Cleveland CycleWerks to setup shop in India
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland CycleWerks began business not very long ago. Still new to the industry, the company builds small displacement retro style café racers and bobbers known for their distinctive retro-chic styling, ride quality and above all value for money. There have been issues with their fit and finish, but are ever improving.
This American manufacturer is going to set up shop in India this year to taste how it is to run in the biggest market for two-wheelers. It will go in the Indian bike market to challenge Royal Enfield’s small bike supremacy in its own backyard. They will bring three models out of their six to the Indian market, all ranging from 110cc to 230cc catering to the commuter segment (the biggest motorcycle segment of the country).
The Energica EgoGP bike breaks cover
Last year, Dorna Sports, S.L., the commercial entity that holds the rights to conduct all MotoGP Championships and all forms of supersport and superbike racing held around the world, announced that it would be conducting races that will consist of electrically powered Energica Ego superbikes running the circuits.
In a launch event held yesterday at Officine Farneto in Rome, Dorna announced more details about the electric racing with showcasing of the race-spec Energica EgoGP along with naming the series the “FIM Enel MotoE World Cup” from its inception in 2019.
Harley-Davidson decides to pull the plug of its Kansas City plant
Recently, we were contemplating about Harley’s upcoming new models, ’Bronx’, ’48X’ and ’Pan America’, as part of their new strategy to add 100 new models in the coming decade. But it looks like the Milwaukee Bar & Shield brand is not able to register any success stories today due to its current downward trend in the market.
Taking considerations of customer demands, the firm has decided to close its factory in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2019 and consolidate its production in York, Pennsylvania. This will cut around 800 American jobs from the production ranks in Kansas and add 450 positions to its York facility that had lost 118 jobs last year.
Hearly Davidson’s Projet LiveWire to hit production in 18 months
You know things are actually getting serious when stalwarts like the Harley Davidson are putting their money and testing out electricity to power their machines. And if you have been following the Marvel studio’s Avenger series, you might have caught the stunning Scarlett Johansson picking up things for the boys on a stealthy looking black widow’s electric motorcycle.
That is the Project LiveWire. Harley’s proprietary shift to an alternative power source. And if you have been keeping up to date with its progress, you might find it as blasphemous as it was for me that Harley took so long for it to enter the production phase.
Luckily, our friends at Autoblog report that the Milwaukee firm is steaming ahead with the Project LiveWire and will soon hit to production. If everything goes right, the electric bike will hit the market as soon as 18 months from now.
How would you like your helmet have air conditioning?
We’ve all been there. Have huge miles to cover through blistering hot weather and the humid air is not making things any better. Sweat is trickling down our neck, and that itchy scalp makes us wish we could rip it off our head. Feeling fresh arriving at the destination only means feeling liberated when the helmet comes off the head. Well, thanks to an Indian start-up, not anymore.
BluArmor, a subsidiary of a motorcycle gear company called AptEner Mechatronics have launched a brand new life-saving helmet cooling device – The BluSnap. It is a battery-operated air-cooler that simply snaps onto any full-face helmet and provides fresh and cool air that will circulate inside your helmet to keep you fresh and fatigue-free even after a long ride.
Europe will mandates emergency SOS call system for motorcycles
Emergency call systems for cars have been around for a while, with brands like GM having OnStar that automatically dials emergency services if the device installed in the vehicle detects a crash or a break-in. This acts as a quick-response service in case of accidents and there is no one around the crash site to call in for help.
Christened as the “eCall”, this European initiative intended to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision will be mandatory in all new cars sold within the EU from April 2018. And a few industry sources say that this might come in handy when they mandate for motorcycles as well.
SWM Motorcycles announces its future plans
SWM is not often a spoken manufacturer. During the EICMA 2014, SWM announced to the world that they are coming back to the two-wheeled universe with the help of a Chinese investor - Daxing Gong, owner of Shineray Group.
The ambitious plan set the wheels turning and within 9 months motorcycles started rolling off the assembly line. The company offers 125cc - 650cc single-cylinder motorcycles in enduro, supermoto, dual sport and classic segments.
Now, the firm announced its plans to build V-twin motors and develop new models to take on the fierce competition.
