Sunday, March 11, 2012

Akrapovič: 20 years of power and noise

Akrapovic Akrapovic
Igor Akrapovič (above, left), the man who established Akrapovič back in 1990. And (above, right) the Akrapovič R&D team today, outside the company's factory in Slovenia. Below: An exhibition of various racebikes fitted with Akrapovič exhaust systems, at the Technical Museum of Slovenia, in Bistra
Akrapovic Akrapovic Akrapovic Akrapovic

Readers of the German motorcycle magazine, Motorrad, recently voted Akrapovič as ‘best brand’ in the motorcycle exhaust systems category. Akrapovič (pronounced ‘Ack-rap'-o-vich’) was set up in Slovenia in 1990 by Igor Akrapovič, an ex-racer himself and someone who had spent more than a decade racing in motorcycle F1 and World Superbikes series. Igor says that back then, high-quality performance exhaust systems for motorcycles simply weren’t available, which is why he decided to set up a company that would manufacture high-performance exhaust systems for bikes.

Made under the ‘Skorpion’ brand back then, the exhausts established new concepts in construction, tube diameters and materials. Igor used high-quality stainless steel for the exhausts made by his company, and also started using more exotic materials like titanium and carbonfibre. By early- to mid-1990s, manufacturers like Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati and Honda had already started using Skorpion/Akrapovič exhaust systems on their racing bikes in the Pro Superbike Championship series.

In 1997, the company changed the name of its exhaust systems from Skorpion to Akrapovič and after its successes in Pro Superbike, made a move in World Superbikes. They also started working on exhaust systems for off-road bikes, working with manufacturers like KTM and Husqvarna. By 1999, all Japanese teams were using Akrapovič systems on their WSBK machines and by 2002, the company had also moved into the MotoGP class. In 2011, Akrapovič celebrated their 20th Anniversary and sponsored an exhibition featuring some of their key championship winning race bikes at the Technical Museum of Slovenia, in Bistra.

Friday, March 09, 2012

2012 MV Agusta F3 vs Triumph Daytona 675R

It's Italian exotica vs British Beef as the MV Agusta F3 takes on the Triumph Daytona 675R in a battle of racy, high-revving three-cylinder engines and quick shifting gearboxes...

2012 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200: High-res pics, tech specs

2012 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200
The 2012 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200, perhaps the best maximotard in the world...
2012 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 2012 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 2012 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

Aprilia have updated the Dorsoduro 1200 for 2012 with improvements made to the chassis, ergonomics and electronics. The bike’s 90-degree 1200cc V-twin produces 130 horsepower at 8,700rpm and 115Nm of torque at 7,200rpm. It also features advanced ride-by-wire electronics and three different throttle maps – for rain, touring and sport riding modes. Anti-lock brakes and traction control are available as optional extras.

Changes on the 2012 Dorsoduro 1200, which was first shown at the EICMA in Milan last year, include new three-spoke wheels that are 2.3 kilos lighter than five-spoke hoops used on the old bike, revised suspension settings and revised traction control settings that work in conjunction with the selected riding mode (rain, touring, sport). The bike also gets new colour schemes and a new front fender and is 3kg lighter than the old 1200.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Valentino Rossi: “Honestly, I expected to do better than tenth!”

Valentino Rossi, Ducati GP12 Valentino Rossi, Ducati GP12 Valentino Rossi, Ducati GP12 Valentino Rossi, Ducati GP12 Valentino Rossi, Ducati GP12 Valentino Rossi, Ducati GP12

With the 2012 MotoGP season scheduled to kick off in Qatar in five weeks from now, teams are now putting final touches to their racebikes. Valentino Rossi and his crew are, of course, working on the Ducati GP12, hoping to improve on last year’s results if nothing else.

‘One small positive note to the day is that we reduced the gap to the front a little bit. It was 1.2 seconds and now it’s 1 second. It’s also nice that the new electronics work well, but it hurts being down on the timesheets compared to all the others. We tried a bunch of things in order to take a step forward from the first test, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to do it and were actually worse,’ said Rossi, after the last test at Sepang. ‘It was harder for me to ride well compared to three weeks ago – especially my corner speed. It’s true that this test was more difficult in terms of weather and track conditions, but it seemed to affect us more than the others. Honestly, I expected to do better than tenth,’ he added.

Carl Fogarty on the Ducati 916: “It was stunning. Still is.”

