I really like these things. Riding a Zero FX along a babbling brook and over some granite outcroppings a few years ago while hearing the water gurgle and the birds chirp was a come-to-Jesus moment that showed me the potential of silent running and instant torque. But I haven’t spent any time on electric bikes since that one.
So it was swell when TJ Aguirre dropped this brand new 10th Anniversary Zero DSR off at the manse about a month ago. The new-for-`16 DSR gets Zero’s high-po motor – rated at 106 lb-ft of torque and 67 horsepower – and the 10th Anniversary model sweetens that with special paint and graphics, new Charge Tank, red-striped wheels, tall windscreen, handguards and rear rack mount; (Troy laid out all the 2016 DSR specifics here back in January.) The regular DS remains in the line-up too, rated at 68 lb-ft and 54 hp.
A higher handlebar wouldn’t hurt, but the bike’s suspension and 19/17-inch wheels make quick work of dirty backroads.
I had visions of idyllic rides to the top of Saddleback Mountain, 5,687 feet above yon blue Pacific, a pleasant little ride I’ve done a bunch of times on dual-sporty ICE motorcycles.
Sadly, about 25 miles into that ride and only about 5 or 6 miles up from where the road goes from paved to gravel to dirt, the DSR was showing 60% charge remaining and it was obvious there was no way it was going to make it to Santiago Peak and then all the way home, so we turned around and settled for a cheeseburger at Cook’s Corner instead. Dangit. Um, I didn’t realize it was such long a ride out there. Seems like our back yard, almost.
It looks skinny and maneuverable, but the DSR is no lightweight; electrons are heavy.
This swell new 10th Anniversary DSR comes with the new Charge Tank (a $1988 option), which is supposed to allow you to get a 50% charge in an hour or so via its new J1772 plug.
Unfortunately, there are no charging stations in the places where the DSR’s looks make me want to ride it. Charging stations are springing up like wildfire everywhere, but not on dirt backroads. (Plugshare has an app that will lead you to the nearest charging station; Chargepoint claims to be the world’s largest and most open electric-vehicle charging network, with nearly 30,000 charging stations around the world and more on the way. According to the US Department of Energy, there are 35,548 charging stations in the U.S.)
Right now, there’s a federal tax credit of 10% on electric vehicles, and you can read about many other state incentives here.
Which is a shame really, because the DSR is pretty fun to ride back in there. All-way adjustable Showa suspension units provide 7 inches of nicely damped travel at either end, you get nice wide toothy footpegs and handguards, and it’s good to pick your way through the potholes and rocks as slow as you want without a clutch, an engine, or any noise whatsoever except a slight whir. Traction control is all you, but the electric motor delivers the juice so linearly it feels like an electric motor. Wait… seriously, it’s really easy to ride, with no spikes of power to break traction unless you want to by giving the throttle a more serious twist, and you can turn the ABS off if you must. You can also adjust torque and power output, along with top speed and regen effect by linking the Zero up to your smartphone via a free app.
The DSR, however, isn’t much like the FX I last rode. The official MO scales have our 10th Anniversary bike with Charge Tank at 452 pounds (33 lbs more than Zero’s claim for the 429-lb base DSR), where the FX weighs just 289 lbs (also Zero’s weight). Basically the DSR is more “Adventure” than “Dual-sport,” and most riders aren’t going to want to tackle any truly challenging trails on it. Which is just as well, since it probably can’t get to many. Then again, it depends. If you were at a remote campsite with an RV hookup, or a remote RV with a generator, then you could go places…
The single front disc with J.Juan caliper isn’t particularly strong but gets the job done, along with a little help from the motor’s Regen function.
Zero’s website says our bike, the DSR with Charge Tank, should do 95 miles “combined” (70 mph cruising and city driving combined), but when I rode around to throw her on the scales at MotoGP Werks the next day riding aggressively, I went from 51% charge to less than 0% in just 36 miles (thankfully the DSR keeps going for a few miles past 0). You could do better if you were easier on the “gas,” and maybe the typical Zero buyer would be. Using the bike’s ECO mode slows acceleration enough that you barely keep up with the automobiles, and I only used it long enough to learn to avoid it.
The problem with trying to hypermile the DSR is the way it slingshots away from lights; it’s crack-pipe addictive. It’s fun to silently blast away from a line of slack-jawed car drivers, taking full advantage of the bike’s progressive and powerful 106 lb-ft of torque. I never went faster than 90 on it (Zero says top whack is 98), but the way it gets there is a hoot, and so is roll-on power from 60 mph or so on the freeway: WHOOOOOOSH!! Suspension that’s calibrated a bit stiff for slow off-road riding feels really good, firm, and well-damped when giving it all the electrons you can muster on pavement, and the Zero’s standard ergonomics/ dirtbike stance and dual-sport Pirelli MT60s encourage excessive speed. Relative to other traffic.
Yon Showa shock is all-way adjustable, and linkageless a la KTM.
It all adds up to a really very sporty and stealthy motorcycle. The problem is that when you ride the Zero the way it wants to, no, needs to be ridden, your (okay, my…) mileage is substantially less than Zero’s claims. According to procedures developed by the SAE and run on a dyno to give consumers a good apples-to-apples number for comparison, the DSR is supposed to be good for 147 miles in “City” driving, a test of low-speed stop-and-go riding with one brief burst up to 55 mph. Maybe the “City” is Manhattan? The full SAE testing procedure can be seen here.
Zero’s Sean McLaughlin says the “70 MPH Highway, Combined” rating in its specs is the one Zero’s own in-house numbers usually most resemble, which is a test cycle consisting of about half highway cruising and half city driving, and in which speeds never go above 70 mph. In it, the DS is supposed to go 95 miles on a charge. For me, it’s more like 80 miles `til dead battery do us park – though maybe the Zero’s charge gauge is as pessimistic as the Ducati Multistrada’s fuel gauge?
I rode it around the block a few times after the meter was reading 0% charge and it still seemed to have plenty of juice. Then I rode it up and down the street a few times and it still had juice… then I decided it was a hot day and I didn’t want to push it at all, and parked the Zero in the garage and plugged it back in, having covered 82 miles.
Plugged into your everyday 110V outlet, the battery’s fully charged again in 8 or 9 hours, having sucked up about $1.46 worth of electricity on average. Our 10th Anniversary edition also came with Zero’s optional Charge tank ($1,988), which lets you plug into the increasingly ubiquitous J1772 Level 2 charging station that can cram in a 50% charge in an hour, says Zero – that’s a pretty good bump in the time it takes to drink a non-fat soy caramel latte and catch up on Instagram. A full charge from zero requires a claimed 2.9 hours, according to Zero.
If you’re the gregarious type like Sir Alan Cathcart, who was just in the States to ride Zeros to Monterey a couple months ago, the Zero’s just the excuse you need to stop every hour, have a nice cuppa tea, and make new friends. Charging stations really are sprouting up all over.
Personally, to quote Eddie Murphy, I ain’t got that kind o’ time. I actually love the DSR riding experience, but anytime the distance of where I needed to go was the least bit in question, it stayed plugged into the garage while I hopped on the Honda NC700X instead – which you know will go 180 miles on lately about $8 of gas, though admittedly not in as amped-up a fashion as the Zero. That would likely change if I grew familiar with charging stations near the places I frequent.
She keeps rolling for quite a while after the juice-o-meter reads 0. You do get a 12V outlet right there, and the 10th Anniversary’s tall windshield is pretty aero. In addition to Sport and Eco modes, there’s also a Custom one where you can adjust regen, torque and power output, and top speed by Bluetoothing the bike up to your smartphone.
And If you had an old-fashioned 9-to-5 daily commute, the Zero would be an awesome choice, particularly if you had an ICE bike in the garage for longer hauls. Plugging in your bike becomes as normal as plugging in your phone, and you do feel smug every time you pass a gas station. I’d feel even smugger plugging in at work…
For the Zero buyer, though, it’s really not about the money – and gas would have to get really expensive to change that. A lot of people just like the tech and being early adopters, a lot of people just like being green – possibly for no other reason than to tick off all the angry haters who can’t ever not point out that electricity comes from burning fuel, which would be a big incentive for me personally. Well, plenty of electricity now comes from solar, especially in places like hippy-dippy ground zero Santa Cruz, California, where we hereby offer up our official MO congratulations to Zero on its tenth anniversary and wish it many happy returns. (And California just passed SB 32 yesterday; one of its aims is to lower emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.)
Someday all motorcycle hangouts will have charging stations.
If you’re a multi-motorcycle household looking for a short hopper/commuter, the Zero’s a fantastic choice. If you can only have one bike, though, the lack of range remains a dealbreaker. And if you really wanted our 10th Anniversary bike, the deal’s already broken anyway since Zero only made, and already sold, all 50 of them. Not to worry, they’ve got plenty of base-model DSRs starting at $14,395 (after your $1600 federal tax credit!).
