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Chain conversion kits for Harley Sportsters & Dynas

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Belts are for pants!

Check Out Lowbrow Customs motorcycle parts and accessories at https://www.lowbrowcustoms.com/

We have been making chain conversion kits to replace the rear drive belt on ’94 & later Sportsters and Dynas for many years.

Since then, other companies have started making kits as well…

But not all chain conversion kits are created equal!

Check out the reviews to see what customers think.

Oh, did we mention our chain conversions are 100% USA-made?

Check out our 1994-2003 Sportster chain conversion how-to (Click Here) or Rusty Butcher’s Lowbrow chain conversion install video (Click Here) and follow along at home!

The process is straight-forward and pretty much the same across Sportster or Dyna and various year ranges.

Never fear, if you have any questions, we are always here to offer motorcycle technical support!

CLICK TO Shop Chain Conversion Kits.

PS – In addition to chain conversion kits, we have a wide array of top-quality rear chains for your motorcycle! (Click Here) Spring has freakin’ sprung, get your bike dialed in and hit the road!

Car and Motorcycle Companies Now Making Electric Bikes

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Lee Iacocca with his electric bike in 1998. It had a lead-acid battery with a 15-mile range and a top speed of 15 miles an hour.

by Roy Furchgott from https://www.nytimes.com

They see branding opportunities as the pandemic and a desire by cities to curb traffic propel e-bike sales to new heights.

The transportation industry has seen the future, and the future is 1895.

That was the year Ogden Bolton Jr. of Canton, Ohio, was awarded U.S. Patent 552,271 for an “electrical bicycle.” A century and change later, electric bikes have gained new currency as car and motorcycle companies like Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Yamaha have horned into the market with their own designs.

While the pandemic has accelerated bike sales, the overriding attraction is that cities worldwide are beginning to restrict motor traffic. These companies are betting that e-bikes are the urban vehicles of tomorrow — or at least vehicles for good publicity today.

“In the past 12 to 18 months, you have seen a lot of new brands come into the market,” said Andrew Engelmann, an e-bike sales and marketing manager at Yamaha, which has been in the electric bike business since 1993 and claims sales of two million worldwide. “We in the U.S. have not seen this new energy toward cycling since Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France.”

Credit the coronavirus pandemic, which has ignited bike sales of all stripes, but none so much as e-bikes. While retail unit sales of bicycles from January to October last year were up 46 percent from a year earlier, electric bikes were up 140 percent. Measured in dollars, regular bikes were up 67 percent and e-bikes 158 percent — so don’t expect a discount. Those numbers, from the market researchers at NPD, do not include online-only retailers such as Rad Power Bikes, so sales may actually be higher still.

Ogden Bolton aside, there is a historical connection between bicycles and motorcycles. Many early motorcycles came from bicycle makers that simply clapped a motor on a bike, often retaining the pedals in the style of a moped.

The automotive industry’s bicycle connection is more recent, with the likes of Malcolm Bricklin and Lee Iacocca introducing electric bikes in the ’90s. Both flopped. Mr. Iacocca’s design, typical for the time, was hampered by a lead-acid battery with a 15-mile range and a top speed of 15 miles an hour. Many car companies, including Ford, Audi, Maserati and BMW, have gotten into and out of e-bikes since.

“No car company has had any success selling an electric bicycle,” said Don DiCostanzo, chief executive of Pedego Electric Bikes, who in 2014 licensed a bike design to Ford. “It’s fool’s gold. It can never replace the profit on a car.”

Yet car and motorcycle makers are being drawn in. “I think they are seeing a lot of the same opportunity we see,” said Ian Kenny, who leads the e-bike effort at the bicycle company Specialized. “But I think there is a very big difference between demonstrating you can do something and doing something very well at scale.”

However, changes in the way people get about, especially in Europe and Asia, are enticing motor vehicle companies that operate internationally. Overseas, in cities that manage pollution and overcrowded streets by restricting motor traffic, e-bikes often fill a gap.

“In Europe, the e-bike is more of a fundamental transportation tool,” said Dirk Sorenson, an analyst for NPD. London, Madrid, Oslo and Paris are among the growing number of cities restricting downtown traffic.

