Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Superbike Planet: In conversation with Kevin Schwantz


Kevin Schwantz, 1993 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ, speaks his mind...

Superbike Planet
recently spoke to 1993 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ, Kevin Schwantz. Here are some excerpts from what no.34 had to say:

On Kenny Roberts

Somebody once asked me, ‘What if you'd ever ridden for Kenny Roberts?’ I said, ‘Probably one of the two of us wouldn't be around right now, because I'm not sure me and that guy could get along.’ He's a great man and he's done a lot for the sport of motorcycling, but man

I've beaten Wayne Rainey on a weekend, and I've seen Kenny go, ‘You dumbass! What were you thinking? What were you doing? Why'd you let him outbrake you in that turn?’ I'd have put up with that about that long.

But the knowledge that Kenny brought, to Wayne, to Eddie, the experience that was there, it was obviously a very first-class team the entire time. Had I had somebody like that to go back and ask questions of, instead of just some of my engineers who had worked in racing for a while, but never really did much racing themselves, it probably would've helped a little bit. Might have made my career span just a touch longer. But I enjoyed the way I did it. I had fun the way I did it. And I'd do it all over again exactly the same way if I was given the chance.

On whether he would have liked to come back to help with Suzuki’s MotoGP effort

After I quit racing at Suzuki, I took a few years, got away from motorcycles. Felt like I got an arm's length enough away, so that if I got back involved in racing, I could get back involved and not want to race. And with that, I've always told Suzuki, ‘My heart, my soul – any part of my career that ever really had much meaning to it – was in MotoGP. And absolutely, if you guys feel like I could assist you in getting Suzuki and their MotoGP team back to a world championship winning level, call me. You've got my number.’

On his priorities, after Suzuki told him that running a third bike in MotoGP would not be possible

Two years ago, they [Suzuki] said, ‘You know what? We're still planning on building that third bike, but hold off just a little bit.’ Then at the end of last year and the downturn in motorcycle sales – almost immediately at the start of this season – it was kind of said, ‘There's not really going to be a third bike. There's no way we can economically make it happen. The math just doesn't make out. We've got to focus more on sales. We've got to focus more on the two-bike factory team that we've got.’ With that, I have no idea what my position is there.

Once again, if my phone were to ring, I would probably have to tell Suzuki that, ‘You know what, I've got enough obligations here.’ I'm obligated to Red Bull and the KTM Rookies' Cup program for three years. So right now, I don't see it happening. I think Paul, the sponsors, and everything that's going on in MotoGP at Suzuki – I think they look to be doing okay. From a race-winning level, they're not where they need to be, but I don't think that's anybody’s fault in particular.

On the Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP bike

I've got all the respect in the world for Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen. You watch Capirossi put the thing on the front row, qualifying at Mugello, one of the fastest racetracks there is out there. Yeah, he said, ‘I pushed really, really hard.’ Well, let me see that every lap then. Because until you find the ability and the want to push very, very hard every lap, it's just this – you can't go out there at 90 percent.

It's obvious the Suzuki's not quite there. But it's funny how, when those guys really get a spur in their side, and really want to prove a point, boom! Vermeulen riding through the pack to finish third at Laguna. It's not an easy place. The GSV-R is obviously a decent motorcycle. I think the results aren't quite indicative of what the bike is capable of, at least not consistently.

On what he would say to Suzuki’s current MotoGP riders

Well, the bike's never going to be perfect, and the bike's never going to be the best. It's going to be one of the best. It's going to be pretty close to the best. To make it the best, we've got to figure out what to do. We've got to hope that that extra bit can come from you...!

For the full interview, visit the Superbike Planet website here
Kevin Schwantz

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bimota DB7 Black Edition now available in Spain



The Bimota DB7 Black Edition. For very rich Spanish motorcyclists only...
Pics: ALV

Bimota are doing a limited run of the DB7 Black Edition, but only for the Spanish market. The bike has been created at the behest of ALV, the Bimota importer in Spain. Only five units of the DB7 Black Edition will be made, so the bike will be super-exclusive.

