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Discussion Starter #41
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 First Look

2013 Moto Guzzi V7 First Look

09/26/2012



Europe’s classic motorcycling brand, Moto Guzzi, has released information on its updated V7 line of street bikes. Three flavors will be available in the U.S. including the Stone, Racer and Special—these motorcycles offer distinct styling with more contemporary road performance.

All three models share the same powertrain, frame, suspension and brakes. The motorcycles are powered by an more powerful air-cooled 744cc V-Twin engine fed from a generous 5.8 gallon fuel tank (1.4 gallons larger than the '11 model) which will equate to a useable range in excess of 250 miles. In contrast to other brands, Moto Guzzi mounts the engine in a traverse position which adds character and makes Moto Guzzi motorcycles so charismatic to ride. The engine is fuel-injected and employs a conventional manual-style five-speed transmission and shaft final drive.
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Discussion Starter #42
Honda Motorcycle Recall

Honda Motorcycle Recall

09/27/2012

Honda has recalled certain model NC700XC and NC700XDC motorcycles due to power train issues. Honda says 1,542 motorcycles are affected.

Honda says some motorcycles may be equipped with drive chains that contain outer drive plates that were improperly heat-treated, resulting in plate fracture during use. If a plate breaks, the the motorcycle can unexpectedly lose propulsion, increasing the risk of a crash.

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the drive chain, free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on October 8, 2012. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-866-784-1870.

Honda's recall campaign number is S54. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153), or visit safercar.gov.

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Discussion Starter #43
Zero Motorcycles unveils 2013 models

Zero Motorcycles unveils 2013 models, faster, longer range, faster charging, and with apps

10/03/2012

Zero Motorcycles' 2013 model year features higher power motors, higher energy density battery packs, offering significantly higher speed and longer range than the 2012 models and now has smart phone apps letting the rider customize the bikes performance characteristics.

Electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero Motorcycles unveiled today their 2013 model line. The new models feature massive improvements over the 2012 line in speed, performance, riding range, as well as smart phone apps. The company is the only such manufacturer to sell a full range of electric motorcycles, and they have been in this position for several years now. Most importantly, in most respects Zero has leapfrogged rival Brammo, while keeping a lower price point.

Zero's lineup includes five electric motorcycles, all inspired by the dirt bike side of motorcycling. The models include the Zero DS, a dual sport bike, the Zero S, FX and XU, all street legal bikes, and the Zero MX, a dirt bike. Between 2012 and 2013, the company dropped the Zero X, and added the brand new Zero FX.

Top speed has increased to 95 miles/hr on the Zero S, DS and FX, up from 88 miles/hr top speed for the 2012 S. The Zero MX has also seen a massive speed increase, up to 85 miles/hr from 54 miles/hr for the 2012 model. This is due to an all new electric motor, the Z-Force, designed by Zero Motorcycles. The new motor is the same size and weight as the 2012 motors, but packs 125% more power and 91% more torque. It produces a higher power-to-weight ratio, while remaining an air cooled motor, thanks to a design which puts the heat producing elements on the outer part of the motor, allowing heat to be extracted with aluminum fins.

The higher top speed will mean two things in electric motorcycle racing. First, in the TTXGP's eSuperStock award the speed gap between the Zero's and the top end bikes will shrink a bit. Second, when Brandon Nozaki Miller goes for his 2013 land speed record attempts he'll have a faster base speed to start with. With a 2012 Zero S he set a 101.652 miles/hr land speed record for electric motorcycles under 150 kilograms.

For comparison, the Brammo Empulse is specified with a top speed over 100 miles/hr, 46.5 ft-lbs torque, and 40 kilowatt (54 horsepower) motor. Riding range is 121 miles city, or 56 miles at 70 miles/hr highway speeds. In most regards Zero's S and DS have leapfrogged Brammo's Empulse. The Empulse is a lot heavier at 470 lbs, than is the Zero S and DS which weigh in at 382 lbs and 395 lbs respectively.

