By Dynamic Innovations - Evolution V1 (2014 Model)
Quick Look Features:
100% Brand New
Maximum talking range 500 meters (1/2 KM) between two riders, real two-way, Range Extended in Open Area and With Adjustable Antenna.
Up to 7 hours talking time.
Advanced A2DP & EDR Bluetooth profile.
VOX (Voice Dialing and Voice Commands, Voice Texting Etc. if phone compatible.
Use Siri and Other Voice Commands on Phones (Iphone, Blackberry, Android) if compatible.
Stereo music/audio function. (transmits from A2DP enabled cellphone/MP3/GPS).
Wind noise DSP cancellation.
FM Radio Built In
MP3 Music Can Be Played Either Wirelessly Through Bluetooth or Through Included Audio Cable (Plug In)
Adjustable Antenna to Increase Intercom Range
Water-resistant, all weather, friendly for gloves.
Up to 40 hours of stand by time.
UP to 10 hours time when listening to music
sometimes motorcycle partners are riding too far in distance, we make it 1000M range to let you keep in touch almost any time
Super Range ride to rider rider to pillion Bluetooth intercom/hand free Bluetooth headset/ Bluetooth stereo music receiver for motorcyclists and skiers
You like to ride together; wouldnt it be great to talk when you ride?!
From now on, you can talk with your motorcyclist friends by way of this new two way wireless Bluetooth communication system, or you can chat with your pillion.
Maybe receive a cell phone call without pressing a button, You can enjoy your favorite stereo music from your A2DP enabled cell phone or MP3 player or perhaps listen to the audio navigation message from your Bluetooth enabled GPS.
With this New Super-Range Bluetooth, you can do all these things even if you are riding or snow skiing!!!
All this hands free functionality is contained within one self contained module that attaches to the side of your helmet.
Installs any ANY Full Face, 3/4 or 1/2 Helmet
Bring In Your Helmet, For a
While You Wait
Special Introductory Price
$99.95 for a Single Unit
$179.95 For a Pair
MSRP Price - $199 Single MSRP Price - $349 Pair
(Price for Pair Is Subject to Increase)
From Greater Toronto Area Motorcycle forum. Link: here
Grip-Lock is the smarter way of protecting your scooter or motorcycle from theft. It is mounted right at a handlebar and locks the throttle grip while applying the front brake.
Mounting and removing Grip-Lock takes just few seconds - the solution is so quick, you will use it every time.
The Dry Cooling Vest cools your body during hot summer days by the evaporation of water. The heat from body and surrounding air make the water inside the vest vaporize. It causes the surface of your skin to cool down before you become sweaty.
Thanks to the built in cooling water reservoir, the Dry Cooling vest will feel dry whereas conventional vests need to be worn wet. If the reservoir is empty, simply reload by adding 500 ml of tap water and your are ready to stay cool for up to three days. Completely filled, the vest never weighs more than one kilogram.
By cooling the vascular system the chances of suffering thermal stress is drastically reduced. This, in combination with the long usage time, makes the Dry Cooling Vest ideal for commuting, travelling and touring by motorcycle. The Dry Cooling Vest offers a hygienic durable solution, even after many washes.
Check out these reviews on You Tube to learn more about this amazing vest:
Nexo Airflow jacket features exceptional ventilation, removable windproof liner, flexible but strong elbow, shoulder and back armor, adjustable waist straps, and interior back zipper compatible with Nexo pants.
Suppose you wanted a nice new orthopedically correct naked bike, but you didn’t want all the latest fly-by-wire techno-gadgetry that accompanies the best of them along with the $15,000-plus price tag. Well, you’re still out of luck, really, because Suzuki’s all-new GSX-S1000 does use the traction-control system (first seen on its latest V-Strom 1000) to tame its mighty GSX-R1000 Four-cylinder. And ABS is a $500 option.
Beyond those acknowledgments of modernity, though, you’re on your own. No electronic suspension, no auto-blip electric shifter, no auto-wheelie control to keep you from looping out. We real men don’t need that stuff anyway. What we do need in the modern era is a bike we don’t need Trump’s accountant to afford: How’s $9,999? $10,499 for the ABS version is still $1500 less than a new Kawasaki Z1000 ABS – the bike that finished last in our 2014 Super Naked Street Brawl. The bike that won it, the KTM Super Duke R, sells for about 70% more than the new Suzuki.
Okay, the GSX-S1000 is no match for the Austrian defending champ, but it feels like it can more than hold its own against the Kawasaki. For one thing, Suzuki says the new 1000 weighs about 10 pounds less than the GSX-S750 we tested not long ago, and the official MO scales are within five pounds on that bike. Suzuki says the GSX-S1000 ABS comes in at 461 lbs wet, which undercuts the Kawasaki by 27 lbs and puts the Suzuki right there with the premium-priced BMW S1000R and Ducati 1200 Monster.
Suzuki notes it has been known for light, agile roadsters, and company reps say it’s time for Team S to get back to where it once belonged. Market research told Suzuki that the discriminating, experienced, former sportbike-owning 40-plus year-olds who buy liter-class nakeds for weekend tooling-around rate light weight and agility above outright power and top speed. Too true. Enough really is enough on the street. Or is it?
The road to Alice’s Restaurant is paved with good inventions. The red bike at left is Yoshimura’s GSX-S750 rolling test bed, and the red one up front is its GSX-S1000. The stocker gets the same Metallic Triton Blue as the MotoGP bikes, the nicest paint I’ve ever seen on a Suzuki I think.
Not that they didn’t give the GSX-S1000 a killer motor anyway, but the long-stroke 2005-2008 GSX-R engine in this bike has been defanged via milder camshafts and other tuning changes. Instead of screaming on to 185 (crank) horsepower at 11,500 rpm like the old K5 GSX-R, Suzuki says this one makes 145 horses at 10,000 rpm and 78.2 lb-ft of torque at 9500. It’s definitely fast enough for street use and definitely stout enough for hoiking wheelies out of every corner if you’re a good hoiker, but it doesn’t have the kind of top-end rush that makes your pupils dilate. It does have that sort of rare, if not-quite-raw, flavor and raspy snarl we’d almost forgotten about after spending so much time on all the modern fly-by-wire laser-beam sportbikes.
What are those long things coming out of the right grip? Throttle cables(!), and they go straight to the four butterfly valves in the GSX-S’s 44mm throttle bodies. This bike still uses Suzuki’s old SDTV system (Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve) to sedate power delivery a bit, which first appeared on the amazing new GSX-R750 of 1996.
You don’t get the old GSX-R1000 slipper clutch or its titanium valves. You do get 3%-lighter pistons and that classic angry/friendly snarl in a package crankshaft-rated at 145 horsepower, which will likely translate to near 130 horses at the wheel. You’ll be expected to adjust the 30mm intake and 24mm exhaust valves every 14,500 miles. Alternator output is 385 watts, and heated grips and things are in the accessories catalog.
You’re supposed to be able to sort through the three power modes on the fly with the toggle switch on the left side of the Renthal Fatbar, but I had to pull over to make my bike switch. Mode 1 gives full juice, immediate throttle response and the least traction control. Mode 2 gives full juice with slightly tamer throttle response (which I liked best) and a bit more TC. And Mode 3 is rain mode: If it’s anything like what’s on the new V-Strom 1000 (it is), you should be able to climb medium-steep rocky trails without spinning the back tire out from under yourself. Which is sometimes convenient. You can also switch the system off. The Bosch ABS, though, stays on at all times.
The bike’s frame is all-new, and a place where Suzuki says the 1000 lost 10 pounds compared to the 750. Using the latest computerized practical analysis technology let them build a main frame lighter than the GSX-R1000 frame; the arched swingarm is the same specification and size as the GSX-R1000 swingarm.
Light weight and great ergos make light work of tight backroads.
The 310mm front discs and Brembo calipers (straight off the GSX-R1000) provide massive-enough stopping power without being at all grabby when you first grab them. Suzuki says ABS only adds 1.4 lbs to the bike, and $500 to the bottom line.
From the saddle, the new bike really does feel nice and light and controllable: The seat’s reasonably low at 31.9 inches, you sit up, hominid-like behind that nice handlebar on a thick-enough seat. Steering is light enough without being too light; 3.9 inches of trail via 25.0 degrees rake, and a 57.5-in. wheelbase, is right in there with the class contenders.
Besides light weight, the other part that’s expensive on motorcycles is quality suspension. KYB supposedly built all-new stuff for the GSX-S: a 43mm inverted fork with a “durable plated finish” which looks like chrome, and tapered outer tubes for optimal rigidity/compliance, anodized a light gold for that expensive look. The fork is three-way adjustable, with 4.7 inches travel. The single KYB shock out back works through its linkage to turn its 63mm stroke into 5.1 inches of wheel travel; it’s rebound adjustable, and has five preload settings and a wrench under the seat, but has no adjustments for compression damping.
The backlighting is adjustable along with other things. Ride mode is usually displayed where the temp gauge is in this pic. My bike usually claimed it was getting around 44 mpg.
