Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First pics and specs: 2008 Honda CB1000R

It's finally here, the Fireblade-based 2008 Honda CB1000R!

We first spoke of the Honda Hornet 1000 back in June this year, and now here we are – the first official pics of the 2008 Honda CB1000R have just been released. This bike will replace the Hornet 900 and powered by the 2007 Fireblade engine, the CB1000R is probably the wildest, most powerful naked bike Honda have ever made!

The 2007 Fireblade’s 998cc, 16-valve, DOHC inline-four has been retuned (okay, detuned…) for the CB1000R and it’s now optimized for low- and mid-range power delivery. With its die-cast aluminium backbone chassis, adjustable rear shock, adjustable 43mm USD forks and 310mm disc brakes with four-piston radially-mounted calipers, the CB1000R should offer considerably sporty performance.

The bike is being fitted with HISS (Honda Ignition Security System) for theft prevention, and ABS (which also uses Honda’s combined braking system) is on the options list. Along with the 2008 Fireblade and the CB1100R and Evo6 concepts, the CB1000R certainly proves that Honda are pulling out all stops this year…!

A video of the CB1000R

Yeah, we like the CB1000R... :-)

Also see:
10th Anniversary limited-edition Yamaha R1 released...
First pics: 2008 MV Agusta Brutale 1078
First pics: 2008 BMW F800GS and F650GS...
Bourget Shredder F-80: The Quad from hell!
Honda NSR500 racer-rep: The best we've ever seen!

Michael Schumacher could have been a MotoGP rider…

That's Michael Schumacher, and he's properly fast on a MotoGP bike!!

Pics: MCN

Valentino Rossi could not (or did not) go to F1, but seven-time F1 world champ, Michael Schumacher has shown that if he had wanted to, he could have probably been a MotoGP rider! Schumacher recently got a chance to ride 2007 MotoGP world champ Casey Stoner’s Ducati GP7 race bike at Valencia, and his best lap time was 1:37:89, only a fraction more than five seconds slower than Dani Pedrosa’s outright lap record time of 1:32:748!

This wasn’t the first time Schumacher rode a MotoGP bike – he had earlier ridden Ducati’s 990cc MotoGP bike in 2005, at the Mugello circuit in Italy. This time around however, he put in 58 laps on Stoner’s bike and said he was surprised that he managed to go as fast as he did, despite not using Ducati’s hugely powerful carbon brakes and sticking with the steel brakes used by MotoGP riders in the rain.

‘It is difficult to come here and set times. I remember the last time I was riding and I was about 15 seconds slower than what you could do, so I thought maybe if I could run within ten seconds, that would nice,’ said Schumacher. But Rossi & Co. have nothing to fear from the German ace. ‘I’m just doing this for fun. I don’t I want to race. I love motorbikes so I ride motorbikes. My Harley is pretty fast…,’ says Schumacher.

Finally, talking about Casey Stoner, Schumacher said that he was very impressed with the young rider’s performance. ‘If you remember, last year no one would have bet on him at all and Ducati took the risk to take him on board. Sure he got a good bike and there is the tyre situation but he beat his teammate and other guys on the same tyres so a big credit to him,’ he said.

In the meanwhile, here we have Colin Edwards saying why he thinks Schumacher went so fast. "These bikes are so advanced now, all you need to do is crank the electronics up to where you can't crash and you can go five seconds off the pace pretty easily. You just get in and nail it! But to find that last four-tenths, say, you have to back the electronics off and really start to work it. It's like a gamble; play safe with the electronics and you'll be too slow. If everybody had the electronics turned up all the time then we would all be doing the same lap time," said Mr Edwards, who has never won a single MotoGP race ever. Hmm.....

And here's the video of Schumacher in action on the Ducati!

Also see:
First pics: 2008 Ducati 1098R and Ducati 848
10th Anniversary limited-edition Yamaha R1 released...
KTM to collaborate with Bajaj, expand in new markets...
2007 MotoGP race reports and HUGE collection of hi-res MotoGP wallpaper
Rizla Suzuki pit babes: The best in the business?
The amazing new BMW HP2 Sport...
Aprilia getting ready with 220bhp V4-powered superbike for 2008!

