Friday, November 26, 2010

The DUU Unveiled

Production versions of the new CR&S DUU come in two standard formats: The solo seat (Deperlù) and the twin seat (Conlatusa). Pricing details for each are as follows...

DUU Pricing (5-speed)
Deperlù €19,000 (plus tax)
Conlatusa€20,700 (plus tax)

The Conlatusa is more versatile. The twin seat model can be configured as a solo seater by simply removing various parts. The reverse it not so easy as it would require replacing the solo seater's rear sub-frame. So if you think you will ever need to use your DUU to take that pretty girl from the local bar for a ride (or to carry your grandmother home from her Bridge night), then the extra €1,700 is worth spending.

The standard DUU uses a 5-speed gearbox which is more than enough for a 2-litre V-Twin. However, if you think you might want to try the DUU out at the local drag strip then there is also a 6-speed gearbox available for an extra €900.


The chassis is a compound structure. The main element consists of a stainless steel large section tube (107.5 mm). It is a backbone chassis that also forms part of the fuel tank. All the other chassis elements are stainless steel and TIG welded. Stainless steel resists life, and gives an excellent. All of the chassis components are connected by machined light alloy parts. The seat holder is a light alloy box structure, a CR&S’ patent. It is TIG welded and forms the remainder of the fuel tank.

The single sided swingarm is also fabricated from large section stainless steel tube (90 mm), reinforced with a stainless steel welded structure box. The light alloy fork yokes are machined from solid. The twin seater version’s shock absorber has a manually adjustable spring preload. The compound wheels are made in light alloy with cast hubs.

The tire sizes have been chosen to offer sporty handling capabilities, with excellent rider control (max lean angle 43°) : they are radial tires, with sport-racing compound (the rear tire has a three-zone compound).

Brand / Model S&S X-Wedge
Type4 stroke, 56° V-Twin
Displacement117" (1916 cc)
ValvesPushrod activated, 2-valves per cylinder
FrameStainless steel with large section tubes. Machined stainless steel engine cradle and holders.
SwingarmSingle-sided arm in large section stainless steel tube.
Front SuspensionUpsidedown telescopic fork with 48 mm diameter. Adjustable hydraulic damping and spring preload. 120mm travel.
Rear SuspensionHydraulic progressive mono-shock. Adjustable hydraulic damping and spring preload. 127 mm travel.
Front break320mm Wave double floating disks, each with radial 4-piston calipers.
Rear break260mm single disk with 2-piston floating caliper.
Front wheel4 stroke, 56° V-Twin
Front tire120/70-ZR17"
Rear wheel6.00 x 17"
Rear tire190/55-ZR17"
Dimensions / Weight
Length2197 mm
Width770 mm
Wheelbase1576 mm
Seat height800 mm
Weight245 kg (dry)
Gas tank15.5 litres (4 litre reserve)

Technical Specs

The DUU's power delivery graph is visible on the tachometer.
This extra information allows you to view the max power vs RPM as you ride.

The S&S X-Wedge is a traditional engine, but built with modern technology and materials. It is a pushrod actuated 2-valves per cylinder head with hydraulic self adjustment and three belt driven camshafts (one intake and two exhaust). The bottom end has a one piece machined crankshaft with twin conrods.

The ECU is developed by S&S. A catalyzed stainless steel exhaust system with 2 lambda meters.

Gearbox is a Baker unit available with 5 or 6 speeds.

Performance Details
Max Power 71 KW at 5100 rpm
Max Torque 148 Nm at 4300 rpm
Max Speed Over 125 mph (over 200Km/h)

Deperlù "Grisa"

The structural body parts are made from carbon fibre. The remaining parts are made in VTR, ABS or carbon fibre. The fuel tank is divided into two parts: the chassis’ backbone and the seat holder box structure.

Deperlù "Sbirluscenta"

As the pictured models suggest, a wide variety of modular customizations are available. I will be covering these in more detail in a future Blog article.

Conlatusa "Nera"

Saturday, November 20, 2010


BeOn Automotive unveiled the latest in its series of track bike kits during the final MotoGP round at Valencia.

