Saturday, November 23, 2013

Jeremy Burgess: “Rossi is now much closer to the end of his career”

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For 2014 and beyond, Valentino Rossi and Jeremy Burgess will go their own separate ways...

In one of the most candid interviews he’s ever given in his entire career, master tuner Jeremy Burgess, speaking to French publication GP Inside, has openly expressed his views on Valentino Rossi’s brilliant past, current situation and future prospects in MotoGP. While Rossi won seven premier class MotoGP world championships with Burgess, between 2001 to 2009, the last three years – two with Ducati, one with Yamaha – have not gone so well. And recently, The Doctor announced that Burgess would no longer be a part of Yamaha MotoGP team in 2014, with his position going to Silvano Galbusera.

In the interview he’s given to GP Inside, Burgess doesn’t seem to be upset or annoyed with Rossi’s decision, though there is a slight tinge of sadness in his words. Here are some excerpts from what Burgess had to say:

On why he thinks Rossi has decided to replace him with a different crew chief, and whether he thinks it will work

Elite athletes, when they approach the end of their careers, are often tempted to change the coach. In the case of Valentino, he wants, he believes, or he needs a big change to try to regain the status that was his. He knows that he takes a big risk, but he needs to try something. I can only say that I hope that's probably the right decision.

On where Rossi’s career seems to be going

I have immense respect for Valentino, for what he has done in the past, but we also know that he is now much closer to the end of his career. Like all athletes who reach this stage of their lives, he probably does not understand why his opponents are faster than him. He might say he can do whatever he could 10 years ago, but somewhere in the ‘processor Valentino,’ the information no longer comes as quickly as it used to.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

2014 BMW K1600 GTL Exclusive unveiled

2014 BMW K1600 GTL2014 BMW K1600 GTL
2014 BMW K1600 GTL2014 BMW K1600 GTL
2014 BMW K1600 GTL2014 BMW K1600 GTL2014 BMW K1600 GTL2014 BMW K1600 GTL
The 2014 BMW K1600 GTL Exclusive luxury tourer gets a bigger list of standard equipment...

For 2014, BMW have announced a new iteration of the K1600 tourer – the K1600 GTL Exclusive. Still powered by BMW’s 175Nm, 160-horsepower inline-six, the K1600 GTL gets more equipment as standard – central locking with anti-theft alarm, ESA II electronic suspension adjustment, traction control (DTC), ABS, hill start control and even a ‘film antenna’ for the radio that is embedded in the topcase lid.

The 2014 K1600 GTL also gets a new, redesigned seat, revised instrumentation, heated backrest and comfortable armrests, LED auxiliary headlights and DRLs, adaptive xenon headlights, a tyre pressure monitor, engine protection bar, fully chromed exhaust system, floor lighting and, for the first time on a BMW motorcycle, ‘Keyless Ride.’

As befits the K1600 GTL Exclusive’s top-of-the-range luxury tourer status, the bike gets a new, high-gloss “mineral white” paintjob, with contrasting shades of magnesium metallic matt and silver metallic radiator fins, plus colour-coordinated upholstery for the seat cushions, backrest and pillion passenger armrests.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

World Moto reinvents the (motorcycle) wheel

World Moto's "Wheelies" technology allows you to display full-colour images and video on motorcycle wheels...!

All right, not really. Based in Thailand, World Moto haven’t really reinvented the motorcycle wheel, but they have made it a damn sight snazzier. Forget carbonfibre and unsprung weight, this is about a new technology that actually transforms motorcycle wheels into screens that are capable of displaying full-colour images and video!

World Moto’s ‘Wheelies’ technology, first shown at the Sign Asia Expo in Thailand last week, basically consists of a set of LEDs attached to an alloy wheel’s spokes, though it gets a bit more complex from there. “You have to track where the wheel is, and at any given time, you have to know the exact position of each blade. Then you have to light the LEDs based on what you want the picture to be, and you have to do that very fast, explains World Moto CTO, Chris Ziomkowski, speaking to David Zax of Fast Company.

“The technology has the potential to turn essentially any wheel in the world into a brilliant, full-color billboard or video screen,” adds World Moto CEO, Paul Giles, again speaking to Zax. According to World Moto, this “Wheelies” technology can work on any wheel in the world or even anything else that’s spinning. The Thai company is confident that they will be able to find a sufficient number of buyers for this technology and expect “Wheelies” to start making money for them by next year.

