Month: August 2020

MotoAmerica Rides The Ridge

The Ridge Motorsports Park opened to the MotoAmerica road racing series this past weekend, a first for both. Teams rolled in early last week to familiarize themselves with the track, which only a handful of racers had ever ridden on. And it showed. Numerous riders crashed and crunched up their bikes, before even the first green flag on Saturday. The problem wasn’t so much the track itself, which the majority of racers and MotoAmerica personnel said they loved, but their unfamiliarity with it. At 2.47 miles in length, 16 dramatic turns and over 300 feet of elevation change across the track, including a 50 foot plunge down the Ridge Complex of switchbacks, a lap on the Ridge tarmac is filled with high speed straights, sweeping turns, huge compressions, weightless crests and hard esses that challenge and exhaust racers like few tracks in the States.

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Legendary Bikes: Peter Egan’s 1974 Norton Commando

Peter Egan has been called America’s Favorite Automotive Writer. A Wisconsin native, Egan held unprecedented dual editorial positions with both Cycle World and Road & Track magazines for nearly three decades before semi-retiring from his monthly columns in 2013.
In that time, he rode and reviewed hundreds of motorcycles, but none remained as close to his heart as the Norton Commando. In fact, it was “Dateline: Missoula,” a story about an ill-fated, cross-continent trip on a Commando which was his first published article for Cycle World back in December 1977. Egan wrote, “So it seems I owe my journalism career to that Norton as well. If I’d bought a Honda, god knows what I’d be doing now. Possibly something useful to humanity. That or sleeping under a bridge.”

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Triumph Wields A New Trident

In a press release this week, Triumph Motorcycles unveiled a prototype of a new roadster styled motorcycle that should go into production in the coming year, wearing the famous “Trident” moniker. The model name has been in use by Triumph over the years since about 1968, and graced a number of legendary bikes in their lineup.

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A Fat Boy Comes of Age

Every few years a manufacturer (motorcycle, car or otherwise) will select a certain model of a vehicle to pay homage through some sort of limited edition design. The idea is to showcase the models history and integrity within the brand while potentially opening up a new audience to the model. This being the 30th anniversary of the iconic Fat Boy® model, Harley-Davidson decided to do just that.

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Austrian Armageddon

The now infamous crash in the premier class began with a high speed collision between Petronas Yamaha rider Johann Zarco and Avintia Ducati’s Franco Morbidelli down the long stretch toward the circuit’s sharp right turn 3. At over 180 mph the riders tangled then tumbled out into the gravel and grass, while their bikes careened toward the right hander, even as other riders were negotiating the turn. As can be seen from the footage, both bikes rocketed back across the track at still well over 100 mph, trailing debris in their wake, narrowly missing Monster Energy Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and 7-time world champion Valentino Rossi.

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Motorcycle Tank Restoration

I’ve found that old bikes, or even those that have just sat unused for months or years, tend to exhibit some of the same symptoms of age and neglect- gummed carbs, seized brakes, cracked hoses, and of course, rusted/corroded tanks. None of these are insurmountable, but the first symptom I always check for, is the rusted tank. So often, people who claim, “It ran when I parked it” have likely left fuel in it as well, if even in a small amount. Over time, gas evaporation occurs, replaced with H2O moisture accumulation, and left unattended will create the conditions for rust in the tank and corrosion on the inner gas cap.

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The Queen of Speeds

Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines rider Angelle Sampey charged to a final-round win in Pro Stock Motorcycle competition at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. The three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion (2000-2002) won for the 43rd time in her career two days after her 50th birthday. The victory is Sampey’s first in the class since 2016. She joined the Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines drag racing team in 2019.

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MotoAmerica Heats Up PittRace

As a rule of thumb this past weekend, if you won on Saturday, you won on Sunday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. That’s how the speed battles played out in multiple classes in MotoAmerica’s 4th round of racing at PittRace. To top it off, Superbike reigning champ and current dominator in the class Cameron Beaubier celebrated the 100th AMA Superbike start of his career, and the 4-time national champion took his 45th career win on Sunday. In masterful fashion.

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