Monday, December 17, 2007

War of the Ninjas: Kawasaki ZZR1100 vs ZZR1400

The 1990s Kawasaki ZZR1100. Mysterious, black, very cool, very, very fast...

Now that Kawasaki have released the 2008 version of the ZZR1400, with which they’ve supposedly resolved the bike’s main problem – a lack of low-end stomp – is it now finally the greatest Ninja ever built? Twenty years from now, would people go all misty-eyed when they remember the 2008 Kawasaki ZZR1400 Ninja? Because they sure as hell do, when they talk about the original heavy-hitter from Kawasaki – the 1990s ZZR1100 Ninja.

Here on Faster and Faster, we’ve written about the endlessly fascinating ZZR1100 before. A peak power output of 123bhp [145bhp, claimed] and a top speed of around 275km/h don’t sound hugely impressive today, but back in 1990, the ZZR1100 must have been an absolute revelation. It was a worthy successor to the 1988 ZX-10 (110bhp, 250km/h top speed), which itself came after the 1984 GPZ900R (100bhp, 240km/h), the first truly ‘modern-era’ sportsbike from Kawasaki.

But coming back to the ZZR1100, how does the bike compare to the ZZR1400? Recently, we happened to come across a copy of the June 2006 issue of PB magazine, which has an excellent story on the two Ninjas. PB buys a much-used ZZR1100 for US$1,900 and their writer, Dale Lomas, rides it from the UK to Germany for the press launch of the ZZ41400. ‘It’s gritty, lumpy and thoroughly unsanitised. I love it and I hate it in one great, big, ambivalent, emotional gush,’ says Lomas.

The story moves to Germany, where Lomas meets Kawasaki’s Yuji Horiuchi, the ZZR1400’s Project Leader, and someone who had also worked on the ZZR1100. Talking about the ZZR1400, Horiuchi says ‘The new bike captures the spirit of the ZZR. We have built this as the benchmark. The flagship. This is Kawasaki!

Later, having ridden both bikes back to back, Lomas says ‘The old 1100 feels like a monster. It’s smooth, organic and torquey enough to spin the 170-section tyre if you’re not careful. You know you’re riding a powerful bike when you tootle the 1100 around.’

The Kawasaki ZZR1400. 200bhp, 300km/h top speed. It'll blow you into the weeds

Of the 1400, he says ‘By contrast, the 1400 feels like one of those big-capacity, small-output bikes that manufacturers pitch at the size-conscious Japanese market. All weight, no torque!’ Ouch! And wait, here’s more – ‘The most amazing thing about the new ZZR is the lack of ferocity below 5000rpm. Under this, it feels like a pussycat,’ says Lomas.

However, when he finally gets to fully open the taps on the 1400, there’s redemption in store for the ZZR1400. ‘The step in power at 6000rpm is like a sheer cliff, ascending a thousand feet into the clouds. This isn’t a bike – it’s a personal teleporter,’ gushes an obviously over-awed PB writer. ‘On cam, the ZZR1400 is an unstoppable force. The concentration required to use its power is draining. But it’s satisfying and life-affirming,’ is how Lomas sums it up.

Coming back to the ZZR1400’s lack of low-end torque, while the PB story is about 18 months old, Motorcycle-USA’s test of the 2008 ZZR1400 says, ‘After a few minutes in the saddle, it is easy to confirm the ZX [the ZZR1400 is labeled ZX-14 in the US] has tossed aside its velvet glove approach to making power for a more manic one, which culminates in a claimed increase to 203 horsepower.’

M-USA’s Ken Hutchison, who rode the 2008 ZZR1400, says, ‘Twist the throttle on this bike and it makes power with authority right out of the gate. No more easing into it, no more pussy-footing around. Hooligans will be happy to know it wheelies with less effort and speed-junkies will revel in the quicker acceleration once that light goes green. Kawasaki's department of mind-boggling motors has returned to its age-old philosophy of offering big, bad-ass bikes to those folks who like to let the good times roll.’

