Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stolen bike returned to owner years later

A stolen motorcycle that spent two years sitting in an Ohio impound yard was recently returned to its owner.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the 1977 Yamaha 400 dirt bike was found in 2006 lying in a creek bed. At the time, the Blanchester Police had no procedure to locate the owner.

Several months ago, the police started a process to return stolen property in custody to their owners. One of the items was the bike.

Through a search of motor records and some detective work, the owner (who now lives in Pennsylvania) was found and confirmed through photographs of the bike.

Source: The Wilmington News Journal
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Ducati's Monster 696 makes its North America premiere on May 16-17

Ducati has announced that the Monster 696 will make its North American premiere at Ducati dealers on May 16 and 17.

The Ducati site lists the dealers celebrating the premiere and details about the new features in the Monster 696.

According to the Ducati site, the engine of the new 696 is an evolution of the previous 695 version, easuring 696cc and featuring a series of updates and refinements.

Source: Ducati
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum celebrates “Awesome-Ness”

On July 24, 2008, The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum will open “Awesome-Ness,” a new exhibit honoring master motorcycle designer and builder Arlen Ness.

An icon in the motorcycling industry, and 1992 inductee into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Ness will join prominent colleagues and friends at the Museum in Pickerington, Ohio for the opening.

According to The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum...

The fifth in a series of Legends exhibits at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, “Awesome-Ness” will feature machines and memorabilia from Ness’ personal collection. Curated by photographer Michael Lichter, the exhibit will do more than simply display Ness’ significant creations; it will delve into the stories behind his influential career. Lichter, author of “Arlen Ness: The King of Choppers,” will use his unique perspective on Ness to provide visitors an in-depth look at the celebrated customizer.

“Awesome-Ness” will feature 11 of Ness’ significant creations, including “Untouchable,” the 1947 Knucklehead that launched Ness’ career. Additionally, the exhibit will spotlight “Two Bad,” his 2,000cc twin-engine Sportster; “Ness-Tique,” a modern custom inspired by a 1903 Harley-Davidson depicted on a Cartier trophy he won at a Harley-Davidson ride-in show; “Red Flame Chopper,” a straightforward, high bar bike inspired by his first Knucklehead; “Top Banana,” winner of top honors on the Discovery Channel’s “Biker Build Off”; “Overhead Cam Sportster,” a one-off 1200cc with sportbike styling that Ness keeps in his office; and “Mach Ness,” his helicopter turbine-powered bike.

More than four decades of groundbreaking designs have earned Arlen Ness his status as an authentic legend. He began his career in the 1960s, with the customization of a 1947 Harley Knucklehead. After entering the Knucklehead in local motorcycle shows, Ness’ work was noticed by the press, as well as by potential customers. Soon he was able to start a business custom painting bikes. Not long after, Ness began selling custom parts and created a catalog to keep up with customer demand. As business boomed, Ness continued to create custom motorcycles, with a stretched and lowered style and high-performance engines becoming hallmarks of his designs.

Source: The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum
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Monday, April 28, 2008

2008 Honda CBR1000RR offers riding breakthroughs

The Los Angeles Times features a review of the 2008 Honda CBR1000RR and the new technology that makes this bike faster and easier to ride.

Honda describes the CBR1000RR...

In 2008 Honda reinforces a long-standing legacy of creating breathtaking breakthroughs in the literbike class. The all-new CBR1000RR establishes a higher standard for weight reduction and compact, centralized mass to produce the pinnacle of sportbike performance and rideability.

New features included on the CBR1000RR:
  • Idle-Air Control Valve (IACV) and Ignition Interrupt Control for idle stability and smoother on/off throttle response.
  • All-new 999cc inline four-cylinder engine.
  • Unique slipper clutch features cam mechanism to reduce clutch-lever pull.
  • New-generation Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD).

Source: The Los Angeles Times and Honda Motorcycles
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Friday, April 25, 2008

The history of the Police bike

Few things are more annoying that zooming along and then seeing those red and blue flashing lights in your rear-view mirror.

While getting pulled over by a motorcycle police office is a pain, an entry on The New Cafe (Racer) Society blog offers some insight into the history of the police motorcycle.

