Saturday, May 17, 2008

Quadzilla II: The GG Quadster

The GG Quadster - the Quad from Hell is back!
Pics: Autohaus Gros

Last year, we wrote about the BMW R1150RT-powered, 85bhp GG Quad. With its butch styling, zero to 100km/h time of 4.9 seconds and top speed of 190km/h, we thought the GG Quad was very cool indeed.

Now original GG Quad has a successor – the GG Quadster, which comes fitted with the BMW K1200S engine. Power is up to 167bhp – adequate for the 370 kilo Quadster. Claimed performance figures are zero to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of about 215km/h.

The GG Quadster seems to be well equipped for a bit of fun on Sunday mornings – light and stiff billet aluminium chassis, unequal length, double A-arms with coil over shock suspension, six-speed manual gearbox (plus one reverse gear) and conventional motorcycle-style controls from the K1200S.

Of course, it’s expensive – base price for the Quadster is US$65,000 and that can go up to US$75,000 or more if you specify some additional, optional toys. Oh, well, we still love it anyway. Vist the official GG site here for more details on the Quadzilla!

The older GG Quad, apparently very popular with the ladies...

And here's a video of the GG Quadster in action. Brilliant stuff!

Also see:
Quad's the word: Gilera Oregon 250
The 250bhp V-Quad Intel chopper...
Tiff Needell tests the Campagna T-Rex!
Some very cool trikes on Faster and Faster!
The amazing KTM X-Bow...

External links:
Bikes are all very well, but sometimes what you really need is this!! (NSFW)

JvB-moto Scrambler: A modern classic?

The Ducati Monster-based JvB-moto Scrambler looks hot!

The idea, with the JvB-moto Scrambler, was to build a bike that would be simple, light, robust and good for any kind of road. Taking design cues from classic Ducati scramblers of the 1970s, the JvB-moto Scrambler is meant to be a minimalist all-rounder that’s great fun to ride.

The bike is based on a Ducati Monster 1000ie. It weighs 170 kilos, while the air-cooled desmo twin makes 95bhp. Various carbonfibre and Kevlar parts have been used in the bike’s construction

The JvB-moto Scrambler is the work of a German motorcycle enthusiast, Jens vom Brauck, who’ll be happy to build a similar one for you if you like his machine. Buyers can specify their own choice of components, so prices will vary for each bike. To see more of Brauck’s work, visit his website here.

More examples of JvB-moto's work...
Pics: JvB-moto

Also see:
The coolest trikes in the world...
2008 MotoGP race reports and hi-res wallpaper
Michael Schumacher develops new helmet for motorcyclists!
A biofuel-powered GSX-R...
Ecosse ES1 engineer wins design award...
Derbi DH 2.0 concept unveiled at 2008 MotOh!
Mad Kaws: 170bhp ZRX1100 Turbo and 200bhp Supercharged ZRX1200!
Memorable: The Bimota DB2
Hubless wheels on motorcycles...?

External links:
The hottest bikes and babes, on Flickr!

Friday, May 16, 2008

MotoGP: Honda and Yamaha engine upgrades delayed

No new engines for Nicky and Dani yet...

Contrary to what had been planned earlier, Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden won’t be testing Honda’s new pneumatic valve RCV212V engine after this weekend’s French MotoGP at the Le Mans circuit. Some technical issues are, apparently, still holding it back and the new 800cc V4 engine has not been dispatched from Japan yet.

‘Who doesn’t want a new engine, but what can I do about it? Something is obviously holding them back and there is no point in bringing it just for the sake of it. I think they are doing the right thing even though they are getting a lot of pressure for not bringing it. They are just waiting until it is ready,’ says 2006 MotoGP world champ, Nicky Hayden.

In the meanwhile, Valentino Rossi isn’t getting a new engine either. Not yet anyway. Yamaha were supposed to bring in an updated YZR-M1 engine for testing, but after Rossi’s victory in Shanghai, the company has decided to wait a bit before beginning tests with the new engine. Rossi will now get to test the engine next month, after the Catalunya GP in Barcelona.

