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Motorsports Safety Pioneer Bill Simpson Dies At 79

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

Racing wouldn’t be the same without him.

Racer and motorsports safety pioneer Bill Simpson has died. The founder of Simpson Racing Products, which makes Simpson Motorcycle Helmets, was 79 years old. He was a racer, an innovator, and a tireless advocate for safety in motorsports.

Like most of the people you want to know (or at least know about) in motorsports, Simpson was reportedly a true character. “Bill was a hippie when I met him and a cranky old guy most of his life, but he went from a nobody to the top of the heap. He worked hard and had a good mind—it didn’t go where the normal mind went,” three-time Indianapolis 500-winning racer Bobby Unser told Racer.

“Now, he was a hard-head and I’d get mad at him, but then he would do something really good, which was often, and we’d like him again. He’d piss people off one day and save a bunch of lives the next. That was Bill Simpson,” Unser neatly summarized. It seems like it would be tough to top that as an accurate eulogy, by all accounts.

Innovations that Simpson pioneered include the use of parachutes in drag racing, and especially Nomex fire suits designed for race car drivers, back in the bad old days when auto racing was far more deadly than it is today. The man even once infamously lit himself on fire to demonstrate how effective his new fire suit was—a stunt he later gleefully reprised for the 2014 Mazda commercial below.

How did he come up with some of his ideas? Undoubtedly, because he started out as a racer himself, and he came at it from a racer’s point of view. It’s unclear exactly how many lives at every level of motorsport interest he’s saved with his life’s work, but the number is obviously quite high.

Simpson wasn’t a motorcyclist, himself, but his company’s motorcycle helmets have undoubtedly saved countless lives, as well. RideApart’s deepest condolences go out to Simpson’s friends and family in this difficult time. The mark he left on the motorsports safety world is truly indelible.

Motorcycles Tom Cruise rode as Captain Maverick and Ethan Hunt are now nothing short of icons

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from https://www.financialexpress.com/

Top Gun 2 is set to release on 26 June next year. That is still a lot of months before Captain Maverick’s glory takes over our screens. So, until then, here’s a look back at the coolest Tom Cruise motorcycle moments that have been and well be.

Top Gun is about to relive on our screens soon and we can’t wait to see Maverick being nothing but magnificent behind the joystick of a fighter jet or behind the handlebar of a pretty iconic Kawasaki. Yes, Top Gun 2 movie trailers have confirmed that Kawasaki GPZ900 will be back on the silver screen. Tom Cruise is one of the most revered motorcycle people in Hollywood. The other hotshot motorcyclist would be Keanu Reeves but let’s just focus on the Cruise missiles for now.

Kawasaki GPZ900R – Top Gun

Tom Cruise has been doing it for decades – including motorcycles in his films. Years before a lot of us were even born, Cruise rode the Kawasaki GPZ900R for the big screen as Captain Maverick in Top Gun 1986. If you like motorcycles, this one is every bit of a celebrity as Mr Cruise is and we’ll also see it in the upcoming Top Gun 2.

Kawasaki H2 – Top Gun 2

Sticking with Top Gun 2. As the GPZ900R was the fastest production motorcycle back in 1986, Maverick had to ride the fastest production motorcycle in today’s day and age. Hence, the supercharged Kawasaki H2. The other good thing about seeing these motorcycles share the screen with Tom Cruise is that he does most of the riding himself.

BMW R nine T Scrambler – Mission Impossible Fallout

The chase scenes make up a huge of reasons why we love Mission Impossible films. MI: Fallout had Cruise riding a BMW R nine T Scrambler on the streets of Paris and around the Arc de Triomphe against the flow of the traffic. Fun fact: an electric bike was used to film the tracking shots of the chase scene.

BMW S1000RR – Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

This one was perhaps the coolest chase scene of all Mission Impossible films (if you’re not still swooning over 2000 Mission Impossible 2 Tom Cruise). Rogue Nation had a load of BMW Motorrads but we love the crooked-faced S1000RR doing high-speed corners with a Tom Cruise on it.

