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Forum: Motorcycle Site Feeds
 Topic: A Honda Runs Through It
A Honda Runs Through It [message #5680] Mon, 28 July 2014 20:10
Anonymous

When my MO superiors asked me to do something the opposite of Sturgis, I offered to take my son fishing up in the eastern Sierra of California, a place famous for its trout streams and lakes. I was half kidding really, but they bit. (Get it?) We’d rather stay on the couch or camp out with 10,000 beery guys on open-piped Harleys, but work is work. Honda insisted on loaning us a couple of new motorcycles, and I already have closets full of great gear. Sometimes it’s hard to say no. The kid was pretty enthused, which surprised me a little because the older he gets the less up he is for my schemes. SeaWorld and the zoo are right out now that he’s got two years of college under his belt. We rode motorcycles a lot at SoCal’s finer MX parks when he was younger, but not so much lately. He did just get his motorcycle permit not long ago, though, and this would be our first real street ride together. Once you’re geriatric, one of the great advantages of having children is that they feel obligated to hang out with you a little. Take full advantage.

Ryan Burns: Very true, pure guilt and pity were the motivating factors for this trip. Why would I want to ride brand new, free motorcycles on a fishing trip through the most beautiful parts of California when I could be shirtless in my boxers on my couch watching cartoons?

Big Two-Honda’d River: You can ride right up to Lee Vining Creek on the way into Yosemite from the east, and you can camp right on it for $14 a night. I have to compliment myself on the kid’s gear selection. The Spidi jacket looks like it was designed to fish in, no? Great for riding motorcycles too.

Big Two-Honda’d River: You can ride right up to Lee Vining Creek on the way into Yosemite from the east, and you can camp right on it for $14 a night. I have to compliment myself on the kid’s gear selection. The Spidi jacket looks like it was designed to fish in, no? Great for riding motorcycles too.

Well, I didn’t want to bore the kid right off  the bat, so we went over the mountains exiting the LA basin instead of around them – up and over the famed Angeles Crest – and every time I looked in my mirrors (nearly constantly), he was right there. Once on the backside of the San Gabriel range that Sunday morning, we watched the clouds we’d just climbed through billow over the crest of the mountains and instantly evaporate as we headed north toward Mojave, Tehachapi, Kernville. I love stuff like that. As I get older, motorcycling for me is more and more about getting out there in nature, less about how fast I can move through it.

CTX1300 Deluxe and CTX700N prepare to descend into Owens Valley.

CTX1300 Deluxe and CTX700N prepare to descend into Owens Valley.

Another thing you get from your children, me anyway, is a strengthened sense of empathy. When the kid attempted a little seat hop on the CTX700 over a mound of dirt after we’d stopped in a big turnout up in the mountains, and crashed the thing in the finest Burns tradition upon landing, my first reaction was to wonder if he was okay. I didn’t even laugh until after I’d picked the bike up off him and ascertained that he was. My bad for not telling him a CTX700 is not like an RM85 in the dirt. I really feel like I have passed the torch.

RB: I now fully grasp the handling differences. Yeah, that was dumb. In my defense the CTX felt very light and easy to maneuver and in my inexperience on street bikes my dirt senses took over and I ended up with dirt in my senses. Haha?

Highway 178 matches the Kern River turn for turn as it climbs alongside it toward Lake Isabella, an even more beautiful sight than usual in the middle of a drought, and maybe the first river the kid has seen in California that actually has water in it. Chili cheese fries and plenty of hydration in Kernville. We’d made really good time getting there – just four hours I think – so I decided we’d do Sherman Pass, which is definitely the long and winding, also bumpy and gnarly way back down to 395. Still no complaints, even though we wound up putting in about a 12-hour ride to make it to Bishop that first day. Maybe the kid’s tougher than I thought?

RB: Sherman Pass needs some damn road work. Butt cheeks operating at maximum clampage in much of the dirt covered, pothole-riddled road. Did make it exciting and adventurous feeling though.

Sherman Pass climbs above 9000 feet over the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada, before spitting you out on 395 down below.

Sherman Pass climbs above 9000 feet over the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada, before spitting you out on 395 down below.

I admit it, I really have spoiled the kid. I think that happens when you just have one. He liked the CTX700 fine in the curves and fun parts of the ride, but didn’t like its really forward-set footpegs much at all on the long straight bits of 395 to Bishop: He felt like he was having to hang onto the grips to keep from being blown off the bike, so I mostly rode the 700 on the straights. He’s right. I don’t like the forward pegs either, but my spine seems to have developed some sort of ratcheting mechanism over the years that locks me in place like a piece of mountain climbing equipment. One foot on the regular peg, one on the passenger peg, mix and rotate, works for about 140 miles at a time. In the absence of cruise control, the el-cheapo Crampbuster is the best $10 you can spend. In fairness, our 700 is the “N,” for naked. I’m going to guess the faired version is probably way better for travelling.

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Meanwhile, with the kid in the saddle of the CTX1300, I for one am glad Honda retuned it to make many fewer horses than the 110 of the 2013 ST1300 MO dynoed last year. Technical difficulties precluded us getting our bike on the dyno, but reliable Google sources have the CTX at about 76 horses (and 5 foot-pounds less torque too), which is just about how it feels. Much like a governor you can’t turn off. I’ve said all I have to say about that. Until later.

RB: Maybe it was nerves, or inexperience, but I did feel like I had a death grip on the bars of the CTX700 on the long straights (pretty terrifying on the freeway). Using the passenger pegs to get yourself in a better position for the wind helped but did feel awkward, I wouldn’t recommend it for extended periods unless you’re my dad. The 1300 felt great on the long hauls, pretty comfortable and stable feeling. It did feel kind of sluggish on acceleration but that’s what I expected from a larger bike.

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In truth, we have done this drive before in the old Ranger truck, to go snowboarding at Mammoth. While I soaked up and waxed poetic re: the scenery of the Owens River Valley and Mt. McKinley from behind the wheel, the kid mostly played his Gameboy and wanted to know how much farther. Motorcycles change everything, don’t they?

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We are not big fisherpeople, really, but what could be more wholesome and antithetical to Sturgis? In fact, one of the kid’s college roommates is a fisherman, and they had been doing some guerilla fishing in San Diego, in golf course ponds and Lake Murray after dark, so he knew more than I did about catching a fish, which is not saying a lot. He knows how to tie knots, which probably saved us hours. We did indeed find some awesome fishing holes thanks to the friendly locals, and most of them I could’ve driven right up to in my old Jaguar. But it wouldn’t have been the same, would it?

Mono Lake, at the western edge of the Great Basin and the eastern foot of the Sierra, lies at the bottom of Tioga Pass (California 120).

Mono Lake, at the western edge of the Great Basin and the eastern foot of the Sierra, lies at the bottom of Tioga Pass (California 120).

Most people entering Yosemite from the east, through 9943-foot Tioga Pass, are in a hurry to get there, too busy to pay much attention to the creek that cascades down from the pass and winds along the floor of the valley, through the aspens and pines and tall green grass. I assumed you needed a Jeep or “adventure bike”  to get to such a gorgeous place, but we pulled right up to the rushing clear snowmelt on our CTXs. We were in a hurry too; child was stoked to be going to Yosemite and had already made clear he could take the fishing part of the trip or leave it. But we made a few preliminary casts with our new Zebco Dock Demon ($16 at Walmart) just to try it out. Amazingly, we knew they were in there because a) all these places are stocked and b) we made eye contact with some good-sized trout. You lookin’ at me? We’ll be back, fish …

We’ll be back, trout.

We’ll be back, trout.

It had been pushing 90 degrees in Bishop that morning by the time we got our usual not-so-early start, but the thermometer on the CTX1300 registered 63 at Tioga Summit. On the first day, the kid had made me stop every half hour for a clothing adjustment: open vents, close vents, put the sweatshirt on take the sweatshirt off … by today, he’d gotten it. On a motorcycle and in life, sometimes it’s better to adjust the conditions inside your head, press on, and wait out the minor discomforts. Everything reverts to the mean.

The guy in Mac’s, in Bishop, and in Beaver’s in Lee Vining (and probably in all the other shops too), want you to catch a fish and are super friendly and helpful. Maybe shop there instead of Walmart. A two-day license will set you back $23.50.

The guy in Mac’s, in Bishop, and in Beaver’s in Lee Vining (and probably in all the other shops too), want you to catch a fish and are super friendly and helpful. Maybe shop there instead of Walmart. A two-day license will set you back $23.50.

I knew the $16 rod and reel probably wouldn’t last forever, but I did think it might be good for the couple of days we might fish for small trout in small streams, and it seemed like just the thing since it’s only three feet long and slipped neatly right under the cargo net on the back seat of the 1300. (We went in looking for the Popeil Pocket Fisherman for editorial effect, but they were fresh out.) Our new Zebco did last through Lee Vining Creek on the way up to Yosemite, but once inside the park, as soon as the kid made about his third cast into the Tuolumne River and began dragging the spinner bait back across the current, the crank fell off the reel and into a deep hole. Nice. Game over. Zebco, a name you could trust when you were 12. (Maybe operator error really, since we later learned there’s a nut that lets you move the handle to the right or left side of the reel that we didn’t know to tighten now and then …)

RB: Crank casted right off. Spent a few moments trying to determine what important object I had just thrown in the water and realized what it was when I began to reel in and grasped at nothing but air…

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We knew there were trout in the Tuolumne (which I believe is not stocked) because they were giving us the hairy eyeball the whole time. At least the fact that we were done fishing for the day freed up time to do some other tourist stuff, like climb the boulder field to the bottom of Yosemite Falls, which was big fun – nature’s own adult jungle gym/water park.

072814-honda-fishing-fallsConventional wisdom since I have lived in California is that you should avoid places like Yosemite during the tourist season. I know not whether the current economy is to blame or what, but the park wasn’t all that crowded really, at least not with Americans: The most common language in and around the park was German. (It’s probably just a coincidence they have strong labor unions there and a middle class that can afford to travel. A family of four Deutschers was actually doing a happy holding-hands song and dance in the Motel 6 pool in Mammoth like something out of an old Esther Williams movie.) No traffic jams inside the valley, and none on the way out highway 140 that evening, which twists smoothly alongside the Merced River as it drains toward the west coast – the side most tourists get to Yosemite from. There was no trouble getting a room in the touristy little town of Mariposa (though $150 was almost twice what we’d payed in Bishop the night before), and the friendly guy in Ace hardware fixed us up with a six-foot made-in-China Executive (!) collapsible rod and spinning reel that breaks down into a handy canvas carrying case, for $32. At first, the whole fishing deal had been a hook to hang this story on; now we were the hookees. Now we needed to catch a trout. Our fishing license was good for another day, our Yosemite pass for another six. The kid doesn’t have to be back in school till next month. And, sweet Jesus, I am at work. Pinch me.

Next morning at the crack of ten, we are heading back up 140 toward a few likely fishing holes we had reconnoitered the previous evening. The Merced along here is wider and deeper than the other streams we’d been fishing and we didn’t catch anything, but it was no loss since you can park your bike in a turnout, hop the CCC-built stone wall, and there you are. A few locals were up there picnicking on the lovely sand beaches and swimming in the deep holes between boulders while again, 99.9 percent of the cars made a beeline to the main attraction up in Yosemite Valley. The flowing water nicely masked the sounds of their cars. Trunks under an Aersostich would’ve been the cool gear selection for certain, but we didn’t spend a lot of time because we had a rendezvous with the lunkers we’d already spotted up in the Tuolumne and on the other side of the park.

Twenty yards upstream from this spot on the Merced (just over the wall from a turnout on Highway 140) there’s a perfect little waterfall between two boulders, and on the other side of it a perfect sandy beach with a deep swimming hole. And a couple of hot moms in bikinis.

Twenty yards upstream from this spot on the Merced (just over the wall from a turnout on Highway 140) there’s a perfect little waterfall between two boulders, and on the other side of it a perfect sandy beach with a deep swimming hole. And a couple of hot moms in bikinis.

We backtracked through all the pines and curves and granite monolith vistas with one goal in mind, to seek revenge on the Tuolumne trout and his Lee Vining Creek brethren. From the bridge over the Tuolumne, we watched them watching us. Shortly after, the kid hooked into his first angry four-incher on a gold spinner bait. After a milliseconds-long battle, he landed him. Sadly, the shiny little bugger had ingested the whole treble-hooked deal, and expired on the operating table. We felt terrible and decided since all we were seeing was babies, we should move on. At lunch, the kid called me a trout murderer for not buying the barbless hooks you’re supposed to use in the park, an inaccurate but cruel accusation which drove me to drink and gave me the opening to lecture the Beav on criminal intent: This was a case of troutslaughter, not murder. Anyway, the pressure was off. If anybody asked did we catch a fish, we could say yes and move quickly to the next topic. The kid pinched the barbs on our one lure closed.

The fantasy and the reality.

The fantasy and the reality.

Back down to Lee Vining Creek we rode, dying to get our bait back in the water. Feeling all Hemingwayish, we hiked back upriver from where we parked the CTXs, a distance of some 30 grueling yards. There we came upon a beautiful sun-dappled pool among aspens rattling silver-green leaves in a light breeze against high-altitude blue sky. The kid tossed the gold spinner to the other side of the pool, maybe 15 yards. By now his accuracy was pretty good.

On the third cast a silverpink thing a foot long exploded from the deepest blue part of the pool and danced across the surface on its tail. It dove deep as it could go, maybe six feet, doubling the cheap rod over and flashing from one side of the pool to the other. It felt like two minutes but it probably took five seconds for the kid to pull him in, and when he did the trout jumped from the hook and landed in the sandy mud at our feet, where he flopped from side to side.

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“Grab him!” I screamed in a voice that sounded like Little Richard’s.

The kid did. The beautiful thing was covered in sandy mud on both sides, but you could still see a few of the deep pink portholes along his gleaming sides that identified him as a brook trout.

“Quick, rinse him off so I can shoot a photo!”

“I don’t think I can hold on he’s slippery.”

RB: I reiterated several times that fish have a slimey coating and are built to excel in water, it’s kind of their thing. I knew it was doomed from the start but he compelled me to “rinse it off”.

“Hang on tight and just give him a quick dip!”

The kid did what I asked, and with a flip of the tail (which is a trout’s whole body really), as soon as the water touched him, the fish was outta there. I looked at the kid, the kid looked at me. And I think we decided to just not blame each other, for the fish and maybe for some other things too.

It was the most exciting thing I’ve seen since I watched Rossi pass Stoner in the Corkscrew that year, one of those three-second interludes you play over and over again in your head wondering if you imagined it? Maybe it’s a good thing we have no photographic evidence to document the actual size of the trout. In the years to come, I think he’s only going to get bigger in my mind.

At the time it didn’t really matter, because now that we were in the zone we both assumed we would catch another even bigger one. Didn’t happen. Our trout warned the others. We rode up Bishop Creek on our way home and tried our luck in that also beautiful clear stream. By now the kid was dropping his lure on their heads as they held station, noses into the current, and trying different lures given to us by guys who had already left with full stringers. But the fish just weren’t interested. Wrong time of day? Wrong bait? Blind fish? I know not. (Actually, I was told our ten-pound line was too heavy.) I was having a great time there in the aspen shade anyway, dangling my dogs in the river and watching the kid fish. The beauty of fishing on motorcycles is that you’re riding motorcycles in great places whether you catch anything or not. In fact I think one was the perfect amount of trout to catch to make me want to go back again. Like they say in golf, the old “come-backer” shot. I bet I might be able to drag the kid along next year too. Maybe this fall even.

RB: Well, yeah, ahhh, I’ll be back in school in the fall, Pops. Let me check my calendar. But seriously, this was an awesome trip, I am super thankful to have the opportunity to do these things. 10/10, would do again.

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CTX1300 Deluxe

Really no finer fishing platform than this,  with a low cg for navigating dirt roads, big trunk and bags and good bungee attachment points for strapping on gear. The seat’s low and way spacious for moving around, and while the powerplant is ideal within national parks with their low speed limits, it’s hard for me to understand why Honda would so neuter the ST V-Four. Furthermore, though it runs smooth on the highway, the 5-speed transmission has the 1300 turning more rpm than the CTX700 – well over 4000 rpm at 80 mph. It did return 43.2 mpg over the course of these 1180-some miles, as compared to the 40.3 of the 2013 ST1300. Our CTX is the Deluxe version, which adds ABS and a Bluetooth-ready sound system, but even my techy offspring couldn’t make it play the music on my iPhone.

2014 Honda CTX1300 Review – First Ride + Video

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CTX700N

If you like forward footpegs, you’ll love this motorcycle. I’m a huge fan of the NC700X, which shares this 670cc parallel Twin. The fact that it’s considerably lighter actually makes the 700 feel almost as fast as the 724-pound 1300, and the little bugger returned an amazing 62.7 mpg. It also gives up a smoother ride down bumpy roads and has a better headlight, for less than half the money of the 1300. Too bad it lacks the NC700X’s live bait well/storage compartment. That bike might be my ideal troutslayer.

