Tom began riding at the age of 10 and owns several motorcycles including a Vyrus 987 C3 4V worth more than $100,000.
His first movie role with a motorcycle was Top Gun where he rode the Kawasaki Ninja GPZ900R.
Since then he has ridden in many movies including Oblivion, Knight and Day, and Edge of Tomorrow.
But the GPZ900R is a long way from the H2R he rides in Top Gun 2.
The GPZ900R was made from 1984 to 1996 and had a 908cc transverse four-cylinder engine capable of 86kW of power and 85Nm of torque for a top speed of 254km/h top speed.
By comparison, the street-legal Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon (about $A44,000 sprint away) has 147.2kW (200ps/197hp) of power at 11,000rpm and 133.5Nm of torque at 10,5000rpm, but the supercharger boosts that to 154.5kW (210ps/207hp) and 140.4Nm.
However, Tom is riding the powerful track-only Ninja H2R which has 228kW (310ps/305hp) at 14,000rpm and 165Nm of torque at 12,500rpm. With maximum ram air, power literally blows out to 240kW (326ps/321hp).
Using the same Ducati GP19 as factory runners Dovizioso and Petrucci, the one-time MotoGP race winner has regularly challenged his stable-mates. The highlight came at Austin, where Miller scored his first premier class podium in dry conditions, his second overall coming just under three years after the first. But more impressive were his performances at Mugello and the Circuit of Catalunya, where he had struggled badly in previous years. The Australian was fighting for the win in Italy before crashing out with eight laps remaining, while the Catalan GP saw him finish fifth.
Two things stand out about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle: it is literally electrifying and cool!
That’s more than just a couple of gratuitous puns.
This bike is not an electric toy! It’s a real bike that is claimed to go from 0-100km/h in three seconds and we proved it on the world media launch with several impromptu drags on a lonely country road outside of Portland, Oregon. So that’s electrifying performance in anyone’s lexicon.
Many moto journos talk about the nirvana of having ultimate linear power delivery. That’s exactly what this supplies. There are no surges or lags, just a hand-of-God thrust in the back as you hurtle forward and the world tons to a blur.
And after a vigorous 110km test ride through the streets of Portland and beautiful surrounding country, the bike was still cool to the touch, even the water-cooled motor, battery and radiator.
So it doesn’t just look cool and represent a cool trend in motorcycling, it’s literally cool to touch which makes it an ideal summer commuter bike!
The dual-seat LiveWire is made in Cork, Pennsylvania and has been in development almost a decade.
It finally goes on sale shortly in the USA at about $US30,000 in a choice of cool lime, a bright orange and gloss black.
It will arrive in Australia late next year probably at more than $A40,000 which is more than most of their Touring models.
It’s expensive, but it also has suitably premium components, a high quality of ft and finish (not a cadmium bolt in sight!), thick and lustrous paint, plus premium controls including a proximity key fob.
Styling is a subjective matter, but I like the modern, minimalist look and the big cooling fins around the battery, although the gloss black model looks way too dark. Maybe they should have made the calling fins silver on that one.
The remote rear fender with number plate allows for a tidy wasp-like tail with the pillion seat suspended in mid-air.
Underneath the seat is a small lockable compartment for the the mains charger and cable that includes a handy helmet hook. Harley put the key fob under the seat so we wouldn’t lose it and it was the only mechanical sound in the whole bike. Most riders would keep it in their jacket pocket!
You can also get a small “speed screen blade”, decorative trim, different hand and foot controls and a cover that includes a charging cord port. Many traditional Harley accessories such as wheels and bars can also be fitted.
LiveWire comes with two batteries. The big 15.5 kWh high-voltage Lithium-ion battery or “Renewable Energy Storage System (RESS)” made up of Samsung battery modules has a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.
Harley chief engineer Glen Koval says the recyclable battery should last 10 years without significant loss of capacity unless it is not treated well or used extensively in extreme cold conditions.
There is also a small 12V lithium-ion battery to power instruments, lights, etc.
