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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for January 2020

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From Helmet Laws to the Freedom to Race
By Bill Bish, NCOM

  • ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS URGED TO SUPPORT FEDERAL ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE
  • RPM ACT TO PROTECT RACING HAS BEEN REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
  • CONGRESS EXTENDS TAX CREDITS FOR ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES
  • HELMET REPEAL EFFORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
  • NEW DRIVER ACCOUNTABILITY LAW IN OREGON
  • WASHINGTON STATE ENDEAVORS TO MAKE ROADS SAFER
  • MOTORCYCLE MARKET TRENDS
  • HONDA PATENTS VERTICAL AIRBAG FOR MOTORCYCLES

CLICK HERE TO READ THE Newsbytes

Sainz wins Dakar for third time as Brabec takes motorcycle title

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from Reuters

Spaniard Carlos Sainz became a triple Dakar Rally champion with the Mini X-Raid team on Friday while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown for Honda and ended KTM’s 18-year dominance.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz became a triple Dakar Rally champion with the Mini X-Raid team on Friday while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown for Honda and ended KTM’s 18-year dominance.

Both are the first winners in Saudi Arabia, a country making its debut as host of the grueling endurance event, but have to reach the formal finish in Qiddiya before the results are official.

Brabec is the first American to win the Dakar in any category since it started as a race from Paris through the Sahara desert to the Senegalese capital in West Africa in 1979.

Two times world rally champion Sainz, whose son and namesake races in Formula One for McLaren, ended the final timed stage with a six-minute and 21 seconds advantage over Qatar’s defending champion Nasser Al Attiyah.

Sainz, 57, also won in 2010 and 2018 when the rally was held in South America. His three victories have been with different car manufacturers, the first coming with Volkswagen and the second in a Peugeot.

Triple champion Al Attiyah won the final stage to finish as overall runner-up for Toyota with Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, a 13 times winner on two and four wheels, completing the top three in his 31st Dakar.

Sainz, 57, also won in 2010 and 2018 when the rally was held in South America.

His three victories have been with different car manufacturers, the first coming with Volkswagen and the second in a Peugeot.

London Motorcycle Show on the horizon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A taste of ‘Honda e:Technology’ in Japan

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by Azlan Ramli from https://www.thesundaily.my

During the Tokyo Motor Show 2019, Honda Motor Co Ltd announced the establishment of “Honda e:Technology”, a new collective name which represents Honda’s original high-efficiency electrification technologies including electrified two-and four-wheeled mobility products as well as Honda’s energy management technologies.

Company president, representative director and CEO Takahiro Hachigo stated that Honda e:Technology embodies “value creation for mobility and people’s daily lives”, which is a direction Honda will take to fulfill its 2030 Vision.

Under the umbrella of Honda e:Technology, Honda technologies and products related to electrification in the area of automobiles, Honda established “e:HEV” as a communication name for its two-motor hybrid system, which is positioned as Honda’s core electrification technology and a hybrid system for this new era, for vehicles driven mostly with electric motor.

Even better with Sport Hybrid i-MMD

To demonstrate the initiative and where it is at now, we were taken to the Twin Ring Motegi, a motorsport complex about two hours’ drive away from Tokyo, located at Motegi in the Tochigi Prefecture.

Outside of racing, of which the Honda-built complex is most well-known for, the facility has the Honda Collection Hall, which features historic Honda racing and production cars and motorcycles; Honda Fan Fun Lab, which features Honda’s next generation technologies such as robotics, fuel-cell vehicles and aviation, and also Honda’s technology demonstration and education centres.

Its South Course was where we and journalists from two other South East Asian countries were given the opportunity to sample two of Honda’s current technologies, namely the latest version of the Sport Hybrid i-MMD and Honda Sensing.

Those two are part of the 2030 vision, the year where Honda wants to achieve two-thirds of all its vehicles sold are powered by electricity.

Towards that end, six of its car models are now available in hybrid variants – the Fit (known as City in Malaysia), Insight, CR-V, Accord, StepWGN and Odyssey, where all six are using the company’s latest hybrid technology, Sport Hybrid i-MMD (intelligent Multi-Mode Drive), which is replacing the Sport Hybrid i-DCD (intelligent Dual Clutch Drive).

