Thursday, December 31, 2009

Voxan Hear its Death Toll

The 29th of January marked a sad day in the history of French motorcycles and leaves us with possibly the last notable death of 2009. Voxan motorcycles, the last hope and stronghold of the French motorcycle industry recieved the final nail in its coffin when the Clermont-Ferrand Court of Commerce rulled for the liquidation of the company.

Having not received the financial guarantees it was looking for to secure the financial turnaround of Voxan from its possible buyer Fil of Luxemburg, the court decided that liquidation was the only option. The future of Voxans employees as such, leaves nothing but an uncertain future.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Belgium Road Security Looks to Others

Here's a great idea for any countries road security gurus...instead of shooting from the hip and just making up policy to try and lower accident rates and the resulting injuries and deaths, how about taking a look around the world at other systems to see what works and what doesn't and take that into account when implementing you own securtiy. That exactly what Belgium has decided to do recently. The country sent of "scouts" om reconnassance missions to their neighboring countrys to find the good prevention ideas currently being used with the intention of importing them back home. Their goal is a center of knowledge and expertise on traffic circulation to be created by the police as early as 2010. The centers would among other benefits work towards improving personnel training directly linked to road inferstructure and would be composed of lawyers and strategic analysts.

Belgium has set an objective to become one of the three countries with the lowest roadway mortality rate by the year 2015. Seems they may have developed the perfect idea to reach that goal. Hopefully it keeps on track and works towards everyones benefits. Maybe other countries will jump on board with the same idea.

Source: Caradisiac

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TTXGP partners with UEM...

...announces eGrandPrix European Championship at Albacete

MC24 has broken news that the 2010 eGrandPrix race season will now culminate with a championship race organized by the European Motorcycle Union at Spain's Albacete circuit. The date has yet to be announced, but the addition of this championship gives the fledgling electric motorcycle racing organization not only four-race national series in the UK and Italy and three races in North America, but also a headline event at the Isle of Man TT and now an officially sanctioned European Championship event. That makes the FIM and its e-Power series look a little silly. After splitting with TTXGP and stealing its rules, the FIM is left with something it calls a "World Championship," but no participating teams and only a handful of tentative dates.

UEM was quick to support TTXGP, and particularly Silvio Manicardi (President of Marketing, Promotion & Industry Commission) has from the beginning been one of TTXGP its main backers. Manicardi is also a mechanical engineer, and has a very nice review of the situation for electric bikes in the UEM-magazine from earlier this year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Continental Circus: The Movie

I recently got a chance to view Continental Circus, an incredible documentary showing the sport before the intrusion of big business and big money. The racing careers and exploits of two contrasting characters are explored in this French documentary about grand prix motorcycle racing. No actors in the flic, only real people.  No tricks, the races are true races; footage includes Isle of Man and Spa among other circuits. One is the Australian Jack Findlay, a non-corporate sponsored ridre, who manages to stay in the game through sheer spunk, the help of his French wife and many friends. Throughout the course of the season he has a number accidents and sometimes must borrow even the machines he races with. You really get a feeling for what it was like to be a private motorcycle racer at this time. Giacomo Agostini, on the other hand, seems to be singularly blessed. As the reigning champion (in 1971) and a noteworthy playboy, he has all the sponsorship he could ask for, and wins his races without injuries or spills. He appears as a prefiguration of what we see today in most professional sports including motorsports. Great music performed by Gong is also heard throughout the film.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Paris

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Former Paris Tuning Show

The edition 2010 of PTS is changing its tune. Formerly the Paris Tuning Show, one of the larger and certainly most accessible event in France, has rechristened itself the Salon of Personalization, Technology and Sport. Taking place at Paris Le Bourget Parc des Expos the 19, 20 and 21 of March, the event is being host by a new group, Option Organization. Changes will in include a more innovative formula, a denser schedule (3 days instead of 5) and a higher focus on motorcycles.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Motorcycling History in Norway

It's not a country you tend to think has a lot going on when it comes to motorcycling but Rolf Ivar Jordbruen felt there was enough meat to make the subject worth treating. Unfortunately, as of yet there is no english version.

The idea of this book, On Two Wheels - Cubic Nostalgia was to show some of the history and versatility the motorcycle has had and stills has in the country. The author, who began motorcycling on the private road leading to his home at the age of thirteen in the 1980's, hoped to create a book that would evoke memories for older motorcyclists and interest among young people.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Decision on Voxan Turnaround Postponed

It seems there will only be one option left for troubled French motorcycle manufacturer Voxan. I just learned that SODEMO, the original developers of the Voxan powerplant have pulled out the proposal for a takeover. That leaves only the Luxembourg based real estate holding company FIL left to pick up the cards. Their completed file was presented court in Clermont-Ferrand on Friday.  After reviewing the propose, the court will offer its final decision on the bid on December 29.  Between now and then, FIL will have to secure all its financial guarantees in expectation of making its initial payment of 10 million Euros, 1 mil of which will be for the buyback of stock and the remained addressed at relaunching the marque.

