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Ujjwal Dey

Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in ‘Bullitt’ sells for $3.4 million

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This was the highest price a Ford Mustang ever fetched in any auction.

The 1968 Ford Mustang GT that Steve McQueen drove in the classic car chase from the movie “Bullitt, one of the most famed cars from American cinema, sold for $3.4 million (£2.60 million) at auction in Florida on Friday, Mecum Auctions said.

It was the highest price ever paid for a Ford Mustang at auction, according to David Morton, marketing manager for the auction house in Kissimmee, near Orlando. The buyer has not been publicly identified.

“The hammer dropped at $3.4 million, but with buyers’ fees, the total cost is $3.74 million,” he said, adding it shattered the auction house’s previous record set last year of $2.2 million.

The unrestored muscle car, its “highland green” paint looking rusty and black upholstery splitting apart, starred in a 10-minute sequence in the 1968 film, getting airborne a few times as it sped through the hilly streets of San Francisco.

The car was auctioned without a reserve, or minimum sale price, a risky decision that could have forced the owners to sell low.

McQueen filmed with the window down so viewers could see he was behind the wheel. Although credited as the driver, McQueen actually shared the wheel with Hollywood stunt driver Bud Ekins, according to the movie database IMDB.

Many movie buffs view the chase as ground-breaking for its duration and white-knuckle drama. The sequence forgoes a score in favour of roaring engines and screeching tires. McQueen, playing the no-nonsense police Lieutenant Frank Bullitt, was chasing bad guys who drove a black 1968 Dodge Charger.

After filming, the Mustang was sold to a Warner Brothers employee, and later to a New Jersey police detective. He in turn sold it for $6,000 in 1974 to Robert Kiernan of Madison, New Jersey, who held onto the car until he died in 2014.

Kiernan rejected multiple offers for the car, including one from McQueen himself, according to the New York Times. He left it to his son, Sean.

“I would like to appeal to you to get back my ’68 Mustang,” McQueen wrote to Kiernan in 1977, according to the Times. “I would like very much to keep it in the family, in its original condition as it was used in the film, rather than have it restored; which is simply personal with me.”

McQueen died in 1980 at age 50. Robert Kiernan never responded to McQueen’s letter, which Sean Kiernan still has, the Times said.

Sean Kiernan told Mecum in a promotional video that his mother drove the car until the clutch failed in 1980. It went nearly 40 years without being driven until recently, with 65,000 miles on the odometer, Kiernan said.

Hero Motosports rally rider Paulo Goncalves dies at Dakar Rally

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from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com
from https://www.theguardian.com/

Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015.

Riyadh: Tragedy struck Hero MotoSports Team on Sunday as its Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves met with a fatal accident during the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally. Paulo, aged 40, passed away from a fall sustained 276 kilometers into today’s special zone.

“The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest. Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead,” Hero Motosport said in a release.

Fondly known as ‘speedy Goncalves’, it was 13th Dakar for the Portuguese, one of the most experienced riders on the field.

He made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015

He has had an illustrious journey in the rally-racing world, including a series of remarkable performances at the world’s most prestigious rallies. He was crowned 2013 FIM Cross Country Rally World Champion.

“Words cannot describe our shock and loss at this moment. It isn’t just a team, it is a family for us and we are devastated with the passing away of one of our members, Paulo Goncalves,” Wolfgang Fischer, Head of Hero MotoSports Team Rally said.

“He joined the Team in April last year and within no time became an integral part of the Hero MotoSports Team family. He will be dearly missed and always be fondly remembered by us.

“Paulo was a true champion, gentleman, reliable friend to everyone in the racing world and a role model as sportsman and personality. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” he said.

The Portuguese motorcycle rider Paulo Gonçalves died after a crash in the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, organisers said.

The 40-year-old Hero Motosports entrant, taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally since making his debut in 2006, fell after 276km of the special stage from the capital Riyadh to Wadi al-Dawasir.

“The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest,” organisers said in a statement.

“Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead. The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family.”

