Shot exclusively on Super 16mm film, Long Live the Kings is a short documentary that tries to chronicle the hopes and desires of a bunch of motorcycle road trippers.
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Scooters like the BMW C 600 Sport and C 650 GT are probably the most hassle-free way of getting around in cities like Barcelona, where traffic density is always a problem...
Our favourite motographer, Markus Hofmann recently had the opportunity to shoot the BMW C 600 Sport and C 650 GT on the streets of Barcelona, one of the coolest, most exciting cities in Europe. ‘The main reason I wanted to shoot in Barcelona was the special atmosphere the city has and its great light. The traffic in a cosmopolitan city like this tends to get overwhelming, so a scooter is a great way of getting around,” says Hofmann. “In fact, it is unbelievable how many people have scooters in Barcelona – many companies have reacted to the fact that more employees ride their scooters to work and have made more parking spaces for them as a result,” he adds.
“The traffic was always a problem but we soon learned to ‘go with the flow’ and even though safety always comes first we were able to get some good shots. The Spanish really loved the design of both scooters and many of them who stopped to watch us couldn’t wait to ask us questions about the two scooters. The people of Barcelona are in many ways trendsetters and the scooter is one more trend they are living before the rest. To be honest I have really been wondering why it is taking the New Yorkers so long to get out of their yellow cabs and onto scooters,” says Hofmann.
“Barcelona is a great city, with great architecture, great atmosphere and great people. You see a lot of scooters in the city, and of course a maxi-scooter like the C 600 Sport or C 650 GT is made for places like Barcelona,” says Markus Koch, who directed the shoot from the saddle of a C 600 Sport. “The traffic in Barcelona can only work because of the high percentage of bikes. These kinds of two-wheelers are perfect for riding in the city – the handling, agility, ergonomics and usability. Riding through the traffic without shifting gears makes it very convenient too – just twist and go,” he adds.
This is the Dodge Viper 8.0-litre V10-engined Millyard Viper V10, created by Allen Millyard. The bike is fully road legal and has an MSVA certificate and a '09 plate. It's done over 6,500km, has been to the Isle of Man where it's done several laps and has hit speeds of more than 330km/h at the Bruntingthorpe proving ground in the UK. Has to be one of the most insane pieces of machinery on planet Earth...
Yamaha have announced that the 2013 YZF-R1, YZF-R6 and YZF-R125 will be available with an all-new competition-inspired ‘Race-Blu’ livery – a classy combination of Yamaha Blue (which includes blue painted wheels) and Matt Grey. Designed by Aldo Drudi, the ‘Race-Blu’ livery has been created in collaboration with Yamaha Motor Racing and will also be used on the YZR-M1 MotoGP bike for the Italian GP at Misano this year.
The 2013 ZX-6R could bring some renewed interest in the 600cc supersports class...
Kawasaki have finally released details of the 2013 Ninja ZX-6R, which gets a new 636cc inline-four that replaces the earlier 599cc engine. The company has not released any official power output figures but it's widely rumoured that the new new 636cc engine produces 130bhp and Kawasaki claim that the new engine not only offers better performance, but also improved usability in everyday street riding.
Keeping in step with the inevitable march in technology, the new ZX-6R comes with a 3-mode traction control system (KTRC) and two selectable power modes, an ‘intelligent’ anti-lock braking system (KIBS), fully adjustable 41mm Showa big piston forks, fully adjustable Uni-Trak rear suspension and a slipper clutch. The bike rides on 17-inch alloys with 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) tyres. Kerb weight is 192 kilos and the 2013 ZX-6R is priced at US$12,699.
We think the new ZX-6R looks good. Should be interesting to see how it performs against bikes like the Triumph Daytona 675R and MV Agusta F3!
