Although the occasion of “death from airbag” is rare, it does happen, and in the view of Honda Motor Company and the U.S. Federal National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) once is too often.
Saturday’s Honda News found yet another Takata airbag related warning from the U.S. federal government. According to the source 300,000 high risk turn of the century Honda drivers, those specifically living in wet, hot and humid area’s, have failed to heed Honda’s Takata Airbag recall — a process that’s been in place since 2008, and on hyper drive for the past 24 months. Read the full story here.
8 million Takata airbag systems replaced or repaired in 2015
While that’s a big number, its been estimated by the Fed that 20% of all cars on the road today in the U.S., that’s 50+ million cars and light trucks, have in the past or now carry a defective, possibly life threatening airbag unit.
Why take a chance? The repair, while an inconvenience is free to you the car owner, And in the long run, could save yours or the next owner’s life in a collision. Also, the day will come (soon) that if your vehicle is not recall compliant, it won’t be transferable at time of sale or trade in.
In recapping Honda and Acura news for June 2016, besides the market roll out of several 2017 Honda and Acura car, light truck and crossover models, RACING was the buzz in Honda news.
Coming off of an unprecedented winning streak for Honda powered Indycar, the co-sponsor and safety arm of the 100th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Hill Climb classic came to the annual race to the clouds with three 2017 Acura NSX supercar variants. Catch my latest Acura racing article here.
From what I read
One 4-motor electric and torque monster modified NSX platform racer running in “Electric Modified,” one near stock NSX running in “Time Attack 2,” and the third? I can’t find any news on it. Here’s my read on Pikes Peak.
The short story here is that 2017 Acura NSX in its first official competition of any kind, drove away with a first place finish in its class, as did the all electric modified NSX.
Getting real with Realtime Racing
In other news we find our friends at “RealTime Racing” taking the podium in Pirelli World Challenge round 12 and 13 at Road America in owner Peter Cunningham’s home state of Wisconsin.
With driver of the #43 TLX-GT car Ryan Eversley taking 1st place in both races and Peter #42
taking 2nd and 4th place respectively, Acura, Honda Performance Development and RealTime Racing just ran their best race in 2 years. Love it! Catch my latest article on Acura racing here. Wishing you a safe and sane 4th of July weekend.
Although my news beat is the world of Honda car, light truck and motorcycle development, most if not all drivers could financially benefit from improved fuel efficiency.
In my latest Honda-Torque News article, I address the concerns of 10th generation, 2016 Honda Civic coupe and sedan drivers — they want more! More fuel efficiency, more horsepower and torque, more interior utility and room, and in short — more Civic for the dollar spent.
2016 Honda Civic Sedan is “North American Car of the Year”
Civic didn’t achieve that lofty accolade by remaining simply a “good” compact sedan. Honda’s 10th generation Civic, designed in California and built in America is constructed on Honda’s ” World Compact Car Chassis,” and is arguably one of if not the greatest visually compelling compact car value found in the segment today.
2016 Civic proves that greater fuel efficiency and power can go hand in hand
There was a time when greater horsepower and torque meant lower MPG (miles per gallon,” that was a given and consumers looking for greater sport were willing to lose fuel efficiency in a quest for high output engine performance.
2016 Honda Civic presents a near premium, measurable performance drive and ride package at an attainable price point through the technical advancements of low friction engine components, direct fuel injection, turbocharging and computer controlled CVT (continuous variable transmission) no shift transmission technology. It’s astounding.
This week further finds the dealership release of the 2nd generation 2017 Honda Ridgeline Pickup. Arguably the most unique light truck offering in the midsize pickup truck segment. Ridgeline is sure to be a sales winner. Check out my latest article on Honda’s unibody pickup truck here.
The adventure that is Volvo S90 begins with one’s first sitting behind the wheel of this very premium sedan on arguably the most comfortable, infinitely adjustable, ergonomically correct drivers seat in the midsize premium segment.
For me, as I hesitantly enter the 6th decade of this stay on planet earth, frankly, nothing in the drive and ride experience overshadows the importance of a well constructed, comfortable seat, Volvo sports the best fit for me in the midsize premium segment.
At 6 ft 5 inches tall, 2017 Volvo S90 presents ample “knees off the dash” driver and front passenger seat legroom, with seemingly yards of headroom. Yet visually and physically, S90 profiles close to the pavement for ease of ingress and egress. Featuring 10-way power adjusted seats, lumbar support, extended or retractable leg support, and adjustable steering wheel, S90 sedan affords the perfect seating position for most if not all drivers.
