Thursday, April 17, 2014

MV Agusta F3 800 Ago unveiled

MV Agusta F3 800 Ago MV Agusta F3 800 Ago MV Agusta F3 800 Ago MV Agusta F3 800 Ago
Only 300 units of the MV Agusta F3 800 Ago will be built, so if you have 24,000 euros in your bank account, get yours now!

It's almost a given that there has to be a limited edition 'Ago' variant of every superbike that MV Agusta build. So here we are - MV have announced the new F3 800 Ago - built in tribute to the great Giacomo 'Ago' Agostini and featuring all the right bits like a red-green-and-white paintjob, various gold-painted bits and a suitably outlandish price tag.

A long time ago (er, well...), Ago won many races and premier class motorcycle road racing world championships for MV Agusta. However, the last race he won with MV Agusta was the 500cc German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring circuit, back in 1976. That was Ago's 122nd and final victory in motorcycle GPs. Yeah, that was almost 40 years ago. So while Ago's greatness remains undisputed, we don't really know if modern day buyers would connect with his achievements on the track.

But coming back to the MV Agusta F3 800 Ago, it's a stunning little machine in its own right. The bike is powered by a 798cc inline three-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 88Nm of torque. And, there's a host of cutting-edge electronics here, including an 8-level traction control system, the MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) package which includes a ride-by-wire throttle control system, Bosch 9MP anti-lock brakes with race mode, and a slipper clutch.

Ooi's Art: Classic racebikes from Singapore


Francis Ooi (above) creates some pretty cool classic racebikes (below). Not in a workshop, but on his MacBook Pro. Not bad!
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Based in Singapore, Francis Ooi is an illustrator who loves classic motorcycles and who currently rides a 1994 Ducati 900SS and a 2010 MV Agusta F4. Ooi doesn’t just love riding, but also builds classic racebikes. Not in a conventional workshop or a garage, but on his MacBook Pro, which he refers to as his 12-inch garage.

Each of Ooi’s bikes is comprised of up to 800 individual compoents, created in multiple layers in the illustration software that he uses. The bikes are finally printed on thick, uncoated, textured paper – his first six machines are limited to 100 prints and you might want to take a look at those on his website.

We thought Ooi’s work is pretty cool, so we caught up with him for a quick chat. Here’s what the bike-mad illustrator has to say about his work and his love for motorcycles:

On his work and his love for bikes


During the day, I work as a creative director in an ad agency based in Singapore. At night, I turn into an illustrator working on my dreams. Cars are very expensive in Singapore, so the only transport that I could afford, when I started working in 1990, was a motorcycle.

Bikes give me a sense of freedom which cars don’t. My first bike was a Kawasaki KDX200, followed by many others, including a Yamaha TW200 and XT660Z Tenere, Honda Transalp 400, BMW 1100 RT, 1150 GS, K1300R and S1000RR, Ducati Monster 900 and 1098S Tricolore, Suzuki GSX-R750, Honda VFR800 and VTR1000 SP1, Kawasaki ZX-6R, Moto Guzzi V11 and MV Agusta F4.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

US Army to use 2WD electric-hybrid motorcycles for stealth operations


The US Army might soon be looking at modernizing its fleet of motorcycles. Battery power is the future!

According to a report on our favourite tech website, The Verge, the US military has approved funding for the development of a hybrid “stealth motorcycle,” which may be used by the Army’s special ops teams in the near future. According to the report, the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will work with BRD Motorcycles (based in San Francisco, California) to develop a multiple fuel, hybrid-electric dual-purpose motorcycle, which will boast an extended riding range and near-zero noise levels.

The proposed military motorcycle’s hybrid-electric powerplant will, apparently, be built by Logos Technologies. “When fully matured, the technology will allow small, distributed military teams to move long distances quickly and stealthily across harsh enemy terrain. Developed in partnership with BRD, the platform will combine Logos Technologies’ quieted, multifuel hybrid-electric power system with a cutting-edge, off-road electric motorcycle platform. This initiative will be the first time that a two-wheel-drive, multifuel hybrid capability has been integrated into a full-size off-road motorcycle,” says a news release on the Logos website.

