Pikes Peak: Zero Motorcycles Race Report (Video)

Zero Motorcycles Pike Peak International Hill Climb Race Action Shot Zero Motorcycles Press Release: Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, announced today that it swept the podium at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In partnership with Hollywood Electrics, the team successfully defended its title as fastest in the production electric motorcycle class. 2015 marks the third consecutive year that a Zero motorcycle took the overall win in the category. This year, the riders chose to compete on the Zero SR model. Scot Harden, vice president of Global Marketing at Zero, was on hand for the event. “Zero Motorcycles is extremely proud of the results and effort put forth by the Hollywood Electrics team,” said Harden. “Their passion for electric motorcycles and racing is second to none, as proven again at the world’s most prestigious hill climb event. Our heartfelt thanks to Harlan Flagg and Thomas Ito, as well as the racers, Jeff Clark, Nathan Barker, Brandon Nozaki Miller and the entire Hollywood Electrics support crew.” Jeff Clark defended his production electric motorcycle class title with a time of 12:06.346, followed by Nathan Barker in second at 12:37.161, and Brandon Nozaki Miller in third at 13:10.894. Beyond the production class, Zero powered the fastest overall electric motorcycle in the modified electric category, as ridden by Yoshihiro Kishimoto. Kishimoto posted a blistering time of 10:58.861, which was good for 29th of all vehicles entered. One of Jeff Clark’s rides up the mountain’s famous 12.42-mile course with 156 turns can be seen here:
 Jeff Clark – 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – PPIHC:
2015 may be remembered as a tipping point for electric vehicle racing, as the fastest vehicle at the event was an electric car driven by multiple Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner, Rhys Millen. “Whether it’s on two wheels or four, electric technology is progressing at an astonishing rate,” said Scot Harden of Zero Motorcycles. “Electric vehicles are now undeniably a force to be reckoned with in international competition.” For more information: www.zeromotorcycles.com Read More

