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Honda Plans To Unveil New 3D Printed Prototyping Project In 2021

By General Posts

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

For decades, OEMs like Honda have used clay modeling extensively in the process of designing their new bikes. Take the CBR1000RR-R, which won Honda’s first-ever Red Dot design award for a motorcycle in 2020. While clay modeling wasn’t the only part of the design process, it was an important part of how Honda brought that design to life.

It’s 2021 now, though, and technology is shifting and changing with the times. That change is nowhere more evident than the announcement that Honda R&D Europe has teamed up with Italian 3D printing company WASP (nothing to do with Vespa). The goal of the partnership is to create a brand-new 3D-printed prototyping process that is finished by hand. That way, they say, you get the best of both worlds.

Now, we can’t show you any of these just yet, because Honda and WASP haven’t unveiled them as of April, 2021. They plan to do so “in the coming months,” however, and we definitely look forward to seeing what they’ve created together.

While clay models have the advantages of being infinitely customizable in the hands of skilled craftsmen, they take a lot of time to get just right. One advantage of integrating 3D printing into the design process is, at least in theory, the time Honda will save. Naturally, how well it works remains to be seen.

WASP is no stranger to using its 3D printing processes in the motorcycle world. Back in 2019, the company was already making 3D printed carbon fiber parts on demand for bikes in the Italian Speed (CIV) motorcycle racing championship.

If you’ll recall, in October, 2020, BMW’s WSBK team made news when it started bringing a 3D printer to races to print up new parts trackside. WASP was already hard at work in the CIV championship doing the same thing a year earlier. Now, in 2021, Honda is bringing 3D printing into its own prototyping process.

On a much smaller scale, customizers have been making use of 3D printing to fabricate the parts they can see in their mind’s eye, as well. As 3D printing technology advances, in what other ways will we see it integrated into the motorcycle world? It’s going to be interesting to watch the technology evolve.

Why shortages of a $1 chip sparked crisis in the global economy

By General Posts

by Bloomberg from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com

The chip crunch was born out of an understandable miscalculation as the coronavirus pandemic hit last year. When Covid-19 began spreading from China to the rest of the world, many companies anticipated people would cut back as times got tough.

To understand why the $450 billion semiconductor industry has lurched into crisis, a helpful place to start is a one-dollar part called a display driver.

Hundreds of different kinds of chips make up the global silicon industry, with the flashiest ones from Qualcomm Inc. and Intel Corp. going for $100 apiece to more than $1,000. Those run powerful computers or the shiny smartphone in your pocket. A display driver is mundane by contrast: Its sole purpose is to convey basic instructions for illuminating the screen on your phone, monitor or navigation system.

The trouble for the chip industry — and increasingly companies beyond tech, like automakers — is that there aren’t enough display drivers to go around. Firms that make them can’t keep up with surging demand so prices are spiking. That’s contributing to short supplies and increasing costs for liquid crystal display panels, essential components for making televisions and laptops, as well as cars, airplanes and high-end refrigerators.

“It’s not like you can just make do. If you have everything else, but you don’t have a display driver, then you can’t build your product,” says Stacy Rasgon, who covers the semiconductor industry for Sanford C. Bernstein.

Now the crunch in a handful of such seemingly insignificant parts — power management chips are also in short supply, for example — is cascading through the global economy. Automakers like Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG have already scaled back production, leading to estimates for more than $60 billion in lost revenue for the industry this year.

The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. A rare winter storm in Texas knocked out swaths of U.S. production. A fire at a key Japan factory will shut the facility for a month. Samsung Electronics Co. warned of a “serious imbalance” in the industry, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said it can’t keep up with demand despite running factories at more than 100% of capacity.

“I have never seen anything like this in the past 20 years since our company’s founding,” said Jordan Wu, co-founder and chief executive officer of Himax Technologies Co., a leading supplier of display drivers. “Every application is short of chips.”

2021-semiconductors-chips-shortage-inline
The chip crunch was born out of an understandable miscalculation as the coronavirus pandemic hit last year. When Covid-19 began spreading from China to the rest of the world, many companies anticipated people would cut back as times got tough.

