Listen in as we discuss all things electric motorbikes with the polite and well informed Isaiah Walker.
This episode of The Riding Obsession podcast is brought to you by Vololights, the inertia triggered brake light that automatically warns followers while engine braking and also by The Ugly Apple Cafe of Madison Wisconsin, where they use local overstock produce to offer a quick, tasty breakfast.
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Announcements, Acknowledgements & Corrections
Check out the Arizona Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Foundation. Their "Riding for the Long Haul" event looks pretty cool. Drills, demos, a fashion show ... raffles + grand prize valued at $2500.
Our guest host this round is Mr. Don Birren, an MSF instructor and friend to TRO of several years. He's lending us his insights via the same garden variety motorcycle chatter you've grown accustomed to. Visit the site often as he'll soon be a newly active guest author.
Trav's Activities ...
Tim's Activities ...
Robin's Activities ...
Our latest interview features Isaiah Walker, a vintage motorcycle enthusiast who also knows what's what in the electric motorcycle industry. His work was pushing new e-bike tech in the right direction. He has interesting future plans within that field.
This Month In Motorcycle History
Brought to you by Today in Motorcycle History
Karel had tested the ART in the Valencia test after the last race of the 2012 season, but this is the first time it was unveiled in its correct livery for the year. As before, the Cardion AB team will stick with its one rider line-up with Abraham, who will be hoping for fewer crashes aboard a bike that has proven to be the CRT to beat. Karel Abraham,“I know that motorbikes do not run on design, but I have to say I am very excited about design this year...I feel it’s close to perfection.
I am hoping for a similar level of perfection on the track. My goal is to always be one of the best CRT riders...I had a very good feeling about ART at Valencia during first testing, especially its cornering performance. We should have a better engine now and I cannot wait to ride the bike at Sepang.” The 2013 team was headed by Karel Abraham Sr., who also owns the Masaryk Circuit – which hosts the Czech Republic Grand Prix – and his son Karel Abraham the only rider for the team, the first Czech Republic team with a Czech rider in MotoGP.
Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 7:08 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Tuesday, January 27, 2015 January 27, 1932 On January 27, 1932, two Hungarian motorcyclists find their way into the pages of The New York Times - "TWO ON MOTORCYCLE HERE ON WORLD TOUR: Students Started From Budapest in 1928 -- Have Visited 43 Lands and Gone 65,000 Miles".
Hungarian motorcyclist, Zoltán Sulkowsky and Gyula Bartha, traveled nearly 90,000 miles (140,000 km) from 1928 to1936 on a 60" Harley-Davidson JS with a right-hand sidecar, F-Head Engine and a three-speed transmission. Their travels are recounted in a bookoriginally published in Hungarian in 1937, and finally reissued in an English translation in 2008. Their journey started in Hungary in August, 1928, and ended in the United States.
From Hungary they rode to these countries/regions: France, Germany, Spain, Czechoslovokia, Portugal, Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, the Sudan, India, the Arabian peninsula, the Malay Peninsula, Japan, China, Hawaii, and Australia. After arriving in America at San Francisco, they spent two years touring North America then another two years in South America, visiting Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. From the book's press release - "In the years between the world wars, the two Hungarian boys set out to see the world and chose a sidecar equipped Harley-Davidson to carry them.
The trip lasted almost eight years and took them through 68 countries on all six inhabited continents. This book, a narrative derived from Zoltán’s memoir, is an insight into the world as it was during those formative years when, for the first time, such a journey became possible for those of modest means. Along the way, the two companions met a number of world leaders including Mussolini, General Chiang Kai-shek, and President Herbert Hoover.
This version, recently translated into English, features some of Zoltán’s original photography along with maps that follow their progress around the globe. In a way, Zoltán and Gyula were the forerunners of the modern adventure motorcycling movement, going places, experiencing life, and learning about the world they lived in, all from the seat of a motorcycle." Around the World on a Motorcycle 1928-1936ByZoltán Sulkowsky. Whitehorse Press, 400 pages.
Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 8:22 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Monday, January 26, 2015 January 26, 1961 The January 26, 1961 issue of "The Motor Cycle" features the 1961 Ariel Arrow Super Sports - 'The most glamorous 250cc twin ever designed.". The Ariel Leader, and its sports derivative, the Arrow, sought to combine the virtues of speed and agility with those of cleanliness and convenience.
Launched in 1958 and powered by an all-new 247cc air-cooled two-stroke twin with unitary transmission. The "Leader" also broke with British tradition in its frame and suspension design, employing a stiff, fabricated-steel beam instead of tubes, and a trailing-link front fork. Detachable panels enclosing the engine and most of the rear wheel extended forward to meet the leg-shields and the fairing, and fully enclose the rear chain.
Announced late in 1959, the Arrow dispensed with the Leader’s enclosure panels and weather protection while remaining mechanically virtually identical. The Arrow was revised for 1961, gaining squish-band, center-plug cylinder heads while a third model - the Super Sports, universally referred to as the ‘Golden Arrow’ after its distinctive color scheme - was added at the same time. Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD).
www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 7:58 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Friday, January 23, 2015 January 23, 1970 Almost everyone's favorite daredevil, Evel Knievel, successfully clears 9 cars and 2 vans at the legendary Cow Palace in Daly City*, California.
The jump that Knievel made here went off without a hitch. But, it's what happened after the jump that made this leap so renown. Evel Knievel was outspoken about drug use in the U.S.
and "outlaw" bike clubs during his career. So, at this particular event, a group of patch-holders gathered and after being verbally abused by Knievel, nearly cause a small riot after someone threw a tire iron at Knievel. Security was able to restore peace, but it cast a shadow over an otherwise successful event.
*Daly City is home to the world famous Hilltop Beauty School, located at 6317 Mission Street. Telephone: (650) 756-2720 or (650) 992-4949, Fax: (650) 756-0236. Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD).
www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 8:19 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Wednesday, January 21, 2015 January 21, 1983 T140V AEA34393. Black clouds line the horizon. The Meriden Cooperative build their final T140 Bonneville.
The debt-ridden Meriden Cooperative briefly flirted with buying the bankrupt Hesketh Motorcycles, and even went so far as to badge one for a marketing trial. Despite also touting a 900cc prototype water-cooled twin at the 1983 National Exhibition Show to attract outside investment, Triumph Motorcycles (Meriden) Ltd would claim bankruptcy on August 23, 1983. In 1984 the T140 production rights were licensed by the new owner of Triumph, John Bloor, to Devon-based engineer Les Harris who produced 1,300 complete motorcycles at his Newton Abbot factory between 1985 and 1988 when the license was not renewed.
For the rest of eternity these bikes will be referred to as "Harris Twins". Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 7:02 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Tuesday, January 20, 2015 January 20, 1998 Rastus was a jet-black, Canadian-born Bombay/Burmese cat.
Max Corkill was a biker from New Zealand, toiling as a sheet-metal worker in Vancouver. At a swap meet in 1989 a young girl asked Max to look after her kitten while she went to look at something, but she never returned. Corkill took him home, ran an ad in the local paper and even on the radio station, but no one responded.
So, he decided to keep the cat and after considerable thought, he named the kitten Rastus. A few weeks later Max found Rastus asleep on one of the bikes in his workshop, he started it up to see whether the cat would get scared and jump off — but he didn't. So Max took the bike, with the cat, out for a slow ride around, and Rastus loved it, leaning forward with his front paws on the handlebars and back paws on the gas tank.
Before you knew it the two became inseparable. Whenever Max rode, so did Rastus. A leather cover was made to fit over the tank of whichever bike they were riding (for comfort and to give a better grip) and before long he also had a specially made little helmet and a red bandana.
Then they hit the road, in North America alone he was said to have covered some 75,000 mles. For the longer journeys, instead of his customary position of leaning into the wind on the bikes gas tank, Rastus would ride in a specially-made zipped pouch mounted on the tank in front of Max, with just his head peeping out. In 1994, after his years in Canada, Corkill returned to his native New Plymouth, New Zealand, to be near his mom and, of course Rastus went too.
