Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ram Italia's US$4,000 magnesium swingarm for the Ducati 1098

Yeah, that Ducati 1098 swingarm is 15% lighter than stock, and costs about 4,000 bucks. And yes, it looks good enough for you to fondle it when no one's looking...

If you’ve just bought a Ducati 1098 and still have about US$4,000 left to spend on your bike, you could run out right now and get Ram Italia's magnesium swingarm for the 1098. The swingarm is 15 percent lighter than the stock item and looks so good that you’d want to fondle it when no one’s looking. And then perhaps take it to bed with you. Yeah, well…

Ram Italia's swingarm has more torsional rigidity than the standard Ducati item, and is more resistant to bending and flexing at high speeds. It’s also 15mm longer than stock, for added stability. With this swingarm in place, you can fit either 17-inch or 16.5-inch wheels on your Ducati – whatever makes you go 0.01 seconds faster while commuting to the local supermarket.

And while you’re at it, you may also want to pick up Ram Italia's eccentric chain adjuster kit for your Ducati 1098. That would cost another US$800 however, so at least we can’t afford one. If you can, visit Ram Italy’s website for more details.

Also see:
RAD 01: Ducati 749R-based forerunner to the Ducati 848
Giordano Loi’s Ducati Desmo Infinito...
Radical Ducati unveil the RAD 02 Corsa...
Steffano Motorcycles’ Ducati 999-based Café9
First pics: Roland Sands’ Ducati Ultramotard!
Singularly Sexy: The amazing Ducati Supermono
2008 Ducati Monster 696: More pics and details...
Italian Express: Ducati SuperSport Turbo dragbike!

External links:
Are motorcycles becoming killing machines?

MotoGP: Stoner tests Ducati Desmosedici GP9, is happy with the new bike

The 2009-spec Ducati GP9 features a carbonfibre chassis, instead of earlier Ducatis' steel-tube trellis frames. And Stoner is already going fast on the new bike!

Even though the 2008 MotoGP season is not even halfway through, Ducati are already hard at work on their 2009 racer, the Desmosedici GP9. And the 2009 machine, it seems, is making a radical break from past Ducati racers – instead of the Italian company’s usual steel-tube trellis frame, the GP9 will have a carbonfibre chassis.

Ducati test riders Vittoriano Guareschi and Nicola Canepa have already been testing the GP9 extensively, and Casey Stoner also tested the bike yesterday at Catalunya. On a GP9 shod with race tyres, the reigning MotoGP world champ set a best time of 1:42.632, 0.2secs better than his best lap time in Sunday's grand prix.

With qualifying tyres, Stoner also set the best lap time of the day on his GP9, at 1:41.533secs. ‘The objective was to understand whether this new chassis concept has potential, and I'd say that for now, it looks to be the case,’ said Stoner.

‘We were quickly into some decent times using the same setup as the GP8. We barely changed anything to adapt it to the characteristics of the GP9 and I immediately felt an improvement, so that is positive. I'm sure that with more time to work on it we can go much faster, although that is not the current brief,’ said Stoner.

‘We took the decision to allow the factory riders to test the GP9 because it would have been more difficult at a later stage of development and eventually we'd have had to go backwards in certain areas,’ said Filippo Preziosi, GM, Ducati Corse. ‘There are some things that are possible to analyse with data, but there are other areas where it is absolutely essential to have the riders' opinions. So it was important to get their feedback, to understand if the choices we've made have been the right ones,’ he added.

Also see:
2009 Yamaha V-Max: Specs, first official pics and video
MZ story to end soon...
Bimota DB7 first ride report...
Valentino Rossi: 30 years, 7 world titles, and some regret...
Wild rides: MotoGP vs Professional Bullfighting!
Memorable: Britten V1000, the greatest racebike ever built...

Who says you need a Desmosedici RR to have a bit of fun?
Video: Motoblog

Monday, June 09, 2008

MZ story to end soon

The MZ SMX1000 concept, shown at the 2006 Intermot in Germany

From left: The MZ SFX1050 concept shown last year, and the MZ 1000SF production bikes

At a time when Volkswagen are said to be considering getting into motorcycle production, another German company, MZ, which has been making bikes since 1922, is all set to close down.

Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Malaysia, who bought over MZ in 1996, have been suffering losses from their motorcycles business for many years. And they’ve finally decided to pull the plug. As a result of this, MZ’s plant in the German state of Saxony, where bikes have been made since the early 1920s, will have to shut its doors, perhaps permanently.

From left: A Limited Editon MZ 1000SF, the Baghira and the 1000S

Apart from various 125cc machines, and an electric scooter – the Charly – MZ’s most interesting machine in recent years has been the 1000S and the 1000SF. Based on these bikes, the MZ SMX1000 concept was shown at the 2006 Intermot, but the bike never made it to production.

