Photokina 2014 highlights

Motorcycles

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

BRD's electric off-road motorcycle range includes 'stealth' police bike

San Francisco's BRD Motorcycles has begun taking deposits on the 2013 RedShift range of off-road electric motorcycles. BRD claims the performance of the RedShift will be equal to or better than a top-end 250cc four-stroke race motorcycle, which is a lofty target. The most remarkable aspect is that it will sell both the US$15,500 SM supermoto and the US$15,000 MX motocrosser with a police kit for an additional US$2500 with stronger subframe to hold the included hard luggage, plus an uprated electrical system.  Read More

Benstead worked with project partners including Engineair and Yamaha Australia as well as ...

A vehicle that runs on air. It sounds like a fantastic idea, but energy is still needed to compress the air and the losses that go hand-in-hand with converting energy still have to be taken into account, just as in fossil fuel-based propulsion systems. Pros and cons aside, we still haven't seen air powered transport make an impact in the race to find economic, environmentally-friendly ways to get from A to B. Industrial Design student Dean Benstead thinks that compressed air does have a role to play in the future transport mix, and he's designed a working air-powered motorcycle prototype with a view to exploring the viability of the platform.  Read More

Roper Steam Cycle set to become most expensive motorcycle ever sold at auction

One of the world's most valuable motorcycles will go under the hammer early next year. Built by Sylvester H. Roper, one of two people with legitimate claims of having invented the motorcycle. Though built in 1894, 27 years after the first Roper Steam Motorcycle, the machine is one of a very small number of motorcycles built by Roper (around nine), and was ridden by him regularly before his death in 1896. The Roper Steam Cycle hence has a provenance of massive historical importance, and is expected to establish a new world record for a motorcycle sold at auction in Las Vegas on January 12 – 14.  Read More

Honda's 1200 V4 Crosstourer

Honda has confirmed that the Crosstourer concept shown at the 2010 EICMA show in Milan will go into mass production. The Crosstourer uses the V4 engine from the VFR1200F, plus long travel suspension, a more upright riding position plus the option of a Dual Clutch Transmission. Clearly Honda is aiming the Crosstourer at the adventure marketplace currently dominated by BMW's R1200GS and populated by the likes of Yamaha's XT1200Z Super Tenere, Ducati's Multistrada, Triumph's Tiger and Suzuki's V-Strom. Just where the bike is positioned in the road-dirt mix with its 1200cc V4 engine is hard to determine just yet.  Read More

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