Tag Archives: By manufacturer

Harley-Davidson trademarks Rude Boy

Harley-Davidson trademarks often end up as names for their motorcycles, but in this case, Rude Boy will be used for their upcoming range of electric bicycles.

The company has struck some trouble with the recent launch of their LiveWire electric motorcycle:

  • The bike was delayed a month going into North America dealerships;
  • Several dealerships refused to pay big money to instal DC fast chargers in order to sell them;
  • Sales have also been a disaster as customers have baulked at the $US29,950 (about $A44,000 when it arrives in Australia late next year) ticket price; and
  • They temporarily pulled the plug on production to fix a problem with one charger.

    Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways short circuit
    Riding the LiveWire in Orgeon

Rude Boy electric bicycles

The company has filed its application for the Rude Boy trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office for use with “electric bicycles; electric bicycle parts and accessories”.

Harley already has a Fat Boy Softail motorcycle which has been a huge success over the years, so they will be hoping for the same with with Rude Boy.

So far Harley has shown three pedal-assisted electric bicycles, an electric scooter and electric balance bikes for kids.

Harley and Indian announce 2018 sales results electric scooter bicycle
harley electric scooter

With Harley sales down and an ageing demographic, the company is keen to bring in new, younger customers.

This shift toward two-wheeled electric bicycles is part of their future-proofing strategy.

Harley electric bicycle LiveWire ID specs rude boy bicycles
Harley electric mountain bike

Harley has previously shown their electric mountain bike (above) and their electric bicycle prototypes (below) under the “Future Vehicles” tab on their website.

We expect the latter will be the Rude Boy bikes.Harley-Davidson electric bicycle balance kids rude boy bicycles

It says they are not yet available for sale, but “coming soon” and “future models shown may not be available in all markets”.

They include mid-mounted electric motors, belt drive and one with a step-through “female” frame.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson plugs LiveWire back in

Production of the Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire motorcycle has started again after being stalled a few days this week over a problem with one home charger.

The company says it was only a “single occurrence”. There was no problem with the motorcycle, only the charger.

“We take pride in our rigorous quality assurance measures and our drive to deliver the world’s best motorcycles,” their press statement says.

They had asked owners only to charge their bikes with the DC fast charger supplied at some HD dealerships. However, they say it is now safe to use any method to charge them.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycleHarley-Davidson's electric LiveWire short circuit
LiveWires on DC fast chargers

Even though it doesn’t arrive in Australia until late next year, Harley-Davidson Australia had issued this statement:

As we lead in the electrification of motorcycles, we have delivered our first LiveWire motorcycles to authorized LiveWire dealers. We recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check; stopped production and deliveries; and began additional testing and analysis, which is progressing well. We are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, we’re keeping high quality as our top priority.

We also asked how many Aussie orders they had and how many dealers were installing the DC fast charger:

We are not in a position to share any specific details and we are currently working closely with our dealer network as we get ready to welcome what will be a very exciting product for Australian and New Zealand customers.

Phone and other electrical devices can have issues with chargers overheating and causing a fire.

In March, the entire fleet of 18 Energica electric motorcycles for the MotoE series were destroyed in a blaze that was blamed on a short circuit in one of the charging units.

electric garage fire energica short circuit
Energica garage explodes in flame

Electric fires

Electric vehicle and charger fires can be caused by short-circuits, power surges, impact, excessive discharge or overheating.

They also cause special concerns for fire fighters.

Lithium batteries are obviously made with lithium which is highly flammable and stored in mineral oil.

short circuit
Tesla goes up in flames

While it is not toxic, it can cause nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, muscle weakness, fatigue and a dazed feeling.

Electric vehicle and battery fires can also release sulphuric acid, carbon monoxide, copper and cobalt.

Fire fighters can’t douse the flames with water as the high voltage can cause an electric shock or electrocution.

Instead, they have to disconnect the power supply (usually an orange plug) and contain the fire to let it burn itself out.

LiveWire short circuit

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways short circuit
Riding the LiveWire in Orgeon

This temporary hiccup with Harley’s electric motorcycle program follows a month delay in deliveries to US dealerships where it has created a lot of interest, but not a lot of sales.

Buyers are apparently baulking at the $US29,990 price (about $A44,000).

Some dealers are even rejecting the expensive DC fast-charger installation which is a requirement of being able to sell the bike.

PR exercise

So Harley has two major PR exercises going at the moment to rescue the LiveWire.

Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor are currently shooting Long Way Up from the bottom to the top of the Americas, riding LiveWire motorcycles.

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan and Charley pack their LiveWire bikes for the trip

And now HD has brought in Hollywood action star Jason Momoa who plays Aquaman and Khal Drogo to test ride the bike.

“Harley wanted me to test one of the new LiveWires, I was kind of like ehhh. I like the idea of it but I wanted to hear it,” says Jason who is more at home on pushrod fuel burners.

While filming on the Gold Coast in 2017, he took delivery of a Softail.

Now he says he is stoked by the electric bike.

“I have never been on anything this fast, it kind of blew my mind,” he says.

“I am in love with it, it’s amazing and I look forward to the future of many more of these bikes.

“It’s so fast, faster than I need, it’s amazing. It’s good for the planet, beautiful, we’re moving with the times.

“Best part is, it’s the future. You can have this and your old one. It’s amazing.”

Harley is going to need a lot of star power to help the LiveWire over this current short circuit!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW F 850 GS Rallye and R coming?

BMW Motorrad could soon be adding a limited-edition F 850 GS Rallye and an F 850 R production bike to its expanding line-up.

The company has prepared a special F 850 GS Rallye for the annual International GS Trophy Oceania competition in February 2020 in New Zealand.

While they have been specially prepared for the GS Trophy, we reckon they are so attractive the company will make a limited production run.BMW F 850 GS Rallye for NZ GS Trophy

BMW has already made at least 140 of the GS Rallye models for the competition and possibly more as replacements in the event of crashes or failures.

So there are probably also more sitting in storage waiting for release next year.

BMW usually uses the big 1200 (now 1250) machines for the Trophy and has produced 1200 GS Rallye X models for production.

It used the smaller F model in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

The BMW F 850 GS Rallye Trophy comes with special black and yellow colours and graphics, gold anodised forks and a host of features from the BMW Motorrad catalogue. 

GS Rallye features: 

  • High handlebars 14 mm higher than standard;
  • Enduro footrests plus adjustable foot brake lever and gear lever;
  • Hand protectors made of impact-resistant and UV-resistant plastic;
  • Engine protection bar made of electropolished stainless steel for lightness and longevity;
  • Enduro engine guard made of aluminium;
  • Rallye seat is narrower, taller and has more padding;
  • Water-resistant tail bag;
  • LED auxiliary headlights in a compact aluminium housing;
  • Headlight protection; and
  • Touring windshield with adjustment.

F 850 R

BMW F 850 R
BMW F 850 R patent image

Meanwhile, F 850 R patent images have been leaked ahead of its tipped unveiling at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in a couple of weeks along with their new R 18 cruiser.

Apart from the new engine, the mages shows the bike has a new swingarm, new frame, bodywork, instrument panel, fuel tank and smaller exhaust now on the left. 

We expect the engine may be differently tuned for more midrange oomph than the F 850 GS.BMW F 850 R patent image

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto 650GT is third model in the range

CFMOTO Australia has added the third 650cc model to the range, called the 650GT ABS which is a “grand tourer”.

It will cost just $8490 ride away and joins the naked 650NK at $6490 and the 650MT at $7490 including a free set of panniers valued at $650 until the end of the year.

Comparative models are the Honda CBR650L ($9999 +ORC), Kawasaki 650L ($9999 +ORC), Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 (from $84440 ride-away), Suzuki SV650 LAMS ($8990 +ORC) and Yamaha MT-07 $9999 +ORC).

That makes the CFMoto 650 range among the cheapest 650cc learner-approved road-going motorcycles in our market.

Not only do they represent good value, but our long-term test on the 650MT shows they are reliable.

CFMoto 650MT update 650gt
Our long-term test 650MT

CFMoto 650GT

CFMoto’s grand tourer comes standard with a large colour auto dimming TFT display, adjustable windscreen and USB and 12 volt charging sockets on either side in the cockpit. Panniers are also available as an option.

The 650GT ABS is powered by the same 41.5kW (LAMS restricted) 650cc parallel twin engine as used in the 650NK and 650MT variants.

It is managed by a Bosch EFI system delivering a user-friendly power curve, perfect for new riders. CFMoto 650GT

The hydraulic brakes are supplied by Spanish company J.Juan with a Continental ABS.

It is shod with Metzeler tyres and claims to have a “plush ride” on the KYB conventional telescopic forks and cantilever KYB rear monoshock.

