Friday, September 21, 2012

Honda confirms all-new V4-engined super sports motorcycle for 2013-14

Honda's new MotoGP-inspired super sports streetbike will, according to the company, revive the kind of excitement which the RC30 brought to the party in the late-1980s...

Talking about the products and technologies that Honda will develop in the near future, the company’s CEO, Takanobu Ito, recently said that Honda is now working on a new super sports motorcycle which will feature technologies derived from Honda’s MotoGP machines. “This bike will seek to deliver the same passion and excitement that the RC30 VFR750R created when first introduced in 1987,” he said.

So the RC30 is all set to return in its modern-day avatar? Cool! Our wish list for this new bike? Here’s what we hope it has – a 1000cc V4 that produces 200 horsepower, ABS, fully adjustable traction control, electronically adjustable suspension, LED headlamps, fully digital instrumentation with LED colour display, single-sided swingarm and a kerb weight of not more than 160 kilos.

Ito has not specified a time frame for the new super sports V4, but we expect Honda to be ready with the bike by the end of 2013 or perhaps by early 2014. Build it, Honda. And we’ll do our best to scrape together enough money to buy one.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2013 KTM 1190 Adventure R: First official pic, specs released

Thw 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure, in all its orange-hued glory...

Going by the number of ‘adventure’ motorcycles that are being launched by various European manufacturers, an awful lot of people must be chucking up their jobs, packing it all in and riding such bikes into the sunset. Or not. In any case, KTM have announced that they will unveil the all-new 1190 Adventure and Adventure R at the Intermot this year and in doing so, they will go up against similar machines from BMW, Moto Guzzi, Triumph, Ducati and others.

The 1190 Adventure will be more street-oriented though it’ll still ride on 19-inch (front) and 17-inch (rear) wheels. The R model will be more off-road specific. Both bikes get KTM’s LC8 V-twin that produces an impressive 150bhp and 125Nm of torque. And, as you might expect, the bikes will get a full host of electronics, including Keihin motor management, electronic fuel injection with drive-by-wire, adjustable ABS, adjustable traction control, electronically adjustable suspension and anti-hop clutch.

The 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure and Adventure R will have 15,000km inspection intervals, and will weigh 230 kilos with a full tank of fuel. The bikes’ lattice frame is made of tubular chrome-molybdenum-steel and along with the rugged suspension components from WP, is likely to be very capable of taking serious levels of punishment off-road. The bike(s) look interesting, we must say. More information and high-res pics when the 1190 Adventure is officially unveiled at the Intermot this year…

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo, Pikes Peak editions announced

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The 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo and the very cool 1200 S Pikes Peak will be available in showrooms from January next year

Ducati have announced their new, 2013 Multistrada 1200 models and the line-up now includes Granturismo and Pikes Peak versions. Changes include mods to the second-generation Testastretta engine, improved ABS and, on S versions, semi-active ‘Skyhook’ suspension.

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 is already a very high-tech motorcycle, with ABS, ride-by-wire throttle and an advanced traction control system. The 2013 Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo gets increased luggage capacity, additional LED illumination, enhanced wind protection and sport-touring tyres, while the Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak gets a race-winning replica paintjob. The bikes all have sport, touring, urban and enduro riding modes and suspension settings, traction control, ABS and the Skyhook suspension are all electronically adjustable.

The new Multistrada 1200 models will be available via the official Ducati dealer network from January 2013.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Long Live the Kings

Shot exclusively on Super 16mm film, Long Live the Kings is a short documentary that tries to chronicle the hopes and desires of a bunch of motorcycle road trippers.
Visit their website for more information

Saturday, September 15, 2012

BMW C 600 Sport, C 650 GT visit Barcelona

BMW scooters in Barcelona BMW scooters in Barcelona
BMW scooters in Barcelona BMW scooters in Barcelona BMW scooters in Barcelona
Scooters like the BMW C 600 Sport and C 650 GT are probably the most hassle-free way of getting around in cities like Barcelona, where traffic density is always a problem...

