Tag Archives: Cruiser

How to ride a cruiser on gravel and roadworks

Just because you are riding a cruiser doesn’t mean you have to find a detour when the road turns to gravel or you hit some rough roadworks.

We can understand those riders who choose to avoid such situations because they don’t want to get their chrome dirty or their paintwork pitted by stone chips.

However, there is no need to take the long way round just because you are scared of dropping or crashing your cruiser in gravel.

There is a special way to ride a cruiser on gravel roads and through roadworks but it basically comes down to slow and steady. Don’t be a hero!

Check out this video where a female successfully rides a Harley down a gravel road while a male on a BMW R 1200 GS embarrassingly drops his bike!

Advantages

In fact, there are even some advantages in riding a cruiser on a dirt road:

  • The big flywheel keeps the bike stable at a slow pace;
  • The low centre of gravity;
  • Wide handlebars to control the front wheel which may be pushed around by stones or a soft surface;
  • Some cruisers have a big and slim front wheel which cuts through gravel and soft stuff without flicking around;
  • The effectiveness of the rear brake; and
  • The low seat height that allows you to reassuringly put a foot on the ground.

All these will allow you to ride dirt roads and roadworks if you take a slow and steady pace.

Although, competent riders can take cruisers at a more brisk pace.

Check out this video of US Army dispatch riders training on Harley WLAs.

Disadvantages

We’re not saying cruisers are off-road bikes.

There are several disadvantages of a cruiser on dirt:

  • The excessive weight may get you bogged in loose stuff;
  • If you lose your balance, they come down quickly;
  • They are more difficult to pick up if dropped; and
  • They don’t have knobby tyres to dig into the surface.

So how do you overcome these issues?

The first rule of riding in dirt is to stand up. That allows the bike flop around without alarming you and your weight adding to the movement.

It also gives you a better look ahead for obstacles.

However, it is difficult to stand on a cruiser, so we suggest just remaining seated.

And don’t bother dropping the tyre pressures unless you are riding in sand. You won’t puncture a tyre if you are going slow.

Gravel busting tips

So here are 10 things you can do to ride your cruiser on dirt:

  1. Breathe. You will get through this, but first you have to breathe deeply, relax your shoulders and handlebar grip, and don’t get too stressed. The more relaxed you are, the less likely you will overreact to any bike movements. It’s important to let the bike squirrel around a little bit.
  2. Leave a gap. If you are in a conga line of traffic, don’t tailgate. Leave a fair gap to the motorist in front and if you are being followed closely by a vehicle, turn around and ask them to back off while you get through or they could run over you if you do drop the bike.
  3. Be smooth. Accelerate, change gears, brake and steer smoothly. Sharp inputs can have drastic effects.
  4. Don’t paddle. Keep your feet on the footpegs. This gives you more control. Paddling with your feet will only slow you down and may not prevent you from falling, anyhow. However, a low cruiser will still allow you to have the odd dab at the ground for added stability.
  5. Look ahead. Don’t look down or that’s where you will end up. Keep an eye ahead so your bike goes where you are looking. It also helps you identify any obstacles such as ruts, mud or deep gravel.
  6. Accelerate. Ride into the roadworks very slowly so you can gradually increase your speed without having to touch your brakes. By applying a bit of throttle through the roadworks, you control the bike though the back wheel and keep pressure off the front, preventing it from tucking under. If the road ahead is sand, you may be in a bit of trouble as that requires a light front end and acceleration. But it can be done with some practice and bravery pills!
  7. Don’t brake. Only if absolutely necessary, should you apply the brake. And then, it should be smooth and mainly rear brake. If you have ABS, that’s actually an advantage in dirt when you are sporting road tyres!
  8. Turn slowly. If the roadworks goes around a corner, you will have to turn, but try to make a big arc through the corner by staying in the outside wheel track.
  9. Pick a wheel track. Even if you go around a corner and need to arc out the angle a bit, try not to get out of the wheel tracks as these are drier and firmer.
  10. Don’t stop. Most riders drop a cruiser when they stop in tricky situations. Try to keep the bike moving, even if very slowly. Rely on that big flywheel and maybe slip a little clutch to monitor your speed.

(Thanks to my mate Peter Davis who rode his Honda cruiser up and down this steep gravel hill for the video.)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Jawa launch Perak bobber, but not for us!

