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  1. The Dakar Rally has a new man in charge. Etienne Lavigne, who’s been the Dakar Rally’s director for the past 15 years, is stepping into a different job at the company, and David Castera is going to take over. Castera is a very experienced rally raid veteran, with years of racing under his belt, including some decent finishes at the Dakar in the motorcycle category. Like many riders, he eventually switched over to the car category, and spent some time racing as Cyril Despres’ co-driver, winning the Silk Way Rally with him twice. In 2019, Castera was teamed up with the legendary Stephane Peterhansel, narrowly escaping serious injury when their car crashed at this year’s Dakar. His racing savvy isn’t the only reason he’s a good fit for this role, though. Along with his years of racing, Castera also has years of experience in the organizational side of rally raid. He worked as sporting director for Dakar for years, and was instrumental in re-shaping the Morocco Rally when it was sold at the end of 2017. He served as director there; combine that with his previous experience inside the ASO organization (promoters of Dakar), and he’s a natural choice to replace Lavigne. Castera’s new job won’t be easy, as there is considerable questioning about the Dakar Rally’s future. In 2019, the race ran entirely in the country of Peru. The pattern in the past few years has been to visit three or four South American countries, and before that, the race ran from France to Senegal, until threats of terrorism forced the organizers to change continents. Since the race moved to South America, it’s changed considerably. In recent years, fans and even some racers complained the race had evolved from a navigation challenge into a more wide-open blast through easier tracks, like a World Rally Championship event. As a result, there have been consistent calls for change, and with the loss of all but one host country for 2019, change is indeed inevitable. No wonder Lavigne is changing his position, and Castera is certainly going to have his work cut out, as some onlookers are wondering if the Dakar will even move back to North Africa in the near future. Vezi sursa
  2. The Dakar Rally has a new director

    The Dakar Rally has a new man in charge. Etienne Lavigne, who’s been the Dakar Rally’s director for the past 15 years, is stepping into a different job at the company, and David Castera is going to take over. Castera is a very experienced rally raid veteran, with years of racing under his belt, including some decent finishes at the Dakar in the motorcycle category. Like many riders, he eventually switched over to the car category, and spent some time racing as Cyril Despres’ co-driver, winning the Silk Way Rally with him twice. In 2019, Castera was teamed up with the legendary Stephane Peterhansel, narrowly escaping serious injury when their car crashed at this year’s Dakar. His racing savvy isn’t the only reason he’s a good fit for this role, though. Along with his years of racing, Castera also has years of experience in the organizational side of rally raid. He worked as sporting director for Dakar for years, and was instrumental in re-shaping the Morocco Rally when it was sold at the end of 2017. He served as director there; combine that with his previous experience inside the ASO organization (promoters of Dakar), and he’s a natural choice to replace Lavigne. Castera’s new job won’t be easy, as there is considerable questioning about the Dakar Rally’s future. In 2019, the race ran entirely in the country of Peru. The pattern in the past few years has been to visit three or four South American countries, and before that, the race ran from France to Senegal, until threats of terrorism forced the organizers to change continents. Since the race moved to South America, it’s changed considerably. In recent years, fans and even some racers complained the race had evolved from a navigation challenge into a more wide-open blast through easier tracks, like a World Rally Championship event. As a result, there have been consistent calls for change, and with the loss of all but one host country for 2019, change is indeed inevitable. No wonder Lavigne is changing his position, and Castera is certainly going to have his work cut out, as some onlookers are wondering if the Dakar will even move back to North Africa in the near future. Vezi sursa
  3. Think the motosphere is already polluted with too many scrambler models? Maybe, maybe not, but word on the street is that we’re about to get a couple more, thanks to Royal Enfield. In the not-too-distant past, some markets saw scrambler accessory packages available for Royal Enfield’s single-cylinder models, but there hasn’t been an scrambler available from the factory as a production model in many, many years. Decades ago, the British arm of the company built off-road competition bikes, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything equivalent, unless you count the Himalayan 401 adventure bike. You could arguably call that bike a scrambler, but if you want to get really picky, that would probably be inaccurate, at least in the modern usage of the term. Modern scramblers are mostly retro-styled bikes with a few off-road friendly components, but overall, they’re mostly street-biased, with an emphasis on form over function, and the Himalayan is just the opposite. However, Royal Enfield has been teasing images of a new bike along those lines, a chromed-out retro machine snapped in the middle of a water crossing. And, that’s it. No specs, no details on the engine, not even a clear photo of the motorcycle, just a promise of more details on March 26. The Indian motor press is always abuzz with spy shots and rumours, though, and they’ve decided this machine will be based on Royal Enfield’s air-cooled 350 cc and 500 cc engines, as already found in the Classic, the Thunderbird and so many other models over the years. And, they claim the machine will be called the Trials, or something like that. Stay tuned—we’ll know whether or not they’re right by the end of the month! Vezi sursa
