Posts Tagged ‘Motorcycle news’

Well, we have, mostly, finished our move to Front Royal, VA.  Still looking for some items and figuring out where to put stuff so the fun continues!

Up Shift Triumph Motorcycle Test Ride tour – Triumph is going to a lot of events this year to get people to test ride their bikes. They will be at IMS Outdoors, TouraTech Dirt Daze, Overland Mountain West and Americade. Click on this link to see the details.

My Take – I signed up to “skip the line” at the IMS Pennsylvania event.   I really like that companies are getting back out there …. Even if Covid is making a comeback. 

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Hitting NeutralNew Concept for Charging/Protecting Motorcycles – Yet another idea for the electric revolution. Roll up into the chalk where steel plates will protect your front axel from thieves. Stow your gear in the integrated, climate-controlled locker, and go about your business. Also, there is a camera so you can keep an eye on your bike while you are out and about.

It will hold both electric and gas-powered motorcycles, so it is not exclusive to the revolutionaries. You will use an app to reserve and pay for access to the parking system.

My Take – The press release stated that it will us hydrogen fuel cells to power the parking stations thus becoming even more green and I am much more in favor of hydrogen then electric so that part gets a thumbs up.  The rest “MEH”, it will get an up shift if they ever get past the concept stage.

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Ride on, Ride Safe

Up ShiftDistinguished Gentleman’s Ride – This year plan on your Dapper Riding to take place on May 23rd.  The format of the ride will be based on the COVID rules where you live and ride.  Some will ride solo, other on specific routes and some may even get to ride as a group.

The event has raised over $27 Million dollars for men’s health causes over the years and the organizers hope to pop the $30 million mark this year.  To help that along Triumph Motorcycles will be provide four motorcycles to give to the top fund raisers worldwide. Check out gentlemansride.com for more details.

My Take – I have participated in a couple DGR rides and raised a small bit of money for the cause.  It is fun to dress up and go for a ride, especially for a good cause! 

Check out this video of me leaving for the 2014 DGR.

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Up ShiftInternational Female Ride Day – This year plan to set aside May 1st to get your International Female Ride Day on.  This year it is going to be a fix of solo rides, socially distanced gatherings, and meetups in 120 countries and every continent except Antarctica.

 According to IFRD’s press release, “The movement places a spotlight on the diverse participation of women already engaging in motorcycling and powersports while inspiring other women to learn to ride and obtain their license.” It goes on to state that, even though female ridership has doubled over the last decade, women still represent just around 20 percent of all motorcycle owners, and the momentum needs to continue to advance the future of motorcycling for women and, arguably, the sport.”

The 15th version of the IFRD is using the theme (and hashtag) of #FocusFemaleForward to put more emphasis on the IFRD’s goals of encouraging new women to ride while aiming to move women forward in all aspects of motorcycling.

My Take – The 15th year anniversary!  Yet another reason to get out and ride… not that we really need one! 

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Down ShiftFlying motorcycle by Subaru.  OK I thought this was an April’s Fools joke but maybe it is not.  Multiple sources are reporting, including Motorcycle.com, that Subaru has filed for a patent on a flying motorcycle.

From what I can tell the wings and engines of the flying motorcycle would fold up similar to those on a airplane on an aircraft carrier. When flying the wings would fold out, the motorcycle wheels would retract and way you are off into the wild blue yonder.

My Take – Hooey

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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!

Dozens of roads closed to motorcycles in Germany.

Vienna to ban all motorcycles even electrics.

Some of the best motorcycling roads in Europe now ban motorcycles.

The Swiss are planning banning motorcycles from certain roads.

Motorcycles should be banned to reduce road deaths.

Speed limits on popular motorcycle roads reduced in Australia.

Those are just a few links to what IS a growing trend to eliminate motorcycles in the name of safety and reduced pollution. Brought to you by the people and the fellow travelers of Vison Zero.

