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Stock Stories: 1966 BSA A65 Lightning

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Up until the early 1960s, BSA was the largest producer of motorcycles in the world. The 1950s had been a good decade for the marque, with the success of the Gold Star as well as the development of two well-respected pre-unit (separate gearbox and engine), vertical twin-engine series: the A7 and A10. Not only was BSA a giant in producing motorcycles, the company also manufactured other goods such as buses, agricultural equipment, bicycles and, of course, weapons. Flush with cash generated from this diversified business, BSA also bought up other motorcycle marques—Triumph and Ariel, among others—making it a true empire.

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Boy Chases Lions On Motorcycle In Gir Forest

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from https://www.outlookindia.com

Boy Chases Lions On Motorcycle In Gir Forest, Arrested After Video Goes Viral

The arrest was made on Wednesday after a video surfaced on social media platforms recently, which showed two lions being chased on a motorcycle.

Two persons, including a boy, were arrested for allegedly harassing two lions in Gir forest of Gujarat by chasing them on a motorcycle, a senior official said on Saturday.

The arrest was made on Wednesday after a video surfaced on social media platforms recently, which showed two lions being chased on a motorcycle by unidentified persons, who scared them away with loud noise of the vehicle and honking, the forest department official said.

“An investigation was launched into the video, which revealed that it was shot near Gadhiya village in Tulsishyam range of Gir East forest division of Gujarat by two locals. One of them was identified as Yunis Pathan, and another a minor,” Chief Conservation of Forests (Wildlife), Junagadh, D T Vasavada said.

“While going on their motorcycle, the duo had come across two Asiatic lions. They chased the felines away by honking and creating loud sound through the vehicle. They shot a video of the chase on a mobile phone, which they uploaded on social media sites later,” he added.

Pathan, who hails from Sarasiya village in the same locality, was arrested along with the minor under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act and was produced before a local court on Friday, which remanded him in judicial custody, Vasavada said.

Decision on further action against the minor is being taken, he added.

The official warned people against indulging in activities like harassing or teasing lions, which he said was a serious offence with a provision for jail term ranging from three years to seven years and Rs 25,000 penalty.

“We have arrested several persons for such offences in the past and are taking stern action. It is not easy to get bail in such matters. I would appeal to the people to refrain from such acts,” he said.

Shopping from Home Bikernet Weekly News for December 10, 2020

By General Posts

Hey,

Life is whacky. But one thing is for certain. We are still going to have Christmas, the joy, the happiness, the warmth and caring. No matter what is happening in the world or health wise, Christmas reigns supreme.

So, let’s share the brotherhood, the fun, and the joy of Christmas with everyone in every way we can this year.

All the best for the Holidays. Let’s hit the News:

–Bandit

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Harley-Davidson 2021 Global Digital Event

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HARLEY-DAVIDSON BRINGS THE WORLD TOGETHER TO DEBUT ALL NEW 2021 PRODUCTS IN THE H-D 2021 GLOBAL DIGITAL EVENT ON JANUARY 19

MILWAUKEE, WI (December 09, 2020) – Throughout Harley-Davidson’s 118-year history, the brand has never before brought the entire world together to experience the debut of all-new Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. On Jan.19th, 2021, that all changes with a single virtual event. During H-D 21, the company’s first virtual launch experience, Harley-Davidson will announce new 2021 motorcycles, parts and accessories, riding gear and apparel.

Those who participate will hear from Harley-Davidson leadership, product experts, and passionate enthusiasts who are leading and shaping the industry on all that’s coming to Harley-Davidson® dealerships in 2021.

To take part in the H-D 21 virtual launch experience, register now at www.H-D.com/21.

New Approach to Product Launches

The global virtual launch is part of the company’s streamlined and overhauled approach to bringing products to market for customers. Earlier this year, Harley-Davidson announced significant shifts including streamlining its planned product portfolio by 30 percent, shifting it’s new model year debut to align with the start of the riding season and amped-up marketing efforts to drive desirability and maximize impact in the market

“We’re thrilled to bring the world together virtually to showcase the inspiration and passion behind our 2021 motorcycles, including a glimpse of our first adventure touring motorcycle, Pan America™,” said VP Marketing Theo Keetell. “We look forward to sharing this moment with our customers and dealers from around the world.

