Friday, April 29, 2011
We like the Honda CBR600F, plain and simple. Like Kawasaki’s Ninja Z1000SX, the new CBR600F offers an excellent blend of performance and practicality. It’s not just beginners and female riders – even experienced riders who’re looking for a bike that’s a bit more comfortable than repli-racers like Honda’s own CBR600RR will probably like the new 600F. Motoblog recently tested the bike and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the new Honda:
ZigWheels recently caught up with master tuner Jeremy Burgess, who moved with Valentino Rossi from Yamaha to Ducati and who’s now faced with the unenviable task of transforming the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 into a race winning machine. Or rather, more specifically, a machine which Valentino Rossi can win races on. Here are some excerpts from what Jeremy had to say:
On what racing means to the Japanese factories
If it was not for our success at Yamaha, there was every chance the racing effort would have received a massive chopping of funds, if not shutting down the race shop for good. Yamaha and Honda are in the business of selling motorcycles. Racing is something they do when they can afford it.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
BMW were the first motorcycle manufacturer to start offering anti-lock brakes (ABS) on their production bikes. Some might actually find it hard to believe, but BMW K-series bikes were already available with ABS in 1988. Of course, that ABS will probably not be comparable to what you’d find on an S1000RR today, but still, there’s no getting away from the fact that BMW pioneered the concept of anti-lock brakes on production bikes.
Now, BMW have taken another big step towards promoting safety for motorcyclists – the company has announced that ABS will be standard fitment on all its bikes from 2012 onwards. Yes, we think this how it should be – ABS is an extremely useful safety feature on high-performance bikes – and we hope all other motorcycle manufacturers will follow BMW’s example very soon.
‘Plain and simple, being able to stop a motorcycle faster and more predictably helps prevent a rider from becoming a statistic. It's time for all of us in the motorcycle industry to embrace the benefits of ABS. Extensive testing by safety experts, law enforcement authorities and journalists around the world consistently demonstrates that ABS reduces overall crashes and saves lives,’ says Pieter de Waal, Vice President, BMW Motorrad USA.
‘We commend BMW for taking the lead to improve motorcycle safety. Motorcycle fatalities and injuries have been on an upward trend for the past ten years and ABS and other safety technologies can help reduce these tragedies,’ adds David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US.
A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that motorcycles equipped with antilock brakes are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than models without ABS. ‘Our research results show ABS on motorcycles saves lives, and riders are taking note, too. A recent survey found that a majority of riders said they would look for ABS on their next bikes,’ says Adrian Lund, President, IIHS.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
In a recent interview conducted by Motorcycle-USA, 1993 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world champ Kevin Schwantz expressed his thoughts on the current state of MotoGP, the role of electronics in today’s racebikes and the impending move to 1,000cc engines in 2012. Here are some excerpts from what the Texas Tornado had to say:
On the move from 990cc to 800cc engines and, now, back to 1,000cc engines from 2012
When they went to four-strokes, it was definitely a big change and I don’t think they needed to change the displacement to try and slow the bikes down. The issue was the speeds were getting so great but the run off was not enough. So all they’ve done now is add five miles per hour to the centre of the corner when it went from 1,000s to 800s. That safety is still not there even though the top speed is not as great but the corner speed is higher now. I think the state of MotoGP is descent right now – it’s not a full field as we’d like to see but I think going back to 1,000cc rules and giving prototype machines a smaller number of engines and production-based bikes more fuel – all the advantages will give from one to the other, I think that will be good. They have to do something to get more bikes out there.
On the role of electronics in motorcycle racing
Two-thirds of a machine right now is electronics. What they need to do is come up with what F1 and what I heard NASCAR is trying to implement with fuel-injection and have McLaren build the ECU. It’s a little bit like Moto2 but not quite as restrictive. Manufactures want to be able to see that development. We have a horsepower advantage, we don’t want you to cut our horsepower. Maybe everybody runs the same electronics but you’re not going to hamper the fact that I build a built a better engine. We still want to see that. If I’ve got one that’s smoother and puts better power to the ground, maybe works better in the rain and when it’s hot. Everyone is on that same electronics package. Then it’s a much better series.
On what’s more important – talent or electronics
I think even now with more electronics than what’s needed, the good guys are still winning. They can find a way to ride around problems they encounter throughout the race!
Please visit Motorcycle-USA for the full interview
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