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Build Train Race program Ladies Hit The Track

By | General Posts

Jillian Deschenes, Lana MacNaughton and Melissa Paris complete first training session

After a long hiatus, the female participants of Royal Enfield’s BUILD TRAIN RACE (BTR) program spent two days working closely with American Flat Track racer Johnny Lewis in Viola, WI earlier this month. Three out of the four builders/riders attended the training session to prepare for their American Flat Track debut in October. During this session each rider received one-on-one coaching from Lewis spinning laps on the FT411 training motorcycles based on the Royal Enfield Himalayan and their custom-built INT 650 flat trackers.

Jillian Deschenes, Lana MacNaughton and Melissa Paris were in attendance during the training session, which took place at S&S Cycle’s Speed Ranch track. The Speed Ranch is groomed and maintained oval dirt track which S&S Cycle uses for training, special events and product development purposes. Due to current travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, the fourth participant, Andrea Lothrop was unable to attend. However, Andrea will be performing a virtual training session with Lewis in the coming weeks.

“It was great to finally meet the ladies of the BUILD TRAIN RACE program and we had an awesome time in Viola,” said Lewis. “Seeing the dedication and attention to detail that they put into their INT 650 builds was impressive. What was more impressive was their willingness to learn and eagerness to go fast right from the get go. By the end of day two each rider was using the techniques we discussed and pushing themselves faster and faster, which is ultimately my goal as a teacher.”

Lewis provided both on-track and off-track instruction to the ladies, using many principles and concepts taught in the Royal Enfield Slide School by Moto Anatomy program. Lewis focused on body position, riding mechanics and vision with ladies for two days. With the FT411 motorcycles, the women were able to familiarize themselves with the track conditions and received vital feedback from Lewis on their riding technique. Eventually, they transitioned to the larger and more powerful INT 650 builds on day two. Lewis was also able to shakedown each individual’s motorcycle and provided input regarding setup adjustments to improve ride-ability and performance.

“It was great to spend time with the BTR ladies at the track and see their progression,” said Breeann Poland, marketing lead of the Americas. “Having a partner like Johnny to provide coaching and insight has been a great addition to the program. Seeing him work with each rider and develop their confidence and skills over the two day session is exciting. I’m looking forward to the next time we’re all on track together again.”

Using SENA communication devices on day two, also a component of Royal Enfield’s Slide School program, Lewis provided coaching to the riders while at speed, giving precise direction on braking, cornering and more as they completed laps. After the conclusion of the two day training, all three ladies were comfortable riding aggressively at speed on their INT 650s, setting the stage for close racing when they line up for the first time in October.

The first exhibition for the BUILD TRAIN RACE ladies will be on track is on October 2-3 at Dixie Speedway as part of the American Flat Track program. Following that event, they will then race at Daytona Beach Flat Track on October 15-16.

To learn more about the riders and the BTR program, visit https://www.royalenfieldna.com/build-train-race/.

Di Meglio looking forward to strong battle in Jerez

By | General Posts

2020 MVDS 03 Andalucia GP – Jerez during the 2020 Season of World Motorcycle Championship in Jerez de La Frontera Spain © 2020 mirco lazzari mircolazzari@yahoo.it

Di Meglio looking forward to strong battle in Jerez

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Mike di Meglio is expecting a hectic and exciting battle from the fifth row of the grid when round two of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup kicks off in Jerez tomorrow morning.

Record track temperatures that peaked at over 60 degrees meant conditions during the E-Pole session could not have been more demanding for man and machine at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto this afternoon.

Di Meglio quickly regained his confidence and consistent rhythm in FP3 this morning after a crash denied him crucial track time yesterday afternoon.

The Frenchman’s priority in FP3 was finding the optimum front and rear set-up to launch a strong attack in E-Pole.

Rather than chasing a fast lap time this morning he also decided to concentrate on adapting to a more aggressive riding style.

E-Pole started with ambient temperature nudging close to a scorching 40 degrees and di Meglio was able to post a best lap time of 1:49.525.

When Did Drag Racing Start?

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The Day Organized Drag Racing Was Born
–by Tim Bernsau, HotRod.com

Organized drag racing celebrates its 70th birthday on July 2, 2020. On that day in 1950 the first “official” drag race took place at an out-of-commission Army airbase in Santa Ana, California. Soon that airbase was established as Santa Ana Drags, the world’s first commercial dragstrip. When it closed nine years later, drag racing had become a nationwide sport with established rules and classes, national championships, and a major sanctioning body.

