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Custom of the Week: Honda ‘Highflyer’ CX500 by NCT Motorcycles



IT SEEMS STRANGE to see tire warmers on a Honda CX500.

The CX is known for its unique engine layout, shaft drive and gawky looks, rather than its performance. It still baffles us how this once despatch favorite became a darling of the custom scene.

Still, if there’s a shop that you can rely on to inject style into the CX500—and to go to the trouble of adding custom color-coded tire warmers—it’s NCT Motorcycles. The Austrian outfit never fails to knock it out the park, and has a knack for making every last detail count.

This 1978 CX500 was a project without a client—something NCT regularly does to keep their minds fresh. Shop boss David Widmann penned the design, drawing inspiration from the CB1100 TR Concept that Honda debuted in 2016.

With a clear direction on the table, the team set to work, stripping the Honda down to the basics. The CX’s attractiveness is severely hamstrung by a tank that slopes backwards and a weirdly kinked subframe; no good for what the lads had in mind.

They lopped off the rear half of the frame, ditching the CX’s original twin shock arrangement in the process. The swing arm was liberated of its original shock mounts and gifted a new one, attached to a new Öhlins unit.

Up top, NCT built a simpler, sharper subframe with a subtle kick in the tail. They then hand-shaped a new cowl and seat to cap it off. Instead of mounting up a regular taillight, the guys fitted a neat pair of multi-purpose Motogadget LEDs. The original fuel tank is still in play, but it’s been remounted at a better angle. And the filler neck’s been rebuilt to host a better-looking fuel cap.

There’s just as much goodness going on up front—in the form of the upside-down forks and yokes from a Ducati 749. NCT had to get fancy with the steering shaft to get everything to match up just right.

The guys opted to keep the CX’s Comstar wheels, wrapping them in Avon Roadriders. But they upgraded the twin front brake setup with a new Brembo system, connecting it to a Magura master cylinder.

When it came to the engine, the crew opted for a refresh rather than a serious upgrade. They ditched the airbox to make way for the new mono shock, fitting a set of cone filters. Then they set about on what David says was the hardest part of the build: the exhaust.

The entire twin-header system was hand-made from stainless steel, including the mufflers. The way they flow alongside the bike and kick up at the same angle as the tail is flawless, reinforcing the Honda’s aggressive new lines.

But it’s not just the CX’s racey new stance that has us hooked—it’s also the way every last finish is exquisite.

The motor, wheels and frame were all finished in a rich black, but the tank and tail were treated to a stunning silver, red and blue livery, adorned with subtle gold striping and a period-correct Honda wing logo. To push it over the finish line, NCT had the forks finished in blue, and the shock spring in red.

It’s another home run for NCT Motorcycles, which David puts down to teamwork. Manuel handled paint, framework and the seat fab, built the exhaust and mounted up the front end. Philipp stripped the bike and helped NCT’s workshop manager, Mario, put it all back together. And Mario also tackled the wiring.

When all was said and done, the team nicknamed the Honda ‘Highflyer,’ after a racehorse in the 18th century that went his entire career undefeated.

Sounds about right to us, since we’ve yet to see NCT Motorcycles put a foot wrong.

This article first appeared on Bike Exif; It’s republished here by permission.

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



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



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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