Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pit Bull/KWS Motorsports BMW S1000RR hits 328km/h!

Pit Bull/KWS Motorsports BMW S1000RR Pit Bull/KWS Motorsports BMW S1000RR
With a few modifications, the Pit Bull/KWS Motorsports BMW S1000RR was able to hit a top speed of almost 328km/h. It now holds the world record for being the fastest production superbike ever...!

The BMW S1000RR is the current no.1 favourite superbike for most motorcycle speed junkies, and for good reason – it really is fast. Very, very fast. The bike now holds the ECTA top speed world record for 1,000cc production motorcycles, with Chad Millholland hitting 325.192km/h on a stock S1000RR. With the bike mildly modified, which made it eligible for the modified production bike top speed record, Chad then went on to do 327.701km/h on the same S1000RR. In both cases, the BMW hit those speeds from a standing start, over a 1.6km long straight at an abandoned airfield near Maxton, North Carolina. The bike had been fettled by two specialist companies – Pit Bull and KWS Motorsports.

For the production bike top speed record, the S1000RR was required to keep its stock bodywork and exhaust system, but did get new set of camshafts, spring and retainer system, lightweight pistons and con-rods. In addition, the bike was also fitted with a new steering damper kit and revised gear ratios. For the modified production bike top speed run, the S1000RR was then also fitted with a LeoVince exhaust system, double bubble screen and a more aerodynamic front fender.

‘The Pit Bull/KWS Motorsports BMW S1000RR is an impressive package for sure. It takes a lot of horsepower to get a stock bike above 320km/h and this S1000RR just takes off like a rocket from 12,000rpm to redline. The internal ratios are perfect and the OEM quick-shifter is best shifter I have ever used. The whole package is great and the bike was set up perfectly,’ says Chad.

BMW S1000RR wind tunnel BMW S1000RR wind tunnel BMW S1000RR wind tunnel
BMW continue to work on the S1000RR's aerodynamics to boost its top speed even higher...

And even though the S1000RR is already the fastest production bike on the planet, BMW are not exactly sitting around twiddling their thumbs. The company is already working on fine-tuning and optimising the bike’s ergonomics and windshield, to make sure the machine is even faster for the 2011 World Superbikes championship. BMW riders Troy Corser and Leon Haslam have been spending time in a wind tunnel in Munich, Germany, in order to find out what riding position and windshield combo works best for minimising drag and maximising top speed.

‘The riding position is a main factor for the aerodynamic efficiency of the overall package of rider and bike,’ said Rainer Bäumel, Technical Director Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport. ‘The intensive work in the wind tunnel enabled Troy and Leon to find out what riding position is the best for them personally. At the same time, we tried to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the bike as much as possible within the strict technical regulations. This is why we evaluated several different shapes and positions of the windshield,’ he added.

The Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE and 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R notwithstanding, the BMW S1000RR looks all set to continue its dominance on the street as the fastest, most powerful production superbike ever. And in 2011, it just might extend that dominance on the racetrack as well…

Jawa 350 Ruta 40: Dual-purpose, the Czech-Argentinean way

Jawa 350 Route 40 Jawa 350 Route 40
If you want to do a Long Way 'Round in Argentina, you'd probably do it on one of these...
Jawa 350 Route 40 Jawa 350 Route 40 Jawa 350 Route 40

Set up in the erstwhile Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) way back in 1929, Jawa is one of the oldest motorcycle brands in the world and despite its antiquated machines, manages to survive – albeit barely – even today. It’s one of the very, very few companies that still produce a handful of two-stroke motorcycles in Europe. But what’s possibly more interesting is the Jawa 350 Ruta 40, which the company produces in Argentina, in South America.

Jawa, which has been present in Argentina since the late-1930s, produces the Ruta 40 in that country, where it is, apparently, actually used for long-distance adventure touring. Forget the BMW R1200GS and the Moto Guzzi NTX1200 Stelvio, it’s the Jawa 350 that gets the job done in Argentina!

The Jawa 350 Ruta 40 is fitted with a liquid-cooled four-stroke 350cc parallel-twin engine, which produces 23 horsepower and 22Nm of torque. The gearbox is a five-speed unit and final drive is via chain. The bike rolls on 18-inch (front) and 17-inch (rear) wheels made of aluminium, shod with 100/90 and 130/80 tubeless tyres. With its 28-litre fuel tank, the Ruta 40 has a range of about 700km, which should come in handy when you’re far off the beaten path. And while there’s no ABS or traction control here, Jawa do fit disc brakes on both wheels, with the front end getting a twin-disc setup!

