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