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Robson Riders Motorcycle Club: Members, Warm Your Engines!

By | General Posts

The winter riding season is filled with time-passing activities such as cleaning, polishing, tinkering, adding new farkle, map reading, route planning, and some occasional riding. In late February the weather allows us more limited access to the road, so sometimes we use our time to hone our skills.

Club President Mike Conley conducted a second training on the installation and use of the Sena 30 Bluetooth communication module on Feb. 19. While we have several modes of motorcycle-to-motorcycle communication (CB radio, cell phone, hand signals), the mesh capability of the Sena 30 is best suited for a group of riders going down the road spread over a distance of almost a mile.

Twenty-seven members attended the Quarterly Meeting and Social on Thursday, Feb. 20. The event is getting so popular that we are beginning to outgrow the Board Room at the Grill. Once again, we enjoyed great fellowship and the sumptuous hamburger buffet. We owe a debt of gratitude to our board members, but a big nod goes to Mike Conley for the great presentations at the socials. The information, pictures, and overall good synthesis of the material in an enjoyable format make for a great session.

Itching to get back on the road after a string of cold and wet weather, the club held a lunch ride to Nocona, Texas on Monday, Feb. 24. Cruising north central Texas is wonderful because of the great roads, homey destinations, and great places to eat. Nocona is always popular. The Horton Classic Car Museum is worth the trip by itself. It is quickly becoming the “Classic Car Capital of Texas” with over 120 classic cars in its collection.

The museum is housed in what once was the town’s Ford dealership. Over 120 cars are contained in the collection, which largely focuses on American vintage, classic, and muscle cars. Over 40 Corvettes are part of the collection, featuring nearly every year of production between 1953 and 1978. Different models of Chevrolets, Fords, Pontiacs, Packards, Plymouths, Oldsmobiles, and even a Studebaker are featured in the collection, which is always changing and growing. Riders included Steve Haugen, Steve Wiley, Jim Sico, Martin Munoz, Bill Culhane, L.T. Bryant, Mike Conley and Steve Williams. Despite 30 to 35 mph wind gusts it was a beautiful ride. As many of the restaurants in the area are closed on Mondays, the gang ate Texas style by going to the Dairy Queen in Nocona.

See you on the road!

Beware of cagers and keep the rubber side down.

Daytona Bike Week 79th Anniversary!

By | General Posts

March 6-15, 2020

Daytona Bike Week, the world’s largest motorcycle event, is celebrating 79 years in 2020!

It’s an event you won’t want to miss. This year’s 10-day event proves it’s high-octane with street festivals, concerts, motorcycle races, bike shows, rallies, manufacturer showcases and more. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world enjoy spring riding in Daytona Beach along historic Main Street to Midtown, Scenic A1A Highway and through the best of old Florida, the Ormond Beach Scenic Loop. The celebration continues at Daytona International Speedway, Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona, and the U.S. 1 corridors in Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach.

Looking for a place to stay? Book your hotel now.

Get even more excited and watch this video! OfficialBikeWeek.com for event information including parking.

Watch video: Enjoy 10 days of high-octane street festivals, concerts, motorcycle races, bike shows, rallies, manufacturer showcases, and more.

 

Monocle motorcycle racing series heads to Aldo Scribante

By | General Posts

Aldo Scribante will be the scene for some exciting motorcycle action when the Monocle Series of Motorcycle Magic heads to the Bay this weekend.

Featuring several racing classes, the event is suited to motorcycle enthusiasts of all ages, skill levels as well as bike manufacturers.

The event, which is the second of an eight-round series hosted around the country, hopes to attract a similar field to that of the opening round at Redstar Raceway in Mpumalanga that drew more than 150 riders across the various classes.

One of the competing classes is the 300cc group aimed at young riders with a basic skill level and a love for track days, PE Classic Bike Racing’s Lucille Elliot said.

The 600cc and 1000cc classes will be open to all adrenaline junkies looking to test their limits on the tricky Scribante circuit.