Harley has not said how much a replacement main battery will cost, probably because in five years from now it will cost a lot less, anyway!
Of course, the electric LiveWire is quiet, especially at low speeds, but not exactly silent.
When you switch it on, the headlight and instrument screen lights up, but there is no accompanying motor noise.
As you take off, you can feel a gentle buzz which is induced by the rocking of magnets. Harley wanted riders feel the “heartbeat” of the machine.
When you give it the berries, the bike makes a turbine “whoosh” noise thanks to the belt drive and “meshing” of the primary spiral bevel gears. At highway speeds all you can hear is the wind.
While I missed the throbbing sound and feel of a Harley V-twin engine, I actually found it made you more aware of surrounding noises from other vehicles.
It also meant that when I listened to music, GPS directions or phone calls on my helmet intercom, I didn’t need to turn the volume up quite as high.
The lack of noise also seems to have a calming effect on the rider.
However, I was acutely aware that other road users couldn’t hear me coming and a couple of times I tapped the horn to announce my presence.
Harley recently released details that claim city range of up to 235km and 152km of highway range.
While they don’t give total charging time from a mains outlet with the provided cord, they do tell us that a 120/240-volt outlet will provide about 20km (13 miles) per hour of charging. That means it will probably take at least 11 hours from flat to reach full capacity. And the cost would be less than $4.
They also claim their Fast Charge (DCFC) technology will recharge a flat battery to 80% in 40 minutes and full in 60 minutes.
They brought in three mobile DC fast chargers for the event which they say are not as powerful as the permanent ones that will be at Harley dealerships. These chargers were only used at the end of the day’s ride.
None of the bikes ran out of “juice” on the road test, even though we mainly rode hard and fast in the electrifying “Sport” mode.
We covered about 110km and my bike still showed 30% charge left.
The charging port is in the top of the “fuel” tank for easy access.
You can check the battery recharging status and time left to full on the instruments or on an accompanying H-D Connect app.
The Android and iOS app also alerts you if someone is tampering with your bike, includes a GPD tracker if its stolen, shows the closest charging stations and reminds you when the bike needs a service. But since the only consumables are the brake pads, servicing should be cheaper. Still, service intervals are 1600km first and then every 8000km like their conventional bikes.
Harley PR rep Joe Gustafson says the app gives the rider “peace of mind”.
H-D Connect uses a cellular telematics control unit (TCU) that functions as an LTE-enabled modem connecting LiveWire motorcycles to the cloud. Owners will get the service free for a year.
There are seven riding modes: Range, Rain, Road and Sport, plus three customisable modes.
Each mode affects the acceleration and response from the twist-and-go throttle.
It also affects the amount of “regeneration” which is like engine braking and helps to recharge the battery.
Both of these also affect the range.
The modes also vary the amount of cornering-enhanced traction control that includes a wheelie control to stop the front wheel lifting and a rear-wheel lockup control.
They label their traction control High, Medium and Low, but high is not for high intervention but high slip, so it is opposite to what it appears.
Riders can select the modes on the fly with a button on the right-hand controller. Your selected mode is displayed on the big, easy-to-read 11cm colour touchscreen which is like a mini iPad.
Sport: Full, seamless power and 80% immediate throttle response. This offers truly electrifying performance. I thought it might make it a little jerky, but it so smooth and predictable, even in slow-speed manoeuvres. Traction control is also set to High which is the lowest level of intervention. However, you can turn it off when stopped. Regeneration is also quite significant at 80% so you don’t even need to use the brakes to come to a full stop. The only time I touched the brakes was in emergency brake tests and when riding hard.
Road: This mode softens throttle response to 55%, power delivery to 80% and regen to 30%, plus medium traction control. Harley says it feels more like a traditional petrol-powered bike and they are right, but because of its twist-and-go transmission (like a scooter), you can’t slip a little clutch to smooth out power delivery for tight, feet-up u-turns. But guess what! You don’t need to. It’s super-smooth with plenty of feel, unlike any EFI fly-by-wire throttle. Medium traction control can be turned off when stopped.
