This is BMW's answer to the Husqvarna deal that now can be confirmed to be just a rumour.
I spoke to BMW's Jürgen Stoffregen.
Stoffregen said that the rumour that BMW-Motorrad is talking to the Castiglioni's regarding an acquisition of Husqvarna most likely is a financial rumour that originates from Italy. There is no plans at BMW to acquire a whole company to speed up any developments. Stoffregen argues that BMW would most likely develop new models in new segments themselves. During the last 2-3 years BMW have proved that it can do pretty much what it likes in terms of R&D. Examples are the high speed K 1200 S with a super powerful in-line four engine and the F 800 series with brand new parallell twin engines. BMW also confirmed that there will be another F 800 model that we will see in the second half of 2007. Read more here. By: Tor Sagen/ F800R CG: HvW Test BMW F 800 S and ST
Big things are brewing in Europe. The union between countries called the European union are just small fish compared to what might happen in the motorcycling industry. KTM has been married to Polaris industries from the USA for a while. We hear of a possible separation where custody of the children are being discussed now. By June next year KTM could find itself a new partner. After Piaggio relaunched Aprilia and then launched a extensive offroad programme to threaten KTM's dominance in the offroad sector, another potential partnership have risen from the dark forests of Germany. We spotted BMW-Motorrad's Dr. Herbert Diess in close conversation with the flamboyant head of Italian beauty MV Agusta at the EICMA show in Milan last Autumn. It seems that Claudio Castiglioni and Dr. Herbert Diess had plenty to talk about. When asked for a picture the two influential characters split up straight away. Dr. Diess told me that he was afraid there could be speculations. This is the story of the beauty and the beast retold and now we have to mention this encounter in this setting. Could it really be that the maker of big and brute Boxer's fancies its chances with the petite and beautiful Husqvarna? We bet, and if not we're sure Polaris wouldn't mind a flirt after the KTM cool-down. More on this story as it develops. We have arranged interviews with all involved parties. Watch this space! pix: BMW, Husqvarna, Ian Jubb/MCN & Tor Sagen
All the latest from Moto Guzzi (2 new bikes, scoop!), Aprilia, Gilera, MV Agusta, Cagiva and Husqvarna coming...
...and elsewhere BMW have just announced that they have produced more than 100.000 new motorcycles for the first time ever in 2006. More than 2 million bikes since the start in 1923. What if MotoGP bikes became road bikes? We have a road Suzuki GSV-R, a Road Yamaha M1, a road Honda RCV212V and a road Kawasaki 800. Is Kawasaki really up to something to fill the gap between the 6 and 10? Coming right here soon. Will Chris Pfeiffer join Tor Sagen and ride up the narrow and dangerous bobsled track in Lillehammer on motorcycles? Will we be allowed to perform and can you come and watch us? Spectacular events are brewing here at Raptors & Rockets...
The ultimate power cruiser: Triumph Rocket III pulls with 1.2G!
Triumph launched its flagship model, Rocket III, in 2004. With 200Nm of peak torque available at 2.500rpm it pulls with a force of 1.2G during acceleration! Not enough with massive torque, Rocket III have also got 140bhp that is transmitted through the enormous 240 section rear tyre. The Rocket III is the Rockets in Raptors & Rockets so we have published a little tribute video on YouTube. The orange Rocket III Tribal is also our current longtermer and you can read what we're up to in the blog. Soon we will add some performance pipes and there will no doubt be another video with the new sound. Triumph also recently reported of a 18% sales growth in 2006. Mainly due to the new Daytona 675, but also modern classics such as the Scrambler 900. We suspect 2007 could be another Rocket year for Triumph. The Tiger 1050 can only help further growth whilst we hear of new Rocket projects and perhaps further usage of the 675 triple engine in other platforms. Triumph have got some great engines and have shown that the triple format is highly competitive. With Paul Young racing Triumph are now also offering racing kits to Daytona 675 owners. TS
BMW might not have sold as many of the quirky looking R 1200 ST as they could have hoped. So the German juggernaut have thrown virtually every possible accessory at the ST in a 500 Limited Edition run. It includes ASC (anti spin traction control), RDC, Integral ABS II and ESA (Electronic suspension adjustment). In addition you get heated grips, centre stand and some extra chrome. All this at Euro 15.195! Sounds like a real bargain to us. Read more about ASC and other BMW high tech acronyms here. Below we have added some links to the R models that we have tested. Coming next week: exclusive test of 2007 BMW K 1200 R Sport BMW also just told us that they have for the first time ever produced more than 100.000 new motorcycles in a year. Looks good for the persistent and high tech Germans!
