Saturday, March 02, 2013
Campagna Motors have announced a new trike – the T-Rex 16S – which is powered by the 1649cc inline-six from the BMW K1600GT. The six-cylinder engine produces 160bhp and 175Nm of torque and is mated to a sequential 6-speed transmission (plus one reverse gear…). Final drive is by chain. The T-Rex 16S has fiberglass bodywork with carbonfibre accents, and has adjustable seating for two along with adjustable ergonomics.
Like its predecessor, the Kawasaki ZZR1400-engined T-Rex 14R, the 16S is a very high-performance trike and its chassis and suspension are optimized for high-speed handling. There’s a double-wishbone set-up at the front and dual coil over spring at the back, while the tubular steel chassis has a rollcage bolted on to it for additional occupant safety. Other bits include 3-point safety belts, cross-drilled brake rotors, waterproof seats, removable side cases for luggage and a high-end audio system with Bluetooth etc.
While the 2013 T-Rex 16S will now be their top-end trike, Campagna say they’ll also continue with the Kawasaki-engined T-Rex 14R and the Harley-engined V13R. More details of the T-Rex 16S here
While 2WD/AWD off-road bikes already exist, what really fascinates us is the possible application of AWD technology on high-performance streetbikes. Litre-class superbikes – machines like the BMW S1000RR, Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC, Suzuki GSX-R1000, Ducati 1199S Panigale and Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja – are what we love best and the prospect of AWD on such bikes is, for us, very exciting. Unfortunately, it seems that mainstream motorcycle manufacturers want to have nothing to do with AWD development for superbikes. But that hasn’t stopped individuals from trying to build their own AWD superbike. One such machine is Rob Hackstetter’s AWD bike – the Hackstetter Invex998 – which features AWD. We caught up with Rob for a quick chat about his machine. Here are some excerpts from what he had to say to us:
On when and how he got started with the idea of building an AWD motorcycle
In June 2005, one of the tenants in the industrial park I leased an office in, asked if he could keep his motorcycle in my office. Apparently he was hiding it from his father, who was also his boss. I’d start my mornings with a cup of coffee, staring at a motorcycle against the wall of my office. It was at this moment that the idea of a more advanced two-wheel-drive motorcycle came to mind.
I chose a superbike for proof of concept and packaging, the idea being that if you can fit all the running gear for 2x2 in a superbike, it should be easy to integrate the design into a touring bike or cruiser or off-road motorcycle, where spatial constraints are more forgiving.
Friday, March 01, 2013
Triumph have announced Special Edition models of the 2013 Bonneville and Speed Triple bikes. The new Bonneville SE gets a red-painted frame, matte-black paint on the fuel tank and side panels, restyled front indicators and headlamp and new mirrors. The Speed Triple SE gets a blue-painted frame, matte-graphite paint for the bodywork, restyled cover for the clutch, alternator and front sprocket, blue pinstripes on the wheels, new mirrors and black silencer heat shields.
Both the new special edition bikes will be available via the US Triumph dealer network from the 1st of May 1. The Bonneville SE is priced at $7,999 while the Speed Triple SE will retail at $13,399.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Filmed in the winter of 2012, inside the 140 year old barn where the Amarok P1 was born, co-founders Michael Uhlarik and Kevin O'Neil explain the philosophy behind the bike's design, and the Amarok Racing team. "This is why we did what we did, why the Amarok project was formed and how we chose to face the challenges of designing and constructing an all new, all electric performance motorcycle," they say
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Apart from the usual explosive action you’d expect from a Die Hard movie, one more reason to watch A Good Day to Die Hard is Yuliya Snigir, who’s character in the film – Irina, a Russian mobster – gets on and rides a Yamaha R6. The actress and the bike were both present at the movie’s premiere in London last week and, we have to admit, Ms Snigir looks suitably hot on the lean, lithe and powerful Yamaha. This is one movie we certainly want to watch!
Update: And here's the 2016 Yamaha R6 - unchanged mechanically, but now available in Yamaha's yellow-and-black 60th Anniversary livery
Saturday, February 16, 2013
It doesn't matter that Tanzania's bikers only ride cheap, Chinese-built motorcycles and that they do not have access to fancy gear. They still ride because it sets them free...
Based in London, Kit Oates is a professional photographer who works with publications like Timeout, Flamingo, The Chap, The Observer, the Japanese edition of Vogue and various others. He’s also been a guest lecturer on photography at the University of Westminster and Eton college and, when not photographing, he says he attempts to refurbish his 1971 VW Camper van.
Kit recently visited Tanzania to do some photography for an American company organizing a volunteering program in Patandi, a small village in the East African country. There, Kit also happened to meet and photograph some of the country’s biker gangs and as he got to speak to these bikers, he got some interesting insights into the biking culture there. Here’s Kit’s story, in his own words:
I was mostly photographing at local schools and orphanages and soon realized that the opportunities the kids had after graduating were limited compared to the opportunities available to students back home in England. Industry was lacking in this part of the country, and most students were destined for a life tending the family farm or hawking souvenirs to tourists.
