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Stainless 1940 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Has Oil Running Through Its Frame

By | General Posts

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

Just like car lovers, motorcycle enthusiasts around the world had to settle for online shows this year. In America, where the bulk of custom shops is located, that was nearly a tragedy in itself.

Most of the nation’s summer events – aside from Sturgis, obviously – were either postponed or canceled. Some bike makers, like Harley-Davidson, stepped in and tried their best to ensure people still have a means to show their creations.

For the Milwaukee-based company, that aid came in the form of The No Show, a Youtube-based series that featured back in June the machines created by 60 builders from 10 countries.

Among them was this 1940 stainless steel Knucklehead, coming our way from Buffalo, NY-based Christian Newman. Built a couple of years back, the bike is the winner of the People’s Champ competition, and the recipient of the prize for best Knucklehead at Born Free.

The build has stainless steel frame and fork, housing the slightly-modified 1940 Knucklehead engine, a narrower-than-usual transmission, and a reworked clutch. One of the most important custom touches involves the way in which that engine gets its oil.

According to the builder, there are almost no hoses on this bike. The oil gets into the engine directly through the frame, via the right-side chain stay, and gets back into its tank through the front downtubes.

Visually, the bike looks like a proper custom build centered around Harley hardware but also blends some elements from the automotive world. The front lens of the headlight, for instance, comes from a 1951 Chevrolet, while the rear lenses (there are two of them) have been taken from Hudson cars made in 1940 and 1941, respectively.

As a side note, had this year’s Born Free show taken place at the scheduled date, Newman says this stainless Knucklehead is not what he would have brought. Instead, the builder was planning to show another stainless steel machine, in the form of a turbo flathead.

 

Harley Virtually Confirms Custom 1250 On Company Website

By | General Posts

by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

The Harley website’s Future Models section has been a revolving door since the brand announced its ambitious plans in July 2018. Since that momentous Annual Dealer Meeting, the Motor Company intermittently teased the Pan America, Bronx, and Custom 1250, keeping customers curious as they further developed the platforms.

With Jochen Zeits taking the reins from Matt Levatich in 2020, many believed the Bar and Shield would scrap its future models and fully return to cruiser-style motorcycles. Like most speculation, half was true (Harley shelved the Bronx indefinitely) and half wasn’t (the Pan America is moving forward). Most recently, the brand added its Custom 1250 prototype back to the Future Models page, paving the way for the concept to finally become a production model.

While Harley officially labels the bike as its Future High-Performance Custom Model, most believe the custom could fill the Sportster’s slot in the company’s lineup. With the long-in-the-tooth model failing to meet Euro5 emissions standards, the MoCo isn’t able to serve a sizeable portion of its customer base. Though the Sportster’s throwback style contributes to its popularity, performance-oriented models like the Indian Scout, Yamaha Bolt, and the new Honda Rebel 1100 are pushing the segment forward.

To meet its competitors, the Custom 1250 would share the same 1250cc 60-degree Revolution Max V-twin powering the new Pan America. Whether the cruiser-styled model will also achieve the Pan America’s claimed 145 horsepower and 90 lb-ft of torque is yet to be confirmed. What looks more certain, however, is that the Sportster’s broad customization possibilities will make it to the new platform.

Of course, the website adds a caveat in fine print: All future models shown may not be available in all markets. Thanks to Harley’s new distribution deal with Hero MotoCorp, we doubt the Custom 1250 will ever see Indian shores. In all honesty, we’ll have to wait for an official Harley release to confirm that the Custom 1250 will even make it to dealer showrooms in 2021, but it’s nice to see it out of the concept waste bin for now.

Pirelli Offers a Trio of Options for the New Ducati Multistrada V4

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The Latest Evolution of the Multistrada Family will be on Sale Equipped with SCORPION™ Trail II as Original Equipment Tires, While Also Being Homologated for SCORPION™ Rally STR and SCORPION™ Rally Off-Road Use

MILAN, Italy (November 30, 2020) – The new Ducati Multistrada V4, recently presented to the public on the digital platforms of the company from Borgo Panigale, represents the fourth generation of Multistrada and is an important step forward in its offering for the maxi enduro segment. The Multistrada V4 is an even more high performing motorcycle compared to its predecessor; designed to show a sporty attitude and versatility at the same time, capable of tackling all conditions in complete safety, on- and off-road.

