Saturday, September 08, 2007

Kawasaki ZZR1400 Turbo: The quest for 320km/h!

A zillion horsepower, and the need to ride faster and faster and faster...

If you aren’t entirely satisfied with your Kawasaki ZZR1400’s 190 horsepower and 300km/h top speed, we can understand. After all, who wouldn’t want a turbocharged, 500bhp ZZR that can outrun a fighter jet? Such a machine would, of course, be the only sensible bike to have.

And that’s where Big CC Racing come in. If you want your ZZR1400 (or any other big Japanese superbike…) fitted with a nitrous-oxide kit and a turbocharger, simply take it to Big CC, hand over the money, and they’ll do the rest. Speaking to Superbike magazine, Sean Miller, who’s been with Big CC Racing for the last 10 years, says, ‘I’m a firm believer of using big turbos. Of course, they give bigger power, but it’s also more controllable. You’re getting more grunt from less boost. Smaller turbos give a smaller powerband and make the bike difficult to manage. With the turbo we use on the ZZR, power is pretty linear and there are no big surprises.’

Big CC Racing will help you unlock the real potential of your big-bore Japanese superbike. After that, however, you're on your own...

Depending on how much money you want to burn, how many friends you have in the local police force and what lawyers / judges join you at the pub on Saturday evenings, Big CC’s turbo kits will boost your ZZR1400’s power output to anywhere between 275 to 500bhp. Cool, but what about turbo lag? Says Sean, ‘Boot the throttle of a turbo car and you’re not going to get an instant reaction, because you’ve got to move maybe two tones of car that isn’t revving particularly hard. Bikes have an advantage in that they weigh a lot less and you’re already on the move. The engine is already doing lots of work, so lag isn’t really a problem!’

The best part is, bikes like the ZZR1400 and the Hayabusa are so well engineered, that engine internals don’t need heavy modification if you intend to go mental with turbos and nitrous. For about US$9,000 of kit, you’re ready to go with a bike that’ll get to 320km/h (200mph) easily and quickly, and still be reliable for daily use. Sold on the idea? Get down to the Big CC website here and start ordering stuff...

Update (12th September 2007): 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R: First pics and details!

Other fast bikes:
Girl on a bike: Kawasaki ZX-10R image gallery
Jaska Salakari's 272km/h Nitroduke!
Turbo Hayabusa sets new speed record for streetbikes...
MAB build a turbocharged BMW K1200R!
The turbocharged Canjamoto R1200S!
Memorable: The Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo...
Acabion GTBO70: The bike that'll have your motorcycle - any motorcycle - for breakfast!
The 1990s Bimota YB11: 275km/h...
Memorable: The 282km/h Bimota Tuatara!
MV Agusta F4R 312: The fastest production motorcycle in the world...
2008 Suzuki Hayabusa: Ugly but fast!

It's not just Kawasaki ZZRs, Hayabusa owners are also welcome at Big CC Racing...
Here's on-board video from the 2008 Hayabusa's world launch ride at the Salzburgring circuit. John Urry from TWO magazine is riding the bike...

Riding tips from Superbike magazine

Here's one person who probably reads Superbike magazine every month...

The September 2007 issue of Superbike magazine has a handy little piece on how to get the best drive out of corners by using your body weight and positioning to steer your bike. The article says, ‘How we use our bodies during corner exits dramatically affects how much drive we get, how easily the bike steers, how settled the chassis is and how smoothly the process of picking the bike up and getting out the corner is.’

According to Superbike, here’s what you should do:

1. If you look where you want to go, chances are you’ll go there. Look two feet in front of your wheel and you won’t see what’s coming. Look at the birds in the crowd and chances are you’ll be running off the track (or road) for a closer inspection.

2. Don’t open the throttle too hard, too quickly. It forces too much power onto the back tyre too suddenly and most likely will have you off. Far better to feed the throttle in gradually, but surely.