BeOn track bike kits can be used to convert your KTM, Honda, Suzuki, etc. motocross, chicken chaser, into a serious little track day rocket. Their latest kit is the one I have been waiting for: the Aprilia SXV 550 conversion.

 Convert one of these...

...into one of these. 

Or have both. BeOn say that the conversion is easily reversed giving you both a track bike and a supermotard for the price of... well one and a half. The kit costs €4,450 plus tax, then you have the cost of the donor bike.

I wrote a previous blog article about the BeOn kits. This kit converts the iconic Aprilia SXV 550 (or 450 if you are that way inclined) into an exciting bike with an output of around 70 hp and an approximate weight of 120 kg.

Automotive BeOn says it is also working on certification of the SXV-GP for the street.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

EICMA 2010 Highlights

EICMA 2010, this year's Milan International Motorcycle show (yes they have bicycles too but who really cares), finishes tomorrow. There was a 25% increase in attendance and all of the big brands were present this year. All good signs, but some important and interesting brands were missing. No Bimota, no Vyrus, no Morini, no Buell (the last two in this list are sadly no longer with us).

There were plenty of new motorcycles on show, but not too many that were interesting to me. Among this year's main attractions: production versions of the CR&S DUU, the Brammo Empulse electric motorcycle and the MV Agusta F3.

I have already covered the CR&S DUU and will write more about it soon...


At last year's show I was hoping for a showcase of electric motorcycle technology, and was disappointed. This year there was half a pavilion devoted to green technologies with some serious-looking electric scooters and one production electric motorcycle which stood out from all the rest: the Brammo Empulse.

Here is the first production electric motorcycle that can stand proudly next to almost any petrol-engined motorbike. It weighs just 160kg (with 'fuel'), is capable of 160km/h, strong and smooth acceleration, and has a range of 100, 130, or 160km (depending on battery configuration). It has serious running gear (frame, wheels, suspension and brakes) and it looks great.

A TTXGP racing version of the Brammo Empulse

Times are changing, motorcycles of the future will be cheap, clean, silent, low maintenance, reliable, easy to ride, powerful, fun and electric.

An inside look at the Brammo's other model, the Enertia

MV Agusta F3

I remember, years ago, passing a boutique shoe store on one of Milan's famous shopping streets. There was something special and unique about that store, it has stuck in my memory while everything else from that day has faded. In the display window stood a white pedestal before a white backdrop. On top of that pedestal was a single, elegant, lady's black shoe. There was no signage, no price tag, no flashing lights, just a single black shoe.

The MV Agusta stand at EICMA 2010 was a white illuminated cube with the MV logo on it. From the outside that was all you could see. Only a limited number of people were allowed to go in at a time and inside was a white pedestal carrying just a single MV Agusta F3. No flashing lights, no free brochures, no technical sheets, no loud music. Just one motorcycle... and, of course, the girls - this is Italy remember.

And what a bike it is. For me the F3 was the sensation of the show. It could well become the pinnacle of combustion-engined sports motorcycles. A marvel of mechanical engineering, refined design and beautiful styling. I just hope that MV Agusta can put it into production while petrol-engined motorcycles are still relevant. The MV Agusta F4 took years to move from showroom prototype to production, but there is a good chance that things will be different with the F3. Harley-Davidson poured a lot of money into MV Agusta and then gifted the company back into the passionate hands of the Castiglioni during the financial melt-down. Let's hope the combination of passion, and recent investment is enough to get things rolling at Varese.

Best of the Rest

Last year, Moto Guzzi showcased some wonderful prototypes, including the beautiful, retro-styled Le Mans concept. This year they had the production version on display. If I had a magic money tree I think this would definitely be one bike in my collection.

CR&S and Moto Guzzi Dealer in Germany,
Bernhard Peintner tries the new Moto Guzzi

Bernhard finds a sports bike which is even lighter than the VUN.

This scooter also caught my eye.
Can't remember what it was called though.

Ducati had an enormous stand. The star attraction this year was their new 'Diavel' cruiser. Last year's ugly duckling, the multi-strada, went on to become a commercial success, but I can't believe many people outside of Italy would seriously consider buying one of these.

