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 Topic: Church Of MO Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5 Riding Impression
Church Of MO Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5 Riding Impression [message #7745] Sun, 01 March 2015 07:41
Anonymous

A quick glance at the MO front page will reveal an overload of sportbike-related material this week. From Chief Editor Duke’s third installment of racetracks he’s ridden, to my very own review of the game-changing 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M, I realize MO seems a little sportbike heavy. In response, let’s change gears and focus our attention at this, the Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5. Where the aforementioned Yamaha is entirely tech-focused, the Sixty-5 is firmly planted in the 1950s. One cylinder, two valves, pushrods and carburettors… tech that wasn’t particularly impressive even 60 years ago. However, these things run like tanks, and if you go to Royal Enfield’s Indian home you’ll likely see plenty of these running around. 

Instead of traveling abroad, we’ll instead travel back in time, 2006 to be exact, to this ride report of the Sixty-5 from contributor Patrick Barnett. Hear his thoughts as he pilots a motorcycle virtually unchanged from what his father, or grandfather even, might have ridden. Also, don’t forget to visit the Sixty-5 photo gallery for more pictures.


Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5 Riding Impression

One of the most unique experiences to be found on two wheels

 
“What in the world is a Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5?”

That’s a question I was asked many times while I was testing this bike here at my western North Carolina home. To get the full story it is necessary to go back not just to the last century, but to 1898. Royal Enfield initially began producing bicycles, before building their first motorcycle in 1900. These early machines were fitted with donor engines, and it wasn’t until 1927 that the British company began manufacturing their own engine: a 488cc single cylinder with a four-speed gearbox.

1932 saw the first Bullet and over the next thirty or so years, this simple single underwent continued improvement and refinement. During this time the company made a number of different motorcycles, even selling various singles and twins under the Indian name from 1955 to 1959 here in America. By 1962 the company had been sold and the new owners lasted just eight years under the onslaught of Japanese motorcycles flooding into the country. And that would have been the end of the once-proud company, had it not been for a strange twist of fate.

MO goes high-tech. Royal Enfield also does our HTML coding.

MO goes high-tech. Royal Enfield also does our HTML coding.

In 1954, the Indian government placed an order to purchase 800 Royal Enfields for duty along the Pakistani border. The simple, rugged single proved to be very successful in the harsh terrain and similar orders were placed for 1955 and 1956. Filling orders of this magnitude was no easy task for the small British company, so a factory was established in India to meet the demand. The Enfield India, Ltd. company was born, and close to fifty years later, 20,000 bikes still roll out of the factory every year. The new motorcycles look nearly identical to the bikes originally produced in 1956; very little change has actually occurred. Technology has crept in over the years, with improved metallurgy, new machining techniques and more durable parts. Major changes include the new five-speed gearbox — which now shifts on the left — the electric starter and 12-volt electrics.

The heart of the Royal Enfield remains the same though, with a 499cc piston thumping up and down beneath you. The two valves are opened and closed by pushrods, and a single 28mm carburetor adds fuel to the cylinder. With a 5.5:1 compression ratio, don’t expect a big explosion during the old suck, squeeze, bang, blow cycle.(I’ve never heard internal combustion — or anything except pornography — described like this. -Ed.) What you get with the Bullet is a rhythmic sucking sound followed by a gentle exhale as the piston comes wandering back up to top dead center to expel the burned gas.

Enfield30

Power is transmitted to the rear wheel through a five-speed gearbox via a chain drive. This is new for Royal Enfield; earlier models used a four-speed unit. I have ridden Enfields with both right and left foot shift and can safely say they are both as bad as each other, making gear selection something of a minor adventure.

I am happy to report there has been major progress in the new gearbox. It can still make you work for top gear on occasion, but for the majority of the time it shifts very sweetly and makes the whole process of downshifting one of the most fun parts of the Enfield experience. Zipping up the mountain to my house one day, I was reminded of a paragraph I wrote about riding an Enfield across the Himalayas of Northern India a few years ago, and due to the large smile it brought back to my face, I thought I would share it with you.

“The Enfield itself was a bit of a cantankerous old beast. Treat her with love and affection, gently nurture her along and she would perform just fine. Ask her to start in a hurry from cold, or change down from second to first on a steep, blind, hairpin turn and it was a definite “No!” There was a rumor that my Enfield had four gears and a front and rear brake. In reality, there was a back brake, and on the odd occasion when the moon was in correct alignment, she had all four gears.”

Can you take the KISS rule too far?

Can you take the KISS rule too far?

In defense of the machine, the bike I rode in India was badly beaten, and the Royal Enfields on sale here in America since 1995 are in a different league. After a long winter of neglect at some dealership up north, the Enfield that arrived at my house a couple of months ago needed to be checked into Precision Cycle of Sylva, North Carolina for some necessary rehab. Once there, my buddy Jeff replaced a broken push rod tube, a bad battery and dead starter solenoid, before lubing, adjusting and tweaking all the bike’s important little places. Arriving one beautiful spring day to find the bike starting on the touch of the button — or one very easy kick — I roared off in search of adventure on the smallest, quietest back roads I could find.

With the sun shining down through the partial foliage, the Enfield was in its element as we pottered along the lazy Tuckaseegee River. Fly fishermen in tire rafts bobbed in sparkling patches of light, gently tempting their prey in the cool dark pools along the riverbank. As the Enfield settled into a lazy, huffing beat, I breathed a little deeper, sighed a long sigh and absorbed the natural beauty of my local area. Slowly unwinding, I found the Bullet’s sweet spot as we swung gently back and forth through the tight bends. I had softened the rear suspension and on the smooth road it was treating me just fine. Setting up early for the corners and planning my braking well in advance, I spent an enjoyable few hours meandering on the lightly-trafficked roads.

Enfield6The bike’s gentle power output is not intimidating, but the brakes certainly can get your heart rate up if you are not careful. Using a seven-inch twin leading-shoe drum brake up front, and a six-inch drum in the rear, stopping is not one of the Bullet’s strongest attributes. The brakes do stop the bike; it just takes some time and major lever effort. If you stay on the back brake too hard it will stick. Hunting through the Royal Enfield web site, I found a bolt-on front disk brake kit for $399.99, and if I owned the bike, it would be the first thing I would change. Scrolling further, I found all manner of sensibly-priced parts to customize and improve your Enfield, depending on your tastes.

With the stock bike producing a whopping 22 horsepower, I was most interested to see there is a high-compression, big-bore piston kit available for $435, which should liberate a few more ponies. Dreaming of an ideal world, I would also order up the new “miracle” clutch, a less-restrictive exhaust pipe and the 32mm Amal carburetor kit. Then I would go talk nicely to my buddy Jeff for one of his infamous head jobs (Let me guess how that goes…suck, squeeze, bang, blow? -Ed.) to complement the larger, higher-compression piston and bigger carburetor. While the checkbook was out, I would go for new shocks and fork springs. These changes, not counting labor, would run around $1,500, which is really not too bad especially when I think how much just a full exhaust system costs for a modern bike these days.

It starts first kick every time. Al needs three or four kicks to get him out of bed.

It starts first kick every time. Al needs three or four kicks to get him out of bed.

This is not to say the stock motorcycle can’t be enjoyed exactly as it is. It’s just not a modern Japanese motorcycle and life with Mr. Enfield is a going to be a very different experience than life with your average UJM. For instance, just the simple act of starting the bike requires a different approach. First, the fuel tap needs to be turned on, next the choke lever depressed and then, if you are feeling really retro, the decompression lever pulled as you kick the piston through its cycle to the correct place. This is a little past top dead center on the compression stroke, or when the amp meter located next the speedometer is in the middle position. Then let the kick start lever back to the top, take a good swing and give just the slightest whiff of throttle when the lever is all the way at the bottom of its stroke. Using this method, the trusty thumper will start first kick every time.

The bike is very cold blooded by nature, and you have to leave the choke on for a while, but once warmed up it will idle away merrily, although to the uninitiated ear it sounds as if it is about to stall as the piston putters up and down at an extremely low speed. Once underway, the bike doesn’t so much accelerate as it does steadily make progress as it gathers speed. It can just about keep pace with traffic on two-lane roads, and will travel at between 60-70mph out on the highway, depending on how much vibration you can stand.

But if you keep the speeds under 55mph and stay off the beaten track you will be rewarded with one of the most unique experiences to be found on two wheels. It’s a bike that is impossible to park without getting into conversation and it is a good idea to carry some paper work to convince the people who can’t grasp the fact that it is actually brand new. Priced at $4,895, the entry price to a totally unique motorcycle experience is not high. And with a host of readily-available parts for the compulsive tinkerer to improve and upgrade his ride, the Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5 is going to be an extremely fun addition to the garage for those who take one home.

Enfield47

Church Of MO – Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5 Riding Impression appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Land of the Roosting Sun: Four Far-Flung Adventure Bikes from Japan!
Land of the Roosting Sun: Four Far-Flung Adventure Bikes from Japan! [message #7743] Sat, 28 February 2015 02:24
Anonymous

That’s right, masters of the obvious, one of these things is not like the other ones. But what we found out as we rode around on these four is that each of them fills a distinct niche, rendering the Honda less outside the Adventure Bike box than we would’ve thought going into it. Besides, the Africa Twin’s not here yet. Tommy Roderick and I already decided the BMW R1200GS Adventure is the ultimate if your adventures will include unpaved surfaces, but these four adventure bikes are aimed more toward riding on pavement: We’ve all seen the stats about how few of these kinds of bikes and Range Rovers ever make it off road. Not many. And having said that, a couple of these might make reasonable dual-sports depending upon how reasonable you ride off piste.

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Honda Interceptor

Honda Interceptor Action

Least like the other bikes here, least new, and the last one you’d want to find yourself on when the pavement ends is the redesigned Interceptor.

As we’ve already pointed out a time or two, a big part of the adventure-bike appeal is simply the sit-up ergonomics: Lots of AARP-eligible people who still love high-performance motorcycles find “adventure bikes” just as thrilling to ride but without the need to assume the position bikes like the Ducati Panigale enforce. In the realm of sportbikes, the VFR always was the gentleman’s choice, a kinder, gentler crotch rocket. Well guess what, it’s all relative. Next to a Panigale, the new Interceptor is a Herman Miller office chair. Next to the other three bikes here, it’s an `86 GSX-R750. Okay it’s not that bad, but then it’s not 1986 anymore either – and almost everything about this bike insists that it is.

2014 Honda Interceptor Review – First Ride

Some of those things are still cool, if dated, including the RC30-esque aluminum beam frame and one-sided swingarm. Other parts of it are just old. Honda did update the bike for `15 with a slick new instrument panel and a tacked-on traction-control system, but it’s still a bike from the `90s, complete with right-side-up fork, skinny seat, and long reach to the low grips. We’ll always love that 90-degree V-Four’s silky purr and we’re the first to admit 93 horsepower is enough. Well, for the $14k+ our test unit retails for, we’d like a little more. The Aprilia Tuono, for instance, gives you roughly 50% more power and quite a bit more of everything else for the same money. Okay, no saddlebags…

Honda Interceptor instruments

You don’t get a bump up in horsepower with the new VFR, but you do get self-cancelling turn signals as part of the DLX package – along with ABS, TC and heated grips.

