It’s been a BUSY last few weeks for Aptera. We’ve been hard at work building our first Beta vehicles and now we can gladly say the long hours have paid off. We achieved our goal of taking our first drive in Beta before year’s end and we cannot wait to share more footage with the entire Aptera family soon!
Over the last few weeks, we finished the assembly and fine tuning of our very first Beta, which includes impressive improvements in the front and rear suspension as well as neater cable routing of our in-wheel motors. This first Beta will be used for vehicle dynamics testing and for the validation of our suspension design.
WHO’S READY TO SEE IT ON THE TRACK?
Because of your incredible support of Aptera, this is just one of many milestones we hit in 2021. We now have over 150 employees, 15,000 future Aptera owners and over 8,000 Aptera shareholders from all over the world. We are so humbled by the support of so many people who share our commitment to building the world’s most efficient transportation.
We are stepping into the New Year with a lot to be grateful for and much excitement for the year ahead.
BEST WISHES TO YOU FROM THE ENTIRE APTERA FAMILY!
Still need a last minute holiday gift? You can get 50% off an Aptera pre-order reservation (a value of up to $50) for a loved one until the end of the year. Use promo code HOLIDAY50 at checkout to qualify. And don’t forget, our fundraising round will also be closing on December 31 at midnight.
Vmoto Soco had unveiled multiple products at EICMA 2021 including electric scooters, motorcycles and fleet vehicles
Currently focused on European and US markets, Vmoto Soco Group will eventually expand its footprint globally.
The company has set ambitious plans to emerge as one of the leading brands in e-mobility. Towards that end, Vmoto Soco spent some busy days at 2021 EICMA, where a number of new electric vehicles were showcased.
Two of these are Super Soco TS Street Hunter, which seeks inspiration from the naked streetfighter design format. The other one is TCMax retro motorcycle.
2022 Super Soco Electric Motorcycles – styling and features
Vmoto Soco’s TS range currently has TS and TS-X electric motorcycles.
Overall styling of TS Street Hunter looks familiar to these motorcycles.
Some key features include a quirky headlamp face, spear-shaped turn signals, wide handlebar, sculpted fuel tank, prominent side fairing, single-piece seat and trendy tail lamp.
Super Soco TS Street Hunter
It is likely that TS Street Hunter will be borrowing several of its features from existing TS motorcycles. There could be slight variations or tweaks in line with the bike’s sportier profile. Things like an all-LED lighting setup and full-digital instrument console are apparent.
Instrument console used on TS 2021 displays a range of information such as battery status, real-time speed, odometer, full range, air temperature, clock and riding map. The screen has minimalistic black lettering against a light grey background, which should work well in terms of visibility in both bright and dark conditions. Any fancy stuff appears to have been intentionally avoided to save battery power.
Another notable feature is racing-style side wings. These not only work to enhance the bike’s looks, but also ensure better cooling and improved stability at high speed. Like other TS bikes, TS Street Hunter could get ample storage space. This will make it more practical for everyday use.
Super Soco TS Street Hunter powertrain
Powering the bike is a 2500W high-performance wheel hub motor. Applicable torque is 180 Nm. Existing Super Soco TS motorcycle also has a 2500W hub motor, which could be the same as TS Street Hunter. However, things like range and top speed could be different on both bikes. Considering that TS Street Hunter will focus on performance, it will have a relatively higher top speed and lower range.
Super Soco TS has max range of 200km, when used with a dual battery setup at a speed of 25 kmph. Top speed is 75 kmph. Maximum load capacity is 150 kg. The bike utilizes a 60v 32 Ah lithium-ion battery pack. It can be charged from 0 to 100% in around 3 hours 30 minutes.
Charging time will be more in case of dual-battery setup. Battery packs are located at a lower height, which improves the bike’s handling and balance. The battery system comes with features such as battery balancer, temperature protection and short circuit protection. It is likely that Super Soco TS Street Hunter will be equipped with connectivity platform. It could get features such as remote access, keyless start, and anti-theft alarm.
Ducati has officially revealed the DesertX adventure motorcycle in the global market.
It gets a new off-road-friendly chassis and a host of electronic riding aids.
The bike has a retro look, dual fuel tanks for fulfilling additional fuel needs, a 5.0-inch TFT screen, and a 937cc engine that comes paired with a 6-speed gearbox.
Here’s our roundup.
The Ducati DesertX concept was showcased at EICMA 2019 and two years later, we have the production model. It has a similar appearance as the concept version and looks like the Ducati motorbikes of Dankar racing from 1990s.
