Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Poking my weak spots....

Jim Duffield knows my weak spots all too well. Travellers and sidecars. He sent me a photo of a Traveller with a sidecar. "Are you grinning yet??" is all he said in his email. Grinning?! I am going weak at the knees. I had previously posted some pics of a Sport and sidecar. This same company also fits chairs to the Traveller.
This is what Jim sent me....

So I followed the link and here are the rest. I want to do this to mine and I don't. I know the stress that a chair puts on a modern bike. Maybe in Europe it is different but here down under where we travel huge distances I think the Traveller is too small. But I could be wrong.

If it was fitted to a bike here this is what it would look like on the 'correct' side. ;-)

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Ride impression of the Yamaha MT-03.....

Yamaha have realeased their new 660 based single. The MT-03. See I so want one....MT-03 The bike can be had in Europe but not here in Aussie land. I have asked Yamaha Australia if they will bring them in. They said "No plans at this stage to introduce the MT03 in to Australia." To rub salt into the wounds, axxess, the forum admin guy at got to ride one. NOOOO!!! So unfair. He translated his ride impression into English for those of us who will not get to ride this. Thank you mate for doing this for us. So lets see what he has to say.....

Saturday 16 February I could try the Yamaha MT-03 at Gebben Motors. I could try a brand new red 2008 model. After a short instruction and a warning because of the new tires we were ready to go! The first thing I noticed was the enormous wide steer and the upright riding position It gave me a feeling of absolute control and power! The seat was quit hard but not uncomfortable at all.

Unless it was still freezing that morning the machine immediate rides well. The gears were going smooth without the typical clicking sounds some other Yamaha models make. The first miles gave me a pretty weird feeling, this because you can’t see the motor-cycle below you. It gave me a feeling like I was hovering above the tarmac without anything below my butt. The machine took the corners excellent and gave a lot of trust!

The instrument panel of the MT-03 is minimized. It offers a small torque meter and a small digital display for the speed and the trip counters. A few led lights are mounted above the display to indicate the neutral and the blinker status for example. Because of the upright riding position you really have to look down to read the speed-display or the torque-meters. Also the sun made it hard to see what was displayed. Luckily it is possible to adjust the brightness of the dashboard in three steps.

The engine works marvelous in the MT-03. It has a lot of power also at the low range! Riding the MT-03 you’ll run quickly through each gear which keeps you really active. The top speed of the MT-03 was around 160 km/h. Because of the upright position I took all the wind and it wasn’t a pleasure to ride that speed at all. Cruising around 130 km/h is much better to do!

The brakes worked very well and had a nice ‘bite’ without being too aggressive. The exhaust did sound well but produced way to less noise in my opinion. Lucky Yamaha can provide the MT-03 with an Akrapovic exhaust system too!

Beside the brave the exhaust system there was another small disadvantage. At constant speeds you could feel that the injection was ‘searching’ a bit. The dealer told this was because the machine was brand new and it should be better after the first 1000 miles.

Concluding I can say that the MT-03 is a marvelous machine. It has a lot of power and is running through the gears smoothly. The machine handles extraordinary in the corners and is made to play. It isn’t a machine for high speeds at the high-way or the long straights.

By the way, I liked the machine so much, that I have bought one this weekend!

Now that is some ride impression if you liked it that much that you went and bought one.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Postcards from 9... Trip to Finland...

Some more photos from Michael's trip to Finland to the MZ Rally.

On the main road south of city of of Ikaalinen , Finland.
The sign means - Hame ; the name for the part of the country
covering South Central Finland not including Helsinki.
Kyro ; arable land .Hame is also a very old Finnish word for land.

'Tom , at one of the side attractions of the rally, not far from the rally site'.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

I so want one....MT-03

Yamaha have gone and done it now. They have taken their wonderful 660 single engine, same as what powers the Skorpion, and thrown it into one mean looking package to create the MT-03. This is what MZ could have done had they kept making the Skorpion.

Yamaha have this to say about their mean steed.

MT-03 is a motorcycle for its time – born for the kind of 21st century roads where bigger high-performance bikes struggle to unleash their full potential. MT-03 has instant, pulsing low-down power from its fuel-injected 660 cc single-cylinder engine and a totally new sports chassis concept engineered for hardcore street sports riding. You get a short wheelbase, low seat height, focused centre of gravity and forward-biased riding position for hyper-manoeuvrability, superb rider feedback and excellent traction. So MT-03 is perfect for intense fun riding, it doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it on tough urban streets or mountainside hairpins. And with side-mounted rear shock, aluminium swingarm and twin underseat pipes, the ultra-rugged MT-03 looks as trick as it rides.

