Harley-Davidson‘s rider training program has revamped itself and even changed its name. Now the new Harley-Davidson Riding Academy is the only national rider training program hosted by Harley-Davidson dealerships and conducted on an all-new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Since its inception in 2000, Harley-Davidson’s rider training program has successfully trained more than 350,000 new riders with a premium Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)-approved rider training experience that guides students on their journey from the classroom to the street with an emphasis on building student confidence on their road to independence.
The Harley-Davidson Riding Academy’s New Rider Course provides nearly everything students need to take the first step on their motorcycle riding journey, including MSF-certified instructors, use of a motorcycle to learn on, and a minimum of 20 hours of combined classroom and range training with a guaranteed 6:1 student/instructor ratio. All students need to bring to class is appropriate riding gear.
Harley-Davidson Riding Academy students will learn to ride on the new Harley-Davidson Street 500 motorcycle. The newest model in the H-D lineup, its small stature, agreeable engine, and relative light weight (for a Harley) should appeal well to new riders.
Additional features developed specifically for use in the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy include an industry-first Power Limit Calibration that puts a ceiling on the vehicle’s low-gear speeds, allowing only the maximum rate a student needs in the course, and a unique Vehicle Protection Kit that allays student fears of damaging the vehicle in a tip-over.
In many states, completion of a Harley-Davidson Riding Academy course can exempt riders from needing to take an additional road test before becoming licensed, and many insurance providers offer discounts to graduates.
In addition to changes in the United States, where more than 180 Harley-Davidson dealers offer training courses, Harley-Davidson Riding Academy is expanding globally into Mexico, China and South Africa.
To learn more about Harley-Davidson Riding Academy, or to find a participating dealer, visit www.h-d.com/ridingacademy.
Harley-Davidson Launches The Harley-Davidson Riding Academy appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
Growth is a good thing, but sometimes it comes at a cost. This year, unfortunately, Polaris has realized that its American Victory Rally will not be able to take place at the company’s Spirit Lake, Iowa facility because of “extensive transformation of manufacturing lines.”
“All of us at Victory are disappointed that we are unable to host the rally this year as we know our riders are passionate about their bikes and the opportunity to connect with each other, the Spirit Lake community and Victory employees at the annual rally,” said Marcy Bosch, committee chair, American Victory Rally. “We will be transforming our manufacturing lines this summer to keep up with the demands fueled by the continued enthusiasm for Victory bikes and our other products, which means we won’t be able to free up the facilities and dedicate the resources necessary to support a quality rally. We are grateful to our riders and the Spirit Lake community for their continued support and passion for the Victory brand.”
Victory owners who want a chance to ride and hang out with their Victory brethren should check with their local dealers to find out the location of any local events that are planned for this year.
BMW’s venerable R1200GS has a lot of fans around the globe, including us. To my eyes, the GS does a fine job of maintaining a traditional dirtbike’s minimalist appearance, minus those bulging cylinders protruding from either end. But now more than ever, thanks to the introduction of liquid-cooling, the GS is a modern marvel of mechanical and electrical engineering. In this video, watch the birth of a new R1200GS, from start to finish.
Filmed at BMW’s motorcycle assembly plant in Berlin, we chart the progress of a GS as it starts from a bare frame and continues to a complete motorcycle. The marriage of metal, plastic, wires and cables is a beautiful thing, especially considering how many times the process is repeated a day, month, even a year. Hopefully the gearheads among you will appreciate the video, but fair warning: there’s no music, and the nine-minute video can get tedious at times, but the overall content is pretty good.
Watch A BMW R1200GS Being Built From Start To Finish + Video appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S. has just announced it will support the GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship for 2014.
With AMA EnduroCross entering its eighth season as a multi-round, championship series, the momentum continues to build with top-of-the-line sponsors coming on board. For 2014, AMA EnduroCross is proud to welcome Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S. as a premium sponsor.
Yamaha joins EnduroCross just as the series announces another growth surge—increasing its race count to nine cities, including two new cities/venues, for 2014. For 2014, multi-time women’s motocross champion Jessica Patterson will compete in EnduroCross aboard her N-Fab/Am-Pro/Yamaha.