On smooth pavement, I totally concur with our man Jeff Ware, who already rode the bike in Europe, no complaints. Both ends hold up their end either hard on the gas or hard on the brakes. On choppy, bumpy, gnarly pavement, though, the GSX-S’s suspenders are no match for the stuff BMW and KTM put on the S1000R and Super Duke R. On those bikes, there almost isn’t any such thing as bad pavement. On the Suzuki, you’re a pavement inspector general. The fork jabs your upper body over bumps, then the harsher rear delivers the body blow, and serial big bumps can have things feeling out of sorts. Another cost-reducing measure would be the absence of a steering damper on the GSX-S – a thing the BMW and KTM both use to good effect when making haste down gnarly backroads. If you’re young and tough, that sort of drama just makes you stronger. It just makes me slow down a little. I probably could’ve made things a little more compliant if there’d been time to play with the adjusters a little.
Since the bike’s only $9,999, why not order up the Öhlins fork cartridge kit and rear shock like Yoshimura did with its GSX-S, which they brought along for the ride? Yosh has a bunch of trick items for the bike already, including a fender eliminator and its 50-state legal Signature series slip-ons ($649 for this carbon one), which require zero modifications. The rest of the under-engine exhaust is all Suzuki stainless steel, complete with catalyst and SET valve. (Custom paint by Matt Polosky at ColorZone Designs.)
For normal riding around on reasonably smooth pavement, the GSX-S is tough to beat; the ergos are totally humane, and though you’re turning about 5500 rpm at 80 mph, the Fatbar and engine counter-balancer smother nearly all the big Four’s vibrations. For warm-weather riding, nothing beats a naked bike. For cool-weather riding and for people who just like plastic, how nice of Suzuki to also offer up the GSX-S1000F.
Speaking of accessories, how about some cool blue anodized brake calipers from the Suzuki catalog, which will go for about $400 each.
Suzuki tells us the F version is exactly the same as the S but for its H7 twin-halogen headlight-equipped fairing, a bit more oil in each fork leg and about 10 pounds more mass. The F’s only available with ABS: $10,999. (The S gets a single H4 halogen light.)
Suzuki’s Tim Olson says American Suzuki insisted upon a faired version of the bike, and Suzuki responded with the GSX-S1000F, which it classifies as more “sports tourer” versus the S’s “sports roadster.” Luggage capacity, however, will be limited since no hard bags are in the works.
Running along the fogged-in Pacific with the temperature in the 60s in my lovely new perforated Dainese jacket, I was just about as chilly on the F as I had been on the S, but I suppose the fairing would help if it really was cold and you were dressed for it, and added heated grips and the taller accessory windscreen – maybe some handguards. Aesthetically, from the front, I can’t help thinking Angry Birds. When we start delving into the sports-tourer arena, this creature is going to require more comforts than a small fairing and an extra headlight…
The F version pokes a slightly bigger hole in the atmosphere. One cool new feature is Suzuki’s new Easy Start: Just jab the button and the 32-bit ECU spins the starter exactly the right amount to achieve ignition – never more than 1.5 seconds! Quite a change from my old GS550, which would crank until dead. A new “Open type” regulator/rectifier opens the stator output to control the charging level to the battery, using smaller components that produce less heat.
Anyway, there you have it. For $9,999 – way less expensive than the bikes Suzuki’s gunning for here, including the Triumph Speed Triple and Yamaha FZ1, the rare but very nice Honda CB1000R, the Z1000 Kawasaki – I give the S two thumbs way up. In its MotoGP-inspired paint, it’s one of the prettiest nakeds out there. It’s light and powerful, makes the right noises, runs super-smooth down the superslab, it’s cucumber-cool and comfortable. Will it rekindle the GSX-R flame in the hearts of the middle-aged American malefactors who embraced the original lightweight wonder 30 years ago? Fingers crossed. I hope so.
The price is right
Light is also right
Should be impossible to kill
Suspension seems a tad harsh over broken pavement
Not the slickest GSX-R gearbox ever, but not bad
Shame we couldn’t just keep our ti valves and 185 hp…
2016 Suzuki GSX-S1000 ABS
Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, forward-inclined inline four-cylinder, four-valve per cylinder, DOHC
Bore x Stroke
73.4 mm x 59 mm
145 hp at 10000 rpm (claimed)
78.2 lb-ft. at 9500 rpm (claimed)
12.2 : 1
44mm throttle-bodies w SDTV and 3-mode TC, 10-hole long-nose fuel injectors
The AMA Pro Flat Track Championship is headed to South Dakota, to add a bit of racing action to the area best known for its famous South Dakota rally. On Tuesday, August 4, the series will compete on the half-mile oval at Black Hills Speedway.
Current points leader Jared Mees will be looking to extend his championship lead, while Kawasaki-mounted Bryan Smith will be riding a wave of confidence, having won three of the four Mile races this year.
Perennial contender Sammy Halbert has yet to finish outside the top ten in any round so far in 2015, which has helped him earn his third pace standings in the points. He’ll try to keep the streak alive in South Dakota.
Harley-Davidson-mounted Brad Baker has to be considered one of the favorites for this event, however. The 2013 GNC1 champion currently lies fourth in the points, having won two of the last three main events. He’ll be riding a wave of confidence on August 4.
Other contenders to keep an eye on include three-time champ Kenny Coolbeth who, despite his current string of bad luck, is never one you can count out. Brandon Robinson and his number 44 Triumph has also shown flashes of brilliance this season, and is poised to make a break-out performance at any moment.
In the GNC2 class, 17 year-old Davis Fisher is establishing himself as a rising star, the Honda rider finished second in 2014 point standings, missing the title by a single point, and is making up for it this year by leading the standings.
That said, Nick Armstrong, Jamison Minor, Dan Bromley and J.R. Addison are all threats to take the top step of the podium come August 4.
What does this have to do with removing a motorcycle’s wheels? Well, Sparky, if you don’t follow these tips, your odds of seeing your motorcycle achieve its natural position increase dramatically. Any time you lift your bike with a pair of stands and remove its wheels, you’re asking gravity (and Murphy) to take a short holiday. As someone who has had the privilege of catching a bike with a coworker when it slipped off a front stand, I can attest that your options are few when you’re holding up 400 lbs. of motorcycle and have only one foot available to move the front stand back into position.
Study these tips, and your tire changes will go much more smoothly.
The fastest 44-year-old on the planet gets his second wild card of the year at the Sepang WSB round this weekend. After stunning observers by dominating practice earlier this year at Misano, and logging 2 sixth place finishes at the races there, Biaggi will tackle the grueling Sepang circuit that can leave many younger, super-fit riders […]... Click Here for Article
Last column, Skidmarks – (Excelsior-Henderson) X Factor, I related the curious case of die-hard Excelsior-Henderson fans, men and women who love their motorcycles and loyally keep them running, year after year. I chatted with a few of them to get an idea of why they liked the big V-Twins so much. Performance, handling and style came up, along with that amorphous quality we all desire but can’t easily define: soul.
What gives the Excelsior-Henderson its soul? Why is it still a desirable and functional motorcycle after all these years? Well, probably nobody would know that better than company Founder Dan Hanlon, so I called him up, and he graciously took the time to answer my questions.
Dan Hanlon in the jacket photo of his book, Riding The American Dream.
Hanlon, now nearing his 60s, was the point man for the Hanlon family, the folks who, in 1992, decided to re-launch the Excelsior-Henderson brand. Their decade-long journey (documented in Dan Hanlon’s book, Riding the American Dream, ended in bankruptcy for the company, but it did create a lasting legacy, with members of the Excelsior-Henderson team going on to share what they learned with other manufacturers, and a litany of lessons learned about starting a motorcycle company from scratch.
But at the end of the day, Dan told me, “The goal is to produce a motorcycle. That’s what you’re judged on.” The motorcycle Hanlon and his team built was an impressive product. At the heart of it was the engine, an air-cooled 50-degree Vee dubbed the “X-Twin,” as it resembles the upper half of an X, playing a bit on Excelsior-Henderson’s heritage. Like the old bike (built 1925-1931), it uses an air-cooled V-Twin and has a springer front end, but that’s where the similarity to the vintage Super X ends. It was as modern as its ancestor was archaic. But where to start when designing a motorcycle from scratch?
Hanlon told me the biggest expense and hassle in designing a motorcycle is the powerplant – “the longest-lead item” – but luckily there was no need to start entirely from zero. One of his favorite books – he still buys used copies he finds for friends – is a tome titled Ten Most-Winning Motorcycle Engines that mentioned the Weslake company in the U.K. You may (if you’re older than Burns) recall Dan Gurney’s Eagle Mk 1 of 1966, built around a Weslake-designed V-12, but Weslake has a long (and continuing) history of building all kinds of motorsports, aviation and other powerplants.
Hanlon had his eye on a 50-degree, air-cooled, short-stroke 1,000cc mill that Weslake’s engineers designed and built in between various contract jobs, mostly just because they were motorcycle enthusiasts. He bought the design for E-H to use, and had Weslake stroke the cylinders to make it more suitable for a cruiser application. Though there was plenty to be done after that – examples of Weslake motors I’ve seen are grimly industrial things, about as sexy as an old air compressor, so E-H had to do plenty of work to make a cosmetically desirable and reliable powerplant – but getting the basic architecture as well as years of performance data gave the fledgling company a “huge jump on things.”
