Don’t Let the Door Hit You in the…

BMW is very proud of their new, hyper-powerful literbike, the S1000RR.  They put a WSBK racing team together as soon as they could, and they figured with the awesome RWHP (185HP, dynoed stock) of the machine, they could make the brand shine in motorsports.

Ruben Xaus displays his inimitable riding style at Philip Island
Ruben Xaus displays his inimitable riding style at Philip Island

Sadly it hasn’t quite worked out that way.  Troy Corser has been notably absent from the platform since 2009.  Meanwhile, Ruben Xaus seems to be the designated BMW crash test dummy.  Somehow, he managed to crash four–count ’em, four–S1000RRs at Philip Island, then sat out the race itself.

So, the rumor is that BMW is just about ready to dump him from the team, presumably replacing him with someone who can manage to a) stay on the motorcycle, and b) keep the motorcycle from rolling over like a weasel and exposing its softer bits.

The thing is, Ruben’s a Spaniard, so they probably don’t want to get rid of him yet, as the Valencia and Portimao circuits, held in Spain and Portugal respectively, are coming up.  So, Ruben’s expected to be a big draw there, among the home crowd.

So, the word is, they’ll wait until after that to drive him off the team like some sort of poison troll, sometime in mid-season.

But, who knows.  These rumor things are always sketchy.  It could be some disgruntled factory tech mouthing off.  Or it could be that Xaus has a very short time to get his act together, before he’s back in Valencia, selling oranges to tourists.


I really had high hopes for the S1000RR after all the hype it got.  Oh, well, maybe Troy Corser will win in Portimao.  Maybe Xaus will win in Valencia.  Maybe swine will streak through the sky like eagles.


2010 Ducati Multistrada First Rides

I‘ve never been a big fan of Ducati.  I don’t dislike them, and they make some very fine-looking–and performing–motorcycles.  They just don’t personally appeal to me all that much.  Not that I’d turn one down, you understand…or even a chance to test-ride one.

But they do have a loyal following, and one of their much-beloved models, the Multistrada, got a complete overhaul for this model year.  The new Multistrada 1200 has has generated a lot of excitement during the wait for its release.  Now, the wait is over, as Motorcycle Daily’s Basem Wasef and Motorcycle USA’s Adam Waheed have both gotten a chance to ride the new Multistrada, and jot down their experiences for us.

Wasef concludes:

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman still wouldn’t pick the plucky new Duc for a hypothetical third ’round-the-world journey. But for the rest of us whose primary milieu is pavement with a touch of dirt, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 is an impressively well-rounded sport adventure tourer whose available electronic aids make it ready to tackle more rugged trails than you might expect. Considering the Italian manufacturer’s image is so laden with historical baggage-both good and bad-the Multistrada 1200 challenges the past, and redefines the essence of the Ducati brand.

Waheed concurs in his judgement:

Coming into this test, I had lofty expectations of Ducati’s new do-it-all two-wheeler. And after spending only a few hours aboard the bike, I quickly realized it was everything I thought it would be and then some. With the tap of a button it’s as sporty or as docile as you desire; it’s in its element blasting around a corner with the engine roaring at lean, or just quietly soaking up the countryside on a backwoods highway. The Multi somehow manages to be both comfortable and sporty, plus has realistic cargo capacity when you feel the need for an adventure coming on. It actually works for mild off-roading and its pavement-based rider aids (ABS and DTC) only increase its off-road potential.

The new Multistrada 1200 is a big – no, scratch that – humongous step forward for Ducati. It’s mainstream enough for any rider to appreciate, yet still retains that wild, rip-roaring Superbike pedigree that we know and love.

So far, the response to the Multistrada 1200 has been unanimously positive.