Victory Racing “On The Gas”

Victory Racing has been “on the gas” lately, entering the Isle of Man TT with a team of two electric motorcycles, taking part in professional drag racing, running a stunt team, and fielding an entry in the iconic Pikes Peak Hill Climb with a water-cooled V-twin built in conjunction with Roland Sands Design.
In early June, Victory Racing achieved a third-place podium finish in its first ever attempt at the Isle of
Man TT event after Lee Johnston rode a 111.6 mph lap. Guy Martin, who stepped in to ride the bike on behalf of the injured William Dunlop, placed fourth with a 109.7 mph lap after completing only two practice laps on the bike the day prior to the race. “It’s a proper fast bike,” Martin said. “I’m happy to have had the opportunity to ride it.”  The 2015 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb – a timetrial
on a 12.42-mile course with 156 turns – took place June 28, just as this issue of MMM was going to press.

Honda’s $184,000 RC213V-S

Honda recently revealed a limited-production, street-legal MotoGP derived bike called the RC213V-S.

Astonishingly, Honda wants $184,000 for it. Even more astonishing, Honda says the U.S. spec version will put out only 101hp @ 8,000rpm and only buyers outside of the U.S. will have the option to purchase a “Race Kit” for additional coin to unleash the bike’s full 215hp @ 13,000rpm.

Reservations for the bike will be taken exclusively through the official website: beginning at 1 p.m. Central on July 12.

Lane-Splitting Safety Study

Researchers from the University of California Berkeley reviewed nearly 6,000 motorcycle-involved traffic collisions between June 2012 and August 2013, including 997 in which the riders were splitting lanes at the time of the crash.

Among the findings:

– Lane-splitting is safe if done in traffic moving at 50 mph or less, and if motorcyclists do not exceed the speed of other vehicles by more than 15 mph;

– Compared to other motorcyclists, lane-splitting riders were more often riding on weekdays and during commuting hours, were using better helmets and were traveling at slower speeds;

– Lane-splitting riders were significantly less likely to be rear-ended than non-lane-splitting riders (2.6 percent vs. 4.6 percent);

– Compared to riders who were not splitting lanes, lane-splitting motorcyclists were markedly less likely to suffer head injury (9 percent vs. 17 percent), torso injury (19 percent vs. 29 percent) or fatal injury (1.2 percent vs. 3 percent);

Motorcycle lane splitting is a common practice in many countries throughout the world – particularly in the highly urbanized areas of Europe and Asia. Long recognized as a way to alleviate traffic congestion and reduce the risk of crashes, the practice nevertheless remains largely prohibited in the U.S., with California currently being the exception.

The UC-Berkeley study is the latest to examine crash data related to lane splitting and follows a similar report issued in October 2014 (MMM #162).

H-D LiveWire By 2020?

Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich told the Wall Street Journal that the LiveWire electric motorcycle shouldn’t be expected “in the next couple of years – but it’s not past 2020 either, unless we run into some impossible barrier.”

H-D in 2014 produced three-dozen LiveWire for a 30-stop U.S. tour that yielded more than 6,800 demo rides and feedback from more than 15,000 consumers.

Levatich said Harley would await improvements in battery technology so the LiveWire can have the performance he believes buyers expect. “Will we get to that Nirvana that customers say they want? Probably not, “ he said. “Will we get close enough? I believe we will.”

Price is another issue. Levatich said riders generally have indicated they would pay $20,000 for the LiveWire, but the company couldn’t profitably sell the bike at anywhere near that level, given today’s battery technology.

J&P Cycles Leaving Iowa

Mail order and online retailer J&P Cycles is leaving Anamosa, Iowa, moving its warehouse to Kentucky, management offices to Texas and call center to Florida. Approx. 125 employees are affected.

J&P Cycles is owned by the Motorsports Aftermarket Group (MAG). MAG said the decision will not impact plans for this year’s Open House Rally at the nearby Jones County Fairgrounds. Also, the National Motorcycle Museum, built by J&P founders John and Jill Parham, will remain in place.

“While I know that improving customer service is important to hold a strong position in the market, and with the Internet, people want everything now, it is painful to see the company that Jill and I built here in Anamosa move its headquarters,” said John Parham.

Parham will be inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame this October.

Suzuki to Offer GSX-S1000

Suzuki plans to offer three GSX models in 2016, the GSX-S1000 ($9,999), GSX-S1000 ABS ($10,499) and GSX-S1000F ABS ($10,999). All three GSX-S1000 models by a 999cc inline-four from the previous generation GSX-R, the three-mode Suzuki Advanced Traction Control System, KYB suspension, Brembo monobloc brakes and Renthal bars.

Suzuki also announced the return of the Bandit 1250S ABS and the TU250X for the 2016 model year.

Yamaha Reveals A Batch of 2016 Models

Yamaha has confirmed 10 models for 2016, including six off-road bikes and four road models.

Dirt enthusiasts can expect the updated YZ250F ($7,590) and YZ450F ($8,590) later this month, and the YZ85 ($4,090), YZ125 ($6,390), YZ250 ($7,290) and the new YZ250X ($7,390) in August. Road bikers can expect to see the returning Bolt ($7,990) and Bolt R-Spec ($8,390) in August, and the FZ-07 ($6,990) and FZ-09 ($8,190) in September.

Honda Intros New Off-Road Models

Look for the CRF450R ($8,699) in July, the CRF150/Expert ($4,990/$5,140) in August, and the CRF250R ($7,599) in September.

The CRF450R gets a revised suspension, the CRF150 remains the only 150cc four-stroke race bike made, and the CRF250R gets an updated intake and exhaust.

Kawasaki Shows Five for the Dirt

Kawasaki recently revealed that its off-road line for 2016 includes the KX 65 ($3,699), KX 85 ($4,349), KX 100 ($4,599), and the radically revised KX 250F ($7,599) and KX 450F ($8,799).

Brando H-D Up for Auction

A Harley-Davidson Electra Glide owned by Hollywood legend Marlon Brando was set to garner $400,000 during a June 26 auction (held just as this issue of MMM was going to press).

Brando is thought to have brought the bike in Los Angeles in 1970, just days before he started filming for The Godfather. He owned several motorcycles during his lifetime, but auctioneers say they believe this is the only H-D he ever bought. It has 13,859 miles on the clock.

Brando, who rode a Triumph Thunderbird 6T in The Wild One, was expelled from high school for riding a motorcycle through its corridors.

AMA Vintage Days

Vintage motorcycle riders, collectors and racers should be planning to ride or haul their classic bikes to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course July 10-12 for AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.

The event this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a fundraiser for the facility, but also offers vintage racing, North America’s largest motorcycle swap, bike shows, stunt shows, demo rides and seminars.

Sumitomo Picks Up U.S. Dunlop Cycle Tire Biz

Sumitomo Rubber Industries will acquire Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s 75 percent interest in Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd., as the companies execute an agreement to dissolve their global alliance formed in 1999 and avoid arbitration. In addition to assuming full ownership of the Dunlop motorcycle tire business in North America, Sumitomo will have rights to sell Dunlop-brand tires to Japanese vehicle manufacturers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.



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