First pics and specs: 2008 Ducati 1098R

The 2008 Ducati 1098R. Utterly, totally, completely, awesome!

Have been waiting for the Ducati 1098R? You can have one now. The lightest, most powerful twin-cylinder motorcycle ever made by Ducati, the 1098R boasts of 180 horsepower and 140Nm of torque from its 1198cc engine. This, combined with a dry weight of 165kg, should definitely ensure eye-opening performance.

For those who want still more, the 1098R comes with a racing kit, which includes carbonfibre mufflers and a different ECU, both of which boost power output beyond the 200bhp mark. The race kit also activates the 1098R’s sophisticated DTC (Ducati Traction Control) system, which has eight different settings to control how much the bike slides before it cuts/reduces the power going to the rear wheel.

With 200bhp in race trim and 180bhp stock, the 1098R will be a force to reckon with

The US$40,000 machine will form the basis for Ducati’s WSBK contender, which Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio will be riding in 2008. So of course, the 1098R is fitted with the best components that money can buy – Ohlins TTX rear shock (adjustable ride height, adjustable compression/rebound damping, adjustable preload…), fully adjustable 43mm USD Ohlins forks with titanium nitride coating, adjustable Ohlins steering damper, Brembo brakes with monobloc calipers, Marchesini wheels, and carbonfibre fairing.

Along with the Desmosedici RR, the 1098R is now probably the most desirable, most lust-worthy motorcycle in the world. In fact, even though we are big fans of four-cylinder machinery here at Faster and Faster, we’d probably take the 1098R over the new MV Agusta F4 312RR

Ducati 1098R Ducati 1098R Ducati 1098R

First pics: 2008 Ducati 848

The Ducati 749 replacement – the Ducati 848 – is out now. The styling is the same as the multiple award-winning 1098, and at 168 kilos, the 848 is is 20kg lighter that the 749 and 5kg lighter than the 1098. Less weight and more power is, of course, the way to go and the new Ducati does not disappoint.

The 848 is powered by Ducati’s 848cc Testastretta Evoluzione L-twin, which makes 134 horsepower – 30bhp up on the old 749. In fact, that 848 has a better power-to-weight ratio than the Ducati 999! Should be quite a cracking machine for those who can’t afford a 1098… :-)

With 134bhp, the 2008 Ducati 848 is only 5 horsepower down on the old 999...

First pics: 2008 Ducati Monster 696

Up close and personal, with the 2008 Ducati Monster 696...
After months of anticipation, a few blurry spy shots and various computer-generated mock-ups, the 2008 Ducati Monster 696 has finally been officially unveiled. The machine has been extensively restyled, gets a new hybrid trellis frame (with new, larger diameter steel tubes), new aluminium swingarm, twin-muffler exhaust, slipper clutch, twin 320mm brake discs with four-piston radial-mount calipers, digital instrumentation, a restyled headlamp and LED taillamp. The bike now weighs 163kg.

The new engine is, of course, where the action is. The air-cooled 696cc L-twin makes 80bhp, which should be okay for relaxed riding as well as a bit of corner-carving. The ergonomics have also been revised – the seat is low and narrow, with a shorter reach to the handlebars, and the footpegs are lower and further forward.

Though we like the new Monster 696, to be honest, we were hoping it would be rather more radical. Still, for a lightweight bike that looks cool, that can be used for everyday commuting and that also allows you to have a bit of fun on Sundays, the new Monster should do all right…

 Casey Stoner gets to ride the new Monster 696...!

10th Anniversary Yamaha YZF-R1 released

The 10th anniversary Yamaha YZF R1. Only 500 units will be built...
Yes, it’s been ten years since the mighty R1 was let loose upon an unsuspecting world, and Yamaha have released a 10th anniversary special-edition model in celebration. Only 500 units of this bike, which wears Noriyuki Haga’s WSBK livery, will be made. (Incidentally, Yamaha have sold more than a combined total of 500,000 units of the Yamaha R1, R6 and R7 bikes over the last 10 years!)

First pics: 2008 MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR, 989R and F4 RR 312

The 2008 MV Agusta F4 RR 312 packs a new 1078cc, 190bhp engine!

