Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hi-res Valentino Rossi wallpaper!

All of us here at Faster and Faster absolutely adore Valentino Rossi. We think he's a god, and we want him to win in China tomorrow. While we hope and pray, here's some hi-res Rossi wallpaper for you. Enjoy...

Stoner may win the world championship this year, but Rossi is MotoGP!

Also see:
2007 MotoGP race reports, features, interviews and hi-res wallpaper!
Rossi's girlfriend, Elisabetta Canalis' image gallery
Rossi, the biggest earning star in MotoGP
Angelina Jolie wins, Rossi comes second...
Blast from the past: Silver Dream Racer
Kentucky Kid: "I'm not giving up by any means!"
John Hopkins: "I'm a better rider than Hayden!

2008 Suzuki Hayabusa to use 180bhp, 1350cc inline-four from the B-King!

A peek at the new Hayabusa's 180bhp, 1340cc inline-four...

It’s no secret that the Suzuki B-King is inching closing to becoming a production reality – we expect a formal announcement from Suzuki within the next two months, and the bike should be in showrooms by the end of this year.

But the bigger news is the fact that the 2008 Hayabusa will actually use the B-King’s engine. Earlier speculation that the next-generation Hayabusa might use an 1100cc, inline six-cylinder engine (taken from the Stratosphere concept…) has been proved wrong. The 2008 Hayabusa will use the B-King’s 1350cc inline-four, which is likely to pack more than 180 horsepower!

Other news on the new Hayabusa is that it’ll have a totally redesigned chassis, fresh styling (say goodbye to the current machine’s bulbous lines…), and radial brakes with optional ABS. Also, like with the 2007 GSX-R1000, the 2008 Hayabusa is likely to get rider-selectable fuel-injection mapping, which will reduce power in tricky road/weather conditions.

Update (28th June 2007): More details on the 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa here.

It'll do 320km/h, but couldn't Suzuki make the new Hayabusa better looking?

2008 Suzuki Hayabusa launch video

Motorcycle-USA video: Hayabusa vs ZZR1400!

Some other really fast bikes:
The 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZZR1400!
Acabion GTBO 70: 700bhp, 600km/h top speed!
MV Agusta F4 R 312: The world's fastest production motorcycle
Roaring Toyz Kawasaki ZZR1400: Fast and bling'd out!
Honda NSR500: The bike on which Mick Doohan won 5 world championships!
The turbo'd MAB BMW K1200R

More 2008 bikes:
2008 Kawasaki ZZR1400: Improved power delivery, lairy new paintjob!
2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R: Extreme performance, but what about the styling...?
Stunning new Hondas: The CB1100R and Evo6
Pics and details: 2008 Kawasaki Z1000, Z750, ER-6n, ZX-6R, Versys 650 and Ninja 250R
Pics and details: 2008 Yamaha R1
Pics and details: 2008 Yamaha R6 and R125
Video: 2009 Suzuki Stratosphere 1100
Triumph Hurricane 1300: Is the first 200mph British superbike coming...?
BMW HP2 Sport Boxer to go into production soon...
Pics and details: 2008 Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR, XL700V Transalp
Honda: V4 revival in 2009?
2008 KTM 690 Duke and other 690-based machines...
First pics: 2008 Suzuki GSX-R750 and GSX-R600
2008 BMW HP2 Sport: Pics, details and tech specs...

External link:
Don't like the Hayabusa's back end? Here are some others that may look better...!

CR&S Vun: Single, naked, Italian…

The CR&S Vun, from Italy. Where else could it be from anyway?
Based in Italy, CR&S (CafĂ© Racers and Specials) are doing what Italians do best – building whacky motorcycles that look and feel a bit special. The spec is not that impressive – the Vun is powered by a 4-valve, DOHC, 652cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled Bombardier-Rotax engine that makes a mere 54 horsepower. But since the bike only weighs 135kg dry, performance is entertaining.

That's Massimo Tamburini himself, having a go on the Vun

For those who think 54bhp may be a bit much, there’s also an ‘underpowered’ 29bhp version (that’s what the factory website says it is!) available, as is a 68bhp racing version, which is for track use only. All versions of the Vun are, however, fitted with a steel-tube chassis, Ceriani 46mm front forks, adjustable Paioli monoshock rear suspension and 320mm single-disc brakes at the front. Prices start at around US$20,000 for the basic Vun, and there’s a near endless options list for those who want to spend more money.

Here's a video of the Vun being ridden the way it's meant to be

CR&S is headed by one Roberto Crepaldi, whose credentials are impressive. He’s worked with men like Enzo Ferrari and John Britten among others, so he probably knows a bit about making fast, fun machines. About the Vun, he says ‘It’s a bike for what we Italians call mistostretto – twisty roads. When we built the first Vun, we took it to our local weekend meeting place in the hills, and plenty of riders on much more powerful bikes were surprised by how quick it was!’

