Husqvarna, Not KTM, Launches Extensive E-Bike Line In USA – UPDATED

UPDATED August 3, 2020: Spoke to a buddy with inside knowledge of the KTM motorcycle/bicycle split and it makes more sense than my earlier speculation. The result is still the same (an awesome new brand of e-bikes), but how the story unfolded is more clear. There are a few lessons to learn here for any young business major.  June 28, 2021: KTM Austria used to offer a line of KTM bicycles along with their motorcycles. When KTM went bankrupt, the bicycle brand was sold off to one group and another group…

Prolific Action Sports Photographer, John Ker, In Recovery Mode

Hall of Fame member (both Mountain Bike and BMX) and all-round great guy, John Ker, is in the hospital following hip-replacement surgery (following a cycling get off). John’s recovery has not gone smoothly and he is in a lot of pain. Rehab is going at a snail’s pace. John can use some encouragement so take the time to drop him a get-well email. His email address is johnk@hi-torque.com. I know he would love hearing for friends, old and new.

Harley-Davidson’s New Sportster Looks Anything But ‘Sporty”

I was enthusiastic about Harley-Davidson’s new Pan America model (although my buying advice is to hold off until the bugs are worked out). Can’t say I feel the same optimism about the recently-announce all-new Sportster model. Photos of the bike in action (like in the Cycle News review) show the rider in a very un-sporty, upright position. I mean, how many times can you read the soles of a rider’s shoes in an action photo? Check out the opening shot in the Cycle News feature. That forward-foot position is all cruiser. The 9-page…

The Pave 01 Is A Motorcycle, Not An E-Bike

I assume the term e-bike was dreamed up by a clever marketing team who wanted to confuse, mislead and obfuscate consumers while giving manufacturers wiggle room in describing their products. Instead of calling them what they are, electric-motorized bicycles or electric-powered motorcycles, e-bike is a cute, fun-sounding, non-descriptive-blanket term that gets tossed over a wide range of motorized vehicles. Case in point, the Pave 01. The misleading ad on Facebook’s marketplace says, “The Only eBike with…” and is linked to Pave Motors. Pave Motors is taking pre-orders on the Pave…

Remembering John “Alabama Flash” Walker’s 1920 Speed Record of 115.79 Miles Per Hour

Wacky Explorer, a fascinating and fun website created by Samuel McCall, posted a story about John Eugene Walker, a motorcycle racer who survived a brutal childhood to become a nationally celebrated motorcycle racer and went on to set a motorcycle land-speed record. You can read the story here. If you enjoy the story on the Alabama Flash, you will love The Speed Kings book by Don Emde. John Eugene Walker, who went by Gene, is number 18, on the far left.

Time Capsule Husqvarna 250WR Opened After 54 Years – UPDATED

UPDATED JUNE 30: OUT OF THE CRATE AND THEN RESTORED The opened-time-capsule Husky is still a cool find, but turns out I oversold it. The current owner believed the bike was a 1968 250WR that was removed from the crate and never started. Looking at the condition of the bike, I agreed.  After speaking to vintage bike expert, John Pavich, (you’ve seen him on Jimmy Mac On Two Wheel’s Mecum Auction story) the story behind the bike began to unravel. In a very diplomatic way, John said, “Maybe it hasn’t…

Hopetown Reunion 2021: Racing Out Of Lockdown

The 2021 Hopetown Reunion took place Sunday June 27th under clear skies and hot temperatures at Simi Valley’s beautiful Hummingbird Nest Ranch. The turnout, both in number of spectators and bikes on display, was down from previous years, but that was to be expected. Many people are still getting used to the idea of social gatherings after a year of lockdowns. While their concerns are understandable, they missed out on a great gathering of motorcycles and motorcycle racers. Best in show: I’ll get it out of the way right now.…

Stolen Suzuki DR-Z400 Ready To Rage Again

If you haven’t followed the saga of my stolen Suzuki DR-Z400, here are the CliffsNotes: Bike stolen in Tuba City, Arizona. Bike stripped and painted. Bike recovered. Bike dragged onto towing truck (causing as much damage as the crook). Bike picked up and hauled back to home base (Somis, California). Bike repaired. The bike needed turn signals, brake light, license plate holder, new plastic, new gas cap (the OEM cap is over $100), new ignition switch, a clutch lever, an OEM chain guard (no idea why the crook removed that),…

Unobtainable Jawa 350 OHC Special Is An American Smuggler’s Dream

Jawa is a motorcycle company located in the Czech Republic that was extremely successful in the 1960 through the 70’s. The onslaught of Japanese motorcycle competition and export limitations due to Russian rule almost killed the brand. A sales resurgence powered by India has put Jawa back on steady footing. While the company only offers two basic engine configurations (the 350 and 660), it offers each in a number of models. The model that gets my adrenaline pumping is the Jawa 350 OHC Special. The Special takes its styling cues…

Riding The Sur Ron X Bike Electric-Powered Motorcycle

My buddy Mark, owner of Reign motorcycle apparel, has been after me to come out and try one of his Sur Ron electric-powered motorcycles for a year. The stars aligned today and we headed up to the Hungry Valley off-highway vehicular (OHV) recreation area.  The ranger would normally collect the outrageous entry fee of $5 but Mark has a season pass so we were ready to cruise on in after she checked our spark arrestors. That threw her for a loop. You’re not going to find a spark arrester (or…