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Feb 20, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/best-used-engines/

13 Used Engines That Won’t Let You Down, and Swaps That Prove It


What would you do with a couple used engines from the local junkyard? Take them down to the shop and make something crazy? Some people have the balls to do it, and a few even have the time, money, and resources. And unless you have the dime to spend on a crate motor, building used engines is the way to go. But which ones can you actually count on?

vw rotary used engines


What to Look for in Used Engines

Most resellers can provide at least some idea of mileage, service history, and overall condition, but whether you’re digging through eBay and Craigslist ads or picking up a parts car in town, there are some things you need to know about used engines before you take the plunge.

Some engines just aren’t worth it. There’s a reason everyone does an LS swap – it’s trusted. Even if you do a total rebuild at great expense, some used engines have inherent weaknesses or parts are hard to come by.

The rest of the car is important. Inspect bearings, bushings, and overall cosmetics to get an idea of whether the previous owners t ook care of things. Check for oil weeps and coolant residue on the block and heads and for signs that someone’s been in the engine bay before.

Don’t gamble – do a reseal. Plan on spending weekend and a few hundred dollars to pull the engine, take it apart, and have a look at what’s inside. You get peace of mind from having fresh gaskets, belts, and timing, and you can check out the internals.

Some of these used engines are more common than others, but the only real limitations are your wallet and your imagination. Without further ado let’s dive in to some of the best used engines available, broken down by country of origin.

Used Engines for Patriots

tahoe ls2 used engines



Okay, we all know the LS is the king of used engines, but it’s an unspoken rule that if you mention engine swaps you have to mention the LS – so let’s get it over with. Now the stuff of internet memery, the LS swap began as the most economical way to get a light and reliable V8 into a small space.

Th at’s why builders of the 240sx, FD RX7, and all kinds of custom applications have used engines from the LS family – they’re all durable, well-built, and cheap to modify.

The 2008-2009 Tahoe, Yukon, Escalade, Silverado, and Sierra used engines of the LFA variety which can be converted to an LS2 with minimal effort – swap the cam, lifters, and a few covers and you have an LS2 for the price of a wrecked ten-year-old soccer chauffeur.

LS2 Camaro used engines


LS2 ’68 Camaro “Evade”

This beast of a Camaro proves used engines can perform better than new ones. Its owner wanted something he could drive every day and on long trips, so had a full-custom LS2 built to 500 horsepower and 430 torques. And damn, does it look mean.

Evade has been judged to within 1% of perfection at numerous shows, including 995 out of 1000 points at the 20th Annual Eckler’s Winter Nationals. Not a bad feather in the cap of used engines.

GMC 2500HD LQ4 Used Engines(source)

6.0 LQ4 V8

Early 2000s Chevrolet and GMC HD trucks are famous for playing the National Anthem out their tailpipes. Often found in a distressed shade of white with dents and rust everywhere, most come with at least $5 of recyclable beer cans in the bed. What you migh t not know is these workhorses can tow over 10,000 pounds – that’s because they all used engines that last forever.

The 6-liter LQ4 V8 was designed to haul heavy stuff for thousands of miles. Something else it hauls is ass, since it has over 300 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque bone stock. Find one in early 2000s Yukons, Suburbans, 2500 and 3500 trucks, Express vans, even the Hummer H2. We’ll personally thank you if you kill an H2 for its engine.

LQ4 Chevelle used engines


LQ4 Chevelle

The main difference between an LQ4 and an LS2 is an iron block, which means these can hold tons of power. They’re famous for being a cheap way to get insane stats, a nd this hot Chevelle gained world fame In 2016 from an article at Hot Rod by throwing down 800 horsepower. That’s thanks to 16 psi of boost from a single 80mm Borg Warner turbo. The builder says “getting sideways in third or fourth gear is no problem” – we’re not surprised.

Or you could stuff one of these used engines in a hearse and set a world record.

GM 3800 v6 used engines


GM 3800 V6

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that used engines from Pontiac sedans can fit in just about anything that uses a transaxle. It’s also one of the most common used engines in the world with over 25 million produced to date. It’s been rated one of the best engines of the 20th century, so yeah, it’s reliable.

One of these powers pretty much any old Buick, Oldsmobile, or Pontiac with a V6. Bonus points if it’s beige.

fiero 3800 swap used engines


Into a Fiero

The Pontiac Fiero isn’t what most people would describe as exciting. They were overhyped even at the time, and they used engines that always left something on the table in terms of performance. With over 370,000 produced, a Fiero today can be a great platform for one of those shitty Ferrari kits or better yet, a 3800 V6 swap. A modern V6 really wakes these babies up.

If you want to do this, read about what it takes to shoehorn one of these used engines into a Fiero. Spoiler alert: it’s not a lot.

3.9 4BT cummins used engines breadvan


Cummins 4BT 3.9

Everyone talks about the larger Cummins used engines, but what about the four-cylinder 4BT? The “baby Cummins” will allow you stick one of those crude stickers on any car you want. Turns out not everybody knows what those stickers mean, so follow that link to get learnt. I’ll wait.

Find one of these in any old breadvan in the RV section of Craigslist – no lowballs, I know what I have.

3.9 cummins Miata us

ed engines


4BT Miata

The Cones-in-a-Parking-Lot Society scoffs at you for doing anything to a stock Miata outside of firming it up, so putting used engines in Miatas means provoking an internet army. It’s rare to hear about a swap that improves something about the stock balance of performance and durability, because most of them throw it out the window.

Which is exactly what you want in drift.

The Canadian gearheads over a t Pistonhead Productions stuffed a 4BT into a 1990 Miata and backed it with a Ford T19 transmission and Ford 8.8-inch rear end. If you race SCCA and you haven’t vomited yet, good on you, because this Miata raised over $10,000 for a local high school’s shop class when it was auctioned in 2016. See, even the baby Cummins used engines can go to good use.

And speaking of Japanese cars, that brings us to

Used Engines Overnighted from Japan

s2000 used engines


Honda F20C / F22C

There’s only one place to find these used engines: the venerated Honda S2000. That means someone will have to wreck one and extract its beating heart for you to commit automotive debauchery . But act fast: Honda only built about 110,000 for you to choose from, and we can already think of 50,000 perfect uses for an F20C.

At 120 horsepower per liter, S2000s used engines that sported the highest normally aspirated production power in the world while revving to over 9,000 RPM. And it’s a Honda, so longevity is assured as long as you respect its mechanical limits.

bmw 2002 s2000 swap used engines


BMW S2002

In my dreams I see a wild F22C prancing through the forest when it happens upon my orange BMW 2002, bathed in sunbeams amid a field of flowers. One thing leads to another, the F22C ends up inside the 2002, and the lovechild looks something like this.

Lucky for me somebody with more money already had that dream, and they made it happen with one of the best used engines available. Diego Loza built this mad machine around the mill from an AP2 S2K. Underneath it’s way more Honda than BMW, but nobody’s complaining because this thing looks mean AF. I suspect purists miiiiiight not like it, but f**k haters.

Watch for this car’s build video to appear in the Used Engines section of YouPorn.

subaru ej25 used engines


Subaru EJ Boxer

It’s a common misconception that Subaru’s EJ line of engines can be powered solely by vape. The neat thing about Subaru’s used engines is you can find any old 99-09 Forester , Legacy, Impreza, Outback, or even Baja in the USA and under the hood you’ll most likely find an EJ25.

Subaru rarely makes mistakes, but in the case of the earlier EJ251 used engines there’s a high incidence of head gasket failure and coolant passage clogging. This is easily addressed during a reseal by replacing the stock single-layer head gaskets with multi-layer ones, having the heads machined, and putting it all back together. The later EJ253 engines didn’t have this problem.

Setting that aside these are some of the most reliable used engines available today. Shit, you can build them to over 900 horsepow er (turn your sound down).

Problem is, they don’t easily fit in most other cars. But you can easily put one…

vw subaru swap used engines


Into a Volkswagen

One thing used engines from Subarus were practically made to do is power Volkswagens. Beetles, Westphalias, buses, Transporter trucks, even Synchros can adapt 2.5 Subaru used engines with ease. The original mills had well under half the power of even a stock EJ, and most people report an increase in gas mileage as well. Subaru reliability, classic Volkswagen style, what’s not to love?

22re toyota used engines


Toyota 22RE

The 22R and 22RE used engines can be scavenged from just about any 1980s or 1990s Toyota light truck, or 4Runner. Good luck finding someone who wants to part with one though, because these used engines are gems and so are their cars.

A fuel-injected four-cylinder mill capable of 135 horsepower out of the box, they can be built for way more than that and are known to last for hundreds of thousands of miles if properly maintained.

toyota 22re used engines


22RE-Powered Celica

We love the Celica. It’s underrated, inexpensive, and reliably built. A vintage example is the perfect pairing for a 22RE. This beauty lives in California, home of rust-free classics parked on every corner. It’s an example of a swap that simply improves on the experience of the original car without losing the spirit of that which came before.

toyota 2jz used engines


Two Jay Z

The 2JZ is like the LS of Japanese engines: the mere mention of it calls to mind the sound of a 240sx bouncing furiously off its rev limiter. It’s as easy as changing your shoes to drop a 2JZ into a variety of cars, and because so many Japanese cars used engines from this family, there are literally thousands of them to choose from and they’re all pretty cheap.

Oh, and the stock bottom end of a 2JZ-GTE can hold over 1 000 horsepower.

Japanese cars you’ve never heard called by these names include the Toyota Aristo, Chaser, Cresta, Progres, Brevis, Crown, and Gita, all of which used engines from the 2JZ family. If you’re feeling fast and furious you could pull one from a Supra too, but please don’t.

2JZ Phantom

Everyone throws one of these used engines into a drift missile, but that’s been done. We’d rather see a turbocharger and a supercharger piled onto this straight-six to create a 900-horsepower road weapon. In stock form, these yachts used engines from BMW that were prone to failure at over 100,000 miles, since few Rolls Royces have ever seen that kind of use.

Read our full story on this car here.

nissan KA used engines


Nissan KA24E

When I was young I rode to school in the back of a Nissan Stanza, and not once did I consider it to be a performance car. Little did I know that Stanzas used engines from the venerated KA line, the ones found in the early 240sx.

Later 240sx models used engines of the KA24DE derivative which had double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, as opposed to the KA24E’s three-valve SOHC setup. This resulted in higher power, torque, and redline figures. As far as used engines go, either one is a reliable starting point for your next swap.

KA Nissan Hardbody

Some of you might not consider this to be an upgrade from a Stanza. I get t hat. But there’s a huge following for Nissan hardbody trucks, and let’s face it, nobody makes a basic small truck anymore. Most Nissan trucks originally used engines of the VE and other styles, so keep it in the family and choose a KA swap.

If you need an occasional parts hauler that doubles as a weekend drift machine, these are a pretty good choice.

mazda 13b used engines


Mazda 13B Rotary

We started the Japan section of our Used Engines Countdown with a rare find that only came in one car, and these aren’t much better. Used engines of the Wankel variety are most commonly found in models that we didn’t get in the US. Score one point for eBay.

The earlier models are 10A, though you won’t find many of those floating around in the States. The 12A, and the more recent fuel-injected models are 13B, are found in any Craigslist Special RX7. Simply take that baby out, build it to your heart’s desire, and swap it into any project where engine bay space is on short supply.

Reliability is great, though gas mileage is bad compared to other used engine s.

13B Beetle

Of course, even a 1.2-liter rotary makes upward of 130 horsepower, so that’s the tradeoff. Tuned examples can make over 250.

250 horsepower sounds a lot better when the entire car weighs under 2000 pounds; such is the case with this 13B-powered 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. It runs a 10.5-second quarter mile and packs eight times its original horsepower.

The owner says it will barely turn 3000 rpm at 80 miles per hour. This Bug can rip, and Jay Leno agrees.

Motorcycles Have Used Engines, Too

honda cbr1000rr used engines


1.0-Liter Honda CBR1000RR

My 1000RR recently decided one of its rods belonged outside the crankcase. When I started looking at used engines I found out you can get a 2008+ 1000RR engine, one that’s good for 200 horsepower with only mild tuning, for under $2000. And my mind started running.

Smart cars, MGs, Minis, Miatas – every small car in the world would be a lot crazier with a redline of 15,000 RPM. Lucky for me another deep-pocketed gearhead has lived this dream too.

honda used engines


Honda S600 RR

Most of these swaps have involved rare used engines going into common cars, and this is quite the opposite – somebody threw one of the used engines from a Honda CBR1000RR into an insanely rare 1964 Honda S600 convertible. The result? Nearly 200 horsepower, or over three times stock, in a car that weighs about 1500 pounds.

We love the irony of taking one the most mass-produced used engines ever and sticking it in Honda’s first mass-marketed car ever. And if you want to undertake something like this yourself, check out this detailed guide which chronicles how that engine got where it is.

suzuki hayabusa used engines


1.3-Liter Suzuki Hayabusa

The Hayabusa is the king of cheap speed – it’s the fastest cheapest stock vehicle ever made. That’s not surprising when you consider they used engines with a 1300cc displacement, the size of many small car engines. The difference is your Fiesta doesn’t rev to 13,000 RPM.

Used engines from Hayabusas go for about $3000, or about $1000 less than what you can get an entire bike for. Like the LQ4 from earlier your best bet is to buy the entire thing if you can, that way you have everything you need for the swap into…

A Smart Car

If you haven’t seen this video before, prepare to want a Smart for the first time in your life. One of the oldest car videos on YouTube never ceases to entertain, and the fact that this beast probably gets better MPGs than a stock Smart only adds to the absurdity.

Smarts originally used engines under 1 liter in size, and you can pick up a rolling shell for under 3k easy. That means you can have this much fun for under 8k –  fabrication included. Try doing that with a 5-liter ‘Stang.

If you thought that one was nuts, one thing that’s true in the world of used engines is…

Italian Used Engines Are Expensive AF

ferrari used engines


Ferrari F136

There’s nothing wrong with pulling used engines from Ferraris, except the price. With an F136 you get a 4.5-liter 570-horsepower V8 mill that’s won International Engine of the Year eight times, and it’s wildly dependable as long as it’s maintained.

The F136 can be found in the Ferrari F430 and California, the Alfa 8C, and Maserati models dating back to 2002. This includes the often-daily-driven-by-pretentious-fools Quattroporte, lending credence to its reliability, but if you want the real deal step up and pull one out of a 458.

ferrari f136 used engines


Gumout GT4586

If anyone deserves to have too much time and money on their hands, it’s someone who will stuff a Ferrari 458 engine into a Toyota GT86. Enter Ryan Tuerck, an American professional drifter from New Hampshire who ran the internet a few years back with his wildest creation to date, dubbed the GT4586.

