Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ducati, Team Althea part ways for 2013

Carlos Checa and the Ducati 1199 Panigale
Ducati Panigale RS13 Ducati Panigale RS13 Ducati Panigale RS13 Ducati Panigale RS13
Carlos Checa will race a Ducati Panigale RS13 in World Superbikes next year, but Team Althea, with whom Checa won the WSBK championship in 2011, won't be around...

Ducati had earlier announced they will go to World Superbikes in 2013, with 2011 WSBK champ Carlos Checa riding the new Ducati 1199 Panigale. Moving from his 2011 championship-winning 1198, Checa continues to work with Ducati towards developing and fine-tuning the formidable Panigale for next year, but Team Althea (with whom Checa won the WSBK championship in 2011) will no longer be in the picture.

“Despite both parties’ intention to continue the collaboration, an agreement, which meets the requirements of both Team Althea Racing and the Bologna-based manufacturer's management, has not been found for 2013. However, the exceptionally good relationship that Ducati has enjoyed with Team Althea Racing, combined with the friendship and gratitude towards team owner, Genesio Bevilacqua, for his continuing efforts and loyalty during these years, means that other forms of cooperation between Ducati and Team Althea could still be found in the future,” says a press release from Ducati.

With The Doctor moving his MotoGP clinic from Ducati to Yamaha next year, the Italian company, which has anyway been so hugely successful in World Superbikes in the past, will now have the resources to field a full factory-backed effort in WSBK in 2013 and beyond. And with the revolutionary new Panigale RS13, which definitely looks like it can take on anything that BMW and Aprilia can throw at it, Ducati could well be back on top in World Superbikes in 2013.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dick Smart and the flying Vespa

The flying Vespa featured in the 1967 movie, Dick Smart 2007 The flying Vespa featured in the 1967 movie, Dick Smart 2007
A clip from the 1967 movie (top), Dick Smart 2007 and (above) the flying Vespa from that movie. Ok, so it was just a gyrocopter dressed up as a scooter but, still, damn cool...

Back in 1967, they probably thought that over the next half century or so, scooters would actually gain the ability to fly. Which is perhaps why Dick Smart 2007, an Italian movie directed by one Franco Prosperi and released in 1967 featured a 'futuristic' Vespa scooter that could fly! Actor Richard Wyler played the part of Dick Smart, an Italian James Bond (well, sort of…) who uses his guns and gadgets to save the world and who apparently swans around on flying scooters in exotic locales around the world, chasing spies or scantily-clad hot chicks or both.

So what kind of a 1960s movie has a hero who rides a flying scooter? One where the plot is about a theft at an American nuclear facility, with the hero – Dick Smart – chasing off to Rio de Janeiro to track down the down the gang of thieves, whose leader is the beautiful Lady Lister (played by actress Margaret Lee). Lister has discovered a way to transform carbon into diamonds, for which she needs the nuclear stuff. There’s more villains, gunfights, chase sequences and other scarcely believable nonsense in the film, but that the producers saw it fit to also include a flying Vespa means all’s well in the end. You have to concede, a flying scooter is so much cooler than a fancy Aston Martin

Jorge Lorenzo is 2012 MotoGP World Champion

image host
With one Spaniard crashing out of the Australian MotoGP yesterday, the other Spaniard has done it - Jorge Lorenzo has won the 2012 MotoGP world championship. To celebrate, we bring to you the world's biggest collection of high-resolution photographs from the 2012 MotoGP season. Relive all the high-rev, high-speed action all over again...

2012 Valencia MotoGP, Ricardo Tormo circuit
2012 Australian MotoGP, Philip Island
2012 Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang
2012 Japanese MotoGP, Motegi
2012 Spanish MotoGP, Motorland Aragon
2012 Italian MotoGP, Misano, San Marino
2012 Czech MotoGP, Brno
2012 US MotoGP, Indianapolis
2012 US MotoGP, Laguna Seca
2012 Italian MotoGP, Mugello
2012 German MotoGP, Sachsenring
2012 Dutch TT, Assen, The Netherlands - Gallery 2
2012 Dutch TT, Assen, The Netherlands - Gallery 1
2012 British MotoGP, Silverstone - Gallery 2
Dainese and Yamaha celebrate Giacomo Agostini's 70th birthday, at Silverstone
2012 British MotoGP, Silverstone - Gallery 1
2012 Catalan MotoGP, Catalunya - Gallery 2

