AFT Texas Half-Mile Recap

April 30, 2018 Press Release 0

The AFT Texas Half-Mile races this weekend were fraught with drama. 

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FORT WORTH, Texas (April 28, 2018) – Defending Grand National Champion Jared Mees earned some much-needed redemption while AFT Singles rising star Morgen Mischler earned his first professional win in a drama-filled night of American Flat Track racing at Texas Motor Speedway for the Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Texas Half Mile presented by Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda.

That drama was effectively guaranteed even before the day’s racing activities began, coming only one day following the announcement that Mees had been disqualified and stripped of his win at the previous round in Atlanta for using a chemically altered tire.

But the twists only stacked up from there. The entire evening program was loaded with thrills and spills, the implication of which are almost certain to be felt throughout the remainder of the 2018 title fight. Big name after big name was eliminated from competition even prior to the Main, including Mees’ fellow Indian Wrecking Crew members Brad Baker and Bryan Smith.

Baker went down hard in his Heat and could not continue, and then Smith lost the front in Semi 1, initiating a spectacular, multi-rider incident that also collected Jake Johnson and Stevie Bonsey, who was launched several feet into the air in terrifying fashion. Adding more drama, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. – the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines points leader coming into the weekend – simply failed to make the Main, finishing outside the top nine in Semi 2.

Meanwhile, Mees hardly put a wheel wrong aboard his Indian Scout FTR750 all night long. He was momentarily squeezed out at the start of the Main, briefly dropping to third, but he systematically worked his way past Chad Cose and early leader Briar Bauman to grab the lead. Once established in front, Mees was in complete control of the contest to the checkered flag.

The triumph was a double dosage of redemption for the defending champ; Mees finished second in Texas last year – the only time in the most recent seven Half-Miles in which he failed to stand atop the podium.

After the race Mees said, “First off, thoughts and prayers to all the downed riders. I don’t know the condition of any of them, but we had a lot of downed riders tonight and nobody wants to see that. [All riders were reported to be awake and alert afterward.] On my end, we just came out and were really focused on getting this win, and we made it happen. We were fast right out of the gate. Huge hats off to my entire team for just sticking behind me and making it happen for me week-in and week-out. The Indian motorcycle is a phenomenal bike for me.”

Zanotti Racing ace Bauman came home second while Cose held onto third aboard his Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma City Scout FTR750 to earn his first-ever AFT Twins podium.

And just like that, Mees is back in a familiar position – leading the AFT Twins championship table with 50 points – despite his Atlanta DQ. Henry Wiles, who finished fifth tonight, is second, followed by Bauman in third.

Earlier in AFT Singles action, Morgen Mischler narrowly fended off a hard-charging Shayna Texter to secure his first-career professional victory by a scant 0.094 seconds. At the start, Texter slashed her way forward aboard her Husqvarna FC 450, picking off several rivals on a track where most struggled to overtake. However, she could not quite find a way past race-leader Mischler once she arrived on his rear wheel, no matter how desperately she tried.

Mischler rebuked numerous attempts by Texter, including – and most crucially – coming off the race’s final corner with his sideways Cycle Craft Yamaha YZ450F bucking and protesting all the way to the checkered flag. Texter was right there, close enough to take advantage, but Mischler’s swerving Yamaha blocked her from making the pass.

Mischler’s victory put to rest any lingering doubt he may have had regarding his skills to compete with, and beat, the best the AFT undercard has to offer. He said, “It’s one of those things – when you move up to the pro ranks, you ask yourself if you belong. On that last lap… it stepped out pretty good, but I just pinned it.”

Brandon Price rounded out the podium in third, taking over the AFT Singles points lead in the process as former championship leader Dan Bromley finished 17th.


Check out our Texas Half-Mile NBCSN broadcast on Sunday May 6 at 4:00 pm ET, with a re-air broadcast the following day at 4:00 pm ET. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at americanflattrack on NBCSN.

Next Up:

American Flat Track will be back in action next Saturday, May 5, for the Calistoga Half-Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle in Calistoga, Calif. Live coverage can be viewed on beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET with Opening Ceremonies scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Calistoga Tix.

How to Watch:

NBCSN and are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2018 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT moves to highly-coveted, weekend afternoon programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at remains a cornerstone of AFT’s digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event on AFT’s live page while previous events and exclusive features are available on AFT’s VOD page.

About American Flat Track:
American Flat Track is the world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on American Flat Track, please visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram, live stream the events at and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.

AFT Texas Half-Mile Recap appeared first on News.

