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Ujjwal Dey

Chinese copy of Vespa Primavera declared invalid by EU

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by Sajan C Kumar from

The EUIPO invalidity division annulled the registration since it was “incapable of eliciting a different general impression” with respect to the registered design of the Vespa Primavera, and pointed out that the registration was an unlawful attempt to reproduce the scooter’s aesthetic elements.

Italian two-wheeler and commercial vehicle manufacturer Piaggio Group, which has significant brand equity in India, has won a battle against the Chinese copy of its iconic scooter Vespa by getting the design of the ‘lookalike’ invalidated by the invalidity division of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The Group’s Baramati facility in Maharashtra produces 3- and 4-wheel cargo vehicles for the the Indian market and export, Vespa scooters for the local market, Aprilia scooters as well as diesel and turbocharged diesel engines for the Group’s commercial vehicles.Piaggio Group, in a statement, said that a design registered by a Chinese party, used to justify the production of scooters similar to the Vespa exhibited at the EICMA 2019 two-wheeler show in Milan, had been declared invalid by the invalidity division of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The alleged copycat has also been removed by the authorities of the Fiera exhibition centre, after a complaint was lodged by Piaggio.

The EUIPO invalidity division annulled the registration since it was “incapable of eliciting a different general impression” with respect to the registered design of the Vespa Primavera, and pointed out that the registration was an unlawful attempt to reproduce the scooter’s aesthetic elements. The Vespa Primavera is protected by the design registered by the Piaggio Group in 2013, by the three-dimensional trademark of the Vespa scooter and by the copyright that safeguards the artistic value of the shape of the Vespa, a style icon since 1946.

The invalidity proceedings were part of the wider activities against counterfeiting undertaken by the Piaggio Group for years. This includes continuous monitoring of the databases of internationally registered designs and trademarks, which, as a result of the opposition proceedings initiated by Piaggio, has led to the cancellation of more than 50 trademarks registered by third parties in the last two years.Piaggio Group, on May 11, said that all its production facilities around the world have resumed operations after the shutdown due to the Covid-19 virus. Production also started up again this morning at the Indian factory in Baramati. In India, the lockdown among dealers ended last week, with the re-opening of around 190 commercial vehicle and two-wheeler dealers, and the subsequent resumption of commercial activities. Piaggio Group’s Italian factories went back to work on May 4, whereas the Vietnamese facility experienced slowdowns in operations due to suppliers but always continued production.

Releasing the first quarter results on May 8, Piaggio Group chair and CEO Roberto Colaninno, said: “Despite the dreadful emergency created by the world pandemic, the Piaggio Group has successfully passed the first-quarter test and is investing in the future in terms of sustainable, technologically advanced mobility for people as well as for goods transportation. 2020 is obviously a complicated year and it is difficult to have any certainties, but every decision is and will be considered very carefully to ensure we maintain adequate capital ratios. I am confident, it couldn’t be otherwise.” Piaggio Group reported a net profit for the first quarter of 2020 of €3.1 million against €7.8 million in the first quarter of 2019. In India in the first quarter of 2020 the Piaggio Group sold 37,400 commercial vehicles, with a reduction of 14.4% in net sales. Piaggio Vehicles Private (PVPL), the Indian subsidiary had an overall share of 24.3% of the domestic three-wheeler market and confirmed its leadership in the cargo segment with a share of 47.2%, up from 44.8% in the first quarter of 2019.

Pandemic Panhead Project, Part 2

By | General Posts

The tanks and fender are out to Deny 925, the master of patina paint, for a scallop classic paint job.

In the meantime, I needed to install the Morris Mag, decide on a carb, install the front brake, finish a handful of welds, work with the guys at Bates on a clutch cable, make an old clutch lever work, hell, make the brake lever work and find a brake cable, take the springer apart and add Paughco inner springs, install the headlight and taillight, make a muffler bracket and mo’.



Blacked Out Harley-Davidson Melville Has More Tattoos Than a Yakuza Henchman

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by Daniel Patrascu from

Technically, this modified Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight has been designed to be incarnation of a bunch of Japanese myths. Looked at from afar and in a totally superficial manner, it looks more like something the Yakuza would ride around on.

The bike is the creation of Harley-Davidson’s dealer in Shizuoka. It has been the shop’s entry in the King of Kings competition whose winner, the Mexican Apex Predator, was chosen by the public in April. Called Melville, the motorcycle was once a stock Forty-Eight that received both a serious makeover and a bunch of new parts.

The shop had to stay true to the rules of the Harley competition, and that meant taking at least half of the custom parts from the Harley inventory. A long list of such hardware, including things like the rocker covers, the saddle, or the fuel cap, are also of Harley origin, but new to this Forty-Eight.

