Friday, October 17, 2008

1885 Gottlieb Daimler Reitwagen replica!


From left: The original 1885 Gottlieb Daimler Reitwagen, and the 2008 replica
Via: MC24

Over the last two years, we’ve featured all kinds of racer-replica GSX-Rs, Fireblades, R1s and ZX-10Rs etc here on Faster and Faster. But this is one replica that’s really different – it’s a replica of the 1885 Gottlieb Daimler Reitwagen, the very first motorcycle ever made!

Shown at the Australian Motorcycle Expo, in Melbourne, the Gottlieb Daimler replica has been built by one Phil Mumenthaler, who says it took him about 850 man-hours and around $100,000 to replicate the 123-year-old original.

Mumenthaler says he started with a plank of wood bought from a local store, and 18 months down the line, with a huge amount of money spent on hundreds of custom-built parts, the Gottlieb Daimler replica was ready.

For those who need a quick reminder, it was German engineer Gottlieb Daimler who invented the first petrol-engined motorcycle in 1885. With its wooden ‘chassis’ and wheels, the 1885 Gottlieb Daimler Reitwagen (‘riding car’) was fitted with a single-cylinder, four-stroke petrol engine.

With an engine capacity of less than 100cc, and a power output of around one horsepower at 600rpm, the Gottlieb Daimler Reitwagen could hit a top speed of almost 12km/h. The rest, as they say, is history…


123 years ago, bikes started with 1bhp at 600rpm and 12km/h top speed. Now, looking at the 2009 GSX-R1000, it does seem things have moved on a bit since then...

Also see:
Significant firsts in motorcycling...
Hubless wheels for motorcycles...
Front end funnies: Some bikes that went down the alternative front suspension street...
The MonoWheel: An idea that never really took off...
A motorcycle that's not afraid of SUVs, trucks or Volvos...!

Elsewhere today:
Food for the biker's soul...?
Transformers: Bikebots from China!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Norton: The revival-bust-revival story continues...


From left: The legendary Norton Commando 850, and a custom-built Norton cafe-racer with a Wankel rotary engine and the iconic JPS livery...

Norton’s gone bust. Norton’s been revived! Norton’s gone bust again. Norton’s being revived… and so on. A lot of people – including many hard core fans of the legendary British motorcycle brand – have gotten so tired of this routine, they’ve stopped caring. And yet, Norton is being revived again, yet again.

After close to fifteen years of American ownership, Norton is not only being revived, it’s also coming back to the UK. Stuart Garner, a UK-based businessman who also owns Norton Racing Ltd., has bought all the trademarks to the Norton, Manx, Atlas, Commando and Dominator brands.

Back in the early-1990s, these British brands were bought by the US-based Norton Motorcycles Inc., who then proceeded to spend a truckload of money towards developing the Norton Commando 961. The bike never became production reality, but now, with Garner having bought everything, a new Commando is likely come out in 2009.

‘This has been a challenging and exciting period for us. We are proud to have brought the brands back home and we now intend to focus on re-establishing Norton as a premier motorcycling brand across the World,’ says Garner. Norton Racing Ltd. is said to be developing a rotary-engined racebike, and a new road bike that’s likely to have a conventional engine.

With its new factory and office complex being based at Donington Park, Norton seems to be back where it really belongs. However, whether they’ll really make a contemporary, state-of-the-art motorcycle that people can actually walk into a Norton showroom and buy, remains to be seen. In the meanwhile, you can see what Kenny Dreer is up to these days, here. And for some very cool old Norton advertisements, see here


Surely, the company that made these bikes deserves one more chance?

Also see:
NRV588: The Norton Rotary lives again...
British is bigger, British is best!
British bikers love Angelina Jolie...
Pettinari Specials: Triumph Daytona 675 and Street Triple
Brad Pitt wants to be Valentino Rossi...
Marisa Miller does ad campaign for Harley V-Rod...
Diesel power: Clatter and roll...
Hannspree Ten Kate replica Honda Fireblade...

Elsewhere today:
Inaugural Motogiro America meet report...
Is this what sportsbikes are going to be, in 10 years from now?



For those who can't wait for the Norton revival but want a classic British motorcycle anyway, perhaps you should look at the 2009 Royal Enfield Classic. More details here

2009 Hyosung GT650R gets fuel injection, more power


The Korean-made 2009 Hyosung GT650R, now with fuel-injection
Pic: MotoFlash

The Korea-based S&T Motors Co. Ltd. (formerly Hyosung) has announced its 2009 GT650R, which will now be fitted with a fuel-injection system instead of the earlier carburetor. The bike’s DOHC, 8-valve, liquid-cooled, 647cc v-twin engine is being updated, and will now produce 80bhp and 67Nm of torque – an increase of around 9bhp and 9Nm of torque over the carbureted model.

The Hyosung GT650R, which weighs around 208 kilos, rides on 17-inch wheels, with 120/60 (front) and 160/60 (rear) ZR-rated tyres. The bike is fitted with a six-speed gearbox, adjustable monoshock at the back, USD fork, 300mm twin brake discs at the front (with radial-mount, four-piston calipers) and 230mm rear disc brake. The 2009 GT650R will be priced at around US$6,500.

Also see:
2009 Aprilia Mana 850 GT unveiled...
2009 Honda VFR800 gets C-ABS...
The amazing Brudeli 654L Leanster...!
2009 Suzuki Gladius 650 unveiled...
Shootout: BMW F650GS vs Kawasaki Versys
First pics and video: 2009 Kawasaki ER-6n and ER-6f
First pics: 2009 Yamaha XJ6 Diversion and FZ6R
First pics: 2009 Aprilia Shiver 750 GT

Elsewhere today:
PB100: The Honda VTR1000 SP-1
First ride: 2009 BMW F800GS

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Suzuki Burgman 400 Sport Concept: The maddest, wildest, coolest scooter ever!


The Suzuki Burgman 400 Sport Concept. Cooler than an Eskimo supermodel prancing around in only her underpants in the middle of winter in Iceland...

Take an ordinary Suzuki scooter, with a 35bhp single-cylinder 400cc engine, continuously variable transmission and 200 kilo dry weight. Doesn’t sound like these may be the basic ingredients for the wildest scooter ever, eh?

And yet, beneath the fancy paintwork, that’s exactly what the Suzuki Burgman 400 Sport Concept is – a normal scooter with firmed-up and lowered suspension, uprated brakes, stickier tyres and GSX-R-style graphics. And we are absolutely, totally, completely, truly, deeply and madly in love with it. Sure, go ahead, laugh at us. We don’t care. We WANT this scooter. Please, Suzuki, do build this one. Please, please


A video of the Burgman 400 Sport Concept...

More scooters:
Nicky Hayden tests scooters for Honda...
Scooter chic in Tokyo...
1952: When Ducati made scooters...
Adiva AD250: A convertible scooter...
The coolest scooter rider ever...
MBK Stunt: Scooter gone wild...
The Peugeot HYmotion3 Compressor Concept...
Team Cristofolini Racing’s two-stroke, 350cc, 112bhp scooter...

Elsewhere today:
MotoGP: Building the rider...
Yamaha R1: The heat is on...

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