Ducati Opens In-House Physics Laboratory To The Public

April 30, 2018 Troy Siahaan 0

The laws of physics haven’t changed, but its application to motorcycling can be hard to understand at times. To help educate local high school students, Ducati created the Fisica in Moto at the company headquarters in Bologna. Among its many features, the physics laboratory includes several interactive and hands-on displays to help understand the inner workings of Ducati motorcycles. Now the Fisica in Moto is open not just to students, but to the general public.

Developed with the help of teachers from the Malpighi High School of Bologna, the lab covers topics like desmodromic valve operation, the physics behind lean angle, and even the purpose of your helmet liner.

The laboratory will be opened on Saturdays and Sundays during the school year (October – June) and from Monday to Friday in Summer (June – September), closed on Wednesdays. Saturday-Sunday hours are 9:30am, 11:30am, 2:00pm and 4:00pm; Monday-Friday hours are 10:30am, 12:15pm and 3:00pm.

The Fisica in Moto tickets includes entry to the Ducati Museum (a must see, in my opinion), and tickets can be booked here. Pricing structures are detailed below (in Euros):

  • Fisica in Moto + Museo Ducati: Full € 30,00 / Reduced € 25,00 */ Children under 11: Free
    Fisica in Moto + Museum Fisica in Moto + Fabbrica + Museo Ducati: Full € 45,00 / Reduced € 40,00 * / Children under 11: Free
    *Reduced for under-18 with parents and universitary studens (up to 26yo)

For further information about Museum and Factory tours please click here. For further information about the laboratory, inquiries can be sent to

Still not sure how the physics lab works? Maybe this video can help you understand:

Source: Ducati

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Jason Andersons Supercross Championship Points Lead is Slipping Away

April 30, 2018 Press Release 0

The penultimate round of Monster Energy Supercross was held this past weekend in Salt Lake City, and current championship points leader, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson, didn’t have the main event he was looking for, ultimately finishing 17th after a first turn tangle that sent him to the pits to swap front wheels. Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin finished first and took a considerable bite out of Anderson’s points lead, narrowing it to a margin of only 14 points. Should Anderson have another less than ideal race at the season finale in Vegas this coming weekend, Musquin might be able to steal the championship out from under Anderson… Tensions will certainly be high this weekend, and given Marvin’s newfound aggression, the Frenchman may just have what it takes to pull off a major Husqvarna upset.

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – April 29, 2018 – Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, made its return to “The State of Sport” in front of 43,849 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Jason Anderson Marvin Musquin Salt Lake City

Marvin Musquin celebrates his fourth 450SX Class win after leading 23 of the 26-Lap Main Event in Salt Lake City. Photo credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

In the 450SX Class Main Event, the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WPS KTM of Blake Baggett grabbed the holeshot ahead of Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin and Team Honda HRC’s Christian Craig, while points leader Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson got caught up in a first turn crash that sent him to the mechanics area for a tire change. As Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing’s Eli Tomac battled from a 10th place start, Musquin made the pass on Baggett for the lead after three laps. Tomac found his groove and worked up to second over Baggett by the checkers while Anderson finished 17th after going two laps down and holds a 14-point lead over Musquin heading into the season finale in Las Vegas.

“Sometimes it’s not the fastest guy that wins the race,” Musquin said after the finish. “You’ve got to be very consistent. The whoops are really, really tough and you know I was just trying to be safe and get it done. I was happy to win here. It’s definitely not a track that suits me. It’s hard and slippery, but the bike was working good. It was a tough day for me, but that made me stronger.”

Jason Anderson Marvin Musquin Salt Lake City

Shane McElrath captured his second Western Regional 250SX Class win in Salt Lake City after a third-place start to lead 11 of the 19-Lap Main Event. Photo credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

In the penultimate round of the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy grabbed the holeshot while Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Aaron Plessinger battled into second after the start with Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM’s Shane McElrath in third. Savatgy lead eight laps until McElrath charged from third to first through the whoops while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo found second over Savatgy, Plessinger and Sexton rounded out the top five, and McElrath led 11 laps to the checkered flag. Plessinger holds a 13-point lead heading into the season finale at the Dave Coombs Sr. 250SX East-West Showdown in Las Vegas.

“It feels good to do it in front of Utah today,” McElrath said on the podium. “Man, God is good. We got a beautiful day today.”


