Sunday, April 17, 2011

Miami Vice: Scorpion P6 Turbo

Playboy used the Scorpion P6 as the chase vehicle in a video featuring celebrity DJ Tamara Sky
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Based in Miami, Florida, in the US, Scorpion Motorsports have found a pretty good use for the Kawasaki ZX-6R’s 600cc inline-four, which produces a rather useful 126 horsepower at 16,000rpm. They’ve built a trike – the Scorpion P6 – around this engine and the little three-wheeler boasts of performance that’s rather impressive.

The Scorpion P6 weighs about 325 kilos and the trike can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds. It will also go from zero to 100km/h and back to zero in just 10 seconds. The base model costs US$30,000 and if those performance numbers aren’t hot enough for you, you can buy the P6 Turbo for an extra $6,000. A wide range of carbonfibre bits are also available, that can add up to $15,000 to the base price and for those who can afford them, there’s also a full titanium exhaust and electronic paddle shifter on the options list.

More details available on the Scorpion Motorsports website here. You can also watch the full version of the Tamara Sky video above, on the Playboy website here

Yes, we like the Scorpion P6!

2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V: Tour hard

2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V
The Moto Guzzi Norge probably exists because not everyone wants a Honda VFR1200 or BMW K1600GT to go touring on a motorcycle. This is touring, Italian style...

An Italian touring bike sounds a bit like Japanese pasta or German pizza. No, really, it’s the Germans and the Japanese who do touring bikes very well, Italians are best suited to building machines like the 1198SP and RSV4 Factory APRC SE. That’s just our opinion, of course, and Moto Guzzi insist on doing a touring bike – the Norge GT 8V, which has now been updated.

Fitted with the same 8-valve 1151cc V-twin (though in a mildly different state of tune) as the new Stelvio, the Norge packs 102 horsepower and 104Nm of torque, which is probably adequate for the bike’s dry weight of 257 kilos. The fairing has been redesigned and its electrically adjustable windshield should offer sufficient wind protection for riders of all shapes and sizes.

Moto Guzzi also claim that the Norge handles really well and that its suspension has been optimised for ‘racing behaviour.’ Ahem. Now while we don’t suppose Valentino Rossi would ride one of these, if he did, he just might appreciate the Norge’s plush ride, spacious panniers and satellite navigation system. And that’s probably all that the Norge customer wants anyway.

2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V, NTX: No Limits

2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V, NTX
2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V, NTX 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V, NTX 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V, NTX 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V, NTX 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V, NTX 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V, NTX
The new Moto Guzzi Stelvio, more capable than ever before...

Moto Guzzi, who are celebrating their 90th Anniversary this year, have announced the 2012 Stelvio 1200 8V and NTX models, which feature minor styling and technical updates. The fairing and windshield have been redesigned for better aerodynamics, the instrument panel has been revised and the fuel tank is now much bigger, being able to take 32 litres of fuel.

The Stelvio’s transversely mounted 90° V-twin gets a revised ECU and a new cooling system and is said to be smoother and quieter than its predecessor. It also offers better low- and mid-range power delivery, is more fuel-efficient and fully emissions norms compliant. With 105bhp and 113Nm of torque, the ‘Quattrovalvole’ 1151cc engine is quite up to the task of pushing the Stelvio along at a fairly respectable pace. The bike is fitted with ABS and ATC, a basic form of traction control that cuts torque delivery when it detects sudden loss of grip. Both the ABS and ATC systems can be switched off by the rider.

The more off-road-oriented Stelvio NTX gets an oil sump guard, engine guard, cylinder guard, full cover hand-guards and extra large windshield with additional wind deflectors, so you can happily go around the world on your bike if you wanted to. Spacious aluminium panniers, additional halogen lights, a GPS navigator and heated hand-grips are all available as optional extras.

The Stelvio’s 45mm USD Marzocchi front fork and fully adjustable Sachs monoshock offer 170mm and 155mm of travel respectively, and quite are up to the task of handling the bike’s heft (kerb weight is 272 kilos) whether travelling on or off the road. Brakes are by Brembo, with twin 320mm discs up front and single 282mm disc at the back. The Stelvio also gets new light alloy wheels while the NTX gets spoked wheels – both are fitted with 150/70-17 (rear) and 110/90-19 (front) tubeless tyres as standard.

While they aren’t radically new or different, the 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V and NTX remain capable on/off-roaders and an interesting alternative to the BMW R1200GS.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

EBR 1190RS: Stick it to ’em, Erik

EBR 1190RS, possibly the greatest superbike ever built in the United States

Buell is no more, long live Erik Buell Racing (EBR). You just can’t keep some people down for very long. Harley-Davidson, in their infinite wisdom, chose to shut down the Buell Motorcycle Company, pretty much the only American company that made sportsbikes. But within two years, Erik Buell is back and he’s back with a bike that looks like it has the potential to blow the mirrors off the competition.

We are, of course, talking about the EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition that you see here, which is fitted with a 1190cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected V-twin engine from Rotax, heavily modified by EBR. Titanium valves, cams from the erstwhile Buell 1125RR superbike, conrods forged from high quality steel, lightweight pistons and a new airbox with almost twice the capacity compared to a Buell 1125R. With a wet weight of about 180 kilos and a power output of around 170-180bhp, the EBR 1190RS has been built to kick arse.

The EBR 1190RS will be raced for the first time in the US next month in the AMA Superbikes series and the street version is expected to go on sale by the end of this year. The 1190RS Carbon Edition, only 100 units of which will be built, is expected to be priced at more than US$40,000 though Erik Buell might do a cheaper ‘regular’ version of the bike later, perhaps in 2012.

