Drive Type: 4x4
Newburgh, Indiana, United States
Motorcycle trends come and go like fashion, and the latest two-wheeled style du jour is the adventure bike. Chunky and rugged, these (sometimes) dirt-ready rides often take cues from the massive, Armageddon-ready rigs you'd find on the Dakar Rally. In their most neutered form, they can start as street bikes and adapt for adventure duty by adding taller suspension setups, removable saddlebags, bigger fuel tanks, and better wind protection.
Lying smack in the middle of that dirt/road matrix (and leaning toward the tarmac side) is the 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS. A venerable fixture in the adventure scene, it developed a primarily urban following after the model bowed in 2004, though it's also proved itself worthy of tackling trails and light offroad scenarios. For automotive folks not steeped in the vagaries of the motorcycle world, the V-Strom is the two-wheeled equivalent of the late, great Mitsubishi Montero: capable, no-nonsense, and a bit of an unsung hero in the face of more glamorous offroaders like the Land Rover LR4 and the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen.
Ugly Moto is a horrible name for a company that makes such wonderful motorcycle art. The creation of artist Francis Ooi, the company's illustrations focus on some of the iconic racing bikes of the 1960s and 1970s.
The artwork has an elegant simplicity that really makes it pop. It would fit just about anywhere from a home office to the bedroom of a young gearhead. Ooi has completed six illustrations so far covering classic cycles from Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and even Harley-Davidson. According to his site, the Suzuki RGB500 ridden by Barry Sheene will be the next one released. All of the prints are priced at $65 and are limited to 100 copies. They are all about 16.53 inches by 23.58 inches in size.
According to his website, these prints are just a hobby for Ooi and his real career is as the creative director at an ad agency. He creates the illustrations on his Mac, and he estimates that each design with about 800 components and layers takes about a month to complete. You can get idea of the process involved in the time-lapse video below.
Suzuki has prepared the C-segment Authentics concept for the Shanghai Motor Show, a preview of a sedan that would slot into the fattest chunk of the market among China's car buyers. Suzuki hasn't given away much, saying only that it is "Sporty x Elegant" and that it's long and low and has a "rich and fine curved surface."
PaulTan.org says this is the trunked version of the SX4 crossover, and if that's the case then it would represent a new approach to the SX4 in the region, offering markedly different styling instead of being, literally, an SX4 with a trunk. We'll know more when the Shanghai show opens in a couple of weeks, for now there's a press release with a tad more info on Suzuki's plans just below.