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BMW M 1000 RR 50th Anniversary celebrated with Insane List of Extras

By General Posts

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

This year, the letter M takes the center stage in the automotive world.

German carmaker BMW is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its high-performance division, a half a century of history that started with the 3.0 CSL homologation special.

In the time that has passed since, BMW M’s reach has grown powerful enough to leave its mark on motorcycles as well. Just a couple of years ago, for instance, BMW’s Motorrad division got touched by the M hand, and the mighty M 1000 RR was born as the first-ever BMW M-developed superbike.

Already present in several competitions on various tracks around the world, the motorcycle also became this week the center of M celebrations, with the launch of the special M 1000 RR 50 Years. Not significantly modified from a mechanical standpoint from the regular models, this anniversary one makes use of the full complement of extras BMW M has on the table for motorcycles.

Wrapped in Sao Paulo Yellow, the model is fitted with the M Competition Package as standard, which comes with things like an M carbon package and M milled parts package. It also gets a lighter swingarm, now in silver anodised aluminum, the unlock code for the M GPS laptrigger, the M Endurance chain, and pillion package.

Otherwise, the 50 Years is your regular 1000 RR, if such a word can be used to describe it. It has a water-cooled four-cylinder in-line engine in its frame, developing 212 hp and 113 Nm of torque, M brakes under M carbon wheels, and five riding modes.

The model has been envisioned as a limited edition one and will be available for order only between Saturday, May 21, and November 30. Pricing details were not announced, and we’re also not informed if there’s a production cap on this.

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PRESS RELEASE FROM BMW: 20 MAY 2022

To mark the 50th anniversary of BMW M GmbH, founded in 1972 as BMW Motorsport GmbH, BMW Motorrad presents the M 1000 RR 50 Years M anniversary model in Sao Paulo Yellow finish and with the historic 50 Years BMW M emblem.

With its striking M colours, this anniversary model lives up to the M philosophy and the racing spirit from almost 100 years of motorcycle construction by BMW Motorrad and 50 years of BMW M vehicles. The M RR 50 Years M is therefore fitted with the M Competition Package as standard. In addition to the extensive M milled parts package and the exclusive M carbon package, both a lighter swingarm in silver anodised aluminium, the unlock code for the M GPS laptrigger as well as the M Endurance chain, pillion package and pillion seat cover are part of the standard equipment.

M – the most powerful letter in the world.

At the end of 2018, BMW Motorrad already introduced the successful BMW M automobile range strategy for motorcycles and has since been offering M special equipment and M Performance

Parts. The BMW M 1000 RR – known as the M RR for short – finally celebrated its world premiere in September 2020 as the first M model from BMW Motorrad based on the S 1000 RR.

Today, as in the past, BMW Motorrad follows the philosophy of the most powerful letter in the world: M is synonymous worldwide with racing success as well as the fascination of high-performance BMW models and is aimed at customers with particularly high demands for performance, exclusivity and individuality. Last but not least, the BMW M RR has also been the base bike for the BMW Motorrad World SBK Team since 2021, as well as many other racing teams around the world.

BMW Motorsport GmbH and BMW M GmbH (since 1993).

The BMW Motorsport GmbH was founded in 1972 with the idea of uniting all BMW motorsport activities under one roof and building up high-performance racing vehicles and racing engines for motorracing. The BMW 3.0 CSL (CSL = Coupe Sport Light Construction) made its debut as the first racing car of BMW Motorsport GmbH in 1973 and on the occasion of the foundation of BMW Motorsport GmbH, Robert A. Lutz, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Sales in 1972, stated at the time: “A company is like a human being. If it does sports, it stays fit, enthusiastic, more effective and powerful.”

The BMW 3.0 CSL made its debut in the European Touring Car Championship in the 1973 season, and with it a racing team’s uniform appearance in the three BMW Motorsport colours of blue, violet and red on a snow-white background that is still defining to this day. This colour scheme in the updated version Blue – Dark Blue – Red determines the appearance of the BMW M logo and the BMW M vehicles until today.

The legendary colour scheme can already be found on the first BMW M vehicles developed for the road in the second half of the 1970s and also characterises the racing vehicles to come and their motorsport successes. For example, in 1978 the M1 super sports car and from 1980 onwards the Formula 1 racing cars with which Nelson Piquet won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1983.

From the Isle of Man to Dakar – BMW Motorrad and motorsport.

