“There is a market for high-performing light bikes and that’s how the Cagiva electric bike project started,” he told me.
“From my pure personal experience, the torque, power and throttle response is great. You can have fun and you don’t scare the cows and the deers. It’s actually enjoyable.”
He said Cagiva electric bikes would start with 80km of range and reach 320km in the next five years with a range of bikes from commuters to off-road.
But he also said MV would not go into electric bikes because there is no market for high-performing electric street bikes.
John Kocinski’s Cagiva V594
“People think the electric bike is for losers and the reality is it is not.
“But at the moment, its potential is in cities for short-range commuting from home to the office or for short trips.
“We don’t yet live in a world where you can live with an electric car. I would like to buy a Tesla, but only for driving from home to the office. I travel a lot by car and I can’t start my journey by doing a flight plan like in a plane.
“The charging infrastructure needs to improve first.”
It seems 228 pensioners invested in three different conventional five-year pension plans that fraudulently turned out to be Norton shares, according to an investigation by the UK Guardian newspaper and ITV News.
The pensioners also claim their investment was not returned years after the lock-in period had expired.
Problems go back to 2008 when a £1m loan came from the proceeds of a tax fraud. Two longstanding Norton associates were convicted over the fraud in 2013.
It is one of many problems encountered by Norton:
Customers who paid a deposit but never received a bike have taken legal action;
Claims that warranties have not been honoured;
A high turnover of staff;
Failure to pay parts suppliers resulting in a lack of spares and poor quality control;
A threat to strike the company off the Register of Companies over a late-filing notice; and
TT racing legend John McGuinness claims he could not contact Garner about his contract to race this year.
Investments and grants
Donington Hall factory
Despite this long list of problems and fraud allegations, the UK government backed a £625,000 loan by Santander in 2012 and promised the company a £4m grant in 2015.
It wasn;’t the only financial boost for the company.
And in November, when the company launched a crowd-funding campaign to meet a £30 million order book for V4 and Atlas models an anonymous investor allegedly coughed up £1m ($1.89m), pausing the campaign.
So where has all the money gone from the Santander loan, government grant, Japanese investment and the “anonymous investor’s £1m” (if the latter ever did exist)?
Clearly Norton didn’t have the money to pay their taxes, so Metro Bank appointedglobal accounting firm BDO UK as administrators on 29 January 2020.
In the UK, administration protects a company from creditors and winding-up proceedings while a solution can be reached.
BDO now has eight weeks to send out formal administrative proposals to all of the insolvent company’s creditors and repay “without preference”.
However, we expect creditors will line up behind HM Revenue & Customs who are owed £300,000.
Garner blames Brexit
Prince William with Stuart Garner
Garner says he is “devastated” and “personally have lost everything”.
“However, my thoughts are with the Norton team and everyone involved, from customers, suppliers and shareholders at this truly difficult time,” he says.
“Without dialogue, Metro Bank appointed BDO administrators yesterday. We are now working positively and proactively with BDO to ensure Norton has the best possible chance to find a buyer.
“It has become increasingly difficult to manufacture in the UK, with a growing tax burden and ongoing uncertainties over Brexit affecting many things like, tariffs, exports and availability of funding.”
In 2018, Brisbane Motorcycles took over importing Norton from NF Importers who also distribute Ducati.
Brisbane Motorcycles managing director James Muttons assures Australian and New Zealand customers who placed deposits for new models with their local dealer would receive a full refund.
“However we are not sure what is in line for those that placed orders prior to our distribution with the factory directly,” he says.
“We will obviously do our best to put those customers in touch with the correct people in the UK.
“In regards to existing Norton owners, we still have good stock of servicing parts, and will still be operating to ensure our customers are looked after.
“Ultimately we hope a larger brand with more experience will come in and continue the brand however this is purely speculation and we have had no official correspondence.”
Former Norton retailer Matt Jones of now-defunct Rocker Classic Motorcycles says he believes many other small businesses will also “go the way Rocker did”.
“Norton was a poisoned chalice and a lesson in business that I am still paying for today, both financially and mentally. Just horrendous,” he says.
