Friday, January 11, 2008

GP replica: Yamaha RD500 special!

Fancy a GP bike for the street...? This RD500-based special looks so hot!

While browsing for some information on Yamaha’s two-stroke GP bikes, we came across this RD500-based special that we thought was quite well done. The bike is basically a 1985-model Yamaha RD500 that’s been fitted with an alloy chassis from an RZV500R, rear wheel from a GSX-R, and aftermarket fairing, bodypanels and exhaust system.

The entire front end has been taken from a YZF1000R Thunderace, and an Ohlins steering damper has also been bolted on. The RD’s mighty 500cc V4 two-stroke engine was sent to Mick Abbey Tuning and has been tuned and fettled for maximum performance. With its GP-replica paintjob, the old RD looks hot and we suppose it might be capable enough to spring a surprise or two on unsuspecting R6 owners…

For more details on how this bike was made, go here. To read more about the great Yamaha RZV500R, go here.

Also see:
PB: The world's best two-stroke sportsbikes...!
Honda NSR500 Rossi-rep: The BEST GP-replica we've ever seen!
Rizla: The HOTTEST pit babes in the world?
1985 Suzuki GSX-R750: The superbike saga begins...
Suzuki RG500: Barry Sheene replica!
The coolest paintjob in MotoGP in 2007 was...?

Racy custom: Buell XBRR Chronos

The XBRR Chronos. Looks radical, goes hard...
Pic: The Biker Gene

Motorcycle specials builders based in Scandinavia, Hillbilly Motors’ latest machine – the XBRR Chronos racebike – has been built in tribute to Buell’s quarter-century of innovation. The bike, which weighs 150kg, is powered by a Harley-Davidson v-twin that’s been tuned to make 150 horsepower. So, yeah, the XBRR Chronos has a power-to-weight ratio that’s similar to what you’d find on the latest ZX-10Rs and R1s!

With 150bhp in a package that weighs 150kg, this bike is not to be taken lightly!

Since it’s based on a Buell, the Chronos is not just about horsepower – it also features significant innovation in all areas. The front brake is Buell’s ‘zero torsional load’ rim-mounted disc, which is now gripped by a Nissin 8-piston caliper setup. Then there’s the horizontally-mounted Showa ‘reverse’ rear shock, which operates without any linkage. (When the bike is ridden over bumps, this Showa unit extends as the rear wheel rises, and compresses when the wheel comes down – hence the ‘reverse’ tag.)

Like some of the latest Japanese race-reps, the Chronos even features traction control, which is controlled via a sensor mounted on the rear wheel. The specifics of how this system works are not available, but we suppose it would involve power being cut back when the system senses excessive wheelspin. And no belt drive here – the Chronos gets chain final drive to make sure that most of its 150 horses actually get to the rear wheel!

For more details, visit the Hillbilly Motors website here.

Another Hillbilly creation. For more pics, visit their website here

Also see:
Tecno Bikes: Custom V-Rod...
SUB G1: One racy trike!
Wakan 1640: A racing cruiser...
The Pi X Bonneville racer edition...
Iceman II: A chopper for F1 ace Kimi Raïkkönen!
Shelby's 150bhp musclebike...
Raging Buell: Supercharged Lazareth XB12s custom!

External links:
Cycle World: Benelli TreK first ride...
Memorable: Ducati Silverstone Super

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Performance Bikes: The World’s Finest Strokers

Like most people who love bikes and who grew up in the 1970s/80s, we love two-stroke bikes. Sure, today we’d choose a GSX-R1000 over an RD350LC, but that doesn’t really take away anything from the fact that the RD and its ilk were great, great fun in their time.

Recently came across a copy of the August 2006 edition of PB magazine, where they’ve compiled a list of the finest two-stroke sportsbikes ever. We quite loved the story, and we’ve posted a few excerpts here. (While PB have compiled a more exhaustive list, we’re only posting what they have to say about their ‘best in class’ choices.)

[Best in class] Honda NSR250R

Can there ever be a cooler paint-scheme than the Rothmans job on this NSR250?

