News

New Kit – Alpinestars John McGuinness Limited Edition Supertech R Boot

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The Mountain Course; legendary, iconic and one of the ultimate challenges in motorsports. 37 and a half miles of everyday street tarmac that snakes through stone-wall lined country lanes, along tree tunneled straights, through usually sleepy towns and over the foreboding mountain roads of the Isle of Man at full throttle. A rugged, windswept island setting that sits in the middle of the Irish Sea which, for over 110 years, has been the greatest test of rider and machine at the annual TT races.

To complete the TT course is special, to win is to join a small group of motorcycle racing’s revered stars. With 23 TT victories in his career to date, John McGuinness is a legend; the King of the Mountain who has re-written the record books and stood on more TT podiums than any rider in history. His focus, his accuracy and his devasting speed has set a bench-mark that few can aspire to match and for such ability, it is fitting for Alpinestars to introduce the John McGuinness Limited Edition Supertech R Boot.

The boot itself is the usual no-compromise boot you’d expect from Alpinestars. Designed and developed to the highest technical standards, the Supertech R Boots today represent the pinnacle of racing innovation for track and road use. Alpinestars’ most iconic sports boot, the Supertech R incorporates a whole host of performance innovations including a redesigned compound rubber sole, an ergonomically profiled shin plate, a redesigned front flex area, plus the pioneering dual torsion, bio-mechanical ankle brace – all of which enhance this CE certified boot.

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New kit – Proper Cleaner

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Everybody’s favourite truck mechanic, tea connoisseur and TV host, Guy Martin has just launched a new bike cleaner.

Nothing to revolutionary from the Lincolnshire maverick, though the big difference is in how the cleaner is packaged. Instead of shipping a big bottle of liquid around the place, which is mostly water, the Proper Cleaner comes in slug-form which is wrapped in a water soluble packet that dissolves on contact with water, rather like those washing machine globules.

It’s not the first time that a concentrate has been sold to save costs, shipping and the planet. Where Guy’s cleaner differs is that replacements are tiny dry packets, about the size of a pair of cheesy Wotsits. They come in a fairly sturdy resealable ziploc bag, so you shouldn’t have any worries about water getting to the slugs and dissolving them prematurely. The cleaner will keep for up to three years in its resealable pouch.

As Guy puts it: “I use loads of it, and apart from anything it takes up a right load of space in the shed when it’s mixed in bottles! Now then, 70% of the planet is covered in water and there’s a massive business in delivering it all over the world, that seems crackers! So, I had a yarn with a few folk about doing something soluble, add your own water whenever you need to.

“We found a man, who knew a girl, who knew a fella, who found some folks up North, who could make what we needed and after months of testing, it’s now in your bottle but with your own water! It uses less fuel to get it to you, the liquid is bio-degradable, it’s not tested on Nigel the dog or his mates and it won’t take up half your shed! It’s Proper Cleaner and it’s the future!”

Proper Cleaner is said to be safe on all parts and surfaces, including carbon fibre, anodised parts, rubber seals and it’s disc rotor and pad friendly too. The made-up liquid is biodegradable too. And it’s designed, tested and made in the UK.

It costs £6.50 for 1.5 litres-worth, including the spray bottle. Replacement packets are then a fiver for a double packet (which works out at £3.33 a litre) and will initially be available through Guy’s guymartinproper.com website, and then hopefully in shops around the county soon after that.

MotoGP – electric support class set to debut in 2019

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Motorcycle racing’s premier series is set to go electric for 2019 with the news that MotoGP is launching the world’s first electric racing championship – the MotoE World Cup.

There will be 18 bikes competing in the inaugural season, supplied by Italian company Energica, all filled by current grand prix teams, with each of the eight independent MotoGP teams provided with two bikes, with the four remaining machines to be slotted into Moto2 or Moto3 teams who chose to enter MotoE.

Practice sessions will take place on Friday, qualifying on Saturday, and the 10-lap races will occur on Sunday – mimicking the current GP schedule. The first pre-season test is set to take place at Jerez, later this month.

Michelin will continue as a single-tire supplier in the GP paddock, providing rubber to the MotoE teams.

