Monday, August 13, 2012

Carlin Dunne, Ducati, win 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Carlin Dunne, Ducati, win 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Carlin Dunne, Ducati, win 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Carlin Dunne, Ducati, win 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Carlin Dunne, Ducati, win 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
If you think 320km/h in MotoGP is tough, try doing 230km/h at the Pikes Peak. Go off the mountain at those speeds and you know what's going to happen...

Carlin Dunne, riding a Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, won the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb today, setting a new course record for motorcycles in the process. Dunne’s win marks Ducati’s third straight victory at the historic ‘Race to the Clouds’ Pikes Peak hill climb event.

Both Dunne and the other Ducati rider, Greg Tracy, finished the race in less than 10 minutes, which is a first for any motorcycle in the race’s 90-year history. Dunne crossed the finish line at the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak with a record-setting time of 9:52.819, while Tracy, who was less than six seconds behind, took second spot with his time of 9:58.262.

‘Today was an emotional day. Getting across the finish line in under 10 minutes is an achievement we’re very proud of. When we heard that we won and broke the record for the second time, I was speechless. The one-two finish proves the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is the ultimate bike to conquer Pikes Peak,’ said Dunne. And, indeed, Dunne’s victory is no mean feat – the rider hit speeds of more than 230km/h on the mountain’s straights, and negotiated all of 156 turns, including hairpin, blind, decreasing radius and multi-apex turns, while consistently gaining elevation up the very technical 20km course.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, Audi RS5 have a go at the Pikes Peak


After you've enjoyed this footage of a Ducati Multistrada 1200 S and Audi RS5 speeding up the Pikes Peak, you may want to take a look at this contest which they've got going, where you stand a chance to experience these two machines for yourself...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Valentino Rossi back with the Yamaha Factory MotoGP team for 2013-14

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Two years ago, it was "Bye Bye Baby," and now Rossi is crawling back to Yamaha...

Valentino Rossi will leave Ducati at the end of this year and will rejoin the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team for 2013 and 2014. The Doctor hasn’t been able to win a single race on the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 and GP12 bikes, though he did manage to take a second-place finish in France this year.

Rossi won four MotoGP world championships (2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009) and 46 races with Yamaha from 2004-2010, before joining the Ducati team in 2011. The Rossi-Ducati Italian dream team, along with Aussie mech Jeremy Burgess, was expected to deliver great results but that never happened. The partnership never seemed to get off the ground, race wins never came and Rossi went from making noises about development work to pronouncing the Ducati MotoGP bike unrideable.

Despite The Doctor’s public outbursts about how terrible the Ducati bike is, Ducati have maintained a dignified silence throughout, never ever implying that the lack of results may have been because of the rider rather than because of the bike. In the end, even though we’re huge fans of The Doctor, we have to admit this whole thing makes Rossi look pretty silly. Back in 2010, Burgess and Rossi announced their move to Ducati with much fanfare and blowing of their own trumpets and two years later, they have copious amounts of egg on their faces – they’re looking silly, they’re looking like fools.

So Rossi is crawling back to Yamaha now, with his tail firmly clenched between his legs. We think Yamaha are being pretty gracious in taking him back, given his lack of results over the last two years. Whether or not Valentino can start winning races again on the Yamaha is not really the point – he probably will, despite younger, hungrier riders out there who’re baying for his blood. But the ‘superhuman’ aura which The Doctor once had is no more.

We love Ducati and we hope they’ll be able to find a talented young rider who’ll be able to do what Rossi couldn’t – win races aboard Ducati’s MotoGP bike. We wish Ducati all the best for 2013 and 2014, and we hope some Ducati rider – be it Nicky Hayden or anyone else – beats Rossi and his Yamaha in a few races next year!


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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Shelina Moreda, on the Brammo Empulse R


Based in California, Shelina Moreda is one hell of a fast girl - she races in the AMA Pro Road Racing National Series in the US. Here, she talks about what it's like to ride an electric motorcycle like the Brammo Empulse R...

2013 Victory Motorcycles: "American muscle never died, it just needed handlebars..."


The 2013 Victory Motorcycles line-up will be in showrooms soon. Here's the first promo video, which has one of the corniest lines ever; "American muscle never died, it just needed handlebars!" Really? Oh, well, we still like some of their bikes...

