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Motorcycles

ZX-10R: 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

Vyrus plans to run hub-center steered 986 M2 Factory racebike in Moto2

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

Interview: Britain's newest electric motorcycle, 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

2011 Honda CBR250R: The Babyblade is back!

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

Can-Am Spyder roadster hybrid to make public debut

Those attending the International Motor Show in New York this weekend will be the first to get a close up look at Bombardier Recreational Products’ (BRP) Can-Am Spyder hybrid concept vehicle. In developing the hybrid Spyder roadster BRP are aiming to achieve a 50 percent improvement in fuel efficiency than the current Can-Am Spyder roadster with comparable acceleration and a total range of 375 miles (604 km).Read More

Plug-in hybrid Can-Am Spyder in the works

Since its launch in 2007, Bombardier Recreational Products’ (BRP) Can-Am Spyder roadster has carved a unique place for itself with its distinctive Y-architecture – two wheels in the front and one in the back – which gives the vehicle the open-air exhilaration of a motorbike combined with the stability of a four-wheeled vehicle. We were duly impressed by our first test ride on the three-wheeler back in 2008, but now a new take on the Spyder is on the horizon. As part of the Canadian government’s efforts to boost that country’s automotive research and development, a project is underway to develop a hybrid version which aims to equal the performance of the current Rotax 998cc V-Twin powered model.Read More

Which is the superior Brough Superior? New authentic replicas undercut pricing of the world's most expensive motorcycle

When Brough Superior motorcycles sold new in the 1920s and 1930s, they cost more than the average house (US$400,000 + in today's currency) and they are now beginning to populate the list of the most expensive motorcycles sold - the most expensive ever (bottom right), four of the top 12 highest prices ever, with another passed in at auction last week (top left and right) with the pricing just short of another record. In perhaps the most interesting marketplace dynamics the collector market has ever seen, Brough Superior is again in production, with better-than-new replicas selling at US$150,000 each (bottom left). That might seem a lot of money, but it's less than half what you'd pay for an eighty year old Brough at auction and the big question is, what will happen to the pricing of Brough Superiors on the collector market?Read More

Electrics can be sexy: the new Mission R superbike

It seems electric racebikes are starting to come of age; Mission One has unveiled a new machine for its 2011 TTXGP campaign, and it takes a giant step forward in aesthetics from the blunt, overly futuristic look of the original Mission One. This is an electric racer with real class and presence, not to mention 160 mph performance and superbike-spec Swedish suspension bits. The Mission R is one of a new breed of electric superbikes with a custom-built frame, rather than gutting a petrol-powered sportsbike and stuffing it with battery cells. And it's proof positive that next-generation green performance machines will have every bit the loin-stirring ability of their fossil-fueled forebears.Read More

Chip Yates prepares to race his 196-horsepower electric superbike against the gas-guzzlers

Chip Yates took a very American approach when he began building an electric superbike to race in the TTXGP and FIM ePower championships. He went for horsepower. One-hundred and ninety-six horsepower, to be precise, with a massive set of battery cells to keep the motor fed over a race distance. It was to be the most powerful bike on the grid. But both the TTXGP and the FIM released rule changes effectively disqualifying the SWIGZ bike from competition in 2011 - and rather than change the bike to fit the rules, Yates decided to pull out altogether - and take it racing against petrol-powered American superbikes in what is likely to be the first time electric and gasoline-powered motorcycles have gone head to head in an official race. But even with nearly 200 horsepower behind him, Yates has one heck of a tough job ahead of him.Read More

KillaCycle: the 500 horsepower cordless drill on wheels

Definitely one of the crowd favorites at last week’s Future of Electric Vehicles conference was the presentation by Eva Hakkanson and Bill Dube. The highly-entertaining couple, who design and build electric racing motorcycles out of their home garage, have set some impressive records with their KillaCycle drag bike – it currently holds the title of World’s Fastest Electric Motorcycle, and is also the world’s fastest EV of any kind. The bike was on display at the conference, so we asked Eva to give us the nickel tour.Read More

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