Saturday, February 26, 2011
Aprilia had a brilliant year in World Superbikes last year, with Max Biaggi winning the WSBK championship – the first Italian rider to do, and on an Italian motorcycle at that! Now, Aprilia Alitalia have unveiled their 2011 machine, with Biaggi’s bike carrying the much-vaunted #1 plate. ‘Our success in 2010 will certainly put us in everybody's cross-hairs, but we can't allow ourselves to be intimidated by the pressure. The right road is one of hard work and calm. The stakes are high. We have a great team, a beautiful bike, I am feeling great and I try not to be lacking in motivation,’ says Biaggi. ‘It's not by chance that the enthusiasts consider ours to be the most spectacular championship on two wheels. Brawling on the track and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere in the paddock, this is the right spirit,’ he adds.
‘After such a hard season and after having achieved such an important milestone, I think it was only right to stop for a moment and think, reflect. To see whether deep down there was still the motivation, the strength to face another season. I never have and I never will do things halfway, just for the sake of doing them. A championship like the one that awaits us must be taken on with absolute motivation and dedication. I needed to have my family close to me to understand what I needed to do. It was the right thing to do and now I have no doubts about the choice I made,’ says the 2010 World Superbikes champ.
‘The track is the best test bench ever for a super-sport bike. The stress caused by such a fiercely battled championship puts every single aspect of the bike to the test. The Aprilia RSV4 – in this case I'm talking about the factory street bike – is an extraordinary bike which immediately took its place on the market as a leader, in the opinion of specialised magazines and comparative tests. It can be defined, without any false modesty, as the most innovative in its segment. Riding it to victory in SBK guaranteed first and foremost an extremely important technological spillover, which improves and increases the value of the factory product, a fundamental process for a Group which competes in the global market,’ says Gigi Dall'Igna, technical and sport director of Aprilia Racing.
Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK: Tech specs
Engine: 999cc, DOHC, 16-valve, 65° V4
Power: 220bhp at 15,000rpm
Fuel system: Variable-height intake ducts controlled by ECU, electronic injection with 8 injectors and latest-generation Ride-by-Wire technology
Gearbox: Six-speed cassette type
Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch with slipper system
Electronic management: Aprilia Racing ECU managing ignition, injection, variable-height intake duct control, Ride-by-Wire system and traction control
Chassis: Adjustable, aluminium dual beam with pressed and cast sheet elements
Monday, February 21, 2011
Yamaha have released pics of the 2011 M1, and it looks a bit... drab. No, really, The Doctor seems to have taken all the magic away with him. The machine may or may not still be as good to ride as it has been in the last three years – we’ll surely find out when the racing season kicks off next month – but somehow, the YZR-M1 doesn’t evoke any emotion in us anymore. There’s no logic there, we know, but what can we do – our loyalties are with Valentino Rossi and he’s now with Ducati.
Here are some high-res official pics of the 2011 Yamaha YZR-M1. Hope it doesn’t win too many races this year!
2011 Yamaha YZR-M1: Tech specs
Engine: Liquid-cooled crossplane-crankshaft inline-four
Top speed: In excess of 320km/h
Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type gearbox, with alternative gear ratios available
Chassis: Aluminium twin tube delta box, multi-adjustable steering geometry/wheelbase/ride height, aluminium swingarm
Suspension: Ohlins upside-down front forks and Ohlins rear shock, all adjustable for preload, high- and low-speed compression and rebound damping. Alternative rear suspension links available
Wheels: MFR forged Magnesium, 16.5-inches front and rear
Tyres: Bridgestone, 16.5-inches front and rear, available as slick, intermediate, wet and hand-cut
Brakes: Brembo, two 320mm carbon discs at front, two four-piston callipers, and single 220mm stainless steel disc at the back, with twin-piston calliper
Weight: 150kg, in accordance with FIM regulations
Can Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo on the YZR-M1 take on Valentino Rossi on the GP11 Ducati Desmosedici? Oh, well, we hope the Desmo kicks the M1's arse into orbit...
...and now that you've seen this dull blue-white-and-black Yamaha, you need to see the hottest 2011 MotoGP machine, here!
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
The new Zero S is interesting from a purely technological point of view, but when it comes to actually plonking down your hard-earned money for a motorcycle, we don't know if you'd want one
Zero Motorcycles have announced their new lineup of electric motorcycles for 2011. The Zero S, DS, X and MX models have all been tweaked and improved for 2011. Of these, we find the Zero S most interesting, so we’ll only talk about that. The bike is fitted with Zero’s proprietary ‘Z-Force’ powerpack, twin-spar aluminium alloy frame, a new, maintenance-free belt drive system and clutchless, single-speed transmission. Zero have also given the bike what they claim is a “complete systems upgrade,” which includes a quick-charge option that cuts charging time in half.
The Zero S’ powerpack includes a compact electric motor that produces enough juice to propel the bike to a top speed of 108km/h. Charging time for the S’ lithium-ion battery pack is four hours, though a 90% charge takes only two hours. Also, the batteries can be fully charged in just 2.3 hours using the optional quick charge feature. Maximum range, with the batteries fully charged, is 93km. Estimated life for the batteries is 112,000km.
The 2011 Zero S rides on 17-inch wheels shod with 110/70 (front) and 130/70 (rear) rubber. Disc brakes are fitted at both ends, with a 310mm disc at the front and 220mm disc at the back. The rear shock is adjustable for preload and the bike’s kerb weight is just 135 kilos.
Priced at US$10,000, the 2011 Zero S still isn’t for everybody. On a cost-versus-performance basis, the Zero S doesn’t have anything going for it. And while electric bikes don’t emit any noxious gasses (definitely a good thing for the planet), we believe the large-scale production of batteries and electric motors would still have a significant (and mostly negative) impact on the environment, and that impact remains to be studied and fully understood.
For more details of the complete Zero motorcycles lineup for 2011, including the DS, X and MX models, visit their website here
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Labels: Short Films
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