Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Wunderlich WR2: A lighter, faster BMW HP2...

The Wunderlich WR2 is essentially a lighter, faster version of the BMW HP2

Wunderlich have made their own version of the BMW HP2, which is said to be lighter and faster than BMW's original. The German tuning specialists started with a stock BMW R1200GS, pared the weight down to just 179kg and tuned the engine to make about 125 horsepower. The result is the Wunderlich WR2, which also has improved suspension, increased ground clearance and carbonfibre bodywork.

More details on the WR2 and other Wunderlich bikes on the official website here.

The Wunderlich K1200S Nuda...

...and the Wunderlich R1200GS

Also see:
Cool custom: The AC Schnitzer HP2
The amazing BMW HP2 Megamoto!
Turbocharged: The Canjamoto R1200S
From Belgium: The Krugger Goodwood
Streetfighter: The Pettinari Speed Triple
Kalex AV1: MotoGP-spec performance for the street!
Fight Machines: Building the coolest customs ever...
Ecosse Spirit ES1: Rewriting the superbike rulebook

Legendary Laverda V6 seen in action in the UK

The mighty Laverda V6, which was raced at the 1978 Bol d'Or 24 hour race at the Paul Ricard circuit. Only one of these bikes remains in running condition today...

According to an MCN report, the legendary Laverda V6 Bol d'Or racer from the 1970s was recently seen at a vintage bikes festival in the UK. Piero Laverda (son of Pietro Laverda, founder of Moto Laverda) and his ex-factory riders Augusto Brettoni and Roberto Gallina visited the UK to showcase the bike and put in a few demo laps around the Mallory Park circuit.

Produced in 1977-78, the Laverda V6 is powered by a DOHC, water-cooled, 1000cc, six-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower at 11,800rpm. Top speed is said to be 285km/h! Piero Laverda himself owns the bike shown in the UK and it's the only running example left. The bike is said to be insured by the Vintage Motorcycle Club for about US$500,000. There is one more Laverda V6, which lives in a Laverda museum in the Netherlands, but that bike is not in running condition.

Il signore Alfieri, who had earlier worked for Lamborghini and Maserati, was the man responsible for developing the Laverda V6. The bike was raced in the 1978 Bol d’Or 24 hour race, but failed to finish due to a broken transmission shaft. The V6 racing project was not developed further and Laverda never made a road-going version, so that was the end for another great Italian motorcycle...

Here are some links to various Laverda clubs and fan sites.

Friday, July 20, 2007

BMW buy Husqvarna from Castiglioni!

One great European motorcycle marque acquires another!

Back in March this year, we had reported the possibility of BMW getting into some kind of a joint venture agreement with Husqvarna. Now, according to a report on Motoblog, BMW have gone ahead and bought Husqvarna Motorcycles. Dr Herbert Diess, Director, BMW Motorrad and Claudio Castiglioni (who owned Husqvarna as a part of his company, MV Agusta S.p.A.) signed an agreement to that effect yesterday, though the sale will only be valid once it's been approved by governing bodies in Europe. The purchase price remains confidential.

Husqvarna have been known for building some of the best off-road bikes in the world!

Castiglioni says this transaction was carried out 'in order to have more financial resources for new model development' at MV Agusta and Cagiva. He also said that 'Husqvarna is steeped in tradition and is one of the most famous motorcycle companies in the world, and under the directions of BMW Motorrad it will continue to express its full potential.'

Established way back in 1903 in Sweden, Husqvarna have earned a reputation for building some of the best off-road motorcycles in the world. Acquiring the company seems to be a step in the right direction for BMW, who are now trying to build lightweight, powerful off-road bikes that are competitive on the street as well as in racing.

BMW will operate Husqvarna as a separate brand/entity, and Husqvarna's workforce and production facilities will continue to remain in Varese, Italy.

Also see:
Hi-res Husqvarna wallpaper
Turbocharged: 2008 Canjamoto BMW R1200S
The very cool Harley XR1200
The 2007 Triumph Street Triple
Suzuki's limited edition Intruder...
Big and naked! New Honda and Aprilia bikes coming next year...

Laguna Seca: New clothes for Colin Edwards' Yamaha YZR-M1

Rossi won the Dutch TT this year after Yamaha gave his YZR-M1 a new paintjob. Will this new livery work the same magic for Colin Edwards?

The Texas Tornado, Colin Edwards will run a special paintjob on his M1 for the 2007 American MotoGP at Laguna Seca this Sunday. After the Fiat 500 paint scheme which both Rossi and Edwards used at the Dutch TT at Assen, this will be the second one-off livery that Yamaha would be using this year. Says Colin, 'I'm always very proud to race in front of my home fans and I'm especially pleased to have something extra special to give them this weekend.'