The 2013 models also support a bluetooth connection, and companion iPhone or Android apps. The smartphone apps have two modes. While riding it serves as a customized dashboard showing additional information over the built-in dashboard. When stopped the rider can adjust acceleration, top speed, and regenerative braking behaviors to give the bikes a customizable riding experience.

A curious addition is an optional CHADEMO model to use DC Fast Charging stations for a 1 hour complete recharge. While the fast recharge time is welcome, the CHADEMO standard is on uncertain footing. The automobile industry appears to be moving away from CHADEMO with most of the automakers backing the SAE DC Fast Charging system instead. As Zero says there is a strong effort underway to deploy CHADEMO fast charging stations, and Nissan is sticking with its choice to use CHADEMO. That means that while the SAE DC Fast charge system should be widely deployed in the future, in the short-to-medium term CHADEMO is an excellent choice for fast charging.

The FX, XM and XU use an exclusive-to-Zero feature, quickly swappable battery packs. What's new for 2013 is that the bikes support a dual battery pack configuration, letting you easily switch between a 2.8 kilowatt-hour or 5.7 kilowatt-hour configuration. Additionally owners can buy additional battery packs and quickly swap in fully charged ones to get back to riding. Battery swap time is approximately 1 minute and requires no tools.

Zero DS: Comes in either 8.5 kilowatt-hour or 11.4 kilowatt-hour capacities. This means a maximum city riding range of 126 miles, which drops to 61 miles at 70 miles/hr highway speed. Top speed is 95 miles/hr, due to a 54 horsepower motor and controller, at 68 ft-lbs of torque. Fuel efficiency is a whopping 426 MPGe.

MSRP: (ZF8.5) $13,995, (ZF11.4) $15,995

Zero S: Comes in either 8.5 kilowatt-hour or 11.4 kilowatt-hour capacities. Maximum city riding range is 137 miles, which drops to 70 miles at 70 miles/hr highway speed. Top speed is 95 miles/hr, due to a 54 horsepower motor and controller, at 68 ft-lbs of torque. Fuel efficiency is a whopping 463 MPGe.

MSRP: (ZF8.5) $13,995, (ZF11.4) $15,995

Zero FX: The company bills this bike as a 'do anything ride anywhere' urban electric motorcycle. The motor is configured for 44 horsepower maximum, 70 ft-lbs of torque and an 85 miles/hr top speed. Riding range is 70 miles city, and 31 miles at 70 miles/hr highway. Fuel efficiency is 470 MPGe.

MSRP: (ZF2.8) $9,495, (ZF5.7) $11,990

Zero XU: This bike is configured for lower power, with a 250 amp controller versus the 420 amp controller used for Zero's other bikes. This gives it a lower top end speed, lower power, but longer riding range. Top speed is 77 miles/hr, with 28 horsepower and 42 ft-lbs of torque. Riding range is 76 miles city, and 35 miles at 70 miles/hr highway. Fuel efficiency is 512 MPGe.

MSRP: (ZF2.8) $7,995, (ZF5.7) $10,490

Zero MX: This is Zero's remaining off-road-only bike. Top speed is 85 miles/hr, thanks to the 54 horsepower 68 ft-lbs torque drive train. Riding range is quoted as 50-140 minutes of trail riding, or 35-120 minutes of track time. Unlike the other bikes in Zero's lineup which all use a belt to drive the wheels, the MX uses a chain.

MSRP: (ZF2.8) $9,495, (ZF5.7) $11,990

The bikes can be ordered now through dealers. Deliveries begin in January 2013 in the USA and February 2013 in Europe.

