Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition Trial

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition Trial

Ducati 1299 Panigale R. A sequence of emotion! Before taking the handlebars of the V4 next week, let's close the magnificent story of Ducati twins superbike with the test of the last of its kind, the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition. The moment is historic. In 2018, the first 4-cylinder Ducati Superbike will put an end to one of the most beautiful sagas of the bike. Relegated to the rank of emotional memories, the desmodromic twins will obviously continue to live on the other models of the range but will no longer animate the jewels of the brand. Next week, we will discover the magnitude of this revolution on the handlebars of the Panigale V4, a surge of sensations still unknown so far. But now, the time is goodbye, the last of a line illustrious We are waiting for his test on the station.

Braced in box number 15, the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition hands us its most beautiful rear three-quarter with, in the foreground, its double exit Akrapovic grid WSBK way. Bruno (our photographer) tries to make a remark, tries to put a qualifier on the stage, except that his denture begins to stammer, hatching his best thoughts. I do not understand the meaning of the sounds coming out of my favorite little man but I understand the content: "Well yeah old, you're like me, taped, almost stunned by the diva who stands there. He unpacked in an excitement barely contained his flashes and his objectives, I put on my leather cracked. Bruno points to the sun and throws his chin towards the track. Literally, it means that he judges the perfect light and it is time that I accompany the supermodel on his parade place.

Hypersportive engaged
Two new Pirelli Supercorsa tires, no heat blankets but a largely conciliatory ambient temperature and track allow a serene approach. The beauty starts in a momentum of relatively contained decibels. Pushpin, the way WSBK way suggested stronger than that but it was forget a little faster punch Euro 4 she sports. It should be able to blow these pesky dbkillers hidden behind grids but with only a jack available in the rental car, that's for sure, we would leave ugly marks on the beautiful titanium envelope then no, not touch.

Panigale is a committed sportsman and the position it imposes on its driver leaves no doubt about it. At least, it envelops the cockpit well with the feeling of domination that goes with it. The mechanics are noisy but that, we know. The extraction of the box n° 15 is in the softness with this clutch certainly a manly hair but perfectly dosable and progressive. Immediately and while the decor of the Ricard still scrolls at a very small pace, accuracy and ease of placement is already manifest despite the tires still "cold". We start instinctively by pressing the braking line and put the load on the back, motorcycle straight. The gum rising in temperature, the test will be able to take the thickness, the photographer, images.

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition Trial

A world of sweetness?
The instructions for use of a large Ducati sports twin engine remain very specific, with all the commitment it requires. Some love, others hate. But in this regard, what do they hate in the operation of a big twin like this one? Well, if they were lucky enough to be able to taste this definition, they would probably revise their judgment. Because the features of this "R" engine to the seriously lightened moving crew make him a much sweeter student than anything they can know about this architecture. It is felt in turn entry with this engine brake that is discreet, allowing to play the downshift without restraint, without fear of suffering excessive movement from behind. Of course, the electronics also play its role here but the reduced inertia of this engine extends its benefits until the inscription, while facilitating the changes of angle and softening the phase of recovery of the gases.

In the same vein, there is a drop in requirement for footrest supports in fast baffles. The bike is really lively and does not seem to mark a timeout at the tipping point, even with a lot of engine speed. And since it is less violent the machine, it is the overall sweetness that is harvested. Meanwhile, Bruno puts a few clicks here and there on his Canon case. And go on that I open the diaphragm, that I reduce the shutter speed, etc. He smiles, it's a good sign. On the other hand, I feel that I lack grip behind. My turn to fiddle with the palette of settings proposed by my toy of the day. Clearly, the rear is too hard, imposing too much stress on the tire without being able to stall it early enough. By slightly opening the hydraulic compression, here I find comfort and traction but it should be able to pass a less hard spring. Oh, it's easier to switch from one lens to another on a SLR camera than to replace the spring of the combined Öhlins TTX 36. Especially when one is equipped only with a car jack...

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition Trial

A frank... very frank push
And this Superquadro then? 209.4 horsepower, 14.5 mkg, the spec sheet suggests that it has in the casings, the reality approves. Oh yes it works! And if you actually see the restraint imposed by the homologated line in the raises at the bottom and mid-regimes, up there, it pedal! As usual, the Superquadro block shows the best of itself after 8000 rpm. A course that does not go unnoticed at the controls as it comes with a frank, very frank push. However, if on board the first generations of Panigale 1199 this occurred in a certain savagery, from now on, the punch explosion is otherwise better channeled.

Geometry reconsidered, refined electronics, we do not eat the top triple fork in the chin of the helmet and that is really appreciated. The enormous thrust of 9,000 to 11,000 rpm is finally interrupted by the breaker around 11,300 rpm. In the long and long accelerations experienced in the high-speed parts of Paul-Ricard, the quickshifter makes it possible to chain the rise of the reports in an optimal way. An impulse around 11000 rpm and the higher gear also plunges us back into the zone of maximum force. At the exit of the right of the Sainte-Baume, one passes already the four, swallowing the left commanding the straight line of the Mistral at nearly 200 km / h, full angle and high in the towers.

