▲ BOTT XR1R. This is the newly revealed track based version of the BOTT XR1 first conceived in 2011. BOTT is an acronym of Battle Of The Twins. Bottpower is a Spanish motorsport and customising firm based in Valencia with a penchant for cafe racers and flat track style motorcycles. David Sanchez manages the outfit. The BOTT XR1 was based around a Buell XB12 and featured a new lightweight frame faithful to the original Buell chassis geometry. The XR1 promised 100hp with a weight penalty of just 179kg. But the XR1R is hoping to take this a giant step further and is looking for 150hp with only a 150kg mass (i.e, a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio). Cue a titanium frame, carbon fibre fuel tank and seat unit. Cue on-board racing electronics (engine maps, traction control, pit lane speed limiter, and launch control). Sanchez will build you a complete bike, or will flog you the components. It's a test machine, so no prices yet. www.bottpower.com
SO WHO'S WHO IN MOTORCYCLE NEWS?
Motorcycle news is our business, or part of our business. You can check Sump for yourself and see how we've steadily built a large news archive. It started in 2010 with our Classic Bike News (which included a sidelong look at cafe racers and custom bikes), and from the start we took a broader view than rival newshounds by including peripheral stuff from politics (with a small "p"), to legal news, to social news, to industrial news and cultural news. More recently, we've expanded our news gathering to include more general motorcycle news. Sump, incidentally, isn't strictly a motorcycle magazine. It's a magazine for motorcyclists. There's a difference. But news is at the centre, and naturally we're not the only online newsdesk. There are many players carving their own niche and looking for online eyeballs. Here's a run down on the best, and worst, of 'em...
Motorcycle News was founded by Cyrill Quantrill (1916 - 2005). Quantrill had worked for the British magazine Motor Cycling, aka "The Green 'Un"; one of the longest established motorcycling magazines in the world. Motor Cycling, courtesy of Temple Press, was founded in 1910.
He started as a commissionaire, then worked in the ad department and later became a junior road tester. That was in 1938. Shortly before WW2, Quantrill volunteered as a police special and briefly became a full time police officer before joining the army where he served as a despatch rider. Later in the hostilities, he saw active service in the Middle East, notably in Tobruk (Libya) and in Baghdad (then the Kingdom of Iraq). [More...]
Paul d'Orléans is The Vintagent, the man behind one of the world's top online blogs dedicated to vintage and veteran motorcycles. And we're not the only fans. He's got thousands of visitors regularly tuning in to his site and contentedly sharing his passion for old crocks, and Orleans knows his stuff and doesn't mind sharing it. He rides the bikes, he talks to the key players in and around the scene, he attends the relevant shows, races and auctions, and he's forever digging up buried motorcycle treasure and putting it on display for likeminded folk to share. [More...]
Ben Cope launched Visordown in 2000. His ambition, clearly, was to challenge the dominance of EMAP by providing an online platform for motorcyclists via a forum, with supporting industry news and product pages. Growth was said to be fairly rapid and, depending on you who listened to, Cope was soon claiming anything from 30,000 to 90,000 unique visitors. In 2007, specialist publishing firm Magicalia came along and made Cope an offer he didn't feel like refusing, and Visordown was sold for an undisclosed sum. We have heard the relevant numbers, but we'd have to kill you if we told you, etc. Magicalia had also recently bought TWO (aka Two Wheels Only) and had even bigger ideas of giving EMAP a good kicking. [More...]
British Dealer News
British Dealer News, aka BDN, is the UK's top motorcycle trade magazine. But wait! We have to declare an interest here in that we regularly write for British Dealer News. Nevertheless, we're calling it as we see it, or read it, and BDN is the best bike trade mag on the block, and quite possibly the best on the planet. BDN was founded 15 years ago by Colin Mayo and Roger Willis. Willis had, perhaps most famously, been the take-no-prisoners editor of Bike way back in the 1980s. He's also written for any number of publishers from EMAP to Conde Nast to Forward Publishing to Dennis Publishing. Currently, he lives and works on the Isle of Man. [More...]
