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Ujjwal Dey

Harley-Davidson might have two all-new bikes coming, leaked documents suggest

By | General Posts

by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com/

These bikes would likely share powerplants with the Pan America and Bronx.

When you’ve been in business for as long as Harley-Davidson has, it’s really easy to let things get a bit stale and boring. We’ve seen that from H-D for a while, but over the past year or so, it’s been working to shake things up with bikes like the Livewire and the Pan-America, as well as the middleweight Bronx.

It would seem, based on some leaked documents from an investor presentation, that it’s not entirely done shaking yet. Specifically, this document suggests that there are at least two more motorcycles in the works — non-traditional Harleys, all — and I couldn’t be more excited.

The first (and the one for which I’m most excited) appears to be a reimagining of the XR1200 flat-track racer homage that H-D released in the mid-aughts. The would seem to be an answer to Indian’s excellent FTR1200, and if we can get some of that competitive spirit to move from the flat track to the showroom, then I’m all for it.

The second bike is a more 1980s sport-bike-meets-cafe-racer thing, but it’s not especially original or exciting looking, at least compared to the Pan America or the Bronx. That said, unoriginal doesn’t mean bad. It’s packaged well, with the big Revolution Max V-Twin engine sporting a cool bronze hue. It’s like Harley went back to the Buell days and then stripped off all the weird stuff so non-nerds would buy them.

Seeing as these are just leaked mentions of bikes, we don’t have a ton of information about them. Based on the images, we see that they will share the Revolution Max engine with the Pan America and Bronx, though in what displacements, we don’t know.

We also don’t know when we’d expect to see these bruisers make their official debuts, let alone be released for sale, though with the current state of global affairs, we’d bet it’s at least a year or two off, if ever.

Harley-Davidson declined to comment on future product.

Muscle Bikes: Triumph Rocket 3 vs Yamaha V-Max vs Ducati Diavel vs Indian FTR 1200

By | General Posts

by Syed Shiraz from https://www.ibtimes.co.in/

Muscle bikes are the rebels of the motorcycle world. Let’s take a look at a few of them before the electrics finally take over.

What are muscle bikes? Well, the simple definition is: Muscle bikes are street legal drag bikes that can also cruise comfortably. In other words, these are bikes that can amble along easily with the laziest of cruisers but can also fluster the quickest sportbikes on dragstrips. Let’s take a look at some of the best muscle bikes in India.

Triumph Rocket 3

The Rocket 3, since 2004 when it was first launched, has held the record for being the motorcycle with the biggest engine in the world among series production motorcycles. It used to come with a monstrous 2.3-liter inline-three motor, but Triumph apparently thought that it was not big enough so they gave the all-new Rocket 3 launched last year a 2.5-liter mill.

It now makes a locomotive pulling 221 Nm of torque, which is again the highest figure in the world among all production motorcycles. While at it, they also brought the weight down of the motorcycle by 40 kilograms! It’s priced at Rs. 18 lakh.

Please note that all prices mentioned in this article are ex-showroom, PAN India prices.

Yamaha V-Max

This motorcycle has long been discontinued, but it earns a mention here as it’s the one that started it all, that too way back in 1985! In fact, it did something back then that no other motorcycle in this list (yes, not even the Rocket 3) does even right now—it made way more horsepower than the fastest sportbike of its time!

The 1985 Yamaha V-Max was pushing around 145 horsepower when the fastest motorcycle of the time, the Kawasaki GPZ900R, was making just around 115! The torque figures were not any less astounding either—the Yamaha produced more twisting force (112.7 Nm) than what Honda’s Gold Wing of the time (GL 1200) made (105 Nm).

Imagine any of the current muscle bikes making more than the Ducati Panigale V4 R’s 234 hp while still making more torque than the current Honda Gold Wing’s 170 Nm.

Well, the last V-Max was not far behind. It was producing close to 200 horsepower, which was more or less on a par with what the fastest motorcycles were making (Suzuki Hayabusa, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 R, BMW S1000 RR, Ducati Panigale 1299, etc.; the V4 R was nowhere in the picture back then). Torque output too, at 167 Nm, was not much less than the current Honda Gold Wing’s 170 Nm.