But it is not only since 1972, and not only in BMW automobiles, that the BMW brand has been driven to win. Outstanding racing successes and innovations also stem from motorsport. Even in the first decades of the company’s history, BMW and motorsport were linked with unforgotten names such as Ernst Jakob Henne and Georg “Schorsch” Meier. The legendary victory of “Schorsch” Meier with his supercharged BMW in the 1939 Senior Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man is unforgotten.

And in 1976, exactly 37 years later, Helmut Dähne and Hans Otto Butenuth celebrate fifth place in the Production TT. In this class up to 1000 cc they set the fastest time with their BMW R 90 S, but due to a handicap rule that applies there, they were listed in fifth place in the classification behind two 250cc and two 500cc machines. Nevertheless, given the fastest time, this fifth place was celebrated like a victory.

75 years after “Schorsch” Meier’s success in the Senior TT, Michael Dunlop succeeds again in 2014 on the BMW S 1000 RR. And in the years that followed, the RR left its unmistakable mark on the Tourist Trophy with further victories.

But the BMW M colours are also represented on BMW motorcycles off the beaten track. For example, on the BMW GS factory bikes with which Hubert Auriol and Gaston Rahier dominated the Paris-Dakar Rally in the early 1980s.

Like no other BMW motorcycle to date, the M RR 50 Years M model carries this historic motorsport DNA within it. This exceptional motorcycle can only be ordered between 21 May and 30 November 2022.

Try the Climate Quiz by CO2 Coalition

By General Posts

The Great Climate Change Debate is one of the “hottest” issues before the public and policy makers today.

How much do you know about the subject?

Or possibly, the real question is one attributed to American humorist Will Rogers: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Find out your Climate IQ by taking our Climate Quiz: the answers may surprise you.

CLICK HERE To Take the Climate Quiz Now

The CO2 Coalition was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) for the purpose of educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy.

Energy Poverty Kills

By General Posts

From Center for Industrial Progress by Alex Epstein

Last week we looked at the need for a process of producing energy that is cheap, plentiful, and reliable—and we saw that solar and wind cannot produce cheap, reliable energy.

How Germany embraced solar and wind and ended up in energy poverty

Let’s take a look at this in practice. Germany is considered by some to be the best success story in the world of effective solar and wind use, and you’ll often hear that they get a large percentage of their energy from solar and wind.

You can see here on this chart how this claim was made and why it’s not accurate.

First of all, this is just a chart of electricity. Solar and wind are only producing electricity and half of Germany’s energy needs also include fuel and heating. So solar and wind never contribute half as much to Germany’s energy needs as this chart would imply.

But that’s not the biggest problem. What you notice here is that there’s certain days and times where there are large spikes, but there are also periods where there’s relatively little. What that means is that you can’t rely on solar and wind ever. You always have to have an infrastructure that can produce all of your electricity independent of the solar and wind because you can always go a long period with very little solar and wind.

So then why are the solar and wind necessary? Well, you could argue that they’re not and that adding them onto the grid will impose a lot of costs.

In Germany, electricity prices have more than doubled since 2000 when solar and wind started receiving massive subsidies and favorable regulations, and their electricity prices are three to four times what we would pay in the U.S. (Because of its low reliability, solar, and wind energy options require an alternative backup—one that’s cheap, plentiful, and reliable—to make it work, thus creating a more expensive and inefficient process.)

Nuclear and hydro

Fossil fuels are not the only reliable sources. There are two others that don’t generate CO2 that are significant and are more limited, but still significant contributors. Those are hydroelectric energy and nuclear energy.

Hydroelectric energy can be quite affordable over time, but it’s limited to locations where you have the right physical situation to produce hydroelectric power.

Nuclear is more interesting because nuclear doesn’t have the problems of hydro but it’s been very restricted throughout history so today in the vast majority of cases it’s considerably more expensive than say electricity from natural gas. This may change in the future and one thing we’ll discuss under policy is how we need to have the right policies so that all energy technologies can grow and flourish, if indeed the creators of those technologies can do it.

The reality of energy poverty: a story

To illustrate just how important it is to have cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy, I want to share a story I came across while doing research for my book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. This is a story about a baby born in the very poor country of Gambia.

The baby was born underweight and premature, but not in such a way that would be a big problem in say, the United States. In the United States, the solution would have been obvious: incubation. This technology would almost certainly bring this baby up to be completely healthy, and if you met the baby later in life you would never know that there had ever been a problem.