‘Our bike this year is fast and the straight now is not a nightmare and it is a lot easier. Looking at the performance of the bike in China, Yamaha has decided to wait. I think we will have it for the Barcelona test, but for now we will continue with the same spec bike as Shanghai. The plan was originally to have a different engine spec for Le Mans. We’ll stay for the test but only for tyres and settings,’ said Rossi, speaking to MCN. He added that the new engine would be more powerful, but without sacrificing any of the Yamaha’s smooth power delivery.

Chris Vermeulen looks happy with his new trike, Anthony West is happy with the arrangements made for the evening, and Stoner is a bit worried about everything
Chris Vermeulen pic: London Bikers

Also see:
2008 MotoGP race reports and hi-res wallpaper!
The best MotoGP-replica we've ever seen...
GSX-R1100: Heron Suzuki GB Replica
Motorcycle Speedway: Tougher than MotoGP?
The Doctor's 'first time'...
John Surtees speaks out against electronic rider aids in MotoGP
Alstare develop biofuel-powered GSX-R...!
Race-replica FireBlades: Which is the best?

External links:
Pimp my ride: This and this is how they do it in Thailand!

Rossi aiming for 90th career win in GPs

The Doctor is now looking at taking his 90th win in GPs...

Including all his wins in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, 990cc and 800cc classes, Valentino Rossi's victory in this year Chinese MotoGP was his 89th grand prix win. And now the ebullient, effervescent and hugely talented Italian is, of course, looking forward to his 90th GP victory.

If Rossi wins the upcoming French GP, his wins tally will equal that of multi-time 50cc and 125cc world champ, Angel Nieto. (At various times in his career, Nieto rode for Derbi, Morbidelli, Kreidler, Bultaco, Minarelli and Garelli. Between 1969 and 1984, he won six world championships in the now-defunct 50cc class, and seven world championships in the 125cc class!) And the next time Rossi finishes on the podium, he’ll also equal Nieto’s record for 139 podium finishes.

‘Ninety is a great number. In 2005, I caught Hailwood, a legend, and now I'm very close to Angel, who is a good friend of mine. I have just one less, so we'll try to win as soon as possible to equal another legend of motorcycle racing,’ says Rossi.

In the meanwhile, reigning MotoGP world champ, Casey Stoner will be making his 100th grand prix start at this weekend's French grand prix.

Also see:
2008 MotGP race reports and hi-res wallpaper
Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi!
Who's the fastest motorcycle racer in the world?
Wild rides: MotoGP vs Bullfighting...
Memorable: The Moriwaki Dream Fighter
Dainese and AGV launch Agostini-replica helmet...
NSU 500 Kompressor: 320km/h in 1956!
Libero Liberati: 'MotoGP' world champ, half a century ago...

External links:
Aprilia Dorsoduro SMV 750 image gallery...

Bored with your Hayabusa? Here's something that'll do 300km/h and impress your neighbours...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Volkswagen to make motorcycles?!

Could VW really be getting into motorcycle production...?
Pic: Auto Express
According to a report on Auto Express, Volkswagen may soon be stepping in to make motorcycles and perhaps even a trike or two. The German car company worked with KTM on the X-Bow, which is fitted with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from Audi. Now, KTM may return the favour by helping VW develop its own motorcycle!

