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  • 01/09/2014 - 01:13

    MotoGP 2014 Silverstone Results

    One of the clichés in sports is that combatants need to have short memories, so as not to dwell on previous setbacks and lose focus in the heat of the moment. Under idyllic late summer British skies today, Repsol Honda ace Marc Marquez showed no recall of the startling events at Brno two weeks ago, while shadowing Yamaha double world champion Jorge Lorenzo for most of 20 riveting laps. Marquez took a run at Lorenzo on Lap 14, but couldn’t make it stick. On Lap 18, though, after a little bumping and grinding, the young Catalan wonder went through for good on the way to his 11th win of the season.
    During the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, young Marquez was setting track records and generally making a nuisance of himself, while Lorenzo was desperately seeking rear grip as he skidded around the tarmac, lapping over a second slower than the reigning champion. One of the truths of this sport – a main reason riders are so determined to ride for factory teams – is that the factory crews are the best in the business. Sometime between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon Lorenzo’s group sorted out the grip issues, leaving the Mallorcan looking strong and dangerous as the second fastest rider in today’s warm-up practice.

    #454369814 / gettyimages.com

    Marc Marquez showed Yonny Herndandez what it really means to lean into a corner during qualifying.

    Qualifying, a crapshoot at the longer circuits like Brno and Silverstone, was more or less routine, with Marquez taking his 10th pole of the season and the other three Aliens – Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi – lining up 3rd, 5th and 6th respectively. In between were the two riders – Ducati #1 Andrea Dovisiozo in 2nd and NGM Forward Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro in 4th-who routinely fire their loads in qualifying, on bikes capable of generating a fast lap or two in QP but unable, generally, to maintain a fast race pace over 75 miles.
    Silverstone, on its way to the dustbin courtesy of a new circuit under construction in Wales, is the longest track on the MotoGP calendar and has been Yamaha-friendly hosting the British Grand Prix since 2010. Lorenzo had won three of his four starts here during the period, and pipped Marquez at the flag last year in a similar two man slugfest. Marquez, he of the short memory, clearly had not forgotten that one, and appeared determined not to allow a stinging repeat. At the start, the two jumped out ahead of the pack, rolled up their sleeves, and prepared to do battle, Lorenzo leading the way.
    Twenty Laps of High Anxiety
    As is typical in the premier class, the grid divided itself into several groups, providing the 67,500 fans with stuff to cheer about all over the track. Group 1 consisted of Lorenzo and Marquez. Group 2 included Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi, joined on Lap 3 by Dani Pedrosa, who had gotten caught up in traffic at the start. Group 3 included Tech 3 Yamaha homeboy Bradley Smith, Pramac Ducati #1 Andrea Iannone, Aleix Espargaro, Gresini Honda pretty boy Alvaro Bautista and Tech 3 #2 Pol Espargaro, all of whom spent the day passing and getting passed in what might be thought of as a two-wheeled zero-sum game.

    #454418692 / gettyimages.com

    Jorge Lorenzo looked stronger than he had most of the season, could not separate himself from Marc Marquez, falling 0.732 seconds behind for his third-consecutive runner-up finish.

    Lorenzo, riding in the lead, looked exactly the way he had looked in 2010 and 2012 when he was a world champion, smooth, composed and consistent, laying down fast lap after fast lap as regular as a piston. But Marquez, on his rival like a cheap suit, never trailed by more than half a second. Matches like this, with the faster rider sitting on the rear wheel of his intended victim, consistently remind me of the cheetahs and gazelles on the plains of Africa in their seeming inevitability. I find myself feeling sorry for the leader who, at some point, will become dinner.

    #454431718 / gettyimages.com

    Adding more evidence to the theory Moto3 racing is more exciting than the premier class, the top three finishes were separated by just 0.072 seconds, with Alex Rins taking his first win of the season.

    Meanwhile, in the second group, Dovizioso, who had started from the middle of the front row, was predictably passed by both Rossi and Pedrosa. After his winning performance at Brno, I, and probably a number of fans at the race, expected Pedrosa to take Rossi at some point in the last five laps. But Rossi, whose start today set a new record of 246 in the premier class, still had enough left to hold off Pedrosa on a Yamaha track, giving the Movistar Yamaha team its third consecutive double podium of the season, if not the first win they so desperately seek.
    Drama Late in the Day

    #454418670 / gettyimages.com

    Despite running a solid race, Lorenzo could not beat the young champion Marquez.