The V-Max was being sold for around Rs. 30 lakh by Yamana India. Used examples are hard to come by as owners don’t part with them easily.

John Abraham rides one.

Ducati Diavel and X Diavel

These are Ducati’s repeated unsuccessful attempts at making cruisers. They really wanted to make cruisers but ended up making drag bikes instead. The buyers aren’t complaining though.

The lightest motorcycles in this group are also the best handling of the lot. Prices start at Rs. 17,50,000 for the X Diavel and Rs. 17,70,000 for the Diavel.

Indian FTR 1200

The only muscle bike that will keep going even after the road ends, which makes it the best Indian for Indian conditions. It’s almost as light and as good a handler as the Ducatis, but cheaper than both of them. Prices start at Rs. 14.99 lakh.

Millennials Are Suckers for the Damon Hypersport Electric Motorcycle

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com/

It probably won’t be long until the electric motorcycle segment takes off, just like electric cars have started becoming more and more desirable not long ago. The difference is that in this case it will be the startups leading the charge, rather than established bike builders.

So far, the big names of the industry have steered clear of actually committing to electric bikes, with the exception perhaps of Harley-Davidson. The American-made LiveWire, once fully on the market, might just open up the buyers’ appetite for this kind of machine.

And the appetite is clearly there, even if prices for electric bikes are still extremely high. An example to that is Damon, a Canadian startup that is planning to make a splash with the Hypersport.

We’re talking about a high-tech bike that develops 200 hp from an electric powertrain and should provide 200 miles of range from a 21.5 kWh battery. These figures certainly place it at the top of the food chain in its segment.

It’s not only the powertrain that makes this bike unique, but also the technologies that were poured into it. Packed with cameras, sensors and radar, all ran by an artificial intelligence system, the Hypersport creates a virtual bubble of safety around the rider and the bike, sending the information it gathers via haptic feedback in the grips and on the windscreen edge.

These features seem to have prompted people into really liking the offer. At the end of March, as Damon announced it acquired Mission Motors, a supplier of electric vehicle components, the company’s COO Derek Dorresteyn hinted that the entire 25-units run of the Hypersport Founders Edition has already been spoken for, at roughly $40,000 a pop. And a good portion of buyers are millennials.

“Half the people ordering are under the age of 40. It really speaks to product market fit,” said Damon CEO Jay Giraud according to TechCrunch.

Harley-Davidson Motor Co. chief operating officer Michelle Kumbier leaving company

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by David Schuyler from https://www.bizjournals.com/

Harley-Davidson Motor Co. senior vice president and chief operating officer Michelle Kumbier is leaving the company April 3, Milwaukee-based parent Harley-Davidson Inc. said in a regulatory filing Tuesday.

As chief operating officer since October 2017, Kumbier oversaw the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer’s U.S. and international markets in addition to responsibilities leading product and operations.

In the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) did not disclose a reason for her departure. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing.

Kumbier is the latest high-ranking executive to leave the company in recent months. Those departures include former president and CEO Matt Levatich, a permanent replacement for whom has yet to be hired.

Before adding chief operating officer to her responsibilities, Kumbier was senior vice president, Motor Company product and operations. In that role, she led a team of more than 4,500 employees worldwide to bring Harley-Davidson motorcycles, parts and accessories and general merchandise to market.

Kumbier joined Harley-Davidson in 1997 in operations purchasing, and has since taken on roles with increasing responsibility in purchasing, strategic planning, new business development, and parts and accessories.

Kumbier’s former product and operations responsibilities will be assumed by Bryan Niketh, vice president of product development of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co., who has been promoted to senior vice president of product and operations. Kumbier’s global sales responsibilities as chief operating officer will be assumed by acting president and CEO Jochen Zeitz.

In another move, Harley-Davidson Inc. assistant general counsel Paul Krause, who has been serving as interim chief legal officer, has been hired for the role permanently. He’s also been promoted to chief compliance officer and secretary of Harley-Davidson Inc.

