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Ujjwal Dey

The Harley-Davidson Anaconda Limo Is One of the Longest Motorcycles in the World

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

The Anaconda is named just that because it was – or aimed to be – the world’s longest motorcycle on the road. Unveiled on February 13, 2004 at the Annual CARQUEST Auto Parts World of Wheels, it is the brainchild of one Steve McGill from Kansas City. Smokey, as he likes to go by.

We’ve discussed in a previous story another strange, Harley-Davidson-based limousine hybrid, the LimoBike, which is part Harley, part limousine and a complete, steaming pile of “no.” The Anaconda is different, in that it resembles more a motorcycle and remains essentially a Harley, because it uses a Harley engine. It is still a trike, though, just to clear any possible confusion from the get-go.

In a 2005 Cycle Connections interview, McGill offered a surprisingly simple explanation for creating this monster of a bike. No, he didn’t do it because he wanted to become famous, though that would happen later. He did it because he’d realized no one else had made a Harley limo.

Whether that’s entirely accurate is debatable, but the bottom line is that he did it. After spotting a Harley Trike displayed at a local Wright Brothers Bikes store, he called to inquire about purchasing one. He started thinking that Harleys are the Cadillacs of the bike world, so it only made sense to turn one of them into a limousine.

Using one Harley and one DFT trike kit, he created the Anaconda, which gunned for the title of the world’s longest motorcycle on the road that same year it was unveiled. In a December 2004 interview retrieved by Cyle Connections, McGill claimed he had been in contact with the Guinness Book of World Records and had obtained confirmation that the Anaconda was a right fit for the record.

He also said he was yet to file all proper documentation, but strongly indicated that he would do so soon. It could very well be that he never did: there is no record of him ever holding a Guinness record. This leaves the Anaconda with the unofficial title of one of the longest bikes in the world.

Measuring 19 feet in length and weighing 1,420 pounds, the Anaconda can carry up to nine passengers, with the one in the back riding most comfortably. McGill needed 6 months and about 640 hours of work to put it together, and said that he was actually surprised how well the project came along.

“Some things went surprisingly well,” he said. “The shift rod is almost 12 feet long, and it had to have proper clearance as it routed through frame components and still align properly at both ends. With amazing luck, it lined up perfectly. I was lucky on a lot of stuff.”

The Anaconda looks like it’s powered by two engines, but the front one is a dummy. McGill says this was done on purpose, since he couldn’t even wrap his head around the idea of not having a motor under the tank. He would get a major rise out of people looking at the Anaconda and not figuring out how it worked.

“The back one is a stock Harley Evo motor and provides the power. The front one is a dummy, for looks only. I found out about a company in Leavenworth that produces over 300 different fiberglass engine replicas,” McGill explained.

“They’re normally used by custom builders to align motor mounts and such. Everything is in the right place, but it’s much lighter. I got a fiberglass Harley block from them and added real heads, primary cover, and other chrome stuff. It’s fun to watch people stare at that front engine and try to figure out how it works. It sometimes takes them a while to figure out that it doesn’t,” he added.

After the Anaconda was completed and made its grand debut, it continued traveling the country throughout 2004, attending various shows and winning countless awards. With an increase in the level of fame came another idea to McGill: that of using all this new-found popularity for a good cause.

It was never his plan to use the Anaconda for an actual limo service. So he started attending events to raise money and awareness for various causes, in between bike shows. And, of course, shooting cheesy videos with nine pink-clad ladies riding in the back to show it off.

Here’s Your Chance to Own a Garage-Kept Harley-Davidson Drag Motorcycle

By | General Posts

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

It’s known as the Screaming Eagle Destroyer. It’s a factory, non-stree-legal, purpose-built drag racing motorcycle capable of doing a quarter mile in under ten seconds as if it’s nothing. And it’s incredibly rare.

The motorcycle you see in the gallery above is the drag race-bred VRXSE Screaming Eagle Destroyer put together by Harley’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) back in 2006. One that, unlike most others of its kind, has been kept locked up and never used on the strip.

In all its history, there were just a little over 600 units of the Destroyer ever built, and even that was a stretch given the fact Harley initially planned for a production run that was about half that size. So, yes, they are rare, and ones that have been kept as museum pieces can be considered non-existent. But thing is there is at least one such motorcycle in perfect condition, and it’s for sale, on the luxury-oriented DuPont Registry website.

Just like all others of its kind, this dragster motorcycle is powered by the same 79ci (1,300 cc) 165 hp V-twin engine, only it features a wide range of race equipment, including a long stroke flywheel, high compression forged pistons, a pneumatic shifter, and larger throttle bodies, among others.

The bike also comes with other extra features envisioned by CVO, including a stroker crankshaft, a racing transmission with a multi-stage lock up clutch, programmable shift light, and two-stage launch control.

