Monday, November 27, 2006

NRV588 - The Norton Rotary lives again!


With a 170bhp rotary engine and 130kg kerb weight, the NRV588 should offer amazing performance!

The now-legendary rotary-engined Norton F1 from the early ’90s could possibly make a comeback. The mega-expensive (about US$45,000 back then…) F1 had a liquid-cooled 588cc rotary engine that produced 95bhp@9500rpm. The racebike based on the F1, the Norton F1 RCW588, won the British F1 series in 1989, and was also raced at the Isle of Man.

Now, there’s an all-new Norton – the NRV588 prototype – powered by a 170-horsepower Wankel rotary engine. Displayed at the recent NEC show in the UK, the new bike has been developed by Brian Crighton, the man behind the Norton racing team in the late-1980s and early-1990s. The machine is essentially based on the old F1 and the National Motorcycle Museum in the UK (where some of the old Norton rotary racers are displayed) has paid for development costs!

The engine is still a 588cc twin-rotor Wankel unit, but now it gets fuel injection, variable inlet tracts, and fly-by-wire technology. Chassis is a Spondon-made twin-spar aluminium frame and the front forks are Ohlins-made. The bike weighs in at a featherweight 130kg, and with 170bhp on tap, performance should be phenomenal. Here’s hoping the bike makes it past the prototype stage and gets into production. Should make for one hell of a giant-killing superbike!

Also see:
Rotary-engined Suzuki RE-5
Norton Ala'Verda: Daniel Delfour's Anglo-Italian hybrid...


Video footage of some rotary-powered Norton racebikes from the late-1980s

Saturday, November 25, 2006

WP electronic suspension now available for more bikes


WP's electronic suspension adjustment system allows you to twiddle a few knobs to make it stiffer or softer. Cool!

WP, the Netherlands-based suspension specialists have announced that their electronic suspension systems will now be available for other motorcycles apart from BMW machines.

Developed as the ESA – Electronic Suspension Adjustment – for various BMWs, the system allows riders to tailor suspension behaviour according to their riding style, road conditions and load being carried. The system allows for full adjustability of compression and rebound damping on the move, while preload can also be changed, albeit only when the bike is stationary.

WP are now engineering the same system for various other bikes as well, and we expect some Japanese and Italian manufacturers to start offering this electronic suspension adjustment system as an optional extra, on some of their high-end touring-oriented bikes next year. And going by what similar systems cost on BMWs, expect to pay about US$800 extra for adding WP’s electronic wizardry to your machine. This, surely, is the future of motorcycle suspension…

Also see:
2007 BMW HP2 Megamoto
2007 BMW K1200R Sport
AC Schnitzer HP2


Friday, November 24, 2006

New Old Blue: Ducati team up with NCR


That's the NCR Ducati Old Blue. Er.., ok, it's the New Blue

Ducati North America had commissioned NCR Racing to create a replica of the 1977 Daytona winning Ducati ‘Old Blue’ 750SS, which was raced in the mid-1970s by journalists Cook Neilson and Phil Schilling. The new Old Blue, which has been recreated to celebrate the old Old Blue’s landmark victory at Daytona, was shown at the recent EICMA show in Milan.

The 2007 Old Blue (New Blue…) is based on a Ducati SportClassic Sport 1000S, which NCR have worked on extensively. The result has been extensive weight reduction (down 38 kilos!) and a 30bhp power hike. With various carbonfibre, titanium and magnesium parts bringing kerb weight down to 150kg, and 116 horsepower from its 1100cc air-cooled v-twin, the Old Blue is no misty-eyed show-only replica – it’s serious stuff.

Slipper clutch, six-speed transmission, blue-and-silver paint scheme, Zard exhaust, upgraded suspension, steel tubular trellis chassis and manufacturing technologies borrowed from F1 and aerospace industries are all part of the New Blue package. And the bike will also carry a titanium plate bearing the signatures of Cook Neilson and Phil Schilling.

NCR will build a limited number of these bikes, all of which will be for track use only, for the American market.

Also see:
2007 Ducati SportClassic lineup
2007 Ducati 1098
2007 Ducati Hypermotard
2007 Ducati Multistrada 1100
Ducati Desmosedici RR


Massimo Tamburini designs new Husqvarna STR 650 CC


Styling by Massimo Tamburini, handling by Husqvarna

Unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan, the new Husqvarna STR 650 CC supermoto looks quite capable. The styling has been penned by Massimo Tamburini himself, and the 132-kilo bike is powered by a single-cylinder, liquid-cooled 650cc engine.

