Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Doctor is back! Rossi wins the 2007 Dutch TT at Assen

For those (including us...) who had begun to doubt The Doctor, the Dutch TT was a kick up the backside. Yes indeed, no.46 is BAAA....AAAACKK!!!

We confess, we’d started thinking maybe it just wouldn’t be possible for Valentino Rossi to beat Casey Stoner. At one time, Rossi decimated the likes of Biaggi and Gibernau and now perhaps Stoner would do the same to Rossi. Well, we’ve been proved completely wrong!

The Doctor started the 2007 Dutch TT at Assen from the fourth row of the grid, and at one point in the race he was five seconds behind race leader Stoner, who started from the front row. And then, as Rossi sliced his way through the field, he showed us why he’s seven-time world champion and why the 2007 MotoGP world championship is still very much open.

Nicky Hayden also finally rode like a world champ and took a well-deserved third place. Good for him!

Passing pretty much everybody along the way – Capirossi, Edwards, Vermeulen, Hopkins, and Hayden – Rossi finally caught up with Stoner. And after an epic battle – one that reminded us of Rainey vs Schwantz dogfights – he finally passed Stoner and won the Dutch TT. Hayden, who finally rode like a world champion, took a well deserved third place, while Pedrosa came in fourth. Are HRC also making a comeback…?

It was an emphatic race win for Rossi – The Doctor has finally shown that he can indeed beat Stoner. After nine races in this season, Stoner still leads the 2007 world championship by a significant 21 points, but this could be the turning point. Looks like no.46 has made up his mind to fight back – fight back hard – after all. If we’re getting the Valentino Rossi of old back for the remaining races in 2007, it’s going to be one hell of a MotoGP season!

Also see:
Hi-res MotoGP wallpaper here, here, here, here, here and here.
Yes, you can buy a MotoGP bike!
Suzuki MotoGP bikes: Three decades of evolution
Mick Doohan interview...
Troy Corser: "I'm surprised by the power of a stock Yamaha R1!"
KTM 125cc GP racer vs litre-class superbike!

Beringer Brakes: New system will allow harder, safer braking

The new Beringer braking system will bring peace of mind. Unlike Chris Vermeulen, you won't have to hop off your bike at 200km/h to check the brakes...

French company, Beringer have developed a new braking system that allows riders to brake later and harder, with reduced risk of loss of control. Beringer’s system uses a series of valves and hoses, which connect the front brake to an Ohlins rear shock and prevent the rear wheel from lifting on heavy front brake application.

The system works by using a valve at the bottom of the rear shock absorber, which opens when the shock is at full extension. This draws brake fluid back from the brakes, reducing braking pressure and ‘settling’ the bike. When the rear end is stable, full braking power is restored.

The system can be tuned for road or race usage, and the valve will operate accordingly. Riders can adjust the sensitivity of the system via a remote air canister mounted on the swingarm, and tune it according to their own riding styles. This new Beringer braking system will go on sale next year, and price is expected to be about US$650.

More bike technology:
Derbi Mulhacen X-vision: YouTube your ride!
Phase change material: The next step in motorcycle rider apparel?
Cat-cons: All set to evolve...
Significant firsts in motorcycling
Alternative front: Bimota Tesi 3D
Dainese RDRS: Data logging system for motorcyclists
Carver One: Pushing the limits of motorcycle tech...
2WD for motorcycles: It works!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Peugeot Satelis 125 Compressor: Smoke thy neighbour!

Wind it on and the supercharged Peugeot Satelis will blow past a lot of cars...

Er.., well, we couldn’t resist one more scooter post. See, 200 horsepower Hayabusas and ZZR1400s are all very well but somehow, blowing past cars (and sometimes, sportsbikes…) on a puny little scooter is just so deeply satisfying. And while some of the hottest, most stylish scooters come from Italy, the French also make some pretty torrid machines.

A 125cc supercharged engine, in a scooter! Madness!

We are, of course, talking about Peugeot’s old Jet Force (launched back in 2003) and now the Satelis 125 Compressor, which uses a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, supercharged 125cc engine! With its 20 horsepower, the Satelis 125 Compressor can hit a top speed of 125km/h, and acceleration is comparable to most 250cc motorcycles. (There is also a learner-friendly 15bhp version available, which can still do 115km/h.)

