"The Apex 2.0" – A custom Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 commissioned by Charles Leclerc
He’s 22, he drives for my favorite team, he’s from the home that runs my favorite circuit, he’s the youngest to win the Pole Trophy, he’s Charles Leclerc.
A precocious champion with breathtaking talent and ballistic pace, Charles has been fast-tracked into the money-can’t-buy race seat at Ferrari. Raking up the space left by Scuderia’s last world champion, Kimi Räikkönen, he promptly scored more race wins and points than his teammate, an established number one, Sebastian Vettel. That’s some profile!
Out of the car, Leclerc is modest and thoughtful and apparently loves seeing the world go past by like flashes of strobes, even on two wheels.
He recently commissioned a cool custom build of a Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 from one of the fanciest French builder, Bad Winners . It’s got ten more horses, is 60 lbs lighter and goes by the name - "The Apex 2.0".
Good morning and welcome to our April Fool’s Day round-up. It has already been two good days since we came under hoax news and stories from the motorcycle world playing practical jokes on us. Thanks to the close proximities of these pranks to the company’s products and impressions, they tricked us into believing their true existence.
Some were instantly rubbed off, while some seemed pretty convincing. Nonetheless, they all were pure April’s Fool pranks, and if you did not catch them all, we have got you covered. Participating in the Sunday’s jester were pranksters from BMW, Kawasaki, Triumph, Yamaha and a bunch of others including Lewis Hamilton.
If the cars have Ken Block, we have Travis Pastrana. A professional motocross racer, 17-time X Games winner, world record distant jumper, and the list goes on. Having so many tags behind his name, Travis Pastrana is undoubtedly the crazies daredevil there is out there. He has already had 32 surgeries and is still earning to get onto his bike every single time.
With Ken Block’s Gymkhana series making everyone gasp, Travis Pastrana is doing pretty much the same but with two lesser number of wheels. One fine day, Travis and his crew decide to have a friendly scooter race through Cape Town, South Africa. Winner gets the glory, the loser has to walk the plank leading into the cold ocean.
John Lennon’s 1969 monkey bike fetches a cool $80,000
Auction house H&H Classics had put up the sale of their acquired 1969 Honda Z50A. A bike that was once used by John Lennon, the legendary English singer, songwriter, musician, and peace activist who also co-founded the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music.
The auction was recently held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, a town in the West Midlands of England. Experts believed the bike will fetch at least £30,000 (more than $40,000), but to everyone’s surprise, the winning bid was almost twice of the estimated price, at £57,500 (about $79,600).
Video: Bikers telling you drivers why you need to pay attention on the road
“Hey driver, I know you are busy texting or watching a movie, or just busy getting a shut eye, but please watch for motorcyclists.”
Using Ryan Reynolds, that pretty smart. Who doesn’t love him? He is handsome, he is funny (go watch Deadpool if you want to know), he is charismatic and most important of all, he loves motorcycles just like all of us.
This video by the Tobacco Motorwear Company was released on the social media platform a few days ago and has been one of the best ones I’ve come across asking road users to pay attention while on the road.
The Duke of Cambridge gets a taste of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XRT
Triumph has been the oldest British motorcycle manufacturer that has a rich 115 years of heritage. Expressing this to the world, the Hinckley firm has built a brand new Factory Visitor Center for £4million ($5.3 million) spanning across eight distinctly-themed areas that combine to create a full Triumph experience.
Officially opening this Factory Experience to the public, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge got to ride on the brand’s newly updated flagship Adventure touring motorcycle, the Triumph Tiger 1200 XRT. Both Prince William and his younger brother Harry have been motorcycle enthusiasts, and both own an impressive fleet of machines on two wheels.
Keanu Reeves goes motorcycle surfing for a Super Bowl Ad
Squarespace, in its 14 years of existence, has become one of the biggest website manufacturing platform today. Most of its success, of course, goes to their quirky and easy templates, but their sensational marketing and weird advertising campaigns which previously included high-profile actors like Jeff Bridges and John Malkovich gave them the millions of users using its services today.