Distinct features such as dual fuel tanks and dual-pod headlight make it a unique offering.
The bike has a generous ground clearance of 250mm.
The front and rear fuel tanks on Ducati DesertX have capacity of 21 liters and 8 liters, respectively.
Ducati DesertX features a muscular front fuel tank, a transparent windshield, a twin-pod LED headlamp, a split-style seat, an upswept exhaust, and an auxiliary fuel tank at the back.
It houses a 5.0-inch TFT display and rides on 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels.
The two-wheeler has a seat height of 875mm, a ground clearance of 250mm, and a kerb weight of 223kg.
Engine & Specs
The Ducati DesertX is powered by a 937cc, Testastretta twin-cylinder motor that churns out 108hp of power at 9,250rpm and 92Nm of peak torque at 6,500rpm. Transmission duties are handled by a 6-speed gearbox.
For the rider’s safety, Ducati DesertX is equipped with disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels, along with cornering ABS, wheelie control, traction control, and engine brake control. It offers six riding modes.
The suspension duties are taken care of by fully-adjustable Kayaba inverted forks on the front and a fully-adjustable mono-shock unit on the rear end.
Pricing and availability
Ducati DesertX will start at $16,795 in the US. It will likely be available in North America starting June 2022.
When I came across an Australian Hamster, Keith McClure, who was manufacturing light, tough and DOT approved Polo helmets I had to check them out, test them and have them modified by George “The Wild Brush.”
The fact that this helmet meets and exceeds D.O.T. Safety Standards FMVSS 218 ….
POLO Helmet sits low and snug won’t blow back in the wind.
Simple! Mushroom or no mushroom look? Go for the Low-profile Polo No Mushroom Head Helmet.
The third generation of the now legendary Suzuki Hayabusa came to be in early 2021, meaning it had enough time at its disposal to meet the requirements of its fan base, even the most high-level ones.
Available for purchase for some time now, the once fastest production motorcycle in the world was on the shelves for most of the year in black and orange, and matt silver and red. That despite the fact Suzuki showed a white version of the two-wheeler when it unveiled the new range all those months ago.
Now, starting this week, the Japanese company is unleashing the white version of the model, with a starting price in the UK of £16,499 (which is about $21,900). Customers will get the bike in pearl brilliant white with chrome trim and metallic matt stellar blue accents sprinkled throughout.
There are virtually no other changes to the Hayabusa except for the paint on the body, and that means customers will get all the goodies offered with the rest of the range for almost a year now.
That means a reworked 1,340cc powerplant (it got new pistons, camshaft, crankshaft, and even a new clutch assembly, among others) sitting inside a remade frame. The white streak of awesomeness will be capable of zipping by at speeds of up to 299 kph (186 mph), not because it couldn’t more, but because the bike’s electronics won’t allow it.
Suzuki also boasts about the model having the “most advanced suite of electronics ever,” offering things like multiple lean angle-sensitive traction control modes, ABS, three power modes, cruise control, and a speed limiter, among others. All of these features and more can be controlled by means of a switchgear and can be set up using the TFT display.
The white Hayabusa is already available for purchase.
6 December 2021 – Suzuki has added a white version of the new Hayabusa to its range for 2022, which joins the existing black and orange and matt silver and red versions launched this year.
With an RRP of £16,499, the third generation of the legendary hyperbike gets Suzuki’s most advanced suite of electronics ever, with 10 lean angle-sensitive traction control modes, lean angle-sensitive ABS, three power modes, a bi-directional quickshifter, cruise control and a speed limiter, and three stages of launch control, all controlled via easy-to-use switchgear and managed through a neat colour TFT display, nestled between two analogue dials reminiscent of the original Hayabusa’s clocks.
A heavily redesigned engine – including new pistons, conrods, crankshaft, and camshaft – specifically aimed at producing enhanced performance in the lower to mid rev ranges making it the fastest-launching Hayabusa yet with more cumulative torque than its predecessor. All this is wrapped in sharper, more angular bodywork that nonetheless is immediately recognisable as Hayabusa, taking heavy design cues from the original.
The new pearl brilliant white Hayabusa, with its chrome trim and subtle metallic matt stellar blue accents, is available in dealerships now.
‘Nitro Circus’ star, ex-motorcycle racer team up to open creative business campus in Zaferia
A gearhead and an adrenaline junkie meet at a trade show. There is no punchline.
