Slingshots Best of the Builders: East VS West

Slingshot’s Best of the Builders: East VS West, keeping the east versus west coast rivalry alive. 

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The Auto Firm, out of Miami, & DUB, out of Los Angeles, Face Off to Customize a 2020 Slingshot, Showcasing the Ultimate Display of Self-Expression; Ensuing Fan Vote following SEMA Unveil to Name the ‘Best of the Builders’

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (August 4, 2020) – Polaris Slingshot itself is a statement, though it also serves as the ultimate form of self-expression with limitless customization opportunities. Few vehicles offer such an approachable and unique canvas for personalization through customization.

With the all-new 2020 Slingshot as the playing field, Polaris Slingshot today announced a bi-coastal build-off between two renowned automotive customizers: The Auto Firm and DUB. Based in Miami, The Auto Firm featuring Alex Vega has partnered with Pop Superstar, Singer-Songwriter Teyana Taylor. From Los Angeles, DUB will be personalizing its Slingshot for Songwriter, Record Producer and Legendary Drummer Travis Barker.

“We’re extremely excited to host our first-ever, official East vs West Slingshot build-off,” said Chris Sergeant, Vice President of Polaris Slingshot. “This contest is a means to inspire and further drive the authentic passion within our nationwide Slingshot community to personalize their rides. We’ve partnered with some of the most well-known, extremely talented customizers and superstars that exude personality. We cannot wait to see what they come up with.”

Squaring off head-to-head, each build team will design and modify a stock 2020 Slingshot SL. With inspiration and direction from their celebrity partner, each build team will create a one-of-a-kind custom ride that truly embodies the celebrity’s personality. The goal is to allow Teyana Taylor and Travis Barker to make their mark as a Slingshot owner by adding custom features amplified by their self-expression. Showcased on Slingshot’s social channels, fans will join the builders and receive exclusive behind-the-scenes updates throughout the customization process.

Slingshot's Best of the Builders: East VS West

“In 2017, I joined the Slingshot community when Alex and his team customized my ride. There is really nothing like the Slingshot on the road and personalizing it to your interests is half the fun,” said Taylor. “This year, with an all-new vehicle, I’m excited to collaborate with Alex and his team and truly create something unique and special.”

Slingshot's Best of the Builders: East VS West

“Even in its stock form, the Slingshot is packed with style and personality, but having the DUB team personalize my ride is extremely exciting,” said Barker. “Customizing a vehicle isn’t too different from writing or producing music – they both serve as a platform of self-expression, and I’m excited to work alongside DUB to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.”

With the builds now under way, fans can follow Slingshot on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and track along with exclusive behind-the-scenes updates from the builders. Build teams will have their final customized ride completed and ready for their public reveal and display at the SEMA show in Las Vegas beginning November 3, 2020. At that point, an ensuing fan vote on will determine the “Best of the Builders.”

Facing off in Slingshot’s Best of the Builders: East vs West are two of the most accomplished and recognizable groups within custom car culture, The Auto Firm featuring Alex Vega and DUB. Each bring a wide-range of customization experience, and also have familiarity with the Slingshot platform.

The Auto Firm
Known for its unique style of combining art into its work, The Auto Firm has extensive experience building and modifying motor vehicles. Starting with owner and founder Alex Vega, the team has designed Slingshots for a number of high-profile clients. Among those include Teyana Taylor in 2017, when the team rebuilt the transmission from a manual to an automatic. With an all-new powertrain, and the SL featuring AutoDrive, Vega and his team can focus solely on personalizing the interior and exterior for this contest.

“The Polaris Slingshot is one the easiest vehicle platforms to customize. Because of its unique autocycle classification, and the simplistic nature of the components, the platform is very approachable for anyone to modify and personalize,” said Vega. “Polaris has also done a great job providing the components necessary for the average owner to easily customize their ride. A wide variety of factory accessories – from custom-painted components and performance tune-ups, to functional additions like added storage, and even heated and cooled seats. Anyone can buy a Slingshot and truly make it a one-of-a-kind ride right from the factory.”

Based out of Los Angeles, DUB is a leading, authoritative voice in the urban automotive lifestyle scene. The group are founders of the urban automotive lifestyle publication, DUB Magazine, as well as the highly-rated television show, The DUB Magazine Project, and creators of the DUB Show Tour. DUB is widely recognized as pioneers in the celebrity car culture space as well as what is known as the ‘DUB’ market. DUB Magazine’s Custom Auto Show and Concert Tour™ spawned a new era of urban car culture and lifestyle. DUB has designed and customized hundreds of vehicles for top celebrities.