What strikes the eye the most when looking at the bike is the way it looks. The pitch-black apparition lacks the chrome parts others are so in love with and use extensively on their builds, and even the fork is black. The only thing that breaks the trend is the extensive drawing on the fuel tank and some of the other new parts on the motorcycle.

According to the people behind this build, the tattoos displayed in a silver that perfectly offsets the dark tone of the bike are supposed to separately represent things like “prayer,” “death,” and “awe,” and combined to form some type of myth that is easy to understand if you’re Japanese.

Of course not all those who voted in March and April were Japanese, and many of them probably didn’t get the message the builder tried to send, so the bike did not climb at the top of the charts when it all ended.

Still, even without completely grasping the myth thing, the Melville is a nice build to rest our eyes upon.

Suzuki Hayabusa: The development of the iconic, class-defining GSX1300R

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by Fraser Addecott from

With rumours of the launch of a new Hayabusa doing the rounds among insiders, we take a look back at the history of this unique bike which came to define the supersports sector

Iconic is a word that is bandied around a little too easily these days, but in the world of motorcycling there are one or two which do fit the bill.

Suzuki’s GSX1300R – the Hayabusa – is surely one of those.

With its love-it-or-hate-it silhouette and simply awesome power, the Busa caused shockwaves when it was introduced in 1999.

Since then, there have been a number of overhauls and relaunches.

Production ceased in 2018, but, with rumours of a new model swirling, let’s look back at the development of the bike.

The design brief for the Japanese engineers at Suzuki in 19999 was simple – wade into the supersport market… and come out on top.

And the Hayabusa – which means peregrine falcon, a bird of prey with a top speed dive of 200mph – did just that when it was launched at the Catalunya circuit

The Busa made an impression the moment you set eyes on it, with its flowing lines and distinctive rear end aimed at making it as aerodynamic as possible.

Head of design on the original project Yoshiura san told Mirror Motorcycling: “The concept of the first Hayabusa was to create an original and dominating impact with superior aerodynamics, as well as being the most powerful sports motorcycle.

“I designed it with the intention of getting attention…

“It needed to be the ultimate road-legal motorcycle with the highest performance from mass-produced bikes.”

It immediately became the fastest production bike on the market.

At the launch, top speeds were clocked at the same point on the track as they were for the 500cc GP race the year before.

Suzuki test rider Yuichi Nakashima, said at the time: “The Hayabusa’s engine feels so overwhelmingly powerful and finely tuned that there is nothing like it.

“After riding it, you won’t want to ride another motorcycle.”

But, it wasn’t just the phenomenal power.

The smooth, 1299cc inline-four engine provided masses of torque, making the Hayabusa more than just a road-legal missile – a user-friendly, real-world motorcycle.

With an extensive list of aftermarket parts and interchangeable components, the Busa was also easily customisable.

The first proper overhaul came in 2008, with a more powerful 1340cc engine, a redesigned gearbox and broader torque throughout the rev range.

There was also extensive wind-tunnel testing.

Chief engineer Hiroshi lio said: “The team placed top priority on improving its already legendary aerodynamic efficiency.”

Once again the Hayabusa redefined the supersport category.

Brembo monobloc front calipers and all-round ABS were added five years later, as the Busa became known as a fast, comfortable, long-distance sports tourer.

However, with ever-tightening emissions regulations coming into force, the Hayabusa disappeared from European model ranges in 2018.

Whispers of its return have never gone away and are currently at a peak among insiders.

Will there be a new one? Watch this space…

Suzuki’s profit beats estimate, steps up dividend

By | General Posts


TOKYO (Reuters) – Suzuki Motor (7269.T) posted its lowest annual operating profit in four years on Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic hit demand for its cars, but the earnings beat estimates and the Japanese automaker raised its dividend, sending its shares surging.

Profit came in at 215.1 billion yen ($1.99 billion) for the year to March, down 34% from a year ago and its lowest since the year ended in March 2016. But it was higher than an average estimate of 201 billion yen profit drawn from 15 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Suzuki, the country’s No. 4 automaker, declined to give an earnings forecast for the current business year, citing uncertainties about the longer term impact of the coronavirus on its operations and sales.

It announced a year-end dividend of 48 yen per share, up from 37 yen a year ago, which included a special dividend to commemorate the centenary of the company’s foundation.

Suzuki shares soared as much as 9% on Tuesday.

The automaker sold 2.85 million vehicles globally in the year to March, down 14% from a year ago.

In India, where it sells roughly one in every two cars sold through its majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MRTI.NS), the automaker sold 1.44 million units, down 18% on the year. India accounts for just over half of Suzuki’s global car sales.

