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Harley’s electric motorcycle division to go public via $1.7 billion SPAC deal

By General Posts

from https://www.cnbc.com/

Key Points :

  • Harley-Davidson’s electric-motorcycle division will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal valued at $1.77 billion, the company said on Monday.
  • The company launched LiveWire earlier this year, hoping to claw back lost market share as its core baby boomer customer base grows older and interest in motorcycling as a recreational activity fades.
  • Harley-Davidson will retain a 74% stake in the company, which is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW.”

Harley-Davidson’s electric-motorcycle division will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal valued at $1.77 billion, the company said on Monday, as the 118-year old brand bets on younger customers to boost volumes.

The company launched LiveWire earlier this year, hoping to claw back lost market share as its core baby boomer customer base grows older and interest in motorcycling as a recreational activity fades.

A broader awareness about climate change is also paving the way for automakers to lean towards greener vehicles. Valuations have gained as money managers are also increasingly factoring in ESG policies in their investments.

Harley is the latest to cash in on an uptick in valuations of electric-vehicle makers. Last month, Amazon-backed EV maker Rivian shot past $100 billion in valuation in its market debut, surpassing Ford and General Motors.

“If anything this underlines what we’ve been saying for a long time. Detroit, wake up! The train has left the station! EVs are inevitable,” Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin said.

“Many traditional OEMs (Original equipment manufacturers) with emerging EV businesses can obviously do similar spinoff transactions,” Irwin added.

Harley’s shares rose 11.3% in premarket trading, while those of AEA-Bridges were up 3.4%.

Jochen Zeitz, Harley’s chief executive, will be the chairman of LiveWire for up to two years following the completion of the deal. In an investor presentation, LiveWire projected units sales volume of 100,961 electric bikes by 2026.

Harley-Davidson will retain a 74% stake in the company, which is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW.” ABIC’s shareholders will own about 17%.

Motorcycle Live: Inside the UK’s biggest motorcycle show

By General Posts

from https://www.standard.co.uk/ by David Williams

It’s that time of year bikers dread – the days are shorter and the weather is colder and wetter, forcing fair-weather riders to leave their bikes parked at the roadside. Which means it’s time to head to Birmingham by train for Motorcycle Live, to see what they’ll be riding (and wearing) next year, when it all improves again.

The UK’s biggest bike show rolls Birmingham’s NEC from Saturday December 4 to Sunday December 12, revealing dozens of new motorcycles, even presenting show-goers with the chance to try some of them out.

More than 55 leading motorcycle manufacturers are showing off their latest machinery, and attendants are being encouraged to try them for size. New metal being revealed includes the Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT, the Triumph Tiger Sport 660, the Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak and the Husqvarna Norden 901.

Kawasaki will be showing off its new Z650RS, while other new bikes include the CFMoto 700CL-X and the Honda NT1100. Show-goers also get to see the British-built Langen Two Stroke, as well as the Norton V4SV, while BMW will have its futuristic-looking CE04 electric scooter on show.

Celebrating the future of motorcycling with electric technology is also high on the show’s agenda, with the brand-new Electric Test Ride Zone giving consumers an opportunity to try out a range of battery-powered models on a special indoor track.

This feature will give riders a feel for the instant power and responsiveness typical of an electric motorcycle – all without any emissions. Electrically-assisted bicycles – e-bikes – will also be available for show-goes to try out.

Elsewhere at Birmingham’s sprawling NEC there will be custom and classic bike zones, while race fans will be able to meet their track heroes, as stars from WorldSBK, British Superbike and road racing make guest appearances across the nine days.

Visitors can also watch Moto Trails, featuring the jaw-dropping skills of pro trail riders Jack Price, former World Trails 2 Champion and seven-time British Champion, and Michael Brown, European and multiple British Trials Champion, with show times throughout the day.

Honda will be paying homage to the original 1992 Fireblade by displaying a range of heritage models from across the years, while rival firm Suzuki is displaying all seven of its world championship-winning Grand Prix machines, including the GSX-RR of 2020 title-winner Joan Mir and Barry Sheene’s 1976 and 1977 500s.

