Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Suzuki

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

As car ownership grows, congestion grows and parking in city centers becomes more expensiv...

Auto China is probably the most influential automobile show in the world at present. China now produces and consumes more cars than any other nation, so its needs will heavily influence personal transport globally in coming decades. Some early trends are emerging as to what we'll see, and as congestion in China increases and parking centrally becomes prohibitively expensive, a car will increasingly only get you part of the way to your destination. Geely and BMW both showed cars with inclusive last-mile transport at Auto China, but the number of last mile Transportation Appliance options under development by auto manufacturers is growing rapidly.  Read More

New models galore at Thai Motor Show

The strength of the world's emerging economies was on display at the opening of the Thai Motor Show today. For the next 10 days, 170,000 people a day will visit the show, and despite the country having been largely under water for much of 2011, the Thai motor industry looks more buoyant than ever. Almost every major manufacturer had something on show we haven't seen before. Great picture gallery.  Read More

Cutaway of Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter

Intelligent Energy and Suzuki are to establish a joint venture company, SMILE FC System Corporation (SMILE FC), for developing and manufacturing fuel cell systems. Suzuki has already been working with Intelligent Energy for six years in the development and testing of the CrosscageFuel Cell motorcycle and Burgman Fuel Cell Maxiscooter, the latter already being approved for European roads. An extensive display of the two-wheeled FC technology in cutaway form was one of the highlights of December's 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The press release states that the JV will produce at least one car and one motorcycle.  Read More

Ghost Rider's 500-horsepower turbo Hayabusa - up for grabs

Of all the colorful characters in the motorcycle world, few polarize opinion as strongly as Sweden's mysterious "Ghost Rider." It's not hard to see why - with five DVDs full of heinous traffic law violations, including 300 km/h (180 mph) wheelies, police baiting and near-suicidal top speed time trials around the Swedish freeway system, he's probably the most famous flaunter of road rules the world has ever seen. And now, his most famous steed, a 499-horsepower turbocharged, naked Hayabusa, is being given away through a website lottery. Only ridden to church on Sundays, it's the perfect practical getabout to take down to the shops.  Read More

Suzuki's Q-Concept

Suzuki's Q-Concept is a narrow-track, lightweight tandem two-seater, "positioned between conventional motorcycles and cars" according to the Japanese manufacturer. Two years ago at the last Tokyo Motor Show, we did a major article and video on narrow-track vehicles, forecasting that cars would get smaller and lighter, and the Q-Concept fits the bill perfectly.  Read More

Kleenspeed's 160 mph EV-X11

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ...  Read More

2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R

Kawasaki has released details of its 2012 ZX-14R and the Japanese giant has once again gazumped the competition to retake top spot on the motorcycle horsepower ladder. No figures have been released, other than the statement that it will be the fastest accelerating motorcycle in production and it that has the most powerful production motorcycle engine ever built. This article summarizes everything that's known about the new monster and its (estimated) 210 bhp and awesome power curve.  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

New middleweight adventure machines. Left: Honda Crossrunner. Right: Suzuki V-Strom 650 AB...

"Adventure" bikes are about as practical and unglamorous as motorcycling gets. They're fairly ugly to look at, they're often ridden hard and put away wet, they're taken to dirty places and they have dirty things done to them. Which to my mind has always made them a preserve of the hardcore rider - these are not ridden by Harley polishers or leather-clad latte sippers, they're ridden by folks that like to get out and throw motorcycles around out where it's tough. So it's encouraging to see that the adventure class is heating up more than ever in 2011 - and two new middleweight all-roaders from Suzuki and Honda now come into a mix that's becoming almost saturated with bikes like the Kawasaki Versys, the BMW F800GS, the Yamaha Tenere and Triumph's Tiger 800.  Read More

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