Harley-Davidson Developing Emergency Autonomous Braking System

July 31, 2018 Dennis Chung 0

Harley-Davidson has filed a patent application for a rider assist system that autonomously applies a motorcycle’s brakes in emergency situations.

Automakers have been employing autonomous emergency braking systems for cars over the last few years, but the technology has yet to make it to motorcycles, as abrupt braking can actually be more dangerous for two-wheelers. Still, companies are trying to find ways to make it work. We’ve previously reported that Honda is also developing an autonomous braking system for motorcycles, and companies like Bosch are no doubt working on their own solutions.

The idea is relatively straightforward. Various sensors, such as cameras, RADAR or LIDAR, scan the vehicle’s path for any hazards that may cause a frontal collision, such as a car making a sudden turn or a deer running across a highway. A controller processes this data and, if it predicts an imminent collision, automatically applies the brakes, closes the throttle and actuate the clutch to slow or stop the vehicle before it can hit the hazard.

On a car, such a system can work relatively safely, but on a motorcycle where a rider is exposed and not wearing a seat belt, sudden and unexpected braking can cause a rider to lose balance or even be thrown from the bike.

Harley-Davidson’s solution is to use additional sensors to determine whether the rider is physically or mentally prepared for emergency braking. These include sensors in the grips to determine whether they are being held, seat sensors to check if a rider is not standing up on the foot supports, and cognition sensors mounted on the instrument panel or even inside a helmet to track a rider’s eyes.

A rider cognition sensor (labeled as #76) on the instrument panel provides data that a controller uses to determine whether a rider is paying attention and thus prepared to react in an emergency situation. Sensors in the grips (#36) check to see if a rider is holding on with both hands.

These rider monitors evaluate whether a rider is sufficiently prepared to react before the autonomous brakes are activated. If the sensors determine a rider is not prepared, the system turns on various warning indicators (illustrated above by the exclamation marks in the mirrors and digital display), audio cues or even a vibration from haptic indicators in the handlebars or seat. The system may also apply a brief braking pulse, applying the brakes just enough for the rider to feel a shift in the weight. If the rider still does not respond, the system will wait a predetermined interval (the patent suggests between 200 ms to 500 ms) before stepping in and slowing down the motorcycle.

If the system determines the rider is alert enough, it will start applying emergency braking. If the rider has already applied the brakes, the system will assist by applying additional braking pressure.

An autonomous braking system still requires some fail safes. Sometimes, the safest response to a potential collision isn’t to hit the brakes but rather to take evasive maneuvers. Harley-Davidson’s patent application describes how the autonomous braking system may be over-ridden if the sensors determine the rider has the situation under control and assistance is not required.

As with all patents and patent applications, there’s no way of knowing if or when the invention may actually be used in a real product. Harley-Davidson’s patent application tells us the company at the very least considering an emergency autonomous braking system. Time will tell whether Harley follows through with this idea or goes in a different direction.

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Tips For Administering Motorcycle First Aid

July 31, 2018 admin 0

The worst-case scenario has just happened: someone has crashed their motorcycle. You’re the first (and possibly only) one on the scene, and not knowing what condition the rider is in, it goes without saying that every second counts. Do you know what to do? What follows are some general tips to follow in case you’re put in the scenario to potentially save a life. In this lawsuit-crazy world we live in we also have to clarify the Motorcycle.com staff are NOT medical professionals, and everything mentioned here is superseded by proper medical training. Which brings up another point – if you don’t already have basic medical training, get it.

With that out of the way we need to establish some basics. If you have cell phone reception, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, keep an eye out for others who might be able to get help. Flag them down, if possible, and instruct them to get the proper authorities right away. In the meantime these critical moments are vital for survival. Key things to look out for are bleeding, breathing, and possible spine injuries. So what can you do?

Assess the situation

Embed from Getty Images

Try to keep cool and stay calm. Then check to see if the rider is in immediate danger: Are they in the middle of oncoming traffic? Is the motorcycle on top of them? Worse yet, are they trapped under burning wreckage? This is a long way to say – if the downed rider can be left where they are, then leave them there. The reason is because you want to…

Protect the neck

In these initial moments, you don’t know if the rider has any head or neck trauma. For as important as the neck and spine are, it’s amazing how delicate both are. One wrong move, no matter how well intended, could be the difference between recovery and paralysis (or worse). Unless the rider is in immediate danger, it’s best to leave them be until the pros arrive. This includes leaving their helmet alone.

Photo by: RATT_ANARACH/Shutterstock.com

Check for breathing

Danger can also present itself in the form of restricted breathing. Once you’ve established that the rider is fine where they are, make sure they’re breathing. If they’re having trouble, then carefully remove the rider’s helmet. This is the exception to the “leave helmet alone” rule. Many modern helmets have easily removable padding denoted by colored tabs (usually yellow or red) specifically for emergency personnel to be able to remove the helmet with minimal movement of the head.

Does this hurt?

If the rider is stable then you can start assessing injuries. Ask for his or her name. Followed by what day it is and where they are. This will tell you a lot – if the rider responds lucidly, that’s obviously a good sign. If there’s no response, or a strained response, these are obvious signs of more damage. Ask if they feel any pain, and especially if they are less lucid, use the light touch test throughout the body to assess for broken bones or possible internal injuries. If there are visibly broken bones, they’ll scream in pain when you touch it. If they don’t, you know something’s wrong. Try and immobilize the break as best as possible. There’s no need to straighten the limb, but do what you can to keep it from moving (use a t-shirt as a sling for a broken arm, for example) Keep a mental note on all of the above conditions so you can relay this to the medical team when they arrive.

Lastly, if there’s bleeding stemming from a laceration or broken limb try and stop it however possible, using your belt or shirt as a tourniquet, if necessary. If significant blood has already been lost, lay the person down and raise their feet – this will help encourage the weakened heart/body to sacrifice the feet to move much needed blood towards the brain. With this loss of blood, it’s also vital to keep the body warm. Jackets are the obvious first choice, but if there are blankets or wraps available, use those too. At this point the body is going into shock. There’s not much roadside aid you can give past this point beyond what was just outlined, but these quick actions might keep the person conscious just that little bit longer until help arrives.

Body regulation

This applies even if you haven’t crashed, but do everything possible to regulate body temperature. Drink plenty of fluids in hot weather and stay warm in the cold. This especially applies to an injured rider. We covered keeping the rider warm above, but in hot weather you want to avoid the injured rider getting even worse due to heat. Find (or make) shade, if possible. Give the rider liquids, too. Damp cloths will also help keep the rider cool. Heat stroke is the enemy here. At worse the body will essentially shut down, and at that point the last hope is…


Photo by: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

You hope it never comes down to this, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If you need to administer CPR be careful with the rider’s neck. If you haven’t taken CPR training in a while (or ever), note new guidelines suggest simply performing chest compressions is as effective as breathing into the patient’s mouth.

Stayin alive

First and foremost, get proper medical training in case you are ever put in a situation where you need it. From there it’s important to remember that, as the person administering help, you need to keep calm, too. This is a lot to chew, so we’ve found a helpful acronym on the Google from The Motorcycle Council of New South Wales in Australia to help you remember. It goes like this:

D – Danger: Check for any danger to yourself, the victim, or others.
R – Response: Is the person responsive to talking and touching?
S – Send for help: Call first responders or otherwise assign someone else to do it.
A – Airway: Clear and open the airways.
B – Breathing: Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Administer CPR, if needed.
C – CPR: Only compressions. No mouth-to-mouth needed.

