2005 News faster and better

BMW 2006 prices out

These are all prices in Euro released by BMW-Motorrad in Germany today (19/12/2005).

F 800 S 8 450,-

F 800 ST 9 150,-

R 1200 S 12 500,-  

K 1200 GT 17 000,-  


Christmas motorcycle Gift ideas

Here are some links to the manufacturers merchandise sites. There should be something for everyone from KTM socks, BMW GS T-shirt, Kawasaki Ninja mug to Ducati Snowboards.

Aprilia   Bimota   BMW   Buell   Ducati   H-D   Honda   Husaberg   Kawasaki   KTM   Moto Guzzi   Moto Morini   MV Agusta   MZ   Suzuki   Triumph   Victory   Yamaha

Our products link.


Yamaha R6 World Supersport tested

The two Yamaha Germany riders Broc Parks and Kevin Curtain had their first few laps on the new from the ground 2006 R6 at Valencia today. Read their comments about the new R6 and more pictures here. Look at all that gorgeous carbon fibre that soon will be painted in the Yamaha Germany colours. TS



Victory Vision 800 update and new direction for Polaris and perhaps KTM

This is our Q & A session with our Victory spokesman below.

R&R:-Did you design that parallel motor in house? Have you got a running 800cc parallel twin?

V: The engine is (conceptually speaking) a slightly modified version of an 800cc engine that Polaris already produces. It's "cousin" resides in the current Polaris Sportsman 800EFI ATV - and quadricycles....

R&R: -Why go parallel and not V?

V: The biggest reason is that the parallel allows the engine to lay quite flat - thereby creating a lower centre of gravity and freeing up space above it for the storage bay which can hold two full face helmets.

R&R: -Is it Polaris or Victory that makes the decisions on new models?

V: Both. It's very much of a collaborative effort. Victory is Polaris' motorcycle division.

R&R: -Now that BMW launched the F800S with Rotax parallel twin, can we expect to see something similar from Victory? As in a roadster.

V: That F800S looks like a great bike. As for a similar offering from Victory - it's not out of the question. As you can see with this concept, Victory (and Polaris) is thinking about much more down the road than just V-Twin Cruisers.

R&R: -You must have loads of technology available from high performance snow mobiles. How much of this can you transfer to a motorcycle?

V: Definitely, that is one of the benefits of being a diversified powersports company. Technologies and concepts are constantly shared between the different product divisions. In the end, it makes for better vehicles - and - if we can use the same part on a sled as we can on a bike or ATV - it also saves money - which is ultimately good news and a better value for the consumer (and the servicing dealer).

R&R: -The strategic cooperation with KTM: What else than distribution US/Europe do you believe the cooperation can lead to? Will you share engines? Since KTM plans to launch a ATV, will Polaris or Victory enter the Offroad/MX/Enduro market?

V: Currently, KTM and Polaris are collaborating on a number of different initiatives. Some have to do with distribution, some with manufacturing, and some with new products. As for sharing of engines or Victory's plans for the offroad market, I can't really comment at this time. However, in the event that Polaris ultimately buys KTM, you can see that the motorcycle business would expand tremendously to a number of different segments. For more information on the Polaris-KTM Strategic Partnership - click on the link.


BMW R1200S


Something has happened with BMW since the R1100S was launched in 1998. It was the most powerful BMW boxer then and R1200S will be the most powerful boxer now. BMW wants their bikes to be the perfect road bikes, but the press release leaves us with conflicting messages. It states that the R1200S is for people that find the Japanese and Italian superbikes too extreme whilst providing photography of the R1200S from a racetrack and offering high spec Ohlins suspension and a wider rear wheel to accommodate more racy tyres for more lean on a racetrack. Not to forget that "race ready" 213kg weight. We think that whether it wants to or not the R1200S will initially be compared to bikes such as Ducati 999, Aprilia RSV and Honda Fireblade. Then when everyone has slagged off the lack of top end power and speed it will find its place exactly where R1100S is today. That's with Suzuki SV1000S, Honda VTR1000F, Ducati 1000SS, Buell XB12R Firebolt, MZ1000S and Yamaha FZ1 S. It's not a bad place to be and with a new more powerful GS derived boxer the R1200S can't go much wrong in its segment. It is probably sailing up to be the favourite in this sports all-rounder market. It's between a full on sports bike and a sports tourer basically. But more sporty than ever. And it should be just as fun and safe to ride and slightly more satisfying to look at than the old R1100S. TS

R1100S chassis               R1200S chassis


• Air-cooled flat-twin 1170cc power unit with balance shaft.
• Max output increased to 90 kW/122 hp at 8,250 rpm.
• Electronic BMS-K engine management with dual ignition, knock control, two oxygen sensors, and a fully controlled three-way catalytic converter.
• Light and stable, three-piece frame structure made of steel and aluminium tubes.
• Extra-stiff Telelever with sensitive response and superior steering precision.
• EVO Paralever with extra-light driveshaft.
• Dry weight 190 kg/430 lb, weight in road trim with full tank 213 kg/470 lb.
• Front fairing support made of extra-light pressure-cast magnesium.
• Tail light with 18 LED's.
• Silencer with tailpipes positioned beneath one another directly under the rear fairing.
• Aerodynamically optimised, extra-slender body.
• Sports suspension with superior steering precision.
• High-performance brake system.
• New, extra-light ABS (optional).
• Wide range of accessories tailored to the sports rider.


Next: More Dakar teams, KTM Gauloises, BMW R900RR Dakar 2000-2001 photo special, everything you want to know about BMW R1200S, KTM Superduke test and will Suzuki reveal a brand new Hayabusa and B-king next year?

Also check out the 2005 International motorcycle show links for all the 2006 bikes.