This engine is so big they literally had to remove part of the windshield for it to fit. The engineering is insane all-around, and while we don’t have time to get into the details here, we have before and so have Speedhunters, so go check out all the work that went into this beast.

There you have it, some of the best used engines you can buy today. Did we miss something near and dear to your heart? Let us know!

Feb 20, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/yamaha-bolt-cheap-or-masterpiece/

Yamaha Bolt – Cutting Corners, or a Budget-Friendly Masterpiece?


Yamaha Bolt Head-On

Have you heard of the new Yamaha Bolt? If not, it’s about time. Now, it should come as no surprise by now that we love motorcycles, and I, specifically, have a weak spot for the classic, bare and stripped-down two-wheelers on the market. To me, motorcycles are all about the freedom and simplicity of a joyride, and in my mind, nothing embodies that more perfectly than raw, stripped down bikes.

Luckily for me, there are plenty of bikes on the market to fill that gap. To name a few, you could consider the new Iron 883 from Harley Davidson, the Indian Scout Sixty, or the Bonneville Bobber from Triumph. The thing is, however, that all of these bikes are a lot more expensive than the Yamaha Bolt.

To add to the confusion, the reviews of the Iron 883 are quite mixed, and it looks like you would need to invest more cash in the bike to really make it the way you want it. With these conflicting opinions, we wanted to find out if the Yamaha Bolt would be a better option. It looks good on paper, but can it live up to the specs in real life?

The Engine

Yamaha Bolt Side View

The Yamaha Bolt boasts a 58 cubic inch (942 cc) engine, which is slightly larger than it’s nearest competitor – the Iron 883. The engine is pretty simple: a 4-valved air-cooled V-twin with a 5-speed transmission and belt drive. Nothing too groundbreaking here. It runs smoothly without any hassle – and it’s surprisingly powerful.

Yamaha isn’t a big fan of releasing numbers, so it’s hard to get an estimate of the top speed. It’s also no easy feat to get ahold of the horsepower for this bike. I don’t imagine, however, that this bike will do much more than 100 miles an hour on the freeway (not comfortably anyway) – especially not considering it’s relatively high gearing, and “only” sports a 5-gear transmission.

It is, however, perfectly fine with me. This isn’t a ground-to-ground missile. It’s a small, simple bobber – and it does that surprisingly well. If you ever pull up on a rider on an Iron, rest assured that you’ll be nearly a second faster to 60 mph than him. A second! That’s some pretty tingling acceleration.

Another thing that this bike has going on for it is reliability. It appears sturdy and well-crafted, with plenty of parts for the taking. And given the fact that it’s a Yamaha, the engine will probably survive well-beyond the inevitable heat death of the universe.

The Looks

Now, this is an excellent lo oking bike – there’s no doubt about it. The peanut-shaped tank with an overall low profile makes for a good looking motorcycle. I especially like the gold details on the rear suspension – although these might not fit into everybody’s taste.

If I must say something negative about the looks on this bike, it would probably have to be the color options. A great thing that Harley Davidson have going for them with the Iron 883 – at least in my book, is that they offer riders some great color options. For one, I would have loved a matte black or dark option for the Yamaha Bolt. It could have made for a lot more exclusive look.

Yamaha Bolt Front 3/4

I know that not everyone will agree with me, but that is also kind of the point. There are very few color schemes available for the Bolt. This makes it feel like a product straight from the assembly line, whereas it’s competitors – albeit a bit more pricey, offer more individuality.

The color options (or lack thereof) aside, this is a cool looking bike. It’s a low, pure road warrior in a classic look that will still look great in 50 years. I should probably mention that there are more colors available if you upgrade to the Yamaha Bolt R-Spec model (which is priced at $8.399).

The Yamaha Bolt in a Nutshell

Yamaha Bolt Fuel Tank

The Yamaha Bolt is all-in-all a pretty decent motorcycle. But you need to take it for what it is. It’s a lot less customizable than, let’s say, the Iron 883, but it’s also a lot more ready to ride, straight from the assembly line.

This bike is a tricky one to review because I do indeed like the way it looks. It’s a classic no-gimmick motorcycle that does what it was supposed to do just fine. Its also more than economically sound, and has a good and reliable engine. It does have its shortcomings – the bike isn’t fast. It has good acceleration and chances are that most of the time , you’ll be the first one to leave the red light. We will say, though, that this is a bike where you need to take a good hard look at how Yamaha markets it.

They sell this bike as an urban bobber – and that’s what it is. It’s a comfortable ride with thrilling acceleration – but you can fall short if you take this on the freeway. The acceleration from 60-90mph  is disappointing and slow, so if you usually ride on the freeway, you may leave home a little earlier than you may think, and you probably won’t get the power and maneuverability you need to feel more confident. All in all, however, the Yamaha Bolt is a great little starting bike that looks awesome, rides well, and should prove to be exceptionally reliable.

Feb 17, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/obscure-dirt-bike-brands/

10 Excellent Dirt Bike Brands You Have Never Heard Of


In the market for a new off-roader? Before you commit to the usual Honda, Kawa saki, Yamaha or KTM, why not check out some other quality dirt bike brands that you may not have heard of first? As much as we love the motorcycles manufactured by the biggest industry names, there’s a whole world of variety out there that rarely gets the attention it deserves. And we’re not talking about obscure Chinese brands with dubious quality and manufacturing methods either – we’re talking about small companies with long and illustrious histories, with small production lines that employ talented craftsmen and women to build quality machinery.

Dirt Bike Brands - Fantic 125

It’s easy to forget these smaller businesses but while Honda might make a good dirt bike, perhaps the one you really need comes from the Montesa factory instead? But you’ll never know unless you take a good look around. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite dirt bike brands that are often overlooked. Some of these you will have heard of (we guarantee that you’ve at least heard of one of these) but hopefully there are a few that are new to you. Granted, some are now affiliated with bigger manu facturers these days, but they are all still independent manufacturers in their own rights. So, let’s take a look at some of the more obscure dirt bike brands still trading today.

10 Dirt Bike Brands That Are Often Overlooked

#10. Husqvarna

Dirt Bike Brands - Husqvarna Logo

While Husqvarna is moving back into the spotlight thanks to its partnership with KTM and the development of the gorgeous Vitpilen and Svartpilen models, many people still consider the company to be nothing more than manufacturers of chainsaws and sewing machines. However, Husqvarna have been manufacturing motorcycles since 1903 making it one of the oldest dirt bike brands out there, and their dirt bikes are some of the best in the business.

Dirt Bike Brands - Husqvarna 701 Enduro

After becoming part of the KTM group in 2013, it looks like Husqvarna was going to be swallowed up by the Austrian company, but fortunately the name lives on and Husqvarna have continued to build and develop cutting edge dirt-focused motorcycles, and they’ve even developed a new fuel-injected two-stroke engine that could revolutionize the two-stroke industry. If we had to pick our favorite Husqvarna, we’d suggest the 701 Enduro.

#09. Bultaco

Dirt Bike Brands - Bultaco Logo

Founded in 1958, the Spanish motorcycle manufacturer Bultaco specialized in manufacturing single cylinder, air cooled, two-stroke motorcycles until the company closed its doors in 1983. While it enjoyed a long run of success all over the world, particularly in the USA where Bultaco’s 250cc Pursang was the go-to choice for off-road speed racing, civil unrest and other contributing factors saw the company shut down.

Dirt Bike Brands - Bultaco Brinco

However, Bultaco was given a new lease of life in 2014 when the marque was resurrected with a new focus on developing electric off-road motorcycles for a new generation of riders. Bultaco’s new line-up features four models built on their new Brinco platform, and they’re a cross between a beefy mountain bike and a trials motorcycle. But the company is only newly restored, and more Bultaco machines are being developed as we speak.

#08. Rieju

Dirt Bike Brands - Rieju Logo

The Spanish company Rieju has been around since 1934 but only began developing motorcycles in 1947: a 40cc moped with a grand total of one horsepower. Fortunately, the company has come along way since then and have managed to develop far superior models that have made a name for themselves on the European enduro scene. During the 80s, the marque was one of the best selling dirt bike brands in Spain and, thanks to winning several enduro races, managed to export to numerous other markets.

Dirt Bike Brands - Rieju Marathon 200 Pro

These days, Rieju might not be one of the most recognizable dirt bike brands out there, but after beginning a new partnership with Yamaha in 2011, we think you’ll be hearing more about them. Rieju’s current models are all equipped with Yamaha engines – and we think the Marathon 200 Pro model is one of their best.

#07. Sherco

Dirt Bike Brands - Sherco Logo

The name “Sherco” might be familiar to you – as a literal amalgamation between the words “Bultaco” and Bultaco’s famous “Sherpa” model, it points towards the company’s origin, built after the demise of Bultaco back in the late 1980s. That being said, Sherco wasn’t formally formed until 1998, and they didn’t produce their first motorcycle until a year later in 1999.

Dirt Bike Brands - Sherco 450 SEF FACTORY

Since then, the Spanish and French company has become incredibly popular for building quality trials, enduro, and supermoto motorcycles. Using the best parts available and utilizing an incredibly well-engineered chassis and engine, Sherco stormed onto the scene and made waves. Their original motorcycle was so good that the chassis wasn’t updated for seven years, and the engine for twelve. These days, Sherco’s models make the most of WP suspension, Akrapovic exhausts systems, and other top end goodies. Our Sherco weapon-of-choice would be their 450 SEF FACTORY model.

#06. Montesa

Dirt Bike Brands - Montesa

As motorcycle manufacturers go, Montesa have had an interesting and colorful history. Founded in Spain in 1944 by Pedro Permanyer and Francisco Xavier Bulto (the same guy who founded Bultaco) Montesa became a major player on the racing scene, on road and off. While excelli ng in trials competitions and enduro events, Montesa also built decent road racing machines, but after a disagreement between Permanyer and Bulto, the company split with Bulto leaving and forming Bultaco. Permanyer stuck to his guns and continued pushing Montesa down a more off-road and trials oriented trail, which ultimately paid off.

Dirt Bike Brands - Montesa COTA 300RR

During the 80s though, the Spanish economy took a turn for the worse, and Mo ntesa struggled to survive. Fortunately, Honda swooped in and saved the company, and still sells championship winning Montesa models until this day. Today, Montesa is still one of the strongest dirt bike brands on the scene but usually just gets labelled Hondas. Montesa currently offer the COTA 300RR and 4RT260 trials models. Annoyingly, the US versions of the COTA models come without headlights – but anyway, who rides trials bike in the dark anyway?

#05. Gas Gas

Dirt Bike Brands - Ga

s Gas Logo

As you might have guessed by this stage in the list, the Spanish are responsible for more dirt bike brands than you thought possible, right? How about we add another one? Gas Gas specialize in manufacturing top quality trials and enduro bikes and have been doing so since 1985. With Bultaco closing down, two Spanish dirt bike dealers found they had nothing to sell, so they decided to get together and build their own products – thus Gas Gas was born.

Dirt Bike Brands - Gas Gas EnduroGP

Between then and now, Gas Gas have managed to earn a reputation for building quality dirt bikes – which are predominantly made by hand –  from their Catalonian factory. Gas Gas have already managed to make a name for themselves in North America, largely thanks to their odd choice of name, which US importer Gas Gas North America unusually converted into the strange slogan “Gas Gas = Fast Fast” during an advertising campaign that ran between 1999 and 2002. The Gas Gas EnduroGP is our favorite contemporary model.

#04. Maico

Dirt Bike Brands - Maico

Maico is a motorcycle company that was founded in West Germany back in 1926. The company made a name for itself in a variety of ways, from manufacturing popular scooters and even building strange little microcars, but the firm is more famously known for its enduro and motocross dirt bikes. In the company’s long history it has been responsible for many dirt bike innovations, including forward mounted rear shocks and revolutionary tank design, but ultimately the company was forced into bankruptcy in 1986.

Dirt Bike Brands - Maico 685 Enduro

Fortunately, the Maico dream wasn’t over and thanks to the quality of their bikes, they developed a cult following and many enthusiasts kept the brand name alive. These days, a revived iteration of the Maico brand continues to build new motorcycles, with the new technologies. The best model in the contemporary line up has to be the Maico 685 Enduro ’18 – which offers a mammoth 82 horsepower – and costs an absolute fortune.

#03. Beta Moto

Dirt Bike Brands - Beta Logo

Named using a combination of initials from the company’s founders (Enzo Bianchi and Arrigo Tosi) Beta Moto originally started life as a bicycle manufacturer back in Italy in 1904 – but in 1948, the company decided to start building motorcycles. Like many manufacturers of the age, Beta Motorcycles focused on developing small capacity two-stroke motorcycles, but it wasn’t until the late 60s and early 70s that they began to develop off-road capable machines. By the late 70s, enduro motorcycles were the hot product and Beta made a name for themselves across Europe.

Dirt Bike Brands - Beta RR RACING 2T 250

Unlike many of the dirt bike brands listed here, Beta never closed down during its 114 year history and still operate today. These days, however, the company uses KTM engines rather than its own – but that seems to be a winning combination, because Beta’s motorcycles have been ridden by World Trials champions such as Dougie Lampkin, Albert Cabestany and Jordi Tarres. The best enduro model from the modern line up is probably the two-stroke RR Racing 2T 250.

#02. Scorpa

Dirt Bike Brands - Scorpa

Scorpa began life in 1993 in France as a developer of trials motorcycles. The fi rst model from the Ales based factory was a competition trials bike powered single-cylinder, two-stroke Rotax engine, called the WORKS 294. In in 1998, the company made a deal with Yamaha and would use Yamaha engines in their future models. Unfortunately, Scorpa went into liquidation in 2009 and endured some difficulties, but luckily, Sherco actually purchased the company and Scorpa now produce a range of two and four-stroke trials and enduro motorcycles.

Dirt Bike Brands - Scorpa SC-250

These days, Scorpa only export their sophisticated trials bikes to the USA, while their European distribution network includes a couple of cool looking dirt bikes. So, if you’re into hardcore trials riding, then you might want to consider checking out what Scorpa has to offer. The SC-250 model looks particularly tasty.

#01. Fantic Motor

Dirt Bike Brands - Fantic Motor

Fantic Motors is an Italian manufacturer of moto rcycles that was founded in 1968 by Mario Agrati and Henry Keppel-Hesselinkis. The founders goal was simple: to produce the finest Enduro machines of the day – and to some extent they succeeded. Throughout the 70s Fantic were a force to be reckoned with, and managed to export their models all over the world. By the 1980s, the company was a common entrant in many prestigious competitions, winning as many as three titles in the Observed Trials World Championships, and seven wins in the Scottish Six Days Trials too.