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End of an Era: Roger Hayden Calls it Quits

July 31, 2018 John Burns 0

One hates to date oneself, when it’s so inexpensive to just stay home, but I first read about the Hayden Bros. – Tommy, Nicky and Roger – before I knew the internet existed. Roadracing World used to show up at the office every month, and there the Owensboro, Kentucky, kids were for the first time, in that year’s “Young Guns” feature. Whatever year it was that Nicky was 13, as I recall – circa 1994. Nicky, of course, was the most successful, winning the 2016 MotoGP World Championship to cap his glorious career. Elder statesbrother Tommy was no slouch, picking up a pair of AMA 600 SuperStock titles over the course of his career. And now baby brother Roger Lee says he’s done at the end of this season with Yoshimura Suzuki, even though he still mostly finds his way onto the podium after 20 years of professional racing. Congratulations, Roger. Thank you for all the good times, proud parents Earl and Rose Hayden.

Yoshimura Suzuki Press Release:

Brea, CA (July 31, 2018) –  Roger Hayden, the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing standout and former AMA Supersport Champion has announced his intention of retiring from professional racing at the end of this season. Hayden, the youngest of the world-famous Hayden brothers, has been a leading racer for nearly all of his 20 seasons as a professional. Suzuki and Hayden are exploring ways he might stay involved in the sport after this part of his career is completed.

“This is not something I’ve decided lightly,” Roger explained. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’ve been going to races on the weekends since I was nine and I just thought it was the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life. I want to spend more time with my wife and maybe do some traveling and start a family at some point soon.

“Yoshimura and Suzuki have felt like a family to me. Don (Sakakura) and Pat (Alexander) are more like friends to me than a boss. We talk about life, sports, you name it and it’s just been a pleasure to be part of the team. I’ve had some of my greatest success with Yoshimura Suzuki and the entire team has always worked hard at giving me great motorcycles to race.

“I would like to stay involved in racing in some way. I enjoy working with the young riders coming up and we’ll see what the future holds.”

Hayden followed in the footsteps of his older brothers Tommy and Nicky into the professional racing ranks as both flat track and road racers. Like Roger, both Tommy and Nicky spent time racing for Suzuki.

The massive success enjoyed by all three Haydens made them perhaps the best-known brother trio in the history of motorcycle racing. An entire generation of fans grew up watching and rooting for the Hayden brothers. Perhaps the highlight of their career as a racing family, was when Nicky, Tommy and Roger swept the podium at the 2002 Springfield TT AMA Grand National. It marked the first and only time in the long history of the AMA Grand National Championship that brothers completed a podium sweep.

Roger grew up in a racing family in Owensboro, Kentucky. Both his father and mother (Earl and Rose) raced as well as his two sisters Kathleen and Jenny. Roger entered his first race at the age of six and was already a nationally-known rider by the time he turned pro in 1999 due to the fact that he’d won a lot of races in the amateur ranks in both flat track and road racing. Roger also earned the prestigious AMA Horizon Award in 1998 when he was just 15.

Roger launched his professional road racing career in 1999 at the age of 16. He showed amazing potential even as a rookie when he scored an impressive fifth-place result in the AMA 750cc Supersport race at Road Atlanta. From there his results continued to grow ever more impressive with each season. He scored his first AMA 750 Superstock podium finish at age 17. His first two seasons racing as a pro road racer were aboard Suzuki GSX-Rs.

In 2006 he was named AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year and then in 2007, he won the AMA Supersport Championship.

In 2011 Roger returned to the Suzuki camp, racing Superbike for National Guard Jordan Suzuki. In 2012 he scored his first AMA Pro Superbike victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Jordan squad.

Roger has been part of Yoshimura Suzuki since 2014. To date his career MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike win total stands at seven. Roger is coming off his most successful season of MotoAmerica Superbike racing in a long and successful career. He was title contender much of the 2017 season. Along the way he stood on the rostrum 15 times in the 18-race series, scoring three victories. Hayden secured second in the championship, giving the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 a 1-2 result in the machine’s debut season. In addition, Roger earned seven Superpoles in 2017, a season best in the championship.

Besides his success in the American championships, Roger also enjoyed racing on the world championship level as wildcard rider in MotoGP and Moto2 and as a regular in World Superbike in 2010.

“We are honored to have Roger as part of the Suzuki racing family,” said Suzuki race support manager, Pat Alexander. “He set a standard of excellence and hard work throughout his career and he’s been a great asset for Suzuki. We hope to continue working with Roger into the future.”

Yoshimura Suzuki Racing’s president Don Sakakura is similarly happy with his team’s association with Roger.

“The Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Team has been privileged the past four-and-a-half seasons to work along-side Roger,” Sakakura said. “Our team has evolved over the years as a result of Roger’s competitive dedication, and his racing sprit. Twenty seasons of professional road racing is an impressive accomplishment. Equally, I respect Roger for his integrity and his core family values, we’ve all enjoyed the company of the Hayden family for countless years. We all wish Roger the very best as he transitions to his next phase in life. Thanks for the amazing memories Roger!”

Fans will have the opportunity to watch Roger race and to see him during fan walks in the remaining four rounds of the 2018 MotoAmerica Series. Next up is the Championship of Sonoma (California) at Sonoma Raceway on August 10-12. You can catch all the MotoAmerica racing action on beIN Sports.

End of an Era: Roger Hayden Calls it Quits appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Motorcycle Saddlebags Buyers Guide

July 31, 2018 admin 0

Saddlebags, side cases, panniers, bags. Whatever you call them, having luggage options for your motorcycle opens up a whole new world of uses for your motorcycle, like cross-country touring or grocery getting. We prefer the former. There are generally two perspectives when considering motorcycle luggage: hard or soft. Our opinion? It depends on the circumstance and your preference. Each has pros and cons. So, we put together a motorcycle saddlebags buyers guide to take a look at a few options from each side of the fence, but first, let’s consider some pros and cons.

Soft luggage generally costs less, weighs less, can be used interchangeably with many motorcycles or rack systems, and isn’t likely to get damaged like a hard case from a tip over. Conversely, soft luggage doesn’t offer the same security that a hard locking case has, can be more heavily damaged in certain crash scenarios, and doesn’t offer as convenient of access, as opening a latch, since they tend to have multiple straps and/or roll tops to be weatherproof.

To touch back on some of the points previously mentioned, hard cases offer better security as they are generally made out of metal or plastic or a combination of the two. Also, they can lock to your motorcycle and be locked shut. Mounting hard luggage also can help with stability as the cases are less likely to move around at speed. Hard luggage can provide better crash resistance in certain circumstances, but it really just depends on how it all goes down… literally.

