Monday, July 09, 2007

2008 BMW K1000RS under development!

For those who always wanted a German GSX-R1000, BMW might have the K1000RS ready for you in 2008! (This pic is sourced from Motociclismo)

BMW have been on a roll of late, what with powerful, funky new bikes and a return to top-flight racing. At one time, there were rumours of BMW coming to MotoGP, but while that’s been squelched, it’s now being said that BMW will go racing in World Superbikes in 2008. And no, it won’t be with a 1200cc boxer-twin, but a brand-new 1000cc four-cylinder superbike!

According to a report on Motociclismo, the BMW K1000RS will be the Bavarian company’s WSBK racer in 2008. The bike is expected to weigh in at 190kg and its four-cylinder engine is expected to make 190 horsepower, making for a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. The bike will utilize a beam frame chassis, conventional USD front forks and chain drive.

Motociclismo also say that the BMW K1000RS may be fitted with some kind of semi-automatic gearshift system and an advanced version of traction control. The bike, it’s said, is already being tested extensively and may be launched by August 2008.

With KTM and Aprilia also going to WSBK in 2008, it’ll be terrific if BMW join the fray with an all-new 1000cc, four-cylinder superbike. We’ll definitely keep you posted on this one!

Also see:
The amazing new BMW HP2 Megamoto!
Bikes really are the best traffic busters...
The SR8LM: Two Hayabusa engines, 455 horsepower...!
Motorcycle throttle control: Man vs machine
Enertia: The next step in motorcycle evolution?
New FIM regulations for World Superbikes 2008

Sunday, July 08, 2007

2008 Buell 1125R: Serious performance!

The 2008 Buell 1125R. Its BRP-Rotax v-twin makes 146bhp
2008 Buell 1125R video. This bike should be awesome...

Buell have announced their new sportsbike – the 1125R – today. In the past, Buell motorcycles have been a bit hard to figure out – they used slow-revving Harley engines, but the chassis, suspension and braking systems were fairly unconventional and very sports-oriented. A strange mix...

1125R - the first Buell streetbike with a liquid-cooled engine

Anyway, moving on, the all-new Buell 1125R is powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 1125cc, 72-degree v-twin built by BRP-Rotax, that makes 146 horsepower at 9800rpm. The bike gets a six-speed transmission with slipper clutch, belt drive, and an updated version of Buell’s trademark single-disc brake (mounted at the wheel rim rather than the hub) system at the front. The aluminium twin-spar chassis doubles up as the fuel tank and the bike weighs 170kg dry. The 1125R will be in US dealerships by the end of this year and is expected to cost about US$12,000. More details on the Buell website here.

Cycle World's tech guru, Kevin Cameron takes a look at the Buell 1125R here, and Motorcycle-USA has an interesting story on the evolution of Buell Motorcycles here (you may also want to have a look at their report on 2008 Harley-Davidsons here) and here's an interview with Erik Buell, on The Kneeslider. Finally, also look at what Kenn Stamp at 2WF has to say about the bike, here.

Update (24.08.07): Here's MCN's test report on the Buell 1125R.

Also see:
Hi-res Buell wallpaper
The 2007 Buell Lightning Super TT XB12STT
The 2007 Buell XBRR racer
The 2007 Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss...
Fischer MRX650 riding impression

Should be interesting to see how this Buell does against, say, a GSX-R750... :-)
Fringe benefits of owning a Buell: People are willing to help you clean your bike!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Chris Vermeulen working with Dainese on motorcycle rider airbags

Dainese and Chris Vermeulen are working on a rider airbag system, which chould be an important safety aid for motorcyclists in the future...

Dainese have been working on rider airbag systems for quite some time and now their work and research is being supported by Rizla Suzuki MotoGP rider, Chris Vermeulen. Says Dainese's sports marketing manager Lerrj Piazza, ‘Inside Chris’ riding suit, we have a special data logger and with this we store a lot of data about the dynamics of the rider on the bike. We need this to develop the airbag system.’