So would you want to stream your favourite YouTube videos on the front wheel of your GSX-R1000? But of course, yes! :-D

Source: Fast Company

2014 Honda F6C Valkyrie unveiled

In all its naked glory, the Gold Wing-based, inline-six-powered 2014 Honda F6C Valkyrie!

Honda seem to have found a rather unlikely, but totally rocking platform for their hot new custom bikes – the Gold Wing! Last year, they had unveiled the Gold Wing-based bagger-style F6B and now it’s the completely stripped-out F6C Valkyrie, which is almost as cool as the F6B.

Powered by the Gold Wing’s 1,832cc inline-six, the new F6C Valkyrie is 70 kilos lighter than the GL1800 full-dress tourer and, according to Honda, it “provides a riding experience that’s dynamic when required and chilled-out when not, thanks to well-controlled suspension, dual four-piston calliper front brakes and an ergonomic riding position.” Indeed, with 114bhp and 167Nm of torque from its six-cylinder engine, we do suppose the F6C wouldn’t exactly hang around twiddling its thumbs when you twist the throttle…

The new F6C Valkyrie's twin-spar frame is constructed from lightweight multi-box aluminium sections and, helped by the bike’s low centre of gravity (the engine is a stressed member), it’s been optimised for all-around handling prowess. The F6C’s 45mm telescopic fork, adjustable monoshock, single-sided swingarm, 19-inch (front) and 17-inch (rear) alloy wheels, standard ABS, shaft drive, 5-speed gearbox, twin 310mm brake discs at the front with 4-piston callipers, full LED lights, LCD instrumentation and 341 kilo kerb weight translate into a package that not only looks good, but also offers reasonably good riding dynamics.

Colour options for the 2014 Honda Valkyrie include metallic red and graphite black, and available range of accessories includes bits like LED fog lamps, high windscreen, rear carrier, leather saddlebags and wind deflectors etc.

Video and more F6C Valkyrie high-res pics after the jump...

2014 Honda CB1100, CB1100 EX unveiled

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The 2014 Honda CB1100 and CB1100 EX look damn cool! Revisiting the 1980s was never better...

Honda have released official high-res pics, specs and details of the 2014-spec CB1100, which gets a new 6-speed gearbox, revised instrumentation and turn signals, repositioned headlight and ‘graphite black’ paint. The standard CB1100 has, according to Honda, “evolved into a bare-bones café racer” for 2014, while another variant – the CB1100 EX – is a bit more retro, with wire-spoke wheels and twin exhaust silencers.

Staying true to its 1980s roots, the 2014 Honda CB1100 is still as basic as its gets – steel tube double-cradle chassis, air-cooled, fuel-injected 1,140cc inline-four that produces 88 horsepower and 93Nm of torque, 41mm telescopic forks at the front and adjustable twin shocks at the back, twin 296mm brake discs with 4-piston Nissin callipers at the front, 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels (shod with 110/80 and 140/70 tyres, front and rear), and an upright riding position for all-day riding comfort. ABS is standard and the fuel economy, at 18.5kml, is not too bad at all, though the bike is a bit heavy with its kerb weight figure of 247 kilos.

We think the Honda CB1100 is simply brilliant – it looks beautiful and while it may not have the outright performance potential of, say, a Fireblade SP, it’s an honest motorcycle which is likely to be much loved and appreciated by those with a fond memories of the 1980s…

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Edgar Heinrich: “Emotion and looks are very important factors for buying or rejecting a bike!”

Edgar Heinrich, who currently heads design at BMW Motorrad, first started working with the German company in 1986!

Born in Freising, near Munich, Edgar Heinrich took over as Head of BMW Motorrad Design last year and currently heads and manages design for all BMW motorcycles and rider accessories. A passionate motorcyclist himself, Edgar started riding bikes when he was 17 and his first motorcycle was a Suzuki T250.

After getting a degree in industrial design, Edgar started working with BMW in 1986 and, apart from the period of 2009-2012 (during which he worked for Bajaj Auto, based in Pune, India…), he’s always been with the German company. The list of BMW motorcycles designed under Edgar’s supervision includes the R1100S sports boxer, the K1200R supernaked and the R1200GS adventure-tourer.

