Geoff Duke, OBE, considered by many to be one of the best motorcycle riders in history, passed away. He was 92 years old. According to numerous reports, Duke passed away peacefully at the Elder Grange Nursing Home on the Isle of Man.
Many of our younger readers may not be familiar with Duke, but those who remember him will attest of his iconic status in the world of motorcycle racing. Duke’s career spanned from 1950 to 1959 and in that time, Duke collected an incredible Grand Prix racing record that included 33 victories and 17 more podium finishes. Considering that he took part in just 60 Grand Prix races, Duke’s winning percentage of winning more than 50 percent of his races is won of the most enduring records in the history of motorcycle racing. Included in his race wins tally are six Isle of Man TT races he won back when the legendary Isle of Man race was still included in the world championship calendar.
Duke went on to win six world titles - three with Norton and another three with Gilera - in addition to being credited as the first rider to hit 100 mph around the Snaefell Mountain in the Isle of Man.
His contributions to the world of motorcycle racing - and British racing for that matter - was enough for him to be awarded with the Order of the British in 1953.
Once he retired from the sport altogether, Duke settled in at the Isle of Man where he lived to his dying day.
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Geoff Duke, OBE.
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James May and Richard Hammond may be sitting idle these days, but the two former hosts of Top Gear found themselves on the busy end of auction activities at the Bonhams event this weekend. May and Hammond were both in attendance to auction off a handful of their classic motorcycles and as expected, all 12 bikes from their combined lot found new owners by the time the event had finished.
May, in particular, had eight bikes up for auction, including a 1974 Yamaha FS1-E that fetched £7,475, or about $11,400 based on current exchange rates. He also had a 1979 Suzuki TS250 that sold for £2,185 ($3,330), a 1973 Honda CD175 that sold for £1,725 ($2,630), and a 2010 Yamaha SR400 ‘Grievous Angel’ that sold for £10,350 ($15,780).
Meanwhile, Hammond’s four-bike lot also garnered significant attention, none more than his 2010 Norton Commando 961SE, which reached a high bid of £15,180, or well over $23,000 based on current exchange rates.
The two hosts combined to make a total of £77,625 ($118,400) from the auction. The amount may not be as big as some of the checks they cashed when they were still hosting Top Gear, but it’s still enough to at least afford them a few month’s worth of groceries and house repairs.
For its part, Bonhams came away as the biggest winner from auction after selling 86 percent of the lots it had consigned for the sale, totalling a cool £2.2 million ($3.3 million), including £275,900 ($418,000) for the top lot of the event, a 1939 Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide.
Continue reading to read more about May and Hammond’s Bonhams auction experience.
The Austin leg of the 2015 MotoGP season is shaping up to be a huge event this weekend. We already know that the race will be held at the Circuit of the Americas. We also know that some of the world’s best motorcycle riders will be competing in the race. Now comes word that the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show, also scheduled this weekend as part of the off track festivities surrounding the race, will host the unveiling of two custom Triumph motorcycles built specifically for Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds and TV personality Jessi Combs.
California-based Kott Motorcycles will be responsible for showcasing the custom Triumph Thruxton it built for Reynolds, who actually had a hand in designing the bike. According to Kott Motorcycles’ owner Dustin Kott, the man who will be playing Deadpool in the Marvel movie of the same name was largely responsible for infusing a “mid-1960s” look on the Thruxton, complete with a cinnamon red paint finish with a matching pewter striping on the cafe racer.
Meanwhile, Triumph of Westchester in New York will also showcase a custom Bonneville at the show. Instead of actually using a brand new Bonneville, the shop decided to use Combs’ very own 2012 Bonneville for the build. It’s the same bike that Combs was riding when she figured into an accident last October 2014. Instead of having insurance repair the machine, Combs decided to just donate the claim reimbursement to South Dakota-based non-profit organization Helping with Horsepower. Turns out, Triumph and Castrol caught wind of this and reached out to Combs to help fix up her tattered Bonneville. It took a few months to get the work done, but with the help of Carpenter Racing and a few other aftermarket shops, Triumph is now ready to showcase Combs’ 2012 Bonneville at the show this weekend.
Continue reading to read more about the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show.
