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Triumph’s Fogarty vs Johnson Speed Triple stunt is selling the same story to the same people. Again.

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Triumph ramp up the sales pitch for the new Speed Triple by catering to the established racer crowd.

The Triumph Speed Triple has been called many things since its launch in 1994. With its adoption of the then relatively novel Streetfighter style, it soon gained legendary, ‘hooligan’ status and has been a staple of the naked bike scene ever since. MCN called it a ‘Rottweiler’ and Motorcyclist Online said that it would ‘ grab American riders’ monkey nerves’.

And now it’s on its way back.

The teaser video dropped earlier this month and it was everything you would expect with silhouetted images of the new bike, smoking tyres and lots of aggression. And it had us all excited.

But then Triumph released another video and that excitement has turned into jaded cynicism.

Carl Fogarty is a living legend (we’ve had the pleasure to meet him on several occasions and he’s a thoroughly nice chap), he’s also been the King of the Jungle. And Gary Johnson is one of the most consistent and hard working road racers on the circuit, with a gregarious personality that leaves an impression on everybody that he meets. They’re also both, quite capable of riding the rear tyre off of any motorcycle that Triumph would care to throw their way.

But with the Bonneville Bobber launch already pulling the ‘celebrity’ rider and race schtick this time last year for Triumph, surely the birth and hopeful rejuvenation of what should be the youngest, wildest and most hooligan of all machines in their catalogue deserves something a little bit less… establishment?

In these times of ever-dwindling sales and when the average age of a motorcycle rider is rising rapidly year-on-year, isn’t it time that somebody stopped ‘preaching to the choir’ and started pitching and selling these mad machines to the likes of those who still have the energy and youthful attitude to life (and potential death) to make the best out of them?

When KTM first launched their Super Duke line, the videos they released were loud, brash, angry and showed riders doing ‘very naughty’ things. It’s true to say  – a decade on – that the world has moved on a bit and that it probably wouldn’t be allowed in our modern world (it was already slightly dated with it’s post-grunge soundtrack even upon launch), but it had enthusiasm and excitement that no other commercial for motorcycles has ever seemed to be able to convey since.

Surely that’s precisely the kind of thing that would translate from a poster on a bedroom wall into a wildly miscalculated decision to enter a world of financial pain and into a PCP agreement at the local dealer?

The launch of the renewed Triumph Speed Triple will be a success. Of that we have no doubt.

It’ll be live-streamed on Facebook and there will be all of the usual faces doing the usual things; tweeting out to their peers and echoing the noise within the same channels as they always do. Us probably included; although we’re not expected to be invited to the actual show and will probably be doing it from the comfort of our living rooms via a stuttering live stream and iPhone.

And whilst Triumph are continuing to buck the trend and post solid sales figures, who are we to counter the decisions of the highly-paid marketing managers responsible?

We’re very conscious that we here at MFHQ are starting to sound like a corrupt MP3 files missing vital information from its header file (that’s a bad ‘old scratched record’ simile), but if we can’t start getting ‘the youth’ into these two-wheeled deliverers of happiness by showing them the raw excitement of a naked hooligan bike then what chance do we as an industry have?

That’s nothing against Fogarty or Johnson – in fact at least one of them is younger than the majority of the office here – but with motorcycles starting to actually filter into the social consciousness once more through both the new wave custom scene and more recently the world of Haute Couture, is using motorcyclists to sell motorcycles to motorcyclists the best approach every time?

 

 

 

Oh and for the record – and with the greatest of respect to TT winner Gary Johnson – the answer to Triumph’s ‘Who’s the greatest?’ question is very obviously Carl Fogarty.

(Assuming that Surtees, Rossi or Agostini aren’t in contention).

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Is the Manx Missile Cavendish about to trade cycling lycra for motorcycle racing leathers?

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Could the Manx Missile hang up his lycra and pedals for something a little more petrol propelled?

Mark Cavendish has been the fastest thing on two (pedal-powered) wheels for a while now, but in recent interviews, the Isle of Man native and good friend of Cal Crutchlow has expressed an interest in two-wheeled vehicles of a motorcycling kind.

Speaking in an interview with Esquire Magazine from when he was in Abu Dhabi for the Formula One last year, Cavendish shared his love of fast cars and bikes, telling the interviewer that he’d ‘always loved anything to do with motors, or machines… Vehicles really. Just love them’. Before being asked if he’d ever considered being an F1 driver?

‘Nah. I don’t think I’m good enough. Everybody thinks that it’s like driving a car down the promenade, it’s totally not the same. To be honest, I prefer motorbikes more; I would like to race them instead.’

Ok, so it’s not a huge admission or a massive surprise – it’s something we’ve all probably dreamed of and one time or another, but when pressed on the issue he does seem to have considered the possibilities more than just in passing.

When asked if motorcycling racing might actually be next for him he replied with an emphatic, ‘In all seriousness, I think so’.

Adding fuel to the fire have been comments from him earlier this month made during press conferences in support of the Dubai Tour.

When asked explicitly if he’d consider hanging up his cycling blocks for motorcycle leathers, he certainly didn’t dismiss the idea, ‘Anything is possible, you know… I will just look at my options for the short term and the long term and see what I do with my future’.

So that’s definitely not a no.

For cycling fans fearful that he might be closer than expected to making the jump, there’s probably not any immediate cause for panic. In the very same Esquire feature he also explicitly stated that he had a ‘fair few years‘ left in his professional career.

Could a cycling pro move over to motorcycles with any expectation of success? Multi-discipline racers aren’t unheard of. Rossi loves his car racing and Lewis Hamilton has always expressed an interest in a taking turn in MotoGP.

But that’s from a motor vehicle on short track racing onto another motor vehicle on a similar track. We’d imagine that the speeds and skills involved from pedal cycle to internal combustion engine are a little less transferable for any moral human.

But then Mark Cavendish isn’t your average human being and reports suggest that the times that he has spent on track have been pretty impressive.

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Indian electric Emflux claims 120mph, over 100 miles range for under £8,000

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Photo: Emflux

Startup company put its first electric sportsbike concept on display, alongside some impressive claims.

The Emflux can hit 62 mph in 3 seconds and charges to over 80 percent in half an hour. Couple that with a range of around 115 miles and a top speed of 120 mph and you have an electric motorcycle to pique anyone’s interest. Throw in a claimed price of under £8000 and you get the room to take notice.

That’s what the Indian startup Emflux did this week at the 2018 Auto Expo in New Delhi.

The 25-strong company has completely developed the machinemachine i and the team have designed everything except for the brakes, suspension and tyres.

Featuring a steel-trellis frame and single-sided swingarm, the chassis of the machine certainly looks the part, and along with the 60kW motor and 9.7 kWh lithium-ion cell battery the entire package only weights 169 kgs.

Alongside the mechanics, the technology on-board features a built-in GPS system, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity – all alongside an NVIDIA Jetson TK1 core processor. That’s a mighty big brain to go alongside some mighty big claims from the startup firm.

The company say that they are planning to build 199 of the bikes for the local, Indian market, with another 300 for export.

Oh and if you want Ohlins suspension, forged alloy wheels and carbon-fibre bodywork, then the price will go up by another £10,000 or so.

With new companies coming out with interesting designs and ideas for new electrically powered motorcycles almost weekly now, surely it’s time for one of the major manufacturers to step in? Isn’t it?

Source: Emflux

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