Don’t know about Vison Zero? The Vison Zero goal is to get to zero traffic deaths. As stated by its creator, Claes Tingvall, “it can never be ethically acceptable that people are killed or seriously injured when moving within the road transport system.” When asked about motorcycles Tingvall, in a candid moment stated “We must prevent the recruiting of new motorcyclists. In long-term thinking, I regret to say that motorcycles must go”. 

I underlined the “In long-term thinking” part because this is why we need to fight now! Incrementalism will kill our lifestyle just as if they did it in a mandate. The frog in boiling water analogy fits well here. Toss a frog into hot water it will jump out quickly. Toss it into warm water and slowly bring up the heat and the frog will die.

Right? But at the cost of freedom and individualism.

While Claes Tingvall recanted that statement, under pressure, actions speak as loud as the words.  Vison Zero is a worldwide effort with offices and proponents in nearly every country.  In the US, Vision Zero is lobbying nearly every state and local government for their vison.  Scroll down this wiki page to see some of the countries, states and cities were Vision Zero is operating. Vison Zero is better organized and better funded then our motorcycle communities. Wonder where the money is coming from?

So, what is Vision Zero working towards?  They are, in their own words: (taken from “Action Vision Zero”)

“This is about reducing the impact of motor vehicles by demanding”:

Slower speedsMaximum 20mph speed limits where people and vehicles mix and compliance with those limits.
Safe junctions & crossingsDirect crossings on desire lines with short waiting times and enough time to cross.
Safe space for cyclingProtected cycle lanes on main roads and low-traffic neighbourhoods.
Less trafficFewer vehicles means fewer casualties. Achieving this requires more walking, cycling and public transport, more efficient and sustainable delivery of goods, and road user charging.
Safe vehiclesSpeed limiters on all new private cars; retrofitting speed limiters on all working vehicles; safe HGVs including Direct Vision Lorries and Bus Safety Standards.ee
Safe behaviours and enforcementAn end to careless and dangerous driving. Education plays a role in achieving this, butclear and visible police enforcement is a priority.

Not anything directly pointed to motorcycles, right? 

It all sounds good and benign not a threat to your way of life? 

Reread that list and think about the bans that are going to or have happened in cities. Reread and think about how motorcycles and road safety are not compatible.  Reread and think that speed kills and that you must have it limited for your own safety. Reread and think… get off your motorbike and get on your bicycle. Your enjoyment has no place in their vision.

Tie in that Vision Zero has co-oped some motorcycle events and organizations… you know in the spirt of cooperation and safety.  You can find the Vision Zero in nearly every state, in every major city, in most countries and even in companies. Here are a few:

In North Dakota

In Alameda, CA

In North Carolina

In Canada

Continental Tires

PLEASE DO NOT LET THEY CO-OP YOU!  When they have reduced injury and death by other means they will then turn to MOTORCYCLES AS THE NEXT TARGET!!

So, what can you do?  Join a motorcycle lobby group.  Look for those that are actually going to fight the Vision Zero effort.  Groups like:

American Motorcyclist Association

Motorcycle Rider Foundation

Federation of European Motorcyclists Association

If you don’t help with the fight…then their may not be motorcycles in your future. What are your thoughts?

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Hitting Neutral:  Both the US, Europe as well as many other countries have their own standards on motorcycle helmet safety. This year the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) will issue new regulations on the testing of motorcycle helmets.

This will be the sixth version of the regulation and will go into effect 3 years after the regulations are issued. At that point it will become illegal to sell helmets that are not in compliance with the new version.

So just what does the new regulations cover?  (From the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations website)

Modular helmets – Helmets equipped with a movable or detachable protective lower face cover, will be tested with or without chin guard in position.

Sun shields – Sun shields cannot restrain or prevent the movement of the visor. On opening the visor, the sun shield can pivot in the working position. By means of a simple movement the sun shield must be able to be moved separately from the visor. Helmets placed on the market with a sun shield shall be tested with the sun shield in working position.

Reflective stickers – In order to comply with national requirements, the helmet may be required to have reflective materials. These materials can be delivered with the helmet, with proper instructions on where and how to apply them on the helmet.