Great, so Kawasaki have cured the ZZR1400 and given it the low-end rush of power that you’d expect from their flagship sportsbike. Umm… but we still think the ZZR1100 is the cooler of the two. Certainly, the 1400 would be quicker, faster, and more powerful. It would also have better brakes and suspension. But for us, 123 horsepower and 275km/h in the year 1990 is a bit more impressive than a claimed 200bhp [usually 170 – 175 horsepower on the dyno, in most bike magazine tests…] and 300km/h in the year 2008.

If we could have a brand-new ZZR1100 today, we’d take that over the ZZR1400. And let’s just leave it at that…

More Kawasakis:
Kawasaki ZXR750: The real deal!
Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo: Blow hard...
Supercharged Kawasaki ZRX1200: Blown away!
Fast past: Gary Nixon rides the Kawasaki ZX-RR...
Faster and faster: Kawasaki ZZR1400 Turbo!
2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R: Extreme performance...
Face off: 1988 Kawasaki ZX-10 vs 2004 ZX-10R!

External links:
Bikers, you're going to love this!!
And here's something for fans of the Triumph Daytona 955i...
Motorcycle-USA: Ducati 848 first ride...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Casey Stoner: One RICH Aussie…

With $4.2 million in his pocket, he should be smiling...

2007 MotoGP world champ, Casey Stoner has been ranked 14th on BRW's Australian sporting rich list, according to which the 22-year-old made $4.2 million this year! And of course, now that he’s won the world championship, Stoner could easily be making twice that amount in 2008…

There are some sportspersons who’ve done better than Stoner – Golfer Greg Norman ($20 million), F1 driver Mark Webber ($8.4 million), AMA Supercross/Motocross rider Chad Reed ($7.8 million) and AMA Superbike champ Mat Mladin ($6.6 million) were all ahead of the Ducati star in 2007.

But still, with $4.2 million, Casey can easily buy an MV Agusta F4 CC, the one bike we so desperately want. And the one bike we know we’ll never be able to get our hands on… :-((

Also see:
The HOTTEST Aussie biker is...?
Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi!
Book review: Riding Man
The fastest motorcycle racer in the world is...?
Suzuki RG500 - Barry Sheene replica...
The quest for 200mph: Kawasaki ZZR1400 Turbo!
DVD review: Riding solo to the top of the world
Face off: Ducati vs Lamborghini

L-R-G Hayabusa: Hip-Hop culture, Suzuki style!

The fully bling'd L-R-G Hayabusa. Umm... er...

American Suzuki, in partnership with Lifted Research Group (L-R-G) and 2Wheel Tuner magazine, recently unveiled a customized 2008 Hayabusa at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. (Whew! Yeah, that was from a press release…)

Designed by L-R-G and built by Custom Sportbike Concepts, the L-R-G Hayabusa “blends the panache of one of the hottest urban brands in fashion with the iconic personality of Suzuki’s fastest production motorcycle,” say Suzuki. Special bits on the bike include a pearl-white paint scheme, custom windscreen, see-through bodypanels, custom exhaust, single-sided swingarm, and a rear section taken from the GSX-R1000.

The Hayabusa’s suspension has been heavily tweaked by Race Tech and the bike’s been fitted with ZR-rated Pirelli Diablo rubber. Brakes are from Beringer, and the front stoppers include four-piston radial mount calipers. And there’s even a rear-view camera system on the L-R-G machine…

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Motoblog: In conversation with Loris Capirossi

Loris Capirossi. Seen it all, done it all, ridden 'em all...

From Motoblog comes this interview with Loris Capirossi, one of our favourite riders in MotoGP. Capirex’s been racing bikes for the last 17 years, has won world championships in the 125cc and 250cc classes, has raced two-stroke 500s and four-stroke 990s and 800s. If there’s one man who’s seen it all, done it all, it’s Loris. Here, he talks about how it is being with the Suzuki MotoGP team for 2008:

On testing the 2008 Suzuki GSV-R at the Philip Island circuit
‘I had never done so many laps [in one go] in my entire life. Among other things, we’ve been testing the electronics and the aerodynamics – something I consider very important, because Phillip Island has always been complicated for Suzuki.’