“I slashed all my projections. I was using the financial crisis as the model,” says Rasgon. “But demand was just really resilient.”

People stuck at home started buying technology — and then kept buying. They purchased better computers and bigger displays so they could work remotely. They got their kids new laptops for distance learning. They scooped up 4K televisions, game consoles, milk frothers, air fryers and immersion blenders to make life under quarantine more palatable. The pandemic turned into an extended Black Friday onlinepalooza.

Automakers were blindsided. They shut factories during the lockdown while demand crashed because no one could get to showrooms. They told suppliers to stop shipping components, including the chips that are increasingly essential for cars.

Then late last year, demand began to pick up. People wanted to get out and they didn’t want to use public transportation. Automakers reopened factories and went hat in hand to chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung. Their response? Back of the line. They couldn’t make chips fast enough for their still-loyal customers.

A year of poor planning led to carmakers’ massive chip shortage
Himax’s Jordan Wu is in the middle of the tech industry’s tempest. On a recent March morning, the bespectacled 61-year-old agreed to meet at his Taipei office to discuss the shortages and why they are so challenging to resolve. He was eager enough to talk that interview was scheduled for the same morning Bloomberg News requested it, with two of his staff joining in person and another two dialing in by phone. He wore a mask throughout the interview, speaking carefully and articulately.

Wu founded Himax in 2001 with his brother Biing-seng, now the company’s chairman. They started out making driver ICs (for integrated circuits), as they’re known in the industry, for notebook computers and monitors. They went public in 2006 and grew with the computer industry, expanding into smartphones, tablets and touch screens. Their chips are now used in scores of products, from phones and televisions to automobiles.

Wu explained that he can’t make more display drivers by pushing his workforce harder. Himax designs display drivers and then has them manufactured at a foundry like TSMC or United Microelectronics Corp. His chips are made on what’s artfully called “mature node” technology, equipment at least a couple generations behind the cutting-edge processes. These machines etch lines in silicon at a width of 16 nanometers or more, compared with 5 nanometers for high-end chips.?

The chip’s makers have seen their shares soar with strong demand
The bottleneck is that these mature chip-making lines are running flat out. Wu says the pandemic drove such strong demand that manufacturing partners can’t make enough display drivers for all the panels that go into computers, televisions and game consoles — plus all the new products that companies are putting screens into, like refrigerators, smart thermometers and car-entertainment systems.

There’s been a particular squeeze in driver ICs for automotive systems because they’re usually made on 8-inch silicon wafers, rather than more advanced 12-inch wafers. Sumco Corp., one of the leading wafer manufacturers, reported production capacity for 8-inch equipment lines was about 5,000 wafers a month in 2020 — less than it was in 2017.

No one is building more mature-node manufacturing lines because it doesn’t make economic sense. The existing lines are fully depreciated and fine-tuned for almost perfect yields, meaning basic display drivers can be made for less than a dollar and more advanced versions for not much more. Buying new equipment and starting off at lower yields would mean much higher expenses.

“Building new capacity is too expensive,” Wu says. Peers like Novatek Microelectronics Corp., also based in Taiwan, have the same constraints.

That shortfall is showing up in a spike in LCD prices. A 50-inch LCD panel for televisions doubled in price between January 2020 and this March. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Matthew Kanterman projects that LCD prices will keep rising at least until the third quarter. There is a “a dire shortage” of display driver chips, he said.

LCD Prices Are Surging
Aggravating the situation is a lack of glass. Major glass makers reported accidents at their production sites, including a blackout at a Nippon Electric Glass Co.’s factory in December and an explosion at AGC Fine Techno Korea’s factory in January. Production will likely remain constrained at least through summer this year, display consultancy DSCC Co-founder Yoshio Tamura said.

On April 1, I-O Data Device Inc., a major Japanese computer peripherals maker, raised the price of their 26 LCD monitors by 5,000 yen on average, the biggest increase since they began selling the monitors two decades ago. A spokeswoman said the company can’t make any profit without the increases due to rising costs for components.