An ‘intelligent’ crash protection system for motorcycle riders, Dainese’s airbag system might be ready by next year and should be an important advance in rider safety when it finally goes on sale.

Also see:
Chris Vermeulen on top in French MotoGP!
Memorable: The 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Which is the best-loved naked in Italy...?
Retro SBK's Freddie Spencer tribute
Bikes vs cars: Fireblade takes on Civic Type-R!
Italian stallion: The mighty Bimota Tuatara

Electric and expensive: Enertia to go on sale early next year

The Enertia is clean and green, but will cost US$12,000 when it goes on sale next year!

For those who like their bikes clean, green and environment-friendly, you now have the Enertia electric motorcycle to look forward to. Engineered by Brammo, the bike boasts of a carbonfibre monocoque chassis, which houses the six Lithium-Phosphate batteries that power the Enertia’s electric motor.

The Enertia has performance comparable to most conventional scooters. It sprints from zero to 50km/h in about 3.8 seconds and is capable of hitting a top speed of 80km/h. It’ll also do 70km on a single charge, which should take care of most city commutes. And yes, the batteries will last for more than 600 charge cycles…

The Enertia will cost US$12,000 and above when it goes on sale in early-2008 and that makes it quite expensive. More details on the Enertia website here.

Also see:
The 190bhp Kawasaki 1400GTR Concours. Boring?
The SR8LM. For those who think a stock Hayabusa isn't powerful enough!
Missing no.34, Kevin Schwantz...
Peugeot Satelis: A supercharged scooter!
Motorcycle riders: Watch out!!!
What happened to the Rossi vs Pedrosa battle?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Throttle control: Motorcycle rider vs electronics

Definitely no electronics at work here!

While most of us agree that the increased use of electronics in modern-day motorcycles is a good thing, are manufacturers are going too far already? We’d support most things that enhance rider safety on the street. ABS and traction control etc. are all fine by us as long as they can be controlled/modulated by the rider, and switched off if the rider wants, what about motorcycle racing? How far should electronic aids be allowed to go before it becomes less of a motorcycle race on the circuit and more of a contest between computer scientists?

Umm… we don’t really know. We don’t have answers to the above question. But motorcycle tech guru, Kevin Cameron has written a brilliant article at the Cycle World website, which you may want to read. It talks about how building a racing motorcycle has gone from being all about ports and pipes and cams back then, to being mostly about electronic chips and computer software these days.

Learnings from racebike development ultimately filter down to streetbikes, so where we finally go with motorcycle electronics will have a very large impact on a very large number of riders...

The article is a fascinating read and might possibly even give you new insights into why a young rider from Australia has been regularly beating a multi-time world champion from Italy in this year’s MotoGP season! Get the article here.

Also see:
Suzuki RM-Z450: The first fuel-injected motocrosser!
Beringer brakes: New system to allow harder, safer braking
MotoGP: Can a new paintjob make a bike go faster? Yes!
MotoGP bikes: Three decades of evolution...
Frank Melling: Memories of the Isle of Man TT
David Howard's amazing Aprilia RSV-R 550
The world's most beautiful bikes...!!

Kawasaki 1400GTR Concours: Can a 153bhp bike be boring?

190bhp, 1.4-litre engine, variable valve timing and 300km/h top speed. And we still don't want the Kawasaki 1400GTR!
We are big fans of big, fast and brutish Kawasakis here and yet somehow we don't really like the 2008 Kawasaki 1400GTR Concours too much. How could that be? The bike is powered by the ZZR1400's engine (detuned from 190bhp down to 153...), is packed with cutting-edge technology and going by most road test reports, is fast, smooth, safe and comfortable.

