Lamborghini e-bikes: Electric bicycles with Raging Bull name and logo.

Lamborghini is venturing again into the bicycle business collaborating with Italtechnology for e-bikes with the raging bull branding. On at least a couple of occasions, Lamborghini has collaborated with bicycle manufacturers to create high-end racing bikes. Now, the automaker has teamed up with the Italian company  to produce a line of Lamborghini-branded e-bikes.

The announcement was made at the Lamborghini museum in SantAgata Bolognese. The E-Bikes by Italtechnology for Automobili Lamborghini currently consist of two models – a mountain bike and a road bike (pictured here are only the mountain bike). This is, in fact, not the first time Lamborghini has teamed up with bicycle manufacturers to build high-end race bikes.

The electric bicycles, being a product with Lamborghini name and logo, can be customised through the Ad Personam program – which means you can order your electric bicycle in the same colour as a Lamborghini Huracan Performante or others reserved for Lamborghini cars.

Both models, Lamborghini mountain e-bike and road e-bike, feature eight speeds and an anti-theft PIN that locks the rear hub to prevent pedalling. The rear wheel is designed to be removed in five seconds to facilitate transport, and the lithium-ion battery is integrated into the frame. Battery life in Eco mode of the Lamborghini e-bikes, according to the manufacturer, will be around 145 kilometres.

Full details on the specifications of the Lamborghini e-bikes are not known yet, but the manufacturer has said that the bikes have been designed for “customers who want ultimate performance on the road, with a bike that can quickly reach the maximum speed allowed by current regulations.”

Slated to go on sale in May 2018, expect a hefty price tag on these babies – it’s Lamborghini, for Pete’s sake. Lambo e-bikes will only be available at select retailers and online stores.

Both e-bikes were reportedly conceived, designed and built entirely in Italy, are the result of over five years of research, and feature four international patents. Lamborghini’s business I diversified – from farm tractors to 2+2 land missiles to the soon-to-debut Aventador SVJ, they’ve done it all. And now, a go at green mobility, a nice blend of contrasts.

 

 

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Ducati Panigale V4 S

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As good as the hype?

Here marks a brand-new chapter in Ducati’s history. Mark the date, for the Panigale V4 S is about to steal your focus and attention. All £24,035 of glorious, red, Italian sports machinery. Don’t be immediately put off by the price, after all a PCP deal of £255 per month (37 months at 7.1% APR with a £5872 deposit) will see one of these MotoGP-derived road-going motorcycles in your garage. And, how much is that McLaren Senna by the way…£750,000? It certainly makes the Ducati look a reasonable bet to satisfy those with thrill-seeking ways.

Ducati began their press conference by telling us, “With a new engine, frame and electronics the riding experience will be closer than ever to a race bike.”

 

 

Easy to say but did it live up to expectations? Nope, it completely annihilated them and then took those expectations to a quiet place and battered the beejezus out of them. Boy does this thing shift, stop, handle and grip. Let me start by saying this; the new Ducati Panigale V4 S is one of those bikes that once ridden makes you a better human being.

Its feline-like prowess and agility as demonstrated at the International Press Test held at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia really puts the ‘cat’ in Ducati – and a very powerful one at that with 214hp @ 13,000rpm hammering your senses. The feeling of coming through the last corner, picking the bike up and, while using some of the outside kerb, ripping the throttle back to the stop, clicking the quickshifter into third, then fourth, then fifth and feeling the monstrous V4 spinning so fast beneath as the clever electronics keep the traction in check as well as both wheels on the ground as it applies maximum power. Yeah, that feeling is one I’ll keep replaying each time I close my eyes.

 

 

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Latest generation digital unit with 5″ TFT colour display

 

A lot of the talk since the official announcement of the liquid-cooled 1103cc 90-degree Stradale motor back in September was around the age-old pinpointing of power. It was only a few years back when 200+bhp motorcycles were introduced to the world and here we were all of sudden trying to comprehend 214hp (translating to 211bhp) in a road bike. But while the headline figures might often be price and power, sometimes weight, it’s the ability of the Panigale V4 to feed the power, stop it again and handle the corners in such a refined manner while at the same time making you feel like your eyeballs are going to burst with its ferocity which is the very clever part. Ducati have created a demure lunatic.

 

 

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The ‘S’ version is fitted with a top spec Öhlins TTX 36 shock absorber

 

Not-so-humble beginnings

Back in 1988 Ducati bought us their first V-twin (or L-twin as they preferred to call it) sports bike; the 851. Harnessing a 95bhp, water-cooled 4-stroke, 4-valve desmo engine, the bike was introduced initially as a racing prototype and was an instant success winning the second ever WSBK race in ‘88 and then the title in 1990. It’s successes were put down being grippier in the corners with the ability to punch out of them faster than its more powerful rivals.

