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Ducati's Pangiale 1199 - an engineering masterpiece, but not the world's best looking bike...

Ducati has released a series of photos of its revolutionary Panigale 1199 superbike without its clothes on, showing exactly how the bike is held together in the absence of a traditional frame. But while the monocoque chassis is pretty fascinating to look at in the flesh, what strikes us most is just how incredibly compact the bike is - every component has been squeezed into the tiniest possible space. In fact, you can't even see clean through the bike at any point until you reach the rear hugger. This is mass centralisation and weight shaving taken to a whole new level… Good luck trying to service the thing yourself!  Read More

Valentino Rossi tucked in at full noise on the 1000cc Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP bike.

If you've been having trouble comfortably wrapping your brain cells around the concept of what were once proud national symbols of excellence changing countries, such as the Malaysian-owned Lotus, the Chinese-owned Saab and MG or the Indian Jaguar and Range Rover, then please be seated before reading further. It seems that India's Hero MotoCorp, the world's largest manufacturer of both bicycles and motorcycles is considering the purchase of Italy's deeply loved manufacturer of sports motorcycles, Ducati.  Read More

2012 World Superbikes at Phillip Island, Australia

Current World Superbike Champion Carlos Checa piloted his Ducati 1098R to an emphatic 5.7sec victory in the second and final race of the opening round of the season at Phillip Island in Australia. In hot, blustery conditions which saw wind assisted top speeds of 202 mph (325 km/h) by Biaggi’s Aprilia, Checa led from the early part of the race and extended his lead as Rea (Honda) and Sykes (Kawasaki) fought out the minor places.  Read More

The 137mph Energica electric superbike

Italian electric race-bike outfit CRP Racing has announced its first road-going superbike, the Energica. With 100 kW of power and top of the line chassis and suspension, all clothed in modern Italian style bodywork, the Energica is capable of speeds up to 220 km/h (137 mph) and range of 150 km (93 miles) on a single charge, due in part to a power train efficiency close to 95 percent. The package includes such niceties as ride-by-wire throttle, a brace of radial-caliper Brembo disc brakes, Ohlins suspension, digital multifunction LCD dashboard and LED lights.  Read More

Ducati's 1199 Panigale

A formula one car, at 640 kg and about 800 horsepower, has a power-to-weight ratio around 1.25 horsepower per kilogram. The new 1199 Panigale, with 195 horsepower and 164 kg, has a ratio of 1.19 horsepower per kilogram. Granted, that figure changes significantly if you add my porky badonkadonk and a full tank to the equation ... but regardless, this roaring L-twin beast is not only the new power-to-weight champion of the production motorcycle world, it's a ground-up reinvention of the Ducati superbike that has reportedly been in development since the venerable 1098 first hit showroom floors in 2007. Even without factory support, the 1198 won this year's World Superbike championship ... and absolutely everything about the Panigale looks significantly better, including Troy Bayliss' lap times. Let's take a closer look at what is easily the most desirable supersports bike of 2012.  Read More

A kerb weight of 350 kg enables go-kart handling

There are many small cars with high-performance motorcycle engines, but there has never been one quite like the Spartan. Most use big in-line Japanese four cylinder engines which can produce meaty 200 bhp powerbands. The Spartan uses Ducati's 170 hp (106 kW) 1198 cc V-twin in a race chassis - there are no frills and the use of carbon fiber bodywork and the barest of essentials results in a kerb weight of 350 kg. Then there's the sound of the engine that won this year's World Superbike title just behind your left ear and the promise it feels at one with the driver ... it appears to be the perfect four-wheeled execution of the Ducati ethos. Fantastic picture library with this one.  Read More

BMW S 1000 RR - revised model due 2012

We were mightily impressed by BMW's S1000RR superbike the first time round, now the German manufacturer has announced the S1000RR mark II. Power and maximum torque figures remain at 142 kW (193 hp) and 112 Nm on the revised superbike with the mostly subtle changes centered on improving response, power delivery and handling. The torque curve, throttle response and suspension have all been tweaked along with the (very effective) ABS and Dynamic Traction Control systems. Externally, the 2012 SS1000RR gets an upgraded instrument cluster, revised rear-end, redesigned side panels with the addition of two winglets for improved aerodynamics and a new range of colors.  Read More

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

Ducati bets the farm on its hugely unsuccessful new frame design for new Panigale 1199 V-t...

Ducati's new generation v-twin 1200cc sports bike will be announced at the EICMA International Motorcycle Show in Milan this November. What we know for sure is that it will be named the "Ducati 1199 Panigale" and that it will not use the traditional Ducati trellis frame but a roadgoing version of the frameless design which has been raced and evaluated rather unsuccessfully by the world's best rider - Valentino Rossi. It seems like a massive gamble for a company that has traditionally attracted customers with its race-winning superbikes. Rumours suggest that the new road bike will weigh in at 176 kg wet and produce 195 bhp. How well it will handle will be the issue.  Read More

The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered.

Montreal's Lito has thrown its hat into the ring with a new electric motorcycle that makes some pretty outrageous claims. A full 12 kilowatt-hours' worth of onboard lithium polymer batteries gives the Sora a massive 300 km range – that's 185 miles between charges. Or you can choose to wrap the throttle on and scream up to a top speed of 200 km/h (125 mph). With chopper/fighter bad boy looks and some interesting and innovative features like in-dash touch screen GPS and electronically adjustable ergonomics, the Sora looks like an absolute animal of a machine. You can't help but think that if it had an accessible pricetag, it would look very tempting to the average biker.  Read More

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