Dirt Bike Brands - Fantic 250E Casa

Luckily, Fantic was one of the dirt bike brands of the 20th century that managed to stand the test of time. These days, the company mainly specializes in enduro and trials machines, as well as sports oriented bicycles. Unfortunately, they no longer import to the USA but that may change in the near future. If you’re after a Fantic model, we think that the 250E Casa is a fantastic option.

Feb 16, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/hot-cars-we-want/

15 Hot Cars That We All Want


Every list of hot cars should have a Pagani

Hot cars are about so much more than transportation. They are rolling pieces of art that encapsulate everything that a gearhead could ever want in a ride. There is no simple way to define hot cars. Some are fast as hell, others are low powered classics, and there are a few that combine artistic nuance and balls out speed. Hot cars shamelessly prove that flamboyance and swagger are much more important than practicality or efficiency.

For the sake of clarity, our list of hot cars encompasses everything…recently built supercars, classics, a nything that might capture your imagination and make you dream about hot cars, fast women, and places where you can enjoy both.

1. Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita

Hot cars like the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita are amazing

The Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita tops our list of hot cars for sheer flamboyance. This is a car that Liberace or a rapper would have loved to drive. The body of the CCXR Trevita is built using a diamond impregnated carbon fiber and kevlar weave. Yes, this car is literally made with diamonds!

As if that is not enough, the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita is powered by a 4.8L V8 that is capable of 1018 hp, blasts from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and will hit 120 mph in 13.55 seconds. With a top speed of 255 mph, the CCXR Trevita is capable of 1.5G of lateral G-force. All that for the rock bottom price of $4.8 million. The price tag may be part of the reason that Koenigsegg only built a few of these hot cars.

2. Lamborghini Veneno

Lamborghini Veneo are furious hot cars

The Lamborghini Veneno is a modified roadster version of the Aventador that is sharply focused on one thing…flat out speed. The car makes no pretense of having any other purpose for those rich enough and brave enough to own one. Lambo went all out, powering the Veneno with a 6.5L V12 capable of 740 hp and lowering its weight to just 3,280 lbs. The Veneno is able to jump from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds on its way to its top speed of 221 mph. The Veneno will pull 1.41 G while cornering. Priced at $4.5 million dollars this is another of the hot cars on our list that also qualifies as one of the most expensive cars in the world.< /p>

3. Ferrari 488 J50

Ferrari 488 J50 hot cars are intimidating

How can you build a list of hot cars without a Ferrari? You can’t. Some may scoff at the Ferrari 488 J50 as old hat; they would be fools. Granted, it is three model years old now, but styling like this never goes out of vogue. On top of amazing lines that pay homage to the cars built over the 50 years Ferrari has been in Japan (hence the J50 moniker), the 488 J50 is all about blinding speed. The 488 J50 is powered b y a 3.9L V8 equipped with two twin-scroll turbochargers. The powerhouse produces 661 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. The twin-turbos help thrust the 488 J50 from zero to sixty in 2.9 seconds and it can run the quarter mile in just 10.45 seconds. Run it flat out a bit more than a quarter mile and you will hit the top speed of 205 mph before you know it.

4. Bugatti Chiron

All hot cars pale in comparison to the Buggati Chiron

Just as you can not build a list of hot cars without a Ferrari, y ou can not build one without adding a Bugatti. According to the Bugatti website, ”BUGATTI owes its distinctive character to a family of artists, who was always determined to offer the extraordinary. The superlative. The best.” Every word of that statement can be seen in the Bugatti Chiron. Grand lines and captivating style combine with awe-inspiring power to provide what may be the ultimate driver’s supercar. Powered by an updated version of the 8.0L W16 found in the Veyron. The Chiron features four turbochargers and is capable of 1,479 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Peak torque is available at 2,000 rpm, helping the Chiron achieve a 0 to 60 mph time of just 2.4 seconds. In tests, the Chiron has hit 250 mph in 32.6 seconds. While the top speed is electronically limited to 261 mph, Bugatti believes an unfettered Chiron can reach 288 mph.

5. Nissan GT-R NISMO

Hot cars like the Nissan GT-R NISMO kick ass

The Nissan GT-R immediately began riding atop lists of hot cars when it was introduced for the 2009 model year. After 2015, every reference to the GT-R was focused on the NISMO edition. The Nissan GT-R NISMO and is faster brother, the NISMO N-Attack blend style, relative affordability, and supercar performance. The power of the GT-R NISMO comes from a twin-turbo 3.8L V6 that is capable 600 hp and 527 lb-ft of torque. Full torque is available at 3,500 rpm. Nissan has not released the figures for projected top speed, etc for the latest model. If the 2.9 second 0 to 60 mph and Nurburgring Nordschleife lap of only 7:08 minutes produced by the 2015 edition are any indication, the newest NISMO should kick the hell out of several supercars and costs less than $200,000!

6. 1953 Chevrolet Corvette

1953 Corvettes are hot cars

Undeniably, one of the greatest hot cars of all time is the first model year of the Chevrolet Corvette. Granted, power numbers are nothing compared to the modern supercars we have listed so far, but this classic beauty is timeless. Cars with the original paint are easy to spot…they are all Polo White. Power comes from a 235 cu.in. inline-six. The 1953 Corvette features the Blue Flame version of this engine. The Blue Flame designation means that the engine features hydraulic lifters and produces 136 hp.

7. Porsche Carrera GT

< p>The Carrera Gt is one of Porsche's hot cars

Porsche has built so many hot cars it is hard to narrow our focus. Even though we have listed the Carrera GT, we had the Porsche 959 and 918 Spyder on our minds too. In the end, we tossed a coin and the Carrera GT won.

Power comes from a 5.7L V10 capable of 603 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque. The Carrera GT has a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.06 seconds and will hit 124 mph in just 9.25 seconds. It will finish the quarter-mile in 10.97 seconds at abo ut 140 mph. The Carrera GT finished the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 7:28 minutes.

8. Studebaker Avanti

Avanti's are old-school hot cars

Studebaker only built the Avanti for two years and sales totaled less than 6,000 units, but the car is amazing. The lines are unique and the interior is head-and-shoulders above any other car of the period. Studebaker had to build the body from fiberglass because trying to build such a unique car from steel would have been a daunting task. Powe r comes from 289 cu.in. V8 borrowed from the Studebaker Hawk lineup. Output topped out at just 240 hp; but, like the ’53 Vette, power is not the Avanti’s main reason for being on our list of hot cars.

9. Lyken HyperSport

Exclusive hot cars include the Lyken HyperSport

The Lyken HyperSport is another diamond-encrusted supercar. Buyers have the choice of either 420 diamonds in the LED blades of the headlights or rubies, yellow diamonds, and sapphires(you know, if plain diamonds are not your thing). The Lyken HyperSport also features a holographic display on the center console with interactive motion features and gold stitching in the seats. These hot cars have two claims to fame…they are one of the most expensive cars ever sold and one was crashed through three skyscrapers in Furious 7.

Diamonds and movie star lifestyle aside, the Lyken HyperSport can set pavement ablaze. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.7L flat-six that produces 780 hp and 708 lb-ft of torque. The builder, W Motors, claims the Lyken HyperSport has a top speed of 245 mph. It will jump from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 2.8 seconds and will hit 125 mph in just 9.4 seconds.

10. Maybach Exelero

The Exelero is a one-off hot cars

Maybach built the Exelero as a one-off concept car in 2005. It swiftly became the most expensive car sold, garnering $8 million(U.S.). The Exelero is powered by a 5.9L twin turbo V12 engine. Output is a proven 690 hp and 752 ft-lb of torque. It has a top speed of 218 mph and a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.3 seconds. Power aside, the design is awe-inspiring. Where other hot cars will turn a few heads, the Exelero will stop traffic anywhere.

11. Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio

Ferrari hot cars include the Pininfarina Sergio

The Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio is a Ferrari 458 Spider with a whole other body. Designed to honor the memory of Sergio Pininfarina, the car embodies the uniqueness and artistic nature of its namesake. None of the other hot cars on our list are built sans windshield or feature aerodynamic headrests which are attached to the roll bar. This Ferrari also features the powerful personality of Sergio Pininfarina in the guise of a 4.5L engine that is capable of 562 hp and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.

12. Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT

Mercedes Benz and AMG build hot cars like the SLS AMG

We can all agree that sportscars are the supermodels of hot cars. Just as there are supermodels that standout among their peers, there are hot cars that have the beautiful curves and the amazing lines that are every bit as visually appealing as they are aerodynamic. One of those cars is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT.

Built to honor the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, the SLS AMG GT embodies eye-catching lines and superlative design. The SLS AMG GT possesses beauty that is more than skin deep. Under the hood is a 6.2L powerplant that creates 583 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers allow the SLS AMG GT to jump from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. It is able to finish a quarter mile in 11.7 seconds at 125 mph on its way to a top speed of 197 mph.

13. 1962-1967 AC Cobra

Shelby Cobra hot cars, enough said.

The 1962-1967 AC Cobra, known as the Shelby Cobra in the states, is an icon among hot cars. If it is true that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then the original AC Cobra is a very flattered car. Oft imitated, but never equaled.

< p>In 1962, the first AC Cobras were powered by a 4.3L(260 cu.in.) Ford V8 at the request of American automotive designer Carroll Shelby. By 1967, Shelby and AC Cars were offering a Cobra fitted with a Ford 427 engine. The standard 427 edition was capable of 425 hp and had a top speed of 164 mph. The competition edition on the other hand created 485 hp and had a top speed of 185 mph.

14. Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale

Alfa Romeo hot cars like the 33 Stradale rock our world.

It alian automaker Alfa Romeo has built many hot cars over its 100-plus year history. One of the hottest Alfa Romeos has to be the 33 Stradale. 18 examples of the 33 Stradale were hand-built between 1967 and 1969. Being hand-built, each car differed slightly from the others. A few examples featured double headlights, others single headlights. Even the postilion of the wiper arms are slightly different in some examples.

One thing that is consistent is the 2.0L V8 engine. On top of having an incredibly small displacement for a V8, the engine features four chain-driven camshafts, a SPICA fuel injection system, 16 spark plugs, and has a rev-limit of 10,000 rpm. The unique powerplant produces 230 hp in the road ready editions and 270 hp in race units. Leave it to Alfa Romeo to find an interesting way to deliver power to the ground.

15. Ford GT

The best hot cars are Ford GTs

We have covered a few North American hot cars, but we haven’t covered a North American built supercar. The one that comes to mind immediately is the Ford GT. We say North American built because the car was designed in the U.S., but built in Ontario, Canada.

Built between 2004 and 2006, then resurrected for the 2016 model year, the Ford GT is sleek, sexy, and determined to outrun its own shadow. The post-resurrection cars are powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost V6. But this isn’t the same V6 found in a Ford Fusion. It is twin-turbocharged and capable of 647 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. With a curb weig ht just barely north of 3,000lbs, the GT is able to blast from 0 to 60 mph in a breathtaking 2.3 seconds, hits 100 mph in just 6 seconds, and has a top speed of 216 mph.

2 Bonus Hot Cars

The E Type are Jaguar hot cars

We couldn’t just leave you hanging wondering why Jaguar and Pagani aren’t on our list. Well, there are just a ton of hot cars and only so much paper to write on…or page space here on the internet. Above is a 1961 Jaguar E Type drop, one of the sleekest cars to ever wear the Jaguar emblem. Below is a Pagani Huayra BC. Words to describe the Pagani are hard to come by, so we will just leave it here for you admire.

Pagani builds hot cars only

Feb 16, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/dream-sportsbike-list/

10 Sportsbike Models You Need In Your Dream Garage!


In an imaginary world where you have infinite garage space and an unlimited budget, what sportsbike would be your number one, must-have purchase? But let’s not settle on one, how about 10 instead? And before this pipe-dream goes too far, lets lay down some ground rules. For a start, your dream sportsbike options have to exist in the real world – no movie props! Secondly, they c an’t be race-only prototypes like MotoGP bikes, so you can rule out that YZR-M1, RC213V, Desmosedici GP, and the rest.

Dream Sportsbike - Honda

Our criteria also includes real life sportsbike models that you’d actually enjoy owning, riding, and looking at. Thing like the Y2K don’t get a look in, neither does the awesome MTT turbine behemoth either. That being said, this is a subjective list and it is by no means a list of the best sportsbikes ever made, or the most expensive. It’s just a list to provoke you into playing the classic “If I won the lotto…” game. Because if I was handed a huge stack of cash, this is what I’d be investing it in.

10 Dream Sportsbike Models For Your Dream Garage

The Suter MMX500

Dream Sportsbike - Suter MMX500

Fast, expensive, rare, and incredibly well made – this is the Suter MMX500. You don’t need a liter class sportsbike to enjoy huge speed and incredible power, not when the Suter MMX500 exists. Powered by a 576cc V4 two-stroke engine, the Suter can produce an absolutely frightening 195 horsepower at 13,000 rpm in package that weighs a devastatingly low 280 lbs in total. Along with the powerful engine and lightweight aluminum twin-spar chassis, the Suter MMX500 also boasts a whole host of MotoGP and WSB K derived goodies, such as a Mectronic ECU, GP-spec Ohlins suspension, top of the line Brembo brakes, a titanium exhaust system from Akrapovic, OZ wheels (available in aluminum or magnesium), and carbon fiber bodywork. As a bonus, Suter will paint your carbon fiber bodywork in whatever livery you want.

You don’t need to be a race-engineer to see the advantages of having one of these in your garage: it’s fast, light, and will blow away anything else on the track in its class, and yeah, you will be requiring a closed circuit to ride this on, because it is anything but street-legal. But since we’re talking about unlimited budgets, after you’ve shelled out $123,500 for one of these limited-production Suter models, you’ll be able to afford plenty of track time.

The Lightning LS-218

Dream Sportsbike - Lightning LS-218

Variety is the spice of life, and while we like small sized two-strokes, ultra-light liter class machines, old-school racers, and supercharged offerings, there’s always room for something different, like the L ightning LS-218 electric sportsbike. Even if you’re not ready to commit to the electric revolution, you’d be foolish not to have one of these in your dream garage. Why? Because it’s the fastest, street-legal production bike in the world. Back in 2012, the Lightning LS-218 electric sportsbike managed to hit a top speed of 218 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats…and that should be reason enough to want one.

If the top speed of 218 mph doesn’t impress you, how about the rest of the sportsbike’s specification? With a maximum power output of 200 horsepower, a maximum torque figure of 168 lb-ft, the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in 2 se conds, and a battery that allows up to 100 miles of rideable range per charge at highway speeds, you can see why you’d want a Lightning LS-218 parked in your dream garage. This cutting edge electric sportsbike isn’t exactly cheap at $38,888, but with unlimited funds at your disposal, why not take two? Or save your money and wait for Lightning’s next machine, because they think they’ve built something that can go even faster.

