This week saw the 93rd annual Motorcycle Week in Laconia, New Hampshire kick off with the usual pomp and circumstance. The world’s oldest bike rally runs from the 11th of June through Father’s Day this year, nice timing for dad/kid activities even if it does fall on the last day of the rally. As with all such events, lodging can be a real pain to secure, so if you missed it this year you’d best go ahead and make your reservations now for next year’s event that will run from June 10th through the 18th, 2017. To all of you heading home from the event, be ye careful on the road.
Continue reading for my look at the week ending June 17, 2016.
Customer feedback is nothing new, and motorcycle manufacturers have always asked for feedback and comments, but never has the fruits of such feedback been so apparent, until now. Introducing Project Rushmore from Harley-Davidson. The factory talked to thousand of riders the world over, asking what kind of improvements, gadgets and gizmos they would like to see. Then, they took the unusual step of actually engineering and incorporating the best of these ideas into production bikes. The results are remarkable! Project Rushmore innovations make the bikes easier to manage, more comfortable and safer to ride, and more in-tune with today’s entertainment and electronics options. New features, technologies and styling are all part of the Project, and thanks to the ideas – and wish lists – of Harley riders around the world, we can all benefit from their imaginations. Perhaps if Harley had asked me, we would finally have a bike that runs off tap water and folds down into a briefcase at a touch of a button a la George Jetson, but alas, we will have to make do with the following for the time being at least.
Continue reading to learn more.
Vintage bikes are unrefined, simple, and rough around the edges, making them the perfect bases for custom bike building. Thunderbike has been busy working on a custom vintage bike itself, as it rebuilt, restored, and customized a 1951 Harley-Davidson EL Pan Head.
Thunderbike began by completely stripping the frame and body, and draping it in a matte black undercoat. Over this base coat are highlights of orange and white, also in a matte finish. The paint and striping was completed by Kruse Design. This gives the bike a modern look while retaining its vintage feel. The vintage, single-rider, custom seat was built by Maas Sitz Leder.
On the front and rear, this custom Harley EL features TB Vegas wheels wrapped in Firestone rubber. Next to each rim, you get a K-tech brake disc to help bring this vintage bike to a halt much faster than its factory drum brakes could.
Mounted to the frame is a 74-cubic-inch, twin cylinder Pan Head motor. This motor has been fully gutted and rebuilt to the original factory specifications and all of the brightwork has been recoated in nickel. This twin-cylinder powerplant features an S&S Super E fuel system, S&S manifold, TB Classic air filter, and a TB flying pan Spezial exhaust system that is coated in matte black.
Driving the power to the rear wheel is a belt-to-chain-drive system, mixing a little bit of the old and new. Thunderbike has yet to release a price on this custom bike, but we’re pretty confident that it’ll range somewhere between expensive and completely outrageous. What we do know is that this bike looks completely awesome and is currently available in Germany.
The BMW R7 is truly a one-of-a-kind motorcycle that was introduced as a concept in 1934, but never produced. It did, however, inspire the R17 and R5 models. It was built during the height of the Art Deco movement, which is apparent by its very precise design that adheres to the standard mathematical basis of the Art Deco style, and is truly a pleasing piece.
After its conception, the R7 slipped away and was thought to be lost until it was rediscovered in 2005 and fully restored. It bears all black body panels with white outlines. Its wire wheels are painted a deep black to match the rest of the body. The body was like no other bike at the time, boasting smooth lines and fenders that partially wrapped around the wheels. Covering the engine are pieces of formed sheet metal to aid its aerodynamic qualities. Even the exposed cylinder heads are formed into a more aerodynamic dome shape.
The R7 boasts an 800 cc boxer engine that Leonhard Ischinger designed for BMW. It boasts a forged, 1-piece crankshaft for extra strength, and 1-piece cylinders and cylinder heads. Since the camshaft was under the crankshaft, the cylinders were positioned higher, leading to more effective valve positioning and even more ground clearance than the typical bike of the era. Coming off of the engine are two chrome fish-fin exhaust pipes.
This bike boasts a 4-speed manual transmission. Instead of the traditional foot shifter, the 1934 R7 boasts a car-style gear shifter to the right of the fuel filler cap.
There is no price placed on this bike, as it is a one-of-a-kind example that has never been sold on the open market. We are sure it would fetch upwards of $1 million at auction. We’ll never know, as its original discoverers are still in ownership and show no desire to sell it.
Image Credit: BMW museum Munich and ElfeJoyeux via Wikipedia
Today Triumph revealed their all-new Sprint GT motorcycle as a slightly torqueier, more powerful and – why not – more elegant version of the Sprint ST. Developing 130bhp at 9200rpm and 80lb.ft at 6300rpm, the Grand Tourer is now 5bhp and 5lb.ft of torque more capable than the Sport Touring model it arrives to back up and it is all achieved through ECU and exhaust changes. This means less investment for Triumph, which translates into a £9499 ($14K) starting price.
Starting from the idea that they have to “improve the Sprint ST’s practicality without transcending into pure tourer territory,” designers redesigned Sprint GT’s headlights and then added standard 31-liter panniers and an optional topcase. The underseat exhaust is now replaced by a single right-side one, while the 43mm forks have been revised and the rear shock is now remote preload adjustable. As expected, ABS is now standard.
Overall, the 2010 Triumph Sprint GT looks like a potent and much cheaper VFR1200F competitor and yet still retains that British look and feel of the original Triumph Sprint ST from five years ago. make sure you see the official video after the jump.
At the 67th Milan International Cycle and Motorbike Show, Peugeot unveiled the new HYbrid3 Evolution Concept - a convertible version of the HYbrid3 compressor presented at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.
The HYbrid3 Evolution Concept is powered by two electric motors - one in each wheel - and a 300cc petrol engine that delivers 41 hp. The electric engines are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can be recharged by an energy recovery system active during deceleration and braking.
The concept has an average fuel consumption of 2.0 liters per 100km (141.2 mpg imp) and C02 emissions of 48 g/km.
Press release after the jump.
BMW has used their experience from building straight six engines for cars into creating a modern café racer concept powered by a six-cylinder engine displacing 1600cc. This means 266cc for each cylinder of the so-called BMW Motorrad Concept 6, which won’t see the production line pretty soon, but word is out that the German car and motorcycle manufacturer will use this precise engine on their next LT grand touring model.
Surely, this isn’t the first two-wheeler powered by an inline six as Honda had the CBX1000 in 1978, but the impressive part about the modern bike is the fact that it is so narrow for this type of engine rarely used on motorcycles. But when it is used it smoothly delivers impressive amounts of torque, which is why we have great expectations in what regards BMW’s future touring lineup. Hit the jump for the BMW Motorrad Concept 6 press release and picture gallery.
Suzuki’s 2010 sportbike lineup gets a new member – the GSX1250FA. The new addition will sell in Europe and compared to the Bandit 1250, it only has an extra full fairing to brag about. Everything else, the engine and tranny as well as the chassis are all shared with the Bandit 1250S, while the fairing didn’t required much work or imagination either as it was simply inspired from now this bike’s smaller brother, the GSX650F.
The fact is that Suzuki plans to sell the all-new GSX1250FA as a cheap (price is yet to be announced though) and versatile sport-touring motorcycle. For that reason, they offer genuine accessories such as windshield, top case and side cases among others.
Colors available for the 2010 model year are Candy Indy Blue, Metallic Oort Gray and Pearl Nebular Black. We hope this bike makes it to the United States in a couple of years from now because we truly like it. Read the provisory specs and features after the break.