Summer is coming to an end in the UK. You can tell because we’re ramping up towards motorcycle shows and new models. And the end-of-season special offers are all appearing. For example, cheaper Ducati finance from £99 per month for a Supersport. And similar Autumn offers on the 2017 Ducati Scrambler, including the Cafe Racer and Desert Sled models, plus Ducati Performance vouchers with new Multistradas.
So, the Ducati Supersport is a pretty comfortable and usable sportsbike, with a 937cc, 113bhp V-twin engine returned from Hypermotard/Multistrada. And it’s priced competitively, with Marzocchi forks, a Sachs rear shock, Brembo calipers with ABS and lots more making it something you could use for commuting or longer trips as well as track days. All of that comes in at £11,635. But it sounds even more reasonable when you could be paying £99 per month.
That does come with some Ducati TriOptions financing rules. You’d need to pay a £2,634.40 deposit, pay £99 per month, and then cough up an optional final repayment of £6,176 to own the motorcycle outright. Which means you’d end up paying £12,374.40 after 37 months at 3.11% APR on the repayments, and 3.2% on the final lump sum.
Ready for a load more numbers? The 2017 Ducati Scrambler range are also part of the 3% TriOptions deals, including the newest Desert Sled and Cafe Racer models, for £99 per month.
As an example, the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled would require a £1896.46 deposit. Followed by 37 months of £99 (2.91% interest), and a final lump sum of £5,013 (3% APR). It makes the total cost of a new Scrambler go from £9,535 to £10,113.46, but does mean you aren’t paying it all up front.
The various Scrambler versions share the same 803cc engine. But with different accessories and style for whichever look and purpose you prefer. The Desert Sled is obviously intended as more of an urban off-roader, capable of a bit of dirt and gravel. While the 1960’s inspired Cafe Racer will be at home on Tarmac. Probably parked up outside a coffee shop in Shoreditch or Soho.
Not keen on finance, or have money burning a massive hole in your pocket? Well Ducati still have some other offers for you. If you pick up a 2017 Ducati Multistrada 1200, you’ll get a £1000 Ducati Performance voucher to spend on accessories, equipment or helmets and clothing. And that’s now been extended to also give you a £750 voucher if you pick up a smaller 2017 Multistrada 950.
All of the Ducati TriOptions Finance and Ducati Performance voucher offers run until October 31st, 2017. And can be sorted via your local Ducati dealer.
The implications of having your vehicle impounded by the police can be severe. The financial penalties alone can have a major impact, with fixed penalty notices and storage fees accruing on a daily basis at the storage compound. The costs don’t end there, though, as you could also have your driver’s license endorsed which could make it really difficult to find insurance in the future without the help of an impounded car insurance specialist.
Seized vehicles seem to be a hot topic in the news of late. Articles about the number of uninsured drivers being caught and reports of new police campaigns and crackdowns are becoming common amongst the pages of most newspapers. The number of cars, vans and motorcycles being seized is growing year on year and while most people now know that your car can be seized for driving without insurance, there are other reasons that your car could be impounded.
The law allows certain specially trained police officers to confiscate vehicles for a number of reasons. These laws have been implemented to help the police that are patrolling our roads to remove vehicles that are being used illegally or in ways that can cause danger to other motorists or pedestrians.
If the driver isn’t properly insured or their license does not permit them to drive the vehicle
If the police have reason to suspect that the driver of a vehicle is not properly insured, Section 165a of the Road Traffic Act 1988 grants them the power to seize the vehicle and have it transported to a secure police compound until the driver can produce sufficient evidence that they are covered. The same section of the Road Traffic Act allows police officers to confiscate vehicles when the driver either does not have a valid license or their license does not permit them to drive that category of vehicle.
With automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems fitted in almost every police patrol vehicle, it’s easier than ever for the police to identify drivers that aren’t properly insured. ANPR systems automatically scan the registration plate of the vehicles that come into their vision and compare the details to insurance databases that will notify the officers if there is a potential violation.
