Motorcycle News - Church of MO: 2009 Star VMax VIDEO!!
And in those days when the MOites traversed the digital divide after Ashley parted the waters, many fantastic road tests made it into the modern age, but some without their accompanying stunning photography. This review for instance, written by His Dukeness on the occasion of the amazing new Star VMax a decade ago. But fear ye not, as by that time we’d also begun making stunning videos, which may last on Youtube long after we’ve all departed this mortal coil. Actually the vid shows what the mighty Max was capable of beyond what words can convey anyway, not to mention Kev in all his youthful glory.
Is capable of in fact, as Yamaha will still sell you one for $17,999. In 2009, that seemed like a lot. Today it’s only $9 more than the original, and really just about the going rate for a nice new high-performance motorcycle. If the VMax was ahead of its time, the rest of the world is only just catching up. Or is it? Amen.
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December 15, 2019 at 11:54AM
Motorcycle News - A photographer’s perspective on the Mooneyes show
That’s why the annual Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show (or simply ‘Mooneyes,’ after the company that organizes it), is an absolute must-visit. It’s a one-day show that crams hundreds of visitors into the Pacifico Yokohama exhibition center to gawk over countless custom motorcycles and cars.
And capture it they did. The couple shot over a thousand digital exposures during their trip, plus around 14 rolls of film. And all after waking up at 5am to catch a train from downtown Tokyo to Yokohama.
“Then they do a countdown: ’10 minutes until the public come in!’”
“We had a seen a lot of images of the show and heard a lot of things,” he says, “but experiencing it in real life is a totally different experience. It could easily be said that this is one of the best custom shows on the planet.”
“It all started with CW Zon’s best of show 2018 motorcycle, the amazing BMW ‘Departed’ R18.”
“Also there was an Indonesian Norton build that was super impressive.”
And then there was the ‘Have Fun Flat Track’ crew (below), who also arranged a flat track race the day after the show.
“Their booth showcased bikes they built from Honda Monkeys as the base, proving that you do not need a lot of cash to build a flat track bike to have fun with.”
“Our jaws dropped more than once due to the pure craftsmanship and creativity that has been put into these builds. And don’t forget the open-hearted friendliness of the Japanese.”
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December 15, 2019 at 11:17AM
Motorcycle News - Riding Gear – Biltwell Holeshot Helmets
Biltwell has been upping its helmet game over the past few years. Improved features, more widely recognized safety ratings and a huge selection of colorways make them a very appealing option when it comes to retro headgear. To bring in the new year Biltwell has introduced a new ‘Holeshot’ colorway available on both their Bonanza and Gringo helmets that is a hat tip to one of our all-time favorite F1 paint schemes.
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December 14, 2019 at 05:36PM
Motorcycle News - Baltic Brawler: A BMW K1100 from Vilnius Moto House
It’s the work of Vilnius Moto House, who are based in, you guessed it, Vilnius—the beautiful old capital city, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (That’s also where this sharp Honda Dominator scrambler is from.)
The story of this transformation, dubbed ‘Project #01,’ started with a simple phone call. “I have a motorcycle,” the client said, “and I want you to remodel it for me—a 1989 BMW K1100. Can we meet?”
“In a few days, we drew a sketch of what the finished BMW should look like: angry, but exceptional.”
They refined the back end with a sharp, all-new subframe. Then they grafted in the rear shock from a Yamaha R6, modifying the shock mounts in the process. Some tweaking and lowering happened up front too.
They took some fettling to fit—particularly the rear, which was widened and adapted to match the BMW’s single-sided swing arm.
Now VMH’s attention turned to the fuel tank. After some unsuccessful attempts to modify the OEM tank to suit their ideas, the team figured they needed to start over. So they poked around their warehouse and dug out a Kawasaki KZ550 unit.
It’s designed to snake across to the opposite side of the bike, and there’s a correspondingly serpentine exhaust system that runs under the motor.
After much deliberation, it was decided to install two long LEDs alongside the radiator, with a hand-made nacelle filling the space up front.
And then the project stalled for a second time…until VMH got wind of the upcoming Custombike Show in Bad Salzuflen, Germany, which attracts over 30,000 visitors every December. With three weeks to go, they sprung into action to finalize the K-series and enter it into the show.
It’s a spin on BMW’s traditional tricolor motorsports scheme, but executed in monochrome and with a hand-painted feel. Together with a little contrast stitching on the seat, it’s a subtle but effective approach.
We’re not surprised—and we’ll be keeping a closer eye on VMH to catch the next build as it rolls out their shop.
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December 13, 2019 at 11:14AM
MotoGP News - "Bad comments" spurred on rookie MotoGP star Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo says his "amazing" rookie MotoGP season was spurred on by the "bad comments" made about his suitability for the Petronas SRT Yamaha ride last year.
