Monday, November 05, 2012
The pics you see here are the work of well-known German fashion photographer, Markus Hofmann, who explores the dark side of motorcycling with the very fast, powerful and uncompromising BMW S1000RR and model Felicia Rie, who plays the vampire.
“Ever since it first arrived on the scene, the S1000RR has always had a raw edge, which I wanted to explore with this ‘Underworld meets Speed’ photoshoot. I wanted the scene to be moodily lit, suggestive and erotic, with more than a hint of the existence and the power of evil,” says Hofmann. “The pictures are sexy, provocative, dynamic and exciting – much like the RR – which offers a world of riding possibilities far beyond the reach of most of us mere mortals, but at the same time challenges us to explore how far we are willing to push ourselves in pursuit of riding pleasure,” he adds.
Gold Coast resident, 33-year-old Australian Matt Mingay is one of the top motorcycle stunt riders in the world. He’s worked as a stunt double for Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2 and used to have some pretty impressive world records to his name – fastest wheelie (at 225km/h, for 1km), fastest stoppie (at 212km/h, for 75 metres) and longest, fastest burnout (1.65km in 1 minute and 50 seconds). Matt’s fastest wheelie and fastest stoppie records have now been broken but he’s still pretty amazing on his Harley-Davidson Nightster 1200 stunt bike, which weighs no less than 240 kilos!
Why a Harley 1200 instead of, say, a CBR600 or other lightweight Japanese bike? “I got bored riding them and needed a challenge, so I teamed up with Harley,” says Matt. When he’s not stunt riding his Harley, he drives a supercharged Chevy Silverado 454 so he’s obviously a fan of heavy metal. Matt once did 320km/h on a turbocharged GSX-R1000 and during the course of his career, which started more than 10 years ago, he’s broken 34 bones and once highsided off his bike at 160km/h, because of which he now carries various pins and screws (titanium, naturally…) in his body.
Matt was featured in a recent issue of the Australian edition of Men’s Fitness, where he talks about his very demanding physical fitness routine. Stunt riders have to wrestle with heavy, powerful machinery on a daily basis and are probably some of the fittest athletes on the planet. Here are some excerpts from Matt’s routine, some of which you might want to use for your own fitness plan:
Al Jazeera's Simon McGregor-Wood goes to the Isle of Man to find out what is it that drives people to risk everything to participate in the TT, one of the most dangerous motorcycle road races in the world. For those who're fascinated by the IoM TT, this David Niblock film is well worth watching...
Sunday, November 04, 2012
The 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 800 looks good but we do wish MV had the courage to experiment a bit with this bike's styling. Too much of a good thing can get... boring?
MV Agusta have released pictures and specs of the Brutale 800, which slots in between the 675 and 1090, extending the Brutale range further and adding one more bike to the MV line-up. The bike looks good but in a familiar sort of way. We do wish MV had made more of an effort with the 800’s styling, which is more or less a replica of other Brutale bikes…
The Brutale 800 weighs just 167kg and is powered by a three-cylinder liquid-cooled fuel-injected 798cc engine that produces 125 horsepower at 11,600rpm and 81Nm of torque at 8,600 revs. It’s a high-tech engine with an advanced MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) electronics package, which include ride-by-wire throttle, integrated 8-level traction control, and 4-mode selectable engine mapping that alters power delivery to suit a wide range of riding conditions. Top speed is a claimed 245km/h.
As you’d expect, the Brutale 800 gets top-spec running gear – a hybrid frame (mix of steel tube trellis and aluminium alloy plates, as with all other current MV bikes…), single-sided swingarm, adjustable 43mm USD fork and rear monoshock, and twin 320mm brake discs at the front, with Brembo 4-piston radial-mount calipers. Available in metallic red/silver, white/red, gray/white and white/blue colour schemes, the Brutale 800 is priced between 9,990-10,990 euros.
Saturday, November 03, 2012
Roland Brown describes how it was, riding a Suzuki GSX-R1100 for the first time, in 1986. And how the bike feels to ride now, in 2012...
