Saturday, October 04, 2008

2009 Roehr 1250SC riding impression


The best sportsbike ever made in America? That would be the Roehr 1250SC!

When it’s launched in November this year, the US$50,000 Roehr 1250SC is likely to be the quickest, fastest, most exotic superbike from the US yet. With its supercharged, liquid-cooled, 60-degree, 8-valve v-twin producing a claimed 168 horsepower at the rear wheel, and the bike weighing in at 196 kilos dry, the 1250SC’ performance is likely to be a bit special.

Kevin Duke, at Motorcycle.com, recently tested the Roehr 1250SC. Here are some excerpts from what he has to say about the bike:

The Roehr is powered by the ‘Revolution’ v-twin from Harley-Davidson’s V-Rod lineup [and] a belt-driven Rotrex supercharger is the key to big power from this engine.

Mounted under the faux fuel tank and driven by a toothed belt, the Rotrex supercharger weighs just 3kg. It basically operates like a belt-driven turbocharger, but pumps the intake system with pressurized air that rises proportionally to engine speed. During idle, cruise and deceleration, a bypass valve recirculates unneeded air into the compressor, reducing parasitic drag and allowing the engine to function in its normally aspirated form. It’s a brilliant system, and operates as advertised.

The Rotrex unit supplies a very linear surge of power throughout its powerband, before running into a 9100rpm rev limit. Oddly for a bike with this much power, there are no steps in the powerband that create the palpable surge of output like a normally aspirated engine.

As such, winding out the 1250SC through the gears wasn’t as viscerally exciting as expected. However, watching the V-Rod-sourced speedometer speedily ratchet upward left little doubt about this engine’s efficacy. Dual underseat Akrapovic mufflers have quieting inserts to keep the big twin’s bellow relatively modest, while the supercharger whistles away almost imperceptibly.

Response from the stock V-Rod fuel injectors was glitch-free everywhere except for a slight kink when dialing on throttle from a closed position. But once the right grip is twisted open, you’d best be prepared for a never-ending blast of grunt that sweeps through its five-speed gearbox like nothing else on wheels.

There is plenty to like here. First off, it’s simply gorgeous, and I think it should assume the title of most dazzling American motorcycle ever to wear a fairing. Second, it’s exotic in a way few others are – there are 50 units planned for production, making a Desmosedici seem like a CBR. It’s all enough to almost make you forget it costs $49,999.

For the full road test, visit the Motorcycle.com website here. For more details on the bike, visit Roehr's official website here


Here's an interview with Walter Roehrich, founder of Roehr Motorcycles. Walter is an Illinois-based engineer who’s been designing and building his own sportsbikes since the late 1990s. Here, he talks about the 1250SC…

Also see:
Big CC Racing's Harley V-Rod Turbo...
MV Agusta F4 1078RR riding impression...
Master Blaster: Kawasaki ZX-10 Turbo...
Supercharged, 150bhp Honda VFR800...
The world's first supercharged KTM RC8...
AM Racing's Yamaha MT-01 Turbo...
Raging Buell: Supercharged Lazareth XB12S...
Supercharged, 200bhp Yamaha R1...

2009 Buell 1125CR riding impression


The 2009 Buell 1125CR. It's an absolute blast...

MotorBox recently had the opportunity to test ride the new Buell 1125CR. Here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the machine:

Erik Buell always dreamt of getting his hands on a high-performance engine – something significantly more powerful than air-cooled Harley v-twins – because such an engine would unlock the true potential of Buell motorcycles. And with the liquid-cooled Rotax Helicon v-twin, which produces 146bhp at 9,800rpm and 111Nm of torque at 8,000rpm, that dream has come true…

The 1125CR’s Rotax mill, the same engine that’s also used on the 1125R, gets a freshly tweaked fuel-injection system for better low-rpm power delivery and reduced fuel consumption. The cooling system has also been fettled for better heat dissipation, and those who ride 1125CR now needn’t have their legs roasted.
The 2009 Buell 1125CR’s gearing has been altered for better low-rev acceleration, at the expense of a small loss in top speed – a step in the right direction. The swingarm is now 5mm longer, and is supposed to offer better high-speed stability.


It certainly won't beat litre-class repli-racers around a racetrack, but on the street, for having a few laughs, the Buell 1125CR is pretty cool...

The 1125CR’s chunky, muscular styling oozes testosterone, but this certainly isn’t a beautiful looking bike. The riding position reminds you of older Ducati Monsters, the spacious saddle lets you move around a bit till you find a position that’s comfortable for you, and the clutch and brake levers are adjustable.

On the move, the Buell 1125CR feels unexpectedly docile. At least in the beginning. But open up that throttle and you feel a direct connection between the accelerator and the rear wheel. And the six-speed gearbox is quiet, precise and quick.