Giant Loop – Siskiyou Panniers

Motorcycle Saddlebags

Giant Loop is well known for its robust soft luggage and perhaps best known for its versatile rackless motorcycle luggage which is horseshoe-shaped to be thrown over your back seat or rear rack and tied down to the motorcycle. The Siskiyou Panniers are a more traditional take on Giant Loop’s rackless luggage system. The Siskiyou is mounted over the rear seat and is adjustable in width to accommodate girthier motorcycles while still allowing use of the rear seat for passengers, though a seat pad of somesort is recommended to keep your pillion happy. Each side holds 35 liters of storage, is made out of ballistic nylon, has a drawstring pocket which can be used for a 2-liter gas bottle, and has multiple lashing point to attach other pieces of luggage in a modular fashion. As with all Giant Loop products, the Siskiyou Panniers are made in the USA and carry a lifetime limited warranty.

Giant Loop Siskiyou Panniers $699.99 Learn more here.

Kriega – OS-32 Soft Pannier

Motorcycle Saddlebags

Kriega’s Quadlock harness system has been a game changer when it comes to motorcycling backpacks, and the company has since expanded from rider packs to modular tail bag systems and now to soft luggage. Kriega’s products are made out of rugged materials that stand the test of time, even if you are unfortunate enough to have a get off. Ask me how I know.

The OS-32 carries on Kriega’s durable waterproof construction with its roll-top closure and materials such as Hypalon+1000D Cordura, Kevlar, and alloy buckles which should hold up just fine even if you topple over on your big ADV bike. Capacity on each of the OS-32 panniers is, you guessed it, 32 liters and comes with a semi-structured box shape for easy loading. Touching back on the modular design of Kriega’s previous packs, the OS-32 has 16 “hook points” that work with the company’s other pieces of luggage such as the various sized dry packs for more storage. The Kriega OS-32 can be used with the OS-Straps which connect the two panniers over the rear of the motorcycle, or they can be attached to the OS-Platform which then connects to a luggage rack of your choice.

Kriega OS-32 Soft Pannier $295.00 (per pannier) Learn more here.

Mosko Moto – Backcountry 35L Pannier

Motorcycle Saddlebags

Mosko Moto was named after the Mosquito Coast (Mos(quito)ko(ast)) region of Eastern Honduras and Nicaragua where company co-founder Pete Day, had the unfortunate luck of crashing his motorcycle, breaking his leg, putting a premature halt to his travels. Pete had been experimenting with ways to make the PVC luggage he had been using work better and more efficiently. While mending and working on luggage concepts, Pete was introduced to Andrew Bryden who was, at the time, the lead bag designer for DaKine. Pete and Andrew hatched the idea for Mosko Moto shortly after. The two worked on prototypes over the course of a year and set back out to the Mosquito Coast to retrieve Pete’s abandoned motorcycle and ride it out to Panama.

The Backcountry 35L pannier kit is Mosko’s flagship model. Outside the bags are comprised of Ballistic Nylon, 22-ounce PVC, and ripstop material with powder coated steel rotary draw attachment latches. Inside, the bags also use a 22-ounce PVC removable interior liner to guarantee waterproofness. Dismounting the bags is easy and quick with a wedge-type mounting system to the glass-filled nylon mounting plates. These plates connect to many other brands of racks, but the company includes a fitment page for peace-of-mind. The bags cinch down with 4 compression straps and front and bottom MOLLE panels allow for strapping on whatever extra accessories you might want. Relatively new to the market in 2014, Mosko Moto has made waves in the adventure luggage industry.

Mosko Moto Backcountry 35L Pannier $699.99 Learn more here.

SW Motech – Legend Gear MOLLE

Motorcycle Saddlebags

Since we’re on the cusp of ending touring month and heading into adventure month full throttle here at MO, I wanted to include something a little different with SW Motech’s Legend Gear MOLLE lineup. Available in two sizes, 9.8L and 13.5L, the Legend Gear MOLLE style saddlebags are made for riders with style in mind. These bags are made from wax coated canvas and synthetic leather and can be used at various heights and on various bikes thanks to the versatile over-the-seat MOLLE design. Each bag is sold separately as is the SLS mounting strap.

SW Motech Legend Gear MOLLE LS2 $242.95 (per pannier) Learn more here.

Wolfman – Rocky Mountain Saddle Bag

Motorcycle Saddlebags

Ah, Wolfman. My personal go-to. It’s the first and last soft motorcycle luggage I have bought. My personal drybags have been used on thousands of miles of motorcycle touring and camping all across the US and show little signs of use other than being dirty (mostly from my raw aluminum Touratech case rubbing against them).

Family owned and operated with its products made in the USA, Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage manufactures everything from tank bags to tail bags, with off-road and on-road offerings. The Rocky Mountain Saddle Bag was redesigned in 2018 to offer slightly more capacity and given a bit of a “U” shape to help carry and compress the load among other revisions. These bags are made out of 1680 denier custom vinyl-coated ballistic nylon with 22-ounce vinyl sides and use a 6-point mounting system with 1-inch metal cam buckles. Each bag holds 36 liters of storage and is lined with a polyurethane-coated nylon with sealed seams to keep water out. The liners are also bright yellow to help see items inside. There are d-rings found throughout to connect other accessories from Wolfman.

Wolfman Rocky Mountain Saddle Bag $524.99 Learn more here.

Dryspec – H35

Motorcycle Saddlebags

What can be said that wasn’t already stated in my feature-length review?

Dryspec – H35 $698.00 Learn more here.

GIVI – Trekker Series

Motorcycle Saddlebags

GIVI is an Italian company that makes all types of hard and soft luggage for all types of motorcycles as well as accessories like engine guards, hand protectors, radiator guards and more. The GIVI Trekker series was first introduced when adventure bikes started to become popular and was designed to cater to those customers. GIVI has since released its Outback and Dolomiti line which have an even more robust full metal construction, whereas the Trekker is mostly plastic with aluminum veneers. The GIVI Trekker is available in two sizes and two colors: 33L and 46L and aluminum or black. The Trekker series cases are lockable both to the motorcycle as well as the case itself. These cases also offer a partial lid opening system with a smaller lid available to be accessed from the top to grab or stow small items quickly and conveniently.

GIVI Trekker Series $679.00-750.00 Learn more here.

Jesse Luggage – Odyssey II

Motorcycle Saddlebags

Al Jesse began making robust, rugged adventure luggage by hand in the mid-80s out of his California home. Jesse’s idea for a more robust luggage system first began to simmer while following the Paris-Dakar route in 1985 onboard a BMW R80ST he had purchased in London. Once home, Jesse began making and selling these cases by order and eventually grew the business and moved to Arizona where the company remains today.

The Jesse Luggage Odyssey panniers are constructed of 2mm thick 5052 aluminum with angled corners not only for added durability, but also for clearance should a rider find themselves paddling with their legs through difficult terrain. The cases are powder coated for a durable finish while also helping to keep aluminum dust off of your belongings (a real problem with raw aluminum cases). The friction hinge on the cases also allow you to place and leave the lid wherever you like while loading/unloading and the single-hand latches are said to be incredibly easy to use.

Jesse Luggage Odyssey II $995.00 Learn more here.

OEM Luggage

Motorcycle Saddlebags

Not all OEM luggage is created equal, but most of it is easy to mount and some bikes are even being produced with the luggage mounts built into the bike’s design which makes it even easier to buy the cases and slap ‘em right on. No muss, no fuss.

