Prototype WSBK R1 in testing

Prototype WSBK R1 in testing

FOLLOWING on from its announcement that it would be returning to World Superbikes in 2016, Yamaha has just released this video of the prototype WSBK-spec R1 being put through its paces at Circuit d’Alcarras in Spain earlier this year. Enjoy.

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Source: Prototype WSBK R1 in testing

Dainese DAir Misano 1000 jacket

Dainese DAir Misano 1000 jacket

Dainese D-air Misano 1000 jacket

Dainese D-air Misano 1000 jacket
It’ll be available in black as well

TO celebrate 1000 deployments of its D-air system, Dainese has just released details of its new D-air Misano 1000 leather jacket, which will be available from November in two colour schemes, costing €1499.

It’s Dainese’s first leather jacket to feature an electronically controlled D-air airbag that’s been designed to work independently of a sensor kit fitted to a bike. Unlike the D-air system in Dainese’s one-piece suits, all the necessary electronics for the Misano are housed in the back protector.

The airbag inflates uniformly by 5cm and is designed to provide protection for the collarbone, chest and back. The software uses six sensors hosted in the back-protector to monitor the dynamics of the rider’s body 800 times a second and determines when to deploy the system in the event of impacts, high-sides and low-slides with tumbling.

The Misano also has all the traditional stuff you’d expect to see on a high end leather jacket – shoulder and elbow armour, an ergonomic fit and a zip so you can fasten it to your trousers. Crucially, it’s also got a little LED to indicate whether the system is armed or not, which is equally important when it comes to looking the part down at the cafe on a Sunday morning.

This video from Dainese details the histroy of D-air, and features a good slow motion clip of the system being put to use by Luis Salom.

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Source: Dainese DAir Misano 1000 jacket

Injured motorcyclist left in ditch over police territory confusion

Injured motorcyclist left in ditch over police territory confusion

B645 Tilbrook Road
The B645 near Tilbrook, Cambridgeshire. Picture: Google Street View

A MOTORCYCLIST was left in a ditch with a broken arm due to police confusion over which regional force should respond.

Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire police have all apologised to the rider, who waited nearly two hours and forty minutes for emergency services to arrive.

The motorcyclist suffered arm injuries in a crash on Sunday on the B645 near Tilbrook, Cambridgeshire, close to the border of the three counties.

A 999 call was made shortly after 4pm but police did not arrive until 6.40pm.

Bedfordshire Police said it was told of the crash by the Northamptonshire force at 4.25pm, but responded that the accident was not in its territory.

Bedfordshire Police said it sent a car at 5.30pm after being told that no other emergency services had gone, but the distance and difficulties finding the victim meant it took another hour and 10 minutes to arrive.   

The casualty was taken in the car to Bedford Hospital.  

The force said it understood that East Midlands Ambulance Service had been contacted but the service told the BBC the incident had not been logged.

Cambridgeshire Police said it was still unclear which force area the crash site was in but it was ‘clear that a better response should have been given’.

Ch Insp Nick Lyall of Bedfordshire Police said the forces ‘would like to apologise to the man involved’ and that an investigation was underway.

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Does the VW crisis pose a threat to Ducati

Does the VW crisis pose a threat to Ducati

Ducati HQ

IF only one thing is clear from the ever-worsening storm surrounding revelations about VW cheating on the emissions certification of up to 11 million of its cars, it’s that we’re still a long way from seeing the full extent of its impact. But from a two-wheeled perspective the biggest concern is whether VW’s only motorcycle-making subsidiary, Ducati, will get caught in the crossfire. 

Of course, Ducati has no involvement in the actual emissions scandal currently rocking VW, but the fact that the parent firm has suffered a 35% drop in its share price in the two days since the news of its emissions test cheating with certain diesel models in America emerged has got to be a concern. Now, with further models being examined for evidence of similar cheats and testing underway in Europe and Asia to see if cars in those markets are also using the same tricks, it seems that there’s a chance even worse news might be around the corner.

Even before this week’s scandal, Ducati’s position in the VW Group wasn’t as clear as it was when the brand was purchased back in 2012. Back then Volkswagen was under the iron rule of chairman Ferdinand Piech, a bike lover who’d long yearned to add a two-wheeler brand to his empire. In April this year, 78-year-old Piech was ousted from VW’s board after an attempt to unseat his former protégé, Martin Winterkorn, from his position as VW’s chief exec backfired. At once, Ducati lost its strongest, and most powerful, supported in the VW group.

