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Archive for January, 2016

Ducati test riders Casey Stoner and Michele Pirro completed first test of 2016

30 Jan

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Casey Stoner was back on track with the Ducati Desmosedici GP for the first time since the Valencia GP in 2010. The 2007 and 2011 World Champion completed 54 laps of the Sepang circuit, temperatures reaching about 40°C. The Australia ran on the GP15 as he acquainted himself with the new machine as well as the vastly different Michelin tyres and spec ECU. He reportedly set a best time of 2’02.1 during his last stint of the day. With the change in technical rules and tyre supplier, there are no other times to compare Stoner’s lap to around the Malaysian track.

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While much of the attention was on Stoner, Michele Pirro debuted the GP16 with a focus on testing fuel consumption.

Casey Stoner: “It was a great experience today with the Ducati Team. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but the whole team was fantastic: I was welcomed in the best way and we worked well together. I still need a little more time to return to a competitive level and find the right feeling because I haven’t ridden a MotoGP bike for a year and haven’t been on a race bike for six months. But it was a positive first day, we immediately found a good feeling with the bikes and tyres, quicker than I would have expected. We have many things to try and I still have to get used to the bike, but overall I’m happy. The Desmosedici GP has great potential and I hope to be able to give the right feedback to Gigi and the Ducati engineers to help the two Andreas get some good results this year. I’m happy and a bit surprised with my lap time and I hope to improve it further tomorrow. It was great to be working with Gabriel Conti again together with Marco Palmerini and Gigi Dall’Igna, who have all proven true professionals today.”

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Michele Pirro: “Today I only did a few laps because the program was focused on testing electrical components and fuel consumption, once my work was finished the team focused on the debut of Casey. Tomorrow we will do some finishing touches before the three-day official test on Monday. The sensation was good and already on Wednesday we were able to do a good job. I am convinced that we can achieve good results and Iannone and Dovizioso are confident too, despite the track conditions not being optimal.”

 
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Malaysian 150cc Bikers Group off to 1000 Corners in Thailand

29 Jan

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Malaysia’s Transport Minister Dato Sri Liow Tiong Lai flagged off a group of Malaysian bikers on their way to conquering the famed corners at Thailand’s area on the evening of January 29, 2016 outside the Ministry of Transport building in Putrajaya.

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The group leader is Miekawa Suhaimi, who is an avid biker. He is riding his very own Kawasaki D-Tracker 150 with registration number of PMC 530 specifically for this journey. Also present at the flag-off ceremony were Dato Jeffrey Lim, director/general manager of Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

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The group is scheduled to reach Thailand border early Saturday (January 30, 2016) astride the various 150cc motorcycles ranging from moped. They were also escorted by the Putrajaya JPJ Youth Squad until the PLUS Highway to begin the journey up north.

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The group is expected to reach Haatyai by Saturday evening. They are scheduled to reach Kuala Lumpur on the Eve of the Lunar New Year on February 7, 2016.

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Indian Motorcycle and Jack Daniel’s partner to make a limited edition Jack Daniel’s branded Indian Chief Vintage

29 Jan

Indian-Chief-Daniels-01Two legendary American brands join forces to handcraft a collectible masterpiece due to unveiled at the Barrett-Jackson auction for the benefit of U.S. Military personnel and their families. Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced it has joined forces with the Jack Daniels Distillery to create the 2016 limited edition Jack Daniels Indian Chief Vintage motorcycle.

The partnership brings together two of America’s most iconic brands who share a mutual commitment to independence, originality and American craftsmanship that dates back more than a century. The collaboration commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniels Distillery, which was registered in 1866.

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Indian_Jack_Daniel's_VintageThe 2016 Limited Edition Jack Daniels Indian Chief Vintage will be on display from January 23-31 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction. It will also make an appearance at a series of events throughout 2016, including Daytona Bike Week, taking place March 4-13.

Ultimately, this first-in-the-series display bike will be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Las Vegas, which takes place October 6-8. All monies raised from the charity auction will be donated to support “Operation Ride Home”, a partnership between the Jack Daniel Distillery and the Armed Services YMCA that provides funding and travel assistance to help junior-enlisted military personnel spend time with their families during the holiday season.

