized
  • Provides oil level window
  • Hard chrome-finished shift forks resist wear and seizure

High-tensile Steel Perimeter Frame

  • Wide footpegs for better control, made of cast steel for strength
  • Thick footpeg brackets withstand today’s rigorous tracks
  • Engine and chassis bolts have rust-resistant coating

Fuel Tank

  • Positioned in the frame to lower center of gravity and improve handling

UNI-TRAK Rear Suspension

  • Swingarm uses large cross-section beams for more rigidity and control
  • Swingarm incorporates cast-aluminum drive chain adjuster sections for easy chain adjustments
  • Flanged collars at the bearings to protect the seals from mud
  • Fully adjustable shock with compression, rebound damping and spring preload adjustments

36mm Inverted Cartridge Fork

  • Upper tubes are made of aluminum and are 49.5mm in diameter for excellent control and steering response
  • Compression damping is 18-way adjustable

Front and Rear Disc Brakes

  • Front brake lever shape offers better feel
  • Forged-aluminum rear brake pedal is strong, lightweight and features two seals at the pivot for smooth operation

90.2008 Kawasaki KX100
2008 Kawasaki KX100

Front and Rear Wheels

  • Rear hub features two wheel bearings on the drive side of the hub for durability
  • Thick spokes are used in the front and rear for stronger wheels, requiring less adjustment
  • Light weight aluminum rims


  • Aggressive Kawasaki Lime Green and Black graphics just like larger KX models



91.2008 Kawasaki KX100
2008 Kawasaki KX100

Engine: Two-stroke single with KIPS®
Displacement: 99cc
Bore x stroke: 52.5 x 45.8mm
Cooling: Liquid
Carburetion: Keihin PWK28
Induction: Two-petal reed valve
Compression ratio: 9.6:1 (low speed) – 8.8:1 (high speed)
Ignition: Digital CDI
Transmission: Six-speed
Final drive: Chain
Frame: High-tensile steel perimeter design with subframe member
Rake / trail: 27 degrees / 4.1 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 36mm inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 18-way compression damping / 10.8 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: UNI-TRAK® single shock system with 4-way compression and 18-way rebound damping plus adjustable spring preload / 10.8 in.
Front tire: 70/100x19
Rear tire: 90/100x16
Front brake / rear brake: Hydraulic disc / Disc
Overall length: 75.2 in.
Overall width: 28.9 in.
Overall height: 43.5 in.
Ground clearance: 15.0 in.
Seat height: 34.3 in.
Dry weight: 149.9 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 1.5 gal.
Wheelbase: 50.8 in.
Color: Lime Green
MSRP: $3,349

2008 Husqvarna CR 125 Review

husqvarna cr 125
An impressive 125cc two-stroke motorcycle with a little bit more user-friendliness: the Husqvarna CR 125 receives its much awaited update so that it would make an even greater impression on the track for 2008.


Designed especially for riders who have never rode a full-size dirt bike before, the Husqvarna CR 125 was already a great teacher and now that he has stepped up, there’s nothing to stop it from becoming a much desired motorbike.

Engine refinements consist into a completely new block featuring five transfer ports for better grunt at any rpm range, inlet and exhaust ports, as well as to the exhaust valves for better sealing. Lining up to its bigger four-stroke relatives, the CR 125 also enters the scene being fitted with 45mm Marzocchi forks and Sacks shock absorber.


94. 2002 Husqvarna CR 125
2002 Husqvarna CR 125

First introduced in 2002 as Husqvarna’s smallest motocross bike, the CR 125 was actually not so far from the product that we’re reviewing today. Of course, the color combination was Blue and Yellow, but the mechanical part is the one that launched it properly. The engine was a carbureted 124.8cc two-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder unit that came to life with the help of a kick starter. Gearbox featured six speeds. The rear brake disc was only 220mm in diameter and there were no fancy Marzocchi or Sachs suspensions on it. The bike was indeed easier: (only 197.3 pounds) and the gas tank was bigger (2.25 gallons), so the weight issue was sorted out from the beginning.

2004 model year didn’t bring anything, but the red/yellow/blue color scheme.

For 2005, the colors were yet again different (only yellow and blue), but the bike came fitted with a C.D.I. electronic, with adjustable advance, and so becoming an upgraded piece of engineering.