450SX Class Results

  1. Marvin Musquin, Clermont, Fla., KTM
  2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
  3. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrance, Calif., KTM
  4. Christian Craig, Orange, Calif., Honda
  5. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha
  6. Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda
  7. Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Suzuki
  8. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM
  9. Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Honda
  10. Tyler Bowers, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Kawasaki

450SX Class Championship Standings

  1.  Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (338)
  2. Marvin Musquin, Clermont, Fla., KTM (324)
  3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (292)
  4. Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda (264)
  5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrance, Calif., KTM (264)
  6. Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Suzuki (235)
  7. Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (193)
  8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., KTM (184)
  9. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (181)
  10. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (163)

Western Regional 250SX Class Results

  1. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM
  2. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
  3. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
  5. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
  6. Phillip Nicoletti, Bethel, N.Y., Suzuki
  7. Dakota Alix, Jay. Vt., KTM
  8. Mitchell Harrison, Tallahassee, Fla., Husqvarna
  9. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha
  10. Martin Castelo, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha

Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (196)
  2. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (183)
  3. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (174)
  4. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (172)
  5. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (150)
  6. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Suzuki (128)
  7. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha (124)
  8. Mitchell Harrison, Tallahassee, Fla., Husqvarna (115)
  9. Christian Craig, Orange, Calif. Honda (106)
  10. Phillip Nicoletti, Bethel, N.Y., Suzuki (94)

The 2018 Monster Energy Supercross season concludes in Las Vegas with the finale on May 5 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Watch the action live on FS1 at 10 p.m. ET.

For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross, or follow via social channels:


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Indian Motorcycle Takes First and Third At Texas Half-Mile

April 30, 2018 Press Release 0

After being disqualified from the Atlanta race, Jared Mees would again bring home the top spot at the Texas Half-Mile.

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2017 Reigning Champion & Wrecking Crew Rider Jared Mees Takes Victory; Chad Cose & Indian Motorcycle of OKC Finish Third

                                                                             TEXAS HALF-MILE

FORT WORTH, TX (April 30, 2018) – Indian Motorcycle Racing and reigning 2017 American Flat Track (AFT) Champion Jared Mees secured the top leaderboard position with a win at the Texas Half-Mile. Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma City Privateer Chad Cose secured his first career AFT Twins podium with a strong third-place finish after setting the top qualifying time. Meanwhile, fellow Scout FTR750 privateers Henry Wiles and Johnny Lewis placed inside the top 10 with a fifth and eighth place finish, respectively.

Mees and Cose each won their semi-final race and earned the top-two starting positions in the Main. After trailing initially, Mees was able to pass several riders and capture the lead. Cose ran the majority of the race from the third position and was able to hold off the fourth-place finisher, who was challenging for that final podium spot for the majority of the race.

“We’re entering an important stretch of the season right now, as Texas kicks off six straight weeks of racing,” said Mees. “To start this run off with a victory is huge. I want to thank Indian Motorcycle, my team and all the fans for their continued support. With Texas in the books, we’re on to Calistoga.”

Cose’s third-place finish marked the third time a privateer has podiumed with the championship-winning Scout FTR750. In 2017, on his first race aboard the Scout FTR750, Johnny Lewis reached the podium with a third-place finish at the Texas Half-Mile.

“To see Chad reach the podium for the first time in his career was amazing,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle. “He’s feeling comfortable and riding well on the Scout FTR750, and we couldn’t be more excited to see him compete in these upcoming races.”

In a highly competitive night, a number of riders crashed and were unable to finish. Among those were Wrecking Crew Riders Brad Baker and Bryan Smith. Baker went down in his heat and suffered a mild concussion, while Smith was involved in a multi-rider crash in Semi 1. Both have reported to be okay, though, their status for the Calistoga Half-Mile on May 5 is currently unknown.

Through three races Mees leads the pack with 50 points. Wiles, who has finished fourth and fifth the last two races on his Scout FTR750 is currently second with 46 points. Despite missing the Main in Texas, Kenny Coolbeth Jr. sits in the fourth position with 36 points.

The Indian Wrecking Crew and stable of privateers aboard the Scout FTR750 will continue its season on May 5 at the Calistoga Half-Mile. For more information on Indian Motorcycle Racing, backed by Allstate Insurance, the Indian Wrecking Crew and Scout FTR750, visit and follow along on Facebook,Twitter & Instagram. For information on purchasing a Scout FTR750, please contact

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Church of MO: 1997 Adventure Tourers

April 29, 2018 John Burns 0

And in those days, according to this archaic MO comparison anyway, there were only two: the BMW Methuselah R1100GS and the Triumph Tiger 900. And so they set out across the burning sands, two by two, to see which was more worthy, unaware that the ADV niche would become so yuuge 21 years later.