Here hoping for a Very Happy New Year 2010 for Voxan!

Source: Vadimof

Monday, December 21, 2009

Karl Lagerfeld Chanel Motorcycle Film...

...well yes and no. The bike was built by Momo Bikes to be used as a prop during Paris Fashion Week 2009. Now it can actually be seen motoring through Paris under power in a bizarre short film aimed at presenting the Chanel Spring/Summer 2010 Pre-Collection.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Hyde Harrier Jubilee Ready for Liftoff

You may have seen the prototype a few years ago when Triumph specialist Norman Hyde and Harris Performance first presented the Hyde Harrier Jubilee in early 2008. Testing has now been completed and kits are available to transform a modern Triumph Bonneville into the ultimate modern British cafe racer. The bike was originally conceived to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the original Hyde Harrier and the 50th anniversary of the Triumph Bonneville.

The basic Harrier kit, requiring a donor vehicle consisting of a 2000+ model year Triumph Bonneville (pre-EFI), includes new frame & swingarm, fuel tank, seat unit, rearsets, rear fender and kickstand, plus other necessary bits. As such, the donor bike contributes its headlight, instrumentation, forks, wheels, engine and exhaust system. Retails for is a reasonable £3995 +VAT, which might not sound so friendly for readers in the US given the current exchange rates, but certainly will offer a unique ride. Given that Bonnies are reasonable priced on the used market, the means needed to realize an exclusive modern day British café racer are not beyond the reach of the everyday Joe.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Parisian Racing Circuit : The Debate Over

After the announcement by the President of the Ile-de-France, M. John-Paul Huchon opposing the basic tenet of a circuit that could welcome motorsport events within the confines of the region, the French Federation of Motorcycling FFM questioned the motivation behind such a declaration.

In fact, it seems surprising taking into context a recent Ipsos poll, where the French by and large reaffirmed their devotion to motorsports, that certain political leaders declare this project in contrast to the principles of the 'Grenelle de l’environnement' or set forth accords on the environment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Electric Car and Motorycle Race in Paris

EMXGP (part of is delighted to announce its partnership with GP-Elec, the organisers of the first electric car race and electric motorcycle event taking place in the city centre of Levallois, Paris in June 2010.

M. Patrick Balkany, Maire of Le Levalllois (Paris) and MP of "Les Hauts-de-Seine was delighted to confirm yesterday evening that the city of Levallois (Borough of Paris) will host next June 4, 5 and 6 the GP-Elec event, the first electric car and electric motorcycle event in Paris.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Dainese D-Store in Italy

Italians, as well as travelers to Italy, now have one more place to stop to check out Dainese's latest in protective gear.  A new flagship D-Store has just opened on rue Stalingrado in Bologne. The newly inaugerated D-store is situated on the one of the principal passageways that link up the autoroute, trade expo centers and the central city. 

The new Dainese location was conceived as a reference space for all two wheel and dynamic sports enthusiasts in the region.  The exposition space, developed by Studio Dainese Design, occupiesf a surface of 250 m² and presents all the lines of the brand from Vincenza, Italy. 

The layout is arranged to allow easy browsing of the different collections including Motorcycle and Multisports, both winter and summer, in accordance with the concept characterized by all Dainese stores.  In addition to the focus on development of the actual store, Dainese also has a program of client assistance wherein customers will be able to benefit from the custom fitting service.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Voxan's Future: FIL Holding or SODEMO Eng.

The Issoire Commerce Tribunal was to have decided upon the future of Voxan motorcycles Friday, December 11th. Placed under judicial administration/reorganization since September 2 last, the corporation saw its hopes for a clear path pushed forward to this Friday, the 18th. The two potential rescuers presented incomplete files.

