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...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Roehr 1250sc: The supercharged, 180bhp, made-in-America sportsbike is ready!

With a 180bhp supercharged engine, the Roehr 1250sc will certainly be the fastest, most powerful sportsbike made in the US!

Roehr Motorcycles have announced the completion of the pre-production Roehr 1250sc, and production of the bike is expected to begin shortly. Powered by a supercharged version of Harley-Davidson’s 1250cc, liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC, 60-degree v-twin, the Roehr 1250sc packs all of 180 horsepower, making it the fastest, most powerful sportsbike built in America.

The bike is fitted with quality components like Ohlins suspension, 17-inch, 10-spoke Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes, an Akropovic exhaust system and 120/70 (front) and 190/50 (rear) Pirelli tyres. The chassis is Roehr’s chrome-molybdenum composite beam frame, which is said to be stiff and light, and provides an excellent mix of quick steering and high-speed stability. The bike weighs 192 kilos dry.

The Roehr 1250sc will be available in limited numbers, and prices will soon be announced. Those who want to pre-order their machine, or explore dealership opportunities, visit the Roehr website here.

Also see:
The 2008 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is now available in Europe...
Kalex AV1: No holds barred, high-performance German superbike
Giordano Loi’s Ducati Desmo Infinito...
Radical Ducati unveil the RAD 02 Corsa...
Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850: Holy Kaw!
Steffano Motorcycles’ Ducati 999-based CafĂ©9
Racy custom: The Buell XBRR Chronos...

External links:
Why you've got to love England, despite the rain and the speed cameras... (NSFW)
One HOT Yamaha R1...
Dr. Frazier's motorcycles adventures in Cuba

Alpinestars show the way ahead in motorcycle rider clothing. More pics here
Pics: Moto Caradisiac

Monday, May 05, 2008

Blade Watch: 1992 Honda CBR900RR vs 2008 Honda CBR1000RR

From 1992 to 2008, it's been 15 long years of evolution for the Honda Fireblade...
Most pre-2008 FireBlade pics:

With the 2008 Honda CBR1000RR, the Fireblade has completed 15 years, and still continues to evolve and improve. The first FireBlade came out in 1992, and as the lore goes, the bike was an absolute revelation for its time. The earlier Honda CBR1000F weighed 235kg and had about 130bhp. The CBR900RR weighed only 185 kilos dry, and its 892cc inline-four made 124bhp at 10,500rpm. The tone was set for a lighter, sportier and better handling machine.

Created by Tadao Baba, then a ‘Large Project Leader’ at Honda, the first FireBlade followed his ‘Total Control’ ethos. Rather than just brute force, the first CBR900RR was designed to work as a cohesive whole, and it did. Compared with bikes like the Yamaha FZR1000 and YZF1000R, Kawasaki ZX-11 and ZX-9R, and Suzuki GSX-R750 and GSX-R1100, the FireBlade was lighter, sharper, often quicker, and definitely more responsive. The first FireBlade did the standing quarter-mile (400m) in 10.8 seconds, hit a top speed of about 245km/h, and right away made everything else look and feel old and ponderous.

Between 1992 and 2003, the FireBlade's power output climbed from 124bhp to 155bhp
FireBlade pic on the left: London Bikers

Between 1996 and 2002, the FireBlade got various updates, with engine capacity going from 893cc to 918cc to 929cc and finally 954cc. Power went up from the original 128bhp to 155bhp, weight dropped from 185 kilos to 168kg, and top speed went from 245km/h to 270km/h. Over the years, the ’Blade also got bits like a USD front fork, 17-inch front wheel (in place of the 16-inch original, which apparently caused problems with high speed stability), new bodywork, and fuel-injection.

Opinions are divided over the 'Blade's styling evolution. We think the 1992 original looks the coolest!

The 900-series FireBlade was discontinued after 2003, with Honda launching the CBR1000RR in 2004. But we’ll fast forward to 2008, when Honda again introduced the most radically redesigned Fireblade in years. The 2008 CBR1000RR looks completely different from its immediate predecessor, and while we still think the new styling looks awkward from some angles, there is apparently substance below the skin.

