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Motorcycles

Single-sided front swingarm could steer the way to better motorcycle handling

December 2, 2008 If center-hub steering like that found on the Bimota TESI 3D isn't radical enough for you, perhaps this'll do the trick: Tier Motorsports have released a set of concept illustrations featuring a Yamaha R1 that's been modified with a single-sided front swingarm. The aim of the design is to provide a completely vertical steering axis for the front wheel, making for a much more direct and responsive steering effect than is possible with angled forks - and the idea also opens up the possibility of virtually frameless bikes, in which both the front and rear swingarms mount directly from the engine and no heavy steering stem/headstock is needed. Fascinating stuff.Read More

The GBP20,000 TTX01 - 86 BHP, Electric 2WD Motorcycle

UPDATED It’s the first electric superbike and though its range is considerably less than the first modern four-stroke superbike, the 1969 Honda CB750, its top speed of 125 mph (200 km/h) is almost identical. Yesterday the first prototype of the TTX01 Electric Superbike was showcased at a press conference for the 2008 NEC Bike Show. Built to demonstrate the potential of electric sports motorcycles for the first emissions-free Grand Prix, the initial prototype is based on a Suzuki GSX750 frame and running gear and runs two 43 bhp Agni Lynch Electric motors arranged in line with the frame. Together, the motors produce 125 Newton Metres of torque and both have been modified to withstand high RPM using Kevlar-reinforced armatures. The vision is to create a lightweight, carbon fiber framed 2WD TTX02 with "hot swappable", 20 kilowatt hour battery packs, regenerative braking and a production run of 50 machines in 2010 with a target price of GBP20,000.Read More

Bimota's DB7 Oronero: a sportsbike symphony in carbon fiber

In its past reincarnation, Italian motorcycle company Bimota built a reputation around its ability to take the great Japanese and Italian engines of the time and put them into a chassis package that would actually handle - but when the brand relaunched in 2003, many wondered what relevance Bimota would have in an era when the vast majority of modern sportsbikes handle brilliantly straight out of the crate. But it seems there's still room at the top end of the market for bespoke chassis designers, which is a good thing because otherwise we'd never see revolutionary designs like the center-hub steered TESI 3D or the magnificent DB7 Oronero, which boasts one of the first all-carbon fiber frame, subframe and swingarm packages ever to grace a production bike. A truly pornographic piece of motorcycle art, the Oronero also promises breathtaking performance with a weight of just 164 kilograms being propelled by the 164-horsepower Ducati 1098 powerplant. Read More

Greenfly: the LPG-powered custom motorcycle

Alternative fuel motorcycles are a hot topic at the moment, with electric, hydrogen and diesel engines being bolted into two-wheeler frames more and more commonly in an effort to get maximum bang for the energy buck. But this is the first bike we've seen to take on a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) tank. Apart from offering around 70mpg, Dave Akhurst's Greenfly is also a beautifully designed custom with some very special touches, such as a single-sided front fork and rims that detach from the star-shaped hub to make tire changes literally a five-minute job.Read More

Toyota and Ducati build motorcycle race transporter

November 19, 2008 Ducati and Toyota collaborated to produce one of the most impressive motorcycle accessories we’ve ever seen at the recent specialist automotive equipment SEMA show in Las Vegas. Beginning with a 2009 Toyota Tundra as a base, the race transporter produced is something to behold – under the skin it’s turbocharged, with special suspension and brakes but the design and functionality of the vehicle was the knockout with a lengthened chassis, flip up bedsides, a motorized loading ramp, integrated tool and spares storage, and popup solar panels for accessory power. Twas all tied thematically to the bike on the back, the US$70,000 Ducati Desmosedici RR – the only street legal MotoGP bike yet produced – owned by such luminaries as Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Michael Jordan.Read More

KTM 2WD hybrid dirt bike

Patents lodged by Austrian Competition Motorcycle Manufacturer KTM indicate that a hybrid 2WD dirt bike is not far away. Common sense dictates that a motorcycle with both wheels driven (2WD) will go around corners faster and with greater surety than one equipped only with the motorcycle’s traditional rear-wheel drive, much the same as 4WD cars offer superior traction to their rear or front wheel drive brethren. A lot of interesting development work has been done over the last decade with Yamaha offering Ohlins 2WD system on selected enduro bikes in Europe, Christini developing mechanical AWD (aka 2WD) kits for Honda and KTM dirt bikes and KTM talking publicly about its hydraulic 2WD development. Now it appears KTM is to employ a small electric motor on each wheel to supply additional torque when it’s needed. A recently filed set of patent applications heralds some exciting prospects.Read More

BMW unveils F 800 R roadster

The 1200cc Lo-Rider concept may have been the big story to emerge from the BMW Motorrad camp at last week's EICMA 2008 Milan Motorcycle Show, but it wasn't the only new kid on the block. Set to join the F800S and ST in the company's mid-market line-up from May 2009, the new F 800 R naked roadster sports an 87hp in-line 2-cylinder engine, F800GS-style headlights, chain drive and a new light alloy cast double-sided swingarm.Read More

Ducati 1098 Streetfighter unveiled

Ducati has officially taken the wraps off its new super-naked - the Streetfighter - and it's one mouth-watering package. The familiar Ducati trellis-frame houses a water-cooled 1098cc L-Twin putting out 155 horsepower, add an aluminum single sided swingarm, dry clutch, Brembo radial monoblocs, Marella electronic fuel injection, stainless steel 2-1-2 exhaust system and a weight figure of 167 kilos and you have a bike that backs its aggressive stance with performance topping anything the company has ever released without fairings.Read More

BMW's brutal Lo-Rider concept bike unveiled at EICMA Milan

Big change is afoot at BMW's motorcycle division. After unleashing the ferocious K1300 series, the crazy HP2 Megamoto and the instantly-competitive S1000R superbike, BMW today showed a bruising concept bike to the fascinated crowds at Milan's EICMA motorcycle expo. Reminiscent of the certified bad-ass Confederate Hellcat, the 1200cc Boxer-engined Lo-Rider is a nasty-looking stubby musclebike that takes BMW's conservative image and beats it to a pulp behind the school toilets. The Lo-Rider is nearly ready for production if interest is high (which it will be) - and BMW are already talking about a mix-n-match sales process that lets customers choose their own headlight, seat and tail units, pipes and paint schemes for a true factory custom vibe.Read More

KillaCycle electric-motorcycle sets new drag record

The KillaCyle has again caused record-keepers to reach for their erasers with a world beating run of 7.890 seconds for the quarter mile at the Bandimere Speedway in Colorado. The day out for owner/designer Bill Dube’ and his team was topped off by an earlier run in which the 500hp two-wheeler set a new top speed mark 174.05 mph.Read More

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