Thursday, November 29, 2012

In conversation with Leah Petersen, motorcycle stunt rider extraordinaire

Leah Petersen, motorcycle stunt rider
Leah Petersen, motorcycle stunt rider Leah Petersen, motorcycle stunt rider Leah Petersen, motorcycle stunt rider
You have to adore someone who looks like that (top) and who can also ride like this (above). Yes, the gorgeous Leah Petersen is the girl of our dreams...!

‘One day, I decided I should stunt my motorcycle fulltime, professionally. I quit my job and started a news site for the sport of stunting, then toured America in 2010 and all of Europe in 2011, competing and performing shows,’ says Leah Petersen on her website. ‘After two years of shooting in the dark developing a career as a female motorcycle stunting artist, I see where I fit into the world of extreme sports and have refined my goals, method and approach. I stunt full-sized sportbikes. I am also a tall, blond, American girl – people just like that combination I guess,’ she adds. Totally our kind of lady, then. So, of course, we caught up for a chat with her, and here’s what Lead had to say:

On how she got started with bikes and stunt riding

I got my first streetbike at 19, a GSX-R600. I rode streets in New York, Italy and Los Angeles. Finally, in Los Angeles I learned about the sport of stunt riding when I went to an XDL Show and I bought a stuntbike the next week! I had been stunting as a hobby for about four years when I thought it would be fun to ride full time. We my partner and I quit our jobs and started the site, to help more people have the opportunity to stunt. My family is quite supportive – they are accustomed to my big, wild dreams…

On how she fits in, in a sport that’s largely dominated by men

I would say the sport is certainly dominated by men. People react differently to a female rider. From my experience normally women are not as serious about bikes – they might ride a bit, but soon they leave the sport. For me it’s important to show by example that I am in the sport for the love of motorcycles – and I am here to stay. It’s all about confidence. Being in shape helps, being strong, flexible and agile is important when training.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Suzuki Virus 1000: 185bhp naked GSX-R1000 busts out from Switzerland

Suzuki Virus 1000, a naked GSX-R1000 from Switzerland
Suzuki Virus 1000, a naked GSX-R1000 from Switzerland Suzuki Virus 1000, a naked GSX-R1000 from Switzerland Suzuki Virus 1000, a naked GSX-R1000 from Switzerland
This is the Suzuki Tuono V4R Virus 1000, a 185bhp naked GSX-R1000 that Suzuki themselves forgot to build. Now all it needs is a Garrett turbocharger...

Some rue the fact that Suzuki have never done a naked version of the GSX-R1000. Even the declawed, entirely domesticated GSR750 isn’t really a naked GSX-R750, so for those looking for a super-naked/streetfighter from Suzuki, there are simply no options left after the recent demise of the B-King. So trust one of the most peaceful nations on the planet – Switzerland – to step in and create a bit of a ruckus. Witness the Suzuki Virus (yeah, well, who knew…), a Swiss-made GSX-R1000 sans most of its bodywork and with the added aggression of, say, an Aprilia Tuono V4R.

Created by Frankonia AG (Suzuki Switzerland) and Moto Virus AG, the Suzuki Virus uses the GSX-R1000 engine, chassis and suspension, a custom-built exhaust (two different options are available), custom fabricated side panels, the headlamp assembly from a GSR750 and, of course, high, wide aluminium handlebars to complete the ‘streetfighter’ package. In Switzerland, the bike costs CHF 19,990 and if you buy one, you have a large list of optional parts and accessories that you can choose from. We like the bike… kind of. Though unless they bolted on a Garrett turbocharger to this thing and boosted power to 220bhp, we’d just stick to a regular 2013 GSX-R1000 if it was our money…

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