Ducati Panigale 899 Spy shot of the new has been spotted parked on an Italian street just weeks ahead of the official launch of the bike.
So as rumor had it, it comes with a twin sided swingarm, probably for competition perposes?
Grey 43mm USD forks as used on the 1098/848 in grey, not as pretty as the 50mm used on the 1199 IMHO.
No mono block caliper just standard as used on the early 848/Hypermotard range.
Looks like it is also keeping the wet clutch, bit of a marmite for Ducatisti’s.
Can anyone else spot any differences?
A test and development version of the new Ducati Panigale 899 has been spotted parked on an Italian street just weeks ahead of the official launch of the bike.
The bike is a smaller capacity version of the Panigale 1199 and can be seen have a series of changes over the bigger bike as the Italian firm has cut development costs to try and reduce the price of the bike. The new 899 will replace the ageing 848 model range.
The most obvious change is the fitment of a double-sided swingarm instead of the single sider seen on the bigger 1199 machine. The bike also has lower specification suspension, different wheels
A ‘baby’ Panigale has been rumoured for as long as the 1199 Panigale has been around and launched in 2011 but MCN knew these were premature until now for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, the Italian firm wanted to cement the reputation of the 1199 Panigale before it brought out a smaller bike and secondly, the 848 remains a popular and decent selling bike around the world despite the catastrophic sales decline in the supersport class around the world.
Also, the development of a new engine based on the ‘Superquadra’ was going to take some time and the firm only has limited resources with which to do this. It makes perfect sense that two-years of engine development work has now gone into this new 899cc V-twin which is expected to produce around 150bhp; up from the 140bhp of the current 848 Evo Corse SE range-topper.
The 899 is expected to carry over almost all of the electronic systems from the bigger bike; this means traction control, switchable riding modes, ABS and a quickshifter are almost certain to be fitted. It’s not known if the LED headlights from the 1199 are destined for this bike but it seems likely as the bike was designed around LED lights rather than a traditional halogen set-up.
Jack Keen Racing – Round 5 – Oulton Park
The team arrived Thursday night, and camped up outside the track ready to set up Friday in time for practice. Free Practice: Jack had previous settings that he wanted to try out on the new engine and the suspension. He went out on old tyres, but noticed there were more serious handling issues that needed to be resolved for qualifying as the bike became near un-rideable.
Lap Time: 1,46.911
Qualifying: Jack went out with some new settings to try and rectify the handling issues. However, the problem became a lot worse. Jack then pitted in to make changes in the opposite direction on his suspension, but unfortunately due to a red flag, qualifying was stopped after only 6 laps for him which resulted in a 20th position start for Race 1.
Lap Time: 1,47.583
Race 1: The race got under way with Jack starting from a rare row 5. He quickly starting battling through the groups, and made it to 15th, however on the penultimate lap, Jack had a sudden loss of power, so he immediately hit the kill
switch and rolled off track. This gave Jack a DNF. The unfinished race turned out to be the least of our worries. With the bike and Jack safely back to the team awning, and after a short investigation, we discovered a major engine issue… a big problem which couldn’t be helped but which unfortunately couldn’t be fixed trackside. This put us out for the rest of the weekend so no Race 2 for JKR.
Lap Time: 1,45.734
Overview: All in all, what looked to be a positive round with a new engine in the bike turned into a disaster. We are waiting to hear the overall condition of the engine, and will update everyone as soon as we know more. We are hoping to get luck back on our side in the very near future! Massive Thanks to all our Sponsors, supporters and everyone that helped!
Jack Keen Racing #114 www.jackkeenracing.com
MV Agusta F4RR Review
2012 MV Agusta F4RR Review Video 201 Hp @ 13400 RPM equals pure power. Created using the most exotic materials, ultra-sophisticated suspension and short-stroke engine make the 2012 MV Agusta F4 RR the most advanced and powerful superbike in the world. The best 450 on the track—better than ever. RR, the magical acronym that immediately brings to mind the world of competition. The bike for special individuals who demand the most exhilarating riding experience. Created using the most exotic materials, ultra-sophisticated suspension and the new 1000cc short-stroke engine make the MV Agusta F4 RR the most advanced and powerful superbike in the world. When the most sophisticated chassis design is joined with the new MV short stroke engine, the result can only be an extraordinary machine. The MV Agusta F4 RR is the perfect tool for riders who demand the utmost performance. Evolved, exotic, and even further refined, the F4 RR is currently the best that technology can offer to the motorcycling world. To already refined MV Agusta F4, you add even more exotic materials, reduced weight, and, above all, a 201 hp four-cylinder engine which makes the F4 RR the most powerful superbike ever built. All “packaged” with the advanced design that makes the MV Agusta F4 RR unique and unmistakable. A project for those who demand the ultimate riding experience. Total Motorcycle is accredited …
Ducati 848 EVO 2011 Review
Ducati’s middleweight superbike gets a significant upgrade for 2011, further separating itself from the confines of established sportbike categories.
