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Harley-Powered Custom Bike Is All About Naked Metal Bones

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

Simple, low, naked metallic skeleton. That’s all you need to describe the custom bike build that goes by the name of Flawless 3, assembled in Germany by a group called Thunderbike.

The Germans have been a solid group of bike builders since the 1980s, when they came into being as a repair shop for Japanese bikes, mostly. They kept doing that well until the early 2000s, when sales dropped in the motorcycle industry in general.

Among the few last standing in those troubled times was Harley-Davidson, so Thunderbike made a turn in its business mode and decided to focus on customizing the American-made machines. And we’re glad they did.

After the Softail-based Black Star 110 we showed you yesterday, it’s time to have a look at another build Thunderbike was responsible for. We’re not talking about another Harley conversion, but an original frame.

The garage calls this build Flawless 3, because it has been constructed on an existing platform that goes by the same name. And it’s a stunner.

The flowing frame of the bike seems to have been cast upright, made of melted metal that was instantly frozen in place when the desired, complete shape was achieved. The paint job chosen for the frame and fuel tank helps maintain the cold look of the motorcycle.

The frame rides very low to the ground, supported by a full air-suspension. Thanks to it, the ride height can be increased by up to 10 cm (4 inches) in times of need so no harm is done to the underside.

It holds a 110ci Harley-Davidson engine from CVO models, and rides on differently-sized wheels made out of solid aluminum blocks: 26 inches front and 21 inches rear.

Thunderbike’s frame line includes more insane builds, that sell either as kits or are one-offs. You can have a look at them all at this link.

Motorcycles With Car Engines: A Brief History of Two-Wheeled Absurdity

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In their own way, each of them is outrageous. But some are more so than others.

To make this list, the resulting car-hearted bike needs to have been a streetable production model, although some were series production and some were conversions or customs built in bulk. There are plenty of one-offs out there with even wilder engines than these, but we’re using this criteria to pare things down.

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These Motorcycle Campers Make Me Want To Live On My Bike

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

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all.

When it comes to the level of freedom motorcycles give you, the sky’s the limit. To some, the prospect of cruising down the open road aboard a cruiser embodies this freedom. While to others, clocking in hot laps on a high performance sportbike on the track gives them a dose of freedom unlike anything else. The thrills of motorcycling undeniably come in many ways, shapes, and forms, but one particular trend that we’ve stumbled across is pretty interesting.

Traveling across the country in a camper isn’t exactly a rare thing. In fact you’re bound to come across a camper or RV parked in a mall parking lot, or cruising the open road almost any day. How would you fancy a motorcycle sidecar camper, though? Yup, you read that right. Some ingenious motorcycle enthusiasts have managed to create mini campers for their bikes. As far as safety is concerned, I’m not too sure any of these things will be meeting any international standards. Nonetheless, they’re pretty cool to look at, make for pretty cool customs, and just go to show the lengths at which people can stretch their imaginations to achieve most anything on motorcycles. Here are a few of the coolest ones we’ve seen.

Bikernet Bike Builder of the Month

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Cole Rogers from Cycle Fabrications in Lebanon, Ohio

By Bandit and Michael Lichter with photos by Michael Lichter

This is a kick-off piece. For years I attended every show in the country and met all the old and new builders. As my travel budget decreased and my desire to work in the shop and go to Bonneville increased, I missed out on some of the shows and the chance to meet new builders.

With the help of Michael Lichter, we are going to introduce Bikernet Readers to new, young, less well-known builders. The first one is Cole Rogers, from Lebanon, Ohio, who is 46 and has been building bikes since he was 15, when his brother scored a 1972 BSA A-70L for $300, 750 Lightening. There were only 201 built.

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Benda Asura 400: Purely Chinese motorcycle with Indian name and somewhat inspired design

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by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com/

The Benda Asura 400 comes with a single-sided swingarm, which is quite rare to see on a 400cc motorcycle.

