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IN BRIEF

Zero Motorcycles has revealed their 2018 lineup of electric bikes. They’ll be the same prices as their 2017 counterparts, but reduced charging speeds, improved range, and faster acceleration will undoubtedly make them more desirable.

QUICK CHARGE

Zero Motorcycles makes some pretty fancy electric motorcycle models that can be used by both consumers and police units. With the introduction of its 2018 lineup, Zero has improved the capabilities of its bikes with a higher range and reduced charging times.

As Zero explains in its 2018 highlights post, the improvements to their electric motorcycle models are a result of the newly-revealed 6 kW Charge Tank accessory, which can be used by the company’s Zero S, Zero SR, Zero DS, and Zero DSR bikes. The new accessory enables the Zero S and DS ZF7.2 to be charged roughly an hour when plugged into a level 1 110 V outlet, while larger batteries found in the SR and DSR can be charged in around two hours using a level 2 charger.

As for the vehicles’ range, the electric motorcycle models equipped with the ZF7.2 and ZF14.4 power packs can now travel 10% farther thanks to “improved battery chemistry.” How far they can go largely depends on the area you’re in, but Zero notes the range will top out at around 223 miles.

“It’s the highest power and energy density battery in today’s transportation industry and for its size takes you farther than any other electric vehicle on the planet,” says Zero.

A NEED FOR SPEED

Riders who are all about speed will be happy to hear the new electric motorcycle models are slightly faster too. Bikes with the ZF7.2 power pack provide 11% more rear wheel torque, while the powertrains of the ZF13.0 Zero S and Zero DS have been finely tuned to offer up to 30% more power and torque. Want to quickly pass other cars and motorcycles on the road? Now you can.

According to Engadget, prices for the new 2018 models are the same as the 2017 models, with the cheapest Zero FX starting at $8,495. If you’re eyeing the base model Zero S, it starts at $10,995, though the Charge Tank will cost you another $2,295 — a high price to pay if you want to get back on the road quickly after a battery-depleting ride.

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“With 23 years of continuous production (well, as continuous as Cagiva get), the Mito is the planet’s longest-running stroker and for the first decade of its existence was desirable as any superbike.

“Penned by Massimo Tamburini, the first generation had bodywork virtually identical to Cagiva’s 500GP bike, the second generation aped a Ducati 916.But there was more to the bike than looks – a searing powerband, a seven-speed gearbox and a chassis capable of containing a much bigger engine made it fodder for teenage racers (Rossi’s first track foray was on a Mito) and specials builders who bolted in anything from RD350 motors to CR500s.

“My yearning for one was sated when I was involved in the build of a CR-engined Mito. It was magnificent and crap, all at the same time.”

 

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LTG Caslen’s entrance onto the football field was a stark reminder …

As players from NFL teams across the country kneel in protest during the playing of the national anthem, one football team is getting its pregame ritual right.

On Oct. 14, Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen led West Point Black Knights football team onto the field by way of his saber-wielding motorcycle.

Photos of Caslen riding his bike were posted to Facebook, where users praised him as well as the Army football team, which beat Eastern Michigan 28-27, extending its home unbeaten streak to five games.

According to Independent Journal Review, Caslen has a habit of leading his team — and audience — in national pride and school spirit.

The former U.S. Military academy cadet, who played varsity football when he attended the academy, was seen in 2015 leading his team onto the field, only this time by way of an Orange County Choppers motorcycle.

Another time, he was pictured commandeering a T-shirt cannon, which quickly earned him the name “Supe Daddy.”

“The Lieutenant General is known to be out in front of the student section during games,” IJR reported, as well as “leading them in the Army chant, ‘The Rocket.’”

And there are multiple instances — and videos — of Caslen hyping up his crowd as well as giving praise to the fallen heroes at West Point, both on and off the field.

This habit of leading is nothing new to Caslen, who, in a 2015 interview with Observer, said his bests days in Iraq were when he received word that he would have the “honor of leading our sons and daughters.”

Many of these “sons and daughters” had been cadets from the classes he taught, he said, adding further that the “last person who wants to go to war is the military.”

Caslen’s enthusiastic actions and honorable works for his cadets and fallen soldiers is sure to continue, as West Point keeps on working to bring the best out of those it trains to serve.

According to IJR, “LTG Caslen’s entrance onto the football field was a stark reminder that the USMA family will continue to train, fight, and safeguard all that our country holds dearest.”

What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.

