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BMW’s most ‘avid motorcycle rider’ is a woman. She’s also in charge of the company

By General Posts

from https://www.ksro.com

BMW(NEW YORK) — Trudy Hardy is no stranger to motorcycles.

Hardy, a licensed street rider for 20 years and former executive at British carmaker MINI, now sells the “2-wheeled side of life” as vice president of Motorrad of the Americas, BMW’s motorcycle division. Her position puts her in charge of motorcycle operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil and she oversees the brand’s 150 U.S. stores.

Few women hold high-level executive roles in the motorcycle industry even as the number of female riders has jumped to 19% in 2018 up from 10% a decade ago.

Hardy, who was appointed to the position last July, views women as an important part of Motorrad’s business, which has been primarily men in the 45 to 55 age group.

“We’re broadening the range [of bikes] we have … ones that have lower ride height or adjustable suspensions,” she told ABC News at Motorrad’s U.S. headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. “Women need to be comfortable on the bikes they choose.”

She added, “We want to expand our audiences. There’s a lot of untapped potential for us.”

Last week BMW unveiled the R 18, a retro-styled bike geared toward the U.S. market and Motorrad’s first entry in the cruiser segment. The bike’s ergonomic design allows for relaxed riding and optimum control, making it appealing to women. Motorrad’s entry-level bikes, the G 310 GS and G 310 R, were also built and priced to attract female riders, according to the company.

Genevieve Schmitt, founder of Women Riders Now, an online magazine, said women are the fastest-growing demographic in motorcycles versus young men and baby boomers.

“It seems to be exponentially growing,” she told ABC News.

There are two reasons women are turning to bikes, she said: more gear in women’s sizes and the rise of female enthusiast groups on social media. She has also noticed an emphasis on female-focused advertising when there are women executives in the industry.

“I was personally very excited to see BMW choose a woman for that leadership position,” she said, referring to Hardy. “BMW tends to be seen as a conservative company. She was the most qualified candidate — for sure.”

Mark Hoyer, editor-in-chief of Cycle World magazine, pointed out that there has been an increase in ride events and tours marketed directly at women, such as Babes Ride Out and The Suffragists Centennial Motorcycle Ride. Harley-Davidson has also led the charge on getting more women excited about bikes by hosting “Women-only Garage Parties,” a concept it piloted in 2006 with its dealer network.

“The industry has evolved significantly in the last 10 years,” he told ABC News. “It tended to be more masculine … an old time, chest-pounding culture.”

More women are signing up for safety training and the proliferation of online groups and platforms has encouraged women to take up motorcycling, said Andria Yu, director of communications at the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC). Women riders spend an average of $574 a year on tires, routine repairs, maintenance, replacement parts, modifying equipment and accessories compared to $497 that men spend, according to the 2018 Motorcycle Industry Council Owner Survey. Female entrepreneurs are also filling a much-needed void in the industry by manufacturing gear cut specifically for women, Yu noted.

Yu, a former journalist, started riding in 2001 to save money on her long commute to work and was soon hooked.

“I just found riding to be so much fun,” she said.

Hardy’s team of 50 U.S. employees includes 14 women, some of whom are avid riders. But knowing how to ride “is not a prerequisite to work here,” she said. “It’s not for everybody and I never push it on someone who does not feel comfortable on two wheels.”

For Hardy, being on a motorcycle “is an escape mechanism,” she said. “I love the feeling of really being in control.”

But convincing Americans to embrace Motorrad’s “make life a ride” slogan has been a challenge for the brand and industry leader Harley-Davidson. Motorrad delivered 175,162 bikes globally in 2019, an increase of 5.8% from 2018. BMW, however, acknowledged that 2019 was a “difficult market environment” for the brand, with sales in the U.S. and Canada totaling 15,116 units. Harley-Davidson’s U.S. bike sales in 2019 fell for a fifth straight year and the company recorded its lowest global motorcycle shipments in a decade. The COVID-19 pandemic will also likely put a serious dent in industry sales with the closure of manufacturing plants and dealerships.

Hoyer said the decline in motorcycling could partly be attributed to the high barriers of entry and associated costs. The used market now accounts for 70% of motorcycle transactions, according to Hoyer.

