Pirelli to serve tyres for WSBK till 2015

Pirelli to continue with WSBKPirelli has been renewed as the Official Tyre Supplier to the FIM Superbike World Championship after a new contract was signed between Pirelli and Infront Motor Sports extending Pirelli’s domain till 2015.

Pirelli has been supplying racing tyres to WSBK since 2004 and through 2008 – 2010 has served up more than 2Lac tyres for these races.

 

Pirelli has also supplied tyres to Formula1 this season and will continue to do so till 2013. These tyres had come under a lot of international debate because of their high wear till the issue was cleared up by FIA who stated that they had asked the tyre manufacturer to make a tyre that will hit the cliff early. This move is to make Formula1 race strategy more interesting.

Tyre manufacturers often use the experience derived from racing to make better road tyres. Hope Pirelli continues down the same road.

Yamaha to exit WSB championship at the end of 2011 season

Yamaha World SuperbikeYamaha Motor Europe has decided to withdraw their official Yamaha World Superbike Team at the end of the current season from the FIM Superbike World Championship.

It seems that the decision has been made taking into account the changing market conditions in Europe. Yamaha says it wants to focus more on direct “consumer” activities. Currently Yamaha’s R1 and R6 models are not being preferred by riders due to their higher purchase price.

Yamaha also said they would be putting in all efforts till the end of the current season and will try and win the championship. Riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty are currently respectively 3rd and 4th in the overall 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship standings for riders with 4 rounds to go. Both the riders will now need to look for new teams to race with.

Yamaha will continue the availability of road racing kit parts, known as YEC Racing kit parts, for its R1 and R6 production models for private teams entering at all racing levels.

Last season Ducati had announced their exit from WSB and now a private team, Althea is racing Ducati bikes with a lot of support and equipment from the factory itself. Looks like Yamaha still be out there next season unofficially supporting the private teams running Yamaha motorcycles, but we’ll have to wait and watch for that.

The reason the exit might be financial as Yamaha don’t have a title sponsor for this year, but they have not mentioned it.

Yamaha to exit WSB championship at the end of 2011 season

Yamaha World SuperbikeYamaha Motor Europe has decided to withdraw their official Yamaha World Superbike Team at the end of the current season from the FIM Superbike World Championship.

It seems that the decision has been made taking into account the changing market conditions in Europe. Yamaha says it wants to focus more on direct “consumer” activities. Currently Yamaha’s R1 and R6 models are not being preferred by riders due to their higher purchase price.

Yamaha also said they would be putting in all efforts till the end of the current season and will try and win the championship. Riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty are currently respectively 3rd and 4th in the overall 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship standings for riders with 4 rounds to go. Both the riders will now need to look for new teams to race with.

Yamaha will continue the availability of road racing kit parts, known as YEC Racing kit parts, for its R1 and R6 production models for private teams entering at all racing levels.

Last season Ducati had announced their exit from WSB and now a private team, Althea is racing Ducati bikes with a lot of support and equipment from the factory itself. Looks like Yamaha still be out there next season unofficially supporting the private teams running Yamaha motorcycles, but we’ll have to wait and watch for that.

The reason the exit might be financial as Yamaha don’t have a title sponsor for this year, but they have not mentioned it.

Suzuki revamps GS150R

New Suzuki GS150R white colourThe 150-cc bike in for a minor makeover

With news of Bajaj’s new work-horse, the ‘Bharat Bike’, and a revamped Yamaha YZF R15 making their way into the country, the 150-cc segment is becoming one of the most diverse and rapidly growing segments in India. In keeping with the trend of the times, Suzuki are planning to upgrade the GS150R, which was introduced in 2008. A quick nip and tuck and the Japanese company will launch this 150-cc bike with a facelift by October 2011.

According to the pictures posted by a Suzuki fan on Facebook, the new version of the bike will sport new body colours and graphics as well as a new exhaust system. We hope the new GS150R will carry the same price tag of Rs Rs 68,695 (OTR, Pune).

New Suzuki GS150R in white colour

Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship

PETRONAS Asia Road Racing ChampionshipOne of Asia’s most prestigious events for two-wheeler racing, PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), is coming to India this August. The event is the third race of six and will take place at Chennai’s Sriperumbudur  track from August 4 – 7.

The championship is especially special as it is currently the only international two-wheeler racing event in India. Races in the Underbone 115cc and the Super Sports 600cc categories will be hosted in Chennai. Krishnan Rajini of Moto-Rev India is the country’s sole representative in the Championship, competing in the SuperSports 600cc category. Meanwhile, in the Underbone 115cc category, there is also local participation with TVS Racing Team joining with a wildcard local rider and an import rider, from Malaysia for the race.