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Cars steal the spotlight when it comes to electrification, but the motorcycle industry is undergoing a similar transformation. The gradual shifts towards zero emissions look a lot alike — some actors are well ahead of the curve and pioneering a new niche in their respective segments, while others are unwillingly hopping on the bandwagon to keep up with the rest of the industry.

Can’t name an electric motorcycle? Don’t worry, there aren’t many options to choose from right now. That’s set to change soon when major manufacturers like Harley-Davidson, KTM, Yamaha, and Honda come to the market with their own spin on the concept. Until then, here are the best electric motorcycles currently on sale in the United States.

Alta Redshift MX

Alta explains the Redshift MX is the electric equivalent of a 250cc dirt bike. The 261-pound machine offers 40 horsepower and 120 pound-feet of torque from a compact, water-cooled electric motor. A water-proof lithium-ion battery pack provides enough electricity for up to two hours of riding, and the Redshift never needs an oil change. Pricing starts at $14,995.

Alta Redshift SM

Albert Khoury/Digital Trends
The Alta Redshift SM is to the track what the Redshift MX is to the trail. Both use the same 40-hp electric motor linked to a 5.8-kWh battery pack, but the SM is equipped with lights and turn signals so it can be driven on the street. It has just 60 miles of range when it’s used as a commuter, 40 miles of range when the pace picks up on a twisty road, and it can go flat-out for up to 20 minutes on a track. It retails for $15,495.

Brutus 2 Café

The Café option turns the Brutus 2 into a head-turning café racer. The list of modifications includes down-turned handle bars, adjustable rear seats, and a stripped-down chassis that gives the bike the naked look that has historically characterized café racers. It’s equipped with a 10-kWh battery pack, but Brutus hasn’t published additional specifications such as range and output. Pricing is available upon request.

Brutus V9

While Harley-Davidson is busily working on building an electric motorcycle, the model is still a couple of years away from cruising down the boulevard. If that’s the style you’re after, Brutus has you covered with the 125-hp V9. The company advertises performance and acceleration that will make any sports car green with envy, though more specific details (such as pricing) haven’t been released yet. That’s a tall order — the fastest cars in the world are truly impressive.

Energica Ego45

The 136-hp Energica Ego45 is for riders who want a touch of luxury with their performance. Think of it as a two-wheeled Lamborghini, except it’s electric. It stands out with top-of-the-line components (including some that are 3D-printed), as well as design elements borrowed from the worlds of aerospace and racing. Act fast if you want one — production is strictly limited to just 45 examples. Buyers can work directly with Energica to create a custom, one-of-a-kind bike, and they can even pick it up directly from the factory in Italy.

Energica Eva

Energica brought together big names in racing to develop its lineup of performance-oriented electric bikes. Manufactured in Italy, the land of Ducati, the Eva is the most basic model in the Energica catalog. Underneath the muscular design hides a 95-hp motor with up to 120 miles of range when Eco mode is turned on. An 85-percent charge is available in just half an hour when the bike is plugged into a quick charger, so range anxiety becomes less of a worry.

Lightning LS-218

Lightning doesn’t beat around the bush — you know its bikes are electric as soon as you read its name. Instead of catering to commuters or casual riders, the company aimed the LS-218 directly at the top of the electric bike segment. It became the fastest battery-powered motorcycle when it reached 215 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 2011.

Its specifications sheet is equally impressive. It gets a 200-hp, 168-lb-ft. powertrain with up to 180 miles of range. Brembo brakes keep the power in check. This is a full-blown superbike designed to race, as reflected by its asking price of nearly $40,000.

 

Sora by Lito

The Sora by Lito hails from the land of poutine — Quebec. Built entirely by hand, it turns heads with a design that’s as original as it is sharp. The bodywork is crafted out of carbon fiber to help offset the weight added by the bulky lithium-ion battery pack, and the bike is capable of hitting 60 mph from a stop in four seconds flat. The downside is its Porsche-like $104,000 price tag; that puts it in the same ballpark as a lot of highly desirable two- and four-wheeled machines.

Zero S

In many ways, Zero is the Tesla of the electric motorcycle industry. The California-based company has the technology figured out better than most of its rivals, so it offers a comprehensive range of products for all experience levels. Named S, its entry-level model is an urban bike that’s nimble and practical.
In its top configuration, the Zero S offers 60 hp, 81 lb-ft, and up to 153 miles of range when it’s ridden in a mix of city and highway conditions. Pricing varies between $10,995 and $16,690.