“You’re not giving up much when you buy used,” he said. “They’re affordable and the safety and stability control have improved immeasurably.”

He added, “Bikes, like Harley-Davidsons, have traditionally held their value.”

Schmitt said industry sales never really bounced back from the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009.

“Young people have so many enthusiast options available to them now,” she said. “They live differently than their parents and grandparents.”

Hardy conceded that Motorrad’s demographic has been “aging a bit” and her focus now is bringing younger riders into the brand and “targeting the right person with the right bike.” The BMW name has also presented its own challenges.

“We have this perception that we’re expensive to own — we need to overcome this,” she said. “We have some very affordable and attainable bikes that have a lot of safety equipment on them that our competitors do not.”

Hoyer noted that Motorrad’s string of recent products has helped it take market share away from competitors like Honda and Royal Enfield and buck the downward sales trend.

“Motorrad has done an excellent job of embracing its own history,” he said. “The Heritage line has been very successful.”

Hardy said her top goals this year as head of Motorrad USA are to create more passionate riders and to get back on her own bike. She even launched a training program for all BMW staffers who want to get a motorcycle license.

“This should be the most fun place to work in the BMW Group family,” she said.

Aprilia Terra 250 adventure motorcycle spied in China

By General Posts

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

Aprilia’s new Terra 250 adventure motorcycle is powered by the same power plant in CFMoto’s 250NK

Italian two-wheeler brand, Aprilia is apparently working on a new adventure (or dual-sport) motorcycle in the 250cc category, for the Chinese market. It was recently spied at Zongshen Aprilia’s manufacturing facility in a market-ready format. Zongshen Aprilia is the Italian automaker’s Chinese counterpart.

Aprilia already sells the Terra 150 in China. The 150cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder motorcycle (which originally made its debut in a 125cc avatar) is relatively expensive and has not been able to perform well on monthly sales charts. Zongshen Aprilia aims to change this story with its new Terra 250. The motorcycle could be introduced in other Asian markets in phases but it is too early to make any conclusions.

The Aprilia Terra 250 is based on a split-cradle chassis frame with a box-section swingarm and a tubular handlebar. To aid off-roading characteristics, it gets 18-inch front and 17-inch rear spoke wheels with knobby tyres. Reports state that this is the standard version and a more capable ‘Adventure’ variant could be introduced alongside (with longer suspension travel and 21-inch wheels at the front).

At the moment, a lot of details about the motorcycle remain unknown. However, it shares its power plant with the CFMoto 250NK which could be launched in India soon. The 249.2cc liquid-cooled DOHC single-cylinder engine makes around 26bhp @ 9,000rpm and 22Nm @ 7,500rpm. This is mated to a 6-speed gearbox via a slipper clutch. The CFMoto 250NK can hit a top speed of 140km/h.

The Aprilia GPR 250, which was introduced in China last year, is also powered by the same engine. In the Aprilia Terra 250, the output characteristics could be slightly tuned to suit its touring or off-roading trait. The Terra 250 is a potential product for Aprilia India considering the country’s growing interest in adventure-tourers and low-capacity off-roaders. If launched, it will directly lock horns with KTM India’s upcoming 250 Adventure while also being an interesting alternative to Royal Enfield’s Himalayan and Hero MotoCorp’s Xpulse 200.

However, Aprilia India had previously disappointed Indian motorcycle enthusiasts by stepping away from introducing the RS 150 and Tuono 150. The motorcycles were first showcased in India back at Auto Expo 2018. At the time, the Aprilia RS 150 seemed to be a compelling alternative to Yamaha Motor India’s YZF-R15 V2.0 (now YZF-R15 V3.0). If the Aprilia Tuono 150 was introduced by now, it could have been a strong rival to the Yamaha MT-15.

Riding Triumph’s Rocket 3

By General Posts

by Dries Van der Walt from https://www.wheels24.co.za

As promised during the local launch of the new Triumph Rocket 3, Triumph South Africa allowed me to ride the beast on Wednesday, March 25, beating the national coronavirus lockdown by just two days.

It was a bitter-sweet experience because while riding the open (and already noticeably quieter) roads in the Hekpoort area of Gauteng, I was keenly aware of the fact that this would be my last leisure ride on a bike for quite a while.