Volvo’s driver’s seat is therapeutically designed to form fit the architecture of the human frame — think $5,000 office chair on 4 wheels — cooled, heated, perforated Napa leather, infinitely adjustable and well worn driving glove soft. And yet the seat does hold you in prime position while driving aggressively–without the employment of restrictive bench and seat back bolstering.
A Scandinavian Sanctuary
Encapsulating the environs of what Volvo design refers to as “a Scandinavian Sanctuary,” is an understated, uncluttered compilation of real wood grain accents, leather covered steering wheel, arm rests, door panels, dash pad and instrument cluster.
Complimented by muted chrome-like accents, generously padded carpeting, luxurious trunk lining, plated and optionally lit door kicker panels, 2017 Volvo S90 presents a rolling Scandia Design-like drive and ride environment with unparalleled rivals in North America’s midsize premium sedan segment. I discovered nothing lacking here as to precision fitment and material integration, nothing!
Huge 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster/ i-MID/ 4 panel center stack and more
Rivaling a “King Air” glass screen aviation cluster, Volvo engineering and design incorporates what is arguably the most advanced and easy to manipulated 4-segment thermal touch (it will activate with gloves on) high resolution monitors in the industry today. There is actually a selection on the screen for Video and Television, I didn’t activate it.
I appreciate the balance of Volvo’s dash layout. The instrument cluster and center stack is well lit, easily viewed, and mostly intuitive as to its operation. I found Volvo’s voice prompted navigation to work better than some, although we did encounter a directive glitch or two as to pre-programmed directions on the roads of Malaga, Spain.
Volvo S90 does feature Apple Carplay connectivity, USB hub, multiple charging ports and a 12 volt accessory outlet in its spacious trunk. It works!
While Volvo’s “smart wheel” does duplicate several functions accessible through the monitor, such as stereo mode, volume and station settings, it’s primarily function is for steering the S90 and cruise control.
The steering wheel is available as an option throughout the trim range leather covered and heated. Paddle shifting? Not yet, although Volvo engineering promises shifting options in the near future.
On a personal note: I did find the electric power assisted steering to be a bit on the heavy side — although the ‘feel” can be adjusted out a bit by “personalizing” the drive dynamic through Volvo’s inclusive IDS roller toggle drive mode select. In my case I found that adjusting the shift response and suspension to sport mode and the wheel to comfort mode did ‘loosen’ up the wheel a bit.
Active safety features, personal electronic connectivity, and entertainment first and foremost
The aforementioned is what sells cars today, and Volvo runs just a bit ahead of the trend with what I believe to be the best working active safety features suite available in the segment today.
Volvo continues its historical emphasis on driver and passenger safety by presents a standard feature active safety suite on all S90 trim levels — including Pilot Assist, a semi autonomous assist driving technology — Collision Avoidance by City Safety ™ — Low and high speed collision mitigation — Pedestrian, Cyclist, Large Animal recognition and auto brake engagement — Run off Road Mitigation, Road departure warning, lane watch and more.
2017 S90 self driving characteristics
S90 will assist in driving up to 80 mph, but the driver’s hand is required to stay on the wheel in 15 second intervals. Yes. I did test this option, it worked flawlessly with near dead center lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, brake mitigation and parking assist. Take my word for it. In heavy small town traffic the collision avoidance feature is very effective
Drive performance: Are 4 cylinders enough? As my co driver John stated: “One would have to look under the hood of the S90 T6 to discover the 4 cylinder,” source of exceptional power and seamless torque.
In all truth this aluminum 2.0 Liter twin cam, direct injected, supercharged and turbocharged 4 cylinder gasoline engine produces seamless torque, with ZERO turbo lag noted up to the red line — is fuel efficient,and works seamlessly in tandem with the 8 speed Alson Warner automatic transmission.
Producing 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft torque in the mid-range, Volvo 90S T6 achieves a respectable 5.7 second standing start 0 to 60 mph sprint time — quick enough for the majority of drivers in the midsize premium/ luxury sedan segment.
Note: A 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder gasoline turbocharged rendition of the same mill will come available in the Momentum trim package producing a respectable 250 horsepower/ 258 lb-ft torque @ 2200 rpm, rivaling many 6 cylinder engines on the market today.