CFMoto also claims the low seat height of 795mm will provide a relaxed riding position.

They say it will appeal to commuters, tourers and learner riders.

The 650GT ABS is available in two colour options, Concept Blue or Nebula Black and is backed by CFMOTO’s two-year, unlimited km warranty.CFMoto 650GT

KTM links

Like the other models in the CFMoto range, the 650GT has European styling thanks to Austrian design house Kiska which also designs KTM motorcycles.

CFMoto  has close ties with KTM, making their bikes in China for the domestic market.

This collaboration will lead to a host of new motorcycle models to be released by CFMoto over 2020/21.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Yamaha steps up its electric program

Yamaha is stepping up its electric program with removable batteries, but not in a full-size electric motorcycle.

That’s probably just as well as Harley-Davidson has hit a short circuit with the introduction of its LiveWire.

Instead, Yamaha will unveil two electric scooters, an electric bicycle, an electric mobility scooter and an electric personal scooter at next week’s 46th Tokyo Motor Show.

Yamaha has not revealed many details of its new electric program at the Tokyo show, but they do promise fast-charging, extra range and removable batteries.

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.

In June, 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 was also recently believed to be co-operating with the other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers to standardise electric motorcycle and scooter technology, including charging infrastructure and swappable battery packs.

In Tokyo they will unveil the small E02 scooter and classic-looking E-Vino, both with removable batteries.

There will also be a YPJ-YZ pedal-assisted e-bike, an electric tilting three-wheelers mobility scooter, and the electric Land Link Concept.

The latter uses artificial intelligence image recognition technology to autonomously move over “vast” outdoor terrain. It is likely designed to transport cargo.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson LiveWire hits short circuit

Harley-Davidson’s electric LiveWire motorcycle has hit a short circuit with production stopped for a “nonstandard condition” involving the home charger.

The company has asked owners only to charge their bikes with the DC fast charger supplied at some HD dealerships.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycleHarley-Davidson's electric LiveWire short circuit
LIveWires on DC fast chargers

There is no other information from the company.

Even though it doesn’t arrive in Australia until late next year, we asked Harley-Davidson Australia for comment and received an unusual stoney silence.

Which leaves us speculating.

The strongest possibility is that the home chargers overheat which could cause a fire.

In March, the entire fleet of 18 Energica electric motorcycles for the MotoE series were destroyed in a blaze that was blamed on a short circuit in one of the charging units.

electric garage fire energica short circuit
Energica garage explodes in flame

Electric fires

Electric vehicle and charger fires can be caused by short-circuits, power surges, impact, excessive discharge or overheating.

They also cause special concerns for fire fighters.

Lithium batteries are obviously made with lithium which is highly flammable and stored in mineral oil.

short circuit
Tesla goes up in flames

While it is not toxic, it can cause nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, muscle weakness, fatigue and a dazed feeling.

Electric vehicle and battery fires can also release sulphuric acid, carbon monoxide, copper and cobalt.

Fire fighters can’t douse the flames with water as the high voltage can cause an electric shock or electrocution.

Instead, they have to disconnect the power supply (usually an orange plug) and contain the fire to let it burn itself out.

LiveWire short circuit

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways short circuit
Riding the LiveWire in Orgeon

This short circuit to Harley’s electric motorcycle program follows a month delay in deliveries to US dealerships where it has created a lot of interest, but not a lot of sales.

Buyers are apparently baulking at the $US29,990 price (about $A44,000).

Some dealers are even rejecting the expensive DC fast-charger installation which is a requirement of being able to sell the bike.

PR exercise

So Harley has two major PR exercises going at the moment to rescue the LiveWire.

Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor are currently shooting Long Way Up from the bottom to the top of the Americas, riding LiveWire motorcycles.

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan and Charley pack their LiveWire bikes for the trip

And now HD has brought in Hollywood action star Jason Momoa who plays Aquaman and Khal Drogo to test ride the bike.

“Harley wanted me to test one of the new LiveWires, I was kind of like ehhh. I like the idea of it but I wanted to hear it,” says Jason who is more at home on pushrod fuel burners.

While filming on the Gold Coast in 2017, he took delivery of a Softail.

Now he says he is stoked by the electric bike.

“I have never been on anything this fast, it kind of blew my mind,” he says.

“I am in love with it, it’s amazing and I look forward to the future of many more of these bikes.

“It’s so fast, faster than I need, it’s amazing. It’s good for the planet, beautiful, we’re moving with the times.

