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How The Pandemic Has Kick-Started a Motorcycle Boom

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by Emila Smith

It is hard to think about silver linings amidst a devastating pandemic. However, despite the crumbling health systems and faltering businesses, many people have found ways to keep their heads up. They are taking this as an opportunity to enjoy a COVID-triggered breath of fresh air.

The pandemic has kick-started a global motorcycle boom. More people are turning to their two-wheelers to break away from the stress and fears, enjoy the outdoors, and ease movement.

According to a Bloomberg report, motorcycle industry leaders are optimistic. Eric Pritchard of the Motorcycle Industry Council looked forward to the best run since 2016. Like tech-based companies, motorcycle companies look forward to explosive growth during this COVID-19 season.

But what are the reasons behind this motorcycle boom?

As the experts at McKinsey would say, “The pandemic reshaped what consumers buy and how they go about getting it.” Previously, motorcycle sales were low because people considered it a risky affair. Bike riders had a disproportionately high number of accidents, and people were grey concerning handling injury and claims. But it looks like the tide is turning. The pandemic has somehow caused a shift in how people perceive motorcycling. It is no longer a stressful, hair-raising activity, but one pursued its health benefits.

Read on and learn how wellness-craving buyers are causing a motorcycle boom.

A COVID-Triggered Breath of Life
Before the pandemic, dark clouds were hanging over the motorcycle industry in the US. There were not enough new buyers to replace those who were giving up their two-wheelers. According to  Statista.com, sales peaked in 2015 when industry sales stood at about 500,000 units. But the figures plummeted in subsequent years. Motorcycle companies like Harley Davidson were on the deathbed for a long time.

But then COVID-19 happened. Lockdowns, social distancing, and other containment measures meant stress. Mental and physical wellness were the words that would inject new hope into the struggling industry, and the global sales figures show it.

In Asia and Europe, motorcycle companies in countries like China, Germany, and the Netherlands surpassed their year-on-year growth projections. Overall, global industry leaders anticipate that the two-wheeler market will grow from about $74billion (a rate of 5.3%). There are economic reasons behind this growth as well as social motivations.

Growth in Supporting Businesses
The COVID-driven growth of e-commerce is primarily due to the shift to working from home. As people stay at home, the demand for courier services is surging.

Whether it is Uber eats or Deliveroo, motorcycles are the preferred transport solution for courier services. During the pandemic, industry leaders like Uber eats have reported exceptional growth, triggering an increase in the number of riders. The same was the case for Deliveroo in London. They added 15,000 new riders.

But it’s not only economic reasons that are driving the motorcycle boom. Riding a motorcycle can improve a person’s well-being. We think this takes the chunk of why the pandemic kick-started the motorcycle boom, and here is how.

Motorcycles are An Affordable Escape from COVID-19 Worries
Lockdowns and the demand to stay at home or work from home cause fatigue and tension. People need ways to blow off the steam, and motorcycles provide an excellent route to achieve relief.

Biking is an affordable way to escape the tumults of urban lifestyles and get lost in the open spaces of the countryside. The release and joy of riding is an excellent remedy for stress and tension.

According to the Bloomberg report, dealers in “open space states” like California, some regions in Florida, and Kentucky have experienced exponential sales in the last couple of months. Industry leaders have particularly noted an increase in demand for outdoor and adventure models.

Enthusiasm to Explore
As the pandemic continues to devastate lives and communities, people are turning to new ways to cope. More people are channeling their dreams and pains through their two-wheeled companions.

Many Americans have turned to their two-wheeled companions for stress relief and to build a sense of community. Founders of women’s biking movements, Kelly Yazdi and Porsche Taylor, told cntraveler.com how they saw this as an opportunity to inspire women to ride across the country and help ‘sisters’ cope. And it is driving the average number of riders up.

An Excellent Way to Commute
Travelling within cities and other urban spaces is often marred by traffic jams. Many people detest the downtime and opt to use public transport. However, COVID-19 rendered public transport a not-very-safe way to travel.

Many people who opted not to stay confined in cars chose motorcycles, driving the numbers up. Two-wheelers became a natural choice for urban dwellers who wanted to get to their destinations fast without compromising social distance or other COVID containment measures.

Riding is not only safer but also a faster way to get to your destination. Although lane splitting is not legal in many parts of the US, there is no doubt that it is easier to weave through traffic gridlocks when on a motorcycle. Every month motorcycle riders in London save an average of seven hours and about 140 (about $198) on their commute. Saving time and money has a tremendous positive impact on mental wellness. It is a good reason why the motorcycle figures are staying up.

