Saturday, September 19, 2009
BMW Motorrad have announced pricing for the S1000RR in the UK. The standard model costs ‘an extremely competitive’ £10,950 (including 15% VAT) OTR, while the ‘Sport’ specification model is priced at £12,235 OTR. The S1000RR Sport comes factory fitted with Sports ABS, Dynamic Traction Control and Gearshift Assist.
Customers who buy the standard model can also choose to have individual extras fitted to their bike. These are Race ABS (£785), Race ABS + Dynamic Traction Control (£1,199), Gear Shift Assist (£299), Anti-theft Alarm (£172) and BMW Motorrad Motorsport colour scheme (£390).
‘In the UK, we have worked very hard to launch the S1000RR into the competitive supersport sector at a realistic and affordable price. The standard model offers excellent value for money [and] with the introduction of the higher specification Sport variant, we can offer supersports customers a simple choice of specifications that will also significantly benefit the bike’s residual values,’ says Ian Furse, BMW Motorrad’s national sales manager in the UK.
To quickly recap, the BMW S1000RR weighs 183kg dry and 206.5kg in road trim. The bike’s inline-four makes 193 horsepower at 13,000rpm and 112Nm of torque at 9,750rpm. The S1000RR’s engine features high-speed, ultra-strong valve drive with individual cam followers and titanium valves, following the example of BMW’s Formula 1 engines.
The S1000RR has four riding modes, which the rider can select with the push of a button. These modes have been designed to optimise the bike’s performance on wet surfaces, regular roads, race tracks with sports tyres, and race tracks with slicks. BMW claim the S1000RR is the only supersport machine to offer Race ABS, DTC Dynamic Traction Control and engine management modes in combination. Also, the bike’s unique ‘Gearshift Assistant’ enables riders to ‘speed shift’ up through the gears without using the clutch and with no interruption in torque or pulling power.
UK buyers can book their bikes now, deliveries will start in January 2010.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The Volkswagen L1, a two-seater diesel-electric hybrid, may go into production in the next 2-3 years
In a move aimed at ‘sustainable mobility’ for the future, Volkswagen is working on various 'alternative' type vehicles, some of which would be electric scooters and mopeds. At this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, VW unveiled the L1, a diesel-electric hybrid concept that weighs 380kg and which is capable of returning 189mpg, while emitting just 39g/km of CO2.
The Volkswagen L1 can seat two people in tandem and entrance is via a jet fighter-style side-hinging, electrically operated canopy. Made of carbonfibre composite, the VW L1 is light, narrow, aerodynamic and while it’s definitely not a motorcycle, it’s probably somewhere between a bike and a conventional car. The L1 is fitted with an 800cc twin-cylinder common-rail diesel engine that makes 28 horsepower and 99Nm of torque, which is enough to propel this vehicle from zero to 100km/h in 14.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 160km/h.
The L1 is also fitted with a 14 horsepower electric motor, which is automatically activated when additional acceleration is required, delivering 40% extra torque. The electric motor can also take over from the engine to power the L1 for short distances.
In addition to the L1 trike, Volkswagen is also working on various compact, battery-powered electric scooters that would be ideal for shorter journeys in the city. These include the Kickstep, an ultra-compact folding scooter, and the Microbully, a small scooter that can fit into the boot of a car. There is also the ped-tric, a folding bike with electric motors built into the wheel hubs, and the VW_1M, a large electric moped. These ‘micro-mobility’ solutions were created at Volkswagen’s Design Centre in Potsdam and according to a press release from VW, some of these may go into production by 2013.
In the meanwhile, Peugeot also has an interesting take on this urban mobility car-scooter hybrid thing. Take a look at the Peugeot BB1
Update: We earlier said that the L1 is a three-wheeler, which it actually isn't! We've now corrected the post and the person responsible for the mistake has been asked to reduce his consumption of alcohol. Thank you to everyone who wrote in to point out the error.
Valentino Rossi’s current Yamaha YZR-M1 has been praised four-time 500cc world champ Eddie Lawson and three-time 500cc world champ Wayne Rainey. This year, Yamaha have won nine of the 13 MotoGP races so far, and nobody would be too surprised if they also win most or even all of the remaining four races in this season.
‘I think the YZR-M1 is probably still not the fastest, but it looks a lot better than last year as far as the motor goes. And chassis-wise to me, it’s head and shoulders above everybody. It just looks so stable when you watch it. Just watching it on TV it looks like the thing sure works good, so it’s a good season for them,’ said Lawson, speaking to MCN. Lawon won three 500cc world titles with Yamaha in 1984, 1986 and 1988 and then went on to win another 500cc world championship with Honda, in 1989.
Fellow American Wayne Rainey agrees with Lawson. ‘I think the Yamaha is probably the best Grand Prix bike ever built. That thing’s a weapon. If those guys don’t make any mistakes, I don’t think anybody can beat it. It’s amazing what it does and to see the performance out of it this year, it’s incredible. From where they’ve come from, they’ve shown they’re there to win. They’re not there to compete. They looked at the whole thing and just made it a little better. Those little things they worked on sure made a performance advantage,’ said Rainey, speaking to MCN. ‘To see that thing pass the Ducati down the straight at Barcelona, that’s amazing. You don’t see that from the Yamaha a lot – passing the bike that’s considered the fastest bike and it went on by it,’ he adds.