The BMW designer enjoys riding various enduros, scramblers, trial bikes, rally bikes and adventure touring bikes and even has his own collection of customised, rebuilt and restored motorcycles. We recently caught up with Edgar for a quick chat about motorcycle design and here are some excerpts from what he had to say to Faster and Faster:

On working with BMW Motorrad and how things have changed there over the last three decades

I started working with BMW Motorrad design in 1986. In those days, there was no systematic process of motorbike design – it was a very small division attached to motorbike R&D. Consequently, design had no real power – it was more of an extension of engineering. Function and utility came before aesthetics, and were given priority accordingly. These things are different now, since customers expect that function, quality and performance are a given when buying a BMW. Emotion and looks are very important factors for buying or rejecting a bike.

MV Agusta tie up with Yakhnich, will enter World Superbikes in 2015

MV Agusta have signed an agreement Russian team Yakhnich Motorsport, which won the World Supersport championship this year. With this agreement, the new ‘MV Agusta Reparto Corse - Yakhnich Motorsport’ team will participate in the World Superbike and World Supersport championships, starting in 2014. Plus, they will also jointly work on building replicas of their factory race bikes for satellite teams.

The goal for MV and Yakhnich is to compete in World Supersport with the F3, in 2014, and at the same develop the F4 RR for the 2015 World Superbikes season. “The official return to racing is a very important and ambitious step for MV Agusta. However, my decision came directly from my heart. Racing was always my father's greatest passion and he led his companies to victory in every form of racing – from the 500 GP Class and the Paris-Dakar with the legendary Cagiva, to the first world championships won in Superbike with Ducati, as well as off-road with Husqvarna. But his true dream was to see MV race again. I am very proud to be able to see this happen,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, President of MV Agusta. “We have worked very hard to achieve great results in 2013. With MV Agusta, new and important opportunities have been opened up to us. We are very pleased with this agreement and we are looking forward to achieving a number of victories very soon,” added Alexander Yakhnich, President of Yakhnich Motorsport.

Friday, November 15, 2013

BMW Motorrad to show its police bikes at the Milipol 2013

BMW's new range of police bikes, including the C Evolution battery-powered scooter, which can hit a top speed of 120km/h

BMW Motorrad will attend the 18th Milipol in Paris on 19-22 November this year, where they will display their range of “authority vehicles” (yeah, well, police bikes…) and special-purpose equipment for “authority riders.” BMW have been building bikes for the police for more than 85 years and have, since 1970, sold more than 130,000 units of their “authority vehicles” across more than 150 countries worldwide.

The range of police bikes that BMW will show at the Milipol includes the R1200RT, F800GT, F700GS, K1600GT and the C600 Sport scooter. The newly-developed police-spec BMW C600 Sport has a special white/green paintjob and comes with bits like beacon lights at the front and rotating strobe beacons at the rear, a siren, and a crash bar at the front.

Additionally, BMW will also present the police-spec C Evolution, a battery-powered electric scooter that the police might start using someday in the not too distant future. And indeed, with a peak power output of up to 35kW (47bhp), 100km range and 120km/h top speed, the BMW C Evo might actually do alright as a police vehicle.

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Ducati Monster 1200 wins ‘Most Beautiful Bike of Show’ at the EICMA

The 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 has won 'most beautiful bike of show' at the EICMA and who can argue with that...

With more than 275,000 units sold since the original Monster was launched way back in 1993, the bike is one of Ducati biggest success stories ever, and one that looks all set to continue with the new Monster 1200 that was unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan last week.

Now, the new Ducati Monster 1200 has also been voted ‘Most Beautiful Bike of Show’ at the EICMA, in a survey conducted at the show by Motociclismo. With more than 10,000 EICMA visitors participating in the survey, the Monster came out on top as most beautiful bike, followed in second place by the new MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800.

Husqvarna 701 concept shown at the EICMA

Another cool concept from Husqvarna, but no clear indication of future product strategy from the Swedish company...

Continuing their much-loved tradition of showing wacky concepts (Strada, MOAB, E-go, Mille3 and SMQ) at the EICMA, Husqvarna peeled back the covers on the supermotard-style 701 concept, which is, according to the company, “an acknowledgment to the past and a signal to the future of Husqvarna.” And while we don’t really know what to make of that, the press note also says that the Husqvarna 701 “incorporates all the major design cues of a premium product with clear Swedish genes. It is a glimpse of the future Husqvarna design direction, the philosophy that future Husqvarna’s will follow, where the surfaces of the bodywork are understated, focusing on simplicity.”