In their new adventure, Squarespace ran a 30-second commercial worth a whopping $5 million during the recently concluded high-profile Superbowl championship with one of its high-profile customer, Keanu Reeves, and his Arch Motorcycles.
Valentino Rossi gets nominated for the ‘Comeback of the Year’ award
Just when the 2017 season was looking good for Rossi, the champion suffered a huge blow to his run due to injuries on his leg during an enduro training accident. It put him out of the race for him to claim another title.
Fractures of the tibia and fibula saw ‘the Doctor’ undergo surgery that threatened him to miss at least two race weekends of this calendar season. But he jumped back on his feet and went in to ride at Motorland Aragon GP, the 14th venue of the season.
Taking inspirations from such amounts of commitment, the Laureus World Sports Awards 2018 has seen it fitting to nominate Rossi for ‘Comeback of the Year’, which he also won back in 2011.
Rossi shows the Yamaha Motobot who is boss.
Artificial Intelligence has been the hot topic in the technology world with both sides of the table blaring horns debating its usefulness and its destructive capabilities. With personal devices like Amazon’s Alexa or a Google Home already entering our houses, Yamaha here is trying to make a robot that will try and beat THE DOCTOR himself.
Is this the future of MotoGP??? Luckily, not for a long time to come. Thanks to an Italian bloke called Mr. Rossi. But a scary thought nonetheless.
Famous Movie And TV Bikes Headed To The Auction Block
On Saturday, May 27 in Midland, Texas, the Dan Kruse Classics auction house has a whole fistful of small- and big-screen motorcycles going up for grabs. If you’ve ever wanted a piece of entertainment history for your own use or as an investment for your estate, this auction is definitely something you’ll want to check out. Among the rides up for grabs at this, the Fourth Annual Midland-Odessa Classic Car Auction, we have the Johnny Blaze stunt bike from “Ghost Rider,” a ’99 Buell with a custom flame job over the white tank, subframe and flyscreen. (Yeah, I know. I was disappointed to discover that it wasn’t the chopper he rode out of Hell, but wheels made of fire and chain-link front forks probably look better than they ride.) Also on the block is the 1950’s vintage Zündapp from “Mad Men,” the ’05 Sucker Punch Sally “Mayan” chopper from “Sons of Anarchy,” and that ain’t all. “Priest” is well represented with the Priest’s Suzuki Gladius and The Familiar’s Bike, a Kawi KLX.
Continue reading for more on the auction.
The Discovery Channel began airing its docu-drama last night with the first of a three-part mini-series that delves into the roots of one of America’s most iconic brands; the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Produced by Raw Television and directed by Ciaran Donnelly, the six-hour show is shot entirely in Bucharest, Romania where Castel Film recreated turn-of-the-century America for this little opus.
Alex Wheeler produced the various bikes for the project at his South Africa-based, Apocalypse Production studio, and I gotta’ say I’m impressed with the finished products. Far from just being lick-and-stick stage props, these machines look and ride much like the originals, and to those who bemoan the lack of absolute authenticity or even complain that genuine antiques weren’t used (read: destroyed) in the process of filming some of the not-always-intentional crash scenes, I say get a grip, take a breath and enjoy the story for what it is.
Continue reading for more on Harley and the Davidsons.
Another Independence Day is upon us, and I found myself contemplating the nature, indeed the culture, of patriotism. It’s no secret that motorcyclists have a tendency to value liberty and freedom, and the bikes themselves become something of rolling shrines. Sometimes this takes the form of a paintjob; other times serious bodywork, but always with the underlying celebration of our core values. I’ve picked a few examples of just what I’m talking about here, so join me while I show you what I’ve got in mind.
Continue reading for my look at the Fourth of July, 2016.