The Kawasaki H2R

Dream Sportsbike - Kawasa

ki H2R

An obvious choice? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. You don’t need to like the opinion dividing bodywork, you don’t have to worry about the practicality, and you most certainly shouldn’t worry about whether you need another track-only beast in the stable – because while the Suter will be a blast, it’s going to be worlds apart from the 310hp supercharged Kawasaki behemoth. And if you’ve got an unlimited budget, you might as well have the legendary H2R in your garage…but what you don’t spend in real money, you’d have to spend in real time, becau se Kawasaki recommend a maintenance interval of…15 hours. But what did you expect?

In fact, we’re starting to wonder whether the H2R is really worth it? Sure, it has some sick performance stats, but it comes with baggage. Yes, it can reach a heady top speed of 249 mph but you have to arrive at the top speed in no more than 30 seconds otherwise your tires are likely to blow out. Indeed, it’s a fantastic track machine, but only if your local track allows it because it’s not track-legal in some places. And we bet it’s a bitch to repair…especially as Kawasaki give you absolutely no warranty for your $55,000 investment. Fortunately, this isn’t a list about common sense. It’s about what we want, and we want one, regardless of how useful it is or isn’t.

The Ducati 1299 Superleggera

Dream Sportsbike - Ducati 1299 Superleggera

It was a tough decision between the Ducati Superleggera and the BMW HP4 Race…but ultimately, we’ve decided on the Superleggera. If we were allowed an eleventh sportsbike on the list, the HP4 Race would certainly be added though but we chose the Ducati this time ‘round, purely because it’s road legal, and the BMW is not. We already have a couple of track-only machines anyway, so we needed something a little more road-oriented to balance the books – and there’s no greater option for a super-light street-legal machine than the new Ducati Superleggera: the most powerful twin-cylinder production sportsbike ever made.

Though not Ducati’s first Superleggera, the 1299 is far more impressive. Powered by a 1285cc superquadro engine that boasts an incredible 215 hp at 11,000 rpm and weighs 4.6 lbs less than the usual Panigale engine thanks to a new streamlined profile, t he liberal use of titanium, and aluminum pistons. The engine weight is one thing, but it’s nothing compared to the weight saving achieved by Ducati’s carbon fiber monocoque frame. The whole package has a wet weight of a mere 368 lbs. One of these sportsbike marvels would set you back $89,000 but since all 500 of these limited edition models sold out before production even started, the large price tag isn’t the biggest stumbling block on your road to owning one.

The Honda NR750

Old but gold, and literally worth its weight in gold, the Honda NR750 is one of the most innovative motorcycles to ever roll out of the Honda R&D department. We can all agree that the NR750 had a hand in the evolution of the modern sportsbike but it was unappreciated in its time. These days we can look back on the NR750 fondly, but in its day it was an over-priced commercial failure. When it first went on sale it came with a price tag of around the equivalent of $100,000 in today’s money, which made it prohibitively expensive, but it commanded that enormous price tag for a reason.

Firstly, it was made of carbon fiber, which helps account for some of that price tag, but the real secret was in the engine’s internals. Basically, Honda tried to make a V8 motorcycle with only half the cylinders. By using oval shaped cylinders which allowed for more valves per cylinder, Honda managed to create something quite unusual, but quite innovative. And innovation and engineering like that costs money. Needless to say that only 322 of these were ever produced for street use, and back then none came to the USA. However, a few have made the journey over the water, and if you can find one, you can expect to pay about the same price now as you would’ve had to back then – because they are so damn rare.

The Suzuki RG500

Dream Sportsbike - Suzuki RG500

While we’re on the subject of old but gold, let’s talk about one of the most legendary motorcycles ever made, and the grandfather of the modern sportsbike: the Suzuki RG500. For many racing enthusiasts, this two-stroke race machine from the golden age of motorcycle racing is one of the most excellent bikes ever made. The RG500 Gamma is a two-stroke, twin- crank square-four powered beast that could shoot out 94 horses and hit top speeds of just over 150 mph. It was fast and loud, but there was more to this 80s beauty than its engine.

The RG500 came with adjustable front forks, an advanced rear monoshock arrangement, and weighed in at an unbelievably light weight of only 340 lbs (dry). With some aerodynamic bodywork to hold it all together, and no less than four separate exhausts to look at, you can see why the RG500 was such a formidable sportsbike and track demon. Unfortunately, they are very rare – and when they do come on sale, these old girls can sell for more than $19,000 a go. And if you manage to find one with zero miles on it, then prepare to re-mortgage your house.

The Honda VFR750R “RC30”

Dream Sportsbike - Honda VFR750R RC30

There is absolutely no reason not to own a Honda VFR750R RC30 if you’ve got unlimited funds and unlimited garage space. For many riders, it’s everything a sportsbike should be. Essentially, the RC30 was a race machine that was ever so slightly diluted, and then unleashed on public roads. It was an expensive motorcycle in its day, with a retail price of $15,000 (a huge sum at the time), and its value has only increased as the years have passed, with prices exceeding $30,000 in some cases. But what was so special about the RC30 sportsbike to make it such a collector’s item?

First of all, it was a homologation special, which helps add some value but while it was released to satisfy entry requirements into the first World Superbike Championships in 1988, the RC30 actually rode into the history books by winning the first ever title – which adds even more value. Boasting a 748cc gear-driven-cam V4 engine capable of 118 hp, 51 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 153 mph, you can see why the Honda RC30 is such a sought after motorcycle. And that’s before we even get started on the looks…because it is easily one of the most beautiful sportsbike models ever made.

The Vins Duecinquanta

Dream Sportsbike - Vins Duecinquanta

You might not have heard of Vins Motors, but you should own one of their bikes. Founded by a group of ex-Ferrari Formula One engineers, Vins Motors was created to build the ultimate small-capacity, racing machine, and their Duecinquanta machine is a very impressive motorcycle. It might be a 250, but this is more motorcycle than many riders could handle. Powered by a powerful 244cc, v-twin, two-stroke engine that can fire out 90 screaming horses, and hit a top speed of 14 9 miles per hour, and wrapped in a beautifully designed carbon fiber body, this lightweight 187 lbs pocket sized 250 defies “small capacity” logic.

And how much do you pay for such a motorcycle with such impressive specifications designed by former Ferrari nerds? Well…a lot. Coming in two flavors, a track only competition beast and slightly more manageable street-legal model, you’ve got the choice of paying a lot, or a little bit less than “a lot.” The street-legal sportsbike will set your imaginary wallet back $47,545, while the track-only weapon will cost you a massive $59,420. Expensive, but worth every penny for an exotic race bike des igned by Ferrari’s old Formula One specialists. And that’s not a cheap boast.

The Honda RC213V-S

Dream Sportsbike - Honda RC213V-S

Talking of silly money, no imaginary dream garage would be compete without the civilian model of Honda’s incredible RC213V MotoGP race prototype. While it doesn’t pack the same kind of power figures as the model you’re used to seeing Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa riding, it does come with a n exclusive Premier Class inspired price-tag: $184,000. That’s a lot of money, and when you read the performance specifications, you’ll agree that it’s a lot of money for not a lot of bike. In stock form, the RC213V-S makes different performance figures depending on where you live. You see, the 999cc V4 machine is sold with 157 hp in Europe, a mere 68 hp in Japan, and only 101 hp in the USA. And that’s not so fun, is it?

But Honda recommend any RC213V-S buyers to invest a further $12k on their official HRC Sport Kit, which elevates the Honda sportsbike to new levels thanks to a new ECU and exhaust, allowing the Mot oGP replica to psh out over 212 horses at 13,000 rpm. So it’s not all a loss then? Well unfortunately, that wonderful HRC Sport Kit isn’t available to US customers. But this is all about imaginary dream bikes, so why let import regulations affect your choices. We’ll take one European-spec RC213V-S please, Mr. Honda.

The Ducati Desmosedici RR

Dream Sportsbike - Ducati Desmosedici RR

W e might have ruled out prototype racers, but we’ve already had one street equivalent from Honda, so what about the Desmosedici RR from Ducati? Up until recently it was the only V4 Ducati mere mortals could buy, with the Desmosedici GP models reserved strictly for premier class racers, and while wouldn’t mind a V4 Panigale, we’d never turn down the old Desmosedici RR. Argued to be the first faithful road replica of a MotoGP motorcycle, limited edition low-volume production run, and with a retail price of $72,500 at the time, the Desmosedici RR is one seriously rare sportsbike.

Boasting around 200 horsepower and a top speed of 188 mph from its 989cc V4 en gine, the Desmosedici RR was nothing short of a marvel when the first units were delivered in 2007. Supported by a tubular steel hybrid chassis with a carbon sub-frame, carbon bodywork, Ohlins gas-pressurized forks, forged magnesium wheels, and plenty of titanium bits and pieces, the Desmo was a veritable powerhouse – as you’d hope for the cost. The price also included a race kit with a race ECU and track-only exhaust system, but unlike Kawasaki and the H2R, Ducati treated Desmo owners with three years of warranty and servicing. These days, Desmosedici RRs aren’t overwhelmingly expensive – but now that Ducati are once again a force to be reckoned with in the MotoGP, expect prices to rise.

Feb 15, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/best-track-motorcycle-options/

10 Great Track Motorcycle Options For Budget Conscious Racers


If you’re considering buying a dedicated track motorcycle for thundering around your local circuit on a track day, then we’ve got some great advice for you. If you’re prepared to part with your hard cash you’d better do your research. For most riders out there, you probably don’t even need a special bike to give you a thrill on the track – in most cases, any bike will do. You see, most motorcycles are built with acceleration and cornering in mind save for the odd few cruisers that aren’t quite designed for it, and almost any type of motorcycle will put a smile on your face when you give it some around the track.

Yamaha on Track

In fact, the best track motorcycle options for beginners aren’t what you’d expect. Before we get stuck into what we consider to be our favorite track motorcycle choices, we’ll take a quick look at a few things to consider if you’re new to the whole scene. Let’s look at the novice track motorcycle criteria.

The Novice Track Motorcycle

Track Motorcycle - Ducati Monster

While it might seem like the right idea to turn up with a top-of-the-range sports machine, you’re probably better off riding…your usual motorcycle. If you’re comfortable on your faithful commuter Suzuki SV, or feel more at home on your urban focused Ducati Monster, then that is the motorcycle you should take on your first track day. It doesn’t take much to prep them for track use, usually just removing your mirrors, taping up your lights, and making sure it doesn’t leak fluids – but track requirements vary, so do your research.

Track Motorcycle - BMW F800GS

Even if you think your day-to-day ride isn’t track material, you may be surprised at just how well it can perform when you’re allowed to give it some. Ideally, you should wait until you’re really comfortable on the track and are familiar with how to make the most of what you’ve got, how the track works, and you’re confident that a dedicated track motorcycle is worth the money before you decide to take your riding career to t he next level. And even when you’ve convinced yourself that you want to get more involved in track day racing and feel like you’ve “completed” your current ride, buying a brand new ZX-10R is still a terrible idea. And here’s why.

Buying A Dedicated Track Motorcycle

Track Motorcycle - Racers

Cheap, reliable, underpowered, and something you really don’t care about – these are four important things to keep in mind when you’re considering your track motorcycle. Firstly, it needs to be cheap because you’re not backed by a multinational company, and other stuff like quality leathers, decent helmets, tooling, and track fees are expensive. Secondly, it needs to be reliable, and that means it needs to start on command, won’t blow itself up, and doesn’t leak. Next, you need to measure yourself realistically. While throwing around 180 hp figures is fun, do you really have what it takes to make the most of them? Probably not yet. Keep your power figures reasonable and learn to ride a slow motorcycle fast, rather than ride a fast motorcycle slowly – you can h ave a lot more fun with 50 hp than you think.

Track Motorcycle - Ride

Lastly, and most importantly, you don’t want to fall in love with this track motorcycle. Ideally, you won’t crash it – but the possibility is always there, and if never make a mistake, you’ll never make anything. If you’re riding a brand new motorcycle that you really care about, you’re not going to ride it properly because you’ll be scared of crashing it. That piec e of crap, bargain basement Honda with scratched plastics and rattle can paint job though…now that is something you can throw into a corner properly without fear of costly reparations. And that’s what you really want. Cheap, reliable, underpowered, and unlovable – these are things you should consider for your first dedicated track motorcycle.

The Top 10 Bargain Track Motorcycle Options!

This list is geared towards to those who have already got a taste for track riding and want something to throw around their local circuit, and while we’re taking great care to include “cheap” and “reliable” we’re not going to concern ourselves with the underpowered or unlovable parts. While we’ll always insist that a smaller motorcycle is the best way to learn how to race properly, you might have better luck finding a larger motorcycle for a more appropriate price, so we’re just going to list our favorite track motorcycle options that are easy to find, guaranteed to be cheap, will be as reliable as sin, and will give you plenty of track thrills…so here we go.

#10. The Suzuki SV650

Track Motorcycle - 2000 Suzuki SV650S

Let’s start with the obvious: the first generation of Suzuki SV650 machines, specifically the the S version. When it first rolled onto the scene in 1999 it quickly became a track favorite all over the world, with riders appreciating the v-twin’s competent mid-range, agile handling, and sporty feel. The half-faired version didn’t arrive in the USA until 2000 though, but after seeing the demand for a sports-oriented SV, Suzuki finally began selling them in the USA, complete with the low handlebars, bikini fairing, high footpegs and sporty screen that track enthusiasts had been raving about in Europe and Canada. Thanks to its cheap price tag, it was a great track motorcycle and subsequently gave birth to a racing class in its own right. It was cheap then, so you can bet you can find one for even cheaper right now. Boasting 64.2 hp and 42.3 lb-f t of torque, the early Suzuki SV650S models are seriously worth investigating.

#09. The Yamaha YZF-R6

Track Motorcycle - 1998 Yamaha R6

While the first Yamaha R6 models to roll out of the factory in 1998 were great, for a good track motorcycle we recommend the next generation instead, but any early and affordable R6 will do just fine. Lightweight, aggressive, and fast, the R6 was designed for racing on the track. Luckily, despite their racing pedigree, these old carbureted R6s sell for pretty cheap and if you look hard enough, you can probably find a few that have already been converted into dedicated track motorcycles, often boasting complete exhaust overhauls, proper suspension, and upgraded brakes. Don’t be disheartened by the age of the bike either – because these things absolutely rip, and they still look fresh too. If you were tempted to get a newer R6 instead, you might find that these older ones are a little easier to get your bearings on, so don’t discount them because of their age.

