Saturday, May 28, 2016

All-new Harley-Davidson XG750R flat tracker unveiled, looks fabulous but you can't buy one

The XG750 flat track racebike looks really good. If only Harley were also offering a street-legal version for sale, it would have made a lot of fans very happy

Harley-Davidson have unveiled the XG750R, the company's first all-new flat track racebike in more than four decades. The XG750R will make its official competition debut on Sunday, 29 May, at the AMA Pro Flat Track Springfield Mile in Illinois. The bike will then go on to race at other dirt ovals across the US. "After decades of flat-track racing success behind the Harley-Davidson XR750 flat track motorcycle, we knew it was time to develop the next-generation Harley-Davidson to compete in one of the best spectator racing sports out there today," says Kris Schoonover, Harley-Davidson's racing manager. The bike is for race competition only and will not be offered for sale at this time.

Powered by Harley's fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 750cc Revolution X V-twin, the XG750R will be raced by factory team rider Davis Fisher, in the AMA Pro flat track series. Its race-spec Revolution X engine and chassis have been developed by Vance & Hines Motorsports. The bike looks pretty good but unfortunately Harley have not provided any technical specifications, details of power and torque output, or performance specs.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Honda RC213V-S to race at the Isle of Man this year

Honda's street-legal MotoGP-replica, the RC213V-S has a mere 159bhp in stock form. Add a £10,000 race kit though, and power goes up to 200+ bhp, which should be probably be useful around the Isle of Man circuit...

Bruce Anstey, from New Zealand, will race a Honda RC213V-S at the Isle of Man this year. The Valvoline Racing by Padgett’s Motorcycles team has confirmed that Bruce will have a race-prepared version of the exotic V4 for the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT races. Anstey has yet to test the machine but will practice on it, along with the superbike-spec Fireblade that he rode to his first six-lap Superbike race victory last year. "It's always been my dream to ride a MotoGP bike at the TT and this is as close as I will ever get. Clive is the only person in the world who could put something like this together and he hasn’t just pulled a bike out of the crate and said we are racing it. Clive and the team have done a lot of work to the bike to make it ready for the TT," says Bruce.

While the standard RC213V-S only has a mere 159 horsepower, that figure goes up to more than 200bhp with a £10,000 race kit fitted, which includes a titanium exhaust and a special ECU. "The RCV should be an absolute weapon because it has loads of power but it feels as nimble as a 600. It should be stable too as it’s over two inches longer than a Fireblade but is still really small and compact. I am really looking forward to seeing how it handles through the quick corners because it will be able to turn so fast!" says Anstey. "I love Bruce to bits and I wanted to give him the best motorcycle in the world to ride. That’s what this bike is all about," adds Clive Padgett, team boss at Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles.

Preparing the RCV213V-S for the world’s toughest motorcycle race will be a challenge for Clive Padgett and his Valvoline-backed squad. "It has been a very difficult project to pull together. We have had to beef the bike up for the TT course and we can’t get anything off the shelf, so everything has had to be made bespoke. Things like the wheels, the K-Tech forks, the rear shocks, the brakes and the radiator guards have all had to be specially made," says Clive. Well, we're sure the bike will do very well at the IoM TT this year - we wish Bruce, and his super-exotic Honda, all the best!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Aldo Drudi's Burasca 1200 is the world's coolest VFR1200F-based custom

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Based on the VFR1200F, the Burasca 1200 looks fabulous!

Aldo Drudi, the man responsible for designing Valentino Rossi's helmets, has now moved up from helmets to designing a full motorcycle, and it's just brilliant. Drudi, in collaboration with Air Garage and Honda Italia, has created the Burasca 1200, which is based on a Honda VFR1200F. The aim was to showcase Italian creativity and design flair, coupled with Japanese precision engineering and build quality. Mission accomplished!

With the Burasca, Drudi and team have completely and radically modified a VFR1200, making it sportier and more aggressive. The bike gets an Öhlins NIX 30 fork and Öhlins TTX GP 36 monoshock at the rear, both being fully adjustable in every which way possible. With lightweight aluminium wheels from Fast Mec, extensive use of carbonfibre and titanium, and an Akrapovic exhaust system, weight has been reduced by 30 kilos. The bike's low-slung stance at the front, along with single round headlamp, give it a nice hint of subdued menace, and its carbon-gray / gray-gold matte paintjob, with small bits of red trim and black anodized wheels, is just perfect.