During the Xmas holidays we tried the Formula 1 of winter sports in Lillehammer, Norway. At the same time we asked whether we would be allowed to ride the same track on motorbikes... The answer was positive as they also need help to get rid of the ice after Easter. So in March we are hoping to do this stunt on Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge track in Norway. Whilst we organise the bikes, permissions and more you can enjoy this video below of our ride down, reaching speeds of 120km/h on ice and up-to 7G's! It's the ultimate ride and beats any rollercoaster ride ever! In the 1981 Bond classic For your eyes only a spectacular stunt was performed in the Cortina skiing complex on Yamaha DT350's. One of the stuntmen died during the bobsleigh stunt. Check out the blog from the event in LillehammerWould you ride a motorcycle on ice up or down a bobsleigh track? New video added: 2007 CCM FT35 Flat Track
January kicks off in the best possible way with the worlds greatest motorcycling adventure rally. 2006 was a deadly year for the Dakar race (see the 2006 coverage) and safety is in the highlight once again. The factory riders will be wearing new neck-braces as a bad fall on heavy sand often leads to serious and sometimes fatal neck injury. The 2006 Dakar champ Marc Coma will once again be one of the favourite riders on his factory Repsol KTM 690 Rally. Sala will once again join Coma and the Repsol team looks strong. Coma's strongest rival looks to be Cyril Despres again. Despres heads the Gauloises KTM factory team. Team Rally Panamerica and Paal Anders Ullevaalseter are other strong KTM competitors. Shortly we will present other 2007 Dakar teams and competitors. Who will be the big surprise in 2007? Dakar 2007 kicks off on Sunday January 7 in Lisbon, Portugal. We will run daily updates as often as possible. TS/Photo: Mitterbauer/KTM
Erik Buell, Dario Calzavara, Giandrea Fabbro and Claudio Castiglioni interviewed!
Read what these four men had to say when we interviewed them in Milan earlier this year. Erik Buell needs no introduction, Claudio Castiglioni is the man behind the modern version of Cagiva, MV Agusta, Husqvarna, Ducati and he even owned Moto Morini a few years back. Dario Calzavara is the owner of Terra Modena and used to be Ferrari race boss. Giandrea Fabbro is the designer of the new Ducati 1098.
2008 World Superbike dream 1-Aprilia V4 999 Prototype 0
2008 will be THE year where the dream sports motorcycle will re-introduce itself to the market. We know for a fact that Aprilia will race its 999cc V4 and that Ducati will race either its 999 V-twin or the new 1098 that will turn into an 1188R by that time. The unknown factor is whether bigger displacements will be allowed. We spoke to all manufacturers in question to get their views on 2008 and progress. Read more about the Aprilia V4 Prototype 0
Words: Tor Sagen/Photography-CG: Robert O’Brien, Aprilia, KTM, Ducati and MV Agusta
Ducati told us exclusively that there is a stalemate situation with the World Superbike organisers at the moment. There is confusion regarding the regulations and this is causing Ducati big problems as they need to start testing the 2008 superbike now. Ducati told us that they are obviously hoping for a quick resolution to the regulation issue. From official sources we are just talking about the “new bike”, but we know that the “new bike” is actually the 1188R based on the new 1098. One of the big issues for Ducati and KTM are the Japanese manufacturers. Neither Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki nor Yamaha wants to see the new big super twins race against their powerful in-line fours in World Superbike. Read more here.