Cars can be seized by the police
If the police stop you because your vehicle is flagged by their ANPR system, or even as part of a routine traffic stop, and it becomes clear that you’re not properly insured; your vehicle can be taken from you and be transported to the police compound.
Don’t worry if you don’t have your insurance documents with you when the police stop you, as long as you’re able to provide adequate proof that you are insured the police will be able to confirm the information that you provide to their colleagues. Giving the officer the name of your insurance company and the date on which you arranged the cover is generally enough for them to check that you do have a policy in place.
The same process is carried out by the police if they suspect that you don’t have a driver’s license or if they think that your license has been revoked or does not cover you to drive that particular vehicle class. If your license does not cover you then your vehicle can be seized and impounded on the spot.
The police can seize your car if you are deemed to be driving dangerously are in a careless mannerIf the police stop you because they think that you have been driving in a dangerous or alarming way, they have the power in extreme cases to seize your vehicle and have it towed to be impounded. You will be dealt with normally for your offense, being handed fixed penalty notices or a court summons.
Additionally, you will receive the paperwork concerning the seizure of your vehicle; primarily a vehicle seizure notice and information on what steps you need to take in order to recover your vehicle such as taking out an impounded car insurance policy and providing proof of this to the compound staff.
These powers have been granted to the police under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, in attempts to offer a harsher deterrent to dangerous drivers and help to keep the roads safer for other users.
The police can impound vehicles that are parked illegally, dangerously or are suspected to have been abandoned.
Under section 99 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, some police officers have been granted the power to remove vehicles that are parked illegally or dangerously or that have been abandoned.
It’s important, if your car breaks down, that you do not leave it in a place that can be deemed as causing an obstruction because the police can remove it and have it taken to their compound. This means that you will not only have to fork out for potential repair costs but you will also have to pay compound storage and release fees in order to retrieve it. If your vehicle does breaks down and you have to leave it, it’s vital that you do what you can to make sure it is left in a safe way.
CTEK’s latest high-tech MXS 5.0 Smart Charger ushers in a new generation of fully automatic, microprocessor controlled, multi-functional chargers ideal for high-performance and exotic vehicles.
Today’s luxury and high-performance vehicles, including Supercars and Hypercars – place incredible loads on conventional 12-volt batteries and charging systems.
Less-than-fully-charged batteries can negatively affect complex electronics, including computer systems that control powertrain, suspension, and entertainment and body function management. Start-Stop technology is another drain on charging systems. To alleviate some of these problems, some manufacturers have provided dual battery systems, one dedicated for starting; the other for maintenance while the car is parked.
“The battery in today’s automobile is under enormous stress and the alternator is not capable of fully recharging the battery. As a result, many batteries never achieve their full service life,” said Bobbie DuMelle, executive vice-president, CTEK North America. “The use of a CTEK charger/maintainer, like our new MXS 5.0 with its proprietary eight-step battery care program, can help double or even triple average battery life.”
For a variety of reasons, including packaging, weight distribution and shielding from engine heat, batteries are being located in difficult to service locations. The battery in my Ford GT is buried under a panel in the front ‘trunk” and the one in my Jaguar XKR is mounted behind the back seat, accessible only via a removable panel at the rear of the trunk. Servicing or replacing a battery is an awkward, time-consuming task, and costly if done at a Jaguar dealership!
While the primary problem with a car’s battery is loss of adequate power to start the engine, there are other issues. Running modern HP cars with batteries not fully charged can often translate into the loss of some personal settings for everything from seat position and entertainment to critical engine and suspension tuning. In the case of the 2005-2006 Ford GT, some owners have attributed instrument failures to low-output batteries. It’s not unusual to see threads on Ford GT and Jaguar owner forums related to battery performance, impact on vehicle electronics, and the necessity of using a maintenance charger on cars that are not driven daily.