Edwards is a talented and very likeable rider, though we think it's Nicky Hayden who stands a bigger chance of winning the 2007 USGP at Laguna. But if Edwards does end up beating Hayden, it has to be down to that funky paintjob...

More MotoGP:
The 2007 MotoGP season unfolds...
Loris Capirossi to move to Suzuki for the 2008 MotoGP season!
Two MotoGP events in the US in 2008...
Team Roberts going away from MotoGP?
John Hopkins to move to Kawasaki for 2008...

Bazzaz Performance launch traction control system for bikes

With 160bhp, you want that rear tyre to behave. Traction control...?

The US-based Bazzaz Performance have launched new electro-trickery motorcycle rider aids – the Z-Fi line of fuel injection, traction control and quick-shifter units.

Ammar Bazzaz, the man behind Bazzaz Performance, has been supplying electronics and engine management modules to superbike racing teams for a long time. He says, 'We developed the Z-Fi line of products to fill the performance gap between low-end piggy-back systems and expensive stand-alone engine management systems. The Z-Fi line was developed directly from race track testing and racing at the highest level in America.'

The Z-Fi plugs into a bike's stock ECU and optimises engine performance by controlling the fuel delivery. Installation is said to be simple and the Z-Fi features a USB interface with easy to use software. The unit can be run with stock or aftermarket exhaust systems and depending on the model, the Z-Fi will cost between US$300 - 400.

The Z-Fi line has Rizla Suzuki ladies' full approval! Probably...

Bazzaz Performance have also updated their QS-4 Quick Shift system, which allows clutchless gearshifts. The unit is priced at US$850. And finally, there's the Z-Fi TC, the first aftermarket traction control system for motorcycles. It's said to be suitable for the street as well as the racing circuit and its optional TC adjust switch allows you to tune the system's operation according to your riding skill and style. Cost is US$1,000.

The Bazzaz Z-Fi product line will be available for most Japanese sportsbikes. Watch this video of an interview with Ammar Bazzaz here.

More bike technology:
Throttle control: Rider vs electronics...
Dainese working on airbags for motorcyclists
Next generation motorcycle braking systems from Beringer
Can two-wheel-drive really work for bikes?
Carver One: Bringing cutting-edge tech to trikes!

TwinTrax: Harley-powered dragster for the street?

The TwinTrax uses two Harley engines mounted one behind the other...

And now, from Germany, we have the TwinTrax. Two Harley-Davidson engines in a stretched chassis, belt drive, WP suspension components, dragster-like seating position and a dry weight of around 400 kilos. No word on performance (the official website does not offer any details) and we would rather have an XR1200 anyway, thanks very much.

We found the TwinTrax on Oliepeil.

Also see:
XR1200: One of the best Harleys ever...?
Just how fast can a diesel motorcycle be?
Significant firsts in motorcycling
Shelby and Rucker's 150bhp chopper!
"GSX-Rs are for moped riders!"
Mad Jack: Custom streetfighter done right
Evil: Troy Lee's Canyon Chaser
The absolutely amazing V-Rex!
Jesse James' seven-cylinder, airplane-engined motorcycle!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

MotoGP: Loris Capirossi to move to Rizla Suzuki for the 2008 season!

One of the most experienced and talented riders on the MotoGP circuit, Loris Capirossi will move from Ducati to Rizla Suzuki for 2008

According to a report on MCN, Ducati rider Loris Capirossi has reached an agreement with the Rizla Suzuki team and will be leaving Ducati at the end of this year.

Of the two current Rizla Suzuki riders, Chris Vermeulen will be staying on with the team in 2008, but John Hopkins is moving to Kawasaki next year. So while Capirossi will fill Hopkins' place at Suzuki, at Ducati, it seems almost certain that Marco Melandri will be joining the Italian team alongside Stoner, who's already confirmed for 2008.

Also see:
The 2007 MotoGP season: A race-by-race account
Cycle World: A chat with Mick Doohan...
MotoGP bikes: The last three decades
Fiat 500 paintjob for Yamaha's MotoGP bikes...
Braking harder: Beringer shows the way ahead
Hot scoot: The Peugeot Satelis 125 Compressor!
The most desirable streetbike in the world is...?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Turbocharged: The 2008 Canjamoto BMW R1200S Scorpion

The Canjamoto R1200S Scorpion sure looks like it can take on the Hayabusas and the ZZR1400s of this world...!

Toronto, Canada-based Canjamoto (Canadian Jamaican Motorsports) have built an amazing motorcycle – the Canjamoto BMWR1200S Scorpion that you see here. The bike’s been designed by one Richard Minott and it certainly looks striking. The instrumentation features HUD (heads up display) technology but the best part is, a 160 horsepower turbo version will be available in 2008. Visit the Canjamoto website here.

