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Build Train Race participants to compete at Atlanta Short Track

By General Posts

BUILD TRAIN RACE WOMEN TO RACE AT ATLANTA FLAT TRACK

Participants will race during exhibition

Milwaukee, Wis October 2, 2020: Royal Enfield’s BUILD TRAIN RACE program participants will race for the first time at Atlanta Short Track at Dixie Speedway during the Progressive American Flat Track races this weekend. Road racer Melissa Paris, amateur flat tracker Jillian Deschenes, photographer Lana MacNaughton and New York motorcycle repair shop owner Kerry Sano will compete against one another in an eight lap Main.

BUILD TRAIN RACE was launched in late 2019 with the goal of involving women in a competitive flat track program. The program tasked four women with building four custom INT 650 motorcycles for flat track competition, then training with Moto Anatomy x Royal Enfield AFT racer Johnny Lewis in the lead up to competition. Originally, the women were set to race in several events this year, but due to COVID-19 the events were either rescheduled or canceled.

“It has been a long wait for these ladies to get on track,” said Breeann Poland, Marketing Lead for Royal Enfield Americas. “They’re ready to put their INT 650s and themselves to the test this weekend. We are thrilled that American Flat Track offered us the opportunity to show off these custom motorcycles, but to also give these ladies the opportunity to put their flat track skills to the test. They have all received training from Lewis and now it’s up to them to apply what they’ve learned in a racing environment.”

Lewis trained the three of participants in two sessions as part of his Royal Enfield Slide School By Moto Anatomy course, his proprietary flat track training program. Working with Lewis, each woman received one-on-one training to further their flat track skills. Sano, who is substitute riding Andrea Lothrop’s motorcycle, attended a Slide School with Lewis earlier this month. Unfortunately, Lothrop is still unable to travel from Canada to compete. The women will then take part in a practice session, qualifying and main during the Atlanta Short Track AFT both on Friday and Saturday.

Lewis will be on hand to support the women and provide coaching, but elected to sit out this round of AFT competition. The Moto Anatomy x Royal Enfield team continues the development of the Twins FT and decided to use this week to collaborate further with technical partners to progress the Royal Enfield motor package.

Stay tuned to Royal Enfield’s social channels to follow along with the BTR ladies throughout the weekend.

Harley-Davidson Killer S&S Indian Challenger Begins Testing

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

In the weekend of October 23, during the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest, an incredible battle is about to be fought: 13 Harley-Davidson motorcycles will be on the same field, fighting for the Drag Specialties King of the Baggers title against each other and a single non-Harley bike, this S&S Indian Challenger.

The event, which will be held at Monterey, is the first of its kind since this whole health crisis mess began all those months ago and, at least on paper, it should be something to remember.

The bagger Challenger is an Indian project backed by S&S and it calls for a stock bike to be modified even further that the already incredible specs: 122 horsepower, an inverted front suspension, and a hydraulically-adjustable FOX rear shock.

Since we first learned about this back in July, things seem to have progressed quite nicely. Not long ago, the team behind the build, let by the one who will ride it during the October event, Tyler O’Hara, took the bike out for what was supposed to be the first testing session.

It kind of wasn’t because rain put some dents in the team’s plans, but we are told that even this brief outing was enough to “gather valuable information around rider ergonomics, suspension and more.” And they also took some photos, which you can see in the gallery attached above.

“When the Indian Challenger was released last October, it set a new standard for performance-oriented, stock baggers and offers the ideal platform, from which to base our race modifications,” said Paul Langely of S&S in a statement back when the project was announced.

“That said, we’re leaving no stone unturned when evaluating the modifications needed to be successful at Laguna Seca.”

With about a month left to go until the event, keep an eye out for more info on this project in the coming weeks.

Joe’s Stupid Fast Bagger Collection

By General Posts

About the Time Doom and Gloom Hits the Horizon another Market Blossoms
by Bandit with photos by Wrench

The Badlands represents the old west and now bikers, due predominately to the 80-year-old Sturgis Rally, Pappy Hoel and Michael Lichter. More brothers and sisters feel the magic in the hills and want to stay. Plus, for outlaw brothers of the wind, this area still represents freedom, and something untouched, for now.

I discovered a new breed of riders in Boulder Canyon in a large open shop. Hidden between pine trees were five Stupid Fast Harley Baggers, a Ducati Panigale and a tricked out 200 mph Kawasaki cop bike.

A handful of guys with the moxie and the money to ride from Deadwood to Denver at 140 mph plus.

Let me know what you think of his Stupid Fast Fleet.

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

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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

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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.