2006 stands as the year of changes for the CR 125 as the bike came with a radical new styling, complemented by the red and white color scheme. The gas tank and side panels were reminding of the Husky four-stroke bikes, and that was the whole idea. This is also the year when the 38mm Mikuni TMX carburetor was introduced, as well as the wet, multiplate clutch. More engine performance always requires manufacturers to better deal with the new figures and in 2006 Husqvarna did it with the addition of the new Marzocchi forks, Ohlins rear shock and a 240mm rear disc brake.

Getting closer and closer to the actual product that cheers us today, is the 2007 version which came with a modified crankshaft and combustion chamber, modified to reduce engine inertia and increase rideability. The exhaust system was completely changed in order to be suitable for the addition of the V Force three-reed valve. Of course, performance was the main goal and that is what the maker achieved.


95. 2008 KTM 125 SX
2008 KTM 125 SX

The closest thing you’ll find to the subject of this review is the KTM 125 SX. This bike combines, just like the Husky, lightness with agility and manages to be one of the favorite motocross bikes that don’t arrive from Japan. Don’t get me wrong, the CR 125 can be easily compared with any of the Japanese competitors (Honda CR125R, Yamaha YZ125, Suzuki RM125), but its direct and fierce opponent is coming from Austria.

Fitted with a 124.8cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, two-stroke fitted with power valve, kickstarter and being mated to a six-speed gearbox, the KTM 125 SX manages to give the Husqvarna CR 125 a very hard time.

A bit lighter (200.2 lbs), the KTM looks like a damn good choice, but when a potential customer reads about the BREMBO brakes which equip the CR 125 it tends to go with the second option, leaving the Orange motocrosser in hand of those who can only go with KTM.

Marketed for $5,498, the KTM 125 SX doesn’t lose ground when it comes to its price, proving even more suitable for this off-road battle.


99. 2008 Husqvarna CR 125
2008 Husqvarna CR 125

I could describe the new Husky as being nicely styled, well putted together and attractive, but it is also very aggressive and that beats them all by far. The knitted front number plate gives a first clue of what you’ll experience in its saddle, as well as the high mounted white fenders.

A combination of Red, White, and Black, this motocrosser looks like its going to power you to the highest culms of success, because, as you will see later on this review, the mechanics are as impressive as the looks.

The red side panels are slim and narrow, showing that the maker intended to individualize its racer on the track and it not only succeeds with that, but with the black rims, mudguards, fork, number plate, handlebars, seat and gas tank.


Test Drive

98. 2008 Husqvarna CR 125
2008 Husqvarna CR 125

Impressive work has done Husqvarna with this model because it stands as a true representation of how two-stroke dirt bikes really are: powerful and torquey.

Kick start it and hit first gear and you’re in for one impressive ride down the motocross track, the environment for which it was built. I recently got a feel of the CR 125 and I must say that the engine improvements are definitely noticeable. The power is more tractable and feels like never ending, although it is just a 125cc powerplant.

It is perfectly suitable for fast take offs in first or second gear, and the engine revs high so that the solution to a rider’s challenge would be a twisted throttle. Even with the 170 pound of biker on its back, the Husky proved it can easily gain speed and prepare itself for the jumps waiting up front.

Easy to maneuver and versatile, the bike can be leaded on the perfect trace of the curve with great ease and a skilled rider would easily earn more and more points as its time around the track significantly shortens. It is all a matter of getting used to until the results are suitable for a closed course competition, but usually, the kind of rider that finds its way on it will feel well at home considering the fact that the beginner’s bikes on which he “made its hand” are all two-smokers.

I faced a very light and powerful bike and the fun possibilities on such models are never ending. The Husky made no exception. It performs excellent on the bumps and tight corners are its middle name. And it is all due to the Marzocchi forks and Sachs rear shock, equipment which never disappointed ever since it can be found on this model. I even dared to take it on the rocks for a couple of hours and there I noticed that the fork’s bottoming resistance is very good while the rear end feels well in control. But that was just a second proof because the landings on the motocross track had already shown what a fine tuned bike I was riding.

Also off the road, I managed to see what the six-speed gearbox is capable of, especially its final gear. It has the great effect of maintaining the strong pull which on top of the fifth gear of a gearbox mated to such a small engine, would feel a little weak. Not in this case; the power is there to be used and the sixth gear also contributes to a higher top speed (always a good thing when it comes to competition bikes of any kind).

