Friday, March 11, 2011

Charlie Webster learns to ride a speedway bike

British TV presenter, Charlie Webster (that's her, in the pics below...) learns to ride a speedway bike. We're impressed. And you can read more about her exploits aboard the bike here
Charlie Webster Charlie Webster Charlie Webster

Shootout: Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 vs Ducati Hypermotard 1100 Evo vs KTM 990 SMR

It's the battle of the supermotos, with the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 taking on the Ducati Hypermotard Evo and the KTM 990 SMR. Slip, slide and wheelie!
Source: MCN
KTM 990 SMR Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Ducati Hypermotard 1100 Evo

Thursday, March 10, 2011

MotoGP: 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R unveiled

2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R
The 2011 Suzuki GSV-R packs more than 225 horsepower and can hit a top speed of 330+km/h
2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R

Suzuki have released official pics of the 2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R, which Álvaro Bautista will ride in this year’s MotoGP World Championship. This is last and final generation of the 800cc GSV-R grand prix bike, with MotoGP moving to 1,000cc engines from 2012.

According to Suzuki, the 2011 GSV-R is the most technologically advanced racebike the company has ever made and features improvements to the bike’s power output, driveability, acceleration and durability. To go with its revised engine, the new GSV-R also gets an updated chassis, with significant developments to the stiffness balance of the frame and swingarm and optimised weight balance and steering geometry. Finally, the bike also gets a more advanced ECU for traction and wheelie control, which makes the GSV-R more rideable in wet weather conditions.

Apart from improvements to its engine and chassis, the 2011 Suzuki GSV-R also features a revised livery, created by Troy Lee Designs. The new livery incorporates a new and more dynamic Rizla logo, which will be launched by the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team during this weekend’s final pre-season test at Qatar.

Much as we like the 2011 racebike, it isn't the hottest looking GSV-R we've seen. That honour goes to this GSV-R, which was raced by Chris Vermeulen in the 2007 Australian MotoGP. More pics here

2011 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R: Tech specs

Engine: 800cc, four-stroke, fuel-injected, water-cooled V4
Engine Control System: Mitsubishi ECM
Valve Control and Type: Pneumatic (air control), DOHC four-valve-per-cylinder
Max Power: 225+ horsepower at 18,000rpm
Clutch: Dry multi-plates (back torque reduction type)
Transmission: Six-speed, low-friction, constant mesh
Frame Type: Twin-spar aluminium alloy
Suspension: Ohlins USD telescopic fork (front), Ohlins link type (rear)
Tyres: Bridgestone
Wheels: 16.5 inches, Marchesini
Brakes: Brembo, double carbon disc (front), Brembo, single steel disc (rear)
Weight: 150+ kilos
Fuel Tank: 21 litres
Top speed: 330+km/h

Álvaro Bautista: The essentials

Place of Birth: Talavera de la Reina, Spain
Date of Birth: 21st November 1984
Nationality: Spanish
Hometown: Talavera de la Reina, Spain
Marital Status: Single
Car: Suzuki Vitara (Favourite car is an Audi R8)
Motorcycle: Suzuki GSV-R
Favourite Food: Pasta
Favourite Drink: Lemon Fanta
Favourite Film: All action films
Favourite Music: All music except Hip-Hop
Ideal Holiday: Beach, sun and relaxation
First Race: Mini-bikes in 1993, first GP race was at Jerez, Spain, in 2002
Racing hero: Mick Doohan
Favourite Sports: Cycling and Skiing

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Motus MST unveiled, specs, high-res pics, video released

With its 161bhp V4 engine, the Motus MST is whole new American take on the modern sports-tourer. And though it's a pushrod engine, it's also equipped with high-tech GDI...

Based in Birmingham, Alabama, in the US, Motus have unveiled their much anticipated sports-tourer, the MST, which is fitted with the world’s first motorcycle engine featuring GDI (gasoline direct injection) technology. This 1,650cc V4 engine (which produces 161 horsepower and 165Nm of torque) has been developed by Pratt & Miller Engineering, and the bike was unveiled at their facility in New Hudson, Michigan. The Motus MST has also been shown at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, and is now headed to BikeWeek in Daytona Beach, Florida, for a public launch at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show.