Sure, it's practical too, but who would ever buy a Satelis 125 Compressor for its under-seat storage space?

Compared with the older Jet Force's supercharger, the new version on the Satelis 125 makes less noise and is more fuel efficient – Peugeot claim a figure of 22km/l. Plus, the new supercharged engine is Euro 3 emissions compliant.

The older Jet Force was the first to use a supercharged engine. It still looks totally cool!

Yes, even with its supercharged performance, anti-lock braking system, and the exclusivity factor, the Satelis 125 Compressor is quite expensive at about US$6,000. Still, for sheer grin-inducing entertainment, this scooter may be hard to beat! More details on the Peugeot website here.

Fifth Gear did a shootout between the Peugeot JetForce 125 Compressor and the Suzuki Swift! Download the video (.Zip file) here.

The Peugeot Django also looks hot, right? ;-)

Motorcycles: The best traffic busters!

Riding this to work has to be better than taking the Mondeo, eh?

Anyone who commutes by car knows the sheer stress of spending hours stuck in traffic every day. Sitting in a car fretting and fuming, waiting for traffic jams to clear, has to be one of the worst things about living in big, congested cities. Now, a study done by the UK-based RAC Foundation tells us what we’ve known all along – scooters and motorcycles are the best solution for urban commuting.

More than a quarter of the UK’s working population spends two hours commuting every day. According to a report on Forbes, the same thing applies to more than 10 million people in the US, while another 3.3 million people spend three hours a day commuting to work and back. Surely, that’s a massive waste of time, energy and resources?

The RAC Foundation's analysis statistics shows that those who commute on two-wheelers spend less time traveling to and from work than those who travel by car or those who take the bus. So the solution, says the RAC report, is to actively encourage people to use two-wheelers for their daily commute. The challenge, it says, is ‘to ensure that motorcyclists are given the training and infrastructure to be able to travel safely and for other road users to be accommodating, and alert to their presence.’

So yes, do think about taking that bike to work. And please support the Ride to Work Day on the 18th of July!

Motorcycles: The best traffic busters!

Riding this to work has to be better than taking the Mondeo, eh?

Anyone who commutes by car knows the sheer stress of spending hours stuck in traffic every day. Sitting in a car fretting and fuming, waiting for traffic jams to clear, has to be one of the worst things about living in big, congested cities. Now, a study done by the UK-based RAC Foundation tells us what we’ve known all along – scooters and motorcycles are the best solution for urban commuting.

More than a quarter of the UK’s working population spends two hours commuting every day. According to a report on Forbes, the same thing applies to more than 10 million people in the US, while another 3.3 million people spend three hours a day commuting to work and back. Surely, that’s a massive waste of time, energy and resources?

The RAC Foundation's analysis statistics shows that those who commute on two-wheelers spend less time traveling to and from work than those who travel by car or those who take the bus. So the solution, says the RAC report, is to actively encourage people to use two-wheelers for their daily commute. The challenge, it says, is ‘to ensure that motorcyclists are given the training and infrastructure to be able to travel safely and for other road users to be accommodating, and alert to their presence.’

So yes, do think about taking that bike to work. And please support the Ride to Work Day on the 18th of July!

Nicky Hayden: Official scooter test rider for Honda

The Zoomer's been doing well in tests though test rider Hayden hopes to be able to make it go significantly quicker by the end of the 2007 MotoGP season

Reigning MotoGP world champ, Nicky Hayden doesn’t seem to be doing much with his RC212V these days, so Honda have decided to channel his talent elsewhere. Hayden will now be testing scooters at Honda, and his first assignment is the Honda Zoomer. According to Honda, the Zoomer is “…the choice of champions in the MotoGP paddock. With its no-frills look and ultra-reliability it’s the only way to get around.”

A Honda press release says “The super-cool Zoomer’s bare and minimal looks may seem basic, but the machine is far from it, fitting in well with the hi-tech world of MotoGP. At its heart is an environmentally-friendly fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 50cc four-stroke motor which pumps out around 4bhp. Drum brakes front and rear haul the lightweight 84-kilo machine smartly, while the chunky balloon tyres give sure-footed handling.”

