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Aprilia Tuono V4 Review

By General Posts

by Geoff Hill from https://www.mirror.co.uk

Big bikes don’t come with big scares any more

Back in the day, powerful bikes were thrilling and terrifying, but this naked Italian beauty has all the thrills and none of the terror thanks to a brain that works faster than the rider’s. Well, Geoff’s, although that’s not saying much.

I started doing bike tests in 1846, before bikes were even invented, so I just sat on a fence making bike noises, then hauled out a quill pen and a sheet of parchment and sent in my review to Velocipede Monthly on a passing donkey.

When bikes finally came along, I remember being simultaneously thrilled and terrified by some superbikes, such as the Kawasaki ZX-10R.

You got the feeling that at any moment it would fling you over the hedge, leaving you draped over a baffled cow called Gertrude, although it did get less frisky when Kawasaki fitted a steering damper to later models.

However, I realised at the launch a while back on the Suzuki Hayabusa that I wasn’t a bit scared.

There are several possible explanations for this. Either I’ve taken on board the advice I read from a psychiatrist recently that fear and excitement are just two sides of the same coin in your brain, so when you feel afraid, pretend it’s excitement.

I tried it on my first time back flying after lockdown, and it worked.

Another alternative is that I have become an astonishingly skilled rider, but since that’s highly unlikely, I suspect the answer is that bikes today such as this one are fitted with so many safety features that you’d need to be a complete idiot to end up draped over Gertrude.

I’m talking about cornering ABS, cornering traction control, anti-wheelie control, launch control, adaptive cruise control and so many other controls that before long we’ll be able to send bikes out on their own, and they can come back and tell us what a great day out they had.

And don’t laugh – BMW has already shown off an R 1200 GS which can tootle around without a rider, and that was back in 2018.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, just about to climb on board the Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory, the Factory bit meaning that it’s got electronically adjustable semi-active suspension, lower bars, better tyres and a more comfortable pillion position than the £15,500 base model.

In spite of the lower bars on the Factory, it’s surprisingly comfortable, even for the taller motorcycling chap, which is a welcome relief from the days when sportsbikes hunched you over like the love child of Quasimodo and Richard III and left you calling by the chiropractor on the way home.

Which left me free to admire the rather useful mirrors and a 5in TFT screen which is much clearer than on the previous Tuono, with bigger, brighter graphics which show you everything you need at a glance, including road riding modes, which can be either Tour, Sport and User, where you can geek out to your heart’s desire. There are also three track modes.

Acceleration, even in Tour mode, is gloriously lusty, accompanied by a visceral howl from the V4, handling is sublimely light and precise, and braking is as brutal but seamless as acceleration.

It’s a bike that’s impossible to unsettle no matter how ham-fisted you are in and out of corners, even on rough surfaces. Remarkable.

I spent a very happy hour getting lost on the rural A and B roads of Armagh, Northern Ireland’s apple country, feeling like I was on a bike I’d owned for years, rather than just picked up an hour ago.

Tweaked fuelling from the old model, and a firm but slick quickshifter to snick up and down the six-speed box just add to the feeling that this is a very well-sorted package indeed – fast but safe, agile but stable, and sporty but comfortable.

Switch to Sport mode, and it’s as if the bike’s been given a large and probably illegal dose of steroids, and yet even with the suspension firmer and the acceleration even more ludicrously breathtaking, it still never feels unsafe or unsettled, with the bike’s brain working faster than yours can to keep the bike stable under all conditions.

Well, my brain, anyway. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll put away my quill pen and roll up the parchment, since I see a donkey approaching, and the editor of Velocipede Monthly is an impatient sort of chap.

Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory
Engine: 1077cc liquid-cooled V4
Power: 173bhp @ 11,350rpm
Torque: 89 lb ft @ 9,000rpm
Colours: Black/red
Price: £18,100

Bootleggers Run Brings Riders, TV Celebrities To Mills County

By General Posts

by Joe Foreman from https://www.opinion-tribune.com

Motorcycles & Moonshiners: Motorcycle riders and fans of the popular “Moonshiners” television series were in hog heaven Saturday during the inaugural Bootleggers Run motorcycle rally that began and ended at Loess Hills Harley-Davidson near Pacific Junction.

