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Bloomberg: The Motorcycle Industry Is Dying

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According to a report last month, older riders are hanging up their leathers.

And this exodus of older bikers is forcing brands such as Harley Davidson and Triumph to focus on entry level riders. Earlier this month Triumph announced they are rolling out A2 compliant motorcycles across the UK.

With many countries across the globe imposing new guidelines for environmental protection and with the UK recently announcing it will ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030, it is no wonder there is an uneasy feeling for the motorcycle industry.

For older riders, there is perhaps another factor. Rewind just twenty years ago, and the roads were a very different place. Less traffic and more freedom to ride. Stricter drink driving laws played a factor too. Whilst riding a bike through city traffic is certainly quicker than driving, it is more dangerous than it used to be. So it is no wonder, many older riders are opting to turn away from their love.

The future of the motorcycle industry, therefore, lies in the hands of the Millennials. Encouraging younger riders to swap four wheels to two. Making it easier and more cost effective to get into motorcycling. A2 bikes are now much cooler than they have ever been, giving the younger generation more possibilities across different brands to ride the bikes they aspire to own.

As we can see from motorcycle racing, including the TT Zero and announcement coming from MotoGP they will run a new electric series, brands are now working on the development of E-bikes. However, currently, there is nothing on the market practical enough to stabilise the future of the industry. With a looming end coming to combustion engines, it is unclear of any real answers coming soon.

Even on four wheels the hybrid and the electric car industry isn’t strong enough yet to imagine a future without petrol or diesel vehicles. Whilst Tesla has created some amazing machines; some analysts fear that there is still not enough charging points to sustain the plans for 2030 in the UK. Of course, the other question is, if we are all riding / driving electric vehicles, can we produce enough electricity to reliably run every household? Especially if a household has a couple of cars and a motorcycle?

Motorcycles for most of us are not our primary vehicle; they are for pleasure. So with the future so uncertain, is it any surprise that we’re seeing a slump in motorcycle sales?

Source: Bloomberg

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Is the Manx Missile Cavendish about to trade cycling lycra for motorcycle racing leathers?

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Could the Manx Missile hang up his lycra and pedals for something a little more petrol propelled?

Mark Cavendish has been the fastest thing on two (pedal-powered) wheels for a while now, but in recent interviews, the Isle of Man native and good friend of Cal Crutchlow has expressed an interest in two-wheeled vehicles of a motorcycling kind.

Speaking in an interview with Esquire Magazine from when he was in Abu Dhabi for the Formula One last year, Cavendish shared his love of fast cars and bikes, telling the interviewer that he’d ‘always loved anything to do with motors, or machines… Vehicles really. Just love them’. Before being asked if he’d ever considered being an F1 driver?

‘Nah. I don’t think I’m good enough. Everybody thinks that it’s like driving a car down the promenade, it’s totally not the same. To be honest, I prefer motorbikes more; I would like to race them instead.’

Ok, so it’s not a huge admission or a massive surprise – it’s something we’ve all probably dreamed of and one time or another, but when pressed on the issue he does seem to have considered the possibilities more than just in passing.

When asked if motorcycling racing might actually be next for him he replied with an emphatic, ‘In all seriousness, I think so’.

Adding fuel to the fire have been comments from him earlier this month made during press conferences in support of the Dubai Tour.

When asked explicitly if he’d consider hanging up his cycling blocks for motorcycle leathers, he certainly didn’t dismiss the idea, ‘Anything is possible, you know… I will just look at my options for the short term and the long term and see what I do with my future’.

So that’s definitely not a no.

For cycling fans fearful that he might be closer than expected to making the jump, there’s probably not any immediate cause for panic. In the very same Esquire feature he also explicitly stated that he had a ‘fair few years‘ left in his professional career.

Could a cycling pro move over to motorcycles with any expectation of success? Multi-discipline racers aren’t unheard of. Rossi loves his car racing and Lewis Hamilton has always expressed an interest in a taking turn in MotoGP.

But that’s from a motor vehicle on short track racing onto another motor vehicle on a similar track. We’d imagine that the speeds and skills involved from pedal cycle to internal combustion engine are a little less transferable for any moral human.

But then Mark Cavendish isn’t your average human being and reports suggest that the times that he has spent on track have been pretty impressive.

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Indian electric Emflux claims 120mph, over 100 miles range for under £8,000

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Photo: Emflux

Startup company put its first electric sportsbike concept on display, alongside some impressive claims.

The Emflux can hit 62 mph in 3 seconds and charges to over 80 percent in half an hour. Couple that with a range of around 115 miles and a top speed of 120 mph and you have an electric motorcycle to pique anyone’s interest. Throw in a claimed price of under £8000 and you get the room to take notice.

That’s what the Indian startup Emflux did this week at the 2018 Auto Expo in New Delhi.

The 25-strong company has completely developed the machinemachine i and the team have designed everything except for the brakes, suspension and tyres.

Featuring a steel-trellis frame and single-sided swingarm, the chassis of the machine certainly looks the part, and along with the 60kW motor and 9.7 kWh lithium-ion cell battery the entire package only weights 169 kgs.

Alongside the mechanics, the technology on-board features a built-in GPS system, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity – all alongside an NVIDIA Jetson TK1 core processor. That’s a mighty big brain to go alongside some mighty big claims from the startup firm.

The company say that they are planning to build 199 of the bikes for the local, Indian market, with another 300 for export.

Oh and if you want Ohlins suspension, forged alloy wheels and carbon-fibre bodywork, then the price will go up by another £10,000 or so.

With new companies coming out with interesting designs and ideas for new electrically powered motorcycles almost weekly now, surely it’s time for one of the major manufacturers to step in? Isn’t it?

Source: Emflux

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