Eyebrows were raised when the new Yamaha satellite team signed Quartararo for his premier-class debut, as the young Frenchman scored just a single win in a mixed four-year stint across Moto3 and Moto2.
Yet by his fourth race in the premier class Quartararo had already become MotoGP's youngest-ever poleman, and by the end of the campaign he'd turned into a bona fide superstar, picking up a further five poles and seven podiums and ending the season as the top independent rider.
"I took the opportunity because everybody told us that I didn't deserve this seat in MotoGP, I wanted to prove that they are wrong," Quartararo said, adding that he "didn't mind" to have ended the season without a maiden win.
"For sure if I had a win, this year would be even better, but, you know, last year I get a lot of, let's say, bad comments, that I was not ready, that I had not the experience to be in MotoGP.
"But I worked a lot during the winter, during the tests, and we managed to get seven podiums, poles, and I think we deserve the place that we have today.
"I want to thank all of them [in the team] because they believed in me and we made an amazing job during this season."
Quartararo's sophomore team-mate Franco Morbidelli finished the campaign in 10th place - and though he'd become a regular fixture in the top six in the latter half of the season, he was overall comprehensively outshone by his rookie rival.
"From Misano, from Silverstone, we started fighting for the top five pretty much every weekend, apart from Australia I think, so that's quite a good level," Morbidelli said.
"I'm happy overall of this year, especially about the second half. Maybe too many falls but sometimes you have years like this, but overall I'm happy."
Asked if he'd found Quartararo's emergence difficult to deal with, Morbidelli said: "Of course it was difficult - I think it was difficult for everybody.
"He came out like a mushroom [from the ground], doing great results, great performances, super fast laps. Unbelievable.
"Of course it was difficult at the beginning, but then it's just another guy in the bunch.
"He earned what he achieved this year, he's our reference, and I will try to work my ass off to arrive next year well-prepared and ready to give battle, not just to Fabio but to everybody else on the grid."
Quartararo was second-fastest in testing in Valencia and ended the Jerez run in fifth, while Morbidelli was fifth and seventh in the two respective tests.
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December 13, 2019 at 03:20AM
Motorcycle News - Moto Doffo: Wine Makers And Motorcycle Racers
The Doffo Winery and MotoDoffo Vintage Motorcycle Collection is run and owned by the Doffo family: patriarch Marcelo Doffo, son Damian, and daughters Bridgette and Samantha. The seeds for Doffo Winery were planted in the 1990s inspired by Marcelo’s youth spent growing up on a farm in Pampas, Argentina and a trip in 1994 to Turin, Italy. It matured with the acquisition of an old cattle ranch in Temecula, California.
Nestled in the hills at the north end of Temecula’s vineyard row, Doffo is a boutique winery with limited production runs and select varietals. In contrast to the quaint size of the vineyard, the public space taproom is quite large and airy, and the visitor is instantly struck by the sheer number of immaculately restored motorcycles and race bikes on display, not to mention a variety of dune buggies, trophy trucks, and race bikes from the Baja 500 parked outside the taproom. Unlike a typical vineyard tasting room, the taproom is a bustling social hub with a large number of wine club members as well general public enjoying live music, race screening on the big screen, craft beer, brick oven pizza, and traditional Argentinian empanadas. The minute you walk in you’re struck with a sense of community. The vibe is warm, welcoming, accessible, and feels like family – which is just what Doffo is – a family-owned and operated vineyard that extends the family welcome to its guests and motorcycle riding, restoring, and racing brothers and sisters.
Warmly welcomed on my arrival by siblings Samantha and Damian, I know immediately that the family is not elitist wine connoisseur but rugged, earthy, genuine, down and dirty dirt bike/road race folk. The family and the vineyard benefits from a unique and charming marriage of Argentinian and SoCal cultures.
The genesis for the MotoDoffo Vintage Motorcycle Collection stemmed from Marcelo’s youth on the farm in Pampas where he fell in love with imported European motorcycles. He honed his skill as restorer by running an auto body shop with his brother Jorge. With the purchase of the ranch, which came complete with an old barn style schoolhouse, Marcelo had the opportunity to express his love of motorcycle restoration. The rest, as they say, is vintage history. Fast forward to today, and Doffo Winery has become a wine lover’s, as well as motorcycle lover’s, destination – one that is often used by motorcycle manufacturers for new model launches, both for its picturesque beauty surrounded by winding back roads, as well as its proximity to the North American corporate offices of the big four Japanese manufacturers.
