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BMW R 18 Motorcycle with Monster Big Boxer Engine to Be Unveiled on April 3

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

It’s been a long time in the making, but BMW Motorrad’s newest entry to the cruiser segment, a bike aptly called the R 18, is just around the corner. On Friday, April 3, the Germans will pull the wraps off what is to become one of the most potent motorcycles in its segment.

And this bike owes it all to a new engine BMW likes to call the Big Boxer. First shown on a bike called the Concept R 18 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May 2019, the engine moved over to two custom builds, before getting the official thumbs up at the end of 2019.

The two-cylinder powerplant has a capacity of 1,802 cc, which should make it the highest-capacity engine ever used on a production motorcycle. According to the specs revealed by the Bavarians, the engine has a power output of 91 hp and 158 Nm of torque, and that should also make it the most powerful boxer ever built by BMW.

It’s the R 18 that will see the first application of the Big Boxer, and on the bike it will be linked to a single-disc dry clutch that sends torque to the 6-speed transmission. Although the power ratings have already been announced, the performance specs are still unknown.

“All of us at BMW Motorrad are very much looking forward to the absolute highlight of the year for us – the world premiere of the BMW R 18,” said in a statement Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad.

“BMW Motorrad achieved record sales for the ninth year in succession in 2019. With the R 18 and the associated entry into the cruiser segment, we are consistently pursuing our growth strategy with the clear goal of becoming the number one in the premium segment worldwide.”

More details and official photos of the bike will become available at the unveiling.

Futuristic SA motorcycle to go into production

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by Denis Droppa from https://www.businesslive.co.za

Unlike anything yet seen on two wheels, Pierre Terblanche’s R1.1m Hypertek electric bike takes shape

A futuristic South African motorcycle that attracted interest at a recent international motorcycle show is to go into production in two years’ time.

Looking like a prop from a Blade Runner movie, the prototype of the outlandish Hypertek electric bike was unveiled in November at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, the motorcycle industry’s premier annual showcase.

The Hypertek is a collaboration between SA’s Blackstone Tek (BST), a Johannesburg-based company specialising in carbon-fibre automotive components, and well-known SA designer Pierre Terblanche who penned iconic motorcycles like the Ducati 749 and 999.

The striking Hypertek takes a bold sidestep from conventional motorcycle design. Looking like it was assembled from a giant Meccano set, it features no fairings and has all its mechanical elements on display, with the lithium-ion batteries housed in a finned, engine-like casing.

Is it pretty? You decide. Is it spectacular? Heck yes.

The bike is powered by an 80kW electric motor and has an estimated range of about 200km, taking as little as 30 minutes to fully charge on a DC quick charger.

BST’s Terry Annecke says the $80,000 (R1.14m) bike is aimed at the high-end luxury market and will be hand-assembled in small volumes at BST’s Joburg factory from early 2022.

She says the Hypetek has received 10 confirmed orders with at least 50 people “seriously interested” since the bike’s appearance at EICMA. Annecke expects a mostly international clientele for the bike, although the first two orders were placed by local buyers.

“The Hypertek is aimed at people who appreciate it for its exceptional design and Pierre’s reputation,” she says, adding that the world-famous Barber motorcycle museum in Alabama, US, wants one for its collection.

Terblanche, the former director of design for Italian motorcycle company Ducati, says current battery-powered motorcycles are rather boring and that he created the Hypertek as a more emotional electric bike.

Apart from the flamboyant design, emotion is created by a built-in sound generator that makes the Hypertek roar like a conventional combustion-engined bike, or any sound of the customer’s choosing. Unlike other electric bikes it also has a clutch that allows riders to perform wheelies and burnouts.

There is no instrument panel. Instead, data and infotainment is projected on a head-up display (HUD) inside the rider’s helmet. Mirrors are absent too, and a camera projects the rear view onto the HUD.

It has some novel engineering solutions too, including the rear suspension being incorporated into the swingarm. That leaves the seat floating in an open space on a short tailpiece, well forward of the rear wheel.

Calling the Hypertek the best work he has ever done, Terblanche says he wanted to build an iconic electric motorcycle with excellent performance and beautiful styling.

“Motorcycles have become very formulaic and paint-by-numbers, and I wanted to create something that didn’t carry over existing bike ideas.”

Terblanche isn’t a fan of the retro-styled trend sweeping the motorcycle industry, and a small plaque on the Hypertek’s rear end reads: “Warning: for fans of curated replicas of 40s, 50s or 60s motorcycles, you are at the wrong stand”.