Makes Environmental Sense
Beating traffic feels awesome; doing it while you are going green also boosts your mental wellness.

The carbon footprint of manufacturing and operating a motorcycle is a fraction of that of a motor vehicle. Manufacturing and running an electric bike leaves an even smaller carbon footprint. Environmentally sensitive buyers are aware of this, and they are saying they want more bikes through their wallets.

The pandemic inspired a 145% growth in electric bike sales in the US. They get to their destination faster, boosting their mood, and they feel good about the environment.

Bottom Line
Behind the pandemic-driven boom is the need for overall wellness. People have realized that biking is not the high-risk activity they perceived it to be. But by observing the safety guidelines and learning a thing or two about handling injury and compensation, riding a motorcycle can turn into a mentally rewarding pastime.

The wellness rewards of riding have kick-started the motorcycle boom.

Damon Motorcycles to enter Latin America

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

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

https://damon.com/

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

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

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

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

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

New Pan America motorcycle drawing national attention

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by Sarah Hauer from https://www.jsonline.com

Harley-Davidson Inc.’s newest bike — a less expensive and lighter motorcycle — is drawing national attention as the company tries to lure new riders.

Harley-Davidson’s Pan America is arriving at hundreds of dealerships now.

“(The Pan America) is definitely not your dad’s Harley-Davidson cruiser,” New York Times reporter Mark Gardiner wrote.

The Pan America is about $2,000 cheaper and 200 pounds lighter than Harley-Davidson’s most popular touring bikes. The base model of the Pan America is around 530 pounds and starts at $17,319.

Pan America’s launch was delayed a year. The company held a virtual launch event in February.

Kevin Duke, who writes about motorcycles, was impressed by his test ride of the new bike.

“The news about Harley for the past couple of years has been quite pessimistic,” said Duke, the editor in chief at Thunder Press in the New York Times article. “With the older demographic aging out, there was no real hint at what the company could do to gain market share, but this really changes it. The new motor is that good.”

The Milwaukee-based company has been trying to expand its customer base for years.

The company experienced a steep decline in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Motorcycle sales were up 9% worldwide for the company during its most recent fiscal quarter. That bump was driven by a 30% increase in North America motorcycle sales over the same three-month time period last year.

Harley-Davidson launched its all-electric motorcycle brand LiveWire in May. The first motorcycle branded as a LiveWire bike is scheduled to premiere at the International Motorcycle Show on July 9.

DIY: Building your own Electric Motorcycle

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from https://www.financialexpress.com

How to build your own 150 km/h electric motorcycle: DIY instructions for $ 10

There’s also a list of tools and parts you’ll need, including a 72V motor and a GSX-R750 front end. Plus a 32-minute YouTube video for a bit of handholding while you go through the process.

DIY videos work really well on social media, don’t they? Especially since a lot of people have been home for over a year now due to the still ongoing pandemic. So, how about building an electric motorcycle? Right, bring out your welding tools and get to work. Too far? We thought so. But this video and CAD files could be a great help if you are working on an engineering project in college or even setting up an EV startup, that seems to be quite hip in the automotive industry these days.

There have been several books on ‘how to build a motorcycle’ which are not just guides to actually building a bike but also a good read if you’re nerdy about these things. And until recently, you could buy plans for building everything from the frame to engine design.

Now though, technology has raced ahead with computer-aided design. And the good folk at Renewable Systems Technology are offering plans or rather CAD files for $10 for building an electric motorcycle that can do 150 km/h. The website adds that the build should cost around $5,000.

There’s also the 32-minute YouTube video above detailing the process and of course, there’s a long list of parts and tools you’ll need. The build in the video uses a 72V motor and a GSX-R750 front end.

We don’t have any mechanical engineers on our team so we can’t vouch for if the instructions will hand you a multi-million dollar idea or a recipe for disaster but surely there’s a lot to learn.

From the Website: https://renewablesystemstechnology.com/electric-motorcycle.html

This bike is equivalent to a 100-150cc gas powered bike with a top speed of 75 mph (120 km/h) @ 72V and a range of 60 miles (100 km).

The plans are now available for download. As mentioned previously, there is no step by step build guide for this build, just a .pdf with dimensional drawings and the 3D Sketchup CAD. It’s not really a project for beginners, and I don’t think experienced builders need me to explain step by step how to work the materials, so I kept it simple this time. But I did set up scenes in the CAD with dimensions for all of the components, so it would be worth while to get Sketchup (or use the free web version) and refer to the CAD for a better look at the details and dimensions vs the .pdf drawings.

