Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Husqvarna have unveiled the Concept Strada at the currently ongoing Salon de la Moto motorcycle show in Paris. ‘Like the Nuda 900 R [which went on sale earlier this month], the Concept Strada is targeted at youthful on-road motorcyclists who will appreciate its sharp styling, fun handling and great road manners. With a low weight, a punchy 650cc single-cylinder engine and quality components throughout, the Concept Strada is designed to provide a thrilling ride, whatever the distance,’ says a press note from Husqvarna.
The Husqvarna Concept Strada is fitted with BMW’s single-cylinder 650cc engine – the same unit that’s fitted to the BMW G650GS. However, it’s been tuned for improved power delivery and, accordingly to Husqvarna, the upgrade has resulted in an ‘extremely lively machine which, at less than 170kg dry, will put a smile back on the face of even the weariest commuter.’
The Husqvarna Strada will be launched in 2012 and, according to the company, it is further evidence of their commitment to expanding their model portfolio and providing fans of the legendary brand with a new series of streetbikes.
Monday, November 28, 2011
The Piaggio Museum in Pontedera, Italy, is now hosting an exhibition that showcases the life and times of Corradino D’Ascanio, the man who 'invented' the Vespa scooter...
From now until the end of January 2012, the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera, Italy, will host an exhibition aimed at showcasing the life and work of Corradino D’Ascanio, the man who ‘invented’ the Vespa scooter. The exhibition takes visitors through four sections – The Man, The Genius, The Magician and The Legend – which show an extensive selection of projects, original drawings, documents and contemporary publications, as well as the oldest Vespa models from the Piaggio Museum collection.
An aeronautical engineer by education, Corradino D’Ascanio obtained a patent on the design of the original Vespa scooter back in April 1946. The first Vespa was fitted with a 98cc two-stroke engine and since then, more than 17 million Vespa scooters have been sold worldwide. In fact, since 2006, Piaggio have been selling more than 100,000 units of the Vespa scooter every year and sales in 2011 are expected to cross the 150,000 units mark.
Electronics may be one of the major limiting factors for production-based machines in MotoGP, says Colin Edwards, who will be riding a CRT Suter BMW in 2012...
The 2012 BMW S1000RR is pretty much one of the most advanced high-performance superbikes in the world – on the street, its 193 horsepower provides ample encouragement for the production of wild, adrenaline-fuelled rushes of sheer acceleration and speed. Weighing in at 206 kilos and fitted with advanced electronics – Race ABS and Dynamic Traction Control – the S1000RR is a motorcycle enthusiasts’ wet dream, the stuff that lurid fantasies are made of.
A stock S1000RR certainly offers far more flat-out performance than what most people can ever use on the street. And yet, for those who might have wondered at some point, it still isn’t, apparently, anywhere near a proper MotoGP bike. In 2012, claiming rule teams (CRT) will run bikes with highly-tuned production-based engines and bespoke chassis, in MotoGP. And Colin Edwards, who will be riding one such S1000RR-engined Forward Racing Suter-BMW machine next year, and who recently tested the bike in Jerez, says the bike will need major, significant improvements in order to be competitive in MotoGP.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
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.
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
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
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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