Newsworthy – 23rd June

Newsworthy is our weekly news update. Instead of killing your inboxes with re-hashed press releases or junk you don’t need, we’ll pull out a few interesting products, stories and other things we stumbled across from the week, write our thoughts on them and let you read the info for yourself. 

Honda’s Dakar on NatGeo

National Geographic channel (NatGeo on most channel boxes) has put together an hour long programme on the 2015 Dakar Rally.

We heard about it via Team HRC who feature pretty heavily throughout but it’s a high-production programme on an event at the top of the ‘adventure’ bike riding tree and worth an hour of your time if you’ve got access to Nat Geo.

There’s a bit about how the event runs naturally enough, plus some of the extraordinary personal stories that seem to litter the Dakar entry list. There’s also a bit of explanation from Honda about how racing in the event feeds into bike production.

Like you (we assume) we haven’t seen the programme yet but have it ear-marked. Check the list and check the schedule of the channel in your country for times and programming.

Pirelli wins German mag tyre test

We kinda steer away from the PR hype if we can help it but when a reputable German mag conducts a test it is usually holds some water.

So, it was with some pride that Pirelli announces the Scorpion Trail II, a new tyre this Spring, won “the best enduro street tyre” in a Motorrad magazine test.

Motorrad compared the Scorpion Trail II with the Metzeler Tourance Next, Dunlop Trailsmart, Continental Trail Attack 2 and Michelin Anakee III. Bridgestone’s Battlax A40 and Avon’s Trail Wing (which we tested here) weren’t included because they were not available at the time of the test. All tyres, in 110/80 R19 front and 150/70 R17 rear sizes, were tested on six BMW R 1200 GSs.

The Pirelli PR says: “The test was carried out both on country roads and on highways, as well as on a specially ‘watered’ track in order to evaluate the performance in wet.”

“Parameters such as handling, precision, cornering stability, grip in lean, traction during acceleration, stability at full load, handling with a passenger, behaviour in extreme conditions and tendency to ‘straighten up’. In the wet test on track braking times at 100 kms/h, the angular velocity and the lap time were also evaluated.”

Tyre tests are notorious to conduct in terms of consistency, we know through experience. Test rider’s opinion is subjective too but Motorrad seem to have nailed both counts. The Scorpion performed well in the wet test from 100 kms/h stopping “6.1 metres before the Michelin Anakee III and 8.1 metres before the Continental Trail Attack 2.”

It also set to fastest lap (1.03,02) with a lead of about 3.5 seconds which means little in our more sedate world unless you equate speed with confidence, in which case it matters. No off-road factored in there we notice.


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