Duke says: The Interceptor is is still the bike you want if your adventures are purely sporty, and its latest styling updates look pleasing to my eyes. Giving it a long perusal, it appears to be a premium scoot in almost every way. But I’m confused why it has to cost as much of a premium over the other newer bikes in this group and why it has to weigh so much.

Anyway, maybe it is our bad for throwing the Honda in with three brand new offerings from the other Japanese OEMs, but doing so really shines the high beam on the gaping hole where a shiny red Honda ought to be, in the biggest-selling market segment. The closest current Honda is really the NC700X, which really is an amazingly good bike but with half the power of the other players here, which is why we chose to include the VFR instead.

In its defense, if we were going to Chuckwalla, we’d fight over the VFR, but on our favorite twisty roads and down the occasional dirt one, it’s not in the same quick-reacting, fun-to-ride all day league as the other three. Then again, riding home on the freeway cuddled up with the grip heaters on, it wasn’t half bad.

 

Honda Interceptor
+ Highs

  • One of the great engine textures of all time
  • Bright LED head and tail lights
  • Nice new wheels, instruments and TC; only one not requiring premium fuel
- Sighs

  • Low performance/ $$$ ratio
  • Where’s our Africa Twin?
  • Where’s our RCV1000R? Self-cancelling turn signals aren’t going to cut it.

Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT

The other seat it’s even better to be in on the looong straights is the thick, cush one on the new Versys 1000 LT Kawasaki, especially when it’s dark and you can’t see how they kept the price down to $12,799, including saddlebags.

SportAdventureTourer-Action-Kawasaki-5187

Dirty Sean Alexander rode the bike a couple months ago and filed an excellent report with which the rest of us have to agree: Though it shares the name Versys with the little 650, this liter version is much more grand tourer than lightweight playmate. On the official MO scales, it’s the heaviest bike here, at 565 pounds fuelled up, and it’s chunkiest between your thighs and just in general feels like the most substantial bike of the group because it is. At the same time, the sit-up ergoes and right-there grips make it super controllable, even though 5.9 inches of suspension travel at both ends has the seat more than 33 inches from the ground. (In fact, they’re all tall except the Interceptor.)

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT First Ride Review

I was feeling charitable toward the Interceptor until I hopped off it and onto the Versys: There’s a big difference between 50 lb-ft of torque and 69 lb-ft of the stuff; the Kawasaki has pulse-jet spaceship drive. It’s already up around 65 lb-ft at only 5000 rpm, and if you keep the gas on it makes the most power too, jumping up over 100 hp at only 7700 rpm. Though its hp and torque numbers are considerably lower than the Ninja 1000 and Z1000, which use the same engine, this one feels just as fast on the road, since so much of that power is shoved even lower in the powerband and delivered with sumptuous smoothness… and nobody complained about the vibration through the footpegs Sean did in his First Ride report (he’s very sensitive for a big guy). The rubber engine mounts in front do make the Versys less vibey through the grips than either of its stablemates.

Kawasaki Versys 1000 action

Kawasaki Versys 1000 bags

The Kawi’s the biggest bike here, with the biggest bags, included in the lowest price of $12,799. Note also the remote preload adjuster, centerstand…

Streetbike rolling stock – 17-inch wheels at both ends with 120- and 180mm tires – is your first clue that this one’s not really intended for off-pavement use: 565 pounds is big, yes, but the BMW R1200GS Adventure is 38 pounds heftier. On twisty pavement, you won’t mistake the V1000 for the 650 Versys, but its wide handlebar and ergos make it feel nice and light, and it transitions from side to side easily enough. Its fork is pretty raked out, but 102mm trail keeps steering reasonably quick. Its suspension delivers the cushiest ride here, but is also firm enough for aggressive backroad riding, and controlled enough to let you use all that torque to best advantage. Three levels of traction control (plus Off) have your back, and ABS is part of the deal too, on powerful triple-disc brakes.

Evans says: What an engine! Crank the throttle to the stop and hang on. On the freeway, I couldn’t keep this bike below 85 mph. I blame the minimized engine vibration for my inability to track the Versys’ highway speed. Best weather protection of the bunch when it came to riding in chilly temperatures. The windshield opened up a nice hole in the air my body was more than happy to occupy when I found myself on the road with too few layers. The hand guards offered better wind protection, too, compared to the Yamaha’s, that allow a draft to come around from inside near the windshield. The Versys’ seat is a winner. Look closely at the videoyou’ll see me fondling the Kawi’s supple padding. Mmmmm…

Kawasaki Versys 1000 instruments

There’s a lot of info packed into the Kawasaki’s Radio Shack-looking dash, but you should definitely have your eyes on the road when the tach gets past 5.

It’s a superfluid, easy-to-ride all day bike except for its windscreen, which for 5-foot, 8-inch me is never unblustery in any of its positions. Other than that, this is the one you want if you’re a big guy with a big passenger and want to carry lots of stuff. Neither bag will hold a helmet, but they’ll hold plenty of other things.

Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT
+ Highs

  • Most powerful beast and smooth-running
  • Most room for you and your stuff
  • Very comfy
- Sighs

  • Looks military issue
  • Cheesiest windscreen adjusters, blusteriest windscreen
  • Most likely to be more adventure than you wanted off-road

SportAdventureTourer-Action-Group-5081

Suzuki V-Strom 1000

Or is the Versys the one you want? Riding up to meet the fellas for this little comparo, I thought the new V-Strom 1000 was just as I remembered it from its coming-out party a little over a year ago, bullmoose stout and smooth-running along the freeway… until I noticed the letters at the bottom of the windshield said “ikasawaK.”

Suzuki V-Strom 1000 action

The new V-Strom 1000 Adventure is a bit more expensive than the Versys, a bit lighter, a bit more nicely turned out… but they’re both big, torquey-fun motorcycles to ride all day and then some.

What the? I forgot I’d swapped bikes a couple days ago. In terms of riding position and overall feel, the V-Strom and the Versys are almost interchangeable. What do you like, a Twin or a Four-cylinder? The Kawasaki makes a lot more hp up top, but the V-Strom makes almost as much torque and peaks at just 4000 rpm – so it usually feels just as fast in urban use as the Versys (4800 rpm is 80 mph in 6th gear). The difference is that the `Strom’s all done at 8000 rpm, where the Kawasaki’s just getting serious.

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS Review – First Ride

The seat’s not quite as plush as the Kawasaki’s, but it’s close, and Duke says it was his favorite for long distances. The main difference is that the Suzuki feels a little skinnier between your thighs. We wanted a standard `Strom for this comparo (which retails for 100 bucks less than the Versys) with accessory saddlebags fitted, but Suzuki fixed us up with this Adventure model, which is just as well since it comes with standard saddlebags, crash bars, handguards, chin fairing and “touring” windshield for $1300 more – $13,999.

Its name contains the word “Adventure,” which implies it wants to compete with the BMW GS and KTM Adventure models. To that end, instead of the other bikes’ streetbike wheels, it comes with a 19-inch front and a 17 x 4.5-in. wheel on back with a 150/70 tire, good sizes for throwing on more off-road worthy rubber should you feel the need (the Bridgestone Battle Wings it comes with aspire to dual-sportiness).

We didn’t go far off-road during this test, but if we had, the V-Strom’s the one you’d want. Again, the upright ergoes it shares with the Versys put you in complete control, but the `Strom is that much lighter and narrower, and its super-grunty Twin would be the right tool for chugging along at lower speeds. It’s also the first production Suzuki ever with TC, which can save less-seasoned off-road riders serious grief. You can’t, however, easily switch off its ABS, which may or may not be a problem. (If it is, you can pull the seat and yank the fuse.)

On pavement, it’s the longest bike with the most trail, but still steers light and quickly thanks to its relatively narrow tires. At elevated speeds, over 100, it also feels the most dirt-bikey; its chassis feels the most flexy, but that might be due to its skinnier tires.

Suzuki V-Strom 1000 instruments

Kawasaki and Suzuki display the same info, but the Suzuki’s presentation is a bit nicer; the 12V outlet is right there too.

Evans Brassnuckles: Riding the V-Strom reminds me why I miss the TL1000. Although the Versys wins the power wars, I think I prefer the Strom’s mill. It’s a V-Twin vs. inline-Four thing. It also has stonking brakes, with the best power and feedback of the bunch. The V-Strom’s 19 in. front wheel and long trail and wheelbase slow down the steering, but never really compromised my ability to place the bike where I wanted it in a corner. The narrow rear tire width counteracts the large-diameter front. 

The extra dough for the Suzuki is reflected in quite a few subtle niceties: Its 43mm fork has compression adjusters as well as rebound ones, there’s a 12V outlet in its more attractive dash… overall, it has a slightly upmarket look parked next to the bare-bones blacked-out Kawasaki. But if you’re a Kawasaki person, you’d rather have the 17 more horsepower for $1200 less. Who could blame you? At the end of the day, the Kawi’s simply more street biased and the Suzuki feels more dirt worthy.

Suzuki V-Strom 1000
+ Highs

  • A steal next to the KTM or BMW Adventures
  • Super grunty at just 4000 rpm
  • Hybrid cam drive makes valve adjustment DIY
- Sighs

  • A little more top-end wouldn’t be a bad thing
  • Exhaust valve is a thing of ugly. Do we really need it?
  • Muffler takes up most of the space in the right saddlebag
Yamaha FJ-09 action

The new FJ is way more Multistrada than dual-sport.

Yamaha FJ-09

Which brings us to our winner, sort of, Yamaha’s pert new FJ-09. As an adventure bike, this one’s almost more of a supermoto, with more aggressive power delivery. Not only is it 10% lighter than the next lightest V-Strom, it’s the only bike here with more weight on its front tire than its rear, and a flattish handlebar that pulls you a tad more forward and encourages aggression.

2015 Yamaha FJ-09 First Ride Review

Though it gives up nearly 200cc to the two literbikes, the FJ Triple makes almost as much horsepower as the Versys, as well as 10 ft-lbs more torque than the 65cc smaller VFR. It’s got the best power-to-weight ratio of the bunch, along with a tauter chassis, a thinner seat and less wind protection than the other bikes. If it’s multi-day adventures you’re after, the FJ might not be it. If it’s day trips and commuting and nipping at the heels of the leather-clad sportbike crowd, the FJ is the clear winner, for us anyway, because we’re childish that way.

Duke: The Yamaha was the most productive grin factory of this group, feeling eager, agile and playful. It always feels fast, even among the bigger bikes and even during roll-on contests when it should be out-torqued but isn’t except for the Kawi. 

Evans: It’s the most eager to charge out of corners, slickly snicking through the gears. Aside from an odd vibration that appears around 4,500 rpm – 5,500 rpm, the engine is smooth. Rider accommodations are comfy. The windshield offers decent protection but not as much as the Kawasaki. Oddly, the seat is flat and hard, making it appear to be a likely candidate for hot spots over the long haul – but it remains comfortable, coming in second to the Versys, according to my derrière.

