Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wunderlich F800GS Light, optimised for off-road use

Wunderlich F800GS Light Wunderlich F800GS Light
The lighter, more powerful Wunderlich F800GS Light...
Wunderlich F800GS Light Wunderlich F800GS Light

‘Never lacking in bite,’ say Wunderlich about their new F800GS Light. ‘Reduced weight, improved power characteristics and previously undreamt-of riding characteristics, opening up new dimensions to the more ambitious rider,’ they add.

Dismissing the stock BMW F800GS as ‘meek and mild,’ Wunderlich have made a number of changes to the bike – an optimised engine management system for improved power delivery and better acceleration, 30kg weight reduction, Xenon headlamps, high-performance exhaust system and custom-built bodywork made of plastic and Kevlar.

The Wunderlich F800GS does away with ABS (because it was deemed ‘completely incompatible with sports use’) and gets an Öhlins rear shock and ‘Intermediate’ off-road sports tyres from Continental. For the committed off-road rider, the bike may indeed make more sense than the stock GS. More details on the Wunderlich website

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rochelle Gilmore: Lotto Honda rider wins gold medal at 2010 Commonwealth Games

rochelle gilmore 2010 commonwealth games new delhi india rochelle gilmore 2010 commonwealth games new delhi india
Aussie rider Rochelle Gilmore is no stranger to high speeds on two wheels...
rochelle gilmore 2010 commonwealth games new delhi india rochelle gilmore 2010 commonwealth games new delhi india rochelle gilmore 2010 commonwealth games new delhi india

No, there are no motorcycles here. But it is about Honda and speed on two wheels, so we can probably get away with giving it a mention on Faster and Faster. Rochelle Gilmore, team leader of the Lotto Honda Ladies Team, isn’t really as fast as Leslie Porterfield or Trillium Muir, but the spunky 29-year-old from Australia has won a gold medal in the 112km cycle road race at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi, India. ‘I'm thrilled to have won a Commonwealth Games gold medal. It's been a long, tough season and I'm delighted that all the hard work and dedication has paid off,’ says Rochelle.

‘Cycling and the Honda brand have many parallels. Cycling provides green mobility and Honda is a world leader in low emission vehicles,’ says Satoshi Matsuzawa, Honda Australia’s Managing Director and CEO. ‘The technological advancements in cycling mirror the technology breakthroughs we have achieved over the years. Honda started with the humble bicycle, when Mr Soichiro Honda bolted engines to bicycle frames to create our first motorcycle. The rest they say is history. Today, cycle racing quenches our thirst for competition and continues our racing heritage,’ he adds.

Now, we wonder if Rochelle might be contemplating stepping up to a different Honda – a Fireblade or even a CBR600RR – sometime in the near future. If she does, the cycling champ might just end up providing some high-speed competition to Ms Porterfield and Ms Muir...!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2011 Ducati Diavel: First official photograph

2011 Ducati Diavel 2011 Ducati Diavel
The 2011 Ducati Diavel. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..."

Ducati have released the first official photograph of the new Diavel, which will be unveiled at the EICMA Show in Milan in November this year. Ducati claim the bike is ‘evil, like the devil,’ though we aren’t entirely convinced. Lardy, slow-handling cruisers aren’t Ducati’s thing…

In any case, the 2011 Ducati Diavel, which weighs 207 kilos, is fitted with the Bolognese company’s superbike-derived Testastretta L-Twin, ABS and traction control. At around 150-160 horsepower, the Diavel probably wouldn't accelerate as hard as a Yamaha VMAX, but we suppose if you always wanted an Italian-built muscle-cruiser, your wish might come true very soon. We’ll stick with the 1198SP though, thanks very much.

Update: For high-res official pics of the Diavel, see here

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 INTERMOT photo gallery

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Glimpses of the 2010 INTERMOT motorcycle show held in Cologne, Germany
2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot

Do you love INTERMOT? We do. We weren’t there, unfortunately, but we sure wish we could have visited Germany to attend this year’s INTERMOT motorcycle show in Cologne. More than 200,000 bike enthusiasts from 108 countries around the world visited the show this year. More than 1,100 manufacturers, from 40 countries, attended the show and represented no less than 1,596 brands.

For those who couldn’t visit Cologne, here’s a photo gallery from the 2010 INTERMOT. Enjoy.

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2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot
2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot
2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot
2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot
2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot
2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot
2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot
2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot
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2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot 2010 Intermot

Images: INTERMOT Cologne

Freddie Spencer: “In no way do I feel I’m not fortunate!”

Fast Freddie Spencer Fast Freddie Spencer
Freddie 'The Sultan of Silde' Spencer, one of the most talented motorcycle racers of all time. In 1985, he won both the 250cc and the 500cc world championships!!
Fast Freddie Spencer Fast Freddie Spencer Fast Freddie Spencer

In their October issue this year, British magazine Bike have done a fabulous story on one of our all-time favourite GP racers – none other than ‘Fast’ Freddie Spencer himself, who’s widely regarded as one of the most prodigiously gifted, naturally talented motorcycle racers ever.

Born in 1961 in Shreveport, Louisiana, in the US, Freddie Spencer remains the only man in motorcycle grand prix racing to win 250cc and 500cc world championships in the same year, a feat he accomplished in 1985. Before this, Freddie had already won the 500cc world championship once, in 1983.

‘Spencer has always been an enigma, if only because he was so different from other racers of his era,’ says Mat Oxley, who met Freddie in Las Vegas (where Freddie now lives) for the story. In the late 70s and early 80s, most racers lived the B-plan lifestyle – birds, booze and bikes. Not Spencer. He went to bed early and drank Dr Peppers,’ adds Oxley.

Dr Pepper or not, Spencer had massive talent for going fast on a racebike, and that’s something that most would agree with. Master tuner Erv Kanemoto certainly does. ‘When most riders go tyre testing, they put in a lot of laps to get up to speed and to feel and understand the tyre, and then they start pushing,’ says Kanemoto. ‘Freddie would push from the first lap on a tyre that no one had run before. You’d see giant slides and he’d just rely on himself to get out of it,’ he adds. No wonder, then, that Freddie won his first 500cc world championship when he was just 21 years old – a record that remains unbroken to this day.

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