“Best part is, it’s the future. You can have this and your old one. It’s amazing.”

Harley is going to need a lot of star power to help the LiveWire over this current short circuit!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica review

FTR stands for “flat track racer”, but even the Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica is much more than that and not the narrow-focussed bike many might think.

It arrives in Australia in three models all at ride-away prices:

  • FTR 1200 basic black for $20,995;
  • FTR 1200 S in red and grey or titanium and black for $22,995; and
  • Race-Replica with Akrapovic exhaust, red frame and FTR750 flat track racer tank graphics from $24,995.
Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica
Race Rep with Akra pipe

And right now Indian Motorcycle Australia is doing a deal where new (and previous) buyers get $2000 worth of accessories of Indian gear free.

Indian Motorcycle in Brisbane let me loose on the Race Replica to trial on the tar and dirt.

Motoring out of town I was surprised at how well the big 1200cc bike handled the tame duties of riding through traffic.

This could very well be a reasonable commuter with its high riding position and light clutch pull.

Which started me thinking that this could be more than just a flat track racer or “street tracker”.

Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica
Peter at Brisbane Indian motorcycle with the four accessory packs

In fact, Indian motorcycle has four accessories packs that turn it into a semi-tourer with some luggage capacity, a rally pack for adventure, a sport pack full of bling and a tracker pack.

It’s difficult to know where this sporty, naked road bike with some dirt capabilities sits in the market.

Here are some of the comparative bikes that went through my head as I rode around the Brisbane hinterland: Ducati Monster 1200 (from $22,990), KTM 1290 Super Duke R ($26,795), BMW S 1000 XR (from $22,850), Triumph Speed Triple R ($20,990) and Yamaha MT-10 SP ($21,499).

that’s by no means a complete list and you could probably also include some of the big adventure bikes or the wilder street fighters like Ducati’s coming V4 Streetfighter.

PowertrainIndian FTR 1200 Race Replica

The comparative bikes have a wide variety of engine configurations.

But if you love a meaty V-twin feel with plenty of torque and vibe, this 1203cc 60-degree V-twin mill should satisfy.

Now let’s go straight to the controversy over spluttering fuelling issues experienced by owners.

I didn’t experience it on my first ride as the bike was warmed up and I was eager to twist the throttle.

The issue is really evident when the bike is cold or warming up where some even say it can stall.

It’s also more evident in smooth on/off throttle riding, such as slower-speed manoeuvres.Indian FTR 1200 base and S model

There seems to be a flat spot just off idle and a lurching on constant low throttle.

The issues are very similar to those I experienced on the early Scout models.

Indian fixed that issue with a software update, so I don’t understand why they let this loose without fixing the issue first.

I found I quickly got around the issue by slipping a bit of clutch at slow speeds and just winding on the throttle a little more vigorously at other times to bypass the flat spot.

It’s more evident in the “sport” engine mode than the “standard” or “rain” modes.

Power is ok at 92kW at 8250rpm, but it runs out of a bit of puff, especially in the short first gear.

Thankfully the engine has so much grunt, you twist the throttle and slip through the gears and ride the big 120Nm wave of torque.

I love the deep and mellow tone of the Akrapovic pipes which have a devilish crackle on the overrun. (Listen to the video below through your home stereo for best results.)

While not as slick as a Japanese transmission, the six-speed box with slip assist clutch is faultless with neutral easy to find.

Despite some hard charging on test, the instruments told me the 13L tank would give me a touch over 220km of range.

Power is evenly spread across the rev range, but there is a nice bump around 3500 revs.

It sits at 3700 revs on 100km/h in sixth where you can roll on the throttle for overtaking without having to swap any cogs.

The standard model doesn’t get traction control, but the S and Race Replica do.Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica

You can turn it off in all modes, but it also turns off the ABS and wheelie control. I’d prefer a little more latitude to turn off each individually and, ideally, the option to turn off the rear ABS only for riding on dirt. 

But it’s a predictable traction control that not only saves you on wet or gravel roads, but also allows a little bit of controlled slip.

StylingIndian FTR 1200 Race Replica

This is another controversial point.

The concept production bike with its high pipe and FTR750 influences was cutting-edge, raw and manic looking. It attracted a lot of attention.

Of course the production version with its lower pipes and “plumper” belly were a little tamer. Some were disappointed.

But it still cuts a sharp figure in the urban landscape and turns heads wherever it goes, especially with its stunning LED lighting front and rear.