Coming from two of the greatest riders who ever raced, that sure is high praise for the YZR-M1. Now we just hope The Doctor picks up his seventh premier class world championship on this machine!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Mission One, US-based Mission Motors’ electric bike, recently hit a top speed of 241.5km/h during the annual BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials at the Bonneville Speedway, taking the AMA top speed record for electric motorcycles in the process. The Mission One achieved an average speed of 241.5km/h over a two-pass one mile run at Bonneville, though it got up to one-way speeds of 257.6km/h during the record setting attempt.
‘We set this record on our first visit to the Bonneville Salt Flats on poor salt conditions and in high cross-winds. And to set it with our production prototype vehicle, not a custom Bonneville bike, is truly amazing,’ says Edward West, Mission Motors Founder and President. ‘It’s a watershed moment for electric vehicles and further proof that the era of the electric superbike has begun. Electric is no longer the future of high-performance motorcycling; it is the present,’ he adds.
‘The Mission One is just an incredible motorcycle. This is a bike that can rip up the track at Infineon Raceway, do power wheelies at 128km/h and then come out here to Bonneville and dismantle the prior electric world speed record. It pulls hard all the way from 0 on up to 257km/h, all in one gear, with incredible torque. It’s a riding experience like no other. The important thing to understand is this is not a one-off race vehicle, this is a production prototype,’ says Jeremy Cleland, the AMA and AFM racer who shares duties as product manager and test rider at Mission Motors. ‘It is the same bike that we raced at the Isle of Man and features the same powertrain that we will be delivering to our customers in 2010,’ adds Cleland.
Indeed, the Mission One, with its top speed of around 250km/h and 250km range, does seem to be an incredible machine. Mission Motors aim to sell around 300 units of this bike in 2010 and you can reserve yours via the Mission website now. However, before you rush off to book one of these bikes, brace yourself for the price – a mind-blowing US$69,000.
The Mission One electric bike in action at Bonneville. Awesome...
While it’s mega-expensive, the Mission One is also one hell of a high-tech motorcycle. The usual bits are all there – fully adjustable Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes with four-piston monobloc calipers, Marchesini wheels and so on. And then there’s a fully equipped data acquisition system and wireless communication capability. Riders can adjust throttle maps, tune regenerative braking, and create multiple ride settings via their laptop computer. Try doing that on your R1!
With bikes like the Mission One coming to market next year, it does look like the ‘electric superbike’ is getting ready to go mainstream. Current price levels are, of course, a massive downer but that issue should be resolved over the next few years, as prices of lithium-ion battery packs and electric motors come down. Looks like the good old internal combustion engine will soon have a very, very big fight on its hands…
Mission One: Tech Specs
Battery Pack: Lithium-Ion, with integrated thermal management system
Motor: Liquid-cooled, 3-phase AC Induction
Transmission: Single speed
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Suspension: Fully adjustable 43mm USD fork (Ohlins), fully adjustable monoshock (Ohlins)
Front Brakes: Twin 310mm discs with radial-mount four-piston callipers (Brembo)
Wheels and tyres: 17-inch Marchesini forged aluminium, with 120/70 (front) and 190/55 (rear) race compound tyres
Top speed: 250km/h
Recharge time: Less than two hours @ 240V, or about eight hours @ std 120V
According to a recent poll conducted by motorcycle insurance specialists, Devitt, the pillion rider UK motorcyclists would love to take with them most is 39-year-old TV presenter Suzi Perry. Of all the motorcyclists that took part in the survey, 25% said their ideal passenger would be their partner, while 13% said they would rather ride solo.
In second place in the UK riders’ ‘fantasy pillion’ list is pop artist Kylie Minogue, followed by Valentino Rossi in third, Angelina Jolie in fourth and Jennifer Aniston in fifth place. Megan Fox, Ewan McGregor, Jesus Christ and Brad Pitt take up places six to nine, while 10th place is a tie between Barry Sheene, Julia Roberts, Penelope Cruz and Pink.
Hmmm… and who would we take on our bike? Of course, Kevin Schwantz!
According to a press release from Motus Motorcycles, the fledgling US-based (in Birmingham, Alabama) company has tied up with Pratt & Miller Engineering for the development of their new motorcycles. Their first motorcycles – the Motus MST-01 and MST-R – will be V4-engined sports tourers, with high-tech bits like a chrome-molybdenum space frame and carbon composite bodywork.
According to Motus, the MST-01 will be a ‘next generation sport touring motorcycle engineered for performance, comfort, and range.’ In addition to the MST-01, there will also be a higher-spec MST-R, which we suppose might be the racier, sportier version but with the same engine and chassis.
A high-tech, American-engineered V4-powered sports tourer sounds like a good idea. There is, however, no word on when the actual bike will be revealed. The EICMA at Milan, this year? We’ll just have to wait and watch…
Monday, September 14, 2009
Faster and Faster has made it to The Daily Reviewer's Top 100 Blogs list and is now included in their Top Motorcycle Blogs. A big THANK YOU to everyone who voted for us!
2Evil, a 50bhp, two-stroke 'scooter' from France...
The French have created their share of mad machines, ranging from gently eccentric cars to the devilish little scooter – named 2Evil – you see here. All right, it’s stretching the definition of what you’d call a ‘scooter,’ but MXS, the 2Evil’s creators, insist it’s a scooter and we’ll just go with that.
Fitted with a custom-built Gilera-based two-stroke engine that consists of two 86cc cylinders, the MXS 2Evil spits out 50 horsepower, which is transferred to the rear wheel via a CVT. This ‘scooter’ does the standing eighth-mile (200 metres) in 6.5 seconds and hits a top speed of 149km/h. Impressive, for something that’s only fitted with a tiny, 172cc engine.
For more information, visit the MXS website here
The little video snippet of the 2Evil in action