Posts Tagged ‘Yamaha’

Yamaha motorcycles R&D has been working overtime by the looks of what they have been showing off lately.  I have been pretty impressed and though I would share their efforts. 

First up is the NIKEN (which is “2 Swords” in Japanese) a three wheel leaning motorcycle/trike/sport bike/something or another. It is defiantly not a scooter with a large 874cc three cylinder engine.  Watch the video and you will see that it is a very interesting motorcycle/trike/sport bike/thing. OH, and it comes out in the USA next year.

 

Next is pickup truck where a passenger gets to ride behind the driver, like you are riding ay hub motorcycle. Seating four the other two passengers ride to the right and left of the driver who sets along the centerline of the truck.  

Called the “Cross Hub” this small pickup is a concept vehicle that they showed off at the Tokyo Motor Show.  There are a lot of interesting features including “suicide doors” and the ability to fit a motorcycle, diagonally, in the bed of the truck. Read more about the Cross Hub here.  

Also appearing at the Tokyo Motor Show was the Yamaha MOTOROiD, their concept of the y droidSport Bike of the future.  With on-board AI Yamaha states that the MOTOROiD will be “capable of recognizing and interacting with its owner”.  Or, in this case who owns who?  The MOTOROiD is an electric motorcycle with some form of rear hub engine and a large battery bank where the motor would normally set.   Oh and do not confuse the MOTOROiD with the MOTOBOT which is Yamaha’s attempt to replace Valentino Rossi.  

Now on a more conventional path, do you like 3D jigsaw puzzles? Well Yamaha will let you, for free, download a paper craft version of many of its motorcycles.  But to me this looks EXTREMLY complicated and tedious.  I am not into jigsaw puzzles but if you are this might be up your ally.  The site is in Japanese so you may need to run it through a translator.  Check out this completed MT-10.

y paper

This is made of paper!!

5 7

Biker badly burned ….. PAY ATTENTION AT THE PUMP!!

Good Article on Motorcycle Helmets from Wired Magazine.

Ethanol is bad for motorcycles… Here is a site listing ETHANOL-FREE GAS STATIONS in the US

Yamaha R1 OUTRUN by a station wagon!!!

Brad Pitt buys a NAZI (motorcycle)

Pills

Not sure if there is a season for recalls but an awful lot of motorcycles have been affected in the last 40 days (give or take).  Here are the ones that I am aware of, check the link at the bottom to find our if your bike has an open recall (any recall not just these).

185,000 – Harley-Davidson is recalling more than 185,000 motorcycles in the U.S. because the saddle bags can come loose and fall off, increasing the risk of a crash. Models affected are: certain 2014 and 2015 Road King, Street Glide, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Police Road King, Police Electra Glide and CVO Ultra Limited bikes. Also affected are 2014 CVO Road King and the 2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low, Ultra Limited Low, Road Glide, CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide Ultra motorcycles.

45,000 – Honda recalls more than 45,000 motorcycles A product flaw that could result in engine stalling and increased crash risks led Honda to recall certain motorcycle models dating back to 2013. The model affected are: 2013 through 2015 are ST1300PA, CB500, CBR500, CRF250L, CBR650, CTX700, NSS300, VT750, VT1300, 2015 CB300F, CBR300 and CBR600. The recall also affects NC700 models from the years 2014 through 2016.

12,700 – Yamaha recalls 12,721 Motorcycles the insulation on the stator coil, a component of the alternator, may become damaged and short circuit to due insufficient heat resistance. Models affected are: 2008-2011 WR250X motorcycles manufactured June 1, 2008, to June 1, 2011 and 2008-2015 WR250R motorcycles manufactured June 1, 2008, to June 1, 2015.

308 – Suzuki recalls 308  Accessory Backrest Mounting Hardware kits, part numbers 990A0-75148 and 990A0-75148-BLK, manufactured March 1, 2012, to April 21, 2015. The supplied bolts are to long and my rub the tire.

248 – KTM recalls Super Duke R motorcycle for an issue related to a fuel tank leak.  Models affected 2014 and later 1290 Super Duke R motorcycle

 

That is a lot of bikes that need to be checked… my Ultra Limited is one of them.