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition Trial

"It's going to be chipping!"
In front, the straight of the Mistral which takes place on 1.8 km of macadam stands ready to receive a long and powerful desmodromic salvo. Even before the passage of the Pinewood, synonymous with connection between the 3.8 km and 5.8 km, the sixth report is already well locked and coriellement loaded by the 1285 cm3 launched full ball. Shortly before 11,000 rpm, as the North baffle is approaching, the digital speedometer stops galloping so as to display only three small points. I would never see the number 300 in the tachometer window. (gentleman agreement between manufacturers requires), while the tachometer continues its run up to about 11,200 rpm. Which, in maximum theoretical speed, should give us... Hmmmm ... Knowing that I am thoroughly for several seconds, that the engine is close to its maximum speed, that the last gear retransmission primary is 23/24, the final gear in 15 x 39, the Pirelli Supercorsa displays a dimension of 200/55 x 17, etc. Uh ... 


There my coconut, if you do not catch the brakes illico presto, it's likely to make chips! Ouch! What a mordant! Two fingers on the lever and a force measured on the lever are enough to provoke a frank and powerful attack. The dive is perfectly channeled, the deceleration is clear and reassuring, even if it is not at the entrance to Signs that we measure the true strength of the Brembo ensemble, since at this place, we keep a lot of speed with a ropeway at around 190 km / h. In this area, it is better not to blink too long. The bike is very instinctive, is placed very precisely, displays a good stability in this difficult passage and without expanding the output when you put gas thoroughly. This front is decidedly sharp, one would swear to be dealing with a running gear of 600 in the pognes.

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition Trial

"A 600 cm3 that I tell you!"
On big, very big braking, we take advantage of the best provisions of Brembo material. Big biting therefore, and especially, perfect progressivity as much in the rise in pressure as in the degressive phase. Attack hard to transfer the load forces to the front and then re-open the hand gradually but without waiting for a smooth and fast degressive phase. The motorcycle encourages to return always faster since it turns short, never having a tendency to want to widen at the release of brake, not more than at go-around. A 600 cm3 that I tell you! It feels to put the net back very early, the neutral phase being only very brief.

In very tight sectors, we would not be against more gnac soon after the motorcycle straightened but for that, it would be necessary to blow up this flange Euro 4. And Bruno? Where did Bruno go? The time has gone so fast, already 150 km from Ricard shipped since this morning, it will be time to bring the dancer in the box No. 15. Ah, this is my Bruno! This small bending of the knees with the bust that goes back a little twitch, OK, I got it, the code is clear, we end the photo shoot with a peckish attitude and wheeling. Sacred code, sacred Bruno, sacred circuit and above all, sacred bike.

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition Trial

Ducati Panigale Review 1299 R Final Edition
If technically speaking the Panigale 1299 R Final Edition ultimately only a relative interest compared to the Panigale 1199 R, it is instead the irreplaceable title of "Last of the Last", a sort of collector power. An exceptional part requiring a surplus of 6,645 €, the 1199 R being proposed at the price of 33 255 € (at 15/01/18). The question is what future attention will be given (or not) to the worshipers of big twin hypersports? Should they be satisfied with this: "When the end tells the whole story"? The Panigale 1299 R Final Edition being numbered but not limited, we can imagine seeing it rubbing the Desmosedici V4 Stradale for a while, but after? By Bertrand Gold, pictures Bruno Sellier (Moto Revue) and manufacturer.

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition:
Ducati Panigale 1299 R Final Edition, practice
Price: from 39 900 € (at 15/01/18) 
Color: red / white / green 
Warranty: 2 years, parts and labor, unlimited mileage 
Homologation: Euro 4 
Availability: Since July 2017

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition Trial

Technical sheet
Engine: 1,285cc, 4-stroke, 90 ° open twin-cylinder, 116mm bore x 60.8mm stroke, water cooled, desmodromic 2-ACT and 4-hp, electronic fuel injection, 6-speed with Ducati Quick Shifter up and down, Ride by Wire throttle, electric starter, chain transmission 209 hp. (154 kW) at 11,000 rpm, torque 14.2 daNm at 9000 rpm

Part-cycle: aluminum monocoque frame, inverted fork Ohlins NIX30 diam. 43 mm, deb. 120 mm; mono-damper AR Ohlins TTX36, deb. 130 mm; fully adjustable suspensions; front brakes 2 discs diam. 330 mm semi floating / monobloc radial callipers 4 pistons M50 - AR disc diam. 245 mm / 2 piston caliper, ABS standard; front tires 120 / 70ZR17 - AR 200 / 55ZR17

Template: wheelbase 1,443 mm, hunt 96 mm / angle 24 °, seat height 830 mm, tank 17 l., Dry weight (factory) 163 kg / 190 kg all full facts

Performance: + 300 km / h
 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

BMW i3s (2018): How about the "GTI" electric!

BMW i3s 2018. On the occasion of its restyling, the BMW i3 presents a new sporting version, more dynamic to drive as to contemplate. Contradictory with 100% electric propulsion? Answer in this test of BMW i3s. With its torque of Clio RS available immediately (250 Nm from 0 rpm!), The BMW i3 has never lacked nerve at the start of the green light. Its only fault? A dry suspension on the bumps, unwelcome on a city car which offers also a great quietude of driving: total silence of operation thanks to the 100% electric propulsion, and engine brake so marked, with the deceleration, that it is enough to raise the right foot to stop the car at the red light. Delicious, with the habit.

