Monday, November 06, 2006

Wildlife: 2007 KTM 990 Superduke R breaks cover!


The 2007 KTM 990 Superduke R. Wild!

KTM have shown the 2007 990 Superduke R, and the bike seems to be wilder than ever before! The orange and black paint scheme has been revamped, the chassis is painted orange, the fuel tank is slightly bigger, and the 1000cc KTM v-twin has been tuned to kick out a few more horses.

The styling has shades of the earlier Superduke, but has actually been sharpened up a bit, and the LED taillamp, instrument cluster, radial brakes and front mini-fairing are all-new. The 2007 Superduke R is only available as a single-seater, which indicates just how hard-core a streetfighter this is supposed to be. Should be interesting to see how this KTM stacks up to the Aprilia Tuono R Factory!


A video of the KTM 990 Superduke in action!

Also see:
Nitroduke - the world's fastest KTM!
2007 KTM 690SM
2007 BMW HP2 Megamoto
KTM 950 Super Enduro R

Rossi starts preparing for 2007


Yeah, he will be back!

Valentino Rossi has started preparing for the 2007 MotoGP battle. He recently tested the new 800cc Yamaha in Valencia, and came away feeling happy. Said Rossi, "I’m already feeling much better. In fact, I wish the season started in two weeks time! We actually started off the test by doing some laps on the old 990cc bike as we wanted to have one more go at understanding why we lost! Then it was time to finally put it all behind us and get on with the new campaign. It’s been great to be able to try the new bike straight away, when the 990 is still fresh in my mind, as it’s easy to compare and understand the differences. Our bike is already quite good; it’s at a good level for this early stage of development. This is the third time I’ve ridden it and it’s got better each time because they’ve been working hard in Japan.

They haven’t made so many big changes yet, just small things like the engine setting, but already it’s a bit faster. The most important thing at the moment is to get as much information as possible and really start to understand and get to know the bike. I’m already feeling very motivated about the new bike and I am sure that next time I ride it in Jerez it will be even better!"

Meanwhile, 2006 MotoGP world champ, Nicky Hayden says "Next year, I'd like to come back stronger. I feel like I'm getting better every year." To read more about what the Kentucky Kid has to say, visit the Cycle World website here


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

2007 Repsol Honda RC212V officially unveiled


2006 MotoGP world champ Nicky Hayden, with the bike he'll be riding in 2007

With Nicky Hayden having won the 2006 MotoGP World Championship, the Repsol Honda Team also showed the RC212V, their MotoGP bike for 2007. The bike is powered by an 800cc V4 engine (unlike the RC211V, which had a 990cc V5) and though it weighs the same, the new bike is said to be more nimble and easier to ride.

When asked to comment on the RC212V, Dani Pedrosa said ‘definitely the bike is smaller, so for me it's better because I can control the bike more easily.’ Nicky Hayden said that he enjoyed riding the new bike and that he's quite excited because the RC212V has got some 'pretty trick parts and it looks really cool.' He added that the new bike feels like it’s got a lot more traction, especially under acceleration, and that the power delivery feels a lot smoother.

"It feels a lot lighter but actually the weight is not much different. The bike definitely feels quite small and has a different feeling that I’ll have to get used to. We’re already going around the corners faster than the 990cc bike and it’s going to require a different style of riding and be a different breed of bike. It does have high corner entry and corner speed and I’ll have to adapt a few things with my style. I know we’ve made Valentino mad by taking his title, so I’m looking forward to taking him on next season. I want to come back next year and win again on this bike," said the Kentucky Kid. Handling and drivability, rather than top-end power alone, has been the focus for HRC while developing the new bike, which should bode well for Honda riders.

Satoru Horiike, Managing Director, HRC said that he was satisfied with the progress of the RC212V prototype. ‘We are confident that winter testing will be positive and look forward to being competitive in this exciting new era for MotoGP,’ he said. Yes, Horiike san. But you and the K. Kid can count on The Doctor making it as hard for you as he can. Rossi may be down, but he’s not out yet!

Here are the tech specs for the 2007 Repsol Honda RC212V:

Length: 2050mm
Width: 645mm
Height: 1125mm
Wheelbase: 1440mm
Ground clearance: 125mm
Weight: 148+ kilos
Engine: liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC, 16-valve,800cc V4
Maximum power: You kidding me?!
Wheels: 16.5inches (front and rear)
Front Suspension: Telescopic fork
Rear Suspension: Unit Pro-link II
Fuel tank capacity: 21 litres


Friday, October 27, 2006

Yamaha does not want to lead the way with Ohlins 2-Trac


If cars can have 4WD, why can't bikes have 2WD? Well, this Yamaha WR450 does!