Original Weslake engine mockup. Weslake’s design was intended for alcohol-burning dragsters: instant heritage.
The final design is a gem. With the help of new hire Allen Hurd (from Triumph) and some of the top names in the motorcycle supply chain, a very sophisticated mill took shape. Sequential-port, closed-loop EFI (that doesn’t need throttle-body synching), rubber mounting, DOHC four-valve heads actuated by gears and chains, a hydraulic clutch and a 1,386cc displacement (93mm bore by 102mm stroke) contributed to a smooth and refined experience that leaves hardly anybody wanting for power. Hydraulic lifters keep maintenance simple.
The Weslake connection was downplayed to keep competitors away from E-H’s supply chain, but that sporty heritage was there all along. Hanlon’s ultimate plan was to re-engineer it for more power, leading to a possible sport-cruiser design on the lines of Harley’s V-Rod. Sadly, concept sketches of such a beast have been lost to the ages.
The rest of the motorcycle matched the engine’s prowess and sophistication. The classy leading-link springer front end not only harkens back to the Excelsior Super X, with its exposed springs and pass-throughs in the fender. Like a BMW Earls-type front end, it reduces dive under heavy braking. Combine that with four inches of suspension travel front and rear, and the X can hustle along a twisty road, even two up, limited only by the bike’s big folding floorboards. Contemporary road tests universally noted a smooth, comfortable yet firm and controlled ride.
Brochure illustration of the 1925 Excelsior Super X. Note logo on the tank and distinctive front end.
Most everything about the bike was classy and well done. The Hanlons bought the latest in tooling, including advanced paint equipment and welding robots. Lavish for a start up? Perhaps, but Dan pointed out to me that E-H spent half what the Gilroy Indian factory did, and they didn’t even develop a proprietary engine, instead using a tarted-up S&S mill (later, they did develop the 100-inch “Powerplus” motor). He also noted that Polaris spent much more than E-H as well. The result was deep chrome and paint and impressive fit and finish that highlights the X’s clean, elegant and classic shape (penned by Ohio’s Glen and Ken Laivins of Next World Design).
However, underneath that lustrous paint there are flaws. Hanlon says he’s his “own worst critic” and very aware of them. Chalk it up to a new company that never had the luxury of time to fix its mistakes. For instance, the transmissions – a failure point E-H owners should address – were built by the same company that supplies Yamaha and Honda (in fact, the tranny shares parts with the old Yamaha V-Max). Although the hand-built prototype gearboxes were fine, the company wasn’t prepared for the high bottom-end torque output, so it selected the wrong bearings for the production items, leading to premature wear and failure. Fortunately, the racing-style cassette transmission makes the retrofit a quick and easy job – no need to split cases.
Other recurring problems are known and easily fixable, and as I wrote last time, many of these bikes are still on the road, 16 model years on. Hanlon actually re-started a new Excelsior-Henderson company a few years ago, reclaiming all intellectual property. He’s started manufacturing a limited number of replacement parts, as well as dealing with continuing post-production issues to make sure these bikes are on the road for a long time. But how much longer will they roll? I asked Hanlon how long he thought they would be around.
While the company was forming, he recalls, “Our investors would sit in my office and ask, ‘Dan, how long do you think the bikes will last?’ I told them about 100 years, and we would all laugh and then they would ask again, ‘Seriously, how long will they last?’ and I would say, again, 100 years.” Hanlon told me early in our interview that the motorcycles would be what he was judged on, even though the company he built was just as – if not more – important. Still, he recalled, “Our goal was to build quality, a timeless design. Fifty, 60, 70 years from now you’ll see them.”
Gabe Ets-Hokin is an American musician and singer-songwriter. Rising to prominence with James Brown in the early 1970s, and later with Parliament-Funkadelic, Ets-Hokin’s driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk. He’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
Sharing the same component across multiple models has its advantages. Manufacturers don’t need to redesign relatively simple parts over and over again and can order them in large quantities, taking advantage of the economy of scale. The downside is when there’s a defect in the part, leading to recalls with headline-grabbing large numbers.
According to Honda, the starter relay switch may have been incorrectly treated with sealant that may cause an increase in resistance through the main fuse, potentially interrupting battery voltage in the electrical system. Should this happen, the engine may fail to start or stall if already running. In the most extreme case, it may cause the starter relay switch to catch on fire.
Honda dealers will inspect recalled units and replace any affected starter relay switches.
Team Suzuki Press Office – July 29. Fresh from competing with Yoshimura Suzuki for the Suzuka 8 Hours World Endurance race, Alex Lowes is heading to the Sepang International Circuit, in Malaysia, this week to meet Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team-mate Randy de Puniet in preparation for round 10 of the Superbike World Championship. A top-six […]... Click Here for Article
APRILIA TO HAVE THREE BIKES ON THE TRACK AT SEPANG LEON HASLAM KEEN TO GET BACK TO WINNING, JORDI TORRES AIMING TO CONFIRM HIS EXPLOITS FROM LAGUNA SECA SECOND WILD CARD OF THE SEASON FOR SIX-TIME WORLD CHAMPION MAX BIAGGI Noale, 29 July 2015 – For the second time this season, Aprilia will come into […]... Click Here for Article
After a three-year hiatus Max Biaggi returned to World Superbike racing at the 8th round of the 2015 series in Misano to clinch two 6th place finishes. Not too shabby for 44-year-old who hadn’t turned a wheel in anger since his retirement following the 2012 season where he went out on top with his second WSBK championship. This weekend the Roman Emperor will again grid-up alongside Aprilia Racing Team regulars Leon Haslam and Jordi Torres for his second wild card ride.
Max Biaggi: “After the dream come true at Misano, where I rediscovered the warmth of my fans and the adrenaline of racing, in the second wild card at Sepang a demanding weekend awaits. During the tests I discovered the difficulties of a complex track with extreme weather conditions, and losing precious time didn’t help. We’ll need to stay 100% focused to take advantage of every practice session. The guys on my team will be under a lot of pressure and I’ll have to dig deep to give my best. Improving on the Misano results will be no walk in the park, but it isn’t the first time I’ve faced an impossible challenge. I hope to have fun and to give Superbike fans a good show.”
Following the crash that injured Casey Stoner at Suzuka last weekend, which he described as a result of a stuck throttle, Honda has examined the bike and has issued the following brief statement, and apology: “Honda Racing Corporation has carried out a detailed analysis following the crash of Casey Stoner in last weekend’s Suzuka 8 Hour […]... Click Here for Article
If you think about it, one of the most compelling endorsements a helmet can receive is to be worn by a racer who competes in “real roads” events like the Isle of Man TT. Roadracers compete among curbs, trees, fences, rocks, and countless other objects—they depend on their helmets to protect them from the same […]... Click Here for Article
Building on its acquisition of certain assets from Brammo (see our test of the 2013 Brammo Empulse R here), Victory has announced it will put into production the Empulse TT (pictured) as a 2016 model. The Empulse TT follows Victory’s participation in the Isle of Man TT earlier this year with an electric bike. Here […]... Click Here for Article
Premium helmets have always shipped at a premium price, and it’s often been said (even by myself) that the only real difference between premium helmets and bargain ones are the comfort features, like weight, venting, liners, and aerodynamics. Arai wants to correct the misconception that less expensive helmets are just as safe as the premium ones. While they have undergone the same certification testing, Arai stresses that, depending on the certification being sought, having the helmet manufacturers know the exact location of the impact measurements and the order in which they will be applied makes it possible to game the system. To wit, helmets can be constructed to pass a specific certification while offering the manufacturer cost savings in the form of less comprehensive protection on areas which are not measured.
Arai Managing Director Brian Weston said, during his presentation of the Corsair-X, that “Minimums don’t matter.” Because there’s no way to consistently reproduce a particular kind of crash, “standards are sterilized. They’re made to be done in laboratories to be repeatable.” Lest you think that Arai is saying that standards are bad, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Standards are important, but they are not the be-all, end-all of helmet manufacturing. Rather, standards are the only way we have to systematically certify that a helmet meets minimal protection criteria. Weston emphasizes, ”A helmet’s job has never changed from the very first day. It’s protection.”
The Arai Corsair-X is available in a cool 30th Anniversary Freddie Spencer Replica.
Consequently, Arai states that the guiding principle behind all its helmets is the desire to provide the best helmet protection possible. Namely, “it’s up to the manufacturer to decide how to deal with… the reality of crashing,” according to Weston. Because the company is not publicly held, it doesn’t have to answer to fickle shareholders and their desire to maximize profits. Instead, being family-owned, Arai has a mandate from the top to “design [helmets] to do what we think is necessary.” Arai has chosen a path of incremental refinement of a core group of principles to guide its helmet design, construction, and protection ethic.
The root of Arai’s long-standing design principle is the R75 Shape, which specifies that the shell surface above the Snell testing line be a continuous convex curve with a minimum radius of 75mm. Arai posits that most helmet impacts, contrary to how they are tested, are glancing blows. So, the R75 Shape makes the helmet as round as possible and with any protrusions from this curved shaped being designed to break away – to “disappear in a crash” – rather than possibly hook up and cause twisting forces. One need look no further than the venting and diffusors on the top of the helmet to see an obvious physical example of this doctrine. Less obvious, though, is the way the shell construction contributes to the protection of a rider’s head in the bouncing and sliding of a high-speed crash.
