Thursday, June 30, 2016

Barry Sheene's championship-winning bikes from 1976-77 to be displayed at Oliver's Mount in July

Barry Sheene Barry Sheene Barry Sheene Barry Sheene
In July this year, there will be a rare opportunity to see Barry Sheene's 500cc championship-winning bikes from 1976 and 1977. Oliver's Mount is where the action will be, next month!

Forty years ago, Barry Sheene won the first of his two 500cc motorcycle grand prix roadracing world championships. For Barry, and British fans of motorcycle GP racing, 1976 and 1977 were the glory years - no other British rider has ever won the 500cc crown after Barry's last championship win in 1977. Now, as part of 40th anniversary celebrations of Sheene's first world title, his championship-winning racebikes will be displayed during the Barry Sheene festival at Oliver’s Mount next month. The bikes have already arrived at Suzuki GB from Australia and are now being readied for display in July.

'With it being 40 years since Barry’s first world title, this year’s Barry Sheene festival marks a very special anniversary. The display of his two championship-winning bikes is the first time that they have been displayed together at such an event in the UK,' says Suzuki GB’s Tim Davies. 'Suzuki's commitment to the Barry Sheene festival at Oliver's Mount is absolutely fantastic and for them to step it up again this year by displaying Barry Sheene's actual race winning machines is every roadracing fan's dream. This could be the only opportunity in our lifetime that we see these machines and we are very proud that Suzuki has chosen Oliver's Mount to display them,' added Scott Beaumont, Oliver’s Mount’s Marketing Director.

The Barry Sheene Festival will take place at Oliver’s Mount on 23-24 July, 2016. For more information visit Oliver's Mount

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

RSD Scout pays homage to 1920s Indian racebikes

RSD Scout RSD Scout RSD Scout RSD Scout RSD Scout
RSD Scout RSD Scout RSD Scout RSD Scout RSD Scout
The RSD Scout, another gnarly build from Roland Sands, is for a customer called Thor. Ahem..

Indian have provided the first official pics and details of their latest custom-built bike, the RSD Scout, which was first shown earlier this month at the Wheels & Waves festival in Biarritz, France. 'The Scout is a pretty cool machine stock. Polaris did a damn good job of putting together a production Scout with a great powerplant. And in its stock form it’s got a lot to work with from a customisation stand point,' says Roland Sands, who's built the RSD Scout. 'Stylistically, this RSD Scout points towards the future with, say, a 15% nod to the Scout of the past. What it’s not? Well it’s definitely not a ‘cruiser’ anymore. If you’re a fan of the traditional Indian Scout, then you understand that the Scout was originally a racer. This RSD Scout carries that racing heritage,' he adds.

To build the bike you see here, the RSD team completely deconstructed the stock Scout and rebuilt it with a frame made from ChroMoly. 'The actual frame we came up with is very similar to the one we used for Victory’s Project 156. What that means is it’s a very lightweight frame with much more aggressive geometry than the stock Scout frame, shorter, and with less rake. We’ve also utilised the same rear suspension package we used for Project 156. If you’re hip to the Polaris method, the Scout and the Project 156 share some mounting points, which made this project much easier, as we’d perfected the suspension geometry on the 156,' says Sands.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

XTR Pepo's tribute to the mid-1950s Ducati Siluro looks fabulous

XTR Pepo Siluro XTR Pepo Siluro XTR Pepo Siluro XTR Pepo Siluro
XTR Pepo Siluro XTR Pepo Siluro XTR Pepo Siluro XTR Pepo Siluro
"I like to construct performance bikes that are not just pretty and that look like they go fast. They really do go fast!" says Pepo, who's created this Monster-based Siluro. He's our kind of man then...

Based in Madrid, Spain, Pepo Rosell is a biologist who's worked in aquiculture. But, quite clearly, he loves motorcycles more than fish farming, which is why he's set up not one but two motorcycle customising companies over the last 15 years. The first was Radical Ducati, which Pepo ran for more than 13 years but shut down in 2014. But then, in his own words, "After 13 years of work I stopped and leave the bike world, but I couldn’t live without bikes, so I began again with my new company, XTR Pepo." So there you are - the man is nuts about motorcycles!

"I like to construct performance bikes, not only that are pretty and seems that goes fast, they really go fast. I like the racers and endurance bikes, to have the look of the racebikes from '70s and 80s, but with 21st century technology. To make them light, fast and high performance," says Pepo. And indeed, his latest piece of work - the Ducati Monster 1200-based Siluro, seems to be a perfect example of the kind of bike he loves.

