Photokina 2014 highlights

Motorcycles

BMW's Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system - active suspension for motorcycles.

The trouble with setting up the suspension on a motorcycle is that you're constantly compromising. If you want a nice firm ride that's suitable for hard cornering on fast, smooth roads, you're sacrificing comfort on the highway and optimal roadholding on a bumpy surface. Electronic suspension adjustment goes some way towards addressing these concerns - at least you can change your suspension settings without having to get down under the bike with a c-spanner and a screwdriver. Now, BMW is looking to eliminate this fundamental compromise using automated, active suspension adjustment - a system that works out exactly how you're riding the bike at a given moment, what the road surface is like, and automatically adjusts the suspension to make sure you've got the perfect ride at all times. The BMW Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system is said to be hitting the market "in the near future."  Read More

Kawasaki's 2012 KX450F

The easiest place to pass everyone else on a motocross circuit is in the run to the first corner and should you grab the hole-shot, the race is yours to lose. All of which makes Kawasaki's latest addition to its 2012 KX450F a killer app for a race bike - it will be the ONLY bike on the grid in 2011/12 with "Launch Control". Activated by the push of a button, the Launch Control Mode map monitors wheel spin and retards the engine ignition timing to enable the rear tire to gain grip. Of course the fruit of the pudding will be measured by who gets to the first corner first, but if green bikes do it often enough, Kawasaki has a killer app.  Read More

New middleweight adventure machines. Left: Honda Crossrunner. Right: Suzuki V-Strom 650 AB...

"Adventure" bikes are about as practical and unglamorous as motorcycling gets. They're fairly ugly to look at, they're often ridden hard and put away wet, they're taken to dirty places and they have dirty things done to them. Which to my mind has always made them a preserve of the hardcore rider - these are not ridden by Harley polishers or leather-clad latte sippers, they're ridden by folks that like to get out and throw motorcycles around out where it's tough. So it's encouraging to see that the adventure class is heating up more than ever in 2011 - and two new middleweight all-roaders from Suzuki and Honda now come into a mix that's becoming almost saturated with bikes like the Kawasaki Versys, the BMW F800GS, the Yamaha Tenere and Triumph's Tiger 800.  Read More

Video Road Test: Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring

We've been looking forward to this ride for a looooong time; this is a truly significant motorcycle. Ducati has stamped its authority on the Adventure bike segment in the only way it knows how. The new Multistrada 1200 S is vastly more powerful and exciting than anything else in the segment. In fact, it's more powerful and exciting than an awful lot of pure sportsbikes. What's more, with its traction control, ABS, fly-by-wire throttle mapping and electronic suspension adjustments it boasts the most technologically advanced computer system we've ever seen on a streetbike - while still being marvellously simple to ride. Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan strap the boots on for the latest in our HD Video Road Tests. Enjoy!  Read More

The new bikes have been designed by Raffaele Zaccagnini

Three distant shots of a disguised prototype have emerged as the latest evidence that longtime dirt bike manufacturer Husqvarna is to begin building road bikes. We’ve previously covered the rumors and staged releases from BMW-owned Husqvarna here and here, but these are the first images yet seen of the naked streetfighter which will use a new 900cc version of the Rotax parallel twin used by BMW.  Read More

TTXGP Founder and CEO, Azhar Hussain, has been honored in the Queen's Birthday 2011 Honour...

Electric motorsport pioneer Azhar Hussain has been awarded an MBE for his services to motorsport in the United Kingdom's Queen's Birthday 2011 Honours List. Hussain is the founder and CEO of eGrandPrix, the organization behind TTXGP, the world's first sanctioned clean emission motorcycle race. Launched just two years ago at the Isle of Man TT, TTXGP is now the leading electric racing series in the world.  Read More

Michael Rutter at Braddon Bridge during the 2011 Isle of Man TT Zero race

The continuing progress of electric motorcycle racing was illustrated this week when MotoCzysz won the TT Zero Race at the Isle of Man for the second year running. In achieving a new lap record for electric motorcycles of 99.513 mph, the Segway-sponsored MotoCzysz E1PC went within a whisker of claiming the GBP10,000 prize for the first electric bike to lap the 37 mile circuit at 100mph at the same time as demonstrating yet another quantum leap in electric bike performance from last year’s 96.820 mph average and the 2009 winning average of 87.434 mph.  Read More

Honda’s US$35,000 Moto3 Grand Prix machine

Next year, the 125 class of motorcycle Grand Prix racing will be replaced by a new class of 250cc single cylinder four-stroke machines to be known as Moto3. This year’s final 125cc season is the last remaining category from the original classes which comprised the inaugural 1949 World Championship and it shows that even the tragically myopic FIM is capable of change. Yesterday Honda unveiled its production machine for the championship at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya. The 84 kg, 35.5 kw, 13,000rpm NSF250R will cost EUR23,600 in Spain (with 18% VAT included) and will be sold worldwide from December 2011, no doubt becoming the mainstay of affordable racing as the RS125R has been until now.  Read More

First sketches of new Husqvarna 900 streetbike

Husqvarna has released sketches of what is to be the dirtbike manufacturers' first ever street machine. The naked streetfighter will use the recently announced 900cc parallel twin-cylinder engine developed by Husqvarna in conjunction with its owner BMW ... and if you like your streetfighter with strong lines and sharp angles, it looks like you're in for a treat.  Read More

Does this AJS Porcupine deserve to become the world's most expensive motorcycle?

It seems the world auction record for a motorcycle is expected to fall later this year when a 1954 AJS E95 Porcupine grand prix racer will go under the hammer. The only thing I can’t work out is “why all the fuss?” The 1949 E90 AJS Porcupine narrowly won the inaugural World 500cc championship, but by 1954 the design was obsolete and the subsequent unreliable E95 never won a race at world championship level in three seasons of trying. That’s not stopping Bonhams from talking it up (its claim that the bike is “arguably the most beautiful, graceful and innovative racing motorcycle ever built” is just plain ridiculous) and it is expecting a sale price in excess of US$750,000 which would put it on top of the list of the most expensive motorcycles sold at auction.  Read More

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