For the first time in the world that a Harley-Davidson has been backflipped onto dirt. Kain Saul from the Gold Coast, Australia, was the mad man behind the bars.
The XR1200 Sportster, supplied by Harley-Davidson Australia and prepared by Gavin Walker and co from Quick Fix Harley-Davidson, tips the scales at 566lbs and has around 100 horsepower. The jump took place in Victoria at one of Cam Sinclair's practice compounds.
Confederate Motors, the builders of radical production bikes such as the Hellcat and the Wraith, has just posted losses of $1 million after a fall in orders, according to according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Revenue for the third quarter of this year fell to $150,633 compared with $659,357 for the same period last year. The Alabama-based firm, which won first and second places in the production manufacturer class of the 2007 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, this year launched the P120 Fighter Combat, which is a truly impressively ugly motorcycle. Confederate announced that only 120 would be made, but sources tell us that the limited edition run will be closer to just 25 bikes.
Hurrah, back home from the NEC Show - or to give it its full, unwieldy title, the Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show - with a couple of snaps for you. The absence of Honda and Harley was noticeable, although it was interesting to see Norton back, and its stand was, unsurprisingly, swamped (or it might have been the added attraction of Gordon Ramsay popping in from the Good Food Show for a look). There seemed to be an awful lot more emphasis on Norton clothing than motorcycles, though. The BMW 6-cylinder concept bike that we told you about a couple of weeks ago is lovely, while even more impressive was the Victory CORE concept. It's now been refined a little with some pinstriping and - Victory must have listened to us - a leather seat in place of the wooden saddle. It was still nowhere near as radical as this year's Custom Xtreme Champion, Diverse Paul's turbo-charged, super-charged, complete-nutter-Firestorm-engined beast. The show is on for another 9 days and you find out more HERE.
This 2003 H-D Softail was unearthed a few years ago by Roland and the RSD team at a local junkyard. It had been stolen, crashed and totalled. There was no kickstand, the tank and primary were scratched, controls were shot and the bars were loose. It was on its way to the scrap bin...
The bike was then stripped down and cleaned up. The idea behind this bike was to build it up as cheaply as possible, mainly utilizing original equipment supplemented by a number of parts that were already lying around the shop. A few items were fabbed, but the point of this build was to show people that they can have a cool bike that's still way ridable. With the cool, cheap junkyard dog groomed, they affectionately named it Dusty.
This is one of those bits of news that we’ve been dying to tell you, but we’d been sworn to secrecy until now. The news? Victory will be showing the CORE concept bike at the NEC Motorcycle show – the very first time that it’s been seen outside of America. It was designed and developed by Victory Motorcycles to show the possibilities for a performance cruiser of the future. The man behind the CORE is Polaris Lead Industrial Designer, Michael Song, who will be at the show to speak to public and press alike. “CORE is pure motorcycle,” he says. “We wanted to strip everything not critical and build a motorcycle that uses some of the production technologies we have incorporated into the Victory Vision. The frame and engine architecture of the Victory Vision was our inspiration – but we wanted to make a statement beyond ‘custom’ and create something completely unique.” The CORE is a long way removed from the Art Deco stateliness of the Vision. Its frame – made by pouring molten aluminium into a sand core – incorporates the fuel tank, airbox, battery box and the entire electrical system. Maintaining the minimalist theme, the motorcycle is a rigid frame without rear suspension and features a contoured mahogany seat. We’re really not sure about that wooden seat, but we will be suspending judgement until we have a chance to see it for ourselves. The CORE will be on display at the NEC on Stand 1E30 in Hall 1, along side Victory motorcycles full 2010 model line up.
Solve all your Christmas present problems at a stroke by purchasing the splendid new 2010 Acme Choppers calendar containing a magnificent collection of photographs of the very birth of choppers, rescued from obscurity by Professor Murray Robertson. The A3 calendar is produced on top-quality satin finish geavyweight paper, and is guaranteed to become the Pirelli of the custom world. Except without the naked ladies. Or the cars.
Available for a mere £14.99 (plus two quid P&P), you can order your Acme calendar now HERE RIGHT HERE!
Harley-Davidson announced yesterday that, following the company’s recent decision to discontinue production of Buell motorcycles, Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Buell Motorcycle Company, will leave the company to establish Erik Buell Racing, an independent motorcycle race shop.
