Harley and the Indian put new faith in blazing saddlebags…Exedy clutches on to young Supercar champion…Hino ‘game changers’ set to shake up light truck market…Government dance the Quickstep on carbon fibre…

Every industry has its fads that are seemed destined to reappear every few decades or so and motorcycling is no exception with the world’s two leading manufacturers both looking to the past and reviving that retro leather saddlebag look. The Indian Roadmaster Classic, a bike that includes all of the doodads available on the 2017 Roadmaster, comes with heavy swaths of leather to give it a more ‘historical’ look. That’s right leather on the Indian. What next? Probably fairing! What? They’ve already done that! Is nothing sacred?

The hard side bags found on both the Roadmaster have been replaced with the fringed leather versions on the Chief Vintage and the hard trunk has been subbed out for a leather wrapped version. The combined side bags and trunk provide up to 125ltrs of storage. Indian has removed the fairing lowers that came standard on the Roadmaster, resulting in a bike that actually looks a bit like an Indian and by all accounts is ‘an asphalt gobbler’.

Meanwhile, over at Harley-Davidson, the Special features a mean bagger styling, specifically designed to appeal to a younger audience, a body bare of chrome and all the intricate trim details that adorn Road King models including fenders, side covers and, yes, you’ve guessed it…saddlebags. They may not be leather, but they are a bit bigger, with longer sweeping edges towards the back and provide an extra 5.7ltrs of luggage capacity.

This design admittedly assists in creating the image of a lower tail unit, in a process also entailing a redesigned rear suspension – probably to compensate for the taller rear wheel, although Harley-Davidson does not explain the incurred changes in detail. In every other technical term, including frame, engine, front forks, brakes, and fuel tank, the Special is identical to the basic Road King model and the Classic.

Exedy clutches on to young Supercar champion

Japan-based clutch manufacturer Exedy is to extend its involvement with young Supercar driver Garry Jacobson in this season’s Dunlop Super2 Series, formerly the Dunlop Supercar Series. The company’s leading range of aftermarket clutch kits and component brands will be highlighted by Exedy logos across the front and rear of Garry’s PRA Falcon FG-X Supercar, on the driver’s racing uniform and team merchandise. The company’s premium racing clutch range will also be promoted on the car during the season.

The eight round series gets underway at the Clipsal 500 season opener on the streets of Adelaide in March followed by events in Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales through to late November. The Dunlop Super2 Series will be held in conjunction with the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercar Series.

According to Exedy’s Kabel Davis, the company is excited about the season ahead given Jacobson’s outstanding performance behind the wheel last season. “Garry is ready to take on all challengers in the number one PRA Falcon, making this a perfect fit with Exedy being the number one choice for OE replacement, high performance, racing and heavy transport clutches.”

Garry will also race as co-driver with double Bathurst 1000 champion driver Jason Bright in the Mega Fuels PRA Falcon and will be making his main Supercars series endurance racing debut at this year’s Sandown 500 in September, followed by the Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 in October.

More @ EXEDY’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/officialexedy/


Hino ‘game changers’ set to shake up light truck market

If you’re one of those unfortunates that rely on a medium-sized truck to earn a living, especially in the seized up City of Sydney and surrounds, then things could be looking up with the release of the new Hino 500 Series Wide Cab. Not that it will help ease the congestion, but at least the occupants will be a lot more comfortable waiting for things to clear in what the company says is more of an ‘office’ than a truck cab.

There’s integrated seat belts tilt and telescopic steering, an upmarket multimedia system and pendulum style pedals that pivot from the top reducing ankle and foot fatigue. But it is perhaps the two engine sizes, offered in revised specifications that deliver more power and torque, improved fuel efficiency through a new selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emission reduction system, using Adblue that really stand out.
Depending on the model, buyers have the choice of a six or nine speed manual transmissions and the option of an Allison automatic transmission that is available across the model range. There’s also stop-start technology on the manual models, a first for this category.

“The J08E and the A09C, both deliver increased output, greater cooling, improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions. In the revised J08E six-cylinder engine, maximum governed engine speed is higher as is the compression ratio. Peak power output of 280hp (206kW) is now delivered at 2500rpm and torque has been increased by seven percent to 883Nm at 1500rpm,” said
Hino Australia’s Steve Lotter.

“The turbocharger is a waste-gate design, a revised water pump and cooling fan package reduces operational temperatures, while an oil pan/sump noise insulator reduces noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The A09C six-cylinder engine is the more powerful option, up now to 350hp (257kW) and 1422Nm with the manual transmission and 320hp (235kW) and 1275Nm with the Allison automatic models.”

Both engines greatly benefit from the adoption of the new SCR emissions system (replacing the previous EGR+DPR system) resulting in a highly tuned, cleaner burning engine which utilises AdBlue as an exhaust emission after-treatment agent, making each engine fully Euro 5 ADR 80/03 emission compliant and more fuel efficient.

There’s a choice of six-speed and two nine-speed manuals with three different six-speed automatic variants specifically suited to the different engines and applications. Available across the range, the six-speed automatic transmissions are the more fuel-efficient Allison units with a push button shift selector.

Hino has introduced differential cross locks as standard on the new GH and FM 500 models. In mud, or on slippery roads, the cross locks can be engaged simply by flicking a dash-mounted switch.  A differential cross lock operates by ’locking’ both wheels on a single axle together as if on a common shaft, forcing both wheels to turn in unison regardless of the traction available. This alleviates the issue of wheels rotating at different speeds, as would be the case with a standard ‘open’ differential.

“The company has invested significantly in the 500 Series Wide Cab product to greatly enhance safety, vehicle application and performance, and reduce environmental impact. These trucks are a gamer-changer for us and we now offer the broadest range of trucks in these important segments that straddle Australia’s competitive medium and heavy duty markets. By increasing the model range and giving our customers more than 50 models to select from, it provides us with an opportunity to engage in different applications which previously hasn’t been possible,” said Steve.


Government dance the Quickstep on carbon fibre

Looks like carbon fibre is back in the frame with the automotive division of Quickstep Holdings securing a couple of grants from the Australian government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre. A grant of $1.45m will go towards the development of bespoke lightweight automotive carbon fibre composite seats and a further $250,000 will go into a new project aimed a low cost carbon composite fender for the European automotive market.

Compared to steel, carbon fibre composites provide significant reduction in weight, improved mechanical performance and excellent corrosion resistance. The high production cost, however, has been the main obstacle limiting the adoption rate of composite materials in the automotive industry.

This is particularly the case for geometrically complex parts such as fenders. Currently, carbon fibre fenders are produced using a labour-intensive process where the layup is carried out manually due to the complexity of the design. In addition, the long cycle required to cure parts inside the autoclave contributes significantly to the high cost of these parts.

According to Quickstep’s David Marino, the grant will help overcome some of these disadvantages by reducing cycle time, optimising material system selection and utilising smart designs as part of a new composite fabrication process.

“Phase one of the AMGC project will run for a period of six months in cooperation with Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus Research Centre for carbon fibre and composites that will provide expertise in materials development and process simulation and validation to the project. Quickstep will bring to the project its capabilities in developing advanced composite solutions, providing its advanced composites technologies to manufacture composite parts using its patented Qure and RST processes.”



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