"With up to 137 miles range in the city, a top speed of 95 mph and a CHAdeMO accessory that allows recharging in around an hour, the 2013 model line is truly exceptional,” said Richard Walker, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “This year's lineup offers breathtaking acceleration, new eye-catching designs and the innovative ability to customize the riding experience to each individual's preferences via a mobile application. We invite consumers to discover the experience of riding a 2013 model by contacting an authorized dealer to sign up for a test ride or to place an order. The new lineup arrives in January."
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Discussion Starter #44
Recall Alert: Harley-Davidson

Harley Recalls 2012-2013 Night Rod Special

10/26/2012

Harley-Davidson has recalled 2,798 of its 2012-2013 Night Road Special VRSCDX motorcycles due to license-plate bracket issues.

Harley says the effected Night Rod Special motorcycles were manufacturered from June 14, 2011, through Aug. 1, 2012.

The license plate bracket assembly's mounting screws may loosen and the assembly may separate from the rear fender. This condition may lead to contact with the rear tire which could cause the license plate bracket to rotate, possibly damaging the rear brake line, Harley says.

If this issue remains undetected, it may affect rear braking, increasing the risk of a crash.

Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair any affected motorcycles free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on, or about, November 5, 2012. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-414-343-4056.

This is Harley-Davidson recall 0148. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit safercar.gov.


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Discussion Starter #45
Honda of SC to Produce Side-By-Sides

Honda of SC to Produce Side-By-Sides

11/01/2012


American Honda today announced that production of Honda side-by-side MUVs will transfer in 2013 from Honda de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (HDM) to Honda of South Carolina Mfg., Inc. (HSC) in Timmonsville, SC. Honda currently markets the Big Red side-by-side in the U.S.

These changes are part of a global Honda strategy tied to future growth forecast in the side-by-side segment. Current plans call for the completion of side-by-side production at HDM in 2013, with production to begin at HSC in the summer of 2013 to meet the needs of U.S. customers and for export to global markets.

Currently dedicated solely to the production of Honda all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), HSC has the capacity to produce more than 250,000 vehicles and 310,000 engines annually. Based on the increased production capacity and future expansion potential, it was determined that HSC was the right location for Honda side-by-side production.

HSC is one of nine major Honda factories in the U.S. Since it began operation in 1998, HSC has manufactured more than 2.5 million Honda ATVs.

Following the move of side-by-side production, HDM will increase capacity for the production of additional two-wheel products to meet growing market demand in Mexico.

About American Honda
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. was established in 1959 and is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides in the U.S. The American Honda Motorcycle Division is responsible for the sales, marketing, and operational activities for these products through authorized Honda dealers. For more information on Honda products, go to Honda Powersports - Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Watercraft.


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Discussion Starter #46
Compressed Air Motorcycle

Compressed air motorcycle breaks 80 MPH


11/06/2012
Powered by nothing by a scuba tank full of compressed air, the O2 Pursuit motorcycle achieve speeds usually reserved for combustion engines without the emissions.

While electric motorcycles may be all the rage, they’re not necessarily the most cutting edge alternative fuel bikes out there.



At first glance, the compressed air bike seems to solve all of the frustrating problems of an electric motorcycle, i.e. a big, heavy battery to tote around and long recharging times. But if compressed air were such a simple solution, we’d already be driving air powered cars, so there must be something more to it.

The biggest barrier to compressed air-powered bikes or cars is that there’s insufficient infrastructure to support it (sound familiar?) and there still needs to be power available to compress the air in the first place. Still, the technology has promise, which is probably why the O2 Pursuit was recently shortlisted for a James Dyson Award.


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Recall Alert: KTM

KTM has announced the recall of around 7,000 motorcycles, specifically models with electronic fuel injection (EFI) of the 2012/2013 model year.

11/07/2012



The manufacturer has taken the decision after concerns were raised over a possible leak in fuel hoses on the bikes. They are attributing the problem to a defect in production.

So far there have been no reports of incidents as a consequence of this problem, but KTM has taken the precautionary step to recall the models nonetheless.