#08. The Triumph Street Triple

Track Motorcycle - Triumph Street Triple

While it’s not a conventional choice for a track racer, the Street Triple is a great option – in all of its bug eyed glory. Does it come with a conventional race fairing? No, but it has more than enough bite to give conventional 600cc supersport machines a headache. And while we like the new Triumph Street Triple, we think the earlier first and second generation machines would make for ideal track motorcycle projects (circa 2007 – 2012). Thanks to the 675cc triple cylinder engine which boasts around 91 hp and 44.4 lb-ft of torque at the wheel, combined with a chassis that makes for light, nimble handling, these things are absolutely brilliant on closed circuits – and though they’re an unconventional choice, if one comes up within your budget, we recommend you investigate. Make sure it has been taken care of though, and if it’s a non-runner, walk away because it could be a lot of hassle to fix.

#07. The Honda CBR600F

Track Motorcycle - Honda CBR600F2

Unlike the “RR” designated 600s from Honda, the CBR600F models generally come up cheaper on the bike lists. They might not be as sports-oriented but they are an absolute blast to ride on the track. Older models are generally quite cheap to buy, built to last and boast fantastic reliability, have enough poke to keep things interesting without completely overwhelming you, and since they’re a dime a dozen and pretty soulless, they’re hard to get attached to. And they have the added benefits of being capable and versatile every-day rides should you need to keep your track motorcycle in road-legal “Plan B mode of transport” trim. Since they’re quite popular motorcycles, there’s a good chance you can find one for sale that has had some work done to it, with upgrades like new braided brake lines, a revised exhaust system, and improved brakes for little bit more cash. Naturally, if you can find a CBR600RR within your budget that suits your needs better, then that’s another fantastic option – but they don’t go as cheap, usually.

#06. The Kawasaki ZX-6R

Track Motorcycle - 2005 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636

Depending on your abilities, there are plenty of ZX-6R models to choose from. If you’re willing to go cheap, don’t mind being quite underpowered, and can live with the dated looks, a late 90s – early 00s model could be exactly what you need. Having said that, if your budget allows for it, we’d recommend spending a little more on a second generation 636 (’05 – ’06). The engine is better, the slipper clutch is useful, the brakes are better, the exhaust definitely looks racier in that underseat configuration, and boasting around 110 hp (about 10 hp more than the regular ZX-6R of the time), you can see why we’re crazy about it. Again, it’s very likely that you stumble across a track prepped model for a little more money, with steel brake lines, steering dampers and maybe an exhaust upgrade and Power Commander if you’re lucky.

#05. The Honda CBR900RR

Track Motorcycle - Honda CBR929RR

While we have nothing against an old school 900RR from the early 90s, we think you should spend a little bit more and get one a little newer…but still old – does that makes sense? If you can pick one up from the early 2000s for a reasonable price then you’ve got a fun track motorcycle on your hands. Granted, it will not be as fast or powerf ul as other Japanese bikes of the same size and age, but it you’ll learn quite a lot about how the fastest bike isn’t necessarily the best. When the original 900RR was being drawn up by Tadao Baba, his mission was to combine a decent sized engine into a lightweight chassis that handles better than bigger, faster motorcycles – and he succeeded. With 170 hp on tap, you’ll have plenty of fun. As for the build quality and reliability, that’s not even worth asking – it’s a Honda…just turn up and go.

#04. The Aprilia RSV Mille

Track Motorcycle - Aprilia RSV Mille

Aprilia make some of the best track motorcycles in the world, with their small capacity RS125 and RS250 models being popular machines for budding racers, but what about something bigger for those of us who have zero chance of racing professionally to have a blat on? As the RSV4 is quite obviously out of range, the older v-twin RSV Mille isn’t a bad compromise. It might be large in the cubic-centimeter department, but the power output is tame enough to be realistic, and of course, unlike the rest of the list so far it’s a v-twin. The 998cc v-twin mill produces a modest 110 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, boasts a top speed of 168 mph and to make thing interesting it came with an odd slipper-clutch kind-of-thing which makes it a fun choice. They might not be as popular as the likes of the Japanese bikes above, but they don’t command bank-busting resale values either and have been known to sell for cheap prices – and with race-oriented add-ons like forged wheels and upgraded suspension as part of some deals.

#03. The Ducati 900SS SuperSport

Track Motorcycle - Ducati 900SS

If you need an Italian v-twin but don’t fancy the Aprilia, there’s always the Ducati SuperSport. No, not the new one – the old one. Manufactured between 1998 and 2002, the Ducati 900 SS is an ideal bike to seek out right now. Not only is it a great choice for a track motorcycle, they generally sell for quite cheap and will probably increase in value if you don’t slam into a tire wall. A lot of older Ducatis are becoming popular again, no doubt because of the designer label, but the 900 SS prices aren’t growing in value like that of other older models…yet. But we’re here to talk about track days, and the Ducati 900 SS can be quite the demon, boasting 80 hp from its v-twin lump. Don’t be put off by the old Ducati horror stories – if you can find one for sale today for under $5000 in running o rder, most of the old Ducati issues have more than likely been fixed – but look out for dodgy electrics and other old Ducati issues.

#02. The Yamaha R1

Track Motorcycle - Yamaha R1

Ok, we said that going big isn’t the wisest idea, but no list about track motorcycle options could be considered proper without the mention of the ultimate track motorcycle: the Yamaha R1. Which year? Whichever one you can afford – providing it hasn’t been thrashed too badly already by over-zealous wheelie enthusiasts. The first year the Yamaha R1 came out, the world stood still – it was a revolutionary motorcycle – and even today it will give anyone riding one of the old ’99 models a huge smile. Obviously, the newer you can afford to buy, the better, but don’t discount those old beasts. You can pick up a 2000 Yamaha R1 for a laughably cheap price; a motorcycle with 126 hp at the rear wheel, that was designed to kick the sh*t out of anything that was foolish enough to have a go. While it’s definitely not a track motorcycle for a newbie, if you’ve already cut your teeth on the likes of a 600 and want to try something a little different, then the R1 is a fantastic choice.

#01. The Suzuki GSX-R750

Track Motorcycle - K4 Suzuki GSX-R750

Remember the logic behind the CBR900RR: a large displacement sports engine mated to a lightweight, agile chassis more commonly found on a 600? Well, it’s the perfect partnership for a track motorcycle, and as luck would have it, the Suzuki GSX-R750 is the perfect example of it in action. And to make things even sweeter, they’re cheap, widely available, and easy to procure. For the budget conscious track racer, you can find yourself a 2001 or 2002 model in good condition for less than $3,500 (in fact, we just saw a great one in mind condition sell for $2,500). If you feel like spending a tiny bit more, you can pick up a far superior ’04 model, which weighs much less than the previous editions, comes with an upgraded ECU, Tokico brakes, and 127 hp at the wheel, for about $1,000 more. Beating a 1000 with an old 750 is an incredibly rewarding experience that we highly recommend.

At the end of the day, whatever you’ve got to ride is more than enough to enjoy a track day. The newest and biggest bikes aren’t always the best, and sometimes an old piece of trash in the right hands is just what’s required. Save you dollars for better training and proper gear for now – you can treat yourself to an expensive track motorcy cle later.

Feb 14, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/best-compact-cars-2019/

10 of the Best Compact Cars 2019 will Bring to Market


Whether they’re coming from a luxury or an affordable automaker, compact cars’ biggest advantage is their affordability. There’s simply no going around that. Along with their comparably lower price tag, compacts offer a few additional perks. They’re usually more fuel efficient than larger cars, they’re nimble and easy to handle, and findi ng a parking spot for one shouldn’t pose too much of a problem as well. We’ve already ranked the best compacts for 2018 and now it’s time to take a look into the future. Expect to find both the luxury and economy brands, both the hybrid-electric and conventional models, and both the performance and less powerful cars. Here’s what we deemed the best compact cars 2019 is bringing our way. Note that we’ll also include subcompacts.

Honda Civic

With close to 380,000 units sold during 2017, the Honda Civic sits on the eighth spot of best-sold vehicles in the U.S. The fabled compact car has always been a sure thing for its buyers. Throughout its life, the Civic has mostly been handsome, efficient, comfortable, and above all, reliable. The current tenth generation models don’t stray too far away from that well trodden path. They too are efficient, handsome, versatile, and reliable. MY 2019 units will only continue to offer this finely balanced amalgam of features and perks.

The 2019 Honda Civic will be available in three body styles: the sedan, hatchback, and coupe. The Honda Civic coupe is actually the last economy coupe offered in the U.S. market. But three different body styles aren’t everything the Civic has to offer. There are two performance grades as well: the Si and the ultimate Type R. The latter has the price tag of $34,000 which clearly puts it out of the economy car range. However, the Honda Civic Type R delivers 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque thanks to a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cyl inder engine. While the Type R is definitely a highlight of the 2019 Honda Civic range, the rest of the lineup comes with a few perks of their own, most notable being already mentioned low entry-level price and great fuel economy.

Honda Civic Type R front 3/4 view

Kia Soul

The funky Kia Soul has been one of the most interesting small vehicles on the market for years. The subcompact box that passes for a crossover these days is due to be fully redesigned for MY 2019. The South Korean automaker most likely won’t stray too far away from the winning combination they’ve established with the outgoing Soul, but both exterior and interior are bound to be revised. The most welcome change, however, doesn&rsqu o;t have anything to do with subcompact’s styling. It’s the addition of an all-wheel drive config that catches the eye. Although not yet officially announced, the all-wheel drive should help the crossover become even more practical than it already is.

Apart from the welcome addition of an all-wheel drive system, the 2019 Kia Soul’s powertrain lineup remains largely unchanged. The 1.6L naturally aspirated and turbo four, and a 2.0L naturally aspirated inline-four should remain unchanged as the new Kia Soul prepares to share them with the Hyundai Kona. The EV version of the car will also make it into 2019, while a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid variant could also join. $16,500 for a base model and $34,000 for the EV should remain Soul’s asking prices going forward.

Kia Soul 3/4 view

Chevrolet Bolt

GM’s 5-door subcompact hatchback is only just beginning its journey. As such, the upcoming 2019 Chevy Bolt won’t bring any major upgrades. Aside from a new color palette, and possible a software update, the biggest deal with the new Bolt might be a more advanced piece of a semi-autonomous driving technology. Regardless of the GM actually offering the highly advanced tech or not, don’t expect it to be included in the base price once it actually arrives. The Chevy Bolt currently starts $5 shy of the $30,000 mark after the $7,500 federal tax credit. The optional semi-autonomous driving system would certainly play a major role in raising that tag considerably.

As before, the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt will stick with its 60 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack and a 200-horsepower electric motor. Yet again, this setup should provide up to 238 miles of range on a single charge, provided you’re not too heavy-footed. As soon as the GM addresses the issue of its poor supercharger infrastructure, the Chevy Bolt will become a force to be reckoned with in terms of a price/electric range ratio. As things stand at the moment, you shouldn’t even begin planning an interstate trip with it. Not without making a prolonged half-day pause in any case.

Chevrolet Bolt might just be one of the best compact cars 2019 is bringing our way

Audi A5

MY 2018 has been kind towards the Audi A5 as its lineup has been bolstered by the addition of the all-new sportback model. Moreover, it also underwent an early mid-cycle refres h which made it more in-tune with the rest of the Audi lineup and set it for at least couple more years without the need for any major changes. Sporty, luxurious, tech-savvy, and stylish are the Audi A5’s main attributes. Combined together, they make for one well-rounded compact executive car with very few faults, if any. Coupe and convertible models exhibit an apparent lack of boot space, but then again, the Audi A5 is a compact. Other than that, some might find their starting price tags of $43,000 and $49,500 respectively too steep. Especially considering how the 4-door sportback model starts from $42,500.

Of course, starting prices don’t mean anything if you’re optional equipment-minded. The Germans always had a way of making their executive cars rather expensive, and the Audi A5 is no different. All A5 models are powered by the same 2.0L turbo four that yields 252 horsepower. If you want more, you’d have to step up into th e S5 domain. The sporty Audi S5 gets a 3.0L turbocharged V6 that’s good enough for 354 horsepower. It also costs exactly $11,800 more than its comparable A5 siblings. With that in mind, the A5 is probably the golden middle ground between the luxury, performance and reliability. The exact reason it stands out as one of the best compact cars 2019 will bring to market.

Audi A5 Sportback front 3/4 view

Fiat 500 Abarth

I’ll confess that the Fiat 500 Abarth isn’t exactly the compact car archetype. It certainly doesn’t conjure up an image of a practical compact car to an average compact car buyer. You get very little practicality by going for it. Even as far as a compact car practicality goes. Then again , the modern performance version of the iconic Fiat 500 is exactly what passes for the cool and desirable right now. Not only that, but it’ll also remain cool for years to come, and you can order it as a convertible as well as a hardtop.

The Abarth version of the Fiat 500 has traditionally been one that’s had the strongest kick and that’s had the most flair. Powered by the in-house 1.4L four banger with a single turbocharger, the 12-footer develops as much as 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. At least with the standard 5-speed manual it does. Opt for a paddle-shifted 6-speed automatic and it s hould yield 157 hp and 183 lb-ft of torque. Furthermore, all 2019 Fiat 500s will now feature a turbocharged engine as naturally aspirated 101-horsepower version went into retirement for MY 2018. Without the Fiat’s Abarth tuning division doing their magic, however, the conventional Fiat 500s will only make 135 ponies. And by magic, I mean one Italian engineer working his butt off and 10 other sitting idly by loudly arguing among themselves.

Fiat 500 Abarth 3/4 view

 BMW 3 Series

The sixth generation of the iconic BMW 3 Series is nearing the end of its voyage. The next-gen G20 models are due for MY 2019, and they’ll bring much-needed changes including the new design and updated engines. The Bavaria n compact executive car will initially arrive as a sedan, with Grand Turismo and Sports Wagon body styles joining later during 2019 at the earliest. The performance M3 model, on the other hand, will likely only arrive after skipping the MY 2019 altogether. It’s expected to make around 500 horsepower, so it’ll likely be well-worth the wait.

That leaves the BMW 3 Series enthusiasts with some rather straightforward choices to make. If they decide to go for it as soon as it comes out, the only real choice will be the choice of powertrain. The 2019 BMW 3 Series should initially start out with both the gasoline and diesel 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinders, and one 3.0L inline-six with approximately 30 hp more than what outgoing models generates. The hybrid model and possible additional sets of tunes for mentioned powerplants will also join the lineup later on. The new BMW 3 Series isn’t one of the best compact cars 2019 is bringing our way fo r its power increase alone. It’s one of the best cars in its class for all that it’s stood for over the years, and that includes top-notch refinement, driving characteristics, and comfort among others.