  4. Is Royal Enfield working on a Scrambler?

    Think the motosphere is already polluted with too many scrambler models? Maybe, maybe not, but word on the street is that we’re about to get a couple more, thanks to Royal Enfield. In the not-too-distant past, some markets saw scrambler accessory packages available for Royal Enfield’s single-cylinder models, but there hasn’t been an scrambler available from the factory as a production model in many, many years. Decades ago, the British arm of the company built off-road competition bikes, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything equivalent, unless you count the Himalayan 401 adventure bike. You could arguably call that bike a scrambler, but if you want to get really picky, that would probably be inaccurate, at least in the modern usage of the term. Modern scramblers are mostly retro-styled bikes with a few off-road friendly components, but overall, they’re mostly street-biased, with an emphasis on form over function, and the Himalayan is just the opposite. However, Royal Enfield has been teasing images of a new bike along those lines, a chromed-out retro machine snapped in the middle of a water crossing. And, that’s it. No specs, no details on the engine, not even a clear photo of the motorcycle, just a promise of more details on March 26. The Indian motor press is always abuzz with spy shots and rumours, though, and they’ve decided this machine will be based on Royal Enfield’s air-cooled 350 cc and 500 cc engines, as already found in the Classic, the Thunderbird and so many other models over the years. And, they claim the machine will be called the Trials, or something like that. Stay tuned—we’ll know whether or not they’re right by the end of the month! Vezi sursa
  5. Do you think you are ready for something quite different than your normal run of the mill motorcycle choices? Then Nebmo Motociclette may have what you are looking for. Nembo is Italian for a thunder cloud and this bike will be quite electrifying for some. Nembo recently announced that after years of testing, its radical Nembo 32 is ready for production. OK, so what’s so radical about the Nembo 32 you may ask? The answer is a lot. The Nembo 32 gets its name from its engine configuration. The number 32 represents its 3 cylinder engine with 2 liters of displacement. This combination reportedly gets you about 200 claimed horsepower with 159 lb/ft of torque in a 350-pound dry weight package. Well, that’s a pretty interesting combination in itself, but really doesn’t seem all that radical. So what makes the Nembo 32 more radical? Once again its the bike’s engine. The Nembo 32 mounts its engine upside down with the cylinders at the bottom of the bike. Nembo claims that this configuration allows them to exploit the engine block as part of the chassis without involving the cylinder block. Nembo claims that this configuration centralizes mass as much as possible around its center of gravity. They believe the center of gravity is not as important as condensing the mass in the smallest possible area. Interesting. SONY DSC If Nembo has piqued your interest, you will have to wait to get your own bike. While Nembo says the Nembo 32 is ready for production, they do not presently have the funds to start up the line. As such, they have created an Indiegogo campaign to help them raise starting capital. Ultimately, if their campaign is successful, Nembo says that the retail price of the Nembo 32 will be approximately $68,000. So if you have the interest and the cash, you can probably be the only person on your block to own an upside down engined 200 HP motorcycle. Vezi sursa
  6. Upside Down Engined Nembo 32 Ready For Production

    Do you think you are ready for something quite different than your normal run of the mill motorcycle choices? Then Nebmo Motociclette may have what you are looking for. Nembo is Italian for a thunder cloud and this bike will be quite electrifying for some. Nembo recently announced that after years of testing, its radical Nembo 32 is ready for production. OK, so what’s so radical about the Nembo 32 you may ask? The answer is a lot. The Nembo 32 gets its name from its engine configuration. The number 32 represents its 3 cylinder engine with 2 liters of displacement. This combination reportedly gets you about 200 claimed horsepower with 159 lb/ft of torque in a 350-pound dry weight package. Well, that’s a pretty interesting combination in itself, but really doesn’t seem all that radical. So what makes the Nembo 32 more radical? Once again its the bike’s engine. The Nembo 32 mounts its engine upside down with the cylinders at the bottom of the bike. Nembo claims that this configuration allows them to exploit the engine block as part of the chassis without involving the cylinder block. Nembo claims that