Carl Fogarty Ducati 916
Four-time world superbikes champ, Carl Fogarty say the 916 was ahead of its time...
Carl Fogarty, Ducati 916 Carl Fogarty, Ducati 916 Carl Fogarty, Ducati 916 Carl Fogarty, Ducati 916

In this day and age of high-tech marvels like the Panigale, we still love the Ducati 916. With its timeless beauty and world championship-winning performance, the 916 remains in a league of its own. So it’s interesting to see what former Ducati rider and four-time (1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999) world superbikes champion, Carl Fogarty has to say about the 916:

“I’d seen it a bit at the factory at the end of ’93 and didn’t think too much of it, because it didn’t have its bodywork on. I saw the single-sided swingarm and remember thinking the tyre was close to the exhaust and it might cause problems. Then when they wheeled it out for me to race at Donington, I just thought I’d never seen anything as beautiful in my life. I’ll never forget it. It was almost too nice to ride. It was stunning. It still is. So ahead of its time.

Motul Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade looks hot!

Motul Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade
The Motul Honda paintjob looks damn good...!
Motul Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade Motul Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade

The Honda TT Legends team has signed an agreement with French company, Motul, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of motorcycle lubricants. Motul will support the Honda TT Legends team in the World Endurance Championship, Isle of Man TT and Northwest 200 races, and the team’s 20th Anniversary Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade will carry Motul branding.

Motul claim that their 300V Racing Kit Oil, which the TT Legends team will use, has been specifically developed for the Fireblade in collaboration with Honda Racing Corporation. The oil uses new Ester technology for maximum power output and engine performance, say Motul. All we can say is the Motul Honda Fireblade looks pretty good and we hope the Legends team does well this year.

Motul Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade Motul Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Honda CRF250L to go on sale in Europe this year

2013 Honda CRF250L 2013 Honda CRF250L 2013 Honda CRF250L 2013 Honda CRF250L
The 2013 Honda CRF250L, an affordable dual-purpose bike for everyday use...

have confirmed that their new dual-purpose bike, the CRF250L, will go on sale in Europe later this year. Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 2011, the CRF250L is, according to Honda, “A true dual purpose motorcycle offering both ease of use in everyday life and the fun of off-road riding. As such, it continues a long tradition of Honda machines, dating back to the XL250S of the late 1970s, and the entire XL range that followed.”

The CRF250l is fitted with a liquid-cooled DOHC single cylinder 249cc engine, a twin-tube oval-pipe steel chassis, inverted front forks, ProLink rear suspension and aluminium swing arm. Honda will release the detailed tech specs sheet in April this year.

2012 Triumph Explorer 1200 riding impression

MCN ride the 2012 Triumph Explorer 1200 in a bid to find out if it's a match for the likes of the BMW R1200GS and the Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX1200
2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer

Learn to be a better Dirt Rider

In this episode of On Two Wheels, Chris Denison (Editor, Dirt Rider magazine) and his crew teach you the essentials of off-road riding. Yep, it's a crash course in wheelies, jumping and bar drag cornering...
riding in the dirt riding in the dirt riding in the dirt riding in the dirt riding in the dirt riding in the dirt riding in the dirt riding in the dirt riding in the dirt

Bill Dixon drifts Graves Motorsports 2012 Yamaha R1 around Willow Springs Raceway

Stunt rider Bill Dixon shows us the correct way to ride around Willow Springs...   :-D

Who doesn’t love a bit of gratuitous high-speed motorcycle drifting? Yes, exactly. Which is why Graves Motorsports teamed up with stunt rider Bill Dixon to create a one-off Yamaha R1 – the one you see in the video above – that’s built for drifting. ‘When Chuck Graves told me there were no limits to what Graves Motorsports could do, I had no idea he meant it literally. The bike is the epitome of badass,’ says Dixon, who seems to have had a fair bit of fun drifting the R1 around Willow Springs Raceway. ‘Bill had so much fun drifting the Yamaha, I was jealous. Projects like this are the driving force at Graves,’ adds Chuck.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rossy vs Rossi: It's The Jetman against The Doctor

Yves Rossy Valentino Rossi
In the world of high speeds, Yves 'The Jetman' Rossy can certainly keep up with Valentino 'The Doctor' Rossi. The man seems to have accomplished the impossible...!
Yves Rossy Valentino Rossi

Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi is pretty much the fastest Rossi around, right? Weighing in at 155 kilos dry and with about 250 horsepower from its 1000cc four-cylinder engine, The Doctor’s 2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 MotoGP racebike can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 2.6 seconds and hit a top speed of more than 360km/h. So that pretty much settles it – Valentino is the fastest Rossi in the world. Or maybe not. Why? Because there’s also one Yves ‘The Jetman’ Rossy, and he goes very, very fast as well.

Born in Switzerland, the 53-year-old Yves Rossy used to be a fighter pilot with the Swiss Air Force and flew fighter jets like the Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs and Dassault Mirage III among others. He still flies a jet, just not one that he sits in. No, now he is the jet. Rossy has developed a carbonfibre wing that spans about two metres and which is fitted with four JetCat P200 jet engines. Strapped to his back, this wing lets Rossy fly. No, really, it does – just look at the videos on this page!



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