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Cyril Despres' Gauloises KTM 
 Photo: H. Peuker

January 5, 2006 KTM’s dominance in the motorcycle section of the Dakar Rally continued yesterday with the fierce competition in the class now focussed between the Gauloises (second, third, fifth) and Repsol (first, fourth, sixth) sponsored KTM teams and a monumental battle between the teams’ lead riders, Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) and Marc Coma (Repsol KTM). Yesterday Despres carved 3 minutes and 41 seconds from Coma’s lead during an 800 km stage down the Adraa Valley in Southern Morocco, but Coma still leads the rally by one minute 25 seconds. KTMs fill 13 of the first 14 places on the leaderboard with one third of the rally distance covered, with only the two-wheel-drive Yamaha of David Fretigne (seventh) preventing a complete whitewash of the results.  Read More

Suzuki B-King 600 Streetfighter unveiled

December 13, 2005 It may not be the 250 bhp turbocharged 1500cc B-King we’d been hoping for, but it’s at least using the B-King styling. It’s the latest “street fighter” and Suzuki took the global wraps off it this week - the much-anticipated all-new GSR600. Like all the new aggressively-styled naked bikes, the GSX-R600 hopes it can bring its unique qualities to the new breed of motorcycle. The culmination of an exciting engine and chassis design program that aimed to create a sporty motorcycle in which ‘modern art meets race technology’… the result is edgy styling and comfort seamlessly blended with performance, technology and handling that is first-class.” Based on the race-proven powerplant of the GSX-R600, the high-performance, liquid-cooled GSR600 engine is tuned for a broader powerband and more low-and mid-range torque.  Read More

MV Agusta new Brutale 910R wins best of show award in Milan

November 29, 2005 The recent 63rd International Motorcycle Show in Milan coincided with the sixtieth anniversary of MV Agusta, one of the most successful and exclusive motorcycles in history. Though MV Agusta ceased competing in MotoGP 30 years ago, its total of 37 world titles is still second only to Honda and far greater than that of familiar winning marques such as Yamaha (32), Suzuki (15) and Aprilia (7). To celebrate the anniversary of the launch of the first MV Agusta, the company showed two new models at Milan: The F41000 SENNA and the BRUTALE 910R. The former was created as part of the current agreement between MV Agusta and the Senna Foundation and only 300 limited edition models will be manufactured with a proportion of the proceeds from sales going to the Foundation for underprivileged young Brazilians. The naked Brutale 910 R has its roots in racing machines and with a liberal sprinkling of carbon fiber and elite equipment such a the new Marzocchi 50mm forks, it just reeks of exclusivity. The bike was voted the “Most Beautiful Motorcycle” of the show, garnering 19.6% of show attendee vote ahead of the new ride-by-wire Yamaha YZF-R6 (13.4%), Ducati’s Monster S4RS (5.5%), Bimota’s Delirio (4.7%) and BMW’s HP2 enduro bike (4.4%). It’s not surprising – the BRUTALE 910R has improved performance, better braking and the dynamic handling characteristics of a full race machine – in a roadbike package.  Read More

New BMW 1200 has 25% more power, 10% less weight

November 16, 2005 BMW has rolled out an all-new replacement for the R1100 S at the Milan EICMA Show – the new R1200 S is the most powerful production Boxer (horizontally-opposed twin) the world has ever seen, with 25% more power than its predecessor and 10% less weight. With this new sports bike, BMW fully expects to tempt riders away from Japanese and Italian ‘supersport’ machines that it believes are too closely modelled on factory race bikes, to actually work in everyday riding conditions. Despite the R1200 S’s undoubted track capabilities an overwhelming number of owners will only ever ride the S on the road. With its sporty but relaxed riding position, the new bike’s strength is its practicality and versatility over other machines of the sports genre. All the usual fea-tures so typical of the brand complete the wish list of many BMW fans, such as a fully controlled catalytic converter, the single-wire system for the on-board network, an electronic immobiliser, maintenance-free shaft drive with a single-sided swinging arm, and Telelever front wheel suspension.  Read More

