Tag Archives: motorcycles

Indian Motorcycle rally eyes world record

A planned rally in the NSW outback this May hopes to break the world record for the most Indian motorcycle riders at one event, set in the USA with 651 bikes.

Organiser Chris Keeble says they already have more than 280 registrations for the rally on Saturday, 9 May 2020, at Silverton, the site of Australia’s only museum dedicated to Mad Max 2.

Click here to register.

Indian Motorcycle company support

Chris says the rally will not be affected by Indian Motorcyle Australia’s shock decision this month to close its company owned stores in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and seek independent dealers.

“I understand why they are doing it and there are some positives to this new model of independents,” says Chris who rides a 2017 Vintage Chief called Calamity Jane.

Chris Keeble and her Indian Chief Vintage Calamity JaneChris and Calamity Jane

“Many independent dealerships are working really well such as in Tamworth and Wollongong, so it can work.

“But I’ll miss the signature dealerships — they were great to visit — and now I need to find someone to service my bike.”

She says Indian has been supportive of the rally and supplied access to their customer data base to alert owners to the event.

“They are also shouting all registered riders to a free barbecue breaky on Saturday morning put on by the Lions club,” she says.

“The company have been great to deal with. The previous management team were all supportive and from what I gather so is the new team. I’m yet to meet the new head guys.”

Breaky will be followed by a parade through the town. There are no other formal festivities organised.

Record attempt

Chris Keeble and her Indian Chief Vintage Calamity JaneChris

Chris says the parade and rally will be the first Indian-only event in the Southern Hemisphere.

“The world record would be icing on the cake,” she says.

“We have riders from all over Australia gathering in one iconic Aussie location to meet fellow enthusiasts who share a passion for the Indian Motorcycle brand.

“This is about camaraderie and community, just as much as making and breaking records.”

Indian Motorcycle Chris Keeble SilvertonChris is welcomed by a local Silverton dog

She says Silverton, which is only 15 minutes west of Broken Hill, was chosen as an “historical Aussie backdrop” with a “good infrastructure of hotels and eateries”.

“If it isn’t on your bucket list to visit, it should be, and this event will tick a few boxes for many folk.

“Plus, it is taking traffic out to the country regions that need support for both morale and the economy. Short of doing a rain dance, country Australia and locals are very appreciative of these events.”

The event now has the sultry catch phrase of “C U N Silvo”.

Chris hopes the event will become annual.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda patent suggests electric Fireblade

The latest patent application drawings from Honda seem to indicate the Japanese company is planning an electric Fireblade.

But don’t get too excited or outraged yet!

Most traditional motorcycle manufacturers have toyed with the idea of electric motorcycles for years.

Some have produced electric scooters, mobility scooters, trials bikes and trail bikes.

However, none has yet come to the market with a full-sized electric motorcycle, except for Harley’s LiveWire.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycleHarley LiveWire

Honda also filed has an extraordinary number of patent applications in the past couple of years.

None of these has yet come to the market either.

Honda patent blitz

Honda Goldwing GL1800 airbag radicalsHonda’s scooter airbag

Electric Fireblade

We wouldn’t bet on an electric Fireblade, unless they are planning on taking over the supply of race bikes from Energica for the FIM Moto-e World Cup.

Honda’s electric plans seem more tailored to scooters, mobility scooters and small commuter bikes.

Also, the use of the Fireblade outline in the drawings could simply be artist expediency as several other patent application drawings have included Fireblade outlines.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Never lose your motorcycle keys

If you’ve ever lost your motorcycle key and don’t have a back-up, you’ll know how expensive modern keys can be to replace.

Many modern motorcycle keys now have a security code for the ignition immobiliser. It can be etched on the key itself, written down on purchase documentation or owner’s manual, stamped on a card or engraved on a metal tab attached to the key.

Security code

If you lose your keys and have the security code, some bikes have an emergency contingency for starting your bike, usually using a series of controls on the indicators or other controls.

A new key could only cost about $50. However, the security fob can cost several hundred dollars.

Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout please reduceHarley remote key fob

But if you lose the keys and your security code, you could face thousands of dollars to get a new ignition security system and sometimes the ECU as well!

If you are buying brand new, you will get two sets of keys and/or fobs plus a pin code.

Immediately put your pin code in your phone along with your VIN (vehicle identification number) and keep a copy with your spare key at home in a safe place.

Be aware that thieves have been known to break into houses just to steal vehicle keys.

If you buy a bike second-hand, always ensure you get the back-up set of keys. If they say they lost them, be suspicious as they could be planning to visit your place and reclaim their bike in the middle of the night!

Motorcycle theft hot spots keyring thieves miserly CCTV black friday thefts stolen boomBuy your “warning” keyring now at the Motorbike Writer online shop for just $6.

No immobiliser

Older bikes without immobilisers will have a key code on the ignition cylinder which you will have to pry out. If you can’t remove the ignition cylinder, try the seat lock, fuel tank or steering lock as they should be the same.

A locksmith should be able to replicate a key based on that code for a reasonably small fee.

If you can’t find the code or it’s rusted off, call an automotive locksmith.

They may still be able to help you based on the model details, so long as you have proof of ownership.

If you have a pre-immobiliser bike and only one key, it’s a good idea to get a spare cut from that key. Again, it’s cheap insurance.

Keep it in a safe place at home and maybe get a third key that you keep in your wallet or jacket.

Lost keys

Insert Before Flight keyring photosBuy your “warning” keyring now at the Motorbike Writer online shop for just $6

The best way to avoid any of the above costly problems is to never lose your keys.

Many riders, including myself, forget to take their keys out of the bike when they park.

That’s because there is so much to do when you stop: Kill switch, side stand, glasses, helmet, gloves, etc. It’s easy to forget to take out your key.

Thieves have been known to steal motorcycles with the keys still in them.

It’s not only dumb to leave your keys in your bike, but also illegal in some states with fines up to more than $100. I’ve seen cops fining riders who are more than 3m from their bike with the key still in it!

So get into a routine when you get off your bike: take out the key first.

Also, put your key in exactly the same pocket of your jacket or pants every time you get off the bike. Make sure it’s a secure pocket with a zip.

Keep a spare key with your vehicle ownership records at home in a safe place. Maybe keep a third set in another place or in your wallet or jacket. Never “hide” a spare key on your bike.

Thieves are not that stupid. They will look under the seat and fenders, etc for zip-tied spare keys.

You can also buy a “tile” which goes on your keyring and pairs via Bluetooth to your phone to show you where your keys are.

They cost from about $20 to about $100. Obviously, the more you pay, the more reliable they are.

Most are made of plastic so they won’t scratch your bike. However, you can get keyrings with covers to protect your bike.KodaKey keyring

There are now more hi-tech options that will even track your bike on an app so you know where you parked it in case you forgot or it’s stolen!

But make sure it’s waterproof like the BlaqWold key tracker which costs $24.99. You can use it for a lot of other uses, as well.

As we said, thieves usually aren’t stupid and will identify these trackers and remove them, but at least you will be notified if your bike has been stolen.

Damaged keys

Sometimes keys can get bent or damaged and won’t turn in the ignition.

A locksmith may be able to fix that or replicate the key.

But first try white graphite powder in the ignition barrel. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros

As tipped last week, Ducati has debuted two new Scrambler 1100 Pros that finally dispense with the ugly looping brake cable.

There are two models, the Sport having fully adjustable Öhlins suspension. (Full tech specs at the end of the article.)

Here they are in action in Miami. (We’re a bit concerned the female’s ride doesn’t have the Öhlins setup!)

New Pros

The neater cabling on the Pros is a welcome addition as is the Icon-style short rear fender and remote mudguard/plate holder.

Flagship 2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100Current 1100 Scrambler with looping cable

That looping cable was originally designed to be reminiscent of their original 1970s Scrambler 450 with high and wide off-road bars.