MAVtv will again be airing one-hour long shows for the eight AMA EnduroCross events. Check out www.MAVtv.com for more information.
Las Vegas will host the opening round of EnduroCross on Friday, May 2, during the Monster Energy Supercross finals weekend. Atlanta, Georgia and Salt Lake City, Utah will host first ever EnduroCross events in 2014 and the X Games Enduro X event in Austin, Texas, also will be included as a points-paying event for the GEICO AMA EnduroCross championship. The traditional EnduroCross finals in November will now be held Nov. 22 in Ontario, California.
Yamaha Announced As AMA EnduroCross Premium Sponsor appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
In June, Flagstaff residents Eva Rupert and Josh Remer will be riding vintage 100cc motorcycles across the state of Arizona to raise money for Blood:Water Mission, a Nashville non-profit that builds HIV/AIDS clinics and clean water wells in Africa. Both Josh and Eva are avid motorcyclists and wanted a way to use what they love to make a difference in the world. They see their ride as a more exciting version of a walk-a-thon. Josh and Eva are actively fundraising for the event and will be appearing at the Overland Expo in Mormon Lake, AZ, May 16-18.
Josh will be riding a 1972 Honda CB100 and has spent the last few years working with non-profit organizations and is passionate about the role they play in the world. He is presently an MBA candidate at Northern Arizona University.
Eva will be riding a 1969 Honda CL90 and is a primitive survival expert and tattoo artist at Birch Avenue Tattoo in Flagstaff. She recently appeared on the Discovery Chanel show Naked and Afraid.
To find out more about their trip, visit www.tinybikesbigchange.org.
Piaggio announced new updates for the Vespa GTS, adding anti-lock brakes, a traction control system and its new Enahnced Sliding Suspension system, bringing the company’s latest scooter technologies to the largest, most powerful Vespa model.
The new additions on the GTS should not be a surprise, as they have already been adopted by other new Vespa models such as the 946. Piaggio was the first company to introduce ABS and ASR traction control system for scooters, and the updated GTS will now receive the technology as a factory-installed option.
The system uses sensors on both wheels, measuring how fast they spin in comparison to each other and to the scooter’s speed. The sensors communicate with a two-channel hydraulic control unit that activates the ABS if one of the wheels decelerates more abruptly than the GTS’ speed to prevent wheel lock-up. Likewise, if the sensors detect the rear wheel is spinning too fast compared to the front wheel, the control unit acts to prevent sliding.
The ESS system was first introduced on the new Primavera and Sprint models. It keeps the traditional Vespa single-sided suspension look but the shock absorber is now fixed to the trailing arm with a hinged pin instead of being bolted on rigidly. Piaggio says ESS improves rider comfort by better absorbing road bumps while cutting sliding friction in half. Twin shocks with four adjustable preload settings provide rear suspension.
Also new to the GTS is the smartphone-compatible Piaggio Multimedia Platform. Rebranded here as the Vespa Multimedia Platform, the system connects smartphones to the on-board electronic system, allowing for real-time display of vehicle and engine speed, horsepower, torque, fuel consumption and other data. The smartphone can also be used as a GPS navigator. On ABS and ASR-equipped models, the VMP system can also function as a tire condition monitor, keeping track of air pressure and tire wear. Also new is the USB port located in a compartment behind the leg shield, useful for keeping smartphones or other small electronics charged.
Visually, the GTS keeps much of its traditional look but with the updated looks matching the Primavera including the new “tie” styling on the front shield. The turn indicators now use clear plastics while the rear light assembly now has a chromium frame to match the crest on the front fender.
Piaggio is producing two versions of the GTS. The base GTS and GTS Super come with the 278cc single-cylinder four-valve engine claiming 22 hp at 7500 rpm and 16 ft-lb. at 5000 rpm. In Europe, the Super version is also available with the 124cc version that claims 15 hp at 9750 rpm and 8.9 ft-lb. at 7500 rpm. American consumers will likely only be offered the 278cc engine.
