Thursday, March 05, 2015

2015 Aprilia RS-GP MotoGP bike unveiled, team to use 2015 season for R&D

The V4-engined Aprilia RS-GP will be up against heavy hitters like the Yamaha YZR-M1 and Honda RC213V

Aprilia will be back in MotoGP this year and the Italian company fully understands how big a challenge that's going to be. While the RSV4 has done very well in World Superbikes in recent years, MotoGP is going to be a whole new world and the V4-powered Aprilia RS-GP will be up against heavy hitters like the Yamaha YZR-M1 and Honda RC213V. So, of course, it's only right that Aprilia will use the entire 2015 MotoGP season for research and development, with Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri doing the honours. In 2016, Aprilia will mount a full-on challenge, with a factory team in MotoGP.

“We have already been on the track for the first testing sessions of this new adventure that officially starts today. We chose to move up our start date, getting into the mix in the 2015 MotoGP World Championship because we believe that this is the solution which is certainly the most risky but also the best one to become competitive as quickly as possible," says Romano Albesiano, Aprilia's Racing Manager. "We certainly could have avoided the pressure and waited until next year, but that's not what Aprilia wanted. In terms of development we are starting on a solid foundation which is the result of our winning experience in Superbike and the ART project, the only CRT that was able to show potential close to real MotoGP bikes. For us this will be a year of testing, development, to be taken full advantage of as we look toward 2016 when we will be able to ride a real Aprilia prototype bike onto the track," he adds.

Friday, February 20, 2015

30 Year of VMAX: JvB-moto celebrates with Yard Built INFRARED

This JvB-moto special takes us back to the mid-1980s and the original Yamaha V-Max...

First introduced in 1985, the mighty Yamaha VMAX is 30 years old in 2015. To celebrate, Yamaha have collaborated with JvB-moto to create a tribute to the iconic machine. Cologne-based JvB-moto’s Jens vom Brauck's vision for the VMAX Yard Built special was to transform the stock VMAX into a radical dragster-meets-café racer, exaggerating its brutal power and including styling cues from the 1985 original.

New bits on the JvB-moto VMAX include a custom-made aluminium mudguard at the front, which sits below a custom carbonfibre headlight unit that has been integrated into the front forks, and Motogadget indicators above custom carbon wheel covers. Aftermarket clip-on bars and an authentic American dragster rev counter by Autometer add the café racer element.

A custom carbon tank cover sits over a heavily modified airbox, and is complemented by special air intake scoops crafted from stock aluminium units taken from the original 80s VMAX. The craftsmanship continues with a handmade aluminium subframe and a custom fuel tank placed under the seat. The rear is beautifully finished with a custom carbon tail unit, and a custom 4-1 exhaust, with Termignoni silencer.

JvB-moto chose a retro colour scheme for the tribute VMAX, which is based on the livery of Yamaha’s 1985 GP team. “The Yamaha VMAX has been an icon without rival since it burst onto the streets in 1985 as the ultimate drag racer inspired street bike,” says Shun Miyazawa, Product Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe. “It was immediately a favourite with fans across the world, not only in its standard form, but also as a base for personalization and customization. To respect the culture that has grown around this icon we’ve chosen to celebrate 30 years of the VMAX by working with three highly respected custom builders to create three VMAX specials that will inspire not just Yamaha, but also owners of the VMAX and those who maybe want to own one."

"We’re starting this exciting anniversary build year with cult German builder JvB-moto. We are huge fans of his work, and feel his minimalistic, industrial style fits well with the VMAX. The results are clear; the Yard Built ‘INFRARED’ pays homage to the origins of the VMAX but also hints at the performance of tomorrow," says Miyazawa.

Monday, February 09, 2015

2015 Yamaha VMAX Carbon launched

200bhp V4 engine, a bunch of carbonfibre bits and Mad Max issue styling; That's the 2015 Yamaha VMAX Carbon

Yamaha have launched the special edition VMAX Carbon for 2015, with the dragster-inspired machine fitted with carbonfibre front and rear fenders, carbon side covers and a set of Akrapovic slip-on mufflers. The VMAX’s 1679cc, 200-horsepower V4 engine, aluminium diamond-type twin spar chassis, suspension and shaft drive system remain unchanged. The standard VMAX will still be available alongside the Carbon edition, albeit at a reduced price.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ducati Scrambler customs shown at Motor Bike Expo in Verona

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The Hondo Grattan, S.C.R., and Scratch, three unique takes on the Ducati Scrambler...

Motorcycle custom shops, Deus Ex Machina, Officine Mermaid and Mr. Martini have created three customised versions of the new Ducati Scrambler - the Full Throttle, Urban Enduro and Classic - which are now being shown at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Itay.

"The main focus is on the aluminium bodywork, with a single-piece tail, number-plate support and a headlight inspired by speedway bikes. An asymmetric mudguard completes the project, together with lots of little details such as the positioning of the conic filter within the frame, the disc brake and, of course, the dedicated exhaust. The name however comes from Carby, creative director of Deus Australia, who was in Milan at the time; he saw the project when it was almost complete and fell in love with it, naming it Hondo Grattan, after the horse that won everything on the Harold Park race-track. Who knows, in the not-too-distant future, perhaps our bike will end up on that track too," says Filippo Bassoli, MD, Deus Italy.