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

Today, the i3 gets its first restyling and we just expected it more comfortable. Finally: BMW draws a new declination i3 "s" which wins 14 hp and 20 Nm of torque, lowers its suspension by 10 mm and shifts its rims from 19 to 20 inches in diameter. Strange choice of evolution.

Price and autonomy BMW i3s
Displayed at the minimum price of € 41,700 (minus € 6,000 bonus), the new i3s claims an additional cost of € 3,600 compared to the classic i3 170 ch itself more expensive from € 800 since the restyling. A rise justified by slightly enriched equipment (100% LED lights, velvet floor mats) and accompanying an unchanged range structure.

The customer retains the choice between three finishes (base, iLife, and + Connected instead of + Edition), associated with four interior environments called Atelier, Loft, Lodge and Suite (modifying the type of upholstery, inserts and interior). lighting, see detailed breakdown on next page ).

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

Alas, nothing changes: at 41 700 €, the first price i3s is always GPS navigation, automatic air conditioning or simple speed regulator series, while prices peak at 51 850 € in a finish that calls for the hands-free key, reversing camera or 10.25 '' screen instead of 6.5 '' in addition...

The auxiliary heat engine, it remains available as an option, and remains charged € 4,550. What extend the autonomy of about 100 km once the batteries are discharged, which alone ensure, according to BMW, 240 km cycle WLTP, and up to 200 km in normal conditions. Let's go check it...

At the wheel of the BMW i3s
The first meters at the wheel of the i3s remind us with pleasure the pleasures of our first meeting. The uncluttered dashboard provides unprecedented forward visibility, the marked engine brake allows for long minutes without ever moving his right foot, and a cathedral silence remains (up to about 110 km / h, before air noises appear) at the wheel of an i3 still able to humiliate the GTI at the slightest pressure on the accelerator...

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

On this point, the gain in power is especially significant on fast tracks, where the  raises become even more effective to insert or undertake an overtaking (accelerations since the stop were not really lacking nerve). Symbolically, the top speed also increases by 10 km / h to reach 160 km / h.

"Still very maneuverable in town and even more successful on the road, the i3s sadly lacks comfort on the bumps"

The comfort, obviously does not improve with the lowered body and larger rims while conversely, the dynamism stagnates in turns: the very direct direction is illusion in the city, but the front wheel still slides early enough, pins, little served by wider front tires, but still narrow (175 mm against 155 mm before).

On slippery road, however, note the best traction control management, which provides effective traction by clamping less torque to acceleration through faster management (reaction time of a millisecond instead of 100 on the old i3 ).

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

At this rate anyway, the energy of the batteries melts like snow in the sun and the new mode of driving Sport  does not arrange anything: during our test mixing city and expressways, the autonomy announced did not exceed not 180 km in terms of mechanics and without air conditioning.

A notable progress since the first battery (which provided a maximum of 190 km in the NEDC cycle, against 280 km for it, appeared early 2017), but which logically imposes longer charging times: 11 hours to recover 80% of the charge on a domestic outlet , against 8 hours for a full recharge before.

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

In this context, the installation of a wallbox at home seems advisable: 7:30 in 16A, or 3 hours 45 on a 32A socket requiring the option "accelerated charge" invoiced € 1,610 (standard on + Connected) . Electric or not, premium models keep their bad habits!

On board the BMW i3s
Recycled plastic dashboard and storm door, wooden glove box lid, steering wheel control removing the center console: the ambience remains special in a BMW i3. This large 10.25-inch screen corresponds to Professional GPS navigation (20 GB hard drive, 3D view in major cities) charged € 1,190 minimum.

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

But unlike recent BMWs, the screen is not tactile (because implanted too far from the driver) and is always controlled via this wheel. Very rigid, the carbon fiber reinforced plastic cell makes futile the middle foot. An advantage for access to the bench, facilitated by small rear doors with opening antagonist. The rear space is correct for a city of 4.01 m long, but the i3 remains homologated in 4 seats maximum. The engine (s) located at the rear elevates the floor of the trunk, which points to 260 l of volume. A Renault Zoe offers 338 l.

BMW i3s Competition
In the small family of 100% electric models, the BMW i3s is the only one to claim the premium circle. Its price / equipment ratio therefore seems misplaced in the face of the new Nissan Leaf (36,990 € in a series of over-equipped launch, against 41,700 € for the i3s first price), the recent Hyundai Ioniq electric (from 35,850 €) or the Kia Soul EV (€ 36,400).

The gap is still widening against the Renault Zoe, the price much softer because its owner does not buy the batteries: from € 23,700, then € 69 per month minimum rental batteries. The French also claims the best autonomy in NEDC cycle, the only value communicated by all four models above: 400 km for the Zoe, 378 km for the Nissan Leaf, and 280 km for the Hyundai Ioniq and the BMW i3s.

