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The 210mph Bikes

The 210mph Bikes 

by: Duke Video  |  Duke Video USA
DVD (£16.99/$29.95), 60 minutes
Format: NTSC DVD
Catalogue No: 1648NV

Can’t get enough MotoGP?  The “Faster” video didn’t do it for us (see the wBW review), but this recent Duke release called “The 210mph Bikes” is an intriguing look at MotoGP with a focus on the motorcycles instead of the riders.

The premise is simple: take 7 MotoGP motorcycles and cover each one “up close and personal”.  There’s lots of footage of each of the bikes in action, and short interviews with the riders and technical staff, including Jeremy Burgess (Valentino Rossi’s Crew Chief at Yamaha), Claudio Domenicali (Ducati Corse race director) and more.

But the focus is on the machinery, all hosted by Randy Mamola.  There are some very interesting close-ups of the motorcycles sans bodywork, but make sure you keep your finger on the “pause” button, because if you blink, you’ll miss it.

And that’s the only flaw in this production — you’d think that if someone was going to go through all the trouble of creating a very professional-looking video about the MotoGP motorcycles that there would be plenty of raw footage of the hardware, but it’s just not there.  I kept waiting for detailed explanations showing the guts of, for example, the Aprilia Cube, but had to make do with some brief footage of each of the engines.

Dorna really knows how to milk their investment, because the video again recycles lots of leftover Dorna (the MotoGP promoters) film, but at least the shots are much sharper and seem to be higher quality than the video used for the actual MotoGP races.  Maybe it’s the camera, or maybe the technology keeps improving, but even on a non-HDTV, the shots are clean and crisp.  This alone gives a different perspective on the MotoGP machinery, because the quality of the video allows all the little details to be seen.

But, when all’s said and done, it’s still a nice treat for MotoGP fans to get into the garage for some rare behind-the-scenes footage.  The motorcycles featured include the 2004 versions of the Honda RC 211V, Rossi’s Yamaha M1, the Ducati Desmosedici GP4, Suzuki GSV-R, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR, the Aprilia RS Cube (the engine really is tiny!) and the Proton V5.

Featured also are short interviews with Rossi, Barros, Roberts, McWilliams and Nakano.  We get so used to the routine of watching the MotoGP race format that it’s refreshing to get another perspective on the sport.

The DVD also includes some extras which, it could be argued, are actually more interesting than the featured video.  These include a special feature on the crew that supports Valentino Rossi including his mechanic, the team manager, the press officer, his personal assistant and fan club president.

Another short features a background story on the development of the Michelin 16.5 inch front tire, which I think first appeared in 2001 but only really became common last year.  Some of the riders are interviewed for their thoughts on learning to get the most out of the 16.5 inch rubber.

Finally, there’s a look at Ducati Corse, hosted by Claudio Domenicali himself, who speaks excellent English.  There are some very interesting shots of the secured Ducati MotoGP development facility.

The bottom line?  This is an entertaining video and it has some good background information and close-ups for true MotoGP fanatics – like me.

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