A V4 race bike didn’t appear until 2003 when the Desmosedici four-stroke bike MotoGP initially under the guidance of Lois Capirossi and Troy Bayliss who went on to finish fourth and sixth in its debut season. Ducati have raced the V4 configuration since, yet here we are having waited 15 years for a V4-based production road bike from Ducati. You could say; it’s been worth the wait.

The new Stradale engine has been inspired by the Desmocedici MotoGP engine, “the V4 configuration was the most ideal for what we were searching for”, said Ducati CEO, Claudio Domenicalli.

 

 

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Specially developed Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres keep the 211bhp in check

 

It’s been rotated backwards by 42 degrees (like MotoGP) and has the same 81mm piston bore too, the maximum permitted by MotoGP regulations. It didn’t need to be amended, after all its peak power is made at a whopping 13,000rpm. The engine is still a stress member of the chassis and doesn’t require a balancing shaft which is beneficial for weight saving, after all with two extra cylinders over the 1299, the Panigale V4’s motor weighs just 2.2kg more, at 64.9kg. To put that into context, the brand-new cast aluminium front frame (based on GP technology), sub-frame and single-sided swingarm weigh a total of 11.2kg. The magic, also derived from its MotoGP genes (specifically the GP15), and seen for the first time on a Ducati road bike is a crankshaft which rotates in the opposite direction to the wheels, reducing the gyroscopic effect leading to less wheelies, faster turning and a quicker change of direction.

The new bike has a more racing focused weight distribution than the 1299 Panigale S and 1098 S and has 10mm higher foot pegs than the 1299 for extra ground clearance for optimum lean angles – which says something about how the technology has developed to keep the bike and rider the right way up.

 

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A more race focussed weight distribution than previous bikes allows MotoGP levels of lean

 

And that includes a new generation of Electronically adjustable Ohlins NIX30 43 mm fully adjustable forks and TTX36 shock unit accompanying the Smart EC 2.0 which continuously analysed the bikes behaviour for optimal performance, from grip, weight transfer, brake support, turn-in geometry. While the Bosch Cornering ABS EVO system is split into three modes to ably accessorise each riding mode – front only, slide by brake, road/low grip.

That tech is in turn supported by a pair of superb new boots from Pirelli. Their Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres (rear: 200/60 ZR17. Front: 120/70 ZR17) have been created especially for the Panigale V4 and have a new compound, tread design and slick shoulders offering a better contact area, aided by a 16mm wider diameter at the rear and 1mm wider on the front.

 

 

Taming the beast

Trundling down pit lane for the first time and the four sounds similar to a twin, burbling away thanks to the characteristics of its firing order. The first session I spent in the ‘Sport’ riding mode, one of three and in between Street and Race, while I got used to the bike and circuit. All the settings can be manually over-ridden using the two menu function buttons on the left handlebar via the new 5” hi-res TFT dash but with the traction light warning me that some mph’s were being soaked up, I soon switched to ‘Race’ which keeps wheels on the ground while somehow applying all of the bikes vast array of clout.

The power of the V4 is extraordinary – the speed at which it generates the forces to propel both it and you along is astonishing and thank goodness the upgraded Brembo-assisted brakes are equally as powerful and ably assist the accompanying engine braking, demonstrating a willingness to slow just as excited as it is to launch out of each corner. If you play cricket, golf or even football the exciting bit is smashing the balls as hard as possible hoping it goes in the right direction. A tap for a single run, a putt or a backwards pass don’t give you the same thrill. Thankfully Ducati has found a way to offer the permanent feel-good moments throughout any ride with a stunning concoction of metal, aluminium, plastic and electronics. Who knew motorcycle riding could be this rewarding.

 

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The accuracy of the bike’s turning capability made me grin, or possibly gurn, inanely at every corner during the first track session. It has a knack of being able to hit a spot on an apex the size of a kitten’s lip, is easy to manage and is fast without having to fight with it. During every track day I’ve ever done, I’ve always come away thinking ‘I could’ve taken so-and-so corner much better’. The same goes for every section of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo on this day and because the bike had everything under control, I wasn’t sure where the limits were, nor did I fancy finding them. With the security blanket of its advanced Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension and steering damper, Cornering ABS, Slide Control, Traction Control, Wheelie Control and other magical wizardry, my bravery was boosted with every extra angle of lean or twist of accelerator.

It offers a sensation like no other road bike. Ferociously quick with 214hp at your beck-and-call yet smooth in its application. The huge rev range makes a big difference compared to the twin though it sounds very similar. Stood in pit lane listening to the throng of V4s thunder past at full chat and you’d be forgiven in thinking it was a World Superbike.

The inertia from the twin cylinder version from the barky jolt in acceleration and then again in engine braking is nullified with the four-cylinder version.

