Friday, December 14, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Kawasaki’s new-for-2000 ZX-6R got a new swingarm, a revised rear shock and engine internals and a facelift – not good enough to compete with Yamaha’s stunning R6 on the track nor Honda’s new ally-framed CBR600 on the road. In 2002 it got a beefier 636cc motor, which made it a much improved road tool.
The carb-fed, 16v four cylinder motor still sounds mega, with the gruff airbox roar that makes caning these Kawasakis so addictive. It’s fast, too, ripping to over 160mph out of the box. But the icing on the cake is its flexibility – it’s hard to believe it’s packing just 599cc. The gearbox should behave itself – if it’s less than slick and positive try another bike. In 2002 essentially the same bike was released with a 636cc motor bringing even more road-friendly performance.
Thankfully Kawasaki introduced suspension grease nipples on the J-series ZX-6Rs, so the shock has a better chance of retaining some of its performance than previous efforts. The revised geometry makes for improved cornering and the machine feels considerably lighter than before.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The heavily rumored and long-awaited F 800 GS is a new Adventure Touring or Enduro model in the BMW Motorrad lineup. BMW is presenting the motorcycle as "a worthy successor to the totally successful F 650 GS with its single-cylinder engine". In typical BMW fashion, the bike is completely ready to go and can be outfitted with a huge number of accessories, which are described below.
The new bike is claimed to be off-road capable, with its sturdy appearance reminiscent of the very popular BMW R 1200 GS and its features like long spring travel, which should indicate what it can do off-road. The signals the bike gives off are clear yet diverse: fun to ride on the street and stamina on journeys even when the destination can only be reached by gravel tracks.
BMW claims a high level of stability combined with playful handling are features for the new F 800 GS, along with a strong chassis and impressive engine performance for maximum riding enjoyment.
The inline two-cylinder engine comes from the well-known F 800 model series, but beyond this, the F 800 GS has been completely redesigned. A completely new frame and new wheel suspension with new spring-shock absorber elements are used, for example, which, BMW claims, "will surpass the expectations of even the most demanding Enduro riders."
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Ducati’s new 1098 has been one of the most talked about bikes this year. It’s the world’s most powerful twin-cylinder motorcycle with the highest torque-to-weight ratio of any sports bike and I couldn’t wait to ride it. Not only does the beautiful 1098 take giant steps away from the controversial styling of the current 999, it’s expected to snatch the superbike bike crown away from the competition with real conviction. I’d been excited for week.
Well, I have to report that the press launch left me breathless; sadly it also left the Ducati gasping for air. Some numpty decided Kyalami in South Africa would be a good location to let the world’s press ride the new bike. It’s a stunning track – sadly, it’s also 1,800m above sea level, which means the air is thinner, which means less oxygen, which means less power. How such a significant factor could’ve been overlooked is anyone’s guess, but up here the Testastretta Evoluzione V-twin engine loses 20bhp and suddenly Ducati’s ‘super-powerful’ 1098 can’t offer any more power than a 999 at sea level.
And so the suspense lingers on. There’s no question in my mind that the 1098 will eventually prove to be a very serious contender as the best superbike in 2007. And in truth, even in Kyalami, the bike has more than enough power for most bikers but nevertheless, it was stifled and didn’t feel anywhere near as brutal or raw as I’d hoped and expected, despite pulling strongly to the 10,700rpm red line. As well as the standard 1098, I also had the opportunity to ride the plusher S model.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Launched two years after Aprilia’s RSV Mille, the Falco used the same 60º V-twin engine used in the RSV range. Since not every rider wishes to ride a committed sports machine like the RSV Mille, the Falco offers a more relaxed sports-touring ride. Its 998cc engine has a lower stat of tune, producing 9kW (12bhp) less than the RSV Mille. But despite the lower power output and relaxed riding position, the Falco’s chassis is a highly specified as the RSV. Showa upside-down forks and a Schas rear shock are both fully adjustable, and the Brembo brakes are rave-spec items. In some ways, the Falco has rather fallen between the two stools of the firm’s RSV and Futura. The RSV is more suitable for track work, while the Futura is a better tourer.
