Motorcycle News - Marc Holstein shoots Japanese custom motorcycles
But the language barrier is formidable: less than 10% of the Japanese population can speak English, and less than 1 in 500 Americans can speak Japanese.
So we’re always grateful for insights into the custom culture in the East. Frankfurt-based photographer Marc Holstein and his partner Christine Gabler—also a skilled operator behind the lens—sent in these images from a recent trip to the East.
“These builders are very, very dedicated to their craft,” says Marc. “They’re living their dreams, and are often located in very small spaces—since space is something of a luxury in the big cities.”
“The country amazed us daily,” says Marc. “Train stations are huge, serving a million people a day. We fell in love with it: Japanese people are so polite and helpful, and the ramen and yakitori in Tokyo is like nowhere else in the world!”
Marc shot this bike at a local temple—with permission—and the photo of the shrine in the water at the end of this article is a few miles down the road at Lake Biwa. [Custom Works Zon]
Marc describes Japan as “a fascinating culture—the old traditions blend perfectly with the crazy side.”
It is indeed an intoxicating mix—and long may that continue. Sayōnara!
Images by, and with thanks to, Marc Holstein
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
July 20, 2019 at 12:34PM
Motorcycle News - Riding Gear – Akin Motorcycle Hoodie
Casual and riding gear are two terms that don’t belong together. To me, the word casual infers less safe, but it appears that Australian riding gear outfit Akin has proven me wrong. Their latest release is an updated version of their Protective Motorcycle Hoodie and while it might look casual what it offers in rider protection is anything but.
After the first release of their protective riding hoodie, Akin went back to the drawing board to completely redesign it. Based on user feedback and a few learnings they’ve rebuilt their kevlar hoodie from the ground up. The result is an all-new offering that’s packed with features and protection.
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July 20, 2019 at 12:51AM
Motorcycle News - MO Does World Superbike Weekend Monterey!
Does Kevin Cameron still have to change tires? I mean, riding your choice of the latest bikes to Laguna Seca for World Superbike weekend, followed by a Pirelli-sponsored track day Monday, is a dream come true for any motorcycle person, but maybe you don’t want to see how the MO sausage is made. Pirelli wanted us to mount up its new Supercorsa TD (Track Day) tires ahead of time, and they drop-shipped me two sets. Two sets because when Troy couldn’t make the ride this year, I volunteered my son Ryan to ride the Ducati Supersport in his place. Ryan was, to say the least, excited.
Ducati dropped off the Supersport at my house, and I immediately recognized changing its tires wasn’t gonna be so easy without the 55mm socket that frees it rear wheel. Harbor Freight’s right around the corner, no such luck. My MotoGP Werks pal Chris had the tool but was in Germany… My principles won’t allow me to just take the whole bike to the dealer.
But I had to ride to Carson the next day anyway to swap our BMW R1250RT for my bike of choice, the S1000R, and I learned from Sean Matic that he had the tool, at his buddy Jamin’s shop not too far away on Sunset Blvd. (Wrench Motorcycle Service). So, I blasted up there on my new R (what a great city bike), said hello, got a lesson from a mechanic about which way to turn the 55mm socket (The MV Agusta has the same big nut securing its rear wheel, but it turns the opposite way of the one on the Ducati.) – and then the mechanic and I realized we knew each other from previous lives at Willow Springs 20 years ago, but we’d both aged too much to be recognizable – Tom Sera. So nice to see old friends in unexpected places.
Next I had the telephonic pleasure of comparing prices to have tires mounted among several dealers and shops, nearly all of whom were disgruntled to mount tires not bought from them.
The BMW was straightforward enough. The Ducati’s rear tire should be a snap with that one-sided swingarm – right up until you discover you have to remove the two tailpipes to get the wheel out of there. Then I spent a couple of hours scratching my head figuring out how the ABS sensor on the front wheel had moved to the opposite side, until I figured out the tire mounter had moved a thin spacer to the opposite side of the wheel. Duh. Is this too long of an intro? It took me most of two days to mount two sets of tires.