2014 Honda CTX700/N Review

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A Honda Runs Through It appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: 2015 Honda COTA 4RT260 Trials Bikes Announced
2015 Honda COTA 4RT260 Trials Bikes Announced [message #5679] Mon, 28 July 2014 13:47
Anonymous

American Honda surprised almost everybody when it announced it would offer a trials bike earlier this year. The Repsol-colored 2014 Montesa Honda COTA 4RT was only offered in limited numbers for the U.S. market, but if you missed out on that initial batch, there’s good news, as Honda will again offer it in 2015, with some new updates.

Honda will offer two versions for 2015, a Repsol-edition COTA 4RT Race Replica and a base-model COTA 4RT260 in Honda red. Both versions share the same fuel-injected 259cc Single used in last year’s model. For 2015, Honda revised the fuel-injection and ignition map to improve traction and improve throttle control. Honda also reduced the effect of engine braking to give the 4RT a lighter feel.

For 2015, the trials bikes get a slimmer shift lever, a new 41-tooth final drive sprocket,  a slimmer front fender and a black-finished on the triple clamp and handlebar.

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The Race Replica version receives a new four-piston monobloc front brake caliper and competition-quality fully-adjustable Showa suspension. It also gets DID rims, Michelin tires, extra-wide aluminum pegs and a race-replica headlight. Carbon fiber is used for the fork guards, front fender brace/mount, clutch cover, head pipe heat shield and exhaust cover. And of course, it receives the Repsol graphics to resemble factory racer Toni Bou’s competition bike.

The 4RT260 also uses less-expensive four-piston calipers and a TECH fork and R16V Pro-Link rear shock instead of the pricier Showa components. Also helping keep the price low are the Morad rims and Dunlop tires. Unlike the Race Replica, the 4Rt260 does not have a headlight, but it does come with a removable seat with a bit of underseat storage.

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The 4RT260 has a claimed curb weight of 163.7 pounds, making it a bit lighter than the Race Replica which claims a weight of 165.1 pounds (both factoring a full 0.5-gallon fuel tank).

“Trials riding is a very unique style of competition that’s spectacular to watch and incredibly difficult to do well,” says Lee Edmunds, manager of motorcycle marketing communications. “Last year we unveiled the COTA 4RT Race Replica, a hard-core bike made for national-level competition. That bike returns for 2015 with some important new features. The new COTA 4RT260 we’re introducing is designed and priced for riders entering the sport; those who compete at local and regional levels, rather than in national-level and pro events. Together, this pair allows trials riders to pick the one that best suits their tastes and budget.”

The 2015 Honda COTA 4RT Race Replica is priced at $9,499, an increase from last year’s $8,999 MSRP. The 4RT260 is a bit more affordable, coming it at $7,799. Expect both versions to arrive in showrooms in January.

[Source: Honda]

2015 Honda COTA 4RT260 Trials Bikes Announced appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Indian Introduces New Roadmaster: Luxury Touring Returns to the Historic Brand (Bike Reports) (News)
Indian Introduces New Roadmaster: Luxury Touring Returns to the Historic Brand (Bike Reports) (News) [message #5684] Mon, 28 July 2014 09:14
Anonymous
With the 2015 Roadmaster, Indian goes all in for luxury touring. Details are in the press release below, but there isn’t much missing from the list of luxury features, including nearly 38 gallons of weatherproof storage, power windscreen, heated seats and grips, tire pressure monitoring, Bluetooth, and “advanced infotainment system” including stereo, phone and Pandora […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: 2015 Victory Magnum Review
2015 Victory Magnum Review [message #5678] Mon, 28 July 2014 09:00
Anonymous

2015 Victory Magnum

Editor Score: 78.5%
Engine 16.0/20
Suspension/Handling 12.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.0/10
Brakes 7.0/10
Instruments/Controls3.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.0/10
Appearance/Quality 8.5/10
Desirability 7.5/10
Value 8.0/10
Overall Score78.5/100

Baggers are a big deal these days, making up something like half of the cruiser market according to Victory’s experts. Victory’s newest attempt to supply what the market demands is this highly customized version of its pre-existing Cross Country, dubbed Magnum.

What you get is a 21-inch front wheel instead of the CC’s usual 18-incher, a slammed rear end that carries the seat about an inch lower, and some big upgrades in the styling department: There are four multicolor paint options, all of which are really eye-catching without being too over-the-top (not a skull in sight), and the bright color carries on through the dashboard and rear fender close-outs, ie, where the fender blends into the bags.

In contrast to the Cross Country touring bike it’s based on, Victory thinks the Magnum is oriented more toward urban use, and that the Magnum buyer is the extrovert who wants to be seen and heard around town as opposed to the long-distance rider who wants to get away from it all. To that end, it gets a new 100-watt sound system with six speakers packed into the fairing, which does pump out more and better sound than the CC’s stereo – and optional saddlebag lid speakers are available too (along with medium and high apehangers, a throatier exhaust, etc.).

The Ness Midnight Cherry bike on the left has Victory’s louder Tri-Oval Exhaust and medium apes; the Plasma Lime version on the right is bone stock. Note the color-matched dashboards and “close-outs” that cover the bag mounting hardware and seams.

The Ness Midnight Cherry bike on the left has Victory’s louder Tri-Oval Exhaust and medium apes; the Plasma Lime version on the right is bone stock. Note the color-matched dashboards and “close-outs” that cover the bag mounting hardware and seams.

The seat is all the way down to 25.7 inches, from 26.3 for the Cross Country. Victory says the rear shock linkage is redesigned for the same smooth ride, but the price you pay is reduced rear wheel travel, down from 4.7 to 3.5 inches for the Magnum. In my brief spin around Las Vegas on smooth pavement, it wasn’t a problem. Mainly what I did notice is that the Magnum’s low-speed handling, as in making U-turns in parking lots and things, was way more manageable than the Cross Country Tour I rode on a 5000-mile tour a couple of months ago – maybe because I didn’t have 60 pounds of junk in my trunk? But I don’t think so.

Some swooned at the bike in Plasma Lime. Note the color-matched saddlebag hinges and radiator cowling.

Some swooned at the bike in Plasma Lime. Note the color-matched saddlebag hinges and radiator cowling.

Guys who know their choppers tell me putting a big wheel on the front is an age-old way to improve the handling of any bike: It shifts more weight rearward, including tilting the engine weight that direction, the oil in the pan, etc. However it works, it’s a big difference you can feel. Crawling around in traffic, the Magnum is easily balanced and graceful. Victory’s specs claim identical rake and trail numbers for the Cross Country and the Magnum, but the Magnum must have a little more of both.

That low windshield ain’t going to cut it on the open road, but it’s great around town.

That low windshield ain’t going to cut it on the open road, but it’s great around town. Cruise control and ABS are standard. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

If it seemed like the loud and proud Magnum might’ve been a good time to squeeze a little more juice out of the tried-and-true but not-updated-for-a-long-time Freedom 106 V-Twin, we agree. But that didn’t happen. It’s still a perfectly acceptably torquey/powerful engine, but we do need to keep up with the Joneses, don’t we? Maybe the fact that Polaris is standing pat with it means the new liquid-cooled motor our man Dennis Chung uncovered in April might be here sooner than we think?

A bright new LED light should brighten things up after dark. The CC already had a big, bright LED taillight.

A bright new LED light should brighten things up after dark. The CC already had a big, bright LED taillight.

Anyway, yours in four pretty cool color schemes, including the two in these photos as well as black/gray and red/gray, starting at $21,999. Again, not cheap, but not bad considering you get ABS brakes with steel lines, cruise, the sound system and all the rest of it – keeping it roughly on par with the best-selling H-D Street Glide.

A lot of people in Vegas are under the impression the whole town is some kind of playground. Sure, why not shoot a picture of your kid on my motorcycle? Has anybody ever told you he looks just like Maurice Gibb? She. Sorry.

A lot of people in Vegas are under the impression the whole town is some kind of playground. Sure, why not shoot a picture of your kid on my motorcycle? Has anybody ever told you he looks just like Maurice Gibb? She. Sorry.

Whoops! I warned them, but mommy burned her foot anyway.

Whoops! I warned them, but mommy burned her foot anyway.

Victory says business has tripled over the last few years. The Daytona PD is the 46th department in the country to switch over to Victory, and if you’re a cop, fireman or military (like 30-percent of its buyers) – you get a $1K discount. Clamp your eyeballs on one physically at your friendly Victory dealer in September.

The Last Neighborhood Bar in Las Vegas was shut right up, which gave us the perfect excuse to stand around in the parking lot and kvetch. Some H-D loyalists would never stand for the loose gas tank/ seat interface on the Victory.

The Last Neighborhood Bar in Las Vegas was shut right up, which gave us the perfect excuse to stand around in the parking lot and kvetch. Some H-D loyalists would never stand for the loose gas tank/ seat interface on the Victory.

+ Highs

  • Really good low-speed manners around town
  • Stands out in a crowd
  • You’ll be able to hear “Free Bird” at 90
- Sighs

  • A little more “go” to go with the “show” would’ve been nice
  • Still lacks the final 5-percent attention to detail of comparable H-Ds
  • Personally, I don’t think I’m man enough to appear on it
Photo by Dain Gingerelli

Photo by Dain Gingerelli

2015 Victory Magnum Specifications
Engine Type Air-/oil-cooled 50° V-twin; single overhead camshafts; 4 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters
Engine Capacity 1731 cc
Bore x Stroke 101 mm x 108 mm
Compression 9.4 : 1
Fuel System Closed loop fuel injection, 54 mm throttle body
Transmission 6-speed overdrive w/ torque compensator
Clutch Wet multiplate clutch
Final Drive Carbon fiber reinforced belt
Front Suspension 43mm inverted cartridge fork; 4.4 in. (113mm) travel
Rear Suspension Single air-adjustable shock; constant rate linkage; 3.5 in. (90mm) wheel travel
Front Brakes Dual 300mm floating rotors, 4-piston calipers, ABS
Rear Brakes 300mm floating rotor, 2-piston caliper, ABS
Front Tire 21 x 3.5 in; 120/70R21 Dunlop Elite 3
Rear Tire 16 x 5.0 in; 180/60R16 Dunlop Elite 3
Seat Height 25.7”
Dry Weight 761 lbs. (claimed)
Wheelbase 65.7”
Fuel Capacity 5.8 gal.
Colors Metasheen Black over Supersteel Gray, Plasma Lime or Sunset Red over Supersteel Gray, Ness Midnight Cherry
MSRP $21,999 Black, $22,499 Lime, $22,999 Cherry

2015 Victory Magnum Review appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Indian announces Roadmaster tourer
Indian announces Roadmaster tourer [message #5683] Mon, 28 July 2014 08:05
Anonymous

After decades out of production, Indian brings back their big touring machine.

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 Topic: Eight hours later, Honda tops at Suzuka
Eight hours later, Honda tops at Suzuka [message #5682] Mon, 28 July 2014 07:43
Anonymous

Teammate's crash means Kevin Schwantz doesn't ride.

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 Topic: CSBk hits Lobster Country
CSBk hits Lobster Country [message #5681] Mon, 28 July 2014 07:30
Anonymous

Weekend's racing has crashes, spectacular superbike battle.

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 Topic: Polaris Unveils the Slingshot: A Three-Wheeler With Impressive Specifications (with video) (Bike Reports) (News)
Polaris Unveils the Slingshot: A Three-Wheeler With Impressive Specifications (with video) (Bike Reports) (News) [message #5676] Sun, 27 July 2014 23:07
Anonymous
Polaris calls the Slingshot a three-wheel motorcycle, and your local DMV will require you to license it as one. With no airbags and helmet use mandatory in most states, the Slingshot promises to offer similar exhilaration to that found on a superbike. No, the Slingshot does not have the power-to-weight ratio of a superbike, but […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: 2015 Polaris Slingshot Review – First Ride/Drive + Video
2015 Polaris Slingshot Review – First Ride/Drive + Video [message #5677] Sun, 27 July 2014 23:00
Anonymous

2015 Polaris Slingshot

Editor Score: 86.5%
Engine 18.5/20
Suspension/Handling 13.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.5/10
Brakes 8.0/10
Instruments/Controls3.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.5/10
Appearance/Quality 8.5/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 9.0/10
Overall Score86.5/100

The not-so-secret 2015 Polaris Slingshot has a steering wheel and bucket seats. So we shouldn’t even be reviewing it, right? I kinda felt that way when given the assignment. In hindsight, though, I’m glad I had the opportunity. The Slingshot’s an absolute blast, and at $19,999 for the base model, it’s gonna give Can-Am’s Spyder ($18,999 for the ST) some stiff competition.

Discuss this at our Polaris Slingshot Forum.

It’s not just the Slingshot’s price that’ll lure owners, or possible owners, of Spyders away from Can-Am dealerships and into Polaris ones. There’s some crucial performance advantages of the Slingshot, specifically in the claimed 173 crank horsepower at 6200 rpm and 166 ft-lbs. of torque at 4700 rpm emanating from its 2,384cc inline-Four Ecotec engine. Can-Am claims 115 hp at 7250 rpm and 96 ft-lbs at 5000 rpm from the 1,330cc Rotax Triple powering the ST. At a claimed 1,725 pounds full of fluids, the Slingshot weighs substantially more than the RT’s approximate wet weight of 1,100 pounds, but the extra weight of the Slingshot is negligible when it comes to having fun.

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The key to the Slingshot’s grin factor is its combination of low CoG and the superbly defined algorithms upon which its sophisticated electronic rider aids operate.

With supercar-like ground clearance of only five inches, the Slingshot tenaciously clings to asphalt with all three of its wheels. At least it did during the legal speeds of our road test and in the unrestricted environment of Polaris’ cul-de-sac test track. Resembling a giant lollipop, we inhaled the tire smoke of first gear burnouts, and managed second and third gear chirps down the track’s short straight (with TC on). In the big circle of the lollipop we tried everything we could to overwhelm the Slingshot, but its bevy of electronic aids (ABS, traction control [TC], electronic stability program [ESP]) managed to balance fun with safety and control.

Stripped of its bodywork, it's easy to see the minimal amount of space between arse and pavement. The top of the roll bars (which can support 5-times the vehicle’s weight) measures 51.9 inches from tarmac. The spaceframe is constructed from high-strength steel. The 9.8-gallon fuel tank resides behind the driver’s seat.

Stripped of its bodywork, it’s easy to see the minimal amount of space between arse and pavement. The top of the roll bars (which can support 5-times the vehicle’s weight) measures 51.9 inches from tarmac. The spaceframe is constructed from high-strength steel. The 9.8-gallon fuel tank resides behind the driver’s seat.

It is here, with the electronics, where we can draw a significant difference between the workings of the Slingshot and the Spyder. Like an overprotective parent, the Spyder’s Vehicle Stability System (the same combination of ABS, TC and electronic stability) promptly retards enjoyment as soon as the fun really gets going. While you can get the rear wheel spinning in a straight line on the manual-clutch versions of the Spyder, the vehicle’s electronics, in the name of safety, kick in at a much lower threshold compared to the algorithms Polaris has produced.

The Slingshot, on the other hand, with its electronics in play, allows a greater amount of rear-wheel spin compared to the Spyder, and enough cornering force to get the front tires squealing. Like the Spyder, the Slingshot’s ESP maintains a level plane (you’re not gonna lift a front wheel or flip the vehicle) but turn the steering wheel hard enough and you’ll hear the front tires howling in protest.

The Slingshot’s electronics make you a better driver without actually improving your skills. More excitement can be found by simply switching off the electronics with a push of a button.

The Slingshot’s electronics make you a better driver without actually improving your skills. More excitement can be found by simply switching off the electronics with a push of a button.

Without a real track, or even the twisty canyon roads of our normal testing grounds in SoCal, we can’t say unequivocally that the Slingshot is gonna make Arial Atom owners run and hide, but initial impressions are favorable, and the Slingshot costs half the price of an Atom. Polaris reps said at the press launch that media models will be available soon, so hopefully we’ll be able to get a Slingshot and Spyder to compare and contrast on equal footing. As for the Atom … it has four wheels so we’ll let our sister site, Autoguide.com, make that comparison.

Slingshot Construction

The Slingshot will be available in two variations: the standard version ($19,999) and the SL ($23,999). Some key differences between the two are wheels sizes 17- and 18-inch, front and rear, respectively, on the standard, while the SL sports a larger 18- and 20-inch, front and rear, combo. Those larger wheels on the SL are also forged aluminum, 10-spoke jobs, where the standard receives cast, 8-spoke hoops. The SL also comes equipped with a media console that features a 4.3-inch LCD screen with a rearward camera, USB input and Bluetooth integration, and a six-speaker audio system. The Blade windshield is also standard equipment, but there’s a cool, Batmobile-esque double-bubble windshield available (we’re told this windshield doesn’t provide the quiet pocket of air as the Blade windshield).

The audio/video interface is simple but efficient. The fit and finish of the pre-production models we drove was a little sub-par, but we were assured that consumer versions will be up to the quality standards you’d expect of a Polaris product.

The audio/video interface is simple but efficient. The fit and finish of the pre-production models we drove was a little sub-par, but we were assured that consumer versions will be up to the quality standards you’d expect of a Polaris product.

Beyond these luxuries, the standard and SL models are identical twins distinguishable mostly by their paint schemes; Slingshot Red Pearl for the SL, while the standard model gets Titanium Metallic.