Once they got settled, the pair devoted time to raising money for animal charities. Max formed a company to market souvenirs such as T-shirts, posters and badges (the latter sold out). They even had a joint checking account, with Rastus' signature being his pawprint, also used on some of the merchandise.
The duo visited schools to tell children about the importanceof caring for pets; they were invited to various functions; they starred in an award-winning television advertisemnt for the Bell Tea Company. "The cat was just like a person,' said Bell CEO John Mahoney. 'He used to come into the offices here and make himself at home.
He would drink tea with milk out of a cup and would get quite testy if it was taken away before he had finished!"There was a thriving Rastus fan club, and the pair became a familiar sight on the roads around Taranaki and New Plymouth, often on Max's classic 1952 Sunbeam. At Christmastime each year Max would put on a Santa outfit and disguise a bike as a sleigh, while Rastus sported a special helmet with little reindeer antlers attached. They would take part in a Toy Run, organized by a local bikers' group who collected toys along the way for disadvantaged children.
In some ways the cat was said to behave more like a dog, obeying Max's commands and 'growling' replies, rather than meowing. On the morning of 20 January 1998, they were riding Max's custom black BMW, with his partner Gaynor Martin. Their bike collided head on with a car coming round a bend on the wrong side of the road; all three died instantly.
Rastus had been in his pouch on the tank. The 31-year-old car driver turned out to be drunk, and was charged with two counts of manslaughter. An amazing crowd of over a thousand bikers came to pay their respects and take part in the funeral procession.
They were cremated together, as Max had wished. Their ashes were scattered by Max's eldest son at a ceremony on Mount Egmont, a mountain they both loved and that Rastus had been the only cat to climb. At the scene of the accident three white crosses were erected at the roadside, the smallest one for Rastus had a black wooden cat with a red bandana attached to it.
Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 9:28 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Saturday, January 17, 2015 January 18, 2015 VFW Post 2550 in Dunedin, Florida is holding a benefit raffle today. Today, Sunday, January 18, 2015! .
Benefit Rafflle, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at VFW Post 2550, 360 Douglas Ave., Dunedin, FL 34698.
2004 Harley-Davidson motorcycle to be raffled off, tickets are $50. Money raised goes to help a Vietnam veteran battling eyes and lung cancer. Music by “Back 4 More”.
Questions or in need of directions call 727-733-6107. Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 10:35 PM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest January 17, 2014 The Harley-Davidson Museum opens the "Living Lost" photograph exhibit by rider and photographer Josh Kurpius.
The photographs were taken during a series of road trips Josh took across the country with a group of riders on his chopped 1977 Ironhead Sportster, "The Locust". The images delve into the uninhibited lifestyle of bikers exploring the hi-ways and bi-ways of America by illustrating the raw beauty of unexplored roads. While riding across the country, they find themselves stopping in places you might barely notice if you were in a car, or even on a new bike.
There is a sense of timelessness that runs throughout the photographs. References in the images look just as plausibly 1970's as they do nowadays, from the bikers and their rides to the landscape. If you're going to be in the Milwaukee area the museum is well worth a visit.
Last known address, 400 W Canal Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201. Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 2:21 PM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Friday, January 16, 2015 January 16, 1994 Italy's Edi Orioli wins the 1994 Paris-Dakar-Paris Motorcycle Rally aboard his Ducati-powered Cagiva Elefant.
After a grueling, and at times life-threatening, 8,313 miles (13, 379 km) Edi Orioli triumphantly rides into Euro-Disney. Considered by many to be one of the greatest Rally riders, Edi Orioli wins the Rally that began in Paris on December 28, given a snack, a bottle of water and a nap in Dakar on January 6 and then returns to Paris ten days later in need of a cappuccino and a good wash. Orioli credited his victory to knowing all the good restaurant spots, having previously won the Dakar Rally in 1990.
Dakar Rally firsts in 1994: The number “1” is a woman! Traditionally the number “l” is given to the smallest capacity vehicle. MarianneBernard is at the controls of her Suzuki 350. And, after fifteen years an assistance plane is used to spot and help with mechanical failures and/or accidents.
Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 8:43 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Thursday, January 8, 2015 January 8, 2015 Bonhams: The Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction at Bally's Hotel & Casino begins at 10:00am (PST). If you hurry you can still make it.
So, grab your wallet... The bidding on parts (spares) starts first with everything from a lot ofmostly 1970's era Honda motorcycle seats. Bidding opens at an affordable $250.
Or for a bid of $150 you might get a lot of 1970's era Honda handle bars, a framed "Goodbye Cruel World" Von Dutch print that is the perfect size (21½" x 25") to cover that hole in your kitchen wall, for the bedroom there is an original Harley-Davidson advertising poster from 1938 (20" x 14") or splurge and bid $15,000 onan extremely rare 1937 35.5" x 49.7" art deco Grosser Preis von Europa poster.
A butt-load of vintage British parts that include Vincent side covers, wheels, Amal carbs, Smithsgauges, tank badges , BSA sheet metal, etc., etc. Perhaps you'll get lucky at a craps table and you can now afford to bid $15,000 on that 1970 Honda CB750 (frame #CB750-1011574, motor #CB750E-1011391) that was featured in the Guggenheim Museum's "Art of the Motorcycle" exhibit. Maybe you hit a progressive jack-pot and treat yourself to the 1950 Vincent Series C White Shadow, one of only 15 ever produced, (frame #RC6376A, motor # F10AB/1A/4476) that could be yours with a lucky bid of $140,000.
My favorite is Lot 244, the "Star of the 1956 Earl's Court Show", an incredible, fully motorized 1956 BSA B34 Gold Star Clubmans "Cutaway" motorcycle and display stand. Estimated sale price is $350,000! Check the auction out at Bonhams.com or just Google it. Happy bidding! Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD).
www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 8:44 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Wednesday, January 7, 2015 January 7, 2009 On a remote part of the Second Stage of the Dakar Rally, between Santa Rosa de la Pampa and Puerto Madryn, the body of 49-year-old French motorcyclist Pascal Terry is found.
He had been missing for three days. “Officially the result of the autopsy revealed that the French pilot Pascal Terry died of pulmonary- oedema, which produced cardio-respiratory failure,” said Julio Acosta, Chief of the Department of Operations of the La Pampa province police, late on Wednesday night. “The death of the pilot occurred between Monday and Tuesday morning,” Acosta said.
A preliminary Argentinian Police report suggested that Terry’s life might have been saved if the race organizers began a search immediately on Sunday night when he failed to reach the finish at the end of the Second Stage . He was not found until the early hours of Wednesday morning. “He could have been saved, if he had been rescued in time,” Acosta said.
“The search was not started immediately because Pascal had informed Race Control that his Yamaha had run out of petrol at the 197 kilometer mark, but that he had procured some from another competitor. Organizers later tried to contact him on two occasions, but were unable to get any response. There was confusion because a Terry had checked into the Neuquén camp, but it wasn’t Pascal, but his brother who is also competing in the rally,” Acosta said.
Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 7:41 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Tuesday, January 6, 2015 January 6, 2003 Dodge introduces its Tomahawk V-10, 8.3-liter (505 cubic inch!) concept motorcycle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The "superbike" features independent four-wheel suspension and an engine borrowed from the Dodge Viper sports car.
The 1,500-pound Tomahawk can reach 60 mph in about 2.5 seconds, and has a theoretical top speed of 300 mph. Each pair of wheels is separated by a few inches and each wheel has an independent suspension. Chrysler Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Bernhard said four wheels were necessary to handle the awesome power from the engine.
Chrysler executives said while the chrome-draped Tomahawk was outlandish, they were seriously considering whether to build a few hundred at a price of at least *$250,000 each. *The latest asking price for a Tomahawk V-10 is around $600,000 plus. Today in motorcycle history is a proud supporter of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD).
www.nabd.org.uk Posted by Unknown at 7:21 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest.
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Mess A La Moto
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Tune in next time for more discussion on all things specific to sport touring or universal to motorcycling as a whole.
Safe travels, everyone!