2016 BMW S1000XR – FIRST RIDE Four-cylinder, upright, asphalt adventurer.

2016 BMW S1000XR on-road action You may not realize it, but BMW’s S1000XR is really the bike you need, even if you don’t like the tall “quasi ADV meets The Jetsons” appearance. Okay, I didn’t exactly just call the XR ugly, but it doesn’t exactly speak to one’s heart in the same way BMW’s R nineT does. But after you ride it, you realize that it speaks to your emotions and fires up your adrenal glands with its high-performance engine and incredibly capable chassis, which has an upright and commanding seating position. After a day spent riding the XR in northern Ontario in Canada, in the pouring rain, I don’t have all the answers for you. Having recently spent a week riding two-up with my wife through northern Italy on a 2015 Ducati Multistrada, I can tell you these bikes are natural adversaries. But we will have to reserve a fair comparison until we get them on the same continent, on the same roads, in identical conditions. We had waited for months to ride this new adventure-tourer (what BMW calls “Adventure Sport”), whose engine engine has been plucked from one of the most significant sportbikes ever made, the BMW S1000RR. Unfortunately, the day’s forecast had me crying in my coffee—rain was on the agenda, and it wasn’t going to let up the entire day. 2016 BMW S1000XR static side view In the S1000XR, the 999cc inline-four puts out a claimed 160 horsepower at 11,000 rpm, versus 199 for the RR. The last S1000R we tested on the dyno put out 150 hp, and 77 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheel, so the XR will be in that same performance ballpark. In standard form, the S1000XR has a pair of ride modes: Road and Rain. Other standard fare includes Automatic Stability Control, with basic traction and wheelie control that work in conjunction with the more basic standard ABS. But if you tick the option box for Ride Modes Pro (see pricing for all options at end of story), TC is upgraded to the more sophisticated Dynamic Traction Control, while two additional ride modes are accessible including Dynamic and Dynamic Pro. The real difference here is the updated sensor box, which detects the bike’s bank angle and applies TC accordingly, while also allowing more aggressive riding with less wheelie and traction intervention depending on mode selected. My S1000XR bike was heavily optioned with Ride Modes Pro, D-ESA (see below), and ABS Pro (see below), plus Gear Shift Assist Pro, which allows clutchless upshifts and downshifts. After starting out in the Rain mode, it didn’t take long for me to switch over to Road. On the wet tarmac, grip from the standard Bridgestone T30 sport-touring tires was quite good, and shutting off the DTC didn’t create too much drama. I tried to get the back tire to spin under hard acceleration exiting corners in second gear, and the bike simply hooked up. It wasn’t until I hit some rain-soaked dirt roads that I was able to get the rear wildly spinning. Roost! 2016 BMW S1000XR engine detail With the majority of bikes in this category using two- or three-cylinder power—the exceptions being the XR and the Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT—I thoroughly enjoyed this application of BMW’s inline-four. The electronics allow the engine to be almost anything you want it to be—mellow and smooth, or snappy and aggressive. The engine is totally tractable, with excellent bottom- to midrange grunt, capped off by an excellent top end. Fueling is well mapped, while the rider aids do their job without making themselves unwelcome. My only complaint about the engine? It tended to deliver a fair amount of vibration through the tall and wide handlebar at cruising speed, which could get old on a long ride. The BMW chassis is anchored by an aluminum frame and a dual-sided swingarm. Wheelbase, compared to the S1000R’s, has grown by a significant 4.3 inches. At 60.9 in., the XR wheelbase is just a tad shorter than the KTM 1190 Adventure’s and a tad longer than the BMW GS’s. The swingarm itself is responsible for 2.5 inches of this growth, while mellower front-end geometry (25.5 degrees of rake, 4.6 in. of trail) makes up the rest. The base model BMW S1000XR comes equipped with a manually adjustable shock with provisions for preload and rebound adjustment, while the upside-down fork also adds adjustable compression damping. The long-travel suspension provides 5.5 inches of rear travel and 5.9 up front. If you really want to experience the XR’s chassis at its best, opt for the optional Dynamic ESA semi-active suspension. The rider can select from three preload options (that can be further tweaked in the settings menu), and then select the D-ESA setting, either Road or the firmer Dynamic. The system adapts damping to the riding situation in milliseconds based on information fed to the ECU from the bank-angle sensor, throttle position, DTC, ABS, and spring-travel sensor. 