1997 Adventure Tourers

Seeking Adventure

Somewhere a motorcycle manufacturer’s marketing department coined the name “adventure tourers” to describe large-displacement dual sport bikes. Spawned from Paris-Dakar rally machines, they come equipped with hard luggage, enormous fuel tanks, high-mileage radial tires, comfortable seats, long-travel suspension and lots of ground clearance. Want to take a trip to Alaska? Maybe head south through Mexico’s rugged terrain? These will be the machines of choice. But which of these heavyweights works best in this environment? That depends on which side of the equation you place the most emphasis — adventure, or touring. Follow along as we do a photo-comparison of these two adventure bikes. The results may be surprise you.BMW’s Telever front suspension gives a natural anti-dive effect under hard braking, something you can do with confidence on the R11GS because of its Brembo-equipped dual discs and four-piston calipers. The Tiger’s softly-sprung, long travel forks dived excessively under heavy braking during spirited riding, putting it at a distinct disadvantage while chasing the Beemer through the canyons.

Using the same fuel-injected, 4-valve boxer motor as the R1100R Roadster, the GS produces a claimed 80 hp, the same output claimed by Triumph for its DOHC, 4-valve triple. But the BMW is a heavy beast. Although providing the perfect marriage between mechanical innovation and computerized electronics, its three-way catalytic converters, electronic engine management system and ABS-controlled triple disc brake system extol a large weight penalty. BMW’s Teutonic twin outweighs the Tiger by almost 50 pounds — an important consideration when blasting down rock infested trails.Off-road, the GS’ wide bars offer more leverage during tricky uphill climbs than the Tiger’s narrower bars, but then again, the Beemer shouldn’t be climbing hills off-road. The narrow windscreen provided a surprising amount of wind protection during freeway travel. BMW’s Rider Information Display, a broad array of functions and warning lights that includes the ABS warning system, is the prominent feature on the GS’ simple instrument panel. The ABS system can be disarmed through an instrument panel-mounted switch, something you’ll want to remember if you venture off the pavement with the GS. Take it from us, anti-lock brakes make it difficult to control a motorcycle as large as the Beemer when traveling down a slick, off-camber cobby downhill.

Meanwhile, the Tiger’s cockpit features the standard array of gauges and lights, and even has a clock — a nice touch when out on tour. A major nitpick though, is the dark-tinted lens cover over the idiot light strip that makes it hard to see the neutral light or turn signal indicators in daylight. More than once it caused us to travel down the highway for miles with a blinker flashing.

Both the Triumph and BMW make excellent street machines. Their dual sport-inspired suspensions make traversing pot-holed infested pavement a piece of cake. You’d be surprised at how many sport bikes you can humble on one of these motorcycles. Give the edge in sport riding to the BMW.
With its wider wheels and Metzeler tires, the BMW holds an advantage in the twisties over the Triumph and its less sport-oriented Michelins. The GS puts out boatloads of low rpm torque, while the Tiger’s power is found higher in the rev band.


This is a typical view of the R1100GSoff-road — sideways. The Beemer’s wider tires and wheels were of no extra help here. The bike’s suspension severely limited off-road fun. The Tiger is a beautiful machine, turning heads everywhere we went.
BMW’s unusual styling cues with the GS elicited many unfavorable comments – you either love or hate it. The Tiger’s GIVI luggage mounting system and hard saddlebags were the model of simplicity. Extremely easy to open, mount and remove, the bags had more carrying capacity than the GS’ but were no where near as stylish.

Large dual-sport motorcycles are often categorized by the percentage of street-vs-off-road capability they possess. Make no mistake — both these bikes are happier on pavement than plowing through sand washes. 85 percent street, 15 percent dirt is the usual formula. And that 15 percent dirt had better be on smooth fire roads — there’ll be no rock-infested single-track trails in either of these bikes repertoires. Indeed, many adventure bike owners may never experience life beyond the asphalt, and the docile road-going manners of both the BMW-GS and Triumph Tiger make them perfectly suited for light-duty street-only touring.But if you seek real adventure and want your tourer to be capable of heading into the boonies when the need or desire arises, you’ll want the Tiger. Lighter weight, six-speed transmission, chain-drive, powerful high-rev motor, suspension that handles acceptably well in the street and even better off-road, there isn’t much that a Tiger rider would have to avoid. It’s only limitation is in its tires, which are not intended for serious off-road play — although the Triumph Tiger is willing in every other way.

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2018 Kawasaki H2 SX: What’s Hot and What’s Not?

April 27, 2018 John Burns 0

We already performed a complete road test with amazing video on Kawasaki’s amazing new H2 SX SE a while ago. But why let that stop us from revisiting the highest-ranked bike I ever raved about, with a 97.5% approval rating, and with the first engine I ever gave a perfect 20?


