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Archive for the ‘Motorcycles in the Media’ Category

Motus MST

Motus MST

The North American motorcycle market is enormous, and every manufacturer in the world understands that. Japanese and European manufacturers are all vying for a top spot in the market. But the USA has only one real major manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, and some other smaller ones, like Indian and Victory, that compete in Harley’s dominant position, that of the cruiser market.

Although the US has smaller sportsbike builders, none have arrived on the scene to compete directly with the Hondas, Yamahas, Suzukis, Ducatis, Aprilias and BMWs of this world. That is until this month.

During the Daytona BikeWeek, the new Motus MST was unveiled officially. Still in prototype phase, the MST is a “comfortable” sportsbike made for touring. The motorcycle was designed from the ground up, and sports a lively V4 1650 cc engine, using direct injection technology. This means that the motorcycle will be fast, and the ride smooth. Good performance and low vibes are essential for touring. Some 161 horsepower, 25% less emission and 10% more power than comparable bikes are impressive numbers. But what’s more important in an era of higher and higher gas prices, is that fuel consumption will be low.

 But is the US sportstouring market big enough for their own US based manufacturer, especially considering that the majority of motorcycles sold are cruisers?

The answer would be a hesitant YES. North America is geographically vast, with miles and miles of roads. Riding them on a cruiser is fun, but if you’ve got to go a long distance, riding on a cruiser is not that comfortable. Riding a fully dressed motorcycle like the Honda Goldwing or BMW K1600 GTL is obviously one nice way, but at a very high cost.

Enter the Motus MST. In the tradition of (amongst other) the Ducati ST or Moto-Guzzi Norge, the Motus is made to ride in comfort, but with a high performance. The bike should be able to eat up miles and miles of asphalt, and once you hit the twisties, pure fun.

Add to that a design that makes maintenance a breeze, the bike should sell well. Throw into the hat the fact that people feel it’s their patriotic duty to buy national products, the bike once it’s on sale next year could do very well. There is enough space in the crowded marketplace for an American built sportsbike, particularly in North America.

The biggest question will be the price. But to be successful, Motus will need to sell a lot to keep the price reasonable. And to do that, they will need to compete in Europe. And that is a totally different story.

 For more info:  Motus

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The Ducati motorcycle Tom Cruise rides in those annoying ESPN commercials isn’t really a big, bad Ducati. It’s just an Aprilia sportbike disguised as one. Wes Siler of Hell for Leather Magazine explains why. Read more

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The Harbortown bobber DVD is from the award winning directors of the movies “Choppertown” and “Brittown”. This fabrication documentary took over two years to make and it follows the building of a ’69 bobber owned by Scott DiLalla. Featuring Irish Rick, Earl Kane, J-Bird and Dennis Goodson, the movie chronicles the crew as they work on the motorcycle and share their personal stories.

Along with an interesting ground up build, it’s also loaded with tons of helpful tips for anyone who wants to learn how to build their own bike. It’s far better than the staged ‘reality’ TV shows, this movie shows real people doing what they do best, without all the drama.

You can almost share in the excitement the first time Scott fires up the bike to take it for its maiden spin. It’s exhilarating when everything works just the way it’s supposed to with nothing going wrong, as it so often does.

Even if you have no interest in building your own bike, this is a great movie to just get an inside look at what building a bike is really all about, it also has a great soundtrack by The Lords of Altamont. The DVD has a run time of over two hours.

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For three years, documentary filmmaker Bengt Löfgren, followed the riders, mechanics and fans in the glorious world of Ice Speedway. Icy Riders is a film about dreams, ambition and aging during what might become the last season of the legendary ice speedway rider Posa Serenius. The result became a warm and intimate road movie that rolls from rural Sweden to freezing cold Siberia. Brought to you by the folks at One World Studios Ltd. in association with Tussilago Films.

Runtime: over 2 hours!
Filed under best Motorcycle DVD, best motorcycle movie category.

Available at choppertown.com

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For anyone who was disappointed to hear of Harley-Davidson’s decision to discontinue the Buell sportbike brand you’ll be glad to hear that Buell sportbikes will go on…sort of. Erik Buell will leave Harley-Davidson to establish Erik Buell Racing, a company specializing in the production of race only motorcycles and parts.

“I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying”, said Erik Buell. “We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”

While you won’t be able to go out and purchase a new street bike, you will still be able to enjoy the Buell brand’s racing team. Erik Buell will be the head of Erik Buell Racing based out of the East Troy Wisconsin factory and backed up by Harley-Davidson.

Many of the workers, who thought they would be losing a job, will stay on to continue with the production of the racing bikes. Erik Buell will supply the parts and preparation services as well as production of the Buell 1125R race only bike.

You can still get a Buell streetbike, while supplies remain, at existing dealers. After they are gone the only Buell bikes will be strictly for racing.

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An emotional Eric Buell announced that Buell motorcycles will no longer be built. Known as a trend setter in motorcycle advancements, the Buell brand has been making motorcycles for over a quarter of a century.

Harley Davidson recently announced they were discontinuing all production of Buell motorcycles and accessories. A press release quoted CEO Keith Wandell as saying: “The fact is we must focus both our effort and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to sustained, meaningful long-term growth” after the recent release of HD’s third quarter earnings report which showed a drop of income of 84%.

180 Buell employees are expected to be out of a job by December 18, 2009. The assembly line in East Troy Wisconsin has built over 135,000 motorcycles during their 25 years in business.

If you are in the market for a Buell motorcycle you might still be in luck. All remaining inventory will be sold through regular dealer networks. Harley Davidson has committed to providing parts and service for all Buell motorcycles sold, including all warranty work.

This decision seems to come at an odd time considering the new product introductions and recent racing success Buell has had such as the 2009 AMA Pro Racing Sport Bike Racing Championship.

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A motorcycle trike is exactly what it sounds like: a three wheeled motorcycle. These new forms of motorcycles are really starting to gain in popularity, what used to be novelty is becoming common place. 

There are many reasons for the increased popularity of these machines. For many people the added size and stability gives them an increased feeling of safety. For others the bigger size provides a more comfortable ride and additional storage. For some people they simply want to be able to continue to enjoy the ‘wind in your hair’ feeling of a motorcycle but have some physical limitations that prevent them from riding a two wheeled motorcycle. 

Because of the added stability of having three wheels a trike is easier to learn how to ride. Many people can be intimidated learning on a two wheeled motorcycle. Riding a trike is different from a two wheeled motorcycle since you don’t lean in corners, you just steer, more like a car. 

Any motorcycle can be converted to a trike, Honda and Harley-Davidson are two of the most common conversion packages. The price to convert your motorcycle to a trike will vary depending on the type of bike you currently have as well as the particular conversion kit you choose. 

There are different finish levels available which will determine the final price. Just ask your favorite motorcycle dealer or accessories shop for a referral. 

For the 2010 model year, Harley-Davidson has two styles of 3 wheelers available. They are introducing these models because they are seeing an increased demand for the 3 wheelers. 

For licensing and insurance purposes trikes are classified as a motorcycle and all state and federal laws, such as helmet laws, still apply. You aren’t as exposed as you are on a motorcycle, but you still are exposed, that’s why you have to wear all the same safety apparel that you would wear when riding a motorcycle. 

So if you’ve thought about either getting your own trike or converting your existing motorcycle to a trike with a conversion kit, you’ll gain a lot of stability and storage without losing any of the joy of riding a motorcycle.

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