Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kevin Schwantz: Back in MotoGP in 2009?

One of the most talented racers in the 500cc two-stroke era, Kevin Schwantz could be back in MotoGP next year, running a satellite team for Suzuki
The last time a Suzuki rider won a MotoGP world championship was in the 500cc two-stroke era, when Kenny Roberts Jr took the title in the year 2000. Since then, Honda, Yamaha and Ducati have been taking the world championships, while Suzuki have been relegated to also-ran status.

Now, the man who was perhaps Suzuki’s brightest star ever – 1993 500cc world champ, Kevin Schwantz – may be returning to MotoGP, to see if he can help Suzuki’s MotoGP effort in some way. In 2009, the Revvin’ Kevin may be back with Suzuki, heading their MotoGP effort as a team manager. This might either be with the factory Suzuki team or with a satellite team.

Schwantz wants American rider Ben Spies to come to MotoGP, and wants Suzuki to give Spies a MotoGP ride next year. Suzuki riders Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen have been doing reasonably all right this year, but it doesn’t look like either rider will be able to win the MotoGP world championship in the foreseeable future. Schwantz hopes to change that in 2009, with Spies, who’s currently a star rider in the AMA Superbike series.

Says Schwantz, ‘My heart is in MotoGP. That’s where I spent most of my career, and that’s where I have most of my fans. I would be delighted to be back with Suzuki as a team manager.’

We are big fans of no.34 here at Faster and Faster, and we hope Kevin does assume an active role with the Suzuki MotoGP effort next year. It'll be good to have him back...

Also see:

Suzuki RG500: Barry Sheene replica
Yamaha FZR750RR OW01 vs Yamaha R1...
Hubless: Reinventing the wheel...
Fearsome: The 1975 Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker!
1972 MV Agusta 750 Sport wins Concours d'Elegance...
Heavy Hitter: MV Agusta F4 Veltro Pista!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Parallel World: Mr Sanders is at it again…

He has a brand-new Yamaha R1 which he'll be riding around the world, he's surrounded by pretty ladies and he doesn't have to spend time in office cubicles pretending to be busy at work. Some people have all the luck in the world! 
Pics: London Bikers

Nick Sanders is already ‘the fastest man around the world on two wheels,’ and he’s going to do it all over again. It’s called the Parallel World, and it’s going to be the 49-year-old Mr Sanders’ last (really?) around-the-world trip on a bike.

Sanders has been crisscrossing the globe since the early-1990s and according to his website, he’s circled our vast planet six times already. On his last record-breaking bike trip, Sanders rode 1,000 miles a day for 19 consecutive days. And if you don’t believe anyone can actually pull that off, go buy a copy of the Journey Beyond Reason DVD.

But coming back to Parallel World, it will entail riding a Yamaha R1 for about 88,000km across six continents, in about three months. So, yes, Mr Sanders will be circumnavigating the world on his motorcycle, using the longest possible route, in the shortest possible time. It’s going to be one hell of an effort we must say – big respect to anyone who can even think of pulling off something like this.

Follow the action on Nick’s blog, and visit his website if you want to order one of his DVDs.

It's insane, but if anyone can do it, it's Nick SandersPic: London Bikers

Space Efficient Vehicle: Redefining urban transport

Can this SEV and other similar trikes replace cars on our roads? We hope so!
Pics: Michelin Challenge Design

One of our readers – Ralph Panhuyzen – recently wrote to us, asking us to write about the machine he’s designed. Panhuyzen’s ‘Space Efficient Vehicle’ was one of the entries in the 2008 Michelin Challenge Design and features two wheels at the front, and two (clustered together) at the back, effectively making it a three-wheeler. The Netherlands-based Panhuyzen, who’s project lead and inventor of the SEV, says that the machine ‘is best perceived as a next-generation Isetta.’

Compared with cars, the sleek, lightweight SEV has advantages of maneuverability, better fuel economy, lower emissions, leaner production costs, and the ability to use the existing road infrastructure more efficiently. With its small engine, the narrow-track SEV will do anything between 75 to 110mpg and it’s been designed to meet the transportation needs of singles, couples, and one-child families.

For more information, visit the Michelin Challenge Design website here, or send a mail to

Here are some other interesting three-wheeler concepts from the MCD...

Pics: MCD

Also see:
MotoGP-replica GSX-R: Awesome!
Tjitze Tjoelker's homemade Honda V8...
Kalex AV1: Pushing the performance envelope...
More pics and details: 2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V
Pendolauto: Franco Sbarro’s four-wheeled motorcycle concept unveiled...
Kawasaki KLR650-based diesel motorcycles for the US Army!
Three's company: A bunch of interesting trikes...