Harley-Davidson will be showcasing its ‘Sportster Evolution Galley’, tracing the development of its 64-year-old Sportster range, while ‘bikers’ aged 1.5 to five years can try their skills at the Kiddimoto Balance Bike Experience, on an inflatable course.

Riders aged between four and twelve will be able to get kitted out in motocross clothing, gloves and a helmet – and be unleashed on a circuit designed to give a taste of the motocross experience, for novices and more experienced riders alike.

‘Experience Adventure’, supported by Honda, Royal Enfield and Triumph, will allow participants to enjoy a taste of off-road adventure riding, which will include tuition on bike set-up, body positioning and balance across an assortment of terrains.

For those wanting to break into motorcycling, meanwhile, every day during the show the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) will be offering free 20-minute riding lessons with a professional instructor, all protective clothing provided. Participants will be introduced to the brakes, gears and slow speed handling, giving visitors the chance to see if a life on two wheels is for them.

Who knows; maybe next year they’ll be riding to the show at the NEC too.

More information at: www.motorcyclelive.co.uk/features/category/ride-bikes/

Chix on 66 Teams Up with WomenRidersNow.com

By General Posts

December 2, 2021—The Riveter Chapter of the AMCA (Antique Motorcycle Club of America) proudly announces that leading motorcycle publication WomenRidersNow.com (WRN) has been named Premier Media Partner for the “Chix on 66” event June 11-25, 2022. This partnership will enable extensive media coverage for the ride, bringing the excitement of this amazing cross-country journey to WRN readers worldwide.

WomenRidersNow.com editor Tricia Szulewski will be joining the ride, providing day-to-day social media updates as well as pre- and post-event coverage. Tricia is a veteran moto-journalist who has worked with some of the top motorcycle magazines in the U.S.

Chix on 66 is a cross-country ride that follows Route 66 from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. This is the classic American journey on classic machines, with some women riding vintage motorcycles, and others making the trip on modern mounts. Each day the group will begin and end together, but each woman will make the journey what she wants it to be. Instead of riding in a single pack, a turn-by-turn app will allow each rider to follow the route at her own pace.

Riveter Chapter President Karan Andrea says, “When I first started riding—actually, even before I got my endorsement—I subscribed to the WRN newsletter. That was the first suggestion that there were, indeed, other women who rode, because I did not know any. To be able to introduce WomenRidersNow.com as our premier media partner, all these years after I first subscribed to its newsletter, is a great honor. I am looking forward to working with WRN to create an inspiring and powerful experience for the women who join us for Chix on 66.”

WomenRidersNow.com is the #1 (number one) resource for motorcycling news and reviews from a female perspective. WRN is a web magazine and its content is available to read online for free. The publication shares the latest in motorcycles, gear, products, and articles specifically for women riders and those who ride with them.

WomenRidersNow.com editor Tricia Szulewski, comments, “Women’s motorcycle events like the Chix on 66 ride create special opportunities to form lasting bonds with other women riders and those who support them without judgement or intimidation. When women get together in like-minded groups they feel more comfortable about openly sharing their stories, issues, fears, and triumphs. This leads to more than just friendships. It paves the way for having more confidence and empowerment—from becoming a better rider, to being inspired to troubleshoot mechanical problems, or to simply make the decision to ride with or without a partner.”

She adds, “I’ve been fortunate to have ridden in many different parts of the country, but never the length of Route 66. When the opportunity to ride with a group of really cool chicks—many on vintage motorcycles—came along, I jumped at the chance! There is nothing like the feeling of riding into town and watching heads turn as everyone realizes it’s all women riding the motorcycles.”

WRN is excited to chronicle many of the participants’ stories before, during, and after the ride. Besides featuring daily Chix on 66 posts on its Facebook and Instagram channels, WRN will showcase many of the Riveters on its web site. Please sign up for WRN’s free monthly newsletter (womenridersnow.com/newsletter-signup) to stay informed.

www.chixon66.com @chixon66 @chixon66
www.womenridersnow.com @womenridersnow.com @womenridersnow.com

Proposed new regulations for Autocycles in Massachusetts

By General Posts

Proposed new regulations for 3-wheel autocycles

from https://www.bostonherald.com by Boston Herald Wire Services

Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.