  • SMOOOOTH. She feels like she’s balanced and blueprinted. Do they still do that with hot rod engines? If you’ve been turned off of big inline Fours because you don’t like buzz, tingle, or vibration – you need to take this one for a test ride. Dual counterbalancers render it silky smooth. Does the impeller spinning 9.2 times faster than the crank cancel vibes too? Do steel tube frames damp out vibes better than aluminum beam ones?
  • FUEL EFFICIENCY: 40 mpg for a motorcycle that makes this kind of power is really good. You’re not helping save the planet, but, well, you’re not driving a monster truck either.

  • SUPERCHARGER! It simply isn’t done, sir. The Big Four all dabbled in turbocharging decades ago, but nobody’s had the gallstones to build a forced-induction production motorcycle again until this one. It’s about time.

  • More power: 171 rear-wheel horses on our dyno is a sizable stable, and every one of those ponies is beautifully saddle-broken and well-behaved. Also, for the truly never satisfied, it looks like the SX could blow right through the 180-hp barrier with a bit of tuning between 10 and 12,000 rpm, for special, limited engagements on salt flats and abandoned airstrips.

  • Suspension of disbelief: I thought it was Öhlins, so plush and controlled was the ride, but it’s KYB. And it’s not just the best-tuned suspension Kawasaki’s ever done, it’s some of the best suspension we’ve ever ridden period.

  • Cruise Control. The first Kawasaki sport bike so equipped. Don’t leave home without it. (Also ABS, IMU-controlled traction control, TFT display on the SE model, etc…)

  • Dog-ring gearbox shifts surely and shweetly, and plumping for the SE version also gets you an up/down autoshifter that’s the next best thing to having a full automatic transmission.

  • Rivermark. Kawasaki hasn’t affixed this special symbol to any of its motorcycles since its earliest models from the `60s. Everything about the H2 is a cut above Kawasaki’s normal level of quality, fit and finish – which is pretty damn high to begin with.
  • You can actually get one. Unlike the H2 and H2R, which required planning ahead and putting down a large deposit, it looks like you can stroll into many Kawasaki dealers and pick up an H2SX or SX SE for list price.


  • The sneaky way in which this bike builds speed will often have you surprised when you look down and see how fast you’re motoring. You’ll be needing some sort of radar detector or many relatives in police departments.
  • The seat’s slightly crowned shape isn’t a favorite of a couple of narrow, thin butts we interviewed.

  • Some are bummed that not only are the bags an extra-cost option, but they’re the same ones Kawasaki uses on its more pedestrian Ninja and Versys 1000s. As for me, any bags are better than none, and these work great and use the ignition key.

  • Well, some people just don’t want a green motorcycle, which the SX SE is. And some don’t want a black motorcycle, which is the only flavor for the base model SX. To me, the SE is Emerald City, and I just want to put on my ruby slippers and ride there every day.
  • $22k for the H2 SXSE and $19k seem like a lot of money for a Kawasaki. Yes, it’s true, but for all the HOTS listed above, I think we need to recalibrate our purse strings and understand that these go toe to toe with premium motorcycles from Europe. In fact, some would say (me) that these Kawasakis outdo premium motorcycles from Europe. They’re also much less expensive than the original H2 and H2R.
  • The most serious NOUGHT is that in spite of its bargain pricing, many of us including yours truly, probably can’t justify such an expensive bodice-ripper of a motorcycle. That’s really a HOT, though, because you know that now Kawasaki has this supercharger thing down, we’re going to be seeing it on other slightly more practical green bikes to come. Some of them may not even be green. Cheers!

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Higdon in South America: Part 11

April 27, 2018 John Burns 0

March 2, 2018

Salta, Argentina

Like most advanced, caring, and post-industrial countries, Bolivia has taken steps to ensure that its children are protected from the ravages of unfair labor practices. OK, your scribe was just having some fun there, since you know as well as I that every word in that first sentence is (with apologies to Mary McCarthy) a lie, including “and” and “the.” Nick was telling me at breakfast the other day what his tour of the mine at Cerro Rico had been like. “If I had known . . .” I interrupted him. “Stop,” I said. “I knew what it would be like: A dust-choked, strangulating hell at 14,000 feet where you’d sell your mother to a Portuguese white slave ring to escape from the place 15 minutes into a two-hour tour. How could you not know that?”

“Oh,” he said, “it was worse than that.”

He described it as “harrowing.” The word “claustrophobic” also came into play, as it does with many stories set in caves. The workers there, all young because the older ones have died off, need to load ten tons of ore each shift into large, rolling carts. Make your quota and you take home 150 Bolivianos, just under $22. Miss your mark? Try again tomorrow, Juan, but today your 12 hours of breathing toxic dust has netted you nothing.

