by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://www.rideapart.com MADNESS ON MOTORCYCLES : All gas, no brakes, infinite slides. Ice Speedway Berlin Is Back On The Racing Calendar In March, 2023 It’s been three long years, but in 2023, Ice Speedway Berlin is back on the international racing calendar. If you’ll be in Berlin, Germany, on March 3 and 4, 2023, and you’re interested in taking in some of the best ice speedway racers from Germany and beyond doing their thing, then you’ll probably want to get your hands on some tickets. The last Ice Speedway Berlin took place from February 27 through March 1, 2020, and was one of the final major motorsport events prior to global pandemic-related shutdowns. If you’re unfamiliar with the sport, we wholeheartedly recommend that you check out this video, which was taken during day two of the 2020 Ice Speedway Berlin event. The 48th Ice Speedway Berlin event in 2023 will be a bit different from what’s gone before. After the bad luck of the past few years, everyone was hopeful that a normal Ice Speedway event in Berlin would be able to happen in 2022. However, problems arose with machinery related to maintaining the ice surface of the track, and a 2022 event was not able to go forward. After that issue was solved, though, another one popped up to take its place. Due to a breakdown in discussions between event organizers and the FIM, for the first time, the Ice Speedway Berlin event will have neither European Championship nor World Cup status. While international racers are invited to attend, it will not be a regular, sanctioned event that is part of a larger championship calendar—something very unusual for this event, indeed. Nevertheless, ice speedway luminaries including Hans Weber, Max Niedermaier, and Fyn Loheider have already confirmed […]
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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