"Siluro is a commission from Ducati Iberica, the Spanish Ducati importer. The idea was to show people the posibilitys of customing a Ducati Monster 1200. In the designing and construction of the bike, Ducati Spain asked me to keep the original fuel tank and work only with Ducati OEM or Ducati Performance parts," says Pepo. "The first thing was to lighten the bike not only visually but also in real weight, so finally I have reduced the total weight by 40kg compared to the original. I wanted also that the bike looks heavily technical, so I removed all the plastic covers, to show the internals - the engine, the belts, radiator, the rear cylinder head etc. The bike is a tribute to the mid-1950s Siluro, which set many speed and endurance records back then," he adds.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Faster and Faster completes 10 Years

Faster and Faster completes 10 years today!

Back in 2006, I was a full-time automotive journalist, writing and editing for a couple of car and motorcycle magazines. Blogging, back then, must have been the 'cool' thing to do and a younger, more tech-savvy friend suggested that given my love for motorcycles, maybe I should set up a blog where I could write about bikes. I decided to give it a shot and, well, there's been no looking back.

Given my lifelong love for fast bikes, doing Faster and Faster has been deeply satisfying. Over the years, I've enjoyed the process of hunting for new, interesting stories, talking to bikers the world over, interviewing motorcycle racers, designers, engineers and craftsmen, and putting together motorcycle stories which, I hope, hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed.

Here's looking forward to the next 10 years. I'll try and keep that throttle pinned. Hard. Hope you're on for the ride.

Sameer Kumar
Founding Editor and Publisher - Faster and Faster

Thursday, June 23, 2016

World GP Bike Legends makes its UK debut at the 2016 Silverstone Classic
For those with fond memories of 1980s/1990s two-stroke 500cc GP bikes, you need to attend the 2016 Silverstone Classic. You'd even have a chance to meet the likes of Freddie Spencer and Wayne Gardner!

This summer’s Silverstone Classic (29-31 July) will, for the first time, feature top class motorcycle track action, with an array of former 500cc GP racing stars in attendance. Among others, these include Wayne Gardner, Freddie Spencer, Phil Read, Jim Redman and Didier de Radigues. "We are thrilled to be broadening the Classic’s appeal still further via the addition of these amazing bikes and their legendary riders. It’s the first time the Classic has ever served up high-quality two- and four-wheeled racers and to have heroes such as Wayne, Freddie and Phil at Silverstone is going to be just fantastic," says Nick Wigley, CEO of Goose Live Events, the company that's organising the Silverstone Classic.

Around ten top bikes from the 'golden era' of GP motorcycle racing are expected to lap the Silverstone circuit on Saturday and Sunday, and the Classic’s open paddock policy will enable visitors to meet and greet the star riders and see their bikes up close. The motorcycles come from World GP Bike Legends, an organisation set up in 2015, with Gardner serving as the rider ambassador. The aim is to provide fans with an unparalleled experience of watching former Grand Prix stars riding their original two-stroke GP bikes from the 1980s and the 1990s.

"We’re putting together a field of 500cc GP bikes, and Freddie Spencer, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Didier de Radigues, and Jose Cardoso have already signed up to be at Silverstone. These bikes will provide a spine-chilling spectacle when they start up and roar past on the straights. It will be an absolutely fantastic show," says Gardner. General admission tickets provide access to all pits, paddock and infield displays as well as an expanded number of trackside grandstands and the majority of the family entertainment including funfair rides and live music concerts etc. Tickets can be bought from the Silverstone Classic website

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dick Powell: "There was a strong feeling that the F1 represented a new start for Norton..."

Norton F1 Norton F1 Norton F1 Norton F1
Richard Seymour (top, left) and Dick Powell were the men who designed the rotary-engined Norton F1. Here, in this exclusive interview, Dick recounts the story and tells us how the F1 went from the drawing board to production reality...

Back in the late-1980s / early-1990s, the rotary-engined Norton F1 was pretty much the most exotic superbike in the world. Yes, there were others, like the Honda RC30, Yamaha OW01 and the Bimota YB4, but none of those machines had what the Norton F1 had - a 588cc liquid-cooled twin-rotor rotary engine that revved like crazy, producing a frenzied 85bhp and pushing the bike to a top speed of 225kph. The F1's successor, the F1 Sport was even more powerful and racing versions of the bike notched up many race wins, including a particularly memorable win at the 1992 Isle of Man TT. With its Spondon-designed aluminium twin-spar chassis, PVM wheels, Brembo brakes and adjustable WP suspension, the Norton F1 definitely wasn't messing around - it meant business.