2012 Catalan MotoGP, Catalunya - Gallery 1
2012 French MotoGP, Le Mans - Gallery 3
2012 French MotoGP, Le Mans - Gallery 2
2012 French MotoGP, Le Mans - Gallery 1
2012 French MotoGP (pics from free practice, Le Mans - 2)
2012 French MotoGP (pics from free practice, Le Mans - 1)
2012 Portuguese MotoGP, Estoril
2012 Portuguese MotoGP (free practise)
2012 Spanish MotoGP, Jerez
2012 Spanish MotoGP, Jerez (free practise)
Repsol Honda RC213V in action at Qatar, 2012
MotoGP free practice and qualifying, Qatar, 2012
2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 - Gallery 1
2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 - Gallery 2
2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 - Gallery 3
2012 Yamaha YZR M1 - Gallery 1
2012 Yamaha YZR M1 - Gallery 2
2012 Honda RC213V - Gallery 1
2012 Yamaha YZR M1, Jerez Test
Ducati Desmosedici GP12 - Jerez test
2012 Ducati Wrooom - Gallery 1
2012 Ducati Wrooom - Gallery 2

The copyright to these images belongs to various motorcycle manufacturers and MotoGP teams. These images are for your personal use only - commercial use of any kind is strictly prohibited by those who hold the copyright to these images.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kadshah Nagibe: 'I Ride a Triumph'

'I Ride a Triumph,' a mini-documentary from Kadshah Nagibe

Kadshah Nagibe is a native New Yorker born in Brooklyn and is a freelance filmmaker living in NYC. "Since I picked up my first 8mm film camera at the age of 16, I have enjoyed capturing the beauty of the world and people around me," he says. He also likes motorcycles, apparently, and Nagibe's latest short film, I Ride a Triumph, is pretty cool.

"While searching around for a new story for my next film, I decided to do something that I've done many times before, which is film motorcycles. Except, this time I decided to make it more personal - kind of like a mini-documentary about people who ride Triumph motorcycles. This will be the first of many short stories or a series of motorcycle films called 'I ride a Triumph' that I hope to do within the next few months. These types of projects are always fun to do since I also ride a Triumph and love to film motorcycles and scooters," says Nagibe.

"For this project, I used the Sony FS700, which is a great camera on a tripod, but not so good for a long handheld shoot. Normally I would film on the back of a bike as a passenger, but the camera is a bit heavy for me so I rented a convertible and had my friend and assistant Lenny drive me around while I filmed Andy riding his Thruxton. We spent the whole day shooting most of the film. I really like the dirty, gritty and grungy neighborhood of Williamsburg Brooklyn - it made for a nice landscape," he adds.

Well, we think Nagibe has some potential as a motorcycle documentary filmmaker and we look forward to seeing more of his work. In the meanwhile, you may want to visit his website

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mick Doohan rides a Honda RC213V at the Philip Island Circuit

Mick Doohan rides again!
Mick Doohan rides again! Mick Doohan rides again! Mick Doohan rides again!
Mick Doohan rode a Honda RC213V MotoGP bike today, at the Philip Island Circuit. The five-time 500cc world champ said he was rusty, but enjoyed riding the bike...

Among Australian riders who’ve won the 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world championship, there’s Wayne Gardner, who won the title in 1987, Casey Stoner, who took the crown in 2007 and 2011, and then there’s Mick Doohan, who won the 500cc world championship in 1994. And in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998. That’s right, the former Gold Coast resident won five 500cc world championships on the trot in the 1990s, earning the nickname ‘Dominant Doohan.’

Doohan retired from the 500cc GP class in 1999, when he only participated in the first two races of the season, leaving Spaniard Alex Criville to win the world championship that year. And now, at 47, Doohan is back. Well, just for the weekend, for a few exhibition laps around the Philip Island Circuit aboard the current Honda RC213V MotoGP bike, but for Doohan fans it was still a treat to see the old warrior ride the way he used to.

‘I was rusty, but it felt good. The last time I rode a Grand Prix bike at all was in the mid-2000s in Japan, so it’s been a long while. Repsol Honda gave me a fantastic opportunity to ride this year’s bike and I can’t thank them enough. It was a lot of fun, but I’m glad I’m not trying to line-up and go and qualify later this afternoon,’ said Doohan, speaking to SpeedCafe. The five-time 500cc world champ was lapping the circuit about 13 seconds slower than reigning MotoGP world champ Casey Stoner.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

‘30 Jahre K-Modelle’ BMW K1300S to be shown at the EICMA

30 Jahre K-Modelle BMW K1300S 30 Jahre K-Modelle BMW K1300S
30 Jahre K-Modelle BMW K1300S 30 Jahre K-Modelle BMW K1300S 30 Jahre K-Modelle BMW K1300S
This special edition K1300S, which is being released to mark the 30th anniversary of BMW's K-series bikes, will be displayed at the EICMA in Milan next month

BMW Motorrad will unveiled a new special edition ‘30 Jahre K-Modelle’ K1300S at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan next month. This special edition K1300S marks the 30th anniversary of the BMW K series and gets a white/red/black paintjob, tinted windshield, electronic suspension adjustment (ESA II), a safety package that includes automatic stability control (ASC), heated grips, onboard computer an Akrapovič sports exhaust system.