So, yes, this almost silent hybrid-electric 2WD bike may well be useful for the US Army. We wonder if Captain America would be interested…?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Doctor meets Cafù, rides an R1 in Brazil

Valentino Rossi in Brazil Valentino Rossi in Brazil Valentino Rossi in Brazil Valentino Rossi in Brazil Valentino Rossi in Brazil Valentino Rossi in Brazil
Valentino Rossi, in the land of Samba

Valentino 'The Doctor' Rossi recently took a bit of MotoGP magic with him to Brazil, as he visited Sao Paulo for a day, where he did a quick interview with Playboy magazine (!) and rode a Yamaha YZF-R1 at the Fazenda Capuava racetrack alongside the legendary Brazilian footballer, Cafù. Rossi also had a chance to meet up with ex-MotoGP rider Alex Barros, before flying off to Austin, Texas, for the Grand Prix of the Americas.

"I really want to go to Austin. The season started well and getting a good result in Austin would mean a lot for me and for Yamaha. It would mean that the direction taken is the right one," said The Doctor.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Massimo Tamburini is no more

Massimo Tamburini passes away Massimo Tamburini passes away
A legend in his own lifetime, Massimo Tamburini passed away yesterday. A great loss for the world of motorcycling...

Co-founder of Bimota and designer of iconic motorcycles like the Ducati 916 and the MV Agusta F4, Massimo Tamburini has passed away. The 70-year-old Tamburini had been diagnosed with lung cancer last year and had been undergoing chemotherapy in a hospital near his home in San Marino.

Apart from the Ducati 916 and the MV Agusta F4, Tamburini had also designed the Bimota Tesi 1D, Bimota KB2, Bimota DB1, Ducati Paso 750, MV Agusta Brutale and the MV Agusta F3 675.

"Massimo Tamburini was one of the legends of the motorcycle industry. I want to remember his passion, enthusiasm and determination. He was a great designer, but above all he was truly passionate about motorcycles. He left our company a precious heritage and will always occupy a place of honour amongst motorcycle’s all time greats. His name will go down in history for his ingenious intuition and perfectionism applied to every small detail," says Giovanni Castiglioni, President of MV Agusta.

A brilliant designer, and a man who simply loved motorcycles - Massimo Tamburini will be deeply missed in the motorcycling world.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Honda Mean Mower, the 109bhp grass cutter from hell, sets new Guinness World Record

Honda Mean Mower
Honda Mean Mower Honda Mean Mower Honda Mean Mower
With its top speed of 187km/h, the Honda Mean Mower is a grass cutter like no other on the planet...

The Honda Mean Mower, powered by a 109-horsepower VTR1000 Firestorm engine, recently hit a top speed of 187.60km/h, setting a new Guinness World Record for the World's Fastest Lawnmower! The record was set at the IDIADA Proving Ground in Tarragona, Spain, last month, by one fearless rider - Piers Ward - who works for BBC's TopGear Magazine.

The Honda Mean Mower's top speed was measured through a 100-metre speed trap and the two-way record setting run was overseen by Guinness' official timers. 'The original brief for the Mean Mower was to create the world’s fastest lawnmower, and now it officially is, by some distance! We are all delighted,' says Kate Saxton, Manager – European PR Communications for Honda Motor Europe.

The Honda Mean Mower was designed and built in the UK by Honda UK’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) partner, Team Dynamics. The team re-engineered a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor from the ground-up, adding an all-new fabricated chassis, custom-made from carbon-steel, a 1,000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm and bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV. In a neat little trick, the Meanie's 'grass bag' was designed in a way that it accommodates the fuel tank, oil cooler and a secondary water cooling radiator. And, oh, with its twin electric motors on the cutting deck, the Mean Mower can indeed cut grass while travelling at speeds of up to 24km/h.