The Vespa GTS is available in Nero Vulcano black, Blu Midnight blue and Girgio Dolomiti gray, all with a beige seat. The Vespa GTS Super version gets a black seat with white stitching and is available in nero Lucido black, Montebianco white, Rosso Dragon red and Blu Gaiola blue.
The Super version also gets black wheels, a different “tie” design, different front fender moulding and red suspension springs.
Other highlights include LED daylight running lights, a trapezoidal digital instrumentation, 2.5-gallon fuel tank, 12-inch wheels and underseat storage designed to fit Vespa’s new Visor 2.0 helmets.
If you’re a MotoGP fanatic with wads of cash burning a hole in your wallet and two weeks of vacation you don’t know what to do with, Edelweiss, one of the world’s leading motorcycle-tour companies, has just what you’re looking for. In 2014, Edelweiss has two grand prix tours lined up. The first is the Sachsenring Grand Prix in Germany, July 9-16, and the second is the Brno Grand Prix in the Czech Republic, August 13-20.
Part of this exclusive touring package is a 3-day paddock pass. So if you ever wanted to have a look behind the scenes and watch Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, or Jorge Lorenzo live at work, then this is your opportunity. Don’t miss any of the excitement of a Moto Grand Prix race at Sachsenring or Brno and get yourself treated like a VIP when enjoying the all inclusive catering at the hospitality center.
Tour prices start at $5310.00 and steadily climb depending on the type of motorcycle or accommodations you seek. Keep in mind: the price does not include the price of airfare. Each tour lasts eight days, with six days of riding. Space is limited, as Edelweiss has limited the number of participants on each tour to six. Edelweiss also rates the difficulty level of the route as intermediate, so evaluate your riding proficiency before joining.
Having done an Edelweiss MotoGP tour in the past, I can say with confidence that this trip will be one of the most memorable experiences you ever take part in on two wheels. The routes are challenging, the accommodations are top notch, and best of all, the people you meet and sights you see are spectacular.
For more information, go to www.edelweissbike.com.
Edelweiss MotoGP Tours Going To Brno And Sachsenring In 2014 appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
Endurance racing is perhaps the ultimate test of both man and machine. In the past, teams would pace themselves in order to rest both elements enough to make a final push at the end. These days, however, motorcycles are more reliable than ever, and riders train like triathletes. The resulting endurance races almost seem like sprints, as the pace from start to finish is blindingly quick.
This weekend, the World Endurance Championship kicks off its season, and round one is none other than the Bol d’Or 24-Hour race at Magny-Cours in France. As the season approaches, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, the defending champions, have a big target on their backs as they seek to defend their title.
Team regulars Vincent Philippe and Anthony Delhalle are joined by Erwan Nigon and reserve rider Damian Cudlin aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000 at the 78th edition of the historic race as SERT chases its 14th world title.
Last season’s series runners-up, Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin, has recruited French Supersport riders Mathieu Gines and Lucas Mahias to ride alongside team regulars David Checa and Kenny Foray, while Monster Energy Yamaha YART will field Igor Jerman, 2013 Australian Superbike champion Wayne Maxwell and fellow countryman Rick Olson.
Suzuki’s Team R2CL has confirmed its line-up of Guy Martin, Gwen Giabbani and Gareth Jones, while the new Honda Racing factory team will run Endurance specialists Sébastien Gimbert, Julien da Costa and Freddy Foray.
Bol d’Or practice and race schedule:
Thursday 24 April:
11.30 – 12.30 Free practice.
17.10 – 19.00 Qualifying 1 (30 minutes per rider).
21.00 – 22.00 Night practice.
Friday 25 April:
12.20 – 14.10 Qualifying 2 (30 minutes per rider).
18.50 – 21.00 Pit walk.
Saturday 26 April:
10.30 – 11.15 Warm up.
12.35 – 14.15 Pit walk.
15.00 Race begins.
The World Endurance Championship Starts This Weekend appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
Since April is Check Your Helmet Month, Harley MotorClothes sent us a little reminder to perform this vital task. They also took the opportunity to reveal a few new helmets in their line.