As mentioned above, and obvious by its appearance, the Slingshot is sporty. Inside the cockpit you’ll notice short, fluid throws from both the foot clutch and manual five-speed transmission. Steering is made easy by way of electronic power assist. Acceleration from the Ecotec engine’s abundant amount of torque is brisk. You move through the first three shorter gears in rapid procession, utilizing the taller 4th and 5th cogs for freeway cruising.

Not as attractive as the exposed V-Twin powering the Morgan three-wheeler but a helluva lot more powerful is the DOHC, 2.4-liter, GM Ecotec engine. Entry is gained via a reverse-tilting hood. Polaris estimates a 26-mpg average.

Not as attractive as the exposed V-Twin powering the Morgan three-wheeler but a helluva lot more powerful is the DOHC, 2.4-liter, GM Ecotec engine. Entry is gained via a reverse-tilting hood. Polaris estimates a 26-mpg average.

Besides the SL’s LCD screen, instrumentation is kept to a minimum with a large, white-faced analog speedo and tach. An optional smartphone mount is available. The Blade windscreen does an impressive job of diverting wind over the driver and passenger, keeping wind noise low enough for casual conversation even while wearing full-face helmets.

The seats are adjustable fore and aft, while the backrest tilts a few degrees (similar to coach airline seating), as does the steering wheel. Folks above six-feet in height may get somewhat cramped. Behind both seats you’ll find a lockable compartment large enough to fit a full-face helmet. There’s also a lockable glovebox, but that’s it when it comes to storage space.

The rear wheel is attached to a single-side swingarm. Front and rear suspenders are of the non-adjustable, “sport-tuned” variety. Tail lights are LED.

The rear wheel is attached to a single-side swingarm. Front and rear suspenders are of the non-adjustable, “sport-tuned” variety. Tail lights are LED.

The open-air, no-doors cockpit gives the Slingshot a motorcycle-like immersion into your surroundings – seeing, hearing and smelling things you’d otherwise miss inside a regular sports coupe. Like a motorcycle, all the switchgear, instruments, seats, etc., are weatherproof, and the body panels are molded from a polymer compound that’s been tested for numerous hours and said not to fade over time from exposure to direct sunlight.

Using the success of Can-Am’s Spyder as a guide, it’s probable the new Slingshot will be a homerun for Polaris – a company that’s been batting 1000 with its recent acquisition/relaunch of Indian motorcycles as well as its side-by-sides and ATV models. Consumer greenbacks are the final measuring stick, but Polaris dealers with a Slingshot in their front window should prepare for an influx of foot traffic.

+ Highs

  • Relatively affordable
  • Manual transmission!
  • Kick-ass fun
- Sighs

  • Requires a helmet
  • It’s not a motorcycle, it’s a car
  • Worse Power-to-weight ratio than a Can Am Spyder (and many sportscars)
2015 Polaris Slingshot Specifications
Base Model SL
MSRP $19,999 $23,999
Horsepower 173 crank horsepower @ 6200 rpm (claimed) 173 crank horsepower @ 6200 rpm (claimed)
Torque 166 ft-lbs of torque @ 4700 rpm (claimed) 166 ft-lbs of torque @ 4700 rpm (claimed)
Engine Capacity 2,384cc 2,384cc
Engine Type DOHC Inline-Four Ecotek DOHC Inline-Four Ecotek
Bore x Stroke 88mm x 98mm 88mm x 98mm
Compression 10.4:1 10.4:1
Fuel System EFI EFI
Transmission 5-speed manual 5-speed manual
Steering Rack-and-pinion with electronic power assist Rack-and-pinion with electronic power assist
Final Drive Belt Belt
Frame High-strength steel frame High-strength steel frame
Front Suspension Double-wishbone with sway bar Double-wishbone with sway bar
Rear Suspension Monoshock, single-side swingarm Monoshock, single-side swingarm
Front Brakes Twin, vented, 298mm discs Twin, vented, 298mm discs
Rear Brakes Single, vented, 298 disc Single, vented, 298 disc
Front Wheel Cast, 8-spoke Forged, 10-spoke
Front Tire 205/50-17 225/45-18
Rear Wheel Cast, 8-spoke Forged, 10-spoke
Rear Tire 265/35-18 255/35-20
Ground Clearance 5.0 inches 5.0 inches
Wheelbase 105.0 inches 105.0 inches
Curb Weight 1,725 lbs 1,743 lbs
Fuel Capacity 9.77 gal 9.77 gal
Electronics ABS, Traction Control, Electronic Stability Program ABS, Traction Control, Electronic Stability Program
Warranty 2 Years 2 Years

2015 Polaris Slingshot Review – First Ride/Drive + Video appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: 2015 Indian Roadmaster – First Ride Review
2015 Indian Roadmaster – First Ride Review [message #5675] Sun, 27 July 2014 19:00
Anonymous

2015 Indian Roadmaster

Editor Score: 81.0%
Engine 15.0/20
Suspension/Handling 12.75/15
Transmission/Clutch 7.5/10
Brakes 8.25/10
Instruments/Controls4.0/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.25/10
Appearance/Quality 9.25/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 6.0/10
Overall Score81/100

Indian has said – repeatedly since its release of its first models under Polaris’ ownership – that it plans to expand its model line beyond just the Chief and Chieftain. Well, today, the company announced its latest addition at its dealer meeting. A few weeks ago, Indian invited a few members from the moto-press to visit the Polaris Product Development Center in Wyoming, Minn., to meet the people behind the development of Indian’s newest motorcycle, the Roadmaster.

While almost mechanically identical to the Chieftain, the Roadmaster has a few functional and premium upgrades – all of which were directed towards Indian’s stated goal of building “the most luxurious touring motorcycle in America.” In order to achieve this goal, the designers made some assumptions about the Roadmaster’s ideal rider. Since tourers tend to rack up more miles than baggers, Indian believes their riders value carrying capacity and comfort. To meet these goals, Indian more than doubled the Roadmaster’s cargo storage and added numerous comfort features.

The differences between the Indian Roadmaster and the Chieftain largely fall under the headings of luggage capacity and rider comfort.

The differences between the Indian Roadmaster and the Chieftain largely fall under the headings of luggage capacity and rider comfort.

Where the Chieftain had a combined saddlebag storage of 17.2 gal. plus an additional pocket for a media device in the upper fairing, the Roadmaster adds to that total another 17 gal. in the form of a trunk, a gallon of storage in the upper fairing, and 2.4 gal. in the new lowers. The trunk’s shape is capable of storing two “full-sized helmets,” according to Indian. The interior of the trunk features a carpet lining and a 12-volt power port.

2014 Indian Chieftain Review

While that is what one might expect from a premium tourer, Indian went a few steps further. First, like the saddlebags, the trunk has a remote lock/unlock capability. Second, the trunk can be easily removed. The wiring harness connects under the trunk with the tail tucking neatly out of sight under the pillion when the trunk is absent. Next, the rider need only open both saddlebags and disconnect two attachment points before lifting the trunk free. For those who worry that this ease of use would make it possible to steal the trunk, it can be locked in place by a screw that can’t be removed with the saddlebags closed.

The easy-to-remove trunk comes with a standard chrome rack, LED brake and interior lighting, and keyless locking/unlocking.

The easy-to-remove trunk comes with a standard chrome rack, LED brake and interior lighting, and keyless locking/unlocking.

These features are nice, and the attention to detail on the trunk is exemplary. In addition to the chrome on the exterior metal features (such as the included top rack), all of the interior fasteners are painted black to keep them from being noticeable and detracting from the appearance.

Similar levels of detail apply to the lowers, too. Each one is removable with only three bolts. Both employ two air vents. The top vent allows for the fine tuning of the upper air flow around the shins, knees and thighs. The lower vents handle the ankles and shins. The vents can be easily adjusted while riding for optimal airflow. In the warm weather during the two-day Roadmaster introduction, they proved to be fairly effective. The storage in the lowers is convenient but is not locking, which limits their security.

LA Indian MY15 PR shoot May, 2014LA Indian MY15 PR shoot May, 2014LA Indian MY15 PR shoot May, 2014

The lowers each have two vents and non-locking storage.

Since the Chieftain was already chock-full of amenities (electrically adjustable windshield, cruise control, keyless ignition, stereo with Bluetooth, tire-pressure monitoring, etc.), the list of additions to the Roadmaster is short but important to touring riders. First come the creature comforts. To create a better calm air envelope for the rider and passenger, the windshield was reshaped. The Horizon windshield is 3/4 in. lower than the height-adjustable screen on the Chieftain, but the top edge was reshaped into a flatter arc, creating a wider pocket of still air when in its highest position. The new shield will  be available as an accessory option for the Chieftain.

2014 Indian Chief Classic Review

The Roadmaster also receives heated grips with 10 levels of adjustment. The control fills one of the empty spaces on the center console. (Chieftain owners will be happy to learn that this improvement will be available as a factory accessory.) The rider and passenger seats now have separate two-level heating. The full-grain American leather on the seats is also upgraded to reduce both scuffing and fading experienced by some 2014 Indian Vintage owners. Rider comfort is improved by slightly increased legroom created by thicker padding on the seat, while the passenger receives floorboards that have an adjustable angle of 12 degrees and a 2-in. range in height.

The Roadmaster’s seat has more padding and will better resist scuffing and UV-related fading.

The Roadmaster’s seat has more padding and will better resist scuffing and UV-related fading.

One interesting change in the engine is an air duct added behind the air filter on the left side that directs additional cooling air towards the rear cylinder, helping to balance the temperatures between the two cylinders. All 2015 Indians will receive this upgrade. Indian also says that transmission noise when shifting from neutral to first has been reduced.

2014 Indian Motorcycle Review: Chief Classic, Chief Vintage And Chieftain

The Roadmaster also benefits from a new, LED headlight. According to Indian, the bright, white beam is lighter and draws less power than the incandescent items on the Chieftain. Indian also claims a broader coverage at both high and low beam. Since the introduction didn’t include night riding, we’ll have to wait for a full test to comment on this.

The new windshield is ¾ in. lower but with a flatter curve at the top improving rider/passenger weather protection.

The new windshield is ¾ in. lower but with a flatter curve at the top improving rider/passenger weather protection.

Riding the Roadmaster is essentially the same as riding the Chieftain. The bike handles almost exactly like its brother, with the additional 33 lb. (for a fully-fueled weight of 930 lb.) of the lowers and trunk being unnoticeable without a side-by-side comparison.

However, one notable experience from the Roadmaster ride bears mentioning. Indian has included a feature associated with its ride-by-wire (RbW) that may be of dubious utility. Basically, the Roadmaster (and, apparently, all previous Indian models – a fact verified by another journalist on the ride) will refuse to acknowledge any input from the throttle when it and the brakes are applied simultaneously for more than approximately two seconds. Indian’s reasoning behind this decision is to prevent the litigation and bad press, similar to what Toyota experienced with its Prius, associated with any real or imagined sudden acceleration. Indian also claims that other manufacturers (Harley-Davidson was cited) also do this with their RbW bikes, and it believes this type of lockout will be federally required in the future.

The Roadmaster works every bit as well as its sibling, the Chieftain.

The Roadmaster works every bit as well as its sibling, the Chieftain.

Unfortunately, this lockout led to two situations on our two-day ride that ranged from embarrassing to unsettling. Dragging the rear brake is a fairly common technique for controlling a motorcycle at low speeds. In one instance, trying to roll on the throttle to complete a U-turn resulted in the bike lying on its side when no power was delivered to the rear wheel. The other instance of unexpected throttle lockout was much more troubling. When attempting to turn left onto a four lane divided highway by threading between two oncoming cars in the close lanes, the throttle refused to operate as the rider (me) attempted to accelerate. This was caused by dragging the rear brake while modulating the bike’s speed and waiting for the the space to pass between the cars, resulting in the bike coasting into traffic. Only a quick U-turn (in which the brake was released, thus releasing the lockout), prevented a potentially tragic incident.

2014 Indian Chief – Reinventing An Icon

The response from Indian to questions about these two events was that the lockout is a feature, not a bug, and riders will need to avoid combining braking and throttle inputs simultaneously. Since trail braking is an important tool for riders in a variety of situations, expect to read more about this issue in the future as we look further into it. Because another journalist said that he had the same problem with the Roadmaster and other Indians, the lockout is related to a particular riding technique. Indian’s statement that riders should simply not use that style any longer seems odd, at best.

The Roadmaster’s weather protection keeps a rider mostly dry in rain riding. The bright, white of the LED headlight and fog lamps stand out in daylight riding.

The Roadmaster’s weather protection keeps a rider mostly dry in rain riding. The bright, white of the LED headlight and fog lamps stand out in daylight riding.

The throttle lockout issue aside, in the Roadmaster, Indian has produced an impressive upgrade to the Chieftain that should appeal to more touring-oriented riders. The Roadmaster will be available in September with three color choices. Thunder Black will retail for $26,999 while Indian Motorcycle Red bumps the price $600. The Indian Motorcycle Red / Ivory Cream combination weighs in at $28,199.

+ Highs

  • Twice the cargo capacity
  • Better weather protection
  • Even more amenities than Chieftain
- Sighs

  • Weight is up to 930 lb.
  • Engine still heats right thigh
  • Potentially dangerous throttle lockout
2015 Indian Roadmaster Specifications
Engine Type Thunder Stroke 111,air-cooled 49-degree V-Twin
Engine Capacity 1811 cc
Bore x Stroke 101 mm x 113 mm
Compression 9.5 : 1
Fuel System Closed loop fuel injection, 54 mm throttle body
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Belt
Front Suspension 46 mm telescopic fork, 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension Single shock with air-adjustable preload, 3.7 in. travel
Front Brakes Dual floating disc, four-piston caliper, ABS
Rear Brakes Single floating disc, two-piston caliper, ABS
Front Tire Dunlop American Elite 130/90B16 67H
Rear Tire Dunlop American Elite 180/65B16 81H
Seat Height 26.5”
Curb Weight 930 lbs. (claimed)
Wheelbase 68.1”
Fuel Capacity 5.5 gal.
Storage Capacity 37.6 gal. total
Colors Thunder Black, Indian Motorcycle Red, Indian Motorcycle Red/Ivory Cream
Warranty Five years coverage that includes both a one year limited warranty and an extended service contract. Unlimited miles.
MSRP $26,999 Black, $27,599 Red, $26,999 Red/Cream

2015 Indian Roadmaster – First Ride Review appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Church Of MO Patrick Racing Road Star Warrior
Church Of MO Patrick Racing Road Star Warrior [message #5674] Sun, 27 July 2014 05:22
Anonymous

Who doesn’t love a little raw horsepower on a Sunday? On this week’s Church of MO, we dial the clock back to 2002 and a special ride Brent Avis got to sample at Los Angeles County Raceway. The bike? A Yamaha Roadstar Warrior. Maybe not the first thing one might think of when imagining a drag racer, but with 150 hp and 150 ft-lbs blasting from that thumping V-Twin and through the rear wheel, the Warrior monikor seems appropriate this time around. How did Avis fare at this foray into drag racing? Read on to find out.

Patrick Racing Road Star Warrior

Look maw, no turns!

By Brent “Minime” Avis Jul. 19, 2002

With all of our recent forays out to Los Angeles County Raceway, doing drag strip runs with various machines, I’ve come to a realization: Drag racing does not suck. In fact, it can be quite exciting. So when we got the invite to attend a little press function out at Pomona to ride a real, honest-to-goodness drag race bike, I was pretty anxious. With more than 150 horsepower and 150 foot-pounds of torque at the rear wheel, the day’s ride was sure to be anything but dull.

Showing up at the strip on an already sweltering hot morning, Patrick Racing had two of their Pro Star bikes ready to go, but not before those of us in attendance got the low-down on just what we were about to experience.

02warriordrag01tThe Patrick Racing boys have experience putting together some of the most wicked drag bikes ever created. And though these particular Yamahas are limited by class rules, Nigel Patrick’s knowledge and creativity combine to perform some impressive things within the confines of what would appear to be a very confining environment. The fact that the bike was brand new didn’t help things either, as Nigel found himself having to dream up new parts from scratch.

Tech Briefing

Minime and Mark Underwood discuss the topics that MO readers desperately desire: Prada or Gucci?

Minime and Mark Underwood discuss the topics that MO readers desperately desire: Prada or Gucci?

The Patrick Racing Warrior was designed to compete in the “AMA Hot Rod Cruiser Class” which has comparable rules to the Supersport or Superstock series. Driveline modifications, limited engine mods, and suspension work are allowed but the whole package of the bike plus rider must be greater than 800 lbs.

They’ve only been working on the Warrior since January of this year- a very limited time of R&D, indeed. But in that short time, they have accomplished much. Due to “an inherently strong engine design,” they’ve kept the stock clutch, transmission and crankshaft. In fact, the bike retains the stock starter and even with an increased compression ratio of 15:1, the Warrior has no problem roaring to life.

Internally, the bike uses Carillo connecting rods, custom-ground cams, custom designed 380-gram, 100mm pistons, and a crank that’s been lightened by six pounds (from 47!). Following class regulations, the engine retains the stock 4.4 inch (112mm) stroke. The cylinder heads use oversize valves, and have been worked over to the tune of about a 40% increase in airflow.

