Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2009 Yamaha V-Max first rides!



A fighter jet for the street? That'd be the new Yamaha V-Max!
Pics: Motorcycle USA

If there are three people in this world whom we envy right now, it’s Dirck Edge and Jeff Whitmer at Motorcycle Daily, and Adam Waheed at Motorcycle USA. And that’s because these three seem to be the first people who’ve ridden the 2009 Yamaha V-Max, a bike we're in love with... Here are some excerpts from what the three have to say about The Max:

Starting with MD’s Dirck Edge and Jeff Whitmer, ‘As you finish your first ride on the new V-Max, only one impression remains. Power. Massive Power. Power you never expected to experience on a street-legal motorcycle. We've ridden them all. The ZX-14. The Vulcan 2000 with its 2,053 cc v-twin. The Hayabusa. And the Honda Rune with its 1,832 cc flat-six fed by a half-dozen throttle bodies. Nothing leaves a stop light like the new V-Max.’

'The V-Max is laying down more than 100 pound-feet of torque at the rear tyre before inline-fours like the ZX-14 and Hayabusa have finished clearing their throats. Here is a tip from MD to all new V-Max riders. The first time you twist the throttle hard, make sure (a) the bike is fully upright and pointing straight ahead, (b) you have a warm rear tyre, and (c) there is plenty of room between you and the next vehicle. Oh, and one other thing . . . hold on tight!'

‘Assuming your rear tyre is ready to grip (rolling burnouts are easy to do, and no clutch is required), the V-Max will quickly warp your sense of time and distance. Fortunately, the brakes are superb. Few sport bikes deliver the power and feel offered by the brakes on the new V-Max. They are outstanding, and probably better than anything available outside the sportsbike category.’


For now, Max seems to be the baddest Yamaha around...

And then, here's what MCUSA’s Adam Waheed has to say about the bike. ‘It's like nothing you've ever experienced before. That is, unless you have a cool nickname emblazoned on your helmet and collect a paycheck flying for the US Air Force. That's right. The new V-Max ups the ante on everything short of a fighter jet. Even a million dollar-plus Bugatti Veyron supercar might fall short in a quarter-mile drag race, the V-Max is that fast!’

'Right off the bottom, the V-Max’s engine feels similar to that of a v-twin. So much torque is doled out down right off idle that almost no throttle needs to be given to launch from a stop. Similar to other big-bore cruisers, if you keep the revs below 4K, the engine is pretty mellow.'

'However, that v-twin association ends as soon as the tachometer needle flirts above that magic 4K-number. After that, the engine gains momentum with shocking voracity, akin to any modern litre-class bike! I'm not joking… there's so much power on tap that in the first and second gears, you can literally lay down fat rubber streaks from the 200-series Bridgestone tyre anywhere, anytime. If you don't think that's cool-then maybe you should pick up a different hobby.'

For their full ride reports on the 2009 Yamaha V-Max, visit Motorcycle Daily and Motorcycle USA now!

Also see:
Ducati Berliner Apollo: The 1960s V-Max!
The V8-powered Sabertooth WildCat...
Supercharged, 200bhp Yamaha R1...
Orca's Red Bull Racing KTM RC8...
2009 Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle...
The Dodge Tomahawk you can actually buy...
Old school cool: The Kawasaki Z1300...
Fonsi Nieto-replica GSX-R1000...

Elsewhere today:
Classic: 1982 Triumph 750 Bonneville T140ES
Riding the new Moto Guzzi V7 Classic...

MBK Stunt: Scooter gone wild…


Somebody actually dreamt up this MBK-Yamaha creation. Talent...

Pics: Motoblog / Bloguidon

A scooter on steroids? Coming right up is this MBK Stunt, which has had its stock 50cc engine ripped out and replaced with a single-cylinder 250cc engine. And it’s no ordinary 250 either – it’s one half of a Yamaha TMAX’s 500cc parallel twin! A full Akrapovic system has also been bolted on, to get even more juice from that engine. No word on what’s the exact power output, but it sure looks like one hell of a scooter. Sheer madness...

