Sunday, February 03, 2008

Face-off: The World’s Fastest Bike vs The World’s Fastest Man!

This man, Asafa Powell, can run 100m in an amazing 9.74 seconds. The Hayabusa, on the other hand, will do 400m in 9.95 seconds...

Named after the Japanese Peregrine Falcon, and introduced back in 1999, the Suzuki Hayabusa is an iconic motorcycle. Its styling may not be to everyone’s tastes, but when it’s time to really leave, the mighty Hayabusa runs at the front.

For 2008, Suzuki decided to give the bike a comprehensive makeover, so the Hayabusa’s inline-four had its capacity upped to 1340cc, compression ratio went up to 12.5:1, lighter, aluminum-alloy pistons were used in the engine, the fuel injection system got a brand-new ECU and power went up to a measured, real-world 167bhp at the rear wheel! (Suzuki claim 194bhp@9500rpm, at the crank.)

Row through the Hayabusa’s six-speed gearbox in anger, and the 245-kilo bike will accelerate from zero to 100km/h in less than three seconds – and then go on to hit a top speed of about 290-300km/h.

Riding a stock 2008 Hayabusa, Aaron Yates of Jordan Motorsports did the standing quarter-mile (400m) in 9.95 seconds. And you probably don’t have to be drag racing god to do this – journalists from a dozen motorcycle magazines have done the 400m sprint in anything between 10.10 to 10.75 seconds, on stock Hayabusas.

From left: Aaron Yates on his way to doing the standing quarter-mile (400m) in 9.95 seconds, and Asafa Powell after he's done the 100m in an astounding 9.74 seconds!

Which brings us to the world’s fastest man. Traditionally, the man who’s the quickest in the 100-metre sprint – the reigning 100m Olympic champion – is considered to be the world’s fastest. And right now, that’s 26-year-old Asafa Powell, from Jamaica, who holds the 100m world record at 9.74 seconds.

Like motorcycles, human beings have also been getting quicker consistently. Three decades ago, in 1968, American Jim Hines was the fastest man in the world, having done the 100m in 9.95 seconds. Carl Lewis did it in 9.92 seconds, in 1988. Maurice Greene did the 100m in 9.79 seconds in 1999. And now we have Asafa, who holds the record at 9.74 seconds, which he did in the opening heats of the 2007 IAAF Rieti Grand Prix, in Italy. (Surprisingly enough, women don’t seem to be getting any faster. The current women's 100m world record of 10.49 seconds was set way back in 1988, by Florence Griffith-Joyner. Come on ladies, try harder…!)

So how did Asafa Powell, who stands 6ft.3in tall and weighs 88 kilos, become The Human Hayabusa? ‘I've worked hard and people can see that work. No drugs. Actually, sometimes, if I break the meet record and they don't have me recorded to be tested, I still go and ask them to test me, so nobody can question anything,’ said Powell in one interview.

‘I just eat. A lot of people ask what kind of food I eat, what amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and what not, but I just eat. Regular Jamaican food – chicken, dumplings, curry goat – dem kind of food,’ says Powell, when asked about the fuel that makes him go faster than anyone else on the planet. And no excuses, ever. ‘If I miss practice, he wants a reason. I give a reason, he wants a better one. When it comes to practice, he doesn't want any small excuses,’ says Powell about his coach, who obviously makes sure Asafa delivers peak performance during competition.

But is there a limit to how fast normally-aspirated (drug-free…) human beings can run? Most experts seem to think the 100m record will go down to about 9.6 seconds, but that’s it, no more improvements after that. Asafa does not agree with that, though. ‘We can never say that would be the end. Men and record-breaking is such that if there's a target, that's what we go for,’ he says.

Now, regardless of how much 'regular Jamaican food' we eat, most of us will never be able to run 100m in less than 10 seconds. But those who do crave speed can still rest assured in the knowledge that the mighty Hayabusa will always be happy to take us across 400m in less than 10 seconds. Just find a drag strip, put on your helmet and go for broke. Bikes rule!

Also see:
Down memory lane: No.34, Kevin Schwantz!
Who are your motorcycling heroes...?
Are electronics ruining MotoGP? Riders speak out!
Are Canada and Puerto Rico the worst places in the world for sportsbike riders?
DVD Review: Riding solo to the top of the world
HUGE collection of exclusive, hi-res MotoGP wallpaper!
Face-off: MotoGP bike vs 600-kilo bull!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Motociclismo test the Bimota DB7!

Powered by the Ducati 1098 v-twin, the Bimota DB7 should be a match for most Japanese litre-class superbikes. Plus, of course, the bike looks very good...

Pics: Motociclismo

Motociclismo recently got to test the brand-new Bimota DB7, which was first shown at the EICMA in Italy, in November last year. The bike was put through its paces at Misano Adriatico circuit in Italy.

Apart from being strikingly good looking, the DB7 is fitted with the very powerful Ducati 1098 engine, instead of using a lower-tech air-cooled v-twin from the Ducati range, as Bimota have often done in the recent past.

The Motociclismo report says, ‘The market wants horsepower, and Bimota have put a lot of it on the street. The DB7, which has a chassis designed by Bimota, is fitted with the 160bhp, liquid-cooled Testastretta 1098 engine and the bike weighs a mere 170kg.’

