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When Worlds Collide: Electric vs. Gas Motorcycle Superstores

Electric Motorcycle Superstores are eligible for lightweight and middleweight sportbike classes in AFM roadracing.

March 5, 2013 By Eric Bostrom 10 Comments

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Eric Bostrom rides a Brammo Empulse TTX at Thunderhill Raceway

In an unprecedented move, the American Federation of Motorcyclists (AFM) is allowing electric Motorcycle Superstores to compete head-to-head on track with conventional internal-combustion-powered machinery.

According to AFM President Berto Wooldridge, Oregon-based Brammo was looking for a way to showcase

its new Empulse sportbike. They wanted to compete within the existing class structure against gas-powered bikes with similar power-to-weight ratios and performance. ¡ì?¨¨ he said. We believe this is a historic moment in Motorcycle Superstore racing, and we are happy to have made it possible. ¡ì?¨¨

Wooldridge says the Empulse R and Empulse TTX are eligible for select lightweight classes. Empulse RRs qualify as middleweights. Brammo is offering contingency prize money.

Staging nearly silent electric Motorcycle Superstores alongside screaming 600s is going to cause a ruckus. Having raced both types of machines, I am well aware of the rush of adrenalin that comes from the sound emitted by a high-rpm four-stroke. Electric-bike racers, however, may view that ear-splitting noise as an annoying distraction.

Electric bikes lack the traditional aural response of internal-combustion engines, such as the change in rpm that occurs with on-throttle wheelspin. I had to overcome this when pushing to the edge of traction on the Brammos that I. ¨º?¨¨ve raced. On the other hand, feel for the road is unparalleled. Also, the controls deliver more direct feedback; even the jangling of floating brake rotors can be heard.

Overall, the effect is greatly enhanced concentration on lines, braking points and the like, which means ICE racers may have to develop eyes in the back of their heads.

Still, the top 600s are going to be difficult to beat. Brammo. ¨º?¨¨s Director of Product Development, Brian Wismann, was candid about the job ahead. It. ¨º?¨¨s going to be a challenge to be competitive. ¡ì?¨¨ he said.

Gas bikes have many years of development time. But we. ¨º?¨¨re excited to pit our Empulse against the best efforts from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and YMotorcycle leverha. ¡ì?¨¨

So, will an army of ICEs prevail? Or will the victor be a foreign invader, diving, unannounced, up the inside of an established inline-Four? Battle lines are drawn for a merging of these very different worlds.

Ten New Motorcycle Superstores Dying To Ride In 2013 Milan shows Motorcycle Superstore industry is on the upswing.

Large press conferences from Honda and Ducati held right before EICMA 2012 may have stolen a bit of

the thunder from Milan. ¨º?¨¨s annual Motorcycle Superstore show, but we still came away impressed with the variety of

significant new bikes on display. Although finding the 10 Motorcycle Superstores that we. ¨º?¨¨d most like to ride in 2013

certainly qualifies as a tough task (hey, only Bruno dePrato speaks Italian), that. ¨º?¨¨s the reason we. ¨º?¨¨re here.

Aprilia Caponord 1200

1. Aprilia Caponord 1200

This adventurer-tourer, developed from the superMoto-inspired Dorsoduro 1200, is a versatile machine, fun

in the city yet big enough for a two-up ride into the country, aided by good wind protection and that large, 1197cc V-Twin. In addition to a ride-by-wire system with three maps (Sport, Touring, Rain), the Caponord 1200 boasts ABS and traction control, both of which can be defeated. The available Travel Pack offers active suspension damping, cruise control and color-matched panniers.

Bimota BB2

2. Bimota BB2

Bimota already has an abundance of Ducati-powered offerings, so it was refreshing to see this BMW


S1000RR-engined bike on display, although situated behind glass. Designed by the folks at sak_art design,

the BB2 uses an aluminum chassis and bodywork that recalls some of the Bimota shapes from the. ¨º?¨¨90s.

