Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Yamaha

The Yamaha Y125 concept

Yamaha's press conference at the Tokyo Motor Show today was a genuine sign of the times. Four brand new world premiers were shown. The largest internal combustion engine amongst them was a 250cc model with fat tires designed to go anywhere – the SUV of motorcycles was the claim. There was also a three-wheeled electric commuter, a fold-up electric pedal-assist bicycle and, wait for it, an 80 km/l (226 mpg Imperial or 188 U.S. miles/gallon) retro 125cc commuter that's somewhere between a bicycle and motorcycle – it weighs just 80 kg and it is beautiful.  Read More

Toyota finally appears ready to play its hand in the autonomous vehicle revolution

Toyota is to show an autonomous (self-driving) Prius at Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Toyota AVOS (Automatic Vehicle Operation System), the car will be available for members of the public to take "back seat" rides at the show, demonstrating first hand how the Prius can avoid obstacles, be summoned from a parking garage and park itself. There will also be a demonstration of communications-linked electric cars, scooters and electric-assisted bicycles including what is expected to be Yamaha's first production electric scooter.  Read More

The Yamaha PDX-11 Portable Dock for iPod/iPhone offers a rugged alternative to existing iD...

If you want to fill a room with the sound of the songs on your iPhone or iPod touch, there are currently a plethora of docking gizmos that will amplify the sound from your device's speakers. While many of these products look like they're designed to be used primarily in the home, however, Yamaha's new portable PDX-11 is ... well, it's sort of like the ghetto blaster of iPhone docks.  Read More

Kleenspeed's 160 mph EV-X11

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ...  Read More

The 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha's R1 will gain a six-mode MotoGP-developed Traction Control System (TCS) for the 2012 model year, along with a new ECU (Engine Control Unit) with new mapping. It's the only real change to the R1 for next year though, and Yamaha's premier sports bike will again be the heaviest of the liter bikes.  Read More

Yamaha's Super Tenere

Faced with ever-increasing adventure touring competition from KTM, Yamaha, Ducati and Honda, BMW is ramping up new model development at subsidiary Husqvarna with a view to developing more dirt-orientated large capacity off-road and semi-off-road models that will not be in direct competition with its class-leading R1200GS. Several new models will be unveiled at EICMA in November, all based on the Rotax 800cc parallel twin engine used in the BMW F800R. The Rotax engine, for those not familiar with it is a pearler, with throttle response so acutely calibrated that it can be ridden like this, so the newly developed 900cc variant can be expected to be even better.  Read More

Quadro's four wheeler

The convergence of the car and the motorcycle we forecast last year looks set to continue with the first public showing today at EICMA 2010 in Milan of a range of three and four wheeled scooters by Italian start-up Quadro. The start-up is particularly exciting because the company is to be run by Luciano Marabese, the man who designed both the Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter and the Yamaha Tesseract four-wheeled motorcycle shown in 2007. The new machines will use an hydraulic tilting system patented by Marabese. In 2011 we’ll see the 350cc three-wheeled Quadro and later in the year, a 500cc four-wheeler. The four-wheeled motorcycle will evolve into a full family of supersports, hybrid, electric and off-road models, offering better braking, faster cornering and more safety and stability than a motorcycle.  Read More

The Wirthwein Ducati V8

The Intermot motorcycle and bicycle fair rolled around in Cologne earlier this month with a lot of focus clearly beginning to shine on the area of electric bikes, scooters, bicycles and even smaller devices. Gizmag looks at the 10 kg Yikebike, the world's fastest electric scooter, Kawasaki's 210 bhp ZX10R, BMW's six cylinder masterpiece, Horex's V6 and one of the most astounding engines we've yet seen - the Ducati 868cc V8 of German engineer Dieter Hartmann-Wirthwein. The layout of his engine (pictured) enables a compact four cylinder engine to be built on a single cylinder crankcase.  Read More

Kawasaki new Z750R sports suspension at both ends plus radial mounts for the four-piston N...

Kawasaki's Z750 has been a top seller in the French, Italian and Spanish markets for its great handling and low price. Triumph's Street Triple R and the Yamaha FZ8 have increased competition in the class, so Kawasaki has responded with a new Z750R variant. The big changes are new suspension at both ends plus radial mounts for the four-piston Nissin calipers for a price in the vicinity of GBP7250.  Read More

The Ostoure motorcycle concept was inspired by ancient Persian designs (credit: M. R. Shoj...

The Ostoure super-naked motorcycle concept is Iranian designer Mohammad Reza Shojaie's take on the street muscle bike of the future. The concept draws inspiration from ancient Persian engravings, combining these with cutting-edge design elements and some high-tech trimmings such as two-wheel drive and an in-helmet heads-up display.  Read More

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