Saturday, August 29, 2009

Take the Futa Pass to Loiano

Last weekend was the "Motorhad Futa" event in Loiano, south of Bologna, which was sponsored by CR&S.

The road from Bologna to Loiano is called the Futa Pass, aka highway S.P. 65. This road has a wonderful racing history. It was part of the legendary Mille Miglia (thousand mile) race event that was held in the first half of the 20th century.

More recently, until the late 1990's, the Futa Pass was home to a series 19km superbike sprint events. The start and finish lines are still marked on the road. Winner of one of these events is VUNIC member (and VUN dealer for the Bologna region) Franco Cavino.

Last week I had the pleasure of riding the Futa Pass with Franco. Two VUNs riding in anger on the ultimate "Mistostretto" (tight road), it was a wonderful feeling... well, at least I felt like I was riding in anger. Franco looked very relaxed and even had time to read and reply to a text message while taking a tight left-hander... only in Italy.

p.s. The photo (above) is a still from the video series Twist of the Throttle and, unfortunately, does not show any VUNs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

News Flash: Ace Cafe VUN

URBAN MOTOR is designing and constructing a special Ace Cafe VUN for this year's Continental Run! Photos will be posted on this blog as soon as they are available. Be at Cafe Hubraum at 9am on September, 11 to see this bike in the flesh.

This project is being supported by Roberto Crepaldi (of CR&S) and Bernhard Peintner at IWAN-BIKES.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The CR&S Continental Run

URBAN MOTOR and IWAN-BIKES are sponsoring the CR&S Continental Run from Cafe Hubraum in Solingen, Germany to the 2009 Ace Café Reunion in London.

Taking place over three days, the annual Ace Cafe Reunion Weekend celebrates the unique history, culture and style of the Ace Cafe and what it represents. The event is a focus in the motorcycling calendar for all who are not only interested in the Ace Cafe but also for many others who enjoy a weekend full of motorbikes and fun! Visit the meeting place of the original Cafe Racers.

Over the years, Ace Cafe London has forged strong links to the global motorcycling community, which is reflected by the many visitors from overseas. One of the largest contingents is The Continental Run, which starts with a party at Cafe Hubraum in Solingen, Germany, before departing the next morning to cross Holland, Belgium and France, gathering numbers en route to the ferry, arriving at the cafe late afternoon, and culminating in an evening of rock 'n' roll!

Everybody is invited! The Continental Run starts in Solingen (Germany) September, 11 at 9.00 a.m. The evening before we will meet and party at the Cafe Hubraum in Solingen. From 11th-13th of September is the Party at Ace Cafe London. On the 13th is the Brighton Burn Up Run. In Brighton will be the Ace Day at the Madeira Drive. Later on the 13th is the ride back home...

Claudio Zanoni and the VUN Marathon at the Ace Cafe

For further information and booking please contact:
Hans-Peter Rütten
Ace Cafe London GmbH
Achterberg 6a
D-47906 Kempen
ph: +49-(0)2845 98616
Fax: +49-(0)2845 98618

Address and contact for Cafe Hubraum:
Café Hubraum
Richard Zöllner
Kohlfurther Str. 30
D-42651 Solingen
ph: +49 (0)212 53 08 93

Thanks to VUNIC member Peter Dannenberg (of URBAN MOTOR) for supplying details about this great event. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Motorhad Futa" Festival

29-30 August Moto Festival

Loiano (BO), Italy

VUNIC member Franco Cavina reports that CR&S are sponsoring a weekend festival of all things motorcycling.

The programme includes: whole-day group rides in the lovely countryside of Emiglia Romagna, big screen viewing of the Indianapolis Moto GP, a freestyle motocross show, live music, D.J.s and reportadly, sexy girls.

Loiano is about 15km south of Bologna (check out the road from Bologna to Loiano). This could be a nice stopover on your way to the Moto GP in Misano on the following weekend. Throw in a visit to the Ducati Museum in Borgo Panigale (just outside Bologna) and you will soon realize that you have entered motorcycling nirvana.

For more information you can call: Manuel 3355212161, Fiorenzo 3382034096, Davide 3395494280 or Massimo 3471408208. Not sure about the required area codes before dialing these numbers.

Update: You can e-mail the following address in English for information about the festival and accommodation in the area.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why a VUN?

When I started riding back in New Zealand in the early 1980's (gulp!) I was passionate about bikes. I wanted to know and do everything related to motorbikes. I rode every day in any weather. I read about bikes, raced bikes, crashed and fixed my own bikes.

I've always had an attraction to exotic motorcycles rather than 'everyday' bikes. The more I learned and wanted to go fast, the more my head turned towards Italian bikes and specifically Ducati. After many years of upgrading to the latest and greatest superbikes I started to loose my passion. Why?

Every year the race for more and more horsepower gives us faster and faster bikes. More power = more fun right? I suppose so but who can really use 180 bhp on a winding public road? Going 300km/h in a straight line on the autobahn becomes kind of pointless after a while.

Here is a challenge: Take your 1340cc Suzuki Hayabusa, or similar, (about 190bhp) to a race track and put it against a proper 125cc race bike (about 55bhp). Who is going to win? Unless the Hayabusa is being ridden by Mat Mladin or the track has really long straights, then the 125cc race bike will win every time.

I've done this, more than once. Not on a Hayabusa, but on other superbikes. I wanted to know why I couldn't catch that little knat of a 125cc 2-stroke. It was embarrasing damn it!

I've also raced 500cc singles and kicked the ass of much more powerful bikes. I can tell you that this is a lot of fun. Ever since this time I have been searching for a bike that is very light, simple and excellent handling. Power is interesting but it is a secondary consideration. In other words I wanted an anti-Hayabusa

It seems that no manufacturer is willing to make such a bike anymore. Ducati made the incomparable Supermono in the early 1990's. This remains my idea of the perfect bike, but it never went into production. Marketing triumphs over engineering? Gilera and Bimota made some interesting singles, also in the '90s, but they were still quite heavy and, well you can't buy them anymore.

Sure I could find a light and simple bike. But it will be a cheap beginners bike that looks better than it is. These things have very little power, bad suspension, bad brakes, cheap build quality and no style. What to do? Buy a 2-stroke race replica? No thanks, you've got to draw the line somewhere.

Then I found the VUN. At last someone is making a serious lightweight sports-bike again. This bike is very nimble, handles beautifully and has excellent brakes. On a tight road it is FAST. Thanks to the VUN I am passionate about motorcycles once again.

The VUN isn't perfect, but it is pretty close. The base is excellent and the potential to improve it to new limits is great. I will be documenting my journey with the VUN back to motorcycling passion on this blog and you are most welcome to join me...

(p.s. the photo in this post is not me. It is a track-day photo from the CR&S web site)