Gonçalves was the first competitor to die in the gruelling endurance event since the Polish motorcycle rider Michal Hernik in Argentina in 2015.

The Portuguese finished in the top 10 at the Dakar Rally four times and was runner-up in 2015 to the Spaniard Marc Coma, who is competing this year as co-driver to the double Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Gonçalves suffered mechanical problems on Friday, having to change his bike’s engine to stay in the race, and dropped to 46th overall after the sixth stage.

“The target now is to do my best, because the result at the end … there is no way to get a good result. Instead I’ll try to do good stages every day possible and that’s what I’m looking for,” Gonçalves said then.

The experienced Portuguese had competed in the Dakar on three continents, from its origins in Africa to South America and this year’s debut in the Middle East.

The 2013 cross-country rallies world champion was representing the Indian Hero Motosports team, along with his brother-in-law Joaquim Rodrigues, after five years racing with Honda.

Gonçalves crashed out on the fifth stage in Peru last year. Rodrigues broke his back in a Dakar crash two years ago but returned after extensive surgery and was 27th after stage six.

Sunday’s 546km stage, the longest of the event, was won by the Spaniard Joan Barreda with the American Ricky Brabec extending his overall lead in the category.

The Australian Toby Price, the defending champion, finished an hour and 20 minutes behind Barreda but organisers said he stopped to try to help Gonçalves and will have his position recalculated.

The Spaniard Carlos Sainz, a two-times Dakar winner driving a Mini buggy, took his third stage win of the event in the cars category to extend his lead over Toyota’s reigning champion, Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar, to 10 minutes. Mini have now won six of the seven stages.

London Motorcycle Show on the horizon

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by Fraser Addecott from https://www.mirror.co.uk/

Check out all the latest machinery, plus a whole lot more, at the capital’s big bike fest

The post-Christmas winter months are probably not most bikers’ favourite time of the year – seeming cold, wet and miserable.

One bright spot on the horizon, however, is the ever-popular London Motorcycle Show.

This annual extravaganza continues to go from strength to strength and the 2020 edition looks like being no exception.

Alongside the latest machines from the world’s leading manufacturers, visitors will be able to see explosive live-action racing, rare classic machines, biking celebrities and a UK-exclusive celebration of iconic racer Barry Sheene.

All the new models from AJS, BMW, CCM, CF Moto, Ducati, Ecooter, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Mutt Motorcycles, MV Agusta, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph, Yamaha and Zero will be on show.

Nine of Sheene’s legendary race machines (including his two title-winning bikes) are being flown in from Australia specially for the show.

And teammate Steve Parrish and Suzuki chief technician during Sheene’s winning years will be onstage sharing insight and anecdotes.

Race fans will be kept enthralled with a completely revamped Michelin Thunderdrome live-action event once again taking over the centre of the show.

The free races will see the world’s fastest road racer Peter Hickman going head-to-head with fellow Isle of Man TT competitors John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and James Hillier.

Visitors can purchase a VIP paddock pass, which allows them access to the racing stars and an unbeatable view of the action.

Alongside that, the Classic TT will officially be launched at the show, while, in between races, John McGuinness will be found propping up the bar at his own pub.

The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner will be pulling pints and sharing tales from his incredible career with punters throughout the weekend.

Statistics show 41% of riders are wearing helmets that are more than five years old and beyond the manufacturer’s service life.

Anyone who brings their old helmet to the show will receive a free gift and the opportunity to purchase a replacement at a bargain price.

Those wanting to take part should sign up beforehand at helmetamnesty.com.

Motorcyclists looking to escape on an adventure this year will find plenty of inspiration in the Adventure Zone and Bonhams will be bringing rare and exotic machines from the legendary Italian manufacturer Giancarlo Morbidelli collection.

The show is on February 14-16, at ExCel, East London.

For information and reduced-price early-bird tickets, visit mcnmotorcycleshow.com.

E-scooter injuries in US jump 222% in 4 years

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According to a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study, electric scooter-related injuries in the US jumped 222 per cent between 2014 and 2018, with over 39,000 people injuring themselves.