The Classics class, which will feature bikes manufactured between 1975 and 1989, will welcome restored gems for lovers of the older machines.

The Battle of the Twins class will feature a host of Italian manufactured motorcycles and promises lots of horsepower.

The series was first established by a group of BOTTS riders who go by the name of Rebel Racing.

“They are all dedicated motorcycle enthusiasts who provide the opportunity for local motorcycle riders of all skill levels to come to the track and enjoy some racing,” Elliottt said.

“They pride themselves on providing a safe environment where people from all walks of life can enjoy racing in harmony,” she added.

Elliott encouraged track lovers from across the Bay to come out and support the event, be it in a racing or spectating capacity.

More information can be found on the event website www.motorcycleracingseries.co.za or on the Aldo Scribante Facebook page.

Eli Tomac Charges to Fourth in Atlanta

By | General Posts

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (March 1, 2020) – Round 9 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship made its way to Atlanta, Georgia, where Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac overcame a difficult main event, putting together a strong ride to come from behind to finish fourth and hold onto the red-plate.

Eli Tomac scored his first pole position of the season by setting a blistering time of 50.294 seconds marking the eighth time in nine races a Kawasaki rider has earned the pole position in the 450SX class.

As the gate dropped on the second heat race of the night it was the No. 3 KX™450 rocketing out the gate, grabbing the holeshot and checking out from the competition. Tomac crossed the finish line with an impressive nine-second lead to take the heat race win.

In the 450SX Main Event Tomac found himself buried off the start with his work cut out for him. As he began charging forward making his way up to seventh place, his progress was quickly halted when he and another rider came together, sending Tomac back to 15th place. Tomac began his charge forward, but a small mistake caused his bike to stall, a quick press of the electric start button on the handlebar minimized the damage and from there Tomac put together an amazing performance, riding from behind to narrowly miss the podium with a fourth-place finish. Tomac heads to Daytona tied in the lead for the 450SX championship point standings with Ken Roczen.

This weekend’s race in Atlanta marked the first time in Monster Energy Supercross history that a race would be held on leap day.

“The main event didn’t go as planned, but the good news is we live to fight another day and line back up next weekend at one of my favorite tracks, Daytona. There are still positives to take away from today; we were fastest qualifier, won our heat race, and we never gave up in the main event, and battled hard all the way to the very end to salvage as many points as possible. We are going to put this race behind us and be ready to rock next week in Daytona!” – Eli Tomac

This weekend marked Round 3 of the 250SX East Coast Championship, where Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Jordon Smith bounced back to score a top-5 finish and teammate Garrett Marchbanks not far behind in seventh.

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki powerhouse combo kicked off the day by Marchbanks qualifying in fourth and Smith in sixth.

The second 250SX heat race saw the No. 54 machine of Smith once again rocket his KX™250 out of the gate, and immediately challenging for the top position. Meanwhile, teammate Marchbanks found himself buried off the start and found himself in twelfth place at the end Lap 1. Marchbanks having his work cut out for him, began slicing and dicing his way past the competition on the tight and narrow track and was able to climb up to fifth place. Smith continued to jockey for position the entire race, and with two laps to go he pulled the trigger on making a pass stick for second place.

As the gate dropped for the 250SX Main Event, both Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders ripped out of the gate aboard their KX250 motorcycles in the top-5 where they would both spend the vast majority of the race battling for position. Marchbanks eventually would make a pass on his teammate Smith and began going after third place, however a mistake would send Marchbanks off course causing him to reaggravate an old injury. Marchbanks did everything he could to ride through the pain finishing in seventh place. Teammate Smith rode smart and consistent crossing the finish line in fourth place.

Marchbanks currently sits fourth in the 250SX East Championship point standings with Smith close behind in fifth place.

