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Motorcycles

Tilting 'bullet-proof’ 150mph 3-wheel EV … Urban Jet or urban myth?

The race to produce a narrow, tilting, hybrid motorcycle/car/EV continues with another boutique manufacturer throwing its hat into the ring. This time, its Cherban who has released plans of its concept Urban Jet, a 150mph three-wheeler EV that is said to be able to accelerate from 0-60mph in less than 3.5 seconds. It’s a two-seater (bobsled style – though hopefully not as scary) that leans up to 45° into corners, and is reminiscent of the Dutch Carver (see it briefly in our video on the Nissan Landglider and other narrow track vehicles).Read More

Scala rider G4 headset lets bikers be heard

Making oneself heard over the roar of a motorcycle engine can be difficult at the best of times. But being heard over the roar of a motorcycle engine when tearing down the highway with your head encased in a helmet is downright impossible. Naturally technology has come to the rescue in the form of Bluetooth enabled helmets and helmet-to-helmet communication systems. The latest solution to keep chatty bikers happy is the scala rider G4 bike-to-bike Bluetooth headset that offers group intercom between up to three riders at distances of up to one mile (1.6km).Read More

The Vyrus 987 C3 4V: the world's most powerful production motorcycle

The name Vyrus may not be familiar to motorcycle enthusiasts when they begin reading this article, but by the end of it, there’s every chance it will be at the top of their list of “dream bikes.” The small Rimini-based Italian company is currently best known for producing the Bimota Tesi 2D, but the company's new, top-of-the-range, Vyrus 987 C3 4VV naked superbike is just about to propel it to even greater world renown, leapfrogging past a gaggle of superbikes to become the most powerful production motorcycle in the world. It's more powerful than Ducati’s Desmosedici RR, MV Agusta’s F4 312RR, Suzuki’s Hayabusa or Kawasaki’s ZZR1400. The hub-centre-steered Vyrus runs a 211 bhp supercharged 1198cc 1098R Ducati engine, weighs just 158 kg and costs EUR 65,000 (US$91,700).Read More

Peugeot’s incredibly frugal electric E-Vivacity scooter

Peugeot mass produced the first electric scooter 15 years ago and it’s just about to launch another. Way back in 1996, the 40 km range of the Peugeot Scoot'Elec produced a chorus of yawns but when the new E-Vivacity hits showrooms late this year, it will be greeted by a much wiser and ecologically-aware public. Emissions aside, the biggest motivating factor behind the E-Vivacity’s likely sales success will be its remarkably low cost of use. Though its 4kW engine is the equal of a frugal 50cc scooter, its running costs will be one tenth as it recharges from a domestic powerpoint at regular tarrifs. In Paris where its 100 km range will be more than adequate, that will equate to EUR 0.4 (about US$0.56) per 100 km. So if you cover the yearly average scooter distance of 4,000 kms, total running costs will be EUR 16 (US$22.67)! Read More

Suzuki Gladius 650 wins major design award

Now here's one out of left field. Despite the massive development costs of hundreds of new models by dozens of motorcycle manufacturers, and numerous landmark motorcycle launches of 2009, Suzuki's middleweight Gladius 650 has gained the most prestigious award of the Japanese market, taking the honours in the motorcycle category of the famous 'Good Design Awards'. Launched in the spring of 2009, the Gladius features a trellis-styled steel frame and a unique style but unlike most motorcycle award winners (generally assessed by sports oriented motorcycle journalists with added testosterone), it's not a bike designed for the racetrack – it is an entry-level machine aimed at people who want an all-round machine for economical and enjoyable road usage. Read More

The world's first motorcycle comes up for auction

An unrestored example (top left) of the very first vehicle to which the name ‘motorcycle’ (motorrad in German) was ever applied is to come up for auction in April. The 1895 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller motorcycle sounds like a modern motorcycle in its specification – twin-cylinder, four-valve, water-cooled, 1488cc engine – but it is indeed as unconventional as it is rare. Check out the diagram and you’ll see the rear wheel doubled as a pseudo flywheel and indeed, the piston connecting rods and the pushrods that actuate the valve gear are also attached to the rear wheel, there’s no clutch, no brakes and there’s a lot of work to be done on a machine that’ll cost you GBP40,000 to 60,000 before you start. At the end of it all though, you’ll have a bonafide centrepeice for any transport museum. Read More

Yamaha's 1200cc Super Tenere secrets revealed

The 2009 Tokyo Motor Show last October saw some bizarre non-debuts as there had been an accord between the Japanese manufacturers that all would cut back their expenditure on the show in deference to the retrenchments resultant from the GFC. We mentioned this with our coverage of the Yamaha stand's Super Tenere “Art installation” at Tokyo. Here was a somehow fully formed motorcycle that was not really on show. Well the mystique has been maintained, because no images have been released yet, but we now know a lot more about the bike's fine details – the 1200cc parallel twin will have a 270 degree crank (for a v-twin feel), and will use Yamaha's YCC-T ride-by-wire throttle, have switchable engine-mapping, traction control, three-position anti-lock braking, a Unified Braking System that links the front and rear brakes, …Read More

2010 Comoto blurs the boundaries between electric motorcycle and MTB

Once you throw out the internal combustion engine and all the bulky bits that go with it, the definition of a motorcycle can suddenly become a lot wider. Take the Comoto from Hirsch Design - it's even smaller than the Zero S bike, and begins to blur the boundaries between motorcycle and mountainbike. Using an electric motor mounted in the rear wheel hub to eliminate the need for a chain drive, the Comoto can do more than 40mph (65kph) and do just over 30 miles (~50km) on a charge under normal riding conditions. Best of all, it weighs just 118 pounds (53kg), making it one of the lightest motorcycles we've seen.Read More

Roehr set to unveil 96 bhp electric sports motorcycle

Roehr Motorcycles, producers of the American-built 180 bhp 1250sc sportbike, is to introduce two electric motorcycles before mid-year, topped by a 96 bhp motorcycle with race level performance, 210 lb/ft of torque, and premium suspension and brake components which it has dubbed the eSuperbike. Significantly, even a lower spec eSupersport model with 48 bhp, 105 lb/ft of torque will top 100 mph. No details have yet been announced on the range of the bikes, but viable electric sports motorcycles are clearly going to be available before the end of the year.Read More
Feature

HD Video road test: Victory's Vision megatourer

For millions of commuters around the world, motorcycles are a compact and cheap way of getting around town in congested traffic. The Victory Vision is the absolute opposite - there's only been a handful of production bikes ever made that are bigger and heavier than this 400-kilogram, 1740cc American behemoth. It's built to eat up thousands of open-road miles with Harley-beating performance and buttock-coddling luxury - but in a surprise twist, this retro-futuristic mammoth can actually handle surprisingly well to boot. Loz Blain discovers how 10 days on one of the top five heaviest production bikes ever built can change your perspective on motorcycling in our video road test.Read More

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