Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Superbike

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

Teaser photos and video: the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Here it is – the new ZX-10R. The bike that lured MotoGP race-winner Chris Vermeulen into the worst team in the WSBK paddock; the bike that both Vermeulen and Kawasaki believe will put Kawasaki back at the front of the Superbike grid. All we have at this stage is a few photos of the race Superbike version and a teaser video, but expectation has been building that the new Ninja could be the first Japanese bike to take it to the amazing new BMW S1000RR. Numbers like 200 brake horsepower and a wet weight under 200kg have been floating around for the streetbike version. We know that there's going to be some form of traction control, which puts the Kwaka into a small but growing class of sports machines, and most interestingly, patents have been spotted that indicate that Kawasaki is thinking about running a proper long-bang style engine configuration, complete with an additional electric motor to keep the crank spinning in between pulses at lower speeds. Certainly, upon its release this will be Kawasaki's most significant motorcycle in many years.  Read More

NCR's M16 MotoGP streetfighter: the most exclusive motorcycle on the planet?

Overkill. The word's origins are military in nature, describing a situation where one country has enough nuclear weapons to destroy significantly more of another nation that it would ever need to in order to win a war. But the term applies perfectly to today's sportsbike market, where any numpty with a license and a check book can waltz into a dealership and wobble out on a thoroughbred race machine that can break the speed limit at mid-revs in first gear and accelerate faster than any car on the road. Of course, for some people that's just not enough, bless their souls – but to create a vehicle that stands out from the pack in such a time of plenty, you have to take things to the absolute extreme. And it's a long time since we saw anything quite as extreme as the NCR M16, a bike that takes one of the most expensive roadbikes ever built, throws almost all of it in the bin and replaces it with the most exotic materials on the planet. Gentlemen, start your drooling.  Read More

Shawn Higbee on the ZeroAgni bike, followed by Michael Barnes riding for Lightning Motorcy...

The era of electric motorcycle racing which began at the Isle of Man in June last year has grown into a world series road race for 2010. On May 16th, history was made as TTXGP North America Round 1 took place at the Infineon Raceway in California. It was the first-ever electric superbike race to take place in that continent.  Read More

Corser appears to be approaching his best again now that the BMW is getting sorted Photo b...

The world's fastest road bike derivatives went to Italy last weekend for the latest round of the World Superbike Championships at Monza, AKA “the Cathedral of Speed.” Monza favors very fast motorcycles and the results echo what we'd already suspected after several rounds of the championship - there appears to be a changing of the guard underway and the addition of BMW and Aprilia to Europe's previously sole superbike contender, Ducati, appears to have tipped the balance of power away from the Japanese marques. A double-win to Aprilia and BMW's first podium in the superbikes were one indicator as was BMW's continuing superstock dominance. In a class that's an excellent guide to the sportiness of showroom road bikes, BMW's S1000 RR blew the competition into the weeds.  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

The Vyrus 987 C3 4V V

The name Vyrus may not be familiar to motorcycle enthusiasts when they begin reading this article, but by the end of it, there’s every chance it will be at the top of their list of “dream bikes.” The small Rimini-based Italian company is currently best known for producing the Bimota Tesi 2D, but the company's new, top-of-the-range, Vyrus 987 C3 4VV naked superbike is just about to propel it to even greater world renown, leapfrogging past a gaggle of superbikes to become the most powerful production motorcycle in the world. It's more powerful than Ducati’s Desmosedici RR, MV Agusta’s F4 312RR, Suzuki’s Hayabusa or Kawasaki’s ZZR1400. The hub-centre-steered Vyrus runs a 211 bhp supercharged 1198cc 1098R Ducati engine, weighs just 158 kg and costs EUR 65,000 (US$91,700).  Read More

DK City's folding electric bicycle by Robrady

The world is crying out for some decent folding electric bike designs and predictably, given its two-wheeled heritage, Robrady Design has delivered one of the best we’ve seen so far. Secondary transport solutions that are light and electric and can fold into small spaces are naturally an important part of the transportation equation of the future – Robrady designed the db0 for Taiwanese company DK City and it’ll be on the market within two months.  Read More

BMW's S1000RR superbike impresses in a track test

For a company which has never built a four-cylinder uncompromising sports machine before, this first effort is incredible. With its combination of breathtaking power, agile handling and incredible rider assistance technologies, BMW’s S 1000 RR could well become the benchmark sportsbike against which all others are compared. Where better to take a first ride of this monster than the glorious Portimao racetrack in Portugal, with a wet morning to test the amazing Race ABS and traction control systems, and a dry afternoon to open BMW's sportiest bike ever up to its full 193-horsepower motherlode - Cycle Torque's Nigel Paterson reports from the world press launch.  Read More

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