MZ was established in 1906 by one Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen, and the company was headquartered in Zschopau, in Germany. MZ – Motorradwerk Zschopau – started making motorcycles in the early 1920s, producing its 2,000,000th motorcycle in 1983. MZ motorcycles won the prestigious ISDT event six times in the 1960s, and one last time in 1987. MZ two-strokes are said to have had a wide influence on racing motorcycle worldwide, including many Japanese bikes.

From left: The MZ 1000S, the electric scooter Charly and another 1000S

The historic motorcycle marque is slated to finally shut down on the 31st of December this year.

MZ links:
The official MZ website
Roadtests of the 2004 MZ1000S and 2005 MZ1000S
A bunch of interesting MZ promo videos
MZ on Wikipedia

Also see:
Memorable: The mighty Münch Mammut TTS-E
Kettenkrad: The NSU-built, WW-II motorcycle half-track...
Classic: The Laverda 750 Formula S
NSU 500 Kompressor: 320km/h... in 1956!
Piega 1000: The rebirth of Mondial...?
Buzz bombs: The Gilera SP01 and SP02...
NRV588: The Norton rotary lives again!
The legendary Laverda V6 Bol d'Or racer...
BMW S1000RR: The German motorcycle is alive and well...

External links:
Brough Superior under new ownership...
Supermotard picture gallery: Ducati vs BMW vs Aprilia vs KTM!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

MotoGP: Catalunya race results and hi-res wallpaper

At home: Dani Pedrosa won the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona by a huge margin. Rossi followed in second place, Stoner in third and Dovizioso in fourth

2008 Catalan Grand Prix race results from Barcelona:
1. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team (M) 43min 2.175 secs
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team (B) 43min 4.981 secs
3. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 5.518 secs
4. Andrea Dovizioso ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP (M) 43min 13.068 secs
5. Colin Edwards USA Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 43min 18.601 secs
6. James Toseland GBR Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 43min 23.657 secs
7. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 43min 23.723 secs
8. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team (M) 43min 24.455 secs
9. Shinya Nakano JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 43min 24.550 secs
10. John Hopkins USA Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 43min 49.100 secs
11. Marco Melandri ITA Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 44min 0.166 secs
12. Anthony West AUS Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 44min 1.343 secs
13. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alice Team (B) 44min 2.954 secs

Randy de Puniet
FRA LCR Honda MotoGP (M) 19min 1.576 secs
Alex de Angelis RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 17min 23.460 secs
Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 17min 23.501 secs

Toni Elias
SPA Alice Team (B) (for not stopping to serve a jump-start penalty)

Full race report here, and for those who want to read even more, see here

In the all-important Hottest Pit Girls Grand Prix in Barcelona, Fiat Yamaha were on top, with Rizla Suzuki only managing to take second place. What's the world coming to?

Also see:
2008 MotoGP race results and hi-res wallpaper...
2009 Yamaha V-Max: Specs, first official pics and video
The one Kawasaki ZX-10R we really want...
Bimota DB7 first ride...
Future Suzukis: GSX-R no more?
Aprilia working on MotoGP comeback...
BMW S1000RR: The greatest BMW motorcycle ever...?
Memorable: The Moriwaki Dream Fighter
Very cool: A MotoGP-replica GSX-R...

Moto Revue: Bimota DB7 first ride

The Bimota DB7 is no pale imitation of the Ducati 1098, says MR...

Pics: Moto Revue
French magazine, Moto Revue recently got to ride the new Bimota DB7, and came away impressed. ‘Little in terms of size and production volumes, Bimota is big in terms of the quality of its achievements,’ says MR. With 160bhp at 9,750rpm, the Ducati 1098-engined DB7 is the most powerful Bimota ever built. ‘Careful, it bites!’ warns MR.

According to the MR ride report, the Bimota DB7 feels very well built – something that adds to the experience when the hand-built bike is ridden very fast. ‘Full of punch, it is certainly not a pale copy of the 1098,’ claims MR.

Testing the bike at the Misano circuit in Italy, the DB7, according to MR, feels even more stable than the 1098 at high speeds, and is a proper racer-spec motorcycle. With its ultra-rigid chassis, very high quality suspension and an engine that’s bursting with power and torque, the DB7 needs an expert rider to get the best out of it...

...and here's what MCN, who also got to ride the bike, has to say about the Bimota DB7

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tiff of the Twins : KTM RC8 vs Ducati 1098 vs Buell 1125R

Buell 1125R vs KTM RC8 vs Ducati 1098!
Pics: Moto Revue / Jacques Clipet

Moto Revue recently pitted three twin-cylinder sportsbikes – KTM RC8 1190, Ducati 1098 and Buell 1125R – against each other, and while you’ll have to buy the mag for the full story, here are a few quick impressions.

The Ducati 1098, with its hard saddle, stiff suspension and very racer-centric ergonomics, is the least comfortable of the three bikes here. The RC8, with its adjustable ergos, and the 1125R, with its softer suspension, are more suited for longer journeys.

The KTM runs it close, but we think the 1098 still looks the best...

