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Motocross Legend Carey Hart Customizes Indian Chief

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feature article by Hannah

Hart customized a 2022 Indian Chief Dark Horse for The Walking Dead and The Punisher star, Jon Bernthal.

Hart channeled his high-performance, motocross background in the style and design of the bike, with classic, clean lines and sporty, performance features.

Hart is one of the most recognized names in all of freestyle Motocross. His father bought him his first motocross bike when he was only four years old in hopes of spending some quality time with his son.

However, what had originally started as a father and son pastime quickly turned into Carey’s passion. By the time he entered his first local race as an amateur, he was hooked and by high school graduation, he was a professional Motocross rider, racing AMA Supercross circuit.

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Totally amazing: Veteran, cancer survivor reunited with stolen motorcycle

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Procopio describes the moment of seeing his motorcycle again as “totally amazing.” That same night he went down to the speedway and raced it.

‘Totally amazing’: Vietnam veteran, cancer survivor reunited with stolen motorcycle after 3 years
from https://www.cincinnati.com by Quinlan Bentley

On Friday nights, the Lawrenceburg Motorcycle Speedway comes alive. The smell of exhaust fills the air and bleachers vibrate from the deafening roar of motors revving, as motorcyclists of all ages line up to compete in a high-adrenaline, high-risk race around a smooth dirt track.

These are the nights that James Procopio lives for. The 74-year-old Vietnam War veteran started racing motorcycles in his 20s, but had to give it up after family and life got in the way.

Procopio says he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011 and needed surgery to remove his intestines. He returned to the race track about four years ago after receiving his final chemotherapy treatment.

“I came down here one night, said, ‘Man, I sure miss that,’ and from that night on I put a bike together and started racing,” Procopio told The Enquirer, sitting in the back of a pickup truck on a cold, dark November night, the orange glow of a portable heater at his feet, while waiting for his turn to race.

Procopio worked for two years fixing up a red, white and blue 1980 Honda XR 500 to get it in racing form. But he was only able to race the bike once before it was stolen, along with his pickup truck, from his apartment in Mount Healthy.

The truck was recovered not long after it was stolen but the bike was gone.

“Every spare dime went into that bike,” he said.

Working out of his garage on old and vintage motorbikes, Procopio is somewhat of a local legend. He got his first job when he was 13 working on bicycles and motorbikes at Bishop’s Bicycle Shop in Silverton, where he stayed until he was drafted into the Army at age 19.

It was through his part-time mechanic work that Procopio met Ben Groh, who’s since become a good friend and racing partner. In the past three years since Procopio’s bike was stolen, Groh said he had been working to track down the missing bike on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

“It’s popped up here and there for the past three years,” Groh said. “I’ve seen it come and go and I’ve been close to getting it and it slipped through the cracks.”

Groh’s brother spotted the bike at a local body shop, and he along with Rick Brun, another close friend of Procopio’s and fellow racer, were able to set up an undercover buy with Cincinnati police and retrieve the bike. It was returned to Procopio early last month.

Procopio describes the moment of seeing his motorcycle again as “totally amazing.” That same night he went down to the speedway and raced it.

Those who compete in flat track racing, in which racers drive on a dirt track with only rear brakes and must slide into each turn, describe it as more of a way of life than a sport.

“A lot of people don’t really understand it fully until you try it,” Groh told The Enquirer.

“It’s kind of like surfing: One good wave will call you back the rest of your life,” Brun said.

For Procopio, after surviving two heart attacks, two strokes and cancer, it’s become a source of relief.

“I’m in pain probably 24/7,” he said. “When I’m out there, I don’t feel a thing. Just everything goes away.”

The last race of the season in Lawrenceburg was held Nov. 5.

But Procopio says he’s going to keep racing “as long as I can.”

Battery Maintenance 101

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This is a 6-Volt Battery Tender for Vintage batteries.

And How to Use Tenders
By Bandit, Jason Mook, Battery Tender Crew, and Jeff Holt

How to use battery tenders? We are on the hunt.

A friend kept his bike on a tender 24/7. But when he rode to his girl’s house and spent the night, the bike was dead in the morning.

Jason Mook, the owner of Deadwood Custom Cycles recommends putting your bike on a charger or tender once a week, charge it and then unplug it.

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Nash “PUSH” Starter Button

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New From Nash Motorcycle Co

The newest addition to the original NMC Starter Button! The “PUSH” button starter comes in bronze or stainless steel button and is available now!

Just give it a push to start your bike! Fits most all 1.4 kw and 1.6 kw starters .

The “PUSH” button itself threads (1/2-13) onto the 4 ¼” starter button shaft. Aside from merely using it as a starter button, it can be applied to whatever creative application that you want to use it for!

The full NMC “Push” Starter Button plunger assembly comes with a black powder coated steel body, steel shaft and bushing.

Learn more about fitment and finishes on the Nash “PUSH” Button Starter product page:

https://nashmotorcycle.com/collections/starter-button

Nash Motorcycle Co.

Kirk Taylor’s 2018 Strider Custom is back

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by Marilyn Stemp

Kirk Taylor’s L’il Cha Cha was among the very first class of Tiny Strider Customs, a program of the Flying Piston Benefit that supports All Kids Bike – an organization that’s on a mission to teach every kid how to ride a bike as part of kindergarten PE class.

Custom creations are unveiled at the Flying Piston breakfast in August at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip then auctioned at the Mecum motorcycle event in Las Vegas the following January. Proceeds fund bike-riding programs for elementary schools.