 

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The way it spins-up pummelling through the revs from 7500 to 13,500 in what feels like the blink of an eye genuinely takes your breath away – a 15-minute track session proves how unfit I am. But let’s come back down to earth for second – is this hyperbike usable on the road? In a world that seems to get stupidly more health & safety conscious and liability-laden, here we have a piece of extraordinary engineering capable of doing extraordinary speeds with extraordinary grip. It has a power to weight ratio of 1.10 hp/kg, compared to the 1299 Panigale S of 1.03, for goodness sakes, so those inevitable car vs bike videos are going to make interesting viewing. It’s a testament to the ambition of Ducati’s engineers and their partners in Bosch, Pirelli and Ohlins because the evolution in the way the electronics look after you, making the Panigale V4 an easier bike to ride fast. Simple to say and even easier to realise the extremity of its potential ability on track but here is a machine whose power is delivered and then taken away in a comforting, reassuring and stable manner that can be transferred to road riding. Sure, like all sports bikes the riding position accentuates weight onto wrists but you don’t buy a 214hp motorcycle to ride to Tesco. Although if you did then you’d be the envy of all the shoppers.

The overall package has taken some of the very best engineering and technological developments from the red bikes of MotoGP gods Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo and their WSB counterparts in Chad Davies and Marco Melandri and applied them into a road bike. Yeah, a bike for the road, with Desmo service intervals of 15,000 miles. Barely believable but also the stuff of dreams for track day hero’s.

 

 

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Panigale V4 S makes 1.10hp/kg compared to the 1299 Panigale S’ 1.03hp/kg

 

Adding some bling

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I was invited to ride an even more special bike; the Ducati Panigale V4 accessorised version. Replacing the treaded tyres for SC1 slick Pirelli’s and the stock exhaust for a full titanium racing Akrapovic system including a remapping of the wheelie control and traction control algorithms removed 7kg yet added an extra 12hp up to 226hp.

Oh my. The pre-warmed extra sticky rubber took the already excelling grip to a new level while the extra power to weight ratio (now 1.20 hp/kg) was a sensation that my brain could scarcely comprehend. There comes a point where my ability becomes null-and-void, it’s all about hanging on. Literally. Physically. It begs the question, how extreme will motorcycle engineering become?

Domenicalli added, “This new engine and bike is really taking the company to a new dimension”. He’s not wrong. I feel like a better human being.

 

 

 

Ducati Panigale V4 Variants Explained

 

The main features on the standard Ducati Panigale V4 are:

  • fully adjustable 43mm Showa Big Piston Forks
  • fully adjustable Sachs monoshock
  • Sachs steering damper
  • Electronics package with six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (which measures roll, yaw and pitch angles) includes:
    • ABS Cornering Bosch EVO – three levels
    • Ducati Traction Control EVO includes the new ‘spin on demand’ feature
    • Ducati Slide Control – with two settings
    • Ducati Wheelie Control EVO
    • Ducati Power Launch – three levels
    • Ducati Quick Shift up/down EVO
    • Engine Brake Control EVO
    • Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO
  • The two direct-access buttons on the left-hand switchgear can be set to adjust either traction control, wheelie control, slide control or engine braking
  • 3 x riding modes (Race, Sport and Street)
  • 16 litre aluminium tank
  • 5” full –TFT dashboard
  • Full LED headlight
  • Two seater configuration kit
  • Braking system with new Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers
  • Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres (200/60 at the rear)
  • Pre-setting for Ducati Data Analyser + GPS and Ducati Multimedia System

 

While on the V4 S the same features apply except:

  • Suspension and steering damper with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system
  • Öhlins NIX-30 forks
  • Öhlins TTX 36 shock absorber
  • Öhlins steering damper
  • Aluminium forged wheels
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Cast Magnesium alloy front sub frame

 

And on the V4 Speciale the same features as the V4 S except:

  • Carbon fibre front/rear mudguards
  • Machined-from-solid top yoke with identification number
  • Alcantara seat
  • Dedicated handle grips
  • Adjustable foot pegs
  • Carbon fibre heel guard
  • Carbon fibre swinging arm cover
  • Racing articulated levers
  • Racing fuel tank cap
  • Brake level protection

Supplied kit:

  • Full racing titanium Ducati Performance by Akrapovič exhaust system
  • Racing screen
  • Plate holder removal kit
  • Machined-from solid mirror replacement plugs
  • Ducati Data Analyser+ GPS (DDA + GPS)
  • Bike cover
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Ducati Panigale V4 Technical Specifications

 

