Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ninja Nation: 1988 Kawasaki ZX-10 vs 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R


Back in 1988, if you wanted to do 260km/h on two wheels, you'd be riding this Kawasaki ZX-10

Kawasaki
have been building seriously high-performance sportsbikes since the early 1970s. Witness the 1972 Z1, which could do the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 210km/h. Or the 1978 Z1300, which packed a six-cylinder engine and weighed in at close to 300 kilos. And the 1984 GPZ900R, which boasted of 100 horsepower and 240km/h top speed.

But Kawasaki’s first proper rocketship was the 1988 ZX-10, which used a 997cc inline-four (based on the GPZ900R motor) that made 110 horsepower, and which could push the bike to a top speed of nearly 260km/h! The bike also had a proper alloy beam chassis, highly optimized aerodynamics, and proper wheels, tyres, brakes, and suspension to go with all that speed. The 1988 ZX-10 was probably Kawasaki’s first superbike as we know them now.



Twenty years on, the ZX-10R continues the legacy of the original ZX-10. And this 2004 ZX-10R is, in some ways, even better than its current, more toned-down sibling...

Compare the old ZX-10 with the all-new ZX-10R which Kawasaki launched in 2004, and you see just how far superbikes have come, and how they’ve evolved. The first ZX-10R had around 150bhp (40 horses up on the old ZX-10) from its 998cc inline-four, and came with high-spec, race-bred chassis, suspension and brakes that are as much at home on the track as they are on the street.

In fact, the 2004 ZX-10R was such a wild beast, that over the last three years, Kawasaki have been spending time taming its behaviour and trying to make more of its mind-boggling performance accessible to normal, ordinary riders. But we sure would love to ride the 1988 and 2004 ZX-10s back to back – what a trip that would be!

Also see:
Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo: Blow hard!
The Mighty Quadzilla
Eddie Lawson tribute: The Kawasaki ZRX1200R
Mad Kaws: H1 and Z1
The very memorable Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R
2007 Kawasaki Z1000 promo video

Update (12th September 2007):
2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R: First pics and details!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Valentino Rossi: “Capirossi has impressed me many times…”


Rossi has won all those MotoGP world championships, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact that Capirossi is also a brilliant racer...

Here at Faster and Faster, the supremely talented Valentino Rossi and the fast, feisty Loris Capirossi are two of our most favourite riders in MotoGP. Both have been slugging it out on racetracks around the world for years, and though it’s Rossi who’s won all the MotoGP world championships over the last few years, that doesn’t take away anything from the fact that Capirossi is a brilliant rider – one of the few who have the talent to face a full-on Rossi onslaught.

So what does Valentino Rossi himself have to say about Capirossi? Speaking to BIKE magazine (our all-time no.1 favourite motorcycle mag…) a few months ago, Rossi said “I think I’m very good at understanding when another rider is fast and there have been a few times when another rider has impressed me. I suppose Capirossi has impressed me many times.”

Going on to describe one of his many battles with Capirossi in their 250cc class days, Rossi says “Maybe the most impressive was Capirossi at Assen in 1999. Usually another rider impresses you when you are in good shape, with a good bike, and he’s still able to beat you. That day I was very fast but Capirossi was faster than me – he was in fantastic shape.”

Of all the races where the two have gone head to head against each other, why does Rossi remember the 1999 250cc race in Holland? Rossi says, “Capirossi amazed me at the last chicane. What he did that day was impossible. That race wasn’t a race, it was a battle. That sometimes happens – you stop with the right lines and just fight – like remove one chip from your brain and put in another.”

Ah, well, with both riders being at the top of their game right now, let’s see how the Rossi/Capirossi rivalry shapes up in 2007. Bring ’em on..!

Also see:
Valentino Rossi: The highest-paid star in MotoGP
Remembering the great Barry Sheene
Kevin Schwantz speaks to Faster and Faster
Wayne Gardner speaks to Faster and Faster
Loris Capirossi's 16 years in motorcycle GP racing

Thursday, March 01, 2007

MotoGP '07: All play, no work!


Want to play with the big boys, but are on a tighter budget than Rossi? THQ Inc. have you covered!

Gaming giants THQ Inc. have announced that MotoGP '07 – the definite motorcycle racing game – will soon be available for the Xbox 360TM game console. New 800cc MotoGP bikes, new tracks and an ‘Extreme’ mode that allows players to race on city streets around the world means this should be perfect for days when you can’t actually go out and ride. Go to the MotoGP '07 official website for more details.

Also see:
Lazareth Motorcycles: Custom cool!
Angelina Jolie more popular than Rossi, with motorcyclists
Bigger is better: Why bikes aren't the only things the Brits are good at!
Bimota Tesi 3D: Sticking with the alternative route
Can-Am Spyder: One cool trike!