Yamaha FJ-09 beauty

It’s almost hard to see how Yamaha can be making money. Even with the optional bags and heated grips, it’s still a g less than the Kawasaki. The FJ is the only ride-by-wire bike here (which works way more smoothly than the FZ-09 did), with TC and ABS brakes. Traditionalists might not like its styling, but from a function point of view, the Triple shrink-wrapped inside that aluminum frame, with the swingarm and stainless exhaust tucked in tight, give the bike great mass centralization you can feel. Little Tommy Roderick says its looks remind him of an MV Agusta, and its exhaust note definitely does. In sporting use, the other bikes feel old-fashioned and heavy. Because they are.

Yamaha FJ-09 instruments

The FJ-09 instruments are also about a generation ahead of the other bikes. Reversible handlebar clamps let you move it fore and aft 10mm. There’s also a 12V outlet to power up your stuff.

On the Adventure continuum, not so much, mostly down to the 17-inch wheels at both ends, but also due to negligible flywheel effect and its jumpier throttle response. Then again, you do get handguards on the ends of that wide handlebar, and sub-500 lb. weight and traction control are also good things to carry into the boonies.

Yamaha FJ-09
+ Highs

  • Best power-to-weight ratio
  • Lowest price
  • Triples are good
- Sighs

  • The bags need their own key
  • Least wind protection
  • Too pretty to abuse off-road

So, we’re going to give the win to the amazing Yamaha FJ-09 on the strength of its freshest design and its sporty yet accommodating personality. Which adventure bike is right for you really depends on the kind of adventures you have in mind. High-speed long-distance pavement running, solo, if you’re a wiry youth? The Interceptor is sweet indeed. Same deal with a passenger, more gear and an AARP card? Versys 1000 could be good. Same deal with or without a passenger and the possibility of exploring unpaved routes? V-Strom 1000 is a likely candidate. For making every day an adventure, though, the FJ-09 is going to be a really tough bike for anybody to beat. Yamaha is on an absolute tear.

FinalShot

Sub-1000 Sporty Adventure Tourer Specs

 

  2014 Honda Interceptor 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT 2015 Suzuki V Strom 1000 ABS Adventure 2015 Yamaha FJ-09
MSRP $12,499 (DLX: $13,499) (w bags, $14,449; and quick shifter, $14,749) $12,799 $13,999 $10,490 (w bags, mounts, locks, heated grips: $11,748)
Engine 782cc liquid-cooled 90-degree V-Four 1043cc liquid-cooled Inline Four-cylinder 1037cc liquid-cooled 90-deg. V-Twin 847c liquid-cooled Inline Three-cylinder
Fuel System EFI EFI EFI EFI; ride-by-wire
Ignition Digital Digital Digital Electronic
Valve Train DOHC with VTEC; 4 valves per cylinder DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission/Final drive 6-speed/chain 6-speed/chain 5-speed/chain 6-speed/chain
Torque/HP(Dynojet 250) 49.86 @ 8600 rpm/92.62 @ 10,400 rpm 69.01 @ 7300 rpm/107.86 @ 9300 rpm 65.64 @ 4000 rpm/90.87 @ 8100 rpm 59.77 @ 8300 rpm/104.07 @ 9900 rpm
Rear Suspension Pro Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link single shock; adjustable spring preload and rebound damping; 4.7 in. travel Horizontal back-link shock; adjustable spring preload (remote adjuster), rebound damping; 5.9 in. travel Single shock; adjustable spring preload (remote adjuster), rebound damping; TK in. travel Single shock; adjustable preload and rebound damping; 5.1 in. travel
Front Brake Dual 310mm discs; 4-piston calipers, ABS Dual 310mm petal discs; 4-piston calipers, ABS Dual 310mm discs; 4-piston calipers, ABS Dual 298mm discs; 4-piston calipers, ABS
Rear Brake 256mm disc; single-piston caliper, ABS 250mm petal disc; single-piston caliper, ABS/td> 260mm disc; single-piston caliper, ABS 245mm disc; single-piston caliper, ABS
Front Tire 120/70ZR-17 radial 120/70×17 110/80R19 120/70ZR-17 radial
Rear Tire 180/55ZR-17 radial 180/55×17 150/70R17 180/55ZR-17 radial
Wheelbase 57.4 in. 59.8 in. 61.2 in. 56.7 in.
Rake/Trail 25.5 deg. / 95mm (3.74 in.) 27.0 deg. / 102mm (4.0 in.) 25.5 deg. / 109mm (4.3 in.) 24 deg. / 3.9 in.
Seat Height 31.0 in. / 31.8 in. 33.1 in. 33.4 in. 33.3 in. / 33.9in.
Curb Weight – Official MO Scales 529 lb. (Honda claimed) 550 lb. w/ bags 565 lb. 544 lb. 494 lb.
Fuel Capacity 5.2 gal. 5.5 gal. 5.3 gal. 4.8 gal.
Tested Fuel Economy 41 mpg 40 mpg 36 mpg 37 mpg
Available Colors Red, Pearl White Candy Burnt Orange/Metallic Spark Black, Flat Ebony/Metallic Spark Black Black Candy Red, Matte Gray
Warranty One year, unlimited miles Two years, unlimited miles One year, unlimited miles One year

Land of the Roosting Sun: Four Far-Flung Adventure Bikes from Japan! appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: The History Of Four-Cylinder Motorcycle Engines In America
The History Of Four-Cylinder Motorcycle Engines In America [message #7742] Fri, 27 February 2015 23:10
Anonymous

Before Henry Ford’s assembly line production of “affordable” cars displaced them, motorcycles were the prime means of motorized personal transportation.

Hundreds of home-grown variations appeared from garages all across the U.S. and Europe, each machine a handcrafted work of techno-art. Of all the various engine designs, motorcycles with an inline four-cylinder aspired to rival the newfangled automobile and provide a new level of comfort, performance, and even elegance. Some Brits said back in the day, “No nation embraced the cause of the inline four-cylinder motor cycle more than the U.S.”

1905 FN four-cylinder – Where it all began

La vettura a due ruote translates to “The car on two wheels,” and FN backed up the claim in the ad, listing as included features: 3-speed gearbox, shaft drive, and lubrication driven by the engine. It’s also claimed to offer “surprising speed.”

In addition to early inline-Fours built in Europe, like the FN and Nimbus, the list of made-in-America machines includes Ace, Cleveland, Gerhart, Henderson, Indian, Militaire and Pierce. Here follows a brief history of the luminaries amongst the “Fours,” that more than 100 years later, still hold the status as the “crème de la crème.” We’ll spotlight, in chronological and transitional order, the FN, Pierce, Henderson, Ace and Indian manifestations.

A special thank you goes out to Preston Evans for making available his 1920 Ace and 1925 Henderson seen in photos below. Thanks also goes to Dale Walksler for his 1914 Henderson and 1923 Ace, and to Chuck Vogel for his 1924 Henderson. Joining them are other examples of iconic four-cylinder machines and some of the illustrious history that went with them.

The First “Four” Letter Word was by Belgium’s FN

Italian Ad for Belgian FN Four

Italian Ad for Belgian FN Four

Today, the Belgian firm of FN aka La Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre is better known for its state-of-the-art assault rifles than its motorcycles. Like BSA (Birmingham Small Arms), FN started off in the big business of the late 19th century’s military-industrial complex. In 1901, FN began producing bicycles powered by internal combustion motors, the advanced design graduating to a single cylinder “motorcycle” in 1902. Sales were healthy and improvements were made thanks to the talents of FN’s chief designer Paul Kelecom, who debuted in 1904 the new, 363cc air-cooled inline four-cylinder shaft drive marvel. He got things buzzing before sales started in 1905, when FN sent one of their new bikes to tour Europe, making a grand finale run to Paris.

Engine size was increased, and in 1908 there was a new cradle frame, new sprung forks, and a better tranny with a clutch, providing easier gear changes. Topping things off for ’08, an FN placed third at the prestigious Isle of Man TT, averaging a then-blistering 36 mph around the course. Better yet, since bikes were allotted a specific amount of fuel, it turned out the FN Four was making 90 mpg – best in its class. In that same year an FN Four won a gold medal at the annual London-Edinburg-London run. At this point, the Belgian army contracted for a number of FN Fours, indicating trust in the machines.

Pre-1923 FN still retains shaft drive and shows use of natural white rubber tires. Various tank designs appeared during production. Although technically advanced in many ways, the FN still relied on acetylene for its lighting.

Pre-1923 FN still retains shaft drive and shows use of natural white rubber tires. Various tank designs appeared during production. Although technically advanced in many ways, the FN still relied on acetylene for its lighting.

FN production ceased from 1914-1918 because of the First World War but restarted in 1919. A major step forward transpired in 1923, when the factory switched from shaft to chain drive and also introduced the larger 750cc Fours. However, the last of the ground-breaking milestone machines were produced in 1926, though single cylinder FN’s powered on until their last gasp in 1962, when the company refocused its efforts into producing armaments and jet engines.

The four cylinders were petite… all four totaling 363cc and producing 3 hp. The bevel drive to the rear wheel via driveshaft is visible.

The four cylinders were petite… all four totaling 363cc and producing 3 hp. The bevel drive to the rear wheel via driveshaft is visible.

Piercing the American Four-Cylinder Envelope: The Pierce Four

The Pierce Four, launched in 1909 and the first inline Four made in America, was also touted by its manufacturer as the “only machine of its kind in the world.” In 1910, it offered the convenience of driveshaft, automatic oiling, a two-speed transmission, magneto ignition, and with its 7 hp, enough power “to climb smoothly any hill.”

Pierce Four – Only a dozen are thought to exist.

Pierce Four – Only a dozen are thought to exist.

Inspiration for the American-made Pierce Four is credited to one Percy Pierce who had “discovered” the aforementioned Belgian made FN while touring Europe in 1908. So enamored was Percy with the machine, that he brought one home as a “souvenir.” It happened that his father, George Pierce, was the honcho behind the prosperous and prestigious Pierce-Arrow automobile, aka The Pierce Great Arrow Motor Car Company located in Buffalo, NY. George also had a little offshoot making high end Pierce bicycles, and in 1908 his son was given control of the bicycle operation and the light bulb flashed in Percy’s head – America would love a four-cylinder motorcycle.

A 1910 ad for both Pierce single- and four-cylinder machines.

A 1910 ad for both Pierce single- and four-cylinder machines.

With the aid of the Pierce car company engineers, they “back-engineered” the FN and came up with their own spin producing their unique machine. In particular they designed an all-new frame using 3.5-inch diameter tubing both to carry fuel and oil in the front down tube. Percy and the Pierce staff reconfigured the FN engine as well. They dropped FN’s overhead inlet and side exhaust valve setup in favor of a side-valve design with a T-shaped combustion chamber. The exhaust camshaft running along the right side was connected to a handlebar lever that allowed the camshaft to be moved, which enabled decompressing for easier starting.

The first Pierce, circa 1909, had a single speed and was minus a clutch, but the 600cc engine was promised to run “virbrationless” from six to 60 mph. Sales for the 1910 model surpassed the year prior thanks in part to the addition of a two-speed transmission and multi-disc clutch.

