Writing about bikes for 20 years. Published in dozens of titles on five continents. Mildly obsessed with discovering how things work.
Need to catch up on what’s been going on in the world of motorcycling over the last week? Here’s your five-minute briefing.
1: New Triumph finance deals
Barely a week goes by without another selection of bikes appearing on a 0% finance deal and this time it’s Triumph’s turn with the entry-level, 900cc ‘Street Twin’ section of the firm’s Modern Classics range.
That means you can get a £7800 Street Twin, an £8800 Street Cup cafe racer or a £9000 Street Scrambler on interest-free finance if you seal the deal any time between now and October 31st.
While most manufacturer deals recently have focussed on PCP (personal contract purchase) offerings, where there’s a big final payment or the option to hand the bike back or trade it for a new one, Triumph’s new 0% offer applies only to hire-purchase arrangements that leave you in full ownership at the end of the deal.
There are 25 and 37 month HP schemes on offer, and with the minimum 15% deposit a Street Twin could yours with 37 monthly payments of £184.17. With a 25% deposit that drops to only £156 per month.
Go and have a play with the repayment calculator at www.triumphtristar.co.uk to find what suits you best.
Martin Hough, Marketing Manager, Triumph Motorcycles UK & Ireland, said: “The Street Scrambler, Street Cup and Street Twin are all incredible motorcycles and there’s never been a better time to purchase one. Our new TriStar 0% APR Hire Purchase finance deal offers Triumph customers the flexibility to tailor an interest-free monthly payment plan that works for them.”
2: Yamaha supplying La Vuelta
Motorcycles have become an essential ingredient to the support of bicycle events and Yamaha has scored a coup by becoming the official supplier to this year’s three-week La Vuelta stage race in Spain, rated along with the Tour de France and Giro D’Italia as one of the most important in the world.
The firm has supplied 22 liveried Tracer 700s to the event, which is underway now and runs until September 16th. The bikes are to be used by support teams, race management and commissaries.
Javier Guillén, General Director of Unipublic, organiser of La Vuelta, said: “Having a motorcycle that guarantees the best possible safety conditions during the race is essential. The race capsule is a roaming entity and all its elements must be perfectly coordinated so that everything runs smoothly. Yamaha's sponsorship is synonymous with reliability, precision and road safety; three fundamental pillars when organising a race such as La Vuelta.”
Victor González, Country Manager at Yamaha Motor Spain, added: “At Yamaha, we have sport and competition in our DNA. Collaborating with a sporting event such as La Vuelta is a great opportunity for us to transmit our achievement and active lifestyle values. For us, it is also an opportunity to bring our products closer to the general public and show their reliability. Our Tracer 700 stands out for its recognised multi-purpose nature and for its manageability, which give it an incredible ability to adapt to any circumstance on the road - meaning that it will adjust perfectly to the needs of each stage of La Vuelta.”
3: Avon revels in the retro market
The boom in retro-style bikes hasn’t just been good for companies that make them and events that cater to them, it’s also proved a shot in the arm for firms that provide essential consumables, none more important than tyres.
And British firm Avon has benefitted more than most, gaining original equipment deals with the likes of Triumph, CCM and Royal Enfield thanks in part to its range of whitewall and retro-styled tyres. The Triumph Bonneville Bobber, Bobber Black and Thunderbird LT, Royal Enfield 350 range and Himalayan and CCM’s Spitfire Bobber all get Avon rubber as standard.
Doug Ross, Avon Tyres’ Head of Global Motorcycle Tyre Sales, said: “We now produce more premium whitewall tyres than ever before and that’s testament to the strength of the modern classic market.
“While the motorbike market is largely flat at the moment, we are maintaining our position and, in some areas like OEM relationships, increasing our impact.
“British motorcycle brands have huge cult followings, which provides us with a valuable outlet.”
4: NASA man wins Indian bike build-off
Indian has been running another of those bike build-off events, this one titled ‘The Wrench: Scout Bobber Build Off” – and the winner is a NASA engineer from New Mexico.
If the contest’s title sounds pretty specific, that’s because it was. Entrants had to submit concepts to a panel of expert judges, with the best three being selected to be built. Those finalists were handed a Scout Bobber and a $10,000 budget and told to turn their ideas into reality, before a public vote decided an overall winner who’d get a $10,000 prize.
The three finalists were PJ Grakasukas, Alfredo Juarez and Christian Newman, with NASA man Juarez selected as the overall winner.
You can see all their bikes here, and they’re now set to embark on a US tour, appearing at events and Indian dealers well into next year.
Juarez said: “I cannot thank Indian Motorcycle enough for the opportunity. Not only was this a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but the three-month build period created an incredible bonding experience for me and my family. And of course, thanks to all the fans who took the time to cast their vote. I know it wasn’t easy to pick one because the other two bikes are incredible. Hats off to PJ and Christian for their work. It’s been an incredible ride and I cannot thank everyone enough for their support.”
Reid Wilson, Senior Director for Indian Motorcycle, adds: “Since the beginning of this program, our goal was to highlight the passion and the craftsmanship of garage builders from around the country. Needless to say, our expectations were vastly exceeded. Fred, Christian and PJ exemplify what this program is all about. And in turn, we hope it motivates and encourages others from around the country.”
5: Join the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
This September as many as 120,000 riders are expected to take part in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, events held in more than 650 cities around the world to raise money for men’s health causes.
Prostate cancer and men’s mental health are the event’s focus, and this year the goal is to raise some $6 million. It’s a remarkable growth since the first ride in 2012, which attracted 2,500 participants in 64 cities.
Last year’s ride raised $4.85 million, with 94,000 riders taking part in 581 cities across 92 different countries.
This year the organisers are aiming higher still, with the assistance of sponsors Triumph Motorcycles and Zenith Watches.
Participants are expected to dress to the nines and to ride bikes that comply with the ride’s style guide – cafe racers, scramblers, bobbers, classics and more are welcome. And, of course, you need to register to set up a personal fundraising page.
The rides themselves are happening all over the world. You can find your nearest one – and a host of other information – by visiting the official site here. They’re all happening on Sunday September 30th, so keep the date free.