Scheduled to arrive first in the U.S. July 2016, will be the S90 T6 AWD (all-wheel-drive) followed by the FWD (front wheel drive,) S90 T5 and the Volvo V90 estate wagon in early 2017.
With a stated MSRP of $46,950 T5 Momentum FWD to the top of the line S90 T6 Inscription MSRP $56,250 + destination charge, options sales tax and fees if applicable, Volvo S90 may be in actuality the bargain of the midsize luxury sedan segment.
As a first generation S80 T6 owner and driver, I hold an innate fondness for Volvo going back to the 4 cylinder, manual transmission duck-tails of my youth. My current personal ride is a twin turbocharged straight 6 generating around 250 horsepower. Torque steer and turbo lag? Yes. However, I love driving my near vintage Volvo and looked forward to experiencing the latest manifestation of the sedan, I wasn’t disappointed.
2017 Volvo S90 T6 delivers as promised. The sedan has been developed and produced to enable a comfortable, safe and quiet near luxury sedan drive and ride experience. It does that in spades! While not an AMG optioned Mercedes E63 S, it doesn’t claim to be, nor does it carry a 3 figure MSRP.
What Volvo presents here is a well optioned, visually appealing executive/family sedan that eagerly doubles as a measurable performance sedan when coaxed to do so. This car screams sustainable financial affluence with a dash of Swedish conservative sensibility, design and panache.
Volvo believes that buyers will reward themselves for hard work driven success with this car, it is rewarding to drive.
While I found the S90 quite capable as to handling an aggressively driven country 2-lane roads, were this sedan truly shines is in long-range highway driving. When one settles into the drive environment afforded by Volvo’s latest sedan, comfort overtakes fatigue as driver meshes seamlessly with arguably the finest near autonomous driving technology available in any segment today.
Surprisingly, I found Volvo’s therapeutic seat to require no break in time. Ours was equipped with cooling, heating and message.
One’s attention to the road was further ensured by a well positioned “heads up “ display, where one’s current speed, engine temp, etc, can be monitored while keeping one’s eye on the road.
2017 Volvo S90’s quality of ride, thanks to Volvo’s option available rear air suspension, superior hydraulic dampening and active electronic noise cancellation, rates with the best in the industry, while facilitating a split personality sport-like-driving capability required by today’s all inclusive consumer mindset.
Some back seat time
Again, I discovered a superior , comfortable seating surface in S90’s second row. With center pull down armrest extended, I “kicked it” in the back for a few miles while co-driver John put the S90 through its paces.
Visibility to the front was very good from the slightly elevated 40/ 60 split bench with access to the trunk for those longer items. Cooling and heating is accomplished by a passenger adjusted center council heating grid and touch panel control interface.
With the optional 19 speaker stereo system tuned into one’s favorite music source, and the rear passenger window screen employed, near limousine comfort is enjoyed by second row passengers in the S90.
Ingress and egress is effortless through Volvo’s rather wide rear side door. However, there is just a tad more tire to the road noise generated in the rear, however it is minor. Although a large car by midsize sedan standards, S90 remains nimble while maneuvering in town thanks to superior suspension logic, automated parking assist, and optional 360 view camera technology.
A closing thought of two
Volvo is on track to reinvent their entire car and SUV lineup within the next 24 months. Furthermore, in view of “Diesel Gate,” Volvo is committed to across the car brand integration of small displacement, clean burning high output 4 and 3 cylinder gasoline fueled engines for the North America markets.
Although the initial introduction of the S90 does not present a gasoline hybrid or plug in alternative, according to Volvo engineering, it will come.
Looking to the engineering, technology rich marvel that is the 2017 S90, Volvo is well on its way to not only sustaining sales growth in North America, but returning to prominence if not dominance in some automotive segments.
When one looks closely to standard and optional active safety and near autonomous driving features presented through S90, it’s not a “how” but when we will safely transition into an automotive age of self driving cars.
Volvo holds autonomous driving technology and implementation sophistication in their arsenal now. It’s a question of corporate liability and the timing of municipality and public acceptance. Reading between the lines, Volvo is ready to pull the trigger.
I could have just as easily substituted “continues to elevate” for “carries American Honda Motors through” a tough transitional May 2016 sales month. With all major automotive brand sales slumping a bit in May. 2016 Honda Civic continued to buck the SUV trend with yet another near record sales month. Read my latest Honda Civic market recap here.