It’s tall with a choice of seat heights of 805mm or 840mm, but the seat is narrow allowing me at 183cm to plonk both feet flat on the ground when stopped.Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica

The seat is also very firm, but you can get a slimmer “race” seat or a more comfy touring seat option.

I found the standard seat good for a couple of hours in the saddle by which time you will be glad you are in search of a fuel stop, anyway.

The ProTaper bars are nice and wide, but a little low if you want to stand up in the saddle for off-road duties. A higher set of bars is also available.

Riding position is neutral except for the tight knee bend thanks to the high pegs. I think they could be lowered a little without any clearance issues as I never once scraped the pegs.

The mirrors are big and ugly, but could be replaced. However, they offer a good rear view with no elbows in the way or blurred images.Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica

They are just short of the wide bars but high, so lane filtering can be tricky around SUVs and utes with high and wide mirrors.

My biggest concern was the heat that comes out of the rear cylinder head which is about 30mm from the backs of my thighs.

In slow traffic and while waiting at the lights, it gets very hot. A heat shield or leather pants would be mandatory for commuting duties.

While the basic model has a single, round instrument pod, the S and Race Replica have a smart TFT anti-glare touchscreen about the size of an iPad mini with all the info you would ever need and more.

Not sure why the screen doesn’t go all the way to the edge of the pod, though.

Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica
Antiglare screen in full sun

You can personalise your info, link to your phone, change modes, monitor phone calls, and manage your music, etc.

All info is available via the touchscreen which works well with all types of gloves, or you can use three lots of controls on the instruments and bars.

The indicators are self-cancelling which is a great safety device, but they stay on a little too long. Perhaps that can be adjusted in servicing.

Like all Indian products, the quality of fit and finish is exemplary.

Surprisingly, there is some messy wiring around the triple clamp, the controls are toylike, and the ugly catalytic convertor box underneath is an eye-catching eyesore.

I’m also not too sure about the models with the isolated rear fender.

Many other bikes now have these, but the FTR 1200’s rear wheel hugger/fender is attached by massive pieces of metal and it’s all a bit too chunky.

Overall, it’s a stunning steed with thick paint and a host of options including different coloured tank panels.

HandlingIndian FTR 1200 Race Replica

This American-made motorbike comes with German-made Sachs suspension on all three models.

Standard has preload adjustment on the back, but the S and Race Replica are fully adjustable.

It feels firm around town and is stable on the highways.

On bumpy back roads and gravel roads, it’s also compliant enough to soak up the big hits and has good high-frequency damping to cope with corrugations.

The FTR rides nicely on all types of road surfaces and won’t jar your spine or jackhammer your hands.

The 43mm forks are robust and provide confidence in cornering even if the 19-inch front wheel makes steering a little ponderous.Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica

However, the weight distribution with the fuel tank located centrally and under the seat, makes it easy to change direction quickly through a series of tight esses.

The 19/18-inch tyre combo is strange and the flat-track tread pattern is handsome if a bit noisy on the highway and slightly vague when leaned over on the sharp edge.

The Dunlops were also quite slippery in the wet, although it had only just rained after a long dry spell, so the roads were very oily.

Brakes are strong and the rear is not just there for show. It works well in the gravel to dig in and steer the bike, but on those wet roads it locked up too soon and the ABS took some time to come on.

Conclusion

This handsome steed will turn heads while turning you on across several different types of terrain.

It’s a street tracker, a streetfighter and a mild tourer and adventurer.

Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica tech specsIndian FTR 1200 Race Replica

Engine

Engine Type

Liquid Cooled V-Twin

Displacement

1203 cc

Bore x Stroke

102 mm x 73.6 mm

Compression Ratio

12.5:1

Electronic Fuel Injection System

Closed loop fuel injection / 60 mm bore

Performance

Peak Torque RPM

6000 rpm

Peak Torque (95/1/EC Nm)

120Nm

Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica

Chassis

Suspension: Front – Type/Travel

Inverted Telescopic Cartridge Fork / 150mm

Suspension: Rear – Type/Travel

Monotube IFP / 150mm

Brakes/Front

Dual / 320mm x t5 Rotor / 4 Piston Caliper

Brakes/Rear

Single / 260mm x t5 Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper

Tires/Front

120/70R19 60V

Tires/Rear

150/70R18 70V

Wheels

19″ x 3″ & 18″ x 4.25″

Exhaust System

2-into-1

Length

2287mm

Width (INT)

850mm

Height (INT)

1297mm

Weight (Empty tank / full of fuel)

225kg / 230kg

GVWR

430kg

SEAT HEIGHT

805mm/840mm

Lean angle

45°

Wheelbase

1524mm

GROUND CLEARANCE

183mm

Rake

26.3°

Trail

130mm

Fuel Capacity

13.0L

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW R 18 cruiser spy photos surface

Spy photos of the production version of the BMW R 18 cruiser prototype that dropped jaws earlier this year now comes with an oil cooler, longer pipes, bags and a fatter front tyre.

