Monday, May 28, 2007

Ferrari chopper, anyone? Or a Kawasaki triple, perhaps...?

Found this on YouTube. Somebody's built a Ferrari chopper. Why?

We can understand if you didn't much care for the Ferrari chopper. So here's an infinitely more sensible two-stroke, three-cylinder, Kawasaki H2A Mach IV

You can read about the very memorable 1970s Kawasaki triples here and here.

Also see:
The 2007 World Stunt Riding championship
A special KTM for women...
Rapom V8: 1000bhp, supercharged megabike
New developments at Moto Morini...
It's coming: The Cannonball Bike Run
Memorable: The Laverda 750 Formula S

1948 Vintage: Ducati Cucciolo

Look carefully and you might just see where the 1098 takes some of its design influences from... :-)

In the mid-1940s, Ducati, who were making radios and miscellaneous electrical components at that time, partnered with an Italian company called SIATA, in order to start making motorcycles. And the Cucciolo (Italian for puppy…) was one of the first efforts of the fledgling company.

The 1948 Cucciolo T2 was the first motorcycle which Ducati designed on their own. It was powered by an air-cooled, 48cc, single-cylinder engine, which was mated to a two-speed gearbox. The engine only made 1.5 horsepower at 5500rpm, but there was a Sports version (!!!) for those who wanted more performance – 2.0 horsepower, and a claimed 60km/h top speed.

Today, the Cucciolo continues to attract female attention

The 1948 Cucciolo T2 led to the T3 in early-1949, which had a three-speed gearbox, stronger tubular chassis, rear suspension and grease lubricated valve gear enclosed in a case. As usual, Ducati also offered a Sports version, where the engine capacity upped to 65 cc, a swingarm fork was added, and two pairs of telescopic shock absorbers were bolted on. All heady stuff for those days! The bike was moderately successful in racing, and Ducati never looked back since then…

Here's the very interesting Ducati Virtual Museum - you'll want to visit all seven 'rooms' there.

Also see:
Ducati PS1000 LE: Paul Smart rides again!
Bike magazine readers: 'Carl Fogarty is an idiot!'
Memorable: The mighty Munch Mammut TTS-E
Racy reptile: The Bimota Tuatara
Blast from the past: Silver Dream Racer
Brough Superior: Rights to name on sale
Libero Liberati: 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ in 1957...

WheelSurf Monowheel: Join the singles club…

That's the WheelSurf Monowheel. Practical transportation...
Monowheels are not exactly new – people have been working on these single-wheeled motorcycles (?) for the last 120 years. In fact, monowheels saw a fair bit of action in the early part of the last century, with interest in these weird machines fizzling out by the 1930s, by which time cars and motorcycles were firmly established as the future of motorized transport.

They thought they were on to the next big thing...
But there are still some who love the concept of traveling in a single-wheeled machine, which brings us to the WheelSurf. It has an engine and one wheel inside which the rider sits. The machine consists of an inner and an outer frame, with the inner frame being in contact with the outer, via three small wheels. Shod with a solid rubber tyre, the outer frame is the actual rotating wheel that comes in contact with the tarmac.

Single-wheeled military vehicle prototype from the 1930s
The rider sits inside the inner frame, on which the engine and propulsion mechanism are also mounted. The whole contraption weighs about 50 kilos, and powered by a two-stroke, single-cylinder, 55cc petrol engine, mated to a single-speed transmission with a centrifugal clutch.

A video of the WheelSurf monowheel in action
The WheelSurf can accelerate from zero to 40km/h (which is also its top speed) in around eight seconds. And yes, you need some time to practice – you can’t just fire it up and ride off in rush-hour traffic. Unless you’re Kerry McLean, that is. In which case you ride a fearsome, V8-powered monowheel – the Rocket Roadster.

That's McLean, with his Buick V8-powered Monowheel
McLean’s Rocket Roadster is powered by a Buick V8, and while it’s theoretically capable of doing 160km/h, it’s actually been clocked at 85km/h – no mean feat since monowheels are difficult to control at high speeds. Why ride a monowheel at all? Says McLean, ‘You may be hauling ass, but you feel like you're floating.’ Amen.

Doing 85km/h on this contraption probably takes more courage than doing 320km/h on a ZZR1400

Kerry McLean was crap at pulling wheelies, which is probably why he dreamt up this monowheel thing...
You can right-click and download this video, which shows McLean riding his Monowheel on the Bonneville Salt Flats. And for more information on WheelSurf, visit their website here.