Be decisive with the throttle, but also be nice, gentle. Rough, jerky and sudden movements of your right wrist is not the way to do it

3. The only time you should have any great grip of the bars is during braking, the rest of the time you should have a relaxed hold. Why would you need to cling on that tight? A lighter touch on the bars gives you a softer feel for what the front tyre is doing.

4. Be in the right gear. Ideally you want to be somewhere in the middle of your revs, just below peak power. As you wind the throttle on, you don’t want to wait half a mile for the power to pick up, and you don’t want to run out of revs six feet after the apex. Aim to be changing up when you’ve straightened up.

5. This applies more to the track than road. Not having the weight on the footrests will reduce your steering (or put more emphasis on your arms to do the work), and will ask the rear suspension to do more. Keep the centre of gravity down low and use your leg muscles!

You can download the September 2007 issue of Superbike magazine here. (It’s a 22MB PDF file, and you’ll need to open the download link using a BitTorrent client.)

Also see:
First pics: 2008 Yamaha R1! and 2008 Yamaha R6
Track riding for newbies: Ron Haslam tells you how...
Street survival for motorcyclists: 50 tips that could save your life!
Go-faster tips from Kevin Schwantz
Fast riding tips from Motorcyclist magazine
Mick Extance: "The guys that win, don't hesitate..."

Or, you could just buy a Desmosedici RR and look ice-cool. Let the GSX-R guys worry about mundane things like going fast...

Puerto Rico passes oppressive new laws for motorcyclists

Okay, so you can't ride bikes dressed like this anymore. Not in Puerto Rico

According to a report on the AMA website, Puerto Rico has passed ‘strict new laws regulating motorcyclists.’ Motorcycle riders in Puerto Rico will now be required to wear not only a helmet, ‘but also gloves, boots, and long pants.’ And that’s not enough – after dark, riders must also wear a reflective vest!

The report says that in some ways, ‘the law is even more restrictive than the requirements on many US military bases.’ On our part, we don’t understand what the f%*& this is all about. First it was Canada, where motorcyclists can now be fined more than US$9,000 and jailed for six months, for alleged ‘street racing.’ Then the US, which is now in the process of outlawing all aftermarket motorcycle exhaust systems. And now Puerto Rico comes up with this.

Aren’t there enough rapists, murderers, goons, scammers and other outstanding members of the society who warrant the authorities’ attention? Are there too many bureaucrats with not enough work? Why the f*#% should motorcyclists be subjected to all this crap? Jesus f%&*ing Christ!

Get the full story on the AMA website here.

Also see:
Are motorcycles dangerous? What do you have to say...
Motorcyclists to be penalised for using aftermarket exhaust systems
Canada: Not the best place in the world for riding that new Hayabusa...
NSU 500 Kompressor: 200mph in 1956!
Awesome: 200bhp, supercharged Kawasaki ZRX1200...
Hi-res motorcycle wallpaper collection - I
Hi-res motorcycle wallpaper collection - II

External link:
Spain to increase age limit for big bikes...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Colin Edwards: “Yamaha know they have to improve!”

Colin Edwards isn't happy with his Yamaha's performance...

Yamaha’s performance in MotoGP has been so incredibly poor this year that even the very good natured, mild mannered Texan, Colin Edwards has been forced to speak out against them. Speaking to MCN recently, Edwards says, ‘Yamaha know they have to improve. That’s something that we really don’t need to discuss. All you have to do is look at our top speed chart anywhere and just watch TV. Just about any bike that we come near, just out accelerates us and you can’t get close enough to out-brake anybody unless they slipstream you. Yamaha needs to do some work but they know that. We'll just wait and see what they come up with.’

By his own standards, Rossi has had a bad season. But he intends to hold on to second place in the 2007 MotoGP world championship

With the Portuguese MotoGP to be held at the Estoril circuit on the 16th of this month, Edwards’ teammate Rossi is all set to do the best he can. Rossi agrees that his championship hopes are finished, but the seven-time world champ, who’s taken four successive MotoGP victories in Portugal (from 2001 to 2004), is still hopeful of doing well at Estoril this year.