BMW Motorrad launched the first K-series bike, the K100, in 1983 and this was the first BMW motorcycle to be fitted with a liquid-cooled inline-four engine. With electronic fuel-injection and BMW’s compact drive system with longitudinally-mounted crank and horizontal cylinder bank, the K100 was a pretty advanced piece of engineering for its time. BMW also brought anti-lock brakes (ABS) to its motorcycles with the late-1980s K-series machines, followed by 4-valve cylinder heads, Duolever front suspension and electronic suspension adjustment.

Today, while the S1000RR is BMW’s flagship sportsbike, the K1300S continues to be an excellent sports-tourer, the K1300R is a big, handsome super-naked sportsbike and the K1600GT/GTL is a brilliant touring bike. BMW have covered most bases with the K-series, though we do wish they’d build a naked K1600R that combines the K1300R’s styling with the K1600GT’s six-cylinder engine. A modern-day German version of the Honda CBX1000? Yes indeed, bring on the K1600R already…

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nicki Pedersen’s motorcycle speedway masterclass on Fifth Gear

Nicki Pedersen on Fifth Gear Nicki Pedersen on Fifth Gear Nicki Pedersen on Fifth Gear Nicki Pedersen on Fifth Gear
Open the throttle and sling it sideways to make it turn. Speedway bikes are not for the faint of heart. Nicki Pedersen, one of the best in the business, shows how it's done...

Nicki Pedersen, from Denmark, knows a thing or two about speedway. He would, because he’s won the Speedway World Championship in 2003, 2007 and 2008 and he’s been the Speedway World Cup champ in 2006, 2008 and 2012. So if a bike rides on skinny wheels and tyres, has just one gear and no brakes, is powered by a 500cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine that runs on pure methanol and produces about 75bhp, and must be made to powerslide in order to turn, Pedersen would be the man to ride such a machine.

The 35-year-old Pedersen recently appeared on one of our favourite TV shows, Fifth Gear, where he explained motorcycle speedway in some detail and showed Vicki Butler-Henderson how to ride a speedway bike. With a 1:1 power:weight ratio (and, remember, no brakes…), a speedway racebike is the devil’s own work and riding one at race pace is certainly not for the faint of heart. So watch the video to see how Ms Butler-Henderson fares on one of Pedersen’s bikes…

Source: Fifth Gear

Kreater Custom Motorcycles strut their stuff

Honestly, we don't know too much about Kreater or their bikes. But we did like their video. For more information about Kreater, visit their website

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2013 Harley-Davidson VRSCDX Night Rod Special, VRSCF V-Rod Muscle are kinda cool

2013 Harley-Davidson VRSCDX Night Rod Special 2013 Harley-Davidson VRSCDX Night Rod Special 2013 VRSCF V-Rod Muscle 2013 Harley-Davidson VRSCF V-Rod Muscle
Er... yeah, we rather like the 2013 Night Rod and V-Rod Muscle...

While we’d always prefer a GSX-R to a Harley, we have to admit we rather like the Night Rod and the V-ROD Muscle. These are the only two Harleys (apart from the XR1200X, which no longer seems to be in production…) that we’d be happy riding and the 2013 models feature some minor updates which only make the bikes better.

First up is the 2013 Harley-Davidson VRSCDX Night Rod Special, which now gets lighter, black-painted aluminium wheels (19-inch front, 18-inch rear), a tapered tail section with flush-mounted LED taillamp, a swept-back handlebar that brings the bike’s controls closer to the rider, reduced reach forward-mounted rider footpegs, 43mm USD forks, preload-adjustable rear shocks, a stylized ‘speed screen’ visor, straight-shot exhaust with brushed-aluminium finish dual mufflers, racing stripe on airbox and tail section, sporty front fender with painted brace supports, Michelin Scorcher 240mm rear tyre, and black powder-coated engine with black covers and blacked-out frame, handlebar, front fork and triple clamps.

