Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rossi says he may move to Ducati if Yamaha don’t improve...

Rossi finished third in the 2007 MotoGP world championship, and he's unhappy with that. Very unhappy...

Valentino Rossi finished in third place in the 2007 MotoGP world championship, and he’s making it amply clear that he’s not at all happy with that. With Rossi not having been able to win the MotoGP world championship for two consecutive seasons, and Yamaha having hired Jorge Lorenzo to run with Rossi next year, it now looks like the Rossi-Yamaha combo might not last beyond the 2008 season.

Rossi wants to make sure he wins at least one more MotoGP world championship before he retires, and The Doctor is willing to do whatever it takes to do that. He’s already shunned Michelin and will be racing on Bridgestones next year. And according to a report on Crash.net, Rossi’s been dropping hints about moving to Ducati if Yamaha don’t shape up quickly.

‘All the Japanese underestimated Ducati this season. Ducati was intelligent and aggressive, and worked better. We were competitive with Honda, but they had the money and people required to catch up [to Ducati] more quickly. This is where Yamaha has been lacking,’ says Rossi. ‘Yamaha has never had the quickest motorcycle but this year we were 15-20 km/h slower. And every time we've tried something new, it has broken. We need to make big changes to win the title again. We need more capable people and more money,’ concludes an obviously very unhappy Rossi.

Here at Faster and Faster, we still very much believe in The Doctor and we think he’s one of the most talented riders – perhaps the most talented rider – in MotoGP, ever. Says Rossi, ‘I still have a lot of desire to fight, but I need tyres and a machine that are competitive. We will wait and see how the Yamaha, especially the engine, improves for next year. If it is not competitive then there is nothing more we can do. I have good relations with both Ducati and Honda, but Ducati would be my preferred option because it is Italian!’

So there we are, the five-time MotoGP world champ has spoken and now it’s up to Yamaha to clean up their act and give Rossi a machine that can really go head to head against Stoner’s Ducati in 2008. If not, Rossi may move to Ducati. And like Rossi says, ‘I do not believe that Stoner would say no. Maybe he would want to measure himself against me with the same motorcycle…’

More MotoGP:
2007 MotoGP race reports, features, interviews and hi-res MotoGP wallpaper
Hayden and Pedrosa test the 2008 Honda RC212V...
F1 ace, Michael Schumacher could've been a MotoGP champ!
The MotoGP replica we'd love to own...!
Chris Vermeulen pays homage to Barry Sheene...
In conversation with Jeremy Burgess...

On the left is a scooter - the Malaguti F12R Phanton - for Stoner fans, and on the right is the very cool MV Agusta Brutale Hydrogen, for the fashion-conscious...

2008 Derbi Mulhacen Cafe 659 Angel Nieto LE shown at the EICMA

The 2008 Mulhacén Café 659 Angel Nieto LE
Pic: DailyMotos

Derbi are now showing a new version of the Mulhacen, at the EICMA in Milan. The Mulhacen Cafe 659 Angel Nieto Limited Edition. This rather good looking bike is fitted with a digital instrument panel, 17-inch alloy wheels, steel beam perimeter chassis, gold anodized 43mm USD Marzocchi forks, adjustable Sachs monoshock, and Brembo brakes with a 320mm brake disc at front.

Derbi have released this limited edition bike in tribute to Angel Nieto, a national hero in Spain. Considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle roadracers of all time, Nieto specialized in racing smaller displacement – 50cc, 80cc, and 125cc – bikes, and when he retired in 1986, he had 90 Grand Prix victories and 13 World Championships to his name!

Based on the original Mulhacen ‘scrambler,’ the Cafe 659 LE is powered by the same single-cylinder, four-valve, Yamaha-Minarelli 659cc engine that’s now been made Euro 3 compliant. Derbi say the ergonomics have been reworked and the bike is suitable for longer journeys. This limited edition bike will be available from June 2008 onwards. More details on the Derbi website here.