Pirelli has worked closely with Ducati since the inception of the Multistrada project in 2003 offering to the company from Borgo Panigale tires focused on supporting the attributes of this machine in terms of performance and safety. The first version of the Ducati Multistrada in 2003 was equipped with Pirelli SCORPION™ Sync, the new 2010 model adopting Pirelli SCORPION™ Trail, while the Multistrada 1200 in 2012 was the first to have as original equipment the revolutionary Pirelli SCORPION™ Trail II tires. With the recent introduction of the fourth generation Multistrada, the partnership between this motorcycle family and SCORPION™ Trail II is increasingly strengthened, and it is joined this time by the motorcycle additional homologations for SCORPION™ Rally STR and SCORPION™ Rally tires.

The Ducati Multistrada V4 range features as original equipment tires Pirelli SCORPION™ Trail II in the sizes 120/70 ZR19 M/C 60W TL (D) front and 170/60 ZR17 M/C 72W TL (U) rear, a specification developed specifically for the new Multistrada. The sizes chosen for the new Ducati Multistrada have now become the reference for the maxi enduro segment. For this reason, the motorcycle is homologated also for the Pirelli enduro on/off tires SCORPION™ Rally STR and SCORPION™ Rally in the same sizes, which are more suitable for off-road use and for the needs of bikers who love adventure.

The Multistrada V4 S and Multistrada V4 S Sport models offer motorcyclists the possibility to be purchased with light alloy cast wheels or alternatively with spoke wheels, which will be directly assembled in the factory. In both cases, the original equipment tires remain Pirelli SCORPION™ Trail II.

The three different Pirelli tires homologated for the Ducati Multistrada V4:

SCORPION™ TRAIL II

ON-ROAD 90 / 10 OFF-ROAD

SCORPION ™ Trail II is the perfect combination of the best features offered by an off-road product and those guaranteed by a sport touring tire, specifically designed to meet the most demanding market expectations, and for years the original equipment of prestigious enduro road bikes. Since its market introduction, SCORPION™ Trail II has achieved 11 victories in the enduro street tire comparative tests. The first one was the one promoted by Motorrad in 2015, the year of its debut. From 2016 until 2019, it’s the winner of 10 additional comparative tests organized by the most authoritative industry publications from Europe, achieving results that make this tire one of the most successful products ever from the Pirelli motorcycle range.

SCORPION™ RALLY STR

ON-ROAD 70 / 30 OFF-ROAD

SCORPION™ Rally STR is a tire of the enduro on/off segment that is able to combine the best performance of a rally competition tire with that of an enduro street tire. It’s designed for those motorcyclists that desire a knobby tire with an aggressive look, while being versatile, which translates to a balanced behavior on and off-road. SCORPION™ Rally STR provides optimal off-road performance combined with excellent handling, grip and stability on the road.

SCORPION™ RALLY

ON-ROAD 50 / 50 OFF-ROAD

Pirelli SCORPION™ Rally can rely on the pedigree of the SCORPION™ family, which carries with it all the experience developed through decades of participation in different off-road racing on different types of terrain, from soft sand to hard rock. Born specifically for desert racing and rallies, the SCORPION™ Rally range is enriched with new sizes that have been designed especially for high displacement enduro street bikes. This was made possible by the constant research & development work of Pirelli engineers, which pursued an evolution of all the tire aspects: from tread pattern design to tire structure, from profile to compounds. These sizes, including the ones for the new Ducati Multistrada V4, were designed to guarantee excellent off-road performance including better traction, tear resistance and less wear on the tread, and at the same time to provide high mileage and excellent road stability, even at high speeds and fully loaded.

Harley-Davidson Dynamight Is a Metal Predator

By | General Posts

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

The beauty about the custom projects, be it the car or motorcycle ones, is that generally speaking these products never get old. No matter when a build was made, and no matter how old the base for the project was, many of these creations still turn heads, cause a stir, or ignite debate once they come into the spotlight.