The 2013 Night Rod has a hydroformed steel perimeter chassis and a cast-aluminium swingarm, and its rubber-mounted, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, 8-valve, 1250cc ‘Revolution’ V-twin thumps out 125bhp and 115Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and according to Harley, the bike’s slipper clutch makes for low-effort downshifts. A low-maintenance carbonfibre belt transfers the engine’s power to the rear wheels, a high-performance Brembo braking system (with optional ABS) handles stopping duties and Harley also offers a proximity-based ‘smart security system’ that includes a hands-free key fob. The bike weighs 302kg (wet weight) and is priced at US$15,800.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Suzie del Vecchio: A Little Rush

What do you do if all you want tonight is just a little rush? Suzie del Vecchio goes out and rides a Kawasaki sportsbike in the middle of the night. Yeah, go ahead, get a little...

Suzie del Vecchio: A Little Rush

What do you do if all you want tonight is just a little rush? Suzie del Vecchio goes out and rides a Kawasaki sportsbike in the middle of the night. Yeah, go ahead, get a little...

Al Lamb rides his Honda Fireblade at 424km/h at Bonneville

Here's a video of Al Lamb's recent 424km/h run at the Bonneville Salt Flats aboard his heavily modified, turbocharged Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. Lamb's average speed during the run was 420.8km/h, which is apparently a new land speed record for 'sit-on' motorcycles. Impressive, eh?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kevin Schwantz: “I was invincible. Nothing was going to stop me…”

Kevin Schwantz
Kevin Schwantz Kevin Schwantz Kevin Schwantz
Sheer talent, an inimitable riding style and the unbending will to win - Kevin Schwantz was one of the best in the 500cc two-stroke era. We still miss seeing him in action...

For their October 2012 issue of Legends, Dainese managed to catch up with 1993 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world champion, the legendary Kevin Schwantz, for a quick chat. Here are some excerpts from what The Texas Tornado had to say:

On his unique style in GP racing, aboard his Suzuki RGV500

“When you can’t develop new technologies at the drop of a hat like the big factory teams of Honda and Yamaha, you have to be able to ride around problems in your setup. My style developed into whatever it took to go quickly. But it developed over the seasons and between races. I had to adapt to get the best out of the bike.”

On operating at the absolute limit all the time

“You have to be able to visually accommodate the speed because you’re operating at the limits of what is physically possible. The moment your vision starts to drop, you lose the ability to deal with all that fast-flowing information. I think ninety percent of motorbike racing is between the ears.”

On his retirement from motorcycle GP racing

“Up until the 1994 season, I was invincible. Nothing was going to stop me, nothing was going to kill me. But it was Wayne’s horrific injuries [in 1993, at the Italian GP in Misano] that kind of changed that view overnight. The only thing that got me back on to the grid in 1994 was the fact that I had broken my arm in pre-season training on my mountain bike. That gave me something on which to focus. Otherwise, there was no way I could have competed again.”

On what he wants to do next

“Now I just hope to give something back, to help change perceptions of bikes and bikers themselves…”

Source: Dainese

Saturday, October 13, 2012

2013 Honda CB1100 puts a new spin on the old, gets it right

2013 Honda CB1100
2013 Honda CB1100 2013 Honda CB1100 2013 Honda CB1100
The new Honda CB1100 is simply beautiful!

The 2013 Honda CB1100 could almost be from the 1980s. Or the 1970s even. Only, it isn’t – it’s a 2013 model, which, according to Honda, ‘mixes naked and classic style with thoroughly modern and engaging performance.’ And we think it’s a pretty cool motorcycle – one that we’d actually buy if we could afford to keep more than one bike in the garage.

Honda say the new CB1100 has ‘a small part of the soul of a true original – the Honda CB750 Four, a bike that has cast a long and influential shadow over motorcycling since its debut in 1969.’ That late-1960s CB750 was powered by a then-revolutionary 749cc, air-cooled, SOHC inline-four that produced 67bhp. The new CB1100 is also fitted with an air- and oil-cooled inline-four, but this one is a DOHC, fuel-injected unit and produces 88bhp and 93Nm of torque. It also does 25km/l, which as we all know is important these days.

According to Honda, ‘the CB1100 is sporty, without being a sportsbike and can tour tour, without being a touring bike.’ We kind of like that. The bike has a tubular steel double-cradle chassis, 41mm telescopic forks (preload adjustable), Showa rear shocks and 19-inch alloy wheels shod with 110/80 and 140/70 tyres. Anti-lock brakes are standard, with twin 296mm discs at the front, with Nissin 4-piston calipers. Kerb weight is 248 kilos.