By 1911 there were enough proud Pierce owners to attract several hundred riders to Buffalo for the brand’s first “Homecoming,” aka the Pierce Owners Rally. By 1912, improvements saw the leading-link front fork replaced by a stouter design and the gear shift switched from left to right hand position. The price tag also jumped from $325 to $400, but even then, the meticulously hand-built Pierce motorcycles were operating at a loss.

Pierce four-cylinder engine schemata.

Pierce four-cylinder engine schemata.

As a result, 1913 saw a downturn due to finances, the Pierce Four, literally too well designed, was not “cost-effective” in the marketplace. WWI also saw the Pierce auto company swamped with military truck contracts which contributed to the demise of its motorcycle division, the Four included. Pierce-Arrow itself was later acquired by Studebaker, itself fading away in the mid-1930s.

But the Pierce Four would live on, albeit in “evolved” forms.

Following In Four-Cylinder Footsteps: The Henderson

1912 Advertisement – Henderson Four makes its debut. Thanks to the length of the gas tank, optional dual seating was available.

1912 Advertisement – Henderson Four makes its debut. Thanks to the length of the gas tank, optional dual seating was available.

A 1912 Henderson inline-Four ridden by Carl Stevens Clancy would blaze both man and machine into the history books, when in 1913 Clancy became the first person to circumnavigate the world on a motorcycle. The luster of the Henderson Four would continue to shine brightly more than a century later.

Detroit-based brothers Tom and William G. Henderson started building their four-cylinder machines in 1912, the design featuring four individually cast cylinders mated to an aluminum crankcase riding on three main bearings. Instead of pedal start, standard for the day, the design employed a car-style crankshaft, the very nature of the inline-Four imparting an automotive aura to the long wheel-based machine that exuded elegance, refinement and grace of movement. It offered the rider the smooth transmission of power, fine handling and easily controllable operation, establishing a benchmark for others to follow.

The 100-plus-year-old ad comes to life. Henderson brought out its new 57 cubic inch (934cc) four-cylinder in 1912. Its engine was started with a hand crank.

The 100-plus-year-old ad comes to life. Henderson brought out its new 57 cubic inch (934cc) four-cylinder in 1912. Its engine was started with a hand crank.

From 1912-1916, the Henderson Four was produced in a variety of configurations. While the machines were initially single-speed, they did feature a small clutch on the motor sprocket chain drive. Other features included a rear band brake, rear mounted toolbox and dual brake pedals.

In 1914, Henderson brought out the Model C with a two-speed transmission via a Thor hub, then came up with their own design for 1915 with an improved clutch, stronger crank and enlarged forks. Both the long-wheelbased D and new, short-wheelbase, Model E were offered with choice of single- or two-speed gearboxes.

1913-14 Henderson Four (Wheels Through Time Museum) – Earlier cylindrical shape tank was replaced in 1913 with this streamlined shape. It was said to have a top speed of 55 mph.

1913-14 Henderson Four (Wheels Through Time Museum) – Earlier cylindrical shape tank was replaced in 1913 with this streamlined shape. It was said to have a top speed of 55 mph.

Still, sales were slumping, even with a price drop. The Italians stepped in and saved the day when they placed a large order during WWI because, as the war was raging, they couldn’t buy bikes from Britain or Germany.

In 1917, the new model G debuted with a three-speed transmission. Further history was made when, in 1917, a Henderson smashed the longstanding Cannonball Baker cross-country record by nearly four days to further cement its prestige. Even Henry Ford bought one of the bikes, choosing the electric lighting option. It would be the last record for the Henderson brothers before the company was acquired by Schwinn/Excelsior.

Kris Thompson’s 1915 Henderson Four “rolling billboard” that he rode in the 2010 Cannon Ball Run. For the 1915 model year Henderson offered the Model D and E with wheelbases of 65 and 58 inches, respectively. Standard bikes had a price tag of $295, the two-speed $325, a hefty sum at the time.

Kris Thompson’s 1915 Henderson Four “rolling billboard” that he rode in the 2010 Cannon Ball Run. For the 1915 model year Henderson offered the Model D and E with wheelbases of 65 and 58 inches, respectively. Standard bikes had a price tag of $295, the two-speed $325, a hefty sum at the time.

The Henderson DeLuxe, under the new Excelsior-Henderson banner, was launched in 1922 and considered the most refined Henderson ever produced up to that date. It benefited from several upgrades, including a better carburettor, better rear brakes, and a redesigned crankshaft. The 1301cc machine made 28 hp at 3400 rpm, was capable of reaching 100 mph, and was a popular choice with police departments, more so than even the Harley-Davidsons of the time. Sadly, it was while testing one of his machines on December 11, 1922 that William Henderson died when hit by a car.

As the last production years rolled on, from 1929-1931, the Henderson gained poundage. At the same time it featured a more streamlined look and got more power. Despite this, Henderson’s time had come to a close.

How rare are the early Hendersons? Within the last two decades, it is estimated that less than half a dozen 1913 Henderson Fours have appeared worldwide.

1919 Henderson was available in military inspired olive green. The 1147cc (70 cu. in.) four-cylinder pumped out 14.2 hp. The new Z-2 “electric” models for the year include a GE generator. The gas tank also showed the first use of the new Henderson with red Excelsior X logo.

1919 Henderson was available in military inspired olive green. The 1147cc (70 cu. in.) four-cylinder pumped out 14.2 hp. The new Z-2 “electric” models for the year include a GE generator. The gas tank also showed the first use of the new Henderson with red Excelsior X logo.

1922 photo taken in Washington D.C. shows a tough looking motor officer and his Henderson Four. Sign in background is for the Washington American League Baseball Club, now the Minnesota Twins. Police departments often compared Harley-Davidson, Indian, Ace and Henderson machines, however the latter four-cylinder bikes were much more expensive, if more comfortable.

1922 photo taken in Washington D.C. shows a tough looking motor officer and his Henderson Four. Sign in background is for the Washington American League Baseball Club, now the Minnesota Twins. Police departments often compared Harley-Davidson, Indian, Ace and Henderson machines, however the latter four-cylinder bikes were much more expensive, if more comfortable.

1924 Henderson DeLuxe Four - Winner of the Antique Class at the 2010 El Camino Antique and Classic Motorcycle Show. Owner: Chuck Vogel.

1924 Henderson DeLuxe Four – Winner of the Antique Class at the 2010 El Camino Antique and Classic Motorcycle Show. Owner: Chuck Vogel.

“Tiller” handlebars make for relaxed riding position.

“Tiller” handlebars make for relaxed riding position.

The DeLuxe lived up to its name with its comfy floorboards. It also featured a reverse gear.

The DeLuxe lived up to its name with its comfy floorboards. It also featured a reverse gear.

Tires were originally the natural white color of rubber. Sometime around 1900, Goodyear began mixing carbon black after discovering the mix helped tires last considerably longer. Plus, black tires were easier to keep looking clean.

Tires were originally the natural white color of rubber. Sometime around 1900, Goodyear began mixing carbon black after discovering the mix helped tires last considerably longer. Plus, black tires were easier to keep looking clean.

The DeLuxe lived up to its name with its comfy floorboards. It also featured a reverse gear.

The DeLuxe lived up to its name with its comfy floorboards. It also featured a reverse gear.

Works of techno-art in their own right, the Henderson’s acetylene-powered headlamp and canister that contains its fuel, a mixture of calcium carbide and water. First discovered in 1892, acetylene soon powered lighting for lighthouses, miner’s caps, bicycles and cars. Seen here also mounted on the handlebar is a large horn sometimes mistaken for a siren. Just press down on the plunger to get tooting.

Works of techno-art in their own right, the Henderson’s acetylene-powered headlamp and canister that contains its fuel, a mixture of calcium carbide and water. First discovered in 1892, acetylene soon powered lighting for lighthouses, miner’s caps, bicycles and cars. Seen here also mounted on the handlebar is a large horn sometimes mistaken for a siren. Just press down on the plunger to get tooting.

1925 Henderson DeLuxe with Goulding Sidecar

While not exactly svelte, the Henderson Four was commanding in appearance and the epitome of smooth transportation. This 1925 DeLuxe shows the newly designed downward slope of the rear section that provided an even lower center of gravity. It also allowed for a shorter and wider 4.5 gallon tank.

Henderson - lft profile

This particular bike is also fitted with a matching “chair” as produced by Goulding, the Saginaw, Michigan outfit considered the first American sidecar company. Its own history stretches back to 1910 and Melbourne, Australia when James Goulding fashioned his first sidecar. By 1917 Goulding Sidecars was the top producer Down Under.

The 1925 Henderson benefited from three-ring alloy pistons, plus redesigned cylinders and camshaft.

The 1925 Henderson benefited from three-ring alloy pistons, plus redesigned cylinders and camshaft.

Seeking new marketing horizons, James Goulding brought his sidecar to the U.S. and set about touring some 12,000 miles to show it around. The trip went well, and by 1923, the Goulding family was now living in Milwaukee. In 1926, they relocated to Saginaw, Michigan, where Goulding ran a Harley dealership and also continued his sidecar production. Many of those sidecars served overseas during WWII until production ceased in 1956.

(There’s another member of the Goulding family that you probably have heard about – Dot Robinson, James Goulding’s daughter, was one of motorcycling’s “leading ladies” and co-founder of the famous Motor Maids of America. Dot was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in the 1990s.)

Odometer shows what appears to an original 10,178 miles.

Odometer shows what appears to an original 10,178 miles.

Tilt smooths out once “rig” was underway. Note sprung suspension of the sidecar.

Tilt smooths out once “rig” was underway. Note sprung suspension of the sidecar.

Henderson Four and Watsonian sidecar

Henderson Four and Watsonian sidecar made for best of friends.

The Four in Transition: The Race to the Ace

Considered by many as the ultimate masterpiece of American motorcycle production, the Ace inline four-cylinder was originally designed by William G. Henderson of Philadelphia and saw production circa 1920-24.

1922 Ace Ad

1922 Ace Ad

In 1917, things got a tad bit confusing when William, running low on funds, sold his company to the Schwinn/Excelsior company. He was supposed to stay on board but got fed up when his new boss’ designers kept adding weight without any performance benefits to the original Henderson concept. William was for “power allied with lightness,” so set out on his own in 1919 after finding some financial backing. In 1920 he announced his new company however, since someone else now owned the Henderson name, he went for Ace. Frosting on the new bike saw it painted an eye-catching blue with cream colored wheels and plenty of nickel plating to set it all off.

As it turned out, there was now a bit of four-cylinder sibling rivalry, but while the bikes looked somewhat alike, apparently no parts were interchangeable. Call it two “brothers” going separate four cylinder ways, each with their unique style.

The new, 1229cc Ace engine featured a three-bearing crankshaft and overhead inlet valves mounted directly over the side exhaust valves. Producing 35 hp, it could reach 75 mph. Weight was kept to 365 lbs., aided by the use of thin-walled, large diameter (1 ⅜- inch) frame tubing, still sturdy enough to accommodate a sidecar.