The 2008 Fireblade is, of course, a better machine than the 1992 original. But the 1992 model was probably funkier, more cutting-edge for its time

The 2008 Fireblade’s all-new 999cc inline-four features dual-stage fuel-injection, controlled by an ECU that provides two separate fuel-injection and ignition maps for each of the engine’s four cylinders. The engine makes 178 horsepower at 12,000rpm – not too bad for a motorcycle that weighs 199 kilos. No wonder then that the current ’Blade’s top speed is in the region of 290km/h, and it’ll do the standing quarter-mile (400m) in just 10.2 seconds.

The new one is packed with electronics and technology, but the old one is still a beast...

As you’d expect, the 2008 Fireblade has all the correct bits and pieces – slipper clutch, close-ratio six-speed gearbox, twin-spar aluminum chassis, aluminum-alloy hollow-spoke wheels, monobloc radial-mount four-piston front brake calipers, 43mm USD front fork, Unit Pro-Link rear suspension, and Honda’s latest HESD electronic steering damper.

The engine has titanium intake valves, the pistons get molybdenum coating and the cylinders are Nikasil-coated. The stubby little exhaust is tucked down low, MotoGP-style, and signals the end of the underseat exhaust era.

The one on the left looks completely over the top, the 2008 model is more subdued

Compare the 1992 original with the 2008 Fireblade, and you have to admit that the current model isn’t nearly as radical, as pathbreaking as the first CBR900RR was in its time. The new bike has an engine that 100cc larger and 54bhp more powerful. It’s also packed with cutting-edge electronics and the suspension and brakes are in a different league altogether.

On the other hand, the new Fireblade is also about 15kg heavier than the 1992 CBR900RR, and while hugely competent, it didn’t make everything else look completely outdated when it was launched. So, we’d say that in terms of being radical and breaking new ground in sportsbike tech, the 1992 FireBlade probably has the latest one beaten by some margin. Now, Honda, next year how about an 800cc V4-powered 200bhp Fireblade, that weighs 170kg and does 320km/h…

Also see:
Kevin Schwantz talks about the 1980s Suzuki GSX-R750...
1988 Kawasaki ZX-10 vs 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R...
Fearsome: The 1975 Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker!
The mighty Suzuki GSX-R1100...
Brawl of the Ninjas: Kawasaki ZZR1100 vs ZZR1400!
Face-off: Yamaha FZR750RR OW01 vs Yamaha R1
Memorable: The Cagiva 500 GP racebike...

External links:
Image gallery: 2008 Legend of the Motorcycle Concours d'Elegance
GSX-Radd: The Future Of motorcycling?
2008 BMW R1200GS vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V

Another of our favourite Hondas - the mighty NSR500 GP racebike. Read about the NSR500 here, and watch Freddie Spencer race his bike against a Nissan 300ZX here

Big CC Racing: 450bhp Suzuki B-King Turbo

450 horsepower should probably be just about enough, eh?

Pics: Big CC Racing

The Suzuki B-King’s 1340cc inline-four already makes 181 horsepower, which should be quite enough really for a naked bike that weighs 235 kilos. But, of course, some people always have to have more. Enter the UK-based Big CC Racing, who’ll be happy to bolt a turbocharger on to your B-King.

With 6psi of boost, their modular turbo system will take the B-King’s power output to 260bhp. Still not enough for you? Big CC will give you bigger injectors and upgraded turbo kits, and your B-King will have in excess of 450 horsepower. The basic kit costs the equivalent of about US$7,000 plus VAT. For more details, visit the Big CC Racing website here.

More Turbo bikes:
Velocity Racing's 250bhp Turbo GSX-R
Ducati SuperSport Turbo dragbike...
Fast Finn: Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird Turbo
Canjamoto R1200S Turbo
Kawasaki ZZR1400 Turbo: Beyond 320km/h...
MAB's BMW K1200R Turbo
Turbo Hayabusa sets new streetbike top speed record...
Memorable: Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo

External links:
Martin Finnegan involved in a fatal accident...
2008 Honda CB1000R first ride...

A motorcycle than runs on Apple juice, and does 254km/h? Yes indeed. See here