Category

General Posts

Car and Motorcycle Companies Now Making Electric Bikes

By General Posts

Lee Iacocca with his electric bike in 1998. It had a lead-acid battery with a 15-mile range and a top speed of 15 miles an hour.

by Roy Furchgott from https://www.nytimes.com

They see branding opportunities as the pandemic and a desire by cities to curb traffic propel e-bike sales to new heights.

The transportation industry has seen the future, and the future is 1895.

That was the year Ogden Bolton Jr. of Canton, Ohio, was awarded U.S. Patent 552,271 for an “electrical bicycle.” A century and change later, electric bikes have gained new currency as car and motorcycle companies like Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Yamaha have horned into the market with their own designs.

While the pandemic has accelerated bike sales, the overriding attraction is that cities worldwide are beginning to restrict motor traffic. These companies are betting that e-bikes are the urban vehicles of tomorrow — or at least vehicles for good publicity today.

“In the past 12 to 18 months, you have seen a lot of new brands come into the market,” said Andrew Engelmann, an e-bike sales and marketing manager at Yamaha, which has been in the electric bike business since 1993 and claims sales of two million worldwide. “We in the U.S. have not seen this new energy toward cycling since Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France.”

Credit the coronavirus pandemic, which has ignited bike sales of all stripes, but none so much as e-bikes. While retail unit sales of bicycles from January to October last year were up 46 percent from a year earlier, electric bikes were up 140 percent. Measured in dollars, regular bikes were up 67 percent and e-bikes 158 percent — so don’t expect a discount. Those numbers, from the market researchers at NPD, do not include online-only retailers such as Rad Power Bikes, so sales may actually be higher still.

Ogden Bolton aside, there is a historical connection between bicycles and motorcycles. Many early motorcycles came from bicycle makers that simply clapped a motor on a bike, often retaining the pedals in the style of a moped.

The automotive industry’s bicycle connection is more recent, with the likes of Malcolm Bricklin and Lee Iacocca introducing electric bikes in the ’90s. Both flopped. Mr. Iacocca’s design, typical for the time, was hampered by a lead-acid battery with a 15-mile range and a top speed of 15 miles an hour. Many car companies, including Ford, Audi, Maserati and BMW, have gotten into and out of e-bikes since.

“No car company has had any success selling an electric bicycle,” said Don DiCostanzo, chief executive of Pedego Electric Bikes, who in 2014 licensed a bike design to Ford. “It’s fool’s gold. It can never replace the profit on a car.”

Yet car and motorcycle makers are being drawn in. “I think they are seeing a lot of the same opportunity we see,” said Ian Kenny, who leads the e-bike effort at the bicycle company Specialized. “But I think there is a very big difference between demonstrating you can do something and doing something very well at scale.”

However, changes in the way people get about, especially in Europe and Asia, are enticing motor vehicle companies that operate internationally. Overseas, in cities that manage pollution and overcrowded streets by restricting motor traffic, e-bikes often fill a gap.

“In Europe, the e-bike is more of a fundamental transportation tool,” said Dirk Sorenson, an analyst for NPD. London, Madrid, Oslo and Paris are among the growing number of cities restricting downtown traffic.

The pandemic has American cities testing similar restrictions. Boston, Minneapolis and a number of California cities have instituted Slow Streets programs, restricting motor traffic on side streets in favor of cycling and walking. It even has UPS, Amazon and DHL trying out e-cargo bikes in New York.

“There is a huge opportunity for e-bikes in the U.S., which is a huge untapped market,” said Rasheq Zarif, a mobility technology expert for the consulting firm Deloitte.

Some companies are preparing now for the possibility that “micromobility,” as the buzzword has it, will catch on here.

“Let’s imagine Harley-Davison is not a motorcycle company but a mobility company,” said Aaron Frank, brand director for Serial 1, which builds an e-bike in partnership with Harley. “There is a strong argument we can do for urban commuters what Harley-Davison did for motorcycles.”

Other companies see e-bikes as a gateway to sell their primary products. Though best known for its motorcycles, Ducati North America wants e-bikes to “potentially turn people on to Ducati,” its chief executive, Jason Chinnock, said. “And we’ve seen that with people at some events and with the media reaching out.”

E-bikes may be more expensive than bicycles, but are cheaper than cars or motorcycles. And improved motor and battery technology is bringing prices down. Low-priced e-bikes with a motor in the wheel hub — similar to that 1895 design — can be had for about $1,000. Prices for versions with more complex, geared motors at the pedals can reach more than $10,000.

