Friday, April 12, 2019

Taking a Look Back Part 2 - Top Motorcycle Manufacturers




We’ve covered a few of the top motorcycle manufacturers back in November (catch up here) and we’ve heard you wanted more. There are so many manufacturers that started from small beginnings and it’s awesome to see where they have ended up. Let’s take a look back at four more of the most popular moto giants in the world and how they got their starts.

First up, Ducati.

Image: Ducati

Ducati - Ducati was founded back in 1926 in the northern Italian town of Bologna. When the company first began, they didn’t make motorcycles or engines at all. Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his sons founded a company named Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati where they made radio parts. The company became extremely successful, so much so that they were able to begin construction of a new factory in Borgo Panigale. During the same time period, at a small firm called SIATA (Societa Italiana per Applicazioni Tecniche Auto-Aviatorie), Aldo Farinelli began developing a small pushrod engine to mount on bicycles. These engines were named Cucciolos, and after more than 200,000 were sold, the Ducati firm collaborated with SIATA and offered a Cucciolo-based motorcycle. The first 48 cc bike weighed 98 pounds, had a top speed of 40 mph, and had a 15 mm carburetor producing just under 200 mpg. Since those early days, Ducati (now owned by Volkswagon) has grown into a well-loved moto giant, known for sportbikes and street bikes using L-Twin engines.


Suzuki - In 1909, Michio Suzuki opened Suzuki Loom Works in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. This particular factory made weaving looms for Japan’s growing cotton industry. For 30 years the company focused on building these machines, and although these looms were wildly successful, Suzuki thought that the company needed to diversify and expand to other products. They began producing prototype cars, but with the onset of World War II, Suzuki's plans for vehicles came to a close when the government declared civilian passenger cars a "non-essential commodity." The family went back to creating looms until the cotton crash in 1951 when they turned back to motorized vehicles. They saw the trend of "clip-on" gas-powered engines that were being attached to bicycles and began creating one of their own. Their first bike was called the Power Free which had a unique double-sprocket gear system that allowed the rider to pedal without engine assistance or with engine assistance. By 1954, Suzuki was producing 6,000 motorcycles each month and officially changed their name to Suzuki Motor Co. - the manufacturer we know and love today. Since then, Suzuki is known as being a top choice for sportbike riders and their models are known for incredible agility and performance.

Image: Telegraph UK

Triumph - Before creating their first motorcycle, the Triumph company imported sewing machines and sold bicycles. They moved on to motorcycles shortly after and produced their first motorcycle in 1902 which consisted of a 2.2 horsepower single-cylinder Belgian Minerva engine that was attached to a bicycle frame. The company began creating and using their own engines in 1905 - and by 1907, they were producing roughly 1,000 motorcycles per year and were well on their way to making a name for themselves in the competitive motorcycle racing world. Over the next thirty years, the company grew and created more models, many that were used during WWI and WWII, and introduced some of their most popular models -the Bonneville and Tiger. In 1983, the Triumph factory closed its doors and the future of the company was unknown. A wealthy developer decided to save the manufacturer by purchasing the Triumph name and all manufacturing rights - and the company was back in action. Despite all the changes, Triumph is still considered the largest British motorcycle manufacturer and bikes are still being produced in England.

Image: It Still Runs

Kawasaki - The Kawasaki Company was founded by Shozo Kawasak who established Kawasaki Tsukiji Shipyard in Tokyo in 1878 as a shipyard. In the beginning, they produced marine steam turbines, locomotives, freight cars, passenger carriages, and bridge girders. They also created aircrafts and in 1954, Kawasaki moved on, creating their first motorcycle called the Meihatsu. Kawasaki really took off when they purchased Meguro Motorcycles, one of the leading motorcycles manufacturing companies in Japan. They continued to grow and create many models we know and ride today. The Ninja is one of Kawasaki’s most popular bikes and they are known for great handling and a sporty look.

Those are just a few of the motorcycle manufacturers that are now the world-renowned brands we love to ride today. What brand do you ride? Why did you choose that specific manufacturer? Let us know in the comments below.
Trader Online Web Developer

Tips for Riding in Spring Storms



Spring has officially sprung and that means riding season is in full swing. It also means that no matter how much you check the weather reports, spring rainstorms can hit out of nowhere. Ever wonder what you’re supposed to do in that situation? Let’s dive into some rainy weather riding tips to make sure you're ready for anything when you hit the road this spring and summer.

Plan Your Route Ahead of Time - We suggest planning your route in advance so that you already know alternate routes ahead of time and can avoid high traffic areas if a road is too flooded to ride through. No matter what, you want to know where to go.

Have the Right Gear - As we mentioned earlier, storms can come out of nowhere. For that reason, we recommend investing in some waterproof/all-weather gear so you can be ready when those pelts of rain come down. Waterproof jackets, pants, gloves, and boots are all great staples to have in your riding wardrobe. When looking for waterproof gear, you’ll want to make sure that the seams overlap as opposed to aligning so water doesn’t find its way underneath to your clothes. Investing in a pair of goggles (if your helmet doesn’t have a shield, yellow or orange tinted goggles provide some of the best contract in low visibility) is also important so you see clearly while riding in the rain - don’t forget to add an anti-fog treatment. Lastly, if you have room on your bike, bringing a pair of extra dry clothes is always a good idea. We’re all trying to enjoy the ride after all - and being cold and wet quite frankly...sucks. Always carry a few plastic bags with you to store wet clothes and you’ll be good to go.