“This one-of-a-kind motorcycle is the perfect pairing of these two classic American brands, and while they look great together, we’ve inscribed this unique collector’s edition masterpiece with our ‘Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix’ mantra to remind all our friends that drinking and riding are meant to be enjoyed separately,” said Dave Stang, Director of Events & Sponsorships for Jack Daniels. “We’d like to thank our friends at Indian Motorcycle for their help on this project and their support for Operation Ride Home.”

Indian_Jack_Daniel's_VintageThe 2016 Limited Edition Jack Daniels Chief Vintage will be produced in very limited quantities, taking the iconic Indian Chief Vintage platform to a whole new level with an array of genuine Indian Motorcycle accessories and custom accessories, as well as Jack Daniel’s-inspired custom paint and logos, badging, leather saddle and saddlebags.

The bike’s fender is also inscribed with the names of the seven Master Distillers who have overseen the Jack Daniels distilling process over its 150-year history. Final customisation work was designed and completed by Brian Klock and his inspired team at Klock Werks in Mitchell, S.D.

Additional details on the production schedule and ordering process will be released during Daytona Bike Week. More details about its availability outside of the USA will come in due course. The bike will not be available in France.

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Team HRC, Confidence boost for Hayden and Van Der Mark after final European test at Jerez

28 Jan

The last pre-season private test has come to an end for the Honda World Superbike Team, who now head confidently towards the start of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship campaign. At Jerez de la Frontera, both Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark worked hard to continue with the development of the Honda CBR1000RR SP, which has received several updates – including important engine upgrades.

Hayden once again completed an impressive number of laps (159) while trying a new swingarm, for more stability, and a different linkage to improve braking and acceleration. On the second day of action, the experienced American had a small crash at Turn 2 from which he escaped unharmed, although the incident cost him some valuable track time. In the closing stages, he also went for a quick-lap on qualifying tyres, which resulted in a 1:40.534 lap time – the 4th fastest overall.

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After missing one day of testing last November due to a tenosynovitis in his right wrist, Van der Mark returned to Jerez in full fitness, following the minor surgery he underwent several weeks ago. The 2014 World Supersport Champion and the team tested different front geometries on Tuesday, while today they turned their attention to the rear of the bike. The 23-year-old Dutchman amassed a total of 156 laps and showed great speed on qualifying rubber, clocking  in 1’40.601 around the 4.423 Km Andalusian circuit.

The track-time available to all teams was reduced by the foggy conditions encountered in the morning of both days, while damp patches on the track further delayed the start of on-track activities.

The team now return to their headquarters in the Netherlands to analyse data gathered at Jerez and finalise preparations for the journey to Phillip Island, Australia, the venue hosting both the official two-day test (22-23 February) and the opening round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship (26-28 February).

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Nicky Hayden: “It hasn’t been the perfect day, because the fog cost us a couple of hours in the morning and we had to squeeze the testing program in a shorter amount of time. It’s a shame because there are still some things left to try and, of course, that time would have been useful for me too, but we did what we could. I was able to do a race simulation and to use the qualifying tyre and in the end, the lap-time was not too bad. There is still room for improvement. The winter season went too quick and the weather did not help, but now it is time for Phillip Island and I look forward to having some fun!”

Michael van der Mark: “Today we started quite late because of the fog, but once we got on track we began trying many things, working mainly on the bike geometries. We had some difficulties in choosing the right tyre for these temperatures, but eventually we found the good one. From then we tried a couple of things on another swingarm plus some more adjustments, and every change resulted in more little steps forward. At the end, the bike was feeling very good at the rear, and we found some more grip, which is what we were looking for. I was able to drop half a second with race tyres but I feel we could have done a little better with the qualifier, as I made some small mistakes. Overall I am very happy with how things went today.”

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Pieter Breddels – technical manager: “In the end it has been a very positive test, all went quite smoothly and we were able to make another step forward in terms of performance. The new engine upgrades proved to be good for both riders, who were not too far from the front with both qualifying and race tyres. Nicky did an impressive long run of fifteen laps with very good pace and Michael showed great speed despite having missed some track time last time out at Jerez. We now head to Phillip Island in a positive mood.”

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Samsung Malaysia Launches 2016 Galaxy A Series Smartphones

28 Jan

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Samsung Malaysia Electronics has unveiled its latest Galaxy A Series smartphones with special emphasis on their camera and storage features. The new 2016 edition of the Galaxy A Series offers Malaysian consumers the opportunity to practise their Selfie skill in three screen size options: 5.5-invh for the A7, 5.2-inch for the A5 and 4.7-inch for the A3.

