First driving report: Voxan Roadster

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First driving report: Voxan Roadster


First driving report: Voxan Roadster

First driving report: Voxan Roadster
Ca va?

Almost three years after the French company Voxan was founded, the first of three models, the Roadster, is ready to be driven. It works?

Waldemar Schwarz


On a small racing circuit in Issoire in central France, a motorcyclist turns lonely lap after lap. When the driver finally comes to the pits, Marc Fontan, press officer of the new motorcycle manufacturer Voxan, asks him expectantly: “Ça va?” Oui, ça va bien. The machine, which is available for a foreign journalist for test drives for the first time, works extremely well. The MOTORRAD tester swings on the second machine of the same type provided and has already disappeared back towards the course. Voxan, the company was founded by industrialist and motorcycle enthusiast Jacques Gardette in December 1995 to make his dream of building a French motorcycle come true. The first prototype already existed in the summer of 1997 (MOTORRAD 14/1997), and MOTORRAD was eagerly awaiting a ride. But technical problems delayed the practical test. The engines designed by the racing company Sodemo were designed more for competition than for everyday use. Due to numerous defects during the test, many components had to be redesigned, for example, the filigree rocker arms are replaced by the developers headed by chief technician Alain Chevalier with bucket tappets.

The two roadster models that MOTORRAD drove are now considered ready for series production. One had the final engine tuning with Weber Marelli engine management, the other was equipped with the White Power series suspension elements. Even the seat test with the upper body slightly bent forward, the ergonomically favorable, wide handlebars and the narrow knee joint promises problem-free handling – which is then confirmed on the racetrack and on the country road. Compared to the current 1000 twin-cylinder, the roadster impresses with its excellent handiness. Both turning in and changing lean angles quickly in the maze of curves come with the Voxan child’s play. The White Power spring elements respond cleanly even on the worst regional roads and react comfortably to even the worst bumps in the road. The very sporty driver, however, would like a tighter suspension setup. Because in undulating curves and at higher speeds, the Roadster tends to swing, its silencers hit the road well before the Michelin Macadam reaches the limit of its grip, and it dips heavily when braking. But the manufacturer has given the roadster a different playground, and another French model, the Cafe Racer, is designed for sporting use. Speaking of brakes: The Brembos decelerate excellently even with little manual force, the pressure point alone could be more clearly defined. The drive also ensures a lot of comfort. The motor drives Rob und Reiter smoothly and smoothly from 2000 revolutions up to the red range of 9000 rpm. However, the French version with 100 HP in the upper speed range, driven by MOTORRAD, is missing the last bite. That is withheld from the unthrottled versions with targeted 120 hp. The harmonious load change behavior is astonishing for a large two-cylinder: the V2 acknowledges an abrupt opening of the gas or the closing of the throttle valve without the typical jerking in the drive train. Even with vibrations, the twin holds back with a 72 degree cylinder angle. At most, at higher speeds it vibrates like a 90-degree V2 engine. In conjunction with the easy-to-change gearbox, the drive gave the designers of the debut work excellent marks. Equipped in this way, the French are about to start production at the beginning of November. Next year Voxan intends to exclusively serve the French market in order to be able to react quickly to any teething problems. Initially, 45 employees will produce six units per day, and by February there will be one Roadster each in the showroom of the seventy dealers. And so that it doesn’t stop at admiration, but interested parties actually take the risk of these completely new motorcycles, the The French have three guarantees, and for the first three years the service costs 75,000 francs for a roadster and 76,000 and 79,000 francs for one Scrambler or Cafe Racer included. The French bikes will not come to Germany, England and Italy until the year 2000. But then there will probably also be a 1200 cc motorcycle that is supposed to provide a mixture of cruising and touring. Until then, the eager French can only wish that, in retrospect, when they introduced their models, they could say: Ça allait bien – it went well.

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