Snell certification requires that a helmet pass the drop test with the penetration spike anywhere above the line on the helmet, making it a very comprehensive test compared to other standards. However, Weston emphasizes, “You have to design the helmet to be good everywhere.” So, Arai also reinforces the lower portion of the helmet to their own standards.
Arai helmets utilize an extremely hard exterior shell (Weston stood on an empty shell that was lying on its side to provide a visual example of this strength for the media), which spreads out impact forces. With a larger area to absorb the force, the liner can be constructed of softer material. According to Arai, this makes for a more comfortable fit when riding and less pain for the rider in a mishap. The harder shell is also better able to withstand the multiple impacts of a tumble. Additionally, Arai uses multi-density foams to tune the absorption capabilities of different sections of the helmet.
The Corsair-X faceshield now accepts PinLock visors and ships with one for fog-free riding.
This construction allowed the Corsair-V to be the first helmet to meet the seemingly contradictory ECE and Snell impact certifications. ECE is a lower peak force threshold, said to be a more street-focused standard, while Snell is said to protect against harder, more track-focused high G-force impacts. Arai’s hard shell and soft liner approach appears to be vindicated by this result.
Just because Arai believes in incremental improvements, doesn’t mean the Corsair-X is just a warmed over Corsair-V. Only three components on Corsair-X were carried over from the V: the bottom trim, breath guard, and rear wing. This is largely due to the new shell and shield system which combine to take the steps toward Arai’s goals of having the exterior be as round and smooth as possible.
Unless you view the new shield pivot location in context, the 24mm lower location doesn’t sound like a lot. However, it’s a pretty sizeable bit of real estate on a helmet.
The Variable Axis System (VAS) shield arrangement was designed to meet two criteria. First, in response to customer requests, switching shields was made more intuitive and requires less of a leap of faith than the old system. On the X, pressing a lever on either side of the eye port causes the side pods to pop off, exposing the new pivot and release system. Second, the VAS helps Arai to move the shield mount 24mm lower on the shell to create more of the smooth surface on the helmet that the company desires.
Most helmets have the visor pivot located roughly in the same place on the shell to allow the visor to clear the top of the shell when opened. The VAS assists the visor in clearing the helmet top while also pulling the visor in to help tightly seal the eye port from intrusion of wind and/or precipitation. Additionally, a positive latching system adapted from Arai’s Formula 1 helmet was added to the visor. While it doesn’t guarantee that the visor will stay closed in a crash, the new latch hooks to the bottom of the visor to hold it in place. Opening the visor requires that the latch be pushed up to unlock the latch and lift the visor slightly so that the rider’s finger can continue the upward motion with the visor itself. I fumbled with the latch the first two times I exited the track. By the end of the third session, I’d figured it out.
Just line up the copper pin with the red dot, and the shield is ready to come off.
The new shell is lighter, thanks to a updated Peripheral Belting & Structural Net Composite2 (PB SNC2) resin, enabling the complete Corsair-X to weigh about the same as the V even with the additional components mounted on it. The shell is another area where Arai listened to its customers. The chin bar has been altered to allow, when combined with a resculpted chin liner, an extra 3mm of space in front of the rider’s mouth. (Riders who use communication systems will appreciate the additional room for a microphone.) While Arai claims the Corsair-X is still a mid-oval shape, the interior shape is a little longer front-to-back for increased comfort. By popular request, the chin vent is now user-replaceable instead of requiring a trip to an Arai service center as with previous generation Corsair’s.
The Corsair-X’s diffusers (left) are straighter and longer to promote better airflow and stability at street speeds.
The rest of the X’s vents also received makeovers. All three of the top vents sport new slide gate closures that, in addition to being easier to operate with gloves, seal better when closed. Additionally, the center vent flows a claimed 11% more air regardless of the rider’s head position, be it a racer tuck or a more upright street riding position. The two vents flanking the center vent were made 20mm longer to improve airflow over the back of the helmet. To minimize turbulence and provide better aerodynamics at street speeds, the vents are also straighter, no longer flaring out at the ends. A bump in front of all three top intakes is responsible, according to Arai, for the center vent’s increased airflow and for the 19% increase in the side vents.
The ASAC vent runs to the lower side exhaust port and creates airflow that can be felt at even low speeds.
The eye port also benefits from improved air flow. The ASAC air side channel that runs from the corner of the eye port to the new, more aggressive lower side vent now pulls more air and moisture out from behind the visor. Additionally, this new flow allows the brow vents to flow more cooling air into the same space. Since the ASAC runs near the rider’s ears, it is now enclosed to reduce noise. The neck roll exhaust vent is purported to flow the same volume as the V but via a smaller port.
The ASAC’s self-contained tunnel reduces wind noise.
The Corsair-X’s liner also saw improvements. It is thinner and now designed to break away under impact. The temple pads are customizable via removable 5mm sections of padding. While cheek pads of various thicknesses have been available for years, the crown pad also has thicker or thinner options available to suit differing head sizes. The Eco-Pure anti-microbial liner should fend off the dreaded helmet funk while still absorbing moisture. It is removable and washable. The chin curtain is now installed standard on the helmet, and it still allows for the chin spoiler to be pulled down.
Arai assembled the moto-press at Thunder Hill Raceway to test the Corsair-X on the track prior to sending most of the editors home with samples to test on the street. Unfortunately, my XL noggin was not one of the lucky ones which returned home with a new lid. I was able to use an ECE-certified European sample on the track, but for liability reasons, I could not take one home for street testing. The California weather gods made sure that all riders would have their vents open by providing temperatures in the upper 90s. Ducati ponied up Panigales of the 899 and 1299S varieties, and Pirelli served up the hot buns.
Slipping my long-oval head through the Corsair-X’s mid-oval opening was a snug fit, but once inside, my head felt perfectly at home. The front-back fit was a tad tight but, at the track during 20-minute sessions, not hotspot inducing. An Arai technician at the event allowed me to try a 2mm thinner forehead pad but stressed that, because of the softer EPS liner, I’d want the helmet’s initial fit to be quite snug. So, I returned to the thicker liner after a couple sessions.
The top vent sliders are easier to operate with gloves and seal better. The little bump in front of the vent increases airflow.
The venting around the eye port is fabulous. As soon as I closed the visor, before even pulling into the hot pit, I could feel the increased ventilation around my eyes. Once I got up to speed, the venting kept me cool throughout the day. Compared to my previous Arais, the X is fairly quiet – though that is relative given the high speeds and impressive exhaust notes of the Ducatis. Here is where a street test would be nice – the 460 miles back to SoCal would’ve been the ideal time to ponder helmet noise at highway speeds. Still, I expect to be favorably impressed with the Corsair-X quietness on the street. I feel I should mention that, even with the X’s relative quietness compared to current generation helmets, I wore earplugs on the track – as I always do – and so should you.
As with my previous on-track experience with Arais, the Corsair-X felt light on my head and didn’t suffer from any lift at speeds approaching 145 mph on the front straight. Similarly, popping up from behind the bubble and turning my head to look through the corners didn’t elicit any misbehavior from the lid. The best description I can come up with is that the Corsair-X felt less like a helmet I’d strapped on and more like an integral part of my head. When I was riding on the track, I had to make myself concentrate on what the helmet was (or was not) doing rather than having it call attention to itself through fit, stability, or noise issues. That’s about the best we can ask for from a helmet – other than protecting your melon from the slings and arrows of outrageous impacts.
The chin vent is now user replaceable.
While the eye port has retained its size, the new, thinner liner means a rider’s eyes are not as far away from the exterior edge of the opening. Consequently, the rider’s visual field is slightly increased, particularly at the upper part of the rider’s view when in a tucked position.
Though the visor doesn’t just pop off when you press the lever, switching visors is a much simpler process than before – mostly because you can see everything that you’re doing. You’ll still want to practice the swap a few times so that installing a clear visor at dusk will be quicker when you’re sitting on the side of the road. Also, the included Pinlock visor is a nice touch worthy of a premium-priced helmet, but it was completely unnecessary on our track day.
F1 helmet technology reaches the motorcycle market in the form of a positively locking visor latch.
Taking the Checkers
Although one day on the track can’t reveal how the Corsair-X will perform over time, we can look to Arai’s reputation for quality gear and our past experience to give an educated prediction of high performance worthy of its premium price. Additionally, this test won’t be complete until I get a chance to spend some street miles and hours inside the lid once my size arrives stateside. So, I’ll update it when I do.
Arai has, as evidenced by a day on the track, hit all of its comfort and convenience goals for the Corsair-X. The VAS faceshield system is more than just innovation for innovation’s sake. It helps move the design incrementally towards the smooth surface design goals for protecting riders through promoting glancing blows. The VAS also demonstrates Arai’s commitment to listening to riders by making shield changes easier.
The Corsair-X becomes an extension of your head once you’re on the bike.
The Corsair-X in sizes XS-2XL will be available in October in Black, Black Frost, White and Aluminum Silver solid colors and in race replicas, including the Hayden, Pedrosa, Vinales, and a special 30th Anniversary Freddie Spencer replica. Pricing ranges from for $839.95 to $849.95 for solid colors. Graphics move the MSRP to $969.95. The MSRPs include a $40 increase over the Corsair-V. To learn more, visit AraiAmericas.com.
