Thursday, September 23, 2010
After the outstandingly brilliant S1000RR superbike, BMW now want to do an equally stunning touring bike – the K1600GT – which will be fitted with a 1649cc inline-six engine. Umm… yeah, well, why not. If BMW can build a superbike that’s better than the Honda Fireblade, why can’t they build a touring bike that’s better than the Honda Goldwing?
BMW claim the K1600GT’s inline-six will pack 160 horsepower and 175Nm of torque, with more than 120Nm being available from 1,500rpm. And if these numbers aren’t enough to impress you, the electronics might – the K1600GT will come with ride-by-wire throttle, integrated ABS and dynamic traction control, three riding modes (Rain, Road and Dynamic), electronic suspension adjustment (ESA II, with ‘Sport,’ ‘Normal’ and ‘Comfort’ settings), adaptive headlamps, a car-style ‘multi-controller’ interface, satellite navigation system and… you get the drift.
Who wants a six-cylinder motorcycle engine in this new eco-conscious age? ‘Efficient combustion, a low engine speed level, high gas velocities and minimised frictional loss in the six-cylinder engine result in a high degree of efficiency and therefore a level of fuel consumption which is unsurpassed. In view of its performance potential, the engine achieves top figures at the level of a comparable four-cylinder motorcycle,’ claim BMW. So why build a six-cylinder engine at all? Why not just stick with a regular four-pot mill? ‘The ride feel is virtually impossible to capture in words. The transversely mounted six-cylinder in-line engine of the BMW K1600 models offers outstanding running smoothness and allows gentle gliding as well as supremely athletic travel,’ claim BMW.
Hmm… so does all of this sound interesting? For us, not really. We suspect the K1600GT (and the K1600GTL, which we suppose would be even more touring-oriented?) may be too big, too heavy and too needlessly complicated for us. If it's a motorcycle with a six-cylinder engine, it has to be something like the Honda CBX1000 of yore. If not, nichts six. We’ll stick with the S1000RR, thanks very much!
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.
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