Saturday, June 25, 2011

Memorable: 1992 Honda CBR900RR FireBlade


The legendary Tadao Baba (above), with his creation, the Honda CBR900RR FireBlade

Over the years, reams of text have been written about the original Honda CBR900RR FireBlade and about how it rewrote the sportsbike rulebook back then. Tadao Baba, project leader for the first FireBlade (which was launched in March 1992), initiated the concept of ‘total control,’ favouring light weight and mass centralisation over outright top-end power, resulting in a sportsbike that wasn’t just very fast, but also actually handled very well.

While the FireBlade was an absolute revelation back in the early-1990s, you might sometimes wonder how it would stack up against modern machines. The first FireBlade weighed 185 kilos and its carburetted, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 893cc inline-four produced 124 horsepower. Doesn’t sound hugely impressive today, when it isn’t uncommon for litre-class superbikes to pack as much as 190-200 horsepower.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Valentino Rossi to ride the Ducati GP11.1 at Assen


With the GP11.1, we hope The Doctor can start winning races again!
Ducati, MotoGP, 2011 Dutch TT, Assen Ducati, MotoGP, 2011 Dutch TT, Assen Ducati, MotoGP, 2011 Dutch TT, Assen Ducati, MotoGP, 2011 Dutch TT, Assen

In a serious bid to salvage the 2011 MotoGP season, Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi has been testing the Ducati GP11.1 at Assen. The GP11.1 is a hybrid – the GP12’s chassis, fitted with the GP11’s 800cc engine. The bike is also fitted with the new DST (Ducati Seamless Transmission) gearbox that Ducati Corse have engineered for their MotoGP bike.

Aprilia lets loose with SR Max hotness


Aprilia SR Max Aprilia SR Max Aprilia SR Max Aprilia SR Max Aprilia SR Max Aprilia SR Max
The Aprilia SR Max 300 and 125 are scooters. They are available in red and white colours. And, no, you can't ask the girl in these pics to go on a date with you...

Usually, we wouldn’t write about scooters like the Aprilia SR Max 300 and SR Max 125 here on Faster and Faster. But Aprilia figured out a cunningly devious way of getting us – and we suppose a hundred other websites like us – to write about the 2011 SR Max 300 and 125 scooters. They simply released these high-res pics of the two scooters with a hot Italian chick draped all over them. Voilà! Mission accomplished.

Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1: High-res pics from Assen

Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1 Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1 Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1 Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1 Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1 Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1 Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1 Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1 Yamaha’s 50th Anniversary special edition YZR-M1
To celebrate Yamaha's 50th year in motorcycle GP racing, Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies will be running this special red-and-white livery at the 2011 Assen TT

Yamaha will be celebrating their 50th year in motorcycle grand prix racing during this year’s Assen TT, for which they have commissioned a special red-and-white livery for their YZR-M1 bikes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS: High-res pics, specs released

2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS 2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS 2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS
The 2012 EBR 1190RS looks hot! And it has a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio...

Erik Buell Racing have released some high-res pics and a full list of specs for their 2012 EBR 1190RS superbike. It’s a great looking machine – lean and sharp, and bristling with genuine innovation. The EBR 1190RS doesn’t seem to be as high-tech as, say, the Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC, BMW S100RR or Kawasaki ZX-10R, but despite the lack of bits like ABS and multi-stage traction control etc., the EBR just looks so right.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

British Exotica: 1939 supercharged AJS 500 V4

1939 supercharged AJS 500 V4 1939 supercharged AJS 500 V4 1939 supercharged AJS 500 V4 1939 supercharged AJS 500 V4
The AJS 500 V4 looks absolutely fantastic and we're sure it sounds as good as it looks. How we wish we could listen to that supercharged V4 from the 1930s...!

By 1930s Brit-bike standards, the AJS 500 V4 was pretty fancy. The bike was fitted with a liquid-cooled, SOHC, 8-valve, 495cc V4, with a chain-driven Zoller supercharger. With 55 horsepower at 7,200rpm (with the compressor running at 16.5psi boost pressure) and a dry weight figure of 183 kilos, the supercharged AJS 500 could hit a top speed of up to 216km/h, which must have been pretty scary if you take into account the feeble drum brakes and the not-so-evolved tyre technology of that era.