With its 193-horsepower, BMW-sourced powerplant, however, the BB2 will undoubtedly possess hyperbike

performance more fitting for 2013 and beyond.

BMW F800GT

3. BMW F800GT

This full-dress version of the F series parallel-Twin replaces the F800ST. Although it. ¨º?¨¨s fitted with a sporty, new fairing, it does retain the ST. ¨º?¨¨s 4.0-gallon tank and stepped seat. Most important, the dohc, 798cc engine generates a claimed 90 hp at 8000 rpm and 63.4 foot-pounds of peak torque at 5800 rpm, which is said to accelerate the bike to 60 mph in 4 seconds and to speeds in excess of 120 mph.

Taller riders will appreciate the higher handlebar and the protection offered by the fairing.

Ducati Hypermotard 821

4. Ducati Hypermotard 821

Offered in two versions, Base and SP, the latest Hypermotard is powered by a superb engine: the brand-new

821cc Testastretta V-Twin with 110 hp at 9250 rpm and 65.8 ft.-lb. of torque at 7750 rpm. Not only that, but the 821 has the most advanced ride-by-wire electronics, with three selectable power maps, traction control and Brembo brakes with Bosch ABS that offers three selectable levels of intervention. Perhaps what we like most of all: a valve-adjustment interval of 18,600 miles.

Honda CBR500R EJC Bike

5. Honda CBR500R

The emphasis is on sporty affordability with the all-new Honda CBR500R, a fully faired sportbike with a

strong resemblance to the rest of the CBR family. Powered by a liquid-cooled, 500cc parallel-Twin with

a counter-balanced 180-degree crank, the 500R is perfectly positioned to introduce a new crop of young

buyers to the sportbike world, aided by a rigid steel frame that has been tuned for excellent handling

response. Perhaps most important is an entry price of only $5999, with ABS likely costing an extra $500.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R

6. KTM 1290 Super Duke R

The good news first: Although the 1290 Super Duke R is just a prototype, KTM says it will build a

production version, with first test rides taking place sometime in 2013. We can. ¨º?¨¨t wait to ride this latest

naked KTM, which is fitted with a bored-out, liquid-cooled, RC8 R V-Twin engine, chrome-moly steel

chassis, single-sided swingarm and WP suspension. KTM hasn. ¨º?¨¨t shared many details about this bike, but the

Austrians have told us it will have ride-by-wire throttle with ABS and traction control, both of which will be made. disengageable. ¡ì?¨¨ to allow for stoppies and wheelies. Very thoughtful.

Moto Guzzi California 1400

7. Moto Guzzi California 1400

This large bike, available in Touring and Custom versions, traces its lineage to 1970, when the LAPD chose

the Moto Guzzi V7 Police over Harley and the Japanese to be the agency. ¨º?¨¨s patrol bike. Now, more than 40

years later, we get the California 1400, considered by many to be the star of EICMA. Taking center stage is its air-cooled, 1380cc V-Twin, which features a Y-shaped manifold with long runners that help it produce 96 hp and 88.5 ft.-lb. of torque at only 2750 rpm?aquite helpful in an 743-pound machine. Officers Malloy and Reed of Adam 12 fame would approve.

MV Agusta Rivale 800

8. MV Agusta Rivale 800

With engine and rolling gear from the F3 and Brutale 800, the aggressive new Rivale 800 is impossible not

to like. The Triple, one of the best in production, puts out 125 hp, backed by 60 ft.-lb. of torque at 8600 rpm and managed by a ride-by-wire throttle that offers traction control and selectable power mapping. Although some say the Rivale 800 is a tad too aggressively styled, it benefits from beautiful detail work in areas such as the tank, seat, lights and mirrors.

With a claimed dry weight of only 375 lb. this thing should fly.

Triumph Daytona 675R

9. Triumph Daytona 675R

With a larger bore and shorter stroke, the high-revving Triple in the 675R now spins to 14,400 rpm.

