Saturday, August 11, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
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!
Thursday, August 09, 2012
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
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.
For those who’re just getting started with motorcycles and motorcycling, you’d probably have more on your mind than just style and power and outright performance. Sure, those things are important, but equally important would be aspects like safety, reliability, everyday practicality and, of course, proper motorcycle insurance. Individual preferences would certainly differ and to each his own – hey, the important thing is that you chose to step away from the PlayStation and opted to ride!
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…
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.