Enel, the title sponsor for the series, will also be on-hand to help with charging the electric motorcycles – recharging time is said to be less than 30 minutes. The partnership with Enel is actually quite extensive, with the Italian electric company providing fast-charging stations to the MotoE paddock, as well as green energy supply/storage on-site at the five MotoE venues.

New metal – 2018 Triumph Speed Triple

Speed-Triple-RS-Front-3-4-Crystal-WhiteThe 2018 Triumph Speed Triple S and 2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS represent Triumph’s ongoing evolution to its modern motorcycle lineup.

This latest iteration of the Speed Triple includes IMU-powered electronics (RS model) and a modest 13hp power increase.

The bike boasts more than 100 new parts in the engine alone, with the Speed Triple RS now claiming 148hp at the crank, with 86 lb.ft of peak torque also on tap.

This power is controlled by five riding modes (four riding modes for the S model, which doesn’t have a Track mode), and a safety net is created by an IMU-powered traction control system.

That IMU also powers the cornering ABS, which means that the new Speed Triple is finally in line with its rival machines, in terms of rider aids.

The new Speed Triple gets an all-new 5in TFT dash and new hand controls.

The RS comes with Brembo brakes, Öhlins suspension, and dual Arrow exhausts.

Nicky Hayden – godspeed Kentucky Kid

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The racing world is in mourning after learning the sad news that Nicky Hayden has succumbed to injuries suffered during an incident while riding his bicycle last Wednesday.

Nicky passed away at 19:09 CEST this evening at Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. His fiancée Jackie, mother Rose and brother Tommy were at his side.

Throughout his career Nicky’s professionalism and fighting spirit was greatly valued and carried him to numerous successes, including his childhood dream of being crowned MotoGP World Champion with Honda in 2006.

As well as being a true champion on the track, Nicky was a fan favourite off it due to his kind nature, relaxed demeanour and the huge smile he invariably carried everywhere.

Nothing says more about Nicky’s character than the overwhelming response expressed by fellow racers and his legions of fans over the past few days. Jackie and his family are truly grateful for the countless prayers and well wishes for Nicky.

The ‘Kentucky Kid’ will be sorely missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting him or the privilege to see him race a motorcycle around a track, be it dirt or asphalt.

The racing world says goodbye to one of its dearest sons. Rest in peace Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Patrick Hayden.

 

Review – Springfield Bike Show

Quick mooch around the Springfield Bike Show in Spalding at the weekend. Loved the Matchless, the tidy KR1S and the Suzuki SV650 in the MotoGP colours, courtesy of Wheels.

In fact Wheels were the only dealership exhibiting – shame really when you’ve got Ducati, Webbs, and Balderston on your doorstep. Same with clothing – Branded Biker was the only retailer there…

What was positive was the amount of people in the halls, the atmosphere and the number of bikes in the car park.

New Metal – 2017 Triumph Street Triple

2017-triumph-street-triple-rTriumph’s 2017 Street Triple has broken cover, and the new bike promises to be bigger and better than ever.

The big news is its 765cc engine, with the increase coming as a result of increases in the bore and stroke on the iconic three-cylinder motor, with Triumph using a new crank, pistons, and barrels in its construction.

Three versions will be available – S, R and RS.

The R and RS get a TFT dash and slipper clutch as standard, while the RS also quickshifter and premium components, including fully adjustable Showa big-piston forks, a Öhlins TTX 40 shock, Brembo M50 four-piston caliper brakes and five riding modes.

The Street Triple R gets four riding modes and features separate-function Showa big-piston forks, a Showa rear shock and Brembo M4.32 four-piston calipers.

The base model Street Triple S receives just two riding modes, separate-function Showa forks, a preload-adjustable Showa rear shock and two-piston front brakes.

 

New metal – Ducati 1299 Superleggera breaks cover

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Meet the Ducati 1299 Superleggera, the latest word in desirable, two-wheeled exotica.

The bike is a limited edition version of Ducati’s superbike, and its engineers have gone to town breathing their magic on the bike – this is the lightest and most powerful, street-legal machine that the Borgo Panigale factory can produce.

The quest for lightness has been relentless and this bike uses a carbon fibre chassis (frame, swingarm, wheels, and bodywork) to make it as lights as possible – it weighs just 162kg wet.