All of this has been a boon to Himax’s business. Sales are surging and its stock price has tripled since November.

But the CEO isn’t celebrating. His whole business is built around giving customers what they want, so his inability to meet their requests at such a critical time is frustrating. He doesn’t expect the crunch, especially for automotive components, to end any time soon.

“We have not reached a position where we can see the light at the end of tunnel yet,” Wu said.

How a Florida woman helped change the motorcycle industry

By General Posts

by Daniel Figueroa IV from https://www.wmnf.org

These days, motorcyclists live and die by their Dyno sheets, the ultimate measure of an engine’s power. But when the machines came out in the late 80s, it was a women in Florida who bought one of the first units and helped reshape the world of motorcycling.

Fifty years later Pam Brown remembers how she got her start wrenching on engines with her dad. They’d work on Volkswagen parts together because he happened to need a hand and she was the one who was around.

But when he bought her brothers some single-speed mini bikes, small motorcycles, they were off limits.

“He said I could not ride a motorcycle because you are a girl,” Brown recalled. “Girls don’t ride motorcycles.”

Fortunately for her, Brown’s neighbor had a crush and a full-fledged motorcycle.

“Jimmy Keeler, that’s right” she said. “Eighty cc Binelli.”

He let her take a ride. She let the clutch out a little too quick and popped an accidental wheelie, sped down a hill and went – maybe a little too quickly – into a turn. But she made it. And she fell in love.

Brown is one half of the couple behind Cycle-Rama, a high performance machine shop in Pinellas Park known over the world for building some of the most coveted aftermarket engine parts in the V-Twin motorcycle world. She’s been there for 38 of the shop’s 45-year existence.

But it was in 1989 that Pam Brown put her foot down and made a purchase that helped reshape the world of powersports.

The chassis dynamometer

In the late 80s, Mark Dobeck invented the first chassis dynamometer. Before that, a mechanic had to ride a bike to tune it and measuring horsepower and torque was mostly a guessing game. Dobeck’s Dyno allowed bikes to be tested and tuned right in the shop.

Henry Tecza was one of the first to have a dynamometer in his Las Vegas Shop. He said those early adopters changed the game.

“I mean, you had a piece of equipment that was rare in the motorcycle industry,” Tecza said. “It kind of put you ahead of anybody else as having the latest tuning abilities.”

With the dyno, motorcycle mechanics were able to test the power claims made by parts manufacturers and fine-tune a motorcycle’s performance to pull the most out of a bike. These days the machines are staples.

“It’s not uncommon for every serious shop to have a Dyno. It’s a necessary tool.”

Oh my gosh, it’s a girl riding that motorcycle

By 1989 Brown had been in the motorcycle world for almost a decade. She got her start with a parts distributor in Atlanta. She was one of few women in the shop and quickly started out performing some of the men. That earned her a promotion to being the only woman delivery driver and eventually the only woman in the sales department. Women ridership has doubled in the last decade. But at that time, women weren’t prominent in the motorcycle world.

“Even just riding motorcycles,” she said. “When I would get off my motorcycle people were shocked that ‘Oh my gosh it’s a girl riding that motorcycle.’”

The job in Atlanta led to her meeting Wes Brown, Cycle-Rama’s founder. After a few years in Atlanta she moved to Florida to be closer to Wes. She took a job in Tampa with another distributor, but they wanted her to use her voice for more than selling.

“If I’m giving you the right information, you’re gonna buy stuff from me and I know this because I’d been doing it for two-and-a-half years,” Brown said. “But they wanted me to be vulgar. They wanted me to be like a phone sex line and I didn’t agree with that and I wouldn’t do it.”

So, she started working with Wes full time. Within a year, they were married.

Changing the game

When Dobeck came out with his chassis dynamometer, Pam Brown saw it’s potential. Her husband wasn’t so sure.

“I didn’t convince him so much as I strong-armed him into it,” she said. “I said ‘with or without you, I’m buying this machine.’”

Not only did she buy it, she was the one who ran it.

