Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Motorcycles

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

Bold new Chinese Racing bid unveiled

Could history be about to repeat itself? In 1959, a small Japanese team entered the famous Isle of Man TT races on a new make of motorcycle: Honda. The establishment greeted the newcomers with polite amusement. They did not laugh for long. Now a Chinese motorcycle maker has announced it will follow an identical path starting in 2009 – exactly a half century later, there’s an eerie similarity.  Read More

Harley-Davidson Museum to open in July

May 16, 2008 The 130,000 square-foot Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee will open its doors to the public on Saturday July 12.  Read More

Darren Lomman aboard his prototype Dreamfit motorcycle for paraplegics.

May 15, 2008 A chance encounter with a paraplegic ex-motorcross champion in a hospital carpark inspired Darren Lomman to put together an audacious project: a motorcycle for paraplegic riders - and his working prototype, a heavily modified Honda CBR250RR, is now road licensed and operational.  Read More

Three-wheeled, GSXR-engined Stealth Tryke

May 8, 2008 The line between car and motorcycle has become increasingly blurred in recent times with the appearance of scintillating 3-wheeled conveyances like Campagna's T-Rex and BRP's Can-Am Spyder roadster. In that vein, the custom made Stealth Tryke from Lehigh Valley Choppers employs a GSXR 1000 engine and wide, flat profile tires to take advantage of the stable "Y" configuration and deliver what looks to be one ripping ride.  Read More

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