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New Streetfighter V4 reflects Ducati’s naked ambitions

By | General Posts

by Jeff Yip from https://www.sfgate.com

Ducati is doubling down on two-wheel performance.

For 2020, the maker of premium Italian motorcycles addresses the sportbike’s “naked” niche — where the manufacturer offers a top-of-the-line motorcycle without the fairings and windscreens — with its new Streetfighter V4 and Streetfighter V4 S.

The Streetfighter V4 is informed by Ducati’s sexy Panigale V4 superbike but the factory strips out the Panigale’s fairings and slaps on high, wide handlebars for street and highway duty. The bikes share nearly identical 90-degree V4 engines, with the 2020 Streetfighter’s producing 208 horsepower at 12,750 rpm, just six horses shy of the Panigale’s maximum output, which is attained at an even loftier 13,000 rpm.

With an MSRP of $19,995, the Streetfighter V4 is two grand less than the Panigale. The Streetfighter V4 S starts at $23,995 and boasts up-spec bits like Ohlins electrically controlled suspension, an updated Ohlins electronic control system and Marchesini forged alloy wheels. The V4 S tips the scales at 392 pounds, five less than the V4.

With such mad power-to-weight ratios, Ducati knows many Streetfighter riders will hit the track and the bikes are designed to deliver. Form following function is at work — Formula 1-inspired vents behind the Streetfighter V4’s radiator help to extract hot air — and Ducati’s racing specialists incorporated “biplane” wings that flank the radiator’s side panels. They help generate 44 pounds of downforce on the front wheel at 168 mph.

“It takes a lot of commitment to ride a superbike. Its best use is the racetrack. The Streetfighter V4 is the motorcycle that allows that emotional connection and power, but it’s better on the street,” said Jason Chinnock, Ducati North America’s CEO.

Sportbike riders want something more comfortable and safer on the highway and to ride around town. “The ergonomics are different. You sit more upright,” Chinnock said. “The Streetfighter is tuned for more torque than the superbike version in third gear. On open back-country roads, you don’t want the revs all the way up; you want the torque to pull you through.”

Chinnock asserts that Ducati is more than its products. “It’s a brand. It’s entertainment. It’s a sense of community,” he said, noting that Houston is home to one of Ducati’s most active fan bases. Ducati’s North American chief said he loves visiting Houston and meeting owners at get-togethers like Ducati’s recent “Ready 4 Red” product tour in which the Streetfighter V4 was among the machines showcased.

The Houston event “is always one of the most welcoming,” Chinnock said. “It’s almost a homecoming. It’s a chance for the entire motorcycle community to get together and learn about technologies and connect with other people who are like-minded.”

You can watch Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 in action at bit.ly/Streetfighter-V4.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom unveiled – A 250cc track machine

By | General Posts

by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com/

Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom is a track-only version of the brand’s new 249cc four-cylinder sportsbike

Kawasaki has unveiled the all-new Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom ahead of its official debut event which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. The pandemic has caused a lot of confusion among global automotive industries with back-to-back plant shutdowns, event cancellations and rising losses. However, manufacturers have taken social media as an effective platform to introduce their latest products.

Coming back to Kawasaki’s latest product, the Racer Custom variant is essentially a track-focused, track-bred and track-only version of the Ninja ZX-25R that was unveiled last year. The sportsbike’s main highlight is its power plant — a 249cc DOHC liquid-cooled ‘inline-4’ engine that can rev up to a cool 17,500rpm!

So far, Kawasaki has not shared the exact engine specifications of the ZX-25R or its track-only avatar. Various reports state that it could generate around 45bhp and a lot of acoustic drama (way more for the Racer Custom variant). In fact, Kawasaki had shared the exhaust note of its new light-capacity four-banger. To many, it wouldn’t make any sense to split a displacement of roughly 250cc into four cylinders, but for the very few who likes to ride a motorcycle at its absolute limit (in a safe environment) will find a fun machine in Kawasaki’s new ZX-25R.

Kawasaki also plans to introduce a new one-make championship next year with the ZX-25R (and NOT the track-only Racer Custom variant). The race will be open to anyone regardless of their track hours. Meanwhile, Kawasaki has introduced a host of performance and cosmetic upgrades for potential ‘25R’ buyers. This includes racing cowls, tank pad, track tyres (Dunlop Sportmax ?-13SP), Showa suspension, new chainset, performance exhaust, carbon bits and many more.

Sources suggest that Kawasaki’s ‘baby ZX-10R’ will first hit the Indonesian market, after which it will be filtered down to further potential markets in Asia and Europe. India may not get it and we don’t expect Kawasaki to make the effort.

