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Motorcycles Archives — Page 12 of 20 — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

Going electric could help revive the motorcycle industry

By | General Posts

by Peter Valdes-Dapena from https://edition.cnn.com/

Motorcycle sales, particularly in the United States, have been struggling ever since the Great Recession. As older riders lose interest, or simply become unable to ride any longer, the younger generation hasn’t been showing the same kind of enthusiasm.

But the industry is hoping that electric motorcycles — with a quieter, simpler experience — might be the key to attracting new riders.

For one thing, electric motorcycles are easier to ride. With an electric motor, there’s no need to shift gears. To experienced riders, that’s no big deal, but most Americans today have become accustomed to automatic transmissions and don’t know how to shift gears.

“It’s just a lot easier learning curve,” said Susan Carpenter, a writer and radio host specializing in motorcycles. “You just hop on and twist the throttle. If you can balance, you can go.”

Another benefit is that electric motorcycles are much less noisy than gasoline-powered motorcycles. To many veteran riders, the roar of the engine is part of the excitement. But a lot of other people would prefer to enjoy their surroundings much more peacefully. The bikes also don’t have hot engines and exhaust pipes that can become burn hazards, especially when parked around kids.

Electric motorcycles also qualify for federal and state tax credits, similar to those for electric cars, although in smaller amounts.

There are tradeoffs, of course. Electric motorcycles have the same disadvantages as electric cars, namely cost and range. Motorcycles can only accommodate small batteries so they have a lot less range than gas-powered bikes. And that range diminishes greatly during high-speed highway riding because the bike’s electric motor has to compensate for increased wind resistance pressing against the rider’s not-so-aerodynamic body.

Hoping to get the attention of a new generation of riders, Harley-Davidson introduced the LiveWire electric motorcycle earlier this year.

But with a starting price of nearly $30,000 — more than three times the cost of an entry level motorcycle — it’s unlikely to attract many novice riders. With its extreme performance capabilities — it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just three seconds — the LiveWire doesn’t appear to be for first-time riders. (The bike does have selectable performance modes so it can be set up for less aggressive riding.)

“LiveWire sets the stage and sets the tone and is designed and priced to be a halo vehicle,” said Harley-Davidson spokesman Paul James, explaining that the LiveWire is aimed at establishing an image for the brand’s electric offerings rather than being a big seller. “And we’ll quickly follow that up with other form factors and other electric two-wheelers that will be in various price points and aimed at different customers.”

Harley-Davidson (HOG) wanted this bike to get people used to the idea of a motorcycle that doesn’t have the brand’s signature engine burble, said James. The LiveWire does make its own distinct sound, though. It comes from the gears that carry power from the electric motor to the belt that spins the back wheel. Harley-Davidson engineers spent time specifically tuning the naturally occurring whirring sound, much as they would the rumble of a gasoline engine.

For the real novices, Harley-Davidson offers the IronE, which targets tiny riders aged three to seven. The teeny off-road bike is powered by a small detachable battery similar to ones used for electric power tools and starts at around $650. Harley-Davidson has also shown pedaled e-bikes and scooters as concepts.

California-based Zero offers electric motorcycles like the Zero FX ZF3.6 for around $9,000. That bike has an estimated 27 miles of riding range from a small battery that can be easily changed for a fully charged one when it runs low on power. For about twice that amount, or around $20,000, bikes like the Zero SR/F can get about 123 miles in combined city and highway riding. (That compares to the 95 miles Harley-Davidson estimates for the LiveWire.) Buyers can also add battery power using a “Power Tank” accessory.

Zero’s bikes are used in a program called Discover the Ride, which introduces novice riders to motorcycle riding and takes place at Progressive International Motorcycle Shows across the United States. Riders demonstrate their basic two-wheeler skills on an electrically-assisted bicycle, then they are offered a ride on a Zero electric motorcycle.

Cake, a Swedish company, has models starting at a slightly more affordable $8,500. For that price, a buyer can get Cake’s ultra-minimalist Ösa+ model. Its design was inspired by a workbench and it looks like it. With detachable clamps, the owner can quickly customize the bike with cargo racks or an additional seat. The Ösa+ has a top speed of just 60 miles an hour. It’s intended as an urban workhorse.

