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Motorcycles

Limited Edition Repsol Replica Blade CBR1000RR

March 1, 2007 Nicky Hayden's 2006 MotoGP Championship has prompted Honda to announce a limited edition Repsol replica Fireblade CBR1000RR which will be released into European and American markets later this month. It’s the second Repsol Replica Fireblade, the first coming in 2005 to commemorate a decade of Repsol sponsorship. Repsol began sponsoring the Honda MotoGP Team in 1995 when Michael Doohan won his second of five consecutive World GP 500 titles. Since then the team has won seven of the last eleven World Championship crowns including last year's Constructor, Team and Rider's Championship. The CBR1000RR features a host of race-developed technological innovations including the PGM-DSFI dual sequential fuel injection system, the Mass-Centralised Chassis Configuration, the Gravity Die-Cast Aluminium Frame, the Unit-Pro-Arm Swingarm, Radial-Mount Front Brake Callipers and the Electronic Steering Damper. Though it’s nowhere near an exact replica of the racing machines ridden by Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa, the new Repsol Honda Fireblade certainly looks authentic.  Read More

Pfeiffer

February 20, 2007 Chris Pfeiffer has become the first Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Champion at the one-off indoor event last weekend at the SWISS-MOTO Motorcycle, Scooter and Tuning Exhibition in Zurich. The 36-year-old German and his BMW F 800 were up against 16 other competitors from nine nations, yet Pfeiffer went through Saturday's qualifying rounds and both of Sunday's final rounds, posting near perfect results in front of thousands of spectators and winning every round. Second place went to former World Stunt Riding Champion AC Farias from Brazil, with Finnish newcomer Joni Tammela securing the remaining podium slot.  Read More

Carroll Shelby tries his hand at building a motorcycle

February 8, 2007 Carroll Shelby International and Rucker Performance unveiled a limited production Shelby motorcycle at the Cincinnati V-Twin Expo last week. The high performance motorcycle was developed in partnership between the two companies and will be built by Rucker Performance. Sticking to his tried and true formula of brute horsepower in a lightweight frame, the powerhouse is a new S&S X-Wedge 128 c.i.d. engine with closed loop VFI fuel injection that churns out a healthy 150 bhp. Each Shelby motorcycle can be custom painted according to the owner’s personal tastes and includes a special edition logo. In addition, a complete line of Shelby merchandise including apparel, accessories and limited edition collector’s items will be available. Initial production of the Shelby will be a very limited edition run of 25 motorcycles that will be available for purchase by the third quarter of this year. Production of a second round of bikes will begin in the fall of 2007.  Read More

The Rapom V8 1000 bhp motorcycle

January 25, 2007 Squeeze a massive 8.2 litre supercharged V8 monster truck engine with as much power as a Bugatti Veyron into a motorcycle and you have the Rapom V8, the product of the vivid imagination of 44-year old British engineer Nick Argyle. Unlike many who design such wilderbeasts , Argyle has manifested a fully functional and road registered version of what is world’s most powerful roadgoing motorcycle. Running on alcohol, the 1000 bhp returns just four miles per gallon, and it’s transportation brief usually only covers the 10 mile journey to a local drag racing strip. With that sort of power available at a twist of the wrist, the monster bike requires a super long chassis end every bit of its kerb weight of 1000lb in order to stop the bike flipping under hard acceleration.  Read More

Depres crosses the finish line after nearly 9000 kilometres  photo:  J Van Oers

January 22, 2007 The world’s most dangerous sporting event is always full of surprises and this year the Dakar Rally continued to write remarkable scripts for its competitors. There was some predictability in that two more competitors died this year - Elmer Symons and Eric Aubijoux – maintaining the average of two competitor deaths a year, with the spectator death toll indeterminate. There’s another given about the motorcycle section of the competition and that’s that KTM will win - the Austrian brand filled the first four spots and 23 of the first 30 finishers. The winner was Frenchman Cyril Despres (Gauloisses KTM) who finished more than half an hour in front of the field. Despres’ win was unexpected as 2005 winner and the dominant rider of the last year, Marc Coma, had led Despres by 52 minutes with just one timed stage remaining of the 8686 kilometre event, after leading the field since January 9. Sadly for Coma, he crashed and could take no further part in the event. Coma and Despres rode identical 72 bhp KTM 690 Rally machines, built specially for the event and competing for the first time.  Read More

Ducati unveils new Desmosedici

January 18, 2007 The Dolomite mountain scenery of Madonna di Campiglio formed the spectacular backdrop for the official launch of the new Ducati Desmosedici GP7 yesterday. The wraps were pulled off the all-new Italian bike by Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner, the two Ducati Marlboro Team factory riders who will spearhead the Italian manufacturer's attack in the first year of the new 800cc category. The Desmosedici GP7 is characterized by having a new and exclusive colour scheme called "Red Racing Chrome", produced with a special paint that, like McLaren’s similar technology in Formula One, offers the bikes an innovative and technological chrome effect. The new 800cc engine is smaller and narrower than the 990 unit and acts as a load-bearing structure within the shorter chassis and the sub-frame is mounted directly on the engine.  Read More