Range: Obviously this is the economy mode to squeeze extra range out of the bike. Throttle response is smoother at 55%, power 40% and regen 80%, making it quite jerky when you roll off the throttle. Traction control is medium and can be turned off when stopped.
Rain: Like the rain mode on many conventional bikes, this has 0% power, 30% soft throttle response, 15% regen and Low traction means high intervention and cannot be turned off.
Three Custom Modes: You can select your own levels of power, regeneration, throttle response and traction control and save them to A, B or C modes. Power, regeneration and throttle can be adjusted from 0-100% in 1% increments, and traction can be set to Low, Medium or High intervention.
Since most riders won’t touch the brakes to slow down, the rear brake LED light will light up on regenerative braking to alert traffic behind your that you are slowing, avoiding rear-enders.
Harley says the H-D Revelation electric motor has 78kW of power. That’s not too bad for a 249kg bike which is about the same as a 1200 Sportser or Ducati Diavel.
That power figure is the same as a KTM 1190, but the porky LiveWire weighs a substantial 32kg more.
More importantly, the bike has 116Nm of torque which is substantially more than the 95Nm in the 1200 Sportster .
Full-tilt torque is available as soon as you twist the throttle, which is why traction and wheelie control is so important.
It feels lively and lithe, like many streetfighter-style bikes with its flat bars.
On the highway it’s stable, around town it’s manoeuvrable and in the twisties it feels planted and precise, thanks to the premium Showa suspension.
It’s fully adjustable, but rather than playing around with the clickers, you can go to the instrument screen and put in the weights of you, pillion and any luggage and it will calculate the right settings. How clever is that!
Some claimed it felt top heavy, but I didn’t think so. The weight is carried low in the underslung motor. It feels a little heavy coming up off the side stand, but then it feels perfectly balanced.
I love the use of Harley’s clever stable side stand that won’t allow the bike to roll forward when parked downhill.
The low centre of gravity makes it easy to turn and quick to change direction.
However, the seat is 779mm high and is narrow so even shorter riders can get their feet flat down on the ground. I’m 183cm tall and I could still bend my legs with my feet flat on the ground. There is also a Slammer seat that is 25mm lower.
The Brembo brakes are powerful and have plenty of feel, but with the regenerative braking of the motor, you really don’t need to use them that often, although it’s nice to know they are there when you need them in an emergency.
At this price, it’s going to be a hard sell, even for cashed-up, early adopters and techno nerds.
But they will find this is not just some toy. It’s a serious, full-size, hard-charging, fun motorcycle that is both easy to ride and a hard charger for the adrenalin junkie.
Harley-Davidson LiveWire tech specs
Price: $US29,799 (about $A42,500)
Available: Next month in North American and Europe, late next year Australia and New Zealand
Colours: range, lime and black
Battery warranty: five-year, unlimited-km
Motor: H-D Revelation permanent-magnet, water-cooled electric motor
Power: 78kW (105hp)
Instant torque: 116Nm (86ft lbs)
Battery: Air-cooled 15.5kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery (Rechargeable Energy Storage System)
Transmission: motor output shaft, 9.71:1 gear reduction, belt drive
All LED, low beam, high beam and signature position lamp
Lights (as per country regulation), Tail/Stop
LED with light pipe tail
Lights (as per country regulation), Front Signal Lights
Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps
High beam, turn signals, ABS, traction control, EV fault
Lights, Rear Turn Signals
4.3” WQVGA 480×272 TFT Color Display with Ambient Light Sensor, 9 warning lights, Real Time Clock and Integrated Bluetooth Connectivity to a Smartphone to provide infotainment features including turn-by-turn navigation, telephone, music, and voice recognition.
Electric Power Outlet
USB C-type; output 5V at 3A
EV Specific Content: Motor
Internal Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor with Water Jacket cooling
This MacnaBastic bomber jacket looks like casual wear, not a motorcycle jacket, yet it has a lot of protection and some clever features that make it ideal for next summer’s riding.