  Panigale V4 Panigale V4 S Panigale V4 Speciale
PRICE £19,390 £24,035 £34,995
Engine Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4, rearward-rotating crankshaft, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, liquid cooled Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4, rearward-rotating crankshaft, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, liquid cooled Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4, rearward-rotating crankshaft, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, liquid cooled
Displacement 1,103 cc 1,103 cc 1,103 cc
Bore X stroke 81 x 53.5 mm 81 x 53.5 mm 81 x 53.5 mm
Compression ratio 14.0:1 14.0:1 14.0:1
Power 157.5 kW / 214hp (211 bhp) @ 13,000 rpm 157.5 kW / 214hp (211 bhp) @ 13,000 rpm 157.5 kW / 214hp (211 bhp) @ 13,000 rpm
Torque 124.0 Nm (91.5 lb-ft) @ 10,000 rpm 124.0 Nm (91.5 lb-ft) @ 10,000 rpm 124.0 Nm (91.5 lb-ft) @ 10,000 rpm
Fuel injection Electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies. Variable length intake system Electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies. Variable length intake system Electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies. Variable length intake system
Exhaust 4-2-1-2 system, with 2 catalytic converters and 2 lambda probes 4-2-1-2 system, with 2 catalytic converters and 2 lambda probes 4-2-1-2 system, with 2 catalytic converters and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO
Primary drive Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.80:1 Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.80:1 Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.80:1
Ratio 1=38/14 2=36/17 3=33/19 4=32/21 5=30/22 6=30/24 1=38/14 2=36/17 3=33/19 4=32/21 5=30/22 6=30/24 1=38/14 2=36/17 3=33/19 4=32/21 5=30/22 6=30/24
Final drive Chain; Front sprocket 16; Rear sprocket 41 Chain; Front sprocket 16; Rear sprocket 41 Chain; Front sprocket 16; Rear sprocket 41
Clutch Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch
Frame Aluminum alloy “Front Frame” Aluminum alloy “Front Frame” Aluminum alloy “Front Frame”
Front suspension Fully adjustable Showa BPF fork. 43 mm chromed inner tubes Öhlins NIX30 43 mm fully adjustable fork with TiN treatment. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based mode Öhlins NIX30 43 mm fully adjustable fork with TiN treatment. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based mode
Front wheel 5-spokes light alloy 3.50″ x 17″ 3-spokes forged aluminum alloy 3.50″ x 17″ 3-spokes forged aluminum alloy 3.50″ x 17″
Front tyre Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 120/70 ZR17
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable Sachs unit. Aluminum single-sided swingarm Fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 unit. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based mode. Aluminium single-sided swingarm Fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 unit. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based mode. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Rear Wheel 5-spokes light alloy 6.00” x 17” 3-spokes forged aluminum alloy 6.00″ x 17″ 3-spokes forged aluminum alloy 6.00″ x 17″
Rear tyre Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 200/60 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 200/60 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP 200/60 ZR17
Wheel travel (front/rear) 120 mm (4.7 in) – 130 mm (5.1 in) 120 mm (4.7 in) – 130 mm (5.1 in) 120 mm (4.7 in) – 130 mm (5.1 in)
Front brake 2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema® (M4.30) 4-piston callipers with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO 2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema® (M4.30) 4-piston callipers with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO 2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema® (M4.30) 4-piston callipers with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO
Rear brake 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS EVO
Instrumentation Last generation digital unit with 5″ TFT colour display Last generation digital unit with 5″ TFT colour display Last generation digital unit with 5″ TFT colour display
Dry weight 175 kg (386 lb) 174 kg (384 lb) 174 kg (384 lb)
Kerb weight 198 kg (436 lb) 195 kg (430 lb) 195 kg (430 lb)
Seat height 830 mm (32.48 in) 830 mm (32.48 in) 830 mm (32.48 in)
Wheelbase 1.469 mm (57,8 in) 1.469 mm (57,8 in) 1.469 mm (57,8 in)
Rake 24,5° 24,5° 24,5°
Front wheel trail 100 mm (4 in) 100 mm (4 in) 100 mm (4 in)
Fuel tank capacity 16 l – 4.23 gallon (US) 16 l – 4.23 gallon (US) 16 l – 4.23 gallon (US)
Number of seats Dual seats Dual seats Single seat
  Riding Modes, Power Modes, Bosch Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO, Auto tyre calibration Riding Modes, Power Modes, Bosch Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO, Auto tyre calibration Riding Modes, Power Modes, Bosch Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO, Auto tyre calibration
Standard equipment      
  Ducati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO, Full LED lighting with Daytime Running Light (DRL), Sachs steering damper, Quick adjustment buttons, Auto-off indicators Ducati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO, Full LED lighting with Daytime Running Light (DRL), Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) EVO with Ohlins suspension and steering damper, Quick adjustment buttons, Lithium-ion battery, Auto-off indicators, Marchesini aluminium forged wheels Ducati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO, Full LED lighting with Daytime Running Light (DRL), Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) EVO with Ohlins suspension and steering damper, Quick adjustment buttons, Lithium-ion battery, Auto-off indicators, Marchesini aluminium forged wheels, Carbon fibre front/rear mudguards, Machined-from-solid top yoke with identification number, Alcantara® seat, Dedicated handle grips, Adjustable foot pegs, Carbon fibre heel guard, Carbon fibre cover swinging arm, Racing articulated levers, Racing fuel tank cap, Brake level protection
Additional Equipment      
  Passenger seat and footpegs kit Passenger seat and footpegs kit Ducati Performance by Akrapovic Titanium full-racing exhaust system, Racing windshield, Machined mirror block-off plates, License plate mount removal plug, Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module, Paddock bike cover
Ready for Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) and anti-theft Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) and anti-theft Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) and anti-theft
Warranty (months) 24 months unlimited mileage 24 months unlimited mileage 24 months unlimited mileage
Maintenance (km/months) 12,000 km (7,500 mi) / 12 months 12,000 km (7,500 mi) / 12 months 12,000 km (7,500 mi) / 12 months
Valve clearance adjustment (km) 24,000 km (15,000 mi) 24,000 km (15,000 mi) 24,000 km (15,000 mi)
STANDARD Euro 4 Euro 4 Euro 4
CONSUMPTION/EMISSIONS 41mpg – CO2 165 g/km 41mpg – CO2 165 g/km 41mpg – CO2 165 g/km
Source Michael Mann