Since both my Ford GT and Jaguar XKR are not daily drivers and spend a lot of downtime when I’m traveling, I chose the latest CTEK MXS 5.0 charger/maintainer with a proprietary eight-step charging program. It is the first of a new generation of smart chargers, able to sense battery condition throughout the charging cycle and avoid overcharging that can damage cells and shorten battery life. It automatically adjusts the charging rate depending on ambient temperature to ensure ideal charging in extreme cold or hot weather conditions. Since I live in Florida and extreme heat negatively affects a battery as much as extreme cold, the choice was simple!
Award-winning hot rod and Corvette Resto-Mod builder Mike Griffin, top, right, Sarasota, FL, installed the 5.0’s Comfort Connect Eyelet wiring to the remote Positive terminal and a Ground, located behind an easily accessible and vented panel in my Jaguar XKR’s trunk, below. Mike utilizes charger/maintainers on his vintage Corvettes with modern LS powertrains as well as his Porsche 911 GTS.
The Ford GT has a cigarette lighter receptacle, above, that’s “hot” when parked;no special wiring was necessary.
CTEK chargers are packaged with Comfort Connect Eyelet wiring as well as Alligator clamps to cover most vehicle hookups. A Comfort Connect Cig Plug, above, is available for use on cars with cigarette lighter receptacles that are “hot” when the engine is turned off. Additionally, CTEK supports its sophisticated chargers with a system of accessories, all geared to keeping batteries up to optimum performance. There’s a Comfort Indicator Panel that displays battery strength via Red, Yellow and Green lights, allowing you to constantly monitor battery condition and then charge when necessary.
The most unique support accessory is the new CTX BATTERY SENSE, allowing remote tracking of a vehicle’s battery on an Android OS or iPhone iOS smartphone. You can monitor up to three months of stored battery data on your smartphone and you will be notified when the battery’s state of charge falls to a critical level. CTEK BATTERY SENSE syncs battery stats via Bluetooth; free downloads for iPhones are available from the AppStore, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ctek-battery-sense/id977976405?mt=8
CTEK manufactures the most sophisticated and comprehensive line of battery chargers for on and off-road wheeled and tracked vehicles, including motorcycles and boats. Models range from 0.8-amp, 6-volt to 25-amp 12/16-volt applications. Designed, engineered, developed and manufactured in Sweden since 1997, sleek CTEK chargers boast unique four-to-eight patented microprocessor-controlled charging programs that consistently monitor battery condition and respond. They automatically regulate charge voltage to protect complex vehicle electronics.
Most dealers of luxury and high-performance vehicles, including Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and others, offer customers private label, “brand-logo” chargers that are manufactured by CTEK.
For more information about CTEK’s complete line of on and off-road battery chargers and accessories, please visit http://smartercharger.com/
There’s an all-new A8 on the way, but it’ll be hard to beat the current version of this high-luxe limo, blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.
It’s no secret that Audi will be pulling the silk off an all-new A8 flagship next month. Word has it that not only will the car have a polarizing, love-it-or-hate-it new design, but it’ll pack more computing power than a Google server farm, allowing it to move one step closer to fully automated driving.
One of its multitude of ground-breaking features will be its new Traffic Jam Pilot function that’ll enable the car to legally pilot itself at speeds up to 35 mph in freeway stop-start traffic. Look Ma, no hands. Behind-the-wheel texters, tweeters and Subway foot-long sandwich-eaters, prepare to rejoice!
As someone who regularly beats his head against the dashboard trying to master the complexities of modern-day automotive technologies, the thought of an even-more complex Audi is, to me, about as thrilling as a computer virus. To ready myself for this all-new A8 however, and put its upcoming tech into perspective, I just spent a deliriously joyful week behind the wheel of the out-going A8, in this case a 2017 A8 L 3.0T quattro.
You gotta love a car that lets you enter an address into its nav system by simply scribbling it with your finger on a small touch-pad on the center console. This current version has been around since 2010, so design-wise it’s about as youthful and fresh-faced as Nick Nolte in a police mugshot!
