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Meet the Ducati master re-creating Isle of Man-winning motorcycle

By | General Posts

by Ellie Honeybone from https://www.abc.net.au

You may be forgiven for assuming the world’s leading manufacturer of Ducati bevel drive engine parts would live in a bustling city, perhaps in Italy or the United States, somewhere central and close to consumers.

But in fact, this talented engineer and self-described “petrol head” lives in a tiny historic town, deep in the forests of south-west WA.

Even though shipping his handmade engine parts around the world from Nannup is a logistical nightmare, Brook Henry wouldn’t have it any other way.

A family business

Mr Henry grew up surrounded by Ducatis.

His older brothers imported and distributed the high-performance motorcycle brand in New Zealand from the late 1960s through to the 1980s.

“I spent pretty well all my time at the workshop, fixing, racing and working on Ducati bevel drive twins and singles,” Mr Henry said.

“I also did an apprenticeship outside that business as a toolmaker, but I never liked doing toolmaking and I always wanted to go back to motorcycles.”

That love of motorcycles grew and continued for the next 40 years with Mr Henry now a household name and ‘master’ in the Ducati world.

He has travelled extensively, inspected designs inside Ducati’s Bologna factory and even appeared on bike lover Jay Leno’s US television show.

After settling down first in Perth and then further south in Nannup, Mr Henry developed a business building, designing and shipping bevel drive parts, engines and complete motorcycles across the world.

Pandemic revives restoration projects

There are only so many original bevel drive Ducatis in existence, making Brook Henry’s business incredibly niche.

These bikes were built during the 1970s and 80s and made famous after legendary British champion Mike Hailwood won the Isle of Man race in 1978.

When the world went into COVID-19 lockdown during early 2020, many owners of bevel drive bikes decided it was the right time to blow off the cobwebs and reignite their restoration projects.

“I’ve never been so busy because guys who bought bevel drives put them in the back of a shed and chucked a rag over them,” Mr Henry said.

“The wives got sick of their husbands being in the kitchen and told them to go out and find something to do in the shed.

“So they went out and pulled the cover off the old Ducati bevel drive and started looking around to where they could get the parts to start putting it back together.

“Our customer base worldwide has been huge with COVID because anyone who’s got a bevel drive has gone and started working on it.”

The next chapter

In addition to supplying global customers with all the parts they need for their pandemic restorations, Mr Henry has another project in the works.

Through what he calls a “crazy set of circumstances”, he purchased the drawings for the original engine used in the late Mike Hailwood’s Isle of Man race winning bike, of which only a handful were ever made.

“We’ve actually been talked into making 12 exact replicas of Hailwood’s bike,” he said.

“We decided that we would make a limited run of them and the number we decided on was 12, because that was his racing number.”

While there will only be a dozen of these Hailwood recreations made, the engine — dubbed the ‘Ritorno’ — is available on its own with the approval of the Ducati factory.

“The business is expanding at 100 miles an hour because people worldwide want that engine and want parts for it,” Mr Henry said.

“So we’re gathering speed at a frightening rate at the moment, but I’m so passionate about it and I love what I do.”

Government funding leads to expansion

Mr Henry has big plans for expansion after receiving a $113,000 Regional Economic Development grant from the WA Government.

The investment will be used to employ more staff and purchase state of the art manufacturing equipment to build Mr Henry’s own version of the iconic bevel drive engine.

“I like to keep the outside of the engine looking the same where I can,” he said.

“And now I’ve got the opportunity to basically build my own internals and to improve on the existing engine.”

Despite being extremely busy these days, Mr Henry still enjoys the occasional ride through the scenic forest roads near his home.

“They say that motorcycles are built to transport people, but Ducatis are built to transport the soul,” he said.

“The only thing is, you do not have any control over emus and wildlife, kangaroos running out of the bush, all that sort of thing.

“So I really don’t want to hurt myself, because I’ve got too much to do — and it’s a damn shame I’m 66 and not 36.”

Motorcycle Ohio Announces Funding for Motorcycle Rider Training

By | General Posts

COLUMBUS – Motorcycle Ohio, within the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles, is pleased to announce funding assistance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, such as career centers and institutions of higher learning, that are interested in offering certified motorcycle rider training.