The pandemic has American cities testing similar restrictions. Boston, Minneapolis and a number of California cities have instituted Slow Streets programs, restricting motor traffic on side streets in favor of cycling and walking. It even has UPS, Amazon and DHL trying out e-cargo bikes in New York.

“There is a huge opportunity for e-bikes in the U.S., which is a huge untapped market,” said Rasheq Zarif, a mobility technology expert for the consulting firm Deloitte.

Some companies are preparing now for the possibility that “micromobility,” as the buzzword has it, will catch on here.

“Let’s imagine Harley-Davison is not a motorcycle company but a mobility company,” said Aaron Frank, brand director for Serial 1, which builds an e-bike in partnership with Harley. “There is a strong argument we can do for urban commuters what Harley-Davison did for motorcycles.”

Other companies see e-bikes as a gateway to sell their primary products. Though best known for its motorcycles, Ducati North America wants e-bikes to “potentially turn people on to Ducati,” its chief executive, Jason Chinnock, said. “And we’ve seen that with people at some events and with the media reaching out.”

E-bikes may be more expensive than bicycles, but are cheaper than cars or motorcycles. And improved motor and battery technology is bringing prices down. Low-priced e-bikes with a motor in the wheel hub — similar to that 1895 design — can be had for about $1,000. Prices for versions with more complex, geared motors at the pedals can reach more than $10,000.

“Spending $1,000 on a bike seems out there,” Mr. Kenny said, “but when you don’t look at it as a toy — when it becomes transportation — it becomes a very different conversation.”

Price isn’t the only hurdle. E-bikes confront a crippling hodgepodge of laws. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed “low speed” e-bikes (with a motor equivalent to 1 horsepower or less) a bicycle, states still decide where that bike can be ridden.

“It’s up to 50 states to define the use, and that’s been a big problem in the past,” said Claudia Wasko, general manager of Bosch eBike, a prominent manufacturer of drive systems.

The PeopleForBikes coalition drafted model state legislation to allow most e-bikes in bike lanes and parks. It suggests three classes of e-bike, with a top speed between 20 and 28 m.p.h. Twenty-eight states have adopted some version of the legislation.

Some companies may be less concerned with the future of mobility and more interested in getting some attention now.

“I think it’s a halo thing,” said Mr. DiCostanzo, whose company has produced e-bikes for Tommy Bahama, Ford and others. Halo vehicles represent a brand’s aspirations, like concept cars.

“I think that’s what it is for Ford,” he added. “They wanted it for window dressing, and that’s what they got. I think they sold 500 in the five years it ran.”

Mercedes, which is taking orders for its top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team V11 e-bike at $12,000, said it was a chance to showcase its ability with high-tech materials from carbon fiber to paint.

“High-performance road bikes and e-bikes provide a great way to showcase such technologies into a range of consumer products,” said Damian Cook, a spokesman.

For some in the bicycle industry this all smacks of déjà vu. In the 1970s, a bike boom was thought to presage a new future for transportation in which cycling was central. But it failed. Though there were many contributing factors, roads weren’t made more bicycle-friendly and people didn’t want to arrive at work sweaty.

With the combination of Slow Streets programs, which address the first problem, electric bikes, which address the second, and a pandemic that has given people a chance to adjust to both, experts like Mr. Zarif find hope.

“When you give people a chance to try something, it reduces resistance to change,” he said. “As a society, the reality is we go forward — we don’t go backward.”

Moto Anatomy announces 2021 partnerships

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Johnny Lewis aligns with top brands for 2021 American Flat Track Season

Milwaukee, Wis March 2, 2021: Moto Anatomy x Royal Enfield rider Johnny Lewis is proud to announce his partners for the 2021 American Flat Track (AFT) season include]ing supporters from his 2020 AFT campaign, which saw Lewis capture Royal Enfield’s first-ever modern-day racing victory at the season finale in Daytona.

2020 marked the first year of development for the Moto Anatomy X Royal Enfield team, Lewis is looking to build upon the success his Moto Anatomy x Royal Enfield team earned at the conclusion of the year. To aid in his 2021 season, Lewis will receive support from multiple top brands in the motorcycling category including SENA, Rekluse and Beringer Brakes. Other notable partners involved in Lewis’ AFT program include Saddlemen, ODI, Lightshoe, Team Lawant and Cometic Gaskets.