After years of lagging behind, could the DB7 mark Bimota's comeback?

‘The bike’s 2-into-1 exhaust system [which is different from the Ducati 1098’s twin-pipe setup…] improves power delivery at low revs, helps boost overall power output by 8bhp, and saves some weight. The DB7’s oval tube lattice frame is light and works very well,’ say the guys at Motociclismo.

Of course, don’t rush off to meet your friendly neighbourhood Bimota dealer just yet – the DB7 costs about US$37,000… :-(

More Italian bikes:
Memorable: The Laverda 750 Formula S
Down memory lane: The Bimota DB2...
Ducati 1098 vs 999: Doug Polen decides!
Alternative front: The Bimota Tesi 3D...
From Italy: MotoGP bikes from the year 2018?
Memorable: The very fast, very cool Bimota YB11...
Colnago: Bringing Ferrari to the world of two wheels!
The amazing, awesome Bimota YB6 Tuatara...

External links:
Bimota DB7 image gallery on Motociclismo

For Bimota fans, here's the (from left) Bimota DB1, the SB6 and the SB8R...

Neander 1400 Turbodiesel: Yours for US$140,000!

Okay, so it has only 95bhp, but the Neander's turbocharged diesel engine produces almost twice the torque of your R1, GSX-R1000, ZX-10R or Fireblade!

For those who don’t particularly like the 190bhp Kawasaki ZZR1400, Neander have the perfect solution – a motorcycle fitted with a high-tech 1.4-litre diesel engine. No, really, the Neander 1400 is fitted with a 1340cc, air-and-oil cooled, eight-valve, turbocharged, fuel-injected parallel-twin that makes around 95 horsepower at 4200rpm.

And before you GSX-R1000 and R1 owners start laughing, get this – the intercooled Neander mill makes 195Nm of torque at only 2600rpm, which is about twice as much of what most litre-class superbikes make. The belt-driven Neander, with its six-speed gearbox, accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds, and top sped is 225km/h. So, yeah, this 270-kilo machine really is the oil-burner from hell...

We had already said most of what’s above, here, back in September last year. Now, the big news is that the Neander 1400 Turbodiesel is finally available all over Europe, for the equivalent of a mere US$140,000. Only 60 bikes will be made every year.

When Sir Alan Cathcart tested the Neander for Motorcycle Cruiser magazine, he said ‘The only downside to this thoroughly avant-garde diesel engine package is the noise it makes, which frankly isn't very pleasant. The issue isn't so much about the engine itself being mechanically noisy, more that the turbodiesel tune simply isn't one that sounds at all melodic or even very sophisticated when you're actually riding it, especially compared to conventional bikes costing one-tenth of the Neander's heady sticker price.’

‘Diesel technology has advanced so much in the past 10 years, not only thanks to turbocharging, but also due to variable nozzle geometry, and especially the evolution of the common rail system, such as found on the Neander. By any standards, this bike is a surprise – not only for its unique mechanical format, but also for the effective manner in which it applies the benefits of diesel development to a motorcycle,’ says Mr Cathcart. See the full road test here, and for more details on the bike, visit the Neander website here.

Other Extreme Machines:
Allen Millyard's 2300cc, V12-powered Kawasaki!
Spectacular: A Peugeot V6-powered motorcycle!
From France: The Wakan 1640 racing cruiser...
Howard's Killer Customs' US$150,000 hubless chopper!
The buggy from hell: Fireblade-powered Rage R180RT...
Running Rich: The US$270,000 Ecosse Heretic Titanium!
Iceman II: A hardcore chopper for F1 racers...
Acabion GTBO 70: The FASTEST bike in the world!
The MADDEST trike on Earth: The ZZR1200-powered Campagna T-Rex...

Triumph Rocket III Touring: Image galley on Motoblog

McGuinness replica Honda CBR1000RR announced

It can win the Isle of Man TT races. Can you?

For Isle of Man TT fanatics, Honda UK have announced John McGuinness-replica CBR1000RR Fireblades, only ten of which will made. Each 2007-model bike (new, never used before) will be painted in HM Plant colours (as used on McGuinness’ bike, which he raced to victory during the 100th IoM TT races last year), will have a single seat only, an Akrapovic exhaust system, a dark screen, and headlight covers. Each bike will be sold with a full Honda warranty.

One of these bikes will be put out on eBay on the 7th of this month, for ten days. The money raised will go to the CJ Riders Fund, which was set up in 2006, when British racer Chris Jones lost his life in a tragic accident at the Cadwell Park circuit. This bike will be signed by John McGuinness and will come with a certificate of authenticity.

Also see:
Memorable: The mighty Munch Mammut TTS-E!
The 1980s Suzuki XN85 Turbo...
Ducati PS1000 LE: Paul Smart rides again!
Moto Tuning's 'Top Gun' GSX-R1000...
Air-powered bike engines in the near future?
Suzuki's MotoGP bikes: Three decades of evolution...
Gut-wrenching: The 455bhp, Hayabusa-powered SR8LM!

The 1980s Yamaha RD500LC was a great bike. But is it the best two-stroke sportsbike ever made? See what Performance Bikes have to say about it, here!
Michelle Marsh rides a scooter here. Awesome!

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...



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