>From 1986 – 1994 >Top speed 192km/h (1989 SP model) >Power 45bhp@9200rpm (restricted)

Not the fastest or most powerful 250, but the most beautifully engineered. By a mile. Based on Honda’s delectable 250 GP bikes. Made Yamaha’s TZR feel like a fish and chip dinner.

[2nd] Suzuki RGV250

[Honourable mention] Aprilia RS250

[Best in class] Yamaha RD350 YPVS

The RD350 YPVS was sold as the RZ350 in the US. And a certain Mr Kenny Roberts was doing some of the selling...

>From 1983 – 1991 >Top speed 200km/h (F2 model) >Power 49bhp@8500rpm

The 350LC was seminal, no question, but the 350 YPVS (called the RZ350 in the US) was always the one that mattered. It had the technology: powervalves, perimeter frame and rising-rate rear suspension. Capable of leaving big four-strokes, including Yamaha’s own 240km/h five-valve FZ750, trailing in a sweet-smelling haze. A masterpiece then and now.

[2nd] Yamaha RD350LC

[Honourable mention] Yamaha RD400

[Best in class] Suzuki RG500 Gamma

Suzuki RG500 Gamma - the best 500 GP replica ever made...

>From 1985 – 1989 >Top speed 240km/h (tuned) >Power 86bhp@10,500rpm

The best 500 GP replica. Suzuki allegedly blueprinted the first test bikes so they’d do a genuine 240km/h. Neat trick. The legend has lived on ever since. Spindly chassis and laughably thin tyres were out of date from the start, but the RG’s motor has been the two-stroke special builder’s powerplant of choice ever since. With 100bhp well within reach, who can blame them?

[2nd] Yamaha RD500LC

[3rd] Bimota V-Due

[Honourable mention] Kawasaki H1 (Mach III) 500

Open class
[Best in class] Kawasaki H2 (Mach IV) 750

Kawasaki H2 Mach IV 750, the real wild child of the 70s!

>From 1971 – 1975 >Top speed 200km/h >Power 74bhp@6800rpm (claimed)

Piston-ported inline triple with a fearsome reputation, but the handling was more frightening than the powerband. Inspiration for the terrifying H1R racer.

[2nd] Suzuki GT750

Overall leader

The RD350 YPVS is also PB’s ‘Best of the best’ among all two-stroke sportsbikes ever produced anywhere!

The worst

Honda MVX250
[Unreliable V3 engine]

Yamaha RD350R
[Restricted model, made in Brazil]

Yamaha TZR250
[3MA, Mk1 reverse cylinder model, ruined by lumpy carburetion and suspect reliability]

Cagiva Mito
[Fell apart frequently]

More two-strokes:
Memorable: The mighty Yamaha YZR500!
HRC: Saga of the Honda NSR500...
Memorable: Cagiva's C593, 500cc GP racer...
The glorious Suzuki RGV250!
Suzuki RG500-based Barry Sheene replica...
Honda NSR500 race-rep: The best we've ever seen!
Memorable: The Yamaha RD500LC...

External links:
Read more about the Suzuki RG500 Gamma here and here

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Radical Ducati unveil the RAD 02 Corsa

As a trackday special, the RAD 02 Corsa should be just brilliant!

After the Ducati 749R-based RAD 01, Radical Ducati are now ready with their next offering – the RAD 02 Corsa. The bike is fitted with an 1100cc Ducati v-twin, tubular trellis frame, carbonfibre bodywork and lots of aluminium and titanium parts to keep weight down.

A lightweight, freeflow exhaust system has been fitted to boost performance (and to release more of that booming Ducati v-twin music!), tyres are Metzeler slicks (the bike is for track use only), and estimated dry weight is a mere 130kg!

For more information, visit the Radical Ducati website here.

Also see:
Want a Ferrari bike? Colnago have you covered...
Ducati 848 vs 1098? Here we go...!
V-Roehr 1250SC: The American equivalent of the Ducati 1098?
The US$270,000 Ecosse Heretic...
The amazing, Ducati 1098-powered, Bimota DB7!
2008 Derbi Mulhacen 659 Angel Nieto LE...

External links:
The world's cheapest car launched in India: The US$2,500 Tata Nano!
Superbike Planet: Ducati 848 vs 1098!
Classic Moto Guzzis. Hot!