Our favourite motographer, Markus Hofmann recently had the opportunity to shoot the BMW C 600 Sport and C 650 GT on the streets of Barcelona, one of the coolest, most exciting cities in Europe. ‘The main reason I wanted to shoot in Barcelona was the special atmosphere the city has and its great light. The traffic in a cosmopolitan city like this tends to get overwhelming, so a scooter is a great way of getting around,” says Hofmann. “In fact, it is unbelievable how many people have scooters in Barcelona – many companies have reacted to the fact that more employees ride their scooters to work and have made more parking spaces for them as a result,” he adds.

“The traffic was always a problem but we soon learned to ‘go with the flow’ and even though safety always comes first we were able to get some good shots. The Spanish really loved the design of both scooters and many of them who stopped to watch us couldn’t wait to ask us questions about the two scooters. The people of Barcelona are in many ways trendsetters and the scooter is one more trend they are living before the rest. To be honest I have really been wondering why it is taking the New Yorkers so long to get out of their yellow cabs and onto scooters,” says Hofmann.

“Barcelona is a great city, with great architecture, great atmosphere and great people. You see a lot of scooters in the city, and of course a maxi-scooter like the C 600 Sport or C 650 GT is made for places like Barcelona,” says Markus Koch, who directed the shoot from the saddle of a C 600 Sport. “The traffic in Barcelona can only work because of the high percentage of bikes. These kinds of two-wheelers are perfect for riding in the city – the handling, agility, ergonomics and usability. Riding through the traffic without shifting gears makes it very convenient too – just twist and go,” he adds.

Pics: Markus Hofmann

Millyard Viper V10 hits the road

This is the Dodge Viper 8.0-litre V10-engined Millyard Viper V10, created by Allen Millyard. The bike is fully road legal and has an MSVA certificate and a '09 plate. It's done over 6,500km, has been to the Isle of Man where it's done several laps and has hit speeds of more than 330km/h at the Bruntingthorpe proving ground in the UK. Has to be one of the most insane pieces of machinery on planet Earth...

Friday, September 14, 2012

2013 Yamaha YZF-R1, R6, R125 to get ‘Race-Blu’ livery

2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 race-blu series 2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 race-blu series
2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 race-blu series 2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 race-blu series 2013 Yamaha YZF-R1 race-blu series
The 2013 Yamaha R1 in 'Race-Blu' livery...

Yamaha have announced that the 2013 YZF-R1, YZF-R6 and YZF-R125 will be available with an all-new competition-inspired ‘Race-Blu’ livery – a classy combination of Yamaha Blue (which includes blue painted wheels) and Matt Grey. Designed by Aldo Drudi, the ‘Race-Blu’ livery has been created in collaboration with Yamaha Motor Racing and will also be used on the YZR-M1 MotoGP bike for the Italian GP at Misano this year.

2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R: Official pics, video, specs

2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
The 2013 ZX-6R could bring some renewed interest in the 600cc supersports class...

Kawasaki have finally released details of the 2013 Ninja ZX-6R, which gets a new 636cc inline-four that replaces the earlier 599cc engine. The company has not released any official power output figures but it's widely rumoured that the new new 636cc engine produces 130bhp and Kawasaki claim that the new engine not only offers better performance, but also improved usability in everyday street riding.

Keeping in step with the inevitable march in technology, the new ZX-6R comes with a 3-mode traction control system (KTRC) and two selectable power modes, an ‘intelligent’ anti-lock braking system (KIBS), fully adjustable 41mm Showa big piston forks, fully adjustable Uni-Trak rear suspension and a slipper clutch. The bike rides on 17-inch alloys with 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) tyres. Kerb weight is 192 kilos and the 2013 ZX-6R is priced at US$12,699.

We think the new ZX-6R looks good. Should be interesting to see how it performs against bikes like the Triumph Daytona 675R and MV Agusta F3!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

White-hot Honda Fireblade is deeply lustworthy...

