BMW Motorrad is very quietly teasing a new motorcycle platform, one that is centered around an 1,800cc boxer design.
BMW teased this new engine in a unique way, having Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda of Custom Works Zon build a show bike around the boxer-twin, which we are showing here in the story.
With its vintage style, it is easy to disregard the prototype engine from BMW as being something from the German company’s past, and perhaps that is the point. The engine uses a push-rod design, and its cooling fins tip-off its air/oil-cooling mechanism.
Specifics beyond this are non-existent, however, with BMW Motorrad simply saying that “further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.”
In case you missed the new, Harley-Davidson dropped a number of new model concepts on us today, all which are to go into production by the 2022 model year. We have already shown you the ADV concept, as well as the Streetfighter concept.
There are a bevy of electric bikes to see as well, along with an e-bike program, but right now we want to focus your attention on the Harley-Davidson Custom, a modern take on the Sportster platform. It might be the first cruiser that we have actually lusted over.
For the loyal Asphalt & Rubber readers on this page, that statement should certainly say something about how much we are digging this potent v-twin concept.
Ten years of doing anything is typically a reason to celebrate. Whether it’s ten years of marriage, a birthday, or the tenth year of a company being in business, ten years is a seminal anniversary.
Recently, the Quail Motorcycle Gathering celebrated its 10th anniversary in Carmel, California. Over 3,000 attendees had the opportunity to ogle over 350 amazing motorcycles from many different genres.
Unlike last year, there was no need for beanies or puffy jackets, as the weather was significantly warmer and the crowd was a lot more comfortable.
And though this was the 10th anniversary of the event, there wasn’t a lot of fanfare around the milestone. But maybe that’s what makes the Quail special. Amazing, while remaining low-keyed. Dazzling, without making a spectacle of itself. In a word, elegant.
What do you do to celebrate five years of one of the most successful custom motorcycle shows in the country? Well, you move into a new, bigger venue with about 4 weeks’ notice. At least that’s what you do if you’re the leaders of the Handbuilt Show in Austin, Texas.
This year’s show was held in the Austin American-Statesman building, and offered a significantly larger venue than the previous location in the Austin Fair Market.
Stefan Hertel, one of the co-founders of Revival Cycles, who put on the Handbuilt, graciously took a moment out of his day to discuss the new venue.
When I spoke with Stefan at last year’s show, I asked if he had ever considered a bigger venue, and he mentioned that they were looking at larger alternatives.
As it turns out, up until about a month before this year’s show, the team at Revival was planning on being at the Fair Market again, but in one of those serendipitous moments, the Handbuilt Team found the Austin American-Statesman building.
Alpinestars is celebrating its 55th anniversary at this year’s Americas GP, and to help commemorate the event, they have commissioned the creation of a special one-off motorcycle from Michael Woolaway, the prorietor of Woolie’s Workshop and Deus ex Machina in Venice, California.
The bike is based off a Ducati 1974 Ducati 750 Sport, with an old race engine that Woolie found in a crate, wedged into a custom frame that was built by Jeff Cole.
The design is immediately recognizable as one of Woolie’s creations, with its minimalist red bodywork, retro-mod lines, and performance-oriented pieces.
Speaking at the bike’s unveiling, Woolie described his creation as having the heart of a classic sport bike, with the benefit of modern technology and chassis dynamics.
As such, you will find Öhlins suspension front and back, Brembo braking pieces, Marchesini wheels, and a custom 2-2 Akrapovic exhaust.
Other trick bits include parts by Rizoma, as well as a thumb-brake system on the left-hand side.
If you ever happen to see the creation on the road, look closely at the rider. It’s like Alpinestars CEO Gabriele Mazzarolo.
To steal a phrase from my Two Enthusiasts Podcast co-host Quentin Wilson, this bike is pinnacle weird. And while the Watkins M001 is certainly one strange duck, it is also incredibly alluring, with its boxer engine, metal plate frame, and funky front-end design.
The work of Jack Watkins, an engineer by trade, the Watkins M001 is nine years in the making, a date that is helped measured by the air-cooled BMW R1150RT engine that resides at the machine’s center.
The hub-center steering design is inspired by Stellan Egeland’s BMW Harrier, which first caught out attention back in the early days of Asphalt & Rubber, again a nod to how long Jack Watkins has been working on his custom, in his spare time.
There simply are not enough big-displacement supermotards in this world we live in. There is the Ducati Hypermotard 939, the Aprilia Dorsoduro 900, then there is the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto, and well…that’s about it.
Thankfully, I am not alone in feeling that this is a big travesty – a crime against motorcycling itself, even. That is where Maxwell Hazan (the man behind Hazan Motorworks) comes in, with his “HazanSMR” project.
It starts with a 942cc LC8 v-twin engine from KTM, and it ends with a ~310 lbs motorcycle that spits 110hp to the rear wheel. Go ahead, we’ll give you a moment to compose yourself before continuing onward.
Just the other day, I was lamenting to a Ducati person about how the Desert Sled should have been the first model from the motorcycle makers Scrambler sub-brand…since, you know, it goes off-road quite well.
Built for the hard hits and jumps that come with taking a production street bike scrambling through the woods, the Desert Sled pretty much lives up to its name. But, if you really want to do the business, some changes need to be made.
This is where Alex Earle comes in the picture, with his Ducati Desert Sled “ADV Alaska” Prototype. A designer for Audi by day, Earle is known better in motorcycling circles for his street-tracker inspired custom Ducatis. You’ve probably seen them before.
Confederate Motorcycles is to become the Curtiss Motorcycle Company. We reported on this story back in August already, so loyal Asphalt & Rubber readers should know that the news comes with the twist that the new company will focus on motorcycles that have electric drivetrains, provided by Zero Motorcycles.
Not much beyond those details was available at the time, and admittedly we don’t have a plethora of new information about this boutique American brand at this point in time as well, but we’ll share with you what we do know.
First of all, Curtiss Motorcycle will ultimately have a bike for a wide range of pocketbooks, not just the uber-rich that were serviced by Confederate. Curtiss’ first bike will be called the Hercules, and it is scheduled to drop on May 5, 2018.
It is good to be Valentino Rossi. Not only do you have nine world championships to your name, legions of yellow-crazy fans, but you also get pretty nice gifts from your friends.
Take “Mya” for example – a special Yamaha XJR1300 custom flat tracker that the folks at VR|46 built for their fearless leader.
Now, when you think about bikes that should be the basis for a custom project, the Yamaha XJR1300 doesn’t exactly come to mind. It probably doesn’t help that this decades-old model is only Euro3 compliant, and set to sunset at the end of this year.
The XJ1300 certainly doesn’t strike us as the appropriate starting point for a flat track bike either, especially with its 530 lbs weight figure.
That all being said, the VR|46 crew have done a pretty good job of spiffing up the old girl.
Want a better reality TV option than the Discovery Channel’s reboot of American Chopper?
How about something that follows the in-shop antics of a group of people who are actually talented at making custom motorcycles? How about a show that follows people who are funny and entertaining in normal life, and aren’t just TV’s base caricature of the lowest common denominator?
If that sounds like something that would appeal to you, then we think you will like a new RESTRICTED series from the folks at Classified Moto.
The show launches on November 8th on YouTube, and we are eager to see the antics and builds that it reveals.