Andy Bell and Roland Sands hit it off immediately nearly 20 years ago and have been friends ever since. The two went on to create separate businesses—Roland Sands Design and Sweatpants Media—and, after years of operating out of their respective headquarters, have come together to create a joint home base in Long Beach’s Zaferia neighborhood.
The companies together purchased a multi-building property at 1365 Obispo Ave. with a vision for a creative campus. Along with their firms, the graphics company Spin Imaging and Moxi Roller Skates also will call the campus home in a building separate from Sands’ and Bell’s space.
“We just wanted like-minded but different companies here to fuel a vibe of people that are stoked and doing rad stuff,” Bell said.
“People we can hang out with,” Sands added. “Fabrication, 3D fabrication, film, photography, graphics, printing—it’s all here. Almost any project is possible here, and that’s a pretty special thing.”
The friends almost missed out on the space, Sands said. The building was listed in 2018, but he was not in a position to take on the project by himself—and Bell was not ready to jump into such a massive undertaking. But when another buyer went into escrow on the site, the pair said they instantly knew they made a mistake.
“This place was built in the ’40s, and it’s gorgeous,” Sands said.
After months in escrow, the deal fell through, and Bell and Sands pounced. They bought the property for about $3 million in July 2019.
The Roland Sands Design custom motorcycle shop inside the company’s new Long Beach headquarters
The tenant had a few months left on their lease, so the roughly $2.5 million buildout did not get underway until just before the pandemic, which slowed progress on the rehab. But after nearly two years, the companies are celebrating their grand opening Saturday.
The space features a retail store (open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), a screening theater, 3D and other fabrication facilities, a wood-working space, a motorcycle garage, design rooms and a slew of offices. It also includes a bar, a two-chair barbershop for special events for clients that could also be utilized by a tattoo artist, and dozens of motorcycles and helmets on display.
A third building is currently set up as a jam space for musician friends of Bell and Sands. The room has a stage and is full of vintage and modern musical equipment. The two said they have toyed with the idea of turning it into a legitimate music venue, but that won’t happen until well into the future, if at all.
Bell and Sands each had a career riding motorcycles—the latter racing on the roads of the U.S., the former flying through the air in freestyle motocross—before they met each other in the early 2000s at a motorcycle trade show in Indianapolis.
Sands, a Long Beach native, grew up around motorcycles.
“I was fully immersed in the culture because my dad was in the motorcycle industry,” Sands said, adding that he would work in his dad’s shop as a kid.
In 2005, after a racing career that included winning the 1998 American Motorcyclist Association 250cc Grand Prix Championship, Sands turned his success—and name—into a brand. The firm specializes in creating custom bikes and parts (some of which are 3D-printed). The company has grown to include a clothing and apparel line as well as a racing team.
Bell, meanwhile, was not so much into the technical side of the sport.
“I’m more of an adrenaline junkie,” Bell said, sitting in his new office complete with a beer tap. “I never liked building and working on the s—, I liked riding and jumping them.”
After his professional freestyle motocross career, Bell went on to become a stuntman, appearing on numerous TV shows and films, including “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory” and “Jackass 3D.” Most notably, Bell starred in the “Nitro Circus” films and MTV series alongside Travis Pastrana and a host of other extreme-sport athletes.
Bell founded Sweatpants Media in 2012.
“I needed a change from getting hurt for a living and all the crap we used to do,” Bell said. “I didn’t know anything about production, but I’d been around it as talent. I’ve never owned a real business before and a decade later, here we are.”
Today, Sweatpants has numerous high-end clients, including Toyota, Red Bull, Mercedes, Lexus and Japanese powertool manufacturer Makita. With over 15 million views on YouTube, Sweatpants’ “The Pitch” for Toyota was the most widely viewed commercial in the U.S. in the third quarter, Bell said.
“The Pitch” – 2022 Toyota GR Supra Commercial by Sweatpants Media (15 million+ views since June 2021)
Bell and Sands try to utilize each other and their respective businesses as much as possible. The companies have teamed up on projects, including creating a custom bike for BMW with an accompanying video. After the premiere, the pair and their wives rode BMW bikes around Italy’s Lake Como.
On another project, Sweatpants flew three Toyota trucks into Vietnam and then drove them across the country. Sands and Bell were two of the three drivers who made the trek.
“We don’t like to fake s—,” Bell said. “Instead of pretending we were in Vietnam and pretending we flew trucks under helicopters, we actually did it. There is a tinge of adventure in everything we do.”
“We like to combine work and play,” Sands added.
Sands convinced Bell to move into a house around the corner from his on Naples Island in 2010. The best friends were neighbors for years before Sands moved to Park Estates.