Says Nicky, “You can just get on it and go – it never lets me down. I also think it looks kinda cool – especially mine.” Take that, Pedrosa! Now the only thing that remains to be seen is how the Zoomer stacks up to the Malaguti Phantom F12 R Capirex (the special Loris Capirossi edition) and the Yamaha Aerox Valentino Rossi edition. Ohhh… the excitement!!!

More scooters:
The very cool Gilera Fuoco 500
The trendsetting Piaggio MP3
The Segway i2: Who says scooters have to have wheels one behind the other?
The Bombardier Embrio: What scooters will someday become...
Mad Max's 350cc, 112bhp scooter
The Can-Am Spyder: Not really a scooter, but what the hell...
Scooter rider fantasies!
And finally, the bike you should buy once you're tired of scooters...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MotoGP: New paint scheme for Fiat Yamaha bikes for the Dutch TT at Assen

Fiat Yamaha celebrate the Fiat 500's 50th birthday with a new paint job

The Fiat 500 – one of the most loveable small cars ever made anywhere – was launched in 1957. This year, Fiat are celebrating the Fiat 500’s 50th birthday with a brand-new Fiat 500, which will be launched on the 4th of July in Turin, Italy.

In keeping with the spirit of celebration at Fiat, the Fiat Yamaha MotoGP team will run a special new livery at the Dutch TT at Assen this Saturday. We don’t know if the fancy paint job will finally make Rossi go faster than Stoner, but we live in hope! In the meanwhile, Murray Walker of the BBC recently interviewed The Doctor. It’s a very interesting conversation and you can watch the interview video here.

A superb little video of the old Yamaha R6 Valentino Rossi edition

Also see:
Ducati 999-powered Fiat 500!
Pimped out: Accessories for the K7 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Rossi vs Pedrosa: The battle that never happened...
Suzuki's MotoGP bikes: Three decades of evolution
The Dominant Doohan speaks...
Malaguti: Loris Capirossi tribute

S&T Corporation acquires Hyosung Motorcycles

The Comet GT250 has been one of Hyosung's best-sellers in recent times

Hyosung Motorcycles have been acquired by the S&T Corporation of South Korea and while their bikes will continue to be branded ‘Hyosung,’ the company has been renamed as S&T Motors Co. Ltd. Established in 1979, the S&T Corporation is one of South Korea’s biggest and fastest growing industrial groups. More details on their website here.

Also see:
Hyosung GT650X and TrendKiller
Hyosung Comet GT250
Hyosung in the United States
Are Indian motorcycle manufacturers, the next big thing...?

Hyosung bikes, which already have a growing presence in europe and the US, should continue to do well under S&T ownership

2008 Suzuki Hayabusa: First pics, video and details

In all its 197bhp glory, the 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa!

So this is it – here are the first photographs of the much-awaited 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa. Those who were expecting a radically styled new ’Busa might be slightly disappointed – the new Hayabusa looks like a mild evolution of the old one. And not a very pretty one at that.

The engine, as we reported earlier, is shared with the Suzuki B-King. The 1340cc inline-four (up from 1299cc on the old Hayabusa) has a higher compression ratio (12.5:1, up from 11.0:1), titanium valves, chrome-moly con-rods, and updated fuel injection. Suzuki claim a 12 percent boost in performance - a claimed 197 horsepower at the crank! Top speed is not likely to be more than 300km/h, though the new Hayabusa, which weighs 220kg, may accelerate harder than the Kawasaki ZZR1400.

Like the GSX-R1000, the new Hayabusa also gets a three-way drive mode selector switch, which should make riding the bike easier in wet weather conditions. Then there's the revised twin-spar aluminum frame, a more rigid swingarm, stronger rear subframe, fully-adjustable suspension, and radial-mount four-piston Tokico front brake calipers. Suggested retail price is US$11,999.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

BMW HP2 Megamoto: More pics and details

The BMW HP2 Megamoto. Terrific!
We first spoke of the BMW HP2 Megamoto back in October last year, and now here’s more details and official pics of what we think is BMW’s most radical, most exciting motorcycle. The numbers first – dry weight is 178kg, and the 1200cc, opposed-twin Boxer engine makes 113bhp and 115Nm of torque. Sure, it’s no GSX-R1000, but the HP2 Megamoto accelerates from zero to 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds…

Wheelie it, get your knee down, get it sideways - the Megamoto is up for all kinds of hooliganism!