We guess our problem with the bike is that it looks a bit dull. While it may be efficient and hassle-free, shaft-drive belongs on old-school BMWs and Moto Guzzis. And the 1400GTR also looks too big and bloated. Since the ZZR1400 can't possibly compete with GSX-R1000s and R1s on twisty mountain roads, isn't it already a hyper-fast sports-tourer? Where's the need for a GTR1400? Fast it may be, but isn't the Concours too much of an old man's bike?

While we don't like the GTR too much, we guess the bike would have some fans among our readers. If you like the 1400GTR, read Lance Oliver's first ride report, at the AMA website here.

No, the 1400GTR doesn't do anything for us. We'd much rather take the ZZR1400 or even the 2008 Hayabusa...

Ducati Desmosedici RR makes its first public appearance in action at Misano!

With Vittoriano Guareschi aboard, the Desmosedici RR struts its stuff

The absolutely glorious Ducati Desmosedici RR made its first ever public appearance at the recently concluded 2007 World Ducati Week. Ducati MotoGP Team test rider, Vittoriano Guareschi rode the bike around the Misano Circuit for a few demo laps.

Powered by Ducati’s pre-2007 MotoGP-spec 989cc, 200bhp L4, the Desmosedici RR is indeed a MotoGP bike for the road. Ducati Motor Holding CEO, Gabriele Del Torchio says, ‘This is a dream motorcycle that is destined to become an icon, endorsed by the fact that so many of the world’s top sportsmen and celebrities alike have placed orders to own one.’

Apart from its GP6 MotoGP bike-spec engine, the Desmosedici RR boasts of bits like sand-cast aluminium crankcases, magnesium engine covers, a cassette type six-speed gearbox and hydraulically actuated dry multi-plate slipper clutch. The engine’s double overhead cams actuate four titanium valves per cylinder and are gear driven from a crankshaft which has titanium connecting rods.

Ducati Desmosedici RR. Perhaps the most lust-worthy motorcycle in the world

Says Claudio Domenicali, Director of Product Development at Ducati Motor Holding and the CEO at Ducati Corse, ‘We are extremely pleased with the final result – the bike is fantastic both statically and dynamically. The chassis is rigid and the engine crisp, just like the racing Desmosedici and this is the very essence of the project – to leave the owner with a taste of our MotoGP bike!’

Also see:
Limited edition MV Agusta F4 CC
V-Roehr 1130: The all-American superbike
Could you learn to live without bikes...?
New developments at Moto Morini
Allen Millyard's V12 Kawasaki!
Aprilia to enter WSBK in 2008
EZ Tuning: The school of cool

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Gut-wrenching: The SR8LM's 455bhp V8 Hayabusa engine!

The SR8LM. More than twice as powerful as a 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa!

So Suzuki have just launched the 2008 Hayabusa and its 180 horsepower is not nearly enough for you. No problem at all – just get a Radical SR8LM. Okay, it isn’t a motorcycle, but it uses a Suzuki Hayabusa engine. No, it uses two Suzuki Hayabusa engines, making it a 2800cc, 455 horsepower V8! Engineered by Powertec, the V8 is mated to a six-speed paddle-shift gearbox and will give you 30 hours of use between rebuilds.

That's two Hayabusa engines joined together, to make a 2.8-litre, 455bhp V8!

The SR8LM, its builders claim, is a car that will match most all-out Le Mans race cars around most circuits and we suppose that means it is one hell of a machine. More details on the SR8LM here, and more details on its Powertec V8 engine here. We first read about this car on The Kneeslider here.

If the 2008 Hayabusa isn't powerful enough for you, you need this Le Mans-worthy V8. Just find a specials builder who'll bolt it on to a motorcycle chassis...

The need for speed:
The mighty 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa: First pics, video and details
Riding a fast bike? WATCH OUT!
Drag race: Hayabusa vs ZZR1400
"ZZR1400s and Hayabusas? Pooh..!!"
"GSX-Rs? They're for moped riders!"