2019 BMW 3 Series test mule 3/4 view

Mazda 3

The Japanese automaker’s current lineup is based on a similar design with a gaping grille and smooth lines all over. Simple yet efficient, but above all else extremely good-looking, would be the fitting description of any Mazda model from MY 2014 onward. The compact Mazda 3 is, of course, no exception. Small car can be had either as a sedan or as a hatchback, and comes with a choice of two different 4-cylinder engines based on Mazda’s SkyActiv technolo gy. A smaller 2.0L unit makes 155 horsepower, while a larger 2.5L engine generates 184 horsepower. The 2019 Mazda 3 should be the last of the BN-generation models since the Japanese have already unveiled the new SkyActive-X engine architecture that’s supposed to debut alongside a completely redesigned car.

Apart from the new look, the next-gen Mazda 3 should throw in more power, and a better fuel economy thanks to the aforementioned SkyActiv-X system which uses extremely lean fuel mixtures. The outgoing SkyActiv-G (gasoline) and SkyActiv-D (diesel) engines received a number of praises from prominent automotive journalists and engineers alike. The next-gen SkyActiv-X engines will surely do the same. The only question is: what will be the exact improvement figures come MY 2019? We’ll have to wait for that answer a little bit more.

Mazda 3 SkyActive-X prototype might translate into one of the best compact cars 2019 is bringing our way

Alfa Romeo Giulia

The recent newcomer Alfa Romeo Giulia might be available worldwide, but it also marks the return of the iconic Italian manufacturer to the U.S. market. The Alfa’s strategy for the North American markets positions the brand as an entry-level luxury badge which means it’ll compete with the likes of Lexus, Cadillac, and even the more upscale Germans. Considering the Alfa’s decades-long reputation of dreadful reliability, this might seem like an insurmountable challenge at first glance. However, the Italians are promising the age of their car’s breaking down is long behind them. Whether that’s the case or not, they definitely haven’t lost their touch when it comes to making stylish and handsome cars. The compact executive Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan is simply a sublime-looking car.

The Giulia is also the first Alfa Romeo available with the coveted Quadrifoglio badge. Its 2.9L Ferrari-sourced twin-turbo V6 develops 505 horsepower and clearly states the Italian automaker’s intentions. Most of the Giulia sedans will be powered by the 280-horsepower 2.0L turbo four engine, however. Last but not the least, there’s apparently another powertrain option all-new for MY 2019. The upcoming Giulia Veloce will slot between the aforementioned base and Quadrifoglio models thanks to a 350-horsepower version of the turbo four mill. This should make the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia as versatile as any of its German competitors. At least in terms of available power grades.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 3/4 view

Honda Fit

The sharp-handling and nimble Honda Fit is actually more spacious than its subcompact demeanor would let know. As expected, it’s also quite a bargain considering the fact that the top tier EX-L models cost only around $20,500. Not only does the Honda Fit offer an affordable package with good fuel economy, but it also offers practicality that goes well beyond its subcompact frame. Thanks to its innovative folding back seat, the Honda Fit allows all kinds of passenger/cargo hauling combinations. Despite remaining basically unchanged since MY 2015, the Japanese subcompact hatchback did receive a few important updates over the years. Latest models sport a softer, more comfortable suspension and much more advanced safety features than before.

One of the precious few Honda Fit’s downsides is its slow-accelerating engine. Although that was to be expected from a small economy car, a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine with 130 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque could have had a bit more bite. This goes especially for the droning CVT transmission which, on the other hand offers a considerably better fuel economy than the manual. A 6-speed manual is rated at 33 mpg combined, while the mentioned CVT unit returns 36 mpg combined. All things considered, the unchanged 2019 Honda Fit will remain one of the best compact cars 2019 will have to offer.

Honda Fit front 3/4 view

Mercedes-Benz C Class

No list of best compact cars on the market would be complete without the German luxury trio from the BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. So in order to round up the big trio of compact luxury cars, we had to consider the Audi A4/S4 and A5/S5, BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C Class. The entry-level luxury Merc hasn’t been updated since MY 2015 when the code-named W205 made its debut. This is about to be addressed for MY 2019 when the current C Class is finally about to receive a mid-cycle facelift. As it’s usually the case with the German luxury brand, changes will be kept to a minimum. New headlights, tail-lights, and bumpers, a revised frontal fascia, and a new steering wheel and touch-pad controller inside are the most notable changes.

The most important change, however, is related to the powertrain department. Base C Class units generate 241 horsepower via a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four mill, while the coveted AMG units make anything between 362 horsepower and 503 horsepower while utilizing the twin-turbo V6 and V8 engines. It looks like the 2019 Mercedes -Benz C Class is about to switch to the inline-six setup for its AMC C 43 model. A power bump across the entire lineup shouldn’t come as a surprise as well. Finally, the all-new C400d EQ Power diesel plug-in hybrid model is bound to appear together with the rest of the revamped C Class. Whether it’ll come to the U.S. market is a different matter entirely. What we do know is that it’ll allow up to 31 all-electric miles and offer the best fuel economy figures in the entire C Class range.

2019 Mercedes-Benz C Class convertible test mule 3/4 view

Feb 14, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/top-yamaha-r3-mods/

Top 10 Easy Mods You Can Do To Improve Your Yamaha R3!


Realistically, you’ve got to understand the limitations of a bike like the Yamaha R3. Similar to the Kawasaki Ninja 300, Honda CBR300RR, or Suzuki GSX-250R – which are all great bikes – the best way of getting better performance or increasing your road presence is by upgrading to a bigger motorcycle. But that’s not exactly constructive, and some people don’t want to have to deal with a bigger bike, the higher insurance, and all the baggage that goes along with it. So what do you do? You make the most of what you’ve got. While insane performance boosts aren’t going to happen, there are some cool tweaks that you can do to enhance the performance of your Yamaha R3, and there are some nice little add-ons you can invest in to give your R3 an aesthetic upgrade too.

Yamaha R3 3

Before we get started though, you might want to consider what your end goal is. If you need your Yamaha R3 to be a reliable, rock steady commuter bike then you may not want to modify anything about it all, since it’s such a great motorcycle in stock form. On the other hand, if you’re looking at turning your R3 into an unstoppable track day weapon then you might want to skip some of these suggestions altogether and invest serious amounts of money into expensive upgrades that only provide minimal gains, but make the difference only in a race environment.

Yamaha R3 1

Spend some time riding around, really getting to know your bike before committing to any significant upgrades or mods, because swapping out stock parts for more expensive items doesn’t instantly make you a better rider, isn’t necessarily the best way to enhance an already good motorcycle, and in some cases will devalue the package as a whole. But if you’re s till curious as to what you can do, here are out top 10 Yamaha R3 mods…but we’ll just start with one controversial point before starting the list properly…

“So I Need A New Exhaust System, Right?”

Yamaha R3 4

Probably not. A full exhaust system is expensive, looks great, and sounds even better – but after you’ve bought it, you need to have your engine re-tuned and a Power Commander involved to enjoy any benefit, which is more expense for little benefit. Well, there will be an improvement but the vast majority of riders won’t be able to notice it, or make use of it. Of course, an aftermarket exhaust will help drop some weight, and that’s a good thing, but unless you’re a serious track day menace we recommend giving the exhaust a miss. Or, if you’re in need of a new sound, a new look, and want to drop some weight at the same time, just get a slip-on exhaust. Does it increase horsepower? Of course it doesn’t but if it sheds some pounds, it counts as a performance boost…sort of. Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at some serious Yamaha R3 mods worth doing.

10 Yamaha R3 Mods That Will Transform Your Ride Experience

#10. Upgrade Those Tires

Yamaha R3 - Pirelli Diablo Rosso II

First things first, you’re going to want new rubber on those wheels. The Michelin Pilot Street tires that come as standard on the Yamaha R3 aren’t terrible – in fact, they were specifically designed for the R3 – but they’re not as good as what you could have. Your tires are what connect you to the road, and poor tires make a huge difference to your ride experience. Good rubber allows for better traction and superior cornering. With the right set of tires you can have better confidence riding your motorcycle, and you’ll corner better, brake better, and ride to the best of your ability.

The bottom l ine? Better tires will help boost your confidence, and that makes for an immediate performance boost. Most Yamaha R3 enthusiasts opt for Pirelli Diablo III tires for the best results. You can pick up a front and rear combo for around $275.00 but prices to vary. While the ideal tire choice is a matter of personal preference, it pays to spend more on quality tires than buying the cheapest things on the market. Honestly.

#09. Add Tank Pad Grips

Yamaha R3 - Stomp Grip

Confidence is key when you’re trying to get the most out of your motorcycle, and one of the easiest upgrades you can add to help you build your confidence often gets overlooked: tank pads. They might look like nothing more than an aesthetic mod or something to keep your tank from getting scuffed up, but having a nice grippy surface for your knees to hold on to makes the world of difference.

Why? Well, the more grip that you can give to your lower body, the better. If your knees can hold onto the tank easily, without slipping, the less stress you’ll be putting on your upper body – all this allows you to keep your whole body stable under heav y braking, maintain a good body position when cornering, and helps prevent upper body fatigue and arm pump. If you can alleviate some stress on the body, the better and more enjoyable your ride experience will be. There are plenty of tank pad grip products available, but we quite like Stomp Grip. For $45.00, you can transform your Yamaha R3 into a far more comfortable track weapon.

#08. Consider Frame Sliders

Yamaha R3 - Frame Sliders

Do they help your performance ? No. But there’s a good case to add some sliders to your ride regardless. Obviously, adding some frame sliders require a little bit of fairing butchery but most riders consider it to be worth it in the long run. In the event of an accident, your beloved Yamaha R3 is likely to take a slide down the road, and those wonderful plastics will take a beating. By adding some sliders, the sliders will take the brunt of the punishment which will hopefully spare your R3 from getting too beaten up. New fairings can be expensive, and new paintjobs even more so – and by adding a set of frame sliders, you can save yourself money in the event of an accident.

So you can save yourself some bucks, but does that improve your ride experience? Yeah, kind of. If you’re able to ride without worrying about the cost of replacing parts, then it will improve your metal game, and probably make you ride a little better. Imagine if MotoGP riders had to pay for every bike they crashed out of their own pocket? Racing would probably never exceed 30 mph…! Shogun make frame sliders specifically for the Yamaha R3, and they retail for around $50.00 – which is far superior to paying for new fairings after a spill.

#07. Tidy Up With A Fender Eliminator

Yamaha R3 - Tail Tidy

Many a wise track day guru has preached about the benefits of cutting everything that isn’t strictly necessary off, and to some extent that’s wise advice – and one of the first things that you should get the chop is that unsightly rear fender sticking out like an eyesore on the back of your Yamaha R3. Installing a fender eliminator isn’t rocket science, and it really transforms the overall look of your R3 for the better.

To call it a performance upgrade would probably be a little ambitious, but if you manage to shed some weight by getting rid of it, and maybe reduce a bit of drag by throwing that awful thing in the trash, then we guess it counts. In real life terms though, it’s not going to make you a better rider and it’s not going to make you the fastest rider on the road, but it will make your motorcycle a little easier on the eyes. Not all mods have to be geared towards performance – some are purely aesthetic. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Do yourself a favor and treat your Yamaha R3 with a fender eliminator. An R&G Racing fender eliminator kit will set you back around $95.00, and it will make y our R3 look supreme.

#06. Try An Integrated Tail Light

Yamaha R3 - Integrated Lighting

On a similar aesthetic note, while you’re removing that unsightly rear fender, you might want to invest in a cool integrated tail light arrangement and install it to really make that rear end look special. Again, it’s not going to make your bike perform any better, but it will make it look more like a svelte, track focused sports machine.

Integrated tail lights come in a variety of flavors but you should check out TST Industries, because they offer a very nice product that is specifically designed for the Yamaha R3 (and the FZ-07) which comes with a no less than 108 bright LEDs, a perimeter running light, integrated signals turn signals, a cool programmable light pattern function, and a choice of smoked or clear lens finishes. According to die-hard Yamaha R3 enthusiasts, the TST Industries tail light is the best one on the market, and it’s easy to install too. Get yours for $99.99.

#05. Invest In Shorty Levers

Yamaha R3 - Articulated Levers

Specifically, we recommend getting a set of shorty, articulating levers with full adjust-ability. But what does that mean? Essentially, shorter levers are a must-have for dedicated racers and those who like to ride fast – they require less force to pull and can usually be operated by a finger or two, and they generally come with finer adjustment settings, allowing you to really tailor your brake and clutch to suit your riding style and needs. Ideally, if you can afford the extra, it’s worth investing in cool, articulated levers. Articulated levers are basically shorty levers with a separate hinge that allow them to fold away in the event of a crash.

Even a minor drop can result in broken levers, and since shorty levers are shorter than the handlebars, they generally avoid getting damaged. Fold away, articulat ed-style levers go one better and fold away in the event of more significant crash. So there you have it. They make for easier riding, have better ergonomics and cost…well, a lot really, about $100.00 per lever for a decent brand.

#04. Fit Some Proper Clip-Ons

Yamaha R3 - Vortex 7 Degree

The problem with most of the small capacity sports bikes on the market, like the Yamaha R3, Kawasaki Ninja 300, and Honda CBR300RR, is the fact that though they’r e marketed as sports-oriented motorcycles, they don’t come with the same sport-influenced hardware as their larger capacity siblings. The Yamaha R3 looks like an aggressive sports bike, but when you sit on it you’ll immediately realize that the riding position could be a little sportier. The best way to inject a bit of aggression into your R3 is to ditch the stock handlebars and replace them with a set of decent racing clip-ons.

Though there are plenty of good clip-on brands, R3 aficionados swear by the 7-Degree units from Vortex. If you want to change up your riding style, feel like you’re more in control, or just want a more aggressive profile, a set of these won’t hurt. Easy to install, and very reliable. Vortex clip-ons generally retail for about $160.00. Other brands to consider are R3-specific units from Woodcraft  or the R3–spec Halo bars from Driven. Vortex are the most popular choice though, so keep that in mind.

#03. T he R6 Throttle Tube Upgrade

Yamaha R3 - Throttle Tube

For many Yamaha R3 owners, this should be the absolute priority when it comes to upgrades. Essentially, you simply order yourself a throttle tube from a Yamaha YZF-R6 and install it on your R3 instead. And what does this do? The two tubes might look similar, and the do share the same diameter, but the secret is that the R6 has a far superior flange on it, allowing you to open the throttle all the way without any unnecessary play. You twist less, and get up to speed faster.