Yamaha, who had tested the Ohlins 2-Trac (a 2WD system for bikes!) on their WR450 a few months ago, no longer want to lead the way with development, and are not expected to launch a 2WD sportsbike anytime in the near future. They had also tested the 2-Trac on an R1 and test riders reportedly put in some very fast laps on the 2WD machine (up to 3 - 4 seconds a lap quicker than the standard R1), but Yamaha, who actually own a 75% stake in Ohlins, still do not want to go ahead and develop the system further.

Ohlins are waiting for a motorcycle manufacturer who can take the 2-Trac system, develop it and put it on a production machine. And regardless of the fact that Yamaha own the company, Ohlins have the option of selling/leasing the technology to any bike manufacturer. We hope a European manufacturer - perhaps Aprilia, BMW or KTM - will see an opportunity here and step in. A 2WD KTM RC8 superbike, anyone?


Ducati to show new 1098cc superbike at the EICMA 2006 in Milan


Back to the future? The new 1098cc superbike from Ducati could feature design cues from the late, great 998!

Ducati are expected to unveil a brand-new 1098cc v-twin superbike at the Milan motorcycle show (EICMA 2006), which is due to start from the 14th of November. Sales of the 800cc GP7 MotoGP machine. And no, don’t expect a Desmosedici RR look-alike, because Ducati would certainly want to keep that one more exclusive!

The new 1098cc v-twin is expected to pack about 160 horsepower, which should be enough for it to take on Japanese litre-class machines. As with other Ducati superbikes, the new machine will be offered in S and R versions, with the former being higher spec than the standard bike, and the latter being used for homologation for World Superbikes.

Ducati seem to be going all out on newer, faster and more powerful bikes. While the radical Hypermotard is waiting in the wings, the Italian company is also said to be working on a brand-new Monster. Both may use Ducati’s new 1100cc v-twin engines, though that will only be confirmed once the EICMA 2006 gets underway.

Also see:
2007 Ducati Hypermotard
Moto Corse LE Ducati 999
2007 Ducati Sport Classic Biposto
2007 Ducati Multistrada 1100
The most expensive MV Agusta ever!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

2007 Kawasaki Z750: All Zed and done


The 2007 Kawasaki Z750 - better looking than its Z1000 brother

Kawasaki had showed their new Z1000 last month, and now it’s the new Z750. Kawasaki say the new Zed 750 is “a radically-styled bike designed for high-performance street riding,” and that it “offers a perfect balance of engine and chassis performance.” And that could well be true.

The styling is sharp and aggressive, the instrument pod seems to have been borrowed from Kawasaki’s own ER-6n, and the exhaust system – less bulky than the one on the new Z1000 – also looks quite all right. There’s a new 41mm USD front fork, a stiffer chassis, improved ergonomics and an engine that’s been tuned for more torque and better rideability.

Those looking for a 100-horsepower ‘super naked’ should definitely consider this one…

Also see:
2007 Kawasaki Z1000
2007 Aprilia Tuono Factory
2007 Ducati Hypermotard
The Mighty Kawasaki ZZR1100
Kawasaki ZZR1400 vs Suzuki Hayabusa




For fans of the Big Z, here's a spot of stunt riding on the Z1000

Friday, October 20, 2006

Benelli show new models at the Intermot


750cc Due - the brave new face of Benelli!

At the recent Intermot show in Germany, Benelli unveiled the Due, a chunky-looking, unfaired sports bike. This is the first bike to be shown by the company after Chinese manufacturer Qianjiang took over Benelli. The Due is powered by a 756cc, DOHC, 8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin, which makes about 100 horsepower. Later, Benelli may also make another version of this bike with a 600cc, 70bhp parallel twin.

The company also showed the BX, a 459cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder motocrosser, which may go into production early next year and later might be joined by a 250cc motocrosser as well. Also on display was the 49X prototype scooter, which is slated to go into production next year. Benelli, who used to make the six-cylinder 1000 and 750 'Sei' motorcycles (see pic below) in the 1970s/80s, may once again do a six-cylinder cruiser, though details are not available right now.