While other companies offered Fours, Ace scored top-speed honors earning the accolade “Fastest Motorcycle in the World.” Ace’s fame was enhanced in September 1922 by Cannonball Baker’s historic 7-day, 3332-mile trip from L.A. to NYC. His cross-country run lopped 17 hours off the record set previously by a Henderson Four. The Ace Four also chalked up wins in 24-hour enduros and hill-climbs. Orders were pouring in.

A photo appearing in a November, 1922 trade publication accompanied the report on the recent time trials held in Philadelphia. Flying along a one-mile stretch of reportedly “rough, wavy pavement,” an Ace motorcycle won the two speed tests conducted by the city’s police department while shopping for their next police bikes. The Ace completed the half-mile course in 4 minutes 11 4/5th seconds, taking top honors that day.

A photo appearing in a November, 1922 trade publication accompanied the report on the recent time trials held in Philadelphia. Flying along a one-mile stretch of reportedly “rough, wavy pavement,” an Ace motorcycle won the two speed tests conducted by the city’s police department while shopping for their next police bikes. The Ace completed the half-mile course in 4 minutes 11 4/5th seconds, taking top honors that day.

As happened to many motorcycles of the financially unstable era, Ace ran into money troubles again when the accountants found out the company was selling its machines at less than it cost to produce them. In late 1923, an Ace Four was clocked at 129 mph and the record breaking machine was spotlighted at the 1924 National Motor Cycle show in Chicago. While the popular demand for the bike was still there, sadly the company closed its doors soon afterwards.

The Ace lived on once again when Indian bought the company, the Four now re-badged as an Indian when it was debuted at the 1927 New York Motor Cycle Show. It continued in production until 1941, when the U.S. entered WWII and war material demands helped close the last chapter of the American inline Four.

The 1923 Ace XP3 was powered by a 45 hp engine, its rods and pistons drilled for lightness.

The 1923 Ace XP3 was powered by a 45 hp engine, its rods and pistons drilled for lightness.

This beauty can be found at Dale Walksler’s Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The distinctive blue paint and yellow wheels were Ace signature colors.

This beauty can be found at Dale Walksler’s Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The distinctive blue paint and yellow wheels were Ace signature colors.

Room With a View…

The Watsonian Folding Sidecar Co. was one of the various inventions created by T. F. Watson in 1912 when he wanted to find a way to squeeze through the very narrow lanes separating the track housing of the tightly packed industrial city of Birmingham, England. Production never stopped flowing even during the two world wars, the Depression and a factory fire of 1930. At its peak, which spanned from 1946-1959, it produced 200 sidecars per week! A lot of people were getting around in Watsonian chairs. They weren’t just family commuters either, a Watsonian rig piloted by Eric Oliver won the World Sidecar Championship from 1949-1951, then again in 1954 and 1955, by which time nearly 70,000 Watsonians were on the road.

ace- sidecar rr lft

Keeping up with the times, and the new superbikes, Watsonian merged with the Squire Sidecar Co. in 1973 as Watsonian Squire, and from 1999-2012 also began distributing Royal Enfields, eventually selling Enfields all over the world. Today Watsonian has refocused on their wide range of sidecars and trailers, the company now located in Blockley, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire.

1920 Ace Four with Watsonian sidecar

This sidecar combination was restored in England and has taken laps cruising around the Isle of Man with the British vintage club. It’s teamed up with a British Watsonian sidecar, a correct combination after its original importation to Great Britain. As they say, an “eminently rideable” classic, it also shows a variety of accessories and instrumentation. At 95 years young, this dreadnaught on two wheels has been identified as one of three 1920 Aces known to exist.

Inline-Four side shot

The inline-Four, automotive in appearance, offered smooth running and power on tap for any occasion.

The odometer reads 428 miles.

The odometer reads 428 miles.

The Watsonian sidecar, in production from 1910-1956, presents  a sleek profile.

The Watsonian sidecar, in production from 1910-1956, presents a sleek profile.

Call it Duesenberg on three wheels, the Ace was a status symbol, then and now.

Call it Duesenberg on three wheels, the Ace was a status symbol, then and now.

Last Fork In The Four Cylinder Road: The Ace Four Lives On At Indian

1927 Indian Ad – Ace Four – “Fleet as a Flyer”

Standing as historical documentation, the ad captures the tipping point when the Ace joined the Indian stable…. With the addition of the Ace Four, the Indian line is complete with a model to fit every purse, regardless of whether it is wanted for Police work, for Sporting uses, or for Commercial utility.

In 1923, Indian became the first manufacturer in the world to produce more than 250,000 motorcycles, but there was something missing from its line of Singles and V-Twins. That gap was filled in 1927.

The first Indian Four caused a stir at the 1927 New York show, still wearing the familiar Ace tank badge with its golden eagle. However, by the time new Fours left the Springfield, Massachusetts Indian facility, blue paint was replaced by Indian red and now Indian graced the gas tank in large lettering with a much smaller Ace logo.

Forgetting the concept of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” in 1938, Indian changed the 1265cc engine design to overhead exhaust valves and side inlet valves, causing untidy exhaust pipe plumbing. The change didn’t sit well with customers, and Indian responded, putting a “redesign” back in place when the Four reappeared in 1938 with light alloy cylinders and cylinder heads, cast in pairs with an enclosed inlet-over-exhaust (IOE) valve mechanism. All was now pleasing to the eye.

The 1939 Indian Four was still a hardtail, but it did have a fairly comfy sprung seat design.

The 1939 Indian Four was still a hardtail, but it did have a fairly comfy sprung seat design.

In 1940, the Indian Four took on the dramatically styled full-flared fenders and a plunger frame. By 1942, with WWII raging, the final batch of Indian Fours left the factory, the last of the American four-cylinders.

During its entire production run of 15 years, purportedly only some 10,000 Indian Fours left the Springfield factory. Fours still garner top chops amongst collectors. At the December, 2014 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona a 1929 Indian Four fetched $104,500.

Indian DuPont

Yes, you could get custom colors for your Springfield Indian Four, helped in part by the 1930 merger between Indian and DuPont Motors Co., which lead to the addition of 24 new colors. It was also the first year that the now famous Indian head logo appeared on the gas tanks.

By 1940 all Indians were dressed in the iconic fully valanced fenders, as grace this 1941 Four found at the Wheels Through Time Museum. While the model retains the leaf spring front suspension with trailing front wheel axle, it now benefits from a plunger-type rear. Riders could take the Four to 95 mph.

By 1940 all Indians were dressed in the iconic fully valanced fenders, as grace this 1941 Four found at the Wheels Through Time Museum. While the model retains the leaf spring front suspension with trailing front wheel axle, it now benefits from a plunger-type rear. Riders could take the Four to 95 mph.

The History Of Four-Cylinder Motorcycle Engines In America appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Yamaha Launches New Online “Meter Simulator” for YZF-R1 and R1M Models (Industry Press Releases)
Yamaha Launches New Online “Meter Simulator” for YZF-R1 and R1M Models (Industry Press Releases) [message #7739] Fri, 27 February 2015 21:00
Anonymous
Cypress, Calif. – February 26, 2015 – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has launched an all-new online “Meter Simulator” to the R1 and R1M sections of its motorsports website. The new meter simulator showcases the advanced electronics and adjustability of the new 2015 YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M motorcycles. “The R1 and R1M are two of the world’s […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: Yamaha Launches R1 R1M Meter Simulator
Yamaha Launches R1 R1M Meter Simulator [message #7735] Fri, 27 February 2015 20:39
Anonymous

Sportbike fans are pretty excited about Yamaha’s 2015 YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M motorcycles. Now, prospective owners – or just those who want to play – can experience the ability to adjust the R1’s advanced electronics on Yamaha’s Meter Simulator. The simulator allows users to discover how the adjustments work and learn the menu system through toggling switches, rolling the selection wheel, and clicking the mode button. Aside from teaching the various adjustments, the simulator also demonstrates how easy it is to change the settings of the different ride control systems on the fly.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1/YZF-R1M First Ride Review

“The R1 and R1M are two of the world’s most technologically advanced motorcycles, and the new meter simulator allows enthusiasts and future owners to virtually adjust some of the advanced electronics settings from their tablet or computer,” said David Docktor, Yamaha’s motorcycle marketing manager. “The meter simulator on the Yamaha Motorsports website provides two great benefits: It showcases the breakthrough Yamaha Ride Control (YRC) system and enables consumers to learn about all the electronic features and adjustability of the R1 and R1M.”

Look for the meter simulator in the “Features/Innovation” section of the R1 and R1M model pages of the Yamaha Motorsports website.

 

Yamaha Launches R1 – R1M Meter Simulator appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Yamaha Announces Daytona 200 Contingencies and Bike Week Activities
Yamaha Announces Daytona 200 Contingencies and Bike Week Activities [message #7734] Fri, 27 February 2015 19:32
Anonymous

With Daytona Bike Week just around the corner, Yamaha has announced contingency support for the Daytona 200. The company has also previewed its Off-Road Racing and additional Daytona Bike Week Activities.

Yamaha racers are familiar with the bLU cRU contingency support the factory offers for select racing events. Well, the 2015 Daytona 200 is on the list, allowing riders with approved machinery to collect rewards for their racing efforts after the green flag drops on Saturday, March 14 at 1 PM EST.

“Although the 2015 Daytona 200 is not a part of this year’s MotoAmerica Road Racing Championship, we’re pleased to announce that we will be adding the Daytona 200 to our Yamaha bLU cRU Road Racing Contingency Program in support of all Yamaha R6 riders,” commented Mike GuerraRacing Department Manager for Yamaha. “All bLU cRU contingency money will be paid directly to the riders’ bLU cRU Debit Cards. In addition, upon registering for the Program, each bLU cRU rider will receive a $45 credit on http://www.bLUcRUswag.com; special rates with R.I.D.E. partners Yamaha Champions Riding School, American Supercamp, and Raines Riding University; as well as a 10% rebate on GYTR and Graves Motorsports parts and accessories.”

Naturally, Yamaha is heavily involved in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross at Daytona, taking place on Saturday, March 7. Other off-road events during Bike Week include:

• Saturday (ATV) and Sunday (Motorcycle), March 7 and 8: “The Wild Boar” Grand National Cross Country, Palatka, FL
• Sunday and Monday, March 8 and 9: Daytona Amateur Supercross, Daytona International Speedway
• Tuesday, March 10: AMA ATV MX, Daytona International Speedway
• Thursday, March 12: Alligator Enduro, Ormond Beach, FL
• Thursday & Friday, March 12 & 13: Daytona Flat Track, Daytona International Speedway

On Friday, March 6 through Friday, March 13 from 9 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday March 14 from 9 AM to 4 PM, Yamaha’s display area in the Vendor Village outside of the Daytona International Speedway will feature the 2015 YZF-R1/R1M, YZF-R3, and Star Bolt C-Spec. Demo rides will be available of select models at Gate 60 on the back side of the Speedway on Friday, March 6 through Friday, March 13 from 9 AM to 5 PM, or on Saturday, March 14 from 9 to 3 PM.

 

Yamaha Announces Daytona 200 Contingencies and Bike Week Activities appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Aprilia recall
Aprilia recall [message #7738] Fri, 27 February 2015 12:00
Anonymous

Shiver and Caponord models see recall.

