All Posts By

Ujjwal Dey

Ural x GPR 2-1 High Pipe

By | General Posts

New highly anticipated 2-1 High Mount Exhaust System

Now available for purchase! Fits 2016 and up Gear Up, Patrol, cT

Designed specifically for off road use only

  • Increased ground clearance
  • Lightweight stainless steel (nearly 10lbs. lighter than stock Ural exhaust system)
  • Internal mesh-type spark arrestor
  • Serviceable GPR muffler designed exclusively for Ural Motorcycles
  • Fits all 2016-2019 fuel injected models except Retro
  • ….and of course, unmatched Italian design

Contact your local dealer, supply is limited.

MSRP* 1,399.00

*MSRP does not include shipping, installation, dealer prices may vary

 

Shared e-scooters aren’t as environmentally friendly as other transport options

By | General Posts

 

A new study has found that e-scooters may be greener than most cars, but they can be less green than several other options.

Washington DC: People who think electric scooters or e-scooters are environmentally friendly, take note!

A new study has found that e-scooters may be greener than most cars, but they can be less green than several other options.

“E-scooter companies tout themselves as having little or no carbon footprint, which is a bold statement,” said Jeremiah Johnson, the corresponding author of the study

“We wanted to look broadly at the environmental impacts of shared e-scooters – and how that compares to other local transportation options.”

To capture the impact of e-scooters, researchers looked at emissions associated with four aspects of each scooter’s life cycle: the production of the materials and components that go into each scooter; the manufacturing process; shipping the scooter from the manufacturer to its city of use; and collecting, charging and redistributing the scooters.

The researchers also conducted a small-scale survey of e-scooter riders to see what modes of transportation they would have used if they hadn’t used an e-scooter.

The researchers found that 49 per cent of riders would have biked or walked; 34 per cent would have used a car; 11 per cent would have taken a bus; and 7 per cent wouldn’t have taken the trip at all.

In order to compare the impact of e-scooters to that of other transport options, the researchers looked at previously published life cycle analyses of cars, buses, electric mopeds, and bicycles.

Researchers looked at four types of pollution and environmental impact: climate change impact; nutrient loading in water; respiratory health impacts related to air pollution; and acidification.

The performance results were similar for all four types of pollution.

“A lot of what we found is pretty complicated, but a few things were clear,” said Johnson.

“Biking – even with an electric bike – is almost always more environmentally friendly than using a shared e-scooter. The sole possible exception is for people who use pay-to-ride bike-share programs. Those companies use cars and trucks to redistribute the bicycles in their service area, which can sometimes make them less environmentally friendly than using an e-scooter.”

By the same token, the study found that driving a car is almost always less environmentally friendly than using an e-scooter.

But some results may surprise you. For example, taking the bus on a route with high ridership is usually more environmentally friendly than an e-scooter.

“We found that the environmental impact from the electricity used to charge the e-scooters is fairly small – about 5 per cent of its overall impact,” said Johnson. “The real impact comes largely from two areas: using other vehicles to collect and redistribute the scooters; and emissions related to producing the materials and components that go into each scooter.”

That means that there are two major factors that contribute to each scooter’s environmental footprint. First is that the less driving that is done to collect and redistribute the scooters, the smaller the impact. The second factor is the scooters’ lifetime: the longer the scooter is in service, the more time it has to offset the impact caused by making all of its constituent parts.

Mysterious Ducati Bike Teased; Likely To Debut At 2020 Ducati World Première

By | General Posts

Could it be the Streetfighter V4, the 2020 Multistrada or something else entirely?

  • The company will showcase its 2020 range of motorcycles on 23 October 2019.
  • The bike in the teaser is most likely the production-spec Streetfighter V4.
  • Other guesses include a Multistrada V4 or an updated Ducati SuperSport.

Ducati is set to unveil its 2020 range of motorcycles on 23 October 2019. What’s more interesting is that the company has teased a mystery motorcycle, which has left us scratching our heads and wondering what it could be?

Now, the obvious answer could be the production-ready Streetfighter V4. And this would make sense considering that the CEO of the company, Claudio Domenicali, had mentioned that the stripped-down version of the Panigale V4 will be the highlight of the event.