In terms of styling, the HP2 Megamoto is in the Ducati Hypermotard territory. And like the Duke, the Megamoto only looks like a supermoto – it’s actually a big, multi-capable streetbike. Lattice steel tube chassis, 45mm USD Marzocchi front forks, Ohlins shock-absorber at the back, Akrapovic exhaust and BMW’s traditional shaft drive complete the Megamoto package. It really is a stand-out BMW motorcycle if ever there was one. 

Akrapovic exhaust, single-side swingarm, shaft-drive and 113 horsepower in a 178kg package. Not bad, eh?

More details on the BMW website here. Also see the AC Schnitzer Megamoto – essentially an HP2 Enduro converted into a ‘Megamoto’ months before BMW themselves did the same!

More BMWs:BMW return to top-flight road racing!
AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW K1200R Sport
Chris Pfeiffer: The best stunt rider in the world loves BMWs!
AC Schnitzer prepared BMW F800S and R1200S
The 2007 BMW Xmoto, Xchallenge and Xcountry
Limited edition BMW R1200ST

Suzuki launch a Limited Edition Intruder M1800R

Two of the biggest cylinders anywhere. And 125 horsepower. The M1800R is not to be taken lightly...

Suzuki are launching a limited edition version of the Intruder M1800R cruiser in the UK. Powered by a 1783cc, DOHC, 8-valve, fuel-injected v-twin, the Intruder packs a substantial 125 horsepower and 160Nm of torque. Only 75 of these limited edition M1800R bikes are slated for UK showrooms. More information on the Suzuki website here.

Other mega cruisers:
From France: The Wakan 1640
One-wheeled cruiser? Why not!
Jesse James' aeroplane-engined cruiser
Moto Guzzi Bellagio: Cruising, Italian style
A cruiser for those who really want a car
Cruiser riders, listen up!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rossi vs Pedrosa: The battle that never happened, and a MotoGP season that's gone awry

In 2006, everyone was saying Rossi and Pedrosa would be fighting for the 2007 MotoGP world championship. Casey Stoner had other ideas... :-)

The Dutch TT at Assen, the ninth MotoGP event of the 2007 season, is just three days away. And Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi, who is 26 points behind a certain Mr Stoner in the world championship standings, wants a decisive win this time around. He needs the win to close the points gap. And he needs it even more to make a psychological comeback. The Doctor says ‘I wasn’t happy after the race at Donington Park on Sunday, but we know what our problems are – now we need to fix them. I’m happy to get the chance to ride again so soon and forget about the race at Donington, because I was so disappointed to finish fourth at a circuit I love so much.’

Assen is, of course, a legendary circuit. Says Rossi, ‘It’s another of my favourite tracks. It’s a shame they had to change the circuit layout last year – they have removed the most exciting part of the track, which I still cannot understand. Anyway, Assen is still a legendary place, with a great atmosphere and great fans. Hopefully we can make a good show for them and be competitive like we know we can be once again.’

Nicky Hayden, who won the 2006 MotoGP world championship, is going exactly nowhere this season. Will he remain with HRC for 2008? Don't bet on it...

Eight races down, the 2007 MotoGP season is turning out to be a bit of a surprise. The much-hyped Rossi-Pedrosa battle hasn’t materialized at all. Stoner, who wasn’t really supposed to be anywhere in the picture, is winning everything, while Rossi is barely hanging on to second spot in the championship. Honda, surprisingly, haven’t been able to make a winning 800cc MotoGP bike. Suzuki seem to be having a resurgence of sorts, and even Kawasaki are catching up. So a season gone all topsy-turvy then.

In fact, things are so messed up that now there are reports saying that Dani Pedrosa may leave Honda and go elsewhere in 2008. While Melandri and Hayden have been saying things to the effect that Honda / HRC are far too focused on Pedrosa and ignoring their other riders, Pedrosa himself doesn’t, apparently, think so.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Mundo recently, Pedrosa said ‘It’s not necessary to close the doors on other options. It’s not necessary to think that there is only one option available to me. If there are much better things, I am not going to refrain from them in order to stay here with something not so good.’ So there you are – a declaration from the young Spaniard, which makes it clear that unless Honda can give him a bike that’s capable of beating Stoner’s Ducati, Pedrosa will look elsewhere!

