Eric Bostom's Michelin
shod Ducati 999F 03 performed flawlessly at Daytona in tests last
month, while the separate Dunlop tests for their contracted factory
teams saw dramatic tire failures and high speed crashes, forcing cancellation
and rescheduling of new AMA endorsed Dunlop team tests this month.
and Dunlop exclude
Eric Bostrom's Michelin Ducati from AMA Tests
Eric Bostrom Press Release: Commenting on the recent news
reported on Roadracing World's website that Dunlop had bought up the
AMA preseason test dates to the exclusion of non-Dunlop teams, is
Michelin rider Eric Bostrom. "It's disappointing for us, because
when everyone's on the track together it's a much better measuring
tool for where you stand against everyone else, not just with bikes
but with tires. It's beneficial for everyone. You have the same conditions
on the same day, and I would think that from a competitive standpoint
you would welcome that, because that is the challenge you want in
racing. And it's the same challenge that you face on race day."
"Ultimately, all it's done for us, and maybe this was the purpose,
was made it difficult for us to secure track dates because we had
a testing schedule that doesn't exist anymore and it's very late in
the off season for us to secure track dates. So it's put our team
behind the gun a little bit on testing."
"And it's a shame because I really enjoy riding on the bikes
and the tires so much that I'd like to be on the track more. But I
don't suspect it's going to have too much of an impact on us. I have
a tremendous amount of confidence in my team and my tires."
• See also: 1/8/04 - "Dunlop Buys Up AMA Team Test Dates,
Excludes Non-Dunlop Teams"
• And visit www.EricBostrom.com
for a new photos of Eric and his Michelin-shod Ducati
Ben and Team Honda do Laguna
Jan 8th: Ben Bostrom completed a preseason test at
Laguna Seca today, cutting laps on his new Honda Superbike. “We
fought some serious rain for the first couple of days, but finally
got some dry time. The bike was fantastic. Once again, I am just in
awe of this machine, it’s unreal. We did 26 flats and I know
there is another half a second there. The bike is that good."
(Mladin turned a 1:25.549 top qualifying at the AMA National last
there last year, and was slightly slower with the top World Superbike
Superpole time of 1:25.561-Ed).
The new Honda
Superbike has Ben rejuvenated and poised to make waves in 2004. "I’m
more enthused now than I’ve ever been. Every time I get on the
bike, it makes me feel like a kid again. It makes me feel like I never
road raced before and puts a smile back on my face.”
Annual Review for 2004
Magazines Naked and Exposed!
rates the top 7 hard core British sportbike magazines where
bikes, half naked babes and roadracing are the norm -not the
exception. In England, a county the size of just California,
sportbike enthusiasts are blessed with 7 major monthly sportbike
magazines! - America's got just 1 monthly newspaper and 2 semi
monthlies.The Brits are so successful because they cover the
topics sportbike enthusiasts want to see and read about, including
beautiful girls. These great British sportbike magazines are
now more readily available on your favorite newstands here in
British Sportbike mag Review HERE
Roberts Meets Artist Rancinan Team
KR: `The Spirit´
Photographic artist Gerard Rancinan, famed in MotoGP circles for his
Ducati Speedart project which was displayed last November in Valencia,
has once again turned his hand to the pinnacle of two-wheeled sport
with his latest creation – a concept photograph of multi-World
Champion Kenny Roberts. ‘King’ Kenny, one of the most
charismatic and inspirational racers in the history of the sport,
who has been a key influence in the evolution of the MotoGP World
Championship in his role as a team manager and team owner, particularly
with the creation of his own 3-cylinder two-stroke and 5-cylinder
four-stroke machines. It is this pioneering and revolutionary attitude
which Rancinan has tried to capture in his image of the American.\
juxtaposes the stern image of Kenny’s face – granite
jaw set, visionary eyes just a hint behind his trade-mark shades
– with two figures expressing the joy and agony of creation.
