Archive for the ‘Motorcycle racing’ Category

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Up Shift – The State of Montana is now the third state to have legal motorcycle lane-filtering. 

Motorcyclists in the Big Sky State can overtake slow or stopped traffic by filtering between the lanes of traffic. But they have to stay at 20 MPH or below while doing so.

My Take – While I tremendously applaud the efforts of the motorcycle community in Montana for making this happen, was there much need for it? There are so few people in Montana how often will conditions allow lane-filtering?

ON THE PLUS SIDE…Other, vastly more populated, states (Oregon and Virginia for example) are also looking at legalization of motorcycle lane-filtering. Maybe the momentum is building for more states to pass the law.

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Up Shift – Harley Davidson my soon offer a bolt on supercharger for its V-Twin motorcycles. Cycle World is reporting that the Motor Company is working on the supercharger as part of it’s Screamin’ Eagle performance line. If you are not familiar with the Screamin’ Eagle line it is their in-house performance division that develops products (cams, exhausts, engines, etc.) to “hop-up” your motorcycle horsepower and torque. 

My Take – With the retraction going on at Harley Davidson I am a bit surprised with this development.  Harley has killed many new bikes designs, dropped out of racing and closed production lines so this new part is more the exception along the lines of the Pan American adventure motorcycle.

It will be interesting to see if it makes it into the parts catalog.

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Up Shift – Over the last few years American Flat Track racing has made quite a comeback, at least until Covid.  With the racing season to start soon Royal Enfield is joining the series with a factory sponsored team.

Johnny Lewis will be riding for Royal Enfield and the company is expecting good things to come from their involvement with American Flat Track.

My Take – This is great for the sport! More factory team involved means a greater chance for success.  But with American Flat Track on NBC and tape delayed how many fans are going to get to see Johnny and the other racers.

I don’t think that I am to different from the other fans in that if I know the outcome I am not going to watch the event.

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Ride on, Ride Safe

2020 the lost year! Normally I see dozens of motorcycle related posters via social media thought the year. I grab the ones that are interesting and then pair those down to the 9 best motorcycle posters.

This year I had a total of 12 and it it was quite easy to narrow those down. ALSO, I doubt that many of these events even occurred. One can only hope that 2021 will get better, but I will not hold my breath (unless I am out in public :-).

Downshift – Realignment in the Motorcycle industry.

Suzuki – Suzuki Motor of America has announced a restructuring of US operations. Suzuki Motorcycles/ATV and the Marine Division will be split into separate companies on April 1st, 2021.

The motorcycle company will be headquartered in California, the marine company in Florida.

Kawasaki – Kawasaki Heavy Industries will spin off the motorcycle and “rolling stock (trains)” divisions as part of a major restructuring as the company faces a $47 million-dollar operating loss.

Hashimoto Yasuhiko stated that he hopes the motorcycle division will continue to build the brand and revitalize the market through collaboration with other companies.

Ducati – Volkswagen is again looking to sell Ducati and is hosting preliminary talks with potential bidders.  It appears that they are packaging Lamborghini and Ducati for a sell off.  Selling them together or separately is still unknown

Sources are reporting that the sale process may begin in early 2021. VW has not officially confirmed this activity.

Harley Davidson – Has dropped several new products, their new street fighter “The Bronx” for example, closed plants and most recently begin the process to pull out of India. Although now they are using Hero as a distribution partner in India and, in one article, will allow Hero to brand some of their motorcycles as Harley Davidson.

Harley also just pulled out of all factory sponsored racing.

This is all part of their new “re-wired” restructuring plan. 

My take – There is a major shift going on in the world of motorcycling and not for the better. 

Long term I feel that their will be a shrinking of manufacturing not all makers will survive. Governments around the world are pushing for all vehicles to go electric, but battery range for motorcycles just are not anywhere near comparable with fossil fuel engines.

Tie that with the Vision Zero desire to eliminate traffic deaths, which would require the removal of motorcycles from the road, and the on-coming autonomous vehicle revolution … can motorcycles survive?

So, I do not have a lot of hope for long term viability of motorcycling. Sigh.

But, there are a few good signs. Norton and BSA are going to make motorcycle again and both in Britian!

Reply to this post and tell me I am wrong.

Upshift – King of the Baggers – MotoAmerica has a real winner with this new motorcycle race format!  The race had me smiling ear to ear.  Seeing motorcycles, that many of us ride, racing on a world-famous racetrack was so rewarding. It was also gratifying, if you listen to The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio you know I have been calling for some kind of series like this for years.

This was not some kind of exhibition event; the bikes and the racers were there to win. With riders of the quality of Ben Bostrom (multi-time World Superbike winner), Josh Herrin (AMA Superbike Champion), Hayden Gilliam, Cory West, Tyler O’Hara, Travis Wyman are just a few of the many accomplished motorcycle racers.

Seeing these big baggers, literally, jump from the starting line and racing to the first turn hole shot was just spectacular. Then seeing the riders whipping the motorcycle left and right through the famous Laguna Seca corkscrew was a sight I hope to see again in the future.