There’s a 50mm USD fork up front, while the progressive monoshock rear features a new eccentric system which allows continuous spring preload and rebound / compression damping adjustment. The Husqvarna STR 650 CC sure should be a blast on winding mountain roads then…

Also see:
2007 BMW G650 XMoto
2007 KTM 690SM supermoto
2007 BMW HP2 Megamoto
2007 Husaberg FS550e supermoto


Friday, November 17, 2006

Three Spree: Gilera Fuoco 500


The radical-looking Gilera Fuoco 500 scooter. Should be fun!

Gilera looked at Piaggio’s MP3 three-wheeled scooter and decided they also want to do one. So here it is – the Gilera Fuoco 500, which has been unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan. While we don’t know how practical it is, it sure looks terrific and it’s slated to go on sale in a few weeks from now. Cool!


Want to practise getting your knee down? The almost-impossible-to-crash Fuoco should be the ideal tool...

The three-wheeled Fuoco (Italian for ‘Fire’) is based on the Piaggio MP3’s chassis but has been modified and optimised for sportier handling. Power comes from a 500cc single-cylinder engine, which makes around 40 horsepower, and the transmission is of course a CVT system. Like with the MP3, the Fuoco’s main advantage over a conventional two-wheeler is said to be greatly improved stability and safety, especially on wet and slippery road surfaces. But hell, we’d buy it for its looks alone!


'Lose' the front end on this and it'll merely slide. On your GSX-R, you may end up in a hospital...

Also see:
Hi-res Gilera Fuoco wallpaper
Piaggio MP3
Brudeli 625L three-wheeler
Volkswagen GX3
Campagna T-Rex three-wheeler

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Aprilia show new bikes at the EICMA in Milan


The all-new Aprilia NA 850 Mana features a fully automatic CVT-style transmission which can also be operated as a sequential-shift 7-speed gearbox!

Aprilia are going all out in Italy – they’ve unveiled the new NA 850 Mana and SL 750 Shiver bikes, and also their new V4 engine with which they will go racing in world superbikes in 2007.

The NA 850 Mana features a very innovative electronic transmission control, which can be configured to operate either as a fully automatic CVT system (you can choose from three different mappings – touring, sport and rain) or a sequential-shift seven-speed gearbox. The engine is an SOHC, 8-valve, 75 horsepower, 90-degree v-twin, while the chassis is tubular steel trellis frame, which is supposed to offer excellent torsional rigidity.


The new Aprilia Shiver packs an all-new 90-degree v-twin that makes 95 horsepower

The SL 750 Shiver gets ride-by-wire (like the 2007 Yamaha R1) and features Aprilia’s all-new DOHC, 90-degree v-twin engine that makes 95 horsepower. It’s a high-tech unit which uses a very sophisticated engine management system and has a CAN (Controlled Area Network) line to the instrument panel, which also acts as a diagnostic terminal. The CAN line uses just two wires to transmit all data, thereby simplifying the electrical system and helping reduce overall weight. The gearbox is a conventional six-speed unit, while the chassis is tubular steel trellis for a lightweight yet strong and stiff package. (Update, 23rd Jan., 2007: The latest news is that Aprilia will also offer a fully-faired version of the Shiver 750, and perhaps pitch it as an alternative to supersport Japanese 600s...)

Finally, Aprilia’s first four-cylinder engine – a V4 with which Aprilia will go racing in world superbikes next year – is extremely light and compact and makes more than 210 horsepower. Aprilia sure looks like the one company that’s going places in 2007!




The all-new Aprilia Atlantic is powered by Aprilia's new 400cc, liquid-cooled, 34bhp, single-cylinder engine. Looks like this could be the coolest machine ever for learners...

Update (26.02.2007): The latest word on the 750 Shiver is... (no, they're not changing the name!)... is that Aprilia will build an all-new sportsbike around it. The new bike will retain the Shiver's 95bhp v-twin, but will get a half fairing (a full fairing might be optional), uprated brakes, wheels and tyres and is likely to cost about US$12,000. While the name has not been finalised yet, it could be called the Aprilia Shiver S or the Aprilia Shiver R. Watch this space!

External link:
Aprilia 850 Mana picture gallery

Buell Lightning Super TT XB12STT unveiled at the EICMA in Milan


The 2007 Lightning Super TT XB12STT. Looks weird but should go quite hard...

Buell have shown the new Lightning Super TT XB12STT (whew!) at the EICMA in Milan. Billed as an ‘urban supermoto,’ the streetfighter-style Lightning Super TT is powered by a 1203cc v-twin that makes 103 horsepower. There’s a 43mm USD Showa fork up front, while the rear shock is also Showa and both ends are fully adjustable. Dry weight is 181kg and while the bike is sold as a single-seater, a passenger seat can be added later.