Indian Motorcycle Unveils 2020 FTR Rally – Now Available In North America

By | General Posts

INDIAN MOTORCYCLE’S NEW FTR RALLY COMBINES SCRAMBLER STYLING WITH MODERN PERFORMANCE

2020 FTR Rally Now Available in North America

MINNEAPOLIS (February 7, 2020) – Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, today announced the North American retail availability of the 2020 FTR Rally, a scrambler-inspired FTR 1200 that combines retro styling with modern performance capabilities. Launched internationally in Milan at EICMA in November 2019, the FTR Rally will begin shipping to Indian Motorcycle dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

With an urban scrambler aesthetic that’s certain to turn heads, the FTR Rally takes a step in a new direction while still maintaining some of the original styling DNA of the FTR 1200.  The FTR Rally features Titanium Smoke paint with the Indian Motorcycle headdress graphic, aluminium wire wheels with stainless steel spokes and a red pinstripe, brown aviator seat, a new rally windscreen and Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires.

“We’re excited to offer North American riders a new take on the FTR 1200 that combines the unmistakeable look and stance of the FTR with the more classic, rugged elements that have made scramblers so beloved to city riders,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle. “The FTR 1200 is as much about style and self-expression as it is about street-oriented performance, and the FTR Rally delivers that combination in a totally unique way.”

The FTR Rally combines responsive handling with upright ergonomics to create a commanding riding experience suitable for urban environments or backroad adventures. It’s equipped with cruise control, a USB fast charge port, and new ProTaper handlebars that are two inches higher for better comfort and handling. The FTR Rally also features an LED headlight and LED turn signals offering better visibility with minimal maintenance.

The 1203cc V-twin engine features a smooth power delivery with loads of low-end punch.  The engine produces 123 horsepower, 87 ft-lbs of torque, and features a flat torque curve to deliver a fun riding experience in all conditions. The engine is housed in a black trellis frame and the FTR Rally will continue to feature an inverted front suspension with radially mounted dual Brembo brakes for exceptional control and stopping power.

The 2020 FTR Rally is compatible with the entire range of 40+ accessories specifically developed for the FTR platform, giving riders the ability to customise combinations and maintain the independence they seek when purchasing an Indian Motorcycle.

Pricing for the FTR Rally will start at $13,499 MSRP. Riders can learn more by visiting their local Indian Motorcycle dealer. For more information on the 2020 FTR Rally, or to find the nearest dealer, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

These two SA female motorcycle racers defied the Dakar odds

By | General Posts

by Sean Parker from https://www.wheels24.co.za/

While many of us were enjoying a break over the festive period and new year, Kirsten Landman and Taye Perry began 2020 by competing in one of the world’s toughest sporting events: the Dakar Rally.

This year’s race took place in Saudi Arabia for the first time and competitors were faced with a route of 7900km. They traversed massive sands and rocky terrain and performed exceptionally well to finish the race.

Wheels24 reported earlier in January that Landman, a 28-year-old from Durban, completed the two-week-long race in an excellent 55th-place overall, while Perry (29) came home in 77th place.

They performed incredibly well over the twelve days on the bikes and the reality of how dangerous the Dakar came to light when Portuguese rider Paulo Gonçalves died after crashing in the seventh stage of the race, the first casualty since 2015.

“I was very nervous, one of the officials came to me and said this is the point of no return. Once you go over this (starting) podium it’s over. It’s the beginning, but it’s over,” says Perry in an interview on Carte Blanche.

Landman, whose love for motorbike racing started at 10-years-old, said: “I grew up watching Dakars, and you see videos of riders crying because they are so physically exhausted they can’t get out of a section, it is so physically tough and draining.”

 

Comtech builds navigation platform for Indian Motorcycle’s Ride Command System

By | General Posts

Comtech Telecommunications has announced its Location Technologies group has teamed up with Indian Motorcycle to build a motorcycle-specific navigation platform for its Ride Command system. Customized to enhance the Indian Motorcycle experience, the built-in navigation platform is designed to provide riders with continuous connectivity. In addition to turn-by-turn directions, riders will be able to access real-time access to special routing options for locating the shortest, fastest and most scenic routes.