On the GSV-R’s new engine and chassis
‘The aim is to get a bit more power, without sacrificing the excellent qualities of the current V4. As regards the chassis, we have had some problems with stability at high speeds, but I think we have now solved that. In the first test, the goal for me was to understand the bike better. I made some progress, but I haven’t started pushing it too hard yet…’

On the tyre situation in MotoGP
‘If there was a gap between Bridgestone and Michelin in 2007, things may be more balanced in 2008. Michelin is working hard, and from Bridgestone, for the moment, we have not found anything that is proving to be better than what was available in 2007.’

On Rossi’s move to Bridgestone
‘I agree with him. When a pilot believes that a change is the right choice for him, he must do so.’

On traction control
‘All these systems [electronic rider aids] work to the detriment of pilots with more sensitivity, which can no longer make a difference.’

On how he sees Lorenzo, Dovizioso and De Angelis performing in MotoGP in 2008
‘They will be strong from the outset, and throughout the championship.’

Also see:
The best paint scheme in MotoGP...?
The coolest race-rep ever: Rossi's Honda NSR500!
First pics: 2008 MV Agusta Brutale...
Michael Schumacher could have been in MotoGP!
Ready to rumble: 2008 KTM 1190 RC8!
Face off: MV Agusta vs Ducati racers!
A chopper for F1 aces...

External links:
Motorcycle USA: 2008 Kawasaki ZX-14 first ride...
Like bikes? You're going to love this... and this!

This video shows why you simply must ride the Honda Fireblade!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Roehr Motorcycles: V-Roehr 1250SC to roll out by mid-2008

With its 180bhp supercharged v-twin, the V-Roehr 1250SC could give GSX-Rs something to think about!

We first wrote about the all-American V-Roehr sportsbike, back in March this year. Well, with Roehr Motorcycles LLC having gotten into a financial partnership, which will provide them with working capital, the V-Roehr is closer to becoming production reality. And instead of the 1130cc, 120bhp Harley v-twin which the bike was supposed to be fitted with, the production V-Roehr has been upgraded to a 1250cc Harley V-twin, which will be fitted with a Rotrex supercharger, pushing power output up to 180bhp!

In keeping with its ‘superbike’ positioning, the V-Roehr 1250SC will also be fitted with high-spec running gear – Ohlins suspension, Marchesini alloy wheels, Brembo brakes with radial-mount callipers at the front, and carbonfibre bodywork. A company press release says that the ‘V-Roehr 1250SC promises to deliver quality and performance in a truly modern, exclusive and exhilarating American thoroughbred.’ And that, of course, will come for a significant price – US$45,000. Visit the Roehr website for more details.

A video montage of moto-journalist Alan Cathcart riding the V-Roehr

Also see:
Learning to live without bikes. Just for a day...
Down memory lane: The mighty Bimota YB11!
Rapom V8: The supercharged, 1000bhp monster-bike...
A KTM for women...!!!
Carver One: The maddest trike on earth?
Ducati 999 vs 1098: Doug Polen rides again!

External links:
The Bimota Tesi 3D like you've never seen it before...
Got the MV Agusta F4 CC? Now you also need to get these...
The amazing Nissan Skyline GT-R
Face off: Old Hayabusa vs the new Hayabusa!

Very soon, you'll be able to see Batman riding this... thing, in The Dark Knight movie. Casey Stoner probably has nothing to worry about yet...

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Pi X Bonneville racer edition

Slow and very, very expensive - the Pi X Bonneville racer edition

A 30bhp motorcycle that costs US$39,000?!? Er…, that would be the Electrobike Pi X Bonneville racer edition – a hybrid that’s powered by a 48V electric motor combined with a 50cc, four-stroke petrol engine. The Pi X’s 48V, 100amp NiMH battery pack makes for about 45km of riding on pure electric power, while the tiny petrol engine will let you ride for another 400km, using just 4.5 litres of fuel in the process.

Made in the US, the Pi X Bonneville racer edition is a high-tech piece of kit – the bike is fitted with a seamless monocoque chassis made of high-grade aluminium, wheels are cast magnesium units from Marchesini and HID lamps are on the options list. The only potential sticking point may be the top speed, which is about 45km/h. Those Sunday morning rides with your GSX-R riding mates may not work out…

Only five units of the Pi X Bonneville racer edition will ever be built, though for a mere US$17,500 you could buy the Pi X Bonneville Commemorative, twenty-five of which will be sold. Visit the Electrobike website here for more details.

