Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Honda have unveiled the all-new CBR250RR in Jakarta, Indonesia. This new bike, which seems to be closer in spirit to the glorious early-1990s CBR250RR than the rather more prosaic current generation CBR250R. Just look at the new bike - what a difference an extra 'R' in the name can make! "Passion and a high interest in Indonesia's motorcycle enthusiasts encouraged us to present the all new Honda CBR250RR," said Honda's Toshiyuki Inuma. That said, it was a pretty low-key unveiling for a machine that's been so keenly anticipated worldwide and which is likely to make its way to Europe, the US and various Asian markets by the end of this year. Honda did not even do a global press release, and official high-res pics of the bike do not seem to be available.
In any case, the 2017 CBR250RR is powered by a 250cc four-stroke liquid-cooled DOHC 8-valve fuel-injected parallel-twin, which should be quite a bit more powerful than the 26bhp single-cylinder 250cc engine which powers the CBR250R. Unlike the 1990s CBR250RR, the 2017 model doesn't have an aluminium twin-spar chassis, with Honda opting for a tubular steel 'truss type' unit this time, perhaps for a bit of cost cutting. Still, at least the 'gull-arm' swingarm is made of aluminium, and we hope the new CBR250RR will weigh a bit less than the 250R, which has a kerb weight of 163kg. The 1990s CBR250RR had a kerb weight of 159kg and a power output of 45bhp, so we certainly hope the new one beats those figures!
Notable bits on the new CBR250RR include Honda's Pro-Link rear suspension, 37mm USD Showa fork at the front, LED lights, seven-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, multiple riding modes and ABS. Colours available include racing red, metallic gray and metallic black, and the bike will go on sale in Indonesia by the end of 2016. Shortly thereafter, we hope, it will also be launched in other parts of the world. Honda will reveal prices closer to the actual launch, so stay tuned.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
With its 1970s endurance racer styling cues, red-and-black paintjob and gold-painted wheels, the Yurman carbon bike looks stunningly beautiful. It's gorgeous!
New York-based sculptor and jewellery brand owner, David Yurman has collaborated with custom motorcycle builder Walt Siegl to create a high-end machine called the David Yurman Forged Carbon Motorcycle by MV Agusta, which is priced at US$48,000. David's son, Evan, is a biker boy who collects dirtbikes, vintage BMWs and old Harleys. Wanting to promote his dad's collection of designer luxury baubles, he teamed up with Siegl to create a "statement bike." The machine itself is based on an MV Agusta F3 800. The three-cylinder, 150bhp MV engine, as well as chassis and suspension are all stock, while Siegl has designed and built the front fairing and tailpiece. The triple clamp and the front and rear fenders, made of forged carbon, are bespoke items.
The David Yurman Forged Carbon Motorcycle makes extensive use of kevlar and forged carbonfibre, which makes it suitably expensive to produce. "There’s no profit involved in this at all, whatsoever. Walt is a great bike modifier and sculptor, and I was inspired to call him up and collaborate," says Evan Yurman, who adds that if the bike were priced appropriately, it would cost closer to $250,000. Which, incidentally, is what a brand-new Ferrari 488 GTB costs. Then again, the Yurman motorcycle comes with a forged carbon keychain, which probably makes it all worthwhile. "If you just take forged carbon and put it in jewelry, that is only a one-way conversation. But if you put it in the form of a motorcycle, something you can use, it becomes a dialogue. So we got to utilize it in a different way that may be considered esoteric to some, but for the people who utilize it as a means to their industry, like Walt, we give them the opportunity to think way outside the box," says Evan.
Displaying incredible skill, courage and determination, Ducati's new PR manager, Casey Stoner rides over a log and then up a wooden ramp. Paris-Dakar riders have nothing on this man
Former MotoGP world champ, Casey Stoner recently had the opportunity to ride a Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro in Tuscany, around the hillsides of Bologna. "I can't describe how much I enjoyed it," said Stoner, who participated in DRE Enduro, an off-road ridind course hosted by Ducati. The Stoner family spent a few days in Castello di Nipozzano, near Florence, where the new Ducati riding school is based. The DRE Enduro programme, which included some extreme-situation simulations, was organised by former Dakar rider Beppe Gualini, who's now the technical director of DRE Enduro.
"I don’t have words to explain my weekend. It’s been awesome! The Frescobaldi family estate [where Stoner and family stayed] is really something special and it’s so beautiful to look out of the hotel window over most of Tuscany. It’s a perfect place for a riding experience like the DRE Enduro," said Stoner. "Basically you can’t really explain to people how good the Multistrada 1200 Enduro is - you just have to experience it. I’ve spent enough time on dirt-bikes in my life and riding such a big bike can be a little bit daunting at first, but after a couple of hours on the bike I was already very comfortable, and then I realized that you can basically go wherever you want to. I started to push pretty hard in the end and the bike responded to everything I did. Some of the trails got very steep and rocky but the bike never lost its footing and felt safe over every obstacle. This bike is truly exceptional - off-road, I believe it's second to none," he added.
