From Japan to Canada

A Harley-Davidson’s incredible Tsunami tale­

No we are not nothing about some sort of a natural disaster occurring at Harley-Davidson headquarters, we are talking about something quite so unique that it has found its way into the Harley museum. A Harley-Davidson motorcycle that had turned up on the shores of western Canada after being lost in the Japanese tsunami last year was discovered by Peter Mark in British Columbia. Apparently, after being swept away from Miyagi prefecture, the bike spent over a year at sea floating in a cargo container.

The motorcycle’s owner, Ikuo Yokoyama who identified the motorcycle’s number plate was ecstatic and was in touch with the people at Harley. He narrated the miracle story as how his bike had been preserved in the container for over 1 year. Harley-Davidson offered to pay the bill to both fully restore the bike and then ship it back to Japan. But, Yokoyama has requested that the bike be preserved and displayed at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the U.S.

Yokoyama, who lost three family members in last year’s disasters, says that he wishes that the motorcycle, and its incredible tale, to serve as a memorial for all the victims of the March 11th tragedy. Bill Davidson, the vice president of the museum, says the owner’s wishes will be honored, and he hopes to bring Yokoyama to the unveiling.

Dhoni gets a Confederate Hellcat

Indian cricket captain M.S.Dhoni has bought himself a state of the art confederate Hellcat motorcycle

We all are aware off Captain cool’s love for two wheels and with the Hellcat being one of the most beautiful motorcycle an avid bike enthusiast can buy it was only a matter of time for the captain to lay hands on the beauty.

Confederate Motors, Inc. is a manufacturer of exotic street motorcycles based in Birmingham, Alabama. It was founded by trial lawyer H. Matthew Chambers in 1991, to enlighten motorcycle designs through true American inspiration. The company’s first motorcycle rolled off the production line there on November 11, 1994. Over 500 first generation Hellcat models were built from 1996 to 2001.

In 2007, the companies crown jewels the B120 Wraith and F131 Hellcat took first and second place respectively in the production manufacturer category at the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building show at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Real-Life Tony Stark?

Frenchman Turns His Broken Down Car Into a Motorcycle To Escape the Desert

As a kid I was always fascinated with super heroes, who wouldn’t be? Just recently there was this Mr. Iron Man a.k.a Tony Stark whose origin I’d always thought was a bit far-fetched. No matter how smart Tony Stark was, it wouldn’t really be possible to build a prototype of the Iron Man suit in a cave in the middle of no man’s land as was shown in Robert Downing Jr’s blockbuster ‘Iron Man.’

I must admit that I was wrong. Apparently in 1993, a gentleman named Emile Leray was prevented from driving from Tan-tan to Tilemsem, Morocco due to military blockade. So he decided to change his route by navigating his car through the desert, only to break down some ten kilometers from Tan-tan.

And – get this – not wanting to leave his gear to walk back to the city for fear of it being stolen in his absence, he chose instead to build a motorcycle from his car. In the desert! With a box of scraps!!

His biggest problem: he had no welding equipment, so everything needed to be put together with screws. He also had no drill, so he had to use as many original holes as possible. Creating new holes was unavoidable, he first needed to bend the metal, saw at its edge with a hacksaw, and then flatten it again. There was one little ray of hope for him though, he had ample food and water supply with him. The resulting bike had no muffler and no brakes, it had no physical presence you associate with today’s motorcycles but it got Emile out of the desert.

Now we think we know the answer about Tony Stark’s inspiration for the Iron Man suit.

Electric, Supersonic

Electric drag bike breaks 324 kmph record

Ever heard of an electric bike going at a speed of 324 kmph? It’s true! The astonishing part is that the bike reached this top speed in 6.94 seconds from a standing start.  The Lawless Electric Rocket drag bike entered the record books once again with its top motorcycle drag racer Larry “Spiderman” McBride at the Virginia Motorsports Park near Petersburg, Virginia. Lawless Industries and Orange County Choppers found the answer to make this bike more powerful in a newly-designed 355V/14.2kWh Li-ion battery pack weighing in at 121 kg and packing 1,350 bhp that was built by Derek Barger of High Tech Systems. The bike features an electric DC Drive System, a 13-inch diameter, 36-volt GE motor with a peak output of about 1,000 bhp built by NEDRA veteran Dennis Berube and a 4,000 amp Zilla 4K EHV motor controller designed and built by Otmar Ebenhoech.



Electric Motorcycle for law enforcement

Zero Motorcycles releases electric motorcycle specially developed for law enforcement agencies

Motorcycle manufacturer Zero have released the new version of the 2012 Zero DS which is designed specifically for the police and security agencies. The motorcycle has been produced in response to the increase in interest shown by law enforcement agencies around the world, who, are looking to explore more environmentally friendly vehicles.

The Santa Cruz Police Department, Scotts Valley Police Department, Sebastopol Police Department and the London Metropolitan Police. Many other agencies have been testing Zero’s product line over the past two years. Zero has received positive feedback from them and is looking to expand one of its fastest growing markets globally. The Zero DS Police Motorcycle offers a claimed top speed of 130 kmph, the company touting on its design’s, instant torque, no shifting, no noise and no exhaust. Other favorable attributes claimed by Zero for are its light weight and low heat emissions. The Z-Force power pack is rated to 3,000 complete charge cycles before the battery life depletes to 80% of its original capacity, and includes emergency lighting harness, programmable Whelen siren system, 4-way emergency flasher system etc.