“Spending $1,000 on a bike seems out there,” Mr. Kenny said, “but when you don’t look at it as a toy — when it becomes transportation — it becomes a very different conversation.”

Price isn’t the only hurdle. E-bikes confront a crippling hodgepodge of laws. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed “low speed” e-bikes (with a motor equivalent to 1 horsepower or less) a bicycle, states still decide where that bike can be ridden.

“It’s up to 50 states to define the use, and that’s been a big problem in the past,” said Claudia Wasko, general manager of Bosch eBike, a prominent manufacturer of drive systems.

The PeopleForBikes coalition drafted model state legislation to allow most e-bikes in bike lanes and parks. It suggests three classes of e-bike, with a top speed between 20 and 28 m.p.h. Twenty-eight states have adopted some version of the legislation.

Some companies may be less concerned with the future of mobility and more interested in getting some attention now.

“I think it’s a halo thing,” said Mr. DiCostanzo, whose company has produced e-bikes for Tommy Bahama, Ford and others. Halo vehicles represent a brand’s aspirations, like concept cars.

“I think that’s what it is for Ford,” he added. “They wanted it for window dressing, and that’s what they got. I think they sold 500 in the five years it ran.”

Mercedes, which is taking orders for its top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team V11 e-bike at $12,000, said it was a chance to showcase its ability with high-tech materials from carbon fiber to paint.

“High-performance road bikes and e-bikes provide a great way to showcase such technologies into a range of consumer products,” said Damian Cook, a spokesman.

For some in the bicycle industry this all smacks of déjà vu. In the 1970s, a bike boom was thought to presage a new future for transportation in which cycling was central. But it failed. Though there were many contributing factors, roads weren’t made more bicycle-friendly and people didn’t want to arrive at work sweaty.

With the combination of Slow Streets programs, which address the first problem, electric bikes, which address the second, and a pandemic that has given people a chance to adjust to both, experts like Mr. Zarif find hope.

“When you give people a chance to try something, it reduces resistance to change,” he said. “As a society, the reality is we go forward — we don’t go backward.”

Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso’s paint shop experts create unique and fan-favorite designs for riders

By General Posts

by Allison Tunstall from https://valpo.life

From custom jobs to throwback styles, Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso’s Paint Shop is a unique service offered in-store—one of the only Harley-Davidson dealers in the Midwest to house its Paint Shop right in the service center. Dealers from surrounding states from Ohio to Kentucky send their parts to the shop located on US 30, where the “Dynamic Duo,” John Galloway and Randy Melton, have been creating one-of-a-kind motorcycle looks for decades.

It is easy to see why so many riders and dealers trust Galloway and Melton with their bikes. Galloway, who started his painting career in his brother’s motorcycle shop and has continued painting for over 30 years. He and his team use only the most state-of-the-art technology and methods to create custom and industry-standard style. They are commited to creating quality, lasting work their customers love.

“We don’t do any shortcuts,” Galloway said. “We have a reputation of creating lasting work. We don’t want people to come back in a few years saying they’ve had problems, so we use the best product you can get as far as paint, primer, paint guns, air brushes, and more. Our spray booth is top of the line, which helps us get a better product out.”

“Recently, two riders brought their bikes to us and said that we’re the only ones they trust to create the look they want for their bikes,” he continued. “For years, I’ve worked with dealerships in Ohio, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, which continue to send me parts and tell me how satisfied their customers were with the job. It really makes a difference.”

Galloway and Melton specialize in repair and refinishing Harleys. If a bike has a scratch, dent, ding, mark, you name it, the duo gets to work repairing and detailing so it looks as if the damage never happened.

The Paint Shop also offers custom jobs, like the signature Harley-Davidson hot rod flames and custom graphics and airbrushed work. Galloway remembers a bike from a few years back that was Celtic-themed with Celtic symbols around the entire bike. They even recreate beloved styles that Harley-Davidson no longer makes. Currently, Galloway and Melton are recreating a stock paint job, one that is no longer available, on a 1997 bike.

“Tastes change and styles come back now and again,” Galloway said. “Harley-Davidson came out with a CVO with the Harley-Davidson number one on the gas tank, which was a little different than styles before. I’ve recreated that paint job probably 15 times. The hot rod flames come and go. Some people know exactly what they want for their bike, some people may only have a general idea of what they want and will let us run with it. For jobs like those, we spend a more time on doing a good job for them to make sure, in the end, they have the bike of their dreams.”