Those vehicles offer three driving modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive, where their respective systems automatically choose to achieve the most energy-efficient drive.

A Honda car with Sport Hybrid i-MMD – currently powering Honda’s 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre engines – is akin to an electric car that has two hybrid system motors, which is a traction motor and generator motor.

At take-off and also slow city driving, it uses the hybrid system, followed by the engine supplemented by generator power when the speed increases. At high speeds, all will combine to move the vehicle, as hybrid vehicle owners are familiar with, by now, except the transmission is now the E-CVT, a step up from the well-known CVT.

The Sport Hybrid i-MMD cars we were given to try were the current Insight (not available in Malaysia) and CR-V. The rainy and windy day made things even more interesting for us, as we were told to drive in a convoy (meaning no overtaking, let alone racing!), and the speed limit was 80km/h.

Wet and windy – good to have Honda Sensing

After all that fun in the wet, we were taken to the Japan Automotive Research Institute (JARI), also in the same Tochigi prefecture, to try the latest Honda Sensing; in Honda cars equipped with the collection of safety features which uses cameras positioned around the vehicle and a radar system to help give the driver a complete view of the road.

Also, Honda Sensing will alert the driver when they are at risk of a collision, and correct steering and braking in dangerous driving conditions. The key systems of Honda Sensing are Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

Each of us drove the vehicles – the Insight and N-Box, the latter a very popular Honda kei car produced for the local market – in even heavier rain and stronger winds, but accompanied by technicians in the front passenger seat, who instructed us to start driving and immediately activate the car’s ACC.

As expected, the vehicle moved by itself, with the LKAS ensuring the vehicle will not stray out of the lines on the tarmac – with the LDW vibrating the steering wheel to let stay on the path, slowing down when there is a vehicle in front (leaving a pre-programmed gap in-between) and even braked to a complete stop if the vehicle in front stops too. It was a bit hard to fight your natural instinct to reach for the brake pedal, in such a situation.

While Honda Sensing needs no further “selling”, as it is already in some Honda cars currently available in Malaysia, it’s good to be convinced every now and then; and even even better, in a controlled environment provided by Honda itself.

It’s the new Sport Hybrid i-MMD technology session held earlier that got most of our attention, and we wish such innovation will come to Malaysia soon, in future Honda models, of course.

Honda Benly e electric scooter to go on sale in Japan from April 2020

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Honda has announced that its electric scooter Benly e will go on sale from April 2020. The e-scooter will first go on sale in Japan, then in other global markets, says the company in a release.

The scooter will be priced between 7.37 lakh yen and 7.48 lakh yen.

Honda aims to sell around 200 units of the scooter per year in the Japanese market.

The electric scooter targets corporate customers, mainly logistics providers.

The scooter will be available in four different variants. It will be powered by dual electric batteries that can be detached easily and easily swappable as well.

As the two-wheeler manufacturer claims, this electric scooter can be used for last-mile pick-up and delivery services.

At 70, Honda hits a milestone of 400mn motorcycles

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Honda currently produces a wide range of motorcycles, from 50cc commuters to 1,800cc models, at 35 facilities in 21 countries.

Japanese automaker Honda has produced 400 million units of motorcycles globally since it had begun production in 1949 with its maiden Dream D-Type bike.

According to the company, it achieved 100 million-unit milestone in 1997, and 300 million-units in 2014. In 2018, Honda exceeded an annual production of 20 million units for the first time in its history, and enjoyed strong support from customers in the Asia region and worldwide, it said.

Honda currently produces a wide range of motorcycles, from 50cc commuters to 1,800cc models, at 35 facilities in 21 countries.

Honda was founded in 1948, and began mass-production of motorcycles at its first overseas production facility in Belgium in 1963. Since then, Honda has expanded its production globally in accordance with its fundamental principle of producing locally where there is demand.

Honda will continue to construct its development and production structure to meet rising demand, it said.