Sizzler: 2007 Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000


Bright Sunday morning, smooth and twisty roads, no traffic, no speed limits and this Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000. Well, at least we can dream...

Here’s the one bike we’d really love to get our hands on – the 2007 Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000, which was recently unveiled at the Almeria circuit in Spain. Riders Cal Crutchlow and Chris Walker put in some hot laps over a three-day testing session on this 4.3km long Spanish circuit and were happy with the results. Visit the Rizla Suzuki website for more updates.

How's this Rizla Suzuki different from the stock bike? Read all about it here

Also see:
Riding Impression: 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Twenty years of the Suzuki GSX-R
GSX-Rs are for moped riders!
Two-stroke glory: The Suzuki RGV250
Rizla Suzuki unveil the new XRG0 GSV-R800

Dainese’s RDRS data-logging system for motorcyclists


Here's one rider who definitely needs a lap timer for his home-office-home commute...

Always wanted to time yourself commuting from home to office on your ZZR1400, and compare it with your mate’s time on his Hayabusa? But of course. So Dainese, manufacturers of top-quality rider apparel, will soon launch a data-logging system for riders which will let you prove, conclusively, that you’re the fastest man in your neighbourhood.

Called the ‘Rider Dynamics Data Recording System’ (RDRS), Dainese’s little gizmo uses GPS technology and will allow riders to deeply analyse things like braking points, corner entry and exit speeds, acceleration and so on – all so that you can see where you’re losing speed. And so that the next time you go out, you’re that 0.014 seconds quicker than your mate.

And if you’re scared of crashing, you’d be happy to know that Dainese are also working on an airbag system for motorcycle riders. Research and development work is still on for this one, but once it’s ready, the airbag triggering mechanism will be able to differentiate between ‘normal’ rider movement, and the (presumably) more sudden and violent actions which may indicate an impending crash. If Dainese get it right, we may finally be able to crash in peace, without fear of broken limbs and mangled bodies…

Also see:
GSX-Rs are for moped riders!
The very cool Harley-Davidson Nightster
Significant firsts in motorcycling
Team Cristofolini build the maddest scooter in the world!
Phase-change material: Can it revolutionise motorcycle rider apparel?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Troy Lee creates the Canyon Chaser


The Canyon Chaser should be just the thing for sliding around city streets and pulling a few wheelies and stoppies...

Troy Lee probably saw the Massimo Tamburini-designed Husqvarna STR 650 CC Supermoto, and decided to do one of his own. The result is this Honda CRF450R-based ‘Canyon Chaser’ concept bike, which Troy Lee (the man who owns Troy Lee Designs) has created. This streetfighter is based on the machine which Lee’s team races in the AMA Supermoto series.

Says Lee, ‘I'm an artist at heart and I love to create cool things. This project was my pursuit of the ultimate fun bike for in the city. This 450cc motocross/supermoto platform is the workhorse of the racing world, yet there is nothing on the street or in the showrooms at the moment that excites me more…’


The engine is from a Honda CRF450R, so the machine should always be reliable...


Also see:
Husaberg FS55e supermoto
2007 KTM 690SM
2007 BMW G650 X-series
Wild! The BMW HP2 Megamoto

Monday, February 26, 2007

NCR Ducati Millona: Got US$80,000...?


Fast, cool, exotic and very, very expensive - the Millona

What has the power-to-weight ratio of a Yamaha R1, but costs about seven times as much? Why, the recently revamped NCR Ducati Millona racebike of course! Powered by Ducati’s 116-horsepower, 1100cc v-twin, the Millona weighs just 121kg, hence the very exciting power:weight figure.

The Millona also packs uprated pistons, titanium con-rods and valves and a new 2-into-1-into-2 exhaust system that’s made of titanium. Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension and carbonfibre bodywork complete the package. Price? You know what they say. If you need to ask, you probably can’t afford it. But still, if you've got US$80,000 you should be able to take a Millona home. As for us, if we ever had that kind of money, we’d much rather have a Desmosedici RR

Go to the NCR Ducati website for more information on the Millona.


The usual suspects are all here - carbonfibre, titanium, Brembo, Ohlins - and at US$80,000 they'd better be!


Also see:
The magnificent Ducati Desmosedici RR!
Insane three-wheeler: The Campagna T-Rex
Freddie Spencer: The Sultan of Slide
Fabulous Five: The racing bikes we love
Go faster tips from Kevin Schwantz!

2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio to take on BMW, Triumph, Ducati...