Suzuki has largely resumed full production of cars and motorcycles in Japan this week, while Maruti, India’s top-selling car maker, has also restarted domestic output, after a drop in demand due to the coronavirus and orders to curb movements of people forced manufacturers to shut factories in March.

($1 = 107.8300 yen)

1976 BMW R60/7 Is the Olive in Some Popeye’s Dreams

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from

Sometimes giving an old motorcycle a new identity is as simple as repairing what’s in need of repair, and simply slapping a tank from another bike on the existing frame.

At least, this is how simple the crew from Paris-based Blitz Motorcycles make the whole process look. Unlike most moto shops out there, which go to great lengths to make crazy designs, this one has been making a living by restoring beat down, old machines and giving them a new life, possibly under a different name. Their builds are generally simple, lacking all the bells and whistles others like to adorn their bikes with.

Case in point the 1976 BMW R60/7 shown in the gallery above, renamed Olive. The bike started off as all others from its range, but got a new engine, 600cc in displacement, because the owner had barely gotten the driver’s license and needed to comply with power output requirements.

“We chose the 600 cc engine for this reason, being certain still that once he will be over the first 2 years of riding (and therefore be allowed to ride a more powerful machine), he will stick to this one. For good,” Blitz says about the engine.

The entire bike has been rebuilt according to Blitz, as was the engine (it got new carburetors too) and the electric wiring. On top of the frame the tank is no longer a stock BMW one, but a hardware sourced from a Honda CB250. It is because of the color sprayed on this tank that the bike is named Olive.

Other modifications made include the thermal wrapping of the exhaust pipes, new Firestone tires, new headlight, Triumph handlebars, and a custom seat.

We are not being told how much the build cost to make, or where the motorcycle is doing its rounds now.

Harley-Davidson Sport Rod Is Forty-Eight Gone Bad

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from

Good or bad, expensive or less so, Harleys are meant to be customized. Even the bike maker knows this and not only allows it, but also encourages such endeavors, including within its own ranks.

In April, a Harley custom motorcycle building competition ended, with a bike called Apex Predator taking the win. The competition, called King of Kings, was Harley’s way of rewarding its international dealers that build incredible bikes at times.

The Predator had to battle 14 other motorcycles from around the world to get the popular vote. The one here, called Sport Rod, is one of those 14. The motorcycle started life as a standard Forty-Eight, but was turned into something else by a Benelux dealer called Motor Saloon.

The shop went for an “impressive, dark and sleek hot rod” look, and the first step to achieve that was to lower the ride height and replace the standard tires with flatter ones. To fit better with the new stance, the mudguards too were modified and lowered.

The custom hardware that has been added includes the tank, taken from a Sportster Custom, the headlight visor, a chin spoiler and, of course, the dedicated saddle. The crew also fitted LED turn signals for maximum effect, but most importantly, the color scheme chosen for the bike – a combination of Vivid Black and Silver Denim – leaves no room for interpretation when it comes to what these guys were going for.

The engine of the motorcycle was left pretty much untouched, but some of the hardware it needs to breath properly has been improved: there’s now a new air filter and straight exhaust pipes.

The Sport Rod seen in the gallery above is street legal and it cost no more than €6,000 ($6,500) to make. Although there are no plans to turn it into a production Harley, you now know your local dealer could build something like this if it wanted to.

Lindby Linbar Tech to the Rescue

By | General Posts

Beware Fake Lindby Knockoffs
By Bandit and Charly

We’ve been working with Lindby for awhile and I’m surprised how often their product line surfaces. Their crashbar/cruising peg system has saved numerous rider and paint jobs. They make long distance runs more comfortable. And we’ve installed them on Indians, touring Harleys and Dynas.

Lindby makes the Linbar for Softails, Touring Harleys, Dynas with forward controls and mid-controls.

They make five different styles from the original Linbar, to the Twinbar, Multibar, Unibar and magnumbar. Check ‘em out on line. They build them for H-D models, Hondas, Kawasakis, Suzukis, Victorys and Yamahas.


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Harley-Davidson French’n Cheap Is the Sharpest, Cleanest Build in King of Kings

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from

The Harley-Davidson King of Kings competition revealed once more just how talented the people working for the bike maker’s dealers are. 15 incredible entries have been judged and voted back in April, and at the end just one emerged victorious: the Mexican Apex Predator.

But each of the builds that took part in the competition had something unique to bring to the table. In the case of this French-made machine, that something is the sharpness of it all.

The base model for the build, which is called French’n Cheap, was a 2019 Sportster XL 1200T that was lowered front and rear by means of an extended swingarm and a lowering kit on the fork. The 18-inch wheels on the bike are actually both front wheels, taken from an FLHX Street Glide, and modified in the case of the one fitted at the rear to be better suited for its new purpose.