Find a Dry Line (if possible) - This might seem like a no brainer, but traction is everything when riding. While riding in the rain, or just after a rainstorm, we recommend finding the dryest line in the road where car’s tire tracks have been, and staying off the painted lines as they present a slicker surface.

Check Your Tires - We hope you’re following the TCLOCS method before each ride, but this is particularly important when it comes to rainy-weather riding. You’ll want to double check to make sure your tires aren’t worn down and have proper traction so they can easily grip the road during slippery conditions. And for you riders near desert locations, you might want to stay off the road entirely due to roads becoming oil slicks during rainy weather.

Braking Distance is Crucial - Having enough space to brake is important during any ride, but this is especially vital when it comes to rainy weather riding. Traction and visibility are limited when it rains, so it’s crucial to make sure you put some extra distance between your bike and other cars or riders when riding. We know it’s hard to take it slow sometimes, but don’t forget safety is the #1 priority.

Watch Out for Puddles - A lot of us enjoy riding in the rain, especially if you’re in proper gear. And sometimes those puddles look splash-worthy and exciting, but we recommend avoiding them - sorry to be a buzzkill. It’s hard to determine how deep a puddle and it’s important to keep in mind, a puddle could actually be a pothole. If you can’t avoid a puddle we suggest taking it slow and steady.

Thunder and Lightning is a No Go - We can work with rainy weather, but as soon as you see or hear thunder or lighting it’s time to get off the road ASAP. Find a pit stop and take the opportunity to wait it out, dry off, or grab a meal. Taking cover under a bridge or overpass might be a quick fix if absolutely necessary, but when lightning is around, we recommend finding the nearest rest stop, gas station, diner, or coffee shop to take cover in. It’s always best to be inside in those situations. Remember, your bike is metal...you don’t want to risk it.

We hope your spring is full of sunny, perfect riding weather - but if it’s not, now you know what to do. Just remember to take it slow and enjoy the ride.
Trader Online Web Developer

Your Motorcycle News Fix




From new models to motorcycle exhibits - we’re back with the motorcycle news you need to know this month and we've got it all. Kick up your feet and stay awhile - we’ll catch you up on the latest motorcycle headlines.

Image: The Drive

Henry Crew Will Be the Youngest Person to Circle the World by Motorcycle - Henry Crew is from London, England and he’s on his way to becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the world by motorcycle. Crew is only 22 years old and the current record holder, Kane Avellano, completed the ride in 2017 when he was 24 years old. Crew rides a Ducati Desert Sled and is currently traveling up the East Coast to hit New York, then he will board a plane (with his bike) to Spain. We wish him the best of luck in this exciting endeavor. Check out his interview with The Drive here.

Image: Motorcycle Cruiser (Harley-Davidson's Electric Model) 

World’s First Exhibit Featuring Only Electric Motorcycles Is Open in LA - An electric revolution is coming . . . well it’s actually already here. Harley-Davidson and the Motorcycle Arts Foundation (MAF) teamed up to bring Electric Revolution to LA., which is the first museum exhibit in the world to exclusively feature electric motorcycles. The show is supported by Harley-Davidson, while the MAF curated the collection of motorcycles. The exhibit explores the history of electric models and where the future of this industry is headed. If you’re in LA, you’ll definitely want to check this out. Read More.

Image: Motorcycle Cruiser 

GuzziTech Unveils GTM02 - Todd Eagan had a Moto Guzzi back in 1999, and after putting thousands of miles on the bike, transformed it, making it better in both aesthetics and performance. Eagan wants to do the same for you. His company, GuzziTech will transform your bike, but only if it’s a single-sided swingarm Guzzi manufactured from 2006–2017. After paying Eagan a pretty penny ($17,500), he’ll build you a base GTM02. The first group of GTM02s are already ready to ride at the GuzziTech shop in Los Angeles and we’re eager to see these bad boys out on the road. Looks like a lot is happening in LA - might be time to take a ride to the west coast. If you decide to head that way, check out our list of Top West Coast rides. Read More.

Image: Motorcycle News

Honda Reveals CR-E MX Concept Electric Bike- Honda has just unveiled a concept version of their CRF electric off-road bike at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show - which is the first murmur of electrics from this manufacturer. We haven’t heard specifics on power or torque yet, but we do know this new model will have multiple power modes. We also aren’t sure if Honda will commit to actually producing this model - but we can only hope because electric models have started to take the world by storm. We’ll keep you posted on further details from Honda as we hear more. Read More

Motorcycle news just doesn’t quit - and we love the industry for that. We’ll keep you updated on any breaking cycle stories in the next edition of our news roundup. Do you have any favorite headlines or stories? Drop us a line in the comments below.



Trader Online Web Developer