Tuesday, February 07, 2012

2012 Aprilia RSV4 WSBK racebike unveiled

2012 Aprilia RSV4 world superbikes racer
The Aprilia RSV4 should be a serious contender in the 2012 WSBK season...
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The 2012 World Superbikes season starts on the 26th of this month, with the first race of the season scheduled to be held at Phillip Island, in Australia. Aprilia won the 2010 World Superbikes championship with Maxi Biaggi (who finished third in the 2011 season in WSBK) and they are now back for the 2012 season, with Biaggi and Eugene Laverty riding their bikes.

‘My motivation remains unchanged. If anything, I have to say that it has increased even more after what happened in 2011. We were coming off a world triumph, with a lot of expectations and all eyes on our results, but things didn't go as planned. That's water under the bridge. Now we're looking forward to the new season with only one goal – to win,’ says Biaggi. ‘My relationship with the RSV4 is a particular one. We're a close couple. We have our rough spots, but we also know how to get through them. I think that the RSV4 still has a lot to say in this championship and, given the level of competition, I'll certainly have to bring the most out of it,’ he adds.

Pikes Peak: Racing to the clouds on a Ducati Multistrada 1200

In 2011, four riders chose the Ducati Multistrada 1200 on which to take on the Pikes Peak, in the 89th running of 'The Race to the Clouds.' This is their story...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Edgar Heinrich to head BMW Motorrad Design Studio from July 2012

Edgar Heinrich
After a two-year stint at Bajaj Auto, Edgar Heinrich (above) returns to BMW Motorrad later this year. Heinrich has been responsible for many of BMW's recent motorcycles...
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From July this year, Edgar Heinrich, 53, will head the BMW Motorrad Design Studio, taking over from David Robb. With a degree in design, Heinrich started his career as a motorcycle designer with BMW back in 1986 and from 2007 to 2009, he was Head of Vehicle Design – Motorcycles, under David Robb’s overall direction. From July 2009, Heinrich has been working with Indian motorcycle manufacturer, Bajaj Auto, heading product design at the fast-growing company that also has a 40% stake in KTM.

At BMW, Edgar Heinrich has been responsible for bikes like the R1100RS and RT, K1200S and R, the HP Megamoto and the R1150GS and R1200GS. The S1000RR, theF800/650 series, the G450X, BMW’s six-cylinder touring bikes and the new maxi-scooters were also designed under Heinrich’s direction. An ardent motorcycle enthusiast, Heinrich is passionate about customizing sports bikes and restoring and collecting vintage motorcycles.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shoichiro Irimajiri: “There was something exhilarating about the six-cylinder CBX…”

Shoichiro Irimajiri, Honda CBX
Shoichiro Irimajiri (above), a brilliant engineer who worked on Honda's GP racing bikes of the 1960s, was also the man responsible for the mighty CBX1000
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The Honda CBX1000, with its six-cylinder engine, remains one of our most favourite motorcycles from the 1970s/80s. The Honda CBX was in production from 1978 to 1982 and a total of only 40,000 units were ever produced. Weighing in at 247 kilos dry and with 103 horsepower from its DOHC, 24-valve, 1047cc air-cooled inline-six (fuelled by all of six carburetors…), the CBX could blast through the quarter-mile in 11.36 seconds and hit a top speed of 225km/h. But the CBX was special way beyond its numbers – the visual spectacle, the sheer drama of the super-smooth, high-revving six-cylinder engine… it was, and remains, an incomparable motorcycle.

We are big fans of the CBX and keep scouring the Web for pictures of the bike. During one such recent hunt, we came across two letters written by Shoichiro Irimajiri, the man responsible for engineering and developing the CBX. As a young engineer, Irimajiri started working for Honda in the early-1960s and worked on Honda’s GP racing bikes of that era, some of which were pretty amazing. Irimajiri was, in fact, responsible for designing the engines of the 1965 RC147 and RC165. The RC147 had a five-cylinder 125cc engine that produced 32bhp and revved to 19,500rpm, while the RC165 had a 250cc six-cylinder engine that made 52bhp and revved to 14,500rpm.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Drifters: Triumph Speed Triple vs Ford Mustang Cobra

It’s bike vs car, with Nick 'Apex' Brocha and Ernie Vigil on a pair of Triumph Speed Triples, against Dan ‘The Policeman’ Brockett in his Ford Mustang Cobra
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