Thursday, January 31, 2008

The BMW R1150GS-based Beutler Boxer


Looks like a cross between a motorcycle and a Zeppelin airship...

Pics: Motociclismo

What do you do with an R1150GS that nobody wants? If you are Klaus Beutler – a man devoted to building high-performance streetfighters – you don’t hock it off to buy an R1200GS Adventure. Instead, you take the 1150GS and convert it into something that nobody else in your neighbourhood has – the rather outlandish Beutler Boxer.

The Beutler bike has been designed to look like it’s one single piece of… something. With resin and fiberglass, Klaus Beutler worked for months to fabricate the bodywork and all the paintwork was also done by hand.

According to a report on Motociclismo, it’s not an easy bike to ride – the seat is quite high and climbing on can be quite difficult for those who aren’t as tall as Mr Beutler himself. Then, the turning radius is very large, the clutch is stiff and the ergonomics are less than stellar. Worse still, the bike feels nervous and isn’t very stable at high speeds. And all this despite Beutler claiming he hasn’t done anything to the original chassis…

So what does Mr Beutler have to say to all of this? ‘Yes, I know that riding it is a little crazy. The bike has been built as if it were a museum piece, to be displayed in exhibitions and fairs devoted to the motorcycle. To hijack the prominence of customized Harley-Davidsons,’ he says. A bike built for museums? Hmmm…, definitely not for us then!

More BMWs:
BMW R1200GS Adventure vs KTM 990 Adventure!
The MAB-BMW K1200R Turbo...
AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW K1200R Sport!
The amazing BMW HP2 Megamoto...
The Canjamoto-BMW R1200S Turbo!
Heavy hitter: BMW HP2 Sport...
Pics and specs: 2008 BMW F800GS!

External links:
Yeah, scooters are for girls!
Riding a 400cc Honda, across Japan...
Hydrostatic / 2WD motorcycles: See here and here

2008 Xerox Ducati 1098 F08 racebike shown


On the racing track, will this Ducati 1098 F08 be a worthy successor to the 916 and the 999? This will indeed be a crucial year for Ducati in WSBK...!


Xerox and Ducati have unveiled the 1098 F08 World Superbikes racer, which is based on the homologation-special 1098R. ‘2008 is a very important year for Ducati, as it sees the debut of the 1098 F08 racebike in the World Superbikes championship. The F08 is a bike derived from the impressive 1098R that has already become a technological point of reference with regard to production sport bikes. This season Ducati Corse lines up the official Ducati Xerox Team and provides extensive technical support to the satellite teams, confident that great results will be achieved thanks also to the level of expertise of all its riders,’ said Filippo Preziosi, Director General of Ducati Corse.

Ducati Xerox rider, Italian Michel Fabrizio was present at the unveiling, which took place in Jerez, in Spain. He rode the 1098R as well as the 1098 F08 during test sessions. ‘This event, in which the 1098 R was presented to the press, has helped me to see just how effectively Ducati transfers its racing know-how to the production of its road bikes and how, in this way, bike enthusiasts are able to have high-performance machines that are as unique as these. I can't wait to start the championship with this fantastic bike,’ he said.


And with fans like these, how can Ducati lose...?

Also see:
Radical Ducati unveil the RAD 02 Corsa...
Hot Single: The 2008 CR&S Vun Racing!
One racy trike: The SUB G1...
Colnago: A Ferrari on two wheels!
Pierre Terblanche leaves Ducati to do... boats!
Casey Stoner: One RICH Aussie!

External links:
The MOST AWESOME twin-cylinder creation after the Ducati 1098R!

First pics: Roland Sands’ Ducati Ultramotard!


The very cool, very stylish Ducati Ultramotard!
Pics: Moto Revue

What happens when talented specials builder Roland Sands gets his hands on a Ducati Hypermotard? Why, you get an Ultramotard! As you can see, the machine takes some of its flat-tracker styling cues from Sands’ earlier machine, the KRV5.

The custom-made twin exhaust pipes look very good, as does the custom red and gray paintjob. We don’t know if the engine has also been worked upon and whether there are any performance enhancements on this bike, but for a bit of around town posing, this Ducati Ultramotard would probably be hard to beat anyway!