Other bikes shown at the 2007 EICMA in Milan:
The Ducati 1098-powered Bimota DB7!
Now ready to rumble: The 2008 KTM 1190 RC8...
First pics and specs: 2008 BMW F650GS
The 2008 Moto Morini Granpasso, Corsaro and the 91/2...
The 2008 Aprilia SMV750 and the FV2 concept
The Fireblade-powered 2008 Honda CB1000R!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bring the Bling: Ducati Hypermotard 1100S

The Hypermotard 1100S sure does look like it can be a bit of fun to ride...

Pics: Motoblog

For those who might not be happy with the standard Hypermotard, Ducati are now showing the Hypermotard 1100S at the EICMA in Milan. The bike is endowed with a few extras that should, if nothing else, help impress your mates down at the pub. For example, there’s 50mm USD Marzocchi front forks, with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating for reduced stiction, and fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock at the back.

The Hypermotard 1100S also gets Brembo brakes with monobloc calipers at the front, Marchesini forged alloy wheels (which are lighter than the standard items and help reduce unsprung weight…) and Pirelli Diablo Corsa tyres, which are said to offer very high levels of grip. Various carbonfibre bits are used throughout the 1100S, which is only available in red and black. Now all you need to do is learn how to get it sideways like Ruben Xaus…

Also see:
Wunderlich WR2: A lighter, faster BMW HP2...
A lighter, faster, flashier Hypermotard: The NCR Leggera!
First pics: 2008 BMW F800GS and F650GS...
The all-new Ducati Monster 696 released!
Michael Schumacher: MotoGP star!
2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro and FV2 concept...
Ducati 1098 power for all-new Bimota DB7!

More 2008 machines. From left: The strange new Honda DN-01 and the Triumph Rocket III Touring. More details on these bikes here and here

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pics and specs: 2008 BMW F650GS

The 2008 BMW F650GS is actually fitted with an 800cc engine...

BMW are now showing the youngest member of the GS family at the EICMA show in Milan – the F650GS. Despite the name, this bike is powered by BMW’s 800cc liquid-cooled parallel twin, which is in a milder state of tune here and probably makes a bit less than the 85bhp of the F800GS. BMW say the F650GS is aimed at motorcyclists who are not looking to venture too far off the road and who may just be looking at an all-around capable motorcycle rather than an ‘adventure bike.’

Compared with its elder brothers, the F650GS is lighter, has a lower seat, better maneuverability, and better fuel economy. The chassis is a basic, tubular steel unit and the F650GS gets chain drive instead of BMW’s traditional shaft drive. The emphasis here is on having fun, rather than going all out on the performance front. BMW hope the bike will find an audience with beginners, people returning to motorcycling after a long break and women riders. No details on pricing and availability yet, but you can visit the official BMW motorcycles website here.

Also see:
Dual-purpose: 2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere and Honda XL700V Transalp...
Commuter-special: The Aprilia 850 Mana
The best bike for commuting to work every day? THIS!!!
First pics: 2008 Ducati Monster 696...
Dual-purpose done right: 2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro!
First pics and specs: 2008 Moto Guzzi Granpasso...

Whether on water or on land, with MV Agusta you can be sure of going fast. Very, very fast. We don't have any details on the MV jet ski you see here (shown at the EICMA in Milan), but read about the 2008 MV Agusta F4 RR 312 here

2008 KTM 1190 RC8: Ready to Rumble!

Yes! More of this please...

Pics: Motoblog

The much-awaited KTM 1190 RC8 is being shown at the EICMA show in Milan, and we think the Austrian superbike absolutely rocks! ‘The KTM 1190 RC8 embodies the ultimate desire of the entire company to create unique, technologically high performance sports motorcycles, whose effect is felt through the entire body long after the rider has climbed down from the machine,’ says a KTM press release, and the 1190 RC8 should indeed fit the bill.

While the prototype on which the RC8 is based was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2003, KTM only decided to put the bike into production in 2005. And in just 30 months, the 1190 RC8 is ready. The bike has been fitted with KTM’s second-generation 1148cc, 8-valve, DOHC, 75-degree ‘LC8’ V-twin, which makes an impressive 155 horsepower and 120Nm of torque. With the bike weighing in at less than 200 kilos, the power figures should make for some interesting performance numbers…

Mated to a six-speed gearbox, the RC8’s engine features Keihin’s electronic fuel injection, and an advanced CAN (Controller Area Network) bus system, which allows the KTM engine to directly communicate with the bike’s digital instrument unit. The chassis – light and stiff – is a chrome-molybdenum tubular steel unit. The swingarm is made of anodized cast and sheet metal, and high-spec WP suspension components are used – 43mm multi-adjustable USD forks at front, and a multi-adjustable rear shock that also features independent high- and low-speed compression damping adjustments.

