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MotoGP

NCR's M16 MotoGP streetfighter: the most exclusive motorcycle on the planet?

Overkill. The word's origins are military in nature, describing a situation where one country has enough nuclear weapons to destroy significantly more of another nation that it would ever need to in order to win a war. But the term applies perfectly to today's sportsbike market, where any numpty with a license and a check book can waltz into a dealership and wobble out on a thoroughbred race machine that can break the speed limit at mid-revs in first gear and accelerate faster than any car on the road. Of course, for some people that's just not enough, bless their souls – but to create a vehicle that stands out from the pack in such a time of plenty, you have to take things to the absolute extreme. And it's a long time since we saw anything quite as extreme as the NCR M16, a bike that takes one of the most expensive roadbikes ever built, throws almost all of it in the bin and replaces it with the most exotic materials on the planet. Gentlemen, start your drooling.  Read More

Clockwise from top left: the 2009 MotoGP Desmosedici GP9, two patent application drawings ...

Last year when we did an extensive feature on Ducati’s motogp carbon fibre semi-monocoque frame, we lauded its groundbreaking technology. Now it seems the Italian powerhouse is so pleased with its handiwork that the semi-monocoque design looks set to replace Ducati’s trademark trellis frame on its road bikes in the future too.  Read More

The Tajima Motor Corporation's EV Mini Sport - an electric vehicle that looks more at home...

To many motoring enthusiasts, Japan’s Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima is to hill climbing what Michael Schumacher is to F1 or Valentino Rossi is MotoGP. It’s no wonder then that when Tajima launches an electric car the motoring world gets a little excited. Released recently at the first EV and HEV Drive System Technology Expo in Tokyo, the Tajima Motor Corporation’s (in conjunction with Natural Energy) EV Mini Sport is an open wheeler, single-seater car that looks very comfortable on the track.  Read More

Valentino Rossi testing Ferrari F1 on January 21, 2010

It is interesting to note that the three biggest stories in Formula One right now concern a driver who competed in 2010 but not in 2009 (the Michael Schumacher comeback), a driver who competed in 2009 but not 2010 (Raikkonen loses his drive and goes WRC) and a driver who has never competed in F1 and quite possibly never will – Valentino Rossi. Indeed, Rossi has only ever driven an F1 car six times, but his status as one of motorcycling’s all-time greats and one of the most popular and media-savvy sportspeople of all time make the possibility an incredibly enticing prospect. For Ferrari, Rossi brings a global army of fans and the possibility of a rare Italian driver-car title combination that hasn’t happened since Alberto Ascari in 1953, despite 15 drivers titles and 16 constructors titles for the marque since then. This week Rossi tested in a Ferrari F1 car again, and was so fast that the possibility might now be approaching a probability.  Read More

World MotoGP Championship-winning Suzuki for sale

May 13, 2009 The opportunity to own a world championship winning motorcycle is extremely rare. Usually, the only chance to obtain such a beastie is reserved for the people who have ridden them, and hence very few championship winning bikes exist outside the private collections of former world champions, or in factory museums. Now former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing world champion Franco Uncini has decided to auction the Suzuki 500 XR40 on which he won the his 1982 World MotoGP Championship via international Auction House COYS in Monaco on May 18.  Read More

Ducati Desmosedici GP9 carbon fibre frame

Ever since designer John Barnard built the 1981 F1 McLaren MP4-1 chassis from carbon fibre, the world has become increasingly aware of this novel composite material that is very stiff, three times stronger and more than four times lighter than steel! Within a year or two, carbon fibre became the construction material of choice for F1 designers. Strangely, it has taken nearly three decades for a carbon fibre-framed motorcycle to take a race win at the highest level. The World MotoGP Championship kicked off this evening in Qatar, with Casey Stoner taking the first win on the carbon fibre-framed Ducati Desmosedici GP9. His emphatic win indicates yet another competitive-edge Ducati technology to back up its landmark desmodromic valve-train and traction control technologies.  Read More

Igarashi Design's riderless robotically controlled motorcycle

We're familiar with the soccer playing exploits of intelligent machines in Robocup and have been treated to a taste of what autonomous robotic systems are capable of in events like the DARPA Urban Challenge, but could a rider-less motorcycle robot compete with the speed demons of MotoGP? That's the vision of Japanese computer graphics designer Yutaka Igarashi who has conceived a new robotically controlled motorcycle design aimed at beating the lap time of a MotoGP bike around a circuit.  Read More

Noriyuki Haga follows Michel Fabrizio

The global financial crisis has clearly hammered the highest echelons of prototype racing, with established teams like Honda and Kawasaki pulling out of F1 and MotoGP respectively in the last couple of months. But for the production-based (and much cheaper) World Superbike series, things have never looked better than they do at the start of 2009. Despite the retirement of beloved champion Troy Bayliss, the 2009 WSBK grid will field a record 32 bikes from a record 7 manufacturers as BMW and Aprilia join the fray with exotic new machinery. There's also an influx of phenomenally talented riders - including AMA champ Ben Spies, BSB champ and ex-GP god Shakey Byrne, and precocious youngsters Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam to do battle with battle-hardened veterans like Nitro Nori Haga, Biaggi, Corser and Kagayama. The first pre-season test has been run, giving us a glimpse at who's fast and who's faster, so it's time for a WSBK season preview, looking at the class, the teams, the bikes and the personalities that make SBK the race series to watch in 2009.  Read More

Stoner wins MotoGP, Rossi puts on a display to take second

Last year's world champ Casey Stoner led from pole to clinch victory in the Australian MotoGP today, but most of the excitement lay behind him as Valentino Rossi cut a swathe through the field from his 12th-place grid position, slipping past Nicky Hayden on the final lap to finish second.  Read More

Yamaha's 2009 R1

Yamaha's superstar MotoGP team, including Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Colin Edwards and James Toseland, have assembled to throw their star power behind a completely reworked 2009 R1 launch in Vegas - but the magnificent machine barely needs any help to stand out on its own. One hundred and eighty two horsepower (before ram air kicks in) and 206 kilgorams dripping wet, for less than US$15,000 - aren't these magnificent times for motorcycle fans to live in?  Read More

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