On the outside, the (moderately) stock airbox is still used, but it now connects to carburetors of unknown specification. These secrets were the most closely guarded; Nigel would only say that they were “heavily modified downdraft type carburetors.” Clear as mud, then. The team hopes to go back to fuel injection soon, but the carbs allowed them to progress quickly. The ignition system still uses a modified version of the stock computer, pushing the rev limiter a few hundred rpm higher.

The swingarm is lengthened, and rear suspension is now rigid, along with lowered front forks. Brakes are stock, with only one front disc retained. To comply with the weight limits, Patrick had to bolt an 80-pound chunk of steel on the front of the bike.

Patrick Racing Road Star Warrior. Could there be any more capitalized words in that name?

Patrick Racing Road Star Warrior. Could there be any more capitalized words in that name?

Speaking of progress- within three races, the bike set the league record, with a 9.86 ET @ 133 mph at Richmond, Virginia. Sixty-foot times are in the 1.44 to 1.45 second range, around 1/10 of a second quicker than the competition. For a large air-cooled twin, these are some impressive numbers, especially considering the time of development, the limitations of the class rules and how much of the bike is kept stock.

Before getting myself up to the start line for what would be my only run of the day, I spent considerable time asking Nigel and the bike’s officially talented rider Matt, about technique. After watching the other journalists botch launches and shifts and generally flail and wobble down the quarter mile, I was determined to be a shining pupil.

My main concern was the launch which, it seemed, most everybody was botching. The track was, according to all in attendance, the worst drag strip they’d ever run on. Even with a light coating of VHT on track and the bike’s professional pilot on board, the best run of the day was barely into the 10s. This, after the same bike had run a 9.86 ET just a few weekends prior. So, it was definitely the track, we opined, and so the theory going into my run was to be gentle with the bike. Just get off the line, roll the throttle open and make sure to hit the first-to-second shift, then focus on getting the power down.

The men who would be my Yodas that day expressed some concern as to whether the air-shifting mechanism was working properly and coached me on what to do if pressing the horn button (which was hooked up to trigger an upshift without having to roll out of the throttle) didn’t net me the desired result. I paid them, of course, no mind. Instead, all my focus was on being slow off the line, smooth on the throttle and precise when pressing the horn button.

Well, at least its sports an EPA legal muffler. Right.

Well, at least its sports an EPA legal muffler. Right.

Now, you might be saying to yourself that the thing makes only 150 horsepower, but 150 foot-pounds of torque is quite a bit. And that the Warrior is capable of sub-10 second times on a decent track is quite impressive. It’s something that’s not hard to wrap your mind around, but the way the thing feels is unexpected. Every twist of the throttle is greeted with a rapid climb in revs, followed by that most excellent blacka-blacka-pop-blacka-blacka orgasmic shuddering as the motor returns to idle where it just sounds like one-quarter of John Force’s funny car.

I idled up to the starting line but not before a brief burnout to clean off the rear tire and get the feel for the clutch. I also did a little practice launch to see how the clutch would feel. The result, with very little throttle, was still nothing but a spinning tire and little forward progress. This only confirmed my strategy to just get off the line, get rolling, and then start the run.

So up to the line I went, first tripping the pre-stage lights and then setting my feet on the pegs just like I’d been given the “secret tip” to do. Because the pegs are solid-mounted and close to the ground, I was able to put the heels of my boots on the pegs and set my toes on the ground to balance the bike. Done this way I wouldn’t have to pull any legs up and swing them back onto the pegs after the launch, unsettling the bike’s fragile balance. So, with toes dancing on the VHT beneath me, I crept forward and tripped the “Staged” light, waiting for the yellows to illuminate so I could begin the procedure I’d run through in my mind something like one thousand times in just the previous ten minutes.

When the lights flashed yellow, I started to creep forward. I think my reaction time was slightly quicker than half a minute, but that was my plan. To roll the throttle open slow and steady, building speed with no wheelspin, that was my plan and, shockingly, exactly the execution.

Up into the revs, I solidly hit the horn button to engage second gear, and thankfully the shift was as clean and precise as I could have imagined. Now it was time to get on with the whole throttle-twisting business. And then it came, with little more than quarter-throttle, the rear wheel started spinning. So I eased out of the throttle a bit to regain traction, then immediately I was back into the throttle, feeling for traction loss and then again, hooking it all back up before hitting the horn button. This finesse with the throttle was a constant for the entire run, as was tirespin that lasted well into fourth gear and a little bit of a weave as I crossed the line.

Minime cautiously checks both ways before crossing the street.

Minime cautiously checks both ways before crossing the street.

The result was an 11.2-something ET with a trap speed over 120 miles per hour. Not too shabby I thought, given some of the other runs of the day that approached the 20 second mark. But still, I was anxious to have a little debriefing with the Patrick Racing boys. You see, it felt like I did everything just about perfectly according to what they told me. Upon returning to the pits and shutting the beast down, I remained astride it. Though the ET may not reflect it, the Patrick Racing Warrior is the meanest, most violent thing I have ever ridden.

The bike did exactly what I told it to do. There was nothing unexpected other than the magnificent way the machine went about its business. And the fact that the Patrick Racing guys all said that, considering the condition of the track, my run was just about perfect. They said they could hear me nailing the correct shift points (a few hundred rpm south of the rev-limiter) and hear the bike’s motor revving as the rear wheel spun before hooking back up. Damn, I’m good. Can I go again? No.

My First Time–by Elliot the Internal

Drag racing? I get visions of unsanctioned runs down stretches of asphalt at 2 am in the industrial desert of South Seattle. Guys with mustaches and Southern drawls wrangling machines with more horsepower than a locomotive down rubber-smeared tracks. Whatever the venue, the central tenet of drag racing centers on the most American ideals of instant gratification and vindication. Strategy? Must go fast in straight line, must beat guy in the other lane to the little line one-quarter of a mile away.

El_Flaco lines it up for the launch. Later, he regretted not lining it up for lunch instead.

El_Flaco lines it up for the launch. Later, he regretted not lining it up for lunch instead.

Personally I prefer the atmosphere of a good road race, so I was a little hesitant when Yamaha invited us out to play with the Patrick Racing Yamaha Warrior and other assorted Yamahas, at Pomona Raceway.

Many racing series claim to be production based but bear scant resemblance to their showroom ancestors. Not so the Patrick Racing Warrior. I was duly impressed by how much of the bike was in fact stock, and even more impressed with what the team had accomplished in only six months of R&D time. Team rider Mark Underwood calmly fired the surface-to-surface missile that is the racing Warrior downrange in 10.54 seconds–impressive enough to me anyway–and this on a hot day with very less than ideal track conditions.

While Minime had the divine pleasure of sampling the hardcore racer, sprogs such as myself were steered toward stock Warriors in grudge matches against each other (after the bigwig editors finished up their shootout on the bikes). There was a little wagering going on among the MO interns on who would win the all-important Minime/Hackfu showdown. (My wager on Mini paid off; Hackfu did well, but Minime made it further in the competition.)

Intern at large Elliot strolls in the background. Notice his casual gait.

Intern at large Elliot strolls in the background. Notice his casual gait.

It all, amazingly, wound up being an entertaining spectacle. There were some big egos running around, and it was cool to watch them get deflated by the Patrick Racing bike. Half the editors chugged down the track, often bouncing violently off the rev limiter, causing everyone to cringe in empathy for the bike’s internal organs. One guy (cough, Tim Carrithers, cough cough) struggled so badly to find the horn button (that activates the airshifter) that he pulled a 19.90 ET, but the other half of the participants managed to pull off respectable times. I was very proud to see MO well represented by Mini’s mid-11-second low-level flight.

Running down the track on even a stock Warrior turns out to be incredibly fun; I had resigned myself to the sad fact that I’d probably suck big time. I chose the darkest colored Warrior available (must intimidate competition), got some hints on the finer points of drag racing technique from my fellow staffers, then lined up for single combat against a representative of a rather large and influential print magazine. My heart was pounding hard by now and I wasn’t too sure about how I should go about this… I was nervous. Here I was, an undefiled drag racing virgin, about to take an experienced machine out for a spin. How would my performance stack up, would it all be over quickly?

Hackfu and Minime try a new sport:Synchronized Motorcycle Riding.

Hackfu and Minime try a new sport:Synchronized Motorcycle Riding.

Yes: The lights had already gone green before I could fully freak, and my combatant was heading towards victory– a moment of panic ensued. I pushed that big twin as hard as I could and it responded as gruntily as it could, carrying itself and my skinny butt downrange. At the end of the line, I couldn’t tell which one of us had crossed over first and I moseyed back to the pit area where I saw Calvin giving me a thumbs-up. Just being nice, I thought.

“Dude, you did well! You got a 13.10,” he told me.

What?! And I beat the other guy? Okay then, I’ll try it again.

It turns out that flying in a straight line as fast as possible on a motorcycle, any motorcycle, is a surprisingly pulse-raising experience. I made five passes on the track and got down around 12.93; on one pass, I beat a 2002 R1 (botched launch on his part). Hey, it counts.

Hackfu debriefs El_Flaco. "It was pretty good." "Thanks."

Hackfu debriefs El_Flaco. “It was pretty good.” “Thanks.”

I learned a lot from Brent and Calvin’s suggestions- they made a lot of difference in my times and it turns out that a power cruiser is a great bike to learn the basics on. Wheelspin was limited so launches were fairly straightforward, and unlike a lighter, more powerful sportbike with a short wheelbase, I didn’t have to be concerned about the added factor of keeping the front wheel on terra firma. These characteristics allowed me to concentrate on my weight transfer, reaction time, clutch/throttle modulation and shifting techniques. I learned to go by ‘feel’ of the bike and listen to the engine revs rather than focus on the tachometer, freeing up my eyes to concentrate on the Pro Tree lights; this alone resulted in a dramatic change in my reaction time.

By the end of the afternoon I was worn out from a combination of fast bikes, warm weather and lots of Yamaha-provided catered food. I had completed enough runs to get a taste of drag racing. And my fastest time of the day — a 12.93 on my fifth and final run — ain’t so far off the 12.5-second, 104 mph times from the magazine tests.

Church Of MO – Patrick Racing Road Star Warrior appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Mosport Double Header giveaway
Mosport Double Header giveaway [message #5673] Sat, 26 July 2014 07:56
Anonymous

CMG has teamed up with CanadianTire Motorsport Park to giveaway a VIP Race Day Package for four (valued at $500), and three pairs of SuperTickets (good for the whole weekend) for the August 15-17 Superbike DoubleHeader Weekend.

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 Topic: You Can Buy Wayne Rainey’s Title Winning 1990 Yamaha YZR 500 for $170,000 (News)
You Can Buy Wayne Rainey’s Title Winning 1990 Yamaha YZR 500 for $170,000 (News) [message #5671] Fri, 25 July 2014 21:50
Anonymous
Are you still dreaming about owning a two-stroke 500cc GP race bike? A German collector has offered for sale a 1990 Yamaha YZR 500 works racer used by Wayne Rainey to take his first of three 500 GP titles. Here is the link with the details. Just a heads up to our wealthy readers … […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: Harley-Davidson Confirms Project Livewire Will Appear In Avengers Movie
Harley-Davidson Confirms Project Livewire Will Appear In Avengers Movie [message #5664] Fri, 25 July 2014 19:07
Anonymous

From the “Unless-You’ve-Been-Living-Under-A-Rock” department comes Harley-Davidson’s announcement today at the San Diego Comic-Con, that H-D’s first electric motorcycle, the Livewire, will indeed be used in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron movie as the ride of choice for Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. Black Widow) played by Scarlett Johansson, in an epic scene with Captain America in the film.

Of course, if you’ve been following Motorcycle.com for a while you’ll have known this already, as we brought you the scoop about Livewire. Not only that, but we also brought you a first ride review of the Livewire, along with a video, to boot.

Interestingly, as Harley-Davidson is still gauging interest in Livewire, fans attending the San Diego Comic-Con will get their chance to see the bike up close and personal while there. Fans with motorcycle endorsements on their licenses will be able to ride the bike at the San Diego Harley-Davison dealership July 25-26 and provide feedback to help shape the future of Harley-Davidson’s first-ever electric motorcycle.

It will be revealing to see what fans in attendance and those who ride the bike will say about Livewire. As Harley is aiming at a younger demographic for the e-bike, Comic-Con gathers a large swath of the intended audience for this motorcycle. There’s no doubt H-D is crossing its collective fingers for positive feedback from this group.

Learn more about Project Livewire and The Experience Tour, visit www.projectlivewire.com.

Harley-Davidson Confirms Project Livewire Will Appear In Avengers Movie appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Michelin Launches Motorcycle Tire Review Site
Michelin Launches Motorcycle Tire Review Site [message #5663] Fri, 25 July 2014 18:35
Anonymous

Michelin’s Two-Wheel business has launched a new online tool designed to capture consumer feedback about the performance of Michelin motorcycle tires. The site, located at mototirereviews.michelin.com, represents a continued effort to seek consumer feedback in an effort to provide products to meet the needs of today’s motorcycle riders.

The site highlights consumer feedback of products with a five star rating system as well as allowing users to provide their riding profile along with their motorcycle’s year, make and model, share their personal experience with Michelin motorcycle tires, and upload two favorite photos.

Scot Clark, Michelin’s Two-Wheel marketing manager explains, “The site grew out of a need to streamline the gathering of consumer testimonials, but it was clear that we needed a dedicated site to share this data. In the end, we gained a site that satisfies both needs.” Clark goes on to explain that consumers typically rely on objective feedback and recommendations from other consumers prior to purchase—whether solicited from friends and family or popular publications.

This website fills that gap offering consumers a valid and objective resource to read about real-world experiences with Michelin motorcycle tires directly on the Michelin website and without relying on forums or review sites that require membership or fees. The website can gather feedback on most motorcycle tire Michelin offers in the United States. Visitors can filter the reviews by tire model or star rating.

Additional information about Michelin’s motorcycle tires and a tire selector tool are available at Michelinmotorcycle.com

Michelin Launches Motorcycle Tire Review Site appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Great Places to Ride: Nebraska Sandhills
Great Places to Ride: Nebraska Sandhills [message #5662] Fri, 25 July 2014 18:18
Anonymous

Nebraska probably isn’t the first place you think about when it’s time for a nice motorcycle ride. Maybe that’s what makes it such a cool destination: Neither does anybody else.

It’s a state you drive through on your way to someplace else, really, which is the way it’s been since the Oregon Trail followed the North Platte River out toward the west coast, followed by the transcontinental railroad, followed by just about everybody and everything in North America not content to stay in one place. A few people who realized a good thing when they were in it stayed, but not many; Wiki says Nebraska ranks 43rd in population density.

I always assumed the entire state is one big – no, two big fields – one wheat and one corn. What I discovered is that fully a fourth of the state is ancient sand dunes covered with a light covering of prairie grass, most of which has never seen a plow. In fact, most of northwest Nebraska is a vast, rolling Sahara that happens to sit atop the Ogallala Aquifer – which makes it a grass-covered Sahara pockmarked with lakes and marshes and birds. And cows. It’s also semi-arid, not much humidity.

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Add those up and what have you got? A beautiful, depopulated place with open sightlines where you can open up your Hayabusa during the day and get a really good steak at night. I was lucky enough to get to spend a week there recently, cruising around on a borrowed Victory Cross Country Tour.

Union Pacific Railroad, Bailey Yard, North Platte

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As a bona fide train nut, I would go to Nebraska for this alone. At the world’s biggest train yard – 8 miles long with 985 switches – trains are banging around 24/7 (in fact, full automation assures no cars hit faster than 2.5 mph), and you can go to the top of the eighty-story Golden Spike Tower to take it all in. Crews are sorting 10,000 railroad cars a day (which is not quite as impressive as it seems when you find out 70 “unit trains” a day are hauling 130 cars of coal each; good luck with lowering those emissions anytime soon). The diesel shop repairs 750 locomotives a month, which swill 14 million gallons of diesel in the same time frame. It all started when the Union Pacific took a short break here in 1876 and built a small repair facility.

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The history of most of the U.S. – the parts worth inhabiting anyway – is really the history of the railroad, and the UP lays out quite a bit of it here, including the “orphan trains” which brought children from New York, including the Titanic survivors, out west to live wholesome farm lives. Or serve as free child labor. Possibly as many as 200,000 were imported from 1850 to 1930, the beginning of American foster care.

Lincoln County Historical Museum, North Platte

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There probably is an inverse relationship between population density and niceness. When the families and friends of the local National Guard unit came to the train station to give their boys Christmas gifts on December 17, 1941, and found a company of unknown Kansas soldiers on the train instead, they went ahead and gave the Kansas boys the gifts anyway. Then they continued greeting and feeding every troop train to come through North Platte for the next five years, organizing volunteers from all over the state to serve more than 6 million troops before it was over – regardless of race, color or creed.

Accommodations are always up to date in Nebraska. I kid. This is an original Ft. McPherson barracks, on site at the Lincoln County Museum.

Accommodations are always up to date in Nebraska. I kid. This is an original Ft. McPherson barracks, on site at the Lincoln County Museum.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, North Platte

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William F. Cody started working at eleven years old, as an ox team driver, and by the time he died broke in 1917 at his sister’s house in Denver, he’d been a fur trapper, U.S. Army scout, Pony Express rider, gold miner, buffalo hunter, 20 other things, and a famous showman whose Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show toured the U.S. and Europe. When he was flush (and he was very flush indeed), BB built his dream home, Scout’s Rest Ranch, in North Platte – the Neverland Ranch of the 19th century. It’s now beautifully restored on 233 acres, complete with barn and stream-fed swimming hole out back.