 

Torrot’s New Enduro Motorcycles for Kids

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

Torrot’s New Enduro Motorcycles for Kids, Double the Fun While Keeping Them Safe

The world of enduro can be just as exciting for kids as it is for adults, as long as parents can make sure that everything is safe and under control. Already known for making motorbikes for children, Torrot has recently launched a second-generation range, perfect for introducing the little ones to this great sport.

Spanish-based Torrot is not a newcomer on the market. In fact, it’s got quite a history since its foundation in 1948, which led to eventually developing electric bikes, in the last few years. The company’s KIDS range was meant to help children begin practicing for enduro and off-road trials. Kids could start to learn by riding on on-road tracks, with the help of one of the 3 models in the series, Trial One, Motocross One and Supermotard One.

Torrot has recently upgraded all the models in the series, for even better performance, but with the same excellent safety and control features. All 3 electric motorbikes come with new LiMnCo batteries that are lighter, which makes them easier to remove and recharge. And, in terms of components, they are made with a chrome-molybdenum chassis, a hydraulic aluminum front fork from EBR and MITAS tires.

The Trial Two, Motocross Two and Supermotard Two have a maximum speed of 24.8 mph (40 kph), and the best part is that the Torrot electric engine comes with a programmable controller. The power can be programmed from 600W up to 1500W, which is perfect for progressive learning and also makes the riding experience much safer.

Parents can do more than just adjust the power, thanks to the company’s ingenious “Parental Control” system. By simply using the Torrot KIDS App on their phone, parents can remotely make sure that their little riders are safe. They can configure power levels, speed and throttle response, limiting them when it’s necessary and they can even disconnect the motorbike completely.

Trial Two is currently available for orders, with a $3,180 (€ 2,599) price tag, and the other 2 models can be pre-ordered, for the slightly higher price of $3,300 (€2,699).

Latest 3D-Printed Electric Motorcycle From Tarform

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by Cristina Mircea from https://www.autoevolution.com

Meet the Luna Racer Edition, Newest 3D-Printed Electric Motorcycle From Tarform.

There’s a new Luna in town. Brooklyn-based motorcycle manufacturer Tarform Motorcycles has announced a new version of its Luna electric motorcycle model. The Racer Edition will enter production this summer but you can preorder it now.

Tarform motorcycles might not have the most elegant and appealing design for everyone’s taste, but they compensate in other ways. The company aims to manufacture electric motorcycles that are modern in features, sustainable and upgradable, thanks to their modular design. Approximately 55 percent of the bike parts are 3D-printed using recycled materials such as recycled aluminium, biodegradable leather, flax fibers. You can upgrade pretty much anything on them, from the battery pack to the software and even body.

The Luna was announced in 2018 and it initially came in one version, called the Scrambled Edition. But things got delayed and the bike is still just a concept. Now the company announced a new version, the Cafe Racer Edition, and they are both available to preorder for the same price of $24,000. Tarform says they’ll both hit the market this summer.

There aren’t too many differences between the Scrambler and the Racer, as they both feature the same specs in terms of weight, battery, and motor. Both come with a 55 HP motor and 10 kWh battery pack. They both weigh 440 lb (200 kg).

Inspired by the British 60s, the Racer differs from the Scrambler mostly in terms of design. It features the Avon Sport ST street tires, comes with a slightly lower suspension and there are some lines on the battery box, which are missing from the Scrambler. The Racer also has black anodized bars, swingarm, indicators, and mirrors.

The Luna comes with a 3.4-inch HD display with Bluetooth, an HD 180-degree rearview camera, and three riding modes. It can reach speeds up to 120 mph (193 kph) and goes from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in 3.8 seconds. It has a range of 120 miles (193 km).

You can preorder the new Luna Racer Edition now on the Tarform website. The price of the bike is $24,000 and you can choose to pay in installments of $400 per month.

SEE VIDEO:

Alternet Systems Electric Motorcycle Rideshare Program Parallels UN Program for Kenya

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by Anusuya Lahiri from https://www.benzinga.com

Alternet Systems Electric Motorcycle Rideshare Program Parallels UN E-Boda-Boda Program for Kenya

Alternet Systems Inc emphasized the simultaneous U.N. E-Boda-Boda program with its Kenya rideshare electric motorcycle debut by July 2021.

The program will be conducive to the technological shift towards electric bikes. Alternet expects valuable information to enhance its electric motorcycle launch.