An autocycle is a three-wheeled motor vehicle that meets federal safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passengers. The driver and passengers are not required to straddle the vehicle like a motorcycle.

One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles including requiring the driver and passengers to wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts which must be worn by drivers and passengers, and barring children under eight from riding in one.

Anyone who operates an autocycle without wearing a safety helmet or safety belts would face a fine of no less than $25 under the bill.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Weigh New Regulations for Autocycles

from https://www.nbcboston.com by The Associated Press

An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle

Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts state lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.

An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passenger.

One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles. Those include requiring the driver and passengers wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts and barring children under eight from riding in an autocycle.

Yamaha TMax 560cc Scooter for 2022 unveiled

By General Posts

2022 Yamaha TMax comes with updated ergonomics and features
from https://www.rushlane.com by Arun Prakash

Yamaha has taken the covers off from the upcoming 2022 TMax for European markets. The flagship Maxi scooter has received multiple updates in its current iteration over the outgoing model. The scooter is expected to go on sale in many European markets including UK at the start of next year.

TMax has been an immensely successful scooter in Europe since it was first launched in 2001 and has been the best-selling sports scooter in the past two decades. The 2022 model comes equipped with a range of new features as well as updated aesthetics that make it more appealing than before.

Features on offer
In terms of features, 2022 TMax gets a new 7-inch full-colour TFT instrument console enabled with full smartphone connectivity and in-built navigation with Garmin maps connectivity via Bluetooth, Wifi and USB. All these could be controlled through a joystick-like setup on the left handlebar.

Practical creature comforts on offer include heated handlebar grips, heated seats, cruise control, electrically adjustable windshield, and backlit handlebar switches. Other amenities such as traction control, keyless start with Smartkey remote, remote opening fuel cap and seat and multiple ride modes are also included in the package. However, most of these techs are available in the top-spec Tech Max trim.

Powertrain, Hardware Specs
Powertrain of TMax hasn’t been changed with the same 560cc two-cylinder DOHC engine propelling the latest iteration. This motor cranks out 47.6 bhp at 7,500rpm and 55.7 Nm of torque at 5,250rpm with power going to the rear wheel via an automatic transmission and belt drive. That said, there are some tweaks made to the scooter’s hardware configurations.

Suspension setup comprises new 41mm USD forks upfront and a single rear shock which offers a better front-end feel and damping at the rear. Braking duties are handled by dual 262mm front discs and a 282mm rear disc which are complemented by a dual-channel ABS.

Updated Styling
In its latest avatar, TMax has been updated with a sportier and more aggressive styling inspired by supersport motorcycles. It gets restyled twin LED headlamps and a larger windscreen mounted on top of the front apron. The front apron also features a large air intake scoop which gives the face of the scooter a beak-like appearance. The panels are new with a more compact body on offer.

The single-piece seat with a raised tail section features lumbar support for the rider for additional comfort during long journeys. The new TMax sits on a lighter aluminium chassis which should feel easier to manoeuver and handle around corners. A sporty riding posture has been attained with a slightly forward-leaning position by adjusting all points of the ‘rider triangle’.

Yamaha is offering the Maxi scooter in two derivatives- TMax and TMax Tech Max. The former will be offered with three colour options namely Extreme Yellow, Icon Blue and Sword Grey. The latter, on the other hand, will be reserved for UK markets only and will be available in two shades- Dark Petrol and Power Grey. The yellow-coloured alloys and rims also add to the visual appeal of the scooter.

 

Crazy Affordable Honda Navi wrapped in miniMoto package Coming to the U.S.

By General Posts

from https://www.autoevolution.com  by Florina Spînu

Honda is finally bringing the Navi to the U.S.! Adding to the miniMoto family for 2022, the machine combines the looks of a motorcycle with scooter features. Given its compact size, it makes up for a sporty and fun commuter that’s easy to maneuver around the city.