We blasted off at 6:15 am Friday morning from the Santa Ana digs to meet the others at the Frazier Park Flying J, where there used to be a nice sit-down restaurant with snappy waitresses but now there’s just a Wendy’s. Whatever. Gassed up, we’re free of the city at last and rolling up Frazier Mountain Park road through crispy-smelling pine forest.
Virginia Woolf said it’s the waking that kills us. For us MOrons, it’s the video that kills us. Unpacking and setting up tripods and cameras and mic’ing everybody up really kills your drive when you’re trying to make time, but thankfully we had to be in Monterey by 8 pm for the big Ducati unveil/party, so we couldn’t shoot everything along the way. Highway 58 was still there and excellent as always. In Paso Robles it was 105 degrees as almost always, and then it was cold and windy, as nearly always, that last 80 or so miles to Monterey. I love it.
I’m not a golfer, but sometimes I leave it playing on the TV as soothing background scenery. Ducati unveiled the new bike right where they played the US Open a couple weeks ago – Pebble Beach. Business must be good.
In the motorcycle world, if you needed a character to play God, or maybe Yoda, Kevin Cameron would be perfect. Comparing notes re: the state of the world with him as the sun set on the fairway at Pebble Beach, and the wine and finger foods flowed, wouldn’t be a bad afterlife at all. I remembered my old dream of roosting the course on a CR500 Honda with Meg Ryan on back. Alas, that will probably never happen; she’s no longer returning my calls.
We Ubered back to our Airbnb digs around midnight, a nice guest house behind an estate right off Highway 68 only a few miles from Laguna Seca. Plenty of room for all five of us, but the single bathroom got a workout. I could’ve had a top bunk, but there was an excellent couch on the front patio, so I slept under the stars all four nights, with nobody to complain about my snoring except the cows next door. Lovely. Light dew in the morning kept my facade naturally hydrated.
A Day at the Races, Okay Two Days…
Jonathan Rea won on Saturday, Chaz Davies won Sunday – and poor Alvaro Bautista is victim of one of the most stunning collapses in moto-history. After a commanding lead early in the season, the Italian crashed out twice at Laguna Seca – following two prior disastrous weekends – and now trails Rea 433 to 352 points. According to a Ducati insider, though, Alvaro remains upbeat, saying it’s still “mathematically possible” for him to roar back and win the championship. Bless his heart.
The MotoAmerica races were better; way to go Toni Elias and Garret Gerloff, who finally won his first Superbike race.
I’d watch them race tricycles around Laguna Seca, for me it’s a sacred place. They won’t let me back into the Defense Language Institute, on the Presidio of Monterey, which was the first place I lived away from home. It used to be an open Army post; now there’s concertina wire and armed guards and German shepherds to keep me out. But they’ll still let me up onto the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca – a place I first sat upon to watch Eddie Lawson win the 1988 USGP.
Saturday night there were plenty of motorcycles on Cannery Row when we went into Cooper’s Irish Pub for dinner and a pint, and I was going to shoot pics when we came out. Sadly, the bikes were all gone by that time. Sorry.
The real excitement, though, was the Pirelli track day on Monday. Ryan Burns had been practicing for weeks on a (car) video game, and it was both Ryans’ first crack at Laguna Seca. Even Brasscannons and I still get excited like little kids at the chance to ride around Laguna – a perfectly groomed paradise, clear skies, temps in the 70s… pinch me.
Also, we MO VIPs got the chance to rub shoulders in the pits and on the track with Randy Mamola, Ben Spies, Jake Zemke, and a host of luminaries…
On our way home the next day, a guy at a gas stop eyeballed us in our leathers and balled-up Pirellis and wanted to know who’d won? I had to admit it was yours truly, but a blast was had by all. Ryan Burns claimed to have been hanging with me and Ryan Adams when I was on the Duke 790, but in the last session when he was poised to make his move, the low-fuel light on the Tuono came on just as he was about to enter the track. Drat! Better luck next year, kid.