The DB7 Black Edition will have all-black bodywork (carbonfibre?), different fuel-injection mapping for a slight boost in power, a lighter, less restrictive exhaust system, and a different instrument panel, with a more advanced computer that will be able to collect even more telemetry data. More pics and details on the ALV website here

Also see:
Memorable Bimotas: YB11, YB6 Tuatara, DB2, V-Due and SB6
Orca's Red Bull Racing-replica KTM RC8...
2009 Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle...
2009 Buell 1125CR unveiled...
2008 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show...
Harley XR1200 riding impression...

External links:
Face-off: Suzuki GSX-R750 vs Ducati 848
The Siggraph BOXX contest: Win an Enertia electric bike!
The amazing Laverda V6...
Craig Vetter: Mileage is the new mantra...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

AC Schnitzer do the BMW F800GS


AC Schnitzer have tuned, fettled and optimised the BMW F800GS for the street...

AC Schnitzer, well-known for the way they work magic on BMW bikes (and cars…), have now got their hands on the F800GS. The AC Schnitzer F800GS will be officially unveiled at an international motorcycle show in Dortmund, Germany, later this year.

The Schnitzer F800GS gets a custom-made exhaust, 17-inch wheels wearing Conti Race Attack rubber, and WP Suspension tuned for street use. While the bike certainly won’t be as capable off-road as the stock machine, on the street, it should be a bit special…

More details on the AC Schnitzer website here


Here's the Schnitzer F800GS in action...!

Also see:
MAB Power's BMW K1200R Turbo...
AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW K1200R Sport
The amazing BMW HP2 Megamoto...
...and the even better BMW HP2 Sport!
Wunderlich WR2: A lighter, faster BMW HP2...
The BMW R1150GS-based Beutler Boxer...
New and improved: 2009 BMW G650 XCountry
2009 BMW S1000RR: Rock and roll!

External links:
Lucky Strike Lambretta...!!
KTM to co-develop a scooter and a trike with Bajaj...?
Talon Street Quad: They've got to be kidding us...


MCN test the Schnitzer F800GS...

BMW goes down low…


In response to customer feedback, some BMW bikes, including the F650GS and R1200R, will now be available with factory-engineered lowered suspension and lower seat height...

According to BMW, their customer research shows there are many riders who prefer a lower seat height, but who will not compromise on model choice. According to the company, ‘feedback from female, novice and shorter riders confirmed that controlling a machine can be difficult at slow speeds, especially when riding motorcycles with a higher seat height.’

So BMW are now offering the option to order some selected bikes with lowered suspension, which would provide customers with lower seat height options. BMW already offer a lower seat as a factory-fit option for most of their models, but some riders require their seat to be lower still. The company hopes its new, lower suspension bikes will take care of the needs of such riders.

The lower suspension option is now available on the F800S and ST, R1200R, R1200RT, F650GS and R1200GS. BMW say that their factory-engineered lowered suspension bikes come with a low seat, but the actual lowering modification from the standard machine varies from model to model.

Bikes such as the F800ST come with a shorter rear shock absorber and front forks which have been lowered through the yokes. BMW's boxer-engined models, such as the R1200RT and R1200GS, achieve the lower positioning by adding a shorter strut to the front and rear shock absorbers. The Telelever settings have also been changed on these bikes.

The factory fitting of lowered suspension will cost an additional US$200 on the purchase price of each model.


The BMW F800 ST. Cool, eh?

Old school muscle: Kawasaki Z1300


This 1984 Kaw Z1300 looks the way it should - brutal!

Found this 1984 Kawasaki Z1300 on MCN. Fitted with a 1286cc six-cylinder engine, the Z1300 is a relatively rare motorcycle today. Launched in 1979, the bike weighed nearly 300 kilos, so the 120 horsepower and 116Nm of torque that the engine made were just about adequate for the machine.