Take this 2010 Harley-Davidson Street Bob, for instance. Or should we say, the Dynamight, as this is its post-conversion nickname, bestowed upon it by the garage responsible for its coming into the world, the Germans from Thunderbike.

Completed a while back after a two-month effort, the motorcycle is a great representative of what custom Harleys mean over in Germany, even if, at first glance, it kind of does not look aggressive, as Thunderbike bikes usually do, but cutesy, like a metal panda of sorts.

But truth be told, it’s anything but. Packing the original 96ci engine, the bike breaths through a custom exhaust system, rides on 23-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels, and bows on an air ride system.

There is a long list of parts that went into the build of this two-wheeler. Thunderbike itself is responsible for most of them, from the rocker boxes and air cleaner to the fuel tank and forward control kit.

The clutch and brake cylinder are from Rebuffini, the speedometer was made by Motogadget, tires from Avon (front) and Metzeler (Pirelli, rear), while the painting is the work of a shop by the name Kruse Design.

We are not given any hint as to how much the entire build cost to make, but we do have the list of some of the parts used and their prices. Simple math gives us a guesstimate of at least 6,500 euros (about $7,800 at today’s exchange rates) – but that does not include a wealth of parts, the base bike, the man-hours invested in it, and paint job.

Harley-Davidson Big Spoke Is All About Wheel Play

By | General Posts

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

Wheels play a big part in the final look of both cars and motorcycles. Sure, together with the type of rubber they are shoed in wheels play a crucial part in the car’s performance or fuel consumption, but they are extremely important in determining a successful or less so build, visually speaking.

Because of the way in which they are made, motorcycles rely heavily on wheels to send the right message across. After all, the two elements are very in-your-face on bikes, and the wrong choice can break a project.

Thunderbike, a German custom garage that has been in the market of customizing Harley-Davidson motorcycles for close to three decades, knows this. We’ve featured them countless times, and in most cases the Germans nailed the wheel choice.

In the case of this build here, wheels were the defining element. They are, in fact, so important that the entire finished build, based on a Street Bob, was christened Big Spoke.

Big Spoke is the name of a massive wheel Thunderbike makes in house. It comes in two sizes, 17- and 21-inches, and three width measurements, from 2.15 inches to 3.5 inches. Its defining trait: the large number of spokes that make up the design, and play a big part in the price of the part: 1,723 euros ($2,061 at today’s rates) is how much the shop is asking for one.

The wheels were not, of course, the only changes made to the Street Bob. Its stance is different not only because of them, but also thanks to the use of an air ride suspension system and a forward control kit. There are visual enhancements as well, such as the new mirrors, handlebar, point cover and front fender, or the seat.

According to our calculations (Thunderbike usually does not say how much its builds cost) the changes on the Big Spoke cost over 5,000 euros (close to $6,000 at today’s exchange rates).

Local motorcycle clubs raise money to feed families during the holidays

By | General Posts

by Tyler Johnson from https://wyo4news.com

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (November 27, 2020) – Motorcycle clubs in and around Sweetwater County raised $3,500 to help feed families during the holiday season.

On Wednesday, Nov. 25, members from Dead Men M.C., Boneyard M.C., Chariots of Light M.C., Unknown Saints M.C., as well as representatives from Flaming Gorge Harley-Davidson presented a check to the Albertson’s store as part of their Tons of Turkey Food Drive.

“It means a lot for the community,” said Albertson’s manager Eric Rumple. “It means everything to us to be able to give back to the community, especially this time of year.”

Kenn Boyd, a member of Dead Men M.C., said that in past years the riding community would give to the food bank. However, during this time, many people are donating to the food bank and it’s difficult for them to store the food.

Albertson’s will use the money to create meals and deliver them to the food bank so that families can pick them up and have food on their tables during the holiday.

The excess amount of proceeds will roll over into the “Santa Boxes,” which is essentially the same thing. All contributions will stay in Sweetwater County.

The riding community plans to do the same fundraiser next year and will get started earlier to hopefully gain sponsorships and double the amount of money raised

Harley-Davidson Street Bob Silver Shadow

By | General Posts

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

Say the words Silver Shadow, and the mind immediately links that with Rolls-Royce. The moniker has been around in the Brits’’ portfolio in various guises for about 15 years starting with 1965, but it is still talked about and admired to this day.