It’s already 17 years since the first small-bore Ducati 4-valve superbike, the 748, broke cover – the same year as the iconic 916, in 1994. The 748 played a background second fiddle to the beloved 916 series until the 749 emerged in 2003. A close relation to the aesthetically challenged 999, the 749 continued to be a relatively low-cost entre into Ducati’s superbike family and competed against the Japanese 600s in supersport competition.
Then MY2008 saw a paradigm shift for the sub-liter Ducati superbikes, with the new 848 getting 15 extra horses and a weight loss of nearly 50 lbs! However, its 101cc displacement bump (to 849cc) made it ineligible for supersport competition, leaving it adrift in a class of its own.
Perhaps that’s a good thing. Instead of being considered an expensive alternative to the Japanese four-cylinders, the 848 ruled over them with not only more torque, of course, but also more horsepower. Our ’08 test bike cranked out 116 ponies at the rear wheel, which is nearly on par with what a 999 or Honda RC51 could do a few years ago when liter-sized superbikes were the hot ticket.
Well, Ducati has upped the ante again with the 848 EVO, bringing along extra horsepower, improved brakes and fitment of a standard steering damper – all for the same price as last year’s 848s.
To demonstrate the EVO’s newfound prowess, Ducati invited us to the historic Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in the town of Imola, Italy.
It’s within the engine that most of the EVO’s updates are found. The 848’s powerplant remains structurally unchanged, but a multitude of revisions to improve performance creates what Ducati says is “the highest power-per-liter of any twin-cylinder engine in production.”
At the intake side, the fuel-injection’s throttle body size jumps from 56mm to 60mm and feeds fuel into optimized intake ports. New cams offer increased valve lift on both the intake and exhaust sides. A revised combustion chamber and new pistons bump the compression ratio from 12.1 to a high 13.2:1. The 90-degree V-Twin’s rev ceiling has been lifted 500 revs to 11,300 rpm, and heat generated from the extra revs is dissipated by new ventilated timing belt covers.
There’s about 120 horses being spat out the rear wheel of the 848 EVO.
Ducati showed us a dyno graph comparing old and new engines, and the EVO’s has an advantage starting at 8500 rpm, with a bigger jump after 9.5K when it romps to a 6-horse surplus. Crankshaft horsepower is alleged to be 140 at 10,500 rpm. We’ll guess rear-wheel ponies will nudge past the 120-hp mark.
Positive impressions begin at start-up, as the 848’s exhaust note sounds deliciously rambunctious. They’re actually a little too boisterous for the EPA – USA bikes will be slightly quieter thanks to mufflers almost 2 inches longer.
Heading out onto the Imola racetrack, the EVO feels almost identical to the 848. Its wet clutch isn’t grabby like some of Ducati’s dry clutch packs, and low-to-midrange power easily dwarfs any sub-liter four-cylinder. Claimed dry weight remains constant at 370 lbs, so its fully fueled curb weight will come in at about 425 lbs.
World Superbike title contender Carlos Checa tries to keep up with Duke.
The EVO responds with enthusiasm when dialing on the power with an open track ahead, revving with an urgency above 9000 rpm the old bike lacked. It pulls so well up top that a rider needs to be conscious of the shift lights to engage the next gear before the rev limiter kicks in. With shifts timed accurately, the EVO is fully capable of cutting fast laps – quicker on many tracks than the 600s.
|The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari nestled within the town of Imola has a rich and storied legacy, and it holds many secrets of speed until a rider can milk his best out of the Italian circuito. I learned that the blind left-hander Piratella is much faster than expected, and that the first part of the downhill Aqua Minerale requires only a short stab at the brakes.