Unlike all other bikes of its kind, it has been kept by its owner in a “museum-like” condition alongside other dragsters, meaning it’s dying to go out and have some fun on the tarmac.

The price for the bike is not listed on the said website, but given the fact one sold as new back in the day for a little over $30,000, don’t expect this one to be a lot cheaper.

“You Rode from Houston to Where?”

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Road Trip in Summer 2019 to Visit My Now-Adult Military Kids
by Johnny White

This trip was as much to refresh my soul as any I’ve ever taken. Scorching hot in my garage even with the door opened, I knew I’d have to leave by 4:00 am to make as many miles as possible before the hellish humidity and heat started to drain me. We’d had several weeks of 100+ degree heat combined with 90 percent humidity, so while I would enjoy a trip headed North, I also knew the heat was going to play a factor that I’d have to plan for, among other nonsense you battle on a road trip.

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Is It Safe To Ride My Motorcycle During The Outbreak?

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by Sabrina Giacomini from https://www.rideapart.com

The fun type of social distancing.

UPDATE: Note that there could be lockdowns and “stay at home” orders in your city or your state as the situation evolves and we don’t recommend you overlook them because “riding is seemingly safe”. We’re not your mom, but we recommend you follow your local authorities’ recommendations.

Some readers also pointed out that I didn’t discuss about the possibility of crashes since the question was focused on the virus but I thought it was a good point to touch on. Going for a ride has its risks, whether it’s coming in contact with the virus or getting into a crash. The streets are quieter but it doesn’t mean there’s no risk of making a mistake or of being hit by someone.

Remember that medical facilities and staff are strained at the moment. While riding is relatively safe from a contagion perspective, there’s still the usual risk of an incident that could require you go to the hospital—and this is not a good time to go to the hospital. Keep that in mind.

As we wrote already, the better we cooperate, the smarter we go about this,the sooner we’ll get to go back out there without restrictions. Stay safe everyone!

Is it safe to ride during this outbreak? Are my full-face helmet, gloves, and other apparel able to protect me? Are motorcycle riders risk-free? Just question to exercise our riding knowledge. – Ancarlos

Hi Ancarlos! Thank you for asking your question, I’m pretty sure you’re not the only one wondering about that. Please note, however, that though we like to think we know a lot of things at RideApart, we’re also not doctors. If you have any real concerns or are considered a potentially vulnerable patient, asking someone who is an actual doctor is the one way you’ll get reliable answers. This goes for anyone reading this.

I can, however, give you a few pointers. As “social distancing” is on target to become Merriam-Webster’s 2020 term of the year, riding a motorcycle checks a lot of those “distancing” boxes. See, the great thing about riding a motorcycle is that you get to do it alone and it isolates you in a certain way—provided you don’t head out in a group. After all, everyone else around you is over six feet away, right?

The riding itself doesn’t technically pose a problem but the small things we do when we get on and off the saddle might. Where riding a bike might present a risk of exposure is when you stop in crowded places like at a gas station or in coffee shops, for example. Fuel nozzles are pretty nasty, to begin with, and considering the current situation, they could be carriers for the bug.

Consider bringing a few cleaning wipes or a pair of disposable gloves, just in case you need to fuel up. Even a plastic bag to handle the nozzle is a good alternative to putting your hand directly on it. Once you’re done, be extra safe and wash your hands.

If you do end up using your riding gloves to pick up the nozzle, keep in mind that certain sources suggest that the virus can stay on soft surfaces like clothes (and gear) and its lifespan on different surfaces and materials has yet to be confirmed. If your riding gloves have been in contact with a potentially infected surface, avoid touching your face with them—including that pesky itchy nose!—and throw your gloves in the washer once you’re home. If the gloves are made of leather, you can find a few easy tips to disinfect your leather safely online.

Medical Grade Gear?

To answer your question about gear, keep in mind that motorcycle gear isn’t made from medical grade materials. It’s designed to protect us from bad falls and impacts, not from microscopic bugs. So no, I won’t say that your gear will protect you from the novel coronavirus. It creates a barrier against the elements, that’s true, but it’s permeable, so don’t think that you become invincible by wearing a motorcycle helmet and a jacket.

If you avoid crowds and enjoy the ride by staying on your bike, then you are following the social distancing recommendations. So in summary, yes, riding a motorcycle should be safe—just remember that, as with any form of outing at the moment, there’s never a 100-percent guarantee that you won’t get in contact with the bug. The smarter you go about this, the lower the risks.

You can check out the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations and updates on the situation here. If you present any symptoms or have been in contact with someone who presents them or who has recently traveled, then postpone your ride for a while (14-day self-isolation recommended) for your own benefit and everyone else’s. It’s a small price to pay to make sure a normal riding season (and life) resumes sooner rather than later.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Breaks 24-Hour Distance Record

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

One of the main complaints lodged against the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is the short range offered on a single charge, of just 140 miles. That doesn’t mean it’s not made for touring, though.