After months of rumour and speculation, the Moto Guzzi Stelvio is finally getting ready to hit dealerships across Europe by the end of this year. Like the Triumph Tiger and the Ducati Multistrada 1100, the Stelvio is styled like a big dual-purpose bike, but is essentially street-oriented.

The bike uses Guzzi's traditional shaft-drive system, the chassis is all-new and the Stelvio will be available with 4-valve 850cc and 8-valve 1200cc horizontally-opposed twin-cylinder engines. To be honest, we’re not big fans of Moto Guzzi here, and we really don’t know if the Stelvio will be able to take sales away from Ducati, BMW, Aprilia or Triumph – all those manufacturers have bikes in their lineup, which we think should have the Stelvio beat in terms of engine performance, handling, and sheer engineering finesse.

Sorry, we have no pics of the Stelvio that we can post here, but you can see the bike here. Or, try visiting the the Moto Guzzi homepage for more information.


Also see:
2007 BMW G650 X-series
2007 Ducati Multistrada 1100
2007 Triumph Tiger
2007 KTM 990 Super Duke R
2007 BMW HP2 Megamoto

Lazareth Motorcycles: Custom Cool


That's the Lazareth Dokujya. Honda VTR1000 engine combined with a bit of French madness...

If Lazareth’s bikes are anything to go by, the French sure do know a thing or two about customising motorcycles. What you see here, for example, is the Dokujya, which is fitted with a v-twin engine from the Honda VTR1000. However, the engine has been supercharged, using a supercharger from the Mini Cooper S hot hatch. And if that wasn’t enough, the bike also gets a very beefy single-sided front fork, uprated brakes, custom-fabricated chassis and a very cool style makeover.


It could be all about looking cool, but then again, this bike looks quite capable of going very fast indeed...

For those who’d rather buy a scooter, Lazareth also do the Yamaha T-Max 500R Compressor which you see here. No word on how much power the Max’s supercharged engine makes, but we’re sure performance will not be lacking. Imagine taking on some supersport 600s with this!


A supercharged 500cc scooter? Just the thing to beat Monday morning blues, eh?

In addition to motorcycles, Lazareth also do quads and cars. For more information, visit the company website here


Also see:
Wakan: 1640cc of French eccentricity...
Bikes vs Cars: One more round!
Hardcore: KTM 950 Super Enduro R
The ramblings of Fred Gassit!
Mad Kaws: H1 and Z1
Super-scooter: The three-wheeled Gilera Fuoco 500

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Could Fiat sponsor Rossi and Yamaha in 2007 and 2008?


Could this be coming to a MotoGP circuit near you?

With tobacco sponsorship money on its way out, who’ll bankroll Yamaha’s MotoGP team in 2007? According to Italian website Motorbox, it could be Fiat! And why not – with Rossi on board with Yamaha, it would make sense for Fiat to back the man from Tavullia. Then again, if not Fiat, could it be Google? We really don’t know. Just enjoy these pictures and for the full story (in Italian…), visit Motorbox here.


Search this!

Note: Both the images here have been taken from Motorbox, a brilliant site for motorcycle enthusiasts who can read Italian...


Also see:
Ducati 999-powered Fiat 500!
2007 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
On the pace: Read before you ride
Riding Impression: Rizla Suzuki GSV-R
Valentino Rossi: The biggest earning star in MotoGP!

Update (06.03.2007): It’s true after all – Fiat are indeed sponsporing the Yamaha MotoGP team, which will now be called the Fiat Yamaha Team. The Fiat Automobiles SpA sponsorship deal has been inked for 2007 and 2008, and together with Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi, the Italians could be destined for greatness this year and the next.

Says Fiat Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio, “It’s a new start for us – a new bike, a new sponsor and a new challenge as we try to win back the title!” Sure thing, Brivio. Just make sure you give Rossi a bike that can beat the Ducatis on top speed...


It's official! Fiat and Yamaha have joined forces for 2007 and 2008

Rizla Suzuki unveil the new XRG0 GSV-R800


John Hopkins' office for 2007...!

Rizla Suzuki recently showed the new GSV-R800 at Jerez, in Spain. Codenamed XRG0, this 2007 MotoGP machine gets what Rizla Suzuki say is a retro inspired paintjob, and Rizla Suzuki riders John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen also get the same theme on their racing suits.

For the GSV-R800, Suzuki have followed the fundamental engine layout of the 2006 990cc machine, but the new engine’s bore, stroke and cylinder pitch have been redesigned and optimised for the 800cc engine displacement. Rizla Suzuki say that the aim was to ‘achieve the best possible horsepower and reliable high rpm operation, and to provide the riders with user friendly power delivery and predictable engine character.’