But if we had to put on our tin-foil hats and speculate, we think it could also be the 2020 Ducati Multistrada V4 considering the fact that the flagship adventure-tourer was spied testing near Bologna, Italy recently.

Other wild guesses include a new and updated SuperSport or the XDiavel. Both motorcycles are due for an update, but what remains to be seen is if they continue to sport the same L-twin setup or come with the Desmosedici Stradale V4 motor instead.

While the Italian manufacturer might unveil the bike in October, we expect to see it in the flesh only at the 2019 EICMA show in Milan, which is scheduled to take place in November. Yes, we will be bringing you all the updates from there as well.

Extra staff hired, jail space prepared for Sturgis motorcycle rally

By | General Posts

STURGIS, S.D. — Law enforcement agencies in Meade and Pennington counties are hiring more officers, temporarily opening a second jail and keeping a courthouse open seven days a week for the Sturgis motorcycle rally and the hundreds of thousands of free-wheeling visitors it will attract over the next several days.

“We’re already busy,” Sturgis Police Chief Geody VanDewater said before the rally officially began Friday, Aug. 2.

VanDewater wouldn’t say how many temporary officers he hires but said they come from South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota and other neighboring states. Some are working the rally for the first time while others, like one officer who is returning for his 41st rally, are repeat visitors.

Permanent officers will continue to work 12-hour shifts with no days off during the 10-day event, VanDewater said.

Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin also hires temporary deputies, mostly relying on the office’s own reserve deputies and officers with Game, Fish & Parks. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office hired eight deputies from South Dakota and neighboring states and will also have about 10 of its reserve deputies working full-time, said Chief Deputy Willie Whelchel.

The eight temporary deputies are assigned to two-person foot patrols in the office’s contract communities of Wall, New Underwood, Keystone and Hill City, Whelchel said.

The Rapid City Police Department didn’t hire extra staff and isn’t requiring its officers to work overtime as they have in past years, said Captain James Johns.

During the rally, the Meade County court remains open during the weekends and the old jail — located in the basement of the courthouse across the parking lot from the new jail — is reopened, Merwin said. Extra staff from the area is hired to help the corrections officers, but they don’t carry handcuffs or weapons.

The old jail has large group cells made of “old iron bars” and “doors that clang and bang” that hold about 25 people, Merwin said. When people are arrested, they’re first brought to the old jail to be booked and detained until their court date the next morning. Guards take away their belts and shoes for safety reasons, but let them wear their street clothes. If defendants can’t make bond, they’re moved to the new jail.

“Every day, we clean out the old jail and get ready for a new batch,” Merwin said. “It is quite a procedure. It’s been working for years and everybody is pretty conscientious about everybody’s rights, and we try not to do anything different than we do any other time of the year.”

The Pennington County court functions as normal during the rally and while no extra jail staff is hired, workers aren’t allowed to take vacation or do any special training, Whelchel said.
Enforcement priorities

“You name it, we have it here,” VanDewater said about the crimes he sees during the rally.

But he said the most common issues Sturgis police officers deal with are people parking where they’re not allowed to, followed by drunken driving and drug use.

Cars and motorcycles illegally parked in alleys, handicap spots and other off-limits areas are ticketed and towed to impound lots, the police chief said. “If we just leave them there, we’re not fixing the problem.”

“We allow officer discretion. We just ask that the issue is addressed,” VanDewater said when asked if his officers have to let some violations slide since they’re so busy. “We give more verbal warnings than we do citations.”

VanDewater said officers may give warnings to people urinating in public, carrying open alcohol containers and breaking traffic rules by speeding or not wearing a seat belt. But anyone charged with violent crimes or DUIs will be arrested.

“They will go to jail, and we don’t need them hurting themselves or especially someone else,” he said of drunken drivers.

James said most of the Sturgis activity in Pennington County takes place outside city limits, on the highways, and in Wall and the Mount Rushmore areas. Rapid City officers are mostly focused on road safety and noted some popular stores and venues, such as the Harley-Davidson dealership in Rapid City, provide their own security. He said the department’s goal is to make sure things go smoothly and seem normal for those who work and live in Rapid City.