I had one other eye-opening speed lesson as I headed up Imola’s front straight for the last time of the day. With the 848 rubbing its redline in fifth gear, I grabbed a handful of brakes as the Tamburello chicane loomed closer. Then, with a shock that took my breath away, a rider flashed past on my left with at least 30 mph extra. “Oh, god,” I thought, “Someone’s lost his brakes and is going to pile in a huge way into the same area in which F1 legend Ayrton Senna lost his life.”
Then, before I could inhale, I recognized the seemingly doomed rider was none other than World Superbike race winner Carlos Checa on an 1198 – it wasn’t the first time he’d passed me. Because Checa’s one of the world’s finest riders, I knew he could handle Taburello easy enough. I relaxed momentarily.
But at the same instant I was again floored by what I was seeing. Not only was the amiable Spaniard going faster and deeper into Tamburello than I’d imagined possible, he also decided to do it with flair right in front of my disbelieving eyes. My jaw dropped as Checa pitched it sideways on the brakes, leaving a black stripe of rubber from his rear tire for about 50 yards before gathering it up in time for the fast-approaching corner.
I’m not worthy. –KD
But engine tuning, like life, is a compromise. We’re stoked to have a more power at high revs, and response from the 60mm oval throttle bodies is rewardingly seamless, but the EVO seems to have lost a bit of midrange grunt compared to the Gen-1 848. Tellingly, the EVO’s torque peak is at 9750 rpm, about 1200 revs higher than we measured on our previous test bike. Strident power only arrives once past 7000 rpm, giving the EVO a respectable 4300-rpm play zone.
Other than the plentiful engine mods, the EVO’s most significant upgrade revealed itself when barreling downhill with a full head of steam into the Rivazza twin left-handers, one of the most intense braking zones on the Imola circuit.
The 848’s new Brembo monobloc brake calipers deliver a more solid feel than the previous two-piece calipers even though they’re clamping on the same 320mm dual discs. Ducati claims 20% greater deceleration at the same lever pressure. Fluid continues to be delivered by a radial-pump master cylinder via coated, braided stainless-steel lines, delivering stellar feel. The old bike’s brakes were easily better than average, and these new binders step up the game to excellent status.
Making the 848 even more track-worthy is the addition of a steering damper sourced from the 1198. The non-adjustable unit is cross-mounted atop the upper triple clamp, and it provides some assurance the EVO wouldn’t get squirrelly even if its rider does.
Not that we had much complaint about the 848’s handling without a damper. The EVO continues the platform’s fine handling qualities, exhibiting a fairly light turn-in at low speeds, becoming more deliberate as speeds rise. It’s a solid, predictable chassis with terrific mid-corner stability.
The 848 EVO loves being leaned over in the corners.
The final new bits on the EVO are the terrific Pirelli Supercorsa SP tires we’ve enjoyed as OE-fitment on some premium sportbikes. While the SPs are better suited for road use, we were spoiled with sticky race-compound Supercorsas (no SP, which are rated for higher speeds) developed in World Supersport competition. We ran out of nerve before they ran out of grip.
A few laps on Ducati’s new 1198SP pointed to a couple of components that would also be beneficial on its little brother. The SP’s new slipper clutch would be a nice addition for track work on the 848, as would the Ducati Quick Shifter that’s now standard on the 1198 series. The 848’s gearbox didn’t always cooperate during clutchless upshifts.
Aside from new paint color options, the 848 is stylistically unchanged in its EVO guise. For many bikes, this would be a problem. For the 848, its status-quo stance keeps it among the belles of the ball, especially in the new Arctic White Silk seen in these photos, a tasty matte-white pearl with red frame and wheels. Bella!
Our time aboard the EVO at Imola reaffirmed the 848’s sporting credentials, nicely upgraded for 2011 with tweaks that will help it get around a racetrack even quicker than before. It’s an upper-echelon sporting tool that can dust off a Ducati 999 if need be – or nearly anything else on a medium-speed racetrack.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter if the 848 is a bike without direct competition. It’s a strong seller for Ducati, with some 80% of buyers new to the Ducati fold, most coming from Japanese 600s. And along with Monster 696 riders, the 848 shares the distinction of having the youngest buyers among the Ducatisti.
With middleweight sportbikes from Asia pushing the $11,000 mark, it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch to pony up another grand or so to park a Dark Stealth (matte black) 848 EVO at its $12,995 MSRP. That’s less than asked for the 749 back in 2003! The white or red EVO’s list for $1000 extra.
