Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Izh-1: Igor Chack's hybrid motorcycle concept

Izh-1 HybridIgor Chak
From top, left: The Izh-1 hybrid concept bike and its young creator, Igor Chak...
Izh-1 HybridIzh-1 HybridIzh-1 Hybrid

Born in the city of Vladivostok, in Russia, Igor Chak has lived in Japan and in the US, and has a degree in industrial design from the Art Institute of Seattle. He loves bikes apparently and dreams of being a professional motorcycle designer someday, hence this – the Izh-1 hybrid motorcycle concept.

‘My fascination with motorcycles is not purely with its aesthetics – it’s with the machine within the aesthetics, the technology that you interact with,’ says Chack, who’s now 26 years old. ‘Our streets stay about the same size but become more populated, which means more pollution and more traffic. That’s why I believe that the motorcycle and its evolution will be a key factor for commuters,’ he adds.

The Izh-1 has been designed around an 850cc V-twin engine, which is built with reinforced, heat-resistant plastic components. And since this is an hybrid, it also has an electric motor that’s mounted inside the rear wheel. Working together, the engine and electric motor are capable of delivery up to 34km/l in terms of fuel efficiency.

Izh-1 HybridIzh-1 HybridIzh-1 HybridIzh-1 Hybrid

Other interesting bits on the Izh-1 include an automatic transmission, magnetic brakes (?!?) with a hydraulic back-up system, dual airbags and a front fork that’s been designed to function as a ‘crumple zone’ in the event of a head-on collision. There is also, of course, traction control, ABS, a proximity regulating radar system that works together with a front facing on-board camera, augmented night vision capabilities, GPS navigation and full compatibility with a range of mobile devices.

Ten years from now, is this what the motorcycle is going to look like? I suppose we’ll have the answer to that in the year 2020.

Via Two Wheels Blog

Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art is rocking!

Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle artGianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art
The shapes, the colours, the style... very, very cool!
Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle artGianmarco Magnani's motorcycle artGianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art
Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art

We don’t really know anything about him but we love Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art. From what little we can gather from his website, it seems Gianmarco is a professional illustrator who runs this outfit called Silence Television and who probably likes classic motorcycles.

We know exactly zilch about art but we simply love Gianmarco’s work – it’s simply brilliant! Visit his website for more information and pictures.

Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art Gianmarco Magnani's motorcycle art
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Ducati Multistrada: The sound of music

Ducati MultistradaAndrea Forni
Andrea Forni (above, right), Ducati's tech director says the company worked hard to get the Multistrada's exhaust note just right. In the end, it all sounds just right...
Ducati MultistradaDucati MultistradaDucati MultistradaDucati Multistrada

In their June 2010 issue, SuperBike magazine have spoken to Andrea Forni, Ducati’s technical director, who discusses the Italian company’s thinking behind the brilliant new Multistrada. The surprising bit in this conversation is that rather than the bike’s power output, handling, or even high-tech electronics, what Forni is really ‘proud’ of is its exhaust system.

‘Maybe the exhaust system. We spent a lot of time on getting the sound right. We also worked with a firm of consultants who use special software used for sound design, to model shapes of silencers,’ says Forni, when asked what part of the Multistrada he’s most proud of. ‘I researched the harmonics of violins and other instruments for the first time and it turns out that the most pleasing sounds for people to hear are low-frequency notes. We are lucky because Ducati engines have always made lots of sounds like this,’ he adds.

Another interesting bit of information that Forni gives out is that Ducati are likely to move to a ride-by-wire throttle control system for the 1198 superbike as well, and as with the Multistrada, this system is likely to come from Mikuni. With the S1000RR, BMW seem to have taken the lead with the use of high-tech electronics on a street-legal superbike, and it looks like Ducati will be catching up with them with the 1198S/R in 2011...!

Ducati MultistradaDucati MultistradaDucati MultistradaDucati Multistrada

Ducati's product manager Mario Alvisi speaks to MCN about how the company went about creating the new Multistrada...

...and here's MCN's road test of the Multistrada. If it weren't for the fact that Ducati also have something called the 1198R in their line-up, we'd almost want one of these new Multistradas!

Over the Top: Norton Nemesis

Norton NemesisNorton Nemesis
The Norton Nemesis, a V8-engined hyperbike that was supposed to be the world's fastest production motorcycle. Unfortunately enough, it never got built...
Norton NemesisNorton NemesisNorton NemesisNorton Nemesis

Nemesis – it’s a name worthy of a super-villain with strange, evil powers, in a mega-budget Hollywood production. And when it was unveiled in April 1998, at the Dorchester Hotel in London, the Norton Nemesis sure looked like it was suitably equipped to completely crush any other high-performance motorcycle ever built anywhere in the world. World dominance? Bring it on!

Take a look at Norton’s it-was-never-meant-to-be superbike – a 1.5-litre V8 engine with three sparkplugs per cylinder and a power output of 235bhp, a push-button system for shifting gears, magnesium wheels, swingarm and other components, wheel rim-mounted disc brakes at the front, F1-style active suspension, rear-view cameras instead of regular rear-view mirrors, a kerb weight of 217 kilos and an estimated top speed of 360km/h. All of this in a bike that would – if it ever went beyond the prototype stage – carry a price tag of about £32,000.

The Norton Nemesis was engineered by one Al Melling for the Canadian Aquilini Investment Group, who owned what was then called Norton Motorcycles International. The intention was to build the world’s fastest production motorcycle – a title which belonged to the Suzuki Hayabusa at that time. Today, more than a decade later, some things have changed, some haven’t. The Hayabusa is still the world’s fastest production motorcycle. Norton, however, finally seems to be in the hands of people who really care about the name, the heritage and the motorcycles. After going through decades of bust-revival-bust cycles, Norton, with the new 961 SE and perhaps a rotary-engined superbike in the near future, may finally be on the comeback trail.

The Nemesis was not to be, but now that there’s a business plan in place for the iconic British motorcycle brand and some sensible motorcycles in the pipeline, Norton may soon be firing on all cylinders once again...

old Norton advertisementsold Norton advertisementsold Norton advertisements
Norton - the motorcycles, the memories...

Pics: Ottonero, Flickr

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2011 Ducati Monster 796 announced

2011 Ducati Monster 7962011 Ducati Monster 796
The new Ducati Monster 796, a nice, friendly troll...
2011 Ducati Monster 7962011 Ducati Monster 7962011 Ducati Monster 796

Ducati have now announced a new Monster – the 796 – which slots in between the 696 and the 1100. The bike weighs 167 kilos dry and packs 87 horsepower from its air-cooled V-twin. ABS is optional and the bike is priced at $10,000 in the US, £7,695 in the UK and around 9,000 euros in Europe. The Monster 796 will be in showrooms by May this year.

2011 Ducati Monster 7962011 Ducati Monster 7962011 Ducati Monster 796



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