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

...and here's the 1990s Tesi 1D

Also see: 
The Vyrus 985 C3 4V and other bikes with alternative front suspension
The Vincent Black Shadow
Go-faster tips from Kevin Schwantz!
Bikes vs cars: One more round!
1980s: The very memorable Suzuki Katana
Gilera Fuoco 500: The funkiest scooter in the world?

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

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

MCN's 2007 litre-bike shootout video


MCN's road test chief, Trevor Franklin pits the 2007 Yamaha R1 against the Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R and the Suzuki GSX-R1000

Go here for tech specs and other details on the 2007 Yamaha R1. And take a look at the 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000 here, the Kawasaki ZX-10R here and the Ducati 1098 here

Also see:
Litre-class bike shootout: 2007 Superbike Smackdown!
Bike vs car: Honda Fireblade vs Honda Civic Type R
Hi-res Valentino Rossi wallpaper
2008 Suzuki Hayabusa to get 200bhp, 1350cc inline-four

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

Custom Streetfighter: The Mad Jack


Each bike will be numbered and signed. Er..., well... :-)

The Saxon Motorcycle Company has unveiled a prototype of their ‘aggressive new v-twin streetfighter,’ called the Mad Jack. The bike was shown at the recent V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati, in the US, and has been designed by one Gard Hollinger of L.A. County Choprods.

Saxon say that they partnered with Gard to “create a bike that would look like no other production motorcycle and be incredibly fun to ride.” And while we think the bike’s aesthetics are dubious at best, the builders say that “it is a true statement in modern motorcycle design.” Ah, well, each Mad Jack will be numbered and signed (by whom?) and the bike is expected to go into production in a couple of months. Go to the company website for more details.



Also see:
AC Schnitzer - doing more with BMW bikes
French Cruiser: Wakan 1640
Jesse James' seven-cylinder, 2800cc, Aero Bike!
NCR Ducati New Blue

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