Motorcycle News - ZEE WHIZ. BGM Cafe Racer’s ‘78 Kawasaki Z400 Street Scrambler
Written by Marlon Slack
BGM Cafe Racers’ Tonie Wishart is trying to redeem himself. Years ago his father brought a bike home, an old Kawasaki G4TR 100, which Tonie successfully pulled apart and unsuccessfully put back together. Now, years later and with a hell of a lot more experience under his belt, Tonie and the team from BGM have turned out this, a cracking 1979 Kawasaki Z400 street scrambler.
It’s even more impressive when you consider the donor bike they were working with. “I bought it off eBay for £500 back in 2014,” Tonie says, “It was a well used commuter bike with a few miles on the clock but it had great potential.”
When he talks about potential he’s referring to the initial plan for his new bike — a simple, low-budget shed-built project. But then things spiralled out of control when he met Den and Clive from BGM Cafe Racers.
BGM is a small workshop in the very English sounding Stratford-upon-Avon. And while the plan was to have the guys on hand to help solve any problems that might crop up during the build, over the next few months they got along so well they asked Tonie to join them at BGM.
It’d be a good team to be a part of, the shop producing customs of increasing quality and scope over the past few years. And they’ve got neat stuff in the works too, chiefly a tidy RD250 and mean CB750. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Back to the Zee.
The Z400 was a happy little commuter produced by team green for ten years from the mid 1970’s. It’s certainly not a firebreather in the same vein as its bigger brother, but after some initial teething issues the lil’ Z400 found its place as a happy everyday commuter, running people to and from work with a minimum of fuss and modicum of style. That was until Tonie got his hands on it.
“The idea was to build a compact street scrambler with wide and low bars and with a flat track feel to it,” he says. Sounds easy enough, right? But tidying up a motorcycle with forty English winters behind it is no mean feat. So they went back to basics, removing the engine and stripping it down for vapour blasting. And while that was being worked on they started on the frame.
“But tidying up a motorcycle with forty English winters behind it is no mean feat.”
The frame was de-tabbed, stripped and the rear pillion footpegs trimmed and moved forward, in order to keep the back-end looking uncluttered. A seat loop was installed with a slight upwards kick before the whole thing was sent in for powder coating.
With it all back together the engine was mounted, fitted with a suitably angry exhaust system and twin ramair-style filters. Keeping everything clean is a new set of switches that run through the bars, twin LED headlights and a new battery box. There’s also a neat front brake arrangement, now a Brembo caliper taken from a BMW.
The end result of all that work is tidy little street scrambler from BGM Cafe racers, one they’ve dubbed ‘Full Speed Ahead’ in honor of Tonie’s departed friend Geert Van Neste. ‘He was a good friend and an amazing character who believed in taking life at full speed,” Tonie says. Geert would be proud.
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February 21, 2019 at 06:20AM
Motorcycle News - Best Motorcycle Racing Leathers
The single largest purchase you’re going to make when deciding to go track riding, apart from your motorcycle, is your leathers. Along with your helmet choice, this is an extremely important decision, obviously, as your leathers are the only thing between you and severe road rash, broken limbs, or something even worse. There are numerous outlets making and selling leathers, but here we’ve put together a list of manufacturers with options easily available for purchase in the US of A. Also, for the sake of utmost protection, this list will be kept to one-piece leathers, though many of the same manufacturers listed below also offer two-piece options.
Alpinestars GP-Tech $1999.95
Unless your name is Marc Marquez or Jorge Lorenzo, the GP-Tech from Alpinestars is the best suit from the brand the rest of us can get. A mixture of cow and kangaroo leather comprise the bulk of the suit, requiring almost zero break-in time. Accordion panels across the sides, back, knees, calves, and shoulders allow for excellent range of motion and also allow the suit to expand in the event the Tech-Air airbag system deploys. An inner vest that zips into the leathers, the Tech-Air system is a completely independent (meaning no physical tethers to you or the motorcycle) electronic airbag that can deploy in milliseconds upon detection of a crash and provide airbag protection to the collarbones, ribcage, back, and internal organs. The tech was developed (and is continually being improved upon) in MotoGP. The Tech-Air system is sold separately, however, and can fit in a variety of Alpinestars products. Thankfully, the GP-Tech suit can be worn without the Tech-Air system, if you choose. Traditional CE-approved armor remains in the shoulders, elbows, forearms, knees, and shins.