“I used cardboard and duct tape and pieces of plywood and Pepsi cans to change the airflow just to see what would happen,” she said.

Cycle-Rama soon had the first dyno machine in Florida and one of the only ones on the east coast. Companies reached out to have their products put on the Dyno. Brown was able to test all kinds of new parts and help design the company’s own performance components.

Dobeck remembers those early days.

“I must’ve dropped their name a hundred times,” he said. “Say oh, well Cycle-Rama has one. It was a great relationship.”

Nothing like getting mansplained your own parts

Now 59, Pam Brown is still respected through the industry. John Dahmer owns Darkhorse Crankworks. Darkhorse specializes in motorcycle bottom ends, while Cycle-Rama specializes in top ends. He said in an industry still dominated by men, Pam Brown is not one question.

“The motorcycle market I think as a whole can be very tough on women. It’s a bit more male-dominated industry,” Dahmer said. “A lot of guys will either test her or challenge her as far as her knowledge. She knows it inside and out and when you know it inside and out somebody trying to challenge it isn’t going to fare very well.”

But Brown said that doesn’t stop them from trying. Even when it comes to parts she helped design.

“Nothing like getting mansplained your own parts,” she said.

She doesn’t let it get to her though and said other women in motorcycling shouldn’t either. At the end of the day, she’s still one of the best at doing what she loves – helping diagnose and fix engines.

“I ask a lot of questions and then I can see it in my mind because I’ve taken motorcycles apart,” she said. “If I could just do that all day, that would be awesome to me. Just take motorcycles apart to see what happened.”

BigIron Auctions to Host Classic Car and Motorcycle Auction

By General Posts

Featuring Chevyland USA Inventory and Classic car curator Monte Hollertz vehicles and memorabilia on online auction block, closing May 6.

BigIron Auctions announced today it is conducting an online auction featuring more than $1 million in classic cars and motorcycles, original Chevrolet parts and dealer memorabilia from the historic Chevyland USA car museum in Elm Creek, Neb.

Monte Hollertz was a Nebraska farmer, turned classic car enthusiast who passed away in Jan. 2020. He began collecting different models of classic cars in the 1960s. Hollertz opened Chevyland USA in 1974 and took over as head curator in 1980. Chevyland USA housed more than 80 vintage vehicles from the early 1900s and newer.

With more over 400 items, there is sure to be an item of interest for any car enthusiast or collector looking for items to add to their collection.

Among the items included in the auction are:

  • 1915 Chevrolet Baby Grand Touring H-4 4-Door
  • 1922 Chevrolet 490 3Dr Sedan
  • 1925 Chevrolet Superior Series K Roadster
  • 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster 2Dr Coupe
  • 1958 Chevrolet Impala Tri-Power 2DR Hardtop
  • 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS
  • 1969 Corvette Stingray

Take a peek inside the museum to see some of items that will be sold during the auction.

BigIron Auctions offer buyers an easy-to-use, secure, online platform in which to browse and bid on these classic cars and other items. There are never any buyer’s fees, the auctions are unreserved, and all equipment is lien-free. In addition, we provide complete transparency between the buyer and seller.

To view the items included in the auction, please visit the BigIron Auctions site when the auction opens for bidding on April 15, 2021. The auction will close on May 6, 2021.

NOTE: Interviews are also available for media who want to learn more about auction items or are interested in talking with someone from the Hollertz family to learn more about Monte’s history or the collectibles available.

About BigIron Auctions
BigIron’s online platform allows you to virtually “kick the tires” before you buy. We provide the seller’s information to our online buyers, so they have access to the same kind of information they’d get in person.

Four generations of a family in motorcycle sales

By General Posts

by Julie Perine from https://www.connect-bridgeport.com

Those who were into the Suzuki GT750 might remember Leeson’s Import Motors moving into its West Main Street storefront. That was in 1970, but the history of the family-owned retailer dates back much further.

It all started in the 1930s when Paul Leeson started a motorcycle shop out of his house on James Street, selling Harley Davidson and Triumph bikes. During the ‘40s, the shop was relocated to Route 50 in Adamston, operating into the ‘50s when Leeson retired.

