Monday, November 24, 2008

Wakan Roadster 100 hits the road


The Wakan Roadster 100. Cool, in its own French way...


After the recent S&S 50th Anniversary Special, Wakan are ready with their next bike – the Roadster 100. The bike is fitted with the same 1,640cc, 45-degree v-twin as all other Wakan machines, and it makes 115bhp at 6,250rpm and 156Nm of torque at 4,250rpm.

The Wakan Roadster 100’s tubular backbone chassis is made of chrome-molybdenum and uses the engine as a stressed member. The front fork is a 46mm USD Ceriani number, the rear shock is a ZF Sachs unit, the wheels are forged aluminium Marchesinis and the meaty swingarm is made of aluminium alloy. The bike weighs 177kg dry and claimed top speed is 250km/h.

The Roadster 100 is fitted with a single 340mm brake disc at the front, with six-piston AJP callipers, and the rear disc is 220mm. The bike rides on 17-inch wheels, shod with 180/55 (rear) and 120/70 Michelin Pilot Power rubber. The Wakan looks charming all right, thought at around US$41,500 it’s a bit expensive…

More pics and details on the Wakan website here

Also see:
The Wakan 1640 Racing Cruiser...
Side-Bike: The 2008 Celtik...
Triumph Speed Triple: Jack Lilley Special...
CR&S Vun Racing ups the ante...
Racy custom: The Buell XBRR Chronos...
In XESS: Honda CB1000R-based streetfighter from Italy...
Neander 1400 Turbodiesel: Yours for US$140,000...

Elsewhere today:
KTM to cut production, layoff workers...
The world's wildest bikes...!
Ah, happiness...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Greenfly: LPG power comes to motorcycles


The LPG-powered, Yamaha XT500-based Greenfly

Pics: The Biker Gene / Motorrad Online

Dave Akhurst could have found a partial solution to dealing with the high prices of petrol. No, he hasn’t made a fuel-cell powered motorcycle. Instead, he’s converted his Yamaha XT500 to run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

LPG costs significantly less than petrol (mostly because it’s often sold at government subsidised prices…), can be less polluting than petrol and has a high octane rating. So why aren’t all bikes (and cars…) LPG-powered? Because LPG needs to be stored in an on-board pressurised tank, and in the event of an accident, it could blow you and your passenger(s) to kingdom come…

Coming back to Akhurst’s XT500 – it’s called the Greenfly – the 500cc single-cylinder engine makes around 30bhp and delivers a mileage of 30km/l. And… er, while that doesn’t sound terribly impressive, what’s more interesting is that the bike seems to have been heavily modified, with single-sided swingarm, single-side fork, belt drive, custom-built wheels and one-off bodywork.

If he can do so much with an ancient XT500, we wonder what Mr Akhurst would turn up with if he were let loose on a new R1…!

Also see:
Quantya: Electric bikes go mainstream in the US...
Alternative fuel: 200bhp, Nitrous-fed Suzuki B-King!
Honda working on next-generation V4...
Hydrogen-Petrol hybrid Kawasaki ZX-10R...
Gottlieb Daimler Reitwagen: Coming the full circle...
Air-powered bikes moving towards production reality...?
Rudy Kurth and the amazing 1976 Cat III...
Chinese company starts exporting hydrogen fuel-cell powered mopeds...!

Elsewhere today:
Picture gallery: MotoGP bikes over the years...
Slideshow: China's motorcycle nomads...


LPG-powered motorcycle not your style? Here's one that you can wear, then. Yeah, a wearable motorcycle. Pics and more details here

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Honda 2025 racer concept sketches...


...and you thought the V4 concept was outlandish!

Pics: LA Auto Show

If you thought the recently unveiled Honda V4 concept was a bit fanciful, well, here’s the Honda 2025 racer concept that takes things to a whole new level. Designed to participate in the (imaginary) Great Race of 2025, which will entail going around the world in all of 24 hours, the concept uses Honda’s expertise in automotive, marine, robotics, and jet technologies. Well, whatever. We’ll just take Mick Doohan’s NSR500, please...

Also see:
The Husqvarna V1000 GT concept...
Hydrogen-petrol hybrid Kawasaki ZX-10R...?
The very cool BMW Lo Rider concept unveiled in Milan...
1600km/h: The Bloodhound Project...!
The Suzuki Burgman 400 Sport concept...
The Peugeot HYmotion3 Compressor concept unveiled...
Husqvarna SMQ concept shown at the 2008 EICMA...

