• Oct 28 2011

    Flattracked: Roland Sands’ Dirty Duc


    Roland Sands is the Ex-AMA Champion and bike designer behind this wild Ducati Desmosedici-turned flattracker.  Apparently he’s kept as much as possible from the D166RR  The Dirty Duc unbelievably loud, which you might expect from a 990cc engine derived from a GP bike and adorned with custom pipes.



    The best bit about this bike is that it’s road legal, and the riding position is ideal for carving up canyons.  The bike has 200bhp stock and has a slipper clutch—that monster motor combined with a usable riding position means that this bike must be a riot to ride.



    Cycle World’s Mark Cernicky had the chance to take the Dirty Duc out onto the flattrack at Ventura Fairgrounds—though he found that the track wasn’t quite in the condition that he’d hoped.  Even so, he took it out for a few laps and got it pretty sideways; check out the footage in the video below.



    Just how much owner Justyn Amstutz will ride this $200k masterpiece is anybody’s guess, but the fact that he took a D16RR and decided to make it more rideable is a good start!  We love the colors on this bike, and that where possible, Roland left the original D16RR bits alone.  If we had the cash, there’d be something like this in our garage.



    From Cycle World


  • Oct 27 2011

    Feelfree Wintec – your ticket to cold-weather riding


    It’s nearly November, and the weather has started to turn.  The benefits of winter tires on cars are well-known in northern and mountainous states, and winter motorcycle tires can offer similar advantages.  Our new Feelfree Wintec scooter tire excels in cold and wet conditions.


    Tires harden in cold weather, and below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, special cold-weather compounds can offer tangible performance benefits. The Feelfree Wintec has just such a compound, and continues gripping at low temperatures that would see summer tires having a harder time of hanging on.



    The Wintec also has a hydrophilic comound and more sipes than other tires, which gives it excellent drainage characteristics and great grip in wet conditions.  The Wintec also features our patented 0-degree steel belt for stability at the high-speeds that today’s scooters can reach.


    If you ride a scooter and are looking for safe, enjoyable riding this winter, look no further than the Feelfree Wintec


    Feelfree Wintec


  • Oct 26 2011

    Two-wheeled Nissan GT-R trounces Nissan GT-R


    Motorcycle vs. car.  The comparison has been made over and over again (Veyron vs S1000RR), and this year everyone is pitting Aprilia’s RSV4 Factory APRC against Nissan’s mighty GT-R.


    The match-up is an obvious one; both machines represent the cutting edge of electronically-assisted vehicle dynamics.  The Nissan has throttle-by-wire, launch-control, downshift rev-matching, yaw-based torque distribution, adjustable suspension, and four-wheel drive.  The Aprilia also has throttle-by-wire and launch-control, and also has wheelie control and a quick-shifter.


    Hell for Leather Magazine has pitted these two beasts against each other once or twice, and in MCN’s test—again—the bike wins out.



  • Oct 25 2011

    Classic look, modern tire: ME880 Whitewall


    We’ve already written about our ME 880 Marathon, it’s a touring tire for custom bikes and employs offset central grooves for long life, but has a relatively soft compound to offer fantastic grip.  The ME 880 Whitewall is the same tire but in a whitewall to offer the classic look that goes so well on some bikes.


    A few months ago, a reader on our Facebook page wanted to know how many miles he could expect out of a set of ME 880s.  We’ve been getting reports on forums that people have been getting 12k+ out of the rear tires and double that out of the fronts, so that offset central groove that puts more rubber on the ground when going straight must be working.


    The offset central groove not only increases life—it also means that the tire doesn’t track grooves in the pavement, so the ridged sections on some bridges aren’t such a handful.


    One reviewer on said the following:


    Best tires yet!



    I have a 2001 Yamaha Roadstar and only had Dunlop tires on it for the last 10 years. About 3 months ago one of my friends demanded I try Metzeler. So I did and as soon as I got the tires on I felt like I was riding a completely different motorcycle. The bike is so much smoother, no wiggles when I hit the lines in the freeway and I am 100% more confident on my motorcycle. I would have never believed a set of tires could make that much difference.


    If you’re into the whitewall look, it’s hard to go wrong with the ME 880 Whitewalls.  It’s durable, has good grip and confidence-inspiring handling, and looks fantastic.


    ME 880 Whitewall


  • Oct 21 2011

    Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner calls for independent analysis of effects of E15 ethanol


    One year ago, the EPA increased the allowable percentage of corn-based ethanol in gasoline blends from 10% to 15%, and at once angered auto manufacturers, gas station owners, and even environmentalists (article). Today’s cars and motorcycles have been designed to run on either pure gasoline or E10, and running them on E15 can destroy catalytic converters, will lower fuel efficiency and will void warranties.


    EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the following last year:


    Thorough testing has now shown that E15 does not harm emissions control equipment in newer cars and light trucks. Wherever sound science and the law support steps to allow more home-grown fuels in America’s vehicles, this administration takes those steps.


    Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) isn’t convinced that enough has been done to study the effects of E15. He previously introduced a bill called H.R. 748 calling for prohibition of the EPA’s approving fuel with greater than 10% ethanol content to be used in certain vehicles, and on October 14th, 2011, he introduced bill H.R. 3199, which asks the EPA to seek independent scientific research of E15’s effect on cars, light trucks, and motorcycles. The following is a quote from his press release:


    There are serious concerns that the EPA used only one Department of Energy test and rushed E15’s introduction into the market place. This test was limited in scope and ignored a plethora of evidence— albeit inconvenient evidence for the EPA— that shows E15 gasoline has a negative effect on engines. I introduced this legislation to ensure a decision of this magnitude will be vetted by independent scientific research, rather than political expediency.


    There’s nothing inherently bad about E15, or any blend of gasoline or ethanol. The trouble comes when E15 is put into cars, boats, and motorcycles not designed to burn it. Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline, and this can cause particular trouble for catalytic converters and air-cooled motorcycles.


    A recent article in an AMA magazine by Imre Szauter offered some tips on avoiding problems with E15 and echoed our concerns:


    While the AMA applauds efforts to make our nation more eneergy efficient, the problem is that E15 burns hotter than gasoline that contains a lesser amount of ethanol. In engines not designed to dissipate that extra heat, damage in the form of premature wear can result. Although this is a concern in all motorcycles, it’s particularly problematic for air-cooled engines found in many bikes.


    We applaud Congressman Sensenbrenner’s sensible efforts and urge you to write your representative today and express your support of H.R. 3199.


    James Sensenbrenner



    AMA article