Cake also makes the slightly faster and pricier Kalk& with a more traditional, but still distinctively spare, design.

With their emphasis on light weight and simplicity, Cake bikes take the idea that electric motorcycling should be different from riding a gas-powered bike to an extreme. The models are particularly popular with new riders, according to a company spokesman. After being available in the US for a little over a year, there’s a three-month waiting list for the bikes, Cake claims.

Alternet Systems Highlights African $4 Billion Motorcycle Ride Hail Market

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DALLAS, Dec. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via OTC PR WIRE — Alternet Systems, Inc. (USOTC: ALYI) today highlighted Africa’s $4 billion motorcycle ride hail market featured in a recent TechCrunch article emphasizing the anticipated explosive growth in Africa over the next decade.  ALYI management sees ALYI as well positioned leader prepared to capture the wave of investment and growth coming to Africa in 2020 and beyond.

ALYI is currently developing $300 million in electric vehicle projects in Africa targeting the shared-ride market, leading with electric motorcycles for the shared-ride market.  The company has signed orders for electric motorcycles with a side car to be produced in Kenya for shared ride providers in Kenya.  ALYI has also recently announced a $100 million cryptocurrency investment strategy targeted at expanding beyond the company’s existing $300 million in electric vehicle projects in Africa.

ALYI has secured institutional commitment to support an annual African electric mobility technology conference and symposium to advance the deployment of electric powered transportation solutions specific to Africa.  The focus includes environmental sustainability but also overall transportation efficiency applicable to the African transportation infrastructure, economy, and consumer.  ALYI CEO, Dr. Randell Torno, contends that the immediate opportunity for electric powered transportation growth in Africa by far exceeds the electric powered transportation opportunity anywhere else in the world and that the electric mobility technology innovations that will be developed for Africa will ultimately form the foundation of commercial electric powered transportation everywhere.  In short, Africa is the global proving ground for electric powered transportation. Dr. Torno just concluded meetings in London last week where he secured institutional brand name commitment that will serve as the anchor event and attraction at the annual African electric mobility technology conference and symposium.  The planed conference and symposium location is Nairobi, Kenya.

For more information, please visit: http://www.alternetsystemsinc.com

Aprilia 250 to 350cc motorcycles planned – To take on Royal Enfield

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by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com/

Seeing the success of Royal Enfield in the 250-350cc segment, many motorcycle brands are planning entry with new products.

Royal Enfield is arguably one of the most demanded names in the 350cc category in the Indian motorcycle market. For the same reason, many brands have come forward with their own range of compelling products to take on the Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer. Now, the Italian automotive brand, Piaggio has revealed its plans to enter the same segment through its Aprilia sub-brand.

Diego Graffi, MD of Piaggio, shares that the company has a lot of interesting in the Indian motorcycle market and sees untapped potential in the 250-350cc market. With Aprilia — the winner of multiple racing championships in the world — under its belt, Piaggio is confident that it can make a strong presence in the market, especially against the likes of Royal Enfield products.

As per data, Indian two-wheeler sales have dropped by 15.74% to 1,28,64,936 units between April to November of the current fiscal year. In turn, Piaggio sales (predominantly, Aprilia and Vespa range of scooters) declined by 16.86% to 48,471 units.

Out of the 7,73,855 motorcycles sold in the 250-350cc segment in the country within the same period, Royal Enfield contributed to almost 99% of the sales, at 7,64,012 units. For the same reason, it makes sense for Piaggio to introduce something that would be much more desirable than the market leader. Mr Graffi commented that this would take time, but is definitely in the plans.

Royal Enfield products have a cult following in the country and some folks even see it as ‘the motorcycle’ over anything else on the market. The charm of a Royal Enfield is its classic styling that can simply overshadow its relatively poor output characteristics and chassis dynamics.

The new Jawa motorcycles and Benelli Imperiale 400 are the only other products that have made an impact on Royal Enfield’s market. Hence, Piaggio’s upcoming 250-350cc products should have an edge over these motorcycles as well — if it is a cruiser or classic.