Touratech – Zega Pro

Motorcycle Saddlebags

What would a luggage buyer’s guide be without Touratech’s Zega Pro aluminum panniers? I’ve owned the Zega Pro top case (which is the same basic design and structure as the side cases) for the entire time I’ve owned my KTM 1190 Adventure R, racking up more than 34,000 miles of use with that thing, including one somewhat high-speed spill on road which left it scarred, but totally intact.

The Zega Pro side cases can be had in bare aluminum (don’t do it), anodized silver, and black. Bare aluminum will leave all of your belongings or luggage that comes into contact with it, smudged with aluminum dust forever (basically). It never goes away. Two sizes are available, 31/38L or 38/45L. The Touratech cases are different sizes to accommodate high-mounted exhausts. The Zega Pros are durable, waterproof, easy to remove, and can be locked shut and to the motorcycle, as long as you purchase the locking kits which don’t come with them. For $1349.00, I think they should come with locks, but that’s just me. Construction is very solid and despite the premium price, I would still definitely recommend them.

Touratech Zega Pro panniers $1349.00 Learn more here.

The post Motorcycle Saddlebags Buyer’s Guide appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Review

July 30, 2018 admin 0

N + 1

The final formula for the exact amount of motorcycles you need to have. Where N is the number of motorcycles you currently have. If you can afford it…

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Editor Score: 85.5%
Engine 17.5/20
Suspension/Handling 13.5/15
Transmission/Clutch 9.5/10
Brakes 9.0/10
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.5/10
Appearance/Quality 8.0/10
Desirability 7.0/10
Value 7.0/10
Overall Score85.5/100

Ask any motorcyclist – there’s no one motorcycle that does it all. Some might come close, but ultimately there’s always a better bike for the road ahead. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping, high-speed canyon rip up the twisties, the Indian Roadmaster Elite doesn’t even enter the equation. But if you’ve got miles to crush and distance to cover, the Roadmaster Elite all of a sudden becomes the Rolls Royce of two-wheeled land yachts – the pinnacle of American luxury motorcycle touring.

Big Dam Tour: Seven Baggers for Seven Brosephuses

Recently, I had a mission: get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back, as quickly as possible. Travis Pastrana was recreating three of Evel Knievel’s jumps and making history in the process, which you can read all about here. Door-to-door, Vegas is 300 miles from my house in Redondo Beach. It’s not that long of a ride, but throw 110+ degree weather into the mix, and 300 miles starts to feel like more, with each passing mile seeming longer than the last. I tried to get an early start to beat the heat and left my house at 6am, but it was already into the triple digits by 8, and I hadn’t even reached the high desert, yet.

Travis Pastrana Pays Homage to Evel Knievel and Soars His Way into the Record Books

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

According to the famous thermometer in Baker, CA, it was only 108 degrees.

Fast forward an hour, and it was 113. It finally peaked at 118 just before the Vegas skyline came into view. Some sick part of me wanted to see it hit 120 (and another part of me wanted to die), but the Indian Roadmaster Elite actually made it surprisingly bearable. Rolling down the road at 85-90 mph with the cruise control fully engaged, the Roadmaster’s big front fairing and lower leg covers deflected almost all of the hot air, leaving me in a more comfortable, slightly cooler, and much less turbulent pocket. With Skynyrd crankin’ on the stereo, I was cruising. Judging by the body language of some of the other guys I was riding with, they were fairing (get it!) much worse than me. You know that feeling when you open a hot oven and all the heat comes rushing out? It always instantly fogs my glasses up, making me feel like a total nerd, but that’s exactly how it felt whenever we pulled over for gas or stopped moving. It’s also how I imagine everyone else who wasn’t riding the Indian Roadmaster felt most of the time. But not me, no sir!

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Nothing but smooth, comfortable cruising for Roadmaster Elite riders.

The Roadmaster Elite is Indian’s premier, top of the line, flagship, Big Bertha touring machine. It’s a motorcycle designed to keep you comfortable no matter what, but that all day everyday comfort doesn’t come cheap. With a $36,999 price tag, the Roadmaster Elite isn’t exactly chump change, and it should probably come with its own full-time butler. So, what does almost 40 grand get you?

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

The heart of the beast – the Thunder Stroke 111 with 23K gold leaf emblems. The Indian and Roadmaster signage is also gold, helping justify its lofty price tag.

At its core, Big Bertha has a Thunder Stroke 111-cubic inch V-Twin motor, and it’s claimed to crank out 119 lb-ft of stump-pulling torque. We haven’t dynoed this particular version of the engine, but our previous tests of the Thunder Stroke 111 yielded 103 lb-ft at 3,100 rpm. Click the Roadmaster into gear, let the clutch out without giving it any throttle, and the motor barely even coughs. It just chugs right along. Despite what you might expect from a plus-sized American-made cruiser, gear shifting isn’t anything like on a Harley-Davidson Big Twin. There’s none of that heavy metal-on-metal clunk when pushing the shifter lever down into first, just a nice reassuring click letting you know you’re firmly engaged – the same goes for up and downshifts.

2016 Indian Thunder Strike 111 Factory Hop-Up

Thunder Stroke 116-Cubic-Inch Stage 3 Big Bore Kit Review – First Ride

All that torque is great too, because the Roadmaster Elite ain’t light. Big Bertha tips the scales at a claimed 953 lbs. That’s almost a half-ton before you even pack the luggage cases, which can carry over 37 gallons of whatever it is you need to take on the road with you. The top case alone is capable of fitting two full-face helmets and a jacket without having to wrangle the lid closed – and that’s possible without having to get creative with your packing method. Just toss it all in and lock it up with a click of the remote key fob. In total, there are five storage compartments: both saddlebags, the top case and two gallon-sized compartments on top of the front lower leg fairings. Oh, and there’s also a place to keep your phone safely plugged in, charging, and connected to the Roadmaster’s Ride Command System.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

The Roadmaster Elite has plenty of storage space and compartments to bring pretty much anything you might need along – just over 37 gallons to be exact. Bringing the 953-pound cruise ship to a halt are dual 300mm floating rotors with four-piston calipers up front and another 300mm floating rotor out back with a two-piston caliper. ABS comes standard.

The Indian Ride Command System is my favorite onboard control center that I’ve tested on any bike, ever. By far it’s the most easy and intuitive to use. From every imaginable vehicle status reading and indicator to GPS and audio controls, it’s all displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen, just under your field of view. There’s no flipping through multiple menus to find what you’re looking for, it’s all right there and easy to read. The touchscreen works perfectly even with gloves on, but if you prefer to keep your hands on the bars, there are little triggers and buttons by the levers to toggle through the system as well. In addition to the Ride Command System, there’s an analog speedometer and tachometer gauge on either side of the touchscreen, but I found that I rarely even glanced at them, except for maybe the tach every now and then, because any pertinent travel information was neatly displayed at a quick glance right there on the touch screen in front of me.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

This was the Ride Command System screen I preferred, as it displayed everything I needed to see from speed, RPM, gear indicator, temperature, time, fuel range and even tire pressure – and that’s only tip of the iceberg. The Ride Command System even monitors altitude.

You can sync your phone up to the Roadmaster Elite directly by plugging it in, which allows it to charge as well, or you can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. You can then listen to whatever Highway to Hell playlist you’ve got and pump it through the Roadmaster’s premium 300-watt audio system. There are six speakers total, with two in the front fairing, two in the saddlebags and two more at the base of the top case, right by the passenger’s hips to get them groovin’. They’re plenty loud – probably louder than most car systems actually, and perfect for any old timers with hearing difficulties. At anything less than highway speeds, these speakers will bump your favorite Taylor Swift songs at embarrassingly loud levels – almost like your own personal mobile karaoke machine.

