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Ujjwal Dey

Could Kawasaki Be Planning A GPz900R Comeback?

By | General Posts

by Justin Hughes from https://www.rideapart.com

It’s wild speculation time.

Retro bikes are all the rage these days. As a GenXer whose first several bikes were UJMs from the early 1980s, I appreciate it. I am the market these bikes are trying to tap into. While the Suzuki Katana is one of the first to apply the retro formula to a true sportbike, I suspect that there may be another one potentially on the horizon: a remade Kawasaki GPz900R.

The original GPz900R became famous in the original Top Gun as Tom Cruise raced an F-14 Tomcat down the runway. The trailer for Top Gun: Maverick shows him riding the same bike (albeit without a helmet, which is not only a bad idea but something the Navy would never allow him to do in the real world). We also know that he’ll be riding an H2R in the movie, so clearly Maverick isn’t against upgrading his ride while staying loyal to the Kawasaki brand.

Kawasaki has also found success with the Z900RS retro naked bike. It has classic 1980s styling, yet packs all the performance and safety features you want in a modern motorcycle. I absolutely loved the Z900RS I rode last summer at a demo day. So did Kate, who would opt for the Z900RS Cafe. The standard Z900 is also a great bike, but the retro version is what speaks to me.

With Suzuki throwing down the gauntlet with the Katana, there may be room out there for a competing retro sportbike. The Katana has a larger 999 cc engine, and Kawasaki would have to choose between competing against it with a Ninja 1000-based literbike or remaining true to the original GPz900R’s displacement. Either choice could be a winning proposition, particularly with Top Gun: Maverick providing a perfect opportunity to promote it.

On top of all that, there’s this GPz900R video that Kawasaki just released on YouTube. It’s a great retrospective of all of the bike’s versions throughout the years, including many that weren’t available in the US. Why post this now? It could have to do with renewed interest in Maverick’s motorcycle. Many of today’s riders weren’t even born back when the original Top Gun came out and aren’t familiar with it. It could be nothing more than this. Or it could be a look back at the model line in preparation for introducing a new model based on it.

Once again, this is all wild speculation on my part. Kawasaki has said nothing about bringing the GPz back in any form. Like the idea of an Indian adventure bike, though, all of the pieces are in place that would make now the right time to do it, while retro bikes are becoming more and more popular and with a major movie coming out that would help promote it. Kawasaki already has the platforms and powerplants it would need to do it with just a little bit of modern/retro styling to make it unique. It worked well for the Z900, and it could work for a GPz.

Our magic number – 200

By | General Posts

They say that every company has a magic number.

“Seven friends in ten days.” – It was Facebook’s sole focus in its growth from zero to one billion users.

With Twitter, their explosive growth happened when users followed thirty people.

Even though we are making motorcycles, we have identified our own magic number. And we think this number will turn the incumbent motorcycle industry on its head.

Our magic number is 200.

Can you guess what this means?

CLICK HERE to join the conversation

WAIT, what about specs and price?
And when can I get one?

We know you’re all very excited and can’t wait to get specs and pricing. We’ll be live-streaming our first ever public unveil live from the show floor in Las Vegas at CES 2020. So get in on the action via our social media channels and stay tuned for more information via email.

Pre-ordering begins January 7th

About Damon Motors Inc.
Damon is unleashing the full potential of personal mobility for the world’s commuters. With its proprietary electric drivetrain, the company has developed the world’s safest, smartest, fully connected electric motorcycle employing sensor fusion, robotics and AI. Designed as a platform for worldwide line extension, Damon motorcycles will ship direct to consumer on subscription plans to drive scale.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Damon is a Techstars Mobility company founded by serial entrepreneurs Jay Giraud and Dom Kwong. Damon’s investors include Round 13 Capital, Techstars, Fontinalis, Extreme Venture Partners and Pallasite Ventures.

Return of the Titan

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A Brother Brings the Giant Back to Life and Youth to His…

I had the wants for another custom bike but have turned into a cheap old fucker since getting SS at 62.