The European motorcycle clothing company makes some advanced technological gear with a lot of street smarts.
We’ve tested several of their jackets and they all seem to have some unique features such as the Aytee all-season jacket I used on last year’s Italian Alps tour.
All European gear now has to be properly certified and these jackets contain a lot of protective materials for abrasion and impact resistance.
This Macna Bastic jacket features CE-approved impact pads in the back, shoulders and elbows.
However, I don’t think the satin-finish polyamide nylon material would have much abrasion resistance.
But it is the clever little additions that I like.
For example, there is a sunglasses hook to hang your sunnies on your chest.
It also has two deep outside pockets that won’t let your valuables fall out even if you forget to fasten them with the two snap buttons.
Instead of the usual zip in the back to attach to your trousers if they have a matching zip, there is a simple snap tag that fits to your pants’ belt loop. Simple, easy to use and it works. Very clever.
But the most clever thing is the venting system.
I didn’t think it would be very good in hot weather with its elasticised cuffs and waist band not allowing in any breeze.
However, there are two small zipped vents on the upper arms that direct air straight into your armpits for maximum cooling effect.
I tried it out in 30C heat in Portland, Orgeon, this week on the Harley LiveWire launch and it works!
The front zip is also a clever two-stage zip.
If it’s cold, do it up to the tighter zip, but if it’s warm, zip up the second zip, leaving a 25mm-wide vent panel right down the front of the jacket.
Of course, this won’t work if you are behind a windscreen.
But on a naked bike it almost feels like you have no jacket on at all; the air current is amazing.
There is also a strange, shallow pocket with no real fastener on the outside left chest. I do not have any clue about its purpose!
There is only one inside zipped pocket which is a shame, although it is quite big.
It’s also weather proof as are the pockets.
I haven’t yet been caught in the rain with this jacket, but I did give it a test in the kitchen sink and the interior stayed dry.
Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Satin finish Polyamide Nylon.
Soft polyester mesh liner with fixed Raintex waterproof membrane.
“SCS Lite” ventilation system.
Shoulder Safetech CE level 2, Elbow Safetech CE level 1.
Night Eye reflective panels.
CE back protector prepared, fitted with 12 mm EVA back pad.
Hoody holder, Air vents sleeves & back. Rear belt loop.
If you have been looking for an open-face helmet with Bluetooth communication, the new Sena Savage is the answer.
It features integrated controls, speakers and a microphone discretely in the brow section of the helmet.
As you would expect, it’s noisier than a full-face helmet, the microphone is not as quiet as in a full face helmet, but it’s equal to or better than the boom-mic units people attach to their open-face helmets.
And it is neater as well. The compact two-control functions on the side of the helmet are sadly visible, yet easy to use.
They work the same as the Sena 20S controls wth a button and a dial/button/toggle control.
With just those two controls, you can switch on/off, summon Siri, play music, answer and reject calls, pair t your phone and another intercom, summon an intercom user, skip tracks and change the volume.
The only problem I found with the Savage is that the amplifier and speakers are not powerful enough to provide adequate sound when I wear my filtered earplugs.
The filtered earplugs reduce the overall sound a little, but mainly they filter out the damaging wind noise that gives you tinnitus.
They allow you to hear important traffic sounds such as emergency siren and horns, plus listen to your music and phone conversations at a lower volume that doesn’t hurt your ears.
Unfortunately, this system is a little too quiet, so it’s really only useful up to about 80km/h.
In total, these 600 motorcycles (300 apiece) sold out in days after a social media pre-order launch. Impressive.
Begin press release:
MV Agusta announces that the Brutale 1000 Serie Oro and the Superveloce 800 Serie Oro, both to be produced in a 300 units limited series, were sold out only days after launching a pre-order campaign through the company’s social media platforms. The first deliveries of the Brutale 1000 Serie Oro are expected by November 2019 while the Superveloce 800 will arrive in March 2020.