With many rides I have a sense of where I’m going but the details come out later. For this one I had a specific goal: I wanted to explore the roads my parents took me along as a kid in a Ford LTD, towing a tent trailer behind. We would always stop at fruit stands in the Okanagan region of British Columbia and pick up peaches, cherries, berries…whatever was in season. We’d nibble the fruit along the way or wait to eat it at a campsite. I wanted to visit these food-growing parts of my home province again and renew my connection with the roads and farms where the food I eat in Vancouver comes from.
Looking for a riding buddy, I gingerly pushed my BMW F 650 GS down a gear into third before taking the exit off Highway 3 into the parking area of Manning Park Resort, which sits among the colossal Cascade Mountains. My friend David Powell had been exploring the roads of the Similkameen Valley, just east of E.C. Manning Provincial Park, on his Honda CB500X for a week, and I was keen to join him and find out what he’d learned. After a quick bite to eat, we were back on the road.
Before we made our way to Princeton, where we’d sleep that night, David was already suggesting a ride off the beaten track, up the switchbacks of the paved road to the Cascade Lookout. We crossed Highway 3 and proceeded to make a serious climb, the tree-lined edges of the road without a guardrail, before reaching what must have been a new record above sea level for my BMW. What lay before us was spectacular. Dominant in our view was Frosty Mountain, at nearly 8,000 feet. Just beyond was another peak of note on the other side of the 49th parallel. Hozomeen Mountain stands at just over 8,000 feet, among the North Cascades of Washington State. David and I were quietly mesmerized by the view. It was a great start to our three-day journey.
We wound our way along Highway 3, a.k.a. the Crowsnest Highway, a large open pit copper mine to our right declaring our arrival in Princeton. Over dinner at a restaurant suitably named The Copper Pit, I suggested a theme for our ride, one that would begin with some stops at the Okanagan fruit stands I remembered well.
Next day we rode east out of Princeton on what would be one of many secondary roads we would travel, the Old Hedley Road. This windy path following the Similkameen River had us both flicking our bikes back and forth, enjoying the occasional view of morning sunlight reflecting on the water and getting into the rhythm of a road trip of several days. The occasional recreational site with a picnic table and fire pit made it tempting to stop and enjoy a night of camping by the river.
Joining briefly with Highway 3 again, we twisted the throttles to get to highway speeds. The increasingly mountainous landscape was dotted with ponderosa pine and bluebunch wheatgrass. We rode past the town of Hedley, the steep slope above displaying the decaying wooden remnants of the famed Nickel Plate gold mine, and would soon stop on the western outskirts of Keremeos, known for its many fruit stands in this community of orchards. One of the standout purveyors of fruit is the Mariposa Fruit Stand. With a big painted sign of a coyote in a hat lounging among a bunch of produce, it coaxed David and me to pull our bikes into the lot and have a look around the shop. It was June and that meant cherry season, judging from the boxes and boxes we saw prominently displayed at the entrance.
Back on the bikes, we soon stopped for lunch in the quirky historic town of Keremeos, also not surprisingly called the “fruit stand capital of Canada,” pulling in next to many other motorcycles. Many others cruised by at slow speeds. After picking up wrap sandwiches to go, we were back riding, countersteering left and onto Highway 3A for a brief stop at Bear Frasch’s Farm Market. No camping trip into British Columbia when I was a kid was complete without a stop here. The August peaches hadn’t arrived yet, but there were plenty of apples and more cherries to drool over. With a glance at the abandoned old tractors rusting away in a field, David and I were off to take a side road of his suggestion to Penticton: Green Mountain Road. After a left onto a road that clearly had some history behind it, we plunged into some twists and turns in a wooded area that had me smiling in my helmet. We banked the bikes to and fro and hardly saw a soul, except for another group of four motorcyclists coming the other way. David’s research had paid off. He had been suggesting I take this road for years, and we were finally riding it together. When we started to see the outskirts of Penticton, I wished we could go back and ride the road again, if it weren’t for my low fuel reserves.