With 155bhp and kerb weight of less than 200kg, the 1190 RC8 should indeed be fun!

Ergonomics are said to have been optimized for the street as well as the racing circuit, and a lot of adjustability has been built into the bike in this regard, so individual riders can make the bike adapt to their needs. Ride-height, handlebars, seat, footpegs and all operating levers are adjustable, and we think this is definitely a step in the right direction!

Brakes are Brembo units, with radially-mounted four-piston monoblock calipers gripping twin 320mm discs at the front. 17-inch alloy wheels are used, and tyre sizes are 120/70 at the front and 190/55 at the back. An Akrapovic racing exhaust, carbonfibre wheels and fairing parts and many other bits are available as optional extras for the 1190 RC8.

Yes, we’re deeply impressed and we can’t wait to see how the RC8 performs when pitted against Japanese, German and Italian litre-class superbikes. In the meanwhile, you may want to visit the official KTM RC8 website for details on pricing and availability.

A video of the amazing RC8 in action...

Other EICMA show highlights:
The Ducati 1098-powered 2008 Bimota DB7. Awesome!
First pics and specs: 2008 Moto Morini Granpasso...
2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro, and the amazing FV2 concept!
First pics and specs: Fireblade-powered Honda CB1000R
Unleashed: The mighty Ducati 1098R!
Get ready for the Moto Guzzi Stelvio...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ducati 1098 power for 2008 Bimota DB7!

The 2008 Bimota DB7, powered by the Ducati 1098 v-twin!

Pics: Motoblog

These are the first pics of the all-new Bimota DB7. Designed by Enrico Borghesan, the standard bike is powered by the Ducati 1098 engine, and there will also be a higher-performance DB7 fitted with the WSBK-spec 1200cc engine from the Ducati 1098R!

We think the bike looks quite stunning in its red, black and white livery. There are twin stacked headlamps at the front, flanked by air-intakes for that raging Ducati v-twin underneath and the front turn indicators are integrated into the rear-view mirrors. The chassis and swingarm are a mix of oval-section steel tube trellis and cast aluminium sections. Front forks are beefy looking USD units and brakes are Brembo units, with radial-mount calipers at front.

No official word from Bimota on power and performance figures yet, but the bike could well be up to the task of taking on its competition from Europe and Japan. Check back for more details soon!

Apart from the DB7, Bimota also had the (from left) DB5S, DB6R Delirio and Tesi 3D on display at the EICMA show in Milan...

Also see:
The mighty 2008 KTM RC8...
2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio: Ready to take on the BMW R1200GS
First pics: MV Agusta Brutale 1078 and F4 RR 312 1078!
10th Anniversary Yamaha R1 released...
2008 Ducati 848: The new king of middleweight sportsbikes?
What if Michael Schumacher had been in MotoGP...
First pics: 2008 Moto Morini Granpasso!

This is the Vectrix electric superbike shown at the EICMA in Milan. This 204kg machine will do the quarter-mile in 12 seconds and hit a top speed of 200km/h…!
Pics: Motoblog

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hayden and Pedrosa test the 2008 Honda RC212V

Can the Repsol Hondas topple Stoner-Ducati in 2008? We wouldn't bet on it...

MotoGP ex-world champ Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa started testing the 2008 Honda RC212V at Valencia yesterday. Among other things, the new Honda racebike features a heavily reworked V4 with pneumatic valve springs, an all-new chassis and a new exhaust system.

‘There's not so much I can say after just a few laps but the seating position is different, yet the actual riding position feels about the same. The tendency to wheelie was a lot less and the pitch of the weight, front to rear, was more controlled and not so aggressive on the brakes,’ said Hayden, who put in about 20 laps on the new bike.

The 2008 Honda RC212V has a revised V4 with pneumatic valve springs...

