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

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