The bike's designer, Richard Minott says that the goal was to have the feel and presence of exotic supercars...

Other mega-BMWs:
Resident Evil: Special K1200R made for the movie
MAB power: Turbocharged BMW K1200R
AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW K1200R Sport
AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW HP2...
The amazing new BMW HP2 Megamoto
2008 BMW K1000RS: A German GSX-R1000...?

Limited Edition Fiat Yamaha Replica R1

You can't get his YZR M1, but now you can have an R1 that looks like Rossi's bike...

Yamaha have announced the availability of a limited number of MotoGP-style Fiat Yamaha body kits for the R1 and R6 bikes. These body kits will be painted to resemble the Fiat Yamaha livery seen on Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi’s YZR-M1 MotoGP racebikes. Kits will be available for 2006 and 2007 models from October this year...

The Rossi-rep R1. Even Rossi's buying one. Maybe..

Also see:
First pics: 2008 Yamaha R1!
Face off: 2008 Yamaha R1 vs 1989 Yamaha FZR750RR OW01!
The 2007 MotoGP season unfolds...
Fiat 500 paint scheme for Yamaha's MotoGP bikes!
2007 Dutch TT: The Doctor is back!
Angelina Jolie tops Valentino Rossi!
Just how hot is the Yamaha Fazer?
Quarantasei: Valentino Rossi, the Milo Manara way...

Pro Italia announce ‘Ducati: A Story of Passion’ DVD

With exclusive video footage and some rare pics from the Ducati archives, this DVD should be well worth watching...

Pro Italia have just announced the release of their new DVD, on which they had been working for almost a year. Ducati: A Story of Passion is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at Ducati, Ducati Corse and the people behind the scenes.

The one hour film has been produced in collaboration with Ducati Motor Holding, Ducati North America and Cry Havoc Productions. The DVD includes rare and exclusive video footage and photographs showing Ducati heritage and history. And among others, there are also interviews with Troy Bayliss (2001 and 2006 WSBK champ), Claudio Domenicali (Ducati Corse and Head of Development), Livio Lodi (Ducati Museum Director), Federico Minoli (former CEO, Ducati Motor Holding) and Pierre Terreblanche (Ducati Motorcycle Designer). You can watch a trailer of this DVD here.

Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi, aboard two of our most favourite motorcycles of all time!

Pro Italia are the top dealers of Ducati, MV Agusta and NCR motorcycles in the US, and the world's no.1 Ducati online store. They’ve been part of the Southern California sportsbiking community since 1987 and their online store also features some of the best names in motorcycle accessories – Ducati Performance, Termignoni, Dainese, NCR Titanium, Ohlins, SpeedyMoto, Alpinestars, Arai, Shoei, AGV, Sidi, Vanson and so on.

Visit the Pro Italia website for more details.

Here's a quick preview of the DVD...

Also see:
Ducati 1098 wins most beautiful motorcycle award...
In action: The amazing Ducati Desmosedici RR!
Ferrari: 60th Anniversary celebrations
A Ducati for US$100?!
FIM: New regulations for WSBK 2008
Ducati working on all-new Monster for 2008...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

MotoGP: It’s all happening in the US now!

Can the 2006 MotoGP world champ, Nicky Hayden win at Laguna Seca this year?

With just five days to go for the 2007 US MotoGP at Laguna Seca, there seems to be a burst of MotoGP-related activity in America right now. The first big news is that there will be two MotoGP events in the US next year. In addition to the existing round at Laguna Seca, the legendary Indianapolis circuit will also host a round of MotoGP in 2008. The last motorcycle race happened there back in 1909, so bikes will be returning to the Indianapolis circuit after 99 years!

"Yeah Kevin, they've just confirmed a MotoGP at Indianapolis for 2008...!"

The 2008 Red Bull Indianapolis GP will take place on the 14th of September, on a new 4.2km motorcycle course that incorporates 16 turns. ‘We are very happy to be able to add this event to the MotoGP calendar because tradition and history play such a big part in our sport, and nowhere in the world has as much motorsport history as Indianapolis,’ says Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.

Three-time 500cc world champ, Wayne Rainey has been inducted into the Legends of Laguna Seca Walk of Fame

In the meanwhile, the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. On this occasion, among other things, three-time (1990, 91 and 92) 500cc world champion, Wayne Rainey will be inducted into the Legends of Laguna Seca Walk of Fame. A special ceremony for this will happen on Thursday, the 19th of July. It is said that Rainey’s efforts played a key role in bringing MotoGP back to the US in 2005 (after a 10-year absence) and that it was again Rainey who persuaded Yamaha to invest US$2 million towards upgrading and reworking the Laguna Seca circuit.