The rally, a fundraiser for the Northeast Elementary School playground project, included appearances by Tim Smith and Josh Owens – cast members from the “Moonshiners” docudrama that’s been airing on the Discovery Channel since 2011. The show features a cast of characters, many who reside in wooded regions of the Appalachian Mountains, that make their own moonshine. Smith is also well known for his legally-produced Climax Moonshine that’s made from a century-old family recipe.

Saturday’s motorcycle rally attracted more than 200 riders and included scheduled stops at establishments in Shenandoah and Macedonia and Glenwood’s Keg Creek Brewing Co.

Smith and Owens, donned in their trademarked bib overalls, signed autographs and posed for photos at each stop along the rally route.

BMW R NineT Pure Option 719 First Ride Review

By General Posts

by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

To most motorcyclists, the term “pure” evokes images of kickstarters, chrome finishes, and cable throttles. It takes us back to simpler times; a time before electronic nannies and catalytic converters. Back then, motorcycles were easy on the eyes—and the technology.

Charming as it is, nostalgia certainly has its limitations. Most riders aren’t rushing back to hardtails, drum brakes, and carburetors. Luckily, modern-classic motorcycles can cherry-pick the best aspects of yesteryear and today. At least that’s what BMW attempts with its R nineT family. Now, circular headlamps can house LED lights. Wire-spoke wheels can bear retro styling as well as tubeless tires. Design can be both timeless and trendy.

The four R nineT models express this dual nature to various degrees, but the Pure variant embraces the back-to-basics philosophy most. The main ingredients remain intact, but the Pure favors stripped-down practicality over performance. A steel fuel tank replaces the lightweight aluminum unit, a conventional fork steps in for the responsive USD front end, and the cockpit hosts just one round gauge.

Those concessions result in a $10,995 price tag, cementing the Pure as the less-is-more option in BMW’s feature-rich lineup. Since introducing the R nineT in 2015, the Bavarian brand has positioned the neo-retro naked as a custom-friendly platform. The Pure just takes that approach to the next level. Sporting a Mineral Gray Metallic paint job, the base trim is both comely and capable. However, BMW proved that the stock guise is just the starting point when it put an R nineT Pure Option 719 in our charge for a few weeks.

The Ultimate Customizing Machine
In 2021, the R nineT’s air/oil-cooled, 1,170cc, boxer engine earns a Euro 5-compliant update. While noise emissions regulations muffle much of the platform’s signature bark, it holds onto its bite with 109 horsepower at 7,250 rpm and 85 lb-ft of torque at 6,000 rpm. The upgraded shock absorber now boasts a hand wheel adjuster and travel-dependent damping while ABS gains cornering functions. Rain and Road ride modes now come standard and full LED lighting illuminates the way.

Despite those generous revisions, BMW went even further with the R nineT’s paint and accessories catalog. Each model now features series colorways along with BMW’s custom in-house Option 719 paint schemes and accessory kits. For an additional $1,350, customers can trick out the R nineT Pure with the Option 719 Aluminum package seen here, which includes an aluminum front fender, fly screen, tail cowl, and gas tank.

The brand’s Billet Pack Classic tacks on milled cylinder head and engine front covers along with an extra $1,050. Additional cosmetic upgrades such as spoked wheels and the design option silencer add another $975 to the bill. Of course, the House of Munich offers a Comfort Package that unlocks the Dynamic ride mode, heated grips, and cruise control. On the other hand, the Select Package prioritizes safety with traction control, engine braking control, and an adaptive headlight.

After all the extra components, software patches, and destination charges, the R nineT Pure Option 719 retails for $15,865. That’s still $80 under the standard R nineT’s $15,945 MSRP, but it’s a far cry from the minimalist machine that the Pure sets out to be. For that reason, we’re going to primarily focus on the model’s standard equipment, and that all starts with the big-bore boxer.
The Ride

BMW may have updated the eight-valve, opposed-twin to meet modern emissions standards, but the aging powerplant retains all of its vintage charm in 2021. Twist the throttle while in neutral and the bulletproof boxer still jolts to the left. As always, vibrations course through the handlebars and foot pegs at higher revs. Unlike most modern motorcycles, BMW preserves these quarks, chalking them up to the R nineT’s “character”.

