Sunday, November 20, 2011

Keanu Reeves: The Diavel’s Advocate

Keanu Reeves Ducati Diavel Keanu Reeves Ducati Diavel Keanu Reeves Ducati Diavel Keanu Reeves Ducati Diavel
Keanu used to race bikes in the night, with the headlight switched off. And he doesn't like laws that make it compulsory for motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Ahem.

For their November 2011 issue, GQ magazine have got Keanu Reeves to talk about motorcycles. ‘I started when I was 22. I was working in Munich and met this girl who had a bike and I asked her if I could ride it. She said ‘sure,’ then I told her I didn’t know how to ride. So she showed me where everything was, and I just started riding around the studio. I just got into it,’ says KR, who’s starred in some of our favourite movies – The Matrix series, The Devil’s Advocate and Point Break.

Keanu loves Norton bikes and owns three, but has also owned Harleys and Suzuki GSX-Rs over the last two decades. Now 47, Keanu admits that at one time, he used to race his bike at night, with the headlight switched off. ‘That was back in the day. I think we deal with our emotions differently when we are older, and I think the demon rides were a way for me to blow off steam when I was younger,’ he says. ‘Now, when I get those feelings, I think maybe I’ll just handcuff myself to the bed. Wait for the Sun to come up,’ he adds.

2012 Yamaha R1: Finding traction once again

2012 Yamaha R1
Eddie Lawson may or may not need traction control on a 178bhp superbike. You and I will, however, definitely be better off with the 2012 R1's six-mode TCS
2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1

Following the example set by the BMW S1000RR, Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC and Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, Yamaha have fitted traction control to the 2012 YZF-R1. It is a proper six-mode system with a full range of settings – mode six will let you twist the throttle to the max, regardless of road surface and lean angle and the computers will sort everything out for you. The system gets progressively more lenient through modes five, four, three, two and one, with the rider being pretty much on his/her own in mode one.

Yamaha have taken their time in getting TC tech to the R1 but they seem to have gotten it right the first time around. According to Bruce Wilson, who’s tested the 2012 Yamaha R1 for Motorcycle Sport & Leisure’s December issue this year, the new R1’s traction control “most certainly doesn’t feel as intrusive as the BMW S1000RR’s system, which feels more like a tap that’s been turned on and off as it mops up excess power in a crude by effective manner, nor like the Kawasaki ZX-10R’s system, which stutters and starts in an erratic spasm.” Bruce goes on to say that mode four, which permits wheelies and small slides, while still keeping you out of trouble, is perhaps the best mode in the Yam’s traction control system.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2012 KTM 450 Rally: What it takes to do the Dakar

2012 KTM 450 Rally 2012 KTM 450 Rally 2012 KTM 450 Rally 2012 KTM 450 Rally 2012 KTM 450 Rally 2012 KTM 450 Rally
The 2012 KTM 450 Rally, perhaps the best off-road endurance racebike in the world...

The KTM 450 Rally, which is fitted with a carburetted single-cylinder engine and which costs an eye-watering 25,000 euros (not including VAT), is probably one of the most amazing competition motorcycles you can buy.

Developed with inputs from Dakar Rally legends like Marc Coma and Cyril Despres, the 2012 KTM 450 Rally is built with single-minded focus – to win the Dakar. The bike is fitted with a chrome-molybdenum chassis, 48mm USD fork and fully adjustable monoshock from WP, five-speed gearbox, multi-disc hydraulically operated wet clutch, 300mm (front) and 250mm (rear) brake discs, 12-litre fuel tank that’s made of plastic, and 21-inch (front) and 18-inch (rear) wheels. Without fuel, the little KTM weighs about 145kg.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer is the ultimate fashion accessory

Moto Guzzi V7 Racer, Irina Shayk
The 2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer is so cool, even Irina Shayk - one of the hottest supermodels in the world - isn't immune to its charms. We want one!
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 2012 Moto Guzzi V7 2012 Moto Guzzi V7

Moto Guzzi have provided a mild makeover for the V7 for 2012, which is available in standard, Special and Racer versions. Guzzi claim the V7’s 745cc V-twin engine has been extensively updated, with more than 70% of its internal components being all-new, and twin intake manifolds and throttle bodies being replaced with a single Y manifold and single 38mm Magneti Marelli throttle body. This, according to the company, helps improve fuel economy and reduces CO2 emissions.

Ryno: On one wheel and a prayer

Ryno one-wheeled scooter Ryno one-wheeled scooter Ryno one-wheeled scooter
Ryno one-wheeled scooter Ryno one-wheeled scooter Ryno one-wheeled scooter
The one-wheeled Ryno looks cool and seems to function well...