Zero DSR

The DSR is Zero’s dual-sport model. Based on the DS, the R designation signifies it receives an electric motor dialed up to 116 lb-ft, a custom-tuned suspension, and a Bosch ABS system for extra peace of mind. It boasts up to 138 miles of range in a combined cycle, which is plenty for on- and off-road adventures. The Zero DSR starts at $18,690.

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Sexy Taiwan mini electric motorcycle is a sight to see with 9 kWh LIPO Battery, CNC machined aluminum frame, 13-inch wheels, flawlessly made carbon parts and speedster electric motor performance up to 130 kph

Controller: Mobipus ( not confirmed )
Battery: 9kWh battery (88.2V/ 120Ah) LiPo (probably A123 – not confirmed)
Range: above 150km per charge.
Custom motor: Made RCE Power. Max performance to be determined
Wheels:13″
Top speed: 130kph (will be limited at 110kph)
Frame material: State of the art CNC’d aluminum and carbon-fiber
Est. production: 2019

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IN THE CUSTOM WORLD, there are few more challenging builds than designing a motorcycle around a car engine. They’re heavy and torque focused, and trying to physically fit one into a production bike frame is easier said than done.

But what if your starting point is a car engine and you build everything around it? That’s what New Zealander Marcel van Hooijdonk did to create this incredible ‘Madboxer’ custom.

The Madboxer, as good a name as any for this machine, has been ‘in the build’ for over five years. A toolmaker by trade, Marcel is more than a dab hand behind a set of tools, so when a friend sent him an email with a photo issuing a challenge, he leapt at the chance to put his skills towards something a little different.

“It all started off as a bit of a challenge from a mate in Aussie, Harry, who came across an artist’s impression of a Subaru-powered motorcycle concept—with the comment “something for you to knock up in the shed, mate,” says Marcel.

The car engine was obviously the key to this build, and Marcel had a few options to choose from. The most readily available Subaru engine in NZ is the long-lived EJ series, with capacities ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 liters, and found in most Subarus since 1989.

Marcel passed over the ever-popular 2-liter mill, and instead went with a turbocharged EJ25 out of a second generation WRX.

To start the project off, Marcel checked to see if it was even possible to make the Madboxer a reality.

“I got a motor case and some tires, spaced it out, stepped back and grabbed a beer,” he says. After eyeballing it and putting together the mental plan on just how to proceed, the decision was made. “Yes, it’s doable.”

Now committed, Marcel had to lay the groundwork for his build with some serious screen time. Like most serious builders, he started with a computer, put together a CAD drawing, and got signoff from the regulatory body that covers all modified vehicles in New Zealand—the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association (LVVTA).

“Once I had the motor block and wheels in place I started in AutoCAD, making drawings of the center steer hub, swing arms and the main chassis sides, he says. The drawings were also used for programming the CNC milling center and lathe, which carved out the individual pieces of the bike ready for assembly.

It wasn’t a straightforward job however, and took a few tries to get everything just right. Marcel also had to work out a steering system that met with the approval of the certification panel.

The bike slowly took shape, with a Kawasaki fuel tank, wheels sourced off the NZ eBay equivalent TradeMe, and a smaller twin-turbo unit from a Subaru Legacy replacing the big WRX turbo.

The result is an engine that runs very smoothly, even though it has no real flywheel as such. Marcel opted for a modified Japanese 2-speed automatic transmission, using a chain drive to get power to the rear wheel.

Like other “automatic” motorcycles, there’s no gear lever on the foot pegs—just a button on the handlebars to change gears. Braking is just like a scooter, with a bar-mounted lever for the Buell-sourced brakes.

After all the engineering work, it would be a shame if Madboxer became a trailer queen. But thankfully Marcel fought it out with the LVVTA certifiers and won the day.

“Being able to ride it was the aim right from the get-go,” Marcel explains. “So that did impact on the final design. The system here in NZ is not too bad; you forward your design at the beginning and a panel goes over it. Once you have approval you can start, but with inspections along the way.”

“You always think of something you would like to change, which has to then go back to the panel. At times it’s hair pulling—but now it’s all done and 100 per cent road legal, I must say it wasn’t too bad.”

The Madboxer is a thing of strange beauty. Tipping the scales at 313.5kg, it’s heavy by motorbike standards—but with a boxer engine, the bike holds the majority of its weight down low in the chassis.