About SL 1000 Falco:
Top speed: 256km/h (160mph)
Engine type: 998cc I/c 60º V-twin, eight-valve, DOHC
Maximum power: 88kW (118bhp) @ 9250rpm
Frame type: twin spar aluminium/magnesium alloy
Tyre size: front 120/70 17, rear 180/55 17
Final drive: chain
Gearbox: 6 speed
Weight: 190kg (418lb)
Friday, August 31, 2007
Moto Guzzi has released some limited information on the new Norge 850 touring bike. The motorcycle is very similar to the new Norge 1200 in many ways.
The "Norge" name for both the Norge 1200 and the Norge 850 is in honor of a 4000 mile test ride from Mandello del Lario to Lapland in northern Norway that Moto Guzzi undertook with their first shaft drive swingarm design. This was a monumental enterprise, considering the disastrous condition of European roads at that time.
But in four weeks, the destination was reached. The elastic frame of the early Moto Guzzi motorcycle with rear suspension was so successful that it was introduced in production machines and the G.T. was named "Norge" in memory of that unprecedented feat. This is why Moto Guzzi decided to name the first "Gran Turismo" of the new era the "Norge".
The Norge 850 has the same "elegant and dynamic" design of the 1200 version, with excellent ergonomics and comfort and short wheelbase to make it competitive even in the traffic. Moto Guzzi says that both the Norge 850 and the Norge 1200 are "dynamic and responsive ... a modern Gran Turismo which makes flexibility its main strong point as it crosses city centers and boundless distances with the same ease".
If more information becomes available, we'll post it here; in the meantime, enjoy these photos of the new Moto Guzzi Norge 850.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Suzuki’s new concept bike B-King looks like it could leave every other bike way behind at the traffic lights. And I’m pretty sure it could do that, too. Imagine Suzuki GSX1300 Hayabusa with a super charger - that’s exactly what B-King engine is. There’s no exact engine data available but we know that Hayabusa gives 175 bhp and a super charger could easily add 50% more power. 240 bhp has mentioned. Holy cow!!! That’s about twice as much as what the GSX1400 engine delivers.
GSX1400 has the same tire dimensions as Hayabusa. 120 at the front, 190 at the rear. B-King uses 150 and 240 tires! They must have created a new tire model just for B-King…
Materials like carbon fiber, stainless steel, aluminum and leather were used building this awesome superbike. An advanced computer system is integrated to the bike. There are self-diagnosis systems, advanced telemetry, which can use a mobile phone for remote maintenance, setup options, and even a GPS-based weather warning system, in case you are heading for a rained out area, and much more. The engineers at Suzuki are supposed to design a helmet with a GPS navigation system using the visor as a display.
Posted by Pasir Mas Boy at 8:00 AM
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
And now, from Germany, we have the TwinTrax. Two Harley-Davidson engines in a stretched chassis, belt drive, WP suspension components, dragster-like seating position and a dry weight of around 400 kilos. No word on performance (the official website does not offer any details) and we would rather have an XR1200 anyway, thanks very much.
We found the TwinTrax on Oliepeil.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The supermoto sector was a ‘supernatural’ one for Ducati to enter until recently. Ducati has neither significant off-road heritage nor engines suitable for dirt bikes, but in the last few years supermotos have become both more powerful and hardnosed, moving the class towards Ducati to the point where the hardware and its sports bike heritage began to rhyme.
Designed by Pierre Terblanche, a concept version was shown in Milan 2005 and in response to an eager public; the Hypermotard is now a production reality. Worth mentioning is the fact that it wasn’t just the public which went bizarre, even the experts thought likewise as it bagged the ‘Best of Show’ at the same event.