The RC8 steers very precisely, while the 1098, more physical to ride, feels more rigid and stable. Compared to the other two, the Buell feels less confidence-inspiring in the curves. The 1125R also displays inconsistent fit and finish, and build quality is poor for some parts.

Of course, the Buell is also the cheapest of the three bikes here, retailing at 12,695 euros, while the KTM is available for 16,250 euros and the Ducati for 17,350 euros.

The Fight Club:
Caterham R500 vs Ducati Hypermotard. Awesome!
KTM 125 GP racer vs Suzuki GSX-R1000...
1989 Yamaha FZR750RR OW01 vs 2008 R1...
Ducati 1098 vs Lamborghini Gallardo...
Kawasaki ZZR1100 vs ZZR1400!
Ducati 1098 vs 848
BMW R1200GS Adventure vs KTM 990 Adventure
World's fastest bike vs the world's fastest man!
KTM RC8 vs Yamaha R1...

External links:
Yamaha FZ1 picture gallery...
Monster Kawasaki busts out...
A car for MV Agusta F4 CC owners...

2009 Yamaha V-Max: Specs, first official pics and video

With its 200bhp V4, the 2009 V-Max should be quite all right...

The first Yamaha V-Max came out in 1985, when Yamaha took a 1,198cc, 140bhp V4 and made a big, bad, bruiser-cruiser out of it. Now, more than twenty years on, Mr Max is back in his new avatar – the 2009 Yamaha V-Max. We’ve already shown you the first ‘leaked’ pics of this bike last week, and now we have the full spec on the new V-Max from Yamaha.

Yamaha say the primary goals for the V-Max project team were awesome acceleration and strong engine performance, precise and sharp handling, unique styling and Euro III compliance. The result is a 310-kilo motorcycle fitted with a 1,697cc V4 that makes 200 horsepower at 9,000rpm and 166.8Nm of torque at 6,500rpm.

The new V-Max is loaded with electronics. There’s Yamaha’s GENICH technology for starters. That’s Genesis in Electronic engineering aimed at New, Innovative Control technology based on Human sensibilities. Er, yeah… well. Moving on, there’s also Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) and Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T), which play a key role in extracting 200bhp from that 65-degree V4.

Mr Max rides on 18-inch wheels, and rear tyre size is a truly manly 200/50 R18. The chassis is an all-new ‘diamond-type’ unit made of aluminium. It’s a strong, lightweight structure that’s made of gravity-cast, CF die-cast and extruded aluminium sections. The design incorporates gravity-cast components for the main frame and pivot assembly, while the rear frame is made from a range of Yamaha’s exclusive CF die-cast parts and extruded parts which are welded together.

This combination of different types of aluminium, each with a different rigidity level, is one of the major factors in achieving the overall desired balance of rigidity. And to enhance that balance even further, the V4 engine is incorporated as a stressed member – using cast-iron mounts at the front, the centre of the V bank, and at the top and bottom of the crankcase.

Now that Mr Max is back, other super-nakeds must be shivering in their boots

The V-Max’s front fork has 52mm downtubes, and their oxidized titanium coating ensures better surface hardness and stiction-free operation. The fork is fully adjustable for preload, as well as rebound and compression damping. Rear suspension is link-type Monocross, with the rear shock being fully adjustable for preload, and compression and rebound damping. All settings are remote adjustable.

Front brakes are dual 320mm wave-type discs, gripped by radial-mount 6-piston calipers. Rear brake is a 298mm wave-type disc gripped by a pin-slide type single-piston caliper. The V-Max also gets Yamaha’s latest linear-controlled ABS system, which prevents wheels from locking up under hard braking and provides consistent braking over all types of road surfaces.

The 2009 Yamaha V-Max is limited to an electronically governed 220km/h top speed, though we’re sure aftermarket experts will have something to say about that. And, of course, after you’ve unlocked the full potential of that 200bhp V4, there’ll be the turbos and the superchargers and the NOS systems…

The V-Max will cost about US$18,000 and only 2,500 units of the bike will be made this year. For more details, and to order your own V-Max, visit the official website here

The 2009 Yamaha V-Max promo video!
And h
ere's some pics of customised V-Max bikes. It's back to the 1980s then...

Pics: Moto Tuning

Also see:
An orange-and-black, 180bhp ZX-10R, anyone...?
Suzuki: A glimpse of the non-GSX-R future...
Italian Adventure: The Moto Morini Granpasso 1200...
GG Quadster: The Quadzilla Returns!
The best race-replica Fireblade ever...
Going Green: A biofuel-powered GSX-R!
American Beef: The supercharged, 180bhp Roehr 1250sc
Big CC Racing's 450bhp Suzuki B-King
Heron Suzuki GB Replica GSX-R1100...
Honda CB1000R first ride video...

External links:
2009 Yamaha V-Max picture gallery...

...and for those who're looking at buying their first Yamaha, here's the brand-new YZF R15, which is being launched in India on the 12th of June. Looks good to us...



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