The GSV-R800 also gets a new Mitsubishi ECU, and is said to produce around 220 horsepower at 17,500rpm. Chassis layout and wheelbase length have remained the same as on the XRE4, the last 990cc MotoGP bike, while the fairing has been redesigned for better high speed stability.

Now let’s see what the bike does on the 10th of March, when the 2007 MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yamaha Fazer: Totally Hot!


Who'd have thought the Yamaha Fazer could be one of the hottest bikes on the planet right now...

We don’t much care for the Yamaha Fazer on most days (give us this R1 anytime…!), but with the very delectable Dannii Minogue draped all over this one, we thought you’d want to look.

2008 Moto Morini MM3 to go into production soon


The MM3 will pack 125bhp, and a load of gizmos...

First shown at the EICMA show in Milan in 2006, the Moto Morini MM3 is now all set to go into production. Though the MM3 has vague off-road/dual-purpose bike styling cues, it’s very much a street-oriented sportsbike and is perhaps similar to bikes like the 2007 Triumph Tiger, the Benelli TreK, and the Ducati Multistrada 1100.


Looks all right, eh?

The Moto Morini MM3 will be fitted with an 1187cc twin-cylinder engine that makes a healthy 125 horsepower. The more interesting thing, for some, would be that the MM3 will also feature high-tech electro-trickery like fly-by-wire throttle control, anti-lock brakes and even traction control. Take that, all you Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Yamaha R1 owners! No word on pricing and availability yet, but stay tuned.


Moto Morini have been building bikes and painting them red for a long time. This is a Moto Morini 175GT, from 1959!

Also see:
Benelli 750 Due and TreK
Moto Morini 91/2
2007 Ducati Sport Classic Biposto: Beautiful!
2007 BMW K1200R Sport

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ducati 1098 wins Motorcycle Design Association’s 'Best Design Of 2006' award


Oh yeah, the 1098 looks good!

Ducati
have received the Best Design of 2006 award for their new 1098 superbike, from the Motorcycle Design Association (MDA). The MDA was established in 2001, by noted freelance motorcycle designer Glynn Kerr, and Francois-Marie Dumas. Today, MDA comprises of around 120 motorcycle industry designers.

MDA members, clearly besotted by the lines penned by the Ducati 1098’s designer, Gianadrea Fabbro, voted the bike as best in its class within the Supersport category, and also the overall best design of 2006. This is the second year in succession when Ducati have won this award, with the 2005 trophy going to the Ducati Hypermotard.

The Jury for this award comprised of motorcycle designers, journalists and representatives from various motorcycle manufacturers.

Ducati 1098R Ducati 1098R Ducati 1098R

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Riding Impression: 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000


King of the litre-bike class in 2007? Quite possibly...

The very lucky people at Motorcycle Daily have ridden the 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000, which makes an absolutely mind-boggling 190 horsepower with ram-air-assist. MD’s Jordi Aymamí rode the new bike at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, and apparently, he was blown away by the experience.

With so much power on tap, the 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000 is rightly fitted with S-MDS (Suzuki Mode Drive Selector), which lets a rider choose between three power levels: full power throughout the rev range, full power at the top end, but reduced power at low and medium revs, and reduced power throughout the rev range. These settings and the S-MDS system – often referred to as a form of traction control – lets riders deal with wet weather and/or slippery road conditions.


With 190bhp available, even expert riders might struggle to cope in full-power mode

Aymamí says that 2007 GSX-R1000’s chassis is lighter and more compact than the one on the older model, though the bike has gained a few kilos overall. “The swingarm is stronger and the fork has been improved a lot by a highly elaborate antifriction treatment, as well as both high and low speed compression damping adjustments. The new brakes feature 310mm discs clamped by four-piston, radial mounted calipers, powered by a radial master cylinder,” says Aymamí.

How’s the bike to ride? Aymamí says, “This new superbike feels much lighter, changes directions far easier and initiates turn-in more quickly than its predecessor, but we noticed that it drifted wide on corner exits. Nonetheless, this improved when we increased fork compression damping.” And how does the full-power-everywhere mode feel? “The new GSX-R1000 puts out so much power in position A that even the excellent Bridgestone BT-015 production tyres cannot maintain grip on aggressive corner exits…,” says Aymamí.

With the 2007 Yamaha R1 and the Ducati 1098 to contend with, we still don’t whether the new Gixxer will be top dog in the litre-class superbike segment this year. But if it turns out to be that way, we wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

Go here for Motorcycle Daily’s full riding impression of the 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000.


MCN's 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000 test ride video!

Also see:
Twenty years of the GSX-R!
The mid-1980s Suzuki GSX-R 750
The late-1980s/early-1990s GSX-R750
The late-1990s GSX-R750
"GSX-Rs are for moped riders!"

External link:
2001 vs 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000s!