Adventurer Jason Momoa Shares his Passion

American actor, producer and motorcycle enthusiast Jason Momoa will play a key role in the Jan. 19th event. Forever seeking new adventures, Momoa will share his thoughts on how Harley-Davidson’s upcoming Pan America motorcycle has expanded his passion for Harley-Davidson and created new opportunities to explore endless horizons beyond paved roads.

“Harley-Davidson has unlocked opportunities for me to find adventure with amazing people, awe-inspiring places, and expand my inspiration seen in the United We Will Ride content series,” said Momoa. “I was excited to collaborate with Harley-Davidson for a first look and chance to ride the Pan America 1250 motorcycle. It’s the perfect vehicle that combines my love of the outdoors, the unknown, and Harley-Davidson. People are going to be completely stoked about this bike that Harley-Davidson has created.”

Harley-Davidson Pan America Global Reveal Feb. 22nd, 2021

Harley-Davidson’s all-new Pan America™ 1250 adventure touring motorcycle will be previewed in the Jan. 19th H-D 21 virtual launch experience. Harley-Davidson will be bringing the world back together on Feb. 22, 2021, to reveal the motorcycle’s full details in a separate digital event with the spotlight on the new Pan America motorcycle.

Stay informed at www.H-D.com/PanAmerica.

Honda CMX500 Rebel reviewed

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Rebels Without a Pause: Since Hondas rarely break down

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

The original looked a bit wimpish, but a macho makeover has made this cruiser version of the hugely popular CBR500 a nice alternative for bikers clutching their brand new A2 licences in their gloves

A Honda Rebel is a bit of an oxymoron, like Boris Johnson’s hair stylist or Vladimir Putin’s sense of humour.

You see, Hondas aren’t really bikes for rebels. They’re bikes for chaps and chapesses who want to get from A to B efficiently and safely on machines which never break down and have fewer vices than Audrey Hepburn in A Nun’s Story.

Even their Fireblade superbike has always been a pussycat to ride, although in the hands of 23-times TT winner John McGuinness, a pussycat with very sharp claws.

Their cars are the same, as I found doing a lap of Silverstone in a Civic R with British Touring Car champion Gordon Shedden.

I thought it was going to be terrifying, but he and the car were so fast and flawless that it was a hoot going around corners sideways at 100mph while he chatted about the weather.

The one time Honda took a walk on the wild side was with the 1300cc Fury chopper in 2010.

It looked fabulous, but when MCN compared it to the Harley Rocker C, they said the Harley shook and rattled, and engaging first gear was like dropping a hammer in a bucket, but the Fury was too perfect, so they preferred the character of the Rocker.

You could just see the row of heartbroken designers at Honda HQ trudging out to the car park to commit seppuku.

So I rolled up at Belfast Honda on the Africa Twin with some doubts; particularly since when the Rebel came out in 2017 as a bobber cruiser version of the CBR500 which is hugely popular with bikers who’ve just got their lovely new A2 licence and are limited to 47bhp for a bit, it looked, well, a bit wimpish.

Bobbers, as those of you who have studied Dr Furtwangler’s A-Z of Motorcycles will know, were originally 1930s bikes with everything superfluous removed and the mudguards cut back or bobbed for a lean, mean, moody masculine look.

The original Rebel, though, looked about as masculine as Julian Clary in a frock.

All hail, then, to the chaps at Honda who’ve turned Julian into John Wayne, with a much more rugged appearance, not to mention new LED headlight and indicators and a slipper clutch to stop the back wheel locking during aggressive downshifting.

Climb aboard, and it’s still fairly compact for anyone over 6ft, although I was getting vertigo compared to the Monkey Bike I’d been on the week before, joining some lunatics riding them from Land’s End to John O’Groats for charity.