Bike racer and all-around interesting man Guy Martin has officially turned down the BBC’s offer for him to be part of Top Gear. Martin told Commercial Motor magazine that he chose to walk away from the hosting duties in part because he didn’t want to do it. That, and he’s not too keen on living the kind of lifestyle that comes with being a host of one of the world’s most popular TV shows.
According to Martin, he’s perfectly fine with the path he’s chosen as a truck mechanic and motorcycle racer, leaving him with precious little time to do anything else. He also admitted that the small amount of TV work he already does is hard enough to fit into his daily schedule. Dedicating most of his time on Top Gear would entail a dramatic change in schedule and lifestyle, things he said he isn’t too keen on doing anytime soon. For now, Martin’s content with what he has on his plate and is perfectly fine not having to deal with the increased exposure and demands of being a Top Gear host.
Besides, he’s still recovering from his recent bike crash so that’s another issue he has to deal with in the meantime. So if anybody was hoping to see Guy Martin take up the role of a Top Gear host, that door has been officially closed by the man himself.
Continue reading to learn more about Guy Martin’s decision to turn down the Top Gear hosting gig.
The Bonhams auction house will be selling a handful of celebrity-owned motorcycles, one of which belongs to Hollywood royalty Steve McQueen. The remaining bikes belong to former Top Gear host James May. The auction is scheduled to take place at the Staffordshire County Showground on October 18, 2015.
McQueen’s 1934 Indian 750 Sport Scout will be one of about 250 motorcycles that will be auctioned off at that day. For obvious reasons, it’s also expected to be one of the most prized lots of the bunch, thanks in large part to its attachment to McQueen. The bike itself is expected to sell for about £55,000 to £65,000, which is around $84,000 to $100,000 based on current exchange rates.
Meanwhile, James May will be sending a total of four bikes to the auction, highlighted by a Honda CB450 “Black Bomber” that has an estimated value of £4,800 to £5,600 ($7,300 to $8,700). The Black Bomber, regarded as one of the most well-received versions of the CB450, will be joined by a 1970 Honda PS50 sports moped that’s valued at £1,800–£2,400 ($2,700 to $3,600); a 1973 Honda XL70 Trail pegged at £2,000 to £2,500 ($3,050 to $3,800); and a Honda P50 moped with an estimated value of £400 to £600 ($600 to $900).
The estimated prices aren’t indicative on what the bikes will go for, but they do provide a nice price guide for anybody who may be interested in making a bid. McQueen’s Sport Scout, in particular, is pretty enticing even though the estimate is much higher than any of May’s bikes.
Continue reading to read more about the celebrity bikes headed to the Bonhams auction.
Guy Martin is one of the most interesting men you’ll ever meet. When he’s not working on trucks, Martin’s a professional motorcycle racer and a TV personality to boot. He’s also a published author and on October 22, his new book, “When You Dead, You Dead”, is released in book stores all over.
The book is just one of the reasons that makes Martin such an interesting fellow. This is the same guy who two months ago, crashed violently at the Dundrod 150 race. In a conversation with BBC, Martin fessed up on the extent of his injuries, admitting that he broke five vertebrae, five ribs, and two metacarpals in his right hand. He also broke his sternum and doctors even had to rod his spine and plate his hand. These injuries may sound gruesome to other people, but Martin has always known the inherent risks that come with motor racing. So he takes them with stride, similar to how carpenters talk about the number of times they’ve hit their hands with a hammer.
Martin also said that he’s thinking of going back to racing bikes, although for now, his main objective is to take things slowly and recover from his crash and concentrate on his other job as a truck mechanic. That and promote his new book. According to Martin, one pound from each Guy Martin official merchandise and books sale will go to the Spinal Research charity.
Even when he’s taking things easy, Guy Martin still has time to be interesting.
Continue reading to learn more about Guy Martin’s horrific crash.