According to some road test reports of the early 1980s, the Kawasaki Z1300 would do the standing quarter-mile (400m) in 12.1 seconds, and hit a top speed of 225km/h. With a less than robust chassis and very ordinary suspension, the bike’s handling was said to be terrible. But, of course, owning one had to be all about having a bike with a six-cylinder engine…

The Z1300 you see here has been heavily modified by the owner – ZZR1100 front end, JMC swingarm, modified rear wheel (to allow the fitment of modern, 180-section rubber), Ducati 916 tail unit, Ohlins rear shocks, GSX-R1100 front mudguard, adjustable fuel injection pressure regulator, custom-built six-into-two stainless steel exhaust system and keyless ignition. Brutal, eh…

More Z1300 resources:
Real Classic: Z1300 road test
UK Z1300 riders club official website

Also see:
Allen Millyard's 2300cc V12-powered Kawasaki!
Supercharged Kawasaki ZRX1200...
Gary Nixon's Kawasaki ZX-RR ride...
Kawasaki ZZR1100 vs ZZR1400
Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850. Holy Kaw!
Kawasaki ZRX1100 Turbo...
Bandito: Hannigan Motorsports’ Kawasaki ZX-14 sidecar...
Kawasaki ZX-9R-based ZX-RR MotoGP replica...

External links:
A car for the wife...?
Here's something for those who like the Kawasaki ZX-6R...!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Honda shows hot new concept based on the Thai-spec CZ-i110


A 110cc step-thru that can do 160km/h?!
Pics: Gizmag

According to a report on Gizmag, Honda recently showed an 110cc step-thru bike in Thailand. And before you snort in utter contempt, get this – the concept bike, based on the Honda CZ-i110 that’s sold in Thailand, features Honda’s PGM-FI tech, and is capable of hitting a top speed of around 160km/h! That kind of performance, from a bike that’s fitted with a single-cylinder, four-stroke 110cc engine, would be nothing short of absolutely stunning…

The Honda CZ-i110, with its fuel-injected single-cylinder engine, delivers up to 57km/l in fuel efficiency, and it can run on E20, a 20/80 blend of ethanol and petrol. But while the CZ-i110 has been designed for fuel efficiency, the yet unnamed Honda concept you see here has been tweaked for outright performance.

In keeping with its performance intent, the concept features USD forks, big brake discs, monoshock rear suspension and carbonfibre bodywork. Of course, there is no word yet on whether Honda will actually produce this machine or whether it’s only a one-off concept bike. More details as, when and if available… :-)

Also see:
The Honda Dream 50R...
Can Honda work the CB1100R magic once more?
The very cool Honda VF1000R...
A modern-day Honda CX750...!
Konica Minolta Honda CBR600RR SE...
1992 vs 2008 Honda Fireblade...
The best ever race-replica Fireblade...?

Hypermotard: Stress-busting, Ducati-style!


Here's how a Ducati Hypermotard can enrich our lives... :-)
Video: Moto Caradisiac

Also see:
All-new Ducati Hyperfighter coming in 2009...?
Bimota DB6R riding impression...
Derbi Mulhacen 659 Angel Nieto LE launched...
Board track racing: 160km/h on those tyres, and no brakes!
Harley-Davidson XR1200 riding impression...
2009 Buell 1125CR unveiled...

External links:
Motorcyclist mag: 2008 Motorcycle of the Year!
KTM to co-develop a scooter, trike and small car with Bajaj!

Motociclismo's Moto Guzzi V7 Classic riding impression


Only 49bhp, but for sheer Italian style, the Guzzi V7 Classic rules!
Pics: Motoblog

With its 1960s-style chassis and suspension and 49bhp air-cooled v-twin, the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is not exactly in the same league as, say, a GSX-R1000. Instead, the Guzzi is probably meant for those who put a premium on sheer Italian style. The Guzzi V7 has that laid-back ‘ok-so-you’re-faster-than-me-but-I’m-so-much-cooler’ mien, and that can be so hard to argue with…

The guys at Motociclismo got a chance to ride the Guzzi recently, and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the bike.