Triumph officially unveil Street Triple 675

Triumph Street Triple: Light, adequately powerful and sporty

Six weeks ago, we showed you the first official picture of the Triumph Street Triple. Now, Triumph have officially unveiled the Street Triple – the bike was shown at the Triumph Tridays in Neukirchen, Austria.

Using the Daytona 675’s three-cylinder engine, the Street Triple packs 107 horsepower and 69Nm of torque, which should make for entertaining performance in a bike that weighs 167kg.

The wheels, brakes, chassis and swingarm have been taken from the Daytona and in keeping with its sporting intent the Street Triple is fitted with Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier (120/70 ZR17 front and 180/55 ZR17 rear) rubber as standard. Pirelli SuperCorsa Pro and Bridgestone BT014G tyres are approved options. Kayaba suspension units are fitted front and rear.

Says Tue Mantoni, Triumph’s Commercial Director, “It’s a great bike for both new and experienced riders, with distinctive style, and class-leading performance in an affordable package. Reaction from customers to the Street Triple has been fantastic and our dealers are very much looking forward to receiving their demo bikes shortly.” More details on the Triumph website here.

So just how good is the Street Triple? Watch this video...

Also see:
NRV588: Norton Rotary lives again!
British is bigger, British is best!
Very fast past: The Vincent Black Shadow!
Wakan 1640: Motorcycling, the French way...
And now, make way for the KTM RC8!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

2008 Suzuki RM-Z450: The first fuel-injected motocrosser is here!

The fuel-injected Suzuki RM-Z450. "Mud in your eye...!"

While street bikes have had fuel injection for ages, you might be surprised to know that all motocross machines were still making do with carburetors. Until now, that is. The 2008 Suzuki RM-Z450 has just been unveiled and the bike gets electronic fuel-injection – a first for motocross bikes!

The RM-Z450 weighs only 102 kilos and is powered by a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder, 449cc DOHC engine with Keihin EFI. Fully adjustable Showa suspension units are used front and rear – 47mm forks at the front and piggyback-reservoir shock at the back. The bike also has an aluminium fuel tank (instead of the usual plastic...) and the EFI unit is mounted at the bottom of this tank.

Other manufacturers should be following Suzuki's example very soon. Bring on the EFI...

With the new EFI system, Suzuki claim better low- and mid-end power delivery and improved roll-on performance for the RM-Z450. Indeed, the bike marks the beginning of a new era in motocross engine technology – all other manufacturers are also sure to introduce EFI on their motocross bikes very soon...

Also see:
The mighty 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa
Pimp'd: Accessories for the Suzuki GSX-R1000
Suzuki GSX-R1000 vs KTM 125cc GP racer?!
Suzuki finally back on top in MotoGP!
Kevin Schwantz: The greatest Suzuki GP rider ever...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back to the '50s: Piaggio Ape Calessino

We suppose only the Italians can make three-wheelers look so cool... :-)

We saw these images on Motoblog and well, aren't they cool? The three-wheeler in the pics is the Piaggio Ape Calessino and from what little we can understand (Motoblog is an Italian site...), it's a limited-edition model based on a 1950s/1960s machine, which also appeared in some Hollywood movie. More details on the Motoblog site here.

Buy one of these and your GSX-R riding mates will be left eating your dust. Maybe

Other interesting three-wheelers:
The amazing Piaggio MP3
The Gilera Fuoco 500
The Carver One: A three-wheeled superbike?
Pal V-One: The flying trike!
Campagna T-Rex: Tiff Needell tests the maddest trike ever...

Some old Vespa advertisements. Cool...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ducati 1098 F08 World Superbikes racer unveiled

Troy Bayliss rides the Ducati 1098 F08 racebike at the Misano circuit...

The 1098 F08 superbike, which Ducati will be racing in World Superbikes in 2008, was unveiled during the 2007 World Ducati Week at Misano yesterday. Troy Bayliss put in a few demo laps on the new bike, which is still in the development stage, at the Misano circuit.