More one-wheeled action...   :-)

Other crazy machines:
Life in the fast lane: The Peraves Monotracer
Pal V-One: The flying bike!
Allen Millyard's 2300cc, V12 Kawasaki!!
JRL Cycles' aircraft-engined chopper
Crazy Quad: The Polaris Revolver Sport
Fast and funky: The Carver One
Special KTMs for women...
Rapom V8: 1000bhp supercharged monster-bike
Acabion GTBO 70: The world's fastest bike!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Casey Stoner gets an Alfa Romeo Brera!

Free cars. One of the advantages of being a top MotoGP rider...

...and here's some hi-res wallpaper for Stoner fans!

Update (24th Sept., 2007): Casey Stoner wins 2007 MotoGP world championship at Motegi!

We had earlier reported on Alfa Romeo having teamed up with Ducati Corse for the SBK Superbike World Championship series. Alfa Romeo are the official sponsor, official car and the safety car supplier for the 2007 World Superbikes series.

Alfa Romeo have also promised to ‘extend cooperation’ to Ducati’s MotoGP effort, and the first person to benefit from this ‘cooperation’ seems to be Casey Stoner. On the occasion of the first birthday of the Mirafiori Motor Village in Italy, Alfa Romeo gifted a Brera 3.2 to Stoner. The CEO of Alfa Romeo, Antonio Baravalle gave the car’s keys to a very happy Stoner, who said, ‘Alfa Romeo, as Ducati, is a prestigious Italian brand I have been fascinated with since I was a child. I'm looking forward to driving my new Brera.’

Alfa Romeo will also 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. And while they won’t give you a free Brera, if you fancy the car, you get can download some hi-res wallpaper here.

Also see:
More hi-res Casey Stoner wallpaper here, here, here and here
2007 MotoGP race reports, features, interviews and hi-res wallpaper...
Dorna to 'quantify' MotoGP television exposure
Retro SBK's Freddie Spencer tribute
2007 Superbike Smackdown!
Fifth Gear: Honda Fireblade vs Honda Civic Type R!
MV Agusta F4 R 312 wins 2007 Masterbike
Hi-res Valentino Rossi wallpaper

From Italy: The Honda Hornet Cup!

Leave it to the Italians to make bikes look good!
Here’s the rather immaculate looking Hornet Cup racer, from Italy. The regular Honda Hornet is a mildly interesting four-cylinder, 600cc sportsbike that offers the ultimate in reliability and practicality. Excitement is also available, but in moderation.

We think the white/red/green paint job looks totally cool!
The Italians have taken Honda’s girl-next-door to the gym, spa and the beauty salon, and transformed her into this confident, athletic charmer. With some help from parts and accessories specialist, Rosso Cromo. More details on the Hornet Cup on their website here.

The no.1 sticker seems to have been borrowed from Hayden's bike!

The wheels look a bit frumpy though...
Also see:
Ferrari chopper, anyone? Or a two-stroke Kawasaki triple?
Ducati working on all-new Monster!
Marcus Walz: "Building bikes gives me pleasure, not riding them..."
Spinning around: The Tailgunner rotary exhaust
Will the Cagiva Mito be an Indo-Korean 650?
MV Agusta 910R: The best loved naked in Italy!
Dainese invite European customers to test new helmet

Kalex AV1: All-out performance for the road

It weighs 155kg, the engine makes 140bhp. Fun!

The Kalex AV1 comes from Kalex Engineering, based in Germany. It’s the brainchild of two men – Alex Baumgartel and Klaus Hirsekorn – who’ve built this extreme sportsbike that offers all-out performance for the very committed.

The AV1, which weighs a mere 155kg dry, is fitted with a 60-degree, 998cc v-twin from Rotax, with a Motec M800 engine management system. This engine, the V990R (which also powers the Aprilia RSV1000), makes 140 horsepower at 9500rpm, and 107Nm of torque at 7750rpm, which makes for mind-blowing performance in the lightweight AV1. Just as well then, that the engine management system also incorporates an advanced form of traction control software.

Wonder how the AV1 would do against a stock R1...