Bimota’s DB6 Delirio – 170 kilogram work of art

November 16, 2005 Italian motorcycle manufacturer Bimota unveiled a new model at Esposizione Internazionale del Motociclo (EICMA), which opened in Milan, yesterday. The 1000cc DB6 Delirio is based on the DB5 Ducati-engined superbike, with a similar trellis frame and trellis swinging arm. Although the bike is similar to its faired sibling, and indeed was designed by the same Sergio Robbian, there are many differences, the most notable being a dry weight of just 170 kilograms. With 90 horsepower at 8500 rpm, the DB6 is likely to offer solace for those who cannot wait for the Ducati Hypermotard, having some very similar characteristics.  Read More

Ducati Hypermotard Concept Bike and 130bhp Monster

November 16, 2005 Ducati used the opening of the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan yesterday to show two new motorcycles – one you can buy and a concept that Ducati is considering for production. The bike you can buy (as a 2007 model in 2006) is the new king of the naked bike class, the MONSTER S4RS TESTASTRETTA, a minimalist machine powered by the legendary Testastretta engine which has won several World Superbike championships and puts 130 brake horsepower on the tarmac (150 bhp with an optional exhaust). Equally as delectable and appealing as the S4RS was the Hypermotard concept machine – an extension of the supermotard class of machines using an air-cooled 1000 Dual Spark engine and weighing in at just 175 kilograms. EXTENSIVE IMAGE LIBRARY OF THE NEW MACHINES  Read More

BMW K 1200 S sets 175.57 mph World Land Speed Record

November 14, 2005 A 2006 production model BMW K 1200 S has set a world land speed record in the 1000 - 1350 cc stock, partially streamlined, naturally aspirated motorcycle class at Utah's famed Bonneville Salt Flats. The motorcycle, piloted by 56-year-old Andy Sills, of San Francisco, CA, reached an average speed of 173.57 mph and top speed of 176.789 mph after two runs on the vast, white plains, where hundreds of land speed records have been set and broken since the early 1900s in a variety of automobile and motorcycle classes. The BMW is not the fastest production motorcycle in the world though – the soon-to-be-released 1400cc Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 will be the most powerful and the fastest production motorcycle in history when it hits showrooms in the next few months. Just for the records, the most powerful roadgoing motorycle in the world is without a shadow of doubt this 700bhp Hayabusa, and the fast motorcycle speeding ticket ever registered is 205mph by a Honda RC51.  Read More

Young Guns Set To Load MotoGP Bullets

November 10, 2005 Elite motorcycle racing has many similarities to Formula 1 but it also has many differences, and perhaps the starkest contrast became evident on the Valencia racetrack in Spain yesterday just three days after the last race of the 2005 season. Formula 1 driver changes are major announcements in exotic locations. In MotoGP, all of the rider changes that had been rumoured and spoken of in hushed terms for the previous three months were suddenly on display as the first official test session for 2006 got underway. Honda’s big hope for 2005, Spaniard Sete Gibernau, was riding a Ducati. More significant though was the absence of many of the senior names which have monopolised the key factory rides for the last five years and in their place a half dozen or more new riders who have surfaced though 125, 250 and superbike – Pedrosa, Vermeulen, Stoner, Divizioso, Luthi, De Punier, Kiyonari and Neukirchner were among those who got their first chance on the ultimate racing machines yesterday as the Japanese factories (primarily Honda) made it clear they were seeking the next Valentino Rossi. Extensive image library  Read More

Landing gear for the MotherShip

November 4, 2005 Throw a leg over the BMW K1200LT and the magnitude of the motorcycle suddenly hits you. It’s the reason why the bike has a reverse gear and why our test crew dubbed it “the Mothership” when we tested the bike. Even the largest of males needs to find firm footing to wrestle the LT’s near 400 kilograms around at standstill. Misjudge yourself on gravel and the LT will topple over and you’ll need a bar full of able-bodied men to get it upright again – unless you have Doken’s Touch-Down system fitted. The 4500 Euro system was shown for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show last month.  Read More

Yamaha introduces ride-by-wire motorcycle

October 31, 2005 Yamaha recently released the details on its 2006 R6 Supersport motorcycle. It has a fuel-injected 599cc four cylinder engine with four titanium valves per cylinder and revs cleanly to its 17,500 rpm redline, making maximum power of 133bhp at 14,500 rpm – that’s 221 bhp per litre – roughly the equivalent of a front-running MotoGP bike. It’s engine also has a slipper clutch as standard and it is the first production motorcycle with a ride-by-wire throttle. That’s right – there are still throttle cables but they run to a computer, not the carburettor slides.  Read More

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