Cortech Adrenaline RR One-Piece Race Suit $799.99
Worn by several MotoAmerica racers, the Adrenaline RR suit from Cortech features a seamless design in the legs, external armor featuring aluminum sliders in the shoulders and elbows, and accordion stretch panels throughout for excellent range of motion. It’s constructed from 1.2mm-1.4mm cowhide, and CE-approved shoulder, elbow and knee protectors are included. Seams are double- and even triple-stitched in high impact areas, and heavy-duty 600 denier stretch kevlar is used in non-critical areas for greater flexibility. To help with comfort in the proper riding position, the shoulders are rotated and legs pre-curved. YKK zippers with spring-loaded pulls on the cuffs keep everything secure and free from flapping in the wind.
Dainese Misano 2 D-Air Perforated Race Suit $2499.95
Of course, Alpinestars isn’t the only one in the airbag game, and the Dainese Misano 2 D-Air suit incorporates Dainese’s D-Air System for airbag protection across the shoulders, collarbones, neck, and ribs. Like the Tech-Air system from Alpinestars, the D-Air does not rely on physical tethers and is operated electronically upon detection of a crash. Unlike the Tech-Air system, however, D-Air is incorporated into the Misano 2 – meaning the system can’t be transferred to other garments, and the whole suit would need to be sent back upon deployment of the airbag. As for the suit itself, construction is entirely of cowhide, and revised inserts along the inner knee area provide a positive connection with your bike. You’ll find stretch panels along the sides, back, and knees to allow natural movement, and aluminum sliders/protectors are seamlessly placed along the shoulders, elbows, and knees to help promote a slide in a fall. Internal armor can be found throughout, and real trackday heroes will be happy to know the Misano 2 comes equipped with elbow sliders.
Heroic Stage III Custom Pro Professional Race Suit $2350.00
There are several independent manufacturers/retailers of leather suits in the US, and New York-based Heroic Racing Apparel (HRA) is a popular one among trackday goers nationwide largely because they offer suits custom-tailored based on your specific measurements. Sampled here is the premier Stage III suit, but as you can likely guess, two lower stages are also available for less money. The Stage III is made entirely from 0.8mm – 1.1mm kangaroo leather and can weigh as little as eight pounds (depending on rider size and other options). Because it’s made to measure based on 23 measurements, the suit will feel broken-in immediately, and though CE level 1 armor comes standard, an upgrade to D3O Xergo armor is also available. Whether you like more subdued graphics, or something wild and crazy, because it’s custom made, Heroic can help you design the suit of your dreams.
Mithos RCP-18AIR Tech-Air Compatible $1899.00
Heroic Racing Apparel isn’t the only game in town when it comes to made-to-measure leathers. Mithos is another brand that may be more familiar to Europeans due to its MotoGP presence, but the brand is establishing itself in America. What separates Mithos, and the RCP-18AIR specifically, is the ability to have a custom-measured suit that’s also Alpinestars Tech-Air compatible (actual Tech-Air system sold separately). Not even Alpinestars offers a service like this. Available in either cowhide or kangaroo leather, Sas-Tech internal armors are used in the shoulders, elbows, hip, and knee. The exterior protectors use a honeycomb design to absorb and disperse impact energy, rather than transfer it to you. Vulnerable slide areas get double layers of leather and are double stitched. Industry standard YKK zippers round out the suit’s features.