Even though the concept of low-capacity four-cylinder motorcycles is relatively unheard among the wider scenario, such motorcycles have been around since the late 20th century. Kawasaki’s iconic ZXR250 could be considered as the virtual predecessor of the new ZX-25R. One might find 40-45bhp to be a normal figure in this day and age, but these motorcycles require an expert to harness their full potential by shifting correctly in extremely narrow peak power bands.

This Custom Harley Street Bob Is Literal Gold

By | General Posts

by Enrico Punsalang from https://www.rideapart.com/

Sometimes all that glitters really is gold.

Few custom motorcycle builders are as unorthodox and eccentric a the folks at Polish custom shop, Game Over Cycles. Judging from their name alone, you’re certain that they churn out some pretty unique builds over there. Based on Game Over Cycles’ Instagram profile, the shop’s builds generally occupy the steampunk, tribal, and even dystopian themes.

One bike, however, stands out from the rest. This 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Bob was transformed into something entirely unique, something evoking pure emotion on the part of the owner. Dubbed the “New York – Rzeszow Motorcycle”, (don’t ask me how that’s pronounced) this bike was meant to pay homage to the places the owner calls home: New York City, and Rzeszow, a city in Poland.

One glance at this machine is not enough for you to absorb all the tributes and easter eggs that were so meticulously integrated into this work of art. I, literally, could spend hours admiring each and every detail on this bike. For instance, it pays tribute to New York City by depicting the Manhattan skyline and other notable buildings such as one of the World Trade Center towers on its wheels. This also makes the bike a 9/11 monument with more tribute pieces to the buildings involved in that fateful day. Apart from this, an exhaust manifold cover was designed to depict the Chrysler Building which was plated in 24k gold.

Additional details that honor New York culture is the logo of the New York Yankees on the timing cover. The brass fuel tank is painted in black with a subtle depiction of the Brooklyn Bridge on top. The front end was designed to represent the ruins of the World Trade Center with “9/11 Never Forget” engraved at the bottom, a thoughtful touch on the part of the owner.

Apart from the iconic New York and American heritage elements, the motorcycle also depicts Poland’s Revolutionary Act Monument. Situated between the Manhattan buildings on the wheels, it integrates itself into the bridge-shaped seat assembly to which the rear fender is attached via tension wires.

In total, it took the team at Game Over Cycles around 260 hours of C&C milling to craft the metal and golden pieces which adorn this motorcycle.

Very Famous Harley-Davidson Riders You Probably Didn’t Know About

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Because they’re rich and famous, artists have access to some of the newest and most awesome rides, whether they’re cars, motorcycles, bikes or anything in between. Some they buy, some they get to try out and keep, as long as they can guarantee exposure to the brand.

Artists and celebrities are also influencers, in that they can sway public opinion towards a certain product. Sometimes, their choices are very personal and don’t have a financial goal in sight – and this seems to be the case with the three celebrities we’re going to discuss today. Call them closeted Harley riders and you wouldn’t be completely off the mark.

Given the boom in paparazzi media over the past decade and the way artists (be they actors, musicians or Internet celebrities) have been using it to further their careers, the realization that there are stars who fly under the radar comes across as strange. This allows them to harbor and feed their true passions and, for these three, those passions include riding Harley-Davidson.

Jim Carrey

Think of male celebrities riding Harleys (or any other motorcycle, for that matter) and images of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Justin Timberlake, Keanu Reeves, David Beckham and Jason Momoa pop into your mind. They are, if you think about it, all men’s men: buff, tough, rough and, because of it, a perfect fit on a Hog.

As it turns out, so is Jim Carrey. In the early 2000s, the comedian treated himself to a custom Harley-Davidson Road King Classic, surprising even his loyal fans with his choice. After all, Carrey is known for a lot of stuff, but being the “Harley type” isn’t exactly one of them. He’s more the goofy, silly, occasionally artsy type.

Always the funny guy, though, Carrey brought his trademark humor to the Hog, according to an urban legend. Apparently, thinking it would be hilarious if he could somehow “prank” cops, he got the vanity license plate “NO TAG” for his Harley, but the idea backfired.

“No tag” is what traffic police officers write in the license plate number slot of a vehicle with no license plate during a traffic stop. Because that was Carrey’s actual plate, countless traffic tickets ended up being routed back to him.

There’s no actual evidence Carrey confirmed the report, but such an occurrence can happen. As one hacker proved at DefCon 2019, you get the same result if you try to “trick” the DMV by getting the “NULL” license plate. In short, it’s not a good idea.