This includes waypoint routing that enhances the rider’s overall navigation experience by adding up to 100 stops, or special points-of-interest, as well as real-time traffic and weather overlays. Comtech’s navigation platform also features Doppler weather radar information. These navigation features are coupled with maps available onboard and offboard, as riders ride through areas where cellular connectivity is limited.

Using its Location Studio platform, Comtech provided navigation and mapping leveraging an open ecosystem to customize Ride Command. In addition to specialized routing, Ride Command includes an intuitive search system and can support geographical data from multiple countries and 11 different language capabilities with a plan to expand in the future. The Ride Command system is included with various Indian Motorcycle models.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes for January 2020

By | General Posts

From Helmet Laws to the Freedom to Race
By Bill Bish, NCOM

  • ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS URGED TO SUPPORT FEDERAL ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE
  • RPM ACT TO PROTECT RACING HAS BEEN REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
  • CONGRESS EXTENDS TAX CREDITS FOR ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES
  • HELMET REPEAL EFFORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
  • NEW DRIVER ACCOUNTABILITY LAW IN OREGON
  • WASHINGTON STATE ENDEAVORS TO MAKE ROADS SAFER
  • MOTORCYCLE MARKET TRENDS
  • HONDA PATENTS VERTICAL AIRBAG FOR MOTORCYCLES

CLICK HERE TO READ THE Newsbytes

The Cross Country Chase

By | General Posts

Kicking off from the Canadian border and motoring towards the Florida Keys, riders on the Chase lit out on their eight-state odyssey just as the weather witch turned the thermostat down and set to soaking the scenery for exactly half of the group’s 2,368-mile route. If you were betting that crappy weather would dampen the doings, however, you’d be dead wrong. Nothing diminished the heightened anticipation of this inaugural run as enthusiastic riders from 28 states layered on weather gear and set their sights on the warm sun and sandy beaches of Florida.

The exhilaration of the gathering for the group photo along Saint Mary’s River extended to the next day’s gloomy send off from Sault Ste. Marie in the early morning of September 6. Riders headed off into the predawn darkness along Michigan’s rain-soaked roads and, ironically, crossed the fog-enshrouded Mackinac Bridge just as 1,500 antique tractors were crossing the five-mile long Mighty Mac. Coming from the opposite direction, the annual trek of the tractors seemed perfectly timed to accent the Chase crossing. Adding an air of excitement as the motorcyclists passed the tractors, riders simultaneously checked out the tractors while eyeing the steel grate of the bridge into the frigid white-capped waters of Lake Huron below. The unrelenting drizzle kept riders soggy until a welcomed break lasting just long enough to enjoy a nice lunch hosted at the Hagerty Insurance headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan, which was followed closely by the group’s first pop quiz.

Studious riders stood with clipboards, pondering the 10-question, multiple-choice test that was based partly on motorcycle history and partly on scenery along the miles they had just ridden. This exact scenario would play out every day for the duration of the run and would be a general point of consternation for the group. Many feigned test anxiety, but some discovered that the questions served to heighten the awareness of their surroundings during the ride. Either way, testing was the hot topic that evening as pilots discussed the day and readied their machines for the next lap, which included a ride on the historic S.S. Badger.

Dawn broke as riders rolled onto the last functioning coal-fired steam ferry in the world. In service since 1953, the Badger shuttled riders and machines for 62 miles across Lake Michigan. The ship is a moving bit of nautical antiquity and even has an onboard museum, which served to keep anxious Chase riders entertained during the four-hour voyage before docking in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The group would end their day with dinner and a bike show at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee where rider #72, Larry Luce, barely managed to roll into the parking lot before the tire on his 1938 Velocette KSS went completely flat. Luce spent his time before dinner making repairs as a celebration played out across the museum campus. Between the rolling museum of Cross Country Chase bikes displayed outside and the Harley-Davidson exhibit inside, visitors to the museum were well steeped in historic motorcycles of all marques, though some were already starting to show exhaustion. As Stage 3 was flagged off the next morning, James Malone, #05 and Don Gilmore, #22 would both have left the run.

