Saturday, May 24, 2008

Deus Ex Machina: Wearable motorcycle from the Art Center Pasadena


Jake Loniak's wearable motorcycle - the Deus Ex Machina. Some people just won't buy an R1...
Pics: Green Car Design

Professor Bumsuk Lim at the Art Center Pasadena, California, has taken his passion for motorcycles and used it to develop the Art Center’s first official motorcycle design class. The idea was to explore alternative vehicles, without sticking to the traditional package of two (or three, or four…) wheels.

Lim’s brief to his students was to not worry about traditional constraints like seating, storage space, market segments and so on, and just get on with creating a kind of motorcycle that simply doesn’t exist today.

Good thing, then, that at least some of his students listened to Lim. Jake Loniak, for example, who’s a Transportation Design student at the Art Center. Loniak came up with an interesting project, which he calls ‘Deus Ex Machina.’ Under this project, he’s designed an electric motorcycle that a single passenger can wear, and ride. Er… yes, it’s a ‘wearable motorcycle.’

Now we don’t understand this fully, but the Deus Ex Machina has 36 pneumatic muscles and two linear actuators which allow it to work with the human body as one cohesive whole. With this machine, man and motorcycle operate as one single unit.

Loniak’s design was inspired by Biomechatronics, which combines aspects of biology, mechanics, and electronics. The bike is powered by NanoPhosphate batteries and ultra-capacitors, and is fitted with an in-wheel motor that could supply enough torque for the machine to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in three seconds. Recharge time for the batteries is 15 minutes, and top speed, for now, is limited to 120km/h.

We don’t really suppose this motorcycle will ever make it to production, but it’s good to see that original thinking is alive and well among the people who might someday be designing our next motorcycle!


Here's how this 'wearable motorcycle' will look on the move...!

Also see:
Nitin Design: The 'Dacoit' is set to roam the streets...
Future watch: MIT’s ready-to-fold RoboScooter...
Ecosse ES1 engineer wins design award...
WheelSurf Monowheel: On one wheel, and a prayer...
Going hubless: Does the motorcycle wheel really reinvention?
Significant 'firsts' in motorcycling...

External links:
An amazingly hot ZX-10R...


First pics of the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Suzuki Crosscage in action!
Pics: Jalopnik

Honda: 2010 and beyond...


Honda have, we're sure, great things in store for motorcyclists. But our no.1 favourite Honda - the RC45 - isn't coming back. What a pity...
Pic: Killboy

Honda President and CEO, Takeo Fukui has spoken. And according to the big man at Honda, you can expect great things from the company over the next three years. According to Fukui san, ‘Honda will create motorcycles which reflect the unique characteristics of Honda and exceed the expectations of customers.’

Among other things, Honda will have their PGM-FI tech on all their bikes by the end of 2010. The company will also look at fitting motorcycle airbag systems and anti-lock brakes (ABS) on more bikes. In fact, all 250cc and above Honda bikes (except off-road models) will have ABS by the end of 2010.

For commuter bike markets like India and Thailand, Honda will launch an all-new 100cc bike that’ll be inexpensive and very fuel efficient. The bike will be soon be launched in Thailand, and then in other Asian countries.

In American and European markets, Honda will introduce new technologies like the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system, which improves fuel efficiency, and electronically-controlled combined ABS (C-ABS), which enhances safety in tricky road/weather conditions.

At their new manufacturing facility in Ogawa, in Japan, Honda will make their next-generation, high-performance, environmentally-responsible engines which require highly advanced manufacturing technologies. In the face of soaring fuel prices, the company will also push its hybrid strategy further and look at achieving full-scale market penetration for it hybrids as early as possible. There is, however, no word on whether this would only be for cars and SUVs, or also include some of Honda’s bigger motorcycles.

