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Brexit Bad? UK bike registrations down by whopping 16%



Motorcycle sales are down 16% in April according to trade figures.

April is traditionally a strong month for motorcycle sales in the UK. The weather has begun to turn and those riders who prefer a sunnier, drier road start to come out of hibernation. It’s also the month when the majority of the new motorcycle models for the year have arrived in dealers and this all tends to lead towards an uplift in bike sales.

This hasn’t been the case for UK motorcycle purchases in April 2017 however.

Coming just days after the UK car industry posted a similar 20% drop in sales, the Motorcycle Industry Association figures for the month confirm what many dealers were already dreading; that comparable sales (either month on month, or year on year) are continuing to drop within the United Kingdom.

“Although this is a decrease of almost 2,000 bikes, it is fair to say we cannot continue to put this trend down to the Euro 3 to 4 transition.

More than likely this could be down to the unnerving of the public since the triggering of article 50 and news of the general election.

Consumers are likely to be holding off on high-cost purchases until things become clearer and confidence returns to the market place.” – Stephen Latham, Head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA)

There has been some impact from pre-registrations Euro3 emission compliant machines, with scooters suffering a 30.2% decrease in sales being used as an example of this trend.

Taking this into account along with a mammoth 37.4% drop in 51cc – 125cc motorcycles, this has been seen by many as an indication of pre-registered Euro3 bikes still moving their way through the system.

“Whilst higher powered machines of 126-650cc and over, and 1000cc machines suffered a more modest decline in registrations, the mid-size 651-1000cc motorcycles showed a healthy increase of +8.7% – indicating that the traditional riders are still out there and continuing to make purchases despite speculation  about consumer confidence,” continued Stephen Latham in his NMDA statement, almost certainly looking for a some sign of positive movement.

The facts are that it’s not looking healthy for motorcycle in the UK at present however, with the first four months of 2017 recording a -15.2% drop in sales compared to the same months in 2016.

“It seems unlikely that the market will be as positive as 2016’s registrations,” he concludes.

Source: The Times

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Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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