The minimum age is 14, but everyone knows there are ten year-olds burrowing away like moles in that hill. Their mouths are so jammed with coca leaves they look like they’re trying to eat four golf balls. It alleviates hunger and increases energy, they say. They also say that on the Big Rock Candy Mountain the hens lay soft-boiled eggs. The few leaves I sucked on in Quito didn’t do much except get me on a DEA known user list.

Nick was about ready to make a few dynamite holes in the damned place just to get some uncontaminated air when the guide said that there was one last station on the cross to visit: the God of the Mountain. I perked up. “Really? I wouldn’t mind that part of the tour. I’ve got a few things I’d like to mention to that Guy myself,” I said, perhaps a little too warmly. The guide noted that it would require traversing a path of about 50 yards on hands and knees, at which point Nick naturally offered an objection. It went nowhere. The guide explained that it was the only way out.

With all due respect to the panoply of deities, I’ve seen Nick’s photos of the God of the Mountain and I must say that this One’s sculptor is no threat to Michelangelo. It’s a kind of ribbon-covered mud pie in a more or less human form with a gaping maw into which worshippers have placed half-lit cigarettes and a genital package that appears to be more threatening than useful. I wasn’t comfortable that Mud Man would hear my prayers about the improvement of working conditions at Cerro Rico. No, for that I’m afraid I’d Better Call Saul.

                                   * * * * * * * * * *

When we left the salt flats five days ago and headed south to Uyuni, we turned to the left in the middle of town and proceeded northeast to Potosí. Had we continued straight south, however, in another 75 miles we’d have come to San Vicente. You have heard of this village, even if you don’t know it. Hollywood has guaranteed it.

In 1901 after a remarkably successful ten-year career of robbing trains and banks in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah, Robert Parker and Harry Longabaugh decided that they would retire to Argentina and become gentlemen farmers. They were joined by Longabaugh’s girlfriend, Etta Place. The Pinkerton Detective Agency had been after them and their gang with every bit of the enthusiasm they’d earlier used to track down Frank and Jesse James. If you were west of the Mississippi at the beginning of the 20th century, you’d heard of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Sundance Kid, far left, Butch Cassidy, far right

For a while they appear to have kept their noses clean but in 1905 they robbed a bank in Patagonia of $100,000. They hit another at the end of the year west of Buenos Aires and escaped into Chile. In 1906 Etta Place, tired of running, decided to retreat to the United States. Longabaugh accompanied her, then returned to Bolivia, where Cassidy had a job working as a guard for one of the silver mines. Things remained quiet until early November, 1908, when two Americans heisted a silver mine payroll near San Vicente and stole a pack mule. The animal, worth nothing, bore the mining company’s brand.

They stayed the night of November 3 at a small boarding house in San Vicente. The owner, suspicious of the pair, found the mule’s brand and notified a local Bolivian cavalry unit. By nightfall the house was surrounded. When soldiers attempted to close in, one was killed and another wounded. A deadly firefight ensued. After midnight a man’s screams were heard in the house. Two pistol shots followed. At dawn the soldiers entered the house, finding both men shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide. Both had been bleeding out from dozens of bullet wounds. They could not otherwise be identified.

Were they the Dynamic Duo? Of course. Can we prove it? Of course not, though television crews with DNA experts have tried their best to do just that. But what mystifies me about these two in the end is what in the world were they thinking, pulling a robbery like that in an utterly desolate area? They stood a foot taller than anyone within a radius of 200 miles. Their accents would’ve give them away instantly. They could not have looked more like gringos had they been wearing Snow White and Cinderella masks.

Sixty years after their unnoticed deaths, director George Roy Hill released his film version of the pair’s exploits, thus guaranteeing Parker and Longabaugh eternal celebrity. Though history has been kinder to the movie than critics were at the time, nothing for me can ever excuse Hill’s ending: His stars, Newman and Redford, burst from the boarding house in broad daylight with four guns blazing away and then . . . freeze the frame and turn it into a lobby poster. Sure, as if they might escape to star in a sequel.

The truth was far more horrific. They sat in that dark, miserable house, dying of arterial blood loss. For almost half their lives they had been inseparable friends, as lucky as anyone has ever been. Now one would have to shoot the other through the forehead, then turn the pistol to his own temple. How did it come to be called that, I wonder.

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Twisted Throttle Announces Bomb-Proof Adventure Luggage

April 27, 2018 Press Release 0

Twisted Throttle’s latest line of Dryspec H35 adventure luggage promises some impressive durability for those riders who demand the most from their luggage. Read on to learn more. 