The mirrors are as useful as before, and the minimalist circular speedo now has, as well as the previous time, fuel gauge and mileage on the 2017 version, a gear indicator, a handy addition for newbies.

Start up, the air filled with a civilised purr, and I set off feeling suitably rebellious and looking for some grannies on scooters to beat up.

Progress is surprisingly perky, helped by the fact that the CBR500 engine has been tweaked to deliver maximum torque 500rpm lower. Peak power comes in 100rpm lower as well, not that you’d notice.

Like all Hondas, you can thrash the bulletproof engine to death without fear of disintegration, but the bike’s perky enough without needing to, and that civilised purr never becomes more than a civilised growl anyway.

Handling, with the bike weighing only 190kg fully fuelled and 16in wheels, is a hoot, allowing even new bikers to fling it around corners as if they’ve been riding all their lives, and the suspension damping is better than on the original model as well, leading to a surprisingly plush ride on a smallish budget bike.

There’s only one brake disc up front, but on a bike this light, that’s all you need, with nicely progressive bit and feel from the rear on the rare occasions you might need to go near it.

For an even meaner look, you can detach the pillion seat, which looks about as big and comfortable as a carefully folded napkin, and for another 400 quid, the Special Edition version has a quilted seat, flyscreen for a bit more wind protection at motorway speeds and black fork gaiters for extra moodiness.

The Facts: Honda CMX500 Rebel

Engine: 471cc liquid-cooled parallel twin

Power: 46bhp @ 8,500rpm

Torque: 32 lb ft @ 6,000rpm

Colours: Grey; blue; black

Price: From £5,799

Sam’s Picks for the Week of December 6, 2020

By General Posts

This is a strange one. I’ve been an outlaw most of my life and my drug of choice was women. I don’t know how to explain or if I can. I’m not proud to say, Laurie was one of the first episodes in a series of many. I’m reading a book by Dr. Pat Allen. She says it’s in our genes to chase women for as long as our testosterone levels are raging. It’s the nature of the evil beast to keep our human craziness alive.

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Happy Holidays Bikernet Weekly News for December 3, 2020

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As you know by now, life is nuts and then you die. We’ve actually had the best life has ever had to offer in the history of mankind. Nothing could be as cool or as safe as we have seen it in our lifetime.

LET’S CELEBRATE—All we are capable of doing, all our friends and all we’ve been able to do in this amazingly short chunk of history.

Ride fast and free, forever! And happy holidays!

–Bandit

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Royal Enfield is coming after Harley-Davidson

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In its last financial year before the pandemic struck, Enfield company sold about 824,000 bikes globally. Harley, by contrast, shipped about 218,000.

Last year Enfield company doubled the size of one of its three factories, bringing overall production capacity to 1.2 million motorcycles a year.

To build buzz Enfield company has tried marketing to American customizers and flat-track competitors, and in 2018 it put Cayla Rivas, a teenage motorcycle racer, on a souped-up Continental in pursuit of a speed record for its bike class—and compelling footage for YouTube. (She hit 157 mph on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.)

Although it may sound counterintuitive, “the U.S. and Europe are very important” to making Enfield the aspirational bike of choice for the developing world, he says.

Lal wants to be as big a player in the West as possible, but he argues that Royal Enfield doesn’t necessarily have to sell that many bikes in developed countries for the strategy to be considered a success. What it does need to do is move enough to give them a patina of cool at home and in other emerging markets, such as Southeast Asia.

Read the full article at Bloomberg. Click Here.

Players dominating Electric Bike Market

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by Joe D’Allegro from https://www.cnbc.com

  • Harley Davidson and Honda are among the dominant motorcycle makers with big plans in electric bikes.
  • Harley also recently announced that it is spinning off a nascent electric bicycle business.
  • Uber is among the top investors in electric scooter company Lime, which just posted its first quarterly profit, while competitor Bird is reportedly planning to soon go public via a SPAC.
  • NIU Technologies, which makes smart scooters, has seen its share price soar.

