Friday, July 03, 2015

2016 BMW S1000RR and other BMW motorcycles get minor updates

New paintjobs, ABS Pro and dynamic brake lights for 2016 BMW motorcycles. Yaayyy!!!

The 2016-spec BMW S1000RR gets a major update this year - it will be available with a new black storm metallic / racing red non-metallic paintjob. Which actually looks terrible, quite frankly. Whatever happened to this fabulous paintjob that BMW were offering on the HP4?!

Moving on, the 2016 BMW F800GT also gets new colours - monolith metallic matt / sapphire black metallic, and we're told that dark graphite metallic will no longer be available, so if you were holding out for that, hard luck mate. Also, if you don't know what the hell is "monolith" metallic matt, you're on your own brother...

The 2016 BMW R1200GS gets new colours - light white non-metallic replaces the existing Alpine white 3 non-metallic, while black storm metallic will no longer be available. Damn. But, okay, changes on the R1200GS are not limited to new colours, the bike also gets the banking-optimised ABS Pro and a dynamic brake light, which works in conjunction with the Riding Modes Pro option. What the f@*$ is that, you ask. Yeah, well. If you're not happy with that, you could buy the new R1200GS TripleBlack, which BMW claim is a "special" model that gets an all-black paintjob, cross-spoke wheels and a new black-grey seat with the GS logo on the passenger seat. You've got to love them Germans!

The R1200GS Adventure also gets the ABS Pro and dynamic brake light along with new colours, including racing red non-metallic matt and ocean blue metallic matt. Light white non-metallic replaces the earlier Alpine white 3 non-metallic, while olive non-metallic matt and racing blue metallic matt will no longer be available. Sob.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Valentino Rossi attends the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Doctor attends the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the very first time...

Valentino 'The Doctor' Rossi was a special guest at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed (the 23rd edition of this event), where Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. celebrated its 60th anniversary. Rossi, who won the Dutch TT at Assen yesterday - his third win this season and the 111th race win in his career - made his first ever appearance at the Goodwood FoS, alongside other motorcycle GP racing legends including Giacomo Agostini, Kenny Roberts, Phil Read, John Surtees, and Freddie Spencer.

Specially invited by Lord March himself, The Doctor flew down to Goodwood straight from the Dutch TT and was accompanied by Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director, Lin Jarvis, and other top brass from Yamaha. Rossi and Lord March unveiled The Doctor's Yamaha YZR M1 today, which was painted in Yamaha's retro-style yellow-and-black livery to commemorate Yamaha's 60th anniversary. Phil Read‘s 1965 Yamaha RD56, Giacomo Agostini‘s 1975 Yamaha YZR500 OW23 and Kenny Roberts‘s 1978 Yamaha YZR750 OW31 were also on display alongside Rossi's M1.

"It‘s been an incredible weekend. I‘m very happy that I got to attend the Festival of Speed at Goodwood - it's even more impressive than I imagined. I want to say a big thank you to Lord March for inviting and hosting me at this year's event," said Rossi, who rode his YZR M1 up and down Goodwood's 1.16-mile Hillclimb and also drove the legendary 1991 Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B as well as an ex-Henri Toivonen Lancia Delta S4 Group B rally car!

Indeed, The Doctor is that one rider who actually personifies this year's Goodwood FoS' them, "Flat-Out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Vespa 946 Emporio Armani unveiled, is the most beautiful scooter in the world

With its subtle, elegant and understated colour palette, the Vespa 946 Emporio Armani looks gorgeous! The brown leather seat and matching luggage adds to the effect...

Piaggio have collaborated with fashion icon Giorgio Armani and the two have jointly developed the new Vespa 946 Emporio Armani, which marks the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Giorgio Armani as well as the 130th birthday of the Piaggio Group.

In keeping with Armani’s signature subtle colour palette, the Vespa 946 Emporio Armani features a beautiful combination of grays with subtle hints of dark olive green that's only visible under certain light conditions. Metallic parts also get a matt finish that's in keeping with the body finish. The words ‘Emporio Armani’ appear on the side, while the iconic Eagle logo of the brand sits above the headlight. Brown leather seat and matching luggage complete the package.