Pilot EVO V2 $1350.00
Add Pilot to the list of made-to-measure custom suits available to the trackday/racetrack enthusiast. While the EVO V2 may not be airbag compatible, at $1350 it’s a relative bargain for a top-notch suit, made just for you (because, let’s face it, new suits are expensive). Constructed from competition grade 1.3mm – 1.5mm milled calfskin leather, Schoeller Keprotec Kevlar stretch panels in the chest, arms, crotch, and calf, the combination of the two materials makes for a suit that’s both protective and comfortable. Removable CE-approved internal armor in the shoulders, elbows, forearms, knees, and shins help protect from impact, and alloy external armor cap the shoulders and elbows to help promote a slide should you fall. Apart from the hard armor, sewn-in memory foam lies on the upper tailbone and across the back, hips, and upper shoulders. As for airflow, thermo-plastic vents lie on top of each shoulder, and the suit can be ordered with or without perforation.
Rev’It Quantum Race Suit $1249.99
For the fashion-forward track enthusiast, the Rev’it Quantum race suit might be the choice for you. Featuring Monaco cowhide, it is then debossed for a honeycomb print that looks like shimmering snakeskin. Complementing the Monaco cow skin is perforated leather, Nubuck leather, Lorica, neoprene, and 3D mesh. Together, they create an extremely comfortable suit. Dual compound sliders at the knees, elbows, and shoulders help absorb impact energy in a fall, but also help the suit glide instead of catch on the pavement. There’s CE-rated armor in the usual spots (shoulders, elbows, forearm, knees, and shins), with pockets for optional chest and back protection. Additionally, the speed hump can double as a pocket for a hydration pack (sold separately).
RS Taichi GP-EVO R107 Tech-Air Racing Suit $3399.95
RS Taichi prides itself on making extremely comfortable racing suits, and the GP-EVO R107 is the latest evolution of Taichi’s continued development towards more comfortable and flexible protection. It has done this by taking into consideration the position of the body while riding and moving or adjusting the suit to accommodate. Make no mistake – this suit is NOT made for standing around, but once on the bike, it’ll feel like a second home. Constructed from Japanese full grain leather, you’ll find CE approved protectors on the shoulder, elbow, and knees. Exterior sliders are found on the shoulders, knees, and yes, the elbows. Further comfort comes from the leather flex panels on the waist, knees, elbows, and shoulders, allowing the rider to move freely. But the biggest talking point with the GP-EVO R107 is its compatibility with the Alpinestars Tech-Air airbag system (sold separately). Some even say the fit of the suit is optimized for the Tech-Air system, and wearing the suit without it feels awkward.
Spidi Track Replica EVO $1699.90
The Spidi Track Replica EVO race suit takes its origin directly from MotoGP; with features like the removable and adjustable elbow sliders, and the ultimate evolution for the Spidi patented Warrior Technology. The Track Replica EVO is tailored with premium 1.2mm – 1.3mm Italian cowhide, combined with stretch material structures and neoprene inserts to increase the level of comfort while racing. CE Force Tech protectors on the elbows and knees are joined by CE biomechanic protectors on the shoulders and CE multitech protectors on the hip. The suit comes ready to accept Spidi’s Warrior back and chest protectors (sold separately), and the speed hump on the back is ready to accept Spidi’s Hydroback hydration system (also sold separately).
Vanson Hybrid One-Piece Racing Suit $1299.00
When it comes to leather motorcycle apparel, perhaps no name is better recognized in the US than Vanson. The company offers custom suits built to your specs (which would be our choice if you can afford it), but the Hybrid One-Piece Racing Suit will give you an idea of the design and protection offered by all Vanson suits. Vanson prides itself on building tough suits that will last through multiple crashes. This is thanks to the 1.2mm leather used, which is thick and can take a beating. The suit features both the twin front zipper design and Floating Armor system, which were invented and patented by Vanson. A lot of thought and consideration went into making the suit both comfortable and protective in the riding position, and articulated panels throughout, combined with expansion panels in key areas (knees, elbows, lower back) let the rider move naturally. Of course, you’ll find CE approve F.A.S. armor at the knees, shoulders, and elbows. To help keep the rider cool, the front panel is made from ProPerf perforated leather, and the front bib portion is laminated to spacer fabric to provide cushioning and a channel for air to flow across the torso. The aerohump on the back also features a mesh screen across the top to flow air along the spine while in a tuck.