Real Classic magazine was launched in 2002 by Rowena Hoseason, Martin Gelder and Frank Westworth (not necessarily in that order). The publication is based in Bude, Devon. The magazine has both a (free) online presence, and a mainstream print presence. Real Classic (RC) always was, and still is, directed at "grassroots" classic bikers. It features a mix of bike reviews, bike show coverage, product news, technical problems, personality features, and suchlike. There's also a message board; at least, there was, but it's been relocated. Check the site for details. The writing can perhaps best be described as ... well, homely. The language is everyday. The problems too. Oil leaks from the Ariel. Fell off my Triumph. Where can I get parts for this? Etc. It's a mag for British shedsters who still ride their bikes and populate the UK classic bike show scene. But there are fans abroad too. [More...]
Mark Hinchcliffe launched Motorbike Writer in 2013. It's an Australian site based in Brisbane. For 16 years Hinchliffe was the editor of the Queensland Times. He began in 1983 as a sub-editor and worked his way up until the editor's chair was offered. That was 1991. His duties were varied and, he says, included "writing, editing and designing the product". He also claims credit for helping the newspaper's emergence into the computer age. In 1999 he left and joined the staff of the [Brisbane] Courier-Mail where he worked as the night editor. Later he became the motoring editor where he handled everything from general news to road tests to RV features. He also handled online posts which was no doubt one of the springboards of his subsequent careers moves. [More...]
Cyril Huze is a Frenchman who emigrated to the United States of America in 1987 and consolidated his move by becoming a US citizen. He was raised in Paris, France. His professional background is in advertising and marketing in which he handled the budgets of multi-national firms such as McDonalds, 3M, Hertz, Smith-Kline and Volkswagen. He was raised in the 1970s, and from an early age developed a passion for American motoring culture, specifically that of the 1950s and 1960s which he regards as the zenith of automotive expression. In his heart, he was a rebellious rock'n'roller with a passion for custom bikes. And so in 1978, following a trip to the USA, Huze made the decision to relocate. And within a decade, he was established and began building motorcycles. [More...]
Old Bike Mart
Old Bike Mart (OBM) has been around since 1985. It started on a shoestring as a freebee rag catering, unsurprisingly, to the old bike market. The first print run, as far as we can remember, was just a few thousand smudged copies. They were distributed to whatever UK motorcycle shops were within reach of founder and editor Ken Hallworth (and we have to confess that we occasionally picked up a handful of copies to take home and soak up oil on the garage floor). An old van turned up once a month at the local bike shop and dumped a huge stack of grimy newspapers inside the door. Sometimes dry. Sometimes wet. Most of the papers eventually went in the bin, but slowly the publication took root, and eventually subscribers appeared. [More...]
James McBride is the man behind Silodrome. Based at various times in Hong Kong, London and (we think) New York he founded the online magazine in 2010. His background, he tells us, is in print media and journalism. He writes for half a dozen or more magazines and online blogs detailing everything from custom bikes, to hot rods to classic aircraft to gentlemen's shaving equipment to knives to interesting digital wallpapers to whatever else he feels is cool and likely to be of interest to other coolsters. He describes himself as an entrepreneur and a designer, and he appears to manage Silodrome on his own. He claims a lofty 1.2 million monthly readers, most of whom he says are aged between 25 and 45, are usually college educated, and live and spend their money in the richer parts of the world (USA, UK, Western Europe, Japan and Australia). [More...]
▲ SO WHO'S WHO IN MOTORCYCLE NEWS?
Saint unbreakable jeans
We have to confess that we're yet to see a pair of armoured jeans that we'd actually want to wear. That might change, of course, because the technology is getting better every year in terms of strength, durability, general feel and bang-for-buck. And were we to find ourselves on the wrong side of a traffic accident or a road slide, we've no doubt we'd urgently wish that we'd bought a pair of denim strides from the likes of Draggin' Jeans, Oxford, Revit, Furygan, Route One or whoever. Well, a relative newcomer to the market is Saint which hails from Down Under. This Australian firm (a neighbour to, and rival of, Draggin') reckons that its single-layered denim armoured jeans are the toughest, strongest, most durable and unbreakable. The firm also reckon its product is pretty cool to wear, both stylistically speaking and otherwise.