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 Topic: Friday Fudge
Friday Fudge [message #7737] Fri, 27 February 2015 09:00
Anonymous

A two-stroke H2R? Indian muscling in on the MoCo's most profitable market? Nicky Hayden gettin' jiggy with tecmology (to quote Ali G)? It's in Friday Fudge!

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 Topic: Montreal Motorcycle Show starts today
Montreal Motorcycle Show starts today [message #7736] Fri, 27 February 2015 07:00
Anonymous

Head down to Palais des congrès to see this year's models.

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 Topic: Arch Motorcycles KRGT-1 First Ride Review
Arch Motorcycles KRGT-1 First Ride Review [message #7729] Thu, 26 February 2015 17:04
Anonymous

Arch Motorcycle KRGT-1

Editor Score: 80.0%
Engine 17.5/20
Suspension/Handling 12.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.5/10
Brakes 8.5/10
Instruments/Controls2.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.5/10
Desirability 9.5/10
Value 4.0/10
Overall Score80/100

Riding an exotic custom motorcycle with actor Keanu Reeves seems an unlikely scenario, yet there I was on the twisty roads in the hills above Malibu aboard a machine bearing the initials of the film star. The KRGT-1 translates into the first production bike from the partnership between Reeves and veteran custom builder Gard Hollinger in a venture called Arch Motorcycle.

Truth be told, when news first broke that Reeves was becoming involved with a high-priced custom bike business, I raised a wary eyebrow. It seemed so very 2007, back in the home-equity-as-ATM age when fancy custom cruisers — most lacking meaningful engineering investment — were being parked in every two-car garage. It was a little reminscent of the Dirico Motorcycles launch I attended in 2009, which boasted the involvement of legendary rockstar Steven Tyler.

Shockingly, there have thus far been no efforts made to produce merchandise like T-shirts and hats. “We’re under-branded,” downplays Reeves in a candid moment.

Here is the custom bike Gard Hollinger built for Keanu Reeves, beginning in 2006 with continued development until 2011, when it became the jumping-off point for the KRGT-1. Surprisingly, it was Reeves who had to convince Hollinger to enter production, not the other way around.

Here is the custom bike Gard Hollinger built for Keanu Reeves, beginning in 2006 with continued development until 2011, when it became the jumping-off point for the KRGT-1. Surprisingly, it was Reeves who had to convince Hollinger to enter production, not the other way around.

So, it was with a measure of relief to see the engineering behind Arch’s KRGT-1 to be more substantial than many of the boutique builders of days gone by, some of which would simply bolt a crate motor into an off-the-shelf frame and add fenders that may or may not have originated from a different aftermarket supplier.

The KRGT-1 uses a powertrain from outside suppliers S&S and Baker, but even here the Arch crew have added their own touches. The Reeves bike seen in the above photo has two drawbacks that needed rectifying. Its fuel tank was too small, and the air cleaner sticking out on its right side significantly impeded legroom. The solution was to use a bespoke downdraft intake.

Air is gulped through a custom K&N airbox (with a purported 40% increase in volume over a typical side-induction system) and injected with fuel to feed the 2032cc S&S Cycle T124 V-Twin motor. Arch claims a healthy 121.5 horsepower and 121.8 lb-ft at the rear wheel. The arched-backbone frame tube is a neat trick of a steel tube inside a tube. The rear section of the frame (in black) is a chunk of billet aluminum.

Air is gulped through a custom K&N airbox (with a purported 40% increase in volume over a typical side-induction system) and injected with fuel to feed the 2032cc S&S Cycle T124 V-Twin motor. Arch claims a healthy 121.5 horsepower and 121.8 lb-ft at the rear wheel. The arched-backbone frame tube is a neat trick of a steel tube inside a tube. The rear section of the frame (in black) is a chunk of billet aluminum.

“We’re building an American brand,” says Hollinger about the choice of the S&S motor. Despite the manufacturer’s small size, Arch and S&S are in the middle of EPA and CARB testing, to ensure the KRGT-1 is compliant with federal regulations. The KRGT currently uses a Yoshimura muffler that is quieter than most aftermarket systems fitted to Harleys but is louder than anything from a major OEM.

The aluminum-billet theme is one that repeats itself, and Arch says it chooses the material because it’s stronger than cast pieces, is lightweight, and it enables an almost unlimited choice of shapes. It also allows for subtle tweaking that is easily repeatable for production. “There’s been very few parts we’ve made that we’ve only made once,” admits Hollinger, who comes across as a finicky guy who demands perfection.

The seat pan and tailsection unit consists of five pieces of billet weighing 18 lbs, a massive machining effort from the 480 lbs of five billet chunks that originated the components. Note the seat-release cable mechanism that is handily mated to the ignition key, a detail touch distinct from most custom builds.

The seat pan and tailsection unit consists of five pieces of billet weighing 18 lbs, a massive machining effort from the 480 lbs of five billet chunks that originated the components. Note the seat-release cable mechanism that is handily mated to the ignition key, a detail touch distinct from most custom builds.

Arch’s CNC machines typically run 12 hours a day, six days a week. Each half of the 5.0-gallon fuel tank begins as a 260-lb aluminum block that gets whittled down to just 3.5 pounds!

You’re looking at a 75-lb block of aluminum that gets machined away until a lovely primary-drive cover emerges.

You’re looking at a 75-lb block of aluminum that gets machined away until a lovely primary-drive cover emerges.

The goal of practicality seems an odd focus for a radical custom bike such as this, but Arch has several surprises. “We wanted it to be a rider, not just a bar-hopper/profiler,” says Reeves. And so the triple clamps – billet, of course – are fitted with a steering lock. Gauges include low-fuel and neutral lights.

Riding With Keanu – Arch Support

The KRGT-1 is an impressive and imposing motorcycle, stretching some 68 inches between its axles and weighing some 600 lbs fully fueled and ready to ride. Making it more manageable than it might seem is its scooped saddle, low to the ground at 27.8 inches, and its surprising narrowness – no air filter poking outward at your right knee. The handlebars are placed fairly forward, providing a fists-punching-the-wind stance that can be altered depending on bar-riser blocks or alternative bars.

With a pair of 1016cc cylinders pounding at a 45-degree angle between the knees, it doesn’t take a Fabio Taglioni to realize vibration will make its way to a KRGT-1 rider. And there is some serious thudding going on when the Twin is revved out.

Don’t think Reeves is just a celebrity poser on a motorcycle. He rides the canyons more adeptly than most.

Don’t think Reeves is just a celebrity poser on a motorcycle. He rides the canyons more adeptly than most.

Then I stopped riding it like a Ducati and instead surfed the bountiful torque pulses found much lower in the powerband and wasn’t bothered by vibes for the rest of the day’s ride. The 124 cubic-inch mill is rubber mounted to the frame at the forward end, and the connector from the mount to the engine case is the only H-D part on the entire motorcycle. The rear cylinder head uses a bushing as an attachment to the backbone frame. Meanwhile, the Baker Drivetrain six-speed transmission proved to be smooth and precise; and the clutch pull fairly light.

The KRGT-1’s handling manners are much better than I was expecting from such a stretched out bike with a 30-degree rake and 5.0 inches of trail. A key aspect to its surprising performance is the stiffness of its chassis. A hard shove on the bars of such a long motorcycle almost always reveals flex of some sort, but the Arch divulged none.

So, while the KRGT-1 can’t be considered a sporty bike, its cornering performance goes beyond what its specs might lead you to believe. The stable chassis invited aggressive cornering. I tested both the mid-mount and forward-mounted footpegs, and not once did the road scrub a peg. The mid controls were preferable for when railing canyon roads, but the forward pegs seemed a better match for the KRGT.

The Arch KRGT-1’s swingarm is also constructed from billet, the five pieces getting shot-peened and anodized before assembly into an 18-lb component that resists flex.

The Arch KRGT-1’s swingarm is also constructed from billet, the five pieces getting shot-peened and anodized before assembly into an 18-lb component that resists flex.

The Arch also surprised by its exemplary ride quality, especially at the rear, where a wide 240/40-18 Michelin Commander tire resides. Fat tires always run counter to performance aspects, but the feathery BST carbon-fiber wheels offset the extra weight of the heavy tire . Hollinger spec’d a 210mm tire for the KRGT-1, as fitted to Keanu’s prototype, but that size was no longer offered in the 18-inch diameter he prefered, so a 240 bun is what made it through to production.

A 43mm Öhlins fork efficiently soaks up bumps delivered to the 120/70-19 front tire, while the rear end is damped by a specially built Race Tech shock and rising-rate suspension geometry. Arch also brought along a KRGT-1 equipped with an Öhlins shock, but I actually preferred the bump-absorption qualities of the Race Tech damper.

In addition to the fully adjustable suspension, the Arch also adapts to its rider via eccentrically adjustable toe nubbins on the foot controls and the handlebar mounts. I preferred the 3-inch bar “risers” that placed the bars closer to a rider than the 2-inchers.

The KRGT-1 is a sportier horse than it appears.

The KRGT-1 is a sportier horse than it appears.

One area the Arch comes up a bit short of its lofty intentions is its instrumentation. Sourced from MotoGadget, the gauges’ red-on-black dot-matrix-y readouts are a far cry from the full-color TFT instrumentation of modern high-end bikes. Also, the sweep of the tachometer only reaches halfway across the screen due to the relatively short rev range of the T124 motor, and there is no gear-position indicator.

But, really, the above is one of the few complaints I have about the KRGT-1. Aside from its price, which is listed at $78,000. That might not seem extravagant if you roll with A-list celebs, but it’s a pretty penny to those of us who are trying to eke out another few hundred miles from the shagged tires on the bike in our garage. Arch hopes to sell 50 of ‘em before moving on to a new model.

Silver 2

 

Personally, I think the KRGT-1 nicely bridges the divide between cruiser and sporty bike, and its sultry and exotic appearance is sure to gain attention from gearheads and the uninitiated alike. Whether you can make a case for it or not depends largely on the size of your bank account.