“It has been a busy off-season for the team testing and planning for the year ahead,” said Johnny Lewis, Moto Anatomy x Royal Enfield racer. “We have continued the development of the Twins FT and have also aligned ourselves with a handful of world-class brands who are backing our 2021 efforts. On behalf of myself and Royal Enfield, we’re thrilled to have them on board and excited for the upcoming season.”

Lewis will continue working on several programs for Royal Enfield such as Slide School presented by Moto Anatomy and the BUILD TRAIN RACE flat track program as a mentor. SENA, Rekluse and Beringer Brakes will support Lewis’ AFT program while Saddlemen, ODI, Lightshoe, Team Lawant and Cometic Gaskets will support the Lewis across all Royal Enfield programs.

The 2021 Progressive American Flat Track season kicks off on March 12 for the Volusia Half-Mile in Barberville, Fla. Lewis will return to competition with the Royal Enfield Twins FT after extensive testing throughout the offseason. Lewis’ last race in Florida yielded a victory and second place at Daytona AFT finale, and he looks to carry that momentum into the 2021 season opener at Volusia.

Be sure to follow @MotoAnatomyxRoyalEnfield on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest results and insights from the track. The team will continue to release short films documenting each round, which can be seen on Royal Enfield North America’s YouTube channel throughout the season.

Automated Driving Systems and SMRO Visits

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RIDING FREE FROM DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

­Automated Driving Systems (AKA Autonomous Vehicles)

Late last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a rulemaking process for developing a “Framework for Automated Driving System (ADS) Safety.” As part of the process public comments were solicited by NHTSA. This week the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) submitted a 6-page formal letter outlining our thoughts on the development, testing and deployment of ADS.

Building on past submissions to both Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation, the MRF laid out important priorities that NHTSA should consider. Some of the main topics the MRF highlights include the need to account for the unique attributes and characteristics of motorcycles, cyber security concerns, liability provisions, the role of individual states, the need for public transparency, threats to the protected communication spectrum and the challenges of regulations keeping pace with this technology.

While ADS has promising potential, the devil will be in the details. How this technology is developed, tested and deployed will impact all Americans. We at the MRF will continue to fight to ensure motorcyclists are included in these discussions.

To read the full letter from the MRF to NHTSA click here.

SMRO Meetings Around the Country

January and February are traditionally the busy season for state motorcyclist rights organizations (SMRO) annual meetings. This year many of those meetings have been rescheduled, held virtually or have unfortunately been cancelled all together. While we know these are difficult times, the MRF remains committed to working with our state partners and participating in these events when possible.

In January, MRF Vice President Jay Jackson travelled to Bowling Green, Kentucky to attend the Kentucky Motorcycle Association/Kentucky Bikers Association Freedom Fighters Forum. Also, that month MRF lobbyist Rocky Fox traveled to Austin, Texas for Texas Bikers Legislative Weekend. This event was sponsored by the Texas Council of Clubs and Independents, Region 1 Texas Defenders and hosted at the Veterans Collective facility.

Both events included a number of speakers and elected officials discussing issues important to all motorcyclists. Elected officials from Kentucky included, Secretary of State Michael Adams, State Senator Jimmy Higdon, staff from U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s office and via video message Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Slider Gilmore from Iowa even made a presentation in Kentucky! The Texas event included a townhall style question and answer with State Senator Drew Springer. Texas also welcomed leaders in the motorcycle rights movement from California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York and Pennsylvania to Austin. Thank you again to the riders in Kentucky and Texas for including the MRF in these events and working hard to deliver results for riders in those states.

If your SMRO has hosted an event in 2021 please submit your pictures and details to communications@mrf.org so we can share them with your fellow riders across the country!

Triumph Motorcycles America partners with Motorcycle Safety Foundation to offer Free Basic eCourse to new Riders

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Atlanta GA, USA, Jan. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Central to the values of Triumph Motorcycles is a passion for riding. To share this passion Triumph Motorcycles America has partnered with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to make the MSF Basic eCourse available free of charge to prospective new riders, or former riders interested in riding again. The 3-hour eCourse, valued at $20, is a great introduction to riding. It is also a prerequisite for the hands-on MSF Basic RiderCourse, which in most states will make student eligible to obtain a motorcycle endorsement upon completion.