The Bavarians may hold on to those old ways, but the boxer now delivers an even stronger punch in the mid-range. Road mode harnesses those pulses with a linear power delivery while Rain mode dampens the effect in the name of safety. Unsurprisingly, the mid-range surge is most prevalent in the optional Dynamic mode. Those looking to maximize the Pure’s performance potential may spring for BMW’s Comfort Package as a result, but Road mode was notably capable in nearly all situations.

While the flat-twin went flat out in the mid-range, the Euro 5-compliant tune also produces lean fueling at the low-end. After a few unintended stalls off the line, I learned to babysit the clutch away from each stoplight. The low-end fueling paired with the engine’s high rpm vibes produced a narrow range of usable power, and that quality was most evident on twisty roads.

Without a slipper clutch, quickshifter, or auto-blipper, the R nineT was best ridden with smooth inputs and a patient demeanor. Aggressively banging through the gears only unsettled the big boxer, and in turn, the chassis. Consequently, R nineT riders are encouraged to let the corners come to them. That’s when the modern-classic comes into its own. On flowy canyon roads, the 43mm fork and steering damper hold a true line while the Metzeler RoadTec tires provide more than enough grip for the available lean angle.

Knocking on the door of 500 pounds, the Pure isn’t the nimblest Beemer of the bunch, but the centralized mass makes side-to-side transitions less strenuous than expected. The rear suspension adjustment knob will please two-up riders, but in the single-seat configuration, users will set it and forget it. After experimenting with the top and bottom settings, the mid-position produced the best feel without sacrificing too much comfort. However, it’s hard to characterize the ride as luxurious in any setting.

Conversely, the dual 320mm discs and Brembo four-piston calipers outperformed the spec sheet with a strong initial bite and surprisingly direct feel from the axial master cylinder. As anticipated, the two-pot Brembo binder and 265mm rotor in the rear delivered a less responsive experience, but they did a great job of steadying the 483-pound naked at slow speeds. The R nineT Pure may not win any performance shootouts, but the package sure fits the bill for everyday road use.

The Fit
Throwing a leg over the Pure for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised by the wide handlebars, broad seat pan, and narrow midsection. The low foot pegs position the knee at a 90-degree angle, though the hard parts drag much sooner as a result. Up top, the reach to the bars is a slight stretch, but the tank cutouts allow the rider’s knees to relieve pressure on their wrists. If it weren’t for the thinly padded saddle and nonexistent wind protection, the Pure could double as a suitable touring rig.

In stock form, however, the R nineT functions best in urban environments and twisty canyon roads. While the standard equipment includes a bench seat, the optional seat cowl increases both form and function. The tail unit not only locks the rider into the cockpit but also acts as a storage compartment. The removable backplate enables users to stash legal documents, disc locks, hats, and small tools in the rearward cubby. It may not replace a backpack or accommodate groceries, but it’s a convenient and reliable solution for most naked bike riders.

Similar to the ergonomics, the streamlined electronic suite is straightforward and user-friendly. The single gauge doesn’t include a tachometer, but the LCD display reports engine temperature, ambient temperature, time, mileage, and trip distance. The analog speedometer is a nice retro touch while a dedicated button allows riders to effortlessly cycle through the ride modes.

With the Comfort Package, cruise control settings are located at the top of the left switchgear and the right-hand side hosts the heated grips button. Select Package features like the adaptive headlight unit and traction control work in the background, freeing the rider to concentrate on the road ahead. The simple but effective accommodations should satisfy most riders, but BMW’s robust add-ons collection will also serve those that enjoy the bells and whistles.

Conclusion
Thanks to the lack of flashy TFT displays and radar-assisted farkles, the Pure lives up to its namesake. The tried-and-true boxer produces just enough rumble to enliven the ride and the tech never presents a distraction. What the platform gives up in performance it gains in ease of use and enjoyment.

Even without the Option 719 cosmetic kits and additional electronic upgrades, the R nineT Pure is an excellent companion for the weekday commute and the weekend cruise. The modern-classic Beemer may have electronic nannies and a subdued exhaust note, but the entry-level R nineT still captures the pure fun of riding a good, old-fashioned motorcycle.

