Friday, February 26, 2010

Riders for Health: Rossi R1 bike to be auctioned for charity

Valentino Rossi Yamaha R1Valentino Rossi Yamaha R1
This special Valentino Rossi Yamaha R1 will be put up for auction later this year...
Valentino Rossi Yamaha R1Valentino Rossi Yamaha R1

Don Emde (1972 Daytona 200 winner) recently unveiled a special Yamaha R1 project bike at a Long Beach Show in the US. Emde, who also announced the launch of a new non-profit organization called Friends of Riders for Health, Inc., led a one-year team effort to customize the machine with aftermarket accessories and a one-off graphic theme replicating Valentino Rossi's famous ‘Five Continents’ AGV helmet by designer Aldo Drudi. The R1’s graphic wrap was done in Italy by Pole Position Racing Service, which works with various MotoGP teams.

The Rossi R1 is scheduled to be sold at an auction to be announced in late 2010 or early 2011. It is a fully street legal and licensed motorcycle, though it has been stripped of certain street equipment (mirrors, turn signals and license plate/taillight) for display and will be delivered as a track day only machine. Apart from the graphics, the R1 features a long list of aftermarket parts – Ohlins FGRT808 fork, Ohlins TTX rear shock, Akrapovic Evolution exhaust, Dynojet Power Commander V and various other high-spec bits. To assist the new owner with their riding skills, the Yamaha Champions Riding School has donated a one-day school that will be included with the sale price.

‘Riders for Health is the official charity of the MotoGP series and I am so appreciative of the support from everyone in the sport that were involved in the project, including Valentino Rossi, who enthusiastically agreed to the use of his helmet design, and to Yamaha Motor Corp USA, AGV, Aldo Drudi of Drudi Performance and Luca Campanille of Pole Position. Without their support, such a unique finished product would not have been possible,’ says Emde.

Friends of Riders for Health, Inc. is dedicated to raising funds for Riders for Health through special projects and the R1 was the first project for the new organization. For more information, visit Friends of Riders for Health

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré: First pics, specs, video

Yamaha have finally released pics and specs of their brand-new adventure tourer, the BMW R1200GS-rivalling XT1200Z Super Ténéré. The bike is powered by a 1,200cc fuel-injected liquid-cooled 8-valve DOHC parallel twin that produces 110 horsepower at 7,250rpm and 114Nm of torque at 6,000rpm. The gearbox is a six-speed unit and the Super Ténéré gets a low-maintenance shaft drive, along with a ‘unified braking system’ (UBS) with integrated ABS, three-mode traction control and two-mode (sport and touring) drive settings. The bike rides on 19-inch (front) and 17-inch (rear) wheels.

With its steel tube chassis, fully adjustable 43mm USD fork and fully adjustable monoshock (with 190mm of suspension travel at both ends), twin 310mm brake discs at the front and single 282mm disc at the back, the XT1200Z is fully equipped to take on all kinds of terrain. Seat height is adjustable (845-870mm), the tank can take 23 litres of fuel and the bike weighs 261 kilos.

The Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré definitely looks very capable and should be able to challenge the R1200GS for segment superiority.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Honda 3R-C concept to be unveiled at the Geneva Show

Honda 3R-CHonda 3R-CHonda 3R-C
The Honda 3R-C concept. We hope this is not what the future's going to be...
Honda 3R-CHonda 3R-C

Honda will unveil the 3R-C electric three-wheeler concept at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The 3R-C has been designed as a single-occupant zero-emissions urban runabout and, according to Honda, it ‘draws on Honda’s vast working knowledge of vehicles utilising electric motors.’ Ahem.

The Honda 3R-C concept was created by European designers working at Honda’s research and design facility in Milan. We miss the days when Honda used to make bikes like the RC30 and RC45 and when its concept bikes used to be machines like the NR750

Kawasaki ZX-7R picture gallery

The ZXR750 / ZX-7R is one of our absolute all-time favourite Kawasakis. They stopped building it back in 2003 and yes, there are any number of sportsbikes that are lighter, more powerful and better handling than the old green meanie. And yet, there's something about the old ZXR750 / ZX-7R that makes us just LOVE the bike SO VERY, VERY MUCH! Along with the ZX-11 / ZZR1100, we believe this was one of the best Kawasakis ever made. Today, for no reason other than we love this bike so much, here's some pics of this great machine...
Kawasaki ZXR750Kawasaki ZXR750Kawasaki ZXR750Kawasaki ZXR750Kawasaki ZX-7RKawasaki ZXR750Kawasaki ZX-7RKawasaki ZXR750Kawasaki ZX-7RKawasaki ZX-7RKawasaki ZX-7RKawasaki ZX-7R
Pics: Sportbike Rider

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Future Ducati superbikes might have monocoque frames

Ducati Desmosedici RRDucati 1198S
Will Ducati abandon their traditional trellis frames and go monocoque...?
Ducati 1198RDucati Desmosedici GP9

According to a report on MCN, future Ducati superbikes may have a monocoque aluminium (or carbonfibre) chassis rather than the Italian company’s traditional steel tube trellis frames. Ducati have already used carbonfibre semi-monococque chassis on the Desmosedici GP9 MotoGP racebike and will continue to go down the same path with the GP10.

With the monocoque type frame, Ducati’s intent is to start using the bike’s engine as the central element that connects everything, rather than having a separate chassis. In MotoGP, Ducati’s new carbonfibre monocoque chassis has offered more torsional rigidity than the earlier trellis frame and other advantages could include reduced weight, better engine cooling, improved aerodynamics, superior packaging and more compact dimensions.

