Saturday, September 18, 2010
It’s a bit weird, a bit wild and even though it isn’t a motorcycle, the Peraves E-Tracer is probably interesting enough for most people who read Faster and Faster. It’s certainly fast enough – with 150kW (204bhp) and 220Nm from its electric motor, the E-Tracer can sprint from zero to 100km/h in less than four seconds and is electronically limited to a top speed of 240km/h. Derestricted, the E-Tracer could hit a top speed of 330km/h, claim its creators. And that’s not all – it also has a range of 300km, if you travel at a constant speed of 100km/h, after which you hit reserve – 30km at 80km/h. Impressive!
Apparently, we are not the only people who’re impressed with what the E-Tracer is capable of. This ‘thing’ has also won the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, in the Alternative Class (Tandem), beating more than 30 other entrants to claim its prize. For more details, visit the official website here
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Doohan says that Honda and Yamaha should have tried harder to break the Rossi-Jeremy Burgess partnership...
Speaking to MCN, five-time (1994-1998) 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ Mick Doohan has said that Honda and Yamaha should have tried harder to break up the Valentino Rossi-Jeremy Burgess partnership, which has already won seven premier class world titles in MotoGP. ‘If I was Yamaha or more importantly Honda, I’d been offering JB and that crew anything it took to get them away from Valentino, to undermine that operation,’ said Mick.
‘You need to unsettle that combination. JB has proven his worth. He’s got lots of world championships under his belt so he’s worth every cent. It’s a cheap investment by the other teams to try and do that. It just makes sense. Even if it was another one or two million dollars on top of what the budget for the year is going to be, for them to have the chance of winning the championship, to spend that extra bit to win is worth every cent,’ added Doohan.
With 78 premier class wins (and counting…) in MotoGP, Rossi is already one of the most successful racers in the history of motorcycle grand prix racing. And The Doctor, who’ll be 32 years old in February 2011, doesn’t look like he’s stopping anytime soon. Sure, he’s having to fight harder than ever before for race wins, but time and again Rossi has proved he’s up to the task of taking on younger riders like Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. The wily old master can quite hold his own against anyone and with his move from Yamaha to Ducati in 2011, he’s likely to be hungrier and better motivated than he was this year.
With Jeremy Burgess and crew backing the Ducati-Rossi team, can The Doctor win yet another MotoGP world championship? YES!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Speaking of getting it off, Ms Pinder does a pretty decent job of getting the grime off that Yamaha R1. We're sure you're now thinking of that crossplane crankshaft...
We know it’s a bit cheesy and we understand that most Yamaha R1 owners are never going to get Ms Pinder to wash their pride and joy. And yet, we quite love this video and the pics that go with it. Who wouldn’t?
Created as part of Bennetts’ 80th Birthday celebrations, the video shows celeb model Lucy Pinder getting to grips with cleaning an R1. And to make things even more interesting, Ms Pinder is joined by two members of this year’s Bennetts Babes squad – Charlotte Toon and Stephanie Hall.
’Having launched the search for the Bennetts Babes in 2006, it’s great to be back and working alongside this year’s squad in the Bennetts Bikini Bike Wash video. Despite being put through our paces, the video was a lot of fun to make and I hope everyone has as much fun watching as we had making it,’ says Lucy.
Well, we certainly enjoyed watching the video, so we caught up with Ms Pinder for a quick chat. Here are some excerpts:
F&F: Lucy, do you think bikers are a bit more exciting than than car drivers?
LP: I don't know about them being necessarily more exciting but I think you definitely have to be a lot more daring - or plain crazier - to jump on a high speed motorcycle than to get behind the wheel of a supercar!
F&F: Can you ride a motorcycle? Do you prefer cruisers or fast, powerful sportsbikes? What's your current no.1 favourite motorcycle and why?
LP: I have never been brave enough! If I could muster up the courage I would much prefer to be on one that was lightning quick, I'm a bit of a speed junkie. I'd have to say my favourite bike at the moment is a Yamaha R1 after spending so long getting it looking pristine clean for the Bennetts ad!
F&F: Do you watch MotoGP? If yes, who's your favourite MotoGP rider, and why?
LP: I do follow the MotoGP a bit. My favourite rider is Valentino Rossi. He is such a talented, instinctive rider and the way he is bouncing back so successfully after his injury is extremely admirable.
F&F: Have you been to the Isle of Man ? Would you want to ride a motorcycle there?
LP: I've never been to the Isle of Man but would love to go on the pillion seat around the TT track, on a super fast bike!
F&F: What do you like about Faster and Faster?
LP: I like that from a motorcycle fan's perspective there is something for everyone on your site, from interviews and information on motorsport, concept bikes to articles on classic bikes, there's everything you could ever want to know about motorcycles!
Monday, September 06, 2010
British actress Keira Knightley was recently in Paris, shooting for an advertisement for a new perfume from Chanel. For this, the slender beauty rode (or at least pretended to ride...) a 1970s Ducati 750SS. We don't know about the all-beige ensemble, but since it's Ms Knightley, we thought you might want to take a look anyway. For the next ad film, we hope she dons tight black latex and rides an Aprilia RSV4 Factory... :-)
Saturday, September 04, 2010
No, we’re sure Yamaha will still continue to make the R1 for many, many years – it’s just that the 2011 model year looks like the end of the road for the R1 as we know it now. The 2012 bike is likely to be a radical departure from the existing machine – an all-new YZF-R1 could be in the pipeline, even as Iwata prepares to take on the S1000RR and the RSV4 Factory in 2012. And why should you believe that? Because when Japanese bike manufacturers only add cheesy graphics to their top-of-the-line sportsbike, instead of making improvements to the engine/chassis/suspension, it’s pretty much a sign that says sayōnara, arigatōgozaimasu. New bike coming next year, kon'nichiwa!