Pennington County deputies focus on traffic safety and stopping drunken drivers as they prepare for six or seven major motorcycle rides that cross through the county, Whelchel said. Deputies make sure they’re visible and stationed around the county so they can quickly respond to emergencies.

“We want to be able to save lives. That’s our goal every day we come to work,” he said.

Whelchel and James agreed that it’s important to distinguish between those who are recklessly breaking traffic laws and those who may make a mistake because they’re tourists who aren’t familiar with the area.

“We got to help educate folks and guide them,” Whelchel said.

James and VanDewater said they’re not worried about how the rally will be impacted by South Dakota’s new law that says permits aren’t needed to carry a concealed weapon. They said officers are already trained to act as if anyone could be armed.

Motorcycle Makers Are Getting Hip to Women-Only Rallies

By | General Posts

Anxious to find new audiences after a decade of declining sales, the giants like Harley-Davidson and BMW Motorrad are finally taking notice of a self-made community.

On Valentine’s Day, Sharry Billings posted a photograph on Instagram. Below the image of herself, her hair a red caramel and her smile open, she wrote: “I love you so much I wanna squeeze you!”

The object of her affection? “All the motorcycles I have owned and will own in the future,” she explained. Alongside the photo of her astride a Harley-Davidson, she wrote that bikes “have changed my life, healed my soul, and brought me more love and friendships than I could have ever imagined.”

Billings goes by @sistermother13 on Instagram, but the main account she oversees is @thelitaslosangeles. The Litas is a group she joined three years ago as a way to connect with other women riders in her city. She’s co-led the L.A. branch for two years. When she joined, it provided her with much-needed healing and camaraderie after her kids grew up and she got divorced. Billings had ridden as a teenager and into her 20s but took a hiatus later. “It was always in my heart,” she says. But when she was married with young children, “I thought it was a little too dangerous.”

After the breakup in 2015, she found herself longing for escape. And adventure. “My prayer at the time was, ‘God, I don’t want to date.’ These men are not happening,” Billings says, laughing. “The first thing that came to my heart was the motorcycle I wanted. It was a Harley.”

She bought the bike, took the ride. Then she joined the Litas. “I’m very grateful to have found my heart again,” Billings says.

Founded in Utah by Jessica Haggett half a decade ago, the Litas have expanded to include hundreds of branches around the world (Litas Denver, Litas Lisbon, Litas Rome), with members ranging from twentysomething singles to 60- and 70-year-old retirees with grandkids. They take regular rides, often along wild back roads, including the Pine Mountain Ridge route near Ojai, Calif., that Billings took with 32 other riders one Saturday in July. It’s about riding with your own style and pace but surrounded by like-minded friends.

“If you’re learning to ride, you’re going to kill yourself riding with men—they ride like bats out of hell!” Billings says. “And women—I’m generalizing here—tend to be more careful. We are mothers, we are sisters, we feel obligated to stay alive.”

The Litas are singular but not uncommon. All across California, Oregon, and Utah, from Texas to New York, women-only motorcycle groups and riding events are springing up like wildflowers. They go by names such as the Miss-Fires (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the Chrome Divas (Austin), and Leather and Lace (Daytona Beach, Fla.). They do regular rides: Tuesday night pizza runs, say, or weekend coffee meetups—and they take periodic excursions to women-only destination events such as the Wild Gypsy Tour, which is organizing a festival in Sturgis, S.D., in August, and the Dream Roll in Ashland, Ore.; it’s early June event near Denver was photographed for this article.

The biggest crowd follows Babes Ride Out, a series of events founded by Anya Violet and Ashmore Ellis in 2013. It started with 50 women riders who gathered to camp out in Borrego Springs, Calif. They built fires, pitched tents, drank beer, and played games on Harleys, Husqvarnas, and Hondas while soaking in nature and one another’s company.

These groups are tapping into an undercurrent of the motorcycle industry. As sales have faltered, dropping more than 40% from 2008 to 2010, then recovering somewhat by 2014 but never to previous levels, manufacturers including Harley-Davidson Inc. and BMW Motorrad have struggled to create appeal beyond their core demographic of older white men. Their efforts include offering electric and less-expensive motorbikes and introducing exciting conceptual prototypes. Female riders offer enthusiasm and youth, and, yes, they’re spending money that brands crave.