Also see:
Team Cristofolini's 112bhp scooter...!
Nicky Hayden gets down to testing scooters...
Scooter chic in Tokyo...
1952: When Ducati made scooters...
Adiva AD250: A cool, convertible scooter...
Loris Capirossi tribute: The Malaguti Phantom F12 R Capirex
The coolest scooterist ever...
Some of the coolest trikes in the world...

Elsewhere today:
Marcus Walz's Ducati Hypermotard...

Monday, August 25, 2008

MV Agusta F4 1078RR 312 riding impression



According to Motociclismo, the 1078RR is a racebike that happens to be street-legal

Except for the even more expensive and exclusive F4 CC, the F4 1078RR 312 is pretty much the top-of-the-line MV Agusta superbike right now. Take a look at the specs sheet and you’ll be impressed – the 1078cc, DOHC, 16-valve inline-four makes a claimed 190 horsepower (at the crank) at 12,200rpm, and 124Nm of torque at 8,200rpm. And that’s enough to propel the 192-kilo (dry weight) bike to a top speed of 312km/h…

The F4 1078RR 312 also gets a Weber Marelli 5SM engine management system, six-speed cassette-type gearbox, chrome-molybdenum trellis frame, fully adjustable 50mm USD fork with carbon-nitride treatment, fully adjustable monoshock, and twin 320mm brake discs at front, with radial-mount four-piston calipers. The bike rides on 17-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, shod with 120/70 (front) and 190/55 (rear) tyres.

Motociclismo recently had the opportunity to ride the bike, and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the F4 1078RR 312:

The MV Agusta F4 is one of the best and most beautiful sportsbikes of all time. Born more than 10 years ago, the F4 is still as beautiful in 2008 as it was back then. Many improvements to the bike, over the last many years, have culminated in this, the F4 1078RR. It’s a motorcycle for experienced riders – those who know how to manage huge horsepower.

The 1078RR is powerful enough to worry even professional riders. It’s meant for the circuit, it’s all about finding the limits – yours, and the bike’s. Indeed, this F4 isn’t as suitable for street use as the Japanese litre-class machines. The 1078RR is only for those who will not compromise even one tiny little bit. It’s a racing bike that just happens to be street-legal, take it or leave it.


To ride, the 1078RR isn’t very comfortable. The footpegs are set high and too close to the seat, the tank is too long and you might struggle to adapt to the riding position which the bike forces you to assume. No getting away from this – you need to be physically fit to be able to ride this bike, and you’ll still end up with sore knees and wrists.

On the move, this F4 feels very stable – everything feels very unyielding, like it must on a racebike. The front end feels particularly solid and stays absolutely planted during very high speed cornering. The bike required a remarkable amount of sheer physical effort to steer, and for the inexperienced, the bike can be hard to control.

The 1078RR’s engine is impressive. With a dyno-tested 165bhp at the rear wheel, the bike’s performance starts getting serious at 4,500rpm and goes completely mad at 8,000rpm and above. With its instant, brutal response, the throttle demands that you treat it with a lot of respect. Get careless with it and the bike will dump you…

In the end, like we said earlier, this is a hard-core racebike that happens to be street-legal. It’s stiff, hard to ride, uncompromising, and uncomfortable. It also offers explosive engine performance and racer-spec handling and braking which are engineered for the track. Yes, for the committed, the F4 1078RR 312 is undoubtedly the best in MV history.

For the full test report, visit the Motociclismo website here

Vectrix: Simply electric!


If an F1 world champ like Damon Hill rides the Vectrix, the little electric scooter should be all right for the rest of us. Take a look at the new Vectrix video below...