    When, on Lap 16, Marquez gave up the lead he had taken from Lorenzo on Lap 14, it looked briefly as if Lorenzo might stiff-arm Marquez for his first win of the year. But Marquez reappeared immediately on Lorenzo’s tail, and the #93 cheetah looked hungry and out of patience. On Lap 18, racing shoulder to shoulder, the crowd melting down, the two touched briefly as Lorenzo ducked inside, and Marquez, who appeared to anticipate the contact perfectly, dove right back on the inside of Lorenzo, forcing him to sit up and run wide for half a moment, and that was that. Marquez put his head down and took the checkered flag by 7/10ths, while Rossi, some eight seconds in arrears, punked Pedrosa by 18/100ths.
    Elsewhere on the Grid
    Tech 3 Yamaha pilot Pol Espargaro, continued his consistent performance this season with another satisfying 6th place finish, two seconds in front of LCR Honda lame duck Stefan Bradl, who had gone walky on Lap 4 and rode his ass off thereafter to finish in the top seven. Pramac Ducati lunatic Iannone had a surprisingly poor outing this week, managing only to qualify 10th and finish 8th. Aleix Espargaro worked his way from 4th at the start to 9th at the finish on a track not well-suited to his bike’s strengths. Brit Scott Redding on Gresini’s customer Honda completed the top ten.

    #454434280 / gettyimages.com

    Scott Redding was the top-finishing Brit, finishing tenth.

    One of the annoying aspects of this sport – perhaps all international motorsports – is how riders tend to play the “home race” card every single time, when there really is no discernible home field advantage, at least in MotoGP. The five (5!) British riders who started today’s race graciously back me up in this assertion, by finishing 10th (Redding), 12th (Cal Crutchlow), 16th (Leon Camier, subbing for Nicky Hayden on the Aspar Honda), 17th (Michael Laverty on the PBM nag) and, in a dismal 22nd and last place, Oxford’s own Bradley Smith, who had qualified 7th on his Tech 3 Yamaha but left the racing surface for awhile on Lap 11, returning only in order to wave at his adoring (?) fans as he crossed the finish line, a lap down.
    The Big Picture
    By virtue of his win today coupled with Pedrosa’s fourth place finish, Marquez has extended his lead to 89 points, with a third of the season left. While his “magic number” to clinch is something of a moving target, it’s out there, and the defending world champion has clearly returned to his dominating form after the curious outing in the Czech Republic. The race announcers today alluded to some tire and/or technical issues that plagued Marquez at Brno, but joined us in praising the young Spaniard for not making any excuses when his winning streak came to an end.

    #454418208 / gettyimages.com

    Marc Marquez was back on the now-familiar top step after missing out on a podium in Brno.

    From this vantage point, there appear to be no discernible obstacles to his continued success this season, with a number of very Honda-friendly tracks left on the schedule. And while Jorge Lorenzo seems to have sorted out the issues that ruined his season early in the year, this was a race Yamaha needed to win in order to avoid a possible shutout in 2014. Lin Jarvis probably has Phillip Island circled on his calendar, because the other venues remaining on the calendar appear to favor the handsome young Spaniard with the short memory.

    2014 MotoGP Silverstone Top Ten Results

    Pos.
    Rider
    Team
    Time

    1
    Marc Marquez
    Repsol Honda
    -

    2
    Jorge Lorenzo
    Movistar Yamaha
    +0.732

    3
    Valentino Rossi
    Movistar Yamaha
    +8.519

    4
    Dani Pedrosa
    Repsol Honda
    +8.694

    5
    Andrea Dovizioso
    Ducati Corse
    +9.238

    6
    Pol Espargaro
    Monster Yamaha Tech3
    +24.746

    7
    Stefan Bradl
    LCR Honda
    +26.717

    8
    Andrea Iannone
    Pramac Ducati
    +26.910

    9
    Aleix Espargaro
    Forward Yamaha
    +30.364

    10
    Scott Redding
    GO&FUN Honda Gresini
    +37.639

    #454340308 / gettyimages.com

    Special congratulations go to Aleix Espargaro who married his longtime girlfriend Laura Montero earlier in the week.