Qianjiang (the largest scooter manufacturer in China, and valued at over one billion US dollars!) plan to move rapidly and expand Benelli's product line-up, moving into every market segment which they feel will experience significant growth. They are also pumping in money to build a new factory near Pesaro, in Italy, which will have the capacity to manufacture more than 30,000 two-wheelers per year. Looks like this is one of those rare comeback stories which won’t fade away anytime soon…!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hyosung TrendKiller and GT650X shown at Intermot


The name is a bit silly (TrendKiller...?!), but the Hyosung cruiser looks rather good! Hope the Korean company puts it into production in 2007

Korean bike manufacturers, Hyosung are maturing fast and graduating to building bigger and better bikes. At the recent Intermot show in Germany, the company showed the TrendKiller, a stylish cruiser powered by Hyosung’s 650cc v-twin.


It may only be a 650cc engine, but that rear tyre is a 240-section Metzeler...

This one-off prototype was built by one of Hyosung’s German dealers and indeed, looks bespoke. The TrendKiller’s steel tube chassis, USD front fork, substantial-looking brakes, minimalist headlamp and 240-section rear Metzeler tyre really do make it stand out. Let’s see if Hyosung can put this one into production in 2007. And if they do, we hope they change the name!


The new Hyosung GT650X, a streetfighter-style machine

Hyosung also had their new GT650X on display at the Intermot. This bike is powered by their 650cc v-twin, which incidentally also powers the Fischer MRX, which is being billed as America’s first proper sportsbike!


A short video of Hyosung bikes at the Intermot 2006

Update (May 02, 2007): Hyosung are all set to launch a brand-new 450cc, single-cylinder Supermoto-style machine by the end of this year. Also, there’ll be new 1000cc v-twin cruiser, sport-tourer and sportsbikes from the Korean manufacturer this year!


Moto Corse show special MV and Ducati bikes at Intermot


The US$90,000 Moto Corse F4 Platino, based on the MV Agusta F4 1000R but with even more exotic bits...

Moto Corse, an Italian-Japanese collaboration, with offices in San Marino and Tokyo, showed two very special motorcycles at the Intermot show in Germany. The first was a Ducati 999 with carbonfibre bodywork, titanium exhaust and other detail changes.

The other bike was the MV Agusta F4 Platino, powered by a specially tuned 1080cc, 16-valve inline-four that makes 185 horsepower. The bike is fitted with a titanium exhaust, magnesium wheels and lightweight engine components. As you can see, both bikes get special paintjobs and at US$50,000 for the Ducati and US$88,000 for the MV, both are only for the super-rich.


The Moto Corse Ducati 999 costs only US$50,000. A bargain!

MZ and Sachs show new bikes at Intermot


The new MZ SMX is powered by a 1000cc v-twin and looks distinctive

Beleaguered German companies, MZ and Sachs aren’t ready to give up yet. At the recent Intermot show in Germany, MZ showed the new SMX, powered by a 1000cc V-twin. The SMX is based on MZ’s own 1000S, but for now, will be built in small numbers by a local dealer. The factory will take over production only if there is sufficient demand. For what it’s worth, the bike looks distinctive and just might find a niche of enthusiast buyers.

Sachs, who’ve officially gone bust (the company is currently in administration), also revealed a revamped XTC, which is now powered by a 125cc, DOHC, four-stroke, 15bhp single sourced from Italian company Franco Morini. Sachs also showed the revamped, dual-purpose X-road, powered by the same Morini engine.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Limited Edition Cagiva Mito 125 Black Gold


Only 34bhp, but the Mito 125 LE sure looks good!

Still lusting for a Ducati 916, but aren’t old/rich enough to get one? Here’s the next best thing – the limited edition Cagiva Mito 125 Black Gold. Ahem. Okay, so it doesn’t have a 120bhp V-twin and makes do with a 34 horsepower 125cc two-stroke single, but does come with racy bits like a water temperature gauge, steering damper, Brembo disc brakes, Marzocchi 40mm USD front forks, adjustable Sachs rear shock, and stiff aluminium beam chassis. Sometimes, good things do come in small packages… :-)

Update (22.12.06): Cagiva will also build an all-new 500cc Mito, using engines from the 510 Husqvarna. This lightweight, 60-horsepower bike is expected to cost around US$8,000 and will use high-spec chassis and suspension components. The Mito 500 is the first single-cylinder sportsbike after the rare and mega-expensive Ducati Supermono, and the Gilera Saturno of the early-1990s...