Explaining the concept of the image. “Between them is the
motorcycle’s 990cc V5 engine, linked to the models by umbilical
and intravenous tubes.
displays the distended grace of pregnancy; he the distorted arched
back of passion. They are Yin and Yang, positive and negative. They
stand for the power of Kenny’s dream, and the inevitable pain
of realisation." - (Ed. OK, so far.....)
engine, shrouded in cellophane, is visible but with the clarity
obscured. After creation comes mystery. Nobody knows what will ultimately
transpire. Another test of courage. And another inspiration from
King Kenny.” (Ed. Ahhh... yea? And as art critic Robert Huges
once offered, "Art has no social redeeming value. It exhists
for its entertainmnet value." -And we are entertained.)
Stripped down and
hard at work, lovely Laura Niles tightenes our nuts on the FastDates.com
killer Tuono R Project Bike featured in Paddock Garage. You can see
a lot more of our upcomming new 2005 Calendar model Lauraright now
in Members Corner which is free with your Membership to The Paddock
GarageMeet FastDates.com Calendar Girl Laura HERE
FastDates.com's $5,000 Tuono R Project Bike!
introduced their new Tuono naked bikes back in the fall of 2002
they were an immediate hit, both in the press and on the showroom
floor where they sold out immediately. A full-on contemporary Mille
R Superbike stripped naked with motocross bars and a minimalist
bikini headlight fairing was the meanest, nastiest bike on the planet.
We had to have one, but the the high end limited edition Tuono R
with its trick race wheels and Ohlins suspenion was priced close
to $20,000 and every one was pre sold even before they arrived at
dealers in December. Our check book breathed a sigh of relief.
to the summer of 2003 when we got the chance to ride a 2003 Tuono
R on both the street and the race track, back-to-back with the out
going 2003 Mille R and the new incoming 2004
Mille RSVR a Factory Superbike models. The new 2004 Mille Superbike
is a huge improvement in handling, performance and comfort in a direct
comparison to the old Mille which now feels huge and bulbous when
you're bent over the tank holding onto the clip-ons. The now previous
generation Mille's of which 10s of thousands were built starting with
their introduction by Aprilia in 1999 to the end of the 2003 model
year were now dinasours in comparison to the new model. And effectively
dropping the bottom out of their resale value on the used bike market....
But wait! The
Tuono R we tested at the same time as the old and new genertation
Mille's was actually our favotite bike! Replace the Mille R's clip-ons
with a set of higher positioned motocross bars and the Mille is transfored
into the ultimate short course roadracer, canyon thrasher and around
town cruiser. The gas tank is no longer stuffed in your stomach and
whole bike becomes really comfortable, while the tall handlebars make
bike really light and agile -a pure blast to ride!
When we rode
the Tuono R on the tight roadrace track at Pahrump, NV, where speeds
are limited under 110 mph we could turn quicker lap times on the Tuono
than on the old Mille R and new 2004 model RSVR Superbikes. Which
got the cogs in our little head to start turning.... why not pick
up a cheap used or crashed Mille R and turn it into a Tuono? Build
our own killer Tuono R on the cheap!
Well we've done
just that. For just $3,995 we purchased a crashed but nearly immaculat,
almost new 2001Mille R with just 1,500 miles on the clock. And for
just about $1,000 in conversion parts we've built our own Aprilia
Tuono R valued at nearly $20,000 ($17,995 plus tax & setup) at
your dealer for a mere $5,000. Is this the deal of the century or
what? In FastDates.com's Paddock Garage we give you a blow by blow
description of what it takes to convert a Mille to a Tuono with all
necessary factory part numbers, prices, and a list of sources for
alternative and more readily available conversion parts. Go to: Paddock
Classics already geared for production?
at possibly the best new motorcycle marketing campaign ever
Jan 1st 2004:
Ducati North America was handing out to us press types at the recent
Cycle World International Motorcycle Show at
Long Beach this beautiful 10x10 inch 32 page color catalog featuring
their 3 new Sport Classic "Concept" bikes, the "prototypes"
of which were also on display at the Show. The Ducati Sport Classic
Catalog provides a historical review of the origional 1971 GT 750, 1973
Sport 750, and 1974 Paul Smart Imola Supersport 750 racer, on which
the three new 1000 Sport Classics are based. It also contains beautiful
photographed pictures of the new Classics, full marketing descriptions
complete with all final technical specifications, described in both
English and Japanese (one of Ducati's biggest markets).