The tubular steel trellis frame chassis is light and stiff, and the steering angle is 23.8 degrees, which lets the bike flick from side to side with minimal effort. WP RCMA 4800 USD forks are used at the front, and at the rear there is a WP 4618 monoshock, mated to a specially fabricated aluminum swingarm. Both suspension units are multi-adjustable. Brakes are top-spec Brembo units and the bike rides on 17-inch wheels, with 120/75 (front) and 190/65 (rear) tyres. Carbonfibre has been used extensively, for the bodywork.

Should be interesting to see how it does against a stock R1 or GSX-R1000, eh? Get more details on the Kalex AV1 on their official website here.

Also see:
Ducati PS1000LE: Paul Smart rides again!
Memorable: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Quiet please: Put a lid on this...
The mighty Munch Mammut TTS-E
MV Agusta Brutale 910R: The best loved naked in Italy!
Tiff Needell: Honda Fireblade takes on Honda Civic

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Moto Tuning's streetfighter: Top Gun GSX-R1000

They say it's 'inspired' by the Benelli TNT...

Prepared by French custom bike builders, Moto Tuning, this Suzuki GSX-R1000 – named the Top Gun – is ‘inspired’ by the Benelli TNT. Apart from some body panels taken from Benelli and Bimota machines, the Top Gun features various carbonfibre and titanium bits, special turn indicators, and a modified exhaust system. We don’t know if the Top Gun performs better than a stock GSX-R, but to look, it’s certainly… er, distinctive!

More stylish than a stock Gixxer...?

A GSX-R1100 given the Moto Tuning treatment...

...and finally, the Moto Tuning Yamaha V-Max. Awesome!

More GSX-Rs:
20 years of the Suzuki GSX-R
The mid-1980s GSX-R750
The late-1980s GSX-R750
The mid-1990s GSX-R750
The mighty GSX-R1100
"GSX-Rs are for moped riders!"
2007 GSX-R1000 riding impression
2007 Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000
Suzuki GSX-R1000 wins 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours race

MotoGP: Kurtis to ride for Team Roberts at Mugello

With Kenny Roberts Jr. not having been able to sort out technical issues, younger brother Kurtis is being brought in as development rider...

Back in March this year, Team Roberts got a fresh lease of life, with F1 MAX-X and MGM's Treasure Island Hotel and Casino coming in as new team sponsors, and bringing in some much-needed cash with them. However, while their bikes’ livery changed, their race fortunes have remained pretty much the same – Team Roberts is going nowhere.

Now, for the next weekend’s race in Mugello (and perhaps also for the one after that, in Barcelona…), Team Roberts have roped in Kenny Roberts Jr.’s younger brother, Kurtis, who’ll be helping the team as a development rider. That’s because Kenny Roberts Jr., 500cc world champ in the year 2000, has not been able to solve the team’s technical problems. This is largely due to his old-school dirt-tracker riding style, which doesn’t work with current 800cc machines.

Kenny Roberts jr., 500cc world champ in the year 2000, has seen little success in MotoGP for the last many years...

Kenny Roberts Jr. was able to put in a reasonably good performance last year, since the 990cc V5 KR211V was more compatible with his riding style. In 2006, he finished third twice (in Barcelona and Portugal), and got another five fifth-place finishes. This year has not been good for him up till now, but with Kurtis (who’s ridden in MotoGP occasionally with his father’s team in 2004 and 2005) coming in as a development rider, things just might improve for Team Roberts.

More MotoGP:
Rossi: Biggest earning star in MotoGP
Kenny Roberts announces new venture, KR Tuned
In-depth: 2007 MotoGP Kawasakis
Memorable: Cagiva's 500cc GP racer
The mighty Honda NSR500
Marco Lucchinelli: 1981 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ
Nicky Hayden: "I'm not giving up..."
John Hopkins: "I'm better than Hayden!"
Blast from the past: Silver Dream Racer

Ducati working on an all-new Monster

This is what the new Monster may look like, when it's shown in Milan in November this year

Designed by Miguel Galluzzi, the first Ducati Monster came out way back in 1992, and has been a significant success story for Ducati since then. Over the years, there have been various iterations of the Monster, and the bike has been made available in various engine capacities.

Now, after so many years, the Italians are all set to launch an all-new Monster, which we suppose would be a considerably difficult task. Having sold more than 150,000 Monsters over the last 15 years, this is one bike with which Ducati probably can’t afford to take too many risks.

Until now, there’s only conjecture, speculation and computer-generated pics like the one you see here. The real 2008 Ducati Monster will be revealed at the Milan Motorcycle Show in November this year, so that’s another six months of waiting. Should be worth it though.