Remember the mega splash Harley-Davidson made last summer with its electric LiveWire? No one expected the usually stodgy Motor Company to veer so sharply into the future, and the stylish e-bike was prominently featured across mainstream media outlets. Never before had electric motorcycles made such a huge impression on the general public.
The LiveWire is indeed cool, but what it isn’t is a motorcycle anyone can buy – for now, it’s only a prototype, an indicator of what could one day become reality.
Conversely, the bike you see here – Victory’s new Empulse TT – is getting geared up for production and will be available in dealers sometime in the fourth quarter of 2015. Although Victory Motorcycles has skewed to a future-forward direction more than its rivals over in Milwaukee, Victory had never truly leap-frogged Harley-Davidson during its 17-year history. However, this time – at least in terms of electric motorcycle production – it’s Victory taking the lead.
If it looks like a Brammo Empulse R to you, that’s because it mostly is. Victory made a few updates and provided new graphics with sparkling gold metalflake in the paint.
Victory was able to strike first thanks to parent company, Polaris, which has had a business relationship with Brammo for several years, culminating this past January with Polaris acquiring Brammo’s electric motorcycle assets. Brammo will continue to operate as an electric powertrain company independent of Victory.
The Empulse TT seen here will look familiar to e-bike aficionados, as it’s basically a mildly updated version of the Brammo Empulse R with fresh Victory graphics. The most notable changes are a lithium-ion battery pack with 10% greater capacity (now rated nominally at 10.4 kilowatt hours), a narrower rear tire, new seat material and a cush-drive setup using rubber dampers in the sprocket to ease the abrupt throttle transitions we noted in our previous testing.
The TT is otherwise a Brammo Empulse R, which includes good stuff like an aluminum frame, Brembo brakes and a fully adjustable Marzocchi/Sachs suspension. Powering the machine is a liquid-cooled AC induction motor said to produce 54 horsepower (at 4500 rpm) and 66 lb-ft of peak torque. Its price jumps one grand to $19,999.
Here’s a backdrop completely unexpected from a Victory media event.
The Empulse TT is part of Victory’s new corporate philosophy that highlights American performance and muscle, and the performance angle was on display at Colorado’s High Plains Raceway, a new track about an hour east of Denver, where Victory invited us for a day of spinning laps. The 2.55-mile track is set on natural hills that give the circuit more than 300 feet of elevation change per lap, with the steepest incline a 10% grade. (Interestingly, the facility was entirely financed by the collaboration of local car and motorcycle clubs.) Yes, it was the first Victory launch held at a racetrack.
“We define the brand now as performance and American muscle,” said Alex Hultgren, Victory’s new director of marketing, at the launch. Hultgren came over to Victory following 14 years at Ford. The performance bent was supported by Victory’s participation in the Isle of Man TT last June, and that effort begat the TT portion of the Empulse’s name.
Josh Katt, the product manager of Victory’s electric business, realizes that selling a $20k electric motorcycle has many challenges. He told us Victory is looking for Tony Stark-type figures as rider candidates, Iron Man types representing a tech-savvy, status-driven, thrill-seeker who enjoys collecting interesting toys. Katt notes there are 25,000 charging stations in the USA, and some 336,000 electric vehicles have been sold in America over the past 7 or 8 years, indicating a maturing EV market and infrastructure.
Tony Stark, your motorcycle has arrived.
Part of that maturation process is, I suppose, riding e-bikes on a racetrack, which was a first for me. The Empulse TT is unique in that it has a six-speed transmission instead of the single-ratio drive of practically every other EV. We’ve previously harped about the notchy action of the Italian-sourced IET gearbox and postulated that, for street use, it has three or four gears too many for the bottomless well of power produced from an electric motor. The gearbox also requires oil changes at 6k miles, which kinda goes against the low-maintenance appeal of EVs.
On the track, however, having to shift the transmission added to the engagement felt by a rider. Peak efficiency from the motor is delivered between 4500 and 6500 rpm, according to Jon Luschen, project engineer on the TT, and it was fun trying to keep an electric motor inside a specific rev range, although it’s a target unnecessary to hit precisely because the powerplant always has grunt to give.
The cush drive added to the TT has significantly damped the harsh driveline lash of the Brammo, making the Victory easier to ride smoothly.
And there’s enough power on tap to entertain even seasoned riders. Most of the track could be circulated in third gear, but an upshift to fifth was required to dig out a respectable 113 mph by the end of the track’s 2,800-foot straightaway. Initial power delivery is on the soft side, as the motor controller doesn’t transmit full power at the first twist of the twistgrip (it’s technically not a throttle). This level of response is close to ideal for street use, but experienced riders might desire a more aggressive map.
Sometimes the simplest things have major effects, and that’s the case with the switch from the Brammo’s 180/55-17 rear tire to the Victory’s 160/60 rear bun. What’s given up in terms of visual butchness is gained back in spades by dramatically more agile steering responses. The Empulse still weighs about 460 lbs, but it feels almost 70 lbs lighter just from the change in wheel/tire sizes. The only downside is that the rear hugger fender now looks overgrown for the skinnier tire.
Victory made a smart decision using a narrower rear wheel and tire, which reduces weight and takes handling from mildly reluctant to surprisingly quick.
The dual-disc front brakes are more than up to the task of slowing the Empulse, feeling really solid through braided lines and Brembo radial-mount 4-piston calipers. In fact, for street use, I’d be tempted to swap one of its 310mm rotors for a 330-mil disc and remove the second unit altogether. Doing so would drop several pounds from the front-wheel assembly and create an even nimbler sports roadster.
The twin-beam aluminum frame and stout 43mm inverted fork are beefy enough to put up with racetrack abuse, but the TT’s street intentions are put into focus when its footpegs are scraping around most of High Plain’s corners. Keep in mind that ground clearance issues on the street aren’t as prevalent, and it allows much greater lean angles than a Zero S or SR.
The Empulse TT’s upright riding position is better suited for the street than the track, but the thing was a gas – ha! – to ride at High Plains Raceway.
Victory says the Empulse’s instrumentation was updated, but it’s still basically the same set of gauges. Its large gear-position indicator is handy. However, it would’ve been nice to see the TT with some additional tuning options like the smartphone app on Zero Motorcycles that allow customizable torque output and levels of regenerative braking.
As with every electric vehicle ever made, the TT’s range is an issue. Victory claims up to 140 miles of range from its 10.4 kW/h lithium-ion battery pack, but that number would be impossible if ridden all at highway speeds. Two years ago, we ran an Empulse R (with its smaller, 9.3 kWh battery) “dry” in just 50 really, really hard miles. Running around on a racetrack is a worst-case scenario: the TT’s battery dropped from 87% to 39% after one long session (about 9 laps). Impressively, the Empulses were flogged all day on the track, and none had any issues with thermal cutback – an issue that afflicts Zero’s air-cooled motors used on a racetrack.
The Empulse TT is equipped with an onboard quick-charger (right) able to charge the battery from zero to 95% in 3.5 hours via a J1772 adaptor if it has a 240-volt power supply.
The Empulse TT marks a turning point in electric motorcycles, as one is finally being brought to market by a major OEM. If you recall, Brammos were once sold by Best Buy, the electronics store. Meanwhile, Harley is still figuring out what to do with its LiveWire. There are some faster e-bikes out there. However, all are significantly significantly more expensive than the Empulse, and most reside somewhere between proof-of-concept and attainability.
More significant than the current Empulse is what might lie ahead now that a well-capitalized company like Polaris/Victory and its engineering and design depth are behind its successor. We’ll bet it won’t have a six-speed transmission and will be called the Victory Charger.
No, this article isn’t just an excuse to post photos of a beautiful AC Sanctuary custom. These photos, together with the photo of the Honda CB1100 at the bottom, are simply here to illustrate a point. Designs from the 60s and 70s are the hottest designs of the current market … aren’t they? Take a […]... Click Here for Article
The second coming of the international Scrambler You Are video contest is taking submissions now through October 20, 2015. The best video designated by the official jury will win a 5,000 Euro prize. A 1,000 Euro prize will also be awarded to the runner up voted by the popular online jury. A contestant will also be chosen from among the finalists to work with Ducati as assistant director on the production of a short film about the Scrambler world.
This year’s contest is dedicated to the Ducati Scrambler world’s “Land of Joy” theme. The theme is based around street culture: with a video lasting from 60 to 120 seconds, participants are invited to portray the “urban jungle” with its wall paintings, skate parks, street food, outdoor scenes, nature and bikes. Restricted to video makers of 18 years and above, the contest is open to unpublished works filmed digitally.
Contending video makers can check the rules and regulations (available in eight languages) and can upload their videos at the scramblerducati.com website. All video clips reaching the Scrambler website are judged by the users of the portal and subsequently by a jury made up of cinema and communication specialists.
New for 2016 the Indian Roadmaster is available with new color options that include Blue Diamond plus two-tone Storm Gray & Thunder Black and Springfield Blue and Cream. The Roadmaster includes nearly 38 gallons of storage, a power-adjustable windscreen, heated grips, dual heated seats, ABS, tire pressure monitoring system, keyless ignition with remote locking storage, electronic cruise control, advanced infotainment system and Bluetooth capability.
