By Charles E. Buban PDI WITH ABOUT 3.8 MILLION UNITS officially registered at the Land Transportation Office and many more undocumented, the motorcycle is the ride of choice among Filipinos these days. “There’s no denying that a motorcycle is the country’s most popular form of transport with some 3.8 million units registered as compared to the 1.2 million registered four-wheeled counterpart,” said Suzuki Philippines senior marketing manager Benedict Arreola. Aside from being fuel-efficient as it can cover 35 to 40 kilometers per liter of gasoline, the scooter’s relatively low price also drives the motorcycles’ popularity as many Filipinos still consider cars a large purchase and not something to rush out and buy at the drop of a hat. “This is why as one of the major motorcycle manufacturers in the country, it is our duty to provide the market with models that could uplift their lives as well as define their lifestyle,” explained Suzuki Philippines assistant GM for motorcycle sales and marketing Eiji Kobayashi at the unveiling of its latest 125cc scooter. Kobayashi said the Suzuki Skydrive 125 attractively priced at P68,900 is not just a scooter with new flashy bodywork. Sporty look Everything in the Skydrive 125 has purpose. Its fairings are meant to improve its aerodynamic qualities that not only make the scooter move faster but also allow it to use even less gasoline. Moreover, the scooter’s 14-inch alloy wheels not only add to the sporty look but also sheds unwanted weight. The Skydrive 125, which features an improved four-stroke, air-cooled, Euro 2-compliant engine, is already compatible with E10 (10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline mixture). This not only increases the engine’s compression ratio (for higher engine efficiency) but also reduces the emission of carbon monoxide thus boosting the campaign for cleaner air in the metropolis. Quantum leap The Skydrive 125’s advance electronic fuel injection certainly marks a quantum leap for Suzuki, according to Arreola. The fuel injection system automatically optimizes fuel supply to various running conditions. It features an innovative Discharge Pump Fuel Injection and ultra modern Engine Control Module that enhances smooth power delivery and fuel efficiency (the Skydrive is rated to 125 deliver a 35 to 40 kilometers per liter efficiency, which is certainly an excellent achievement for a scooter). According to Suzuki Philippines president Satoshi Uchida, the Skydrive 125 complements Suzuki’s current CVT models, the Step 125 and Hayate and was delighted that this early 120 units were already sold. “The market’s growing demand for this type of motorcycles shows that more and more Filipinos are looking for personal rides that are easy to operate, cost efficient, reliable, easy to maintain and service,” said Suzuki Philippines managing director Catalina Calderon. Calderon added that with its popularity the company is also advocating safety riding. “A well built scooter like the Skydrive will still depend on its rider who should possess the necessary skills and strict attention to safety. After all, the time you save commuting by scooter is too valuable to spend in a hospital’s emergency room,” she said.
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By Agence France-Presse CHIBA, Japan--Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. has unveiled a prototype motorbike with a zero-emission fuel cell that is cooled by air. The "Crosscage" motorbike has a fuel cell set in a simple chassis and a hydrogen tank protected by an X-shaped metal frame cage. The fuel cell was developed by Intelligent Energy of Britain. The motorbike, which is on display at the Tokyo Motor Show, is said to be free of noise and vibration, and has a lithium-ion battery below the tank for extra power. "Fuel cell motorbikes tend to have podgy scooter-like bodies given the large size of the system. But this compact system enabled us to propose a sporty, slim design," said Suzuki motorcycle marketing official Kenji Mori.