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The 2016 Galaxy A Series continues the latest Samsung Galaxy design heritage, combining metal and glass to create a premium creation. With its superior viewing experience through a large screen size, narrower bezel of just 2.7mm and combined with improved battery life, the device has never been a better fit in the user’s hand.

All three variants come equipped with an enhanced camera system for both brighter and clearer photos and videos. This advanced system includes Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on the front camera to prevent image blurring, as well as a front and rear F/1.9 lens to allow users to snap the optimum photos during low light conditions. Additionally, the smartphones are also equipped with a Quick Launch feature – double clicking the home button launches the camera in less than a second. Consumers can also snap their best Selfie yet with features like Wide Selfie, Palm Selfie and Beautifying Effects.

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A leap from their predecessors, the new Galaxy A Series comes with a built-in memory of 16GB and a microSD slot that can add up to 128GB of external memory. To celebrate the arrival of the smartphones, Samsung Malaysia Electronics is offering a free 32GB microSD card for every unit purchased, which adds capacity for as many as 16,000 pictures and high-definition videos without the hassle of constantly having to clear older albums.

Available in Black, Gold, White and Pink Gold colour options, the new and refreshed Galaxy A Series is available from all Samsung brand stores nationwide from January 28 2016 onwards at a recommended retail price of RM1,899 (Galaxy A7), RM1,599 (Galaxy A5) and RM1,2999 (Galaxy 5) inclusive of GST.

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Kawasaki Motors Malaysia Kicks Off Road Safety Campaign 2016

28 Jan

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It’s the annual time again for the exodus trip back to hometown by Malaysians for the Lunar New Year celebration. As the holiday falls on Monday and Tuesday in 2016, many Malaysians will take the opportunity to go back to their hometown and such an exodus is not just confined to Chinese Malaysians alone.

As part of its responsibility as a corporate brand, Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (KMSB) have just launched its 2016 road safety campaign for motorcyclists. The road safety campaign is open to any motorcyclist regardless of the bike brand or engine capacity plying the PLUS Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway after the Sungai Besi toll plaza South heading towards Serdang, Bangi, Nilai, Seremban, Melaka and Johor.

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KMSB-4Motorcyclists who registered to have their bikes checked by KMSB’s technical experts will receive a goodie bag for their effort. The bikes will be checked on all parts and segments to ensure they are in working order for the exodus trip home.

The checks are done on 16 sections of a motorcycle which includes the clutch, brakes, tyre quality, tyre pressure, driving chain, steering/handlebars responsiveness, plugs, engine oil capacity, coolant, radiator, battery level, indicators, headlights and taillights.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was the VIP invited to launch KMSB’s road safety campaign.

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5-minute 4K Video as captured by the Nikon D5

27 Jan

Nikon Corporation has released a new short film shot in 4K via the Nikon D5 DSLR camera. While details are superb, the footage still suffers from unrealistic skin tones in low light conditions.

Since it is shoot in 4K, if your computer monitor is not 4K-compliant, the best quality you can get is Full HD 1080P and viewing 4K in this manner may not give you the sense of breathtaking depth and quality that Nikon want you to expect.

You can view the video below:

 
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Olympus PEN-F Mirrorless Camera

27 Jan

As many photography enthusiasts will confirm, the satisfaction they gain from their hobby comes as much from handling beautifully designed equipment as the moments when they perceive professional quality in one of their own shots. The new PEN-F was clearly conceived to facilitate both. It’s the most powerful ever PEN and one of the most beautiful system cameras Olympus has ever produced.

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Despite the size constraints of the compact Micro Four Thirds format, the PEN-F inherits much state-of-the-art optical technology from Olympus’ larger, high-end OM-D camera family. This includes its world’s best* 5-axis Image Stabilisation system (worth some 5 EV stops when shooting at low ISO), a 50-Megapixel high resolution shot capability, and a built-in electronic viewfinder with a real-time preview of settings adjustments.

Some of the functions can be set via a new Creative Dial that gives its owner access to an expanded range of advanced filter options. The metal dial is a prominent feature of the much-vaunted PEN school of design, which blends contemporary and retro style elements with luxury materials and quality craftsmanship.

