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Motorcycles

Valerie Thompson took her Panhead Harley to a land speed record of 161mph earlier this wee...

September 12, 2007 Female drag racer Valerie Thompson has her eye on a 200mph top speed on Bonneville’s salt flats. She took a major step toward this lofty goal earlier this week when she took her 120-inch Panhead Harley to a new land-speed record of 161.736mph. The former investment banker ran nitrous oxide and a small fairing to chase the record, and can’t wait until she runs a full streamliner in next year’s all-out assault on 200mph, an unprecedented speed for the class.  Read More

Vento's custom-designed 400cc inline triple will appear in a range of the company's 2008 m...

September 11, 2007 American motorcycle manufacturer Vento Motorcycles today announced the first engine the company has had designed specifically for its own products. The new three cylinder, 400 cc, 30 horsepower engine, the most powerful inline triple ATV engine ever built, is the first American-made engine to be designed and used by Vento. The company will use the new engine in an expanded range of ATVs and middleweight bikes from 2008 onwards.  Read More

The Gilera GP 800

September 11, 2007 An 840cc, 90-degree fuel injected V-twin, performance chassis, 200kmh top speed and braided brake lines… on a CVT, step-thru scooter? After sending heads spinning with its Nexus 500, a scooter that handles like a sportsbike in the twisties, Gilera have completely dumbfounded us with their GP 800 hyperscooter. Striking some sort of bizarre balance between a super-grunty commuter and a genuine sports-tourer, this bespectacled bad-boy is the new and undisputed king of the scooter segment.  Read More

Rossi during the 2006 test

September 4, 2007 Whispers of a night-time MotoGP event first reached Gizmag in early 2006 and now it’s official – the season opening Grand Prix of Qatar on March 9th next year will be held under lights to allow for better synchronization with European television schedules. The staging of the unprecedented night race will involve what is believed to be the biggest lighting project in the world for any sporting event – almost four thousand lights will be used to ensure visibility and remove shadowing from the track.  Read More

Christini's AWD motorcycle system

Four Wheel drive cars have taken over at the top-level of off-road rally racing, but dirt bike racing is still predominantly fought out on single-wheel-drive vehicles that spin up, fishtail and slide wildly across rough terrain. Make no mistake though, the All Wheel Drive (AWD) revolution is coming to the motorcycle world – Yamaha and KTM have done significant work with hydraulic front-wheel-drive systems, and when new ideas like this successful all-mechanical AWD kit from Christini hit the mainstream, dirt bike riding will never be the same again.  Read More

Confederate's Renovatio concept

If you thought Confederate’s previous motorcycles, the Wraith and Hellcat, were outrageous to look at, wait ‘til you see the company’s latest project. The virtually frameless Renovatio takes minimalism and modular design to the next level and flags a bold future direction for this iconoclastic New Orleans-based streetbike manufacturer.  Read More

Buell 1125R

August 6, 2007 Buell has announced the upcoming release of the 1125R – its first litre-class motorcycle built on an all-new Buell platform including a freshly developed liquid-Cooled V-Twin engine described as the most-powerful street-legal engine ever offered by the company. Just about every aspect of the bike has been changed from previous models – new chassis, fairing, front-brake, muffler, clutch… and on it goes, but the biggest news is the 1125cc DOHC V-Twin Helicon power plant developed in a collaboration between Buell and BRP-Rotax that aims to combine superbike power with the smooth torque characteristics of a V-Twin. The engine redlines at 10500 rpm, produces its 146 crankshaft horsepower at 9800 rpm and 82ft/lbs of peak torque at 8000 rpm. The Buell 1125R is expected to arrive in Buell dealerships in at the end of 2007.  Read More

Piaggio ready to release 170 mpg hybrid two and three wheel scooters

Italian manufacturer Piaggio, the maker of Vespa, is set to become the first company to release a hybrid drive scooter following an announcement that it is developing hybrid versions of its Vespa LX, Piaggio X8 and Vespa MP3 (the carving three-wheeler) models. The new hybrid system, which has a working title of HyS (Hybrid Scooter), can operate in full electric mode with a range of around 20 kilometres as well as hybrid mode - whenever the rider needs to accelerate more aggressively, the electric motor kicks in, providing about 85 per cent extra performance. Piaggio’s HyS system is a parallel hybrid in which a combustion engine and an electric motor incorporated into the gearbox casing are mechanically and electronically linked and simultaneously supply power to the rear wheel. The system uses drive-by-wire and the in-built electronic management combines the two engines to offer not only better acceleration but also a significant reduction in fuel consumption (up to 170 mpg or 1.67 liters/100 km) and in CO2 emissions, only 40 g/km (using 65% the hybrid modes and 35% the electric one). Perhaps the most exciting prospect is the hybrid MP3 which enjoyed such success as a 250cc it has since been developed as a 400cc version and was recently shown as a stylish 500cc Gilera – a sportier hybrid version of the 500 would enjoy exceptional performance.  Read More

DVExperts' MOTA system records learner performance on a number of exercises in a scientifi...

August 1, 2007 Those who choose to ride motorcycles, including many of us in the Gizmag team, choose to accept a higher level of risk in our daily transport than a car driver. We mitigate this risk through higher levels of attention, roadcraft and dedicated development of riding skills than are typically displayed by drivers – and rider licensing and advanced training courses are a critical part of most riders’ development as safe, confident road users. Still, rider training and testing typically focuses on fairly nebulous goals and results that give the rider very little concrete feedback on their progress or areas of weakness, so Australia’s DVExperts have come up with a device that brings a new level of hard science to the process. Their Motorcycle Operator Training Assessor (MOTA) unit is a set of sensors the size of a deck of cards that can be attached to a bike to record reaction times, acceleration, braking forces, swerving forces and lean angles to provide a very clear readout of a student’s performance in each testing or training exercise along with their levels of improvement after a day’s training. This means license testing can be brought to a new level of consistency and accountability and we suspect the MOTA’s also going to be a fun piece of equipment for the trainers themselves to play with after hours.  Read More

Microscopic DataDotDNA dots like this will be sprayed all over every new Australian Yamaha...

July 31, 2007 Motorcycles offer a boundless sense of freedom to their owners – and they’re also seen as boundlessly free by bike thieves who know it only takes two men to lift a parked bike into a van and nick-off with it. But a bike that can always be traced back to its original owner is difficult for thieves to make a dollar from and Yamaha is taking advantage of this fact on behalf of its customers. Since February this year, every new Yamaha motorcycle, scooter and ATV sold in Australia has been sprayed with DataDotDNA theft protection – microscopic dots that carry identifying information linking every part on the bike back to its original frame number and making stolen bikes extremely difficult to on-sell or part out. DataDotDNA are doing these sorts of deals across the world with a number of different manufacturers now, and becoming a worldwide standard in vehicle identification.  Read More

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