Tuesday, November 20, 2007

2008 Yamaha R6 now ready to race!

The 2008 R6 is all set to race! Looks good too...
Pic: MCN

If the stock, 133bhp YZF-R6 wasn’t enough already, Yamaha have gone ahead and revealed a range of race-spec bits for the bike. There’s a new kit which allows the slipper clutch (standard fitment on the R6) to be adjusted, clutch springs are stronger, there’s a higher pressure oil pump to deal with the rigours of racing, and an Akrapovic exhaust system helps boost power. Racers also have the option of choosing different gear ratios if they wish.

Cylinder heads get new cams – standard lift but with longer duration – and the standard R6’s variable length inlet tracts have been replaced with fixed inlets for bigger power numbers. (The variable length tract is supposed to optimise power delivery across a wider rev range – good for the street, not needed on the track.) Different head gaskets are also available, for higher compression ratios.

An R6 with added oomph has to got to be a good thing...

Finally, the racing R6 gets a brand-new ECU with new software and a different fuel map, which is supposed to maximise power delivery. You also get a cable with which to hook up this ECU to your laptop and tweak it according to your needs! Racers who need more information on pricing and availability can try sending an email to neil.dowling@yamaha-motor.co.uk

Also see:
MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR declared most beautiful bike at EICMA...
Face off: 1974 MV Agusta 500 vs 2007 Ducati GP7!
All-new Hyosung GT650X now in production...
2008 Derbi Mulhacen Cafe 659 Angel Nieto LE!
First pics: 2008 Ducati Monster 696...
KTM to collaborate with Bajaj on entry-level bikes...

External link:
Yamaha V-Max tilting trike...

The Spanish Traffic Police have just taken delivery of 300 of these BMW R1200RT bikes. Special equipment includes a police siren and a public address system
Pic: DailyMotos

Monday, November 19, 2007

Running Rich: The US$270,000 Ecosse Heretic Titanium

Doesn't look like something that's that expensive, eh...?

Here are the numbers – the Heretic Titanium weighs 192 kilos, is powered by a supercharged, fuel-injected, 2147cc v-twin that makes 207 horsepower, and the bike costs about US$270,000 – making this Ecosse the most expensive motorcycle in the world right now.

The Heretic’s engine is made from a solid block of aluminum, the chassis and swingarm are made of titanium, bodywork is carbonfibre, suspension components are Ohlins units, brakes are GP-quality six-piston units (made by Sweden-based ISR) and each bike is fitted with an expensive BRM chronograph. More pics and details on the Ecosse website here, and video on the Robb Report site here.

Also see:
Downsized triple: The 2008 Benelli 899
The all-new Hyosung GT650X...
Bling'd: 2008 Ducati Hypermotard 1100S
First pics: 2008 Honda CB1000R
First pics: 2008 Ducati 848...

External links:
Subaru-engined sportsbike coming your way soon...?
Triumph calendar photoshoot. Awesome!

A video JRL Cycles' radial-engined bike, fitted with the Rotec R2800, seven-cylinder aircraft engine! More on this bike here

Saturday, November 17, 2007

MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR declared most beautiful bike at EICMA

The 2008 Brutale 1078RR. Beautiful!

And if the standard Brutale 1078RR is not enough, here are some tarted-up variants...

Looks like even after all these years, Massimo Tamburini’s work is still hard to beat. Designed by Tamburini and first seen back in 2001, the MV Agusta Brutale is still winning beauty contests in 2007. At this year’s EICMA show in Milan, Motociclismo magazine asked visitors to vote for the bike which they thought was the most beautiful, and the 2008 Brutale 1078RR won, with 25.7 percent of visitors voting in its favour. The Ducati Monster 696 came in second with 15.2 percent votes, while the BMW HP2 Sport was in third place, with 9.2 percent votes.

The Brutale 1078RR Challenge. Get ready to race!

The Brutale 1078RR will go on sale early next year, along with its siblings, the Brutale 989R and the 910S. With 154 bhp from its inline-four, the 1078RR is the most powerful naked bike MV have ever built. Which is probably why there is an MV Agusta Brutale race series planned for 2008. Called the ‘Brutale Challenge,’ this will be a six-race, one-make series, with up to 36 riders in the fray. Want to take part? Download the Brutale Challenge registration form (PDF format) here.
(Note: The form is in Italian. We could not find an English version.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Downsized Triple: The 2008 Benelli 899

The 2008 Benelli 899S. Nice...
Pic: Motorevue

The very stylish Benelli TNT 1130 now has a smaller sibling – the TNT 899. The new bike is powered by Benelli’s 899cc, three-cylinder engine that makes a respectable 117bhp, which should make for adequate performance in a machine weighing 199kg dry. Apart from the base model 899, there will also be a TNT 899S, which will get a few carbonfibre parts and a different seat. At about US$18,000 the 899S will be a thousand bucks more expensive than the base model bike. Seems nice enough, though we’d still take the full-house 1130…

More Italian bikes:
2007 Ducati GP7 vs 1974 MV Agusta 500!
Ducati 1098-powered Bimota DB7...
The 2008 Moto Morini Granpasso...
2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro and FV2 concept
The amazing new Ducati 1098R and the 2008 Ducati 848!
Pics and specs: The 2008 Ducati Monster 696...
2008 MV Agusta F4 and Brutale 1078 lineup

External link:
THE 2008 calendar for motorcyclists!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Face off: 1974 MV Agusta 500 vs 2007 Ducati GP7!

