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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?


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.


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.



The ExoDyne is what happens when a talented veterinary orthopedic surgeon turns his attention to building himself an electric motorcycle. It’s there work of Alan Cross, an Atlanta based Vet who also happens to have a degree in engineering, and a wide swathe of metalworking and fabrication skills that are self-taught. Some people are almost irritatingly brilliant.

Alan has previously built everything from electric drift trikes to steam punk floor lamps, all of which he built by himself in his garage on weekends and in the evenings after work. The ExoDyne took 9 months of research, design, and fabrication work to complete, and Alan did it all himself – except for the seat upholstery and powdercoating.

The ExoDyne is based around a bespoke center box frame that directly connects the head stock with the swing arm pivot point – an arrangement generally seen as ideal by motorcycle engineers. The box frame contains 48 lithium polymer (LiPo) battery cells arranged in a 100V 32 Ah configuration, capable of a 600 A output but restricted to 200 A, and it weighs in at a reasonably feathery 48 pounds.


Lithium polymer batteries, or more correctly lithium-ion polymer, use a polymer electrolyte instead of a more traditional liquid electrolyte. They typically provide a higher specific energy than other lithium batteries, making them ideal for use in applications where weight is a paramount concern. Like cell phones, laptops, and electric motorcycles.


Power is provided by a rear hub 11 kW (30 kW peak) motor from EnerTrac, which uses a Sevcon Gen 4 motor controller. Alan explains that the electric motor provides exceedingly good torque, and thanks to the properties of electric motors it doesn’t need a gearbox – reducing drivetrain power losses.


The front fork was sourced from a 2005 Suzuki RMZ 250 and the headstock and rear swingarm are from a 1995 Suzuki RM 125. Alan designed and built everything else including the structure around the monoshock and the almost skeletal trellis frame.

The wheels were sourced from Warp 9 and there’s a Brembo brake up front with a Suzuki brake in the rear. Alan tells us that all critical hardware is titanium from ProBolt, non-critical is aluminum from ProBolt, and carbon fibre has been used where possible – this contributes to the low kerb weight of 248 lbs.

There’s a small CycleAnalyst heads up display to show mph, amps, total discharge, and other essential information, and the ExoDyne has a top speed of approximately 60 mph and a total range in its current configuration of 20 miles.


It’s unusual to see a bespoke motorcycle built to this level of fit and finish – typically it takes a team of engineers to turn out something like the ExoDyne, not a solitary veterinary orthopedic surgeon.

Alan has decided to sell the bike to fund his next project, if you’d like to get in touch with him you can shoot us an email and we’ll pass it along (our email is in the website footer). In the meantime, we’ll be staying in touch with him to bring you his next build.

Images courtesy of Victoria Velvet Photography


(FA-13 Combat Bomber)

Boutique motorcycle outfit Confederate Motorcycles is changing its name and making the switch from building bikes powered by big V-twin engines to ones with electric motors, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The Alabama-based company was founded in 1991 and is known for high-end, handcrafted motorcycles with a signature naked industrial style that cost upwards of $155,000 and have been owned by celebrities like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

Confederate president Matt Chambers told the newspaper that he thinks the company has started to lose business because of the name.

“We’ve missed out on branding opportunities. So, it’s time to retire it,” Chambers said.

The company doesn’t use any ‘Stars and Bars’ or Confederate battle flag imagery, and Chambers recently told Jalopnik that he’s glad the South lost the Civil War. He said the name was a salute to the good Southern principles, and that the company’s motto, “The Art of Rebellion,” is a reference to a cerebral and spiritual one.

Moving forward, the company will be known as Curtiss Motorcycle Co., after aviation pioneer Glenn H. Curtiss. Confederate’s bikes are all named after airplanes, and the company owns the rights to use the Curtiss name and is already selling merchandise featuring it on its website.

Chambers also told the Times that the company has taken its current bikes as far as it can, so its next cruiser will be battery-powered and feature twin electric motors developed by California’s Zero Motorcycles.

A Confederate representative would not confirm the details in the Los Angeles Times report to Fox News, but said an official announcement on the company’s future would be coming in a few weeks.


Vintage motorcycle logos were designed to complement the beauty of these distinctive looking machines. To choose the perfect presentation for the Sterling logo, we needed to find an approach that was both historically accurate and aesthetically pleasing.


The 1920s was a revolutionary time for advertising design and typography. The period saw the beginning of a host of new art movements. Symbolism, art with a didactic message, countered the previous century’s Aesthetic Movement, reveling in beauty for beauty’s sake. These movements then gave way to the rise of Expressionism, art with an emotional impact. In the 1900s through the 1920s, Art Noveau,  Cubism, and Art Deco arose in France. During the 1920s, Germans built the Bauhaus movement. At the same time, Futurism, an art movement centered on speed, technology, and violent break with the past arose in Italy. A host of other movements too long to note here also began in the turbulent years between WW I and WW II.

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There are vintage motorcycle owners and enthusiasts all over the world, but perhaps the largest density of fans of those stalwart steeds from yesteryear live in the UK. The UK’s first vintage motorcycle club started way back in the 1940s, which might have something to do with the widespread love for motorcycle heritage, whether you see it as a cause or a symptom of motorcycle mania. The careful and reverent preservation of the old machines creates fecund conditions for those who would cultivate and curate collections. The UK has several general history museums and transportation museums with good vintage bike collections, but today we will cover those that focus on motorcycles. Here are five great choices if you want to visit a vintage motorcycle museum in the UK.

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CHICAGO — After years of working out of random garages, two brothers have opened a custom motorcycle shop on Chicago’s Near West Side — and are gaining international attention for their one-of-a-kind rides.

Michael and Peter Müller have moved Federal Moto, a custom motorcycle shop where they revamp vintage rides, into the Industrial Council of Near-west Chicago’s small business incubator west of Fulton Market. The shop is the first of it’s kind in the city, Peter Müller said, and the brothers hope it will give them room to grow the hobby into a full-time business.

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In this video we check out a full walk around of an absolutely stunning vintage Triumph motorcycle.

The Triumph is known as one of the true classics and to see a beautifully restored one like we see in this video is a treat for any true motorcycle enthusiast.

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Mecum’s first foray into the Nevada spring for a vintage motorcycle auction in Las Vegas was a pronounced success with 339 motorcycles hammering sold June 2-3 for an 80-percent sell-through rate and $4.4 million in overall sales.

Highlighted by the $95,000 sale of a gorgeously restored 1950 Vincent Black Shadow (Lot F125), top sales at the auction were strong and showed off the great variety of marques available. Amidst that diverse assortment, Indians nevertheless demonstrated their enduring desirability with five of the top 10 bearing that venerable name. While not necessarily among the top-priced motorcycles at the auction, Harley-Davidsons, Hondas and Triumphs were among the most popular marques to cross the auction block with an impressively large selection of each on hand.


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