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First ride: BMW S1000RR superbike stuns us at Portimao

For a company which has never built a four-cylinder uncompromising sports machine before, this first effort is incredible. With its combination of breathtaking power, agile handling and incredible rider assistance technologies, BMW’s S 1000 RR could well become the benchmark sportsbike against which all others are compared. Where better to take a first ride of this monster than the glorious Portimao racetrack in Portugal, with a wet morning to test the amazing Race ABS and traction control systems, and a dry afternoon to open BMW's sportiest bike ever up to its full 193-horsepower motherlode - Cycle Torque's Nigel Paterson reports from the world press launch.Read More

Zero Motorcycles to hit the road in 2010 TTXGP

The running of the first ever clean emissions Grand Prix at the Isle of Man in June made 2009 a landmark year in the history of two-wheeled motorsport. Next year is shaping up to be even bigger. A series of races will be run throughout 2010 beginning with TXGP North America Championship at Infineon in Sonoma, California in May. The latest competitor to throw its hat into the ring is US-based Zero Motorcycles, which will make its road racing debut on home turf with a bike that's expected to be based on the Zero S model.Read More

Ducati prepares to smash the adventure bike market to pieces with its 2010 Multistrada 1200

The Ducati team set itself a very ambitious goal when it went about re-imagining its least popular model, the Multistrada adventure bike. The aim was to make the 2010 Multistrada a much more flexible bike than anything before it, offering proper sportsbike performance, true long-range touring abilities, easy commuting and a genuine ability to get offroad and play in the dirt. Starting with the monstrous v-twin from the 1198 superbike, the design team has pulled together and integrated a huge range of cutting-edge technologies to get there. In fact, with its traction control, variable engine maps and electronically adjustable Ohlins suspension, there's a good argument to say that it'll be the most technologically advanced motorcycle in production next year. Oh, and it'll be much, much lighter and much, much more powerful than anything else in the adventure bike world. Forget everything you know about Multistradas, this bike is going to be an absolute animal.Read More

Electric Voltra concept paves the way for sexy next-gen motorcycle design

As we wrote in last week's article about the ECOS Harbinger, one of the best things about electric vehicles is that they're much simpler in many ways than a petrol vehicle to build. Freed from the necessities of fuel tanks, airboxes, cooling systems, exhausts and the bulky combustion motor itself, designers are going to be able to start with a pretty blank sheet when it comes to designing tomorrow's electric motorcycles. Take the Voltra, a design study by Aussie student Dan Anderson - with its low-slung, bulldog looks, a seat unit that looks like it's floating on air, detachable dash and an engine-mounted swingarm pivot. It's a filthy sexy bike - and yet unlike anything we've seen before; a blue-sky reinvention of the motorcycle based on the new rules the electric age is going to bring in.Read More

E is for electric: The BMW C1-E concept scooter

When BMW released their original C1 scooter in 2000 nobody had seen anything like it on the road. And not many C1s were seen on the road after it was released either. In the three years that BMW produced the scooter-with-a-roll-cage, only about 12000 were made. The riding public didn’t quite know what to make of the C1 and BMW never sold as many as it had hoped. Now BMW has brought the urban runabout back as the C1-E concept vehicle with an electric drivetrain. Could it be the C1’s time has come?Read More

Piaggio shows high performance hybrid two wheeler

Piaggio's MP3 was the world's first hybrid three-wheeler and at EICMA this week, it showed what is likely to be the first two-wheeled hybrid – the Piaggio USB (urban sport bike). The combination of a highly efficient, low-emmission GDI (gasoline direct injection) two-stroke motor and an electric motor, the USB is much smaller than it looks in the images and weighs in at just 130 kg. The USB runs 50km (30 miles) on electric only, and returns 1.5 l/100 km (156 U.S. mpg and 188 imperial mpg). Read More

BMW brings back the six-cylinder motorcycle with its hottest concept bike ever

BMW released stunning images this week of a new concept motorcycle that nobody saw coming, featuring the resurgence of an engine configuration we all thought was long-dead. In recent years Triumph has stamped itself as the master of modern triples, and now BMW has made a clear statement of intent that it's bringing the inline six back to the bike world. The Concept 6 showcases a brand-new 1600cc engine that's four inches narrower than any previous production six, and produces truly prodigious power and torque throughout the rev range. And it's housed in a cafe racer body that has to go down as the sexiest motorcycle design BMW have ever produced. Sensational stuff... We can has production model plz?Read More

Exclusive pics: Mavizen TTX02 electric superbike

We've long argued that electric motorbikes make sense - low-emissions, quiet operation, instant torque and hardly any maintenance compared with their gas-guzzling cousins. The sluggish reaction of the established industry players to this e-revolution has created an opportunity for names like Brammo, Vectrix and Zero to try their hand, and now a brand that dares to put the words "electric" and "superbike" in the same sentence. Launched last week in Las Vegas, the 130+ mph, GBP25,000 Mavizen TTX02 is based around a KTM RC8 frame, ships with two Agni motors and boasts a hot-swappable battery and drivetrain architecture. Born from, and bred for, the world's first electric GP, the bike is a "laptop on wheels" that runs on the Linux OS, comes with with integrated IP connectivity and a USB based system bus for open source engine management, and although it's not being sold as a street legal machine, TTXGP founder Azhar Hussain says the package can still provide a pathway from the racetrack to the road.Read More

Wraps to come off Mavizen TTX02 electric superbike

A new era of motor sport began in June this year with the running of the world's first zero-emissions GP at the famous Isle of Man circuit. Now the TTXGP’s manufacturing arm is set to unveil a factory production electric superbike. Billed as "a computer on wheels", the Mavizen TTX02 is designed to deliver racing performance in a versatile package that will serve as a development platform for would-be competitors in the fledgling world of the e-GP... and it even comes with its own dedicated IP access and connectivity to the network.Read More

VFR1200 Tourer: The World's safest bike?

The oddball styling of Honda's forthcoming VFR1200T tourer isn't just the result of a designer's whim; the shape is designed to radically reduce rider injuries in the most common sorts of accidents. The appearance of the touring version of Honda's fourthcoming V4 has already been revealed in design patents which copyright the bike's styling, but for the first time we've managed to dig beneath the skin and discover that the looks aren't simply there to catch buyers' eyes. In fact, they've been dictated by the technology underneath. Read More

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