Scorching sunshine welcomed the MotoGP paddock to Motegi today as the fifteenth round of the season got underway at the Japanese track. Temperatures reached a maximum of 34 degrees during this afternoon's free practice and it was a difficult day's work for the riders and teams alike, with Fiat Yamaha pair Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi finishing the day 11th and 14th respectively in the combined standings, which were topped by Dani Pedrosa.
Just five days after his spectacular victory in Portugal, Rossi got off to a less auspicious start today, finishing the morning session fifth but dropping to fourteenth this afternoon after his number one bike suffered a technical problem and he was forced to complete the hour on his second machine. Edwards meanwhile did not fare much better, finding himself down in 13th this morning and climbing just two places in the second session, despite making some improvements to his set-up this afternoon.
Rizla Suzuki is ready and raring to go racing at the penultimate round of the 2007 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park in Derbyshire this weekend after a three-and-a-half week break from track action.
Cal Crutchlow piloted his Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 to his best ever Superbike results at Cadwell Park at the last round in August with a fourth and fifth and is looking to make the elusive step onto the podium at the challenging 2.5-mile long Donington Park.
"I feel that I am riding better than ever and my Rizla Suzuki is doing everything I want," explained Cal. "For the last few rounds we have made very few changes and my results have been getting better and I think it will be more of the same this time out. I want a podium finish before the end of the season and will be doing all I can to achieve it at Donington Park."
The Red Bull KTM Team returns to Japan this weekend pumped with confidence. The team scored victories in both classes on the famous circuit last season, the bikes are expected to do well and both Aoyama and Koyama are riding in front of their home crowd.
Last year's Grand Prix in Motegi was unforgettable for KTM. Mika Kallio out-braked newly-crowned world champion Alvaro Bautista in the last lap of the 125 cc race, celebrating his third victory of the season. Then Aoyama turned team pleasure into pure unadulterated euphoria by coming home first in the 250 cc category. "A historic day," remembers Technical Director Harald Bartol. "Of course it was our secret plan o be prepared and to do well in Motegi. Even though they don't admit this, the Japanese manufacturers are pulling out all stops to succeed at their home Grand Prix. That's what makes these two victories so valuable."
So what of 2007? First it will be an occasion for Aoyama and Koyama to excel in front of what is always an animated crowd at the spectacular 4.8 km circuit set in rolling hills about three hours north of Tokyo.
Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet will be aiming to improve upon last year's premier class outing here, when he crashed out on lap nine. In previous years, when riding in the 250cc World Championship, the Frenchman proved more than capable of conquering the circuit: scoring a couple of top ten finishes at the track. After the disappointment of last week's Portuguese Grand Prix, where a mechanical fault ended his race, de Puniet hopes for a better result at the Twin Ring on Sunday.
Anthony West is also familiar with the circuit, having raced 1000cc V-twins throughout Japan in his younger years, as well as competing in 250s, and one 500cc race, at world championship level. He also took part in an endurance race here once, his team coming second, so he's put enough laps in to know his way around. The 26-year-old Australian, who recently signed to stay with the Kawasaki squad next season, will be hoping to overcome his recent struggles with set up and show both strength and stamina this weekend.
After digging into the inner workings of several big-inch engines over the past several years, we thought it was time to see what Harley-Davidson has to offer. Along with the standard 223.52cm (88inch) Twin-Cam engine that equips most of their 2005 motorcycles, you can have a big-bore of 241.3cm (95inch) or the insane 261.62cm (103inch) stroker engine.
Having said this, we must explain that there are a few rabbit trails that you have to follow to get a big engine from Harley-Davidson.
First, if you want a 241.3cm (95inch) motor, it is only available through the Genuine Parts channel, as parts kit or as separate parts to convert an 223.52cm (88inch) Twin Cam engine. A few years ago, Harley offered these engines in special edition CVO bikes, but as of June 2005, there isn't a production bike available with the big-bore engine.
The engine's increased displacement is arrived at by increased its bore from 3 3/4inches to 3 7/8inches. This can be done by either having your stock cylinder bored out at your local bike shop (which is direct a problem in Thailand) or buying a set of big-bore cylinders from your Harley dealer.