‘At the moment I can't say too much about the performance or lap times because it's early days. The speed was okay and there is a difference in how the new engine feels through the revs, but again, it's too early to draw any real conclusions,’ said Pedrosa.

The Repsol Honda team will need to do all they can to beat the Stoner-Ducati combo in 2008. The 2007 MotoGP world champ was also out testing his new Ducati at Valencia, and he was faster than everybody else on the day! His teammate at Ducati for 2008, Marco Melandri was almost two seconds behind Stoner, which probably shows that Stoner will still be the man to beat next year…

Also see:
Huge collection of 2007 MotoGP hi-res wallpaper!
Could Michael Schumacher beat Casey Stoner?!
Rossi's Honda NSR500: The most awesome racer-rep ever!
2008 Yamaha YZF R6: The best middleweight sportsbike around...?
An Aussie biker to beat Stoner...

First pics and specs: 2008 Moto Morini Granpasso

The 2008 Moto Morini Granpasso. Looks good!

Pics: Moto Caradisiac

Everybody seems to be doing big trail bikes these days, so Moto Morini have also decided to get on the bandwagon – the Italian company is now showing the Granpasso at the EICMA in Milan. The bike is fitted with MM’s 1187cc v-twin, the same 140bhp mill that also powers the Corsaro. Of course, Moto Morini admit that the engine has been ‘retuned’ for the Granpasso for better fuel economy and optimized low-rpm power delivery.

The bike’s chassis is similar to the Corsaro’s tubular steel trellis frame, though the aluminium swingarm is new. 50mm Marzocchi forks have been fitted at front, and there’s a fully adjustable Ohlins shock-absorber at the back. A full set of touring bags and a GPS unit will be available as extras. And when it goes on sale next year, the Granpasso is likely to cost about US$16,000.

With a 140bhp v-twin here, the Granpasso should not be lacking in performance!

Also see:
First pics: 2008 Aprilia SMV750 and FV2 concept...
First pics and specs: 2008 Honda CB1000R
First pics: 2008 Ducati 1098R and 848!
First pics: 2008 MV Agusta F4 RR 312 and Brutale 1078RR
First pics: 2008 BMW F800GS...

Apart from the Granpasso, Moto Morini also had the Corsaro and the 91/2 on display...

Benelli were also present at the EICMA, with this trio of tasty machines. The first two (from left) are TNT 1130 variants, while the last is powered by a 750cc twin
Pics: Motoblog

2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro and FV2 concept shown at EICMA

Based on the Shiver, here's the 2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro

Pics: Motoblog

Aprilia are now showing the new SMV750 Dorsoduro supermotard at the EICMA show in Milan. The bike is powered by an updated version of the liquid-cooled, 95-horsepower, 750cc v-twin used in the Aprilia Shiver - the ride-by-wire throttle system used on the Shiver has been improved for better response and power delivery is now supposed to be more consistent.

The SMV750’s chassis is also based on the Shiver’s cast aluminium / tubular steel hybrid frame. The cast aluminium swingarm is new, the front brakes have radial-mount calipers and the Showa forks have been specially developed for the SMV. Aprilia say the SMV has been developed on the basis of experience gained from their participation in supermoto and GP racing.

The stunning Aprilia FV2 concept is packed with cutting-edge stuff that we'd love to see on a production bike sometime soon...!

Pics: MCN

Apart from the SMV750, Aprilia also have the high-tech FV2 concept on display at the EICMA. The bike is fitted with Aprilia’s new liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC, 1200cc v-twin, and the monocoque chassis is made of carbonfibre, as is the swingarm and the parallelogram front suspension. The bike weighs a mere 160kg.

Other interesting bits include an electronic ride-by-wire throttle system, traction control, ABS and even an electronic suspension management system! More details soon...

Also see:
The Fireblade-based 2008 Honda CB1000R. Awesome!
What if Michael Schumacher had been a MotoGP rider?!
First pics: The amazing Ducati 1098R...
KTM in tieup with Bajaj, to expand in new markets...
2008 BMW F800GS: Ready to rock!
2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio: Ready to take on the BMW R1200GS!

External links:
Big collection of KTM RC8 official pics...
2007 EICMA: Bring on the ladies...!



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