Visually Impaired Patriots Experiencing the Road to hold its fifth annual motorcycle ride

By General Posts

VIPER ride founders John Carter (former Marine) and T J Oman (retired Navy Lieutenant Commander) at a previous event

by Erik S. Hanley from https://www.jsonline.com

A motorcycle ride supporting veterans with disabilities is rumbling through Oak Creek later this month

When T.J. Oman, a retired Navy lieutenant commander in Wisconsin, reached out to a fellow veteran in Minnesota about the fifth VIPER ride, he learned the man had been diagnosed with cancer and had months to live.

VIPER, or Visually Impaired Patriots Experiencing the Road, will hold its fifth annual motorcycle ride on Aug. 22 in Oak Creek at the Oelschlaeger-Dallmann American Legion Post 434, 9327 S. Shepard Ave. The Minnesota man has traveled to the Milwaukee area for every past VIPER event, but his sister was keeping this year’s announcement from him because of his diagnosis, Oman, one of the VIPER ride founders, said.

“I messed up her plans because when I didn’t see his application this year, I put together an email and sent it to a batch of people curious about their absence,” Oman said.

Now that he knows the ride is happening, despite his diagnosis, that veteran is coming to ride.

Motorcycle owners, known as “pilots,” are partnered with a veteran called a “tailgunner.” The duos stay together throughout the day’s events. Volunteers are known as the “groundcrew” and they work to give directions, welcome participants, set up food and drinks, clean up and more.

“We’re looking forward to it this year because we missed it last year,” said John Carter, a former Marine and co-founder of the VIPER ride. The 2020 ride was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially only for blind veterans, the ride recently became “the VIPER ride plus+” expanding to allow veterans with any physical disability that prevents them from operating a motorcycle. There is no cost to participants.

“We don’t charge anybody a dime, this is not a fundraiser,” Carter said.

2021 VIPER ride schedule of events
Early in the morning, breakfast will be offered, Carter said. The 50-mile, 90-minute ride through Milwaukee County will kick off around 11 a.m. with two-wheel motorcycles, trikes and motorcycles with sidecars. This will be the first year incorporating a lot of freeway driving with the entire return trip on the interstate, Oman said. After the ride, a big luncheon with live music will be held.

Overall, Carter estimated the event will last from about 8 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m.

All motorcycles large enough to carry a passenger safely are allowed on the ride. Organizers validate every driver’s license for a motorcycle endorsement, get a copy of everyone’s insurance and perform a full safety inspection on every motorcycle.

“It takes a little bit of time but everything we do is all about the VIPER ride and participants,” Oman said. “The reason we do this is the social side of it, just to hang out and talk with these guys. Some of these guys are true heroes.”

The ride will be escorted by police on motorcycles. Oman said the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office has been a supporter “from the very beginning.” Additionally, officers from the Milwaukee Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol have ridden with the group.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Carter said.

In the past, the ride lasted substantially longer, Oman said. The first two years the ride went out to Kettle Moraine and East Troy, totaling 111 miles round trip. The second year was a little shorter but still hit triple digits on the odometer. After two years, some veterans said it was a little long, Oman said.

Pilots and Tailgunners enjoying the open road

VIPER rides have nationwide participation
Oman, who served on a nuclear submarine during his tenure in the Navy, said this year was the smallest group of participants since they started with 30 tailgunners and between 50-55 motorcycle pilots. In the past, the event had about 50 tailgunners and as many as 120 motorcycles.

Oman attributed the smaller sign-up numbers to the cancellation of the ride in 2020.

“The out of sight, out of mind mentality affected us,” he said. Oman said many were likely still hesitant to come out and do anything in a group as well given the surging number of delta variant cases.

Registration for the ride itself ended in June, but Carter said everyone is welcome to attend the other festivities.

“We match up pilot and tailgunner and put time and effort into making sure we match the tailgunner and the pilot for size,” Carter said. “We try to get it all finalized in June so we know what we’re doing.”

In the event’s inaugural year, participants from across the country, encompassing 15 different states, attended the ride. Carter said one regular rider travels from Mesa, Arizona every year.

“He takes a train here, travels three to four days, rides that morning, then takes a bus back,” he said.

While many friendships were gained from the event, some early-year participants have been lost.

“I never really foresaw the impact and the long-term effect but a lot of these guys, the pilots and the tailgunners, have become lifelong friends,” Oman said. “They communicate year-round, they maintain contact, it has become a family and as a result of that we’ve lost a few.”

