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Harley-Davidson & Piaggio take out loans

Harley-Davidson and the Piaggio Group of motorcycle and scooter companies have announced massive loans to get back on their feet after the pandemic.

In June, Harley-Davidson announced it had access to a loan of up to $US350 million (about $A500 million) over the next year.

While it has not committed to the entire amount of the loan, it is committed to draw at least $US150m (about $A215m).

The company believes the loan is consistent with its intentions regarding liquidity.

Piaggio Group loansmoto guzzi factory museum V85

Now the Italian Piaggio Group which produces Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Vespa has secured a loan for €60 million (about $A97m, $US67m).

That’s 20% more than their annual net income.

The money will be put towards restarting after the COVID lockdown, as well as research and development.

Piaggio says they will focus their R&D efforts on reducing fuel consumption and emissions and increasing the number of new models.

Comment on loans

The world seems to be going into debt over the pandemic crisis and motorcycle companies are not immune.

It’s good news when they direct loans into R&D.

However, it’s a concern when businesses go into debt to help them survive a crisis.

In the wake of the COVID lockdown, many motorcycle companies are now reporting a huge bounce in sales in June.

In fact, the KTM Group, which includes Husqvarna and Gas Gas, has reports its biggest June in history.

KTM Group Australia/New Zealand MD Brad Hagi says there is “still a long way to go before this crisis is over”.

“This recent sales spike has not only seen existing and former riders return to riding, it has also seen new riders enter our sport, to experience the unique freedom it offers, and that is a real positive for the industry long term,” he says.

Australia is yet to announce official motorcycle sales figures for the second quarter, but they are expected to be flat or slightly up.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has reported that the dive in car sales has now slowed thanks to the easing of restrictions.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber attributes the slight recovery to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, end-of-financial-year sales and government incentives.

In fact, some dealers tell us buyers have been accessing their superannuation to buy their dream bike!

Similar incentives exist in other countries around the world which are reporting similar strong sales results.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie 2-stroke engine attracts investor

An Australian-designed clean two-stroke motorcycle engine could soon become a reality after attracting the interest of a Melbourne-based investor group.

Sydney-Based inventor Basil van Rooyen says his Crankcase Independent Two-Stroke (CITS) engine meets tough emissions requirements as it eliminates total-loss lubrication.

Investor interest

“I have some investor interest which is at their lawyers now for an agreement, so fingers crossed,” says Basil, a former South African motorsport engineer.

“My guesstimate for agreements to be all checked, amended and signed by their lawyers then ours, is two to four weeks.

“However, with the world as it is there are more reasons than ever to be let down.

The investor group are in Melbourne and the new border closure will dash the present plans — once the contracts are signed — for one of them to drive up and collect all the bits for re-testing in Melbourne before Mk 2 V-twin is produced.”

Basil says he is confident the investor group will build the engine, although he would prefer a motorcycle or automotive company bought the company for a “pittance” with a royalty paid to CITS shareholders for each engine produced.

Two-stroke advantages

Basil says his CITS engine is more powerful, lighter, smaller, cheaper, more economical and with lower emissions than any four-stroke engine.

CITS uses direct injection, but has a by-pass valve that replaces the throttle and provides progressive cylinder deactivation ensuring minimised pumping losses.

It also uses a typical four-stroke’s oil sump and does not mix the oil with the fuel in the combustion chamber like normal two-stroke engines. CITS therefore eliminates total-loss lubrication of a typical two-stroke.

“CITS technology is applicable to any engine application from V-twins of 25 to 125kW up to V12s of over 1000kW for hospital generators etc,” he says.

2 stroke CITS engine fail investor
Aussie-designed two-stroke CITS engine

The prototype was built on an 800cc V-twin Suzuki Boulevard crankcase with adapted Rotax 800 E-TEC parallel twin-cylinder jackets and heads.

Basil says the CITS engine would be most suitable in motorcycles because it is compact, economical, lightweight, powerful and cheap to build.

Two-stroke future

Tough pollution laws have forced two-stroke motorcycles out of the market in recent years in favour of four-strokes.

However, two-stroke technology is not totally dead.

KTM has a raft of direct-injection two-strokers for enduro and motocross.

There are also several small manufacturers making exotic and expensive track-only two-stroke motorcycles such as Ronax and Suter.