“I’ve had so many customers who are just overwhelmed and excited about the work we did,” Galloway said. “It’s gratifying to hear customers tell you that your work is even better than they could have imagined. I don’t interact with customers as much as I have in the past, so when I do, I love seeing that twinkle in their eyes when they see their fresh bike for the first time.”

Stop in the Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso Paint Shop today to see what Galloway and Melton are creating. Make sure to say hello to Willow, the dog, who comes to work with Galloway every day.

For more information about Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso’s Paint Shop and how to make an appointment, visit their site at https://www.hdvalpo.com/Services/The-Paint-Shop.

Four generations of a family in motorcycle sales

By General Posts

by Julie Perine from https://www.connect-bridgeport.com

Those who were into the Suzuki GT750 might remember Leeson’s Import Motors moving into its West Main Street storefront. That was in 1970, but the history of the family-owned retailer dates back much further.

It all started in the 1930s when Paul Leeson started a motorcycle shop out of his house on James Street, selling Harley Davidson and Triumph bikes. During the ‘40s, the shop was relocated to Route 50 in Adamston, operating into the ‘50s when Leeson retired.

“Our grandfather loved motorcycles and it is just in our blood,” said Shawna Merrill, current sales manager. “Once you have ridden a motorcycle, it gives you such a sense of freedom. There is nothing else that makes you feel the way you do when you are riding.”

In 1968, Leeson’s daughter Janice and her husband Sam reopened the shop, then called Clarksburg Suzuki Sales. Just two years later, Leeson Import Motors came full circle when it returned to Bridgeport. Four generations and many members of the Leeson family have been part of the operation which today carries a variety of power sports vehicles and accessories.

“We sell Suzuki motorcycles and ATVs, Kawasaki Motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides, Kymco scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides, Arctic Cat ATVs and side-by-sides and SSR Pit bikes, off-road motorcycles, youth electric ATVs and side-by-sides,” Merrill said. “We are a full-service dealership, offering sales, parts and service.”

Through the years, there have been definite trends and sought-after vehicles. The Suzuki T20 and RM370 of the late-1960s and ‘70s gave way to the Kawasaki 900 Eliminator of the ‘80s. That decade also featured Suzuki’s buy-out of the GSXRs and, of course, the ATV era as Suzuki introduced the Quad Runner 125 and 185.

“In the 1990s, ATVs and motorcycles got bigger and faster,” Merrill said. “Kawasaki built one of the largest cruisers – the Vulcan 1500 and the Bayou 400 4×4. In the late 1990s, Suzuki built the fastest stock street bike, the HAYABUSA.”

As the new millennium rolled in, side-by-sides gained popularity.

“Kawasaki actually brought out the first side-by-side back in 1988 – the Kawasaki Mule – but it wasn’t until the side-by-sides got a little faster that they became more popular,” Merrill said. “Arctic Cat had the Prowler 650, Kymco had the UXV500 and Kawasaki had the Teryx.”

Since 2010, the focus has been on off-road vehicles. “The sport model side-by-sides are the popular vehicles right now. The Arctic Cat Wildcat XX or the Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000 are the hot models these days,” Merrill said.

With 2021 featuring the selection of ATVs, side-by-sides, dirt bikes and street motorcycles – as well as helmets, jerseys, tire and roll kits and many other extras – there is something for just about everyone.

“We currently have a team of 16 associates that work hard so you can play hard,” Merrill said. “We have had Suzuki since 1968, Kawasaki since 1984, Artic Cat since 1996, Kymco since 2008 and SSR since 2016.”

Leeson’s also special orders parts and ships. Ordering is available through the dealership, as well as online at either leesonsmotors.com or leesonsatv on Ebay.

Leeson’s Import Motors is located at 320 West Main Street and is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Harley-Davidson and TEEX team up to offer specialized motorcycle officer training nationwide

By General Posts

by Erin Wencl (KAGS) from https://www.kagstv.com

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — TEEX and Harley-Davidson have teamed up to offer specialized and advanced training to law enforcement officers who patrol on motorcycles, according to information released by the school Tuesday. The training will be available for law enforcement officers in Texas, as well as motorcycle cops across the country.

The program will offer basic, advanced and instructor-level training courses. Basic level includes 80 hours of training for those officers going directly into the police motorcycle unit. Advanced training will be for experienced officer riders who are hoping to increase their skills and the instructor-level course will certify an officer hoping to build their own training program.