Says Troy, 'I just saw the new 1098 for the first time yesterday. It looks and feels good and although it clearly doesn't feel like home after a couple of laps, I'm sure Ducati are moving in the right direction and it will be soon! I've still got a few things to concentrate on at the moment, like winning this year's title, but I'm really looking forward to testing the bike at a quieter moment in the future.'

Ducati 999. The old order changeth...

Ducati have been racing the 999R in World Superbikes this year, but that will make way for the 1098 F08 in 2008. In keeping with new FIM regulations for 2008, we suppose the bike's engine capacity would be upped to 1200cc, but Ducati will have to run it in a lower state of tune (as compared to the 999R) and make do with standard con-rods, crankshaft and rocker arms.

...yielding place to the new! With the new 1098 racebike, sparks will fly in WSBK next year

Compared to 1000cc four-cylinder Japanese machines, the 1200cc Ducati twins will also have a slightly higher minimum weight limit and will have to run air restrictors. Rather confusingly, the FIM say that 'both these handicaps may change during the season depending on performance.' We still think the 2008 World Superbikes scene will be dominated by Ducati...

The 1098 WSBK race bike sure looks menacing. Yes, it'll be fast...

Also see:
Ducati 1098 wins Motorcycle Design Association’s 'Best Design Of 2006' award
Hi-res Ducati wallpaper
Pierre Terblanche: "I thought the 916 series needed to move on...'
Ducati 999 vs 1098: Doug Polen decides!
Istituto Europeo di Design: "The World’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle is...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Kevin Schwantz: No.34, we miss you!

Kevin Schwantz at the 2007 Dutch TT at Assen

We can't see him in action anymore, but the smile hasn't changed... :-)

The legendary Kevin Schwantz (500cc world champ in 1993) was in attendance at the Dutch TT yesterday. We saw some pictures of his at Assen and suddenly realized that even though he’s not been racing for so many years now, we still miss him!

Our no.1 500cc GP racebike ever - the 1989 Pepsi Suzuki RGV500

The bike with the No.34 plate was always the one to watch out for!

The Stoner vs Capirossi battle at Assen reminded us of the epic races in the late-1980s and early-1990s, when Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey used to go head to head like crazed bulldogs. Throw in Eddie Lawson, Wayne Gardner, and Mick Doohan into the mix and you had some truly spectacular races. We wouldn’t say that MotoGP races today are any less interesting, but we grew up watching races in those days, so the 1980s/1990s will always be special for us.

The year 1989 saw some epic battles between Rainey and Schwantz

Even today, Schwantz hasn't slowed down. Here he and Mamola go head to head on a pair of Rizla Suzuki GP bikes...

For those readers who also have fond memories Schwantz, his antics and his absolutely glorious Pepsi Suzuki RGV500, we’ve posted these pics and video for you. Enjoy! And remember, Schwantz may come to MotoGP next year as a team manager with Suzuki… :-)

Here's the various helmets Kevin wore over the years. The one in the bottom right hand corner is our no.1 favourite!

Possibly the most watched Rainey vs Schwantz clip on the Internet... :-)

And here's a slightly longer Kevin Schwantz video. Those were the days...

More Kevin Schwantz:
Schwantz talks about the Suzuki GSX-R series
An interview with Kevin Schwantz
Go-faster tips from No.34!
Schwantz's biggest rivals: Wayne Gardner and Wayne Rainey

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Doctor is back! Rossi wins the 2007 Dutch TT at Assen

For those (including us...) who had begun to doubt The Doctor, the Dutch TT was a kick up the backside. Yes indeed, no.46 is BAAA....AAAACKK!!!

We confess, we’d started thinking maybe it just wouldn’t be possible for Valentino Rossi to beat Casey Stoner. At one time, Rossi decimated the likes of Biaggi and Gibernau and now perhaps Stoner would do the same to Rossi. Well, we’ve been proved completely wrong!