What I most appreciate at this bike (apart from the impressive engine which made me feel like I was back in my childhood riding the noise machines that put the first bricks on the base of my riding days) is the braking equipment. BREMBO systems are fitted on the Husqvarna models and feature 260mm front and 240mm rear disc brakes on which the two, respective one brake calipers action. Grab a handful of the brake lever and you will feel the need to take it ease because the grippy Pirelli tire could guarantee a muddy face. Does it even matter considering the fun you’ll have riding the thing? I don’t think so!


It is cheaper than its competition, but not by far. Marketed for a suggested retail price of $5,399 (almost $100 less than the KTM 125 SX), the Husky CR 125 definitely makes a good impression, considering the fact that this year, its bag of goodies corresponded perfectly to where this manufacturer plan on taking this bike.


On the podium, that is! It is very easy to underestimate a Husky at a first impression, but if you carefully read the specs page and, even more, swing a leg over one you will never think the same again not only about this model, but about all the other bikes in the respective lineup.



Engine and Transmission

97. 2008 Husqvarna CR 125
2008 Husqvarna CR 125

Displacement: 124.8cc

Type: 2-stroke liquid cooled single w/ HTS power valve

Bore x Stroke: 54 x 54.5 mm

Compression Ratio: 8.8:1

Carburetion: 38mm Mikuni TMX

Engine Lubrication: Fuel-oil premixture of 33:1

Timing System: Reed valve in the crankcase and “H.T.S.” valve with mechanic control on the exhaust port

Starting: Kick starter

Clutch / Transmission: Wet / Multiplate / 6-speed

Overall Ratios:

1st: 29,258

2nd: 23,170

3rd: 19,599


5th: 14,669

6th: 12,412

Chassis and Dimensions

96. 2008 Husqvarna CR 125
2008 Husqvarna CR 125

Frame: Steel single tube cradle (round tubes); rear frame in light alloy

Front Suspension: 45mm diameter Marzocchi “Upside-Down” telescopic hydraulic fork with advanced axle; compression and rebound stroke adjustment

Rear Suspension: 320mm wheel travel Sachs shock absorber

Front Brake: 260mm “BREMBO”, fixed disc type with hydraulic control and floating caliper

Rear Brake: 240mm “BREMBO”, floating disc type with hydraulic control and floating caliper

Front Rim: 1,60”x21” Light alloy

Rear Rim: 2,15”x19” Light alloy

Front Tire: 80/100-21 Pirelli

Rear Tire: 100/90-19” Pirelli

Wheelbase: 1460mm (57.48 in.)

Overall Length: 2165 (85.24 in.)

Overall Width: 820mm (32.28 in.)

Overall Height: 1320mm (51.97 in.)

Seat Height: 990mm (38.97 in.)

Ground Clearance: 370mm (14.57 in.)

Trail: 104mm (4.1 in.)

Fuel Tank Capacity: 9.5 litres (2.5 gallons)

Dry Weight: 93 kg (205 lbs.)

MDM creates custom BMW HP2 Megamoto street tracker

MDM_Megamoto_Street_tracker.jpgNot satisfied with an over-the-top supermoto like the BMW HP2 Megamoto, Italian customizers MDM opted instead for an overpowered flat tracker. Basically a Megamoto with shorter suspension, an even fancier Öhlins rear shock and bizarre bodywork, it could nevertheless presage a new niche in the motorcycle market: the large factory street tracker.
MDM_Megamoto_Street_tracker_2.jpgWe have mixed feelings about the fanciful retro-futurist body work but like the taillights incorporated into the trailing edge of the number boards and the stubby, matte black exhaust. Like the Moto Morini Scrambler, this MDM is a large-capacity street bike with spoked wheels and knobbly tires (it make no sense, but it does look incredibly cool).


KTM 990 Supermoto is bigger and faster for 2008

ktm990sm.jpgThe 990 Supermoto is one of the only bikes we’ve ever been absolutely satisfied with in its stock form. For 2008, they’re keeping the best components (top-notch suspension, brakes and frame) and upgrading the rest (the engine size is up to 999cc, power is up to 115bhp and the fuel tank grows five liters to 19). This all weighs in at an identical 191kg. We can’t even imagine how much fun this is going to be.