The Vespa 946 Emporio Armani will be produced in limited numbers and will go on sale in Europe later this month.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Honda unveil the US$184,000 RC213V-S, a MotoGP bike that you can ride on the street

We're sure 210+ bhp is nice to have in a streetbike, but US$184,000 for the Honda RC213V-S?!?!? Really?? We'd much rather have a Kawasaki H2R, Yamaha R1M, BMW S1000RR, Aprilia RSV4 RF and Ducati Panigale R

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, there were the Honda RC30 and RC45, full-on race-bred exotica, street-legal versions of Honda's World Superbikes racebikes of that time. But, of course, even that wasn't enough for some people, who wanted Honda to do a street version of their MotoGP bike. Now, while there's never really been an NSR500 that you could ride down to the local supermarket back then, it seems that we're moving on to more interesting times. Yes, Honda have finally unveiled a roadgoing version of their RC213V MotoGP bike, the RC213V-S, which you can buy as long as you have US$184,000 lying idle in your bank account. Or 188,000 euros if you live in Europe, or 21.9 million yen if you live in Japan. And just in case you were wondering, the European and Japanese prices are even tax inclusive, so you can't possibly have a reason to complain.

Over the last 15 years, riders like Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez have won MotoGP world championships aboard the Honda RC213V and its closely related predecessors, so we're sure the RC213V-S will certainly be a bit special. As it damn well should be, given the fact that for what the RC213V-S costs, you can buy a Yamaha R1M, BMW S1000RR, Kawasaki H2 / H2R, Ducati Panigale R and Aprilia RSV4 RF, and still have some money left over with which to buy aftermarket exhausts, tyres, suspension components or whatever else that you fancy. So yeah, it really is f***ing ridiculous.

According to Honda, the RC213V-S "has inherited the specifications of the RC213V to thoroughly ensure mass concentration and reduced friction, as well as all key aspects in manufacturing that set the RC213V apart as a MotoGP machine from ordinary mass production models, with overwhelming differences which involve light weight and precise machining of the components, plus superior expert skills required in manufacturing." Changes made to the streetlegal RC213V-S, as compared to the actual MotoGP bike, are relatively minor. The RC213V-S has the MotoGP bike's camshaft gear train structure, but uses a coil spring system in place of the RC213V's pneumatic valves. Also, the MotoGP bike's seamless transmission has been replaced with a conventional 6-speed transmission. And, of course, unlike the MotoGP bike, the RC213V-S is fitted with a headlamp, taillamp, turn indicators, rearview mirrors, horn, speedometer, muffler with a catalyst, license plate holders, a self starter and a side stand etc. The steering angle is less extreme and the RC213V-S rides on Bridgestone RS10 rubber. A kit exclusive for use on closed circuits is offered as an option, though this is not available in the US.

Monday, June 01, 2015

2015 Ducati Monster 1200S and Monster 821 get their stripes

Go-faster stripes. Yes! That's what the Monster 1200 and Monster 821 really needed...

Ducati have added an important performance accessory to the 2015 Monster 821 and Monster 1200S - go-faster stripes! The Monster 1200S Stripe gets a red paintjob with double white side-stripes on the mudguard, tank and passenger seat cover, plus a red-painted chassis and black wheels. There's also a red micro-fairing with windshield, carbonfibre belt covers and a Ducati Performance undertail plate holder machined from solid aluminium.

Fitted with Ducati's 1198cc Testastretta V-twin that produces 145bhp, the Monster 1200S also gets top-spec running gear, including a single-sided aluminium swingarm, fully adjustable 48mm Öhlins fork and shock, and twin 330mm brake discs at the front, with Brembo M50 callipers. For those who love gadgets and gizmos, there's TFT instrumentation, 3-level ABS, 8-level traction control, multiple riding modes, LED indicators, carbonfibre front mudguard and a height-adjustable seat.

