Up Shift or Down Shift – Motorcycle News

Posted: December 17, 2019 in Motorcycle, Motorcycle news
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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I am starting a new type of post to replace the “5 Things That Caught My Eye” articles. I am going to “Up Shift” and quickly discuss motorcycle news articles that I thought was cool or good and “Down Shift” on those that are not.  So bear with me as this post evolves over the next few months. Feel free to comment or even suggest news articles for discussion.

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n3Up Shift:  Guy Martin’s Great Escape – A LONG time ago an actor, considered a man’s man, and motorcycle advocate Steve McQueen was in a move called the Great Escape. He played a prisoner of war who attempts to escape into Switzerland by jumping German border fences on a motorcycle.

Guy Martin is attempting to do so in a recreation of that iconic motorcycle stunt He is using modern equipment and thus is trying to jump both fences where McQueen’s stuntman only did one. This article is from MotorBikeWriter which has a trailer for the stunt.

I like Guy and all the things he does for motorcycling but I have a bit of a problem with stunts like this.  It is not just Guy but, for example, folks recreating Evel Knievel failed jumps on modern motorcycle.  Is it really the same jump or stunt?

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n2Hitting Neutral:  Harley Davison making small motorcycles – Looks like Harley Davidson is going to be producing and selling small “350cc” motorcycle for Asia. They teamed with Chinese company Qianjiang, which owns the brand Benelli, to produce the new bike. It appears that the HD350 will be aimed at only China, India and Thailand.

I am neutral on this because Harley Davidson, while I think that this is needed to compete in Asia, the motorcycle they are basing this on is not well known. Will the Qianjiang/Benelli be of the expected Harley quality? How is it going to be priced? To many other questions to be anything but coasting in neutral.

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n4Down Shift:  BSA, Jawa and Yezdi are “product failures” – The CEO of Mahindra Anand Mahindra has recently said “We knew our dream well and we had the right things, but how to win is where we went wrong. We should have never gone to the commuter bike side.” So it is not me calling them failures.

Wow, for a CEO to call out a large section of his business like that is rare. But if you only sold 4000 motorcycle for all of fiscal year 2019 you should get called out. This is the company that bought the rights to the old BSA brand in 2017 and have done nothing with that brand.

Mr. Mahindra, pick one (BSA would be best), focus on building a good motorcycle aimed at the middle class. Build a “spec” racing series just for your news BSA bikes and tour the country, Thailand and Malaysia .   Then worry about getting Jawa and Yezdi out the door.  Just my 2 cents.

Comments
  1. Chris says:

    Good format. On the Guy thing – I watched the YouTube on the event lead-up, and at least give them credit for pointing out the fact that they were doing the jump on a way better machine so it isn’t really the same thing. It will be fun to see if Guy breaks any more bones when he makes the jump. He’s always all-in.

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