2016 BMW S1000XR Dynamic ESA detail At 33.1 inches, the height of the standard saddle will not be for everyone, which is why there’s an optional (at no charge) high seat that raises it to 33.7 in., or a low option that brings it down to 32.2. And when the lowered D-ESA option is combined with the Low seat, the S1000XR seat height drops all the way down to 31.1 inches. With wet roads the order of the day, I spent most of my time in the Road D-ESA setting and selected the single-rider preload setting. With our route encompassing a mixture of highway, country lanes, and back roads with lots of patches and broken pavement still being repaired from the winter, it was an ideal test for the suspension. If there is any single option package you should choose for the XR, make sure it includes D-ESA. In short, the system works as advertised, providing excellent damping in every riding condition I experienced, with the added benefit of easy preload setup when you load your side cases, or throw a passenger on the back, or both. To give credit where due, I have to say that the XR worked quite well on a couple of wet and muddy dirt roads. Even with the spoked cast-aluminum 17-inch wheels, the bike was quite easy to ride, despite conditions that bordered on sloppy. The XR had no issue gaining momentum and soaking up bumps, and the stability was very good. The ABS proved good, too, and it’s really the most critical factor in riding a big ADV quickly off highway. 2016 BMW S1000XR rain soaked road action As with BMW’s “go” modes, you can also upgrade its “slow down” mode with ABS Pro. This bank-angle-sensitive ABS was first available as an option on the HP4 superbike, but for the first time it’s now an option on a regular production BMW. The system allows aggressive ABS to be applied even when the bike is leaned over, providing optimal braking in every condition. Like the standard ABS, it can be shut off completely if desired. In Road and Rain, maximum stability is the goal with no rear-wheel lift. In Dynamic, it will allow small stoppies, while in Dynamic Pro, full priority is given to the shortest stopping distance, even if it means the rear tire is off the ground. During the course of the day, I had a couple of opportunities to tax the ABS and was impressed. Riding at a pretty fast clip in the wet is made possible by the system’s predictability and knowing that it had my back. Thanks to a fogged helmet visor, a few corners snuck up on me, but I grabbed a firm bite of XR front brake and slowed without any drama. Another good test was a real panic stop on a surface street, when my lead rider suddenly changed his mind about running a yellow light. Even a full-force stop over wet paint lines couldn’t get the XR’s panties in a bunch. But the system’s ability to slow the bike on the aforementioned muddy wet road impressed me the most, primarily because this ABS doesn’t have a specific off-road mode. Remarkably, I was able slow the bike without too much effort despite the street-based tire and fairly squishy surface. At the end of the day, I walked away with the sense that the 2016 BMW S1000XR is going to give the other players in this league a good run for their money. But I also left with some unanswered questions because my tires never touched dry road all day. With multiple bikes in its lineup that do some of what the new XR is capable of, BMW was a bit skeptical at first about entering this new segment. But the Bavarian company has managed to build a bike that blends the excellent travel traits of the GS/A twins with the sportiness of the S series. It’s one hell of a lot of fun, a practical and comfortable adventure-touring machine. Is the new BMW S1000XR the perfect bike? We don’t know just yet, but I predict it will top a shootout in the modern sport-adventure class. 2016 BMW S1000XR group static Base Price: $ 16,350 Price w/Standard Package: $ 17,295 – GPS Preparation – Heated grips – Cruise control – Saddlebag mounts Price w/choice of Premium Package or Dynamic Package: $ 18,750 Includes: – DTC – Dynamic Traction Control – ABS Pro – Ride Modes Pro – Gear Shift Assist Pro – Cruise control Price w/Touring Package: $ 18,750 Includes: – Dynamic ESA – GPS preparation – Heated grips – Cruise control – Centerstand – Luggage rack – Saddlebag mounts Individual Options – Ride Modes Pro (w/ Dynamic & Dynamic Pro Modes, DTC, and ABS Pro): $ 450 – Dynamic ESA/Gold Forks: $ 950 – Gear Shift Assist Pro: $ 475 – GPS preparation: $ 205 – Heated grips: $ 250 – Low suspension (must order Dynamic ESA and Low Seat): $ 220 – Heated grips: $ 250 – Cruise control: $ 350 – Hand protection: $ 100 – Anti-theft alarm: $ 395 – Centerstand: $ 175 – Luggage rack: $ 150 – Saddlebag mounts: $ 140 – Low seat: $ 0
2016 BMW S1000XR
ENGINE Liquid-cooled inline-four
BORE x STROKE 80 x 49.7mm
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 160 hp @ 11,000 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 83.0 lb-ft @ 9,250 rpm
GEARBOX Six-speed
CLUTCH Wet slipper, hydraulic, multiplate
FRAME Aluminum
WHEELBASE 60.9 in.
RAKE 25.5°
TRAIL 4.6 in.
FRONT SUSPENSION Upside-down telescopic fork with optional D-ESA
FRONT WHEEL Cast aluminum alloy, 3.5 x 17
FRONT TIRE 120/70ZR-17 Bridgestone T30
REAR SUSPENSION Linked monoshock with optional D-ESA
REAR WHEEL Cast aluminum alloy, 6.0 x 17
REAR TIRE 190/55ZR-17 Bridgestone T30
FRONT BRAKE Two 320mm radially mounted four-piston calipers
REAR BRAKE 265mm disc, 2-piston caliper
SEAT HEIGHT 33.1 in.
LENGTH 86 in.
Action #1 Action #2 Action #3 Static #1 Static #2 Static #3 Static #4 Static #5 Details #1 Details #2 Details #3 Details #4 Details #5 Details #6 Details #7 Details #8 Details #9 Details #10 Details #11 Details #12 Read More