The number of women who own motorcycles has almost doubled since 2010, according to a 2018 study by the Motorcycle Industry Council. Today, 19% of owners are women, up from 10% in 2009 and 8% in the late 1990s. And the number of female riders gets higher as you go younger: 22% of Generation X riders are women, and 26% of millennial riders are women. What’s more, the average woman who owns a motorcycle spends $574 annually on maintenance, parts, service, and accessories, while the average man who rides spends $497.

While the industry on the whole dropped 40% from 2008 to 2010, the amount of women who own motorcycles has almost doubled

“We are riding a ton,” says Joy Lewis, who started when she was 12. “I have a friend who put 20,000 miles on her bike in one year.” Lewis’s father, an Alaskan crab fisherman who owned a Harley, got her hooked. “We spend a lot of money on our gear and our bikes, and a lot of things to go with them. I think that’s starting to be appreciated.”

Andy Jefferson, a spokesman for Husqvarna, says one of the brand’s priorities must be to provide support for women’s motorcycling. “We were like everyone else—going after a piece of the pie,” he says. “But everyone was looking at men, and there are all these other people—women—that nobody even really talks about in conversations about how to sell more bikes.” The brand lacks figures for how many of its owners are women but is “working to change that,” Jefferson says. “That’s part of the problem.”

Husqvarna honed in on women riders five years ago when it started sponsoring Babes in the Dirt, an offshoot of Babes Ride Out that’s more focused on off-road and dirt-bike riding. Last year the company spent $50,000 to $60,000 in support of the three-day rally, lending 27 motorcycles and nine staffers to service the bikes and teach.

“We counted between 80 and 100 girls out there [trying out] Husqvarnas,” he says. “The number is not huge by any means, but those are 100 people we didn’t have before. It also jumps down to their brothers and sisters and kids. We never would have got these people without doing this.”

But more important, “we want to get you to ride a motorcycle,” Jefferson adds. “If you ride with Babes and have fun and go buy another brand, great. We just want people riding.”

At BMW Motorrad, which on July 1 named Trudy Hardy vice president for the Americas, the company is sponsoring women-only events including the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride. It’s also covering travel expenses and appearance fees for brand reps such as Elspeth Beard, an architect who was the first British woman to ride her motorcycle around the world. The brand also sends pro racer Jocelin Snow and Erin Sills, who holds a 242 mph land speed record, to attend events at local dealerships.

Harley-Davidson has expanded its retail line in recent years to include a host of riding jackets, helmets, boots, and gloves sized and styled for women. It’s perhaps the most critical field of growth for the 116-year-old Wisconsin brand, which has seen sales steadily decline since 2014. The average age of a Harley owner is 50. The average price of one is $15,800—more than many millennials will spend on a car, let alone a motorcycle.

“Even just in the last five years the conversation has shifted,” says motorcycle aficionado Lewis. “I’m sitting here in leather Kevlar pants as we speak, about to go into a meeting. Not only are companies making cute technical stuff that you could wear to work—rather than some weird leather pants with pink embroidery all over the butt that you’d never wear—they’re making things we can actually use.”

Attendees at events for Babes Ride Out (or BRO, the ironic abbreviation they’ve adopted) come to America from as far away as Sweden and South America. Some have ridden since they could walk; some can’t operate a bike at all, preferring always to be a passenger and imbibe the inspirational atmosphere. There’s always plenty of denim and leather on-site—but the hipster kind, not the leather-daddy look. Local shops give classes on basic bike maintenance. Some women get tattoos to commemorate the experience.

“People camp, and there are trailers, too,” Lewis says. “The idea is that you grab coffee and breakfast, and then during the day everyone is out riding. And then all the stuff happens in the evenings with bands or karaoke and slow races”—feats of throttle control.

Earlier this year, a 96-year-old woman joined them at camp; she’d first ridden cross-country on her motorcycle 75 years ago. Last summer the annual California desert meetup saw 1,700 women ride in Yucca Valley; 500 attended an East Coast campout in the Catskill Mountains in New York; 700 attended the most recent Babes in the Dirt in Lebec, Calif.

“Maybe people think that women who ride are pretty tough and badass, which is probably true, but all in all, women riders come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and lifestyles, so any label that you want to give them does not really work,” co-founder Violet says. “I can honestly say that there is no ‘type’ … and we like it that way!”

