Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Troy Bayliss: “The Panigale has taken a huge leap forward over the 1198…”

Troy Bayliss
Aussie tough guy and super racer, Troy Bayliss reckons the new Panigale is a big leap over the 1198, especially in terms of the bike's handling and power delivery
Ducati 1199 Panigale Ducati 1199 Panigale Ducati 1198 Ducati 1198

Three-time World Superbikes champion and current Ducati development rider, Troy Bayliss recently spoke about how he thinks the new Ducati 1199 Panigale compares to the earlier 1198. ‘It’s taken a huge leap forward over the 1198, with much better handling, more control of the engine’s power delivery and better aids to help you achieve the most from the bike,’ said Bayliss, speaking to Motorcycle Sport & Leisure. ‘It’s noticeably less physical too. I don’t like bikes that you have to fight. By reducing the engine’s midrange and placing the power up top, the 1199 has become a whole lot easier to manage. It no longer wants to wheelie randomly at every opportunity and that means you can relax more into the ride and get more from the bike,’ he adds.

‘I’d say the best part of the Panigale is its electronics, which allow you to customize the bike to suit you, be it changes to the suspension or adding on more engine braking. And it’s stupidly easy to alter – if you had the time, you really could go to town with this bike, honing it here and there until it suits you perfectly,’ says Bayliss. ‘It’s going to be extremely competitive. You only need to swing your leg over it to realize just how fantastic it is. When I think back, this bike has more technology than the world championship winning Ducati 1098 I rode in 2008. That says it all really,’ he adds.

Elevate 2: Still Climbing

Directed by Jeremy Miller, Elevate 2 is a short film that showcases the amazing and quite spectacular sport of motorcycle hillclimbing These guys are awesome!

Using what he calls his 'moving camera techniques,' Director Jeremy Miller captures the sheer adrenaline rush that's such a part of motorcycle hillclimbing. A follow-up to the first Elevate movie, Elevate 2 focuses on the drive and the passion that fuels motorcycle hillclimbers and with the insight and perspective of individual riders, delves deeper into the rather obscure world of this amazing sport.

The movie features NAHA riders Jason Smith, Bret Peterson, Max Simmons and Logan Mead and includes exclusive exhibition hill climbing footage and an interview with Mike 'The Godfather' Metzger. Elevate 2 was filmed on location at NAHA sanctioned events and private locations in California, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, visit the movie's official website here

Nicky Hayden: "In MotoGP, you can't just be average..."

2006 MotoGP world champ, Nicky Hayden talks about crushing mediocrity, being brave, earning respect and what it takes to be in a sport like MotoGP

Monday, April 02, 2012

Sneak Preview: 2013 Moto Morini Rebello 1200 Giubileo

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The new Moto Morini Rebello 1200 certainly looks interesting...

Legendary Italian motorcycle company, Moto Morini are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. And to mark the occasion, they have announced a new motorcycle – the Rebello 1200 Giubileo – which will go on sale in 2013, with a price tag of 13,900 euros. According to the Morini website, the Corsaro Veloce, Granpasso and Scrambler will also be available in 2013 and will be sold alongside the new Rebello.

The Moto Morini Rebello 1200 gets a tubular steel trellis frame and is powered by the company’s liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 8-valve, 1187cc ‘Bialbero CorsaCorta’ V-twin, which produces 130 horsepower and 122Nm of torque. This is, by Morini’s own admission, “A wicked, aggressive engine, which makes the Rebello 1200 Giubileo a downright wicked bike.” Ahem.

An electronic dashboard with multi-function LCD display, six-speed gearbox, multi-disc wet anti-hop clutch, multi-adjustable 50mm Marzocchi USD forks, fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock and Brembo brakes – with twin 320mm brake discs and 4-piston calipers at the front, and single 220mm disc with twin-piston caliper at the back – complete the package. The bike even has an electrically operated seat unit which transforms from a single-seat to twin-seat unit at the press of a button. The Rebello rides on 17-inch wheels, shod with 120/70 (front) and 190/55 (rear) ZR-rated Pirelli Angel tyres, and the bike weighs 198kg sans fuel.