Triumph Speed Triple – Mission Impossible 2

We’re mentioning this one twice because we haven’t stopped swooning over it. This chase scene with Cruise on a Speed Triple and the baddie on a Daytona remains on the top of the list of MI film chase scenes. The dual ‘bug-eye’ headlamp design and polished frame gave the bike a strong streetfighter look that became the trademark of the series, especially the shot where Cruise emerges from a cloud of flames astride the Speed.

AHDRA Schedule, Sponsors Coming Together

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AHDRA motorcycle drag racing series

news release 

AHDRA Schedule, Sponsors Coming Together 

Drag racers of American-made V-Twin motorcycles collectively rejoiced two months ago when news broke that beloved racing organization AHDRA was firing back up and heading to the racetrack.  

Now AHDRA is announcing a complete schedule and class line-up, showing the tremendous sponsor response and sponsorship opportunities still available. 

The season opens at the traditional nitro Harley headquarters of Rockingham Dragway, moves north to Numidia, to the midwest at Cordova, west to Sturgis, north of the border to Quebec, then heads south to Atlanta, Orlando and Gainesville.

2020 AHDRA schedule

May 15-17 Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, North Carolina, USA

presented by Cox Double Eagle Harley-Davidson

May 30-31 Numidia Dragway, Numidia, Pennsylvania, USA

presented by Vreeland’s Harley-Davidson

July 3-5 Cordova International Raceway, Cordova, Illinois, USA

August 10-11 Sturgis Dragway, Sturgis, South Dakota, USA

August 29-30 Napierville Dragway, Napierville, Quebec, Canada

Nitro by invitation

October 2-4 Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Georgia, USA

October 15-17 Orlando Speed World, Bithlo, Florida, USA

presented by MTC Engineering

November 6-8 World Finals at Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, Florida, USA

including a $5000 All-Star race on Saturday night and the AHDRA banquet in Gainesville on November 9th

Current classes and sponsors

Top Fuel

Pro Fuel

Pro Dragster

Extreme Gas by GMS Racing Engines

Extreme Bagger by A-1 Cycles

Extreme V-Rod

Pro Mod by T-Man Performance,

Modified by Zippers Performance

Street Pro 9.70 by Vreeland’s Harley-Davidson

10.30

10.90

11.50 by Crete’s Performance

ET

Trophy

But wait, there’s more! “At our first race, the one in Rockingham, we will be giving away a 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide by a raffle,” said AHDRA President Bill Rowe Jr.

Rowe also notes there are many sponsorship opportunities still available for performance companies to hop on the AHDRA bandwagon. This one’s gonna be big!

Email Bill at bcrowe92891@gmail.com or call him up at (484) 767-3908.

The new AHDRA website is at http://raceahdra.com/

The popular AHDRA Facebook group can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AHDRA/

The brand new AHDRA Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/ahdraracing/

Mike Davis of Moto Lenz will be handling media relations.

“Thank you everyone for the amazing outpouring of support,” said Rowe. “I really didn’t know what to expect when we got into this, but the response has been amazing. Stay tuned for more news to come.”

AHDRA is owned by Pulse Marketing, the Hellertown, Pennsylvania-based motorsports promotion company run by veteran drag racer Rowe and his family.

AHDRA thanks Cox Double Eagle Harley-Davidson https://doubleeagleharley.com/ , https://vreelandsharley.com/ , MTC Engineering http://www.mtceng.com/ , GMS Racing Engines http://www.gmsracingengines.com/ , A-1 Cycles https://www.a1cycles.net/ , T-Man Performance https://tmanperformance.com/ , Zippers Performance https://www.zippersperformance.com/ , and Crete’s Performance.

5-Ball Gear – holiday discounts now

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The 5-Ball Pit Crew, Ballistic Nylon, light vest. Click to check the Leathers and books.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR BEST MOTORCYCLE GEAR

The lightweight Pit Crew Vest from 5-Ball Leathers is made from ballistic nylon. Ballistic nylon was originally was designed in WWII to repel flying shrapnel.

