Mad Dogs redraw their aces
The Mad Dogs Motorcycle Club kickstarts its annual poker run in Granville Square, Tsim Sha Tsui, at 11am tomorrow. The event was originally planned for last Sunday but the club's officials postponed it for safety reasons. It was a wise call, for the roads were wet and greasy long after last Saturday's storms had abated. The Mad Dogs (right) can ride in all weathers, but we like the way the club thought of the wellbeing of less experienced riders who might have joined their run, and then gave Footdown enough time to get the word out on April 18.
The club's sergeant at arms, Doug Netzel, says the club's praying to the biker god 'Harley' for better weather, and we'll invite the Classic Bikers to have a special word with 'Norton', who might be more expert in the current Isle of Man conditions, just in case.
Netzel also says it's about time we updated our Mad Dogs photos.
We see his point. While some classic car and hip scooter people might prefer us to run old pictures of their formerly fresh-faced selves, local bikers could be miffed if we portrayed them as less road-gnarled than they have become or, worse, without their latest tattoos. So we're delighted the club sent us a picture of one of its members' most recent work (above right) and reckon it's the best biker art we've seen in this column. We invite other riders to show us their machines and ink on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mad Dogs club says the run is HK$120 a head, inclusive of tunnel fees, and will end at the Bull and Bear in Wan Chai. Inquiries: mdmchk.com.
The ride across the New Territories 'will be safe and organised so everyone will enjoy it', Netzel says. And bikers might agree that this week's a fine time for a ride in the country for the acacias and wattles are blossoming to reveal delightful pastel dabs in the lush landscape. The fall of blossom can make a wet road even greasier, however, so do watch further along the road than usual and slow down under trees. We span the MX-5's back wheels in the mash of bombex leaves, and it wasn't nice. Supercharged Lotus arrives
The new Elise Supercharged is the marque's fastest Elise yet, says Richburg Lotus spokesman Max Cheng. It seems a sleek ride with a unique rear spoiler and bespoke wheel design, and we hear the rear wheels are half an inch wider, at eight inches, to improve traction on Lotus specific Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 LTS 225/45 R17 tyres.
First launched at the Tokyo Motor Show and having gone on sale this week for an undisclosed price, the Elise SC (right) features a supercharged 1.8-litre Toyota 2ZZ engine with an entirely new supercharger system that's been designed to fit the Elise engine bay and maintain rear visibility, Cheng says.
'The Lotus-designed, Magnuson-produced supercharger uses a smaller Eaton [M45 unit] rotor pack than that of the current Exige S and is married to the intake manifold plenum as part of a single-piece casting,' he says. 'Combined with the absence of an intercooler and its associated pipe work, this integrated supercharger/intake assembly contributes an 8kg reduction in engine mass compared to the Exige S.'
The Elise SC's low-end torque makes it more suitable for everyday driving, Lotus says. The 870kg, 220hp SC can hit 100km/h in 4.6 seconds and tops at 238km/h for the sip of 8.5 litres per 100km and a spew of just 202 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, the marque says.
Even so, we hear the 221ps 2007 Exige S is faster on the track than the Elise SC due to the downforce of its aerodynamics package, sports suspension settings and Yokohama A048 tyres. 'On the road however, the Elise SC is just as quick as the Exige S,' Cheng says.