When first presented at EICMA in November 2018, the Superveloce 800 Serie Oro had been deemed “the most desirable and anticipated bike of 2020”, whilst the Brutale 1000 Serie Oro was acclaimed as “most beautiful bike of the show”. Requests for the bikes started raining in at Schiranna’s MV Agusta headquarters, and only a few days after pre-orders officially opened they were sold out.
The Brutale 1000 Serie Oro is possibly the meanest and most aggressive looking naked ever. It is certainly the most powerful 1000 cc naked bike ever produced, with its 208 HP, 4 cylinder engine intimately related to the F4 RC racing superbike. It is capable of reaching top speeds of over 300 Km/h.
The Superveloce 800 Serie Oro has a decidedly classic look, reminiscent of MV Agusta’s glorious legacy. But beyond the attractive yesteryear’s looks, It features a steel trellis chassis, a 148 HP inline-3 cylinder 799 cc engine with a counter-rotating crankshaft coupled to a 6-speed gearbox and an iconic triple-exit exhaust system. The Superveloce 800 also includes a number of advanced technologies, including a TFT dashboard as well as state of the art engine and vehicle control electronics incorporating ride-by-wire, multi-maps and traction control.
Timur Sardarov, CEO of MV Agusta, said: “We are delighted with the success of these two launches. It proves that we are on the right path to continue in MV Agusta’s glorious tradition of constant innovation, breathtaking performance and superb design. 600 passionate riders from all over the world have shown their unfaltering appreciation for our iconic brand and our unique motorcycles. We shall do everything in our power to make them proud of owning an exclusive piece of true motorcycle art”.
But why does Pol think Barcelona and Catalunya in general produce some of the sport’s top talent? “I think it’s the culture that’s not just in Barcelona but in Catalunya, I mean when I started riding bikes, there were small promotional cups where hundreds of children were riding bikes, and this is the only way. For sure, these hundreds of children haven’t made it to MotoGP but we see Rins, Maverick, the Marquez brothers, a lot of people that are here racing today – they all started in those categories which were supported by major companies in the region.”
Our friends from WESTx1000 are out at the 2019 Silk Way Rally bringing coverage from Day 10 of the event.
Begin Press Release:
Day 10, SS9: Shorty Shines in Stage Nine
The Retired MX Star Wins His First Stage in the World Championship
Silk Way Rally; Special Stage Nine: What was mesmerizing about the modest sized dunes dominating challenges in the 8th leg, pales in comparison to the spectacular mountain-sized monuments of khaki colored granules just outside of Alashan. Though this was near the site of the previous day’s ASS, we didn’t have the chance to absorb the full magnitude of this place – massive shadows in the horizon opening up to China’s own Sahara. To never feast your eyes on such a sight is to do them, and yourself, a disservice. Like setting foot into a Dali painting, the mountains create bizarre illusions, appearing Martian to a novice. Peaks look within reach, yet the true distance is incalculable without a couple bottles of a water and a Fitbit. The cliffs are two faced, completely darkened by shadow on one side, brilliantly white on the other. A rollercoaster building anticipation as one ascends and releasing pure exhilaration all the way down, a ride with which one American feels right at home.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and today, at least one of them is “Short.” It’s here in China where retired Motocross-star-turned-Rally-Raid-pro won his first stage in the World Class championship. (And it’s about time.) A truly underrated rally racer, Andrew Short #29 (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) understands hill climbs, whoops, berms, getting loose and going airborne like their something he tackled for, say, two decades… It’s no wonder he looked so at ease throughout this multifaceted special. Stage Nine wasn’t just another highspeed road race or Enduro like the former seven – to exclude SS8 of course. Shorty (as he’s known ‘round town) knew he’d made good time, feeling confident yet again, through the dunes which were quite well suited for his style. But instead of his usual fluid nature, being smartly conservative when outside his comfort zone, he pushed himself to the top of his limits, taking more risks than usual in the fast parts to ultimately win the day’s crown. It’s still too soon for the United States to bust out in unison Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” but if Shorty’s feat was a representation, at all, of his country, we have much to be proud of.