TOP 10 DREAM GARAGE BIKES

You’ve won the lottery. What 10 bikes do you run out and buy?

SURELY we all play the same game in our heads; your numbers come up and suddenly you’ve got more money than you know how to spend.

Of course a garage-full of bikes is going to be right up there on the must-buy list. Perhaps in second place, with the first being ‘buy a big garage’.

But then there’s that agonising decision: what bikes do you buy? Limiting ourselves to 10, we’ve come up with a dream garage of bikes that we’d actually want to buy, own and use. Perhaps it’s just us, but there’s no Brough Superior to be found here, nor any pure unobtanium like Honda’s RC166 six-cylinder racer. We’d like bikes that we could actually use and enjoy rather than ones that will eat up half our lottery win with a single engine failure.

These are the machines we’ve come up with. What would your dream garage consist of?

10: 1299 Superleggera

Yes, Ducati has just launched its new, all-singing, all-dancing Panigale V4 and we’ve got absolutely no doubt that it will be stunning. But the 1299 Superleggera was the ultimate evolution of the V-twin Panigale, and with the introduction of the Panigale V4, it will probably go down as the most exotic, expensive and capable two-cylinder superbike that anyone has ever made, or ever will make. A carbon frame, carbon wheels, 215hp Desmo twin and that slim Panigale shape that no four-cylinder can quite match makes it a combination that’s hard to beat.

9: BMW HP4 Race

There’s really no need to have the carbon-framed BMW HP4 Race alongside the similarly-made Superleggera in the garage. But they’d make a lovely pair. The BMW’s track-only intentions mean that it would be our go-to machine for track days. Yes, the engine needs to be replaced every 5000km, but even with some fairly serious track day use that total might take a couple of years to reach. And hey, we can afford to replace it when necessary, right?

8: Kawasaki H2R

We struggled a little more with the H2R. After all, we’ll be using the BMW for track days, so what use the non-road-legal, supercharged Kawasaki? Well we’re still not sure, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want a 310hp supercharged superbike in the garage. We’ll find a use for it. After all, how hard can it be to get it road-registered, really?

7: Honda NR750

So we’ve got a handful of insanely-fast superbikes in our garage already. So why do we want one that’s 25 years old, slow (in modern terms) and heavy? Well, because it’s an NR750. That mad, nearly-a-V8, oval-pistoned, 32-valve engine simply stands out as a high point for Honda. It showed a time when the firm really believed it could do anything, and was prepared to prove it, even if it cost them a fortune. With NRs changing hands for about £60k these days, it’s a drop in the ocean for our imaginary multi-millionaire selves, so why not have one in the collection?

6: Yamaha RZV500R

Well, we needed a two stroke, and the RZV500R was pretty much the ultimate incarnation of the era of four-cylinder, two-stroke GP replicas. While we got the RD500 over here, in Japan the RZV500R took the same engine and put it in a handmade aluminium frame with higher-spec suspension and less weight. Yes, there are many faster bikes and a late Aprilia RS250 is probably a swifter, better handling two-stroke. But this one has four cylinders, so there.