One year ago Jawa Motorcycles returned to production with two neo-classic models in India and now they have released a third, the Perak bobber.

Owners Mahindra Motorcycles are only licensed by the original Czech Jawa company to make and sell the bikes in India.

The bike has been a roaring success and put a dent in domestic Royal Enfield sales. It has been beset by production delays and deliveries, but seems now on track to deliver a third model.

Jawa Perak bobber
Jawa Perak bobber

However, the factory still has no plans to export.

“We are currently not looking at any international tie-ups for exporting, sales or dealerships for Jawa Motorcycles,” Jawa tells us.

“However, we shall make a public announcement once we start exploring those avenues.”

Mahindra also has the outright ownership of BSA and had been expected to make retro-styled BSA models soon for sale around the world. However, there is no word on the brand’s resurrection just yet.

Jawa Perak

Meanwhile the Jawa Classic and Jawa 42 will next year be joined by the Perak cruiser for the Indian market.

The Classic and 42 are powered by a new 293cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine which has been styled to resemble the original air-cooled motor.

However, the Jawa Perak bobber is powered by a 334cc, four-stroke, fuel injected, single-cylinder engine producing 22kW of power and 31Nm of torque.

Jawa Perak bobber
Jawa Perak bobber

It will next year be introduced to the Classic and 42.

Indian prices are Rs 1.64 lakh for the Classic, Rs 1.55 lakh for the 42 and Rs 1.94 lakh, respectively. That’s about $A3130-$3600 ($US2280-2600, £1780-2050).Jawa Perak bobber

They would make very cool LAMS bikes for Aussies novices!

The new bobber features a solo seat, telescopic forks, monoshock rear and a mean matte black paint job, even though the name means silver in Malaysia.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad shocks with R 18/2 concept

Everyone expected to see the BMW R 18 production cruiser at EICMA in Milan, but the Bavarian company has shocked us with a second concept.

The R 18 concept unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza in the Villa d’Este at Lake Como earlier this year is a traditional style cruiser.

However, the R 18/2 is a more modern version.

BMW R 18/2 cruiser
BMW R 18/2 cruiser

This could very well be closer to what the 1800cc Boxer-powered production bike will look like.

Even tough the production bike has not yet been revealed, buyers are already paying deposits and BMW has even produce a range of cruiser riding gear.

BMW R 18 heritage women female hipster
BMW R 18 heritage riding gear

So when is the production bike coming?

Maybe it will be another year away. Otherwise, why the second concept now?

This comes as a surprise as there have been plenty of spy photos around indicating the production version is close.

2020 BMW R 1800
Spy photo

Who knows if these bikes were the production version or more concepts!

BMW R 18/2 press releaseBMW R 18/2 cruiser

Rather than trying to work out what the Germans are planning, we are just presenting their press release:

A performance cruiser à la BMW.
The BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 celebrates the fascination of cruisers in an interpretation that is both sporty and modern. Minimalist handlebar trim together with the deep, elongated proportions promises a dynamic driving experience. The fairing, tear-drop fuel tank and seat form a flowing line that finds its perfect conclusion in the shortened rear wheel cover. All body parts are finished in Candy Apple Red metallic, an expressive red tone that highlights the flowing movement on the side. This luminous custom red with lots of depth is a real eye-catcher, changing from bright red to almost black depending on the incidence of light. Another striking feature is created by the graphic lines on the painted body parts, which extend from the side and top view of the fuel tank to the wheel cover and are visually prolonged across the seat. These give the Concept Bike a distinctive appeal.BMW R 18/2 cruiser

The large boxer at the centre.
As in the Concept R 18, the centrepiece of the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 is a large 2-cylinder boxer engine with 1800 cc, including modern air/oil cooling and designed in a 1960s aesthetic. The engine is finished in a warm grey tone and has a sporty look, with an integrated breast cover, valve covers in a high-gloss black finish and a black frame. The engine badge bears the name of the Concept Bike, adding a high-quality accentuation.
After “Departed” by the Japanese customizer CUSTOM WORKS ZON, “The Revival Birdcage” by Revival Cycles in Austin, Texas and the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18, the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 is now the fourth interpretation of the large-volume BMW Motorrad boxer engine.BMW R 18/2 cruiser