MotoGP Season underway for Ducati at Wrooom

January 16, 2007 The Wrooom - MotoGP Press Ski Meeting 2007 starts each new racing year at Madonna di Campiglio in the beautiful Trentino region of Italy. Every year this traditional appointment sees the Ducati Marlboro Team riders get their season underway in the Italian mountains and it’s happening right now for a week, with the highlight being the unveiling of the new Ducati Desmosedici GP7 built for the new era of 800cc MotoGP tomorrow. The week is the first appearance in Ducati colours for new rider and newlywed Casey Stoner, alongside his new ontrack teammate, three time World Champion Loris Capirossi. One obvious component of the Ducati week was the Superbike team - while the MotoGP team is in the snow, the Ducati Superbike team is topping the leaderboards in Australia in roasting heat. The bookies rate Valentino Rossi as an odds-on favourite to reclaim his crown in 2007 with Hayden, Pedrosa and Capirossi as the most likely to stand in his way, with Stoner on the next rung of betting. Bayliss is odds-on favourite to take the crown for Ducati again in 2007.  Read More

Bimota’s center-hub steered TESI 3D

December 20, 2006 Designer Pierluigi Marconi’s center-hub steering Bimota TESI (named because it was indeed his Mech.E thesis) hit the world in 1990 as the Bimota TESI 1D and created a sensation. Though Marconi has since moved on from Bimota, the third incarnation of the completely redesigned machine went on display recently as the 3D. As the D indicates, the motor of the bike is a Ducati, and this latest redesign takes advantage of Ducati’s new 1079cc motor, adding a lot of horses since the original 1D’s 851 motor. The new TESI 3D is gorgeous, light at just 168 kg, and looks sort of weird because the front and rear swing arms are almost identical. In between there’s the usual trellis framework and extraordinary workmanship. Only 29 numbered 3Ds will be built, each costing EUR 29,000 Euro (US$38,400). For a rundown on its predecessor, there’s a great online article by the world’s most authoritative motorcycle tester, Alan Cathcart, here and the U.S. distributors can be found here.  Read More

The world's fastest scooter unveiled - 75 bhp 850cc V-twin

December 18, 2006 When Honda released the first mass-produced four-cylinder motorcycle in 1969, the 72 bhp CB750K caused a sensation due to its performance. The horsepower and capacity wars that followed have seen the capacity of production motorcycles raised to a staggering 2.3 litres and it seems that the scooter world is following suit with the announcement of the Gilera GP 800, an 850cc V-twin-engined scooter that will most likely become the the world’s fastest scooter when it hits showroom floors a year from now. Suzuki kicked off the maxiscooter craze in 1999 with its Burgman 400, then Yamaha followed with the 40 horsepower twin cylinder 500 T-Max in 2000, then Honda trumped that with the 50 bhp Silver Wing 600 twin then in 2002, Suzuki raised the bar further with the Burgman 650. As forecast earlier this year, Piaggio (which owns Gilera, Vespa, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and Derbi) has been working on a new 850cc maxi scooter and the bike was shown publicly for the first time in Milan. The scooter will bear the Gilera name, with its 75bhp 90 degree V-twin motor giving it a top speed of more than 120mph. Perhaps even more significantly, the Aprilia engine comes straight from the new Aprilia Mana and features an advanced electronic transmission. A simple touch of the button on the handlebar and you enter into a completely different world. Three separate mappings for the totally automatic transmission and a sequential shift with 7 gears make it easy to find the best-adapted configuration for the riding conditions.  Read More

That's the Vespa MP3 in the main shot - all the others are images of Vectrix' three wheele...

December 17, 2006 While the established players in the scooter game have shown concept machinery in the fuel cell, electric and hybrid genres, there’s one European company that has been quietly going about the business of designing and building a viable electric maxi-scooter with performance roughly equivalent to a 400cc conventional internal combustion engined mount – Vectrix. The Vectrix maxi-scooter is 100% emission free, has a top speed of 62 mph and runs for up to 68 miles on a single 2-hour charge from a standard electricity socket. Combined with low running costs, minimal maintenance, ease of operation, and generous storage, the Vectrix maxi-scooter is the world’s first practical zero-emission two-wheel vehicle. The scooter will be available within months and the great news is that Vectrix recently purchased the EV rights to the innovative Vespa three wheeled carving scooter and a prototype was displayed at last month’s Milan motorcycle show. The variable front suspension provides stability at low speeds and excellent handling at higher speeds. The 3-wheel scooter is extremely versatile and will be popular with local businesses and with consumers with limited riding experience as well as being ideal as a delivery vehicle and council/police mount.  Read More

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