The Chennai crowd has a big reason to cheer as the event promoter, Two Wheels Motor Racing (TWMR) Promotions Director, Ron Hogg commented, “We are offering spectators free admission for this outstanding race with the hope of further raising the interest for two- wheeler racing in India.”
For the race weekend, Friday and Saturday will see practice and qualifying sessions while the final races are scheduled for Sunday, August 7th from 10am until 5pm.

For more information about the Championship, kindly log on to the official website at www.arrc.com.my or Facebook at www.facebook.com/AsiaRoadRacing.

Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship

PETRONAS Asia Road Racing ChampionshipOne of Asia’s most prestigious events for two-wheeler racing, PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), is coming to India this August. The event is the third race of six and will take place at Chennai’s Sriperumbudur  track from August 4 – 7.

The championship is especially special as it is currently the only international two-wheeler racing event in India. Races in the Underbone 115cc and the Super Sports 600cc categories will be hosted in Chennai. Krishnan Rajini of Moto-Rev India is the country’s sole representative in the Championship, competing in the SuperSports 600cc category. Meanwhile, in the Underbone 115cc category, there is also local participation with TVS Racing Team joining with a wildcard local rider and an import rider, from Malaysia for the race.

The Chennai crowd has a big reason to cheer as the event promoter, Two Wheels Motor Racing (TWMR) Promotions Director, Ron Hogg commented, “We are offering spectators free admission for this outstanding race with the hope of further raising the interest for two- wheeler racing in India.”
For the race weekend, Friday and Saturday will see practice and qualifying sessions while the final races are scheduled for Sunday, August 7th from 10am until 5pm.

For more information about the Championship, kindly log on to the official website at www.arrc.com.my or Facebook at www.facebook.com/AsiaRoadRacing.

More Victory(ious) moments

Victory 8BallVictory motorcycles, the niche cruiser manufacturer has just upped the ante and announced its new range of 15 picture perfect motorcycles.The Cross Country bike gets a bigger sibling named Cross Country Tour and there’s also a new limited edition bike, the Cross Roads Classic LE, while the Victory Vision 8-ball will no longer be available.

Victory motorcycles are known to mass produce choppers that look like custom-made-bad-boy-bikes. It also has a range of bikes for the really long cruises which feature extended wind protection and enough luggage space to store the bodies of two policemen.

Victory motorcycles have already made up their mind to wreak havoc in the sparsely competitive market of upmarket cruisers in India. It will be up against its true blue American adversary, the mighty Harley Davidson. Since they are also developing a 500cc V-Twin engine for India, we expect neither side to go down without a fight.

We wish both of them luck. May the most hardcore criminal ride free.

Victory Vision

Ducati 1199

ducati 1199 spy pic.jpg

Spy picture and all we know about the next generation Duke

Ducati is developing their next generation superbike and it is already rolling on the road! Successor of the 1198, the bike is rumoured to be named ‘1199’, slated for a launch at the EICMA motorshow in Milan at the end of this year.

Ducati has given its traditional trellis frame and under seat exhausts the boot to create the most radically designed motorcycle the Italian firm has ever come up with. At heart the bike will still be a Ducati, with an all new V-twin engine producing a power output of around 200PS! As seen in the pictures, the bike is very small in size but has a reasonably sized fairing. The shark inspired nose has LED strip headlamps while the tail piece follows Japanese idealogy of sleek and short ends. The bike has a horizontally mounted monoshock rear suspension connected at a right angle to the single sided swing-arm while the stubby exhaust sticks out from under the belly. The biggest difference however, is the stressed-airbox monocoque chassis as seen in their MotoGP machine. The Desmocedici has a carbon fibre monocoque where the engine is a stressed member of the chassis, the sub-frame, front fork mount and the swing-arm all bolted on to it. The road bike will most probably have an aluminium alloy semi-monocoque.

 

The bike is being developed with inputs from Valentino Rossi and his MotoGP race engineer Jeremy Burgess while Ducati’s ex-WSBK rider Troy Baylis recently concluded a three day test of the bike at the Mugello circuit in Italy.

Benelli special editions launched

Benelli TNT 1130 Century Racer blackBenelli, one of the oldest motorcycles in the world, recently turned 100. To celebrate this very special occasion, the Italian manufacturer launched two special edition machines – the TNT 899 Century Racer and TNT 1130 Century Racer – both fitted with Benelli’s trademark three-cylinder engine.

The difference is that while the former churns out 122PS at 9,500 rpm, the latter makes an even more powerful 131PS at 8,500 rpm. Both bikes are equipped with a six-speed gearbox, high-spec suspension components from Marzocchi and Sachs at the front and rear respectively, Brembo brakes with radial-mount callipers and special touches like Alcantara seats and a special paint job inspired by Renzo Pasolini’s Benelli race bikes of the 1970s. In addition to these two anniversary editions, Benelli also released a high-performance version called the TNT 160R.  The 160R churns out a heady 162 PS, making it the most powerful TNT ever. It also gets a dry slipper, in place of the wet clutch in the older models, along with a much higher compression ratio. With these high-performance limited edition machines, the Qianjiang-owned Italian manufacturer hopes for a renewed interest from moneyed fans willing to shell out money for what might truly become a collector’s item in the future.