With torque levels most bikes can only dream of, Madboxer is sure to fly down the road when ridden. And that’s just what Marcel plans for its future.

Words Mathieu Day-Gillett of Bike Rider Magazine | Images Lindsay Gibb

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There ain’t no doubt that Indian Motorcycle Company built some amazingly beautiful motorcycles in its day, eh?

I mean, take a look at the 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle in the video thumbnail below.

Take in how beat up, dusty and rusty, and ugly it is. Now, ask yourself if it is a beautiful motorcycle.

The answer, of course, is that it is a downright gorgeous motorcycle no matter how neglected it had been over the decades.

And the most epic thing about this beautiful yet ugly American motorcycle is that it had sat unstarted for 40 friggin years straight until it was cold started on this video. How cool is that? Yeah, that is Indian Chief cool for sure!

Click play and be blown away by the sound, smoke, and fury of this old old motorcycle!

If you like this story don’t forget to Follow Us on Facebook and stay updated for our next awesome story.

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THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB is madness of the highest order. Racers blast through the 12-mile course at breakneck speed—climbing 4,720 feet and navigating 152 turns, right on the edge of disaster.Tackling it on two wheels takes tons of skill, massive cojones and a few loose screws. And a motorcycle that can go really, really fast. Today we’re profiling one such bike: the Bottpower BOTT XR1R, which Travis Newbold recently piloted to a win in the Exhibition Powersport class.

You know Bottpower—they’re the Spanish outfit producing kits that radically transform the Buell XB-series. But what you might not know, is that Bottpower boss David Sánchez is an experienced race engineer. So he knows how to make bikes attractive and quick.

Building a race bike at this level is no mean feat, and the BOTT XR1R—built purely for The Race to the Clouds—has been a long time in the making. We saw the first prototype a year ago, but a lot has changed since then.“The idea was to build a bike with better performance, which meant looking for more power, less weight and better components,” says Sánchez. “At the same time I wanted to keep using the air cooled V-twin engine, which I love because of the aesthetics, the sound and the character.”

Bottpower’s road-going XR1—and the early XR1R prototype—used Buell’s 1203cc Thunderstorm motor. But Sánchez wanted more, so he’s shoehorned in the motor from the extremely limited edition Buell XBRR race bike. (Only 56 XBRR’s were built in 2007.)“It has 1340cc, 150 hp, titanium valves and magnesium covers,” he says. “It is an incredible engine, with brutal torque at low RPM and a sound that gives me goosebumps every time I warm it up.”

A key feature of all BOTT bikes is a backbone-style frame: it does away with the original twin spar design, and uses the engine as a stressed member. Bottpower make this backbone in both steel and titanium, but Pikes Peak rules forbade them from using the lighter titanium version.So they improved the stiffness of their steel unit to handle the extra power (and will, in fact, be applying some of these changes to their production frames).

Using the backbone design with the XBRR motor presented a few challenges. The stock intake system clashed with the frame, so Bottpower redesigned it. What looks like a fuel tank is actually a carbon fiber airbox, with two intakes that channel air to where it’s most needed.The real fuel tank is further back and lower down, tucked between the rear shock and the motor to improve mass centralization. The bellypan and tail section are carbon fiber (the latter can be bought as part of Bottpower’s standard XR1 kit), but the ‘horns’ that channel air were actually 3D printed with nylon.

Along with the engine, Bottpower have kept the XBRR’s swing arm, exhaust and rear brake, but that’s about it. The front brakes are now a full Brembo system, and the wheels are ultra-light carbon fiber Rotobox numbers, running on titanium axles.For Sánchez, shaving unsprung weight is critical, so he’s also added a very special Öhlins fork, custom built by CeraCarbon. It’s built up with Öhlins TTX25 cartridges and carbon fiber inner tubes with a white ceramic coating, shaving a kilo off the weight and reducing friction. There’s an Öhlins TTX shock out back too.

Bottpower faced another challenge with the legendary race’s extreme altitude. It starts at a whopping 9,370 feet (2.8 km) above sea level, with the finish line at 14,110 feet (4.3 km).“We worked with IDS, the company that designed the electronics of all the Buell and EBR bikes,” says Sánchez. “They designed a system to adjust the engine mapping depending on the altitude, and it worked great from the first day.”