The V7 Classic is inspired by Moto Guzzi’s own V7 Special from the 1970s. It’s Guzzi’s way of capitalizing on their glorious past. A modern classic, the V7 has modern components that are much lighter and simpler than the 1970s V7. But the style essentially remains the same.

The V7 Classic’s headlamp, fuel tank, wire-spoke wheels, instrument cluster, chassis, twin rear shocks and the shape of the seat – all of these take their design cues form the 1970s bike, and without a doubt, Moto Guzzi have done a good job here.


Guzzi say the V7 Classic is also ideal for beginners...

While the aesthetics are spot-on, engine performance is, at best, subtle. With only 49bhp at its disposal, the V7 Classic can be reasonably good fun to ride at a mild pace – just don’t expect it to accelerate hard at any time. It needs 8.1 seconds to go from zero to 100km/h, and top speed is around 165km/h – figures that speak for themselves.

With the V7 Classic, Moto Guzzi wanted to make a bike that was quiet, easy to ride, and perfect for beginners, or for those looking for a bike that would allow them to cruise through the city gently…

At low revs, the V7’s 744cc v-twin offers adequate, seamless power – though, of course, there isn’t much of it available. The engine doesn’t like being revved hard and starts vibrating quite a bit if you push it too much. The best thing to do is to take it easy. The five-speed gearbox is adequately slick, and as long as you remember to downshift when you need to accelerate, the V7 will sing along without any worries.

The bike’s ergonomics are quite all right – the Guzzi is not too small or too big and riders of all sizes will find the bike easy to ride. The high-set handlebars are flat and narrow and the bike’s small turning radius makes it very easy to ride in heavy traffic at low speeds. The V7 weighs around 198 kilos fully fueled, though it actually feels lighter when it’s on the move.

The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is probably not for those who are very demanding. Don’t expect sportsbike-like handling and power delivery, or tourer-like long-distance comfort. However, get used to what it offers, and you’ll have fun riding this bike.

Also see:
Memorable: The Bimota V-Due...
Riding the amazing Travertson V-Rex...
Suzuki Crosscage: Preparing for the post-GSX-R future?
Face-off: Ducati 1098 vs KTM RC8 1190
Honda CB1000R first ride...
Battle of the Blades: 1992 CBR900RR vs 2008 CBR1000RR!

External links:
In conversation with Troy Corser...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Official 2008 Rizla Suzuki MotoGP-replica GSX-R1000 unveiled


If you've always wanted people to think you're Loris Capirossi or Chris Vermeulen...

While the aftermarket is already doing all kinds of MotoGP-replica GSX-Rs, Suzuki have just unveiled the official one – the 2008 Team Rizla Suzuki MotoGP replica limited edition. The bike comes with Suzuki’s 2008 Grand Prix livery (with a paint protection kit), Yoshimura Evo exhaust cans, individually numbered top yoke plaques and a limited edition certificate. Very cool…


Not ready for the Rizla-rep GSX-R1000 yet? Here's the all-new Kiddimoto GSX-R, then. Made of wood and plastic, the awesome little machine costs about US$200. More details here


Also see:
Limited Edition Suzuki GSX-R1000 Phantom
Sizzler: 2007 Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000
Velocity Racing: 250bhp GSX-R1000 Turbo
Dream Machine: K4 Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000
Heron Suzuki GB Replica GSX-R1100
Streetfighter: Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R 7/11
Orca’s MotoGP-replica Suzuki GSX-R1000
K7 model Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000

External links:
Wild Ride: Supercharged, 250bhp Kawasaki...
Llangollen Motorcycle Show picture gallery...
The car which even GSX-R riders must fear...




