By Guido Ebert
Minnesota’s Classic Motorworks Ltd., based in Faribault, serves as the exclusive U.S. importer & distributor of Royal Enfield motorcycles – bikes made in 2013 that look like they came from 1955.
What is Royal Enfield?
Motorcycle manufacturers spend a lot of money in creating new models; lately offering up bikes steeped in technology like ride-by-wire engine management with push-button mapping and electric suspension adjustments, keyless start, ABS, traction control, entertainment and communication systems, theft deterrent systems, etc.
But all of that modern tech on two wheels comes at a cost that the manufacturer must ultimately make up downstream, at retail. Thus, bikes that once were the darlings of the low-income earner – like 600cc super sports – now are priced in the five-figure range and financially out of reach for a great many of potential owners.
by Thomas Day
Since I started this column, I’ve asked a variety of questions about old guys and old bikes and bike collections. I wasn’t being a hardass about this. I really didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why old guys who barely ride anywhere need a garage full of mostly useless motorcycles, either in primo shape or a hoarder’s trash pile. I did not understand the fascination for stuff that was state of the art when I was state of the art. It all just evaded me. Until this week. Now, I get it.
by Mark DesCartes
We rolled down the hill to the boat landing on the Mississippi River near Cassville, Wisconsin; the two dual-sport bikes laden with everything we needed for a four-day trip on the Trans-Wisconsin Trail. Chet and I killed our motors to take in the fog roiling over the Mississippi and to double-check our GPS tracks. It wasn’t yet 7am, our bikes were fueled, our bellies full, and the waypoint pointed northwest.
“What’s with your tire?” Chet asked.
I looked down at the bike and my stomach dropped. Several knobs on the rear Dunlop 606 had been ripped back, revealing the cords below.
I recently sold my 1964 Sears Allstate scooter. The scooter was featured on the cover of the April 2012 issue in our parody of the Life magazine Hollister cover. I had the scooter for over 10 years and the most fun I had with it was the photo shoot for the cover. I poured too much money into it and my nephew spent way too many frustrating hours repairing it. I’ve owned some old motorcycles but this thing was primitive to the point of baffling. I’m not going to miss it.
I posted the scooter on craig’s list back in early July and the response was what I expected. I was asking way to much money, would I be interested in a trade, can I come and look at it and then never show up. I did have a couple come and look at it and they brought their demon child. This kid broke a yard light and tore branches off a shrub and was just generally unpleasant. His parents weren’t much better. They offered me half of what I was asking and seemed insulted when I didn’t accept it. They also knew absolutely nothing about scooters.
By Guido Ebert
BMW’s C evolution
BMW Motorrad says it is “taking a fully committed approach to electric mobility,” and in mid September unveiled its new C evolution electric scooter to mark the start of a new product family for BMW Motorrad.
Positioned to join the conventionally powered C 600 Sport and C 650 GT maxi scooters in the BMW Motorrad line-up, the C evolution is powered by a swingarm-mounted liquid-cooled permanent magnet synchronous motor via a toothed belt and ring gearing. Rated power output is 11 kW (15hp), with a peak output of 35 kW (47hp) and 53 lb.-ft. of torque. This enables the C evolution to achieve 0-31 mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds, and a top speed of 75 mph (electronically limited).
By Guido Ebert
A friend of mine, Manny, recently picked up a 2014 Honda Grom, that diminutive 125cc bike with a four-speed transmission, 12-inch tires and 225-lb. wet weight.
“I’m loving the thing for its urban commuting properties and its silly hooliganism inspiring properties as well,” he told me after 250 miles on the bike. “A confirmed over 100 mpg never hurts either.”
While driving home one brisk evening last fall near Beaver Bay, MN, I came across two young men on a motorcycle trip. They were riding a clapped out Kawasaki KLR650 and Suzuki DR-Z400. Both were hanging out at a local gas station with maps in hand pointing in all directions, looking a bit lost.
Their bikes were loaded down with spare parts, tire irons and an extra tire. It was apparent they were not from around Northern Minnesota. It was about 8pm, the sun was going down and it was getting cold.
by Guido Ebert
Yamaha recently revealed a new factory-backed prepaid maintenance program as part of its extended service offerings.
Yamaha designed Y.E.S. Maintenance exclusively for Yamaha customers by using the periodic maintenance schedule in a vehicle’s owner’s manual. Customers can include the cost of maintenance as part of their financing program on purchases of new motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and SxS vehicles.
Yamaha claims savings of up to 30% on labor vs. pay-as-you-go maintenance. Ask about the program at your local Yamaha retailer.