I was joined on the trip by Triumph South Africa CEO Bruce Allen and a colleague from another publication, and the conversation over brunch was predictably dominated by our shared concern about the effects that the looming lockdown, as undeniably necessary as it was, would have on the country’s already brittle economy.

But all of that did nothing to distract from the experience of riding the world’s biggest-capacity production bike. At 2500cm³, the Rocket 3’s engine capacity exceeds that of most cars – almost double that of the popular B-segment hatchbacks that are ubiquitous on South African roads. Housing an engine of that size dictates the design approach, and the Rocket 3 presents a squat motorcycle that is not likely to be mistaken for anything else.

Intimidating at first

Despite being not very tall, the sheer bulk of the bike is somewhat intimidating at first sight. This feeling is not dispelled once you swing a leg over, because that’s when you realise how wide the frame actually is. That said, as soon as the wheels start rolling and your feet are on the pegs, the intimidation factor dissipates with the realisation that, despite its bulk, the Rocket is really well-balanced.

It carries its weight low in the frame, and the size seems to melt away as speed picks up, so that by the time you reach the first traffic light, you’ve forgotten that you are sitting astride a machine of decidedly unusual proportions.

Sandton’s streets are not the place to explore the limits of the Rocket’s prodigious torque, but it did allow me to develop an appreciation for the remarkably smooth quick-shifter. Working both up and down, shifts are immediate and jerk-free, even at lower revs. With a bike that can be ridden in top gear most of the time, a quick-shifter may seem unnecessary, but this one worked so well that I found myself running up and down through the ratios for the sheer fun of it.

We soon hit the highway, and with the relative lack of traffic, I could start playing with the throttle. The torque was everything I expected, and then some. Twist the throttle wide open in any gear, and the Rocket takes off like the proverbial scalded cat leaving your body caught between the twin sensations of your arms being wrenched from their sockets and your hands strained to their utmost to maintain a grip on the handlebar.

Zooming past

On the other hand, if you give the twist grip the respect it demands, the torque is exhilarating but manageable. Overtaking becomes a non-event – you edge up to whatever is in front of you, wait for a brief gap in the oncoming traffic, twist the throttle and zoom past it in the blink of an eye.

Highway gave way to some twisty backroads, and I found that the Rocket is not averse to brisk cornering. At this point on the route, I was on the Rocket 3 R, the “sporty” naked version with footpegs almost directly underneath your hips. This gave me the opportunity to adopt the usual weight-forward riding position, and I could attack the curves with confidence.

While no sportbike, the Rocket remains stable through the twisties, making it once again easy to forget how big and heavy it actually is.

After brunch, I switched to the GT. On this version, you get a welcome windscreen, and footpegs set more forward for a relaxed riding position. I’m not a cruiser person, but to my great surprise I found that I preferred the GT to the R. The small screen was remarkably helpful in preventing my body from acting as a drag chute, and the footpegs weren’t so far forward that I was forced into the dreaded C-shaped riding position.

Ideal for long distance

Although these slight changes to the identical frame shared by the two variants made the GT feel like a different bike altogether, it retained the sure-footed handling of the R, leaving me to enjoy the twisties on the way back as much as on its sibling.

The new Rocket 3, aimed mostly at the US market where long, straight roads and low-speed limits are at the order of the day, is without a doubt a niche bike. As such it is unlikely to appeal to a broad audience locally, but one thing is for sure: if I were offered one for a trip down to Cape Town, I would grab it with nary a second thought.

SPECIFICATIONS:

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 
Type: In-line three-cylinder, water-cooled, DOHC
Capacity: 2458 cm³
Max Power: 123kW @ 6000r/min
Max Torque: 221Nm @ 4000r/min
Final Drive: Shaft, bevel box
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate hydraulically operated, torque assist
Gearbox: six-speed