Erik Buell Racing will specialise in the supply of race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles, and the building and sale of Buell 1125R-based race motorcycles under license from Harley-Davidson, as well as providing technical support to racers of Buell motorcycles.
“I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying,” said Erik Buell. “We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”
“I’m pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years,” said the MoCo-appointed Chief Operating Officer of Buell, Jon Flickinger. “Harley-Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavor to support Buell racers.”
Erik Buell Racing will be based in East Troy, Wisconsin, and will be staffed by Erik Buell and a veteran team of personnel. Here, Erik talks about the new venture.
Donington Park race circuit in the Midlands has gone into administration with debts of millions of pounds. After a meeting with the circuit’s 40 full-time staff on Wednesday, it was announced that the affairs of Donington’s leaseholders, Donington Ventures Leisure Limited, are now being handled by corporate recovery specialists Begbies Trayn. The venue was scheduled to host the 2010 British F1 Grand Prix, although there has been constant doubt as to whether Donington could be brought up to scratch in time. However, at the end of October, it was revealed that Donington had failed to raise the £135 million needed to stage a British Grand Prix, and that F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, had offered the race to Silverstone. Ecclestone later indeedconfirmed that the British Grand Prix would not be held at Donington. Nigel Price of the administrators said; “This need not be the end of Formula One racing at Donington. We are looking for a purchaser for the business and the potential opportunity to bring Formula One to this part of the Midlands by funding the work that needs to be carried out to the circuit.” DVL had originally won the right to hold the British Grand Prix for seventeen years.
UPDATE - 21st November 2009
Despite the track leaseholders going into administration, F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has not ruled out the possibility of Donington Park hosting next year’s British Grand Prix.
Having previously insisted there will be no British GP at Donington next year as it had failed to show it had the £135m funding required, Ecclestone has now told BBC Radio Derby that he would enter into talks with any new Donington backer who could produce the right amount of funding.
However, time is running out for the 2010 British GP. The current favourite (following the October announcement that Donington would not be ready in time) is Silverstone, but its owners and Ecclestone have yet to reach a financial agreement. Next year’s F1 calendar will be decided at a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Monaco on 11 December. If no agreement had been reached by then with Silverstone or wealthy backers found for Donington, then there will be no British GP next year.
Thanks to Huw for taking time out from the rugby to update us.
The Boot Hill Saloon, the most famous biker bar in Florida and well-known to thousands of visitors to Daytona, has caught fire for the second time in two days, and police chiefs say that both conflagrations were arson. The petrol can that was found inside the bar was a bit of a hint, too. Half of the bar – currently up for sale at $1.65 million and only open during special events – was destroyed in the first fire, while firefighters are still assessing the damage from Saturday night’s blaze.
Perhaps it’s because Harley’s too poor to attend the NEC Motorcycle Show or to carry on building Buells, but the MoCo has just signed a deal with Davie Brown Entertainment for a major product placement campaign in films, television and video games.
“We want to use it to socialize Harley-Davidson motorcycling,” explained Dino Bernacchi, director of advertising, promotions, and entertainment for Harley-Davidson. “Entertainment can sensationalize the excitement and thrill of riding to the point of moving people to check it out.”
Right. Socialising motorcycling. Sensationalising Harleys. Looks like Milwaukee’s going back to the tried and trusted policy of shifting merchandise and not motorcycles. Queue up to buy your lifestyle here, folks.
It’s just been announced that one of Doncaster’s biggest and longest-established bike shops has gone bust. 15 staff at Cusworth Bikes in Princegate will now lose their jobs after administrators KPMG decided that there was no prospect of selling the business as a going concern.
One of the UK's oldest Honda dealers, Cusworth Bikes has been in Doncaster since 1958, and also has two dealerships in Wood Street which will also close.
It seems that the story of American IronHorse, the Texas-based production cruiser and chopper manufacturer, has finally reached the final chapter with the announcement that its intangible assets – trademarks, names, patents, web site, as well as all leftover bikes and parts – are up for sale.
American IronHorse went into involuntary bankruptcy protection last March, after some thirteen years building bikes, during which time it had produced up to 240 motorcycles a month, won a US patent for the innovative petrol tank on its Texas chopper and been awarded ‘Bike of the Year’ for the Slammer model at the prestigious 2007 V-Twin Expo.
Fresh from hitting over 207mph on its first-ever speed test, Allen Millyard’s 500bhp Viper V10 will make its first public appearance on the Carole Nash stand at the International Motorcycle Show at the NEC from November 27 to December 6th.
