Friday, November 19, 2010

Boots Langley: Building Kawasaki Triples for the 21st Century

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Boots Langley's Kawasaki 750 Triple Ultimate Cafe Racer is rocking...

Boots Langley has been a fan of Kawasaki’s two-stroke, three-cylinder bikes since 1973, when he first bought a brand-new H1D 500. ‘Today, I can build you a 2010 Kawasaki H1 or H2. What I mean by that is, I build not only a freshly restored bike or engine, but it's now designed to run on today's 91 Unleaded fuel,’ says Langley on his website.

The bike you see here is Langley’s Ultimate Cafe Racer (UCR), which he says he is the best triple he’s ever built. ‘It is the culmination of over 16 years of building and rebuilding my 1973 H2 750. You see it in its 4th reincarnation,’ he says. The spec is pretty impressive – the two-stroke three-cylinder 750cc Kawasaki engine produces 90 horsepower, the bike rides on 18-inch magnesium wheels from a TZ750, brake discs and callipers are from a TZ250 and GPZ550, the 43mm adjustable front fork is off an FJ1200, the aluminium swingarm is from a GPZ750 Turbo and the fuel tank is from a KR750.

If the medley of parts from half a dozen bikes don’t get your attention, the paintjob definitely will – Langley has had the bike painted in DuPont’s ‘Hot Hues’ Urethane paint with custom graphics. We can only try and imagine what this thing sounds like when it’s fired up. Should be freaking awesome! :-D

For more details, visit Boots Langley’s website here

Via 2 Stroke Biker

Top Gear Live chooses Suzuki GSX-R600 for its 2010-11 World Tour


The Suzuki GSX-R600 will now make an appearance on Top Gear Live, though we'd bet Mr Clarkson wouldn't be riding one anytime soon...   :-)

Top Gear Live has selected the Suzuki GSX-R600 as the only motorcycle that will be used for the program’s 2010/11 World Tour. ‘I’m keen to have more motorcycles at Top Gear Live and sportsbikes like the Suzuki GSX-R600 turn as many heads as a Nissan GTR. Our show features some of the fastest cars in the world, tuned almost beyond their limits, so any bike that braves our arena needs to have some serious performance backing it up,’ says Top Gear Live Executive Producer, Rowland French.

‘For us, the GSX-R fits the bill perfectly and features in a sequence with Stig driving a 600bhp supercharged Mustang. With Dougie Lampkin, one of our highly experienced stunt riders onboard, the GSX-R600 definitely gives the cars a run for their money,’ adds French. Visiting seven cities around the world and playing to over 300,000 spectators, the GSX-R600 will feature alongside Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, as it visits London, Birmingham, Dublin, Brisbane, Melbourne, Johannesburg and Oslo.

In the meanwhile, we wonder what Suzuki are doing about the 2011 GSX-R1000 - there hasn't been any official word on that. Soon, we hope!


Here's a look at Top Gear Live...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ducati, AMG to work together, we look forward to the 220bhp AMG Ducati 1198 SE

AMG Ducati AMG Ducati AMG Ducati
For now, they are only talking about joint marketing activities, but what we are really looking forward to is AMG working on some really high-performance special edition Ducati superbikes...!

According to a recent announcement made by the two companies, AMG (Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance cars division) and Ducati will work together closely in the future and will develop common marketing activities. The cooperation agreement was signed yesterday at the Los Angeles Motor Show, by Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH and Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

‘I am very pleased that we are able to announce our strategic cooperation with Ducati today. AMG and Ducati ideally complement each other, as both companies share the same values: racing as the driving passion, and high performance plus exclusivity as the central brand messages of both AMG and Ducati. This long-term cooperation will help us to jointly access new customer groups,’ said Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

‘I am especially proud to have AMG as one of our sponsors for our MotoGP team. I am also very pleased that our joint marketing activities are well under way. In AMG we have found a partner who perfectly reflects our brand values of high performance, motorsport, excitement and our sense of unmistakable style and design,’ said Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

Among other things, AMG and Ducati will jointly undertake various marketing and sponsoring activities. AMG will support the Ducati MotoGP team as an Official Car Partner from 2011, and during selected events, AMG customers will be able to take test rides with Ducati motorcycles while Ducati customers will have the opportunity to test drive the latest AMG high-performance cars. Joint events are also planned for members of the AMG Private Lounge, in which more than 13,000 AMG customers are registered worldwide.

Now, while all this talk of joint marketing and sponsorship activities is all right, what we really want to see from Ducati in 2011 is an AMG-edition 1198 SP, where that L-Twin gets some special high-performance bits from AMG so it can produce 220bhp. More than anything else, AMG are engine specialists, so how hard can it be for them to do a 220bhp, 340km/h AMG Ducati 1198 SP Tricolore?


AMG and Ducati - the partnership doesn't look too bad...!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2011 Ducati 848 Evo: Better than the 1198, for the street?

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2011 Ducati 848 Evo 2011 Ducati 848 Evo
The 2011 Ducati 848 Evo offers enough performance for the street, says John Burns...
2011 Ducati 848 Evo 2011 Ducati 848 Evo

With 140 horsepower and 98Nm of torque from its L-Twin Testastretta Evoluzione engine and a chassis/suspension package that’s simply brilliant, the 2011 Ducati 848 Evo is possibly all the superbike anyone can possibly need for the street. Cycle World magazine, which tested the bike for their November 2010 issue, say the 848 Evo accelerates from zero to 96km/h in 3 seconds, from zero to 160km/h in 6.5 seconds, does the quarter-mile (400m) in 10.59 seconds and hits a top speed of 261km/h. Not too bad for a bike that costs US$13,000, eh?

It’s interesting to see what CW’s Features Editor, John Burns has to say about the 848 Evo. ‘The first Ducati I remember riding was the way cool 851, back in 1989. It made about 80 horsepower and weighed 23kg more than the 848. We loved it,’ says Burns. ‘If you’re Michael Fabrizio or Larry Pegram and racing to make money, you need the big engine [1198]. For street use, for the rest of us, I like the smaller, reviver ones just because the noise they make is the best thing about Ducati superbikes,’ he adds.

‘On an 848 Evo, the noise at 10,000rpm is the best racket of all. On an 1198, on the street, you’ll seldom go there. On the 848, you can go there a couple of times a block because that’s where the power is and because the 848 is geared shorter to access it. Not to mention that a mere 118 horses [rear-wheel bhp figure, as measured on the CW dyno] feels like more than enough,’ sums up Burns. Well, that still doesn’t stop us from lusting after the 1198SP – that’s what we want for Sunday mornings. But the 848 Evo just might do for Saturdays... :-)

2011 Travertson V-Rex 2 announced

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If you always wanted an Ostrich leather seat on your motorcycle, your prayers have been answered!

Built in Florida, in the US, Travertson motorcycles feature the Harley V-Rod’s engine and styling from outer space. You’re probably already familiar with the V-Rex and now, the company has announced the 2011-spec V-Rex 2, which comes with an iPod dock, chrome wheels (with transparent acrylic spokes) and swingarm, Xenon light, a lot of LEDs and, er... even as Ostrich leather seat. And if you must ask, the bike costs a mere US$53,990.

For filthy rich rappers, Travertson are offering options like a custom paint, LED turnsignals, a digital speedometer, engraved fuel cap and even a chrome ‘tank strap’ decorated in crystal Swarovsky letters of your choice. If you find that interesting, you could visit the Travertson website for more details.

Via Motorcycle.com

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.

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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

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

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