1972 Ducati Scrambler 450 museum1972 Ducati Scrambler 450

Now, the bars are black, narrower and shorter, with the Sport edition getting low-slung flat bars and Café Racer-style bar-end mirrors.

The other major change is the twin-stacked right-side mufflers. We can see the Sport edition up close and it looks great with a brushed titanium-look finish.

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 ProsSport cans

We don’t get a close-up look at the 1100 Pro cans which seem to have an aluminium finish.

Scrambler 1100 Pro comes in two-tone “Ocean Drive” (silver with an orange pinstripe) and black steel trellis frame and rear aluminium subframe.

Scrambler 1100 Sport Pro features matt black paint with black gloss “1100” on the tank.Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros

LCD instruments and other details, dimensions and tech secs seem to be the same as the current 1100 models.

The bikes will be available at the end of March in most markets and “very late in the year” in Australia with pricing released closer to the date.

Current 1100 Scrambler prices range from $19,790 to $22,990 for the Sport edition with Öhlins suspension.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro and Sport ProDucati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros

Engine: Engine: 1079cc, L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooled
Bore x stroke: 98 x 71 mm
Compression: 11:01
Power: 63kW (86hp) @ 7500rpm
Torque: 88Nm (65lb ft) @ 4750rpm
Economy: 5.2 l/100km
Emissions: CO2 120g/km
Transmission: 6-speed, wet clutch
Sport suspension: Öhlins fully adjustable 48mm USD fork; Öhlins monoshock, pre-load and rebound adjustable
Standard suspension: Marzocchi fully adjustable 45mm USD fork; Kayaba mono shock preload and rebound adjustable
Wheels: 10-spoke alloy, 3.50″ x 18”; 5.50″ x 17”
Brakes: 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 callipers, 4-piston, axial pump; 245mm disc, 1-piston floating calliper; Bosch Cornering ABS
Wheelbase: 1514mm (59.6in)
Rake/trail: 24°.5/111mm (4.4in)
Total steering lock: 33°
Fuel: 15 litres (3.96 US gal)
Dry weight: 189kg (417lb)
Wet weight: 206kg (454lb)
Seat: 810mm (31.9”)
Length: 2190mm (86”)
Height: 1330mm (52.4”)
Width: 895mm (35.2”)
Wheelbase: 1514mm (59.6”)
Standard equipment: Riding Modes, Power Mode, Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS + DTC), RbW, LED light-guide, LED rear light with diffusion-light, LCD instruments with gear and fuel level indications, Steel tank with interchangeable aluminium side panels, Machine-finished aluminium belt covers, Under-seat storage compartment with USB socket
Warranty: 24 months unlimited mileage
Service and valve check: 12,000km (7500mi)/12 months

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Malaysian MotoGP like you’ve never seen

Workers at a Kuala Lumpur scooter shop XF XeroxTune certainly have a great sense of humour judging by this mock Malaysian GP video.

Since the video was posted on their Facebook page about a week ago, it has had more than 1.8 million views.

And why not? It’s hilarious!

Right from the start it pokes some fun at the anachronistic MotoGP grid girls by substituting boys with banana leaves!

We also love the inserted tacho and speedo showing about 220km/h and the action cam shots of the rider’s face.Malaysian MotoGP satirical video

And instead of a pitstop, the riders stop at a roadside icecream seller for some refreshments.

The audio track comes from a Malaysian GP and they use some MotoGP logos, so it’s a wonder DORNA hasn’t forced them to take it down for copyright infringement.

This satirical video shows Andrea Iannone winning on his Ducati, but he never has won at Sepang, although he does have the 2015 lap record!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Crashed riders risk negligent charge

More and more riders are being charged with negligent driving (riding) after a single-vehicle crash, says NSW traffic and criminal law specialist Chris Kalpage.

Our contributing lawyer has previously written articles about defending various charges and last time he addressed the issues arising out of dangerous driving and negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm.

He now tackles this increasing risk of a negligent driving charge for which penalties can be quite severe:

Chris Kalpage defencesChris Kalpage sets up for a track session

Negligent driving

The concept of negligence is whether the person charged was not riding in the manner of a reasonably prudent motorist, considering all the circumstances.

