Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sak Art Ducati Hypermono

A few months ago the designer's at Italy's Sak Art released conceptual drawings for a modern interpretation of the wonderful Ducati Supermono of the 1990s'.

This design makes intelligent use of the new Ducati Monster's frame and swingarm. Being a 'hyper' sports model it deserves top-rate equipment. This is provided via a carbon fiber tank and bodywork, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes with 305mm rotors and 17" Marchesini wheels.

The engine is configured in the same way as the original Supermono. That is, utilizing an existing Ducati Superbike engine, but instead of the vertical cylinder a counterweight is attached to the vertical con-rod. This provides the natural vibration damping of a 90° v-twin allowing the engine to achieve much higher RPM than possible from a normal single. It also has the advantage of creating an all new engine configuration while reusing most of the existing Superbike engine parts. This was the stroke of brilliance afforded to the original Supermono by, then Ducati chief engineer, Massimo Bordi.

Sak Art produced a series of playfully styled variations of the supermono theme in homage to various Ducati race bikes of the past.

Orange/Black reflects some vintage models of the 70s including the 350 mono.

The version presented above is devoted to a Ducati 175 F3 that won a host races between the '50s and '60s, and honors Francesco Villa who rode to victory in Monza ('58-'59-'60) in this 175 category. His number (16) was the number used in Villa's first victory in 1958.

Finally, the "Desmo Racing" version is a tribute to the 450 Desmo single "king of the mountain" that dominated championships in the early 70s.

Sak Art's ernest hope in producing this concept was to spark 'grass roots' interest in their lovely design in the hopes that someone at Ducati is taking notice and maybee, just maybee put into production the bike they could have given us twenty years ago.

To this day, the only serious supermono sports bike in production is the CR&S VUN. In the mean time, Ducati seem much more interested in entering the market already defined by the CR&S DUU (as witnessed by recent spy shots).


Mimicry is flattery I guess...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Orange Passion

When Cesare Sottocornola ordered his CR&S VUN he wanted it to reflect the passion he has for his classic 1971 BSA Rocket.

The BSA Rocket (and subsequent Triumph Trident) was perhaps the last British superbike of the classic era.

Cesare's VUN perfectly matches the color and style details of his BSA.


With its spoke wheels, polished alloy tank and minimalist sports styling, Cesare's VUN is a true modern interpretation of the classic British cafè racers of the 1960's and early '70s. Versatile and well traveled this VUN has toured Italy, Germany, the Isle of Man, Tunisia and Libya with fellow VUNIC members and will see many new adventures in the future.

BSA Rocket (1971)
Engine type Air-cooled, inline 3-cylinder
Displacement (cc)750cc
Special FeaturesAmal concentric big bore carburetors,
Carrillo con rods,
Koelliker race camshaft.
TypeQuaife 5-speed.
Front250mm Fontana drum

CR&S VUN (Orange Passion)
Engine type Water-cooled, Rotax single-cylinder
Displacement (cc)650cc
Special FeaturesCDR Racing radiators
FrontCeriani Racing

Monday, June 14, 2010

CR&S Forum Now Online

A CR&S forum has now started on the web site. The forum is in German but I believe that postings in English are also welcome.

This could be a good place to organize rides or ask questions about the CR&S brand and its bikes.

The forum address is...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

VUN Presentation in Bologna

The following slide-shows are from a recent presentation of VUN motorcycles at Mamolo Cafè in the center of Bologna (usually Ducati territory).

The presentation was organized by Franco Cavina, CR&S dealer for Emilia-Romagna, Italy and was kindly hosted by Paulo at Bologna's coolest biker friendly bar, Mamolo Cafè.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

DUU Modularity

Below is a study drawing for a DUU front wheel option.

The DUU, that goes into production early next year, will be the basis for a series of substantially different variations using a modular component approach.

Below is a study rendering for the seductive cafè racer version of the DUU.