Alternet has an order to deliver 2000 electric motorcycles in Kenya for the motorcycle taxi (Boda) market.

Additionally, Alternet plans to introduce a self-drive rental program to hire electric motorcycles that can be unlocked via a mobile phone app.

Price action: Alternet shares traded higher.

Largo, Florida police unveil all-electric motorcycles

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by 10 Tampa Bay from https://www.wtsp.com

The city says it plans on having a totally-electric fleet by 2030.

Largo police officers are easing up on the gas as the department revealed a pair of all-electric motorcycles.

The two stylish bikes were unveiled Tuesday and will join the city’s growing alternative-fuel fleet, according to City of Largo officials. They say the motorcycles will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

Largo officials says the bikes are part of the city’s commitment to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

The city also plans on having an all-electric fleet by 2030.

Curtiss Electric Motorcycle Is Born

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by Florina Spînu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Company formerly known as Confederate Motors has introduced their electric luxury motorcycle.

One way or another, the future will be electric. With the debut of Harley-Davidson’s new LiveWire EV-only brand, more and more motorcycles will take on the trend. For Curtiss Motorcycles, luxury marries electrification in a ride. On that note, the brand just rolled out a trailer that showcases the beginning of its new “golden age” of electric motorcycles.

We know that retro-bikes will never lose their charm, and Curtiss Motorcycles seem to combine the vintage look with modern convenience. Formerly known as Confederate Motors, the Alabama-based brand has a rich history dating back to 1907, when Glenn Curtiss set an unofficial world record of 136 mph (219 kph), on a 40 hp (30 kW) V8-powered motorcycle designed and built by himself in Florida.

Sharing the name with its famous aviation pioneer ancestor, the brand tried to keep its heritage and implement it into their bikes, but with a twist. Along with the production of its all-electric motorcycle Curtiss One, it started a path toward electrification with all its future rides.

Titled “Green, Clean, Mod, Cool: A New Age,” the trailer explains the brands’ philosophical narrative as well as Curtiss One, the company’s not only first precision-centered motorcycle, but also its new platform architecture that will serve as the foundation for all its future motorcycles.

Ergonomics played a key role in the making process of the One. Inspired by an aircraft, its core is connected by a 39mm hard-steel axle. Its only moving parts are the oversized output shaft and its wheels. By keeping the radially organized battery cells submerged in coolant, the Curtiss Power Pak acts as a radiator for the whole system.

The bike has no transmission or gearbox. Instead, the power moves directly from its liquid-cooled Axial Flux motor to the rear wheel through a toothed belt drive. There’s no shifting and no clutch involved. Instead, the speed is determined solely by how hard you twist the throttle. The 425 lbs (193 kg) ride has enough juice to deliver 217 hp and 272 lb-ft torque.

Pricing for the Curtiss One starts at $81,000, which marks a pretty high score on the affordability scale. That said, Curtiss Motorcycles aims to bring out Curtiss Two and Curtiss Three in 2022 and 2023, all based on the architecture of the One (and the cost will probably match too).

 

NAWARacer Hybrid Battery Electric Motorcycle Prototype

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

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) back in 2020, battery maker NAWA Technologies presented what it called back then the Racer. It was a motorcycle concept designed to showcase the company’s newest idea for a battery. More than a year has passed since then, and now we’re finally getting word of a fully rideable dynamic prototype being in the works.

That means that yes, we will not be getting a production run of the two-wheeler, at least not for now. Yet NAWA is determined to show its technological innovation has its merits, and if it succeeds, we might get to see it integrated into other electric motorcycles.

But what does the company do differently? Well, it doesn’t use a standalone lithium-ion battery but somehow integrates it with ultracapacitors. By doing so, the company promises increases in energy efficiency and battery lifetime while reducing charging times.

We’re not told in numbers what exactly that means, but the French do say the NAWACap, as it calls the tech, should provide ten times more power and five times more energy than existing ultracapacitors. The size of the battery is reduced by half, while range doubles, we’re told, although we have no idea compared to what.

The bike NAWA will be making together with AKKA Technologies, Pronergy, FAAR, and YSY Group will have an aluminum body that will integrate the battery into the chassis, thus removing the frame out of the equation. It will move along thanks to an in-wheel motor.

NAWA says the demonstrator should be ready to roll in a few months. If successful, the tech (the world’s first hybrid battery system, as the company describes it) might be adopted by others, especially considering how it has been designed to be scalable. What’s more interesting is that it could probably be adapted for cars as well, not only electric motorcycles.