Meanwhile, Honda has registered patents for direct-injection two-stroke engines and Kawasaki has applied for a patent for a two-stroke/electric hybrid leaning three-wheeler!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Pole positions decided for season opener

The opening pole position in FIM Moto3™ JWCh went to David Salvador (Cuna de Campeones) whose time of 1:44.591 in the first qualifying session went unbeaten in the afternoon. Pedro Acosta (MT-Foundation 77) came within a tenth of a second of his first ever pole, qualifying second, with Diogo Moreira (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Junior Team), the only Brazilian rider in the field, claiming third on the grid for his first ever race in the class.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Harley-Davidson Livewire Owner Completes US Border-to-Border Journey

Riding a Harley-Davidson Livewire from the Mexican border to the Canadian border doesn’t sound like a bad way to ring in the ol’ 5-0.

Begin Press Release: 


HARLEY-DAVIDSON® ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE OWNER MAKES HISTORY WITH FIRST U.S. BORDER-TO-BORDER JOURNEY

Change in Plans for 50th Birthday Celebration Leads to Historic Memories

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

MILWAUKEE (July 6, 2020) – In the past few months, the world has found new ways to celebrate momentous life achievements. Riding motorcycles has been one such outlet – especially new motorcycles that are groundbreaking, like Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, LiveWire ™.

Diego Cardenas, a California resident, was hoping to spend June 30, 2020, in Spain celebrating his 50th birthday. This Spring, he knew he was going to need a new plan, but he wanted it to be something he was passionate about — a trip he could do that allowed him to maintain social distancing but also be memorable and unique. So, he set on a new plan, riding his LiveWire motorcycle from the U.S. Mexican border to the U.S. Canadian border using the West Coast Green Highway, WCGH. The WCGH is a network of electric vehicle DC fast charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and other major roadways in Washington, Oregon, and California.

“I wanted to be a part of Harley-Davidson history and have my future grandkids be able to talk about how their grandfather was the first H-D electric motorcycle owner to do such a ride,” said Cardenas. “I wanted to show the world that electric charging infrastructure is growing and be an inspiration for others to try riding electric motorcycles like the LiveWire.”

On June 22, Diego started his epic trip from San Ysidro, CA. He rode over 1,400 miles and on his 50th birthday, June 30, he reached his goal by making it to the U.S. Canadian border town of Blaine, WA. Along the way, he did live social media reports of his progress and fans following along on his journey were able to meet him in person and cheer him on. He also made plenty of stops along the way to do a bit of sightseeing with his wife and eight-year old daughter who were along on the trip in a car.

“The trip was unbelievable, such a great journey,” said Cardenas. “The West Coast Green Highway is a really good idea, there are so many options that you can be confident you will get to where you need to go. Also, if you pull up and cannot use one charger, you have additional ones super close by. It’s darn awesome! Please spread the word, this is so doable. If you have an electric motorcycle, or any bike, just get out and ride during these challenging times. Do a road trip, it helps during these stressful times to free your mind and body to see new things.”

Cardenas’ journey can be found at this link, he also is the founder and creator of this page. His mission for the group is to bring together electric vehicle and non-EV riders to ask questions, get ideas and support the EV motorcycle riding community.

About LiveWire

The Harley-Davidson 2020 LiveWire is an all-new, all-electric motorcycle; an exhilarating and evocative new model designed to offer the rider a high-performance motorcycling experience infused with a new level of technology, and the premium look and feel of a Harley-Davidson product.

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Since 1903, Harley-Davidson has stood for the timeless pursuit of adventure and delivered freedom for the soul with an expanding range of leading-edge, distinctive and customizable motorcycles in addition to riding experiences and exceptional motorcycle accessories, riding gear and apparel. Learn more at h-d.com.