The world’s fastest production motorcycle was hand-built over two years by the Berkshire-based mechanical engineer. With a mighty eight litre Dodge Viper V10 motor, it produces a fearsome 500 bhp and 525ftlb of torque. Millyard, who created the bike without drawings, computers or help, now has plans to break the world land speed record, saying: “The mass for the power I’ve got, and the aerodynamics, put the theoretical maximum speed at 280mph but my tyres would restrict that. The world land speed record for an unfaired motorcycle is 252mph on Bonneville Salt Flats. We’re going to try and beat that next spring, in the UK, at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground.”
The bike has already proven its mettle with a professional speed tester taking it to 207 mph at Bruntingthorpe last month. “He said he’d never been on a bike with that acceleration and he couldn’t even give it full throttle. It was pulling about 2 G of force. We looked at the acceleration curve and it was straight!” reports Millyard who says he himself took the bike up to 195mph.
Weighing in at over 630kg and nine-foot long the bike is nonetheless impressively stable. “It weighs half a ton but it’s built in proportion,” explains Allen. “It’s got massive 20” wheels with a 280 tyre on the back and a 190 on the front so it’s well balanced.” The Viper is also fully road legal having secured Department of Transport Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval at the first time of asking, paving the way for it to go into production. “I want to build a pre-production prototype and get some drawings done. So far everything’s been done from images in my head and built from what I had around and could afford. When that’s done I can see very limited production of maybe ten bikes, handmade to individual specifications.”
The British contingent may have been small at the Big Twin Show in Holland this weekend, but they swooped down on the prizes, scooping three out of the eight classes. Congratulations to Destiny Cycles who took 'Best Paint' with 'High Roller'; Larry Houghton of Lamb Engineering for 'Best Freestyle' with his newly-finished Honda CBX and Nick Lappage who won 'Best Japanese Custom' for his much-travelled Yamaha WildStar.
We'll bring you full coverage of the show in the next BSH.
BSH sends huge thanks to Adam Loft for more of his cracking photos of Japanese custom shows. This was a show a couple of weeks ago in Komaki, Nagoya, and was organised by Masao Ogawa of Kaikado Kustoms. Adam says, “It was only a local event, but it had a good turn out. The volume of Harleys and American cars around here is amazingly high. The weather is good pretty much all year round, but it gets up to 40 degrees in the summer and is as humid as hell, so customs/cruisers are perfect.”
Hells Angels MC Australia yesterday won a court battle against fashion label, Mambo.
The clothing company had used the Club’s death’s head on two items of clothing, and were subsequently sued by the Hells Angels in the federal Magistrates Court for breach of trademark and intellectual property rights. As part of a confidential settlement, the previous owner of Mambo, Gazal Corp Ltd, was also forced to issue an apology to the Club. Michael Gazal, managing director, said;
"Gazal would like to publicly acknowledge the Hells Angels' intellectual property rights in its trademarks and artistic works, and the considerable reputation it has in those trademarks and artistic works, a reputation which stems from a long history of use both in Australia and internationally. In selling and manufacturing the disputed clothing items, Gazal did not intend to infringe the Hells Angels' intellectual property rights or diminish its reputation, and expresses regret for any offence taken by the Hells Angels as a result of that conduct.”
The offending garments were a child's hooded sweatshirt and a sugar-pink mini-skirt.
Due to a temporary fault in the manufacturing process at the plant of one of its suppliers, Custom Chrome Europe is recalling its Santee ‘Bonanza’ handlebars lines. If you’ve purchased or are using a set of these particular ‘bars, please get in touch with your local Custom Chrome dealer as soon as possible.
An Italian motorcyclist is appealing after he lost his licence when speed cameras clocked him at an impossible 383 mph.
Paolo Turina, 26 - who also copped a £200 fine - claims the speed camera was clearly so defective the charge should never have been brought.
"If I could go that fast I'd enter my bike in the MotoGP world championships. Valentino Rossi would not stand a chance. What did they think they were clocking - a jet fighter?" asked Mr Turina, of Cernusco Lombardone.
"If the court rules the fine will stand then I'm going to send it to the Guinness Book of Records - after all if the court says it's true, then I should get the credit for this remarkable feat."
Police claim the camera was working perfectly but said they suspected bungling staff botched the charge paperwork.
The appeal court has not yet made a decision on the case.