A number of high-ranking executives have left the company in the span of a half-year as the company struggles to turn around a years-long slide in sales. Levatich stepped down Feb. 28. Paul Jones left his role as vice president, chief legal officer, chief compliance officer and secretary of Harley-Davidson Inc. near the end of November 2019. In October 2019, the company removed Neil Grimmer from his post as president of global brand development following an investigation that the company said showed violations of the company’s code of conduct.

The same month Heather Malenshek, who was chief marketing officer and senior vice president, marketing and brand for Harley-Davidson Motor Co., left the company, according to her LinkedIn page.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom unveiled – A 250cc track machine

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by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com/

Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom is a track-only version of the brand’s new 249cc four-cylinder sportsbike

Kawasaki has unveiled the all-new Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom ahead of its official debut event which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. The pandemic has caused a lot of confusion among global automotive industries with back-to-back plant shutdowns, event cancellations and rising losses. However, manufacturers have taken social media as an effective platform to introduce their latest products.

Coming back to Kawasaki’s latest product, the Racer Custom variant is essentially a track-focused, track-bred and track-only version of the Ninja ZX-25R that was unveiled last year. The sportsbike’s main highlight is its power plant — a 249cc DOHC liquid-cooled ‘inline-4’ engine that can rev up to a cool 17,500rpm!

So far, Kawasaki has not shared the exact engine specifications of the ZX-25R or its track-only avatar. Various reports state that it could generate around 45bhp and a lot of acoustic drama (way more for the Racer Custom variant). In fact, Kawasaki had shared the exhaust note of its new light-capacity four-banger. To many, it wouldn’t make any sense to split a displacement of roughly 250cc into four cylinders, but for the very few who likes to ride a motorcycle at its absolute limit (in a safe environment) will find a fun machine in Kawasaki’s new ZX-25R.

Kawasaki also plans to introduce a new one-make championship next year with the ZX-25R (and NOT the track-only Racer Custom variant). The race will be open to anyone regardless of their track hours. Meanwhile, Kawasaki has introduced a host of performance and cosmetic upgrades for potential ‘25R’ buyers. This includes racing cowls, tank pad, track tyres (Dunlop Sportmax ?-13SP), Showa suspension, new chainset, performance exhaust, carbon bits and many more.

Sources suggest that Kawasaki’s ‘baby ZX-10R’ will first hit the Indonesian market, after which it will be filtered down to further potential markets in Asia and Europe. India may not get it and we don’t expect Kawasaki to make the effort.

Even though the concept of low-capacity four-cylinder motorcycles is relatively unheard among the wider scenario, such motorcycles have been around since the late 20th century. Kawasaki’s iconic ZXR250 could be considered as the virtual predecessor of the new ZX-25R. One might find 40-45bhp to be a normal figure in this day and age, but these motorcycles require an expert to harness their full potential by shifting correctly in extremely narrow peak power bands.

Damon Motorcycles Acquires Mission Motors, The Future Looks Bright

By | General Posts

by Florin Tibu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Damon Motorcycles’ Hypersport electric bikes revealed at CES were a huge hit, with the entire limited fleet of Founders Edition machines already sold out in pre-sale. The company now takes another big leap forward with the acquisition of the IP portfolio of Mission Motors, one of the strongest names in the EV powertrain segment.

The move might seem a bit surprising, but it shows that Damon Motorcycles are dead-serious about the development of future, more competitive models in this growing market.

Among the technologies that are now property of Damon we find the proven designs that helped break the AMA electric land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats, also setting new records at Laguna Seca in 2011, the 1/4 mile drag strip at Sonoma Raceway in 2012, or the Isle of Mann TT Zero race in 2014. The PM200 electric motor, the acclaimed Mission Inverter and the Skyline Telematics will now be further developed and integrated in new models that are en route to consumers.

While Damon’s Hypersport Founders Edition consisted of only 25 units, the company currently has two more special bikes on pre-sale. The Hypersport Premier Arctic Sun and the Midnight Sun, in white-gold and black-gold trim, respectively, each with a $39,995 price tag. Securing one requires a $1,000 deposit while offer lasts. If special editions are a bit off your budget, but you still want an electric Damon bike, you can also get the standard version, Hypersport HS, which tips the scales at a more palatable $24,995.