Also see:
Can Honda work the CB1100R magic once more?
Memorable: The 1980s Honda VF1000R...
Honda DN-01: The shape of things to come...
Special Edition Konica Minolta Honda CBR600RR...
Honda CB1000R first ride video
Blade Watch: 1992 CBR900RR vs 2008 CBR1000RR!
The best race-replica Honda Fireblade ever...
Small wonder: The Honda Dream 50R...
The mighty Honda NSR500...
Honda Fireblade vs Honda Civic Type R!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Buddfab Streamliner: The fastest 50cc machine in the world


The 50cc Buddfab Streamliner will do over 214km/h!
Pic: Buddfab

John Buddenbaum, master metal fabricator, and Eric Noyes, an engineer at NASA's Ames Research Center, have teamed up to build something very unusual – the Buddfab Streamliner. Fitted with a 50cc, two-stroke, single-cylinder Aprilia RS50 engine, the Buddfab can do speeds of over 210km/h!

The two men chose the Aprilia engine because the little Italian mill doesn’t melt if it’s run in a very high state of tune, and because parts for the engine are easily available. The RS50 engine was fettled with some help from AF1 Racing and inputs from Metrakit, a Spanish company that makes high performance racing parts for very small racing engines.

The Buddfab’s shape is inspired by World War II-era aircraft – Eric researched NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) archives before deciding on the final shape for this Streamliner. The result is a machine where the rider lays face down in a prone position, with his arms in front. And yes, to be able to travel like this at 200km/h, barely inches off the ground, takes a big pair of you-know-what.


Who says you need a big motor to go fast...?
Pics: Motorcycle USA

The two designers of the Buddfab tried various things on the Aprilia RS50 engine – running it on everything from petrol to methanol to nitromethane, running it with nitrous oxide, and even experimenting with turbocharging.

The Buddfab finally took part in the 2006 BUB Speed Trials, where the team set two new records – the AMA Gasoline 50cc Motorcycle Streamliner Record at 194.24km/h, and the AMA Fuel Record at 214.08km/h. Who says you need a big motor to go really fast…

Also see:
Ride video: The amazing Travertson V-Rex...
Battle of the Twins: KTM RC8 vs Ducati 1098!
Memorable: The Moriwaki Dream Fighter MotoGP machine...
2009 BMW S1000RR: The most awesome BMW motorcycle ever?
Derbi DH 2.0 concept unveiled at MotOh!
Classic: The Honda Dream 50R
The amazing Morbidelli 850 V8...

2009 Buell Ulysses XB12XP Police unveiled


Hot Fuzz: The 103bhp Buell XB12XP Police

The American police now have a new bike to look forward to – the Buell Ulysses XB12XP - a quick and nimble patrol vehicle that can travel over a variety of terrain.

Based on the Buell Ulysses adventure sportsbike, the Ulysses Police features long-travel suspension, generous ground clearance and dual-purpose tyres that allow it to tackle rough roads. Production of the bike will begin in August this year.

The Ulysses Police comes fitted with hard-shell top and side cases, each removable and lockable. (The side cases are narrower than the standard Buell side cases, allowing for more clearance.) There’s a luggage rack with tie-down hooks, a tall windshield, heated hand grips, and handlebar deflectors. An available emergency response kit includes a siren and an LED lighting package in different color configurations of red and/or blue.

The Buell Ulysses Police is powered by an air/oil/fan-cooled, fuel-injected Buell Thunderstorm 1203cc v-twin, which makes 103 horsepower at 6,800rpm, and delivers 51mpg in the city and 64mpg on the highway. The Goodyear Hibrex belt drive is said to be durable and doesn’t need lubrication or any adjustment.

Suspension – 47mm Showa USD fork up front, and Showa monoshock at the back – is fully adjustable. The Ulysses Police carries fuel in its aluminum frame, the exhaust is located below the engine, and the bike rides on 17-inch cast-aluminium wheels, shod with Pirelli Scorpion Sync tyres. The Police-spec Buell weighs 215 kilos, fitted with the emergency lighting kit.

For more details, visit the Buell website here.

