Posts Tagged ‘Rally’

Hell’s Angels ‘Invade’ Minnesota

August 1, 2009

“They rode with a fine unwashed arrogance, secure in their reputation as the rottenest motorcycle gang in the whole history of Christendom.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels

The Hell’s Angels made a small town in Minnesota the spot to amass before heading out to Sturgis for the annual motorcycle rally, and while local and national law enforcement have been on high alert, locals have proved less concerned.

hellsangels02The bikers of “unwashed arrogance” are largely a thing of the past. No longer ex-military and out for a post-war good time, the ranks have been largely replaced by the miscreant too dumb to conform to societal norms. They are the suited and tied, the employed white collar and blue collar, mixing with ner-do-wells to form a slutty fraternity of kindred spirit.

But nevermind the description, the bikers started rolling into Carlton County, Minn., on Sunday, July 26. By Thursday, July 29, more than 300 of the patched riders were in attendance. Some estimates suggest an equal number of law enforcement agents in the area.

The Hell’s Angels made their base roughly 100 miles from the Twin Cities, at the Black Bear Casino Resort on I-35 and the Lost Isle Bar on Hwy. 210. Both locations were barricaded for maximum privacy.

Although the Hell’s Angels are classified by the FBI as a gang known for crimes ranging from drugs to prostitution to money-laundering to gun-running, residents say the bikers have been polite, respectful folks.

“What I imagined were constant bikes going back and forth,” Don Rostollan told Minnesota’s StarTribune newspaper. Rostollan owns Spirits Restaurant and Bar and a convenience store across from the temporary Hell’s Angels headquarters at the Lost Isle Bar on Hwy. 210. “I’m kind of surprised you don’t see more.”

One biker reportedly asked Cozy Cafe waitress Tracy Burns where he could buy some wild rice. One ordered a double shot espresso at a coffee shop. “Good guys,” Burns told the StarTribune of the handful that have stopped by the cafe. “Good tippers.”

However, past deadly outbursts with the Outlaws (currently holding court in a nearby town in western Wisconsin) has stoked concern about the potential for violence.

Yet Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake told the StarTribune there had been no major incidents involving the Hell’s Angels. Authorities ticketed 24 of the member bikers for speeding and 71 non-members for minor traffic violations between Tuesday and Thursday. One Angel, a 43-year-old New York member, was arrested for driving under the influence after he refused to take a field sobriety test and was found to be riding a motorcycle reported stolen in New Jersey.

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Off-Road Star Blais Still Passionate About Cycles

June 12, 2009

Chris Blais has a passion for motorcycles.

Off-road motorcycle enthusiasts no doubt recognize Blais’ name from the stellar riding career he carved out for himself in the sport of desert racing.

Chris Blais

Chris Blais

Check out his scorecard:
2003 – 2nd overall at the Baja 1000
2005 – 4th overall at the Nevada 1000
2005 – 2nd place at the Terrible’s Town 250
2005 – 2nd place at the Parker 250
2005 – 4th overall at the Baja 500
2005 – 1st overall at the San Felipe 250
2005 – 4th overall at the Tunisia Rally
2005 – 9th overall at the Dakar Rally
2006 – 4th overall at the Dakar Rally
2007 – 3rd overall at the Dakar Rally

Blais, who started his career in 2001 atop a Honda, ultimately turned to riding for KTM and quickly became among the most promising riders in the United States. Then, in August 2007, Blais’ riding career came to an end when he damaged his vertebrae as the result of a motorcycle crash in the desert near Tonapah, Nev., while pre-running the Best in the Desert (BITD) Vegas to Reno race.

What is he doing now? Click here to find out.

Ride The Mountain with Big Bear Choppers

May 27, 2009

The custom V-twin industry might be comatose at the moment, but that’s no excuse to hang up your party hat. For business may be down, but there’s always them there motorcycles to ride. If you’re so inclined (that’s good mountain humor) why not ride them up to enjoy Big Bear Choppers‘ 7th Annual Ride the Mountain festivities.

The only thing missing are little people. No, wait, there will be little people! The Shorty's Kiss Band is playing.

The only thing missing are little people. No, wait, there will be little people! The Shorty's Kiss Band is playing.

V-twins and other rides will own the mountain resort village of Big Bear, Calif., and the Snow Summit Mountain Resort on Saturday, June 6. This year’s sky-high shindig features the Freak Show Deluxe featuring glass eating, glass walking, sword swallowing and the bed of nails. Also, San Francisco-area rock-a-billy rebels, the Chop Tops, will be kicking some musical ass.

As a nod to its customers, BBC (website here) is hosting a VIP lounge under an exclusive tent next to the factory big rig, with preferred parking, refreshments and a special shirt and VIP badge. On Sunday, June 7, the Mindfreak himself, Criss Angel, will be at the Big Bear Choppers facility signing autographs and flogging his magic.

Lest this seem like a commercial, I’ll add this about Big Bear Choppers: the business is really down in the dumps across all segments so it’s pretty cool to see one of the big boys holding strong with a rally/event aimed squarely at its customers, and riders in general. Knowing how cost-cutting works I’d imagine that this is the kind of event that often appears on the chopping block when looking for cost savings. I tip my helmet to Kevin, Mona and Andy up at BBC for keeping the mountain open for everyone.