With its estimated 200km range the Hypertek is a primarily urban machine, but Terblanche says battery and supercapacitor technology is constantly improving and later editions of the bike will be able to travel further out of city confines.

BST’s Annecke says the Hypertek is a true South African story, including the fact that most of the prototype’s bodywork was 3D printed by a Brakpan company.

BST manufactured the carbon fibre wheels and frame for the Hypertek. The Randburg-based engineering company also makes carbon fibre components for motorcycle companies such as Ducati, MV Agusta, and the Arch Motorcycle company co-founded by Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves.

London Motorcycle Show on the horizon

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by Fraser Addecott from https://www.mirror.co.uk/

Check out all the latest machinery, plus a whole lot more, at the capital’s big bike fest

The post-Christmas winter months are probably not most bikers’ favourite time of the year – seeming cold, wet and miserable.

One bright spot on the horizon, however, is the ever-popular London Motorcycle Show.

This annual extravaganza continues to go from strength to strength and the 2020 edition looks like being no exception.

Alongside the latest machines from the world’s leading manufacturers, visitors will be able to see explosive live-action racing, rare classic machines, biking celebrities and a UK-exclusive celebration of iconic racer Barry Sheene.

All the new models from AJS, BMW, CCM, CF Moto, Ducati, Ecooter, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Mutt Motorcycles, MV Agusta, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph, Yamaha and Zero will be on show.

Nine of Sheene’s legendary race machines (including his two title-winning bikes) are being flown in from Australia specially for the show.

And teammate Steve Parrish and Suzuki chief technician during Sheene’s winning years will be onstage sharing insight and anecdotes.

Race fans will be kept enthralled with a completely revamped Michelin Thunderdrome live-action event once again taking over the centre of the show.

The free races will see the world’s fastest road racer Peter Hickman going head-to-head with fellow Isle of Man TT competitors John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and James Hillier.

Visitors can purchase a VIP paddock pass, which allows them access to the racing stars and an unbeatable view of the action.

Alongside that, the Classic TT will officially be launched at the show, while, in between races, John McGuinness will be found propping up the bar at his own pub.

The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner will be pulling pints and sharing tales from his incredible career with punters throughout the weekend.

Statistics show 41% of riders are wearing helmets that are more than five years old and beyond the manufacturer’s service life.

Anyone who brings their old helmet to the show will receive a free gift and the opportunity to purchase a replacement at a bargain price.

Those wanting to take part should sign up beforehand at helmetamnesty.com.

Motorcyclists looking to escape on an adventure this year will find plenty of inspiration in the Adventure Zone and Bonhams will be bringing rare and exotic machines from the legendary Italian manufacturer Giancarlo Morbidelli collection.

The show is on February 14-16, at ExCel, East London.

For information and reduced-price early-bird tickets, visit mcnmotorcycleshow.com.

Canton veteran who lost leg rides again thanks to customized motorcycle

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by Kelly Byer from https://www.cantonrep.com

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer get back on the road.

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer ride a motorcycle for the first time in eight years.

More importantly, he said, the fall program renewed his faith in humanity.

“I was left for dead on the side of the road,” he said. “So, during my time in this last seven or eight years, I have lost a lot of faith in people. A lot.”

In 2011, a drunken driver pulled in front of Zollicoffer’s 1995 Kawasaki motorcycle on state Route 800. The now retired U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran had completed three tours in Iraq and was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.

Another person came across the early morning wreck and stopped to help. Zollicoffer, a 53-year-old Canton resident, spent months in a coma and had his left leg amputated at the hip.

This past Veteran’s Day, he received a modified trike at the Makers For Veterans closing ceremony. His family’s safety concerns had kept Zollicoffer from pursuing a costly trike, but they talked and accepted what it meant to him beforehand.

He’s taken a few rides.

“I can’t even describe the feeling, when you get that wind blowing through your hair,” joked Zollicoffer, who has a shaved head.

Makers for Veterans

The Colorado-based nonprofit Challenge America began the Makers for Veterans program (CAMVETS) in 2019. It brought together volunteers with various expertise to solve challenges posed by veterans.

Dallas Blaney, executive director of Challenge America, said the inspiration came from a similar initiative in Israel. Challenge America members participated in the international program and wanted to recreate the experience in the United States.

Blaney described it as “human-centered design applied to the veterans space.” The process begins by asking participants, selected from across the nation, what they want to do that they haven’t been able to.

“That forces the veterans to frame their challenges in a positive way,” Blaney said.

A team — built “from scratch” — with skills relevant to the individual’s challenge then meet at a kickoff event. That is followed by about eight weeks of planning and work culminating in a three-day workshop.

