Monday, 31 March 2014

Ducati Monster 1200

The Monster 1200S.You can have it in any colour you like, as long as it's rosso. Or bianco.

A couple of weeks ago, our local Ducati dealership held a little event to present the new Monster 1200. Naturally, since no other plans figured in The Thruxtonian's agenda that evening, we decided to drop by and have a look.

The local Ducatisti were so excited they were dropping to their knees

Although 21 years separate the original 900 Mostro, designed by Miguel-Ángel Galuzzi, and the latest version, the visual filiation is still highly present. The two analogue gauges have been replaced by an all-singing, all-dancing TFT screen with three different display modes depending whether you're riding about town, out on the open road, or posting fast lap times on a trackday. Other electronic gizmos include ABS, Ducati's bespoke DTC traction control system, three different power curves and a ride-by-wire throttle.

We're still not sold on these new "mudflap" reg plate mounts. What do you think?
The Monster 1200 is available in two versions: the 135 hp standard version and the "S" version, which features an extra 10 hp, Öhlins suspension and upgraded Brembo brakes, amongst other niceties. Prices range from around 14,000 Euros for the standard version to around 17,000 € for the "S" version (approximative prices based on figures from Ducati Spain), and is already available in the showrooms.

Our Editor-in-Chief was very tempted to ride home on this one

Naturally, The Thruxtonian will do its all to try to bring you a full road test of this wonderful machine as soon as possible.

Bonus Track: Some lucky bloke turned up to the event aboard this little scoot just as our E-in-C was parking up his bike. It's the first time we've ever seen a Desmosedici actually in the street, being used, rather than in a show or as a flashy piece of furniture/art object:

Photo credits: Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A and Marc Michon / The Thruxtonian

Monday, 17 March 2014

Historic win for a Triumph at Daytona 200

The last running of the Daytona 200 as a Supersport race saw a historic win for Triumph when Danny Eslick, on the Riders Discount Team's Daytona 675R, took the chequered flag after a race that he controlled right from the first few laps.

Danny Eslick dominated this year's Daytona 200 race

Eslick started the race from pole position (another historic milestone for the British manufacturer - the last time a Triumph was on pole was in 1971) and immediately began applying his dominance on proceedings, in a lead group that also included Garett Gerloff, fellow Triumph Daytona rider Jason DiSalvo and Dane Westby amongst others. Gerloff briefly led the race after the first round of pitstops but unfortunately dropped his Yamaha soon afterwards. He was able to rejoin the race, though, and crossed the line in a very respectable 5th place.

DiSalvo and Westby were less fortunate, however. Just before the second round of ptistops, Westby highsided his Yamaha and DiSalvo dropped his bike when he ran off into the dirt at the edge of the track in an attempt to avoid Westby. Bikes and riders finished in the airfence but whereas the riders walked away unharmed, the bikes had sustained damage and were unrideable.

After the second round of stops, the rider from Broken Arrow, in Oklahoma, gradually put the hammer down and pulled away inexorably from his pursuers. After what must have seemed like an eternity to him, the chequered flag came out, sealing a significant victory both for Triumph and, on a more personal note, for Danny Eslick.

Eslick dedicated his victory to close friends who passed recently, including the racer Tommy Aquino, and was overcome by the emotion. 

Danny Eslick dedicated his race to close friends who passed away, including Tommy Aquino

Meanwhile, this Daytona 200 win was the first for Triumph since 1967, when Gary Nixon won the race on a Triumph Daytona 500 twin-cylinder machine. However, given that next year the 200 will be a Superbike race, it would appear that this might well be the British manufacturer's last victory in this iconic event.

The podium was completed by Jake Gagne and Jake Lewis, both on Yamaha R6 machinery. There were two other Triumphs in the top 10: Bobby Fong, in 4th, and British rider Luke Stapleford, in 7th.

Photo credits: Cycle World (upper photo) and Brian J. Nelson (lower photo)

Friday, 14 March 2014

Limited Edition helmets from Biltwell

Biltwell have just released some very cool-looking limited edition Gringos that echo the designs of the limited-edition Bonanza open-face lids that went on sale last week.

A true bonanza of custom paint jobs

Despite the fancy paintwork on both ranges, the price tags are pretty easy on the pocket: the LE Bonanzas weigh in at US$ 129.95, whilst an LE Gringo can grace (and protect) your head for US$ 189.95. Combine that with Biltwell quality and we're talking about a recipe for success, so the advice on the street is to swing over to your nearest Biltwell distributor or hit the company's website before these lids are all snapped up! Here at The Thruxtonian we've got our eyes on the black/orange Spectrum...

Nobody can resist a well-dressed Gringo, señor!