Saturday, November 03, 2012

Roland Brown, on the Suzuki GSX-R1100

Suzuki GSX-R1100
Suzuki GSX-R1100 Suzuki GSX-R1100 Suzuki GSX-R1100
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

2012 KTM RC8 R vs KTM X-Bow RR

On this latest episode of Fifth Gear, Tiff Needell drives a 360bhp KTM X-Bow RR to take on the 175bhp KTM RC8 R. The X-Bow is four times as heavy as the bike but also has twice the power and grip. Who's going to win this one...?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ducati, Team Althea part ways for 2013

Carlos Checa and the Ducati 1199 Panigale
Ducati Panigale RS13 Ducati Panigale RS13 Ducati Panigale RS13 Ducati Panigale RS13
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

Dick Smart and the flying Vespa

The flying Vespa featured in the 1967 movie, Dick Smart 2007 The flying Vespa featured in the 1967 movie, Dick Smart 2007
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

Jorge Lorenzo is 2012 MotoGP World Champion

image host
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: 'I Ride a Triumph'

'I Ride a Triumph,' a mini-documentary from Kadshah Nagibe

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