For extra piece of mind, every Vanson product is covered under warranty and the company will do repairs, alterations, washing, reconditioning and redye of the leather regardless of the age or condition.
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February 20, 2019 at 08:20PM
F1 News - Williams' late start to testing 'embarrassing'
Williams say it was "embarrassing" to miss two days of pre-season testing because their car was not ready.
The Williams finally made it on to the track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday - with a day and a half left of the four-day test.
George Russell drove it, with Robert Kubica getting his chance on Friday.
"It's not a situation that we anticipated, or that we ever wanted to find ourselves in," said deputy team principal Claire Williams.
"We're not just disappointed. It's embarrassing not bringing a race car to a circuit when everyone else has managed to do that, particularly a team like ours that has managed to bring a race car to testing for the past 40-odd years."
Williams said she wanted to apologise to the team's fans, but also to British driver Russell - who is making his debut this year - and team-mate Kubica. The Pole is returning to F1 after an eight-year absence following a 2011 rally crash that left him with partial movement in his right arm.
Williams said the delays "became apparent quite late on" and, after initially hoping they could make the second day of the test, "parts just weren't coming through as we hoped they would".
She refused to expand on why the problem had happened.
The situation has raised questions within the team about the future of chief technical officer Paddy Lowe, who is ultimately responsible for all technical parts of the company.
The team cancelled a media briefing that had been scheduled for Lowe, saying it would now not take place until next week's second test after the car had undertaken significant running.
Williams ducked questions about Lowe, saying: "I've read a lot of speculation about his position. Right now all I am focused on - and the team should be focused on - is making sure the car is in the right place."
Kubica is due to drive the car on Friday morning, before Russell runs again in the afternoon, and Williams is hopeful the team will be able to make up for lost time.
"We've missed two days of testing, and that's not ideal," she said. "That's a lot of potential kilometres. But I don't think that we will actually know the full impact of having missed those days until probably a bit later on.
"Clearly we're doing everything we can to condense the programme that we had, to make sure that we maximised the time available and we really focused our efforts and attention on the most important and critical areas to make sure the car is in the best shape possible for Australia."
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://bbc.in/OHg7x6
February 20, 2019 at 10:48AM
F1 News - Lewis Hamilton: World champion says Ferrari 'very strong' at F1 testing
World champion Lewis Hamilton expects a tougher challenge from Ferrari in Formula 1 this season.
Ferrari had the car to win the 2018 title but fell away after a series of errors, with Hamilton taking a fifth championship for Mercedes.
But Ferrari impressed with strong pace at the start of pre-season testing.
Hamilton said: "Ferrari are very strong. It appears they have a better package than last year, which means it will be a bigger challenge for us."
But the 34-year-old cautioned that it was premature to jump to too many conclusions after just two and a half days of pre-season testing.
He said: "They have been looking great. We have just been digging deep, trying to understand the car, pretty much the same as the beginning of every year.
"Ferrari always look strong, particularly the last few years; they looked strong right at the beginning, so that's to be expected. It has been normal."
Hamilton is going for a sixth world title this season, having won four of the last five championships, and his Mercedes team are going for a record sixth driver and constructor titles in a row.
But Hamilton said he had detected no complacency at the team, just a focus to keep winning despite the technical rule changes for this season aimed at improving the racing.
He said: "I am competing with everyone. I don't know who's going to be quickest. You can't say just Ferrari. You don't know where the Red Bulls are. Who knows what people are going to bring up for the first race?
"At the moment, we are competing against our past selves. All the engineers are raising the bar.
"It has been super impressive to see the hunger is still there after all the successes we've had.