Cher

Cher has always been a tough babe with an image to match, but unlike younger stars with a rock ‘n’ roll or edgier image, in her case, it’s actually grounded in reality. Cher was a longtime Harley-Davidson rider and would often use her passion and her fame to highlight charitable causes close to heart.

Younger audiences today probably don’t know about it because, well, they’re young and Cher is not anymore – even though you wouldn’t be able to say by looking at her.

Back in the ‘90s and early 2000s, the singer owned a 1994 Fat Boy, which she would often ride at Harley gatherings, all types of parades or charity events. For instance, in 1994, she made an appearance at the Happy Harley Days at Streets in Beverly Hills, California. Then, in 2003, she rode it again to New York’s City Hall on Ride To Work Day, together with other stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Fonda and Hulk Hogan.

By some accounts, Cher sold her bike in 2003, but the love for the spirit of Harley never died. In 2013, for example, she showed up for a live performance on The Today Show on the back of a NYPD bike – and with a full NYPD bike escort.

Elizabeth Taylor

Liz is the most surprising Harley rider on this short list. The screen icon, famous for her mermerizing eyes, adventurous love life and, last but not least, a completely uncensored love of diamonds, is the least likely match for the “biker type.” Yet, she owned a Harley, loved it and rode it for quite some time.

In September 1987, Taylor was presented with a very unique gift by her good friend and occasional lover, magazine publisher and bike collector Malcolm Forbes: a custom 1988 Harley-Davidson 883 “Hugger” she named Purple Passion. Purple, as you may have heard, was Liz’s favorite color.

Forbes had his own motorcycle club, the Capitalist Tools, and Taylor would often go on rides with them. When she got the Harley, she’d been taking riding lessons for a few weeks, so her first ride was on the back, with Forbes in the front. After that first experience, she described her new bike as “super.”

As a welcome into the small community, Forbes also gave Taylor a biker ring and she got fake tattoos on her arms. She presented him with a silver ring – a helmeted skull with ruby eyes – as a thank-you. Photographic evidence shows Taylor continued to ride for years after that, so unlike her lovers, the Harley didn’t bore her right away.

Honda Reveals CB-F Concept as the Future of Six Decades Old Series

By | General Posts

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

In Honda’s lineup, the CB Series is one of the most extensive. Born a little over six decades ago, the line includes everything from road to racing motorcycles. That means the family will still be around for many years to come, and a glimpse of what’s around the corner was just revealed by the Japanese.

Two major motorcycle shows were planned in Japan in the coming months, in Osaka and Tokyo, but because they were canceled on account of the coronavirus pandemic, Honda and others were left with finding alternate means of revealing their newest products.

Honda planned to show no less than 29 motorcycles at the said events, and decided to slowly unveil them online, starting Friday, March 27. The CB-F concept was the one chosen to spearhead the avalanche of models.

Developed as a preview of future CBs, the concept is said to also be a homage to past generations, including the CB900F, one of the oldest of the family.

Built on a lightweight chassis with high-tensile steel mono-backbone structure, it comes with an inverted front fork suspension and an aluminum single-sided Pro-Arm at the rear. Both should make the bike ideal for use on both urban and winding roads.

Powering the bike along is a 998cc water-cooled inline 4-cylinder DOHC engine, linked to a six-speed transmission. The specs for it were not released, but the Japanese say it “eases through its rev-range and provides ample torque.”

“The CB-F Concept is the result of revisiting the CB series’ history, which reached its sixth decade last year, and thoroughly exploring what to preserve, and what to evolve with the company’s flagship sports bike,” the bike maker said in a statement.

“The CB-F Concept is an ambitious fusion of cutting edge technology with a design paying homage to the CB900FCB750F in Japan) a Japanese global model which, in part through the North American racing scene, brought to the six-decades of CB models an iconic status.”

If you plan to be kept up to date with what Honda is revealing online this weekend, check out this link, but beware, it’s in Japanese.

A Brother’s Decade-Long Seat Search

By | General Posts

From Los Angeles to Vegas and Back
By Gearhead with photos by Wrench

Story line started about ten years ago, during the bare bobber era. I was looking for a seat to go with an old school flat-tracker look. I had a pair of Flanders flat tracker bars, but it did not look right with the King/Queen seat. Remember, choppers were dead, done, caput.

I was looking around for that solo look, so when the wife didn’t want to ride with me, I had a solo way to go.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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Here’s Your Chance to Own a Garage-Kept Harley-Davidson Drag Motorcycle

By | General Posts

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

It’s known as the Screaming Eagle Destroyer. It’s a factory, non-stree-legal, purpose-built drag racing motorcycle capable of doing a quarter mile in under ten seconds as if it’s nothing. And it’s incredibly rare.