Among the two potential bidders is Luxembourg based real estate holding firm FIL. As their primary focus suggests, this organization is not really specialized in the industry but would have brought solid financial guarantees and according to the newspaper La Montagne, the offer was judged to be "extremely interesting". The rescuers would purchase shares of Voxan for 10 million euros and invest an additional 8 million euros per year for the next 3 periods. The current workforce would be maintained and eventually expanded by 10 personnel.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bimota Tesi 3D Biposto

According to the Spanish site of Solomoto, Bimota is preparing to unveil a new version of the Tesi 3D, making the bike more accommodating for regular use.  At the top of the list of evolutions for 2010 is the appearance of a passenger saddle

If the picture being dispersed through the Net  is more than a just a successful photo montage, it seems that Bimota has rethought the philosophy of their Tesi.  While the current model is doubtlessly a sportsbike with no concession, the version biposto for 2010 casts a reference more towards the side of a muscular roadster.  The ergonomics have been completely revised with a lowered saddle, the feet controls repositioned and a more upright handlebar.

To improve the passenger comfort, the Zard exhausts have been lowered to make room for an extra set of pegs.  The front suspension, originally developed for the Vyrus 983 2V, abandons its gas shock absorber laterally mounted under the crankcase for an Ohlins directly linking the front swingarm to the "oméga" frame.

The nitch business from Rimini seems set to propose a hi-tech alternative to their DB6 Delirio in addition to the Ducati Monster 1100 fro which the Tesi 3D borrows his its motor.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Classic 17: Vintage Racing Series

Just found out about a new races series being launch in France - Classic 17

MOTORS Events, based in Paris, has created "Classic 17", a new formula for vintage motorcycles of 19+ years sporting 17" wheels as original equipment. Dunlop has signed up to be a series partner and is offering a prime of 9,000 euros!

Two classes have been designated for the series:

* Class 1 or C1: 2 or 4 stroke machines with a displacement of between 240 and 600cc
* Class 2 or C2: 2 or 4 stroke machines with a displacement of +601cc

For motorcycles original spec'd with 16 or 18 inch wheels the ability to convert to 17  inch wheels will be allowed. The running of Dunlop tires is obligatory and rains tires are authorized should conditions merit.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Italian Motorcycle Collections

I happened to come by a list of motorcycle collections in Italy, on an Italian forum, open to the public, in most cases only by appointment. I've transcribed and translated the info here for anyone who might be heading to Italy and looking for an interesting experience.

Bruno Baccari Collection
Via Provinciale Faentina, 21
47015 Modigliana (Forlì)
Tel. +39 0546941215 or +39 0546940257
Visit by telephone appointment

Benito Renzo Battilani Collection
Via Poiano 1/B
40026 Imola ( Bologna)
Tel/Fax +39 0542640961
Display: Motorcycles from 1902-1945
Visit by telephone appointment

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Paton BIC 500 8V RU Classic Racer

I mentioned the other day the forthcoming Suter MotoGP bike being developed in conjunction with Moto Paton. Back in the sixties, Paton actually had some high placed results on the international race circuit with 250, 350 & 500cc machines. Nowadays, among other projects, Paton is offering new and updated version of their classic 500cc racer. For more background info on their history and specs of the BIC 500, check out Moto Paton, USA.

Monday, December 07, 2009

World’s Fastest Street Bike?

The fastest production motorcycle in the world, Asphaltfighters Stormbringer, comes from Germany and can accelerate from 0 to 300 km/h in only 13.9 seconds. And yes, it’s street legal!

Powered by an inline-four with 16 valves, the thing benefits from no less than 220 hp. Furthermore, at speeds in excess of 180 km/h, the engine can develop as much as 280 hp thanks to the performance admission system, which ‘pushes’ air directly into the engine above that speed. This function is limited to high speeds only because of traction problems and it only kicks in for short periods of time. It sounds suicidal to us, but the company will produce this in a limited series at their plant in Aalen, Germany.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

ThermaHelm Cooling Helmet Offers More...

Brain swelling is the immediate effect of head injury and it is a proved fact that the stopping of this effect can make the difference between life and death because of the pressure that the brain has to subdue when it meets the skull. This is precisely what paramedics are trying to prevent when applying a cold pack on the head of accident victims. So hearing about ThermaHelm having created the Brain Cooling Helmet, we started digging deeper into this potential life saving idea, only to find that the prototype stage is now completed and it should see production.

ThermaHelm’s Cooling Helmet works by storing separately gel or water and ammonium nitrate in a slim plastic packet positioned in the lining. During a serious crash, tiny spikes pierce through the separate compartments, causing the ammonium nitrate to mix with the gel or water, triggering an endothermic reaction that cools the brain, dramatically reducing the effects of the crash. Furthermore, it features an LED indicator that warns premature activation, small cameras that are able to record those crucial 60 seconds before a motorcycle crash, integrated Bluetooth headphones and fog-free visors. In other words, it brings helmets into the 21st century.

Press release and video are attached after the jump.