As riders, we all try to keep our helmets looking shiny and new. It’s the best way to get the most out of the investment in our helmets. However, the expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam that provides the protection in a crash degrades over time. The act of donning and doffing our lids gradually compresses the EPS liner, reducing its shock absorption capability. Additionally, time degrades the suppleness of the EPS. With this in mind, replacing your noggin protector every 3–5 years is a good idea. If your helmet has had even just a single impact – no matter how slight – thank it for doing its job and put it out to pasture.
To make saying good by to your retiring helmet a little easier, Harley MotorClothes has some new lids to consider. Men who like half helmets should take a gander at the Passing Link Hybrid Ultra-Light Half Helmet which utilizes a fibreglass and aramid shell construction that the MC folks claim to be 1.6 oz. lighter than traditional fiberglass shells. The Ultra-Light is available in sizes XS – 2XL.
The Vision Modular Helmet with Retractable Sun Shield gives men full-face protection with an integrated flip-down sun shield. The scratch-resistant clear exterior shield is easily replaceable. The removable, washable, antibacterial liner wicks moisture away from the rider, keeping him cool. Ventilation assists in the cooling comfort. Finally, the helmet’s modular design features a compartment for some third party Bluetooth communication systems. avAailable in sizes XS – 2XL.
The Womens Diva II Helmet adds a flip-up face shield to its half-helmet design. It is available in XS – XL sizes.
Women also have a new 3/4 Helmet with Retractable Sun Shield to sample. Utilizing a convenient integrated sunshield, this helmet also offers an outer face shield with 95% UV protection. The helmet has a ventilation system and a removable, washable, antibacterial liner. Available in XS – 2XL sizes.
[Source: Harley MotorClothes]
It’s no secret we’re big fans of the Yamaha FZ-09 around here. The three-cylinder, do-it-all motorcycle is a ton of fun and won’t put a big dent in your wallet. However, we wouldn’t mind if it came with a more comfortable seat. Turns out we aren’t the only ones who think this way, and Saddlemen has heard our pleas with not one, but three new seats for the FZ.
The new FZ-09 seat lineup includes three Gel Channel Sportbike seats that feature Saddlemen’s patented Gel Channel (GC) technology, that incorporates a split piece of SaddleGel and a channel in the base foam to relieve seating pressure and help increase blood flow, keeping riders in the saddle longer.
All seats are equipped with foam and Gel that have been shaped and ride tested to resolve comfort and control issues that haunt the motorcycle’s original stock seat. Gone is the forward pitch sear that causes the rider to slide into the fuel tank, along with the water-thin foam that causes discomfort for most riders.
The Track-CF seat was designed with the aggressive rider in mind, covered with vinyl that has a carbon fiber look and feel.
MSRP $420.00 Saddlemen Part # 0810-‐Y127
The Sport is the ideal seat for the all-around rider, covered in black-on-black easy-to-clean and element-resistant waterproof suede; the Sport is ready to take on all the harsh elements of Mother Nature. The Sport comes equipped with the Gel Channel technology, making it one of the most comfortable seats on the market.
MSRP $420.00 Saddlemen Part # 0810-‐Y128
The Tech is the perfect seat for the rider who values comfort and performance, at all costs. These seats are designed with high-quality, flexible fabric covers that breathe well and allow for aggressive maneuvering. Just under the seat’s top cover is a layer of memory foam that contours to the shape of the rider’s body, resulting in maximized comfort. The Tech is also an excellent choice for someone who wishes to ride in warmer climates, as the Tech saddle stays cooler, longer.
MSRP $420.00 Saddlemen Part # 0810-‐Y129
All Saddlemen FZ09 seats are available through Parts Unlimited dealers. To learn more about Saddlemen seats, luggage and accessories visit www.saddlemen.com.
Housed in a renovated warehouse in one of Austin’s hottest neighborhoods, the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show paid homage to the growing league of design-driven motorcyclists and drew several thousand spectators over its two day run. The custom bikes on display varied greatly, from 50cc two-stroke scoots, all the way to land-speed racers built to shatter records on the salt flats.
To add to the excitement, the popular Wall of Death was stationed just outside the confines of the warehouse, and was built to resemble the wild circus act from decades gone by. The entire event, including admission to the Wall of Death, was free, though donations were warmly accepted. In fact, the WoD riders had to work hardest for their tips, snatching greenbacks from the hands of spectators while riding in circles at dizzying speeds.