The Fiat Panda Monster. One for the wife...

In the meanwhile, for Monster fans who also own cars, there’s the Fiat Panda Monster – a limited edition model which Fiat have created in collaboration with Ducati. The Panda Monster will be fitted with a 1.3-litre common-rail, 70bhp diesel engine and will feature 4WD. Only 695 units of this car will be made, and you can order yours right here. Or you could take a look at this Fiat 500 that's powered by a Ducati 999 engine..!

Also see:
First official pic of the Triumph Street Triple 675
The Hyosung-engined Cagiva Mito 650
Ducati CEO Federico Minoli leaves the company
Scoop pics: Ducati's MotoGP bikes for the future
The very memorable Bimota YB6 Tuatara
The MV Agusta F4 R 312 wins MasterBike 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

First official picture of the Triumph Street Triple 675

The Daytona 675 takes its clothes off, gets ready to brawl..

Yeah, you’ve read about it in dozens of places including here, and the first official picture is finally out. Triumph say they will launch the naked version of the Daytona 675 – the Street Triple 675 – by the end of next month!

Compared with the Daytona 675, the Street Triple will be fitted with different front suspension and brakes, and will have a completely different rear end, which will be on the lines of the bigger Speed Triple.

The gearing on the new bike has been revised, and as you’d expect, the Daytona’s 675cc three-cylinder engine has been ‘retuned,’ which means slightly more low- and mid-range torque, and slightly less peak power. Still, with around 105 – 110bhp on tap, the Street Triple should be anything but sluggish.

The Street Triple will make its debut at the end of June this year, at the Tridays Festival in Neukirchen, Germany. The bike is expected to cost about US$9,000 and you can register for more information at the Triumph website here.

Also see:
British is bigger, British is best...
Chris Pfeiffer wins Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Championship
United Motors: Going forward with Hyosung
Custom streetfighter: The Mad Jack
MotoCzysz gets Robb Report Design Award
Harley-Davidson Nightster rumbles out...
Kenny Roberts announces KR Tuned

MotoGP rumours: Hayden may move to Ducati for 2008!

Hayden's not been too happy with his Honda this year, and HRC don't seem to be interested in doing much about it. Enter Ducati...

While the 2007 MotoGP season is just getting into stride, rumours about what’s going to happen in 2008 have already started doing the rounds. And chief among those is Nicky Hayden leaving Honda and moving to Ducati for the 2008 MotoGP season!

The Kentucky Kid was, apparently, seen dining with senior Ducati officials in a Bologna restaurant recently. While the ‘official reason’ for this has been quoted as Hayden wanting to order a Desmosedici RR for himself, the ‘real reason’ is said to be something else – Ducati may be looking at replacing Loris Capirossi, and Hayden might be the man who’ll replace the Italian.

Casey Stoner has made Capirossi look a bit old this year, but the Italian may yet be back next year - with Kawasaki!

While Loris Capirossi garnered some impressive wins for the Ducati MotoGP team in 2006, this year it’s Casey Stoner who’s charging ahead, and making Capirossi look… a bit old? Another rumour being floated is that Capirossi may move to the Kawasaki MotoGP team for 2008, replacing Olivier Jacque in the process. Not only that, there's a bigger surprise here - it's being said that Rizla Suzuki rider, John Hopkins has also been talking to Kawasaki and may move to the Kawasaki MotoGP team for 2008! Ah, well, all shall be revealed in the next few months… :-)

Also see:
Ducati 1098 wins Motorcycle Design Association’s 'Best Design Of 2006' award
Lazareth Motorcycles: Custom cool...
Troy Lee createst the Canyon Chaser
Ninja Nation: 1988 Kawasaki ZX-10 vs 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Down memory lane: The Cagiva 500 GP racer
American Borders: Around the US on a Ural sidecar

Ducati PS1000 LE: Paul Smart rides again

The bike that started it all for Ducati back in 1972 - the 750 Imola

British racer Paul Smart created a bit of history in 1972, when he rode his Ducati 750 Imola racebike to victory at the inaugural Imola 200 endurance racing event. Ducati were not known for their v-twin racers back then, and most people thought that Smart riding the Ducati 750 at Imola was a bit of a joke. Of course, they weren’t laughing by the time Smart finished in first place.