We came across this 2012 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade on 600rr.net and we think it’s probably the hottest Fireblade we’ve ever seen. Mods include a powder-coated black rear subframe, powder-coated white wheels, all graphics removed from the bodywork and paint-matched lower fairing, custom-built exhaust, wave-type Galfer brake rotors, KWS Motorsports-tuned Power Commander, quick-turn throttle, Pazzo levers, Zero Gravity windscreen, 55w HID headlamps, Sato carbonfibre engine covers, Honda Racing tank pad and Dunlop Q2 tyres.
The bike is, apparently, for sale. It’s done 2,700 miles and the owner is asking for $15,000 for the machine. If we had the money, we would have bought it – we like it that much.
When you're used to flying a jet plane that can hit a top speed of 940km/h, even something like the BMW S1000RR probably feels just a bit slow...
When you think of fighter pilots and motorcycles, you probably think Tom Cruise riding his Kawasaki GPZ in the movie Top Gun. Well, the connection between those who fly jet planes and ride motorcycles is well and alive. Meet Stefan Grillenbeck, who works as a test pilot at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Germany’s national research centre for aeronautics and space, which is responsible for the planning and implementation of the German space programme.
Recently, when Grillenbeck was not flying his Rolls-Royce-engined long-range high-speed Gulfstream G550 jet, he swapped his flying suit for motorcycle leather and got on a… BMW S1000RR, of course. You wouldn’t expect him to ride a Honda scooter, would you? Grillenbeck’s G550 jet is an impressive piece of machinery – the jet plane costs more than US$50 million, has a flying range of 12,500km, can carry up to 19 passengers and can hit a top speed of up to 940km/h, which probably makes it a bit faster than the BMW S1000RR, at least in a straight line.
Can the late-1980s/early-1990s Suzuki GSX-R1100 take on its modern-day successor, the Suzuki GSX-R1000? And is the current 1000 a worthy successor to the wild old 11?
Our undying love for Suzuki GSX-Rs has been well documented in the pages of Faster and Faster. In recent years, bikes like the S1000RR, RSV4 and the Panigale have pushed the superbike performance threshold to new heights and, some would say, have left the GSX-R1000 in the dust. But we still love the GSX-R, we still want one more than anything else. A brand-new GSX-R1000 fitted with a Yoshimura racing exhaust system and Kevin Schwantz’s 1989 Pepsi Suzuki RGV500-replica paintjob. Yes, that’s the dream.
Back in the mid-1980s, when the GSX-R was launched, we were still in school and limited to reading about the GSX-R in motorcycle magazines. Those photographs of GSX-Rs being wheelied, stoppied and cornered like crazy were, for us, endlessly fascinating. In the late-1980s and early-1990s, all we ever wanted was a GSX-R1100 (and, well, a Kawasaki ZXR750/ZX-7R, but that’s another story…).
“Nail the throttle and the Suzuki surges forward, although the tacho needle is barely off its 3,000rpm peg. The acceleration is awesome – like being charged in the back by a rugby scrum,” said bike journalist Roland Brown, in a story he wrote for the May 1986 issue of Bike magazine. And indeed, the 1986 GSX-R1100 must have been something truly special. The bike weighed in at 197 kilos and with its 1052cc inline-four pumping out 130 horsepower, the Gixxer 11 could hit a top speed of 250km/h. With its twin round headlamps, aluminium alloy chassis, anti-dive forks, floating front brake discs and endurance racer styling, the GSX-R1100 probably was for that era what a Max Biaggi-replica RSV4 would be for now.
Suzuki produced the GSX-R1100 from 1986 to 1992 and each year brought significant changes and modifications to the machine. All mods weren’t, apparently, equally effective though over the years the GSX-R1100 did get wider wheels and tyres, various chassis updates, USD front forks, bigger carburetors, better brakes and multiple styling updates. The last model, the 1992 GSX-R1100, had 149bhp from its 1127cc inline-four and weighed 210kg. It rode on 17-inch wheels with 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) radial tyres and the front brake discs had 4-piston Nissin calipers – not a million miles away from where litre-class superbikes are, today.