Interesting, eh? Get more information and details on the CR&S website here.

Riding through Libya, on the CR&S Vun...

Some very cool Italian bikes:

The limited edition MV Agusta F4 CC. Awesome!
2007 Aprilia Tuono R Factory
2007 Ducati Multistrada 1100
2007 Ducati Monster S4r
Piaggio MP3. Icy cool!
Gilera Fuoco 500. Even cooler than the Piaggio MP3!

Doug Polen not so impressed with the Ducati 1098

So, which was better - the Ducati 999, or its successor, the 1098? This is what for WSBK champ Doug Polen had to say about it...

Ducati delivered the 1000th 1098 last month, and after the relative lack of success with their 999, the Italian company is properly back on track. But there is still some debate on which performs best – the 999 or the 1098. To settle this debate once and for all, Motorcyclist magazine recently conducted a shootout between the two. And they got no less than two-time world superbike champ (1991 and 1992, aboard the Ducati 888) Doug Polen to deliver the verdict.

About the 999, Polen says that ‘The neatest thing about it is powerband. It’s very rideable, very smooth, very linear. There’s no big hit anywhere, so no matter where you are on the racetrack – slow corners, fast corners – when you roll the throttle on, it goes. It’s not the fastest handling, but it’s hooked up and stable, so it’s a nice ride.’

Doug Polen in action on a Ducati 888, during his racing days in the early-1990s

'Nice ride,' eh? So what does Mr Polen have to say about the 1098? While he had no issues with the power delivery, Doug found out that making the 1098 handle could be hard work. ‘The 1098 is so light that it doesn’t work the suspension. You have to ride it very hard to work the suspension, so I’m out there running harder and all that’s doing is beating up the tyres. As soon as I rode the 999 with fresh tyres, the 1098 was in trouble. It was over before it started.’

So what’s the bottomline? According to Doug Polen, ‘You’re trying to top a motorcycle [the 999] that’s very, very good to begin with. It’s hard to drastically improve something that’s already one of the best.’ So there you are, then. While the 1098 certainly looks good and goes hard, it may not have the 999 beat just yet.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Across the US on mopeds…

Fancy riding across the US on something like this?

Champlain College students Nick Girard and Kevin Corkrum will soon be graduating. But they won’t be getting nine-to-five jobs anytime soon. Instead, the two, who are moped enthusiasts (er, well…), are going to ride across the United States of America. On their mopeds, of course. The team also has a third member – Tom Sands – who’ll be handling photography.

‘We're going to take our time and experience America in a way that most people don't,’ says Girard. ‘There's a big underground culture of mopeds,’ he adds, and says that part of their goal is to show just how fuel efficient mopeds are. ‘If we wanted to take just a normal road trip, we'd just jump in my car,’ says Corkrum.

You can follow this rather unique adventure on their website here.

Blast from the past: Silver Dream Racer

Silver Dream Racer. Corn and cheese...

We recently got our hands on a DVD of the Silver Dream Racer. Directed by David Wickes and starring David Essex (apparently, a pop star in the 1980s…) in the role of a small-time motorcycle racer with big ambitions, this early-1980s British movie features some rubbish acting, a corny plot and lots of cheesy melodrama. But because it revolves around motorcycle racing, we like the movie anyway.

Here's a clip from the movie, showing the Silver Dream Racer in action!

The story is about one Nick Freeman (played by Mr Essex) who makes do with beat-up racebikes and small budgets until one day, when he’s handed a brand-new one-off racebike prototype by his brother’s widow. Our man then goes out, finds a new girlfriend, gets the funding to run his new bike, goes on to race at Silverstone, and ends up winning. Soppy stuff, but if you love bikes and if you’re old enough to remember Barry Sheene, you may want to rent the DVD

Also see:
Stephanie McLean remembers Barry Sheene and the way it was back then...
Motorcycle racing: Then and now
In conversation with Kevin Schwantz
The saga of the mighty Honda NSR500
Down memory lane: The Yamaha RD500LC

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Life in the fast lane: Peraves MonoTracer

No, it's not an eco-friendly electric/hydrogen hybrid. The 130bhp MonoTracer can hit speeds of up to 250km/h!

Powered by a BMWK1200R, 130-horsepower engine, the Swiss-made Peraves MonoTracer is a fully-enclosed car/sportsbike hybrid that costs a mere US$70,000. What you get for your money is an avant-garde machine that’s capable of 52-degrees of lean, that will accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds and that can hit a top speed of 250km/h.

