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  • Jun 30 2011

    Metzeler Riders Sweep Legendary Erzberg Enduro

     

    The Erzburg Rodeo is considered by many to be the toughest harescramble in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Competitors start at the base of the colossal Erzberg mine (the largest in Central Europe—over 230 million tons of iron ore have been removed since the 16th century) and race through about 20 checkpoints and over unimaginably difficult terrain on their way to the top. This year, competitors enjoyed nearly constant rain, making the race even more difficult. Each year, only about 2% of the competitors make it to the finish line, and the top finishers are often trials champions.

     

     

    Then again, the event is a trials rider’s dream. The course is peppered with bounders, step-ups, and cliffs that can break wheels, smash radiators and blow fork-seals. At points spectators have to use ropes to haul the bikes up the cliffs. Metzeler is proud to have sponsored the top 3 finishers in this year’s event, and is proud to have provided the 6 Days Extreme tires that helped them on their way. Pole Tadeusz Blazusiak took first place on his factory KTM, and Brits Dougie Lampkin and Jonny Walker took second and third place.

     

     

    Of his win an overjoyed Blazusiak said “It’s been a tough race but to get a fifth win is just amazing. From the start I felt good, but the weather was horrible. I took an early lead before getting past on one of the first climbs, but once we got to the first tough sections in the forest I got back into the lead and pushed hard to open up a gap at the front. I didn’t have any problems on any of the next hard sections and had about a two or three minute lead as I got to the toughest rock section known as Carl’s Diner. It’s amazing having five wins here, I have to say such a big thanks to everyone who helped me as well as to all my sponsors. Now I’ll be spending my time getting ready for Endurocross in the States which starts with the first race at X Games.”

     

    Congratulation on the excellent performances gentlemen.

     

     

     



  • Jun 27 2011

    Daydreaming About Your Next Bike


     

    It’s easier to daydream about motorcycles than about cars.  For one thing, there is a much wider variety of cool motorcycles than there are cars.  From CBXs to CR500s and old Harleys to Confederate Wraiths, there is a daydream for any mood.

     

    Our conversations have recently turned to two-stroke dirtbikes, but we’ve also gone down the “Hog to Sturgis” dream road before, and have come this close to splurging on an old Erion Racing CBR 900RR to burn up the corners.  These dreams are practically curated by two blogs, Bring a Trailer’s Throttle Yard and Rare Sport Bikes For Sale.    Both are collections of informed, amusing write-ups of other people’s advertisements for desirable or wonky bikes.

     

     

    Last week, we lusted over a wild Yamaha-powered twin-engine drag special on Throttle Yard.  The bike really looks like an animal, but it’s hard to tell whether it actually is a widow-maker or if it’s just a piece of art—the seller says he’s never even heard it run.  There’s a belt between the two crankshafts, but besides that it rides like a normal bike.  Except, of course, that car-powered rollers are needed to start it.

     

     

    Rare Sport Bikes For Sale might not feature such wild-custom creations, but it does make a point of exploring the farthest depths of sport-bike exotica.  No RG500 Gamma, NSR400 or Desmosedici is left unexplored.  We’ve recently been particularly enamored with this 996SPS—it’s got enough power to keep up with most Japanese bikes but feels more like riding a volcano than a sewing machine.

     

    Check the blogs out and see if anything appeals.  We’re more than confident it will.

     

    Throttle Yard

    Rare Sport Bikes For Sale

     

  • Jun 24 2011

    World Enduro Championship Greece – Round 5, Greece

     

    The World Enduro Championship racers competed in the 5th round this weekend in Kalampaka Greece. Temperatures were hovering around 95F as the riders ripped through the hills on both two and four strokes.

     

    Day 1:

    In Enduro 3, Christophe Nambotin rode consistently through the first day and wound up in first place going into the second day. Nambotin had suffered from mechanical issues in the Turkey and was pleased to be on a reliable bike and in the lead. Mika Ahola had rough start in Greece but wound up riding hard through the day and wound up making all the way to third place by day’s end.

     

    Metzeler rider Ivan Cervantes had a heartbreaking first day in E2 when his engine failed and he was forced to retire, while E1 frenchman Rodrig Thain battled his way to 3rd place.