KTMs 250 EXC-F Six Days EU, 250 SX-F EU, 350 EXC-F EU/USA, 350 XCF-W USA, 350 SX-F EU, Freeride 350 EU, 450 EXC EU/AUS and 500 EXC EU/AUS/USA have been recalled from the Offroad 2012 range.

Models in the Offroad 2013 range that were released in the US and Australia have also been recalled, alongside the 990 Supermoto R EU/FR from the Street 2012 range.

Customers who have taken delivery of motorcycles potentially affected by the problem will be personally informed in writing by the manufacturer. The fuel line replacement will be exclusively carried out by KTM dealers.
Read more: KTM recalls 7000 motorcycles - Motorcycle news : General news - Visordown
 

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2013 Suzuki Motorcycles:


11/13/2012

Things have been a little sleepy over at Suzuki, and their car division going the way of the dinosaur has only put further pressure on their bike division to boost sales.

For 2013, Suzuki aims to expand their motorcycle footprint by introducing a blacked-out, custom-style, touring-friendly C90T BOSS (<-- short for Blacked Out Suzuki Special... get it?) The saddlebag and tall windshield-clad cruiser packs a liquid-cooled, 1,462cc v-twin, and is priced at $13,999. And while incremental tweaks to the Burgman 650 ABS, GSX-R1000, and Hayabusa are certainly better than no change at all, I'm personally more excited about the 2013 Suzuki GW250, a naked starter bike that's powered by a liquid-cooled, 248cc parallel-twin engine.



2013 Suzuki GW250

Suzuki has been coy (or negligent, depending on your perspective) about pricing for the muscular looking newbie ride, but perhaps the trepidation is comprehensible. After all, it's fair to assume the GW250's success will depend almost entirely on how it stacks dollar-wise against the $4,199 Honda CBR250R and the $4,799 Kawasaki Ninja 300-- two potent competitors that have seriously raised the stakes in the market for great beginner bikes.

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Discussion Starter #49
2013 Hypermotard, Hypermotard SP, Hyperstrada

11/13/2012



When the Ducati Hypermotard was unveiled at the 2005 EICMA in Milan, it won best of the show.

The supermoto-styled machine had Ducati's popular formula - high horespower from the 1078cc air-cooled, two-valve L-Twin, combined with lowe weight of just under 400 lbs.

The bike, which had its first model year in 2007, was a huge hit for Ducati. The bike remained relatively unchanged through 2012, except for Ducati offering a 796 version from 2009 on and the 1100EVO.

But Ducati has totally revised the Hypermotard for 2013, offering the bike in three versions that all feature a brand new 821cc Testastretta 11-degree engine - the Hypermotard, the Hypermotard SP and the mid-range tourer, the Hyperstrada. Dropped from the Hypermotard line is the 1100EVO.

The 110-horsepower 821cc engine is a totally new design that doesn't need valve checks until 18,641 miles (30,000 kilometers). In addition to a new engine, the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard lineup includes the Ducati Safety Package of three-level ABS, eight-level Ducati Traction Control, and integrated Riding Modes.

High ground-clearance combined with a thin waistline and commanding riding positions gives the rider an instant Supermotard feeling, with the added luxury of latest street bike comfort and component quality. While the Hyperstrada is ideal for dominating the every-day urban or long distance commute, the Hypermotard and track-ready Hypermotard SP are intended for the extreme rider who demands the very highest performance.

The new range takes the Hypermotard concept into the future with refined design and user-friendly technologies that will enhance its enjoyment to a wider range of riders.

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Triumph rollout: New Daytona 675, 675R

11/13/2012




These are not your father's Triumphs. Nor your grandfather's. The new Daytona 675s are hard-charging English metal designed to go head to head with their Italian, German and Japanese counterparts.

The 2013s are running with an all-new triple-cylinder motor that winds the tachometer up a lot higher than earlier models -- to a redline above 14,000, I'm told -- as well as some newly kitted suspension. The machine also weighs less and is expected to deliver better handling than its predecessors.

