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Uber and Grab are changing how the Vietnamese use motorcycles

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Southeast Asian ride-hailing and bike-share services are altering the motorcycling landscape.

Riders of two-wheel ‘Xe Om’ taxis used to make a decent living transporting passengers across the large, cityscapes of Southeast Asia, but since app-based services such as Uber and Grab have moved into the area, the traditional motorbike taxi driver is finding it hard to compete.

In an Associated Press article on Voanews, the story of Nguyen Kim Lan – a Hanoi-based Honda rider – is one of frustration and decreasing work,

“Nowadays, my frequent customers have all booked Grab and Uber, so they don’t come here anymore”.

“Before”, he continues, “office workers would come here after work. Now they just sit in their offices and get picked up at the door”.

Many Vietnamese now prefer to use ride hailing apps, viewing their services as safer and cheaper, Tuan Anh said. “GrabBike brings transparency and that’s why customers love it. They know that they will not be cheated by the drivers.”

It’s a familiar tale as the car services from USA’s Uber and Malyasian-based Grab have already made a large dent into the four-wheeled taxi market, and now with their UberMoto and GrabBike services taking solid aim at the two-wheeled, Xe Om portion of the pie, it’s hard to see how the traditional bike taxi can compete.

Nguyen Tuan Anh, the chairman of Grab Vietnam, says that the number of GrabBike riders has increased from 100 when they first launched in late 2014 to over 50,000.

And now some older riders are fighting back, literally.

GrabBike report that over 100 of their drivers have been attacked within the past year alone – and the story is one repeated in Thailand and Indonesia too.

Despite the fightback and ever-increasing resistance to the new services by government regulation, ‘Xe Om’ riders’ days would appear to be numbered,

“Only elder people or those who are in hurry use traditional Xe Om. Young people and people who are not short on time never use Xe Om.”

Source: VoaNews

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Harley-Davidson release two new, old Sportsters

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New Harley Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special come with new graphics, chrome and high bars.

There are a lot of new motorcycles coming out of the Harley-Davidson stable – at least one hundred by 2027 in fact, so we can expect a frequent flow of model revisions and changes to be revealed over the coming months and years.

The two new bikes announced today by Harley aren’t hugely new or exciting – but the new graphics are pretty sweet and ape-hanger bars are always worth clinging onto.

‘Since its inception, the Sportster has offered the perfect combination of size, power and character that makes it appealing to so many different riders’ -Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson V.P. of Styling & Design.

The Harley Sportster was introduced in 1957 and has now hit somewhere in the region of 30 varying production models. Along that time owners have got pretty used to stripping their bikes down and customising/re-inventing them. It’s this fact that Harley say they’ve used as inspiration for their two, new machines.

The Forty-Eight Special comes with a tiny 10 litre tank, new, steamroller front-end and 8 inch high Tallboy handlebars. Compared to the regular Forty-Eight, there’s also a lot more chrome.

The Iron 1200 features a ‘fast-back’ café seat, mini-ape black handlebars and a glossy black fly screen. It’s also got more range with a 15 litre tank and fancy colour paint/graphics. There’s also a lot less chrome and a lot more black.

So that’s two more of the 100 bikes out of the way.  And a new electric just around the corner

 

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Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle will be a ‘Revelation’ (according to trademark filings)

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Harley-Davidson trademark casts revelatory eye into future of their electric motorcycle plans.

If you were to have said a year or so ago that arguably the world’s most famous motorcycle brand would be frequently linked with falling sales and financial woe then most people would have said that you were barking mad.

However, with recent stories of millennial woe and mounting board concern the immediate future of the famours Bar and Shield brand is far from certain.

With a commitment to releasing 100 new motorcycles over the next ten years however, the folks at Harley-Davidson motorcycles do at least seem to have a plan to tackle their problem, and – along with Indian Motorcycle – they are preparing to take that battle to uncharted territory.

Last month the news broke that Harley were looking to get their electric motorcycle out and onto the streets by the end of 2019 and now it would seem that we know a little more about what form that new electric technology might take. Or the name of it at least.

According to a recent trademark application filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office then name that Harley Davidson will use to refer to their new electric drive-train technology will be ‘Revelation’.

The interpretation by our (genuine) friends over at Asphalt & Rubber is that this will not be the name of the final motorcycle however, but rather the name used to refer to the technology/motor itself.

We’re not sure if the final name of the electrified Harley will be that of the Livewire moniker attributed to its pre-production/concept that was produced as a test vehicle back in 2014, but the choice of ‘Revelation’ for the motor technology is an interesting one to say the least.

The company already uses similar sounding names for it’s Evolution’ and ‘Revolution X’ V-Twin engines, so ‘Revelation’ isn’t too far of a stretch for the imagination, but it’s certainly an interesting one…

The Book of Revelation in Christian faith is effectively an apocalyptic prophecy.

The notion that it will be the old, warhorse Harley-Davidson to be the first major manufacturer on course to release a production electric motorcycle could well be considered an event of almost biblical proportions.

Source: USPTO via Asphalt & Rubber

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