If it is any other type of motorcycle, the competition will be even tougher due to the presence of main players such as KTM, Yamaha, Bajaj, TVS and even the upcoming Husqvarna.

Aprilia currently sells only the SR and Storm range of 125-150cc scooters in the country. About two years back, the company thrilled motorcycle enthusiasts across the country with the showcase of the Aprilia RS 150 and Tuono 150 motorcycles at Auto Expo 2018. Many awaited for its launch for quite a long time, but only to be disappointed in the end. We hope this won’t be the case with the newly-proposed Aprilia motorcycles.

5-Ball Racing Leathers Report

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Amigo, The Dayroll came in the mail yesterday. I really like it!!

The quality is unbelieveable!

It is perfect for stashing a pair of gloves, maybe a sweatshirt, glasses, maybe spare sunglasses and camera. It will definitely replace the bigger bag I have on my bike for the stuff I carry around everyday!!

Thanks for getting it here so quickly too!! All the best!!

–Ken

SHOP NOW – CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FABULOUS 5-BALL MERCHANDISE

Check out our threads, buckles and books. http://shop.bikernet.com/

Enfield to glam up, slim down bikes for women, GenX

By | General Posts

New bikes from Royal Enfield are likely to be the most affordable ones.

Royal Enfield is slimming down to conquer. It plans to make far lighter bikes, offering lower and more comfortable seating positions, to draw youngsters and women to a brand that has hitherto been associated with men who had truly arrived. And these will likely be the most affordable bikes as well from the maker of the iconic Bullet.

These bikes will weigh significantly less than the Bullet and be seated lower, styled after the roadster. Due for launch in the first quarter of 2020, these are internally codenamed J1C, and may sell under the Explorer brand.

The model has been developed after taking critical feedback from women and youngsters to offer them a bike with comfortable ingress/egress and steer away from the traditional perception of Royal Enfield ‘bulk’, said several industry executives aware of the plans.

“While we cannot comment about future product line-ups, we can confirm that at Royal Enfield, we assign huge focus on keeping our motorcycles accessible and approachable to all, in an endeavour to bring more people to experience pure leisure motorcycling,” a spokesperson told ET.

The company declined to discuss its product pipeline, features and pricing strategies.

Royal Enfield was losing a significant chunk of upgraders to competition as rivals launched several sports bikes. The Explorer is an attempt to wrest back the initiative, industry experts believe.

The launch of J1C is part of a new product onslaught, and the plan envisages launching at least one new product every quarter from 2020. After J1C, the company will be launching the new generation Thunderbird, which may be re-christened as Meteor, before the BS-VI versions of Classic and Bullet hit the road in 2020.

Royal Enfield has upgraded the existing UCE or Unit Construction Engine for BS VI emission norms to ensure adequate availability.

Struggling to arrest volume declines, Royal Enfield has undertaken a series of accessibility measures that include product enhancements, geographic expansions, and establishment of small-format retail stores.

To be sure, the total number of driving licences issued in India is 161.1 million, of which about a tenth is issued to women drivers. Women buyers account for about 7-8% of the existing Royal Enfield volumes. Although the numbers are still small, more women are buying bikes such as the Himalayan or Thunderbird X.

The new platform for women motorbike enthusiasts would open a vast opportunity for the company, which has seen untapped potential in Goa, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka.

Goa has the highest proportion of women drivers, with 23% of the total number of licences issued to women. For Chandigarh and Maharashtra, the comparable figures are 18.47% and 18.28%, according to the Road Transport Year book of 2016.

In the second quarter of FY20, sales volumes from Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka accounted for a quarter of the total at Royal Enfield.

The monthly run-rate of Royal Enfield dropped 15% to 60,334 in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. The Street expects sales volume of 7.25-7.30 lakh units in the current fiscal year, which implies a decline of about 12%, the first in at least a decade.

Could Kawasaki Be Planning A GPz900R Comeback?

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by Justin Hughes from https://www.rideapart.com

It’s wild speculation time.