According to the MCN report, Ducati might already be working on a version of its MotoGP monocoque chassis for its street bikes, although the streetbike chassis will be made of aluminium rather than the much more expensive to work with carbonfibre.

The Britten V1000 is just one of the many bikes that have, in the past, proved that a monocoque chassis can work very well on high-performance motorcycles. If Ducati choose to abandon their traditional trellis frames and go monocoque, the results should certainly be very interesting indeed!


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BMW S1000RR stars in Black Eyed Peas music video

The BMW S1000RR makes an appearance in Black Eyed Peas' new music video, I'mma be rocking that body. The video is kind of cool, even if you aren't into their kind of music...

2010 Triumph Daytona 675 SE announced

The new Triumph Daytona 675 SE will be available in limited numbers from March this year...

Triumph has announced the new limited edition Daytona 675 SE, which gets a new blue and white paintjob, black wheels, adjustable brake and clutch levers, fully adjustable suspension and a sprinkling of carbonfibre bits. The 675cc inline-three engine remains unchanged and still produces 128bhp at 12,600rpm.

The 2010 Triumph 675 SE will go on sale in Europe in March this year and will be priced at around 12,000 euros.

A road test video of the Daytona 675...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Peraves E-Tracer gunning for Progressive Automotive X-Prize

Peraves MonoTracer ETracerPeraves MonoTracer ETracerPeraves MonoTracer ETracer
The new Peraves E-Tracer is powered by li-ion batteries and an electric motor...

After the MonoTracer, Swiss company Peraves are now ready with their new machine – the E-Tracer. While the E-Tracer is based on the MonoTracer and has the same styling, bodywork, chassis and suspension, it dumps the MonoT’s BMW engine in favour of lithium-ion batteries and a powerful electric motor that churns out 150 kilowatts (204 horsepower) and 215Nm of torque.

According to Peraves, the E-Tracer will accelerate from zero to 100km/h in less than four seconds and hit a top speed of 240km/h. With the batteries fully charged, range is 300km. The E-Tracer will be priced at around US$108,000 and deliveries are expected to start early next year. Later, there will also be a more powerful 268bhp ‘ultra sport’ version, which is also likely to be more expensive.

Peraves claim the E-Tracer is hugely energy efficient and will participate in the much hyped Progressive Automotive X-Prize competition with this vehicle.

Via Autoblog Green

Peraves MonoTracer ETracerPeraves MonoTracer ETracerPeraves MonoTracer ETracer
Peraves MonoTracer ETracerPeraves MonoTracer ETracerPeraves MonoTracer ETracer

Friday, February 19, 2010

Memorable: Krauser MKM1000

Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000
Quintessential 1980s cool - the BMW R100S-based Krauser MKM1000...

The sportiest bike BMW had in their line-up back in late-1970s was the R100S, which was powered by an old 980cc Boxer-twin that made a paltry 70 horsepower. At that time, the German company was simply unable to meet the demands of enthusiasts who wanted a faster, more powerful and better handling BMW sportsbike. The first of BMW’s K-series bikes, with modern four-cylinder engines, wouldn’t be launched until 1983 and the stock R100S simply wasn’t adequate for the needs of many sportsbike enthusiasts.

With a background in motorcycle sidecar racing and a business built around motorcycle luggage and accessories, it was one Mike Krauser who took it upon himself to build a sportier BMW streetbike – the MKM1000 – which took the R100S to a whole new level. Mike, along with motorcycle development firm HPN, spent close to US$150,000 towards developing the MKM1000, which was ultimately homologated with the TUV for street use in Germany.

Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000

The MKM1000 was based on the 1980 BMW R100S, with a lot of components (wheels, suspension parts, brakes, 40mm Bing carburettors, exhaust system, shaft drive and various other bits) taken from that machine.

With extensive work on the R100S’ air-cooled, two-valves-per-cylinder, 980cc OHV boxer-twin, power output was boosted from 70bhp to 82bhp. Also, the MKM1000 got a completely new tubular space frame that was light, compact and rigid, and increased the bike’s wheelbase by an inch, which led to significant improvements in the handling compared to the standard R100S.

The Krauser MKM also got redesigned bodywork made of fibreglass and styled by one Franz Wiedemann, who had earlier worked on designing fairings for the BMW R100RS and R100RT. The full fairing and one-piece tank/side panels/tail unit look clean and elegant even today, and certainly must have been cutting edge design back in 1980. The bike weighed in at around 218 kilos – reasonably light for its time.

Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000

According to a road test conducted by American magazine Cycle Guide, the Krauser 1000 felt much more refined than the bike it was based on, with reduced engine vibrations, better controlled suspension, slick gearshifts, precise steering and improved high speed stability.

The road test report says the MKM wasn’t very comfortable below speeds of about 130km/h and the suspension was a bit too stiff, but the bike’s overall performance was still pretty impressive. The bike would accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds (half a second better than a stock R100S), hit a top speed of about 205km/h and at 23.4km/l, even the fuel economy was not bad at all.

The exact number of units built isn’t very clear – probably somewhere between 200 and 240. And the Krauser MKM1000 cost US$16,000 back then, which means it definitely wasn’t very affordable. But we believe this is one of the coolest, rarest, most exclusive BMW specials ever built. We love this bike!

Read full road tests of the Krauser MKM1000 here and here

Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000
Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000Krauser MKM1000

A video of the Krauser MKM1000 in racing action...!

Random Ramblings