Be Here Next for Motor-Loving Ladies

The Dream Roll
Set at New Frontier Ranch in the southern wilds of Oregon, the Dream Roll offers camping, tattoos, dirt trails, an on-site bar, and water activities near stunningly picturesque Crater Lake. Aug. 23–25; Ashland, Ore.

Wild Gypsy Tour – Sturgis Buffalo Chip
The biggest and baddest Gypsy festival of the year, the five-day South Dakota event will appeal to the truly unbridled spirit with Super Hooligan races, minibike showdowns, the Wall of Death—and multiple concerts including Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Snoop Dogg, and Styx. Aug. 3–7; Sturgis, S.D.

Babes in the Dirt East
A mix of flat-track and motocross riding gives dirt-loving ladies a place to experience and perfect their off-roading skills. Where Babes Ride Out focuses on asphalt routes, here you’ll be on trails. Sept. 20–22; Greenville, Tenn.

Babes Ride Out 7 – Central Coast
BRO 7 will include the jewels of years past: karaoke, free beer, performances from local bands, route maps for area rides, and hands-on classes for working on your bike. B.Y.O. tent. Oct. 11–13; Santa Margarita, Calif.

Motorcycle Review: 2019 Honda Rebel 500

By | General Posts

There are better entry-level bikes for the money, but few look as cool as the Honda Rebel 500

It’s the rear brake reservoir that sealed it for me. The detail on this one feature is how you know Honda cared for how this bike is styled; the fit and finish is better than an entry-level bike has any right to be. I’m impressed by how much licence Honda gave its designers and how much they let them execute their vision.

Is Honda’s entry-level cruiser aggressive and polarizing? Absolutely. On an aesthetic scale of V-Rod to CTX, the 2019 Honda Rebel 500 swings toward the V-Rod. It looks tough, and more than one Harley-Davidson owner has given the Rebel an appreciative glance. The high-tilted, 11.4-litre fuel tank is retro cool in spirit, but angled and chiseled in a very modern way. Honda designed this bike from the ground up to make it easy to customize, with a completely removable rear fender and subframe making it even easier to accommodate the plethora of aftermarket options. I’m surprised I don’t see more variations of this bike on the road, but customers seem to enjoy the stock look. I agree with them.

The Rebel 500 shares everything but the engine with the Rebel 300. The 500 is $7,199; the 300, $5,299. If you’re lucky, there are still a handful of 2018s on showroom floors, and you might save some money going for one of those. But the fundamental question is, “is the 500 worth $1,900 more than the 300?” The simple answer is “Yes.”

It doesn’t matter that at 188 kilograms, it’s 20 kilos heavier than the 300, because the 471-cc liquid-cooled twin is one of the smoothest powerplants in the entry-level market. The throttle is well-weighted and the transition from closed throttle to open is wonderfully smooth — not always the case with motorcycle fuel injection systems — which means newer riders don’t have to manage that untidy, herky-jerky feeling you can get with many small and medium engines. Honda has a knack for making bikes idiot proof, and this is a good example of that ethos.

In that same spirit, the clutch pull is light and its friction point is quite distinct, making it easy to navigate in town. There’s enough grunt to cut through city traffic and enough top end to keep up on the highway. Though there isn’t a tachometer, the 45-horsepower parallel-twin tops out at around 8,500 rpm, giving it plenty of room in the rev range for passing on the highway.

ABS is standard, which is appropriate for this class — and I’d argue any class of street bike. The single, 296-millimetre rotor up front is paired with a two-piston caliper – I still think a 188 kg bike should have bigger brakes. The back brake is a 240-millimetre single-piston disc, and feels a lot less wooden than other back brakes. More than on most beginner bikes, I found myself using the back brake as well as the front.

The heft of the 500 is well hidden by its low 691 millimetre seat height. Its comparatively long 1,491-mm wheelbase, meanwhile, gives the Rebel more stability and road presence than a 500 ought. Does it handle as well as a sport bike? If you care, you haven’t read this far. The-41 mm conventional forks and twin rear shocks are adequate and provide good levels of compliance. The wide bars help get the bike tipped in, and ground clearance is more than enough for riders of this class. Road manners are relaxed, and there’s plenty of travel to manage the potholes without harshness.