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Damon Motorcycles to enter Latin America

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by Otilia Drăgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Latin America Soon to Have Its Own Custom-Built High-Tech Damon Motorcycles

https://damon.com/

Latin America is about to get a taste of one of the most tech-loaded electric motorcycles in the world, and even enjoy its own custom versions. After winning the hearts of the younger generations in Canada and North America, Damon Motors is now moving on to Latin America.

Canadian-based Damon Motors has just initiated a long-term partnership with Auteco Mobility in Columbia, to develop and manufacture a new line of products for motorcycle riders in Latin America, including Damon’s famous Hypersport as the flagship model. In addition to that, Auteco will license parts of Damon’s CoPilot™ safety technology, for its own Victory motorcycles. This adaptive 360-degree safety warning system is an industry first.

The main objective (and a daring one) is to create a purpose-built, Latin America-specific Damon motorcycle, based on the specific needs of riders in this region. But their long-term strategy is even more ambitious, planning a wide regional distribution for what is about to become the quintessential Latin American Damon bike.

Auteco has the means to do that, as a leader on the Columbian ICE motorcycles market, as well as a pioneer in terms of electric 2-wheelers, that has created the widest network of exclusive dealers, workshops and spare parts sale points, in South America. With both companies committed to not only a greener future, but also to increased safety for motorcycle riders, the idea of creating a clean and safe bike that also features the latest technologies, specifically for this market, was a slam dunk.

Damon was one of the first startups to make waves with an electric motorcycle, when the trend was just taking off. Its first iconic Hypersport model delivered 200 hp and had an impressive 200-mile (321 km) range. Plus, it was the first to incorporate sensor fusion, mechatronics and AI, which means that it can adapt to the rider’s needs and abilities.

Tragedy Strikes Laconia Motorcycle Week Offices

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Normally we would be reaching out to you with news and information about the upcoming 98th Laconia Motorcycle Week Rally. Sadly, we have other news to share . . .

On Christmas morning, our Motorcycle Week offices suffered a catastrophic fire resulting in a total loss of collectibles and souvenirs spanning the history of Laconia Motorcycle Week’s 97-year legacy. Although no one was injured, our beloved office cat, Ashland, perished in the fire. As of this writing, we’re still waiting for permission to enter the premises so that we may retrieve him and give him a proper burial.

Along with Ashland, most of the items lost can never be replaced, leaving us heavy-hearted, particularly after a year of COVID-related challenges. It’s hard to find the silver lining in an incident such as this, but we are grateful to the Laconia Fire Department and surrounding towns for their assistance and the outpouring of support we have received from our friends, family and loyal rally goers, past and present. We’d also like to thank Paul Cote and Check Twice Signs for setting up a GoFundMe campaign to help us recover from this devastating loss. All funds donated will be used to cover the extensive cost of fire clean-up (currently estimated close to $40K!) and replacing items lost from general operations and historical memorabilia. The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association will have DIRECT and SOLE access to donated funds. No donation is too small. A lot of us doing even a little will add up and help rebuild and restore.

If you’re able to give even a little, thank you! If you have memorabilia to donate, please contact Charlie St. Clair directly. Please copy this link and share it with your riding friends. If you prefer, you can issue a check payable to LMWA and mail it to PO Box 5399 Laconia, NH 03247 and put “Friends of MC Week- Rebuild Fund” in your memo.

The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association is a State of NH nonprofit association with a Board of Directors. The Directors have secured an off-site, heated storage unit for any salvageable items and any memorabilia you can donate.

Progress does continue for the 98th rally (albeit remotely) and updates on the schedule of events and the 2021 Rally News magazine will be out shortly.

THANK YOU for all your support!!!

GoFundMe Campaign

Aprilia debuts its long-awaited Tuono 660 naked bike for 2021

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by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com

This promises to be a much more approachable and affordable naked bike from the Italian brand. Enough power, very light weight and top-tier safety tech make the Tuono 660 pretty appealing.

The Aprilia Tuono V4 is one of the most over-the-top, terrifying, wonderful and life-affirming machines I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding. It’s massively powerful, thanks to its 1,077-cc V4 engine, it sounds like half of the world’s angriest Ferrari, and it’s packed to the gunwales with brilliant electronics designed to keep your tires on the pavement. It’s also not a bike I’d recommend to most people as a first, second or even third motorcycle. It’s just overwhelming.

Aprilia seems to understand that issue with its Tuono V4, so it’s done the only sensible thing and lopped two cylinders off it, calling it the Tuono 660 and making it a much more accessible motorcycle. It teased the Tuono 660 alongside the RS 660 sportbike at EICMA in 2019, and now it’s getting its official debut, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

The Tuono 660 makes a reasonable 95 horsepower (the V4, for comparison, produces over 170 hp) and has a curb weight of just 403 pounds. This means that things with the baby Tuono should be plenty rowdy but not quite so hectic as on the V4.

Like its bigger brother, the Tuono 660 sports a more upright riding position than the similarly powered RS 660, which means it should be more comfortable for longer rides. It comes with a KYB suspension with limited adjustment, paired with decently sized, radially mounted Brembo brakes. While miles away from the high-zoot stuff on the more expensive V4, this combination should be more than adequate for some hardcore canyon carving for most riders.

To help make the 660 more friendly for newer riders, it comes standard with Aprilia’s excellent APRC rider-aid suite, which includes multilevel traction control, antiwheelie control, cruise control and user-selectable engine maps. Corner-sensitive, multistage antilock brakes are standard as well.

The 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 will be available in the US towards the end of Q1 for a starting price of $10,499 before dealer fees. It will be interesting to see how it compares to Ducati’s all-new Monster and KTM’s 790 Duke.

Players dominating Electric Bike Market

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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.