CHASSIS 

Frame: Full aluminium frame
Swingarm: Single-sided, cast aluminium
Front Wheel: 17 x 3.5in cast aluminium
Rear Wheel: 16 x 7.5in cast aluminium
Front Tyre: 150/80 R17 VRear Tyre: 240/50 R16 V
Front Suspension: Showa 47mm upside-down 1 1 cartridge front forks, compression and rebound adjuster. 120mm travel
Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Showa piggyback reservoir RSU with remote hydraulic preload adjuster, 107mm rear wheel travel
Front Brakes: Dual 320mm discs, Brembo M4.30 Stylema 4-piston radial monobloc callipers, Cornering ABS
Rear Brakes: Single 300mm disc, Brembo M4.32 4-piston monobloc calliper, Cornering ABS
Instrument Display: TFT multi-functional

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS 

Width (handlebars): 889mm
(w/out mirror): 1065mm
Seat Height: 773mm
Wheelbase: 1677mm
Dry Weight: 291kg
Tank Capacity: 18L
Fuel Consumption: 6.82-l/100km (claimed)

BMW Goes After Harley-Davidson with Stunning R 18 Big Boxer Cruiser

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Despite being at the top of sales charts in the motorcycle industry, BMW hasn’t had an entry in the cruiser segment since the R1200 RC . That changed with the introduction of the brand new R 18 this week.

Featuring the Big Boxer engine, the “most powerful 2-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production,” the R18 is described as a bike that blends the classic lines of older BMW bikes with modern day technology.

The design of the motorcycle, and parts of its construction, like the rear swingarm, are reminiscent of the R 5, a bike designed way back in the 1930s as the first BMW motorcycle to use a foot-operated four-speed gearbox. Cues to that resemblance are also the double-loop frame, the pear-drop tank, the open-running driveshaft, the pinstriped paintwork, and of course the exposed drive-shaft.

At the center of the motorcycle lies the Big Boxer BMW has been teasing for more than a year now. The 2-cylinder engine is 1,802 cc in displacement, develops 91 hp at 4,750 rpm, and provides a maximum of 158 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm.

The motorcycle comes with three driving modes – Rain, Roll and Rock – and is equipped with automatic stability control (can be disengaged) and drag torque control as standard. Optionally, reverse assist and hill start control can be specified.

BMW did not announce yet when the motorcycle will become available and how much it will charge for it. When it hits the market though, it will be available in First Edition guise, adding a few unique extras like a classic black finish with white pinstriped paintwork, chrome highlights and First Edition badges.

Additionally, for the U.S. market BMW partnered with several companies to give the bike a local flavor. The customization program there includes parts from Roland Sands Design, Mustang Seat, or Vance & Hines.

Full details on the BMW R 18 can be found in the press release section below.

 

A Brother Steps Up

By General Posts

A 1984 Tribute to the new Evolution Platform
By Bandit and Zeke

Zeke, the constantly moving outlaw rode a rigid framed Shovelhead for years starting in 1979, when he slipped out of prison for the first time. He sold his chopped ’74 Superglide in ’75 to help support his family, while he was shipped off to prison.

In ’79 the man cut him out of some dank, concrete penitentiary on a windy spring morning and his first thoughts included sex and building a chopper quick.

READ THIS FEATURE ARTICLE ON BIKERNET – CLICK HERE

New Streetfighter V4 reflects Ducati’s naked ambitions

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by Jeff Yip from https://www.sfgate.com

Ducati is doubling down on two-wheel performance.

For 2020, the maker of premium Italian motorcycles addresses the sportbike’s “naked” niche — where the manufacturer offers a top-of-the-line motorcycle without the fairings and windscreens — with its new Streetfighter V4 and Streetfighter V4 S.

The Streetfighter V4 is informed by Ducati’s sexy Panigale V4 superbike but the factory strips out the Panigale’s fairings and slaps on high, wide handlebars for street and highway duty. The bikes share nearly identical 90-degree V4 engines, with the 2020 Streetfighter’s producing 208 horsepower at 12,750 rpm, just six horses shy of the Panigale’s maximum output, which is attained at an even loftier 13,000 rpm.

With an MSRP of $19,995, the Streetfighter V4 is two grand less than the Panigale. The Streetfighter V4 S starts at $23,995 and boasts up-spec bits like Ohlins electrically controlled suspension, an updated Ohlins electronic control system and Marchesini forged alloy wheels. The V4 S tips the scales at 392 pounds, five less than the V4.