So, can a $13,000 Italian sportbike be a value proposition? We think so.
- source: topxmotor.com
Ducati 899 Details Leaked, New Superbike Expected for 2014
Dubbed Ducati 899, the upcoming bike might be developed for FIM-sanctioned racing and given the fact that the expected displacement will accurately reflect the badge, we might just see it in the Superbike series.
According to the same sources the new engine will of course, be a 90-degree twin with an architecture inspired by the 1199 Panigale, delivering 155 HP with a limiter set at 11,500 rpm, and will be part of the structural assembly of the new bike.
The spies also mentioned Ducati tossing the single-sided swingarm and returning to the dual-side design Aprilia’s “banana” uses. While such news are still in need of some more details, showing the Ducati 899 at the 2013 EICMA later this fall in Milan, Italy could be a nice move from the Italian manufacturer, and a huge “cool factor” appearance. Stay tuned for more info as we delve for it.
The Most Entertaining Ducati Review Ever
You know how people use Jeremy Clarkson’s reviews as examples of using 1,200 words talking about anything but the car, and tying it all together in the last possible moment? Hunter S. Thompson would give him a very good run for his money.
Re-posted below is his review of the Ducati 900SS, written for a March, 1995 issue of CycleWorld, called “Song of the Sausage Creature“. (The Sausage Creature refers to a mythical beast that chews up crashed riders, turning them into sausage.) If you know anything about Hunter S. Thompson, you’ll know he was notorious for writing about anything except what he was paid to talk about. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was born from an assignment on the Mint 400 Off-Road race, which he hardly covered, or even got near.
This piece is similar. Hunter goes on and on about the mental state of a cafe racers, what motorcycles mean to him, how stupid it is to ride one on the street (followed immediately by how that is the only place he rides), memories of crashing, and numerous moments of panic when he almost crashed the loaned Ducati. If you want cornering data and weight stats, go elsewhere. But if you want the most entertaining story of a motorcycle experience, woven with looks into the psyche of dare devils that, in the end, exposes why we all love speed, jump and read.
“That is the Curse of Speed which has plagued me all my life. I am a slave to it. On my tombstone they will carve, “IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.” ” Mine too, Mr. Thompson.
There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp-speed 900cc cafe racer is one of them – but I want one anyway, and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous.
Everybody has fast motorcycles these days. Some people go 150 miles an hour on two-lane blacktop roads, but not often. There are too many oncoming trucks and too many radar cops and too many stupid animals in the way. You have to be a little crazy to ride these super-torque high-speed crotch rockets anywhere except a racetrack – and even there, they will scare the whimpering shit out of you… There is, after all, not a pig’s eye worth of difference between going head-on into a Peterbilt or sideways into the bleachers. On some days you get what you want, and on others, you get what you need.
When Cycle World called me to ask if I would road-test the new Harley Road King, I got uppity and said I’d rather have a Ducati superbike. It seemed like a chic decision at the time, and my friends on the superbike circuit got very excited. “Hot damn,” they said. “We will take it to the track and blow the bastards away.”
“Balls,” I said. “Never mind the track. The track is for punks. We are Road People. We are Cafe Racers.”
The Cafe Racer is a different breed, and we have our own situations. Pure speed in sixth gear on a 5000-foot straightaway is one thing, but pure speed in third gear on a gravel-strewn downhill ess-turn is quite another.
But we like it. A thoroughbred Cafe Racer will ride all night through a fog storm in freeway traffic to put himself into what somebody told him was the ugliest and tightest decreasing-radius turn since Genghis Khan invented the corkscrew.
Cafe Racing is mainly a matter of taste. It is an atavistic mentality, a peculiar mix of low style, high speed, pure dumbness, and overweening commitment to the Cafe Life and all its dangerous pleasures… I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days – and it is one of my finest addictions.
I am not without scars on my brain and my body, but I can live with them. I still feel a shudder in my spine every time I see a picture of a Vincent Black Shadow, or when I walk into a public restroom and hear crippled men whispering about the terrifying Kawasaki Triple… I have visions of compound femur-fractures and large black men in white hospital suits holding me down on a gurney while a nurse called “Bess” sews the flaps of my scalp together with a stitching drill.