The Doctor started the 2007 Dutch TT at Assen from the fourth row of the grid, and at one point in the race he was five seconds behind race leader Stoner, who started from the front row. And then, as Rossi sliced his way through the field, he showed us why he’s seven-time world champion and why the 2007 MotoGP world championship is still very much open.

Nicky Hayden also finally rode like a world champ and took a well-deserved third place. Good for him!

Passing pretty much everybody along the way – Capirossi, Edwards, Vermeulen, Hopkins, and Hayden – Rossi finally caught up with Stoner. And after an epic battle – one that reminded us of Rainey vs Schwantz dogfights – he finally passed Stoner and won the Dutch TT. Hayden, who finally rode like a world champion, took a well deserved third place, while Pedrosa came in fourth. Are HRC also making a comeback…?

It was an emphatic race win for Rossi – The Doctor has finally shown that he can indeed beat Stoner. After nine races in this season, Stoner still leads the 2007 world championship by a significant 21 points, but this could be the turning point. Looks like no.46 has made up his mind to fight back – fight back hard – after all. If we’re getting the Valentino Rossi of old back for the remaining races in 2007, it’s going to be one hell of a MotoGP season!

Also see:
Hi-res MotoGP wallpaper here, here, here, here, here and here.
Yes, you can buy a MotoGP bike!
Suzuki MotoGP bikes: Three decades of evolution
Mick Doohan interview...
Troy Corser: "I'm surprised by the power of a stock Yamaha R1!"
KTM 125cc GP racer vs litre-class superbike!

Beringer Brakes: New system will allow harder, safer braking

The new Beringer braking system will bring peace of mind. Unlike Chris Vermeulen, you won't have to hop off your bike at 200km/h to check the brakes...

French company, Beringer have developed a new braking system that allows riders to brake later and harder, with reduced risk of loss of control. Beringer’s system uses a series of valves and hoses, which connect the front brake to an Ohlins rear shock and prevent the rear wheel from lifting on heavy front brake application.

The system works by using a valve at the bottom of the rear shock absorber, which opens when the shock is at full extension. This draws brake fluid back from the brakes, reducing braking pressure and ‘settling’ the bike. When the rear end is stable, full braking power is restored.

The system can be tuned for road or race usage, and the valve will operate accordingly. Riders can adjust the sensitivity of the system via a remote air canister mounted on the swingarm, and tune it according to their own riding styles. This new Beringer braking system will go on sale next year, and price is expected to be about US$650.

More bike technology:
Derbi Mulhacen X-vision: YouTube your ride!
Phase change material: The next step in motorcycle rider apparel?
Cat-cons: All set to evolve...
Significant firsts in motorcycling
Alternative front: Bimota Tesi 3D
Dainese RDRS: Data logging system for motorcyclists
Carver One: Pushing the limits of motorcycle tech...
2WD for motorcycles: It works!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Peugeot Satelis 125 Compressor: Smoke thy neighbour!

Wind it on and the supercharged Peugeot Satelis will blow past a lot of cars...

Er.., well, we couldn’t resist one more scooter post. See, 200 horsepower Hayabusas and ZZR1400s are all very well but somehow, blowing past cars (and sometimes, sportsbikes…) on a puny little scooter is just so deeply satisfying. And while some of the hottest, most stylish scooters come from Italy, the French also make some pretty torrid machines.

A 125cc supercharged engine, in a scooter! Madness!

We are, of course, talking about Peugeot’s old Jet Force (launched back in 2003) and now the Satelis 125 Compressor, which uses a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, supercharged 125cc engine! With its 20 horsepower, the Satelis 125 Compressor can hit a top speed of 125km/h, and acceleration is comparable to most 250cc motorcycles. (There is also a learner-friendly 15bhp version available, which can still do 115km/h.)

Sure, it's practical too, but who would ever buy a Satelis 125 Compressor for its under-seat storage space?