Strike One

A few years ago I lent my Ducati Monster to a friend so he could take his license test. I know this sounds mad, but it was impossible to get through the 'tight maneuver" part of the test on his Ducati 748. Anyway he was gone for a few hours longer than expected and when he finally returned he walked through the door holding a broken indicator saying: "this should explain everything".

Likewise, today I can present you the new shape of my left handlebar end cap. It should explain everything...

Nothing too serious, my first in 10-years. Riding the Futa Pass at speed at 4am wasn't too smart in hind sight.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

DUU Production Prototype

A third DUU prototype is currently being prepared at CR&S. The first prototype was a running prototype to understand the layout & dynamics of the machine. The second prototype assembled all of the visual components and studied the packaging. This is the version that was unveiled at last November's international motorcycle show in Milan. The third prototype is a production prototype and is used to finalize the overall design of the machine and detailed layout so that it is ready to put into production.

There is a world of difference between building one bike and building a bike that can be put into production. Thousands of details need to be thought through: supply of parts, reliability, safety, maintenance, cost, compliance with regulations. It is a complex and daunting task.

The production prototype is well on its way to completion and will be doing the rounds at various motorcycle shows later in the year. Full production of the DUU is scheduled for 2011.

Roberto Crepaldi fires up the production prototype.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TTZero at IOM Hots Up

This year's all-electric TTZero race at the Isle of Man is shaping up to be an exciting and technically interesting race.

The MotoCzysz bike is definitely one of the most beautifully sculpted bikes, of any type, I have seen and seems to go as fast as it looks. Yesterday's second practice saw the MotoCzysz 'zeroing' in on 100mph (160kph) average lap speed which is a good improvement on last year's record of 87.5mph set by Team Agni. A £10,000 prize will be awarded to the first all-electric bike to crack 100mph average speed at the Isle of Man.

The main limit to performance still seems to be battery storage and the need to conserve power. This is why you don't see the electric bikes flying off the start line, even though they are capable of it. It is the highest average speed that wins the day.

Speaking of Team Agni, this year's bike is sporting a dustbin fairing which is allowed under the FIM rules for electric motorcycles.

The excitement of this year's Isle of Man race is providing a much needed 'shot in the arm' for electric motorcycle racing. There are two competing electric bike world series being run this year: the TTXGP series and the FIM's e-Power.

The first round of this year's e-Power series, at Le Mans, was a dismal display with only 6-bikes turning up (one of them an electric scooter) and only 5 of those managing to get to the start line.

The first 2010 TTXGP round at the US Infineon track, in May, was not much better. The electric bikes were shuffled to the side and made to race on the little-used infield track, out of sight and out of mind of the crowd who had turned up to watch the superbikes. The most exciting electric-bike related thing to happen was probably the Hell for Leather crew's antics with an electric supermoto in the woman's bathroom (for which they were thrown out of the paddock).

Update: The MotoCzysz E1PC won this year's TT Zero event at the Isle of Man with the Agni bike coming in a respectable second. The MotoCzysz came close to but did not break the 100 mph (160 kph) average speed. Perhaps next year. If you want to read a good overview of the MotoCzysz bike and it's development then check this story on the Popular Science website. It's worth a look for the pictures alone.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

VUN Cavina II

From Concept to Reality

Each VUN motorcycle is built at the factory according to individual customer specifications. To achieve your perfect VUN You can work with the CR&S design team to produce conceptual artwork before manufacturing begins.

Earlier this year VUN dealer for Bologna (IT), Franco Cavina recently commissioned a new VUN. Working with Donato Cannatello at CR&S they produced this concept (below).

Once Franco was happy with the the concept a detailed specification was prepared, an order made and the bike went into production.

Recently, Franco & I visited the CR&S factory to pick up the finished bike....

CR&S use Kaos Design (located next door to the CR&S factory) for all their custom paintwork. This bike has been finished with a polished alloy tank overlaid with a deep pearl color, lucid gold frame and polished engine covers.

A belly pan has been added from the technical options catalog and the standard mirrors and indicators have been substituted with Rizoma units.