They'll be in stores in February with reported price tags of $11,599 for the 675 and $13,499 for the 675R.
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Discussion Starter #51
2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition

Indian Motorcycle Unveils the 2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition

December 7, 2012

Limited Units Available of Special Highly Collectible Model Designed to Commemorate the End of One Era in Motorcycling History, and the Beginning of Another

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Indian Motorcycle, the original American motorcycle company, today announced the 2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition, the final version of the Kings Mountain era of Indian Motorcycle, which is available in very limited quantity. The new model year 2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition was unveiled before a gathering of the motorcycle industry press from the floor of the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, California, which takes place today through December 9th at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Today’s announcement marks the end of the Kings Mountain era of the Indian Chief, and signifies an important milestone in the 111-year storied history of the Indian Motorcycle brand. With a paint scheme emulating the iconic Indian Chief on display at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, the stunning new collectible 2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition is a fully accessorized motorcycle that befits its place in the history of motorcycling. The extremely limited number of these bikes available is sure to excite collectors and pave the way for the new era in Indian Motorcycle under the leadership of Polaris Industries.
Read more here: LONG BEACH, Calif.: Indian Motorcycle Unveils the 2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition | Business Wire | Rock Hill Herald Online
 

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Zero Motorcycles 2013 Double Horsepower And Range

Zero Motorcycles 2013 Double Horsepower And Range
12/08/2012




Electric motorcycles have come a long way in a few years years and Zero Motorcycles has made them easy, affordable and simple. This year, they double up to impress us further.


Zero Motorcycles has diversified its electric motorcycle nicely over the last few years while steadily perfecting them. The little dirt bike we once knew in 2009 has morphed into a street bike and other sportier versions. This year promises more horsepower, faster charging and most importantly, better range.


Technically Speaking. They just announced today their 2013 model line boost an average power increase of 99% and hailed as the world’s longest-range production electric motorcycle. The Zero S packs 137 miles in average city drive and uses the company’s revolutionary new Z-Force™ motor. The new Z-Force motor and powertrain is air-cooled. This is where Zero Motorcycles show the most promise with this efficient, passively air-cooled and compact electric motor. It now finds its way into every 2013 motorcycle and operates using a new higher voltage Z-Force power pack.



Faster Charging. To nip things in the bud somewhat, riders will have the option to charge faster than ever, using the CHAdeMO standard which gives you a 95% in less than an hour. Perhaps most exciting, Zero plans to begin initial deliveries of its complete 2013 model line to North America in January 2013.

Zero Motorcycles 2012, Newer, Better. Almost everything in every motorcycles has been refined in order to implement the newer technology the company has. A smart mobile phone integration helps you tweak the motorcycles and leave your phone perfectly under your eyes using Bluetooth, riders can sync their iPhone or Android mobile phones to see detailed motorcycle information. They can even adjust performance characteristics.

Modular Design. Basing its philosophy on sophisticated simplicity for 2013, Zero Motorcycles maximize the feel of the ride. With instant torque, a nearly silent belt-driven system and no shifting, riders need only focus on enjoying the ride. One thing that makes the Zero Motorcycles intelligent is a surprisingly well thought hot swappable battery blocks. The Zero FX, the Zero XU and Zero MX have neatly integrated storage in the ”tank” area allows up to two battery. Best yet, the controller can adapt to use the one with more charge so that you could ride with a depleted battery using the other.

According to Richard Walker, CEO of Zero Motorcycles: "With up to 137 miles range in the city, a top speed of 95 mph and a CHAdeMO accessory that allows recharging in around an hour, the 2013 model line is truly exceptional. This year's lineup offers breathtaking acceleration, new eye-catching designs and the innovative ability to customize the riding experience to each individual's preferences via a mobile application. We invite consumers to discover the experience of riding a 2013 model by contacting an authorized dealer to sign up for a test ride or to place an order. The new lineup arrives in January."