Also see:

The man who gave away his Yamaha YZR500 GP bike...
Unveiled: The 2008 KTM 990 Supermoto!
Ecosse Heretic: Too much money for too little performance...?
Face off: MV Agusta vs Ducati!!
Offbeat: 2008 Mulhacen Cafe 659 Angel Nieto LE...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ready to roll: 2008 TriRod F3 Adrenaline

The 2008 TriRod F3 Adrenaline. One, two, three... GO!

Right now, trikes seem to be the hot ticket for those looking for a wild ride, and TriRod’s F3 Adrenaline is right up that alley. Billed by its manufacturers as the ‘world’s first production performance three-wheel motorcycle,’ the F3 weighs 340 kilos, is powered by a 2.0-litre Harley-Davidson v-twin, and costs all of US$55,000! TriRod say that the F3 has been created using ‘advanced technologies from Formula 1 racing, aerospace and motorcycles,’ and that it offers ‘unparalleled performance.’ Hmmm…

Like some other trikes we’ve seen recently, the F3 Adrenaline uses two wheels at the front and one at the back – a layout that’s supposed to offer stable, secure handling, the ability to corner harder at higher speeds, and adequate rollover resistance. Bodypanels are made of carbonfibre, suspension is fully adjustable and transmission is via a six-speed manual-shift gearbox.

More details on the TriRod website here.

Also see:
The US$270,000 Ecosse Heretic!
The amazing 2008 MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR...
2008 Benelli 899. Hot!
2008 KTM 1190 RC8. It rocks!
Pics and specs: 2008 Honda CB1000R
Heavy Hitter: Shelby's 150bhp musclebike...
The coolest MotoGP paintjob ever?

Martini Racing Ducati 1098S!

The Ducati 1098S in Martini Racing colours. Lancia / WRC fans should love this...

How do you improve the already-gorgeous Ducati 1098? Why, paint in Martini Racing colours of course! First published in the Robb Report Motorcycling, this pic shows a Ducati 1098S painted in Martini Racing colours. Those who’ve seen Lancia’s rally cars of the 1970s and 80s (our favourite happens to be the Delta HF Integrale) in action should recognise the paint scheme immediately…

While the 1098 Tricolore already looks fabulous, we think the Martini Racing paintjob looks even better! More pics and details here and on Motoblog

...and if you liked the Martini Racing paintjob, here's a 749 in those colours. Cool, eh?

Also see:
The wildest Peugeot you've ever see...
Harcore chopper for F1 ace...
Ducati 1098 power for Bimota DB7...
The hottest Aussie rider in the world is...?
Face off: Ducati 1098 vs Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera...
Kawasaki ZZR1400 Turbo: 200mph and beyond...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Subaru to make bikes?

Can the company that makes the car you see on the left, start making the bike you see on the right? Hmmm....

According to some rumours doing the rounds on the Internet, Japanese car manufacturer, Subaru, may soon also start building bikes. Given that the Subaru Impreza, in its various avatars, has been such a big hit on the World Rally Championship scene, you’d probably expect Subaru to make a radical new sportsbike or a wild, hot rally-raid machine. But no, it seems they’re working on a rather homely little bike – the HS500 – that’s powered by a single-cylinder, 500cc engine that makes a humble 50bhp. (What?! The makers of the mighty Impreza WRX STi will put the Subaru name on a 50 horsepower motorcycle…?)

The Subaru HS500 is, supposedly, the work of one Kazuo Sasaki, who apparently worked with Honda in the 1980s and 90s. The only other details available at this time are that the Subaru bike will be fitted with Showa suspension components, Tokico brakes with radial-mount callipers and a twin-spar aluminium beam chassis that’ll be made in China.

While Cagiva are probably not going ahead with the single-cylinder Mito 500, maybe Subaru will fill that slot with the HS500. But how we wish they were making the two-wheeled equivalent of the mighty WRX STi. Now that would have been something to watch out for!!

Also see:
Quiet, please! Put a lid on this...
Force-fed: The 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo!
Ducati PS1000LE: Paul Smart rides again...
Street survival for motorcyclists: The 50 things you must know!
Superbikes vs Police helicopters...?!