    2014 MotoGP Top Ten Standings After 12 Rounds

    Pos.
    Rider
    Motorcycle
    Points

    1
    Marc Marquez
    Honda
    288

    2
    Dani Pedrosa
    Honda
    199

    3
    Valentino Rossi
    Yamaha
    189

    4
    Jorge Lorenzo
    Yamaha
    157

    5
    Andrea Dovizioso
    Ducati
    129

    6
    Aleix Espargaro
    Forward Yamaha*
    92

    7
    Pol Espargaro
    Yamaha
    88

    8
    Andrea Iannone
    Ducati
    81

    9
    Stefan Bradl
    Honda
    74

    10
    Bradley Smith
    Yamaha
    65

    * indicates an Open Option entry.

    MotoGP 2014 Silverstone Results appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

  • 31/08/2014 - 23:45

    Church Of MO 2008 GG Quadster Review + Video

    How ironic is it that one of MO’s most watched YouTube videos is of a four wheeler? Yes, the 2008 GG Quadster has twice the amount of wheels we normally cover, but motivating the Quadster is a BMW K1200S engine — an engine we always have time to talk about, no matter what it’s powering. With 1.2 million hits on YouTube, the accompanying GG Quadster video has garnered over 600 comments from your, our adoring readers/viewers. Sure, most of you had nothing nice to say about it, but to ignore the fabrication work that went into the Quadster would do it a disservice. E-i-C Kevin Duke surely felt it worthy of coverage on this site, and now, six years later, we bring this story back to see how time has treated the polarizing quad/moto hot-rod. Tell us what you think about it (again for some of you) in the comments section below. And in case you missed it the first time around, check out the link to the original story above for a complete photo gallery.
    2008 GG Quadster Review
    As close to a motorcycle as a four-wheeler can get
    By Kevin Duke May. 30, 2008
    Photos by Alfonse “Fonzie” Palaima Video by Alfonse Palaima
    Living in Southern California can be tough on the ego. Your CBR pales in comparison to the 1098Rs and MV Agustas rolling around down here, just as your Audi A4 looks like a toy next to the plethora of Lamborghinis and Ferraris that are a dime a dozen anywhere near the beach in SoCal.
    Major ego bolstering can be had by including the GG Quadster in your stable of steeds. Sure, it’s not a horizon-tilting two-wheeler, but its BMW K1200S-sourced engine qualifies it for inclusion in these illustrious virtual pages. And if attention is what you crave, this Swiss-built machine – a cross between an ATV and a Formula racecar – will start more conversations than Jeremiah Wright.

