Paris Motorcycle Show auto news

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Paris 2008: Peugeot RC HYmotion4 Concept gets 52.3 mpg

10/04/2008   [Original: Peugeot via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Hybrids/Alternative, Green, Peugeot, Paris Motorcycle Show

Click above for high-res gallery of the Peugeot RC HYmotion4 Concept

The RC HYmotion4 concept is one of several hybrid concepts using a new through-the-road hybrid system being shown in Paris by Peugeot and Citroen. Unlike the hybrid systems used by current production vehicles, this one has no direct mechanical connection between the electric and internal combustion drive systems. The Peugeot RC has a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder in the back driving the rear wheels with 218 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque, while additional propulsion comes from a 70 kW electric motor situated between the front wheels. This way, the RC can operate in either rear-, front- or all-wheel-drive modes. That means it can also operate using internal combustion, electric only or blended modes, respectively. The 3,141-lb four-door coupe accelerates from 0-62 mph in just four seconds when both gasoline and electricity are flowing. The electrons are stored in a lithium-ion battery pack of indeterminate size, but having the electric motor at the front instead of the rear axle means that more kinetic energy can be recaptured through regenerative braking. According to Peugeot, the RC can get 52.3 mpg and output CO2 emissions of just 109 g/km. It's a trick system for sure, but there's no word on whether it's ever going to be produced.

Gallery: Paris 2008: Peugeot RC HYmotion4 concept

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Paris Preview: Officially Official, Honda's new hybrid is the Insight!

09/05/2008   [Original: Honda via Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Green, Hatchbacks, Honda, Paris Motorcycle Show

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Honda Insight Concept

Honda is reviving an old name for its new Global Hybrid that goes on sale next spring by calling it the Insight. The new five-door hatchback "Prius-Killer" will be the most direct competitor yet for Toyota's iconic hybrid. Learning from the lesson that hybrid buyers apparently prefer their cars to be recognizable as such rather than being derivatives of existing models, Honda has modeled the new Insight after its low volume FCX Clarity fuel cell car and will be debuting it as a concept at the Paris Motor Show next month before it goes on sale as the least expensive hybrid in the world in 2009. Recent comments by Honda have hinted at a price starting at $18,500 for the Insight, which goes on sale 10 years after the original. Unlike the tiny two-seater that had limited appeal and utility, this new one is expected to appeal to a much wider audience. Honda is planning for worldwide sales of 200,000 units a year with 100,000 going to the U.S. market.

Gallery: Paris 08: Honda Insight Concept

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Details on Mazda1 revealed

05/27/2008   [Original: Auto Express via Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Green, Hatchbacks, Mazda, Paris Motorcycle Show

High energy costs and growth in emerging markets have automakers scrambling to downsize their product plans, and ultra-small transportation like the VW up! is bound to bring low-cost city cars to the masses. Mazda intends to be a serious player in this burgeoning segment and will unveil the Mazda1 concept in Paris this fall, expected to look like the sketch above and influenced by the Nagare design language.

Mazda promises that the production vehicle will be more "radical" in production trim, though it likely won't carry fuel cells and batteries like the concept. The automaker does plan on offering amenities like navigation, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, and the micro will have sliding doors and seats to make getting in and out easier. Mazda engineers are also working hard to make sure the Mazda1 is environmentally friendly, which means low emissions, small powertrains, and low weight. Fortunately, those very same attributes will also help keep costs down, which should help Mazda offer the vehicle everywhere from India and China to more developed regions like Europe and the US.

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Does Ludovic Lazareth build a better bike than Buell?

10/19/2007   [Original: Lazareth, Gizmag via Autoblog]
Category: Motorcycles, Paris Motorcycle Show

Lazareth combines a few of his most frequently-used elements on his newest creation based on the current generation fuel-in-the-frame Buell chassis. Employing a supercharger which was previously used in the engine bay of a last-generation Mini Cooper S, the Lazarus also features a single-sided swingarm and single-sided front fork. The Buell chassis lends itself well to the use of a supercharger because the airbox on top is completely replaced by the power-adder and a nice frame cut-out is already present for the belt drive. Being that the Buell platform stores oil in the swingarm, its replacement required the use of an external oil tank. Notice the abundant use of carbon fiber as well as the three-spoke wheels which look to have been swiped from Ducati.

This custom is very cool and looks relatively easy to reproduce. Whether or not Lazareth has any plans to offer the bike for sale, we don't know. But, this article mentions that the custom adjustable suspension is currently being studied and may be offered in the future with electronic adjustment. When way over-the-top is just enough, it looks like Lazareth is the man to talk to.

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Honda introduces the all-new 2008 CBR1000RR

10/04/2007   [Original: Honda, Motorcycle-USA via Autoblog]
Category: Honda, Motorcycles, Paris Motorcycle Show

Click above image to view gallery of the new CBR1000RR.

If you're a fan of sportbikes, you're faced with more quality choices now than ever before. While that means that no matter what you choose you're not likely to be disappointed, it also means that researching your decision is also harder than ever before. Yesterday, we took a look at the new BMW HP2-Sport, which faces tough competition for your hard earned dollars from the Big Four Japanese manufacturers. Starting with Honda, which is the largest of the Japanese motorcycle companies, we have a brand new CBR100RR. Known as the Fireblade in Europe, Honda launched the bike last week at the Paris Motorcycle Show. Take a look at our gallery, and you are likely to have some strong opinions on the styling. The front end looks eerily similar to the new Ducati 1098, but much of the rest of the bike is a departure from the sportbike norm.