Swiss rider Michel von Tell has just set a new world record for the longest tour in under 24 hours for an electric motorcycle, covering over 1,000 miles on a LiveWire. The bad news is that the record won’t be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, as von Tell did not have Guinness officials present.

Electroauto-news reports (via Electrek) that von Tell started in Zurich, Switzerland and covered four countries and a total of 1,723 km (1,070 miles) on the LiveWire, in 23 hours and 48 minutes. He reached Stuttgart, Germany and then traveled to Singen, before heading to Ruggell, Lichtenstein, the final stop on his journey.

He used Level 3 DC Fast Charge for charging stops, which considerably cut down stop times. Level 1 on the LiveWire uses a regular wall outlet and takes an entire night for a full charge. Level 3 guarantees a faster charge: a nearly full battery in 40 minutes or so. According to the media outlet, von Tell would stop for charging on Level 3 for an average of 25 minutes whenever he needed to.

The previous 24-hour record for an electric motorcycle was set in 2018 on a Zero S fitted with optional Charge Tank and using a team of riders, on a test track. Von Tell traveled in traffic, on the highway and was all alone.

While he couldn’t afford the Guinness fee, which would have ensured officials were on hand to confirm the record, and didn’t have a method to do the electronic self-recording required for Guinness confirmation, von Tell did provide signed witness accounts as confirmation. This makes his LiveWire 24-hour tour the unofficial record holder for the longest on an electric motorcycle to date.

Sidecar 1999 Harley-Davidson Road King Is a Rare Sight with Just 800 Miles on It

By | General Posts

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

Sidecars have been trusted sidekicks for motorcycles since times immemorial. According to records, they date back to the late 1890s, when supposedly a French army officer came up with the ancestor of the sidecar we know today.

Technically, the need for a sidecar on a motorcycle is a valid one. After all, there are so many people and things you can carry on a two-wheeler, and having extra space is at times essential. This is why, for instance, sidecars were so successful during the years of the second world war.

Yet overall, sidecars are not often seen or used on the streets. That’s probably because people do not buy motorcycles as family vehicles, and they don’t usually go out on one with the wife and kids tagging along.

One of the world’s biggest motorcycle makers, Harley-Davidson, offered way back sidecars as a factory option. Production of such devices was shut down in 2011, making a Harley with sidecar attached a rarer sight still.

The motorcycle we have in the gallery above is a Road King Classic equipped with such a hardware, a combination so rare it deserves to sell for big bucks at auction. At it will try to do that during a RM Sotheby’s event in Indiana in May.

Equipped with an 88 cubic inch V-twin engine and a five speed transmission, the bike sports a sidecar with matching fenders and complete with tonneau and windscreen. Saddlebags and passenger backrest, as well as an optional leather storage pouch are included in the package.

What’s more important is the fact that the bike, despite its age, has been ridden for just 800 miles since new. Despite this, and its rarity, the bike will go under the hammer as part of the Elkhart Collection with no reserve, meaning it will go to the highest bidder regardless of price.

How Harley-Davidson Came to Make Beer

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Throughout its 117-year history, Harley-Davidson often turned to merchandising to boost sales, expand its reach and draw in new segments of the public. Some novelty items were hits and misses, while others fared decently – but not a single one was as successful as the Harley-Davidson Beer.

We’ve already discussed some of the most surprising items Harley sold that you (probably) didn’t know about, and mentioned beer as well. Indeed, one of the most iconic motorcycle makers in the world once sold beers by the four- or six-pack as an official product. In fact, it did so for many years, between 1984 and 2000, and then again in 2018, as a limited-edition for the 5-year anniversary known as the Ride Home.

The association between bikes and beer isn’t surprising. After all, it’s a known fact that bikers prefer beer over wine or even hard liquor, and a can of beer seems more at home in the hand of a biker than anywhere else. As for how Harley itself came up with the idea of stamping the HD name on it, it turns out it went beyond the desire to make some extra cash.

Sure, when it was first launched in 1984, at the Daytona Bike Week, it was a novelty item meant to draw on the Harley name for a boost in profit. The cans were made to resemble oil cans, painted in the colors of a chopper (silver and black), but the beer inside was of the generic type. It was a pure marketing move: take a bland, generic beverage and repackage it in order to sell it as a novelty for more money.

By 1987, though, Harley bosses had understood that, even if their beer would sell either way, it would sell even better if it was a quality product. That’s when the Harley-Davidson Heavy Beer was officially born – and introduced at the same Daytona Bike Week event. Made in partnership with Pabst Brewing Co. and packaged inside a can in silver and orange, with the writing “Daytona 1987,” it was a standalone product that spoke of Harley’s commitment to delivering excellence to the riders.