5: Honda RC30

Honda RC30

Why a Honda RC30? If you had any interest in racing as the 1980s turned into the 1990s then you probably aren’t asking that question. There’s simply no more legendary homologation special. Hugely successful, wonderful to look at and to ride – better, we’d argue, than the RC45 that replaced it – prices are going stratospheric these days. With no fuel injection, let alone traction control or riding modes, the RC30 might be the perfect analogue superbike.

4: BMW R80G/S Paris Dakar

Adventure bikes still rule the roost in terms of sales at the moment, and the appeal is clear to see. But the one that raises our pulse isn’t one of the new generation of incredibly fast, comfortable and capable mile-eaters. It’s the granddaddy of the whole breed – the R80G/S Paris Dakar. This is the bike that BMW’s latest R NineT Urban G/S is paying homage to, and while the new machine is without doubt in a different league when it comes to performance, handling, equipment or comfort, the original is the one we’d get the most pleasure from riding.

3: Yamaha R7

Sorry, it’s another limited edition, homologation-special sports bike. Actually, we’re not sorry. This is our list and the R7 earns its place here on the basis that it is one of the best-looking motorcycles ever devised. No, it doesn’t have a shelf full of world championship trophies or performance figures to top any ‘world’s fastest’ lists, but it’s another of those machines that many of us drooled over when it was new. We hoped that maybe prices would drop to attainable levels. That didn’t happen, so a fraction of our imaginary windfall would go to buying one.

2: Honda RC213V-S

The last couple of years have seen some astounding superbikes appear. Many of them – the 1299 Superleggera, HP4 Race and H2R, for instance – are on this list already. But the RC213V-S, despite being slower than any of the aforementioned machines, is the real jewel in the recent collection of race-bred bikes. Why? Because it’s derived directly from the RC213V GP racer, and even put together by the same people. Short of going and picking up a real ex-race bike (barely possible when it comes to Hondas), it’s the closest thing in existence to an RC-V that you can own. No money-no-object collection can be considered complete without one.

1: Ducati Desmosedici RR

The Ducati Desmosedici RR is a decade old now. Compared to the new Panigale V4 it will be slow, unsophisticated and expensive. But if our imaginary millions were in the bank right now, we’d definitely buy one nonetheless. Not to say that a Panigale V4 wouldn’t join it in future, but the new V4 isn’t available just yet and regardless how close its engine is to the current racer’s it doesn’t have that genuine Desmosedici styling that the Desmosedici RR offers.

Top 10 Most Creative Scooters Ever Made

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Sometimes you come across a vehicle, whether on the road or online, that blows your mind. Over the past century you can see the creativity of scooter designers increasing as new models are produced, each more wonderful than the one. So, take a look at these 10 unusual scooters and wonder how anybody came up with such creative designs!

10. Cezeta 501The Type 501 scooter is Cezeta’s first scooter, with a unique design that was very popular among youngsters: the long seat is perfect to carry two persons. At 2 metres the “torpedo-like” scooter is much longer than regular scooters in those days, holding a pretty large luggage compartment since the fuel tank is located above the front wheel.

9. Salsbury Motor Glide de LuxeThe Salsbury scooter brand brought the first generation of scooters to America. This 1938 Motor Glide de Luxe was featured with an automatic instead of a manual transmission.

8. Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon C-10After World War ΙΙ, scooters were used to help reconstruct Japan – they were so important to the country that a Silver Pigeon was presented to the Emperor of Japan in 1948. This Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon C-10 from 1946 was the first in a long line of successful scooters. The design was based on a scooter brought from the United States by a General Motors engineer.

7. Honda Juno KThe 1954 Juno K was not only the first Honda scooter but also the first in a number of other areas as well. It featured the first electric start, the first fibre-reinforced plastic body construction, first turn-signal lights and a full windscreen with a tilt-back sun-shade. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, former Honda vice-president Kihachiro Kawashima says the bike was a ‘splendid failure’. Too expensive, too heavy and the engine got too hot too soon. Still, it’s quite an awesome collector’s item now!

6. KYBELE Cyber scooterThis scooter looks like something from the future; like it belongs in a city with flying cars and robots. The KYBELE Cyber scooter actually started off as a Honda Fusion, customised into this futuristic vehicle by the Japanese firm Gull Craft.

5. Vespa Stretch ScooterThe family-version of the scooter: with 4 seats it is supposedly ideal to drive your kids around. Vespa South Africa subtly refers limousines, by calling it a stretch scooter. A pretty creative vehicle, but how sturdy is it?

4. Lambretta RecordThis little red devil broke the world record of speed in the scooter category back in 1951, going an astonishing 201 km/h on ‘the flying kilometre’. The ‘red bullet’ is indeed as fast as it looks! The record was set by Romolo Ferri when he beat the Vespa Torpedo, his greatest competition at the time.