With Civic up no less than 20% for the year, when compared to May of 2015, AHMC looks to Civic Sedan, Coupe and the soon to arrive built in England 5-door hatchback to push the maker to new found segment dominance in North America.
While it may be a bit down the road before North American Honda Type-R fans realize the arrival of the long awaited Type-R hatchback, recent spy photos indicate a fast-track (no pun intended) R&D and subsequent road trials for Honda’s “hot hatch” in Canada and the U.S..
Why Civic continues to sell so well in a crossover/SUV obsessed market
It’s the “Art of the Line,” and when it comes to the compact sedan and coupe, no other maker at this time in North America builds a better looking, higher performing, near-premium compact car than Honda does.
While not the cheapest offering the compact segment, when one weighs the initial MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) against offerings from Chevrolet, Chrysler, Hyundai, KIA, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda and others, 2016 Civic, even in its 2.0 Liter, 6 speed manual transmission base trim presents the greatest long-term lease or purchase value — that’s why 2016 Honda Civic was voted “Best Car of the Year” and “Best Car for Families” in 2016.
In risk of reading like yet another Honda advertisement
Don’t read me wrong here, McCants Auto News has driven all competitors in the compact segment. The aforementioned auto brands ALL manufacturer a very decent car. BUT, some are more refined, offer greater initial quality, higher crash test ratings, greater fuel economy and quieter interiors than other.
It takes more than good looks to sell a car theses days. Honda engineering and design tells m McCants Auto News that Civic is purpose designed to go after the compact premium sports sedan segment, and takes on Audi and BMW.
As reported Wednesday by (HPD) Honda Performance Development president Mr. Art St Cyr, Acura will return to North American Grand Prix racing in 2017 — for the first time since 2009 — in a factory built and modified 2017 NSX supercar, sans the hybrid drive train.
No big surprise here for those of us that have followed the decade-long unfolding saga of the “next” generation Honda/Acura NSX. We knew a race ready version of Acura’s halo car was in the works from day one, confirmed by track testing in Japan and Europe. I reported on the 2015 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Hill Climb Pace Car here.
Sitting before us on Acura’s stage at the New York International Auto Show is the culmination of a multi-national design, engineering and track tested effort. According to Art St Cyr: The balance of track preparation and testing for the North America specification GT3 car will be completed by a state-side team, and built by the same folks that bring us the production NSX in Marysville, Ohio.
I recently had the pleasure of touring the Honda Performance Development Center, and the Honda Heritage Museum in Marysville, while speaking with the NSX development team. — my experience there was life changing.
I walked away with not only a greater understanding of the complexity of today’s automotive engineering, but a true appreciation of what “personal accountability” brings to the mostly hand crafted one-off supercar that is 2017 NSX.
Looking to the NSX GT3 car sitting next to a production model, it becomes apparent that in practice, Acura NSX technology s not only derived from the disciplines of aeronautic and automotive engineering, but in fact comes straight off of the race track. When Acura tells you that NSX will roll off of the factory race ready, they’re not exaggerating.
No hybrid technology for Acura NSX GT3
As learned on the track by Acura Real Time Racing, it doesn’t always pay to push the boundary of race classification guidelines when it comes to racing. In the case of NSX GT3, there will be no hybrid drive train. Instead, Acura has opted for an extreme high output 600 horsepower twin turbocharged 3.5 Liter V6, as found on the Acura TLX GT and Honda Ridgeline Baja Race Truck.
As with the Acura TLX GT, torque will be transferred to track via a rear live axle. As of the posting Acura is not sharing specifications, date of launch or the team chosen to pilot 2017 NSX GT. My money is on Real Time Racing. Only time will tell.
Yes, I know the title is a bit lengthy and may never make it into the upper echelon of Google search driven drive review. No worries, the story-line here is written on a limited sports-rendition of Honda’s best selling midsize compact sedan. Is it fast? well… sort of.
But what 2016 Honda Accord represents for me and other Honda fans, is a little to no compromise discovered in the injection of just a bit of sport attitude — in what many auto journalist consider to be the greatest overall value found today — in a reasonably priced mid sized 4-door sedan.
Honda’s 4 cylinder powered Accord Sport comes to us this week with a surprise or two. But do we like it?