We admit we’d never actually buy one of these things, but the Jawa Ruta 40 is rather cool in a... quaint, prehistoric sort of way. If we ever went to Argentina, we’d want to ride around on this rather than take the bus... :-)

You may also want to visit the Jawa 350 Ruta 40 blog here, and the official Jawa website here

Monday, November 15, 2010

Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy: 1940s Army-chic recreated

Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy
Based on a 1994 883 Sportster XL, the 883 XWL Warboy is a custom-built replica of the military-spec 1942 Harley WL Liberator. It looks fantastic!
Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy

Based in France, Milwaukee Belle have created what we think is one of the most stunningly good looking Harley customs ever – the 883 XWL Warboy. The Warboy, which started its life as a 1994 Harley 883 Sportster XL, is a custom-built replica of the military-spec 1942 Harley WL Liberator and comes with 18-inch wheels (shod with Avon tyres), an ammunition box, machine gun scabbard, full windshield, saddlebags, air-pump and clamps and WW2-style black-out equipment. The attention to detail is simply brilliant – the bike looks stunning.

Apart from the bits already mentioned above, Milwaukee Belle also offer a range of accessories for the Warboy. These include a canteen set, luggage rack ties, black-out mirror wrap and military-style fire extinguisher and bracket. And while it may look period, the bike has a full complement of modern bits – electric start, front and rear disc brakes, 12-volt electrical system, Fournales rear shock-absorbers (no springs, fully air operated!) and a contemporary five-speed gearbox instead of the original WL’s three-speed hand-shift gearbox.

Milwaukee Belle plan to offer this bike in various versions, including WLA, WLC and South-African Desert-spec models. Civilian and Racer versions will also be available. For more information, you can send them an email on milwaukee.belle@free.fr

Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy
A 1940s style military-spec Harley, with modern mechanicals. Perfect!
Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy Harley-Davidson 883 XWL Warboy

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wunderlich S1000RR Curare: Poison Arrow

Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare
With 190bhp, a host of high-tech electronics and sprinkling of well-chosen aftermarket bits, the Wunderlich S1000RR is as 'Curare' as it gets. Oh yes, we like it!

The S1000RR Curare (‘Curare’ is some kind of a poison that was once used by South American natives) is the latest from German tuning house Wunderlich, who’ve implemented their own particular brand of makeover artistry to the fastest, most powerful, most exciting BMW motorcycle ever made. Wunderlich claim that the changes they’ve made to the bike improve its aerodynamics and make for more relaxed ergonomics. And with the use of various parts made of titanium and carbonfibre, the S1000RR has lost a good amount of weight as well.

The list of aftermarket parts on the S1000RR Curare includes Sportego handlebars and seat, double bubble screen, adjustable brake and clutch levers, Leo Vince GP Pro exhaust system, remapped ECU and new system controller. With electronics being such a key part of the BMW S1000RR’s performance, we don’t know what effect the new controller/ECU will have on the bike’s performance, but since Wunderlich have established credentials, we suppose it’d all be good. And the bike looks quite all right – that blue/orange paint works for us.

More details on the Wunderlich website here

Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare
Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare
Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare Wunderlich BMW S1000RR Curare
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wayne Gardner: ‘Expect a V4 Fireblade very soon!’

Wayne Gardner Wayne Gardner
One of the toughest men in motorcycle grand prix racing in his day, 1987 500cc world champ Wayne Gardner says Honda will launch an all-new V4-engined Fireblade very soon...
Wayne Gardner Wayne Gardner Wayne Gardner Wayne Gardner

Most Honda enthusiasts – and that definitely includes us – have been a bit disappointed with Honda’s return to V4 engines. Those with fond memories of machines like the VF1000R, VFR750R (RC30) and RVF750R (RC45) were less than enthused with the current VFR1200F, an ugly, porky, complicated motorcycle that doesn’t seem to be particularly good at anything. Sure, Ron Haslam says it isn’t all that bad, but we’re not convinced. And for whatever little it’s worth, we don’t think much of the V4-engined Crossrunner and Crosstourer either, so there.

