Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Voxan and Sidam part ways

Voxan - on the road to recovery?

According to a report on Motorevue, French motorcycle manufacturer Voxan has taken over the distribution of its motorcycles, terminating the agreement made with Sidam in 2006. According to Eric Terrace, the new president of Voxan, having entrusted the distribution of Voxan machines to Sidam in France and elsewhere in Europe just did not work.

Pierre Laurent-Chauvet, of Sidam, says the decision to part ways was made by mutual agreement. He also implied that Voxan did not have even a basic knowledge of motorcycle distribution. In any case, with only 54 Voxan bikes having been registered in France last year, something, somewhere, was going wrong, and this Voxan-Sidam divorce had already been anticipated by some.

On another note, Eric Terrace says he regrets that the GTV 1200 sports-tourer prototype was unveiled when the actual motorcycle was still in the development stages. ‘If I’m boss, I will not show a motorcycle unless I can deliver it the next day,’ he said.

Earlier mistakes notwithstanding, Voxan may finally be on the comeback trail. The company will now deal directly with its dealers in France and elsewhere in Europe, which could help clean up its operations. Also, after their IPO, and a fresh capital injection of 2.1 million euros in February this year, Voxan motorcycle just might be ready to go places…

Also see:
Tata Group to pick up stake in MV Agusta?
Around the world, Sanders-style...
Memorable: The Moriwaki Dream Fighter!
Tokyo Joe's MotoGP-replica GSX-R1000. Awesome!
Two-stroke Malaguti MR250: Will they, or won't they make it?
Ducati SuperSport Turbo and other Ducati dragbikes...
The Fireblade-powered Rage R180RT
Wild Rides: MotoGP vs Professional Bullfighting!
BMW R1200GS Adventure vs KTM 990 Adventure...

External links:
Scooter Lifestyle: Inside the World of the Modern Mod
First rides: 2008 Triumph Tiger, Sprint ST, Daytona 675 and Speed Triple

Some pics from the London Bikers' trackday, at Brands Hatch. More pics here

Pics: London Bikers

Guzzi-powered trike: The Blackjack Zero

The Moto Guzzi-powered Blackjack Zero
Pics: Blackjack

Involved in the design, development and production of trikes since 1995, Blackjack are now ready with their latest creation – the Zero – which is fitted with a v-twin engine from Moto Guzzi. (On their website, Blackjack have not specified which Guzzi engine, but we think it'll be the 1200cc v-twin.) Designed by Richard Oakes, the Zero, according to its creators, “delivers the excitement of a bike, with greater comfort, more sociability and a reverse gear.’ Er, more sociability? Oh, well, anyway…

The front-wheel-drive Zero’s bodywork comprises of a fibreglass tub with reinforced bulkheads, and the chassis is made of tubular steel. Rack-and-pinion steering, wishbones and adjustable coil-over-damper shocks at the front, and a trailing swingarm and monoshock complete the package. The Zero rides on 17-inch wheels, shod with 215/40 ZR-rated tyres and the 450-kilo trike can seat two people in comfort.

For more details, visit the Blackjack website here.

Also see:
More trikes on Faster and Faster
Ducati 1098 vs KTM RC8 1190!
Tjitze Tjoelker’s homemade Honda V8...
Memorable: The Gilera SP01 and SP02
Lamborghini Design 90: It's all bull!
Classic: The mid-1980s Honda VF1000R
The world's fastest man vs the world's fastest bike!

2008 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic goes on sale in Europe

Only 50bhp, but bucketloads of style...

Pics: Motoblog

The 2008 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic has been shown to the European motorcycle press and will soon go on sale in Europe. The original Guzzi V7, fitted with a 703cc v-twin, was born back in 1967. Styled on the lines of its predecessor, the new V7 Classic packs a Euro-III compliant 744cc v-twin. With its Weber Marelli fuel-injection, the engine makes about 50 horsepower and 54.7Nm of torque.

The V7 Classic certainly isn’t very powerful, but you know the deal – it’s been designed to look good loping along at medium pace, with rider and hot Italian girlfriend sitting comfortably, wearing large sunglasses, open-face helmets and smart leather jackets. For some, the V7 Classic would probably be the ideal motorcycle for lazy Sunday mornings…

The bike to be on, if you want to look good wearing those sunglasses...

With its round headlamp, chrome-plated exhaust pipes, twin rear shocks, spoked wheels, flat seat and black-and-white paintjob, we think the V7 Classic looks good in an old-fashioned way. The rear shocks offer 118mm of suspension travel and are preload adjustable, while the 40mm Marzocchi front fork offers 130mm of travel. The chassis is a dual-cradle steel tube number, wheels are 18-inch front and 17-inch rear, and brakes are single 320mm disc at front and 260mm disc at the back.

The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is priced at 7,990 euros (about US$12,350), is available in Europe now, and is likely to go on sale in the US in the next few months.

Here's a video of the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic blasting up and down some twisties...