‘Hopefully we will be ready in Estoril with a package with which we can fight. We will put all our energies into holding onto our second place [in the championship] and winning as many races as possible, as well as thinking about continuing the development of our package for next year. Now the aim is to have a good end to the season. We have five races left and we will be trying to win all five, even if the championship is out of our reach,’ says Rossi.

Wait for our full race report from Estoril on the 16th!

Also see:
First pics: 2008 Yamaha R1!
Face off: 1989 FZR750RR vs 2008 R1...
First pics: 2008 Yamaha R6 and R125
Colin Edwards to join Tech3 Yamaha in 2008...
Ten years of the Portuguese Grand Prix
2007 MotoGP race reports, features, interviews and hi-res wallpaper!
MotoGP: Dorna CEO says tyre rules may be changed for next year
Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi!
Colin Edwards talks about Rossi...

One of our readers just sent these pics. Suddenly, the Triumph Street Triple looks better than ever before. Could that be because of the extra pair of headlamps...?

KTM X-Bow: Pricing, delivery details

The 240bhp KTM X-Bow. Think of it as a Hayabusa on four wheels

KTM will start deliveries of the X-Bow sportscar by mid-2008. To be manufactured in Austria, the standard model will be powered by a 240 horsepower, 2.0-litre TFSI engine sourced from Audi and the car will be priced at about US$60,000. The 700kg X-Bow will be able to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and is likely to have a top speed of more than 250km/h.

The KTM X-Bow ‘Dallara’ model gets additional bits like a limited slip differential (mechanical) on the rear axle and a race-tuned chassis. Like the standard car, the Dallara has a carbonfibre monocoque chassis, but also gets lots of other carbon bits which help reduce weight further. No word on pricing for this model yet, but stay tuned. In the meanwhile, get more tech details on the KTM website here.

A video of the KTM X-Bow in action!

More KTMs:
The radical KTM 690 Stunt prototype...
Details and first pics: 2008 KTM 690 Duke, SMR and SMC
2007 KTM 990 Super Duke R. Wildlife!
Brudeli 625L: A KTM-based trike...
KTM developing 2WD system for motorcycles!
KTM: Ready to look after their female customers...
KTM's 2008 off-road motorcycles range

Thursday, September 06, 2007

2008 Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR revealed...

2009 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade: First pics here!

Yes indeed, this is the 2008 Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR!

All right, so the speculation has come to an end - what you see here isn't some computer-generated rendering, but the real deal, the brand-new, 2008 Honda CBR1000RR. Wet weight is 199 kilos, while power output is 178bhp at 12,000rpm. As you can see, the bike has been heavily restyled - the fairing is all new, as is the MotoGP-inspired rear end and the stubby exhaust system. The wheels are new, the chassis and swingarm have been redesigned, turn-signals at the front have been integrated into the rear-view mirrors, and the air-intakes ducts have been reworked and repositioned. The 2008 Fireblade also gets a slipper clutch (finally...!) and a new, sophisticated steering damper. This is a big, big makeover for the CBR1000RR, and Honda must be hoping the new Fireblade will not only be able to take on the R1, GSX-R1000 and ZX-10R but also beat those bikes in sheer performance terms.

While it doesn't look so good in profile, the new Fireblade looks better when viewed from the front...

Honda have also shown their 2008 VFR800, and surprisingly, it carries on unchanged from the 2007 model. We had earlier reported that Honda are likely to replace the VFR800 with a brand-new, high-tech VFR1000. However, that may indeed still happen. Honda might have two sports-tourers in their range and the VFR1000 may be the range-topper. It's also almost 100% certain that the inline-four-powered 2008 Fireblade will be the last of its ilk. Honda are expected to replace the CBR1000RR with an all-new, V4-powered 1000cc superbike in 2009, which will also be their WSBK contender.

The 2008 Fireblade: Launch video from the Paris Show

Does the 2008 CBR1000RR look better than the 2007 model? Umm... we don't think so!