CAMETS then works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other partners to identify prototypes to patent and undergo additional product development.

“So that we can get those promising solutions out to market where other veterans and civilians, too, can benefit from these things,” Blaney said.

CAMVETS coordinated a spring and fall program. From 17 total projects, Blaney said, the partners produced 15 working prototypes and, so far, filed for five provisional patents.

Blaney said a digital service dog application designed to help a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is expected to be the first product ready for market.

Both programs were held in the Cleveland area, not far from where Blaney grew up. He said the region has a great blend of medical, manufacturing, entrepreneurial, academic and innovative institutions.

The Cleveland Clinic, Bio Enterprise and St. Edward High School are some of CAMVETS’ partners.

“It just seemed like such an amazing fit, and it’s a very friendly place to do business,” Blaney said.

The nonprofit likely will host another program in Northeast Ohio this year, but only one. He said CAMVETS plans to expand to a new city.

Zollicoffer’s custom trike

De Ann Williams, executive director of the Stark County Veterans Service Commission, heard about a CAMVETS opening during a conference and nominated Zollicoffer. It was the first she’d heard about the organization, but she thought the program might produce a longer-lasting prosthetic leg.

Zollicoffer used to play basketball and entered the program thinking he’d leave with a prosthetic for athletic activities.

“With the level of my amputation, that was close to impossible,” he said. “So they started asking questions.”

Zollicoffer, who grew up riding motorcycles, then told his team he’d like to ride again.

“As a motorcycle enthusiast myself, I understood and respected that,” Williams said.

Zollicoffer worked ’hand-in-hand” with his team as the plan evolved — from modifying his prosthetic leg to modifying a three-wheeled motorcycle. However, he said he wasn’t privy to the end product until the Veteran’s Day reveal.

When he was asked to visit a Harley Davidson store as the project wound down, Zollicoffer began to wonder if he’d get a new trike. He later learned that sitting on a $35,000 motorcycle was more for measurement.

The engineers, students and other makers on Team Z turned a two-wheel 1972 Harley Davidson into a trike by replacing the rear portion with wheels from a 1978 Mustang. They also moved the typical, left-side motorcycle gears to the right.

“So, it was a totally customized job,” Zollicoffer said.

Community comes together

After he saw the trike, Zollicoffer saw the executive director of the Stark County Veterans Service Commission.

“I turned around and there’s De Ann standing there,” he said. “That’s when it became clear to me that the whole outreach team got together and they did this thing.”

CAMVETS has paid the “lion share” of most projects, Blaney said. The local commission, though, was tasked with raising $5,000 to buy the bike, which was complemented by donated parts.

Williams said she believes the plan to have the bike donated didn’t work out, so the commission reached out to area service organizations. They had the money within a few days.

“I was just beside myself,” she said. “I couldn’t believe the community came together like that.”

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 38 was the major donor. Others were American Legion Post 548, American Veterans Post 124, and Coyote Motorsports.

DAV Commander David May said the project aligned with the group’s mission to assist disabled veterans.

“We’re happy to do it,” he said.

Those involved with CAMVETS said they were glad to learn of the program and plan to volunteer or recommend it to other veterans in the future. Zollicoffer said he made “lifelong friends.”

“We’ll definitely stay in touch with CAMVETS,” Williams said. “I think that that’s definitely going to be a partnership that I hope lasts for a long time.”

Segway tries to be sexy at CES, presents new electric motorcycle

By | General Posts

 

by Chris Matyszczyk from https://www.zdnet.com/

Will this be the great victor at CES? Oh, please let that happen.

Admit it, you’ve pitied them.

The tourists, the mailpersons, the mall cops, the aging techies who now resent the future, they’re all regularly seen on Segways. Some, perhaps in a vain attempt to salvage their image, even wear a crash helmet while they ride the much-derided machine.

In recent times, though, Segway was bought by China’s Ninebot. It’s started to develop robots. Well, robotic heads that ride on Segways.

Now, though the company wants to make you drool and not because you’re laughing so much. It wants every attendee at CES 2020 to be talking about nothing other than the enormous strides Segway has made toward being alluring.

Just before Christmas it released a (possibly) dynamic video of its new Apex.

This is an electric motorbike, one that you can ride on a track. Yes, with no one else there but a camera crew.

Some may be moved that there is only one wheel at the front and one at the back.

More may be excited by the idea that this seems like a bike they’d actually be happy to be seen on, even beyond an enclosed track. It is alleged to be capable of going of going from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and reaching 125 mph.