Seeing these big baggers, literally, jump from the starting line and racing to the first turn hole shot was just spectacular. Then seeing the riders whipping the motorcycle left and right through the famous Laguna Seca corkscrew was a sight I hope to see again in the future.

Tyler O’Hara, on an Indian Challenger, even after running his motorcycle off the track was able to win with almost a 2 second lead over Hayden Gilliam and his Harley Davidson Street Glide.

My take – MotoAmerica this needs to be a real series!!!  Let’s get this on board for a 4-race series next year with the goal of getting to a 9- race annual event.

I would go with Road Atlanta to pull the south, Pitt Race for the North East and mid-Atlantic. Road America to pull the mid-American crowd and, of course, staff at Laguna Seca.  This will get more exposure across the country and pull more fans to the tracks.

Tyler O’Hara may have won the race, but the real winners were the American fanbase. 

Watch the entire race from MotoAmerica!

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Hitting Neutral ­– Harley on a new course – Harley Davidson Motorcycles changes course, again. Out with the old boss in with the new boss. Out with the old plan in with the new plan.

When the last Harley Davidson CEO was in charge, he put in place an ambitious plan of 100 new motorcycles in 10 years. 

The new guy thinks that is an overreach and ended the effort and has stating that 30% of new models will be cut. This is paired with a cut to production to “make them more exclusive”.

While the new streetfighter motorcycle looks like it may be on the cut list. Its engine sharing brother, the Pan America adventure bike, is coming out with the 2021 models.

The new guy also wants to drive up the parts and accessories business along with merchandise. 

My Take: Who is right? According to the board of directors, not the guy that got fired.  I thought trying to expand appeal by having different Harley Davidson motorcycles was an interesting idea.  Not sure where cutting production will help exclusivity when there are 1000’s of bikes on the used market.

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Upshift: The King of Baggers RaceMotoAmerica is adding a touch of the surreal to American motorcycle racing. Well maybe, in the age of COVID who knows.

If you always wanted to see American V-Twins race at Laguna Seca raceway, maybe this is the year.  Watching a mildly modified Harley Davidson Road or Street Glide swinging through the corkscrew is going to be bonkers at best.

The race is getting attention.  Drag Specialties is the King of Baggers sponsor. A bunch of accessory companies are getting in on the action, for example Saddlemen, the motorcycle seat and luggage maker, is sponsoring bike #87 in the race.

And Indian and S&S are teaming up to run a Indian Challenger as well.  It should dominate on the straights as it has more than a few cubic inches on the Harley’s.

Currently the race is schedule for October 23-25, but who knows if it will happen until it happens.

My take: OH HELL YEAH!

ijustwant2ride.com

The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio…The #1 Motorcycle Show in the US

 

The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show opens to big news….. for us!   We are now sponsored by MotoAmerica!!

Supercross super short season?

Rossi Rumors – Phil supports his move to Aprilia

Dirt bike motorcycle park! …. well it did not start out that way.

A Puch motorcycle buried in a backyard.

Click here to listen to the show.

 

ijustwant2ride.com

The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio…The #1 Motorcycle Show in the US

This week on the show #561 we have MotoAmerica Super Sport Motorcycle Champion Bobby Fong. We discuss his move up to superbike, what is going on during quarantine and general BS.

Mat Mladin makes the news but not in a good way.

When oh when will the motorcycle racing start.

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NBCSCDownshift: MOTOGP and World Superbike now on NBCSC – NBC now has the multi-year rights to both MOTOGP and World Superbike motorcycle racing in the US market. I found out about this when I tried to DVR World Superbike this past weekend.

NBCSC will open their MOTOGP coverage with the race in Qatar (not anymore) the rest will air either on NBC or NBCSC either live or tape delay. OR you can watch live on their streaming service, where it appears that MOTO2 and MOTO3 will only be available.

World Superbike is getting 6 races televised but it appears that only 2 will air live, based on their timing.

My Take: As much as BEIN Sports was maligned for the numbers of households it was in, at least they televised all the races! So, based on this how do I politely say NBCSC AND DORNA YOU SUCK? NBC how much did you pay to not show the races?

OH, but I can buy your NBC steaming packages? Why would I give you that money when I can pay MOTOGP and World Superbike directly, for the same thing?
DORNA you really don’t want motorcycle racing to succeed in the USA do you?
NBCSC is doing a poor job with Supercross (it is listed as motocross for DVR purposes) why would I think it would do any better with the other forms of motorcycle racing?

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motogpNeutral: MOTOGP in Qatar & Thailand Canceled – The Corona Virus has forced a prudent action of cancelling the first two races of the 2020 MOTOGP season in both. There was some question regarding MOTO2 and MOTO3 classes as they were already in Qatar preparing for the race. But that question has been answered, they are racing in Qatar.

The second race, Thailand was rescheduled for October.

Additionally, DORNA is considering hold races with out the fans. Not sure how that would work out for the tracks?  My understanding is that they make most of their money on those race weekends from the fans.  Selling 100,000 hot dogs puts the money in their pocket.

My Take: It was the prudent thing to do. For all you Marc Marquez haters, yes, it is a conspiracy to allow him to get healthy! LOL

This is a fast changing situation…I going to try and keep up!

