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Superbike

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

Trackside with Kawasaki at round one of the 2011 World Superbikes

The 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R is new in every sense of the word – it's a brand new model with a brand new frame, 200hp engine, Showa suspension and a grab bag of the highest-tech electronics riding aids. Gizmag's Fabian Fitzgerald spoke to Chris Vermeulan and his team manager, Paul Risbridger, at the opening round of the 2011 WorldSBK season for an insight into the technology behind the new superbike.  Read More

Ducati's 1198S and Diavel pictured with the Cigarette 42x Ducati Edition

Ducati is making a serious effort to move its motorcycle brand upwards and leverage the visibility its MotoGP and World Superbike success has given it. The recently announced marketing alliances with automotive brand AMG and apparel company Diesel have now been extended to the luxury go-fast Cigarette boat company. Some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people have owned cigarette boats including George Bush Snr, King Hussein of Jordan and King Juan Carlos of Spain. This week a Cigarette Racing 42X Ducati Edition was launched at the Miami Boat Show with staggered 1,100hp Mercury Racing engines, a special sound system, a top speed in excess of 120 mph (on water no less), and a price tag of US$700,000.  Read More

The SWIGZ electric superbike, going head to head against petrol-powered superbikes in less...

Chip Yates took a very American approach when he began building an electric superbike to race in the TTXGP and FIM ePower championships. He went for horsepower. One-hundred and ninety-six horsepower, to be precise, with a massive set of battery cells to keep the motor fed over a race distance. It was to be the most powerful bike on the grid. But both the TTXGP and the FIM released rule changes effectively disqualifying the SWIGZ bike from competition in 2011 - and rather than change the bike to fit the rules, Yates decided to pull out altogether - and take it racing against petrol-powered American superbikes in what is likely to be the first time electric and gasoline-powered motorcycles have gone head to head in an official race. But even with nearly 200 horsepower behind him, Yates has one heck of a tough job ahead of him.  Read More

The Buell-based Typhon 1190 streetfighter

Erik Buell never got a chance to build a proper naked version of his final Buell sportsbike, the 1125R. We'd like to think that if he did, he'd have ditched the bulbous side-mounted radiators and found another way to water-cool his new Rotax engine. Either way, Germany's Pegasus race team and Gruner Engineering have paired up to build an 1190 Buell superbike racer into the tarmac-ripping streetfighter that could have been. One hundred and eighty-five horsepower, 161kg dry, buck-naked and ready to roar – meet the Typhon 1190.  Read More

The 2011 Ducati Diavel power cruiser

Two very interesting pieces of news from Italian motorcycle marque Ducati this week. Firstly, a co-operative partnership and MotoGP sponsorship deal with Mercedes-AMG – demonstrating the dollar- and eyeball-pulling power of star recruit Valentino Rossi – and secondly, the wraps have come off one of the worst-kept secrets in the motorcycle industry, with the Ducati Diavel power-cruiser making its public debut. The Diavel has got most Ducati fans stumped – it's a bizarre-looking musclebike/cruiser/street rod design that seems to fit somewhere in between the Ducati Streetfighter and the Yamaha V-MAX – and it mates a whopping 240-section fat back tire with a firmly performance-focused, quick-revving, 162-horsepower V-twin motor. It's the first step into a completely new market for Ducati, and its bold, brutish design is already causing fights among the faithful.  Read More

The 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Kawasaki has stamped its foot; Team Green is sick of playing catch-up in World Superbikes, it will no longer be content to languish at the back of the field. But defeating the monstrous Aprilia RSV4 and the ominous BMW S1000RR is going to require a motorcycle leagues ahead of what Kawasaki has been rolling out in 2010. Behold, motorcycle fans, the new king of the castle. Ripping out a terrifying 210 horsepower and weighing just 198kg full of fuel and fluids, the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R leap-frogs to the front of the power and power-to-weight charts. But it's not just muscles that make this bike so special, it sports a completely redesigned chassis aimed at improving handling and racetrack lap times – and a traction control/ABS setup that ditches all notions that such systems are for safety. On the new Ninja, the intelligent electronics are all focused on making you faster than ever before on the road or track. Wouldn't it be an amazing turnaround if this machine could catapult Kawasaki back into World Superbike contention? Either way, this is one of the most exciting bikes we've seen in lime green for a lot of years, and it's a signal to the other Japanese manufacturers that near enough is no longer good enough.  Read More

Aprilia's RSV4 Factory APRC SE at Intermot 2010

With its multi-adjustable chassis and brutal 180-horsepower V4 engine, the Aprilia RSV4 was already the most race-focused roadbike we'd ever seen when we took it for a video road test earlier this year. Its race pedigree was proven last month at Imola when Max Biaggi cruised to a dominant championship win in what was only Aprilia's second season back in World Superbike. But the pace of progress is furious, and yesterday at Intermot in Cologne, Aprilia revealed a new model upgrade with a class-leading electronics package that brings MotoGP-style rider assist features like adjustable wheelie control and launch control to a roadbike for the first time, as well as 8-way adjustable traction control and a full-throttle quickshift system. If we thought last year's RSV4 was racetrack-focused, the new Arpilia RSV4 APRC Special Edition makes it look like a courier hack.  Read More

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