With such mad power-to-weight ratios, Ducati knows many Streetfighter riders will hit the track and the bikes are designed to deliver. Form following function is at work — Formula 1-inspired vents behind the Streetfighter V4’s radiator help to extract hot air — and Ducati’s racing specialists incorporated “biplane” wings that flank the radiator’s side panels. They help generate 44 pounds of downforce on the front wheel at 168 mph.

“It takes a lot of commitment to ride a superbike. Its best use is the racetrack. The Streetfighter V4 is the motorcycle that allows that emotional connection and power, but it’s better on the street,” said Jason Chinnock, Ducati North America’s CEO.

Sportbike riders want something more comfortable and safer on the highway and to ride around town. “The ergonomics are different. You sit more upright,” Chinnock said. “The Streetfighter is tuned for more torque than the superbike version in third gear. On open back-country roads, you don’t want the revs all the way up; you want the torque to pull you through.”

Chinnock asserts that Ducati is more than its products. “It’s a brand. It’s entertainment. It’s a sense of community,” he said, noting that Houston is home to one of Ducati’s most active fan bases. Ducati’s North American chief said he loves visiting Houston and meeting owners at get-togethers like Ducati’s recent “Ready 4 Red” product tour in which the Streetfighter V4 was among the machines showcased.

The Houston event “is always one of the most welcoming,” Chinnock said. “It’s almost a homecoming. It’s a chance for the entire motorcycle community to get together and learn about technologies and connect with other people who are like-minded.”

You can watch Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 in action at bit.ly/Streetfighter-V4.

Millennials Are Suckers for the Damon Hypersport Electric Motorcycle

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com/

It probably won’t be long until the electric motorcycle segment takes off, just like electric cars have started becoming more and more desirable not long ago. The difference is that in this case it will be the startups leading the charge, rather than established bike builders.

So far, the big names of the industry have steered clear of actually committing to electric bikes, with the exception perhaps of Harley-Davidson. The American-made LiveWire, once fully on the market, might just open up the buyers’ appetite for this kind of machine.

And the appetite is clearly there, even if prices for electric bikes are still extremely high. An example to that is Damon, a Canadian startup that is planning to make a splash with the Hypersport.

We’re talking about a high-tech bike that develops 200 hp from an electric powertrain and should provide 200 miles of range from a 21.5 kWh battery. These figures certainly place it at the top of the food chain in its segment.

It’s not only the powertrain that makes this bike unique, but also the technologies that were poured into it. Packed with cameras, sensors and radar, all ran by an artificial intelligence system, the Hypersport creates a virtual bubble of safety around the rider and the bike, sending the information it gathers via haptic feedback in the grips and on the windscreen edge.

These features seem to have prompted people into really liking the offer. At the end of March, as Damon announced it acquired Mission Motors, a supplier of electric vehicle components, the company’s COO Derek Dorresteyn hinted that the entire 25-units run of the Hypersport Founders Edition has already been spoken for, at roughly $40,000 a pop. And a good portion of buyers are millennials.

“Half the people ordering are under the age of 40. It really speaks to product market fit,” said Damon CEO Jay Giraud according to TechCrunch.

Damon Motorcycles Acquires Mission Motors, The Future Looks Bright

By General Posts

by Florin Tibu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Damon Motorcycles’ Hypersport electric bikes revealed at CES were a huge hit, with the entire limited fleet of Founders Edition machines already sold out in pre-sale. The company now takes another big leap forward with the acquisition of the IP portfolio of Mission Motors, one of the strongest names in the EV powertrain segment.

The move might seem a bit surprising, but it shows that Damon Motorcycles are dead-serious about the development of future, more competitive models in this growing market.

Among the technologies that are now property of Damon we find the proven designs that helped break the AMA electric land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats, also setting new records at Laguna Seca in 2011, the 1/4 mile drag strip at Sonoma Raceway in 2012, or the Isle of Mann TT Zero race in 2014. The PM200 electric motor, the acclaimed Mission Inverter and the Skyline Telematics will now be further developed and integrated in new models that are en route to consumers.

While Damon’s Hypersport Founders Edition consisted of only 25 units, the company currently has two more special bikes on pre-sale. The Hypersport Premier Arctic Sun and the Midnight Sun, in white-gold and black-gold trim, respectively, each with a $39,995 price tag. Securing one requires a $1,000 deposit while offer lasts. If special editions are a bit off your budget, but you still want an electric Damon bike, you can also get the standard version, Hypersport HS, which tips the scales at a more palatable $24,995.