“Triumph Motorcycles has always been ‘For The Ride’, so this is a very fitting partnership to help share that passion. Now more than ever, people are looking for new forms of recreation, so I couldn’t think of a better time to help them discover the joy of riding.” Rod Lopusnak – General Manager, Triumph Motorcycles America.

“We’re excited to partner with Triumph and help people embark on their journey into motorcycling. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation believes in lifelong learning, and prospective riders will find the eCourse to be the best first step to becoming a lifelong rider.” Erik Pritchard – President and CEO of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

To facilitate the offer, Triumph has launched the website TriumphRider.com, where prospective riders may complete a form to be emailed a unique promo code, which can be applied when they register on the MSF website to redeem the Free Basic eCourse, compliments of Triumph.

Royal Enfield is coming after Harley-Davidson

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In its last financial year before the pandemic struck, Enfield company sold about 824,000 bikes globally. Harley, by contrast, shipped about 218,000.

Last year Enfield company doubled the size of one of its three factories, bringing overall production capacity to 1.2 million motorcycles a year.

To build buzz Enfield company has tried marketing to American customizers and flat-track competitors, and in 2018 it put Cayla Rivas, a teenage motorcycle racer, on a souped-up Continental in pursuit of a speed record for its bike class—and compelling footage for YouTube. (She hit 157 mph on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.)

Although it may sound counterintuitive, “the U.S. and Europe are very important” to making Enfield the aspirational bike of choice for the developing world, he says.

Lal wants to be as big a player in the West as possible, but he argues that Royal Enfield doesn’t necessarily have to sell that many bikes in developed countries for the strategy to be considered a success. What it does need to do is move enough to give them a patina of cool at home and in other emerging markets, such as Southeast Asia.

Read the full article at Bloomberg. Click Here.

You Can Now Buy Certified Pre-Owned Triumph Motorcycles in the U.S.

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

Going for a pre-owned vehicle, regardless of its type or number of wheels, is always risky business. Despite all the tools the modern world puts at the disposal of the buyers, one could always end up taking home something really faulty.

That’s why we have certified pre-owned programs. Generally ran through dealers or the car/bike makers themselves, these initiatives try to put the buyers’ minds at ease by supplying them with all the correct info and checks for a vehicle.

British bike maker Triumph has been running such a program on the home continent for a while now, and apparently it was successful enough for the company to decide an expansion on the U.S. market would be in order. As such, starting November 23, the Triumph Certified Pre-Owned Motorcycle Program kicked off.

According to Triumph, bikes sold through this program come with a few perks. First, there is the quality check performed by the bike maker’s or its dealer’s personnel. The two-wheelers will thus have a full-service history, but also multi-point inspection and all rectification work, if needed, completed.

Then, each one will come with minimum 1-year, unlimited mileage warranty, but also 1-year roadside assistance. Financing for bikes sold this way is also available.

This program is good news for those trying to sell as well. Triumph accepts into this program bikes up to 5 years of age from first registration, with a maximum mileage of 25,000 miles (40,000 km). Those involved in major accidents, used for racing, or equipped with non-Triumph hardware will not be accepted.

“We are proud to offer a Certified Pre-Owned program, ensuring that customers joining the Triumph family with a pre-owned motorcycle are given the same great product experience and factory-backed assurances as someone buying a brand-new Triumph,” said in a statement Rod Lopusnak – General Manager, Triumph North America.

“The program also offers a great benefit to new bike buyers, by protecting the residual value of their brand-new Triumph when they’re ready to sell or trade-in for a new bike. And for our dealers, they’re now able to list their Certified Pre-Owned motorcycle inventory on our new website for national visibility.”

Harley in for a Fight as Indian Names Rider for Challenger King of the Baggers

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

The biggest news of the week on the Harley-Davidson front is that the company is giving up on the world’s largest motorcycle markets. Milwaukee announced at the end of the week it is leaving India, sending shockwaves in the Harley-loving community there. But there might be an even more interesting piece of news in the oven, ready to be served at the end of October.

It is then when the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest takes place in Monterey (October 23-25). As part of the event, a little show called King of the Baggers will take place, pitting a pack of 12 Harleys against a single, S&S and Roland Sands-prepared Indian Challenger (initially the word was that there would be 13 Harleys fielded).

