2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale

At last the sexy beast from the Italian firm has been unveiled after months of teasing, we at last get to see the machine we have all been craving to see. Its faster and lighter then 1098 & 1198, and a few design changes have been made to make this a menacing looking machine. Sanity was thrown out the window when they had this machine in mind, its 22 lbs lighter and 20 more horse to get this machine rocketing past any thing on the road.

Ducati have taken it a step further with the Panigale which was unveiled in EICMA at the beginning of November. I really do love the lines of this machine, and especially the LED lights that give it this futuristic look, the first full-LED headlight on a motorcycle . I was always a fan of the underseat exhaust but they wanted to lower the center of gravity to handle better so they took the exhaust down, I’m liking it, I’m really wondering how it sounds but knowing Ducati I know it would sound damn good. The package will set you back $17,995 for the base model, while S trim nudges the MSRP to $22,995. The top-of-the-line S Tricolore will fetch a more heart-stopping $27,995.

They have a lot of electronic additions to this vehicle and one of them the GPS Data Aquisitioning system to give you all the Data Logging info that you could want. You get the traction control system as standard on all bikes but ABS is optional on the Panigale. But the most interesting part for me is the electronically adjustable suspension system which will really change how the ride feels. I really want to get my hands on this bike, so many rumors and to see it in real life would be something else.

Link: Asphalt&Rubber
Link: Autoblog


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Bike World – Gilera GP800 Test Ride

These days the weather has been near perfect, sunny during the day and cooler in the afternoon. Just a little too hot at noon but still great for riding, I’m out when I can be but this was a special ride. I got a call from Ahmed at Bike World which I visited last time and he told me he has something special for me, I asked him whats special he said to pass by and I will see. I was expecting a Moto GP Machine capable of breaking the sound barrier with futuristic technology. When I got there he had for me a scooter, not any scooter but a scooter on steroids and that is something I wasn’t expecting, the Gilera GP800.

He told me to take it for a few days to try it out and let me know what I think, I told him it better not sound like one of those whiny motorcycles which has a whistle for an exhaust. Oddly enough I have never driven a scooter before, driven a few Harleys, lots of supersports but never a scooter and not one like this either. He told me has a customer that goes to Saudi in it, now that would be a site. I got it, I felt I like was a high end delivery guy, meant to deliver gourmet food and I was wearing my bike gear so it felt like I was in racing gear on a scooter, I was laughing to myself as soon as I got on. Switched it on and it had a growl to it, this is wimpy machine, it had more umph then I expected. I took off for a little tour around Kuwait before heading home. This little beast can do 180 kph, well thats what I reached in it, it felt funny that I was trying to control it like a bike.

This is probably one of the most comfortable ride I have had, now its a little different since it had an automatic gearbox which felt strange to me and my seating position is that of a seat. My whole form didn’t feel like I was sitting in the position I’m used to on a two wheel machine. It had a great turning radius and its comfortable around town, very comfortable, zipping around everywhere in it. The brakes felt odd because I have to squeeze both levers when I’m used to a pedal and the right lever, no clutch just felt alien to me. It took some getting used to but this is great for someone who wants to have some fun, with good transportation and it had a big storage area under the seat which I was using for a few days. But I’m used to the braking of a Ducati and KTM, the maneuverability of those machines too so any of the the top 50cc scooters on the market can’t match up to that and I learned that quickly. But the funny part is that I was laughing like giddy school boy under the helmet while driving this scooter on steroids around town.


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Harley Davidson & MV Agusta

Now this would be some interesting mix, it seems that Harley Davidson might buy a controlling share of MV Agusta and pumping some cash flow into them. As of recently I think that MV Agusta has been doing well and improving upon their line, and current owners wouldn’t mind having some cash on hand. Harley Davidson could use this type partnership to add to their arsenal of motorcycles, since Buell isn’t really that big compared to other brands of sports and touring motorcycles. I just have no idea what Harley is planning with this buy out and how exactly they want to benefit from it, I know one thing is that they can benefit from a little Italian ingenuity. As of right now this is just one very big rumor, but where there is smoke there is fire.

KTM RC8 1190, Ducati 1098 and Buell 1125R

Now this turns out to be interesting, they pitted three V-Twins against each other. The images themselves are beautiful but I wish they had an MV Agusta instead of the ugly Buell. I think Buell’s are not the best of motorcycles and are still sluggish so there was no reason to have it in this comparison, mentioned in the article that the Buell always feels outdated and doesn’t give you confidence when riding the machine on the road.

But I am extremely curious as to how the KTM and Ducati will be since they are in direct competition. I just love the color of both the Ducati and KTM, they both have character but very different intentions when building these machines. The Ducati is described a stiff and precise, a very race oriented machine. The KTM is described a more comfortable machine for long trips with an agile suspension such as the Ducati. The KTM and Ducati are very similar in lots of aspects yet different goals were mind when they were building these machines.

Link: faster&faster

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KTM RC8

An 1190 CC bueaty that has been causing the people and press to be in awe of it. I have been reading review after review of this machine, and they all say the same thing. After four years in development, it seems KTM has gotten it right from the get go. A precise machine which is fun to ride and beautiful lines which makes it stand out from the crowd. I do like the the color scheme of KTM and they type of power they have with their V-Twins. In the words of many from the press “Comfortable as a Beemer, Rides like a Ducati”. I can only imagine how that feels, you know something is wrong when you dream about this machine.

Link: KTM