Saturday, October 13, 2012

“Yamaha Ray Test Ride Review” plus 3 more Motorbeam

“Yamaha Ray Test Ride Review” plus 3 more Motorbeam

Link to Motorbeam.com

Yamaha Ray Test Ride Review

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 07:01 AM PDT


2012 Yamaha Ray Test Ride Review

2012 Yamaha Ray – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Bike tested: 2012 Yamaha Ray

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 55,000/-

Scooters have all of a sudden come into focus in the Indian market, so much that every 2-wheeler manufacturer is launching more of them. Just recently Hero MotoCorp sold more scooters than TVS in the domestic market and the world’s largest 2-wheeler manufacturer is said to be boost its scooter production. The latest entrant in the scooter segment is Yamaha with the Ray. The Japanese bike company is betting big on the scooter market and expects the Yamaha Ray to boost volumes for them. The Yamaha Ray has a lot going for it and we couldn’t resist getting our hands on this scooter. So let’s find out if the Ray has the Yamaha DNA in it!

Styling – First look at the Yamaha Ray and you immediately notice how short are its dimensions, the low stance, and the very familiar edgy design panels which start from headlight to the tail light. It has been garnished with graphics, sharp lines and slashes on the side panels which join into the tail light flawlessly. The sleek exhaust is finished in black and comes with heat shield which has vents scooped out on it. The headlight dominates the front with its sheer size and has integrated turn indicators. According to Yamaha, the ‘v-cut’ shape at the front gives it a shape which looks like ‘jewellery’. We couldn’t agree more on it as it almost looks like a necklace from a certain angle. The three different colors used on the scooter, the grey-colored forks and the body color gets all the attention.

Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear – The triangular instrument cluster blends in with the overall design. It uses clear lens for superior visibility, be it day or night. At the top, there is the analog speedo-meter with trip meter in the middle. The solitary turn indicator lights and the high beam indicator give a digital feel when lit. The lower part has the fuel gauge. The needles used in these gauges are very distinct and finicky; the speedo-meter needle hops around while it indicates the current speed. Switch gear is of good quality and has a positive feel to every click and doesn’t feel cheap like its rivals.

Ergonomics – The Yamaha Ray has a very comfortable seating position, upright and not so wide. Saddle height is really low which comes as a good news for short people. The seat is well cushioned; it's a perfect balance for comfort on short trips and will help in long journeys as well. The grab handle at the back is a bit of stretch and small in size. Rear view mirror's are very easy to adjust and offer very wide view of what is behind.

Performance and Gearbox – A feather touch to the self-start and the 113cc 4-stroke scooter comes to life in a very smooth manner; start up sound is very soothing to the ears. The Yamaha engine produces 7 HP of power at 7500 RPM and 8.1 Nm of torque at 5000 RPM. Since it weighs just 104 kgs, the scooter feels peppy and acceleration is brisk up to 60 km/h despite a pillion on-board, after which the scooter struggles to reach 75 km/h. Power delivery is peppy and the throttle responds to riders inputs quickly. There's hardly any lag from the CVT gearbox in the beginning, which gives it good low end torque and mediocre mid-range. Performance is not the party piece of this scooter, but it has excellent drivability in the city and fuel efficiency.

Ride, Handling and Braking – Outright performance may not be Yamaha Ray's party piece, but the handling is. It rides on a common set of 90 x 100 tires and 10-inch wheels, but has impressive grip levels. The chassis is stiff and the engine being a stressed member; it offers massive confidence when pushed into corners. The telescopic suspension geometry is well executed and it gives an excellent blend of cornering ability and ride quality. Ride quality at the front is stiff and you tend to feel the bumps at low speeds but as speed builds up, the suspension stays flat. The pillion is always comfortable because the rear suspension is slightly soft.

The Yamaha Ray sets a benchmark when it comes to handling because of the reassuring Yamaha DNA it carries along. The 130mm drum brakes at the front and rear do a splendid job of slowing you down from higher speeds. Thanks to the compact dimensions and low kerb weight, it stops without any sideways action, but emergency braking will see the front forks diving in. Manoeuvring in the city is a hassle free job, u-turn radius is short and it's very nimble and agile in the city, thanks to the short wheelbase and re-assuring front suspension which doesn’t even let you down while making quick high speed lane changes. High-speed stability is excellent and there is very little wind blast.

Miscellaneous – The low mounted headlight has a good wide spread, but on those lonely dark highways, high beam doesn’t seem sufficient enough. The 128 mm ground clearance may seem low on paper, but with stiff suspension, we didn't scrap the belly anywhere despite pillion on-board. Fit and finish is good, but we did find the brake levers at the front on the fragile side and lots of exposed bolts. The under seat storage of 15.5-litres doesn’t run deep and thus you can’t store a full face helmet. It is only good for keeping knick knacks or a small helmet. The hook which is placed above the floor board in most scooters makes it way on the top in the Yamaha Ray; convenient if you are carrying edible stuff, so your feet don't touch them and also useful if you are carrying longer bags. The leg shield does protrude sometimes when you exit the scooter in a hurry, all though it will vary with different people with different sizes. Side stand and rear view mirrors come as standard fitment. Since this scooter will help Yamaha pick up volumes, we hope the limited number of service stations would be capable of handling the demands and provide quality service as well.

Conclusion – The long awaited Yamaha scooter finally arrives and it offers its customers a good proposition with a quality product and value for money price tag. The Yamaha DNA automatically gives it the best in class handling and dynamics package. Scooter enthusiasts are disappointed but we urge Yamaha to offer powerful scooters in the future. But right now, we think the Yamaha Ray is the best entry level scooter you can buy in the market today.