Remember the last time Ducati tried to enter this market? Does the Ducati Indiana ring a bell? If you don't know what I mean, click here (but be prepared to behold a bike that received a fair whack from the ugly stick).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Two New DUU Models

CR&S has released two beautiful new DUU models at this year's Milan International Motorcycle expo (EICMA): The Deperlù (on your own), a single-seat version and the Conlatusa (with the girlfriend) which, as the name suggests, has a pillion seat.

 The DUU Conlatusa (two-seater)

The new DUU Deperlù (single-set)

Personalization and Modularity

The DUU has been designed to be fully customizable and a large variety of factory options are available including: different headlight configurations, pillion set support, mini wind breaker, bellypan, paniers, turn signals, brake and suspension components, 6-speed gearbox and wheel design.

You can also select the factory finish including: custom colors, polishing and plating, leather finish, etc.

These are just some of the standard factory options. You can also consult directly with CR&S and have them build a DUU to your exact specifications.

Four DUU's at EICMA

The CR&S stand at EICMA had four DUU's on display. Two Deperlù (single-seat) models and two Conlatusa models. Each of these demonstrated completely different factory configurations.


Another interpretation of the DUU Deperlù

CR&S's  Roberto Crepaldi presents the new DUUs at EICMA 2010

The DUU engine and chassis

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The DUU Breaks Cover at EICMA

First pictures of production versions of the new CR&S DUU have emerged from the Milan International Motorcycle Show EICMA, which opened today. These photos were posted on Check out their site for more photos and information...

Homologating the DUU

Check out Roberto Crepaldi skillfully smoking the back wheel at the end. 
Since he owns the company he's allowed to have such fun with the only 
production prototype in the world :-).

A short video showing the DUU production prototype undergoing emission testing (Italian style). I'm not sure if smoking rubber is part of the emission standards....

MV Agusta F3

MV Agusta's new 3-cylinder, 675cc, middleweight is proof positive that the company was well worth saving from the brink of Harley-Davidson.

Harley's much-needed cash infusion followed by Claudio Castiglioni's timely and cunning reacquisition has bought us a motorcycle that is so beautiful that it makes the iconic MV Agusta F4, which preceded it, look positively old and clunky. Just compare these two images (the old vs the new).

1998 MV Agusta F4
2010 MV Agusta F3

I can't wait to see it in the flesh at this week's EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. Below, small is beautiful...

Friday, October 29, 2010

EICMA 2010 Opens Next Week

Milan's annual international motorcycle show EICMA 2010 opens next week and runs from Tuesday, November 2nd, to Sunday, November 7th. The first two days (2nd-3rd of November) are for press and trade visitors so you would need a special pass. The remaining days are general admission which costs € 18 or € 12 after 6pm.

CR&S will be there and on this year's stand you can expect to see a selection of production-ready DUU models as well as a display of VUNs.

It will be interesting to compare the DUU with Ducati's Diavel. Both bikes are new, Italian and are trying to define a new market niche, which is, a muscular cruiser style machine with good handling and a focus on technology over bling. MV Augusta have said that they will have a small, closed stand to display their new 675cc triple. I'm hoping for better things from the Electric Motorcycle pioneers this year. EICMA 2010 will have a special pavilion called Green Planet giving some focus to zero emission motorcycles.

It looks like there will be enough new and interesting things to justify me going this year. Last year I wrote this Blog article with information about EICMA and how to get there. You should check it out if you are planning on going, specially if it's your first time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

VUN PPP Returns to the Track

Franco Cavina track tests the VUN PPP

The VUN PPP made a return to the race track recently in the hands of Franco Cavina. Franco has been testing the bike and turned 300km at the Tolmezzo track in the north of Italy.

Among other things this particular PPP has a close ratio gearbox. Franco says that the fuel map needs some optimization but the engine is powerful and has fluid delivery. Franco is planning to enter this bike in next year's "Roadster Cup" race series in Italy and is currently looking for a talented young rider.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

VUN PPP on Display in Bologna

Thomas Salomoni (Dainese Bologna), Franco Cavina and the VUN PPP

Last weekend was the first anniversary of the Dainese "D-Store" on via Stalingrado, in Bologna. To celebrate, the store threw a party with free barbeque food, discount vouchers, an exotic motorcycle display and the inevitable long legged girls to keep a smile on your face.