Chris Pfeiffer wins Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Championship in Zurich


Chris Pfeiffer in action...

BMW rider, 35-year-old Chris Pfeiffer has won the first Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Championship during an event conducted at the Swiss-Moto Motorcycle, Scooter and Tuning Exhibition in Zurich.

Riding a BMW F800 as usual, Pfeiffer competed against 16 other riders, coming from nine countries, and won every single round on his way to winning the championship! Former World Stunt Riding Champion,
AC Farias from Brazil took second place, while Joni Tammela from Finland took third.


The BMW F800. Pfeiffer uses this bike in all his stunt riding

Said Pfeiffer, “I have to say that I wasn't expecting to find such a high calibre of riders capable of performing in such a limited space. The evolution of the riders in terms of their technical abilities is skyrocketing. We had 16 top riders from the US and all parts of Europe, and none of them had any problems in performing in the available space, which was only 54x15 metres! Tricks that were considered almost impossible just a short time ago have now become standard for many of the top athletes.”

Go here for more pics of Chris Pfeiffer in action!



And here's a video of the stuntmeister Pfeiffer, doing what he does best!

Also see:
Craig Jones' stoppie record on a Buell!
Video: Tiff Needell tests the mighty Campagna T-Rex
Tissot does a Nicky Hayden special edition watch
What not to do if you want to win that bike race!

Friday, February 16, 2007

United Motors: Going forward with Hyosung


The United Motors V2S 250R is mechanically similar to the Hyosung Comet GT250R

Based in Miami, in the US, United Motors (set up by the Villegas family more than 50 years ago) look like they're getting ready to hit the big time this year. The company had signed an 11-year agreement with Hyosung, of Korea, back in 2005 and this involves the distribution of Hyosung motorcycles in North America.

While Hyosung will also continue to sell the same bikes through their independent dealership network in the US, United Motors are putting their own colour schemes and graphics on Hyosung bikes and selling those alongside UM’s own sub-200cc machines!

The bikes which United Motors are sourcing from Hyosung are 650cc and 250cc v-twin powered sportsbikes and cruisers. New for 2007 is the fully faired, 70bhp, V2S 650R, which is pegged at US$5,999 and the fully faired, 30bhp, V2S 250R, which goes for US$3,699. For those who like cruisers, there’s also the V2C 650S, which actually looks a bit like a Harley V-Rod but costs only US$6,399. And get this – while Hyosung only offer a two-year warranty on their bikes, United Motors actually offer a three-year warranty on what are essentially the same bikes!

United Motors claim that they’ll soon be launching a liquid-cooled 450cc engine (all the Hyosung v-twins are air-and-oil-cooled) that’ll power their off-road bikes. And in 2008, the company will also start redesigning the Hyosung bikes’ bodywork, headlamps, taillamps and other small bits.

For more details, visit the United Motors website here


And this is the V2C 650S cruiser...


Also see:
Hyosung Comet GT250 mods
2007 Hyosung TrendKiller and GT650X
Get ready for Chinese bikes!
Get ready for Indian bikes!
...but Italian bikes are still the most beautiful!

Bimota Tesi 3D: Coming to a showroom near you


Exotic, expensive and Italian - the Bimota Tesi 3D
First shown at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan last year, the Bimota Tesi 3D is now coming to showrooms in the US. The Tesi 3D is powered by a Ducati-sourced 1079cc, air-and-oil-cooled, desmodromic v-twin. It’s not really one of the more powerful litre-class engines around, and Japanese supersport 600s will probably blow it into the weeds in power and acceleration stakes. However, the Bimota boasts of something rare – hub-centre steering, which was first developed by Bimota in the early-1990s for the Tesi 1D.

The 168kg (kerb weight) Tesi 3D’s front and rear swingarms utilise a trellis frame made of stiff, light alloy, somewhat similar to what Bimota use on their DB5 and DB6 bikes. The hydraulic front suspension unit is located low, beside the engine, and the bike is fitted with Magneti Marelli fuel injection, carbonfibre bodywork, forged alloy wheels, and radial disc brakes.

For more details, go to the Bimota USA site here and for Motorcycle USA's riding impression of the Bimota Tesi 2D, go here

Also see: 
The Vyrus 985 C3 4V and other bikes with alternative front suspension

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2007 KTM Festival: September 7-9, Hungaroring, Hungary


Participate in the 2007 KTM Festival in Hungary in September this year, and you can show your riding skills to hundreds of screaming female fans... :-)

The 2007 KTM Festival will be held from the 7th to the 9th of September, at the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest, in Hungary. In keeping with the ‘Ready to Race’ KTM brand philosophy, the festival will offer KTM riders and fans a unique opportunity to ride a variety of KTM motorcycles.