Photo Attributions American Honda Motor Company 2016
On first viewing our San Marino Red Honda Accord Sport, visions of high speed sweeps out in the “cow country” of Western Oregon came to mind. Accord Sport looks fast in the park-position, all the way down to its lower ground effects and 19 inch wheels ; but it isn’t. Yes I know, a bit confusing isn’t it? We spend a week in the seat of 2016 Accord Sport.
What our friends at Honda have done here with the best selling midsize sedan in North America is take the base Accord LX, add a race inspired design cue to an already appealing body line, positioned it on 19 inch alloy wheels, low profile all-weather-tires, and placed a very persuasive chrome tipped dual exhaust in prominent eye shot.
In this case, the aforementioned is mostly for show. While 2016 Accord Sport is highly capable as a measurably comfortable and accommodating people-mover, it’s not track ready, nor does it possess the performance chops of a high-revving Civic Si, or even the base Accord V6 for that matter — 2016 Accord Sport is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, albeit a pretty darn good impersonation.
Under the hood
Producing Accord Sport forward momentum is a very capable, fuel efficient 2.4 Liter DOHC 16 valve direct injected i-VTEC 4 cylinder gasoline engine producing 189 horsepower/182 ft-lb-torque — very impressive by normally aspirated 4 cylinder standards. We found drive-by-wire acceleration and torque to be more than ample in most drive-situations, yet lacking that “head in the back of the seat” acceleration anticipated from most “sport sedans.”
Honda’s left high-performance-driving to the 2016 Accord V6 Coupe. Where Accord Sport’s engine truly shines is in the fuel efficiency department, with our test ride producing a true 25.7 mpg around town and 33.5 mpg on the highway.
Shifting duties in our 2016 Accord Sport with Honda Sensing ™ is performed by perhaps the tamest CVT (constant variable transmission) in the Honda fleet. At first, I believed the transmission to be Honda’s 6-speed automatic — as featured in the 2016 Accord V6 and Pilot SUV. Then I discovered the steering wheel mounted paddle shifting. They’re there, you don’t need them.
Short story: The high output 4-cylinder gasoline/ CVT combination worked together flawlessly disguising the slightly under powered tendency of an otherwise stellar 4 cylinder engine. If you didn’t know what was under the hood, one would not be thinking 4-cylinder.
Truthfully, although Accord Sport pushes the size limitations of the midsize sedan segment,(it feels and rides larger) Honda’s high output 4-cylinder engine performed very well. However, I believe the “Sport” moniker to be a bit of a push, much like the “S” designation riding on the tail of many offerings today — stainless-steel-like car interior accents don’t always make for true-sports car power and handling performance attributes.
2016 Accord Sport interior pure Honda
Visually, the 2016 Accord Sport interior is a bit understated, with a sport-like edge. Again that “Sport” thing surfaces. For Accord Sport, Honda takes the base model Accord LX and upgrades it a bit.
Our test car sported a pleasing black on black combination material/ leather-like seating, piano black/ chrome center stack accents, a leather covered steering wheel, 3-dial floating dash, non touch screen center dash infotainment monitor, individual, synchronized climate control, a 10-way power adjusted driver’s seat, power mirrors, window and door locks, a drop-down rear bench, stainless steel brake, gas pedal and more — a nice interior trim package, albeit a bit plastic-rich for our taste.
Visibility from all drive and ride positions in Accord Sport is excellent, as is the road to cabin interior noise level, airflow and ergonomics. Accord Sport comes complete with a backup camera with directional guidelines. What you won’t find here is a blind spot monitor as featured in the 2016 Civic Sedan.
We found the driver’s seat to be less than exceptional in it adjustment — although that may be a “personal-like” assessment. Leg, head and shoulder room is exceptional throughout the cabin. Accord’s trunk is enormous! Accord offers one of if not the best 5-passenger accommodating cabin in the mid car segment, Accord Sport is not the exception.
Drive and ride impressions
We further discovered Accord Sport to be responsive, handle reasonably well with minimal to no side roll, down-hill-nose-diving, or torque steer. The car tracked-true to the point of one finger steering. It’s a bit heavy in the corners, and the suspension-vibration-damping could be improved just a bit. This could be attributed to the 19 inch wheels and subsequent low-profile-tires, resulting in a bit more road-to-wheel vibration transfer — nothing extreme, just an observation.
We appreciated the steering “feel” in Accord, very positive, yet effortless. Accord truly shines in town, through ease of maneuver and parking. With the aid of the standard rear-view camera, parallel parking Accord Sport is a snap.