Unfortunately, in the Gambia, in this particular hospital, they needed something that billions of people in the world do not have, and that is reliable electricity.

Without reliable electricity, the hospital didn’t even contemplate owning an incubator, the one thing this baby desperately needed to survive.

Without access to this technology, the baby could not survive on her own, and sadly, she died. I think this story reminds us of what it means to have access to cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy, and how having more energy gives us the ability to improve our lives.

To summarize what we discussed, if you can’t afford energy you don’t have energy, and if energy is scarce or unreliable, then you don’t have energy when you need it. It’s not just enough to have energy, the energy and the process to create it has to be cheap, plentiful, and reliable.

Motorcycle riding rules including clothing gear for US Army troops abroad

By General Posts

by Keith Pannell from https://www.army.mil

Clearing up confusion on motorcycle gear

BAUMHOLDER, Germany – The warmer weather means more motorcycle riders are taking advantage of Germany’s scenic roads. Riders should also take time to reacquaint themselves with the garrison and U.S. Army Europe-Africa motorcycle policies.

Some rules may seem obvious: “Motorcycle operators will ride only on the permanently attached seat,” according to the joint U.S. Army Europe-Africa Regulation 190-1/U.S. Air Force Europe-Africa Instruction 31-202, Section 5-6, b, 1, (June 18, 2020). But, there may be some other “guidance” which has been passed down from other riders that may not be exactly accurate.

“Active-duty service members, civilian employees, contractors and family members are required to have a U.S. state-issued motorcycle license or endorsement on a current U.S. state driver’s license to operate a motorcycle in Europe,” said Herbert Nold, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Safety specialist. “Additionally, riders are required to complete a four-hour approved U.S. Army in Europe motorcycle orientation course and pass a 30-question written test to receive a USAREUR-AF motorcycle license.”

The joint regulation also states that motorcycle riders will wear: “a helmet fastened under the chin, which meets all the American National Standards Institute” guidelines and, shatter-proof or shatter-resistant eye protection

Besides a helmet and eye protection, anytime a Soldier, civilian employee, family member or contractor pulls out of a parking spot, they are required to wear full-finger gloves made of leather or other abrasion-resistant material and over-the-ankle footwear “of sturdy leather and have a good, oil-resistant sole.”

Riders must also have on a long-sleeved shirt or jacket and full-length trousers any time they’re riding the motorcycle, according to the regulation. Those requirements apply both on and off a military installation.

“One of the things that’s popped up recently is what riders have to wear when they come onto an installation,” said Larry Strickland, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Safety chief.

The regulations stipulate all Soldiers will wear “a vest, jacket, upper garments or motorcycle clothing that incorporates fluorescent and highly reflective material when operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle, moped, motorbike, ATV or similar vehicle at all times on or off post. Military uniforms, including physical fitness gear designed to be reflective, do not meet the criteria.”

“Army civilians, family members and contractors will wear fluorescent and reflective outer garments at all times when riding on an installation,” according to the same regulation.

“We highly encourage all civilian employees, including our local national employees, to wear fluorescent safety gear when riding on post as well,” Strickland said. “It’s just good motorcycle riding common sense.”

The U.S. military motorcycle regulations differ greatly from the host nation laws, Nold said.

“Unfortunately in Germany, there is only an obligation to wear a helmet,” he said. “But, more and more Insurance companies are beginning to reduce their accident payouts when riders are found not to have protective clothing but obvious injuries, which could have been prevented with protective attire.”

Strickland said the regulation also applies to “other vehicles with motorcycle-type engines” like Spyders and other three-wheeled vehicles.

For those who have questions on proper safety attire and equipment for motorcyclists riding on Army installations, please check with the garrison safety office at DSN 541-2300.

Custom Harley-Davidson Flying Shovel 1957 FL

By General Posts

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

When talking about the exploits of that European Harley-Davidson custom shop by the name Thunderbike, we’re usually treated with reinterpreted modern motorcycles. Occasionally, we also get full custom builds, based on their own frames, and somewhat rarer, conversions of earlier Harleys.

The Flying Shovel, as the one we have here is called, is part of that last category. Originally a 1957 Harley-Davidson FL, it was transformed into something the shop describes as a “true old-school Bobber with rigid frame, but reliable engine.”