Brasfield’s Duke 790 was outgunned on the track, but I got past him on a borrowed V4 Panigale when he was riding my BMW. Does that count?
Tuesday morning we were up with the chickens, literally, and after a few hours of packing and eating and, ahhh – what were we doing? – were headed south down California Highway 1. Of all the places I’ve been so very fortunate to ride around the world, I don’t think I’d trade Highway 1 for any of them.
The video, however, must go on, and after quite a few stops Sean Matic shot his full, final measure in the fading light in the quaint little beach town of Cayucos – 245.4 miles north of Casa Burns. I knew it would be a long day, but…
As soon as we climbed the entrance ramp to 101 South, a giant low-hanging full moon filled our faceshields. I hit the button to put my grip heaters on high, set the cruise control at 85 mph, and kind of wished I had a little more windshield. It was pretty dang chilly. Pretty, pretty chilly… so I pulled into Los Alamos only 70 miles later not for gas, but because our pal Jimbo lives there, and would put us up for the night if we needed it.
Ryan Adams said he was so cold in his perforated Rev’It suit that he was trying to bloat his body as much as possible to plug the holes and keep air from coming in.
Ryan Burns can be a delicate flower, and I asked him if he was cold? Should we stay here for the night with Uncle Jimmy?
“No, I’m good. I’m having fun, let’s keep going.”
I did not expect that. Everybody added a layer or two and soldiered on, and when we got past Point Concepcion and back to the ocean half an hour later (where I thought it would get even colder), the air temp rose about ten degrees and it was in fact just about as perfect as motorcycle rides get, rolling along under a big copper moon reflecting off the dark Pacific waves. For the first time, I was using my new Cardo communicator system to listen to music. Fly me to the moon, let me soar among the stars, etc., all the way home. All five of us in our own little worlds, together.
The beauty of our late arrival was that there was no need to lane-split across LA to get to our Orange County homestead. The kid and I hit the Del Taco drive-through, clinked Carlsberg cans upon our arrival home at 12:30 am, waited for our synapses to quit buzzing for about an hour – and slept like logs. I think the kid will remember this weekend when he’s sat atop the Corkscrew 30 years from now. I like to think I’ll be there, too, in one form or another.
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July 19, 2019 at 05:40PM
MotoGP News - Video: The winners and losers of the 2019 MotoGP season so far
As the 2019 MotoGP season hits its halfway stage, Marc Marquez already looks to have put one hand on the world championship trophy...
Motorcycle Racing News
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July 19, 2019 at 05:55AM
Motorcycle News - RACE TO THE CLOUDS: 2008 Yamaha YZ450F
Written by Martin Hodgson
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb joins the Isle of Man TT as the two most prestigious and legendary time trials in all of motorsport. The ‘Race to the Clouds’ pits man and machine against 156 unique turns on the way to climbing nearly 5000ft in altitude before reaching the summit, high in the Rocky Mountains, some 14000ft above sea level. The demands on the motorcycle are only exceeded by those on the body and tragically some won’t make it home. But for Thomas Kendall the call of the mountain was strong and he re-built his 2008 Yamaha YZ450F in preparation for his first attack on the lightweight class.
For most of its near hundred-year history, the climb up Pikes Peak was a mixture of gravel and paved roads. But by the end of 2011 the road up the mountain had been given a coat of asphalt all the way to the top. But the brutal climb, rising altitude and sheer diversity of the corners mean the versatility of Naked and Supermoto bikes has them selected over the typical road race machines. In the lightweight class, motorcycles with either two or four-stroke engines that do not exceed two cylinders, with a displacement of up to 500cc can be entered.
But while most select a factory Supermoto bike and modify it to suit, Tom was already road racing his YZ back in California. So sticking with what he knows he underwent the enormous task of re-purposing the Yamaha to not only meet the rule book but to be capable of doing the job, quickly and safely. “This provided the opportunity to build something unique for the lightweight class… the bike became a mashup of super-single and tracker style,” Tom explains.