We expected there would be some differences between the beautiful and simplistic prototype and it seems engine cooling for emissions regulations will be the real spoiler of the production model.

BMW Concept R8 cruiser r 18 heritage
BMW R 18 cruiser concept

No surprises there.

The production version is expected to be unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan next month.

Spy photos2020 BMW R 1800

We’re not sure where these spy shots came from as we have seen them on many websites, each with their own watermark over them. These are all from Motorcycle.com who say they “received them”.

Unfortunately they don’t show all of the bike as it is loaded on to a truck with a blue tarp covering most of the machine.2020 BMW R 1800

However, we can see the 1800cc boxer engine is pretty much the same as the prototype, except for that oil cooler and, of course, EFI instead of the carburettors on the prototype.

That chrome-fronted engine is going to cop a lot of wear from stones thrown up from the front wheel!2020 BMW R 1800

We can also see the pipes are much longer and the front wheel is smaller with a fatter tyre.2020 BMW R 1800

The prototype front wheel has a 21-inch wheel with a 110mm or 120mm tyre. The production version is likely a 17 or 18-inch with a 130mm or wider tyre.

Like the prototype, the front wheel has twin discs and spokes.

Because of the changed wheel geometry, it seems the front forks may also be a slightly tighter rake and trail.

BMW Concept R 18 cruiser
R 18 prototype

BMW designers have thankfully retained the lovely drop tank, exposed chrome-plated drive shaft and the simple steel cradle frame.

Let’s hope they have also retained the single, simple, lamp-shaped headlight.

Obviously the production version will have indicators, instruments and mirrors that the concept didn’t. And we doubt those back-to-front levers will be used.

Two versions2020 BMW R 1800

There appear to be a couple of versions of this bike; cruiser and tourer.

In some photos we can see a rear seat, rather than the prototype’s solo saddle and there are even leather saddlebags and a tall windscreen.2020 BMW R 1800

Pre-bookings have already opened around the world and a range of heritage gear to natch the bike has been released.

BMW Group Australia spokesman Nick Raman says customers are champing at the bit for the cruiser.

“Orders have been taken at a dealer level for a production equivalent of the R 18,” he says.

“The deposit amount is at the dealer’s discretion, bearing in mind pricing and specification detail have not yet been released.

“We are however very pleased with how the pre orders are tracking.”

BMW R 18 cruiser timeline

BMW has been teasing us with a return to cruisers since December 2018 when a Japanese custom shop wheeled out an R18 with a mysterious new BMW engine.BMW R18 custom concept

In April 2019 a second cruiser concept with the engine was rolled out by a Texan custom shop.

Then BMW wheeled out their BMW R 18 cruiser prototype at the 90th the Concorso d’Eleganza show at Lake Como in Italy.

There are no details, no tech specs and not even a confirmation that it has an 1800cc boxer engine, but it does look big enough.

The biggest Beemer boxer engine yet is believed to be 1798.4cc in an over-square configuration (107 x 100mm).

The Concept R18 cruiser was built for BMW Motorrad by Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden.BMW Concept R 18 cruiser

BMW R 1200 C R 18 cruiser
BMW R 1200 C

BMW only built the R 1200 C cruiser from 1997 to 2004. In recent years, it has become a collector and customiser favourite.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Electric Honda motorcycles may warn pedestrians

Future Honda electric motorcycles and scooters might feature an alarm to warn pedestrians unaware of the approaching quiet vehicle.

Japanese company has secured a patent through the Indian patent office for the device.

Honda’s compact alarm device fits under the seat with speakers on the front of the bike.

It features an audio processor that sounds the alert and controls the sound level depending on the time and the level of surrounding environmental noise.

We imagine it would be similar to the beeping tone on some vans and trucks when they are in reverse to warn pedestrians.

Most electric motorcycle and scooters make no more noise than a bicycle, so pedestrians could step out in front of them, causing a collision.

