Cagiva Elefant 900AC

 

 

 

Make Model

Cagiva Elefant 900AC

Year

1993 - 94

Engine

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

Capacity

904 cc / 55.1 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 92 x 68 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 9.2:1

Induction

Mikuni BDST 38 carburetors

Ignition 

Marelli electronic inductive discharge 
Starting Electric

Max Power

95 hp / 70 kW @ 8500 rpm 

Max Torque

78 Nm / 57.5 lb-ft @ 5250 rpm
Clutch Dry Multi-disc

Transmission 

6 Speed 
Final Drive Chain
Frame Double steel tubular cradle

Front Suspension

45mm Showa upside down telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

Rising rate box, monoshock adjustable for preload

Front Brakes

2x 282mm discs 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 240mm disc 4 piston caliper

Front Tyre

100/90-19

Rear Tyre

140/80-17
Dimensions Length 2295 mm / 90.3 in
Width    860 mm / 33.8 in
Height   970 mm / 38.1 in
Wheelbase 1570 mm / 61.8 in
Seat Height 857 mm / 33.7 in
Ground Clearance 260 mm / 10.2 in

Dry Weight

204 kg / 449.7 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

22 Litres / 5.8 US gal

Consumption Average

38.0 mpg

Standing ¼ Mile  

13.2 sec / 95.5 mph

Top Speed

114. mph

The popularity of the Paris-Dakar Rally in Europe has spawned a whole generation of enormous on/off-road superbikes, and none of them is more impressive than the Cagiva 900 Elefant.

The Paris-Dakar covered thousands of miles of desert in northern Africa, and the major motorcycle manufacturers spent many years, and enormous quantities of money, building bikes that would win it. Success in the Paris-Dakar translated directly to sales in Europe.

 

But the demands of the Saharan marathon meant that these trailbikes had to be very big and very fast, not something normally associated with off-road bikes. They also had to be immensely rugged and capable of carrying a lot of fuel and water with them - the two-wheeled equivalent of a Landcruiser.

The Cagiva 900 Elefant is a production version of the bike which triumphed in the Paris-Dakar a few years back, and is one of the biggest and best

 

Paris-Dakar replicas available. It's also one of the most interesting in that it uses a 900cc air and oil-cooled overhead cam 90-degree V-twin motor with desmodromic valve gear (as used on countless Ducati road and race bikes). Electronic fuel-injection helps the Elefant to produce a healthy 70bhp at 8500rpm, although brute power is less important with this kind of off-road machine than a usable spread of torque.

A high level of suspension equipment is de rigeur for desert-racers, and here the Cagiva gets full marks for Marzocchi forks at the front and an Öhlins multi-adjustable monoshock at the back. Rugged long-travel suspension is a must for this type of machine, and the Elefant has it in abundance.

 

Hefty twin front disc brakes give the Elefant plenty of stopping power, with twin-pot Nissin calipers providing bite. A large-capacity fuel tank (although not as large as the pukka desert race bike's) and twin-headlamp fairing are also part of the essential P-D package, as is a vertiginous seat height of over 35ins.

As a road bike the Elefant is surprisingly capable. Although lacking the kind of power to compete directly with road-going sports 900s, the Elefant has a wide spread of power and torque which makes it very usable on twisting back roads. And with a top speed of 120mph the Elefant offers plenty of thrills along the way.

 

But it is off-road where the Cagiva really excels. That lazy, low-rewing motor and low gearing make the Elefant a superb dirt bike that is equally at home idling along narrow gravel tracks or blasting at speed across open desert. The flexibility of the V-twin engine means that gear-changes are kept to a minimum, allowing the rider to concentrate on picking the right line across whatever terrain he happens to be traversing.

 

The long-travel suspension soaks up all but the biggest bumps, giving a soft manageable ride under almost all road and off-road conditions. That suspension travel also makes the Elefant a comfortable long-distance road mount, too.

Although bikes like the Elefant can't offer the kind of searing performance a high-performance road-bike can, their go-anywhere, do-anything capabilities give them an appeal all their own. The Cagiva 900 is undoubtedly the pinnacle of on/off-road engineering.

 

Source of overview: Super Bikes by Mac McDiarmid