Cagiva Elefant 750C ie

 

 

 

Make Model

Cagiva Elefant 750C ie

Year

1994 - 95

Engine

Four stroke, 90° “L”twin cylinder, SOHC, desmodromic 2 valve per cylinder

Capacity

748 cc / 45.6 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 88 x 61.5 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 10.0:1

Induction

Mikuni BDST 38 fuel injection

Ignition 

Kokusan electronic inductive discharge
Starting Electric

Max Power

60 hp / 49.6 kW @ 6000 rpm 

Max Torque

60 Nm / 43 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm

Transmission 

5 Speed 
Final Drive Chain

Front Suspension

45mm Telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

Single shock with rising rate linkage preload rebound and damping

Front Brakes

Single 296mm disc 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 240mm disc 2 piston caliper

Front Tyre

100/90-19

Rear Tyre

140/80-17
Seat Height 835 mm / 32.9 in

Dry Weight

185 kg / 407.9 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

24 Litres / 6.3 US gal

Consumption Average

16.4 km/lit

Braking 60 - 0 / 100 - 0

15.4 m / 44.8 m

Standing ¼ Mile  

12.9 sec / 155.5 km/h

Top Speed

174 km/h

SMALL IS NOT a word anyone with one iota of intelligence, a snifter of sanity or a crumb of common sense should apply to a 750cc monster trail bike capable of devouring small, sparkly-eyed children. But in this case I'll make an exception.

The new Cagiva E750, or 750 Elefant, is the smaller brother of that long-standing, starter home-sized bike - the 900ie Elefant. Actually, 'smaller' is a bit of a mis-noma here. Where the 900's lump is full-bore Ducati 900SS: 68-brake of lunging, bellowing poke, the 750 version is smaller by virtue of getting the engine from the 750SS but otherwise it's virtually identical. And yes, it's still huge.

That 750 motor is more than just a sleeve-down job. Though outwardly very similar, those distinctive Ducati cases house a whole host of differences. Bore and stroke are 88 x 61.5mm against the 900's 92 x 68 thanks to a combination of smaller bores and a shorter throw crank. Induction comes through a brace of 38mm Mikunis compared to the 900ie Elefant's Weber-Marelli fuel-injection system (although a version wearing the same 38-mil carbs is also available). Cooling, like both SS sportsters, is by good old air but with an extra oil-cooler tagged on for good measure. Oh, and let's not forget that Cagiva has also thrown an aluminium honeycomb catalytic converter into the massive stainless steel exhaust to help spare us from all those noxious NOx as well. End result? A commendable 60 ponies at 6500rpm which compares usefully to the 900's 68.

But for the first five minutes you don't notice the difference either way. You just notice huge. The rolling chassis is almost identical to that of its bigger brother: the same girder-like, black-painted box-section steel cradle; the same old-fashioned but chunky untapered box-section aluminium swing-arm. In fact, everything about the Elefant's trellis has the same solid, chunky hugeness - even the oversized, box-secticrh side-stand looks hefty enough to lever-up paving slabs. At the front, giraffe-like, leading axle, non-adjustable, 42mm teles holding a big 21 in laced Akront ally rim. At the rear, Cagiva's oddly-named Soft-Damp rising-rate monoshock.

And in the middle, a seat which gives a view that'd satisfy a Wimbledon umpire. Like all monster trailies, the 750 Elefant has a massively tall and upright riding position. But the seat, surprisingly, isn't that awkWard: it's reasonably comfy (if a little square and narrow) and a full 30mm lower than Yamaha's Super Tenere. Instead, what's creating the impression of gargantu-aness is the Elefant's huge frontal aspect. It starts with the long-travel forks, goes through chrome, cross-braced bars that are higher than most, and ends up with mirrors that seem to be at shoulder level. From your knees forward, the Elefant is big and broad with the large 24 litre tank splaying out wide from the seat. But it's also roomy without being a stretch - and it's comfortable too.

On the move, its road manners and responsiveness blend beautifully with the lazy, upright arrogance of the riding position. I was sceptical at first: the 750SS pales against the 900, so how could the 750 Elefant do anything but pale against its bigger brother? But I was pleasantly surprised: the 750 desmo is ideal for this sort of bike. Though the 750 has a much greater hunger for revs than the 900, the 9000rpm redline on its tacho gives the wri impression. Meat it has: from n four up to 7500rpm the Elefan responsive and perky, leaping av cruising easily and wanting for lil With the SS sportsters, the 750 < tinctly and frustratingly lacks 900's extra poke. In the Elef package, the 750 is perfect.

Performance-wise it should co pare favourably with both the Y Super Tenere and Honda Afr Twin. Expect a top-end nudgi 100 with easy, well-protecl cruising at 85mph. The five-spe gearbox is surprisingly neat (fo Ducati) with gear ratios well-spac for the road. The hydraulic clutcl reasonably light without the lo speed grabbiness that afflicts ma an Italian V-twin.

Handling, again like the 900 version, is among the best in the class. With the narrow V-twin held low (and protected by a massive bash-plate) the Elefant has excellent natural balance and rolls through sweeping bends with a deft delight. At just 4141b dry it's a full 151b lighter than the Super Ten - and it shows. The wide bars give easy leverage, the comparatively low seat gives a reassuring sense of being 'in' the machine rather than on it and yet, with its long 1560mm wheel-base, the Elefant remains stable and sure-footed. More than most big trailies, A-road swoopery is a joy.

The only slight downer is its braking. The single 296mm front disc and twin piston Nissin caliper needs a great big handful and the

lever comes a long way back to the bar. Relatively softly-sprung forks dive like a Spanish footballer at the merest hint of rough play. On the up side, the rear disc is very good.

Where the Elefant differs most from the Japanese competition is in the way it delivers those sort of abilities. The V-twin desmo is a little chattery and might have seemed an odd choice for this sort of bike. But on riding, it proves not only ideal, but characterful and entertaining. What's most disappointing is that the bike's looks and detail touches don't quite excite in the same way. The blue/yellow/red paint scheme is about as inspiring as a wet day in Clacton — give me a red and white 'Lucky Explorer' version any day; some of the com-

ponents, such as the swing arm, are a little old-fashioned and the finish isn't as good as it should be. That said, at ,£5349, nearly a grand less than the Africa Twin thanks mostly to bonkers exchange rates, it's good value too.

Source Bike Magazine 1994