Ducati 1198S’ DTC system: Making gods out of men?


The Ducati 1198S' DTC system lets you really use that 168bhp...

Kevin Ash, at the Telegraph, got to test ride the new Ducati 1198S recently. And while he makes all the right noises about the 1098’s mid-life facelift, styling tweaks, MotoGP-derived this and homologation special that, what’s really interesting is what he has to say about the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) system fitted on the 1198S.

DTC, which was also fitted to the Ducati 1098R last year, could only be used in conjunction with the race exhaust on that bike. Things are different on the 1198S, where the system first reduces torque by retarding the ignition, and if that’s not enough to curb wheelspin, it works with the bike’s fuel injection system to reduce power. So, yes, the 1198S seems to be the first road bike to be fitted with a full race-spec traction control system. And the results, according to Mr Ash, are spectacular.

‘It is staggeringly effective. Set aside years of mental conditioning if you can (and believe me, it's not easy), lay the bike on its ear in a turn then crack the throttle wide open. Yes, against the stop if you dare,’ says Kevin. ‘Then, instead of being fired into a low earth orbit you're driven out of the corner with a thrust so ferocious you'd think twice about unleashing it with the bike bolt upright, let alone like this. In the lower gears your biggest problem is entirely new on a road bike: the 1198 S will actually wheelie while cranked right over,’ he adds.

‘DTC will elevate most road riders and plenty of pretty reasonable racers to a whole new level of performance, up there with names you've heard of, in how fast you can charge out of a turn. There is nothing else like it bar the 1098R, nothing on the roads at all, and I don't care what Japanese superbike is in your company, it won't be able to stay with you out of corners. The 1198S’ DTC is less intrusive than the 1098R's, too, working so subtly that all you'd notice if you were looking would be a flashing red light on the dash,’ says Kevin, who is clearly quite taken by the DTC thingie.

Of course, with 168bhp on tap and with a dry weight of around 169 kilos, the Ducati 1198S was always going to be impressive – the DTC system just makes it more rideable for ordinary mortals. Now all you have to do is find that US$22,500 and you’re all set to go…

For Kevin Ash’s full riding impression of the 2009 Ducati 1198S, see here

Also see:

Riding Troy Bayliss' 1098R racebike...
Insanity: 200bhp, nitrous-powered Suzuki B-King...
Moto Morini Scrambler 1200 to go on sale next year...
Benelli Due 756 shown at the 2008 EICMA...
KTM unleash the 2009 RC8 R...
Specs, pics and video: 2009 Ducati Streetfighter!
Nicky Hayden gets to grips with Ducati's MotoGP bike...

Elsewhere today:
The coolest Yamaha RD250LC ever...
Traction control, not your style? Try this 1998 Yamaha R1 then...!


Forget the Ferrari, we want this Hayabusa-powered Smart ForTwo!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Riding Troy Bayliss’ Ducati 1098R…


WSBK champ Troy Bayliss says the 2008 1098R is the best racebike he's ever ridden!

What motorcycle enthusiast wouldn’t want to have a go on World Superbikes champ Troy Bayliss’ Ducati 1098R? Bayliss, who has among other things ridden a 990cc Ducati MotoGP bike to victory in Valencia in 2006, says it’s the 1098R that’s the best racebike he’s ever ridden, and that’s saying a lot.

The guys at Motociclismo recently had the opportunity to ride Bayliss’ 1098R at the Algarve circuit in Portugal. Here are some excerpts from what they had to say about the bike:

Once you get aboard the bike, it feels no different from the standard 1098 – this could be any 1098R, ready to roll on the street, albeit one with a hugely expensive Öhlins fork that costs many thousands of euros, and Brembos that offer extreme braking. But what’s really different with Bayliss’ bike is the electronics, which make the racebike’s brutal 200+bhp controllable.

Power delivery, especially when exiting slow bends, is smooth and consistent, and traction remains constant, reducing the intimidation factor for those riding the bike for the first time. And yet, when you open that throttle fully, the power seems to have no end – the bike wants to wheelie even in fifth gear, at speeds of more than 220km/h...

With more than 200bhp at the rear wheel, the only way this Ducati 1098R stays controllable is via expensive electronics, including its very sophisticated traction control system. It’s also a big psychological factor – knowing that that electronic safety net is there – and it allows the rider to open the throttle that little bit earlier, and take the bike to its absolute limit every time.