Ho, ho. Thank God for these flashbacks. The brain is such a wonderful instrument (until God sinks his teeth into it). Some people hear Tiny Tim singing when they go under, and some others hear the song of the Sausage Creature.
When the Ducati turned up in my driveway, nobody knew what to do with it. I was in New York, covering a polo tournament, and people had threatened my life. My lawyer said I should give myself up and enroll in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Other people said it had something to do with the polo crowd.
The motorcycle business was the last straw. It had to be the work of my enemies, or people who wanted to hurt me. It was the vilest kind of bait, and they knew I would go for it.
Of course. You want to cripple the bastard? Send him a 130-mph cafe-racer. And include some license plates, he’ll think it’s a streetbike. He’s queer for anything fast.
Which is true. I have been a connoisseur of fast motorcycles all my life. I bought a brand-new 650 BSA Lightning when it was billed as “the fastest motorcycle ever tested by Hot Rod magazine.” I have ridden a 500-pound Vincent through traffic on the Ventura Freeway with burning oil on my legs and run the Kawa 750 Triple through Beverly Hills at night with a head full of acid… I have ridden with Sonny Barger and smoked weed in biker bars with Jack Nicholson, Grace Slick, Ron Zigler and my infamous old friend, Ken Kesey, a legendary Cafe Racer.
Some people will tell you that slow is good – and it may be, on some days – but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba….
So when I got back from New York and found a fiery red rocket-style bike in my garage, I realized I was back in the road-testing business.
The brand-new Ducati 900 Campione del Mundo Desmodue Supersport double-barreled magnum Cafe Racer filled me with feelings of lust every time I looked at it. Others felt the same way. My garage quickly became a magnet for drooling superbike groupies. They quarreled and bitched at each other about who would be the first to help me evaluate my new toy… And I did, of course, need a certain spectrum of opinions, besides my own, to properly judge this motorcycle. The Woody Creek Perverse Environmental Testing Facility is a long way from Daytona or even top-fuel challenge-sprints on the Pacific Coast Highway, where teams of big-bore Kawasakis and Yamahas are said to race head-on against each other in death-defying games of “chicken” at 100 miles an hour….
No. Not everybody who buys a high-dollar torque-brute yearns to go out in a ball of fire on a public street in L.A. Some of us are decent people who want to stay out of the emergency room, but still blast through neo-gridlock traffic in residential districts whenever we feel like it… For that we need Fine Machinery.
Which we had – no doubt about that. The Ducati people in New Jersey had opted, for some reasons of their own, to send me the 900ss-sp for testing – rather than their 916 crazy-fast, state-of-the-art superbike track-racer. It was far too fast, they said – and prohibitively expensive – to farm out for testing to a gang of half-mad Colorado cowboys who think they’re world-class Cafe Racers.
The Ducati 900 is a finely engineered machine. My neighbors called it beautiful and admired its racing lines. The nasty little bugger looked like it was going 90 miles an hour when it was standing still in my garage.
Taking it on the road, though, was a genuinely terrifying experience. I had no sense of speed until I was going 90 and coming up fast on a bunch of pickup trucks going into a wet curve along the river. I went for both brakes, but only the front one worked, and I almost went end over end. I was out of control staring at the tailpipe of a U.S. Mail truck, still stabbing frantically at my rear brake pedal, which I just couldn’t find… I am too tall for these new-age roadracers; they are not built for any rider taller than five-nine, and the rearset brake pedal was not where I thought it would be. Mid-size Italian pimps who like to race from one cafe to another on the boulevards of Rome in a flat-line prone position might like this, but I do not.
I was hunched over the tank like a person diving into a pool that got emptied yesterday. Whacko! Bashed on the concrete bottom, flesh ripped off, a Sausage Creature with no teeth, fucked-up for the rest of its life.
We all love Torque, and some of us have taken it straight over the high side from time to time – and there is always Pain in that… But there is also Fun, the deadly element, and Fun is what you get when you screw this monster on. BOOM! Instant take-off, no screeching or squawking around like a fool with your teeth clamping down on our tongue and your mind completely empty of everything but fear.
No. This bugger digs right in and shoots you straight down the pipe, for good or ill.
On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm….
And that’s when it got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds – and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.
I never got to sixth gear, and I didn’t get deep into fifth. This is a shameful admission for a full-bore Cafe Racer, but let me tell you something, old sport: This motorcycle is simply too goddamn fast to ride at speed in any kind of normal road traffic unless you’re ready to go straight down the centerline with your nuts on fire and a silent scream in your throat.