External links:
Something for fans of purple-painted choppers. No, really...
...and something for trike enthusiasts!
Motorcycle USA: 2008 Yamaha R6 first ride...
Desmo-trike: The three-wheeler from hell!
Suzuki GSX-R trike. Wild!
Micron makes the world's ugliest exhaust system for the Hayabusa...
Suzuki Hayabusa quad!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Evel Knievel pulls off his biggest jump ever

Evel Knievel. There'll never be another one. R.I.P.

At 69, Evel Knievel finally decided he’d had enough of this world. The original American daredevil passed away on Friday, the 30th of November. Evel Knievel had been suffering from ill health for the last few years – he had been battling with pulmonary fibrosis and had also suffered two strokes earlier this year.

Coming from Butte, Montana, in the US, Knievel rose to fame in the late-1960s and early-1970s, when he undertook some of the most dangerous motorcycle stunts ever, including attempts at jumping over the fountains at Ceasar's Palace and the Snake River Canyon. Over a career spanning about 20 years, Knievel suffered countless (sometimes spectacular) mishaps and managed to break just about every bone in his body – but lived to tell the tale. Every time.

It’s said Evel Knievel often quoted (and lived…) the words of Theodore Roosevelt: ‘Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though chequered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.’ Amen.

Evel’s son, stunt-rider Robbie Knievel has said he’ll keep the Knievel legacy going. You can visit the official Evel Knievel website here.

A video of Evel Knievel doing what he did best!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Gary Coleman donates a YZR500 to the MHFM

This two-stroke, 500cc Yamaha YZR500 GP bike was raced from 1992 to 1996...
Pics: The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum

Gary Coleman, who owned an early-1990s Yamaha YZR500 grand prix racebike, has donated the machine to The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. Coleman had bought the bike from Padgett's Motorcycles back in 1998. Two-stroke, 500cc GP racers from the 1980s and 90s are hard to come by these days, and recently, a machine similar to Coleman's bike is said to have sold for about US$100,000 in the UK!

Built by the UK-based Harris Performance, Coleman’s YZR500 packs a two-stroke 499cc V4, fed by a quartet of 35mm Mikuni flat-slide carbs. Power output was 170bhp at 12,500rpm, the bike weighed 130kg dry and top speed was 290km/h. The YZR’s twin-spar chassis is made of aluminium and carbonfibre bits and Ohlins suspension components are used at both ends. Wheels are Dymag, carbon-steel brakes are by Brembo.

Coleman’s Yamaha was raced in the 500cc class from 1992 to 1996 and riders included Terry Rymer, John Reynolds, and Toshiyuki Arakaki. The bike notched three ninth-place and five tenth-place finishes over its racing career. After the end of its GP racing career, this YZR500 was also raced at the Isle of Man TT.

Also see:
Yamaha RD500LC. A grand prix bike for the street?
2007 MotoGP race reports and hi-res wallpaper
Can't buy a genuine GP bike? Take a look at this!
Saga of the mighty Honda NSR500...
Evolution: Three decades of Suzuki racebikes...
Moto Guzzi's V8 GP racer from the 1950s...
Blast-off: The amazing Ducati Desmosedici RR!

External links:
Another rotary-engined motorcycle...
85cc, Kawasaki-engined mountain-bike!
What do we do when we're done riding for the day? THIS!!
Women & motorcycling: The incredible Josie Maran!
620 horsepower, diesel V12-powered motorcycle...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Peugeot that’s as wild as a Lamborghini!

He has a 100bhp Peugeot V6 in there. Your Hayabusa will blow him into the weeds, but the V6 can't be beat for sheer style!

Pics: Moto Caradisiac

We think bikes powered by six-cylinder engines are fun – witness the Honda CBX, Laverda V6, Honda Evo6 and Suzuki Stratosphere. Based in France, Michel Guédon also seems to like six-cylinder motorcycles, which is probably why he built one of his own - the bike you see here - back in the early-1990s.