Then there’s the Akrapovic race exhaust, which mirrors the system used on Chaz Davies’ WSBK winning bike.

In race trim the bike makes 220bhp, and this has been achieved through titanium valves, a crankshaft with tungsten inserts, and lighter con-rods.

Suspension is handled by Öhlins, with fully adjustable FL963 forks and TTX36 rear shock. Meanwhile, braking is handled by M50 Brembo calipers up front, mated to 330mm discs.

The electronics on the Ducati 1299 Superleggera have been upgraded as well, with an inertial measurement unit (IMU), being fitted to the superbike. The IMU not only powers the Superleggera’s anti-lock brakes, which have a special algorithm to work on the race track, but it also powers electronics that affect the rear wheel. This means that the Ducati 1299 Superleggera effectively has slide and spin control, which can be set independently of each other, in the traction control package. This upgrade comes courtesy of Ducati’s MotoGP and World Superbike racing efforts, and is a derivative of what Ducati Corse uses in those series.

Ducati Launch control (previously seen on the Ducati XDiavel) has also been added to the 1299 Superleggera, enabling flawless starts from a standstill.

The 1299 Superleggera costs £72,000 and only 500 units will be produced worldwide.

MotoGP – Pedrosa breaks collarbone at Motegi, ruled out of Japanese GP

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Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa has suffered a huge highside crash in FP2 at Japan’s Twin Ring Motegi, breaking his right collarbone in the process.

The Spaniard, the most successful rider at the venue, lost the rear of his bike at Turn 11, and the vicious highside has left him requiring surgery.

He will be replaced in Japan by former 250 World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama, who also subbed for the Spaniard in 2015.

Pedrosa said: “Obviously I’m very sad about what happened, as I was looking forward to racing in Japan at Honda’s home circuit and one of my favourite tracks. “I was on the out-lap of my last run in FP2 when I momentarily lost the rear entering turn 11, and when the tyre found grip again it launched me in the air.”There’s not much more to say; now I just want to focus on recovering in order to get back on my bike as soon as possible.”

Dr Xavier Mir, from MotoGP’s medical team, said: “Pedrosa has a fracture in his right collarbone, with first indications showing it is a fracture that requires surgery.

“The fracture is not displaced but the bone is in four pieces; circumstances that usually require surgery. Cranial trauma that we first suspected is negative – he is OK, conscious and remembers everything. He was also injured slightly on his left foot, but the collarbone is the biggest thing. In the history of collarbone breakages Pedrosa has suffered, this appears the least serious.

“It seems that he will return to Barcelona to be operated on tomorrow, although that is not yet decided for definite. The team and rider will make their own decisions regarding treatment.”

New metal – Yamaha R6

Here it is – the eagerly-anticipated Yamaha R6, the manufacturer’s all-new supsersports machine.

It’s been a long wait, and the bike more than lives up to the hype. This is no evolution, think more full-blown full-on technical revolution.

Yes, the engine and chassis may be essentially the same, but the 2017 R6 features a revised suspension package, ABS brakes, traction control, and an optional quickshifter.

The ride-by-wire system has three riding modes, which can change the throttle response and engine map for more or less throttle aggressiveness, while there is also six-stage traction control, which can be switched off. Yamaha claims it is so smart it can even take adapt to tyre wear throughout a race or track session – trick.

Visually the bike apes the R1’s styling cues, which means it gets the bigger bike’s LED headlight arrangement, the MotoGP inspired intake and integrated indicators. Yamaha says this new fairing design is the most aerodynamic ever for the R6 supersport, reducing its drag coefficient by eight per cent over the outgoing bike.

The tail section should also look familiar to R1 fans, with Yamaha simply transferring the design onto the new 600cc sport bike, thus completing the link between the supersport and its larger racing sibling.

The R6 uses the same fully adjustable KYB 43mm forks that are found on the R1, and the fully adjustable rear shock is also by KYB as well. Other chassis changes include a new, lighter aluminum fuel tank, and a cast magnesium subframe.

The bike comes with ABS brakes as standard, while the upshift only quickshifter is available as an option.

Expect to see it hitting showrooms in March.