Saturday, November 21, 2009

Suzuki Katana 1100: Retro streetfighter done right!

Suzuki KatanaSuzuki KatanaSuzuki Katana
This has to be the coolest Katana ever...

Here’s one absolutely fabulous looking Suzuki Katana that’s been at the receiving end of an expensive, very well executed makeover. The UK-based Steve Adams, who owns this bike, seems to have spent a fortune on doing up this classic Suzuki from the 1980s, and it is money well spent.

The list of mods for Steve’s Katana is very long, but here’s a quick look at some of the more significant bits and pieces: 1,170cc Wiseco piston kit, gas flowed head, EFE 1100 cams with adjustable cam sprockets, Keihin 37mm carbs, titanium bolts throughout the engine and custom-built titanium exhaust system from Racefit.

The Katana’s front fork is from a K4 GSX-R750, rear shocks are Ohlins units and the brakes are a mix of components from a Yamaha R1 and Suzuki TL1000, with Brembo radial master cylinder and thumb-operated rear brake. The stock chassis has been heavily braced in all key areas for increased stiffness, the swingarm is from a Suzuki Bandit 1200 and the bike rides on 17-inch Dymag magnesium alloy wheels.

Performance specs aren’t available, but the Katana sure looks icy-cool and insanely lust-worthy. Good job, Steve!

Via Visual Gratification, Steve Adams

2010 Campagna T-Rex 14RR announced

Campagna T-RexCampagna T-RexCampagna T-Rex
The Campagna T-Rex - possibly the most fun you can have when you're not on two wheels...

Based in Montreal, Canada, Campagna Motors have announced the 2010 T-Rex 14RR, which has to be the coolest, wildest trike in the whole world. Fitted with a Kawasaki 1,352cc inline-four that pumps out 197 horsepower, and a sequential six-speed gearbox, the T-Rex 14RR accelerates from zero to 96km/h in 3.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 230km/h.

With its fibreglass bodywork, the three-wheeled T-Rex RR rides on 16-inch (front) and 18-inch (rear) wheels, can carry two people and some luggage and weighs 472 kilos dry. It does cost quite a bit – US$56,500 and above – but we’d still love to have a ’Rex for those two-up Sunday morning blasts around our favourite set of mountain roads…

Campagna T-RexCampagna T-RexCampagna T-Rex

Harley-Davidson enlist BNP Paribas to help with MV Agusta sale

Harley-Davidson have selected investment banking firm BNP Paribas to help them with selling MV Agusta. ‘MV Agusta is a highly desirable company for the right buyer. It has a proud heritage and strong brand, high-quality, exciting and beautiful products, and passionate enthusiasm on the part of its customers, employees and dealers. We are confident in our expectation that we will identify an appropriate buyer,’ says Harley-Davidson Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, John Olin.

While Harley-Davidson are trying to project that all is well at MV, nobody really seems to know if that is true. The beleaguered Italian manufacturer recently unveiled new F4 and Brutale bikes at this year’s EICMA Show in Milan, but minor differences in styling apart, these are essentially the same bike that MV have been offering for years. The company probably needs money – large amounts of it – for developing all-new bikes, which could include smaller, less expensive machines (sports 600s maybe?) in order to expand their customer base.

We absolutely love MV Agusta and their utterly beautiful, gorgeous machines. And we hope they find a buyer who can invest sufficient amounts of money into the company in order to strengthen its operations in a big way. After downing the shutters on Buell, we hope Harley won’t botch MV’s future as well…

Ducati Desmosedici RR vs Ferrari F430

It's the old bike vs car test again. A bit pointless really, but who can resist watching a few minutes of on-track action with the Ducati Desmosedici RR taking on a Ferrari F430 Scuderia. Have fun...

Erik Buell chucks up his job at Harley, sets up independent race shop

With his new race shop, Erik Buell will strike to make sure his 1125R race bikes keep flying. Which is just as well because Buell and his bikes definitely deserve another chance...

Erik Buell, Chairman and CTO of the erstwhile Buell Motorcycle Company, has decided to leave Harley-Davidson and set up his own, independent motorcycle race shop. According to Harley, it suffered losses on the sale of Buell motorcycles for more than a decade, hence the recent decision to shut down Buell for good. Erik Buell however wants to make sure that those who bought Buell motorcycles to go racing remain in action in the foreseeable future.

‘I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying. We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond,’ says Erik. ‘I’m pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years. Harley-Davidson will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavour to support Buell racers,’ adds Buell President and COO, Jon Flickinger.

Based in East Troy, Wisconsin, in the US, the new company – Erik Buell Racing – will specialize in the supply of race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles, and the building and sale of Buell 1125R-based racing bikes, under license from Harley-Davidson. The company will also provide technical support for Buell race bikes.

We’re happy that the Buell name lives on and we’re quite sure that someday, one way or the other, Erik will also start making streetbikes again.

Erik Buell announces his new company...

Wayne Gardner rides all the 2009 WSBK bikes, likes the Aprilia RSV4

Wayne Gardner, who won the 1987 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world title aboard a Honda NSR500, recently rode all the 2009 WSBK machines at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. And which machine did he like the best? No, not the Honda Fireblade, but the Aprilia RSV4! Also, he says the Yamaha R1 probably has the best engine, but doesn't handle all that well, which makes Ben Spies championship win even more impressive. Watch the video for more...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2010 MV Agusta F4 judged less beautiful than the Ducati Multistrada 1200!

New promo video for the 2010 MV Agusta F4, where the bike looks and sounds absolutely fabulous. Is the Ducati Multistrada 1200 more beautiful than the new F4? You've got to be kidding...

In a poll conducted by Italian magazine Motociclismo, during this year's EICMA Show, the new MV Agusta F4 finished a distant second to the Ducati Multistrada 1200 in the 'beauty' department. The Multistrada 1200 took first place with 48.9% votes, followed by the MV F4 in second place (19.8%), Aprilia RSV4 R in third place (15.8%), BMW S1000RR in fourth place (4.5%) and Kawasaki Z1000 in fifth (2.4%).

Other bikes in the beautiful top 14 list included (from sixth to 14th places) the Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX 1200 (1.9%), Suzuki GSX-R750 (1.8%), Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Special (1.5%), Triupmh Rocket III Roadster (1.1%), Husqvarna SM630 (0.8%), Cagiva Mito SP525 (0.5%), Benelli 2ue (0.4%), Derbi GPR 125 (0.4%) and Hyosung Aquila GV700 (0.2%). The Ducati 1198R Corse did not make the list at all... :-D