Sneak up on cats. Ride on the sidewalk. Push the limits of moto-decency. Nobody cares. So far.
2016 Zero DSR 10th Anniversary Edition
Twist and go fast
Linear, big power
What could go wrong?
It doesn’t really need you as much as an ICE bike does
2016 Zero DSR 10th Anniversary Edition
Z-Force 75-7R passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent hi-temp magnet, brushless electric motor
High efficiency, 660 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration
Electricity via 110 or 220V outlet, J1772 charge port
There was a lot of hoopla last weekend over the accomplishment of Cal Crutchlow being the first Brit to win a premier-class Grand Prix race since Barry Sheene in 1981. Congratulations, Cal, don’t get cocky. Which is exactly what he did following the race referring to his competitors as “wimps” – an accusation basted with the decorum of his enrollment in “the Donald Trump School of Tact and Grace,” according to Bruce Allen’s post-race autopsy. So let’s put this in perspective; Cal won a race – a rain race due to lucky tire selection – not a championship based on skill and season-long consistency.
In the annals of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, some of the best champions have originated from the island nation and deserve modern recognition. Here’s our list of British GP champs according to their career accomplishments. Sorry, Cal, a lone MotoGP race win isn’t enough to earn a spot beyond the opening paragraph.
BikeMaster Adjustable Motorcycle Dolly Is the Perfect Space Solution
Fort Worth, TX (August 15, 2016) – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BikeMaster is making it easier to store your motorcycle than ever before by introducing their new Adjustable Motorcycle Dolly. Perfect for parking your motorcycle in a crowded garage or small storage space, this is the second dolly BikeMaster has introduced to their product line in the last year, giving riders more parking options than before.
Measuring 65 in. total length and able to handle 1,100 lbs. capacity, the adjustable motorcycle dolly is more stable than full-length dollies and features high-quality wheels and bearings for easier movement. It takes up less space than other dollies when not in use and is made from 8 mm heavy-duty, laser-cut plate steel. The kickstand arm adjusts to fit most motorcycles where the center of the rear wheel to kickstand measures 34-50 in. It also has two aluminum diamond plates to protect and keep dolly side stand rails looking great.
Four-time AMA Superbike Champion and Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Factory rider Josh Hayes fulfilled a lifelong dream on Monday when he strapped into the cockpit of the #7 U.S. Navy Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet piloted by Lt. Tyler Davies and took to the skies over Pensacola and the Gulf of Mexico.
Josh enjoyed the thrill of a lifetime as Lt. Davies deftly flew his Blue Angels fighter jet through a series of aerobatic maneuvers, including barrel rolls, loops, inverted flying, high- and low-speed passes, and tight turns.
“Today was definitely one of those bucket-list experiences,” Josh said after he and Lt. Davies touched back down at Pensacola Naval Air Station following the flight. “I’ve always been a huge aviation buff, and when I was a kid, I used to dream of someday being a fighter pilot. In fact, that’s why I started riding and racing motorcycles, for that feeling you get from going fast and maneuvering the bike through the turns. To me, it’s the next best thing to flying. I’ve watched that Blue Angels video with the soundtrack of Van Halen’s “Dreams” about a thousand times. Well, today, that dream came true for me.”
A video crew from BeIN Sports was on-hand to document Josh’s Blue Angels experience, and the footage will be broadcast on a future episode of the network’s Tuesday night “Pit Lane” program, with the airdate to be announced. Some of the footage will also be shown during BeIN Sports’ broadcast of the final round of the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship from New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sunday, September 11.
Roland Sands Design is proud to introduce the Mojave, a premium riding boot. The Mojave boot follows the heritage of our proven jackets, combining the ideal blend of function and classic styling. Every minute detail was considered in the development of this top quality boot to ensure the final product not only performed, but also looked great both on and off the bike.
Only the best materials and premium protective technologies were used to construct the Mojave boot. We utilized beautiful top grain cowhide leather for the upper, strategic molded protective inserts in the heel, mid-foot and toe box, a reinforced shank and a hi-grip sole by Vibram that is oil/chemical resistant. The waxed laces and double-layer protective shift pad ensure durability and to provide superior comfort we added a Hipora waterproof and moisture-wicking liner and developed the proprietary triple density removable Cheater insole to provide unparalleled cushion and support.
There is a community of people who believe in forward motion and who are connected by an instinct rooted deep in the strands of their DNA — to feel the freedom of life unfolding at 60 mph and to know that the most profound moments are often the least produced moments. This community was born to journey, born to explore and experience — born to wander. It is the wanderlust community, and it is alive and well.
Royal Enfield North America is re-establishing middle-weight motorcycling and encouraging those with the wanderlust gene to breathe curiosity and devour moments. As such, Royal Enfield is identifying and partnering with entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, small business owners and millennials to join the wanderlusters and return to pure motorcycling.
The middle-weight motorcycle market is more accessible than ever and is one of the industry’s most rapidly growing segments. Many traditional dealers and small businesses have found opportunities to add to their revenue stream almost immediately by becoming a licensed Royal Enfield North America dealer.
“The idea that motorcycling is a luxury that only some people can experience is an outdated notion,” says Rod Copes, president, Royal Enfield North America. “We are seeing success with our middle-weight lineup, as they provide an authentic ride, have an attractive price point and are complementary to most motorcycles sold in the U.S. today.”
Royal Enfield North America is committed to preserving the brand’s storied 115-year history with its model lineup that is capped at 535 cc, single-cylinder engines with the traditional craftsmanship, timeless appeal and classic styling of the Royal Enfield Bullet, the Classic and the Continental GT.
Royal Enfield dealers are passionate and savvy, and by adding Royal Enfield motorcycles to their multi-brand outlets, they are adding more torque to their monthly number by appealing to more than just the average demo, focusing on new and experienced riders looking for a secondary option, and women riders, who are the fastest-growing purchasing segment in the marketplace. The company’s focus is on not only providing a unique customer experience but a rewarding dealer experience, as well.
“We want to make it profitable and fail-proof for any business partner that takes on our brand,” said Mike Roark, vice president of sales and dealer development, Royal Enfield North America. “We don’t try to be anything we aren’t — with an average MSRP of $5,500, Royal Enfield is an attractive add-on for existing dealers or those unconventional small businesses that are looking for some additional cash flow.”
This is an exciting time for Royal Enfield North America, as Royal Enfield of Milwaukee will be opening the company’s flagship location this September — taking its place in the heart of the North American motorcycle community.
To inquire about joining Royal Enfield North America’s network of dealer partners and learn more about the company’s vision and approach, please click here and fill out the form to get started.
Press Release from Saddlemen: Speed, Comfort, and Control are essential ingredients for street and on-track success in the Sportbike world. The new Saddlemen GP-V1 Performance Sportbike seat offers all of this and more. Typically installed with just the turn of a single screw, the new hi-tech seat fits the rider, the motorcycle and provides style at the same time. Small, thin sport bike seats that are typically fitted by the factory are notoriously uncomfortable, but no one wants to install a large cushy seat that looks out of place on their performance inspired ride. Saddlemen has the answer, an inspired design with increased comfort and enhanced performance at the same time. The GP-V1 is the sleekest and most functional performance seat on the market.
Increased comfort and enhanced performance
High traction Tri Gripper seat sides to improve motorcycle control while carving through the canyon or track.
Designed and built in the U.S.A.
Driver’s seat height mimicking the original seat, plus a specially shaped nose that helps the rider’s feet more easily touch the ground at stops.
Specially engineered seat pan foundation so that matches or exceeds the original seat’s fit.
Easy to install, installs just like the stock seat.
Each GP-V1 seat is supplied with a pillion cover for the passenger seat.
Shock and Vibration are real world enemies of the rider, causing discomfort and fatigue. Saddlemen uses science to change everything by offering their GP-V1 line of seats with Gel-Core Technology to dampen, divert, and deflect road shock and vibration energy. Saddlemen combines a specifically formulated viscoelastic polymer, SaddleGel, with the latest foam co-molding process to reduce engine vibration by up to 50% and reduce direct road generated forces by up to 92%. Gel-Core Technology also allows the seat to conform to the unique shape of each rider to minimize circulation-restricting pressure. Gel-Core Technology combines the right combination of materials – SaddleGel insert, Comfort Foam core and Tri Gripper Cover with their proprietary co-molding to provide a truly superior performance saddle. This amazing seat and the construction technology are more fully described, including demonstrative videos, at hsaddlemen.com .
The New GP-V1 Performance Sportbike Seat provides increased bike control during acceleration, braking and at extreme lean angles which directly translates into a better riding experience and improved lap times. These seats see duty at tracks worldwide and are considered by top professional and weekend racers as well as everyday riders to be one of the most effective off the shelf performance upgrades that can be made.