If we look at the basics of the Yamaha Fino, it is a 115cc 4-stroke SOHC, 2 Valve, Air Cooled engine. And officially the engine is a 113.5cc engine (but guess 114cc Fino did not sounded cool enough for Yamaha marketing).
We always start our tuning / modifying with a simple study of the motorcycle, in case of the Fino, the engine is a regular visitor to our modifying shop all is this the first Yamaha Fino, the also very popular Yamaha Nouvo uses the same engine.
After we had a quick look at what the Fino is made off, we decided to not overdo ourself, as this Yamaha Fino will be mostly used by family members and collages, we surely did not wanted to forget the safety futures.
The Yamaha Fino uses a Mikumi BS25 x 1 carburetor, or Carb for the Americans, some will suggest to replace the carburetor with a more sporty one. But as we have maybe a bit more know-how, we know that the Mikumi BS25x1 carburetor can be found in much larger bikes then this 115cc Yamaha Fino scooter.
Yamaha has today confirmed that Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga will remain with the Yamaha Motor Italia World Superbike Team in 2008.
A flamboyant and much-loved character, Haga has worked with Yamaha for many years and his WSB career highlights include second in 2000 and third title position in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Currently Haga is fighting for the 2007 title with only 41 points separating him in second place from front man Toseland, having caught up 25 points at the last round in Lausitz. With only two rounds remaining on 30th September (Vallelunga, Italy) and 7th October (Magny Cours, France) Haga is taking the fight for WSB crown all the way to the wire. So far this season he has already won four races, including taking the double win at the team's home circuit of Monza.
Continuing improvements with the Yamaha YZR-M1 machine and the enhanced performance of Michelin's latest tyres make for another promising weekend ahead as the Fiat Yamaha Team head east for the next round of the MotoGP World Championship in Japan this weekend. A frantic pack-up operation took place at the Estoril circuit on Sunday evening as the entire paddock prepared to make the gruelling 11,000 kilometre journey from the western tip of Europe to far east Asia, where Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards will do battle for Yamaha in the factory's home country.
The long trip to Motegi has at least been taken in buoyant mood thanks to Rossi's stunning fourth victory of the season in Portugal. The Italian kept his slim World Championship hopes alive with a breathtaking ride that saw him cut the gap to series leader Casey Stoner to 76 points with four rounds and a maximum haul of 100 points remaining. The race in Japan is followed by trips to Australia and Malaysia before the series returns to Europe for its traditionally grand finale at Valencia in Spain.
Designed in 1997 as a test venue, Motegi has ultra-modern facilities although the outstanding paddock is not quite matched by the intricacies and character of a somewhat geometric circuit layout.
Suzuki Motorcycle India today forayed into the scooter segment with the launch of a 125 cc with automatic transmission the 'Access 125' that gives a mileage of 65 km per liter under test conditions.
The scooter, available in five colors as red, blue, black, grey and silver, will hit the stores by the first week of next month. However, the company did not reveal the price.
''The changing market require more meaningful product across all categories which identifies with the need of a powerful product suitable for the new India,'' company Managing Director Satya Sheel told reporters here.
The Suzuki Access 125 is being produced from the company's Gurgaon plant and will hit the Indian stores by the first week of October. It is, at this time unknown it Suzuki is going to introduce the Suzuki Access to other Asian markets.
All Motorcycle engines require different oils a 4-stroke engine needs different oil then a two-stroke, The 2-stroke engine needs oil mixed with the petrol (gasoline) before combustion. In case of a 4-stroke engine the oil is just used to lubricate the engine. Make sure that you are using the right oil, the wrong type of oil can cause serious damage to your motorcycle engine.
Consider using non-synthetic oil for the break-in period according to the owners manual, the break-in period is the first 1000 kilometers. In normal situations there is no need to replace the factory oil. During the break-in period, riding at no more than 80% of top speed is highly recommended.
In addition to this, many mechanics suggest that during the break-in period owners should use non-synthetic oil, and then switch to synthetic after the break-in period is over.