Buffalo B was a way snappy dresser.

Buffalo B was a way snappy dresser.

The Sandhills Scenic Byway, Nebraska Highway 2, takes you right through the heart of the, ahhh, Sandhills.

The Sandhills Scenic Byway, Nebraska Highway 2, takes you right through the heart of the, ahhh, Sandhills.

Tubbing on the Middle Loup

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That huge Ogallala Aquifer bubbles a steady supply of pure glacier water up into the Loup River system, making the whole area a great spring-fed place to canoe, or in this case, “tub.” The Mullen locals SandhillsMotel.com (and canoe rental) had the bright idea of packing everybody into stock tanks for a nice leisurely float down the Middle Loup. These sturdy craft are unsinkable, almost unsnaggable with their shallow draft – and able to hold plenty of people and coolers. Alternatively, you can put in at the wider, deeper Niobrara up in Valentine at GrahamOutfitters.com, and check out the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge while you’re there. Floating down a river might be the next best thing to riding your motorcycle.

Cody

072514-nebraska-sandhillbootco.

Blink on your Hayabusa and you will miss Cody, population 154, hard up against the South Dakota border on Highway 20 just west of Valentine. Unlike in the fun yet ridiculous Bruce Dern movie I just watched named Nebraska, there are a lot of sharp, well-travelled people in these little towns who just plain like it here. Stop for a bit and visit the Sandhills Boot Company, where Kyle Rosfeld makes custom boots and other leather goods on a Singer machine made in 1876.

Great Vinegar

072514-nebraska-vinegar

Meanwhile down the street, some might’ve taken offense when their daughter’s boyfriend from California said “your wine would make great vinegar.” But not George Johnson, who did a bit of research, and whose delicious handcrafted George Paul vinegars are now sought out by fine restaurants all over the country. The stuff is amazingly good.

Beaver Rules

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Might as well get a really nice hat to go with your new boots at the Bar None Hat Company in Thedford. Kaycee Orr-Hoffman makes some stupendous headgear.

Wine!

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I can’t pass up an out-of-the-way winery, and they don’t get much more out of the way than the Niobrara Valley Vineyard – in fact it was only with the help of Baby Jesus that I got in and out of the dirt (mud) road through the cow pasture without tumping the Victory over again. Greg and Tim Nollette started out supplying grapes for George Johnson’s vinegar operation, but then George talked them into making wine too, which is a good thing as it has weaned them off the hard stuff. “They said you couldn’t grow grapes here,” says Greg, “so we decided that’s what we’d do.” The brothers’ French/American hybrid grapevines are good to 40 below zero. I like the Boss Cow white, winner of some silver medals somewhere …

Perfect 10 Bison Ranch

072514-nebraska-bison

David Hutchinson raises organic cattle and goats on his 5000 acres, too, but his heart is with the bison – the original inhabitants of this endless rolling grassland. The cows the white man brought in to replace the bison as the main food source require lots more care. When the snow gets deep, the bison will use his big head  to punch through and  eat the grass underneath, and to punch through the ice and drink, while the cow needs hay, dries out and keels over. The bison gather themselves into a ring to repel wolves, with the babies in the middle; cows just stand there and get eaten. The list goes on; one species has been here forever, the other was imported not so long ago. So why did we nearly kill off the bison anyway? Mr. Hutchinson simply passes on what the Cherokee told him: “White man big stupid.”

Water’s not a problem; deep artesian wells bring it up from the Ogallala Aquifer, and the Sand Hills are shot through with rivers and lakes.

Water’s not a problem; deep artesian wells bring it up from the Ogallala Aquifer, and the Sand Hills are shot through with rivers and lakes.

It’s hard to argue with that, but I think we’re just spoiled and cows taste a little better. I ate some nice ones in Nebraska, but can’t remember ever having a really good bison steak. Do your own investigating here. Anyway, the ranch is a lovely peaceful place to stop if you’re in the area, complete with a bed and breakfast operation, but beware the dirt road in has a few sections of deep sand.

Bowring Ranch State Historical Park

General Curtis LeMay is just one of many framed heads of the famous and crazy on Sen. Bowring’s walls.

General Curtis LeMay is just one of many framed heads of the famous and some say crazy on Sen. Bowring’s walls.

Eva Kellie Forrester was a traveling saleswoman for a bakery when her car broke down and Henry Bowring came to her rescue. They wound up married 10 years later, Henry wound up dying, and Eva wound up not only running the ranch but also becoming Nebraska’s first woman U.S. senator, in 1954. In DC, she hobnobbed with and framed pictures of all sorts of people including JFK, Ike, Harry S. Truman, Haile Selassie – and SAC Commander General Curtis LeMay, inspiration for General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove.

The ranch house at the Bar 99 is just as she left it at her death in 1985, a fun political and domestic trip back into the mid-20th century, as the many framed heads of state juxtapose Sen. Bowring’s pink bathroom and ceramic chicken collection. Though the 7500-acre ranch now belongs to the state, it still raises tasty Herefords. I also saw a pair of young antelope on the dirt road on the way out.

Dancing Leaf Cultural Center

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Wow. Les Hosick at the Dancing Leaf Cultural Center claims to be a high-school drop-out but gives what sounds like doctoral-quality information about the ancestors of the Pawnee who lived along Medicine Creek thousands of years ago. Peaceful farming for hundreds (maybe thousands) of years got them no headlines. Not until European explorers arrived later with horses did these natives become nomadic, and not too much longer after that, angry and combative – much like the trajectory of the typical marriage.

Les and his wife Jan have built an earth lodge like the ones those people lived in years ago in the hills above the creek, and it’s just the thing for you adventure-bike types to stay in for a nominal fee. Paddle canoes in his pond, explore 115 acres of cedar-covered canyons, etc. The most interesting part might be all the fossils that get dug up in Medicine Creek, repository of nearly all the mastodons found in museums around the world. Nebraska was on the edge of a huge glacier at the end of the last Ice Age, and was home to camels, shovel-tusk mastodons and all sorts of creatures.

Fort Cody Trading Post

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Just off I-80 in North Platte, this self-described tourist trap is actually a lot of fun – packed with all the cheesy gifts you need to bring back, but worth a visit mostly for the working diorama/model of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show that takes up a whole corner of the store.

Gothenburg

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Your quintessential small Swede-settled Nebraska town from the 1880s, Gothenburg has an original Pony Express station transplanted into the town park, a cool old downtown and a museum packed with things like tonsil snares. I can’t get enough stuff like that. You?

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I’ve got more, but that’s probably enough for now. What I mostly remember is rocking along on the Cross Country Tour around Valentine, tuning into the local 96.1 FM, which I think was coming from the big reservation just across the border in South Dakota. First, Three Dog Night played Never Been to Spain, followed by The Platters’ Life Could be a Dream, followed by some completely wacky tribal wailing unlike anything I have ever heard before – a quick trip from the ’70s to the ’50s to ancient times in 10 minutes.

They’ve been separating wheat from chaff for a long time up in here, there’s no constant chatter to distract people from what works and what’s crap. A guy I was talking to in Valentine while we were eating cows in the Peppermill told me how when we were kids and everybody had big families, lots of locals had no choice but to run off to the big city. Now, people have one or two kids – just enough to replenish the population. And now that everybody’s been to the big city, they appreciate what they’ve got here even more.

Wide-open spaces. The Sandhills isn’t only a nice place to visit, it wouldn’t be a bad place to live. Oh, I saw zero traffic officers. Fire up the Hayabusa.

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Great Places to Ride: Nebraska Sandhills appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: CycleAT Lets You Monitor Your Tires In Realtime + Video
CycleAT Lets You Monitor Your Tires In Realtime + Video [message #5661] Fri, 25 July 2014 18:10
Anonymous

As the only pieces of your motorcycle (or bicycle) actually in contact with the ground, tires play a vital role in your safety while on two wheels. With the proper care and maintenance, tires can last a long time and perform at their best. However, not everyone remembers to take care of their bikes. That’s where the CycleAT comes in.

Before we go any further, it’s worth mentioning that this is a Kickstarter project. Meaning, unless RDV Labs, creators of the CycleAT, don’t reach their $80,000 goal by 2:12am PST on September 20, the CycleAT won’t see the light of day.

So what is the CycleAT? In short, it’s a Bluetooth tire sensor that allows motorcyclists and bicyclists to monitor their tire pressure, temperature, and motion data all in real time. The CycleAT also can record and map your ride. To use the CycleAT, simply screw it atop the tire valves of your preferred tw0-wheeled vehicle. From there, pair your smartphone with the CycleAT via Bluetooth…and you’re done. Now the device will be in constant communication with your phone, via visual or audio notifications, keeping you up to date on the condition of your tires. 

There are numerous sensors buried inside the CycleAT, meaning its functionality goes way beyond simply monitoring tire pressure. Temperature sensors are especially important to motorcyclists, as a cold tire can mean the difference between staying up right or crashing. In addition, its lean angle sensor can provide important information for any rider looking to improve their skillset.

At the moment, the CycleAT app is only available for iOS platforms, but an Android version is said to be on its way. But again, if $80,000 isn’t reached, this whole plan gets scrapped (at press time, the CycleAT currently has raised $15,542 with 56 days left).

To learn more about the CycleAT, visit its Kickstarter page and watch the video below.

CycleAT Lets You Monitor Your Tires In Realtime + Video appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: SMEC To Promote Supermoto Events In North America At All Levels
SMEC To Promote Supermoto Events In North America At All Levels [message #5660] Fri, 25 July 2014 16:07
Anonymous

The East Coast based company – Supermoto East Coast (known as SMEC) – was formed to organize and promote Supermoto events at all levels starting with a local series to a National Pro series. SMEC has dedicated themselves to provide racers with a professional racing environment and the highest level of competition over the last one and a half seasons since SMEC was created. Having extensive knowledge of the European SuperMoto market, Co-founders Marco Pedde and Jay Kliger have made it their mission to build a similar structure and race atmosphere in North America.

SMEC has announced that the current 2014 AMA Supermoto East Coast Championship Series will now continue as the “FIM North America Supermoto Championship” series for the remainder of the season and beyond. FIM-NA Supermoto is now associated with the surrounding sanctioning bodies: American Motorcycle Association (AMA), Canadian Motorcycle Association (CMA) Supermoto Quebec and Supermoto Ontario. With the support of these organizations FIM-NA Supermoto will be able to provide Supermoto racing events across North America for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015, as well as for years to come.

“Structuring SMEC-promoted events as a Continental Union series makes perfect sense,” said AMA Director of Racing Bill Cumbow, who also serves as the treasurer of FIM North America. “Working with our partners at the Canadian Motorcycle Association, which shares FIM NA governing responsibilities with the AMA, we will provide full sanctioning and operational support, as well as continental-level recognition, to this growing program.”

“We are delighted to play a role in the development of an FIM North America continental Supermoto series, and we echo the remarks of our colleague AMA Director of Racing Bill Cumbow,” added Marilynn Bastedo, CEO of the Canadian Motorcycle Association. “It will provide opportunities for growth of Supermoto in North America as well as be the stepping stone for riders to advance from national through continental to world level competition.”

Jay Kliger stated, “We’ve been working on this for some time. There was a great deal of collaboration between all parties to make this happen and we want to thank everyone involved. We are now in a position to bring Supermoto and the North American riders to a level of International exposure. We have already begun working on a 2015 schedule that will make the FIM-NA Supermoto Championship a true International series for North America.” What does this mean for current Supermoto East Coast members? All 2014 credentials, classes, championship points and events will remain the same as planned for the 2014 season. With the introduction of the FIM-NA Supermoto Championship, SMEC riders will receive year end FIM-NA Championship status for their selective class. Champions will also be inscribed into the 2014 FIM Yearbook and results will be publicized on the FIM-NA website.

FIM-NA Supermoto is excited to announce that they, with the support of the promotor of the Mettet Superbikers event, will be providing entry for the top two 2014 FIM-NA Supermoto Championship Pro SMEC1 class points finishers to race in the Mettet Superbikers event in Belgium Oct. 3- 5. This prestigious event draws hundreds of top FIM Supermoto, motocross, enduro, road racing and flat track racers from across the world to see who is the best in front of 30,000 plus Supermoto fans. Over the last two years SMEC riders Miles Thornton and the current FIM-NA Supermoto Championship Pro SMEC 1 points leader Johnny Lewis have represented for the USA at this event. Lewis & Thornton both earned 3rd place in the StarBiker event, Lewis in 2012 and Thornton in 2013.

FIM-NA Supermoto is currently working with the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) to have a presence at the SuperMoto of Nations as early as 2014. The 2014 SuperMoto of Nations location has not been released yet by FIM but will be held on October 12th, 2014. The structure of how a team would be selected for this event will be released soon.

For more information on the new series, click the links below.

SMEC To Promote Supermoto Events In North America At All Levels appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Danny Gray Introduces Independent Suspension Line Of Motorcycle Seats
Danny Gray Introduces Independent Suspension Line Of Motorcycle Seats [message #5659] Fri, 25 July 2014 15:09
Anonymous

Danny Gray Enterprises, the Santa Ana, Calif.-based designer and manufacturer of custom motorcycle seats, recently introduced the IST (Independent Suspension Technology) line of motorcycle seats, designed to eliminate the compression and shock the body receives from riding on a traditional solid seat pan while providing the hand-crafted look, quality and performance of an aftermarket seat.

Sitting on a traditional motorcycle seat, the shocks and bumps of the road transmit into the rider’s hips and up their spine. This “whole body vibration” often leads to pain and fatigue, ultimately shortening the amount of time a person can ride comfortably. The new IST product line works by damping road impact right where it matters most – at the two lowest bone points in the pelvis called the ischial tuberosities, or ITs. IST is like two little trampolines, positioned side by side within the seat.  IST isolates the rider’s IT bones, cushioning them independently in reaction to the shocks and bumps of the road. And since IST is seamlessly built into the saddle, bike owners can have the custom look of a Danny Gray designed seat while enjoying longer, more comfortable rides.

Danny Gray IST Rider Anatomy

The IST line offers motorcyclists four models with multiple options for adding comfort and duration to their rides:

·        The MinimalIST is the entry level IST product, available in vinyl or leather covering with tailbone and stress relief, narrow width and sized for a solo rider.

·        The BigIST for the solo rider is available in vinyl or leather with tailbone and stress relief, and features a wider footprint, back support and is sized to accommodate a pillion. The BigIST is also available as a two-rider seat in a full-touring style with tailbone and stress relief, and back support, available in vinyl or leather.

·        The LowIST is a two-rider, low-profile style seat available in vinyl or leather with tailbone and stress relief, low and narrow, and cut down the rear.

·        The TourIST is a two-rider seat in a mid-touring style with tailbone and stress relief and back support.  The TourIST is available in vinyl, leather or with sweat-control Spacer Mesh Fabric and leather accents.

Danny Gray’s line of IST seats will be on display at Sturgis Rally 2014 at Black Hills Harley Davidson in Rapid City, and J&P Cycles in Sturgis.  The line will be available to dealers by July 31through Biker’s Choice and Drag Specialties.

More detailed product information is available at www.dannygray.com.

Danny Gray Introduces Independent Suspension Line Of Motorcycle Seats appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Energica Partners With Chargepoint
Energica Partners With Chargepoint [message #5658] Fri, 25 July 2014 14:36
Anonymous

Energica, the Italian manufacturer creating buzz in the electric motorcycle world for its Ego model, has partnered with Chargepoint, to provide riders access to over 18,300 EV charging stations worldwide.

If you aren’t familiar with the Energica Ego, E-i-C Kevin Duke rode the prototype in Italy some months back. He also took a spin on a production unit here on home soil just last weekend. Click here to see what he thought about it.

Until now, Chargepoint has worked exclusively with the automotive market in regards to partnerships. However, according to Erin Mellon, Chargepoint’s Communications Director, this is because no other electric motorcycle brand has approached them. “Energica actively pursued our involvement,” she says. “We are more than happy to partner with any and all electric vehicle makers.”

Energica says upon receiving their Ego, owners will be given a Driver Kit (yes, we agree it should have been called a Rider Kit), which will allow them instant access to the Chargepoint network. While a Chargepoint membership is already free, there’s typically a wait time to receive your card before you can begin charging. With the Driver Kit, Mellon says Ego owners will get two free membership cards, allowing them immediate access to charging stations. Also provided are instructions that walks riders through how and where to charge.

Visit the Energica website for more details on the Ego. You can also visit the Chargepoint website for more information on its extensive charging network and member benefits.

Energica Partners With Chargepoint appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: 2015 Energica Ego Second-Ride Review + Video
2015 Energica Ego Second-Ride Review + Video [message #5657] Fri, 25 July 2014 14:06
Anonymous

2015 Energica Ego

Editor Score: 83.0%
Engine 18.5/20
Suspension/Handling 12.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 10.0/10
Brakes 9.5/10
Instruments/Controls5.0/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 6.5/10
Appearance/Quality 9.5/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 3.0/10
Overall Score83/100

The world of electric sportbikes just got turned up a notch with the debut of the production version of the Energica Ego. Built in Italy as an adjunct business for a Formula 1 supplier, the Ego brings European style and sophistication to the e-bike market.

