Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show


Ducati shows its 2007 Desmosedici

May 10, 2006 One of the biggest problems facing motorsport is the engenuity of the engineers and the march of technology forever increasing speed and power, improving handling and aerodynamics and reducing laptimes. Formula One car racing reduced the capacity from 3.0 litres to 2.4 litres this year and already the lap times are trending back to last year’s. Next year the premier motorcycle racing MotoGP class will have the current 1000cc capacity limit reduced to 800cc and no doubt we’ll see a similar situation. Last week Ducati became the first of the teams to show its new 800cc powered prototype Desmosedici GP7 machine and already the signs are there that the lap time gap won’t be very large for very long. With a capacity of 800cc (81mm bore x 38.8mm stroke), Australian Motorcycle News is reporting that the new bike is already producing 169kW (226 bhp) compared to the current machine’s 190kW (255 bhp), a power drop of just 11 percent compared to a capacity drop of 20 percent. This has been achieved because the motor now spins to 18,200 rpm compared to the old 86mm x 42.6mm layout which redlined at 16,550 rpm. Whatsmore, the smaller motor will enable a much smaller bike with room to move the engine within the chassis to get the best balance for each circuit/rider – a smaller, more nimble and adaptable bike is expected to further reduce lap times so it’s not out of the question that by the time the 2007 season starts, times won’t have increased much.  Read More

Night MotoGP racing on the agenda

April 25, 2006 As television plays an ever greater role in the globalization and monetization of sport, sport is evolving. Once upon a time a time difference meant just delaying the telecast on the TV, but as the internet has hastened deadlines and live sport means “when it’s actually” happening, time-shifting events is now being considered. One such innovation on the horizon is night racing, a regular and ever more frequent autoracing fixture in recent years but until now not tried in the pinnacle sports of either car or motorcycle racing. Earlier this month the three permanent riders on the MotoGP Security Commission (Valentino Rossi, Kenny Roberts Junior and Loris Capirossi) tried out the Losail circuit in Qatar during full darkness to evaluate the feasibility of holding races at night. MotoGP points leader tried the circuit on a Ducati 999R, the headlamps of which proved to be indispensable for those parts of the track without the benefit of artificial lighting. Similarly, Rossi rode a Yamaha sports bike and Roberts rode a Honda CBR1000RR sports bike in their respective determinations.  Read More

The Limited Edition MV Agusta Nero F4 1000

April 18, 2006 Limited edition everything is coming into vogue. As manufacturing becomes more intelligent and able to respond to an ever more discerning and directly available public, eventually we’ll see products made for very small markets that in many cases are a market of one. The MV Agusta F4 1000 Nero is just such a product – a limited edition of 21 all black F4 1000 motorcycles. The MV Agusta name is one of motorcycle legend. Started in 1945 in the village of Verghera by Count Domenico Agusta – a member of a powerful industrial family whose name is still worn today on some of the world’s most advanced helicopters. The Italian Meccanica Verghera (MV) Agusta company released its first 98cc model in 1945 and took to the race track to promote it. Within a decade the company developed multi-cylinder roadsters and fire engine red racers that came to own the world 500 and 350 titles for a decade before two-stroke machinery rendered four-stroke racers obsolete. Today, the marque no longer races in the MotoGP class but does produce a range of exquisite 1000cc sports motorcycles. The Nero Limited Edition is the brainchild of Australian MV Agusta distributor and former motorcycle champion Paul Feeney and will sell as a ready-made investment at AUD$32,990 (approx US$24,500)  Read More

Rd 2 MotoGP: Rossi fights back

April 9, 2006 Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi returned to the top step of the podium after a stunning ride in yesterday’s Grand Prix of Qatar. Rossi’s 54th career MotoGP victory was sealed with a perfectly timed run in the second half of the race, passing early leader Casey Stoner (Honda) on lap 10 of 22 and holding off a late attack from Nicky Hayden (Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Ducati), who completed the podium. The win brings Rossi’s premier-class tally level with that of Mick Doohan, with only the legendary Giacomo Agostini now ahead of him on 68 victories. Casey Stoner's pole position in only his second Grand Prix, followed by leading for the first ten laps indicates MotoGP has unearthed yet another potential star - though Stoner was eventually fifth, he already looks capable of winning a race when he gets some riding condition capable of sustaining his speed for an entire race.  Read More

Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City

April 8, 2006 We wrote recently about a new form of motorsport known as drifting, the first four-wheeled motorsport in which speed is not the key factor. Instead of being the fastest, it’s about performing the best tricks and extreme manoeuvres. Motorcycling has two equivalents – one on tarmac, where stoppies, wheelies and all manner of trickery are performed on road bikes and Freestyle Motocross (FMX) which is performed over jumps using motocross bikes. Though all of these sports are in their infancy, FMX is already shaping up as a mainstream spectator sport thanks to being extremely spectacular. Red Bull is a name synonymous with Xtreme sports of all descriptions, having organized many competitions for fledgling Xtreme sports and supported many others. Red Bull is now developing the sport into a major arena sport as was evidenced last weekend when it filled the world's largest bull fighting arena, the Monumental Plaza de Toros in Mexico City for the Red Bull X-Fighters FMX. Still images don’t do Xtreme sports justice but we defy you not to be oggle the array of awesome pics in the image gallery of this story, or wonder at just what type of sports we may evolve in the future. The event was won by 23-year-old Swiss rider, Mat Rebeaud, who put on such a spectacular display that he forced odds-on favourite American "Wunderkind"Travis Pastrana to try a little too hard, crashing out of the final in spectacular fashion.  Read More