The 1125CR can be hustled around corners pretty quickly. The bike’s aluminum perimeter frame, which also doubles as a fuel tank, mated to a 47mm USD fork at the front and monoshock at the back, works well. The Pirelli Diablo Corsa III tyres are excellent, and the 375mm single brake disc at the front, with its eight-piston calipers, is quite capable of hauling up the Buell in a hurry.

With its rather extreme steering geometry, the 1125CR is very agile and changes direction in a snap. But the surprising bit is that it also manages to remain stable at elevated speeds and remains planted in high-speed corners. The suspension, however, may benefit from some recalibration – the bike tends to hop around a bit when the roads get rough.

For the full ride report, visit the MotorBox website here



...and for Motocycle USA's road test of the Buell 1125CR, go here
Pics: Motorcycle USA

Friday, October 03, 2008

Peugeot HYmotion3 Compressor concept unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show


The Peugeot HYmotion3 Compressor concept, the coolest trike we've seen in a long time...!

For those who miss the BMW C1, Peugeot have designed the all-new HYmotion3 Compressor concept, a two-seater trike that features Peugeot’s ‘HYmotion’ hybrid/petrol technology.

With its glass roof and three wheels, the HYmotion3 Compressor is a car/scooter hybrid that’s fitted with 3kW electric motors in each of its two front wheels, and a supercharged, 20bhp, 125cc petrol engine that drives the single rear wheel. The HYmotion3 can be ridden in electric-only mode, petrol engine only mode, or hybrid three-wheel-drive mode. The HYmotion3 Compressor also gets stop-start, probably the first non-car application of this technology anywhere in the world.


Very sophisticated, very high-tech and proof that 'environment friendly' doesn't have to be boring

Two aluminium roll-over bars support the HYmotion3’s glass bubble roof, which provides a reasonable amount of weather protection to the trike’s occupants. There’s a rear-view camera in there, by-wire controls for everything, parallelogram type front suspension (which allows the front wheels to tilt) with a transversely mounted damper at its centre, tubular steel chassis, anti-lock brakes and a regenerative braking system that charges the batteries which power the dual electric motors.

The HYmotion3 will accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 11.2 seconds, do the standing quarter-mile (400m) in 17.6 seconds and is capable of hitting a top speed of 110km/h. Sure, it’s no road-rocket, but the numbers indicate that this trike should have enough performance for the city and it should be way more fun (and easier to park) than most cars. For us, this smart little three-wheeler from Peugeot proves that ‘hybrid’ and ‘environment friendly’ doesn’t necessarily have to be boring…

Also see:
Learning to live without bikes... for a day!
The amazing Campagna T-Rex...
Carver One: The coolest thing on three wheels...
The Brudeli 654L Leanster goes into production...
Acabion GTBO 70: Mad Max rides again...
One racy trike: The SUB G1
Harley-powered trike: The Cirbin V13R
UDO: Twisted Trikes’ FireBlade-powered three-wheeler!
Higgins-Aubé show the Energya trike...

Elsewhere today:
Buell 1125CR picture gallery...

The world’s first supercharged KTM RC8!


Dyno testing the world's first supercharged KTM RC8...

How do you improve upon the already awesome KTM RC8? Well, if you’re Finland-based Lantto Racing, you simply blot a supercharger on to the bike! We don’t have much in the way of tech specs and high-res pictures, but Lantto’s bike does seem to be the world’s first supercharged RC8…

According to the (rather scant) information available on their website, this stretched, supercharged RC8 does 10.17 second quarter-mile (400m) runs, hitting 219km/h in the process. The bike has been built by Lantto, in partnership with the Denmark-based R-Techs.

We’ll try and get better pics and more information on the bike soon…


...and in the meanwhile, here's a Red Bull Racing replica KTM RC8 from Orca, whose work we've featured earlier, here and here

Pics: Motoflash

Also see:
NitroDuke: The world's fastest KTM!
Face-off: KTM RC8 vs Yamaha R1...
KTMs for the ladies...
Battle of the Twins: KTM RC8 vs Ducati 1098
The KTM 690 Stunt prototype...
KTM 690 Duke riding impression...
First pics: 2009 KTM Supermoto 990R
Fifth Gear: Tiff Needell tests the KTM X-Bow

Elsewhere today:
Motorcycle Daily: Ducati Monster 1100 first ride...
Three-way battle: Aprilia Mana 850 vs BMW F800S vs Ducati Monster 696!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Prometheus Solar LLC’s solar-powered electric motorcycle


Below all that plastic, it's a Kaw Ninja 250 with its engine replaced with batteries...
Pics: AutoblogGreen

What would you do if your wife had a Kawasaki Ninja 250 which she didn’t use much? Jim Corning, the man who founded Prometheus Solar LLC, was faced with exactly such a situation, and decided to convert the bike into a solar-powered electric vehicle. We suppose some people just won’t be bothered with riding down to the nearest petrol filling station…

Being exhibited at the ongoing AltCar Expo, Corning’s electric bike has been designed on the lines of Craig Vetter’s Streamliner from the 1980s. And yeah, it looks as terrible now as it did back then.