The already incredible Indian two-wheeler got specific tweaks for the task of taking on the Harleys, including Roland Sands wheels shod in Dunlop super sport tires, hydraulically-adjustable FOX X rear shock, and an inverted front suspension.

We’ve already known the bike was in the works, and we’ve seen it testing a couple of weeks back. And now another piece of the puzzle is revealed: the name of the rider.

Frankie Garcia, the man who back in 2006, when he was just 15, became the youngest athlete to compete in an X-Games motorcycle event, and currently member of the Indian Motorcycle-RSD Super Hooligan race team, will be the one trying to keep in check the bike’s 122 horsepower against the small army of Harleys.

“It’s a real honor to have the opportunity to not only participate in the inaugural King of the Baggers race, but to represent RSD on one of only two Indian Challengers in the field,” said Garcia in a statement.

“I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time on a stock Challenger, and believe me, this bike wants to go fast and handles like a bike half its size. It’s the perfect platform for something as radical as knee-dragging baggers at Laguna Seca.”

U.S. judge approves revised EPA Harley-Davidson emissions settlement

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by David Shepardson from https://www.reuters.com

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge late on Monday approved a revised settlement with Harley-Davidson Inc over excess emissions that dropped a requirement that it spend $3 million to reduce air pollution.

In August 2016, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer agreed to pay a $12 million civil fine and stop selling illegal after-market devices that caused its vehicles to emit too much pollution.

It also agreed to spend about $3 million to retrofit or replace wood-burning appliances with cleaner stoves to offset excess emissions.

The Justice Department in July 2017 cited a new policy by then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and an ongoing review of the penalty by a government auditor in proposing to drop the $3 million mitigation project.

More than four years after the settlement was announced, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan approved the settlement over the objections of environmental groups and a group of 10 states, including New York, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts.

While the earlier agreement “containing the mitigation project might have been the ‘best’ resolution of

Harley-Davidson’s alleged violations, the court cannot say that the decree lodged before the Court is not within ‘the reaches of the public interest,’” Sullivan wrote in approving the consent decree.

Harley-Davidson and the EPA did not immediately comment Tuesday.

The settlement resolved allegations that Harley sold about 340,000 “super tuners” enabling motorcycles since 2008 to pollute the air at levels greater than what the company certified.

Harley-Davidson did not admit liability and has said it disagreed with the government, arguing that the tuners were designed and sold to be used in “competition only.”

Even though the settlement had not yet taken effect, Harley-Davidson has said that since August 2016, it sold only tuners certified by the California Air Resources Board and halted sale of the tuners in question and destroyed tuners returned by dealers.

Freestyle Harley-Davidson Blue Flames Is What’s Wrong with Series Custom Frames

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

Take a good long look at any custom motorcycle made in the U.S. No matter in what state they were made, or when, they tend to have that certain unique feel about them. And a big reason for that is the custom frame that underpin them.

You see, Americans love to make one-offd, and that is why the garages there usually don’t make a frame and then turn series production on it. This results in truly unique two-wheelers, each with its story to tell.

Not the same can be said about Europe though. First off, there are far fewer custom motorcycle garages there. Secondly, the ones that do exist have been forced to turn to mass production, including of custom frames, and that takes its toll on the originality of this build.

Take the bike in the gallery above. It comes from Europe, and is the work of a very busy garage there called Thunderbike. It looks very much like all the other custom-framed Thunderbikes we’ve discussed over the past few months, regardless of when they were made.

This one comes from 2008, and it is the result of pairing a custom Thunderbike frame by the name Freestyle with the usual Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle engine. It appears to be exactly what you would expect from a custom European bike, with nothing particularly exciting about it. And the blue color sprayed on it, the work of Thunderbike’s usual partner in this area, Kruse Design, does not seem to help either.

The fact the bike will probably not be remembered down the ages (we uncovered it while digging for machines worthy of our Custom Builds Month coverage) does not diminish the merits of the frame tough.

Made from large diameter cold-rolled ST52 steel tubing, it comes complete with struts, tank, oil tank, CNC machined aluminum swingarm, rear fender, rear wheel axle, bracket for engine, bracket for battery, and seat plate.