"It has been a difficult winter for the guys back at the factory, I can see it and I've heard from them, with the rule changes, but if anyone can do it, it's my guys.
"We are the only team to have won a championship in a cross-over rule situation (in 2017) and even if we don't start on the right foot, I feel confident (we can do it again)."
Hamilton said he had taken advantage of new rules governing the weight of cars - aimed at ending penalties for taller, heavier drivers that were inherent in the previous system - to change his training and add more muscle bulk.
"I feel in the best shape I have been in for round seven with the team," he said.
"Crazy to think I have been six years with the team but this is going to be the most challenging year of our partnership (...) so it is super exciting. I still love racing so nothing really changes there."
He said he was not allowing himself to think about winning the championship: "It is a new season, a new year, a new chapter and we have to approach it like it's our first. We're going for number one, that's how I approach it."
And he added he was as motivated as ever to win.
"I have earned the right to be here and (I'm) still delivering, at least last year, better than ever," he said.
"And I love that challenge of coming back each year, new car, it is like meeting someone new, and you don't know the good and bad, and the journey you go on with that car is a real privileged position.
"I love getting back in and giving it another shot and you put the title out there for anyone else to take.
"I love that fight, and even more so the work you do with almost 2,000 people.
"The driving is cool but going back and seeing how far your word travels and working on new technology and being only one of two that gets to pilot it, it's the best job in the world. What else would I do afterwards? I could do many things but this is at the core of me and this is what I love doing."
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February 20, 2019 at 08:30AM
Motorcycle News - Made of Metal – Triumph Speed Triple
One place where form should never compromise function is in the world of motorcycle customisation. This is particularly relevant when customising a motorcycle such as the Triumph Speed Triple. The Speed Triple lays claim to being one the first factory built bikes to adopt the streetfighter style. This was a bold move by Triumph and one they took very seriously. Along with its aggressive ‘bug-eyed’ styling, the Triumph Speed Triple is a top performer. It’s been praised for both its power and handling year after year and has amassed a huge global following during its 25 years of production.
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February 20, 2019 at 06:42AM
Motorcycle News - COOL RUNNINGS. Banb Motorcycle’s ‘Zumax’ Suzuki GSX750 Inazuma Racer
Written by Andrew Jones
Ostentatious oil coolers have been a stock-in-trade item for Japanese car customisers for decades. Lifted from racing car stylings of the 70s and 80s, the more ridiculous its placement and the route the oil lines take, the more street cred the cars seem to have. Now an essential part of the Japanese ‘Shakotan’ style, it’s part of a plethora of cool custom ideas developed in Japan since the dawn of time. But has it ever been attempted on a custom bike? Well, it has now. Meet the ‘Zumax’ Suzuki GSX 750 racer from France‘s Banb Motorcycles.
Shop owner Alban Jaunay works as a freelance product designer in Marseille, in the south of France. He’d been thinking of building himself a custom motorbike for a few years, but he really got serious after he went with his girlfriend to the Café Racer Festival near Paris. “While we were there she asked me, ‘Why don’t you build yourself a custom bike like these? I’d rather see you spending hours wrenching on a bike than browsing Pipeburn.’ And so it began. This is the point in my life where my passion for creation and motorbikes would become a reality. So, I launched my own custom motorbike workshop. I call it Banb Motorcycles.”
“Why don’t you build yourself a custom bike? I’d rather see you spending hours wrenching on a bike than browsing Pipeburn.”
Blurring genres, Alban tells us that he considers the bike to be a cafe racer, probably thanks to the fact he’s stripped it to make it go faster. But we’re also seeing touches of ‘80s endurance racers and even a little rat style. What a killer combo. “The donor was in fact a ‘99 Suzuki GSX750 Inazuma. Ironically, I bought it from a guy who bought it to create a custom bike, but he never really had the time to start. Then the R nineT Scrambler came out, and it was very close to the custom bike of his dreams, so he decided to buy the BMW and sell the Inazuma. I was lucky, as it was still in very good condition.”