Tesla reached a $500 billion market valuation this week, a sign of its dominance in the electric vehicle market. But Elon Musk has shown no real interest in one growing EV segment: battery-powered scooters and motorcycles. An accident he suffered as a youth on a motorbike — nearly fatal, Musk has said — turned him off two-wheelers, for now. But the manufacturing of battery powered bikes is growing and consolidating, which means it’s likely to produce one or more dominant players in the years to come.

The electric motorcycle and scooter market reached $30 billion in 2019, according to a June 2020 report by Preeti Wadhwani and Prasenjit Saha from the research company Global Market Insights (GMI). They estimated that the market — which includes everything from large motorcycles meant for interstate cruising to tiny stand-up scooters as used by Lime and Bird — will grow more than 4% annually for the next few years and hit $40 billion in 2026.

Concerns over vehicular emissions, increasing consumer awareness about air pollution, and increasing investments by government authorities in the development of EV charging infrastructure are all expected to keep the market growing. Another factor boosting electric bike prospects is the continued improvement in batteries.

E-bikes, scooters and motorcycles

Electric motorcycles and scooters are still relatively pricey, and none yet matches the range of the best gas bikes, but that’s slowly changing. Lithium ion battery costs are down 85% in the last decade, said Garrett Nelson, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research. Within another 10 years, electric motorcycles can achieve price parity with gas bikes, he predicts.

“The playing field is wide open,” says Nelson. He noted that Honda, Yamaha and Harley-Davidson together control about two-thirds of the global motorcycle market, and are each developing electric motorbikes. So too are other big established players, such as the Indian-multinationals Hero Motors and Bajaj Auto, and some smaller electric-only startups, including Zero Motorcycles and Energetica.

Electric mobility is leading to a manufacturing boom for vehicles sized between small foldable scooters and full-on motorcycles, said Sam Korus, an analyst at ARK Invest, which is known for its big bet on Tesla. Uber led a round of investment in Lime earlier this year, while Bird is reportedly considering a public offering through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Troy Siahaan, a road test editor at Motorcycle.com, races a lightweight custom-built electric bike, giving him insight into the similarities and differences between gas and electric two-wheelers.

“The riding experience of an electric bike is similar to gas-powered motorcycles in that you twist the throttle and go,” he said, “but you don’t get sound, vibration or engine heat with electric bikes. By and large, they also don’t require shifting, so they’re easier for new riders than most gas bikes.”

Siahaan also likes the torque output — a measure of the acceleration — of electric bikes, since it is all available at the outset.

Nelson noted that most growth right now is in the small- to mid-sized section of the electric motorcycle and scooter market. These are popular in China and Southeast Asia, where two-wheelers are more common as a mode of transportation, and pollution and noise reduction are socially and environmentally appealing.

Post-Covid-19 demand in urban mobility

Korus said Chinese scooter manufacturer NIU is among the promising players operating in the space between small folding scooters and large motorcycles. The company, which went public in 2018, sells its app-supported smart scooters in 38 countries across Asia, Europe and North and South America. Its stock has risen sharply. The stylish sit-on scooters offer up to 87 miles of range (140 km), multi-color dynamic gauge displays and GPS-based anti-theft systems.

NIU’s primary competition are low-cost manufacturers in China, which make scooters that are less “smart” than its offerings, as well as the higher-end players out of Asia and Europe, which tend to be priced higher. A NIU model may sell for roughly $3,100, while a comparable Honda is over $5,000, a Vespa over $7,000, and a BMW anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000, according to Vincent Yu, a Needham & Co. analyst.

Korus noted that NIU’s software actively collects data that can be used to support autonomous driving and allows the company to add value on top of just selling products. This is also a key feature of Tesla’s business model, which ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood has pointed to in her bullish thesis on Musk’s company. But for NIU, monetization of autonomous driving may be fairly far off into the future. Yu said today there is high value in the smart features focused on theft prevention and vehicle maintenance, for example, knowing when parts need replacement. Its lightweight lithium-ion batteries are also an advantage over heavier, older electric scooters as consumers look for more portable batteries that are easier to swap in and out.