On the track, the bike feels supremely stable and secure. It may not be as agile as some of the Japanese WSBK racers, but the Ducati 1098R’s stability in fast corners is simply unbelievable.

Crashing the bike is not an option and we couldn’t take the bike to the outer reaches of its – and our – limits for obvious reasons, but really, Bayliss’ 1098R is like a dream to ride. Sure, there’ll be the 1198S next year, but for now, the 1098R is the best Ducati ever…!

For the full story, visit Motociclismo here

Troy Bayliss’ 2008 Ducati 1098R specs:

Engine: 1,099cc, 8-valve, liquid-cooled, L-twin

Fuel injection: Magneti Marelli

Power: 200bhp+

Gearbox: Six-speed

Chassis: Tubular trellis-type, with single-side aluminium swingarm

Suspension: 43mm USD Öhlins fork with 120mm travel, Öhlins monoshock with 127mm travel, both ends fully adjustable

Brakes: Twin 330mm discs with Brembo Monoblock callipers (front), single 245mm disc with twin-piston callipers (rear)
Wheels and Tyres: 17-inch wheels, 120/70 (front), 190/55 (rear)

Also see:
Ducati Streetfighter wins 'most beautiful bike' poll at EICMA...
Ducati 999 vs 1098: Doug Polen decides!
Desmosedici RR: For the love of Ducati...
Classic: The Ducati Berliner Apollo...
One-off: Ducati 1098 Senna
Specs and first pics: Ducati Monster 1100, 1100S
Ducati 1098R takes on Bimota DB7...
The amazing, awesome 2009 Ducati Streetfighter!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gilera GP850 Corsa shown at the EICMA


The Gilera GP850 Corse. Cool!

Pics: Motociclismo

Starting with the Gilera GP800, already one of the funkiest, fastest scooters around, the Piaggio Group added more style, Öhlins fork and Serie Oro Brembo brakes with radial-mount four-piston callipers, to create the Gilera GP850 Corse. With this new, special-edition scooter, Gilera are celebrating 100 years of operations and the 250cc GP racing world championship title won this year by Marco Simoncelli.

The GP850 Corse, which can seat two people (the rear seat cover is removable), has the same asymmetrical swingarm and chassis as that on the basic version, but the plastic bodywork has been redesigned and some carbonfibre bits have been added. A new exhaust system and twin halogen headlamps complete the racy little package.


Also shown at the EICMA were these Gilera Nexus and the Gilera Fuoco 500 scooters...
Pics: Moto Caradisiac

More scooters:
Suzuki Burgman 400 Sport Concept: The maddest, wildest scooter ever!
The coolest scooter rider ever...
MBK Stunt: A scooter on steroids...
Nicky Hayden and the Honda Zoomer...
1952: When Ducati made scooters...
Team Cristofolini Racing’s two-stroke, 350cc, 112bhp scooter...

Elsewhere today:
Some really old, really cool scooters...
The personal computer that Rossi would buy...
What Twill be, will be...


Now while the GP850 Corsa is very nice, wouldn't it be just brilliant if Gilera could make these supersport 600s? Oberdan Bezzi, we wish your flights of fancy come true...!
Pics: MotoSketches

Triumph Speed Triple 15th Anniversary Special Edition shown at the EICMA


The Triumph Speed Triple is 15 years old this year...
Pics: Moto Caradisiac

Triumph are celebrating 15 years of the Speed Triple with a 15th Anniversary Special Edition model, which was recently on display at the EICMA. First introduced in 1994, the Speed Triple has been a big success story for Triumph, with the company having sold more than 35,000 units over the last 15 years.

The 15th Anniversary Speed Triple SE will come with Triumph owner John Bloor’s signature on the fuel tank, an all-black colour scheme, red pinstriping on the wheels, 15th anniversary decals on the bodywork, a colour matched bellypan and flyscreen, and a special gel seat.

With 130 horsepower and 105Nm of torque from its three-cylinder, 1050cc engine, the 2009 Speed Triple, which weighs 189 kilos dry, offers a fabulous mix of power, performance, handling and style. The special edition model will go on sale in February next year, though prices have not been announced yet.


The new Triumph Street Triple R was also shown at the EICMA. See riding impression here
Pics: Moto Caradisiac

Also see:
2009 Ducati Streetfighter: Now this is the one to have!!
First pics: 2009 Benelli Tre-K 899...
2009 Yamaha MT-3 goes all yellow...
The hot, new BMW Lo Rider concept...
2009 KTM 990 Adventure R unveiled...
200bhp: Heating up the Suzuki B-King...
Husqvarna V1000 GT concept...
The man even Rossi can't beat...