Accessories – Helmets placed on the market with accessories shall be examined to make sure the equipment has no adverse effect and that the helmet and/or visor still comply with the requirements. Testing will be done with and without the accessory and its support with attention to energy absorption, sharp edges and field of vision. You are not allowed to modify the helmet from its original specification as manufactured. Accessories must be fitted in accordance with the helmet manufacturer’s instructions. Only accessories tested during the type approval procedure of the helmet keep the type approval valid.

High speed particle test for visors – To make sure visors don’t shatter when hit by something hard during your ride, they shall be tested with a steel ball at 60 m/s. The visor should not fracture or deform, and the visor housing should not separate into two or more pieces, or no longer be capable of holding the visor in position.

Brain injury by rotation – An impact test method of measuring rotational acceleration will be introduced, to test the impact on the brain when the helmet is twisted during an accident. To test this, the helmet will be allowed to fall, under specified angles and with a specified speed on to a rigidly mounted anvil.

My Take: As I am normally inclined, I am not a fan of regulations as too often it is a bureaucrat’s way of job justification that only adds to the expense of a product.  However, with the execution of one area, I do not see a problem with this update to the rules.

The problem I have is with the “Accessories” section.  I my mind I see accessory as anything placed on the helmet that was not sold by the manufacturer as part of the helmet.  I have a problem with that as it will be used as a cudgel against motorcyclists.

In Australia there is already a similar rule regarding helmet accessories.  Motorcycle riders are often pulled over and ticketed for have accessories on their helmet, click here for an example from “MotorBike Writer”. The primary culprit seems to be action cameras and Bluetooth communications modules. This new rule will infringe on the rider’s documentation and even their job.

 

Ride on, Ride Safe

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: I have seen a lot of reports on motorcycle recalls, across many brands, regarding brakes and brake pads. 

It might be a time lag between the motorcycle manufacturers and the NHTSA on posting these recalls to the official website but only Aprilia shows up as officially recalled in the USA. 

Please check with your motorcycle maker to double check, so you can actually stop.

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Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States, there is no way I could cover the entire world. But in the world of global manufacturing, if a motorcycle is being recalled in one country there is a good chance it is under recall in others. Also, this should not be considered a definitive list, check for yourself if you have any questions.

If you are US based use the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov. Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall.

If you are based outside the USA, use the appropriate website to locate recalls that may impact you.

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Manufacturer Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA

Components ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING

Summary Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (Yamaha) is recalling certain 2015-2018 XC155 scooters. The cylinder head nuts may not have been tightened properly and could loosen, allowing coolant to foul the spark plug.

Remedy Yamaha will notify owners and dealers will replace the cylinder head gasket and tighten the cylinder head nuts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 29, 2020. Owners may contact Yamaha customer service at 1-800-962-7926. Yamaha’s number for this recall is 990137.

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Manufacturer Piaggio Group Americas. Inc.

Components SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC

Summary Piaggio Group Americas, Inc. (Piaggio) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Aprilia RSV4 1000 RF, and 2017-2020 Aprilia RSV4 1000 RR and Aprilia Tuono 1100 RF and RR motorcycles. The front brake pads may corrode, potentially causing the front brake pad friction material to detach from the backing plate.

Remedy

Piaggio will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front brake pads, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 22, 2020. Owners may contact Piaggio customer service at 1-212-380-4433. Piaggio’s number for this recall is PA2ZZQ2001.

 

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DOWNSIFHT: Norton Motorcycles May Not Last Much Longer – Norton has gone into norton“administration” which from an American view appears to be like bankruptcy. They have a £300,000 tax bill to the Queen; orders they can’t fill and internet rumors that they were taking parts off bikes in for service to put on the production line.
There was a lot of high hope for Norton Motorcycles recently with the introduction of Atlas and Ranger 650 parallel twins as well as a new V4. But the new plant for the 650s is not finished and may never be completed now.
MY TAKE: Is this yet another sign of the decline of the motorcycle industry? Sells are down even where the economies are good. Norton has been struggling but unless something starts a turn round, I think we will start seeing other manufactures closing shop as well.