Top Gun: Kawasaki GPZ900R

Kawasaki GPZ900R
The 1980s GPZ900R still looks damn cool and, yes, we still want one!
Kawasaki GPZ900R Kawasaki GPZ900R Kawasaki GPZ900R

After the very successful Z1, which Kawasaki launched in 1972, the company started development work on its next ‘superbike’ in the late-1970s. For this, Kawasaki evaluated various engine options, including V4, V6 and inline-six configurations, but ultimately decided to go with their tried-and-tested inline-four format. The result was the 1984 Ninja GPZ900R, the quickest, fastest production machine of its time.

The GPZ900R was fitted with an all-new, 908cc liquid-cooled, 16-valve DOHC inline-four with chain-driven cams – the first such engine ever used on a production streetbike – that produced 115 horsepower at 9,500rpm and 84Nm of torque at 8,500rpm. The bike’s top speed was about 250km/h, and during its press launch in December 1983 – at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California – the then reigning AMA superbike champ Wayne Rainey put in a few fast laps on the new GPZ. His best lap time on the stock 900R streetbike was a 1:16, which wasn’t too bad compared to the 1:10 he did on the Team Kawasaki GPZ750 racebike.

A week before the press launch, professional motorcycle drag racer Jay ‘Pee Wee’ Gleason also did a 10.55-second quarter-mile on the stock GPZ900R and said he thought he’d be able to get the time down to 10.4 with more testing. Phenomenal, for a stock mid-1980s sportsbike, and clearly quicker and faster than both the Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo as well as the GPZ1100.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

TZR250-engined Yamaha YZR replica is rocking

Yes,it really does look like the real thing, doesn't it...?  :-)
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Found this Yamaha YZR500 two-stroke GP replica on the NK Racing website and we think the bike is pretty neat. The aluminium twin-spar chassis is from a reverse-cylinder Yamaha TZR250, the engine is a heavily tuned Yamaha RD500 YPVS unit and the suspension is Ohlins – forks from an Aprilia RSV Mille R and rear shock from a Honda CBR600RR.

The YZR500 replica rolls on 17-inch Marchesini wheels, shod with Michelin Pilot Race rubber. Brakes are Brembo units – twin 320mm discs with Brembo 4-piston calipers at the front and single 210mm Nissin disc at the back, with a twin-piston Brembo monoblock caliper. The fairing is based on the 1994 Yamaha 0WF9 YZR500, which Luca Cadalora rode to a second place finish in the 500cc world championship that year. The exhaust system is custom-made and the instrument panel is a fully programmable LCD unit from Translogic.

We think this YZR500 replica is, quite simply, rocking! Visit NK Racing for more details.

The Wall of Death

An interesting film from Benedict Campbell about the Ken Fox Troupe, one of the last remaining families of daredevil motorcycle riders that ride the 'wall of death'...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

KTM 690 Duke Track is the spiritual successor to the early-1990s Ducati Supermono

KTM 690 Duke Track KTM 690 Duke Track
KTM 690 Duke Track KTM 690 Duke Track KTM 690 Duke Track KTM 690 Duke Track
It's the coolest track-only single-cylinder motorcycle in the world...

Last month, we’d written about the EJC-spec KTM 690 Duke , which will be raced in the European Junior Cup (EJC) series this year. We did say the bike looked very interesting and hoped KTM would do a street version or upgrade the regular 690 Duke to EJC spec. Right on cue, the Austrian company has announced they will produce a limited edition ‘Track’ version of the 690 Duke, which will be based on the EJC bike!

KTM will only produce 200 units of the 690 Duke Track and while it won’t be homologated for the street, it will be priced under 10,000 euros and will have the same spec as the EJC racebike. At 140kg, the 690 Duke Track will be 10 kilos lighter than the regular 690 and, thanks to a full titanium/carbon Akrapovic exhaust, modifications to the airbox and KTM PowerParts camshaft with a bespoke fuel map, will have 79 horsepower, 9bhp more than the stock machine.