With its 6-speed gearbox, custom-made Cobra sports seat, Scorpion exhaust system, and steering rack taken from a Morris Minor, the Honda Mean Mower weighs just 140 kilos, has a power-to-weight ratio of 532bhp/tonne and can go from zero to 100km/h in four seconds flat.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Horex VR6 Cafe Racer 33 ltd. unveiled


At 33,333 euros, it certainly isn't cheap, but the Horex Cafe Racer's VR6 engine is unique in the world of motorcycling 

Horex have announced a new variant of their 1200cc six-cylinder motorcycle - the VR6 Cafe Racer 33 ltd. "The bike's purist design and cafe racer styling feature simple lines with high-energy ergonomics. The VR6 Cafe Racer 33 ltd. brings the 'Roaring 60s' era of sportbikes to life," says a press release from Horex, which adds that only 33 units of this cafe racer will be built.

With its 126-horsepower and 120Nm six-cylinder engine (more details of the 'VR' layout here), fully adjustable Öhlins 43mm FGRT upside-down fork and TTX 36 monoshock, milled-from-alloy clip-on handlebars, rearset footrests, covered tailpiece, black-anodized spoked wheels from Kineo and brown-silver paintwork, we think the Horex VR6 Cafe Racer 33 ltd. looks quite cool. The bike weighs 249 kilos dry, has a claimed top speed of 250km/h and carries a price tag of 33,333 euros.

Ducati Multistrada D-Air steps ahead with rider safety


To download high-res pics, click the 'gear' icon on the top-right of the Imgur box above, and choose the option you want

Ducati have announced the new Multistrada D-Air, which is the first production motorcycles that features a fully integrated wireless system that connects to Dainese airbag jackets - a significant step ahead in motorcycle rider safety.

Sensors built into the Multistrada’s electronics constantly monitor the bike's dynamics and, when subjected to what Ducati call "a genuine accident scenario," the D-Air system triggers airbag deployment for both rider and passenger jackets in just 45 milliseconds, thereby considerably reducing the risk of injury upon impact.

Developed by Ducati in collaboration with Dainese, the Multistrada's D-Air safety system complements the bike's ABS and traction control technologies, making motorcycling safer than ever before. We hope the D-Air system will also find its way to other motorcycles sometime soon.

In the meanwhile, the Ducati Multistrada D-Air will be available in European Ducati Dealerships from May 2014 onwards.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Honda NM4 Vultus: Mad Max meets Blade Runner


The Honda NM4 Vultus, because Honda are big enough to be able to do this without it having to make any sense

In what seems to be a Mad Max-meets-Blade Runner moment, Honda have unveiled the NM4 Vultus. “An identity not bound by standard motorcycle design, with strong echoes of futuristic bikes seen in Japanese movies. Created by a young design team, the NM4 Vultus brings radical style to the streets, with function from the future for a new breed of rider,” says a press release from Honda.

Created by a bunch of Honda designers in their 20s and early-30s, the NM4 Vultus has apparently been built to attract a new kind of rider, who may or may not know or care about things like the engine and the chassis, but who might be captivated by the NM4’s styling and its sheer cool. “Honda is a big company. It’s great that sometimes we make a certain machine simply because we can and because we want to, not because we should,” says Keita Mikura, project leader for the Vultus.

So what’s unique about the Vultus? Well, apart from the styling, it’s probably the digital dashboard that changes colour according to the riding mode selected, LED lights, an adjustable, multi-position flip-up pillion seat that also acts as a backrest for the rider, and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) that can also be operated in fully automatic, sport, and manual modes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha YZR-M1 unveiled in Qatar


To download high-res pics, click the 'gear' icon on the top-right of the Imgur box above, and choose the option you want

Today, at the Losail Circuit in Doha, Qatar, Yamaha took the covers off their 2014 Movistar YZR-M1 and Valentino 'The Doctor' Rossi. "We have worked very hard in the testing to make some of my issues from last year better and we have found some really good speed. I have been able to be very competitive and been with the fastest riders during testing. We have a competitive bike to fight for the podium this weekend. I have a great feeling with the bike and I can’t wait to start the season," said Rossi. "We start the season in the best possible way, showing our fans a beautiful livery. Now we must do our best to collect good results on track," he added.

"One of our most important missions is to succeed in MotoGP, the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. We are now preparing for this year’s campaign, when we hope to capture the MotoGP championship. With superstars Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on board, we expect to enjoy many fine performances by Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, ultimately leading to the championship," said Hiroyuki Yanagi, President, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.

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