Colors & Prices
Thunder Black: $27,999
Blue Diamond: $28,599
Springfield Blue and Ivory Cream: $29,399
Indian Motorcycle Red® and Ivory Cream: $29,399
Storm Gray and Thunder Black: $29,399
Now available with ABS the 2016 Indian Scout returns with its compact design, low 25.3-inch seat height, and liquid-cooled 100 hp, 69 cubic-inch V-twin engine.
Wildfire Red: $11,299
Thunder Black Smoke: $11,299
Silver Smoke: $11,299
Indian Motorcycle Red (with ABS): $11,999
Chief Dark Horse The 2016 Indian Chief Dark Horse features a matte black finish from end-to-end and only a flash of chrome. Featuring a low seat height and the lowest price for any Thunder Stroke 111 powered Indian, the Dark Horse starts at just $16,999. The 2016 Indian Chief Dark Horse rolls with standard ABS, a remote key fob for keyless ignition, electronic cruise control, and features a two-year unlimited mileage factory warranty.
Colors & Prices
Thunder Black Smoke: $16,999
. Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and Chieftain For 2016, Indian Motorcycle returns with its lineup of Indian Chief models. Powered by the Thunder Stroke 111 engine and covered in chrome, the Indian Chief family delivers styling and performance. The 2016 Indian Chief lineup, starting at $17,699, offers new color options including:
Indian Chief Classic: Pearl White
Indian Chief Vintage: Star Silver & Thunder Black
Indian Chieftain: Silver Smoke, Indian Motorcycle Red & Ivory Cream, Star Silver & Thunder Black
Experience the 2016 Lineup at the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally or at the company’s website.
Hero MotoCorp has entered a settlement agreement to acquire certain consulting assets of Erik Buell Racing for $2.8 million. The settlement agreement, which is still subject to approval by the Circuit Court of Wisconsin and Hero MotoCorp’s board of directors, isn’t the full acquisition of EBR that some have hoped for; instead it would let Hero retain certain research and development assets including projects EBR had been working on for Hero.
According to the announcement filed with the Bombay Stock Exchange, the assets will officially be acquired by Hero’s North American subsidiaries, HMCL NA, Inc., and HMCL Americas Inc. With the acquisition, those assets will be excluded from any other potential sale of EBR through its Chapter 128 receivership.
“The performance of the Settlement Agreement will help Hero MotoCorp’s in-house research and development teams to accelerate development of certain consulting projects, including the projects EBR was executing for the Company at the time of fling fo the Chapter 128 Receivership,” reads a statement from Hero.
The Triumph Bonneville T214 pays homage to Johnny Allen and his Texas Ceegar streamliner that set the motorcycle land speed record of 214.40 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1956.
The Texas Ceegar was a Triumph Thunderbird 650cc-powered, methanol-fuelled streamliner. It was conceived and built by airline pilot J.H. “Stormy” Mangham and Fort Worth Triumph dealer, tuner and 2001 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductee Jack Wilson. Johnny Allen had six world speed records in various classes and distances before capturing the outright motorcycle land speed record.
Paying homage to the Texas Ceegar, the 865cc parallel twin Bonneville T214, is based on a Bonneville T100 and features many unique attributes:
Individually numbered 1,000 unit production
Hand painted Caspian Blue and Pure White color scheme with red and white checker detailing
Tank badge celebrating Johnny Allen’s 1956 land speed record
Smaller deep bowl headlight
Black rims, handlebars and rear suspension springs
While the Bonneville T214 is a salute to the past, Triumph is also looking towards the future. Guy Martin will be piloting the dual Triumph Rocket III engine-powered streamliner, hoping to surpass the current record of 376.363 mph. The record run is scheduled for later this summer at the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah. Follow the progress of the world land speed record attempt at TriumphLandSpeed.com.
For a limited time beginning in August, Polaris dealers will have for sale a limited edition Slingshot SL in Black Pearl. MSRP: $26,199.
The Black Pearl SL Limited Edition features Indy Red color accents on its frame rails, coil springs and swing arm as well as black seats with grey accents. The new Slingshot features a new low profile tinted blade windscreen and interior LED white and blue lighting.
“The Black Pearl LE represents everything Slingshot stands for – exhilaration, innovation and head-turning design.” says Craig Scanlon, vice president of Slingshot. “With limited quantities available of this new Slingshot, we expect the demand to be huge.”
The base model starts at $21,199 features titanium metallic paint, front 17-inch alloy wheels and an 18-inch wheel in the rear. The Slingshot SL, at $25,199 comes in Red Pearl paint, 18-inch cast aluminum wheels upfront and a 20-inch wheel in the rear, as well as a blade windscreen. It also features a media console with a 4.3-inch LCD screen, back-up camera, Bluetooth integration and a 6-speaker audio system. The Slingshot SL LE offers all of the same upgrades as the Slingshot SL, but with Black Pearl paint color for $26,199.
In its latest press release, Motus, the all-American V4 sport-tourer, has announced production has hit a point where bikes are shipping weekly. In addition, it has added a new dealer in Southern California: San Diego BMW. According to the Motus press release, the San Diego BMW crew has experience not only in road racing, but in long-distance events as well, making it a dealership that meshes well with the Motus ethos. Reservations for Motus MSTs are already being accepted.
In other news, Motus will be in attendance at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, August 9, 2015 to answer questions about its unique motorcycle. Motus also hinted at a few surprises it will be bringing along as well.
On July 22, the AMA had gathered over 25,000 signatures in its petition to the EPA protesting increased ethanol content in gasoline. Today, the AMA delivered 29,379 signatures to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with a stern message in opposition to the agency’s proposal to increase the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel.
Below is the full press release issued by the AMA:
The American Motorcyclist Association delivered 29,379 signatures to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today, along with a stern message in opposition to the agency’s proposal to increase the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard proposal announced on May 29 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would increase the risk of inadvertent misfueling for motorcyclists and all-terrain-vehicle owners by forcing the widespread availability of higher-ethanol fuel blends, such as E15,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations.
The EPA proposed setting the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014 at the levels that were actually produced and used, which totaled 15.93 billion gallons. But for 2015, the standard rises to 16.3 billion gallons. And for 2016, the total increases again, to 17.4 billion gallons.
“By increasing the amounts of ethanol into America’s gasoline marketplace, the EPA will force the fuel marketplace to exceed the blend wall by hundreds of millions of gallons,” Allard said.
The blend wall is the point at which no more ethanol can be blended without creating higher blends like E15 and above.
“By forcing higher-ethanol fuel blends into the marketplace, the E10 most Americans currently rely on for their vehicles could become less available and gasoline with no ethanol may become virtually unavailable,” Allard said.
None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles currently in use in the United States are certified by the EPA to use fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol. Inadvertent misfueling may cause engine or fuel system damage and void the manufacturer’s warranty.
During the EPA’s comment period on the proposed rule, the AMA collected signatures on an online petition opposing the higher ethanol mandate and asking the EPA to lower, rather than increase, the standard.
The comment period ended today. And the AMA forwarded those signatures, along with its comments, to the EPA. The EPA intends to take final action on this proposal by Nov. 30, which would return the agency to the program’s statutory timeline for issuing RFS annual rules.
In addition to its comments to the EPA, the AMA unveiled the results of a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research & Consulting that shows Americans are divided on the issue of growing crops for fuel.
The poll, which surveyed 1,000 likely 2016 voters, showed that 45 percent of those polled said they oppose the federal mandates that require increasing amounts of corn ethanol in our nation’s fuel supply. Just 31 percent favored the mandate. After learning about the potential engine and fuel system damage caused by ethanol, 78 percent of respondents said they had “very serious concerns” about E15 use.
The poll also showed that 67 percent of people favor the agency setting ethanol volumes below what is currently required by law, with 68 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of Republicans supporting volumes lower than the statute.
“We commissioned this poll to better quantify and qualify the reactions Americans have toward the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s continuing effort to mandate more ethanol in our fuel each year,” Allard said. “The results prove that, just like our members, rank and file Americans have serious concerns about the damaging and far-reaching effects of excessive ethanol production and that they support efforts to reign in this misdirected federal policy.”
The poll was conducted via phone with professional interviewers using both landline and cell phones from July 6 through July 10. Interviewers reached 1000 likely national 2016 voters who self-identified as follows: 400 Democrats, 340 Republicans and 226 Independents.
Touring America is one thing. Expanding your range to include Canada and Mexico is another. But for truly leaving your comfort zone behind, nothing beats putting an ocean between you and home. Whether your foreign country of choice be Africa, Australia, Japan or one or many of the Eastern or Western European countries, touring abroad is an experience tailor-made for motorcycle travel, largely because the rest of the world is more inviting to motorcyclists. You’ll return not only with life-long memorable experiences but also with a new perspective about motorcycling.