Takahiro Hachigo, Chief Executive Officer, Honda Motor said, “For 70 years, Honda has provided to customers worldwide motorcycles that make life easier and enjoyable. As a result, we have achieved our 400 million-unit milestone. I am grateful to all of our customers, and everyone involved in development, manufacturing, sales and service of our products. We will continue to do our best to provide attractive products that meet the needs and dreams of our customers worldwide.”

Honda would strive to realize its 2030 vision, to serve people worldwide with the “joy of expanding their life’s potential,” he added.

Honda Rolled Out Its 400 Millionth Motorcycle Since 1949

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by Sabrina Giacomini from https://www.rideapart.com

Honda is one of the few companies still active today that started its life as a motorcycle manufacturer. In 1949, newly-founded company rolled out the Dream D-Type, the firm’s first proper motorcycle. Fast-forward seven decades and Honda remains to this day one of the most recognized brand names in the industry. The company reached several important milestones in 2019, including the production of its 400 Millionth motorcycle.

It looks like 2019 has been a good year for Honda. Not only did the company introduce several new bikes that received a lot of attention (Fireblade, CT125, Africa Twin, etc.), 2019 is also the year we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the birth of the Japanese superbike, a milestone set by the introduction of the Honda CB750 Four in 1969.

To wrap things up on a high note, the company has now announced the production of its 400 Millionth motorcycle. Considering the manufacturer produces the best-selling motorcycle in the world, the Super Cub, it kind of makes sense. In 2017, Honda celebrated the production of 100 Million Super Cubs which means the model alone accounts for over a quarter of the motorcycles produced by Honda since its inception.

For reference, it took almost 20 years for the company to reach its first 10M units produced. Motorcycles are now being produced at a rate of roughly 20M a year. How the times and the industry have changed! The previous turning point was reached in 2014 when the counter reached 300 Million. It took only five years to add another 100M to its records.

India and Indonesia account for over 50 percent of that production (no big surprise there). What about the U.S.? It doesn’t even have its own share of the chart. It’s included in the “Other” slice of the pie, along with Europe, which accounts for 620 000 units between April 2018 and March 2019.

Happy anniversary, Honda, and here’s to another 400 Million bikes!

The new Honda Africa Twin to be used at next year’s Quest adventure challenge

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Honda Motorcycles Southern Africa announced that the newly-launched Africa Twin will be used at the 2020 Honda Quest True Adventure, an adventure challenge designed to give adventure riders a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Winged H’s legendary adventure bike.

14 riders will get the opportunity to experience the essence of adventure riding atop the brand-new 2020 Africa Twin, and two lucky participants will get to keep the bike they competed with.

Testing the skills

Honda’s Riaan Fourie explains that the Honda Quest is not a race or a rally – it is an adventure expedition, designed to test human endurance and adaptability.

“It will test your adventure motorcycle riding, mechanical skills, as well as endurance, courage, and resilience against the African terrain. If you long for the road less travelled with like-minded adventurers and you are resourceful, independent, yet mindful of your fellow man, then Honda Quest is for you,” says Fourie.

“Honda Motorcycles Southern Africa have again partnered with Specialised Adventures, a company renowned for their execution of extreme events, to deliver a tough expedition experience where riders will be put to the test in challenging terrain.”

To qualify for entry, interested riders must be residents of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana or Swaziland, and be in possession of a valid motorcycle license. After the receipt of entries, 30 applicants will be invited to attend Quest Boot Camp, during which the instructors will select 14 finalists who will participate in the Honda Quest True Adventure.

Entry forms will be available here or the Honda website from February 2020.

Samurai-Inspired Kenzo Motorcycle by Death Machines Is a True Work of Art

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by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Not many would describe a motorcycle as “stunning” or “beautiful,” but then again, maybe they haven’t seen yet the latest from Death Machines of London (DMOL). The Kenzo is a tribute to the early Samurai, and Kenzo Tada, the first Asian rider to compete at the Isle of Man TT, built on a 1977 Honda Gold Wing GL1000.

