Archive for the ‘motorcycle design’ Category

RSD/Victory Motorcycles: Project 200 Video

July 28, 2010

When I first saw pictures (stolen from Cameron Brewer over at RSD: Thanks Cameron!) of the custom Vegas 8-Ball that Roland Sands is doing for Victory Motorcycles, I immediately fell in lust over its swoopy profile. That new tail section and dropped down seat, combined with the full fairing, really highlighted the design lines that Victory is known for. (It should probably be noted that I’m an Roland Sands Design and Victory sycophant — I just like the stuff that they do when they do what they do.)

Then I got really excited (starting to creep myself out here) when reading about what RSD is attempting to do with this bike. It’s called Project 200 and it’s Sands’ effort at building a bike aimed at hitting a Modified Partial Streamlining (MPS) record. Here’s a ‘graph from the RSD blog that explains it in RD’s words:

This Victory project is for the sole purpose of going 200mph. What started off as a move to do something different with a Victory turned into a quest for the 200mph marker. This has been a personal goal of mine for sometime and to do it on what was a custom cruiser makes it much harder and more interesting. Adding the bodywork and performance parts lends itself to setting this bike apart as a true high speed performer. It will soon be getting a turbo motor which will make it a 200 plus HP beast for both landspeed and the drag strip.

So now that Victory has announced its 2011 lineup and RSD had a chance to show this beast to the dealers attending the Polaris/Victory dealer meeting, this video has been posted.

It shows the early stages of Sands’ quest to hit 200 mph. We’ll try to follow along as they post more vids. Could watch stuff like this all day. Well I could if I got paid for it, so until then I’ll link to videos when they come online and then go back to my work-a-day tasks such as reading press releases, interviewing folks and pining for future press rides.

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H-D Props MV for Now, But What Comes Next?

October 14, 2009

MV Agusta says 85 percent of the parts used in its 2009 910R and 1078RR have been completely redesigned for its 2010 Brutale 990R (MSRP: $15,000) and 1090RR ($18,000).

I guess that’s what happens when a new parent company, in this case Harley-Davidson, injects a bit of capital into its recent acquisition.

Former Ducati CFO Enrico D’Onofrio is now managing director of the MV Agusta factory in Italy, and MV Agusta Design Chief Massimo Tamburini retired Dec. 31, 2008.

I wonder what the folks at MV, and H-D, have planned for the future.

Check out the MV factory’s 2010 Brutale presentation video:

Erpelding, Europe’s Keeper of Classic Race Bikes

September 29, 2009

Are you a racebike enthusiast? Happen to be planning a trip to the Nuerburgring in Germany?

erpeldingIf so, you may want to visit former motorcycle and auto dealer and racer Frithjor Erpelding, a man who claims to have the second largest private museum in Europe dedicated to race motorcycles. Located in the Eifel mountain hamlet of Jammelshofen, near the ‘Ring, the museum houses 200-some bikes and a half-dozen of his championship-winning race cars.

Among the units on display: AJS, Aprilia, Ariel, Bimota, BSA, CZ, Egli, Gilera, NSU, Koenig, Moto Parilla, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Matchless, Maico, Triumph, Norton, Greeves, Jawa, Puch, Wanderer, Harris, BSS, Benelli, Laverda, Royal-Enfield, Harley-Davidson, Horex, Honda, Gilera, Kawasaki, Kreidler, Linto, Suzuki, Scott, Seley, Yamaha, Rickman, KTM, Ducati, Montessa, NSU, Vincent, Velocette and Zuendapp, etc.

I asked Erpelding which of the 200 units is his favorite. “The Norton,” he replied without pause. Erpelding has two Norton Manx. “The chairman of Cambridge University recently contacted me, asking if I would sell one of my Manx. I told him ‘No’. He offered Euro 100,000 and I declined. Then he offered Euro 200,000 and I again declined. Finally, I cut to the chase and told him I wouldn’t be selling the bike no matter what the price.”

MuseumBut, Erpelding is willing to sell certain units. He says he recently sold a Vincent to a collector in the United States for Euro 80,000. “He deposited the check in my bank account before even receiving the bike. I called and asked him why he trusted me, and he said, ‘I’ve heard you’re a trustworthy guy’.”

Erpelding is a fella who loves telling his stories. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to leave time to have beer at his Race Museum Bar. He’ll tell you about his run-ins with racer Agostini and Yamaha bosses; his thoughts on Triumph, MZ and KTM; his trips to Goodwood; and his days of racing Honda motorcycles and cars.

Check out Erpelding’s website, which features the full line-up of the museum’s bikes on display.

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — GOT ONE!

July 10, 2009

Piaggio USA delivered to me yesterday a brand-spanking new Moto Guzzi V7 Classic and it’s every bit as stylish and ass-kickingly cool as I remember. I’ve been lusting after one of these since I first saw the pics floating around the Internet. And, after saddling up on one at the Long Beach IMS stop, I started pestering the always capable Jeff Perlman over at Brandware (Piaggio’s PR agency) for a test ride. 

 

Phone pic of the V7 safely ensconced in the secret motorcycle proving grounds at Johnson Manor.

Phone pic of the V7 safely ensconced in the secret motorcycle proving grounds at Johnson Manor.

