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Motorcycles


— Motorcycles

Xtreme Green’s US$8000 65 mph Electric Motorcycle set for launch

By - January 12, 2009 11 Pictures
January 13, 2009 Start-up Xtreme Green is set to release several new and highly desirable electricity-powered machines in 2009, including a 4kW (5.4 bhp) motorcycle, a 3kW (4 bhp) scooter, a 250 pound Jetboard for watersport enthusiasts with a top speed of 35 mph, and three-wheeled Police Mobility Vehicle (see image gallery). The 266 pound lightweight motorcycle is the one that appears most likely to succeed in the marketplace in the short term, with a top speed of 65 mph, 2-3 hour plug-in charge time for the built-in battery charger, and a range of nearly 100 miles. Pricing has just been announced at US$7000 and with that much power and negligible running costs, we suspect the new company has lucked out in delivering the right product at the right time. Read More
— Motorcycles

The Royal Enfield Bullet – the world’s longest running production motorcycle

By - January 12, 2009 20 Pictures
January 13, 2009 The Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest production run of any motorcycle in history, having remained continuously in production since 1948, and with roots back to the1932 Bullet which was one of the fastest bikes on the road at the time – the Bullet has just been completely redesigned, and as the Bullet Classic, has all the hallmark design cues of its 75 year heritage, plus electronic fuel injection, a “unit construction” (one-piece), all-alloy engine/gearbox and a range of dress-up kits to turn it into a café racer or classic scrambler. It also makes more power than any previous Bullet, though with its modest 20.3 kW (27.3 bhp) output, it’s still regarded as a learner motorcycle in most countries. Most importantly, it’s cheap as chips, and returns better than 80 mpg. Read More
— Motorcycles

The 2WD Track diesel motorcycle with CVT

By - December 29, 2008 7 Pictures
December 30, 2008 The Dutch E.V.A. company has been working on both a diesel motorcycle and a 2WD system for several years and the two have finally come together, with the release of the EUR 17,500 Track Diesel Motorcycle with adjustable front wheel hydraulic drive system as an optional extra. The 50 bhp in-line three cylinder diesel is both turbocharged and intercooled and offers a whopping 130Nm of torque from 1800 rpm upwards. The CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) helps the motorcycle keep its revs low and it hence uses very little fuel – 2.1 l/100km at 90 kmh – and is to be marketed as a go-anywhere adventure machine with an appetite for almost any fuel available (it’ll run on PPO), a full aluminium luggage travel system, and a desert-sand lifting device for lone adventurers. Read More
— Motorcycles

Honda to market electric motorcycle by 2010

By - December 18, 2008 1 Picture
Honda has been quick to signal some radical changes in direction to enable it to endure the tough times expected in 2009. Following news that it is cancelling all F1 racing involvement and development, and likewise with the successor to the NSX sports car, the company has announced it intends to pursue ever cleaner automotive technologies and the most exciting of its announcements is that it will have an electric motorcycle on the market before the end of 2010. Honda’s original core product was the motorcycle and history shows that motorcycle sales remain strong in difficult times – the Honda announcement of an electric motorcycle is likely to spur rivals Yamaha and Suzuki into action, with both having shown fantastic electric bikes already, and both afraid to give Honda a head start in what will surely be a massive market. Read More
— Motorcycles

Single-sided front swingarm could steer the way to better motorcycle handling

By - December 2, 2008 2 Pictures
December 2, 2008 If center-hub steering like that found on the Bimota TESI 3D isn't radical enough for you, perhaps this'll do the trick: Tier Motorsports have released a set of concept illustrations featuring a Yamaha R1 that's been modified with a single-sided front swingarm. The aim of the design is to provide a completely vertical steering axis for the front wheel, making for a much more direct and responsive steering effect than is possible with angled forks - and the idea also opens up the possibility of virtually frameless bikes, in which both the front and rear swingarms mount directly from the engine and no heavy steering stem/headstock is needed. Fascinating stuff. Read More
— Motorcycles

The GBP20,000 TTX01 - 86 BHP, Electric 2WD Motorcycle

By - November 27, 2008 8 Pictures
UPDATED It’s the first electric superbike and though its range is considerably less than the first modern four-stroke superbike, the 1969 Honda CB750, its top speed of 125 mph (200 km/h) is almost identical. Yesterday the first prototype of the TTX01 Electric Superbike was showcased at a press conference for the 2008 NEC Bike Show. Built to demonstrate the potential of electric sports motorcycles for the first emissions-free Grand Prix, the initial prototype is based on a Suzuki GSX750 frame and running gear and runs two 43 bhp Agni Lynch Electric motors arranged in line with the frame. Together, the motors produce 125 Newton Metres of torque and both have been modified to withstand high RPM using Kevlar-reinforced armatures. The vision is to create a lightweight, carbon fiber framed 2WD TTX02 with "hot swappable", 20 kilowatt hour battery packs, regenerative braking and a production run of 50 machines in 2010 with a target price of GBP20,000. Read More
— Motorcycles

Bimota's DB7 Oronero: a sportsbike symphony in carbon fiber

By - November 24, 2008 7 Pictures
In its past reincarnation, Italian motorcycle company Bimota built a reputation around its ability to take the great Japanese and Italian engines of the time and put them into a chassis package that would actually handle - but when the brand relaunched in 2003, many wondered what relevance Bimota would have in an era when the vast majority of modern sportsbikes handle brilliantly straight out of the crate. But it seems there's still room at the top end of the market for bespoke chassis designers, which is a good thing because otherwise we'd never see revolutionary designs like the center-hub steered TESI 3D or the magnificent DB7 Oronero, which boasts one of the first all-carbon fiber frame, subframe and swingarm packages ever to grace a production bike. A truly pornographic piece of motorcycle art, the Oronero also promises breathtaking performance with a weight of just 164 kilograms being propelled by the 164-horsepower Ducati 1098 powerplant. Read More
— Motorcycles

Greenfly: the LPG-powered custom motorcycle

By - November 20, 2008 1 Picture
Alternative fuel motorcycles are a hot topic at the moment, with electric, hydrogen and diesel engines being bolted into two-wheeler frames more and more commonly in an effort to get maximum bang for the energy buck. But this is the first bike we've seen to take on a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) tank. Apart from offering around 70mpg, Dave Akhurst's Greenfly is also a beautifully designed custom with some very special touches, such as a single-sided front fork and rims that detach from the star-shaped hub to make tire changes literally a five-minute job. Read More
— Motorcycles

Toyota and Ducati build motorcycle race transporter

By - November 19, 2008 5 Pictures
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
— Motorcycles

KTM 2WD hybrid dirt bike

By - November 11, 2008 4 Pictures
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
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