When it’s time to give your vocal cords a rest, or if you’d just prefer to hear the sound of the wind and motor, the duet of two paint can-sized pistons pulsating up and down through dual exhausts is equally intoxicating. Unlike some V-Twins and cruisers, the stock exhaust system on the Roadmaster Elite doesn’t sound like a lawnmower. It’s actually got some bass to it and a deep, throaty rumble that you just can’t find on most other stock Big Twins. The throttle action is different, too. The Indian Roadmaster Elite has more of a 1/3-twist throttle. It’s not quite a quarter-turn – because I looked at and measured it, John! – but the distance it takes to turn from completely closed to WFO is all within the natural motion of your wrist, without having to move your arm.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

The Roadmaster Elite is a big bike – no doubt about that. But it’s also very well balanced and easy to maneuver, even for shorter riders. And finally, a bike that doesn’t look like it’s a size or two too small for me.

As mentioned earlier, the Roadmaster Elite is a big girl, and you’d think she’d be hard to maneuver at slow speeds. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Let the clutch out, and as soon as ol’ girl starts rolling, almost all of her 953 pounds disappear. It’s a really well balanced bike, and it’s actually more nimble than you might expect. We’re not talking Triumph Street Triple nimble, obviously, but she’ll dance around a parking lot and around town with surprisingly little effort. The Elite even does a halfway-decent job in the curvy backroads, but ultimately, her limiting factor in “sportier” riding is her soft front fork, which is also non-adjustable. No problem, though, this just means you get to take in more of the sights along the way. Boom – glass half full.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Ahhh, there’s nothing like going places on your motorcycle. And I’m not talking about down to the corner store for milk and eggs, although this bike is fully capable of doing that, too. The Indian Roadmaster Elite was built for the open road.

In a straight line down the freeway, the front end soaks everything up and feels like you’re riding on a pool table, but sometimes if the road gets real choppy (some of LA’s freeways are notorious for this) the front fork seems to get a little overwhelmed, and it transmits some funky feels through the bars, reminding you you’re riding a half-ton land yacht, not a JetSki. The rear shock, however, is an air shock, and it’s adjustable with an air pump that comes with the bike. It’s just too bad that for a $36,999 motorcycle, the front isn’t at least somewhat adjustable.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Check out all those fairings – almost a car’s worth but with half the wheels. There’s plenty protection to shield the rider from the elements out on the road.

I keep having to remind myself, though, whoever plans on buying the Roadmaster Elite probably cares very little about how well the bike flicks from side to side or how quickly it can navigate a curvy road. For the record, it hustles pretty darn good considering its dimensions and the weight it’s carrying – a lot like an NFL lineman. How those guys move so fast is beyond me. For riders in the market for a flagship touring bike, you’re looking for something that’s going to keep you comfortable, no matter what, and carry all your stuff without having to strap or bungee-cord everything down. The Roadmaster Elite does just that.

The big front fairing and lower leg covers, which have adjustable vents to allow more or less airflow, will keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the cooler months. I wanted to say winter, but not everybody has the luxury of riding year round. However, between all the fairings, and heated grips and seats, the Roadmaster Elite will let you ride longer into the season. Both the heated grips and seats are easily adjustable, and so is the windshield, with about six to eight inches of adjustment up or down. The heated grips have ten levels while the seats have three – high, low and off. The driver and passenger can control theirs independently. Speaking of passenger comfort, your co-pilot even has adjustable armrests which swivel around for maximum relaxation.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Both you and your passenger should be comfortable for miles on end. There’s a slot behind the driver’s seat where he or she can install a backrest for even more long-haul comfort. Surprising, a couple girlfriends asked me for rides, saying how comfortable the passenger seat looked. I didn’t have the Roadmaster long enough to take them on a ride and let them find out, but with cruise control engaged, I tested it out for myself. Their suspicions were confirmed – very comfortable.

So, back to the what does almost 40 grand get you question. Included in the premium price is a premium paint job, which takes one guy over 30 hours to complete. It’s all done by hand and features two-tone black and blue candy paint with 23K gold leaf badging on the fairings and motor. The paint definitely looks great, but for $37,000, I’d prefer a few more color options, because the Roadmaster Elite is currently only available in this colorway.

All in all, the Indian Roadmaster Elite and I shared a little over 1,000 miles together in two days, and we enjoyed each other’s company just fine. If it hadn’t been for having to stop for gas every now and then, I could have easily continued watching the odometer count upwards. Between the cushy stepped seat and long floorboards to dance my feet around on, I never found myself searching for more comfort, though I would have preferred it not to have been 110+ degrees… I averaged between 38-40 mpg, which paired with the Roadmaster Elite’s 5.5 gallon fuel tank should yield a range of up to 220 miles or more. I have to admit, though, there were definitely stretches across the desert where we were cruising along in the triple digits, which certainly didn’t do our fuel consumption any favors. So, you can expect better mileage at anything less than go-to-jail speeds.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Officer: Where are you going in such a hurry?
Me: Just keeping up with traffic, officer.
Officer: I don’t see any traffic
Me: Well, that’s how far behind I am!

If you’re in the market for an American touring bike with all the bells and whistles to keep you and your passenger comfortable for miles on end and you have more than two nickels to rub together, the Indian Roadmaster Elite is definitely a hog to consider, I just wish it came with a cup holder.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite

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Harley-Davidson Announces Growth Plan Through 2022

July 30, 2018 Dennis Chung 0

For a company like Harley-Davidson, change can be slow and incremental. Not so today, as Harley-Davidson announced a new plan for growth from now through 2020, including some significant, bold changes that many customers have long been asking for.

There’s the new liquid-cooled modular platform in four displacements from 500cc to 1250cc, led by the company’s first adventure bike, the 2020 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, which we posted earlier today. Harley-Davidson says this new middleweight platform will span three distinct product spaces. In addition to the Pan America, Harley showed off prototypes of a 975cc streetfighter and a custom model.

These three models are just the tip of the iceberg. Harley-Davidson says it will launch a second adventure-touring model using the 975cc version of the engine by 2021. The as-yet-unnamed streetfighter model will be the first of nine standard models. These will arrive from 2020-2022 and carry engines displacing from 500cc to 1250cc.

The custom model will be one of five bikes displacing between 500cc to 1250cc that are tentatively set to launch in 2021 and 2022. Harley-Davidson didn’t say anything specific, but it’s possible these five models may be a full replacement of the Sportster line.

The new adventure-touring and streetfighter/standard models are a recognition of the strong demand these segments have in Europe, and will be a key element of Harley-Davidson’s plans to grow overseas. Harley-Davidson estimates this segment accounts for sales of 273,000 in 2017 model sales in Europe, none of which currently bear the bar and shield.

There’s also the LiveWire, the first in a new line of electric Harley-Davidson models, set to launch in August 2019. The electric motorcycle market is still relatively dormant, and Harley-Davidson says it plans to take a leadership role, especially from a design perspective starting with the LiveWire. Electric motorcycles are currently priced significantly higher than similar performing internal combustion models, but Harley-Davidson predicts the market will reach cost parity as early as 2030.