British journalist Alan Cathcart had the opportunity to ride the only surviving AJS 500 V4 during the Goodwood Festival of Speed, in England, a few years ago. Here are a few excerpts from what he has to say about the machine:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 Benelli TNT R160 now available

2011 Benelli TNT R160 2011 Benelli TNT R160 2011 Benelli TNT R160 2011 Benelli TNT R160 2011 Benelli TNT R160 2011 Benelli TNT R160
The TNT R160 is the high-performance king of the current Benelli line-up

Benelli have announced that the 2011 TNT R160 is now available at their dealerships. The R160’s liquid-cooled fuel-injected 1130cc DOHC 12-valve three-cylinder engine produces 158 horsepower at 10,200rpm and 120Nm of torque at 8,400rpm, which means this bike offers the maximum performance potential in the current Benelli line-up.

The bike is fitted with a six-speed transmission, dry clutch, fully adjustable 50mm USD Marzocchi fork, fully adjustable ZF Sachs monoshock, and five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 120/70 (front) and 190/50 (rear) tyres. Benelli also offer 180/55 and 200/50 rear tyres as an option. High-spec Brembo brake components are used, with twin 320mm wave-type discs at the front.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 British MotoGP: High-res pics from Silverstone


The Rossi-Ducati Italian dream-team seems to be in trouble. While Casey Stoner, Marco Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo will start the race from the front row of the grid, Valentino Rossi has qualified in 13th position and will start the race from 5th row on the grid. Other Ducati riders like Karel Abraham and Nicky Hayden have qualified in sixth and seventh places respectively, so we wonder what’s with The Doctor’s performance? Anyway, here are some pics from practise and qualifying. We’ll add more pics here from the race, tomorrow…
2011 British MotoGP, Silverstone 2011 British MotoGP, Silverstone 2011 British MotoGP, Silverstone 2011 British MotoGP, Silverstone 2011 British MotoGP, Silverstone 2011 British MotoGP, Silverstone

Friday, June 10, 2011

Benelli TNT 899 and TNT 1130 Century Racers launched


The Benelli TNT 1130 Century Racer marks the company's 100th Anniversary
Benelli TNT 1130 Centry Racer Benelli TNT 1130 Centry Racer Benelli TNT 1130 Centry Racer Benelli TNT 1130 Centry Racer Benelli TNT 1130 Centry Racer Benelli TNT 1130 Centry Racer

Legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer, Benelli (now owned by the China-based Qianjiang Group) are celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year. Established in 1911 in Pesaro, Italy, Benelli is one of the oldest European motorcycle brands in existence today.

To celebrate their 100th year, Benelli have launched two special edition machines – the TNT 899 Century Racer and TNT 1130 Century Racer. Both are fitted with Benelli’s three-cylinder engines, producing 120 horsepower at 9,500rpm in the case of the TNT 899 and 129 horsepower at 8,500rpm for the TNT 1130. Both bikes are fitted with a six-speed gearbox, high-spec suspension components from Marzocchi and Sachs, Brembo brakes with radial-mount callipers and special touches like Alcantara seats and a special paint job inspired by Renzo Pasolini’s Benelli racebikes of the 1960s.

Nicky Hayden ‘experiences’ the Isle of Man

Nicky Hayden, Isle of Man TT Nicky Hayden, Isle of Man TT
Nicky Hayden says IoM TT racers are 'hard as nails'...

2006 MotoGP world champ, Nicky Hayden recently visited the Isle of Man for the TT ‘experience,’ which included a parade lap of the TT circuit aboard a Ducati 1198. Fellow celebrity racers, Mick Doohan, Ian Hutchinson and Cal Crutchlow also joined the Kentucky Kid for the parade lap.

‘That lap was pretty awesome. We weren’t going fast but the speed we were doing while waving at the crowds was pretty fast! I really enjoyed my lap and seeing another form of racing. These boys are hard as nails. It was a real shame about the weather but maybe I can come back another year and see some racing,’ said Hayden.

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