If you're not a detail freak, look away, stranger. You have no business here. This motorcycle is strictly for the guys and girls who like to check out the big pictures first, and then get right down to the molecules, atoms and electrons; the nanofreaks who understand that broad strokes just won't do it; the fastidious fanatics incapable of creative compromise. This 2007 900cc Triumph Bonneville Thruxton custom is the idée fixe of Death Machines of London. The bike is called Up Yours Copper, or UYC. And that could be a spiteful jibe at our friendly head-bashing law enforcement officers, or it could be a reference to the copper, or cuprum (atomic number 29) liberally applied over this clinically sharp single-track observation in obsession. Or it might be a little of both. But we're not going to enquire too deeply because on this occasion, we prefer the fiction to the fact. [More...]
Indian fire risk recall
Indian Motorcycles is recalling thousands of bikes due a recently detected fire risk. Specifically, the problem appears to involve unburnt fuel in the header pipes which, due to unusually high exhaust temperatures, could ignite causing a fire. The solution, says Indian, is a correction to the engine management software. Around 18,000 motorcycles are likely to be affected. These include the following models: Chief Classic, Dark Horse, Chieftain, Roadmaster, Vintage and Chieftain Dark Horse built between 15th April 2013 and 16th June 2015 and spanning its 2014-2016 model years. [More...]
Messrs H and D are being investigated by the US National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) following complaints from 43 riders. It looks like up to 430,000 Hogs built between 2008 - 2011 could have their leads jerked for a recall. The problem apparently involves the anti-lock braking system fluid which, being hygroscopic, eventually becomes contaminated with water. That's an issue with all hydraulic braking systems. But the actuator valves in the ABS compound the problem. Harley-Davidson has warned owners that the fluid must be changed at least every two years. But naturally, this routine maintenance gets neglected. Moreover, people have a habit of using "new" brake fluid from an old bottle or dispenser, which is unwise. [More...]
Victory Mustang saddle
Mustang reckons that its "Heated One-Piece Touring Seat offers significant improvements over the stock saddle on Victory’s luxury touring model." We'll believe 'em if you will. And certainly, the saddle looks pretty decent. However, the suggested retail price is—ouch!—currently £920. So what do you get for that? Well, you get a wider bucket front and rear (so to speak), and you get a slightly lower riding position. If you're male, you might also appreciate the fact that design has been altered at the front of the saddle to make it feel "less crowded". [More...]
Watsonian has developed a fitting kit for owners of the current 1200cc T120 Triumph Bonneville. The shorter wheelbase, extra power and increased torque of the new Trumpet demands a revamped kit which allows the current bike to hitch up securely to, for instance, Watsonian's Silk chassis—which in turn can carry a Monza or Grand Prix sidecar body. The sidecar image above is Watsonian's GP700 design. This is described by the firm as a wide bodied sidecar fitted with a 700mm bench seat "suitable for an adult and child". The fibreglass shell features a "traditional octagon nose shape from the 1930s and is trimmed with polished aluminium beading".
Click the link for last month's news: June 2016 motorcycle news from Sump
There's news, and then there's Sump news, and we usually see it differently from the rest of the world. Come check it with us...
Biking product news
In a world of plenty, there's plenty more coming down the pike. Stay with us for new motorcycle gear.
Bike industry news
Without industry, the wheels won't turn. We're keeping an eye on the guys who grease your spindles.
Motorcycle legal news
Fortunately, in the UK we have the rule of law. Unfortunately, few know what all those laws are, and the government keeps changing them anyway. But if it affects you, we'll tip you the wink...
Motorcycle safety news
In a dangerous world, we're intent on keeping you shiny side up. So mirror, signal, brake, stop and read the latest news.
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Sump news archive
Motorcycle news - June 2016
Motorcycle news - May 2016
Motorcycle news - April 2016
Motorcycle news - March 2016
Motorcycle news - Feb 2016
Motorcycle news - Jan 2016
Motorcycle news - Dec 2015
Motorcycle news - Nov 2015
Motorcycle news - Oct 2015