One veteran and big supporter of the event died a few months ago, Oman said. The group is “breaking the rules” and letting his wife and daughter ride with them this year in his honor.

“They’re part of the VIPER family,” Oman said.

The VIPER ride website has a memorial page for participants that have passed to “keep their memory alive as part of the ride,” Oman said.

“Unfortunately, the list keeps growing, but I guess part of living is dying,” he said.

Supporting veterans with disabilities

Oman said he’d been trying to convince Carter to do a motorcycle ride for the blind in the past. Carter, who became the president of the Blinded Veterans Association of Wisconsin, was looking to enhance recruitment for the organization. Out to lunch one day, the two came up with the VIPER ride.

“We mutually agreed it would be a good tool for recruitment,” Oman said, adding he’d been involved with motorcycle rides for the blind in the past.

Carter said one goal for the event was to get blind veterans back out into the fresh air “experiencing something they wouldn’t experience again.”

“Once you lose your sight you don’t want to participate in much, many don’t,” he said.

Carter wasn’t thrilled about the motorcycles, but Oman convinced him to get on a trike with a friend every year for the VIPER ride. For Oman, he doesn’t need convincing.

“I don’t need much of a reason to ride a motorcycle,” he laughed. He still invites Carter out for other rides but with no success.

“Motorcycles scare the liver out of me,” Carter said.

Gov. Kristi Noem is the new star at the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

By General Posts

by Christopher Vondracek from https://www.dglobe.com

Noem rode both a horse and a motorcycle at the Rally on Monday, helping sell an oil painting of her for $55,000 in a charity auction. Staff says this was Noem’s first time at the massive western South Dakota biker bash.

STURGIS, S.D. — Call it South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s victory lap.

On Monday, Aug. 9, the conservative firebrand auctioned off “True Grit,” an oil painting showing the governor on a horse during Custer State Park’s annual Buffalo Roundup.

The charity auction in Deadwood, South Dakota, was in the heart of roaring Harley-Davidsons and the 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Next, Noem rode 50 miles on a denim blue Indian motorcycle into Vanocker Canyon and eventually out onto the plains of the Buffalo Chip campground.

“South Dakota is getting recognition that it’s never got before,” said Rod Woodruff, owner of the Chip, seated in a tent next to Noem in her signature baseball cap Monday. “And it’s a direct result of the respect this governor has for the freedom and liberties of the citizens.”

The governor followed up on her nostalgic vision of Sturgis.

“They can come here and remember what America feels like,” Noem said.

Had there been a crowd, they would’ve revved their hogs.

The Black Hills, the most conservative corner of this red state, wasn’t always unabashed Noem’s country. In the 2018 primary, Noem blew past then-Attorney General Marty Jackley with a statewide 14 points victory, but Jackley, a Sturgis native, bested Noem in his home, Meade County.

Five months later, in the general election, Noem — who grew up on a crop-and-cattle farm in the far northeast corner of South Dakota, more Minnesota than Custer — squeaked by another West River politician, this one the former rodeo champion, Billie Sutton, a Democrat from Burke.

Even through the first half of her gubernatorial tenure, the former four-term congresswoman’s polling was low across the state. But that all changed during COVID-19.

“She’s normal South Dakota, and that’s what the rest of the world is missing,” said R. Victor Alexander, who runs the Three Forks C-store and campground outside Hill City, where a “Trump won” flag waves in the wind.

Alexander says he believes Noem’s opposition to mask mandates pressured the local school board to oppose mask requirements, as well, something he approves of. He also supports what he calls her “tourism policy” and “the fact that we did not necessarily shut down.”

“I’m supportive of what she’s done and what she will do,” he concluded.

What’s next?
It’s the “will do” that is keeping people guessing. Noem has notched national TV spots, and traveled to fundraisers in Wyoming, Texas, and Florida. She’s given speeches in Iowa and Minnesota and campaigned last fall in New Hampshire.

These are the places one would go if they were running for president, not South Dakota governor. But, so far, Noem insists she has her eyes on a 2022 gubernatorial campaign, not the White House.

But if Noem does look to pivot toward a more Trumpian brand, she could do worse than take a trip down Vanocker Canyon or attend a charity auction in Deadwood, where Noem T-shirts now hang in stores.