While it may be a safety device for both the rider and pedestrian, it could make traffic noise even more annoying than it is now.

Honda patents

This latest patent from Honda continues its blitzkrieg of patent applications.

honda patent drum brakes variable riding position emotions
Honda patent for variable riding position

This is one of many patents Honda has lodged in the past year and we are not sure how many of these they will put into production.

This new patent join the following from Honda over the past year:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Step up to Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

The 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special is a massive step up in technology, but not price.

It now includes the Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) introduced in the electric LiveWire which will be available in Australia late next year.

RDRS affects chassis control, electronic brake control and powertrain technology, basically providing a safer, more enjoyable riding experience for just $500 more than last year.

And that’s despite the fact that the Australian dollar has fallen more than 16% since January 2018 against the US dollar.

Street Glide SpecialStep up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

I’ve ridden Harley’s Street Glides for many years now and can understand why it is their top-selling Touring model.

What makes it “Special” is the big 114-cube Milwaukee Eight engine with a whopping 163Nm of torque.

Despite all that thump, there is no clunk on start-up. In fact, it is a refined mill married to a finessed transmission where neutral is no longer difficult to find.Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

What also makes it Special is the step up in rider-aid technology.

Their RDRS features cornering-enhanced traction control, cornering ABS, linked brakes, tyre pressure monitors,  a slipper clutch (Drag-torque Slip Control System) to prevent rear-wheel lock-ups on aggressive downshifts and even assistance to prevent you rolling backward on hill starts!

The suite of rider controls combine to provide more confidence, especially in wet or slippery road conditions.

But they don’t get in the way of your enjoyment.

In fact, you don’t really know they are there until you need them.

On a couple of my exploratory rides through the Sunshine Coast hinterland, I ended up on dirt roads and was glad to feel the engine falter as the back wheel lost traction.

It’s a soft intervention that allows a little bit of wheel spin, but not out of control.

If the conditions get extra slippery or the roads are wet, simply toggle the left switch block traction control (TC) button to bring up the blue cloud and rain symbol on the dashboard. This totally eliminates any wheel spin.Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

Step up to cornering aids

I also accidentally discovered the joys of Harley’s step up to cornering-enhanced linked braking and traction controls on the tight and twisty Bellthorpe Range Rd.

I came around a blind corner a little too eagerly only to find a peacock strutting its stuff across the gravelly road.

My right foot was not perched ready over the rear brake to tuck the bike into a tighter line, so I grabbed the front brake, instead.

Normally this would stand the bike up and point me directly at the peacock. But because the brakes are linked and “enhanced” for cornering, it allowed me to steer around the strutting bird.

The sprinkling of gravel also activated the Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS).

While no amount of electronic rider aids is a replacement for a step up in skill levels, it does save your bacon when a bit of inattention and bad luck could otherwise have dire results.

Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

As for the Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), it’s actually quite handy at the traffic lights.

All you do is add a bit of extra brake lever pressure when you come to a stop and it will hold the bike and allow you to relax at the lights without having to hang on to the brakes.

It lets go as soon as you let out the clutch or activate the throttle for a smooth and faultless hillstart. That’s reassuring when you are on a steep incline with a full load and a pillion!

Infotainment

I’m not a big fan of built-in infotainment systems where the music is inaudible at anything over 80km/h.

However, the integrated BOOM! Box GTS infotainment system on this bike works well.

I love the fact that the bike asks you if you would like to guided to the nearest service station if you are low on fuel or tyre pressure.

It has a TFT display with edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass that is touch sensitive, even with gloves and in the wet.

You can also control all functions from the two handlebar toggle switches.

For an extra $300 (approx) you can fit a wireless interface module that adds Apple CarPlay for access to some of your iPhone apps.

Or you can press the speech button to activate Siri and tell the system what to do.

Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
HD OneConnect app

Next year, Aussie buyers will also have access to Harley’s subscription-based OneConnect app that alerts the owner to tampering or theft and provides real-time tracking.

Handling

Suspension was updated the previous year.

It comes with Showa Dual-Bending Valve forks with bigger pistons for improved damping that takes away that “jackhammer” affect through the grips while retaining a sharp and light steering feel.

At the back, Harley moved from air shocks to emulsion shocks with 15-30% more preload adjustment using a single hand-adjustable knob behind the left pannier.

Ride quality is firm, but not harsh.

However, the rear shock is a bit short for bumpy roads and heavy loads, although I never got it to bottom out.

AeroStep up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

The first hint of summer arrived just in time for my test.