The Burasca's 1237cc Honda V4 remains stock, with 180bhp, 6-speed transmission and shaft-drive. Suspension has been upgraded with Öhlins units at both ends but the chassis remains unchanged. Brakes have also been upgraded, with twin 320mm discs up front, and Nissin monobloc radial-mount 4-piston calipers. Kerb weight is 240kg. Yes, we love this bike!

The Doctor meets Motobot, gives him a few riding tips

Remember Motobot? This time, Yamaha's autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot finally gets a chance to meet Valentino Rossi. Can the 'Bot get along with the GOAT? Will the two go head to head on a bike some day?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Victory RR electric superbike unveiled, will race in the 2016 TT Zero

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The new Victory RR electric superbike boasts 174bhp and 240Nm of torque, while weighing 240kg. Should pack a pretty hefty punch! We won't be surprised if it wins the TT Zero this year

Victory Motorcycles have unveiled their all-new battery-powered electric superbike, the Victory RR, which will race at the Isle of Man TT this year. The bike, developed over the past year using data gathered during the 2015 TT Zero, will be ridden by William Dunlop. 'One way we continuously push ourselves in performance is through our Victory Racing initiatives. The Isle of Man TT is one of the most challenging motorcycle races in the world, so of course we have to be there,' says Alex Hultgren, Director of Marketing for Victory Motorcycles.

The Victory RR, which weighs 240 kilos, uses a hybrid chassis comprised of steel-tube trellis-type and composite monocoque sections. The bike is powered by a water-cooled Parker GVM 3-phase AC electric motor, which produces 130kW (174bhp) and 240Nm of torque. The motor gets its juice from a Brammo Power lithium-ion battery which has a voltage rating of 370+. The Victory RR rides on 17-inch wheels shod with 120/70 (front) and 200/60 (rear) Metzeler tyres.

The Victory RR is also supposed to act as a testbed for production-spec electric bikes, which Victory hope will be a part of their line-up in the not-too-distant future. 'Our electric Empulse RR race bike placed third on the podium in the TT Zero race last year, which we were thrilled with. Using the data we gathered on our laps of the TT course has helped us to develop a new battery module as well as improving the powertrain. We feel like we can return to the TT with more performance as well as being able to test this technology for our future products,' says Brian Wismann, Victory Racing's team manager.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

MV Agusta Diablo Brutale is special edition advertisement for the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III

The special edition MV Diablo Brutale is a bit garish, but if that's how you like it, well...

In association with Pirelli, MV Agusta have created a new special edition Brutale 800 - the Diablo Brutale - which rides on 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) ZR-rated Pirelli Diablo Rosso III rubber. Both Italian brands, MV and Pirelli have been working together for many decades and since 2011, all MV bikes have been equipped with Pirelli tyres.

The new Diablo Rosso III is the newest supersports tyre from Pirelli and provides the highest possible levels of grip and high-speed handling. It is perfectly suited to the performance requirements of the new Brutale 800, which was first seen in November last year. The special edition Diablo Brutale gets matt black paint with luminous red highlights and a red-painted chassis. The Diablo Rosso III logo also appears on the bike's fuel tank, marking this as yet another special edition model from the beleaguered MV Agusta.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Walt Siegl: "Italian bikes still carry some romance that other big manufacturers are lacking..."

Walt Siegl Motorcycles Walt Siegl Motorcycles Walt Siegl Motorcycles
Walt Siegl's Ducati Leggero cafe racer and the endurance racer-style MV Agusta Bol d'Or look fabulous. Built with great attention to detail, using very high quality components, these bikes look good and go fast!

Born in Austria and currently based in Harrisville, New Hampshire in the US, Walt Siegl creates some of the most beautifully designed custom-built Ducatis and MV Agustas we've ever seen. Inspired by the cafe-racers of the 1960s and endurance racebikes of the 1980s, Walt's bikes are a unique take on the originals and are, by his own admission, built not just to look good but to also go fast.

"I grew up in Austria with both grandfathers owning motorcycles. Bikes were always a natural part of my life. But I was also interested in art, architecture and design from early on, and so naturally these interests eventually collided," says Walt. "Italian bikes still carry some romance that other big manufacturers are lacking. That is my attraction to these brands. The three-cylinder MV Agusta engine and chassis is the best combination on the market at the moment. That's why I chose it as a platform for my Bol d'Or model," he adds.

