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Motorcycles

Finally: motorcycle headlights that look around the corners

You can't accuse BMW motorcycles of lacking gadgets - with the latest and greatest Beemers packing quickshifters, traction control, integrated ABS and all sorts of other goodies, they're right at the pointy end of the pack. But as great as those features are, this one's so forehead-slappingly obvious and excellent that frankly it's a disgrace that nobody else has beaten the Bavarians to it. The Adaptive Headlight technology on the upcoming K1600GT finally solves one of the most annoying problems on pretty much every motorcycle - by tilting the headlight according to your lean angle, to light your way around a corner as you turn it, instead of having to ride into blackness. Bravo!Read More

Buy your own Tron Lightcycle: US$35,000

The lightcycle scene was probably the most memorable part of an absolutely jaw-dropping movie when Tron was released back in 1982. One of the first films ever to use the kinds of computer-generated special effects that later become commonplace, it was a glimpse into a whole new world that left an indelible impression on most that saw it. Now, as Disney prepares to release Tron Legacy, a sequel some 28 years after the original, the lightcycles are back and looking meaner than ever. Built by the same guys that did the memorable Batpod replica, the new lightcycles feature massive dual hubless wheels, carbon fibre/fibreglass bodies and all the lashings of neon that you'd expect. And there's going to be five running models built - all of which are now up for sale on eBay. Check it out!Read More

Fischer MRX: the quest to build the next great American sportsbike

Since the untimely demise of the much-loved Buell brand during the global financial crisis, there's been a gaping hole in the motorcycle market for an interesting, innovative, high-performance American sportsbike. And while the Fischer MRX might not tick all those boxes in its first incarnation, things are looking very positive for Dan Fischer and his new motorcycle company. The MRX650 takes the engine, forks, wheels and brakes from a Hyosung GT650 (itself a copy of the Suzuki SV650), and mates it to a 1990s GP-stype frame and swingarm by Gemini Technologies, with an improbable Ohlins shock on the back and a killer fairing design by Glynn Kerr. It's targeted to sell under US$8,000, and there's talk of a 1000cc variant once the Korean engine manufacturer starts making a litre-sized motor.Read More

NCR's M16 MotoGP streetfighter: the most exclusive motorcycle on the planet?

Overkill. The word's origins are military in nature, describing a situation where one country has enough nuclear weapons to destroy significantly more of another nation that it would ever need to in order to win a war. But the term applies perfectly to today's sportsbike market, where any numpty with a license and a check book can waltz into a dealership and wobble out on a thoroughbred race machine that can break the speed limit at mid-revs in first gear and accelerate faster than any car on the road. Of course, for some people that's just not enough, bless their souls – but to create a vehicle that stands out from the pack in such a time of plenty, you have to take things to the absolute extreme. And it's a long time since we saw anything quite as extreme as the NCR M16, a bike that takes one of the most expensive roadbikes ever built, throws almost all of it in the bin and replaces it with the most exotic materials on the planet. Gentlemen, start your drooling.Read More

Video road test: the 2010 Ducati 1198

Be careful if you plan to watch this video at work; the Ducati 1198 is motorcycle lust distilled to its purest form. It packs 170 horsepower, weighs 171 kilograms and has a top speed in excess of 300 km/h – more or less standard figures for a road superbike in these blessed days, but as the king of the V-twins, the 1198 delivers an enormous wall of low-down grunt that its 4-cylinder competitors simply can't match. It's an impossibly gorgeous bike to look at, dripping in exotic sex appeal and high-class performance pedigree... But is it a highly-strung thoroughbred like Aprilia's brutal RSV4, a sportsbike your grandma could ride like Honda's Fireblade, or something in between? From the Ducati WSBK pit garage to the road, Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan roll up the sleeves and put the flagship Ducati through its paces for the latest in our series of HD video motorcycle reviews.Read More

MotoCzysz demonstrates superior electric power with IOM TT Zero win

American Michael Czysz has been building two-wheeled masterpieces for many years, though the cruel reality of racing has meant that the distinctly proletarian budgets he has had at his disposal have always been directly compared to the hundreds of millions spent by the likes of Honda, Yamaha, Ducati et al. Widely considered the “man most likely” for almost too long, his electric motorcycle took its first BIG win in the Isle of Man TT Zero race a few hours ago when it blitzed the competition, demonstrating 135 mph top speeds and went within a whisker of the GBP10,000 prize for the first 100 mph lap of the Island circuit. Most significantly, the MotoCzysz team demonstrated the massive performance leap electric bikes have taken over the last 12 months as the second IOM electric race, albeit under a different guise (original creators of electric racing, TTxGP now has several international series running) saw the average winning speed jump more than 10% from 87.434 mph to 96.820 mph.Read More

The Venom Evil street legal quad

The "ultimate in road legal quad biking" is how the makers of the Venom Evil describe their creation. If its exclusive designer styling and the splash of shiny chrome on the front crash bars and speedos don't manage to turn heads, then perhaps the water-cooled 250cc engine, twin exhaust and sporty alloy wheels will. Read More

Students compete to build racing motorcycles from scratch

The challenge: to design and build a high speed road-racing motorcycle from scratch, with an eye towards cost-effective production. Could you do it? The folks at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) think that a team of their engineering students can. The team is competing in the Moto Student competition, which pits university teams from around Europe and the rest of the world against each other to see who can design the best commercially-viable bike. Read More

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