And here's a video of the very, very cool KTM 690SM!

Ducati's MotoGP Express gets rolling for 2008

If anything, the Ducati-Stoner combo will be even stronger in 2008...

After trouncing all comers in 2007, the Ducati MotoGP effort is now underway for 2008. First off, Ducati have announced a new partnersip with Enel – the biggest electricity/gas company in Italy – who’ll be sponsoring the Ducati MotoGP team in 2008 and 2009. No, we won’t get into the flowery PR-speak of the two companies’ CEOs, but let’s just say Ducati’s MotoGP team won’t be short of money for at least the next two years.

Next up was the official unveiling of the 2008 Desmosedici GP8 machine, which Stoner and Melandri will race this year. The bike was unveiled yesterday, in the mountains of Madonna di Campiglio in Italy. During the press conference that followed, new Melandri said, ‘I'm really impressed with how people work at Ducati. Although they've already achieved the greatest goal – winning the world championship – they have continued to work relentlessly.’

Stoner, who was in Italy for the event (and who had to spend his first wedding anniversary on a flight from Australia…) said, ‘Winning a world championship has taken a big weight off my shoulders. All my parents' sacrifices, all the hard times in the past, it's all behind me now. This year, I'll continue to work in order to try and repeat my performance of last year and be even stronger and faster, but I'll be able to do that in a very different spirit.’ Bring on 2008, we say...!

Also see:
HUGE collection of hi-res MotoGP wallpaper!
HRC: Saga of the mighty Honda NSR500...
Memorable: The Yamaha YZR500!
Team Roberts struggling to stay on in MotoGP...
Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi!
Who's the fastest motorcycle racer in the world...?

External links:
More about the 2008 Ducati Desmosedici GP8...
HOT vintage Moto Guzzis!

Even as Ducati gear up for 2008, Kawasaki say they'll be going all out to win the MotoGP world championship title in 2009! Read more here

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio: First ride video

Is the Moto Guzzi Stelvio really good enough to take on the BMW R1200GS?

More dual-purpose/supermotard-style bikes:
First pics: 2008 BMW F800GS...
2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere vs Honda Transalp XL700V
The 2008 Moto Morini Granpasso...
2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro!
The 2008 KTM 990 Supermoto...
2008 Benelli Tre-K 1130 Amazon
The Yamaha Air Tricker concept...
The Wunderlich WR2...

External link:
Some powerful reasons to love MX bikes...

For Guzzi fans, here's a Moto Guzzi club video from Rome!

Yoshimura find a cure for the 2008 ZX-10R’s ugliness

We think these Yoshimura exhaust systems look vastly better than the ZX-10R's stock item
Pics: Moto Caradisiac

Capable it may be, but the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R isn’t very good looking. And the ugliest bit on the bike is definitely the exhaust system, which looks tacked-on and completely out of place on the Ninja. Now, Yoshimura may have a partial solution to the making the ZX-10R look a bit better. The Japanese/American company has launched new exhaust systems – the R-77 and the R-55 – for the Kawasaki.

The R-77 is available in stainless steel, titanium or carbon finish, and provides a 5bhp hike in power, pushing the ZX-10R’s output to 161bhp. The R-55 is available in stainless steel or carbon finish, and performance figures are not available.

If you’re buying a 2008 ZX-10R, we think getting one of these exhaust systems from Yoshimura is an absolute must. Reduced ugliness, reduced weight, better noise, and increased power – what more can anyone ask for?

Also see:
2008 KTM 690 sportsbike range...
Commuter special: 2008 Aprilia Mana 850...
Morbidelli 850 V8: Dream or disaster?
Get ready for the awesome KTM 1190 RC8...
War of the Ninjas: Kawasaki ZZR1100 vs ZZR1400!
Nitin Design: Building a Dacoit for the streets...
Faster and Faster: The Best of 2007!

External links:
Motorcycle USA: 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja riding impression
Building a replica MV Agusta F4 CC...!
Does motorcycling inspire fashion?
Emma Blocksage shows new-age clothing for motorcyclists...

Soon, the Belgian police may be riding around on this custom-built Kawasaki 1400GTR. Still think you can outrun the law in Belgium...?