Screw heads are nowhere to be seen on the PEN-F! Like its classic ‘step-up’ silhouette, the look, feel and photographic performance of the PEN-F are intended to induce envy in photo hipsters – both on the street and online.

The PEN-F is available in black or silver from end of February 2016.

 
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Kawasaki top the timings after first day on track in Jerez

27 Jan

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Via WorldSBK

2013 World Champion Tom Sykes was fastest on Day 1 of the Jerez test, with Chaz Davies piloting his Ducati 1199 Panigale R second fastest by the end of the day, just over a tenth and a half behind. Reigning champion Jonathan Rea ended the day third, just ahead of new Kentucky kid on the block, Honda’s Nicky Hayden.

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The morning gloom saw most stay off track until later in the day, with the first hour of action only seeing one timed lap, set by Leon Camier. The MV Agusta rider today evaluated a new, lower fuel tank; a different one to that tested by fellow team member Marco Melandri in November.

Kawasaki left it until the sun had settled in to really begin their work and Rea left it a little later to turn up the wick, putting in a lap quick enough for P2 with an hour and a quarter to go. His teammate similarly waited until later to set his best lap, with Sykes the only rider of the day to set a lap in the 1:40s. 2015 Champion Rea ended the day three tenths down on his teammate’s best lap.

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Aruba.it Racing riders Davies and Giugliano on the Ducati 1199 Panigale R both managed times in the 1:41s, with Davies faster than his teammate by a sizeable margin of around 7 tenths. The Welsh rider looks to have retained the experience gained during 2015 to keep the Ducati on the level of their closest competitors, whereas Giugliano will more be looking at recuperation and acclimatisation after having been sidelined for so much of 2015 due to injury.

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The two Hondas of Nicky Hayden and his teammate Michael Van der Mark put in the most laps earlier in the day, with Hayden putting in a time good enough to secure fourth after heading the timesheets during a good portion of the afternoon. Ex-rookie Van der Mark finished the day in P7, half a second behind his MotoGP™ Legend teammate Hayden.

Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli kept the new Yamaha YZF R1 in the top ten by taking P5 and P9 respectively, with the British rider managing a 1:41.505 by the end of the day. Lowes reports to still be missing some strength in his arm after crashing in Jerez before Christmas, consequently only putting in just over half the laps managed by his teammate, 2014 Champion Guintoli.

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The fastest man in WorldSSP today was reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu, whilst Swiss rider and rookie Randy Krummenacher ended the day impressively in-touch with the World Supersport superstar, only a tenth and a half behind his number-1-plated teammate by the end of the session.

With no red flags or interruptions on Day 1, teams will be looking for a repeat performance tomorrow to enable them to continue getting the most out of these two days in Andalucía.

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VFT Racing Team Announce Fabio Menghi in WorldSBK

26 Jan

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Via WorldSBK

VFT Racing Team recently announced that Italian rider Fabio Menghi will be competing for them in the 2016 MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship. The ambitious new project will serve as great motivation for the rider from San Clemente, who has already been able to test the Ducati at Vallelunga and got a very good first impression of the Ducati machine.

2016 launch of VFT Racing will be announced shortly, when the livery of the bike that will race in the World Superbike Championship, as well as the components of the team which will take part to the European class of the World Supersport Championship, will be revealed.

FABIO MENGHI: “If you’d told me in October that in January I’d be riding a Superbike, I would have said you were crazy! But we decided to take part in the World Superbike Championship with a stunning Ducati and I’m really happy and excited. The bike has a very aggressive drive, I did a few laps to Vallelunga, but the weather was not nice. I can feel the difference from the WorldSSP bike, but I’m confident and I’ll be waiting for the next test to start working in depth and compare with opponents from whom I can obtain important information for the development of the bike. In a few days we will move to Australia where I will have the chance to test longer in order to improve the feeling with the bike. I thank the sponsors and family for this great opportunity, and to my many supporters I say – see you in Phillip Island in the WorldSBK!”

VALERIO MENGHI: “We are very happy and motivated for the start of this new season; we’ll use our experience and we are very happy about the support of our sponsors and Ducati.

We made an important decision, to go into the top category, and I am sure that Fabio has the ability to do well. We are motivated and ready to accept this new challenge, and we will try to improve race by race and give our best trying to satisfy our drive.”

The first race for the new project is prefaced by the Phillip Island pre-season test, where Menghi will be able to make his final preparations.

 
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