“Instant acceleration has its appeal, as does modern styling that conveys the swiftness of the bike. But there’s a lot more to the path of motorcycle evolution. I found myself thinking along these lines for the first time when I returned to Japan, after several years in Europe. It was also at this time that I grabbed a pencil and quickly started sketching,” says Mitsuyoshi Kohama, Chief Designer for the Honda CB1100. “Tyres. Engine. Frame. Tank. Seat. I thought about how to craft all the necessary elements beautifully and combine them in a perfect whole. I wanted to create a beautiful motorcycle with artisan-level handiwork that's also approachable and easy to ride,” he adds.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

2013 Yamaha R1: First official pics, specs

2013 Yamaha R1 2013 Yamaha R1
2013 Yamaha R1 2013 Yamaha R1 2013 Yamaha R1 2013 Yamaha R1
The 2013 Yamaha R1 soldiers on with no mechanical updates...

As expected, the 2013 Yamaha R1 remains mechanically unchanged and only gets new colours. With its crossplane crank 998cc inline-four, the MotoGP inspired R1 was the hottest superbike in the world until a couple of years ago, after which the RSV4 Factory, S1000RR, Panigale and others have left it gasping for breath. Last year, Yamaha fitted a very sophisticated multi-level traction control system – said to be the best in the business – to the R1, which has given the bike a new lease of life, but the world will have to wait for another year (maybe two?) for a completely new, redesigned R One.

For 2013, the Yamaha R1 keeps its fully adjustable suspension, twin 310mm brake discs at the front with 6-piston calipers, 7-level traction control system and ride-by-wire throttle. It’s still a bag of tricks, the R1 is, but to be honest we can’t wait for a completely redesigned, hopefully better looking R1 from Yamaha.

2013 Yamaha R6: First official pics, specs

2013 Yamaha R6
2013 Yamaha R6 2013 Yamaha R6 2013 Yamaha R6
The 2013 Yamaha R6 gets new colours and... that's it

The 2013 Yamaha YZF-R6 remains mechanically unchanged but does get new paint schemes and… er, well, not much else really. It’s peaky and not very comfortable to ride in city traffic, but on the track, the R6’s 599cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, 16-valve (titanium valves, heh heh…) inline-four sings like a happy bird and propels the bike down straights and around corners with remarkable alacrity.

With its ride-by-wire throttle, fully adjustable suspension front and rear, twin 310mm brake discs at front with 4-piston calipers, 17-inch alloy wheels with 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) ZR-rated rubber, MotoGP-style titanium exhaust muffler, magnesium valve and engine covers and built-in lap timer, the Yamaha R6 is for boy racers (and girl racers, we suppose?) who’re serious about being boy/girl racers.

“The YZF-R6 is the most advanced production 600cc motorcycle Yamaha – or anybody else – has ever built,” claim Yamaha and though we don’t know what MV Agusta and their F3 would have to say to that, we certainly wouldn’t dispute that claim. We’d just get the new 636cc Kawasaki ZX-6R and be done with it.

2013 Yamaha VMAX: First official pics, specs

2013 Yamaha VMAX
2013 Yamaha VMAX 2013 Yamaha VMAX 2013 Yamaha VMAX
The 2013 Yamaha VMAX, big, brash and brutishly powerful. If it weren't for the high-tech Ducati Diavel, Mr MAX would be the undisputed champ...

Yamaha haven’t updated the biggest, baddest musclebike on the plant – Mr VMAX swaggers into 2013 with just a new paintjob, but then you probably wouldn’t argue with a motorcycle that packs a 200-horsepower punch, would you? Thought as much. With its 1697cc, 200bhp V4, the VMAX is the weapon you want for straightline performance, though keep in mind that its handling isn’t really as sweet as the Ducati Diavel’s, which is otherwise similarly brutish.

So is a new, ‘nebulous purple’ paintjob enough to keep the 2013 Yamaha VMAX on top? Well, until the time BMW build a supercharged six-cylinder K1600R, probably yes. If it weren’t for the Diavel, which is almost as mad as the ’MAX in a straight line but manages to combine that with sportsbike-like handling in the corners, we’d swear by the VMAX’s forged aluminum pistons, hydraulically activated slipper clutch and 200/50 rear tyre. But things being the way they are, Mr MAX may no longer find it as easy as it used to be, to bludgeon every other motorcycle into submission.



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