The entry also links to the Crazy Leaf Design Blog, featuring a history of police motorcycle design.

Source: The New Cafe (Racer) Society blog and Crazy Leaf Design Blog
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ducati Flash Drives by SanDisk

This might look like a futuristic gas tank for a new motorcycle by Ducati, but you fill it up with data, not gas. This is the officially-licensed Ducati flash drive by SanDisk.

Like the motorcycles that inspired it, this flash drive is fast, with a 20MB/second sequential read/write speed: the fastest consumer USB Flash Drive SanDisk offers.

Source: SanDisk
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Female Ride Day on May 2nd invites women motorcycle riders worldwide

More women worldwide are buying bikes and joining the growing numbers of women motorcycle riders. features details on Female Ride Day, celebrating women motorcycle riders. Introduced in Canada last year, Female Ride Day 2008 is a worldwide event.


FEMALE RIDE DAY is always the first Friday in May. The event appeals to females, who own, ride or have access to a motorcycle and invites their participation on Friday 2 May.

International Female Ride Day a synchronized day worldwide where women motorcycle riders "JUST RIDE" -- demonstrating their enjoyment and in most cases, passion for motorcycle riding. The campaign was created with the aim of highlighting the number of women who ride and building female rider awareness -- encouraging other women to take up the activity. The event places a spotlight on the female rider and celebrates the countless numbers who do--riders new to the activity or those who have had the pleasure all their lives!

Introduced last year, FEMALE RIDE DAYS' first step was as a National event with the intention to build globally. The success in 2007 made it easy in 2008 to move on to making it International! also features details, FAQ, and photos of last years event.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Aprilia SMV 750 Dorsoduro offers minimial design and maximum performance

The Aprilia homepage features images and details on the Aprilia SMV 750 Dorsoduro. The 750 Dorsoduro is described as a no-frills racing machine that eliminates everything the rider does not need and focuses on performance. The minimal design gives a clear look at the inner workings of the bike.
According to Aprilia...

Lightweight, agile, and powerful, the SMV 750 DORSODURO benefits from a new generation of engine and some of the most advanced technical solutions found on any motard. Thanks to advanced electronics, its compact 90° V twin engine delivers power that rivals or exceeds that of many larger twins.

And as Aprilia traditions demand, the chassis is simply unrivalled. Developed to deadly effect on the super-specialist SXV, this mixed steel trellis and aluminium frame has become the hallmark of Aprilia motards. With technical specifications far in advance of the competition, this frame sets new standards for rigidity and agility.

On essential machines like the Aprilia SMV 750 DORSODURO, the minimalist and aggressive bodywork is nothing more than a frame for motorcycling technology, with engine and chassis becoming central to the overall design.

The SMV 750 DORSODURO is a radical, acrobatic, sports motorcycle with no space for frills or parts that are not essential to delivering maximum riding pleasure. That is why body panels are reduced to a minimum. Just like a real racing machine, the SMV 750 DORSODURO eliminates everything the rider does not actually need, including passenger footrests (available as an optional accessory). And no frills means a clear view of the bike’s amazing technical components.

The features of the Aprilia SMV 750 DORSODURO in greater detail:
  • 90° V twin engine with four-valve heads, double overhead cam and liquid cooling
  • Ride-by-wire controls
  • Electronic fuel injection with the latest generation of injectors
  • Mixed gear and chain timing drive
  • Three way catalytic converter with Lambda probe
  • Compound steel trellis and aluminium alloy frame for extremely light weight and high torsional rigidity
  • Aluminium alloy swingarm with offset monoshock
  • Fully adjustable 43 mm upside down fork
  • Racing brakes with radial front calipers
Source: Aprilia
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Volkswagen could purchase a motorcycle manufacturer

Could Volkswagen, Europe's largest car company, get into the motorcycle business?

According to Reuters, Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech is quoted by German magazine Stern that he would like a "a small, valuable motorcycle manufacturer."