The ones that made motorcycle headlines in 2017
This is the last working day of 2017. And this is also the last article I will be penning down for the year. So I thought ’why not revisit all that has happened over the past twelve months which has a direct impact on the future of the motorcycle industry?’
Here is a list of every major news and launches that has coursed the path in the industry:
Triumph records 11.1% up sales while the market is all down
Over the past twelve months, Triumph has been sweating it out on the arena and treating us with exceptionally new modern classics over and over again. Their Bonneville range is selling as fast as they can make them and just when you thought it’s time for them to take a well-deserved breather, they just pushed themselves into uncharted territory and launched the Bobber.
It became Triumph’s most successful new model of all time, having placed more orders than any other bike previously within the first month of its launch. Then came the blazing new Street Triples’ that saw Triumph first-quarter figures see a 15% growth.
BSA set to make a grand comeback
With the craze of the British designs and brands taking mainstage in the industry currently, “The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited” or BSA is having a grand comeback in the most modern fashion and will join the likes of Ariel, Levis, Brough, Hesketh, Matchless, and Norton.
This comes in light of a tweet by Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) boss Anand Mahindra on Boxing Day which states "We’re sorry you’ve missed out on your favourite ride for all these years, Santa...We’re working on getting it back for you...A shiny new one, but with all the character of your old steed..."
The tweet was accompanied by this old advertising image below
Suzuki might just be the first to put a motorcycle on the moon
Not many know this but back in 1969, NASA began testing Honda’s 90cc ’monkey bikes’ to transport astronauts on the moon surface. Soon it was replaced by in-house electric bikes cooled with beeswax that were tested aboard zero-gravity flights to replicate lunar gravity.
The project did not really take any shape since the engineers managed to fit the lunar rover buggy on the Apollo 15 spaceship successfully. The mini-bike was more of a backup plan just in-case the buggy couldn’t make it in time.
Now, Suzuki just announced its plan to get on with the space race by backing ISpace, a company that plans to build a city on the moon by 2040. Suzuki will fund two lunar missions that will take flight somewhere between now and 2020.
MV Agusta breaks shackles from Mercedes AMG
MV Agusta’s exotic Italian lineage has been through the history’s ups and downs. Doing so, the company switched hands four times in the past 12 years and has been once owned by Harley Davidson until in 2014 when Mercedes-AMG became a 25 percent stakeholder.
Now, that 25% shares have been bought back by MV Holding that effectively removes the German brand from the business operations of the motorcycle sector, MV Agusta S.p.A. With this seen through, MV is in a bid to get back its workforce to get back up and running to full production.
Harley-Davidson gets ’Bronx’ trademarked
Harley-Davidson promised to give us 100 new models in the coming decade and has already showcased 10 new ones this year. Nine new Softails and the Street Rod. With 90 more to come, the job of giving them names also become a big part of their build to production.
Harley has begun registering new names and according to the latest news, there might as well be a ’Bronx’ coming soon. Harley-Davidson just trademarked the names “Bronx” and “Harley-Davidson Bronx” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Automatic transmission is on the prowl
Automatic vs. Manual has been a hot debate for the four-wheeler segment ever since the first automatic car was born in 1940 by General Motors’ Cadillac. And now, it seems like it will create similar situations in the two-wheeler segment as well. Or would it?
Honda has been at the forefront of new technology and has heavily invested into bringing automatic transmission to everyday motorcycles. It has been a pioneer in developing new forms of gear and clutch designs and is vying to change the dimensions of free riding, starting with the scooters all the way to the mighty Gold-Wing.
Every other major player has their own versions of the same having different acronyms but ultimately does the same job. It seems the manual transmission is well on its slide into obsolescence within the automotive world. And the ones responsible are these folks:
Indian Motorcycles looks at expanding its portfolio
When Polaris took over the operations of Indian Motorcycles, they literally revived the brand from the dark shallows of the abyss and created a niche for the brand worldwide. Since then, Indian motorcycles seems to have found its stronghold and has been swiftly introducing more products to its existing lineup.
In a recent interview with Motofire, Polaris President of Motorcycles Steve Menneto expressed the company’s desire to extend their product portfolio to smaller capacity motorcycles and electric powertrain for the future.