Begin press release:

The DrySpec H35 waterproof case is an incredibly durable and versatile luggage solution. Rugged, military spec construction provides certified protection from impact, water intrusion and vibration while a simple and symmetrical design allows this case to be utilized as a top case or side case. To improve function even more, optional Top Load Liners give side-loaders the convenience of top-loading luggage and help prevent your gear from falling out when the lid is opened. Plus there are interchangeable MOLLE style accessory mounting panels (both internal and external) available to mount compatible equipment pouches. Accessorize away, we won’t judge.

The DrySpec A-Lock system consists of a luggage based puck and lock system that fixes to an A-Frame plate that is mounted to top or side luggage racks. The A-Frame plates use a Monokey hole pattern which makes them compatible with many top racks and side carriers. The wedge shaped design of the A-Lock system holds your cases in place no matter how rough the terrain can be yet provides a nearly effortless and smooth track for mounting and removing your luggage.

H35 70 Total Liter Side Case Set
DrySpec H35 A-Lock Waterproof 35L Side Case Set in Black is ideal for motorcycle travel across difficult terrain, uncertain weather, or unsecure locations. A DrySpec H35 A-Lock Waterproof 35L Side Case Set in Silveris also available.

  • Total capacity of 70L
  • A-Lock lockable mounting system
  • TSA approved case locks
  • Submersible
  • Impact resisitant
  • Can be used as top case or side case
A-Lock Adapter Kit for SW-MOTECH EVO & Quick-Lock Side Carriers
DrySpec A-Lock Side Case Adapter Kit for SW-MOTECH EVO & most GIVI PL series side carriers is required to mount a set of H35 cases to your luggage rack. The wedge shape design of these frames provide solid and secure mounting that can be done with one hand.

  • Powder coated steel frames
  • Stainless steel rack latches
  • Low profile design is soft luggage friendly
  • Includes spacers for asymmetrical racks
  • Compatible with SW-MOTECH EVO side carriers
  • Compatible with most GIVI PL series Monokey side racks
Top Load Liner Set for H35 Side Cases
DrySpec Top Load Liner Set for H35 Side Cases is ideal for loading and unloading loose items or separate bags in your case as the liner prevents items from falling out when open. Also availble for one side with the DrySpec Top Load Liner for Single H35 Case.

  • Combines side loading strength with top loading convenience
  • Mounts snugly to the inner wall of the H35 case
  • Innovative pivoting mount system permits wider opening
  • Easily removed without tools
Inner Lid Panel MOLLE Accessory Mounting Kit
DrySpec Inner Lid Panel MOLLE Accessory Mounting Kit for H35 Cases is ideal for mounting equipment or pouches that you want to keep organized and ready but inside your luggage such as tools or first aid kits.

  • Compatible with MOLLE or PALS mounting systems
  • Provides mounting options for strap or Velcro mounted equipment
  • Rugged 1/8in (3mm) Aluminum Construction
  • Textured black powder coat finish
  • Fastens directly to H35 with no drilling or cutting required
Side Panel MOLLE Accessory Mounting Kit
DrySpec Side Panel MOLLE Accessory Mounting Kit for H35 Cases is ideal for mounting equipment or containers that you want readily available but not inside your luggage such as fuel or emergency gadgets.

  • Compatible with MOLLE or PALS mounting systems
  • Provides mounting options for strap or Velcro mounted equipment
  • Rugged 1/8in (3mm) Aluminum Construction
  • Textured black powder coat finish
  • Requires drilling to mount
H35 35 Liter Top Case
DrySpec H35 A-Lock Waterproof Top Case in Black is ideal for motorcycle travel across difficult terrain, uncertain weather, or unsecure locations. A DrySpec H35 A-Lock Waterproof Top Case in Silver is also available.

  • Total capacity of 70L
  • A-Lock lockable mounting system
  • TSA approved case locks
  • Submersible
  • Impact resisitant
  • Can be used as top case or side case
DrySpec A-Lock Top Case Adapter Kit for SW-MOTECH ADVENTURE-RACK & STEEL RACK Top Racks is required to mount an H35 top case to your top rack. The wedge shape design of this frame provides solid and secure mounting that can be done with minimal effort.

  • Powder coated steel frame
  • Stainless steel rack latch
  • Low profile design is soft luggage friendly
  • Compatible with SW-MOTECH ADVENTURE-RACk top racks
  • Compatible with SW-MOTECH STEEL-RACk top racks
  • Compatible with most GIVI SRA series luggage racks
A-Lock Adapter Kit for SW-MOTECH ALU-RACK Top Racks
DrySpec A-Lock Top Case Adapter Kit for SW-MOTECH ALU-RACK Top Racks is required to mount an H35 top case to your top rack. The wedge shape design of this frame provides solid and secure mounting that can be done with minimal effort.

