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Gogoro raise $300m, enter Japan and aim to go ‘beyond scooters’



Innovative electric scooter and battery share company from Taiwan raise Series C funding to expand to other territories and beyond.

We first discovered Gogoro at EICMA in 2015 and were both intrigued and impressed by their innovative approach to both electric scooter manufacture but also their bottom-up approach to the charging eco-system powering it.

Since then they’ve produced a new version of their popular scooter, marched into Paris and Berlin and now they have their sights set upon Japan – and possibly more than just two-wheeled vehicles.

Speaking with The Verge, Gogoro Horace Luke CEO – the former Chief Innovation Officer of HTC before taking up his role at Gogoro – chats openly about the company and their future.

Whilst being happy at the obvious growth and relative success of the first two iterations of the scooter, it’s – predictably – the infrastructure talk that hints at the real revolution, “That’s great that the revolution is coming, but unless you want to turn every block into a parking lot to charge these vehicles, it’s really hard. So we what we do is we focus on the infrastructure solution that enables this revolution to happen.”

It’s this line of thinking that paves the way for talk about their battery swap and distribution model.

And a new deal – also announced this week – shows just where that line of batteries may be going. Having signed with Japanese company Sumitomo to develop a scooter sharing service called GoShare, the obvious comparisons with similar schemes set-up by the company in Paris and Berlin will be large. But this scheme in Japan differs in one important factor… Sumitomo have previous with successful battery recycling and the new deal means that charging stations – similar to those setup within its native Taiwan – will be built across the local neighborhoods earmarked for launch; with the company aiming for use of the batteries for both scooters and ‘other things’. And The Verge quite rightly point to ‘new vehicles’ as being an obvious next step.

It’s a fascinating model and one which draws natural comparison to Tesla. But as CEO Luke elegantly puts it towards the end of the interview, “Tesla built the network in order to sell the cars,” he says. “We built the vehicle in order to sell the network.”

Source: The Verge

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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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