It’s DMOL’s most radical machine to date, as per their own words. It’s also a true work of art of tremendous beauty, combining an aggressive look (smooth curves and razor-sharp folds) with the exquisite handiwork and high-performance technology.

Putting The Kenzo together took longer than DMOL ever imagined. They say they ripped apart one machine (the original Gold Wing) and built another, only to rip that one apart too. The Kenzo is the result of a combination of techniques, from 3D printing to CNC machining, precision etching and holographic lighting, and actual handwork for the leather parts. And lots of frustration.

It is meant as a tribute to 2 great men whose deeds have made history: Honda Tadakatsu, who, in 1570, became one of the most revered samurai in Japan, and Kenzo Tada, who traveled by train for 4 straight days in 1930 just so he can ride in the Isle of Man TT, becoming the first Japanese rider to do so. It is actually named after the latter because there is only one The Kenzo.

The Kenzo was penned using CAD software and the team behind DMOL assumed that putting every piece together would be relatively easy. They were wrong, but the extra long hours and the many moments of “f**k it” eventually paid off. The result is an aggressive-looking machine that stands out for the seamless way in which it incorporates parts that seem ripped from an early samurai armor, like the scale-like panels that hide the tank, the leather stitched to mimic the under-armor clothing on the seat, or the grips that are wrapped in the traditional Tsukamaki sword wrapping technique.

Even the speedometer is customized in typical DMOL fashion. Using an 18th century Japanese jewel box, they hand-crafted a beautiful, holographic speedo that features a dragon that is illuminated with diffusion film technology. The dragon ghost, says DMOL, is “the spirit of the machine.”

The stacked projector headlight arrangement, as well as the indicators and tail light are a collaboration with Luminit of California and represent a custom DMOL design. The wheels are 18-inch rims clad in Avon rubber. Additional features include a black-anodized USD Ohlins fork, a “detailed ‘Kenzo’ grill work, an in-house petrol cap, [and] precision-machined aluminum badges.” The body is painted in the company’s proprietary Titanium Samurai paintwork, with matte black detailing.

While The Kenzo proved a bigger headache than anticipated, DMOL is all for giving credit where credit is due: it’s “a testament to Honda’s engineering prowess that very little work needed to be carried out on the 40-year-old engine,” they say. The original Gold Wing arrived and stayed in mint condition for less than 5 minutes, before they set out to work on it, but the soul of the machine is still inside The Kenzo.

“The horizontally opposed 1000cc flat four was dismantled, inspected and refreshed. The carburetors were tuned to compliment the DMOL Slash Cut mufflers,” DMOL says. “Painted in satin black, cosmetic detailing features head case plates with ‘Kenzo’ written [in Japanese characters].”

On the electrics, our in-house designed loom was installed, greatly simplifying the original installation,” DMOL adds.

Bringing the engine to life can be done by tapping the proximity fob on the leather “V” intersection on the custom seat, while ignition is possible with the starter button hidden under the right handle bar.

If you have about $72,350 to spare, this one-off masterpiece can be yours.

Electric vehicles won’t be mainstream, says Honda CEO

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from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Commenting about Honda’s electrification strategy, Honda CEO said the brand will focus on petrol-electric hybrids, not BEVs, through 2030.

Electric vehicles won’t be mainstream, despite the push from the governments and the auto manufacturers across the world towards e-mobility, claims a media report quoting Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo.

The report further quotes Hachigo saying, “The hurdles to battery electric vehicles and complete autonomous driving are still quite high.”

Commenting about Honda’s electrification strategy, he said the brand will focus on petrol-electric hybrids, not BEVs, through 2030. Also, he said Honda will prioritize incremental advances that offer real-world safety at affordable prices, instead of fancy functions and pricy lidar systems, claims the report.

Honda aims to be more realistic instead of competing with rivals brands when it comes to electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology.

Hachigo further said, “I do not believe there will be a dramatic increase in demand for battery vehicles, and I believe this situation is true globally. There are issues with infrastructure and hardware.”

He also added, “There are different regulations in different countries, and we have to abide by them. So, it’s a must to continue R&D. But I don’t believe it will become mainstream anytime soon.”