“It’s a real honor to be partnering with Travis Barker and competing in Slingshot’s Best of the Builder contest,” said Myles Kovacs, President of DUB. “We know Alex and his team very well, so we expect nothing less than an incredible work-of-art. But we also know our team of craftsmen intend to build something really special and turn heads when the sheet is pulled at SEMA.”

With a driving experience unlike anything else on the road, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Everyday drives are turned up to the next level. The all-new 2020 Slingshot lineup, featuring 70 percent new vehicle content and Slingshot’s new AutoDrive automatic-manual transmission, opens the door for legions of drivers to experience the unique driving sensation of a Slingshot. Further enhancements to the 2020 lineup include a revised chassis and suspension and a Polaris-built ProStar 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder engine, which produces up to 203 horsepower. All 2020 models include a redesigned interior with upgraded finishes, added storage compartments and a new leather-wrapped, flat bottom steering wheel.

For more information on Polaris Slingshot, visit, or follow along on social media:, @Slingshot on Twitter and @PolarisSlingshot on Instagram. For information on Slingshot rental locations, visit

About Polaris Slingshot
Polaris Slingshot, a wholly-owned brand of Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII), continues to define the category through style, driving experience and community with our three-wheeled autocycle. With AutoDrive and manual transmission options, an open cockpit, side-by-side seating, 5” drive height and a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, Slingshot comes in a variety of models that are sure to make a statement. Step into a Slingshot for an adventurous and unrivaled experience. Learn more, visit

Slingshot is a three-wheeled motorcycle. It is not an automobile. It does not have airbags and it does not meet automotive safety standards. Three-wheel vehicles may handle differently than other vehicles, especially in wet conditions. Always wear a DOT-approved full-face helmet and fasten seatbelts. The Driver may need a valid motorcycle endorsement. Drive within the limits of the law and your own abilities. Read, understand, and follow your owner’s manual. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Vehicle modifications and use of non-authorized accessories may void the vehicle warranty. Unless noted, trademarks are the property of Polaris Industries Inc. © 2020 Polaris Industries Inc.

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KTM Takes Historic MotoGP Victory in Brno

KTM shows potential at Round three of the 2020 MotoGP season in Brno. 

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KTM made history in Brno, Czech Republic yesterday as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder sensationally clinched the Austrian manufacturer’s first MotoGP victory in only his third premier class race aboard the KTM RC16.

Round three of the 2020 series will remain a poignant and memorable event for KTM, which entered the MotoGP series full-time in 2017 with the then newly-developed KTM RC16. The manufacturer has since enjoyed front row qualifying results and a podium finish prior to yesterday’s incredible victory, where rookie Binder rewarded the project’s efforts at the Automotodrom Brno.


Binder rode a calculated race, working his way through the front-runners from his seventh position on the grid to take the lead with nine laps to go of 21. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider went from strength-to-strength, stretching out a comfortable advantage to take his, KTM’s and South Africa’s first ever race win in MotoGP – the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport. Binder is also the first rookie to win a race since 2013. Teammate Pol Espargaró, who has played a pivotal role in KTM’s MotoGP campaign and enjoyed the manufacturer’s maiden podium in the class in 2018, was unlucky to miss out on the battle for victory in yesterday’s race after colliding with another rider in the fight for third place. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira enjoyed his best finish in the class with sixth position.

KTM’s fourth season in the MotoGP category has proven exciting so far with the KTM RC16 battling at the sharp end of the field in the opening three races. The test team with rider Mika Kallio, who has been involved with the project from the beginning, along with MotoGP legend Dani Pedrosa has been fundamental in accelerating the development of the KTM RC16 in combination with the race team and engineers from KTM’s base in Munderfing and Mattighofen. In addition, this major sporting milestone for the brand also highlights KTM’s commitment to developing young riders as Binder has raced aboard orange machinery successfully in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, Moto3™, Moto2™ and now finally MotoGP.


Brad Binder: “Honestly, right now, I’m lost for words. I’ve dreamt of this since I was a little boy and today it came true. It is amazing to win my first GP [in MotoGP]. Thank you to everybody who supported me, and the whole team; they put an insane motorcycle beneath me today! I didn’t know if we could win but I knew we would have a go. It was the craziest ten laps of my life at the end. I was being as soft as I could. It was incredible. Unbelievable.”

