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Road Tests

BMW S1000RR - an astonishing achievement

Like it or not, most motorcycle brands have a reputation for attracting a certain type of rider. In the case of the BMW rider, the stereotype has a definite touch of the "sensible grandpa" about it ... at least, that's how things worked until recently. For the last five or so years, the German manufacturer has been releasing a bunch of bikes that can actually deliver seriously good fun - albeit in a sensible kind of way. But there's nothing sensible about the bomb they dropped in 2010 with the release of the S1000RR. In our latest video road test, Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan cash in their pension checks and climb aboard the formidable BMW superbike.  Read More

Video Road Test: Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring

We've been looking forward to this ride for a looooong time; this is a truly significant motorcycle. Ducati has stamped its authority on the Adventure bike segment in the only way it knows how. The new Multistrada 1200 S is vastly more powerful and exciting than anything else in the segment. In fact, it's more powerful and exciting than an awful lot of pure sportsbikes. What's more, with its traction control, ABS, fly-by-wire throttle mapping and electronic suspension adjustments it boasts the most technologically advanced computer system we've ever seen on a streetbike - while still being marvellously simple to ride. Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan strap the boots on for the latest in our HD Video Road Tests. Enjoy!  Read More

Road test: Mercedes-Benz B Class F-Cell

What's it like to drive a hydrogen powered car? It depends on which one. In the case of BMW's Hydrogen 7, essentially a 760i with its 6.0 liter V12 tweaked to burn hydrogen instead of petrol, one might suspect it's pretty much like the donor vehicle. In the case of Mercedes-Benz's B Class-based F Cell, powered by electricity from a lithium-ion battery pack fed by an on-board fuel cell, you might think different.  Read More

The Zero S electric motorcycle

The latest in our series of video road tests is America's leading electric motorcycle: the Zero S, from California's Zero Motorcycles. Seventy-five miles per hour and 60 miles between charges are the big numbers here – but how does that translate to real life use? Also, since electricity costs so much less than petrol, can an electric motorcycle be viewed as an economical option? And what about the environment? When the carbon cost of electricity generation is taken into account, how green are electric vehicles? These questions and more, answered after the jump!  Read More

Up close and personal with SAIC's Yez Concept Car

A few days ago, I managed to get up close and personal in Shanghai with one of the most interesting concept cars the world has yet seen. SAIC's Yez concept car is the first automobile, concept or otherwise, that's ever been conceived to have a negative carbon footprint. That is, it removes more pollution than it creates.  Read More

Video road test: the 2010 Ducati 1198

Be careful if you plan to watch this video at work; the Ducati 1198 is motorcycle lust distilled to its purest form. It packs 170 horsepower, weighs 171 kilograms and has a top speed in excess of 300 km/h – more or less standard figures for a road superbike in these blessed days, but as the king of the V-twins, the 1198 delivers an enormous wall of low-down grunt that its 4-cylinder competitors simply can't match. It's an impossibly gorgeous bike to look at, dripping in exotic sex appeal and high-class performance pedigree... But is it a highly-strung thoroughbred like Aprilia's brutal RSV4, a sportsbike your grandma could ride like Honda's Fireblade, or something in between? From the Ducati WSBK pit garage to the road, Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan roll up the sleeves and put the flagship Ducati through its paces for the latest in our series of HD video motorcycle reviews.  Read More

Hold onto your helmets, it's time to open up the throttle on the most race-focused roadbik...

We've spent plenty of time looking at the spec sheets for Aprilia's barnstorming new superbike, the 180-horsepower RSV4 - and marvelling at the potential of what has to be the most race-focused roadbike ever to hit the market. Now it's time to take this beast out on the road and see how it goes. Sit back and enjoy our most in-depth video review yet - it's white knuckles and brown underpants as we road test the 2010 Aprilia RSV4-R.  Read More

SoundRacer V8: not everyone needs to know that you're a hooligan at heart.

Call me childish, but I reckon this is one of the best gadgets I've seen in years. The SoundRacer plugs into the cigarette lighter socket of your boring family car, then sends an FM signal to your car stereo that makes your car sound like a roaring V8, faithfully matching revs and basically making the meekest of cars feel like a monster truck. So you can enjoy a ribald hoon factor from the driver's seat without looking or sounding like a petrolhead to passers-by or the local constabulary. We had a blast making the demo video after the jump.  Read More

The Victory Vision - this thing really handles!

For millions of commuters around the world, motorcycles are a compact and cheap way of getting around town in congested traffic. The Victory Vision is the absolute opposite - there's only been a handful of production bikes ever made that are bigger and heavier than this 400-kilogram, 1740cc American behemoth. It's built to eat up thousands of open-road miles with Harley-beating performance and buttock-coddling luxury - but in a surprise twist, this retro-futuristic mammoth can actually handle surprisingly well to boot. Loz Blain discovers how 10 days on one of the top five heaviest production bikes ever built can change your perspective on motorcycling in our video road test.  Read More

The Toyota Prado gets put through its paces on the 4WD test track

"Two-in-one" products generally mean there's a compromise. A desktop replacement laptop is great until you've lugged its weighty frame through five airports in two weeks, a road-trail motorcycle is fine until you hit a really snarly stretch of dirt, and a keyboard that becomes a mouse when you turn it upside down, well, lets not even go there. So when Toyota introduced its new Prado Landcruiser mid-size 4WD as a "best of both worlds" solution for both the highway and the rough stuff I was a little skeptical. But after taking on all types of terrain - including, open roads, tight forest trails and a formidable purpose built 4x4 track - I may just have been convinced otherwise. The vehicle's versatile performance owes particular thanks to a sophisticated new suspension system and electronics suite, and although there's no point pretending that it can be a sports coupe one minute and a monster truck the next, as a two-in-one auto solution the fourth-gen Prado comes very, very close.  Read More

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