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We love this 2012 Honda Fireblade!

We came across this 2012 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade on and we think it’s probably the hottest Fireblade we’ve ever seen. Mods include a powder-coated black rear subframe, powder-coated white wheels, all graphics removed from the bodywork and paint-matched lower fairing, custom-built exhaust, wave-type Galfer brake rotors, KWS Motorsports-tuned Power Commander, quick-turn throttle, Pazzo levers, Zero Gravity windscreen, 55w HID headlamps, Sato carbonfibre engine covers, Honda Racing tank pad and Dunlop Q2 tyres.

The bike is, apparently, for sale. It’s done 2,700 miles and the owner is asking for $15,000 for the machine. If we had the money, we would have bought it – we like it that much.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Triumph Speed Triple takes on Chevy Corvette Z06

The US edition of Top Gear features a Triumph Speed Triple (ridden by stunt rider Ernie Vigil) versus Chevrolet Corvette Z06 shootout...

Monday, September 10, 2012

German Top Gun rides… what else, a BMW S1000RR

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When you're used to flying a jet plane that can hit a top speed of 940km/h, even something like the BMW S1000RR probably feels just a bit slow...

When you think of fighter pilots and motorcycles, you probably think Tom Cruise riding his Kawasaki GPZ in the movie Top Gun. Well, the connection between those who fly jet planes and ride motorcycles is well and alive. Meet Stefan Grillenbeck, who works as a test pilot at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Germany’s national research centre for aeronautics and space, which is responsible for the planning and implementation of the German space programme.

Recently, when Grillenbeck was not flying his Rolls-Royce-engined long-range high-speed Gulfstream G550 jet, he swapped his flying suit for motorcycle leather and got on a… BMW S1000RR, of course. You wouldn’t expect him to ride a Honda scooter, would you? Grillenbeck’s G550 jet is an impressive piece of machinery – the jet plane costs more than US$50 million, has a flying range of 12,500km, can carry up to 19 passengers and can hit a top speed of up to 940km/h, which probably makes it a bit faster than the BMW S1000RR, at least in a straight line.

Time Travel: Suzuki GSX-R1100 vs GSX-R1000

Suzuki GSX-Rs Suzuki GSX-Rs
Suzuki GSX-Rs Suzuki GSX-Rs Suzuki GSX-Rs
Can the late-1980s/early-1990s Suzuki GSX-R1100 take on its modern-day successor, the Suzuki GSX-R1000? And is the current 1000 a worthy successor to the wild old 11?

Our undying love for Suzuki GSX-Rs has been well documented in the pages of Faster and Faster. In recent years, bikes like the S1000RR, RSV4 and the Panigale have pushed the superbike performance threshold to new heights and, some would say, have left the GSX-R1000 in the dust. But we still love the GSX-R, we still want one more than anything else. A brand-new GSX-R1000 fitted with a Yoshimura racing exhaust system and Kevin Schwantz’s 1989 Pepsi Suzuki RGV500-replica paintjob. Yes, that’s the dream.

Back in the mid-1980s, when the GSX-R was launched, we were still in school and limited to reading about the GSX-R in motorcycle magazines. Those photographs of GSX-Rs being wheelied, stoppied and cornered like crazy were, for us, endlessly fascinating. In the late-1980s and early-1990s, all we ever wanted was a GSX-R1100 (and, well, a Kawasaki ZXR750/ZX-7R, but that’s another story…).

“Nail the throttle and the Suzuki surges forward, although the tacho needle is barely off its 3,000rpm peg. The acceleration is awesome – like being charged in the back by a rugby scrum,” said bike journalist Roland Brown, in a story he wrote for the May 1986 issue of Bike magazine. And indeed, the 1986 GSX-R1100 must have been something truly special. The bike weighed in at 197 kilos and with its 1052cc inline-four pumping out 130 horsepower, the Gixxer 11 could hit a top speed of 250km/h. With its twin round headlamps, aluminium alloy chassis, anti-dive forks, floating front brake discs and endurance racer styling, the GSX-R1100 probably was for that era what a Max Biaggi-replica RSV4 would be for now.

