Looking for a new 2016 KTM 1050 Adventure, 1190 Adventure, 1190 Adventure R or 1290 Super Adventure? If so, KTM is currently promising to knock £1000 off the price if you trade in another bike. And if that ain't sweet enough, you can carry off that cashback in a "free" set of matching PowerPart panniers reckoned to be worth £800. Not every KTM dealer is aware of this offer, we discovered. So you might have to educate them. There's no closing date yet. But it will probably run until Christmas.
The location is Olympia, London. The date is 29th - 30th October 2016. The subject is custom motorcycles. And the event is, of course, the Kickback Show, home of everything on two wheels that's weird, wired, wonderful, wonky, wowsome and wacky. The show started small and modest, and it gets bigger and bigger as the word gets round. If you're a custom bike builder, or a custom bike fan, you've got to see this extravaganza at least once in your life, and ideally at least once every year. Kickback reckon there will be "100 masterpieces" on display, which is probably laying in on a bit thick. But we'll settle for "100 interpretations". But aside from viewing dozens of the most thought-provoking and unlikely cafe racers, chops, bobbers, and bratsters in this corner of the planet, you can expect live music (Ronnie and the Ripchords), a pop-up shop (courtesy of the Art Space), trade stands (courtesy of firms such as Krazy Horse, Davida, Oil Rag Clothing and Stile Italiano), food, coffee and vintage bike movies showing all day. In fact, there's something oddball or inspiring at every turn of your head.
Vincent Motorcycles book
"The untold story since 1946." That's the sub-heading on Veloce Publishing's new tome on Vincent Motorcycles. Written by Philippe Guyony, with a foreword by none other than Fritz Egli (Vincent frame specialist and ex-racer), this 400 page hardback promises the following (in Veloce's own words):
• Understand how the Vincent 998cc V-twin became a ‘living legend’.
• Discusses why and how the brand declined into bankruptcy, despite engineering excellence.
• Read how and why the 1000 Vincent inspired – and continues to inspire – generations of mechanics and engineers.
• Explains why the 1000 Vincent gave birth to so many specials over a 70 year period.
• See how Fritz Egli transformed the Vincent, and his effect on the Japanese motorcycle industry.
Steve Smith, CEO of Erik Buell Racing (EBR) is calling upon "patriotic Americans" to come forward and test ride the new 2017 Buell sportsbike range. We've just been reading this in a press release, and if that doesn't sound as desperate as Hillary Clinton battling for the US White House, we don't know what does. The underlying news is that the parent company, Liquid Asset Partners (LAP), has announced the launch of its 2017 model range following an "amazing summer". LAP acquired EBR in January 2016 for a little over $2million. The expectation, understandably, was that LAP was intending to strip the company and liquidize the assets. However, LAP decided to keep the business afloat and recommenced building bikes in March 2016. A buyer is still being sought, but EBR, based in Troy, Wisconsin, has had a very rocky road and is commercially tainted. Consequently, it will take a brave, resourceful and wealthy individual or company to rise to this particular challenge. [More...]
Watsonian Vespa & Manx
As unlikely as it might sound to some, Watsonian Motorcycle and Sidecar Company (to use the full name) has developed a kit allowing a Vespa GTS or GTV scooter to be hitched to Watsonian's long established GP Manx sidecar. The design of the GP can be traced back to the 1960s. But, we hear, it was inspired by the sidecar designs of the 1930s. The Vespa hacks, however, are up-to-the-minute and are said to be well up to the job. The GTS and GTV scooters are powered by (nominally) 300cc engines delivering 22hp with 16.4lbs-ft (22.3 Nm) of torque. But is that really enough? Watsonian thinks so, and certainly there are plenty of other (and lower-powered) scooters out there hauling chairs. [More...]
For 2017, Victory Motorcycles is axing no less than seven motorcycle models from its EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) range. The chop has come because, we're told, the bikes fail to meet the Euro4 regulations. Therefore, they can't be legally sold into this market. The models affected are the Vegas, Hammer, Cross Country, Magnum, Magnum X-1, Cross Country Tour and the Vision. The only Victory motorcycles that will be available post-2017 in the EMEA region are the Gunner, High-Ball, Octane, and the Judge. Victory is naturally putting on a brave face and holding back the tears, but it's difficult to see why some Victory motorcycles are Euro4 compliant and some ain't. They're pretty much all built upon the same 1,731cc air-cooled V-twin foundation and differ only in cycle part specification, livery and hype. [More...]
Around 200 Harley-Davidson employees are facing lay-offs as from the fourth quarter of 2016, meaning the autumn. The problem is that H-D has been facing lower than anticipated domestic sales and needs to downsize, or if you prefer, rightsize. The job losses will happen at various plants including York, Pennsylvania which has around 950 employees and will lose roughly 117 workers; Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin where approximately 1,000 people are employed, and at Tomahawk, Wisconsin which will see the loss of around 35 employees. Further lay-off details are still sketchy which perhaps suggests that the company is still working out how to minimise impact whilst appeasing the unions. [More...]
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