If you have one of these model motorcycles (in the US) please check one of the US Governments websites that actually works SAFERCAR.GOV to see if you are affected.

 

In an earlier post I mentioned that I had attended the 2015 Timonium Bike show.  While I have noticed this bird like trend in the past it really struck me as I walked around the show, bikes with beaks.

Over the last few years I “feel” that there has been a severe consolidation in the appearance of sportbikes regardless of manufacturer.  The general appearance of a Honda is similar to that of a Yamaha or pic your make.

One of the way by which the appearance is homologizing is bird like front ends.  Below are pictures from the show of just a few of the many bike sporting the beak and they are not all from the same stable…I mean birdhouse.  🙂      Wellll they also look like bugs.

Dealernews has announced their 2014 Top 100 Dealers. Dealerships from 30 states (and two from Canada) were recognized for their outstanding efforts.top 100 2014

Out of the Top 100 Harley Davidson (42) had the largest number of dealers listed while Suzuki and Yamaha tied for second place (37 each). Harley Davidson was also awarded the Vehicle Brand of the Year.

The big winner was Motorcycle Mall of Belleville, NJ when it was selected as the best overall dealer of 2014. Dealernews had this to say about Motorcycle Mall:

“The dealership regularly hosts movie nights, and puts on stunt shows and works closely with Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider courses, which in turn helps bring younger customers in. The dealership’s average customer age is 30, an enviable number in an industry where buyers aging out is a legitimate concern. At Motorcycle Mall, they sell the experience of coming to the dealership as much as of riding itself.”

“We want to make this a destination where people want to come here and come back. We want people to associate riding with Motorcycle Mall. We’re your local dealer and we’ll take care of you. This isn’t, ‘Buy a bike and we’ll see you later.’ It’s trying to build that customer loyalty.”

Some of the other awards presented by Dealernews were:

Community Outreach: Frieze Harley-Davidson, O’Fallon, Ill., tied with Woodstock Harley-Davidson.
Service Department Excellence: Cyclewise / Ducati Vermont, New Haven, Vt.
Customer Service: Performance PowerSports, Seneca, S.C.
Best Dealer to Work for: GO AZ Motorcycles, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Best Event: Motorcycle Mall
Best Display: Off-Road Express West
Best Exterior: Sound Harley-Davidson
Online Promotion: Road Track and Trail, Big Bend, Wis.
Print Media Campaign: Indian Victory Charlotte, Lowell, N.C.
Integrated Media Campaign: A.D. Farrow Harley-Davidson
Social Media Campaign: McHenry Harley-Davidson
Parts Department Excellence: Rexburg Motorsports

Congrats to all the dealers!

Give me POWER!

Give me POWER!

With the advent of an electric Harley Davidson I decided to really think about electric motorcycles.  Yes they have been around for a while, yes Yamaha is looking at some production models as well but, come on, Harley Davidson considering electric motorcycles means we have to take this seriously.

I have been reading a lot more about electric bikes lately, as there have been more than a few articles about this genus of motorcycle.  We have even had a few discussions about electric bikes on the Dawg House Motorcycle Radio Show.  I am not going to cite a bunch of numbers around range or how environmentally friendly/unfriendly the technology is or anything like that.  I understand that it is going to be a long time before I can ride cross country, due to the lack of infrastructure.  I am going to discuss what it would take for me to buy and use an electric motorcycle as a daily rider. 

So, what would it take for me to buy an electric bike?

1. No range anxiety. I need to be able to commute 80 miles round trip at an average of 60-80 MPH, with somewhat significant uphill climbs.  I need to be able to do this with zero worry about range; in fact I need to be able to do this for two days in a row without recharging or worrying if I will make it home.  This means I need a 200+ mile range in the worse of conditions.

2. No modifications to my home. With my home, (or my friends/family home) as the only “filing station” that I would have available, I do not consider it reasonable to be required to install a high capacity circuit in my garage to maximize my charging capability.

3. Charging time consideration.   A refill from empty to full should take no longer than 2 hours, empty to half full should take less than 30 minutes.  That still seems to be a long time but I am giving in to the fact that the technology for rapid charging is not now, nor will be for a long time, anywhere near that of filling a gas tank.