Pedrosa, HRC's great white hope for 2007, has threatened to leave Honda unless he's given bikes that can beat Stoner's Ducati. Ironical...?

There are two sides to this story. The British MotoGP at Donington Park was the ninth successive race where Honda did not win. This is their longest winless streak in 17 years! The flip side is, it’s not just Honda – Stoner’s Ducati has been thrashing pretty much everyone and everything else on the track, so where exactly will Pedrosa go?

The Spaniard says, ‘I did not hope for this. It looked better from the outside. From the first race we have not taken any great steps and I don't know if we will be able to do much more before the end of the season.’ Hard words indeed, and from a man who has a reputation for not showing too much emotion.

If Pedrosa (and, indeed, Hayden as well!) does leave Honda and join some other team for 2008, it will be another hard blow for the Honda / HRC ego. When Rossi left Honda and joined Yamaha for the 2004 season, HRC claimed they would do everything in their power to 'destroy' Rossi. Rossi rubbed their faces in dirt by winning the 2004 and 2005 MotoGP world championships. have a brilliant five-part story, which talks about the rise of Rossi, his breakup with Honda, and his subsequent move to Yamaha. Get it here. As for the next chapter in the HRC / Pedrosa saga, stay tuned – we’ll be bringing more breaking news for you shortly...!

Also see:
The MotoGP oldtimer: Loris Capirossi
The Honda RC212V: What went wrong...?
Riding impression: Rizla Suzuki GSV-R!
Kenny Roberts' MotoGP-powered KR-V5 Boardtracker, and KR Tuned
Memorable: The Cagiva 500 GP racer
Ron Haslam: How to go faster on the track

Feisty little Italian: Gilera Storm 50

The Gilera Storm 50. For the times when you want to leave your MV Agusta F4 R 312 parked in the garage...?

Italians love sporty scooters. Last week we spoke of the new Malaguti Phantom F12 R, and now it’s another 50cc wonder – the Gilera Storm. Gilera talk of the Storm’s ‘aggressive and energetic spirit, which appeals to young people,’ while we approve of its steel tube chassis, 120/70 tubeless radial rubber and 190mm front disc brake. The scooter costs about US$2,750 and is available in red, black or white. More details on the Gilera website here.

The Storm 50 not macho enough for you? How about this 1949 Gilera Saturno San Remo...

Some very cool scooters:
The Gilera Fuoco 500
The Piaggio MP3
Team Cristofolini's 350cc, 112bhp monster-scooter!
Carver One: The world's weirdest scooter!
Segway i2 and x2: A different take on scooters?

KTM show their 2008 off-road motorcycle range

For serious enduro riders - the 2008 KTM 530 EXC-R

KTM recently unveiled their off-road competition motorcycle range for 2008, in Spain. Among others, the range includes the 300 EXC-E, and the 450 and 530 EXC-R enduro bikes, as well as the SX motocrossers. All bikes feature new chromium-molybdenum chassis that are stiff and light, and work very well off road. 48mm USD front forks are fitted up front, while the rear monoshock is also a WP unit – both ends are fully adjustable. More details on the KTM website here. And you can play the ‘KTM – Ready to Race’ game here.

Can't ride a KTM in real life? Ride one in the 'Ready to Race' game on KTM's website here

Also see:
2007 KTM 950 Super Enduro R
AC Schnitzer BMW HP2
2007 Husaberg FS55e supermoto
Singularly powerful: 2007 KTM 690SM
Striking trike: Brudeli 625
The Massimo Tamburini-designed Husqvarna STR 650 CC

Monday, June 25, 2007

Faster and Faster completes one year!

We started off on the 25th of June last year, so today Faster and Faster completes one full year. It’s been great bringing motorcycle news and features to you for the last 12 months, over 383 posts, thousands of words, hundreds of pictures and a few dozen videos.