What kind of motorcycle company might Volkswagen want to buy? Piech says he regrets not buying Ducati in 1985 when the Italian bike company was in trouble.
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Ford Motor Company and Harley-Davidson mark 105 years with a special edition truck

Ford Motor Company and Harley-Davidson are celebrating their 105th anniversary this year. Harley and Ford collaborated to create a 2008 Ford Harley-Davidson F-Series Super Duty truck to mark the occasion.

According to Ford Motor Company...

Henry Ford started his production models the same year that William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson began to produce motorcycles – and since 1903, both companies have been rolling out superstars. Now, for the first time, the twosome is producing Harley-Davidson editions of the F-150 and Super Duty pickups in the same model year – and with the same design features.

The 2008 Ford Harley-Davidson F-Series Super Duty arrives packaged with the raw attitude of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Super Duty model shares same design as the 2008 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 for the first time.

The truck is available with Ford’s powerful 10-million-mile tested 6.4-liter Power Stroke diesel that helps make the Super Duty the hands-down capability champ.

The successful alliance between American icons Ford Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Motor Company rolls on with the launch the 2008 105th Anniversary Edition Ford Harley-Davidson F-Series Super Duty.

“The design of the side vent and grille on the Super Duty represents the heat stakes on a cylinder head of a Harley-Davidson V-Twin engine,” said Brad Richards, design manager, Ford Harley-Davidson ™ trucks. “That was intentional as we wanted to thematically tie theses trucks directly to the bikes in ways that enthusiasts would appreciate.”

The 2008 Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-Series Super Duty offers a choice of black monochromatic exterior paint with a custom Vintage Copper stripe running along the beltline – or a black and Vintage Copper two-tone paint scheme.

The 2008 Ford Harley-Davidson F-Series Super Duty draws its design theme from the special-edition 105 th Anniversary Harley-Davidson motorcycle and its distinctive Vintage Copper paint. A special “105 th Anniversary Harley-Davidson F-Series Super Duty” badge adorns the exterior and interior of the truck. The unique paint options, graphic treatments and singular wheel design work together with Super Duty’s strong, distinctive looks to give the vehicle a bold attitude that unmistakably connects the truck to the rich history and tradition of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

“This is a great opportunity for Ford and Harley-Davidson – two American icons – to celebrate 105 years of shared passion for the open road,” said Tom Aubrey, marketing manager, Ford F-Series Super Duty. “Truck and motorcycle customers share the same values and dreams: they work hard, believe in genuine products and love experiencing the nation’s highways and byways.”

The Vintage Copper color accents are carried through the interior as well, accenting specially designed leather seats. A unique instrument cluster and one-of-a-kind 105th Anniversary badge round out the interior.

“These trucks are pure customs – right from the factory,” said Pat Schiavone, design director, Ford trucks. “I’ve been involved with Harley-Davidson™ trucks since day one, and this is my favorite.”

The 2008 Ford Harley-Davidson F-Series Super Duty is the 11th model to emerge from a Ford Harley-Davidson alliance that began in 1999. The co-branding of these two storied companies has proven to be a successful formula, with sales totaling more than 60,000 units.

Other unique special equipment includes:

  • “105th Anniversary Harley-Davidson F-Series Super Duty” fender vents and badges
  • Chrome billet-style grille with body-color surround
  • Unique headlamps and illuminated molded running boards
  • Chrome exhaust tips
  • Rubber bed mat with HARLEY-DAVIDSON Bar & Shield Logo
  • PowerScope trailer tow mirrors
  • Unique 20-inch polished forged-aluminum wheels
  • Power sliding rear window
  • Memory power-adjustable performance pedals
  • Black and dusted copper leather-trimmed front and rear Captain’s chairs; a 60/40 split, flip-up rear bench is optional – with the Bar & Shield logo mounted to the top of the seat backs
  • Memory heated power driver seat and heated power front -passenger seat
  • Ford Truck Leadership
The new 2008 Super Duty features the 6.4-liter Power Stroke V-8 Turbo Diesel – the most powerful, cleanest, and quietest Ford pickup diesel engine ever; a new exterior and interior design; and innovations including an industry-first Tailgate Step that allows easy access to the pickup box. In addition, the all-new F-450 pickup offers industry-leading towing capacity of 24,500 pounds and maximum payload of 6,120 pounds.