The motorcycle you see in the gallery above is the drag race-bred VRXSE Screaming Eagle Destroyer put together by Harley’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) back in 2006. One that, unlike most others of its kind, has been kept locked up and never used on the strip.

In all its history, there were just a little over 600 units of the Destroyer ever built, and even that was a stretch given the fact Harley initially planned for a production run that was about half that size. So, yes, they are rare, and ones that have been kept as museum pieces can be considered non-existent. But thing is there is at least one such motorcycle in perfect condition, and it’s for sale, on the luxury-oriented DuPont Registry website.

Just like all others of its kind, this dragster motorcycle is powered by the same 79ci (1,300 cc) 165 hp V-twin engine, only it features a wide range of race equipment, including a long stroke flywheel, high compression forged pistons, a pneumatic shifter, and larger throttle bodies, among others.

The bike also comes with other extra features envisioned by CVO, including a stroker crankshaft, a racing transmission with a multi-stage lock up clutch, programmable shift light, and two-stage launch control.

Unlike all other bikes of its kind, it has been kept by its owner in a “museum-like” condition alongside other dragsters, meaning it’s dying to go out and have some fun on the tarmac.

The price for the bike is not listed on the said website, but given the fact one sold as new back in the day for a little over $30,000, don’t expect this one to be a lot cheaper.

Is It Safe To Ride My Motorcycle During The Outbreak?

By | General Posts

by Sabrina Giacomini from https://www.rideapart.com

The fun type of social distancing.

UPDATE: Note that there could be lockdowns and “stay at home” orders in your city or your state as the situation evolves and we don’t recommend you overlook them because “riding is seemingly safe”. We’re not your mom, but we recommend you follow your local authorities’ recommendations.

Some readers also pointed out that I didn’t discuss about the possibility of crashes since the question was focused on the virus but I thought it was a good point to touch on. Going for a ride has its risks, whether it’s coming in contact with the virus or getting into a crash. The streets are quieter but it doesn’t mean there’s no risk of making a mistake or of being hit by someone.

Remember that medical facilities and staff are strained at the moment. While riding is relatively safe from a contagion perspective, there’s still the usual risk of an incident that could require you go to the hospital—and this is not a good time to go to the hospital. Keep that in mind.

As we wrote already, the better we cooperate, the smarter we go about this,the sooner we’ll get to go back out there without restrictions. Stay safe everyone!

Is it safe to ride during this outbreak? Are my full-face helmet, gloves, and other apparel able to protect me? Are motorcycle riders risk-free? Just question to exercise our riding knowledge. – Ancarlos

Hi Ancarlos! Thank you for asking your question, I’m pretty sure you’re not the only one wondering about that. Please note, however, that though we like to think we know a lot of things at RideApart, we’re also not doctors. If you have any real concerns or are considered a potentially vulnerable patient, asking someone who is an actual doctor is the one way you’ll get reliable answers. This goes for anyone reading this.

I can, however, give you a few pointers. As “social distancing” is on target to become Merriam-Webster’s 2020 term of the year, riding a motorcycle checks a lot of those “distancing” boxes. See, the great thing about riding a motorcycle is that you get to do it alone and it isolates you in a certain way—provided you don’t head out in a group. After all, everyone else around you is over six feet away, right?

The riding itself doesn’t technically pose a problem but the small things we do when we get on and off the saddle might. Where riding a bike might present a risk of exposure is when you stop in crowded places like at a gas station or in coffee shops, for example. Fuel nozzles are pretty nasty, to begin with, and considering the current situation, they could be carriers for the bug.

Consider bringing a few cleaning wipes or a pair of disposable gloves, just in case you need to fuel up. Even a plastic bag to handle the nozzle is a good alternative to putting your hand directly on it. Once you’re done, be extra safe and wash your hands.

If you do end up using your riding gloves to pick up the nozzle, keep in mind that certain sources suggest that the virus can stay on soft surfaces like clothes (and gear) and its lifespan on different surfaces and materials has yet to be confirmed. If your riding gloves have been in contact with a potentially infected surface, avoid touching your face with them—including that pesky itchy nose!—and throw your gloves in the washer once you’re home. If the gloves are made of leather, you can find a few easy tips to disinfect your leather safely online.

Medical Grade Gear?

To answer your question about gear, keep in mind that motorcycle gear isn’t made from medical grade materials. It’s designed to protect us from bad falls and impacts, not from microscopic bugs. So no, I won’t say that your gear will protect you from the novel coronavirus. It creates a barrier against the elements, that’s true, but it’s permeable, so don’t think that you become invincible by wearing a motorcycle helmet and a jacket.