Also see:
Face-off: Caterham R500 vs Ducati Hypermotard 1100S!
Riding the awesome Buell 1125R...
GG Quadster: Return of the Quadzilla!
2009 Indian Chief out by Christmas this year...
F1 ace, Michael Schumacher develops a helmet for motorcyclists!
One HOT MotoGP-replica GSX-R...
A turbocharged Ducati SuperSport drag bike...

Valentino Rossi: "I have 30 years, 7 titles, and some regret…"


Rossi, who'll soon be 30 years old, says he isn't prepared to slow down just yet...

No.46, The Doctor, recently spoke to Italian newspaper Gazzetta, and some excerpts were published on Motoblog. These make for very interesting reading, and perhaps provide an insight into the psyche of the world’s most successful, most talented motorcycle racer ever.

Speaking on the speculation regarding his moving on from Yamaha at the end of this year, Rossi says, ‘At the end of this season I am not going to change bikes. If I have to, I will change sports. I hope to do some more years in MotoGP, and then I want to spend some years with my other passion, cars. Perhaps rallying, perhaps more. But I’m not yet ready to stop racing.’


With five MotoGP world championships, and the distinct possibility of winning at least one more, The Doctor is one of the greatest bike racers of all time

‘This year belongs to the very young and the very fast. But if I concentrate, and if I’m committed, they are not faster than me. Not yet. Of course, there are no longer the days when I can win 10 races in a year,’ says Rossi. ‘But I can choose to do something else. I have won seven world titles – I do not have to prove anything to anyone,’ he adds.

Speaking on not having moved to F1 with Ferrari, Rossi says, ‘It's been a difficult choice. Very difficult. Regret is perhaps not the right word, but I do how I would have done in F1. It was always my dream to run with Ferrari. But at that time, I was not ready for the jump.’

On living in Italy, Rossi says, ‘The price to pay to stay here is very high. But after so many years of living abroad, I want to return to my house, where I grew up, and where I have my roots. I want to start all over again and enjoy what I have.’

Also see:
Rossi happy at Yamaha, wants to go for Agostini's record...
Rossi takes 90th GP win in France...
Rossi is motivated by Jorge Lorenzo!
Valentino Rossi: "My first time..."
Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi...
Michael Scott interviews The Doctor
Colin Edwards talks about Rossi...
Valentino's NSR500: One for the road!

External links:
Anthony Gobert: One more chance?
1998 - 2008: Picture gallery of all Yamaha R1s made over the last 10 years!

British bikers reaffirm their affection for Ms Jolie


With Angelina raiding the tomb, poor Indiana Jones never had a chance...

A survey by the UK-based insurance company, Bennetts, reveals that British bikers are in love with Mrs Brad Pitt. Angelina ‘Lara Croft’ Jolie’s motorcycle riding scene in the movie Tomb Raider has been voted at no.1 among all motorcycling sequences ever filmed for a movie.

The research, compiled with inputs from bikers from around the UK, at early rounds of this year’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship, saw Indiana Jones and his famous sidecar chase in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade fail to make an impression, despite the action-packed scene being considered one of the most memorable from the early Indiana Jones trilogy.

Tomb Raider even beat long standing favourites such as Steve McQueen’s race to the Swiss border in The Great Escape and Tom Cruise’s biking performance in Top Gun. Motorcycling sequences from The Matrix Reloaded and Terminator 2 placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Surprising omissions from the top five scenes include Dennis Hopper speeding through the American desert in Easy Rider, and a young Che Guevara, played by Gael García Bernal, making his way through South America in The Motorcycle Diaries.

Top 5 Biking Movie Moments, according to the Bennetts survey:

1. Tomb Raider
Angelina Jolie’s motorcycle riding sequence, when she races to the rescue

2. The Great Escape
Steve McQueen’s chase sequence to the Swiss border

3. Top Gun
Tom Cruise on his Kawasaki

4. The Matrix Reloaded
Neo’s ride sequence on a Ducati

5. Terminator 2
Arnold Schwarzenegger on his Harley, being chased by the Terminator

Also see:
Aprilia on track for MotoGP comeback...
Le Mans: Rossi takes 90th GP win in France!
JvB-moto Scrambler: A modern classic?
The coolest race-replica Fireblades...
John Surtees doesn't like traction control...
Colin Edwards thinks Yamaha's MotoGP comeback is because of him!
Big CC Racing's 450bhp Suzuki B-King Turbo...
Fruit juice powered Triumph hits 254km/h!
UK bikers want to ride with Mrs Brad Pitt...