Often if police are called to a single-vehicle accident where the bike has come down there is a risk the rider will be charged with negligent driving.

Two cases I defended come to mind.

Case 1

Old Pac gets more ‘safety barriers’Riders on the Old Pac (Photo courtesy of Valley Images)

One morning my client was riding his Aprilia RSV on the Old Pacific Highway, tipped into a corner at below the speed limit and lost his front end on slippery leaf mulch. You could substitute that for moss, oil, gravel from filling in potholes, or anything on the road surface.

He dragged himself to the Armco and sat down, his leg was broken. To his surprise, a tow truck and ambulance stopped to assist. As he was traveling to Gosford Hospital he heard over the radio that they had picked up the wrong accident victim, so they stopped at the next accident scene some kilometres from where he had crashed.

While the paramedics were assisting the other rider, a highway patrol officer at the second scene spoke to my client while he was in the back of the ambulance. He asked what had happened and my client explained about the leaf mulch. The officer further interviewed my client in hospital.

My client subsequently received an infringement for negligent driving which we defended.

The police officer’s evidence was that my client had told him he had lost his front wheel on leaf mulch. However, the officer said he attended the site and there was no leaf mulch, inferring that my client was riding with negligence.

In calling for the officer’s notebook in cross examination of him, it was clear the officer had noted my client indicated he had lost his front wheel suddenly on hitting the mulch. In cross-examination of the officer it was established that the notebook was the totality of the content of the discussion with my client.  It was further conceded by the officer that my client had said nothing more.

It was conceded that there were many corners between where the officer saw my client in the ambulance and where the accident had occurred.

The obvious conclusion was that the officer could not correctly identify the exact corner of the crash and by inference had not attended the site as was stated. The officer’s questionable evidence was rejected, my client’s evidence favourably received and he was found not guilty.

Case 2

Oxley Highway businesses eventRiders on the Oxley Highway

Another client was riding his Ducati 748 down the Oxley Highway when he hit a wedge of tarmac, possibly caused by heat forming a lip in the soft asphalt. His bike was knocked into gravel on the opposite side of the road.

Again my client had a broken leg and the ambulance was called. A regional highway patrol officer turned up at the site about 20 minutes later. Again, he had not seen how the accident occurred and had no evidence from witnesses, but formed the view that as an accident had occurred my client must have been traveling too fast.

At the hearing, the prosecutor agreed with me that the highway patrol officer could not provide expert post accident crash analysis. That is the remit of the specially trained police crash investigation unit. The case was adjourned so representations could be made.

However, the officer chose to press on with the case. Even though the magistrate allowed the evidence — which I believe should not have been — he took into account the officer’s lack of expertise and was prepared to accept my client’s evidence. He dismissed the prosecution.

Conclusion

A mere accident does not automatically mean that the rider was negligent. The prosecution needs to establish that you were driving or riding without the standard of care and attention reasonably expected of the ordinary prudent driver.

Even if you run into the back of a vehicle that suddenly stops, it does not mean your manner of driving was negligent.

I defended a retired motorcycle highway patrol officer with significant riding experience who ran into the back of a car because he had to apply emergency braking right where there was a sudden change in the road condition. He was acquitted at hearing.

So, if you have to brake suddenly and do it on a patch of diesel causing you to run into the car in front that may not constitute negligence. The court has to take into account all the circumstances of the case as embodied in the legislation, a part of which is printed below:

NSW ROAD TRANSPORT ACT 2013 – SECT 117

Negligent, furious or reckless driving

117 Negligent, furious or reckless driving

(cf STM Act, s 42)

(1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a road negligently.

(3) In considering whether an offence has been committed under this section, the court is to have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the following:

(a) the nature, condition and use of the road on which the offence is alleged to have been committed,

(b) the amount of traffic that actually is at the time, or which might reasonably be expected to be, on the road,

(c) any obstructions or hazards on the road (including, for example, broken down or crashed vehicles, fallen loads and accident or emergency scenes).