But how about a Harley-Davidson wearing the name Silver Shadow? Why not slap the moniker on something perhaps even more exciting in terms of thills, such as a custom motorcycle build, made in Germany of all places?

That’s what our favorite European motorcycle garage, Thunderbike, did with this former Harley-Davidson Street Bob FXDB. Not only did the shop modify it, but the bike was christened Silver Shadow in honor of, well, not the Rolls-Royce machine, but all that silver that adorns its body.

The modifications come in the usual Thunderbike packages, meaning the usual elements have been changed or tampered with in some manner. There’s a new and massive fender at the rear, the saddle is a single-seater designed to give the build a more bobber-like look, and there are custom wheels holding the frame and engine (the powerplant is unmodified, as far as we can tell) upright and off the ground.

The silver that gives the bike part of its name is abundantly used all over the motorcycle, from the rims of the wheels, to the front fork and even on the handlebars, and of course of the fuel tank.

Just like it normally does, Thunderbike makes no mention of how much it cost to put this two-wheeler together. The shop does list some of the parts used for the project, as they are being sold to Harley owners across Europe from their website, and a simple math exercise gives us a value of close to 3,000 euros (about $3,500), but that doesn’t include many of the hardware used, like the fender, tank, and brake discs.

Players dominating Electric Bike Market

By | General Posts

by Joe D’Allegro from https://www.cnbc.com

  • Harley Davidson and Honda are among the dominant motorcycle makers with big plans in electric bikes.
  • Harley also recently announced that it is spinning off a nascent electric bicycle business.
  • Uber is among the top investors in electric scooter company Lime, which just posted its first quarterly profit, while competitor Bird is reportedly planning to soon go public via a SPAC.
  • NIU Technologies, which makes smart scooters, has seen its share price soar.

Tesla reached a $500 billion market valuation this week, a sign of its dominance in the electric vehicle market. But Elon Musk has shown no real interest in one growing EV segment: battery-powered scooters and motorcycles. An accident he suffered as a youth on a motorbike — nearly fatal, Musk has said — turned him off two-wheelers, for now. But the manufacturing of battery powered bikes is growing and consolidating, which means it’s likely to produce one or more dominant players in the years to come.

The electric motorcycle and scooter market reached $30 billion in 2019, according to a June 2020 report by Preeti Wadhwani and Prasenjit Saha from the research company Global Market Insights (GMI). They estimated that the market — which includes everything from large motorcycles meant for interstate cruising to tiny stand-up scooters as used by Lime and Bird — will grow more than 4% annually for the next few years and hit $40 billion in 2026.

Concerns over vehicular emissions, increasing consumer awareness about air pollution, and increasing investments by government authorities in the development of EV charging infrastructure are all expected to keep the market growing. Another factor boosting electric bike prospects is the continued improvement in batteries.

E-bikes, scooters and motorcycles

Electric motorcycles and scooters are still relatively pricey, and none yet matches the range of the best gas bikes, but that’s slowly changing. Lithium ion battery costs are down 85% in the last decade, said Garrett Nelson, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research. Within another 10 years, electric motorcycles can achieve price parity with gas bikes, he predicts.

“The playing field is wide open,” says Nelson. He noted that Honda, Yamaha and Harley-Davidson together control about two-thirds of the global motorcycle market, and are each developing electric motorbikes. So too are other big established players, such as the Indian-multinationals Hero Motors and Bajaj Auto, and some smaller electric-only startups, including Zero Motorcycles and Energetica.

Electric mobility is leading to a manufacturing boom for vehicles sized between small foldable scooters and full-on motorcycles, said Sam Korus, an analyst at ARK Invest, which is known for its big bet on Tesla. Uber led a round of investment in Lime earlier this year, while Bird is reportedly considering a public offering through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Troy Siahaan, a road test editor at Motorcycle.com, races a lightweight custom-built electric bike, giving him insight into the similarities and differences between gas and electric two-wheelers.

“The riding experience of an electric bike is similar to gas-powered motorcycles in that you twist the throttle and go,” he said, “but you don’t get sound, vibration or engine heat with electric bikes. By and large, they also don’t require shifting, so they’re easier for new riders than most gas bikes.”

