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Motorcycles

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

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

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