From the mock-up here, it seems VW want to start with a fairly simple, mildly sporty motorcycle, fitted with either a single-cylinder engine or a parallel twin, with the engine capacity not exceeding 600cc. So, no, GSX-R1000 owners needn’t start worrying just yet…

According to the Auto Express report, VW may also reexamine their earlier intent to build the GX3, a high-performance trike. The idea had been abandoned some time ago, but now, interest in the project may be revived at Volkswagen.
Also see:
RVF750R RC45: The most desirable Honda ever?
The Ducati 749R-based Rad 01...
Sub G1: One racy trike!
Yamaha RD500-based Max Biaggi replica...
Howard's Killer Customs: US$150,000 hubless-wheeled chopper
First pics: Moto Morini 1200 Sport and Scrambler...
Brit bikers want Mrs Brad Pitt to ride with them!
Master Blaster: MV Agusta F4 Veltro Pista

Four-strokes to replace 250 GP class, rules to be announced in France this weekend

End of the road for two-stroke 250s, begining of a new era for four-stroke 600s in GP racing? A sad day for those who remember Max Biaggi from his Chesterfield Aprilia days...

Back in September last year, we’d said that 250cc GP racing two-strokes would be replaced by 600cc four-strokes by 2010. Honda were pushing for four-strokes – HRC had announced they would stop making two-stroke racers at the end of the 2009 racing season. The Europeans – KTM, Gilera and Aprilia – weren’t happy about it, but would have to play along.

Now, according to a report on MCN, the rules for the new four-stroke class – which will replace two-stroke 250s in 2010 or 2011 – are ready, and will be announced at the upcoming French grand prix at Le Mans, on Saturday. It’s widely believed that the new class will indeed comprise of 600cc four-strokes, and that in its first year, no new teams will be allowed to race. (This would be to negate any advantage that experienced four-stroke tuners/racers from WSBK may have.)

There has been significant criticism of this impending rule change in many quarters, with detractors saying it will push up costs by a huge amount and that the racing wouldn’t be as interesting. Also, various sanctioning bodies like Dorna, FIM, IRTA and MSMA have to jointly agree on a lot of things before the rule change is actually implemented.

Still, the way things are, it looks like the two-stroke 250s era is coming to an end, with 2009 or 2010 being the last year when these bikes would be raced. Racing in the 250cc class is usually fast and furious – proper edge-of-the-seat stuff – but since street-going two-strokes are now defunct anyway, 600cc four-strokes are probably a step in the right direction. The only worry is, what would happen to the smaller European companies, who've been in two-stroke 250 GPs for ages, but who, unlike the Japanese, don't have street-going, multi-cylinder sports 600s from which to source technology for their four-stroke 600cc GP bikes…?

The world learnt to live without 500cc two-strokes. We'll probably also learn to like the four-stroke 600s. In the meanwhile, here's some pics from days gone by...

Also see:
The best two-stroke motorcycles ever...
Valentino Rossi's NSR500: One for the road...
KTM 125cc GP racebike vs Suzuki GSX-R1000!
Suzuki's MotoGP bikes over the decades...
Memorable: The Gilera SP01...
MR250: Malaguti returns to two-strokes!
Kevin Schwantz, back in MotoGP in 2009?!
The mighty Yamaha YZR500...
Stephanie McLean talks about the late, great, Barry Sheene...

External links:
Lambretta image gallery...
Joey Dunlop's brother, Robert Dunlop dies in an accident at the North West 200

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Honda prepares for BladeDay2 at Donington

No offence, but if you own a ZX-10R, R1 or GSX-R1000, you probably don't want to be near Donington Park on the 23rd of this month...

Honda and FireBlade fans in the UK are gearing up for BladeDay2, a motorcycling event that’ll be held at Donington Park on the 23rd of May, to celebrate sixteen years of the Fireblade.

Five thousand visitors are expected for the event – gates at Donington’s Melbourne entrance will open at 9.00 am and the event will go on till 5.00 pm. Under-16s get in free, while older enthusiasts will have pay £10 entry fee. For an additional £10, the first 500 FireBlade riders who register at the track get a 15-minute track session with the Ron Haslam Race School, in groups of up to 50 riders.

BladeDay2 follows in the footsteps of the inaugural event in 2000, which saw 2500 Fireblades assembled at Silverstone. The Honda FireBlade, 32,000 units of which have been sold in the UK since its launch in 1992, has a huge fan following in the UK.