Review of the BMW i3s test
Performance but uncomfortable since its launch in 2014, the BMW i3 becomes even more powerful and even less comfortable in this version "i3s". A strange evolution (but claimed by customers, according to BMW), and the additional cost of € 3,600 is nothing trivial. Since then? As much choose the classic i3, and invest this sum in the many (and necessary) options.

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

Pros:
The stunning performance of the electric motor
The maneuverability in town, unbeatable
The very neat presentation in high finish
BMW i3s logo

We regret:
Discomfort on the wrong road
The many options
The extra cost compared to the classic i3

BMW i3s 2018 prices:


i3s
i3s REX
i3 Workshop
$ 41,700
€ 46,250
i3 + Connected Workshop
$ 42,600
$ 47,150
i3 + Connected Loft
$ 44,150
€ 48,700
i3 + Connected Lodge
€ 44,600
49 150 €
i3 + Connected Suite
45 600 €
50 150 €
i3 iLife Workshop
$ 44,300
€ 48,850
i3 iLife Loft
45 850 €
50 400 €
i3 iLife Lodge
46 300 €
€ 50,850
i3 iLife Suite
$ 47,300
$ 51,850

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?

Standard equipment BMW i3s:
  • i3s Base
Six airbags. Manual air conditioning. Radio 4x25W. Connected apps 3 years. Bluetooth. USB plug. Reversing radar. 100% LED lights. Electric mirrors and de-icers. Steering wheel and front seats adjustable in height and depth. Rear seats foldable 50/50. 20-inch alloy wheels. Charging cable on 220V socket.
  • i3s iLife
In addition. Clim', lights and automatic wipers. 6.5 "GPS Navigation. Speed ​​regulator. Steering wheel controls.
  • i3 + Connected

In addition. Fast charging system. Traffic information in real time.

BMW i3s interior ambiances:

  1. Workshop. Leather steering wheel. Upholstery fabric with blue stitching.
  2. Loft. Fabric / imitation leather upholstery. White or orange ambient lighting, reading spots and vanity mirrors.
  3. Lodge. Leather and wool upholstery. Dashboard sheathed in leather. Decorative wood eucalyptus inserts.
  4. Following. Leather upholstery. Decorative inserts in oak wood.

BMW i3s options:
  • Metallic paint: 670 €
  • Business GPS Navigation: € 1,090 (basic)
  • Professional GPS Navigation: € 1,190 (€ 2,090 on base)
  • Apple CarPlay: 300 €
  • Rear view camera: 450 €
  • Front parking radar: 250 €
  • Heated front seats: 340 €
  • Glass roof: 990 €
  • Pedestrian buzzer: 110 €
  • Black alloy wheels: 160 €
BMW i3s packs:
Advanced Serenity Pack: € 1,890
  • Professional GPS Navigation
  • Real-time traffic info
  • Harman Kardon audio system
  • Handsfree key
Advanced Parking Pack: € 1,000
  • Reversing camera
  • Front parking radar
  • Automatic hands-free parking
Advanced Safety Pack: € 1,000
  • Braking and collision warning
  • Adaptive cruise control with congestion function
  • Reading the panels

BMW i3s dimensions:
Length: 4.01 m
Width: 1.79 m
Height: 1.59 m
Wheelbase: 2.57 m
Trunk volume: from 260 l to 1 100 l
Tires: 175/55 R20 to the front, 195/50 R20 at the rear
Spare tire: no, repair kit
Weight empty: 1340 kg

BMW i3s technology:
Engine: Synchronous electric
Power: 135 kW (184 hp)
Torque: 270 Nm at 0 rpm
Battery: Lithium-ion 353 V, 94 Amps or 32.9 kWh
Transmission: Rear wheels
Transmission: Automatic 1-speed

BMW i3s performance:
0 to 100 km / h: 6,9 s
Max speed: 160 km / h

Consumption / Autonomy BMW i3s:
Conso mix: 14.3 kWh / 100 km 

Autonomy announced in Comfort mode:
280 km (NEDC cycle)
235-245 km (WLTP cycle)
up to 200 km in real conditions

Cooldown at 80%:
11H on 230V socket
7:30 on Wallbox 3.7 kW 16A
3H45 on Wallbox 7.4 kW 32A

2018 Bonus: € 6,000

Taxation / Warranty BMW i3s
Fiscal power: 3 CV
Warranty: Two years, unlimited mileage
Battery Warranty: Eight years or 100,000 km

BMW i3s (2018): Worth for the "GTI" electric?
Photo: largus.fr

Saturday, January 13, 2018

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

VW Polo GTI. Now powered by a 2-liter 200-horsepower, the Polo GTI appears well-equipped to shake up the hierarchy of city sports. Marginally more powerful than his predecessor - who was content with 192 hp - this new Polo GTI is nevertheless very (too) wise in the heat of the action. Its comfortable suspension openly favors stability over agility, its strong engine at low revs lacks brilliance above, while the management of its double-clutch gearbox seems to have been thought more for the ride than for a rally special. This Polo GTI appears more road than sport, as if it had been kindly requested not to overshadow the Golf, wearing the same acronym, or to leave room for a much more radical version of Polo, as this hypothetical declination R 300 hp. 4-wheel drive that the rumor continues to swell in our ears.