Get more pics of the Ultramotard here. And visit Roland Sands website here.

Also see:
The R1150GS-based Beutler Boxer...
Wild rides: MotoGP bike vs 600-kilo Bull!
New Moto Morini 1200 Sport and Scrambler shown...
Supermanx: One of the best café racers we’ve seen!
Hot Dreams specials to be shown in Barcelona...
Racy custom: The Buell XBRR Chronos!


Yes, this is how the Ducati Hypermotard should be ridden...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Konica Minolta replica Honda VFR400R NC30


Would you believe this snazzy little 400 is actually 15 years old...?!

Yeah, we know, we’ve been doing a lot of Honda posts of late. But then today we came across this rather interesting looking Konica Minolta replica NC30, and couldn’t resist posting the pics here.

Based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, K-Conversions have been in the custom bike building business for the last six years, and going by the pics on their website, this NC30 seems to be their best work yet.

This 1993 model NC30, the price for which is pegged at US$4,500 has done less than 30,000km, and K-Conversions claim that its brakes are excellent, and the chain, sprockets, and fork and shock seals have all been recently replaced. The bodywork is all custom-made and, well, we think the bike looks cool!

Visit the K-Conversions website for more details.

Also see:
Konica Minolta replica Honda FireBlade!
Yamaha RD500-based MotoGP replica...
Rossi's NSR500 replica - the BEST racer-rep we've ever seen!!!
Repsol-replica Honda Fireblade...
Sizzler: Rizla-rep Suzuki GSX-R1000!
MASSIVE collection of hi-res MotoGP wallpaper...
Faster and Faster, on Flickr!

External links:
Harley-Davidson 'Dark Custom' video and photo gallery
Images from the 2008 Triumph calendar...


And here's a rather striking new video of the 2008 Honda DN-01...

Japan-only Honda CBR1000RR and CBR600RR track specials!


The 2008 Fireblade and CBR600RR, made lighter, meaner and more track-focused than ever before. But you can only buy them in Japan...

According to a report on Motociclismo, Honda have announced the availability of special, track-prepped Fireblades and CBR600RRs. Tweaked to the max and pared to the bone, these bikes are currently only available in Japan, though Honda might also sell these in other markets later.

Mods to the CBR600 include the fitment of new fork springs and shock absorbers and a racing exhaust, and removal of anything that doesn’t help make the bike go faster. The Fireblade gets a close-ratio gearbox, a more robust, higher-revving engine with new cams and valves, fully adjustable high-spec suspension, an HRC clutch kit and, of course, a lap timer. The ride height at the rear is adjustable, and in order to keep the weight down, Honda have even ditched the catalytic converter, since these bikes are only meant for track use.

These track-special Fireblades and CBR600RRs are apparently meant for racing teams as well as individuals who do not use their bikes outside of the racetrack. No word yet on whether these track-specials will be made available outside Japan, but we’ll keep you posted…

More Hondas:
Back to the 80s: Honda CB1100R once more...?
Racer-rep: Konica Minolta FireBlade!
The amazing Honda Dream 50R...
In XESS: Honda CB1000R-based streetfighter from Italy!
Honda RVF750R RC45: The most desirable Honda ever made?
What's the FASTEST Honda ever made? (And no, it isn't the NSR500 or the RC212V!)


The Honda NSR500, one of the greatest 500cc GP racers from the two-stroke era. More on this machine here, and see our interview with Wayne Gardner, 1987 500cc world champ, here

Here are some more Hondas which we like. From left, the VFR400, the Interceptor 1000 and the very cool, very nifty little CBR400RR!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bad Buggy: The Fireblade-powered Rage R180RT


With 180bhp and 400-450kg kerb weight, this Rage R180RT is the right 'family car' for the Faster and Faster lot. Dunno what the family would say though...

It creators, the UK-based Rage Motorsport, say that the R180RT is ‘effectively three vehicles in one – an extreme performance road car, a track car, and an off road racer.’ We think this mad… creation, fitted with the 180bhp Honda Fireblade engine – is the ‘family car’ for those who’d rather have a litre-class superbike anyway.