San Francisco: E-scooters may have become popular as more people are becoming aware of its benefits and convenience, but there has been a major surge in incidents of injuries related to scooters, particularly among young adults in the US.

According to a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study, electric scooter-related injuries in the US jumped 222 per cent between 2014 and 2018, with over 39,000 people injuring themselves.

The number of hospital admissions soared by 365 per cent to a total of nearly 3,300, according to the UCSF study.

“E-scooters are a fast and convenient form of transportation and help to lessen traffic congestion, especially in dense, high-traffic areas,” Benjamin N. Breyer, MD, a UCSF Health urologist and corresponding author, said in a statement.

The rise in the spate of such incidents was also due to the lack of helmets; almost a third of injuries involved some kind of head trauma.

Nearly a third of the patients suffered head trauma — more than twice the rate of head injuries to bicyclists.

About a third of the e-scooter injuries were to women, and people between the ages of 18 and 34 were the most often injured for the first time in 2018.

“But we’re very concerned about the significant increase in injuries and hospital admissions that we documented, particularly during the last year, and especially with young people, where the proportion of hospital admissions increased 354 per cent,” Breyer added.

The UCSF team had previously looked at bicycle injuries using the same data set and found scooter riders had a higher proportion of head injuries, which was also identified in this study.

Motorised scooters have become more ubiquitous in the last few years, particularly within the US’ biggest cities and suburbs, health officials and medical experts across the country grew increasingly alarmed by the number of fractures, dislocations and head injuries appearing in trauma centres.

Regulatory oversight is largely absent about where people can ride scooters and whether helmets are mandatory: Previous research showed that only a fraction of injured e-scooter riders (ranging from 2 per cent to about 5 per cent) wore helmets when they were hurt.

Is a flying motorcycle the future of riding?

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by Chris Best from https://www.wkrg.com

The future of riding, may not be riding at all, but flying. That’s if you can afford it. French auto-maker “Lazarus” is showing off its new “motorcycle” that is more about wings than wheels.

It’s called “La Moto Volante”…sounds fancy right? But it just translates to “flying motorcycle.” Four turbines boost the bike from the ground to the sky…talk about getting in the wind. Downside is it will only fly for about 10 minutes at a time…oh and there’s the price tag.

The company will only be making five of them…and they are $560 thousand dollars each. So although the dream of flying motorcycles may be coming true…It will remain a dream for virtually everyone on the planet.

Rod Copes quits as Royal Enfield North America President

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Before joining Royal Enfield in 2014, Copes worked with Harley Davidson for 20 years.

Former Harley executive Rod Copes has quit from his role of President of Royal Enfield North America, where he was heading the North and Latin America for last 5 years, reveals a LiveMint report.

Copes has previously worked with Harley Davidson for 20 years till August 2014, before joining Royal Enfield.

An alumni of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Copes was a key figure in setting up Royal Enfield’s operations in the USA and Canada. Later in May 2019, he also took over the responsibility of the Latin American market, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.

The report claims that Rod Copes will continue his work until the end of February. It quotes a person from the company who said that Copes’ exit could be a blow to Royal Enfield in terms of further expansion of the brand’s presence in North American market.

This is the second big exit among the key persons of the company, after Pierre Terblanche resigned in July 2016. Pierre Terblanche is a famous motorcycle designer, who joined Royal Enfield in November 2014.

In North America, RE has around 100 dealers. The company is aiming to scale up the sales volumes to around 10,000-15,000 units by mid-2020. It is banking on the 650cc models for that goal.

First Harley-Davidson Edition GMC Pickup in history introduced

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Milwaukee – Jan. 10, 2020 –Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE:HOG) and Tuscany Motor Co. will introduce the first Harley-Davidson edition GMC pickup in history at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 11, 2020. Only 250 Harley-Davidson branded GMC® Sierra® trucks will be available through select authorized GMC/Tuscany dealers in North America.  