 

Harley-Davidson Outerlimit Is a Mini Lamborghini Aventador

By General Posts

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

So, you own a Lamborghini Aventador, and that in itself is reason enough to be proud. But often times supercar owners find themselves in need of some other motorized sidekick contraption for their cars.

So did a German Aventador owner, who must have thought there’s something missing from his garage, something that should not only keep the car company, but also match it in design. So he turned to custom German bike builder Thunderbike for help.

The German shop started out in the 1980s as a repair place for Japanese motorcycles, but a few decades later found themselves to be quite good at either customizing Harleys, or building their own custom frames with Harley engineering inside. The Black Star 110 and the RS Lambo are perfect examples of their prowess in both fields.

For the Aventador owner we mentioned above, they came up with a design called Outerlimit. Finished in 2016, it was specced as “super sporty appearance, neat pressure in the engine, big wheels and powerful brakes.”

The custom frame of the bike was gifted with 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. Not quite Aventador levels, but for a motorcycle it’s not half bad.

The performance of the bike was not necessarily the main goal of the build, but the appearance of it was. As per customer specification, the Outerlimit had to exactly match the colors of the supercar, and that task seems to have been met nicely: both the design and the paint job that cover the various portions of the motorcycles body replicate the black and white panels seen on the Aventador body and roof.

We’re not being told how much the Outerlimit cost to make, but the result must have definitely pleased the man who commissioned it.

Coronavirus Delays Voxan Motors’ Electric Motorcycle Speed Record Attempt

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by Sebastian Blanco from https://www.forbes.com/

It’s a specific category, but the Venturi Group’s Voxan Motors is working to create the fastest electric motorcycle in the world. Well, the fastest electric motorcycle “propelled by the action of one wheel in contact with the ground, partially streamlined, under 300 kg,” according to the team website.

That specific record is currently held by Jim Hoogerhyde, who rode a Lightning SB220 electric bike to 203.566 mph in 2013, according to Jalopnik. Voxan has set a target of 205 mph for its attempt but the date of the record attempt has been pushed back.

The new world speed record attempt was supposed to happen in July 2020 at the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, but that has been indefinitely postponed due to the cornoavirus. The Venturi Group, which is based in Monaco, issued a statement today saying that it is following the health directives issued by the Monegasque Government and that: “The development teams responsible for the Voxan Wattman motorcycle, which has just completed its initial on-track testing, are now confined to their homes.” Without being able to get together to work on the bike, the team can’t fine-tune the machine on-track, leading to the postponement.

“The health and safety of my teams is paramount. In view of the current health crisis, I have put in place the necessary measures. All of my staff, whether they are attached to Venturi North America (Columbus, Ohio) or to the headquarters in Monaco, are now working from home,” said Gildo Pastor, president of Venturi Group, in a statement. “We will establish a new calendar of operations as soon as the health situation allows it, and announce the new operational arrangements for this project, which is very important to me personally.”

The bike Voxan was (is) going to use to try and set the new speed record is a tweaked version of its Wattman, originally introduced in 2013. The normal Wattman bike is capable of accelerating from zero to 62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds thanks to its 203-horsepower all-electric powertrain that produces 147.5 pound-feet of torque. Voxan’s high-performance version of the Wattman has been upgraded to produce 367 horsepower in order to hit that 205 mile-per-hour target.

The Venturi Group acquired Voxan in 2010 and shifted the brand’s focus to use electric motors. Both versions of the Wattman (on-road and high-performance) were designed by Venturi’s long-serving lead designer, Sacha Lakic.

The speed record attempt, whenever it happens, is likely to still be driven by Max Biaggi, a two-time World Superbike champion (2010 and 2012). He officially retired from racing in 2012, but has raced a few times since then.

2020 Zero Motorcycles Zero S review: A naked electric bike

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by Bruce Brown from https://www.digitaltrends.com

Pros
A mature e-motorcycle design
Excellent driving per charge range
No gears, no clutch, no shifting
Powerful brakes and suspension
Inexpensive to fuel and maintain

Cons
Forward-leaning rider posture
Rider and passenger pegs high
Expensive for an entry-level bike

MSRP $10,995.00

Zero Motorcycles‘ 2020 Zero S is the most highly-evolved version of a vehicle with the longest production history in a product class that most people don’t know exists. Most people would be surprised to learn electric motorcycles are on the street today. They’re even more surprised to hear the first arrived over 12 years ago.

Founded in 2006 by a former NASA engineer, Zero Motorcycles’ first production model was the 2009 Zero S, making 2020 its 12th model year. Depending on the buyer’s choice of installed power pack, the Zero S price varies from $10,995 to $18,390. The most powerful (and expensive) Zero S has a 223-mile maximum city driving range.