this configuration centralizes mass as much as possible around its center of gravity. They believe the center of gravity is not as important as condensing the mass in the smallest possible area. Interesting. SONY DSC If Nembo has piqued your interest, you will have to wait to get your own bike. While Nembo says the Nembo 32 is ready for production, they do not presently have the funds to start up the line. As such, they have created an Indiegogo campaign to help them raise starting capital. Ultimately, if their campaign is successful, Nembo says that the retail price of the Nembo 32 will be approximately $68,000. So if you have the interest and the cash, you can probably be the only person on your block to own an upside down engined 200 HP motorcycle. Vezi sursa
  7. Have you ever heard of a Honda Africa Four? Me neither. That’s because it’s a custom super enduro made by Swiss dealer Brivemo Motos. It’s like they are a group of people that just can’t get enough of a good thing. Similar in style to KTM’s 950 Super Enduro made from 2006 to 2008, Brivemo’s Africa Four is a beast of machine made for serious open throttle dual sport riding. Using a wide variety of components from other machines, Brivemo calls its creation the Africa Four CRF1000R. Photo credit: Brivemo Motos The name is derived from the original base bike and its engine. This gave the Africa Four a claimed 145 HP. Brivemo retained the single-sided swingarm to continue with a more custom look. Photo credit: Brivemo Motos They then grafted on a Honda CRF450R front fork which resulted in an increase in wheelbase. A large single front disk with a four-piston caliper was added to the front. The CB1000Rs original wheels were retained, but the tires were changed to Continental TKC-80s for some off-road grip. Photo credit: Brivemo Motos The cat was removed and a shortened carbon fiber exhaust was added. This gives the bike a far more aggressive look and may have even added some performance. Rounding out the changes are projector beam headlights, a single saddle, a high front mudguard, wider aluminum handlebars, toothed footpegs, and an engine protection guard. Photo credit: Brivemo Motos All of these changes result in a unique and aggressive looking dual sport machine. Brivemo claims that the Africa Four CB1000R comes in at 200 KG. They do not say whether that is dry or wet weight. Nonetheless, they have created a machine that looks like it would be a hoot to ride. Vezi sursa
  8. Honda Africa Four – A Custom Super Enduro

    Have you ever heard of a Honda Africa Four? Me neither. That’s because it’s a custom super enduro made by Swiss dealer Brivemo Motos. It’s like they are a group of people that just can’t get enough of a good thing. Similar in style to KTM’s 950 Super Enduro made from 2006 to 2008, Brivemo’s Africa Four is a beast of machine made for serious open throttle dual sport riding. Using a wide variety of components from other machines, Brivemo calls its creation the Africa Four CRF1000R. Photo credit: Brivemo Motos The name is derived from the original base bike and its engine. This gave the Africa Four a claimed 145 HP. Brivemo retained the single-sided swingarm to continue with a more custom look. Photo credit: Brivemo Motos They then grafted on a Honda CRF450R front fork which resulted in an increase in wheelbase. A large single front disk with a four-piston caliper was added to the front. The CB1000Rs original wheels were retained, but the tires were changed to Continental TKC-80s for some off-road grip. Photo credit: Brivemo Motos The cat was removed and a shortened carbon fiber exhaust was added. This gives the bike a far more aggressive look and may have even added some performance. Rounding out the changes are projector beam headlights, a single saddle, a high front mudguard, wider aluminum handlebars, toothed footpegs, and an engine protection guard. Photo credit: Brivemo Motos All of these changes result in a unique and aggressive looking dual sport machine. Brivemo claims that the Africa Four CB1000R comes in at 200 KG. They do not say whether that is dry or wet weight. Nonetheless, they have created a machine that looks like it would be a hoot to ride. Vezi sursa