Yamaha’s MT-03 is a motorcycle that cannot be constrained by old-fashioned labels. Like the rest of the MT-Series family, it unites innovative thinking and unforgettable looks to deliver a brand new style of bike for our ever-changing world. The result is a radically beautiful piece of engineering ready to cause a stir at every turn – like the legendary Japanese Kodo drumbeat, an awesome power that can be felt through the soul.

MT-03 was built as metallic expression of Yamaha’s Art of Engineering philosophy. It is not enough to make the bike just stunning to look at and great to ride, the aim is to make a motorcycle that is so in tune with its rider there seems nothing they can’t do. The MT-03 has been designed and engineered to deliver a sporty, unforgettable ride every time the key hits the ignition. It just so happens this also makes it one fantastic looking machine.Get ready, MT-03 is here.

There are a few differences to the engine in the MT-03 compared to the Skorpion. Just a few. ;-)


Type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, 4-valves, SOHC
Displacement: 660 cc
Bore and Stroke: 100.0 x 84.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Max. Power: 33.4 kW (45HP) @ 6,000 rpm
Max. Torque: 56.2 Nm (5,73 kq-m) @ 5,250
Lubrication: Dry Sump
Fuel Supply: Fuel injection
Clutch Type: Wet multiple-disc
Ignition: TCI
Starter System: Electric
Transmission: Constant mesh, 5-speed
Final transmission: Chain
Primary reduction ratio: 2.080
Secondary reduction ratio: 3.130
Gear ratio: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
2.500, 1.625, 1.150, 0.909, 0.769

The styling is stunning to say the least. Pure street aggression.

To make you drool even more...

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Nose job....

Muzzer, from Belgium, has been busy during his winter. Like all good MuZ Skorpion owners he has been fiddling with his bike again. He has added a Moto Guzzi Mk.I replica fairing to his Sport. Colour matched to the tank. This small addition really changes the way the Sport looks. I like it. Well done mate.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


This petition has been created to give support to Mark Bracks. Dorna has sacked Mark Bracks from his position as the pit lane reporter on their MotoGP telecasts. We would like to see Mark Bracks continue as the pit lane reporter for MotoGP telecasts in 2008 , if you agree please sign this petition via the above link.

{added 14/2/2008)} This is the reply from Bracksy....
I'll keep this short as i don't want to dribble on too much but, first up, thanks to every one of you for the amazing show of support expressed through this website following the news of my departure from Dorna and the position I've held for the past two years. To say I'm humbled, surprised and overwhelmed is an understatement. I am also honoured, gobsmacked and stunned that so many people feel the way they do in setting up these threads, petitions and other courses of action you are all undertaking. I didn’t think my news would rate very high but how wrong could’ve I been.

A huge dose of gratitude to 2stoke who - from what I can gather - initiated all this. Sorry if I missed out mentioning any of the other major flag-bearers but I'm sure you will let me know any error of my ways!

I haven’t been online for the past couple of days due to dial up troubles with weather, blackouts and whatnot but I have been shaking my head in disbelief at the reaction my news has created.

If anyone is looking for some gossip I’m not going to air any laundry in public, as I’ve found that no matter what you say things have a way of heading in their own direction depending on who is steering it. I don’t like burning bridges and hopefully I will be back in the paddock after an enforced sabbatical

The concern and feeling from the paddock reflect what has been happening here and I know that my work, my reputation and respect I have built up during my time with the circus has nothing to do with where I find myself at the moment. It was hit home on my recent visit to the Island for the GP testing with the on-going questions and concern of those I encountered .

Obviously I’m looking for work both here and overseas but unfortunately, due to finding our very late in proceeedings that my services were definitely not required for 2008 and beyond, all the paddock jobs are done and dusted

I’ll be working at the Island during the Supers in my usual role of stalking pit lane so if you see me around don’t be scared to say ‘hi’ and introduce yourself.

You don't know how much I appreciate all the effort that is being put in and knowing I have this kind of support can bring a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye.

Wherever this leads thanks for taking me there and we’ll see where we end up!

Cheers and a few beers


Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Motoman's Sport. Mean & Lean.....

Mototman from forums has one mean looking MuZ Skorpion Sport. He has done some heaving modding to the running gear of this bike. Lots of SZR660 parts have replaced the standard Skorpion stuff.

Forks, wheels, clip-ons all help save weight and greatly improve how the bike sticks to the road. Brembo brakes replace the no so good OEM brakes. She would stop on 1/2 a Euro dollar coin now. The new headlamp setup gives this bike a mean lean aggressive look. The muffler allows the engine note to be heard. All singles should have loud mufflers.

Sad thing with this bike is that he has to sell it.

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