With all the drama surrounding the status of Top Gear, one can only imagine that James May has a lot of downtime on his hands. He’s also technically unemployed so with no checks coming in the mail, May has decided to auction off his motorcycle auction at the Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale on April 26, 2015 with hopes of scoring a pretty hefty price to pay for his hair grooming.
Ok, that last part was a joke. But the truth of the matter is that May really is selling off some of his bike collection at the Bonhams event. One bike, in particular, that’s getting a lot of attention is his 1974 Yamaha FS1-E, one of the most iconic mopeds in history that once laid claim to the title of being the fastest 49 cc two-wheeler in the world.
The story behind the bike, affectionately called “Fizzie,” is equally fascinating. According to May, he brought the FS1-E from Hammond back in 2011 after the latter gave it a full restoration in 2007. Upon owning Fizzie, May only used the moped for roughly 50 miles, so the bike is basically still in fully restored condition.
The bike isn’t expected to fetch a premium price at the Bonhams auction. In fact, its estimated auction price is just at £2,000 to £2,400, which is about $2,920 to $3,550 based on current exchange rates. But considering that Fizzie was owned by two-thirds of the former Top Gear troika, that alone could bump up the bidding price a little bit higher than its estimate.
It’s also not the only bike May will be auctioning off at Bonhams. He’s also sending a 1979 Suzuki TS250, a 1973 Honda CD175, and his Yamaha SR400 ‘Grievous Angel’, which was custom built by Australian custom shop Deus Ex Machina back in 2010.
Continue reading to read more about James May’s motorcycles hitting the Bonhams auction block.
It’s only been a day since the BBC sacked Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson and already, various names are already being thrown out as a possible replacement for the always outspoken host.
Naturally, oddsmakers are getting in on the action and a lot of them have identified Chris Harris as the favorite to land the gig. But there’s one other name being thrown around that’ll raise the eyebrows of motorcycle fans around the world.
First of all, let’s be fair. Guy Martin doesn’t have the same flair for dry with and humor as Clarkson. But Martin is a character in his own right, and while some people might not be too fond of his antics, especially to fans and the media, there’s no denying that Martin has a presence in front of the camera that not many people have.
Now, will he make a good Top Gear host? As a presenter, Martin is a great choice. He’s had experience in that regard, having starred in a multitude of shows for both the BBC and Channel 4 TV.
But the show, of course, is largely centered on talking about some of the world’s fastest and most powerful cars. Motorcycles, on the other hand, are far less talked about on Top Gear. We all know Martin from his exploits in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy and if you want somebody to talk about motorcycles, he’s a good choice to have.
But cars are an entirely different specie and while I’m not saying he lacks any knowledge on that department, I will be curious to see how he can adjust to talking about sports cars and supercars on a somewhat exclusive basis.
Martin will be an interesting choice, to say the least. But he and Harris aren’t the only names being mentioned as possible replacements for Clarkson.
Other names that have been mentioned include model and car enthusiast Jodie Kidd, TV presenter Dermot O’Leary, comedian Stephen Fry, and in a somewhat ironic twist of fate, TV host and one-time Clarkson nemesis, Piers Morgan.
I’ve always fancied myself riding a bike down the street and then have every passerby trying frantically to pick their jaws up from the floor. There are only a handful of bikes that can command that kind of attention and one of them is going to hit the auction block really soon.
The Tron Light Cycle, or at least a one-off replica, is going to be auctioned off at an RM Auctions/Sothesby’s event in Texas on May 2. While it’s not exactly the original light cycle used in Tron: Legacy, this version is actually a lot better because it’s fully functional and has a direct-drive 96V electric motor that runs courtesy of a lithium battery pack and is mated to computer-controlled digital electronic transmission. Yep. it’s a light cycle that works and is fuel-efficient. Sign me up!
The owner of the bike is Paul Andrews, who as many of you know, is one of the most well-known automotive collectors in America. But he and his son Chris are also passionate about motorcycles and just because they wanted to, they decided to commission a third-party manufacturer to build them a working replica of the Light Cycle. It’s unclear how long they’ve had this beauty in their garage, but after deciding to sell off some items in their collection, the father and son duo looked at the Light Cycle and thought to themselves that it deserved to have a new owner.