However, there might still be hope for those who’ve been dreaming of a modern-day equivalent of the erstwhile RC30 and RC45. If 1987 500cc motorcycle grand prix road racing world champion Wayne Gardner can be believed, Honda are likely to launch an all-new V4-engined Fireblade soon. The bike is likely to be announced towards the end of 2011 and could go on sale in early-2012. ‘While I was in Europe, I got talking to some Honda officials who confirmed to me that they are really looking forward to the new 1,000cc MotoGP category. They also said they’ll be building sportsbikes in the future with V4 engines, so they can compete in MotoGP with a similar V4 1,000,’ says Gardner, on his website.

‘Expect your CBR Fireblade to turn into a V4 very soon. Also expect something very similar to the new V4 CBR powerplant to be utilised in Honda’s MotoGP bikes when the new regulations come into force. Honda are no strangers to building V4 four-strokes and they have been working on experimental V4s since way back in the early-1980s. You can bet whatever they come up with this time around will be something special,’ says Gardner. Well, we’d definitely like to believe that Honda are planning to launch an all-new V4-engined Fireblade in 2012 and coming as it does from a man who won a 500cc GP racing world championship aboard a Honda, it’s quite likely to be true.

If you thought the above was an exciting piece of news, wait, Mr Gardner has more to say. ‘It was also confirmed to me by Honda representatives that Aprilia and BMW will definitely be participating in MotoGP from 2012. It already looks like the regulation changes have brought about the desired effect – more bikes on the MotoGP grip,’ says Gardner. Now, we just hope he isn’t fibbing and that all of what he’s said will come true in 2012, which should then be a firecracker of a season for MotoGP. Bring it on!

Via Wayne Gardner Approved

Elf Honda Fireblade. So beautiful..!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ducati 1198 vs Ferrari 458

Another Ducati vs Ferrari shootout? Yawn...?  :-D
Ferrari 458 vs Ducati 1198 Ferrari 458 vs Ducati 1198 Ferrari 458 vs Ducati 1198

With their more or less predictable outcomes, car vs bike shootouts have become a bit boring over the years. Still, for sheer visual appeal, a Ducati 1198 vs Ferrari 458 battle would be hard to beat. And that’s exactly what French magazine Option Auto have done for their November 2010 issue – they’ve pitted a 458 against a 1198.

So let’s take a quick look at the numbers. First, the Ducati 1198. Zero to 100km/h in 2.3 seconds, zero to 200km/h in 7 seconds, 300km/h top speed, 170 horsepower and a price tag of about 26,500 euros. On to the Ferrari 458. Zero to 100km/h in 3.1 seconds, zero to 200km/h in 9.9 seconds, 330km/h top speed, 623 horsepower and a price tag of about 245,000 euros. And you can come to your own conclusion regarding who ‘wins’ the battle. We’d take the Ducati, of course. Though we’d still keep the Ferrari parked in the garage for days when it’s raining and when the wife and kid also want to come along to the local supermarket. Heh.

More pics of the Ferrari vs Ducati shootout here

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

MV Agusta F3 voted ‘best bike’ at the 2010 EICMA

The MV Agusta F3 was voted the 'best bike' at the 2010 EICMA
2011 MV Agusta F3 2011 MV Agusta F3 2011 MV Agusta F3

MV Agusta’s brand-new middleweight sportsbike, the 675cc three-cylinder F3, was recently voted the ‘best bike’ at the 2010 EICMA Show. In a poll conducted by Motociclismo, where 12,000 people who attended the EICMA participated, a massive 38.5% voted for the MV F3, followed by 20.6% for the Ducati Diavel, 8.5% for the new Kawasaki ZX-10R, 5.2% for the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200, 4.8% for the Triumph Tiger 800XC, 4.5% for the BMW K1600GT, 3.4% for the Moto Guzzi V7 Racer, 3.3% for the Yamaha Super Ténéré XT1200Z, 3.2% for the Honda Crossrunner, 3.0% for the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, 2.5% for the Husqvarna TE449, 2.1% for the Suzuki GSR750 and 0.4% for the Derbi GPR 125.

If we had to choose the ‘best’ bike from the ones shown at this year’s EICMA in Milan, it would have to be the Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE, followed by the new ZX-10R. But had BMW done a naked K1600R instead of that GT, things might have been different...! :-)

2011 MV Agusta F3 2011 MV Agusta F3 2011 MV Agusta F3 2011 MV Agusta F3 2011 MV Agusta F3 2011 MV Agusta F3

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