The bike, which weighs 330 kilos dry, is powered by a 100bhp, 2664cc, V6 engine taken from a Peugeot 604. Brakes are Brembo units, the front fork is a Marzocchi item, and the chassis and transmission have been designed and built by Mr Guédon himself. We don’t know if the Peugeot bike will handle, and 100bhp doesn’t sound like much in this day and age of 180bhp GSX-Rs. But we’d still have one for the sheer spectacle alone…

Wild and wilder...
The US$270,000 Ecosse Heretic!
The amazing Aprilia FV2 concept...
425bhp, V8-powered Bourget Shredder F80 quad!
Rossi-replica Honda NSR500. Awesome!
The amazing Morbidelli 850 V8...
Raging Buell: Supercharged Lazareth XB12S...
From Finland: Honda CBR1100XX Turbo!

External links:
2008 Marushin calendar. HOT!
Gary McCoy is back, with Triumph!
Wildlife! Chopper fans, rejoice...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stoner vs Rossi: The battle continues…

Now that he's on Bridgestones, The Doctor is happy. And fast...

In 2007, Stoner won the MotoGP world championship and Rossi had one of his worst seasons ever, finishing in third place behind Stoner and Pedrosa. Of course, finishing in third place in the MotoGP world championship would not be such a bad thing for most racers. But for Rossi…?

Anyway, The Doctor will be pushing hard – perhaps harder than he’s ever pushed – to make a comeback in 2008. Rossi tested his new Bridgestone-shod Yamaha at Jerez yesterday, and said he’s already convinced he’s done the right thing by leaving Michelin! Rossi’s best time of 1:40:514 was 0.293 seconds slower than Stoner’s (who was also testing the Ducati GP8 there…) best time, and 0.159 seconds than Pedrosa’s best, but 0.4 seconds faster than his own fastest lap time, which he clocked during the 2007 Spanish MotoGP in March this year.

‘The first impression is good and I am happy. Having these tyres is not like having a magic wand to fix our problems but the stability in acceleration is good and I am fast for the whole day – from this morning to the afternoon – with some different conditions. The tyres are exactly what I expected,’ said Rossi. He also admitted that he would have to adapt his riding style to the new tyres. ‘The front I have to understand a little more because I have to ride a little bit differently,’ said The Doctor.

Bridgestones or no Bridgestones, Rossi will be fighting this man - Mr Stoner - every inch of the way in 2008. It's not going to be easy...

We expect Rossi to get faster over the next two months, as his broken hand mends, as he gets more familiar with Bridgestone rubber and as Yamaha make improvements to the YZR-M1. Of course, Stoner will also be right there – every inch of the way. And if anything, he’ll be faster, more confident and more aggressive in 2008. The reigning MotoGP world champ also tested his new bike – the Ducati GP8 – at Jerez, and was the fastest of the lot, despite having a major crash during the day.

Talking about the Ducati GP8, Stoner said, ‘It's pretty similar to what we rode last season. Today we were quite a bit faster than we were when we raced here back in March, which is very important because we have improved at a track that used to be a bit difficult for us.’

So, the signs are all good and the Stoner vs Rossi rivalry looks all set to continue in 2008. And now that Rossi will be on Bridgestones and Yamaha will (hopefully…) make a bike that actually goes, turns and stops without blowing up, the battles should be fiercer than ever. We can’t wait for the 2008 MotoGP season to begin…!

Also see:
In conversation with The Hopper...
2008 KTM 990 Supermoto shown at the NEC...
Racing kit for the 2008 Yamaha R6 now available...
Face off: 1974 MV Agusta 500 GP racer vs 2007 Ducati GP7 MotoGP bike!
Ready to rumble: 2008 KTM 1190 RC8!
Michael Schumacher could have been in MotoGP...!

External links:
One reason why blue could be the best colour for bikes...
Showdown: Ford GT vs Ducati 1098!
Pics from the 2007 NEC bike show...
Don't pull wheelies in Miami...
Collection of new Honda watches...
Chopper fans are going to love this!!!
Think you are fast? See this. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

A Ferrari two-wheeler? Sure, here's the Segway i2 - the Ferrari Edition! Top speed is only about 20km/h though. More details here

Friday, November 23, 2007

2008 KTM 990 Supermoto unveiled at the NEC Show

The 2008 KTM 990 Supermoto is here!