Ducati has been
playing this "concept' theme to the hilt, even to the point of
sending an Email Questionaire to registered Ducati owners and conducting
an opion poll to visitors on their website, asking whether or not
the bikes should be produced (www.Ducati.com/sportclassic).
And while Ducati corporate is mum on if, and, or when the bikes will
be produced, we think this culvert operation is the biggest new model
marketing introduction the motorcycle industry has ever seen. In the
words of Ducati NA general magager Michael Locke "Ducati has
a marketing presence and an enthusiast base which belies the company's
true size and rivals most other much larger motorcycle manufacturers."
The Classic "prototype'
bikes on display at the Show and in the Catalog are clearly finished
production bikes with no hand made components or rough fiberglass
bodywork. The production Sport Classics could be well into production
right now, and we guess their immediate release" Do to Overwhelming
Demand"' will be announced to the faithfull at World Ducati Week,
May 17-23th at Misano Italy. Complete details and photos of the Ducati
Sport Classics HERE.
Below: The 2004
Ducati Main Sportbike Catalog featuring 80 pages of beautiful photography,
details and specifications on the world's largest line of sportbikes
(not even including the new Sport Classics featured in their own separate
32 page catalog shown above). Beg, borrow or steal one from your Ducati
dealer if you can - they cost him $2 each. It is a real collectors
piece. In comparison, the major Japanese manufacturers like Honda,
Yamaha and Suzuki offer much smaller 8-16 page sportbike line brochures.
Cycle World International Motorcycle Show Coverage!
New 2004 FastDates.com Calendars now available!
Janelle, Chandi and Joanna Krupa get down to work
in the 2004 Garage Girls calendar available right here.
Click to subscribe...
Calendar Girl and actress
in February Playboy
15th - Our own FastDates.com Calendar girl and actress Jaime had
her second feature pictorial and first cover of Playboy magizine
in the February 2004 issue photographed by famed fashion and Sports
illustrated Swimsuit Calendar photographer Patrick
Demarchelier. The sexy calendar girl talked about the release
of her latest movie, the biker action flick Torque which
also comes out this month, featuring both extreame sportbike action,
and some custom bikes from our regularly featuredcelebrity Iron
& Lace Calendar custom bike builder Harold
two $60,000 custom Harelys for the movie, and was paid $2,000
per day per bike for 7 days to have the bike parked in the background
on the set. His customs fared a lot better than a number of Aprilia
Mille Rs which were thrashed and trashed in the movie, making
a perfect starting point for a similar Tuono
R Project Bike as featured on this page and in Paddock
long days of shooting and waiting to be on set of Torque,
Jaime also sketch and designed her own lingerie and sleep wear
clothining line aptly named J'aime. She also just completed co-produced
and oo-stared in her own feature film Death to the Supermodel,
and has landed a recurring role on the TV series Becker
staring Ted Danson.
to see a lot
more of beautiful Jaime visit Members Corner
where we have the beggest jaime pressly photo gallery on in the
Jan 1st - Norick Abe has announced that he is preparing for a
comeback to the MotoGP World Championship as a full time rider
in 2004. However, the experienced 28 year old said that he is
not yet able to reveal details of the deal, amidst rumours that
he could replace Alex Barros in the factory Yamaha squad should
the Brazilian seal a supposed switch to Repsol Honda.
“I have reached an agreement to contest the MotoGP World
Championship in 2004,” said Abe on his personal website.
“I will announce the details of the team on my website shortly
and am due to begin testing at the end of January.”