I’m still a chopper guy and decided a Big Dog or Texas Chopper was it. Limited funds had me loosing auctions on EBay. Up pops a ‘98 Titan with no reserve only 300 miles away.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FEATURE ARTICLE

Honda Benly e electric scooter to go on sale in Japan from April 2020

By | General Posts

Honda has announced that its electric scooter Benly e will go on sale from April 2020. The e-scooter will first go on sale in Japan, then in other global markets, says the company in a release.

The scooter will be priced between 7.37 lakh yen and 7.48 lakh yen.

Honda aims to sell around 200 units of the scooter per year in the Japanese market.

The electric scooter targets corporate customers, mainly logistics providers.

The scooter will be available in four different variants. It will be powered by dual electric batteries that can be detached easily and easily swappable as well.

As the two-wheeler manufacturer claims, this electric scooter can be used for last-mile pick-up and delivery services.

Duke’s Harley-Davidson closing in early 2020

By | General Posts

Duke’s Harley-Davidson is closing its doors early in the new year, but enthusiasts of the classic motorcycle will have a chance to get some holiday deals.

The business, located just off Highway 40 South, between Chatham and Blenheim, was established in 2005 by local entrepreneur and motoring enthusiast Rob Myers.

He said a lot of thought and consideration has gone into the decision to close the business.

“As an absentee owner, I thank my staff for their incredible hard work and leadership over the last 15 years,” Myers said in a media release.

“Duke’s is something I always thought would be a good business for a husband-and-wife team to be a partner of mine in, but I was never able to find the right partner,” he added.

“I’ve always enjoyed Harleys, and to own Duke’s has been a fun ride, but it’s time to move onto new projects.”

Myers received an early introduction to the motorcycling hobby after he traded his 1959 Edsel Corsair for a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. From there, he went on to acquire other bikes and then a series of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the last of which he still owns today.

Myers’ passion for bikes and deal-making led him to build Duke’s Harley-Davidson.

Following its closure, Myers will look for an appropriate tenant to re-lease the Duke’s Harley-Davidson building to.

Holiday sales have commenced at the business, which also features motorcycle parts, accessories and Harley-Davidson clothing.

Duke’s Harley-Davidson will fully honour any pre-existing agreements with customers regarding motorcycle storage and repairs, stated the media release.

NAWA’s Radical Electric Motorcycle Highlights The Potential Of Supercapacitors In EVs

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by Bill Roberson from https://www.forbes.com/

Despite the fact that they have built an electric motorcycle, French tech company NAWA Technologies, or just NAWA for short, isn’t in the business of building electric motorcycles – they build batteries. But maybe they should reconsider the motorcycle market option, especially in light of the one-off bike they did just indeed build, because it’s a serious looker packed with possibly industry-changing technologies.

The NAWA Racer’s sleek, minimalist styling comes courtesy of a collaboration with Envisage Group, who have been involved with Jaguar and other brands that want some cool lines with their new tech. One highlight is a hubless rear wheel, although the bike is covered in cool touches including the wrap-around LED taillight and duck-tailed seat.

But beyond the slick lines and hubless rear hoop of the NAWA Racer, the cafe-racer inspired from-the-future motorbike carries an underlying technology that significantly boosts performance and could signal a significant step forward for electric motorcycle performance – or the performance potential of anything that needs batteries for motive power, including electric cars.

NAWA has added a supercapacitor to the Racer (NAWA calls it an ultracapacitor, and have branded it as NAWACap), and the short version of the technese is this: A supercapacitor is similar to a battery, except it can be charged in seconds, and can then dump that charge at an extremely high rate – far beyond what a battery can provide – for an instant boost in power. It can also repeat that feat millions of times without any substantial performance losses. NAWA isn’t the first company to put a supercapacitor into service; supercar maker Lamborghini is integrating a supercapacitor system into their new Sián hypercar (sorry, but all 63 are sold out at $3.6 million per copy).