Motorcycle Ohio establishes motorcycle safety and education programs to provide affordable motorcycle rider training courses in order to reduce fatalities and injuries on Ohio’s roadways through rider education, public information campaigns, and licensing improvement.

Funding assistance is available to applicants who are interested in offering Basic Rider Skills for beginners, Basic Rider Skills for the returning rider, and Basic Rider Skills – 2 for experienced riders.

Applicants must meet specific parameters and other necessary requirements to be eligible for an award. For more information, visit the Motorcycle Ohio website or email. The deadline for applications is December 31, 2020.

Video: TMC Dumont is a 300hp motorcycle fitted with a Rolls-Royce aircraft engine

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by Jahla Seppanen from https://www.themanual.com

When you’re a retired Formula One driver, what else can you do in your free time except build mind-bending concept motorcycles? In the case of Tarso Marques of Brazil, that’s exactly what he’s doing with the insane TMC Dumont motorcycle.

Yes, it’s still a concept so, no, you can’t drive it yet. In fact, you might be wondering how it even works because the construction shouldn’t make sense in real life.

This hub-less bike swaps a traditional car engine for a 1960s Rolls-Royce aircraft engine, creating an absolutely sick design with a body aesthetic that is futuristic, svelt, and should definitely be in the next 007 movie.

Anatomically, the aircraft engine is positioned where a standard motorcycle engine and fuel tank would be, but takes up an enormous amount of space. Basically, as much as a full frame, radiator —the works. The massive 36-inch wheels are essentially spoke-less and completely open in the center, so with the 300-horsepower engine, we’re hoping the brake disk and caliper have something to hold on to … because we can’t see it.

Based on the low-riding profile of the seat and engine, it’s questionable how the bike could sit above the ground, but it does. At least, the concept does. Just pray for a road without speed bumps.

Some motorcycle enthusiasts have questioned the safety and turning abilities that would result from having the back “wheel” so close to the rider — hello, wedgie or mega backside tire burn — and have called the bike “impractical.” That being said, TMC Dumont drove away with the “Best of Show” award at the 2018 Daytona Bike Week.

This isn’t the first time a motorcycle fanatic has strapped an airplane engine to their hog. Back in 2013, the Red Baron bike featured the 150-horsepower, nine-cylinder Rotec Radial engine used in WWI-era planes. However, in terms of pure looks, we’ve never seen anything like TMC Dumont. The motorcycle has been compared to everything from a piece of art to a Tron bike — ultra-sleek, and record-breaking.

Previewing the other passion projects Marques is developing with his brand Tarso Marques Concepts makes us mildly jealous, somewhat shook, and overall excited to finally get back out on a bike.

 

Ride Vision raises $7 million for AI that alerts motorcycle riders to collision threats

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by Kyle Wiggers from https://venturebeat.com

Ride Vision, a startup developing “collision aversion” technology for motorcycles, today emerged from stealth with a $7 million round led by investment platform OurCrowd. Ride Vision also unveiled an AI-driven safety alert system called Ride Vision 1 that will go on sale in several European countries in early 2021. A spokesperson said the fresh capital will be used for marketing, distribution, and R&D as the company looks to expand its 20-person team.

There are more than 700 million motorcycles on the road globally, according to estimates. And motorcycles currently account for 28% of all fatal road accidents, resulting in the death of roughly 378,000 people a year. That number could tick upward soon, as motorcycle sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic.

The company’s Ride Vision 1 package will feature cameras and LEDs designed to alert riders to dangerous situations. Two small wide-angle cameras mounted on the rear and front of motorcycles or scooters transmit footage to an onboard processing unit running an algorithm that detects and notifies riders of collision threats in real time via mirror-mounted LEDs. A mobile app delivers customizable alerts (including at night); records up to two-hour continuous-loop videos; and keeps note of stats like speed, lean angle, distance, location, and time.

Ride Vision says it can detect forward collision, blind spot, and distance keeping threats from cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and scooters. New alerts for rear collision, forward-left, and forward-right collision threats are scheduled to arrive post-launch.