Rally Hero Scot Harden Featured on Scorpion TV

April 29, 2009

Motorcycle rally champion Scot Harden blazed a trail to Scorpion Sports HQ last week to talk about the helmet and apparel supplier’s new XDR Collection.

Scot Harden

Scot Harden

XDR stands for “Xtreme Distance Riding” so nobody is more qualified to talk about what goes into great riding gear than Harden. During his trip to Scorpion, he took the time to point out some of the many features and benefits that differentiate the XDR Collection from ordinary gear. Fortunately, the cameras were rolling and a short video clip now appears at Scorpion’s home page, while a longer version where Scot discusses rallying with Scorpion VP Eric Anderson appears at the ScorpionNation YouTube site .

Harden is a member of the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He has served as African Rally champion, two-time Dakar Rally veteran, three-time Baja 500 and Baja 1000 Overall champion, three-time ISDE medalist, U.S. Trophy Team member and two-time AMA Amateur National Off-road champion.

Scorpion XDR Commander

Scorpion XDR Commander

Last August, Harden was hired as national sales and marketing manager of Husqvarna Motorcycles NA, LLC. Prior to that he spearheaded corporate marketing strategies, product development and sales for KTM North America.

During his Hall Of Fame racing career, Harden has logged more than 200,000 off road miles that is enough to circumnavigate the entire planet eight times. I suggest anyone having a chance to talk with Scot jump at the opportunity.

‘Movin’ On Up’ Scooter Rally in Colorado, June 5-7

April 20, 2009

“Movin’ On Up”, the longest running vintage motorscooter rally in Colorado, takes place June 5-7 in Colorado Springs.badges-spot01

Festivities for this tenth annual event take place at The Rocket Room, Buffalo Lodge, and The Piano Warehouse, as well as on public streets. Oh, and there’s a raffle for a classic Vespa.

SCHEDULE

FRIDAY
8pm – Rocket Room (230 Pueblo Ave) Register for the rally (free) and meet up with new and old friends; have cocktails; and enjoy DJs Gazzy Goff, Davevinyls, Muggy Luvins and AdamXYL. Get your first look at the Raffle bike and enjoy yourself.

SATURDAY
11am – Breakfast at the Buffalo. Wake up, stumble outside and enjoy some coffee and breakfast.
1pm – Pokenger Runt ride around – no 50 cc scooters please.
4pm – End up back at the Buffalo for food, drinks the Mechanics Race and other games, take a swim and have a few beers on the Serveterans. Take a nap, grab a shower and get ready for:
9pm – Ride from the Buffalo to the Piano Warehouse for Party For The People featuring live rock and roll, complimentary beer from Bristol Brewing and a FULL OPEN BAR – you get into this party free with your rally registration (free).

SUNDAY
11am – Breakfast location TBA
1pm – Mike Loop Memorial Ride. Scenic ride around the area.
3pm – Ride end, drinks, food silent auction and Awards.

Organizers recommend staying at or near the Buffalo Lodge. Call and ask for Liz – mention the “scooter thing.” Call the folks at Sportique Scooters for more information – (719) 442-0048

KTM 450 Beats Citroën C4 WRC in Hillclimb

April 2, 2009

British TV show Fifth Gear first showed that a Ducati 999 was a tick quicker than a Lamborghini Gallardo around a track, and now ten time world motocross champion Stefan Everts, riding a KTM 450, beat five-time rally champion Sébastien Loeb and his Citroën C4 WRC car up the Geraardsbergen Wall in Belgium.

OK, so Everts was only one tenth of a second ahead – traversing a slippery cobblestone-laden street to reach the top of the hill in 49:07 seconds compared to 49:17 for Loeb.

Still, what started as an innocent competition (a gentleman’s bet, if you will) between two top athletes turned into an exceptional duel. It was Everts who challenged Loeb a few weeks ago. Then the marketing wizkids at Red Bull turned it into an event, the Red Bull Motorclash.

The loser of the duel had to do some labor: clean the vehicle of his opponent. Loeb put up no resistance at all to carrying out his assignment and showed no sign of disappointment afterwards: “I thought this duel was a tremendous idea and I have no problems with Stefan winning it,” he said. “The difference is so small, it could have gone either way.”

Vehicles are not usually allowed on the Wall, but with the permission and co-operation of the town of Geraardsbergen and the police, everything ran seamlessly and safely.

Check out the video HERE

everts2loeb1

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.

ducati_motornlducati_motornl_2

Squashing the KTM Rumor Mill

February 26, 2009

Austrian firm KTM says it is preparing to launch a hardtop X-Bow and “green” off-road four-wheeled vehicle. It’d make sense, but a glimpse at the OEM’s financials don’t show much room for the production of such units.