“Our grandfather loved motorcycles and it is just in our blood,” said Shawna Merrill, current sales manager. “Once you have ridden a motorcycle, it gives you such a sense of freedom. There is nothing else that makes you feel the way you do when you are riding.”

In 1968, Leeson’s daughter Janice and her husband Sam reopened the shop, then called Clarksburg Suzuki Sales. Just two years later, Leeson Import Motors came full circle when it returned to Bridgeport. Four generations and many members of the Leeson family have been part of the operation which today carries a variety of power sports vehicles and accessories.

“We sell Suzuki motorcycles and ATVs, Kawasaki Motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides, Kymco scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides, Arctic Cat ATVs and side-by-sides and SSR Pit bikes, off-road motorcycles, youth electric ATVs and side-by-sides,” Merrill said. “We are a full-service dealership, offering sales, parts and service.”

Through the years, there have been definite trends and sought-after vehicles. The Suzuki T20 and RM370 of the late-1960s and ‘70s gave way to the Kawasaki 900 Eliminator of the ‘80s. That decade also featured Suzuki’s buy-out of the GSXRs and, of course, the ATV era as Suzuki introduced the Quad Runner 125 and 185.

“In the 1990s, ATVs and motorcycles got bigger and faster,” Merrill said. “Kawasaki built one of the largest cruisers – the Vulcan 1500 and the Bayou 400 4×4. In the late 1990s, Suzuki built the fastest stock street bike, the HAYABUSA.”

As the new millennium rolled in, side-by-sides gained popularity.

“Kawasaki actually brought out the first side-by-side back in 1988 – the Kawasaki Mule – but it wasn’t until the side-by-sides got a little faster that they became more popular,” Merrill said. “Arctic Cat had the Prowler 650, Kymco had the UXV500 and Kawasaki had the Teryx.”

Since 2010, the focus has been on off-road vehicles. “The sport model side-by-sides are the popular vehicles right now. The Arctic Cat Wildcat XX or the Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000 are the hot models these days,” Merrill said.

With 2021 featuring the selection of ATVs, side-by-sides, dirt bikes and street motorcycles – as well as helmets, jerseys, tire and roll kits and many other extras – there is something for just about everyone.

“We currently have a team of 16 associates that work hard so you can play hard,” Merrill said. “We have had Suzuki since 1968, Kawasaki since 1984, Artic Cat since 1996, Kymco since 2008 and SSR since 2016.”

Leeson’s also special orders parts and ships. Ordering is available through the dealership, as well as online at either leesonsmotors.com or leesonsatv on Ebay.

Leeson’s Import Motors is located at 320 West Main Street and is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Meet the Ducati master re-creating Isle of Man-winning motorcycle

By General Posts

by Ellie Honeybone from https://www.abc.net.au

You may be forgiven for assuming the world’s leading manufacturer of Ducati bevel drive engine parts would live in a bustling city, perhaps in Italy or the United States, somewhere central and close to consumers.

But in fact, this talented engineer and self-described “petrol head” lives in a tiny historic town, deep in the forests of south-west WA.

Even though shipping his handmade engine parts around the world from Nannup is a logistical nightmare, Brook Henry wouldn’t have it any other way.

A family business

Mr Henry grew up surrounded by Ducatis.

His older brothers imported and distributed the high-performance motorcycle brand in New Zealand from the late 1960s through to the 1980s.

“I spent pretty well all my time at the workshop, fixing, racing and working on Ducati bevel drive twins and singles,” Mr Henry said.

“I also did an apprenticeship outside that business as a toolmaker, but I never liked doing toolmaking and I always wanted to go back to motorcycles.”

That love of motorcycles grew and continued for the next 40 years with Mr Henry now a household name and ‘master’ in the Ducati world.

He has travelled extensively, inspected designs inside Ducati’s Bologna factory and even appeared on bike lover Jay Leno’s US television show.

After settling down first in Perth and then further south in Nannup, Mr Henry developed a business building, designing and shipping bevel drive parts, engines and complete motorcycles across the world.