Doffo Winery also attracts private individuals from near and far looking to sample California wine crafting outside of the more well known and well-worn regions in Central and Northern California. Of course, the other big attraction is the extensive and painstakingly restored motorcycle collection. Additionally, MotoGP weekends have become something of an event unto themselves where the motorcycle community comes together in a social and agricultural setting that would not look out of place in a Valentino Rossi documentary set in the Tuscan hills of Tavulia.
Click on the video below for my tour of the vineyard and interview with Samantha Doffo.
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December 12, 2019 at 07:31PM
F1 News - Ferrari have had talks with world champion Hamilton
Ferrari admit they have held talks with world champion Lewis Hamilton about joining them in the future.
Ferrari chief executive officer Louis Carey Camilleri said at a media lunch that Hamilton has had "conversations" with chairman John Elkann.
Camilleri said Ferrari were "very flattered Lewis in particular, and other drivers, want to join us".
"It's totally premature - we'll look at our options at the appropriate time and see what is the best fit," he added.
He added that the meeting between the British driver and Elkann was at "a social event, which has been blown somewhat out of proportion - they have some common friends".
Hamilton, who is 35 next month and will be gunning for a record-equalling seventh world title in 2020, comes to the end of his Mercedes contract next season.
He said at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 1 December that it was "smart and wise" to consider his next move carefully, adding: "I love where I am, so it is definitely not a quick decision to go and do something else."
At the time, Hamilton refused to confirm or deny reports in Italy he had met Elkann twice this year.
Hamilton said he was "waiting to see" whether Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff remained with the team.
Wolff has been touted as a potential replacement for F1 chief executive Chase Carey in 2021.
However that prospect has receded in recent weeks, and Camilleri said Ferrari could use its veto to block any move by Wolff to run F1.
"Anybody who has been an active and important player in a certain team within the last years to take on the responsibility at F1 would create a conflict of interest," Camilleri said.
"It would not be a good thing [that Wolff] should ultimately run F1. Our position is if [Ferrari team principal] Mattia Binotto was the candidate to replace Chase, the rest of the paddock would not be too happy.
"Our veto is the last resort tool. Should we be confronted with that, we would explain our position quite clearly to the folks at Liberty (the US media group that owns F1's commercial rights)."
Managing Ferrari's drivers
If Hamilton was to join Ferrari in 2021, it would almost certainly be as a team-mate to Charles Leclerc and a replacement for Sebastian Vettel, whose contract runs out at the same time as the Briton's.
Camilleri said: "We have a long-term agreement with one driver [Leclerc] and with the other driver [Vettel] the agreement expires at the end of 2020."
Vettel, a four-time champion, started the year as Ferrari's number one driver but Leclerc has earned equal status with his performances in 2019.
He out-scored the German in terms of wins, pole positions, points and in their qualifying head-to-head.
Their rivalry led to a number of flash points last season, culminating in a crash at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Camilleri said: "Clearly Charles' performance has had an impact. That's inevitable when you're the world champion and this young kid comes along and has a phenomenal season.
"Charles has a lot of talent. He has surprised even ourselves as to what he has been capable of.
"Their collision last month in Brazil was a nightmare. However, the air has been cleared. And sometimes you need a crisis to put the goalposts in the appropriate place.
"Going forwards it gives Mattia a much better way of managing them because they realised how much they screwed up."
What about Ferrari's car?
Ferrari had a disappointing season in 2019, generally lagging behind Mercedes on pace, winning only three races and facing controversy as rival teams suspected them of bending the rules with their engine.
Binotto has always insisted their speed on the straight was primarily due to a different car philosophy from Mercedes, with less overall downforce and drag.
And he said Ferrari would change that for next season.
"We are not expecting to be as fast on the straight as we have been," Binotto said. "Our car is aiming for more downforce and, by consequence, we are certainly working more on drag."
He also said there would be "quite significant changes on the engine for next season".
Binotto added: "We didn't have the best car in 2019. So, we cannot be the favourites. The ones that won the championship this year, the ones that won the last titles are setting the bar and are having the fastest car by the end of the season. So we are the challengers."
The new car will be launched on 11 February, ahead of the start of pre-season testing on 19 February and Camilleri said he saw encouraging signs for Ferrari even if the team had not yet met their ambitions.
"If you look back in the history of Formula 1, where teams have done very well… there is one common thread, which was that there was a lot of stability within the team and therefore they learned to work very closely together," he said.
"That is something we are very focused on, Mattia has been spending a lot of time to ensure we have a cohesive, united team."
Camilleri said Ferrari was prepared to invest in people and infrastructure, with a new simulator under construction and he says the team will have a bigger budget to prepare for the major rule changes coming into force in 2021.
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December 12, 2019 at 06:51AM
MotoGP News - Podcast: What can Johann Zarco gain from Avintia MotoGP 2020 move?
An open secret for some time, Johann Zarco's move to Avintia Ducati for the 2020 MotoGP season was finally confirmed this week...