Full race report and pictures from the 2007 American MotoGP at Laguna Seca, this Sunday...

Also see:
John Hopkins to move to Kawasaki for the 2008 MotoGP season
Quarantasei: Valentino Rossi, the Milo Manara way
MotoCzysz C1: 990cc MotoGP-replica gets closer to production
Team Roberts to say goodbye to MotoGP?
Rossi crashes out of German MotoGP, Pedrosa on top at the Sachsenring!
Aprilia to return to MotoGP by 2010!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fast and frugal: The FuelVapor Alé

225km/h on three wheels? Yes if you're driving the Alé

Yet another mad trike – the Alé has two wheels at the front, one at the back, carbonfibre bodywork, and is fitted with a turbocharged, SOHC, 1.5-litre VTEC engine (sourced from Honda) that makes 180 horsepower. Zero to 100km/h takes just five seconds and top speed is limited to 225km/h.

Based in Canada, FuelVapor Technologies Inc have developed the Alé as a high performance yet frugal, super low emissions trike. The two-seater, front-wheel-drive vehicle runs on fuel vapour rather than normal liquid petrol and is capable of doing about 30km/l. The company website says that while most petrol engines run a 14.7:1 air-to-fuel ratio, the Alé runs a ratio of over 20:1, without compromising on performance.

Its calling card is that it runs on fuel vapour rather than normal liquid fuel...

More pics, details and video on the FuelVapor website here.

Other mad trikes:
Tiff Needell tests the mighty Campagna T-Rex
The amazing Gilera Fuoco 500
The trendsetting Piaggio MP3
The KTM-based Brudeli 625L
Volkswagen GX3: The Darth Vader of trikes!
Born in the USA: Can-Am Spyder

Sunday, July 15, 2007

German MotoGP: Rossi crashes out, Pedrosa on top at the Sachsenring!

Dani Pedrosa brought hope back to the HRC camp with his (and HRC's...) first win of the 2007 MotoGP season!
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The German MotoGP at the Sachsenring – the 10th round of the 2007 MotoGP season – turned out to be an amazing race. Dani Pedrosa, who started from the first row on the grid (behind Casey Stoner, was in the pole position), made a brilliant start and immediately proceeded to break away from the rest of the pack. Stoner did manage to put some pressure on Pedrosa for the first few laps, but then faded into a distant second place.

Valentino Rossi, who had won the Dutch TT at Assen two weeks ago, lost the front end of his bike while overtaking Kawasaki man Randy de Puniet and crashed out of the race on the 6th lap. Stoner, who was in second place for some time, failed to capitalize on Rossi’s crash and was passed by Loris Capirossi, Nicky Hayden and even Colin Edwards.

Finally, Pedrosa came first by a huge margin, taking HRC’s first win of the 2007 season in dominant style. Capirossi, proving that he isn’t finished yet, finished in second place and a newly resurgent Hayden took third – his second podium finish in the last two races. Definitely a good race for Honda!

Stoner now leads the world championship by 32 points ahead of Rossi, who’s now only 20 points ahead of Pedrosa. With the American MotoGP at Laguna Seca only a week away from now, the 2007 MotoGP world championship is still pretty much wide open…

Also see:
Quarantasei: Valentino Rossi comic book DVD
Would you buy a Honda NSR500?
990cc MotoGP-replica MotoCzysz C1 gets closer to production...
John Hopkins signs up with Kawasaki's MotoGP team for 2008
Down memory lane: The mighty Yamaha YZR500
Kevin Schwantz back in MotoGP in 2008, as team manager...

Quarantasei: Valentino Rossi, the Milo Manara way

For a glimpse of Valentino Rossi away from the racetrack, maybe you need to watch Milo Manara's animated series, Quarantasei

Italian writer and illustrator Milo Manara, famous for his wildly erotic and highly stylized comic books, has turned his redoubtable talents in an unlikely direction – Valentino Rossi. The 62-year-old Manara has been working on Quarantasei, an animated series on the life and times of The Doctor.

Talking about Manara on Wikipedia, Rossi says, ‘Manara has drawn some kind of a mythical history of my life, in cartoons, with some of my heroes such as Steve McQueen, Enzo Ferrari, Jim Morrison, and other characters such as my dog Guido, the chicken Osvaldo and a lot of beautiful women! I really like Milo – he’s a person whom I have admired for a long time.’

A peek at the Quarantasei video

More details, pics and video on Milo Manara’s official website here.

Also see:
2007 Dutch TT: The Doctor is back!
Mighty mite: The supercharged Peugeot Satelis
Now available: The BMW HP2 Megamoto!
Motorcyclists: Straight up now...
Troy Corser: Just how good is the new Yamaha R1?
Malaguti's Loris Capirossi tribute...