Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Superbike

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

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

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