MV Agusta have released pics of their ‘new’ old bikes – the 2008 MV Agusta F4 RR 312 and the Brutale 1078RR. The new F4 RR, essentially based on the earlier F4 1000R and F4 CC models, gets a DOHC, radial valve, 1078cc inline-four (in place of the old bike’s 996cc engine), and power is now up to 190bhp. This, apparently, is enough to blast the bike all the way up to its top speed of 312km/h!

The F4 RR 312 is also fitted with a cassette-type, six-speed gearbox, slipper clutch, and Brembo brakes with radial-mount monoblock calipers and twin 320mm discs at front. Suspension is 50mm USD Marzocchi forks (with carbon-nitride coating on the sliders) and fully adjustable Sachs monoshock. The tubular steel trellis/cast aluminum alloy chassis continues as before.

And this is the 150bhp 2008 Brutale 1078RR...

More pics of various Brutale variants. From left, the first two pics are of the Brutale 989 and the the third one is the Brutale Hydrogen. Yeah, whatever...
Pics: Motoblog

The new Brutale also gets the F4 RR's 1078cc engine, but in a milder state of tune. Still, with 154bhp at the crank, the new Brutale 1078R is the most powerful naked sportsbike MV have ever made. There's also the new Brutale 989R, with a 982cc, DOHC inline-four that makes 141bhp at the crank. Both Brutales also get new graphics and paint schemes, adjustable 50mm USD Marzocchi, adjustable Sachs shock, Brembo brakes with radial-mounted four-piston calipers (monoblock on the 1078RR!) and forged aluminum Brembo wheels. The tubular steel trellis/cast aluminum alloy chassis and cast aluminum single-sided swingarm have not been changed.

We think both the bikes - the new Brutale and the F4 RR - still look good after all these years, but maybe MV should now start thinking about their replacements. And to begin with, a 1000cc V6-powered MV Agusta F6, with fresh, new styling from Tamburini should heat things up a bit…!

Also see:
Pics and details: 2008 Honda Fireblade...
Pics and video: The absolutely amazing KTM X-Bow!
Faster and faster: Kawasaki ZZR1400 Turbo!!!
DVD Review: Riding solo to the top of the World
Face off: 1989 Yamaha FZR750RR OW01 vs 2008 Yamaha R1!

Monday, November 05, 2007

KTM to collaborate with Bajaj on new bikes

That's the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi. Could it be sold as a KTM in the EU...?

With a big presence in Europe, and an exciting, off-beat lineup of sportsbikes, supermotards, off-roaders and dual-purpose machines, KTM are now looking at expanding in the second-largest motorcycle market in the world – India. The Austrian company will be working with Bajaj (with sales of 2.38 million motorcycles in 2006-07, Bajaj Auto are India’s second-largest two-wheeler company…), on the development of new engine and vehicle platforms.

Together, KTM and Bajaj will work on entry-level bikes fitted with 125cc-250cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled engines. These will be KTM’s entry-level offerings in European markets. Bajaj will also help KTM expand their presence in South-East Asia and India – markets that could open up big opportunities for KTM in the years to come.

This tieup will provide KTM with an opportunity to expand their presence in the growing motorcycle markets of India and South-East Asia

Stefan Pierer, KTM CEO, says ‘The Executive Board of KTM Power Sports AG sees in the cooperation, a great chance to strengthen the KTM Group in its sustained growth strategy in a global environment.’ Rajiv Bajaj, Bajaj CEO, says, ‘KTM’s sharp brand positioning, differentiated designs, and hyper performance have inspired Bajaj to invest in this participation. Bajaj is delighted with this opportunity to co-develop a range of products for manufacture by Bajaj for both KTM and Bajaj brands. Equally, Bajaj is excited by the prospect of introducing KTM products to India and South-East Asia, as also to access the European market via KTM.’

Also see:
First pics: 2008 BMW F800GS and F650GS!
First official pics: 2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio...
A lighter, faster Hypermotard: The NCR Leggera!
Revealed: The secret to making the Suzuki B-King look good...
The most awesome racer-replica ever: Rossi's 2001 Honda NSR500!
First pics and specs: 2008 Triumph Rocket III Touring...