A big question for NIU is just how big the market can get and whether it can grow both manufacturing capacity and a retail store network along with it, Yu said. Asia is still heavily reliant on petroleum-based scooters, especially Southeast Asia, but that is changing. And, as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic, Yu is betting more travelers will shy away from mass transit and opt for scooters. In countries like China, they are much easier to obtain than cars thanks to lower costs and less regulation and permitting requirements, especially in larger cities.

NIU commands over 26% of the Chinese e-scooter sales market, and has risen in Europe to No. 3 over the past two years. Yu added that NIU is building a new factory, targeting major Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, and adding more stores around the world to capitalize on the demand. In Q3, the company opened 182 stores and now has another 100 under construction.

Harley-Davidson and the electric future

In the U.S., smaller motorcycles suitable for urban transportation and only occasional highway use are not as popular as in Asia and Europe. Nelson said U.S. buyers tend to be older and favor larger bikes with traditional looks and the signature sounds of a combustion engine.

Harley-Davidson, the largest and oldest U.S. motorcycle manufacturer, has addressed these buyers with its LiveWire, an electric motorcycle with traditional cruiser styling and an impressive 105 horsepower that lets it accelerate to 60 miles per hour in a quick 3.1 seconds. The LiveWire is 7-feet long and nearly 550 pounds, giving it the size and weight to fit in with the company’s mainstream gas-powered offerings, but, at $30,000, it’s just too expensive for many potential customers.

With the traditional American motorcycle buyer aging, Harley sales are down almost 40% since their peak in 2006. “Demographics will be a problem for them,” Nelson said.

Harley is committed to electric under a relatively new management team, led by CEO Jochen Zeitz, who earned high marks for his focus on sustainability as CEO of Puma. “We believe electric needs to play an important role in the future of Harley-Davidson,” he recently told Wall Street analysts. He said sales volumes are low relative to traditional bikes, but added, “It must be an important segment in the long term future of the company and it’s also attracting new riders, new customers to the brand that might not have considered Harley-Davidson before.”

Craig Kennison, who covers Harley for RW Baird, said the priority for Zeitz and his team is to shore up Harley’s finances and focus its business on the key markets where it can generate the most profits from core consumers today, and it will continue to generate the vast majority of its business from its V-twin internal combustion engine cycles (sales for LiveWire are not disclosed but the assumption is they remain very minor). “It’s not a big number,” Kennison said.

Similar to the path chosen by Tesla to first focus on the luxury consumer, Harley needs to perfect the electric motorcycle technology and given the price points today — it cannot alone control the cost curve in key areas like battery technology — only over time will it become more affordable to a larger consumer market. But if Harley makes the right decisions on current profitability centers, it will support the investment in electric vehicles over the decades to come, he said. “Right now Harley has a huge market and needs to make as much money as they can, and servicing the core customer, which is still highly profitable, is the focus.”

Harley is headed into the pedal bicycle market as well. It recently announced that it will spin off its electric bicycle effort, which has been in research and development for a few years, retaining a minority stake in the new firm, Serial 1 Company, a reference to its first-ever machine.

Targeting the e-bicycle market, with pricing below $5,000, is a smart move by Harley’s new management, as it makes the brand affordable for the masses in a growing segment, said Brandon Rolle, Northcoast Research analyst. And similar to NIU’s target scooter market, riders may not need a driver’s license to operate these vehicles, which will help in Harley-Davidson’s appeal to urban commuters and casual recreational cyclists.

High-end bicycle makers like Specialized have an early lead in this market — e-bikes which generate power that is multiplied by the human pedaling activity — and it does have the potential for widespread appeal in the future, according to Kennison. “It lets ‘the everyman’ get on the road … especially during the pandemic people want to get outside and bicycling is a great way to do it, but depending on your fitness level, having the added electrical power creates a totally different experience. You can go 20 to 50 miles and it changes the appeal” he said.