Other changes on the 690 Duke Track include a KTM PowerParts seat that’s firmer, higher and that allows more room for the rider to change position on the bike, new rearset footpegs that increase ground clearance, lightweight Marchesini alloy wheels, narrower Renthal handlebars, and a thicker brake disc at the front, with new four-pad radial-mount Brembo caliper and master cylinder. Since this is meant to be a track-use-only machine, ABS is not available on the 690 Duke Track. And finally, the bike also gets new, higher-spec suspension – fully adjustable WP forks and monoshock.

We think the KTM 690 Duke Track is pretty interesting. This machine is, perhaps, the spiritual successor to the Ducati Supermono of the early-1990s!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Extreme Cornering and the Buell XB12R Firebolt

Buell XB12R Firebolt
Yes, you really could ride your pants off on the Buell XB12R!
Buell XB12R Firebolt Buell XB12R Firebolt Buell XB12R Firebolt

Back in 2005, the unthinkable happened. The Buell XB12R Firebolt – a little-known motorcycle from a small-volumes manufacturer – was declared the best bike in the world, for cornering. In the UK-based Bike magazine’s story on the Top 50 Cornering Bikes, the XB12R came out right on top, beating, among others, contenders like the Ducati 999R, Suzuki GSX-R1000, Triumph Speed Triple 1050, Aprilia RSV1000R, Honda RC30, KTM 990 Super Duke and Yamaha YZF750R. Which was pretty much everything, then.

So what exactly was the XB12R, again? Well, it was a sportsbike built Buell-style, powered by an air-cooled, fuel-injected 1203cc ‘Thunderstorm’ V-twin that produced 103bhp and 112Nm of torque. With a dry weight of 178 kilos, wheelbase of 52 inches and steering geometry which, according to Bike, was akin to that of a 250cc GP racer, the XB12R Firebolt was definitely not a conventional sportsbike. But with its fully adjustable Showa 43mm inverted forks and monoshock, sticky Pirelli Diablo Corsa III tyres and single-disc, four-pad, eight-piston ZTL2 front braking system, the machine was apparently built to go around corners better than anything else. So let’s then take a quick look at what Bike mag had to say about the XB12R back then:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Deep Freeze: Yamaha R1 vs Porsche 911 GT3 RS

250km/h on ice? Why the hell not!

This time, it's a 180bhp Yamaha YZF-R1 against a 450-horsepower Porsche 911 GT3 RS, both of which go head to head on an exact replica of the 5.8km Paul Ricard circuit, recreated on ice, in Lapland, in Finland. The temperature is -25 degrees and any grip available is only provided by the 2,320 spikes which the Porsche is wearing on its tyres, and the 470 spikes which the R1 is relying upon. And then, for good measure, a Mitsubishi Evo 9 and Yamaha 450WRF also decide to join in...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer, other variants, unveiled

2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
With the new 'Record Kit,' the Moto Guzzi V7 Racer is cooler than ever before...
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer

Moto Guzzi have released pics and details of their new, 2013-spec V7 range, which includes the Racer, Special and Stone versions. ‘We can say that the V7 is a completely new bike, more powerful, faster, thriftier, more ecological, better refined and more comfortable than the previous version, and yet still with a shaft-driven 90° transverse V-twin engine and double cradle frame,’ says a press release from Guzzi.

Changes on the 2013 V7 range include a revised engine with two oxygen sensors (for better fuel economy and lower emissions), redesigned cylinder heads, bigger air intake ducts, increased compression ratio (up from 9.2 to 10.2), redesigned cylinder fins (for better cooling) and a more refined five-speed gearbox. With a fuel economy figure of 23km/l, the Guzzi V7, with its 22-litre fuel tank, now has a range of more than 500km on one tank of fuel.