+ Highs

  • Torque monster
  • One-of-a-kind (well, 50…) cruiser
  • Keanu luster
- Sighs

  • Premium price
  • Relentlessly explaining billet
  • Keanu luster doesn’t include Keanu
Arch Motorcycle KRGT-1 Specs
MSRP $78,000
Engine Type 45° Arch proprietary S&S Cycle T124 Twin Cam air-cooled V-Twin
Engine Capacity 2032cc (124 ci)
Fuel System Downdraft EFI
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Frame Steel/Aluminum cradle frame
Front Suspension Ohlins inverted 43mm fork, fully adjustable
Rear Suspension Race Tech single shock, fully adjustable
Front Brakes ISR 6-piston radial-mount monoblock calipers, twin discs
Rear Brakes ISR 4-piston monoblock caliper, 298mm disc
Front Tire 120/70-ZR19
Rear Tire 240/40-ZR18
Seat Height 27.8 inches
Wheelbase 68.0 inches
Rake 30°
Trail 5.0 inches
Dry Weight 538 lbs
Fuel Capacity 5.0 gal
GgalleryA25 (1) GgalleryA19 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 GgalleryA18 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 The KRGT-1 is a sportier horse than it appears. Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 You’re looking at a 75-lb block of aluminum that gets machined away until a lovely primary-drive cover emerges. Air is gulped through a custom K&N airbox (with a purported 40% increase in volume over a typical side-induction system) and injected with fuel to feed the 2032cc S&S Cycle T124 V-Twin motor. Arch claims a healthy 121.5 horsepower and 121.8 lb-ft at the rear wheel. The arched-backbone frame tube is a neat trick of a steel tube inside a tube. The rear section of the frame (in black) is a chunk of billet aluminum. Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 Don’t think Reeves is just a celebrity poser on a motorcycle. He rides the canyons more adeptly than most. Don’t think Reeves is just a celebrity poser on a motorcycle. He rides the canyons more adeptly than most. The seat pan and tailsection unit consists of five pieces of billet weighing 18 lbs, a massive machining effort from the 480 lbs of five billet chunks that originated the components. Note the seat-release cable mechanism that is handily mated to the ignition key, a detail touch distinct from most custom builds. Here is the custom bike Gard Hollinger built for Keanu Reeves, beginning in 2006 with continued development until 2011, when it became the jumping-off point for the KRGT-1. Surprisingly, it was Reeves who had to convince Hollinger to enter production, not the other way around. Silver 21 Silver 20 Silver 9 The Arch KRGT-1’s swingarm is also constructed from billet, the five pieces getting shot-peened and anodized before assembly into an 18-lb component that resists flex. Silver 5 Silver 3 Silver 18 Silver 17 Silver 2 Silver 1 IMG_8352 Here is the custom bike Gard Hollinger built for Keanu Reeves, beginning in 2006 with continued development until 2011, when it became the jumping-off point for the KRGT-1. Surprisingly, it was Reeves who had to convince Hollinger to enter production, not the other way around. GgalleryA32 IMG_8336 Arch Motorcycles Feb. 2015 The seat pan and tailsection unit consists of five pieces of billet weighing 18 lbs, a massive machining effort from the 480 lbs of five billet chunks that originated the components. The seat-release cable mechanism is handily mated to the ignition key, a detail touch distinct from most custom builds.

Arch Motorcycles KRGT-1 First Ride Review appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Top Ten Moto-Friendly Places To Eat In North America
Top Ten Moto-Friendly Places To Eat In North America [message #7728] Thu, 26 February 2015 16:56
Anonymous

Top-10-Moto-Friendly-Places-to-Eat

What do you want? There are a million greasy spoon biker hangouts in North America and it’s my job to come up with the Ten Best. The chances of me getting this right are roughly equivalent to W. Bush making new friends at an ISIS bar mitzvah, of me winning the Czech GP on a Vespa, of Mitch McConnell posting selfies from a Crossfit gym. Mine not to reason why…

I can personally vouch for the California entries, but for most of the rest of them I solicited input from friends scattered around this great continent of ours, so graciously stocked for our dining pleasure with the tastiest flora and fauna in the galaxy. Let’s start out in Malibu and work our way around roughly clockwise… (I wonder why there is no place there called “Malibu Barbie-que”?)

Top Ten Moto-Friendly Places To Eat In North America appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M Press Launch, Report 3: Final Thoughts on Press Introduction (with video) (Bike Reports) (News)
2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M Press Launch, Report 3: Final Thoughts on Press Introduction (with video) (Bike Reports) (News) [message #7733] Thu, 26 February 2015 16:05
Anonymous
The 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M are remarkable motorcycles, both of which are available now in the U.S. The standard model is priced at $16,490, while the R1M is $21,990. Both models are distinguished by the highly advanced, computer-controlled systems they utilize to aide the rider. Before we get to the electronics, let’s talk about what […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: Oregon may legalize lane-splitting
Oregon may legalize lane-splitting [message #7732] Thu, 26 February 2015 11:00
Anonymous

Following California's path and possibly the state of Washington, Oregon may legalize lane splitting.

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 Topic: New REV’IT Dominator GTX adventure gear coming for 2015
New REV’IT Dominator GTX adventure gear coming for 2015 [message #7731] Thu, 26 February 2015 08:01
Anonymous

The REV'IT Dominator GTX lineup (jacket, pants, gloves) is pricy, but offers highly technical capability.

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 Topic: Ed’s March Across Canada – The Prairies
Ed’s March Across Canada – The Prairies [message #7730] Thu, 26 February 2015 07:25
Anonymous

Ed and Rach hit the flat lands of Canada's Prairies and experience the joys of minus 25C.

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 Topic: Head Shake Don’t Touch My Junk
Head Shake Don’t Touch My Junk [message #7719] Wed, 25 February 2015 15:00
Anonymous

It’s that time of year again. There is ice, and snow, and muck outside and the wife is making noises about, “tidying up” the basement. In the absence of a garage the basement is, in large part anyway, my domain. Nothing strikes fear in my heart like hearing her utter that phrase, “tidying up.” Tidying up in her parlance means disappeared, like the Bermuda Triangle, never to be seen again.

These got tidied up once upon a time too, never to be seen again.

These got tidied up once upon a time too, never to be seen again.

I am a man with a lot of junk; layered, stacked, boxed, organized, reorganized, and cross-referenced junk. In much the same way you can trace the geological development of the Miocene age by sifting through the layers of diatomaceous Earth, dark sandy clays, and marl strata in the Atlantic coastal plain region, a big chunk of which I live on top of, you can likewise travel back in time and trace the development of late 20th – 21st century performance motorcycles, safety gear, and American road racing by sifting through the layers of motorcycle related crap located in my basement.

Let’s go down here and take a little look around and see what all the fuss is over. Okay, first off she is not all wrong. The assorted collection of take-offs and fried street tires may be a bit over the top. Nobody really needs an old set of Tom Kipp’s Dunlop D-364s from the, “factory teams get all the good tires,” era, or Dr. Bob Meister’s fried slicks. She may have a minor point there. Or the toasty Metzelers, Pirellis, Michelins and… Cheng Shins? Where did those come from? Tires from last century are probably pushing it. Oh well, we all have our cross to bear, I suppose. You change tires for friends, you have old tires, you stack them up, next thing you know you have a lot of old tires.

Then, after you trip over the Marchesinis with the Bridgestone rains on them, we have the completely disassembled Honda CB350, an aborted WERA GP350 project for a buddy of mine who wanted to go racing on the cheap. As it was we got him on the track with another vintage bike that came along and he got his license. Somebody will be able to put these parts; the frame, the engine, the swingarm, to good use though. Likewise with the boxes of turn signals, centerstands, and mirrors stripped from decades of bikes heading for the track. There’s always some new guy tipping over a street bike and mangling those pieces apart. They’ll get used.

Making little junk out of big junk.

Making little junk out of big junk.

The problem is so much of this stuff conjures memories, some with some unique history. This stuff has meaning. Take something as simple as a lonely Yosh-Suzuki black ignition box sitting atop that work bench over there. That black box was supplied to AMA Pro Racing back in 1994 to conform to the 750 SuperSport rules of the day. The way the rules were written there were concerns of all sorts; tampering with ignition curves, stopping assembly lines to weigh and measure parts to assemble what would be as close to a balanced and blueprinted motor as possible, even the fuel of the day was making tech inspectors sick and they were running all kinds of tests to figure out what they were dealing with. It seemed everybody knew that somebody, somewhere was cheating, they just weren’t sure how.

The funny thing was, and this is just a small example, but if there actually was tampering going on, and the rules required the race team to supply an alternate and representative black box, don’t you think that would be similarly altered as well? Sure it would. Nothing was ever proven, and there sits that box with its little AMA Tech sticker on it, the bike it belongs to sits across the basement. And all the brand new cylinders, cases, crankshaft, stock plastic, and everything else sits in between, all presumably within factory spec, or factory perfect spec, or not.

There are times when two heads are not better than one in matters of junk tidying.

There are times when two heads are not better than one in matters of junk tidying.

The memories waiting to happen are just as numerous, spares for every crash contingency in the world; levers, bars, controls, pegs, spare gearing for everything from Bonneville to hill climbs, multiplied by the available bikes. Not to mention the charging assemblies for the two total loss bikes, the tire warmers, and to think, this could be tidied up! To where? Who knows?

I could warn her of the hazards of Miocene era tidying, though I doubt it would have much effect: “Collecting at the base of the high cliffs is not recommended. Access to the area is difficult, and most of the land is privately owned. In addition, large blocks often fall from the overhanging cliffs and can cause serious accidents.”

Although if that large crate of RZ350 parts were to come down on her head it might get her attention. The only thing worse would be Burns sending me one of his snotty California life-in-paradise beach photos right now. The best bet is to bide my time and just hope spring arrives before this plan comes to fruition, because just as certain as I can become distracted by the smallest of things in the basement moto-related, she will be planting mums and moving the plants outside.

If I can just make it to March with my junk intact (and ignore the boxes in the living room), she will be distracted by spring and I’ll be in the clear again. At least until next February. Ride hard, keep an eye on your junk, and look where you want to go.

Head Shake – Don’t Touch My Junk appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Video: Song of the Open Road (via cafe racer!)
Video: Song of the Open Road (via cafe racer!) [message #7723] Wed, 25 February 2015 13:00
Anonymous

Ride along in this video with a couple of homebrewed cafe racers through back road America.

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 Topic: Sepang Test Ends With Three Teams Near The Front (News)
Sepang Test Ends With Three Teams Near The Front (News) [message #7727] Wed, 25 February 2015 12:25
Anonymous
The last day of official testing at Sepang has ended with a familiar name at the top, but new names will likely race near the front this year. The riders were expected to go for fast times today, and they did. A lap at Sepang under 2 minutes is very fast. Seven riders achieved this […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: MotoGP test: Sepang 2 test sees improvements for most
MotoGP test: Sepang 2 test sees improvements for most [message #7722] Wed, 25 February 2015 11:00
Anonymous

Marc Marquez is still the man on top of the heap.

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 Topic: 2015 Mad Bastard Scooter Rally details announced
2015 Mad Bastard Scooter Rally details announced [message #7721] Wed, 25 February 2015 09:00
Anonymous

Here are the dates you can sign up for the rally.

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 Topic: VRRA will run alongside CSBK at Calabogie
VRRA will run alongside CSBK at Calabogie [message #7720] Wed, 25 February 2015 07:00
Anonymous

Vintage racing series will support Canadian Superbike event at Ontario track.