Milan 2005  Paris 2005   Birmingham 2005  Tokyo 2005   Bike babes from all the shows


Victory Vision 800

Updated: 15/12. American motorcycle manufacturer Victory has in Long Beach, California now launched a concept bike just as outrageous as the stuff from Japan. Vision 800 has got many similarities with Honda's concept bike DN-01 launched at Tokyo Motor Show earlier this year. Here are the specs: 800cc parallel twin engine, automatic constant variable transmission (completely without foot operated controls and clutch), storage large enough to accommodate 2 full face helmets, shaft final drive with aluminium single sided swingarm, bladder fuel tank behind the front wheel and a 250/40-18 rear wheel. The idea is a aim and shoot bike with the same storage capacity as a big tourer. The problem with a concept bike like this is that it's very difficult to foresee this in the Victory line-up in any near future. It comes from a company that purely builds cruisers and customs today. But it is also promising for people that want their bike to be American as this also tells us Victory has designed a 800cc parallel twin. Hopefully Victory will launch a entry level cruiser with that very parallel twin motor next year. Or even different platforms such as a roadster Buell style or maybe even a sports tourer. The 790cc parallel twin comes from the Sportsman 800 EFI ATV. Victory also admitted they are tempted to manufacture something that could enter the market in the same segment as the new BMW F800S. A sporty roadster type bike in other words. Read our full interview with our Victory spokesman right here next week along with some high resolution close ups of Vision 800.TS  Tokyo Motor Show

From the Victory press release: "An Eye on The Future. With its Victory Motorcycle division continuing to outpace industry growth, an ongoing strategic partnership with leading European motorcycle manufacturer KTM and a recent organizational expansion of its motorcycle and international businesses, Polaris’ commitment to its motorcycle business has gone global - and has never been greater. Driven by zealot-like passion to deliver on Victory’s positioning as “The New American Motorcycle”, the award-winning Polaris / Victory Industrial Design Team never pauses in it’s exploration of both form and function. “We constantly study global design trends, as well as today’s motorcycle consumers to better understand, and deliver on, their expectations of the future,” says Greg Brew, Director of Polaris Industrial Design. “Polaris has assembled a best-of-the-best team from around the world, and our mandate for Victory is to drive the future of custom-inspired American motorcycle design. The Vision 800 is but one example of the type of exploration our team pursues in order to continue to deliver the type of innovative design that fuels people’s passion for motorcycles.”


Arlen Ness Mach Ness video now out

Mach Ness


KTM 990 Superduke, the idiot's guide

Ok, it's Friday and time for you to have some fun on our expense. Have a look at this video that we have called the idiot's guide to KTM Superduke. Has it happened to you? Send us an E-mail. More about Superduke here and here. TS



US 2006, Victory Vision 800, Polaris Revolver and Harley has to go liquid-cooled by 2010

Updated : 08/12. On December 9 Victory will reveal a brand new 800cc concept bike at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show Presented by Toyota Trucks in Long Beach USA. Greg Brew, director of Victory/Polaris industrial design and Alan Hurd, General manager of Victory motorcycles will present the new bike. It is not much information we have at the moment. Whether the bike is a cruiser, Ness custom or a roadster is unknown. As soon as we get pictures and more info we will present it right here. It is also believed that the old V92 finally will be replaced by a new tourer for the 2007 model year. Expect that to feature the 100c.i. motor. Pictures of Vision 800 looming. We asked for comments on Victory 2006/07 plans last week, but have not heard back yet.

Speaking of Polaris here is the Revolver Quad that was presented at the Paris international motorcycle show earlier this year. We have presented the concept drawings from KTM of a road biased sporty quad previously and this is the Polaris version also with a 500cc four stroke engine. Check out the Ipod.


Due to new EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations in California that will go into force in the rest of the US by 2010 it is rumoured that Harley-Davidson's classic air-cooled engine configuration will die forever. This means that in the current model range only V-Rod based models can cope with the new environment friendly regulations. More in depth and comments when the EPA and Harley-Davidson gets back to us.

Check out our Xmas pictures here.

Harley-Davidson Dakar racer

Harley-Davidson's liquid cooled V-rod faces its greatest challenge ever when crazy American side-car racers Hog Wild Racing heads to Lisbon 31 December to check in for Dakar 2006. Will they ever reach the African continent? We are sure they will and Harley-Davidson has supplied HWR with two V-rod engines. Scott Whitney tells on their website that side-cars very rarely reaches Dakar, but that Hog Wild racing has entered Harley-Davidson on the list of entrants once again is an achievement in itself. We hope the world's most profitable motorcycle manufacturer forks up the $60.000 entry fee for the guys too. Scott Whitney commented on the shiny new V-rod engines: "All that chrome scares the lizards off the trail ahead of us!".  Duane McDowell is the passenger in the sidecar. Photos from Hog Wild Racing's site. Good luck!

Other US Dakar riders: Chris Blais, Andy Grider and Jordi Viladoms (Red Bull US KTM), James Embro, Charly Rauseo and Mike Krynock (Pai KTM) and Kevin Heath (KTM). More about Dakar 2006 here



Benelli Tornado 1130 suspended by suspension and Tre-K studio images

Benelli showed two versions of its new Tornado 1130 in Milan. The orange bike has Ohlins suspension and the black bike has Marzocchi. Benelli has not decided which version to launch to the market and showed both to get some feedback. As far as we are concerned Benelli should launch both and call the Ohlins higher spec version RS as Benelli has done previously with the Tornado Novecento (900). The price difference would be around 2.000 Euro and people are used to the different spec Italian sportsbikes such as Aprilia RSV Factory and Ducati 999R. Besides the Marzocchi option is not a bad one since it is the same fork as on MV Agusta F41000 and many other nice handling bikes. However it is up to the distributors as well what they think they can sell. We think it is more important Benelli proves that the bikes are reliable. Because at the moment a Tornado really is a race bike on the roads with all the problems too. Excessive heat build up in stale traffic situations and electrics are problems we have experienced first hand with the 900. Tornado has still got the rear mounted lateral double radiator served by two electro fans. With the new extremely powerful engine that boasts more than 160 horsepower there's going to be loads of heat.