A Motorcycle For Almost Anyone. For 2013, Zero Motorcycles introduces the Zero FX as the ultimate “do anything” and “ride anywhere” urban bike. It is the fastest accelerating motorcycle in the company's lineup with 70 ft-lbs of torque, 44 hp and a low weight of only 275 lbs. The, now features the world's first truly modular quick-swap power pack technology. Riders can now use one or two battery modules and can upgrade any of the previously mentioned models from 2.8 kWh to 5.7 kWh in seconds. With increased range, vastly improved handling and impressive power, the now full-sized Zero MX is capable of comfortably launching off significantly larger jumps at the motocross track.

Price Wise. [/B]Zero Motorcycles may qualify to receive government rebates or credits and are sold through authorized dealerships. They are street-legal and come with a two year limited warranty, while the Zero MX comes with a one year limited warranty. The Zero S will set back $13,995. The Zero $13,995. The Zero FX $9,495, the Zero XU $7,995, while the Zero MX $9,495.

Seeing riders come up to the stand is probably the best way to gauge interest in electric motorcycle. If my brief and informal talks with them is anything to judge, they have come far in a few years. Riders are a passionate bunch, they get it, at least the first time they jump on one. In fact stay tune for what happened next when a Long Beach motorcycle police officer actually drove the “police” version we had on the street. In the meantime Zero Motorcycles continues to refine its electric motorcycle and this year’s new electric motor and added range should please a few.


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Discussion Starter #53
Motorcycle of the Year 2012: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R
By Motorcycle USA Staff
Thursday, December 27, 2012




There wasn’t any shortage of great new motorcycles in 2012. But nothing impressed us more, or was more exciting to ride, than Kawasaki’s re-tooled Ninja ZX-14R, our selection for Motorcycle of the Year.

Kawasaki’s top-shelf hyperbike has always been a good motorcycle, but this year it truly became great, offering one of the smoothest, most refined, and, of course, speediest riding experiences. With over 186 horsepower and 110 lb-ft of torque available at the twist of the wrist courtesy of its 1441cc Inline-Four engine, there’s no question that the Ninja is quick.

But the real magic is the way....
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Manufacturer of the Year 2012: KTM
By Motorcycle USA Staff
Thursday, December 27, 2012




KTM dirt bikes have been a staple of the off-road community for decades, but the orange brand is making huge strides on the street in recent years. Branching out into new segments and markets, KTM is producing exciting new models that retain that unique KaTooM vibe. For its accomplishments, new directions and bold global ambitions, MotoUSA selects KTM as Manufacturer of the Year.

The Austrian marque has been a powerhouse in off-road racing for a number of years, especially in series outside the U.S., but in 2012 Team Orange stepped up its game big-time. It finally clinched an AMA Motocross title, thanks to Ryan Dungey, who did so by a wide margin. Prior to that,
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Recall Alert: Motorcycle Helmets

12/30/2012

Vega recalls 30,000-plus motorcycle helmets

Vega Helmet Corp. is recalling more than 30,000 XTS motorcycle helmets after testing found that a few did not meet crash protection safety standards.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said people using the helmets may not be adequately protected in a crash. The recall will start in late January and centers on large, extra-large and extra-extra-large (or XXL) helmets. The models in question were made between May 2011 and last October, according to a notice posted Saturday on the NHTSA's web site.

Vega, based in Tukwila, Wash., said it will replace the recalled helmets.

The NHTSA told Vega that four extra-large helmets didn't meet safety standards when tested earlier this year. The company investigated and found that the helmets fell out of compliance partially due to changes in the model's shell design. Vega told regulators that the helmet's design would be reconfigured immediately.

Vega doesn't know how many of the helmets in the recalled population failed to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard so the company is recalling all of them, according to a letter from an attorney representing the company to an NHTSA official.
 

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US Extends Federal Tax Credit

US Extends Federal Tax Credit for Electric Motorcycles through 2013

01/03/2012

With most of the top-drawer electric motorcycles being more expensive than the traditional machines in the same "class", seeing the US authorities extending the tax credit as incentive for buying electric motorcycles is really a nice move for the end of 2012 and early 2013.