Update (20th Sep, 2007): Stunning new Honda Evo6, CB1100R and CB1100F revealed!

For the adventure bike set, here's the 2008 Honda XL 700 V Transalp...

For middleweight sportsbike fans, the 2008 Honda CBR600RR, which carries on unchanged from the 2007 model. New colour schemes will be offered, but no changes to the engine, chassis or suspension...

...though this special edition 2008 Hannspree Honda CBR600RR looks cool!
On the left is the 2008 Honda VFR800 Interceptor and on the right is the 2008 Honda Big Red, some kind of quad/multi-utility vehicle...

Also see:
Ducati Desmosedici RR: Full tech specs, engine details, image gallery and wallpaper
2008 BMW HP2 Sport: Pics, tech specs and details...
Face off: 1989 Yamaha FZR750RR vs 2008 Yamaha R1!
The Suzuki Stratosphere 1100 to be launched in 2009!
KTM: You're toast!
Hurricane: 200mph superbike from Triumph in 2008?
2008 BMW HP2 Sport 1200 to go into production soon...
2008 Kawasaki Z1400 and KTM RC8 pics!
Star Motorcycles: Yamaha V-Max launch delayed to 2009
First pics: 2008 Yamaha R6 and R125...
2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R: Extreme performance, but what about the styling...?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cool concept: Yamaha Air Tricker

The Yamaha Air Tricker - a cross between a BMX bike and a motorcycle

Designed as a cross between a mountain bike and a motorcycle, the Yamaha Air Tricker sure looks cool. First shown back in 2005, the Tricker concept is powered by a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke, five-valve 249cc engine and has a five-speed gearbox.

The 88kg bike can seat one person, and runs on 21-inch (front) and 18-inch (rear) wheels, shod with dual-purpose tyres. The handlebar can turn a full 360-degrees and the chassis is made of carbonfibre. There’s also BMX-style Ohlins front forks and semi side link rear suspension, both of which were specifically engineered for this bike.

Yamaha wanted to build a bike that's easy to wheelie, hence the Tricker. Cool!

The objective with this bike, say Yamaha, was to provide the ultimate city commuter which would also allow less experienced riders to pop safe, low-speed wheelies and perform other simple tricks. Yes, we want one please…!

Also see:
Clash of the Titans: 1989 Yamaha FZR750RR vs 2008 Yamaha R1!
2008 Kawasaki Z1400 and KTM RC8 pics...
Yamaha: Mr Max is coming in 2009
Motorcyclists: Are you making too much noise?
The fastest motorcycle racer in the world is...?
Scooter-chic from Tokyo!
The Yamaha V-Max RoadsterCycle!
Honda CBR600RR wins best middleweight sportsbike award...

Other Yamaha concepts - the Deinonychus and the Chivicker

Sunday, September 02, 2007

MotoGP San Marino: Casey Stoner takes eighth win of the season!

He's the 2007 MotoGP world champ! There's no looking back for Casey Stoner now...

In MotoGP, 2007 has been the year of David – Goliath has been repeatedly and mercilessly slain almost every time the two have met. In the 990cc era, it seemed impossible that Ducati, Suzuki and Kawasaki would ever be able to stick it to Honda and Yamaha. And yet, with the new 800s, Ducati and Suzuki (Kawasaki aren’t there yet, but maybe next year…) have made the Honda and Yamaha MotoGP teams look like a bunch of clueless schoolboys.

Chris Vermeulen rode well at Misano, taking second place behind Stoner

The mighty HRC have been humbled – Honda engineers are looking like boy scouts who don’t know what to do next. At Yamaha, Jeremy Burgess and his bunch of engineers look like idiots, wankers. They have the best rider in the world and they've made him look like a clown this year. Sounds harsh? We don’t think so. After all the talk of Yamaha’s new engine with fancy valves etc being made available for the 13th round of MotoGP at Misano in Italy, Valentino Rossi was forced to retire from the race within a few laps of the start, due to engine problems. And Rossi’s teammate, Colin Edwards could only finish way down in ninth place. Rossi later said, 'I prefer to do something else than race if I have to race like this. There's no battle any more. Ducati and Stoner deserve to win this world championship and I take my hat off to them.'