Design and performance

I asked Zero Motorcycles to suggest which model in its nine-model 2020 lineup would be the best choice for an e-bicycle rider who wanted to pick the Zero as their first motorcycle. After discussing the lighter, taller, more off-road-bike-looking Zero FXS, I decided on the Zero S with the lowest power battery pack. I tested the base 7.2 kWh Zero S, priced at $10,995, which the company describes as “ideal for the first time rider looking for an entry-level street motorcycle.”

The 2020 Zero S base model ticks the boxes for e-motos. Acceleration is immediate with the S’s full torque on tap from a standing stop. Other than tire noise and a slight whirring sound from the carbon fiber drive belt, the bike is quiet. There’s no clutch and no shifting because there’s only one gear. So, as with most electric motorcycles, you don’t need to know how to use a manual transmission to ride it.

To ride the Zero, just turn the key and wait a few seconds for the indicators on the display panel to settle down. Zero includes two throttle intercepts to protect riders from unintentional acceleration from a standing stop. A motor stop switch on the right-hand grip cuts out power to the motor, and the bike won’t move if the kickstand is down.

The Zero remains silent when it’s on and ready to move. If you’re only familiar with vehicles that have gas or diesel engines, the lack of noise may lead you to think it’s not on. Oh, but it is. It definitely is.

I was cautious with the throttle at first. Electric motors can deliver full torque from a standing stop, so it’s a good idea to approach with caution. However, I’m happy to report you can ride comfortably at slow speeds on the Zero S. The throttle isn’t overly sensitive, with excellent “feel” and granularity.

The Zero S’s regenerative braking slightly recharges the battery when you roll off the throttle. If you’re familiar with engine braking in a car with a manual transmission, regenerative braking feels roughly the same, just quieter.

If you need to stop quickly, the Zero S’ brakes have more stopping power than you may ever need. I found the learning curve for modulating the potent brake system steeper than getting used to the throttle. The Zero S has Bosch ABS disc brakes, with dual 320mm calipers in front, and a single 240mm caliper in the rear.

This nearly-naked sportbike has no fairing and little bodywork covering the functional components. The rider geometry (the relative positions of the handlebar, seat, and rider footpegs) requires a moderately forward-leaning posture. Forward-leaning is excellent for going fast and carving turns and canyons. Entry-level riders with previous experience on a more upright bike will need to adjust, but not as dramatically as with more aggressive bikes.

Speed and range

Motorcycle companies are typically cautious with quoting acceleration numbers. I didn’t time my runs, but I have heard from others Zero riders that 60 mph comes in under 4 seconds. My butt says that’s about right and, speaking as someone who’s not a veteran rider, it was exhilarating.

My test bike, with the basic 7.2 kWh power pack, has a 98 miles per hour (mph) maximum top speed with a sustained top speed of 80 mph. The rated driving ranges for the Zero S with the base power pack are 89 miles in city driving, 45 miles at 70 mph on the highway, and 60 miles combined.

If you are willing to pay for more range, the Zero SR, which is essentially the same bike, has a 14.4 kWh battery pack. The SR starts at $15,495 and boosts the range to 179 miles for city driving, 90 miles on the highway, or 120 miles combined. For the maximum possible driving distance with Zero S models, you can also add the 3.3 kWh Power Tank for $2,895. The Zero SR with the Power Tank is rated for a maximum of 223 miles in the city, 112 miles on the highway, or 150 miles combined.

Note that larger power packs don’t just drive up the price. They weigh more. The 7.2 kWh Zero S weighs 313 pounds. The Zero SR with the 14.4 kWh power pack weighs 408 pounds, and if you add the 3.3 kWh Power Tank for a total of 18 kWh, the weight climbs to 452 pounds.

Your choice will balance cost, range, and weight. You can’t switch power packs or add the Power Tank later, so it’s essential to buy the right power combination from the start.

Charging the battery

The Zero S has a 1.3 kW integrated battery charger and a thick power cable that plugs into a standard 110/220 power plug. Charging the Zero S requires 4.7 hours for a 95% charge, or 5.2 hours to charge 100%. With a $600 optional quick charger, it takes 3.1 hours for a 100% charge, or 2.6 hours for 95%.

A third option is to buy an optional Charge Tank ($2,495). With the Charge Tank, you can plug into a standard Level 2 charge station for a 95% charge in one hour, or 100% in 1.5 hours. Note that you can’t order a Zero S or SR with both the Power Tank and Charge Tank options.

Riding modes and app

The Zero S has two preset performance profiles, Eco and Sport. The profiles control maximum speed, torque, and regeneration levels.