The LiveWire will be followed by two more electric models in 2021-2022 that Harley says will offer accessible power and pricing. Harley-Davidson will also offer a selection of what it calls “lightweight urban” electric models in 2021 and 2022. According to Harley-Davidson, these lightweight urban bikes currently make up the bulk of worldwide electric motorcycle sales (including 38 million units in Asia and another 1.8 million in North America and Europe).

Harley-Davidson also announced plans to partner with an Asian motorcycle manufacturer to develop small-displacement models from 250cc to 500cc within the next two years. These will be produced in large quantities for the Asian market, and Indian in particular. The small-displacement models will help increase Harley-Davidson’s brand in Asia while acting as a bridge to its larger-displacement models.

From the business side of things, Harley-Davidson says it will try to broaden access to customers by expanding its website to “integrate and enhance the dealership retail experience” and forming alliances with online retailers. Harley-Davidson expects online or digitally-influenced sales will account for 99% of customer retail growth over the next five years.

Harley-Davidson also plans to open up to 125 new, smaller storefronts in urban locations by 2022 to increase sales of apparel and other products. This will include a mix of permanent and pop-up retail locations.

Traditional dealerships will still play an important role, and Harley-Davidson says it will implement a new performance framework to strengthen its dealer network. Harley also plans to open 25-35 new dealerships in international markets (primarily in emerging markets) by 2022.

Harley-Davidson says its accelerated strategy will require the allocation of $450-550 million towards operating investment and $225-275 million in capital investment through 2022. These will be funded entirely through the reallocation of previously planned resources and comprehensive cost reduction.

If all goes well, Harley-Davidson forecasts annual revenues to grow $1 billion by 2022.

“The bold actions we are announcing today leverage Harley-Davidson’s vast capabilities and competitive firepower – our excellence in product development and manufacturing, the global appeal of the brand and of course, our great dealer network,” says Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson. “Alongside our existing loyal riders, we will lead the next revolution of two-wheeled freedom to inspire future riders who have yet to even think about the thrill of riding.”

Invoking the “i” word, Levatich goes on to say, “Harley-Davidson is iconic because we’ve never been static. In moving forward, we are tapping into the spirit that drove our founders back in 1903 and every one of the employees and dealers who rose to the challenges faced along the way. Our plan will redefine existing boundaries of our brand – reaching more customers in a way that reinforces all we stand for as a brand and as a company and we can’t wait to kick it into gear.”

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Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Results: Washougal 2018

July 30, 2018 Press Release 0

The season may be winding down, but the racing action is certainly heating up. Washougal is just one of those tracks; incredibly beautiful with awesome natural features built into the landscape which goes in and out of the Pacific Northwest’s giant trees – a bucket list track for any motocrosser. Eli Tomac charged to yet another 1-1 sweep to take the overall. The man was simply on a mission. Ken Roczen continues to kick ass despite his return from injury, and Marvin Musquin showed a lot of speed, but just not enough. Justin Bogle keeps ripping holeshots, but can’t seem to hold on for very long afterwards and ultimately drifts back into the pack.

The 250 class is a bunch of maniacs. These guys are the future stars and holy cow are they going fast. The 250 motos at Washougal were jumbled up a bit with Plessinger finishing 4-3 for first overall, Savatgy went 9-1 for second, and McElrath 1-9 for third. It was all over the place, but it was incredibly entertaining racing.

Pro Motocross:

Tomac Wins in Style at Washougal for Seventh
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Victory

Consistency Helps Plessinger Emerge with Third Straight 250 Class Win

WASHOUGAL, WA – July 29, 2018 – The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its lone visit to the Pacific Northwest for the ninth round of the 2018 season, with the 38th running of the Motosport.com Washougal National from Washougal MX Park. In the 450 Class, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac put forth another impressive ride to sweep the motos and grab back-to-back victories. In the 250 Class, a wild afternoon of racing saw consistency help Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger emerge with his third straight win to open a commanding lead in the championship.

Washougal 2018

Tomac raced to his seventh win of the season. | Photo: Rich Shepherd

The first 450 Class moto got underway with Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Justin Bogle grabbing the Motosport.com Holeshot over his teammate Justin Hill. Behind them the Monster Energy Kawasaki tandem of Josh Grant and Eli Tomac battled for third, with Tomac taking the position. Hill immediately pressured Bogle for the lead while Tomac gave chase, while Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin moved into fourth.

Bogle was able to withstand the early threat from his teammate, which allowed Tomac to make the pass for second. Hill was then forced to deal with Musquin in a battle for third. It didn’t take long for Musquin to break into podium position and drop Hill to fourth. Out front, Tomac’s relentless pursuit of the lead paid off as he passed Bogle for the top spot and proceeded to quickly open a gap. A short time later Musquin found his way around Bogle for second. With a clear track Tomac was able to pull out to a three-second lead after just one lap.

With the lead duo distancing themselves from the field, the battle for third intensified. Hill was finally able to get by Bogle to take over third, and soon after that Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen moved into fourth. Hill briefly held off the former champ for the final podium spot, but Roczen worked his way around to seize control of third.

Tomac was in a class of his own out front and continued to build on his lead throughout the remainder of the moto. He took the checkered flag 11.6 seconds over Musquin, who went unchallenged for second. Roczen rode to an uneventful third-place finish, while Hill equaled his career-best result in fourth. Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia overcame a tip over on the opening lap to make a late pass for fifth.

Washougal 2018

Roczen finished in the runner-up spot for the third straight race. | Photo: Jeff Kardas

The final 450 Class moto saw Bogle sweep Motosport.com Holeshots, but he was soon overtaken by Roczen, who wasted little time in sprinting to a lead. Hill got another strong start in third, followed by RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett and Musquin. Tomac started deep inside the top 10. The field jockeyed for position throughout the opening laps, with Hill getting around Bogle for second and Musquin around Baggett for fourth. The Frenchman then chased down and passed Bogle for third.

Roczen sat more than two seconds ahead of the field after the first full lap of the moto, and continued to push the pace in hopes of building a lead he could manage for the long haul. Behind him Tomac was picking up the pace as well and moved up from eighth to fifth. In an effort to catch Roczen, Musquin engaged in a heated battle with Hill for second and their back-and-forth worked to the benefit of Roczen, who moved out to an advantage of more than three seconds once Musquin finally got by Hill for second. Not long after that Tomac gained another spot as well, getting aggressive with Barcia to take over fourth. All this action took place within the first 10 minutes of the 30-minute-plus-two-laps moto.

Drama unfolded just before the halfway point of the moto as Hill crashed out of third, giving the spot to Tomac. However, Tomac went down a short time later as he looked to track down Musquin. The point leader gave up third to Barcia, but remounted quickly in front of Baggett to hold on to fourth. Tomac then went back to work to try and catch Barcia. He successfully did so and retook the position with 13 minutes to go. The pass put Tomac into a tie with Roczen for first in the overall classification, but the second moto tiebreaker weighed in the German’s favor. Tomac would need to erase an 11-second deficit on Musquin in order to take sole possession of first.