Retro bikes are all the rage these days. As a GenXer whose first several bikes were UJMs from the early 1980s, I appreciate it. I am the market these bikes are trying to tap into. While the Suzuki Katana is one of the first to apply the retro formula to a true sportbike, I suspect that there may be another one potentially on the horizon: a remade Kawasaki GPz900R.

The original GPz900R became famous in the original Top Gun as Tom Cruise raced an F-14 Tomcat down the runway. The trailer for Top Gun: Maverick shows him riding the same bike (albeit without a helmet, which is not only a bad idea but something the Navy would never allow him to do in the real world). We also know that he’ll be riding an H2R in the movie, so clearly Maverick isn’t against upgrading his ride while staying loyal to the Kawasaki brand.

Kawasaki has also found success with the Z900RS retro naked bike. It has classic 1980s styling, yet packs all the performance and safety features you want in a modern motorcycle. I absolutely loved the Z900RS I rode last summer at a demo day. So did Kate, who would opt for the Z900RS Cafe. The standard Z900 is also a great bike, but the retro version is what speaks to me.

With Suzuki throwing down the gauntlet with the Katana, there may be room out there for a competing retro sportbike. The Katana has a larger 999 cc engine, and Kawasaki would have to choose between competing against it with a Ninja 1000-based literbike or remaining true to the original GPz900R’s displacement. Either choice could be a winning proposition, particularly with Top Gun: Maverick providing a perfect opportunity to promote it.

On top of all that, there’s this GPz900R video that Kawasaki just released on YouTube. It’s a great retrospective of all of the bike’s versions throughout the years, including many that weren’t available in the US. Why post this now? It could have to do with renewed interest in Maverick’s motorcycle. Many of today’s riders weren’t even born back when the original Top Gun came out and aren’t familiar with it. It could be nothing more than this. Or it could be a look back at the model line in preparation for introducing a new model based on it.

Once again, this is all wild speculation on my part. Kawasaki has said nothing about bringing the GPz back in any form. Like the idea of an Indian adventure bike, though, all of the pieces are in place that would make now the right time to do it, while retro bikes are becoming more and more popular and with a major movie coming out that would help promote it. Kawasaki already has the platforms and powerplants it would need to do it with just a little bit of modern/retro styling to make it unique. It worked well for the Z900, and it could work for a GPz.

Our magic number – 200

By | General Posts

They say that every company has a magic number.

“Seven friends in ten days.” – It was Facebook’s sole focus in its growth from zero to one billion users.

With Twitter, their explosive growth happened when users followed thirty people.

Even though we are making motorcycles, we have identified our own magic number. And we think this number will turn the incumbent motorcycle industry on its head.

Our magic number is 200.

Can you guess what this means?

CLICK HERE to join the conversation

WAIT, what about specs and price?
And when can I get one?

We know you’re all very excited and can’t wait to get specs and pricing. We’ll be live-streaming our first ever public unveil live from the show floor in Las Vegas at CES 2020. So get in on the action via our social media channels and stay tuned for more information via email.

Pre-ordering begins January 7th

About Damon Motors Inc.
Damon is unleashing the full potential of personal mobility for the world’s commuters. With its proprietary electric drivetrain, the company has developed the world’s safest, smartest, fully connected electric motorcycle employing sensor fusion, robotics and AI. Designed as a platform for worldwide line extension, Damon motorcycles will ship direct to consumer on subscription plans to drive scale.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Damon is a Techstars Mobility company founded by serial entrepreneurs Jay Giraud and Dom Kwong. Damon’s investors include Round 13 Capital, Techstars, Fontinalis, Extreme Venture Partners and Pallasite Ventures.

Return of the Titan

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A Brother Brings the Giant Back to Life and Youth to His…

I had the wants for another custom bike but have turned into a cheap old fucker since getting SS at 62.

I’m still a chopper guy and decided a Big Dog or Texas Chopper was it. Limited funds had me loosing auctions on EBay. Up pops a ‘98 Titan with no reserve only 300 miles away.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FEATURE ARTICLE