It went into production and is now a bike which ‘thrills’ you with its solid credentials. It uses Ducati’s outstanding 1,100cc air-cooled motor. A theme is carried on in the chassis which in total gives the bike a 17 kg advantage. The 90-degree V-trim power unit’s design is pure Ducati right through, as are the tubular steel trellis frame, a single-sided swingarm and high specification running gear.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The Suzuki GSX 1300R, also known as the Hayabusa, is a hypersport motorcycle introduced in 1999. The name Hayabusa is the Japanese term for the Peregrine Falcon, known for its speed, and perhaps a joke at the expense of the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird which was the fastest production motorcycle prior to the Hayabusa. The Peregrine Falcon is a predator of the common blackbird. Its extreme performance capability has also dubbed the bike as a “high abuser” of legal speed limits.
Afterwards, certain bikes were out to dare the Hayabusa top speed for a production motorcycle, including the BMW K1200S, the Kawasaki ZX-12R and the new ZX-14. And now Suzuki has decided for the 2008 model that they’ll not only revamp the super-bike, but will boost the size of the engine from 1299cc to 1340cc.
The compression power increases from 11.5:1 to 12.5:1. The 41cc increase in displacement stems from a 2mm increase in stroke giving each tube of the Inline-four a final spec of 81mm x 65mm (bore/stroke). Inside, there’s a new three-ring aluminum alloy forged slipper piston. The motor also gets a new set of titanium valves for intake and exhaust. The sizes haven’t changed, but the alternative metal has reduced the weight.
Posted by Pasir Mas Boy at 12:47 PM
The second product from BMW Motorrad’s ‘High Performance’ line has hit the showrooms this month in the UK - the BMW HP2 Megamoto. It is designed a street-legal twin-cylinder Supermoto, powered by a tuned version of BMW’s iconic Boxer-twin engine, pumping out an impressive 113hp with 115Nm of torque.
The use of lightweight materials such as carbon fibre gives the BMW HP2 Megamoto a weight of just 179kg, giving the bike an impressive power to weight ratio. A fully adjustable, top of the range Öhlins shock absorber ensures consistently stable rear-end feedback, whilst accurate steering is achieved with sturdy, upside-down 45mm Marzocchi front forks, and what holds it all together is a hand-built trellis frame chassis.
Tony Jakeman, BMW Motorrad’s Marketing Manager said, “The Megamoto has been designed and built for those riders who strive to be different and want a top-end, high-quality motorcycle that has class leading performance, that is fast, fun and innovative. The bike typifies BMW Motorrad’s brand shift to producing an ever more diverse range of premium performance motorcycles that appeal to connoisseur riders.”
Monday, July 16, 2007
I’m sure you’ve seen the photos of the new Batpod for the upcoming Batman movie, Dark Knight. But did you know that the beast actually rides for real.
There’s an interview in L.A.Times with Jean-Pierre Goy, the stunt rider who’s spent the last few months jumping Batman’s newest batbike at some top-secret location in England to prep for the movie.
Apparently you steer it by shifting your body weight or something like that, since there are no actual handlebars. The scoot is equipped with two “top secret” engines placed in each of the massive 508 millimeters wide wheels.
I think it’s awesome that it actually rides instead of just being a stage prop or post production CG. Judging from the interview, they don’t intend to go lightly about it either. They’ve build 6 identical Batpods in case they crash one on the shoot.
You don’t doubt a Harleys’ caliber be it in any aspect. Someone said safety, my answer would be nothing courteous than ‘Damn you’, you still be on the offensive dubbing the Harley brakes as risky, although they surely aren’t, I would say the new ABS will rout you.
You wonder ABS! The makers of classic American motorcycles are all set to roll their antilock brakes system as an option on ten new 2008 models. The proclamation, along with unveiling of the three new models, concurred with the motorcycle maker’s annual dealer meeting, held this year in Nashville, Tennessee.
It began when the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker launched an antilock braking system on two Swat cruiser bikes in 2005. It will be for the first time, the average costumers can outfit a ride with the system common in many cars.