The 4.4 km long Hungaroring racing circuit will play host to some spectacular moto-stunt shows, and the nearby motocross and supermoto tracks will mean that regardless of what KTM you own, you’d be able to thrash it to your heart’s content. Those visitors who do not own KTM machines will also be able to test KTM motorcycles on the racing circuit, or go riding as part of a guided tour in and around Budapest!

Want to register for the festival? Right-click and download the PDF here




Polaris ATV Quad vs KTM off-road bike. Who wins?


Also see:
2007 KTM Super Duke 990 in action!
X-Bow: KTM's radical new sportscar
Get ready for the KTM RC8 superbike!
Nitroduke: The world's fastest KTM!

MotoGP: Yoda’s Wisdom on Kawasaki’s 800cc Ninja ZX-RR


Olivier Jacque is right on the case on his ZX-RR. Can he possibly win a race in 2007?

Kawasaki’s Racing Director, Ichiro Yoda has spoken. This man, who joined Kawasaki's MotoGP project in 2005, has more than 20 years of grand prix engineering experience. For two years, Yoda has been the driving force behind the development of Kawasaki's 990cc Ninja ZX-RR MotoGP machine. And now, in 2007, with Yoda being in full charge of Kawasaki’s MotoGP effort, Randy de Puniet’s and Olivier Jacque’s fortunes are tied to his engineering expertise.

Talking about the new 800cc Ninja ZX-RR, Yoda says, “We knew from the start that we would have to rev the 800cc engine harder and higher if we were to liberate enough power to be competitive.” And he adds that “Quick, and accurate turning is critical to a good lap time, especially with the new 800cc machines.”

How different is the new 800cc machine from last year’s 990cc racer? Says Yoda, “The 800cc machine is an evolution of the 990cc bike, in that we have taken what we learnt during the past four years and incorporated those lessons into the design of the new machine. Yes, there are some parts that remain from the 990cc machine, such as the running gear and the bodywork, but the major components like the engine and the chassis are all new.”

What about power delivery? “The 990cc bikes had so much power that a lot of our development time was spent trying to counter the tendency to lose grip at the rear under acceleration. The bigger bike could feel quite nervous to the rider on the throttle, and when it did lose rear traction it did so suddenly. The characteristics of the 800cc machine are such that it is easier to control on the throttle, and the transition between grip and no grip is both smoother and more predictable. Because the engine is smoother with the 800cc bike, it means the whole system is more stable,” explains Yoda.

Finally, what are your goals for this year? “I think a first win in the MotoGP class for Kawasaki is a realistic goal for us this year. In terms of the championship, I think a position in the top seven at the end of the season is a reasonable expectation for us,” says Yoda.



Also see:
Remembering John Surtees
The Mighty Kawasaki ZZR1100
Wayne Gardner: The Wild One from Woollongong!
Honda V4: Racers for the road
1990s: The first liquid-cooled Suzuki GSX-R750s

2007 Honda CB600F Hornet: Smooth Character


It's the perfect tool for the daily commute...

The first thing you want to know about the 2007 Honda CB600F Hornet is that it’s now on sale – you can buy one from your local Honda dealer right now. And the second thing is, it’s fitted with the CBR600RR’s engine. Keeley Hazell in a nun’s garb, eh? Though riding the new Hornet, with its UJM-style ergonomics, might actually be a bit easier than mounting Ms Hazell…

…but seriously, the new Hornet, with its MotoGP-inspired four-into-one exhaust (which also ensures Euro 3 emissions compatibility) and freshened-up styling, could be just the ticket for those looking for a relaxed, comfortable, all-around capable sportsbike. Here, the CBR600RR’s engine gets different cams and intake valves, which results in a lower peak power output figure (102bhp), but the power is available over a wider rev range.

The six-speed gearbox is slick, Bridgestone BT012 rubber is said to offer lots of grip, and 41mm USD Showa front forks (non-adjustable) and preload-adjustable Showa monoshock are firmly sprung and work well for a wide variety of riders. The Hornet also gets a new aluminium mono-backbone chassis and a new aluminium swingarm, which help keep the kerb weight down to 198kg. ABS is available as an optional extra, though standard brakes are not too bad on their own.

The Hornet can’t really be hugely exciting we suppose, but if race-rep CBR, GSX-R and ZX-R 600s are not for you, then maybe this CB600F is what you’ve been waiting for.


UJM ergos + CBR600RR engine = perfect motorcycle for the city!



Also see:
Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport
Ducati Sport Classic 1000 Biposto
BMW G650 X-Moto
2007 Kawasaki Z750

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

2008 Can-Am Spyder. Man!


If you can't afford a Campagna T-Rex, this Can-Am Spyder just might be the next best thing...