For the December 2012 issue of Motorcycle Sport & Leisure, eminent bike journalist Roland Brown reminisces about one of our favourite sportsbikes of all time – the Suzuki GSX-R1100. He remembers how it felt when he rode a GSX-R1100 for the first time, in 1986, and compares that to how the old Gixxer feels to ride now, 26 years later. Here are some excerpts from what Brown has to say about the old warrior:
On riding the Suzuki GSX-R1100 back in 1986
“I don’t recall the first time I rode a GSX-R1000 in 2001, but I’ll never forget my first blast on its famous forebear back in 1986, because the GSX-R1100 wasn’t just the world’s fastest and best sportsbike, it was quite simply in a different class to everything else on the road. I’d barely ridden two miles from Suzuki’s base in Sussex when the opportunity came to confirm that this bike was something special. The GSX-R1100 accelerated so hard on a long, uphill straight that it almost left my stomach behind on the road. And when I tipped it into a curve at well over 100mph, the Suzuki was so rock steady, it felt as though it could have gone much faster still, with no problem at all.”
“Along with just about everyone else fortunate enough to ride the GSX-R1100 in the spring of 1986, I spent my first few days recalibrating my brain to understand just how fast a roadgoing motorcycle could be. The powerful [125bhp at 8500rpm], light and streamlined Suzuki was searingly fast in a straight line. And its combination of agility, high-speed stability and braking power surpassed that of the lookalike GSX-R750 that had stunned the superbike world on its launch a year ealier.”
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Carlos Checa will race a Ducati Panigale RS13 in World Superbikes next year, but Team Althea, with whom Checa won the WSBK championship in 2011, won't be around...
Ducati had earlier announced they will go to World Superbikes in 2013, with 2011 WSBK champ Carlos Checa riding the new Ducati 1199 Panigale. Moving from his 2011 championship-winning 1198, Checa continues to work with Ducati towards developing and fine-tuning the formidable Panigale for next year, but Team Althea (with whom Checa won the WSBK championship in 2011) will no longer be in the picture.
“Despite both parties’ intention to continue the collaboration, an agreement, which meets the requirements of both Team Althea Racing and the Bologna-based manufacturer's management, has not been found for 2013. However, the exceptionally good relationship that Ducati has enjoyed with Team Althea Racing, combined with the friendship and gratitude towards team owner, Genesio Bevilacqua, for his continuing efforts and loyalty during these years, means that other forms of cooperation between Ducati and Team Althea could still be found in the future,” says a press release from Ducati.
With The Doctor moving his MotoGP clinic from Ducati to Yamaha next year, the Italian company, which has anyway been so hugely successful in World Superbikes in the past, will now have the resources to field a full factory-backed effort in WSBK in 2013 and beyond. And with the revolutionary new Panigale RS13, which definitely looks like it can take on anything that BMW and Aprilia can throw at it, Ducati could well be back on top in World Superbikes in 2013.
Monday, October 29, 2012
A clip from the 1967 movie (top), Dick Smart 2007 and (above) the flying Vespa from that movie. Ok, so it was just a gyrocopter dressed up as a scooter but, still, damn cool...
Back in 1967, they probably thought that over the next half century or so, scooters would actually gain the ability to fly. Which is perhaps why Dick Smart 2007, an Italian movie directed by one Franco Prosperi and released in 1967 featured a 'futuristic' Vespa scooter that could fly! Actor Richard Wyler played the part of Dick Smart, an Italian James Bond (well, sort of…) who uses his guns and gadgets to save the world and who apparently swans around on flying scooters in exotic locales around the world, chasing spies or scantily-clad hot chicks or both.
So what kind of a 1960s movie has a hero who rides a flying scooter? One where the plot is about a theft at an American nuclear facility, with the hero – Dick Smart – chasing off to Rio de Janeiro to track down the down the gang of thieves, whose leader is the beautiful Lady Lister (played by actress Margaret Lee). Lister has discovered a way to transform carbon into diamonds, for which she needs the nuclear stuff. There’s more villains, gunfights, chase sequences and other scarcely believable nonsense in the film, but that the producers saw it fit to also include a flying Vespa means all’s well in the end. You have to concede, a flying scooter is so much cooler than a fancy Aston Martin…
With one Spaniard crashing out of the Australian MotoGP yesterday, the other Spaniard has done it - Jorge Lorenzo has won the 2012 MotoGP world championship. To celebrate, we bring to you the world's biggest collection of high-resolution photographs from the 2012 MotoGP season. Relive all the high-rev, high-speed action all over again...
