Monday, May 12, 2008

Racer-replica Fireblades: Which is the best?

For our money, this Rothmans-replica Fireblade, in Lawson/Gardner colours is the best of the lot, though the 2008 Repsol-replica 'Blade runs a close second...

Rothmans-replica Fireblade pic: Killboy

Michael Schumacher develops new 'Schuberth Race' motorcycle helmet

An F1 ex-world champ who loves bikes, and can ride harder, faster than most people? How cool is that! We love you, Herr Schumacher...

Schuberth GmbH has announced that seven-time Formula 1 world champion, Michael Schumacher will be spearheading the firm’s development of sports motorcycle helmets.

Starting with the ‘Schuberth Race’ helmet, Michael will continue to work with the German firm’s R&D division in order to develop new models. This arrangement continues a unique and extensive partnership between the German brand and Schumacher, who developed and used Schuberth helmets until he retired from F1.

The Schuberth Race is an extremely lightweight and aerodynamic helmet, with various technical and safety innovations. ‘Attention to detail has always been particularly important to me, and I don’t intend to leave anything to chance in the future either,’ says Schumacher.

Also see:
Michael Schumacher could have been in MotoGP... ...well, almost!
Iceman II: Hardcore chopper for F1 ace Kimi Raïkkönen
Casey Stoner: One rich Aussie...
A Ferrari on two wheels...?
Performance Bikes: The best two-strokes ever...
Britten V1000: The greatest racebike ever built!
Can Honda work the CB1100R magic once more...?
Japan-only Honda CBR1000RR and CBR600RR racing-special models...
Face-off: The world's fastest man vs the world's fastest bike!

Plan on riding like this? Then first see what Ron Haslam and Kevin Schwantz have to say about it. Also see these 50 street survival tips from Motorcycle Cruiser and these nifty riding tips from Superbike...
Pics: Killboy

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Alstare develop biofuel-powered GSX-R1000

Can a biofuel-powered racebike win a WSBK event? In another year or two, don't bet against it!

For the last one year, Alstare have been working on small, biofuel-powered engines. Working with Suzuki and Magneti Marelli, Alstare had earlier developed an ATV that could run on E85 – a mix of 15% petrol and 85% bioethanol. Now, the company has unveiled its first prototype biofuel-powered GSX-R1000, which was first shown yesterday at Monza.

Alstare will continue to develop and fine-tune biofuel-powered engines, including high-performance, racebike engines. And, hey, if the diesel-powered Audi R10 can win the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, we don’t see why biofuel-powered bikes can’t be winning races in another couple of years…!

Also see:
Kawasaki KLR650-based diesel motorcycles for the US Army...
Ecosse ES1 engineer wins design award, working prototype of the bike to be ready by year-end...
The US$140,000 Neander 1400 TurboDiesel!
Suzuki Crosscage: The first production-ready fuel-cell bike?
3UpRacing: The 95kg, 95bhp, 95Racer...
Roehr 1250sc: The supercharged, 180bhp, made-in-America sportsbike is ready!
Bg CC Racing's 450bhp B-King Turbo...
Italian cool: The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic...
S1000RR: The most awesome BMW ever!
Tokyo Joe's MotoGP-replica GSX-R...

External links:
The dangers of Jatropha-derived biofuel...
Rides And Destinations: The Stonehouse Bar...

Couldn't care less about diesel and biofuel-powered bikes? Well, at least these pics should brighten up things for you then!

Pics: London Bikers

John Surtees speaks out against the use of electronic rider aids in MotoGP

Modern-day riders like Casey Stoner (left) thrive on electronics, while ex-world champs like John Surtees (right) are against the usage of electronics in racing

Even though they’ve been around for quite some time now, electronic rider aids in MotoGP are still something of a controversial subject. The younger lot of riders doesn’t seem to have a problem with these, while the old school contingent, by and large, tends to think all electronics are evil.

John Surtees, the only man ever to win world championships in motorcycling racing’s premier class as well as F1, recently spoke out against the use of electronics in racing. Speaking to MCN, the ex-world champ, now 74 years old, said that the increasing influence of electronics is spiraling out of control, and that advances in electronic rider aids spells grave danger for modern-era world championship racing.