Giacomo Agostini says the Ducati GP7's power is "incredible!"

After almost a quarter of a century, an Italian bike is once again on top in motorcycle grand prix racing!
Pics: Motoblog

Who’s the greatest Italian bike manufacturer of all time – MV Agusta or Ducati? That’s a tough question. Ducati machines have dominated World Superbikes in the last two decades, winning multiple championships and leaving Japanese manufacturers trying to play catch-up-with-Ducati. This year, the Italian company also dominated MotoGP, with Casey Stoner and his GP7 completely crushing Honda and Yamaha teams.

MV Agusta, on the other hand, haven’t done much on the motorcycle racing scene in recent years. But then, from 1958 to 1974, they did win 17 consecutive motorcycle grand prix racing world championships in the 500cc class – an incredible feat, and something that isn’t likely to be repeated, ever.

Which is why we think Motociclismo pulled off a coup of sorts when they got Giacomo Agostini and Ducati test rider Vittoriano Guareschi together at the Monza circuit in Italy, riding the 2007 Ducati GP7 and the 1974 MV Agusta 500 GP racer (on which Phil Read won the 500cc world championship that year, and which would be MV’s last world championship to date…) back to back!

So which one would you have? :-)

The MV 500 racebike is now owned by Gualdo Elli, one of the world's biggest collectors of MV Agusta bikes. Ducati Corse, of course, brought the all-conquering GP7 to the party. ‘They are two completely different worlds. The technology driving the older bike is not comparable with what is available today. Back then, the pilot had to check thousands of parameters simultaneously, while modern electronics make that task much easier. The power of the Ducati is incredible,’ said Agostini after riding both bikes.

The full story is not available online – for that, you’ll have to buy a copy of the Italian Motociclismo. Visit their website here for more information!

Also see:
F1 ace Michael Schumacher could have also done MotoGP...
Valentino Rossi's NSR500: One for the road!
Truly amazing: The Morbidelli 850 V8
First pics: 2008 Suzuki GSX-R750...
Extreme Makeover: 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R!
Face-off: Ducati 1098 vs Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera!!
Battle of the Yamahas: 1989 FZR750RR OW01 vs 2008 YZF-R1...
DVD Review: Riding Solo to the Top of the World

External link:
Here's something GSX-R fans should like...!!

2008 Hyosung GT650X and RX450SM ready to hit the streets

The 2008 Hyosung GT650X. Could prove to be a very good entry-level bike...
Pics: MCN

Korea’s biggest bike manufacturer, Hyosung had first shown the GT650X concept about a year ago, and now the bike is finally ready to go into production. It still uses the same 647cc v-twin as before, but the engine now gets fuel injection and a new oil cooler. (The same engine also powers the Fischer MRX, and it’s been rumoured that Cagiva will use this engine in the Mito 650…)

The 2008 Hyosung GT650X has an all-new chassis – a steel tube trellis / aluminium beam hybrid – and the braced aluminium swingarm is also new. The headlamp assembly, fuel tank, all body panels and the alloy wheels have been redesigned, the taillamp is now an LED unit and the exhaust system is a short, stubby little item – the kind which is currently fashionable. Front brakes are twin 300mm discs, gripped by four-piston calipers.

The 2008 Hyosung RX450SM...
Pic: Motoblog

Hyosung have also shown the new RX450SM, their first supermoto. The bike uses a 450cc, liquid-cooled single that makes 50 horsepower. The chassis is (a rather weedy looking) tubular steel unit, while the swingarm is made of aluminium. 45mm USD forks have been fitted at the front, while the rear features a fully adjustable monoshock. Brakes are Brembo units and the bike weighs only 120kg dry.

For details on pricing and availability, visit the Hyosung website here.

Other 2008 bikes:
The Ducati 1098-powered Bimota DB7!
The amazing, awesome KTM 1190 RC8...
Pics and specs: BMW F650GS
Cafe-racer cool: Derbi Mulhacen 659 Angel Nieto LE!
First pics: The Moto Morini Granpasso...
First pics: Aprilia SMV750 and FV2 concept!
The Ducati 1098R. Lustworthy!

...and this is the 30th Anniversary Special Edition Hyosung Aquila GV650

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



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