Attention to detail.
As a genuine BMW, the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 not only features a boxer engine, loop frame and tear-drop fuel tank, it also has a classic and elegantly showcased universal shaft. The striking cast iron wheels with 19” at the front and 16” at the rear create an equally discreet and dynamic dragster look, authentically rounding off the bike’s overall appearance. Meanwhile features such as high-performance Brembo brake calipers and Hattech stainless steel tailpipe system reflect the close attention to detail with which the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 was designed.BMW R 18/2 cruiser

Multitude of possibilities.
The BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 puts forward a new interpretation of a dynamic performance cruiser that not only taps into an area previously unexplored by BMW Motorrad but also demonstrates the true versatility of the “big boxer” platform. “After the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18, our aim with the Concept R 18 /2 is to demonstrate how flexible the basic engine and suspension are as a starting point for customisation, and how easy it is to authentically realise different styles. And I have to admit: we were very impressed at how it was possible to bring this boxer concept forward from the 30s via the 80s into the 2020s,” says Bart Janssen Groesbeek, BMW Motorrad Vehicle Designer for the Big Boxer Concepts.

 

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

Harley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

With its aggressive knuckles-to-the-wind riding position, 114-cube Milwaukee-Eight engine and sharpened steering, the Harley-Davidson Low Rider S really does mean business.

And Harley-Davidson Australia will be hoping it means lost of business as did the original, short-lived 2016 Low Rider S with its 110-cube Screamin’ Eagle engine.

That was a twin-shock Dyna. Now it’s part of the updated Softail family with a stiffer and lighter frame and improved handling.

Price is now $A27,995 ($NZ29,995), up from $25,995 in 2016 when it had a 110 engine and $3500 more than the standard Low Rider.

Harley-Davidson Low Rider Softail Dyna electric
Standard Low Rider

Apart from the extra cubes — and there is no replacement for displacement, right? — riders get a cruiser that looks the business. That is, if Sons of Anarchy business is your business!
That little headlight fairing, aggressive mid-control riding position, blacked-out finishes and solo seat is very SAMCRO.

Harley calls it the “SoCal West Coast” look, but we all know they are going for that popular SAMCRO style.

It’s knuckles to the wind for Jax with the 2.5cm (one-inch) diameter motocross-style handlebars mounted on 10cm (four-inch) straight risers.

The Low Rider S powertrain, primary cover and tank console are finished in Wrinkle Black, the derby cover, intake, and lower rocker covers are Gloss Black, the mufflers and exhaust shields are Jet Black and the forks, triple-clamp, riser and handlebar, and rear fender supports are Matte Black. Even the LED layback tail lamps have a smoked lenses.

It sits on very tasty bronze cast-aluminium wheels and comes in Vivid Black and Barracuda Silver.Harley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

Harley flew me to Sydney for the media launch which was truncated by wet weather to a half-day ride from Manly about 30km to Akuna Bay in Ku-ring-Gai National Park with about 40km of riding along West Head Rd for photos.

It was just enough to get an introductory feel for the Low Rider S. A longer review will come in the next month.

The business endHarley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

The business end of this bike is the 114 M8 engine.

While the counterbalanced 107 M8 is a refined and sophisticated engine that feels like two hippos bouncing on a trampoline, this has more thump, more grunt and a little more “character” — like two elephants on a trampoline!

It pulls from low down in the rev range and surprisingly revs out without losing a lot of puff.

Yet for all that mechanical thump, it feels smooth, doesn’t jolt when switched on and clicks into first gear without a lot of clunk.

Clutch pull is fairly heavy, so you will be glad at every set of lights that neutral is quite easy to find.

Harley-Davidson boss Matt Levatich in town for Low Rider S launch
Low Rider S media launch (Image: Lyndon Marceau / marceauphotography)

Click through the gears and it rides around town in fourth. It will even go into sixth as low as 80km/h with enough roll-on acceleration for overtaking without changing down.

At the end of the day, I suspect you’ll return decent figures of around 5-5.5L/100km.

Handling upgradeHarley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

To harness the extra oomph of the 114 M8, Harley has swapped out the traditional telescopic forks for inverted 43mm Showa forks with a steeper 28-degree rake compared with 30 on the standard and 32 on the older Dyna.

This set-up sharpens the steering so you feel more connected to the road with lighter and more precise turn-in.

Yet on the joyously swooping corners of West Head Rd, it still feels balanced and stable thanks to the 19-inch front wheel and long 1615mm wheelbase.

You also have the ability to safely correct your line mid-corner and dodge those water run-off lurking around blind corners.