‘I think it’s a very dangerous period for motorcycling. On one hand, you’ve got the manufacturers, who are all intent on carrying out research and development, which is what top grade motorsport should be for, which they can pass on to their customers to make their machines safer.

But on the other, we do have a requirement to bring that wonderful relationship which can exist between man and machine. There’s something very special about coming together and taking a machine to its limit and a little bit beyond it at times,’ said Surtees.

Earlier, top riders like Valentino Rossi, Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts have spoken against the increasing influence of riders aids, saying that these make racing ‘boring,’ and that electronics evens out the field for everyone, leaving no advantage for genuinely talented riders, and negating the importance of rider input, which is what premier class racing should be all about.

‘It is something where I think there should be a reaching of an accord between manufacturers and promoters, relative to where research and development finishes and where the entertainment factor and the relationship between a machine and a rider is maintained.

‘There needs to be a compromise, because you can’t have a situation where you just wind it open and let the electronics do all the work. That’s, well, a little frightening,’ said Surtees.

Also see:
Colin Edwards thinks Yamaha's MotoGP comeback is all because of him!!
Blade Watch: 1992 CBR900RR vs 2008 CBR1000RR...
Memorable: The Moriwaki Dream Fighter...
Face-off: Ducati 1098 vs KTM RC8 1190!
The legendary 1978 Laverda V6 Bol d'Or racer...
Fast '50s: The 280km/h Moto Guzzi V8... and the 320km/h NSU 500 Kompressor!

External links:
John Surtees talks about Valentino Rossi's move to F1 with Ferrari...

New pics of the MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR, from Motociclismo

Friday, May 09, 2008

Dainese, AGV launch Agostini-replica helmet

Dainese and AGV have launched their new Ago-replica helmet in tribute to the 15-time world champ. Yes indeed, this is the lid to have!
Pic: Photo © Basem Wasef

First two pics on the left: Dainese

At the recent Legend of the Motorcycle Concours d’Elegance event, Dainese and AGV unveiled the brand-new Giacomo Agostini-replica helmet, in tribute to the fifteen-time GP racing world champ. Agostini himself was present at the launch, and the first helmet was signed by him and put up for auction.

Agostini at the Legend of the Motorcycle event...

Also see:
Giacomo Agostini: "Casey Stoner is incredible, but we must not forget Rossi..."
Nanotech: Smart helmets could save more lives...
Quiet Please. Put a lid on this!
Face off! Do get a proper lid...
Memorable: The Bimota DB2
Agostini compares the 1974 MV Agusta 500 GP racer and the Ducati GP7 MotoGP machine...
Mad Max probably rides a Peugeot these days...
Ferrari two-wheelers, anyone...?

External links:
E-Fuel MicroFueler: Brew your own petrol, in your own garage!!
ScopeOut: Dealing with the 'blind spot' problem...
Now open: The MV Agusta rider apparel and accessories store!

170bhp Kawasaki ZRX1100 Turbo!

Turbocharged, 170bhp ZRX1100 = FUN!

Found this rather interesting Kawasaki ZRX1100 Turbo on the PB mag forum. The owner has fitted a bucket load of all the right parts – USD fork from a ZX-9R, 320mm wavy brake discs with Nissin four-piston caliper, five-spoke Marchesini wheels, Yoshimura exhaust, ZX-6R swingarm (with additional bracing from a 1998 FireBlade) and Tsukigi race-rep paint. Cool!

Of course, the engine is where the action is – it’s a ZRX1100 mill with two extra base gaskets, ZZR1100 valve springs, and a modified ZX-7R radiator. The turbocharger is a Mitsubishi TDO4 15T unit, which is used on the Saab 9-5 Aero. The fuel pump is from a Saab 900 and a Dyna 2000 ignition has also been fitted. The owner says the bike makes more than 170 horsepower, so the bike should be an absolute blast… :-)

Also see:
Blown away: Supercharged Kawasaki ZRX1200...
Fast past: Gary Nixon rides the Kawasaki ZX-RR MotoGP machine...
Kawasaki ZZR1400 Turbo: 320km/h and beyond...
War of the Ninjas: Kawasaki ZZR1100 vs ZZR1400!
Face-off: 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R vs Yamaha R1
Memorable: The Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850!
Allen Millyard's 2300cc, V12-powered Kawasaki!

