Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More on the VΨRUS 986 M2

In this video (in Italian) VΨRUS motorcycle's Ascanio Rodorigo, talks about the new VΨRUS 986 M2 project. He says that 2011 will be a development year for the race bike project therefore we cannot expect to see VΨRUS compete in Moto 2 until the 2012 season. However, private enthusiasts will be able to purchase track versions of the bike this year and street versions by September.

Pricing for the street version should be €25,000 and €55,000 for the track model. The track version will weigh in at 135kg with around 136CV peak power (nice square figures).

VΨRUS Moto 2 Race Bike

News at this month's Verona Bike Expo was that VΨRUS motorcycles has produced a Moto 2 race bike for this year's Moto 2 race series.

For those who don't know who VΨRUS is, it is a boutique motorcycle manufacturer out of the coastal Italian town of Rimini who produce hand-built hub-center steered motorcycles. Until now, all of their models used either Ducati 4-valve superbike or Ducati 2-valve supersport engines. The company was born out of the ashes of the collapse of the Bimota factory (one of the many collapses). Design plans and technical staff were available at the time to advance one of Bimota's most ambitious projects, a hub-center steered superbike.

Now Bimota too has risen from the ashes and is also producing a hub-center steered, Ducati engined superbike. This leaves VΨRUS in a difficult situation. There are now two boutique companies based in Rimini who both produce a Ducati-engined hub-center steered superbike, based on the same original design.

Producing a Moto 2 race bike using their hub-center steered designs is a logical and extremely ambitious move for VΨRUS. It proves that they believe in their hub-center steered concept and are willing to put their ideas to the ultimate test. All Moto 2 race bikes must utilize the same Honda 600cc engines and engine management systems. Thus chassis, setup, aerodynamics, tires and rider ability are the deciding factors in who wins or looses. This makes Moto 2 the perfect format for advanced and alternative chassis designs. It is interesting, and somewhat disappointing, that no one else competing in Moto 2 has taken the opportunity to think out of the box. More kudos to VΨRUS for being the first.

To top it all off, VΨRUS has now announced plans to put a street-legal version of this bike into production by September this year! It should be amazing!

With the introduction of MV Agusta's F3 last November, Triumph's already successful 675cc Daytona, and now the VΨRUS 600 - middle-weight sports bikes are where all the most exciting developments are occurring right now. This is logical given the weight and handling advantage a middle-weight has over a full-sized 1000cc plus superbike. The only advantage a superbike has is in horsepower, but this is hardly an advantage on normal roads when you are comparing say 130hp against 190hp. With 130hp you are drinking from the garden hose on full whereas with 190hp you are drinking from a fire hose. Either way you can't drink all that water, but the fire hose will make you a lot more than just wet.

Thanks to MotoBlog.it for allowing the use of this photo.

Monday, January 17, 2011

CR&S at the Verona Bike Show

CR&S is proud to announce its presence at the Verona Motor Bike Expo (from 21 to 23 of January, Hall 2 Booth 18F - www.motorbikeexpo.it ) where they will exhibit street production versions of both the VUN and DUU motorcycles.

The DUU models on display have previously only been shown last November at at the EICMA 2010 as a preview to the production models. The Verona show will be exhibiting final production versions.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Così Non Va

Something is just not right with this promo photo of Valentino Rossi sat across a Ducati Diavel. It just seems something of a mismatch, kind of like watching health food guru, Nancy Kalish, appear in a McDonald's TV add or something.

Now this is a bit more like it...

...not the snow mobiles part, just the photo op at the end with the new GP11 desmoseidici.

I think that Ducati has made a mistake with the Diavel. I thought it was an April Fools prank when I first heard Ducati was developing a big lazy cruiser. Something tells me that the market for this kind of bike just won't buy into the Ducati brand. The Diavel is big and ugly, but Ducati seems to think that this will appeal to the cruiser buying public. Offering more performance than a Harley is not difficult, but if peak horsepower was important to these riders then Harley would have provided some.

I think what the cruiser and custom bike buying public want is to make a connection with 'real' motorcycles. That means a machine where the engine is the center of attention and where all the parts are sculpted from metal in an aesthetically pleasing and balanced way.

When I look at the Diavel, I only see bulky plastic covers, tubing, ducts and frankly whacky styling. It looks more like an overweight Bimota Mantra (one of the most horrible bikes I ever saw) than something that you might park in your garage next to a 1966 Ford Thunderbird.

Bimota Mantra vs Ducati Diavel. Whacky 1990's styling makes a comeback.

Ducati staff might comment privately that they did try to copy the new CR&S DUU, but they needn't bother, it is obvious. Although the two bikes compete in a similar market (muscle bikes), aesthetically they are completely different...

I think CR&S made a wise choice to use a traditional, U.S. built, narrow angle, V-twin engine. This gives the bike a lot of credibility in the worldwide muscle-bike market. The S&S X-wedge engine is a real grunt machine. Beautiful design and exquisite detailing do not detract from the fact that this bike also handles really well.

Something like the DUU could probably never be made at Borgo Panigale. It would be unacceptable to use anything but a 90º desmodronic v-twin to start with. Perhaps this is simply a market that Ducati should never have tried to enter. If it is ever a success, it will certainly dilute their brand as a top of the range sports-bike (no matter how many times they make Valentino Rossi sit across it).