3. Piaggio Ape Calessino 1953A scooter and a covered wagon all in one. This vehicle really takes you back to ‘La Dolce Vita’ of the 1960s! While the driver takes you around Rome or Toscana, you and your lover can sit back and enjoy the ride. This classic scooter is still very valuable as a 2016 Catawiki auction shows: a Piaggio Ape Calissino 150cc from 1953, perfectly restored, was sold for £20,622.

2. Lambretta TV 175 with Volkswagen Bus SidecarThis is definitely one of the cutest and coolest scooter sidecars on the planet. Not quite suitable for camping however.

1. Vespa 150 TAP with canonOnce you have seen this scooter, you have seen it all; it doesn’t get much more creative than this! The ‘Bazooka Vespa’, introduced in 1956, has a rifle mounted to it and only about 500 of these scooters were ever made. They were parachuted into war zones and hidden in hay-bales. With a top speed of 40 mph these scooters were faster and more mobile than most vehicles on the battlefield.

A Dedication to wood with the Oak Bicycle.

The cask, re-imagined

A creative collaboration in wood

 

With such elegant curves and smooth lines, it is certain to draw the eye. But there is more to this beautiful wooden bicycle than appearances suggest. Meticulously engineered to create the smoothest of rides, its innovative frame contains a small proportion of sapele wood and is hand-crafted from the finest American oak which, intriguingly, has already given years of exceptional service to Glenmorangie’s award-winning Highland single malt whisky…

The Glenmorangie Original bicycle is the culmination of a creative collaboration between Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky, and Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, inventors of the first engineered wooden bicycles. United by their passion for wood, exceptional craftsmanship and zeal for innovation, these kindred spirits were inspired to celebrate the casks which bring to maturity Glenmorangie Original, the Distillery’s signature single malt, in the world’s first bicycles made from whisky casks.

Dedication to wood

Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been revered for its masterful whisky creation, challenging the bounds of single malt in pursuit of excellence. The Distillery’s dedication to its craft is never more apparent than in The Original. Created from spirit distilled in Scotland’s tallest stills, it is matured for ten years in the finest hand-selected ex-bourbon casks.

And unlike other distilleries, who may use their casks many times, the casks of The Original are only ever used twice, to ensure they enrich Glenmorangie’s delicate spirit with their fullest depths of flavour

In honour of these casks, which so shape The Original’s uniquely smooth and rounded character, Glenmorangie has searched the world to find brands which share its respect for wood and pioneering spirit. The single malt’s Beyond the Casks series began last year, with an innovative collaboration with British eyewear brand Finlay & Co. to create the world’s first Scotch whisky sunglasses from The Original’s casks. Renovo seemed a perfect partner for the second inspiring limited edition.

 

A meeting of minds

“From the moment we began talking to Renovo, we realised there was a natural affinity between our brands,” explains Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation. “Renovo shares our uncompromising approach to craftsmanship and, like Glenmorangie, is known for its pioneering work with wood. So, we shipped a pallet of staves from second-fill casks which once contained The Original from our Highland Distillery to Renovo’s workshop in the U.S. Then, we began to imagine the possibilities…”

 

Renovo was founded in 2007 by Ken Wheeler, a keen touring cyclist. He was inspired by wood’s unrivalled ability to absorb shock and resist fatigue to begin designing unique, hollow-framed wooden bicycles that displayed all the durability and beauty of an heirloom. Ken, who has a background in aeroplane engineering, was delighted by the prospect of working with Glenmorangie’s casks. “The American oak from which Glenmorangie makes its casks is a great wood,” he says. “Its engineering properties are ideal for bikes, as hard woods have a high stiffness. For us, the only aspect that was different was the shape of the staves, which have a curve to them, and the fact that they were a little damp, after spending years with whisky inside them… which, by the way, made them smell pretty good. Although, we have to admit to whisky fans, the scent has now diminished!”

 

Ken soon set his skilled craftsmen to work on these invitingly scented staves, creating innovative designs which would embrace the staves’ trapezoidal shape and their unique curvature. “We finally decided upon a design which would celebrate that curve in the downtube – the largest tube of the bicycle, which carries the most load,” he explains.

 

Creating an heirloom

Once the design was finalised, it took more than 20 hours – and 15 staves – to create each bicycle. At Renovo’s workshop, in Portland, Oregon, the wood was carefully cut into the shape required and any remaining charcoal (bourbon barrels are traditionally charred on the inside) was smoothed away. Ken’s craftsmen married the American oak with darker sapele wood, to bring an intriguing colour contrast to the hollow frame. Finally, they added a durable coating, and decorated the frame with Glenmorangie’s Signet icon and each bicycle’s individual number.