The post Harley-Davidson Livewire Owner Completes US Border-to-Border Journey appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Dovizioso’s manager admits 2021 gap year is a possibility

It is true that there has been tension between Andrea and Gigi, but, as I have said before, there is always tension, more or less. When you win, it’s easy for everyone to be happy, but when there are difficulties, tensions arise. But those tensions do not necessarily mean negativity, because in reality both have the same objective and from the tension positive things are also born and I think that the results are good in the end. Ducati and Dovizioso have been the only ones who have competed with HRC and Marquez in the Championship, who have imposed a monstrous level of performance on the rest. The only alternative to Marquez until today has been Ducati and Dovizioso and that has also been the result of tension.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Rosberg: motorsport veteran, entrepreneur and MotoE™ fan

“So I really went miles above and beyond anything that was going to be possible so I won that World Championship, and it was a case of saying, “look, I’ve done it all, I gave it everything I could for so many years… and more!” I mean, the motivation I had was uncompromising, the dedication off the charts… it was the perfect moment to say, “hey, thank you so much for everything. I’m taking the exit here.” Because I think also going out on a high at this point, it just carries you for the rest of your life. And I’m living that now. It’s still carrying me now with positivity. That last memory was the most beautiful. It forever will be. It just feels great, that was also the reason for doing it, that feeling it gives me for the rest of my life – the feeling of fulfilment, which I’ve kept. That’s worth so much.”

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Motorcycle cop rammed by ute

A ute driver has been charged after a Queensland road policing officer’s motorcycle was rammed by a ute in Brisbane overnight (5 July 2020).

Police say the incident occurred about 8.30pm when the officer was conducting traffic enforcement on the northbound lanes of the Gateway Motorway near Mount Gravatt Capalaba Road.

The bike cop detected a ute “allegedly travelling at speed” towards the Old Cleveland Road exit and intercepted it near the Old Cleveland Road off-ramp.

As the officer approached the ute it will be alleged the driver reversed at speed for a distance, colliding with the front of the police motorcycle causing it to fall onto its side and sustain minor damage,” a police statement says.

“The officer suffered minor injuries only.”

The ute was later found in Parkridge Avenue at Caboolture where the alleged driver, a 60-year-old man, was arrested without incident.

He has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and serious assault of a police officer and is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 30. 

Investigations continue.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP2001397121 within the online suspicious activity form.

Riders dies in Bruxner crash

In northern NSW, a 59-year-old male rider died in a crash yesterday on the Bruxner Highway, about 40km east of Tenterfield.

NSW Police have been told the man was travelling west on the highway in a convoy with other motorcycles, when he became separated from the group and crashed.

New England Police District is investigating the crash and calling for information or dashcam footage.

Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the rider.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bull-It Tactical cargo pants tested

UK protective clothing company Covec Limited has released their Tactical range of jeans and cargo pants with a single layer of protective material.

Instead of a separate protective liner, these cargo pants are made with Covec’s “Oneskin” protective material made by re-engineering inflexible liquid crystal polymer.

Covec claim the material has abrasion resistance, is weather-proof, seam burst-resistance and low thermal conductivity so you don’t get a fraction burn as you slide down the road in a crash.

They also say they are tested to the new CE standard (17092) with AA protection and 75km/h abrasion resistance.

Despite only one layer of external protective material there is still a lightweight perforated liner that stops them sticking to your skin when you sweat. It makes them even more comfortable.

Unlike some riding pants where you have to buy the protectors separately, these come standard with CE 1621 Level 2 hip and knee protectors. They are soft and not uncomfortable.

Bull-It Tactical cargo pants tested

Australia’s MotoCAP motorcycle clothing ratings system hasn’t tested these cargo pants, but they have tested other Bull-It jeans with Covec material and rated them one and two stars for safety and three for breathability.

They would be suitable for urban and touring riding where comfort is a primary safety feature.

Tactical pants

Bull-It Tactical Cargo Pants cost $199.95 in Australia and come in black or dark blue in sizes 30-54 (Short/Regular/Long).

Some lined jeans and cargo pants are hot, heavy and uncomfortable. However, the single layer protective material makes them light and flexible for long days of comfort in the saddle.

There are seven belt loops so your belt and pants won’t separate as you lean forward over a sports bike.

Cargo pants always feature loads of pockets — hence the name “cargo”.

These feature the traditional five-pocket denim jean design (two rear pockets, two front pockets and a small coin/key pocket inside the right front pocket).Bull-It cargo pants tested

But they also have two handy thigh pockets with flaps that velcro in place and keep your valuables from falling out. They are great for storing a mobile phone or your wallet.

While I haven’t tested them in extreme heat, they are ok in mild winter conditions.

In extreme cold, they are loose enough in the leg to comfortably wear long johns underneath.

And the loose legs also allow them to be worn over bulky riding boots.

They aren’t waterproof, but are fine in showery conditions.