The collar on the Pit Crew Vest is a mandarin style – unfolded stand up style – measures 1 ¼”, leather trim around arm holes and leather trim accents on front flaps. It features:

  • (2) Cary pockets
  • (2) chest pockets with snap closures
  • Leather trim on 2 side pockets with zipper closures
  • (2) ¼” leather band around the bottom of the vest
  • Side flaps with 2 snaps to adjust your fit.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR BEST MOTORCYCLE GEAR

This vest comes with leather accents, two gun pockets (or for phone, cameras or tools) with holsters, several outside pockets, and an exclusive Bandit media pocket in the inside back, so you can carry your favorite Cycle Source issue, or your court file, if you’ll be standing in front of a judge.

5-Ball Leathers’ leather accents utilize Buffalo leather due to its excellent resistance to abrasion and wind. We honor those road warriors of the past with top-quality motorcycle gear.

We created a line of 5-Ball Jackets, vests and Jak Shirts for tough environments with industrial-strength construction. Whether you are heading to Sturgis or cross town in a rainstorm, our 5-Ball leather delivers comfort, security and good looks.

5-Ball Racing Gear Leathers Season Discount

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Need Help: Call 310 830-0630 or drop a line to Bandit@Bikernet.com

HOLIDAY SPECIALS! Most Prices Reduced!

Featured here – Women’s Racy Leather Hoodie Jacket

This is an amazing collaboration with Deb and Bartels’ H-D. It’s a tailored strong leather jacket made with soft hide and a black sweatshirt hoodie that zips to the liner or to itself. Or you can take the hoodie out.

The Racy Jacket has multiple pockets including two easy-to-reach gun pockets, perfect for cameras or cell phones. They even come with detachable gun Velcro holsters.

They also come with the 5-Ball exclusive media pocket in the back where you can stash your favorite magazine.

If you need help with sizing or have any questions drop a line to Bandit@Bikernet.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE 5-Ball Racing SHOP

5.50! Larry “Spiderman” McBride Smashes Motorcycle Record

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Larry “The Spiderman“ McBride is the most decorated Top Fuel Motorcycle racer ever with 19 championships to his credit and multiple records as well. This type of legacy is built on big moments and McBride just added another to his resume by breaking his own world record with a legendary pass in the 5.50s during the Man Cup Finals at South Georgia Motorsports Park.

Recently at the Manufacturers Cup MTC Engineering Nationals at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina McBride laid down a pavement-shredding 5.607 at 263.10 MPH to win the event. During that race, McBride reset the record multiple times before lighting the boards with the 5.607 lick. This level of performance was totally unheard of in the Top Fuel Motorcycle ranks and it made the numerous record-setting passes at one event even more impressive.

After the Rockingham event, people began to wonder if McBride could push his nitro-fed machine into the 5.50s at the Man Cup Finals. McBride wasted no time answering that question taking advantage of the near-perfect conditions to run a 5.507 at 264.96 MPH. This resets his own record by a tenth and tacked on some MPH for good measure. This new record might not ever be eclipsed unless McBride does it himself again on his way to a 20th Top Fuel Motorcycle title.

Does Indian Motorcycle Have a Harley-Davidson Problem?

By | General Posts

by Rich Duprey from https://www.fool.com/

Sales remained aloft longer than its rival, but now even its sales are falling.

As much as falling motorcycle sales at Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) have been attributed to its core customer aging out of the market while the next generation of riders seems uninterested in buying the big bikes it produces, Indian Motorcycle sidestepped most of the same pitfalls even though it produces many of the same kinds of motorcycles as Harley does.

Since being resurrected from bankruptcy by Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII) and returned to the market in 2014, Indian has been a steady performer with retail sales often rising in the double-digit percentages. That has allowed it to steal market share from Harley, whose sales often contracted at similar percentages.

Yet with Polaris’ third-quarter earnings report released last month, investors may have to accept that Indian Motorcycle now has its own Harley-Davidson problem.

A worsening sales decline
Polaris Industries is not transparent at all when it comes to telling you how its motorcycle business is performing. Where Harley breaks down sales and shipments by geographic region and type of motorcycle, Polaris provides vague percentage increases or declines, maybe calling out a model once in a while, but never giving investors any real insight into how Indian’s various motorcycles are performing.