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Racing Red Harley-Davidson Grand Prix Pushes the Outerlimit to the Extreme

By | General Posts

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

Over the past few months, as part of our various special coverages, we’ve talked at length about certain custom motorcycles coming from Germany. As you can see, we’re not quite done yet, because the number of extreme builds a certain shop there is responsible for is huge.

The shop is called Thunderbike, and this weekend we’re showing you a machine it unveiled at the 2016 Custombike show in Bad Salzuflen, Germany. It’s called Grand Prix, and it’s an even more radical interpretation of another build that goes by the name Outerlimit.

The Outerlimit was made for one of the shop’s customers specifically to mirror the design and colors of a Lamborghini Aventador. Built on a custom frame, it sports a Harley-Davidson twin cam 120R engine linked to a 6-speed manual transmission, which gives the bike a power output of 140 ps and 190 Nm of torque.

Likewise, the Grand Prix too uses the same Screamin’ Eagle, packed in a frame that offers a 1,780 mm (70 inches) wheelbase, 132 mm (5 inches) caster, a steering head angle of 36 degrees.

That makes the overall design of the bike pretty similar to the Outerlimit, only there are exceptions, too. The most visible one is the color. Instead of the white used on the Lambo-mimicking bike, this one comes in racing red, hence the name Grand Prix.

The wheels on the build are a tad different, too. The custom shop went for a new design, more aggressive, for the rims (they are sized 23 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear) to give the motorcycle a more racing-like look.

We are not being told how much the Grand Prix cost to put together, but we do know that a lot of CNC-machining, CAD design and man hours went into making it look like an extreme interpretation of the Outerlimit.

 

South African riders in Grand Prix motorcycle racing’s elite class

By | General Posts

by James Richardson from https://www.thesouthafrican.com/

Later this month Brad Binder will become the fifth South African rider in the history Grand Prix motorcycle racing’s elite class, here we look at those that went before.

Formerly classified as the 500cc class before it was transformed to MotoGP, Grand Prix motorcycle racing has not been an environment inhabited by South Africans very often.

Before 2020, just four South African riders had made it into the elite class with all three competing during the 500cc era.

SA riders in Grand Prix motorcycle racing’s elite class

Here we will only look at riders who have reached either the 500cc class or MotoGP.

1 Paddy Driver

The first South African to reach the premier class, Driver competed on the Grand Prix motorcycle racing circuit from 1959 to 1965. His best result came in his final year on the circuit when he rode a Matchless to a third-place finish in the 500cc world championship behind Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini.

Having lined up in two Formula One Grand Prix Driver is part of a very small club of men who have raced in both the Grand Prix motorcycle World Championship and Formula One. That group also includes legends John Surtees, Mike Hailwood and Johnny Cecotto.

2 Alan North

North made his Grand Prix motorcycle racing in the elite class when in the 1975 season riding for Yamaha.

The Durban-born racer spent three seasons in the 500cc class scoring nine world championship points in that time. He won his only Grand Prix race in 1977 when he claimed the 350 cc 1977 Nations Grand Prix at Imola

3 Jon Ekerold

SA riders in Grand Prix motorcycle racing’s elite class 

Prior to Brad Binder’s 2016 Moto3 championship, Ekerold was the last South African to win a world title in Grand Prix motrocycle racing claiming the 1980 350cc championship as a privateer. Without the benefit of a motorcycle manufacturer’s support Ekerold defeated Kawasaki factory racing team rider Anton Mang to win world championship.

Ekerold appeared on the 500cc circuit in three seasons, racing in eight Grand Prix in the elite class.

His best race finish in the 500cc class came in his debut on the elite division’s grid in the 1976 Isle of Man TT where he placed sixth.

4 Kork Ballington

A contemporary of Ekerold, Hugh Neville “Kork” Ballington was born in what would become Harare in Zimbabwe but raced under the South African flag winning four Grand Prix motorcycle World Championships.

Ballington raced in the elite class in three seasons including the 1982 season when both he and Ekerold raced in the elite class. That would be the last time until 2020 that a South African rider took up a place on the grid in the elite class.

He finished on the podium twice in the 1981 season claiming third place at both the Dutch TT and the Finish Grand Prix.

In 1978 and 1979 Ballington won both the 250cc and 350cc championships, making him the most successful South African rider in terms of championships on the circuit.