The Damon Hypersport is advertised with the “200 Making it count” punch line, emphasizing on the 200 horsepower, 200 mph top speed and 200-mile range figures. The bikes come with a liquid-cooled 21.5 kWh battery feeding a PMAC liquid cooled 160 kW motor that can do 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds. The advertised charging time is less than three hours on a Level 2 charger.

The combined highway/city range is said to exceed 200 miles, and Damon says that doing 70 mph on a highway yields a ~161 mile range, whereas doing only 60 mph increases the autonomy to 201 miles. Still, we all know these figures can vary quite a bit, depending on weather conditions or a heavy hand.

Among the notable technologies aboard the Damon Hypersport we see the Brembo brakes and Ohlins suspensions, alongside the two proprietary features, CoPilot and Shift. CoPilot is an advanced warning system that uses dual 1080p cameras, haptics and LED alerts for forward collising warnings and blind spot detection for 360-degree safety. Shift is yet another feature embedded in the Hypersport, allowing the rider to effortlessly switch the position of the seat, pegs, handlebars and windscreen for sport and commuting scenarios at the push of a button.

Now, with Mission’s knowledge and Damon’s drive for creating new and exhilarating electric motorcycles, we can expect even more machines in the near future, and hopefully, a more affordable option to expand Damon’s customer base.

New York City’s motorcycle community is riding to save lives

By General Posts

from https://www.wmay.com/

The orders were straightforward and immediate: pick up the supplies, ride through the streets of New York City and make the deliveries.

There would be no detours, no diversions. The clock was ticking.

On March 21, Ryan Snelson and three other motorcycle riders geared up, divided up the supplies and took off from Montauk, New York, to meet their receivers in Tribeca and Queens. The supplies strapped to their bikes would help protect the doctors, nurses and other health care professionals battling the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic. New York City hospitals were running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) as the number of sick grew each day. The masks, gloves and gowns Snelson and his crew were in possession of could save patients’ — and doctors’ — lives.

Snelson, a longtime biker, took action against the virus the only way he knew how: by calling on his fellow bikers to join him in the cause.

“We’re just regular people who have bikes and have regular jobs in the city,” he told ABC News. “The motorcycle community is very active in New York.”

Snelson was intrigued after learning about Masks for Docs, a grassroots campaign that was started two weeks ago by Chad Loder, a computer security researcher and entrepreneur in the Los Angeles area. Masks for Docs, which is in the process of being recognized as a 501 (c) charity organization, connects people who have PPE with hospitals and health clinics around the country. Donors and receivers fill out an online questionnaire and Masks for Docs then shares the info with its local volunteer chapters to verify the applicants and distribute the supplies quickly to the requisite facilities.

“We’re getting photos from doctors and nurses who are wearing trash bags and bandanas [for protection],” Loder told ABC News. “We’ve had hospitals say they cannot accept donations but doctors are privately reaching out to us. We have to move faster than the virus.”

Individuals can donate surgical, construction and N95 masks, hand sanitizers, hazmat suits, disposable scrubs, face shields and gowns on the Masks for Docs site. Loder said local chapters are given guidance on acceptable donations as well as safety precautions when picking up and dropping off the PPE.

More than 60 riders have joined the New York “moto squad,” according to Snelson, and supplies have been delivered to all five New York City boroughs as well as northern New Jersey.

“It all happened so fast,” Snelson noted. “We’re figuring it out as we go … and we can start and stop based on our schedules.”

Meredith Balkus, who joined Snelson on the group’s first mission, recalled how eerie and still the city’s streets were that Saturday night, a “surreal” experience for the riders involved, she said.

“When this opportunity came up I was so excited,” she told ABC News. “We all understand the gravity of the situation and it’s really rewarding to help doctors who are on the front lines. It’s really dire in New York and there’s a lot of hunger out there to help.”

At least 776 New Yorkers have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and more than half of New York state’s cases, or 33,768, are in the city. Nearly 8,500 state residents are currently hospitalized. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Sunday in an interview on CNN that hospitals have only one week’s worth of medical supplies.