Interesting bits on the bike include an LED headlamp, a fully integrated exhaust system and a cleverly constructed tail section that incorporates the bike’s fuel tank. The Huqvarna 701 is powered by a liquid-cooled 690cc four-stroke single that produces 75bhp and the chrome-molybdenum trellis type chassis is said to be light and strong. High-spec WP chassis components and Brembo brakes complete the package. It’s a cool concept alright, just don’t expect to see anything like this at your friendly neighbourhood Husqvarna showroom at any time in the near future…

Thursday, November 07, 2013

2014 Yamaha Tricity tilting trike unveiled at the EICMA

The Yamaha Tricity will be on sale next year...

Following the example set by the Piaggio MP3, Yamaha have also unveiled their production-read tilting trike, the three-wheeled Tricity, which will be fitted with a liquid-cooled 125cc 4-stroke engine and CVT automatic transmission, and will go on sale by mid-2014. “The new Tricity is designed specifically to attract a wide range of users – scooter riders, former riders, motorists, but especially those who have never rode a two-wheeler,” says a press note from Yamaha.

According to Yamaha, what makes the Tricity unique is that it’s significantly lighter (dry weight is 150kg) and more compact that other three-wheeled scooters on the market, and that it is more agile and maneuverable than its competition. Also, the Tricity’s underseat storage compartment can take a full-face helmet.

Yamaha say that the Tricity will be priced at less than 4,000 euros when this trike goes on sale next year.

Bimota sold to Swiss-based businesmen, all-new Bimota BB3 unveiled at the EICMA
Unveiled at this year's EICMA motorcycle show, the new Bimota BB3 is likely to go into production by early-2015. The bike is powered by the BMW S1000RR's 193bhp inline-four

Set up by the trio of Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini back in 1973, Bimota have had more than their fair share up ups and downs over the last four decades. Based in Rimini, Italy, the company has again been sold recently and, according to a press note that we have from them, Bimota will now be led by Marco Chiancianesi and Daniele Longoni. The note doesn’t say much about who these gentlemen are, apart from telling us that both are musicians and motorcycle enthusiasts. From other sources, we know that the two are based in Switzerland, where they have a thriving construction and real-estate business.

Bimota is really charming, with an incredible brand that deserves to go back to its former glory. We are working to organize better business processes to meet this challenge,” says Marco Chiancianesi, President, Bimota. “Attention to the rider must return to the center of business activities, such as the customer of a tailor in his studio. For now, I can only say that we are working to build a global network devoted to excellence,” adds Daniele Longoni, Bimota’s Vice President and Commercial Director.

We love all of Bimota’s indomitable spirit and many of their fast, stylish motorcycles – especially some of the older Bimotas like the SB6, YB6, YB11 and the Tesi 1D. But coming back to the present, at the currently ongoing EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, Bimota have unveiled the new BB3, which has been designed by one Andrea Acquaviva and is powered by the BMW S1000RR’s 193bhp inline-four. With its trellis frame and carbonfibre bodywork, the Bimota BB3 is remarkably lightweight, weighing in at just 179 kilos, though we have to say we don’t think it’s anywhere near as fabulously good looking as the Bimota BB2 that was shown at the EICMA last year. Still, we hope that unlike the BB2, the BB3 will actually make it to production sometime next year.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R: New video, massive collection of official high-res pics

The incredible new KTM 1290 Super Duke R is here! Go here for more details and tech specs on this amazing, 180-horsepower supernaked

More video and high-res pics of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R pics, after the jump...

2014 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer, V7 Special, V7 Stone shown at the EICMA

The 2014 Moto Guzzi V7 line-up. We think the V7 Racer is still the coolest of the bunch, though it could do with more power - about 70-80bhp would be perfect!

Moto Guzzi have unveiled the latest iterations of the V7 – the 2014 V7 Racer, V7 Special and V7 Stone – at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. With its very cool 1970s styling, simple 750cc V-twin engine (which produces a modest 48 horsepower and 60Nm of torque, and returns 25km/l of mileage…), shaft final drive, service intervals of 10,000km and rather refreshing lack of intimidatingly complicated electronics, the Guzzi V7 range marches to its own beat and we rather like that. In fact, we’d love to actually buy a V7 Racer.