MotoGP-inspired crossplane crank engine or not, the Yam R1 has had its arse kicked into orbit in recent years by everything from the mundane Honda Fireblade to the rather more exotic BMW S1000RR and Aprilia RSV4 Factory. We’re guessing Yamaha will try and claw back their advantage with the 2012 model R1, which will definitely have ABS and traction control as standard equipment. Lighter, more powerful, better looking, quicker, faster and absolutely fizzing with electronics – that’ll be the 2012 Yamaha YZF-R1. But if you can’t wait till the new bike comes along, you can get your hands on the 2011 Yamaha R1 from October this year, with prices starting at US$13,590.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
For us, here at Faster and Faster, Wayne Rainey is one of our Gods. With three 500cc motorcycle grand prix road racing world championships (1990, 91 and 92) to his credit, Rainey is up there with the best of the best, in the same league as men like Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Gardner, Kevin Schwantz and Mick Doohan. His career-ending crash in 1993, which left him paralyzed from the chest down, was one of the saddest things ever to happen in motorcycle GP racing.
Motorcycle-USA recently carried an exclusive interview with Wayne Rainey, which is a must-read for fans of 500cc GP racing. It provides a tantalizing glimpse of how things used to be back in the 1980s, the one decade we miss most. Here are a few excerpts from Rainey has to say about motorcycle racing and about his Yamaha YZR500:
On motorcycle racing
‘We didn’t have to have our sunglasses on. We didn’t have to have our hats put on sideways, or wear baggy pants. We were just raw bred racers. That’s what we wanted to do. We were only concerned about beating each other – not what we looked like. My whole life was about racing. The easiest part of my job was the actual race. It was everything else – preparing for that race – where all the work was.’
‘We were like warriors out there. We didn’t like to get beat and if somebody was a tenth of a second quicker than the other guys didn’t sleep very well. That’s just the way it was. We all wanted something that only one guy in the end could have – and that was the world championship. If you were second or third, it didn’t matter, it didn’t count. It wasn’t in the vocabulary. It was all about winning.’
On his Yamaha YZR500 GP racebike
‘When I raced bikes, we had 500cc V-Four two-strokes and nothing whatsoever from the computer to help us. The computers we had onboard back then were very crude compared to what they have now. Basically all they did was measure suspension travel and things of that nature. Power wise, the bikes we rode then had 190 horsepower but the powerband was from 9,000 to 12,000rpm. So you had about 3,000rpm that you were riding that beast in.’
‘When you come to a turn and started to accelerate, you’d have a sudden rush of 130 horsepower on a tire contact patch the size of your fist. The only thing keeping you from wheeling over backwards or high-siding is your right wrist – there was nothing else controlling that. It was just the seat of your pants, your brain, and your right wrist and how you dealt with that. They were bad-ass bikes back then and that’s what made those things so exciting and sometimes scary to ride – they could be very scary at times. But that was the excitement of it. That’s what I always looked forward to. Every Grand Prix that I won, I knew that there was nobody in the world that could have ridden that bike better than me at that particular time. It’s not the same anymore.’
For the full interview, please visit Motorcycle-USA
The Ducati 851, 888, 916, 999 and 1098 have all been such an integral part of the World Superbikes championship. The factory Ducati team not being there next year in WSBK would be a downer...
Ducati issued a press release yesterday, announcing that they are pulling out of World Superbikes at the end of this year. ‘Ducati, having participated with a factory team in every edition of the World Superbike Championship since it began in 1988, winning 16 Manufacturers’ world titles and 13 Riders’ world titles along the way, has decided to limit its participation to the supply of machines and support to private teams,’ says the press release.
‘This decision is part of a specific strategy made by Ducati, the aim being to further increase technological content in production models that will arrive on the market in the coming years. In order to achieve this objective, the company’s technical resources, until now engaged with the management of the factory Superbike team, will instead be dedicated to the development of the new generation of hypersport bikes, in both their homologated and Superbike race versions,’ says Gabriele Del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati.
With this, it seems Ducati’s primary focus will now be on trying to win the MotoGP world championship next year, with Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi. With his legendary skills, The Doctor will also be helping Ducati with development work on the 1198’s replacement, which is due to come out in 2012.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
SuperBike magazine recently carried out a survey to find out what percentage of riders want electronics on their motorcycles and the results, at least for us, are quite surprising. While we can understand that a mere 7% of all riders who participated in the survey wanted switchable fuel maps and only 14% wanted a quickshifter, what surprise us is that just 11% said yes to adjustable traction control and a miniscule 22% said they’d want anti-lock brakes. More encouraging is the fact that while 16% said they wanted no electronics at all, 30% said they’d want all of it.
While we definitely don’t like technologies that take significant amounts of control away from the rider (linked brakes and automatic transmissions, for example…), we’re all for ABS and, on 180bhp litre-class sportsbikes, adjustable traction control. Faster and safer? Hey, why not…
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