Motorcycles are more than the sum of their parts, but some parts are more important than others. Wheels are an essential part of the identity of many motorcycles. So, to test your moto-mettle, we’ve gathered a dozen different models for you to match with their wheels.
The Huffington Post posted a brief photojournalistic piece today featuring badass women on motorcycles, The Caramel Curves Motorcycle Club. Based in New Orleans and founded in 2005 by the eponymous Caramel, the only requirements are that you have to be a woman and own a motorcycle. They pride themselves as a community that supports women who want to get out and ride, and on the camaraderie and confidence that the club instills in its members.
If you’ve ever been wheelied past by a woman in 5-inch heels and a pink jumpsuit down in The Big Easy, chances are it was one of these ladies. You can also check out a great video that Vice’s Broadly did on the club here.
So far this year there’s been two big motorcycle shows: Intermot in Germany, and AIMExpo in Orlando. During those two shows, major manufacturers introduced no less than 22 brand new or heavily revised models for 2017. Include some of the lesser known OEMs, such as Benelli, SSR, and National Moto & Cycle we reported on from AIMExpo, and the list grows larger. There’s more to come next month at EICMA, but for now, we’re curious to know which of the following models pushes your buttons; floats your boat; tickles your fancy… Just vote for one.
Is it any wonder Harley-Davidson is doing so well in Australia when they are the only motorcycle company present at the Bathurst 1000?
About 200,000 petrol heads have turned up at the mountain this year and many have wandered through the Harley display to throw a leg over a test bike or gel the chrome muscle machines.
Such aggressive marketing paying off wth the company moving further ahead of Honda in the third quarter as the top-selling road bike company in Australia, capturing 21% of the road bike market.
They are now 1401 bikes in front of Honda (16.7%) and Yamaha (15.4%).
Harley is also only 238 behind Suzuki for overall fourth place, even though they don’t sell sports bikes, adventurers, dirt bikes, scooters or ATVs.
Their top seller is the learner-approved Street 500 (1132), behind the Kawasaki Ninja 300 (1460) and Honda CT110 “postie bike” (1395). Surprisingly, the Harley Softail Breakout at $29,750 is the fourth-selling motorcycle in Australia.
Aussies seems to love cruisers and road bikes with 10,749 new road motorcycles being sold in the third quarter of 2015.
That brings the year-to-date total to 32,437 which is a 1.1% over the previous year to September.
Official Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show Australians bought 75,893 new motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and scooters between January and September 2015, down 2.5% in comparison to the same period in 2014.
Road motorcycles accounted for 42.7%, off-road 32.2% (-6.6%), ATVs 19.8% (+3.8%) and scooters 5.3% (-30.1%).
Road Motorcycle Sales
(Third Quarter 2015)
- Harley-Davidson 6807 +14.1%
- Honda 5406 -18.2%
- Yamaha 4996 +33.8%
- Kawasaki 4165 -3.8%
- BMW 2496 +16%
- Triumph 2197 +5.9%
- Suzuki 2081 -5.1%
- Ducati 1603 +12.3%
- KTM 898 -22.3%
- Indian 528 +119.1%
- Hyosung 344 -56.3%
- Victory 286 -5.9%
- Aprilia 243 +0.8%
- Moto Guzzi 186 -2.6%
Motorcycle Sales Overall
- Honda 17,085 -1.7%
- Yamaha 15,183 +8.8%
- Kawasaki 7443 -5.6%
- Suzuki 7045 +1.8%
- Harley-Davidson 6807 +14.1%
- KTM 4889 -11.1%
- Polaris 3605 -7.4%
- BMW 2550 +15.8%
- Triumph 2197 +5.9%
- Ducati 1603 +12.3%
- BRP 1463 +6.2%
- Husqvarna 1072 -32.8%
- Vespa 746 -8.2%
- Piaggio 692 -28.1%
- Aprilia 570 -15.7%
- Indian 528 +119.1%
Motorbike Writer today leaves Brisbane for the Bathurst 1000 in the touring comfort of a new Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special and you could be a winner in our road trip!
YOUR CHANCE TO WIN
Please follow us over the next few days and if you recognise us on the road or at the event, just make yourself known to us and you could instantly win your choice of motorcycle jewellery or a Keyklipz keyring from Bico.