To celebrate their win at Imola, Ducati released a road-going version of their Imola 750 racer – the 750 Super Sport – which came out in 1974. This was a proper race replica, with the 750’s desmodromic valve train, big carburetors, disc brakes all around, and the racer’s distinctive green-painted chassis.

The 1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport

Then, back in 2005, Ducati released the modern-day equivalent of the 1974 750 Super Sport – the limited edition Paul Smart 1000 – which took its rightful place at the top of Ducati’s SportClassic range. And last month, Motorcyclist magazine pulled off a coup by getting Paul Smart himself to ride all three bikes back to back, at the Willow Springs Raceway in the US. So what did Mr Smart have to say about the three bikes?
Smart, now 63 years old, first rode the 84 horsepower Imola 750, which he reckons was good for around 250km/h back in 1972. He says, ‘It’s incredibly torquey – it has big old carbs and basic ignition, but the thing works so well. And considering its age, it also handles – it behaves itself extremely well, doesn’t require a lot of rider input and the brakes are faultless.’

...and the absolutely gorgeous Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE

Moving on to the 1974 750 Super Sport, Smart says, ‘It’s amazing how well they steer – the chassis does feel very much the same as the racebike, and though the engine probably makes 20 horsepower less than the 750 Imola, it has the same wide torque spread.’ The only thing he wasn’t happy with was the brakes, saying that they felt ‘Leaden, sallow and unresponsive.’

Finally on to the modern PS1000 LE, and Smart says, ‘You get lots of feedback and it feels very planted in fast corners. The engine is not highly tuned, but it does make a lot of torque, so you don’t have to rev it. Overall, the modern tyres, suspension and brakes are what separate it from the old bikes.’

So of the three, which one would he choose to ride today? Says Smart, ‘I have to be honest, it’s the new bike. Everything works, and the machine is far better than the rider in my case now.’ For the Ducati Paul Smart 1000 LE, there really can be no better stamp of approval.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sherco announce 2007 4.5i, 5.1i and Cabestany Replicas

The Sherco 2.9 Cabestany Replica

Started in 1998 by one Marc Teissier, Spanish motorcycle company Sherco make some excellent trials and enduro bikes today. The company recently announced the launch of its new bikes – the Sherco 2.9 Cabestany Replica and the Sherco 4.5i and 5.1i Factory Replicas.

The Sherco 2.9 Cabestany Replica incorporates technology used in Sherco’s trials bikes for the Spanish Indoor Championship, and is meant for the serious trials rider. Among other things, the bike has a digital programmable ignition system, which lets riders alter power delivery characteristics to suit different kinds of terrain.

The Sherco 4.5i Factory Replica

The Sherco 5.1i Factory Replica

The Sherco 4.5i and 5.1i Factory Replicas are for the hardcore off-road/enduro rider. The bikes are fitted with high-grade Öhlins suspension, and upgraded electrics and high performance exhaust system. More details on the Sherco website here.

Also see:
2007 Husaberg FS550e: Supermoto supreme...
Singular Power: 2007 KTM 690SM
2007 BMW G650 XMoto and XChallenge
BMW HP2 Megamoto. Awesome!
The radical new Brudeli 625L trike

Bike magazine readers: “Carl Fogarty is an idiot!”

Once hero, now zero. The shame...

Multi-time World Superbikes champ, Carl Fogarty has been voted as one of the biggest idiots in motorcycling, by the readers of Bike magazine. Carl, who’ll be handling MV Agusta’s racing efforts in World Superbikes in 2008, is known to sometimes ‘have his head up his arse.’ That’s how an ex-editor of a prominent UK-based motorcycling magazine once described him…

Coming back to Bike magazine’s Biggest Idiots, one reader says, ‘My joint vote goes to Carl Fogarty and his ego. Foggy was my hero when he was battling at the TT, and then on the Ducati in World Superbikes, but what’s happened since then?’ What, indeed. Another reader adds, ‘Carl Fogarty should have slipped away quietly after he stopped racing. He said he was going to be the saviour of WSB. Utter rubbish. He was an embarrassment!’

And here are some other reader nominations for the Biggest Idiots in motorcycling:

‘The wankers who don’t slow down for 30mph limits. Don’t these people understand that they are slowly killing the thing they love most – biking? Slow down, and the non-biking zealots will leave us alone to speed on the open roads.’