The stock aluminum chassis remains, but most of what makes the YZ such a good performer off-road would have to go to bring it up to speed for the run up the hill. The entire front end is replaced by a Yamaha R6 setup, with the upper triple clamp with risers machined by CNC gurus Cognito Moto. On top, Tom stuck a set of Renthal Fat Bars equipped with a Brembo RCS master cylinder and lever combo and Woodcraft lever guards.
The all-important foot controls are Valter Moto R1 rearsets that fit the bike thanks to a set of custom adapters. With braking taken care of by a single R6 caliper and wave rotor at the front, Brembo rear setup and HEL lines to help prevent fade. The rear shock is one of the single most important changes to a race bike and no expense was spared with a custom made Ohlins TTX unit called on for duties. An Ohlins steering damper also helps tame the beast and the bike rolls on an R6 front and Galespeed rear wheel.
The stock 449cc five-valve DOHC liquid-cooled engine is considered powerful and yet tractable, but that’s just not enough to climb Pikes Peak. Cracking the engine open Tom has kitted her out with a high compression Wiseco piston. With the head now sporting a pair of Hot Cams stage 2 bump sticks, Kibblewhite SS valves and valve springs, all fed by a Lectron Fuel Systems carburetor with a Graves Motorsport carb catch tank.
But making power is one thing, keeping the engine alive is another and a Boyesen water pump and Tusk oversize radiators help keep things cool. Sounding great, boosting power and looking a treat is the full DRD titanium exhaust. While a Wiseco clutch basket holds the power and an STM slipper clutch prevents the rear wheel locking on heavy downshifts. All of which are made smooth as silk with a Graves ignition module and Dynojet quick-shifter.
The bodywork is all about functionality, but Tom’s ride still looks trick as hell thanks to his clever selection of parts. The modified KTM RC390 belly pan is not only for the look and aero but also catches any fluids should the engine let go. Up top the fuel tank is hidden underneath a Roland Sands super single tank cover. With an Airtech Streamlining tracker seat featuring carbon mounts and only the barest of padding. While an R6 carbon front fender and custom carbon pipe guard keep the weight low on this already super-slim machine.
Painted up in blue and with his custom carbon number plates and sideboards in place Tom was ready for the trip to Colorado. A bunch of safety wire and a few sets of Metzeler slicks and it was time to twist the throttle. The Yamaha ran flawlessly all week and in his rookie year, Mr. Kendall cracked the 12min mark with a stunning 11.50 in trying conditions. Sadly the 97th running of the PPIHC ended in tragedy with the four-time winner and all-round great guy Carlin Dunne killed on the very last turn as he was set to eclipse the overall record on his prototype V4 Ducati. It’s a cruel reminder of just how dangerous the event is, but racers have it in their blood and Tom will return in 2020 with an all-new bike to catch the clouds even faster again.
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July 19, 2019 at 04:10AM
Motorcycle News - MO Tested: Factory Pro Shift Kit Review
KTM released the 790 Duke as a 2019 model in the U.S., but it was available to much of the rest of the world for a year longer. In that time, reports of shifting issues have circulated among Duke owners. While some riders report false neutrals between the higher gears, others have said that, although the quickshifter cuts the ignition, the shift occasionally doesn’t happen. Factory Pro has seen this before, calling the issue lazy shifting, and has created a kit to almost completely resolve the matter on a wide variety of motorcycles, including the 790 Duke. However, to understand what makes this kit special, we first need to discuss how a motorcycle changes gears.
Motorcycle gearboxes allow for sequential shifting only, meaning you can only shift into the next higher or lower gear. When you toe the shift lever, it rotates the shift drum, which, through the use of channels in its surface, slides the shift forks from side-to-side. The shift forks are responsible for moving the gear sets within the transmission to their appropriate position to engage their dogs with the openings in neighboring gears. This determines which gears freewheel and which deliver power to the output shaft and the rear wheel. Precise rotation of the shift drum is required for a successful up/downshift. To facilitate this, a shift star with detents for the correct location of each gear is located at the end of the shift drum. A spring-loaded detent arm assists in the location of the drum for each gear by assuring that the roller on the arm moves completely into the star’s detent.