"I decided to revolutionise the basic concept, from Ducati Scrambler to Café Racer. The style is reminiscent of American rather than British design, owing partly to the fact that the roots of the original Ducati Scrambler project date from the seventies. Although the style is that of a Café Racer, this bike has a combination of elements that make it unique; In fact, details such as the high exhaust and knobby tyres retain a decidedly Ducati Scrambler flavour. This fusion gave our bike its name: S.C.R. - Scrambler Café Racer," says Nicola Martini, customiser at Mr. Martini. "We've changed the nose fairing, the tail-piece, the whole of the exhaust, the foot-peg and handlebar mountings and the rear suspension unit and have, of course, given the bike a new colour. The Scrambler Café Racer is in ‘total black’ including the saddle, undertail and timing belt covers," he adds.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ducati 1299 Panigale S clocks 1’55”3 at Mugello

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With 205bhp from its (very) Superquadro V-twin, the 1299 Panigale S is a force to reckon with

Official Ducati test rider and DRE instructor, Alessandro Valia recently clocked a lap time of 1'55"3 at the Mugello circuit, aboard the 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale S. "With the new Panigale 1299, I expected an increase in performance but the final result has surpassed those expectations. During my first test of the 1299 Panigale S on the Mugello circuit, I managed to obtain a best lap time of 1'55"3, which is really incredible for a production bike with lights, turn signals, and mirrors. This was made possible thanks in part to thrust from the new 1285cc, 205bhp Superquadro engine," says Valia.

With a bore of 116mm and a stroke of 60.8mm, the Ducati 1299 Panigale's 1285cc Superquadro engine has a bore/stroke ratio of 1.91, which is unique in the world of superbikes. In the new Superquadro (so named for this exaggerated bore/stroke ratio), thanks to a new exhaust system, power has been increased to 205bhp at 10,500rpm, while torque has been increased to 144.6 Nm at 8,750 rpm. "Also fundamental are the improvements to the bike's frame. The new steering head angle and other changes to geometry have produced tangible benefits especially for large-radius curves, making the front end more stable, precise, and effective in finishing turns," adds Valia. On the new 1299 Panigale, the swingarm pivot point has been changed to optimize the rear tyre's grip, and the steering head angle has been reduced by a half degree to give a better steering character and more agile cornering.

"Thanks to the new Öhlins Smart EC suspension, which also includes the very useful electronic steering damper, the Ducati 1299 Panigale is able to move seamlessly from maximum track performance to comfortable road use, making even the return trip to Bologna a pleasure, despite the bumpy roads which characterize the Giogo or Futa passes," says Valia. The 1299 Panigale S is equipped with an exclusive semi-active Öhlins Smart EC suspension, which interfaces with the Bosch inertial platform to dynamically respond to how the bike is ridden. Its event-based mode adapts the suspension in real-time to various riding events. For example under braking it stiffens the front fork's damping, then softens it as the bike accelerates. Damn cool, huh?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Midual Type 1 now being shown in France

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The Midual Type 1 - beautiful and luxurious in a way only a French motorcycle can be!

Based in Angers, France, Midual have created a beautifully luxurious motorcycle - the Midual Type 1 - which was unveiled earlier this year, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance, in California. Now, the bike is being shown at Salon Belles Montres, from November 20th to 23rd, at Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. This is the first time the bike will be officially unveiled in France, and we thought it's a good time to take a quick look at the machine.

'The Midual Type 1 represent the brand’s vision of a French-style luxury motorcycle, modern, yet following the tradition of mechanical excellence illustrated by French cars and motorcycles from the 1930,' says a press note from the company. 'A real piece of mechanical jewelery, this motorcycle is built around two unique features - its 25-degree angle flat-twin engine with transversal crankshaft, and its double-wall chassis, sand-casted and shaped to hand,' it adds. There's also mention of the fact that the Midual Type 1 is extensively customisable and that it comes with a four-year contract for maintenance and warranty support, which inclues including collection of the motorcycle directly from the customer’s home for delivery to the manufacturer’s workshops.

We have to say we love the detailing on the Type 1 - the instrumentation which seems to be embedded in the fuel tank, the intricate leather trim around the instrumentation, the beautifully sculpted seat, the avant-garde monocoque chassis and even the wire-spoked wheels - it's all pure art. Deliveries of the Midual Type 1 will begin from mid-2016 and if you live in Europe, you can reserve yours right now by going to the Midual website.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kawasaki 1400 GTR Concours gets updated for 2015

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Not as powerful as the ZX-14R, but the 1400 GTR Concours is more comfortable for long-distance touring...

For those who want to go touring on a very, very fast motorcycle, there's the incomparable Kawasaki ZX-14R Ninja, but for those who also want a bit of comfort thrown in (and shaft-drive, which doesn't require maintenance work like chain drive does...), the 1400 GTR Concours is probably one of the best choices around. Kawasaki have updated the bike for 2015 and new bits on the Concours 1400 include a revised first gear ratio for easier starts from a standstill, lighter steering at low speeds, stiffer rear suspension, revised and more ergonomic rear seat, a new electrically adjustable windshield, uprated ABS and a new rear luggage base.

The 1400 GTR Concours uses the same 1352cc inline-four as the ZX-14R, but in retuned form and with the addition of variable valve timing (VVT), with the whole package having been optimised for low- and mid-range torque rather than top-end power delivery. A stiff monocoque chassis, 43mm inverted front forks, radial-mounted calipers for the front brake discs and a traction control system mean that while the Concours is, by definition, a touring bike, it will still be able to deliver during all-out sports use.

New colours for the 2015 Kawasaki 1400 GTR include lime green, black and brown, the bike costs US$15,499 and comes with a three-year limited warranty.