‘We are so proud to show the world the MST series. We poured our hearts and souls into these motorcycles and hope that it shows in terms of the quality and character of the machines,’ says Motus President, Lee Conn. ‘The MSTs are exhilarating to ride – a very powerful experience unlike any other motorcycle I’ve ever ridden. There is usable power everywhere in the rev-range, excellent feedback from the road, very responsive to inputs and the sound of the KMV4 still gives me goose bumps every time one cranks,’ he adds.

The Motus MST and the higher-spec MST-R will go into production towards the end of this year. The machines are currently being tested by a team of engineers and the company’s co-founders, Lee Conn and Brian Case. ‘There is just no better way to make sure the MSTs meet our standards of durability, comfort, and performance than to personally ride the machines and iterate them as we identify issues,’ says Case, Vice President and Director of design.

‘When we started designing the ultimate, modern American streetbike, we realized quickly that we needed a purpose-built engine. We didn’t focus on maximum horsepower, we focused on heightening the rider experience at all speeds. To us, that means a lot of torque over a wide RPM range, low vibes, high efficiency and bulletproof durability. Enter the KMV4, a liquid cooled, 1,650cc V4 with gasoline direct injection,’ explains Case. ‘We hope the MST series will appeal to several kinds of riders. Some sportsbike riders are looking for more comfort without sacrificing performance. Some cruiser riders want better performance and would love to find an American alternative,’ he adds.

The Motus MST certainly looks interesting to us. It may not be as radical and red-hot-exciting as the other recent American sportsbike – the Buell 1190RS, but for those looking for an American alternative to, say, a Honda VFR1200F, the Motus MST just might be the answer to your prayers.

We’ll post details on pricing and availability as soon as those are available. In the meanwhile, you could take a look at the Motus website here

The bike being tested on the track...

Videos of the Motus MST in action...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Pikes Peak Special Edition unveiled

The Multistrada 1200S Pikes Peak SE looks fabulous!

Ducati have unveiled the Multistrada 1200S Pikes Peak Special Edition, in celebration of Greg Tracy’s victory in the 2010 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, in the US. ‘The special edition underlines the race-bred heritage that exists deep inside every Ducati and follows a massive first year success for the award-winning Multistrada 1200, which set a new industry benchmark in motorcycle technology,’ says the press release from Ducati. Marketing hyperbole notwithstanding, we do think the bike looks pretty hot!

The Multistrada 1200S Pikes Peak SE gets a Ducati Corse-style paint scheme, an EU-approved Ducati Performance carbonfibre silencer from Termignoni, a race-derived carbonfibre low-screen, carbonfibre front mudguard and custom-made seat detailed with red stitching. The bike will be available from May this year and will be priced at £16,750 (US$27,000).

Greg Tracy, aboard his Ducati Multistrada 1200S, at the 2010 Pikes Peak race...

Monday, March 07, 2011

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200: The Wild One

The Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 looks like huge amounts of fun, in this official promo video Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

With its 1.2-litre 90-degree liquid-cooled DOHC 8-valve V-twin, which pumps out 130 horsepower and 115Nm of torque, the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 is a wild Bronco, bucking and weaving and sliding with every twist of its throttle. The RSV4 Factory APRC SE is our no.1 favourite Aprilia, but the Dorsoduro 1200 definitely sits at no.2 – going by the video above, the bike certainly looks like it’s HUGE amounts of fun to ride… :-D

Apart from being a blast to ride, the Dorsoduro 1200 is also properly high-tech. It’s fitted with an integrated engine management system that includes ride-by-wire throttle management and three-mode (Sport, Touring and Rain) fuel-injection mapping. The 43mm Sachs USD fork at the front and hydraulic monoshock at the rear are fully adjustable, brakes are from Brembo and feature four-piston radial-mount callipers at the front, and there’s ABS and even traction control to make sure everything’s kept under control.

We’ve often said we don’t really ‘get’ supermotos, but the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 looks simply fabulous. The bike is expected to cost about US$12,000 ($2,000 more than the 750 version) when it goes on sale in the next 3 - 4 months, and we think it's well worth the money. In fact, we’d love to have one of these in our garage…

Renard GT: Estonian motorcycle brand rides again!