Together with the underseat single coil-over monoshock hydraulically adjustable for preload, it should have reasonable ride even though it’s a short 11cm spring.

I couldn’t tell because the roads were all fairly smooth.Harley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

As we rode back and forth along West Head Rd, my confidence grew and the bike complied with extra throttle in an exciting, but reassuring way.

The Michelin Scorcher tyres have plenty of grip, even across the wet and dry patchy surface.

As the speed climbed, so did the turbulence from the sporty fairing. Either no fairing or the optional larger fairing might be better.

As it is, there is a blank behind the fairing that is bland and ugly. Perhaps Harley should decorate it with another bar-and-shield logo!Harley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

The analogue speedo and tacho dials sit on top of the tank and are angled toward the rider for a reasonably clear view.

However, the accompanying LCD screen is a little small and difficult to read in bright sunshine.

Harley-Davidson Low Rider S means business
© Lyndon Marceau / marceauphotography

All the info is available via the usual toggle on the left switchblock.

Target marketHarley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

The target market market for this bike is obviously not ageing Baby Boomers like me.

I found the riding position more like a yoga position with my knees sitting high and akimbo which put pressure on my dodgy hip nerve.

Even though I’m 183cm (6’) tall, it is still a bit of a reach to the bars.

The overall effect is like sitting on a potty while holding on to the towel rail.

Not very comfortable for the duration of the expected 380km from the 18.9-litre fuel tank.

That’s a strange tank size for this “coastal cruiser”.Harley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

While I often criticise modern bikes for having small tanks, this is one that could have got away with less fuel capacity.

At least the solo low 690mm saddle is very comfortable with an extra hump of lower back support.

All the same, I would probably go for the optional forward controls to ease the hip pressure and make it easier to flick the side stand up.

They might also improve the already generous (for a cruiser) 33.1-degree lean angle.

However, I’m not the target market for this bike.

Harley is targeting a younger, hipper (no pun intended), more nimble and supple rider who is genuinely excited by the SAMCRO looks and the 155Nm of elephantine grunt.

But not too young as they might not be able to afford it!

Harley-Davidson Low Rider SHarley-Davidson Low Rider S means business

  • Ride-away price: $A27,995 ($NZ29,995)
  • Engine: MilwaukeeEight 114 (1868cc) V-twin
  • Power: N/A
  • Torque: 155Nm
  • Bore x stroke: 102x114mm
    Compression: 10.5:1
    Length: 2355mm
  • Seat height: 690mm
  • Clearance: 120mm
  • Rake: 28deg
  • Trail 145mm
  • Wheelbase: 1615mm
  • Fuel: 18.9L
  • Tyres: 110/90B19,62H,BW; 180/70B16,77H,BW
  • Wet weight: 308kg
  • Lean angles: 33.1deg
  • Brakes: 4-piston front, 2-piston rear

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad takes orders on R 18 cruiser

Even before a production model R 18 cruiser has rolled out of the Spandau factory gates, BMW Motorrad is taking orders and deposits on the handsome bike.

That seems to confirm that they are most definitely returning to the cruiser market after their mildly received R 1200 C back in the 1990s.

Dealers have long taken orders and deposits for limited-edition models but a recent trend is to take also orders and deposits for highly anticipated production models even before they are production models.

Indian did it with the FTR 1200 and Suzuki with the resurrected Katana.

Now BMW Motorrad is following the trend.

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

In December 2018, a Japanese custom shop wheels out an R18 with a mysterious new BMW engine and in April 2019 a second cruiser concept with the engine was rolled out by a Texan custom shop.BMW R18 custom concept

A third BMW R 18 cruiser concept model was unveiled 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) which means the pistons are wider than they are long. So it will be difficult to lane filter!

Concept R18 cruiser was built for BMW Motorrad by Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden, so it’s not the final version that BMW is expected to release.BMW Concept R 18 cruiser

This is a simplistic model with minimalist design.

No doubt the Germans will give it some Bavarian hi-tech and quirky design as they did with the R nineT after Roland Sands designed the Concept 90.

Cruiser return

BMW R 1200 C R 18 cruiser
BMW R 1200 C

BMW built the R 1200 C cruiser from 1997 to 2004. It was a flop, but in recent years has become a collector and customiser favourite.

Over the years I have asked BMW executives whether they would ever return to the cruiser market and they have never said they wouldn’t.

