Monday, July 02, 2012

2013 BMW F700GS, F800GS: First official pics, specs, details

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For 2013, the new F700GS replaces the earlier F650GS. Both, the new F800GS and F700GS get ABS and optional stability control and electronically adjustable suspension...
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BMW have announced the new, 2013-spec F700GS (which replaces the earlier F650GS) and F800GS machines. The F800GS is, according to BMW, a full-on dual-purpose bike that offers high levels of off-road capability, while still retaining suitability for road use. The F700GS, they say, is ‘geared more towards motorcyclists who do not yet need quite the same level of off-road expertise.’ Both bikes get BMW’s latest two-channel ABS as standard, as part of the company’s ‘Safety 360°’ principle, which dictates the adoption of ABS on all 2013 model BMW motorcycles.

Apart from ABS, the 2013 BMW F800GS and F700GS also feature optional automatic stability control (ASC), which is a form of traction control that prevents excessive wheelspin, and electronic suspension adjustment (ESA II), with comfort, normal and sport settings. Both machines are powered by the same 798cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected parallel-twin, which produces 85 horsepower and 83Nm of torque in the F800GS and 75bhp and 77Nm of torque in the F700GS. Both bikes get a tubular steel chassis, which uses the engine as a load-bearing element, and aluminium swingarm.

All 2013 BMW motorcycles to get ABS as standard


ABS on all bikes is, we think, a step in the right direction for motorcycle safety...

As part of their ‘Safety 360°’ principle, BMW Motorrad have announced that all their 2013-spec motorcycles will be fitted with anti-lock brakes as standard. According to BMW, their ‘Safety 360°’ principle includes three things – safety technology in the vehicle itself, safety derived from rider equipment and safety derived from rider training.

‘The company is being proactive here, significantly pre-empting the requirement for ABS likely to be introduced in 2016 for all newly registered motorcycles in Europe,’ says a press release from the company, about the addition of ABS to all 2013 model BMW motorcycles.

Other important safety features that BMW Motorrad are working on include adaptive headlamps for better vision in the dark, and further improvements to their ESA II electronically adjustable suspension. With ESA II, BMW’s aim is to create a semi-active suspension that is able to react to changing road conditions in real time.


2012 BMW S1000RR vs Ducati 1199 S Panigale

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The 2012 BMW S1000RR and Ducati 1199 S Panigale represent the best of the best in the litre-class superbike segment. But choosing between the two can be tough...

For their Summer 2012 issue, the UK-based Superbike magazine has conducted a shootout between the 2012 BMW S1000RR and the Ducati 1199 S Panigale. The detailed and very comprehensive comparison test has been done by Chris Northover, while Ant Northover has written a brief ‘2nd Opinion’ piece on both bikes. Here are some excerpts from what Ant has to say about the two bikes:

On the Ducati 1199 S Panigale

“The quick throttle response and ridiculous surge of mid-range power make the Ducati feel faster than the BMW, and a mix of thrilling and terrifying every time you open the fast tap. The technology on the Panigale is something to behold [and] with the amazing TFT screen and limited buttons, it’s all fairly intuitive to use. It’s impossible to be subtle riding a bright red Ducati, especially one where the sound alone is enough to scare the pants off most people.”

“Roaring through London traffic gives you a headache as the exhaust noise echoes off the surrounding vehicles, but you can’t help but take satisfaction in gunning the engine away from the lights and making the world turn to see. The Ducati feels faster, has more technology, sounds better than the BMW and has the looks to make grown men cry. But the lumpy throttle response, exhaust that’s too loud for a lot of trackdays and uncompromising nature all puts it behind the S1000RR, for me at least.”

Friday, June 29, 2012

Christophe Naulet’s amazing Peugeot 103 T-Hawk, the coolest custom-built moped ever

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We just love this amazing machine!