Mark Cummings, Manager of Fleet Sales, Zero Motorcycles, states, “We are honored to have the support of so many different police and law enforcement agencies. Police officers put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve, so our goal was to give them all the tools necessary to allow them to be successful. The resulting Zero DS Police Motorcycle opens up new patrolling possibilities.”

Fit for the Kings

Would you buy a bike for Rs 1.6 crore?

Yes, you heard right, 1.6 crore! Several years ago, Donald Atchison, a road racer and engineer, wanted to build his idea of the ideal street bike. And so,in the spring of 2001, he set out to build his bike with inspirations from works of previous arts as diverse as Aston Martins and fighter aircrafts. Donald reckoned it was time someone built an equivalent machine in the motorcycle industry for those who appreciate attention to detail, superior craftsmanship, performance and exclusivity. ECOSSE Moto Works was formed with one thing in mind: to create distinctive, purposeful, memorable machines for discerning enthusiasts, and to provide them all in limited quantities. One of these models the Iconoclast Series which combines a highly engineered chassis, massive torque, sleek lines, exquisite detail and race-bred components. But all at a price.  The engine is a 2-liter, machined from solid billet aluminium, chassis is a 4130 Chrome-moly TIG welded by hand, custom Öhlins, fully adjustable forks and rear shocks, dual 6-piston front brakes with 12 individual brake pads and does 0 to 100 in 2.8 seconds. In the US its sells for $300,000 and if you wanted to buy it in India, it would come up to 1.6 crore. Now that’s sure to burn a hole in your pocket. To add to the exclusivity, only 11 were built.

A Tale of Two Bikers

John Abraham Gifts Akshay Kumar a customised Harley Davidson CVO

Actors Akshay Kumar, and John Abraham have always been great buddies. But John, has now taken it to a whole new level. The motorbike enthusiast, who has worked with Akshay in various blockbusters, has gifted the latter a customised Harley Davidson CVO which reportedly costed around INR 30 lakhs.

John stated that Akshay has always been a great friend to him and has lot of love and respect for him, and both love motorbikes, so he is really happy to gift him the Harley.

This gesture, however, has a reason. John had got his own motorcycle transported to London from Mumbai for the shoot of Desi Boyz movie last year. Akshay really admired his bike and often used it. Later, when they teamed up together for Sajid Khan’s Housefull 2, John told Akshay that he would gift him a similar bike to celebrate their joint success if their film becomes a hit. The film did indeed become a huge hit and, sticking true to his word, John ordered a customised Harley Davidson CVO bike.

The CVO Harley will be delivered to Akshay in black, his favourite colour, with a specific license number plate for his bike.

Audi-Ducati’s first offering

Audi and Ducati’s first ofering is certainly more radical than we thought

After German car maker Audi took over Ducati, we did expect something worth raising eye-brows from the clan. But much to our surprise (and unlike our guesses of a ‘diesel L-twin’), the news is that the company has built an electric pushbike. The electric pedal bike, or “pedelec’ has been designed keeping stunting in mind, with a dedicated mode (called ‘Wheelie’ mode, in which the power to rear wheel is moderated when front wheel is in air). Weighing about 7 kgs more than a conventional pushbike, the bike has a carbon fibre frame and 26” carbon fibre-reinforced plastic wheels. Powered by a Li-ion battery, the range of the pushbike is 50-70 km, with a top speed of 80 km/h. The most interesting feature of the bike is an on-board computer which wire-lessly communicates with the rider’s smart-phone, along with keeping a record of the number of stunts rider has performed, along with comparing them to others on Facebook.

This interesting piece of machine will be revealed at Worthersee Volkswagen Group enthusiast expo later this year.

Discovering new Avenues

Bajaj launches new Discover 125 ST

Bajaj Auto has just launched the Discover 125 ST in India. The ST monicker here stands for ‘Sports Tourer’ which Bajaj says is a first for the Discover platform. The 125 ST is powered by a 125-cc, twin-spark, air-cooled, 4-valve engine producing 13 PS of peak power and 10.8Nm of peak torque. The big change here is the inclusion of a monoshock suspension, designed to endow the Discover with sportier handling than its peers which traditionally employs archaic twin shock absorbers at the rear.

Like most of its siblings, the ST will also employ Bajaj’s patented ExhausTEC, and also incorporate a 200 petal disc brake setup upfront for better braking prowess. With a kerb weight of 124.5 kgs, the ST is good enough to reach a top speed of around 105 kmph thanks to a new five-speed gearbox and all the aforementioned innovations. Fuel tank capacity stands at a conservative 10 litres.

The new Discovers will go on sale next month, and pricing will be released at the time of its sale. Currently, the price of the Discover range starts from Rs 50,000 (on-road, Pune).

Moto Morini Begin A Fresh Innings

Italian marque reveals first bike after being rescued last year

After being rescued by Eagle Bikes, owned by Sandro Capotosti and Ruggeromassimo Jannuzzelli, Moto Morini have revealed a new bike, called the Rebello 1200, on their 75th anniversary.

This new bike shares its 1,200-cc, 133 PS V-twin with its elder cousin, the Corsaro. It also shares the tubular steel frame with the Corsaro. However, the styling is reminiscent of the old café racers. The suspension set-up includes fully adjustable Marzocchi front forks and Öhlins adjustable rear shock. Braking at both the ends has been taken care of by Brembo. The Rebello will come with an innovative electrically moveable saddle that takes the it from monoposto to biposto with a simple flick of switch, while maintaining the bike’s rear-cowling look.

In keeping with its siblings’ pricing strategy, expect the Rebello 1200 to be priced around the Rs. 10 lakh (approximately € 14k) mark in European markets when it goes on sale later this year.