Also see:
Memorable: The 1950s Moto Guzzi V8 racer!
Limited Edition MV Agusta F4 CC: The HOTTEST motorcycle in the world?
Moto Corse: The US$90,000 MV Agusta F4 Platino...
The US$80,000 NCR Ducati Millona!
Memorable: The Cagiva 500 GP racebike...
Classic: The Laverda 750 Formula S
Racy reptile: The Bimota YB6 Tuatara...
Memorable: The Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans

External links:
Chinese bikes: The shape of things to come?

Here are some more pics for Moto Guzzi fans...

Pics: Moto Guzzi

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fast Fruit: Apple-derived bioethanol-powered Triumph hits 254km/h!

Would you believe this Triumph runs on apple juice...?!

Bike magazine’s ‘Project Fast Fruit,’ which entailed converting and running a high-performance motorcycle on bioethanol, is a success. A Triumph Daytona 675, running on bioethanol produced in a school chemistry lab, hit a top speed of 254km/h on the Bruntingthorpe proving ground.

While the bike used for the run was provided by Triumph, the biofuel was produced from apples – yes, apples – by A-level students from a school in Northamptonshire in the UK. The students crushed and fermented 6,000 apples to produce the fuel, while Bike magazine carried out the necessary technical modifications to allow the Triumph engine to run on apple juice. In fact, very few mods were needed – only the Daytona’s fuel-injection had to be remapped for apple-derived bioethanol…

‘We believe that achieving a speed of 254km/h sets a record for a production bike on home-brewed fuel. Although they are still questionable from an environmental point of view, biofuels are here to stay, and this experiment was all about exploring how much power we could extract from them, as well as having some fun,’ said Rupert Paul of Bike magazine.

Also see:
Neander 1400 Turbodiesel: Yours for US$140,000!
One racy trike: The SUB G1...
Trackday tool: The CR&S Vun Racing
Tecno Bike’s custom V-Rod...
Steffano Motorcycles’ Ducati 999-based CafĂ©9
Howard's Killer Customs’ US$150,000 hubless-wheeled chopper...

Some pics from the International Custom Bike Show 2008. See more picture galleries from the Show on London Bikers here and here
Pics: London Bikers

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Suzuki GSX-R1100: Heron Suzuki GB Replica

The HMR-made Heron Suzuki GP replica...
Pics: HMR

This Graham Crosby Heron Suzuki GB Replica GSX-R1100 has been put together by HMR, custom bike builders who specialize in period racer replicas. The Suzuki GSX-R1100 engine has been extensively modified – port flowed cylinder head, big-bore kit, 40mm carbs, custom-made airbox, Barnett kelvar clutch, heavy duty clutch springs, and undercut gears etc.

The bike’s exhaust system is also custom-made by HMR, with Formula 1 header pipes. The suspension has been resprung and revalved to keep things tight and taut, and the bodywork is a mix of GSX-R750 fuel tank and RG500 tailpiece. Custom rearsets and an HMR-made period gauge set have also been fitted. Overall, we think the bike looks neat.

See more HMR bikes on their website here.

Also see:
Memorable: The Moriwaki Dream Fighter
Battle of the Twins: KTM RC8 vs Ducati 1098!
Yamaha RD500-based MotoGP-replica...
The HOTTEST NSR500-replica in the world!!
From dream to disaster: The Morbidelli 850 V8
Raging Buell: The supercharged Lazareth XB12S...
The hottest Aussie motorcyclist ever (and no, it isn't Casey Stoner...)

External links:
America's early in-line fours...

The Uno: Parallel wheels and gyros…

Instead of one behind the other, the Uno has two wheels mounted side by side...

Pics: Motorcycle Mojo

First shown at the 2008 National Motorcycle Show in Toronto last month, the Uno is the work of 18-year-old Ben J. Poss Gulak. Ben has been tinkering with stuff and participating in science fairs ever since he was a kid, wants to get into engineering and has inherited his grandfather’s machine shop where he comes up with a lot of “cool stuff.”

Ben created the Uno using SketchUp, a free piece of software from Google. When it was time to translate computer renderings into reality, he used a Yamaha R1 chassis and homemade bodywork which he designed himself. The Uno uses two wheels mounted side by side and the bike stays upright due to its digital gyros. Ben programmed the gyros himself, with some guidance from Trevor Blackwell, a California-based robotics and gyro expert.

The Uno is actually fitted with two gyros – one for making the bike go forward and back, and the other for making it turn. The 54-kilo bike is easy to operate – there is just on/off switch, and once it’s switched on, you lean forward to make the bike move ahead, and lean back to slow it down and/or go backwards.

The juice comes from twin electric motors – one for each of the Uno’s two wheels. The more you lean forward, the harder the Uno accelerates, with the gyros telling the electric motors how much current to deliver to the wheels. Of course, the Uno probably isn’t the most practical thing in the world, but as an example of ingenuity and engineering skill, we think it’s very cool…

Also see:
WheelSurf Monowheel: Join the singles club…
Air-powered bikes in the near future...?
Acabion GTBO 70: The FASTEST bike in the world!
PAL-V One: The bike that’ll fly...
The amazing Carver One...
Get ready for the Peraves MonoTracer!
Trike Strike: Some very interesting three-wheelers...