Despite a lifetime of following the Bathurst 1000 and more than a decade as a motoring journalist, ghost-writing weekly newspaper columns for Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, I have never seen the race live.
I’ve ridden and driven around the track on many occasions, like many tourists passing through the regional centre.
However, I was also either too young, impoverished and/or involved in my career and family to go to Bathurst for either the epic touring car race or the legendary Easter motorcycle races which ended in the late ‘80s.
But now, at the invitation of my younger daughter’s partner, Mitch, I’m attending my first Bathurst 1000.
Mitch is riding my 2010 Triumph Bonneville and I’ll be riding the Road Glide Special, possibly the best and most stable touring bike in the world.
Many motorcycle riders share our passion for V8 Supercars.
Take a look at the “carpark” of any V8SC event and you will see a host of motorcycles. It’s not only indicative of the support among rev-head riders, but also the ease of getting in and out of the event on two wheels!
Inter-race on-track entertainment also includes motorcycle stunt shows, Australian Superbikes has often shared events with V8SC and most of the V8 drivers are sponsored by motorcycle companies and are enthusiastic riders.
One of the best is Craig Lowndes who is a gun on both road bikes and dirt bikes.
Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman David Turney says they have long been aware of motorcyclists’ enthusiasm for V8SC and will have their 2016 model years range and Pepper, their salt flats racer, at this weekend’s Bathurst 1000.
“There’s a lot of synergies between lovers of motorsport and Harley-Davidson,” he says. “H-D fans young and all are mostly petrol heads at heart with muscle and fire in what moves us, love a good hot rod just like fans of V8 Supercars. It’s good to tap into these cultural icons of Australian motorsport and show the community that we’re all thinking as one.”
Even a corner of the famous mountain track, Forrest’s Elbow, is named after motorcycle racer Jack Forrest who scraped his elbow away after laying down his bike on the corner.
While the track has changed over the years and could never host a motorcycle event again because of the dangers of the concrete walls, Bathurst may soon have an extra track specially developed to attract motorcycle races such as rounds of the MotoGP and World Superbikes.
It all adds up to being a great ride, a great bonding experience and a great weekend full off high-octane motorcycle and car action at the Great Race.
To stay in touch with all the Bathurst 1000 action, you can download the free FOX SPORTS App available in the Apple Store or Google Play.
It includes live scores, comprehensive statistics, live timing, racing stats, car telemetry, breaking news, editorial features and video highlights.
FOX SPORTS Digital and Foxtel Sports subscribers will also be able to access in-race on-board cameras.
Unless you are a Swiss army conscript or a military enthusiast, you almost certainly have not learned of Condor-Werke AG.
It is one of Europe’s sleeper marques, and began assembling bikes for the Swiss military in 1893. (Yes, that is a year before Hildebrand & Wolfmuller launched the first generation bike to authentic.)
The machine is a Condor A580. It is possessed by a collector who wants to stay anonymous, but is happy to share a little history as well as pictures.
The likenesses between modern BMWs and the Condor are clear. The Condor isn’t an immediate copy, but it is a bulletproof, good-engineered air cooled boxer with rotating shaft drive.
The BMWs used by German troops during the second world war were coveted by the Schweizer Armee Condor got the job of designing a Swiss equivalent. The A580 has telescopic forks, plunger-design back suspension, hydraulic self-adjusting aluminum cylinder heads and valve lifters. German flathead boxer versions certainly inspired it’s –such as the Zundapp KS600, R6 or R12, as well as the BMW R71.
The motorcycle we are looking at here spent a decade in service before being auctioned off. The 1970s was locked away, and forgotten till the 21st century, when it arrived.
It is now been treated to a restoration job that was classy, but keeps a number of the battle scars including several broken cooling fins on the cylinder heads. The tires are a period- Metzeler Block C pattern that is right –difficult to come by now, however a fantastic finishing touch for the restoration.
The subdued military paint is gone, replaced by a reddish colour that Condor used for its civilian versions, which sold for the cost of BMWs that are modern. Nevertheless, the uncommon gear ratio decrease lever (below) stays, mounted on the correct part of the transmission.
This lever provides eight gears to the Condor –four for the road and four for difficult terrain, which reduces top rate from around 110 to 50 kph (31 mph).