    The BMW-powered GG Quadster is a ride unlike any other.The BMW-powered GG Quadster is a ride unlike any other.
    The Quadster is the brainchild of Gruter und Gut, a high-tech fabrication shop in Switzerland that introduced the GG Quad a couple of years ago. That first iteration was powered by the R-series BMW Boxer Twin, and mega-celeb Michael Jordan thought it was cool enough to add a pair of them to his garage. Now, with the addition of the speedier Quadster to market, Jordan has placed an order for one from U.S. importerGG Quad North America.
    While the original Quad’s Boxer motor cranked out a claimed 85 horses, this new Quadster is rated at an impressive 167 hp, the same as the K1200S sportbike. This larger and longer powerplant is slipped into a wheelbase 3 inches longer, creating a bigger turning circle and requiring different steering arms. It’s a very tidy piece of work, but it’s actually slightly bigger in wheelbase and track than a Smart car.
    Mmmmm, billet aluminum…Mmmmm, billet aluminum…
    Two aspects of the Quadster are most prominent, aside from the fact that it’s a mostly street-legal quad with low-profile sport rubber at four corners. The first thing one notices is how crazily over the top the sight of it going down public roads is. And if you take a closer look, you’ll find billet-aluminum heaven. Giant chunks of aluminum alloy have been milled down into exceedingly lovely suspension double A-arms and frame members that gleam like diamonds to a gearhead’s eyes.
    “That thing’s harder than Viagra!” said Kristian, a wide-eyed observer instantly drawn to the Quadster when we pulled into a Long Beach parking lot alongside the ocean.
    Which brings us to the other overriding feature of this billet hunk of Viagra: its $65,500 price tag. Ouch! Hope your hedge fund or Nike sponsorship is doing well.
    So, let’s say the idea a $65K toy isn’t daunting to you. What’s this exclusive contraption like to ride?
    Well, it starts off with a control interface lifted from the K1200S, including
    We presume being “harder than Viagra” is a good thing.We presume being “harder than Viagra” is a good thing.
    comprehensive instrumentation and traditional wacky BMW switchgear. An unfamiliar toggle switch is mounted near the handlebar’s steering stem – it functions as the actuator for the Quadster’s reverse gear. Flick the safety-covered toggle and then press the rear brake pedal very firmly to engage reverse. A pneumatic system consisting of a frame tube that doubles as an air tank and an air compressor below the right side of the seat neatly engages the mechanism.
    After backing out of its parking space, fun of a different kind ensues. The 1157cc four-cylinder motor has a light flywheel effect for this pseudo-automotive application, and this plus tall moto gearing requires a fair bit of clutch feathering to get its claimed 825-lb dry mass rolling quickly away from a stop. The Quadster is much more responsive once under way and rolling above 25 mph, accelerating with a force unknown to 99% of car drivers. The factory claims a 0-60-mph time of just 3.5 seconds.
    While the Boxer engine in the Quad pumps out healthy amounts of torque at relatively low revs, the K12 motor requires spinning up for maximum thrust. Although the Quadster’s maximum crankshaft torque output of 96 ft-lbs soars above the original Quad’s 74 or so,
    With nearly 170 horses pushing fat rear tires, the GG Quadster gets up and boogies.With nearly 170 horses pushing fat rear tires, the GG Quadster gets up and boogies.
    the K motor doesn’t peak until way up at 8800 rpm. The Boxer Twin’s peak at 5500 revs is much more usable in normal riding, but the K12 motor is more like a Formula car than the Boxer powerplant, which enhances the quad’s sports-car personality. An accessory SR Racing muffler fitted to our test example sings an appropriately racy tune.
    Grip is in abundant supply, thanks to four fat gumballs at each corner. To optimize traction from this more powerful engine, the Quadster is fitted with 245/35-18 rear tires, 20mm wider and an inch larger in diameter than the original Quad’s. Fronts are now 205/40-17s, 10mm wider and an inch taller. While the chubby Dunlop Sportmaxx rubber is sticky, we wonder if it’s overkill for a vehicle of its size and weight. With that much tire, there are few bumps that can be missed.
    Part motorcycle, part car and part snowmobile, the Quadster gets through corners in a style all its own.Part motorcycle, part car and part snowmobile, the Quadster gets through corners in a style all its own.
    A set of Wilbers shocks that are adjustable for preload and rebound damping do a good job at smoothing most bumps, but uneven road surfaces have a way of negatively affecting steering, pulling the Quadster this way and that as the tires of the narrow-track vehicle get drawn from side to side. Road camber causes the Quadster to pull to one side, and potholes want to grab the bars from your hands. This condition somewhat spoils an otherwise terrific ride. Fitting a narrower and lighter wheel-tire combo might reduce this unnerving tendency.
    And if I were head of G+G R&D, I’d look into developing a power-assist mechanism for the steering. This would alleviate the heavy feeling at low speeds, and it would further reduce the bump-steer condition that is the Quadster’s most obvious flaw.