Why have two wheels when you can work with just one? Well, we can think of a lot of reasons but Tony Ozrelic, the one-wheeled Ryno’s software programmer, may not agree with those. ‘What is the simplest thing that could possibly work,’ is the question Ozrelic asked himself when engineering the Ryno’s software and hardware. ‘Tony noticed how a lot of first-time Segway riders were slow to trust its auto-balance technology. They’d try to balance the machine themselves, instead of letting it do the work, resulting in both wild, jerking oscillations and terrified riders. So when Ozrelic designed the balancing and steering technology for the Ryno, he knew he should leverage our natural instincts to balance ourselves for a smooth and intuitive ride,’ says a blog post on the company’s website.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Honda VFR1200F gets a mild update for 2012

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The Honda VFR1200F gets new colours, a slightly tweaked engine, revised ride-by-wire throttle and traction control with C-ABS for 2012...

Honda have announced some minor updates for the 2012 VFR1200F. ‘The engine now offers even greater performance, with significantly more refined torque between 2,000-4,000rpm. Changes to the PGM-FI fuel injection system, combined with increased tank capacity, mean the VFR1200F can now travel more than 300km on a single tank of petrol. A more comfortable seat and the adoption of traction control [which works in conjunction with the bike’s C-ABS] further enhance the bike’s all-round capabilities,’ says a press note from Honda.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012 KTM 690 Duke: Official pics, specs, video

Cool, stylish and capable - the 2012 KTM 690 Duke hits all the right notes
2012 KTM 690 Duke 2012 KTM 690 Duke 2012 KTM 690 Duke

For 2012, KTM have completely revamped the 690 Duke, a motorcycle that still defies conventional categorisation. The 690 Duke will be whatever you want it to be – a midsize supersports machine, a streetfighter, supermoto or whatever else you fancy. Fitted with KTM’s high-tech LC4 single-cylinder engine, which has been extensively revised for the 2012 bike, the 690 Duke packs 70 horsepower and has 10,000km service intervals which is admirable. It’s nimble, agile, stylish, adequately fast and is perfectly suited to being ridden hard around twisty mountain roads.

Honda RC-E electric sportsbike concept to be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show

Honda RC-E Honda RC-E
The Honda RC-E electric sports bike concept looks hot!

Honda have announced the highlights of their display at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, which will take place from 3rd to 110th December this year. Among others, Honda’s display will also include various electric vehicle concepts, including two- and three-wheelers. While most of these seem to be terribly dull, the one bike that truly stands out is the RC-E concept, which looks super-hot in Mike Hailwood colours.

According to Honda, the RC-E is ‘an EV version of a super sports bike that pursues the joy of riding. A powerful and smooth ride unique to an EV model is achieved with the 250cc-class compact body.’ Unfortunately, Honda aren’t saying anything more about the RC-E for now. But from what little we can make out from the pics, the single-seat bike seems to be quite race-ready, with high-spec Brembo brakes, Ohlins fork and shock and chunky aluminium swingarm.

We aren’t really sold on electric bikes, but if the RC-E is any indication of Honda’s vision for the future of electric motorcycles, there just might be a glimmer of hope yet...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer: High-res pics, specs

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer
The all-new Triumph Tiger Explorer looks good and should be quite capable of handling the rough stuff with ease. Another good one from Triumph...

Triumph have a brand-new adventure touring bike in their 2012 line-up – the Tiger Explorer – which is fitted with a new, 1215cc three-cylinder engine that produces 137 horsepower and 121Nm of torque. This is a high-tech machine, with ride-by-wire throttle control, switchable anti-lock brakes and traction control.

‘A tough shaft drive system has been developed for the Tiger Explorer, allowing virtually maintenance free touring. The Tiger Explorer has also been designed to go 16,000km between servicing – ideal for those long distance adventures,’ claim Triumph. ‘Having been designed for day long, mile crunching capability, rider and pillion comfort are at the heart of the Tiger Explorer’s philosophy. The rider position is easily adjustable, while accessory high and low seat options are also available. Both the screen and handlebar positions are also highly adjustable to suit individual rider preferences,’ they add.

2012 Triumph Speed Triple R: High-res pics, specs

2012 Triumph Speed Triple R 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R
The 2012 Triumph Speed Triple R is rocking. We love it!

For 2012, Triumph have added an ‘R’ badge to their legendary streetfighter, the Speed Triple, which also gets Öhlins suspension (43mm NIX30 forks, TTX36 shock), track-oriented Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres, lightweight five-spoke forged aluminium wheels from PVM and uprated Brembo brakes with radial monobloc callipers at the front. ABS is also available as an option.

Powering the 2012 Speed Triple R is Triumph’s proven 1050cc three-cylinder engine, which produces 135 horsepower and 111Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a completely new six-speed gearbox that’s been optimised for more positive and refined shifting action. Other new bits include alloy handlebars, carbonfibre radiator, mudguard and tank covers, unique decals and red coloured subframe. Available accessories include flyscreens, belly pans, seat cowls, security and luggage solutions, slip-on silencers and a three-into-one ‘low boy’ exhaust, developed in collaboration with Arrow.

‘The new Speed Triple R delivers the most intense and engaging ride of any Triumph roadster to date, delivering true racetrack developed performance to satisfy the needs of even the most discerning motorcyclist,’ claim Triumph. And, yes, we’re thoroughly convinced.

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