Roczen did what he had to do out front and continued to lay down the fastest laps on the track to build on his advantage over Musquin, but Tomac was on a mission in third. He posted the fastest times of the moto over back-to-back laps to take massive chunks out of Musquin’s advantage. His pace was multiple seconds faster than both riders ahead of him and soon enough Musquin was in his sights. Tomac wasted little time in applying pressure on his rival, but Musquin put up an impressive fight to hold him off. It was only a matter of time, however, and with four minutes to go Tomac took over second, and with it the overall win. However, he wasn’t finished.

With three laps to go less than two seconds separated Roczen and Tomac, and the defending champion made an attempt for the lead with a dive bomb down the track’s big hill. Roczen held him at bay, but just briefly. Tomac surged past Roczen as they took the two-lap board and immediately pulled away. He carried on to sweep the motos by 2.2 seconds over Roczen. Musquin followed in third.

Washougal 2018

Musquin rounded out the overall podium in third. | Photo: Jeff Kardas

It was the fifth 1-1 sweep of the season for Tomac and his seventh win of the summer. He now has 16 career wins and has won two of the last three years at Washougal. Roczen finished second overall (3-2) earning the tiebreaker of Musquin (2-3) following their identical moto scores.

“That was unbelievable. After the fall I thought maybe I could get to second, but I didn’t think I’d get the win. To make it happen is kind of crazy,” said Tomac. “Once I got going [after falling] I really had a great pace. I found some lines and just started cranking. The track allowed you to be aggressive, but you still had to toe the line, so it was importance to have that balance. This feels awesome.”

Tomac has moved out to a 15-point lead over Musquin in the 450 Class standings with three rounds remaining. Roczen moved into a tie with Barcia, who finished fourth, for third. They sit 71 points behind Tomac.

Washougal 2018

The 450 Class overall podium. | Photo: Jeff Kardas

The opening 250 Class moto saw Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates Joey Savatgy and Austin Forkner grab the early advantage, with Savatgy claiming the Motosport.com Holeshot. Behind them, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith slotted into third, while Plessinger started just outside the top five. After a torrid opening lap the field settled in, with Savatgy stabilizing a small gap on Forkner as Plessinger fought his way up to fourth and soon gave chase to Smith for third.

The top four started to distance themselves from the rest of the field and sat within two seconds of one another for several laps. Savatgy was able to open a gap, but Forkner fought back and was able to make an aggressive pass for the lead with just under 17 minutes remaining in the 30-minutes-plus-two-laps moto. The gap between the lead group ebbed and flowed, but Forkner upped his pace to stabilize a lead of just over a second on Savatgy.

With less than five minutes remaining the teammates found themselves within a bike length of one another as Savatgy mounted a late challenge. The Kawasaki duo was able to pull away from Smith, which set the stage for a head-to-head battle for the win. With two minutes to go Savatgy made it happen with an aggressive pass of his own to reclaim the lead. Forkner didn’t let up and fought back, but Savatgy fended him off. As they continued to fight, Smith closed back in from third. A few small bobbles by Forkner gave Savatgy the advantage he needed to race to his first moto win of the season by 1.9 seconds. Smith was third, with Plessinger fourth and GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton fifth.

Washougal 2018

Plessinger earned an unlikely win via 4-3 scores. | Photo: Jeff Kardas

The deciding 250 Class moto saw Plessinger emerge with the Motosport.com Holeshot over Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath, who made a run around Plessinger to seize the lead. Forkner slotted in third while Savatgy was mired deep in the field in 25th after going down. Forkner’s day came to an end on the first lap when he crashed while running third and was forced out of the moto. That gave third place to Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis.

With a clear track McElrath was able to put the hammer down and sprint out to a lead of more than three seconds on Plessinger mere minutes into the moto. As the leaders settled into their positions all eyes turned to Savatgy, who was going all out in an effort to salvage a spot on the overall podium, if not the overall win. The Kawasaki rider made aggressive moves through the field and was on the verge of top 10 just past the halfway point of the moto.

McElrath successfully managed a lead of about five seconds over Plessinger, but the point leader made a costly mistake by going down and dropping a spot to third behind Ferrandis. That gave McElrath a commanding 12-second lead over the field that he would not give up. McElrath cruised to the first moto win of his career, crossing the line 12.7 seconds ahead of Ferrandis, with Plessinger third. Savatgy left it all on the track with a ninth-place finish.

Washougal 2018

McElrath’s first career moto win carried him to second overall. | Photo: Jeff Kardas

When the overall results were tallied, Plessinger’s 4-3 finishes just barely clinched his third straight victory by a single point over McElrath (9-1) and Savatgy (1-9), who finished in a tie for second with the tiebreaker going to McElrath by virtue of his better result in the second moto.

It’s the fifth win of the season for Plessinger and the seventh victory of his career. He’s also the ninth different 250 Class winner in the last nine races at Washougal, dating back to 2009.

“I definitely did not know I won. I had luck on my side in that one,” said Plessinger. “Shane [McElrath] was riding awesome. I got the start, passed me, and pulled away form me. That was that. Then I crashed and got behind Ferrandis and couldn’t get back by. That’s what happens. These guys are riding so good and you can’t afford to make a mistake, but somehow everything worked out for us today.”

The win added 10 points to Plessinger’s lead in the 250 Class standings, which now stands at a comfortable 59 points over Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Alex Martin, who finished sixth. More than a full race worth of points now sits between the top two with three rounds remaining.

Washougal 2018

Savatgy’s resilient final moto helped land him on the overall podium. | Photo: Jeff Kardas

The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will take its final break of the season before returning to action on Saturday, August 11, with its annual visit to famed Unadilla MX in upstate New York for the Massey Ferguson Unadilla National. First motos of the 10th round can be seen live on MAVTV at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. The second 450 Class moto will air live on NBC broadcast network at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET, while the final 250 Class moto can be seen via tape delay on NBC Sports Network at 4:30 p.m. PT / 7:30 p.m. ET. Additionally, all of the action can be seen as it unfolds online via the “Pro Motocross Pass” on NBC Sports Gold.


Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Motosport.com Washougal National
Washougal MX Park – Washougal, Washington
July 28, 2018

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (1-1)
  2. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (3-2)
  3. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (2-3)
  4. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
  5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (6-5)
  6. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (8-7)
  7. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (7-10)
  8. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (12-6)
  9. Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki (11-8)
  10. Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Husqvarna (9-12)

450 Class Championship Standings

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 401
  2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 386
  3. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 330
  4. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 330
  5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 301
  6. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki – 247
  7. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM – 224
  8. Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Husqvarna – 217
  9. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Suzuki – 132
  10. Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki – 130

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (4-3)
  2. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (9-1)
  3. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki (1-9)
  4. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (11-4)
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (10-4)
  6. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM (8-6)
  7. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (6-8)
  8. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM (3-13)
  9. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (5-10)
  10. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Husqvarna (12-7)

250 Class Championship Standings

  1. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 371
  2. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM – 312
  3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 267
  4. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM – 251
  5. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 238
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda – 230
  7. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM – 225
  8. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 222
  9. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki – 214
  10. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 204

For information about the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, please visit ProMotocross.com and be sure to follow all of the Pro Motocross social media channels for exclusive content and additional information on the latest news:

Facebook: @americanmotocross
Instagram: @promotocross
Twitter: @ProMotocross
YouTube: AmericanMotocross

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Results: Washougal 2018 appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Launching in August

July 30, 2018 Dennis Chung 0

Four years after introducing the prototype, Harley-Davidson is finally ready to go electric, announcing the impending launch of the LiveWire production model in August.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Prototype First Ride

The electric 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire will be “the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio of electric two-wheelers designed to establish the company as the leader in the electrification of the sport. LiveWire will be followed by additional models through 2022 to broaden the portfolio with lighter, smaller and even more accessible product options to inspire new riders with new ways to ride.”