A big THANK YOU to all of you who’ve been regular visitors to this blog and who’ve said good things about us in various motorcycling forums across the Internet. We truly appreciate your support, and we hope to get even better over the next 12 months.

For those who’ve been coming to this blog but haven’t written to us yet, we’ll be glad if you write in and let us know your thoughts and opinions on Faster and Faster – you can write to us on

All readers are also invited to comment on our posts whenever possible. We’d like to find out what you think of our stories.

Keep riding. And keep coming back to Faster and Faster. Enjoy…

Some of the FASTEST bikes on Faster and Faster:
The mighty Ducati Desmosedici RR
Top Fuel Dragracers: A lesson in acceleration!
NitroDuke: The world's fastest KTM
Fred Gassit: The world's fastest toon...
Drag race: Kawasaki ZZR1400 vs Suzuki Hayabusa!
The late, great Kawasaki ZX-12R
The greatest 1100s ever: GSX-R1100 and ZZR1100!
Turbo Hayabusa sets new top speed record for streetbikes!
Fast and beautiful: The MV Agusta F4 CC
Fast and rotary: The Norton NRV588
Two-stroke glory: The Yamaha RD500LC
Fast on three wheels: Tiff Needell tests the Campagna T-Rex!
The fastest scooter in the world: Team Cristofolini's 350cc, 112bhp menace!
"GSX-Rs are for moped riders!"
HRC: The mighty Honda NSR500
The fastest production bike in the world: MV Agusta F4 R 312
Acabion GTBO 70: 700 horsepower, 600km/h top speed!!!
Rapom V8: Supercharged, 1000 horsepower monster-bike!
Fast on film: The Silver Dream Racer
Italian feud: Ducati 999 vs Ducati 1098
Smackdown: KTM 125cc GP racer vs Litre-class superbike!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

British MotoGP: Unstoppable Stoner wins at Donington Park

Stoner: "Look, I'm going to stay ahead of Rossi this year, no matter what...!"

With his fifth win of the season at Donington Park today, Casey Stoner now leads the 2007 MotoGP world championship by 26 points. During this, the eighth race of the year, Stoner came out on top yet again, followed by Colin Edwards (who started from pole position) in second place and Chris Vermeulen, who's proving to be a bit of a wet weather specialist, in third. 'I think that this victory proves once and for all that top speed isn't Casey's advantage, because top speed means nothing at this track, especially in these conditions. Casey is a genius, he is so good at managing a race. He started today's race very calmly, then when he was ready to go, bang, he could go away at the front,' declared an obviously delighted Livio Suppo, Ducati's MotoGP project director.

No.46, The Doctor finished in fourth spot – things are just not going his way this year. The same can also be said for reigning world champ Nicky Hayden, who crashed during the race but remounted his bike to finish last, in 17th spot. The other Repsol Honda rider, Dani Pedrosa finished in eighth place – doesn’t look like he’ll be a contender for the 2007 MotoGP world championship after all.

This is how hard Colin Edward's been trying to win. So a well deserved second place then

All said, The Stoner Express seems quite unbeatable this year. Colin Stoner, Casey's dad, talks about his son's grit and steely resolve here. Interesting. In the meanwhile, is the 2007 world championship decided already? Much as we love Rossi, we wouldn’t bet against Stoner taking the crown this year. And perhaps it’ll take another young gun – maybe Jorge Lorenzo, when he moves up from the 250cc class next year – to take on Stoner in 2008…

Also see:
Hi-res Casey Stoner wallpaper
here, here, here and here
MotoGP Ducati for less than US$100!
Ducati to merge with Harley-Davidson?!?
The world's most beautiful motorcycles...
Aprilia to enter MotoGP within three years!
1200cc twins in World Superbikes 2008

Bargain bike: MotoGP Ducati for less than US$100!

Get this RC Ducati from Nikko and live out your MotoGP fantasies on a budget... :-)

So you have your heart set on Loris Capirossi’s Ducati, but don’t have the money to put down a deposit for the Desmosedici RR? No worries. For less than US$100, you can get a remote controlled 1/5th scale model of the bike from Nikko.