Fully assembled, the R180RT costs about US$47,000 – quite a big chunk of money for a kit car! But then this car (okay, buggy...) is fitted with the Fireblade's 180bhp inline-four, mated to a Quaife six-speed (plus one reverse) manual-shift gearbox. The chassis is tubular spaceframe, which Rage claim has been ‘tested beyond FIA standards.’

The R180RT rides on 13-inch alloys, shod with Yokohama 185/60 (front) and 205/60 (rear) rubber. Suspension is double wishbone all around, with adjustable, gas-charged dampers. Steering is a rack-and-pinion arrangement, with 1.7 turns lock to lock. Kerb weight figures are not available, but we guess it would be around 400-450 kilos. So with 180bhp driving the rear wheels, performance should be eye opening…

While the R180RT is supplied to customers in tarmac trim, by replacing the road springs with off-road units, increasing the ride height and fitting off-road tyres, Rage claim that you will have a vehicle ‘that can offer WRC performance on a rally stage and the hill climbing ability of a mountain goat.’ You still don’t get a heater or a stereo though, so make up your mind if you really want one...!

Visit the Rage Motorsport website for more details.

Also see:
The Freddie: Retro SBK’s Freddie Spencer tribute...
Fight Machines' custom streetfighters: The gloves are off!
Quiet please! Put a lid on this...
Blown: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo!
An Alfa Romeo motorcycle. Cool...!
Kettenkrad: The bike that's not afraid of SUVs!
KTM 125cc GP racer vs litre-class superbike...
Down memory lane: Remembering no.34, Kevin Schwantz!

External links:
The bike that can crush a truck!


And here's a Rage Buggy in action. This is a smaller, less powerful model and not the R180RT, but still looks like a huge amount of fun...

Stuntfest: Motocrossers take on Monster trucks!


Motocross bikes and monster trucks jumping over each other. Hairy!

Also see:
MotoGP bike vs 600-kilo bull!
KTM 990 Adventure takes on BMW R1200GS Adventure...
Face off: 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R vs Yamaha R1!
Yamaha RD500-based MotoGP replica...
Trike strike: The Suzuki TL1000-powered SUB G1!
Roehr Motorcycles: V-Roehr 1250SC to roll out by mid-2008...
1974 MV Agusta 500 GP racer vs 2007 Ducati MotoGP bike!

External links:
Ducati 1098R riding impression...
Custom-made neo-retro classics: Image gallery


Stock CBR600RR takes on Corona Extra's CBR600RR racebike here!

The Ducati 848 looks hot, but can it take on the 2008 GSX-R750? We'll find out soon...!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850: Holy Kaw!


The 160bhp Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850. Cool, eh?
Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Muzzy and Kawasaki had a strong partnership going, especially in the US. In the 80s, Rob Muzzy was tuning Kawasaki superbikes for Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey. Later, Muzzy-fettled ZXR750s and ZX-7Rs were raced successfully, and together, Muzzy and Kawasaki won a World Superbike title, four Daytona 200s, four AMA Superbike Championships, three AMA 750 Supersport crowns and an AMA 600 Supersport title. Not bad, eh?

In 1997, Muzzys Performance Products decided to do a special motorcycle that would be in the Honda RC45 league. The starting point was stock ZX-7Rs and the aim was to bring pro-racer superbike performance to the street. The 7R’s 750cc inline-four was bored out to 835cc, tolerances were blueprinted, and very high spec engine internals were used, resulting in 150-160bhp at the rear wheel! Apart from the 835cc engine, the Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850 also featured a heavily reworked chassis and high-end suspension components.

Only 50 of these Raptors were ever made, with each bike costing about US$18,000 – quite a bit back in the late-1990s. And this was without the optional single-sided swingarm, with pushed the price up to about US$20,000. Today, given that all the 50 bikes made would be more than 10 years old, a Raptor in mint condition would be hard to come by. If you can find one, it would probably cost somewhere in the region of US$25,000 or more, depending on the condition of the machine.