Soon we were riding alongside Okanagan Lake on Highway 97, traveling through the idyllic towns of Summerland and Peachland, soaking up the sun’s rays. Riding alongside beaches on a hot day may be the one thing that makes me want to put the sidestand down, strip off my riding gear and go jump in a lake. But I resisted, and looked forward to the next scenic route, heading downhill to the lake. In order to not get caught up in the stifling traffic of Kelowna, David and I pulled off at Westbank onto Boucherie Road, angling our bikes toward a refreshing stop to cool us down.
It may not be a cool leap in a lake, but a stop to picnic in the shade by an Okanagan winery will do just fine. The light glinted off Okanagan Lake in the distance as we nibbled on oranges, glancing out at the rows and rows of vines stretching down the hill to the water on the Quail’s Gate Winery.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in traffic on a motorcycle on a hot day. So David told me of an alternative route he had found that not only avoided the Kelowna snarl, it also took on splendid views of Okanagan Lake (yes, it’s a big lake) and many twists and turns. Lead on, David! Westside Road took us on an odyssey of curves while we stole glances at houseboats and jet-skiing lake users as we geared up, then geared down to take on curves and accelerate out of them, over and over again as we approached the end of lake country and entered dairy farm country. Passing through the Spallumcheen Indian Reserve we crossed Highway 97 to end up on St. Anne’s Road just south of Armstrong, known for its cheddar and other milk-derived foods. David was getting warm so we stopped by a farm for a break, and listened to the tick-tick-tick of an industrial sprinkler spraying water over a burgeoning cornfield.
Soon we were riding Otter Lake Road south of Armstrong along the green pastures of dairy farms, cows watching these strange two-wheeled devices speed past them as they chewed their cuds. Tucker’s Restaurant in the quaint town of Armstrong served us dinner before we rode winding Salmon River Road across one-lane, wood-planked bridges with the sun dipping down, dappling our helmets with light through the trees. We were brought to Highway 97 heading northwest, the setting sun in our eyes as we passed through historic towns like Falkland. Sprinklers in vast sunset-covered alfalfa fields threw huge arcs of spray, growing future hay for hungry milk-producing cows.
There was one more secondary road to take, Barnhartvale Road, just north of Monte Lake, which would take us through more farmland south of the Trans-Canada Highway. Rather than take the main highway, it made sense to ride a more scenic and windy passage to Kamloops. As we returned to the suburban sprawl of the city, I couldn’t help but emit a groan and wished to return to the back roads David and I had traced all day, past farms, rows of grapes and fruit and vegetable stands pitching their wares.
David and I parted the next day. He was going to continue riding (lucky guy) and I was heading back home to Vancouver. But taking David’s advice (why stop now?) I took Highway 5A, also known as the Old Kamloops Road, a much more charming and snaking passage south than the rapid, vapid Highway 5. This way I managed to pass by some lovely lakes, witness Sunday fishing parties cast lines from their boats and stop in at beautiful Nicola Lake near Merritt to observe a family with kids set out from a boat launch for a day out on the lake. It made me keen to return to my own family in Vancouver and tell them about where our milk, cheese, wine, fruits and vegetables come from and how lucky we are to live in such a diverse, plentiful and scenic part of the world.
It won’t be the first time Savadori has jumped aboard an Aprilia MotoGP™ machine, the Italian factory handing the then-Aprilia WorldSBK rider a test at Misano in 2017. Savadori will complete the three-day shakedown before official test rider Bradley Smith and Aleix Espargaro emerge on the eagerly anticipated RS-GP 20 at the Official Sepang Test on 7-9 February.
Well, the Japanese giants aren’t ruling it out. A Yamaha statement said: “So far, no wildcard rides are planned for Lorenzo in 2020, but Yamaha is open to the possibility, should he decide to race again.” But will we really see Lorenzo back racing on board a Yamaha?
Niki Tuuli adapted well to the class in its inaugural season, and at Sachsenring he made history, winning the first ever race for the electric motorcycle competition. He enjoyed a great start to the campaign, but a severe injury at the third round of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup halted his progress, preventing him from taking part into the final part of the Championship. With Tuuli now being recovered, Avant Ajo MotoE team, hope to continue enjoying success with the Finnish youngster in the second edition of the series.