‘The bad sportsbike riders. Those who hug rear bumpers before overtaking, or overtake on blind bends, causing others to brake hard or swerve. No wonder bikers get a bad name.’

‘Those gobshites who ride bikes like Kawasaki ZX-10Rs, but really poorly. Slow in bends, 170mph on the dual carriageway, wheelies through rush hour traffic, stoppies next to soccer moms in their gas-guzzling SUVs…’

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

May the force feed you: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

The Suzuki XN85 Turbo. Cool!

Back in 1983, when the Suzuki XN85 Turbo was let loose upon an unsuspecting world, Motorcyclist magazine actually claimed, ‘Nothing works better in the corners than the Suzuki XN85.’ Ah, well, the first GSX-R was still two years away…

85 horsepower, 200km/h top speed. Not too bad for 1983

The early-1980s was when all the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers decided that turbocharging was the way forward. So, of course, Suzuki decided they must join in, and released the XN85 Turbo to go against the Honda CX500TC Turbo, the Yamaha XJ650LJ Turbo and the Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo.

16-inch front wheel, fuel injection, anti-dive front suspension...

The XN85 was cutting-edge stuff for its time, with a 16-inch front wheel, low clip-ons, rearset foot pegs, Suzuki’s ‘Full Floater’ monoshock rear suspension, and anti-dive plumbing in the Kayaba front forks. The engine was an air-cooled, fuel-injected, turbocharged, eight-valve, 673cc inline-four, mated to a five-speed gearbox. Power output was a modest 85 horsepower at 7000rpm.

Look at this and imagine what a factory turbo Hayabusa would be like today...

The XN85 Turbo weighed in at about 247kg, and depending on who you believe, did the quarter mile (400m) in anything between 11.50 to 12.30 seconds. Claimed top speed was 209km/h. While the XN85 was reliable, performed well, and quickly garnered a dedicated fan following, it was only a moderate success and that too only for a short while. The normally aspirated Suzuki GS750ES, released shortly after the XN85, was lighter, quicker, cheaper and less complex.

For about US$5,000 you can still find one of these. If you look hard enough...

Back in 1983 when it was launched, the Suzuki XN85 Turbo cost about US$4,700. Suzuki only made 1,153 units of this bike, and today, finding one in very good condition is extremely difficult. Second-hand examples do come up for sale, and depending on their condition, go for anything between US$3,000 – US$7,000. It may not be the quickest, fastest or the best handling, but if you always wanted something exotic, the XN85 Turbo fits the bill like a dream.

The Suzuki GSX-R750 came along in 1985 and changed everything. But that's another story...

Other turbo bikes:
Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo. Blow hard!
Turbo Hayabusa sets new streetbike speed record
MAB Power: BMW K1200R Turbo
Acabion GTBO 70: The world's fastest bike

Christini's AWD system: The future of off-road bikes?

Always wanted a two-wheeled SUV? This is it...

For some time now, manufacturers have toyed with the idea of building all-wheel-drive (AWD) bikes, where power is delivered to both the wheels. Yamaha experimented with such bikes, and KTM are reported to be developing their own AWD off-roader.

Power is transferred to the front wheel via chains and shafts. No power-sapping hydraulics here

In the meanwhile, a smaller outfit, Christini have patented a mechanical AWD system for bikes. Unlike hydraulic systems tested by other manufactures, Christini’s AWD delivers power to the front wheel through a series of chains and shafts. When the bike’s rear wheel loses traction, Christini’s AWD system engages immediately, and transfers power to the front wheel until the rear wheel grips again. For optimum conditions, where traction is not an issue, the Christini AWD front hub is equipped with one-way clutches, which allow the front to freewheel.

Video shows the Christini AWD system in action

In addition to added traction, the main benefit of the Christini AWD system is better high-speed cornering. With a driven front wheel, the tendency to ‘wash out’ and ‘tuck in’ is greatly reduced, allowing the bike to be ridden harder, faster and with more confidence.

Or you could go with only one wheel drive, but two engines...

More details on the Christini website here.

Also see:
Special edition Triumph Speed Triple
In the fast lane: The Peraves Monotracer
Cool concept: Polaris Revolver SportQuad
Radical radial: JRL Cycles' funky new chopper
Rapom V8: 1000bhp, supercharged monsterbike!
Bring the bling: Roaring Toyz Kawasaki ZZR1400

Marcus Walz: ‘Building bikes gives me satisfaction, not riding them!’