Anyway, the bike is powered by lithium-ion phosphate batteries, which are connected to a 10HP electric motor. The batteries can be charged using solar panels (which, apparently, Mr Corning has installed in his house…), and are powerful enough to provide a range of about 80km and a top speed of around 110km/h. But don’t laugh. Twenty years down the line, we might all be riding around on contraptions like this…

Also see:
Vectrix: Simply electric...!
SAM: An electric trike from Switzerland…
Suzuki Crosscage: Riding the future...
A biofuel-powered Suzuki GSX-R!
Fast Fruit: Apple juice-powered Triumph Daytona 675...
Chinese company starts exporting hydrogen fuel-cell powered mopeds...
KillaCycle: The world’s quickest electric motorcycle...
Lightning Motors’ Lithium battery-powered Yamaha R1...

Elsewhere today:
Italian classics: Cagiva Alazzurra 350 and 650 picture gallery...
Bajaj increases stake in KTM Power Sports AG...
Build your own Ducati Desmosedici RR...!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Valentino Rossi, on learning to lose and then coming back to win…


Valentino 'The Doctor' Rossi, the greatest motorcycle racer of our times

No.46, The Doctor, made a historic comeback this year, winning his 6th premier class world championship with three races still to go. Including his wins in the 125cc and 250cc classes, this is Rossi’s 8th motorcycle racing world championship – no mean feat by any standards whatsoever. As 2006 MotoGP world champ Nicky Hayden says, ‘I know what it takes to win one, and it takes a bad dude to win eight of them. Much respect.’

Much respect, indeed. Rossi will be the only man ever to win world titles in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, 990cc and 800cc classes. The Doctor may or may not be able to match Giacomo Agostini’s record of eight premier class world titles, but he’s still, without a shadow of doubt, the greatest motorcycle racer of our times.

Speaking to Crash.net, after winning the Japanese grand prix at Motegi this Sunday, Rossi said, ‘The decision to change to Bridgestone tyres, which I took together with Jeremy, my team and all the Yamaha crew, was very important, as were the changes to the bike, because the first 800cc M1 last year was not competitive enough.’

‘I think it's difficult to say, but maybe this is even better than the first championship with Yamaha in 2004. In 2004, I arrived after three championships in a row. The change was very big and no one expected me to win then – not even us, to be honest! But this year is great too, because I didn't start as the number one favourite after losing for two years. The taste of this is something special.’

‘In 2006, I lost because of bad luck. I still won the most races and was the fastest on track for most of the time, but in 2007 Stoner was a lot faster than us and so we got to the end with a big disadvantage. Winning this championship was very difficult, but also very, very important.’

‘I grew up a lot in the last two years. At the end of 2005 I had a great career and I had won all the important targets so far – 125, 250 and then five titles in a row in MotoGP with two different bikes. I felt unbeatable. But in 2006 and 2007, I learnt to lose and this has been very important. I came out much stronger and my level of concentration and effort to win this championship has been higher than ever before.’

‘I think Stoner next year will be back stronger again. Maybe he is the hardest rival I have ever had, more than Gibernau and all the others I fought against in the past. Last year, I was sorry that after so many successful years, some people thought Valentino was finished and Casey was the new Valentino. As I said, until I stop riding a bike, my objective will always be to win. I like this life and I always try to do my best in it.’

‘I am so happy that I have now won three titles with Yamaha because this is how many I won with my last team, and I want Yamaha to have the same merit. Now I have to get used to being world champion again! As I said, there are many strong riders, but of course I hope that in the future nobody will win like Valentino Rossi…’

Also see:
HUGE collection of 2008 MotoGP wallpaper...
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Face-off: Honda vs Zonda!
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Ducati Monster 1100 and 1100S
WSBK vs stock Honda Fireblade...
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Aprilia RSV4...
2009 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja unveiled...
First pics: 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja...
Specs, pics and video: 2009 Yamaha R1

Elsewhere today:
Michelin bid goodbye to MotoGP...
Jeremy Burgess speaks about the proposed single tyre rule in MotoGP...
For MV Agusta F4 CC owners: Need to get a car for the wife...?

2009 Ducati Fighter 1098 to be unveiled at the EICMA


This is what the 2009 Ducati Fighter 1098 expected to look like...

Rumours of a Ducati 1098-powered naked streetfighter have been doing the rounds for quite some time and now, according to a report on Hell for Leather, it’s been ‘confirmed’ that Ducati will indeed unveil such a machine at the upcoming EICMA show in November this year.