Siahaan also likes the torque output — a measure of the acceleration — of electric bikes, since it is all available at the outset.

Nelson noted that most growth right now is in the small- to mid-sized section of the electric motorcycle and scooter market. These are popular in China and Southeast Asia, where two-wheelers are more common as a mode of transportation, and pollution and noise reduction are socially and environmentally appealing.

Post-Covid-19 demand in urban mobility

Korus said Chinese scooter manufacturer NIU is among the promising players operating in the space between small folding scooters and large motorcycles. The company, which went public in 2018, sells its app-supported smart scooters in 38 countries across Asia, Europe and North and South America. Its stock has risen sharply. The stylish sit-on scooters offer up to 87 miles of range (140 km), multi-color dynamic gauge displays and GPS-based anti-theft systems.

NIU’s primary competition are low-cost manufacturers in China, which make scooters that are less “smart” than its offerings, as well as the higher-end players out of Asia and Europe, which tend to be priced higher. A NIU model may sell for roughly $3,100, while a comparable Honda is over $5,000, a Vespa over $7,000, and a BMW anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000, according to Vincent Yu, a Needham & Co. analyst.

Korus noted that NIU’s software actively collects data that can be used to support autonomous driving and allows the company to add value on top of just selling products. This is also a key feature of Tesla’s business model, which ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood has pointed to in her bullish thesis on Musk’s company. But for NIU, monetization of autonomous driving may be fairly far off into the future. Yu said today there is high value in the smart features focused on theft prevention and vehicle maintenance, for example, knowing when parts need replacement. Its lightweight lithium-ion batteries are also an advantage over heavier, older electric scooters as consumers look for more portable batteries that are easier to swap in and out.

A big question for NIU is just how big the market can get and whether it can grow both manufacturing capacity and a retail store network along with it, Yu said. Asia is still heavily reliant on petroleum-based scooters, especially Southeast Asia, but that is changing. And, as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic, Yu is betting more travelers will shy away from mass transit and opt for scooters. In countries like China, they are much easier to obtain than cars thanks to lower costs and less regulation and permitting requirements, especially in larger cities.

NIU commands over 26% of the Chinese e-scooter sales market, and has risen in Europe to No. 3 over the past two years. Yu added that NIU is building a new factory, targeting major Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, and adding more stores around the world to capitalize on the demand. In Q3, the company opened 182 stores and now has another 100 under construction.

Harley-Davidson and the electric future

In the U.S., smaller motorcycles suitable for urban transportation and only occasional highway use are not as popular as in Asia and Europe. Nelson said U.S. buyers tend to be older and favor larger bikes with traditional looks and the signature sounds of a combustion engine.

Harley-Davidson, the largest and oldest U.S. motorcycle manufacturer, has addressed these buyers with its LiveWire, an electric motorcycle with traditional cruiser styling and an impressive 105 horsepower that lets it accelerate to 60 miles per hour in a quick 3.1 seconds. The LiveWire is 7-feet long and nearly 550 pounds, giving it the size and weight to fit in with the company’s mainstream gas-powered offerings, but, at $30,000, it’s just too expensive for many potential customers.

With the traditional American motorcycle buyer aging, Harley sales are down almost 40% since their peak in 2006. “Demographics will be a problem for them,” Nelson said.

Harley is committed to electric under a relatively new management team, led by CEO Jochen Zeitz, who earned high marks for his focus on sustainability as CEO of Puma. “We believe electric needs to play an important role in the future of Harley-Davidson,” he recently told Wall Street analysts. He said sales volumes are low relative to traditional bikes, but added, “It must be an important segment in the long term future of the company and it’s also attracting new riders, new customers to the brand that might not have considered Harley-Davidson before.”

Craig Kennison, who covers Harley for RW Baird, said the priority for Zeitz and his team is to shore up Harley’s finances and focus its business on the key markets where it can generate the most profits from core consumers today, and it will continue to generate the vast majority of its business from its V-twin internal combustion engine cycles (sales for LiveWire are not disclosed but the assumption is they remain very minor). “It’s not a big number,” Kennison said.