“Ride Vision has built a unique dataset particular to two-wheelers that’s used to train models taking into account different bikes, level of biking experience, locality, different environmental conditions, and synthetic use cases,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat via email. “Ride Vision has the ability to improve upon the skill set of riders should the riders elect to share their ride data [and] an option of impacting insurance due to ongoing risk estimations. This data can be used to lower riders’ insurance rates and open up new business models, such as ‘usage-based insurance’ to train various models.”

Ride Vision 1 hardwires directly into a vehicle’s battery and claims to draw less charge than a standard cellphone. The system’s two water-resistant video cameras begin recording the moment the motorcycle is turned on and transmit footage to the app over Wi-Fi. Ride summary cumulative reports are broken down by weeks, months, and years and include total distance, total alerts, and max speed data. They can be exported for personal use or things like insurance reduction.

Ride Vision walls new software, alerts, and other updates behind a subscription fee, but it offers a free plan with periodic security updates, bug fixes, and other small enhancements. Features on the premium roadmap include emergency contacts, enhanced video with automatic ride state overlays, and “more extensive” metrics.

Ride Vision says it’s working with motorcycle manufacturers as well as with resellers and insurers. Currently, the company has resellers across the EU but is looking to expand further into the EU and North America.

This latest funding round brings the Herzliya, Israel-based company’s total raised to $10 million. YL Ventures, Mobilion, and Metagal also participated in the round.

Porsche vs Harley-Davidson Drag Race Video

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by Vlad Mitrache from https://www.autoevolution.com

Up until very recently, the thought of a drag race between a Porsche (any model) and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle (any hog) was one of the most preposterous ones that anyone could come up with.

On the one hand, you have a German automotive brand with a strong history and deep roots in motorsport. Sure, it’s guilty of also building SUVs – with some even powered by diesel – but you’d be pushing it to call any of its models “slow”.

On the other hand, you have an American motorcycle specialist with an equally strong history and plenty of racing connections throughout its history, though less so in the more recent years. Indeed, these days Harley-Davidson is better known for its range of cruisers and choppers, the type of machines that don’t necessarily value speed.

However, when things go electric, speed always has a knack for making its way into the center of it. That’s probably because making electric vehicles go quick is surprisingly easy – there is no complicated transmission, no engine with a million moving parts – just an electric motor and tons of instant torque.

There’s also the fact that you can’t get too much range out of a 15.5 kWh battery pack – and you can’t fit a larger one on a bike – so if reaching faraway places is out of the picture, you still have to offer the buyer something. And that something is speed.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire can reach 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in roughly three seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 114 mph (183 km/h). Its motor produces 105 hp and 86 lb-ft (117 Nm) of torque to battle the 549 lbs (250 kg) that the rig weighs.

The Porsche Taycan Turbo, its competitor for the day, has obviously got very different figures, but the one that matters the most in this case is actually identical. Like the LiveWire, the Turbo will reach 60 mph from a complete stop in three seconds. Does that mean we have an even race on our hands?

Well, motorcycles very rarely manage to keep up with their four-wheeled counterparts during these drag races, and it’s usually in the second part of the competition where they make up ground as finding traction stops being a problem. With the Taycan Turbo being the grippy monster that it is, it’s hard to imagine the LiveWire stands any chance.

As the driver of the Taycan says (opinions about how likable or not he is in the comments below, please. I want to know if it’s just me), the most important thing to take away from this race isn’t so much the winner, but the performance potential of electric drivetrains for both cars and motorcycles.

 

BMW and Bosch will debut a massive 10.25-inch motorcycle dashboard in 2021

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by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com

The screen will also be the first to offer split-screen functionality for your phone.

BMW’s big screen will split your bike’s dash between phone and bike info.

We recently covered BMW Motorrad’s totally cyberpunk and totally excellent CE04 scooter concept, and one of that vehicle’s coolest features was a 10.25-inch information screen for the rider. A screen that size is pretty big in a car, and on a motorcycle or scooter, it’d be gargantuan, but that’s not going to stop the Germans.