Also see:
Yamaha RD500LC
Limited Edition MV Agusta F4 CC
2007 Ducati Sport Classics
2007 Aprilia Tuono R
2007 Ducati Hypermotard
MV Agusta F4 1000 Senna




For Cagiva fans, here's a video from the early-1990s: John Kocinski aboard a Cagiva 500 GP bike, winning the USGP at Laguna Seca!

2007 MotoGP World Championship calendar announced


With new 800cc machines, and a host of riders capable of winning the championship, the 2007 MotoGP season could be one of the most exciting ever!

Who is it going to be in 2007? Hayden? Rossi? Pedrosa? They'll all be aboard all-new 800cc bikes and nobody would be prepared to give an inch. Each man for himself, god for all. The action begins on 10th March 2007, at the Losail circuit in Qatar. For the full 2007 MotoGP schedule, go here

In the meanwhile, some riders are changing teams for 2007. Carlos Checa is moving from Tech 3 Yamaha to LCR Honda, while LCR Honda's Casey Stoner may go to Ducati Marlboro. Sete Gibernau will have to move on from Ducati and may end up with the Kawasaki MotoGP team, who may also hire Alex Barros. Of course, more changes will continue to happen during the next few weeks. Stay tuned...


Friday, October 13, 2006

2007 BMW HP2 Megamoto: BMW ups the ante again!


100 horsepower supermotard? That's the new BMW HP2 Megamoto!

Last year, BMW let loose with the awesome HP2 off-roader. This time, it’s the equally amazing HP2 Megamoto, which continues BMW’s continuing and big time image makeover. The German company is getting really, really serious about high performance motorcycles and seems to be firing on all fronts right now!

The HP2 Megamoto is essentially a street-optimised version of the HP2 dirtbike. It uses 17-inch wheels and street-oriented rubber, high-spec Ohlins suspension and an Akrapovic exhaust system. The Megamoto is fitted with BMW’s air/oil-cooled, 1170cc, four-valve-per-cylinder, Boxer-twin, which makes 105 horsepower at 7,000rpm. Shaft-drive, six-speed gearbox, Paralever rear suspension, and a tubular spaceframe chassis complete the package.

Should be interesting to watch the BMW HP2 Megamoto go head to head against the forthcoming Ducati Hypermotard!


If the HP2 off-roader is anything to go by, this new Megamoto should be an amazing bike!


Limited Edition MV Agusta F4 CC: Feeling rich today?


The MV Agusta F4 CC. Vastly expensive, very exclusive...

What’s beautiful, Italian, fast and very, very expensive? The new Limited Edition F4 CC, which is expected to cost US$125,000. MV will only build 100 units of the F4 CC – the CC being Claudio Castiglioni – so if you do buy one, it’s likely to be the only one in the neighbourhood.

The bike, which will debut at the Milan Motorcycle Show next month, will pack an all-new 1079cc inline-four, which makes 190 horsepower in street-legal trim and 200 horsepower with a free-flow racing exhaust system. Top speed is an electronically governed 315km/h, which should be enough to see you past stock Suzuki Hayabusas and Kawasaki ZZR1400s.

As you’d expect, you get an adequate amount of carbonfibre, magnesium and titanium bits for your money. And for added bling, buyers of the F4 CC will also have the option of buying a special Versace jacket and MV wristwatch. That’ll be about US$1,900 for the jacket and US$20,000 for the watch. Like 50 Cent says, get rich, or die tryin’…



Also see:
MV Agusta F4 1000R Senna Edition
MV Agusta F4 1000R sets Bonneville Speed Record
MV Agusta Brutale 910R Italia Special Edition

Thursday, October 12, 2006

2007 Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport: Chug along now…


The brand-new Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport, with 94 horsepower and reactive shaft drive. All right, calm down now...

As reported earlier, Moto Guzzi had been working on launching an all-new 1200cc sportsbike, and here it is – the 1200 Sport, which is being shown at the Intermot show in Germany. ‘New’ is a term which must be used sparingly for any Moto Guzzi, and the 1200 Sport is no exception. The bike uses an extensively reworked version of Guzzi’s age-old 1151cc v-twin, which now pumps out 94 horsepower at 7,800rpm. At least the chassis is supposed to be all new, and the suspension and braking components are said to be top-spec.

There’s also a revised six-speed gearbox, with ratios chosen with ‘sporty riding’ as the primary concern. The 1200 Sport uses Guzzi’s traditional shaft-drive which has been refined over the years. There’s a single-side swingarm at the back, and a right-side-up (non-USD) 45mm front fork. There are twin, petal-style 320mm brake discs up front, and ABS is expected to be available as an optional extra.