Details: 2008 Aprilia Mana 850 fuel tank

Aprilia-mana-850-tank.jpgThe Aprilia Mana is an interesting take on the practical motorcycle. Bringing in many ideas first seen in scooters, like the automatic transmission, it manages to make functionality sexy. Our favorite part is also scooter-inspired. Instead of housing the fuel high above the engine, it reserves that space for a storage locker (big enough to fit a full-face helmet), while the fuel is kept down low, under the seat. Not only is this solution practical, resulting in a much larger on-board storage capacity than any motorcycle before it, but it also enhances performance by lowering the center of gravity.


2008 Aprilia SXV gains switchable engine mapping, clutchless shifting

Aprilia XSV-VDB.jpgFor 2008, Aprilia is adding dual-mode engine mapping to both its SXV 4.5 and 5.5, while the Van Den Bosch replica adds an electronic ignition cutter that enables clutchless gearshifts. The dual-mode engine mapping works on the fly from a switch on the handlebars, allowing riders to choose between custom maps for high- and low-traction conditions. We can see this being a huge benefit on courses that feature both on- and off-road sections. The clutchless shifts enabled by the ignition cut should make shifting while leaning over in a corner much smoother, as most of the dive associated with the loss of acceleration will be eliminated.

Aprilia releases first official FV2 1200 concept photos

Aprilia-FV2-1200-rear.jpgAprilia has finally gotten around to putting its FV2 1200 concept bike into a photo studio. We told you about the radical carbon-framed bike back in November when it debuted at the EICMA show. It hasn’t gotten any better looking since then.

There’s more to the FV2 than its ugly translucent orange bodywork. There are actually some neat design solutions here, like for instance, the skeletal carbon fiber rear subframe (something usually hidden beneath body work). We admire its neat form and the way it incorporates the LED indicators. We also like the tread pattern on the tire. While it doesn’t look capable of actually clearing any water, the bike's disjointed angular lines complement the rest of the bike perfectly.

Aprilia reveals 2009 RSV 4 World Superbike racer

aprilia-rsv-4-2.jpgAprilia has just unveiled its new RSV 4 World Superbike contender. The 1000cc V4 develops "well over 200bhp”"and marks not only the Noale-based company’s first four-cylinder bike, but also its return to four-stroke racing. Since Superbike homologation rules state that race machines need to be based on production bikes, expect to see a road-going version released in the near future. Follow the jump for more images and information.
Aprilia-RSV-4.jpgThe 65˚ V4 is the most sophisticated engine Aprilia has ever made. By using integral ride-by-wire technology, the company is able to offer switchable power maps and even traction control.

The RSV 4 was unveiled earlier today at a dealer conference in Milan. Stay tuned for more details.


Vincent Nero poised for new motorcycle golden age

Vincent_Nero_s.jpgBecause of skyrocketing fuel costs, increasing congestion levels and a growing demand for risk among America’s corporate classes, transportation design students Ian Galvin and Craig Mackiewicz foresee a new golden age for motorcycles looming on the horizon. This Vincent Nero concept is their vision for the era's ideal motorcycle, one that combines the romance of the past with an economical, but fun to use, mid-size v-twin engine and an upright riding position.
Vincent_nero_1.jpgWhile we can see clear design influences beyond the girder front suspension from both the Confederate Renovatio and Bienville Studios Ghost, Ian and Craig are able to bring their own unique look to the whole visually heavy front end, emphasized engine, evocative-of-speed seat thing. We particularly like the abrupt tank and pinched lines combined with the exposed rear shocks and attractive mechanical elements. The whole bike draws enough influence from vintage machinery to evoke emotional memories, but doesn't come across as heavy-handed like the cartoon-ish Ford Mustang or Dodge Challenger.

vincent_nero_and_s.jpg In addition to the attractive-yet-functional Nero, Ian and Craig also envision a Nero S, potentially available as another model or as individual part upgrades. The café racer–style half fairing works particularly well with the rest of the bike's lines, once again combining traditional shapes in an original way, as do the spoked wheels.

Vincent_nero_engine.jpgIan and Craig just graduated from the College for Creative Studies. The Nero is their senior thesis project. We hope to see more motorcycle design from both in the near future.