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Motorcycles Archives — Page 10 of 16 — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

We’re giving away motorcycle show tickets

By | General Posts

by Al Beeber from https://lethbridgeherald.com/

For enthusiasts across southern Alberta, the Calgary Motorcycle Show in January is a yearly pilgrimage to see the latest two-wheeled, three-wheeled and four-wheeled machines manufacturers are rolling into showrooms.

For my crew, hitting the show has been a ritual for a good decade or so — I’ve lost count of the morning breakfast stops at Roy’s Place in Claresholm where we fill our own tanks in preparation for a long day of sitting on and walking among the numerous bikes, scooters and all-terrain vehicles on display.
As usual, the 2020 show will be staged at the BMO Centre on the Calgary Stampede grounds and for the second year, The Lethbridge Herald has a reader giveaway.

Thanks to show publicist Jackie Jackson and western regional show manager Laurie Paetz, I have five pairs of tickets to give away to motorcycle fans.

Last year, the tickets offered by the show organizers were snapped up quickly so this year I’m going to be holding a draw. If you’re interested in a pair, send an email with your name, email address obviously and daytime phone number. After I repeat the contest details in next week’s column, I will put all the names into a bucket and five winners will be drawn with the names to be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 11 which is essentially a month before the show opens. My email address here at The Herald is abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The Calgary Motorcycle Show runs for three days starting Friday, Jan. 10.
On the 10th, doors are open from noon until 9 p.m. On Saturday the 11th, the show runs from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on the final day, Jan. 12, it runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

It’s important to note the tickets are for admission to the show only — winners will have to pay for Stampede grounds parking like the rest of us.

As of this writing, an exhibitors’ list hasn’t yet been created but as fans know, this show always has something new and different to offer. Whether your interest is scooters for urban commuting or heavy touring bikes, the show will surely have something on the floor that is begging you to spend your money.
Along with displays from area dealers, manufacturers will have their own floor space promoting everything from Ducatis to Vespas.

It was the Vespa booth that caught the attention of our group last year, thanks to a 300cc model that seemed like it could be a bonafide highway machine. I’ve long been a fan of “scoots” and bigger displacements can be a bonafide alternative to a mid-sized motorcycle. My personal favourites are built by Italian company Piaggio (which is also part of the Vespa empire) — they’re stylish, roomy and have highway potential. The venerable Suzuki Burgman is probably the big-scooter standard bearer but last year I don’t recall seeing the 600cc model. The 400 Burgman is sized nicely but as the old saying goes, there’s no replacement for displacement.

And that’s why I’m a big fan of the Harley-Davidson touring bikes. With modern electronics including touchscreens, Harley is creating an experience touring riders would never have imagined decades ago. Are they heavy? They certainly can be but H-D engineers somehow have created a chassis balance that makes a rider quickly forget about weight. That was made clear last year when I was admiring the Street Glide, probably the most popular Harley touring rig. A sales rep urged me to try the legendary shark-fairinged Road Glide which I thought would be too heavy for me. But I was totally wrong. The bike lifted easily off the side stand and felt like something hundreds of pounds lighter. So if I win the lottery between now and Jan. 10, you’ll know what I’ll be riding next spring.

The show is so much more than motorcycles, though.

There are always a wide range of businesses selling apparel and accessories, there are various shows that will appeal to the young and young at heart, and fans of vintage motorcycles can always expect to see an impressive collection of older bikes.

The annual bike giveaway this year is a Kawasaki Z400 ABS, an urban streetfighter that not only is loaded with style but also seems to have comfortable ergonomics.

As regular visitors know, the motorcycle industry has changed rapidly in recent years. Cruisers, which once dominated the market, are becoming a minority which is sad because companies like Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha used to produce some really beautiful ones.

Now adventure bikes — with wire rims and high ground clearance — have become the rage and every manufacturer seems to have them. Kawasaki, a couple of years ago, brilliantly introduced a 300cc version of its Versys, which previously was only available in 600 and 1000cc iterations. Light and fairly low, the 300 Versys is a bike that will appeal to beginners while also being fun for more experienced riders.