This naked streetfighter – perhaps to be called the Ducati Fighter – will be powered by the current 1098 engine, which might be retuned for better low- and mid-range power. The gearing is also likely to be lower, for better acceleration rather than top speed. To be priced somewhere between the 2009 Ducati Monster 1100 and the 1198, the Fighter could cost around US$15,000.

The Fighter will use a steel-tube trellis frame like the 1098, and is likely to have a single-sided swingarm. The 1098’s underseat exhaust pipes will make way for dual exhaust pipes on one side on the Fighter, which is expected to be significantly more hard-core than the Monster 1100.

More details, and hopefully some pictures, coming soon…

Also see:
2009 Suzuki Gladius 650 unveiled...
Hannspree Ten Kate replica Honda Fireblade...
The biggest, fastest Kawasaki in the world...
Benelli TNT 899 riding impression...
The 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio...
KTM 690 Duke riding impression...
Aprilia SL1000 Falco based cafe-racer...
2009 Yamaha V-Max: Riding the beast...
First pics: 2009 Kawasaki Z1000 and Z750

Elsewhere today:
Indian bike manufacturer, Bajaj now owns 25.86 percent of KTM...
You think your Hayabusa is fast...?
Riding from the UK to India: 12,800km on a Royal Enfield Bullet!


If Ducati are working the 1098 Fighter, can Aprilia be too far behind with an RSV4-based Tuono? Visit InfoMotori for the picture gallery. And while we don't have pictures of the 1098 Fighter yet, here are some pics of the 1098 itself...


2009 Brudeli 654L Leanster: Lean on this!


This picture of the Brudeli 654L Leanster says it all, doesn't it...

Pics: Rune Baashus, via Hell for Leather

We first wrote about the Brudeli 625L back in November 2006, and now, almost two years on, Brudeli are finally ready with the production version – the 645L Leanster. To be presented at the Intermot show in Germany next month, the 654L is based on a KTM 690 Supermoto, is TÜV approved, and will be street legal in Europe. This amazing trike will be priced at 21,000 euros (US$30,000).

The Brudeli 654L Leanster leans into corners like a regular motorcycle, but with two wheels at the front – and hence more traction than you’d get with just one wheel – the vehicle is capable of pulling off some amazing feats, especially on snow, gravel and other similar surfaces.

Designed by Atle Stubberud of Soon Design, the Brudeli Leanster is powered by KTM’s 655cc, single-cylinder LC4 engine, which makes 63bhp and 65Nm of torque. A six-speed gearbox, tubular steel chassis and fully adjustable WP suspension complete the package. The Leanster rides on 17-inch wheels, weighs 238 kilos and has a top speed of 170km/h.

More information on the Brudeli website here


...and here's a video of the 654L Leanster in action!

Also see:
More trikes on Faster and Faster...
First official pics: 2009 Ducati Monster 1100 and 1100S
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Riding impression: Triumph Street Triple R
1992 Kawasaki ZX-7R based special...
AM Racing's Yamaha MT-01 Turbo...
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Aprilia RSV4
First pics: 2009 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja...

Elsewhere today:
Building a KTM 640-based trackday special...
The GSX-R face-off: 1000 vs 750 vs 600!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2008 Japanese MotoGP: Race results from Motegi


It's done. The Doctor won the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, and in the process, his sixth MotoGP world championship!



2008 Japanese Grand Prix: Race results from Motegi

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team (B) 43min 9.599 secs
2. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 11.542 secs
3. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team (B) 43min 14.465 secs
4. Jorge Lorenzo SPA Fiat Yamaha Team (M) 43min 15.764 secs
5. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team (M) 43min 34.192 secs
6. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 43min 35.284 secs
7. Colin Edwards USA Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 43min 35.517 secs
8. Shinya Nakano JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 43min 35.602 secs
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP (M) 43min 35.818 secs
10. John Hopkins USA Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 43min 46.730 secs
11. James Toseland GBR Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 43min 47.173 secs
12. Randy de Puniet FRA LCR Honda MotoGP (M) 43min 47.619 secs
13. Marco Melandri ITA Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 49.367 secs
14. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alice Team (B) 43min 55.445 secs
15. Anthony West AUS Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 44min 5.347 secs
16. Toni Elias SPA Alice Team (B) 44min 8.919 secs
17. Alex de Angelis RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 44min 21.997 secs

DNF:

Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 29min 15.247 secs
Kousuke Akiyoshi JPN Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) lap 1

Full race report here

More pics from the 2008 MotoGP season...







Also see:
Huge collection of 2008 MotoGP wallpaper...
Valentino Rossi: "The first time..."
Valentino Rossi: 30 years, a bunch of world titles and a bit of regret...
Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi...
Motorcycle racing is stressful...
In conversation with Toni Elias...
James Toseland: "MotoGP is no harder than WSBK..."
In conversation with Alex Criville...

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