Monday, August 06, 2012

Sportsbikes for beginners: The 7 machines we like most

Aprilia RS4 125
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The Aprilia RS4 is probably the coolest 125cc sportsbike in the world...!

As long-term readers might have noticed, we are obsessed with litre-class superbikes here at Faster and Faster. GSX-R1000s, R1s, Ninja 1000s, Fireblades, Panigales, RSV4s, F4 RRs, S1000RRs… we just can’t get enough of those 170-190bhp monsters! That said, we don’t believe size is the only thing that matters – smaller can be cool, too.We don’t claim to have put together any kind of a definitive must-have list of beginner bikes – whatever works for you is probably the bike you should get. This is just our list of the beginner bikes that we think are pretty damn cool…

Millepercento Alba: The Moto Guzzi Griso 8V’s hotter cousin steps out

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The Millepercento Alba certainly seems to be better in every which way than the Moto Guzzi Griso 8V that it's based on. Yes, we like this bike very much!

Until recently, Jessica was just about the only hot Alba we knew of, but the September issue of Motorcycle Sport & Leisure features an Italian twin that puts the Fantastic Four actress in the shadows. Alan Cathcart rides the Millepercento Alba for MS&L and says the bike is fast and pleasurable to ride hard, with crisp and linear pickup in revs from 4,000rpm upwards. ‘It’s noticeably quicker than any stock Moto Guzzi,’ he adds.

Powered by the SOHC twin-cylinder 1151cc engine from the Moto Guzzi Griso 8V, the Alba is produced by Millepercento, one of the biggest dealers of Moto Guzzi in Italy. The bike has been engineered by Guiseppe Ghezzi, the man responsible for the Guzzi MGS-01 racebike, and as an option, the Alba is also available with the 1420cc pushrod engine from the Guzzi-Millepercento BB1.

‘When I joined Millepercento to create the Alba, my first objective was to do what I’d been denied at Moto Guzzi, which was to create a streetlegal Guzzi sportbike, meeting all required noise and emissions norms,’ says Ghezzi. Well, with 108bhp and 121Nm of torque, and a dry weight of 206 kilos, the Alba isn’t exactly a threat to the Panigales, S1000RRs and RSV4s of this world, but as Cathcart found out, it’s still a pretty capable machine in its own right.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Eddie Lawson: “I was timid, I wasn’t aggressive…”

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With his four 500cc world championships, 'Steady Eddie' was certainly one the greatest motorcycle grand prix roadracers in the 1980s. We're huge fans and always will be...

The second issue of Dainese Legends magazine features an interview with Eddie Lawson, one of the greatest motorcycle grand prix racers of the 1980s. Lawson, who won the 500cc GP roadracing world championship in 1984, 86, 88 and 89, took 31 race wins in the 500cc GPs in an era that was populated by racers like Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner and Randy Mamola.

Today, 23 years after Lawson won his last 500cc world championship, he is still regarded as one of the best motorcycle roadracers ever to emerge from the United States and what he has to say is still very, very interesting for those who have fond memories of the old 500cc two-stroke GP racing days. Here are some excerpts from Lawson had to say to Legends:

On how he got into motorcycle roadracing

“I came from a family of racers. My grandfather was one, and my father was as well – bikes, cars, everything. It was natural for me to be in a seat and racing, but I wasn’t fast right away. It took some time. I was timid, I wasn’t aggressive, and I wanted to understand how to go fast, and not just throw myself down the road. It got to the point where my grandfather once said, ‘The boy will never be fast’…”

Friday, August 03, 2012

BMW HP4 is the hottest S1000RR ever


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The HP4 is BMW's greatest high-performance motorcycle ever, and the regular S1000RR will also get all of the HP4's goodies next year

BMW have officially confirmed the S1000RR-based HP4, which packs 193 horsepower and weighs 199kg (with ABS and a full tank of fuel). ‘The new BMW HP4 sees its world premiere in 2012 and is a continuation of BMW Motorrad's HP model series founded in 2005. After the Boxer models HP2 Enduro, HP2 Megamoto and HP2 Sport, the BMW HP4 is the first 4-cylinder motorcycle in the HP family,’ says a press note from BMW.

Built as a limited edition model, the BMW HP4 features upgraded brakes, revamped suspension and upgraded electronics – the race-ABS and traction control systems have been tweaked and refined in a big way – and BMW will homologate the machine for superbike and superstock racing. The HP4’s all-new dynamic damping control (DDC) system allows the bike’s suspension to adapt to changing road and track surfaces in real time, providing the best of grip and traction at all times. DDC is, of course, fully integrated with the HP4’s ABS and traction control systems.