Some owners say that Raptor 850s can be a bit temperamental, and that the Muzzy Kawasaki is best suited to the track rather than the street. Also, we suppose parts would be hard to come by today, the bike would be difficult to maintain in top condition, and even if you throw a lot of money at it, the Raptor 850 probably still wouldn’t match up to current litre-class superbikes in terms of outright performance and handling prowess. Still, as a piece of 1990s race-bred exotica, we think the Raptor 850 is just so, so cool…

This is, supposedly, Mr Muzzy's very own 1994-model ZX-7R. It's got a close-ratio gearbox, flatslide carbs, carbonfibre bodywork, aluminum fuel tank, Muzzy road race Titanium exhaust (with jetting to match), shortened swingarm, and raised rearsets. A few years later, this machine probably formed the basis for the Raptor 850…

More Kawasakis:

Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo: Blow hard!
Memorable: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R...
Ninja Nation: 1988 Kawasaki ZX-10 vs 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R!
Bring the bling: Roaring Toyz Kawasaki ZZR1400!
Allen Millyard's 2300cc, V12 Kawasaki!!
Kawasaki ZX-RR vs other MotoGP bikes...
Supercharged Kawasaki ZRX1200: Blown away!
Fast past: Gary Nixon rides Kawasaki's MotoGP bike...
Battle of the Ninjas: ZZR1100 vs ZZR1400!

Wild rides: MotoGP bike vs 600-kilo bull!


We really wonder which beast is harder to control!

So what’s tougher – riding a 150kg, 240 horsepower MotoGP machine, or trying to ride a rampaging 600-kilo bull? MotoGP bikes will accelerate from zero to 100km/h in about two seconds and from 100km/h to 290km/h in less than 10 seconds. Powered by 800cc, four-cylinder engines, these two-wheeled missiles will hit top speeds of about 340km/h and during high-speed corners, they can be leant over at angles of up to 60 degrees. Truly awesome. But how does MotoGP compare with professional bull riding (PBR)?

While MotoGP riders work with teams of highly skilled technicians who fine-tune the bikes the way riders want, professional bull riders don’t even get to pick their bull for competition events. Bull riders are randomly paired with available bulls, and during an event, they must ride the bull using only one hand. (During their rides – each of which lasts for eight seconds – riders are disqualified if they touch themselves or the bull with their free hand.)

Professional bull riding and MotoGP. See how the two sports are a bit similar...

In a competition, riders get points based on how difficult their bull is to ride – judges look for bulls with speed, power, drop in the front end, kick in the back end, directions changed and body rolls. (A body roll is when a bull is in the air and kicks either his hind feet or all four feet to the side.) On the rider’s part, judges look for good body position, constant control, and the ability to match moves with the bull.

Hmm… so let’s see. Though they won’t hit 300km/h, the bulls aren’t fitted with any kind of traction control or other electronic rider aids. Like a MotoGP bike, a bull might try to highside its rider. And while a YZR-M1 or ZX-RR will usually not try to trample and gore its rider to death, a bull just might do that. So would it be fair to say that professional bull riders are harder than the MotoGP boys? Er…, you decide!

Other wild rides:
War of the Kawasaki Ninjas: ZZR1100 vs ZZR1400!
Velocity Racing's 250bhp GSX-R1000 Turbo...
The fastest, meanest two-stroke sportsbikes ever made...
Mad Max's ride: Peugeot V6-powered monster-bike!
Bourget Shredder F-80: 425bhp, V8-powered quad...
Oil Rig: The amazing Neander Turbodiesel!
Rizla Suzuki: The HOTTEST rides in MotoGP!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Motoring magazine interviews Claudio Castiglioni


Mr Castiglioni. Likes good-looking women. Owns MV Agusta. Makes the most beautiful bikes in the world. Luckiest bloke around, eh..?

Cagiva have an agreement with an Indian two-wheeler manufacturer, Kinetic, who are now manufacturing the Mito 125 for Cagiva. These bikes are assembled at Kinetic’s manufacturing facility in Pune, India, and are then exported out of the country, to be sold in Europe and possibly elsewhere.