Similar to the path chosen by Tesla to first focus on the luxury consumer, Harley needs to perfect the electric motorcycle technology and given the price points today — it cannot alone control the cost curve in key areas like battery technology — only over time will it become more affordable to a larger consumer market. But if Harley makes the right decisions on current profitability centers, it will support the investment in electric vehicles over the decades to come, he said. “Right now Harley has a huge market and needs to make as much money as they can, and servicing the core customer, which is still highly profitable, is the focus.”

Harley is headed into the pedal bicycle market as well. It recently announced that it will spin off its electric bicycle effort, which has been in research and development for a few years, retaining a minority stake in the new firm, Serial 1 Company, a reference to its first-ever machine.

Targeting the e-bicycle market, with pricing below $5,000, is a smart move by Harley’s new management, as it makes the brand affordable for the masses in a growing segment, said Brandon Rolle, Northcoast Research analyst. And similar to NIU’s target scooter market, riders may not need a driver’s license to operate these vehicles, which will help in Harley-Davidson’s appeal to urban commuters and casual recreational cyclists.

High-end bicycle makers like Specialized have an early lead in this market — e-bikes which generate power that is multiplied by the human pedaling activity — and it does have the potential for widespread appeal in the future, according to Kennison. “It lets ‘the everyman’ get on the road … especially during the pandemic people want to get outside and bicycling is a great way to do it, but depending on your fitness level, having the added electrical power creates a totally different experience. You can go 20 to 50 miles and it changes the appeal” he said.

Harley’s motorcycle competitors

In the near future, pent up demand for outdoor products caused by Covid-19 could benefit motorcycle makers, including Harley, which has had a “rough last five years” according to Wedbush Securities analyst James Hardiman. “A lot of investors have looked at Harley-Davidson and the broader motorcycle one as not benefitting,” from the new outdoors boom, the analyst said. But industry sales and used sales are both up, and those are precursors for a broader-based recovery in bike sales, Hardiman recently told CNBC. While the bear case about the aging demographics isn’t going away, it has been that way for a decade already, he said.

Among Harley’s competitors for the future full-size motorcycle buyer are not just traditional players like Honda and Yamaha, but Zero and Energetica, which have some of the most advanced electric bike technology currently available, Siahaan said.

Zero, founded in Santa Cruz, California, in 2006, isn’t a household name, but it’s one of the most established players in the field. It began selling electric motorcycles in 2009, making it one of the very first production two-wheelers (the earliest production electric motorcycles and scooters appeared in the 1970s and 1990s, respectively, but enjoyed limited success).

Zero’s current all-electric line-up includes everything from the FX, a small on- and off-road capable “dual-sport” motorcycle starting at $9,300, all the way up to the SR/S sportbike which starts at $20,000. The 110-horsepower SR/S can reach 124 miles per hour and is capable of more than 200 miles of range when equipped with an enhanced battery. The FR/S is so advanced Road and Track alluded to Zero getting close to the being the Tesla of two wheels in its review. Zero offers it with an app that lets users modify the bikes maximum speed, power, torque and regenerative braking parameters.

Zero reached a 10-year deal with Polaris, a recreational vehicle powerhouse, that should give it the resources to further expand manufacturing and distribution. It will bring Zero’s powertrain technology and software to Polaris’ lineup of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles.

The high-end brand Energetica was formed in 2010 as a subsidiary of CRP Group, a motorsport and aviation manufacturer based in Modena, Italy. It offers a small lineup of attractively styled bikes starting at $17,600 for the general-purpose Eva EsseEsse9, and ending with the top-of-the-line Ego+. The latter is a 145-horsepower sportbike with an eye-watering starting price of nearly $24,000, but a 150 mph top speed and up to 250 miles of range.

Saha of the Global Marketing Institute told CNBC that the company is investing highly in R&D and owns several patents related to electric vehicle manufacturing in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Of course, as the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Honda Motorcycles of Japan, is not standing still. It recently filed patents for electric-powered versions of its CB125R and CB300R, these are small, easy to manage general purpose bikes with “café racer” styling.

Saha notes that Honda is also making large investments in the development of swappable battery technology for electric motorcycles to allow riders to quickly replace the batteries after use. These moves, and factors like its global dealer and distribution network will aid Honda, Saha said.