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December 12, 2019 at 06:12AM
Motorcycle News - Charleston – Citroën 2CV Inspired Bonneville
This wildly customized Bonneville is the handiwork of Triumph aficionados, South Garage Moto Co. It was created to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the iconic Citroën 2CV. The French automobile manufacturer tasked South Garage with building the bike at their workshop in Milan. Nicknamed ‘Charleston’, after one of the most iconic iterations of the 2CV, the Bonneville’s connection to the car is most evident in its ‘Rouge Delage’ art deco paint scheme. However, the similarities go well beyond the paintwork alone.
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December 12, 2019 at 01:25AM
Motorcycle News - FLYING FIGHTER: BMW K1200RS by Ugly Motors
Written by Martin Hodgson
From Lennon and McCartney to Ben and Jerry, famous collaborations have brought us amazing music and made life that little sweeter. But while we enjoy the finished product, behind the scenes can be anything from blissful creative charm to all-out chaos. Thankfully when the founder of Ugly Motors Jakub Beker teamed up with a friend for his latest build they clicked from the get go and used their differences to create a masterpiece. From a tank like 2002 BMW K1200RS they’ve carved out a fast flying fighter in tribute to the legendary Mustang P51.
An IT professional by day, Jakub has spent the last few years turning out some simply beautiful classic customs from his workshop in Poland. But while he takes a traditional path with his own twist, his collaborative partner is very different, “more like a Bladerunner 2049 kind of a guy” Jakub laughs. Describing the process as “pure, helpless and slightly insane” they still managed to always be on the same page, knowing that the BMW would be the base and the inspiration drawn from a paper model of Mustang P51D made when Jakub was 16 years old and is now on his office wall.
At first their search was intended to find a mint BMW K100RS, but donor bikes are not always the easiest of things to find in Poland and their efforts turned up nothing. The K100 they did finally find was a wreck and instead they stumbled across this much newer K1200RS, no big deal right, just a newer version. Well not really, it weighs over 600lbs all fuelled up and Jakub was quick to point out the other challenges “ Monolithic aluminium frame, telelever suspension, electric wiring straight from NASA and a visually-heavy brick in presence of a 1200cc oil-water cooled engine”.
But it has some upside, in 1997 when first released the model was BMW’s most powerful ever motorbike and the boys decided to dive into the challenge. Back at Ugly Motors and they were stripping the big girl down, already fearing the wiring to be tackled later as more and more of it was exposed. But having never made a gas tank completely from scratch they decided this would be the time and to up the challenge it would incorporate the tail all as one piece. First Jakub took 4mm rod and created the outline of the structure from which to work.
Then from a huge sheet of 0.8mm steel he began to bend, shape and weld and over more hours than he cares to remember it began to come to life. The design was always intended to be front-heavy, with the beefy round lines of the tank, moving to the sculpted wings, before flowing rearward to the slim lines of the razor sharp tail. Not only does it look incredible but serves many functions, “fuel tank, base structure, seat, electrics case and air intake for massive car origin K&N filter.” With an external fuel pump from a car ensuring the engine receives maximum flow.
With his metal shaping skills in full flight, Jakub turned to the fork covers, “which only have one task, transfer the weight of the design to the front and add to the aggressive stance of the bike”. But sitting between them is perhaps the greatest achievement of the entire build and it started life as a 27kg chunk of aluminium. Jakub calls it the bikes ‘kidney’, housing the radiator where the headlight would be, that are now thin strips of LED, the feature dominates the front end. From a 3D design it spent hours in the CNC machine losing almost all of its mass until it was the perfect grille on steroids.
The triple clamps with integrated clip-ons followed a similar procedure, with the logos laser cut into the design. Now for the nightmare, dealing with the BMW’s truly insane wiring, Jakub decided a switch to Motogadget was the way to go, “I’ve managed to convert all the electronics and adapt this bike with M-unit blue (Bluetooth mobile connection), M-lock, M-button, Break Out Box B, Motoscope Pro.” While a healthy budget allowed for the purchase of Magura master cylinders and steel braided lines to complete the functional side of the bike.
To give the big four cylinder engine some spice as its 130hp is unleashed the stainless exhaust is finished with an SC Project GP muffler for some of that ear-splitting WW2 fighter jet sound. But to truly bring out the Mustang in the project the paint and graphics had to be spot on and BMW Silverstone Grey with yellow and blue graphics to match the stunning seat bring the whole thing to life in a remarkable way.
Jakub is quick to thank those who are part of the Ugly Motors family, Ewelina, Marek, Targal and Alex-CNC. But his final goal with the build is to ensure this is the bike you see when you type “custom K1200RS” into Google, job done!
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December 12, 2019 at 01:07AM