You may recall we had a chance to throw a leg over the Ego prototype last year in Italy, and we were impressed by how production-ready the Italian e-sportbike performed. With its oil-cooled, permanent-magnet AC motor factory-rated at 134 horsepower and 144 ft-lb of torque, it easily trumped anything from e-bike leaders Zero and Brammo, and its claim of a lofty 150-mph top speed almost seemed like it might be feasible.

2015 Energica Ego Review – First Ride

We’re still unable to verify the Ego’s top speed, but a recent ride on the production Ego solidified our initial impressions about Energica’s platform and performance. Riding on familiar roads this time around, we were able to double our impressions by bringing along one of our riding buddies, Daniel Schoenewald, for the ride.

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2013 Brammo Empulse R vs Zero S ZF11.4 + Video

What’s New

The transition from prototype to production has seen several changes and updates to the Ego. Here’s a quick rundown of the major tweaks.

  • Completely new electronics and Vehicle Control Unit.
  • New, 4.3-inch full-color TFT instrumentation.
  • Four ride modes: Standard, Sport, Eco and Rain.
  • A choice of three levels of regenerative braking and the ability to switch it off.
  • Reverse mode: Handy if parking on inclined surfaces; functions only at a crawl speed.
  • New engine cases built of cast aluminum rather than the billet pieces on the prototype.
  • Curb weight increased by 22 pounds due to the engine castings and addition of an onboard charger.
  • Swingarm made of a single aluminum casting. Wheelbase increases by 5mm to 57.9 inches.
  • New battery case to ensure waterproofness.
  • Front brake rotor diameters go up by 10mm to a large 330mm size.
  • The 240mm rear disc is larger by 20mm.
  • Bosch ABS will be standard equipment, but the system is undergoing calibration and wasn’t fitted to our test bikes.
072414-2015-energica-ego-ENERGICA EGO3

The Ego is now equipped with an onboard battery charger located under the seat, which is mostly responsible for shifting the Ego’s weight an additional 1% rearward, now at a 53/47% F/R balance.

Top Of The Range, First Off The Line

The first 45 Egos to be produced will be a high-spec version called the Ego 45 Limited Edition. Each will be individually numbered with a plaque mounted on the upper triple clamp. Electronic upgrades include GPS integration, Bluetooth connectivity and a smartphone app.

Mechanical bits raised to a higher standard are the suspension and wheels. An Ohlins FGRT NIX-30 cartridge fork leads the way, while a TTX shock holds up the rear. Wheels are OZ forged-aluminum hoops instead of the cast wheels on the base version. It is also supplied with a 20-kW DC fast-charger, an extra-cost option on the regular Ego.

The Ego 45’s bodywork is lightweight carbon fiber instead of the injection-molded plastic on the base model. It’s also graced by a smattering of 3D-printed components from Energica’s parent company, the CRP Group, a noted supplier to several Formula 1 teams.

The Ego 45’s trim pieces around the LED headlights feature a ceramic and metallic coating (Zircotec) that feel cool to the touch and look exceedingly trick.

The Ego 45’s trim pieces around the LED headlights feature a ceramic and metallic coating (Zircotec) that feel cool to a touch and look exceedingly trick.

Pretty much every limited-edition motorcycle from Italy has been expensive, and the Ego 45 continues that trend. It retails at a whopping $68,000, twice the price of the base model. If that seems too steep, consider that Energica is sweetening the deal with an Italian Lowell watch crafted from wood and individually numbered to match the number on your Ego 45.

Critical Numbers

EV batteries are expensive, and high-capacity batteries (11.7 kilowatt/hour in the Ego) are heavy. Hence, the base-model Ego is tropospherically priced at $34,000 and scales in at a hefty 584 pounds. Below are Energica-supplied numbers for range and recharging times.

Range Recharging
190 km at 60 kph (118 mi. at 37 mph) Zero to 100% via 110-volt outlet: 8 hours
150 km at 80 kph (93 mi. at 50 mph) Zero to 100% via J1772 220-volt DC charger: 3.5 hours
100 km at 100 kph (62 mi. at 62 mph) Zero to 85% via Mode-4 DC supercharger: 30 minutes.
50 km (31 mi.) when ridden on a racetrack Battery is said to be good for 1200 cycles before it
drops below 80% capacity.
The Energica Ego 45 - better living through electrons.

The Energica Ego 45 – better living through electrons.

Charged Up And Ready To Roll

Our ride was set in the twists and turns of the Santa Monica Mountains bordering the tony seaside city of Malibu, Calif. Schoenewald and I were let loose on a standard Ego (but with carbon-fiber bodywork) and the limited-production Ego 45 in its Matte Pearl White. I was quick to call dibs on the exotic Ego 45 bearing the mega-exclusive 00/45 badge.

Before taking off, Energica’s Chief Technical Officer, Giampiero Testoni, walked us through the new electronics and brilliantly vivid TFT color instrumentation. We decided to start off in the Standard ride mode and with regenerative braking in its medium setting.

An electric motor’s power delivery can be anything its engineers program into its motor controller, so a rider is never quite sure what kind of response a twist of an e-bike “throttle” will deliver. But in the Ego’s case, twisting the grip spits forth a completely intuitive response that allowed us to smoothly accelerate out of the parking lot and onto the open road.

Schoenewald (in black) is no spring chicken, but that doesn’t stop this dedicated moto enthusiast from riding like a talented 30-year-old. “I was impressed with the bike,” he said afterward.

Schoenewald (in black) is no spring chicken, but that doesn’t stop this dedicated moto enthusiast from riding like a talented 30-year-old. “I was impressed with the bike,” he said afterward.

My next test was to see how hard the Ego accelerated with the twistgrip spun to its stop. While it pulled with the supernatural response of a high-performance electric motor and an unending powerband, the thrust didn’t feel as enormous as the prototype I rode in Italy. I decided to switch it to Sport mode at the next opportunity and was rewarded with serious levels of oomph.

A few other button pushes toggled the regen braking up to its highest setting. I was wary of using the higher level of regen because I feared it would add an unnatural amount of braking force, but I couldn’t have been more impressed. Fully shutting the throttle produced a level of force very similar to that delivered from an internal-combustion engine on the overrun, so it felt entirely natural. And, just as important to smooth riding, there is an easily ascertained neutral-throttle area just behind the closed-throttle point that allows the Ego to coast without adding engine/motor braking. This well-tuned setup is ideal and feels entirely natural.

As with the prototype Ego (and the recently hyped Harley-Davidson LiveWire), the Energica is definitely not a silent motorcycle. The straight-cut transmission gears whine like something out of science-fiction movie and are a visceral audio accompaniment to a sporty ride.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire First Ride
Video of the LiveWire and interviews with execs and engineers

A face like a pissed-off hawk and a shriek that will ruffle feathers.

A face like a pissed-off hawk and a shriek that will ruffle feathers.

The Ohlins suspension on the Ego 45 was expertly set up and provided a fairly supple ride despite well-controlled damping settings. It worked so well that critiques are non-existent. The suspension on the base Ego (Marzocchi fork, lower-spec Ohlins shock) I sampled later also felt quite good, lacking only some suppleness compared to the Ego 45’s premium dampers.

Brakes, too, are top-shelf items and beyond reproach, with immense power and precise modulation. The only thing lacking is the still-absent ABS system that has delayed the Ego’s full production until April or May next year due to calibration requirements.

When riding the Ego after a petrol-powered sportbike, the first thing you’ll notice is the extra weight, especially when pulling it up off its sidestand. At nearly 600 pounds, there’s no escaping its lardiness. And yet the Ego feels considerably lighter in motion than its specs indicate. The heaviest part of the Ego, the battery, is thankfully mass-centralized between a rider’s legs, and the chassis geometry is quite aggressive, with a steep 23.5-degree rake and a tidy 100mm of trail. The result is a sportbike that responds with a quickness superior to what its weight suggests, but with a heaviness that makes a GSX-R 750 feel like a GP bike.

The Ego’s riding position is committedly sporty, but discomfort won’t set in with just 60 to 90 miles of range.

The Ego’s riding position is committedly sporty, but discomfort won’t set in with just 60 to 90 miles of range.

Agility is also slightly dulled by handlebars placed quite low and at the end of a long reach, something I griped about when I rode the prototype Ego. Bars placed higher and further back toward a rider would impart greater forces to the steering and allow the bike to turn into a corner a bit quicker.

A short trip up Pacific Coast Highway revealed the Ego’s ease of use in urban environments. No clutch to modulate, no gears to shift, and bottomless power available the instant your wrist rotates. Also, the Ego’s LED headlights are dazzling and impossible to ignore, and the bike looks impressively snazzy as it whirs down the road.

Duke’s Den – Is Electricity the Savior of Dirtbikes?

Post-Ride Numbers

After logging 46 miles on both bikes, the standard Ego had 34% of charge remaining in the battery. We had 27% charge remaining on the Ego 45, to which I blame my greedy throttle hand. I predict about 90 miles could be wrung out of the Ego if it wasn’t ridden like it was stolen and you stayed off the highway,

“Riding it was a good experience,” Schoenewald opined. “It has that great speed and rush that we look for from a motorcycle.”

Dueling Egos.

Dueling Egos.

So, the Ego is a thrilling new take on a sportbike, delivering a sporty riding experience that has the potential to warp your mind of what you previously thought was possible from a motorcycle. It looks sexy, goes like stink and redefines the term high-tech.

But, like every electric motorcycle we’ve sampled, the price tag will give pause to any prospective buyer. The Ego’s $34k MSRP could buy a sweet petrol-powered motorcycle – or five mediocre ones – that can be refueled in minutes at locations scattered on street corners all across the country.

“It’s a great bike, but I don’t think it fits what I’m looking for,” Schoenewald said, adding its price, heaviness and range limitations rule it out of consideration. “I’m just not ready for it.”

2012 Lightning Motorcycles Exclusive First Ride + Video

The development of electric motorcycles is blossoming into some really exciting forms, such as this wonderful Ego. But the e-bike bugaboo issues of range and price assure they remain a niche market, at least at present. The Ego earns high marks in every category of our scorecard but Value, where its finite range is factored in with its eye-squinting price.

The Ego’s allure is sure to be strong among those with deep pockets and extra motorcycles in their garage, but the Italian superbike is out of practical reach for the proletariat.

More information can be found at http://www.energicasuperbike.com/

Irony dispensed here

Irony dispensed here

+ Highs

  • Immaculate throttle response and control
  • Power whenever and wherever
  • Extremely high level of exotica
- Sighs

  • Price tag looks like a W-2 form
  • Range anxiety
  • Tips scales too heavily
2015 Energica Ego Specifications
Motor Oil-cooled, permanent-magnet AC
Horsepower 100kW (134 hp) from 4900 rpm to 10,500 rpm
Torque 195 Nm (144 ft-lb) from 0 to 4700 rpm
Transmission Single speed, with reverse
Final drive #525 o-ring chain
Frame Tubular trellis
Front suspension Fully adjustable Marzocchi 43mm inverted fork (Ohlins 43mm inverted fork on Ego 45)
Rear suspension Fully adjustable Ohlins single shock
Front brakes Brembo 4-piston radial-mount monoblock calipers; 330mm dual discs
Rear brake Brembo 2-piston caliper, single 240mm disc
Front tire 120/70-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso
Rear tire 180/55-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso
Seat height 31.9 inches
Curb weight 584 lbs
Rake 23.5 degrees
Trail 100mm
Wheelbase 57.9 inches
Fuel capacity 11.7 kW/h battery
Electronics Ride modes, regenerative braking, ABS
Colors Matte White or Matte Pearl White
MSRP $34,000; $68,000 for Ego 45 Limited Edition

2015 Energica Ego Second-Ride Review + Video appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Fundy Adventure Rally registration closing
Fundy Adventure Rally registration closing [message #5670] Fri, 25 July 2014 12:41
Anonymous

Registration for the Fundy Adventure Rally closes on 28th July at noon!

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 Topic: Top 10 Things Jeremy Toye Needed to Win the 2014 Pikes Peak Hillclimb
Top 10 Things Jeremy Toye Needed to Win the 2014 Pikes Peak Hillclimb [message #5656] Fri, 25 July 2014 11:57
Anonymous

072414-top-10-toye-pikes-peak-00000-f

Big-time MO congratulations to our favorite San Diegan racer Jeremy Toye, who celebrated the Kawasaki Ninja’s 30th anniversary in style by riding a ZX-10R (actually two ZX-10Rs) to victory in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.

In his first attempt, JT became just the third motorcyclist to make the 5000-foot 156-turn 12.4-mile ascent in under 10 minutes (9:58.69), and was named Rookie of the Year and King of the Mountain for doing it. While JT’s other career highlights include some impressive AMA finishes, a third at the Macau GP, and the fastest newcomer lap at the 2006 Isle of Man TT, we’ll always remember him as that crazy fast guy from the old Willow Springs Motorcycle Club, who won two Toyota 200s at $50K each. Here, in his own inimitable words, are the Top 10 things that made Pikes Peak possible.

Top 10 Things Jeremy Toye Needed to Win the 2014 Pikes Peak Hillclimb appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Review: Arai Pro Shade visor system
Review: Arai Pro Shade visor system [message #5669] Fri, 25 July 2014 08:35
Anonymous

Mr. Tate tries out Arai's new external sun visor on his helmet collection.

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 Topic: Nicky Hayden to miss Indianapolis, Brno races
Nicky Hayden to miss Indianapolis, Brno races [message #5668] Fri, 25 July 2014 07:32
Anonymous

Leon Camier will fill rider's seat as he recovers from surgery.

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 Topic: Aerostich releases 2014 catalogue
Aerostich releases 2014 catalogue [message #5667] Fri, 25 July 2014 07:23
Anonymous

The good folks at Duluth, Minnesota, have included more custom options than ever in new catalogue.

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 Topic: Video: Stories of Bike
Video: Stories of Bike [message #5666] Fri, 25 July 2014 06:44
Anonymous

Videos about Australian riders celebrate everyday motorcyclists.

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 Topic: Friday Fudge
Friday Fudge [message #5665] Fri, 25 July 2014 05:21
Anonymous

This week: Someone goes riding in a land down under the Carleton University campus.

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 Topic: Nicky Hayden Will Miss Next Two Races Following Recent Wrist Surgery (News)
Nicky Hayden Will Miss Next Two Races Following Recent Wrist Surgery (News) [message #5655] Thu, 24 July 2014 22:39
Anonymous
Nicky Hayden (Honda) always looks forward to the Indianapolis MotoGP round, and considers it his “home” race. This year, however, Hayden will be a spectator, rather than a participant. He underwent yet another surgery on his troublesome wrist in San Diego on July 17, and will sit out not only the Indy round on August […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: Kevin Schwantz To Serve As Embassador For AIMExpo
Kevin Schwantz To Serve As Embassador For AIMExpo [message #5651] Thu, 24 July 2014 13:09
Anonymous

The American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) has announces that 1993 500cc GP champ Kevin Schwantz is the 2014 “AIMExpo Champion.” Schwantz will play an integral role in pre-event publicity and promotion, will be a focal point of several of AIMExpo’s festivities, and will share his stories and experience with attendees.

“I feel truly honored to be selected as this year’s ‘AIMExpo Champion,’” says Schwantz. “This event has completely changed the landscape of the motorcycle industry and provided a much needed jolt of energy for the business in North America. I’m also excited about the opportunity to join such an impressive gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts.”

Throughout his illustrious career, Schwantz rode for Suzuki, helping the now iconic brand rise to the prominence it enjoys in racing. The longstanding relationship between Schwantz and Suzuki has become most notable in recent months following the official announcement that the Houston-born rider would continue his pursuit of the one crown jewel that has eluded him, a Suzuka 8 Hours win, at the age of 50. The race is Sunday, July 27th (although with the time difference, July 26th in North America).

“The fact that Kevin still has that desire to go out there and give it his all adds to his legacy,” says Larry Little, Vice President and General Manager of AIMExpo. “He’s genuinely a true racer at heart - he lives and breathes motorcycling. It makes him a perfect fit for ‘AIMExpo Champion’.” Follow Kevin’s Suzuka exploits by Liking his Facebook Page Kevin-Schwantz-Official, on Twitter@KevinSchwantz and Instagram @kschwantz34.

 For more information about AIMExpo check out the show’s website AIMExpoUSA.com.

Kevin Schwantz To Serve As Embassador For AIMExpo appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Middleweight Sport-Touring Shootout – Caponord Vs Multistrada Vs Ninja
Middleweight Sport-Touring Shootout – Caponord Vs Multistrada Vs Ninja [message #5650] Thu, 24 July 2014 12:49
Anonymous

Suzuki Burgman 200

According to my weather app, it was officially 100 degrees at 10pm the night we rode in to Borrego Springs, CA, during our Middleweight Sport-Touring Shootout. I’m sitting poolside sipping a tasty, cold beverage while bossmen, Kevin Duke and Sean Alexander, discuss the finer points of gun control in the parking lot.