5 Brad Binder

The 2016 Moto3 champion makes the step up to MotoGP as South Africa’s first representative at the pinnacle of Grand Prix motorcycle racing since the 1980s.

Binder’s younger brother Darryn is also a racer and joined Red Bull KTM’s Moto3 team in 2018.

The MotoGP season gets underway in Jerez later this month and will see Binder compete for Red Bull KTM alongside the best riders in the world. He will be the first South African rider to compete in the championship since it became the MotoGP.

New Classic Flat Out Vest

By | General Posts

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Our cleanest vest has now become our finest classic vest with no collar, but it does have the classic waist band. The front fist pockets are hidden. The chest pockets are classic western cut. They have killer storage with two deep gun pockets on the inside and our exclusive media pocket in the back for your latest issue of Cycle Source or divorce papers. These puppies are too cool and made with just the right leather grade, not too heavy and not too light.

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The Flat Out Vest is ideal warm weather riding gear. It features a middle weight leather and utilizes industrial-strength snaps for closure. It’s long like a shirt and provides a slimming effect.

Our vest is delivered with innovative features like a sunglasses pocket as well as conceal and carry pockets. It comes with 5 outside pockets and 2 internal conceal pockets.

Standout features of the killer Flat Out Vest are double-needle seam construction (secure construction), leather neck trim (nothing flapping in the wind) and two inner conceal-carry pockets for those “safety first” moments.

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Harley-Davidson Mugello Was Not Bred for Racing, Would Look Great on the Track

By | General Posts

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

Being the point of origin for some of the most impressive cars and motorcycles in the world, Italy has its share of famous race tracks. The Mugello Circuit (officially called Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello) is one of them.

It is there where races from the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) were once held, and it is there where each year the greats in motorbike racing gather for the usual MotoGP leg. Owned by Ferrari, the circuit is also the main testing facility for the Scuderia’s Formula 1 cars.

As far as we know, what the Mugello circuit has not seen is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle doing a run there. And it probably never will, even if builds such as the one in the gallery above would look great under the clear skies of Tuscany.

We opened with a bit of info about the Mugello track because this is the name German custom shop Thunderbike bestowed one of their Harley-Davidson Breakout creations. Named so in honor of the Italian circuit, it is part of a larger collection of bikes that also includes the Laguna Seca and Silverstone.

Just like the other two, it was of course not bred for racing, but as some type of two-wheeled billboard meant to advertise the custom parts Thunderbike usually has in its inventory for Harley owners. And just like the other two, there’s plenty of parts going into this bike as well.

From the derby cover to the exhaust system and large wheels (21 and 23 inches), a total of 25 custom parts were fitted on it, and all wrapped in a special paint scheme wearing the signature of Ingo Kruse, Thunderbike’s favorite partner in this field.

The bike is not for sale, and it will probably never be raced on a track, any track, but it would still look great, maybe accompanied by some other Harleys, in such a surrounding.

Kawasaki Z900 review: You don’t have to get your kit off and start a fight to like it

By | General Posts

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

It may be an evolution rather than a revolution, but the latest version of this popular naked streetfighter looks good and is tons of fun, with a great engine and a very attractive price tag

Question: A naked streetfighter is

a) A football fan after the bars shut in a nudist colony.

b) Someone who thinks that naked streets should be brightened up with those nice hanging baskets full of petunias.

c) The small green thing on which I’m hurtling around a corner with a smile on my face.

The answer, of course, is c – in other words, a sports bike which has been stripped bare of any fairings, folderols and fripperies to look more lean, mean and aggressive.

Or in this case, the latest incarnation of the Z900, a very nice 32,000 of which Kawasaki has sold since introducing it in 2017 as an evolution of previous 750 and 800cc versions.

To be honest, it didn’t really need to update this one apart from the pressure of Euro 5 emissions demands from Brussels, but the Kawasaki boffins thought they may as well take the opportunity to tweak a few other things while they had their sleeves rolled up.

They started with the aesthetics, reshaping the nose, side panels and fuel tank for a more aggressive look, and sticking in LED headlights while they were at it.

Thankfully, they didn’t muck about with the seating position, which, while slightly compact for anyone of 6ft 7in like me, is perfect for smaller folk, canting you forward slightly to leave your hands resting lightly on the wide bars and needing only the hint of a nudge to leave you carving into bends like a cornering craftsman or woman on their way to a BBQ for a bit of LOL.