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), the company that makes Sea-Doo watercraft, Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Rotax engines, and Can-Am ATVs, is now going to start building a brand-new three-wheeler – the Can-Am Spyder.

The 316-kilo Spyder is powered by a 998cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve, Rotax v-twin that makes 106 horsepower at 8,500rpm. The power is transferred to the (single) rear wheel via (foot-operated) five-speed manual transmission, and the vehicle uses a belt-drive system. An electronic, push-button gearshift mechanism will also be made available on the Spyder, as an optional extra.

The Can-Am Spyder also uses what BRP calls its Vehicle Stability System (VSS), where no less than four computers continuously monitor things like wheel speed, engine speed, and load. Working in conjunction with the Spyder’s anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control systems, VSS automatically adjusts power and braking parameters if it is senses that something is going to go wrong.

The Can-Am Spyder will become available in US dealerships in September this year, and will cost US$14,999. A higher-spec variant, with automatic clutch and push-button shifting, will be pegged at US$16,499. For more details, visit the company website here or see Motorcycle-USA's riding impression here.


Powerful, yellow, funky and thoroughly impractical. Should be good fun then!

Other interesting three-wheelers:
Sin City: Volkswagen GX3
Tiff Needell tests the mighty Campagna T-Rex!
Brudeli 625L: Radical new KTM-based three-wheeler!
Piaggio MP3
Gilera Fuoco 500

Monday, February 12, 2007

MAB Power: BMW K1200R Turbo


The future is bright, the future is orange. It's also turbocharged, powerful and very, very fast...

What do you do if you want a funky, bright orange, turbocharged, 250bhp streetfighter? Well, if you live in Germany, you simply run out and buy a BMW K1200R and then take it to MAB Power, who’ll paint it orange, slap on a turbo, and tweak the engine so that it makes as much power as a brand-new MotoGP bike.

Then, depending on how skilled (or not…) a rider you are, you can either go out and impress your mates with your wheelie skills or fall off at the next roundabout, trying to get your knee down. In either case, right-click and download this video to see the MAB Power K1200R in action.


So your neighbour owns a Hayabusa, eh? Show him this!



Also see:
KRV5 MotoGP-powered Board-tracker!
More details on the Honda RC212V
Significant firsts in motorcycling
"GSX-Rs are for moped riders!"
Kawasaki GPZ 750 Turbo

Saturday, February 10, 2007

2007 KTM 990 Super Duke video


The KTM 990 Super Duke goes dragon-slaying... :-)

We like KTM and their hard-edged bikes, which is why we couldn't resist posting this 990 Super Duke video (which shows KTM taking on Japan Inc.) here. One showdown we'd love to see is the 990 Super Duke vs Kawasaki Z1000 vs Aprilia Tuono R vs Triumph Speed Triple. Now wait till we find a video that has all these bikes in it! In the meanwhile, see Grant Parsons' riding impression of the 990 Super Duke, on the AMA website, here

Friday, February 09, 2007

“GSX-Rs are for moped riders…”


He'll accelerate to almost 400km/h in less than six seconds...

“GSX-Rs are for moped riders. My bike will run the quarter mile in 5.809 seconds, crossing the line at 392km/h. It pulls 3G in acceleration – the same as a space shuttle. Some guys black out. It’ll drain blood from your head fast enough to make you faint.”

If you think MotoGP riders are tough (which of course they are…), meet Larry McBride, multi-time motorcycle drag racing champion from the US. His Top Fuel Dragster is powered by a supercharged 1400cc inline-four that makes more than 1200 horsepower. That power is transferred to the rear tyre – a 31-inch slick – via a two-speed gearbox, the bike weighs about 450 kilos, and talking to Performance Bikes magazine, McBride said that “A modern performance bike feels like a restricted moped compared to this.” Which isn’t surprising when you consider that while McBride’s Dragster weighs about twice as much as most litre-class superbikes, it’s also seven times as powerful. Cool!


We wonder if the good Professor would really agree with McBride...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

MotoCzysz gets Robb Report Design Award


Always wanted a MotoGP-replica? This is it...

The Robb Report Motorcycling magazine’s Achievement in Design Award has gone to MotoCzysz, for the MotoCzysz 07 C1 990 MotoGP-replica. Jeff Buchanan, talking about the 07 C1 990 in the February/March 2007 issue of the magazine, says that “Michael Czysz's creation represents a deep, intense and deliberate detour from the accepted norm of motorcycle engineering in pursuit of advancement.”