Now it appears they are!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity

Indian Motorcycle has increased engine capacity to up the ante over Harley-Davidson with select Thunderstroke models now having a 116 engine, replacing the 111 (1818cc).

Actually it’s 115ci (1884cc), but it’s still a 20% power boost over the 111.

The “116” was previously an aftermarket upgrade big bore kit, but is now standard in the Springfield Dark Horse, plus all Chieftain and Roadmaster models.

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
2020 Chieftain Elite

It features a new high-flow cylinder head with 168Nm of torque.

The engine capacity move leapfrogs Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee-Eight 114 (1868cc) engine which is available in select models, such as the new Low Rider S. (We will road test it at the Australian media launch in Sydney next week, attended by Harley boss Matt Levatich.)

However, it’s still short of Harley’s CVO models with the Milwaukee Eight 117-cube (1923cc).

There is no word on the rumoured Indian Challenger models powered by a new liquid-cooled 1770cc engine called the Powerplus.

Aussie rideaway pricing

Model 2020 price 2019 price
Scout Bobber $19,995.00 $19,995.00
Scout Bobber Twenty $21,995.00
Scout $19,995-$20,995 $19,995.00
Scout 100th Ann $22,995.00
Chief Classic Dark Horse (111ci) $30,995.00 $29,995.00
Chief Vintage (111ci) $32,995-$33,995 $32,995.00
Springfield (111ci) $34,995.00 $35,495.00
Springfield Dark Horse (116ci) $36,995.00
Chieftain Limited (116ci) $38,995.00 $37,995.00
Chieftain Dark Horse (116ci) $38,995.00 $37,495.00
Chieftain Elite (116ci) $49,995.00
Roadmaster (116ci) $41,995-$43,995 $40,995.00
Roadmaster Dark Horse (116ci) $41,995.00

Indian Motorcycle Australia and New Zealand marketing manager Chris Gale says the price difference for the same model in the table above is for two-tone or metallic paint options over the single or standard paint.

Engine capacity upgrade

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
2020 Chieftain Elite

The engine upgrade follows the recent announcement of Scout upgrades and two new models, the Bobber Twenty and limited-edition 100th Anniversary.

The Thunder Stroke 116 features rear-cylinder deactivation to keep riders cooler when sitting for long spells at the traffic lights.

Harley had the feature some time ago but dropped it.

RideCommand update

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
2020 Roadmaster Dark Horse RideCommand Infotainment system

Indian has also revamped their very comprehensive RideCommand infotainment system and app.

It now features a quad-core processor which they claim will make it faster to load and respond.

New features include “Google-like” predictive destination search capabilities and customisable 18cm touchscreen.

Roadmaster Dark Horse

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Roadmaster Dark Horse

The Roadmaster Dark Horse features a streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags, 19-inch front wheel with an open fender, an extended reach Rogue gunfighter seat, blacked-out engine and matte paint.

Springfield Dark Horse

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Springfield Dark Horse

This is similar in style to the 2020 Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse launched at Daytona Bike Week.

It features slammed saddlebags, Rogue seat, 12-inch mini apes and blacked-out finishes.

Chieftain Elite

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
2020 Chieftain Elite

The big tourer gets a streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags and PowerBand Audio Plus system.

It comes in a two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Candy paint with matching motor highlights and badging, Precision Machined Elite wheels, Pinnacle Mirrors, Select Rider Floorboards, and a Flare Windshield.

Chief

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Chief Dark Horse

Even though they don’t get the engine capacity upgrade, Chief Dark Horse and Chief Vintage now have the same chassis as the Springfield and Springfield Dark Horse to improve handling.

They also now have adjustable rear suspension and a 17-inch front wheel.

Roadmaster

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Roadmaster

Indian says the 2020 Roadmaster is lighter but don’t quote figures.

The top box has also been redesigned.