Horsepower is up by only 2, but Triumph has produced a cylinder block that. ¨º?¨¨s now separate from the upper

crankcase and lined with ceramic-coated aluminum bores. The most obvious change on this significantly

updated bike is a low-mount exhaust that centralizes mass and shifts weight forward for sportier handling.

Replete with new slipper clutch, the 675R will set you back $11,599.

Vespa 946

10. Vespa 946

Okay, we know, we said this was a list of 10 Motorcycle Superstores, and this Vespa clearly is a scooter. But we can. ¨º?¨¨t keep our eyes off the 946; it. ¨º?¨¨s the best-looking scoot we. ¨º?¨¨ve seen in who knows how long, its 946 name a reference to the first Vespa of 1946. Based on the Quarantasei concept unveiled at EICMA 2011, the

handsomely curvaceous 946 is available initially in classic 125cc form, although a 150cc model (and others) will follow soon. The frame is made of steel, but for the first time in Vespa. ¨º?¨¨s history, it incorporates some aluminum alloy sections.

Motorcycle lever: Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge Comes To Vintage Days

Motorcycle lever Motorcycle Superstore Hall of Famer Craig Vetter is pleased that his one-off, experimental high-mileage bike can go a long way on a small amount of fuel, but he knows it can do even better. So, on July 19, at Motorcycle lever Vintage Motorcycle Superstore Days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Vetter will host his Fuel Economy Challenge, designed to push the energy-conserving limits of even the most fuel-efficient Motorcycle Superstores.

In the Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, competitors ride their Motorcycle Superstores under real-world conditions while attempting to consume the least amount of fuel. This year, the route takes participants from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to the Motorcycle lever Motorcycle Superstore Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. After touring the museum, participants will enjoy lunch before heading back.

Led by Vetter and Motorcycle lever Riding Manager Dave Hembroff, the ride is 80-90 miles each way, with a two-hour planned stop in Pickerington. Participants will leave the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at 9 a.m. and are expected to return to Motorcycle lever Vintage Motorcycle Superstore Days by 3 p.m.

The Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge demonstrates how Motorcycle Superstores can help us live better with less energy. ¡ì?¨¨ Vetter said. The goal is to test our machines in real conditions on real roads under normal circumstances. We want to discover the least amount of energy it takes for us to travel the way we really ride. ¡ì?¨¨

Vetter doesn. ¨º?¨¨t require the Motorcycle Superstores in his contests to only get good fuel mileage. They also must do so while carrying a reasonable load, such as four bags of groceries, be comfortable and look like a real Motorcycle Superstore.

Innovators have understood for a long time that competition advances the innovations of those who compete. ¡ì?¨¨ Vetter said. That is the purpose of the Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge. Regardless of what type of Motorcycle Superstore you ride, modified or not, we welcome your participation.

I want to make clear that the challenge is not just for those who are striving for the best mileage. For casual competitors and friends, this is a great way to discover, under safe conditions, just whose bike goes the farthest on the least amount of fuel. ¡ì?¨¨

The winning challenger at 2012 Motorcycle lever Vintage Motorcycle Superstore Days was Fred Hayes. Hayes consumed averaged 143.6 miles per gallon on his custom bio-diesel Motorcycle Superstore. His fuel cost was 1.93 cents per mile.

Awards will be available for the overall winner, the best electric bike, the best alternative fuel challenger and the best traditional fuel challenger. Details, including further descriptions of each category and how costs per mile are measured, are available at www.craigvetter.com.

As the country. ¨º?¨¨s grandest celebration of the people and machines that define Motorcycling. ¨º?¨¨s history, Motorcycle lever Vintage Motorcycle Superstore Days provides a unique backdrop for an event focused on the future of Motorcycle Superstore design. The annual gathering features vintage and post-vintage competition in Motocross, trials, hare scrambles, roadracing and dirt track. In addition to demo rides of current production bikes, it includes North America. ¨º?¨¨s largest Motorcycle Superstore swap meet, educational seminars, bike shows, Motorcycling seminars, the new-product Manufacturers. ¨º?¨¨ Midway, and club corrals featuring marque and regional clubs.