Flaunting miniMoto aesthetics, the Navi is somewhat a cross between Honda’s Ruckus and Grom. It features a low 30-inch seat height that allows most riders to touch the ground with their feet and effortlessly hop on the ride. Not only that, but it’s easy to find a parking spot or handle it through the concrete urban jungle.

The bike weighs 236 lbs (104 kgs), including all of its standard equipment and a full tank of fuel, so it’s a light machine that can be transported on an RV bumper rack. It even has a storage unit that is big enough to carry a backpack, a jacket, or a laptop.

The bike is equipped with a 109cc air-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder, and it has scooter-like features that set it apart from other members of the miniMOTO family, such as a CVT transmission. That means no clutch, no shifting, no neutral or park. All the riders have to do is hop on, turn the key, press a button and start Navi-gating (pun intended).

Those who want to get a taste of what this bike feels like will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with it this weekend at the IMS Outdoors motorcycle show in Costa Mesa, California. The Navi is set to hit the U.S. showrooms in January (February for California) next year. The bike will be available in four colors: Red, Grasshopper Green, Nut Brown, and Ranger Green. What’s more, it is offered at a crazy affordable price of $1,807.

According to Honda, another five on-road models for 2022 will make a comeback: the Gold Wing tourer and NC750X adventure tourer, the Rebel 1100 and Fury cruisers, and the CBR600RR sportbike. Most of them will be available in multiple trim levels and will sport a fresh set of paint.

Airlite Lowers – form & function & durable

By General Posts

Soft Lower Leg Warmers? It’s not the ’80s anymore
Story & Photos by Koz Mraz
https://www.kozmoto.com/

Engine Guard Lowers, Engine Chaps, Rain Guards, Soft Farings…Leg Warmers? Whatever you want to call those things that go on engine guards to stop the rain, cold air, wind, and flapping pant legs from sanding the hair off your calves.

Sometimes you want the airflow, sometimes you don’t. There are a plethora of options and they all come in two parts, left side, right side, just like those 80’s leg warmers—except one. Airlite’s one-piece, full cover soft lowers can be installed and removed quickly.

There are many reasons riders need soft lowers. They cut down the cold wind and rain, keeping boots and legs dry. They can extend your riding season so you can cruise earlier – cruise later – cruise longer – cruise safer.

Because of its one-piece design, Airlite claims that air is captured, screened, and directed exactly where it belongs; into the radiator and/or cooling fins. They also claim that wind buffeting around your upper body is reduced. They’re efficient and form-fitting in the highway bar cover with no gaps, so there’s no cold and wet wind slapping onto the rider.

The soft lowers are constructed with vinyl used on car bras which means they can be in the sun and wind 24/7 and don’t harden and crack like upholstery vinyl. The soft woven fabric backing material makes it impossible to tear or rip.

The screen is made of a heavy-duty mesh for bug and rock chip protection. It’s the same material that dump trucks use to cover loads. Poly webbing that snugly surrounds the bars is also used in seat belts. Airlite uses the same nylon thread employed in aircraft upholstery and a computerized long arm sewing machine allows for topstitching.

With a background in aviation, owner Bob Morris has designed his soft lowers to be extremely durable and uses all U.S materials. These things seem indestructible and he claims to have never had a defective or damaged lower returned.

Optional storage pouches are available on one or both sides. As stated, fitment is a snap. There are in fact no snaps, clips, or zippers, just Velcro where you need it and it comes with a stowaway bag.

In the real world, Soft Lowers are leg warmers. The radiant engine heat reflecting off the back of the soft lowers creates warm air vortices noticeably increasing the ambient air temperature behind them.

The Airlite soft lowers look and function flawlessly. It’s easy to install, will stop the rain, bugs, and rocks and stows easily away when unused.

Airlite has a soft lower that’s specifically made for almost every bike and year.

Price Range: $94.95 to $126.95

https://www.airlite.ca/

Check out their website for choices and options.

