Archive for the ‘MotoGP’ Category

Erpelding, Europe’s Keeper of Classic Race Bikes

September 29, 2009

Are you a racebike enthusiast? Happen to be planning a trip to the Nuerburgring in Germany?

erpeldingIf so, you may want to visit former motorcycle and auto dealer and racer Frithjor Erpelding, a man who claims to have the second largest private museum in Europe dedicated to race motorcycles. Located in the Eifel mountain hamlet of Jammelshofen, near the ‘Ring, the museum houses 200-some bikes and a half-dozen of his championship-winning race cars.

Among the units on display: AJS, Aprilia, Ariel, Bimota, BSA, CZ, Egli, Gilera, NSU, Koenig, Moto Parilla, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Matchless, Maico, Triumph, Norton, Greeves, Jawa, Puch, Wanderer, Harris, BSS, Benelli, Laverda, Royal-Enfield, Harley-Davidson, Horex, Honda, Gilera, Kawasaki, Kreidler, Linto, Suzuki, Scott, Seley, Yamaha, Rickman, KTM, Ducati, Montessa, NSU, Vincent, Velocette and Zuendapp, etc.

I asked Erpelding which of the 200 units is his favorite. “The Norton,” he replied without pause. Erpelding has two Norton Manx. “The chairman of Cambridge University recently contacted me, asking if I would sell one of my Manx. I told him ‘No’. He offered Euro 100,000 and I declined. Then he offered Euro 200,000 and I again declined. Finally, I cut to the chase and told him I wouldn’t be selling the bike no matter what the price.”

MuseumBut, Erpelding is willing to sell certain units. He says he recently sold a Vincent to a collector in the United States for Euro 80,000. “He deposited the check in my bank account before even receiving the bike. I called and asked him why he trusted me, and he said, ‘I’ve heard you’re a trustworthy guy’.”

Erpelding is a fella who loves telling his stories. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to leave time to have beer at his Race Museum Bar. He’ll tell you about his run-ins with racer Agostini and Yamaha bosses; his thoughts on Triumph, MZ and KTM; his trips to Goodwood; and his days of racing Honda motorcycles and cars.

Check out Erpelding’s website, which features the full line-up of the museum’s bikes on display.


Race Replica Scoots We’re Not Getting

September 27, 2009

File this under cool stuff we’re not getting in the U.S.: Three 50cc scooters wrapped in race livery that are sure to be a hit with sportbike enthusiasts looking for alternative surface street transportation.

Inspired by Valentino Rossi and the Fiat Yamaha MotoGP racing team, the Aerox Team Yamaha Race Replica (top), powered by a liquid-cooled two-stroke 50cc engine, is wrapped in the new-for-2009 paint and graphics to match the racing livery of the YZR-M1 MotoGP bike.

The Gilera Runner Marco Simoncelli Replica (middle) is powered by a 50cc liquid-cooled two-stroke engine delivering 5.4hp and features livery similar to that of the 250cc MotoGP World Champion’s factory racebike.

The Malaguti Phantom F12R Ducati Corse Superbike (bottom), available in 50cc liquid or air-cooled two-stroke versions, is the latest in a line of scoots made available via a licensing agreement between Ducati and Malaguti. Also available: the Phantom F12R Bayliss Limited Edition and the Phantom F12R Ducati Team version.

I saw all three of these units during a recent trip to the Nuerburgring in Germany. The bikes depicted in the photos were for sale at motorcycle dealerships adjacent to the world-famous racetrack.

Exclusive: FMF Working on Pipe for Ducati Streetfighter

June 19, 2009

We at Dealernews previously reported how well-known off-road exhaust specialist FMF has been planning to increase its emphasis on the on-road market with its APEX line of exhausts. Today I received a spy shot of the exhaust specialist’s latest project: a carbon fiber offering for the new Ducati Streetfighter.
“The APEX line is doing quite well in terms of market penetration, but our product for Ducati has been particularly well accepted,” FMF National Sales Manager Doug Muellner told me earlier today. I called Doug after a source sent me a covert shot of the still-in-progress pipe.

“We want the APEX line to be as well-known as our other products,” Doug told me a few months ago. “Off-roaders know the FMF name, and so we want to build the APEX name to be equally as recognizable in the sportbike market.”

FMF offers three types of sportbike pipe – the Powercore S, Powercore GP and APEX – and plans to put more energy into marketing its offerings.