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Thankfully, we’re not aboard those overweight rigs from our recent Heavyweight Sport-Touring Shootout; the wind protection from those two-wheel barn doors would have had us dead from heat exhaustion before reaching the bottom of Montezuma Grade. These three lighter, sportier, sport-tourers are much better suited to aggressive riding in hot climes. And although two bikes in this test are quasi sport-adventure-tourers, they’re still a heap load more fun in the tight stuff. Well, at least two of the three are.

Click here for the full gallery and specs

Aprilia’s recently launched Caponord and its bevy of electronic aids have garnered much attention – some good, some not so good. MO’s, Troy Siahaan wrote a very complimentary review of the Caponord following the bike’s press launch a few months ago. But now, in the harsh reality of judgement among its peers, the Caponord’s weak points become more apparent.

In the context of this group, the Capo is the comfy, more touringish bike, similar to how we rated the Triumph Trophy in our Heavyweight Sport-Touring Shootout.

In the context of this group, the Capo is the comfy, more touringish bike, similar to how we rated the Triumph Trophy in our Heavyweight Sport-Touring Shootout.

Aprilia Dynamic Damping, an unwisely chosen acronym of ADD – as in attention deficit disorder, by which we mean to say: “Hey, Aprilia suspension, quit yer daydreaming, I’m going fast now, would you please stiffen up.” But it pays no heed when ridden aggressively on bumpy roads, marshmallowing along, occasionally bottoming out and performing with a general sense of wallow.

“When ridden quickly in the twisties, the Aprilia starts sending nauseating warning messages early and often,” says Alexander. A statement to which Duke agrees, saying, “It feels less buttoned-down while cornering in the full-auto ADD mode than I’d like. In terms of front-end feedback and rider confidence at a fast pace, the uncertain-feeling Capo rates a distant third.”

The Ducati Twin throbs at 80 mph/4,500 rpm in top-gear. Its handling demands you keep pressure on the inside bar through sweeping corners. Short legs beware, the Multi’s seat is claimed to be 33.5 inches from the ground and feels even taller.

The Ducati Twin throbs at 80 mph/4,500 rpm in top-gear. Its handling demands you keep pressure on the inside bar through sweeping corners. Short legs beware, the Multi’s seat is claimed to be 33.5 inches from the ground and feels even taller.

In completely opposite land resides Ducati’s Skyhook suspension. The Touring S manages composure whether you’re riding slow and vertical or fast and leaned – automatically tightening and loosening damping settings depending on conditions and riding modes.

“The Multi’s stiffness and rigidity stands in sharp contrast to the Caponord’s plushness, whether referring to the suspension, chassis, seat or the way it makes your private parts feel,” quips Duke.

One of the biggest differences between the Ducati’s semi-active Skyhook suspension and the Caponord’s active/semi-active ADD is the Aprilia’s ability to automatically adjust the preload of its shock. There exists numerous other ways in which the two systems differ, and the ADD may be more advanced in its functionality compared to Ducati’s Skyhook, but whether due to overly soft springs, incorrect damping settings or a combination thereof, we believe Aprilia needs to better refine its ADD system.

“I had a scare while running deep into a bumpy, downhill corner with ADD set in its full-auto mode,” says Duke. “The system seemed to dial up an excess of front compression damping in an attempt to keep the chassis level, causing a front-end chatter that unexpectedly released grip from the front tire.”

How did the Kawi get into a brawl with two sport-adventure-tourers? Our shootout requirements demanded hard luggage and chain drive. Honda’s new Interceptor was meant to be included to help balance the equation of traditional sport-touring vs sport-adventure-touring, but an example with bags was unavailable at the time of testing.

How did the Kawi get into a brawl with two sport-adventure-tourers? Our shootout requirements demanded hard luggage and chain drive. Honda’s new Interceptor was meant to be included to help balance the equation of traditional sport-touring vs sport-adventure-touring, but an example with bags was unavailable at the time of testing.

Then there’s Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000 and its manually adjustable suspension (lacking only rear compression-damping adjustment), which seems passe next to the active Italian dampers. However, it works better and with more consistency than the Caponord’s fancy-schmancy ADD. No complaints were logged regarding the Ninja’s suspenders, and it came in a comfortable second in the suspension category of the ScoreCard, which also contributed to the Ninja winning the handling category of the ScoreCard despite feeling a little less nimble than the Italian duo.

“While the Ninja shares a 190mm rear tire width with the Multistrada, the Kawi uses the now-antiquated 50-series profile instead of the Duc’s modern 190/55 size,” says Duke. “This contributes greatly to the Kawi’s relatively sluggish steering response. And yet the Ninja does a nice job at unwinding a twisty road, aided by a wheelbase (56.9 inches) at least three inches shorter than the rangy Italians.”

Even without the massive amounts of leverage provided by the two sport-adventure-tourer’s wide handlebars, a rider can choose exactly where he wants to put the Kawi at any given time, in any given corner. The Ninja remains stable in long sweepers and outperforms its taller, adventurish rivals in higher-speed environments.

The Kawi’s engine is also worthy of mention as it handily out-gunned both the Duc and Capo in top-gear roll-ons, even though its down a few hp and ft-lbs to the Multistrada.

The Capo’s dyno chart draws the ugliest lines of the three, exhibiting peaks and valleys that illustrate its poor fueling and tendency to surge under neutral throttle. Check out the Kawi’s torque curve; It’s not often you see a 1000cc inline-Four with more torque than a 1200cc Twin.

The Capo’s dyno chart draws the ugliest lines of the three, exhibiting peaks and valleys that illustrate its poor fueling and tendency to surge under neutral throttle. Check out the Kawi’s torque curve; It’s not often you see a 1000cc inline-Four with more torque than a 1200cc Twin.

“Even though it isn’t as torquey as the Multistrada, the Ninja 1000 easily and decisively walks-away from both the Aprilia and Ducati in any contest of acceleration,” says Alexander.

Considering the two Italians share engine architecture, the Twin in each exhibits astoundingly different characteristics. Where the Testastretta 11° L-Twin launches from a standing start with gobs of low-end grunt, the majority of the Aprilia’s power resides high in the rev range of its 90-degree Twin. The Capo also suffers from a surprisingly glitchy EFI and R-b-W.

Kawasaki Ninja 1000
+ Highs

  • Least expensive
  • Sportbike with bags
  • Roll-on champ
- Sighs

  • Relatively tight legroom
  • Expensive bags and extra-cost centerstand
  • Outdated rear tire size

“The R-b-W tuning feels a little unnatural,” says Duke. “Throttle response feels linear over the first 70% of twisting its grip, but its full corral of horses is unleashed only after twisting it further along its lengthy rotation. There’s also a surging condition at small throttle openings.”

But, for those less inclined to ride at higher speeds and steeper lean angles, the softer Caponord could be the better choice as the only model here with cruise control (albeit a rudimentary system) and the greatest amount of wind protection. The Aprilia was also best outfitted for the passenger accommodations.

“The passenger seat is narrower than the Duc’s, but reasonably thick padding is accommodating to a posterior,” says Duke. “A raised forward end of the saddle inhibits sliding forward during braking. The top case includes a backrest pad, which greatly adds to a feeling of security for passengers.”

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring
+ Highs

  • Super sporty
  • Open ergos
  • Thrilling engine
- Sighs

  • Price
  • Lofty seat height
  • Gearbox imprecision

For the rider, the two sport-adventurers, with their relaxed rider triangles, longer wheelbases and lengthy suspension travel, have an unfair advantage over the Ninja. But for a traditional sport-tourer packing the performance the Ninja does, it’s a relatively comfortable mount upon which to spend the day. “Its bars and ergonomic triangle fall roughly halfway between a real supersport and a traditional sport-tourer,” says Alexander.

At 32.3 inches the Ninja has the lowest seat height by nearly an inch compared to the Capo and more than an inch on the Ducati. It’s narrow passenger seat, however, offers the least amount of pillion comfort of the three.

Aprilia Caponord 1200
+ Highs

  • Best comfort
  • Two-up champ
  • Strong value
- Sighs

  • Too squishy
  • Too heavy
  • ADD needs further development

By virtue of its 40-liter top case ($399.95 option) the Aprilia easily provides the greatest amount of storage capacity: 98 liters total vs. the Duc’s 58 liters vs. the Ninja’s 56 liters, according to each manufacturer’s claims. While the Capo’s top case will fit a full-face helmet, its saddlebags will not, whereas either of the Ninja’s saddlebags will swallow a full-face. A helmet will fit the Multi’s left bag, but the right bag will not due to the cut-out for exhaust heat which drastically reduces the bag’s capacity.

As noted in our initial review of the Ninja 1000, the bike’s hard saddlebag kit lists for $1,269.75. There’s also a choice of a 39-liter top case ($139.95), but due to different mounting hardware, the saddlebags and top case cannot be attached simultaneously. If more carrying capacity is needed, there’s a wide selection of soft luggage available from Kawasaki specifically designed for the Ninja 1000.

Egad! At 599 pounds wet, the Caponord is almost deserving of a place in our Heavyweight Sport-Touring Shootout. The Aprilia is, in fact, closer to the weight of the Yamaha FJR1300ES (644 lbs) than it is to the Multistrada’s 543 lbs. It’s heated grips are a $200 option, the Duc’s are included in the price.

Egad! At 599 pounds wet, the Caponord is almost deserving of a place in our Heavyweight Sport-Touring Shootout. The Aprilia is, in fact, closer to the weight of the Yamaha FJR1300ES (644 lbs) than it is to the Multistrada’s 543 lbs. Its heated grips are a $200 option, the Duc’s are included in the price.

In the end, it turned out that all the technology couldn’t keep the Duc or the Capo in front of the Kawasaki on the ScoreCard. Factoring in the objective scores of price and weight, the more analog bike has enough of an advantage to claim victory over the pricey Multistrada, the bike that each editor scored as the subjective winner.

The Caponord, while a fantastic bargain considering its arsenal of electronics and the only bike here with cruise control, couldn’t overcome the shortcomings of its ADD suspension system, unrefined EFI and R-b-W, and it’s quirky handling manners. You have the option of choosing the non-ADD mode such as solo rider, solo rider with luggage, two-up and two-up with luggage, and Aprilia says that for fast canyon riding the stiffest setting (two-up with luggage) is the preferred choice. However, we tried that and didn’t notice a significant improvement in suspension performance.

The desert yeti on sentry duty. The Kawi’s 1,053cc inline-Four feels like a large electric motor and pulls hard just about everywhere on the tach, especially in the midrange. At 80 mph, the Duc's engine is spinning at 4500 rpm, 1000 revs lower than the Ninja. When powered on, the Capo’s cruise control indicator lamp flashes green which is annoying and easily confused with the turn-signal indicator. When activated it turns solid green.

The desert yeti on sentry duty. The Kawi’s 1,053cc inline-Four feels like a large electric motor and pulls hard just about everywhere on the tach, especially in the midrange. At 80 mph, the Duc’s engine is spinning at 4500 rpm, 1000 revs lower than the Ninja. When powered on, the Capo’s cruise control indicator lamp flashes green which is annoying and easily confused with the turn-signal indicator. When activated it turns solid green.

“What a shame,” says Alexander. “That squishy electronic suspension costs significant dough, raising the Caponord’s base MSRP. If our test bike was available with old-school twisty-knob adjusters, it would quite likely make a fantastic sport-touring motorcycle and might have been priced near to the saddlebag-equipped Ninja.”

The Ninja isn’t perfect, exhibiting a high-frequency buzz in the upper rev-range in various gears (thankfully not at freeway cruising speeds), but the way in which it goes about its duties without the influence of electronic suspension for a far more attainable price tag makes it the winner of this shootout.

It was a close finish: 86.04% Kawi vs 85.37% Duc, but, simply put, the Multi didn’t perform $5,500 better than the Ninja.

It was a close finish: 86.04% Kawi vs 85.37% Duc, but, simply put, the Multi didn’t perform $5,500 better than the Ninja.

Alexander relates; “At the end of our first day’s ride it was time for one last rotation before making the final slog to our arid desert hotel. I thought it was my turn on the Kawasaki and I began to quietly fret… until I realized it was actually my turn on the Aprilia. Near the end of that last leg of our route we followed S-22 down almost 4,000 feet of elevation via a sublime series of high-speed sweepers before dropping us into the furnace of Borrego Springs. In hindsight, I would have chosen the Kawasaki’s relatively cramped ergonomics in exchange for its superior ground clearance, suspension composure, and thrust during the ride down those last few miles.”

“Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course, in German means a whale's vagina.” – Ron Burgundy

“Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it Saan Deeahgo, which of course, in German means a whale’s vagina.” – Ron Burgundy

2014 Middleweight Sport-Touring Shootout Scorecard
Category Aprilia Caponord 1200
ABS Travel Pack
Ducati Multistrada 1200
S Touring
Kawasaki Ninja 1000
Price 67.5% 0.0% 100.0%
Weight 60.0% 95.0% 100.0%
Engine 83.3% 92.1% 90.8%
Transmission/Clutch 89.2% 71.7% 91.7%
Handling 68.3% 87.5% 91.7%
Brakes 81.7% 95.0% 87.5%
Suspension 53.3% 96.7% 87.5%
Technologies 89.2% 90.0% 70.0%
Instruments 76.7% 72.5% 86.7%
Ergonomics/Comfort 91.7% 85.0% 75.8%
Luggage/Storage 89.2% 78.3% 85.0%
Appearance 79.2% 90.8% 88.3%
Cool Factor 76.7% 90.8% 81.7%
Grin Factor 60.0% 92.5% 81.7%
Overall Score 77.9% 85.4% 86.0%
Price and weight are scored based on objective metrics. Other scores are listed as a percentage of editors’ ratings in each category. The Engine category is double-weighted, so the Overall Score is not a total of the displayed percentages but, rather, a percentage of the weighted aggregate raw score.

Middleweight Sport-Touring Shootout – Caponord Vs Multistrada Vs Ninja appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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 Topic: Kevin Schwantz’s busy summer
Kevin Schwantz’s busy summer [message #5654] Thu, 24 July 2014 08:30
Anonymous

Former MotoGP racer to run Suzuka 8 Hour, then take a trip back through time.

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 Topic: Spy shot, video: Ducati Scrambler
Spy shot, video: Ducati Scrambler [message #5653] Thu, 24 July 2014 07:41
Anonymous

Ducati decides to tease us with their new Scrambler via claymation.

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 Topic: Gear up your Grom: Woodcraft brings out new accessories
Gear up your Grom: Woodcraft brings out new accessories [message #5652] Thu, 24 July 2014 07:09
Anonymous

If you want to race your Grom, Woodcraft can help.

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 Topic: MD First Ride: 2014 Suzuki Burgman 200 (Bike Reports) (News)
MD First Ride: 2014 Suzuki Burgman 200 (Bike Reports) (News) [message #5647] Wed, 23 July 2014 21:44
Anonymous
What’s the perfect two-wheeled vehicle? No way it could be a lowly scooter, right? Well, judging from the rants posted by our wise and noble readers, it’s inexpensive, light, low to the ground, handles admirably, seats two comfortably, gets stellar fuel economy, offers good wind protection, plenty of locking storage for touring and has a […]... Click Here for Article
 Topic: Arrow Exhausts Introduces 2014 Yamaha FZ-07 Fitments
Arrow Exhausts Introduces 2014 Yamaha FZ-07 Fitments [message #5641] Wed, 23 July 2014 18:43
Anonymous

New fitments from Arrow exhaust are now available from SpeedMob, Inc. for the 2014 Yamaha FZ-07. The new exhaust applications include Arrow Street Thunder and X-Kone silencers, both of which are designed to work in conjunction with a full stainless steel racing collector (headers), much the same as Arrow’s 2014 FZ-09 fitments. The Arrow exhaust brand is now being distributed to the US and Canada through SpeedMob, Inc. – a premium brand distributor headed by former LeoVince USA President Tim Calhoun.

 

Arrow FZ-07 exhaust 2

Arrow Street Thunder
Smaller profile stock exhaust systems are becoming more and more popular on newer model bikes, so naturally the want for after market exhausts of similar size and style are also in high demand. To meet this demand, Arrow has developed its “Street Thunder” silencer (based on the core
 design of its smaller off-road product line) to be one of the best looking and working silencers on the market.

This design features a compact silencer with a diamond shaped outer body and it is engineered to combine great design with leading age material technology. In order to manage the heat and sound issues related to a silencer with reduced interior volume, extensive research was conducted to find the optimal sound absorbent and thermal insulating materials; this was also key for Arrow to be able to utilize these materials easily in the production process.

For the 2014 Yamaha FZ-07, Arrow is proud to introduce the Street Thunder exhaust, a perfectly engineered balance of power and sound with a minimal profile. This silencer is available in your choice of Titanium, Aluminum, “Dark” Aluminum or Carbon Fiber. The uniquely designed end-caps are available in either Stainless Steel or Carbon Fiber. The Arrow Street Thunder Silencer also includes a removable baffle (dB killer) for optimal sound control.

Arrow FZ-07 exhaust 1

Arrow X-Kone
One of Arrow’s newest exhaust designs, the X-Kone was originally developed to be u
sed only in “competition” as “competition full titanium” full systems for racing and track day use. These are now being made available for a wider range of Sportbikes, naked bikes and more. Depending on the specific applications, X-Kone silencers can either be fitted to original pipes with a link pipe or, in the case of the FZ-07, it must be used in conjunction with a stainless steel collector (headers). The X-Kone silencers are typically secured by mounting it to the footrest through a bracket that is welded on the silencer body. The average weight of an X-Kone silencer is around 2.2 kg (or 4.85 lb), which usually offers a 30%-40% reduction in weight compared to stock silencers.