Tesla moving beyond cars

And then there is Tesla. Though Musk has said the company will not produce a road bike, he has announced plans to release an electric all-terrain vehicle, the Cyberquad, late in 2021, and has at least teased the possibility of one day making a two-wheeled electric bike. In the least, Tesla could easily pivot a portion of its battery business to supplying other manufacturers, says Nelson.

Generating revenue is a big concern for any start-up, but especially in the electric motorcycle space, where federal and state-level regulation abound and consumer expectations are high. Many of the companies that first entered the electric two-wheeler market place have failed or been absorbed by larger players. This includes Brammo, which launched in 2002 and sold bikes with six-speed transmissions like those in traditional gas bikes rather than the single-speed automatics most electric manufacturers use. It was first purchased by the recreational vehicle maker Polaris in 2015, then engine maker Cummins in 2017. Brammo-branded bikes are no longer sold, but its technology lives on with its purchasers.

A similar fate befell Alta Motors, a maker of technologically advanced off-road electric bikes. The company shuttered operations in 2018 and its assets were taken over by Bombardier’s Recreational Products business in 2019 for use across its product lineup, which includes Ski Doo snowmobiles and the Can-Am line of three-wheel motorcycles.

“It’s always difficult to predict the future,” Siahaan said. “A lot of companies come out with big, bold announcements, but never even come to market.”

“It’s very early, so it is difficult to see how it all plays out, but that’s typical of a true growth market,” added Kennison.

Small Business Needs all the Help it can Get!

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Dylan Hummel’s 1954 Ford F-100 alongside his dad, Jake’s, ’53 Ford wagon. Get the full story in TRJ #84.

Small Business Saturday is here, and there’s never been a better time to support small, independent brands. For more than 25 years, The Rodder’s Journal has been a grassroots effort owned and operated by hot rodders for hot rodders. We love these cars just as much as you do, and we’re excited to share their stories with you in every issue we print.

This Small Business Saturday, we’re turning the spotlight on some of our favorite products in our 2020 catalog. The lion’s share come from brands and talented individuals dedicated to bringing you small batch, high-quality goods. Regardless of your budget, you’re sure to find something you like. Best of all, each purchase helps keep the spirit of our hobby going for generations to come.

Up until Sunday at 11:59 p.m. East Coast time, you can use the following codes at checkout to save:

TAKE15 – 15% off all orders $25 and up
TAKE20 – 20% off all orders $50 and up
TAKE25 – 25% off all orders $75 and up

To place an order, click the red box below or give us a call at (800) 750-9550 in North America or (804) 496-6906 internationally.


Cheers!
Your Friends at The Rodder’s Journal

Harley-Davidson Spoke Bob 23 Is How Germans Like Their Street

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

The Harley-Davidson Street Bob is one of the favorite base motorcycles for Thunderbike builds. In the market of customizing Milwauke-made machines for close to three decades now, the German shop has made a name for itself with its conversions of the “gritty, stripped-down bobber cloaked in black,” as Harley describes the iconic two-wheeler.

Over the past year or so, we’ve covered Thunderbike quite extensively, mostly because we find their products worth talking about. Love them or hate them, the garage’s projects are unique on the European scene (possibly even beyond the continent’s borders), and so numerous they’ll keep us busy for a while longer.

Because winter is upon us and in most parts of the world bikes are going into storage, we thought to give you something to dream about in anticipation of next summer: here’s the Spoke Bob 23.

Built a few years back starting from the Street Bob, the custom bike sports fewer modifications than we’re used to, but effective nonetheless.

The build’s name is a combination between that of the stock bike and the spoked wheels used for it (sized 21 and 23 inches) – if you’ve been watching our Thunderbike stories, you know by now these guys do lack imagination when it comes to naming stuff.

Other major changes are the use of a custom forward control kit, a new air cleaner, and a Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system. Minor modifications include the deployment of a new handlebar and turn signals.

As usual, we are not being told how much the conversion of the Street Bob cost. Knowing most of the parts that went into it though we can estimate that to be of around 2,500 euros (roughly $3,000 at today’s exchange rates), but not including the base bike (obviously), the exhaust system, and the man-hours that went into it.