See, BMW is planning on adding that 10.25-inch screen to some of its motorcycles in 2021, according to an announcement made Thursday by Tier 1 supplier Bosch. And it gets more interesting than that because this screen is the first motorcycle TFT that can do split-screen. By that I mean you can have your motorcycle’s dash information on one side and your phone’s info on the other.

The screen can do this magic trick thanks to a piece of software for your phone called from Bosch called MySpin, and while the big screen is going to hit BMW first, Bosch also confirms that both Ducati and Kawasaki have MySpin-based apps of their own in the works, though those are meant to work with existing 6.5-inch screens.

The big problem with that much smartphone integration is the possibility of distraction for the rider, which is dangerous in a car, borderline suicidal on a motorcycle. Bosch believes it’s nailed down a way to bring smartphone integration to a motorcycle dash without that risk. Based on what we can tell, it involves limiting access to only motorcycle-specific apps like Rever (which is excellent and something I use personally).

The push toward TFT LCD dashes on motorcycles has been going on for a few years now, and it’s exciting to see screens get bigger, better and more functional. We’d like to see more of these screens become touchscreens too — like on our long-term Indian FTR1200 — but it remains to be seen if that will be the case with the big Bosch unit.

Five tips that you must know to prepare for an amazing motorcycle road trip

By | General Posts

from https://www.traveldailynews.com

Be it your first or hundredth road trip; preparation is a must thing. It is essential to consider all the aspects before you hit the road. The right preparation leads to a comfortable and worry-free ride.

Being on a motorcycle road trip is one of the best experiences. Nothing is as impressive as being on a long motorcycle ride all alone; there’s just your thoughts and solitude to accompany you. If you are looking for a bit of fun this summer with some added adrenaline rush, rent a motorcycle in San Francisco or get your own one and hit the road for some of the best rides of the country.

With that being said, before you set out for your long-distance motorbike ride, our frequent bikers bring you some useful tips that sure can make your two-wheel voyage much better.

Be it your first or hundredth road trip; preparation is a must thing. It is essential to consider all the aspects before you hit the road. The right preparation leads to a comfortable and worry-free ride.

So without a further ado, let’s dive right into the 5 most important tips you should never miss.

Choose the best bike for you and reduce your baggage
A road trip on an uncomfortable bike can get you in the worst place, and that’s not the experience one would want to go through. If you are on the move for a lively and adventurous motorcycle ride, choose your ride wisely. Ensure it suits your body and will function the same in the long run. If you have your own bike, you can modify it to improve the comfort level. However, if you are renting one, do your research and consult with the party you are dealing with to get the best.

Choose a bike that you can easily take care of. As long as off-road trips are concerned, bikes that have softer seats, great headlights, agreeable handlebars and safety guards will be the best options. Do not fall for just the appearance of the motorcycle as that should be the last thing on the list. A comfortable ride is your first step towards the smooth and enjoyable road trip.

Moving to the packing tips for beginners, you can find plenty of options for luggage carries in the market. Our experts suggest saddlebags as they are easy to transport. You can fix them on the sides of the back seat of your bike and ride without any burden. If you are looking for options, tail bags, and tank bags can be a great deal.

Once you decide what type of bag you are going to take with you, choosing the amount of luggage is your next crucial step. No matter how much distance you are planning to cover, remember to keep your luggage as light as possible. Carry fewer clothes, sachets, and disposable stuff to maintain the ideal weight. It is recommended to make a list before you start packing your bag.

Drink plenty of water and take breaks along the way
Sadly, many riders do not really give importance to the concept of ‘hydration’. The reality is, it should be in the top 3 critical things throughout your ride. Therefore, keep a proper back up of water while you are in action. Keeping the body hydrated should be the priority, and if you do not like stopping again and again to drink water, get a hydration pack. Such packs keep the water cold and come with a long tube that helps you drink water on the go without stopping.

About breaks, they are necessary to be on the top of your game. When you do not rest while travelling, a continuous sitting on a bike causes saddle sores. If your body is asking to stop, be wise enough to understand the signal and act accordingly. If you do not take required rest, it will unnecessarily lengthen your journey and turn it into a frustrating one. While on a break, check if your bike is in the right conditions or if it needs refueling. Being careful and attentive can save you from unwanted glitches that can ruin your trip.