Eloquent Rider

One life to rideNo impediments when an enthusiastic motorcycle rider, who is a speech therapist by profession, takes up the pen to chronicle his long and adventurous journeys. Bike India talks to Dr Ajit Harisinghani, whose second travelogue is to be published soon.

 

A sense of calm and serenity overpowers you as you enter Dr Ajit Harisinghani’s speech foundation. This Pune-based doctor trains young professionals and stroke patients to recover from speech impediments. A speech therapist by profession and a grey-haired free-spirited motorcyclist at heart, Dr Ajit offers us a close-up view of his trip to Ladakh. He also tells us about his next book, which speaks about his visit to Bhutan and several other experiences.

 

BI: Before being a motorcyclist, you are a speech therapist. At a time when the profession was unheard of and a comfortable Central government job was the most sought-after prospect, you opted for speech therapy. Why?

AH: Back in the 1960s the only options were medicine, engineering or graduation. I missed the medical seat by 12 marks and had to settle for a degree in chemistry and zoology. Forget others, I myself didn’t know about speech therapy until I stumbled upon it. One day I had missed college to watch the newly released film, ‘Shagird’, umm, I think it had Joy Mukherjee and Saira Banu in lead roles. I had some time before the show began and so I just sauntered into the Nair Hospital next door. I read a notice that said, ‘Speech Therapy admissions closing today’. Spurred on by an urge to be in a medical setting I enrolled myself for the course and eventually developed a deep liking for it. I enjoy my job immensely now.

 

BI: A large number of people ride to Ladakh, a few blog about it and even fewer write books about it. So what inspired you to write a book about such a deeply personal experience?

AH: Writing a book is like painting a blank canvas. As you experience the journey you start painting the canvas with colourful brush strokes. And while doing this I have to keep the reader in mind. As you rightly said, a lot of people ride to Ladakh. Who really wants to listen to an old man riding from one place to another? Who cares about how much fuel I used and where I stopped for lunch? And that’s the reader’s perspective. To make the book enjoyable and readable I have to connect with the reader and make him/her feel the journey. So connecting with a younger audience is the challenge and that’s what got me hooked.

 

BI: You have been riding for over 35 years now and you must have suffered a major breakdown somewhere some time. Tell us about it.

AH: I suffered one, actually two major breakdowns. One I have mentioned in the book. It happened on the way to Leh from Manali. That one didn’t exactly leave me helpless, but it was quite bad. I realised it was only a loose contact in the ignition. I had other keys in the keyring which kept the ignition key from connecting. The other major breakdown occurred  on my trip to Bhutan. I was near the Krishnanagar area in Nadia district of West Bengal. The contacts were loose, the wiring was burnt and I had no spares. And believe it or not no one rides a Bullet in West Bengal. So I had to wait for an entire day until I could get some spares and get the bike going again. Also in Bhutan there is just one Bullet service centre for the Indian Army. Apart from these two incidents the Royal Enfield has proved to be a very reliable companion.

 

BI: Other than the Royal Enfield which other bikes have you ridden and in which other countries?

AH: I had two Yezdis in Bombay when I was a student. That bike didn’t really suit me and I had a lot of problems with it. A little rain and it would stall, the carburettor would get flooded easily.  And then in the US my room-mate had a Norton 750 Commando, which I used to ride once in a while. Finally, I chanced upon the Bullet in 1983. I bought it for Rs 17,000. Since then I have owned three Standard 350 Bullets, including the current one that I bought in 1995. And it is still in the same condition as it was when I got it from the dealer. Apart from the fabricated panniers it hasn’t undergone any modification.

 

BI: Your next book is about your trip to Bhutan and other adventures. Tell us about it.

AH: My second book starts with an encounter with one of my patients, the mass obsession with happiness and things like that. Then I see the King of Bhutan on the television and things generally flow in that direction. Also there are a few other incidents which now seem very hilarious. Back then, however, it was a totally different picture. Prison incidents, small deals, hitch-hiking, etc. It is all a colourful and funny picture now. After the response my first book elicited, there is a pressure to do better in the second book. I want to ward off that pressure and take things slowly. I am going to relax and let the ideas flow to me and eventually compile them.

 

BI: By the way, did you find out what the problem was with your bike in the chapter ‘Machinophilia’?

AH: As a matter of fact, I did. The carburettor was flooded! But that incident did serve as a literary trick for the book.