KTM ended its 2007/2008 business year Aug. 31 with sales of 92,385 motorcycles, up from 90,306 units sold during the 2006/2007 business year. Car sales numbered about 100 units.ktm_xbow_cross1

While recent year-end revenues were €605.7 million (about $776.9 million), up 7 percent from €566.1 million in the prior year, a drop in the U.S. dollar exchange rate to the euro brought earnings down 49.4 percent from the comparable period, to €20.1 million (about $25.8 million).

Then, in November, feeling the pinch of the global economic slowdown, the OEM announced a plan to cut motorcycle production by 10 percent and lay (more…)

Dakar Winners – KTM’s Coma, Yamaha’s Machacek

January 17, 2009

Spanish rider Marc Coma (KTM) has won this 31st Dakar Rally, the first one to be held in

Marc Coma

Marc Coma

Argentina and Chile, with an overall time of 52hr14min33. Coma finished the rally 1hr25min38 ahead of French defending champion Cyril Despres (KTM), and 1hr38min56 ahead of France’s David Frétigné (Yamaha).

Riding a KTM 690 Rallye, Coma, 33, won the first stage and kept the overall lead through every one of the following 14 stages.

In the ATV race, Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha) won the very first general standings for the quad category in history of the Dakar, 2hr34min00 ahead of Argentina’s Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am), and 7hr42min34 ahead of Polish rider Rafal Sonik (Yamaha).

Josef Machacek

Josef Machacek

The 52-year-old Machacek rode his self-built Raptor to four stage wins for the overall honors.

Stage One of Dakar 2009 began in Buenos Aires on Jan. 3. Teams and riders from 49 countries then traveled 5,903 miles over the legendary Argentina Pampas, into Patagonia, across the Andes mountains, and across hundreds of miles of desert and sand dunes to the completion of Stage 14 back in the Argentinean capital on Jan. 17.

OEMs participating in the motorcycle division included KTM, Honda, Yamaha, Gas-Gas, BMW, Kawasaki, Sherco, Beta, Husqvarna, Suzuki and China’s Jincheng.

KTM puts a lot of effort, and funding, into the Dakar competition. More than 55 percent of the 235 motorcycle competitors that started rode atop KTM.

About 30 quads started the rally. Brands competing in the ATV division included Yamaha, Suzuki, Polaris, BRP’s Can-Am and KTM.

MOTORCYCLE FINAL STANDINGS
Coma (ESP)…KTM…52hr14min33
Despres (FRA)…KTM…+1hr25min38
Frétigné (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr38min56
Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+2hr17min54
Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+2hr22min11
Ullevalseter (NRT)…KTM…+2hr25min02
Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+2hr28min29
Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+2hr50min39
Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+3hr22min41
Goncalves (PRT)…KTM…+4hr12min42

ATV FINAL STANDINGS
Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…68hr22min06
Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+2hr34min00
Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+7hr42min34
Deltrieu (FRA)…Polaris…+11hr13min31
Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+15hr59min51
Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+16hr44min15
Carlini (FRA)…Polaris…+25hr10min45
Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+26hr12min39
Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am+…40hr20min38
Pena (ESP)…Yamaha…+46hr46min05

Coma and Despres show their final positions in the 2009 Dakar Rally / Chaco

Coma and Despres show their final positions in the 2009 Dakar Rally / Chaco

DAKAR – Riders Return to Argentina

January 15, 2009

Today’s Dakar Stage 12 brought competitors 312 miles from Fiambala to La Rioja, Argentina. The distance included a 157-mile special stage and miles of tough to navigate

Coma navigates the dunes / Chaco

Coma navigates the dunes / Chaco

white sand dunes. You’ll recall from Tuesday’s post that Wednesday’s Stage 11 was cancelled due to fog in the Andes.

In motorcycles, Frenchman Cyril Desprès (KTM) crossed the finish 1min23 ahead of Spain’s Marc Coma (KTM), and 9min47 ahead of Spaniard Gerard Farres Guell (KTM). Coma (KTM) still has an overall lead in the rally, 1hr29min48 ahead of Cyril Desprès.

In the ATV race, Argentine Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) won his third special stage of this Dakar, 35min56 ahead of Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha), and 36min02 ahead of Frenchman Hubert

Patronelli's 800cc Can-Am

Patronelli's 800cc Can-Am

Deltrieu (Polaris). However, Machacek is still in the lead in the overall standings 1hr54min38 ahead of Patronelli and 7hr06min17 ahead of Poland’s Rafal Sonik (Yamaha).

OVERALL MOTORCYCLE STANDINGS
Coma (ESP)…KTM…47hr51min30
Desprès (FRA)…KTM…+1hr29min48
Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr33min55
Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+2hr16min13
Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+2hr24min04
Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+2hr24min07
Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+2hr27min57
Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+2hr45min14
Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+3hr14min49
Goncalves (PRT)…Honda…+3hr53min16

OVERALL ATV STANDINGS
Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…63hr12min11
Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+1hr54min38
Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+7hr06min17
Deltrieu (FRA)…Polaris…+11hr11min12
Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+15hr41min57
Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+16hr44min18
Carlini (FRA)…Polaris…+24hr37min31
Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+25hr05min29
Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am…+39hr44min00
Van Gastel (NLD)…Yamaha…+45hr30min31