What does this have to do with the business side of the industry? Not a whole lot, but it does point to Piaggio/Moto Guzzi’s efforts to widen its footprint here in the U.S. with a faithful remake of a much-loved model. Triumph cemented its rebirth with its lineup of modern Bonnevilles and more than one OEM has teased the two-wheel crowd with concept models that echo the very standard profile of motorcycles past. While the riding public may embrace each new trick and tweak of the modern-day motorcycle, there seems to be a spot in most moto-hearts for bikes that look, feel and ride simply like bikes.  

It’s been long slog getting Moto Guzzi reestablished here in America (same for Aprilia, but that’s a completely different story) but Piaggio is gaining ground with models such as the V7, the Griso, the Breva and the Stelvio. Still trying to figure out the market niche for the California Vintage as there several capable cruisers out there on the (soft and smushy) cruiser market. Perhaps it’s the same as with the V7 — the nostalgia crowd.

Victory Lays Down the Hammer … S

June 15, 2009

I picked up a 2009 Victory Hammer S from Polaris HQ today, June 15. I’ve noticed this particular bike is about Victory performance, and that my sportbike has tire envy.

2009 Victory Hammer S

2009 Victory Hammer S

After rolling 200 miles during the first few hours after pick-up, I do have a few qualms about riding position (see future posts). Of course, I’m traditionally more of a sportbike rider, so anything I ride foot-first seems a bit odd.

Still, this is the best of the four Victory I’ve ridden for an extended period of time. It accelerates impressively (for (more…)

KTM Confirms Electric MX Model for 2011

April 23, 2009

KTM has confirmed plans to produce its previously unveiled electric off-road bike in 2010 for the 2011 model year.

As Dealernews reported in October 2008, KTM’s electric prototype weighs 200 pounds, develops approximately 35 hp, and can run for 40 minutes before recharging.
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KTM says the most important aspects of the project were that the machine have high power output, low weight and as long a range as possible using today’s technology. The OEM’s in-house research and development team worked on the project with Austrian firm Arsenal Research.

“The zero-emissions concept mates our known competencies with a new highly interesting motor technology,” said KTM director Harald Plöckinger. “We see emissions-free vehicles as offering the greatest chance to expand enduro sport to a wider and new audience in the mid- and long-term, and to perhaps even start a brand-new trend sport.”

Read more about KTM’s plans for 2009 at Dealernews.com.

Machineart Produces BMW-based Concept

April 13, 2009

Industrial design and product development firm Machineart Industrial Design has completed the R1200GSM, a design study of the iconic BMWR1200GS, using a process called “direct digital manufacturing” that drastically cut production time.

Machineart, Frenchtown, N.J., provides new product design and development services, focusing on concept development, visual brand identity, parts engineering and prototyping in powersports, computers & equipment, consumer products, medical products, juvenile products, housewares and sports equipment.

Machineart leadership says the primary goal was to develop a look that departs from BMW’s common lines while retaining a sense of muscularity. A secondary goal was to reduce the GS’s visual weight and give it a look of agility and forward movement. The final challenge was to build the prototype in a reasonable period of time utilizing digital manufacturing technology.
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Pieter de Waal, vice president, BMW Motorrad USA, recently told Dealernews that most GS riders do not ride off-road but still gravitate to the model because of its versatility, comfortable (more…)

2009 Triumph Bonneville SE — Retro Riding

April 10, 2009

Time to clear out the cobwebs around here with a couple (or so) posts from the two-wheeled world. No. 1 because it’s a brand near and dear to my heart is the latest from Triumph‘s retro range of bikes, the 2009 Bonneville SE. (Why is this near and dear? Because I love my THRUXTON.)

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This new incarnation of the Bonnie gets a few tweaks and upgrades that really go far to alter the look of this classic machine. What you might notice first is that Triumph has ixnayed the classic spoked wheels in favor of some (more…)

Ducati Working on Adventure Tourer?

March 16, 2009

It appears Ducati may be preparing to add an adventure tourer to its model line.

News outlets and blogs around the world have been reporting on the possibility, but Australian Ducati importer Warren Lee seems to have confirmed the rumors when he recently told the Courier Mail newspaper that the bike would be revealed as a 2010 model.

“Our adventure bike will be a lightweight sporty model with a swingarm similar to the 1098, a tall screen, and it will be the lightest with the best performance in its class,” Lee told the Courier Mail.

The Dutch website Motor.NL managed to obtain some spy shots of the bike apparently undergoing testing on the street. There are no knobbies mounted but, judging by the photos, the bike looks to be powered by Ducati’s liquid-cooled 1099cc V-twin – the same lump powering the OEM’s new Streetfighter.

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‘Clean’ Cycles Prepping for Isle of Man TTXGP

January 28, 2009

History will be made on June 12 when the Isle of Man hosts the TTXGP – a time trial competition open only to two-wheelers powered by clean emissions technologies.
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Concocted by British entrepreneur Azhar Hussain, the TTXGP (Time Trials Xtreme Grand Prix) is scheduled to be held on the legendary Isle of Man Mountain Course, a 37.733-mile circuit with over 200 corners, following the traditional Isle of Man TT.

Hussain says the event offers an opportunity for leading global innovators in racing and clean emission technologies to compete and prove to the world that being green does not mean being slow. The planned TTXGP will showcase a diverse range of vehicles capable of reaching race speeds. Racing teams are likely to be backed by international corporations, universities and high tech institutions, all eager to prove their credentials in clean emission transportation.

“TTXGP is about competitive innovation – pushing the frontier and making the next leap,” Hussain says.

Not only an event for well-funded corporations, the TTXGP also will offer an “Open” class race for innovative cottage teams who are interested in experimenting with alternative energy sources. These teams will be required to (more…)