So the Light Cycle is headed to an RM Auctions/Sotheby’s event in Texas on May 2 where I expect it to be one of the most highly anticipated pieces in the auction. It’s reportedly still in “as-new condition” so at the very least, the new owner will get a lot of good miles and stares for it. It has no reserve price and the estimated bid price is pegged at just $25,000 to $40,000, making it a can’t-miss bargain for fans of the movie franchise and fans of cool bikes in general.
Continue reading to read more about the Tron: Legacy Replica Light Cycle.
The latest trailer of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation has just been released and to no one’s surprise, Tom Cruise is back to laying the smackdown on BMWs. I don’t think the German company minds it one bit though because it’s a good way to get some product placement in arguably one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.
This partnership actually started in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol where we saw Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, get up close and personal with an early prototype of the BMW i8. This time, Cruise still gets some quality time with some of BMW’s newest vehicles, but if you look closely, you’ll see that he also found a way to get in the saddle of a BMW S1000RR.
The scene plays out around the 16-second mark of the trailer, showing Cruise being chased along a winding road by gun-toting goons riding their own S1000RR bikes. It already looks like an incredible scene so I can only imagine what it’s going to look like in the actual movie.
One thing I do know is that motorcycles have always gotten some love in the movie franchise. I’m not going to blame you if you’ve forgotten about it, but a Triumph Daytona 955i and Triumph Speed Triple 955i did get some camera time in Mission Impossible II while a 2006 Triumph Bonneville received the same treatment in MI:3.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol didn’t have a lot of bikes in it, but it looks like Cruise will return to riding them in Rogue Nation. It’s also no surprise that he chose the S1000RR because something tells me that the decision to feature the bike in the movie has a lot to do with whatever cross-promotional agreement the franchise has with the German brand. Smart move, BMW.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation hits theaters on July 31 in the US.
Fans of the hit AMC show The Walking Dead understand that the show’s zombie culture lends itself to the belief that there’s nothing more important in the show than to survive. Granted, it’s really up to the show runners and who they decide to kill off on any given episode, but if you’re in their good graces, then you’re probably safe from having a zombie chomp away your limbs.
Norman Reeds has been one of the main cast members of the Walking Dead and if you remember earlier in the series, his character, Daryl Dixon, had a motorcycle to help him hunt down zombies. He ended up losing it at some point in the series, but now it appears that Reedus ready to jump back in the saddle with a new custom bike created by custom builder Classified Moto.
So how did Classified Moto get the gig? Well, it turns out that Reedus himself suggested the tuner to the producers since he already had a history with the company from a previous custom bike it did for him in the past. In addition, Classified Moto has also had an imprint in Hollywood, having done projects for a number of other celebrities in the past.
So at the request of Reedus and with the blessing of the show’s producers, Classified Moto created a pair of spartan Honda bikes that should fit right in with the post-apocalyptic world of the show.
Check out the video above detailing the process behind the creation of Daryl Dixon’s new bike for the show. Hopefully, he doesn’t lose this one like the last bike he had. Seeing him riding a bike with a crossbow in tow and hunting down zombies will probably end up becoming the least depressing part about that show.
Two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner might be in for a busier 2015 than he expected. Days after confirming his participation in the Suzuka 8-Hour event this July, the Australian racing legend has also signed up to be part of the Top Gear Festival Sydney this coming April 2015.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! Casey Stoner will not only represent Team Australia in a motoring battle against the Top Gear hosts in what’s being billed as “The Cr-Ashes,” he will also attempt to set a two-wheeled lap record while riding a Honda RCV1000R around the Sydney Motorsport Park.
Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May will all be in attendance. So will be the show’s eponymous test driver, the Stig. But despite the presence of these global celebrities, Stoner might very well upstage all of them as he tries to set a new lap record for a motorcycle around the track. I certainly hope he pulls it off, if only to see what the Top Gear hosts have to say after he does it.
But in the event Stoner fails to break the lap record around the track, he can let out his frustration on the hosts when he joins Team Australia in “The Cr-Ashes,” a series of ridiculous events that combines cars and sports together in one setting. Clearly, there’s nothing normal about these events, which include Sidecar Polo, V8 Cricket, Car Soccer, and apparently for the first time ever, Car Rugby Penalty Shootout.