The VUN PPP was part of the in-store display and will be there over the next few months in-between track testing engagements (more on that to come...).

PPP stands for Pronto Per la Pista, or "track ready".

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vundes Vun van a Man

"Eleven VUN (riders) Go to the Isle of Man", the documentary recounting the journey of 11 VUNICs to the Isle of Man, riding their CR&S VUN motorcycles, has won “best foreign documentary” at the "All Sports Film Festival” in Los Angeles and was ranked second overall.

For more details follow this link...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Glemseck Moto Show Report

Bernhard Peintner (left), Oliver Thiel (right), and his VUN (below)
being interviewed at the Glemseck 101 moto show

Oliver reports from the Glemseck 101 moto show, near Stuttgart, Germany that:
There was a cafe´racer sprint, an old timer riding show, a scooter race of 200 meters, body painting, a playground for children, and for visitors admission was free. A Weißbier 3, Steak 3.50, Würstel 2.50.

...not bad.

Click these links for a full review (in German) and a photo pictorial...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Glemseck 101

The DUU prototype is back in Germany this week and will be on display at this weekend's Glemseck 101 Motoshow from Friday 3rd until Sunday 5th of September.

This year CR&S dealer Oliver Thiel, of Thiel Motorsport, will be displaying the DUU plus four of the nicest VUNs you will find anywhere.

The Glemsek 101 show is held at the historic “Solitute” racetrack near Stuttgart. No longer in use, this track had a long and illustrious life from 1903 until 1965, typically hosting more than 400,000 spectators on a race weekend.

If you are in Germany and want to find out all about the VUN or if you've yet to see the DUU or maybe you just like the T-shirts and would like to buy one, this weekend is a good chance to do so.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Scenes from the Futa Festival

This weekend's Motohad Futa Festival had five VUN's on display and for the first time in the Bologna region the DUU prototype. Below are some scenes from the CR&S stand at the Futa Moto Festival...


The VUN PPP (Pronto Per la Pista)

The VUN Polizia

The VUN Blue Flame

Friday, August 27, 2010

VUN & DUU at Futa Moto Festival

Today I rode up the Futa from Bologna to Loiano to prepare my bike for the CR&S stand at the Futa Motorcycle Festival in Loiano this weekend. Cavina Racing are running a stand and will have five CR&S VUNs plus the DUU prototype on display.

It was hot as I rode out of Bologna along Via Muri wearing just a casual T-shirt and Jeans. At the last traffic lights, as you exit Bologna, two bikes pulled alongside. A Suzuki streetfighter (I don't know what), and a new looking Aprilia RSV. The Aprilia rider, in his new Dainese race suit gave an "aww how cute" glance at my VUN then pulled a big wheelie as the lights turned green. I knew he was headed for the Futa...

I pulled in behind them keeping close as we took the long, straight bypass to Pianorro at the beginning of the Futa. The Aprilia rider was impatient to get to the twisting Futa pass as he slowed to pull wheelie after wheelie along the way. My adrenaline began to rise as I anticipated what I was going to do when we got there...

At last we reached the long steep ramp that plants you just past the base of the Futa. The Aprilia rider was stretching his leathers and swerving left to right to warm his tires, then pulled one last wheelie. I knew it would not help him...

The Suzuki took off first, with the Aprilia soon passing him. I followed closely to watch the riders in front and guage how hey might react when I come past. I took the Suzuki on a medium right-hander, round the outside pulling away up the hill and tucked in tight behind the Aprilia. After pulling alongside a few times I finally "showed him the hammer" (as Oliver likes to say). Three corners later and I never saw them again in my mirrors. This is my definition of fun!

