• New Evotech KTM 390 Duke Parts For Better Protection

    Evotech Performance has been around for a while, producing a range of aftermarket parts from their Lincolnshire base. And they’ve now turned their attention to the KTM 390 Duke. As a smaller 375cc A2 learner legal motorcycle it’s not only a great motorcycle. It’s also one that appeals to younger and newer riders. So it makes sense that the new Evotech KTM 390 Duke parts will give the bike more crash protection, as well as looking good.

    The parts will all fit the 2017-2018 model year, and can all be bought separately as required. And Evotech kit is used by race teams from BSB to MotoGP and the Isle of Man TT, as well as on special projects by the likes of Guy Martin. So you can probably put a fair bit of confidence in it doing the job. There are actually 8 new Evotech KTM 390 Duke parts and accessories to run through, so sit back and get your credit card out.

    The Evotech KTM 390 Duke 2017-2018 Tail Tidy:

    Starting at the rear is a tail tidy for the KTM 390 Duke which has a clean and uncluttered finish. You keep the original license plate light and indicators to make it easy to fit. But the Concealed Designed Wire Technology (CDWT) approach means that you hide everything away, but with additional plate mounts, reflector and LED lights included where international markets might require them.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Tail-Tidy

    The Evotech Tail Tidy is made from CNC-machined lightweight aircraft grade aluminium with a black powder coated finish. And the result is a weight of 760g. It costs £124.99 with all the required fixings included.

    The Evotech KTM 390 Duke Radiator Guard:

    The radiator guard will give you protection from debris and damage. But the hexagonal matrix pattern means you still get the best possible airflow to keep things cool. Like the tail tidy, it’s constructed from aircraft quality aluminium and finished in black powder coat with the edges deburred.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Radiator Guard

    The Evotech Radiator Guard for the KTM 390 Duke fits to the existing mounting points, doesn’t need any modifications, and comes with all the fittings you’ll require. It weighs 120g, and will cost you £54.98.

    The Evotech KTM 390 Duke Rectifier Guard:

    Next up is the Rectifier Guard, which might look pretty similar to the radiator version. That’s because it has the same pattern to let air in while also stopping as much damage as possible. And you’re once again looking at high quality aluminium machined to fit with black powder coating, and no need for modification to the existing mounting points on your 390 Duke.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Rectifier Guard

    It costs just £29.99, and weighs 80g. And the Rectifier Guard comes with replacement stainless steel fasteners included.

    The Evotech KTM 390 Duke Crash Protectors:

    It’s a sad fact that newer riders tend to have more accidents. Hopefully most will be minor low-speed incidents which don’t injure more than pride, but can have a bit impact on your bike. So the Evotech Performance Crash Protectors have an anodised aluminium core, polyurethane washers and injection moulded nylon to protector your motorcycle and bodywork from getting damaged by contact.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Crash Protectors

    You don’t need to modify your KTM for them to fit, and they come with replacement fasteners with spacers for everything to come together without any problem. They do add 1.38kg of weight, but it’s worth it to save the time and cost of damage, for just £109.99. And if you need individual parts, they’re also available via Evotech Performance.

    The Evotech KTM 390 Duke Front Spindle Bobbins:

    Use the original front fork mounting points to add the high quality nylon spindle protection bobbins. They weight 80g and feature anodised internal aluminium spacer mounts.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Front Spindle Bobbin

    Subtle and effective, the bobbins will cost you just £25, including the supplied fasteners.

    The Evotech KTM 390 Duke Exhaust Hanger:

    Want to add even more style to your KTM? What about a race-style aluminium exhaust hanger which also ditches both of the original pillion footpegs if you don’t plan on letting passengers come for a ride? It’s CNC machined and black powder coated with chamfered leading edges for a factory style finish.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Exhaust Hanger

    To always have an excuse to ride solo, and to get the race look will cost you £44.99, and the hanger has a weight of 240g, which will mean a decent saving once the pillion pegs have gone into the garage or bin.