What you see before your eyes is the frame of the FL, wrapped around an S&S shovelhead engine. The powerplant is linked to 4-speed gearbox from RevTech and topped by an S7S Super E carburetor also from S&S. The powertrain spins 18-inch wheels of Thunderbike make.

Other than the engine and frame, many of the other parts on this build have been custom-made for it exclusively. We’re talking about things like the exhaust, handlebars, grips, pegs, fuel tank, oil tank, rear fender, all of which have been designed specifically with the Flying Shovel in mind.

Some of these parts, made in brass, were wrapped in nickel, or given an old-finish look to have the appearance the bike belongs to another age, and for the most part, the shop succeeded.

In all, there were around 30 custom bits and pieces that made it into this two-wheeler, but because most were specifically designed for this project, very few of them are available commercially. That means it is extremely difficult to estimate how much it cost to put this thing together, and as usual Thunderbike makes no mention of the cost.

The Flying Shovel was built for a customer, and sadly the world lost track of it since it was completed about three years ago.

Harley-Davidson Big Spoke Is All About Wheel Play

By General Posts

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

Wheels play a big part in the final look of both cars and motorcycles. Sure, together with the type of rubber they are shoed in wheels play a crucial part in the car’s performance or fuel consumption, but they are extremely important in determining a successful or less so build, visually speaking.

Because of the way in which they are made, motorcycles rely heavily on wheels to send the right message across. After all, the two elements are very in-your-face on bikes, and the wrong choice can break a project.

Thunderbike, a German custom garage that has been in the market of customizing Harley-Davidson motorcycles for close to three decades, knows this. We’ve featured them countless times, and in most cases the Germans nailed the wheel choice.

In the case of this build here, wheels were the defining element. They are, in fact, so important that the entire finished build, based on a Street Bob, was christened Big Spoke.

Big Spoke is the name of a massive wheel Thunderbike makes in house. It comes in two sizes, 17- and 21-inches, and three width measurements, from 2.15 inches to 3.5 inches. Its defining trait: the large number of spokes that make up the design, and play a big part in the price of the part: 1,723 euros ($2,061 at today’s rates) is how much the shop is asking for one.

The wheels were not, of course, the only changes made to the Street Bob. Its stance is different not only because of them, but also thanks to the use of an air ride suspension system and a forward control kit. There are visual enhancements as well, such as the new mirrors, handlebar, point cover and front fender, or the seat.

According to our calculations (Thunderbike usually does not say how much its builds cost) the changes on the Big Spoke cost over 5,000 euros (close to $6,000 at today’s exchange rates).

Harley-Davidson Spoke Bob 23 Is How Germans Like Their Street

By General Posts

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

The Harley-Davidson Street Bob is one of the favorite base motorcycles for Thunderbike builds. In the market of customizing Milwauke-made machines for close to three decades now, the German shop has made a name for itself with its conversions of the “gritty, stripped-down bobber cloaked in black,” as Harley describes the iconic two-wheeler.

Over the past year or so, we’ve covered Thunderbike quite extensively, mostly because we find their products worth talking about. Love them or hate them, the garage’s projects are unique on the European scene (possibly even beyond the continent’s borders), and so numerous they’ll keep us busy for a while longer.

Because winter is upon us and in most parts of the world bikes are going into storage, we thought to give you something to dream about in anticipation of next summer: here’s the Spoke Bob 23.

Built a few years back starting from the Street Bob, the custom bike sports fewer modifications than we’re used to, but effective nonetheless.

The build’s name is a combination between that of the stock bike and the spoked wheels used for it (sized 21 and 23 inches) – if you’ve been watching our Thunderbike stories, you know by now these guys do lack imagination when it comes to naming stuff.

Other major changes are the use of a custom forward control kit, a new air cleaner, and a Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system. Minor modifications include the deployment of a new handlebar and turn signals.

As usual, we are not being told how much the conversion of the Street Bob cost. Knowing most of the parts that went into it though we can estimate that to be of around 2,500 euros (roughly $3,000 at today’s exchange rates), but not including the base bike (obviously), the exhaust system, and the man-hours that went into it.

Harley-Davidson White Sox Is What a $5,000 Makeover Does to a Street Bob

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

The name White Sox has been linked to the Chicago-based baseball team for more than a century. So tied is this name to the club that you almost never get to see it used on anything or for anything else. At least in America.