And what about the name, ‘Zumax’? We’re glad you asked. “Probably thanks to the bare metal, the patina finish and the placement of the oil cooler, everybody asks me if it is a bike that was inspired by the Mad Max movies, so I named it ‘Zumax’ – a shortened version of Inazuma Max.” Mad Max influenced, you say? You won’t hear any complaints from us, then.
“I was born in Le Mans,” smiles Al. “I have always loved going to events like the MotoGP or the 24 Hour events, so naturally my inspiration comes from the racing world. I like the mix of simplicity and brutality you see in racing machines; I think there is a real elegance to them. With its twin shocks, the big inline four and the tube frame, the Inazuma was a perfect choice to create an interpretation of the US Superbike series from the 80’s. My main goal was to give it a stripped down and racy look, very much like the bikes from Racefit Exhausts.”
The build started with a rusted gas tank from a Suzuki GS1000. “I had to adapt it to the frame, clean it and coat the inside with resin. The outside has been sanded and clear coated to show the bare steel. I wanted the oil cooler to hang at the very front of the bike, as with some superbikes I took my inspiration from. The big round headlight has been removed and a Setrab racing oil cooler with Goodridge braided lines took its place. Then, two smaller lenticular lights were hung on its side. Also, the set of factory instruments has been replaced by a much simpler Koso tachometer.”
After deftly relocating part of the wiring harness under the tank, a set of wide and low LSL handlebars were adorned with Progrip’s finest and bolted on. “At the other end of the bike, I cut the subframe and installed the rear and side fairings from an ‘82 Kawasaki Z750. I kept their decals and emblems as a kind of nod to the actual engine capacity of the bike. The standard seat was then modified to make it a single-seater. The small rear lights and turn signals were integrated in the rear fairing and the battery case was transformed to tidy up the rear a little bit.” Lastly, Al swapped out the muffler for a very tasty Yoshimura R&D number.
Al says that the real key to the project was getting the tank right. “I had almost no equipment, no workshop and it was my first build. I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it. It took me forever to reshape the underside to adapt it to the frame. Then the fuel petcock was in the way of the airbox. I quickly learned how much work is needed to customize a motorbike. Sanding it in the living room of the apartment was also a great moment. It is the only part of the bike where I needed some help; a big thank you to my dad and my friend Steven.”
No surprises, then, that the tank is also Alban’s favourite part on the finished bike. “I love the look of the bare steel. Steven did an amazing job coating it. Its shape also transforms the look of the bike. Going from the roundish standard tank to the sleeker one from the GS1000 makes the bike much more elegant. It’s a good reference to the racing superbikes of Wes Cooley.” Al also takes time to call out that Setrab oil cooler.“ I love this kind of overtly racy part. It gives the bike a very aggressive look.” Long live Shakotan!
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February 20, 2019 at 05:55AM
F1 News - F1 testing 2019: Which is the best-looking car?
The drivers are ready, testing is well under way and there's less than a month before the first race of the season in Melbourne.
But there's only question that really matters: who has produced the best-looking car?
Whether it's the new-look Williams or the typically stylish Ferrari that's setting your pulse racing, let us know below...
If you are viewing this page on the BBC News app please click here to vote.
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February 20, 2019 at 04:54AM
Motorcycle News - Patent Filings Reveal Hybrid BMW Boxer Engine Technology
Back in 2017, BMW played an April Fools joke by announcing a hybrid all-wheel drive R1200GS. Dubbed the R1200GS xDrive Hybrid (pictured above), the bike would have incorporated an electric hub motor on the front wheel to deliver traction when needed.
The prank fooled some people, in part because it had an element of truth. BMW did have some patents on a similar system filed in 2015, while noted BMW tuner Wunderlich showcased an actual concept model at EICMA, also in 2015.