Zakar Event Center Named Site of Vance & Hines Off-Road Proving Grounds

By General Posts

Zakar’s professionally built terrain park allows for product testing and demos

California City, CA – October 21, 2021 – The Zakar Event Center and Terrain Park, a subsidiary of RawHyde Adventures, has been named the site of the Vance & Hines Off-Road Proving Grounds (ORPG). As the aftermarket exhaust manufacturer continues to invest in the growing off-road and adventure motorcycle spaces, the ORPG will serve as the company’s private site for product development and testing.

Situated on 100 acres in the heart of the Mojave Desert, Zakar is an ideal location for the new ORPG, offering the Vance & Hines team immediate access to Zakar’s professionally-built terrain park as well as the area’s hundreds of miles of off-road trails.

“We are focused on bringing Vance & Hines exhilaration to all types of off-road riders. Our new proving grounds is an example of our commitment to create a steady flow of great products for off-road fans,” explained Vance & Hines President, Mike Kennedy.

The announcement came on the heels of the introduction of new Vance & Hines exhaust products designed for the adventure motorcycle segment.

“It is refreshing to see a company with the history and pedigree of Vance & Hines invest in the Adventure community,” remarked Jim Hyde, founder of RawHyde Adventures and Zakar Event Center. “ADV riders are all about performance, and to know that the new exhaust for the BMW R 1250 GS is just one of many products to come shows that Vance & Hines is committed to helping grow our space.”

To learn more about RawHyde’s new Zakar Event Center, visit www.zakar-events.com. For additional questions or to get a quote for your event, call (702) 209-8503.

About Zakar Event Center
Zakar, a RawHyde Adventures company, is an Overland Terrain Park and Event Center situated on 100 acres in the Mojave Desert, just two hours north of Los Angeles. In all of North America there is no place like Zakar, an off-road focused motorsports venue offering a full range of hospitality services as well as a professionally built terrain park for training, testing or product demonstrations.

For more information visit www.Zakar-Events.com.

First Ride Review of 2022 BMW R 18 B

By General Posts

by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

A Tour(ing) De Force – Conquering California’s coast with a Bavarian bagger.

BMW made no bones about moving in on the Harley-dominated cruiser market when it launched the R 18 in April, 2020. Drawing from the Motor Company’s Softail Slim, the Bavarians literally took a page out of Harley’s book to attract buyers. BMW then returned to the well in October, 2020, introducing the R 18 Classic. Equipped with leather bags and a large windshield, the variant shared more than a moniker with Harley’s Heritage Classic.

That first offensive wasn’t BMW’s endgame, however. To truly hit the Harley where it hurts, the company went after the Bar and Shield’s bread and butter: the grand touring segment. Released in July, 2021, the R 18 B added long-distance comfort and convenience to the platform’s repertoire. BMW did more than just slap on a full-size fairing and hard bags though. The House of Munich re-engineered the chassis to suit the cruiser’s new touring ambitions as well.

A 19-inch front wheel steps in for the R18’s 16-incher, the rake tightens to 27.3 degrees, and the wheelbase shrinks to 66.7 inches. That revised double-loop frame not only accommodates two-up touring but also lightened the standard model’s heavy steering. BMW addressed another common R 18 complaint when it increased the bagger’s rear suspension travel to 4.7 inches while adding position-dependent damping and hydraulically adjustable ride height.

The advanced technology doesn’t stop at the tail end though. The new front fairing houses the IMAX of all motorcycle displays, a 10.25-inch-wide, HD resolution (1920 x 720) TFT dash. On the left switchgear, BMW’s trademark WonderWheel makes its R 18 debut, allowing riders to scroll through the bike’s diagnostics, settings, and available navigation. The Marshall stereo system encourages users to jam out to local radio stations or Bluetooth-connected media while the optional radar-assisted adaptive cruise control outfits the R 18 B for the long haul.

Improved geometry and cutting-edge tech may lead BMW’s latest charge, but the Beemer still has to stand up to the class benchmark: the Harley-Davidson Street Glide. With that gold standard in mind, we set out for a 1,100-mile trip up the California coast to test whether the new BMW R 18 B is a checkmate in a brewing battle of the baggers.

