Highlights from Interbike 2014

Motorcycles

Yamaha's Super Tenere

Faced with ever-increasing adventure touring competition from KTM, Yamaha, Ducati and Honda, BMW is ramping up new model development at subsidiary Husqvarna with a view to developing more dirt-orientated large capacity off-road and semi-off-road models that will not be in direct competition with its class-leading R1200GS. Several new models will be unveiled at EICMA in November, all based on the Rotax 800cc parallel twin engine used in the BMW F800R. The Rotax engine, for those not familiar with it is a pearler, with throttle response so acutely calibrated that it can be ridden like this, so the newly developed 900cc variant can be expected to be even better.  Read More

The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered.

Montreal's Lito has thrown its hat into the ring with a new electric motorcycle that makes some pretty outrageous claims. A full 12 kilowatt-hours' worth of onboard lithium polymer batteries gives the Sora a massive 300 km range – that's 185 miles between charges. Or you can choose to wrap the throttle on and scream up to a top speed of 200 km/h (125 mph). With chopper/fighter bad boy looks and some interesting and innovative features like in-dash touch screen GPS and electronically adjustable ergonomics, the Sora looks like an absolute animal of a machine. You can't help but think that if it had an accessible pricetag, it would look very tempting to the average biker.  Read More

Historically significant motorcycles up for auction

The annual auction accompanying the International Classic MotorCycle Show (UK) next weekend will, as usual, see a number of historically significant motorcycles go under the hammer. Up for grabs, with estimates in brackets, include a genuine Factory Ducati 999 F03 superbike (GBP80,000) with 13 wins to its credit, Carl Fogarty's IOM Senior TT-winning 1989 Honda 750cc RC30 (GBP70,000), the sole factory prototype of the fully-enclosed 1955 Vincent 499cc Victor Series D single (GBP50,000), and the very last Norton Commando to come off the production line (GBP16,000).  Read More

The Zero S electric motorcycle

The latest in our series of video road tests is America's leading electric motorcycle: the Zero S, from California's Zero Motorcycles. Seventy-five miles per hour and 60 miles between charges are the big numbers here – but how does that translate to real life use? Also, since electricity costs so much less than petrol, can an electric motorcycle be viewed as an economical option? And what about the environment? When the carbon cost of electricity generation is taken into account, how green are electric vehicles? These questions and more, answered after the jump!  Read More

Honda's RC212V took four of the top five finishing spots in the opening round of MotoGP 20...

The first MotoGP race of the year has been run and won, so we've got our first glimpse at what season 2011 is going to look like. And it seems it's going to look like the Honda Cup. Delivering on the promise the bike showed last year, Honda's RC212V took four of the top five finishing spots in Qatar, with only defending champion Jorge Lorenzo waving the flag for Yamaha in second place. Ben Spies rode to an encouraging sixth place for Yamaha, and the Rossi/Ducati combination started with a whimper, not a bang, in 7th. Smart money would have to be on Australian Casey Stoner for the title; after a brief dice with a wearied Dani Pedrosa, Stoner strolled away to a 3.5-second win.  Read More

The 2011 Zero XU

If you're going to be an early adopter and get yourself an electric motorcycle, one thing you'll need to get used to is charging the bike more or less whenever you're not riding it. If there's power outlets where you park, or the boss lets you bring the bike into the office, that's no problem – but if not, you might struggle to find an accessible spot to plug in. Which is where the latest addition to the Zero Motorcycles 2011 lineup could come in very handy; the Zero XU is the first Zero streetbike (and one of the only electric commuters we've seen) that allows you to quickly remove the battery and charge it away from the bike. Great idea, but we wonder how it will work in practice.  Read More

Trackside with Kawasaki at round one of the 2011 World Superbikes

The 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R is new in every sense of the word – it's a brand new model with a brand new frame, 200hp engine, Showa suspension and a grab bag of the highest-tech electronics riding aids. Gizmag's Fabian Fitzgerald spoke to Chris Vermeulan and his team manager, Paul Risbridger, at the opening round of the 2011 WorldSBK season for an insight into the technology behind the new superbike.  Read More

The Vyrus 986 M2 Factory

Boutique Italian motorcycle company Vyrus is hoping to cause a real shake-up in top-level racing by entering its radically unorthodox Vyrus 986 M2 Factory in the heavily standardised Moto2 competition. With the same weight, engine, tyres and electronics as its opponents, the Vyrus bike is more or less a controlled experiment in the racetrack effectiveness of hub-center steering. It will be the first time in decades that we've seen a machine enter top-level racing without a set of traditional telescopic forks at the front end. If it succeeds, it has a real chance at causing a suspension revolution in the sportsbike world. Oh, and there's streetbike and kit versions available too. Very exciting news.  Read More

Production prototype of the Agility Saietta

Agility will never be accused of sticking to tradition for tradition's sake. Freed from the constraints of complicated combustion engines and all the associated tackle, designer Lawrence Marazzi has unveiled a brand new, fully electric British motorcycle that turns the rules of motorcycle design on their head. The Saietta features a hossack-inspired front end, an eye-popping fairing design and a crazy degree of mass centralization that could only be achieved with battery cells. Billed as a guerrilla commuter, it promises to be a very exhilarating ride. See the video after the jump to hear Marazzi talk about the design process, the future of electric motorcycles and the unique properties of the Saietta.  Read More

Honda's 2011 CBR250R

Twenty years ago, quarter-liter sportsbikes ruled the roost in many regions, offering a mix of racy looks, light weight and snappy performance. But in recent years, with all the other major players leaving the segment, Kawasaki has enjoyed unchallenged sales success with its sharp-looking, yet friendly Ninja 250. But the mini-ninja will soon face stiff competition from Honda's totally re-conceived babyblade CBR250R, equipped with a 249cc single-cylinder, fuel injected engine, a tasty fairing that mimics the CBR1000RR and the first instance of optional ABS to grace the market segment. This will be a killer learner machine and a great introduction to the sport for legions of young riders. It's good to see the quarter-liter segment getting some love again. Oh, and check out what the aftermarket's already coming up with for these new machines.  Read More

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