Tre-K is the first Benelli with the 1130 triple engine that comes with a more conventional radiator setup. The radiator is up front where it is on most bikes. There is no doubt Benelli has been set on making the Tre-K as reliable as possible to tackle thousands of touring miles without any trouble. Whether that is the case is yet to see when the bikes becomes available late spring next year. the name Tre-K would have been Trek if it had not been taken as a trademark already. Tre-K sounds good too and Tre is three in Italian so it fits the bike. TS

Ducati MotoGP and WSB tests

See here how Troy Bayliss, Lorenzo Lanzi, Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau is doing in Jerez and Qatar.

Moto Morini 9 1/2

The 9 1/2 should in true 3 1/2 (350 Sport/Strada) tradition have been a 950cc. But it is not, it has got the same size engine as the Corsaro 1200, only tuned down to a 105BHP version with top torque available at 5.700rpm. It has still got Magnet Marelli fuel injection with 54mm throttle bodies and slipper clutch. The engine is modern built in house by the capable engine builders at Moto Morini. The engine conforms to Euro 3 with the help of a 3-way catalytic converter. Notice the laced Excel wheels and round nostalgic headlight. Moto Morini is aiming at extending the range within the next few years and do not be surprised if the 140bhp 1200 Corsaro gets a full fairing and even more power. TS


Dakar 2006-Yamaha WR450F Rally

Have plans for new years eve yet? Well, more than 230 riders have planned their new years eve slightly more and for longer than most. 31 December 2005 Dakar 2006 kicks off in Lisbon, Portugal. Before that time we hope to have presented most of the teams that stand a chance to win, the outsiders and the novelties. We'll kick off by presenting the bike from the second largest manufacturer in Dakar 2006, Yamaha WR450 F Rally here. TS


Terra Modena, Mondial and Italjet updates added

We have added the last update from Milan today 03/12 and it includes images of Terra Modena 198, Mondial Mogiba and Italjet Bazooka. You'll find them all here. TS


Macao babes out now

Check out the bike babes from the Macao GP. There's something for everyone, gorgeous ladies, ladies with hairy armpits and ladyboys. What else is there to do now that it's cold outside (at least in Europe) than to check out some brolly babes? Also  6 new video's from the 2006 NEC show has been added. Photo gallery of BMW R1200S, Moto Morini 9 1/2 and the new Benelli's coming next. Also some great images from the MotoGP tests in Sepang and Jerez. We will also be riding the Superduke from KTM next week.

Macao, Milan, Birmingham, Paris and Tokyo babes.


Triumph rockets to triple 10K figures

Last week Triumph announced a 42% increase in operation profits. The Hinckley firm sold more than 30.000 units in the 2005 financial year. That's a 29% growth in units sold compared to 2004. Triumph Speed Triple and Sprint ST has been the main successes at the same time as the Rocket III (that this very site is partly named after) stays in demand. Triumph's commercial director, Tue Mantoni, explains further about the figures and the bikes; "Our recent sales growth shows that our focus on distinctively designed motorcycles with a lot of character has been very successful and this is where our focus will continue in the future. Consumer reaction to the recently unveiled new models - the Daytona 675 Triple, the Bonneville Scrambler and the Rocket III Classic – has been superb. The Rocket III Classic is a derivative of the Rocket III, which has proven to be the most important Triumph motorcycle ever built. The Classic derivative shares the same engine and chassis as the standard model but has a more comfortable riding position and a look which is more in tune with the classic cruiser market".

Triumph Rocket III video     Triumph Speed Triple video     Triumph Sprint ST ABS video

                  Triumph in Paris     Triumph in Birmingham      Triumph in Milan

Raptors & Rockets sat down with Tue Mantoni this summer and here is some of that interview.


KTM VS Aprilia

After Aprilia announced they will compete head on with KTM for market shares in the off-road market KTM strikes back and says "We are prepared for that competition, we have enough new weapons in our pockets!"  KTM announced its withdrawal from the world supermoto championship earlier this year, however the latest is that Bernd Hiemer will put up his own SM team using KTM machines that are literally factory spec with almost full backing by the KTM factory in Austria. Perhaps this is in reply to Aprilia's new strategy spearheaded by their new RXV/SXV models. In a months time it's time for the 2006 Dakar rally that starts in Portugal for the first time. We do not expect any Aprilia bikes there this year, but Aprilia also intends to build a Dakar rally racer based on the RXV soon. And whilst Aprilia entered the serious part of the off-road market this year, KTM will enter the serious part of the sports bike market next year. Which will be the best, RC8 or RSV? Bikes pictured: KTM EXC 450 racing, Aprilia RXV 450 and KTM Dakar rally bike with Cyril Despres in the desert. TS  Aprilia future


MotoGP Sepang test day 2, Rossi fastest on 2006 Yamaha M1

Read what Rossi had to say about the 2006 Yamaha M1 here. Young Spaniard Toni Elias that is Marco Melandri's team mate in the Honda Fortuna team has already shown he can handle the RCV211 by setting the third fastest time today. TS

One yes?