While speed and acceleration are all very well, the MonoTracer’s party trick is its retractable stabilizer wheel. Dive into a corner at 150km/h and this deploys in less than half a second, allowing the machine to lean up to 52 degrees – considerably more than what most superbikes ever do on the road!

More weather protection than a Yamaha R1, funkier than a Porsche...

Apart from sheer performance, the two-seater, 470kg MonoTracer comes fitted with a heating and ventilation system (an AC is optional), cruise control, ABS, and anti-spin control – all of which offer more comfort and safety than your average litre-class superbike. Interesting? Go to the official website for more information.

Also see:
Acabion GTBO 70: The world's fastest motorcycle!
Could you learn to live without bikes? Just for a day...
Memorable: Laverda 750S
Lazareth Motorcycles: Custom cool!
NCR Ducati Millona: Got US$80,000?

From Japan: Moto Corse 1098 AC

Stock Ducati 1098 not good enough? Moto Corse will make a 1098 AC for you then. If you're rich enough...

Based in Japan, Moto Corse are well known for their specially-tuned European superbikes, and they’ve now got their hands on the Ducati 1098. The result is the 1098 AC, which comes with a higher compression engine (which presumably makes a bit more power than stock…), slipper clutch, titanium exhaust and fancy paintjob. Prices have not been announced, but you can get more details on the Moto Corse website.

MV Agusta and Carl Fogarty get together for 2008 World Superbikes!

Fogarty, one of the most successful riders ever in world superbikes, joins forces with MV Agusta for 2008

Carl Fogarty is, it seems, finally done with Petronas and their ill-fated racing project. For the 2008 World Superbikes season, Fogarty will run a factory-supported team with MV Agusta. Carl Fogarty, who won four World Superbikes titles in the 1990s, says, ‘This is a very exciting opportunity. Claudio shares my desire for success and it will be great to work with him again. My team is now committed to finding sponsorship for the next year in order to start preparations for the 2008 season as soon as possible.’

Fogarty and Castiglioni have worked together earlier, when Fogarty won World Superbikes titles in 1994 and 1995 with Ducati, which was owned by Castiglioni at that time. (Foggy, of course, also won another two World Superbikes titles with Ducati – in 1998 and 1999.)

Foggy won four WSB world championships in the 1990s, with Ducati

Castiglioni, who’s now President at MV Agusta, says ‘We see this as a long-term relationship. When MV Agusta returns to World Championship competition, it must be with the ability to be competitive from the very first race, and to challenge for victory throughout the season. Everyone was impressed by the professionalism and dedication of Fogarty’s team during their five years with Petronas and we are confident they can deliver the results we expect.’

Foggy’s team will be racing the 2008 MV Agusta F4 R 312, which is currently the world’s fastest production bike. Foggy will also ride this bike during a Parade of Champions on the 8th of June this year, as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Isle of Man TT.

Also see:
Limited edition MV Agusta F4 CC
Limited edition Cagiva Mito 125 Black
New bikes from Aprilia!
Craig Jones: Stop this!
Faster and faster: The pros tell you how

Sunday, April 29, 2007

EZ Tuning: The school of cool

If the stock Superduke isn't already mad enough for you, EZ Tuning turn it into this

Stock KTM Superduke or BMW K1200R not funky enough for you? Take it to Milan-based EZ Tuning then, who’ll give your bike a funky new paintjob, slap on some exotic bits and generally make sure your bike stands out in a crowd. Any crowd. Take a look at the EZ Tuning website for more information.

German engineering + Italian style = EZ Tuning K1200R

Also see:
Custom streetfighter: Mad Jack!
British is bigger, British is best!
The awesome new Bimota Tesi 3D
Lazareth Motorcycles: Custom cool...!
Ninja Nation: 1988 Kawasaki ZX-10 vs 2007 ZX-10R
Troy Lee creates the Canyon Chaser
V-Rex: If dreams came true...

Aprilia will be World Superbikes in 2008 with new V4, 1000cc superbike

While Ducati campaign for a 1200cc engine displacement limit for their v-twin superbikes for WSB, Aprilia are already in the final stages of development on their new 1000cc, V4 superbike. This machine, which Aprilia are likely to race in World Superbikes in 2009, will be significantly higher-tech than the existing top-of-the-line v-twin RSV-R Factory. The new V4 is expected to make more than 200 horsepower, and the bike could cost more than US$30,000 when it finally goes on sale (in late 2008?).

Aprilia are also developing an-all new 1200cc v-twin, which is already making around 130 horsepower in testing. This new engine could be used in a new supermoto (based on the existing SVX450), and a new variant of the existing SL 750 Shiver. Also expected are full-faired versions of the Shiver and the NA 850 Mana, and a 750cc version of the SVX450. So there’s no holding back Aprilia then!