The Vectrix electric scooter is powered by a motor that produces 21kW and 65Nm of torque. The nifty little ZEV (zero emissions vehicle) can accelerate from zero to 80km/h in 6.8 seconds and can travel 110km on one full charge. Top speed is 100km/h. The motor is fed by a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery that can be fully charged in five hours. Battery life is 80,000km, after which it needs to be replaced with a new unit.

The Vectrix costs US$11,000. More details on the official website here

Also see:
Chinese company starts exporting fuel-cell powered mopeds...
Air-powered bikes inching towards production reality...?
Suzuki Crosscage: Riding the future...
SAM: An electric trike from Switzerland…
KillaCycle: For those who think electric vehicles are slow...
Lightning Motors’ Lithium battery-powered Yamaha R1...

Big CC Racing: Kawasaki ZZR1400 Turbo


Big CC Racing understand that you may need up to 700bhp from your ZZR1400...

A stock ZZR1400 engine already makes close to 200bhp, which, of course, isn’t adequate for the street. At least not for some of us. Which is why Big CC Racing offer various turbocharger systems for the big Kawasaki.

Their Stage 1 modular turbo kit uses a GT3071R Garrett turbine and a 38mm Tial wastegate. At 6psi boost, it allows the ZZR1400 engine to make 260bhp. The Stage 2 kit uses a GT3071R Garrett turbine and a 38mm wastegate. Running at 30psi, it’ll give you 480 horsepower from your ZZR1400.

While the above two kits are primarily for street use, Big CC also offer turbo kits for racing. The Stage 1 race kit uses a GT3582R Garrett turbine and a 46mm Tial wastegate, which boost power output to 600bhp. And the Stage 2 kit, which uses a GT4088R or GT4094R Garrett turbine and twin 38mm Tial wastegates, will give you 700bhp or more.

For those who might be interested, Big CC Racing’s 700bhp ZZR1400 Turbo will do the standing quarter-mile (400m) in seven seconds, and hit a top speed of 400km/h. Perfect

Also see:
Big CC Racing's Harley V-Rod Turbo...
Fonsi Nieto-replica GSX-R1000...
BMW F800R: Will they, or won't they...?
John Hopkins-replica Kawasaki ZX-10R...
Suzuki's new Intruder C1800RT unveiled...
China takes the lead with fuel cell powered bikes!
The quickest Kawasaki ZX-12R in the world...!

Elsewhere today:
25 years of the BMW K-series...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Big CC Racing: Harley-Davidson V-Rod Turbo


Get that Big CC Racing turbo for your 'Rod, and you'll be playing with 170bhp...

Want a bit more power from your Harley V-Rod? Big CC Racing will be happy to bolt a turbocharger on to your ’Rod so you have close to 170bhp to play with. According to the Big CC website, the Harley-Davidson V-Rod turbo system – a full race roller bearing turbocharger – uses a remote wastegate rather than an internal one and is designed for maximizing power potential.’

The system sports a GT28/71 Race roller bearing turbocharger with a 4-inch shroud and 55mm inducer on the turbine inlet. A 38mm Tial wastegate is used, for precise boost control. Fast respooling and turbo stall avoidance is via the 50mm Tial Dump valve. And yes, Big CC Racing claim that their V-Rod Race Turbo system is hundred-percent road usable.

At low boost, on a standard Harley V-Rod engine, Big CC say their turbo system is capable of delivering around 170bhp, with a controlled, linear power delivery that’s relatively easy to get accustomed to. With the right internal engine modifications, the company says the V-Rod Turbo will make as much as 300 horsepower. ‘This kit is not a toy,’ say Big CC. We’re sure it isn’t…

Also see:
2008 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show...
Board-track racing in the US...
It's all Buell: The new 1125CR...
Riding the Harley XR1200...
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic riding impression...
AC Schnitzer-fettled BMW F800GS...
Master Blaster: Kawasaki ZX-10 Turbo!