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dakarUPSHIFT: An American Wins the Dakar Motorcycle Rally – Riding a Honda CRF 450 Ricky Barbec finished the 11-day, 5000-mile rally in 40 hours and 2 minutes! The rally was held within the boards of Saudi Arabria this year. Starting in Jeddah, Barbec took the lead in stage 3 and never gave it up.

MY TAKE: WOW and I never heard or saw it on TV or in the news. Sad

recall

Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States, there is no way I could cover the entire world. But in the world of global manufacturing, if a motorcycle is being recalled in one country there is a good chance it is under recall in others. Also, this should not be considered a definitive list, check for yourself if you have any questions.

If you are US based use the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov. Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall.

If you are based in outside the USA use the appropriate website to locate recalls that may impact you.

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Manufacturer Arcimoto Inc

NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V032000

Components STEERING, SERVICE BRAKES

Potential Number of Units Affected 50

Summary: Arcimoto Inc. (Arcimoto) is recalling certain 2019 FUV motorcycles. During full right steering lock, the brake line may contact the steering main-link.

Remedy: Arcimoto will notify owners, and dealers will inspect for proper clearance between the hard brake line and the steering main-link, correcting as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in January 2020. Owners may contact Arcimoto customer service at 1-541-683-6293.

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Manufacturer Arcimoto Inc

NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V031000

Components ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Potential Number of Units Affected 50

Summary: Arcimoto Inc. (Arcimoto) is recalling certain 2019 FUV motorcycles. Due to electrical interference within the electrical harnesses and modules, the instrument cluster display may intermittently go blank. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 123, “Motorcycle Controls and Displays.”

Remedy: Arcimoto will notify owners, and dealers will install a flyback/damping-diode to the exterior of the wiper motor to block a power surge, add filter and surge protection to display backer board or inline to upgrade display’s ability to block electrical noise, and install Check RAM Corruption (CRC) software. All services will be performed free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in January 2020. Owners may contact Arcimoto customer service at 1-541-683-6293.

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Manufacturer Triumph Motorcycles America, LTD

NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V015000

Components STRUCTURE

Potential Number of Units Affected 3,244

Summary: Triumph Motorcycles America, LTD (Triumph) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Thruxton, 2016-2019 Thruxton R and 2020 Thruxton TFC motorcycles. The side stand spring may fracture, possibly allowing the side stand switch to activate and shut off the engine.

Remedy: Triumph will notify owners, and dealers will replace the side stand spring, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 10, 2020. Owners may contact Triumph customer service at 1-678-854-2010. Triumph’s number for this recall is SRAN 570.

 

Manufacturer Triumph Motorcycles America, LTD

NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V014000

Components POWER TRAIN

Potential Number of Units Affected 1,304

Summary: Triumph Motorcycles America, LTD (Triumph) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Speed Twin motorcycles. The gear shift lever linkage may separate from shifter ball joint, resulting in an inability to change gears.

Remedy: Triumph will notify owners, and dealers will secure the attachment with a different thread locking compound, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 27, 2020. Owners may contact Triumph customer service at 1-678-854-2010. Triumph’s number for this recall is SRAN 569.

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Manufacturer Genuine Scooters, LLC

NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V010000

Components SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC

Potential Number of Units Affected 148

Summary: Genuine Scooters, LLC. (Genuine Scooters) is recalling certain 2020 Royal Alloy GT150 scooters. The front brake rotor may become uncentered within the front brake caliper allowing the inner brake pad to dislodge from the top of the brake caliper.

Remedy: Genuine Scooters will notify owners, and dealers will reposition the brake rotors with spacers to prevent the brake pads from dislodging, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in January 2020. Note: Genuine Scooters requests owners to not drive their scooters. Please have the scooter towed to a dealer for repairs. Roadside assistance coverage has been provided along with owner’s warranty so the tow will be free of charge. Owners may contact Genuine Scooters customer service at 1-773-433-1311.

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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.

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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.