As one of the sponsors of the event, Rev’it commissioned Austinites Brian Philips, Fort Lonesome, Rich Cali and Logan Hirsch to add original, custom design to four leather Roamer jackets from the Spring/Summer 2014 urban collection. The artists used traditional techniques from embossing to chain-stitching to create works reflecting a long tradition of American motorcycle culture. The jackets were displayed as part of a larger “Second Skin Custom Jacket Show”.
Rev’it-sponsored MotoGP rider Alvaro Bautista made a special appearance on Friday night, in a cross-over of motorcycle genres, and mingled with fans and press in front of the popular Wall of Death.
Rev’it also provided this large gallery of the event, showing the great variety of bikes, people, and art on display. Enjoy.
Polaris Industries reported a 52% increase in motorcycle revenues over the first quarter of 2014, thanks in large part to the addition of Indian Motorcycles.
Motorcycle sales generated $78.9 million in sales revenue for Polaris, compared to $51.8 million in the same quarter last year. The key thing to remember however, is Indian Motorcycles wasn’t relaunched until late summer, so last year’s first quarter sales were made up almost entirely of Victory Motorcycles.
In fact, Polaris reports a mid-single digit percentage dip in Victory sales in the first quarter, further highlighting the impact Indian has made to the company’s bottom line. More impressively, Indian has yet to hit its stride, as just more than half of the 150 North American dealerships that have signed up have started retailing the new Thunderstroke 111-powered motorcycles. Polaris is also expanding its international dealer network with about 70 Indian dealerships outside of North America.
By the end of the 2014 fiscal year, Polaris expects motorcycle sales to be up from 65-75% over 2013.
Overall, Polaris Industries reported $888.3 million in first quarter sales revenues, up from $745.9 million in the same quarter of 2013. First quarter 2014 net profit totaled $80.9 million compared to $75.5 million.
It’s almost automatic every time we write about Harley-Davidson that the company’s critics jump out to say how its bikes are heavy or assembled from parts bin leftovers or technologically decades behind its competitors. What these naysayers either forget or completely ignore is that Harley-Davidson motorcycles continue to sell. In its first quarter 2014 financial report, Harley-Davidson reported a 5.8% increase in motorcycle sales including 3.0% in the U.S. alone.
And before the critics can retort, there’s more: Harley-Davidson lays claim to the two top-selling motorcycles in the U.S. in 2013, with the perennially popular Street Glide Special topping all other models and the Breakout following in second.
Those claims were based on vehicle registration data compiled by Polk IHS Automotive. Unfortunately, Harley-Davidson didn’t go into any specific detail, as it’d be interesting to know just how much better those two models performed compared to the competition.
We also don’t know who’s #3 on the list, though it’s safe to assume it’s not another Harley-Davidson as The Motor Company would have gladly announced it held the top three spots. We also don’t know if there are any asterisks required in Harley-Davidson’s claim, such as whether the data only counts streetbikes with engines displacing more than 601cc.
Harley-Davidson does claim the market lead in such heavyweight motorcycles. With the Street 500 still on the way, all of the 35,730 motorcycles Harley-Davidson sold in the U.S. last year belong to that 601cc and larger category. By comparison, data from the Motorcycle Industry Council say Americans purchased 62,202 on-highway motorcycles displacing more than 601cc in 2013. By those figures, Harley-Davidson holds a strong 57.4% grip on that category.
Again citing the Polk IHS Automotive data, Harley-Davidson does claim to be the best-selling manufacturer in the U.S., not just in the heavyweight class but across all displacements, in several key demographics. It’s no surprise that Harley-Davidson has a strong grip on its “core” demographic of Caucasian men age 35 and older. In other words, the stereotypical Harley-owner the critics are quick to mock.
But for the sixth consecutive year, Harley-Davidson also claims the market lead among young adults 18-34, women, African-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S., a collective the company calls “outreach” customers. In fact, Harley-Davidson’s internal data found its outreach customers are growing at twice the rate of its core customers in 2013 compared to 2012.