Some bike aficionados may, however, endure qualms. The Apex sounds less like a bike and more like a one-person metalwork factory. Moreover, the rider in the video doesn’t make it look quite like the muscly monsters that occasionally overtake me on the freeway going 100 mph. (I’m going 65, honest.) He doesn’t lean over very far, does he?

Perhaps, though, it’s a fine bike for our precarious times, one that melds dynamism and sanctimony in one glorious ride.

Naturally, this is being billed as a concept vehicle. But when excitement builds at CES, the momentum can become uncontrollable. As was witnessed last year with the award, unaward and award again of a truly innovative — so I’m reliably informed — sex toy.

Soon, we might be living in a world where Segway Apex’s are disturbing Tesla drivers on the freeway.

What could be more beautiful than that?

 

BMW Could Be Building Electric Motorcycles In Five Years

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by Brad Anderson from https://www.carscoops.com/

It’s not just electric cars that have started to pop up with increased frequency in recent years as all-electric motorcycles are also becoming more commonplace. BMW Motorrad doesn’t appear to be in a rush to bring electric bikes of its own to the market, however.

While recently speaking with Cycle World, head of BMW Motorrad Dr. Markus Schramm said that electric motorcycles may make sense in urban environments, but that could be it.

“As the Vision DC Roadster concept shows, we see this as a power portfolio of the future,” he said. “In the urban environment, it is possible that there will be an electric BMW motorcycle in five years. In the touring, off-road, and sport segments, I am not sure that we will see them.”

The BMW Vision DC Roadster was introduced at the company’s #NEXTGen event back in June as an all-electric model featuring a battery pack with metallic cooling ribs and two fans. Sending power through the rear wheels is a cylinder-shaped electric motor. The bike has an exterior design unlike any other BMW motorcycle and is not expected to find its way into the production line.

“I am convinced that the motorcycle as a product becomes more and more important—not about commuting, but as leisure product,” Schramm added during the interview. “Electric mobility will be important for motorcycles in urban areas within five years.”

If electric power becomes more common on motorcycles focused on urban commuting, it seems inevitable that more enthusiast-oriented motorcycles will retain their high-revving internal combustion engines for years to come.

Panasonic-Equipped Vehicles At CES 2020 Include Harleys

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by Jim Henry from https://www.forbes.com

Panasonic-Equipped Vehicles At CES 2020 Include Harleys And Even A Battery Powered Fire Truck

Panasonic Automotive branches out at the upcoming CES 2020, adding motorcycles from Harley-Davidson and compact, “right-sized” electric trucks for commercial use from Tropos Technologies Inc., to the Panasonic stand at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show.

“We’re doing a lot of collaboration,” Andrew Poliak, Panasonic Automotive CTO, said in a phone interview. CES 2020 runs Jan. 7 through Jan. 10 in Las Vegas. Media previews begin Jan. 5.

Panasonic is a world leader in automotive batteries, automotive infotainment, and vehicle connectivity solutions. At CES 2019 a year ago, Panasonic and Harley jointly unveiled the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle, the first battery powered Harley built by the manufacturer.

Besides the electric powertrain, the LiveWire was introduced along with a suite of connected features Harley calls H-D Connect. Some functions, used in conjunction with the H-D smartphone app, are aimed specifically at the electric motorcycle, like searching for recharging stations and the ability to check remotely how much the battery is charged.

This year, starting with the 2020 model year that began in August 2019, Harley is rolling out connected features for many of its bikes with internal combustion engines, too. For instance, owners can check fuel level remotely instead of battery charge. Other features work for either electric or traditional powertrains, such as service reminders and tamper alerts. There’s also a stolen vehicle tracking service.

Meanwhile in May 2019, Panasonic and Tropos announced a partnership to produce battery powered commercial vehicles. According to Poliak, those include a small “fire response vehicle,” and small delivery trucks aimed at fulfilling the “last mile” requirement for fast delivery.

John R. Bautista III, Tropos CEO and founder, said in a video on the Tropos web site that his company’s fire response vehicle typically would cost around $50,000, vs. around $500,000 for a traditional, fullsize pumper truck. “The cost is so low, a private fleet can position a small fire response vehicle on site, full time, without having to spend a lot of money,” he said.

Return of the Titan

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A Brother Brings the Giant Back to Life and Youth to His…

I had the wants for another custom bike but have turned into a cheap old fucker since getting SS at 62.

I’m still a chopper guy and decided a Big Dog or Texas Chopper was it. Limited funds had me loosing auctions on EBay. Up pops a ‘98 Titan with no reserve only 300 miles away.

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