One of three Triumph Scramblers used in the filming of Jurassic World has been auctioned for a tidy sum of £28,000. That’s about $44,000 based on current exchange rates. It didn’t exactly fetch the $60,000 I thought it would, but given its association with Chris Pratt and the movie that just grossed $1.6 billion worldwide, I’d say that whoever won it for under $50,000 just scored a bargain price relative to how much it could cost in the future.
Unlike most high-class auctions we report on these pages, the Jurassic World Scrambler was actually auctioned off on eBay, which is a little surprising considering the stature of this particular motorcycle. But I hardly think the lucky winner of the auction is complaining about his huge score. Of the three Triumph Scramblers that were used in Jurassic World, this is the only one that was put up in the auction market. Pratt owns one of the other two while the other Scrambler is sitting comfortably inside Triumph’s museum in the UK.
The best thing about this auction is that proceeds from the sale will be sent directly to the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, Triumph Motorcycles’ official charity partner. According to the British motorcycle brand, the proceeds the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will receive will go directly to relief and research towards finding a cure for prostate cancer.
Only time will tell if the other two Scramblers will hit the market, but for now, the lucky winner of the Jurassic World Scrambler auction can take comfort knowing that he’s the only one in the world in possession of a customized Triumph Scrambler that ran along side a pack of raptors.
Not a bad story to tell the kids, huh?
Continue reading to read more about the Triumph Jurassic World Scrambler auction.
World famous custom bike builder Jesse James, he of West Coast Choppers fame, will be heading to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to showcase some of his new creations. Most of these items fall under his Jesse James Firearms Unlimited (JJFU) custom gun shop, but make no mistake, James is still a custom bike builder at heart. A handful of his motorcycle masterpieces will also be in attendance so if you ever find yourselves going to the rally this weekend, check out James’ works at 1601 Lazelle Street in Sturgis.
A quick peek at West Coast Choppers’ Facebook page revealed one such custom bike that’s headed to the biggest and most famous motorcycle rally in the world. Details are being kept under wraps except for a few photos here or there, but the way the build is going, it does look like James has quite the custom job in his hands. The bike’s tank, for one, is a piece of custom art finished in shiny copper. The same thing can be said for the matching rose gold accents on the fenders and the polished gold exhaust.
Seems like Jesse James is working on an eye-catching custom motorcycle that fits right in line with what we’ve come to expect from the famous bike builder.
In addition to his custom motorcycles, James will also showcase his new custom gun collection at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. That’s a part of his business I’m less comfortable talking about since it deals with firearms, but I will say this: any rationale observer will say that his custom guns are pretty impressive to look at. The details that a lot of these custom firearms have are incredible.
It’s not something that I’m going to buy any time soon, but I will recognize customization talent when I see it. Jesse James is one of the best in the world at it. He’s proven that time and again with his custom bike creations and he’s proving it once more with his custom guns.
Good thing we’ll see all of them at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Continue reading to read more about Jesse James’ new bikes and guns showcase at the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Triumph Motorcycles will be auctioning a piece of cinematic memorabilia when the iconic Scrambler ridden by Chris Pratt in Jurassic World goes under the hammer on July 23, 2015.
Anybody who watched one of the highest grossing movies of all time will recognize the Bonneville-based Scrambler from one the film’s most iconic scenes, or as I’d like to describe it, the only time in history that a Triumph, or any other motorcycle for that matter, rode in concert alongside a pack of raptors.
The auction will take place on eBay and the proceeds from the sale will go directly to The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, the British bike brand’s self-appointed fundraising partner. Whoever wins the auction will not only take ownership of a motorcycle that appeared in one of the most lucrative films in history, but he - or she - will also have the distinction of owning just one of three Scramblers that were customized specifically for the film. That’s a pretty good distinction to have, especially when one of its owners is Pratt himself while the other is displayed at Triumph’s headquarters in the UK.