It’s always going to be hot sitting on top of massive V-twin behind a “barn door” fairing.

However, Harley has advanced the ignition, dropped the rear header down from the exhaust port and moved the catalytic converter rearwards to make it cooler for the rider.

It still gets hot in slow traffic and your pillion’s right leg cops a lot of the hot air that has been moved backwards.

Unfortunately, even the short sporty windscreen blocks a lot of cooling air.

Yet it also creates a bit of turbulence around the top of my helmet.

I’m 183cm, so shorter riders might find it ok. You can also buy taller screens.

I added a windscreen extension which reduced the turbulence but also diverted cooling air.Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

Conclusion

This torque monster delivers plenty of raw grunt, but with finesse.

It will also provide a step up in comfort and safety on long trips, thanks to its suite of hi-tech rider aids.

PRICING 5

  • VIVID BLACK $A39,250 ($NZ42,250)

ENGINE

  • ENGINE2Milwaukee-Eight™ 114
  • BORE102 mm
  • STROKE114 mm
  • DISPLACEMENT1,868 cc
  • COMPRESSION RATIO10.5:1
  • FUEL SYSTEMElectronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • EXHAUSTBlack, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with tapered mufflers

DIMENSIONS

  • LENGTH2,425 mm
  • SEAT HEIGHT, UNLADEN690 mm
  • GROUND CLEARANCE125 mm
  • RAKE (STEERING HEAD) (DEG)26
  • TRAIL173 mm
  • WHEELBASE1,625 mm
  • TYRES, FRONT SPECIFICATION130/60B19 61H
  • TYRES, REAR SPECIFICATION180/55B18 80H
  • FUEL CAPACITY22.7 l
  • OIL CAPACITY (W/FILTER)4.9 l
  • WEIGHT, AS SHIPPED359 kg
  • WEIGHT, IN RUNNING ORDER375 kg
  • LUGGAGE CAPACITY -VOLUME0.071 m3

PERFORMANCE

  • ENGINE TORQUE TESTING METHODEC 134/2014
  • ENGINE TORQUE3163 Nm
  • ENGINE TORQUE (RPM)3,000
  • LEAN ANGLE, RIGHT (DEG.)32
  • LEAN ANGLE, LEFT (DEG.)31

DRIVETRAIN

  • PRIMARY DRIVEChain, 34/46 ratio
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 1ST9.593
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 2ND6.65
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 3RD4.938
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 4TH4
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 5TH3.407
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 6TH2.875

CHASSIS

  • WHEELS, FRONT TYPE6Gloss Black Prodigy
  • WHEELS, REAR TYPEGloss Black Prodigy
  • BRAKES, CALIPER TYPE32 mm, 4-piston fixed front and rear

ELECTRIC

  • LIGHTS (AS PER COUNTRY REGULATION), INDICATOR LAMPSHigh beam, turn signals, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, auxiliary lighting, cruise, ABS, immobiliser, low battery voltage, low fuel warning.
  • GAUGESGauges styled to complement each vehicle. Display features odometer, trip A, trip B, range to empty and gear indicator; and larger tell-tale indicators.

INFOTAINMENT

  • INFOTAINMENT SYSTEMBoom!™ Box GTS
  • TYPEFull Colour TFT
  • WATTS PER CHANNEL25
  • SPEAKERS2
  • SPEAKER SIZE6.5 inch BOOM standard
  • HEADSET SPECIFICATIONS (IF EQUIPPED)16-64 ohms
  • FMStandard
  • SD CARD, FLASH DRIVE AND MP3 – VIA USB CONNECTIONSupported
  • LANGUAGESEnglish (US/UK), German, Spanish(Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese(Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
  • HANDS-FREE MOBILE PHONE – VIA BLUETOOTHStandard
  • VOICE RECOGNITION LANGUAGES: PHONE FUNCTIONS ONLYEnglish (US/UK), German, Spanish(Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese(Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
  • VOICE RECOGNITION LANGUAGES: TUNER/MEDIA/NAVIGATIONEnglish (US/UK), German, Spanish(Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese(Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
  • VEHICLE INFORMATION SCREEN (AIR TEMPERATURE, OIL PRESSURE AND EITMS)Standard
  • TEXT-TO-SPEECH (TTS) LANGUAGESEnglish (US/UK), German, Spanish(Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese(Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
  • USBUSB/MTP/iPod/iPhone
  • BLUETOOTHPhone/Media Supported

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com