“As a former law enforcement administrator, I know training is key to managing risk,” said Dr. John M. Ray, who is director of the TEEX Institute for Law Enforcement and Protective Services Excellence. “You want to attend a manufacturer specific school because there are subtleties about riding these bikes in high-risk situations. This curriculum is tailored specifically for that.”

Dr. Ray said there will be classroom and “on-track” training. The motorcycles will be provided by Harley-Davidson and they will offer servicing on-site. This is something unique to the program, according to Dr. Ray, because many training programs require students to bring their own bike. By teaming up with Harley-Davidson and their mechanical crews, students will be able to finish the course without worrying about if their own bike will make it through.

“We are proud to partner with TEEX to create a comprehensive training program that allows peace officers to focus completely on improving their skills,” said John Dedeo, GM Field Sales for Harley-Davidson.

Kyle McNew, who is the TEEX Training Manager for the Institute for Law Enforcement and Protective Services Excellence, said the training will be offered in Texas, but also other locations across the country. “That gives us an opportunity to save agencies money by sending their officers to train closer to home.” It also offers an option for those law enforcement agencies that are considering starting up motorcycle traffic enforcement.

If you would like to register, click here or call Kyle McNew at 979-458-2762. You can also email him at kyle.mcnew@teex.tamu.edu.

INDIAN MOTORCYCLE’S NEW 2021 CHIEFTAIN ELITE COMBINES UNMATCHED POWER WITH BOLD, CUSTOM-INSPIRED STYLING

By General Posts

America’s First Motorcycle Company Celebrates its 120-Year Anniversary with an Ultra-Exclusive
Run of Only 120

MINNEAPOLIS (March 3, 2021) – Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, today unveiled the latest in its “Elite” lineup of ultra-premium, limited edition motorcycles with the 2021 Chieftain Elite. Combining unmatched power with bold, custom-inspired styling, the 2021 Chieftain Elite was designed for riders who demand the best of the best and want to stand out from the crowd. Its limited run of only 120 worldwide make it Indian Motorcycle’s most exclusive Elite model yet.

Starting at $34,999, the Chieftain Elite’s premium two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Carbon Crystal paint delivers a custom-inspired aesthetic. Premium finishes, such as the Thunderstroke 116’s Slate Smoke finish and color-matched badging throughout set the Chieftain Elite apart from any other bagger on the road.

“We designed the Chieftain Elite for riders who want to turn heads and stand out without sacrificing performance or comfort,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle. “The bike’s attention to detail and world-class craftsmanship is second-to-none, while its extreme exclusivity makes it something truly special to own and ride.”

The 2021 Chieftain Elite touts exclusive styling, premium amenities and easy-to-use technology.

Exclusive Styling
Each Chieftain Elite undergoes a meticulous paint process that takes more than 24 hours to complete by hand. From the gunmetal flake layered within the paint to the Slate Smoke engine finishes this premium bagger has a custom feel with utmost attention to detail. The Chieftain Elite’s streamlined fairing and slammed saddlebags with sharp lines and hard edges give the bike a commanding presence, while the two-up Rogue seat delivers a sleek profile. Lowered suspension and a 19-inch precision machined front wheel under an open front fender add to the bike’s custom-inspired design.

Riders can personalize their 2021 Chieftain Elite and truly make it their own through a robust offering of authentic Indian Motorcycle accessories. For touring and comfort, riders can select from a variety of handlebars and seats, including a Low Profile Quick Release Passenger Sissy Bar and Backrest Pad, as well as a color-matched, remote-locking trunk and color-matched hard lower fairings with adjustable air vents.

Riders looking for performance accessories can explore Indian Motorcycle’s Thunderstroke 116 Stage 1 and Stage 2 offerings. The Stage 1 Slip-On Exhaust Kit and Stage 1 Oval Slip-On Muffler Kit deepens the exhaust note while unleashing power. By pairing the Thunderstroke Stage 1 Performance Air Intake or Thunderstroke High-Flow Air Intake with the exhaust or muffler kits, riders will increase horsepower by 8%. For the ultimate in Thunderstroke performance, riders can continue their performance enhancements by adding the Thunderstroke Stage 2 Performance Cams Kit.

Premium Amenities
As standard equipment, the 2021 Chieftain Elite packs premium amenities, including full Pathfinder LED lighting, a tinted flare windshield with push-button power, spacious aluminum select floorboards and an integrated 400-watt PowerBand audio system with crystal-clear sound quality. Standard features include, ABS, keyless ignition, tire pressure monitoring, as well as weatherproof and remote-locking saddlebags with more than 18 gallons of storage.