In Germany, on the other hand, the term White Sox is not such a resounding one. There, as in most of Europe for that matter, baseball is almost non-existent, so when speaking of White Sox people there usually mean just that: white stockings. Or, in the case of custom motorcycle garage Thunderbike, the term means whitewall tires for one of their latest products.

Having started off as a Street Bob, the build was christened White Sox not because of an imaginary connection with the baseball club from across the ocean, but because its wheels are wrapped in whitewall tires, designed this way as a tribute to the “bobber look of the ‘50s.”

The overall design of the bike follows the usual language of the German shop. The blackness of the build is offset by the said white on the tires, but also on the fuel tank, where the Harley-Davidson lettering was specced in this color. The Street Bob now has an entirely new stance compared to stock. That is partially due to the remade rear end, the new seat, new fenders, and a lowering kit that brings the height of the bike down by 30 mm.

As usual, Thunderbike does not say what exact changes it made to the Milwaukee-Eight that powers the two-wheeler. The only thing we are informed about is that the powerplant now breathes through a Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system.

As for the cost of the build, no official figure was announced. The parts listed as used on the motorcycle amount to a total of around 4,400 euros ($5,200), but that does not include the exhaust system, labor, and of course the base bike itself.

Harley-Davidson Breakout CVO Gets an Extra Touch of German Custom

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

In the world of Harley-Davidson, CVO stands for Custom Vehicle Operations. Going further, that means motorcycles specifically created by the American bike builder with the custom industry in mind, for garages all across the world to tweak even further.

The program was born at Harley in 1999 and each year a small batch of bikes was chosen and gifted with limited edition runs that were all about customization: bigger engines, crazy paints, and a wealth of accessories one usually didn’t get with the road-going versions.

Among the motorcycles chosen by Harley to go down the CVO path in 2014 was the Breakout (it was offered alongside the Ultra Limited Electra Glide, Softail Deluxe, and Road King). And since this model is a favorite of a German custom shop that goes by the name Thunderbike, it of course didn’t escape some further upgrades.

Thunderbike’s interpretation of the CVO Breakout comes with a more radical look, achieved especially because of the deployment of bigger wheels, a new exhaust system, and a polished paint over the bike’s main parts.

The motorcycle rides on Harley Turbine wheels (sized 21 and 18 inches), but with the rear one wrapped in a Metzeler tire that is 20 mm wider than what came standard. Additionally, a pulley brake kit was deployed on the rear wheel to allow a clear view from one side at the design.

The engine, which was lest pretty much stock, breathes through an electronically adjustable exhaust system from Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde.

A wealth of other parts, smaller in size and impact, are also custom: the rocker boxes, oil tank, turn signals, mirrors, and even the license plate bracket and frame.

We are not being told how much it cost the Germans to put the entire build together, but you can learn more about it by hitting this link.

 

Anthracite Grey Harley-Davidson TB-2 Is the Unlikely Low Rider S Superbike

By General Posts

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

As part of autoevolution’s Custom Builds Month, we talked aplenty about a number of customized Harley-Davidson motorcycles handled all the way in Germany. The country is home to a very active shop called Thunderbike, who over the past 25 years has made a name for itself in the industry with literally hundreds of projects.

On Monday, July 13, we talked about the TB-1 Superbike, a conversion of a Low Rider S the likes of which we don’t get to see that often. As it usually happens with Thunderbike ideas, the TB-1 has a sequel of sorts.

It is called TB-2, naturally, and is, at least as far as the paint goes, a more conservative approach than it’s older sibling.
Most of the changes designed for the TB-1 have been kept on this one. The bike’s stock wheels (19-inch front and 17-inch rear) have been replaced with bigger hardware, namely 21-inch front and 18-inch rear, to give the machine a “slimmer” look.

Turning the Low Rider into a racer-style bike was achieved through the fitting of a lowering kit for the telescopic fork, Hyperpro shock absorbers with height adjustment, and of course a custom new front fairing.

The listed of custom parts fitted on the motorcycle comprises around 20 elements, and even if we are not told how much the conversion cost, simple math (that is adding the prices of each of those parts) points to it being worth a little over 5,000 euros (roughly $5,600). That does not including the bike itself, the man hours spent on assembling it, and of course the base Low Rider.

The thing that sets TB-2 apart the most from its earlier incarnation is of course the paint job. Whereas on the first iteration the shop went for a dark look offset by yellow lettering spelling the names Harley-Davidson, Thunderbike and TB-1, this time around we are presented with an anthracite grey look all around, dotted by white lettering.