  9. We knew it was coming soon, and now it’s confirmed: Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) has confirmed it will expand its eastern map range, by developing a route for New England. In case you don’t know who Backcountry Discovery Routes is, or what they do, their website says it’s a “non-profit organization whose mission is to establish and preserve off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles.” BDR works at this mission several ways (“education, advocacy, and promotion of responsible motorcycle travel“), but is probably best-known in the ADV community for its excellent collaboration with Butler Maps, resulting in detailed offroad riding routes in the continental US. Until fairly recently, BDR’s routes were all out west, through places like Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and so on. It made sense, as the area has a huge adventure riding community and is arguably some of the best motorcycling terrain on the continent. But that was a bummer for eastern-based riders, until BDR debuted its Mid Atlantic route last year. Taking riders through the back corners of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, it gave riders living in the I95 jungle their own chance to try a proper BDR route without having to cross the continent. That route fell a bit short, though, as it cut out New England, particularly the state of Maine, which is probably the easiest eastern state to get truly, properly lost in the wilderness, and eaten by a bear. Maine has vast amounts of empty space in the Great North Woods, and although many roads are private and require permission to ride, the roads through the woods are there, if you can get access. According to BDR, the new route will connect to the existing Mid Atlantic route to add another 1,000 miles through six states, ending at the Canadian border. The BDR crew is going to be working on the route in coming months, and will be detailing their adventures on social media, so you can follow along. When it’s done, as always, there will be a Butler Motorcycle Map featuring the route, free GPS tracks of the route, and a documentary film about the new route. We can’t wait! Vezi sursa
  10. BDR working on New England route

    We knew it was coming soon, and now it’s confirmed: Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) has confirmed it will expand its eastern map range, by developing a route for New England. In case you don’t know who Backcountry Discovery Routes is, or what they do, their website says it’s a “non-profit organization whose mission is to establish and preserve off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles.” BDR works at this mission several ways (“education, advocacy, and promotion of responsible motorcycle travel“), but is probably best-known in the ADV community for its excellent collaboration with Butler Maps, resulting in detailed offroad riding routes in the continental US. Until fairly recently, BDR’s routes were all out west, through places like Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and so on. It made sense, as the area has a huge adventure riding community and is arguably some of the best motorcycling terrain on the continent. But that was a bummer for eastern-based riders, until BDR debuted its Mid Atlantic route last year. Taking riders through the back corners of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, it gave riders living in the I95 jungle their own chance to try a proper BDR route without having to cross the continent. That route fell a bit short, though, as it cut out New England, particularly the state of Maine, which is probably the easiest eastern state to get truly, properly lost in the wilderness, and eaten by a bear. Maine has vast amounts of empty space in the Great North Woods, and although many roads are private and require permission to ride, the roads through the woods are there, if you can get access. According to BDR, the new route will connect to the existing Mid Atlantic route to add another 1,000 miles through six states, ending at the Canadian border. The BDR crew is going to be working on the route in coming months, and will be detailing their adventures on social media, so you can follow along. When it’s done, as always, there will be a Butler Motorcycle Map featuring the route, free GPS tracks of the route, and a documentary film about the new route. We can’t wait! Vezi sursa
  11. Yeah, nah, kinda, sorta, not really …but they did sell the rights to the motor though…to China, to a company called CFMoto, according to automotive news outlet zigwheels CFMoto has ties with a certain Austrian manufacturer. continuing – Yes, CFMoto is one of the production partners of KTM. The Chinese company will solely be making the 799cc parallel-twin LC8 motor that will power the 790 Duke from 2020. …but what about the 990? CRMoto just bought the rights to build its own motorcycle which will house KTM’s 999cc 75-degree V-twin motor – the same engine powers KTM’s 990 series of motorcycles. Interestingly, this engine too will solely be produced at CFMoto’s Hangzhou factory from 2020. CFMoto is presently constructing an all-new manufacturing plant opposite its existing facility. When running at full capacity, producing its own range of 990/1080 V-twin models as well as KTM’s new range of 799cc parallel-twin machines, the plant is expected to produce 50,000 new models annually. Vezi sursa
