Old Quiz Car
New quiz car
Last week, to try and bamboozle the Googlers, I printed the following photo and
asked what car it was.. It was not an MGA as everyone presumed, but was an MG EX
182 which ran at the Le Mans 24 Hour. It was a fore-runner of the MGA.
So to this week. What is this car?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email
Button and Hamilton at McLaren-Mercedes
As reported widely, Jenson Button has turned his back on BrawnGP, the
team that gave him the car to win the 2009 championship. The words “kick” and
“in the teeth” come to mind here, but the spin doctors associated with Button
assure us that all that Jenson was doing was to get a good financial contract
for the next three years. After all, he was making eight million dollars with
Honda in 2008, when his salary fell to the meager pittance of only three million
dollars in 2009. The poor dear.
All that this proves is what a bunch of overpaid prima donnas F1 drivers have
become (and just how stupid were Honda). None of them are worth salaries in the
millions of dollars, and I was glad to see that Raikkonen priced himself out of
the market with demands for over 20 million.
Mind you, footballers, tennis players, golfers, netball players, rounders
players (known in America as “baseball”) are similarly grossly overpaid.
The first outing in 2010 for F1 is in Bahrain March 14 (Grand Prix at 7 p.m.
Thai time) and we shall see then just how good Mr. Button really is, and also
whether the Cosworth engine can deliver the horsepower and whether all these new
teams actually arrive on the grid.
As always, we live in interesting times!
A new BMW Six - but it’s a bike!
BMW released stunning images this week of a new concept motorcycle
that nobody saw coming, featuring the resurgence of an engine configuration we
all thought was long-dead. In recent years Triumph has stamped itself as the
master of modern triples, and now BMW has made a clear statement of intent that
it’s bringing the inline six back to the bike world. The Concept 6 showcases a
brand-new 1600 cc engine that is 10 cm narrower than any previous production
six, and produces truly prodigious power and torque throughout the rev range.
And it’s housed in a cafe racer body that has to go down as the sexiest
motorcycle design BMW have ever produced. Sensational stuff.
The new BMW transverse straight-six will further expand the K-Series in the
foreseeable future. The first model to be introduced will be an innovative and
luxurious BMW touring machine.
The Concept 6 engine - 1600 cc of pure, 6-cylinder grunt. The Concept 6 design
team was determined not to let the engine grow sideways, like the Honda CBX of a
few years ago - and it looks like they’ve done a good job keeping it acceptably
narrow. Each cylinder is still slightly oversquare (its bore is slightly larger
than its stroke), which will help it spin up and develop horsepower at higher
revs, but the stroke is relatively long compared to the ratios used in BMW’s
inline fours, keeping those cylinder bores as narrow as possible while retaining
the ability to rev.
There is very little space in between cylinders, and the alternator and other
electrics have been relocated from the side of the engine back behind the
crankshaft in the spot above the transmission.
With a capacity of 1600 cc, and all the extra exhaust headers and gear required
by an inline six, it is still going to be a very heavy powerplant, but BMW have
used a trick from their K-series sports bikes to neutralize the negative effects
from the center of gravity the engine could have on the bike’s handling. With
the engine tilted forward by 55 degrees, the main bulk of the cylinder bank is
kept low, pushing the centre of gravity down and forward, which should help keep
the bike’s handling.
Peak output will reportedly be similar to the K1300 series engines - somewhere
around 170 horsepower - but the big six has a massive 130 Nm of torque from just
2000 rpm. For reference, the Suzuki GSX1400 peaks at about 125 Nm at around
The BMW Concept 6 Cafe Racer is the variant the enthusiasts are hoping will be
produced. Without displaying acres of header chrome a la the Honda CBX it
remains an understated bike, but the overall styling is sensational,
particularly in the way the tank integrates with the miniature front fairing.
Even the tail-light is beautiful - extending directly from the rider’s rump.
The front suspension is a Duolever system like on a K1300R, and the rear
swingarm doubles as a shaft-drive and the torque reaction is nullified by its
Paralever ‘ankle.’ The primary cue that the bike is a six-cylinder comes from
the three flared exhaust chambers that exit low and wide just behind the rider’s
feet - a muscular look that is echoed in the chunky intake ducts peeking out
beneath the tank.
The Concept 6 sweeps aside the rest of the BMW range in terms of exciting design
- and even tops the fantastic Lo-Rider concept for pure visual thrill. In
typical BMW style, it looks more like a finished bike than a concept - and the
kind of bike only BMW could build. Maybe, if we all wish hard enough...
Ride like Rossi around Bira
Graham Knight has kept me informed as to his HighSideTours dates for
2010. These are serious (but with a lot of laughs) training for motorcycle
riders wishing to bring their skills up to competition level.
coming off L-Plates
Here are the proposed event dates for 2010. By ‘proposed’ Graham says that he is
still flexible and can still change them at customers request. So if you and a
few mates were planning on coming and the current dates do not quite match just
email Graham (newsletter @highsidetours.com or info @highsidetours.com) and he
can change them if they have not already been booked by another group and the
track is available. First come first served!