"Function and performance always dictate the design of my products, which I design myself. I completely finish a bike design and all its components in my head, and sometimes brush up by having small parts 3D printed to speed up the machining process of the final product (in aluminum, for example). I also use scanners to have my handmade prototypes copied, so molds can be machined to reproduce the parts in multiples. So it is a combination of hand-building the majority of the components, but then use high tech resources to reproduce the parts," says Walt. "Most bodywork starts out as a block of foam that is shaped by hand. Fiberglass is put over it to have some structural integrity for using either automotive clay or car bondo to establish the final design elements. Made to order, the Ducati Leggero takes about a month, the MV Agusta Bol d'Or is about three weeks," he adds.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bunker Custom's Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 adds a Turkish twist to dirttracker style

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With more ground clearance and a bigger front wheel, this Yard Built XSR700 from Turkey is now better suited to handle the rough with the smooth. The Uzer brothers of Bunker Customs really have improved upon the original

The latest in Yamaha's ever-expanding line-up of Yard Built customs comes from Turkey and has been created by brothers Can and Mert Uzer, of Bunker Custom Motorcycles. Can is a top-level skateboarder, while Mert gave up a career in digital advertising to build custom bikes. Both are certified bike nuts. The XSR700 that they've built is a rugged, dirttracker/scrambler-style machine that'll happily take on beaches, dirt trails and mountain roads.

"I'm really impressed with the work Can and Mert have put into this build. What is really important for me is that they have kept the XSR700's agility and power characteristics that really define the bike. Around this they have added their very distinctive style, showing a whole new face to the XSR700," says Yamaha Motor Europe's marketing coordinator, Cristian Barelli. "We went for the tracker style as we really wanted to capture the spirit of freedom as much as possible. The twin motor is the perfect base with its engine characteristics and the bike inspires you to create something light, agile and free," add the Uzer brothers.

To create their tracker-style interpretation of the XSR700, the Uzer brothers raised the bike's seat height by 6cm, creating more room for the rider to move around. They relocated the exhaust system and swapped to a 19-inch front wheel, making the bike more suitable for off-road use. The body panels (including fuel tank covers, side panels, front and rear mudguards, radiator covers and seat plate) were custom-built using hand-beaten 2mm aluminium, while a CNC-milled aluminium spine, carrying the fuel tank covers, was sanded and polished for added effect. A higher set of Renthal bars were chosen, which better suit the new riding position, and a suede leather cover adds style to the seat, which retains the original locking mechanism.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Motoinno TS3 has another go at hub-centre steering, Aussie inventor hopes to produce a high-end HCS sportbike in limited numbers

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With its front swingarm and hub-centre steering system, the Motoinno TS prototype has been tested extensively. Everything on the machine works really well and you may see a limited-edition high-end sportbike in production soon

'Triangulated Steering and Suspension System.' That's what the TS3 stands for, in Motoinno TS3. Based in Brisbane, Australia, Ray Van Steenwyk and Colin Oddy have designed and put together the TS3 prototype you see here and with this bike, the Aussie duo hope to address the many limitations of the conventional telescopic front-end, which almost all production motorcycles are fitted with today.

Of course, others have tried their hand at hub-centre steering front-end systems for motorcycles, most notably Bimota, Yamaha and Vyrus. Supposedly, however, Motoinno's TS3 system is a significant improvement over all earlier hub-centre systems. The Motoinno TS3 prototype uses a standard 2002 Ducati 900SS engine, but with a wheelbase of 1394mm (4mm less than that of a stock 900SS) and a dry weight of 161 kilos (30kg less than a stock 900SS), which is due to the use of billet alloy and aero-grade aluminium components for the chassis, along with carbonfibre wheels. With the front swingarm pivoting directly off the engine’s front mounting lug, the engine is used as a fully stressed member. And the bike rides on 17-inch BST wheels, shod with 120/70 (front) and 180/60 (rear) Pirelli Diablo Rosso rubber. Twin 320mm discs with Brembo 4-piston calipers handle braking duties at the front wheel.

According to details available on the Motoinno website, their TS3 system was "conceived, designed and implemented over a 16 year period, including more than six years of independent research, design and concept development, and over four years of advanced computer aided design (CAD) and FEA (finite element analysis) component simulation development." With all-new styling and the TS3 front-end, Motoinno plan to launch their high-end streetbike in the near future, which will be built in very limited numbers and will be aimed at HNI enthusiasts and collectors. "We are a high quality, low run production facility. Motoinno is positioning itself to create ‘Rolls Royce grade’ motorcycles using advanced technological developments that include the highest performance possible. Our corporate beliefs and manufacturing systems are inspired by and based on the likes of Koenigsegg, Ferrari, Bugatti and Atom," they claim.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

T12 Massimo: Requiem for a Dream

The T12 Massimo is Massimo Tamburini's last piece of work and is as gorgeous as you'd expect it to be 

Massimo Tamburini, the man responsible for designing machines like the MV Agusta F4, Ducati 916 and Bimota SB2, passed away in April 2014. However, after he retired from MV Agusta in December 2008 and moved to his home in the hills of San Marino, it turns out that he didn't exactly sit around twiddling his thumbs. No, he devoted his last years to designing and building a beautifully designed, high-performance superbike that's light, compact, powerful and high-tech. It's called the T12 Massimo, Tamburini's last piece of work, and a totally performance-focused track-only machine which will be built in limited numbers in Italy.