X-Fighters: Round #4 World Tour Preview – Madrid (Video)

Thomas Pages action shot Red Bull Media Press Release: The most anticipated stop of the 2015 World Tour in the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is shaping up to be another classic showdown of the world’s best freestyle motocross riders. Tour leader Clinton Moore (AUS) will try to extend his winning streak this year to three straight victories when the Red Bull X-Fighters return to its home in the heart of Madrid. But Thomas Pagès (FRA), who has won here the last two years, is a close second overall and will also be looking for a win as the world’s most prestigious FMX tour moves into the second half of the season. Local hero Dany Torres is the only other active rider who has won twice in Las Ventas as well (2009, 2011) and is also hungry for another win in front of his Spanish fans. Only one rider, Mat Rebeaud (SUI), has ever managed to win three consecutive stops and only Travis Pastrana (USA) has won three times in Madrid. The crowd-pleaser in Spain’s biggest bullfighting arena is the highlight of the FMX calendar each year ever since the first Red Bull X-Fighters event was held here in 2002. Cheered on by appreciative and knowledgeable Spanish fans packing the 23,000-seat Las Ventas bullring, Madrid has become the competition where the riders unveil their best and biggest tricks each year. The compact track and a brand new course design this year will make it even more challenging, with more jumps than ever before. The top riders will be pushing the limits with Alley-Oop Flairs, Double Backflips, Body Varials and the incredible Bike Flip that made its debut in Madrid last year when Pagès landed it for the first time to secure his win. Venue Reflecting the incredibly competitive field of riders, there will be a total of eight former Red Bull X-Fighters winners in Madrid. Alongside Moore, Pagès and Torres, reigning World Tour champion Josh Sheehan (AUS), 2012 champion Levi Sherwood (NZL), Rob Adelberg (AUS), Adam Jones (USA) and Taka Higashino (JPN) will be battling it out for the podium. The five stop 2015 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour started in Mexico City in March and moved to Athens in June. After the Madrid stop, the tour travels to Pretoria (South Africa) on September 12 before the season concludes in the United Arab Emirates on October 30. World Tour Standings: 1. Clinton Moore (AUS) 100 points 2. Tom Pagès (FRA) 80 3. Levi Sherwood (NZL) 80 4. Rob Adelberg (AUS) 65 5. Dany Torres (ESP) 55 6. David Rinaldo (FRA) 55 7. Rémi Bizouard (FRA) 55 8. Josh Sheehan (AUS) 45 9. Adam Jones (USA) 35 10. Javier Villegas (CHI) 30
 Red Bull X Fighters World Tour 2015 (Athens)
WATCH IT LIVE: Red Bull X-Fighters Madrid, Spain will broadcast live on redbullxfighters.com and Red Bull TV at 10:30pm CET on July 10. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For more information: www.redbullxfighters.com Thomas Pages (FRA) - Action Venue Clinton Moore (AUS) - Action Read More

FIELD TEST: Yamaha’s New YZ250FX Racing the GNCC Limestone 100 aboard the new 250FX motocrosser.

Yamaha YZ250FX race action from the Limestone 100 What I could see on my iPhone weather app wasn’t good: five days of dark clouds and lightning bolts in Springville, Indiana, right where I was headed to compete in my first GNCC event. I was disappointed, but not altogether dejected, because I was slated to ride the new 2015 Yamaha YZ250FX in the Limestone 100. Late last year, Yamaha’s YZ250FX was met with rave reviews. It’s built with Grand National Cross Country competition in mind. These races, held primarily in the eastern part of the US, are two to three hours in length, and they’re held on some of the most unforgiving terrain you’ll ever encounter on a dirt bike—exposed roots, rocks, ruts, mud, and more ruts.