Welcoming a new generation of riders has become the brand’s top priority for the foreseeable future.
Janus Motorcycles gets Googled
Google launched a new initiative for America called the “Grow with Google”, that will allow today’s workforce to access the best of Google’s training and tools to help them grow their skills, careers, and business.
To show the world how it’s done, the Californian tech giant roped in Janus Motorcycles from Goshen, Indiana, a small motorcycle builder that makes around 90 machines a year. Together, they produced a YouTube video that goes on to showcase how the founders collaborated and made use of the internet’s tools to market their machines.
BMW invests €200 million on its “Battery Cell Competence Centre”
You know things are actually getting serious when stalwarts like the BMW are putting their money and testing out electricity to power their future machines.
The new “Battery Cell Competence Centre” coming up in Munich, the brand’s headquarters, is BMW’s vision and commitment to developing the next generation of energy systems that will be powered by advanced battery cell technology.
Yamaha Corporation is selling a part of its motorcycle division
Yamaha Corporation today announced that it will be selling 8 million shares of its holdings at Yamaha Motor Co., of which it is the largest shareholder and will remain as the largest shareholder even after this transaction goes through.
This deal will make the mother company richer by ¥26 billion ($3.9 billion) and the shares will be sold to various unnamed securities companies which will then sell them out on the open market.
KTM is finally bringing its uber-cool 1290 Super Adventure S to the States
The Austrian manufacturer had a superlative field day at the EICMA in 2016 when it broke open the shackles to the 1290 Super Duke R and the 1290 Adventure R T and S models. It brought these blistering bikes onto the shores of America except for the 1290 Adventure S road-focused ADV motorcycle.
For 2018, however, KTM North America will be filling that void as well as they get the stage ready for the 1290 Adventure S. Spotted first on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) filings by our friends at motorcycle.com, KTM have completed homologations to add the ’S’ to the 2018 adventure lineup.
After Honda’s self balancing two-wheeler, there is now a self balancing monowheeler: the Uno Bolt
If you’ve been on the tech front page, you might have heard about Honda’s Uni-Cub, a small personal mobility technology which had a self-balancing multidirectional movement capability. Only exploited in making an OK-GO visual dance. Some liked it, some hated it. It kind of solves a problem that did not exist in the first place.
Now, a guy who goes by the name Sean Chan likes to believe that he and his team have designed the world’s first e-unicycle with gyro force technology.
"An electric vehicle the industry couldn’t offer until now. Quick to response, comfortable and turns heads wherever you go."
Honda puts its Elecrtic future on stands at the Tokyo Motor show.
There is no denial in the fact that people will eventually stop filling their vehicles with liquefied dinosaurs and shift to electric. Not because they’ll like it but because there won’t be an option in the future.
So automotive manufacturers have already begun the race to be at the top when that happens, and have kept their workforce busy in spinning out vehicles for that future.
Honda, with a fanbase of 28 million customers all around the world, is just doing that and have showcased their take on this challenge at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show which includes the Honda PCX Electric, the Honda PCX Hybrid and the Honda Riding Assist-e.
Kawasaki Ninja 400 is US bound for 2018.
Back in July, a Milwaukee television news broadcast had managed to give us a glimpse of the 399 cc green machines while they were parked on the streets for a commercial shoot. The footage gave us the kicks for the number plate clearly showed "Ninja 400" on it, and it was only time before it was confirmed.
Looks like it has now arrived. Spotted by friends at motorcycle.com, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) documents published indicate that the 399cc Kawasaki motorcycle will be coming to US shores amidst the existing Ninja 300 and the 650.
Honda created history with 100 million Super Cubs out of its factory gates
Serving 100 million happy customers is a well-achieved milestone for any business, and no other manufacturer but Honda could have made it seem this easy. Being the first two-wheeler to cross such a mark is the Japanese Red Wing’s Super Cub that began its life way back in 1958.
Now, the moped is being made at 16 plants spread across 15 countries around the world that serves customers in more than 160 countries. That is some mind-boggling numbers considering the popularity and logistics involved with the Super Cub.