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Motorcycles

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

HONDA unveils RC212V – 2007 MotoGP machine

December 7, 2006 Having wrestled the World MotoGP Riders and Manufacturers Championships away from Valentino Rossi and Yamaha, Honda’s next big challenge is to keep them and next year with the rules changing to an 800cc limit, suddenly everything is up for grabs again and in post-season testing of the new 800 machines Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki have all shown they will have competitive machinery next year . We’ve already done a complete technical rundown (with pics) of the RC211V 1000cc MotoGP bike which Honda is leaving behind – herewith is the official Honda unveiling of its 800cc, V4 replacement with a stunning all-new chassis built with mass centralization and ultimate handling in mind. Welcome to the future…  Read More

Motorcycle Land Speed Record pushed to 350 mph

December 5, 2006 Denis Manning’s motorcycles have been chasing world land speed records for over three decades and in September, the BUB 7 Streamliner he designed and built captured the ultimate goal when it set the new absolute motorcycle land speed record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Rider Chris Carr piloted the BUB 7 streamliner to 354.832 mph on the down run and 346.939 mph on the return for an average speed of 350.885 mph, a new world record. Prior to the 2006 BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials the absolute motorcycle land speed record had not been broken since Dave Campos achieved his 322.149 mph world record run in 1990.  Read More

Triumph Daytona 675 wins International Bike of the Year

November 30, 2006 Triumph’s Daytona 675 triple has taken out the ultimate accolade with victory in the prestigious International Bike of the Year (IBOTY) award. The 2006 poll, voted on by 15 of the world’s leading motorcycle magazines, saw the Daytona 675 win by a huge margin, scoring 26 votes, well ahead of Yamaha’s YZF-R6 (11) and the Kawasaki ZX-14 (9). The Triumph seems a particularly deserving winner this year, having also taken out victory in the Supersport class at the world’s biggest sportsbike shootout, Masterbike, (with 27 votes to the second-placed GSXR750R which scored 7 votes) and being awarded maximum votes (three) in IBOTY by six magazines – Australian Motorcycle News, Motorwereld (out of Belgium), Cycle Canada, KicXstart (Holland), Moto Motorcycle Magazine (Russia) and Cycle World (USA). The triple has also taken out numerous national magazine awards, winning, for example, the Two Wheels BOTY award from Australia’s highest circulation monthly magazine, plus the BOTY awards from Solo Moto (Spain), Moto Jornal (Portugal) 0300 (Greece), Moto! (Brazil), Moto 73 (Holland) and Moto Sport (Switzerland), none of whom were included in the above elite list of 15 journals. From a company that has teetered on the edge of extinction several times in the not-too-distant past, Triumph is to be recognised for its remarkable turn around.  Read More

Craig Jones (riding) and Wing Chui (front wheel) breaking the world record at Donington.

November 25, 2006 We’ve mentioned before the spectacular reverse wheelie known as the stoppie – and indeed, we have previously mentioned the particular propensity well balanced motorcycles with wickedly powerful yet controllable and predictable brakes such as the Aprilia RS250 and Buell are at performing said stoppies. Not content with having set two official Guinness World Records for solo stoppies, Buell Motorcycles professional extreme rider Craig Jones has been busy rewriting the record books and rules of extreme riding once again. But this time the world-best was a breathtaking two man effort with the former European champion and co-rider Wing Chui travelling an astonishing 305 metres together on their Buell Firebolt XB12R’s front wheel. The new milestone was set on a damp and challenging day at the UK’s famous Donington Park race circuit. Jones took the Buell Firebolt to speeds in excess of 120mph before applying the front brake and balancing the bike on its front wheel. Wing Chui, a strong contender for the most courageous man in motorcycling, was mounted on an extension to the front wheel spindle. As he hung onto the fairing bracket Wing was able to watch Craig steer the Buell Firebolt and had a compelling reason to hang on tightly as he travelled at 100mph with the Donington track just a few inches beneath him.  Read More

BMW Motorrad introduces Neck Brace System

November 21, 2006 We’ve written before about the groundbreaking work being done by South African physician Dr. Chris Leatt in the area of motorcycle safety and the Neck Brace System which offers a major safety improvement for motorcyclists. The Neck Brace significantly reduces the risk of injuries around the neck area, on the cervical spine and collarbone, in the event of a severe fall. Although accident-induced injuries to the neck area are rare in statistical terms, when they do occur, they constitute a far greater risk for the rider. Developed by Leatt in cooperation with KTM and BMW and a team of specialists made up of accident researchers, bio-mechanics, accident surgeons, the Neck Brace System is now ready for release and will be sold worldwide by BMW Motorrad, from early in 2007.  Read More

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