Tuesday, 4 May 2010

CAV America Honda CB450 'Manx Tribute'

Johann Keyser of CAV America, usually builds rather tasty looking official Gulf livered Ford GT40 replicas. In his spare time he has now built this 'retro mod' Manx Norton tribute Honda CB450 you see above. Intending to offer economy in the style of a cafe racer, Keyser has produced something which looks great and has some fantastic features, but what I want to know is when was a cafe racer ever meant to be economical?

A good effort in my opinion but if he wants my advice, he should stick to his gorgeous GT40s and maybe look into producing usable, reliable Tritons. Just an idea Johann..

Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

Yamaha have pulled the covers off the Super Tenere 1200, the company's latest super-trailie adventure model. Any attempt at distracting prospective BMW GS owners can only be a good thing for this particular segment, healthy competition promoting constant development across all manufacturers.
So how does the new Super Tenere compare to the 'Ewan me' BMW 1200 GS? Well, the Tenere is based around a water cooled 1199cc, 270 degree parallel twin producing 108bhp and 84 ft lbs set low in a steel tubed backbone style chassis. Side mounted radiators double up as wind protection on the move (although dropping it could prove troublesome!) and shaft drive provides the necessary rugged propulsion characteristics.

Conventional USD telescopic forks and rear twin-sided swing arm set the Super Tenere well apart from the GS, Yamaha obviously keen to stick to the XT's traditonal chassis layout.
The list of tech-trickery includes ABS, a chip controlled throttle and Yamaha's new D-MODE traction control system, allowing the rider to select between Sport and Touring modes. Fully fueled the Yamaha Super Tenere weighs in at 261kg- very close to that of a GS Adventure, the bike Yamaha are clearly targetting.

If the previous Tenere by Yamaha is anything to go by this bike is sure to be well built, easy to ride and with front lights mimicing an R1, will be instantly recognisable as Yamaha, unlike the gordy looking XT660 based sibling. As the GS remains BMW's best seller, Yamaha are keen to secure a chunk of this market, but will have to convince people to spend £13,500 for the privelidge. A faintly ludicrous £3,000 more than a standard GS Adventure!

The first models available come with the full adventure pack which includes alloy panniers, engine skid plate, headlight protector and the all important 'first edition' sticker! No, me neither. Check out Yamaha's clever new video, highlighting the advances in motorcycle technology packaged into the new Super Tenere.