    The Evotech KTM 390 Duke Paddock Stand Bobbins:

    There’s a reason why people use paddock stands, even if their motorcycle came with a sidestand. It can make maintenance a lot easier and safer, as well as keeping your bike stored securely. Balancing a bike on a sidestand to spin the rear wheel and lube the chain only takes one slip to turn into a bit of a disaster, for example.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Paddock Stand-Bobbin

    Paddock stands aren’t too expensive, but bikes rarely come with any method to use them as standard. So the Evotech Performance Paddock Stand Bobbins come with mounting bolts to secure the two-piece nylon outers and stainless steel inner sleeve with bespoke spacers. They weigh 120g and cost £25.

    The Evotech KTM 390 Duke Toe Guard:

    Another part which will make your KTM look a bit more trick, as well as potentially helping safety, the toe guard will reduce the chance of your lower leg coming into contact with the chain and drive line. And it means a carbon fibre ‘shark fin’ profiled guard like racers use, along with the included stainless steel mounting fasteners.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Toe Guard

    The Evotech Performance Toe Guard will cost you £44.99 and weighs 140g.

    Even More Evotech KTM 390 Duke Parts

    So that little lot will definitely make a difference to how your KTM 390 Duke looks. And there are still more products available which weren’t described in detail, such as the Evotech KTM 390 Duke mirror extensions, if you’re struggling to see what’s behind you. They do make the mirrors look more like the antennae of an insect, but taller riders will find them invaluable to keep an eye on following traffic.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Front Straight

    And the end result of all the Evotech KTM 390 Duke parts is a bit more style, and a lot more crash protection. Which sounds like a decent plan if you want to keep your mini-Duke in good nick. Or take it on track and minimise the risks to bike and rider.

    Evotech KTM 390 Duke Parts

    Time to get the credit card out…

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  • MARK II: CHEVY’S MYSTERIOUS 427!

    MARK II: CHEVY’S MYSTERIOUS 427!

    The real 427 Mystery Motor, unlike the Z11, was not available in a car, or to the public. You had to have serious NASCAR cred to get one of the 20 built.

    MARK II: CHEVY’S MYSTERIOUS 427!MARK II: CHEVY’S MYSTERIOUS 427!In the 1960s, Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen always seemed to be one step ahead of GM Chairman Fred Donner’s anti-racing missives. While running Pontiac, he had supported the Super-Duty Group that later, after he left, managed to get 421 Catalina Lightweights to drag racers before the axe fell. Then he moved on to Chevrolet in 1961 and supported the RPO Z11 drag racing and clandestine NASCAR 427 Mystery Motor projects. Both pure racing programs survived even though GM was officially out of racing. In the case of the Mystery Motor, everything was conducted through Chevrolet’s backdoor.

    The 427 Mystery Motor’s real function was that of a “bridge” between the old school W-Series 348-409 and the next-gen 1965 Mark IV big-block. It used the same bore/stroke block – 4.31-inch bore and 3.65-inch stroke – as the Z11 engine. But that’s where the similarity ends. Unlike W-Series engines with combustion chambers in the cylinders, the Mark II NASCAR engine utilizes canted and staggered-valve (Porcupine) heads with conventional chambers. This style head debuted in production 396-427 Mark IV big-block engines, affectionately dubbed “Rat Motors” by enthusiasts!

    Although developed primarily as a NASCAR race engine, Chevrolet did produce a singular variant for street applications, shown here with Ken Kayser, right, who had been Business Case Manager for the Mark IV big-block at Tonawanda. The Mark II in street trim, displayed for many years at GM’s Tonawanda, NY engine plant, was built to justify the expenses of building a racing-only engine. It is possible that at some point the project was referenced internally as RPO Code Z33. That would have been done only to disguise the 427 as an optional production engine so as not to attract unwanted attention. Interestingly, the Mark II engine was not produced at Tonawanda, the facility best known for Mark IV 396-427-454 engines.

    MARK II: CHEVY’S MYSTERIOUS 427!Part of the mystery surrounding the Mark II engine can be attributed to its planned public debut on February 24, 1963 at the Daytona 500. The first couple of engines were shipped to Smokey Yunick for use in Chevys being prepared for the 500. Junior Johnson and Johnny Rutherford were two high-profile racers originally slated to run this engine. However, Mark II 427s were in two Z06 Corvettes competing in the 250-mile American Challenge Cup, at Daytona on February 16! This was a race for sports cars and one-offs, not NASCAR stockers. Few people at the time realized that two of the split-window Sting Rays in the Challenge Cup had Mark IIs under their hoods. They were actually the first big-block Corvettes.