THE PROJECT
In Europe, the small sports segment is dominated on the premium side by the Mini Cooper S, and on the general side by the Ford Fiesta ST. It is mainly to the latter - of which 11,400 copies have been sold on the old continent, against 8,600 Polo GTI - that this Volkswagen intends to measure and cut back croupiers. And the window to achieve this could be short, since a new generation eagerly awaited this Ford Fiesta ST animated by a 3-cylinder 200 hp. should be commercialized in the first half of 2018.

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

THE TECHNIQUE
While awaiting a possible even more powerful declination and, why not, 4 wheel drive, this GTI is the leading version of the 6th generation Polo launched in 2017, and developed on the platform MQBA0 released a few months earlier by the Seat Ibiza.

In addition to specific suspension settings (and the option of optional two-position damping), the GTI version is distinguished from the rest of the Polo range by its mechanics, a 4-cylinder 2-liter turbocharged petrol engine. injection of 200 hp. Contrary to what a quick glance at the spec sheet could suggest, it is not a deflated version of the block of the Golf GTI, but rather a performance a little further than the 'an Audi A4 Ultra. And the difference is important.

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

While the low-compression (9.6: 1) Golf block is more power and high-revving, with a large turbocharger whose response time is reduced thanks to the variable lift exhaust distribution ( valvelift type), which was originally developed for Audi has a high compression ratio (11.65: 1) and is content with a small turbocharger, while its variable lift is used on admission to reduce filling and losses by pumping at low load in favor of reduced consumption. As a result, if the torque curve rises to 1,500 rpm, the maximum power is fully developed at a speed worthy of a diesel engine: 4,400 rpm.

Likewise, this GTI polo does not take over the active locking differential proposed on the Golf (Performance version), it is content with the so-called XDS function using the braking system in a targeted way to limit the slippage of the wheel unloaded cornering.

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

LIFE ON BOARD
The first contact with the Polo GTI is excellent. Remarkably finished, the cabin is enhanced for this version of a 10.25-inch digital instrumentation block and an 8-inch touch screen that gives the whole a true modernity. But the essential is elsewhere: the GTI adds to the perfect position that offers any Polo, bucket seats - stretched with a tartan fabric like the original Golf GTI of 1976 - which ensure excellent support. For the rest, the habitability and the trunk are those of a Polo "normal", that is to say in the right average for the category.

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

NOTICE OF AUTO POINT
The Polo GTI is a very easy car to live and to drive. The controls fall perfectly under the hand, the suspension gently absorbs the corrugations of the coating, while the engine is available and vigorous at low speeds, which is also very suitable for the DSG6 box, the only transmission available for the launch of the model, which should however be proposed later with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Yet, just a straight line and a few clear turns to get to the obvious, the sport is still not his cup of tea. As his specs let him fear, the thrust of the engine makes a plateau past 4,400 rpm, which is a little short for a sports-oriented mechanics. The DSG6 box then: even in Sport mode, it almost always refuses to downshift during braking phases, which forces it to perform this maneuver during re-acceleration, causing response times and jerks. Finally, the direction, consistent, but informative, controls a chassis whose settings are outrageously privileged stability on agility.

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

As a result, regardless of the load transfer applied when entering the curve, the driver inevitably has to deal with the appearance of a progressive understeer as the grip limits approach, and a motor skill easily taken into account. in default at the end of tight curve. A behavior that has the merit of being easy to understand whatever the road conditions, but that does not distill the pleasure of driving that one is entitled to expect from a GTI, and yet provide its competitors whether it's the Fiesta ST, the DS3 Performance, or the Peugeot 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport. No longer for enthusiasts to wait for a hypothetical Polo R that could be shown not only more powerful, but above all much more radical.

PROS:
Comfort
Finish / Facilities
versatility

CONS:
Impressive behavior / motor skills
Reactive DSG box
High weight and price

VW Polo GTI: More GT than GTI

VW Polo GTI Specs & Price:
Engine: 4 cylinders direct injection turbo gasoline
Cylinder capacity: 1,984 cm3
Power: 200 hp from 4,400 to 6,000 rpm
Torque: 320 Nm from 1,500 to 4,400 rpm
Transmission: front wheels
Box: 6-speed dual clutch (soon manual too)
Dimensions: 4,067 x 1,751 x 1,438 mm
Safe: from 305 to 1079 l
0 to 100 km / h: 6.7 s
Speed: 237 km / h
Consumption: 5.9 l 134 g / km (540 € penalty)
Weight: 1,280 kg (6.4 kg / hp)
Price: starting from 28 920 €

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Suzuki GSX-250R Test - Brilliant but less sporty

Suzuki GSX-250R Test - Brilliant but less sporty

Suzuki GSX-250R Review. A2 license in hand, you can access a few sports on the market of the new bike. The new Suzuki GSX-250R is one of them. Yes, a GSX-250R, not a GSX-R 250. To understand, read on! She is brilliantly illusion! Without a doubt, the new Suzuki GSX-250R is a very pretty bike. It may look small, but it is very rewarding with its harmonious volumes that play in her favor. Note also that the MotoGP replica color of our Suzuki GSX-250R test is going to delight, but implies an additional cost of 100 €. Here is a nice surprise: despite its small capacity and its Chinese manufacture in a local factory 100% Suzuki, it is cute this new 2017. What makes us all the more regret not to see more motorcycles of this category in France, which for the moment still, remains a niche market and for good reason: these 250 are not very present in the concessions and therefore less visible, and in the end little diffused, CQFD.