Compared with the older Jet Force's supercharger, the new version on the Satelis 125 makes less noise and is more fuel efficient – Peugeot claim a figure of 22km/l. Plus, the new supercharged engine is Euro 3 emissions compliant.

The older Jet Force was the first to use a supercharged engine. It still looks totally cool!

Yes, even with its supercharged performance, anti-lock braking system, and the exclusivity factor, the Satelis 125 Compressor is quite expensive at about US$6,000. Still, for sheer grin-inducing entertainment, this scooter may be hard to beat! More details on the Peugeot website here.

Fifth Gear did a shootout between the Peugeot JetForce 125 Compressor and the Suzuki Swift! Download the video (.Zip file) here.

The Peugeot Django also looks hot, right? ;-)

Motorcycles: The best traffic busters!

Riding this to work has to be better than taking the Mondeo, eh?

Anyone who commutes by car knows the sheer stress of spending hours stuck in traffic every day. Sitting in a car fretting and fuming, waiting for traffic jams to clear, has to be one of the worst things about living in big, congested cities. Now, a study done by the UK-based RAC Foundation tells us what we’ve known all along – scooters and motorcycles are the best solution for urban commuting.

More than a quarter of the UK’s working population spends two hours commuting every day. According to a report on Forbes, the same thing applies to more than 10 million people in the US, while another 3.3 million people spend three hours a day commuting to work and back. Surely, that’s a massive waste of time, energy and resources?

The RAC Foundation's analysis statistics shows that those who commute on two-wheelers spend less time traveling to and from work than those who travel by car or those who take the bus. So the solution, says the RAC report, is to actively encourage people to use two-wheelers for their daily commute. The challenge, it says, is ‘to ensure that motorcyclists are given the training and infrastructure to be able to travel safely and for other road users to be accommodating, and alert to their presence.’

So yes, do think about taking that bike to work. And please support the Ride to Work Day on the 18th of July!

Motorcycles: The best traffic busters!

Riding this to work has to be better than taking the Mondeo, eh?

Anyone who commutes by car knows the sheer stress of spending hours stuck in traffic every day. Sitting in a car fretting and fuming, waiting for traffic jams to clear, has to be one of the worst things about living in big, congested cities. Now, a study done by the UK-based RAC Foundation tells us what we’ve known all along – scooters and motorcycles are the best solution for urban commuting.

More than a quarter of the UK’s working population spends two hours commuting every day. According to a report on Forbes, the same thing applies to more than 10 million people in the US, while another 3.3 million people spend three hours a day commuting to work and back. Surely, that’s a massive waste of time, energy and resources?

The RAC Foundation's analysis statistics shows that those who commute on two-wheelers spend less time traveling to and from work than those who travel by car or those who take the bus. So the solution, says the RAC report, is to actively encourage people to use two-wheelers for their daily commute. The challenge, it says, is ‘to ensure that motorcyclists are given the training and infrastructure to be able to travel safely and for other road users to be accommodating, and alert to their presence.’

So yes, do think about taking that bike to work. And please support the Ride to Work Day on the 18th of July!

Nicky Hayden: Official scooter test rider for Honda

The Zoomer's been doing well in tests though test rider Hayden hopes to be able to make it go significantly quicker by the end of the 2007 MotoGP season

Reigning MotoGP world champ, Nicky Hayden doesn’t seem to be doing much with his RC212V these days, so Honda have decided to channel his talent elsewhere. Hayden will now be testing scooters at Honda, and his first assignment is the Honda Zoomer. According to Honda, the Zoomer is “…the choice of champions in the MotoGP paddock. With its no-frills look and ultra-reliability it’s the only way to get around.”

A Honda press release says “The super-cool Zoomer’s bare and minimal looks may seem basic, but the machine is far from it, fitting in well with the hi-tech world of MotoGP. At its heart is an environmentally-friendly fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 50cc four-stroke motor which pumps out around 4bhp. Drum brakes front and rear haul the lightweight 84-kilo machine smartly, while the chunky balloon tyres give sure-footed handling.”