Yet with its stretched, limo-like wheelbase, huge grille and honking 20-inch alloys, it still has a tremendous elegance and huge on-the-road gravitas. Valet parkers will fall over themselves to find a primo spot for it outside the front door.
And to drive it is to love it. The A8L comes with a choice of two engines; a potent 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 good for 450-horsepower, or a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 cranking out 333-horsepower. Want horsepower nirvana? There’s a short-wheelbase S8 Plus with a thundering 605-horsepower version of the big 4.0 V8, though that’s simply a speeding ticket waiting to happen!
Trust me, no one will be disappointed with the performance of the supercharged V6. It’s super-quiet and refined and has no shortage of muscle to punch the lightweight A8 off the line, or surge past slower traffic on a two-lane back road. Part of its eagerness is down to the A8’s magical eight-speed Tiptronic transmission. It responds instantly to calls for kickdown, and shifts from one gear to the next with all the smoothness of hot molasses flowing from a jar.
Through the curves, the car’s standard all-wheel drive quattro setup, shuffles drive between each wheel to ensure optimal traction. The feeling for the driver is one of sublime poise and balance with real agility. It’s arguably the sportiest-feeling big sedan in its class.
While the ride is a little on the firm side for a car so focused on delivering sublime comfort for those inside, it’s in keeping with the car’s driver-focused image. Yet who wants to drive when you can luxuriate in the car’s amazing rear seats? The A8L is five inches longer than a standard-wheelbase S8, with those extra inches going into the back to provide true stretch-out space.
I know, the analogy with biz-jets is a bit over-used, but that’s exactly what sitting in the back of an A8L feels like. Power-up the massage function, recline the rear backrest, crank-up the 630-watt Bose surround sound system, and chill.
This being the flagship of the Audi range, you’d expect quality. But the A8 goes above and beyond, with its glove-soft diamond-stitched leather, a gorgeous mix of satin-and-varnished timber, Alcantara headliner and brushed metal detailing. The base price of a 2017 model year A8L 3.0T is $82,500, but nicely-loaded you’ll pay closer to $93,000. Though I expect that with an all-new A8 landing at dealers towards the end of the year, there’ll be good deals to be had on leftovers.
All I’d say is that the all-new A8 will have to be pretty awesome to outshine this current version.
For more information about the latest luxury-performance vehicles from Audi, please visit https://www.audiusa.com/models#
KTM would like you to sign up for their monthly newsletter. In fact, they really, really want you to sign up. So much so, that you can win a 2017 KTM RC 390 if you do.
And it’s probably worth doing. Not only has the RC 390 received a range of updates for this year, but it’s also worth £5,099. Improvements to the bike include a new ride-by-wire throttle which aims to give smoother and more efficient power. You also get a larger front disc with a radial four-piston caliper and ABS. Plus a new power-assisted slipper clutch (PASC). The single-cylinder KTM also has a side-mounted exhaust from this year, we’re not sure that’s necessarily better than the underbelly version on previous bikes.
The other changes include span-adjustable levers, wider rear view mirrors and a more comfortable race-style passenger seat.
OK, so they’ll probably get quite a few people signing up to their monthly email when there’s an RC 390 as a potental reward. And you won’t get the chance to be selected until sometime after the competition closes on 26th November 2017. By which time, the model for next year will probably be on stands at various motorcycle shows. But it’s still the chance to win a free bike.
To enter, you need to sign up at www.ktm.com/gb/newsletter/. You’ll also need to be 18 or over, and have a full A, A1 or A2 motorcycle licence and be responsible for sorting your own insurance etc once the bike gets sent to your nearest dealer.
You’ll also need to remember to check your email after the closing date. Which means using a fake email address you never check probably isn’t the best idea. But given the number of UK motorcyclists who haven’t already signed up, the odds are still better than the lottery. And who wouldn’t want to win a 2107 KTM RC 390 for nothing?
As cynical as we are, we certainly wouldn’t complain. Although the fact we know the KTM PR people probably means they’ll spot our email address.