According to information provided by NAWA, the Racer has a relatively small 9kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a .1kWh NAWACap ultracapacitor located in the upper pod above the pack in the frame. The inclusion of the NAWACap system has multiple advantages. Since it can be charged in seconds by regenerative braking (preferably) or the Li-ion battery (or both), it’s pretty much always ready to give a power boost when physics puts the largest load on the battery: From a stop or during hard acceleration. NAWA claims the racer can go 0-60 in about three seconds with a top speed of about 100 miles an hour. The Racer’s motor puts out about 100 horsepower, and NAWA says that since the supercapacitor system cuts down on needed battery capacity, the Racer weighs in at about 330 pounds – far lighter than some current electric motorcycles like the Zero SR/F, which tips the scales at 485 pounds with a 14.4kWh battery. That improved power-to-weight ratio also helps in performance metrics and improves handling.

Additionally, the NAWACap system extends the urban range of the Racer since the motor can be smaller, lighter and has to push less weight around. NAWA is claiming 186 miles of urban range, where the NAWACap system will be in its element, sucking up free electrons from the regenerative braking system in stop-and-go traffic. Highway range would be less, of course.

The Lamborghini Sián and the NAWA Racer are shining more light on both an ongoing problem and a potential elegant solution around the limitations of lithium-ion batteries, which currently power pretty much every electric car, hybrid, electric motorcycle, ebike and cell phone in the world. The problem? Lithium-ion batteries, wondrous as they are, take a relatively long time to charge. Also, they are not able to dump power into a drivetrain at a very high rate – unless you can pile a literal ton of them into your vehicle, as Tesla and others have done, but which you cannot do with a weight-sensitive machine like a motorcycle. Also, batteries can catch fire if severely damaged, and their lifespan is limited. Capacitors, which have been around for about as long as electricity, have none of those problems – but there’s a reason we don’t use them as long-term energy storage devices just yet: They are not able to hold a charge over long periods of time like a battery, and they currently have low energy density compared to most batteries. If those issues could be solved, they would touch on the holy grail of battery technology: The Solid State Battery.

To put this in perspective, consider that if a Tesla used supercapacitors (or a solid state battery) instead of a lithium-ion battery pack, you could likely charge it in a fraction of the time it now takes to fill a traditional car with gas. As in: A minute or so. Additionally, an array of supercapacitors would also be able to pump huge amounts of energy into a vehicle’s drive system, resulting in incredible acceleration even beyond the feats of Ludicrous Mode and so on. But again, because they cannot hold a charge for long and have low energy density, they are not yet practical for uses as a primary energy storage system. NAWA’s solution with the Racer? The battery/supercapacitor hybrid.

Just like battery technology, capacitor tech isn’t standing still either. Work is ongoing on making supercapacitors even more super by lengthening the time they can hold a charge and otherwise improving every other aspect of their performance. While powering vehicles with supercapacitors was once something talked about on the fringes of EV R&D forums, the tech is now heading mainstream, and we should expect to see more vehicles with ever better supercapacitors in the near future. For now, all we can do is hope some OEM slips a check under the door at NAWA Technologies and brings something like the Racer to market sooner than later.

If you’re going to be in Las Vegas for CES 2020, check out the NAWA Racer at their booth in Eureka Park.

The Slow March toward Forced Temperance: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #571

By | General Posts

It’s been seven years since we wrote about the Driver Alcohol Detection System and Safety (DADSS) program–A Frog in the Pot, E-newsletter #187–and efforts to make ignition interlock devices standard equipment in all vehicles. Proponents of forcing all drivers to pass alcohol detection testing before being able to operate their cars are nothing if not determined.

The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act of 2019, per U.S. Senate Bill 2604, and its counterpart House Bill 3159, keeps their hopes alive by requiring all new vehicles to have alcohol detection systems within four years.

We recognize the politically incorrect timing of addressing the issue of impaired driving during the holiday season, and restate that the NMA does not support, encourage, or condone drunk driving. Impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk do not belong on the road. But we also do not support zero-tolerance concepts that subject the vast majority of non-imbibing motorists to intrusive testing every time they get behind the wheel.

