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Motorcycles

Ducati Hypermotard Concept Bike and 130bhp Monster

November 16, 2005 Ducati used the opening of the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan yesterday to show two new motorcycles – one you can buy and a concept that Ducati is considering for production. The bike you can buy (as a 2007 model in 2006) is the new king of the naked bike class, the MONSTER S4RS TESTASTRETTA, a minimalist machine powered by the legendary Testastretta engine which has won several World Superbike championships and puts 130 brake horsepower on the tarmac (150 bhp with an optional exhaust). Equally as delectable and appealing as the S4RS was the Hypermotard concept machine – an extension of the supermotard class of machines using an air-cooled 1000 Dual Spark engine and weighing in at just 175 kilograms. EXTENSIVE IMAGE LIBRARY OF THE NEW MACHINES  Read More

BMW K 1200 S sets 175.57 mph World Land Speed Record

November 14, 2005 A 2006 production model BMW K 1200 S has set a world land speed record in the 1000 - 1350 cc stock, partially streamlined, naturally aspirated motorcycle class at Utah's famed Bonneville Salt Flats. The motorcycle, piloted by 56-year-old Andy Sills, of San Francisco, CA, reached an average speed of 173.57 mph and top speed of 176.789 mph after two runs on the vast, white plains, where hundreds of land speed records have been set and broken since the early 1900s in a variety of automobile and motorcycle classes. The BMW is not the fastest production motorcycle in the world though – the soon-to-be-released 1400cc Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 will be the most powerful and the fastest production motorcycle in history when it hits showrooms in the next few months. Just for the records, the most powerful roadgoing motorycle in the world is without a shadow of doubt this 700bhp Hayabusa, and the fast motorcycle speeding ticket ever registered is 205mph by a Honda RC51.  Read More

Young Guns Set To Load MotoGP Bullets

November 10, 2005 Elite motorcycle racing has many similarities to Formula 1 but it also has many differences, and perhaps the starkest contrast became evident on the Valencia racetrack in Spain yesterday just three days after the last race of the 2005 season. Formula 1 driver changes are major announcements in exotic locations. In MotoGP, all of the rider changes that had been rumoured and spoken of in hushed terms for the previous three months were suddenly on display as the first official test session for 2006 got underway. Honda’s big hope for 2005, Spaniard Sete Gibernau, was riding a Ducati. More significant though was the absence of many of the senior names which have monopolised the key factory rides for the last five years and in their place a half dozen or more new riders who have surfaced though 125, 250 and superbike – Pedrosa, Vermeulen, Stoner, Divizioso, Luthi, De Punier, Kiyonari and Neukirchner were among those who got their first chance on the ultimate racing machines yesterday as the Japanese factories (primarily Honda) made it clear they were seeking the next Valentino Rossi. Extensive image library  Read More

Landing gear for the MotherShip

November 4, 2005 Throw a leg over the BMW K1200LT and the magnitude of the motorcycle suddenly hits you. It’s the reason why the bike has a reverse gear and why our test crew dubbed it “the Mothership” when we tested the bike. Even the largest of males needs to find firm footing to wrestle the LT’s near 400 kilograms around at standstill. Misjudge yourself on gravel and the LT will topple over and you’ll need a bar full of able-bodied men to get it upright again – unless you have Doken’s Touch-Down system fitted. The 4500 Euro system was shown for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show last month.  Read More

Yamaha introduces ride-by-wire motorcycle

October 31, 2005 Yamaha recently released the details on its 2006 R6 Supersport motorcycle. It has a fuel-injected 599cc four cylinder engine with four titanium valves per cylinder and revs cleanly to its 17,500 rpm redline, making maximum power of 133bhp at 14,500 rpm – that’s 221 bhp per litre – roughly the equivalent of a front-running MotoGP bike. It’s engine also has a slipper clutch as standard and it is the first production motorcycle with a ride-by-wire throttle. That’s right – there are still throttle cables but they run to a computer, not the carburettor slides.  Read More