Snelson said his team is cognizant of the infection risks and closely adheres to the safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are so smart every step of the way,” added Balkus. “We’re wearing a full face helmet and a mask underneath. We always stay six feet apart from each other.”

Moto squad’s riders will do whatever it takes to stop the outbreak and slow down the rate of transmission, Snelson said.

“The motorcycle community will help — always,” he said.

New CSN basketball coach Russ Beck recruits on Harley-Davidson

By General Posts

by Ron Kantowski from https://www.reviewjournal.com

There are advantages to coaching junior college basketball in a teeming metropolis, not the least of which is that one can recruit while riding a motorcycle.

Russ Beck, who recently was named coach of the College of Southern Nevada’s rebooted men’s basketball program, has signed 10 players. All are from Southern Nevada. All it has cost is a tank of gas.

“I’m probably the the only coach in America that can do his recruiting on the back of a Harley-Davidson,” Beck said.

Which he does.

His 2003 Sportster XL gets about 43.5 miles per gallon. It is 35 miles from CSN’s Henderson campus to Centennial High on the northwest edge of the Las Vegas Valley — probably as far as Beck will ever have to go to sign a 6-foot-4-inch power forward.

It may be more difficult finding a place to play than finding players.

There is no gymnasium on CSN’s Henderson campus, so the Coyotes will practice and play at CSN’s Cheyenne campus in North Las Vegas. Selected games might be played at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion or South Point Arena, if deals can be made.

“I’ve been at Western Nebraska in Scottsbluff, which is very rural, up in Twin Falls (Idaho), Cedar City and St. George (in Utah),” Beck, 41, said of coaching stops in basketball hinterlands. “(Here) I can see hundreds of players and do most of my recruiting within 45 minutes of the office.

“One of my selling points is you get to play in front of family and friends in a big city that is easy to get to for the Division I recruiters. All these coaches have been trained to come here because of the AAU (summer) tournaments. They know where to stay, where to eat, where the gyms are.

“Now they have another excuse to come out and watch basketball.”

Already on campus

Likewise, CSN didn’t have to go far to find its basketball coach. Beck was employed by the school as an athletic academic adviser. He had a relationship with CSN athletic director Dexter Irvin, who was AD at Dixie State in St. George when Beck was a basketball assistant there.

Beck also was an assistant at Salt Lake Community College and the College of Southern Idaho, teams he’ll now have to beat in the Scenic West Athletic Conference. He spent seven years as head coach at Western Nebraska CC, winning 124 games and helping the Cougars attain a national ranking.

Junior college teams have a reputation for playing firewagon basketball with an emphasis on the fast break. Beck said he is not averse to either. But he believes to run the floor, you first must lock down on defense in the half court.

“That comes from Coach (Jeff) Kidder at Dixie College, who won a national championship and was a hall of fame coach at the junior college level and did it with a lot of Vegas kids every year,” Beck said of his defense-first philosophy.

One of those Vegas kids was Cimarron-Memorial’s Marcus Banks, who returned home to star at UNLV before being drafted in the first round by the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. Banks could play defense when it was called for. And even when it wasn’t.

“Limiting teams to one shot will give you a lot of offensive freedom, but that only happens when you’re getting stops,” Beck said. “There’s no fast break if the ball goes through the hoop at the other end. Then you’re taking the ball out of the net and walking it up.”

Ultimate goal

Hanging in Beck’s office is a photograph taken at the NJCAA national championship tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, when he was coaching at Salt Lake. It reminds him of the ultimate goal.

But in the first year of the second start-up — CSN shuttered its men’s and women’s basketball programs in 2003 after one turmoil-riddled season — Beck said he’d settle for finishing in the top half of the Scenic West.

“I think we just have to be really gritty, take pride in who we are,” he said. “Maybe embrace the underdog role a little bit and that we’re in it for the city.”

As soon as the coronavirus pandemic ends and it is safe to break a sweat on defense, Russ Beck plans to jump back on his Harley and find additional 6-4 forwards (as well as some guards) who believe there’s no place like home.

“When your roster is full of kids from the same area, you can take a lot of pride in that,” he said.