It will certainly liven up your acceleration, and it’s a wonder why these bikes don’t come with this kind of throttle tube as standard – it’s probably because the quicker-action acceleration could catch newbies by surprise. This simple swap can turn a sluggish machine into a whole new beast. But that’s not the best part! The best part is the price. You can buy a Yamaha R6 throttle tube for about $25, so it’s hardly an expensive mod. It’s cheap and very effective. Even if you do nothing else on this list…do this one.

#02. Adjust Your Suspension

If you actually want to improve your handling without spending a dime, one of the most important things that you can do is properly adjust your suspension preload. Adjusting your preload doesn’t have to be a difficult job and there are plenty of videos out there on YouTube that will walk you through the process better than any text could explain – and we recommend you do it!

The Yamaha R3 essentially has seven levels of preload available, and the factory setting is on the third setting out of the seven available, which is probably ideal for riders who weigh around 160 lbs…and if you’re heavier or lighter, you’re going to want to adjust to compensate. The guess of 160 lbs is just a guess too, so even if that’s your weight, you should play with the settings until you find what suits you best. It’s also worth experimenting with different settings too – because different preload settings can really affect your motorcycle, almost turning them into completely different behaving machines. Adjusting your preload is a free upgrade basically, so take advantage of it.

#01. Train The Rider

Yamaha R3 2

It might sound like an obvious eye-roll inducing choice for the number one slot, but it’s absolutely true. No amount of modifications or performance upgrades will compensate for rider education. Rather than throwing money away on an unnecessary exhaust system, we recommend getting some track time booked under the watchful eyes of either a professional trainer, or alongside other riders who can point out your weaknesses so that you can improve on them. You could have the world’s fastest bike on paper, but in the wrong hands it’s useless.

But rider training doesn’t have to only be about improving your riding skills – working on your physical fitness is another way to boost your performance. With small capacity motorcycles like the Yamaha R3, any type of weight saving will help maximize your overall performance…so if you’re carrying a little excess timber, then losing it will do you more of a favor than any fancy bolt-on accessory. Like horse racing jockeys, the fastest motorcycle racers aren’t exactly the biggest kids on the block, are they?

Feb 13, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/best-electric-bike-models/

10 Motorcycles That Should Convince You To Buy An Electric Bike!


What would it take to tempt you to take an electric bike out for a spin? For many motorcyclists, the idea of going electric is too abhorrent to even consider and sure, there are some good reasons to give the electric bike a miss. For the most part they’re prohibitively expensive. Next, most places don’t have the right kind of infrastructure in place for elect ric vehicles. Then we’ve got the battery life and range issues to think about. And finally, there’s the whole “I like gears and the good old fashioned rumble of an engine” argument – which is absolutely fine. For the vast majority of motorcyclists, the motorcycle is a secondary mode of transport and the thrill of slipping one into gear, releasing the clutch, twisting the throttle and feeling the engine react is all part of the appeal. But conventional gasoline motorcycles are going to be phased out eventually…whether we like it or not.

Electric Bike - Energica Eva

There are plenty of benefits to riding an electric bike that are worth taking into account though. You see, while they may appear soulless thanks to their lack of engine noise, sterile shapes, and easy power delivery, they’re actually pretty damn impressive. Thanks to the use of electric motor, electric bikes enjoy the benefits of instant power delivery, thrilling acceleration, and hair-raising performance – and since most motorcyclists ride their bike in pursuit of high speeds and two-wheeled thrills, the electric bike should appe al to the vast majority of motorcycle owners. And of course, there are the environmental benefits that should be so obvious that it’s hardly worth mentioning. Cleaner air, less noise, a healthier environment – you should know the spiel by heart. Environmentally, electric vehicles are the way forward. And the automotive industry and governments all over the world agree.

Electric Bike - Energica EsseEsse9

Even the MotoGP are considering the val ue of the electric bike, and from 2019 the world’s premier class racing series will be offering an electric GP championship that will take place across the European circuits, with 10 laps races, showcasing just how exciting the humble electric motorcycle can be. The Isle of Man TT have been promoting electric motorcycles for years – and if John McGuiness can g et a kick out of riding an electric motorcycle, then you certainly will. Unless you’re a better motorcyclist than John McGuiness…and that seems highly unlikely… So, if you think it’s about time you took a serious look at the electric bike range, here are 10 of our favorites that you should look out for.

Want An Electric Bike? Try One Of These!

#10. The KTM Freeride E-XC

Electric Bike - KTM Freeride E-XC

Road legal? Not quite, but this awesome KTM electric bike wasn’t built for the roads. This is the KTM Freeride E-XC, the first electric KTM to arrive in the USA. Since it’s not geared towards the road, KTM were able to bend a few rules with this cool machine – it doesn’t have a massive range, it doesn’t have a jaw-dropping top speed, but it does have an absurdly fast charging time. In essence, it’s a great little electric bike that off-road and dirt riders can enjoy for an hour or so of hard riding, and recharge to full capacity in 80 minutes…and then go out again. Rinse and repeat.

Powered by a lightweight 260V, 2.6 kWh lithium ion battery pack, the Freeride EX-C is capable of a power output of 21.5 hp and 31 lb-ft of torque and enjoys decent enough speeds for real off-road thrashing. It doesn’t have a clutch and comes with only one gear, which might be a little too alien for traditional motorcyclists and if your off-road riding is anything like mine – which involves a lot of clutch riding – then it might be a hard sell. However, if you’re looking for something unusual to hit the trails on and don’t care for any on-road accoutrements, then the KTM Freeride E-XC should be your electric bike weapon of choice. The Freeride E-XC has an MSRP of $8,299.

#09. The Alta Motors Redshift SM

Electric Bike - Alta Motors Redshift SM

Following on the off-road theme, we’ve America’s own Alta Motors and their awes ome Redshift SM. After years of R&D, Alta Motors unveiled their Redshift MX moto-crosser back in 2016 and it was met with praise from all over the industry, but we’re here to talk about the more road friendly super moto model, the Redshift SM. Equipped with the same WP Suspension units you’d find on a KTM, and fitted with high-quality Brembo brakes, the Redshift SM wears the same kind of top-level tech that you’d expect on similarly priced motorcycle, but what about the electric parts?

Powered by a waterproof Li-Ion 350v battery that powers a high-speed PMAC motor, the Redshift SM boasts a grand total of 42 hp, 10 lb-ft of torque, a top speed of 80 mph, a 50 mile range, and a charge time of 6 hours (to 100%). With four distinct ride modes on offer, the Redshift SM is a truly advanced electric bike and one that you should certainly consider if you’re looking for a powerful electric machine. The MSRP is $13,495, but considering the quality of the parts used, the overall performance, and the fact that it was built in the USA makes it worth every penny.

#08. The Emflux One by Emflux Motors

Electric Bike - Emflux One

This one isn’t available in the USA…yet, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. This is the Emflux One from Indian start-up Emflux Motors, and it promises to be a sub-$10k electric bike, and it also calls itself India’s first superbike, and we hope it comes to the USA. While you’re either going to love or hate the styling, you can’t deny the quality of the hardware, and the sheer amount of bang that you’re going to get for your buck: 68 horsepower, 62 lb-ft of torque, a top speed around 125 mph, and a 0 – 60mph time of 3 seconds. Not bad at all, eh?

On top of that, Emflux have equipped their Emflux One with a cool air-cooled Samsung batter pack that delivers a maximum range of approximately 130 miles. That might not sound like much, but Emflux boast that the battery unit can be charged to 80% in a mere 36 minutes, and to a full 100% in three hours. And to make things even better, it can be charged from any conventional wall so cket. That $10k outlay also gets invested into Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and an advanced ABS system from Continental that also features regenerative braking too. If it comes to US shores with a final price under $10,000, we’re definitely going to be getting one.

#07. The Lito Sora

Electric Bike - Lito Sora

The Sora by Lito is a frequent feature on electric bike lists, and it’s quite the attention grabber. Built resembling a brutal street fighter, the Sora boasts some decent performance figures and showcases some innovative engineering – but it’s usually the huge price tag that gets everyone talking. Thanks to the application of aeronautical aluminum, carbon fiber, and smart technology, the Lito Sora’s prices start from as little as $77,000. Back to those decent performance figures, the Sora isn’t all it’s cracked up to be with a top speed of 120 mph, and a 0 – 60 mph time of 4 seconds, but it does an impressive a range of 120 miles, is capable of a full charge in just over three and half hours, and comes equipped with some very sophisticated technology.

< p>It’s got a touch screen, keycard ignition, an electronically adjustable seating position, and plenty other gadgetry to satisfy your inner nerd – but it’s by no means the best electric bike out there. Consider like a designer watch. It’s expensive and luxurious, but you know that you’d be better off with an old Casio instead. If you really like expensive things though, you can try Lito’s special edition Sora which boasts BST carbon wheels, Beringer brakes, Ohlins suspension, a full carbon body, and a price tag of $104,000 real American dollars.

#06. The Zero SR

Electric Bike - Zero SR

If the Lito Sora is a piece of designer luxury, then the Zero SR is the every man’s utility tool. It’s not the fastest, it’s not the most expensive, it doesn’t have the coolest look, and won’t turn too many heads – but in a real life situation, the Zero SR is probably one of the most useful electric motorcycles out there. Firstly, you can easily go out and buy one of these without having to search too hard, and Zero is a name that you’ve probably heard of and can trust. And then there’s the matter of the performance.

Boasting roughly 67 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque from the motor, a respectable 102 mph top speed, 0 – 60 mph in about 3.3 seconds, and a useful range of 197 miles, you can see why we’re quite into the Zero SR. For an electric bike, it boasts a serious range – but what’s more, it can be fully charged in three hours making it a genuinely practical electric bike option. It might be a little on the vanilla-side to look at, and yes, it is a plain Jane – but that never stopped the likes of the Suzuki SV or Kawasaki ER from becoming best sellers did it? Anyway, the impressive Zero SR c omes with an MSRP of $15,995.

#05. The Italian Volt Lacama

Electric Bike - Italian Volt Lacama

Currently available for pre-order, we’ve got the Italian Volt Lacama. The Lacama is pretty much at the MV Agusta end of the luxury spectrum, and the company boast that every single unit will be more or less tailor made for every customer. Details are currently quite scarce, but here’s what we know: the Lacama will be available in five different bodywork styles, will boast a top speed of 111 mph, have a maximum range of 120 miles, can be recharged to 80% in 40 minutes, and will be compatible with a wide range of charging systems. It’s not the fastest, can’t go the furthest, and weighs in at 540 lbs, so why do we rate it so highly?

As a tailor made electric bike, it has a certain kind of rider appeal. While your “run of the mill” Zero models are affordable and practical, they lack a certain kind of sex appeal – and sex appeal costs money. Or does it? Because the Italian Volt Lacama is rumored to start at $38,000 a go. Now that sounds expensive, but compared to the likes of the Lito Sora, it’s a bargain. Especially when you consider the use of Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, bespoke parts, and custom bodywork is on offer. That $38k figure is only hearsay at the moment, but it sounds about right.

#04. The Tacita T-Cruise

Electric Bike - Tacita T-Cruise

Tacita is a company that you want to pay attention to – primarily because they are one of the few electric bike manufacturers that have actually listened to the complaints of potential converts. Tacita have been working on electric motorcycles…with clutches and gear shifters. And while they have a few models on offer, we’re going to recommend their T-Cruise electric bike, because we haven’t got many cruiser styled motorcycles on offer. Powered by an electr ic asynchronous three-phase induction motor that’s capable of around 41 horsepower and 51.6 lb-ft of torque, a range of 168 miles, and an actual five-speed gearbox, the Tacita T-Cruise is a must for the newly converted. Oh yeah, it’s got a reverse gear too.

The battery can be charged to 80% in approximately one and half hours, but it needs a good seven hours to reach 100% using a 220 volt socket – which is pretty respectable. Apart from the impressive gearbox and performance, the Tacita T-Cruise also comes with adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, Metzeler Marathon tires, and an adjustable riding position thanks to moveable foot pegs – which is a nice touch. Prices start from $10,999 for the smallest power option, but you’ll need to shell out $24,999 for the specs quoted here.

#03. The Lightning LS-218

Electric Bike - Lightning LS-218

How about one of the fastest production motorcycles ever made? This is the Lightning LS-218, an electric motorcycle so fast and powerful that even the most stubborn gasoline supporters will have to sit up and pay attention. Shooting out the equivalent of 200 hp, a mammoth 168 lb-ft of torque, and achieving 0 – 60 mph in an insane 2 seconds, wrapped in a package that weighs in at 496 lbs, the Lightning LS-218 is an electric bike worthy of your attention. Is it insane? Oh yes. Is it too much for the average rider? Most definitely. But is it road legal? The answer to that…is yes.

Despite the fact that it can hit a top speed of 218 mph (hence the name) it is road legal. Whether you’d want to ride it on the road is a matter of personal choice though. It doesn’t have a fantastic range, with only around 100 miles on offer, but who cares about range when you’ve got speed? Actually, Lightning think they can improve on the LS-218 and have something else in the pipeline that they promise to be a superior machine, with a higher top speed. We’ll have to wait until then, but in the meantime you can go and take the Lightning LS-218 out for a spin…with an MSRP of $38,888, it’s expensive, but it is seriously fast.

#02. The Energica Ego

Electric Bike - Energica Ego

Energica actually have three models worthy of your attention, the street focused Eva, the scrambler inspired EsseEsse9, and the ultimate electric superbike: the Ego. We’re going to look at the latter, because it’s easily the best of the bunch – and it’s going to be the platform used for new Moto-E, MotoGP’s new electric class. In fact, the Ego was chosen because it’s a real life s uperbike that viewers can go out and actually buy. And that’s why we’ve put it so high on our list. Unlike many of the manufacturers listed here, Energica have worked hard to develop a dealership network and global company infrastructure. But enough about the boring side of things, let’s talk about the stats.

The Energica Ego is a bold superbike that features sharp angles and futuristic styling, and has the performance to match. The electric motor boasts 136 hp, approximately 143 lb-ft of torque, can hit a top speed of 150 mph, and do 0 – 60 mph in just 3 seconds. It’s heavy, with a weight of 585 lbs, but that’s the nature of electric bikes – they’re heavy old things. Boasting a charge time of 3.5 hours, it’s not bad – but its maximum range is only around the 93 mph marker. It doesn’t have the greatest range, but for day to day commuting, with more than enough juice for a good weekend blat, it’s a fine choic e. The MSRP is $35,000 if you fancy a go on one of these.

#01. The Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire

Electric Bike - Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Is it unfair to place an electric bike that hasn’t been released in first place? Yes and no, but we’re leaning towards “no” because there’s no doubt that the Harley-Davidson LiveWire will change the electric bike landscape. If Harley-Davidson are taking an interest in electric motorcycles, then everyone will pay attention When a company that isn’t particularly innovative decides to try their hand at innovation, something’s up. At the moment, details are few and far between, and what we’ve been told already is old news.