“Today it was more like motocross – not those fast roads. I was able to move on the bike, I had a good start position, so overall a really good day for me. Nice to win my first FIM special even if it has taken me a lot longer than I thought to get to this point. And I’ve still got a long way to go. These guys have been doing it so long. They have so much knowledge and expertise, and also speed. There’s some truth in the fact that this being a level playing field helps (first time for bikes on the Silk Way Rally), but for the most part it’s just because they’re fast.” – Andrew Short #29, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna
HERO Motosports’ Paolo Goncalves #4 performed well in the sand sierra as well, sliding into Second place at the finish. Quite unfortunate he was taken out of contention for engine troubles earlier in the event. Frenchman Adrien van Beveren #10 of Yamaha Rally Team too boxed his way through the penultimate stage with the third seed as his prize. At only a minute-forty-five behind the winner, he’s in clear shot of the final podium in Dunhuang. Fourth position in the 9th leg, #6 Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM) still has plenty of space between him and his adversaries in the General Classification. If all goes according to plan, we’ll see the Brit-born factory rider at the top of the pyramid summing up the 2019 Silk Way Rally. But then who will fill those next two coveted spots – Short, Beveren, Benavides K. or L.? It’s such an airtight competition right now, predictions would be a fool’s errand.
In the Car class, a victor appears to have already been chosen. And although again, we could blame fate (or recklessness) for any casualties among the elite, #201 Nasser Al-Attiya and Mathieu Baumel (Toyota Gazoo) are much too clever to endanger their massive advantage by pushing it. Any troubles they might encounter would be at the hands of destiny. Some exhaustive driving by with pinpoint accurate navigating, the team managed a tough stage without any hiccups, securing their 8th consecutive triumph. Wei Han and Min Liao #208 (Geely Auto) came out of the beach day in Second, only to be starting the final stage at a tense position. Whereas Overdrive Racing, Eric Van Look and Sebastien Delaunay #205, will be cozy in third and gunning for their Chinese opponents.
“It was a very difficult stage today. I have raced many Dakar’s, but I have never known such an exhausting special. Like yesterday it was very interesting, but the body, already tired, I was really tested today. There’s only one stage left now to finish this Silk Way Rally in style.” – Nasser Al-Attiya #201, Toyota Gazoo Racing SA
It somehow feels right to have a KAMAZ-Master truck present on the podium at this Russian run event. But that’s not to say the team this year won’t have earned it. With the Belarusian hopefuls, vessel #304 MAZ-SportAuto piloted by Siarhey Viazovich, officially out of the race after tumbling down a dune, KAMAZ is pushing to have all three steps filled with their machines – and so far, the effort is paying off. Anton Shibalov, Dmitrii Nikitin and Ivan Tatarinov are sitting on the top driving camion #303; Andrey Karginov, Andrey Mokeev and Ivan Malkov in the #300 have the second landing on lockdown; and teammates Airat Mardeev, Dmitrii Svistunov and Sergei Krenev holding the last stair behind the wheel of #302. Not to be forgotten, the US CRV team, #310 captained by Aviv Kadshai, Izhar Armony and Maoz Wilder, have scrapped their way to 6th in the stage and 7th overall, their greatest stats yet. Glad to see the Stars and Stripes are putting up a good fight in this cross-country battle having Short, CRV and UTV #229 (Austin Jones and Kellon Walch) pulling solid results at the rally!
“We drove this special at a good pace, but I never had the impression of taking any risks. The goal was to drive carefully and get over the obstacles as efficiently as possible. Something we clearly achieved, as the first cars didn’t take much time off us.” – Anton Shibalov #303, KAMAZ-Master Team
Will the standings remain steadfast as this 2019 iteration comes to an end? Or will the fickle nature of Rally Raid alter the outcome of a seemingly certain finale?