Pandemic revives restoration projects

There are only so many original bevel drive Ducatis in existence, making Brook Henry’s business incredibly niche.

These bikes were built during the 1970s and 80s and made famous after legendary British champion Mike Hailwood won the Isle of Man race in 1978.

When the world went into COVID-19 lockdown during early 2020, many owners of bevel drive bikes decided it was the right time to blow off the cobwebs and reignite their restoration projects.

“I’ve never been so busy because guys who bought bevel drives put them in the back of a shed and chucked a rag over them,” Mr Henry said.

“The wives got sick of their husbands being in the kitchen and told them to go out and find something to do in the shed.

“So they went out and pulled the cover off the old Ducati bevel drive and started looking around to where they could get the parts to start putting it back together.

“Our customer base worldwide has been huge with COVID because anyone who’s got a bevel drive has gone and started working on it.”

The next chapter

In addition to supplying global customers with all the parts they need for their pandemic restorations, Mr Henry has another project in the works.

Through what he calls a “crazy set of circumstances”, he purchased the drawings for the original engine used in the late Mike Hailwood’s Isle of Man race winning bike, of which only a handful were ever made.

“We’ve actually been talked into making 12 exact replicas of Hailwood’s bike,” he said.

“We decided that we would make a limited run of them and the number we decided on was 12, because that was his racing number.”

While there will only be a dozen of these Hailwood recreations made, the engine — dubbed the ‘Ritorno’ — is available on its own with the approval of the Ducati factory.

“The business is expanding at 100 miles an hour because people worldwide want that engine and want parts for it,” Mr Henry said.

“So we’re gathering speed at a frightening rate at the moment, but I’m so passionate about it and I love what I do.”

Government funding leads to expansion

Mr Henry has big plans for expansion after receiving a $113,000 Regional Economic Development grant from the WA Government.

The investment will be used to employ more staff and purchase state of the art manufacturing equipment to build Mr Henry’s own version of the iconic bevel drive engine.

“I like to keep the outside of the engine looking the same where I can,” he said.

“And now I’ve got the opportunity to basically build my own internals and to improve on the existing engine.”

Despite being extremely busy these days, Mr Henry still enjoys the occasional ride through the scenic forest roads near his home.

“They say that motorcycles are built to transport people, but Ducatis are built to transport the soul,” he said.

“The only thing is, you do not have any control over emus and wildlife, kangaroos running out of the bush, all that sort of thing.

“So I really don’t want to hurt myself, because I’ve got too much to do — and it’s a damn shame I’m 66 and not 36.”

Harley-Davidson Bikes Get Exclusive Billet Aluminum Parts from Rizoma

By General Posts

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

Harley-Davidson is not exactly riding the high wave at the moment. Still plagued by corporate-level issues, the bike maker struggles to come up with new models that should turn the fortunes around.

Bronx, Pan America, and an yet mysterious muscle bike are only three of the bikes Harley plans to launch into battle as soon as 2021, hoping to regain that which it has lost in recent years. Until then though, something has to be done when it comes to the existing range as well.

The Milwaukee bike maker already announced the introduction of the 131 crate engine for certain two-wheelers in its portfolio, and this past week went for a more visual approach by announcing a partnership with Italian motorcycle parts company Rizoma.

In what Harley calls “the first co-branded collection of its kind designed exclusively for H-D® motorcycle riders,” a rather very short list of billet aluminum parts and accessories will be made available for riders of “a broad range of Harley-Davidson motorcycles” who wish to make their machine look apart.

The list starts with 1.44 inches in diameter hand grips, continues with rider and passenger footpegs, and goes up front for specially designed mirrors with a broader view for the rider. The LiveWire, the electric motorcycle that will soon be seen in action on Apple TV+ when the Long Way Up show hits the web on September 18, was not left out, and receives a solo custom element in the form of a charge door.

“Precision craftsmanship and unmistakable style define this collaborative collection from Harley-Davidson and Rizoma. Lasered H-D and Rizoma logos on a subdued black on black finish display minimal branding that lets the machined texture and performance aesthetic take the lead,” Harley says in a statement.