The satisfaction is in the riding. Or is it...?

Though he’s also passionate about 1960s American muscle cars – Camaros, Corvettes, Chargers and Challengers – what Marcus Walz really enjoys doing is creating wild, over the top custom bikes.

A motocross rider in the 1980s and 1990s, Walz started his company – Walz Hardcore Cycles – in 1993, in Schwetzingen, Germany, and moved to Hockenheim in 1994. In the year 2004, he was invited as the first non-American custom bike builder, to the Artistry in Iron Master Builder Bike Show, held during the Las Vegas Bikefest in the US.

Just be cool...

Last year, Walz was also invited for Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off TV show, and ended up winning it! What does he do in his spare time? ‘The only day that I have just for me is Sunday. If the weather is god, I take a wild ride on my Buell X1,’ says Walz. But then he adds, ‘I'm not that type of guy who rides every day in all weather. If I ride 1000 miles each year it's a lot! I never was a real biker, I get my satisfaction by building my bikes not by riding them.’

Offering us a peek into the psyche of those who buy his bikes, Walz says, ‘When I'm finished with one of those $100,000 bikes I can't wait to ride them - but just down the street in front of a Café. Then I sit down and drink a beer and watch how the people can't believe what they see. That is the real satisfaction for me!’

Well, to each his own. We’d rather have a GSX-R1000, take it to the Isle of Man and ride it every day of the year. But those who would opt for one of Walz’s big-money customs can visit his website here.

Also see:
Spinning around: Tailgunner rotary exhaust system
Fight Machines: The gloves are off...
The Freddie: Retro SBK's Spencer tribute
Racy reptile: Bimota YB6 Tuatara
CR&S Vun: Single, naked and Italian!
EZ Tuning: School of cool
Pal V-One: The bike that will fly

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Quiet please: Put a lid on this...

Exhaust noise and wind roar can damage your hearing permanently

We all know that too much noise – including wind noise – is bad for our ears. Helmets, of course, offer some protection from noise, as do earplugs which some riders use. But we recently saw an article in Bike magazine which scared us a bit – it says that riding fast without earplugs definitely damages our hearing, and ultimately, can make us go deaf.

But what’s more, the article goes on to explain that even using earplugs may not necessarily save our hearing. It says, ‘Earplugs give some protection, but a lot of what you’re hearing isn’t arriving via your ear canal. It’s being transmitted through your skull. Essentially, a helmet is a very noisy device attached to your head, so part of the potential damage comes from direct vibration of the cochlea.’

At least one Dr Michael Carley, at the Bath University in the UK, is trying to do something about saving bikers’ hearing. He is heading a research project aimed at making motorcycle helmets quieter. But for this, he needs your help – he needs you to complete an online survey, which relates riding patterns to hearing damage. You can complete the survey here.

Also see:
Rider alert! Read before you ride...
One the pace: All about high-speed road riding
2007 BMW K1200R Sport
Faster and Faster: The pros tell you how...
The awesome new Bimota Tesi 3D
2007 Repsol-replica Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade

Stoner and Capirossi test at Le Mans, prepare for Mugello

He's been racking up the wins this year, and there's been a corresponding increase in Mr Stoner's female fan following

After Sunday’s race at the Le Mans circuit, where Rizla Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen took his first MotoGP victory, the Ducati team went back to testing on Monday, to prepare for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, which will take place on Sunday, the 3rd of June.

Says Stoner, ‘We focused on testing tyres, found several that we like and gave the Bridgestone technicians our feedback so that we can make the best possible preparations for Mugello, which is one of my favourite racetracks.’ Capirossi adds, ‘We tried several fronts and rears and we found out some very interesting things. We also worked on engine mapping and traction control, making useful steps forward that make me confident for Mugello. I love Mugello because it suits my riding style a lot better than Le Mans.’

Ingrid Capirossi, Loris' wife, has promised him a special treat if he wins at Mugello

Of course, we suppose The Doctor won’t be taking things lying down and would be going all out in preparing for the Italian grand prix. All the Italian riders – Capirossi, Rossi and Melandri – would want to win at Mugello, while Stoner will be making things as tough as possible for them as usual. Should be fun…

Also see:
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Fifth Gear's Tiff Needell testst the Campagna T-Rex
Nicky Hayden: Watch out...!
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Team Cristofolini's 350cc, 112bhp racing scooter!
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