MV Agusta Brutale 910 R, favoured by Milan public

Earlier in 2005 MV Agusta launched Brutale 910 S. Only a few months later the new 910 R is ready. A month ago we reported that the bike existed and also the performance figure of 144bhp. This is a lie. The 910 R still has the 136bhp engine as in 910 S. However with race exhaust MV Agusta claims the 144bhp figure. This was evident when we picked up the press kit in Milan. However, there are many other very nice upgrades that separates the S from the R. What about the black forged Brembo aluminium wheels, new top spec Marzocchi 50mm RAC forks (RAC stands for Road Advanced Component), hand polished inlet ducts and Brutale customised radial Brembo calipers around Brembo aluminium discs. The new Marzocchi fork is the first on a production bike and the fork legs are Tin treated for smooth feedback. The mono shock at the rear is a Sachs fully adjustable unit even featuring high speed/low speed adjustments. On the brakes department the new Brembo calipers are customised with the Brutale logo on the inside (look at the picture of the front wheel and you can see the logo) and the radial adaptors are made exclusively for MV Agusta. The brake and clutch lever are still the special built Nissin units that can be micro metrically adjusted.  The engine has one new feature and that is the hand polished inlet ducts. But a new racing exhaust is now available to boost power. We assume you can purchase this racing exhaust for your 910 S as well for a somewhat smaller boost in power. 910 R: Max power: 136 bhp @ 11.000rpm, 96Nm @ 7.900 rpm. Dry weight: 185kg, petrol tank: 19 litres. Claimed top speed: 160 mph. the Brutale 910 R was voted the EICMA 2005 public favourite. We would have put it higher on our list as well if the design had been completely new. Video of the Brutale 910 TS


MotoGP Sepang test times out now

Roadracing     Milan 2005     Paris 2005      Birmingham 2005      Tokyo 2005  

      Bike babes from all the shows             BMW K1200R ridden     Blog

An update has also been posted under the products link with crash tested gear such as Alpinestars GP Pro gloves and Arlen Ness Marquee suit. Also our 2006 Alpinestars kit added. Check it out!



2006 Cagiva SP525 (Mito R)

125 2-stroke fans got a couple of very nice surprises at EICMA 2005. Both Aprilia RS 125 and Cagiva SP525 is homologated for the sport production racing category. Cagiva SP525 is virtually a ready to race machine and can not be used as a road bike. It boasts an impressive 37bhp at the crank which would transform to more than 300Bhp per litre. Mental is the only word that fits. Last time the Mito 125 was used for serious racing was in the Mito Racing 125 that Valentino Rossi won his first national sports production title in 1994. SP525 is claimed to be even more powerful and efficient than that version. Cagiva has fiddled with the fuel/air supply, exhaust system and the rotating mass in the 125cc 1-cylinder two-stroke to produce the mega horsepower figure. We have not got the full technical specs and price yet, but the standard Mito 125 only weighs 129 kg included battery, lubricants and cooling liquid. TS

EICMA 2005              Bike babes from Milan             BMW K1200R ridden

Next: MV Agusta Brutale 910 R and Moto Morini 9 1/2 + the latest from Benelli


Moto Guzzi Norge 1928-2006

It has been a long time coming a new Guzzi with full fairing. The original Guzzi G.T. Norge from 1928 did not have any  fairing, but Norge still was the best motorcycle to rack up touring miles. In 1950 Moto Guzzi was the first motorcycle manufacturer to install a wind tunnel to optimise aerodynamics on their race bikes. No one can accuse Moto Guzzi for being at the cutting edge in motorcycle technology today, but the fact remains Guzzi were pioneers in suspension, chassis, aerodynamics and engine technology. The new Norge 1200 features a newly developed full fairing with adjustable windscreen. Shaft drive, new engine based on Breva 1100, ABS brakes and tomtom GPS. Moto Guzzi branded panniers designed alongside the bike is standard as well. Norge 1200 has got a shorter wheelbase to respond well in traffic almost like a sports tourer. Still Moto Guzzi claims in the press release that reaching the North Pole would be no problems, me for one would settle for the North Cape in Norway. Technical highlights: Engine: 90bhp @ 7.500rpm and 95Nm @ 6.800rpm. Petrol: 23 litres, seat height: 800mm, wheelbase 1495mm, dry weight: 246kg, tyres: Metzeler Roadtech Z6 120/70-17, 180/55-17. TS

2006 Moto Guzzi California Vintage

A Vintage California for the nostalgic. Engine is also based on the Breva 1100 and everything has been done to achieve a comfortable and lazy ride. The finish has received loads of attention from Moto Guzzi and attention to details is the clue. Therefore a special cover has been designed for the bike to preserve that luxurious finish. California Classic has also received engine modifications for 2006. See the very nice Classic under the Milan link below. Also more Norge and Vintage images and the Guzzi babes. TS

EICMA 2005              Bike babes from Milan 


2006 BMW K 1200 GT & F 800 ST

K1200GT replaces the current high speed tourer and BMW insists K1200S is a pure sports bike and not a sports tourer. The new GT gets a version of the K1200S engine with more than 150bhp. Being a GT it gets electronically adjustable windshield, adjustable seat and handlebars, integral ABS and panniers as standard. BMW electronic suspension adjustment is an optional extra. ESA is operated from the handlebars in three steps, comfy, normal and sport and can be adjusted whilst riding. Suspension is Duolever front and Paralever shaft drive to the rear wheel. K 1200 GT will be available in Black, blue and white from spring 2006. BMW are wasting no time making use of its most powerful engine ever in different platforms. BMW in Milan. TS

Also check the Blog updates and more images of BMW K 1200 R here and comments about Aprilia ass-cracks here.

F800ST is the sports touring version of the new F800S sports bike. It has got the same 800cc 80bhp parallel twin, but with a taller windscreen and more extensive bodywork. The seating position on the sports tourer is also more upright and the ST has got brackets mounted to take luggage. The F 800's is belt driven and has got a dry weight of around 190kg. 