The APEX exhaust comes in carbon or titanium, slip-on or full, and single and dual systems; the Powercore GP is a MotoGP-type titanium race pipe, and the Powercore S line is available in titanium and aluminum and comes with a titanium mid-pipe (if applicable).
FMF’s other new applications include product for the 2009 Ducati Monster 1100, 696, 848, 1098, 1198 and 1198S; Honda CBR1000RR and CBR600RR; Kawasaki ER-6N, Ninja 250R, Ninja 650R, ZX-6R and ZX-10R; KTM 690 SMC; Suzuki GSX-R600, GSX-R750, GSX-R1000 and Hayabusa; and Yamaha R6 and R1.

Dainese D-air Suit Making Headlines … Again

February 27, 2009

Dainese has been making headlines this week with its D-air Racing airbag suit. Of course, many of us who follow motorcycle racing and related parts, garments and accessories first saw the suit in action in 2007, when Dainese-sponsored 250cc MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli high-sided during practice in Valencia.d_air

The D-air Racing suit is the product of more than 10 years of study and experiments by D-Tec, the Dainese R&D department.

As the name suggests, the D-air is a suit that incorporates a system of airbags to protect a rider’s body in areas that conventional protections leave exposed: shoulders, collarbones and neck. The entire system is contained in an attachment on the rider’s shoulders and back, which takes the place of the traditional “hump.”  And, unlike the Hit-Air apparel made by Mugen Denko, the D-air Racing airbags are triggered not by a coiled wire but when the rider leaves the bike at a certain velocity.

Check out the video:

KTM RC 125 GP Race Bikes for Sale

February 24, 2009

The 2008 U.S. AMA Red Bull Rookies Cup KTM RC 125 race bikes are now for sale through HMC Racing.

There are a limited number of Rookies Cup bikes available, 24 to be exact. Each bike has been refurbished and comes “Ready to Race.” While the Red Bull Rookies Cup will not be held in the U.S. in 2009, the series will continue on in Europe.

All bike sales and future service and spare parts will be handled directly by HMC Racing. Pricing starts as low as $13,900. For more details contact Mitch Hansen at HMC Racing: (920) 242-9639 or

Red Bull Cancels AMA Rookies Cup

January 15, 2009

Red Bull has decided to cancel the 2009 Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup and trim the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup to eight races at six Grand Prix following a significant reduction of support by a major partner.

Here’s what Red Bull had to say: “At a time when companies the world over are bracing themselves for the effects of recession Red Bull has shouldered as much of the load as possible to cover both the technical as well as operational efforts of running the MotoGP Cup, but there will simply not be enough spares and technical support available to keep the U.S. series at a high level in 2009.

Mathew Scholtz, #20, and Sturla Fagerhaug, #33, start the 2008 Red Bull AMA U.S. Riders Cup in Indianapolis – Kim F.

Mathew Scholtz, #20, and Sturla Fagerhaug, #33, start the 2008 Red Bull AMA U.S. Riders Cup in Indianapolis – Kim F.

“This is not a happy situation for anyone concerned. The positive is that the Rookies Cup will continue and the aim remains to give as many riders as possible the chance to progress towards the highest level of Grand Prix racing.”

Red Bull wished to thank Alpinestars and Dorna for their support and says it deeply regrets the unavoidable disappointment that the decision brings, particularly to those involved in the U.S. Cup.

The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup now enters its third season and will be contested at the following Grand Prix:
May 2-3 … Jerez, Spain (double header)
May 30 … Mugello, Italy
June 27 … Assen, Netherlands
July 18 … Sachsenring, Germany
July 25 … Donington, England
August 15-16 … Brno, Czech Republic (double header)

Two pre-season tests, each lasting two days, are planned for March 26-27 in Estoril, Portugal, and March 30-31 in Jerez, Spain.

Confirmed: Kawasaki Out of MotoGP

January 9, 2009

It’s official: Kawasaki said today, Jan. 9, that it will not take part in the 2009 MotoGP season.

Click here to read why.

Kawasaki’s decision follows Honda’s decision to leave AMA Pro Racing’s road racing series and Formula 1, and Suzuki’s decision to leave the World Rally Championship (WRC).

No word yet as to whether Kawasaki factory riders, American John Hopkins and Italian Marco Melandri, will pick up new rides for the upcoming MotoGP season.


Kawasaki Leaving MotoGP?

January 8, 2009

Kyodo News International and the AFP news service both are reporting that

Anthony West in action in Catalunya /

Anthony West in action in Catalunya /

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. is considering withdrawing from MotoGP racing to cut down on expenses amid the global economic slowdown.

While the OEM has yet to formally comment on the matter, a Kawasaki official, speaking on condition of anonymity, reportedly told AFP “The issue is under consideration.”

Kawasaki entered MotoGP in 2002. Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Ducati participated in the series during the 2008 season.

Honda previously announced that it would not participate in the 2009 AMA Superbike series.