Friday, November 09, 2012
After two difficult seasons in MotoGP with Ducati, Valentino Rossi is all set to return to Yamaha in 2013. Two years ago, The Doctor and his crew chief Jeremy Burgess had made some tall claims and they had swaggered off from Yamaha to Ducati with ‘smug’ written all over their faces. With no wins and just three podium finishes in two years, Rossi and Burgess have had their asses handed to them by the competition. Having swallowed a very large slice of humble pie and with their tails firmly between their legs, Rossi and Burgess are crawling back to Yamaha next year, who’ve been gracious enough to take them back.
“Yes, it will be the last race with Ducati, and for sure we’re arriving at the end of this story between us, that unfortunately never gave good performance, or the level we expected,” says Rossi, speaking at the eve of the last race of the season, in Valencia. “It will be difficult on Sunday because after you work for a long part of the year with the people, and you then have to stop and change teams. It will be very emotional. Even if the result was not fantastic, we had a good time together outside of the track, and we tried the maximum. We will see and we will try to do the best for this last race with Ducati,” he adds.
We’re pretty sure The Doctor will get back to his winning ways with Yamaha – he will almost certainly win a few races in 2013, though his championship winning days are now probably over. “It will be very interesting on Tuesday morning to understand which level I can have with the M1 and what the feeling is after two difficult seasons,” says Rossi, who will ride the Yamaha YZR-M1 again on Tuesday, next week, after a gap of two years.
Rossi was, and is, a great rider – definitely one of the best motorcycle racers ever. And if can get back to winning races on the Yamaha, the world will probably forget about his two years with Ducati. If, however, he finds out that he longer has in him what it takes to win, The Doctor will be ending his career in the worst way possible. We’re big fans of Number 46 here at Faster and Faster, and we just hope Valentino will get back on top in 2013. That’s where he truly belongs and, we have to admit, seeing him win races makes us very happy indeed.
Wish you all the best for 2013, Doctor.
The Yamaha FZ750-based Frog 750 concept bike (top) and the Honda Hurricane CBR600F and CBR1000F (above) which it inspired...
Back in 1986, a time when motorcycle design was still evolving at a rapid pace, Germany’s Motorrad magazine ran a design competition, the challenge being to create a ‘safer and more beautiful’ bike.
Enter one Hartmut Esslinger, an industrial designer who had done some significant work for Apple in the early-1980s. It was, in fact, Esslinger who created the ‘snow white’ design language that was applied to Apple products in the 1980s and an evolution of which is still being used by the Cupertino-based company today. Before working on the Apple IIc and Macintosh computers, Esslinger had also created some fancy TV sets and music systems for German company, Wega, which was later acquired by Sony. Later, Esslinger also designed the 1970s Sony Trinitron range of TVs and other audio/video products from the Japanese giant, and also worked for French fashion house, Louis Vuitton.
So, who’d be a better man to create a cutting-edge motorcycle design than someone who had already established his credentials with brands like Apple, Sony and Louis Vuitton. When Esslinger decided to participate in Motorrad magazine’s competition, Yamaha USA decided to collaborate with him and together, they created a 1:2.5 scale model made of foam which was featured on the cover of Motorrad magazine. Happy with the design study, Yamaha also supplied Esslinger with an FZ750, which was then modified into the machine that the German designer had envisioned. The bike was christened Frog 750.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
The Ducati Panigale had taken on the Porsche 911 GT2 RS earlier this year, and the bike had won. This time around, Chris Harris reckons the car can do better, especially when speeds cross the 300km/h mark. So can the Italian stallion still do the German bug...?
High-res images of the Ducati Panigale
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Based in Bulgaria, Vilner are high-end car interior experts – think custom-built interiors, high-grade leather, carbonfibre, sports seats and very expensive sound systems for exotic cars. Now, the company has also started modifying motorcycles and going by the bike you see here – the Triumph Speed Triple-based Bulldog – they don’t seem to be doing too badly.
Vilner have taken a Speed Triple and replaced its twin headlights with a single headlamp unit, added a full fairing and gold-painted OZ wheels, black exhaust muffler, new rear-view mirrors that are now mounted at the ends of the handlebars and high-quality leather trim all over the bike. The end result really is as squat and aggressive as a British Bulldog – we quite like it!
For more details about Vilner and their work, visit their website
Vaguely 1970s cafe racer styling, boxer-twin engine, modern electronics and chassis/suspension - the Metisse R1200CR looks interesting...
Based in Germany, Metisse GmbH have developed a 1970s-style café racer based on the BMW R1200R Classic. Designed and developed by Horst Edler, the Metisse R1200CR retains the BMW donor bike’s engine, chassis and electronics, and gains a retro-style front fairing and tail section, single seat, wire-spoke wheels and a generous sprinkling of carbonfibre parts. LED turn-signals and various expensive parts – carbonfibre bits, CNC-milled metal parts like levers and footpegs etc., and titanium bolts for just about everything that you can imagine, are on the optional extras list.
The fully assembled Metisse R1200CR is priced at 19,990 euros (including 19% tax, in Germany), while 5,990 euros will get you just the parts kit that will allow you to convert your own BMW R1200R to a Metisse R1200CR. You can either take delivery of your R1200CR through an official BMW dealership, with a full BMW warranty, or you can have the bike shipped to your house anywhere in the world at extra cost. The bike will also be displayed at the EICMA in Milan later this month, so if you're going there, you might want to drop by the Metisse stand and take a look. Or, visit the Metisse website for more details.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
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:
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.