External links:
A ride on the KTM RC125 GP bike...!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Caterham R500 vs Ducati Hypermotard 1100S


Caterham R500 vs Ducati Hypermotard 1100S. Sizzle!!!
Via: Motoblog

Another car vs bike video – and it’s the best one we’ve seen in a long, long time. This time, it’s the absolutely mind-blowing Caterham R500, which packs 263bhp and weighs just 460 kilos, against the 177 kilo Ducati Hypermotard 1100S, which has 95bhp. Bring ’em on!

Also see:
Honda CBR1000RR vs Honda Civic Type-R!
Cars vs bikes: 0-100-0mph times...
Volkswagen to make motorcycles?!
Indian UV manufacturer, Mahindra may buy controlling stake in MV Agusta!
Can a biofuel-powered GSX-R win races?
Yamaha WRF 450 vs Subaru Impreza!
Memorable: The 200mph NSU 500 Kompressor...
KTM X-Bow: Pics, video and details of the awesome supercar from Austria...

Rossi happy with Yamaha, wants to go after Agostini’s record


Even with his 90 GP wins, Rossi is still 32 victories short of Giacomo Agostini's record

Last year, with his Yamaha YZR-M1 down in the dumps, and with Michelin not being able to deliver, Valentino Rossi was angry, disappointed and ready to move from Yamaha to some other team. This year, the YZR-M1 seems to have been improved dramatically, the Bridgestone rubber is spot on, The Doctor is winning again (Rossi took his 90th GP win at the recent French MotoGP at Le Mans) and all is well with the world.

‘I was quite frustrated at the end of last year. I was in a bad situation. I wanted to finish my career with Yamaha, but at the same time I wanted a bike to win the championship. So I said ‘please, can you build a bike to win the championship?’ And they made a great effort,’ said Rossi, speaking to MCN.

‘Last year, the difference to Ducati was top speed and power, and the Japanese were back a little. The development was not good. This year, everyone works better and we have a better plan of evolution and development. Yamaha made a great step so this is fantastic,’ says an obviously happy Doctor.


This year, The Doctor should be able to surpass Ago's race wins tally in the premier class...

With 90 GP wins to his name, Rossi is now the second most successful rider in GP racing history. But the no.1 spot remains elusive. Decades after he’s stopped racing, Giacomo Agostini still remains at no.1 even today. And Rossi wants that position.

Agostini notched up a total of 122 race wins in his career, while Rossi is now at 90. But while Rossi may never notch up another 32 wins, what he will certainly be able to do is match – and surpass – Ago’s wins tally in the premier class. With 64 wins in 500cc/990cc/800cc MotoGP classes, Rossi now trails Agostini by only four wins – a deficit which he’s likely to make up before the end of this year.

‘Ago has 68 in the premier class, so that’s just four more than me. Maybe we can reach this target,’ says Rossi. Then, speaking of catching up with Ago in the total race wins tally, he says, ‘122 wins means I need another 32 wins. Maybe it is difficult, but maybe not impossible.’

Hmmm… our guess is Rossi will definitely exceed Ago’s race wins in the premier class, but for the total number of GP race victories, Ago, with his 122 wins, will always remain at no.1.

Also see:
2008 MotoGP race results and hi-res wallpaper
Aprilia on track for MotoGP comeback...
GG Quadster: The Quadzilla returns!
Race-rep Fireblades: Which is the best?
Future Watch: Bio-fuel powered racebikes...
170bhp Kawasaki ZRX1100 Turbo!
The Sharpest 'Blade: 1992 CBR900RR vs 2008 CBR1000RR
American Beauty: The supercharged, 180bhp Roehr 1250sc...