The strikingly good looking machine - the Peugeot 103 T-Hawk - you see here is actually based on a 50cc 1978 Peugeot 103 MVL that has been heavily modified by Christophe Naulet. The 37-year-old Christophe is French and grew up in Paris, where he used to ride Peugeot, Motobecane and other mopeds in the late-1980s. We’ll let him tell his story in his own words…

Peugeot and Motobecane mopeds were very popular back then, with lots of parts available to trick them out. They also started racing them on the track. From late-70s to mid-90s, racers and tuners perfected these 50cc mopeds with variator-type transmissions, taking them to the next level, with custom aluminum frames and up to 18bhp from the engines. There was even a national championship [but] it died in the late-90s. A few old timers started racing again in 2007 with their vintage racing mopeds and it's slowly coming back and growing,’ says Christophe.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2012 Bikers’ Classics at Spa-Francorchamps to witness the return of legends

Raymond Roche
Raymond Roche Stephane Mertens Fabrizio Pirovano
The 2012 Bikers' Classics at Spa will see the return of World Superbikes legends like Raymond Roche, Stephane Mertens, Fabrizio Pirovano and others...

The Spa-Francorchamps circuit was taken off the motorcycle GP road racing calendar more than 20 years ago and the last (and only) World Superbikes race ever held at the legendary Belgian circuit was in 1992. But for those who remember names like Doug Polen, Raymond Roche, Stephane Mertens, Fabriozio Pirovano, Steve Baker, Anders Andersson, Terry Rymer, Freddie Spencer, Dieter Braun and Niall Mackenzie, and bikes like the Honda VFR750R RC30, Ducati 851/888 and Yamaha FZR750R OW 01, this year’s Bikers’ Classics – to be held at Spa from June 29 to July 1st – will once again provide an opportunity to see those men and machines in action.

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Bikers’ Classics event, which sees legendary racers and their bikes reunited every year in all their high-speed, adrenaline-charged glory of the 1980s and 1990s. All the names mentioned above are going to be a part of this year’s Bikers’ Classics, which is probably Europe's biggest classic racing event for motorcycles. We hope to bring a report and photographs of the event soon and in the meanwhile, you may want to check out the Bikers’ Classics official website.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Barry Sheene: His life and times in Australia


A multi-part documentary that takes a look at the life of everybody's favourite motorcycle road racer, the legendary Barry Sheene. If you've ever wondered why Barry moved from the UK to Australia and how things were for him in Aussie-land, you've got to watch this very interesting documentary, which, by the way, also features Barry's wife, Stephanie


Australian motorcycle aces: Wayne Gardner, Kevin Magee, Daryl Beattie and Mick Doohan

A multi-part documentary that takes a look at the life and times of some of our favourite motorcycle racers of the 1980s and the 1990s, from Australia. Men like Wayne Gardner, Kevin Magee, Daryl Beattie and Mick Doohan, some of the best bike racers of their time...

Wayne Gardner

Kevin Magee

Daryl Beattie

Mick Doohan

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dreamachine Motorcycles: The Akrapovic Morsus

Akrapovic Morsus
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The Morsus is slim and cool and sexy - just the way we like 'em!

The bike you see here – The Morsus – was built last year by the Slovenia-based Dreamachine Motorcycles in collaboration with motorcycle exhaust specialists, Akrapovic. The project was initiated by Akrapovic, who wanted to prove that their engineering prowess goes beyond producing exhaust systems and to show that they are also capable of producing a world-class custom bike.

As you might expect, the materials used in the construction of The Morsus are those that Akrapovic are skilled at using – titanium, high-quality stainless steel and carbonfibre. ‘This project was a big challenge for me. I admire the work of Igor Akrapovič very much and I wanted to put together two motorcycle worlds, racing and custom. I followed also an idea of special cycle chrono bike on 26 inch wheels, which was quite challenging, but I´m quite happy with the final result,’ says Tomaž Capuder of Dreamachine Motorcycles, the man responsible for creating The Morsus.

Giovanni Castiglioni on Ducati, Porsche, and the future of MV Agusta

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We don't really agree with Giovanni but his views are interesting all the same...
Ducati Panigale Classic Porsche MV Agusta

For their Summer 2012 issue, the UK-based Fast Bikes magazine have done a very interesting interview with the late, great, Claudio Castiglioni’s son, Giovanni Castiglioni, who now heads MV Agusta. Giovanni certainly doesn’t mince words and while we don’t really agree with his views on a lot of things, they make for pretty interesting reading all the same. Here are some brief excerpts from what he has to say:

About Ducati

“The new bike is very nice, the Panigale, but it is not a Ducati. It is something completely different. No tubular frame, no exhaust, no torque. Look at Ducati’s 999 – a big mistake. And not just that, but it is impossible to understand if a Diavel is a Ducati, or a Harley, or whatever. People ask me about Audi buying Ducati, saying with them, Ducati will sell three times more volume. I’m not sure about this. It is not always true that a big company helps the sales of a small company.”