KTM on the other hand is riding into the unknown with its RC8 1150 prototypes. Currently KTM only operates two prototypes for various testing. We were told earlier this year that KTM would build the world’s most powerful V-twin engine. With the new Ducati 1098 in mind this could prove to be just hype, but the Austrians seem to know what they are doing. We don’t know that much about the specifics about the engine yet, but it is destined for World Superbike racing in the end. read more here.
We spoke to Federico Totti at the MV Agusta racing department. Totti explained to us how MV Agusta aims at being on the World Superbike paddock with the F41000R in 2008 and how to get there. Read more here.
On any Sunday is one of the best known motorcycle films ever made. We did our own day that could have been called On any Friday, but that's not describing enough of how fun this short-track racing really is. So we call it On any bloody day. It rained and it was ice cold, bloody cold. But so fun. Check out the photo galleries of these gorgeous retro CCM's and soon the links will be updated so that you can read all about the bikes and how our day on the dirt track went. TSPhoto: Gary Freeman/Redeye Coming next: Upd 18.12: World's first test 2007 BMW K 1200 R Sport, Aprilia V4 Prototype 0, MV Agusta in World Superbike 2008, KTM RC8 1150 status and Ducati 1188R. Xmas, Dakar, Victory from Victory and much more!
We heard about this car coming from KTM a little while ago. Now these are the images. It's orange and it's sporty so it must be a KTM! Well, it's not all KTM actually. The engine is a VW 2Litre from the Golf GTI and the transmission is also from VW. The engine produces 220hp, but can be upgraded to a 300hp version (same as in Audi S3). The carbon fibre monocoque frame has been developed by Italian race firm Dallara. Even though this chassis is very strong, it needs some modification to satisfy AFI regulation for racing. This have already been taken care of by mounting points for the reinforcements being ready. Dallara also provided the aerodynamic testing facilities. KTM will produce 100 units first depending on feedback from the forthcoming Geneva show. Then a 500 unit production run if demand is there. The UK is perhaps the most important market for such a car, so more than 10% of the initial production will be made with right hand drive. The suspension comes from WP and the brakes from Brembo. The price will be Euro 40.000 inclusive of VAT. Since we are motorcyclists here at Raptors & Rockets and not car drivers we obviously wanted to know what part Polaris played in this project. Polaris owns a good chunk of KTM, but the project is still very much a KTM project. All design and development was done in-house. KTM will buy back a big part of the shares owned by Polaris by next summer. The co-operation will still continue, but at a smaller scale and at a slower pace than before. Last year KTM played with a sports ATV with Polaris technology so it's not exactly the first time we see something on four wheels from KTM, but nearly. See more pictures here. Tor Sagen Feedback on the KTM car. Coming next: Aprilia V4 Prototype 0, MV Agusta in World Superbike 2008, KTM RC8 1150 status and Ducati 1188R. CCM's on the dirt-track, Xmas, Dakar, Victory from Victory and much more!
Since Yamaha launched the new Vmax concept in Tokyo in 2005 they have kept everyone waiting in excitement. Rarely do we see a concept model that gets us as excited as the new Vmax.
Words: Tor Sagen/Photography: Yamaha & Tor Sagen
It did not help that Yamaha asked in their online survey whether we would prefer a big displacement, big horsepower muscle bike. One of the questions was whether we would want it to be 200hp+. Yes we do! The displacement is not ready yet either, but as we know that this bike will not be purely about horsepower, we expect a bigger than usual displacement too. The current engine in the concept looks like a big boy already, but there has been speculation from 1400cc to 1800cc in the new V4. Read much more with a lot of images here.