Recently, Pablo Chaterji, a photographer-journalist with a popular Indian automotive magazine – Motoring – traveled to Italy, where he met up with and interviewed none other than Claudio Castiglioni himself. Mr Castiglioni, of course, is the man who owns MV Agusta and Cagiva brands. Here are a few excerpts from what the great man had to say:

On selling off Husqvarna to BMW

Claudio Castiglioni: “This was a decision that we very carefully considered over a long while. Ultimately we decided that it was important to take care of our two important brands in the same way, and with equal attention. So we’ve decided to focus our attention mainly on the MV Agusta brand, and also on expansion of our brands.”

On the future of the F4

CC: “Our aim at MV Agusta is, of course, to make a product grow, but we don’t want to transform a product either. We would rather that the product evolved, rather than changed altogether. If a person bought an MV Agusta tomorrow morning, then five years later the bike would still be cutting edge. And even if we were to offer new models, then we would do so according to this policy.”

On his own role in the development of the F4

CC: “I was involved one hundred percent – from the conceptualization, to the first sketches to the finished product.”

On how it was to work with Massimo Tamburini

CC: “We worked extremely well together, as a matter of fact.”

On the possibility of MV making a supermotard

CC: “We may examine the possibility of getting into the supermotard segment, but if we did it, it would be according to our core values at MV Agusta. Firstly, of course, it would be different from anything else on the market. Secondly, it would be of higher quality and at a higher price as well, since we are essentially a luxury brand!

On MV's plans of getting into MotoGP

CC: “Not at the moment, no. I tell everyone that MV Agusta is the most historic name in motorcycle racing. We’re the Ferrari of bike racing. We will come back, of course, but we will come back to win.”

On whether he still rides

CC: “Yes, I do ride. My favourite bike is the Brutale, but for a rush of emotion, I ride the F4! I don’t go on long rides anymore though.”

On his favourite bike racers

CC: “My favourite riders are Rossi and Capirossi.”

On whether Rossi can win the MotoGP world championship this year

CC: “Well, he has Bridgestones now, so let’s see. But his engineers also have to work very hard, because his bike was just too slow [last year.] It was very bad!”

On his favourite cars

CC: “Well, I drive an Alfa Romeo 166 at the moment. I also have three Ferraris – an F40, which I think is the best Ferrari ever made, a Testarossa and a 360 Modena.”

Visit the Motoring website here

Also see:
Ariel Motorcycles: Revival on the cards?
Konica Minolta racer-rep Honda FireBlade...
Video: MV Agusta F4 R 312 in action!
Small fantasies: The Honda Dream 50R...
Britten V1000: The greatest motorcyle ever made!
Ducati's 2008 MotoGP Express starts rolling...
Cagiva Mito 500: The rumours continue...
Colnago: A Ferrari on two wheels!
Face off: 1974 MV Agusta 500cc GP racer vs 2007 Ducati 800cc GP racer!

External links:
On test: The Benelli TNT 1130 Cafe Racer!
Here's something for fans of custom cruisers...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stefan Nebel now official test rider for KTM RC8


Stefan Nebel, apparently a racer of some repute, is now official test rider for the RC8. Lucky man...!

As the RC8 gets closer to going into production, KTM are busy putting final touches to the bike, tweaking and tuning it to near-perfection, as befits KTM’s ‘ready to race’ ethos. For this, the Austrian company has now appointed two-time German superbike racing champ, Stefan Nebel as the official test rider for the KTM RC8.

Born in 1981, Stefan Nebel is, by his own admission, at home on tracks like the Nurburgring and Brands Hatch. He’s won the Superbike IDM series in 2003 and 2005, and has put in impressive performances in 24-hour and 8-hour endurance races at Le Mans and Suzuka. KTM say they are confident that Nebel, as a test rider, will be able to work with the company’s R&D division to further develop and refine the RC8.

More KTMs:
Brudeli 625L, a KTM-based trike!
KTM working on 2WD system for bikes...
A KTM only for women!
KTM 125cc GP racer vs litre-class superbike!
KTM's 2008 off-road range...
KTM's 2008 690 Duke, 690 SMC, 690 SMR and 690 Enduro!
The radical new KTM 690 Stunt prototype...
KTM 990 Adventure vs BMW R1200GS Adventure!

External links:
Washing your motorcycle is serious business...!!!
One more reason to love KTMs...


Here's the next Chris Pfeiffer (without helmet and leathers too!)
From: Motoblog

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