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 Topic: Lorenzo Satisfied after Second Day of Test at Sepang (Industry Press Releases)
Lorenzo Satisfied after Second Day of Test at Sepang (Industry Press Releases) [message #7726] Tue, 24 February 2015 22:52
Anonymous
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on track today for the second of three days of riding for the second IRTA official Sepang Test, finishing in second and fifth place respectively. With yesterday’s storm having cleared off, today’s dry and bright weather conditions were perfect for more action at the Sepang […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: Second Day of Testing at Sepang (Industry Press Releases)
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: Second Day of Testing at Sepang (Industry Press Releases) [message #7725] Tue, 24 February 2015 22:46
Anonymous
Sepang (Malaysia), 24 February 2015 – On the Sepang track, scorching from the almost 40°C temperatures, the MotoGP took on the second day of collective testing, the penultimate stop before getting down to business with the first round in Qatar scheduled for 29 March. In the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini garage work continued non-stop on […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: New Desmosedici GP15 makes further progress on Day 2 of Sepang testing: Iannone 3rd and Dovizioso 4th (Industry Press Releases)
New Desmosedici GP15 makes further progress on Day 2 of Sepang testing: Iannone 3rd and Dovizioso 4th (Industry Press Releases) [message #7724] Tue, 24 February 2015 22:38
Anonymous
Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) made further progress today on the second day of pre-season IRTA testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, and after just two days on the new bike both men said that they were very satisfied with the progress being made. After yesterday’s positive track debut of the Desmosedici […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: Evans Off Camber – Here Be Dragons
Evans Off Camber – Here Be Dragons [message #7707] Tue, 24 February 2015 16:47
Anonymous

Opinions about electronic aids to riding motorcycles are like belly buttons, every rider has one. Cruise to any of the motorcycle forums that my employer owns (there are a bunch of ‘em), and you’re likely to find a thread debating the evils of ABS and/or traction control because they insert themselves between the rider’s input and the motorcycle’s reactions. Just about a year ago, Teakettle editor, John Burns, gave us his take on traction control, summing it up thusly: “I think TC is the greatest moto invention since the rubber tire.”

After my trip to Almeria, Spain last week, I’m inclined to agree, but I want to expand my praise to include the 2015 BMW S1000RR’s implementation of ABS, Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), and, to a lesser extent, HP Gear Shift Assist Pro. These tools not only save a rider’s bacon, but also provide a mental margin of error for the rider to explore the limits of his/her ability while learning from mistakes without the drastic consequences of bruised tissue and broken plastic.

If you’ve read my Metzeler Sportec M7 RR review, you already know that, at the introduction, I was that guy, the one who crashed, so I needn’t go into all the maudlin details. Manufacturers who organize any kind of track riding event in which they are providing the press with motorcycles know what they’re getting in to and are well aware that some of the shiny, new motorcycles for which they are responsible may end up a little worse for the wear. They can be remarkably understanding of mishaps, provided you weren’t doing anything reckless and/or stupid. However, there is a special place in hell reserved for those who have the poor taste to crash twice – not the least of which would be withholding an invitation for your publication to the next event.

high side!

Crashing is almost always an expensive proposition.

These are the weighty thoughts going through a rider’s mind when returning to the track with freshly scuffed leathers and a replacement bike that somebody else owns. We’ve all read about racers at the upper levels of the sport who crash a bike and immediately throw down a faster time on their backup bike. This is one of the ways in which top level racers are different from you and me. As I rolled back out onto the wet track, with rain still falling, my thoughts could be summed up as: “Don’t crash, don’t crash, don’t crash, don’t crash. Oh, and don’t forget to test the tires.” In this hyper-vigilant state, the electronic aids were there, whispering in my ear, “I’ve got your back,” as I circulated the track bringing my breathing and pulse rate down to normal.

Learning requires taking risks and assessing the results – both positive and negative. Having electronics insert themselves into the rider’s inputs to prevent mishaps is a good thing, provided the implementation isn’t handled in a ham-fisted manner. ABS and TC are mature technology, and they are now quite tunable to account for differing levels of rider ability. Their presence on all premium sportbikes illustrates that the manufacturers understand the important role electronics now play in performance riding.

Anyone remember the BMW R1200C? It had ABS – a fact that it announced with loud clanging that sounded like someone was taking a ball-peen hammer to a rusty hinge the first time you pulled away from a stop after starting the engine. You should also know that the histrionics the system engaged in when it was triggered were equally as subtle. Yes, the ABS could save you in a low traction situation, but it also upset the chassis and distracted the rider. We’ve advanced light years beyond those days.

Almeria track action

The mud on my boot says that this is post crash full pucker mode.

As I circulated the wet pavement of Almeria, knowing that the ABS and traction control increased my margin of error allowed me to get back up to speed and return to the task of testing the Sportec M7 RR tires. Because the consequences of a second get off were so high, I probably wouldn’t have made it up to the threshold of grip under braking if not for the knowledge that the ABS would allow me to gracefully recover should I cross over the line. (An aside: I can’t tell you how many times experienced riders have told me, after buying a bike with ABS, that they were shocked at how much stopping power they discovered they had been leaving on the table prior to having access to ABS and the confidence it gave them to safely push their limits.)

I’ve often found it entertaining to listen to riders rail against the proliferation of rider aids while – at the same time – having quick shifters mounted on their bikes. I guess if it helps to do something faster, it’s ok, but if it is there to compensate for a mistake, it’s interfering with the purity of the ride, making the motorcyclist who takes advantage of this technology a lesser rider. Even with the technological assist, riders with poor technique will always be slower than those with finely honed skills. So, what’s the big deal? Or is it just posturing?

My get off in Spain also outlines that, despite the technological advances in electronics and rubber, motorcycle bodywork still has to cash the checks that riders write – just hopefully on a less frequent basis. How can we expect to improve our skills if every mistake has us cleaning gravel out of our belly pan? Instead, by informing us of our errors while preventing them from biting us in the ass, electronic rider aids have the potential to make us safer, faster riders. All we have to do is listen to their input and learn.

 

Evans Off Camber – Here Be Dragons appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Gear Test: Tourmaster Synergy 2 Heated Gear
Gear Test: Tourmaster Synergy 2 Heated Gear [message #7713] Tue, 24 February 2015 15:00
Anonymous

Tourmaster provided CMG's mileage monster with heated jacket liner, gloves and insoles. He put thousands of miles on them for this review.

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 Topic: Mad Bastard Scooter Rally – SOLD!
Mad Bastard Scooter Rally – SOLD! [message #7712] Tue, 24 February 2015 13:00
Anonymous

Mad Bastard Scooter Rally has been sold to BECO Motors International (aka KYMCO Canada).

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 Topic: Day 2 at Sepang: The New Ducati is Very Quick! (News)
Day 2 at Sepang: The New Ducati is Very Quick! (News) [message #7718] Tue, 24 February 2015 12:45
Anonymous
Ducati factory riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, on only their second day testing the entirely new Desmosedici GP15, set the third and forth quickest times at Sepang … very nearly dipping under two minutes flat! Dovizioso indicated he did his fastest lap on a hard tire (rather than on the softer compound that can […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: Grom-based series to run in Mission, BC
Grom-based series to run in Mission, BC [message #7711] Tue, 24 February 2015 11:00
Anonymous

Minibike racing organization will oversee new championship, which could spread to other provinces.

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 Topic: Watch last weekend’s WSB races, for free
Watch last weekend’s WSB races, for free [message #7710] Tue, 24 February 2015 10:00
Anonymous

YouTube uploader offers Phillip Island action.

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 Topic: Speed and Strength starts direct online sales in Canada
Speed and Strength starts direct online sales in Canada [message #7709] Tue, 24 February 2015 09:00
Anonymous

Slumping dollar provides opportunity for Canada-based web commerce.

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 Topic: Ducati’s GP15 debuts on track
Ducati’s GP15 debuts on track [message #7708] Tue, 24 February 2015 08:00
Anonymous

Factory riders seem happy with changes, at least for now.

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Forum: Vendor Forum (HTML Format)
 Topic: MICHELIN TIRE SALE - at Dynamic Cycle Parts
MICHELIN TIRE SALE - at Dynamic Cycle Parts [message #7744] Sat, 28 February 2015 16:20
Anonymous

MICHELIN PILOT POWER 2CT TIRES
120/70 ZR 17 & 180/55 ZR 17
$297.00 For The Pair





MICHELIN PILOT POWER 3 TIRES
120/70 ZR 17 & 180/55 ZR 17
$307.00 For The Pair






MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 3 TIRES
120/70 ZR 17 & 180/55 ZR 17
$348.00 For The Pair





MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 4 TIRES
120/70 ZR 17 & 180/55 ZR 17
$374.00 For The Pair







MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 4 GT TIRES
120/70 ZR 17 & 180/55 ZR 17
$399.00 For The Pair








Phone: 289-371-3025
Fax: 289-371-3024
Cell Phone or Text Message: 416-300-5957

sales@dynamiccycleparts.com


Dynamic Cycle Parts Inc.
271 Jevlan Drive Unit 14
Woodbridge, ON L4L 8A4

From Greater Toronto Area Motorcycle forum. Link: here
 Topic: Boots & more apparel !! 5% off
Boots & more apparel !! 5% off [message #7741] Fri, 27 February 2015 22:35
Anonymous
I've been adding more items to my online store and now have Boots. So, I'm not Motorcycle specific gear, but have some products that definitely are great for Riders.

Take advantage of 5% off - Pre-riding season Promo !!

Check out few models...... and don't forget, my Ballistic Eyewear is Paramount for Riders. At modest prices range, getting quality & safety rated glasses to protect you from the elements and any unforeseen incident.

Ridge Footwear - FC206 - All Leather - $129


9003 Ultimate Mid-Waterproof - $159


Air-Tac Mid Zip - $124


More great products for Riding or other Activities... be it sports or leisure.
Swissmade Watches, w/ Tritium insert illumination....Easy to read the time, day & night .. tritium inserts are guaranteed to illuminate for 10 years, and usually lasts longer. Some of these meet a military specs...so these are tough and quality built !


Night View



Night View


* I'll be ordering a limited selection of these watches soon, if love to have one, gotta contact me and order the model you like.


Ballistic (mil-spec) Hi velocity impact resistant glasses !!... Yes, these models are rated to be able to stop a 12 guage - #6 shot, shotgun blast from 10 meters +/- !! Hmmm. hands down choice for any activity, especially sport related.

Wiley X Saint - $95-$135 (reg. tint/polarized) - Free shipping..........Wiley X Glasses come w/Lifetime warranty !!!


Wiley X Gravity - $104 - Free Shipping


Wiley X Censor - $99 - Free Shipping


Wiley X Romer 3 - $99 - Comes w/ 2 lens kit - Free Shipping


Revision Hellfly - $110 - Free shipping... polarized model available.


Gloves..well, tactical gloves, but some have characteristics that are relevant to riding... added material in key places, cut/fire resistant, hardend nuckles, etc.... $79 - $155.. only one model shown.



Most spectacle models can have prescription lenses in the frames.. and made to meet Ansi Z87.1 safety std....

Other cool apparel on my site, not biker specific, but great durable stuff.. No cheap products here.

From Greater Toronto Area Motorcycle forum. Link: here
 Topic: Check out this great wweekend special!
Check out this great wweekend special! [message #7740] Fri, 27 February 2015 00:08
Petes-Superbike is currently offline  Petes-Superbike
Messages: 15
Registered: January 2013
Location: Montreal
Novice
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Get 50% of MSRP, NOT from the normal tire prices on my site but from the manufacturers suggested retail price. also get 40% off D.I.D. RK chains, EBC brakes, and JT sprockets, ends Sunday night at midnight!

Just click on the picture to go to the site.
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From Greater Toronto Area Motorcycle forum. Link: here



Current Time: Mon Mar 02 22:05:41 EST 2015