Easy-to-Use Technology
Indian Motorcycle’s easy-to-use, state-of-the-art technology found throughout the 2021 Chieftain Elite delivers a next-level riding experience. Taking center stage is Indian Motorcycle’s industry-leading, seven-inch Ride Command infotainment system. With connected services riders can view weather and traffic overlays, while Apple CarPlay delivers an easier, more customized level of control for music, navigation preferences, and mobile device information.

As Indian Motorcycle’s most powerful air-cooled engine, the Thunderstroke 116 delivers class-leading performance with 126 ft-lbs of torque. Rear cylinder deactivation improves rider comfort when traversing through slower traffic, and three selectable ride modes, including Tour, Standard and Sport, allow riders to adjust the bike’s throttle response. The throttle map for each ride mode was designed with a specific application in mind, resulting in one motorcycle with three distinct personalities.

Available now at Indian Motorcycle dealers, pricing for the exceptionally exclusive Chieftain Elite starts at $34,999 in the U.S. and $42,999 in Canada.

Moto Anatomy announces 2021 partnerships

By General Posts

Johnny Lewis aligns with top brands for 2021 American Flat Track Season

Milwaukee, Wis March 2, 2021: Moto Anatomy x Royal Enfield rider Johnny Lewis is proud to announce his partners for the 2021 American Flat Track (AFT) season include]ing supporters from his 2020 AFT campaign, which saw Lewis capture Royal Enfield’s first-ever modern-day racing victory at the season finale in Daytona.

2020 marked the first year of development for the Moto Anatomy X Royal Enfield team, Lewis is looking to build upon the success his Moto Anatomy x Royal Enfield team earned at the conclusion of the year. To aid in his 2021 season, Lewis will receive support from multiple top brands in the motorcycling category including SENA, Rekluse and Beringer Brakes. Other notable partners involved in Lewis’ AFT program include Saddlemen, ODI, Lightshoe, Team Lawant and Cometic Gaskets.

“It has been a busy off-season for the team testing and planning for the year ahead,” said Johnny Lewis, Moto Anatomy x Royal Enfield racer. “We have continued the development of the Twins FT and have also aligned ourselves with a handful of world-class brands who are backing our 2021 efforts. On behalf of myself and Royal Enfield, we’re thrilled to have them on board and excited for the upcoming season.”

Lewis will continue working on several programs for Royal Enfield such as Slide School presented by Moto Anatomy and the BUILD TRAIN RACE flat track program as a mentor. SENA, Rekluse and Beringer Brakes will support Lewis’ AFT program while Saddlemen, ODI, Lightshoe, Team Lawant and Cometic Gaskets will support the Lewis across all Royal Enfield programs.

The 2021 Progressive American Flat Track season kicks off on March 12 for the Volusia Half-Mile in Barberville, Fla. Lewis will return to competition with the Royal Enfield Twins FT after extensive testing throughout the offseason. Lewis’ last race in Florida yielded a victory and second place at Daytona AFT finale, and he looks to carry that momentum into the 2021 season opener at Volusia.

Be sure to follow @MotoAnatomyxRoyalEnfield on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest results and insights from the track. The team will continue to release short films documenting each round, which can be seen on Royal Enfield North America’s YouTube channel throughout the season.

Tennessee Motorcycle & Music Revival in May 2021

By General Posts

A 4-DAY RALLY HELD IN TN, THAT SHOWCASES THE AREA’S DEPTH AND DEVOTION TO MUSIC, MOTORCYCLES, FRIENDS, FAMILY AND GENUINE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY.

The Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival is located at the majestic, 3,500 acre, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch & Campground, owned by country music legend, Loretta Lynn, and home of the AMA Motocross Championships. The Revival will showcase the area’s depth and devotion to Music, Motorcycles, Food, Art, Entertainment, and Southern Hospitality. Join us as we host 4,500+ on-site campers on 400 acres of manicured countryside that adjoins the meandering Hurricane Creek.

A one-of-a-kind experience with a backstage vibe. Nothing better describes the feeling of attending TMMR like the word REVIVAL. It brings you back to what we love the most about Motorcycles, Music, and Friends. Join us for Tennessee’s biggest and best bike rally and music festival wrapped up in one 4-day event!

Live Music featuring Nashville’s Next * Outlaw, Country, Rock, Bluegrass * Singer-Songwriters * Hooligan Racing * Biker Games * Harley-Davidson Demos * Pan America * H.O.G. Pin Stop * BC Moto Invitational Hand-Crafted Custom Motorcycles * Enduro Off-Road Loop * Wall of Death * Speed Shack Bar * Waterin’ Hole * Loretta’s Roadhouse * Bonfires * Bike Shows * Hurricane Creek * Tour Loretta’s Ranch * Swimming Pool * Full Liquor Bars * Food Trucks * Vendors * Official H.O.G. Pin Stop & Much Much More!