And here's some pics from the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours race. Team Suzuki won, while the Ducati 1098R, in orange and blue Gulf colours, looks the hottest!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro: Video, pics and details

The 2008 Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro

First shown at the EICMA in Milan during November last year, the Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro is a high-tech supermoto-style machine that’s fitted with Aprilia’s 750cc, liquid-cooled v-twin. The Dorsoduro uses a high-tech ride-by-wire throttle control system, the chassis is a cast aluminium / tubular steel hybrid and the front brakes have radial-mount calipers.

Specially tuned for the SMV750, the 750cc Aprilia v-twin makes 92 horsepower at 8,750rpm and 82Nm of torque at 4500rpm, which seems just about adequate for a bike that weighs 186 kilos dry. The fuel-injection maps are available – sport, touring and rain – and throttle response has been tweaked specifically for each setting. In fact, with new electronics and other tweaks, the Aprilia v-twin is said to be better behaved than ever.

The SMV750 is fitted with a 43mm USD fork at front, and an adjustable monoshock at the rear, with 160mm of suspension travel at both ends. The suspension has been set up for sporty riding on the street, which means it’s probably at least reasonably firm, and won’t pitch or dive too much under hard braking and acceleration.

Weight distribution is 50:50 front and rear, which can only help things on the handling front. Plus, the long-ish saddle lets the rider move around a bit and get really comfortable on the bike on longer trips. Overall, the SMV750 Dorsoduro looks just about all right, but we don’t know if the Aprilia will be able to take on the competition – the KTM 990 Supermoto and the Ducati Hypermotard to name just two.

For pricing and other details, visit the Aprilia Dorsoduro website here.

And here's the official Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro promo video. Very cool...

Also see:
Battle of the Twins: Ducati 1098 vs KTM 1190 RC8!
Special Edition Konica Minolta Honda CBR600RR...
Now available: The new Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
Here's what a bit of paint can do for your bike...
Memorable: The mid-80s Honda VF1000R
Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850: Holy Kaw!!
Promo video: Aprilia Shiver 750

External links:
Spyder Club: Rent-a-superbike...
Kawasaki GPZ1100 image gallery
The hottest truck in the world...!

2009 BMW S1000RR: Rock and Roll!

The 2009 BMW S1000RR. The competition is shaken. And stirred...

With the recent unveiling of the S1000RR, BMW are now pulling out all the stops in their bid to be taken seriously as manufacturers of high-performance motorcycles. Of course, BMW are already present in endurance racing events this year, with the HP2 Sport. But with its brand-new four-cylinder engine, the S1000RR is meant to be in a different league altogether.

With the S1000RR, BMW have announced their intent to go racing in the World Superbikes series in 2010. The company will also build 1,000 street-going units of this bike next year, in order to meet WSBK homologation requirements. Technical details for the bike have not been released, but the S1000RR is likely to be packed with the very latest in electronics and technology, including an advanced version of traction control.

More than 200bhp in race-trim? But of course...

Going by the pictures here, the BMW S1000RR is fitted with top-spec bits – Brembo brakes with radial-mount, monobloc calipers, Ohlins fork and shock, Akrapovic exhaust system, Pirelli Diablo rubber, carbonfibre bodywork and a very beefy looking aluminium twin-spar chassis. Indeed, the bike looks totally awesome – if appearances are anything to go by, Japanese and Italian manufacturers should be a bit worried already.

With the V4-powered Aprilia RSV 4 also coming out next year, 2010 should be one hell of a year for World Superbikes. In the meanwhile, for BMW fans hoping to get their hands on an S1000RR next year, price might possibly be a deterrent. The HP2 Sport already costs US$25,000 and we suppose the S1000RR is likely to be at least as expensive, if not more. But stay tuned for more details...

Here's a video of the BMW S1000RR. Sure looks good to us...

And here are some more pics of the 2009 BMW S1000RR racebike, with which BMW will go racing in World Superbikes next year

Also see:
MDM: A scrambler-style HP2 Megamoto...?
Ducati SuperSport Turbo dragbike!
Ride video: The amazing Travertson V-Rex...
Down memory lane: The Bimota V-Due
Turbocharged: The 2008 Canjamoto BMW R1200S Scorpion
Singularly sexy: The Ducati Supermono!
The Wunderlich WR2: A lighter, faster BMW HP2...

External links:
Ex-WSBK world champ, Scott Russell tests the Ducati 1098R
The most amazing Suzuki you've ever seen...