Colours

  • Chief Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke
  • Chief Vintage: Thunder Black; Willow Green over Ivory Cream
  • Springfield: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic over Titanium Metallic
  • Springfield Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; Sagebrush Smoke; White Smoke
  • Chieftain Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; Ruby Smoke; Titanium Smoke
Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Chieftain Dark Horse
  • Chieftain Limited: Thunder Black Pearl; Radar Blue; Thunder Black Pearl with graphics package
  • Chieftain Elite: Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Red Candy
  • Roadmaster: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic; Pearl White over Titanium Metallic with black Pinstripe; Titanium Smoke over Thunder Black Smoke with silver pinstripe
  • Roadmaster Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; White Smoke; Ruby Smoke
Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Chieftain Limited

Accessories

  • Stage 1 Slip-On Exhaust in black or chrome;
  • Stage 1 Oval Slip-On Muffler Kit and Stage 1 Performance Air Intake (4 power increase on 111 and 8% on 116);
  • Stage 2 Performance Cams (13% horsepower increase on 111);
  • Thunder Stroke 116 Stage 2 Performance Kit includes cams, higher flowing fuel injectors and throttle body (17% horsepower boost when paired with both Stage 1 accessories);
  • Thunder Stroke 116 Stage 3 Big Bore Kit (20% more horsepower);
  • Headdress Passenger Floorboards;
  • Headdress Rider Floorboards;
  • 12” Quick Release Passenger Sissy Bar;
  • Passenger Backrest Pad; and
  • 12-inch Ape Hanger Handlebars for Chief and Springfield models.

    Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
    2020 Springfield

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian mark 100th with Scout updates and new models

For 2020, the Indian Scout gets a new model and a limited edition to mark its 100th anniversary, plus better brakes, tyres and a host of accessories for current models.

However, there is no word on updates to the rest of the Indian range nor the expected Challenger models powered by a new liquid-cooled 1770cc engine called the Powerplus.

Indian Challenger Powerplus 100th
Indian Challenger Powerplus V-twin

Pricing will be announced on September 11, says Indian Motorcycle Australia and New Zealand marketing manager Chris Gale.

“We will be selling the 100th Anniversary and Bobber Twenty in Australia and will receive stock later this year. No dates confirmed,” he says.

The Scout Sixty is not returning to Aussie showrooms “any time soon”, he says.

Bobber Twenty

Indian Scout 100th Anniversary
2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

The new Scout is a Bobber Twenty which refers to 1920 and pays homage to the original Scout in its 100th year since it began.

In acknowledgement of its tradition it comes with classic wire wheels, 10-inch ape hanger handlebars and a floating saddle like the original.

Expect a small premium over the standard ride-away Bobber price of $A18,995.

They come in a choice of Thunder Black, Sagebrush Smoke (green) and Burnished Metallic (red).

Scout 100th Anniversary

Indian Scout 100th Anniversary
Limited-edition 2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary.

Only 750 limited-edition 100th Anniversary models will be available worldwide.

It is highlighted by the “100th” badge on the engine and features “Indian Motorcycle Red” paint with “Anniversary Gold” trim, a desert tan leather solo seat, black wire wheels, beach bars, a luggage rack and chrome finishes.

Indian Scout 100th Anniversary
Limited-edition 2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary

In the US, they cost an extra 28% more than the standard model, so they could be around $A24,000.

Scout updates

Indian Scout 100th Anniversary
2020 Indian Scout Bobber

Scout and Scout Bobber models get upgraded brake callipers, master cylinders and floating rotors.

Bobber now comes with Pirelli MT60RS tyres.

All other Scout models get a new sport seat and passenger pegs.

There will be quite a colour range to choose from.

Indian Scout 100th Anniversary
2020 Indian Scout.

Accessories

For those who want to convert these competent cruisers into competent tourers, there is a host of accessories.

The most interesting is the colour-matched quick-release bikini fairing with a 5cm windscreen or optional 12cm and 18cm screens.

There is also a solo luggage rack and solo rack bag and new semi-rigid quick-release saddlebags.

Indian Scout 100th Anniversary
2020 Indian Scout.

Other accessories include a new Bobber seat plus bar-end mirrors, smoked turn signal lenses, tinted windshields and various handlebar and foot control options for the standard Scout.

To cap it off are new stage 1 shorty slip-on mufflers and a 2-into-1 full exhaust system.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Benelli 502C is a LAMS urban cruiser

Benelli 502C fits into a category of bike roughly referred to as an urban cruiser suitable for learner and novice riders.

It arrives in Australian showrooms at $9790 ride away with a two-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assistance in gloss black, “Coniac Red” or matte black.

Urban cruiser

If you think we have invented the term “LAMS urban cruiser” check out these competitors:

It’s a popular class and the best seller is the Honda, followed by the Harley and the Kawasaki.

