by Thomas Day
SAE Noise Test released
The Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE), working with the AMA, has produced “a simple, consistent, and economical sound test standard” for police and regulatory groups to measure motorcycle exhaust noise. The SAE standard recommends the following lowest numerical limits: 92 dBA at idle for all motorcycles. 96 dBA for motorcycles with fewer than three cylinders or more than four cylinders at 2000 rpm (or 75 percent of maximum engine speed; whichever is less). 100 dBA for motorcycles with three or four cylinders at 5,000 rpm (or 75 percent of maximum engine speed, whichever is less). And, 2 dBA should be added to these sound limits for motorcycle exhaust systems that are clearly labeled as meeting the EPA sound limits and have not been obviously modified or tampered with.
Motorcycle Industry Council President, Tim Buche said, “The winners are riders everywhere, who no longer need to be subjected to arbitrary local jurisdictions.” For $61, you can download a copy of the test standard at http://www.sae.org/technical/standards/J2825_200905.
Middle-Aged Easy Rider
In July, the iconic motorcycle movie, Easy Rider, turned 40. Peter Fonda (69) and Dennis Hopper (73) starred in this cruising biker classic four decades ago (as of July 14th) and Harley is making the most of the anniversary by promoting the Captain America bike knockoff displayed in the Harley Davidson Museum. The movie makers started out with two versions of Captain America’s bike; one was destroyed in the making of the movie, and the other was stolen from the production’s storage garage. Fonda assisted Harley in making an accurate imitation of his bike for the museum.
The Onion has done a first-class job of listing and summarizing the history of badly acted, moronically conceived, constantly morphing from cruiser-to-dirt-bike-riding biker gang movies at: http://www.avclub.com/articles/we-want-to-be-free-to-ride-our-machines-without-be,30244/.
Downbeat Motorcycle News
The Easy Rider anniversary comes on the heels of Harley’s announcement that US sales are down 35% and world sales are down 30%. The Company is cutting 1,000 jobs (700 hourly and 300 salaried positions) and reducing production. Polaris Victory sales are down 25% Indian Motorcycles just began to deliver its new bikes to dealers in January and are already heavily discounting dealer prices. Heavy weight motorcycles in general have dropped 48% in the last quarter.
Vectrix, the electric scooter manufacturer, will declare bankruptcy and has laid off all of its workers.
Piaggio is offering a Hyundai-like “12-month test ride” that allows qualified buyers to return the scooters to the dealers after a year with “no further obligation.” The deal does require the buyer to pay out about 40% of the list price with no return on that investment.
A Spoiled Hayden Family Reunion
Tommy, Nicky, and Roger Hayden were in action at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It wasn’t the kind of reunion they were all hoping for.
Tommy (Suzuki) jumped the start of the American Superbike race, providing his only moment in the lead of his race. After the restart, Ben Bostrom crashed in turn 2, taking two other riders with him. For some reason, the pace car wandered out onto the track, nearly causing a catastrophe and forcing another restart. Eventually, Mat Mladin won that race, and Tommy Hayden finished in 8th place. Mladin had some heated words about pace cars and sportbike racing, “I’m not sure what it’s going to take to understand that the pace car doesn’t belong in motorcycle racing. This isn’t NASCAR. We’re not having a cup of tea in the race car. [A] pace car doesn’t belong on the racetrack and certainly shouldn’t be deployed in such an inadequate fashion.”
Roger Hayden (Kawasaki) had the pole for the Daytona SportBike race after clocking the fastest practice time. However, Roger didn’t place as his bike went down with an unknown mechanical failure. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) won the race, followed by Chaz Davies (Aprilia) and Bostrom’s teammate, Josh Herrin, in 3rd. Bostrom and Davies swapped the lead position twice in the last 5 laps, finishing 0225 seconds apart.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati) was in the hunt for the MotoGP series, finishing 5th. Dani Pedorosa’s took the hole shot into the first turn and ran away from the pack until the last lap. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Casey Stoner (Ducati) fought over 2nd place for half of the race before Stoner wore out and was passed by an injured (foot and shoulder) Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) who took over the battle with Rossi. Gorgeous Jorge eventually made a pass at Rossi, ran wide at the exit, and that cranked Rossi up enough that he opened up a one second lead on Lorenzo. Three riders set new 1.21 lap records in the race, Pedorosa, Lorenzo, and Rossi. Rossi used his last lap to crawl up Pedorosa’s tailpipe, but Pedorosa had built up too much steam and ended up 0.344 seconds ahead or Rossi at the checkered flag. Lorenzo was almost 2 seconds back from the winner and was so wounded that he had to be helped up the podium stairs and was unable to lift his trophy.
BMW 2007-2009 R1200RT: Due to routing and assembly tolerances, the front brake lines may develop a leak, resulting in loss of function.