On Tour
Despite all the changes that went into the R 18 B, the big-bore boxer remains unchanged. The air/liquid-cooled, 1,802cc opposed twin still produces 116 ft-lb of torque (at 3,000 rpm) and 91 horsepower (at 4,750 rpm). For that reason, the Beemer shines between 3,000 rpm and 4,000 rpm. Within that range, the bagger pulls like a freight train, but as the torque curve dives, the R 18 B’s direct throttle response trails off as well. Beyond the 4,000-rpm mark, the burly boxer still chugs up to its 5,500-rpm redline, but without all the gusto found in the mid-range.

Though the R 18 B idles at around 1,000 rpm, riders have to coax the 1.8-liter engine up to 2,000 rpm, or else it stutters and bogs away from the line. Lean fueling (due to modern emissions standards) may be the root of the issue, but riders can manage takeoffs with a conservative clutch hand and a liberal right wrist.

The narrow powerband may be a limiting factor, but the mid-range also dampens the boxer’s raucous vibrations. In the lower gears, the vibes are most prominent, buzzing through the bars and mini-floorboards. At highway speeds, however, the sensation is much more tolerable.

At 70 mph in sixth gear, the R 18 B lumbers along at a steady pace, though throttle pick up slightly lags. As a result, I regularly cruised at highway speeds in fifth gear to stay within the 3,000-4,000-rpm sweet spot, which yields the best passing power for emergency situations. While the power pulses and delivery presented challenges, the optional adaptive cruise control (ACC) smoothed out all the rough edges.

The Bosch-developed system operates similar to standard cruise control, but with a following distance button at the right switchgear, the rider remains in control of the semi-automated functions. Even in the closest setting, the three-second buffer between the BMW and the vehicle ahead leaves enough time for the evasive maneuvers. If that following distance is too close for comfort, two additional settings enable users to extend that cushion to a more cautious gap.

On the open road, ACC proved invaluable. Those familiar with motorcycle cruise control systems know that the technology not only covers ground in the most efficient manner but also provides much-needed rest for the rider’s right wrist. With ACC, on the other hand, the user is even freer to set it and forget it. Gliding down the road at 75 mph, I regularly let the system take me along for the ride while I added intermittent steering inputs. Even when a car cut into my lane, the R 18 B throttled down to a comfortable 65 mph in a matter of seconds to maintain my buffer zone.

In those situations, ACC kicked in immediately but not abruptly. I never felt like I (or the system) was out of control. Of course, pulling in the clutch or brake lever disengages the cruise control, but users can also override the system with extra throttle if they need to escape a hairy situation. The ACC is also quite intuitive, slowing to the set speed after a throttle burst or ramping up once the vehicle ahead switches lanes.

The system not only accurately distinguishes between cars in neighboring lanes, but if the fairing-integrated radar detects a vehicle ahead picking up speed, it proportionately adds throttle as well. In its category, BMW’s R 18 B is the first to adopt the Bosch-developed ACC and that gives the Bavarian bagger a definite edge in technology. However, there’s more to touring than gizmos and gadgets, and the R 18 B brings its own bag of tricks to the party.

Every Twist And Turn
While the standard R 18 favored a stance and style perfect for bar-hopping, BMW had to outfit the touring variant for cross-country travels. To make the handling more responsive, the firm steepened the bagger’s rake by more than five degrees. The 19-inch wheel may seem counterintuitive to those goals, but the R 18 B changes direction with the slightest input at the handlebars.

Shod in Bridgestone Battlecruise H50 tires, the larger front wheel and 49mm fork did a commendable job of communicating the differing road surfaces. From super slab interstates to gravel-strewn backroads to tar-snaked twisties, I always understood the bagger’s available grip. At lean, the front end was just as accurate, providing predictable feedback and response. However, it’s hard to shower the rear suspension with similar praise.

The R 18 B’s updated monoshock certainly improves on the standard model’s harsh rear end. With just 3.5 inches of travel, the original shock sent each bump and pothole straight through the rider’s back. To atone for that oversight, BMW jacked up the bagger’s back end to 4.7 inches of travel, delivering an ultra-plush ride. The Beemer practically negates all road irregularities as a result, smoothing out even the hardest hits. Unfortunately, the soft rear end and direct front fork don’t always get along.