KTM have unveiled the new 990 Supermoto at the NEC show in Birmingham, in the UK. The bike’s second-generation LC8 v-twin gets a Keihin engine management system, fuel-injection and a displacement hike – the 999cc mill now makes 115bhp, instead of the older 950 model’s 96 horsepower.

The chassis is tubular chrome-molybdenum steel, with an aluminium subframe for added strength. Suspension components are WP units – USD fork at front, adjustable monoshock at the back – while brakes are Brembo items. The 990 Supermoto rides on 17-inch wheels wearing 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) ZR-rated rubber. Fuel tank capacity in 19 litres and the bike weighs 191kg dry.

In the meanwhile, the hardcore KTM 950 Supermoto R continues as before for now – it’ll probably get the 999cc engine (and other chassis/suspension updates…) a few weeks down the line.

Also see:
Yamaha announce racing kit for 2008 R6...
First pic: 2008 Benelli 899!
The Ducati 1098-powered 2008 Bimota DB7...
Hot new Aprilias: 2008 SMV750 Dorsoduro, and the FV2 concept!
10th Anniversary Yamaha R1 released!
Dual purpose done right: 2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere and Honda XL700V Transalp

External links:
2008 Honda VFR1000...?
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250GT shown at the NEC...

Popstar Pink seems to have a thing for British bikes. More pics here

Iceman II: Hardcore chopper for F1 ace Kimi Raïkkönen

The Iceman II is suitably understated and menacing. Should be perfect for an F1 champ!

Pics: Moto Revue

It seems all the F1 guys are riding bikes these days. First it was Michael Schumacher who recently got to ride Stoner’s Ducati and amazed everyone with his speed. Now it’s current F1 world champ, Kimi Räikkönen, who’s gotten a chance to ride. No, not a MotoGP machine, but a one-off chopper – the Iceman II – made for him by Marcus Walz, of Hardcore Cycles.

The Iceman II’s Harley engine has been tuned to produce 120bhp, and the carbonfibre bodywork is painted in Ferrari-red. More details on the Hardcore Cycles website here.

Also see:
The US$270,000 Ecosse Heretic. Expensive!
2008 MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR. Beautiful!
2008 KTM 1190 RC8. Awesome!
2008 Ducati 1098R. HOT!
Rossi-rep NSR500. Amazing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Four-cylinder BMW superbike caught testing…

Yamaha R6? No, it's a BMW...!
Pic: Motoblog

No, despite the R6 bodywork, the bike you see here isn’t a Yamaha. It is, in fact, BMW’s 2009 superbike in disguise. According to a report on Motoblog, the pic was clicked by somebody from Motociclismo, who happened to see the bike during a test session.

As we’ve reported earlier, BMW are working on a 1000cc, four-cylinder superbike with which they hope to go racing in WSBK in 2009. Going by the picture, this bike is likely to be nice and compact (the R6 bodywork seems to fit nicely, indicating compact dimensions…) and will have feature conventional chassis and suspension components. Chassis will be twin-spar aluminium beam, and suspension will be USD forks at the front and adjustable monoshock at the back. Final drive will be by chain, rather than shaft or belt.

The best part, of course, is that BMW are aiming for a 1:1 power:weight ratio with this bike – 190 horsepower in a 190kg bike. The person who saw the bike being tested says the bike seemed to be agile and very well balanced in the corners, powering out of bends hard and fast, putting down the power cleanly. BMW are expected to use cutting-edge traction-control technology on this bike, which might have had something to do with the fast lap times which the bike seemed to be doing…

Anyway, it’s still a long wait – don’t expect to see official pictures of this bike before another 12 months at least!

More BMWs:
Turbocharged BMW K1200R...!
AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW K1200R Sport...
Resident Evil: BMW K1200R...
Turbocharged Canjamoto BMW R1200S!
Wunderlich WR2: A lighter, faster BMW HP2...
The amazing new BMW HP2 Sport: Our favourite BMW!

External link:
Here's something for fans of racy old Suzukis...!
Watch the Kentucky Kid movie (shown on American MTV recently...)

A video of the 2008 BMW F800GS being put through its paces...

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

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



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