Powered by the BMW S1000RR's 999cc inline-four, the T12 Massimo is fitted with a Motec M170 engine management system and an Arrow exhaust. The engine has been fettled to produce more than 230 horsepower and that, coupled with the bike's dry weight figure of 154kg, should deliver eye-opening acceleration and top speed. The chassis, which is adjustable for lateral stiffness (steering axis rake, teleforks tri-clamps offset and trail are all adjustable), is a steel-tube trellis-type unit, with cast-magnesium side plates and single-sided swingarm. Race-spec, fully adjustable Öhlins fork and shock comprise the suspension, while stopping chores are handled by twin 320mm steel discs at the front, with 4-piston monobloc radial-mount calipers. The T12 gets a host of aluminium alloy billet and carbonfibre bits and rides on 17-inch forged magnesium wheels, shod with 120/70 (front) and 200/60 (rear) Pirelli Diablo SBK racing rubber.

Andrea Tamburini, Massimo's son, along with other members of the Tamburini family, have set up Massimo Tamburini Srl, a company that will now produce the track-only T12 in limited numbers (though the exact number has not been quoted) and there are no plans to homologate the bike for street use. Prices have not been quoted on the company's website but we suspect that for the discerning few who'll be able to afford one, that wouldn't really matter...

Friday, May 06, 2016

Valentino Rossi: The Doctor Series - All Episodes

'The Greatest of All-Time' is the first of five episodes from the 'Valentino Rossi: The Doctor Series' and examines the appeal and reach of arguably the fastest and most popular motorcycle racer in MotoGP history. Opinions and insight are provided by Valentino himself plus Colin Edwards as well as the Italian’s inner circle and from the close-knit community back in his hometown of Tavullia. What makes an icon? What causes people to utter the words ‘the greatest’ when it comes to the inescapable and irrepressible no. 46? This first chapter attempts to dive into these questions and more with exclusive and special opinions on Valentino’s career, character and two-decade global impact and burgeoning legacy.

We will continue to update this page and will post all five episodes of this 5-part series here. Stay tuned!

Bultaco Brinco line-up expands to include three new variants, dealer network to spread across Europe and South America

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Bultaquistas will be happy to note that the Bultaco electric bike (moped...) line-up now includes three new machines...

Back in the late-1960s, the legendary Barry Sheene used to race 125cc and 250cc Bultaco motorcycles. Angel Nieto even won two 50cc GP world championships (1976 and '77) on Bultaco machines. The Spanish motorcycle manufacturer built two-stroke machines - including streetbikes, off-road bikes, trials bikes and 50-125cc GP racebikes - from the late-1950s onwards, up until the early-1980s. The company went bust and stopped operations completely in 1983. Last year, however, Bultaco was revived and now produces and markets a range of battery-powered electric bikes.

The latest street-certified machines to join the Bultaco line-up now include the Brinco R-E, Brinco C and Brinco S, which will now be available alongside the already existing Brinco R. The Brinco S is street-oriented and has been optimised for urban use, the Brinco C has been designed to handle off-road use, the dual-purpose Brinco R-E is an all-around performer and the Brinco R offers maximum performance, and can only be used on private tracks and trails. All Bultaco Brinco bikes are powered by the same electric motor, which produces 2kW (2.7bhp) and which can propel the bike to a top speed of up to 60kph.

The Brinco's motor is fed by a 1.3kWh lithium-Ion battery, which can be fully charged in just three hours using a regular, household electricity outlet. Range depends on the riding mode chosen, with the Brinco being able to travel up to 50km in sport mode and 100km in eco mode. And once the battery runs out of juice, you can still keep going using pedal-power. That might not be too tough, since the Brinco weighs about 40kg and is equipped with a 9-speed transmission, which should help you pedal away to glory. The Brinco also features a bunch of other interesting bits, including a fully digital instument panel, Bluetooth connectivity for GPS navigation, keyless start system and LED headlamp etc.

The revived Bultaco, which already has a small distribution network in Spain, will soon also be present in the UK, France, the Benelux, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Romania and South America. For more details on their bikes, visit the Bultaco website



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