The Damon Hypersport is advertised with the “200 Making it count” punch line, emphasizing on the 200 horsepower, 200 mph top speed and 200-mile range figures. The bikes come with a liquid-cooled 21.5 kWh battery feeding a PMAC liquid cooled 160 kW motor that can do 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds. The advertised charging time is less than three hours on a Level 2 charger.

The combined highway/city range is said to exceed 200 miles, and Damon says that doing 70 mph on a highway yields a ~161 mile range, whereas doing only 60 mph increases the autonomy to 201 miles. Still, we all know these figures can vary quite a bit, depending on weather conditions or a heavy hand.

Among the notable technologies aboard the Damon Hypersport we see the Brembo brakes and Ohlins suspensions, alongside the two proprietary features, CoPilot and Shift. CoPilot is an advanced warning system that uses dual 1080p cameras, haptics and LED alerts for forward collising warnings and blind spot detection for 360-degree safety. Shift is yet another feature embedded in the Hypersport, allowing the rider to effortlessly switch the position of the seat, pegs, handlebars and windscreen for sport and commuting scenarios at the push of a button.

Now, with Mission’s knowledge and Damon’s drive for creating new and exhilarating electric motorcycles, we can expect even more machines in the near future, and hopefully, a more affordable option to expand Damon’s customer base.

New York City’s motorcycle community is riding to save lives

By | General Posts

from https://www.wmay.com/

The orders were straightforward and immediate: pick up the supplies, ride through the streets of New York City and make the deliveries.

There would be no detours, no diversions. The clock was ticking.

On March 21, Ryan Snelson and three other motorcycle riders geared up, divided up the supplies and took off from Montauk, New York, to meet their receivers in Tribeca and Queens. The supplies strapped to their bikes would help protect the doctors, nurses and other health care professionals battling the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic. New York City hospitals were running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) as the number of sick grew each day. The masks, gloves and gowns Snelson and his crew were in possession of could save patients’ — and doctors’ — lives.

Snelson, a longtime biker, took action against the virus the only way he knew how: by calling on his fellow bikers to join him in the cause.

“We’re just regular people who have bikes and have regular jobs in the city,” he told ABC News. “The motorcycle community is very active in New York.”

Snelson was intrigued after learning about Masks for Docs, a grassroots campaign that was started two weeks ago by Chad Loder, a computer security researcher and entrepreneur in the Los Angeles area. Masks for Docs, which is in the process of being recognized as a 501 (c) charity organization, connects people who have PPE with hospitals and health clinics around the country. Donors and receivers fill out an online questionnaire and Masks for Docs then shares the info with its local volunteer chapters to verify the applicants and distribute the supplies quickly to the requisite facilities.

“We’re getting photos from doctors and nurses who are wearing trash bags and bandanas [for protection],” Loder told ABC News. “We’ve had hospitals say they cannot accept donations but doctors are privately reaching out to us. We have to move faster than the virus.”

Individuals can donate surgical, construction and N95 masks, hand sanitizers, hazmat suits, disposable scrubs, face shields and gowns on the Masks for Docs site. Loder said local chapters are given guidance on acceptable donations as well as safety precautions when picking up and dropping off the PPE.

More than 60 riders have joined the New York “moto squad,” according to Snelson, and supplies have been delivered to all five New York City boroughs as well as northern New Jersey.

“It all happened so fast,” Snelson noted. “We’re figuring it out as we go … and we can start and stop based on our schedules.”

Meredith Balkus, who joined Snelson on the group’s first mission, recalled how eerie and still the city’s streets were that Saturday night, a “surreal” experience for the riders involved, she said.

“When this opportunity came up I was so excited,” she told ABC News. “We all understand the gravity of the situation and it’s really rewarding to help doctors who are on the front lines. It’s really dire in New York and there’s a lot of hunger out there to help.”

At least 776 New Yorkers have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and more than half of New York state’s cases, or 33,768, are in the city. Nearly 8,500 state residents are currently hospitalized. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Sunday in an interview on CNN that hospitals have only one week’s worth of medical supplies.