Says Nicky, “You can just get on it and go – it never lets me down. I also think it looks kinda cool – especially mine.” Take that, Pedrosa! Now the only thing that remains to be seen is how the Zoomer stacks up to the Malaguti Phantom F12 R Capirex (the special Loris Capirossi edition) and the Yamaha Aerox Valentino Rossi edition. Ohhh… the excitement!!!

More scooters:
The very cool Gilera Fuoco 500
The trendsetting Piaggio MP3
The Segway i2: Who says scooters have to have wheels one behind the other?
The Bombardier Embrio: What scooters will someday become...
Mad Max's 350cc, 112bhp scooter
The Can-Am Spyder: Not really a scooter, but what the hell...
Scooter rider fantasies!
And finally, the bike you should buy once you're tired of scooters...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MotoGP: New paint scheme for Fiat Yamaha bikes for the Dutch TT at Assen

Fiat Yamaha celebrate the Fiat 500's 50th birthday with a new paint job

The Fiat 500 – one of the most loveable small cars ever made anywhere – was launched in 1957. This year, Fiat are celebrating the Fiat 500’s 50th birthday with a brand-new Fiat 500, which will be launched on the 4th of July in Turin, Italy.

In keeping with the spirit of celebration at Fiat, the Fiat Yamaha MotoGP team will run a special new livery at the Dutch TT at Assen this Saturday. We don’t know if the fancy paint job will finally make Rossi go faster than Stoner, but we live in hope! In the meanwhile, Murray Walker of the BBC recently interviewed The Doctor. It’s a very interesting conversation and you can watch the interview video here.

A superb little video of the old Yamaha R6 Valentino Rossi edition

Also see:
Ducati 999-powered Fiat 500!
Pimped out: Accessories for the K7 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Rossi vs Pedrosa: The battle that never happened...
Suzuki's MotoGP bikes: Three decades of evolution
The Dominant Doohan speaks...
Malaguti: Loris Capirossi tribute

S&T Corporation acquires Hyosung Motorcycles

The Comet GT250 has been one of Hyosung's best-sellers in recent times

Hyosung Motorcycles have been acquired by the S&T Corporation of South Korea and while their bikes will continue to be branded ‘Hyosung,’ the company has been renamed as S&T Motors Co. Ltd. Established in 1979, the S&T Corporation is one of South Korea’s biggest and fastest growing industrial groups. More details on their website here.

Also see:
Hyosung GT650X and TrendKiller
Hyosung Comet GT250
Hyosung in the United States
Are Indian motorcycle manufacturers, the next big thing...?

Hyosung bikes, which already have a growing presence in europe and the US, should continue to do well under S&T ownership

2008 Suzuki Hayabusa: First pics, video and details

In all its 197bhp glory, the 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa!

So this is it – here are the first photographs of the much-awaited 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa. Those who were expecting a radically styled new ’Busa might be slightly disappointed – the new Hayabusa looks like a mild evolution of the old one. And not a very pretty one at that.

The engine, as we reported earlier, is shared with the Suzuki B-King. The 1340cc inline-four (up from 1299cc on the old Hayabusa) has a higher compression ratio (12.5:1, up from 11.0:1), titanium valves, chrome-moly con-rods, and updated fuel injection. Suzuki claim a 12 percent boost in performance - a claimed 197 horsepower at the crank! Top speed is not likely to be more than 300km/h, though the new Hayabusa, which weighs 220kg, may accelerate harder than the Kawasaki ZZR1400.

Like the GSX-R1000, the new Hayabusa also gets a three-way drive mode selector switch, which should make riding the bike easier in wet weather conditions. Then there's the revised twin-spar aluminum frame, a more rigid swingarm, stronger rear subframe, fully-adjustable suspension, and radial-mount four-piston Tokico front brake calipers. Suggested retail price is US$11,999.



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