Needless to say, this will be one of the few times that a really unique Triumph motorcycle will be up for grabs to the public. I don’t know how much it’s going to sell for, but I don know that it could be a hot ticket when the auction goes live on eBay at 7 pm GMT (3 pm ET) on Thursday, July 23, 2015. The auction will remain live for the next days, ending on Sunday, August 2, 2015.
Prepare to strategize on your bids, ladies and gentlemen. Chances are, you’re going to compete with a lot of people for this particular piece of Triumph and Jurassic World history.
Continue reading to read more about Triumph’s auction of the Jurassic World Scrambler.
Johnny Knoxville knows what it’s like to be a daredevil, or at least in his case, to be completely out of his mind. They actually mean the same thing, but if you asked Knoxville about Evel Knievel, he was neither crazy nor was he a daredevil. In Johnny’s own words, Knievel was a flawed superhero, but a supehero nonetheless.
That’s pretty much the premise of “Being Evel”, a new documentary about the life and myth of American icon Robert ’Evel’ Knievel. Don’t confuse this documentary with the “I Am Evel Knievel” documentary created by Virgil Films and Spike TV. Being Evel comes to us by way of Knoxville, History Films, and documentary director Daniel Junge.
Hard as it sounds to picture Knoxville not blowing his nuts to pieces, this documentary appears to come from the serious side of the MTV star. He waxes poetic on the influence Knievel had, not just on himself, but an entire generation of daredevils and stunt men and women who are now labeled as “professionals” for doing the things only Knievel had the cajones to do back in the 1970s.
“Nobody ever went for it like that before,” Knoxville mused in the short trailer of the documentary. It’s about as insightful as Knoxville’s going to get, and he hit it on the spot.
Yet like every success story that inevitably reaches a “but”, Knievel’s worldwide fame came with a price, and a heavy one at that. The documentary also dives deep into the Knievel’s demons, acquired as a price for the fame and glory he received for all of his death-defying exploits.
“Being Evel” covers the full breadth of Knievel’s life, from his triumphs to his heartbreaks, it’s all there, captured in the words of people who knew Evel or loved him from a distance. It’s a rich story about the life and times of one of America’s most iconic stunt riders, unfiltered for all the world to see.
Continue reading to read more about the Being Evel documentary.
For those who are familiar with his status in the automobile and motorcycle collector’s market, a lot of us know that It takes a lot to get the attention of Jay Leno. The man who arguably has one of the most fascinating car and bike collections in the world isn’t a guy that can be easily impressed by anything.
That said, industrial designer and all-around motorcycle savant Aniket Vardham managed to do it. All it took was for him to hand build his own ‘50s inspired Royal Enfield Bullet, which he proudly calls the Musket V-Twin. Needless to say, Leno was more than impressed with Vardham’s handiwork; he was downright enamored with it.
To be fair, Vardham’s creation truly is a masterpiece in craftsmanship. He builds the bike himself using only his hands and whatever available resources are presented to him. But despite his obvious limitations compared to actual motorcycle companies that routinely build these kinds of bike, Vardham was still able to create bikes that not only looked the part that would make their forefathers proud, but also performs like a modern-day warrior on two wheels.
It’s hard to point out which part of Vardham’s work is more impressive. On one hand, you have the remarkable design of the bike that perfectly captures the spirit of Royal Enfield back in the ‘50s. On the other hand, Vardham was also responsible for the new engines found on this bike. Basically, he put these engines together all by himself, assembling them piece by piece until he had a 700cc and a 1,000cc engine at his disposal.
In other words, and as Leno pointed out, Vardham is creating these bikes by himself without the aid of technology that actual motorcycle companies can tap into whenever they need it.
That’s beyond incredible, and it’s a testament to the talent, skill, and dedication the self-professed Royal Enfield enthusiast has in creating his own version of art.
Continue reading to read more about Aniket Vardham’s impressive Musket V-Twin motorcycle.