External links:
Moto Guzzi babes: HUGE image gallery!
2008 Helsinki Bike Show image gallery...

Ecosse ES1 engineer wins design award, working prototype of the bike to be ready by year-end

Amrit Sharma has won an automotive design award for his work on the Ecosse ES1

Amrit Sharma, a PhD student from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the Imperial College London, has won a gold medal for automotive design at the Young European Arena of Research Awards, which was announced at the Transport Research Arena conference in Slovenia last month.

‘I am extremely flattered to have taken home a gold medal. There were a lot of good entrants from across Europe and coming first out of a very strong field is an achievement,’ said Sharma, who is of Indian origin.

Sharma won the award for mathematical models which show how air flowing over a bike can exert pressures on the vehicle, thus slowing it down and making it less efficient. Sharma, a team from the Control and Power Research Group, and motorcycle manufacturer Ecosse are using the mathematical models to improve the design of the Ecosse ES1 racing motorcycle.

New designs tested by Sharma’s model include rearranging the front and rear suspension, constructing the body from fibreglass, moving the chain drive, and altering where the rider’s feet and upper body are located. This creates an entirely new shape for the bike, which, according to tests, dramatically reduces the dragging effects of air flowing over the vehicle by approximately 50 percent, and helps increase its speed by 30 percent.

The team believes it will have a working prototype of the Ecosse ES1 by the end of December this year. Which would be just phenomenal, because with a dry weight of 120kg, more than 200bhp on tap, and styling that breaks new ground in ergonomics and aerodynamics, the Ecosse ES1 should indeed be a motorcycle worth waiting for!

A video of the Ecosse ES1

Also see:
The Pi X Bonneville racer edition: A 30bhp bike that costs US$39,000!
Acabion GTBO70: Darth Vader's own motorcycle...
What would we ever do withouy bikes...?
Memorable: The Laverda 750 Formula S
Carver One: The most amazing trike in the world...
Allen Millyard's 2300cc, V12-powered Kawasaki!
Blast from the past: Silver Dream Racer
Racy reptile: The Bimota YB6 Tuatara
Classic: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Valentino Rossi: The first time…

The Doctor remembers some of his firsts...

With his first victory of the season at the recent Chinese MotoGP at the Shanghai circuit, Rossi is finally happy, and after a long time, hopeful of doing well in the championship this year. Speaking to Gazzetta, the five-time MotoGP world champ recently recounted some of his ‘firsts,’ which we found on Motoblog. Here are some of those:

The first victory
Brno, 1996. Beautiful! On the last lap, I beat Jorge Martinez, the grandfather of the 125cc class, and a magician. That year, I had struggled a lot, because I wanted to be that magician. I was a little envious….

The first purchase with the money earned from racing
A car – a red Honda Civic VTEC, in 1997, when I got a licence!

The first time with Yamaha
Very good, because it was a great bet. I was impressed when I started, and I enjoyed the first lap on the M1. Then, when I stopped, I remember the questioning faces of all the engineers at Yamaha. There were some forty people, and they all watched. A beautiful emotion…

The first fall
The first time I came to the track for a race! It was 1993, in Magione, with the Cagiva 125. I arrived at the first curve, turned, and fell, probably because the tyres were cold.

The first time Stoner passed him on the Ducati, in 2007
I was worried. I have always had very fast bikes – the fastest was probably the Honda – but I've never seen such a great difference between one motorcycle and all the others.

The first time when he thought about leaving Michelin
Portugal, 2006.

The first time he cried
I don’t remember exactly. I don’t cry much, an issue of character. But as a child, I did cry a lot of times… and I cried while seeing the Gladiator movie.

