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BMW Motorrad’s exclusive high performance HP2 Megamoto

July 14, 2007 One of the more interesting new motorcycles of recent times is BMW’s HP2 Megamoto which will be arriving in Motorrad showrooms in July. As motard motorcycles have grown in importance and market share, some manufacturers such as Ducati, have developed 1000cc plus uber motards, and now here comes the the most uncompromising and single-minded street bike BMW Motorrad has ever produced. The iconic Boxer-twin powerplant pumps out an impressive 113 bhp with a whopping 115Nm of torque. Built with some remarkably exotic composite and metallurgical materials for a street bike, the Megamoto weighs in at just 179kg, thus giving the bike a mightily impressive, arm-wrenching power to weight ratio.  Read More

World Ducati Week - 200 bhp Ducati Desmosedici RR hits the track

July 11, 2007 World Ducati Week is a strange phenomena – thousands of Ducatisti, members of the Ducati tribe, travel from all over the world for a week of entertainment and experiences based around Ducati’s values, lifestyle and products. Ducati rewards its most faithful regularly at these events, with unique experiences and first-to-see opportunities that are generally reserved for ballrooms and press only occasions by its competitors. This week the 200 bhp Ducati Desmosedici RR, the world’s first MotoGP replica roadster made its first ever public appearance in action at the event held at Misano racetrack in Italy. Over 170 people from 19 countries who have already placed orders for the Desmosedici RR travelled to WDW2007 to witness the public track debut of the bike that was first announced at the same event back in 2004. Back then it was a promising machine struggling to assert itself against the far larger and established MotoGP teams of Honda and Yamaha. This time the bike it emulates is leading the world title – the company even went as far as showing the prototype 1200 superbike it will run next season - amazing scenes at WDW2007.  Read More

US$15,000 Carbon Fibre Enertia electric motorcycle to hit stores in early 2008

The era of the electric roadgoing motorcycle is upon us and it’s ironic that it should come from a company that looked set to make its mark in automotive history in the supercar stakes with the Brammo GT, an American-designed and built V12 Supercar. That Craig Bramscher has since become one of the foremost evangelists of light weight performance motoring via the Ariel Atom might have foretold the direction, but the Enertia is a perfect commuter machine built with the same philosophy as the Atom. Using a rigid light weight carbon fibre chassis to contain the battery pack (and most of the weight), a small electric motor is all that’s required to see the Enertia accelerate harder than any automobile to its 50 mph top speed – all that’s needed around town. Most significantly in terms of its credibility as a motorcycle, the Enertia could best be described as an electric motard, and comes with impeccable handling credentials - fat tyres, disk brakes front and rear, quality suspension and a very compact centre of gravity – a trait that we’ve seen before in bikes with exceptional flickability and precise handling such as the Aprilia 250 and Buell. The Enertia’s secret is its weight -at just 275 pounds ready to roll, it’s 100 pounds lighter than the featherweight Aprilia Grand Prix Replica . With the carbon footprint of a few lightglobes, and sports motorcycling capabilities to medium speeds this looks like the first viable electric motorcycle to us –the US$15,000 limited edition "carbon" model will be snapped up as collectors items no doubt because it is a landmark machine in personal transportation. At US$12,000, the standard machine is only pricey until you consider how much it costs to run. You plug this sucker into any powerpoint and it'll be ready to go a few hours later for another 45 miles. If the transport authorities encourage responsible road usage as seems likely, ownership costs could be minimal. The Enertia is a landmark motorcycle and its coming heralds the dawn of a new era of electric motorcycles.  Read More