When aimed in the right direction at high speed, though, it has unnatural capabilities. This I unwittingly discovered as I made my approach to a sharp turn across some railroad tracks, saw that I was going way too fast and that my only chance was to veer right and screw it on totally, in a desperate attempt to leapfrog the curve by going airborne.
It was a bold and reckless move, but it was necessary. And it worked: I felt like Evel Knievel as I soared across the tracks with the rain in my eyes and my jaws clamped together in fear. I tried to spit down on the tracks as I passed them, but my mouth was too dry… I landed hard on the edge of the road and lost my grip for a moment as the Ducati began fishtailing crazily into oncoming traffic. For two or three seconds I came face to face with the Sausage Creature….
But somehow the brute straightened out. I passed a schoolbus on the right and got the bike under control long enough to gear down and pull off into an abandoned gravel driveway where I stopped and turned off the engine. My hands had seized up like claws and the rest of my body was numb. I felt nauseous and I cried for my mama, but nobody heard, then I went into a trance for 30 or 40 seconds until I was finally able to light a cigarette and calm down enough to ride home. I was too hysterical to shift gears, so I went the whole way in first at 40 miles an hour.
Whoops! What am I saying? Tall stories, ho, ho… We are motorcycle people; we walk tall and we laugh at whatever’s funny. We shit on the chests of the Weird….
But when we ride very fast motorcycles, we ride with immaculate sanity. We might abuse a substance here and there, but only when it’s right. The final measure of any rider’s skill is the inverse ratio of his preferred Traveling Speed to the number of bad scars on his body. It is that simple: If you ride fast and crash, you are a bad rider. And if you are a bad rider, you should not ride motorcycles.
The emergence of the superbike has heightened this equation drastically. Motorcycle technology has made such a great leap forward. Take the Ducati. You want optimum cruising speed on this bugger? Try 90mph in fifth at 5500 rpm – and just then, you see a bull moose in the middle of the road. WHACKO. Meet the Sausage Creature.
Or maybe not: The Ducati 900 is so finely engineered and balanced and torqued that you *can* do 90 mph in fifth through a 35-mph zone and get away with it. The bike is not just fast – it is *extremely* quick and responsive, and it *will* do amazing things… It is like riding a Vincent Black Shadow, which would outrun an F-86 jet fighter on the take-off runway, but at the end, the F-86 would go airborne and the Vincent would not, and there was no point in trying to turn it. WHAMO! The Sausage Creature strikes again.
There is a fundamental difference, however, between the old Vincents and the new breed of superbikes. If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die. That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society. The Vincent was like a bullet that went straight; the Ducati is like the magic bullet in Dallas that went sideways and hit JFK and the Governor of Texas at the same time.
It was impossible. But so was my terrifying sideways leap across the railroad tracks on the 900sp. The bike did it easily with the grace of a fleeing tomcat. The landing was so easy I remember thinking, goddamnit, if I had screwed it on a little more I could have gone a lot farther.
Maybe this is the new Cafe Racer macho. My bike is so much faster than yours that I dare you to ride it, you lame little turd. Do you have the balls to ride this BOTTOMLESS PIT OF TORQUE?
That is the attitude of the new-age superbike freak, and I am one of them. On some days they are about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. The Vincent just killed you a lot faster than a superbike will. A fool couldn’t ride the Vincent Black Shadow more than once, but a fool can ride a Ducati 900 many times, and it will always be a bloodcurdling kind of fun. That is the Curse of Speed which has plagued me all my life. I am a slave to it. On my tombstone they will carve, “IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.” ”
Sure it wasn’t about the bike, or Ducati, or valves or new technology. Who cares. Nowadays, you can look that up. As a product review, it’s not very good, because I learned little more than that it’s fast and torquey. But if you are addicted to speed, or have dodged the Sausage Creature before, you probably connected to this piece more than you would some scribe’s take on the new R1.
MotoGP News Bradley Smith happy to have future speculation ended Motorcycle Sport
Cal Crutchlow’s decision to join Ducati for 2014 has at least ended constant speculation about the MotoGP future of current Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Bradley Smith.
With Pol Espargaro signed for Tech 3 on a factory Yamaha contract for 2014, if Crutchlow had agreed to a new one-year deal with the French-based squad, then Smith’s position appeared in jeopardy, even though he is under contract for next season.