2006 KTM Adventure 990 S Dakar

Adventure 990 S Dakar is the more sporty version of the standard 990 with more suspension travel for climbing the dunes and new Dakar decals. Both models has received the latest LC8 engine with 999cc. The engines now conform to EURO 3 with a new catalytic converter and fuel injection. New ECU makes sure more torque is available and max power is 96bhp. The Adventure 990 also gets ABS brakes this year to be more competitive against the mighty BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. Raptors & Rockets will ride the new Adventure 990 in Spain in February so that you'll get the low down before anyone else. The action images are all taken in the Norwegian mountains. The Adventure 990 will be available in two colours, grey and orange. KTM in Milan.


KTM has also launched drawings of a new ATV with Polaris technology.


2006 Aprilia RS 125, mini RSV

Aprilia decided to give the very successful RS 125 a thorough design and chassis upgrade and showed us the 2006 model in Milan. The frame and swingarm has got GP level rigidity and Aprilia claims to have the most advanced frame in its class. The front end is brand new with new USD fork and four piston radial mounted brake caliper. New RSV 1000R style fairing, windshield, tail and wheels. Also a new forged steering yoke is in place. The instruments are now digital with multi functional computer RSV style. The new oval silencer resembles the RSV too. RS 125 has still got the same 15bhp Rotax 2-stroke engine that can be delivered in a 33bhp version as well. For racing even more power can be released by adding some power parts. The new RS 125 will be available in two colours. Black and white. We'll have the white please. TS

EICMA 2005              Bike babes from Milan                        Aprilia future


Rutter wins Macao GP for the sixth time to equal Ron Haslam

Get the full results under the roadracing link. Photo special from the event will be up soon as well as fresh bikebabes directly from Macao. Michael Rutter (1) won the race whilst US rider Mark Miller (10) tried as best as he could to hit that famous concrete wall with his shoulder and finished sixth.

The Milan page is now as good as complete with more than 250 images of the new bikes launched in Milan and more than 70 images of the babes that made it all glamorous. Video is added as well. TS


More than 70 images of Milan babes

Check out all the babes on the Italian exotica launched in Milan here. The bikes and the people from EICMA 2005 here. All images of  the Benelli's now out. Also MV Agusta Mamba, Starfighter, Veltro, Senna and 910R. Updated 20/11. TS




Ducati Hypermotard won best of show award in Milan

We were not surprised when Ducati told us they had won the best of show award by the MDA for the very stylish and aggressive looking Hypermotard. Pierre Terblanche designed the Hypermotard and it has been said it has been something he has ached to do for years. It's also Pierre's strike back at everyone that has moaned about his Multistrada and 999 designs. Well, here it is and we can reveal that Hypermotard has received so much praise from press, public and designers that Ducati almost certainly will make the decision to go ahead with production. Earlier this week Ducati also stated that the concept bike could easily be added to the production range. The 100bhp twin is one of the most powerful air-cooled L-twins Ducati has ever built and it origins from the 95bhp S2R 1000DS. Notice details like fold away mirrors mounted on the bar ends, finger protectors, beautifully swept exhaust pipe on the right hand side of the bike, aggressively designed headlight and front mudguard as well as the very neatly designed rear light gives a touch of supermoto glam. Radial mounted caliper around a single big brake disc. I wanted KTM Supermoto 950 when it came earlier this year, but Ducati's Hyper tempts even more. More from Milan here and Bikebabes is due for some Italian model babes any moment now. TS

 Next: Norwegian bonanza from Milan, Even more new bikes, BMW K1200R test, Macao GP, crash damaged gear and much more



Yamaha Cafe Motard and Spider Smart City

Yamaha could not end the Motorcycle show season in its 50th without showing something new in Milan. They are both based on MT-03, but are concept models. Notice the built-in pannier on Spider Smart City and stubby front mudguard and radial brakes on the Motard.



KTM 950 Super Enduro R

The Super Enduro is KTM's answer to BMW's HP2 launched earlier this year. KTM claims 96bhp @ 8.500 rpm which is almost 10 bhp lower than the HP2. But in usual KTM fashion the bike looks the part and the 950 R gets high spec White Power suspension that easily can cope with MX style jumping. The seat height is 920mm which means you'll need a ladder if you're not a 6 footer or John Wayne. Super Enduro comes with Metzeler Karoo knobbly tyres that you also could use to harvest potatoes with. The beast has now been awoken and next year we'll see who can master the big enduro class better, Austria or Germany? Swedish firm Highland also produces a 950cc V-twin enduro. Soon you can see how they compare here.


First batch from EICMA 2005 out now

Aprilia RS 125, RSV-R and RSV-R Factory, Benelli Tornado 1130 and Tre-K, BMW R1200S, F800S, F800ST and K1200GT, Ducati S4RS and Hypermotard, Derbi Mulhacen, KTM Adventure 990, Adventure 990 S Dakar and Super Enduro 950 R++ here. More coming. Ducati Hypermotard pictured. Mad stuff from Ducati! Finally. We've got all the press kits as well, but have chosen to reveal the real show photos first and then the presentations. TS



Milan show 2005

15/11. The story is: crap service from the organisers, held up by two hours because Mr Berlusconi was having lunch close to the press room and interrupted LAN network. Nice suit! Now we're being chucked out so you'll get a huge update tomorrow morning. The show has been gigantic to say the least! TS



Bimota DB6 Delirio revealed exclusively to Raptors & Rockets

Just a short while ago (14/11) we got the exclusive on Bimota's new Delirio. You can see more images of Delirio here. We also spoke to Sergio Robbiano, the designer of the bike and Alberto Strada, Technical manager in Bimota. Robbiano is very proud of the bike and were adjusting the lighting whilst we chatted. Robbiano has done all the drawings and we tell you this bike is a beauty. Alberto Strada told us the Delirio is a proper wheelie hooligan. Strada told us that the DB5 and DB6 chassis is only made for an engine with max 120bhp. But still there will be a tuning kit available for the Delirio some time next year. We'll see about that wheelie ability come spring time and the world launch. Strada also revealed that Bimota's next project will be a new four cylinder superbike. Again with a Japanese engine as we have seen from Bimota in the past. Strada favours the Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine, but will have to go with what Bimota can get. Either Honda CBR1000 RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R, Suzuki GSX-R1000 or Yamaha R1. Any of them will do for me in a Bimota chassis. Strada mentioned this as a two year project. TS

Also see how the Ducati stand looks like the day before the big day. All over the place the exhibitors are working hard to finish their stands by tomorrow morning. Much more coming tomorrow. Every single new bike will be revealed then.

