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Motorcycles

Harley buys MV Agusta

July 14, 2008 Harley-Davidson has swooped in with around 70 million Euros to rescue the MV Agusta group from its finicial difficulties. Although Harley and MV might look like strange bedfellows, both are premium, no-expenses-spared brands with huge cultural significance. H-D expect to reap strong financial rewards when MV releases uber-designer Massimo Tamburini's next masterpiece - the 675cc inline triple MV Agusta F3 supersports bike.  Read More

Honda's outrageous DN-01

From its sports-scooter meets future-cruiser styling to its dual-mode auto/sports-shift infinitely variable transmission, the 680cc DN-01 destroys Honda's conservative, staid reputation in a flurry of raised eyebrows and shaking heads. It couldn't possibly be a Honda - yet it is, and it's going on sale in the UK from August 1 to see if the market's ready for a truly progressive, niche-busting two-wheeler.  Read More

BMW's f800-engined 2WD hillclimb special.

The all-wheel-drive revolution that has swept the off-road car racing world continues to gather strength in the vastly more conservative motorcycle market. Yamaha's 2-Trac and Christini's aftermarket AWD system are well established as proof that 2-wheel-drive is an effective and significant advantage to off-road motorcycle racers, and now BMW is using a two-wheel drive system in one of the toughest arenas of all - the European Hill Climb Championships, where despite star rider Christian Pfeiffer bowing out due to injury, a 2WD F800-powered hill climb bike took fourth place in its first competition outing.  Read More

 Holy Cow – the Batcycle becomes the Batpod

Comic book hero Batman has been with us for 70 years next year, becoming one of the most popular fictional characters of all time. Along the way, Batman became more technologically savvy, using wondrous gadgets such as the bat-car, bat-computer, bat-cave, bat-signal, bat-radar, bat-camera and bat-cycle to fight an array of adversaries such as the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin, Two-Face, the Riddler, and Scarecrow. With the latest celluloid interpretation of the Batman character set for global release next week (The Dark Knight), we’re about to see another interpretation of the Bat-cycle – the Batpod.  Read More

Yamaha developing CVT enduro bike

Yamaha is developing a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) enduro machine according to recent patent applications. Conceived by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago, the CVT power delivery characteristics could well be a boon in slippery off-road conditions, particularly with some help from a computer. The CVT's biggest advantage is ensuring the motor is always running “in the power band” and as the infinitely variable gear ratios change, it should deliver one smooth rush of power from standstill to top speed.  Read More

First images Maxtra 125 motor and tests

June 22, 2008 The Chinese Maxtra Racing team completed its first series of tests on the all-new 125 GP development machine in the UK this week. The photography session for the tests has revealed the first images of the radical new motor’s innovative engine architecture. You’ll see from the accompanying image that the single cylinder points downwards at about 45 degrees. This previously untried layout offers improvements to both intake and exhaust. There is more space for an airbox, enhancing the effectiveness of the ram-air intake system and the exhaust clearly has a free run to the rear of the machine.The remarkable full story of the team and its plans can be found here.  Read More

Tankgrip makes a sports motorcycle two can ride

June 21, 2008 Riding a sports motorcycle with a pillion passenger is possibly a more challenging pastime than riding one properly without a pillion. The design of the bike is so racetrack orientated, that adequate provisions for a pillion are indeed, inconsequential other than meeting minimum regulatory standards. Any Yamaha R1, Suzuki Gixxer or Honda Fireblade perches the pillion six inches above the rider and 12 inches back. The pillions footpegs require the flexibility of a yoga master to use, and the pillion-handgrips invariably also require the arm-strength and balance of an Olympic gymnast for effective use. Under acceleration, the pillion feels vulnerable and under brakes, the rider takes the weight of the pillion. The main problem is that there’s just no logical place to put an effective, strong and comfortable set of pillion handgrips. Until now – enter the Tankgrip - this is a very good idea.  Read More

Honda's Combined ABS system

June 11, 2008 Motorcycle 'driver aid' technology is becoming more and more prevalent; the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R, for example, features a primitive traction/stability control system, and the latest Yamaha R1 and R6 engines feature 'fly by wire' throttles, in which an ECU interprets and moderates throttle inputs before they reach the engine. Anti-lock braking is beginning to feature on almost all touring-style motorcycles, and Honda's Combined Braking system, or CBS, is fitted to several of the company's less sports-focused models, where it distributes braking force between front and rear wheels even if only one brake lever is pressed. Honda's latest advancement in rider aid technology is to combine ABS and CBS into one electronically-managed system that prevents braking lock-ups and also manages weight transfer under heavy braking to help stop the rear wheel from lifting in an emergency stop.  Read More

Can-Am Spyder Roadster review

It combines the open air exhilaration of two-wheeled transport with the stability of four, but it's not a motorbike and it's not a convertible sportscar. In fact, direct comparisons with anything else on the highway are largely useless because there's simply nothing out there like the Can-Am Spyder Roadster. More than a decade since BRP first began to explore the idea for totally a new breed of three-wheeled road going conveyance and four years since the styling was finalized, the world wide roll-out of the Spyder is now in full swing. Noel McKeegan climbs aboard for a closer look.  Read More

Yamaha set to release world's quickest motorcycle

June 4, 2008 Yamaha will release what is expected to be the world's quickest accelerating production motorcycle at a press conference later today in Madrid. The production 2009 V-Max will come almost 25 years after the original and groundbreaking 1200cc monster custom was first seen, and is expected to be almost identical to the concept machine shown at the 2007 Paris and Tokyo Shows (pictured above). With an 1800cc fuel injected motor, the new V-Max will produce 210 bhp and feature state-of-the-art everything. The launch is due in Madrid later today and Yamaha is using the internet for a simultaneous unveiling here. If you can’t wait until then, here’s our photo gallery from last year’s Paris and Tokyo Shows.  Read More

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