We have been travelling many miles during the last three days to get you the absolutely latest of the latest. We have attended the Cycle World International motorcycle show in Long Beach, California. Yamaha showed the Vmax concept for the very first time outside of Japan. We have some updates for you on that later and full show coverage. Within a month, we will also have something else very big to tell you. But for now that's all we can say. We are not even allowed to tell you the exact date of when these groundbreaking news will be published. All I can say is that when you have finished eating Xmas Turkey, use that F5 button regularly... Tor Sagen
We've only got like 7-8 hours of decent daylight this time of year and it's grey and cold outside (at least where the writer is based it is). It's still the perfect time of year to ride an Adventure bike. Or maybe even better a dirt bike. If you haven't got one yet, check out these macho machines! Everything from the prominent BMW R 1200 GS Adventure to the single-minded Aprilia RXV's and everything in-between. Read the tests and look at the pictures using the links we have collected below. TS
In May 2006 we told you about the 1188R for the first time. That will be the displacement on the new R version of the 1098. Federico Minoli have used the Desmoblog to spill the beans again. He is asking whether Ducatisti would be interested in a 848 upgrade of the 749 sportsbike. Full story with CG images coming. I will interview Minoli about Ducati and his Desmoblog shortly, hopefully when I am in Bologna to test the 1098 and Terra Modena 198 Reverse later this month. It's all about the 198's this time. More soon... Ciao! Tor Sagen/CG: Robert O'Brien
By popular demand you can now read the complete Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 test right here. We will soon get you some more info on the 2007/08 Moto Guzzi Norge 850. We are going to add more full 2006 tests to the archives during the winter. Browse through Raptorama first, then you tell me which ones you want to see first.
Shortly I will have some high resolution images of the Norge 850. Moto Guzzi didn't have space for it at the Eicma show apparently. The 850 will hit production in January and will basically be the same as a standard Norge 1200. No technical specs from Moto Guzzi yet, but do not get very surprised if they are the same as a Breva 850 with some more weight due to the fairing. Tor
Victory motorcycles to launch groundbreaking Luxury Tourer!
Soon we will jet over to the US to look at the brand new Luxury Tourer from Polaris backed Victory Motorcycles. The event is top secret and exclusive. Could be Area 51 in the Nevada desert. And we're going to play Jack Bauer and find out everything for you! It will be the first time anyone outside of the US firm gets to see the new design. A few months ago we showed you the four concept sketches that formed the base for the new American V-twin tourer. Final design was chosen quite a while ago and we believe Victory already might have a production ready design to show us. We believe so because we will ride the bike sometime next year.
Here are some quotes from the Victory team: "When people first see this motorcycle, they're going to be blown away. I think it's going to be way beyond what most people expect." (Gary Laskin, Product Manager) "It's a groundbreaker - I would say very significant in the history of motorcycles." (Michael Song - Victory Lead Industrial Designer) "This will set a new standard in styling, set a new standard in comfort, it has all the features people want, and it will be a bike that gives each rider the ability to touch all of the senses." (Steve Smith, Product Manager) "When it comes out, it's going to change the way people perceive touring motorcycles." (Greg Brew, Director of Polaris / Victory Industrial Design) "I think it's going to fulfil the dreams of people looking to tour on an American Luxury Touring Motorcycle." (Greg Brew, Director of Polaris / Victory Industrial Design). Also see our road tests of the 2007 Victory Hammer S, Kingpin, Kingpin Tour and Ness Signature series. October Blog from the Victory 2007 launch. By Tor Sagen/Photo: Victory & Kevin Wing
Last year Scorpa, the French producer of Trial motorbikes, launched a concept called T-ride. It's the first Trial/Enduro hybrid and for now still a concept. It features a 250cc one cylinder four stroke engine. However, at the EICMA show in Milan Scorpa launched a new concept with French design firm Boxer. Boxer was the firm behind last years SSR 1000cc sportsbike where you would get both a sportsbike and a naked in one bike. This year Boxer have joined forces with Trial firm Scorpa for a 660cc Scrambler type motorcycle. The engine is a Yamaha 660 single and the design is French. Scorpa Boxer Raidster is a concept bike, but with a cheap engine and enough interest from customers it could be built next year. See more pictures of the bike under the EICMA link. TS BLOGRaptoramaDAKAR 2007
No one launched as many brand new models at the EICMA show as Aprilia. Add the Piaggio umbrella'd Moto Guzzi, Derbi and Gilera and you have almost complete domination. Shiver 750, Mana 850 and the new 999cc 210bhp V4 was the highlights. Ducati's 1098 and Hypermotard, MV Agusta F4 CC, Husqvarna STR 650 and Cagiva Mito 500 were other show-stoppers. Read all about all the new bikes here.