Prefer off hours eating
It is always ideal to hit the restaurants or cafes at the off hours while on a road trip. Why? Well, most of the people usually stop at restaurants on the regular dinner and lunchtime. If you enter the place at the same time, the chances of spending hours in a waiting queue are more. This can delay your journey and eventually ruin your plans. If you can adjust, off-hours eating can save you from long lines and unexpected delays.

Map is your best friend, don’t lose it
We cannot remember all the roads, and thus, it is better to rely on the helping hand; in this scenario — GPS, maps, etc. If you are ready to invest a bit more, you can purchase a helmet with Bluetooth connection. It guides you throughout the trip without having to stop.

In the case of remote locations with no network availability, going old school can help. Keeping the hand copy of maps is your way to be on the right track. If not that accurate, it can at least tell you what area you are currently in.

Don’t forget your earphones
Well, not all highways are quiet and peaceful. Sometimes, they can be extremely loud and annoying. Earplugs can come to the rescue in such time and save you from immense pressure on your ears. If you are a music lover, headphones can be a great alternative. After all, what can be better than a solo bike trip with the music you love?

Final words
To ensure the best bike ride:

  1. Get your bike thoroughly checked before you begin your journey.
  2. Get done with a little bit of tweaking your bike if needed.
  3. Always carry spares to stay away from difficult times on the highway.

By spares, we mean things like accelerator cables, brake cables, tubes, etc.

Finally, we know it is very tempting to go for a cooler and more powerful bike. Throw that temptation away! Just because you have handled the bike nicely on a test ride, it does not mean that you are the master. Instead, move up to a more smart, sensible and comfortable option.

Evel Knievel Museum adds long lost motorcycle to their collection

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by Keith Horinek from https://www.ksnt.com

The Evel Knievel Museum located in the Historic Harley Davidson Motorcycle shop held an unveiling of a long lost motorcycle used by Knievel in his daredevil jumps.

Knievel’s second surviving original American Eagle jump bike was presented to the Evel Knievel Museum by Louis “Rocket” Re and the Stroop and McCormack families. The ceremony took place in the Evel Knievel Museum.

The motorcycle was used by Knievel during his tenure as a motorcycle stunt performer in the 60’s and 70’s.

The motorcycle was purchased by Dave Stroop of Belt Montana in 1972. Stroop then rode the bike for several years and eventually stored the bike in his barn. Years later the bike was found and restored by Knievel’s longtime friend and riding partner Re. Stroop then donated the motorcycle to the museum.

Here’s What It’s Like Driving The Largest Motorcycle In The World

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by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://www.rideapart.com

Meet the diesel-powered Tower Trike.

What is a motorcycle? It sounds like a question that’s disingenuous at best, but after watching this video, you may find yourself asking it anyway. It turns out that legal definitions and official standards and classifications vary by state—and outside the U.S., also by country.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Motorcycle is defined as a motor vehicle with motive power having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground.” That’s why the Tower Trike you’re seeing in this video does, in fact, qualify as a motorcycle.

At one point, the Tower Trike’s builder mentions an 11,000-pound vehicle weight limit for motorcycles that he found somewhere, and it’s unclear where this figure originated. However, that’s not a huge surprise, as vehicle classification standards vary so much from state to state—and who knows, maybe the guy just wanted a handy story to tell.

In any case, when SRK Cycles describes this bike as what happens when a semi-tractor-trailer and a motorcycle have a baby, he’s not wrong. The resulting behemoth weighs just under 11,000 pounds and is powered by an enormous two-stroke Detroit diesel engine. It’s road-legal, with mirrors, headlights, indicators—and also seat belts, because you sit in the kind of seat you’d find in a big rig. Gas and brake are pedal-operated on the right side of the floorboard, and if you have a big enough foot, you can even heel-toe shift to your heart’s content.

There’s also a 200-plus pound metal cross on the back, which the Tower’s builder says isn’t only a design choice; it also functions as a roll bar of sorts for the trike’s rider and passenger. Since rolling this thing would have to be absolutely terrifying, let’s hope no one tests that functionality any time soon.