For the last 12 years, Los Alamitos was home to Sands’ business, but he said he has always wanted to open a space in his hometown, closer to where he lives. For nearly nine years, Sweatpants operated out of the historic Villa Riviera in Downtown. But the two are looking forward to the quasi-business merger.
“We’re stoked. It’s fun being best friends and business partners,” Bell said. “There’s a little bit of yelling and a lot of hugging; a lot of wanting to punch each other and then a lot of wanting to drink beers together.”
“Thankfully for us,” Sands added, “we want to drink with each other more than we want to fight.”
The Roland Sands Design retail space at the company’s new joint headquarters with Sweatpants Media
The V4CR, a derivative of the company’s V4SV superbike, will go on show at Motorcycle Live
Legendary manufacturer Norton Motorcycles has revealed a prototype of a new motorcycle. The V4CR, is a Café Racer derivative of the company’s V4SV superbike.
It is the first prototype to be designed, engineered and built at the company’s recently opened global headquarters in Solihull.
It shares the same engineering DNA as the superbike, including its 185bhp 1200cc V4 engine as well as some engineering advancements.
Norton said the new V4CR’s stripped-back appearance showcases the craftsmanship and quality behind one of the most powerful British café racers out there.
Fitted with a carbon fibre fuel tank and body panels, polished billet aluminium swingarm and frame, the V4CR also features compact framework and a shorter rear frame for an aggressive and commanding stance.
Norton Motorcycles’ CEO Dr Robert Hentschel said: “The prototype VC4R is the next step in Norton’s strategic growth plan on its journey to becoming the world-leader in luxury hand-crafted motorcycles.”
The V4CR prototype is Norton’s latest project to use the marque’s refined V4 platform, revised over the last 16 months by a team of 30 engineers and subject to tens of thousands of road and track miles, as part of Norton’s development process.
The V4CR reintroduces fans to Norton’s iconic café racer heritage.
Norton’s V4CR prototype will make its public debut at Motorcycle Live, taking place at the NEC in Solihull from December 4-12.
Norton formally opened its Solihull headquarters in November this year.
The motorcycle maker has a long and illustrious history, though fell on hard times before being revived.
It became one of the most iconic British motorcycle brands, manufacturing famous models such as the 650SS, Atlas, Commando, Dominator, Manx, Navigator and many more.
It gained a reputation as an innovator in motorcycle technology, with features combining lightness and strength in motorcycle racing.
Norton Motorcycles has a rich history in motorsport and the brand name is synonymous with the famous Isle of Man TT.
The new headquarters in Solar Park, Shirley, is home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support teams – as well as the skilled production team that is resuming the manufacture of motorcycles.
Norton Motorcycles’ revival and relocation from Castle Donington comes after it was acquired by TVS Motor Company, India’s third-largest motorcycle manufacturer in April 2020.
Yamaha has taken the covers off from the upcoming 2022 TMax for European markets. The flagship Maxi scooter has received multiple updates in its current iteration over the outgoing model. The scooter is expected to go on sale in many European markets including UK at the start of next year.
TMax has been an immensely successful scooter in Europe since it was first launched in 2001 and has been the best-selling sports scooter in the past two decades. The 2022 model comes equipped with a range of new features as well as updated aesthetics that make it more appealing than before.
Features on offer
In terms of features, 2022 TMax gets a new 7-inch full-colour TFT instrument console enabled with full smartphone connectivity and in-built navigation with Garmin maps connectivity via Bluetooth, Wifi and USB. All these could be controlled through a joystick-like setup on the left handlebar.
Practical creature comforts on offer include heated handlebar grips, heated seats, cruise control, electrically adjustable windshield, and backlit handlebar switches. Other amenities such as traction control, keyless start with Smartkey remote, remote opening fuel cap and seat and multiple ride modes are also included in the package. However, most of these techs are available in the top-spec Tech Max trim.
Powertrain, Hardware Specs
Powertrain of TMax hasn’t been changed with the same 560cc two-cylinder DOHC engine propelling the latest iteration. This motor cranks out 47.6 bhp at 7,500rpm and 55.7 Nm of torque at 5,250rpm with power going to the rear wheel via an automatic transmission and belt drive. That said, there are some tweaks made to the scooter’s hardware configurations.
Suspension setup comprises new 41mm USD forks upfront and a single rear shock which offers a better front-end feel and damping at the rear. Braking duties are handled by dual 262mm front discs and a 282mm rear disc which are complemented by a dual-channel ABS.