“This sleek collection of billet aluminum accessories is the first co-branded collection of its kind designed exclusively for H-D motorcycle riders.”

Pricing for these new exclusive parts was not announced. You can learn more about them and the bikes they fit by following this link.

Motorcycle repairmen mould scrap into fine art

By General Posts

by Pann Rethea from https://www.phnompenhpost.com

At a small motorcycle repair shop about a half-hour drive outside of Phnom Penh on National Road 1, passersby can’t help but stop and take a look at what’s for sale.

But it’s not motorbike parts they’re interested in, it’s the works of metal art formed by fusing scraps and old tools.

Metal creatures made from bike chains, spokes and discarded shocks beckon people over to take a selfie and chat with the artists, low-income repairmen who turned to artwork after their wages took a hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“During the pandemic, many people have been facing financial problems, especially blue-collar workers,” 36-year-old Kang Sothea, the founder of the small collection of repairmen-artists, tells The Post.

“The team of motorcycle repairmen whom I’ve supplied motorcycle engine oil to are losing their income. Less people come for engine oil changes, so they can no longer afford to stock the products I’m selling.”

Because the repairmen have fewer jobs to fill, they often have time to chat about their mundane lives and crack jokes to cheer themselves up during hard times.

It was during one of these laidback chats that Sothea noticed a pile of discarded motorbike parts which the repairmen intended to sell to a junk collector for petty cash.

Sothea says: “I often noticed them stockpiling old rusty parts of motorcycles in the back of their workshop. The chain, sprocket-wheel, suspension, steel mudguards, nuts and screws sparked an idea [in me] to turn them into something interesting that can be sold.

Seeing different old parts of motorcycles triggered my imagination. I could see them turning into metal animals for decoration.”

Having worked in engine oil distribution for three years, Sothea has become close to repairmen in different places.

These strong friendships paved the way for serious discussions to make the dream art project happen and there was a hope that it could generate additional income.

“After we met and talked about this project many times, we all brainstormed about what kind of artwork could be formed by using these old motorcycle parts and rusty tools,” Sothea says.

In June, the junk artists officially formed their team under the name ‘Silapak Daek OMA’.

Sothea says: “We now have eight members who are all motorcycle repairmen from three shop locations. Some of them are located in Kien Svay district, Kandal province, on National Road 1, some in Kandal’s Lvea Em district and some are near Kuor Srov Roundabout in Dangkor district of Phnom Penh.”

Sothea admits their artwork has some flaws as the team starts to build its technical art knowledge.

“When we first tried to make a small metal scorpion from the motorcycle chain, it took us the whole day to get the right shape we were satisfied with,” he says.

Um Seiha is one of the more active members of Silapak Daek OMA.

“I was very excited to pick up something new. We’re all raw and blank pages in art, but we work in solidarity. We are good teammates, and we learn from each other.

“Every week, we come to learn from each other about how to improve our metal scrap artworks, then we’ll decide what animal or thing we should make,” he says.

So far they have created metal tarantulas, scorpions, spiders, centipedes, dragonflies, dragons, grasshoppers, mosquitoes and king prawns. Four of their pieces were purchased and now resided in restaurants and coffee shops.

Sothea says: “When people purchase our artwork, we feel really rewarded. It’s a sign of appreciation and acknowledgement that we can grow our hobby into a skill. We keep learning and taking inspiration. We ask the experts and do online research.”

Curious onlookers who stop to observe their work motivates the group to keep moving forward.

“Despite the challenge as self-taught artists who learn from practice and continuous experience, our team spirit is still going strong. None of us has ever attended an art class. We try to learn from YouTube and Google for basic techniques. Without the help of an art instructor, our work is entirely based on our imagination and raw skills,” Sothea says.

After we finished welding a few metal animals, we displayed them outside the repair shop. There have been people coming to look and give us compliments. People we don’t know pass by and their attention is caught by our artwork. They said they really like the artwork and this encourages us to strive even further.”