Wayne Rainey: 'All right Vale, you lost the 2007 world championship at Misano, but there's always 2008 to look forward to. Don't despair!'

The 2007 MotoGP world champion (we believe nobody can stop him from actually winning the title now…), Casey Stoner led the San Marino MotoGP from start to finish, taking his eighth win of the season. Suzuki riders Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins following him in second and third places respectively. In fourth was Honda Gresini man Marco Melandri, while Loris Capirossi took fifth on his Ducati. Pedrosa was taken out by Randy de Puniet on the very first lap, while Hayden, who was lucky to escape that pileup, finished in 13th spot.

The MotoGP pit girls add a much-needed dash of colour to the proceedings...

Overall, the San Marino MotoGP at the Misano circuit was dull. The last time a ‘MotoGP’ (500cc in those days) race was held at Misano was in 1993, when three-time 500cc world champion, Yamaha rider Wayne Rainey had a career ending crash there. Suzuki rider Kevin Schwantz had won his first and only 500cc world title that year.

What a pity then that when MotoGP came back to Misano after a gap of 14 years, the racing turned out to be dull and processional. We are not, of course, blaming Stoner for any of that – he’s done an outstandingly wonderful job this year, and like Rossi says, ‘he’s ridden like a God.’ It’s just that things have already gotten so… boring? Looks like all that’s left now is to look forward to the next season, when things might be slightly more exciting.

Also see:
2007 MotoGP: Race reports, interviews, features, hi-res wallpaper...
BMW HP2 Sport to go into production!
Yamaha: Star Motorcycles' V-Max launch delayed by one year
Scoop pics of the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja and Versys 1000
Giacomo Agostini: Rossi vs Stoner...
Book review: Riding Man
25 years of HRC...

Suzuki Stratosphere 1100 to be launched in 2009

A video of the Suzuki Stratosphere in action!

In addition to its 1100cc, six-cylinder engine, the Suzuki Stratosphere will be packed with various high-tech bits. Should be awesome when it comes out in 2009!

Remember the wild old Suzuki Katana 1100 from the early-1980s? Suzuki certainly do, which is probably why they showed the Stratosphere concept at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. In spirit and in style, the Stratosphere seemed to be the modern-day equivalent of the original Katana. And the best part is, though it’s taken some time for Suzuki to make up their minds, it now seems they’ve decided to put the bike into production. Expect the Stratosphere to hit the roads by 2009!

The Stratosphere will be powered by Suzuki’s all-new, 1100cc, inline six-cylinder engine, which we think should easily make close to 200 horsepower. Suzuki say this engine is exceptionally smooth, yet as compact as four-cylinder engines of the same displacement.

The bike will also get an automatic gearbox, but one that would also allow the rider to shift gears manually if he wants to. From auto mode, the system will automatically shift to manual mode if the rider uses the clutch. There’ll also be other hi-tech bits like keyless start, colour LCD display panel, LED headlamps, GPS and advanced anti-theft features.

Like other sportsbikes with six-cylinder engines – the Honda CBX, Benelli Sei and Kawasaki Z1300 of the 1980s – the Suzuki Stratosphere 1100 should be able to offer great straight-line performance. And given today’s tyre, chassis and suspension technologies, it should also be able to handle well and corner like a proper sportsbike. Bring it on, Suzuki!

Can the V-Max and B-King stand up to this?

Also see:
2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZZR1400 revealed!
Melita Toniolo: Television host for the 2007 San Marino MotoGP at Misano!
Cycle World: 10 fastest production bikes of 2007
Remembering rotary: The Suzuki RE-5...
Awesome: The original, 1980s Suzuki Katana
Two-stroke glory: The amazing Suzuki RGV250
Sizzler: The 2007 Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000