On the highway 2016 Accord Sport eases into a pleasant cadence, with abundant on demand torque that virtually eliminates the need to shift when traveling upgrade. You forget that you have a 4-cylinder engine under the hood. The reward here is 33.5 miles per gallon in a non-hybrid car. During our week we had the opportunity to transport 4 adults. Accord actually performed better under load — the ride and handling smoothed out, with no measurable difference in fuel efficiency. Accord approaches the fuel efficiency of 2016 Honda Fit.
A closing thought or two
2016 Accord Sport is designed for the family guy or gal in mind that still retains just a bit of “rebel.” It’s the Chevy Monte Carlo S.S. of the Honda Lineup. High performance light, if you will.
Accord Sport looks fast while sitting in the “park” position — and that’s exactly what Honda engineering had in mind for it. With a MSRP of $26,785 you receive not only a very capable Honda Accord “sheep in wolf’s clothing,” but Honda Sensing ™, the full compliment of Honda’s state of the art accident avoidance technology.
For us. the adaptive cruise control is well worth the uptick, the 19 inch alloy wheels, lower ground effects and fog lights — the icing on the cake. In short, for those of you that don’t dream of a hole-shot 300 horsepower high performance V6, have family-hauling priorities, yet wish to retain a bit of “sportiness” in your daily commute, this is the Accord for you.
Last summer while attending the “Honda Dream Garage” event in San Diego , California, I was afforded the opportunity to not only ride with one of the highest regarded racers in motorcycles today, but a true advocate of the sport.
Jeff Tigert is just a guy, pretty much like you and me, with the exception of a national , international race win trophy or two on the shelf — Jeff lives and breathes 2-wheels.
Motorcycles, and the racing of them, is Jeff’s life-time passion. He’s also a proud husband , father. and lifetime motorcycle enthusiasts, with perhaps one of if not the coolest jobs on the planet.
Jeff currently serves as off-road media coordinator for American Honda, specific to the off road play and work department, quads, side by sides, and the occasional African Twin or two.
From where we sit, Jeff Tigert is as much at home ridding a 50 cc Honda Grom as he is on the seat of a factory race prepared Pikes Peak International Hill Climb assault bike. That’s what’s truly cool about Jeff, he leaves his well earned ego at home — remaining truly approachable and subsequently likable, despite a decades-long road race winning track record.
Following the “Honda Dream Garage” event we kept in touch with Jeff, and fired off an emailed question or two as to what it takes to race the highest and perhaps, most dangerous road course in North America. Jeff’s won in his class twice, something that very few racers have accomplished on the annual “Race to the Clouds.”
Unfortunately, following 2015’s tragic crash related death of Pikes Peak veteran Carl Sorensen, the rules have changed as to what motorcycle frame set up will be allowed to race the hill in the future. “Clip-on” handlebars are outlawed in a quest for greater road control, racers like Jeff have kept relatively quiet as to the change in rules, with a wink and a nod as to this seemingly nonsensical ruling.
Parks: “looking to your bike, I see a race prepared machine, can you share with our readers some of the modifications and costs associated with building the Pikes Peak challenger?”
Jeff: We start by removing all of the street based parts off the bike, such as the lights, mirrors, plastic fairings, and then replace the parts with racing fiberglass bodywork which costs about $1,000 for a complete body set. Next step, we replace the front suspension internal parts, as well as replace the rear shock with a more adjustable race shock.
That modification costs about $3,500 including labor to install. To increase engine performance and reduce weight, the stock exhaust is replaced with a titanium race exhaust, which costs about $2,500 and loses 10 lbs. For 2015, we opted to keep the engine stock for both reliability and ease of riding — as too much power becomes hard to ride.
For fuel we run a special race gas, it increases horsepower about 5% but costs $25/gallon. To make the fuel and exhaust work the best together, a fuel injection/ignition tuner is added, which allows us to change fuel mapping and ignition timing at different RPM and Throttle positions. Cost is $1,000 which includes both parts and labor, and spending time on the dyno to make that custom map.
One other electronic aide is the quick shifter, which allows full throttle up shifting. The tires we use are slicks which provide maximum traction, which cost about $500/set. I went through 4 sets over the course of the week and race. [$2,000]
Parks: Jeff, please expand a bit on the support effort. What does it takes for a privateer, or a team sponsored rider to effectively assault Pikes Peak? [Number of crew members, experience of crew, back up bike, equipment, mobile shop, etc.]