A Noem staffer said this was Noem’s first time participating in the Rally, noting that the governor used to ride a motorcycle prior to starting her family (her three children are now grown), and recently picked up the motorcycle again.

And at least by mid-August, the ride is smooth for Noem. Pierre isn’t in session till next year. Democrats still lack a challenger. And the state just purchased the jet Noem requested and legislators approved.

Sure, there have been bumps.

Her Department of Education has come under fire for overriding teacher-drafted social studies standards, removing multiple references to Lakota and Dakota history and culture. A billboard went up in Rapid City sniping at her for opposing a voter-approved recreational marijuana amendment. And health experts anticipate a spike locally in the delta variant, which could draw further scrutiny of her hands-off approach to public health.

But appearing at a motorcycle rally, even one dominated by mostly older white people, where political incorrectness is as popular as riding without a helmet, could be a battleground state in her own backyard.

“It’s been a strong rally,” said City of Sturgis spokeswoman Christina Steele, though not as much as the 1 million attendees predicted by Woodruff. Still, along with RVs, Harleys, spending money, and maybe a virus, political disenfranchisement has also seeped into the rally’s mountain towns.

On Wednesday, Aug. 11, across from a billboard of the presidential wax museum featuring a smiling Joe Biden, Jay Perkins smoked a cigarette outside the store he runs. His T-shirt said, “We the People are pissed.”

“That’s what I used to think,” Perkins said. “But now I blame us.”

Perkins said he “quit” news media after this election, and isn’t vaccinated, repeating skepticism about the safety of the vaccine. When two masked people walked into his store, he explained that some people who live outside South Dakota “believe all that stuff.”

Health officials are concerned this week the crowds — estimates of 750,000 — could send a spike in the delta variant around the region, with the state sitting just above 50% of its population totally vaccinated. But Perkins thinks the media focuses too much on the “drama.”

“What about all the charity events [during the Rally]?” he asks.

Artist David Uhl’s painting of Noem, for example, fetched $55,000 for a human trafficking non-\profit based in the Hills. Noem has even offered to fly down to Texas to install the painting in the winning Texas couple’s home (the couple did not respond to an interview request, though they told a local paper they “like” Noem).

On Wednesday, the crowds moved west across the Wyoming border into Hulett for a one-day rally.

“Topless Wednesday in Hulett,” said Steele, later clarifying the rowdy town’s annual “Ham N Jam” event in the shadow of Devil’s Tower. “It gets quiet around here, relatively.”

Smoke moved in overnight from a wildfire in Montana, and news broke late in the day about a growing wildfire southwest of Sturgis, not far from the road Noem took days earlier.

But at the Gold Dust Casino in Deadwood, a man working painter Uhl’s booth — astride another painting of “True Grit,” plus a few more that resembled Noem — chatted about people “renting sight unseen” in the Black Hills.

Uhl’s usual stuff is biker propaganda. A longhaired rider cruising in front of Bear Butte. A gal bending near her motorcycle with a rattlesnake snarling at her while she points her pistol toward a distant cliff.

And now in the casino’s window, there’s an array of framed Noem paintings on display, capturing the photogenic governor — or a close look-alike — in heroic poses, buttoning an old-school leather helmet or riding her horse amongst the bison, as tourists from around the country walked past, snapping pictures.

Yamaha withdraw rider Maverick Vinales from Austrian GP

By General Posts

from https://www.bbc.com

Yamaha have suspended rider Maverick Vinales from Sunday’s Austrian MotoGP.

The team cited the 26-year-old’s “irregular operation of the motorcycle” at last weekend’s Styrian MotoGP as the reason for his withdrawal.

The Spaniard ended the race in the pit lane saying he had multiple electrical issues.

But Yamaha say his actions “potentially caused” damage to the bike and claimed he had put himself and those around him at risk.

He will not be replaced by another rider for this weekend’s race at the Red Bull Ring.

The team added that a decision on his participation at future races would be made after further discussions with the rider and a more detailed analysis of the situation.

At his own request, Vinales, a nine-time MotoGP race winner, will be released a year early from his Yamaha contract, due to expire in 2022.