MotoGP in 250 cc bottle
Despite being among the new 2017 Japanese manufacturer, the Suzuki GSX-250R was not born a blank sheet and for good reason, it takes some parts of the GW 250 Inazuma. This small-capacity utility roadster has not met with resounding success in France, even if its owners appreciate it as evidenced by the opinions on this 250 inazuma in the Maxitest. Clearly, the 250 (and 400) respond primarily to the demand of the Japanese domestic market where they are favored by local legislation, and are then generally exported in greater or lesser volumes depending on the economic "sensitivities" of their destination countries: more for emerging countries, less for countries already "emerging".

Suzuki GSX-250R Test - Brilliant but less sporty

With the GSX250R, Suzuki tries once again foray into a category still atypical at home in terms of volume (less than 2,000 units counting the KTM 390, 1.2% market), but today more expanded in number of models (see the sales figures of motorcycles from 250 to 390 cm3 at the bottom of the article).

Impressive ease
It's impossible to start testing this new Suzuki GSX-R 250 without dwelling on its sturdy, compact size. With my small meter seventy, I do not often have the opportunity to feel like a giant on a bike over 125 cm3. Here, it is nevertheless the case, although thanks to a judicious ergonomics, the GSX-250R can accommodate without difficulty pilots of higher stature. The low seat height (790 mm) also helps to easily lay your feet on the ground, flat on both sides when you reach 170 cm (please). By manipulating the bike, we see its weight content. At the weigh-in (all full facts), we find almost the value announced by Suzuki (183 kilos against 181 kilograms announced). The dashboard is illuminated and is the image of the bike: very rewarding.

Suzuki GSX-250R Test - Brilliant but less sporty

The small vertical twin cylinder of 248 cm3 emits a very discreet sound. The clutch control cable is bluffing with smoothness and progressivity to use. The handling of the gearbox and the metering of the accelerator are of the same level and one takes off on a net of gas. Then just walk a few hundred meters to realize the ease of driving of this little white sports and mainly blue especially. Aside from a turning circle that's a bit straight in the face of pure juice utilities, the Suzuki GSX-250R has an impressive grip of ease! In town, it's a real bike that seems even less than its weight checked!

Forget the left lane!
This is a small engine very easy to access, not sad to watch and can be strongly recommended to beginners, those who come back to the bike, young bikers in need of confidence. To do this, the flexibility of the twin parallel is an asset, but past the stage of discovery, performance appears limited. In the city, we will do without it easily. On the other hand, on the more clear roads, road and moreover highway, the announced 25 horses are more peaceful ponies than fiery thoroughbreds.

Suzuki GSX-250R Test - Brilliant but less sporty

Maximum performance for this GSX-250R, count on 139 km / h peak (meter) on the flat, 141 km/h downhill, with about 132 km/h real GPS. In theory, it will be impossible to be flashed on the highway. What appears, it is true, a little paradoxical considering the name of this bike, when one thinks that his big sister, the new GSX-R 1000 R, takes about 155 km/h first. It is therefore far from the time of RG 250 Gamma RGV 250 and other machines! On the other hand, the GSX-250R catches up on the comfort of rolling, satisfying thanks to a supple seat, suspensions much less low-end than expected (a good surprise!) And, one will say, a semblance of protection of the part of the full fairing.

Suzuki GSX-250R Test - Brilliant but less sporty

Ultra healthy
It was predictable, his accelerations do not really give the thrill and his occasions under the mid-regimes are mollassonnes. But that does not detract from the approval of this engine debonair, but always voluntary. As proof, its flexibility on the small roads, its vibrations almost absent even at high speed (say 115 km/h), its discreet sound including on highway when one rolls with only 500 rpm of the red zone and a average consumption (4 l/100 km) that will seduce the most stingy. Therefore, the positioning of the bike appears clearer by the yardstick of its performance level and its name: it is a GSX-250R rather than a GSX-R 250. And it may be a nothing damage considering the capabilities of the part-cycle.

Indeed, the stability/agility compromise is remarkable. A test on all types of road profiles, the GSX-250R remains ultra healthy, finally quite precise in its placement in the turns. Thanks to the sensation of ultra-low weight, low engine braking, it is very easy to curve on the momentum. Largely enough to discover the first sporting excitement of the corner taking, provided that the coating is dry, because tires IRC Roadwinner RX01 quickly become "Roadlooser" in the rain. As much replace them as soon as possible (by Bridgestone BT45 for example). Lastly, on the braking side, the simple front disc fulfills its role, without any jitter, and the ABS is quite transparent.

Suzuki GSX-250R Test - Brilliant but less sporty

Appraisal: Less sporty than useful
What is the test result of this new Suzuki GSX-250R model 2017? If we stop at its pace of sports, the disappointment may be large given the modest performance of its engine that suggests that we are dealing with a big 125 cm3 rather than a real 250 cm3. In this, it can not compete directly with more powerful competitors like the Yamaha YZF-R3 or the KTM RC390 for example.