The 2013 V7 range also gets new wheels that are lighter than before – alloy hoops with five split spokes for the V7, spoked with new polished aluminium rims for the Special and anodised black with red hubs for the Racer. The bikes’ 40mm front forks have been recalibrated and the Racer gets Bitubo WMT gas shock absorbers equipped with an external reservoir. Braking duties are handled by a single 320mm disc at the front and 260mm disc at the back.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ducati Desmosedici RR around the Mulholland Drive

One lucky owner takes his Desmosedici RR around the Mulholland Drive. It's not often that you'd see one of these MotoGP-replica machines being ridden flat-out on the street...
Ducati Desmosedici RR Ducati Desmosedici RR Ducati Desmosedici RR

Today, when all the headlines in Ducati world have been taken by the admittedly incredible 1199 Panigale, perhaps it’s also a good time to look back and, for a brief moment, think about the Desmosedici RR. The first and hitherto the only real MotoGP replica ever sold to the public, the Desmosedici RR was based on Ducati’s 2006 Desmosedici GP6 racebike. Unveiled in 2006, the RR was fitted with a 989cc 90-degree Desmodromic V4 that produced 197 horsepower at 13,800rpm and 116Nm of torque at 10,500rpm. The bike, which complied with Euro 3 emissions norms, cost US$72,500 and was fully street legal.

The Desmosedici RR had a 6-speed cassette-type gearbox, dry multi-plate hydraulically actuated slipper clutch, full carbonfibre bodywork, chrome-molybdenum-steel trellis frame, aluminium swingarm and fully adjustable Öhlins suspension – 43mm FG353 PFF USD forks and monoshock with hydraulic preload and low/high compression damping adjustment. The bike rolled on 17-inch forged and machined magnesium wheels from Marchesini, shod with 120/70 (front) and 200/55 (rear) ZR-rated Bridgestone Battlax BT-01 tyres.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Stephane Peterhansel rides a Yamaha R1 in the Moroccan desert

Yamaha R1, Stephane Peterhansel Yamaha R1, Stephane Peterhansel Yamaha R1, Stephane Peterhansel Yamaha R1, Stephane Peterhansel
Riding a 180bhp litre-class superbike in the sand must take some doing...!

Six-time Dakar Rally winner, Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel (now Editorial Director of the L’Integral magazine) recently took on an interesting challenge – to ride a Yamaha R1 on the sand dunes of Merzouga, in Morocco. And all it took for him to accomplish the feat was a set of hand-cut Michelin tyres and replacement handlebars. Going by the pics here, Peterhansel seems to have had fun surfing sand dunes aboard his 180bhp sportsbike. Cool!

Source: Yamaha Motor France

AGV PistaGP: “Like switching from TV to the cinema!”

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The all-new AGV PistaGP, perhaps the best helmet on the planet for motorcyclists
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Dainese and AGV have released details and pics of their latest top-of-the-line helmet for motorcyclists – the AGV PistaGP – which has actually been designed around Valentino Rossi’s head. ‘The new helmet is part of the AGV Standards project, which, in line with the qualities established by Gino Amisano [founder of AGV], revolutionizes the way helmets are designed, setting new records for protection and ergonomics that are clearly evident. The next generation helmets arising from this project are intended to place AGV, once again, in a leading market position with its technology,’ said Lino Dainese, President of Dainese and AGV.

Using advanced construction technologies, AGV have been able to minimize the PistaGP’s weight, resulting in a helmet that’s lighter and more compact than its predecessors, while still offering better protection and comfort. The PistaGP also offers increased visor window area, increased field of vision, reduced ‘lift’ at high speeds and vastly improved ventilation. ‘I am very happy with the PistaGP – it feels like I am not wearing a helmet. Its aerodynamics have increased, with excellent ventilation and exaggerated visibility, like switching from TV to the cinema,’ says The Doctor.

And as Mr Leno explains here, size is important when it comes to choosing your helmet...

Friday, March 23, 2012

2012 Streetfighter Shootout: Aprilia Tuono V4R vs MV Agusta Brutale R 1090 vs Triumph Speed Triple R

It's a streetfighters' brawl, as the Aprilia Tuono V4R APRC, MV Agusta Brutale R 1090 and Triumph Speed Triple R go head to head against each other...
Source: Motorcycle
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And here's Cycle World's take on a bunch of super nakeds - 2012 Aprilia Tuono V4R vs Ducati Streetfighter S vs MV Agusta Brutale 1090 RR vs Triumph Speed Triple R
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