It’s one of those bikes on which you only need to think of where you want to go, and you’re already there.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, admiring the new TFT screen, which although only 4.3n compared with some of the 7in monsters out there, shows all the information you need at a glance, including which of the four riding modes you’re in – Rain, Road, Sport or Rider if you want to reduce the ABS or the newly added traction control.

Or even switch the latter off completely if you like the smell of burning rubber in the morning, and your dad owns a rear tyre shop and gives you mate’s rates.

It being the sort of bright, sunny day which makes you glad to be half alive, I spurned Rain, since that reduces the power and I usually get bored with that after five seconds, and launched straight into Road. I know, call me a wild, impetuous fool, but my family motto is Carpe Diem. That’s Latin for Seize the Fish, since you ask.

Anyway, where was I before I interrupted myself again? Ah yes, enjoying the splendidly brisk progress, aided and abetted by a light clutch and slick gearbox and accompanied by a civilised snarl, like a well-brought-up lion.

With a bigger catalytic converter and exhaust, it definitely sounds better than the previous version to my ears, well tuned over the years by waiting for the rare sound of incoming cheques hitting the doormat.

The clutch and gearbox are so good that while a quickshifter would be a nice option, it’s not necessary and would remove that very attractive eight at the start of the price tag.

Time to switch to Sport mode with a quick press of the button on the left bar, and…there was no difference at all, since as I later discovered, all it does is reduce the traction control.

Either way, there’s so much grunt from the engine that you can quite happily spend all day in the top three gears.

With decent Nissin calipers and big twin discs up front, braking is great, although there’s poor feel and bite from the rear brake. Mind you, most sporty riders I know aren’t even aware that bikes are fitted with rear brakes.

The suspension, meanwhile, is nicely balanced between firm and plush, keeping the bike stable in corners but soaking up rough patches without having a panic attack.

All in all, looks good, loads of fun, great engine and a very attractive price.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the bars have just closed, so I need to get my kit off and go out to start a street fight.

The Facts: Kawasaki Z900

Sharp: Restyled front end gives it a more aggressive look

Engine: 948cc liquid-cooled inline four

Power: 124bhp @ 9,500rpm

Torque: 99 lb ft @ 7,700rpm

Colours: Grey/black; white/black; green/grey, black

Price: £8,899

The Ducati 999 Isn’t Pretty, But You May Get This Superbike On the Cheap

By | General Posts

by Mircea Panait from https://www.autoevolution.com

With 17 manufacturer titles since the Superbike World Championship rolled out in 1988, Ducati is the undisputed leader of the two-wheeled series. Kawasaki, Honda, and Aprilia trail behind the Italian manufacturer with 5, 4, and 4 titles, respectively.

The 999 is one of those championship-winning superbikes, taking the overall victory in 2003 with Neil Hodgson, 2004 with James Toseland, and 2006 with Tryo Bayliss. Produced from 2003 to 2006 and succeeded by the 1098, the Triple Nine relies on a Testastretta Desmodromic V-twin engine displacing 1.0 liter.

Often criticized over its looks, the Nine-Nine-Niner is widely regarded as one of the best-handling motorcycles of its era by enthusiasts and pro alike. The 998-cc version in the gallery cranks out close to 140 horsepower and 80 pound-feet (109 Nm), adequate figures for a dry weight of 186 kilograms (410 pounds).

Chassis number ZDM1UB5V75B012140 retailed at $17,995 before options when it was new, but this fellow here is offered at no reserve with six days left for bidding on Bring a Trailer. The highest bid at the present moment is $2,105, which is peanuts for a 700-mile (1,127 kilometers) survivor in such great shape.

In preparation for the sale, the vendor has replaced the battery, oil, oil filter, as well as the brake fluid. Acquired from the original owner in early 2020, the Italian superbike is wearing Ducati Red paintwork and a Termignoni exhaust.

Offered in New York with a clean title, the motorcycle retains the original carbon-fiber heat shield under the rear seat, rear plate bracket, and rear footpegs. 17-inch alloys are wrapped in Michelin rubber boots, and braking power comes courtesy of 320-mm and 245-mm discs with four- and two-piston calipers, respectively.

Once described as “the best V-twin on the planet,” the road-going version of the 999 is an in-your-face reminder about Italian manufacturer’s on-track dominance in the Superbike World Championship. From 1988 to 2019, Ducati Corse took no fewer than 357 race wins compared to Kawasaki’s 138 and Honda’s 119.