The first of these urban cruisers was the Yamaha Bolt C which is probably also the most stylish … until now.

Benelli’s Italian-designed and Chinese-made model is beautiful.

After all, it seems to be designed along the lines of a small-capacity Ducati Diavel with a similar trellis-style frame, floating seat, remote rear fender, bellypan and stubby twin single-sided mufflers.

It features forward foot controls which are adjustable like the Vulcan S, wide handlebars, moderate-height 750mm seat and distinctive LED headlights.

The Benelli 502C is powered by their in-line 500cc liquid-cooled twin with 35kW Of power at 8500 revs and 45Nm of midrange torque. The engine is mated to six-speed gearbox.

The generous 21-litre tank should allow these urban cruisers to stray far from their urban environs.

Benelli 502C tech specsBenelli 502C urban cruiser

  • Price: $9790 ride away
  • Engine: 500cc in-line twin, 4 stroke, liquid cooled, 4 valves , DOHC
  • Bore x stroke: 69 x 66.8mm
  • Power: 35kW @ 8500rpm
  • Torque: 45Nm @ 5000rpm
  • Emissions: Euro 4, CO2 96g/km
  • Economy: 4.2Lt/100km
  • Transmission: Multidisk wet clutch, 6 speeds
  • Frame: Trestle steel tubes and plates
  • Suspension: Upside-down 41mm forks, 125mm travel; swingarm with central shock absorber, spring preload adjustable, 50mm travel
  • Brakes: twin 280mm floating disks with 4-piston calliper; 240mm disc, piston floating calliper; ABS
  • Tyres: 120/70 – ZR17” M/C 58W; 160/60 – ZR17” M/C 69W
  • Seat: 750mm
  • Wheelbase: 1600mm
  • Wet weight: 217kg
  • Tank: 21Lt
  • Length: 2280mm
  • Width: 940mm
  • Height: 1140mm
  • Warrant: 2 years, unlimited kilometre, roadside assistance
  • Colours: gloss black, “Coniac Red” or matte black.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW set for big 1800cc R18 cruiser?

A third BMW R18 cruiser concept model seems to confirm that the German company is returning to the cruiser market with an 1800cc boxer engine.

In December, a Japanese custom shop wheels out an R18 with a mysterious new BMW engine and last month a second cruiser concept with the engine was rolled out by a Texan custom shop.

Concept R18 cruiser

Now BMW Motorrad has revealed its Concept R18 cruiser at the 90th the Concorso d’Eleganza show at Lake Como in Italy.BMW Concept R8 cruiser

Surely this confirms that BMW will return to the cruiser market it abandoned 15 years ago.

BMW built the R 1200 C cruiser from 1997 to 2004. It was a flop, but in recent years has become a collector and customiser favourite.

BMW R 1200 C R18 cruiser
BMW R 1200 C

Concept R18 cruiser was built for BMW Motorrad by Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden, so it’s not the final version that BMW is expected to release.

This is a simplistic model with minimalist design.

No doubt the Germans will give it some Bavarian hi-tech and quirky design as they did with the R nineT after Roland Sands designed the Concept 90.

The R18 cruiser will be powered by the biggest boxer engine they have produced, believed to be 1798.4cc in an over-square configuration (107 x 100mm) which means the pistons are wider than they are long.

Otherwise, the heads would hang out so far you couldn’t lane filter!

It also means it should rev better than other big-bore cruisers.

Interestingly, it is not liquid cooled, but is likely to be twin spark to meet Euro 5 emissions standards coming in 2020.

Don’t be fooled by the Solex carburettors. They may just be dummies like when Triumph’s Bonnevilles went EFI.BMW Concept R8 cruiser

As for the rest of the Concept R18 and a likely BMW production model, we should regard these words from BMW:

The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is immediately recognizable as a genuine BMW: boxer engine, cradle frame, exposed universal shaft, and drop-shaped fuel tank with its black paintwork and hand-applied contrast lines interpret typical design icons of BMW Motorrad classics, while displaying confidence along with modern-style linearity.BMW Concept R8 cruiser

Will BMW build it?

The market is ageing and mature riders love their cruisers.

Yet BMW has been reaching out to younger riders over the past 15 years with its adventure models, S 1000 derivatives and trendy R nineT.

But why should they not pay in a sector that continues to attract riders?

Over the years I have asked BMW executives whether they would return to the cruiser market and they have never said they wouldn’t.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com