Master Class: John McGuinness on doing a fast lap of the Isle of Man TT circuit


If you've ever wondered what it is like to do a fast lap around the 60km Isle of Man road circuit, you have to watch this. The fastest man ever around the Isle of Man TT circuit, 19-times winner and Honda TT Legends rider John McGuinness is an expert and here he talks you through an IoM TT lap, the way he does it...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Alpinestars Vika. Triumph. Cool...


Alpinestars claim that their Vika range of motorcycle apparel "seamlessly fuses contemporary fashion trends with modern protective innovations." Maybe it does. All we know is, this promo video for Vika is pretty cool. More info here

Saturday, June 23, 2012

2013 Triumph Trophy SE unveiled

2013 Triumph Trophy SE
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The new Triumph Trophy is all set to go touring...

Triumph have released details and some pics of the new Trophy, a touring bike powered by the British company’s 1215cc three-cylinder engine, which produces 132bhp and 120Nm of torque. ‘Fine-tuned for the smoothest ride possible, the thrilling 1215cc 3-cylinder engine gives you power and torque when you want it and exhilaration when you need it. This spirited engine delivers excitement on demand; no need to wait for the revs to rise or be forced to kick down a gear at the wrong time. You’ll feel it and you’ll hear it as the infamous triumph triple delivers its inimitable, spine tingling sound,’ claims a press release from Triumph.

World Ducati Week 2012: Pictures and Videos


From Day 1:
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Hit the jump for more pics and videos...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Back to the 1980s: Riding the BMW K1


We were quite fascinated with the BMW K1 when we first saw pictures of the bike in the late-1980s. And it still doesn't look too bad to us...

Introduced in 1988, the BMW K1 was pretty radical for its time. Its liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, 987cc four-cylinder engine featured electronic fuel injection (engineered by Bosch) and computer-controlled ignition with three-dimensional mapping, and produced 100bhp and 100Nm of torque. The bike had Brembo brakes with ABS, a single-side swingarm/shaft-drive set up, five-speed gearbox, and a full fairing with a remarkably unique graphics treatment - we'd love to see an S1000RR with its name emblazoned all over the fairing the way it's done on the K1.

With a dry weight of about 230 kilos and only 100bhp on tap, we don't suppose the K1's performance would be anything special by modern standards, but then this BMW was always meant to be a sports-tourer rather than an all-out sportsbike, so that's probably all right. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that we had posters of this bike up on our bedroom walls back when we were in school, maybe it's the sci-fi styling or maybe it's just that the K1 is from the 1980s, a decade we love so much. Whatever it is, we think the K1 was damn cool 25 years ago. And it still is.

The History of Motorcycle Roadracing


Produced by Greenlight Television, this 55-minute-long documentary is an interesting, insightful look at the world of motorcycle roadracing and how the sport has evolved over the last many decades. If you like going fast on bikes, you're going to enjoy this...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Miroslav Felgr and the story of the FGR Midalu 2500 V6

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“FGR “FGR “FGR
The Midalu 2500 is fitted with a 2.5-litre V6 that produces 240bhp and 200Nm of torque. The bike will carry a price tag 80,000 euros when it goes on sale next year...

The Czech Republic isn’t exactly the first country that comes to mind when we think of high-performance motorcycles and yet that’s exactly where the V6-engined FGR Midalu 2500 is from. Based in the Czech Republic, Miroslav Felgr started thinking about building a motorcycle with the world’s biggest engine and the best components, back in 2001. A decade later, his dream has come true – the Midalu 2500 hyperbike is set to go into limited production by early-2013.