There are a few quibbles however. The clutch cover, for instance, intrudes into the right leg area. This is a major flaw in the ergonomics of this otherwise laid-out motorcycle. The other is Honda’s habit of putting the horn above the indicator switch on the handlebar. The result is I kept getting flipped off when all I was trying to do was activate the turn signal.

The gauge cluster is also a little tricky to read when the sun is shining directly on it. The fuel gauge is a welcome addition but a lot of entry-level bikes now have tachometres and gear-position indicators. This cluster is simple and uncluttered, but decidedly plain compared to some of its competition .

Ultimately, the Rebel 500 is exactly the right bike for you if you value aesthetics, even more so if you’re looking for something easy to ride comfortable and confidence inspiring that also packs a surprising road presence. There are other entry level bikes for less money — but none that are cruisers this well executed.

Exclusive in the Cantina – Subscribe Today

By | General Posts

Bikernet Weekly News for 01 August 2019

Sturgis is starting tomorrow and news is coming in from the road out. The cute little Easyriders French editor is coming to see me next week. Frankie went to MetalSport about his FXR front wheel yesterday and is coming to see me around his Dyna front wheel today.

Hell, James and Jeremiah rolled James’ Dyna in the shop yesterday while George “The Wild Brush and I worked on the canopy latch. They replaced his stock clutch with an extra plate Barnett clutch. We will bring you a report next week. Works like a champ, if you have upgraded your performance package.

I’m also working on three bike features for Bikernet Readers. Let’s hit the news:

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WEEKLY NEWS IN THE CANTINA

Motorcycle Museums Worth Making a Pit Stop For

Every bike has a story and taking a look back at how motorcycles have evolved over the years can bring out the warm fuzzies of even the toughest rider. Lucky for us history buffs, there are a ton of museums around the United States that will gladly transport you back in time and show you just how far we’ve come in the motorcycle industry.

Check out our list of the top five motorcycle museums you need to visit below.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS IN THE CANTINA

Benelli teases Harley-Davidson Street 750 rival Leoncino 500

By | General Posts

Internationally, Benelli retails the Leoncino 500 in two variants – a road version and a more off-road friendly one – but the manufacturer is likely to launch only the road-going version in India.

Benelli Leoncino 500 has been on the upcoming motorcycles list for the Indian market for a long time but now the launch may have just been drawn closer. Benelli India recently teased the launching of a new motorcycle in India and reports suggest the new Leoncino 500 is set to launch in the country in the coming months. Internationally, Benelli retails the Leoncino 500 in two variants – a road version and a more off-road friendly one – but the manufacturer is likely to launch only the road-going version in India.

Benelli Leoncino 500 is a mid-capacity neo-retro motorcycle powered by a 499.6cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected parallel-twin engine that develops 47.6 hp at 8,500 rpm and 45 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. Expect the Leoncino 500 to launch at about Rs 4.5-5 lakh (ex-showroom). It doesn’t have a direct rival in India but in terms of price, it will rival Harley-Davidson Street 750 which retails at Rs 5.33 lakh (ex-showroom) and Kawasaki Ninja 400 which is priced at Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom).

Benelli Leoncino 500 is a naked street motorcycle with a projector headlamp and a distinctive design feature involving metal ornament in the shape of a lion on the front fender (Leoncino’s literal translation from Italian is lion cub). It’ll come with an all-digital instrument cluster and the tail section has a very minimalistic design.

Other cycle parts include 320 mm twin discs up front and a 260mm single disc at the rear with ABS (Anti-lock Braking system). For suspension, the bike gets 50 mm USD (upside down forks) upfront and an adjustable monoshock at the rear.

The motorcycle manufacturer from Italy went through some financial hiccups after it parted ways with its erstwhile partner DSK Motowheels. Now the company has collaborated with Adishwar Auto Ride India for its future expansion projects in the country.

Benelli hopes to come up with a number of new dealerships across India and grow its current market share which is not in its finest state as of now. But to turn the tables in its favour, Benelli is adopting an aggressive approach which is not just limited to the new bike or showroom launches, but also improving the ownership experience.