External links:
Harley-Davidson channel launched on YouTube...
New Yamaha V-Max riding impression...!
Stoner-replica Ducati Desmosedici RR...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Face-off: Buell 1125R vs BMW HP2 Sport


Motociclismo compared the Buell 1125R and the BMW HP2 Sport. And the winnner is...

At first, most people wouldn’t, probably, think of pitting the American-made Buell 1125R against the all-German BMW HP2 Sport. And yet, come to think of it, the two bikes are somewhat similar – at least on paper. Motociclismo recently did a shoot-out between the two bikes, and here are some excerpts from what they had to say:

The BMW is very stable, the Buell is more agile. At 20,200 euros, the HP2 Sport is expensive and and exclusive, the 1125R is more accessible at 12,995 euros. When it comes to riding, the German and the American bikes come from different worlds, starting with the riding position. The 1125R has wider handlebars, lower seat height and better wind protection. The BMW HP2 Sport’s riding position is racier, more committed.

The Buell v-twin makes about 14bhp more than the BMW boxer-twin, but it also vibrates significantly more. The BMW engine also vibrates, but not so much that it begins to get annoying. And yes, the Buell’s clutch requires more effort to operate than the BMW unit...


According to Motociclismo, the BMW is more stable, the Buell is more agile...

On the track, the Buell’s single front brake disc doesn’t feel as powerful and responsive as the BMW’s twin-disc setup. The BMW’s front suspension also shows better composure under hard braking.

In terms of handling, the two bikes represent two different schools of thought on high-speed cornering. The Buell is more agile, while the BMW is more stable. We prefer the German bike for the feeling of security it offers, and the ease with which it allows the rider to corner at over 200km/h.

So there you are – the guys at Motociclismo seem to prefer the HP2 Sport over the 1125R. Which one would we take? Er… well, a ZZR1400 for touring, this ZX-10R for trackdays and an MV F4 CC for the weekend… :-)

Also see:
In conversation with Angelo Crippa, Director - KTM
BMW F800R: Will they, or won't they?
Big CC Racing: Harley-Davidson V-Rod Turbo!
Battle of the Twins: Ducati 1098 vs KTM RC8
S1000RR: The HOTTEST BMW bike ever...
Heron Suzuki GB Replica GSX-R1100...
Roehr 1250sc: The supercharged, 180bhp, made-in-America sportsbike...

Master Blaster: Kawasaki ZX-10 Turbo


The bike on the right probably started life as something like the bike on the left, almost two decades ago. It seems to have aged well, eh?
Pics: MCN

This heavily modified 1990 Kawasaki ZX-10 comes from MCN. The aluminium twin-spar ‘e-box’ chassis is standard ZX-10, as is the swingarm. But from there on, everything else has been changed. Three-spoke Marvic wheels, USD forks from WP, rearsets, AP racing calipers and cast iron brake discs. The tail-piece and upper half of the fairing are from a ZXR750.

Of course, the engine is where the real action is. According to the owners, it’s a blend of ZX-10 and ZZR1100 parts, with the whole bunch heavily modified and tuned. It’s also fitted with a T28 Garrett turbocharger, and to deal with the boost in power, engine internals have been beefed up with Carrillo conrods and a lock-up clutch. The lock-up clutch ensures that clutch plates continue gripping even as the turbocharged engine’s power goes through the transmission.

We already love ZX-10 and ZZR1100s, and this turbo ZX-10 is definitely our kind of ride. In fact, if it were ours, we’d keep the uprated engine, suspension, brakes, wheels and tyres, but run stock bodywork and fairing, complete with the original colours. And then, we’d go out and hunt a Porsche or two…

Also see:
Face-off: Ducati 848 vs 1098!
One racy trike: The SUB G1...
Performance Bikes: The world’s best two-stroke sportsbikes...
Can Honda work the CB1100R magic again?
Memorable: Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850
Fireblade-powered Rage R180RT...
The world's fastest bike vs the world's fastest man!