In the last few years, a lot of Chinese manufacturers have ventured into the motorcycling space. We have been bringing you a lot of stories on Chinese copy bikes that are particularly on sale in Pakistan. Well, today’s story is also about one Chinese motorcycle minus the fact that it is not on sale in our neighbouring country. This one is called the Benda Asura 400. What catches the attention at first is the Indian name used for naming the motorcycle. The Chinese manufacturer Benda had unveiled the quite futuristic-looking Asura 400 concept in February 2019. Now, very recently, the final production model has been revealed along with the technical specifications.

For now, the Benda Asura 400 is on sale in China only with prices starting at 27,800 Chinese Yuan that translates to almost Rs 3 lakh as per the Indian currency. This is indeed a quite competitive price tag, keeping in mind the fact that the bike packs in modern and premium components like a single-sided swingarm, parallel-twin engine and more. Coming to the powertrain, Benda Asura 400 is powered by a 389cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine that is good for developing respective power and torque outputs of 36.7hp and 32Nm. However, while the concept was showcased, the company had claimed a maximum power torque of 43.5hp that was very much in line with that of the KTM 390 Duke.

Acceleration time from a standstill to 100 kmph is 7 seconds while the top speed of the Asura is pegged at 160kmph. The company has also revealed the mileage which is 32.2kmpl, a figure that is reasonably impressive for a twin-cylinder engine. While you may think that the Benda Asura 400 is somewhat lesser performance-oriented compared to the competition, here is how the company has tried to compensate for it. The bike comes with premium underpinnings and hence, you get inverted forks upfront along with a rear monoshock. Moreover, the bike gets a single-sided swingarm, which is pretty interesting and rare for a bike of this segment.

Stopping power comes from twin disc brakes up front along with a single rear disc and these are coupled to a dual-channel ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) for better safety. Moreover, in terms of features, the Benda Asura 400 gets an all-LED lighting set up and the instrumentation is also a fully coloured TFT unit. If you are thinking the ‘Asura’ will be launched in India, you need to realign your thought process due to the fact that a 400cc bike at this price won’t be making much sense considering the price-sensitive buyers.

A lot of chinese manufacturers have been copying the design of products and one best example is Sigma Motorsports that sells numerous copy bikes in Pakistan with different names and smaller displacement engines compared to the respective original bikes on which those are based. While the Asura is not an outright copy-paste job, we can still see some heavy resemblance with two premium naked streetfighters on sale in India. Can you name those?

New Kalk INK SL Electric Motorcycle Revealed with $10K Price Tag for the U.S.

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

For a while now, a Swedish electric motorcycle manufacturer by the name of Cake has been moving to position itself as a noteworthy adversary in this expanding segment. Its moves have been rather shy so far, but as of this summer the company is going head on into the segment with a brand new entry.

This week, Cake gave us a dose of optimism for an outdoor summer with the introduction of the Kalk INK SL, a vehicle meant to be used for off-roading and the casual trip to and from work in equal measure.

Cake says the new bike can be legally used on the road both in the U.S. and Europe. It is based on the same technology that underpins other Cake Kalk products (OR, &, and INK), but modified in such a way as to provide the performance required from a street-legal electric motorcycle.

Sharing the drivetrain, battery, and aluminum frame with the others from its family, the INK SL separates itself from the pack by making use of a non-linkage suspension at the rear and motocross suspension at the front, black fenders and bodywork made from polycarbonate and ABS, and two 19-inch wheels.

In addition, as a means to make it legal to operate on the road, the motorcycle received turn signals, front headlight, rear brake light, and a license plate holder.

Mechanically, the speed of the motorcycle has been increased to 62 mph (100 kph) to provide it with the required highway speeds. The range is of about three hours, which translates into anywhere between 22 to 53 miles (35 to 86 km), depending on how it is ridden.

“With the launch of the Kalk INK SL, we introduce the fourth model of street-legal CAKE bikes next to the Kalk& and recently released Ösa+ and Ösa Lite. Each of these models combines excitement with responsibility to inspire a turn toward zero emissions, whether that’s in remote or urban environments.” said in a statement Cake CEO Stefan Ytterborn.

The bike goes on sale this summer, and sells for $10,500 in the U.S and €10,500 in Europe.

New Streetfighter V4 reflects Ducati’s naked ambitions

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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

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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

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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

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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.