Moto Guzzi also plan to offer a racing kit – racing exhaust, remapped ECU, modified cylinder heads – which will boost power. We don’t know if the bike will be street-legal after this kit has been fitted. And in any case, Moto Guzzi bikes aren’t really your typical highly-strung, high-zoot Italian sportsbikes – sport-touring is more like it. Just chug along…


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

2007 BMW G650: Xmoto, XChallenge, and XCountry


The BMW G650 XChallenge is the most off-road-oriented among the three new XBikes

BMW have shown their new range of dual-purpose G650 motorcycles – the XMoto, XChallenge, and Xcountry. The bikes are powered by a retuned and lightened version of the BMW F650 engine – a single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 652cc unit that makes 53 horsepower at 7,000rpm.


The XMoto wears street-oriented rubber and should be the sportiest of this trio

The XMoto is in the supermoto mould, with 17-inch wheels shod street-oriented rubber. The XChallenge is more off-road-oriented and sports 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, wearing dirt-oriented rubber. It’s also the lightest of the three bikes in the G650 range. The XCountry lies somewhere between the other two, with its 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels. ABS will be available as an optional extra on all three bikes, and riders will have the option of switching it off on the run.

And here’s a surprise – these new BMW bikes have been designed with the help of Aprilia, and all three XBikes will actually be built at Aprilia's factory in Scorze, Italy!


The XCountry should be a 'funmoto' and is positioned between the street-oriented XMoto and the off-road XChallenge

Here's a first ride report of the BMW G650 X series bikes

Also see:
Schnitzer HP2 - the ultimate supermoto!
2007 KTM 950 Super Enduro R
2007 Husaberg FS550e supermoto
2007 Ducati Hypermotard
2007 BMW K1200R Sport
2007 KTM 690SM

Singularly Powerful: 2007 KTM 690SM


The 2007 KTM 690SM. Serious supermoto riders had better get used to the way it looks...

KTM have shown their 640-replacement, the new 690SM. This new machine is fitted with KTM’s 654cc fuel-injected single, which makes 65 horsepower – one of the most powerful single-cylinder engines ever fitted to a production motorcycle anywhere! The bike is, supposedly, capable of top speeds of up to 200km/h and features top-spec suspension and braking components.

While KTM’s much-awaited RC8 superbike will only be shown next year (and may be available as a 2008 model…), the company is expected to have something up its sleeve for the upcoming EICMA show in Italy this year. Stay tuned!


The KTM 690SM should be one hell of a performer!

Also see:
Fight Club: KTM Super Duke 990
Schnitzer HP2: The ultimate supermoto?
KTM NitroDuke: The world's fastest KTM!
2007 KTM 950 Super Enduro R
2007 Husaberg FS550e

Faired Deal: 2007 BMW K1200R Sport


The 2007 BMW K1200R Sport. Interesting...

The new BMW K1200R Sport, shown at the Intermot show this week, sports a half fairing and is probably a slightly saner alternative to the stark-naked bad-boy K1200R. While the new fairing offers some amount of weather protection, twin vents below the headlamp optimize airflow to the radiator, and help with cooling the engine.

The K1200R Sport uses the same four-cylinder engine as the K1200R, and makes a claimed 163 horsepower at 10,250rpm. Six-speed gearbox and Duolever/Paralever front/rear suspension complete the package, while BMW’s latest generation ABS is on the options list. The K1200R Sport should be a damn interesting option for those looking at an alternative to Japanese sport-tourers…



Also see:
The ultimate BMW HP2
Moto Morini Corsaro 1200
Yamaha FZ1
KTM Super Duke 990
AC Schnitzer BMWs
2007 Aprilia Tuono R Factory

2007 Ducati Sport 1000 S: Go Biposto


The 2007 Ducati Sport 1000 S Biposto - one of the most beautiful bikes in the world gets even better..!

Ducati have unveiled their 2007 Sport Classic range at the Intermot motorcycle show in Germany. The new bikes continue to use Ducati’s proven 1000cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected L-twin engines, which feature Desmodromic valve actuation and a new wet clutch. The latter is said to be longer lasting and offers decreased clutch lever effort.

While the Paul Smart 1000LE is no more, the new-for-2007 Sport 1000 S Biposto takes its place. Pegged at close to US$12,000 the 1000 S Biposto gets new paint schemes, a classic-style mini fairing, and can accommodate two people.