Saddlemen recognizes that every person and every bike is built different and that sometimes even the best motorcycle seat may not meet everyone’s expectations. Unlike other seat companies who might defer the blame on the rider or their bike, Saddlemen will help make it right. If for some reason the new GP-V1 Performance Sportbike Seat is not satisfactory, one of Saddlemen’s friendly Product Specialists will gladly help resolve any issue. Other seat companies rarely go to such great lengths to ensure the highest standards of Quality, Craftsmanship, and Comfort possible; Saddlemen insists on comfortable and satisfied customers.
Saddlemen offers a broad range of fitments; they have applications for most recent sportbikes; including BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha. Prices start at $200.00; these easy to install seats are a great value.
Saddlemen seats are available at most local motorcycle shops served through Parts Unlimited, a leading distributor of accessories and parts throughout the world, or call Saddlemen directly at 800-397-7709.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team starts the defence of its World Endurance crown today with the opening practice and qualifying sessions at Oschersleben in Germany.
Fourteen-time EWC Champions SERT currently sits in fourth position, just nine points from the series lead; and with a total of 35 points available to the winner – who would have to lead throughout the Oschersleben 8-Hour race to get the extra bonus points available – there are several teams in contention.
Three Suzuki GSX-R1000-mounted teams fill the top-eight positions: Along with SERT riders Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson are current series leaders Team April Moto Motors Events; Gregg Black, Gregory Fastre and Alex Cudlin on 68 points, eight clear of nearest rivals SRC Kawasaki and YART Yamaha Official, who are tied on 60 points. Also in the hunt is Team R2CL Suzuki’s Nicolas Pouhair and Aaron Morris in eighth position with 45 points.
Other teams in the hunt for the championship title, and just behind SERT, are FCC TSR Honda (56 points), GMT94 Yamaha (52 points) and Honda Endurance Racing Team (51 points).
Qualifying sessions begin this afternoon with the final qualifying to determine the grid on Friday. The Oschersleben 8-Hour race gets underway at 14:00hrs on Saturday.
Press Release from Royal Enfield: Join us at Return to Pure, Royal Enfield of Milwaukee’s grand opening event. A celebration of the launch of the first Royal Enfield flagship store in North America, with music, motorcycles, food and friends.
When: Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM (CDT)
Where: Royal Enfield of Milwaukee – 226 North Water Street Third Ward, Milwaukee, WI 53202 – View Map
A short time after the official presentation of the KTM RC16 Project at the Austrian brand’s Home GP at the Red Bull Ring, KTM’s MotoGP Factory Racing Team returned to the Misano circuit in Italy for another round of tests. The latest is the tenth on the company’s development program since the official roll out of the project at the end of October 2015. The KTM RC16 is set to join the premiere class of road racing in 2017.
The team was last at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli at the beginning of May when the weather was for the first time ideal in 2016 after previous tests at the beginning of the year were hampered by bad weather. This time the circuit on the Adriatic coast near Rimini showed again its sunny side for all three test-days from Monday to Wednesday. Alongside the assembled competition at the circuit, test riders Karel Abraham and Alex Hofmann joined Mika Kallio and the development team to continue working on the KTM RC16 MotoGP bike under near perfect track conditions.
Mike Leitner (Vice President Onroad): “The test was again very helpful, also when we experienced not only positive things. This is what continues to bring us forward. The public is expecting already a lot from us after the latest developments, but we mustn’t forget that it’s still less than a year since the official roll out last October. We must continue to do our homework as best we can, because only this will bring us to a level were we can be on the start in Doha in 2017. That is where this project’s journey really is going to start and we continue to have very intensive work between now and then. But everyone on the team, right up to the factory engineers, remains realistic and knows what has to be done. Later have been at all of the tests collecting extremely valuable input to continually providing further development steps.”
Sebastian Risse (Technical Director Onroad): “Compared to previous tests, this time we went deep into the hardware again. We had enough time to prepare many things that experience has shown us we have wanted to try for quite a while now. When it came to the bike, almost everything was new here, starting with the frame and the complete fairing, including the aerodynamics, right up to the ergonomics and the vehicle packaging. At the end of the three days all of the biggest components had showed their potential, and of course we’re very happy about this. Now we have to put it altogether and check it also at another circuit. The basis will again be a lot better when we can confirm this on the very different track layout next week in Aragon. Then it will all come down to making maximum preparations for the final bike for the wild card entry in Valencia before our two factory riders take their place on the RC16 for 2017.”
Mika Kallio (Test Rider MotoGP): “We had an extremely good start to the test doing our for race simulation, but after my high speed crash in the middle of the second day unfortunately one or other small problem held us up. Nevertheless that is part of all this, and once again everyone learns a lot from it. Whenever we have to test I will naturally bring the bike to its limit because that’s the only way we can continue to improve. Looking at the lap times we were able to confirm the performance from Spielberg on a totally different circuit and compared to when we were here before, we even improved by about two seconds. When it comes to the speed I even think we are a bit closer than our last comparison with the competition. The completely new fairing with the new tank and rear frame didn’t make such a big difference for me here, but I think we will get more clues when we go to the next test in Aragon, where there are longer straights. When we are there, we’ll also try to test and confirm many things from here.”
Karel Abraham (Test Rider MotoGP): “Tom (Luethi) wasn’t able to be here so naturally I didn’t find out about my luck to be here until quite late. I only arrived in Italy on Monday night. Things got moving quickly on Tuesday morning and we tried many things on each day, different setups and various things regarding the electronics. The test was more exhausting for me than my last one in Brno, but that is probably because we’re in the summer break for the Superbike World Championship and I haven’t been on a racing bike for a while. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it, and I think we made another step forward because I did my best lap in the final exit, which is remarkable given the intensive program.”
Alex Hofmann (Test Rider MotoGP): “That was my first real test day with the RC16. We were able to ride the whole day long and put in 92 laps in perfect conditions even though I had the feeling not a lot was happening, which is a good sign. Naturally I first had to really get into the rhythm but the bike helps you a lot with this and you want to attack hard immediately. It seems very good after all the changes and I continue to be enormously impressed at the amount of work by the whole troop. We’re now at a level where we can confidently say that the wild card comes at just the right time. Mika is more and more into it, and we mustn’t forget that after this test, there are still another three before Valencia. From the motorcycle technical side, this was certainly my top day in 2016.”
The intensive development work for the KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team immediately continues next week when there will be another three-day test, this time at Motorland Aragón near Alcañiz in Spain.
Team HRC’s trio of riders Paulo Gonçalves, Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec continue to rub shoulders the leaders in the Atacama Rally in spite of suffering the severity of the rally’s longest stage.
It was a long and tough stage today at the Atacama Rally around the spectacular ‘Hand of the Desert’ in Antofagasta. The second 460 kilometre stage was fought out over some very rapid and rock-filled off-piste areas as riders also got their first taste of the dunes of Bahía Inglesa towards the end of the run.
Team HRC headed out poised to attack, hoping to pull back some time and improve on overall times. However both Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides crashed in separate incidents. Portuguese Gonçalves had got off to a swift start but fell injuring his abdomen forcing a stage strategy rethink. The rider went into damage limitation mode, cutting the risks and managing to make it home without significant loss of time. Gonçalves holds third place overall.
Likewise, Kevin Benavides was also to crash in a high-speed zone on one of the shorter tracks. The impact damaged the front end of the Honda CRF450 RALLY although the Argentine fortunately escaped without injury. Pressing on, he was able to post a third spot on the day, just several minutes behind the stage winner. The rider from Salta now lies in fourth in the general rankings.
Ricky Brabec continues with his apprenticeship in the Chilean desert on his first participation in the Atacama Rally. After a rapid start the American slowed down the pace in the second part of the special, but remains in the top five in the general standings.
Tomorrow, Thursday, will see the third stage disputed around the Bahía Inglesa loop which will take in over 200 kilometres of the Copiapó region where navigation could prove to be decisive.
STAGE: 4TH OVERALL: 3RD
We’ve finished the longest stage of the rally: full on, really difficult and with loads of navigation and fast track with rocks. I’m really happy with the bike: the work that we have been putting in is paying off. I fell at kilometre 14 and I injured myself in the abdomen area. I’m happy that I made it back without any other problems and I’m pleased with the way that the bike is performing.
STAGE: 3RD OVERALL: 4TH
Things were going really well until the neutralization, but after I just wanted to get it out the way as quickly as possible. When I started the second part, I was very motivated. There was a ridge that wasn’t marked in the roadbook and I fell. I broke the navigation instrument panel and had to finish with it loose. I had to hang on to it with one hand to not do any more damage but the bike held up really well in spite of everything. Now it’s time to focus on the stage tomorrow.
STAGE: 5TH OVERALL: 5TH
Today was the longest stage of the rally, with 467 kilometres of special and was actually quite a fast one. The ending was sandy for the last ten to twenty kilometres. It went well but I lost concentration a bit after the restart and slowed down a bit. It was a tough stage. So now we will see where we are but I’m happy and looking forward to riding again tomorrow.