It would be Stage 4, the longest day of the run with 315 miles, before riders would peel off wet weather gear in exchange for the oppressive heat of the south. As the weather leapt into the triple digits, both man and machine began to wear down and one rider was sent home to recuperate from exposure to the heat as CCC staff nurse, Vicki Sanfelipo, was kept busy tending to the group’s health. By the time riders rolled into Harley-Davidson of Bowling Green, Kentucky, one rider’s saddlebag had caught fire and another’s engine shot flames as he tried to kick start his tired machine. It was easily extinguished and Matt Miller, #46, rode his 1947 H-D U off to prepare for the next day’s adventure. One rider crashed and was sent to the hospital for minor wounds, though Mike Bruso and his wife, #42, would rejoin the CCC at the finish line each night.

Scoring was a combination of mileage and testing totals, offset by certain handicaps afforded for things like age of an entry. The varying range of test scores meant the leader board was subject to change on a daily basis, though rider #99, Todd Cameron, took the lead from day one and held the position to the end. Todd’s rare 1930 BSA Sloper was the oldest British bike entered, but not the smallest. That distinction was shared by two bikes: #90, Paul Warrenfelt’s 1935 Triumph as well as #62, Scott Funk’s BSA, both with 250 cc.

There were three categories for Chase machines and each bike was inspected for compliance. Class I motorcycles had the smallest engines and, if successful in getting all the miles, were the most likely to win the race that offered legendary-status bragging rights along with a $7,500 purse. Class I consisted of motorcycles with a displacement of 500cc or less and were required to maintain 45 mph on a straight flat road. Class II were machines with a displacement of 501cc to 1000 cc that could maintain 50 mph on a straight flat road and Class III machines had a displacement of 1001 cc or more that managed 55 mph on a straight flat road. The list of marques consisted of 44 Harley-Davidsons, 15 Indians, three BSAs, three Triumphs and one each of Velocette, Nimbus, Norton and Zundapp. But by September 12, with three days left in the competition, 10 riders had dropped out. The drop list included only one Brit, Scott Funk’s BSA. Scott respectfully chose to withdraw rather than to abuse the old girl once he heard a suspicious lower end clatter.

A total of three women riders signed on for the Chase and all three, Cris Sommer-Simmons, Andrea Labarbara, and Jody Perewitz, arrived to cross the finish line at Mallory Square in Key West with solid numbers. There were three sidecar teams that also included women, two of which saw the checkered flag in Key West. Entrants included teams of brothers, brothers-in-laws and married couples and became a gathering of riders with heart who shared their passion for the sport of motorcycling in a very personal way. By the time the gaggle of riders had navigated their way across the country, most everyone was a family bound by the collective goal of seeing their friends finish the ride beside them.

Some modifications were allowed on the bikes, typically such things as upgraded headlamp, brakes, and fuel capacity. GPS was not allowed, but the addition of a speedometer/odometer in order to maintain accurate mileage was permitted since the route sheets handed out before each morning’s ride were quite complex. One missed turn would serve to knock a rider out of the scoring if he or she came in late.

The well-planned route included a heart-pounding trip over the old Wabash Cannonball Bridge on the Illinois and Indiana borders, cruising the gently rolling hills of Kentucky, a visit to Coker Tires and a train station converted into a hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before they had the honor of sharing dinner with the 98-year-old owner of Harley-Davidson of Macon, Georgia. Grover Sassaman and his family invited the Chase to an elegant spaghetti dinner at the family-owned dealership and riders were delighted when the personable and cheerful Grover offered sage advice and wrenching tips on the gathered bikes. He picked out rider #61, Robert Zeolla’s, 1939 H-D EL as what he considered the most original of the Harleys in the group and posed with the bike for photographer Michael Lichter. Lichter had set up temporary studios all along the route to capture the CCC moments and the Sassamans took advantage of the opportunity to sit for a family portrait.