A company press release says ‘The Lightning Super TT is just the bike to attack city streets. It is powerful in every gear, rpm and twist of the throttle. The air/oil/fan-cooled V-Twin engine features DDFI II electronic fuel injection and the Buell Interactive Exhaust is tuned for the ultimate in performance and control.’

With its belt drive, unique chassis and braking system and well-sorted suspension, the Lightning Super TT could possible worry riders of more conventional superbikes. Yours for US$10,300 – deliveries start in January 2007.

Also see:
2007 Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss
2007 Buell XBRR
2007 BMW HP2 Megamoto
2007 Aprilia Tuono R Factory
2007 KTM 990 Superduke R


Monday, November 13, 2006

2007 MV Agusta updates


The ultra-exclusive MV Agusta F4 CC. Only 100 will be made. Each will carry a price tag of US$130,000
The 2007 MV Agusta F4 1000R. Still the most beautiful motorcycle in the world

MV Agusta are updating their motorcycles for 2007. First up is the F4 1000R, which now gets a divine new black and white paint scheme and a new one-piece exhaust system. The most beautiful motorcycle in the world is now fully Euro 3-compliant, but still packs 174 horsepower and is capable of hitting more than 300km/h.

MV are also showing the Claudio Castiglioni edition F4 CC at the ongoing EICMA show in Milan. Only 100 of these bikes will be made. The F4 CC is powered by an all-new 1078cc inline-four, power output for which is expected to be in the region of 200bhp. Top speed is restricted to 315km/h, which should be enough for most! Each bike will cost US$130,000 and owners will be able to buy exclusive accessories like a Trussardi leather jacket and a Girard Perregaux watch. So it's worth being really rich then. 


2007 MV Agusta 910R. Cool!

Apart from new paint schemes, the 2007 MV Agusta Brutale 910 S gets a new ECU, which helps it meet Euro 3 emission norms. It also gets redesigned valves and pistons, which result in a 2bhp power hike (there’s 139bhp available now) and smoother power delivery. There’s also the new 910 R variant with better suspension, radial monoblock brakes (Brembo) and other minor detail changes.


The 2007 MV Agusta 910S. The future is bright. The future is orange...?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Brudeli 625L: Radical new KTM-based three-wheeler


The Brudeli 625L lets you do this without fear of falling off!

BrudeliTech, the makers of the Brudeli 625L three-wheeler you see here, say that theirs is ‘a unique new vehicle providing an extraordinary riding experience,’ and that it is ‘best described as something in between a motorcycle and an ATV-quad.’ The machine is expected to be launched by mid-2007.

Designed by one of Scandinavia’s leading design houses, Hareide Designmill, the Brudeli 625L borrows its engine and various chassis components from the KTM 625 SMC supermotard, and utilises Ohlins suspension components. The specially designed front wheel mechanism lets the two front wheels lean at an angle of up to 45 degrees. With some practise, even moderately skilled riders should be able to ride the Brudeli harder than they would be able to ride a motorcycle, without falling off!

For videos of the Brudeli in action, go here


Yeah, three-wheelers can be fun!

2007 Ducati 1098: First pics and details


As reported earlier, Ducati are ready with the new 1098 and what you see on top are the first official pictures from the Italian manufacturer. And here’s what you really want to know – the 1098 packs 160 horsepower, weighs 173kg dry gets a 998-style single-sided swingarm. Like the 2007 GSX-R1000, the new Ducati 1098 could possibly get some kind of traction control system, though details are not yet available.

For many potential buyers of the 1098, its styling could be an important factor. And while the bike (designed by an Italian - Gianadrea Fabbro) certainly looks very different from the 999, we aren't convinced it looks better. There are shades of the Honda Fireblade here. And the 999. And the 998. While the 999 was a bold, confident step ahead in the evolution of Ducati design, the same can't be said of the 1098. Ducati already have the Sport Classic range for retro fans, but a retro superbike...?

The 1098 will be available in three versions, with the base (standard) model being pegged at US$14,995 and the 1098S costing US$19,995. The top-of-the-line 1098S Tri-Colore will get a special red, white and green paint scheme, Ohlins suspension, lightweight alloys and and Termignoni high-performance exhaust system. It'll cost US$24,995.

Will the 1098 do much better than the 999? Will it revive Ducati's fortunes in the showroom and on the racetrack? Time will tell.

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


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