(Editor’s note: This is a NSW law, but there are similar rules in most jurisdictions.)

This relates to the specific circumstances of the particular incident and this is one situation where every case is different. No two situations are alike so they require careful analysis. Don’t assess your case based on someone you know who had a similar situation and got a certain result, as you could be very wrong.

Disclaimer

This article is for reader information and interest only and is based on New South Wales law. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice.

Please be aware that every case is different and the matters raised may not be of specific relevance to your situation but may have a general application. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances. Chris is happy to talk to anyone needing clarification. He can be contacted on 0418 211074.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MV Agusta celebrates 75th anniversary

MV Agusta will officially celebrate its 75th anniversary on June 20-21 at its factory on the shores of the beautiful Lake Varese in northern Italy.

If you’re a fan, we recommend booking your flights now as the Italian lake region is not only beautiful, but is blessed with excellent roads for riding motorcycles.

The company sent out a potted history (attached below) which concludes with a vision of the future where they listen to customers and promise new models, faster spare parts delivery and an expended sales network.

Troubled times

MV Agusta has gone through some tough financial times over the past few years.

It had a rocky relationship with AMG Mercedes ownership, developed terribly slow spare parts delivery and did not produce any new models, only limited editions of their ageing fleet.

New boss Timur Sardarov took over from Giovanni Castiglioni in 2018.

RussianGiovanni Castiglioni and Timur Sardarov

Timur is the founder of Russian investment company, Black Ocean Group, which rescued the company in 2017.

He set up the Nevada Burning Man festival and is the son of oil tycoon Rashid Sardarov who was mentioned in the Panama Papers and has links to Russian mafia lawyers.

Last year, the Sardarov family acquired 100% of the company’s capital and Timur announced a five-year plan to build new bikes and improve its service.

However, we are yet to see a truly new motorcycle from MV and have not heard any reports of improved parts delivery in Australia.

At EICMA in Milan, they unveiled the beautiful Superveloce 800 which is based on the F3 and they returned the Brutale 1000RR to the fleet and added the Rush which is basically a limited-edition version of the Brutale 1000 RR.

Future vision

However, Timur is promising more than 20 new models in the next five years to increase their sales to 25,000 a year.

But don’t expect a lot of new flagship models.

Instead, like Harley and Triumph, they are partnering with Asian companies to make cheaper, smaller-capacity versions mainly for Asian markets.

MV Agusta sell-out to the bottom russian bossMV Agusta in joint agreement with Chinese

In July 2019, Timur announced a partnership with Chinese Loncin Motor to make 350-500cc motorcycles.

Timur says being the boss at the historic 75th anniversary is “exciting and challenging”.

“I consider it a great privilege, and also a great responsibility, but looking back at MV Agusta’s legacy, I know we are standing on the shoulders of a giant, and this gives me great pride and confidence in breaking new ground every day, launching innovative technology, new incredible models, and expanding into markets we have never entered before.”

MV Agusta 75th anniversary historyMV Agusta 75th anniversary

Here is the unedited MV Agusta version of its history to mark its 75th anniversary:

It all started on January 19, 1945, with the establishment of Meccanica Verghera Srl in Cascina Costa, near today’s Malpensa international airport. The Agusta family, pioneers of the aviation industry, unable to continue manufacturing aeroplanes in the aftermath of WWII, turned to motorcycles to express their passion for speed, adrenaline and precision engineering. Legend has it that the first model, a 98 cc, was due to be called “Vespa”, but the name was already taken, so it went down in history simply as the MV98.

The Agustas also knew how to convert their racing motorcycles into successful production road models for a public of passionate enthusiasts, and started right from the beginning with a luxury version of the 98 that made a sensation at the 1947 Milan Trade Fair. Since then, every new MV Agusta model made its mark in the history of motorcycling, and still today the launch of a new model or range is a much awaited event.