To me, it may be the ideal city commuter bike since Kawasaki also offers accessory locking hard cases.
As you can tell, I’m already getting excited about the show because there is nothing like the wind-in-your-face feeling of being on a motorcycle to stir one’s soul.

And even if the weather is more conducive to hibernating, the thought of spring and two-wheeled adventures can warm up anyone.

So get those entries in — I look forward on Dec. 11 contacting those five lucky winners.
Thanks again, Jackie and Laurie, for thinking about Herald readers. Until next time, keep your fingers in the air and your feet on the pegs — oh wait, maybe that’s just me. How does that actually go?

The Thanksgiving 2019 Bikernet Weekly News

By | General Posts

Hey,

Making progress is a major motivator. I like to climb out of bed thinking the day is going to be exciting. This week I solved some issues, took my 1928 Shovelhead to Larry Settle for a look-over. We organized and shipped Hugh King’s Discovery Channel biker build-off bike to the Sturgis Museum.

We attempted to get two girders from Spitfire Motorcycles. We scored a few Antiques motorcycle parts from Bobby Stark’s lot.

I solved a minor issue with the Salt Torpedo and we are just a couple of weeks away from our first trial runs. I roughed out another Cantina Chapter.

READ THE BIKERNET WEEKLY NEWS IN THE CANTINA – CLICK HERE –  Join Today

First-ever motorcycle toy ride at Illuminate Light Show will benefit Mason’s Toy Box

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from https://wtvr.com

DOSWELL, Va. — Illuminate Light Show and Santa’s Village at Meadow Event Park is partnering with Harley Davidson of Ashland next Saturday to host a toy ride for Mason’s Toy Box.

All participating motorcyclists will receive free admission to the park in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy will get into the holiday lights experience for free.

Kelley Kassay, whose son Mason passed away from a rare childhood cancer, founded the organization that collects toys for sick children.

Kassay said toys for teens and babies are most needed.

“Anything to entertain you when you’re in the hospital,” Kassay said. “And then for babies stuff, there are a lot of NICUs that we serve and we always have a shortage there. And children that have developmental delays also require those toys.”

The donations will be delivered to area hospitals.

Additionally, volunteers are needed to help sort toys on Monday, Dec. 16.

Join the Bandit’s Cantina

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JOIN BANDIT’S CANTINA—It’s cheap. It’s packed full of interesting and motivational content, projects, rides, you name it. We’re not trying to get on TV, we did that. We’re not trying to make a movie. I’ll leave that to the experts.

We just love women, the freedom to build anything we want and the freedom to ride forever. What could be better.

I’m working on Cantina Episode number 88 right now. Tons of content is archived every week.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE CANTINA

–Bandit

Does Indian Motorcycle Have a Harley-Davidson Problem?

By | General Posts

by Rich Duprey from https://www.fool.com/

Sales remained aloft longer than its rival, but now even its sales are falling.

As much as falling motorcycle sales at Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) have been attributed to its core customer aging out of the market while the next generation of riders seems uninterested in buying the big bikes it produces, Indian Motorcycle sidestepped most of the same pitfalls even though it produces many of the same kinds of motorcycles as Harley does.

Since being resurrected from bankruptcy by Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII) and returned to the market in 2014, Indian has been a steady performer with retail sales often rising in the double-digit percentages. That has allowed it to steal market share from Harley, whose sales often contracted at similar percentages.

Yet with Polaris’ third-quarter earnings report released last month, investors may have to accept that Indian Motorcycle now has its own Harley-Davidson problem.

A worsening sales decline
Polaris Industries is not transparent at all when it comes to telling you how its motorcycle business is performing. Where Harley breaks down sales and shipments by geographic region and type of motorcycle, Polaris provides vague percentage increases or declines, maybe calling out a model once in a while, but never giving investors any real insight into how Indian’s various motorcycles are performing.

What we do know is that despite double- and even triple-digit sales growth early on, Indian Motorcycle sales are now quickly spiraling down. Even as Polaris obscures the actual numbers, a mid-teen-percentage decline in retail sales that far eclipses the contraction of the broader motorcycle market suggests that this is becoming a big problem for the bike maker.