What we do know is that despite double- and even triple-digit sales growth early on, Indian Motorcycle sales are now quickly spiraling down. Even as Polaris obscures the actual numbers, a mid-teen-percentage decline in retail sales that far eclipses the contraction of the broader motorcycle market suggests that this is becoming a big problem for the bike maker.

Worse, the downdraft is accelerating. In the second quarter, Polaris said Indian retail sales were down by almost 10%, while in the first quarter they were down by high single-digit rates. In last year’s fourth quarter they were down by low double-digit amounts, which was a big drop since they had been positive the quarter before.

That doesn’t bode well for when Polaris reports results the next time around. Even though the bar has been lowered considerably on sales, there’s no reason to think it will be able to rebound — precisely because Indian is still making the same kinds of heavy, big-bore bikes as Harley.

It just released its newest touring motorcycle, the 2020 Challenger, that houses its bigger, more muscular liquid-cooled PowerPlus engine that evokes images of Harley’s Road Glide.

Looking to reverse direction
Certainly both bike makers are hoping to change the equation. Harley has gone all-in on electric motorcycles — a field Polaris rejects, saying they’re unprofitable — along with two new styles it recently unveiled that represent a big change for the bike maker: the Bronx streetfighter and the Pan America adventure bike. They’re smaller, lighter, and meant for a different kind of riding than typified by Harley’s cruisers.

Polaris has also introduced a new bike, the FTR 1200, which was inspired by its racing team’s success on the flat-track circuit. While many enthusiasts had hoped for a street version of the FTR 750 that was tearing up the track, Polaris came out with a somewhat bigger, more powerful bike that it also hopes changes the conversation about its products.

But the introduction of the FTR 1200 was flawed in several respects. Polaris was late to market with the bike, so it missed a good part of the sales season, and then misjudged demand for the different models, believing more buyers would want the base model when in reality there was higher demand for the race replica version.

The new model helped lift international sales in the quarter, but it may be a while before we see any impact here at home. Motorcycle sales typically dry up during the winter months, and it’s still unknown what kind of demand will be there come the spring.

The outlook isn’t bright for biking
Polaris Industries, unlike Harley, is more than just a motorcycle maker. It also makes side-by-side recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, utility vehicles, and more recently boats. They help the powersports vehicle maker smooth out sales over the year. And motorcycles only account for 9% of total revenue.

Yet with motorcycle sales deepening even further into the red, Indian is mimicking the worst aspects of its rival at just the wrong time, and its problem could only get worse.

Ducati partners with Lenovo for designing superbikes

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The bike manufacturer will use a Lenovo high-performance computing cluster that will help the company to drive rapid innovation.

Ducati Motor Holding has joined hands with Lenovo for the design of its superbikes.

The bike manufacturer will use a Lenovo high-performance computing cluster that will help the company to drive rapid innovation.

As the brand says, it is continually looking for innovative ways to make its vehicles faster, safer and even more attractive.

Konstantin Kostenarov, Chief Technology Officer at Ducati, said, “Our HPC environment is the engine that drives the development and design of our road and racing bikes.”

He also added, “We use advanced aerodynamic and fluid dynamic modelling tools to calculate how a particular design or bike feature will react in different riding conditions. We don’t just do this for the superbikes that we sponsor on the racecourse, but for our road models too, so all bikers that choose Ducati enjoy an exceptional riding experience.”

Previously, Ducati used its own HPC infrastructure for the design process, but recently, it found that is no longer delivering the performance, reliability or flexibility which is needed in order to test new designs within tight deadlines. Hence, Ducati decided to use Lenovo’s HPC infrastructure.

Stefano Rendina, IT Manager at Ducati, said, “Previously, we had to transfer the results of our models and stress tests from the HPC environment and then use an entirely different workstation to transform this data into easy-to-understand visualizations. The process of transferring data in this way was both time-intensive and expensive—slowing down research and development.”

News Source https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com