But if we consider the GSX-250R as a beautiful utility disguised, it becomes this time much more sympathetic. With its reasonable consumption, reduced maintenance, standard ABS, the little Suzuki becomes a needy man to live in everyday life, economic alternative to your beautiful mount weekend. Finally, its remarkable ease of driving is particularly for beginners in the A2 category and as this progressive license now concerns all newcomers, it will remain interesting on the second hand market. Rest a price (5 399 € in black, 5 499 € in replica colors, to 09/08/17) still too high in this category of cubic capacity. By Christophe Le Mao, Bruno Sellier photos for moto-station.com

Suzuki GSX-250R Test - Brilliant but less sporty

More:
Value line
Taking in obvious hands
General comfort
Engine approval
Part-cycle very healthy

Less:
(Very) limited performance
Standard tires in the wet
Price a bit high

Suzuki GSX-250R: Practical
Price: 5 399 € std / 5 499 € replica, to 09/08/17 
Color: black, blue replica motogp 
Warranty: 2 years, parts warranty and MO, unlimited mileage 
Homologation: A2 license , Euro 4, two places 
Availability: Immediate reduced quantity

Technical sheet
Engine: 248 cc, 4-stroke, vertical twin, 53.5 mm bore x 55.2 mm stroke, 1 ACT, liquid cooling, electronic fuel injection, electronic ignition, 6-speed gearbox, electric starter, chain drive 
Power 25 hp. at 8,000 rpm, torque 2,34 mkg at 6,500 rpm
Cycle part : double cradle steel tubular frame, non-adjustable hydraulic fork, adjustable single-shock AR in 6-position preload, AV brakes 1 disc diam. 290 mm / caliper 2 pistons - rear disk diam. 240 mm / 1-piston caliper, ABS standard, front tires 110/80 x 17 - rear 140/70 x 17
Template: size (L x W x H) 2085 mm x 740 mm x 110 mm, wheelbase 1430 mm, ground clearance 160 mm, seat height 790 mm, tank 15 liters, weight 181 kg all full details (manufacturer) - 183 kg verified MS
Performance: maximum speed 139 km / h (11,000 rpm meter), average consumption checked 4.0 l./100 km, average range approx.

Friday, January 5, 2018

BMW X3 M40i test: Too athletic?

BMW X3 M40i test: Too athletic?

BMW X3 M40i. The BMW X3, 3rd generation, inaugurates a very nasty version M40i, boosted by the 6-cylinder in line 3.0 turbo 360 hp. On the program: really sporty performances and sound, but also very stiff comfort. A flick on the button "start & stop" is enough to take the measure of this X3 M40i. All exhaust valves open, the 3.0 turbo gasoline climbs instantly to 1500 rpm, and stays there for 30 good seconds, exhaling, even if the block is already in temperature, a music raucous, hot, and very powerful. Recalling furiously the character of the "real" BMW M, this stream of nice decibels excludes any possibility of discreet departure face to face the neighborhood. In unison with this exuberant six-in-line, the muscular look incorporates a largely open front-side shield, air-guide extractors behind the front wheels, as well as a diffuser between the two exhaust outlets. All in keeping with the dynamic temperament on the road, X3 high performance.

Four modes, a preference
Equipped with active steering with variable gear ratios and, on our test model, the M Sport suspension option, this high-performance BMW features an unusually sharp front axle for an SUV. Very pleasant on winding road, where this M does not seem to make his weight (1,810 kg anyway, despite a relief of 55 kg), this agility however finds its limits if the turns are tightening with a front that loses then grip quite brutally and without warning. A lack of progressivity - unattractive on wet roads - due, in large part, to large anti-roll bars, essential to the stability of the machine. With rear steering wheels, BMW could have chosen more progressive and efficient settings, but these are not planned on the X3.

BMW X3 M40i Interior

BMW X3 M40i Interior

Its anti-roll bars are also responsible for strong transverse body movements on degraded roads, which shake the body and head laterally, degrading comfort. Despite the controlled damping, softness is not the strong point of this M40i outside flat surfaces. The acceptable choice is the Adaptive mode, certainly firm, especially at low speeds but able to provide, depending on the pace and coating, the most suitable damping force. We prefer it to the comfort mode, which is too soft, leaving the rear waving and bouncing on the stops, and Sport + Sport + modes exaggeratedly firm, doing a much too heavy steering and a box Auto. 8, too typical, refusing to pass the last report even at 130 km / h.

Finally a touch screen on the X3
As you will have understood, except for your quarter of an hour of craziness, the Adaptive position is essential not to put the family at bay, and let it enjoy a very refined interior, where space does not matter. not lack , neither for the luggage nor for the legs of the big ones installed at the back. Given the performance of this edgy X3, your occupants would appreciate, however, a less flat and longer seat to better support their thighs. And above all, a folder offering better lateral support, almost nonexistent here.