Preparation is key to a smooth, traveling-abroad experience. Many of the tools and words of advice from this month’s previous Guides apply here:
That’s not me riding on the wrong side of the road. The above photo was snapped in the Scottish Highlands during the press launch for Triumph’s then-new 2013 Trophy. Riding legally on the side of the road with which you’re unaccustomed is one of numerous possible adaptations you’ll need to make when touring a foreign country. The majority of countries drive to the right, but Australia, India, Japan, UK, as well as many others, like to keep things interesting. Here’s a useful reference for verifying which side of the road the laws of the country you’re visiting consider the correct side. www.worldstandards.eu.
Good thing the color red universally means stop and green universally means go, stop signs universally have eight sides and warning signs three. However, traffic signs will vary by country, which can be very difficult if you’re traveling across Europe where a sign’s meaning may be interpreted differently from country to country. Don’t freak out, most times common sense will prevail but if you’re unsure, stop, find someone who speaks your language, and ask.
Unlike the lethargy with which most Americans adhere to traffic laws, other countries, Germany for instance, are very serious about obeying the rules of the road. Merge onto the autobahn then park in the left lane with cruise control engaged, and you’ll wind up spaetzles in the grill of some herr’s Porsche. Motorcyclists must always be vigilant, but never more so than when traveling in unfamiliar territory. Observe those around you and follow the pack. Until you understand the intricacies of what is, and what’s not acceptable, in terms of road etiquette, it’s best to emulate those who do.
Ship or Rent
Shipping your motorcycle overseas can be a lengthy, expensive and risky proposition. If you’re hellbent on sharing the experience with your two-wheeled best friend, contact a company such as Schumacher Cargo Logistics to determine your international shipping needs. Then double and triple check your insurance coverages. If you’re okay leaving your beloved behind in lieu of a temporary rental, you’re in luck because Europe has an abundance of motorcycle brands and models available to suit any kind of rider and riding style. Renting a bike sure seems to be the better – by that we mean easier and cheaper – way to go when it comes to international motorcycle touring. Rentals are available through a multitude of companies. One of the most comprehensive is AdMo, which offers motorcycle rentals around the world. Familiarize yourself with the rental bike before pushing too hard, and remember that your braking distances will be longer if you’re carrying a lot of gear.
Personal GPS Tracker
A personal GPS safety tracker serves a multitude of purposes. First and foremost, it’ll work where cellphones don’t – a pretty important clause if,say, you’re touring the Mongolian border. A device such as SPOT “provides location-based messaging and emergency notification technology that allows you to communicate from remote locations around the globe. It offers custom tracking interval options and motion-activated tracking.” With the push of a button you can provide your GPS coordinates to local response teams, check-in with family and friends to let them know you’re okay, alert your personal contacts that you need help in non-life-threatening situations, allow others to follow your progress online in near real-time.
Your adventure begins in a small, uncomfortable airplane seat, 32,000 feet up traveling at 600 mph. After flying for an ungodly amount of time, with maybe a layover in between, you’ll land somewhere fantastic where the local time is 2 pm and your hometown time is 2 am. Depending on your ability for in-flight sleep, you may feel rested, but your internal clock is f*&ked. Prepare for jet lag by allowing yourself a day to reset your sleeping pattern. Sleeping aides will help force the issue. Editor Duke recommends taking a melatonin supplement and an over-the-counter sleeping pill when it’s nighttime at your destination. Also remember to take breaks during your day trips. Riding a motorcycle demands your full attention, which will admittedly be compromised by your ogling all the pretty foreign stuff passing through your field of vision. Keep yourself and those around you safe by having your mental capabilities fully rested and operating at 100%.
International Medical & Trip Cancellation Insurance
International medical insurance covers you for emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation while traveling outside your home country. Emergency medical evacuations will get you out of a remote area and transported to a place where you can receive proper medical care, while repatriation coverage ensures your body is properly transported home or to a nearby funeral home.
Travel medical insurance generally provides for:
Reimbursement for unexpected medical and dental costs
Help obtaining emergency medical transportation when you are injured.
Payment for emergency medical evacuation services, including medical care
Emergency travel assistance to help you locate a local medical facility
Accidental death and dismemberment to help take care of your family if you are seriously injured or killed while traveling
If you plan on taking an overseas trip, the expense of such an endeavor requires you to consider trip cancellation insurance. Trip cancellation (and trip interruption) insurance provides reimbursement of prepaid nonrefundable costs in the case of a cancellation or interruption due to a covered reason. With trip cancellation insurance, an unexpected occurrence such as illness, a visa or passport delay, business conflict, etc., will not cause you to forfeit a large sum of money.
Many countries require you to first obtain a visa prior to entering. A visa is an official government document temporarily authorizing you to be in the country you are visiting. The granting of a tourist visa oftentimes requires visitors to have at least six months of time prior to the passport expiring. Turkey, for example, requires a tourist visa and eight months of time on a passport. Visas can take a long time to acquire, depending on the country you’re wanting to visit. Information about visas for individual countries as well as links to official visa sites can be found at the U.S. Passports & International Travel website.
Vaccines & Immunizations
Malaria, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, etc., etc. As if motorcycling isn’t dangerous enough, there’s no lack of microscopic ways in which to risk your health when traveling abroad. Did you know there’s a “meningitis belt” in sub-Saharan Africa? Most are preventable by way of pills or injections. Make sure to research what’s trying to kill you prior to your departure at the U.S. Travel website mentioned above or at the CDC website wwwnc.cdc.gov.
I hate being the nihilistic voice of MO, but when it comes to the state of American talent at world-level motorcycle road racing, we’re f*#ked. If the swirling rumors of Nicky Hayden’s departure from MotoGP come to pass, it’ll be the first time since 1977 America’s been absent from competing at the world’s highest level of two-wheel racing. Truly sad – especially considering the U.S. hosts two MotoGP rounds.
Sure, I’m a Vale Rossi fan who’d love to see the old man reclaim his former glory in a last hurrah this season. But that doesn’t mean I’m not into supporting my fellow compatriot at his home rounds in Texas and Indy. Nicky’s not in contention for the championship, so there’s no reason I can’t cheer the guy in the middle of the pack as much as the guy at the front of the pack.
The real issue, though, isn’t the departure of Hayden from MotoGP, it’s the vacuum of American talent, the Mr. Nobody alternate, there to take his place. There’s scuttlebutt about Hayden maybe moving to World Superbike, which would make him the only American competing in that series. If, for some reason, a WSBK ride doesn’t materialize and Hayden retires from MotoGP, we’d be left with no Americans in either world-level series.
I don’t particularly care for pop country music. There’s no stars and stripes streaming from the back of my Japanese pick-up truck. You won’t find me espousing the unfounded virtues of American exceptionalism. But let’s put into perspective the role of American racers competing in both MotoGP/500cc and World Supers.
The competitiveness between fellow American racers Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz in the late ’80s and early ’90s is legendary.
American MotoGP/500cc World Champions
Kenny Roberts Jr
Our Grand Prix golden age was the years spanning from 1978 – when “King” Kenny Roberts began the American domination of 500cc Grand Prix motorcycle racing – to Kevin Schwantz’s title in 1993. Thirteen championships out of 16 seasons. Kenny Roberts Jr. followed in his dad’s footsteps with a championship title in 2000. Six years later Hayden made his cameo appearance in the hall of champions, but there hasn’t been an American since, and there doesn’t appear to be one on the horizon.
We’re no better off in the World Superbike series. This year’s demise of Larry Pegram’s Team Hero EBR squad was a double whammy that left the WSBK paddock devoid of both American racer and American motorcycle. An emigration for Hayden from MotoGP to WSBK would, at least, keep America represented in a world series, but we’d be hanging by thread.
When WSBK launched in 1988, America’s motorcycle racing talent pool was spilling over. We won five championships out of the first six seasons; 1988 to 1993, while concurrently winning 500cc Grand Prix championships.
American World Superbike Champions
Double World Superbike Champion, Colin Edwards aboard the Honda VTR1000.
What happened? Did America squander its motorcycle road racing talent like watering a Las Vegas golf course? Blame it on the Great Recession, DMG’s hostaging of American Superbike racing, Justin Bieber, the removal of artificial colors and flavors from breakfast cereals, I don’t know, blame it on something or nothing. What I do know is we gotta get our motorcycle racing mojo back. Hopefully, three-time 500cc Grand Prix World Champion, Wayne Rainey and his crew at MotoAmerica can resolve the problem and set a course for a second coming of American racing talent.
MotoAmerica Superbike points leader Cameron Beaubier (pictured) and Patrick (PJ) Jacobsen, currently third in the World SuperSport series, are two young American racers with possible MotoGP/WSBK futures.
Which is exactly what Rainey and KTM are doing with the KTM RC Cup. From an interview Troy Siahaan conducted with Rainey earlier this year, Rainey says “One of the other things we’re doing this year that we’re really excited about is that we have this KTM RC390 Cup. It’s a spec cup for amateur racers. It’s the first time, I believe, that in the AMA championship at least, that we’ve been able to have an amateur series involved with a national championship, so it gives the teams a chance to look at the talent coming through. Everybody’s on a spec bike, they’re reasonably priced, and also it gives them the experience to be racing at a national championship.
“If there’s one thing we were maybe lacking before,” Rainey continued, “it was giving youngsters a chance to get there [Europe] sooner. We didn’t have that. This is a great idea that KTM came up with, and at the end of the day, the winner gets to go on to Europe and race. So, I think it’s an awesome thing. I’ve said this before: if I was 14 years old, I’d have five or six paper routes, I’d be having my mom and dad do whatever it took to do this. This is going to be great for our series.”
