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Motorcycles

The quietest Orange County Chopper yet: the electric Siemens Smart Chopper

The beefy gents at Orange County Choppers have surprised us a few times before, going out of their normal raked-out design brief to customize a Ducati Monster 1100, for example - but they really turned heads this week when Paul Teutul, Snr, presented the company's - and perhaps the world's - first all-electric chopper. Commissioned by Siemens and built using recycled steel, LED lighting and environmentally-friendly water-based paints, the Siemens Smart Chopper features a 27hp brushless motor good for a top speed in excess of 100mph, and enough battery life for a 60-mile range. And it's going up for auction.Read More

V4 engine set for two-wheeled renaissance

It seems the V4 engine is set to come back into vogue for high-end motorcycles, with the 1000cc RSV4 of Aprilia besting long-established successful marques at the Czech Republic World Superbike Championship round and the imminent launch of Honda's much awaited V4 roadster in its 50th year of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Details of the new 1200cc Honda V4 are starting to emerge and it looks like some fairly significant new technologies will be incorporated into the design, including variable cylinder management, meaning that the rear cylinders will cut out when full power isn't needed. Aprilia meanwhile, is making hay and is already preparing an RSV4 Naked Bike (sans fairing), and a 600cc supersport machine is also likely.Read More

Erik Buell announces 2010 Buell Blast: a crushed cube of metal

The Buell Blast was a friendly motorcycle, a beginner's bike and a favorite of US-based rider training organizations. Its 500cc air-cooled single was reliable, simple and unintimidating, its low seat height made it great for shorties and lady riders, its unassuming looks made it a bike that you didn't have to be a rev-head to ride. But the unassuming Blast wasn't exactly a sales hit, and worse, Erik Buell was finding that it was giving young riders the wrong impression about the Buell range - so, in a commitment to balls-out sportsbiking, he canceled the bike for 2010, and stuck a few of his remaining stock into a crusher. Next year's Blast, it seems, will have an exceptionally short wheelbase and highly centralized mass.Read More

Zero releases dual purpose electric motorcyle

Electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero has followed up the success of its X and S ranges with the Zero DS – a combination dirt/street machine the company says can “handle any surface you can throw at it.” This new option for those looking to ditch their noise-polluting, emission-spewing internal combustion bikes looks very similar to the S model, but has a bigger front wheel (17 inch), chunkier tread on the back tire and a nobby on the front, specially-designed wheels and suspension and a distinctive naked round headlamp without the windshield found on the S.Read More

Flipping out over the Tower of London

Stuntman Robbie Maddison celebrated his 28th birthday (today) with yet another hard-to-believe stunt on Monday, using the Tower of London's lifting road bridge to perform a backflip over the Thames in the wee hours of the morning. Maddison has been regularly breaking his own world record for the longest motorcycle jump for several years and has currently pushed it to 106.98m (350.98 feet) as well as performing regular other outrageous feats as publicity stunts for Las Vegas casinos and sponsors Red Bull. Great image gallery..Read More

Suzuki joins big-bore enduro market with RMX450Z

Suzuki is finally joining the serious off-road marketplace with an all-new fuel-injected RMX450Z enduro racer. The bike is based on Suzuki's RM-Z450 motocrosser, with a significantly-reworked version of the Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), 449cc, DOHC, four-valve, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine. A longer inlet tract, less radical cam profiles, wider gear ratios plus an electric starter are the main changes to the high-spec off-road weapon, all wrapped in the motocrosser's frame, suspension and bodywork.Read More

BMW Motorrad Navigator IV next-gen GPS for motorcycles

Navigation specialist Garmin has collaborated with BMW on the company's latest motorcycle-friendly GPS unit, the BMW Motorrad Navigator IV. Due to hit shelves in Europe and North America in Q3, the Navigator IV features a faster processor, flatter housing and a larger 4.3-inch, 16:9 touchscreen with big buttons to accommodate gloved hands. Software improvements include a lane assistant, junction views and 3D building representations while Bluetooth capability lets you listen to phone calls, MP3s and more importantly, spoken turn-by-turn instructions.Read More

4mc test ride: can a motorcycle have four wheels?

MOST tests involve a long process of careful assessment to judge the relative benefits and disadvantages of the bike in question, painstakingly attempting to judge whether the new machine has any clear advantage over its competitors. But on swinging a leg over the only existing 4MC prototype there's just one big question to be answered - can a motorcycle have four wheels? Ben Purvis finds out.Read More

Dean Kamen developing eco hybrid that will run on anything that burns

Dean Kamen – the multimillionaire inventor behind the Segway personal transporter – is well down the road in the development of a new bike that combines electric power and a radical generator which will allow it to burn almost any fuel. Although the majority of the work that goes on in Kamen's product development company, Deka, is shrouded in mystery, as it includes significant projects for the US military, details are emerging about Kamen's new two-wheeler, which is part of a project that also includes a car designed around the same technology.Read More

Yamaha set to launch hybrid production motorcycle for 2010

Back in 2005, Yamaha showed the wacky 2005 Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike at the Tokyo Motor Show amidst a raft of other very non-conventional two wheelers such as the aptly named FC-Me fuel cell bike, the ingenious Deinonychus elec tric reconfigurable motorcycle, the Chivicker, Passol and the Maxam two-wheeled limousine. Now it appears certain the bike will become a showroom model in 2010. A series of patent applications detail the new motorcycle which uses the YZF-R6 600cc engine to turn a generator which in turn powers the rear wheel. History shows that every Yamaha styling patent published over the last 20 years has resulted in a full production machine, so there's little doubt this one is also heading for a showroom near you in the very near future. You can expect to see it in the flesh for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year.Read More

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