Riders made a stop in front of the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S. Buoy before promoters Jason and LeeAnn Sims waved the group in with the checkered flag against the bright blue waters surrounding Key West’s Mallory Square. As a last-minute panic, rider #18, Willie Earhart, had a mechanical moment when his 1948 Harley died at the finish line with the minutes ticking down on the final clock. As the gathered crowd reached an exhilarated frenzy, Jason came close and shouted words of encouragement as Willie kicked for all he was worth in the blazing afternoon sun. Finally, after several tense minutes, the engine sputtered and came to life as the crowd screamed in elation. Everyone cheered as Willie pulled onto the pier and, with great relief, dropped his kickstand next to the rest of the overheated Chase machines. Later that evening as the sun set over fans, friends and family that gathered on the beach to watch as awards were presented, there was a collective sense of pride for a journey well done mixed with an air of melancholy as the group realized the magic of the ride had come to an end. And the obvious question was… will there be another Cross Country Chase? Stay tuned race fans… there’s more news to come!

JOIN THE CROSS COUNTRY CHASE 2020 – https://www.scooterscribes.news/the-cross-country-chase/

AI-Driven Electric Motorcycle Shows Self-Driving Tech Is About More Than Autonomous Driving

By | General Posts

by John Koetsier from https://www.forbes.com/

Damon Motorcycles unveiled its new electric motorcycle today at CES in Las Vegas, calling it “the world’s smartest, safest and most powerful electric motorcycle.”

My first thought: it can’t be both the most powerful and the safest.

Then I kept reading.

And I started believing it might be possible.

First off: the power. The Damon Hypersport has “over 200” horsepower, which is a lot for a motorcycle. But even more impressively, it delivers 200nm of torque at zero RPMs … the classic electric vehicle advantage. (Although how RPM means something in an electric motor is a mystery to me.) Thanks to that power, the bike has a top speed of 200 miles/hour.

Which, by the way, doesn’t sound very safe.

But the safety features are impressive.

As you’d expect in a motorcycle, they’re not about crumple zones or air bags.

Instead, they’re about intelligence. Specifically, predictive intelligence: what’s around me, where is it going and what do I need to avoid? The Hypersport will track the speed, direction and acceleration of up to 64 moving objects around the bike, Damon says.

Damon calls it the “CoPilot 360º advanced warning system.” CoPilot 360 uses cameras, radar and “other sensors” to know what’s around and alert riders to threats, the company says.

“We spent the last three years developing an AI-powered, fully connected, e-motorcycle platform that incorporates CoPilot, our proprietary 360º warning system … Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycles on the market.”
– Jay Giraud, co-founder and CEO, Damon Motorcycles

That’s not just about what’s ahead of you. The system “looks around corners,” although I’m sure it’s not bending any laws of physics, and keeps an “eye” on the rear to see what might be coming from behind.

And, it will learn your driving habits and adjust accordingly, using onboard artificial intelligence.

“We prioritized data-driven thinking at the epicenter of the company, employing radical innovations in sensor fusion, robotics and AI,” Dom Kwong, the co-founder and CTO of Damon Motorcycles, said in a statement. “This level of deep learning and connectivity are unprecedented, ensuring each rider a smarter, safer and connected ride; not only for individuals but for entire communities, with the goal to reduce incidents worldwide.”

To connect riders and power the bike’s AI and other advanced features, it includes 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Of course, there are two big questions:

One: will riders actually be safer with warnings about oncoming objects, or will they prioritize what they see on the screen versus watching the road? Will a flood of alerts distract them or make them safer?

And secondly: with software, the devil’s in the details. Few transportation companies that aren’t named Tesla do it well. Will this startup be able to ship these advanced technologies in a usable, friendly and safe way?

Damon says yes, citing the foundation of their software:

“By building it on BlackBerry’s best-in-class technology that is safety certified, Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycles on the market,” says CEO Giraud.

That’s BlackBerry QNX, which is built by the former mobile giant, now re-focused on software solutions.

Ultimately, we’ll know when the bike ships.

The Hypersport is available for pre-order now on the Damon website. Pricing begins at $24,995 before any applicable EV tax credits.

And the range? 200 miles on the highway, 300 miles in the city, according to the company.