Count Domenico Agusta had a knack for hiring the best riders, most of which became legends of the sport: Franco Bertoni, MV’s first rider, followed by Arcisio Artesiani, Carlo Ubbiali the “flying chinaman”, Leslie Graham, Cecil Sandford, Fortunato Libanori, John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Gianfranco Bonera, Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read. Throughout the 30 years of the Agusta era, the history of their victories intersects with the launches of equally legendary and successful MV Agusta production models.

The partnership with Giacomo Agostini was the most celebrated in the history of motorcycling: in his career, “Ago” won 13 Wold Championships, 18 Italian titles and 10 Isle of Man’s TTs.

Count Domenico passed in 1971, and after Agostini’s last victory at the Nürburgring in 1976, the destiny of MV Agusta seemed to have come to an end, until the Castiglioni family decided to give it a new lease of life. In 1992, Claudio Castiglioni’s Cagiva acquired the MV Agusta brand and moved production to its facility on the shores of lake Varese, in Schiranna, where MV Agusta motorcycles are still produced today.

MV Agusta 75th anniversaryClaudio Castiglioni and F4 designer Massimo Tamburini

Under the visionary guidance of Claudio Castiglioni the brand never ceased to represent Italy’s best motorcycling tradition and even acquired further prestige and recognition. Castiglioni single-handedly revolutionised the motorcycle industry, heavily investing in R&D and in production.

The four-cylinder, 750cc F4 was the first bike of the new era, and also the first superbike. It is still considered “the best looking bike ever”. Claudio also invented the concept of the “naked” bike, a new paradigm in the motorcycling world.

MV Agusta 75th anniversaryGiovanni Castiglioni in front of a photo of his father, Claudio

After his premature death in 2011, his son Giovanni succeeded him at the helm and continued in the family’s pioneering tradition.  He actively sought and developed partnerships with world-class names such as Pirelli and Formula1 champion Lewis Hamilton to further broaden the reach and the appeal of the brand. Giovanni was behind the creation of the “Brutale”, the ultimate naked, and the F3, the best middle-weight sports bike with an inline-three cylinders engine and a counter-rotating crankshaft. Under his guidance, other remarkable models such as the Dragster and the Turismo Veloce, an opening into the tourers’ world, as well as successive evolutions of the F3 and F4, were acclaimed both by critics and motorcycling enthusiasts.

MV Agusta 75th anniversaryTimur Sardarov

In 2017, the company was ready for a new important step in its history of continuing growth, and new capital was brought in by ComSar Invest, a Luxembourg company belonging to a family of entrepreneurs who share the same pioneering spirit and passion for speed as the Agustas and the Castiglionis. After an initial and successful partnership phase, in 2019 the Sardarov family acquired 100% of the company’s capital and Timur Sardarov, MV Agusta’s present CEO, was ready to take on a leading role.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider seriously injured in Southport crash

A 24-year-old male rider has been seriously injured in a collision with a car in Southport this morning (25 January 2020).

Queensland Police say their initial investigations indicate that about 8.50am, a blue Toyota Corolla hatchback and a red Yamaha motorcycle collided at the intersection of Anne and Shirley streets, Southport.Southport Crash

The rider was seriously injured and transported to hospital in a critical condition.

The 75-year-old female driver of the Corolla was transported to hospital in a stable condition.

We sincerely wish both injured motorists a full and speedy recovery.

Police are appealing to any members of the public who may have witnessed the crash or have relevant dash-cam footage to contact police.

Forensic Crash Unit are investigating.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP2000172627

Intersection crashes

Two out of every three accidents (66.7%) occur at intersections, according to the 2017 US Motorcycle Crash Causation Study.

Most accidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles occur when the other vehicle is turning across their path.

The result can be lethal as the rider hits the car in a t-bone fashion, rather than a glancing blow.

Check our tips for avoiding these types of crashes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley unleashes 131 Screamin’ cubes

Harley-Davidson’s Screamin’ Eagles factory customs department has unleashed its biggest engine yet, the 131-cube (2147cc) crate motor.

The Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee Eight 131 Crate Engine features the same 114mm (4.5”) stroke as the 114 Milwaukee Eight, but has been bored out from 101mm (4”) to 109mm (4.31”).

Harley claims it makes 90kW (121hp) of power and 177Nm (131ft-lb) of torque when matched to the Screamin’ Eagle Street Cannon mufflers. It also requires an ECM calibration and Screamin’ Eagle Pro Street Tuner.

That’s a lot of grunt, but still not comparable to the Triumph Rocket 3 which last year went from 2.3 litres to 2.5 litres with 123kW (165hp) at 6000rpm, up 11% over the previous model, and 220Nm (163ft/lb) of peak torque at 4000rpm.

That makes the Trumpy the biggest torque monster of any production bike in the world.

2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC torque monster2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC

Price and availability

The 131-cube monster, as well as the recently introduced Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight 107″/ 114″ and 128″/131” Stage IV Kits, are not in the Aussie 2020 HD catalogue.

However, Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman Keith Waddell says they are “very excited to have these performance parts in ANZ and will provide an update when these parts are available for sale”.

We believe the parts are being homologated.

In the US, the price is $US6195 ($A9000) for the 131 oil-cooled version and $US6395 ($A9360) for the twin-cooled motor.

You could expect to pay around $A10,000 for the Screamin’ Eagle 131 crate motor, given a CVO 117 motor costs about $A7400.

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Limited Road Glide Boom Box rain wet infotainment audio technoCVO Street Glide Limited wth 117 plant

Screamin’ Eagle 131

Harley’s Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee Eight 131 Crate Engine bolts straight into 2017 and later Touring models running an oil-cooled or twin-cooled Milwaukee Eight engine.

With a compression ratio of 10:7:1, you will have to be careful on downshifts not to lock the rear wheel.

You will also be paying more to fuel up with high-flow fuel injectors that guzzle fuel at a rate of 5.5-grams a second.

There are bigger accessory motors available for Harley’s and other big twins, but Harley-Davidson Product Manager James Crean says their engine’s raw grunt is matched by factory-made reliability and a 12-month or 24-month factory limited warranty.

It comes in black/chrome or black/gloss black with 131 Stage IV badging on the cylinder heads and timer cover.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Blade runner has three in-line wheels

Why would anyone think this Marabese Blade with three in-line wheels is a good thing for motorcycles?

The Marabese Blade is the work of the family owned Luciano Marabese design company that also designed the Piaggio MP3 scooter with two side-by-side front wheels.

PIaggio MP3 trikePIaggio MP3

The company has also designed bikes for Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Triumph and Yamaha.

Their Blade has been designed by Luciano’s sons Ricardo and Roberto specifically for Asian markets.Marabese Blade three-wheeler

Pros and Cons of Marabese Blade

The advantages could be more braking power and cornering confidence given the increased contact patch of the third tyre.

Marabese Blade three-wheelerLocking up the wheels in a brake test

That’s also true with other three-wheelers with two side-by-side front wheels such as Yamaha’s Niken and TriCity scooter.

It also makes the wheelbase longer which provides more seating space.

That makes it particularly suitable in Asian and African countries where they often fit whole families on motorcycles and scooters.

However, it would also make it heavier and more expensive to buy and maintain given the extra tyre.

We also don’t buy their argument that it is narrower for lane filtering as the two Yamahas are not much wider than normal bikes and scooters.

We’re also a bit sceptical about the designers’ claims that it is more stable over bumps.Marabese Blade three-wheeler

Despite the complex and heavy front suspension system, the impact on the handlebars of the two wheels taking a bump at different times must double the chance of kickback and instability.

The original prototype Blade used 10-inch wheels, but they have now gone up to 12-inch wheels.

That could make steering geometry fairly fast, but it may also contribute to some steering issues we’ve experienced with 12-inch-wheeled scooters.

It is powered by a single-cylinder 300cc engine, but the designers say it will also fit a twin-cylinder 550cc engine.

Marabese is still working on the prototype and it is not yet confirmed for production.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com