Because this is a full race system (headers and silencer), the power and torque output is noticeably improved. More importantly, fitting an X-Kone system does not require riders to change the ECU settings nor add an ECU module; however, a check on CO levels after installation is recommended. The silencer’s internal components are constructed of stainless steel, allowing for reduced weight and a small overall design with exceptional noise reduction by absorption. For the 2014 Yamaha FZ-07, X-Kone silencers sleeves are offered in NiChrome (stainless steel alloy) with a satin finish and the end-caps are made of Carbon Fiber. A removable baffle (dB killer) is also available for optimal sound control.

See the chart below for different FZ-07 fitment options.

Arrow FZ-07 exhaust options

For more information or to place an order, please contact SpeedMob at (510) 232-4040 or email sales@speedmob.com.

Arrow Exhausts Introduces 2014 Yamaha FZ-07 Fitments appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Harley-Davidson Launches Denim Line For Men
Harley-Davidson Launches Denim Line For Men [message #5640] Wed, 23 July 2014 17:28
Anonymous

Harley-Davidson has just released new denim styles to supplement the existing line of jeans offered as part of its Harley-Davidson MotorClothes collection. The two new styles offer a variety of washes, waist size and inseam. Highlights include a slimmer fit, darker washes and features developed specifically for riding.

The new men’s Modern Straight Jeans ($60) are constructed from 13.2-oz., 100 percent cotton denim in the classic five-pocket style. Moto-friendly features include new rivetless pockets that prevent unwanted scuffs to motorcycle seats, while new back pockets are more durable and less likely to tear. Longer belt loops feature doubled material for increased durability and to accommodate wider belts, and the V-shaped center back loop prevents belts from creeping above the waistband. The left-side coin pocket adds riding convenience with left-hand accessibility. The Modern Straight cut offers straight legs, a slight taper to the ankle and a fit that sits just below the natural waist. Available at most H-D dealerships and at www.h-d.com/store in Light or Dark Indigo with slight distressing, in waist sizes 32-40 in. with 30, 32 or 34-in. inseams.

From the Black Label line, the new men’s Slim Straight Denim Jeans ($60) offer 54 percent percent cotton/46 percent polyester 12.75 oz. premium denim construction. Cut slim through the seat and thighs, with a straight leg and a slightly lower rise to the waist, these jeans match modern style with a five-pocket pant. The rivetless pocket design means no unwanted impacts to motorcycle seats, while a left-side coin pocket is a nod to their motorcycle heritage. They are available at most H-D dealerships and at www.h-d.com/store in waist sizes 30-38 in. with 30 and 34-in. inseams.

While these new jeans are no doubt stylish, they appear to be designed for riders who are looking for low-cost clothing with the H-D brand, perhaps someone who is not particularly concerned about technical gear with crash and/or abrasion protection.

MO would love to see Harley offer a stylish American-made jean with reinforced Kevlar stitching and some Kevlar or leather backing in the knees and buttocks.  What do you think? Would their lack of armor or abrasion-resistant material prevent you from buying a pair?

Harley-Davidson Launches Denim Line For Men appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Built For Speed Art Exhibit To Be Displayed At Sturgis Buffalo Chip
Built For Speed Art Exhibit To Be Displayed At Sturgis Buffalo Chip [message #5639] Wed, 23 July 2014 14:45
Anonymous

“Built for Speed – Race Inspired Motorcycles and Art” is the title of Michael Lichter’s 14th annual “Motorcycles as Art” exhibition in Sturgis this August, which for the second year in a row, will be jointly curated by Michael and Paul d’Orleans of the Vintagent. ‘Built for Speed’ is sure to impress visitors with a beautiful and thought-provoking display of motorcycles and related art, the race-inspired theme making connections between motorcycle racing and custom bike designs inspired by racers.

Each custom bike in ‘Built for Speed’ reflects a branch of racing; Speedway, Flat Track, Drag Racing, Board Track,  Grand Prix, Land Speed Record, and will be displayed beside the racing machines suggesting the origins of each style. On the walls surrounding these awesome bike will be race-themed painting, photography, helmets and prints by artists equally inspired by competition motorcycles in action.

The 32-motorcycles in ‘Built for Speed’ include customs by long established and emerging builders, side by side with factory-loaned machines. Builder sending bikes include Alan Stulberg (Revival Cycles), Arlen Ness, Bill Dodge (Blings Cycles), Bill Rodencal (Fat Dog Racing), Brandon Holstein (Brawny Built), Brian Klock (Klockwerks), Dan “Bacon” Carr (DC Choppers), Dan Rognsvoog with Skip Schulze, Jason Paul Michaels (Dime City Cycles), John Reed, Kenji “Ken” Nagai (Ken’s Factory, Japan), Kevin Baas (Baas Metal Craft), Kirk Taylor (Custom Design Studios), Matt Olsen (Carl’s Cycle), Michael O’Shea (Medaza Cycles, Ireland), Nate Jacobs (Harlot Cycles), Pat Patterson (Led Sled Customs), Paul Cox (Paul Cox Industries), Paul Wideman (Bare Knuckle Choppers), Roland Sands (RSD), Skeeter Todd, Tator Gilmore, Warren Lane  and Zach Ness (Arlen Ness, Inc). Factory-built machines include a custom Street 750 from the Harley-Davidson design department, Indian’s “Spirit of Munro” Jeb Scolman built streamliner and a Land Speed Racer from Confederate Motorcycles alongside Icon’s “Iron Lung” road racer, George Smith’s “Tramp” (replica) from S&S, Deus Ex Machina’s “DAKDAAK” Honda CRF 450X and Clem Johnson’s original Vincent “Barn Job” from John Stein. Artists on the walls include Conrad Leach, Darren McKeag, David Uhl, Eric Hermann, Harpoon, Jeff Nobles, Marc Lacourciere, Michael Lichter, Richie Pan, Scott Jacobs, Scott Takes, Susan McLaughlin and Paul d’Orléans, Tom Fritz, Trish Horstman and an all new “21 Helmets” display of race inspired Bell Helmets from SeeSee Motor-Coffee in Portland.

Customized motorcycles have often taken inspiration from racing machines, as witnessed in the ‘Cut-downs’ of the 1920s, ‘Bob-jobs’ of the 1930s, Café Racers of the 1950s, ‘Drag-bike’ choppers of the 1960s, and ‘Street Trackers’ of the 1970s. All of these styles are hugely popular with customizers today, which speaks to the enduring appeal of a racing motorcycle’s purity of purpose in its design. It’s a subject the ‘Motorcycle as Art’ exhibit explored last year in our ‘Ton Up!’ show about café racers and related customs (which became a book – ‘Café Racers’, published by Motorbooks), and this year Michael Lichter and Paul d’Orleans widen the scope of the exhibit to include even more branches of racing, and the beautifully crafted custom bikes taking inspiration from the types of original racers on display.

As always, entry to the Buffalo Chip’s 7,000′ purpose-built Michael Lichter art gallery is FREE and this year, hours have been extended, now opening at 10:30 am into the evening concert hours. The show opens on Saturday August 2 and closes Friday night August 9. To find the gallery, head to the Buffalo Chip and turn east on Alkali Road; go to the east entrance. The gallery is next to the east entrance and does not require a ticket to enter.

Be sure to also visit other displays in the Russ Brown Events Center (also with free admission) including the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, which will have a “Women in motorcycling” display featuring women that have never been shown by the museum before, artist Marc Lacourciere with a display in his gallery of his latest works of art and an display of miniature paintings from industry notables for an auction to benefit Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) that has been organized by Elisa Seeger of Indian Larry Motorcycles and the Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation.
For more information, visit www.buffalochip.com.

See below for a sample of what you will see at the exhibit:

470 471 472 475 474 473 476 478 481 480 479 482 483 484 487 486 485

Built For Speed Art Exhibit To Be Displayed At Sturgis Buffalo Chip appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

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 Topic: Kevin Schwantz To Race Goodwood Aboard Norton Featherbed
Kevin Schwantz To Race Goodwood Aboard Norton Featherbed [message #5638] Wed, 23 July 2014 13:27
Anonymous

If you didn’t already notice, Kevin Schwantz has a full plate this year. At 50 years young, the 1993 500cc World Champion will be competing at the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hours in a few weeks, and he’s followed that up with the announcement he will be making his Goodwood Revival debut during the September 12-14 event on an iconic Manx Norton ‘Featherbed’.

Schwantz, last raced on UK soil during the 1994 British 500cc Grand Prix at Donington Park, but will tackle the daunting Goodwood Motor Circuit this year in the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy, which will be run for bikes of 1951-54 period.

The American will race the only remaining example of the 1950 Norton Works 500 ‘Featherbed’, a bike on which Geoff Duke dominated the Isle of Man TT during that season, and which has not been seen in public for 64 years. The ‘Featherbed’ is owned by Peter Bloore and is being prepared by Ken McIntosh.

While Schwantz has never contested the Revival before, he has been a visitor to Goodwood previously and wowed crowds at the 2013 Festival of Speed after taking to the fabled 1.16- mile Hillclimb on his title-winning Suzuki RGV500.

Schwantz was elevated to grand prix racing in late 1986 and spent eight full years at the highest level. During a 103-race career he won 25 grands prix, finished on the podium 51 times, started from pole position on 29 occasions and set 26 fastest laps.

Kevin Schwantz said: “I’m excited to be taking part in the Goodwood Revival and riding not only one of the most famous racing motorcycles ever made, but also a machine whose design changed motorcycle racing forever. I’ve never raced at the Revival, but have been to the Festival of Speed and was blown away by what an incredible event it is. The machines, not to mention the legends of motorsports in attendance, and the sheer number of spectators was just amazing. The Goodwood Motor Circuit looks really quick and I am looking forward to racing the Norton 500 ‘Featherbed’ out on the track.”

 

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 Topic: Head Shake – Time and Distance
Head Shake – Time and Distance [message #5637] Wed, 23 July 2014 11:42
Anonymous

It is approximately 666.74 miles between St. Inigoes, Maryland, and Belgrade Lakes, Maine. This is good, I needed those miles.

There are times when you need to think, to figure things out and put things in order. We’ve all heard the metaphors, parables, similes, and whatever about motorcycles being good therapy, largely because it is true. It’s a solo pursuit, just you and a machine, your continued existence on this Earth largely dependent upon what you do. It is concentration which, strangely enough, offers one time to think. And it is satisfying. I needed to do some of that. I needed to think about rather weighty issues like marriage, and the future, and whatnot. I needed perspective.

I once heard, I believe it was Pete Conrad, describe watching Earth rise from his position circling the Moon. That sight, that glance at our little blue spinning marble out there, changed forever how he thought about everything, I needed a little bit of that. There was a small problem though, I couldn’t go to the Moon. I could go to Maine, however, which some days is almost as good.

Sabre

Some people have a therapist, I had a bike.

The initial flight plan called for my best bud Kurtis to go along on his punched out Z-1. He’d never seen Maine, it would be a new experience, he’d have fun, but we had a small problem. We worked at a three-man shop, I had gotten the week off for the trip, but the chances of our manager letting Kurtis off, who was our chief mechanic, were slim to none. So Kurtis resolved to get himself fired through some twisted logic about Maryland’s unemployment compensation law, and he tried, he really applied himself.

In fact he tried so hard that the day before we were to leave he showed up at work with a 12-pack, went down to the shop, elevated his bike stand, drank the 12-pack, and took a nap. Our manager, Mike, asked me, “What’s Kurtis doing?” So I told him.

“He’s taking a nap.”

Mike, our manager and a really good guy, went downstairs, gazed upon a supine Kurtis and an empty 12-pack, and came back upstairs. I asked Mike straight out, “So are you going to fire him?” Mike shook his head, chuckled and told me no. I think he knew what Kurtis was up to, and he also knew he had the best mechanic in town. He wasn’t stupid.

No matter, I was going, I’d fly solo. I could do this trip with my eyes closed, or so I thought. Kurtis broke the news to me that night at Monk’s, a local watering hole near my luxurious single-wide trailer, that he wasn’t going to be able to go. We commiserated, I stayed up way too late, and finally went home.

Dawn came way too early. I had wanted to be on the road before the sun broke the horizon but wasn’t. I snapped the tank bag into place,and took off. Push through, that was my thought, just drive on.

Loon

Loons live in Maine. They are beautiful birds; they also live in Southern Maryland, albeit in a different form.

Well, I got to Annapolis, Maryland, just short of the Bay Bridge, and I felt like death on a stick, it was hotter than hell, my back was killing me, a right wrist I had managed to tear up in the Army was none to happy, and I was sitting there chugging a Gatorade wondering at the wisdom of this whole endeavor. It was resolve time, it was time to get the game face on. Get across that Bay Bridge and we have crossed the Rubicon. Off I go, through the pain-in-the-ass, fumble-for-change-with-your gloves-on tollbooth, the relative sanity of US 301 on the Eastern Shore, and eventually on to I-95.

I had a plan, insofar as I had any plan in those days; I’d stop every hundred miles. The bike needed fuel about that time anyway and it would keep me halfway fresh for the trip. After all, that’s only six stops or so. Six stops sounds pretty good. It sounds a lot better than 666.74 miles on one of the busiest traffic corridors in the United States.

The bike had always been a good companion, and she ran great, and having cleared more interminable tool booths to finally get on the Jersey Turnpike and get dialed for New York City, it happened. I started thinking – the road trip meditation therapy started up, the inner voice kicked in.

Where’s your marriage going? What are you doing? What do you care about? What’s important?

I didn’t have answers right away, I never do, that takes time, and space, and distance. The pace on the Jersey Turnpike always increases in direct correlation to your proximity to New York City. My plan had been to divert and head North to the Tappan Zee Bridge and avoid the city altogether. And then I missed the exit, which put me on the George Washington Bridge at lunchtime, which is a living hell, matched only by the Cross-Bronx Expressway, which looks like a scene out of Mad Max; cars on the shoulder sitting on their axles, all window glass missing, and burnt out. We are, as Hunter S. Thompson would aptly describe, in bat country. You do not want to stop here.

That adrenaline rush sustained me until western Connecticut where sheer necessity determined I get fuel. As luck would have it, the Sunoco station owner was also a Husky aficionado and had several nice dirt bikes in one garage bay. We talked for a bit. I was reassured that humans do actually exist in the region, chugged another Gatorade, and got back on the bike and wicked her back up. Next stop the Mass Turnpike and the outer loop of the Boston beltway.

I actually exhaled somewhere around Waltham, Massachusetts. This is when sanity slowly started to set in. Did we make Portland? We get by Augusta? We got this, after another toll booth or two. And every mile the voice was there, I know how this works. Answers don’t come easily. You have to let them simmer.

Castle

Sanity and a good dose of common sense can be found here. You can catch some nice fish, too. You can also come to your senses. (Photo by Castle Island Camps)

What and who do you love? Do you love school? Do you want to stay with your wife? Do you want to go back in the Army?

Mile upon mile it was slowly untangling itself, this baitcasting backlash in my brain I was picking through. I had wanted to arrive at Castle Island Camps before dark, but because of my late start, I wasn’t going to make it. I hit the toll booth for the Maine Turnpike after dark. By this point I was well past Portland outside Augusta. You could smell the pine and feel the bite of the cold air. What had started off as a steam bath in Southern Maryland was destined to end as a chilly ride in a clear Maine night.

The road was empty, the state troopers were few, and the Honda loved chilly weather; I let her eat. Hearing that Kerker bark and letting her run just felt good, it was the best I felt all day, and worst-case scenario, the only creatures I could hurt would be myself and maybe an errant moose.

Sunset

My version of a think tank, set to the tune of loons calling and coy dogs howling at sunset. (Photo by Castle Island Camps)

I made it to the island. The proprietor, and my old boss, Horatio Castle, had waited up for me. I thought the world of this guy and respected him. Truth be told, he helped raise me, and I had learned a lot from him. This wasn’t a fishing trip like so many times in the past; this was a thinking trip. I asked Horatio for his advice that week, and I listened to it. I grabbed one of the rental boats and parked it out in the south end of the lake and floated for hours reading. We always had a bookshelf in the main house where meals were served. You could take one, and leave one. I grabbed “God Bless you Mr. Rosewater.” It was somehow right on time.

Despite outward appearances, sometimes we don’t have all the answers. We don’t know which way to go, and the future appears uncertain. For those times? Ride, and watch what happens. Your mind will do the rest.


About the Author: Chris Kallfelz is an orphaned Irish Catholic German Jew from a broken home with distinctly Buddhist tendencies. He hasn’t got the sense God gave seafood. Nice women seem to like him on occasion, for which he is eternally thankful, and he wrecks cars, badly, which is why bikes make sense. He doesn’t wreck bikes, unless they are on a track in closed course competition, and then all bets are off. He can hold a reasonable dinner conversation, eats with his mouth closed, and quotes Blaise Pascal when he’s not trying to high-side something for a five-dollar trophy. He’s been educated everywhere, and can ride bikes, commercial airliners and main battle tanks.

Head Shake – Time and Distance appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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Current Time: Tue Jul 29 10:44:12 EDT 2014