Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Honda have confirmed that their new dual-purpose bike, the CRF250L, will go on sale in Europe later this year. Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 2011, the CRF250L is, according to Honda, “A true dual purpose motorcycle offering both ease of use in everyday life and the fun of off-road riding. As such, it continues a long tradition of Honda machines, dating back to the XL250S of the late 1970s, and the entire XL range that followed.”
The CRF250l is fitted with a liquid-cooled DOHC single cylinder 249cc engine, a twin-tube oval-pipe steel chassis, inverted front forks, ProLink rear suspension and aluminium swing arm. Honda will release the detailed tech specs sheet in April this year.
Stunt rider Bill Dixon shows us the correct way to ride around Willow Springs... :-D
Who doesn’t love a bit of gratuitous high-speed motorcycle drifting? Yes, exactly. Which is why Graves Motorsports teamed up with stunt rider Bill Dixon to create a one-off Yamaha R1 – the one you see in the video above – that’s built for drifting. ‘When Chuck Graves told me there were no limits to what Graves Motorsports could do, I had no idea he meant it literally. The bike is the epitome of badass,’ says Dixon, who seems to have had a fair bit of fun drifting the R1 around Willow Springs Raceway. ‘Bill had so much fun drifting the Yamaha, I was jealous. Projects like this are the driving force at Graves,’ adds Chuck.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
In the world of high speeds, Yves 'The Jetman' Rossy can certainly keep up with Valentino 'The Doctor' Rossi. The man seems to have accomplished the impossible...!
Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi is pretty much the fastest Rossi around, right? Weighing in at 155 kilos dry and with about 250 horsepower from its 1000cc four-cylinder engine, The Doctor’s 2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 MotoGP racebike can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 2.6 seconds and hit a top speed of more than 360km/h. So that pretty much settles it – Valentino is the fastest Rossi in the world. Or maybe not. Why? Because there’s also one Yves ‘The Jetman’ Rossy, and he goes very, very fast as well.
Born in Switzerland, the 53-year-old Yves Rossy used to be a fighter pilot with the Swiss Air Force and flew fighter jets like the Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs and Dassault Mirage III among others. He still flies a jet, just not one that he sits in. No, now he is the jet. Rossy has developed a carbonfibre wing that spans about two metres and which is fitted with four JetCat P200 jet engines. Strapped to his back, this wing lets Rossy fly. No, really, it does – just look at the videos on this page!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Top: Hans Georg Kasten (left), the Katana's designer, with Prof. Ehn (right), Head of a motorcycle museum in Austria. Pic taken in 2006, the year of the Katana's 25th Anniversary. In the background, you can also see a prototype MV Agusta sportsbike which Target Design were working on, but the bike never made it to production
Below: Original design sketches and some early prototypes from the late-1970s, which ultimately led to the birth of the iconic Suzuki Katana GSX1100S
We’ve said this often in the past and we’ll say it again – we absolutely love the 1980-81 Suzuki Katana 1100. Based on the Suzuki GSX1100 of the late-1970s and first shown as a prototype at Intermot, Cologne, in 1980, the ED-2 Katana looked radically different from other sportsbikes of that era. At the behest of Suzuki Germany, the bike had been designed by German design house, Target Design, where Hans-Georg Kasten, Hans Muth and Jan Fellstrom were the three men who designed the Katana.
Production of the Suzuki Katana GSX1100S started in 1981 and continued till 1984, when the bike was replaced with the GSX1100EFE. However, Suzuki built another batch of 200 units of the 1981-spec Katana in 1990, as part of the 70th Anniversary celebrations, and then released another batch of 200 units in 1991. (As far as we are concerned, these are the only ‘real’ Katanas that Suzuki ever produced. The company also used the Katana moniker later on fully-faired 600s (more pics here and here) and 750s, but we’ll ignore those machines. Those bikes have nothing to do with the Katana we love…)
So, coming back to the 1980-81 Suzuki Katana 1100, we’ve always wanted to meet the people responsible for creating the bike. Now, while that hasn’t happened yet, we did write to Hans-Georg Kasten, who owns Target Design and who was one of the three men responsible for designing the original Katana 1100. We asked him a whole lot of questions about the bike and about motorcycle design in general, and he was kind enough to talk at length about these. Here is what Hans-Georg had to say:
Saturday, February 25, 2012
More power, less weight and upgraded suspension and brakes - if KTM did an EJC-spec Special Edition of the 690 Duke for the street, things might get very interesting indeed...
The 2012 KTM 690 Duke, which will be raced in the European Junior Cup (EJC) series this year, looks pretty interesting to us – makes us wonder how a well-ridden EJC-spec 690 Duke would do, on the street, against bikes like the R6 or CBR600RR.
Conceived as a training ground for teenage racers, the most talented of whom might ultimately have an opportunity to graduate to a career in World Supersport or World Superbike championships, the European Junior Cup uses identical race-prepped 690 Dukes for all riders. Open to riders between 14 – 19 years of age, the EJC series also features a coaching program run under the guidance of former World Superbikes racer, Simon Crafar. This year’s provisional calendar includes races at Assen, Monza, Misano, Aragon, Brno, Silverstone, Nurburgring and Magny Cours.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
In terms of sales volumes, India-based Hero Motocorp is perhaps the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, selling about six million units per annum. The Hero Group had tied up with Honda back in 1984 and the joint-venture company, Hero Honda, became the leading motorcycle manufacturer in India. The partnership between Hero and Honda ended last year and Hero Honda is now Hero Motorcorp Ltd., with a stated aim of achieving revenues of US$10 Billion and volumes of 10 million units (including motorcycles and scooters) per annum by 2016-17.
After Honda’s exit, Hero have been looking for a suitable partner from whom they would source technology for bigger, better motorcycles – the kind of bikes which the fast-evolving Indian market is likely to be looking for in the years to come. And now, Erik Buell Racing (EBR) have stepped in to fill the void and, in the process, claim a toehold in the Indian motorcycle market. Hero Motocorp and EBR have formed a strategic partnership which includes multiple areas of collaboration.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
MCN ride the 2012 MV Agusta F3 and are hugely impressed with the bike...
With its 675cc three-cylinder engine that produces 128 horsepower at 14,500rpm and 71Nm of torque at 10,600rpm, utterly gorgeous styling, high-spec chassis and suspension and advanced ride-by-wire electronics (which includes a multi-stage traction control system), the MV Agusta F3 is perhaps the best supersports ‘600’ in the world today. At about 12,000 euros it’s definitely not cheap, but the F3 still represents riding nirvana for those who want a no-compromises track-focused mid-size sportsbike that’s sharp and exciting.
Watch the video (above) to see what MCN have to say about the MV Agusta F3. And here is a very interesting interview with Adrian Morton, the man who designed the MV F3.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Ducati, one of the most iconic motorcycle brands in the world, is up for sale for about $1.32 billion. We hope the company gets a buyer who's ready to invest in its future...
According to reports on Reuters and Bloomberg, Investindustrial – the private equity owners of Ducati – may be looking to sell the iconic motorcycle company in the near future. Based in Italy and backed by the Bonomi family, Investindustrial expect to get about US$1.32 billion (one billion euros) for Ducati. This is about three times as much the amount which Investindustrial spent in 2005 for buying Ducati.
‘Ducati is now a perfect company but the further growth it requires needs the support of a world-class industrial partner. This year, we will work towards that partner,’ says Andrea Bonomi, Chairman, Investindustrial. Companies that might be interested in buying Ducati include the Volkswagen Group and Mahindra & Mahindra, one of India’s largest automotive conglomerates.
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- 2012 Triumph Explorer 1200 riding impression
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