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Motorcycles

US MotoGP: Hayden leads American 1-2

July 10, 2005 Americans Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards struck a major blow for the sport of motorcycle road racing when they finished 1-2 and demoted the world’s best rider into third spot at the Red Bull United States Grand Prix here today. In showcasing the world’s best motorcycle racing event to the American public, Hayden and Edwards did their home country proud and will surely have enhanced the prospects for greater acceptance and coverage of MotoGP in the world’s biggest and most important motorcycle marketplace. For Hayden, with a career just beginning and a rockstar’s good looks and persona, his first MotoGP win is expected by many to move him into the elite and make him a regular contender for the win. For Rossi, it was business as usual because although he finish in third place, he extended his points lead to 79 points, giving him a three race lead (at 25 points for a win) with nine races remaining in the title chase.  Read More

Limited Edition Titanium Fireblade

July 4, 2005 Honda is releasing a limited edition Titanium version of the CBR1000RR – while it comes with all the breathtaking performance of the MotoGP RC211V-derived 2005 Fireblade, the only difference to the standard machine is the Titanium paint job gracing the latest Fireblade’s bodywork which is quite distinctive in 2005 with a sharper and more aggressively angled nose with a lower windscreen. The new Titanium model will be available from July in extremely limited quantities.  Read More

World Superbike Championships Rd 6: Ducati fights back

June 27, 2005 A splendid double win for Regis Laconi thrilled a large Santamonica crowd yesterday to rejuventate the Ducati Xerox Team’s manufacturers championship ambitions but title leader Troy Corser appears safely in control of the riders championship. In a sweltering Misano (air temperature hovering around 32 degrees and track temperature at around 53 degrees), the French rider scored two dominant wins, finishing twice on the top of the podium together with Australians Chris Vermeulen (Honda) and Corser (Suzuki) in that order. Team-mate James Toseland also rode two determined races but had to settle for two fourth places.  Read More

MotoGP: Dutch TT to Rossi and Yamaha

June 26, 2005 Valentino Rossi claimed another win, another record and staked another claim to being the greatest ever when he won the 75th anniversary Gauloises Dutch TT at the famous Assen circuit on Saturday afternoon. In doing so, he became the first Yamaha rider ever to win five consecutive premier-class races and fought off a new challenger to his crown in the form of an ever-improving Marco Melandri. Rossi has always had the ability to find something extra when it counts, but he seems to be regularly performing remarkable feats this year, coming up with several stunners on the weekend to increase his points lead in the 2005 title to 63 points – a buffer of more than two race wins.  Read More

KTM 950 SUPERMOTO: the international Press raves!

June 25, 2005 The launch of the new KTM 950 SUPERMOTO was one of KTM’s biggest gambles yet. The Austrian marque has been undergoing the transition from niche purveyor of premium off-road competition machinery to fully-fledged motorcycle manufacturer and has its eyes set firmly on the road bike market with a 990 Supersport motorcycle set to spearhead its road machinery charge and successful forays into (125 and soon 250cc) Grand Prix racing set to give it credibility. So why it would choose to release such an oddball motorcycle as the 950cc supermotard to such great fanfare was a complete mystery … until the press rode the bike, which turned out to be a sensation. Our favourite quote on the KTM comes from Two Wheels Only: “The motorcycling equivalent of a man with a 1000 yard stare, a disturbing twitch and an unhealthy interest in firearms ...”  Read More

Futuristic BMW off-road helmet and body armour

June 21, 2005 With the forthcoming release of the new cross-country BMW HP2 motorcycle, BMW has put together some fancy new off-road gear, and the pick of the bunch is carbon fibre, Kevlar and fibreglass off-road helmet that’s also aerodynamic and aesthetic enough to be seen anywhere. Indeed, we’re predicting that when the helmet becomes available it will be a best seller, particularly if the company decides to fit its Bluetooth and noise cancellation technologies which will enable it to work with a mobile phone and eventually with other Bluetooth devices such as MP3 players and the like. Now there’s a promising thought – imagine trail riding whilst listening to crystal-clear classical music. The new off-road helmet is reconfigurable, and can be used with or without both the visor or the screen and adds to an impressive BMW helmet line-up which also includes the featherweight SportIntegral carbon fibre helmet that weighs just 999 grams.  Read More

BMW HP2 wins on debut at Erzberg Rodeo

June 15, 2005 The new high performance BMW HP2 off road machine got off to a dream start when it won its first competition start at the legendary Erzberg Rodeo in Styria, Austria. The heavenly peace and glorious panorama of Erzberg erupted as more than 1500 riders on all matter of machinery were cheered on by thousands of on-lookers as amateurs and weekend riders battled it out with the likes of enduro world champions, Dakar racers and even freestyle motocrossers! The Iron Road, as it is known, is one of the most prestigious and highly contended enduro-sports events in the European racing calendar.  Read More

MotoGP: The Yamaha M1 wins its fifth race from six starts

June 12, 2005 Less than two years ago the Yamaha M1 factory prototype racing machine was not considered competitive – indeed, it was considered by most to be a dog. It struggled throughout the 2003 Moto Grand Prix racing year, and in the hands of two of the finest professional motorcycle racers in the world, Spaniard Carlos Checa and Brazilian Alex Barros, it finished an entire season with just one third place as its sole podium from 32 starts. In 2004, Yamaha was fortunate to be able to obtain a rare and frightfully expensive throttle controller for one of its machines (also known as Valentino Rossi), making the machine far more competitive – from 16 starts in 2004, the Rossi-fitted machine won nine times and placed second twice and won the world championship. It’s win, with Rossi aboard this afternoon, is its fifth win from six starts this season and Rossi is now 58 points clear of his nearest rival. A look back at the results makes interesting reading – though the bike is reportedly far better than it was, no-one else is making it go fast enough to be competitive.  Read More

MotoGP engine capacity to be reduced to 800cc in 2007

June 6, 2005 The biggest news of recent years in motorcycle racing broke over the weekend at the Italian GP when it was announced that the engine capacity for MotoGP would be reduced from 990cc to 800cc from 2007. The aim of the rule change is to slow the machines down, though in effect, it is unlikely to slow the bikes down much, and it will certainly make them more difficult to ride, though not nearly to the degree of the 500cc two-strokes which could only be mastered by a handful of riders in the world. If anything, the rule changes are likely to make it more rather than less difficult for the smaller manufacturers to compete with the engineering prowess and financial power of Honda. Honda promoted the rule change, and had a large say in having it passed, as it provides seven of the 21 bikes on the grid each race.  Read More

Italian MotoGP - Italian tour de force

June 5, 2005 World Champion and Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi produced one of the best performances of his career today as he outwitted a trio of Italian compatriots to take a stunning home victory at Mugello. Starting from pole position, Rossi was in turn passed by a handful of riders, despatching each in turn until he was left to battle for the victory with his old arch-rival Max Biaggi, eventually finding enough to greet the chequered flag four tenths of a second ahead of his main adversary. Biaggi was Rossi’s main protagonist and antagonist for the early part of his career in the premier class, but had faded from the spotlight in recent years and Rossi’s new arch rival Sete Gibernau crashed out early in the race after fading from the front of the pack to fourth and looking like he was going to finish much further down the points.  Read More

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