“Fans have long hungered for a limited edition GMC truck that celebrates their passion for Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” said Jeff Burttschell, Vice President, Tuscany Motor Co. “Working closely with Brad Richards, Vice President of Styling and Design at Harley-Davidson, we created a fantastic truck worthy of the Harley-Davidson name. For the first time in history, it will be possible to rumble down the road in a V8 powered Harley-Davidson edition GMC truck.” 

The new pickup includes over 65 edition-specific components that make the 2020 model truck distinctly Harley-Davidson. The styling was inspired by the famous Harley-Davidson® Fat Boy® model.  

“Harley-Davidson and GMC are two of the most recognizable and admired American brands in the world,” said Jon Bekefy, General Manager of Brand Marketing at Harley-Davidson, Inc. “We’re proud of the new Harley-Davidson edition GMC Sierra. It truly reflects Harley-Davidson’s passion for giving committed riders new ways to share their affinity for the brand and for riding.”

The Tuscany team begins with a GMC Sierra truck and then installs many motorcycle-inspired components. These include Harley-Davidson branded 22” milled aluminum wheels styled and inspired by the Harley-Davidson Fatboy model, a custom tuned exhaust with Harley-Davidson exclusive solid billet aluminum tips, distinctive Harley-Davidson bar and shield badging, stainless steel Harley-Davidson gauges, billet pedals, two-tone diamond stitched and perforated custom leather seating surfaces, and official numbered Harley-Davidson center console badge.

Additional edition-specific components that add to the aggressive look of the truck include, custom tuned BDS suspension lift with upgraded Fox shocks, 35” all-terrain tires, lighted power deploying running boards with unique integrated rocker trim, custom fender flares, functional fender vents, front bumper redesign with integrated LED light bar, custom design Harley-Davidson grille with Bar & Shield insert, replacement functional Harley-Davidson designed induction style hood, rear bumper redesign with custom exhaust ports, Harley-Davidson tailgate appliqué, color-matched Harley-Davidson inspired tonneau cover with debossed Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo, carpeted bed mat with Harley-Davidson logo, Harley-Davidson floor mats, Harley-Davidson door entry sills, custom accent color door, dash and steering wheel trim.

Under the arrangement, Tuscany will provide the GMC Sierra and manufacture the interior and exterior components under Harley-Davidson’s direction. The 2020 Harley-Davidson GMC will be available for delivery to the retail public at select authorized GMC dealers beginning February 2020. GMC dealers and the retail public can also reserve their vehicle by visiting HarleyTruck.com/GMC or calling (817.769.4720).

Motorcycle Legend Colin Seeley Dead At 84

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by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://www.rideapart.com

Legendary British motorcycle frame builder and racer Colin Seeley passed away after a long illness on January 7, 2020, at the age of 84. A lifelong engineering genius, Seeley’s seemingly endless curiosity combined with a passionate love for motorcycles meant he figured out his life’s general direction from an early age. The motorcycle world was better for it, and indeed, would not be what it is today without his contributions.

Seeley did all kinds of racing from 1954 to 1967, but made a name for himself in sidecar racing. Once retired from that phase of his career, he took up residence in his workshop—and might perhaps be most well-known for the incomparable frames he made for Nortons and other British motorcycles of the day.

However, of significant note as well were the frames he eventually made for ‘70s Japanese motorcycles, such as this sumptuous 1973 Seeley-Kawasaki H2A. By this point, Kawasaki’s engine-building prowess far outstripped the torsional rigidity of its available frames—but Seeley’s excellent engineering and execution handily solved that problem.

Stick these powerful, technically-exemplary-for-their-time engines inside a frame that can properly direct all that power, and you’re in business! Privateer racers loved Seeley frames as well, and he did a thriving business in both road-going and racing machines.

Even now, in the first quarter of the 21st century, vintage racers still win events by riding Seeley-framed machines, including twelve wins at the Manx Grand Prix. In later life, Seeley dedicated his time to charity work, founding the Joan Seeley Pain Relief Memorial Trust in 1979, in honor of his late first wife.

Seeley’s contributions to the motorcycling world will always be valued, and he will be greatly missed. We at RideApart extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends in this difficult time.