4. Battery life consideration.  Batteries do not live forever; I want the first battery replacement to be included in the price of the bike.  Whether that is 5 years from purchase or 15 years from purchase I do not want to worry about the cost to swap out the battery pack when it becomes necessary.  That first swap has to follow the bike not the owner, if I trade or sell the bike the new owner should not be put at risk for the cost of the new batteries.

5. Charging stations availability. It is unlikely that in my or my children’s life that electric charging station will be as ubiquitous as gas stations.  But, if a major manufacture (Harley, Yamaha) begins selling electric motorcycles then every dealer in their network needs to be a charging station.  Not a great solution but a first step.

6. Compatibility -Is there a standard for charging hardware, software, volts, amps, etc.?  If I am riding a Harley and pull into a Honda dealership will the charging station be compatible?  Are the one off charging stations you see here and there standardized for motorcycles?  If there is not currently compatibility in the electric motorcycle industry it will have to occur before I will consider buying one.

7. Customization consideration – Now this is not a deal breaker issue, but I would like to have the option to change out the appearance of the bike.  New handle bars, saddlebags, grips, mirrors, etc. are things that I and others would like to change to make it their own… just look at my Army bike.

8. Ergo dynamics – I am no longer capable of using a sport bike style seating position for my commute.  Due to age and 25 years of Army life I cannot ride in that position for any significant length of time.  Most, including Harley’s entry, lean more to the sport bike styling and I have no problem with that.  But for me to buy an electric bike it will have to have a cruiser type riding position.   

9. Price – It cannot be more than 10% more expensive than its gas powered equivalent. I am willing to pay a little more upfront if I am able to save quite a bit over the long run. My ROI for fuel savings would have to be less than two years (20,000 miles).

I am sure there are other things for me to consider before buying an electric motorcycle but these are the ones that spring to mind.  Do you have any additional considerations to consider?  J

 

I see a lot of this type of question on many of the other blogs, websites and forms.  Most typically they start off congenial but spin down to the “the dealership sucks and charges too much” and “if you don’t do it yourself you are a wimp”.

My POV on this subject originates in 2000 at a Ford dealership in Fayetteville, NC.  I was there buying a new vehicle, the first Ford Sport Trac sold in Fayetteville, when I overheard a heated and loud argument at the service desk.

Ostensibly a man had, what he considered, warranty work performed on his transmission (it was older F250 with a couple 100K of what looked like hard miles).  As I was waiting for my vehicle to be taken off the truck (I said it was the first) I listened to the conversion between the service representative and the owner of the truck.  Just like all these type of conversations it started politely but got heated in a hurry.

The dealership wanted to charge him over $1500 dollars for the work while he insisted it should be covered by warranty.  What it boiled down to was that the dealership stated with that many miles the transmission should have been serviced, if I remember correctly, five times.  The owner was stating that it had been serviced, he did it himself.  She responded that for the warranty to be honored the service had to be performed by a “certified” mechanic, that they would not honor the warranty. 

Now I do not know how the situation was resolved, my brand new Sport Trac came off the truck and I was checking it out. But that argument left an imprint on me that have lasted to this day.  If my vehicles are under warranty the dealership gets all service work, with the occasional exception for the standard oil change (and I keep records of that).  I also attempt to be very prompt in getting the services performed at the appropriate mileage points, give or take a few thousand miles.

I do know how to do a lot of the work myself.  I can do a lot of the basic things (that do not require a computer and there is less and less of that every year) like all the fluid changes, spark plugs and wires, batteries, lights, etc.. I have worked with friends to change transmissions and I have helped work on the pumpkins of four wheel drives.  I even use to know how to use the tire changing machines and wheel balancers and I think I could figure out how to use the modern equipment to do that job too.

So where does that leave me?  I have the knowledge to do some of my own work, but I do not want to jeopardize my warranty just in case I have a major problem down the road.  All my vehicles get their service at the dealership at least through the end of the warranty, and I do typically get the extended warranty.  To some folks I will be a stupid wimp but I think I fit in there with the majority of the population. 

