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Dirt Bikes

The svelte Mountain Moto FX5

Three years ago we reported on the FX Mountain Moto, which was claimed to be the world’s lightest adult-sized dirt bike. Incorporating both motorcycle and mountain bike parts, it tipped the scales at just 57 kg (125 lb). This week, FX Bikes unveiled its burlier but still-lightweight descendant, the Mountain Moto FX5.  Read More

Cornering and kicking up dust on a Zero MX electric bike at the Dark Green track in Penros...

Ask anyone who lives near a MotoX park for one word to describe it, and that word is most likely going to be "noisy." There is one track in the U.S. which is very neighbor-friendly in that respect, however. On the face of it, the Dark Green Motorsports track in Penrose, North Carolina might seem like any other, with all the thrills of hops, table tops, camel backs and doubles, but there's no volumous clattering from a two-stroke engine to be heard at this 1,400 meter (0.869 of a mile) dirt bike park – all of the Zero MX bikes available for rental at Dark Green are 100 percent electric.  Read More

KTM's Freeride E (Photo: Schedl R.)

Pretty much every major motorcycle factory has hinted that they're working on battery-electric models, but Austria's KTM has just become the first to get e-rubber on the road. The Freeride E, just unveiled at EICMA, is a featherweight, electric off-roader reminiscent of the Zero MX. Geared towards big fun in short bursts, it should be comparable to a 125cc 2-stroke to ride - although with a much smoother throttle response and a bigger wallop of torque available. And while it's a baby step, it heralds the next wave of electrics that will hit the market soon - backed by big factory development dollars and ready to duke it out with the little guys in a tough market segment.  Read More

The FX Mountain Moto

For many people, dirt bikes look fun, but intimidating. They’re dangerously-fast, they’re loud, and should you wipe out on one, which is going to happen... well, that’s a lot of bike that could come crashing down on top of you. If you’re one of these people, you might be interested in the FX Mountain Moto. At 57 kg (125 lbs), it’s billed as the world’s lightest adult-sized dirt bike. It’s intended to bridge the gap between regular dirt bikes and mountain bicycles, combining the power of one with the agility of the other.  Read More

Zero Motorcycles 'X'

When the flag drops, the bullsh*t stops, as they say in racing, and few sectors in the auto market have as much to prove as electric motorcycles. The performance potential of electric bikes is almost unbounded, with massive advantages over petrol bikes in so many areas - and battery technology is starting to catch up with the market's needs - but until recently, there's been no international competitive showcase for the top level of electric motorcycles. Just this week, the FIM announced a zero-emissions TT Grand Prix on the Isle of Man in June - and paved the way for electric bikes to compete in the future against top-level petrol bikes. Now, off-road specialists Zero Motorcycles are gearing up for the world's first all-electric 24-hour endurance motocross race in California on April 4. The flag has dropped on electric racing. Time to see who's got the goods, and who's been telling porkies.  Read More

The world's lightest four-stroke 250 single engine

Four stroke dirt bikes were once overweight and underpowered, but that’s changing fast. Specialist off-road motorcycle manufacturer Husqvarna has disclosed details of a new 250 four-stroke engine it is testing that weighs just 22 kilograms. Though the motor may be small, there has been no significant saving in weight as the new bike, which is likely to be available in limited quantities by the end of the year, comes in at 92 kilos dry – the same as the Yamaha YZ250R and Suzuki RMZ250.  Read More

KTM's Giovanni Sala at the 2007 Dakar

February 18, 2008 Just six weeks after the last minute cancellation of the 2008 event due to threats of terrorist attacks, organizers have announced that the 2009 Dakar will take place in Argentina and Chile. The planned 9000 km loop starting and finishing in Buenos Aires from the 3rd to the 18th of January is the first to be held outside of Africa. As well as the name, organizers aim to retain the spectacular and varied topography, demanding competition and the spirit of the legendary 30 year old race.  Read More

Husaberg redesigns the four-stroke single

January 14, 2008 The development of the four-stroke single cylinder motor is exactly as old as the internal combustion engine, but the needs of the motorcycle are still being understood. Accordingly, Husaberg’s radical new design just might be a significant breakthrough. The engine has been reconfigured to put the crankshaft near the off-roader’s center-of-mass and the KTM-owned company claims a significant improvement in handling because of it.  Read More

Jordi Viladoms in the 2007 Dakar
 Photographer: Van Oers J.

January 5, 2008 For the first time in its 30-year history, the Dakar Rally has been canceled, the day before it was due to start, due to direct threats launched against the race by terrorist organizations based in the area. It appears the event may be moved to sub-Saharan Africa from 2009 onwards. We commiserate with race fans, organizers and the 550-odd competitors for many of whom this "Everest of off-road" event is a lifelong dream.  Read More

BioBike - 2.2 litres per 100 kilometres

October 22, 2007 The 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge got underway yesterday with 40 teams from across the globe competing in the 3000 km race from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia. Among the competitors in the Greenfleet Technology Class - a category for internal combustion vehicles promoting an enhanced environmental profile - is the BioBike, a biodiesel-powered motorcycle, constructed by a group of students in Adelaide, Australia, that happily does 96kmh and returns a staggering fuel economy of only 2.2 litres per 100 kilometres. As the design is further refined, BioBike’s creators expect this to drop below the 2 litres per 100km mark (around 107 miles per gallon), and they believe it can be manufactured for around the same cost as a petrol-powered dirtbike.  Read More

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