The 2008 NCR New Blue Stradale. 163kg dry weight, Ducati 1000DS engine, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, trellis frame made of light, stiff alloy. Looks hot. Should handle like a racer. Interesting, eh?
Pic: Motoblog

MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa wins the last race of the season at Valencia

Stoner fought hard, but it was finally Pedrosa who prevailed!

With a broken hand and a Yamaha that went bust, this was't Rossi's race at all...

Dani Pedrosa did very well at Valencia and won his home grand prix in style. This was the 18th and the last race of the 2007 MotoGP season, and for once, Stoner was unable to romp away from the rest of them. Pedrosa started from pole position (for the fourth consecutive race!) and while it was Stoner was lead the pack initially, Pedrosa managed to get past him on the sixth lap of the 30-lap race, and there was no catching the young Spaniard after that.

In winning the last MotoGP of the season, Pedrosa also relegated Rossi to third place overall in the world championship. Rossi, who was riding well despite a broken hand, had to retire due to engine trouble. Stoner put in a super-consistent performance as usual, making no mistakes anywhere, and rode to second place, with John Hopkins (who moves to Kawasaki next year) taking third.

Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen took fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively. Brazilian veteran, Alex Barros, making his 276th and final grand prix appearance, finished in style to take seventh place, while Nicky Hayden – who was earlier fighting for fourth place with Melandri but ultimately had to fall back – could only finish down in eighth. Randy de Puniet in ninth and Toni Elias in tenth place rounded off the top ten. Another GP veteran, Carlos Checa also put in his final MotoGP appearance, finishing in 12th place.

After the race, a terribly disappointed Rossi said, ‘I did everything I could in order to be on the grid today, because I wanted to try and confirm my second place in the championship, which I think I deserved. I was riding very fast, even though my bike was not perfect. When I got into 14th place, I told myself that my task was done, but I was feeling quite good and I wanted to try to pass some more riders. Unfortunately however I felt that I had a problem with my bike and I was forced to come in.’

Can no.46, The Doctor, win one last MotoGP title next year, or is it game over for him?

Yamaha team director, Davide Brivio said ‘We would like to say sorry to Valentino because he made a great effort to race with his broken hand. Unfortunately, a technical problem stopped him from getting the second place and we're very sad about this. Our engineers are doing everything they can to understand what happened today. We have decided to send the engine back to Japan for further investigation.’

The saga will, of course, continue in 2008. It’s now been officially confirmed that Rossi will race on Bridgestones next year, even though his teammate Jorge Lorenzo will use Michelins. The Fiat Yamaha Team will continue to operate and race as one team, though Lorenzo and Rossi will have separate enclosures to maintain confidentiality pertaining to tyre-related data!

With a new breed of fast, young riders coming to MotoGP next year – riders who are possibly even hungrier than Rossi for the world title – The Doctor will finally have to pull out all stops and reach deep into his vast reserves of talent if he wants to win the world championship one last time. Yes indeed, 2008 should be one hell of a MotoGP season!

Also see:
HUGE collection of 2007 MotoGP hi-res wallpaper!
Rossi's Honda NSR500: One for the road!
First pic: 2008 Cagiva Mito 125...
KTM RC8 ready to take on everyone!
MotoGP: Barry Sheene livery for Vermeulen's bike...
The 2007 MotoGP season: Who was to blame? What went wrong?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

First pics: 2008 BMW F800GS!

The first official pictures of the much-awaited BMW F800GS...!

R1200GS a bit too much for you? The F800GS might fit the bill then

And these (from left) are the first pics of the 2008 BMW F650GS, R1200GS Adventure and the G450X

More pics and details of these 2008 BMWs to follow next week...

Also see:
2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio all set to take on the BMW R1200GS!
First pics and specs: The 2008 Triumph Rocket III Touring...
First pics: 2008 KTM 690 motorcycle lineup!
Extreme performance: 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R...
Fast past: Suzuki GSX-R1100 vs Bimota SB6!
Stunning new Hondas: CB1100R and Evo6 concepts...
What's the coolest motorcycle brand in the world...?

External link:
Indian Motorcycle Company set up their first dealership...

The legendary MV Agusta 500 racer, ridden to dozens of race wins and world championships by the great Giacomo Agostini, is now on display at the Stamford Museum. Visit their website here. More details on the bike here.



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