The show and exhibition area are enormous and the spanking new exhibition site is not even finished yet. We have only managed to go through one of the halls yet where Ducati, BMW, KTM, Honda and Bimota were rigging up. I'll see if there is time to have a look at the other halls today as well. As usual I am on the limit and I might be chucked out of the press office any moment when the guys want to go home. TS


2006 Moto Guzzi Norge 1200

What do you do when a classic Italian manufacturer names its GT model after the most beautiful country in the world? Being a Norwegian I'd have to start to weep or something, but Guzzi has done this before. In 1928 Moto Guzzi launched the world's very first Grand Tourer and it was called Norge too. Norge is the Norwegian word for Norway. Giuseppe "Naco" Guzzi rode the GT from Mandel del Laria in Italy to North Cape in Norway in 1928. Now the full fairing is back for those that have missed that in a Guzzi. The front fairing can be adjusted electronically. Norge 1200 also gets ABS brakes. The seat looks very comfortable too. The engine is a new version of the Breva 1200 twin. More details when we get them. To quote Ivar Kvadsheim from Norway's MC-avisa: "The Guzzi Norge is back, 75 years after the first one. This should make sure Moto Guzzi sells one or two extra bikes in the important Norwegian market". Read the irony please. Let's hope Moto Guzzi launches it in Norway as well so that I'll get a trip home next year. Milan 2005. Read more about North Cape here. TS


Aprilia off-road project special

The report from the Aprilia event at La Triennale Di Milano is now ready here. Also check bikebabes for updates the next few days. From Monday 14 November all reports will come from Milan. Check out all our pre-event features below. TS




First images of BMW R1200S

BMW will launch four new models in Milan where two of them are based on the current R1200 and K1200 engines and the other two gets a brand new Rotax/Bombardier 800cc parallel twin. Check out the F800S under the older news section. BMW R1200S gets around 120bhp and weighs 190kg dry. BMW K1200GT has got a detuned K1200S engine of around 150bhp @9500rpm and 130Nm @ 7750rpm.  See the full sized manufacturer pictures here on Tuesday. We will also show you the unseen F800ST then. R1200S teaser. TS


Overview of new bikes being launched in Milan here

We also have official images of Bimota Delirio DB6, KTM Adventure 990 & 990S Dakar (with 999cc engines), KTM Super Enduro 950 R and Highland's new 950 V2 Desert Storm, MX450 and V2 750 Dirt-Track. As well as the new bikes from Aprilia, BMW and Ducati. They will all be shown here for the first time 15 November. TS


Silvio Berlusconi to initiate the worlds biggest motorcycle show in Milan

Italy's prime minister will give the EICMA 2005 international motorcycle show his official blessing 15 November on press day. Raptors & Rockets will cover the show with a dedicated page here.

Milan show facts:

  • 63,785 sqm of net exhibition area (29.3 % more than the record established at last year’s show), with another 2,000 sqm requested and not assigned to ensure that all the Exhibitors present have a good “location”;
  • 60,000 sqm of outdoor area utilized for a variety of events ("Vodafone Motolive") which in the old fair would have been unimaginable;
  • Indoors and outdoors make a total gross surface area of 300,000 sqm dedicated to an unrivalled bash for two-wheelers;
  • 1,560 Exhibitors present (32.99 % more than last year) of which 833 from 35 foreign countries, and 177 debuting in Milan.

Buy tickets here.


Aprilia RXV & SXV video only here

Whilst waiting for the full feature from Aprilia's event in Milan 09/11 here are three video's exclusive to Raptors & Rockets.

Video 1                  Video 2                  Video 3          Off-road launch article     


2006 Ducati S4R S first exclusive spy shots (next Aprilia & KTM revelations)

See the first S4R S images here. They show Ducati's new Monster S4R S with the 999S Testastretta engine.

Notice the proof of the details we have revealed months ago in radial callipers and Ohlins suspension. To be honest this bike was very predictable, but nevertheless here it is for your viewing pleasure. Check out the white version with red trellis frame in the background of one of the pictures.

You will get all the details and the tech spec right here on Tuesday 15 November directly from Milan. Tonight I will prepare a presentation from Aprilia's press conference and the following party. TS


Aprilia RXV 4.5 and 5.5 to challenge KTM

This is just a little taste of the special coming soon with everything you want to know about Aprilia's new V-twin offroad killers and the firms future. Aprilia are so serious about its offroad programme that it intends to go head on and challenge KTM for the lucrative offroad market in the US, Australia and Europe. This involves MX, Offroad, Supermotard and rally bikes from 50cc, 125cc, 250cc to 1000cc. Aprilia will even build a Dakar style rally machine within two years. Within the next three years Aprilia will launch 20 new products. The 4.5 and 5.5 V-twins are also perfect starting points for a 900cc or 1100cc V4...

We will also give you a photo special from the Off road party. The coctails and women were hotter than hell. We also have a couple of films that show both RXV and SXV in action. Updated: 11/11. TS


Ducati Desmosedici RR in Milan?