Vinales is currently sixth in the 2021 rider standings

Complete Evolution of Yamaha Motorcycles

By General Posts

by Mr.Moto

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles, marine products such as boats and outboard motors, and other motorized products. The company was established in 1955 upon separation from Yamaha Corporation (however, Yamaha Corporation is still the largest private company shareholder with 9.92%, as of 2019), and is headquartered in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. The company conducts development, production, and marketing operations through 109 consolidated subsidiaries as of 2012. Led by Genichi Kawakami, the company’s founder, and first president, Yamaha Motor began production of its first product, the YA-1, in 1955. The 125cc motorcycle won the 3rd Mount Fuji Ascent Race in its class.

History
The motorcycle division of Yamaha was founded in 1955 and was headed by Genichi Kawakami. Yamaha’s initial product was a 125 cc two-cycle, single-cylinder motorcycle, the YA-1, which was a copy of the German DKW RT 125. The YA-1 was a competitive success at racing from the beginning, winning not only the 125cc class in the Mt. Fuji Ascent but also swept the podium with first, second, and third place in the All Japan Auto bike Endurance Road Race that same year. Early success in racing set the tone for Yamaha, as competition in many varieties of motorcycle racing has been a key endeavor of the company throughout its history, often fueled by a strong rivalry with Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and other Japanese manufacturers.

Yamaha began competing internationally in 1956 when they entered the Catalina Grand Prix, again with the YA-1, at which they placed sixth. The YA-1 was followed by the YA-2 of 1957, another 125cc two-stroke, but with significantly improved frame and suspension. The YD-1 of 1957 was a 250cc two-stroke twin-cylinder motorcycle, resembling the YA-2, but with a larger and more powerful motor. A performance version of this bike, the YDS-1 housed the 250cc two-stroke twin in a double downtube cradle frame and offered the first five-speed transmission in a Japanese motorcycle. This period also saw Yamaha offer its first outboard marine engine.

Yamaha Motor Company was incorporated on 1 July 1955 (Japan). Highlighting its presence in the performance motorcycle segment, the company announced that in 2020 they will be celebrating their 65th anniversary on the 1st of July, 2020 with a holiday they call “Yamaha Day”. The theme for Yamaha Day 2020 is “heritage” – Yamaha plans to use this holiday to enhance the brand’s connection with its customers.

Yamaha’s Growth
By 1963 Yamaha’s dedication to both the two-stroke engine and racing paid off with their first victory in international competition, at the Belgium GP, where they won the 250cc class. Success in sales was even more impressive, and Yamaha set up the first of its international subsidiaries in this period beginning with Thailand in 1964, and the Netherlands in 1968. 1965 saw the release of a 305cc two-stroke twin, the flagship of the company’s lineup. It featured a separate oil supply that directly injected oil into the gasoline before combustion (traditionally riders had to pre-mix oil into gasoline together before filling the gas tank on two-stroke engines). In 1967 a new larger displacement model was added to the range, the 350cc two-stroke twin R-1.

In 1968 Yamaha launched their first four-stroke motorcycle, the XS-1. The Yamaha XS-1 was a 650cc four-stroke twin, a larger and more powerful machine that equaled the displacement and performance of the popular British bikes of the era, such as the Triumph Bonneville and BSA Gold Star. Yamaha continued with both the two-stroke line and four-stroke twins at a time that other Japanese manufacturers were increasingly moving to four-cylinder four-stroke machines, a trend-led by Honda in 1969 with the legendary CB-750 four-stroke four-cylinder cycle.

Two-stroke Era Begins: The 1970s
Not until 1976 would Yamaha answer the other Japanese brands with a multi-cylinder four-stroke of their own. The XS-750 (and later 850) a 750cc triple cylinder machine with shaft final drive was introduced almost seven years after Honda’s breakthrough bike. Yamaha’s first four-cylinder model, the XS-1100 followed in 1978, again with shaft drive. Despite being heavier and more touring-oriented than its rivals it produced an impressive string of victories in endurance racing.

The 1980s: Diversification And Innovation
By 1980 the combination of consumer preference and environmental regulation made four strokes increasingly popular. Suzuki ended production of their GT two stroke series, including the flagship water-cooled two-stroke 750cc GT-750 in 1977. Kawasaki, who had considerable success throughout the 1970s with their two-stroke triples of 250cc, 350cc, 500cc, and 750cc ended production of road-going two strokes in 1980. Yamaha bucked this trend and continued to refine and sell two-strokes for the street into the 1980s. These bikes were performance-oriented, water-cooled twin-cylinder machines, designed to achieve excellent performance taking advantage of the lower weight of two strokes. The RZ-250 of 1980 was the progenitor of this series. The RZ-350, the largest displacement model, was a popular hot-rod bike of the 1980s and continued to be sold in some countries into the early 1990s.