New 2-cylinder BMW F 800 S wins stunt wars

April 4, 2006 BMW’s new twin cylinder 800 is getting rave reviews from around the motorcycle press for its responsiveness and lean and athletic nature but one of the most surprising tributes to the machine has been paid by former World motorcycle stunt champion Christian Pfeiffer. BMW Motorrad was happy to oblige when Pfeiffer requested an F 800 as his new "working tool" at the very start of the freestyle season. Pfeiffer debuted the new motorcycle with flying colours in February at the "Stunt Wars" in sunny Florida. "Stunt Wars" is the biggest freestyle motorcycle competition in the US and is regarded by pros as the unofficial world championship. Pfeiffer won hands down against the best stunt professionals in the world, with free-hand wheelie circles followed by a 230 degree turn - a feat never seen before. Pfeiffer was particularly enthusiastic about the F 800's engine characteristics: "The engine is really well connected to the throttle and the power is transmitted spontaneously and sensitively - much better than in my last motorcycle with chain drive. That is exactly what I have always wanted for my stunts - absolutely perfect. From the very beginning I felt good on this bike, the balance is great - I hardly had to do anything to it, almost everything stayed as standard."  Read More

MotoGP Round 1: Ducati leads the world

March 26, 2006 Ducati’s Loris Capirossi won today's season-opening Spanish GP to put the Ducati Marlboro Team at the top of the MotoGP points table for the first time in history. The race could prove to be a pivotal moment in MotoGP history, as it saw reigning champ Valentino Rossi knocked off on the second corner, and the coming of age of two of Rossi’s much younger rivals in Danni Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. Pedrosa incredibly challenged for the lead in his first MotoGP race and headed a Honda RC211V freight train that stretched from second (Pedrosa) through sixth place (Hayden, Elias, Melandri, Stoner). Stoner was almost as impressive, as his sixth came after missing the pre-season meaning he started his first race on a bike that was well behind in development. With Kawasaki now competitive with race leading machinery and more promise from Suzuki, it’s clear that 2006 will be a far more evenly balanced year of competition. In true never-say-die fashion, Rossi remounted after his first lap crash and finished the race to grab 14th place and two championship points – perhaps a pointer to just how valuable points will be over coming months.  Read More

Yamaha's Fazer becomes even more brutal

March 23, 2006 Way back in the Northern hemisphere autumn of 2000, Yamaha released the Fazer 1000 – a more upright, naked version of its R1 1000cc supersport machine for riders who wanted maximum power but didn’t want the "praying mantis" riding position because they spent a goodly proportion of their time on city streets. Over the last few years, as competition has increased in the 1000 supersport category, the R1 has evolved considerably while the Fazer has had only minor revisions. At the Salon Moto de Paris last year, Yamaha showed two versions of an all-new Fazer - a naked streetfighter N model sporting a cutting edge headlight design and the faired S model with half-cowl and R1 style lights. Both models reach the showroom floor this week, with an all-new aluminium frame and swingarm with optimal balance between torsional, lateral and vertical stiffness for a great-handling, responsive ride … oh, and 150 bhp in your right hand and a mid-range that’s 7% stronger than the already brutal R1! The new Fazer might now be the fastest point-to-point motorcycle on the roads if there's a city between those points.  Read More

Capirossi's machinery is capable of winning races this year

March 14, 2006 A few months is a long time in motor racing and Ducati enters the 2006 season with realistic optimisim considering the poor shape its race effort was in just over six months ago. At that time the company’s perpetual superbike crown was all but lost and the MotoGP race machine had not yet blossomed in the way it did in the final races of 2005 before a Capirossi injury ended a string of poles, fastest laps and race winning efforts. Now the company’s fortunes are following on from that showing with continued speed and now two riders capable of challenging Valentino Rossi for a win. Troy Bayliss has put the factory superbike back on top after four races in the 2006 championship and the two MotoGP riders have finished first and second in the final official tests prior to the commencement of hostilities. Both riders are fit and fast and the bike is “smoking.” Even better news is that Kawasaki’s big spending is paying off (Nakano was third fastest), Suzuki is running at the front with two good riders and a slew of promising new Honda riders have all showed race leading pace. Everyone is in great shape to attempt the impossible, or at very least highly improbable – beating Valentino Rossi and his Yamaha in what everyone accepts will be his last year of MotoGP. Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards experienced tyre difficulties in the final test, but Rossi clearly has what he needs to continue his winning ways. But the big news on the final day of testing was the pace of the Ducati Desmosedici which put Capirossi and Gibernau ahead of everyone, both on race and qualifying tyres, on the final of the three MotoGP test days.  Read More

BMW redesigns the K1200 GT - 17% more power, 11% more torque, 6% less weight

March 11, 2006 Somewhere between BMW’s superbly comfortable K1200LT we dubbed “the mothership” and the sporting K1200RS is the K1200GT, a much lighter, more nimble but superbly equipped motorcycle designed to gobble miles at a brisk rate in true “Gran Turismo” fashion. Introduced in 2003, the 130 hp K1200GT sold very well in a competitive sports touring segment numbering Yamaha’s FJR 1300, Ducati’s ST4, Triumph’s Sprint ST, Honda’s ST1300 and Kawasaki’s ZZ-R 1200. But with BMW Motorrad shooting for a sportier sexier image and the dynamic 167 hp K1200 S dna available, it was inevitable that a replacement model would eventuate. The new massively revised GT hits European dealerships later this month with an impressive set of figures – 17% more power, 11% more torque, 6% less weight, 19% more payload and a 17% longer cruising range, BMW’s Duolever front wheel suspension and Paralever shaft drive to the rear wheel. The sophisticated BMW Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) is available as an optional extra. Standard features include adjustable seat, handlebars, Integral ABS, panniers and windshield. The latter can be electronically adjusted to suit individual preferences. The new model for 2006 combines maximum agility and significantly increased performance with ideal riding ergonomics designed for the longest journeys.  Read More

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