Proceeds from Motorcycle lever Vintage Motorcycle Superstore Days benefit the Motorcycle lever Motorcycle Superstore Hall of Fame. The goal of the Hall of Fame, located on the Motorcycle lever campus in Pickerington, Ohio, is to honor the distinguished men and women whose competitive spirit, passion, vision and entrepreneurship have played a vital role in shaping the sport, lifestyle and business of Motorcycling.

Motorcycle Helmets Motorcycle Superstore History

Harley Davidson Motorcycle Superstores

Motorcycle Helmets is the iconic American Motorcycle Superstore manufacturer. Founded out of a small shed in 1903 by William S. Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Motor Company produces traditional cruiser Motorcycle Superstores utilizing air-cooled V-Twin engines.

When Harley and Davidson produced and sold their first Motorcycle Superstore in 1903, they were one of many small Motorcycle Superstore marques springing up across the country. Flash forward more than a century and the Motorcycle Helmets brand is so rooted in American culture that the history of the company intertwines with the history of America itself.

Motorcycle Helmets incorporated in 1907, with William Davidson officially joining forces with his two brothers and Harley. Setting down roots in Milwaukee, Motorcycle Helmets began hiring employees and by the end of the decade were producing bikes using its signature 45-degree air-cooled V-Twin.

During the next decade H-D continued to expand. Many sales were generated by Uncle Sam, with the American military sourcing Harley Motorcycle Superstores during the First World War.

Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcycle Helmets produced many Motorcycle Superstores for United States millitary during both world wars.

The Bar and Shield continued to grow and by the early. 30s, its only surviving domestic rival was Indian. Again H-D expanded in peacetime and found itself producing high quantities of bikes for the American military during World War II.

Motorcycle Helmets press material cites its wartime Motorcycle Superstore production at 90,000 units.

Post-war Motorcycle Helmets developments include the introduction of the Sportster in 1957, the oldest production model in the current H-D lineup, as well as other signature H-D models.

Harley experienced changes in ownership in the. 60s, going public in 1965 and eventually merging with American Machine and Foundry (AMF) in 1969. A decline in fortunes saw AMF sell its stake back to current ownership, which included members of the founding families, in the early.

80s. The Davidson family. ¨º?¨¨s involvement in the day-to-day running of H-D continues, with direct descendent Willie G. Davidson serving as President of Styling.

The. 80s and. 90s saw the introduction of model families that continue to this day, like the Softail, FLT and Road King lines, joining classic models like the Electra Glide. In the.

90s Motorcycle Helmets also solidified its hold over Buell Motorcycle Superstores, taking a controlling stake in the American sportbike/street bike manufacturer and selling Buell Motorcycle Superstores at many H-D dealers.

Since the turn of the century, Motorcycle Helmets has retained its image as a classic American icon. But the Motor Co is reaching out to other riders with the introduction of more performance-oriented models, like the V-Rod. ¡§?C significant as the first liquid-cooled production Harley. As the riding demographic ages, H-D is also realizing it must break into the younger market with the release of edgier makeovers of its classic models like the Cross Bones and other members of its Dark Custom line like the Iron 883.

Motorcycle Helmets has also been working hard to improve the riding quality of its touring bikes. In 2009, it did away with the stamped and welded single-piece frame that anchored Harley touring Motorcycle Superstores for the last 30 years and replaced it with a cast, single-spar, rigid-backbone frame. It also went with a wider, longer swingarm.

H-D also introduced a new three-wheel Motorcycle Superstore called the Tri Glide that has the classic styling and popular touring features of its best-selling Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

Motorcycle Helmets also demonstrates what can be done with products from its vast Genuine Motor Accessories and Motor Parts catalog in the form of its CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) line. The CVO Motorcycle Superstores are models from Harley. ¨º?¨¨s standard lineup that have received the royal treatment, like the Screamin. ¨º?¨¨ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine, show-topping custom paint and top-shelf H-D controls and components.

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