Nicky Hayden – godspeed Kentucky Kid


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

HyperFocal: 0

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


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.


BMW unveils vision of the future – the VISION NEXT 100 Motorrad concept


BMW has unveiled its vision of how it thinks motorcycling could look in 100 years with its VISION NEXT 100 Motorrad concept.

BMW envisions a future where two-wheel vehicles have enough onboard intelligence to make it possible for riders to use them without protective clothing, and while the emphasis here is still on the thrill of the ride, the concept’s intelligent rider aids means safety is paramount.

BMW claims the Motorrad’s systems will be smart enough to anticipate the road ahead and offer guidance on what to do to avoid incidents, and it can even step in and take over to prevent anything from happening if necessary. However, the really clever part is the use a self-balancing system that absolutely prevents the possibility of the bike toppling over, either when in motion or when standing still.


New metal – Yamaha taking orders for 2017 YZF-R1M


The online application ordering system for the Yamaha YZF-R1M is now live, and Yamaha is now accepting reservations for the 2017 edition of this exclusive and limited edition track and race bike.

Inspired by the MotoGP-winning YZR-M1 machinery currently being raced by Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, the high specification YZF-R1M offers private riders and race teams the opportunity to experience the latest factory bike technology.

Both the 2015 and 2016 editions of the YZF-R1M were sold out within a short time, and for 2017 all interested riders and teams are advised to make their reservation at:

All customers who purchase the 2017 YZF-R1M are also invited to attend the 2-day long exclusive Yamaha Racing Experience that will be held in summer 2017 at some of Europe’s most famous racetracks.

New metal – 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP and SP2

One of the most eagerly-awaited sportsbikes of recent year’s has finally broken cover – the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP.

Honda has actually released two versions, the Fireblade SP and SP2 which it unveiled at INTERMOT.

The new SP isn’t the revolution we were expecting, think of it more as an evolution designed to bring the bike back on an equal footing with its rivals, which means there’s no new engine configuration (V4), ground-breaking technology or mindblowing performance figures.

However, the bike has been radically overhauled – power is up by 11bhp to 190bhp and a massive 15kg has been lopped off the bike’s weight, and this has led to a 14% increase in the Honda CBR1000RR’s power-to-weight ratio. The engine itself is a relatively unworked version of the existing unit, and the power hike is as a result of a higher compression ratio and revised cam timings, with the weight savings coming from the liberal use of magnesium, which is now used on the engine covers, and a titanium muffler and fuel tank.

Other changes include a stiffer swingarm and a new radiator design, which has allowed the bodywork to be much narrower.

The bike now features a plethora of electronic riding aids including traction control and engine braking management, and there’s also Öhlins semi-active suspension.

The SP is joined in the line-up by a track version – the SP2. Designed to appeal to racers and trackday enthusiasts, the limited edition Honda CBR1000RR SP2 features larger valves and lighter Marchesini wheels that are made from forged aluminum.

The SP and SP2 will be joined by a base model Honda CBR1000RR which will unveiled at EICMA later this year.

New metal – GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R


Suzuki returned to the drawing board when it came to its flagship superbike, designing and building a brand new machine using technology developed from competition in MotoGP.

Both the GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R utilise an all-new, 999.8cc inline four-cylinder engine, which uses Suzuki Racing Variable Valve Timing (SR-VVT), and a new finger-follower valve train as part of Suzuki’s Broad Power System. Developed for use on the firm’s GSX-RR MotoGP racer, the system allows the new engine to produce strong low-midrange power, before the variable valve timing system boosts top-end output.

Suzuki’s SR-VVT is a compact and lightweight mechanical system, that is built into the intake sprocket and is activated by centrifugal force, while the new finger-follower valve train is 6g lighter than a conventional bucket/tappet system, and allows the engine to rev higher and increases top-end power, with reliability.

Inside the engine there are new pistons, pins, and rings, as well as new camshafts and titanium valves for higher peak power.

Competition in MotoGP has also led to the development of Suzuki’s most comprehensive and sophisticated electronics package, which features a six-directional IMU, 10-mode traction control system, Suzuki’s Motion Track Brake System, and three-rider modes.

Setting the GSX-R1000R apart from the GSX-R1000 is the addition of a bi-directional quick-shifter and a launch control system that allows riders to make smoother, faster starts.

Both models utilise the ‘anti-stoppie’ function of Suzuki’s Motion Track Brake System, but only the GSX-R1000R benefits from its cornering ABS function.

Suspending the GSX-R1000R is the latest generation of Showa’s Balance Free front forks and rear shock, which give more controlled performance and improve front-end feel. The GSX-R1000 model utilises Showa’s Big Piston front forks and Showa shock.

The GSX-R1000 is due to arrive in early in the spring, with the GSX-R1000R set for arrival later in the season.