Elsewhere today:
Open-face helmets are back in fashion...
Nostalgia: 1950s Vincent replica specials...

Quantya sets up its first dealership in the US


From V8-powered pickup trucks to electric bikes - what's America coming to...?!

Electric motorcycle manufacturers, Quantya, in partnership with Shredelectric, have set up their first dealership in the US. Quantya claim they've already experienced a fair bit of success in Europe, where the company’s high performance, zero-emissions electric motorcycles, which are made in Lugano, in Switzerland, have been received with enthusiasm.

Quantya’s partner, Shredelectric is owned and operated by snowboarding pioneer Chris Karol, a former Snowboarding world champ, Olympics team coach and motorcycle enthusiast. The company will offer two Quantya bikes in the US – the Strada and the Track. The first is a street-legal model that retails for a bit less than US$11,000 while the second is off-road-only, and sells for around US$9,999.

For more information, visit the Quantya website here

Also see:
Air-powered bikes in the future...?
Rudy Kurth and the amazing 1976 Cat III...
This is our kind of GSX-R...!
Face-off: Buell 1125R vs BMW HP2 Sport...
Riding the mighty Yamaha V-Max...
KTM 690 Duke riding impression...

Elsewhere today:
Brammo Enertia first ride...
Even more electric bikes...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The 200bhp nitrous-oxide-powered Suzuki B-King


A 200bhp Suzuki B-King? Yes, yes, yes! We want one of these! 
Pics: Superbike
Powered by the Hayabusa’s 1.3-litre engine, the stock Suzuki B-King weighs 262kg and packs around 160bhp. It does the standing quarter-mile (400m) in 10.23 seconds and top speed is about 250km/h. And that, for some people, simply isn’t enough. Which is where the B-King you see here comes in…

The guys at Superbike magazine took their long-term (stock) Suzuki B-King to Big CC Racing for their Stage I makeover: A set of Yoshimura TRC end cans, Dynojet Power Commander III with hub, a nitrous-oxide kit and some airbox mods. Plus a shortened tail unit, replacement LED tail lamp, smaller numberplate and a set of mini indicators to clean up the aesthetics.

The Yoshimura exhaust system looks so right on this bike. This is how Suzuki should have made it in the first place. Now all that needs to be added is a supercharger...

Press the horn button on this bike and the nitrous-oxide system boosts power to around 200bhp. With the speed limiter removed, the Nitro B-King is loud and fast – there’s no mercy ever, for the bike’s Dunlop Qualifier rear tyre. ‘In third gear, at full throttle, pressing the button is like operating a fast-forward switch on a video. The front wheel lifts like it's in first gear, and you're quickly braking to avoid running into the back of slower motorway traffic,’ say the guys at Superbike mag. Brilliant…

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ducati Streetfighter wins ‘most beautiful bike’ poll at the EICMA


The Ducati Streetfighter was declared 'most beautiful' at this year's EICMA show

The hulking, brutally aggressive looking Ducati Streetfighter has won Motociclismo’s ‘most beautiful bike’ poll at the EICMA, which concluded yesterday. The MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR, which won last year’s poll, came in at third place this year.

The Ducati Streetfighter took first place with 25.31% votes, followed by the Aprilia RSV4 Factory in second place, with 22.01% votes and the MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR in third place, with 12.45%.

For us, the surprises are the KTM RC8 (only 3.32% votes in its favour), the Harley-Davidon XR1200 (only 2.08%) and the Benelli Due 756 (only 0.66%). What’s also surprising is that bikes like the BMW K1300R, the Ducati 1198 and Monster 1100, and the Moto Morini Scrambler 1200 don’t seem to be on the list at all…

More bikes at the EICMA 2008:
The KTM 990 Adventure R...
BMW Lo Rider concept unveiled...
Hot, new KTM RC8 R unleashed...
The ugly-but-cool Husqvarna SMQ concept...
First official pics: BMW F800R...
Bimota unveil the DB7 Oronero...
The 2009 Benelli Tre-K 899. Very cool...
Moto Morini Scrambler 1200 to go on sale next year...

Elsewhere today:
Electronics in MotoGP: A sneak-peek inside...
The battery-powered El Ninja...
Only in America: Sale of Chinese scooters banned in Pennsylvania...