 

The finished bicycle, fitted with superior handlebars, pedals and other accessories, is a celebration of the values that Glenmorangie and Renovo share. Dr Bill adds: “In these beautiful bicycles, we have created a lasting tribute to Glenmorangie Original’s casks to which our award-winning whisky owes so much. I’m delighted that through our pioneering collaboration with Renovo, founded on a shared passion for innovation and expertise in wood – we ensure that these wonderful casks live on and on.”

The Original

The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the showcase whisky in the Glenmorangie range.

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The PG Bugatti bicycle.

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Luxury Cars and Boats and now Bugatti have decided to try their hand at Bicycles…

It’s not exactly reinventing the wheel, but a new bicycle revealed at the recent Geneva motor show is a bold reimagining of pedal-powered transport – with prices starting at a cool £39,000 and going up to £69,000 with the full custom treatment.

Expensive doesn’t begin to describe it, but that’s not totally surprising when you discover that the machine, created by German specialist PG bikes, has been produced in conjunction with super-luxury car-maker Bugatti. The result is what is claimed to be the world’s lightest urban bicycle, weighing less than 5kg.

As with Bugatti cars such as the limited edition Veyron and now the new Chiron, the PG Bugatti bike will be built in strictly limited numbers. Production has begun already and only 667 will be built.

PG Bugatti bicycle
The single brake is tucked behind the fork and headstock for aerodynamic efficiency – although why you’d need that on an urban bike remains a mystery

PG, which is based in Regensburg, Germany, develops and builds bikes under licence, with Bugatti providing its name as well as design expertise.

The standard PG Bugatti bike is 95 per cent carbon-fibre. As you’d expect of anything in this price bracket, the detailing is breathtaking.

The frame, fork, rims, handlebar, seat, seat post, crank and even the single brake are made of the highest quality carbon-fibre available. The handlebar is equipped with shock absorbers to substantially improve comfort, while the cross-sections of the frame elements have been optimised for the aerodynamic efficiency.

PG Bugatti bicycle
An oil-free toothed belt provides the drive

There’s no nasty, oily chain to ruin your expensive trousers. Instead, a toothed belt provides drive, while there is only one exposed cable so the bike’s clean lines aren’t spoiled.

The Bugatti bikes are completed, refined and customised according to the customer’s wishes by hand in the PG Bugatti showroom in Weinstadt. Buyers can adapt their bicycle’s style to match their Bugatti supercar with special paints, carbon in various colours and a bewildering choice of the finest leathers.

PG’s CEO Manuel Ostner says: “We had the vision of building the ultimate bicycle to go with the ultimate car; ultimate in design, workmanship and performance.

“That is why we are very happy that Bugatti supports this vision, and we are proud to be able to use the name of this extraordinary brand for our product.”

PG Bugatti bicycle
While the carbon fork is conventional, the rear features only one seat stay

Achim Anscheidt, director of design at Bugatti, says: “We liked PG’s idea of building a bicycle in the spirit of our company founder, Ettore Bugatti, who also designed a bike.

“The goal of developing a high-tech product using the newest and finest materials for lightweight construction which, on top of that, was to bear our brand, convinced us to develop the bike’s design together with PG and to suggest formal ideas.”

I was hoping to test one for this website, but the thought of having it tampered with or even stolen while chained up outside the post office persuaded me to reconsider…

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The “extremely fast” BMW concept electric motorcycle

BMW has super-charged the race towards zero-emission biking by unveiling its latest concept electric motorcycle.

The BMW Motorrad Concept Link uses radical electric battery packs stored in its base, features a reverse gear to make parking easier, and a seat that adjusts itself to suit each rider’s bottom.

Its touchscreen dashboard can even be connected to the rider’s online calendar so it always knows where it needs to go every time it is started.

BMW claims the concept is “extremely fast” though designers have not yet revealed stats to back up the claim.

concept electric motorcycle

Concept electric motorcycle could kickstart new era of biking

The German automotive superpower hopes the concept could kickstart a new era of motorcycle design.

BMW Motorrad’s Alexander Buckan said: “The technical realities of electric drive – such as the flat energy packs in the underfloor and the compact drive on the rear wheel – allowed us to create a highly distinctive design which shapes a new segment.

“The resulting expressive power of the vehicle is absolutely new for BMW Motorrad and breaks with all conventional viewing patterns.”

BMW says the concept blends fast acceleration and easy handling.

Due to its low overall height, getting on is easy too, from the side or even from the back.

A reverse gear ensures that it is easy to manoeuvre, making it ideal to park in tight city spaces.

Electric concept motorcycle

Electric motorcycle projects data onto windshield

Instead of a classic instrument cluster, speed, navigation and battery information is projected onto the windshield directly in the rider’s field of vision.

Secondary information is displayed on a panel below the handlebars.

Programmable, touch-enabled buttons on the handlebars allow the rider to access functions without having to loosen grip.

The concept is the latest in a series of vehicles designed by BMW to showcase the future of transport.