As set by the factory, Eco mode cuts the top speed to 70 mph, limits the torque, and dials up the regen-style engine braking effect. Sport mode unlocks the top speed of 98 miles per hour, full torque, and little or no regenerative braking. You can customize both profiles with Zero’s mobile app.

I rode the Zero S most of the time in Eco mode through suburban neighborhoods, in small towns, and on country roads and highways. The Zero S is well-balanced, so riding slowly is easy. I quickly became used to its smooth throttle operation to roll on speed as desired. The dialed-up regeneration setting in Eco mode meant I rarely needed to use the brakes until I came to a full stop.

It’s quiet. Too quiet?

Electric motorcycles’ are silent, and that can be a mixed blessing. Motorcyclists are used to noise alerting pedestrians and other drivers, but you don’t get that with an electric powertrain. It’s a good idea to locate the horn button on the left grip, so you can alert anyone who needs it.

The upside of running silent is there’s less chance you’re going to disturb your neighbors with the Zero S, and certainly not with the noise. On one of my first rides checking out the bike’s operation, a neighbor used to seeing me on e-bikes came over to check out the Zero S.

“That’s an actual motorcycle?” he asked. I was able to answer without raising my voice over the Zero S’ motor because, of course, it was silent. On a regular motorcycle, I wouldn’t have even heard him unless I stopped and turned off the engine.

Our Take

I thoroughly enjoyed riding the Zero S, and was particularly impressed by its balanced, quiet ride. Seasoned sports bike riders would likely switch right over to Sport mode and fly with it. The power, brakes, and handling are certainly there.

Ease of operation makes the Zero S accessible for beginning riders. My only hesitation is that new riders will need to get used to the forward-leaning riding position.

Is there a better alternative?

In a few years, there will be many more choices for people shopping for electric motorcycles, but Zero already has a 12-year lead. No other company has Zero’s experience and range of current electric models.

The Harley-Davidson Livewire makes fans of most who ride it, and Harley has been showing other concept electric bikes, but the Livewire’s $30,000 price tag limits its appeal. The Lightning Motorcycles LS-218 is the fastest production motorcycle, but starts at $38.888. Both bikes target experienced riders with money to spend.

Several companies make much smaller e-motorcycles, like the Ubco 2×2 and the Cake Kalk OR. They’re more affordable, but often focused on off-road or multi-surface riding, with a lower top speed and less range.

How long will it last?

Zero Motorcycles include a two-year general warranty and a five-year warranty on the power pack. Zero is an established company with dealers throughout the United States, so parts and service shouldn’t be concerns.

Should you buy one?

Yes. If you want an electric motorcycle for recreational riding or commuting, the Zero S is a great choice.

The Rocket 3 Is Apparently Faster Than Triumph Claims

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The Rocket 3 gets from zero to sixty faster than most sport bikes.

The trend of heavyweight, high displacement motorcycles has seen a noticeable decline in the past years. Manufacturers seem to be shifting their attention towards lighter weight, low capacity, and even electric motorcycles. Not only does this make motorcycling friendlier to beginners, it also puts motorcycles as a more accessible means of transport.

Triumph Motorcycles, despite making moves to penetrate the aforementioned segment, have retained—and updated—a motorcycle that can be considered a dinosaur to some. Still the holder of the title of largest displacement motorcycle in the world, the outgoing Triumph Rocket 3 boasts an excessive 2,294cc in-line three engine. This machine is by no means a featherweight. Tipping the scales at nearly 800 lbs (that’s twice the weight of most naked bikes out there), the Rocket 3 is intimidating, and rightfully so.

As to why Triumph decided to increase the Rocket 3’s already gargantuan displacement to 2,500cc for the 2020 model year, is perhaps simply because they can. Churning out a whopping 147 ft/lbs of torque, and 145 horsepower, the Rocket 3 propels itself, well, like a rocket. It’s claimed to go from 0-60 miles per hour in around 3.2 seconds. Or does it?

Apparently, a Triumph test rider smashed Triumph’s internal 0-60 record during a track event in Spain in October of last year. The unnamed pilot was able to commandeer the Rocket 3 from 0-60 miles per hour in a blistering 2.73 seconds. 2.73 seconds on an 800 pound cruiser is definitely a performance to brag about.

However, the Rocket 3 isn’t impressive solely because of its 0-60 time. Triumph test riders and Rocket 3 owners alike have praised the bike’s cornering ability. Of course, it’s no sport bike, and it wasn’t designed to carve corners on the race track. Nonetheless, its riding characteristics have been likened to that of the Speed Triple, rather than that of a cruiser.

The Triumph Rocket 3 indeed punches above and beyond its class in terms of performance. But then again, isn’t the Rocket 3 in a class of its own?