Well, since Casey Stoner says so, we're sure the Multistrada is totally awesome, but we'd still take the 1299 Panigale S Anniversario, the most beautiful superbike in the world...
Friday, July 08, 2016
Bott XR1R, a 150bhp flattracker for closed circuit use only, prepares to do battle at the 2017 Pikes Peak Hill Climb
The dark and handsome Bott XR1R flattracker is for competition use only. In terms of its design, styling, mechanicals and overall engineering, it's an impressive package
Based in Valencia, Spain, Bottpower is a motorsports engineering company that specialises in custom-built motorcycles. Managed by David Sanchez, a mechanical engineer himself, B'power build some pretty cool machines, some of which you see on their website here. We particularly like their latest bike, the Bott XR1R flattracker, a track-use-only, racing version of their earlier XR1, which itself is based on the Buell XB12SS. Indeed, the XR1R uses the Buell's air and oil cooled 1203cc "Thunderstorm" V-Twin, which produces more than 100bhp and 110Nm of torque. The custom-built chassis, made of Titanium, has been designed by built by Bottpower themselves. A Showa fork (from the Buell 1125R) and an Öhlins monoshock handle suspension duties, while the Bott XR1R rolls on 17-inch wheels, shod with 120/70 and 180/55 slicks. In deference to its Buell roots, the bike uses a single 375mm brake disc up front, with a 6-piston caliper. Fuel tank capacity is 13 litres and the XR1R weighs about 165-170 kilos.
"We see this bike as big and quite radical supermoto, which feels at home on twisty tracks," says David. "This XR1R unit is a Bottpower laboratory bike, which we are using to test and develop new solutions for our bikes and customers. In fact, we have a very good customer who ordered a Bott XC1 cafe racer with titanium frame and racing electronics, and the first target of this XR1R is to develop those components," he adds. As of now, the Bott XR1R is already Euro 4 compliant and packs advanced electronics, including a launch control system an adjustable traction control system, three different engine maps and a speed limiter for the pit lane. There's a full race-spec data acquisition system and in the quest for weight reduction, even the electric started has been removed. "As culmination of the project, we are already working to race with the XR1R in 2017 Pikes Peak race," says David. "Our target with this bike in race configuration is to achieve a power to weight ratio better than 1:1. This is, more than 150bhp and less than 150kg," he adds.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Guests at the 16th BMW Motorrad Days drink more than 17,000 litres of beer, eat endless amounts of burger and curry sausage
The 16th BMW Motorrad Days, held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, from 1-3 July, saw 35,000 visitors this year, who came in from Asia, North America, South America and all of Europe. Together, these BMW enthusiasts drank 17,000 litres of fine German beer and ate 3,500 portions of chicken, 2,000 portions of curry sausage and 1,800 burgers. Impressive? Then, Chris Pfeiffer turned up again and pulled a few wheelies. There will be more of the same in 2017. Take that, World Ducati Week.
Sunday, July 03, 2016
Ducati are celebrating their 90th Anniversary with the release of the limited edition 205bhp 1299 Panigale S Anniversario, just 500 units of which will be built for worldwide markets. Casey Stoner will probably get one. We'll still only be looking at these pictures
To mark their 90th anniversary, Ducati have unveiled the special edition 1299 Panigale S Anniversario, which gets a new paintjob, EVO traction control and wheelie control and a special track kit. Only 500 units of this bike, which was unveiled yesterday at the 'Marco Simoncelli' Misano World Circuit, will be produced. With a massive 205 horsepower from its 1285cc 'Superquadro' L-twin, the 1299 Anniversario should be quite the rocketship that you'd expect it to be.
Changes made to the 1299 Panigale S Anniversario, compared to the regular 1299 Panigale, include a lighter lithium battery and carbonfibre heel-guards, rear mudguard and shock absorber cover, which together reduce weight by 2.5kg. Also, steering head inserts on the Anniversario shift the front wheel forward by 5mm, providing the same chassis geometry as the Panigale R. Electronics have been further refined and updated, with the Anniversario getting 'EVO' traction control and wheelie control systems, along with Bosch cornering-ABS and Ducati's DQS quick-shifter for clutchless upshifts and downshifts. According to Ducati, the new EVO traction control system will allow expert riders to steer with the rear wheel, using the power to spin the rear wheel and 'drift' the bike into corners. MotoGP-type stuff for the street, as long as the rider has sufficient talent...
In the suspension department, the Panigale Anniversario gets Ducati's DES electronic suspension with Öhlins Smart EC, which constantly monitors multiple parameters and uses stepper motors to dynamically adjust set-up, hence improving cornering grip, stability, braking performance, turn-in, handling and ride comfort. Race, sport and wet riding modes further optimise and fine-tuen performance, while a TFT instrument panel serves up all system information in an easy-to-read display.
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