The idea of a hybrid BMW motorcycle has largely faded into memory as the company launched its electric C Evolution scooter and the R1200 boxer family evolved into the R1250 line with variable valve technology. However, newly-published patent filings reveal that BMW has continued to tinker with the idea of a hybrid boxer engine motorcycle.
Unlike the previous work, the new patent packages the electric motor with the boxer engine, with both delivering power to the rear wheel. The two are connected by an adapter which houses a planetary gear system, with a torque-limiting slip clutch on the electric motor’s side. Through this assembly, the electric motor can drive the crankshaft, delivering power through a regular clutch and transmission and on to the drive shaft. This also eliminates the need for a separate starter motor. The motor can also function as a generator, converting mechanical power from the engine into electricity.
The adapter is a key part of BMW’s patent. It allows the drive train to be modular, making it easy for BMW to adopt different electric motors. The patent describes the potential of using a motor that produces a maximum torque of 20% of the engine’s maximum, or a more powerful electric motor with 200% of the engine’s peak torque (or anything in between). The adapter also helps keep the overall system compact, and, as the patent notes, makes it easier to employ without needing to redesign much of the rest of the motorcycle.
While the patent confirms that BMW has been working on a hybrid boxer powertrain, it’s unclear whether this will result in a finished product. Though the patent was only published last week, it was originally filed with Germany’s patent office on Aug. 8, 2017. Since that time, BMW has released the R1250 engine with ShiftCam variable valve timing. It’s possible the hybrid patent idea is for the next generation of BMW boxers, but it’s also possible it represents a different evolutionary path that may not pan out. The patent doesn’t address vital concerns, such as the size and positioning of the batteries, that will need to be addressed before we see a hybrid motorcycle enter production. Either way, the patent indicates a hybrid BMW boxer was considered at some point in time. Whether we’ll see an physical example remains to be seen.
The post Patent Filings Reveal Hybrid BMW Boxer Engine Technology appeared first on Motorcycle.com.
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February 19, 2019 at 05:49PM
F1 News - F1 testing: Leclerc fastest for Ferrari in Barcelona
Charles Leclerc put Ferrari on top for the second day in a row at the start of pre-season testing in Spain.
The 21-year-old Monegasque, who steps up to Ferrari this season after an impressive debut year in 2018, headed McLaren's British novice Lando Norris.
Leclerc's time was within 0.1 seconds of that achieved by team-mate Sebastian Vettel in setting the pace on Monday.
Red Bull's Pierre Gasly had a crash late in the day, while world champion Lewis Hamilton was 10th for Mercedes.
Gasly lost control on the entry to Turn 12 and spun into the gravel trap late in the afternoon, brushing the barrier with his rear wing.
The Frenchman looked mortified to have crashed on his first day in a new car following his promotion to a top team, after spending last year with Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso.
Gasly sat in the car for some time after the incident, and when he climbed out left his helmet on until he had returned to the pits and gone out of sight at the back of the garage.
He was not the only driver to have a 'moment' - Leclerc had a spin at the chicane, as Vettel did on Monday, while British-born Thai novice Alexander Albon spun into the gravel on his first lap out of the pits on his debut for Toro Rosso.
Albon later spun again and ended the day fourth quickest of 11 drivers who took part in the day, using the second-fastest C2 tyres, which Norris also used for his quick time late in the day.
Leclerc was a second clear of the field until Norris' improvement, an eye-catching performance in the McLaren - although an earlier, slightly slower, time set on two-step harder tyres was arguably more impressive.
Behind Norris, Kevin Magnussen's Haas was third fastest ahead of Albon, the Alfa Romeo of Italian Antonio Giovinazzi, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and Gasly.
Headline lap times in pre-season are a notoriously unreliable guide to form because teams do not reveal the specification in which cars are running, and tyres, fuel loads and engine modes all have a significant effect on lap time.
On top of that, teams are at this stage focusing more on reliability and learning rather than absolute speed.
Five-time champions Mercedes in particular always tend to run a low-key programme in testing.