So it was with keen interest that I began photographing the groups of bikers. Not just a few, but lots, sitting on the edge of the highway, some hanging out, some looking for work or something to courier. In a country of huge unemployment and poverty, they seemed to be so far removed from trouble, casually hanging out as if they didn’t have a care in the world.
Friday, February 15, 2013
We have to admit, we like the idea of two-wheel-drive (2WD) / all-wheel-drive (AWD) on a motorcycle. Provided that issues like extra weight and steering/suspension response are taken care of, a powered front wheel on a bike should make for extra traction and could possibly redefine the whole riding experience. There have been some well-publicized attempts at using AWD on bikes in the past, though there doesn’t really seem to be any interest in this from mainstream motorcycle manufacturers. We don’t know if that’s because AWD technology is too expensive or too complicated for production bikes but whatever the reason, we do think it’s a pity that no manufacturer seems to be interested in developing this technology.
Now, while mainstream manufacturers aren’t interested, talented individuals continue to work on AWD bikes and the latest such machine that we’ve come across is the Lawson all-wheel-drive bike, which is based on a production-spec KTM 300 EXC. With AWD equipment (front drive chain, sprockets, U-joints etc.), the Lawson bike still only weighs about 13 kilos more than the stock KTM and its creators claim that the bike is easier to ride off-road, climbs steep and rocky hills more readily and steers better in sand, mud, snow and loose rocky terrain. They also say the bike is ‘greener,’ since it ‘surmounts obstacles by traction, not by digging trenches.’
Based in Alberta, Canada, Dale Han is a young motorcycle designer who’s done a bit of design work for companies like Suzuki and BRP and who’s now working as a freelancer. We saw some of his work on LinkedIn and Coroflot and found it interesting, so caught up with him for a quick chat. If you’re looking at getting into motorcycle design, or even if you just have a passing interest in motorcycle design, what Dale has to say might be interesting for you:
“In these tough times of recession, finding design work in the motorcycle industry has been difficult. What I’ve learned from this experience is that location, a wide variety of skills and interests both in and outside of motorcycles, networking, and exposure are all necessities in this business. Location is a tricky issue, getting a visa to work in a foreign country is a bit tough right now. Thank goodness for good friends and networking – sites like LinkedIn, Coroflot, and motorcycle forums are all helpful in getting exposure. Falling back on other skills like clay or CAD modelling can really help pay the bills when there isn't design work available.”
“I have always had a love for vintage bikes. Every era had something special to offer – British parallel twins from the 60s and Italian bikes from the 70s are some of my favourite bikes to draw inspiration from. Other notable bikes are the Bimota Tesi 1D, and I think this has got to be on everyone’s list the Britten V1000! My all-time favourites are the bikes from the machine age. There seemed to be a great deal of experimentation with frame and engine design as well as the packaging bikes from the 20s as well as bikes from the 30s to the 40s. The stark contrast between these periods has always intrigued me. There approach from innocence and naive exploration of form in the ‘Roaring 20s’ to this stark conservative mechanical function in the 30s is a lesson in how quickly the social mood and mentality can change.”
Labels: Motorcycle Design
Triumph have announced a new special edition of the Speed Triple R – the ‘Dark.’ The bike has been created in collaboration with custom paint shop, 8 Ball, and only 30 units of the Speed Triple R Dark will be produced. Technical specifications remain unchanged though the Dark will come with a colour-matched belly pan and fly screen as standard.
“Employing the very latest creative paint shop techniques, Triumph has created a striking crystal midnight black veil effect over bright scarlet red. The bike’s livery is airbrushed in intense white with a smoky aged appearance. Both sides of the tank carry a hand airbrushed union flag adding to the craftsmanship and allure of the bike,” says a press release from Triumph.
The new Speed Triple R Dark will be available at Triumph dealerships from next week and the bike is priced at £11,549 OTR.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Honda seem to have taken it upon themselves to build the dullest, most boring motorcycles in the world. After the NC700X and CBR500 series, they’ve announced the 2014 CTX700, which is, presumably, a motorcycle, but could just as well be a toaster, sewing machine, microwave oven, washing machine or any other household appliance.
“Made for travel with an efficient fairing and windscreen up front, the CTX700 boasts features that make it an ideal partner for exploring all that the open road can offer,” claim Honda. The bike is powered by a liquid-cooled SOHC 670cc parallel-twin and has a regular 6-speed gearbox, while the CTX700D gets an automatic dual clutch transmission (DCT), which allows riders to either use a fully automatic mode or use paddle-shifters to shift gears without having to use a clutch. The CTX700D also gets ABS.
So why should you buy a Honda CTX700 or CTX700D? The ‘benefits’ that Honda claim for the CTX are an upper fairing and windscreen that divert wind around the rider, adding to comfort and reducing fatigue, abundant torque in the low-end and midrange for easily accessible power, crisp throttle response, linear and smooth power delivery, an engine balancer shaft that quells vibration for smooth operation and rubber-mounted footrests that add to rider comfort. Yawn…
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