The Oxfordshire rider has always remained convinced that he had a future in Herve Poncharal’s Tech 3 squad after an encouraging first half to his rookie MotoGP campaign.
The 22-year-old has scored six top 10 finishes so far with a best of sixth in Catalunya and Sachsenring.
Lingering doubts about Smith’s future ended today (Friday) though after Ducati and Yamaha made a raft of announcements.
The most significant of which was a big money two-year deal for Crutchlow to ride a factory Desmosedici as 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden’s replacement next season.
Smith will now be partnered by Moto2 world title contender Espargaro and speaking to MCN from California during the MotoGP summer break, Smith said: “From my point of view, to be honest it has never been 100% in doubt. I am sure there were meetings where my name was getting the axe but in terms of to my face it was never in doubt.
“None of that worry or anything else was passed onto me and that’s the job of the team and my management to keep that well out of my ears. To cement my place now 100% and not have to worry is nicer than being asked the same old questions week in and week out and the allows me to focus on the rest of the season.”
He added: “Laguna wasn’t a lot of fun because every interview and every media debrief I did, the same old question was coming up. I think it is nice now that the whole Tech 3 team is not going to be constantly questioned and we can focus on doing a good job for the second half of the season.”
Despite constant rumour about his own future on a factory-supported YZR-M1 being in doubt for weeks, Smith told MCN he never got even slightly worried about being squeezed out of Tech 3.
The whole Crutchlow/Smith contract saga was further complicated by the fact that the same manager represents both.
Bob Moore has no doubt been involved in some tense and delicate negotiations over a period of weeks but Smith said: “Bob has done a fantastic job and I am sure there has been a lot of pressure and a lot of moments that he wouldn’t want to share with anybody.
“He managed the whole situation really well and I didn’t know anything about Cal’s situation or anything that was going on and I didn’t make it my business to know what was going on. He kept us completely separate and I am sure it wasn’t easy at certain points.“
Casey Stoner makes his return to MotoGP action, testing Honda’s 2014 machine at Motegi
The double world champion, who retired from MotoGP following the 2012 Valencia Grand Prix, has signed up for four test sessions with Honda to help develop next year’s factory and privateer versions of the RCV.
The plan for Tuesday had been for Stoner to re-familiarise himself with the 2013 machine in the morning and then test the new 2014 prototype in the afternoon, plus a few other test items.
Unfortunately, after just six laps the rain arrived and halted testing for the day.
“It was good to get back on the bike, if only for a few laps!” said the 27-year-old Australian. “We only managed to get one run in before the rain arrived which was a little disappointing.
“It was really nice to get that first run, it’s been nine months since I’ve been on a bike and it’s going to take me some time to get used to everything again!
“The bike and the track felt good and I hope that we can get some better testing in tomorrow with some dry track time and run some more laps.”
Cristian Gabbarini, Stoner’s crew chief at both Honda and Ducati, has also travelled to Japan for the test, which continues on Wednesday.
Honda has so far ruled out the possibility of Stoner – who has been competing in the support class of the Australian V8 Supercar championship – making a wild-card race appearance this year.
Stoner’s rookie replacement Marc Marquez currently leads the world championship by 16 points from team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Ducati’s new scrambler?
When you talk about Ducati as a brand the first thing which pops to mind are street-oriented track machines. Over the last couple of days the internet has been buzzing with a Ducati-badgged scrambler.Many enthusiasts world over believe that Ducati are set to roll out a scrambler in the near fature. Well this is not the first time news of the Ducati’s scrambler, the project itself dates way back when Pierre Terblanche was still toiling away in Bologna, dodging equal portions of labor strikes and carbonara, and at the time was based around the now defunct Ducati Sport Classic.
Ducati officials have stated in recent events that they will roll out new models come 2014-15 and motorcycle enthusiast have started to believe that the Ducati Scrambler project is less of a rumor and might just be the next model to roll out from Bologna. There certainly are reasons which seem to indicate that the Italian company might just go into production of scramblers. Although technical bits of this new project have been kept under wraps (for obvious reasons!), many feel that the Ducati Scrambler will be based off the Ducati Hypermotard, sporting the peppy 821cc water-cooled v-twin. But what we are sure to state is that the Scrambler will be very similar in design to Terblanche’s work, with some tweaking and sculpting.