     

    Day 2:

    In E3, Nambotin stayed focused and rode straight to the win. In a post-race talk he said “This is the first double that I have achieved in this championship and certainly helps towards forgetting about my disappointment at having had to withdraw in Turkey. My objective now is to try to win as many races as possible and we shall see what will be at the end of the season…

     

    Cristobal Guerrero put pressure on Antoine Meo thoughout the second day in E2, but was ultimately unable to take the lead and Meo got away with the win. In the championship standings, Meo is also first, while Guerrero is second—the battle has been close all season—Guerrero’s retirement in Spain accounts for nearly half of Meo’s championship lead.

     

    In E1, Juha Salminen was neck and neck with teammate Matti Seistola and finally pulled away during the third lap of the Enduro test. Rodrig Thain fought with Eero Remes for third, with Thain eventually pulling ahead and securing third place.

     



     



     

    Current WEC Standings: enduro-abc.com

     

    Photo Credit offroadmotorcycles.ca

     

  • Jun 23 2011

    Dressing for the Crash

     

    Tuesday was the first day of summer, and there are more bikes on the road than we remember seeing in recent years. It may be due to environmental concerns or a quest for cheaper transportation, but we like to think it’s because more people are being turned on to the pleasure of riding a motorcycle. Seeing all those new riders on motorcycles got us thinking about our own safety, and what we can do in order to ensure a life-long riding career.

     

    It’s been years since any of us has a motorcycle safety course, and so this year we’ve picked up a copy of Proficient Motorcycling—a book about the art of riding a motorcycle on the road—and are making a concerted effort to wear all the gear, pretty much all the time (we’ll make an exception if we are tootling around our neighborhood checking to see if something is adjusted properly).

     

    Earlier this week, Hell For Leather posted a new video by Mick Doohan that encourages riders to wear proper safety gear. The video was good, but in the comments someone mentioned another video, and we can’t get it out of our heads. It does an excellent job depicting the inability of riders to alter their speed or course once the bike has gone down. Apparently there’s a reason tires are made from rubber: metal, plastic and leather aren’t nearly so effective at stopping a bike!

     



     

    We’re going to slow it down a few miles per hour at busy intersections, get some better riding pants, and pick up spine protectors for our jackets—we’ll save the speed for roads without bus stops and benches at every turn

     

  • Jun 22 2011

    The Most Beautiful Clocks Ever and Other Quirky Details

     

    We’ve been keeping an eye on this nascent car and motorcycle photo blog, which focuses on cool cars and bikes that live on the streets of New York. Most of the posts are about cars, but some are about motorcycles and a few are real beauties like today’s post of a combination gauge on a smallish 60’s Honda CB of unknown displacement.

     

    The boys at Car Spotting said that the red cover made a shot of the whole bike impossible, but that gauge is surely prettier than the whole bike. It’s the first time we’ve ever seen a vertical odometer, and we can only imagine how haywire the needles go as the bike rips through the gears—it’d be great to strap a camera to the triples and get a shot of some riding with those needles dancing in the foreground.

     

    Pouring over this gauge all day made us reminisce about the wonky details of some of the bikes we’ve had the pleasure of riding:

     

     

    Honda 50: The leading link suspension that jacks up the front end when the front brake is applied.

     

    1974 Honda CB550: The key was under the tank near the #1 cylinder; the rider needs to lean down in order to insert it and fans say it’s a good time to pay homage to the famous SOHC engine.

     

    BMW GS: Why aren’t all wheels designed like this? The straight-pull spoke heads are at the rim, which is drilled so they the wheels have maximum lateral strength. Spokes can be replaced without removing the tires.

     

    Suzuki Water Buffalo: The Water Buffalo had three cylinders but was really three engines connected together—each cylinder had its own ignition system and carburetor—only the engine-wide cooling system benefited from economies of scale.

     

     

    There are details like these on almost every bike—some have flash-to-pass buttons, adjustable head-tube angles or left-side kick-starters, but we’re still dreaming about owning the one with oval pistons.

     

ROAD RACING 2014

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