Miguel Oliveira: “It was a good end to the weekend. We had a decent race and I feel that we have done a good job the entire weekend. Looking at the race, our starting position cost us a better result but we need to live with that and do a better job next race in just a few days’ time.”

Pol Espargaró: “It’s unfair but it is racing, and we have to deal with these things. I was behind Brad and watching the others and playing with the maps to be strong at the end. I felt I could make ‘58s in the last laps, so I was trying to be relaxed when the contact happened. I could not show my potential and win the first race for KTM but I’m happy for Brad because he’s a good guy and works hard. We had a real chance today and we’ll hope for another one very soon.”


Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “It was amazing today. All weekend we felt quite competitive on this track with good lap-times among the riders and we expected something from the race. Brad had the race pace and Pol was at the same point, and even though we could not be happier we could have had even more from this GP! Miguel also did great to take sixth so in general we are more than happy. We started this project in 2017 and many people have been involved. We built a complete infrastructure in KTM. People in the company had the right mentality because we had to push; we did not have the road racing history of other manufacturers we are competing against. When I look back at these three years there have been ups-and-downs but the pay-off has been unbelievable today. We’ve seen in Jerez – and again here – that we are much closer to the front. On this long, technical track at Brno, and with our different technical philosophy with a steel chassis and WP Suspension, we got the job done and it’s a great payback to every person who has been connected to the project. I’m very happy to give back something to the KTM board for the great investment they made, their 100% belief and our main sponsor who also had full belief in us. Now, we will go to our home Grand Prix and will work hard from FP1.”

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “For KTM this is an unbelievable day. It’s historic for our company and for the whole team but of course for Brad Binder, who has believed in us and our project for many years. Today is payback for so much hard work. We knew we had a better bike for this year and this did not happen by accident: it came from everything we learned during the last years. With Dani Pedrosa, Mika Kallio and the test team we worked and developed for over a full year to have this bike now. At the end of the day you need a fantastic rider to put the bike on the top step and Brad did it today, and in the same style as he won in Moto3 and Moto2 races for us. It´s an incredible feeling and we will now build on this result. On the other hand, I want to thank Pol Espargaro because also he – together with his crew – brought every piece of the puzzle together to bring this project to the top. Today is the result of a fantastic team effort; at home in Munderfing and Mattighofen, through the test team and a great crew on track.”

Stefan Pierer, CEO KTM AG: “It is difficult to describe the intense emotions we feel on this very special and historic day for KTM. Firstly, I would like to congratulate Brad not only on his exceptional ride, but his loyalty and belief in KTM for many years – we will certainly enjoy this moment together. I would also like to share our thanks to Pol for his incredible effort in helping us achieve this victory; his work has been pivotal in the whole project and in reaching this point where we see our bikes near or at the front of the field. Since we began this program our ambition has been the same as it is for every racing discipline, and we knew that achieving our goals here would be exceptionally difficult, but not impossible. Step by step we have been moving closer and closer to the front, defying some expectations as we continued to believe in what we could achieve. To win a race in our fourth year in MotoGP is testament to the work ethic and knowhow of our KTM Motorsports department and R&D engineers. I would like to offer our special thanks to Pit Beirer and Mike Leitner for their lead in the project, and tireless work in making this program a success. Our vision is to create a clear pathway with our riders to the top, and this has been achieved with Brad following his success with KTM in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, Moto3 and Moto2. We now look forward to our ‘home’ races at the Red Bull Ring where we can celebrate this huge milestone in KTM’s story.”

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iXS Releases Backpack Travel

It’s a backpack.

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iXS Backpack Travel

So you have everything with you. Pack and Go

The iXS Backpack Travel is intended for everyone who wants to be out and about energetically and flexibly – on a motorbike tour and throughout your daily routine. It was designed for extended day trips and offers generous storage space of 25 litres. This makes it extremely versatile, very stable and amazingly comfortable.

Most motorbikes are not designed to carry luggage. It’s not very easy to accommodate luggage so that it doesn’t get in the way of riding. The mobile storage compartment on your back deservedly remains one of the most popular motorbike accessories. With the iXS Backpack Travel, iXS has developed a rucksack specifically for motorbike riding. Although it might look similar to a normal rucksack, it offers several functions which the usual rucksacks and bags do not have.

Quality and safety are extremely important to iXS in its manufacture. Safety is absolutely vital because motorbikes reach very high speeds. You will still be able to move about when travelling because of the fully adjustable, well-padded and extremely comfortable strap system including the chest and belly belt. The rucksack therefore fits closely to the body and never wobbles, nor is it a hindrance during the ride. You will always retain full control of your luggage.

