Tuesday, May 26, 2015

it roCks!bikes Yard Built CS-06 Dissident pays tribute to 20 years of the Yamaha XJR1300

Badass name, cool paintjob, one-piece monocoque fuel tank and seat unit and bunch of handbuilt parts - yes, we like the CS-06 Dissident. It really does rock! ;-)

Yamaha’s XJR 20th Anniversary party continues with the Portuguese custom builders’ it roCks!bikes Yard Built CS-06 Dissident café racer. “it roCkS!bikes were high on the list of builders we wanted to work with to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the XJR. Their unique signature style one-piece monocoque is super clean and they have shown they can build stunning custom machines without losing the heart of the original, keeping the essence of the great chassis and raw engine power. With the CS-06 Dissident, it roCkS!bikes have again built a beautiful bike,” says Shun Miyazawa, Product Manager – Yamaha Motor Europe.

Working in a small workshop just outside Porto, in Portugal, Osvaldo Coutinho and Alexandre Santos are civil engineers by day and it roCkS!bikes craftsmen by night. Their engineering skills are plain to see in the bikes they build, and in their signature monocoque one-piece fuel tank, seat and tail units that they use for all their bikes. The XJR 1300 CS-06 Dissident is no exception, with a single handcrafted metal unit stretching from just behind the triple clamps all the way back to the end of the tail – clean, simple, elegant.

Apart from the bodywork, custom bits on the Dissident include a complete ISR braking system (including master cylinders for front brake and clutch, 6-piston calipers at the front, twin 340mm front discs and 267mm rear disc), USD forks taken from a Yamaha YZF-R1, Motoscope pro digital dashboard, and LSL clip-on café racer bars. The stock engine covers on both sides of the block have been replaced with lighter aluminium pieces with glass windows, revealing the heart of the beast. A small, high-performance oil cooler keeps a check on the heat and the bike’s handmade 4-2 stainless steel exhaust screams dramatically as the revs rise.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

BMW Concept 101 is a beautifully built K1600GT-based bagger

Beautifully finished, with a special paintjob, wood, aluminium and carbonfibre trim and that 1600cc six-cylinder engine, the BMW Concept 101 is a rolling piece of art

Back in 2012, Honda had unveiled the F6B bagger, a stripped-out version of their Gold Wing luxe-tourer. And now, BMW have gone down the same road with the Concept 101, a K1600GT-based 'bagger.' Unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, the BMW Concept 101 is powered by BMW's 1649cc inline-six and was built by BMW Motorrad engineers, in collaboration with Roland Sands Design, in Los Angeles. The name 'Concept 101' comes from the bike's engine capacity - 1649cc is approximately equivalent to 101 cubic inches.

'The Concept 101 is BMW Motorrad's interpretation of endless highways and the dream of freedom and independence - the perfect embodiment of American touring. To me, the Concept 101 is the epitome of elegance, power and luxury on two wheels,' says Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design. We wanted to build a high-performance, emotional and highly exclusive 6-cylinder motorcycle that would make every ride a special experience. A bike that would make the moment so special, you would forget your destination,' adds Ola Stenegard, Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad.

Long, low and cool, the BMW Concept 101 features a customised paintjob, brushed aluminium, carbonfibre and polished wood inserts on the bodyword, leather seat, modified fairing and windscreen and dozens of other custom-built bits and bobs. Looks rather good, we have to say. Now let's see if BMW will actually put this thing into production.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2015 Ducati Panigale R is a WSBK racebike for the street

The new Panigale R has everything you could ask for - power, performance, handling, electronics and styling. You just need to bring talent

Ducati have just unveiled the 2015 Panigale R, which has now been homologated for WSBK. Unlike the 1299 Panigale, which is powered by Ducati’s bigger 1285cc L-twin, the new Panigale R continues with the earlier 1198cc Superquadro L-twin to ensure that it stays within engine displacement limits specified by World Superbikes. With titanium intake and exhaust valves, titanium con-rods, two-ring pistons and an extremely lightweight crankshaft that’s balanced with tungsten inserts, the Panigale R rocks out with 205 horsepower at 11,500rpm and 136Nm at 10,250rpm. And that’s not too bad if you consider the fact that the actual WSBK racebike has 210bhp at the crank. Also, at 184kg, the Panigale R streetbike is a mere 16kg heavier than the racebike!

Ducati claim further improvements have been made to the Panigale R’s suite of electronics, with Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Cornering ABS and Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) having been added on, and with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) having been reworked to also function on downshifts. And if that isn’t enough already, the bike’s traction control, wheelie control and engine braking control have all been optimised by an automatic calibration system, which allows for easy changes in tyre size and the final drive ratio. Race-spec, fully adjustable Öhlins suspension (NIX30 fork, TTX36 shock absorber), lightweight forged aluminium wheels, colour TFT display for instrumentation (with a lean angle indicator!) and a full titanium Akrapoviç exhaust system complete the mind-blowing package that’s the Panigale R.

2015 Ducati Diavel Titanium limited to 500 units

Mechanically, the Ducati Diavel Titanium remains unchanged - it's the same 162bhp musclebike that we know and love. Cosmetically, it gets a subtle new paintjob and a bunch of carbonfibre bits. Nice!

Ducati have announced the new limited-edition Diavel Titanium for 2015 – production of this machine will be limited to 500 units only. Basic specs remain unchanged – 1198cc Testastretta 11° ‘Dual Spark’ V-twin (with two sparkplugs per cylinder head) that produces 162 horsepower and 130Nm of torque, 205kg dry weight, that infamous 240-section rear tyre, three riding modes, full LED headlamp and a full suite of safety electronics, including anti-lock brakes and traction control.