  • Powder coated steel frame
  • Stainless steel rack latch
  • Low profile design is soft luggage friendly
  • Compatible with SW-MOTECH ALU-RACk top racks

Twisted Throttle Announces “Bomb-Proof” Adventure Luggage appeared first on News.

Jared Mees Disqualified From Atlanta Short Track For Using Chemically Altered Tire

April 27, 2018 Press Release 0

Odd to see Jared Mees lose his victory from Atlanta over an altered tire, but the rules are the rules. See the full press release below for details. 

Begin press release:

Following an American Flat Track post-event tire sampling from the Atlanta Short Track held April 8, 2018 at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga., AFT Twins competitor Jared Mees on the #1 machine has been disqualified for using a chemically altered tire.

Four tire samples from four different machines were taken after the Main Event in Atlanta, and all were submitted to an independent lab for chemical analysis. Three of the samples were deemed to be in compliance with the benchmark sample provided by Dunlop. The sample from the #1 machine ridden by Jared Mees was not in compliance, however, and indicated the presence of several chemicals known to be used in motorsports to alter tire compounds.

According to the 2018 American Flat Track Rulebook, the rider of the #1 machine ridden by Jared Mees is in violation of Rulebook section 3.8.b (pg. 44): “Tires: No chemical applications are permitted.”

Pursuant to the 2018 American Flat Track Rulebook, Section A3.1 Equipment Offenses and Penalties (page 84), this is a Category 1 offense: “An equipment violation that could potentially enhance the performance of a motorcycle used in competition.”

Effective immediately, the rider of the #1 machine – Jared Mees – has been served with the following penalties in accordance with Section A3.3:

  • Disqualification from the Atlanta Short Track
  • Total loss of points from the event
  • Total loss of prize money from the event
  • Probation for 12 months

Revised results for the AFT Twins Main Event at the Atlanta Short Track are as follows:

  1. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.
  2. Jeffery Carver, Jr.
  3. Jarod Vanderkooi
  4. Henry Wiles
  5. Johnny Lewis
  6. Brad Baker
  7. Bryan Smith
  8. Jake Johnson
  9. Kayl Kolkman
  10. Briar Bauman
  11. Sammy Halbert
  12. Danny Eslick
  13. Brandon Robinson
  14. Chad Cose
  15. Jay Maloney
  16. Wyatt Anderson
  17. Robert Pearson

Revised point standings are as follows:

  1. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.              36 points
  2. Henry Wiles                          32 points
  3. Brad Baker                            27 points
  4. Jared Mees                           25 points
  5. Jeffrey Carver, Jr.                 24 points
  6. Briar Bauman                       24 points
  7. Jake Johnson                       24 points
  8. Bryan Smith                          22 points
  9. JD Beach                              20 points
  10. Jarod Vanderkooi                 20 points
  11. Kayl Kolkman                       16 points
  12. Sammy Halbert                    16 points
  13. Johnny Lewis                       15 points
  14. Brandon Robinson               13 points
  15. Davis Fisher                         12 points
  16. Robert Pearson                   11 points
  17. Danny Eslick                         7 points
  18. Mikey Rush                           5 points
  19. Chad Cose                            5 points
  20. Jay Maloney                          4 points
  21. Wyatt Anderson                    3 points
  22. Bronson Bauman                  2 points

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BMW F850GS Adventure Certified by EPA for 2019

April 27, 2018 Dennis Chung 0

A couple months back, we published a spy photo of what we looked to be a new BMW F850GS Adventure. We can now confirm the F850GS Adventure has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a 2019 model.

Based on the new F850GS (more on that below), the Adventure model is expected to have a larger fuel tank, a bigger windscreen, a thick bash plate and crash bars, and likely a stronger rear subframe to better support the weight of a passenger and luggage.

The EPA certified the Adventure version alongside the regular F850GS and F750GS, indicating they share the same 853cc parallel-Twin engine. BMW claims the F850GS produces 100.6 hp at 8250 rpm (the F750GS is electronically restricted to 76.4 hp) but the EPA’s certification document rates the engine at 88.5 hp at 8000 rpm.

We’ll likely see the 2019 BMW F850GS Adventure at one of this fall’s big motorcycle shows, either Intermot in Cologne, Germany, in October or the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, in November. As for when we’ll see it in showrooms, that’s a good question.

The F750GS and F850GS debuted at EICMA last November and are available now in European dealerships. Neither bike is currently available in the U.S., however, nor do they appear on BMW’s U.S. website as of this writing. It’s possible BMW opted to delay introducing the new bikes so dealerships can clear out their inventory of F700GS and F800GS models. From the EPA’s document, it now appears the new models will be part of BMW’s 2019 model year lineup alongside the new Adventure version.

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