BMW X3 M40i Interior

BMW X3 M40i Touch Screen

It is appreciated however that this third generation of X3 finally adopts the touch screen facilitating the ergonomics of entertainment systems increasingly rich and complex. From now on, to control these hundreds of electronic functions, you have the choice between this one or the commands at the wheel, the wheel iDrive, the voice command, and finally the command gesture. Functionality that we do not recommend given its reaction time, lack of precision, and non-functioning recurring. Now remains to take over, in a few weeks, 2.0 diesel (190 hp) or petrol (184 hp) - much more requested - hoping that a more "family" comfort will be at the rendezvous.

BMW X3 M40i test: Too athletic?

Trade nameBMW X3 M40i
Engine6-cylinder in-line, Turbo, 24 S, 2998 cm 3
Power360 hp
Couple500 Nm
Transmission4x4
Box typeAutomatic
Image: © Bruno Picault

Thursday, January 4, 2018

KTM RC390 vs Suzuki GSX 250 R vs Yamaha YZF-R3

KTM RC390 vs Suzuki GSX 250 R vs Yamaha YZF-R3

No need for 100 horses or more to roam the roads! The new generation of sports 250/300 cm3 can already have fun and against all odds! The idea of ​​this comparison, organized in collaboration with our colleagues of Moto Revue, was to join the south of France, and in particular the Paul Ricard circuit, by privileging the secondary network. Or, a journey rather tantalizing on paper and that would allow to gauge the potential of each bike here, each already tested solo on the circuit: the KTM RC390, the Suzuki GSX 250 R and the Yamaha YZF-R3. Three small sports approved for the A2 license and all indicated to become your very first bike.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125

Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125

Attractive, efficient and financially attractive, the KTM 125 Duke quickly became one of the top 5 125cc registrations. Long without a real competitor, she must now count with a Yamaha MT-125 decided to do battle. So, the duel begins!

KTM Duke 125 VS Yamaha MT-125
Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125Launched in 2011, the KTM 125 Duke quickly found its audience. Designed in Austria but manufactured in India (at Bajaj, partner of KTM), it combines a modern and aggressive design with desire to a chassis of quality and a powerful motorization of 15 horses, the maximum authorized in this category. Its attractiveness has increased since 2013 with the adoption of a deactivatable ABS series, all against the modest sum of 4100 euros.



Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125In the position of challenger, the Yamaha MT-125 (read our test MNC June 10, 2014: Roll (mechanics) youth!) Barely yet to compete with the KTM on the tariff plan. It is indeed proposed to 4299 euros without ABS and 4699 euros with, or 599 € more! A price differential that can be explained in part by the very design of the machine, based on the sporty YZF-R125 Deltabox frame and powerful engine, but especially by the fact that this bike is built in France in the factory Yamaha of Saint-Quentin (02), with a workforce certainly qualified but a priori more expensive.

However, the MT-125 already threatens the Duke in the first six months of 2015, with 636 registrations for the French-Japanese against 506 for his rival Austro-Indian!

Opposition of styles
On the aesthetic level, the KTM certainly marks points with its big size and rewarding big motorcycle, its orange color with the decor "flashy", its sharp dressing parts, its beautiful tubular lattice frame, its compact exhaust muffler housed in a low position under the engine and its flat handlebars handlebar handles provided supermotard handguards.

Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125

Beautiful work, with the crowning of all the suspensions "home" WP flattering to the eye and a beautiful beacon in two parts superimposed, surmounted by a small jump of wind and surrounded by pretty flashing LEDs.

The MT-125 is no exception in terms of size, just as rewarding, but it may seem a little less sexy with its long - and false - scoops of air intake along the tank, its silencer very ordinary exhaust and its bulky low engine trim.

Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125

Same finding in the color "Race-Blu" alloy wheels - otherwise pretty - which could have remained black for more sobriety. The general line of the MT-125, however, remains pleasant and balanced with a nice fork head, a perforated top triple fork, aluminum handlebars with variable diameter, a saddle cover Alcantara way, a superb openwork swing arm to let the chain and a slender rear train, with the rear light housed at the wheel arch.

A style immediately identifiable and close to the other models of the range "Master of Torque" of the Japanese manufacturer (MT-09, MT-07). Both have a small trunk under saddle with tool kit, under the pilot seat on the Yamaha and passenger on the KTM. The latter, however, is the only one to offer genuine passenger grips.

Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125
KTM Duke 125

Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125
Yamaha MT-125
In terms of dashboards, KTM and Yamaha are in the 100% digital: simple multifunctional dial for the Duke and large dial in three parts for the MT-125. There is more or less the same information, including a fuel gauge, indicators of average and instant consumption and a light shift signaling over-revving.

The KTM takes the advantage thanks to its gear ratio indicator - not a gadget on motorcycles as mechanically sharp - and its very practical backlighting buttons on the commodos. On the Yamaha, an "info" button on the right button facilitates the change of display on the meter, while the absence of a pin complicates the deployment of the side stand. Both are noted equipment shortcomings, such as the lack of adjustment spacing of the brake and clutch handles, and the lack of a warning command.

Duel Little Engine: Yamaha MT-125 Vs KTM Duke 125

The capacity of the fuel tanks of the two motorcycles is close: 11.5 liters for the Yamaha and 11 for the KTM, which has a hinged type aviation plug. The chain tension setting is pushed to both. Ready? In the saddle! Photo by; Gwendal Salaun for moto-net.com.