This instruction video shows how you should ride your Honda NSR250 on the street. Or not. (Complete madness, but we enjoyed it so much...)
Video: Oliepeil

Monday, August 04, 2008

James Toseland: MotoGP is no harder than WSBK…


MotoGP, no harder than WSBK? James Toseland should know...

According to a report on Crash.net, ex-World Superbikes champ and current Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP rider James Toseland says that trying get to the top in MotoGP isn't any harder than doing so in the World Superbikes.

While Troy Bayliss, Max Biaggi, Alex Barros and Chris Vermeulen have won races in both WSBK and MotoGP, WSBK champ Colin Edwards, who’s been in MotoGP since 2003, hasn’t won a single race yet. Two-time WSBK champ, Toseland hasn’t won a MotoGP race either, but of course, this is only his first year in the series…

‘They've got different riding styles in MotoGP, and the way you overtake in MotoGP is different to Superbikes,’ says Toseland. ‘But it's no easier to try and beat Valentino Rossi or the likes in MotoGP or Troy Bayliss in World Superbikes,’ he adds.

However, Toseland does concede that one area where MotoGP differs significantly from WSBK is in the level of talent present throughout the field. ‘The depth in MotoGP is just incredible. They've got eleven world champions in MotoGP, I believe, from various different classes,’ says Toseland. The level of competition between the riders and manufacturers is just so close in MotoGP. The slightest disadvantage and you can find yourself outside of the top ten very easily.’

After eleven of 18 rounds, Toseland now stands ninth in the 2008 MotoGP world championship standings. Last year, Toseland said he hopes he can be the next Barry Sheene. However, another Brit, multi-time WSBK champ Carl Fogarty, doesn’t believe Toseland has it in him.

Can an ex-WSBK champ win races (and, perhaps, world championships…) in MotoGP? Only time – and Toseland – will tell…

Also see:
Hi-res pics from 2008 MotoGP races...
Moriwaki begin work on their 600cc racer for 2011...
160km/h on board tracks, and no brakes...
Motorcycle Speedway: Just how brave are you?
MotoGP vs Professional Bullfighting!
Aprilia RS3 Cube: F1 tech in MotoGP...
Valentino Rossi: The first time...

Ducati Hyperfighter to be shown at this year’s EICMA?


If Ducati launch the 1098-engined Hyperfighter, what would become of the Hypermotard...?
Hyperfighter pic: MCN, Hypermotard pic: Basem Wasef / About.com

According to a report on MCN, Ducati are likely to show a new bike – the Hyperfighter – at the EICMA later this year. The bike will, apparently, use the Ducati 1098’s engine, chassis, suspension and brakes, but the 1098’s full fairing will make way for streetfighter styling and minimal bodywork on the Hyperfighter.

According to MCN, the bike will use various carbonfibre components to keep weight down, and even the exhaust would be integrated with the bike’s sub-frame (itself made of magnesium) for further weight saving.

Hmmm… a lightweight streetfighter with the 1098 engine? Sounds good to us. But where would that leave the poor old Hypermotard…?

Also see:
Bimota DB6R riding impression...
The very cool Derbi Mulhacen Cafe 659 Angel Nieto LE...
Moriwaki MD250H riding impression...
Harley-Davidson XR1200 riding impression...
Ness Signature Series Victory Vision: The most stylish touring bike ever...
2009 Triumph Street Triple R...
Brand-new supersports 600 from Benelli in 2009...?
Orca's Red Bull Racing KTM RC8...

External links:
Steve Hatch: Tips for riding faster... and faster!
Riding impression: V-Rod Muscle and other 2009 Harley-Davidsons...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The coolest scooter rider ever


From the Killboy blog, we think this is the coolest scooter rider and the coolest scooter riding pic ever. This guy looks like he was riding 500cc GP bikes back in the 1980s!
More motorcycling cool from
Killboy below...








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