Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Superbike

In racing conditions that rely on tenths of seconds per lap to be the difference between w...

Tire technology plays a critical role in motor racing. It seems an obvious point to make, but events at this weekend's opening round of the 2013 Supersport season hammer home just how important – and how challenging – it is to get the rubber right.  Read More

Over 35 heavy machines and 70 contractors were involved in a massive logistical operation

Australia’s motorsport mecca is in the midst of its first major facelift in 14 years, with the Island’s hallowed race circuit being treated this week to a $3 million resurface to create the smoothest, fastest race track in the world. The huge undertaking will see 5,000 tonnes of specially blended asphalt mix laid at a temperature of ~160ºF in a process that shows it's not just high-tech bikes that make the world of international motorcycle racing tick.  Read More

1290 Super Duke R prototype

The most exciting exhibit at either of the recent major international motorcycle shows (Intermot in Germany or EICMA in Italy) was the first showing of the KTM 1290 Superduke R prototype – a super-lightweight, trellis-framed, naked bike powered by a 1290cc version of the RC8R V-twin, complete with drive-by-wire, lots of (disengageable) electronic rider assistance, lashings of carbon fiber, new prototype WP suspension at both ends and the promise of a production version within 12 months. That is, a production bike with potentially the best power-to-weight ratio ever!  Read More

Ducati's Panigale is already winning Superstock races, though the Panigale-based superbike...

With the World Superbike Championship celebrating its 25th year in 2012, it is an ideal time to reflect on the profound influence the series has had on the development of the everyday motorcycle. The production-based World Superbike Championship Series is now unquestionably the most important global race series in terms of influencing buyer decision of sports motorcycles and performance accessories but as our research shows, it appears to be even more influential than that. Statistics sourced from lap-times and speed traps over the last decade indicate the rapid rate road-going sports motorcycles are improving racetrack laptimes. Indeed, today's showroom models on road tires, are now quicker than the fastest factory superbikes of just five years ago.  Read More

The original Z1 Kawasaki - 82 bhp and 903cc

It's forty years since Kawasaki astonished the motorcycling world by showing the 903cc Z1 superbike at the 1972 Cologne Show. Some special activities are being planned for the 2012 Cologne Intermot show to commemorate the event.  Read More

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

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