The Monster 821 Stripe also gets a red colour scheme with double white side-stripes on the mudguard, tank and passenger seat cover, along with the red frame and black wheels. Its 821cc Testastretta V-twin punches out 112bhp and there's 3-level ABS and 8-level TC here as well. The bike's suspension consists of fully adjustable 43mm Kayaba forks up front and a Sachs monoshock that's adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping. There's also LCD instrumentation, height-adjustable seat and a red micro-fairing with windshield.

While we definitely still want that Panigale 1299S for Sunday mornings, we'd be more than happy to ride the Monster 1200S Stripe on all other days of the week...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

it roCks!bikes Yard Built CS-06 Dissident pays tribute to 20 years of the Yamaha XJR1300

Badass name, cool paintjob, one-piece monocoque fuel tank and seat unit and bunch of handbuilt parts - yes, we like the CS-06 Dissident. It really does rock! ;-)

Yamaha’s XJR 20th Anniversary party continues with the Portuguese custom builders’ it roCks!bikes Yard Built CS-06 Dissident café racer. “it roCkS!bikes were high on the list of builders we wanted to work with to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the XJR. Their unique signature style one-piece monocoque is super clean and they have shown they can build stunning custom machines without losing the heart of the original, keeping the essence of the great chassis and raw engine power. With the CS-06 Dissident, it roCkS!bikes have again built a beautiful bike,” says Shun Miyazawa, Product Manager – Yamaha Motor Europe.

Working in a small workshop just outside Porto, in Portugal, Osvaldo Coutinho and Alexandre Santos are civil engineers by day and it roCkS!bikes craftsmen by night. Their engineering skills are plain to see in the bikes they build, and in their signature monocoque one-piece fuel tank, seat and tail units that they use for all their bikes. The XJR 1300 CS-06 Dissident is no exception, with a single handcrafted metal unit stretching from just behind the triple clamps all the way back to the end of the tail – clean, simple, elegant.

Apart from the bodywork, custom bits on the Dissident include a complete ISR braking system (including master cylinders for front brake and clutch, 6-piston calipers at the front, twin 340mm front discs and 267mm rear disc), USD forks taken from a Yamaha YZF-R1, Motoscope pro digital dashboard, and LSL clip-on café racer bars. The stock engine covers on both sides of the block have been replaced with lighter aluminium pieces with glass windows, revealing the heart of the beast. A small, high-performance oil cooler keeps a check on the heat and the bike’s handmade 4-2 stainless steel exhaust screams dramatically as the revs rise.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

BMW Concept 101 is a beautifully built K1600GT-based bagger

Beautifully finished, with a special paintjob, wood, aluminium and carbonfibre trim and that 1600cc six-cylinder engine, the BMW Concept 101 is a rolling piece of art

Back in 2012, Honda had unveiled the F6B bagger, a stripped-out version of their Gold Wing luxe-tourer. And now, BMW have gone down the same road with the Concept 101, a K1600GT-based 'bagger.' Unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, the BMW Concept 101 is powered by BMW's 1649cc inline-six and was built by BMW Motorrad engineers, in collaboration with Roland Sands Design, in Los Angeles. The name 'Concept 101' comes from the bike's engine capacity - 1649cc is approximately equivalent to 101 cubic inches.

'The Concept 101 is BMW Motorrad's interpretation of endless highways and the dream of freedom and independence - the perfect embodiment of American touring. To me, the Concept 101 is the epitome of elegance, power and luxury on two wheels,' says Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design. We wanted to build a high-performance, emotional and highly exclusive 6-cylinder motorcycle that would make every ride a special experience. A bike that would make the moment so special, you would forget your destination,' adds Ola Stenegard, Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad.

Long, low and cool, the BMW Concept 101 features a customised paintjob, brushed aluminium, carbonfibre and polished wood inserts on the bodyword, leather seat, modified fairing and windscreen and dozens of other custom-built bits and bobs. Looks rather good, we have to say. Now let's see if BMW will actually put this thing into production.