The first real defeat on the track
Valencia, 2006. [When Vale fell off his bike, and the title went to Hayden]

The first betrayal
From a woman, certainly. Usually they are the ones who betray you. It is not a nice feeling…

Also see:
James Toseland is rich...
Tata Group to pick up stake in MV Agusta?
Big CC Racing's 450bhp B-King Turbo!
Honda CB1000R: First ride video
Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro: First pics and details...
Memorable: The Moriwaki Dream Fighter MotoGP bike...
Memorable: Gilera SP01 and SP02!
Unveiled: The Aprilia RSV 4 Race Machine...
When Lamborghini made a motorcycle...
A bunch of very interesting trikes on Faster and Faster

External links:
Hot bikes and babes, on Flickr

Colin Edwards thinks Yamaha’s MotoGP comeback is all because of him!

You think Rossi and Lorenzo are doing well on their own steam? Pah! It's all because of Colin Edwards...

Colin Edwards, the Yamaha Tech3 rider who’s never managed to win a single race in MotoGP, says he’s played a critical role in the revival of Yamaha’s fortunes in the 2008 MotoGP season.

With both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi doing well in this year’s MotoGP championship, Yamaha do indeed seem to be back in business. But would that be because of Mr Edwards? ‘The black and white of it is that there was no Valentino over the early part of winter. And with his lack of experience at that time, Jorge had nothing to do with development in November,’ says Colin, speaking to MCN.

‘Sure, he tested some things to get a direction but the reality is that I did all the testing on the new bike in November. In Sepang, and Jerez, I picked out what I liked about certain things and now we have got a bike that everybody can ride, and not just one guy like we’ve seen in the past,’ claims Colin.

But do not, for a minute, think Mr Edwards is blowing his own horn, for he says, ‘I’m not tooting my own horn, but we have a bike that four guys can ride comfortably at a fast pace, which has never been the Yamaha thing.’ And if that isn’t enough already, Edwards also says that Rossi’s departure from Michelin has helped other riders like Lorenzo and Pedrosa.

‘With no Valentino to spearhead Michelin development, we all did our own thing and Michelin started to decide to build tyres for certain guys. Instead of focusing on just what Valentino wanted, we all got our own direction. We don’t have Valentino on Michelins, and nothing against him because he won on Michelin a million times, but he swallowed up a lot of development,’ says the man who’s never, ever won a single MotoGP race in his entire career.

Colin, perhaps Rossi “swallowed up a lot of development” when he was with Michelin because he’s a five-time MotoGP world champ, and you’re not. What say, Mr Edwards?

Also see:
Colin Edwards: “Valentino Rossi's very undercover, foxy, sly...”
The HOTTEST MotoGP-replica machine ever...
Tokyo Joe's MotoGP-replica GSX-R...
Kevin Schwantz back in MotoGP in 2009...?
Parallel World: Nick Sanders is at it again!
Libero Liberati: 500cc GP racing world champ, half a century ago!
Kevin Schwantz interviews The Doctor!
Hi-res wallpaper from the 2008 MotoGP season...

A new-age Britten V1000? Found these pics on the PB mag forum!

Derbi DH 2.0 concept unveiled at 2008 MotOh!

It packs a 96cc, 8bhp engine, so watch out!

Pics: Motoblog

Unveiled at the 2008 MotOh! Exhibition in Barcelona, the DH 2.0 looks like a mountain bike, but is actually fitted with a single-cylinder, four-stroke, 96cc engine that makes eight horsepower and 7.1Nm of torque. The bike, which carries fuel in its frame, weighs just 40 kilos and is fitted with automatic transmission.

Small it may be, but the Derbi DH 2.0 is well appointed – aluminium frame, 38mm USD front fork, an underseat exhaust, air-assisted monoshock, wavy disc brakes and various carbonfire bits make this a very interesting little toy. More details on the Derbi website here.

Also see:
Motorcycle Speedway racing: Just how brave are you...?
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic goes on sale in Europe...
Apple juice-powered Triumph hits 254km/h!
The most awesome BMW bike ever: The 2009 S1000RR...
Malaguti MR250: Two-strokes once more?
Kawasaki ZX-8R, Honda CX750. We want these bikes!
Memorable: The Bimota V-Due...
Get ready for more of the amazing Peraves Monotracer!

External links:
Cuba, Hemingway, cigars and old motorcycles...



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