The comprehensive features of the iXS Backpack Travel make it impressive. The sturdy 420D polyamide exterior material is water-repellent thanks to the PU coating and ensures a high level of longevity. This means that up to 25 litres of luggage are reliably protected. The padded interior provides plenty of space for rain protection, a thermal lining, a laptop etc. The central outer compartment is fitted with a practical organiser including a key holder. You will therefore also always be able to find your small items instantly. The separate exterior compartment is also practical for your sunglasses. Whatever you might need to access immediately can be accommodated in the two side mesh pockets.

The exterior impresses with its stylish, simple shape in traditional black, while inside the light grey makes it easier to find the things you have stored. Intelligent storage options with various interior pockets and compartments make the iXS Backpack Travel a real all-rounder. It’s also in its element away from your motorbike. A sturdy fabric strap at the back means it can be hung over the handle of a suitcase, making it a practical companion when traveling on trains or planes.


Recommended Retail Price: USA: US $ 69.-

Colour:                               black (003)

Size:                                    Dimensions: 50 x 30 x 20 cm

Article N°:                            X92702


Backpack made of 420D polyamide

  • Chest strap and waist belt
  • Outer pocket for sunglasses
  • Outer pocket with organizer
  • 2 side mesh pockets
  • Trolley-strap on the back side
  • Volume: 25 litres

Shell: 420D polyamide, PU coated

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No respite: Pedrosa joins KTM quartet from Brno test

History maker Binder will be joined by teammate Pol Espargaro as the team try to find yet more improvements ahead of back-to-back home races at the Red Bull Ring. Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo Miguel Oliveira – who gets back in the saddle after claiming his best MotoGP™ finish on Sunday – and Iker Lecuona are also putting in the work, with KTM test rider and MotoGP™ Legend Dani Pedrosa also on track. 

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

MotoGP™ in 2020: predict it at your own peril

But the result in the Czech GP doesn’t just prove how competitive KTM are in 2020. It proves just how close this World Championship is. Seeing Binder and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) climb on their first MotoGP™ podiums is just reward for their talent and hard work, and the same can be said for third place finisher Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing). A KTM, satellite Yamaha and a year-old Ducati on the podium? Unthinkable not so long ago. However, in 2020, that’s how we sit.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Man in court over pillion death

A 43-year-old male driver has been bailed in a Sydney court today over the death of a motorcycle pillion and the injury of the rider in a three-vehicle crash in Moorebank in July 2020.

Yoshiaki Watanabe was charged with:

  • Dangerous driving occasioning death — drive manner dangerous;
  • dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm — drive manner dangerous;
  • negligent driving (occasioning death); and
  • negligent driving (occasions grievous bodily harm).

He appeared in Campbelltown Local Court today where the matter was adjourned to 7 October 2020 when Watanabe will be excused from attending. He was released on conditional bail.

The incident occurred about 10am on Sunday 19 July 2020, on Moorebank Avenue, near Church Road, Moorebank, when two cars and a motorcycle collided.

The motorcycle rider, a 34-year-old man, was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to Liverpool Hospital in a critical condition.

Sadly, his 41-year-old female pillion died at the scene.

The driver of a silver Lexus, a 36-year-old man, and Watanabe, the driver of a red Mazda CX5, were uninjured and taken to hospital for mandatory testing.

Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit officers arrested Watanabe at a unit on Hosking Crescent, Glenfield, about 7.40 that night.

He was taken to Campbelltown Police Station, charged and granted conditional bail.

Investigators are continuing to appeal to motorists who witnessed the crash or who may have dash cam vision to come forward.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Our condolences to the pillion’s family and friends and our best wishes for a full and speedy recovery for the rider.


Touratech unveils waterproof bags

German motorcycle accessory company Touratceh has released a range of waterproof bags that fit inside their range of luggage.

What surprises me is that Touratech tank, tail and saddle bags aren’t already waterproof.

Ok, I can see the advantage in having gear in an easy-to-remove waterproof bag so you can take it into your accommodation without having to remove your luggage.

But it seems an unnecessary expense. Why not just make the luggage waterproof from the start?

Some luggage such as tank bags come with a spacial waterproof cover, but they are. never quite secure enough.

Touratech bags

Touratech’s inner bags cost $110.48 and are made by Ortlieb who produce quality gear for motorcycles and bicycles.