2012 Valencia MotoGP, Ricardo Tormo circuit
2012 Australian MotoGP, Philip Island
2012 Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang
2012 Japanese MotoGP, Motegi
2012 Spanish MotoGP, Motorland Aragon
2012 Italian MotoGP, Misano, San Marino
2012 Czech MotoGP, Brno
2012 US MotoGP, Indianapolis
2012 US MotoGP, Laguna Seca
2012 Italian MotoGP, Mugello
2012 German MotoGP, Sachsenring
2012 Dutch TT, Assen, The Netherlands - Gallery 2
2012 Dutch TT, Assen, The Netherlands - Gallery 1
2012 British MotoGP, Silverstone - Gallery 2
Dainese and Yamaha celebrate Giacomo Agostini's 70th birthday, at Silverstone
2012 British MotoGP, Silverstone - Gallery 1
2012 Catalan MotoGP, Catalunya - Gallery 2
2012 Catalan MotoGP, Catalunya - Gallery 1
2012 French MotoGP, Le Mans - Gallery 3
2012 French MotoGP, Le Mans - Gallery 2
2012 French MotoGP, Le Mans - Gallery 1
2012 French MotoGP (pics from free practice, Le Mans - 2)
2012 French MotoGP (pics from free practice, Le Mans - 1)
2012 Portuguese MotoGP, Estoril
2012 Portuguese MotoGP (free practise)
2012 Spanish MotoGP, Jerez
2012 Spanish MotoGP, Jerez (free practise)
Repsol Honda RC213V in action at Qatar, 2012
MotoGP free practice and qualifying, Qatar, 2012
2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 - Gallery 1
2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 - Gallery 2
2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 - Gallery 3
2012 Yamaha YZR M1 - Gallery 1
2012 Yamaha YZR M1 - Gallery 2
2012 Honda RC213V - Gallery 1
2012 Yamaha YZR M1, Jerez Test
Ducati Desmosedici GP12 - Jerez test
2012 Ducati Wrooom - Gallery 1
2012 Ducati Wrooom - Gallery 2
The copyright to these images belongs to various motorcycle manufacturers and MotoGP teams. These images are for your personal use only - commercial use of any kind is strictly prohibited by those who hold the copyright to these images.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Kadshah Nagibe is a native New Yorker born in Brooklyn and is a freelance filmmaker living in NYC. "Since I picked up my first 8mm film camera at the age of 16, I have enjoyed capturing the beauty of the world and people around me," he says. He also likes motorcycles, apparently, and Nagibe's latest short film, I Ride a Triumph, is pretty cool.
"While searching around for a new story for my next film, I decided to do something that I've done many times before, which is film motorcycles. Except, this time I decided to make it more personal - kind of like a mini-documentary about people who ride Triumph motorcycles. This will be the first of many short stories or a series of motorcycle films called 'I ride a Triumph' that I hope to do within the next few months. These types of projects are always fun to do since I also ride a Triumph and love to film motorcycles and scooters," says Nagibe.
"For this project, I used the Sony FS700, which is a great camera on a tripod, but not so good for a long handheld shoot. Normally I would film on the back of a bike as a passenger, but the camera is a bit heavy for me so I rented a convertible and had my friend and assistant Lenny drive me around while I filmed Andy riding his Thruxton. We spent the whole day shooting most of the film. I really like the dirty, gritty and grungy neighborhood of Williamsburg Brooklyn - it made for a nice landscape," he adds.
Well, we think Nagibe has some potential as a motorcycle documentary filmmaker and we look forward to seeing more of his work. In the meanwhile, you may want to visit his website
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Mick Doohan rode a Honda RC213V MotoGP bike today, at the Philip Island Circuit. The five-time 500cc world champ said he was rusty, but enjoyed riding the bike...
Among Australian riders who’ve won the 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world championship, there’s Wayne Gardner, who won the title in 1987, Casey Stoner, who took the crown in 2007 and 2011, and then there’s Mick Doohan, who won the 500cc world championship in 1994. And in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998. That’s right, the former Gold Coast resident won five 500cc world championships on the trot in the 1990s, earning the nickname ‘Dominant Doohan.’
Doohan retired from the 500cc GP class in 1999, when he only participated in the first two races of the season, leaving Spaniard Alex Criville to win the world championship that year. And now, at 47, Doohan is back. Well, just for the weekend, for a few exhibition laps around the Philip Island Circuit aboard the current Honda RC213V MotoGP bike, but for Doohan fans it was still a treat to see the old warrior ride the way he used to.