“Together with our dealers, we continued to expand the appeal of our products and the Harley-Davidson experience,” says Keith Wandell, Harley-Davidson chief executive officer. “Harley-Davidson dealers sold more than four times as many new, on-road motorcycles, 601cc and up, to U.S. young adults last year, and among riders age 35-plus, more than nine times as many to women, more than six times as many to African Americans and more than seven times as many to Hispanics, as the nearest competitor.”
Round One of the GEICO Superbike Shootout kicks off with the Yamaha SoCal Nationals this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The event is the first of a three-race series that will crown overall champions in two individual race classes: Pro Superbike and Dynojet Pro Sportbike.
The Superbike Shootout is a three-race series meant to fill the long void in the AMA Pro Roadracing schedule between round one at Daytona and the second round at Road America. It also brings professional motorcycle racing back to the west coast, as the AMA schedule didn’t feature any races at west coast tracks at the start of the season (a round at Laguna Seca has since been added in support of World Superbike). Mimicking a similar structure used in Britain, the Superbike Shootout sees pro racers competing on the same weekends as amateurs, giving both the chance to mingle with each other.
As a sponsor of the event, the Yamaha U.S. Road Racing teams will be in full force at this weekend’s event, and there’ll be lots of opportunities to see and talk face-to-face with the Yamaha riders and crew.
Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Superbike
Coming off their wins at Daytona International Speedway in March, three-time AMA Pro SuperBike champion Josh Hayes and last year’s AMA Pro Daytona SportBike champion Cameron Beaubier will both be in action at Auto Club Speedway, and they’ll be looking to add a second victory to their seasons. Josh will be aboard his #4 Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike, while Cameron will be in the saddle of his #2 Yamaha R1 Superbike.
Josh, who lives in nearby Oceanside, said, “I’m really excited to be racing so close to home. It’s a rare treat to be able to drive from my house to the track and, who knows, maybe I’ll decide to pedal my road bicycle up to Fontana. I’m looking forward to racing in front of my friends and neighbors, and we’re hoping to see lots of SoCal Yamaha fans in attendance at Auto Club Speedway.”
Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Sportbike
Riding their #8 and #6 Yamaha YZF-R6 Sportbikes, Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach, are excited to race on the 21-turn, 2.36-mile road course at Auto Club Speedway. “GG” and “Jiggy Dog” will compete head-to-head against each other, as well as against a strong field of other Yamaha R6 pilots and Pro Sportbike riders aboard other makes.
Meet Josh, Cameron, Garrett, and JD This Weekend
To give fans the best chance to meet and talk with the four Yamaha riders, two special events will be held, in addition to all the on-track racing action. On Saturday, April 26 from 1:30 to 2:15 PM PST in the Media/Rider Center in the infield paddock at Auto Club Speedway, Josh, Cameron, Garrett, and JD will participate in a special Q&A session where fans and track day riders can ask questions to Yamaha’s “Fast Four.”
And then, twice on Sunday, April 27–from 10:30 to 11:00 AM PST and 12:15 to 12:45 PM PST–Josh, Cameron, Garrett, and JD will be on hand to sign posters and autograph other memorabilia. The morning autograph session will take place at the teams’ garages in the infield paddock, while the afternoon autograph session will be at the Yamaha Product Display Area.
In addition, there will be contests, giveaways, and lots of other Yamaha-specific fan events throughout the weekend.
For the latest in Superbike Shootout info, check out www.superbikeshootout.com.
Round 1 Of GEICO Superbike Shootout Is This Weekend appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
When it comes to missions for the Special Forces, it’s imperative to maintain a stealth appearance and get in and get out quickly. Under development now, DARPA is experimenting with a gas/electric hybrid motorcycle to allow agents to reach difficult areas as quietly as possible.
Based on the $15,000 RedShift MX, Logos Technologies is currently developing a preliminary design with the help of a DARPA-awarded $100,000, six-month Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. Details about the bike’s capabilities are scarce at the moment, but two-wheel drive was mentioned in a statement from Logos Technologies.