Triumph unleashes new Street Triple

July 5, 2007 Triumph officially unveiled the new 675cc Street Triple to over 5,000 Triumph owners last week at the Triumph Tridays in Neukirchen, Austria. With the first bike to use this motor – the Daytona 675 - winning a string of awards, the "naked" version looks to have the works - comfortable riding position, more upright, balanced, light, powerful, superb handling… it could be the modern version of what the Triumph 650 Bonneville once was when it was king of the road half a century ago.  Read More

sunRED solar powered scooter concept

July 4, 2007 Solar-powered cars and boats are all very well; they've got a lot of surface area to exploit with photovoltaic panels. When it comes to developing a solar-powered motorcycle, though, Spain's sunRED had to get a little more creative. Sliding panels on this soon-to-be-built prototype roll back to give the rider access to the seat, and form a complete cocoon around the bike when it's parked. Featuring some other interesting innovations, the sunRED prototype could make a practical short-range commuter, with a range of 13 miles and a top speed around 30mph. It's interesting to look at too, in a "Tron meets an armadillo" sort of way - but I'd hate to see the damage bill if it falls over.  Read More

2008 RM-Z450

July 4, 2007 In a move that will see other manufacturers scrambling to keep pace, Suzuki has announced the first production motocross machine to feature electronic fuel injection. Developed in the automobile industry throughout the 1970’s and first introduced to road bikes in the early 1980’s in models such as Honda’s CX500TURBO, fuel injection offers better roll on power and improved low-to-mid range delivery. The new system featured in the 2008 RM-Z450 has been tested by Suzuki's factory riders and given the ultra-competitive nature of the motocross environment, where having a bike that's not capable of winning is just not an option, it’s almost certain that fuel injection will become standard throughout the motocross market in the not too distant future.  Read More

GoBike's evDaytona generation 3

July 3, 2007 Although the technology is still relatively new, motorcycles are emerging as a great platform for the launch of the electric engine revolution. While high-powered, light and compact electric engines (like the 350hp monster Killacycle Drag Bike) are already available, battery range has typically been an issue. This is perhaps more acute in relation to electric cars, whereas motorcycles are often used as joyriding fun toys and short-to-medium-range commuters, so a 100 mile range still leaves for plenty of practical and fun uses for electric road bikes. With major manufacturers being slow to put electric sportsbikes on the market, smaller enterprises are blazing a trail - like GoBike, who are awaiting DOT approval on a converted Triumph Daytona, with a max speed around 93mph, a cruising range of 143 miles, and a blistering 2.7 second 0-60mph acceleration time that should make it a blast to ride.  Read More

Casey letting the back end drift last year on the HP2 Enduro

July 3, 2007 The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest automotive motorsport event in the United States. An annual happening since 1916, the race takes place on July 21 when very brave riders and drivers attempt to scale this 12.42-mile (20-km) course that begins at 9,390 feet (2,862 metres) and finishes at the 14,110-foot summit (4,300 metres) of the spectacular Pikes Peak Mountain. One rider’s experiences: “At the speeds we are going now the road gets very skinny, and at the edge is a 50-3,000-ft drop-off! I was battling for the lead one year when my handlebars got locked with the other rider’s. We were going about 100 mph (160 km/h) towards this turn with a 3,000-ft drop on the outside. At the last second we were able to break apart and turn…...”  Read More

Fhybrid front-wheel driven hydrogen-powered scooter

June 28, 2007 Traffic congestion has to be one of the world’s greatest time-wasters and spending long hours at the wheel just trying to get to and from work is not only unproductive, it’s also very stressful. Now new research from the U.K. suggests that the best way to beat this problem (short of working from home) is to switch from four wheels to two. Analysis conducted by the RAC Foundation has shown that commuters could shave up to three hours off their weekly commutes by choosing a motorcycle or scooter over the car, with the biggest savings to be gained in Central London and the East of England.  Read More

KTM to debut new KTM 690 in Baja 500

May 30, 2007 After conquering almost every competition frontier it has attempted, Austrian sport motorcycle manufacturer KTM is to attempt the famous Baja 500 and the Baja 1000 with a new prototype machine based on the LC4 engine, currently the most powerful series production single cylinder engine in the world. The LC4 was released onto the market in early 2007 in the form of the 690 Supermoto, which came through its baptism of fire in the Dakar Rally 2007 by dominating the event. In combination with the stable, extremely light tubular frame of the Rally 690, the 690 Baja combines the advantages of a very light and superbly handling Enduro machine with the stability of a rally machine.  Read More

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