Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Manchester Online review of the Voxan Cafe Racer.

From Manchester Online:

VOXAN have been around for nearly ten years, but financial problems and a corporate restructure have kept them out of the UK until now.
There are three Voxan 1000 models about to be launched as the French company sets up its UK dealer network. The bikes are the Black Magic Roadster, Street Scrambler and the Café Racer. All of them use the same basic chassis and 996cc V-twin engine.

The first thing that strikes you about the Voxan Café Racer is the meaty engine. It's a smooth, torquey motor, producing about 100bhp at just 8000rpm. Digital fuel injection keeps the throttle response rapid, although there was some popping on the over-run. It isn't as fast as a 999 Ducati, but it does feel potent enough.

The motor is set very low in the chassis, which comprises of two steel tubular backbone sections, with the engine hanging low from the main tubes. The weight of the bike is 185kgs, which is lighter than, say, a Suzuki SV1000 or Aprilia Mille. Suspension is top notch, with 41mm Marzocchi forks and a Paioli monoshock, mounted underneath the engine, which keeps the wheelbase short. The riding position is semi-race, so you soon get into chucking the bike into roundabouts and bends with confidence.

The Voxan feels precise, solid and responsive - it handles A roads with agility and finesse, but isn't quite in the Ducati 999S class.

Some details, like the rearsets, the white-faced clocks and the massive Brembo brakes, give the Voxan Café Racer a classy appearance. It looks like a connoisseurs' motorbike and worth the likely £8,000-ish price.

But other aspects, like its notchy gearbox or its dated-looking fairing section, suggest that Voxan still have some development to do on the Café Racer project.

Personally, I loved riding the Voxan and found it unique, exciting and alive with grunty power. It isn't as smooth and effortless as an SV1000 Suzy or a modern Ducati, but it has a certain charm. If you like the V-twin experience then maybe the Voxan could be your cup of café espresso.

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