Chopper One - a ride fit for a President

Inventor and tireless innovator Eddie Paul was recently featured in Gizmag for his CircleScan camera, CEM engine and bionic shark, but deep down Eddie still loves his original work as a customiser and creator of motorcycles and cars. His latest project has just been completed and when we got our hands on images we thought you might be interested just because of the sheer audacity of the creation. It's a motorcycle powered by a 650 bhp 502 cubic inch Chevy V8 engine with twin superchargers and nitrous oxide injection. Eddie says, "It should top out at about 300 mph and get about 6 mpg on the highway. It weighs about 1000 pounds, has straight pipes (no mufflers) and most importantly, it will get you home from the store before the ice cream melts." The Bike is called Chopper One as it's, "a ride fit for a president." It was built in three weeks for the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas Nevada. Check out the images.  Read More

Yamaha introduces computer-operated clutch and electronic shift actuators on FJR1300

October 28, 2005 UPDATED IMAGES Yamaha is introducing an interesting innovation to motorcycling with a 2006 version of the Yamaha FJR1300 – a computer operated, electric gearshift which eliminates the need to operate the clutch. The Yamaha Chip Controlled Shift (YCC-S) system is very similar to the electronic shifting systems used on F1 race cars and as with the cars, you can choose to shift up and down with your left thumb or the old fashioned way with your left foot – neither requires the clutch. Its apparently smoother and faster but we’re not sure if the motorcycle community will be queuing up for this one and the blogs are already full of “scooter” jokes though it must be said this is not an automatic motorcycle. There’s something immensely satisfying about snicking up a gear and feeding in 145 horsepower but we’ll treat it with an open mind until we can throw a leg over it.  Read More

The ultimate long-distance motorcycle for serious globetrotters

October 27, 2005 The 2005 International NEC Motorcycle and Scooter Show will open at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre tomorrow with the world premier of the ultimate travel and enduro machine - the 2006 BMW R1200 GS Adventure. As a replacement for the hugely popular and successful R1150 GS Adventure, the new 1200cc model will feature more power, less weight, and improved off-road capability. BMW expect that, ultimately, it will penetrate its market segment as the definitive bike for serious long-distance on and off-road riding. Visitors to the BMW stand will be able to enjoy an exclusive look at the latest machine to embody BMW's new design philosophy. The exciting all-terrain machine will assume centre stage on the BMW stand throughout this year's International Motorcycle and Scooter Show.  Read More

Cervical spine protection system for motorcyclists

October 27, 2005 As science advances at a rapid rate, most areas of road safety have improved markedly, with the motorcycle seemingly decades behind the automobile in terms of applied technology to reduce road trauma. For example, the motorcycle airbag recently developed by Honda is a full 25 years behind the first automotive airbag from Mercedes Benz. With motorcycle helmets now compulsory in most markets, the most vulnerable part of a motorcyclist is now the neck and spinal area. A new initiative announced this week betweeon KTM and BMW Motorrad plans to push ahead with the development of an adequate system of protection for this extremely sensitive area. The objective is to reduce the risk of injury to the neck, the cervical spine, the spinal cord and the collar bone in the event of a serious fall. The work builds on and supports the work of South African Dr. Chris Leatt from Leatt-Brace. Leatt-Brace manufactures Kevlar and carbon-fibre neck brace systems for both motorsport and motorcycle sports.  Read More

Yamaha V-Max 2005 and MT-OS concept bikes

October 25, 2005 One of the trends of the most recent motorcycle shows in Paris and Tokyo has been showing new concept motorcycles and being very vague with the information accompanying them. Yamaha has shown a raft of new and fascinating such motocycles at the Tokyo Show but we’re still very much in the dark on two of its concepts. The MT-OS was first shown at the 2005 Paris Motor Show and is a radically styled version of the 89 bhp 1670cc Yamaha MT-O1 – as if the MT-01 wasn’t radical enough. The other is also a reprise of the nearly 20 year old V-Max – Yamaha’s original muscle bike has been brought right up to date though we suspect that the new motor is going to have a much larger capacity. Like 1.8 litres, and 200BHP? Now that’d be worth the two decade wait. Extensive photo galleries inside.  Read More

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