When we first heard about the LiveWire project, Harley-Davidson mentioned a power output to the tune of 72 horsepower, around 52 lb-ft of torque, could hit 0 – 60 mph in under 4 seconds, a restricted top speed of 95 mph, and a maximum range of approximately 55 miles. Now, compared to the rest of the bikes on this list, these aren’t great stats. Howeve r, that was a good few years ago, and the electric bike industry has moved on a lot since then, and we refuse to believe that Harley-Davidson would be using the same technology now as they were then. According to Harley-Davidson boss Matt Levatich (in an interview in January 2018) the results of the LiveWire is an active project we’re preparing to bring to market within 18 months.” So a Harley electric bike is coming…and if HD can bring something like this to market, then all the other manufacturers will follow suit.

Feb 12, 2018

New on GearHeads.org

New Post has been published on https://gearheads.org/cars-under-5000/

25 Fun And Practical Cars Under $5000


cars under 5000

Looking for cars under $5000 can be a nightmare. With the average price of a new car reaching $40,000, people are holding onto their cars longer. That means higher resale values as used car supplies dwindle. It also means that the quality of the cars under $5000 is not what it used to be. That is why we thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of used cars under $5000 that are often solid options for primary transportation or as a first car for your teenager. We considered every car from every automaker and built our list to include the best o ptions from each. We’ve also limited ourselves to cars, SUVs, and minivans that are less than 15 model years old and should have fewer than 150,000 miles while still meeting our $5000 price limit.

What to Expect From Cars Under $5000

Obviously, you are not going to be able to find a low mileage cream puff if you are searching for used cars under $5000. That doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a rust bucket with a gazillion miles, either. If you search carefully, you should be able to find a car with less than 150,000 miles from a well-known automaker. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at a few of the cars under $5000 that should be reliable transportation. For the sake of convenience, we have lumped automakers together. For instance, all Ford models are together, etc.

1. Acura TL

Acura TLs make great cars under 5000

The Acura TL is a great mid-size luxury sedan that comes with the added bonus of having a powerful engine. Unfortunately, you have to go back more than 10 years to find cars under $5000. While that may sound like a lot of age, the Acura TL is backed by the legendary quality and long-term durability of Honda Motors. The 3.2L powerplant commonly equipped in these cars under $5000 offers up 270 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque as well as 27 mpg on the highway.

2. Acura MDX

An Acura MDX can be a an option for cars under 5000

The Acura MDX is proof that cars under $5000 can be high-quality luxury SUVs instead of base model economy cars. Choose to drop your five grand on an Acura MDX and you will get 3.5L V6 capable of 265 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque along with a 4,500 lb towing capacity. Additionally, you get seating for seven, 81.5 cubic feet of cargo space, and 4WD in some trim levels. The MDX always offers a modern-feeling design and outstanding interior refinements. You really can’t ask more from an SUV under $5000.

3. Buick Lucerne

Lists of cars under 5000 include the Buick Lucerne

Buick has many solid offerings under $5000, but the best may just be the Buick Lucerne. Like all of the cars under $5000 on our list, the Lucerne has a reputation for durability and value. Your 5K will get you a strong 4.6L V8 capable of 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Surprisingly, such a large engine is able to achieve 23 mpg on the highway. On top of power and Buick luxury, the Lucerne is highly touted for its safety and affordable insurance rates.

4. Cadillac CTS and Cadillac DTS

Cars under 5000 include the Cadillac CTS

If you go back 12 model years or more, you can find a Cadillac CTS under $5000. The cars under $5000 are normally going to be powered by a tough 3.6L V6 capable of 255 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque as well as 25 mpg on the highway. A Cadillac DTS that is around 12 model years old is another car for less than 5K. A DTS is significantly larger than the CTS and offers a higher level of luxury. The DTS also offers larger, more powerful engine options with corresponding ly lower fuel economy. Both are backed by the quality and prestige of Cadillac.

5. Chevrolet Cobalt

The Chevrolet Cobalt is on our list of cars under 5000

The Chevrolet Cobalt is a compact car that was discontinued after the 2010 model year. The combination of being a compact car and having been discontinued makes it a good addition to our list of cars under $5000. In fact, you will find that a well-appointed 2010 Chevy Cobalt LT frequently retails for less than 5K. That is a great price for a car that can achieve 37 mpg on the highway.

6. Chevrolet TrailBlazer

Find a Chevrolet TrailBlazer as cars under 5000

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer was a strong selling SUV throughout its eight-year production run. Many reviewers think the TrailBlazer suffered from staid styling when in truth it is a well-powered SUV with plenty of room for seven passengers. The standard 4.2L V6 offers up 273 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a 6,100 lb towing capacity. Also on our list of cars under $5000 is the Chevrolet Equinox. Sold side-by-side with the TrailBlazer, the Equinox is powered by a smaller, more fuel-efficient engine and offers more standard amenities. Because of its tech and interior upgrades, you have to look for an Equinox that is older than a similarly priced TrailBlazer.

7. Chevrolet Uplander

Minivans can be cars under 5000

Chevrolet has built many minivans that could be on our list of cars under $5000, but the Uplander offers the opportu nity to buy the latest model possible. The Uplander was offered in the North American market as recently as the 2009 model year. A 2009 Chevrolet Uplander LT is powered by a durable 3.9L V6 and features seating for up to seven. It can be equipped with a DVD entertainment center and rear climate control. Most importantly, it is highly rated for its safety, ensuring that your family will be protected at all times.

8. Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet Impala are dependable cars under 5000

< p>The Chevrolet Malibu is a more affordable option as far as cars under $5000 go, but the Chevrolet Impala is a better vehicle overall. The most common engine in this model is a 3.5L FlexFuel V6 that is able to offer 29 mpg on the highway. The Impala received the highest ratings from both the IIHS and the NHTSA and is highly recommended by current and previous owners. Overall, the Chevrolet Impala may be one of the best American cars under $5000 that you can buy.

9. Dodge Avenger

One of the cars under 5000 is the Dodge


Dodge offers several cars under $5000, but the Avenger is the best of the bunch. It is more comfortable than the Caliber and you can buy a newer car than if you want a Charger. The Avenger is generally powered by a durable 2.4L I4 that is capable of 175 hp and up to 30 mpg on the highway. With the Avenger, you are able to opt for the SXT package which gives you a rear spoiler, fog lights, audio controls on the steering wheel, a power driver seat, and a six-disc CD changer.

10. Dodge Durango

SUVs can be cars under 5000

If you have your heart set on cars under $5000 and you want a Dodge SUV, you have to buy a Dodge Durango. You will have to search back at least 14 model years to find one for that price point, though. What you get from a Dodge Durango is a powerful engine and a tough transmission. You’ll also be getting an SUV that was deemed one of the safest on the road in its prime.

11. Dodge Grand Caravan

Dodge Grand Caravans are reliable

cars under 5000

The Dodge Grand Caravan has been one of the most popular minivans in the North American market for nearly 25 years. It has always been equipped with tough engines and durable transmissions. While the Grand Caravan has never been on the cutting edge of styling, it has always been well-appointed and roomy enough for seven passengers and plenty of cargo. As far as cars under $5000 go, the Dodge Grand Caravan offers everything you could ask for.

12. Ford Fusion

Ford builds goo

d cars under 5000

We could build an entire list of Ford cars under $5000, but the best of them is arguably the Ford Fusion. The Fusion offers a more comfortable and quiet ride than the Fiesta or Focus and is roomier than a Ford Mustang. Under the hood, you will normally find a tough and efficient 2.3L four-cylinder engine capable of 29 mpg on the highway. You also get a stylish car that can easily seat five and is fairly inexpensive to insure.

13. Ford Escape

The Ford Escapes is on our lis

t of cars under 5000

Ford built the Escape to be an every man’s compact SUV, which is something we’d say it does pretty darn well. The cars under $5000 are usually powered by a 3.0L V6 that doesn’t have an ounce of quit in it. The engine is capable of 200 hp and 21 mpg on the highway. There is plenty of space for up to five passengers and 66.3 cu.ft. of cargo space. If you buy an Escape with the XLT package, you will have access to the best technology for the model year you buy.

14. Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is the best Japanese cars under 5000

The Honda Civic is on every list of fun or practical cars. So, you really can’t be surprised to find it on our list of cars under $5000. The standard powerplant in units that are less than five grand is a 1.8L VTEC four banger that is well known for its durability and long life. It is fairly common to find a Honda Civic with this engine with more than 250,000 miles on it and still running like a champ!

We would also recommend the Honda Accord, Odyssey, and CR-V; however, the cars under $5000 normally have more than the 150,000 mile limit we set. That doesn’t mean they aren’t solid cars, and in fact, you’ll probably be able to coax out another 150k, but they don’t necessarily meet the criteria for our list today.

15. Hyundai Elantra

Elantras are Hyundai's best cars under 5000

When Hyundai first came to the North American market, it offered nothing more than cheap fuel-sippers. The cars have evolved since then, and the Elantra personifies Hyundai’s commitment to offering comfortable cars that are affordable, stylish, and fuel efficient. The cars under $5000 are powered by a surprisingly peppy 2.0L I4(in the GLS trim level). The powerplant offers 33 mpg on the highway and frequently lasts well beyond the 250,000-mile mark.

16. Hyundai Tuscon

great cars under 5000 include the Hyundai Tucson

The Tuscon is the best SUV the Korean manufacturer makes. Surprisingly, it also falls into the category of cars under $5000. You can find the base model units well under our $5000 cap, but we would encourage you to step up to the Limited or SE trim levels. Both offer a 2.7L V6 that is both powerful and durable while still featuring the best tech and comfort options available from the manufacturer at the time.

17. Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep builds good cars under 5000

Jeep has many dependable new SUVs to offer, but only one stands out when you are searching for cars under $5000: the Grand Cherokee. It outshines the Liberty, Patriot, etc because of its durable engine and spacious interior. To get the best deal, you should look for a Grand Cherokee with the Limited trim. The Limited packages include a 4.7L V8 that is capable of 235 hp and also feature the Jeep Memory System for the driver seat, radio, and driver-side mirror.

18. Kia Optima

You can't go wrong with cars under 5000 if they are a Kia Optima

Kia has a reputation for building economical cars that have plenty of tech equipped. The Optima, Kia’s mid-size offering, is generally equipped with as much tech, safety, and comfort features as you could possibly want. On top of having earned top ratings from the safety agencies in every market where it is sold, the Optima features a surprisingly responsive engine. The 2.4L powerhouse found in the upgraded Optima EX boasts 165 hp, all of which see m immediately available when you press the accelerator. The EX trim level adds automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Kia’s HomeLink service.

19. Kia Sedona

Kia builds several tough cars under 5000

There are few minivans under $5000 that are as reliable as the Kia Sedona. Unfortunately, the Sedona is often overshadowed by its competitors from Honda and Toyota. If you take a hard look at the Sedona, you will find a well-e quipped, practical, and extremely affordable minivan. As an added bonus, to find the cars under $5000, you do not have to go back as nearly as many models years as you will with a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. You are better off looking for the long wheelbase version because it features a fold-flat third-row seat, but the short wheelbase version is just as mechanically reliable. There are only two trim levels, and both provide plenty of comfort and tech. But, the higher EX-level trim adds a roof rack, fog lights, power front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, optional power sliding rear doors, heated leather upholstery, and automatic climate control.

20. Mazda6

Mazda6 make for awesome cars under 5000

Mazda offers nine vehicles in the North American market. Of those nine, only one makes for a solid option as far as cars under $5000 go: the Mazda6. The Mazda6 sedan is roomy enough for up to five passengers and the 2.3L engine is both powerful and frugal. The engine is capable of 160 hp and 28 mpg on the highway. When you add in its small parking footprint, you have a great urban transportation option that is both exceedingly reliable and fun to drive.

21. Mitsubishi Outlander

The Outlander is the only Mitsubishi on our list of cars under 5000

Older Mitsubishi offerings are notorious for their weak transmissions with the exception of the Outlander. In addition to being equipped with a proven tough transmission and a 3.0L V6, the higher trim levels of the Mitsubishi Outlander offer optional AWD. All trim levels of the Outlander can be found for under $5000, but opting for units with the middle trim level will allow you to get fairly new SUV with a respectable number of features.

22. Nissan Quest

The best Nissan cars under 5000 are Quests

The Nissan Quest features unique styling, plenty of cargo space, and seating for up to seven passengers. It is also the only Nissan offering that makes our list of cars under $5000. To find a Nissan Quest that is under $5000, you only have to go back 10 model years. The Quest offers potential owners sharp steering and ample power courtesy of a responsive 3.5L V6. We recommend that you look for the S trim or higher. The S trim gets you a backup sensor, a power sliding door, and a power liftgate. The list of amenities available in the higher trim levels is impressive, but they make the cost of a ten-year-old Quest rise beyond $5000.

23. Subaru Outback

Subaru Outbacks are better cars under 5000 than the Subaru WRX.

There is something about the quirky styling of the Subaru Outback that attracts a loyal following. On top of its quirky styling, the AWD Outback is the most reliable offering Subaru has to offer. Some may point to the Subaru WRX, but good luck finding a WRX that meets the guidelines for our list of cars under $5000 that hasn’t been wrecked or had the engine tampered with for added performance.

The Outback offers plenty of room for up to five passengers, an award-winning AWD system, and one of the toughest powertrains available no matter what price you pay.

24. Toyota Camry

Toyota Camrys are legendary cars under 5000

The Toyota Camry and legendary reliability are synonymous. Toyota has always equipped its mid-size family offering with tough, durable engines that have been known to last well past 300,000 miles. Add to that the highest safety ratings possible and you have one of the best cars under $5000 imaginable. To find a Camry under $5000, you do not have to stretch to the 300,000 mile mark, either. You should be able to find Camry that is less than 12 model years old and has fewer than 130,000 miles on it for the $5000 mark we have set.

25. Volvo S80

You can't have a list of cars under 5000 without the Volvo S80.

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear Volvo is safety. The second is usually dull styling. Fortunately, that second thought is no longer true. Volvo put a concentrated effort into s hedding its image for drab styling around the turn of the century, but the company’s efforts really come to fruition in the S80s starting with the 2007 model. Coincidentally, that is where you begin to see cars under $5000.

The S80, being Volvo’s flagship luxury car until 2016, is equipped with the best tech and comfort features Volvo has to offer. The tech and luxury of the S80 is easily comparable to a same-year Cadillac or Lincoln offering, but it is much more affordable!