The unreliability of detection technology is a major cause of concern. False positives are commonplace. Imagine a DADSS device that requires the driver to submit a breath sample to start a car, and to also give regular-interval samples while the vehicle is in motion, forcing shutdown at inopportune times and possibly under unsafe conditions. And if those “rolling samples” require active involvement by all drivers, distracted driving will become an even more widespread road safety concern.

SB 2604, sponsored by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rick Scott (R-FL), currently sits with the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. The House bill, 3159, is sponsored by six Republican congressmen and women and is being considered by the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Committee. Consider reaching out to members of both committees, particularly those who represent you directly. Ask them questions like:

  1. What is the false-positive rate of DADSS, and how will that be taken into account?
  2. How will DADSS distinguish driver vs. passenger BAC levels?
  3. Will DADSS include external reporting capabilities, e.g., be tied to V2X (“vehicle to everything”) connectivity? If so,
    1. Will the system report every episode of an intervention, false positive or not, to an authority for possible assignment of a penalty? What privacy safeguards will be put into place?
    2. How will the system determine who was operating the car at the time of the “incident?” Will the vehicle owner automatically be assigned blame?
  4. How much will the DADSS technology add to the cost of a new vehicle? Will that cost be borne by the consumer, and will there be an ongoing cost to the car owner to process DADSS data?

At the least, our elected officials should have satisfactory answers before supporting legislation that would subject all drivers to an unprecedented level of personal intrusion and regulation.

Join the NMA Today https://www.motorists.org/join/

Man robs Historic Harley Davidson, Topeka police find within 24 hours

By | General Posts

by Mark Feuerborn, Kelli Peltier from https://www.ksnt.com/

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A local motorcycle vendor and museum thanked the Topeka Police Department after a man stole cash and property from their building.

29-year-old Floyd Earl Taylor III, the man accused of breaking into Harley-Davidson in Topeka, is in jail.

Harley Davidson of Topeka’s general manager, Eli Geiger, said a burglar broke in on Monday night.

“It was a sinking feeling. You know it’s a terrible feeling,” Geiger said.

The burglar got away with money, merchandise, and even took items belonging to employees.

Police were able to find the suspect the next day.

“The detective work was spot on, they were quick and very thorough and led to an arrest,” Geiger said.

Officers arrested Taylor on Tuesday at the Capitol Plaza hotel and found all of the stolen items.

Taylor faces charges of burglary and theft of items and cash totaling more than $1,500, according to his booking record. Taylor also faces an additional charge for possession of a controlled substance.

Taylor is in the Shawnee County Jail on a combined $20,000 bond.

At 70, Honda hits a milestone of 400mn motorcycles

By | General Posts

Honda currently produces a wide range of motorcycles, from 50cc commuters to 1,800cc models, at 35 facilities in 21 countries.

Japanese automaker Honda has produced 400 million units of motorcycles globally since it had begun production in 1949 with its maiden Dream D-Type bike.

According to the company, it achieved 100 million-unit milestone in 1997, and 300 million-units in 2014. In 2018, Honda exceeded an annual production of 20 million units for the first time in its history, and enjoyed strong support from customers in the Asia region and worldwide, it said.

Honda currently produces a wide range of motorcycles, from 50cc commuters to 1,800cc models, at 35 facilities in 21 countries.

Honda was founded in 1948, and began mass-production of motorcycles at its first overseas production facility in Belgium in 1963. Since then, Honda has expanded its production globally in accordance with its fundamental principle of producing locally where there is demand.

Honda will continue to construct its development and production structure to meet rising demand, it said.

Takahiro Hachigo, Chief Executive Officer, Honda Motor said, “For 70 years, Honda has provided to customers worldwide motorcycles that make life easier and enjoyable. As a result, we have achieved our 400 million-unit milestone. I am grateful to all of our customers, and everyone involved in development, manufacturing, sales and service of our products. We will continue to do our best to provide attractive products that meet the needs and dreams of our customers worldwide.”

Honda would strive to realize its 2030 vision, to serve people worldwide with the “joy of expanding their life’s potential,” he added.