Friday, October 31, 2008

First pics: 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V TT, Griso 8V SE, V7 Café Classic, Nevada 750


For the serious off-road rider, the 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V TT
Pics: OmniMoto

These are the first pics of the 2009 Moto Guzzi lineup, with the bikes getting new colours and other minor updates. First up is the Stelvio 1200 4V TT, which is more off-road-oriented than the standard model. The bike gets a two-tone paintjob, more luggage carrying capacity, additional lights, sump guard, crash bars to protect the cylinders, extra protection for the shaft-drive system, and off-road-oriented tyres. We think the bike looks hot!


The 2009 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE

Next up is the 2009 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE, which gets a fancy satin-green-and-black paintjob, tan/brown leather seat and Pirelli Scorpion tyres. Just looking at that 1,200cc engine, with its four-valve cylinder heads, somehow convinces you that that thing must be capable of pulling like a locomotive…


The 2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Cafe Classic. Not as cool as last year's V7 Classic...

And for those who want a healthy dose of style, but not necessarily huge gobs of power and torque, there’s the 2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic, which is fitted with Guzzi’s air-cooled, 744cc, 49bhp v-twin. To us, the V7 Café Classic looks like a variant of last year’s V7 Classic, with a different seat, different paint and reshaped exhaust pipes. And, frankly, we think last year’s V7 Classic looked much better!


The 2009 Moto Guzzi Nevada 750. Dull and uninspiring...

Finally, there’s the 2009 Moto Guzzi Nevada 750, a bike that Guzzi should not be making at all. It’s a feeble attempt at cloning various Harley and Japanese cruisers, and it looks terrible. For a company that used to make the 850 Le Mans, why get into making, of all things, such crappy looking cruisers? Anyway, the Nevada is powered by the same 744cc v-twin as the V7 Classic, and given enough stick, the bike should probably be able to chug along faster than most people can walk....

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First pics: 2009 Benelli Tre-K 899


The 2009 Benelli Tre-K 899. Nice!

Pics: Motoblog

Benelli had unveiled the TNT 899 in November last year. And this year, it’s the Benelli Tre-K 899, which uses the same 899cc, DOHC, 12-valve three-cylinder engine. The engine has been retuned for the Tre-K, and while the exact power figure has not been quoted by Benelli, we suppose it would be around 105bhp – about 10-12 horsepower down on the TNT 899.

The Tre-K 899 uses the same chassis as its elder brother – the Tre-K 1130 – with aluminum side plates joined to a steel tube trellis frame. It also gets the same USD fork, Brembo brakes, steel tube swingarm and underseat exhausts.

The new Benelli Tre-K 899 is likely to be in showrooms by March 2009, and will be priced at around US$12,500.

Also see:
First pics: 2009 Moto Guzzi lineup...
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2009 Yamaha MT-03 goes 'extreme yellow'


The 2009 Yamaha MT-03, a small-bore all-rounder that manages to look cool...

Pics: Motoblog

The 2009 Yamaha MT-03 remains unchanged mechanically, but does get this ‘extreme yellow’ paintjob that you see here. And for those who aren’t crazy about yello, the bike will also be available in white and black…

The 2009 MT-03 is still fitted with the same 660cc single-cylinder engine that also does duty on the Yamaha XT660Z Tenere. The engine makes 48bhp at 6,250rpm and 56.2Nm of torque at 5,500rpm, which sounds just about adequate.

The MT-03’s other 'features' include a short wheelbase, mass centralization for improved handling, double-disc front brakes, underseat exhaust, aluminum swingarm and horizontally mounted rear monoshock. If nothing else, we think the bike looks funky-cool. Now, if only Yamaha started fitting the R6 engine on this bike.... ;-)


We wonder how it'll behave with an R6 engine stuffed into it...!

Also see:
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2009 Yamaha XJ6 Diversion...

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NCR: Special parts for Ducati 848


Not happy with the standard Ducati 848? You need to get bits from NCR then...

Pics: OmniMoto / Motoblog

For those who aren’t happy with their stock Ducati 848’s performance, Nepoti and Caracchi Racing (NCR) are now offering some special parts which will boost power, performance and handling. These include titanium valves, titanium con-rods, Showa USD fork with heavily reworked internals, fully adjustable Öhlins rear shock, 300mm brakes discs (at the front) with Brembo monoblock calipers and an all-new engine management system.

A stock Ducati 848 weighs 168kg, and has 134bhp on tap. The full-blown NCR Ducati 848 weighs in at 155 kilos dry, and packs 145bhp at 12,500rpm and 118Nm of torque at 10,000rpm. Of course, at around US$61,000 it’s also a bit more expensive…

More details on the NCR website here


The NCR Ducati 848. Looks cool, goes hard. What more does a man want?

