After an a recall early in 2013, involving high oil pressure levels in the transmissions of certain 2013 BMW R1200GS models, BMW was forced to install an oil restrictor to reduce oil pressure at the transmission output.
At the time, BMW was concerned about the high oil pressures in the transmission causing the rear sealing ring to come unseated and leak oil onto the rear tire.
After plugging that leak before any of the bikes managed to reach dealers, and despite installing the oil restrictor, the issue has resurfaced, this time leading to a non-serious accident in Italy, in March of this year.
After engineering analyses were completed last month, BMW determined that the oil restrictor was not sufficient enough to keep oil pressure levels in the transmission from pushing the sealing ring out of place and keeping oil off the rear tire.
As summer is upon us, avid motorcycle fans all across the country are gearing up for some of the hottest events of the season, the Isle of Man TT, World Superbikes, and Speed Week are some of the first that come to mind.
With so many high profile events taking place during the summer season it is often easy to overlook great opportunities that may be going on right in your own backyard, such as the Quail Lodge Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, California.
After pulling into the Quail Lodge Golf Club, there was a distinct tone of class in the air, although that may have been due to the machinery that littered the parking greens, a Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 355 Spyder, and Porsche 911 GT2 just to name a few.
Upon entrance to the show, it was apparent that this was not just another motorcycle show, and that I was in for a treat as one of the first motorcycles to greet me was an early Simplex Servi-Cycle.
Presented by Tudor, the show is in its sixth consecutive year, and truly does not disappoint with something for everyone, ranging from some of the rarest, most elusive bikes ever made like the 1950 Rumi Turismo to entries that were on the forefront of cutting edge technology such as the Lightning Motorcycles LS-218.
With so many amazing motorcycles and such a rich two-wheeled history all in one place, it was a bit overwhelming trying to figure which gems deserved more photographic attention than others, but there were a handful that really stood out.
As we reported here just a few days ago, Lightning Motorcycles announced its release of the new LS-218 electric superbike, along with plans to preview it at this year’s Quail Motorcycle Gathering.
While the photos then were rough, we got a general idea of what the Lightning LS-218 was supposed to look like at its California debut. Taking the wraps off at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California, Lightning showed up to the gathering this weekend with what they are calling a nearly finished version of the LS-218.
The first thing that stands out about this bike, as many onlookers noted, was that it looks very much like its petrol-powered cousins, thanks to the gorgeous design by Glynn Kerr. The bright blue metallic paint, contrasted by the brass colored Öhlins dampers and big Brembo brakes, really make for an eye-catching piece of machinery.
What’s more, Lightning claims that this street-legal version of their race bike produces in excess of 200hp and 168lb-ft of torque, but is it enough to live up to the claims?
MV Agusta has announced that it will be recalling 223 motorcycles with production dates ranging from December 18, 2013 through March 10, 2014. The recall affects the 2014 MV Agusta Brutale 800, 2014 MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster, 2014 MV Agusta Brutale 675, 2014 MV Agusta Brutale RR, 2014 MV Agusta F3 800, 2014 MV Agusta F3 675, and 2014 MV Agusta Rivale 800.
According to MV Agusta, it was discovered that that some of its motorcycles were produced using a swingarm pin that is secured by a non-conforming fixing screw, which is subject to potential failure during normal use of the motorcycle, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.
On April 2nd, Ducati North America announced they would be recalling 2,083 of their 1199 Panigale and Panigale S models due to a malfunctioning handlebar switch. The recall affects 1,515 motorcycles manufactured in 2012 and an additional 568 manufactured in 2013.
According to Ducati, “the left handlebar switch may not get power from its connection at the dashboard, preventing the horn, headlight high beam, instrument panel display and right turn signals from functioning.”
Since Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 as a means to “combat our growing energy problems” and “reduce our independence on oil”, the debate over how safe ethanol additives really are has raged on.
As you may know, the Act lead the introduction of E10 (gasoline with 10% ethanol), which vehicle owners have been claiming causes serious damage to engines, such as damaged catalytic converters, improper combustion, and component deterioration.
While proponents of ethanol claim that it is a cleaner burning, higher octane fuel source that is renewable, opponents feel that the mixture of gasoline and ethanol is causing more problems than it is solving. This week marks a victory for the latter camp, as the EPA has now publicly confirmed that ethanol does cause serious damage the engines.
As one of the leaders in today’s automotive and motorcycle advancements, BMW is again pushing the envelope of technology and blurring the lines between science fiction and reality.
The German manufacturer prides itself on state of the art safety features on both cars and motorcycles, most notably the introduction of ABS for motorcycles in 1988 and their semi-active chassis which was released in 2012.
More notably are BMW’s recent updates in motorcycle lighting technology which include BMW’s adaptive headlight technology for the 2010 BMW K1600GT and GTL models, which uses ride height and pitch sensors to automatically level the headlight.
Also, the 2012 BMW R1200GS which was the first motorcycle to feature an LED main headlight with integrated daytime running light.
For 2014, BMW has announced the introduction of Organic LEDs (OLED) which are claimed to be a vast improvement over the inorganic LED lighting that is currently being used.
On January 14, 2014 Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) proposed a still pending substitute amendment to the Driver Privacy Act, which formerly applied only to vehicles that were required to be equipped with an event data recorder which included passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses.
Now thankfully, the language of the bill has been changed to a broader reaching scope to include motorcycles, but also to ensure that all of the information collected by “black boxes” for any vehicle is now protected.
It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000.
While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.
As you may remember from our previous coverage, things are not looking so good for Zero Motorcycles with several recalls in the past year, including faulty brake caliper mounting bolts that was issued in August, and a faulty firmware recall that caused certain models to shut down while running.
Now, after an incident with an expert rider in Australia in late February, Zero has discovered that when certain motors are pushed to their limits, the motors rotor may contact the stator, causing the engine to lock up thereby causing the rear wheel to lock up.
After an impressive four victories at the 2013 Isle of Man TT, Michael Dunlop has announced his entry into the Lightweight TT race for 2014, and thus a bid to win six solo races in 2014.
Although Dunlop has admittedly not been concerned with the Lightweight TT in the past, when you’re on a mission to take six podiums in one week, you take wins wherever you can get them.
Having already tied Phillip McCallen’s 1996 mark of four wins, Dunlop is seeking to dethrone Ian Hutchinson from his five-win campaign of 2010.