Throughout the 1980s the motorcycle industry gradually went from building a few basic but versatile models designed to work well in many roles, to offering many more specialized machines designed to excel in particular niches. These include racing and performance street riding, touring, motocross racing, enduro, and recreational off-road riding, and cruising. Yamaha branched out from the relatively small number of UJMs (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) at the start of the decade to a much larger set of offerings in several clearly defined markets at the end of the decade.

The XV750 of 1981 featured an air-cooled V-twin four-stroke engine and cruiser styling and was one of the first Japanese cruiser style motorcycles. By the end of the 1980s, Yamaha had offered dozens of cruiser styled bikes in a variety of displacements and engine configurations. The RZV500 was one of the first “replica-racers”, a near copy of Kenny Roberts competition GP bike, it featured a liquid-cooled two-stroke motor of 500cc displacement in a V4 configuration, along with a perimeter frame and full fairing.

Another bike that was performance-oriented was the Yamaha RX-Z, introduced in 1985 as a two-stroke naked sportbike, related to the Yamaha RX-135 and Yamaha RD-135, borrowing its chassis and platform. Originally equipped with a five-speed transmission and a solid front disc brake rotor with rear drum brakes, it was popular in Malaysia and Singapore. After a few years on the market, the engine was upgraded with the installation of a six-speed transmission, together with a newer instrument panel and handlebar switches, as well as a cross-drilled front disc brake rotor, while the rear remained with the drum brakes.

The 1990s
In 1998 Yamaha marketed a 1000cc four-cylinder road bike called the YZF ‘R1’, this model introduced a new style of gearbox design which shortened the overall length of the motor/gearbox case, to allow a more compact unit. This, in turn, allowed the motor to be placed in the frame further forward, designed to improve handling in a short wheel-based frame.

In 1995, Yamaha announced the creation of Star Motorcycles, a new brand name for its cruiser series of motorcycles in the American market. In other markets, Star motorcycles are still sold under the Yamaha brand. This was an attempt to create a brand identity more closely aligned with the cruiser market segment, one of the largest and most lucrative in the USA.

The 2000s
In 2007, Yamaha established the Philippine operations and distributed Yamaha motorcycles under the corporate name of Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc., one of more than 20 worldwide subsidiaries operating on all continents. By 2008, Yamaha won the MotoGP triple crown. By this time, the V Star 950 and V Star 950 Tourer was released. By 2010, Yamaha won the MotoGP triple crown for the third consecutive year and by 2013, the Yamaha Bolt was introduced.

In 2015, Yamaha unveiled the Mt-25, FACTOR150, and XVS950CU Bolt-C and by 2018, the motorcycle company released a V-twin tourer called the Yamaha Star Venture.

Sturgis Rally Bikernet Weekly News for August 12, 2021

By General Posts

It’s All Happening Now!

Hey,

It’s wild and the truth is still pending. Some brothers are excited about the super-strong rally. Others think the numbers are down.

Let us know how your rally week went. And keep riding fast and free until the end.

–Bandit

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Why Harley-Davidson Dealers Struggle

By General Posts

Where Are We Headed?
by Stealth with photos from Sam Burns

I have been thinking about this for a good while now. I THOUGHT I was done with the Harley-Davidson dealer business, but every time I try to get out, I get pulled back in but probably not for long.

I have seen this business in the ‘90s. It was wide open. People standing in line to buy bikes, but not today. Next time you are at a dealership check out how many new bikes you see.

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More Mettle: Motorcycles and Art that never quit

By General Posts

by Rogue

On Sunday August 8th Michael Lichter invited members of the media and the motorcycle industry to the Grand Opening of his 2021 Motorcycles As Art Exhibition held at the Buffalo Chip. The exhibit is open to the public, free of charge for the entire rally.

The exhibit is free and open to the public at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Event Center from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 through Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.

It features a collection of custom motorcycles from the world’s most celebrated builders that’ll show you the spectrum of history and possibilities inherent in custom motorcycling.

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