Two-Wheeled Concept Bike Attempts To Prove Viability Of Autonomous Motorcycles

Top Speed Motorcycles


The answer is Cyclotron; a concept vehicle that seems to promise a lot, but for the most part works with existing technology and thus isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem at first. First off, it is designed as an all-electric vehicle, which is nothing new. Second, it will use a pair of gyroscopes to stabilize itself, more old technology at its core.

Lit Motors out of San Fransico, California has demonstrated the viability of the dual-gyro system on its C1; a driver-controlled, self-balancing motorcycle-like vehicle. The proposed wireless energy-transfer system that can automatically buy and sell power from and to other vehicles sounds nice on paper, and it effectively turns all the vehicles into part of the power grid which is cool, but it worries my nerves thinking about that kind of energy penetrating my body and brain tissues. Of course, the wildest part is the automated, self-driving feature that allows for hands-free commutes, but that too is a developing technology that has recently shown some real-world success with at least one owner claiming the car saved his life by driving him to the hospital after a medical event.

Continue reading for more on the Cyclotron.



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Harley-Davidson And Marvel Comics Team Up For Custom Bike Line

Top Speed Motorcycles


Harley-Davidson and Marvel Comics. If that sounds like an unlikely combination to you, then you’re not alone. I had to do a little research, you know, just to make sure I wasn’t looking at a parody piece or something. Then I found the official website and if it has an official website, it’s a real thing right? Turns out that it is a real thing, and although my first inclination was to roll my eyes and smirk, I have to say that some of these motorcycles are pretty freakin’ cool.

Continue reading for more on the Harley-Davidson/Marvel Comic bikes.



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The Motor Company Unleashes A Brand New Engine

Top Speed Motorcycles


Harley-Davidson announced the release of its newest powerplant on August 23rd, 2016, and this should go down in history as the day Harley officially joined the 21st century. I mean sure, the Twin Cam motors were certainly an improvement over the aging Evolution Big Twins, which in turn was miles above the venerable Shovelhead and everything that came before, but this new plant is something else entirely.

Harley recently has developed a reputation for being receptive to customer input, as evidenced by the plethora of Project Rushmore features that the factory basically developed out of the suggestions/complaints box, and this newest creation is apparently an extension of that initiative. Introducing the Milwaukee-Eight, Harley’s ninth Big Twin built primarily from the wish lists of its touring clientele.

Continue reading for my look at the Milwaukee-Eight.



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Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Top Speed Motorcycles


When you’ve been making motorcycles for over a century, you accumulate plenty of grist for your creative mill, and Harley-Davidson has made a business model out of revisiting past designs. Harley fans typically have an appreciation for historical references and tribute bikes, a fact H-D takes to the bank over and over again.

They’re now trying to score with that concept once again with the FLSTN Softail Deluxe. This ride comes absolutely dripping with nostalgic touches that come backed up by modern technology — just not too modern if you know what I mean — and it plugs a small hole in Harley’s lineup. With that in mind, I want to take a look at this ride and try to pick out all the little touches that reach back in time and make the Deluxe such a special ride.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe.



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Honda NM4

Top Speed Motorcycles


Honda has been in the game for a long time now, but so has its competitors, and theirs has become a competition of inches with minor shifts in momentum here and there, but nothing very dramatic. The NM4 represents Honda’s attempt to increase its footprint by creating a new market segment geared toward drawing in new riders that might otherwise never have bought into the two-wheel lifestyle. I suppose that’s one way to do it; if you can’t attract as many customers as you’d like, just grow new ones.

The factory packed in features that make it new-rider friendly and provide relaxed, easy-mode cruising for experienced riders. Won’t you join me while I take a good look at this rather unusual looking ride and see what Honda is using to bait the table in its bid to convert cagers to more of a two-wheel persuasion.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda NM4.



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Harley-Davidson Takes A Hit For Dirty Engine Tuners

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The EPA hounds have been barking up Harley-Davidson’s tree lately over an emissions violation.....sort of. As most of you know, Screamin’ Eagle is Harley’s performance component brand, and it makes a whole host of gadgets meant to increase power output. Some are meant for the open road and meet all emissions regulations, and some are meant for the track only. The Super Tuner that is the focus of this little drama actually falls into the latter category, but folks were buying them and slapping them on their bikes which suddenly makes them non-compliant with emissions regulations.

To be fair, H-D did sell around 13,000 units with the Super Tuner already installed, but that’s a drop in the bucket against the owner installed units that, according to the factory, number somewhere around 340,000. I’m not entirely sold on the idea of holding a manufacturer responsible for the misuse of its product, and feel like this is a case of “We aren’t saying it’s your fault, we’re just saying that we are going to blame you.” As you can see, this is not the same as the software shenanigans Volkswagen pulled with its diesel engines.

Continue reading for my take on the Super Tuner gig.



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Honda PCX150

Top Speed Motorcycles


After a revamp in 2015, the PCX150 from Honda continues strong in the scooter market, now with a bigger engine, a sportier look and a larger capacity fuel tank.

Originally developed, designed and manufactured in Thailand, the PCX was popular as a commuter bike that offered extra-value-added in luxury feel and performance. Marketed in Europe where riders appreciate scooters for their ease of use, the PCX gained popularity and Honda soon realized the reality of having a truly global model of scooter.

Prior to 2013, the PCX came with a 125 cc engine and a 1.6-gallon fuel tank. With a make-over in 2013, the PCX125 gave way to the PCX150 and a new chapter in the globally produced Honda scooter was launched.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda PCX150.



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Victory Stuns The Motorcycle World With Two Wins On Pike's Peak

Top Speed Motorcycles


Pike’s Peak is sometimes referred to as “America’s Mountain,” and it serves as something of a proving grounds as wheeled contraptions of every persuasion race from bottom to top, or thereabouts, in order to test their mettle (or metal if you like, they both work here). Victory Motorcycles came up big at the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb by winning first-in-class in two separate categories and taking second- and third-place overall.

Continue reading for more on the Victory finishes.



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Victory Cross Country / Cross Country Tour

Top Speed Motorcycles


Polaris Industries has its hands full these days with two companies — Victory & Indian — under its umbrella in direct competition with American heavyweight Harley-Davidson. Victory is starting to make a name for itself as the “American Performance” company with its progressive styling and large, powerful V-twin engines.

The 2017 Cross Country (CC) and Cross Country Tour (the Cross Country 8-Ball wasn’t carried forward to 2017) take a stab at grabbing the attention of U.S. buyers with the baggage capacity and wind protection we expect and looks similar to what we are accustomed to. Let’s face it, “baggers” and “tour bikes” look different here than anywhere else in the world, ’cause the “lower 48” is big with long, straight roads that span for miles and miles, unlike some European countries and island nations where one must do laps to get a long-distance ride in. Let’s look at what Victory is doing to compete in this long-legged market with the CC and CC Tour.

Continue reading for my review of the Victory Cross Country and Cross Country Tour.



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Energica Eva

Top Speed Motorcycles


Electric bikes are really coming along nicely and the market is responding in kind, evidenced by sales of Energica’s Ego outstripping production to the point that it reached “sold out” status just over halfway through the model year.

While the Ego and limited-production Ego45 are pure sex on two wheels, Energica designed the Eva as a more pragmatic, naked streetfighter meant to capitalize on the growing interest in minimalist/bare muscle bikes. This is an important move since it advances the cause and fosters the legitimacy of electric bikes in general by showing a selection of styles that smoker-bike riders will readily recognize.

Continue reading for my review of the Energica Eva.



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