It would take hours of poring over this bike in person to pick up on all the bits and pieces that had to be designed and fitted, each serving a purpose. Just take a look at the cockpit—there’s a 3D printed casing that holds both an AIM speedo and a GoPro.AIM also supplied something you can’t see: a data acquisition system that supplies more information than you or I would know what to do with. The rest of the control area is all business: Easton bars and risers, Renthal grips, a Domino throttle, Ducabike switches and Brembo controls.

Building a bike to race Pikes Peak is impressive in itself—but this machine not only won its class, it also set the fourth fastest motorcycle time overall. What’s even more jaw dropping, is the fact that Bottpower actually ran out of time and couldn’t do everything they wanted to to the XR1R.Next year’s bike will see more data acquisition, a titanium exhaust, and a new Brembo brake system at the rear. Plus even more power, less weight, and more sophisticated electronics—with traction and anti-wheelie control.

There’s also going to be a new rider: Just two days ago, Sánchez sealed the deal with Rennie Scaysbrook—this year’s overall second place finisher, and one of the few to conquer the hill in under 10 minutes.If you fancy your own chances, Bottpower are planning a limited production run of five XR1Rs next year. Reckon you have what it takes?

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The T-Cruise is the sixth model in Tacita ‘s lineup and the first to veer from the off-road theme(Credit: Tacita)

Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer Tacita has announced its plans to expand its lineup with a new model. Scheduled for official introduction at the upcoming AIMExpo 2017, the T-Cruise deviates from the off-road variants that make up Tacita’s current fleet, aiming squarely at the American market.

Based in Turin, Italy, Tacita was founded in 2009 and introduced its first electric motorcycle in 2013. Built around the company’s own frame and motor, the T-Race evolved into five different production variants; Enduro, Motocross, Motard, Rally, and Diabolika. Recently, it also offered the base material for a very interesting custom model, the Aero E-Racer.

Among these, the Rally made the headlines in 2012 as the first electric motorcycle to compete in an African desert race, the Afriquia Merzouga Rally, that is part of the Dakar Series and sports Tacita among its technical sponsors.

The sixth model has just been announced, though it’s designed to appeal to a very different audience; the upcoming T-Cruise is an electric cruiser that will be formally unveiled at the AIMExpo 2017 in Columbus, Ohio on September 21.

Although Tacita has in place a rather limited dealer network in the main European markets for electric motorcycles (Italy, Germany, Netherlands, England, and France), the choice of venture for the unveiling indicates that the Italians have set their sights on the American market, and the T-Cruise seems like a perfectly appropriate vehicle.

Tacita hasn’t yet revealed any technical information on the new model, but chances are it will also be based on a reworked version of the steel frame it uses on all of its models, as well as the asynchronous three-phase induction motor with five-speed gearbox and two selectable engine mappings, Eco and Sport.

Tacita has only disclosed one bit of information in its Facebook page, suggesting that the T-Cruise will employ a 27 kWh Li-Po battery pack for an estimated range of 270 km (168 mi).

Apart from the only image of the T-Cruise that Tacita released today, take a look at the new electric cruiser in the following video.

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They may be sworn enemies on The Walking Dead, but offscreen, Norman Reedus and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are as close as Negan and Lucille (or Daryl and his motorcycle, for that matter).

Speaking of obsessions, AMC has released a first look at the Season 2 premiere of its unscripted docuseries Ride with Norman Reedus, which sees Reedus and Morgan hitting the road for a motorcycle trip through Spain to visit a few hundred thousand Walking Dead fans. Their ride will start out in Barcelona before ending at the Falles Festival in Valencia.

Morgan discussed bonding with Reedus over their shared love of bikes in an interview with USA Today last year.

“Norman and I go for long motorcycle rides,” Morgan said. “This year, we drove to Nashville and took all these mountain roads. We just take off and go for these beautiful rides. That’s how we both unwind. Now, I’ve found a guy that does exactly the same thing I do and loves all the same things I love.”

The bromance is real.

@rideamc premieres soon! @bigbaldhead and I go on a great, and fun adventure and meet some cool folks on the way! Xojd

A post shared by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@jeffreydeanmorgan) on

The second season of Reedus’ passion project premieres as a two-night event beginning with Morgan’s episode on Sunday, November 5th  at 11 p.m., followed by a second episode on Monday, November 6th, at 9 p.m., which is its regular time slot.

Ahead of the Season 2 premiere, AMC also announced that Ride has already been renewed for a third season, slated to air in 2018.

You can see Reedus and Morgan back in action when The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres October 22 on AMC.

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