That’s about the same price as you would pay for waterproof bags from an outdoor store such as Kathmandu.

They say they fit their luggage, but it’s a standard size.

You can actually get different sized bags from outdoor stores.

Like those, these feature a roll top that you clamp with a nylon clip to keep them watertight.

In fact, they are so good, they even hold air and you have to push the air out first before rolling them up!

This can make it difficult to get your bag inside your luggage, so these Touratech bags come with a valve to release the air and squash them down to the smallest size.Touratech waterproof bags

They have a volume of up to 22 litres, depending on how much you want to roll the top down.

The say this allows the bag to fit every tank bag or rucksack they make, “without losing valuable storage space”.

Unlike some motorcycle clothing that loses its waterproof capabilities over time, these will remain 100% watertight for ever.


Electric Savic nears half its first orders

Almost half of the first production run of Australia’s first full-size electric motorcycle, the Savic C-Series, has been allocated to paid-up customers.

Savic Motorcycles founder Dennis Savic (pictured above) says they are on track for their first customer delivery in December after coronavirus pandemic setbacks.

So far, 21 of their 49 units have been pre-ordered for their first production run of 2021.

“The company management remains confident that this initial run will be sold out by the end of the year,” they say on their latest email update.

“With the first Savic-developed motor on schedule to arrive at our workshop in September, the current goal remains to get the first five Alpha bikes on to the road by late December.

“This includes our homologation vehicle, which will undergo all the roadworthy and safety tests required for regulatory compliance and state-based registration.”2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype orders giants

Savic C-Series

Savic Motorcycles will make 49 C-Series cafe racer electric motorcycles available in three variants.

Specification Alpha Delta Omega
Power 60kW 40kW 25kW
Torque 190Nm TBC TBC
Range 200km TBC TBC
Charge time 4-6 hours TBC TBC
0-100km/h 3s 900ms TBC TBC
Price (+ORC) $22,999.00 $15,999.00 $10,999.00

That’s much cheaper than the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle which launches in Australia next month at $A49,995.

Buyers of the first production models will also receive:

  • Exclusive company updates first;
  • Lifetime membership providing exclusive discounts for all future Savic rider gear; and
  • Live updates and images of their bike build as it happens.2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype orders whirring

Each model comes with several battery pack options. The largest offered in the Alpha will provide range of up to 200km, while the smallest option in the Omega is expected to have about 50km range. 

Like all electric vehicles, peak torque is instantaneous and the Alpha will accelerate from 0-100km in 3.9 seconds.

By comparison, the LiveWire has city range of about 235km and highway range of about 150km and reaches 100km/h in three seconds.

Savic customers will be able choose a range of options in brakes, suspension, wheels, tyres and three colours – Spectre, Stealth, and Rustic.

Aftermarket upgrades will also be offered. 

The bikes feature a fully integrated, stressed, liquid-cooled motor and energy storage system.

Depending on the model and battery pack a customer selects, a single charge can provide up to 11kWh. That costs only $3 compared with about $15 for a petrol bike to travel 250km.


Yamaha accelerates its electric program

Yamaha has been developing electric vehicles for several years, but is now stepping up its electric program with a compact portable motor and an electric motocrosser.

The motor range is called an Interior Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (IPMSM) with varying outputs from 35kw to 200kw.

They say they can be used in motorcycles and other vehicles.Yamaha electric program

Now Yamaha Motor Europe is also involved in a joint project with KNMV, Dohms Projects and SPIKE to build an electric motocross bike, EMX, to compete with 250cc models.

Benefits include higher torque and higher traction.

Yamaha electric program
EMC program

Electric program

So far, Yamaha has only produced the electric PES1 (Passion Electric Street) road bike and PED1 (Passion Electric Dirt), but neither is available in Australia.

Last year, Yamaha unveiled their EC-05 electric scooter with Gogoro lithium-ion battery packs you can easily swap at a convenient roadside vending machine.

Yamaha Gogoro battery swap electric scooter
Yamaha electric scooter with removable Gogoro battery

Yamaha is also co-operating with the other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers to standardise electric motorcycle and scooter technology, including charging infrastructure and swappable battery packs.

Last year, Yamaha also unveiled two electric scooters, an electric bicycle, an electric mobility scooter and an electric personal scooter at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Bu it’s not all electric power in Yamaha’s future.

The company is also considering water power, but we believe it may also have an electric water pump.

Yamaha water bike
Yamaha’s water-powered bike