Worse, the downdraft is accelerating. In the second quarter, Polaris said Indian retail sales were down by almost 10%, while in the first quarter they were down by high single-digit rates. In last year’s fourth quarter they were down by low double-digit amounts, which was a big drop since they had been positive the quarter before.

That doesn’t bode well for when Polaris reports results the next time around. Even though the bar has been lowered considerably on sales, there’s no reason to think it will be able to rebound — precisely because Indian is still making the same kinds of heavy, big-bore bikes as Harley.

It just released its newest touring motorcycle, the 2020 Challenger, that houses its bigger, more muscular liquid-cooled PowerPlus engine that evokes images of Harley’s Road Glide.

Looking to reverse direction
Certainly both bike makers are hoping to change the equation. Harley has gone all-in on electric motorcycles — a field Polaris rejects, saying they’re unprofitable — along with two new styles it recently unveiled that represent a big change for the bike maker: the Bronx streetfighter and the Pan America adventure bike. They’re smaller, lighter, and meant for a different kind of riding than typified by Harley’s cruisers.

Polaris has also introduced a new bike, the FTR 1200, which was inspired by its racing team’s success on the flat-track circuit. While many enthusiasts had hoped for a street version of the FTR 750 that was tearing up the track, Polaris came out with a somewhat bigger, more powerful bike that it also hopes changes the conversation about its products.

But the introduction of the FTR 1200 was flawed in several respects. Polaris was late to market with the bike, so it missed a good part of the sales season, and then misjudged demand for the different models, believing more buyers would want the base model when in reality there was higher demand for the race replica version.

The new model helped lift international sales in the quarter, but it may be a while before we see any impact here at home. Motorcycle sales typically dry up during the winter months, and it’s still unknown what kind of demand will be there come the spring.

The outlook isn’t bright for biking
Polaris Industries, unlike Harley, is more than just a motorcycle maker. It also makes side-by-side recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, utility vehicles, and more recently boats. They help the powersports vehicle maker smooth out sales over the year. And motorcycles only account for 9% of total revenue.

Yet with motorcycle sales deepening even further into the red, Indian is mimicking the worst aspects of its rival at just the wrong time, and its problem could only get worse.

Aurora’s self-driving system needed more motorcycle experience. So a biker club helped out

By | General Posts

by Sasha Lekach from https://mashable.com

The San Francisco chapter of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club doesn’t usually concern itself much with self-driving cars, but autonomous vehicle company Aurora recently spent the day driving around with the club’s bikers.

Aurora, the company co-founded by former Tesla Autopilot head Sterling Anderson, is developing an autonomous driving system it calls Aurora Driver. That system, like all self-driving programs, needs practice on the road, whether that’s in autonomous mode logging real-world miles on public roads, in a computer simulation, or being manually driven. Its perception system is taking in everything around it: pedestrians, bicycles, other cars, trucks, delivery vans, e-scooters, errant shopping carts, construction crews, and, yes, motorcycles. That data is used to predict and react to future scenarios on the road.

Motorcycle sightings aren’t rare, but to make sure the machines were more familiar and comfortable around this specific vehicle Aurora needed to devote a machine-learning day to this one vehicle type.

So the perception team gathered a group of six motorcyclists to simply drive around the Aurora vehicles. (Aurora isn’t developing the actual cars, but the tech that will work in a car to make it drive autonomously). The cars were in manual mode for the motorcycle testing since it just needed to collect the data. The motorcycle cycle club brought some volunteers and even some Aurora employees and one employee’s dad came out to ride the motorcycles.

Being a tech company, Motorcycle Learning Day (that’s what I’ve dubbed the special motorcycle event) wasn’t a free-for-all with revving and vrooming around. The data team wanted to collect specific information from a variety of scenarios that autonomous cars are likely to encounter in the real world.

First up was testing different “positions,” meaning motorcycles in the same lane as the car, in front of, behind, or next to the car. Then it was “approaches:” Oncoming motorcycles are different than motorcycles passing from behind. Motorcycles also ride in front of cars.