  12. Is KTM Bringing The 990 Back in 2020?

    Yeah, nah, kinda, sorta, not really …but they did sell the rights to the motor though…to China, to a company called CFMoto, according to automotive news outlet zigwheels CFMoto has ties with a certain Austrian manufacturer. continuing – Yes, CFMoto is one of the production partners of KTM. The Chinese company will solely be making the 799cc parallel-twin LC8 motor that will power the 790 Duke from 2020. …but what about the 990? CRMoto just bought the rights to build its own motorcycle which will house KTM’s 999cc 75-degree V-twin motor – the same engine powers KTM’s 990 series of motorcycles. Interestingly, this engine too will solely be produced at CFMoto’s Hangzhou factory from 2020. CFMoto is presently constructing an all-new manufacturing plant opposite its existing facility. When running at full capacity, producing its own range of 990/1080 V-twin models as well as KTM’s new range of 799cc parallel-twin machines, the plant is expected to produce 50,000 new models annually. Vezi sursa
  13. Husqvarna has partnered with Rekluse to offer a semi-auto clutch upgrade for its Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 models. Both the Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 use the same 373 cc made-in-India single-cylinder engine, originally specced for KTM’s 390 lineup of beginner bikes. They come with a conventional six-speed gearbox which uses a standard handlebar-operated wet clutch. The Rekluse upgrade takes that unit out, replacing it with an all-new Radius X Centrifugal clutch kit. The process isn’t supposed to take very long, which also means (in theory) it shouldn’t be too expensive to replace, as shop time = money, if you’re not doing the job yourself. And, this upgrade is likely not aimed at the DIY enthusiast, as the 401 models are slanted towards the entry-level side of Husky’s lineup. That means the semi-auto clutch makes perfect sense on these bikes. While you still have to use the clutch lever to shift between gears, you don’t need to use the clutch lever when starting the bike, or when coming to a stop. Those starts and stops are what give beginner riders the most trouble, and the most potential for stalling their machine, so Husqvarna’s partnership with Rekluse is a very good idea. While the system may not be as advanced as the fully-auto setup on a Honda Africa Twin, it’s going to be much easier for beginner riders than a standard conventional clutch. While we haven’t seen pricing on the Rekluse clutch system for the Husqvarna, other Radius X systems sell in the $600-$730 USD range in the American market. Vezi sursa
  14. Husqvarna has partnered with Rekluse to offer a semi-auto clutch upgrade for its Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 models. Both the Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 use the same 373 cc made-in-India single-cylinder engine, originally specced for KTM’s 390 lineup of beginner bikes. They come with a conventional six-speed gearbox which uses a standard handlebar-operated wet clutch. The Rekluse upgrade takes that unit out, replacing it with an all-new Radius X Centrifugal clutch kit. The process isn’t supposed to take very long, which also means (in theory) it shouldn’t be too expensive to replace, as shop time = money, if you’re not doing the job yourself. And, this upgrade is likely not aimed at the DIY enthusiast, as the 401 models are slanted towards the entry-level side of Husky’s lineup. That means the semi-auto clutch makes perfect sense on these bikes. While you still have to use the clutch lever to shift between gears, you don’t need to use the clutch lever when starting the bike, or when coming to a stop. Those starts and stops are what give beginner riders the most trouble, and the most potential for stalling their machine, so Husqvarna’s partnership with Rekluse is a very good idea. While the system may not be as advanced as the fully-auto setup on a Honda Africa Twin, it’s going to be much easier for beginner riders than a standard conventional clutch. While we haven’t seen pricing on the Rekluse clutch system for the Husqvarna, other Radius X systems sell in the $600-$730 USD range in the American market. Vezi sursa
  15. World’s most expensive project bike sells in UK

    What’s the most money you’ve ever spent on a motorcycle? That number will vary widely between KLR fans (“$1,200, and it came with a free milk crate!”) and Eurobike enthusiasts (“$20,000, and I get to spend another $4,000 on accessories!”). However, there are probably very few inmates on here who’ve spent six figures on a motorcycle, and nobody who’s spent £416,250 GBP (almost $550,00 USD) on a parts bike. But, that’s exactly what someone did not long ago, at an auction in the UK. It wasn’t just any old pile of bike parts, though, it was as Brough Superior SS100 from 1930, with paperwork establishing George Brough as the original owner. The bike was actually raced at the 1930 International Six Days trial in Switzerland by F.P. Dickson, who teamed up with George Brough and Eddy Meyer for the event (maybe that’s how it ended up in so many parts?). What exactly did the lucky buyer get? A “Partially and loosely assembled original SS100 with JAP engine,” with matching frame, engine and gearbox numbers. And, a bunch of paperwork, including expert authentication. It’s hard to see how this bike fetched this money, as it was expected to sell for £160,000 – £200,000, and in its current state, it will require significant work before it ever runs again. Surely, the buyer could have found a running Brough for that kind of money? But maybe that’s the problem. In recent years, prices on vintage motorcycles have climbed astronomically, and they’re no longer available for the bargain-basement prices they used to be, relatively speaking. Vintage car enthusiasts have priced that game out of the reach of many people, and they’re turning to bikes instead. For proof, just grab your local Buyer Flyer/Penny Saver, or log on Kijiji/Craigslist and see how much people want for even relatively common stuff, like early ’70s SOHC Hondas. So hang on to that $1,200 KLR, because 50 years from now, it could be priceless. Vezi sursa
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