If you are in the area (Emilia-Romagna) and want to see a collection of beautiful, hand crafted sporty singles that can hand out this kind of punnishment to an Aprilia superbike, then come along to the Futa Motorcycle Festival (aka Motohad) in Loiano this weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Green Hell

If Hockenheim was a bit mad, with 250+ bikes together on the track, then the Nurbürgring was mental as anything. We rode the old track which winds its way through 21 km of Germany's Eifel mountains. There are over 300m of altitude changes. Few corners have a run off so only the crash barriers stop you from going into the trees.

Track outings function in the same way as a ski run. You purchase a ticket for the number of laps you want, after each lap you must stop and pass your ticket through the gate before you can start the next lap. I purchased 4-laps for a total of 84km.

A track day at Nurbürgring is a kind of battleground, with super quick Porsches mixing it together with hot fours, track cars, superbikes, VUNs, and everything in-between. We were happy to have Oliver take us out in his V8 Dodge truck to learn the track before donning armor and joining the battle.

The pace we chose was somewhere between a fast sports ride on a mountain road and the pace you might do on a track day at a more sane track like Hockenheim. Once again Oliver, who has a lot of experience at the Nurbürgring (both good and bad), led us round and set the pace, going a little faster each lap. This felt comfortable and relatively safe, except for those moments when a Porsche Carrera vs Mercedes SLK struggle comes at you from behind. The wise (and polite) thing to do is to move over, but this also requires you to drop concentration for a moment so you need to be careful.

Oliver Thiel

Yours truly

 Franco Cavina

There were several car wrecks throughout the day where drivers had dropped their concentration, or exceeded their skill, but I did not see any bikes go down, which is a good thing.

Watching a Porsche Carrera in capable hands passing you and going hard down a dip and through the S-bend is amazing. Those things change direction damn fast and are glued to the track!

Nurbürgring was a blast! Many thanks to Oliver Thiel, of Thiel Motorsport, for organizing the day and for having the patience to show us the ropes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hockenheim vs VUN

Last week Christina Baio, Franco Cavina & I took our VUNs over the alps to Germany for some track time. We were kindly hosted in Heilbronn by Oliver Thiel of Thiel Motorsport, VUN dealer for this part of Germany. Oliver has plenty of racing experience at these tracks and joined us to make it four VUNs. First up was Hockenheim...

Martin (who was with us on his Morini 1200), Cristina, Franco and Oliver 
pose with the VUNs just before our first session at Hockenheim.

Hockenheim is a fast track. The parabolika is over 800m long and the rest of the track is a mix of fast, slow and medium speed curves. Our track day was organized into 1/4 hour slots alternating between bikes and cars. The first session was crowded, I was just trying to learn my way around while avoiding hitting anyone. Other than us four VUNs, it seemed everyone was on 1000cc plus superbikes which was intimidating at first. Christina, Oliver and Franco are experienced and successful racers, I felt timid and outgunned by comparison.

For me, the second run felt much better, but this time it was really crowded with around 250 bikes, mostly superbikes, on the track. The parabolika is not much fun in this situation: On the VUN you can take the medium speed left-hander leading onto the parabolika at full throttle which gives you a head start, but before you can reach top speed, those 180hp superbikes come blasting past 60km/h faster (or more) than you. If you are good, then the ones you don't catch at the hairpin at the end of the straight you will get on the next high speed right-hander, where the VUN is flat out, while most of the superbikes are panic braking. It is amazing how fast a bike comes towards you in this situation.

 Cristina's bike after her slide... not too bad considering.

With around 250 bikes on the track, crashes are inevitable. I saw plenty go down but the ambulance was never called out, which is a good thing. Unfortunately Cristina low-sided her VUN on turn 7 about 80m in front of me. It seems that she hit a 2m long slight dip in the track at the apex that is notorious among experienced riders at Hockenheim. She and her bike slid a long way with Cristina tumbling a few times, but neither sustained any serious injury.

Later, the session was closed due to a Ducati that had blown its motor spreading oil over a large section of the track (possibly a contributing factor to Cristina's fall). The oil was bad enough to close the track for the rest of the day. Big pity because after gaining some confidence, it was a lot of fun dicing with superbikes on a racetrack.

We returned that evening to Heilbronn, Cristina licking her wounds while we prepared for the Nurbürgring on the following day... (to be continued)