Nikko say that with their Ducati, “you will hug corners and come out of them with power like you've always dreamed of. Open full throttle as you make your way to the checkered flag and victory!” Err…, well. Anyway, the bikes behave quite realistically, with a rider that actually hangs off for high speed turns, functioning front and rear suspension, an electric braking system and even a ‘turbo boost’ feature for bursts of speed and acceleration! The bike’s ‘engine’ is a rechargeable 9.6V Ni-Cd battery pack.

Get more details on the Nikko website here.

Women in Ducati bikinis will adore you and your Nikko Ducati

An awesome Ducati 1098 promo video

Other cool toys:
A bike that can mow down SUVs!
A bike that uses a car engine!
A battery-powered Yamaha R1!
A motorcycle that rides on just one wheel!
A rotating machine-gun style motorcycle exhaust system!
A bike for those who really wanted a car...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Suzuki's MotoGP Bikes: Three decades of evolution

The 1977 Suzuki RG500 XR22. Would John Hopkins want to have a go on this...?

Here at Faster and Faster, whenever we can get our hands on motorcycle GP racing videos from the 1970s and 80s, we sit glued to our TV sets for hours. The racing scene from that era – the wild and wooly bikes, and the men who dared to race those mad machines – absolutely fascinates us. Which is why we thought of quickly comparing a 500cc GP bike from 1977 with a 2007 MotoGP machine. How far have we come in the last thirty years?

That's Graziano Rossi (yeah, Valentino's dad...!), who briefly rode for Suzuki in 1978 in the 500cc class. He later went on to race in the 250cc class, with Morbidelli...

We’ll actually start with the 1974 Suzuki RG500 XR14. Its two-stroke, water-cooled, carbureted 500cc square-four engine made 90 horsepower at 10,500rpm. In 1976 came the Suzuki XR22, on which the legendary Barry Sheene won the first of his two 500cc world championships. By now, the square-four was making 114 horsepower at 11,000rpm and things didn’t change much for 1977, when Sheene went on to win his second world championship aboard the bike.

Marco Lucchinelli, who won the 500cc world championship on his Suzuki in 1981

Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini also won 500cc world championships aboard Suzuki machines in 1981 and 82 respectively. But after that, Yamaha and Honda dominated the 500cc class for a decade. Suzuki only managed to come back on top in 1993, when Kevin Schwantz won the 500cc title. That was followed by a six year dry spell for Suzuki, after which Kenny Roberts Jr won the 500cc crown in the year 2000.

The inimitable Kevin Schwantz, who won the 500cc title for Suzuki in 1993

Coming to Suzuki’s current MotoGP bike, the GSV-R800 XRG0, the bike is powered by a four-stroke, 800cc, water-cooled, fuel-injected V4 that makes more than 220 horsepower at 17,500rpm. The bike uses Bridgestone tyres, Motul lubes, Brembo brakes, Yoshimura exhaust, and Ohlins suspension, weighs about 149 kilos, and can hit a top speed that's in excess of 330km/h!

And finally, John Hopkins on his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R800 XRG0...

But while racing bikes have evolved over the last thirty years, if you want to win races, one thing remains the same. And that, as Barry Sheene used to say, is the will to win…

More racing bikes:
Which is the best among 2007 MotoGP bikes?
The five racing bikes we love!
RD500LC: Yamaha's 500cc 'GP racer' for the common man!
RGV250: Suzuki's GP racer for the street
Team Cristofolini Racing's 350cc, 112bhp scooter!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Troy Corser: ‘I’m really surprised at how much power there is on a standard Yamaha R1…!’

Even if you're used to riding this, a standard Yamaha R1 will surprise you with its performance. Or can it...?

Troy Corser, who made his World Superbikes debut aboard a Yamaha FZR750R back in 1992, and who currently rides for the Yamaha Motor Italia team in WSBK, recently had a chance to ride stock R1 and R6 machines at the Valencia circuit in Spain. And what did he have to say about the bikes? ‘With the R1, I was really surprised how much power there is on the standard bike. There's plenty enough there to get the front wheel up in first, second and third without trying,’ claims Corser. ‘I was surprised by the strength of the engine – it's quite something for a stock road bike,’ he adds.