The Ford F-150 half-ton pickup, like the Super Duty, is the capability leader in its segment with best-in-class payload and towing capacities.

Source: Ford Motor Company
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

S 1000 RR Superbike by BMW offers "strong and powerful message from the BMW brand"

BMW Motorcycles recently unveiled their new superbike, the S 1000 RR. The pictures look sweet, but BMW is selective about what they reveal about the S 1000 RR for now. What they will say is that S 1000 RR represents a bold news step for BMW Motorcycles in both style and technology.

According to BMW, the "S" in the name S 1000 RR is for "Supersport". Check out the pictures and see if the bike measures up to the name.

Here are quotes from a statement by BMW Motorrad General Director, Hendrik von Kuenheim, on on the S 1000 RR...

It is our objective to offer the customer a high-performance motorcycle with absolutely outstanding qualities and features on both the road and race track in terms of rideability, performance, and ergonomics.

Since we are still in the middle of the development process, it would be too soon to mention any specific technical data. But you naturally know the usual level of performance our competitors have to offer. So with this in mind, I leave it to you today to speculate on what the specifications might be.

Our Supersports is based on a highly proven fundamental concept. Before choosing this concept, we naturally analysed the market and the appropriate technologies with utmost care and precision. And we will use the technical parameters required to develop our own solutions.

In the early project phase we checked out various engine concepts. And as you know, we then decided in favour of a four-cylinder, with the straight-four offering the best qualities to meet the power, performance, weight, and package requirements to be fulfilled. In typical BMW style, the engine will of course offer a number of special features, especially on the cylinder head.

For package reasons we have decided against the BMW Duo-Lever on the suspension. Taking up more space, this kind of front-wheel geometry would have presented disadvantages with the very compact structure of BMW’s new Superbike.

But you can be sure that the innovations we are introducing are absolutely convincing. One example is the special traction control you will find on the new machine. Again, however, we cannot give you any further information today.

As you may expect of BMW Motorrad, the design of our BMW Supersports will be absolutely unique and very different. While it will of course reflect the usual design language in the segment, it will at the same time offer a strong and powerful message from the BMW brand.

BMW Motorrad's first Supersports will be the "S 1000 RR".

In choosing the name and designation of BMW's new Supersports, we are consistently following our nomenclature at BMW Motorrad. In this name, the "S" stands for Supersports, marking a new class of motorcycles from BMW. The "1000" designates the size of the engine, and the "RR" naturally stands for the model itself.

Source: BWM Motorcycles
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Motorcycles changing from luxury to daily transportation as fuel prices rise reports that motorcycle buying interest of visitors to their site has increased 48 percent in March 2008 compared to March 2007.

While economic uncertainty has hurt motorcycle sales, more consumers are considering motorcycles for their 'daily driver' needs instead as just a luxury purchase.

According to NADA Guides...

Lenny Sims, motorcycle editor and vice president of operations at, says this increase in interest comes on the heels of a recent report by the federal Energy Information Administration that predicts consumers will pay an average of $3.54 per gallon of gas this summer driving season (April through September 2008), up a whopping 61 cents from last year -- with gasoline prices in some parts of the country expected to cross the $4 per gallon threshold.

"We believe the current state of the economy, coupled with recent summer fuel price predictions, has caused consumer mindset about motorcycles to shift," said Sims. "In our opinion, motorcycles have become attractive options as primary vehicles for daily drivers -- due to their fuel efficiency -- and are no longer considered just a luxury, 'secondary-vehicle' purchase."

What bikes are buyers researching? That depends on the distance a rider wants to travel. Some buyers want a bike for quick trips around town. Other riders need to travel long distances on freeways to travel to and from work.

NADAguides breaks down commuter categories by range...

Short-range commuters, according to, are ideal for short back-and-forth jaunts, used predominantly on surface streets. Mid-range commuters are ideal for driving moderate distances, either on surface streets or highways. Long-range commuters are ideal for driving long distances, predominantly on highways.