After three months of endless trial and error, the team can now create pieces faster, and they’re already planning bigger projects.

Sothea says: “While we are able to create many kinds of metal animals from scraps, we’re also planning to build a bigger-sized robot and Iron Man.

“We’re studying a little more about the complex body ratio of the big structure. This time, we will also seek advice from a professional artist. We will consult with more experts to make the body and face of Iron Man look realistic.”

Sothea is also in talks with some business venues, shops, hotels and resorts which may be interested in his work.

“Some people express their interest to buy metal artwork for decoration. Some resorts might need the whole collection to display so that they can attract more visitors,” he says.

Besides selling his artworks to help the livelihood of his team, Sothea is also hoping his work can be displayed at public places for educational purposes.

“For instance, I’m dreaming of putting metal mosquitoes in Wat Botum park. Silapak OMA can help alert people about the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases, especially during rainy season,” he says.

Silapak Daek OMA can be reached by telephone at 015556742 or 017257635.

Kawasaki Starts Home Delivery Of Motorcycles, Spares And Accessories In USA

By General Posts

by Satya Singh from https://www.rushlane.com

United States is the worst hit due to coronavirus pandemic, with more than a million confirmed cases and over 61k fatalities

As the lockdown continues to restrict auto sales, Kawasaki USA has announced that it will start home delivery of its vehicles, spares, accessories and apparel. Auto dealerships are shut in most places and people have been forced to stay indoors. There are also the ones who may not want to visit dealerships due to the high risk of infection.

In this situation, online sales and home delivery of products appears to be the only effective solution for auto companies. In India, online sales platform and home delivery option have been launched by various auto companies such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Honda, Tata Motors, MG Motor and Hyundai.

Kawasaki’s product portfolio in US comprises motorcycles, ATVs, utility task vehicles and jet skis. The company already provides online option to buy vehicle accessories, spare parts, maintenance products, apparel and gifts & collectibles.

For buying Kawasaki vehicles, customers will probably need to contact their nearest dealer. It is expected that the necessary formalities, paperwork, financing, and down payment will be processed online in coordination with the dealer. Once the deal is finalized, the vehicle will be home delivered to the customer.

Kawasaki will be working closely with its dealers across the United States to ensure that customers get the best vehicle delivery experience. The deliveries will be done in accordance with guidelines mandated by local authorities. Efforts will be made to ensure that the home delivery experience is just as good as deliveries done at dealerships.

Before delivery, the vehicle will be thoroughly checked by the dealer. At the time of delivery, customers can go through the checklist to ensure that everything is as per their order. All Kawasaki vehicles will be delivered by dealership professionals who are well-acquainted with the operation, maintenance and safety requirements of the vehicle.

This will ensure proper care and handling during transportation and delivery. Kawasaki has purposefully avoided using common carriers and third-party delivery service providers for home delivery of its vehicles. For home delivery of other products such as spare parts, accessories and apparel, Kawasaki will be relying on common carriers or third-party services. This is the same process that was being used earlier as well.

Kawasaki will try its best to provide home delivery option to as many customers as possible. However, due to local restrictions, home delivery of vehicles may not be possible at some locations. Customers will probably need to contact their nearest dealer to know about availability of home delivery option.

Motorcycle enthusiasts gather at the Farm Show Complex for 32nd Annual Motorcycle Swap Meet & Show

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by Valeria De Leon from https://fox43.com

HARRISBURG – Motorcyclists came out to Dauphin County for one of the largest indoor motorcycle shows on Sunday.

Jam-On Productions hosted its 32nd Annual Motorcycle Swap Meet & Show.

The event featured everything motorcycle related- like parts, apparel and vintage bikes.

Organizer, Mark Weiler, said the show brings motorcycle enthusiasts together to shop for the coming holidays.

“This is a very strong event, there’s a lot of people here. Probably getting ready for the holidays, vendors are selling so they can get some money for the holidays and people to shop to get some presents. It’s good strong meet for that time of year,” said Weiler.

Jam-On Productions holds motorcycle shows all over the country including in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.