 

I like to listen to the DawgHouse 2 Wheel Radio show .  It is a motorcycle podcast which the hosts call “A completely irreverent, totally biased, intellectually challenged and scornful study of the twisted life of the motorcycling world & those who inhabit our planet, all wrapped up in a disturbing weekly show!” and I can’t completely disagree with that description to much  😉  The show use to be on Saturday mornings on a local Washington, DC radio station but was dropped when the station changed formats. It is now broadcast on the internet Tuesday nights.  I typically listen to the podcasts during my commute.morehead1

The last couple weeks they have been discussing and lamenting the fact that motorcycle racing does not have much of a following in the US. So after listening to those shows I sat back and thought about why I am not a follower of motorcycle racing. I do caveat the following this with the fact that I have watched some bike racing on TV, both road and super-cross.

While I am a lifelong rider I have never really followed the road racing scene (in fact I have only once attempted to attend a bike race at BSR/Summit Point but the $30 entrance fee was too much to watch just a small portion of the track). I do follow, loosely, NASCAR and I have even been to a couple races (in the 80s).

Long story short I came to the following conclusions (right or wrong just my thoughts):

1. I want to see more of the race. I can, for the most part, see the entire track at NASCAR and super cross, not so with road racing, car or bike. When I can’t see all the action I do not feel I am getting my money’s worth, I don’t really know what is going on, and unless I am near the start/finish line I have no idea who won. Motorcycle road racing on TV just is not as well coved as a NASCAR (which only has a couple of road races) or as well as the auto grand prix style races which also has attendance issues.

This maybe an American predilection for this type of racing.  Like our version of football and fondness of baseball, it is neither right nor wrong  it just is.  With the NASCAR tracks folks can see the action, depending on how thick the beer googles are!  And the same applies for our other major American sports, I can see the entire playing field from my seat. I can see the entire track at Supercross and when I see it on TV it looks better attended than any other version of motorcycle racing I have seen.

2. Harley is not road racing. Yeah, I know, but the fact is that the folks you want to watch are the folks who watch NASCAR and ride Harley. My two favorite manufactures are Harley and Honda (Royal Enfield is #3) but there is a large gap between #1 and the rest. So unless I am really enamored with a Honda sport bike (I am not) I have no emotional draw to the sport.

Without that emotional pull do I want to pay $30 dollars to see part of race then walk or ride around the track to see different parts of the action?   No not really.

tamagawa_nov6_49So what would get me into motorcycle racing? What could be done to fix this situation?

I only have one idea which might be used pull people into the sport.  First, it will not be road racing.  Second it will have to be a V-Twin bike. So what I am thinking is that we have a V-Twin series (NASCAR has car and truck) for those of us not into the sport bike world.

It would also have to be an oval (turn left) track.  The NASCAR super speedways would be too large for bikes like this but not the short tracks like Bristol could be a lot of fun.

Would Harley, Indian, Victory Star and others compete, would it be a privateer series? I do not know but I do know that I would be more interested in seeing a race of this nature then I would a normal superbike road race.

Combine a V-twin race to an oval and I start to think WOW! And when I think back to the old pictures of motorcycle racing in the early 1900’s I think of oval board tracks and large crowds. Would I go to the speedway during Daytona Bike Week to watch guys race Harley and Indians, yes I would!

Just saying…..

from 2x2cycles.com

I can now say if I have not seen it all, I must be getting close.  These products are produced by 2×2 Cycles out of North Carolina.  Their motto of “Who says you can’t take it with you?” explains their reason for being.

They look safe and secure and if I could still golf I might consider this for my bike.  They make products for: Honda, BMW, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha, Triumph, Aprilla and Ducati motorcycles.

Check out their website here!image from 2x2cycles.com

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Looks like others are taken aback by the CDC and “its helmet study” I mentioned in my last post.  Congressman Tim Walberg (Michigan) wrote a letter to the CDC asking several pointed question about the study and its “findings”. A quick web search finds that the AMA, ABATE and others are taking the CDC to task on this issue as well.

If you have not yet dropped a note to your congressman or women now is the time.  It is not about helmet laws it is about labeling our activity as a health risk just like cigarettes, soda and Trans fats! If they can label motorcycles as a health risk then higher taxes and heavy restrictions will soon follow.