‘I was rusty, but it felt good. The last time I rode a Grand Prix bike at all was in the mid-2000s in Japan, so it’s been a long while. Repsol Honda gave me a fantastic opportunity to ride this year’s bike and I can’t thank them enough. It was a lot of fun, but I’m glad I’m not trying to line-up and go and qualify later this afternoon,’ said Doohan, speaking to SpeedCafe. The five-time 500cc world champ was lapping the circuit about 13 seconds slower than reigning MotoGP world champ Casey Stoner.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
This special edition K1300S, which is being released to mark the 30th anniversary of BMW's K-series bikes, will be displayed at the EICMA in Milan next month
BMW Motorrad will unveiled a new special edition ‘30 Jahre K-Modelle’ K1300S at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan next month. This special edition K1300S marks the 30th anniversary of the BMW K series and gets a white/red/black paintjob, tinted windshield, electronic suspension adjustment (ESA II), a safety package that includes automatic stability control (ASC), heated grips, onboard computer an Akrapovič sports exhaust system.
BMW Motorrad launched the first K-series bike, the K100, in 1983 and this was the first BMW motorcycle to be fitted with a liquid-cooled inline-four engine. With electronic fuel-injection and BMW’s compact drive system with longitudinally-mounted crank and horizontal cylinder bank, the K100 was a pretty advanced piece of engineering for its time. BMW also brought anti-lock brakes (ABS) to its motorcycles with the late-1980s K-series machines, followed by 4-valve cylinder heads, Duolever front suspension and electronic suspension adjustment.
Today, while the S1000RR is BMW’s flagship sportsbike, the K1300S continues to be an excellent sports-tourer, the K1300R is a big, handsome super-naked sportsbike and the K1600GT/GTL is a brilliant touring bike. BMW have covered most bases with the K-series, though we do wish they’d build a naked K1600R that combines the K1300R’s styling with the K1600GT’s six-cylinder engine. A modern-day German version of the Honda CBX1000? Yes indeed, bring on the K1600R already…
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Open the throttle and sling it sideways to make it turn. Speedway bikes are not for the faint of heart. Nicki Pedersen, one of the best in the business, shows how it's done...
Nicki Pedersen, from Denmark, knows a thing or two about speedway. He would, because he’s won the Speedway World Championship in 2003, 2007 and 2008 and he’s been the Speedway World Cup champ in 2006, 2008 and 2012. So if a bike rides on skinny wheels and tyres, has just one gear and no brakes, is powered by a 500cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine that runs on pure methanol and produces about 75bhp, and must be made to powerslide in order to turn, Pedersen would be the man to ride such a machine.
The 35-year-old Pedersen recently appeared on one of our favourite TV shows, Fifth Gear, where he explained motorcycle speedway in some detail and showed Vicki Butler-Henderson how to ride a speedway bike. With a 1:1 power:weight ratio (and, remember, no brakes…), a speedway racebike is the devil’s own work and riding one at race pace is certainly not for the faint of heart. So watch the video to see how Ms Butler-Henderson fares on one of Pedersen’s bikes…
Source: Fifth Gear
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
While we’d always prefer a GSX-R to a Harley, we have to admit we rather like the Night Rod and the V-ROD Muscle. These are the only two Harleys (apart from the XR1200X, which no longer seems to be in production…) that we’d be happy riding and the 2013 models feature some minor updates which only make the bikes better.
First up is the 2013 Harley-Davidson VRSCDX Night Rod Special, which now gets lighter, black-painted aluminium wheels (19-inch front, 18-inch rear), a tapered tail section with flush-mounted LED taillamp, a swept-back handlebar that brings the bike’s controls closer to the rider, reduced reach forward-mounted rider footpegs, 43mm USD forks, preload-adjustable rear shocks, a stylized ‘speed screen’ visor, straight-shot exhaust with brushed-aluminium finish dual mufflers, racing stripe on airbox and tail section, sporty front fender with painted brace supports, Michelin Scorcher 240mm rear tyre, and black powder-coated engine with black covers and blacked-out frame, handlebar, front fork and triple clamps.
The 2013 Night Rod has a hydroformed steel perimeter chassis and a cast-aluminium swingarm, and its rubber-mounted, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, 8-valve, 1250cc ‘Revolution’ V-twin thumps out 125bhp and 115Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and according to Harley, the bike’s slipper clutch makes for low-effort downshifts. A low-maintenance carbonfibre belt transfers the engine’s power to the rear wheels, a high-performance Brembo braking system (with optional ABS) handles stopping duties and Harley also offers a proximity-based ‘smart security system’ that includes a hands-free key fob. The bike weighs 302kg (wet weight) and is priced at US$15,800.
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