Harley’s motorcycle competitors

In the near future, pent up demand for outdoor products caused by Covid-19 could benefit motorcycle makers, including Harley, which has had a “rough last five years” according to Wedbush Securities analyst James Hardiman. “A lot of investors have looked at Harley-Davidson and the broader motorcycle one as not benefitting,” from the new outdoors boom, the analyst said. But industry sales and used sales are both up, and those are precursors for a broader-based recovery in bike sales, Hardiman recently told CNBC. While the bear case about the aging demographics isn’t going away, it has been that way for a decade already, he said.

Among Harley’s competitors for the future full-size motorcycle buyer are not just traditional players like Honda and Yamaha, but Zero and Energetica, which have some of the most advanced electric bike technology currently available, Siahaan said.

Zero, founded in Santa Cruz, California, in 2006, isn’t a household name, but it’s one of the most established players in the field. It began selling electric motorcycles in 2009, making it one of the very first production two-wheelers (the earliest production electric motorcycles and scooters appeared in the 1970s and 1990s, respectively, but enjoyed limited success).

Zero’s current all-electric line-up includes everything from the FX, a small on- and off-road capable “dual-sport” motorcycle starting at $9,300, all the way up to the SR/S sportbike which starts at $20,000. The 110-horsepower SR/S can reach 124 miles per hour and is capable of more than 200 miles of range when equipped with an enhanced battery. The FR/S is so advanced Road and Track alluded to Zero getting close to the being the Tesla of two wheels in its review. Zero offers it with an app that lets users modify the bikes maximum speed, power, torque and regenerative braking parameters.

Zero reached a 10-year deal with Polaris, a recreational vehicle powerhouse, that should give it the resources to further expand manufacturing and distribution. It will bring Zero’s powertrain technology and software to Polaris’ lineup of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles.

The high-end brand Energetica was formed in 2010 as a subsidiary of CRP Group, a motorsport and aviation manufacturer based in Modena, Italy. It offers a small lineup of attractively styled bikes starting at $17,600 for the general-purpose Eva EsseEsse9, and ending with the top-of-the-line Ego+. The latter is a 145-horsepower sportbike with an eye-watering starting price of nearly $24,000, but a 150 mph top speed and up to 250 miles of range.

Saha of the Global Marketing Institute told CNBC that the company is investing highly in R&D and owns several patents related to electric vehicle manufacturing in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Of course, as the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Honda Motorcycles of Japan, is not standing still. It recently filed patents for electric-powered versions of its CB125R and CB300R, these are small, easy to manage general purpose bikes with “café racer” styling.

Saha notes that Honda is also making large investments in the development of swappable battery technology for electric motorcycles to allow riders to quickly replace the batteries after use. These moves, and factors like its global dealer and distribution network will aid Honda, Saha said.

Tesla moving beyond cars

And then there is Tesla. Though Musk has said the company will not produce a road bike, he has announced plans to release an electric all-terrain vehicle, the Cyberquad, late in 2021, and has at least teased the possibility of one day making a two-wheeled electric bike. In the least, Tesla could easily pivot a portion of its battery business to supplying other manufacturers, says Nelson.

Generating revenue is a big concern for any start-up, but especially in the electric motorcycle space, where federal and state-level regulation abound and consumer expectations are high. Many of the companies that first entered the electric two-wheeler market place have failed or been absorbed by larger players. This includes Brammo, which launched in 2002 and sold bikes with six-speed transmissions like those in traditional gas bikes rather than the single-speed automatics most electric manufacturers use. It was first purchased by the recreational vehicle maker Polaris in 2015, then engine maker Cummins in 2017. Brammo-branded bikes are no longer sold, but its technology lives on with its purchasers.

A similar fate befell Alta Motors, a maker of technologically advanced off-road electric bikes. The company shuttered operations in 2018 and its assets were taken over by Bombardier’s Recreational Products business in 2019 for use across its product lineup, which includes Ski Doo snowmobiles and the Can-Am line of three-wheel motorcycles.

“It’s always difficult to predict the future,” Siahaan said. “A lot of companies come out with big, bold announcements, but never even come to market.”

“It’s very early, so it is difficult to see how it all plays out, but that’s typical of a true growth market,” added Kennison.