The MotoCzysz 07 C1 990 is the first production motorcycle that MotoCzysz will be offering, and it’s the second 990cc MotoGP-replica (the first being the Ducati Desmosedici RR) to go on sale this year. The bike is being readied for a limited production run of only 50 units, which will be sold worldwide. Delivery is scheduled to begin in July this year.



Also see:
The Ducati Desmosedici RR
Top Fuel Motorcycles: A lesson in acceleration!


A brilliant video showing the MotoCzysz bike in action

Alfa Romeo team up with Ducati Corse for World Superbikes


The Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon (on the left) will be the official car for World Superbikes this year

Alfa Romeo have teamed up with Ducati Corse for the SBK Superbike World Championship series. No, Alfa aren’t building a superbike just yet – they’ll only be the official sponsor, the official car and the safety car supplier for World Superbikes. In fact, Alfa Romeo will be present at all 13 SBK World Championship race meetings (11 in Europe, one in Australia, and one in Qatar).

The Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon TI will be the official safety car in the 2007 World Superbikes series and Alfa Romeo will extend cooperation to the Ducati Corse team in MotoGP as well as the SBK Word Championship. Alfa Romeo will even take part in the fifth World Ducati Week, which will be held in the Romagna region of Northern Italy from the 28th of June to the 1st of July this year.

The 2007 World Superbikes series kicks off on the 24th of February, at the Losail circuit in Doha, Qatar. Start checking your local television schedules now!



Also see:
2007 Ducati Hypermotard
2007 Ducati Sport Classics
Ducati-powered Fiat 500
2007 MotoGP predictions

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fischer MRX 650: Riding impression


Certainly looks more distinctive than a CBR600RR

We wrote about the Fischer MRX some time ago, when ‘America’s first proper sportsbike’ was still in the development phase. Well, the bike is ready now and is being produced in small numbers at the Fischer Motor Company’s factory in Maryland, in the US. Fischer is also in the process of setting up a dealer network in the US.

The Fischer MRX 650 is powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 650cc v-twin engine (sourced from Korean motorcycle manufacturer Hyosung) that makes 79bhp@9000rpm. 39mm Mikuni carbs are used for now, but these are expected to make way for fuel injection soon.

The machine has been designed by Glynn Kerr, the chassis has been engineered by Gemini Technologies (who were responsible for creating the 1990s Harley-Davidson VR1000 superbike), and the bike is fitted with an Öhlins shock at the rear and a high-performance Micron exhaust system that’s made in the UK.

Fischer plans to manufacture 700 bikes in 2007, going up to 2,500 units per annum by the year 2010. Pegged at US$7,999 the MRX seems to be good value for money. Here’s hoping they’ll do well!

Here’s Motorcyclist magazine’s riding impression of the Fischer MRX 650.


Finally, an American sportsbike that isn't a Buell



Also see:
2007 Kawasaki Z750
The fab new Ducati 1098
Gilera Fuoco 500: Funkytown!
2007 BMW K1200R Sport

Die Moto: Biodiesel-powered motorcycle aims for landspeed record


Yeah, it's an oil-burner. And it's pretty fast. For a diesel

Biodiesel specialists, Greenline Industries recently showed the Die Moto – the world's first biodiesel land speed record motorcycle – at the National Biodiesel Conference in San Antonio, in the US. This bike was built at The Crucible, an industrial arts education facility in California.

Running on pure biodiesel, the Die Moto has already clocked speeds in excess of 208km/h. And in September this year, The Crucible team plans to break the diesel motorcycle land speed world record (currently 168km/h) at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

"We believe in proving the simple point that diesel fuels are exceptionally efficient in smaller engines, and that biodiesel is the ultimate form of diesel," says Greenline CEO, Ted Lavoie. Sure thing Ted. Wish you all the best!



Also see:
TRACK T-800CDI: Diesel dual-purpose
Faster and Faster: The best of 2006
Significant firsts in motorcycling

Harley-Davidson Nightster rumbles out


Black-out paintjob, solo seat, low-rider styling. Cool...

Harley-Davidson recently unveiled the latest addition to their Sportster range – the XL 1200N Nightster. This funky little machine is basically a low-riding Sportster 1200 and is powered by Harley’s fuel-injected 1200cc Evolution engine. Of course, no power or torque figures are quoted.

H-D say that the “New Sportster model fuses fiendish formula of performance and style,” that it offers “a wicked combination of exceptional performance, unique design and a low seat height,” and that “the Nightster has a gritty, urban feel, offering a sharp ride for the street.” Ahem. But still, with its belt-drive, v-twin engine, black-out paintjob and solo seat, the Nightster will probably appeal to some North American riders. Which is just as well because the bike will only be made available in North America.


Guess it may be a bit of fun after all. In a weird way. If you are into this sort of thing... :-)