Renard GT Renard GT Renard GT Renard GT Renard GT Renard GT Renard GT Renard GT Renard GT
We think the Renard GT does look pretty cool in its own way...

Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, situated in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, is probably the last country you’d associate with a high performance motorcycle. And yet, that’s exactly what we might see in the next few months.

Entrepreneur J. Laan set up a motorcycle manufacturing company – Renard – in the late-1930s in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The factory was destroyed in 1944, during the World War II, but a group of Estonian entrepreneurs, designers and engineers teamed up in 2008 to revive the Renard brand. And their first new motorcycle – the Renard GT – is expected to go into production by the end of this year.

Unveiled at the Hanover Technology Fair in April last year, the Renard Grand Tourer is fitted with a longitudinally-mounted 1151cc V-twin engine that’s been sourced from Moto Guzzi. The 8-valve fuel-injected engine produces 125 horsepower at 8,000rpm and 120Nm of torque at 6,000 revs – enough to propel the bike (which weighs 190 kilos dry) to a top speed of about 230km/h.

The Renard GT is, according to the company, a ‘sporty power cruiser,’ with best-in-class handling and build quality. And while the bike’s engine is a bit ordinary, its Kevlar-reinforced carbonfibre monocoque chassis is anything but. According to Renard, this chassis is resistant to impact and vibration, is very light and stiff and works perfectly with the bike’s fully adjustable suspension to provide quick and precise steering. This load-bearing chassis is also an integral part of the GT’s unique styling – we think the bike looks totally cool.

The Renard GT could go into production by the end of this year and if you always wanted a funky looking made-in-Estonia sports-tourer, this might be the answer to your dreams. For more details, visit the Renard website here

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Royal Enfield: Handcrafted in Chennai

Royal Enfield Bullet. Built like a gun, goes like a bullet. And, yes, a factory in Chennai, in India, has kept this British motorcycle brand going for more than six decades...

From Redditch, Worcestershire, in the UK, to Chennai, in India, has been a long journey for Royal Enfield. And a very remarkable one. The company started making motorcycles in the UK at sometime in the late-1890s, did well for a few decades and then went into decline by the late-1960s. By 1971, it was all over for Royal Enfield in the UK.

However, Royal Enfield motorcycles have also been sold in India since 1949. ‘Enfield of India’ had started assembling Bullet motorcycles in India in 1956 (with most components being imported from the UK) and was manufacturing complete bikes by 1962. In the year 1995, Enfield of India also bought the right to the ‘Royal Enfield’ name, and the company is still building various versions of the Bullet 350 and the Bullet 500. In fact, Royal Enfield is now officially the oldest motorcycle brand in the world that’s still in production, and the Royal Enfield Bullet has the distinction of having the longest motorcycle production run of all time!

The Bullet has become something of a cult classic with fans of classic British motorcycles and the machine, which has been built in Chennai, in India, for more than the last six decades, is now exported to more than twenty countries worldwide. If Britain has adopted the chicken tikka masala as its national bird, India has returned the favour by adopting the Royal Enfield Bullet as its national motorcycle. That a part of the former British motorcycle industry lives on in a city in Southern India is a bit surprising, but for Royal Enfield, it’s a happy ending after all.

Ducati announce Rossi, Hayden replica Monsters

Hmmm... we think the Hayden-replica Monster looks best!

Ducati recently unveiled two new ‘Monster Art’ paintjobs, which are dedicated to Ducati’s MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden. First introduced back in 2009, the Monster Art project offered an additional range of colours to the standard factory options with a collection called ‘Colour Therapy,’ and the ‘Logomania’ collection that was introduced in 2010 celebrated 50 years of historic Ducati logo styles.

With easy-to-make changes to the bikes’ tank panels, bikini fairing, single-seat cover and front mudguard, Monster Art kits are a quick way to personalise the Ducati Monster. According to Ducati, the latest kits that you see here have been inspired by the Desmosedici GP11 livery. Both colour schemes are available as accessories for the Monster 696, 796, 1100, 1100S and 1100EVO. At about £550 / US$885, we suppose this isn’t a bad way to add a bit of extra visual oomph to your Monster…