Team HRC General Manager
The second stage was far from being an easy one for Team HRC. Paulo fell in the first part and Kevin Benavides in the second. I’m very pleased that the falls weren’t serious like they could easily have been. No one got injured and they will be able to carry on. It has been a long and tough day with a quite fast special with rocks and some dunes towards the end. They lost a bit of time, but nothing dramatic. The riders are all well-situated in the general standings and can still make an impact overall. Ricky Brabec was going really well in the first part but gave away a bit of time in the second, but he is doing well in the overall standings. Thanks a lot to the mechanics who are doing a great job here and thanks to all the fans who are following us all around the globe.
Kawasaki has been no stranger to the top rung of the performance ladder. One of the machines occupying that position was the GPZ900R introduced in the 1984 model year. It re-took the crown with horsepower and acceleration numbers that set new benchmarks for production motorcycles. You can see some original Kawasaki brochure language for this […]... Click Here for Article
Mahindra is probably best known in the U.S. for its tractors but the Indian company is also involved in the motorcycle business. Most of its two-wheeled business is in India but the company recently expanded to the U.S. with an electric scooter. But like all manufacturers, issues can come up, leading to a recall campaign. Mahindra is recalling its GenZe 2.0 electric scooter, as well as its fleet sales variant, the Enterprise1, because of a problem with its front suspension. The recall affects 283 units in the U.S.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fork tubes may not be sufficiently clamped into its mounts. As a result, the fork tubes may shift upwards within the triple tree, altering the steering geometry, potentially affecting low-speed maneuverability and turning radius.
The problem was first noticed July 8 by a fleet operator. The fork tubes on an Enterprise1 unit had moved upwards into the triple tree. The fleet operator repaired the scooter by tightening the triple tree pinch bolts and Mahindra GenZe initiated an investigation. On July 15, the manufacturer concluded the pinch bolts have a shank section that, on some units, extended further into the clamp than required by specifications. This allowed the shank to seat against the top of the threads, preventing the bolt from properly tightening the clamp.
Qualified service providers will install new pinch bolts and washers on recalled units.
“The only real mistake is the one
from which we learn nothing.”
I just spent a pleasant but totally unredeeming Monday off, watching the movie Sausage Party before engaging in a little day drinking with my spouse. The entire day, I did absolutely nothing that either intellectually or financially enriched me, which made Sausage Party an excellent choice.
I think I can safely say, without giving away too much of what passes for a plot, that this movie is what happens when you legalize marijuana. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I did spend two hours of my life watching very intense acting from various items of processed food.
The amazing part isn’t that a theater filled with grown adults sat still while hot dogs, condiments and some feminine hygiene products made endless sexual references. The amazing part is that many hundreds of very smart people spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars making this film, and that it’s wildly profitable. Good for them. I have many ideas for movies, most of which are far worse than Sausage Party. One involves a musical remake of Schindler’s List performed by genetically modified hamsters. Another is a biography of Richard Nixon from the perspective of his arch supports.
Yes, that is a talking lavash, in case you are wondering. Movie Still: Sony Pictures.
This is why I’m not in the film industry. I’m in the motorcycle industry, an industry that does not suffer fools. Of course it doesn’t suffer fools, you may say, because motorcyclists are a hard-headed and frugal bunch, not prone to rapidly adopting crazy, whimsical notions like fuel injection, anti-lock brakes or tubeless tires.
This is a direct contrast to another industry I work in, technology. That’s right, I drive for Uber, which though it’s similar to a taxi company, calls itself a “technology” company. This is because unlike a traditional cab company, where you use a phone to call for a cab, you use your phone to call for a cab. See? The difference is obvious. You just have to have vision, man. Oh, another important difference besides being the exact same thing: Uber’s business model is to lose money to grow its market and then instantly replace all its human driver with robots, and then we’ll all be rich, because volume.
If that tech start-up idea is too obtuse for you to wrap your moto-loving mind around, haven’t you always wanted a $24,000, 100-mph, self-balancing electric scooter that can survive being T-boned by a Ford F-150? Me neither, but just in case you do, a guy named Daniel Kim has been working on such a thing for much of his adult life. About six years ago, the Lit C-1 started cropping up in the tech and general media – normal people are fascinated by the idea of self-balancing, fully enclosed motorcycles in the same way my cat can spend four hours staring at a dirty sock – with the promise of regular production in two years.
Daniel Kim, CEO of Lit Motors, driving his creation. This photo was taken two years from now, when the first customers might take delivery of their $24,000 C-1 scooter.
I met Daniel Kim a couple of years ago (when Lit actually said it would start production of the C-1 in a year) and toured his cramped facility in San Francisco’s tech-heavy South of Market neighborhood. I was impressed with the prototype I saw, which was packed with cool gadgets and gizmos, but I saw little evidence (and have yet to see any real evidence) that the scooter could do much more than balance itself and ride very slowly in a straight line. I also doubted it could go the claimed 200 miles on a full charge of its 10 kilowatt-hour battery (a Zero S with a 9.8-kWh battery goes 74 miles at 55 mph). “Aerodynamics,” said Kim, as if speaking to an idiot (in his defense, I was probably acting like an idiot). The next year was a bad one for Kim. Not only did production not start, as the market for $24,000 egg-shaped electric scooters was bad in 2015, but he also suffered a severe injury crashing his Ducati Panigale at Laguna Seca.
He’s still predicting production will start in just two years, providing he gets another big dose of venture capital money. I admire his drive and ambition, but am incredulous at how many people post things like, “I can’t wait till I get one! When will they be available?” Even though I’m not the company spokesperson, I think I can confidently answer: two years! Please send your deposit checks, made out to “cash,” care of this website.
Another intersection of tech and motos is the late, great Skully helmets. An awesome idea, Skully would have combined cameras, smartphones and a heads-up display to give riders rear-view vision as well as “augmented reality” to bombard them with data about speed, navigation and more. Over two years ago, Skully announced it was selling its first production models, but very few (if any) customers actually got one of these $1,500 helmets before the company fell apart. The CEO and his brother, also a C-something-O, skedaddled, but the remains of the company has promised they will deliver all the helmets by the end of the summer.
How do you make a $79 helmet a $1,499 helmet? Easy! Put $300 worth of electronics in it.
Interestingly, I visited Skully the same year I visited Lit. And why not? After all, the two companies were just a few blocks apart, fed by the same flows of start-up cash raging down Folsom street in what used to be called “multimedia gulch” during the last tech boom in the late ’90s. I was to meet Chief Whatever Officer Mitch Weller in the nascent company’s “incubator,” a large co-working space it shared with several other start-ups.
Stepping off the elevator into the reception area of Skully’s floor in the big, bland office building, I was greeted by a flurry of activity. Teams of what looked like high-school students labored around conference tables and white boards. Written on one were the words, “Grush! The Gaming Toothbrush for Kids,” and that’s when my heart sank, realizing I was lodged in yet another tech bubble.
Meeting with Mitch and holding the crude prototype, built into what I knew was a budget Chinese-made helmet with a thermoplastic shell, I knew Skully was as silly and unworkable a concept as Grush. I tried the helmet out (it barely worked) and politely took photos and did my interview, but I knew this was a waste of time. I’m not going to do a story about a dysfunctional product that few people would want unless I’m selling it.
Unlike Skully, Grush, the world’s first smart toothbrush, because apparently we needed that, is a real product, and it actually looks kind of cool.
So where are these founders today? Daniel Kim keeps making his time-worn two-year promises — and accepting deposit checks. He’s also sued Laguna Seca raceway for creating the alleged dangerous conditions (though they’re safe enough for MotoGP and World Superbike) that caused his injuries. The cost of defending from suits like this could shut down the track and its managing organization, which would mean that Kim wouldn’t just not add anything to our sport, he’d actually deprive it of an important and historic venue. The brothers Weller from Skully may be no less endearing, as they’re the subjects of a lawsuit alleging they behaved like douchebags of the highest order, paying themselves huge salaries, buying expensive cars and living an extravagant lifestyle instead of eating Top Ramen, living in a supply closet, and working night and day to deliver a working product to trusting fellow motorcyclists.
I’m glad I had the chance to meet Kim and Weller, because they’ve made me realize how relatively honest the motorcycle industry is. We won’t get rich, but we’re fairly insulated from con artists, hustlers and fakers. Not because we’re more discerning than the folks in other industries, but because there just isn’t that much money in here to make it worth their while. Uber, which is but one of many non-profiting start-ups, is valued at over $60 billion, 10 times (or more) the annual market value of the entire U.S. motorcycle industry. I’m happy under this rock with my fellow hermit crabs.
Are you going to eat that sandwich?
Gabe Ets-Hokin is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia.
HeliBars’ new Tour Performance handlebar risers for Yamaha Super Ténéré adventure bikes offer a simple, inexpensive and effective way to improve the big, brutish machine’s ergonomics for additional all-day comfort on tarmac and trail.