In attendance at the BladeDay2 event will be Leon Haslam, Cal Crutchlow, Steve Brogan, Phillip McCallen and Jim Moodie. The ‘Father of the Fireblade,’ Tadao Baba will be there, as will be Kyoichi Yoshii, the man responsible for the 2008 CBR1000RR Fireblade. An array of some of the most memorable FireBlades from the last 16 years, as well as an example from every year of production, will also be on display.

Stunt monkeys can expect a day of happiness – the Star Boyz group will be there to put up a performance, as will be Russ Swift, who’ll perform in a Honda-sponsored BTCC car.

FireBlade owners can enter their own ’Blades in various competition categories, including Best ’92 ’Blade, Best Paint, Best Special, Best Trike, Best Works Rat ’Blade and Best Original Use of a ’Blade Engine. All competitions will be judged by Tadao Baba, Kyoichi Yoshii and Ron Haslam. For more information about BladeDay2, visit the official website here.

Also see:
Racer-replica Fireblades: Which is the best?
Face-off: 1992 FireBlade vs 2008 CBR1000RR
170bhp Kawasaki ZRX1100 Turbo
Big CC Racing's 450bhp Suzuki B-King Turbo!
Memorable: The Honda VF1000R
A home-made Honda V8...?
The mighty Honda NSR500...
The most awesome Honda ever is... ...a Suzuki!!

External links:
Here's why it makes sense to ride motorcycles in New York...

We love FireBlades, but hey, this is the most amazing GSX-R we've ever seen!

All these absolutely amazing pics: Fast Bikes

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

2009 Indian Chief: Out by Christmas this year, prices start at US$31,000

"Want some grief? Buy an Indian Chief. Want some more? Buy an Indian Four!" No, we're not saying that. It's just something we read somewhere some years ago...
Pics: Indian Motorcycle

Indian is one of those famous motorcycle marques that die, get resurrected and then die again. The name changes hands. Repeat cycle. Currently, the Indian Motorcycle name is owned by Stellican Limited, who purchased the rights in 2004. Now, they’re having a go at releasing a brand-new Indian motorcycle – the 2009 Indian Chief – in Standard, Deluxe, Roadmaster and Vintage variants.

After 50 years of lying dormant, the Indian Motorcycle name really is coming back

‘Restarting businesses is always hard work, but immensely satisfying. Brands such as Indian were not created overnight and they can't be re-created overnight. Testimony to the power of the brand, and to the greatness of the founders who established it, is that after 50 years of being dormant, the brand name is still a household word among motorcycle riders,’ says Stephen Julius, Chairman, Indian Motorcycle.

How much are you willing to pay for having that logo on your motorcycle?

‘We're going the make Indian the de facto standard in premium cruiser motorcycles and extreme customer satisfaction service. And we're going to do it at enough of a profit to ensure that the company will remain alive and well for a long, long time. Maybe even another hundred years,’ says Steve Heese, President, Indian Motorcycle.

Indian Motorcycle have released the first pics of the their 2009 Indian Chief, which will be available in four variants. All the classic Indian styling cues are there – deeply valanced fenders, studded leather seat, whitewall tyres, lots of chrome and that famous Indian logo.

Apart from the Standard version, the Indian Chief will also be available in Deluxe, Roadmaster and Vintage variants

The new Indian Chief is powered by the company’s own air-cooled, fuel-injected, 1720cc ‘Power Plus’ v-twin, which makes 135Nm of torque. (No power figures are quoted, though we suppose the engine would make at least 80bhp or so.) The chassis is a tubular steel number, and the gearbox is a six-speed unit. Wheels are 16-inchers front and rear, and the suspension comprises of a 41mm USD front fork and monoshock at the rear. The bike weighs about 334 kilos.

When it finally goes on sale later this year (?), the Standard 2009 Indian Chief will cost US$31,000. Higher-spec models, with more accessories will cost more – up to US$35,000. For more details, visit the Indian Motorcycle website here.

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