Jeff: It requires a huge effort to make this event happen.
I had 3 crew members dedicated for me, to help eliminate any additional work on my end — and allow me to focus only on the race. Having experience there is critical. The first year I ran in 2013, we had consulted one of the top motorcycle teams to help get us up to speed with all the unique aspects that come with racing up the mountain.
I drove one of our set-up sprinter vans that has all the tools and shop equipment plus my backup bike. The backup bike was only a rolling chassis (no engine installed) which allowed us to mount spare suspension, wheels, and bodywork to make transport easier. It was a real life-saver “because I wrecked my primary bike in qualifying.”
Parks: Is the motorcycle / motor rebuilt over the course of the event? Do you carry back up motors, is a competitor allowed more than one(backup) machine?
Jeff: The motor for this event was left completely stock internally; this was our direction to make sure we had an easy, reliable bike to ride. I didn’t even carry a backup motor with us. You are only allowed to tech one machine, so you can’t just roll a second bike out. It’s basically a parts backup.
Parks: You mentioned a 10 day involvement. Talk a bit about the impact on the family, wife, etc.
We touched on the delicate balancing act between family and racing priorities, Pikes Peak is not easy, with or without the support of a partner, wife or girlfriend.
Jeff: Another unique aspect is the length of time you have to spend at the race. Even worse for me, was that I was driving solo to and from the event which added a few days to the trip. This was especially hard for me with the family at home including my 13 month old, who still requires overnight wake ups and feedings. I was fortunate to have my mom come down and stay to help my wife with the kids while I was gone.
Parks: How did your father’s racing carrier impact you as a young adult, did you always want to race? Would you like to see your own children involved in racing?
Jeff: “I always looked up to my dad and his accomplishments”
Dad won the 1975 Daytona Lightweight Production class and was one of the top RD350 racers in the country. He started racing again when I was in high school on a “Two Brothers” Honda Hawk at the local races, and that’s when it hit me, that I wanted to start racing. “He brought me up riding dirt bikes and I was fortunate enough to get my first street bike at 16.”
Parks: Is your dad or other family members involved in the hill climb effort?
Jeff: Besides the bike preparation from my dad which started months in advance and a bit of babysitting help from mom, they have not been directly tied to the race.
Parks: You’ve raced the hill in the past. Expand a bit on this and your racing carrier. What events do you prefer to race? G.P., dirt track, desert endurance, etc…
Jeff: “My first year at Pikes Peak was 2013, and for that year I decided to race a CRF450R motard bike. I figured that was a good entry bike for a first timer there.”
I ended up winning the class with a new class record, and received rookie of the year for motorcycles. Going back to my roots in road racing, my first race was in 1999 with the AFM at Sears Point in Sonoma. I only did 4 races that year, 2000 was my first full season, and I raced the lightweight twins class on an SV650.
I won the championship that year, and focused on moving to AFM 600 classes for 2001. The next 2 years I raced 600’s taking 3 championships over both years, which lead to my first year on 1000’s in 2003. I won 2 more championships that year, including the coveted AFM #1 plate for 2004.
“Unfortunately, I broke my ankle in the first race in 2004 which put me out for defending my titles.”
I was also in my second year at Honda R&D for testing and developing the CBR line-up, and this was definitely a turning point in my life, as I realized how important this job would be for my future.
For the next few years I dabbled in regional racing and even tried to put a full year of AMA Pro effort in 2006 — I ended up missing a few races for work that year though, which hurt my chances at a top ten championship finish.
Honda launched a new CBR1000RR for 2008 model year, and in 2009 I decided to race the entire WSMC (Willow Springs Motorcycle Club) and go after the #1 plate. We wrapped up that year with 3 more championships, the #1 plate, and the championship bonus was a Toyota Tundra Crew Max.
To top that #1 plate off, in 2010 I returned to AFM and won my second #1 plate with that organization.
“My first child was born that next year and I sold all my motorcycles which put me into retirement for a couple of seasons.”
Having good friends has been great over the years as I had a ride opportunity in 2012 to race for my crew chief’s shop.
In my comeback year, I won 3 more regional championships. with CVMA (Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association), and we decided to run the West Coast AMA Supersport Nationals the following year in 2013. This was by far my most successful season, as I was able to get my first AMA Pro podium as well as wrap up 2nd in the championship that year.
