Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life on Planet Derbi: The Mulhacen Cafe and Scrambler.

The Derbi Mulhacen Cafe 659

From Cycle World:
"Named after the tallest mountain in Spain, the Derbi Mulhacén 659 is the largest-displacement motorcycle ever produced by Spain. Built by Minarelli for Yamaha in Italy, the fuel-injected, sohc, four-valve, liquid-cooled Single is a willing mill, producing 47 horsepower at 6250 rpm and 41 foot-pounds of torque at 5500 rpm. The dry-sump engine serves as a stressed member of the tubular-steel frame, the front downtubes of which double as an oil tank. A 43mm Marzocchi inverted fork handles suspension duties up front, while at the rear a link-actuated shock is offset to the right side of the cast-aluminum swingarm. Wheelbase is 54.5 inches.
Weighing a claimed 357 pounds dry, the Mulhacén feels light and accelerates briskly. Naturally, the 659 is best-suited to dancing through the corners of a twisty mountain road, where it is quick and sure-footed. The front brake—a radial-pump Brembo master cylinder mated to a radial-mount four-piston caliper pinching a 320mm stainless-steel rotor—is a good compromise, especially if you plan to ride off-road; but if Nennewitz proceeds as planned to design a road-only version with 17-inch wheels and radial tires, a twin-rotor setup is a must.

At 32.6 inches, the seat is rather tall, but its narrowness where it meets the gas tank allows 6-footers to easily reach the ground. Shorter riders will have to tiptoe to maintain their balance at stops. This is one detail of the project that needs to be revised. Since seat padding is already thin, though, lowering the seat may require re-designing the subframe.

A lower seat would further enhance the Mulha cén's already outstanding agility. More importantly, it would improve the seat-to-footpeg relationship, as the pegs are fairly low. Slightly more aggressive ergonomics would be even better tailored to the excellent handling capabilities of the superbly balanced chassis.
In Europe, the Mulhacén 659 will sell for the equivalent of $9500, steep money for a Single. At presstime, there were no plans to bring the bike stateside. That's too bad. Built in Barcelona has a nice ring to it."

The Mulhacen Scrambler

To make things even more interesting Derbi has a Concept of the Cafe called the Mulhacen 659 X-Vision that comes with built-in cameras and an LCD TV screen that lets you record your ride: The "X" in X-Vision represents the four directions in which its micro-cameras can focus. An LCD screen (with a memory function) on the handlebars lets you see the world surrounding you and record it. In fact, with this system, the biker can record their motorcycle rides, saving them and organizing them on their computer (or upload them to the internet)

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