Motorcycles are quick and nimble, so the autonomous vehicle experienced different scenarios where the motorcycle approached in different ways (from behind, oncoming, in front) at different speeds. The cars also practiced stopping with a motorcycle in front, since that’s a different experience than with a sedan or other cars.

For the motorcycle aficionados with strong allegiances to certain brands, the best part was testing out on different types of motorcycles: an Indian Motorcycle, four Harley-Davidsons, a KTM sports dirt bike, and a Yamaha cruiser bike all rode around the autonomous cars. The best autonomous vehicles will know their Harleys from their Yamahas.

Motorcycle Learning Day wasn’t a one-and-done deal — the self-driving cars are never done learning, but this was like a mega-study session. Now the system has a robust data set about motorcycles and anything that looks and acts like a motorcycle on the road.

Motorcycle Live returns to the NEC this weekend

By | General Posts

Motorcycle Live returns to the NEC this weekend and you can still get tickets

The two wheeled extravaganza runs from 16th – 24th November

by Scott Dickinson from https://www.birminghammail.co.uk

Strap on your helmets because the UK’s largest motorcycle show rides back into Birmingham this weekend with even more attractions for the entire family.

The biking exhibition, in association with Bikesure Insurance, proved very popular last year pulling in 103,702 fans and over 40 of the world’s leading manufacturers.

Motorcycle Live runs from 16th-24th November 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham

This year’s attendance is set to spike with the introduction of brand new content for the little ones. This includes the Arenacross Toddler’s experience for kids too young for an electric bike, but still want to get involved. The show is also introducing a Live Treasure Hunt that will encourage under 10s to explore the show, answering questions and winning prizes.

Motorcycle Live has notoriously always had family at heart, ensuring the day of biking is a thrill for people of all ages. This year 4-12 year olds can get in gear and ride an electric bike on a learner-friendly track. Those aged seven or over can try out OSET machines in the ACU Try Trials.

However, the Moto-Cirque Arena proves the main attraction for most families, showcasing professional riders performing incredible aerial FMX stunts. The neon spectacular remains a treat for the senses, and motorheads across the UK can’t wait to see it.

The Social Hub is also set to reappear following its overwhelming success last year, inviting attendees to meet their favourite moto-vloggers, bloggers and media personalities. The space is theirs to do what they please, so get ready to creatively interact with some of your online icons!

With all of this, incredible competitions and even cheaper parking than 2018’s show (£10 when booked in advance and £12 on the door), the exhibition is unmissable.

With free entry for kids under five and just £1.00 entry for 6-16 year olds (excluding admin fee), other tickets are priced at £10.80/ £12.00/£17.55/£19.50/£25.00 (excluding admin fee).

They can be purchased now from The Ticket Factory official bookings page here!

Norton Motorcycles the 121 Year Old Iconic British Motorcycle is Crowdfunding on Crowdcube

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by JD Alois from https://www.crowdfundinsider.com

Norton Motorcycles the 121-year-old legendary British motorcycle company, is planning to raise capital on Crowdcube.

Norton Motorcycles UK Ltd is seeking £1 million to help fill product pipeline orders and to continue to innovate and develop its bikes. Additionally, the company states that the offering’s objective is to give global customers and bike enthusiasts a chance to become part of the heritage company, “profiting from its continued success.” While the offering page is not yet live, you may register your interest in participating in the securities offering here.

Earlier this month, Norton gave £1 million worth of shares to its employees.

Norton’s current CEO Stuart Garner bought the company in 2008 with little experience in bike manufacturing but a passion from the brand, and has since kept it going expanding its line and exporting bikes around the world.

Norton shares the following data points:

  • Cumulative sales of £43m with profitable and growing revenue
  • Year on Year EBITDA growth of 55% with forecast EBITDA growth of 65%
  • £15 million invested into R&D to deliver a fully developed model range
  • Successful new model launches giving a £30m order book
  • 15,000Sq ft new production facility to increase current production
  • Only British motorcycle manufacturer to design, engineer and fabricate all of its chassis’ in its UK

The details of the securities offering are not yet available along with the valuation and current year financials but these should be made available once the offering is live on Crowdcube.