16-year-old Oli Bayliss, son of three-time World Superbike Champion Troy, will make his debut in the World Supersport Championship at the Phillip Island 2020 season opener after being granted a wildcard entry to the event.
“2019 was a fun year, racing hard and improving, but now I need to step it up again if I want to finish better than 5th in the championship, and racing world supersport against the fastest 600 riders in the world is a great way to kick off the year. I’m lucky to be in the position I’m in with this wild card opportunity, having Dad to motivate me, Ben to build great bikes and to have seen how it all works with Tom (Toparis) racing a wildcard as my team-mate in 2018. So I don’t really feel any pressure. I know I’m fit enough to ride the extra laps that comes with racing both championships, and I just need to go out there, race the track and see how many points I can get!”
Oli Bayliss – TBG Image
Ben Henry’s Cube Racing will prepare the Yamaha YZF-R6 in-house at their Gold Coast based performance shop.
The norm’ for most wildcard entries is to lease a ‘factory’ engine but Henry will build a World Supersport spec’ engine for Bayliss himself.
Team owner – Ben Henry
“We’ve worked really hard back in the shop to build Oli a bike for world supersport, while also preparing for the ASBK season. In Australia, we can’t race with the same level of sensors and data gathering equipment as they can in the world championship, so we do a lot of set-up based on rider feedback, our own feeling from touching the bike as well as watching the way the rider and bike work together on-track, and I’m confident that we have a competitive package for Oli to get his first experience in the world championship. We’ve been in this position before with Tom Toparis, and while we don’t expect to win the race, it’s an incredibly valuable experience for a young rider, and we’re confident with our ability as a team, and with Oli as a rider to get the most out of the opportunity”.
Oli Bayliss – Image by Rob Mott
The major differences are to be found in the cylinder head and a higher specification slipper clutch than the standard unit allowed under ASBK Supersport rules.
There will be some other technical changes on the bike like the allowance for data logging equipment and of course the mandatory red ‘rain’ light must be fitted to the back of the machine for the World Supersport event.
“I’m pretty excited that in just his fourth year racing a road bike, that Oli will get to race in a round of the world championship. It’s another step in his steep learning curve, but he’s really enjoying racing bikes. His first year on a 600 in 2019 taught him a lot, not just about racing a bike, but communicating with the team, also learning what changes in settings have on the bike on-track. He’s really improved a lot and I think the biggest challenge for the weekend will be for Kim and I as we have to watch him on track twice as much! Right now he really wants to do it, he’s enjoying his racing and it’s a difficult one for me as when I ride with him on the track we have the best time ever, but when he’s on the track I feel like a really normal dad, as I get really nervous and I find it really difficult to actually watch him race. It will be his first international race and he’s pretty nervous and excited; it will be an experience and if he can grab a couple of points that will be even better. He has so much more experience than I had at the same age, as I didn’t start road racing until I was 22, he’s just turned 16 and basically he can nearly beat me on the track at the moment.”
It is hard to believe Oli is still only just 16-years-old – Image Rob Mott
Cube Racing will join the official two-day World Superbike/Supersport test on February 24-25 ahead of the March 1 race weekend.
Motorists are starting to get the message about illegally using a mobile phone, according to a new survey, as Queensland introduces tougher penalties from 1 February 2020.
A three-day Driver Distraction National Summit in Brisbane last July called for tougher penalties, but so far Queensland is the only state to respond, lifting the fine from $400 and three demerit points to $1000 and four points.
In November 2019, Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said the threat of losing $496 and four demerit points was not enough to stop motorists inches state.
In 2018, NSW increased penalties to $337 and five demerit points with (double demerit on public holidays). They are also trialling special cameras that can detect illegal phone use in vehicles.
Western Australian penalties are $400 and 3 points and ACT $447 and 4 points (both also have double demerit points); South Australia $308, plus $60 Victims of Crime levy, and 3 points; Tasmania $300 and 3 points; and Northern Territory $250 and 3 points.