Exotica: MV Agusta F4RR Corsacorta test ride


On this episode of On Two Wheels, Bradley Adams of Sport Rider magazine tests the beautiful, powerful and very exotic MV Agusta F4 RR Corsacorta. A 1000cc inline-four that produces close to 170bhp at the rear wheel, top-of-the-line Öhlins suspension and an eight-level traction control system means this is one MV that should be able to run with the best. So what is OTW's verdict...?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ducati 1199 Panigale takes on Porsche GT2 RS


Ducati's finest takes on Porsche's meanest as the gutsy Panigale goes head to head against the badass GT2 RS. Who's going to win this one?!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Phil Schilling’s 30-year-old review of the Honda CBX

Honda CBX Honda CBX
Cycle magazine's Phil Schilling wrote a beautiful story about the CBX, 30 years ago. Three decades on, it's a story that needs to be retold...

Powered by a 1,047cc, 105bhp six-cylinder engine, the late-1970s/early-1980s Honda CBX was an intriguing mix of superbike and sports-tourer. Back in July 1982, Phil Schilling wrote about the bike for Cycle magazine. It’s a beautifully written piece that tells the remarkable story of the CBX, a motorcycle we love so very much. Schilling’s story on the CBX was published exactly three decades ago, which means a lot of our readers probably never had the opportunity to read it. So if you love the CBX, here’s your chance to enjoy one of the best written articles about that magnificent machine:

Honda's CBX was a grabber from the start. In the desert darkness, along a deserted road, you hear again the rushed whisper that six cylinders and 24 valves make at 75mph, and you remember again the first time you rode a CBX. Strange, isn't it, how after tens and hundreds of test machines, you can recall how it was with the clarity and resolution of the day just past. Maybe it's the soft, backlit red glow from the instruments; the CBX had the dials first done in that motif, and this visual cue connects again and again with that first CBX.

Yet that could be only part of it. Because in so many ways the CBX is a memorable machine, and not necessarily in a functional way either. The CBX announces itself as an exotic – restrained but with an audacious self-confidence. See Me! Six cylinders! Twenty-four valves! Six carburetors! Presence. A motorcycle that you don't look through or past. See and look again. You can't say that about many Hondas.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

BMW S1000RR HP4 coming in September this year

2012 BMW S1000RR HP4
A BMW that can beat the Ducati Panigale at its 'massive power and spaceship-spec electronics' game? That would be the new BMW S1000RR HP4...

According to some reports on the web that seem fairly believable, BMW are all set to launch a new version of the S1000RR in September this year. This bike, the S1000RR HP4, will feature revised engine mapping, with power going up to 200-205bhp. With extensive use of carbonfibre, dry weight will be around 170 kilos.

The 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 will also gets bits like an Akrapovic titanium exhaust system, race-ABS with upgraded Brembo monobloc brakes, forged alloy wheels (carbonfibre wheels might also be offered), updated electronics for the bike’s multi-stage traction control system, race-spec Ohlins electronically adjustable suspension and a new digital dashboard. Some modifications to the aluminium twin-spar chassis are also expected, to deal with the increased power output.

The S1000RR HP4 is expected to be launched in the first week of September this year, with a price tag of about 20,000 euros. We’ll post more information and official pictures as soon as possible.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Valentino Rossi gets a cool new helmet for the Italian GP

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We only hope the 2012 Italian MotoGP at Mugello today turns out to be as interesting as Valentino Rossi's new helmet. We're hoping for a podium finish for The Doctor!

The Doctor might only be starting from 10th position on the grid, but at least he has a cool new helmet for the 2012 Italian MotoGP. The helmet features an image of Gianni Morandi, an Italian singer, actor and television host, surrounded by a bunch of flowers. There's also the phrase 'Restiamo Uniti,' which means 'let's stick together,' on the helmet.

Morandi is, apparently, a heavyweight in the world of Italian music, having sold more than 49 million records worldwide. 'Restiamo Uniti' is a phrase he made famous when he performed at the Sanremo Music Festival in February this year. Designed by Aldo Drudi, Valentino Rossi's new brain bucket looks pretty cool. We only hope The Doctor can actually make some music during the race today. Would a podium finish be too much to hope for...?