The 2007 Sport 1000 Biposto features better ergonomics – taller clip-ons and lower footpegs – which should make a lot of riders very happy! There’s no fairing here, but you do get a removable tail-cover for the times when you want to flaunt that solo seat look. Otherwise, the bike will be happy to carry two. The Sport 1000 Biposto can be yours for US$11,500 and will be available in red, black and yellow.

The GT 1000 also gets a paint scheme update and will now be available in metallic black/cream, in addition to the earlier red and gray.



Also see:
Ducati to make the radical Hypermotard
2007 Ducati Multistrada 1100
MV Agusta Brutale 910R Italia
2007 Ducati Monster S4R Testastretta

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Funkytown: 2007 Honda CB600F Hornet


The 2007 Honda Hornet. Stylish, eh?

Honda have unveiled the 2007 Hornet, and apart from the new styling, the 2007 Hornet uses the new CBR600RR’s 600cc engine, which should make it a proper tool. There’s a new, currently-in-fashion low-slung exhaust, new five-spoke alloys, revised chassis and 41mm USD forks. Overall, the new bike is five kilos lighter than the old Hornet, which can’t be a bad thing. And ABS will be on the options list when the bike goes on sale early next year. If you’re looking to buy your very first motorcycle, the 2007 Honda Hornet could very well be it!


Are there shades of the erstwhile Cagiva V-Raptor, and the Kawasaki ER-6n here...?

And here's a pic of the mighty 2007 Honda CBR1000RR, in Repsol livery. But Repsol colours or not, can it possibly take on the 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000, Kawasaki ZX-10R and the Yamaha R1 machines? We think not...


2007 Yamaha R1: 'The One' fights back!


Yeah, you really can ride the 2007 Yamaha R1 like this...

The Yamaha YZF R1 has been one of the fastest, most powerful and best handling litre-class sportsbikes since 1988, when it was first launched. Almost a decade on, the R1 is still getting better and better with each passing year. The 2007 model is no exception. It isn’t an-new, totally radical R1 replacement that we were expecting, but the 2007 R1 still looks awesome. In fact, Yamaha Motor Italia have gone ahead and signed Noriyuka Haga and Troy Corser, who'll be riding the new bike in the 2007 Superbike World Championship!

For 2007, Yamaha have dropped their five-valve-per-cylinder design (first seen on the mid-1980s Yamaha FZ750) and gone in for the ubiquitous four-valve layout that’s favoured by all the Japanese manufacturers. The 2007 R1’s 31mm intake valves are made of titanium (25mm exhaust valves make do with steel…), the combustion chamber is more compact, and compression ratio is up to 12.7:1. Bore and stroke remain unchanged (77.0 x 53.6mm), as does the redline, at 13,750rpm. Con-rods have been strengthened for even greater durability.

As expected, the new R1 gets Yamaha’s ‘YCC-T’ fly-by-wire throttle control system, which scans changes in various parameters and adjusts fueling at up to 1,000 times a second! And that’s not all. The new bike also gets YCC-I (Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake) (YCC-I), which is how Yamaha describe the R1’s variable-length intake trumpets. This system is optimized for better torque output at lower rpm and maximum power at higher revs. 178 horsepower (at the crank) at 12,500rpm is what you get, which is just perfect!

The underseat exhaust system is now made of titanium and features dual catalyzers and an EXUP valve, which allow the 2007 R1 to conform to Euro 3 and 2008 EPA emissions norms. A slipper clutch is now standard, but last year’s LE model’s Ohlins bits are no longer available. At least for now.

Front brake discs are now 310mm (down from 320mm on the last year’s model), but Yamaha have fitted six-piston calipers on the new bike, so braking prowess should be mindblowing. Tyres are super-grippy Pirelli Diablo Corsas, which should offer near-limitless grip.

At US$ 11,600 we can only say the 2007 Yamaha R1 is a bargain. Just get One!

Update (11th September, 2007): First pics: The 2008 Yamaha R1!

Right-click and download this old Top Gear video, where a first-generation Yamaha R1 goes head to head against a Porsche Carrera...!

Go here to watch this very cool video of Valentino Rossi riding the 2007 Yamaha R1 and discussing the bike's performance.

...and here's the bike in action. Amazing video!
Another video of the 2007 Yamaha R1 in action
Hi-res Yamaha R1 wallpaper here.