Riders in danger
Vulnerable motorcycle and scooter riders have long called for tougher penalties for distracted drivers.
They also have a unique perspective to see inside vehicle cabins where they have witnessed drivers not only talking on their phones, but texting a message, updating their social media profiles and even taking selfies.
Yet Queensland Police video of motorists being caught red handed includes one of a scooter rider texting while waiting at the lights.
Message in survey
A new survey from Budget Direct finds checking your phone while stopped at a traffic light and changing song on playlist are the most common illegal phone uses by motorists.
In its survey of 1001 Australian motorists (including 218 Queenslanders) it found:
Australians surveyed in 2020 (11.49%) feel less confident texting while driving, compared to 2018 (14.9%)
Respondents aged 35-44 feel most confident behind the wheel (22.61%) compared to those aged 18-24 (10.43%)
On average across the country, most believe that Tougher Penalties (31.97%) is the most effective way to deter drivers from texting
However, this figure was the lowest for Queenslanders who also think this is the least effective measure (compared to increased awareness, mobile detection cameras, law enforcement and no measures).
Research shows using a mobile phone while driving can be as risky as drink driving. A driver’s response time while texting on a phone is comparable to that of a driver with a blood alcohol reading of between 0.07 and 0.10.
The increased Queensland penalties mean that some licence holders, like learners and P-Platers, could lose their licence from just one offence.
Double demerit points will still apply to all drivers for a second mobile phone offence within 12 months. This is another $1000 fine and eight points and could cost most people their licence.
Bicycle riders will also be fined $1000, but no demerit points will be issued.
While the penalties are increasing, there are no changes to the current rules for mobile phone use while driving.
The toughest measures in the USA are in California. The state has a $US150 fine (about $A205) for the first offence and more than $US250 (about $A345) for a second violation and one point. If you’ve copped a fine, contact Attorney Patrick O’Keefe.
Canada has a distracted driving offence which attracts a $1000 fine and three demerit points. A second conviction could mean a fine of up to $2000 and a seven-day licence suspension. A third offence could mean a fine of up to $3000 and a 30-day suspension.
Fines in Europe vary from less than €50 (about $80) and one point in eastern Europe to €420 (about $A675) in the Netherlands and up to six points in the UK.
His research shows that owners of high-status vehicles could be on a collision course with other road users.
Image from combined BMW Motorrad and BMW M customer ride/drive day Phillip Island in December 2019
The research follows his observations that Audi and BMW drivers seemed more likely to ignore traffic regulations and drive in a reckless fashion.
“I had noticed that the ones most likely to run a red light, not give way to pedestrians and generally drive recklessly and too fast were often the ones driving fast German cars,” he says.
Jan-Erik based his research on previous studies that found drivers of expensive vehicles were more likely to break traffic regulations.
This phenomenon has previously been explained with the common assumption that wealth has a corrupting effect on people.
However, the Prof approached the question from a different angle by asking whether specific types of people with a tendency to break rules are drawn to high-status vehicles, regardless of their wealth.
His research explored the association between personality traits and driving behaviour.
The results were analysed using the Five‐Factor Model, the most widely used framework for assessing personality traits in five key domains: openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness.
It resoundingly found that self-centred men who are argumentative, stubborn, disagreeable and “unempathetic” are much more likely to own a high-status vehicle.
“These personality traits explain the desire to own high-status products, and the same traits also explain why such people break traffic regulations more frequently than others,” he says.
“These are people who often see themselves as superior and are keen to display this to others.”
While he cited German luxury cars, it would be more difficult to categorise was represents a luxury motorcycle.
But not all luxury motorists are reckless!
The professor also found that conscientious people are drawn to high-status vehicles.
He explains their personality traits as respectable, ambitious, reliable and well-organised.
“The link is presumably explained by the importance they attach to high quality,” he says.
While objectionable motorists in luxury vehicles were mainly men, the link between conscientious personality traits and interest in high-status vehicles was found among men and women.
Jan-Erik says this could be due to motoring “does not have the same significance as status symbols for women”.
Who do you think are the most aggressive riders and drivers? Leave your comments below.