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Motorcycles

November 19, 2008 Ducati and Toyota collaborated to produce one of the most impressive motorcycle accessories we’ve ever seen at the recent specialist automotive equipment SEMA show in Las Vegas. Beginning with a 2009 Toyota Tundra as a base, the race transporter produced is something to behold – under the skin it’s turbocharged, with special suspension and brakes but the design and functionality of the vehicle was the knockout with a lengthened chassis, flip up bedsides, a motorized loading ramp, integrated tool and spares storage, and popup solar panels for accessory power. Twas all tied thematically to the bike on the back, the US$70,000 Ducati Desmosedici RR – the only street legal MotoGP bike yet produced – owned by such luminaries as Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Michael Jordan. Read More
Patents lodged by Austrian Competition Motorcycle Manufacturer KTM indicate that a hybrid 2WD dirt bike is not far away. Common sense dictates that a motorcycle with both wheels driven (2WD) will go around corners faster and with greater surety than one equipped only with the motorcycle’s traditional rear-wheel drive, much the same as 4WD cars offer superior traction to their rear or front wheel drive brethren. A lot of interesting development work has been done over the last decade with Yamaha offering Ohlins 2WD system on selected enduro bikes in Europe, Christini developing mechanical AWD (aka 2WD) kits for Honda and KTM dirt bikes and KTM talking publicly about its hydraulic 2WD development. Now it appears KTM is to employ a small electric motor on each wheel to supply additional torque when it’s needed. A recently filed set of patent applications heralds some exciting prospects. Read More
The 1200cc Lo-Rider concept may have been the big story to emerge from the BMW Motorrad camp at last week's EICMA 2008 Milan Motorcycle Show, but it wasn't the only new kid on the block. Set to join the F800S and ST in the company's mid-market line-up from May 2009, the new F 800 R naked roadster sports an 87hp in-line 2-cylinder engine, F800GS-style headlights, chain drive and a new light alloy cast double-sided swingarm. Read More
Ducati has officially taken the wraps off its new super-naked - the Streetfighter - and it's one mouth-watering package. The familiar Ducati trellis-frame houses a water-cooled 1098cc L-Twin putting out 155 horsepower, add an aluminum single sided swingarm, dry clutch, Brembo radial monoblocs, Marella electronic fuel injection, stainless steel 2-1-2 exhaust system and a weight figure of 167 kilos and you have a bike that backs its aggressive stance with performance topping anything the company has ever released without fairings. Read More
Big change is afoot at BMW's motorcycle division. After unleashing the ferocious K1300 series, the crazy HP2 Megamoto and the instantly-competitive S1000R superbike, BMW today showed a bruising concept bike to the fascinated crowds at Milan's EICMA motorcycle expo. Reminiscent of the certified bad-ass Confederate Hellcat, the 1200cc Boxer-engined Lo-Rider is a nasty-looking stubby musclebike that takes BMW's conservative image and beats it to a pulp behind the school toilets. The Lo-Rider is nearly ready for production if interest is high (which it will be) - and BMW are already talking about a mix-n-match sales process that lets customers choose their own headlight, seat and tail units, pipes and paint schemes for a true factory custom vibe. Read More
The KillaCyle has again caused record-keepers to reach for their erasers with a world beating run of 7.890 seconds for the quarter mile at the Bandimere Speedway in Colorado. The day out for owner/designer Bill Dube’ and his team was topped off by an earlier run in which the 500hp two-wheeler set a new top speed mark 174.05 mph. Read More
No matter what your skill level, being aware of what's going on around you is THE most critical safety factor for all road users - if you don't see it coming, you are in big trouble. For motorcyclists, who are simply less visible on the roads and face a much greater risk of death or serious injury in the event that an accident does occur, this factor becomes even more important. In the past, the technology dedicated to inter-vehicle communication has been limited to blowing the horn or perhaps catching a radio report of an accident up ahead, but things are changing fast. This brings us to Honda's latest innovation in the field. The company has debuted a new Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication (V2V) system aimed at reducing road casualties of both motorcyclists and car drivers which links vehicles within a defined radio range via a wireless LAN network to provide immediate access to data on vehicle location, accidents, congestion or other potential threats that lie ahead. Read More
October 15, 2008 It's not a car and it's not quite a scooter. Peugeot's HYmotion3 compressor concept vehicle is an original mix of previously seen design elements - a semi-enclosed shell akin to BMW's C1 or the Benelli Adiva and the carving 3-wheel layout of Piaggio's MP3 - with hybrid drivetrain technology added to produce a 2-person vehicle that promises low CO2 emissions as well as greater safety and weather protection than conventional scooters. Read More
Honda have released a new concept sportsbike at Intermot that frankly has us completely stumped. The V4 Concept Model is meant to showcase Honda's intention to "use the power of dreams to take motorcycling somewhere it has never been before" - somewhere, presumably, where motorcycles do away with things like tyres, suspension, brakes, axles and final drive systems. Can YOU figure out a single piece of relevant information this machine is signaling about tomorrow's Hondas, or is it a simple styling exercise? Read More
Whatever else could be said about the K1200 series BMWs, they could never have been accused of lacking power. The 168hp K1200R naked, for example, was the most powerful production naked going around, and by a considerable margin, until yesterday's announcement that BMW were re-building the S, R, and GT models with an extra 136cc, upping the power and particularly the torque to 175hp and 103 ft-lbs for 2009. Incremental improvements are found all over the bikes as well - including (finally) a standard single indicator switch, ironing out an annoyance that has plagued BMW buyers for decades. Read More
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