Today, Winterkorn has resigned. Chief executive of VW since 2007, his contract was up for renewal on Friday and won’t be renewed. While Ducati is not going to be at the forefront of anyone’s mind at VW right now – they have far more to worry about – Winterkorn’s successor will become the person who ultimately controls Italy’s most famous motorcycle brand.

As of right now there are two front runners as Winterkorn’s replacement. One is Porsche boss Matthias Mueller, while the other is recently-appointed VW head Herbert Diess.

If that second name is familiar, it’s because a decade or so ago (from 2003 to 2007), Diess was the boss of BMW’s Motorrad arm. He moved to VW recently enough (he was appointed in July this year) to be able to convincingly stand aloof from the firm’s current problems. Given his motorcycle heritage, there may be some at Ducati who hope he eventually gets the top job at VW to help cement the continuing support for bikes at the VW Group.

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Gary Rothwell claims world wheelie speed record

Gary Rothwell claims world wheelie speed record

HERE’S Gary Rothwell claiming a world wheelie speed record as he hits a blistering 209.8mph on the back wheel over 1km.

He set the new record at the World Motorcycle Wheelie Championship at Elvington Airfield last Sunday. Click here to see him set the front wheel of his turbo Hayabusa down and get confirmation from the timing system.

After getting off the bike, Gary said, ‘I can’t actually believe it myself, 20 minutes ago I’ve done 200.3 mph but I’ve just went back out again and done a 209.8 mph. I couldn’t believe it.’

It’s not the first time Rothwell has landed in the record books  – in 1999 he claimed the world record for the fastest speed being dragged behind a motorcycle when he got towed along at 156.3mph in t**anium-soled boots. It’s a record he and his huge plums still hold.

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Source: Gary Rothwell claims world wheelie speed record

New XMAX IRON MAX heads Yamaha scooter updates for 2016

New XMAX IRON MAX heads Yamaha scooter updates for 2016

Yamaha X-MAX IRON MAX 400
The X-MAX IRON MAX 400

Yamaha Yamaha X-MAX IRON MAX 250
The X-MAX IRON MAX 250

Yamaha Yamaha X-MAX IRON MAX 250
And the X-MAX IRON MAX 400

YAMAHA has revealed updates to its scooter ranges for 2016, including ‘IRON MAX’ editions of the X-Max 400, 250 and 125, plus new colours for 50cc models.  

The Iron Max editions feature a ‘Liquid Darkness’ paint job with ‘aluminium-type emblems that project an even more redefined and sophisticated look,’ according Yamaha. So shiny badges.

They have different seats to the base models, embossed with the X-Max logo and featuring gold-coloured stitching and a bum-stop for the rider.

Other exclusive extras include aluminium footboards and ‘satin chrome’ speedometer rings and handlebar cover. The 125 and 250 versions also have a white instrument panel backlight.

The 50cc Aero and BW ranges come in new colours while the Neo range gets new ‘Star Silver’ forks, all shown in our gallery below. 

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Source: New XMAX IRON MAX heads Yamaha scooter updates for 2016

Stan Stephens 1200cc V6 twostroke

Stan Stephens 1200cc V6 twostroke

Stan Stephens engine
Stan Stephens’ 1200cc V6 two-stroke engine

TWO-STROKE tuning legend Stan Stephens is near completion of an insane 1200cc V6 two-stroke.

Pictures tweeted by his son Harley reveal the motor in all its glory. He says the barrels come from Yamaha’s Banshee quad bike, a 350cc twin with an engine developed from the legendary RD350LC motor. Mounted on a V6 crankcase built up from one-and-a-half RD500 motors, the result promises to be something rather special.

We’ll be watching with interest to see what the bike it ends up in is like…

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Source: Stan Stephens 1200cc V6 twostroke

More supercharged Kawasakis

More supercharged Kawasakis

Kawasaki Ninja S2

JAPANESE magazine Young Machine claims that Kawasaki will have a new 650cc supercharged bike on display at the Tokyo Show at the end of October.

Details are scant, but the report says the bike will be called the Ninja S2, and its mocked-up image shows a two-cylinder supercharged machine along the lines of the 1000cc H2, but based on the engine from the ER6. However, other Japanese sources are reporting that the next supercharged Kawasaki will be a 600cc four-cylinder derived from the ZX-6R.

Like the H2, the bike is shown with a trellis frame and a prominent intake hose running down the left hand side to feed the supercharger mounted behind the engine. 

True, or just speculation? We’ll find out soon enough. Sounds like a tempting prospect, though, particularly if the price tag is more affordable than the H2’s.

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Source: More supercharged Kawasakis