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Australian Motorcycle News

Australian Motorcycle News Vol 69 Issue 16

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Australian Motorcycle News covers all things motorcycling from around the world, featuring new-model releases as well as comprehensive bike comparisons and race reports in every issue.

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25 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
magnificent men

I REALLY DIDN’T think MotoGP could get much better than the Marc Marquez era we have enjoyed since 2013, but with a grid full of high-grade aliens, who now have their bikes being developed for them by a similar array of high-grade aliens, we can only see things getting closer. The Sepang test highlighted Marquez’s weakness leading into the season (his shoulder), or is he foxing? The KTM is showing some spice thanks to Dani Pedrosa’s development – and Honda knowledge. And Yamaha’s wunderkid, This could be the first year in a while that Marquez is properly challenged Fabio Quartararo, is fast already and only going to get faster with Jorge Lorenzo helping him out. Our own Jack Miller is faster than he was this time last year, and the weird nose trumpet aero…

1 min.
battle of the ultra-superbikes

AS THE SUPERBIKE World Championship is about to kick off at Phillip Island, the two main rivals have developed road models even more exotic than their high-end racers. Ducati’s Superleggera V4 makes the Panigale V4 R – its WSBK homologation special – look like a cut-price trinket. It even uses aerodynamics that would be banned under MotoGP regulations. As a result, despite being emissions-legal and available to anyone well-heeled enough to afford its inevitably massive price tag, it can lap Mugello within a couple of seconds of a full WorldSBK-spec racer in the hands of Ducati test rider Michele Pirro. Meanwhile, Kawasaki has revealed how serious it is about its recent tie-up with Bimota. We’ve got our hands on key details about its flagship Tesi H2 model that confirm this is a roadregisterable…

1 min.
panigale punch-up

Killer engine In road-legal form, the Superleggera makes a claimed 165kW, and that rises to 174kW when the race kit is bolted on and the new ‘RaceGP’ mode is selected on the Desmosedici-inspired TFT dash. Andrea Dovizioso helped design the RaceGP display mode, preloaded with ECU maps for Laguna Seca, Sepang, Mugello, Losail and Jerez. The engine is 2.8kg lighter with new, lightweight camshafts and a dry clutch. King of carbon The Superleggera is almost entirely carbon fibre: frame, swingarm, bodywork, subframe and wheels. It’s 16kg lighter than the normal Panigale V4, with a dry weight of 159kg. Ready to ride, it’s 173kg. Buyers can lighten it more by fitting a race kit incorporating an Akrapovic exhaust and blanking plates to allow the removal of mirrors, licence plate hanger and lights. That reduces…

1 min.
tesi teaser!

Keep the engine clean The cost of getting engines to pass emissions rules mean that using Kawasaki’s stock Ninja H2 version makes strong business sense. The documents reveal peak power of 170kW at 11,500rpm, proving existing electronics and mechanical parts haven’t been changed for the Bimota application. Exhaust noise levels are also identical to the Kawasaki version. Bearing in mind that Kawasaki’s track-only Ninja H2R has already proved the supercharged four-cylinder engine is capable of far more performance – 228kW – there is much more power to be unleashed. Weight loss program You’d expect extra performance from a model likely to cost twice as much as the Ninja H2. And the Tesi seems to deliver. While its chunky hub-centre steering system looks heavy, liberal use of carbon fibre makes it 24kg lighter than…

1 min.
honda reinvents the, er, sidestand

WE’RE NOT JOKING when we report the Japanese giant is working on a telescopic sidestand – we’ve seen the patent applications! It seems the days of worrying about your bike falling off its stand may be over. The design shows a three-piece, telescoping stand that you push down before a slight rearward rotation locks it into place. The weight of the bike resting on the stand stops it accidentally retracting. To put it back up again, you lift the bike’s weight off the stand and kick it downwards again, but with a slight forward movement on the peg section. That releases the latches and allows the internal spring to retract the two telescoping sections into the fixed third part. There’s no doubt that the idea would work, and perhaps it offers slight advantages…

1 min.
norton goes under

WHILE THE SUDDEN crash of Norton into forced administration has shocked many, we can reveal that this famous marque looks very likely to continue. There are at least three well-financed entities from India waiting on the sidelines to pick up the pieces, along with two from China and Russian investor Timur Sardarov, who recently completed his outright purchase of MV Agusta from the Castiglioni family. If anyone has doubts about how Indian companies can revitalise famous British brands, they only have to look at what Tata Motors has done with Jaguar Land Rover since buying it 2008. Alan Cathcart explains who the potential suitors are, while our industry sleuth Ben Purvis brings us up to date with the legal situation concerning the historic British marque and its CEO Stuart Garner.…