Yep. Car Rugby Penalty Shootout.
I don’t know what that looks like or how it’s going to be played, but with Stoner and the Top Gear hosts all being a part of it, I’m sure it’s going to be a rollicking event for everybody.
Click "continue reading" to read more about Casey Stoner’s record-setting run next month in Sydney.
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is getting a new addition to its lineup of legendary motorcycles and if I do say so myself, it’s bringing in one of the most iconic movie bikes in history. That’s some pretty esteemed company, but if there’s one bike that’s deserving of that distinction, it’s Malcolm Smith’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross that played a prominent role in the famous motorcycling movie, “On Any Sunday.”
The bike has actually been to the Hall of Fame but its past appearances have been limited as displays only. Well, now the Hall of Fame will be its permanent home, something that wouldn’t have happened without the generosity of Smith himself.
But as he said so himself, the “On Any Sunday” Husky deserves to be put in the Hall of Fame, not just because it starred in one of the finest motorcycling movies in history, but because it’s singularly responsible for inspiring a generation of riders, a lot of whom credit the bike and the movie for igniting their passion in motorcycles.
That’s an honor not a lot bikes can boast of, but something the On Any Sunday Husky proudly wears like a badge of honor. There really is only one place for this esteemed bike and that place is the AMA Hall of Fame.
Click “continue reading” to read more about Malcolm Smith’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 getting its long-overdue AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame invite.
Mark Wahlberg is a man of many talents. He’s an actor, director, model, and rapper. Oh, he’s a hamburger franchise owner, too, although some of you probably didn’t know that. Well, as of this week, you can add fashion designer to his ever-growing list of accolades.
In an announcement made earlier this week, Indian Motorcycle let the cat out of the bag, saying that it has collaborated with the Hollywood A-lister to launch the “Mark Wahlberg Collection”, a line of t-shirts and tank tops for both men and women.
In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Wahlberg commented on his new business venture, calling his partnership with Indian Motorcycles as an “organic collaboration of my style and Indian Motorcycle’s iconic look.”
Considering that Wahlberg is an unabashed fan of Indian Motorcycles, it was only fitting that if he were to start a motorcycle-centric clothing line, he would do it with the same company that he already has a great relationship with.
Remember, Wahlberg is actually a brand ambassador for Indian Motorcycles. It’s a partnership that has since blossomed since Wahlberg was asked by the motorcycle company to help launch the new Indian Scout at Sturgis in 2014.
The two have since hooked up on a couple of other projects, including prominent exposure for the Indian in Wahlberg’s movie “Daddy’s Home” with Will Ferrell. On top of that, Wahlberg also said that a Flash Gordon-themed Scout would be appearing in another one of his new movies, Ted 2.
From the looks of things, this is shaping up to be a partnership made from motorcycle heaven.
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Isle of Man TT rider extraordinaire Guy Martin has never been the type who follows popular convention. So it certainly didn’t come as a surprise when he told Rick Broadbent of the UK’s The Times that he plans to take a long break from competitive motor racing and all the engagements that come with it in order to focus on enjoying his life more.
Martin’s quirky personality has earned him legions of fans, a lot of whom probably identify with this quirkiness ad revel in the fact that he was still able to carve out a legendary motor racing career because of it. But it’s this kind of personality that also has him thinking about giving up all the fame and adulation that comes with being a top bike rider just so he can return to fixing trucks.
That appears to be his plan now. Race in the 2015 season and hang it up after that. And if we know Guy Martin, he’s the type to stick with it, consequences be damned. While he didn’t explicitly say that he’s retiring for good and will continue to live his life the way it was before his fame, his comments to Broadbent do paint a picture of a man who has always lived by his own rules.
He’s endearing and frustrating at the same time, but it’s his openness about his life that makes him one of the few sports personalities in the world today that people can say behaved without any hint of plastic about him. He’s as real as it gets and when he says that he’s planning to hang up his helmet so he can return to being a truck mechanic, there’s really no reason to believe otherwise.
Click past the jump to read more about Guy Martin’s plans moving forward.