It also spoke of the company’s desire to take merchandising one step further, by delivering something rival companies couldn’t. Or, as Clyde Fessler, Harley-Davidson marketing executive at the time, explained to the Orlando Sentinel upon launch: when your biggest property is your name, you make sure you don’t put it to shame.

“It’s the best beer brewed in Wisconsin,” Fessler boasted, saying the Heavy Beer was thought of as “anti-light beer.”

“The strongest thing we have is our name,” he continued. “To middle America, Harley Davidson is what the Jaguar name is to the yuppies. We sell 30,000 bikes a year, but 2.5 million T-shirts. We wanted to do something the Japanese couldn’t do. Could you see yourself drinking ‘Suzuki beer?’”

Harley continued making limited-edition beer until 2000, for each Daytona Bike Week edition and other HD-sponsored events. As with other novelty items, cans sold out faster than hot cakes, but sellers would often tell the media that they hardly ever saw buyers drink it. To this day, a can of Harley-Davidson beer is a collectible, whether empty or still unopened.

In 2018, for the 5-year anniversary known as the Ride Home or HarleyMania, Harley-Davidson brought back its beer from the dead. This time, it was a one hundred percent homemade product, in the sense that Harley partnered with 3 breweries from hometown Milwaukee to deliver the same taste bikers had come to love in Heavy Beer.

Good City Brewing, Third Space Brewing, and Milwaukee Brewing Co. used all-Wisconsin malts in creating the beer, which was described as “super balanced and drinkable.” It was made widely available at the event, at $7.99 to $8.99 a four-pack. Like with every other edition of the Harley Beer, demand was so high they had to ask buyers to cut back on orders.

The Orlando Sentinel described the 1987 Daytona beer upon launch as having “a thick head, full aroma and a heavy, European-style body” with a “rich [taste]: a slight malt sweetness at first, a strong taste of hops and a sharp, almost bitter finish.” You can still find unopened cans from that year and later on on eBay and beer-dedicated websites, though drinking them after all these years is probably not a good idea.

Upcoming BMW R18 cruiser spied undisguised ahead of 3rd April debut

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by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com

The upcoming BMW R18 will draw power from a 1,800cc, boxer-twin engine that is the biggest motor ever produced by BMW for any of its mass production motorcycles.

BMW R18 is all set for its global debut on the 3rd of April. Ahead of the official unveiling, the full-sized cruiser has been snapped completely undisguised, image courtesy MCN. Starting off with the front, the upcoming BMW R18 cruiser will get a rounded headlamp with chrome bezel. The rounded rear view mirrors are also chrome plated and so are the brake and clutch levers. The R18 gets a large windscreen up front that not only will serve the purpose but gels well with the overall design language. The motorcycle also gets soft-box panniers with buckles and the turn indicators have quite an interesting shape too. The pictures also reveal the instrument cluster of the cruiser, which will be a single piece analogue unit with a small digital readout.

Speaking of powertrain, the upcoming BMW R18 will draw power from a 1,800cc, boxer-twin engine that will be good for developing respective power and torque outputs of 91hp and 158Nm. This is the biggest engine ever produced by BMW for any of its mass production motorcycles. The bike is expected to get multiple riding modes along with a traction control system and cruise control as well. Braking will be taken care of with the help of dual discs up front along with a single disc at the rear. A dual-channel ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) will be offered as standard equipment.

Apart from a cruiser, BMW will also be coming up with an R18 touring model that will get a more fancy equipment list and loads of other features. The upcoming BMW R18 will rub shoulders against the likes of the cruisers from Indian Motorcycle and Harley-Davidson. Expect India launch to take place by the end of this year or early 2021.

From eardrum bursting motorcycle roar to soft music

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by Fadhli Ishak from https://www.nst.com.my/

KUALA LUMPUR: MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli, who is used to scorching speeds around the world’s racing tracks, including Sepang, has slowed down to a stop — following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Morbidelli, a member of the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT), has yet to twist a throttle this season.

The 2018 MotoGP rookie of the Year is now spending his time at home, under lockdown in Italy.

Instead of listening to the eardrum bursting roar of motorcycles’ engines, Morbidelli now tunes into soft music.

He is keeping himself occupied with a new hobby, playing musical instruments, while doing his best to remain physically fit.

“I am trying to stay in shape but without leaving my house. I can go running if I stay within the land boundaries of my household. I am doing that but not much more,” said Morbidelli.

“I have some musical instruments and I am trying to learn to play them. It’s not easy, I need to practise a lot. Maybe by the end of this thing (lockdown) I will be able to play the harmonica and cajon.”

Cajon is a box-shaped, percussive instrument which originated in Peru.

“We should try to enjoy the time that we now have at home and get the maximum from it. We can do things at home that we usually don’t have time to do.”

The MotoGP second, third and fourth rounds in Thailand, Argentina and the United States have been postponed to later this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.