External links:
The Kawasaki ZZR1400. It's mud!

GSX-R1000 Fonsi Nieto WSB Alstare 2008 replica


Weighs about 165kg, packs 171bhp and looks terrific!
GSX-R1000 Fonsi Nieto WSB Alstare 2008 replica GSX-R1000 Fonsi Nieto WSB Alstare 2008 replica GSX-R1000 Fonsi Nieto WSB Alstare 2008 replica

The bike you see here belongs to London-based Danny Gladman, who seems to have put in a huge amount of effort (and a fair bit of money, we’re sure!) in preparing this Fonsi Nieto-replica GSX-R1000.

To start with, there’s stickers/decals on this bike – the Alstare paintjob, an airbrush job, was carried out by Altamura – and we think they’ve done an absolutely brilliant job! Apart from the special paintjob, Danny’s bike has been fitted with Twin Arrow Titanium Megaphone exhausts, AP racing exhaust hangers, carbonfibre front ram air ducts, carbonfibre hugger and chain guard, Arata rearsets, K&N air-filter, Power Commander III USB (with Arrow exhaust/K&N specific map loaded) and a Dynojet LCD dash mounted screen linked to Power Commander.

And there’s more. Suzuki tinted double bubble screen, R&G tail tidy kit and and crash protection bungs, and headlight protector with painted number board. The bike has been signed by Alstare riders Fonsi Nieto, Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama, and it also features on the Alstare Suzuki official website.

Danny’s GSX-R weighs about 165 kilos and packs a certified 171 horsepower. Oooohhhhh

And now the same bike, with added oomph courtsey Fast Bikes magazine

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Travertson Motorcycles: Diablo 666 and VR-2 concepts


From left: The VR-2 and the Diablo 666 
After the absolutely amazing V-Rex, American Christian Travertson and Aussie Tim Cameron are at it again, with two brand-new motorcycle concepts – the Diablo 666 and the VR-2. Both bikes have been designed by Cameroon and may be produced by Travertson Motorcycles.

The cruiser-style VR-2 has been designed to use the Harley-Davidson V-Rod engine, while the Diablo 666, envisioned as the Ducati Supermono’s spiritual successor, is supposed to be fitted with a supercharged, single-cylinder 666cc engine.

Travertson Motorcycles are designed, created and assembled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and are sold primarily to a network of Harley-Davidson dealerships. For more details, visit the Travertson website here, and Tim Cameron’s website here

In conversation with Angelo Crippa, Director – KTM


Angelo Crippa, Director - KTM, speaks about the Austrian company's future prospects...
Pic: Motociclismo

Motociclismo recently spoke to Angelo Crippa, Director – KTM. Here are some excerpts from what he had to say, about the future of the company:

On KTMs being a bit expensive…

‘Yes, our products are a little more expensive, but then the technology and components that we use don’t leave us with much choice. Who can match our quality, or use the same materials as we do? Our customers choose us for our above-average quality, so we cannot and will not descend below where we are.’

On what we can expect to see from KTM at the upcoming EICMA show in Milan

‘We will have a naked big twin, very close to the prototype Venom you saw in 2004.’

On KTM’s growth prospects

‘In the first six months this year, we've posted a growth of around five percent. We don’t foresee a boom over the next 10 years, but also there will be no collapse – we can grow steadily at at least 2-2.5 percent every year.’

On the RC8 not doing as well [in terms of sales] as anticipated…

‘Over the last 10 weeks, we’ve delivered 200 RC8 bikes, of which 67 have been sold. We need to guage the market this year. We are aware that we’ve come with a product that’s very different, and this is a segment that’s traditionally been dominated by the Japanese and the Italians.

But we also know that the RC8 works – that’s been proven in many tests. We will also develop the RC8 1190RR, a higher-spec version of the base model, which will offer even more performance.’