While many companies are featuring very edgy design themes, Honda seems to be smoothing out the lines of their newest liter-bike. The most controversial item is likely to be the new exhaust system. Following in the footsteps of the innovative Buell brand, most sportbikes are relocating their heavy exhaust cans to the underside of their bikes, which centralizes that mass. It also keeps the heat away from your posterior, which has been an ongoing problem with the underseat muffler designs. Honda has chosen to integrate the exhaust into the bodywork, likely making it difficult for the aftermarket to offer systems which improve on the performance of the factory system without degrading the finish. So, if you hate the exhaust... perhaps you should look elsewhere or you'll be stuck with it.

Gallery: 2008 Honda CBR1000RR

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BMW introduces new R1200S-based HP2 Sport

10/04/2007   [Original: BMW, Bikes in the Fast Lane via Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, BMW, Motorcycles, Paris Motorcycle Show

click above image to view gallery of the BMW HP2 Sport

Longtime BMW riders would hardly recognize the motorcycles coming from the Bavarian bike maker these days. Starting with the redesign of the R-Series models and their bump in displacement to 1200cc's a few years ago, BMW has been making a statement that it's going to be moving the brand up in the performance ranks. The four cylinder K1200 series has given BMW an image-bike that further cements it into the high performance race, and now the R1200S HP2 Sport will take the BMW brand back to the race track in style.

Starting with the R1200S as its base, already BMW's sportiest model, the HP2 adds new 4-valve heads sporting dual overhead cams. Redlining at around 9,500 RPM, the power output of the engine has been increased to 128 horsepower, and the 85 ft-lb. of torque makes this engine very powerful for an air-cooled boxer-twin. Routing that muscle to the rear wheel is a six-speed gearbox featuring a quick-shifter that allows the bike to survive full-throttle up-shifts and performs quicker than what can be done using your hands and feet.

Gallery: BMW HP2 Sport

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Paris Motorcycle Show: KTM Concept 690 Stunt

10/02/2007   [Original: KTM, Bikes in the Fast Lane, Raptors and Rockets via Autoblog]
Category: Euro, Motorcycles, Paris Motorcycle Show

From time to time on Autoblog, we run stories featuring KTM's new X-Bow roadster. Color us orange with anticipation at the prospect of an open-air performance machine from the Austrian company normally known for generating excitement with fewer wheels by two. Case in point: the new KTM Concept 690 Stunt. Using their new single-cylinder LC4 engine displacing 654cc's, this machine features an awesome single-sided swingarm, Renthal handlebar, orange crashbars and a 12 o'clock bar aft of the single seat. If this law-breaker-to-be is too over-the-top for you, consider the bike on which it's based: the 690 Supermoto.

Also receiving the new LC4 engine is the 690 Duke. If you prefer your cycling to be done after the pavement ends, KTM has you covered with the 690 Enduro. Each of the new 690 models features a steel trellis frame and an USD fork. No matter what your taste in riding is these days, KTM has a bike to cater to you. Rest assured, even though KTM is testing the sportscar market, they haven't forgotten their orange and black roots.

One more thing... you didn't think that KTM had forgotten you superbike folks did you? Neither did we.

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2008 Honda Transalp debuts in Paris

09/30/2007   [Original: Motorcycle Daily via Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Euro, Honda, Motorcycles, Paris Motorcycle Show

Besides all being categorized as "Adventure Touring" bikes, what do the Suzuki V-Strom series and Kawasaki's new Versys have in common? They're both less than 1000cc's and sold in America. Not that we're keeping track or anything, but so are the BMW R1200GS, KTM 990 Adventure, Triumph Tiger 1050, Ducati Multistrada, Aprilia Caponord and even the new Benelli TreK 1130. Not so the Honda Transalp, which has just been completely refreshed and is being shown off at the Paris Motorcycle Show. Sporting a liquid-cooled V-Twin of just less than 700cc's, the Transalp would make a very logical competitor to the aforementioned Versys 650 and V-Strom 650, wouldn't you say? It's not so much that Honda's own XR650L is a bad bike -- it's actually quite good at what it does -- we just doubt that many potential buyers cross-shop the XR with bikes in the Adventure category. Consider too that BMW is rumored to be bringing a GS version of the new F800 stateside as well, and a strong argument could be made that Honda should enter the market.

Regardless of whether it comes to the U.S. or not, the Transalp is a fine Adventure Tourer. A look at our hosted pictures will show you that Honda has made some serious upgrades to their super-popular Euro-bound machine. Riders should enjoy the protection provided by the ample windscreen and fairing, and will likely find a comfortable riding position. Pictures also show the serious routing maneuvers the exhaust gases are forced to take as the bike has been made Euro 3 emissions compliant. If you're reading this and you live in the States, take heart... Kawasaki saw fit to make their new Versys available here. Maybe Honda will show us some love too.

Gallery: 2008 Honda Transalp

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