At tip-in, the R 18 B is planted and predictable. Conversely, if the rider deviates from the original line or encounters mid-corner bumps, the rear wallows with a slight undulating action. As a result, the feel out back becomes vague and disconnected. If you select and stick to a line throughout the curve, the bike plows right through without so much as a wobble. Unfortunately, unforeseen adjustments quickly expose the buoyant back end. Of course, we don’t expect a bagger to hustle around corners, but a manually adjustable monoshock could go a long way to addressing the issue.

It’s a similar story with the brakes. The dual four-piston calipers and twin 300mm front discs provide enough stopping power in the end, but they don’t provide much in the way of initial bite or feel. For those that favor the front brake, BMW’s system distributes a portion of braking power to the single four-piston caliper and 300mm rotor out back as well. The linked brakes help shed speed more efficiently, but you can also feel the system borrowing braking power at the lever. That’s a disconcerting sensation when you’re descending a steep hill. Luckily, the rider aid only intrudes in select situations and heavy braking zones.

Comfy Confines
Even if the R 18 B’s bag of tricks is a mixed bag, the infotainment system draws from BMW’s industry-leading interface. Unlike the R 18’s stripped-down controls and throwback circular speedometer, BMW throws the kitchen sink at the bagger’s new fairing. Four analog gauges report remaining fuel, speed, rpm, and voltage while the 10.25-inch TFT boasts enough room for a dual-pane layout. Using’s BMW’s intuitive Wonder Wheel and menu button, the user can access trip data, local radio stations, smartphone media, navigation, and bike settings.

While the system puts endless options at the rider’s fingertips, navigating those options with the Wonder Wheel and menu button can become cumbersome. Accessing certain submenus requires punching the menu button while others involve a lateral press on the Wonder Wheel. With practice, your left thumb develops the muscle memory necessary for jumping through the folders quickly, but a simplified interface would also speed up the process. Additionally, the turn Wonder Wheel is located next to the turn signal switch, and I embarrassingly pushed the wrong control during many a left-lane change.

As for the infotainment system’s performance, the Marshall speakers deliver crisp, clear audio. With two fairing-mounted speakers and optional subwoofers in each bag, the sound literally envelopes the rider. During testing, the system worked seamlessly with Apple iOS devices but frequently encountered connectivity issues with Android smartphones. Upon connecting, the interface offered full operation of the phone’s media, but functionality would suffer after a second startup. Disconnecting and reconnecting the device restored full control to the rider, but I eventually switched to the radio to avoid the hassle.

The rest of the R 18 B’s cockpit prioritized comfort and convenience as well. With wide buckhorn bars sweeping back to the rider, the upright position suits long-distance road trips. The broad fork-mounted fairing mitigated buffeting but the short windshield left turbulent air dancing on the top of my helmet. A taller windscreen from BMW’s catalog will easily remedy that situation for taller riders, but anyone under five foot, eight inches will be just fine with the stock shield.

Further back, BMW raised the seat 1.1 inches over the standard model’s saddle to relax the bend at the rider’s knees and the adjustment worked. Due to the massive outboard cylinders, the bagger’s legroom hasn’t increased over the R 18, but the taller seat does help relieve stiff knees during long journeys. On the other hand, extra padding on the touring seat would have gone a long way as well, but my bony back end typically endured the 225 miles between fill-ups.

The features that I can’t praise enough are the heated seat and hand grips. During my travels, I hit spots of rain and heavy winds. The chill temperatures eventually receded by the afternoon, but the five-level heated accessories allowed me to maintain my mileage quota in relative comfort. The premium features made the long stints in the saddle more enjoyable than ever, but they all come at a price.

Bringing It Home
Starting at $21,495, the 2022 BMW R 18 B slightly undercuts the 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Glide’s MSRP ($21,999). However, BMW’s Premium Light Package (hill start assist, adaptive headlight, reverse assist, and Marshall subwoofers) tacks on $2,300. The Select Package (alarm system, locking fuel cap, heated seat, tire pressure monitor, and electric bag locks) adds another $1,275 to the price tag. Throw in Roland Sand Designs milled cylinder covers, an engine housing cover, a two-tone black wheelset, and Vance & Hines slip-ons, and the asking price swiftly approaches $30,000.