In a lazy shifting transmission, the detent arm is not completely rotating the shift drum into position, leading to missed shifts. The Factory Pro Shift Kit consists of a detent arm with a special low-friction ceramic bearing in the roller plus a beefier spring. The effect of the kit is to more forcefully rotate the shift star (and hence the shift drum) into position after the roller passes the tip of the star.
Installation takes about 1.5 hours but may be beyond the scope of many home mechanics since it necessitates that the clutch basket be removed and requires a special tool to hold the basket in position while it is being torqued back in place. Aside from the shift kit, you’ll most likely need a new clutch cover gasket to complete this project. We turned to our friends at Wrench Motorcycle Service in Los Angeles to perform the work. Since the oil needs to be dumped, you might as well wait until you need to change it.
While the engine was open, we compared the OEM detent arm/spring to the Factory Pro one, and the differences were striking. The Factory Pro spring is noticeably beefier, and the stock roller has significant internal friction compared to the Shift Kit’s ceramic bearings.
When the engine was buttoned up, the more precise shifting was apparent from the first lift of the lever. However, that could just have been the placebo effect. So, we tested the Factory Pro Shift Kit for 900 miles of riding that ranged from around town to canyon thrashes to a track day at Laguna Seca. In all those miles, there were only two missed shifts from fifth into sixth, and those could have been operator error. They were both on the front straight at Laguna, and it is possible in at least one of those instances of my toe not letting the lever fully return between shifts. Also, instead of the false neutral previously encountered there, the transmission simply didn’t upshift. Before installing the kit, I would occasionally miss an upshift on canyon rides and around town. In my extended time with the Duke, I only hit the fifth-to-sixth false neutral two times (both times at full-throttle at a track day) prior to the kit.
In my opinion, the installation of the Factory Pro Shift Kit is an unqualified success, making it well worth the $140 price for the kit – particularly for those who have more frequent missed shifts. However, there is one drawback that you need to consider: Installation of the kit will likely void your warranty. That’s a big deal for some and not so for others, but you should go into this modification with your eyes open. You can find the list of motorcycles that the Shift Kit is compatible with on the Factory Pro website.
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July 18, 2019 at 05:04PM
F1 News - Formula 1: Melbourne to host Australian Grand Prix until 2025
The Australian Grand Prix will continue to be held at Melbourne's Albert Park until at least 2025.
The circuit has been the home of the race since 1996 and has become the sport's traditional curtain raiser.
"This is proof that more and more promoters share our long-term vision for the future of F1," said Chase Carey, the sport's chief executive.
It comes just a week after the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was secured until 2024.
Next year's season-opening race in Melbourne will be on 15 March, with Formula 1 celebrating its 70th anniversary.
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://ift.tt/OHg7x6
July 18, 2019 at 01:39PM
Motorcycle News - Dirty 30: Bolt Motor Co.’s BMW street scrambler
Even though Campos Racing works with competitive and modern race machines, Bolt Motor Co.’s deal is older bikes. But each bike that rolls out of their workshop is tastefully executed, well-specced and clean enough to eat your tapas off.
The goodness starts up front, with the upside down forks and triple trees from an MV Agusta Brutale. Bolt stripped the paint off the fork legs and refinished them in silver, then added a small plate with their logo to the bottom yoke.
Matching a newer shaft to an older motor has been done before, but it’s a laborious task that involves clever splicing of components.
The 17″ wheels are from an R1200GS. They normally measure 19” up front, but Bolt re-laced the front hub onto a second 17” GS rear rim, for the sake of symmetry.
Bolt left the R100 motor stock, but cleaned it up and gave it a fresh coat of paint. The carbs now breathe in via a pair of K&N filters, and the air box has been repurposed as an electronics box, with a Lithium-ion battery inside. Look closely, and you’ll spot some neat details—like the pull-style chokes on the carbs, and the braided fuel lines.