Nevertheless, Ferrari's reliability and pace has impressed onlookers.
On Monday, Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said they "looked ultra-strong". On Tuesday, Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo said: Ferrari have come out strong - I feel like they have the last few seasons. Performance and reliability at the moment, they seem to be creating a statement. That's really the only team that's stood out for now."
Williams were missing for a second consecutive day as they fought delays to the build of their new car, which was due to leave their Oxfordshire factory to fly to Barcelona on Tuesday evening.
Williams say the car should be at the track by 04:00-05:00 local time on Wednesday, after which they will have to finish the build.
The team expect to be able to run after lunch on Wednesday and finally get their pre-season testing programme off the ground.
Fastest times, day two, first pre-season test, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
1 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari one minute 18.247 seconds ***
2 Lando Norris (GB) McLaren 1:18.553 ****
3 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:19.206 ***
4 Alexander Albon (Tha) Toro Rosso 1:19.301 ****
5 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo 1:19.312 ****
6 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:19.535 ***
7 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Red Bull 1:19.814 ***
8 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:19.837 ***
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:19.886 ***
10 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:19.928 ***
11 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:20.433 ***
12 Pietro Fittipaldi (Brz) Haas 1:21.849 ***
Key: * = C1 tyre (hardest); ** = C2 (second hardest); *** = C3 (middle); C4 **** = (second softest); ***** = C5 (softest)
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://bbc.in/OHg7x6
February 19, 2019 at 11:18AM
Motorcycle News - A Honda CB350 restomod built by a jet aircraft mechanic
But this CB350 from New Jersey went straight to the top of the pile: it’s an absolutely state of the art restomod, and so beautifully finished we’d almost be scared to ride it.
It comes from Merlin Cycleworks, which is run by 56-year-old Mark Kouri. Mark’s been an aircraft mechanic for over 30 years—repairing jets for United Airlines—and you can see his attention to detail in this amazing build.
When he’s not repairing or replacing jet engines or fixing autopilots, he builds customs in his two-car garage at home. “I’m a one-man shop,” he tells us. “I started the business a few years ago, after finding a 1974 CB450 parked in my neighbor’s back yard.”
Mark happened across this 1972 CB350 in a Texas barn last year, bought it for $600, and promptly broke it down to the frame. “I like to think of it as a more modern, upgraded version of a 1970s factory racing bike,” he says.
There’s something reassuring about knowing an aircraft mechanic built a bike, and Mark has done an extremely thorough job. He’s detabbed the frame, heavily reinforced it, and even re-engineered the back half—eliminating the factory pressed steel frame.
Helping to dial in the race cam was ex-factory racer Frank Giannini of Giannini Racing—a multiple USCRA class champion. Spark comes from a Charlie’s Place ignition, along with a Rick’s Hotshot high output rotor and stator. And there’s an Antigravity 8-cell battery hidden in the rear cowl.
Mark made the exhaust himself, using back-purged TIG welded steel, and 1.25″ diameter tubing to maintain torque. It’s .060 wall 304 stainless, with a Cone Engineering muffler, and Mark also fabricated the inlets at the head on his lathe.
To reduce unsprung weight, Mark has installed Excel Takasago aluminum rims, powdercoated black. They’re laced with Buchanan’s stainless steel spokes to rebuilt hubs—a Cognito Moto at the front and a Honda OEM at the rear. The rubber is a mix of Continental’s Road Attack and Classic Attack.
The clip-on bars are Vortex, the levers are from ASV, there’s a Domino quick-action race throttle, and the classy billet switchgear is from our friends at Renard Speed Shop in Estonia. The instrument is a combined GPS speedo/tach from Speedhut.
There’s a custom belly pan to shield the exhaust: Mark fabricated this in-house using .060 aluminum, teaching himself how to use an English wheel as he went along.
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to custom Hondas, but this one goes straight into our all-time Top Ten CBs.
Love your work, Mark.
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
February 19, 2019 at 11:09AM