With pretty much all the talks ending up with the same “we need more money” some feared that the crisis will have these government incentives pulled off... well, things are still on the right path, with the tax credit still in place.

This means a tax credit which can cover up to 10% of the vehicle's price, but no more than $2,500 (€1,896). This federal tax credit applies to all plug-in two- and three-wheeled vehicles. So, you can either go for a really cheap electric scooter and end up paying even less for it, or you can revise your plans and finally get an exquisite Brammo bike or something like it.

With the increasing number of charging stations, such incentives may help the EV industry pick up the pace even more.
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10 Best Motorcycles for Women
... and shorter riders too!

9 January 2013




One in 10 motorcyclists is female, but the range of motorcycles out there doesn’t tend to cater for the average female rider that well. We’re talking seat height. Most men don’t worry about how tall a motorcycle’s seat is, but our female readers say it’s often the first thing they want to find out when they see a motorcycle they like.

Our top 10 encompasses new and used models but we haven’t just gone on seat height alone; we’ve tried to add variety by catering for different types of motorcycles, budgets, engine capacities and manufacturers. All the time, we’ve kept an eye on the bike’s weight too. Less weight is obviously more manageable, no matter what your size and stature.

So what is a typical seat height?

Let’s take three common motorcycles to give us an idea of seat height. Honda’s CBF125 has a seat height of 792mm, Suzuki’s SV650S stands at 800mm and Kawasaki’s ZX-6R has a seat height of 830mm. Generally speaking, cruisers have lower seat heights but their seats are often wide and these types of motorcycles can be heavy. Adventure-style motorcycles often have taller suspension to soak up bad surfaces but you don’t have to rule them all out.

How is seat height measured?

A motorcycle’s seat height is measured with the bike standing upright (not on its side stand) from the lowest point of the saddle to the ground. Manufacturers quote their seat heights in the specification panel of each model. We could only find one manufacturer (Buell, now bust) who quote their seat height based on the height of the seat with an ‘average weight’ rider onboard. So watch out for that.

Width matters

The outright height of a motorcycle’s seat is important, but the seat’s width matters too. Some motorcycles with a low seat height have a wide seat which spreads out your legs, making it harder to get your feet flat on the ground.

Is one-foot down enough?

When it comes to finding a motorcycle, you may try a few where you can’t get both feet firmly on the ground but you can get one foot flat. Is that enough? Well that depends on your strength and confidence. Most riders would be fine if they were told they could only put one foot down but confidence is the key. It’s okay to ride a motorcycle where you can only get one foot on the ground and doing so will open up a few more options for you to choose from, but it’s important to feel comfortable with the motorcycle you’re buying. So ask yourself: Is one foot enough?

Motorcycle lowering tips

You don’t always have to fit a lowering kit, which has the adverse effect of altering the bike’s handling characteristics and potentially making your bike worth less on the used market. You can fit a lower seat, which a lot of manufacturers sell as a factory option but companies like Corbin, Wunderlich and Touratech also sell lower aftermarket seats. You could alter the seat yourself, cutting the foam to reduce the seat’s height and width. You could also look at footwear that gives you extra height. Boots like Daytona’s Lady-Star are a good option as they feature a chunky sole. You could also talk to your local cobbler about adding a thicker sole to your existing boots. A lowering kit, while effective, should be seen as a last-ditch option.
Click ‘next’ to see our list of 10 best motorcycles for women.

Read more: 10 Best Motorcycles for Women - Features - Visordown
 

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2013 Christini AWD Motorcycles First Look

01/09/2013

Christini All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) Motorcycles first became available to consumers in 2007, and in the six years since the Philadelphia-based company has developed seven models including the new-for-2013 Christini AWD 450 Enduro. The Enduro joins the 450, 450DS, 450SM, 250, 300 and Military iterations of the Christini line, all of which share component changes for the 2013 model year.

