Category: Bike Reviews

The future beckons

The future beckons

Sports bike enthusiasts seeking a unique proposition will soon get to experience a taste of things to come from Buell® motorcycles. The innovative manufacturer has pushed its design principles to the limit and produced a totally new hypersport offering for 2008.

The all-new Buell® 1125R combines cutting edge design with the top quality performance and handling already associated with the American motorcycles. The sportfighter utilises the all-new Intuitive Response Chassis with a 72-degree V-Twin 1125cc liquid cooled dual overhead cam engine.

Improved performance is guaranteed with 146hp – just four less than the Buell XBRR race motorcycle – a fuel injected engine and six-speed gearbox. The new design still incorporates the Buell brands Trilogy of Technology. The frame is designed with chassis rigidity in mind to ensure the Buell® 1125R stays firmly in line when flicking through corners.

It also carries fuel in the frame, for mass centralisation, which allows better agility and handling. The unsprung weight on the 1125R comes from fully adjustable suspension combined with Zero Torsional Load front brake and premium tyres to inspire rider confidence with excellent levels of grip and traction.

The distinctive looking motorcycle has a more relaxed riding position for enhanced rider comfort and will be available at £8,495 OTR.

Buell enthusiasts will also enjoy benefits across the whole range with small engine updates for improved reliability and durability, an updated instrument panel and a heated grips plug. There will also be limited edition graphics available to celebrate the brands 25th anniversary.

We are extremely excited about the new offerings from Buell for 2008, says Buell UK Managing Director Paul Stroud. The 1125R represents a totally new direction for the brand, so we eagerly await the reaction from UK motorcyclists.

We believe that the updates and new introductions further demonstrate the continual evolution of the Buell brand UK motorcyclists will hopefully appreciate the new motorcycles as premium products.

For further information about the full Buell range of motorcycles and availability, please visit www.buell.co.uk or contact your nearest dealer.

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Yamaha R1 2003

Yamaha R1 2003

An awesome bike! Loads of power, the smoothest fuel injection you can imagine (feels like an expensive set of carbs) and a chassis that lets you get away with almost anything. Dont expect tankslappers or any real bar shaking even when landing wheelies, its that good!

Not too bad around town but dont buy it for cruising about on, this bike wants to be thrashed and only feels right when doing so.
Brakes are ok and do the job but could be better, mainly because everything else is perfect and youll quickly find yourself approacing your favourite corners alot faster than you ever have before! Awesome!

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Ducati 998s Testastretta

Ducati 998s Testastretta

Having owned and thrashed the smaller capacity sibling 748s 01 model, it was time for a change. An absolutely mint, standard, 998s 02 model was discovered at the right price, with p/x offered on the 748. Ex demonstrator with less than 1500mls showing, it wasnt even run in properly yet! Massive grin, bank account sha**ed, the deal was done and I eagerly anticipated my first outing on the 998s.

The chosen test route was the superb A167 Darlington to Northallerton. A mix of slow off camber sections and flat out on the tank sweepers coupled with long straights and a few surprises, if you are unfarmiliar with the area.

WOW! Allthough physically no different in chassis dimensions, the step up in engine size was notable imediately. More respect was shown in terms of throttle control exiting corners because of the increase in power and torque I was about to experience. I had no need to worry, as the 998s pulls strongly from as low as 2400 rpm in 3rd, and then just keeps pulling yet remaining stable throughout the entire corner. 
 
The superb, glitch free fuel injection system allows the rider to have maximum confidence in getting all that grunt through the rear Pirellis 190 section, and you arrive at the next corner quicker than Starship Enterprise on Optimax! Again, my fears of overshootin, running wide were dispelled when I squeezed the front brake with two fingers only, and the response from the Brembos was so positive, I banged against the superbly crafted fuel tank, which, dissapointingly, only holds 16.5ltrs. Ducatis halmark of being one of, if not the best handling bike in its respective class is re-enforced the moment you ride this bike in the way it was designed to be ridden. Hard and fast is what it likes best. Ride it any other way and it lets you know of its contempt for slow speed by transforming itself into coughing, spitting, mad hot, irritable beast! Normal Duke characteristics then!!
 
However, I was quite surprised by the tollerance the big V-twin had for town riding in comparison to the 748. Whereas the smaller Duke would start behaving this way almost as soon as you passed through the 30mph signs, the 998s Testastretta motor showed no signs of mis-behaving, until the temp gauge needle declared its love for the red area!
 
 This is a nuisance more than anything because the twin pipes run under your backside and make you even hotter, particulaly on a hot day . As we dont often get them in Co. Durham, I can live with it. The cooling fan seems to take ages to cut in, and I would be happier if I heard it a little earlier.
Once I am through traffic and in the open again, ironically it begins to calm down, a good flow of air to the ample radiator sees the temp returning to a normal state, as indicated by the needle now divorcing itself from the red district.
 
This is the point where the love affair with a Ducati is established, its now begging to be ridden hard and as you hook the next gear effortlessly, you are rewarded with bags of power all the way through the range. This is a fast bike! Keep an eye on your speed, because of the low revs, you dont realise how fast, till your eyes get very wide. You will be encouraged to blip the throttle at every opportunity, just to hear the booming noise the Termis expell from beneath you. Heads will turn in your direction and you will feel good. Double glazing in terraced houses is at risk of being disslodged as you thunder through the villages in search of the open country roads this bike craves.
 
Be prepared to devote lots of time to servicing, cleaning, pampering, and loving these bikes to the point of conflict with the missus. You will be accused of spending more time and money on it than her. Live with it, you are now hooked and cant help it, welcolm to the Ducati experience!

Summary: Bad points…fuel tank range; gets very hot in town; can be expensive if not regularly serviced.
Good points: Far too many to list here!…. a superb bike in all aspects and will give many grins per mile, it remains an icon in design and will never be equalled by Jap  models, not for novices. Best bike I have ever owned.

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