Most Researched Short-Range Commuters

1. Yamaha Majesty 400
2. Honda Silver Wing
3. Suzuki Burgman 400

Most Researched Mid-Range Commuters

1. Honda Shadow Spirit 750
2. Suzuki Boulevard S50
3. Kawasaki Vulcan 500

Most Researched Long-Range Commuters

1. Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard
2. Honda Gold Wing Airbag
3. Yamaha Royal Star Venture

Source: and
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More than 1000 Best Western International hotels are "rider-friendly"

Best Western International wants Harley-Davidson riders to think of them when they need a place to stay after a long day on the road.

More than 1,000 Best Western hotels in the United States and Canada have been identified as "rider-friendly," offering motorcycle riders wipe-down towels at check in and access to a wash station at no additional cost. In addition, some properties offer designated parking, tar remover, sunscreen and lip balm.

According to Best Western International...

The hotel chain's commitment to designating participating hotels as "rider-friendly" is part of a multi-year agreement between Best Western and the Harley-Davidson Motor Company to bring travel benefits to Harley-Davidson enthusiasts.

"Best Western recognizes that Harley-Davidson and motorcycle enthusiasts have unique needs when on the road, and we're committed to providing them with amenities that make their rides more enjoyable," said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western's senior vice president of marketing and sales. "We're thrilled that more than 1,000 Best Western hotels are `rider-friendly,’ and we will add to this total throughout the year."

Harley riders can also register for the Gold Crown Club International Ride RewardsTM program, a free, specially-themed rewards program for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts

Source: Best Western International
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Monday, April 14, 2008

Harley-Davidson dealerships rank highest in shopping experience survey

Harley-Davidson dealerships ranked highest in a new study conducted by Pied Piper Management Company, one of a series of studies measuring how consumers are treated when shopping for a new car, motorcycle, RV or boat.

According to Pied Piper Management Company...

The independent study evaluated and benchmarked shopping experiences at 830 motorcycle dealerships nationwide, representing all major brands.

Following Harley-Davidson were Victory, Ducati, Buell and BMW above the industry average, and ten brands below the industry average. Overall motorcycle industry performance was little changed from the previous year, but seven individual brands gained ground over the previous year including Ducati, Yamaha and Honda.

Source: Pied Piper Management Company
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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Electric Motorsport Electric GPR-S races against a gas-powered Honda

Can an electric motorcycle beat a gas-powered motorcycle in race?

Oakland-based Electric Motorsport's Electric GPR-S took on a Honda CBR street bike in a demonstration in Bangkok, Thailand. features details and video of the race.

The Electric GPR-S in the race used a 60 volt battery that can reach up to 100km or 70 miles per hour, with a range of up to 40 to 60 miles.

According to the Electric Motorsport website, the Electric GPR-S made its debut at the International Motor Show in Bangkok, Thailand. Orders are being taken for the first 100 production units.

Source: Electric Motorsport and TG Daily
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Monday, April 07, 2008

The new Ducati Monster 696

Unveiled in 1992 at the Cologne International MotorcycleShow, the Ducati 900 Monster gained a reputation as a minimalist yet multi-faceted machine.

The current incarnation of the Ducati Monster, the Monster 696, is equipped with a thinner waistline and wide handlebars for improved ergonomics for urban or off-road riders.

Ducati’s press release describes the features of Monster 696…
  • The riding position of the Monster 696 has been specifically designed to put the rider firmly in control. From the low 770mm (30.3in) seat height, the easy-to-reach handlebar position to the feather-light controls, every rider finds it easy to master.

  • Visually simple digital instrumentation provides an array of data on command or, at a glance, just speed and revs.
  • The heavily tapered and deeply sculpted fuel tank cover allows maximum comfort and control. The narrowing of the ‘waist’ area of 696 has the same effect as lowering the seat height, making it easier for more riders to get both feet flat on the floor.
  • The latest moulding techniques allows more fuel to be carried than previous models, and the airbox holds a larger volume of cool, fresh air.
  • The engine measures 696cc and boasts a series of updates and refinements. Power output gets a 9% boost to 80hp (59kW) and an 11% increase in torque to 50.6 lb-ft.
  • This increase in power has been achieved by the introduction of new cylinder heads, which are now similar to the ones on the 1100 2V engine fitted to the Multistrada and Hypermotard.

Source: Ducati
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