Out front, the new Christini’s utilize a Marzocchi 48mm fork, offering adjustments for preload, rebound and high/low speed compression. A Fox Podium RC2 Shock was custom designed for the 250 and 300 AWD two-stroke models as well and features Dual Speed Compression, an updated preload adjuster and externally adjustable rebound.

To reduce weight, the front hub, gearboxes, rear sprocket and top and bottom triple clamps were redesigned to remove excess material. The rear sprocket is made of red anodized aluminum and has an outer ring of steel teeth to help improve performance and durability.

The brake rotors for 2013 are wave discs made from high-carbon 420 laser-cut stainless steel. Each ride also comes with a billet aluminum gas cap, CNC machined with the Christini logo and coming with a one-way vent to allow the tank to breathe freely.

The 2013 models also claim a weight savings from its aluminum exhaust with carbon fiber heat shield.

Christini still offers an aftermarket AWD kit for KTM and Honda motorcycles in the 2005-2011 model years. The process of fitting on the kit is a little complicated, but we explained the details in our 2007 Christini AWD Quick Ride.

2013 Christini AWD 450 Enduro Specificiations
Engine: 450cc liquid-cooled single cylinder four-stroke
Transmission: 5 Speed Wide Ratio Transmission
Ignition: Electric and Kick Start
Front Suspension: Marzocchi 48mm Sealed Cartridge forks
Rear Suspension: Adjustable Single Shock with Linkage
Fuel Delivery: Keihin FCR 40mm Carburetor
Exhaust: Aftermarket aluminum exhaust
Front Tire: 80/100-21, Kings Tire
Rear Tire: 110/100-18, Kings Tire
Brakes: Single Disc 240mm (9.4″)
Weight: 265 pounds (120kg)
AWD Engagement Switch
AWD Drive Ratio: 9:16 tooth (0.64:1)
Final Drive Ratio: 13:50 tooth
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Discussion Starter #59
Indian Motorcycle Rides Again

01/09/2013



One of motorcycling’s oldest and most-storied brand names has been revived (again), and is just about ready to hit the road. Indian Motorcycle, now owned by Medina, Minnesota-based Polaris Industries Inc (NYSE: PII), revealed the 2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition at the recent International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, California. The limited edition bike will be sold through Indian Motorcycle dealerships in North America, with a list price of $37,599 in the US and $39,599 in Canada. Indian has 20 dealerships up and running right now, with eyes toward having a presence in the top 150 motorcycle markets in the US.

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Discussion Starter #60
Recall Alert: KTM

KTM Recalls Motorcycles For Leak, Fire Hazards UPDATE
Tue, 01/15/2013

Washington, D.C. (Manufacturing.net) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with Amherst, Ohio-based KTM North America, Inc., has announced a voluntary recall of about 1,300 Enduro motorcycles sold in the United States.

The Austria-made motorcycles, sold nationwide from October 2011 through September 2012 for between $8,500 and $9,600, are subject to a flaw in a pre-formed fuel hose. The CPSC says this hose can develop small holes or cracks, which allow the fuel to leak. This leak can pose a fire or crash hazard to the rider or others.

KTM has received 13 reports of fuel leaks, but no injuries have been reported. The recall includes seven 2013 and one 2012 model off-road and closed-course motorcycle, including the following model numbers:

2013: 250 XC-F, 250 XCF-W, 350 XC-F, 350 XCF-W, 450 XC-F, 450 XC-W, 500 XC-W

2012: 350 XCF-W

The model number is printed on the rear fender and both sides of the motorcycle, just below the tail end of the seat. The motorcycles are colored black and orange. The CPSC says consumers should immediately stop using the recalled KTM motorcycles and contact a KTM authorized dealer to schedule a free repair. They can contact KTM toll-free at (888) 985-6090 or online at KTM Ready to Race.


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