Presentation of the Hunwick Hattrop Phantom 1500
Thunder from Down Under
A good 100 hp, 48,000 marks expensive: Australia’s answer to Harley-Davidson is called Hunwick Harrop and could also come to Germany via the Internet. Alan Cathcart drove the extraordinary cruiser in Sydney.
Any motorcycle-crazy visitor to last year’s Sydney Olympic Games who happened to be in one of the upper tiers of the Olympic Stadium would have only had to look over their shoulder to see Australia’s newest and most exclusive motorcycle: the supercruiser Hunwick Harrop Phantom 1500 which is made just a stone’s throw away from the stadium.
If this name sounds familiar to you but you suspect a minor typographical error, then you’re right, almost at least. Because the company Hunwick Harrop actually emerged from Hunwick Hallam, the company that caused a sensation a few years ago with the idiosyncratic V2 racing project called the X1R. The promising partnership between Rod Hunwick, the leading motorcycle dealer in Australia, and Paul Hallam broke up just before the plans to bring a street version of the X1R onto the market.
“Paul’s heart is in racing, while I’d prefer to build street bikes for the world market,” says Hunwick, “that’s why I started all over again for the Phantom project.” With new, powerful partners: the Harrop Group, a large Australian company Automotive supplier, and a Japanese investment bank that provide the venture with the necessary start-up capital ?? and, in return, want to list Hunwick Harrop on the stock exchange within 18 months.
An ambitious project. The new company’s first product seems to have been extremely successful. MOTORRAD employee Alan Cathcart, an avowed sports motorcycle fan, was enthusiastic after an exclusive and far too short ride on the Aussie bike, even calling it “the Ducati 916 among cruisers”. Above all, the robust, water-cooled four-valve V2 engine supplied via intake manifold injection has done it to the British, even though the MoTec injection was a tad too harsh on the pre-production model that was driven. The promised 100 hp from 1493 cm3, however, appear more than credible to the test driver.
So power enough to withstand even cruisers like a Honda F 6 C or VTX 1800. The aluminum chassis shines with fine ingredients, such as a Koni strut in the rear and a Paioli fork, which the Bimota YB 11 is also equipped with, and brings the required performance safely to the asphalt. For a cruiser, the Phantom has ample ground clearance, neutral handling, and amazingly stable and easy-to-dose brakes ?? and tires with good grip: Dunlop D 207. They are more like an athlete than a cruiser, as is the surprisingly light-footed handling of the machine, which, according to the manufacturer, weighs 240 kilograms when dry.
325 Phantom wants to produce Hunwick in 2001 ?? and also sell. The acid test for the exclusive, unconventional cruiser: the first presentation on the cruiser-critical US market, the Indianapolis Dealer Show in mid-February. “The Super Cruiser is intended to appeal to customers who are looking for a powerful high-end motorcycle with an unusual design,” explains Hunwick. With a targeted sales price of around 48,000 marks, they must have the appropriate change. As a result, we are dealing with a clientele who usually surf the Internet every day anyway, for example to keep up to date with developments on the stock market. So why not use the global network to bring the Phantom to men or women? Hunwick only wants to cooperate with its own dealers in Australia and the USA.
So that a customer, for example from Germany, does not lose the fun with his Supercruiser after a few thousand kilometers due to a lack of wearing parts, Hunwick Harrop sends each model on a trip with a parts kit that is sufficient for at least the first season. In addition, Hunwick promises a 24-hour spare parts service worldwide and extensive support via the web for any workshop ?? which of course can only work if the dealer has an internet connection and sufficient knowledge of English.
For everyone who would like to know more about the cruiser from Down Under, the surf tip: www.hunwickharrop.com. The official sale of the Hunwick Harrop Phantom 1500 launched on February 12th.
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