2007 MV Agusta F4 CC 1080, 200 horsepower extravaganza!
These are the very first official pictures of the super exclusive MV Agusta F4 CC. Everything is completely over the top. Exotic materials have been used wherever possible and MV Agusta have not left anything untouched to create this superbike for the road. We have already told you about some of the details of this 100.000 Euro bike, but here are the essentials again: 200 bhp @ 12.200rpm, 125Nm @ 9.000rpm, radial valve engine, 1078cc in line four, wet weight minus fuel: 187kg and a 315km/h top speed. MV Agusta have almost no racing heritage at all with the F4 models. Slowly, but surely MV are racing again. Both in Italy, Germany and from next year in the BSB series (but only in superstock). When will we see the F4 gracing the World Superbike paddock? More stunning F4 CC pictures here. TS
The 2007 Brutale 910 S have received many of the same upgrades as the F41000R got last year and this year. The most important one is a new ECU, the same Magnet Marelli 5SM as on the F4. This has allowed both for EURO 3 compliance and improved power and torque. New intake valve angles and new valves and pistons generating another 2 horsepower on top and better delivery through the range. A lambda sensor have been introduced and the exhaust system is now without any joints. The modifications have also allowed MV Agusta to fit a larger air-box to the Brutale (As the ECU have been moved behind the cylinders). The Brutale 910 now produces a claimed 139bhp and 96Nm. New colour is orange. See more pictures of the new 2007 910 S and 910 R here
MV Agusta have updated all models for 2007. One of them is the F41000R and yes, we are talking colours. But believe us, those new colours have been researched and combined with Michelangelo's touch. That's why the F41000R looks so fresh in white and black. The 2006 F4 1000 R engine had already received a lot of updates to make it cleaner and the 2007 engine stays the same. The Euro 3 modifications...Read the rest and see more pictures of the F4 1000 R here. The whole new MV Agusta, Cagiva and Husqvarna range coming next. EICMA kicks off on Monday afternoon with the Ducati press conference.
Since the last time we spoke about the Hypermotard it have received an extra front brake disc and 100 extra cc. That the Hypermotard would get the 1100 was expected as it can only benefit from more torque and power. The DS 1100 is Ducati's latest air-cooled V-twin and Ducati claims they will get more than 95bhp from the engine in the Hypermotard. Torque released from the 1078cc twin is a claimed 103Nm @4750rpm. Dry weight 180kg, seat height: 845mm, Fuel tank 11,5 litres and the Hypermotard gets a six speed gearbox. Ducati will also show us the Hypermotard S with the best components for superb handling. TS
First official BIG pictures of the new 160bhp Ducati 1098
Under pressure Ducati have released the 1098 images 4 days before the official presentations on Monday November 13. The new big bore Testastretta gets 160bhp (@9750rpm) and more torque than ever before. Ducati claims the new torque curve is better than any other sports bike considering the 173kg dry weight. That tells the tale of some serious pulling power (90+ lb-fts @ 8.000rpm). The new GP7 (Ducati's 800cc MotoGP bike) inspired instruments from Magnet Marelli is ready for most new gadgets such as traction control. With all that torque traction control will definitely be handy for racing. The mono block Brembo radial calipers are also virtually identical to the ones on the MotoGP bike. Great news for superstock and club racers should the new 1098 be allowed to race. Aerodynamics are improved compared to the 999. Read the rest and see more pictures here. Real pictures from EICMA