    With nearly 170 horses pushing fat rear tires, the GG Quadster gets up and boogies.With nearly 170 horses pushing fat rear tires, the GG Quadster gets up and boogies.
    While the Quadster might not be a primary choice for a touring machine, accommodations are spacious and luxurious. The cylinders of the forward-canted K1200 cylinders can be seen ahead of Duke’s knee.While the Quadster might not be a primary choice for a touring machine, accommodations are spacious and luxurious. The cylinders of the forward-canted K1200 cylinders can be seen ahead of Duke’s knee.
    The other R&D shortfall is its tall gearing that seems to be lifted directly from the K1200S. This is fine for a 550-lb motorcycle that can reach 170 mph, but in this application it – like the wide tires – is overkill. There’s potential for the Quadster to reach 140 mph, but realistically you’ll likely keep speeds below triple digits. Reducing the final-drive ratio in the BMW shaft-drive system would result in a much sprightlier performer around town without hurting its effective top speed.
    On the plus side is sure-footed handling not far removed from a slot car. The Boxer-powered GG Quad developed 0.90 G on the skidpad when tested by a car magazine, so it’s likely this longer and fatter-tired Quadster will push the 1.0-G threshold. Grip is prodigious, with a safe amount of understeer built in, but the tail is happy to rotate with a handful of K12 power. Carving up a series of curves on the Quadster is sure to bring a smile to the face of any mechanical aficionado.
    The Quadster’s braking system pushes the overkill envelope, but not in any negative way. They consist of no less than six 4-piston calipers, with a pair of the billet two-piece clampers for each 270mm floating front rotor. Action from the front brake lever is precise, but max whoa power requires also using the rear brake pedal, which is biased 70% to the front through actuation of the second set of front calipers.
    The Quadster’s riding environment is quite hospitable, boasting a large and cushy seat and fairly good wind protection. The riding position is rotated forward into a comfortably aggressive stance that allows its rider to hustle and muscle the quad around. A generous 6.9-gallon fuel tank can accommodate 200 miles between fill-ups. BMW’s heated grips are a nice option no matter how many wheels the vehicle has. The optional ($4000!) aluminum sidepods are larger than the Boxer-powered Quad’s, now easily swallowing full-face helmets and scads of anything else you might want to bring.
    More than anything, the Quadster’s dominating impression is its oddball-ness – it’s a head-turner of the highest magnitude and causes anyone in sight to do a double take. It doesn’t take a trained lip reader to ascertain the most frequent response: “Wow!”
    gg-quadster-gm5v3073
    It’s an unlikely vehicle to be ridden on public roads. Indeed, getting it registered to operate on public roads is a hoop-jumping exercise that is dependant on the regulations of each state. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
    Certainly, however, the biggest obstacle to Quadster ownership is the way-up-there MSRP. We’re talking Desmosedici prices here, which puts it out of touch for most of us. The less-expensive Boxer-powered Quad lists for $56,500, but that’s still outside the realm of possibility for those of us who aren’t major-league sports celebrities. The Quadster is way cooler and faster than the Can-Am Spyder and has truly impeccable build quality, but we’ll leave it up to you whether it’s $50K cooler and faster.
    However, not all of us in a financial state in which we are thrilled to get our $600 federal stimulus checks. On the morning of our ride, a guy excitedly came up to us at a gas station and asked the inevitable question of price. After telling him it would take about $65K to get one in his garage, he responded, “Hmm, that’s not bad. My sand rail cost $150K!”

    The Perfect Bike For…

    A well-heeled enthusiast whose garage isn’t complete without all the latest toys.

     Highs:

     Sighs:

    • Neck-swiveling, outrageous appearance
    • Fantastic build quality
    • Exclusive club
    • It ain’t the price tag
    • Where’s the power steering?
    • Lane splitting

    Church Of MO – 2008 GG Quadster Review + Video appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

  • 31/08/2014 - 02:16

    Weekend Awesome – Giraffe Tries to Mount a GS

    When these gentlemen set out on their adventure-tourers, we’re pretty sure this wasn’t quite the kind of adventure they had in mind. In this edition of the Weekend Awesome, we watch a rider go up close and personal with a giraffe. Or rather, the giraffe goes up and personal with his BMW 1150 GS.
    Somebody should have told it that “GS” does NOT stand for “Giraffe Sex.”
    WARNING: Yes, there’s some Discovery Channel-style action here, so if you’re the sort to feel offended by that sort of thing, this might not be for you.
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    Weekend Awesome – Giraffe Tries to Mount a GS appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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