Currently, the batteries of the RedShift MX are good for approximately two hours. This is where the hybrid technology will come into play with the gas engine and its associated fuel tank. It’s not clear yet whether the gas engine will have any part in powering the wheels or whether it will strictly be used to recharge the batteries. Logos Technologies is aware of what’s at stake, noting in its official statement, “With a growing need to operate small units far from logistical support, the military may increasingly rely on adaptable, efficient technologies like this hybrid-electric motorcycle.”
Pentagon Developing Stealth Electric Hybrid Motorcycle appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
Kick Gas, a documentary about a gang of electric vehicle enthusiasts on a mission to set a new Guinness World record, has been released on this day, Earth Day, 2014. The vehicles included a Nissan Leaf, 2012 Zero S, a Xenon electric scooter, and an A2B Alva electric bicycle. The goal, then, was to cover 4000 miles in 44 days, starting from Charleston, South Carolina, to Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Ben Rich, of Green Car Reports, rode the Zero on the trip, and tells just a few of his favorite memories from the journey in his column, but as you can imagine the effort was a giant undertaking. From managing the speeds of the vastly different vehicles, to staying focused and on track, the hurdles were many. Oh, and let’s not forget about the biggest hurdle of all: charging the batteries. Rich mentions that both coasts are fairly well equipped with a charging infrastructure, but when traveling west past the Mississippi River, charging became a problem. Thankfully, hotels, and RV campgrounds are rather prevalent throughout the country.
Check out the video trailer below to catch just a small glimpse of the record-setting effort. To download the whole movie, visit the Kick Gas website.
Kick Gas, The Movie, Released Today – Earth Day + Video appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
The new three-event GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha is gaining steam as Dynojet Research has stepped up to provide sponsorship for the Pro Sportbike class. Dynojet will also have its popular dyno performance truck on-site for race support.
Devised to fill an 11-week gap in professional road racing between mid-March and late May, the Superbike Shootout was inspired by the successful British Superbike Championship series. Both feature top professional stars and up-and-coming amateurs sharing the track in separate races at each venue.
The three-race series kicks off this coming weekend, April 26-27, with the Yamaha SoCal Nationals to be held in conjunction with Fastrack Riders and WERA at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, California. Two professional races–Dynojet Pro Sportbike and Pro Superbike–will run along with a full schedule of WERA semi-pro and amateur races.
After its inaugural race weekend, the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha moves north to Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California for the Pacific Nationals hosted by AFM on May 3-4, then concludes with the Mountain Nationals at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah hosted by UtahSBA on May 24-25.
For more information about the series, racers, tracks, vendors and sponsors, go to SuperbikeShootout.com.
Harley-Davidson kicked off its 2014 fiscal year with a first quarter net income of $265.9 million, an 18.1% increase from the profit reported in the same period of 2013.
Consumers purchased 57,415 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles worldwide in the first quarter, up 5.8% from the 54,254 units sold in Q1 2013. U.S. sales accounted for 35,730 units, up. 3.0% from 34,706. Despite the increase in U.S. sales, Harley-Davidson says sales were negatively impacted by the poor weather across much of country and the dropping of the Road Glide from its lineup.
Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson reported an 8.2% increase in unit sales in Europe, an 8.9% increase in Latin America and an impressive 20.5% increase in the Asia Pacific region, thanks in part to rising demand in Japan as customers sought to make purchases before a new consumption tax increase kicks in April 1.
“Thanks to the great contributions of our employees, dealers and suppliers, we continue to lead at delivering exceptional customer experiences in 89 countries,” says Keith Wandell, chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson.
Harley-Davidson’s Project Rushmore initiative proved to be a strong draw, with Harley-Davidson increasing the percentage of touring models in its product mix. On the other end of the spectrum, Harley-Davidson also started shipping its new small-displacement Street models during the quarter.
“Our Project Rushmore motorcycles were in high demand in the quarter and we began shipping the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and 500 into select markets. These motorcycles, together with continuous improvement in our operations at every level, underscore the momentum we’ve established as a customer-led company.”
Motorcycle sales brought in $1.3 billion for Harley-Davidson, a 13.1% increase from $1.2 billion reported last year. Parts and accessory sales revenue increased 7.7% to $198.1 million while revenue from general merchandise (consisting mostly of Harley-Davidson MotorClothes apparel) was down 11.1% to 64.1%.