In its latest avatar, TMax has been updated with a sportier and more aggressive styling inspired by supersport motorcycles. It gets restyled twin LED headlamps and a larger windscreen mounted on top of the front apron. The front apron also features a large air intake scoop which gives the face of the scooter a beak-like appearance. The panels are new with a more compact body on offer.
The single-piece seat with a raised tail section features lumbar support for the rider for additional comfort during long journeys. The new TMax sits on a lighter aluminium chassis which should feel easier to manoeuver and handle around corners. A sporty riding posture has been attained with a slightly forward-leaning position by adjusting all points of the ‘rider triangle’.
Yamaha is offering the Maxi scooter in two derivatives- TMax and TMax Tech Max. The former will be offered with three colour options namely Extreme Yellow, Icon Blue and Sword Grey. The latter, on the other hand, will be reserved for UK markets only and will be available in two shades- Dark Petrol and Power Grey. The yellow-coloured alloys and rims also add to the visual appeal of the scooter.
If you look from far away, superficially enough, and you don’t know what those twisted pipes on the side of this motorcycle are, your brain might trick into believing you’re looking at a couple of snakes doing their thing in plain daylight.
Over the years, as we combed through some of the most extreme, visually appealing, or mechanically-impressive rides on two wheels, we’ve seen plenty of hardcore representations of exhaust systems. The one we have here though is so far ahead of all the others, it deserves a title of its own.
The serpent-like piece of hardware sits on one side of a custom build called Criminal for one reason or another. The bike started out as a stock Breakout, but was heavily modified to earn its place in the select gallery of custom rides we constantly feature.
The visual effect of the exhaust system was achieved by the garage behind this build, Poland-based Nine Hills Motorcycles, through a clever play between the copper color of the pipes and welding stripes placed at almost equal intervals. The garage calls the system a piece of jewelry, and as far as design for these bits goes, they’re spot on.
Although from a color standpoint it has nothing in common with the rest of the body (in fact, it is exactly this mismatching that makes the exhaust stand out so much), it does seem to blend pretty well with the green hues deployed on most of the handcrafted body.
The shop did not limit itself at replacing the pipes, but fitted other custom bits on the thing as well in their bid to make it unique. Up front we’ve got a custom headlight, the wheels are of Performance Machine-make, and Roland Sands supplied the engine housings.
Mechanically, the brakes on the Breakout have been modified, and there’s an air suspensions system on deck to make both the thing’s stance more visually appealing, and the ride more comfortable.
As far as we can tell, the engine of the motorcycle was left pretty much unchanged, and only got a small number of new and improved hardware, including the exhaust system that brought us face to face with it, and a BDL clutch.
The Poles describe the end product of their work as a “real designer firecracker,” a one-off machine that retains the elements that make the Breakout such a go-to platform for customizers, but also brings something unique to the table.
For how much it does this, though, is anybody’s guess. In the usual European style we’ve grown accustomed to by now, Nine Hills keeps the price of the project under wraps, so we have no way of telling how much the modifications made cost the owner.
The new headquarters is creating over a hundred new high-skilled jobs and more in the coming years and will be able to build around 8,000 motorcycles a year.
Norton Motorcycles has announced the completion of its new global headquarters that includes state-of-the-art manufacturing capability and the company’s new global design and R&D hub as well. The new HQ is a display of significant commitment by TVS Motor Company in its partnership with Norton Motorcycles. Within just 18 months of acquiring the iconic British marque, TVS has overseen the creation of its world-class facility in Solihull, West Midlands, UK.
The new Norton leadership, together with TVS Motor Company, has conducted a wide-ranging review of Norton Motorcycles operations, resulting in new appointments and processes and these have been specifically in engineering, design, and manufacturing areas in order to ensure the highest quality standards, the company stated.
Moreover, the new headquarters is creating over a hundred new high-skilled jobs and more in the coming years and will be able to build around 8,000 motorcycles a year.
As part of the new manufacturing process, every single component of every new Norton bike will be evaluated in a new quality-testing laboratory to ensure the highest build quality. Moreover, the company says that within the laboratory are inspection rooms, testing areas including destruction testing, and a rolling road while a customer reception and showroom, service workshop, and office are also housed at the new HQ.
The Norton manufacturing facility has also been engineered to be highly sustainable and to minimize waste. The brand says that the build used numerous sustainable and rapid build techniques on the project, the components of which are almost 50% reconfigurable as a proportion of total construction cost – in order to increase special flexibility. The new facility is supported by the West Midlands Growth partnership, the UK Government, and is a great example of Anglo-Indian cooperation.