Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 MV Agusta F4 RC busts out with 212bhp, 301kph top speed

The new MV Agusta F4 RC, so utterly gorgeous, powerful and fast. We love it!

MV Agusta have release the first official photograps and technical details of the new F4 Reparto Corse, which is basically a street-legal version of their 2015 WSBK racebike. This is a homologation special and MV will only build 250 units of the F4 RC, which boasts 212 horsepower at 13,600rpm from its hand-assembled 'Corsa Corta' inline-four. This engine features radial valves (both intake and exhaust), 50mm throttle bodies, magnesium alloy components and titanium bolts and screws for a total weight reduction of 1.1 kilos.

As you'd expect, the F4 RC gets top-of-the-line electronics in the form of MV's MVICS 2.0 (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) system, which includes ride-by-wire throttle control with adjustable throttle sensitivity, lean angle sensor, ABS and 8-level traction control. The chrome-molybednum tubular trellis-type frame, which also uses machined aluminium alloy plates for maximum rigidity, remains unchanged. There's a USD Öhlins NIX 30 fork at the front and Öhlins TTX 36 monoshock at the back, both being fully adjustable for compression and rebound damping. There's also a fully adjustable Öhlins steering damper for stability at very high speeds. Brakes, too, are top-spec; twin 320mm steel discs with Brembo's M50 monobloc calipers at the front, and 210mm disc at the back.

Friday, March 27, 2015

2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally: Ready to circumnavigate the Earth, if you are

With its 125bhp V-twin and advanced electronics, the 2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally is one hell of a package

Unveiled in September last year, the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally is now ready to hit the road. As its name suggests, the new 1200 Rally is better optimised for hard off-road use and hence gets a new wire-spoked 19-inch front wheel, engine guards, hard panniers and supplementary LED lights. The bike’s high-tech semi-active suspension can automatically adapt to all kinds of terrain, while the A-MP (Aprilia Multimedia Platform) system is fully compatible with your smartphone. Using Bluetooth, you can pair your phone with the bike’s A-MP system and then, if you wish, access information pertaining to lean angles and longitudinal acceleration, fuel consumption, average speed and even battery voltage…!

Aprilia has historically associated the term ‘Rally’ with the most adventurous and offroad models (including the 2002 ETV 1000 Caponord Rally Raid), bikes dedicated to travel in its purest and most savage connotation, ready to take on any type of terrain,” says the Noale-based Italian company. So it’s just as well, then, that the Caponord 1200 Rally is fitted with Aprilia full suite of advanced electronic rider aids, including ride-by-wire throttle (with three maps – sport, touring and rain), switchable ABS, traction control and dynamic damping.

The 1200 Rally is powered by an 1197cc, DOHC, 8-valve, 90° V-twin that pumps out 125 horsepower and 115Nm of torque – which should be sufficient for the bike’s 238kg dry weight. The chassis is comprised of steel tube trellis and die-cast aluminium plate sections, which combine to provide optimum strength and rigidity. Brakes are top-spec Brembo units, with twin 320mm discs and 4-piston monobloc calipers up front and single 240mm disc at the back. ABS, which can be switched off, is standard. All this, plus the bike’s aluminium-covered panniers, adjustable windshield, 24-litre fuel tank and relaxed ergonomics come together to make sure that this is one motorcycle on which you can keep chasing the horizon.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Yamaha XV950 Racer wants to break some rules

The new Yamaha XV950 Racer certainly looks cool, even if it probably can't go very fast

Yamaha have added one more machine to their 'Sport Heritage' range - the new XV950 Racer. The bike is (under)powered by Yamaha's 942cc air-cooled 60-degree V-twin that produces a mere 52bhp and 79Nm of torque. Forged aluminium clip-on handlebars, new switchgear, rearset footrests, short and low chassis, singe seat, side number plates, Akrapovic exhaust and racy ergonomics complete the package. Yamaha claim that the XV950 Racer's suspension has been newly developed for better handling, though we doubt if the bike's 41mm forks and adjustable twin rear shocks would be up to much. Available colours include blue and matt gray. We guess you could get one of these if you want to look really cool without going very fast...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Suzuki Endurance Racing GSX-R1000 is brutally lustworthy

The 2015 SERT GSX-R1000 looks fabulous. We just want one right now!

Last week, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team unveiled their 2015 GSX-R1000, which gets a brand-new colour scheme inspired by the new Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP team livery. The bike, we think, looks utterly gorgeous - we're in love with this machine! The endurance racer is fully kitted out, with a 6-speed close-ratio gearbox, Yoshimura cams, clutch, ECU and exhaust system, OZ wheels, endurance-spec brake components from Nissin and Showa fork and shock. It's just so very beautiful...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pablo Franchi talks motorcycle art

Pablo says that depending on size, creating his intricate motorcycle sketches takes anywhere from two days to two weeks

Being able to make big, beautiful, lifelike sketches of the motorcycles we love is something we've always wanted to do, but honestly, we simply do not have the talent. Which is perhaps why we have great admiration for those who do have the talent and those who can draw motorcycles beautifully. Recently, we came across some of Pablo Franchi's (who is based on Argentina) work, which we think is very good indeed. So, we caught up with him for a quick chat. Here are some excerpts from what Pablo had to say to us:

On how he got started with drawing motorcycles

I started to draw when I was in high school. I am a mechanical technician and in those years I already had a love for engines. I liked the smell of engines, the grease on my hands and the satisfaction of taking apart and then assembling these engines. Later, I studied architecture and that trained my hand, and I used the technique of sketching to reflect my passion for motorcycles.

On how many motorcycles he's drawn, and the materials he uses for his sketching

I would estimate that I've drawn at least a hundred and twenty per year in the last seven or eight years. I am happy to work with ink on paper or fabric. In my drawings, I usually do not delete the first few lines of the sketch, which remain there, showing the drawing's evolution from the beginning. Although I do it less often, I also like working with oil pastels, trying to faithfully recreate the motorcycle, but never forgetting that what I do is not a photograph, but an artistic interpretation of what I see.

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.