If you avoid crowds and enjoy the ride by staying on your bike, then you are following the social distancing recommendations. So in summary, yes, riding a motorcycle should be safe—just remember that, as with any form of outing at the moment, there’s never a 100-percent guarantee that you won’t get in contact with the bug. The smarter you go about this, the lower the risks.

You can check out the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations and updates on the situation here. If you present any symptoms or have been in contact with someone who presents them or who has recently traveled, then postpone your ride for a while (14-day self-isolation recommended) for your own benefit and everyone else’s. It’s a small price to pay to make sure a normal riding season (and life) resumes sooner rather than later.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Breaks 24-Hour Distance Record

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

One of the main complaints lodged against the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is the short range offered on a single charge, of just 140 miles. That doesn’t mean it’s not made for touring, though.

Swiss rider Michel von Tell has just set a new world record for the longest tour in under 24 hours for an electric motorcycle, covering over 1,000 miles on a LiveWire. The bad news is that the record won’t be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, as von Tell did not have Guinness officials present.

Electroauto-news reports (via Electrek) that von Tell started in Zurich, Switzerland and covered four countries and a total of 1,723 km (1,070 miles) on the LiveWire, in 23 hours and 48 minutes. He reached Stuttgart, Germany and then traveled to Singen, before heading to Ruggell, Lichtenstein, the final stop on his journey.

He used Level 3 DC Fast Charge for charging stops, which considerably cut down stop times. Level 1 on the LiveWire uses a regular wall outlet and takes an entire night for a full charge. Level 3 guarantees a faster charge: a nearly full battery in 40 minutes or so. According to the media outlet, von Tell would stop for charging on Level 3 for an average of 25 minutes whenever he needed to.

The previous 24-hour record for an electric motorcycle was set in 2018 on a Zero S fitted with optional Charge Tank and using a team of riders, on a test track. Von Tell traveled in traffic, on the highway and was all alone.

While he couldn’t afford the Guinness fee, which would have ensured officials were on hand to confirm the record, and didn’t have a method to do the electronic self-recording required for Guinness confirmation, von Tell did provide signed witness accounts as confirmation. This makes his LiveWire 24-hour tour the unofficial record holder for the longest on an electric motorcycle to date.

Coronavirus Delays Voxan Motors’ Electric Motorcycle Speed Record Attempt

By | General Posts

by Sebastian Blanco from https://www.forbes.com/

It’s a specific category, but the Venturi Group’s Voxan Motors is working to create the fastest electric motorcycle in the world. Well, the fastest electric motorcycle “propelled by the action of one wheel in contact with the ground, partially streamlined, under 300 kg,” according to the team website.

That specific record is currently held by Jim Hoogerhyde, who rode a Lightning SB220 electric bike to 203.566 mph in 2013, according to Jalopnik. Voxan has set a target of 205 mph for its attempt but the date of the record attempt has been pushed back.

The new world speed record attempt was supposed to happen in July 2020 at the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, but that has been indefinitely postponed due to the cornoavirus. The Venturi Group, which is based in Monaco, issued a statement today saying that it is following the health directives issued by the Monegasque Government and that: “The development teams responsible for the Voxan Wattman motorcycle, which has just completed its initial on-track testing, are now confined to their homes.” Without being able to get together to work on the bike, the team can’t fine-tune the machine on-track, leading to the postponement.

“The health and safety of my teams is paramount. In view of the current health crisis, I have put in place the necessary measures. All of my staff, whether they are attached to Venturi North America (Columbus, Ohio) or to the headquarters in Monaco, are now working from home,” said Gildo Pastor, president of Venturi Group, in a statement. “We will establish a new calendar of operations as soon as the health situation allows it, and announce the new operational arrangements for this project, which is very important to me personally.”

The bike Voxan was (is) going to use to try and set the new speed record is a tweaked version of its Wattman, originally introduced in 2013. The normal Wattman bike is capable of accelerating from zero to 62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds thanks to its 203-horsepower all-electric powertrain that produces 147.5 pound-feet of torque. Voxan’s high-performance version of the Wattman has been upgraded to produce 367 horsepower in order to hit that 205 mile-per-hour target.

The Venturi Group acquired Voxan in 2010 and shifted the brand’s focus to use electric motors. Both versions of the Wattman (on-road and high-performance) were designed by Venturi’s long-serving lead designer, Sacha Lakic.

The speed record attempt, whenever it happens, is likely to still be driven by Max Biaggi, a two-time World Superbike champion (2010 and 2012). He officially retired from racing in 2012, but has raced a few times since then.