It’s official, and the 2019 LiveWire looks like it’s ready to seriously ride, complete with full-size sport tires and big dual disc brakes up front. Other than that, however, important details, like range and $$$, remain unavailable…

Harley-Davidson also teased other electric models to be released further down the road. Unlike the LiveWire, these models will likely use technology developed by Alta Motors, which Harley-Davidson recently invested into. Based on trademark filings, we expect the electric powertrain will be known by the brand name “H-D Revelation.”

The LiveWire is just the beginning in its electric push, says the Motor Co.

In the sketches above and in the video above, Harley-Davidson showed several designs for potential models including what looks like some sort of utility bike with a cargo area and a bicycle-style electric motorcycle.

2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire production

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Bold New Harley-Davidsons for 2020

July 30, 2018 John Burns 0

“Leveraging its industry-leading design and strong manufacturing capabilities,” Harley-Davidson says in this morning’s press release, “it plans to offer its most comprehensive lineup of motorcycles, competing in many of the largest and fastest growing segments with a full portfolio of motorcycles across a broad spectrum of price points, power sources, displacements, riding styles and global markets.”

The company’s first Adventure Touring motorcycle, and not a minute too soon, is the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, a go-anywhere ADV bike that’s been ruggedly Photoshopped into a deep forest glen. This is the first of a new, modular line of 500 to 1250cc middleweights that will occupy three distinct product spaces and four displacements, beginning in 2020, H-D says. Modern ADV orthodoxy appears to be in play, including an all-new liquid-cooled DOHC twin that’s shared by all the new models in various displacements.

Then there’s this new 975cc Streetfighter, which also appears to not only contain all the correct building blocks, but seems to have arranged them in the correct places, including the footpegs. Sporting, even, a brand new gas tank, modern-size sport wheels and tires front and rear and big modern brakes, this is definitely bold new thinking for Milwaukee. H-D says to expect this bike first when it begins rolling the new platform out in 2020.

Back in December, we first broke the story that Harley-Davidson applied for a trademark for the name “Bronx.”  The name may be a good fit for this streetfighter but the USPTO flagged a potential issue with that application and Harley-Davidson may not end up using that name.

And of course, something for the traditionalists, a 1250cc Custom iteration of the new platform.

“Additional models to broaden coverage in these product spaces will follow through 2022,” says H-D., as it develops more accessible, small-displacement (250cc to 500cc) motorcycles for Asian emerging markets through a planned strategic alliance with a manufacturer in Asia.

“This new product and broader distribution is intended to fuel Harley-Davidson’s customer access and growth in India, one of the largest, fastest growing markets in the world, and other Asia markets.”

More to come later as H-D comes out swinging, kind of, at last. Stay tuned…





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Church of MO: First Impression: Ducati ST2

July 29, 2018 John Burns 0

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. In those ancient days of MO, before the turn of the century, we were too damn busy to chisel down more than a few notes on our stone tablets at the launch of Ducati’s first modern sport-touring motorcycle. That, or hackers, who could be from anywhere, have made off with the servers that contained the rest of the story and the photos. There is this:

First Impression: Ducati ST2

Besides the strong V-twin powerplant, ergonomics are another strong point for the ST2

Ducati’s long-awaited entry into one of the fastest-growing segments in motorcycling was finally introduced to the U.S. market this month with the formal unveiling of their 1998 ST2 sport-tourer in Santa Barbara, California.

Ducati’s ST2 is intended to take the best of the Italian firm’s traditional high-performance heritage, along with their distinctive styling elements, and turn them into an ultimate, yet comfortable sport-touring machine. Housing one of Ducati’s latest 90-degree desmo V-twins, the ST2 comes equipped with the usual assortment of touring creature comforts: Raised handlebars, softer springing and damping rates, and a larger, better padded dual saddle.

ST2 cockpit features higher bars and combination analog and LCD digital gauges. ST2 cockpit features higher bars and combination analog and LCD digital gauges.

The ST2’s chassis is one of Ducati’s familiar tubular trestle frames that is similar to the 916’s in torsional rigidity and lightness. Anchored to the steering head is a pair of 43mm Showa inverted forks that feature full adjustability, while the rear is held up by a single shock borrowed from the 916 and reworked for the ST2’s status as a two-up touring machine.

Front brakes feature twin 320mm floating Brembo discs and four-piston calipers, offering excellent feel and power. At the rear you’ll find a single 245mm disc with a twin-piston caliper that we found gives poor feedback. The ST2 wears Metzeler’s latest MEZ4 sport radials in 120/70 ZR17 front and 170/60 ZR17 sizes.

Nestled in that steel spider web frame is Ducati’s newest version of its 90-degree, liquid-cooled V-twin engine, enlarged to 944cc for duty in the ST2. SOHC, 2-valve desmo heads, similar to the set-up found on Ducati’s early Paso models, are employed on the ST2 mill. Combined with 10.2:1 compression and Marelli electronic fuel injection, Ducati claims an output of 83 hp at 8500 rpm.

Besides the strong V-twin powerplant, ergonomics are another strong point for the ST2. Its slightly forward seating position, lower footpeg placement and taller handlebars seem to strike a nice balance between full-on sport riding and touring comfort. The dual saddle is quite large, and we found it provided enough room for two-up travel. The lockable hard bags appeared to offer enough luggage space for a weekend trip for two, but we could not fit a full-face helmet in either bag, as Ducati claims you can.

The color-matched bags are attached with a system similar to BMW’s touring luggage, and can be removed from the bike with ease. Ducati incorporated a trick design feature with the bags that allows you to raise the exhaust cans for more ground clearance when the bags are removed. Nice touch. Ducati said the ST2 should be priced around $12,000 and be available in the U.S. by October 1st (except in California, where expected availability won’t be till December).

Hard luggage attachment system. Note exhaust relocation bracket Hard luggage attachment system. Note exhaust relocation bracket

Our brief ride aboard the ST2 around Santa Barbara’s tight, twisty city streets revealed a quick steering bike that could be flicked over with ease, despite the added weight of its touring gear. Of course there was that unmistakable feel and torque of a Duc desmo V-twin, with an extremely comfortable two-up riding position that should lend itself well to sport touring. We didn’t have an opportunity to exploit the larger engine’s power, but we plan on nabbing an ST2 test bike soon to put through its paces and face it off against a couple other twin-cylindered sport-tourers. Stay tuned.

Manufacturer: Ducati 
Model: ST2
Price: $12,000
Engine: Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve, 90-degree V-Twin
Bore x Stroke: 94mm x 68mm
Displacement: 944cc
Carburetion: Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection
Transmission: 6-speed
Wheelbase: 56.3 in.
Seat height: 32.8 in.
Fuel capacity: 6.0 gallons (including 1.0 gallon reserve)
Claimed dry weight: 466 lbs.


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