Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sete Gibernau to return to MotoGP as Ducati test rider


Sete 'Mr Hollywood' Gibernau will be back as a test rider for Ducati's MotoGP machines!

Sete Gibernau, who won nine MotoGP races in the 990cc era, and who finished second in the MotoGP world championship in 2003 and 2004, is coming back. Gibernau retired from MotoGP at the end of 2006, and no, he won’t be racing again – he’s only coming back as a test rider for Ducati.

Sete will be testing Ducati’s GP8 and GP9 machines at the Mugello circuit next week, alongside Vittoriano Guareschi, Ducati’s regular test and development rider. ‘I'm very excited. It has been a while since I have been on a GP bike, but I'm in perfect shape. It’s just a test, but I'll give my absolute maximum. I can't wait to enjoy, once again, the feeling of bringing a MotoGP machine to its limit,’ said Gibernau.

‘We were happy to see Sete so excited at the possibility of riding a MotoGP bike again, and it was this enthusiasm that led to the possibility of organising this test together. By having Sete and Vito testing alongside each other, we will be able to carry out a wide range of more intensive tests with our GP8 and GP9 machines,’ said Filippo Preziosi, who heads Ducati Corse.


Sete Gibernau was one man who wasn't scared of taking on The Doctor. Perhaps Mr Hollywood should come back and race again? He may actually be faster than Melandri!

Also see:
Buell-based female bot for the next Transformers movie...!
Hi-res MotoGP wallpaper from Catalunya... ...and Mugello!
Rossi: "Ferrari wanted me...!"
Davide Brivio: "Jorge Lorenzo is dangerous!"
Stunt riding world champs...?
Aprilia on MotoGP comeback trail...

Two 70-year-olds on 5,440km trip on Piaggio MP3 scooters


Who needs a BMW R1200GS when you can ride this...

Two 70-year-olds have recently set out to ride the 5,440km Lincoln Highway in the US. On scooters. The duo started off from San Francisco's Lincoln Park on the 13th of June, and their ride will conclude at the Times Square in New York city, on the 14th of July.

Riding 2008-model Piaggio MP3 500 scooters, Bob Chase and Bernard ‘Buddy’ Rosenbaum want to challenge the notion that older people cannot (or should not) ride bikes. ‘Getting older shouldn't keep you from doing the things you really love,’ says 71-year old Buddy. ‘Bob and I have spent the past few decades on two wheels, exploring every corner of the globe, and we plan to spend the next few doing exactly that, but on three wheels,’ he adds.

Rosenbaum and Chase met on a motorcycle trip in the late 1990s and since then, they’ve ridden across the world’s deserts and mountains, in all of 40 countries! Now in their 70s, the two find heavy sports-touring bikes a bit hard to handle, which is why they’ve decided to switch to the three-wheeled Piaggio MP3 500.

The Piaggio MP3 is reasonably fuel efficient (it manages about 22-24km/l) and is capable of hitting speeds of up to 145km/h. Plus, MP3 riders can safely lean the trike over at angles of up to 40 degrees – something that many sportsbike owners would find hard to do. So, finally, getting older is not as big a problem as it used to be for motorcyclists. Cheers to that!

You can follow Bob and Buddy's adventure here

Update (18.07.08): The ride concludes here

Also see:
Riding solo to the top of the world...
The maddest, fastest scooter in the world...
American Borders: A motorcycle misadventures journey...
Acabion GTBO 70: Mad Max rides again...
The very interesting Carver One...
Peraves MonoTracer: Simply amazing!
Classic: The 1970s/80s Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans

External links:
Scooterists in Japan...
Here's your chance to win an MV Agusta F4...!


Adding a third wheel is one way to make scooters more interesting. This is the other way...

Pics: Kinetic

Officially Licensed NASCAR chopper for US$48,600


A limited edition NASCAR Harley, yours for a mere US$48,600...

For American motorcyclists who are also NASCAR fans, you’d be interested in the officially licensed NASCAR 60th Year motorcycle series, commissioned by Destination Daytona and built by Thunder Mountain Custom Cycles.

Featuring Harley’s Twin Cam 110B engine, six-speed gearbox, whitewall tyres and… er…, custom embroidered seats, the NASCAR Series will be limited to just 60 bikes. For your US$48,600 you get the bike, plus a painting by NASCAR artist Sam Bass, a NASCAR leather jacket, an invitation for the motorcycle delivery event at Destination Daytona on the 3rd of July, and two passes for the NASCAR race.

For those who’re interested, get more information on the official website here

Also see:
Funky BMW: Rodney Aguiar’s 1983 R80ST
Lamborghini Design 90: It was all bull...
Rotohak: The 325bhp BMW sidecar that… isn’t one!
Memorable: The mid-1980s Honda VF1000R
Aprilia RS3 Cube: F1 tech in MotoGP...
The US$140,000 Neander 1400 Turbodiesel!
Supermanx: One of the coolest café racers ever...
Howard's Killer Customs’ US$150,000 hubless-wheeled chopper!

External links:
Up yours: Wheelie action from Fast Bikes, here and here!

Buell-based female robot to feature in next Transformers movie!


A Buell Firebolt that turns into a robot? Bring on Transformers 2!

If cars and trucks can convert into robots, why not motorcycles? And indeed, the next Transformers movie will have a female robot – Arcee – who wears purple-pink, and who’s a Buell Firebolt when she isn’t a robot. Cool, eh?

Also see:
GG Quadster: Return of the Quadzilla!
MZ story to end soon...
Heavy Hitter: 2009 Yamaha V-Max pics and video
180bhp Kaw ZX-10R: The future is orange... and black!
Suzuki Crosscage: What Suzuki might be doing after the GSX-R era...
Mad blast: Caterham R500 vs Ducati Hypermotard!

External links:
Ace Cafe Racer: Picture gallery...
The most awesome Ducati Hypermotard ever!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Honda test new ABS system for bikes


For now, Honda are testing their new ABS-CBS system on the CBR600RR, but this should be available across the Honda motorcycles range by 2010
Pics: Motociclismo

While a front and rear linked braking system has already been available on the Honda CBR1100XX and VFR800 bikes, Honda are now taking things forward and have started testing their new-generation ABS-CBS anti-lock brakes, which use brake-by-wire technology.

Fitted to a CBR600RR for testing, the new Honda ABS system is designed to offer maximum ‘feel’ and sensitivity, and be as unobtrusive as possible. When the front brake is applied hard, the system senses how much pressure is being applied to the brake lever, and the assistance you get from the rear wheel brake is determined according to that.

Also, the brakes are applied hard, there is none of the traditional ABS ‘pulsing’ effect – the bike just stops flat and hard, without either of the wheels locking up. The ABS-CBS system also aids stability, keeping the bike from pitching forward under hard braking.

Essentially, Honda’s new ABS-CBS system allows riders to brake as hard as needed – even on wet and slippery surfaces – without fear of either wheel locking up or the bike sliding out. Honda are likely to introduce ABS-CBS brake-by-wire on the 2009 Fireblade, followed by the rest of the Honda range in 2010.

Also see:
RVF750R RC45: The most lust-worthy Honda ever...
SUB G1: One racy trike...
In XESS: Honda CB1000R-based streetfighter from Italy...
Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850: Holy KAW!
Honda Fireblade-powered Rage R180RT...
In pictures: Memorable Yamaha 750s...
Heavy Hitter: MV Agusta F4 Veltro Pista!

External links:
Return of the Yamaha RD350?
All-new Yamaha YZF-R15 launched...
An interview with Davide Tardozzi, Xerox Ducati Superbike Team Manager

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

DNF:
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

DSQ:
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...

Share It