Heli designed different risers to fit both generations of this capable bike thatimprove leverage and the Ténéré’s handling, especially at lower speeds. For 2012-2013 models, the Tour Performance riser elevates the bike’s one-piece, tubular handlebar 2 inches and positions it 1-1/2 inches rearward, bringing the handgrips closer to the rider.
For 2014 and later Ténérés, HeliBars built in a 1-1/4 inch rise to complement the current bike’s taller, three-piece triple clamp and also moves the handlebar back by 1-1/2 inches. To do so, riser kits for these bikes include a brake-line extension, whereas the earlier models simply use models utilize the stock hydraulic lines.
Both one-piece risers are made from CNC-machined 6061 aluminum flat bar. Fitting flush in the top triple clamps for additional strength, they work on all standard and electronic-suspension-equipped models. Their beefy design and silver powdercoat match the bikes’ OEM finish.
HeliBars’ Super Ténéré Tour Performance Handlebar Risers require no modifications to install, making for a simple, one-hour job using common tools. To minimize complexity, the kits are engineered to accept all factory electrical components. Both kits come complete with high-quality Allen-head hardware and fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions.
Engineered, tested and manufactured in Cornish, Maine, these Tour Performance Handlebar Risers–and all HeliBars products–are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee via Heli’s 30-day return policy, and come with a one-year warranty.
Better ergonomics for additional all-day street and trail comfort
Improved leverage and handling, especially at lower speeds
Direct stock replacement for all model years
No modifications necessary for installation
2012 – 2013: 2 inches over stock positioning
2014 and later: 1-1/4 inches over stock positioning
Brings hand grips 1-1/2 inches closer to the rider
Machined to fit flush in the top triple tree for additional strength
Designed to fit standard and electronic-suspension-equipped models
Rigid, flex-free, high-quality construction
Durable silver powdercoat finish
100% satisfaction guarantee via a 30-day return policy
Engineered, tested and manufactured in Cornish, Maine
Retail Price: 2012-2013: $129; 2014 and later: $149
HeliBars Yamaha Super Ténéré Tour Performance Handlebar Risers HeliBars Part Numbers: 2012-2013: HR09107; 2014 and later: HR09109 Fitment: All years (2012 – 2016) Availability: Direct from HeliBars.com and motorcycle dealers that carry products distributed by Western Powersports
APRILIA ON THE TRACK AT MISANO ADRIATICO TWO DAYS OF TESTS FOR BAUTISTA, BRADL, LOWES AND DI MEGLIO In preparation for the race that will be held on the circuit in Emilia Romagna on the weekend of 11 September, Aprilia took to the Misano Adriatico track for two days of tests. The Aprilia Racing Team […]... Click Here for Article
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team positively concluded three days of testing at Misano World Circuit, scheduled both to evaluate chassis and electronics upgrades as well as to help Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano to maintain their confidence on the Panigale R at the best levels during the summer break. Davies and Giugliano clocked 66 […]... Click Here for Article
Having seen the Ago TT in person, if you’re able to attend this event on Sunday, you should. Michael Woolaway built a beautiful motorcycle in the AgoTT. -TS
Join us for the inaugural ‘Bikes And Coffee’ motorcycle meet-up at the Deus Emporium on Sunday morning August 28 9am -1pm kicking off with the release of the AgoTT custom MV Agusta Brutale 800rr by Michael Woolaway.
Deus Ex Machina
1001 Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
Sunday, August 28th 2016
9am – 1pm
Special support from Vittoria Coffee, MV Agusta, Newport Italian, and Motul.
It’s here! After a full year of testing and development in the crucible of superbike racing on the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory GSX-R race bikes, our new Alpha T is finally here!
The Alpha T utilizes a tapered conical sleeve that produces a higher “GP” tone than its bigger brother Alpha, and is also lighter than the original Alpha. Muffler options include durable Stainless Steel, featuring our exclusive Works Finish fitted with a carbon fiber end cap, or race grade Titanium with a brushed finish and carbon fiber end cap. This application comes with a carbon fiber heat shield. All of our exhaust systems are handcrafted in Chino California from raw materials and custom tuned to make every machine they are matched to perform at its highest level.
Alpha T stainless muffler with exclusive Works Finish complete with carbon fiber heat shield
Alpha T Street Series stainless slip-on with the Kawasaki ZX-10R
Alpha T Street Series stainless slip-on for Kawasaki ZX-10R complete with carbon heat shield
Alpha T Street Series stainless slip-on for the Yamaha YFZ R1
Alpha T stainless slip-on for the YamahaYZF R1 complete with carbon heat shield
Alpha T Street Series stainless slip-on for GSX-R1000
Alpha T Street Series stainless slip-on for GSX-R1000 complete with carbon heat shield
Alpha T pricing and info. for GSX-R 1000, ZX-10 and YZF R1 exhaust
Suzuki GSX-R1000 2012-16 Street Alpha T SO SS/SS/CF WF
Suzuki GSX-R1000 2012-16 Street Alpha T SO TI/TI/CF WF
Part # 11181MP720
Kawasaki ZX-10 2012-16 Street Alpha T SO SS/SS/CF WF
Kawasaki ZX-10 2012-16 Street Alpha T SO TI/TI/CF WF
Part # 14181MP720
Yamaha YZF R1 2015-16 Street Alpha T SO SS/SS/CF WF
Part # 131441BP520
Yamaha YZF R1 2015-16 Street Alpha T SO TI/TI/CF WF
Honda‘s main motorcycle factory is back to full operation with the company’s motorcycle production lines up and running once again. The factory in Kumamoto, Japan, had been returning to operation in stages following a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck the region in April. The motorcycle production facilities were the hardest hit and had been running on partial volume since June 6.
Volumes returned to normal on Aug. 22 with the return of the “FUN line” which produces most of Honda’s large motorcycles including the Africa Twin, Gold Wing and the CBR1000RR (and likely its eventual successor) so the reduced production levels had serious consequences for Honda’s sales.
Parts supply was one of the first operations to return, with production resuming May 6. The Kumamoto factory also produces power products which resumed operations on May 13.
The plant also produced mini-vehicle engine parts which were then shipped to a separate facility for assembly. The earthquake disrupted that supply chain and mini-vehicle production is still behind schedule. To help catch up, Honda is transferring some of the work to its Suzuka factory.
After a decade together, Trey Canard and Honda will be going separate ways in 2017. It’s widely believed Canard will join the Red Bull KTM team next year. In a classy move by Honda, Team Red has produced this tribute video to thank Canard for all he’s done. American Honda’s press release, and the video, is below.
American Honda Motor Corp., Inc. extends its sincere appreciation to Trey Canard, who has dedicated his entire professional career thus far to the Honda brand. Through high points and challenging periods, Canard’s commitment to racing and his fans has never wavered, and it has been a pleasure having him and mechanic Brent Presnell in the Honda family for the past 10 years. Everyone at Honda wishes them all the best in their future endeavors.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price, Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walkner, together with factory teammate Laia Sanz on Tuesday launched their attack on the Atacama Rally in the Chilean desert. Price finished a close second behind leader Pablo Quintanilla to be the team’s most successful rider on the first of five days of tough riding.
Toby Price, the 2016 Dakar Rally winner, was fifth in Monday’s prologue but took a gamble and decided to start at the back of the field in what was clearly going to be a dusk-choked Atacama, renowned for being the world’s driest region.
Price: “It was not a bad start to the Atacama Rally to be sitting in second, just 1:13 min off the lead. Starting last may not have been the best idea but we kind of made it work. I thought the wind would pick up and blow a lot of the dust off the track but it just didn’t happen. It was a risk I wanted to try because I have nothing to loose in the championship! Always learning and onto the next day.”
Price picked up an injury at the Sealine Rally, the second round of the FIM World Cross Country Rallies Championship, and is currently fourth in the points with this, and one round to go.
It was the factory team’s Matthias Walkner of Austria who came in as the next KTM rider at sixth. Walkner makes a welcome return to racing after a very long injury break and handled a difficult situation well in his first outing, saying he was not particular fast, but also not as slow as he expected in his return ride.
Walkner: “Today was quite okay up to 150km, even though I expected to pick up a few minutes. Then I got stuck behind a big vehicle on a dirt road and for 15km I had no chance to get past him. I thought I had already seen everything but I had never seen dust like this. For this 15km I could only go at half speed and this took me out of my rhythm a bit. It was very hard to see because the goggles got so scratched form the dust. On the whole, I’m satisfied. I didn’t risk anything.”
British teammate Sam Sunderland and the current championship point leader also had a mixed day and although, as a Dubai based rider, he is perhaps the best prepared for the sands and dunes around Antofagasta, he lost 18 minutes in the stage and has some work to do to make up the deficit.