These pants would go well with the Bull-It Tactical Hoodie.

About Covec LtdBull-it Jeans win enterprise award

Covec Limited is the parent company of Bull-it Jeans.

In April, they received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise recognising their export success to 14 different countries in Europe, Australia, North America and New Zealand.

Covec developed their protective textile material by re-engineering inflexible liquid crystal polymer to achieve abrasion resistance, weather-proofing, low thermal conductivity and improved strength.

Covec’s material is used in sportswear, military clothing and their motorcycle clothing brand, Bull-it, which makes jeans, leggings and jackets.

It is also licensed to a variety of global brands including Triumph Motorcycles, Rokker of Switzerland, KLIM USA, RevZilla, IXS and The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bull-It Tactical Hoodie jacket tested

The hoodie is becoming a big fashion trend among urban riders so now award-winning UK protective clothing company, Covec Limited has introduced a Tactical Hoodie to their Bull-It range.

It’s a comfortable and versatile jacket with some interesting features and suitable protection for the urban environment.

Bull-It Tactical Hoodie comes in black in sizes S to 4XL for £199.99 (about $A360).

Hoodie styleCovec Bull-It Tactical hoodie

I’ve been wearing this soft-canvas-feel jacket for a few weeks now and find it very comfortable both on and off the bike.

Apart from being a trendy style, the hoodie is also practical for extra warmth when you are off the bike.

I’ve worn a few hoodie motorcycle jackets and have found some annoying because the hoodie section flaps around and can slightly impede head movement.

Despite the fact that the hoodie can’t be removed or clipped down, it doesn’t affect head movement nor flap around. The pull cords do flap in the breeze, but they are soft and don’t annoy or distract.

It features a zip-out full-size quilted liner, but it’s not really a winter jacket. It’s more suited to temperatures between 12C and 30C.

A clever feature of the liner is the extra high corduroy-lined collar which snap-locks together and provides some protection from the cold so you don’t need to wear a neck sock.Covec Bull-It Tactical hoodie

The waist band and cuffs are elasticised for a firm fit and the cuffs also feature loops that go around your thumbs to prevent the wind pulling your sleeves up.Covec Bull-It Tactical hoodie

The two outside pockets have waterproof YKK zips and the taped seams are waterproof, but the pockets and the jacket outer shell are not waterproof, only shower resistant.

Inside are two pockets in the liner and two in the jacket itself which are difficult to access when you have the liner in.

The inside jacket pockets have Velcro’s fasteners but there are no fastenings on the liner pockets, so be careful when throwing your jacket over a cafe chair as your wallet could fall out as I found!

SafetyCovec Bull-It Tactical

This isn’t a jacket you would wear to a race track.

It’s more suited to the urban environment or for touring where comfort and flexibility play an important primary safety feature.

As MotoCAP chief scientist Chris Hurren explains in this video, there are different levels of abrasion, impact and seam-bursting protection required for different types of riding.

This jacket has not yet been tested by MotoCAP.

However, it features Covec yarn in the outer shell to boost abrasion resistance reinforced with Covec’s “Webtech” race-developed abrasion protection.

It has been tested to the new CE standard (17092) standard for AA protection.

They say it also has lower thermal conductivity which reduces chances of friction burns in a slide down the road.

It comes standard with CE 1621 Level 2-approved armour in the shoulders, elbows/forearm and back.

There are some reflective strips on the jacket for night visibility but they are fairly small.

It also features two elasticised loops in the bottom of the jacket that attach the jacket to the belt loops on your pants so they don’t become detached and expose your body in a crash.

The jacket would go well Bull-It’s Tactical cargo pants.

About Covec LtdBull-it Jeans win enterprise award

Covec Limited is the parent company of Bull-it Jeans.

In April 2020, they received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise recognising their export success to 14 different countries in Europe, Australia, North America and New Zealand.

Covec developed their protective textile material by re-engineering inflexible liquid crystal polymer to achieve abrasion resistance, weather-proofing, low thermal conductivity and improved strength.

Covec’s material is used in sportswear, military clothing and their motorcycle clothing brand, Bull-it, which makes jeans, leggings and jackets.

It is also licensed to a variety of global brands including Triumph Motorcycles, Rokker of Switzerland, KLIM USA, RevZilla, IXS and The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com