    Smokey Yunick prepared two Corvettes like NASCAR Grand National stockers and installed Mark II engines, sparked by magnetos with HD three-speed transmissions. Scheduled drivers were Junior Johnson and Rex White. During practice, Junior was not comfortable with how his Corvette was handling at 160 mph and decided not to drive. Bill Krause replaced him and went on to finish Third. He beat other Corvettes, Ferrari GTOs and Porsche Carrera Abarth GTLs. Paul Goldsmith driving a Pontiac Super-Duty 421 Tempest, won the three-hour race, followed by A.J. Foyt driving a Nickey Corvette! Bunkie was not unhappy!

    MARK II: CHEVY’S MYSTERIOUS 427!Johnny Rutherford driving Smokey’s #13 car finished 9th, the best finish for a Mystery-motored Chevy. Rutherford lapped the track at 165.14 mph, setting a closed course record. A broken distributor in the #3 Ray Fox/Holly Farms Impala sidelined Junior. Junior won 7 of the 55 Grand National races in 1963, including the Charlotte 400 in October. With no factory support for the engine, the car was parked in 1964. Junior’s iconic Impala, as last raced, survives today. It’s at RK Motors, Charlotte, NC,  https://www.rkmotors.com/

    The 427 Chevy Mystery Motor, along with other super-high-performance cars and engines from the period including the Z11 Chevy drag cars, are showcased in Marty Schorr’s new book, DAY ONE,  https://www.amazon.com/Day-One-Automotive-Journalists-Muscle-Car/dp/0760352364/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493561421&sr=1-1&keywords=Day+One+by+Martyn+L.+Schorr

    The post MARK II: CHEVY’S MYSTERIOUS 427! appeared first on Car Guy Chronicles.

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  • Ice cool I-Pace leads Jaguar’s electric charge

    Jaguar’s first all-electric performance car has been undergoing testing in Arctic conditions at -40°C. The I-Pace SUV and its all-wheel drive system tamed sub-zero conditions at Jaguar Land Rover’s cold weather test facility in Arjeplog, Sweden. Due to receive its global premiere on March 6 at the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar claims the I-Pace will …

    The post Ice cool I-Pace leads Jaguar’s electric charge appeared first on Automotive Blog.

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  • Automatic Car Driving for Beginners

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    Automatic cars are becoming increasingly popular – but how do you do about driving one? You may well find that driving an automatic is a more pleasant driving experience than that provided by a manual – but how do you get started? We’ve rounded up the basics below.

    Familiarise yourself

    Once you’re in the car and you’ve checked the seat and mirrors are in the right positions, it’s time to familiarise yourself with the controls and pedals – remember in an automatic you just have a brake (on the left) and an accelerator (on the right).

    It’s also crucial you familiarise yourself with the gear box. You’ll find the gear selector where a traditional manual gear stick is placed, between the driver’s and the passenger seat, or to the side of the steering wheel. As you’ll see, it’s quite different to a manual gear stick; you’ll usually have four choices where to put the gear selector:  ‘P’, ‘R’, ‘N’ and ‘D’, denoting park, reverse, neutral and drive.

    That might seem a lot of choice for a car that’s meant to be ‘automatic’, but you’ll see the choices soon narrow themselves down, making them much less onerous. Here’s how they work:

    • Park is only ever used once the car is stationary and safely parked, only then do you choose ‘P’. So you use it when you’ve finished driving, as you do the handbrake, ensuring your car doesn’t go anywhere until you next need it.
    • Reverse, as you would expect, for driving backwards. Neutral on the other hand can be used when you’ve stopped for short periods, in just such instances when you would apply the handbrake too. ‘Drive’ of course allows your car to move, and this is when an automatic comes into its own, as you don’t need to select a gear.

    Some automatics also come with an additional first or second gear, which can be helpful in some circumstances, like negotiating a steep incline or preventing your wheels from spinning in inclement weather conditions. Moreover, some automatics give you the option to control gears either from paddles on the dashboard or via the gear selector.

