Saturday, December 16, 2006

MotoGP-powered KRV5 Board-tracker replica!

That's a 990cc, V5, 200bhp MotoGP engine. And no front brakes!

US-based custom bike builder Rolands Sands has teamed with 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing star of the 1970s, Kenny Roberts, and created the KRV5 Tracker. And yes, the machine uses a 990cc, V5 MotoGP engine, which was used by Team Roberts in their racing bikes from 2002-2005!

Sands says the machine was built in homage to the board trackers raced on wooden tracks in the US many decades ago. Since MotoGP will have new 800cc engines from 2007 onwards, Kenny Roberts himself wanted to do something interesting, something ‘cool,’ with the old 990cc V5 powerplant. And the result has been the KRV5. You decide if it’s cool. And if you think it is, get the full story here

Also see these other custom-built specials:
The new NCR Ducati Old Blue
Hyosung TrendKiller
Moto Corse Ducati and MV Agusta
Jesse James' seven-cylinder, 2800cc, Aero Bike
AC Schnitzer BMW HP2

Friday, December 15, 2006

Two-stroke glory: The Suzuki RGV250

The 1990s Suzuki RGV250. Kevin Schwantz's bike for the street. Well, almost...

We love Kevin Schwantz here at Faster and Faster, and have fond memories of him riding his Suzuki RGV500 grandprix machine to the 1993 world championship. We want to be able to ride like Schwantz. We still want to wear a Schwantz-replica Arai helmet. And we want his Suzuki RGV. None of which is possible of course. But yes, in 1990, you could get tantalisingly close to being Kevin Schwantz on the street. Via the Suzuki RGV250, a head-banging two-stroke race-replica, built in homage to Kevin’s exploits on Suzuki GP racebikes.

Launched in 1989, the Suzuki RGV250 represented cutting-edge two-stroke technology of that time. While the Yamaha TZR250, the Honda NSR250 and the Kawasaki KR-1 also existed, the RGV was pretty much king of 250 race-rep hill. The bike was thin, light, and was fitted with GP-style bodywork. Trick bits included aluminium twin-spar chassis, USD forks at the front, a banana-style swingarm, and twin stacked exhaust pipes – just like you’d find on Schwantz’s bike!

The engine was a v-twin that made around 58 horsepower – enough to propel the 159-kilo RGV to a top speed of 195km/h. With the close-ratio six-speed gearbox, you could keep the engine on the boil through the twisties, and wide wheels shod with meaty tyres – along with the high-spec chassis and suspension – allowed for very high cornering speeds.

The two-stroke era started to come to an end by the late-1990s, and Suzuki ceased production of the RGV250 in 1999. Today’s GSX-Rs may offer performance far beyond what the RGV could ever aspire to, but two-stroke enthusiasts, and Kevin Schwantz fans, continue to miss the RGV250 even today…

Also see:
 Kevin Schwantz speaks to Faster and Faster
The Yamaha RD500LC
2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Stephanie McLean talks about Barry Sheene

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Angelina Jolie wins, Valentino Rossi in second place!

Would you want to take her with you on your bike? Hell, yes!

In a recent survey conducted for the MCN London Motorcycle Show 2007, Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has been voted at the no.1 slot for motorcyclists’ all-time dream pillion passenger! Jolie was in first with twenty-five percent of all votes, followed by Valentino Rossi in second place, with twenty-one percent votes, and glamour model Keeley Hazell in third place, with twenty percent votes.

Long Way Round star, Ewan McGregor was in fourth place with fourteen percent votes, while the late, great Barry Sheene (500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ in 1976 and 77) finished in fifth place. The remaining five names to make the top ten list are Elle Macpherson, Steve McQueen, Milla Jovovich, Brad Pitt and surprisingly, Mamie Van Doren, a not-so-well-known actress from the 1950s!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Yamaha V-Max concept shown in the US

This is what the next Terminator will probably ride

Yamaha recently showed their V-Max concept at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show, at Long Beach, in the US. This is the first time that this concept was shown outside Japan. Yamaha are looking upon the next V-Max as a ‘muscle cruiser’ and the bike will be powered by a V4 engine. Engine capacity has not been finalised yet, but we expect it to be around 1800-2000cc.

With its stubby, almost-menacing lines and brutish engine, the new V-Max should be the last word in straight line performance and Yamaha want to do this motorcycle specifically for the American market. If the bike, which is purely a concept at this stage, does go into production at some time, it’ll be branded as a ‘Star,’ which is the Yamaha cruiser range. Regarding their other muscle cruiser, the MT-01, Yamaha spokespersons say that it was never intended to be a replacement for the V-Max and that the two bikes would anyway attract completely different types of customers.

Update: 2009 Yamaha V-Max
V-Max launch delayed, bike to hit the roads in 2009...

Also see:
2007 Yamaha R1 - stupendous!
The Japanese-maret-only Yamaha XJR1300
Yamaha RD500LC - racer cool for the street

Riding Impression: Rizla Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP bike

Suzuki's 990cc, 240 horsepower MotoGP bike. It'll wheelie even in sixth gear

Andy Ibbott is a UK-based motorcycle journalist and the author of Performance Riding Techniques, a book on riding skills for the racetrack. He’s also a Director at the very famous California Superbike School.

Ibbott recently got to ride John Hopkins' 2006 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP bike at Valencia. And here’s what he had to say about the machine: “I did manage to get the bike to the throttle stop twice in my five laps on the way out of a corner and the sheer acceleration is awesome. I just managed to lift the front wheel along the long straight finish at Valencia. Exiting the final turn it would paw the air in second, third, fourth, fifth and it even felt like it lifted a little in sixth gear, at 280km/h. Excellent!”

Get the full report here.

Also see:
The 2007 Honda RC212V
The 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000
The five racing bikes we love
Motorcycle racing in the 1980s and 90s

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ex-works MV Agusta 500cc Four coming up for auction!

In the 1960s and the 1970s, these four-cylinder, 500cc MV Agusta racers were unbeatable. Today, you can buy one for US$400,000...

Between 1958 and 1974, MV Agusta won seventeen motorcycle grand prix road racing world championships in the 500cc class. They also won nine world championships in the 350cc, two in the 250cc and five in the 125cc classes. Those old MV Agusta racing bikes are some of the most significant and the most desirable machines ever to come out of Italy. Today, most surviving examples are either in private collections or in museums. And no matter how much money you may have, it would probably be extremely difficult for you to buy one, since these bikes rarely – if ever – come up for sale.

Which is why if you’re a super-rich collector of vintage and classic racebikes, this should interest you. At the International Classic MotorCycle Show, in Stafford, in the UK, on the 29th of April 2007, Bonhams would be auctioning an ex-works MV Agusta 500. This bike is an example of the famous four-cylinder 'fire engines' which notched up 139 victories and 17 world championships in 500cc GP racing, for MV Agusta. Yeah, it’s a prime slice of motorcycle racing history that’s up for sale!

The bike was originally raced by John Surtees himself and the present owner, who acquired the bike in 1996, has maintained in perfect condition. The bike has regularly been taken out for events like the Isle of Man TT Parade, Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival Meetings, and the Ulster Grand Prix. If you buy it, you can actually ride it home – just be prepared to pay something in the region of US$400,000.

15-time world champion, Giacomo Agostini won both the 350cc and the 500cc world championships between 1968 and 1972, riding MV Agusta machines

Also see:
MV Agusta updates for 2007
MV Agusta F41000 sets Bonneville land speed record
Special Edition MV Agusta Brutale 910R Italia