For 2014, the Moto Guzzi V7 range gets a new, wet flywheel (which replaces the previous dry alternator), slightly modifying the front of the 90° V-twin, thanks to a sleeker, more compact new cover. Everything else – the chassis, suspension etc. – are the same as before and only new colours and trim materials have been changed. Our favourite, the V7 Racer, is probably the coolest of the bunch, with blacked-out side panels, mirrors, silencer support brackets and footrest guards. The Racer’s steel tube chassis is painted red, its 22-litre fuel tank is chrome-plated and the bike carries the number ‘7’ racing plates at the front and on the tail section. (Number ‘7’ being used by Guzzi rider and 250cc grand prix racing world champ, Enrico Lorenzetti.) The V7 Racer also gets a brown alcantara leather seat, and customized leather belt with the Moto Guzzi logo on the top of the fuel tank. “This is a bike to be ridden strictly alone, in black riding suit, with a skullcap helmet and studded-palm leather gloves,” says a press note from Moto Guzzi, and we rather agree…

A range of factory accessories are available for the 2014 Moto Guzzi V7 range, including a slip-on racing exhaust kit from Arrow, single seat exhaust brackets kit (which allows you to remove the passenger footrests and convert the V7 Stone and V7 Special into single-seat machines), high-performance Bitubo shock absorbers kit, brushed aluminium side fairings kit, touring windshield kit, side panniers kit, luggage rack kit, gel comfort seat and so on. Prices, TBA.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

2014 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS, RSV4 Factory ABS unveiled at the EICMA
The 2014 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS and RSV4 Factory ABS!

Aprilia have unveiled the 2014 RSV4 R ABS and RSV4 Factory ABS at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. These new iterations of the earlier RSV4 benefit from revisions to the bike’s 65° V4, which now produces 184 horsepower and 117Nm of torque. The bikes also get an updated, multi-map 3-level ABS system that uses a Bosch 9MP ABS unit to work its magic. Of the three ABS levels, level 1 is track-focused, level 2 is for the street and level 3 is for when it’s raining.

The 2014 RSV4 R and RSV4 Factory ABS, with their dry weight of 181 kilos, continue with Aprilia’s self-calibrating APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) suite of electronics, which includes an 8-level traction control system, 3-level wheelie control system, launch control system with three settings, an electronic quick shift system which allows clutchless gear changes, and full ride-by-wire throttle control.

The new Aprilia RSV4 R and Factory ABS also get a new fuel tank, with capacity increased from 17 to 18.5 litres, modified side panels for improved ergonomics and new Brembo monobloc M430 radial-mount brake calipers at the front. In proper racebike style, the RSV4 Factory ABS even allows riders to adjust engine position in the bike’s chassis, something you’ll probably find useful if you’re the next Marc Marquez.

For 2014, the new Aprilia RSV4 R ABS will be available in matt black and red, while the RSV4 Factory ABS will only be available in black. Prices, TBA.

2014 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V Black Devil unveiled at the EICMA

The 2014 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V Black Devil looks good!

In addition to the very cool 2014 V7 Racer, Moto Guzzi are now also showing the new, 2014-spec Griso 8V at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. And it’s no ordinary Griso either – the bike being shown is the special edition Griso 8V Black Devil, which gets a matte-black paintjob with silver stripes and black-painted frame, wheels, steering plates and handlebar. The Black Devil’s spoked wheels get a red Moto Guzzi logo and we have to say it looks damn cool.

The 2014 Griso 8V Black Devil is powered by the regular Griso 8V’s transverse 90° ‘Quattrovalvole’ 1151cc V-twin that pumps out 110bhp at 7,500rpm and 108Nm of torque at 6,400rpm. Moto Guzzi claim “extremely high torsional rigidity” for the bike’s steel tube chassis, with its twin overhead tubular elements in high tensile steel and generously sized lateral reinforcement of the lower cradle, coupled with single-sided aluminium swingarm that houses the Black Devil’s CARC shaft final drive.

The Griso 8V SE’s suspension is also suitably high-spec – fully adjustable 43mm USD forks and adjustable Boge rear shock with progressive-rate spring. “The geometry has been defined for maximum stability, with a headstock inclined by of 26° resulting in a trail of 108 mm and a wheelbase of 1544 mm. Nonetheless, the Griso 8V SE is surprisingly nimble, rewarding the rider with lightning fast directional changes,” claims a press note from Moto Guzzi. Not too bad at all...



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