As for the bodywork, the only stock piece left is the fuel tank—though it now wears a screw-in gas cap. The seat and front fender are both custom, and even the bezel around the LED headlight is a one-off.
Up in the cockpit, Bolt added a set of Moose Racing handlebars, along with Motogadget grips and bar-end turn signals. The dash is from Motogadget too, but the push buttons are from Motone.
As we’ve come to expect from Adrián and his team, the livery is striking and aggressive. The predominant finish is gloss black, with a simple white graphic and yellow logos. And to signify their 30th build, the ‘BO’ of the tank motif doubles up as a ’30.’
We hope Bolt #30 doesn’t spend too much on that stand though. Because to our eyes, this wild boxer deserves to be out on the street at every opportunity.
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
July 18, 2019 at 12:34PM
Motorcycle News - SUPERSIZED. Yamaha XT1100 by Slowbuilt.
To say the Yamaha XT500 is a legendary bike would be an understatement. More than 40 years later, it is still one of the best thumpers in motorcycle history. After winning the Paris to Dakar rally shortly after its release in 1976, it paved the way for future enduro and off-road bikes. But what if it was released today as a larger capacity scrambler? Jesper Johansen from Slowbuilt in Copenhagen, Denmark, wanted to build a larger capacity XT with all the retro cues of the original classic – only bigger. “I always loved twin shocks dirt bikes,” he explains. “Especially the Yamaha XT500 and HL500 – had a few over the years, especially the white 1976 model XT with the iconic tank decals.”
Slowbuilt is a small custom shop based in the heart of Copenhagen. Jesper named it after his personal mantra: good things take time. “I don’t want to rush the builds because the best things take time. I mainly do custom modifications and service on older metric bikes.”
Jesper has an impressive stash of motorcycles – over 12 at the moment – and one of these bikes turned out to be the perfect donor for his supersized XT project. “In my garage was a Yamaha XV920 Virago rat bike with a XV1100 engine that I found 4 years ago and didn’t know which way to go with it.” After playing around with it in Photoshop, Jesper decided the monster XXXT would work. “The aesthetic and proportions were really important to me. That’s why I built it in Photoshop first. Nice to know if the idea works or not.”
With Jesper happy with how it looked on the screen, it was time to start the surgery. The original bike was a beat up old 1987 XV920 with a 1999 XV1100 engine – which was the only thing in good condition. Jesper started by stripping the bike right down and making a custom rear sub frame with a modified XT250 seat that had the right enduro proportions.
Next he sourced parts from multiple Yamaha models to create the ultimate Yamaha bitsa. He used an XS650 front wheel, a modified XV535 rear hub, a XV750 fuel tank and custom alloy side panels. “I also used as many XT500 parts I had laying around, like the fenders, lights and so on. So now it rides on 17” at the rear and 19” up front, fitted with TCK 80 tires.”
After Jesper was finished removing everything that wasn’t a necessity, the bike had lost an incredible 60kg (130 pounds). “With a curb weight of only 160kg it handles like a dream. Much more like an XT, which makes it perfect for some light off-roading.”
Slowbuilt has created a bulletproof daily driver that is fun in the city and can handle the fast roads as well as some dirt – and it wouldn’t look out of place in a Yamaha showroom. As for the bike’s future, Jesper plans to roam the streets of Copenhagen for a while and then put the bike up for sale – to fund the next project, of course.
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July 18, 2019 at 06:57AM
Motorcycle News - Dominant Lines – MecaServices Honda NX650
No one is ever going to stand in front of a Honda NX650 Dominator and exclaim “look at the clean lines on that machine”. Until now. Isidore Delgrosso of MécaServices workshop near Paris made a name for himself with his Honda FX650 Vigor Café Racer. For his latest build, he’s returned to the RFVC platform, but this time it was housed inside a 90’s Honda Dominator. The result is a cafe racer with such perfectly positioned lines that you’d think it was the work of Mondrian.
via Return of the Cafe Racers https://ift.tt/2M9riRb
July 18, 2019 at 12:03AM