Many riders will opt for the base package, but a fair share will also order the works, and for good reason. Features such as the tire pressure monitor system, heated seat, and Marshall Gold Series Audio amplify the R 18 B’s touring chops. However, it’s a solid package in stock trim. No, the new Beemer isn’t a death blow to Harley-Davidson, but it’s a worthy competitor. At 877 pounds, it has 22 pounds on its main rival, but it’s also the only bike in the category to offer adaptive cruise control and a 10.25-inch TFT display. The R 18 B may not be BMW’s endgame either, but it definitely changes the game for bagger customers.

Royal Enfield to lead motorcycle expedition to the South pole

By General Posts

by Shakti Nath Jha from https://www.financialexpress.com

Royal Enfield to lead motorcycle expedition to the South pole as a tribute to its 120 years journey

Royal Enfield has announced that the company will lead a first-of-its-kind motorcycle expedition that will attempt to reach the South pole. The expedition is being undertaken as a tribute to the 120 years journey of Royal Enfield.

Royal Enfield is the world’s oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production since 1901. For 120 years, Royal Enfield has remained the preserver of the legacy of building simple, authentic classic motorcycles that are engaging and fun to ride. Riding through time and tough terrain, the company has emerged victorious in rides that have tested the endurance of man and machine, while remaining relevant and desirable through the ages.

Now, to commemorate 120 years of building the pure motorcycling culture, Royal Enfield will mark 2021 with an ambitious attempt to push the boundaries of motorcycling possibilities.

The company will undertake a motorcycling expedition on the Royal Enfield Himalayan, to attempt to reach the geographic South Pole, from the Ross Ice Shelf via the Leverett Glacier. 90-degree South – Quest for the Pole is conceptualized as a tribute to the brand’s commitment to pure motorcycling, and to the courage and resilience of innumerable riders and explorers who have made history with their motorcycling journeys.

The 90-degree South will be an ambitious attempt of Royal Enfield to go where no motorcycle has ever gone before.

This unique expedition will begin from Cape Town, South Africa, on 26 November 2021, and will attempt to reach the geographic South Pole, from the Ross Ice Shelf, via the Leverett Glacier, to the Amundsen-Scott Pole station. Two Royal Enfield riders, namely Santhosh Vijay Kumar, Lead – Rides & Community, Royal Enfield, and Dean Coxson, Senior Engineer- Product Development, Royal Enfield, will take part in this 39-day expedition traversing Antarctica on a 770 km ride from Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole. It will be conducted in close partnership with Arctic Trucks and on two purpose-built Royal Enfield Himalayans.

For this expedition, two Royal Enfield Himalayans have been modified in-house, with functional upgrades to be able to navigate snow and ice to ably function under extreme conditions in Antarctica. For greater torque at the rear wheel, the main drive sprocket of the Himalayan has been changed from a 15-teeth unit to a 13-teeth unit. Also, the motorcycle gets a tubeless wheel setup with studded tyres that allows the tyres to run at very low pressures, and to increase floatation on soft snow, while also providing adequate traction on hard ice.

The Himalayan was tested for this arduous and treacherous journey at the Langjokull glacier in Iceland, with an intention to mirror the conditions in Antarctica.

Speaking about the milestone year for Royal Enfield and the expedition attempt, Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director of Eicher Motors Ltd, said, “120 years is a long legacy for the brand, and we are very happy to have made it count. Over these years, we have created and nurtured a thriving culture of riding and exploration around the world. This pursuit of exploration has been a quintessential part of our DNA, and 90° South is another chapter in our series of extraordinary, epic motorcycling rides. In the past, rides like Himalayan Odyssey have paved the way for motorcycling adventure in the Himalayas and an epic expedition like this to the South Pole will further inspire people to become adventurers again. A test of endurance and perseverance for man and machine, this expedition is the first of its kind attempt to traverse the 770km long route to the South Pole on a motorcycle.”