Friday, December 04, 2009

FIM Ride Green Eco Enduro

On 11, 12 and 13 of December, the first environmental friendly Enduro race for will open a new page of motorcycle history by registering electrical motorcycles only. The Eco Enduro is run during the COP15 - the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. The purpose and idea of the race is to show the world that mechanical sports can be environmentally responsible and is prepared to seek new ways and innovative solutions to reduce the sports negative impact on the worlds climate. The international competition is being organised jointly by Ivan Reedtz-Thott (World Champion Runner-up Rallies Quad - six entries (car) in the Dakar), Vivi Siig and Soren Clauding (owners of Scandinavian Racing Press), the Danish Motor Union (DMU) and has secured the support of the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme).

The FIM Ride Green Eco Enduro 2009 will be run on electrical motorcycles over a period of 3 days. For the first two days as a traditional enduro race in various terrain - but the final day the race will transform into a Super Motard / MX type race on a small circuit, build for the occasion, in the center of Copenhagen. Several world-class riders including the 5-time motocross World Champion Joël Smets, top-stars from Rally Dakar and of course also the Danish former Grand Prix winner, Brian Kjaer Jorgensen will be competing.

Suter SRT 500 V4 GP two-stroke

The Swiss specialists from Suter Racing have teamed up with Italian builder Paton to launch on the market a MotoGP bike powered by a two-stroke V4 engine.

Suter Racing is highly experienced in building racing prototypes and they have even participated at the 2007 MotoGP World Championship with the Ilmor X3 prototype. Now, the Swiss are preparing their debut in the Moto2 championship with a new prototype. At the base of the company is Eskil Suter, an ex-Grand Prix pilot in the 250 and 500cc classes.

The Suter SRT 500 prototype was presented at Milano with the occasion of the 2009 EICMA show. The chassis is similar to that used on the Ilmor X3 and it is part of a real MotoGP bike that weighs 125 kg/ 275.5 lbs and benefits of precisely 200 hp developed by the two-stroke V4 of 500cc.

Suter says he went along with this project because "there was never really a proper 500cc V4 two-stroke people could buy," and they turned out with a prototype that “makes a MotoGP bike feel like a tractor."

Starting at $74,345, the SRT 500 V4 isn’t exactly for anyone, but it’s three times cheaper than any MotoGP bike. Still, customers are offered the possibility to add parts such as carbon rims, SBK forks and a titan exhaust system, raising the price to as much as $134,000.

Source: TopSpeed

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Karl Lagerfeld & Ruby's Limited Edition Helmets

Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to make sure that the scooter-riding fashionistas have something chic to wear while riding around town. For his fall 2009 namesake collection, Lagerfeld created, in conjunction with Les Ateliers Ruby, what are probably the most fabulous scooter helmets of all time [sic]. When they debuted, it was unknown when or even if the works of helmet art — complete with iPod hookups and precious jewels — would actually be available for sale. This actually makes the fourth installment of Ruby's limited-edition helmet series.

Multiple styles will be available, including a lady-like helmet in black and white tweed (a subtle nod to Chanel ?) and a couture-ish one embroidered in pearls. But the most obscenely luxurious headdress has to be the one covered in lustrous black mink — part urban barbarian, part futurist warrior. Find them at Colette in Paris priced from $1,800 to $6,800, but hurry, only 12 copies are being offered.

Source: Hint

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Motorbike 2050 Ver. 2 Runs on Nuclear Fusion!

Introducing a technology yet to be applied to alternative motorcycle design: nuclear fusion. French designer Romain Herment has dreamed up a motorcycle concept that harnesses nuclear energy as a power source for a two-wheeler. Christened the “Motorbike 2050 version 2,” the futuristic motorcycle also makes use of two inexhaustible natural elements, deuterium and tritium. Power is transfered through an electric transmission and consumption equates to only 1 liter of water per 100 km, while automony is projected to be 550 km. Best of all projected weight of the Motorbike 2050 is just 55kg.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

TTXGP UK Championship 2010 dates confirmed

Three events have been provisionally confirmed by the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) for the inaugural TTXGP UK Championship 2010. The series is sanctioned by the ACU and supported by the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF).

TTXGP UK Championship 2010 follows on from the TTXGP Isle of Man 2009, the world's first zero carbon, clean emission motorcycle race on the Isle of Man TT course. TTXGP North America Championship 2010 has also confirmed its first race at Infineon, California, May 14 – 16 2010. The highest placed teams from the TTXGP series 2010 will compete in a grand final in November (date and venue to be confirmed). The UK Championship events will be held at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire (3-4 July), Snetterton, Norfolk (17-18 July) and Castle Combe, Wiltshire (11 September).