Rainey has been a longtime advocate of motorcycle road racing in America. He was influential in MotoGP’s return to Laguna Seca in 2005, and now he’s holding the reigns to MotoAmerica. If he applies the same determination to making MotoAmerica successful and developing a youthful talent pool as he did to his own racing career (which you have to assume he will), it bodes well that America could regain its lofty position on the world stage of motorcycle road racing.
Let’s also give some much-deserved credit to KTM, for without its RC Cup there’d be no national venue dedicated to grooming the next generation of American road racers. From KTM’s RC Cup Race Guide:
“KTM understands the importance of catering to future riders of bigger displacement models by stimulating the market with smaller displacement sportbikes. With this in mind, the company is ecstatic to be partnering with MotoAmerica for the 2015 KTM RC Cup; allowing the next generation of racers to attack America’s most renowned circuits on the new KTM RC 390 Cup Race Bike.” Amen to that, KTM!
Fifteen-year-olds Braeden Ortt (551) and Anthony Mazziotto III (516) battling for victory in the KTM RC 390 Cup final at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The irony here is that KTM is still largely recognized in the U.S. as a dirtbike company. With the roadracing recognition of the RC Cup in the MotoAmerica series, the Super Duke R earning Bike of the Year honors from us, as well as other publications, KTM’s persona is quickly changing.
Hopefully, the efforts of Rainey, KTM and all the unsung heroes of U.S. motorcycle road racing will save the American MotoGP/WSBK champion from extinction. It’s probably going to take a while because, from a world perspective, stock in American roadracing has fallen far, but I’m faithful it’ll rebound. In the meantime, I’m hoping Hayden and Rossi can keep competing for a couple more seasons. No offense to Lorenzo, Marquez, et al., but let’s face it, they’re neither American nor are they Rossi.
The last dinosaur? Nicky Hayden was at Laguna Seca signing autographs during the recent World Superbike round. Was he taking inventory?
Former MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner suffered a serious crash during the Suzuka 8 Hour, breaking his right shoulder blade and left ankle. The crash occurred on the approach the sharp Suzuka Hairpin on Stoner’s first turn on the Team MuSASHi RT HARC-PROHonda CBR1000RR.
Stoner took over for the team’s starter, Takumi Takahashi after 24 laps. Takahashi entered the pits in second place before passing the bike over to Stoner. The 2007 and 2011 MotoGP Champion worked his way into the lead on his first lap before the crash:
From the 20-second mark in the video, the CBR seemed to shudder a bit before Stoner starts running wide on the right turn. Stoner tucks in the front end when he hits the grass leading to a dramatic tumble through a barrier.
“Unfortunately, we experienced some mechanical trouble as I was going through the corner leading up to the hairpin,” says Stoner. “I did not have enough time to engage the clutch and I came in with too much speed, I picked the bike up to try to slow down more but I was heading towards the wall so I decided to lay it over and hit the barrier but unfortunately, they were a lot harder than they looked and we came out of it with a broken bone in the ankle and broken scapular.”
Congratulations to Yamaha (and teammates Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith and Katsuyuki Nakasuga) for breaking Honda’s string of victories at the Suzuki 8 Hours yesterday. For us, there is an even bigger story coming out of this race. Imagine this — you convince your retired MotoGP star (a company “VIP” so important you would not allow […]... Click Here for Article
Yamaha’s original V-Max was wild, bombastic, and an absolute shock to the senses when it was first introduced to the masses 30 years ago. Nearly 20 years later the V-Max was still in Yamaha’s lineup, still delivering mind-numbing straight-line performance. You’d think that two decades would be enough time for the competition to narrow the performance gap, but that was never the case. So, for this Church of MO feature, Eric Bass revisits the original V-Max. The year is 2004, but that doesn’t really matter, as the V-Max is one of those rare bikes that will leave people breathless no matter what year it is. Also, be sure to visit the photo gallery to see even more pictures of this iconic motorcycle.
2004 Yamaha V-Max
By Eric Bass May. 20, 2004
Photos by Ivy Brooks
When someone says “musclebike” the V-Max should jump to the forefront of your mind.
Yamaha’s V-Max is the Jerry Rice of motorcycles. Been around for almost 20 years. A living legend. Light years ahead of its competition back in the days of its youth. And somehow still blowing past the young bucks like they were standing still, leaving them shaking their heads with looks of, “How’d you do me like that Old Man?!” , written across their faces. Like the esteemed Mr. Rice, the V-Max is a straight-up freak that breaks new ground for functional longevity with each passing year. You keep waiting for it to be retired, but it keeps on dusting whatever you throw at it. V-Rods? Get back! Warriors? Puhlease!
Quite possibly the greatest streetbike engine ever produced
As the 1200cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, 70° V4 hits 6000 rpm, the V-Boost induction kicks in, opening a servo-controlled butterfly valve which creates an expressway for the mixture from the four 35mm Mikuni downdraft carbs. At the same time, the lumpy cams are reaching the sweet-spot in their tuning and the whole shebang becomes a howling freight train which tries to dislocate your arms, as the shaft drive delivers the good news to the 150/90-V15 rear skin, and your opponent comes clearly into focus in your rear-view mirror. Then you briefly engage the hydraulically activated diaphragm-type clutch and do it again, and again. You get the picture. It would get boring except that it’s so dang much fun!
The V-Max’s cockpit is suprisingly fresh looking, considering it was designed in Japan nearly 20 years ago.
That is until that stop light, which seemed so far off in the distance when you first dumped the clutch, looms larger and larger and turns yellow just as you enter that nether-distance where you cooould nail it, or you cooould hit the brakes. My personal recommendation? Nail it! The V-Max carries 580 lbs of dry weight plus fluids and whatever your personal poundage brings to the equation. It may launch like a sportbike but it don’t brake like one. Yamaha made a game effort at trying to tame the rampaging beast with dual 298mm front discs with 4-piston calipers and single 282mm rear disc brakes. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s still a rampaging beast.
No, it isn’t THAT old.
Should you encounter curves along your route, the V-Max behaves itself so long as you do. The 43mm front fork affords 5.5″ of travel and air-assist adjustability, while the dual rear shocks feature 4-position rebound damping and 5-click spring preload variations. Tinker all you want, just don’t get carried away thinking you’re gonna lean her over hard to see what part drags first. That part most likely will be you.
Aesthetically, the muscle-bike most resembles a collegiate wrestler. Short, buff, and powerful. The thick, stubby pipes flare away from the bike like the arms of a steroid freak who can’t keep them down by his sides anymore. The color scheme, like that of #80, is an exercise in Oakland Raider silver and black. The voice of the engine and exhaust seems to growl, “Don’t mess with me” at idle, and roars “Don’t F*#kin Mess With Me!” when you roll the throttle open. That’s with stock pipes. Install a set of good quality aftermarket pipes and do a little intake tuning and you’ll end-up with the aural equivalent of an NHRA Pro Stock Mountain Motor V-8.
Two, count em TWO shocks for the price of one.
If speed is what you need, but you don’t see yourself as the Joe Rocket-eer type, the V-Max offers plenty of cheap thrills and offers comfortable cruisability for those nights on the boulevard. In fact, at first, I spent several awkward moments trying to decide if I should grab a full-face or half-dome before straddling the steed. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but the point is that the V-Max is a unique species unto itself. Unlike its peers, and contrary to popular rumor, Mr. Max seems to show no signs of becoming extinct anytime soon. When and IF Yamaha decides to replace the V-Max, they will need to bring nearly 200hp to the table. Especially if they hope to place it as far ahead of its peers as the original was in the mid-80s.
Tough guys always turn their back to the camera, we’re not sure why EBass is facing-away.
2004 V-Max Specs
MSRP: $10,899* Available from July 2003 Engine Type: 1198cc, liquid-cooled, 16-valve, DOHC, 70° V-4 Bore x Stroke: 76 X 66mm Compression Ratio: 10.5:1 Carburetion: 35mm Mikuni downdraft-type w/V-Boost Ignition: Digital TCI Transmission: 5-speed w/hydraulically activated diaphragm-type clutch Final Drive: Shaft Chassis Suspension/Front: 40mm telescopic fork w/air-assist; 5.5″ travel Suspension/Rear: Dual shocks w/adjustable spring preload and rebound damping; 3.94″ travel Brakes/Front: Dual 298mm Discs Brakes/Rear: 282mm Disc Tires/Front: 110/90-V18 Tires/Rear: 150/90-V15 Length: 90.6″ Width: 31.3″ Height: 45.7″ Seat Height: 30.1″ Wheelbase: 62.6″ Dry Weight: 580 Lbs. Fuel Capacity: 4.0 Gallons Color: Matte Black Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
This week’s video shows a motorcycle engine disintegrating before our eyes as layer-by-layer disappear to show the air-cooled single’s inner workings.
Even more impressively, the video was not done by CGI; instead it is a time-lapsed video of an actual Yamaha motorcycle engine being sanded down millimeter by milimeter. Produced by Espadaysantacruz Studio for 3M to showcase its Cubitron II sander which was used to slowly grind away at the engine.