Overall, it's an impressive little package. That's what Corser says about the Yam R6

So what about the R6 then? Says Corser, ‘The power delivery is softer than on the R1, but it revs really high – much higher than the R1 – which makes for good amounts of fun on the track or the road. To be honest, the chassis on the R6 feels pretty close to the chassis on my racebike and it handles well. Overall it's an impressive little package.’

Given that Yamaha pay his salary, we suppose Mr Corser will say good things about the R1 and R6 bikes. Still, we quite like the R1 ourselves – the red and white paint scheme, in particular, rocks…

Also see:
Hi-res Yamaha R1 and R6 wallpaper
Two-stroke glory: The Suzuki RGV250
Prepare for the mighty KTM RC8
Faster and Faster: The best of 2006
"Want to win? Don't shut the throttle...!"
Alternative front suspension: The bikes that dared...
Shelby's 150 horsepower chopper
"GSX-Rs are for moped riders!"

Olivier Jacque's MotoGP career comes to an end

Olivier Jacque has been replaced by Anthony West, but the Frenchman will continue to be test rider and tech advisor at Kawasaki

Olivier Jacque has bid goodbye to motorcycle racing and will no longer ride in MotoGP. The ex-250cc world champ got a shot at riding the Kawasaki ZX-RR for the 2007 MotoGP season primarily due to Shinya Nakano having left Kawasaki at the end of 2006. But the French rider has had a season littered with crashes and injuries, which has put a dampener on Kawasaki’s MotoGP effort.

Says Jacque, ‘I feel tired and physically diminished. I find it very hard to recover from my injuries and don't feel competitive enough to ride at top level. My body keeps telling me it's maybe time to move on. Kawasaki have been understanding and we have reached agreements for the future which will allow me to stay involved in the racing world, for which I am passionate.’

Jacque will continue with Kawasaki as development rider and technical advisor. In the meanwhile, Kawasaki have hired Australian rider Anthony West to replace Jacque for the remaining 2007 MotoGP season. West had earlier been riding for Yamaha in the 600cc World Supersport class. Says West, ‘To leave Yamaha is sad, but it's such a great chance for me to follow my dream to go to MotoGP.’

Olivier Jacque fans may remember his fantastic second place finish at the rain-soaked 2005 Chinese MotoGP in Shanghai. We think it was Jacque’s finest MotoGP ride ever, and you can right-click and download this 20MB video of that race here.

Also see:
Revised regulations for World Superbikes in 2008
Ducati to merge with Harley-Davidson?!
Pierre Terblanche talks about the Ducati 999
And the world's most beautiful motorcycle is...?
Looking back the bikes of the 1980s
An Alfa Romeo motorcycle!
Air-powered bikes in the near future?

Cycle World: Mick Doohan interview

From 1994 to 1998, there was no beating Mick Doohan in the 500cc class

Remember Mick ‘The Dominant’ Doohan? Of course you do. The fierce, feisty Australian won five consecutive 500cc world championships on his Honda NSR500, from 1994 to 1998. Cycle World magazine spoke to the racing legend recently, and it’s clear that Doohan’s hunger for being the best in whatever he does remains undiminished.

Now that he’s retired from racing, what exactly does Doohan do? He says, ‘I have an aviation company in Australia. We run small aircraft – corporate jets – in Australia and Southeast Asia. If you have an aircraft, we crew, manage and maintain it. I own two of them. We manage 12 aircraft in total. We have the biggest group under one umbrella in the country.’

The Dominant Doohan, they used to call him...

As if that wasn’t enough, he runs other businesses too. ‘My prime business is property. We’ve started some restaurants and bars in Las Vegas with the MGM Mirage group. The first one opens later this year in the Luxor. And we’ve got another one opening next year, as well,’ he says. What about that famous competitive edge of his – does it extend to Doohan’s business activities as well? He says, ‘I suppose it does. I didn’t like losing races, and I don’t like losing money!’

Finally, does he miss his racing days? Says Doohan, ‘I still have a great love for the bikes, for MotoGP and especially Honda!’ Get the full interview at the Cycle World website here.

Other racing legends:
Kevin Schwantz talks to Faster and Faster!
Wayne Gardner talks to Faster and Faster
John Surtees: Winning on two wheels and four
Libero Liberati: 500cc world champ in 1957...
Marco Lucchinelli: 500cc world champ in 1981



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