Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Man's Dream

Compulsory viewing.

A nine-part video documenting New Zealand designer & engineer, John Britten, and his heroic effort to create a world beating superbike.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

VUN Undercarriage Concepts

The VΨRUS 987 4V uses underslung, side-mounted radiators. This arrangement neatly reduces the visual impact of having side-mounted radiators while also lowering the center of gravity (as shown below).

The VΨRUS 987 4V

The following conceptual drawings show how this arrangement could be utilized on the VUN to achieve the same results (improved visual appearance and lower center of gravity).

Note: These drawings also use the VUN front fairing concept from an earlier Blog article.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

CR&S Move to Larger Premises

From the first of April, O.M.M. srl (owner of the brands CR&S, VUN and DUU) is moving to new headquarter in Cusago (Milano).

The new premises will make room for an increased production capacity in order to meed demand for the new DUU model.

In related news CR&S are reported to have produced a third prototype version of the DUU as the new bike undergoes further development and testing prior to going into production. Details will be posted as more information comes to hand.

The address and contact for CR&S's at their new location is..

O.M.M. Srl (Officina Meccanotecnica Milanese)
Viale Europa 67
20090 Cusago (Milano)

Friday, March 26, 2010

BeOn - Affordable Track Bikes

Have you ever wished for a dedicated track bike that would be cheap enough to thrash around your local circuit without worrying too much about the costs when it all goes wrong?

An enterprising Spanish company, BeOn Automotive SL, may just have what you are looking for. They are producing a kit that will convert your 450 off-road single-cylinder chicken chaser into a serious track bike. One of the cool things about this kit is that it is non-intrusive, meaning you can convert your track bike back into an off-road at any time.

Turn this...
Into this...
With this!

The intention of this kit is to provide cheap and plentiful bikes for the new 450 GP race class. The 450 single cylinder class now is becoming popular in Europe and around the world.

At just over 100 kg, the BeOn 450 is similar in weight and power to a 125 GP bike. With slick tires, good suspension and brake components it would be a heck of a lot of fun to take one of these out on a track day. You could definitely give a fright to the average Joe on his super powerful, super heavy, super street bike.

Currently the kit is available for the current models...
This is perfect if you want to compete in the 450 GP class. Personally, I would prefer to have a nimble little thing to thrash about on track days. In that case it would probably be better to fit the kit to a KTM 530 EXC model which has pretty much the same frame, swingarm, suspension and other critical components as the KTM SXF 450, but has a slightly larger and more torquey engine.

So, just how easy is it to convert your KTM 530 EXC into a serious track bike? The video clip below shows you how it can be done in less than 2 minutes... assuming you can work in fast motion.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A VUN at the Futa Pass

Spring is in the air. It is time to start planning your dream ride for the northern summer and what better place to be than riding a VUN across Italy's famous Futa Pass, just outside Bologna...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Love, Speed and Loss

This is the story of New Zealand 500cc GP racer Kim Newcombe. Kim built and raced the first König 500cc GPs bikes in the late 1960's to early 1970's. Kim was engineer, mechanic, test rider and a successful racer.

In 1973 he competed against such legends as Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini, winning in Yugoslavia and was only one point short of winning the world championship when he was tragically killed at Silverstone raceway. Kim was posthumously awarded second place in the world championship that year.

This four-part video is story is about grit, determination, great passion and love. Ultimately is it a story which leads to tragedy, loss and regret. This was a period in motor racing history when the march of technology and racing speeds outpaced the consideration for safety.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

CR&S Tour Germany

CR&S VUN & DUU motorcycles have been touring Germany recently. Bernhard Peintner, of IWAN-BIKES Gmbh, reports February's IMOT show in Munich was a resounding success. The DUU, in particular, enjoyed an enthusiastic reception on its German premier.

DUU & VUN bikes at Munich's IMOT 2010 bike show in February

The bikes went on to feature at the Ilshofen bike fair near Stuttgart (see below) and are currently being exhibited in Dortmund.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The BSL 500 MotoGP Effort

Readers of this Blog aside, only a minority of Moto GP fans know much about Italy's valiant Paton 500GP motorcycle GP effort (read here for some background). Fewer still will have heard of another privateer 500cc GP bike from the opposite side of the world: New Zealand's BSL 500.

In 1999, after 3-years of development, Aucklander Bill Buckley - businessman, motorcyclist and owner of engineering firm Buckley Systems Limited, realized his dream to compete with his own bike at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, the 500cc Grand Prix.

Utilizing Buckley System's numerous CNC milling machines, lathes and other advanced industrial machinery, Buckley assembled a team including Kiwi engineers from Kenny Roberts' similar KR3 project and others from the Britten V1000 project.

A V-Three engine configuration was chosen to take advantage of the lower weight allowances. The minimum FIM weight limits for 500cc GP bikes in 1999 was: 101kg for singles and twins, 116kg for triples and 131kg for four or more cylinders. Unfortunately achieving the minimum weight proved difficult so that initially the BSL carried a power disadvantage without the benefit of a lower weight.

Reliability was also an early problem with piston seizing and overheating problems dogging the project. As New Zealand race tracks enforced a 95db noise limit, testing and exhaust development had to be done outside New Zealand. This made testing slower and more difficult than it should have been which could explain the team's inability to finally get on top of the reliability problems.

Never the less the BSL 500 was entered and competed in the 1999 and 2000 500cc world championship with Australian riders Mark Willis and John Allen and Kiwi rider Stephen Briggs. Unfortunately, the bike suffered from its reliability and lack of development.

Despite being entered for the 2001 season, development frustrations and the pending introduction of 1000cc 4-strokes to the MotoGP class caused the team to pull out of the world championship after the 2000 season. Lack of foresight and support from Motorcycling New Zealand did not help. After successfully competing in New Zealand's premier Formula 1 racing class in 2001 the BSL found itself banned from the 2002 season as Motorcycling New Zealand changed the rules to allow only mass production-based machines. This rule change would have also effectively excluded New Zealand's own Britten V1000 from the championship had it still been competing. Nice way to support innovation in your own country guys!

Motorcycle racing need spirited engineers like Bill Buckley and Giuseppe Pattoni. Despite all the setbacks and frustration Bill Buckley and his BSL team can be proud even to have competed at the highest level.


Engine type Two-stroke liquid cooled V3 (BSL)
Displacement (cc)498cc
Bore x stroke56x56
Max power162 hp (2003), 110 hp (1999)
TypeSix speed cassette gearbox (BSL)
Frame typeCNC-machined alloy twin spar (BSL)
Steering rake21.5 degrees, variable
SwingarmLinkged CNC-machined alloy (BSL)
Wheelbase1380-1410 mm
Weight (dry)116 kg
Front forksUSD 42mm Ohlins
Rear shockOhlins
Type17" PVM, 3.5" front, 5.25" rear
FrontBrembo 4-piston callipers
Front discsMitsubishi 320mm carbon discs