Sunderland: “I tipped over behind a quad in the fesh-fesh at kilometer 20 and that set me up for a day of torture. I sat in the dust the rest of the day. I wasn’t willing to take big risks and go out of the tracks into the off piste to pass the slower guys and this cost me a lot of time. But I’m here and healthy and tomorrow is another day.”
Laia Sanz, the factory team’s sole woman competitor finished fifteenth and also confirmed it had been a tough day where she finished almost 33 minutes off the pace.
Sanz: “It was a hard day starting from the back, and being in the dust of the other riders, I needed 100km before I could overtake them. It was just impossible, but better stages will follow.”
On Wednesday riders have their longest stage with a timed special of a 468.95km.
Results/Standings Atacama Rally 2016 after Stage 1 of 5
1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 2:14:56 h 2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, +1:13 min
3. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +2:50
4. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, +4:19
5. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, +5:38 Other KTM 6. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, +12:28 9. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +18:01 15. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, +32:41
Chile’s Atacama Rally kicked off today – the fourth round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – with Team HRC performing well in stage one after dominating yesterday’s prologue.
Team HRC faired well over the 230 kilometre first stage of the Atacama Rally and finished the day well-poised to tackle tomorrow’s stage – the longest of the event. Nevertheless, were it not for a minor navigation error by Argentinean Team HRC rider Kevin Benavides, the result could have been even better. Benavides had won the curtain-raiser on the Honda CRF450 RALLY the previous day and chose to start from an attacking position in fourth place.
Indeed, attack he did from the outset this morning, which had been delayed due to early morning mist that wouldn’t allow the race helicopter to take off. By kilometre thirty the Argentine had overtaken the three riders who had started ahead and now found himself opening the track. However, an incorrect choice of path lost him several minutes and the leadership to local rider Pablo Quintanilla.
Portuguese Paulo Gonçalves, third in the prologue yesterday, chose a fifth place start and attacked in his inimitable style. In spite of maintaining a scorching pace, a GPS issue left the rider without a signal for over 100 kilometres, forcing him to slow the rhythm down. Quintanilla was able to catch up and the two crossed the line virtually together.
American rider Ricky Brabec was feeling at home with the off-piste type of rallying that featured throughout the first stage of the Atacama. After a steady ride, the Team HRC man finished in fifth spot, some five and a half minutes adrift of the race leader.
Argentinean Franco Caimi, from Honda South America Rally Team, also got off to a notable start to the rally taking seventh place on the Honda CRF450 RALLY.
STAGE: 3RD OVERALL: 3RD
It has been a good stage and we had a long day for stage one with 230 km of special. I had a few problems with all the dust raised by the riders up ahead. In addition, the GPS turned off at kilometre 30 and I had some trouble finding a few waypoints. I overtook some of the riders, but Quintanilla got past me and I was in his rooster tail until the end of the special. Tomorrow will be a long day, but we have to keep putting in the kilometres and try to keep improving.
STAGE: 4TH OVERALL: 4TH
Today was a really good stage for me; hard and with a lot of dust. I navigated well throughout the special and was almost the whole day at the head of the course as I had got ahead by kilometre thirty. But in the final twenty kilometres I made a mistake where I got the entrance to a river wrong. I had to backtrack two or three kilometres and Quintanilla passed me. I’m pleased that I did a good job on the first stage.
STAGE: 5TH OVERALL: 5TH
Here we are today at the first stage of the Atacama Rally. I chose to start ninth. I figured that would be a good place for me to start out from. At the start there was a lot of rocks and off-piste. I like the rocky stuff, which suits my style, so I felt comfortable today. I’m ready to go for the next four days and am feeling very confident.
Team HRC General Manager
It was a good day for Team HRC. Paulo was the fastest of the three riders in spite of having some issues with the navigating system, which wasn’t working for over 100 kilometres. Kevin was leading for much of the stage, doing very well, but made a slight mistake towards the end. He didn’t lose too much time and should be able to pick things up tomorrow. Ricky Brabec did a nice job too, although he started from further back, but was able to finish well on this type of terrain. Tomorrow will be a longer and tougher stage and our riders are all in good positions to attack from.
Dutch rider Egbert van Popta broke the record for fastest wheelie covering 1 kilometer last weekend at an airfield in England. Posting 213.039 mph, van Popta broke the 206 mph record set last year. We don’t know the details about his bike, but it surely has some serious horsepower. Take a look at the video […]... Click Here for Article
A firestorm erupted last March when a video surfaced that showed a Texas police officer pepper spraying a group of motorcyclists riding past his patrol car. Motorcyclists who watched the video (now with more than three million views) were angered at the apparent assault on riders. The cop, William Figueroa, claimed he needed to spray the riders because they wouldn’t vacate the lane next to his patrol car that was pulled over at the side of the road.
Surely the overly aggressive cop would be severely reprimanded for his actions that could’ve hurt or even killed riders as they rode past, right? Well, thanks to our favorite moto-riding attorney, John Butrus, we were able to dig into the situation. Sadly, the outcome of the investigation seems to be far too lenient for an officer who demonstrated a complete lack of concern for the safety of our fellow riders. —Kevin Duke, Editor-in-Chief
In March, Tom Roderick wrote an article about Officer William Figueroa who pepper sprayed several motorcyclists in Fort Worth, Texas. In his police report, Figueroa offered this nonsensical explanation for his conduct:
“Multiple motorcycles would not vacate the lane closest to my marked patrol car. I deployed my pepper spray into the lane closest to me, at which point approaching motorcycles began to vacate the lane, allowing me to conduct a traffic stop.”
The Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) put Figueroa on administrative leave for several weeks while it investigated the incident. Figueroa returned to duty in June, however, apparently without punishment.
I sent email inquiries to the FWPD to find out whether Figueroa received a reprimand or other punishment for the pepper-spray incident.
“The investigation is complete and the internal affairs case has been sent to his chain of command for recommendations,” replied Officer Jimmy Pollozani. Translation: FWPD hasn’t yet decided whether, or how, to punish Officer Figueroa. I found nothing to indicate Figueroa may be charged with a crime.
In a subsequent telephone conversation, Officer Pollozani suggested I file an open-records request if I wanted more information, so I filed that request with the City of Fort Worth (“City”) on August 1, 2016, asking:
“Any and all records related to the Fort Worth Police Department and Internal Affairs investigation of the March 13, 2016 incident in which Fort Worth Police Officer William Figueroa used pepper spray on passing motorcyclists. Please include, among other things, all records related to the investigation, conclusions/findings of fact, and punishment assessed against Officer Figueroa if any.”
The Texas Public Information Act (“Act”) gave Fort Worth 10 business days to respond to my request. At 5:10 P.M. on the tenth day, just hours before the deadline to respond expired, a Fort Worth Assistant City Attorney (“Attorney”) responded to my request; sort of.
In a letter, the Attorney advised me Fort Worth believes some or all of the documents I requested are exempted from production pursuant to the Act. The City has requested, pursuant to the Act, an opinion from the Texas Attorney General as to which, if any, documents may be exempted from production. In other words, the City doesn’t want to give me any records related to the investigation into the Figueroa incident.
The City submitted its arguments and the responsive documents to the Texas Attorney General, who has 45 business days from today to render his opinion as to which, if any, documents requested are exempted from production. Of course, if the City disagrees with the Attorney General’s decision it may appeal, which would further delay disclosure.
I spoke with the Attorney assigned to appeal my open-records request related to Officer Figueroa. The Attorney stated Figueroa has not yet been disciplined. If he receives punishment that includes a 1-day or longer suspension, the Internal Affairs investigation documents are discoverable. If the punishment is less than 1-day, or does not include a suspension from duty, the documents are not discoverable.
In its brief to the Attorney General, the City Attorney will argue none of the documents are discoverable until the police department assesses punishment. If after the police department assesses punishment, the documents remain protected from disclosure we can infer Figueroa received a minimal punishment; i.e., less than 1-day suspension.
I asked the Attorney how citizens were supposed to find out what discipline an offending Officer receives if the City blocks opens records requests and the police will not respond to inquires.
“I understand your frustration, but all I can tell you is we have appealed your request to the Attorney General,” responded the Attorney, I pressed her for information, but she provided none. In my experience, it is standard operating procedure for government entities to stonewall requests for information; especially when they have something to hide.
Paradoxically, the Public Information Act provides:
“… it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees…. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know….”
I guess Fort Worth did not get the memo.
A decision not to punish Officer Figueroa would call into question the wisdom in allowing police departments to decide what constitutes inappropriate police conduct in a given community. An obvious conflict exists where police departments investigate themselves, and no reasonable community would countenance a police officer pepper spraying passing motorcyclists.
The pepper-spray incident occurred on March 13, 2016, and could easily have caused a multi-vehicle crash that injured or killed motorists. Nevertheless, authorities did not charge Figueroa with a crime, nor has he received police department discipline. It should not take more than five months for the FWPD to investigate this matter and assess appropriate punishment.