What's Cool:

* Ride quality
* Handling
* Fuel economy (45 km/l)

What's Not So Cool:

* Under-seat storage
* Blunt steel wheels

Yamaha Ray Specifications

* Engine: 113cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve
* Power: 7 HP @ 7500 RPM
* Torque: 8.1 Nm @ 5000 RPM
* Transmission: V-belt automatic
* Top Speed: 75 km/h
* Fuel Consumption: 45 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: Telescopic forks (front), Unit swing (rear)
* Tires: 90/100-10 53J (tube type)
* Brakes: 130mm Drums

Yamaha Ray Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 1835 mm x 675 mm x 1075 mm
* Wheelbase: 1270 mm
* Ground clearance: 128 mm
* Seat Height: 760 mm
* Underseat Storage Volume: 15.5-liters
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 5-liters
* Kerb Weight: 104 kgs

How The Bajaj Pulsar Has Evolved – Infographic

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 06:25 AM PDT

Why Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Will Be A Hit

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 05:34 AM PDT


Alto 800 Front

Maruti Suzuki will launch the Alto 800 on the 16th of October. The Alto 800 is the first major update to the Alto in almost 12 years now. The response to the vehicle has been mixed, with many people not really liking the styling of the car. There is no doubt that the Alto 800 looks like a copy of many vehicles and to make things worst, Maruti Suzuki engineers have given the car quite a big of ground clearance, which makes it look terribly out of proportion. The Alto 800 will be priced around Rs. 30,000/- more than the outgoing model, which is a considerable hike. However, the Alto 800 will still be a hit and here is why -

1) The Alto 800 carries a Maruti Suzuki badge, which everyone trusts blindly.
2) Availability – The Alto 800 will be available through a vast dealership network, which is the largest for an automobile company in India. Remember, where ever you go, you will find a Maruti service station.
3) No real competition – At the price of the Alto 800, there are very few vehicles you can buy. The Nano costs less than the Alto, while the Eon is priced slightly higher.
4) Fuel efficiency – Car buyers in the entry level segment look at mileage over everything else. The Alto 800 carries an ARAI certified mileage of 22.74 km/l, which is the best in the entry-level segment. The Hyundai Eon has an ARAI certified mileage of 21.1 km/l.
5) The Hyundai Eon is better than the Alto 800 on many regards (styling, quality, etc), but the Alto 800 has a more enthusiastic engine and better mileage, something which is very important for first time car buyers.
6) Even though the Alto 800′s exteriors look copied, they are drastically improved over the old Alto. Moreso the interiors are massively improved from the old Alto.
7) Resale value – Maruti Suzuki cars are known for excellent resale. Many first time car buyers upgrade to a bigger car in 3-years time and the Alto 800 would get them an excellent price on sale.
8) The Alto 800 will be available with a CNG option on launch day itself, which returns 30.46 kms per kg.

Read the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Review

The above reasons have led to Maruti Suzuki receiving 6500 bookings for the Alto 800 without revealing a word on pricing. The company expects to mop up 10,000 bookings prior to launch. The Alto 800 has slight improvements to the engine and cabin space, although not by much. Maruti Suzuki aims to produce 800 units of the new Alto 800 every day (600 units of the old Alto were made in a day), which results in around 20,000 units being manufactured in a month. With the Alto K10 doing around 4000 units a month, Maruti Suzuki will be selling 24,000 units of the Alto every month, which is higher than the current 20,000 units. Maruti has invested Rs. 470 crore in the new Alto 800, which seems quite a lot, considering the new Alto uses the same platform/engine (with minor tweaks) as the old one.

For those finding the styling of the Alto 800 too bland, MotorBeam reader Alex Pandian has a suggestion. You can get the A-pillars B-pillars blackened out and add black wheel caps along with side moldings. The result can be seen in the picture below

Alto 800 Black Effect

Alto 800 Official

Alto 800 Signature Color

Alto 800 Side

Alto 800 Rear

New Ariel Atom 3.5 Unveiled

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 04:01 AM PDT


Ariel Atom India

British car maker Ariel motor company has unveiled its fourth version of its flagship high performance sports car as Atom 3.5. First built in 1996, the versions of the car include the Ariel Atom, Atom 2, Atom 3 and now Atom 3.5. Standing apart from these four versions is the limited edition Atom 500 V8. The limited edition Atom boasts of a V8 engine derived from Suzuki, delivering a whooping 500 BHP. The upgrade of the Atom features both technical and cosmetic changes. The Atom 3.5 sees an all new lighting system with twin projector headlamps and LED turn signals at the front and LED tail lights and indicators at the rear. The little hood that it has is also modified a bit.

The Atom derives its engine from Honda and the Atom 3.5 will continue to sport the Honda 2.0-litre, four cylinder i-VTEC engine. This engine comes in two versions as naturally aspirated and as supercharged engine. The naturally aspirated engine produces an output of 245 BHP at 8200 RPM while the supercharged engine pumps out a power of 315 BHP. The instrument panel is revised featuring an all new digital LCD display indicating the speed, RPM, gear shift indicator apart from other functions. The company has also revised its list of Atom accessories to make sure that patrons get a more personalized feel with their Atom.

The new Atom 3.5 has its chassis design derived from the V8 and the Mugen version of the Atom which gives it a revised position for the engine mounting and new dampers. The new chassis is also stronger with increased torsional rigidity ensuring an overall comfortable ride on the road. The unique car by the British company is the world's first exo-skeletal car on road, which with minimal body and no roof makes it an extremely lightweight car with a high power to weight ratio. Price not announced yet though India could be on the radar. Ariel already sells the complete line-up in India, with a starting price of Rs. 55 lakhs.

Ariel Atom Interior

2012 Ariel Atom India

No comments: