Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Motorcycles

RC211V internals

October 3, 2006 With five riders on three different brands of machinery still capable of winning the World MotoGP riders championship, it has gone almost unnoticed that Honda has taken its 17th Constructors’ Championship and eclipsed MV Agusta’s 16 Constructors’ titles. With 203 premier class victories since it first competed at the highest level in 1966, Honda now dominates the history of MotoGP by almost any measure. Astoundingly, at the Japanese GP, it called a press conference and in an unprecedented move it revealed the complete engine internals of its RC211V, the bike which had won 47 (58.75%) of the 80 races since the 1000cc formula was introduced. Our image gallery for this story contains imagery of many of the famous riders who have tasted World Championship success with Honda such as Hailwood, Spencer, Rossi, Lawson, Gardner and Doohan, plus the bikes they rode from the RC181 of the sixties to the NSR500 V4 and high res imagery of the internals of the RC211V – clearly Honda feels that the internals of the V4 800 of next year with its hydraulically operated valves are so far removed from the V5 1000 that it has nothing to fear. But if you’re a lover of fine engineering, feast your eyeballs on the Honda’s internals.  Read More

Suzuki B-King for 2007

September 29, 2006 The Suzuki B-King, first shown as a concept bike five years ago and one of the most anticipated motorcycles in many years has finally surfaced as a production machine using the Hayabusa 1300cc motor, and without its original supercharger. In an announcement that also included an all-new 1250cc liquid-cooled Bandit and a completely overhauled GSX-R1000 supersport machine, the biggest news was the engine management system on the GSX-R which has four times the computing power of the current machine, and in an industry first, it has a user-selectable engine mapping system with the rider able to change on-the-fly between three different power delivery curves. Suzuki suggests it is possible for a rider to use one map for one section of a racetrack then switch to another map for a different segment of the track. Each engine map was developed using experience gained building racebike maps for rainy, mixed and dry conditions, and the possibilities for making a race or road bike more suited to different types of conditions are obvious.  Read More

Major factories reveal new 800cc MotoGP machines

September 26, 2006 Images of next year’s MotoGP bikes and reports on the new bikes began to filter in yesterday as the major factories returned to action at the Motegi circuit for an afternoon of testing the next generation of machinery following Sunday’s Grand Prix of Japan. Repsol Honda team riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa were present with Hayden testing newly developed parts for his ‘New Generation’ RC211V while Pedrosa gave the newly announced V4 800cc MotoGP machine its first public viewing. At the same time Suzuki tested its 2007 V4 800cc machine with domestic test riders and Ducati rolled out the 800cc Desmosedici for both Capirossi and Gibernau to try. Pneumatic valves are likely to be run by all the machinery with realistic chances next year. The image agllery is a ripper, with detail pics of the Suzuki, Honda and Ducati machinery.  Read More

Extreme Electric Motocross Bike

September 23, 2006 The recreational vehicle industry and specifically trail bikes look to be set for a whole new range of possibilities in the near future as electric motorcycles become viable. Electric dirt bikes offer several compelling advantages over their current petrol-burning brethren, the most significant being they are completely silent. There is nothing more out of place in the forest than the bark of a four-stroke or the staccato rasp of a two-stroke – at complete odds with the tranquility of the wilderness and quite capable of spoiling the experience for those ten miles away, motorcycling without the noise is long overdue. For this reason, bikes are essentially banned from suburbia. Proof of just how far electric dirt bikes have come is the US$5,500 Drift XC bike from Electricross. Though it only develops 19 bhp, the linear, predictable power delivery has broad torque available from the very bottom of the rev range and is absolutely ideal power for loose surfaces. The trick is in the weight though as the Neal Saiki designed bike is ultra light – just 140 pounds ready for riding compared to 240 pounds plus for a petrol engined bike of similar output. There is no wet weight for an electric bike as there’s no petrol to burn, engine oil or even a gearbox. Saiki’s cross country bike designs have won numerous World Cup mountain bike titles and he recently landed Mountain Biking magazine’s 2006 X-Country Bike of the Year, so he knows his stuff . Before bikes he designed the first successful human powered helicopter (pictured), claiming one of the plumb aviation design firsts in history. Inspired by the potential of the electric motor, Saiki has spent the last couple of years designing and building an electric cross country bike. Saiki found that motorcycle parts are generally too heavy (without the vibration, an electric bike can be built lighter) and bicycle parts were too weak for the forces he wanted to direct. The frame parts are all made from American-produced aluminum. Accordingly, every part had to be uniquely developed using computer analysis to optimize every component, such as the patent pending double diamond design that is lighter and stiffer than conventional swingarms.  Read More

Triumph’s new Tiger gets a 1050cc motor and loses 17kg

September 19, 2006 Brand new for 2007, the Triumph Tiger 1050 is a completely new motorcycle compared with the current Tiger 955. The potent Speed Triple-derived engine has been tweaked to suit the Tiger’s unique temperament, delivering 115 bhp with its extra 100cc. Based on the same engine which appears in the Speed Triple and ST models, the overall Tiger weight has been cut from 215 kg to 198 kg at the same time as much fatter mid-range and a price which is yet to be announced but likely to be line-ball with the current model. A sophisticated engine management system offers twice as much memory as before, allowing a quicker start and improved fuel economy while multi-adjustable front and rear suspension keeps things firmly planted. Photo Gallery here. Specifications here.  Read More

Ducati Hypermotard spotted in testing on Italian AutoStrada

September 19, 2006 One of the most anticipated motorcycles of all time from Italian exotica manufacturer Ducati is Terblanche-designed Hypermotard which puts 130 horses on the ground and weighs just 175 kilograms. Since it was announced last November, it has been the focus of much media attention and in February was voted the best overall motorcycle design trophy winner for 2005 by the Motorcycle Design Association. Slated for production early in 2007, Motorcycle Blog Visordown managed a scoop on Sunday when Visordown regular John Hall was on his honeymoon in Italy and decided to visit the Ducati factory in Bologna for the factory tour. John tells the story: "We were driving back to Verona and stopped at an Autostrada stop just north of Modena at about 6pm. I saw these bikes pull up and couldn't believe my eyes. I'd seen the pictures of the prototype Hypermotard but never thought I'd see one in the flesh, let alone two! The test riders were not happy bunnies when they saw me taking photos, they jumped back on their bikes and shot off before I could get up close!"  Read More

Honda waves the wand over the 2007 CBR600RR

September 15, 2006 Honda doesn’t like getting beaten on the world stage and the success of Yamaha’s all-new 2006 600 supersport is biting into Honda’s success in competition (after four World Supersport titles in a row, it is likely to be beaten by Yamaha Germany’s Kevin Curtain for the 2006 title) and on the showroom floor. So, for 2007, Honda has done a complete makeover of every molecule of the CBR600RR and it promises the most advanced 600cc machine in the class for next year. The motor features two-stage fuel-injection system and ECU programming giving it more pull in the 7000-10,000 rev-range and an amazing 118bhp (nearly 200bhp/litre). Chassis-wise, the CBR600RR has shed a stunning eight kilograms for a dry weight of just 155 kilos! The new 2007 bike is also 22mm shorter than the older model and now features a new Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) to keep the front-end of the bike securely planted on the road. An extensive article with lots of detailed pics inside on the CBR600 which celebrates its 20th birthday in 2007. No price has yet been fixed for this latest middleweight missile, but it will be available in March 2007.  Read More

Ducati shows Multistrada 1100 and 1100S

September 13, 2006 Ducati has revamped its popular Multistrada model, pumping the capacity to 1100cc for the 2007 model year and breaking the one litre capacity with its L-twin Desmo motor for the first time. For 2007, the Multistrada features a potent new 95 bhp (up from 92 bhp) engine with a capacity of 1078 cc (up from 992 cc) of the previous version and 10.5 Kgm (up from 8.5 Kgm) of torque at 4750 rpm (max torque was at 5000rpm on previous model). Apart from a fatter mid-range with 20% more grunt, the new engine has a quieter, more robust wet clutch, vibration-isolated handlebars, and a new maintenance program that reduces running costs by as much as 50%. The Multistrada will also be available in an S version with the same powerplant and fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension derived from the Ducati Superbikes. The changes to the Multistrada will make an incredibly versatile machine even more adaptable to any road condition. On mountain roads it offers impressive cornering performance by way of Superbike-grade suspension, world-class brakes and the renowned Ducati Trellis frame. For long journeys, the longer travel suspension smoothes the way, vibration isolated handlebars reduce fatigue and the relaxed riding position optimises comfort for both rider and passenger. In town the agile chassis, wide bars and broad power of the new 1100 engine make crossing busy city traffic an adventure to look forward to.  Read More

Ducati 800cc MotoGP bike tests

August 23, 2006 With the World MotoGP championship at its most exciting for more than a decade, progress is continuing behind the scenes for the radical restructuring of the class next year to an 800cc capacity limit. The day after his superb win at Brno on the weekend, Loris Capirossi made his track debut with the new 800cc Ducati Desmosedici and the Italian was immediately impressed right from the start. “The first impression was positive,” said Capirossi. “The bike's handling has improved a lot and that's important. This bike has to be ridden in a different way to the GP6, it's actually very enjoyable, a bit like a 250 machine and testing it now was interesting and useful so we can immediately start to work on it. The engine is different, obviously less powerful but it makes a great noise!”  Read More

The Ecorider runs on diesel or homemade biodiesel

August 23, 2006 The Ecorider is a motorcycle like no other – for starters it’s a diesel, and hence a rare breed indeed. We only know of two other production diesel motorcycles, the Dutch Star Twin sports tourer and the military-only HDT, and they both have quite different roles to the Ecorider. Finally, it's not a motorcycle, or at least it isn't classified as one - it is classed under European Legislation as an ATV (Agricultural Type Vehicle) and in most countries (please check), you do not need a motorcycle licence to ride this vehicle. With rising demands on the Earth's vulnerable and finite resources, environmental concerns and increasing fuel costs, the Ecorider makes a lot of sense. It will deliver 120 mpg economy running on home-made biodiesel, and it is also deeply respectful of the environment as the wide tires offer a contact patch with just 2 PSI – given this equates to half the weight per square inch of the average human footfall, the bike actually does less damage than a human in the wilderness. Accordingly, the Ecorider’s reduced environmental impact is ideal for use in protected wilderness reserves, gardens, golf courses and other areas where ground damage needs to be minimal. Apart from being green, it’s also an ideal agricultural workhorse with a high and low ratio gearbox and a reverse gear. Throw in loads of rear wheel traction and a torquey diesel motor and the Ecorider offers an ideal platform for towing. It’s also VERY easy to ride and extremely forgiving, so it can be entrusted to novices and in the hands of an expert will go just about anywhere thanks to the 11 inch wide balloon tires. Extensive image library for this story.  Read More

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