Looking ahead, Harley-Davidson expects to ship from 279,000 to 284,000 motorcycles in 2014, a 7-9% increase over 2013.
Some may call filmmaker Andrew David Watson a crazy motorcycle adventurer. Personally, I applaud him. It’s a common phrase in motorcycling to say we’d rather take the long way home, but Watson took those words to heart. Last year, while traveling home from a shoot in Sri Lanka, he decided to veer off course to Ladakh, India, a mountainous region in the north of the country, to explore via motorcycle. Being early April, cold weather and treacherous conditions were abound. But still, Watson soldiered on, in what he calls “The Low Season.”
Armed with just his camera, tripod, and a few lenses, this short captures Watson’s trip through Ladakh aboard his rented Royal Enfield. In his own words, Watson says, “I spent the next week exploring the region, although due to it being the Low Season, many roads were closed, restaurants boarded up and mountain passes snowed over (including the famous Khardung La Pass, one of the highest road passes in the world at an altitude of nearly 18,000 ft, the apex can be seen at 1:32, taken right before I had to turn around due to ice). Despite all of that, or maybe because of the sleepiness, this ended up being one of the best trips I have ever taken.”
Can you relate to Watson’s journey? Tell us about your motorcycle adventures in the comments below.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has publicly acknowledged the dangers that ethanol may have on motorcycle engines. The EPA has approved the use of E15, a blend containing 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline in newer vehicles but not for motorcycles and ATVs. Fueling a motorcycle with E15 may void a manufacturer’s warranty.
In the write-up for a proposed new regulation from the Federal Trade Commission regarding the proper certification and labeling of ethanol-gasoline blend fuels, the EPA says ethanol may damage internal combustion engines by increasing exhaust temperatures, indirectly causing component failures.
The EPA is cited in the FTC’s document as saying: “[e]thanol impacts motor vehicles in two primary ways. First, . . . ethanol enleans the [air/fuel] ratio (increases the proportion of oxygen relative to hydrocarbons) which can lead to increased exhaust gas temperatures and potentially increase incremental deterioration of emission control hardware and performance over time, possibly causing catalyst failure. Second, ethanol can cause materials compatibility issues, which may lead to other component failures.”
The comment was made specifically in the context of E15 fuel in light-duty vehicles produced from 2001 onward, but the document says the EPA also found similar risks of damage to older vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles, motorcycles and off-road vehicles.
The FTC document also notes:
Older motor vehicles, heavy-duty gasoline engines and vehicles, motorcycles, and especially nonroad products cannot fully compensate for the change in the stoichiometric air-to-fuel ratio as ethanol concentration increases. Over time, this enleanment caused by ethanol may lead to thermal degradation of the emissions control hardware and ultimately catalyst failure. Higher ethanol concentration will exacerbate the enleanment effect in these vehicles, engines, and equipment and therefore increase the potential of thermal degradation and risk of catalyst failure. In addition to enleanment, ethanol can cause materials compatibility issues which may lead to other component failure and ultimately exhaust and/or evaporative emission increases… For older motor vehicles, heavy-duty gasoline engines and vehicles, motorcycles, and nonroad products, the potential for materials compatibility issues increases with higher ethanol concentration.
The comments from the EPA support a long-held stance from the American Motorcyclist Association that E15 fuel harm motorcycles and ATVs. The AMA is concerned about the growing presence of E15 in gas pumps and the potential risk of motorcyclists unknowingly filling their tanks with the fuel blend and damaging their vehicles.
“The American Motorcyclist Association has fought the distribution of E15 fuel blends in an effort to protect motorcycle and all-terrain vehicles from the damage that ethanol causes,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Now the EPA acknowledges that ethanol itself is harmful to emissions hardware and other components on all motor vehicles. It is time for the federal government to pause, take a hard look at this product and change its entire approach to ethanol in fuels.”
So far, the EPA has been onside with the AMA’s concerns with E15, enacting measures to make E10 (10% ethanol) its standard test fuel and refusing to grant a waiver that would make E15 fuel more available in gas stations in warmer months.