Abe spent last season as an official test rider for Yamaha and
ended up making five MotoGP appearances as a wildcard and as a
replacement for Marco Melandri in the Fortuna Yamaha team. Despite
missing eleven races, he still managed to finish 16th overall
in the championship, ahead of the likes of Kenny Roberts Jr and
Garry McCoy, and just fourteen points behind Melandri, who could
become his new team-mate in the next few days.
Cool T-Shirts for fast boys and bad girls.
MotoGP Teams moving to Michelin 16.5 inch front tires for 2004
The recent end of year tests including those conducted by Team
Ducati with rider Loris capirossi and Troy Bayliss have seen more
teams of the potential concerning new Michelin’s 16.5”
front tyre as opposed to the accepted standard 17”.
The rear tyre,
so magnificently introduced to Grand Prix racing as Garry McCoy
slid his way around circuits in 2000, was considered a success.
Many teams and riders are now looking towards the new rubber on
the front of their machinery so motograndprix.com decided to plunder
the knowledge of Michelin racing manager Nicolas Goubert to gain
some more information regarding the advancement.
16.5 front is something that we really wanted to work on because
we ran the tyre this season with the Aprilia team due to the fact
that both of their riders preferred the size and both Noriyuki
and Colin asked us to develop one for MotoGP,” remarked
the Frenchman. “They were quite happy with the result by
the end of the year so we thought we would ask the other teams
to try it over the winter. However it is a long process to get
the tyre generally accepted. Right now we don’t know if
it is the main direction we will take for next year, it is too
early to say.
A lot of riders have their own tastes so we will see.”
“The biggest difficulty with making any kind of major innovation
with tyres is that you are upsetting the stability and settings
of the bike. They are all tuned around a specific aspect. If you
change one part drastically, no matter if it is the tyre or some
other component, it will upset the balance. Even if you are convinced
it will help, time is needed to adjust everything around it to
make sure that you gain something,” he continued. “We
were convinced that the 16.5 rear would work but getting to the
stage where you can actually show the teams the improvement is
not always so easy. We got lucky with the rear because Garry McCoy
was the first rider to like it and use it and won the first time
out in 2000 at Welkom, everybody then thought that it must be
the way forwards if Garry was winning.”
“It then took between half a season to a season for that
tyre to be suited to all conditions and the teams to adapt their
bikes to the new model and, for this reason, concerning the front,
it is too early to say the impact it will have.”
Goubert insists the alternative size label masks significant differences:
“The two tyres have completely different constructions.
We worked in one direction with the 16.5 using the requirements
of Colin and Nori and ended up with a diverse construction compared
to the 17”. There are many other factors behind the size
label, such as compound, profile, construction.”
Having used the 16.5 from his World Superbike days Colin Edwards
is naturally more familiar with its characteristics and is leading
the tyre’s evolution in MotoGP. “It’s a feel
thing,” Honda’s new recruit stated. “Just a
contact patch preference. I’ve been developing it since
2000 and I really like the footprint that it puts on the ground.
We are always working to develop bigger and better stuff.”
Virtually all of the riders at the recent Valencia test had a
go with the 16.5, the factory Ducati team in particular devoted
a sizeable chunk of track time to evaluate the tyre’s performance.
Another former Superbike Champ with experience of the 16.5, Troy
Bayliss, feels that the new ‘boot’ could be a favoured
addition if embraced by the majority of his peers.
“I used the 16.5 in all my time in WSB but then had to switch
to the 17 here because that was what everybody was using,”
he said. “When everybody follows in one direction all the
development takes place in that area. I know Colin used the 16.5
this year and I tested it at Jerez and liked it. It depends on
how many people feel the same and want to work with it; it’ll
just keep getting better then.”
Do to a misunderstanding, the FastDates.com Calendars and Website
have previously refered to our model Janelle Perzina (true name
Pierzina) , as Miss Minnesota, when in fact Janelle was a "Miss
Minnesota contestant" in the year 2000 pageant and not the
We apologise for any confusion this may have caused. Paige Swenson
was the Miss Minnesota USA 2000 winner.
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