The Midalu 2500 is fitted with a 2442cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree V6 – the biggest, most powerful normally-aspirated production-spec motorcycle engine in the world – which produces 240 horsepower and more than 200Nm of torque. We’re quite fascinated with this motorcycle and caught up with the man behind this machine – Miroslav Felgr – for a quick chat. Here’s what he had to say about the FGR Midalu 2500 V6:

On why he chose to build something like the Midalu

I wanted to build a bike that wasn’t just something new, but also offered the best in luxury with the best possible components. Our company was established 20 years ago and deals with the design and manufacture of special purpose machines for the automotive industry. Since 2003, we have raced motorcycles with our FGR 125 GP bike and starting with this year, we are now in the new Moto3 class. It is the best advertisement for us, especially for the FGR Midalu motorcycle. In Bohemia [old name for the Czech Republic] we always produced motorcycles that were among the best in the world, so we wanted to revive this tradition.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rise Again: In tribute to Marco Simoncelli


Rise Again, a new single from The Rainband, in tribute to Marco Simoncelli

Created in tribute to Marco Simoncelli, Rise Again is a new single from The Rainband that will be released on iTunes on the 17th of this month, with all profits going to the Marco Simoncelli Foundation. The Foundation will use the money to build care homes across the world for the disabled, a cause that was close to Marco's heart.

Rise Again has been filmed in Marco Simoncelli's hometown of Coriano, in Rimini, Italy, and features Marco's home video footage that's never been publicly shown before. The video has been put together with inputs from Marco's father Paolo and fiancée Kate, who wanted the world to see Marco the person as well as Marco the fearless MotoGP rider. Also, James Toseland has played the piano for this track.

Monday, June 11, 2012

James Hunt, Barry Sheene: When Playboys Ruled the World


'In my day, when the race was done we went off and chased girls. Now they go and say thanks to Vodafone,' says Sir Stirling Moss...

Produced by ITV Sport, When Playboys Ruled the World is a documentary that takes a look at the lives of 1970s legends Barry Sheene and James Hunt. First aired back in 2010, the documentary mixes period race footage, original interviews with Hunt and Sheene and conversations with friends and family. People like Stephanie Sheene, David Hunt, Sir Stirling Moss, Max Mosley, Murray Walker, Max Clifford and Kelvin MacKenzie provide an interesting perspective on how things were back then. If you haven't seen it already, get some cold beers and get ready to be transported back into a time that was magical...

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Michael Rutter does first ever 100mph electric bike lap at the IoM TT on his MotoCzysz E1pc

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Michael Rutter does first ever 100mph lap on an electric motorcycle at the Isle of Man TT, winning the 2012 SES TT Zero race and a £10,000 prize from the IoM Government!

Back in 1957, Scottish rider Bob McIntyre became the first man ever to achieve an average speed of 100mph (160km/h) at the Isle of Man TT races. This year, Michael Rutter has repeated the feat. On his Team Segway Racing MotoCzysz electric motorcycle. Yes, Rutter, who’s won the 2012 SES TT Zero race, is the first man ever to do a 100mph lap at the IoM TT on an electric bike.

Rutter finished ahead of John McGuinness , who took second place in the SES TT Zero race on his Team Mugen Shinden machine, while MotoCzysz’s second rider, Mark Miller took the final podium position. All three broke the 100mph average speed mark during the single-lap TT Zero race, with Rutter doing 104mph, McGuinness, 102mph, and Miller, 101mph (average speeds) around the around the 37¾ mile mountain course at the Isle of Man. Rutter also won a £10,000 prize from the IoM Government for his efforts.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Downshift: Cafe Racers


Why cafe racers? They're better than cellphones and reality TV. And chicks dig 'em. On this episode of The Downshift, a quick look at the cool, stylish world of cafe racers...

Sunday, June 03, 2012

John McGuinness on his 18th TT win: “I got a bit emotional…”

John McGuinness, 2012 Isle of Man TT John McGuinness, 2012 Isle of Man TT John McGuinness, 2012 Isle of Man TT
John McGuinness, possibly the bravest, fastest, most talented motorcycle road racer in the world, now has 18 TT victories to his name. The Morecambe Missile rocks!
John McGuinness, 2012 Isle of Man TT John McGuinness, 2012 Isle of Man TT John McGuinness, 2012 Isle of Man TT

John McGuinness has become something of a legend at the Isle of Man TT races. Despite his massive talent and significant accomplishments in racing, McGuinness remains humble and very down-to-earth, a trait that’s impossible to find in, say, MotoGP.

Yesterday, McGuinness took his 18th TT victory, winning the 2012 Superbike race on his Honda Legends CBR1000RR Fireblade. The Morecambe Missile, as he’s sometimes called (McGuinness lives in Morecambe, in the UK) put in the fastest lap of the day at an average speed of 209km/h and won the Superbike race by 14.86 seconds.