Saturday, September 08, 2012

Janna rides into a tyre shop...

All we know is that her name is Janna Flurry Hall, that she can probably ride a motorcycle and that we're in love. (Yes, we know. In our dreams...)

Friday, September 07, 2012

Manuela Raffaeta visits the BMW Museum, meets the 1976 BMW R 90 S

Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S
Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S
Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S
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 Gary Nixon tribute Kawasaki Z1000 café racer

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Eric Bostrom's Z1000 cafe racer is a fitting tribute to the late, great, Gary Nixon's 1976 Kawasaki KR750 on 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.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Video and high-res pics: BMW HP4 in action at Jerez

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 Two Wheels: On the road in a Ural sidecar

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-stroke Honda MB5. It's the adventure of a lifetime. Or, well, not really, but it's still pretty cool all the same...

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

2013 Honda CBR250R gets MotoGP-replica paintjob

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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…

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 livens up the entry-level sportsbike class

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The new Kawasaki Ninja 300 definitely looks good and should be the ideal sportsbike for beginners. We think it's certainly a bit more exciting than the Honda CBR250R...

Kawasaki have released official details and pics of the new, 2013-model Ninja 300, which gets a 296cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected 8-valve DOHC parallel-twin that produces 39 horsepower and 27Nm of torque. With (optional) ABS, the Ninja 300 weighs 174 kilos and comes with bits like a 6-speed gearbox, slipper clutch, an analogue-style tachometer and a multi-function LCD that features a fuel gauge, dual trip meters, clock and the now inevitable ‘economical riding indicator.’

With 17-litre fuel tank, steel tube chassis, 17-inch alloy wheels (shod with 110/70 and 140/70 tyres, front and rear), 37mm telescopic fork at front, Uni-Trak gas-charged preload-adjustable monoshock at the back and single 290mm brake disc with dual-piston calipers at the front, the new Ninja 300 looks quite interesting – it seems to have an edge over anything else that’s available in the entry-level sportsbike class, including Honda’s reasonably capable though not very exciting CBR250R.

The new Kawasaki Ninja 300 is destined for Europe and the US (where it'll be priced at $5,499), though it seems Kawasaki is likely to continue with the Ninja 250R in Asia. Having both the Ninja 250 and the Ninja 300 in their line-up seems to be a rather strange decision for Kawasaki and we suppose at some time in the near future, the 250 may be phased out.

There does seem to be some renewed interest in the entry-level sportsbike class. KTM already have the excellent 200 Duke which they sell in Asia, and the KTM-Bajaj combo is said to be developing a new 350/400 Duke, which is likely to be offered in Asia and Europe in 2013. If you’re just getting into motorcycling, you just might be spoilt for choice in the near future…

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

BMW R120 G/S kit sexes up the R1200GS

BMW R120 G/S kit
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The R120 G/S kit for the BMW R1200GS looks fabulous...

In his late-40s, Fabio Marcaccini lives in the hills of Riccione, in Italy, and has been racing and rallying motorcycles for more than the last three decades. He’s also participated in five Paris-Dakar rallies (from 1987-1992), has been an official test rider for Bimota and has ridden motorcycles pretty much all over the world.

Now that he’s getting old a bit older, Fabio spends more time in his workshop and is now an industrial product designer with a passion for designing… you guessed it, motorcycles. Well, not entire bikes perhaps, but he builds kits that allow individual buyers to customize their machines the way they want.

One of his designs is the R120 G/S kit, which is compatible with all 2004-2012 models of the BMW R1200GS. Built with high-quality materials, the kit results in a saving of more than six kilos over the original bike and, in our opinion, looks absolutely fabulous – especially the white one with blue/red stripes and orange-brown seat. Extensive customization options are available though base price is 3,920 euros.

For more details on pricing, availability and how to order the R120 G/S kit for yourself, visit their official website

Photos: Matteo Cavadini - Riders Italian Magazine 54, and Zep Gori

C59R.1 brings café racer cool to the BMW R100RS

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The C59R.1 is what we'd want to make of our old BMW R100RS, if we had one...

Based in Cambrils, near Barcelona, Cafe Racer Motorcycles C59R was set up in 2011 by one Ramon Josep Curto, who wanted to give a new lease of life to classic bikes by transforming them into café racer / street tracker-style machines. And the bike you see here – the C59R.1 – is his first attempt at doing just that.

The C59R.1 café racer is based on a BMW R100RS, which gets ‘Clubman’ type handlebars, completely revamped electrics, new fork springs and rear shocks, a steering damper and thoroughly overhauled engine and gearbox. The seat, front and rear fenders and exhaust were all custom-built for the bike, which was then given a charcoal grey paintjob with red stripes.

We think the C59R.1 looks pretty cool in an understated sort of way. More information is available on CRM’s official website

Suzuki launch Barry Sheene clothing line

Barry Sheene clothing line from Suzuki
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The new Barry Sheene clothing line from Suzuki looks properly cool!

Suzuki have announced a new special line of clothing, launched in honour of the legendary Barry Sheene, who won the 500cc motorcycle grand prix roadracing world championship in 1976 and 1977. 'The Sheene clothing line offers a casual and fashionable line-up that would not be out of place in major high street retailers,' says a press note from Suzuki.

The clothing line, with its Texaco Heron Suzuki colours with which Sheene won both his 500cc world championships in the 1970s, has been designed in memory of the golden age of motorcycle roadracing. The line-up comprises of a tshirt and hoodie, each featuring Sheene's racing number '7', team logos and sponsors.

'We are really pleased to present these stunning Sheene items, especially after the success of the 2012 range we launched earlier in the year. Both items look great in the vintage racing colours of the 70s - we really hope that Barry's loyal fans will love them just as much as we do and at the same time help the Clic Sargent cause,' says Emma Gibbon at Suzuki GB.

The Sheene t-shirt is priced at £35.00 and the hoodie at £65.00. 10% of the profits made from each item will go to the Clic Sargent Cancer Charity, which was Barry Sheene's chosen charity. The items can be bought online or through any authorised Suzuki dealer. More information available on Suzuki's official website.