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No. 55, Friday August 11, 2000

Munchism unleashed!

Munch Mammut 2000

   Friedel Munch has the first prototype of the 2000 Mammut on the road for testing. The outrageous $120,000 machine runs a turbo-charged two-litre Ford Cosworth powerplant, lifted out of a Sierra.

Some 260 horses is the power claim (matched to a 350 kilo dry weight) and only 250 bikes will be built - one of which Munch himself plans to keep. Like the Ducati MH900e launched earlier this year, the bike is being sold over the internet, though Munch is levering the web technology a little further than the Italian marque.

Purchasers of the machine will be given a PIN and will be notified when construction of their machine begins. They can then follow it down the production line via a web cam. You can visit the web site at www.muench-mammut-2000.com.

The rumours on BMWís new Boxer four powerplant continue to fly, with the latest being that the manufacturer is developing an 1800cc version to power a competitor for the new-generation Goldwing and take over from the current touring flagship.

VTR racer Honda is about to start selling track-only versions of its VTR1000 SP1 in the UK from early next year. Itís one of a new line-up of models developed by the companyís competition arm, HRC.

Called the "basic racer" it will swap road gear for some improvements in other areas such as an upgraded steering damper and more powerful engine. The best news is that the Poms reckon it will cost the same as the road bike, making it an attractive track day proposition for this with the cash to spare.

There will also be whatís called a "complete racer" with the serious mods required to go superbike racing.
It is possible that this is a UK-only effort as Honda Australia had no knowledge of the models.

British rider Neil Hodgson has had his hopes raised of making a return to the world scene via the superbike champs after his win at the home round at Brand Hatch. last weekend. Hodgson is currently leading the British supers champs but has had a chequered career on the world stage.

Brits have another reason to be cheerful: there is talk that the final round of the world supers could be moved from its booked venue - Imola - to Brands Hatch. The semi-official reason is a clash with a beer festival at the Italian location, though there is talk that the real reason is the SBK folk and the Imola owners are at loggerheads.

Superbike standings after last round: Edwards 281, Corser (Australia) 257, Haga 256, Chili 214, Bayliss (Australia) 187, Yanagawa 169, Bostrom 154, Fujiwara 116, Slight (NZ) 107, Hodgson 86.

Vodafone Australia has announced is the naming rights sponsor of this month's 4067km Australian Safari. Former Mr Motocross and South Australian rider Andrew Caldecott is regarded as the top seed in the two-wheeler class for the August 20-27 event.

 American Schwantz, who won the 500cc world championship in 1993 before the five-year reign of Australia's Michael Doohan, is seeded second in the Moto Division on a Suzuki DR-Z400. The 36-year-old from Paige, Texas, won 25 grands prix for Suzuki during his 500cc career and knows he faces a tough cross country rally debut in the Safari.

"This is the first time I've done one of these races so the other guys are way ahead of me in experience," said Schwantz. "I've been doing as much riding as possible on a (Suzuki) DR-Z400 before coming to Australia to prepare. A grand prix goes for about 45-minutes and you're flat-out, but riding more than 300km in a day is something that's going to be new to me."

Hartford Legion Bolwell Select, the local company made famous in the 1970s for its Nagari Sports cars, has been in the local bike market for a little while with its PGO scooters. This week it announced that it is now importing a 150cc four-stroke bike from Taiwan. Itís called the Hartford Legion and is priced at $3905 (including GST) - so you get a lot of name for the money. More details as they come to hand.
Website: www.bolwell.com.au






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Article by Guy Allen

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