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I have started 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 evolves over the next few months. Feel free to comment or even suggest news articles for discussion.

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Upshift: Royal Enfield “Build Train Race” – Royal Enfield has challenged four women to Build Train and Race Flat Track motorcycles based on their new Interceptor 650.

The participants are: Melissa Paris, professional road racer, Lana McNaughton founder of the Women’s Moto BuildTrainRace_WHT-300x271Exhibit, Motorcycle enthusiast Jillian Deschenes and DIY shop owner Andrea Lothorp. Each has already received their Royal Enfield Interceptor motorcycles and are building their bikes now.

After some training they will race their Royal Enfield Flat Trackers during this year’s Milwaukee Mama Tried event. Check out the Royal Enfield Build Train Race website.

My take: I think this is great for a first year and hope it is not a one off!  In fact, while American Flat Track is a co-ed racing series, it might make sense for Royal Enfield to work with AFT on an amateur “spec” series for women. Run it on the same weekend with the Flat Track races. The pro series might just become even more co-ed in a few years.

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Downshift: Yamaha & Suzuki Leave MotoAmerica – Looks like the old racing statement of “Win on Sunday Sell on Monday” is no longer true. Sales at both Yamaha and Suzuki motorcycles are down and the companies are just not willing to spend the money on factory road racing in America.

motoamerica-logoBoth manufacturers are keeping their fingers in MotoAmerica supporting, for Yamaha, Estenson Racing and Team Hammer getting Suzuki support. But that does not lessen the sting of no direct factory teams in America’s premier motorcycle racing league.

My take: This news really hurts after the 2019 racing season. MotoAmerica was the best racing in the world with any of six teams capable of winning.  On top of that bad news, we know that a MotoAmerica fan favorite JD Beach has moved to American Flat Track (he ran both last year). We still have not heard what is going to happen with Josh Herrin or Tony Elias.

It is going to be interesting to see how things play out this MotoAmerica season maybe some fresh blood will rise to the top.

motoamerica-logoRacing

Over the last few years MotoAmerica motorcycle racing has been improving bit by bit, in the racing arena.

That was true until this season when the 2019 racing, in almost every class, became WOW.

In the superbike series there were multiple winners all though the season, on any given

bobby Fong

@bobbyfong50

week any one of six riders could end up on the top step.

Both the superbike (Cameron Beaubier) and sport bike (Bobby Fong) championship went down to the last race weekend. AND emerging champions like Alex Dumas, Andrew Lee

and Rocco Landers only add to the level of talent in MotoAmerica. As far as the racing goes…

MotoAmerica had the best racing in the world in 2019!!!! No doubt, hands down, the best racing in the world!

TV coverage

It was not only in racing that MotoAmerica improved.

The premier American motorcycle racing series moved from BEIN Sports to Fox Sports 2 tripling the number of homes that could see the races. Fox Sports 2 showed all the superbike races live or same day, with an encore showing later in the week for 45 hours of coverage. As for the other races like the Liqui Moly Twins Cup, many folks have been critical of the lack of coverage on TV. I say “dude” it is a building process, geez!!ma nbc

AND if that was not enough MotoAmerica had an hour long spot each week with NBC Sports Network. “Inside MotoAmerica” was a show that highlighted the races and provided interviews and features from the previous week’s races. Each show was repeated once for 22 hours of motorcycle racing coverage. I though “Inside MotoAmerica” was well produced.

Steaming

If you could not get Fox Sports 2 or you wanted to watch all the race action in every class, then you could have bought into MotoAmerica Live+. As part of The DawgHousemotoamerica live Motorcycle Radio show we have been calling for this for a few years, along with dumping BEIN. I know they have been listening to our show as Wayne Rainy and Chuck Askland stopped by and talked with us while we covered the races at VIR and Pittsburgh. Do we take credit for the steaming… but of course!!! ILMAO

Silly season

The MotoAmerica schedule for next year is set, Utah and Sonoma are out and “The Ridge” and Indianapolis are in for 2020. Looks like The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio might get to go to 3 races next year (yes, we could go to NJ, but no way we are driving there from Virginia…Indy might be longer but so much easier)!

Is fan favorite JD Beach going to return next year, does not sound like he is. While there has been no official notice, the race announcers have stated, on live TV, that he is not returning. So, I assume we will get to see him full time riding American Flat Track.

Garrett Gerloff has rumors that he will be racing in World Super Bike next year. I hope he lands a contending ride as we really need a MotoAmerica alum to do well to attract more attention to the series.

Looks like factory Yamaha is pulling out of the series sponsorship. Sad but Yamaha is having a rough time financially in the US. They even recently moved their HQ from California to Georgia to save money.

Wrapping it up

I really enjoyed MotoAmerica’s 2019 motorcycle racing season. Between seeing racing live at the track, on Fox Sports, NBCSN and the streaming package I could not have asked for much more. All I have to say is things are looking up for motorcycle racing in the US.

I would like to give a special thanks to the folks over at Liqui Moly US for providing The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio tickets to give away to fans of both our show and MotoAmerica!