The people behind the project, Harley’s dealer in La Rochelle, France, also tampered with the engine of the base motorcycle, something that was not all that common for the entries in the King of Kings competition: the powerplant was given Stage 2 Screamin’ Eagle camshafts, harder valve springs, and a new air filter.

The choice of paint and the way in which it was sprayed on the body, the sleek tires on the wheels, and the fact that all the cables are hidden inside the handlebars make the French’n Cheap look anything but cheap.

King of Kings was the culmination of the years-long Battle of the Kings. The rules of the competition called for the base motorcycle to be a Harley-Davidson, the modifications to be in the €6,000 ($6,500) budget, and the end result be street legal.

Just like the other bikes we talked about over the past week, the French and Cheap checks all those boxes too.


The Pros And Cons Of Motorcycle Commuting

By | General Posts

by Enrico Punsalang from

The pros definitely outweigh the cons, and the cons can be seen as part of the adventure!

To many motorcycle enthusiasts, motorcycles are merely toys. These toys come in many shapes and sizes—from sportbikes for spirited trackdays, to adventure bikes for weekend getaways with friends. However I’m sure it has crossed your mind, as a motorcycle enthusiast, to consider commuting to and from work, or to anywhere for that matter, on your beloved steed.

Undoubtedly, there are quite a number of cons—reasons for you to save riding your motorcycle for weekend leisurely rides. However, in as much as there are cons, there are twice as many pros—reasons why it is a good idea to commute with your motorcycle. So, I’m going to try to convince you that commuting on your motorcycle has quite a lot of benefits.

First, for a little context. I live in the Philippines, a country with one of the worst traffic conditions in the world. I’ve been commuting to and from work on my motorcycle for a couple of years now. I’ve practically seen it all as far as city commuting is concerned. From 40-degree summer heat, to torrential downpours in the middle of the monsoon season that had me chilled to the bone, I’ve managed to survive and enjoy commuting on my bike regardless of the situation. I’m lucky enough to have the option of driving myself to work in the safety of a four wheeled enclosure, also known as a car, when riding my bike is simply out of the question. However, the joy that motorcycling brings me seems to cut across the drudgery of day-to-day life (that’s one pro right there).

The Cons

I’m one to take my vegetables first, so let’s discuss the cons. Quite honestly, I don’t think the cons need that much enumeration. Of course, you have the exposure to literally all the elements. From sun, rain, snow (if it snows where you live), and not to mention the high levels of pollution in densely populated cities, you get a front row pass to experience all of these up close and personal. There’s also the increased chance of getting into an accident as opposed to driving a car. Us being on two wheels means that we’re more likely not to be seen, and the fact that we don’t have the protection of doors, bumpers, and airbags doesn’t help either.

Lastly, commuting on your motorcycle means you’ll be needing to change into your work or office clothes when you get to work. This can be a slight inconvenience, since you may even need to go as far as taking a shower before proceeding to your desk.

The Pros

You can practically go on and on about all the cons of commuting and actually riding a motorcycle in general. However given the fact that we are into motorcycles means that our wants and needs transcend those of mere utility. Don’t get me wrong, motorcycles offer a hell of a lot of utilities under the right circumstances. To give you a rundown of some of the pros which definitely outweigh the cons, for starters, commuting on a motorcycle means that you get to save money on gas with the added bonus of lower emissions (depending on what motorcycle you ride).

Of course it goes without saying that you would look utterly stylish rev bombing your way into your office parking complex, with envious coworkers giving you nods of approval. Kidding aside, riding your motorcycle will also save you a lot of time, especially if lane splitting is legal where you live. Now in most Asian countries, lane splitting is practiced by all motorcycle riders. However the legality of lane splitting is a lot murkier in America and in parts of Europe, so the time saving aspect comes with an asterisk.

Another pretty cool pro, especially for you folks who are trying to stay in shape, is that riding your motorcycle can be quite a workout. In fact, studies have shown that riding a motorcycle burns significantly more calories per hour, as compared to driving a car. Of course this number varies from person to person, as well as the conditions of the environment you’re riding in. I personally burn an average of 500 calories on a one-way ride to home from work, or vice versa.

Lastly, another pro that motorcycling gives you is something that can be difficult to measure simply because it’s a very personal thing. I’m sure we can all agree that our motorcycles are our pride and joy. We love every moment we spend with our bikes. So it’s definitely extremely beneficial for your mental health to do something you love everyday, right? Personally, riding my motorcycle to work everyday keeps me sane. It’s one of the few things I look forward to starting and ending each day.

So there you have it. I hope I was able to convince you to even consider taking your motorcycle to work tomorrow, or the next day, and the day after that. Motorcycling is truly an awesome thing, and it’s something I wouldn’t give up for the world.