Manuela Raffaeta, with Steve McLaughlin's 1976 BMW R 90 S
Marco Melandri is a lucky man. He’s rides fast bikes for a living and his fiancée is the eminently hot Manuela Raffaeta, who recently visited the BMW Museum in Munich, right after the inaugural BMW Motorrad Days party. This was for a special photoshoot, which was done by Markus Hofmann, whose work we’ve featured earlier on this site.
For the photoshoot, Manuela posed with the BMW R 90 S, which American rider Steve McLaughlin rode to victory in the first-ever AMA Superbike race at Daytona, in the US, in 1976. Another BMW rider, Reg Pridmore finished second in that race and even won the inaugural AMA Superbike world championship that year.
McLaughlin’s race-winning BMW R 90 S, which recently took to the racetrack again at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it was ridden by former BMW Motorrad factory rider, Troy Corser, has now taken up permanent residence at the BMW Museum in Munich. And as these pictures show, the bike looks as hot now as it did back in the 1970s. Manuela, too, apparently enjoyed her photoshoot with this iconic motorcycle. Here are some excerpts from what she had to say about bikes and her life with Mr Melandri:
Eric Bostrom's Z1000 cafe racer is a fitting tribute to the late, great, Gary Nixon's 1976 Kawasaki KR750on which he finished 2nd in the 1976 Formula 750 world championship
Eric Bostrom, 36 years old, currently races in the AMA Superbike series. Gary Nixon, who won AMA Grand National Championships in 1967 and 68, passed away last year at the age of 70. Who’d think there would be any kind of connect between the two men, motorcycle racers from different eras. And yet, there is.
Eric currently rides for the Attack Performance Kawasaki team in AMA Superbikes, while Gary rode an Erv Kanemoto-tuned two-stroke Kawasaki KR750 to a second-place finish in the 1976 Formula 750 world championship. ‘Gary was a hero, and a legend,’ says Eric, of his late friend, in whose memory he’s built the Kawasaki Z1000 café racer you see here.
Eric teamed up with Lossa Engineering for his café racer project and together the two created the bike’s handmade fuel tank (made of steel), fiberglass front fender and tailpiece, billet wheels that mimic the appearance of the KR750’s hoops and a handmade Leo Vince exhaust system with three end cans – because the KR750 was, of course, a triple. The original wiring was replaced entirely for a cleaner look and a new chassis subframe was made from scratch. Bits like custom clip-ons, rearsets, Tommaselli levers, a Grimeca master cylinder and a smaller radiator, air pod filters and a Kawasaki Racing tachometer were also bolted on, to complete the 1970s look.
Eric’s Z1000 carries Gary Nixon’s racing number, 9. We don’t think Gary would be too unhappy about that.
The BMW HP4 packs more than 190 horsepower, weighs less than 200 kilos and looks and sounds absolutely fantastic. Watch the bike in glorious action at the Jerez circuit in Spain and hit the jump for high-resolution pics of the hottest BMW motorcycle ever built
On this episode of On Two Wheels, Ari Henning gets on a Ural sidecar rig and rides a rather long way to pick up an old two-strokeHonda MB5. It's the adventure of a lifetime. Or, well, not really, but it's still pretty cool all the same...
The 2013 Honda CBR250R, as competent and capable as ever...
Honda have announced details of the 2013 CBR250R, which is now available with a MotoGP-replica Repsol paintjob. The bike remains unchanged mechanically, with the same 249cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected DOHC single-cylinder engine, steel tube chassis, optional ABS and mini-VFR1200 styling.
‘New’ bits on the 2013 CBR250R include black-painted wheels, black exhaust cover, new colours (apart from the MotoGP-replica paintjob, there’s red, black, and pearl white/blue/red) and a transferable one-year limited warranty. A wide range of accessories are available for the CBR, including a passenger seat cowl, carbonfibre tank pad and carbon fuel lid cover etc.
MotoGP paintjob or not, we reckon the 2013 CBR250R looks a bit dull when compared to the hot new Kawasaki Ninja 300. How these two bikes fare against each other in showroom wars remains to be seen…