External links:
Yamaha: Reliving the Past...
Here's something for all those who love hot, green motorcycles...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kevin Schwantz: Back in MotoGP in 2009?

One of the most talented racers in the 500cc two-stroke era, Kevin Schwantz could be back in MotoGP next year, running a satellite team for Suzuki
The last time a Suzuki rider won a MotoGP world championship was in the 500cc two-stroke era, when Kenny Roberts Jr took the title in the year 2000. Since then, Honda, Yamaha and Ducati have been taking the world championships, while Suzuki have been relegated to also-ran status.

Now, the man who was perhaps Suzuki’s brightest star ever – 1993 500cc world champ, Kevin Schwantz – may be returning to MotoGP, to see if he can help Suzuki’s MotoGP effort in some way. In 2009, the Revvin’ Kevin may be back with Suzuki, heading their MotoGP effort as a team manager. This might either be with the factory Suzuki team or with a satellite team.

Schwantz wants American rider Ben Spies to come to MotoGP, and wants Suzuki to give Spies a MotoGP ride next year. Suzuki riders Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen have been doing reasonably all right this year, but it doesn’t look like either rider will be able to win the MotoGP world championship in the foreseeable future. Schwantz hopes to change that in 2009, with Spies, who’s currently a star rider in the AMA Superbike series.

Says Schwantz, ‘My heart is in MotoGP. That’s where I spent most of my career, and that’s where I have most of my fans. I would be delighted to be back with Suzuki as a team manager.’

We are big fans of no.34 here at Faster and Faster, and we hope Kevin does assume an active role with the Suzuki MotoGP effort next year. It'll be good to have him back...

Also see:

Suzuki RG500: Barry Sheene replica
Yamaha FZR750RR OW01 vs Yamaha R1...
Hubless: Reinventing the wheel...
Fearsome: The 1975 Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker!
1972 MV Agusta 750 Sport wins Concours d'Elegance...
Heavy Hitter: MV Agusta F4 Veltro Pista!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Parallel World: Mr Sanders is at it again…

He has a brand-new Yamaha R1 which he'll be riding around the world, he's surrounded by pretty ladies and he doesn't have to spend time in office cubicles pretending to be busy at work. Some people have all the luck in the world! 
Pics: London Bikers

Nick Sanders is already ‘the fastest man around the world on two wheels,’ and he’s going to do it all over again. It’s called the Parallel World, and it’s going to be the 49-year-old Mr Sanders’ last (really?) around-the-world trip on a bike.

Sanders has been crisscrossing the globe since the early-1990s and according to his website, he’s circled our vast planet six times already. On his last record-breaking bike trip, Sanders rode 1,000 miles a day for 19 consecutive days. And if you don’t believe anyone can actually pull that off, go buy a copy of the Journey Beyond Reason DVD.

But coming back to Parallel World, it will entail riding a Yamaha R1 for about 88,000km across six continents, in about three months. So, yes, Mr Sanders will be circumnavigating the world on his motorcycle, using the longest possible route, in the shortest possible time. It’s going to be one hell of an effort we must say – big respect to anyone who can even think of pulling off something like this.

Follow the action on Nick’s blog, and visit his website if you want to order one of his DVDs.

It's insane, but if anyone can do it, it's Nick SandersPic: London Bikers

Space Efficient Vehicle: Redefining urban transport

Can this SEV and other similar trikes replace cars on our roads? We hope so!
Pics: Michelin Challenge Design

One of our readers – Ralph Panhuyzen – recently wrote to us, asking us to write about the machine he’s designed. Panhuyzen’s ‘Space Efficient Vehicle’ was one of the entries in the 2008 Michelin Challenge Design and features two wheels at the front, and two (clustered together) at the back, effectively making it a three-wheeler. The Netherlands-based Panhuyzen, who’s project lead and inventor of the SEV, says that the machine ‘is best perceived as a next-generation Isetta.’

Compared with cars, the sleek, lightweight SEV has advantages of maneuverability, better fuel economy, lower emissions, leaner production costs, and the ability to use the existing road infrastructure more efficiently. With its small engine, the narrow-track SEV will do anything between 75 to 110mpg and it’s been designed to meet the transportation needs of singles, couples, and one-child families.

For more information, visit the Michelin Challenge Design website here, or send a mail to

Here are some other interesting three-wheeler concepts from the MCD...

Pics: MCD

Also see:
MotoGP-replica GSX-R: Awesome!
Tjitze Tjoelker's homemade Honda V8...
Kalex AV1: Pushing the performance envelope...
More pics and details: 2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V
Pendolauto: Franco Sbarro’s four-wheeled motorcycle concept unveiled...
Kawasaki KLR650-based diesel motorcycles for the US Army!
Three's company: A bunch of interesting trikes...

And here's some pics from the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours race. Team Suzuki won, while the Ducati 1098R, in orange and blue Gulf colours, looks the hottest!



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