Suzuki produced the GSX-R1100 from 1986 to 1992 and each year brought significant changes and modifications to the machine. All mods weren’t, apparently, equally effective though over the years the GSX-R1100 did get wider wheels and tyres, various chassis updates, USD front forks, bigger carburetors, better brakes and multiple styling updates. The last model, the 1992 GSX-R1100, had 149bhp from its 1127cc inline-four and weighed 210kg. It rode on 17-inch wheels with 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) radial tyres and the front brake discs had 4-piston Nissin calipers – not a million miles away from where litre-class superbikes are, today.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Janna rides into a tyre shop...

All we know is that her name is Janna Flurry Hall, that she can probably ride a motorcycle and that we're in love. (Yes, we know. In our dreams...)

Friday, September 07, 2012

Manuela Raffaeta visits the BMW Museum, meets the 1976 BMW R 90 S

Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S
Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S
Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S Manuela Raffaeta, BMW R 90 S
Manuela Raffaeta, with Steve McLaughlin's 1976 BMW R 90 S

Marco Melandri is a lucky man. He’s rides fast bikes for a living and his fiancée is the eminently hot Manuela Raffaeta, who recently visited the BMW Museum in Munich, right after the inaugural BMW Motorrad Days party. This was for a special photoshoot, which was done by Markus Hofmann, whose work we’ve featured earlier on this site.

For the photoshoot, Manuela posed with the BMW R 90 S, which American rider Steve McLaughlin rode to victory in the first-ever AMA Superbike race at Daytona, in the US, in 1976. Another BMW rider, Reg Pridmore finished second in that race and even won the inaugural AMA Superbike world championship that year.

McLaughlin’s race-winning BMW R 90 S, which recently took to the racetrack again at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it was ridden by former BMW Motorrad factory rider, Troy Corser, has now taken up permanent residence at the BMW Museum in Munich. And as these pictures show, the bike looks as hot now as it did back in the 1970s. Manuela, too, apparently enjoyed her photoshoot with this iconic motorcycle. Here are some excerpts from what she had to say about bikes and her life with Mr Melandri:

Eric Bostrom’s Gary Nixon tribute Kawasaki Z1000 café racer

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Eric Bostrom's Z1000 cafe racer is a fitting tribute to the late, great, Gary Nixon's 1976 Kawasaki KR750 on which he finished 2nd in the 1976 Formula 750 world championship

Eric Bostrom, 36 years old, currently races in the AMA Superbike series. Gary Nixon, who won AMA Grand National Championships in 1967 and 68, passed away last year at the age of 70. Who’d think there would be any kind of connect between the two men, motorcycle racers from different eras. And yet, there is.

Eric currently rides for the Attack Performance Kawasaki team in AMA Superbikes, while Gary rode an Erv Kanemoto-tuned two-stroke Kawasaki KR750 to a second-place finish in the 1976 Formula 750 world championship. ‘Gary was a hero, and a legend,’ says Eric, of his late friend, in whose memory he’s built the Kawasaki Z1000 café racer you see here.

Eric teamed up with Lossa Engineering for his café racer project and together the two created the bike’s handmade fuel tank (made of steel), fiberglass front fender and tailpiece, billet wheels that mimic the appearance of the KR750’s hoops and a handmade Leo Vince exhaust system with three end cans – because the KR750 was, of course, a triple. The original wiring was replaced entirely for a cleaner look and a new chassis subframe was made from scratch. Bits like custom clip-ons, rearsets, Tommaselli levers, a Grimeca master cylinder and a smaller radiator, air pod filters and a Kawasaki Racing tachometer were also bolted on, to complete the 1970s look.

Eric’s Z1000 carries Gary Nixon’s racing number, 9. We don’t think Gary would be too unhappy about that.



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