On why KTM chose to go with a v-twin for the RC8

‘I can only say that ours is a long-term choice. Our R&D division has assessed the potential for long-term development. Also, the twin offers cost benefits, which KTM needs to be cognizant of. We are confident we’ll be competitive in World Superbikes with the RC8. We believe in win on Sunday, sell on Monday…’

On the supersports single-cylinder RC4

‘We will certainly do a single-cylinder sportsbike – one that offers the best blend of performance and versatility – but it may not necessarily be the RC4. Its fate also depends a lot on various racing regulations!’

On the possibility of doing an LC4 Adventure…

‘The project is on the table, we are working on it. But we have to proceed step by step. We already have the 690 Enduro, which will be the technical basis for the Adventure – it’s only a matter of time. But we are still not talking about a 2009 model!’

Full interview on Motociclismo here

Also see:
NitroDuke: The world's fastest KTM...
Red Bull Racing replica KTM RC8!
Brudeli 625L: KTM-based trike...
A KTM especially for the ladies...!
KTM X-Bow: The car that's right even for motorcyclists!
Radical: The KTM 690 Stunt prototype...
KTM to launch Adventure variant of the RC8...
KTM RC8 vs Yamaha R1...
KTM RC8 vs Ducati 1098...

BMW F800R: Will they or won’t they?

Update (4th Nov. 2008):
The 2009 BMW F800R: Specs and first official pics
here


The questions are, whether BMW will build the F800R and if so, whether the bike would be based on the F800S or the F800GS...?

According to various reports on the Web, BMW are expected to launch a naked version of the F800S – the F800R – by the end of this year. In the meanwhile, Klostermier BMW, BMW dealers based in Augsburg, Germany, have already made their own version of the F800R – it’s the orange bike you see above.

On the other hand, there are also some reports that say BMW will not be making an F800S-based naked after all. The reason being cited is that such a bike will be too expensive to produce and that BMW will not be able to price it competitively.

According to these reports, the BMW F800R will, instead, be based on the F800GS. With its steel tube chassis and chain drive, an F800GS-based F800R will be cheaper to build, which would allow BMW to price it against similar bikes from Japan. Hmmm… all should be revealed in the next 2 – 3 months!


Is this how the F800R going to look...?
Pics: F800 Riders

Also see:
Custom-built Hopkins-replica ZX-10R...!
Air-powered bikes in the near future...?
MotoGP: In conversation with Toni Elias...
BMW goes down low...
Derbi Mulhacen 659 Angel Nieto LE now in production...
Board Track Racing: 160km/h on wooden planks, and no brakes!
Ness Signature Series Victory Vision: The coolest tourer ever...

External links:
We need more motorcyclists like Ms Soadt Charr...!

Chinese companies working on bigger, sportier bikes


600cc super-nakeds coming from China? Probably yes...!

According to a report on MCN, Chinese motorcycle manufacturers like Loncin, Zongshen and Jialing are now working on bigger, sportier motorcycles – the kind which has never been made in China earlier.

China has, according to some estimates, been the largest producer of motorcycles since the mid-1990s. Currently, more than 20 million motorcycles are made in China every year and Chinese-built scooters and motorcycles are increasingly being exported around the world.

Until very recently, Chinese manufacturers were only making small-capacity commuter bikes and scooters. But now, according to the MCN report, they are working on bigger bikes, starting with 600s. Loncin, Zongshen and Jialing are said to have developed 600cc inline-fours, with which they may soon be taking on bikes like the Honda CB600F, Yamaha FZ6, Kawasaki ER6n, Suzuki GSR600 and Hyosung GT650 Comet.

Also see:
Suzuki unveil new Intruder C1800RT...
Chinese company starts exporting fuel-cell mopeds...
Back to the 70s: The amazing CAT III...
The quickest Kawasaki ZX-12R in the world...
Bimota DB7: The Black Edition...
James Toseland: "MotoGP is no harder than WSBK..."