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Motorcycles

Honda to exhibit 2WD electric motorcycle at Tokyo Motor Show?

Honda has released images of several new eco-friendly two-wheelers it will present at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, including the EV-Cub electric motorcycle, the EVE-neo electric scooter and its previously-announced PCX global scooter, the first two-wheeler to employ an 'idling stop system'. The most interesting of the new eco-bikes is without doubt the EV-Cub, which employs what appears to be car2car and car2driver communications dubbed HELLO! (Honda ELectric mobility LOop) and a LOOP portable communication tool that fits in the palm of one’s hand and “allows people and mobility devices to communicate with each other.” The EV-Cub also appears to have electric motors in both front and rear wheels, indicating that it is almost certainly a two-wheel-drive (2WD) motorcycle. 2WD motorcycles are expected to become commonplace in the future as, like their 4WD automotive cousins, they offer traction advantages on loose surfaces and wet roads and improve rider safety, especially for learners.Read More

Triumph’s Rocket III Roadster gets more power and torque

Triumph’s three-cylinder 2,294cc Rocket III megamotorcycle has the strongest motor of any two wheeled roadgoing conveyance we’ve ever ridden – nothing else comes even close. As much as we fell in love with the monster, all the Rockets until now have been created with a laid-back riding position which doesn't necessarily suit everybody in general, or mountain roads and city traffic in particular. For 2010 though, the iconic British marque is to introduce a Roadster version with increased horsepower and a 15% torque boost to 224Nm. Anti-lock braking is fitted as standard and ergonomics have been reworked for a more natural around-town riding position.Read More

Diapermotard? Ducati dips under US$10 grand to deliver its baby Hypermotard 796

Ducati's supermotard-on-steroids, the 1100 Hypermotard, has been terrorizing the streets for a couple of years now, a concept bike that became reality after it made a sensational splash at the 2005 EICMA show in Milan. Aimed at marrying some of the soft-suspension, short-wheelbase, low-weight feel of a motard with the grunt of a 100-horsepower L-twin motor and unmistakeable Ducati streetbike style, the Hypermotard is an absolute giggle machine. It's also fairly pricey though, which is why Ducati have just given it a much more affordable little brother. The Hypermotard 796 will sneak in under US$10,000, using a torqued-up version of the 696 Monster engine and boasting both less weight and a lighter clutch than the 1100.Read More

BUB 7 Streamliner motorcycle breaks 367mph for new world record

Looking more like a long, blurred, red flash than a motorcycle, the BUB 7 Streamliner is now the fastest motorcycle on earth (pending FIM verification) after Chris Carr set a new FIM world record and AMA national record at 367.382mph (591.244kmh) through the mile - and an exit speed of 372.534mph (599.534kmh) - at the Cook Private Meet at the Bonneville Salt Flats Utah. It probably also makes Carr one of the bravest men on the planet. BUB 7 beat the previous record of 360.913mph (580.833kmh), set by Team Ack Attack last year. We originally covered the BUB 7 when it broke through the 350mph (563km) barrier back in 2006.Read More

The Can-Am Spyder gets a trio of fully-faired touring versions

Bombardier Recreational Products has had a remarkable success with its three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder since the roadster’s launch more than two years ago, and the big news is that the Spyder is to be developed into two streams – one for sports riding and one for touring. The existing GS model will now be designated the Spyder RS (roadster sport) and the new touring range will be designated Spyder RT (roadster touring). There’s also a new special edition Spyder RS-S model, with a host of additional features as standard, three RT models and a purpose-built 622 liter trailer.Read More

Mission One sets electric land-speed record with production prototype motorcycle

Electric motorcycles, while economical, technologically fascinating and environmentally friendly, are unlikely to light a fire under the average petrolhead until they start tickling our inner hooligans... Which is why we're hanging out to throw a leg over the Mission One electric superbike. Fresh from its first run at the Isle of Man TTXGP, this battery-powered beast pulls power wheelies from faster than freeway speeds, handles like a dream and can top 150 miles on a battery charge. And the latest feather in the Mission One team's cap is a national AMA land-speed record for electric motorcycles. Product Manager and test rider Jeremy Cleland pushed a production prototype - with the same powertrain that customers will get off the shelf in late 2010 - to a top speed of 161mph (259kph) and a two-way land speed record of 150.059mph (241.5kph) in poor conditions and high winds at Utah's Bonneville salt flats. Excellent.Read More

Feature

First ride: Honda's outrageous(?) DN-01 automatic sports-cruiser motorcycle

At a recent Honda test-ride day, I finally had the chance to throw a leg over what must be one of the oddest motorcycles on the market - the bizarre DN-01 "sports cruiser." The Dino's way-out looks don't particularly float my boat, but it's bristling with fascinating new technology, like Honda's 'Human-Friendly' automatic transmission (HFT), which operates as a CVT in Drive or Sports modes, but is also able to mimic a 6-speed manual box when you want to get some gumboot up it. Then there's the Combined Braking System (CBS) with ABS, which isn't quite as techno as the computer controlled Combined ABS system going into Honda's new sportsbikes, but it's still right at the pointy end of motorcycle brake technology. So how did it ride?Read More

Honda announces Dual Clutch Transmission for large-displacement sport motorcycles

Dual Clutch Transmissions (DCT) are still a relatively rare breed, though in the past few years we have been inundated with them in high end automobiles. By using a separate clutch for odd and even gears, gears can be changed without interrupting power by applying the engine's torque to the next gear just as it is being disconnected from the previous one. This enables quicker and smoother gear changes and delivers better fuel economy while reducing emissions. Honda’s newly-announced, fully-automatic motorcycle DCT is a first for large-displacement sport bikes and will debut on the new VFR set for release in 2010. Read More

Confederate's all-aluminium P120 Fighter Combat motorcycle

Harley-Davidson might have set the mold for the archetypical American motorcycle, but it's boutique brand Confederate that has taken it to the extreme. Confederate's Hellcat and Wraith are glaringly unique machines - all metal and carbon, nasty skeletal designs dripping with confrontational attitude. Now they're joined by the limited-edition Fighter Combat - a celebration of machined metal that looks like it's been chiseled from one hunk of polished aluminum for the next Terminator movie. But beyond its arresting looks, there's some interesting ideas on board.Read More

Electric Motorcycle World, U.S. and U.K. Championships for 2010

The success of the TTXGP for electric motorcycles held on the Isle of Man on June 12 has quickly spawned a world championship, feeder series in the UK and United States, a UKP10,000 Technical Package for teams, and the likelihood that a complete electric racing bike will be on the market in Q1, 2010 for under USD40,000. Having been sanctioned by the governing body for motorcycle racing, (the FIM) to create a world championship in 2010, TTXGP founder Azhar Hussain is working to create a five-race global series with rounds in Europe, Asia and the Americas. A four-round U.K. National series and three-round American National series for 2010 are being planned, with the biggest news being the availability of a technology starter pack later this year - the UKP10,000 kit will include an AGNI electric racing motor, race batteries, controllers and all electronics – just add your own frame and running gear. Read More

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