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Track Daze: KTM X-Bow Race


The KTM X-Bow Race offers superbike-on-four-wheels performance, but at a huge price

Conceived back in 2005 by KTM CEO Stefan Pierer and KISKA design studio CEO and founder Gerald Kiska, the KTM X-Bow is a rather special ‘car.’ Designed to deliver the excitement and immediacy of motorcycling on four wheels rather than two, the KTM X-Bow actually works. It looks insanely cool, and judging by the various test results worldwide, it flat out works.

Now, KTM are stepping things up to the next level and are ready with the KTM X-Bow Race, an FIA homologated GT4 Sports Light racing car, which costs 82,900 euros (about US$105,000) and features up to 30 new or modified components over the standard model. Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in January 2009.

Italian racing driver Loris Bicocchi was the test and development driver for the KTM X-Bow Race project, and since Bicocchi has earlier been involved in the development of cars like the Koenigsegg CCR and the Bugatti Veyron, the results can’t possibly be too bad for the X-Bow.

Among others, changes to the X-Bow Race (compared to the standard model) include higher-spec dampers, racing brake pads, different catalytic converter, semi-slick tyres, kevlar-reinforced side panels, carbonfibre windscreen extension (for telemetry equipment installation), fire extinguisher system and adjustable brake balance.


825kg dry weight, 240bhp 2.0-litre engine, six-speed manual gearbox, rear-wheel-drive. Hmmm...!

There is also a long list of options, including racing brake discs, adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, adjustable front push rods, easy-rescue driver seat shell and 2D data logging system with software.

With its carbon composite monocoque chassis, the rear-wheel-drive KTM X-Bow Race weighs 825 kilos dry. And its transverse mid-mounted Audi four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged engine makes 240bhp at 5,500rpm and 310Nm of torque at 2,000-5,500rpm.

The gearbox is a six-speed manual unit, while the fully independent, fully adjustable suspension comprises of double wishbones with twin push-rod operated concentric coil spring/damper units, front and rear. The car rolls on 17-inch (front) and 18-inch (rear) wheels, shod with 205/50 and 235/40 tyres.
Performance, while not in the same league as sportsbikes, is still pretty impressive. Zero to 100km/h takes 3.9 seconds, 160km/h comes up in 8.51 seconds and top speed is 220km/h. So for those who either want to go racing, or who are rich enough to be able to afford a very expensive toy for trackdays, start talking to your local KTM dealer now…


Here's a Fifth Gear video of Tiff Needell testing the standard KTM X-Bow

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Nicky Hayden on the Ducati GP9: “This thing can be a monster!”


Nicky Hayden, testing the Ducati GP9 at Valencia

2006 MotoGP world champ, Nicky Hayden recently tested the Ducati GP9, which he’s going to be racing in 2009. The American, who hasn’t done very well since the switch from 990cc to 800cc machines last year, had a somewhat acrimonious parting with Honda, but hopes to make a strong comeback with Ducati next year.

‘It has been a very intense day and full of many things to test and to understand, but it was exactly as I expected it to be,’ said Hayden, after riding the Ducati GP9 for the first time in Valencia. ‘One of the things that really impressed me the most was the acceleration. I found myself pretty comfortable on the bike, and I really didn't make a lot of changes to levers and handlebars,’ he added.

‘We have not even changed a lot the settings. We just made some small changes – some mapping settings, a couple of tyres – in order to try and understand the direction of the bike and to feel comfortable on it,’ said Hayden. And for those who think it’s Ducati electronics that won the 2007 MotoGP world championship for Stoner, Hayden says, ‘I don't know what they pay Casey but it's not enough. They need to double it, because this thing can be a monster!’

‘It was about what I expected. I didn't think it would be easy and I also didn't think it was going to be a disaster. I can see the potential of the bike, but it's also going to take a lot to get it out of it too. I knew that I wasn't just going to twist the throttle and go fast,’ concluded Hayden.

Despite the fact that Hayden won a MotoGP world championship for them in 2006, Honda chose to direct their development work around Dani Pedrosa in 2007 and 2008. That doesn’t seem to have paid the kind of dividends Honda may have expected, and Hayden, on the other hand, seems to have gotten a raw deal from HRC. We hope the Kentucky Kid makes a strong comeback with Ducati next year, and socks it to Honda. Go, Nicky…!

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Husqvarna V1000 Gran Turismo concept


Based on a Suzuki TL1000S, the bike is inspired by a 1930s Husqvarna roadracer
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Pics: MarcusMotoDesign / Per Hammarsjö

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Marcus Carlsson always wanted to build his own motorcycle – a ‘café-racer-going-on-superbike’ as he puts it. So he’s put together the machine you see here, which is based on a Suzuki TL1000S and is inspired by a Husqvarna roadracer from the 1930s.

The V1000 GT concept uses the stock, 125bhp Suzuki TL1000 v-twin engine, with a custom-built exhaust system. The original TL1000 fork is retained, while the rear shock is an Ohlins item. Marcus reckons it took about 1,200 hours of work to put the bike together.

For more information, visit the MarcusMotoDesign website here

A video of the Husqvarna V1000 GT concept
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