We've always been big fans of the Norton F1. Apart from its rotary engine, we also love its styling - the F1's fully-enclosed fairing and its iconic black, gray and gold 'John Player Special' paintjob make it stand out from from other 1980s/1990s machines. The bike was designed by British designers, Richard Seymour and Dick Powell of seymourpowell, a London-based industrial design outfit that was set up in 1984. We thought it would be fascinating to get their take on the Norton F1 now, about 25 years after the machine was launched. So we sent them a few questions, and here are some excerpts from what Dick Powell, co-founder of seymourpowell, had to say about the legendary Norton F1:

On how it all started

Seymourpowell officially started in 1984. Both Richard and I were at the Royal College of Art. Our first motorcycle client was Yamaha, for whom we did many projects during the '80s and early-'90s, including building full-size working prototypes of concept bikes. We also worked for BMW, and later created the world’s first hydrogen-fuelled motorcycle called ENV.

On their love for motorcycles

I have had a full license since I was 16 years old and have been riding bikes ever since. I have three bikes - a Honda RC30, a Yamaha R1 and a KTM Adventure. Richard too has been a biker all his life!

Friday, June 10, 2016

2017 Yamaha FZ-10 is ready for the US

2017 Yamaha FZ-10 2017 Yamaha FZ-10
2017 Yamaha FZ-10 2017 Yamaha FZ-10
2017 Yamaha FZ-10 2017 Yamaha FZ-10 2017 Yamaha FZ-10 2017 Yamaha FZ-10
When it goes to the US, the Yamaha MT-10 becomes the Yamaha FZ-10. Same 160bhp performance though. And the same, massively ugly, headlamp unit. What's with those bug eyes, Yamaha...?!

Yamaha have released official pics and specs of the 2017 FZ-10, which was first unveiled in Europe (where it's called the MT-10) in November last year. The FZ-10 is the first supernaked from Japan that's ready and willing to take on hard-edged European streetfighters and in terms of its performance intent, is supposedly a notch or two higher than its Japanese rivals like the Kawasaki Z1000 and the Suzuki GSX-S1000.

Like its European cousing, the FZ-10 is powered by Yamaha's R1-derived 998cc inline-four, which pumps out an impressive 160bhp and 111Nm of torque. The engine retains the R1's crossplane crank tech, but has been retuned for improved low- and mid-range torque delivery. It's packed with electronics, including ride-by-wire throttle, adjustable traction control and ABS etc. Its aluminium 'Deltabox' chassis is stiff and light and Yamaha have given it top-spec suspension components - fully adjustable KYB inverted fork and shock - which have been tuned for high-speed handling. The bike rides on 17-inch five-spoke aluminium wheels, shod with 120/70 (front) and 190/55 (rear) Bridgestone Hypersport S20 rubber. The FZ-10 weighs 210kg (wet weight) and delivers close to 13kpl in terms of fuel efficiency.

With its comfortable, upright ergonomics, powerful engine and capable chassis/suspension, the FZ-10 is, for the first time, a real alternative to the rather more brutal streetfighters like the BMW S1000R and the Aprilia Tuono V4R. Yamaha says the FZ-10's styling is futuristic, we think it's just massively ugly. Not aggressive, just ugly. Still, given all its performance and high-tech, it's not a bad deal at all for US$12,999.

Moto di Ferro delivers with the Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron

Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron
Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron
Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron Yard Built Yamaha XV950 Speed Iron
The XV950 Speed Iron is a Yamaha that's been Yard Built the Italian way...

Yes, another Yard Built Yamaha. This time it's the tracker-style XV950 Speed Iron, created by Italian customiser Marco Lugato of Moto di Ferro. Marco, a former professional road racer, set up Moto di Ferro in 2009 and after a chance meeting with Yamaha Motor Europe's Shun Miyazawa at the Wheels & Waves festival last year, decided to collaborate with Yamaha.

"As we met and talked in Biarritz with Marco, it was clear that we shared the same passion and love for motorcycles. One of the most important aspects for us when working together on this collaboration was that Marco doesn't consider this to be just a one-off machine, but something that he can build for multiple customers," says Cristian Barelli of Yamaha Europe.

Noteable bits on the XV950 Speed Iron include wire-spoked Borrani rims shod with oversize tyres, front forks from a Yamaha VMAX, a handmade aluminium tank, rear seat unit and side panels, bigger 320mm brake discs at the front and a louder Arrow exhaust that improves the soundtrack.

For those who already own an XV950 and who like the Speed Iron, the good news is that Marco plans to make various parts from the Speed Iron build available, so you can create your own Italian custom. Or, just hand over your bike to him and he will do the rest. Visit Moto di Ferro to get in touch with Marco.



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