External links:
Hot Hayabusas: Picture gallery...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Aprilia on track for MotoGP comeback


The RS3 Cube never really worked very well, but that doesn't scare Aprilia

Aprilia are ready to get over with their earlier failure in MotoGP with the RS3 Cube. The Italian company, which showed its RSV 4 WSBK racebike earlier this year, also wants to come back and race in MotoGP again.

According to a report on MCN, Aprilia boss Gigi Dall’Igna has confirmed that the company is now working on a new 800cc V4 engine for MotoGP. Aprilia will be in WSBK in 2009, but is not certain on when it can come back to MotoGP with the new V4.

With the two-stroke 250cc class being axed from GPs after 2010, and four-stroke 600s taking its place, Aprilia are sure they don’t want to go there. Unlike the Japanese, Aprilia don’t have any 600cc supersport street machines on which to base development for the new 600cc GP class, and they would rather come to MotoGP.

‘We will be back in MotoGP in the future and it will be with a V4 motor. For me, the V4 is the perfect engine for the 800cc class. For sure, Yamaha this year showed us that the in-line four is also very good, but my opinion is that the V4 is the best package,’ said Dall’Igna, speaking to MCN. He also said that this time, instead of involving someone like Cosworth (who developed Aprilia’s earlier RS3 MotoGP machine), Aprilia will develop the engine themselves.

‘We will do this project completely in-house. The experience to do a good car engine is not enough to do a good engine for bikes,’ said Dall’Igna, who still seems to be a bit unhappy with Cosworth.

Well, it should be amazing if Aprilia can indeed manage to pull it off and make a comeback to MotoGP. Some will remember that four-time 500cc world champ Eddie Lawson rode for Cagiva during his last few years in the GPs. Perhaps Valentino Rossi can ride for Aprilia’s MotoGP team in 2011?

Also see:
Big collection of hi-res MotoGP wallpaper from 2002 - 2007 seasons!
Fearsome: The 1975 Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker...
The coolest MotoGP paintjob ever...
Wild Rides: A Peugeot V6-powered motorcycle...
A Ferrari on two wheels...?
Britten V1000: The greatest racebike ever built!
The Fireblade-powered Rage R180RT...
Memorable: The amazing Ducati Supermono!

External links:
The fastest Honda ever, is coming out in 2012!

Buell 1125R ride video


We think the Buell 1125R is an interesting machine, and this video shows what the bike can do. Next year, perhaps Buell will also improve the way this bike looks...?

It's all Buell:
Performance Buell: The 2008 Buell 112R...
Urban Buell: The Buell Lightning Super TT XB12STT...
Raging Buell: The supercharged Lazareth XB12S Custom...
Racy Buell: The Buell XBRR Chronos...
Touring Buell: The Buell Ulysses XB12XT...
150bhp Buell: The Buell XBRR...
Daily Buell: The Buell Lightning Long XB12Ss...

External links:
50th Anniversary Triumph Bonneville picture gallery...
AMD European Custom Motorcycle Championship: Picture gallery...

MV Agusta Privilege Day: Go riding in Portugal


If you own an MV bike, and if you've always wanted to go riding at the Estoril circuit in Portugal, this is your big chance...

MV Agusta have announced the first edition of the ‘MV Agusta Privilege Day,’ for MV bike owners. This riding course, at the Estoril circuit in Portugal, should be a great opportunity for MV riders to improve their riding skills. Luca Scassa (MV Agusta SBK official rider for 2008, Italian SuperStock Champion 2007) and two factory test riders will be there as instructors, and they’ll show you how to go faster… and faster!

The event begins in the evening on the 9th of June, at the Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho. Of course, more interesting than the food and the drink would be the absolutely magnificent US$120,000 F4 CC that would be on display there. Later, on the 10th of June, MV owners would also have the opportunity to test ride the new F4 1078 RR312 and Brutale 1078RR bikes.