We love the EBR 1190RS. Regardless of whether or not it does well in AMA Superbikes (and there seems to be no reason why it shouldn't do very well indeed...), the bike is living, breathing proof of the fact that with perseverance and hard work, any dream can be made to come true. Bravo!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Motocross vs Roadracing: The stars speak out
Motocross has, in the past, helped shape the talents of many GP roadracing greats, though things seem to have changed in recent years... 

We love MotoGP. All right, we practically live, dream, eat, sleep and breathe MotoGP. Motocross, on the other hand, umm… we don’t know. Must admit we never really gave it much thought and hence you hardly, if ever, read about the sport here on Faster and Faster. It’s properly spectacular all right, but somehow motorcross has never been our thing. That said, we quite liked ‘Changing Treads,’ a story that Adam Wheeler has done for the April 2011 issue of Cycle News. The story takes a look at the role of motocross in shaping the riding talents of some of the best motorcycle roadracing stars in the past, and how that role has changed and evolved over the years. It’s all quite fascinating really, and we present a few excerpts here, from what that stars have to say about motocross vs roadracing:
Former World Superbikes champ Colin Edwards has never won a race in MotoGP, but continues to be a mid-field contender in the sport. He knows his stuff alright

‘It is freedom, a release, an aggression. Motocross makes you smart on a bike. You are processing information all the time and making decisions. I think they [motocross and roadracing] tie-in together a lot. Something like dirt-track is about being over the rear end and finding traction. Roadracing right now is not so much about that. I have seen guys who are good road racers, but can’t hack it on a motocross bike. It is very foreign and they don’t understand it. You have to get used to the bike being a bit loose. It is very strange for me nowadays because I like the bike to be perfectly in line and smooth on a road race track.’

‘When a road racer takes his brain out then you don’t really see it that much. Maybe a little style change or he’s backing the bike into the turn a bit later than usual. With motocross it is much easier to tell when a rider has his nuts on the line because he has it pinned everywhere, feet flailing and just hanging on through the whoops. You understand that he is risking everything he has. I think we are all nuts to be honest with you, but motocross is a gnarly sport. If you crash and hit that dirt then you are gonna stop. Here we can slide, get up and dust ourselves off. People might think I am crazy to say that when you’re flying down the track at 150mph, but motocross hurts, every time.’ – Colin Edwards (Former World Superbikes Champion, currently riding in MotoGP)
Jean-Michel Bayle remains the only man who could actually switch over from motocross to world championship roadracing, with a moderate amount of success

‘They are very different. Motocross is maybe 80-85 percent technique: your position, style, precision, good lines. The rest is about your determination to win a race. In roadracing it is the opposite. There is a lot of technique involved, but if you want to go faster you have to push yourself more every time and have to have a lot of motivation to take risks. It is about finding balance, especially with the 800s, but in motocross when you charge into a rut you’ve also got to be balanced. Roadracing is not as much fun as motocross, but the feeling of being able to ride so fast and slide the bike at 200km/h is very special. To do everything right and get a pole position lap is so good.’ – Jean-Michel Bayle (Former World Motocross, AMA Motocross and Supercross Champion, who also made a moderately successful foray into 250cc and 500cc motorcycle GP racing in the 1990s)
MotoGP rider Ben Spies says you can do more in motocross

‘When you are going fast you have to concentrate just as much as on a road race bike. There is so much more you can do in motocross whereas in roadracing it basically comes down to the different riding styles that separate us because we are all doing similar things. I guess it means the action can be better in motocross, but the overtaking in roadracing can be pretty fun to watch too because the margins are so close.’ – Ben Spies (Currently riding in MotoGP)
Former WSBK champ, James Toseland things motocross is more spectacular

‘It is a show, especially to a kid. Roadracing looks so smooth and controlled it almost appears as if anyone could do it, whereas watching the speed and the size of the jumps makes motocross that much more exciting. I think a motocross race is as good as if not better than a road race. It will always win as a spectacle.’ – James Toseland (Former World Superbikes Champion, ex-MotoGP rider, currently riding for the BMW Motorrad Italia Team in World Superbikes)

Source: Cycle News

Rok Bagoroš, KTM 125 Duke team up

KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke
KTM 125 Duke, the ideal bike to get started with stunt riding...

KTM want to build on their already strong presence in the European market – the Austrian company also wants a slice of lucrative emerging markets in Asia. Indian motorcycle company, Bajaj Auto now owns a 38% stake in KTM and the two companies have co-developed the new 125 Duke, which is likely to be launched in some Asian markets in the near future. KTM are also said to be developing 250-300cc Duke variants for various markets, including India.

The KTM 125 Duke is fitted with a fuel-injected liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that produces 15 horsepower. And while that bhp number may not sound terribly exciting, the bike is also fitted with high-quality suspension components and a light, stiff chassis, which means the bike handles very well indeed. With its fat, sticky tyres, big brakes, firm suspension and funky styling, the baby Duke certainly looks like it can hold its own in the 125cc class.

Duke 125 evangelists now include 22-year-old Slovenian stunt rider, Rok Bagoroš, who has appeared in various stunt riding shows in France, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Kosovo, Hungary and, of course, Slovenia. Rok, whose idol is stunt riding champ Chris Pfeiffer, thinks the KTM 125 Duke is pretty cool and the ideal bike for those who’re just starting off with motorcycle stunt riding. 'I love my new bike. Finally, I can develope my new style, which is agressive, fast and smooth all mixed together. Stop. Must jump on the Duke again. Now!' says Bagoroš.

KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke KTM 125 Duke

Random Ramblings