The Tennessee Motorcycles & Music Revival is proud to host the 4th edition of the BC Moto Invitational during its celebration of all things “Motorcycles and Music” at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch. Bill Dodge’s “BC Moto Invitational” is a custom motorcycle showcase featuring hand-selected craftsmen displaying some of the country’s best custom motorcycles. It will be aptly situated in the unique setting of a picturesque, creek-side horse barn at Loretta’s.

Click here to purchase your general admission tickets and camping accommodations.

Piaggio, KTM, Honda and Yamaha to set up swappable batteries consortium

By General Posts

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

The consortium will define the standardised technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category, mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.

Piaggio Group on Monday said it has signed a letter of intent with KTM AG, Honda Motor and Yamaha Motor to set up a Swappable Batteries Consortium for motorcycles and light electric vehicles.

The consortium will define the standardised technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category: mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.

The companies will be working closely with interested stakeholders and national, European and international standardisation bodies. The founding members of the consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards. The Consortium will start its activities in May 2021.

In the context of the Paris Climate Agreement and the transition to electromobility, the founding members of the consortium believe that the availability of a standardised swappable battery system would both promote the widespread use of light electric vehicles and contribute to a more sustainable life-cycle management of batteries used in the transport sector, the companies said in a joint statement.

Also, by extending the range, shortening the charging time and lowering vehicle and infrastructure costs, the manufacturers will try to answer customers’ main concerns regarding the future of electromobility.

Michele Colaninno, Piaggio Group chief of strategy and product, commented, “With the signing of this letter of intent, the signatories show their proactiveness vis-à-vis the major concerns of their customers and the political priorities as regards the electrification of vehicles.”

An international standard for the swappable batteries system will make this technology efficient and at the disposal of the consumers, added Michele Colaninno.

Which Three-Wheeler Fits Your Style?

By General Posts

We offer a brief history of the Three-wheeled vehicle, and take a guess at the lifestyle each fits best.

In 2007, BRP put its three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder on the market and sold 2500 units in the U.S. By 2015, it had sold 1 million units globally. In 2017, it estimated the U.S. three-wheel industry to be good for approximately 40,000 sales a year, and that industry includes competition from historic names like Harley-Davidson and Morgan. Some bikers scoff at the three-legged mechanical portmanteau called an autocycle, but they’re here to stay; in 2020, BRP more than doubled its 2019 volume in the U.S.

Maybe you’re considering joining the growing crowd but aren’t sure which saddle to throw a leg over, here is a brief history of three-wheelers and the people who love them.

Click Here to Read this Photo Feature Article on Bikernet.

Join the Cantina – Subscribe Today.

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

Custom Harley-Davidson Flying Shovel 1957 FL

By General Posts

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

When talking about the exploits of that European Harley-Davidson custom shop by the name Thunderbike, we’re usually treated with reinterpreted modern motorcycles. Occasionally, we also get full custom builds, based on their own frames, and somewhat rarer, conversions of earlier Harleys.

The Flying Shovel, as the one we have here is called, is part of that last category. Originally a 1957 Harley-Davidson FL, it was transformed into something the shop describes as a “true old-school Bobber with rigid frame, but reliable engine.”

What you see before your eyes is the frame of the FL, wrapped around an S&S shovelhead engine. The powerplant is linked to 4-speed gearbox from RevTech and topped by an S7S Super E carburetor also from S&S. The powertrain spins 18-inch wheels of Thunderbike make.

Other than the engine and frame, many of the other parts on this build have been custom-made for it exclusively. We’re talking about things like the exhaust, handlebars, grips, pegs, fuel tank, oil tank, rear fender, all of which have been designed specifically with the Flying Shovel in mind.

Some of these parts, made in brass, were wrapped in nickel, or given an old-finish look to have the appearance the bike belongs to another age, and for the most part, the shop succeeded.

In all, there were around 30 custom bits and pieces that made it into this two-wheeler, but because most were specifically designed for this project, very few of them are available commercially. That means it is extremely difficult to estimate how much it cost to put this thing together, and as usual Thunderbike makes no mention of the cost.

The Flying Shovel was built for a customer, and sadly the world lost track of it since it was completed about three years ago.