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Motorcycles

The Yamaha Y125 concept

Yamaha's press conference at the Tokyo Motor Show today was a genuine sign of the times. Four brand new world premiers were shown. The largest internal combustion engine amongst them was a 250cc model with fat tires designed to go anywhere – the SUV of motorcycles was the claim. There was also a three-wheeled electric commuter, a fold-up electric pedal-assist bicycle and, wait for it, an 80 km/l (226 mpg Imperial or 188 U.S. miles/gallon) retro 125cc commuter that's somewhere between a bicycle and motorcycle – it weighs just 80 kg and it is beautiful.  Read More

The 137mph Energica electric superbike

Italian electric race-bike outfit CRP Racing has announced its first road-going superbike, the Energica. With 100 kW of power and top of the line chassis and suspension, all clothed in modern Italian style bodywork, the Energica is capable of speeds up to 220 km/h (137 mph) and range of 150 km (93 miles) on a single charge, due in part to a power train efficiency close to 95 percent. The package includes such niceties as ride-by-wire throttle, a brace of radial-caliper Brembo disc brakes, Ohlins suspension, digital multifunction LCD dashboard and LED lights.  Read More

The clear strip of fibreglass on the tank enabled instant assessment of fuel on board

Just four decades ago, Ducati was known for its outdated desmodromic singles and little else. On April 23, 1972, Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari debuted Ducati's new desmodromic 750 v-twin with a 1-2 victory at the Imola 200 Mile Race. They beat Giacomo Agostini's MV Agusta, plus the best that Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph, BSA, Laverda and Moto Guzzi could offer. The famous victory set Ducati on a course that saw its big desmo V-twins dominating superbike racing for four decades. The official factory reserve bike from Ducatis most famous moment is coming up for auction, with bidding expected to finish beyond EUR150,000.  Read More

Ducati's 1199 Panigale

A formula one car, at 640 kg and about 800 horsepower, has a power-to-weight ratio around 1.25 horsepower per kilogram. The new 1199 Panigale, with 195 horsepower and 164 kg, has a ratio of 1.19 horsepower per kilogram. Granted, that figure changes significantly if you add my porky badonkadonk and a full tank to the equation ... but regardless, this roaring L-twin beast is not only the new power-to-weight champion of the production motorcycle world, it's a ground-up reinvention of the Ducati superbike that has reportedly been in development since the venerable 1098 first hit showroom floors in 2007. Even without factory support, the 1198 won this year's World Superbike championship ... and absolutely everything about the Panigale looks significantly better, including Troy Bayliss' lap times. Let's take a closer look at what is easily the most desirable supersports bike of 2012.  Read More

The Quadro 4D Parkour - an off-road focused tilting 4-wheeler.

Tilting three- and four-wheelers make a lot of sense - they're almost as narrow and light as motorcycles, and perhaps even more maneuverable, but they offer enormous amounts of grip and stability. There's so many new narrow track vehicle designs sprouting up all over the world right now that it's easy to see them becoming a significant part of the commuting mix in the congested cities of tomorrow. So here's three new designs we spotted at EICMA Milan - one electric four wheeler, a petrol powered three wheeler and an aggressively styled four wheel tilter that seems to have off-road ambitions.  Read More

BMW S 1000 RR - revised model due 2012

We were mightily impressed by BMW's S1000RR superbike the first time round, now the German manufacturer has announced the S1000RR mark II. Power and maximum torque figures remain at 142 kW (193 hp) and 112 Nm on the revised superbike with the mostly subtle changes centered on improving response, power delivery and handling. The torque curve, throttle response and suspension have all been tweaked along with the (very effective) ABS and Dynamic Traction Control systems. Externally, the 2012 SS1000RR gets an upgraded instrument cluster, revised rear-end, redesigned side panels with the addition of two winglets for improved aerodynamics and a new range of colors.  Read More

KTM's Freeride E (Photo: Schedl R.)

Pretty much every major motorcycle factory has hinted that they're working on battery-electric models, but Austria's KTM has just become the first to get e-rubber on the road. The Freeride E, just unveiled at EICMA, is a featherweight, electric off-roader reminiscent of the Zero MX. Geared towards big fun in short bursts, it should be comparable to a 125cc 2-stroke to ride - although with a much smoother throttle response and a bigger wallop of torque available. And while it's a baby step, it heralds the next wave of electrics that will hit the market soon - backed by big factory development dollars and ready to duke it out with the little guys in a tough market segment.  Read More

Volta Motorcycles has launched its new BCN electric motorbike at EICMA in Milan - which wi...

Spain's Volta Motorbikes is at the International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan this week, to debut two varieties of its new Volta electric motorcycle. The Volta BCN is the company's first two-wheeler and the first to be designed in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, after which it is named. It's essentially one model offered in two different styles and finishes - the Sport has been designed as an urban motorbike, while the City is headed for the downtown core. These stylish sustainable mobility solutions offer a top speed of 74.5 mph (120 km/h) and a range of 43.4 miles (70 km), and will be released in Europe in Q2 of next year.  Read More

Honda to show electric supersports RC-E motorcycle at Tokyo Motor Show

At long last, the world's largest and most influential motorcycle manufacturer appears to be getting serious about electric motorcycles, announcing it will be showing a supersports motorcycle concept at the Tokyo Motor Show next month. Named the RC-E, the images released by Honda indicate a a super sports motorcycle designed solely for the "the joy of riding."  Read More

The 2012 Zero S boasts a record-breaking range of 114 miles

When we first took the Zero S electric motorcycle for a spin our verdict was that while great fun to ride, impending advances in battery technology will mean that this - and other electric bikes - will only to get better from here ... and they are. Zero Motorcycles has announced a complete overhaul of every model in its 2012 range of electric two-wheelers with new powertrains and upgraded power packs that promise greater longevity, speeds of up to 88 mph (142 km/h) and a significantly improved range in excess of 100 miles (160 km) for the street-oriented models.  Read More

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