Last year Ducati promised us to show the super exclusive road version of the MotoGP prototype in Milan. There will have been considerable amounts of technology dripping down from the MotoGP team, but it cannot be too similar for obvious reasons. It will be a 989cc V4 though with more horsepower and torque than any other sports bike (engine shown being bench tested) Speculations can now start on whether Kawasaki hawks are waiting for this pretty bird to be launched so that they can adjust the ZZR1400 to match the Desmo speed... Desmosedici RR could have been the big show stopper at the new EICMA 2005. Read more about the show here. Next: Aprilia offroad special. TS


KTM RC8 not in Milan

We have been on the phone with the Austrian orange lovers today. KTM have no plans to show us the RC8 just yet. We think there are big decisions like whether to use a V-twin or V4 engine left to make. KTM has got both in a very high state of tune if they could just decide. KTM has now got a couple of years with MotoGP experience and the 125 team has done exceptionally well (not so well in MotoGP, but the engine used should fit the RC8 nicely) so do not underestimate a KTM sports bike when it eventually shows up in the show rooms. Because it will and KTM confirmed today that RC8 is destined to be a production sportsbike. It seems to us KTM is doing very well financially and not afraid of taking drastic and unpopular decisions like withdrawing support from the Roberts MotoGP team effectively stopping the racing for team Roberts. Now please do make drastic decisions on the RC8 as well and bring that V4 on. TS

KTM's 2006 line-up including Adventure 990 and 950 Super Enduro will be presented here 15 November.


Highland Rally, Husqvarna SMS & SMR and CR&S Vun from Milan

Swedish firm Highland were one of the very first motorcycle manufacturers to put two one cylinder enduro engines together into a V-twin enduro. Expect the new Rally to have the same 950 V2 with either the 80bhp or 100bhp version, Marzocchi 50mm fork, Ohlins rear shock, Brembo brakes, Excel wheels and a big petrol tank. KTM has followed with a bigger image in the media, but the small Swedish factory is still alive. In Milan Highland will show the finished version of the Rally pictured. As the model name tells you this is a Dakar and desert rally inspired bike. KTM has done well with their Adventure 950 and we will see the Adventure 990 as well in Milan. More images and info later this week.

Highland is also working on something that looks like a competition Enduro in MX450. See the video of the MX450 here. It seems Highland will use the 450cc 1-Cylinder four stroke in a new Supermotard as well. Check out the drawings. Expect Milan to be Supermoto heaven with loads of new models from manufacturers you haven't heard about.

One manufacturer you have heard off though is Husqvarna. Husqvarna will show new machines and two of them are SMS a two-stroke supermoto and SMR the four stroke supermoto. Husqvarna traditionally sported the Swedish blue and yellow colours. Since Husqvarna now is owned by Cagiva they have decided white and red is the future for Husqvarna.

From Milan itself CR & S operates a small team of bike builders. They make chassis and exterior around Rotax 1-cylinder engines and calls the bike "Vun" which is the Milanese dialect for one. Vun can be ordered as 2, 2.3 or 3.2. The numbers represent the power to weight ratio. We'll have the 3.2 then. We will have more about CR&S after the Milan show as they are working now to finish the project they will premiere at EICMA 2005. TS


2006 Harley-Davidson XL1200L Low Sportster

Harley-Davidson has now completed the legendary Sportster range with a Low version also of the 1200cc XL. XL1200L has got a new 667mm seat height and mid-mounted controls for people with short legs. The new friendly seat height is 5mm lower than the Custom and 46mm lower than the Roadster version. XL1200L is all about new ergonomics and the handlebars are also much closer to the rider in case you've got short arms too. The engine is still the same 107Nm Evolution and transmission is smoother due to the use of helical rather than straight-cut gears and reduced effort is required to use the clutch and shift pedal. XL1200L Low Sportster will be available in 8 different colours where three are two-tone paint schemes with 3-D fuel tank graphic. See all the other Sportster family members below ranging from the XL883 to the XL1200R. Family names C for Custom, R for Roadster and L for Long. Also check out the video of the new XL1200L here. TS

XL883                              XL883C                           XL883R                           XL883L  


XL1200C                                             XL1200R                                               XL1200L  



New images of 2006 Ducati's

Ducati has shown us three new 2006 models and the Sport Classic range already this year. In Milan Ducati will reveal the whole 2006 range. In addition to what we have already seen (S2R 1000DS, ST3s ABS, 999R Xerox and Sport Classics) a radical new Monster will be on show for the first time. Whether this is the S4Rs or a brand new high end Monster we are not certain of yet. There will be more new Ducati's in Milan. until then, here are some never-seen-before pictures of the Sport Classics, ST3s ABS, 999R Xerox and 999 kitted from Ducati performance. The Sport Classic range is going to be very important for Ducati already in 2005. In a year when literally every market except for the US market (18% growth) there has been significant declines in sales ranging from a 18% drop in Germany to 25% in Benelux and UK markets. It has been said that much depends on delivering and getting the invoices out for 4000 pre-sold Sport Classics. One thing is for sure and that is that there is some serious assembling going on in Bologna of Sport Classic bikes as we speak. We'll soon speak to Paolo Ciabatti, SBK team manager about 1200cc L-twins. We are as excited as you are. The 1200cc engine is already with the Xerox team being tested. 1199R in 2008? TS

Sport Classics are crucial to Ducati

Also check out all the new bikes from Aprilia, Benelli, Bimota, Cagiva, Moto Morini and MV Agusta below.


MotoGP Valencia updates here.

