Sunday was race day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the combined AMA and MotoGP motorcycle road race weekend. In excess of 50,000 fans made it out to the track and you could certainly tell by how busy it was inside Ducati Island not to mention how many folks had set-up shop in the surrounding hills and grandstands for a full day of racing. While there were multiple races taking place on the track, there was plenty of cool stuff to keep your eyes occupied in between the racing action.
Ducati Island seems to be a Mecca for all those crazy classic and one-off motorcycles that you hear about and read in magazines. So if you’re really into bikes this is the place to be. One of the coolest bikes we saw was the new NCR M16. We originally saw this ultra expensive work of art during World Ducati Week last month at Misano and now it has made its first U.S. appearance at Laguna.
Based off the $72,500 Ducati Desmosedici D16RR, the M16 uses an entirely new chassis constructed out of carbon fiber. And when we say entirely we mean every major component including the main and subframe, swingarm, wheels, fuel tank, and fairings. Every other mechanical part was replaced with either a titanium or aircraft-grade aluminum pieces in order to maximize performance and minimize weight.
All said and done NCR claims that the M16 weights just over 300 pounds sans fuel. That’s less than the minimum weight allowed by the prototype-based MotoGP racing class! Horsepower is claimed to be in excess of 200 ponies at the rear tire which we don’t doubt considering the relatively modest state of tune of the Desmo’s production 989cc V-Four engine.
The D16RR already comes with high-end Brembo and Ohlins gas charged suspension componentry, however the M16 gets the latest components as used in you guessed it—MotoGP. In terms of electronics it uses racing-derived traction control, data acquisition, and push-button engine map adjustability. The fuel-injection system also constantly adjusts the engine’s fuel map based on load and environmental conditions.
So, how do you get your hands on one? First you need to supply your own 989cc V-Four Desmosedici D16RR engine. Then you need to cough up $160,000. Yes you read correctly, $160,000! If you’re looking for another exclusive motorcycle but don’t have a safe stocked with cash then you should check out the uniquely styled Vryus motorcycle.
The design of this street bike can best be surmised as unique with it featuring an swingarm-style front suspension, carbon fiber brakes (on the one we saw) and a number of other wacky components that make the bike appear like something you’d see a spaceman piloting.
Speaking of cool and unique motorcycles one of the things you absolutely have to do in the evening is visit Cannery Row in downtown Monterey. Saturday night during the GP this historic downtown section is overrun by a friendly army of motorcycle enthusiasts. The scene is kind of similar to what you’d see at Daytona Bike Week with a number of stretched and slammed sportbikes and other creatively styled street bikes. There’s also an assortment of restaurants and coffee shops to enjoy some of the area’s tasty cuisine and treats.
Adjacent to the main entrance of Ducati Island, Motorcycle Superstore had a Dunk Tank. For a $1 cash donation you had the opportunity to dunk its beautiful blonde bikini model, Brit Shelstad. All the money collected went to the Roadracing World Action Fund to purchase air fence for use in road race and flat track races. Air fence is used to protect riders from impacts with hard barriers and/or walls. All said and done we raised $570.
“Air Fence became really important to us when we had the opportunity to sponsor AMA Flat Track racing,” says Sequoyah Munroe, Promotional Coordinator of Motorcycle Superstore. “There are still a lot of race venues that don’t have Air Fence and it’s critical for rider safety. That’s why we were excited to host the Dunk Tank.”
In between the action inside Ducati Island we watched the AMA Daytona Sportbike race followed by the MotoGP big boys and the American Superbike class. Make sure to view the results to find out what happened during each race.
Stop by Motorcycle Superstore’s Dunk Tank and try and dunk our models and employees for a small cash donation. All proceeds benefit the Roadracing World Action Fund (air fence fund).
On a final note, shout to MotorcycleUSA’s Steve Atlas who piloted our Yoshimura prepped Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a 19th place finish in the 23-lap American Superbike finale despite the transmission being broken. That officially wraps up this year’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. Whether you wish to see the best motorcycles in the world race around the track or check out all the latest motorcycles and gear the motorcycle races at Laguna Seca are definitely the place to do it and we can’t wait to come back next year.