I also had the win in the 2013 Pikes Peak 450 class that year. I took yet another year off while having my second child. When I was approached early this year. and asked if I was interested in doing Pikes Peak in the Open Class?’
My only race this year turned out great, as I was able to wrap up that win. If I could, I would still be out there road racing, as it is my main preference, if I was to ride. But, without a road bike at the moment for that, I have been looking to just ride some dirt bikes at the tracks here locally.
My thanks to Jeff Tigert for granting me this interview, as well as his life-time dedication to the sport. Wishing you continued success, happiness and safe riding my friend.
As recently viewed on the city streets and country roads in and around San Diego, California, phase two of Honda’s 10th generation 2016 Civic roll out is the totally redesigned ” World-Compact-Platform” Civic Coupe.
For 2016, Civic Coupe comes to market in late March 2016, not only larger in dimension, but a world apart from the departing 9th generation Civic — yet retains that “sportiness” exclusive two a 2 door compact coupe.
Honda design and engineering presents a one of a kind drive and ride experience, thanks the a slight wheel base stretch, widening of the track, and the lowering of the “hip point” by a full 1.5 inches. Thus creating a new “drive dynamic” for Civic Coupe fans, without the performance Civic Si price point.
Honda engineering further refines and improves 2016 Civic Coupe to the point of encroaching on midsize car ride and interior comfort.
2016 Civic Coupe brings a much improved driver’s seat, smart wheel, standard multi-directional back up cam, huge trunk and added rear compartment legroom. Your Civic Coupe may now effectively serve as a family hauler, commuter and week end sport vehicle, without compromise.
Presenting a visual eye-candy design cue, and interior uptick refinement, the all new Civic Coupe, in many Audi and BMW model comparisons, upstages the European compact car segment, through affordable premium accouterments and measurable performance.
While much has been made in the auto press as to Civic’s new found turbocharged engine power, I look to the measurable improvement in body style, interior size and subsedquent comfort, a class setting base passive and active safety package, as well as what many consider to be the easiest shifting manual 6 speed transmission in the auto industry today.
For 2016, the base Civic Sedan and Coupe come to the North American markets with an all new 2.0 Liter i-VTEC 4 cylinder gasoline engine, producing 159 horsepower, 138 ft-lb torque. This represents a measurable power increase of 12% over 2015, while increasing fuel efficiency. Catch my initial impressions of 2016 Civic Coupe here.
Torque is transferred to the road via one of if not the easiest shifting 6-speed manual transmission in the automotive industry today. Honda engineering has effectively reduced peddle pressure while refining the shift pattern.
2016 Civic Coupe MSRP and fuel economy should follow Civic Sedan
So, if as predicted, 2016 Honda Civic Coupe comes to market in March with a beginning MSRP under $18,500, while approaching 35 MPG in combined driving, 2016 Civic Coupe will be the greatest value found in today’s European inspired “C” segment!
While driving on the country two lane roads of eastern San Diego County, I found that “sweet spot” in 3rd gear, and played with the 2.0 liter engine, while enjoying that Honda 4-banger exhaust tone exclusive to high revving Honda mills.
And that’s all that I can share with you for now. Look for a full “first impressions” drive review, the last week in February.
Die hard Acura NSX enthusiasts will have the opportunity to place bids on 2017 Acura NSX, VIN # 001, at Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction Scottsdale, Arizona, January 29, 2016. The bid competition will be fierce.
The winner will drive away with Acura’s most technically advanced offering since the Honda Luxury Car division launch in 1986. According to our contact at Acura, all proceeds from the sale go to 2 – children’s charities, to be announced at a latter date.
Looking to the competition, BMW 8 series, Mclaren, Porsche and the soon to arrive Ford G.T., NSX will arrive to market with technologies not available on the aforementioned, at a relatively bargain price of MSRP $156,000 to $205,700+ sales tax, registration and applicable fees. You will find full specifications here.
With Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld showing interest in NSX # 001, there’s no telling how high the bid will go. Acura will announce the buyer of the car, as well as the winning bid amount the night of January 29.
On a side note, we discovered that a close cousin to Acura NSX’s arch nemeses holds the record for the most expensive American car to ever exchange hands. That title goes to the one of 3 built 1968 Ford GT40 Le-Mans super lights. The final bid? $11,000,000. We don’t anticipate 2017 NSX surpassing the $1,000,000 mark, but you never know.