    Drive it

    But how to go about driving it? First, check the car has been left in the ‘park’ position. Then put your foot on the brake, put the key in the ignition and turn it clockwise. While keeping your foot on the brake, move the gear selector to ‘Drive’ or ‘Reverse’, as you require, and take off the handbrake.

    As you lift your foot off the brake, you’ll find the car begins to move gently. If you are on a hill, you may need to add some acceleration, but otherwise, the car will choose the right gear for your journey. If you are ever stationary for more than 5-10 seconds during your journey, then apply the handbrake.  Once you’ve reached your destination and are safely parked; then select the ‘Park’ option, put on the handbrake, turn off the ignition and exit.

    Practice

    Driving an automatic car may seem strange at first, but the key is to get to know your new car well and give yourself time to practise driving it. Learn to slow down and apply the brake sooner than you would in a manual car, for instance when you are approaching a corner. Also familiarise yourself with the different use of the accelerator, using it to give your car ‘oomph’ when you’d use a low gear in a manual car. However, once you’ve got used to these differences, you’ll find automatic cars make for a very relaxing driving experience.

    Want to keep your current car running safely and efficiently? Make sure that your tyres are in full working order, and check out the tyres Swindon section of the Wiltshire Tyres website to find out more.

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  • How to ensure your business vehicles pass their MOT

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    Want to ensure your vehicles pass their MOT? Worried about your business if your vehicles fail? Then read on to discover our hints and tips for making sure your vehicles pass their MOT.

    Most important of all is to ensure you stay on top of vehicle maintenance. Don’t leave things to the last minute; keep an eye on your vehicles all year round. Here are a few things to look out for:

    Checks to undertake

    Look at the wheels and tyres of your vehicles and ensure they are of a suitable type and size.  Also, examine the tyres to check that the treads are still deep enough to be legal. Depending on the size of your business vehicles the required depth may differ, but for cars and vans its usually 1.6mm. A quick rule of thumb is to slot a 20 pence piece into the tyre tread, if the outer rim is hidden from view, then the depth is sufficient. Just remember this has to be the case across the central three-quarters of the tyre and all the way around. There’s lots of advice about tyre safety available online if you need it.

    Lights, wipers, action

    Next, look to your lights, all of which need to be working correctly and don’t forget to check the indicators too. An un-obscured view of the road is, of course, crucial, so check that the windscreen wipers are working and that there is nothing masking your view through the windscreens. Check the condition of your windscreens too, as cracks or chips could result in a MOT fail.

    Don’t forget that your registration plates must be clear to view and securely in place, so give them a wipe and a check. Moreover, to pass their MOT tests the structure of your vehicles must be in reasonable condition, with no obvious damage or corrosion, including the doors, which should open and close firmly. In addition, check all of the vehicles’ fluids are topped up, including windscreen washer, oil and brake fluid. If the mechanics conducting your MOT tests can’t undertake the required emissions tests, your vehicles will fail.

    Speed, horn, seats

    Inside your vehicles check that there are no warning lights operating (if there are, check them out and resolve any problems before your MOT). Also, confirm the speedometers are operating, that the horns can emit an appropriate sound and that all of the required mirrors are present and positioned correctly. In addition, check the seating is secure and that all seatbelts are in good repair and functioning correctly. This list is not exhaustive, but it’s a handy overview of elements to check before your vehicles head off for their MOT.

    Services and maintenance

    The most significant thing you can do to ensure your vehicles pass their MOTs is to keep their services up-to-date, don’t scrimp on them. If you’re concerned about the maintenance of your business vehicles, one option is to look into putting a maintenance contract in place, but for a small business, this is not likely to be financially viable. However, you do have another option.

    Vehicle maintenance a worry?

    Don’t want the burden of maintenance? Then consider leasing vehicles instead, and you’ll never have to worry about maintenance again. Having reliable vehicles is one important step towards securing the future of your business so that you can count on your vehicles, and your customers can count on you. Lease business vehicles and you’ll have the best chance of being where you need to be on time.  Find a van leasing company so that you can get out on the road in a vehicle fit for your business.

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