If this is what happens when an officer is caught on video pepper spraying motorcyclists, I can only imagine what happens when no one is looking. Clearly, Fort Worth has not taken this incident seriously.
The MGX–21 Flying Fortress is Moto Guzzi’s fourth variation on the California 1400 platform. Given the additional stresses that a bagger with a fork-mounted fairing puts on a chassis, the fact that Guzzi felt it was necessary only to beef up the rear subframe says something about how stout the frame was in the first place.
Moto Guzzi’s first step into the bagger fray comes in the form of a high-zoot, carbon-fiber bodywork with attention-getting bright red highlights. The MGX makes a strong first impression with its 21-inch cast wheel that has a shapely carbon cover installed along with a carbon front fender. While the fairing itself isn’t carbon fiber, the semi-matt surface treatment of the black plastic combines with the similarly colored paint on the fork covers to give a multi-tonal play on black surfaces. The fairing’s angular lines pull the eye back over the sleek tank to the swooping arcs of the hard bags. The red cam covers call attention to the fact that the MGX is not a cookie-cutter V-Twin.
While the 1400cc engine (1380cc, to be exact) is smaller than many other entries in the bagger class, the Guzzi never feels underpowered. The 90° transverse V-Twin’s torque pulls well off the line with smooth, glitch-free power delivery. Though the cruise control can be a little fiddly, the MGX is a great platform for counting off the miles. During the summer months, the plentiful air flow around the fairing will help keep both the rider and passenger cool. The small bags limit carrying capacity for long tours, though.
Moto Guzzi’s first entry into the world of baggers made a strong statement about style, performance, and price. With a MSRP of $21,990, the MGX–21 weighs in quite competitively. Take a look at the video below to see how good the MGX looks in action, and then go read our full review here.
RCH Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen clinched the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship one race early with another dominant 1-1 effort in Saturday’s Budds Creek National aboard his RM-Z450 to collect his 18th moto win and eighth overall victory of the season.
The RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy John’s/ Suzuki Factory Racing rider had the mettle to close the deal with a race to spare, giving team owners Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael their first championship since forming RCH four years ago.
Roczen was the class of the field all weekend. The two-time Pro Motocross Champion was fastest in both of Saturday morning’s timed qualifying sessions and when the gate dropped for the first moto, he grabbed the holeshot and never looked back. Roczen stretched his lead to just over 16 seconds, practically making it a foregone conclusion that he’d be on top of the box after the first premier class race of the day.
The second moto was much like the first for Roczen and although he just missed grabbing his second holeshot of the day, the rider of the #94 Suzuki RM-Z450 made quick work of the competition and showed the way after just a few corners. For the remainder of the day, he remained on task but his 20-plus second margin of victory put an exclamation point on his second series title.
Said Roczen: “Our weekend was amazing. I got the holeshot in the first moto and won that one. In the second moto, I didn’t get the greatest start but I snuck around the inside and was able to get to the lead pretty quickly. Clinching the championship with a 1-1 performance on the day, you can’t ask for anything better. It’s truly amazing. I tried not to talk a whole lot about it during the week. Obviously, there was a lot going on leading into this race. I was thinking about accomplishing this big awesome milestone and we finally made it happen. I tried to put it out of my head and just race.”
Despite much of the gossip in the paddock area questioning Roczen’s decision to leave a factory team following his 2014 Pro Motocross championship, the 22-year-old German’s decision was clearly validated with a dominant 2016 campaign.
“I have the best program out there,” Roczen continued. “Any title is amazing but I had a lot of 1-1 performances this year and that makes it a little sweeter than the first one. We didn’t have that great of a season last year. We solved all the problems we had and that’s what makes this title so sweet. I didn’t quit on them and they didn’t quit on me. I’ve got to give it up to everyone at RCH, because we are having so much fun together. We have a saying in Germany that the first one is easy and the second one is the hardest one. There’s nothing more I can ask for than what we’ve accomplished this year. We communicated so well and it was so much fun. The way we work together and what we’ve done to make sure we have the best bike has made a huge difference. I have myself prepared and this year has been amazing. We changed some things, definitely for the better and wrapped-up a title. It’s a dream come true.”
Roczen came into Round 11 with a 63-point advantage over second-place Eli Tomac, and while he didn’t necessarily need a win to lock up the championship, he dominated much as he has all year by leading every lap. Ultimately, Roczen took control early in both motos and never looked back.
At the same time, Carmichael becomes the first former professional rider to earn championship honours as a team owner. This season also marks the first time a privately-owned team has won a 450 Class outdoor championship.
“Several years ago when I asked Carey (Hart) if he’d be interested in coming together in a race team, our goals from day one were winning races and championships,” commented Carmichael. “It’s definitely a very happy moment for us. I’m really happy for Ken Roczen. He’s been fabulous on the bike all season. All the team members from RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy John’s/ Suzuki Factory Racing have been fabulous. They’ve put in a lot of hard work at the track and in the race shop. I’m also very thankful to the group at Yoshimura for the motors they build. They make great power and that’s been a big part of our success. I’m really happy for Carey. He’s put his heart and soul into this race team and to see it all come to fruition is incredibly gratifying.”
The curtain rings down on the 2016 outdoor season Saturday when the teams and riders of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship return to Crawfordsville for the 12th and final race of the year.
Transport Your Bike Safely with the New Motorcycle Carrier from BikeMaster
By Beth Rauch, Aug 22, 2016 1:45:48 PM
Fort Worth, TX (August 22, 2016) – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BikeMaster has just made it easier for you to take your motorcycle or scooter with you thanks to their new motorcycle carrier. The new carrier is able to safely transport most larger motorcycles or scooters weighing up to 500 lbs. with tires up to 5 in. wide. This affordable carrier saves you money, eliminating the need for an expensive pull-behind trailer.Made with heavy-duty steel construction that gives you the highest level of strength and durability, the motorcycle carrier has been powder-coated for a beautiful finish. It features a 38-1/2 in. steel loading and unloading ramp that attaches securely to the rack when not in use. The front tire slot and an anti-tilt bracket add stability. Fitting a standard 1 in. Class III or IV receiver, the carrier has an 18 in. long main hitch tube, from the center of the hitch pin to the center of the ramp, giving your motorcycle plenty of room for safe transportation.
The Motorcycle Carrier from BikeMaster can be ordered through your local Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice dealer.
One hundred years ago two sisters were traveling coast to coast on Indian Power Plus motorcycles advocating women’s right to serve as WWI motorcycle messengers. It was 1916 when Augusta and Adeline Van Buren embarked on a journey they had no idea would have such historical significance a century later. Traveling from New York City to San Francisco, the journey took just over two months to complete, making them the first women to ride motorcycles across the continental United States.
Arriving at their destination on Labor Day weekend, the sisters expected a welcoming by the San Francisco Motorcycle Club (SFMC). However, they were met with silence. Their displeasure with the not-so-warm welcome was evident from news articles and stories that have been passed along through the decades. This was referred to as the “one strike” against the SFMC, which is the second-oldest motorcycle club in the United States and is known for granting voting rights to women before they could actually vote in state or federal elections. Unfortunately for the Van Burens, the lack of technology and communication devices at that time hindered the ability to clearly indicate their arrival date, and as a result, they arrived on a day that the motorcycle club members were out of town.
Fast forward to present day and envision a group of more than 200 women and men arriving in San Francisco to bells, whistles, cheers and big smiles all around. The Sisters Centennial Motorcycle Ride, presented by BMW Motorrad, was a century in the making and finally came to fruition when 68 women riders traveling coast to coast arrived at their destination with a warm welcome from the San Francisco Motorcycle Club. Members of the club were present to greet the group and happily accepted the duty of escorting the travelers through a city that had changed quite a bit since 1916. The coast-to-coast riders were joined by additional riders, including men, women, and children, who were all thrilled to be part of the historical moment.
After three weeks on the road, 68 coast-to-coast riders were joined by supporters from across North America.
At the time of the original journey, Augusta was quoted saying, “Woman can if she will.” Her sentiment became the mantra for the female motorcyclists traveling a similar journey to that of the Van Buren sisters. The experience was an emotional one, and for many a personal expedition of their own that tested limits, presented new challenges, and empowered them to do something many would never think of doing.
Riding a Kawasaki Vulcan S, I joined the last leg of the Sisters Centennial Motorcycle Ride, from Carson City, Nevada to San Francisco where I met up with women riders of all ages from various backgrounds on every make of motorcycle. Many had saved for a year and taken a leave of absence from work to embark on the three-week journey.
While taking a break in Truckee, CA, a spunky woman approached me stating, “Nice bike!” I learned that not only was this excited woman also riding a Vulcan S, but she had been riding it for close to three weeks from her starting point in New York City. I also learned that this woman was Sarah Van Buren, great-grand niece of Augusta and Adeline.
Sarah Van Buren rode a Kawasaki Vulcan S from New York City to San Francisco.