For more details, visit the official website or send an email to Jaques Costa on jaquesabreu@netcabo.pt or call him on +351 912318030

Win James Toseland's MotoGP-replica Yamaha R1!


Bennetts are offering you a chance to win a James Toseland-replica R1 in Tech3 Yamaha colours. Visit the Bennetts website for more details...

2008 Sturgis Bike Week: Be there!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Indian carmaker, M&M may buy stake in MV Agusta


From Left: Anand Mahindra, owner of the Mahindra Group, may buy a controlling stake in MV Agusta from Claudio Castiglioni
Anand Mahindra pic: India Automotive

Last month, we had reported that there was a possibility of Tata Motors picking up a stake in MV Agusta. While that doesn’t seem to have materialized, according to a new report on India Automotive, it’s now another Indian business group – Mahindra & Mahindra – that’s now interested in picking up a controlling stake in MV.

M&M had, some time ago, bought a controlling stake in Stile Bertone, and may now buy MV Agusta to fuel the company’s ambitions of getting into the global bike market. Like Benelli’s Chinese owners, M&M would be in a position to inject a substantial amount of money into MV, allowing the Italian company to spend some on research and new bike development.

Also see:
Volkswagen to make motorcycles?
All-new Indian Chief to come out by Christmas this year...
Michael Schumacher develops a new helmet for motorcyclists...
Ecosse ES1 engineer wins design award for innovation...
Derbi DH2.0 unveiled at MotOh!
A bunch of wild, kinky trikes on Faster and Faster...

External links:
2008 Supersport shootout...
An amazing R1 from Fast Bikes mag...!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Le Mans: Rossi takes 90th GP win in France!


The Doctor took his 90th GP win in France...

...followed up Lorenzo in second, Edwards in third and Pedrosa in fourth places

West was in 14th place, Stoner, with a spot of bad luck, finished 16th, while Randy de Puniet, whose bike we think looks very cool, finished in 9th place

2008 French MotoGP results from Le Mans:

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team (B) 44min 30.799 secs
2. Jorge Lorenzo SPA Fiat Yamaha Team (M) 44min 35.796 secs
3. Colin Edwards USA Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 44min 37.604 secs
4. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team (M) 44min 40.956 secs
5. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 44min 52.561 secs
6. Andrea Dovizioso ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP (M) 44min 53.194 secs
7. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 44min 58.605 secs
8. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team (M) 44min 58.794 secs
9. Randy de Puniet FRA LCR Honda MotoGP (M) 45min 0.143 secs
10. Shinya Nakano JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 45min 1.621 secs
11. Toni Elias SPA Alice Team (B) 45min 5.953 secs
12. Alex de Angelis RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 45min 7.015 secs
13. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alice Team (B) 45min 22.837 secs
14. Anthony West AUS Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 46min 0.106 secs
15. Marco Melandri ITA Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 46min 10.422 secs
16. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 44min 47.085 secs

DNF:
James Toseland GBR Tech 3 Yamaha (M)
John Hopkins USA Kawasaki Racing Team (B)

Full race report here


Loris Capirossi took seventh, Dovizioso took sixth, and Hayden finished took eighth place in the 2008 French MotoGP. Rossi now leads the world championship

Also see:
2008 MotoGP race reports and hi-res wallpaper
Four-stroke 600s to replace two-stroke 250s in GP racing...
The best race-replica Fireblade is...?
John Surtees doesn't like traction control!
Valentino Rossi's 'first time'...
The all-American, 180bhp, supercharged Roehr 1250sc!
James Toseland can buy whatever he wants...
Motorcycle Speedway racing: Just how brave are you?
Fruit juice-powered Triumph does 254km/h!!

External links:
Honda CB1000R riding impression...
The HOTTEST Ferrari in the world!!


Found these two interesting bikes on the PB mag forum. A Honda VF1000R with RVF400 bodywork, and a supercharged, 200bhp Yamaha R1! More details here and here

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