Snelson said his team is cognizant of the infection risks and closely adheres to the safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are so smart every step of the way,” added Balkus. “We’re wearing a full face helmet and a mask underneath. We always stay six feet apart from each other.”

Moto squad’s riders will do whatever it takes to stop the outbreak and slow down the rate of transmission, Snelson said.

“The motorcycle community will help — always,” he said.

New CSN basketball coach Russ Beck recruits on Harley-Davidson

By | General Posts

by Ron Kantowski from https://www.reviewjournal.com

There are advantages to coaching junior college basketball in a teeming metropolis, not the least of which is that one can recruit while riding a motorcycle.

Russ Beck, who recently was named coach of the College of Southern Nevada’s rebooted men’s basketball program, has signed 10 players. All are from Southern Nevada. All it has cost is a tank of gas.

“I’m probably the the only coach in America that can do his recruiting on the back of a Harley-Davidson,” Beck said.

Which he does.

His 2003 Sportster XL gets about 43.5 miles per gallon. It is 35 miles from CSN’s Henderson campus to Centennial High on the northwest edge of the Las Vegas Valley — probably as far as Beck will ever have to go to sign a 6-foot-4-inch power forward.

It may be more difficult finding a place to play than finding players.

There is no gymnasium on CSN’s Henderson campus, so the Coyotes will practice and play at CSN’s Cheyenne campus in North Las Vegas. Selected games might be played at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion or South Point Arena, if deals can be made.

“I’ve been at Western Nebraska in Scottsbluff, which is very rural, up in Twin Falls (Idaho), Cedar City and St. George (in Utah),” Beck, 41, said of coaching stops in basketball hinterlands. “(Here) I can see hundreds of players and do most of my recruiting within 45 minutes of the office.

“One of my selling points is you get to play in front of family and friends in a big city that is easy to get to for the Division I recruiters. All these coaches have been trained to come here because of the AAU (summer) tournaments. They know where to stay, where to eat, where the gyms are.

“Now they have another excuse to come out and watch basketball.”

Already on campus

Likewise, CSN didn’t have to go far to find its basketball coach. Beck was employed by the school as an athletic academic adviser. He had a relationship with CSN athletic director Dexter Irvin, who was AD at Dixie State in St. George when Beck was a basketball assistant there.

Beck also was an assistant at Salt Lake Community College and the College of Southern Idaho, teams he’ll now have to beat in the Scenic West Athletic Conference. He spent seven years as head coach at Western Nebraska CC, winning 124 games and helping the Cougars attain a national ranking.

Junior college teams have a reputation for playing firewagon basketball with an emphasis on the fast break. Beck said he is not averse to either. But he believes to run the floor, you first must lock down on defense in the half court.

“That comes from Coach (Jeff) Kidder at Dixie College, who won a national championship and was a hall of fame coach at the junior college level and did it with a lot of Vegas kids every year,” Beck said of his defense-first philosophy.

One of those Vegas kids was Cimarron-Memorial’s Marcus Banks, who returned home to star at UNLV before being drafted in the first round by the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. Banks could play defense when it was called for. And even when it wasn’t.

“Limiting teams to one shot will give you a lot of offensive freedom, but that only happens when you’re getting stops,” Beck said. “There’s no fast break if the ball goes through the hoop at the other end. Then you’re taking the ball out of the net and walking it up.”

Ultimate goal

Hanging in Beck’s office is a photograph taken at the NJCAA national championship tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, when he was coaching at Salt Lake. It reminds him of the ultimate goal.

But in the first year of the second start-up — CSN shuttered its men’s and women’s basketball programs in 2003 after one turmoil-riddled season — Beck said he’d settle for finishing in the top half of the Scenic West.

“I think we just have to be really gritty, take pride in who we are,” he said. “Maybe embrace the underdog role a little bit and that we’re in it for the city.”

As soon as the coronavirus pandemic ends and it is safe to break a sweat on defense, Russ Beck plans to jump back on his Harley and find additional 6-4 forwards (as well as some guards) who believe there’s no place like home.

“When your roster is full of kids from the same area, you can take a lot of pride in that,” he said.