March 10, 2007 Ducati drew first blood in the 2007 version of MotoGP
with 800cc engines at the first round of the 18-race series in Qatar today. Australian 21 year-old rising star Casey Stoner made a perfect start with the Ducati Marlboro Team, riding to a magnificent victory aboard his Desmosedici GP7. Stoner rode a perfectly judged race, leading the first lap and then battling with former World Champion Valentino Rossi throughout. The pair swapped positions several times, separated by just a few tenths for most of the 22 laps, Stoner crossing the finish line 2.8 seconds ahead after setting a new track record on the final lap. One of the highlights of the race was the speed of the four Ducati-engined machines in the field, sometimes with a margin of 20 km/h over the fastest of the others at the end of the kilometre-long Qatar front straight. Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha M1 was a clear second and Dani Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda RC212V was a narrow third ahead of the Rizla Suzuki of John Hopkins, indicating at least four different makes of machinery will be capable of winning a race this season. Stoner's odds dropped from 0/1 to 5/1 overnight on world betting markets
March 10, 2007 One of the great things about production racing is that you get to see exactly how well a pretty standard motorcycle can perform. With the advent of the Superstock class, we can now see something very close to showroom stock motorcycles – a far more realistic appraisal of how well they perform on the road. The European Superstock Championships are now eight years old and Suzuki’s Gixxer won it last year, and has taken the title five of the eight times it has been contested. The AMA equivalent class kicked off yesterday at Daytona and it looks like Suzuki will be keeping its crown already. Team Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies took pole on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000, then led home Ben Bostrum’s Yamaha R1 to take the first win of the season. With the defending champ scoring a victory first up, Suzuki’s stocks are again strong, but a look down the field indicates that the contest may well come from within. Suzuki Gixxers filled third through to tenth place.
March 4, 2007 This is a story of two men, one a dreamer, and the other a mechanical genius, from opposite sides of the globe joining forces to bring something new and astounding to the streets of America. It starts back in December of 2003, in Sydney, Australia when 3D designer Tim Cameron
sketched a cruiser motorcycle on a scrap of paper. A pure flight of fancy, Cameron drew out an aggressively poised, extreme, low- riding design. As an out-of-hours project, using his 3D computer modelling skills, Cameron began to build what he called his ‘dream bike’
in the only place he thought it could ever exist, the self-contained virtual 3D world inside his computer. He spent 2 months ‘building’ the design in 3D down to the bolt heads, in a type of program normally used for Hollywood-type special effects, to create photo-realistic images of the bike so convincing that the average person would be hard pressed to pick them from the real thing. These images attracted the interest of an Australian custom bike magazine, Ozbike, and became the basis for an 8-page cover story. This story in turn generated interest internationally and the images went on to be published by leading motorcycle magazines in 10 different countries around the world. This all by itself was a satisfying result for Cameron, but pales considerably in comparison with what was about to happen next!
March 1, 2007 Nicky Hayden's 2006 MotoGP Championship has prompted Honda to announce a limited edition Repsol replica Fireblade CBR1000RR which will be released into European and American markets later this month. It’s the second Repsol Replica Fireblade, the first coming in 2005 to commemorate a decade of Repsol sponsorship. Repsol began sponsoring the Honda MotoGP Team in 1995 when Michael Doohan won his second of five consecutive World GP 500 titles. Since then the team has won seven of the last eleven World Championship crowns including last year's Constructor, Team and Rider's Championship. The CBR1000RR features a host of race-developed technological innovations including the PGM-DSFI dual sequential fuel injection system, the Mass-Centralised Chassis Configuration, the Gravity Die-Cast Aluminium Frame, the Unit-Pro-Arm Swingarm, Radial-Mount Front Brake Callipers and the Electronic Steering Damper. Though it’s nowhere near an exact replica of the racing machines ridden by Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa, the new Repsol Honda Fireblade certainly looks authentic.
February 20, 2007 Chris Pfeiffer
has become the first Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Champion
at the one-off indoor event last weekend at the SWISS-MOTO Motorcycle, Scooter and Tuning Exhibition in Zurich. The 36-year-old German and his BMW F 800 were up against 16 other competitors from nine nations, yet Pfeiffer went through Saturday's qualifying rounds and both of Sunday's final rounds, posting near perfect results in front of thousands of spectators and winning every round. Second place went to former World Stunt Riding Champion AC Farias from Brazil, with Finnish newcomer Joni Tammela securing the remaining podium slot.
February 8, 2007 Carroll Shelby International
and Rucker Performance
unveiled a limited production Shelby motorcycle at the Cincinnati V-Twin Expo last week. The high performance motorcycle was developed in partnership between the two companies and will be built by Rucker Performance. Sticking to his tried and true formula of brute horsepower in a lightweight frame, the powerhouse is a new S&S X-Wedge 128 c.i.d. engine
with closed loop VFI fuel injection that churns out a healthy 150 bhp. Each Shelby motorcycle
can be custom painted according to the owner’s personal tastes and includes a special edition logo. In addition, a complete line of Shelby merchandise including apparel, accessories and limited edition collector’s items will be available. Initial production of the Shelby will be a very limited edition run of 25 motorcycles that will be available for purchase by the third quarter of this year. Production of a second round of bikes will begin in the fall of 2007.
January 25, 2007 Squeeze a massive 8.2 litre supercharged V8 monster truck engine with as much power as a Bugatti Veyron into a motorcycle and you have the Rapom V8, the product of the vivid imagination of 44-year old British engineer Nick Argyle. Unlike many who design such wilderbeasts , Argyle has manifested a fully functional and road registered version of what is world’s most powerful roadgoing motorcycle. Running on alcohol, the 1000 bhp returns just four miles per gallon, and it’s transportation brief usually only covers the 10 mile journey to a local drag racing strip. With that sort of power available at a twist of the wrist, the monster bike requires a super long chassis end every bit of its kerb weight of 1000lb in order to stop the bike flipping under hard acceleration.
January 22, 2007 The world’s most dangerous sporting event is always full of surprises and this year the Dakar Rally
continued to write remarkable scripts for its competitors. There was some predictability in that two more competitors died this year - Elmer Symons and Eric Aubijoux – maintaining the average of two competitor deaths a year, with the spectator death toll indeterminate. There’s another given about the motorcycle section of the competition and that’s that KTM
will win - the Austrian brand filled the first four spots and 23 of the first 30 finishers. The winner was Frenchman Cyril Despres
(Gauloisses KTM) who finished more than half an hour in front of the field. Despres’ win was unexpected as 2005 winner and the dominant rider of the last year, Marc Coma
, had led Despres by 52 minutes with just one timed stage remaining of the 8686 kilometre event, after leading the field since January 9. Sadly for Coma, he crashed and could take no further part in the event. Coma and Despres rode identical 72 bhp KTM 690 Rally machines, built specially for the event and competing for the first time.
January 18, 2007 The Dolomite mountain scenery of Madonna di Campiglio formed the spectacular backdrop for the official launch of the new Ducati Desmosedici GP7 yesterday. The wraps were pulled off the all-new Italian bike by Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner, the two Ducati Marlboro Team factory riders who will spearhead the Italian manufacturer's attack in the first year of the new 800cc category. The Desmosedici GP7 is characterized by having a new and exclusive colour scheme called "Red Racing Chrome", produced with a special paint that, like McLaren’s similar technology in Formula One, offers the bikes an innovative and technological chrome effect. The new 800cc engine is smaller and narrower than the 990 unit and acts as a load-bearing structure within the shorter chassis and the sub-frame is mounted directly on the engine.