You can review the most recent financials on its Companies House page including year-end financials from 2018 that are an interesting read.

The motorcycles are beautiful bikes – you cannot argue with that. If you saw the James Bond film Spectre you would have seen a Norton blessing the screen.

Garner says Norton has a proud history of engineering exclusive British motorcycles:

“… it’s thanks to our skilled workforce and experienced management team which has allowed the brand to thrive and continue to build globally recognised bikes. It is thanks to our deep connection with our riders, owners and the motorcycle community that we are following our gift of £1m share to our staff with looking to build a successful long term shareholder base from the wider community itself.”

Garner adds that during the past 10 years they have developed a niche in the motorcycle industry designing stunning bikes and producing them in low volume – all hand-built in Great Britain.

Garner claims that new models, the V4 and 650 range, have generated a £30 million order book. Look for the offering to go live on Crowdcube in the coming weeks.

 

This dirtbike can run at 120 kmph and it’s fully electric

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Ottobike MXR comes powered by an 11 kW continuous rated mid-drive motor that has a liquid cooling system along with electric speed controller.

Taiwan-based Ottobike has showcased a fully electric dirtbike concept at the 2019 EICMA Milan motorcycle show, dubbed as the Ottobike MXR.

The MXR stands for Maxi Extreme Rider and this motorcycle concept is capable of running at a speed of 120 kmph, claims a media report. It comes powered by an 11 kW continuous rated mid-drive motor that has a liquid cooling system along with electric speed controller.

The electric dirt bike is claimed to have a maximum torque output of 45 Nm and it weighs 100 kg.

The dirtbike looks rugged and aggressive. Instead of a proper headlamp, it gets three vertically positioned LED bars, while an LCD dashboard is there, which displays a wide range of information. Ottobike has used Android OS for the display to show the riders GPS directions, live maps and incoming calls, among other features, as claimed by the report.

It houses a non-removable battery that has a capacity of nearly 5 kWh and a 1.2 kW battery charger as well. Ottobike claims the bike’s battery takes 2.25 hours for a 20-80 per cent charge, while to get fully charged it requires around 4 hours of time.

Ducati Streetfighter V4 Declared Most Beautiful Bike At EICMA 2019

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

Ducati does it again!

Which of the many bikes unveiled at EICMA 2019 has haunted your dreams?? If you said “Ducati Streetfighter V4, obviously,” you’re not alone. Venerable Italian motorcycle publication Motociclismo conducted its fifteenth annual poll, both of EICMA attendees and its readers at home. Guess which bike won?

According to both EICMA attendees and readers who sadly couldn’t attend the show in person, the Ducati Streetfighter V4 was voted the most beautiful motorcycle of EICMA 2019. Motociclismo took to the MotoLive stage at EICMA to present the awards. Ducati design director Andrea Ferraresi and Streetfighter V4 designer Jeremy Faraud were both on hand to accept the official award.

When all the numbers were tallied, the winner stood out by a mile. Not only did the Ducati Streetfighter V4 top the charts; it commanded a solid 36.7 percent of the vote. Second place went to the Aprilia RS 660 which received less than half the votes of the Streetfighter V4— just 14.9 percent.

Third place was the MV Agusta Superveloce 800, with 11.23 percent of the vote. Fourth was the Honda CBR1000RR-R SP, with 9.43 percent, and fifth was the Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel, with just 4.76 percent of the vote. That makes Honda the only non-Italian manufacturer to crack the top five.

Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Motociclismo also reported that there was a difference in rankings for some bikes between voters who saw them in person, and voters who participated from home.

The top four bikes among both groups of voters were the same, but from number five down, results are markedly different between those who saw these models only on screens, vs. those who saw them live. For example, a lot more people who saw the BMW F 900 R in person seemed to appreciate it than those who simply saw it at home.

You can check out the full results of the poll—including the EICMA/home voter breakdown—over at Motociclismo.