Thursday, May 26, 2011
Gjøvik, in Norway, recently hosted the 2011 Vespa World Days, which saw attendance from more than 120 Vespa clubs from 20 countries around the world. Between 1946, when the first Vespa scooter was launched, and now, more than 17 million Vespa scooters have been sold worldwide. For more details, log on to the official Vespa World Days website here
Monday, May 23, 2011
Honda made some pretty memorable V4-engine superbikes in the 1980s and 1990s and the 2012 RVF1000R could well continue that great tradition!
Back in November last year, we carried a report where Wayne Gardner said that Honda would soon be launching an all-new V4-engined Fireblade. ‘While I was in Europe, I got talking to some Honda officials who confirmed to me that they are really looking forward to the new 1000cc MotoGP category. They also said they’ll be building sportsbikes in the future with V4 engines, so they can compete in MotoGP with a similar V4 1000,’ said Wayne back then. ‘Expect your CBR Fireblade to turn into a V4 very soon. Also expect something very similar to the new V4 CBR powerplant to be utilised in Honda’s MotoGP bikes when the new regulations come into force. You can bet whatever they come up with this time around will be something special,’ he added.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
With two decades separating the 1991 Yamaha YZR500 and the 2011 YZR-M1, it's interesting to see how the two bikes compare...
For fans of motorcycle grand prix racing, who grew up watching those wild, fire-breathing two-stroke 500s of the 1980s and 1990s, the RGVs, NSRs and YZRs of yore are a bit special. In terms of electro-wizardry, today’s four-stroke grand prix bikes must be incredibly more sophisticated we’re sure, but those old 500s were something else – we’re still truly, deeply and madly in love with those machines.
We thought it would be interesting to compare the 2011 Yamaha YZR-M1 with its forerunner from twenty years ago, the 1991 Yamaha YZR500. With Wayne Rainey having won the 1990 500cc world championship (the first of his three successive world championships in the 500cc class), the 1991 YZR carried the number 1 plate. The 2011 YZR-M1 also carries the number-one plate, what with Jorge Lorenzo having won the MotoGP world championship in 2010. So at least that’s one thing that’s common between the two Yamaha GP bikes – they were/are at the very top of their game.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Valentino Rossi recently joined a host of motorsport champions from the past and the present (including names like Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Nigel Mansell, Jenson Button and many others...), in an inauguration ceremony to open the Silverstone circuit’s new, state-of-the-art pit, paddock and conference complex – The Silverstone Wing. With 41 garages, a race control building, a podium, media centre, hospitality and VIP spectator zones, The Silverstone Wing provides a world-class facility for teams, race officials and spectators.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Yamaha are celebrating their 50th year in motorcycle Grand Prix racing. As part of a series of ongoing activities to celebrate this landmark, Yamaha Factory Racing will run a special red-and-white livery at the Assen TT and Laguna Seca races this year. The YZR-M1 WGP50th Anniversary Edition, with its special livery, will be ridden by both Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo. According to Yamaha, ‘The red and white livery design pays homage to the iconic Yamaha Factory Racing liveries of the past with a modern twist.’
Monday, May 16, 2011
Husqvarna, the BMW-owned company of Swedish origin that now makes off-road and supermoto bikes in Varese, Italy, recently unveiled an all-new 900cc parallel-twin engine that will power a range of streetbikes that the company will launch in the near future. We must say we’re a bit intrigued. We loved the Mille3 concept that Husqvarna unveiled at the EICMA last year. And while we admit the Mille3 is probably a bit too outlandish to make it to production, who knows what kind of a streetbike a company like Husqvarna will produce?!
BMW Motorrad, on the 6th of May, celebrated the production of its two-millionth motorcycle, which rolled off the assembly line at the company’s plant in Berlin Spandau in Germany. BMW have been making motorcycles at this plant since 1969 and bikes produced here have been exported to as many as 130 countries around the world.
BMW’s two-millionth bike was a one-off special-edition R1200GS that was unveiled by stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer. The bike will be raffled off as part of the ‘be Berlin’ campaign, which has been undertaken to promote the city of Berlin. ‘I’m really proud to present the two-millionth BMW motorcycle here today. I have a really busy schedule but this kind of thing doesn’t happen every day, so I really wanted to be here,’ said Mr Pfeiffer, who also put on a stunt riding display on his BMW F800R, ending the day with a burnout, with the rear tyre spelling out ‘2000000’ on the tarmac.
With hot new machines like the S1000RR superbike and the six-cylinder K1600GT luxury-tourer, BMW are currently on a roll. With 1,900 employees, the BMW factory in Berlin produces up to 510 motorcycles a day and annual motorcycle output in 2010 amounted to 97,076 machines – a massive hike over the 12,000 motorcycles they made in 1969. What’s next? The BMW K1600R, we hope. Come on BMW, the K1300R needs that bigger six-cylinder engine... ;-)
So what’s a Renault doing here on Faster and Faster? Well, despite the fact that it has four wheels, the Twizzy isn’t really a car – it’s actually a scooter. Yes indeed, the Twizzy is, officially, an electric quadricycle - a battery-powered scooter that rides on four wheels. Available in two versions – the Urban and the Technik – the Twizzy is fitted with an electric motor that produces 17 horsepower and 57Nm of torque. And, when it goes on sale in Europe at the end of this year, this little runabout will be priced at £6,690 (7,600 euros) for the Urban version and £7,400 (8,400 euros) for the Technic. Owners will also have to pay a £40 monthly fee for leasing the Twizzy’s lithium-ion battery.
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