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Motorcycles

Suzuki's 2009 GSX-R1000 superbike

Suzuki has given us our first glimpse at a completely redesigned GSX-R1000 for 2009. With very similar looks to last year's model, it's a completely new bike with a new, more powerful shorter-stroke 1000cc engine that's nearly 6cm more compact than last year's from front to back. Thanks to the new engine, the bike's overall wheelbase has been reduced by 1cm and the swingarm has been lengthened for better suspension performance. The Japanese motorcycle giant also unveiled a brand new nakedbike featuring a revised SV650 v-twin engine. Suzuki hasn't announced whether the Gladius will replace the SV650 or whether the 2 v-twin middleweight nakeds will sell side by side.  Read More

Aprilia's 2009 RSV4

We've been following Aprilia's 2009 V-4 engined superbike closely through its development stages, excited to learn what the company can do with its brand new, fully electronically managed and incredibly compact 1000cc motor. And the first official images and press information have been released. Stunning to look at, the RSV4 will make at least 180 horsepower in roadbike trim (and somewhere around 220 in the version Max Biaggi will race in WSBK 2009) - but more astounding than that figure is the amazing amount of chassis tuning the RSV4 will allow. With adjustable steering head angle, swingarm pivots and even engine mounting points, the new Aprilia can lay a genuine claim to being the most race-focused production motorcycle on the planet.  Read More

Electric Motorsport's GPR-S

While we still have some time to wait before affordable mass-market electric cars like the Chevy Volt hit the market, there's other options available if you want to swap the petrol station for the power point to handle your daily commuting - like this US$8000 electric motorcycle from Electric Motorsport. The GPR-S goes between 35 and 60 miles on a full battery, while offering performance levels similar to a Honda CBR125 and a top speed of 60-70mph.  Read More

 The Dearden Supercharged Vincent Black Lightning

September 16, 2008 One of those very rare motorcycles which comes along once in a lifetime will go under the Bonhams’ hammer at sale at the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show on October 19 October – it will be the only supercharged Vincent Black Lightning ever made. Built to break the world speed record, the machine is in totally original condition and is expected to break records of a different kind by selling for US$400,000-600,000.  Read More

Valentino and Giacomo Agostini pictured together in 2005 - without doubt the two greatest ...

September 15, 2008 Italian Valentino Rossi wrote himself into the history books yesterday when he took his 69th victory in the premier class of motorcycle racing and almost certainly won himself an eighth world title. His victory took him past the 68 MotoGP wins of countryman Giacomo Agostini (pictured with Rossi) and gives him a credible hold on the title of the greatest motorcycle road racer in history. Though he is already credited with being the youngest rider to have won championships in all three classes (MotoGP, 250 and 125), Rossi has effectively won in four, soon five classes as he conquered both the brutal 500cc two strokes and the smoother, more controllable four-stroke 1000cc machines which replaced them in 2002. He is now within a few points of also having won a championship on the new 800cc machines which suit the high cornering speeds of 250cc riders, as witnessed by the number of riders (Pedrosa, Stoner, Dovizioso, Elias, De Angelis etc) who became immediately competitive in the switch to the premier class – very few riders were able to make the switch to 500cc two-strokes and become immediately competitive. Rossi is also an accomplished Rally driver and briefly contemplated a career with Ferrari in F1. Congratulations to the Doctor and his mentor Jeremy Burgess.  Read More

Yamaha's 2009 R1

Yamaha's superstar MotoGP team, including Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Colin Edwards and James Toseland, have assembled to throw their star power behind a completely reworked 2009 R1 launch in Vegas - but the magnificent machine barely needs any help to stand out on its own. One hundred and eighty two horsepower (before ram air kicks in) and 206 kilgorams dripping wet, for less than US$15,000 - aren't these magnificent times for motorcycle fans to live in?  Read More

Honda's 2009 CRF450R

Honda's CRF450R motocross bike has been hugely successful since its launch in 2002 - and although the bike is already recognized as the class leader, it's receiving a kitchen-sink included upgrade for 2009. Lighter, quicker, more powerful and with even tighter mass centralization for quick handling, the 2009 CRF450R also sports a Honda first - battery-free, programmable fuel injection that raises output power and control while dramatically reducing fuel consumption. Out of the box, Honda says it's two seconds faster around a supercross track than this year's bike.  Read More

Honda's CBR1000RR

After recently announcing the development of its new Combined ABS braking system for supersport bikes, Honda has released full details of the 2009 CBR1000RR Fireblade and CBR600RR, including the system as an option on both. There's also a Repsol paint job and styling update for the new Blade, as well as a more significant makeover for the 600RR that includes new bodywork, monoblock brake calipers, and a revised engine with added midrange torque. The Combined ABS system is set to become standard fitment on all Hondas 250cc and over sometime in the next few years.  Read More

Works riders Loris Capirosi and Chris Vermeulen and the replica

September 5, 2008 Suzuki has had a relatively lean run in MotoGP since the four-stroke era began but since the 800cc limit was introduced, the Suzuki GSV-R has been slowly pegging back the frontrunners and is reliably at the front of the front of the rest, after Messrs Rossi, Stoner, Pedrosa and Lorenzo have decided the podium order. To celebrate this newfound competitiveness, the company has launched a Limited Edition MotoGP-inspired Suzuki GSX-R1000.  Read More

TCB brake systems banjo bolt

September 2, 2008 If there's one thing motorcyclists fear above all else, it's losing the front end under braking. And while the major manufacturers come up with various complicated electronic brake systems like Honda's Combined ABS to tackle the problem, these generally only start working once the wheel starts to lock up. A small aftermarket operation in the US, however, is applying air-over-hydraulics technology - similar to the units that help pull up huge cargo planes on short runways - in a simple and cheap brake mod that fits just about any bike and claims to prevent brake lock-ups before they even begin.  Read More

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