This weekend is the last MotoGP weekend this year. The boys have now finished the last free practise session before qualifying later today. Last years race was won by Valentino Rossi. He is also the holder of the lap record around the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. The lap record is 1.33.317 from 2003 when Rossi was on the Repsol Honda. On the Yamaha M1 Rossi is struggling to match those times around Valencia. He has just set his fastest lap and the first 1.33 of the weekend in FP3. However Sete Gibernau and Carlos Checa has set some very fast 1.32's on the Honda RCV and  Ducati Desmosedici. Final Qualifying and race results has been posted under the Roadracing link. Also check out all the latest Italian metal destined for Milan further down on this page. TS

If you have heard of a new bike, seen it, got photos of it, experienced something extraordinary on a bike or got motorcycle news you think would be of interest to Raptors & Rockets then send us an e-mail! If it is really good and we have not already got the images or news we'll send you a freshly baked doughnut from Asda (Wall mart) Alternatively the Raptors & Rockets DVD. Use the same e-mail to send us feedback or questions too! If you live in Japan, China, Russia, Italy, France, Norway, Africa, Middle East, any English speaking country, Germany or Spain doesn't matter. We can read in any language!


Yamaha M1 in white and red for final MotoGP showdown

Valencia, 03/11/2005.Yamaha will be racing in the classic speed-block colours for the second time this year only this time the red/white version Giacomo Agostini raced 30 years ago. That year, 1975, Yamaha won its first ever 500GP championship. So extraordinary talent from Italy has teamed up successfully with Yamaha before Rossi. Happy 50th to Yamaha once again. You'll get the weekends results here. TS


2006 BMW R1200S video

See BMW's teaser of the new R1200S here. More about BMW here. R1200S will replace R1100S and is expected to be the strongest boxer engined bike BMW has ever produced. Now that the power cup is over we are just wondering whether the Boxer cup will be back in the MotoGP paddock next year... More details and images as soon as we get them. Follow the EICMA 2005 Milan show here. TS


MV Agusta's 187 mph new F4 1000 Senna

Already last week we told you about MV Agusta F4 1000 Senna and Brutale 910 R. Now we have the images to follow up as well. The Senna has shown a true 187 mph (301.07km/h) through the speed traps at Mugello apparently. If this is true the F4 1000 Senna can rev to the limiter @ 13.000 rpm in top gear. F4 1000 Senna has now got radial brakes from Brembo rather than the six-pot Nissin's. Some tech specs: 174bhp @ 11.900rpm 111Nm @ 10.000rpm. Weber Marelli 5SM ignition and electronic multipoint injection. Wheelbase: 1408mm, seat height 810mm, Dry weight 190kg, fuel capacity 21 litres. Top spec fully adjustable suspension, the Sachs mono shock can even be adjusted for high speed/low speed compression. The fairing is made of thermoplastic and carbon fiber. The pictures shows number 1of 300 in the limited run. Images of Brutale 910 R will not be released until 15 November in Milan where we will be reporting. Also see the update on Bimota Delirio and Benelli Tornado 1130 further down on the page. Aprilia looks to have redesigned the RSV-R slightly as well with different air-intake inertia and at least one new colour option. Fairing is exactly the same as before. Aprilia might have more to show us than you think in Milan... TS

Cagiva Raptor 650 i.e. and 2006 Mito 125

Not many changes on these two from 2005. Some new paint and a few decals.


Bimota Delirio to shock the world?

Sergio Robbiano keeps telling us that the Delirio will shock the world. Either he is delirious or he speaks the truth. We will know in Milan 15 November. More about Bimota Delirio Mille further down the page. 3D images shows parts of Delirio at a early design stage. TS



Benelli 2006 Tornado 1130 and Tre-K

How many models can you name from Benelli? Two? TNT and Tornado? Well, here are 7 more for you. There are TNT versions we have already heard of, but also a couple of very exciting brand new bikes. We have added the list and images of the whole 2006 range further down on the page. Stay tuned, the Italian exotica is rejuvenated for 2006 and the Milan international motorcycle show will be the biggest motorcycle show ever. There are a couple of Aprilia and Ducati details we are working on at the moment as well that will be revealed here first. Images looming as well of even more bikes you have never seen before... First out will be images of the new gorgeous Tornado 1130 with a claimed 161bhp @ 10.500rpm and massive 124Nm @ 8000rpm. Below the worlds first look at the brand new Benelli TRE-K. Hear the sound of that 1130cc triple here and see the video of the TNT too. Updated 03/11. MV Agusta F4 1000 Senna next.

Benelli 2006 line-up

Earlier this year Benelli were as good as history with funding being halted and workers being sent home. The factory is now open again supported by fresh Chinese cash and it is working on full steam with two brand new models based on the 1130cc triple from TNT. All the TNT special editions will now be launched as well. The two new models are a brand new Tornado 1130 which is expected to take the most powerful triple throne when launched in Milan 15 November. Tornado RS is in 900 cc guise claimed at 147 bhp so with 230cc more it will most certainly break the 150bhp mark rivalling machines such as Ducati 999R and Aprilia RSV-R Factory whilst beating Triumph’s ageing Daytona 955i which currently holds the most powerful triple engine in production . The new TRE-K is the allrounder that has been  rumoured for quite a while now. TRE-K has got a new front fairing and tall handle bars. TRE-K will be a serious contender to Ducati’s Multistrada and the triple engine will have plenty more horsepower and torque than the 1000DS L-twin Ducati tend to use in most new machines these days. Benelli is also back in the scooter business with three new scooters.  Velvet 125, Velvet 150 and Pepe the moped. More details about the bikes after the Milan show 15 November. PS you can see the new Benelli Tornado 1130 in yellow and black  here. latest details: Tornado 1130: Max power: 161bhp @ 10.500rpm. Tre-K: 124bhp @ 9.000rpm. TS

 Benelli 2006 line-up:


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