Yamaha YZ250FX static side viewAlthough mostly stock, the N-Fab/AmPro/Yamaha YZ250FX was fitted with a ProTaper bar, fresh grips, hand guards, and a skid plate. Read More

Flat Track: Round #6 Race Preview – Du Quoin Mile

AMA Pro Flat Track Du Quoin Mile Action Shot AMA Pro Flat Track Press Release: The roots of AMA Pro Flat Track are deeply entrenched in many places throughout the country, from areas legendary riders call home, to the sites of current and former events. Du Quoin, Ill., is one of those places where the flat track history books go back far, all the way to 1955. On Saturday, July 4, the best flat track motorcycle racers in the world will once again come to race the Magic Mile, marking the end of a nine-year hiatus. Fans can watch all the action from the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds live online, in high definition and free of charge at www.FansChoice.tv. On-track sessions begin with practice and qualifying at 2:30 p.m. CT (3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT). Heat races begin at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT) and the main events are slated for 9 p.m. CT (10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT). Chris Carr, now the color commentator for AMA Pro Flat Track’s broadcasts on FansChoice.tv, won the last Du Quoin Mile in 2005. Many other icons of flat track, Scott Parker, Bubba Shobert, Ricky Graham and Jay Springsteen, have also claimed victories in Du Quoin. Everett Brashear won the first ever Du Quoin Mile in 1955. This time around, the winner will be from a new group of riders who are all hoping to add their names to the ledger of dirt track greats. Jared Mees will pilot the No. 1 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson machine at Du Quoin. He enters the race, Round 6 of the AMA Pro Flat Track season, with the lead in the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines standings. Mees leads by three points over Sammy Halbert (No. 7 Briggs Auto Kawasaki), 77-74, with Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (No. 2 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson) in third with 69 points. Brad Baker was simply untouchable in Round 5, the Lima Half-Mile on June 28. The Washington native dusted the field on his No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson and moved into fourth in the standings, a single point behind Coolbeth. The 2013 Grand National Champion will look to carry his momentum into Illinois, as he has finished no worse than fourth in the last three AMA Pro Flat Track events and was third in Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing at the X Games on June 4. Brandon Robinson, riding the No. 44 Latus Motorsports Triumph, sits fifth in the standings entering Du Quoin, just two points behind Baker. When it comes to Miles though, the No. 42 Crosley Radio Kawasaki of Bryan Smith comes to mind first. Smith has won both Miles already contested in 2015 – Springfield and Sacramento. The Michigan native was eighth at Lima and sits sixth in the points with 63, still well within striking distance of the championship leaders. Smith won gold at the X Games, and with Halbert (silver) and Baker (bronze) also in the field, all three X Games medalists will be racing at Du Quoin. In all, around 20 X Games athletes are scheduled to race at the Magic Mile Saturday. No current rider has an AMA Pro Flat Track win to their credit at the Du Quoin Mile, and Shobert’s victory in 1988 on a Honda was the last time any manufacturer besides Harley-Davidson emerged victorious at the Magic Mile. The up-and-comers in the GNC2 class will arrive in Du Quoin with a new points leader. Last year’s championship runner-up, Davis Fisher, is atop the standings on his No. 67M Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda. This will be the first ever race for the GNC2 class at the Du Quoin Mile, and riders will be on twin-cylinder machines for the second time in 2015. At the Springfield Mile, the first GNC2 twins race this year, Fisher took the checkered flag with Jamison Minor and Nick Armstrong rounding out the podium. Fisher leads Brandon Wilhelm (No. 24J Mike Butler Racing Honda) by seven points in the championship hunt, 71-64, after five rounds. Minor sits third in the GNC2 point standings on his No. 27U Roy Built Honda and Armstrong has slid back to fourth after failing to reach the main event at the Lima Half-Mile on his No. 44E Southland Racing Honda. Armstrong will look to bounce back at Du Quoin and has reason to be optimistic, as he was third and first in the previous two Miles this season. At Lima, Fisher finished second to J.R. Addison, who claimed his first victory of the 2015 season aboard his No. 24F Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda. Andrew Luker, the Round 1 winner from the season-opening DAYTONA Flat Track doubleheader, sits fifth in the points on his No. 11Z machine. The Californian has reached all five mains in 2015 and he’ll be going for his third top five at Du Quoin. For more information: www.amaproracing.com Read More