Exclusive bits on the 2015 Diavel Titanium include the paintjob (Titanium, with dark chrome chassis), forged aluminium black-painted wheels, carbon passenger seat cover with Titanium insert and various carbonfibre parts, including engine air intakes, radiator covers, windscreen, front and rear mudguard and front sprocket cover. The hand-stitched Alcantara seats get leather inserts, the silencers are stainless steel and exhaust pipes get a Zircotech ceramic lining. Each bike gets an individually numbered tank-mounted plaque – just to make sure that nobody forgets this is a limited edition Ducati! :-)

Monday, May 18, 2015

DEM build a customised BMW S1000R for Orlando Bloom

A nicely customised BMW S1000R for Orlando Bloom, built by the guys at Deus Ex Machina

Hollywood movie star Orlando Bloom is a committed motorcycle enthusiast and, recently, he got Deus Ex Machina (DEM) to build a customised BMW S1000R for him. Bloom, who already has various classic BMW bikes in his collection, got Michael ‘Woolie’ Woolaway (Head of the Deus Ex Machina custom shop in the US) to build the one-off S1000R you see here. Looks good, we think, though we shudder to think about the kind of money DEM must have charged Bloom for building this machine. Ah, the joys of financial freedom that stardom brings with it…!

The S1000R story unfolds...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin confirmed for 2015

The first official pictures of the 2015 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin (above) and the legendary 1990s Honda XRV750 Africa Twin (below). Paris-Dakar Rally Raid types, rejoice!

Paris-Dakar Rally Raid aficionados, who have fond memories of the legendary Honda Africa Twin of the early-1990s, have reason to be happy. Honda/ have announced a successor to the 1990s XRV750 Africa Twin and the new bike – the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin – should be Honda showrooms by the end of this year.

Launched in December 1989, the original Honda XRV750 Africa Twin was built in homage to the Honda NXR750, which won the Paris-Dakar Rally four times, in the 1980s. The XRV750 was powered by a 742cc V-twin that produced 61bhp and 63Nm of torque. This bike was produced from 1989 to 2003.

“The new CRF1000L Africa Twin remains true to all the attributes and abilities of the XRV750, while adding the benefits of everything Honda has learnt on- and off-road over the last decade, including Team HRC’s return to the Dakar [with the CRF450 Rally] in 2013,” says a press note from Honda. The only technical details that the Japanese company has revealed about the new bike is that it will be equipped with a special iteration of Honda’s dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), which has been specifically developed and optimised for off-road use.

“The all-new CRF1000L Africa Twin is set to redefine expectations of just what a large-capacity adventure motorcycle can and should be capable of, both on and off-road,” says the Honda press release. You’ve been warned, Aprilia, BMW, Yamaha and Moto Guzzi.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Yamaha YZF-R1 Project Leaders talk about 17 years of evolution of the R1

Yamaha's past and present project leaders ride the machines they created, and describe 17 years of evolution of this glorious machine

Current and previous Yamaha YZF-R1 project leaders got together back in February this year, at the Eastern Creek circuit in Australia, to celebrate 17 years of development on the YZF-R1. Former project leaders Kunihiko Miwa (1998), Yoshikazu Koike (2002 - 2004), Mokoto Shimamoto (2007), Toyoshi Nishida (2009) and the latest YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M models' Project Leader Hideki Fujiwara (2015) donned their racing suits and took a ride aboard the models they developed. Fujiwara-san developed the all-new YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M with the help of nine-time MotoGP world champ Valentino Rossi, and the new R1 is now already being acknowledged as the best litre-class superbike in the world.

Watch the video here, which shows the R1 project leaders' emotional reunion with the models they created. These gentlemen ride 'their' R1 and provide insights into how they managed to merge Yamaha’s racing DNA with the YZF-R1 design over the years to keep producing an outstanding sportsbike each time.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

BMW S1000XR is all set to fight for the adventure-sport-tourer crown this year

So is this a BMW S1000RR with an upright riding position and 160bhp instead of 199? Well, not really, but the new S1000XR just might be closer to being that than you'd imagine...

BMW have now released more details and official photographs of their S1000XR ‘adventure sport’ machine, which had been unveiled in Novemeber last year at the 2014 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. For all major motorcycle manufacturers, having an ‘adventure tourer’ in their line-up is de rigueur these days – it seems a lot of people really like motorcycles with styling that’s vaguely reminiscent of Paris-Dakar Rally Raid machines of yore, but that are actually best suited for fast sport-touring on perfectly smooth highways. Guess it’s the comfortable ergonomics combined with the genuine high-speed capability of some of these machines, maybe…?

So, coming back to the new BMW S1000XR, it’s powered by a slightly detuned version of the S1000RR’s inline-four, which kicks out 160bhp and 112Nm here (as compared to the S1000RR’s 199bhp and 113Nm of torque). And while it’s almost 40bhp down on the S1000RR, the S1000XR may not be the weakling you think it is. “The S1000XR’s straight-four-cylinder unit combines tremendous pulling power and exhilarating acceleration with a high peak output, while offering the rider a usable rev range that spans over 10,000 rpm. This makes it just as adept at highly pleasurable touring as it is at sporty rides down winding country roads or holiday trips, complete with passenger and luggage,” says a press release from BMW.



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