While talking with Sarah, I discovered she was a new rider, having just obtained her motorcycle license last spring in anticipation of the Sisters Centennial Ride. She joined other family members, including the Van Buren sisters’ grandson, great-nephew, and great-granddaughter on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. I couldn’t imagine what it felt like to travel a similar route Augusta and Adeline had traveled with extended family members. Sarah reported that the trip brought them all closer as a family; accomplishing new goals such as riding through snow to Pikes Peak, and across the Golden Gate Bridge with hundreds of other riders supporting what their ancestors accomplished a century before.
From left: Sarah Van Buren (Great-Grand Niece), Robert Van Buren (Great-Nephew), Sophie Ruderman (Great-Granddaughter), Dan Ruderman (Grandson), Skyler Ruderman (Great-Grandson), Anna Bottcher (Skyler’s Fiance).
The journey concluded in San Francisco. Sitting in the staging area, about to travel across the Golden Gate Bridge was an unreal moment for many in the group. Looking around, I saw hundreds of riders and motorcycles waiting patiently to line up in preparation for that ride. Some looked ahead quietly, mentally preparing themselves, while others excitedly revved their bikes or gave thumbs up.
With tears in my eyes, I joined the group as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. That feeling is hard to describe unless you were part of this trip. For me, I hadn’t traveled coast to coast, nor was I closely related to the Van Buren sisters; however, I suddenly felt part of the journey many of these riders have been on, and I felt like I became a part of the Van Buren family. This was no longer just about the two Van Buren sisters, it was about a massive movement supporting women and motorcycle riders worldwide. Images of women in the war, flying planes, riding motorcycles and voting crossed my mind as we crossed that bridge. Through tears, I gave thumbs up to my fellow riders, beeped and waved to spectators, and just took in the entire experience.
Riding across the Golden Gate Bridge as part of the the Sisters Centennial Ride was the experience of a lifetime for the author of this story.
After a tour through San Francisco, the group was welcomed to the San Francisco Motorcycle Club for refreshments and good conversation. I checked in with Skyler Ruderman, Adeline’s great-grandson, and asked him what it was like riding across that bridge. With tears in his eyes, he told me that it was an emotional experience that he will never forget.
Following refreshments, riders then attended the grand finale party at the Dainese D-Store in San Francisco. The night was filled with excited chatter about the ride through San Francisco. I heard so many epic stories about the coast-to-coast trip, including from one rider who had broken down but still managed to rent a car, and then find a motorcycle so she could finish the trip on two wheels. Coast-to-coast riders proudly wore medals around their necks to symbolize their triumphs and tribulations of the trip.
Riders were welcomed to the San Francisco Motorcycle Club for refreshments and good conversation.
That night, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the Van Buren family shared some personal triumphs and challenges, and as ride organizer, Alisa Clickenger, was presented with a proclamation from the County and the City of San Francisco. Funds were also donated from registration fees to the Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclists and Final Salute Inc.
It was Dan Ruderman, Adeline’s grandson, who talked about how his grandmother was with him this entire trip. “I spent a lot of time with Adeline in my helmet this trip,” he said. Somehow, I think Adeline and Augusta were with us all in one way or another.
My journey took me back to Nevada through Yosemite National Park, and it was an opportunity to reflect on the past few days. Riding with my friend, Joslyn, we both took in the views and scenery of the park while mulling over what had transpired. There’s no doubt that the past few days had been a complete whirlwind of events, but within that whirlwind were some great memories that I will remember for a lifetime.
As Augusta said 100 years ago, “Woman can if she will,” and with that, I will end my thoughts on behalf of everyone involved with this adventure, with a message to Augusta stating, “We did.”
The ride through Yosemite National Park was an opportunity to reflect on the past few days.
Those Van Burens were in our thoughts and hearts while we were on our trip, the two sisters who took it upon themselves a century ago to challenge, persevere and accomplish what no woman had yet done. It was Augusta and Adeline Van Buren who created awareness around the women’s suffrage movement at a time when women did not have the right to vote until 1920. One hundred years ago, women weren’t even permitted to wear pants, which led to multiple arrests during their trip for adorning men’s clothing. Despite some of the issues that occurred on their adventure, these women were able to navigate Pikes Peak, reaching an altitude of 14,115 feet on unpaved road on 1915 Indian motorcycles. If there is ever something in your life you think you cannot do, just remind yourself of these women to help you overcome any challenge.
For information about the Sisters Centennial Ride, visit SistersMotorcycleRide.com or use the @SistersMotorRide, #SistersRide hashtag.
Press Release from SpeedMob: SpeedMob introduces a sexy new Arrow racing system for the 2016 Honda MSX125 Grom. This system features a low-slung “Roadrace” look, full racing header connected to three optional types of the conical shaped X-Kone silencers. This combination looks aggressive and offers a great proportional fit with the exhaust mounting just below the right side rear-set with the silencer running along the Grom’s rear swingarm.
The X-Kone silencer is available with Titanium, Stainless Steel or Dark Stainless Steel sleeve options, all with a carbon fiber end-cap and a dB killer sound insert. These exhausts are available for order now and will deliver approximately the first week of September.
Press Release from EnduroCross: The 2016 AMA EnduroCross series will kick off this coming weekend in Duluth, Georgia, which is just a little north of Atlanta. All eight rounds will take place over the next three months, making it easy for fans to follow the action packed season. A large field of some of the best off-road riders in the world will be battling for the championship on the technical tracks.
FMF KTM’s Cody Webb will be aiming for a three-peat but Taddy Blazusiak is back to try to reclaim the title he held for five straight years before Webb took him down. And Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker has found the consistency needed to compete for the title and is hungry to back up his FIM SuperEnduro Championship.
There is a long list of riders looking to take down the established stars; Mike Brown is always in contention on his Husqvarna. The Factory Beta team of Kyle Redmond and Max Gerston are on the verge of doing that. SRT backed Cory Graffunder finished fourth last year and wants to interrupt the podium celebrations. Geoff Aaron, the ten time AMA Trials Champion is back for another year on his Gas Gas as well and wants to add to his win list. And Utah’s Nick Thompson opened some eyes last season with his speed.
And if you are looking for the up and comers to cheer for, Ty Tremaine has won the Junior EnduroCross Championship the last two years. But Noah Kepple, Cooper Abbott, and Ty Cullins have all worked hard over the off-season to step up and challenge him. And the Hart brothers, Wyatt and Trystan will travel down from Canada to put in strong results.
The insane EnduroCross obstacles provide a great show and exciting racing for race fans. So if you have never been to an AMA EnduroCross in person, you need to put one on your calendar for 2016.
The Duluth, Georgia event tickets can be purchased at all six Mountain Motorsports locations: mmsmarietta.com.
Tickets for all eight rounds are available at: EnduroCross.com
And if you want to tackle an EnduroCross course yourself, there are classes for Amateur, Vet, Women and TrialsCross riders. All of those support class main events run as part of the night show so it is your chance to compete in front of a large crowd. And there is nothing more challenging than tackling an EnduroCross course.
Press Release: The new Motorcycle Wheelie World Champion Egbert Van Popta, Netherlands stunned the crowd with a run at 214.669mph but just dropped the front wheel down between the timing beams for a fail so over 210 mph was looking a distinct possibility. Sure enough, Egbert didn’t disappoint with 213.309mph to set a new motorcycle wheelie world record. A huge cheer went up from the crowd and Egbert was congratulated on his return to the pits by previous record holder Gary Rothwell from Liverpool. Gary was indeed second quickest on 206.049mph, just shy of his 200.8mph record. Third in the competition, all the way from Minneapolis USA, was Cecil “Bubba” Myers on his third visit to the event. He astonished everyone with a stunning new personal best close to 200mph with a 197mph, his previous a 134.4mph. There were 15 successfully completing a Kilometre wheelie.
Other performances of note were Tom Swales, Selby. North Yorkshire on a borrowed the ex-Egbert GSXR1100 turbo who achieved a new personal best at 169.206mph. Dave Corrance, from England but living in France, had a new personal best at 166.8mph having been quickest on Saturday on 156.6mph. Dazz Rose from West London achieved his first ever kilo wheelie with a 165.069mph. Probably the most incredible statistic was down to Richard Roche Limerick, Ireland, his best time this year was exactly the same to the 1/1000th at 154.122mph.
Egbert brought along three other riders for the first time this year, Kees Vogel was straight on the case posting three successful attempts on Saturday and then improving to 129.811mph on his Triumph Daytona 955. Vincent Hoogerwart, yes a commentators nightmare of a name, late on Sunday managed a kilo wheelie at 143.650mph . Unlucky not to be the first female rider to achieve a kilo wheelie was Kimberly Davy Schyven, Netherlands. Her best with the front wheel up through the timing beams was 141.518mph, unfortunately, Kimberly had dropped the front wheel down at half track for a fail.