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Morning Reads: 26 September 2008


Still Wondering
Happy Birthday

US Forest Service: Fall color guide

urbanext.uiuc.edu: The Miracle of Fall ÔÇô About Fall Color


autobloggreen./com: Riding an electric dirtbike. Ian (and on) your apartment

Victory is a 7 minute wonder.
dealernews.com: Gone in 420 seconds

motorcyclenews.com: Monster 1100 officially unveiled

The competition introduces a new liter bike.
motorcycledaily.com: Suzuki introduces new GSX-R1000 to European press

dealernews.com: Myrtle Beach becomes biker unfriendly

Tell me Ghost of Christmas future, is this the way things must be in all the motorcycling future or do other brands have the power to hold the line?
dealernews.com: Kawasaki raises retail prices

I have a fondness for street trackers and was disappointed when H-D made this a Euro only model.
motociclismo.it: Test: Harley-Davidson XR1200

thebikergene.com: 650cc Suzuki Gladius unveiled in Paris

Go for the pictures of the motorcycle craftsmanship.
motopormoto.com: Bott 1000 Morlaco

bottpower.com: Tool for stiffness measurement


Yesterday BMW Motorrad Motorsport announced the signing of Troy Corser to join Rubens Xaus as the riding team for the BMW World Superbike Team. Over the coming months we can bench race the rider selection based on their age, past performance and performance in the 2009 season. My initial take on this is very favorable but not because I expect to see BMW rack up race wins. Let me explain

The rider in motorcycle racing plays a key role in the development of the motorcycle. Drives of race cars are important but there role is part pilot and part feedback instrument to the engineers. This is not intended to denigrate the race car driverÔÇÖs importance in their sport. It is based on my observations of how teams develop their racing tools. The rider is much more involved and operates at much more of a peer level with the engineers in the development process than seem drivers to.

The first introduction of spar frames into racing was almost totally an engineering response and engineer dominated solution to frame wiggle problems pointed to by riders. Spars are the norm now but it took two seasons for race riders to get across to the engineers the balance between rigidity and the requirements for flexibility in handling. The initial frames were far too rigid and unforgiving for the actual requirement of racing. The resultant street bikes suffered the same issues.

With these two riders BMW seems to have a balance of skill on the track to offer the potential of podium finishes and the rider experience in numbers of races and development of motorcycles to move the BWM Superbike project forward. If the engineers and the riders find the right development balance in their roles we have good things in store for us.

The prize for us as BMW race fans are podium finishes. As BMW owners is a well developed street superbike. Remember that awkward word: homologation. The rules for WSBK require that a comparable street version be sold by the manufacturer. The rules allow for a lead time between racing and going to the street but the street bikes sold must be within the rules. The development of the race bike is key to the enjoyment some of your fellow members will experience in real life or vicariously as I will.

We have a lot of bench racing to do in the future. Right now it looks like we have the makings of a very good racing team for our developmental WSBK season.

worldsbk.com: BMW sign Corser for WSBK

The Alphabet Soup Wars rage on. John Ulrich in the following opinion pieces does a bit of analysis and fact checking on where the battle stands today and why. The pieces are liberally sprinkled with links to past articles and as a result provide an excellent, if not totally unbiased, overview for you Morning Readers.

Two First Person/Opinion pieces from RoadRacing World.
Notes From The DMG vs. MIC Battlefield, Part One
Notes From The DMG vs. MIC Battlefield, Part Two
Notes From The DMG vs. MIC Battlefield, Part Three

Honda has a major role in all of this. The Roadracing World pieces may give them too black a hat, but not by much. As has been pointed out in Formula 1 coverage in the Morning Reads Honda has been part of the F1 manufacturers group that threatened a separate series as a negotiating tactic with F1. They are a peer player in that gambit. They do appear to be the big gun in the motorcycle fight yet donÔÇÖt soft peddle the role of other manufacturers self interest in the Alphabet Soup Wars.

In an earlier post, US Road Racing Splits ÔÇô or ÔÇô The Alphabet Soup Wars, I covered much of the same ground and used Roadracing World as a major source and tool in putting that post together. We may have varying interests in this as race fans but to me the key issues for BMW and the MOA are how this delays BMWÔÇÖs factory entrance into US superbike racing, the development of and delivery to this market of new products and the potential members for the association.

The stakes continue to grow for BMW with the WSBK efforts of Aprilia and KTM. When will these make their entrance into a North American series? How will the market share in the performance niche be carved up?

The Japanese brands are not taking it lightly either. KawasakiÔÇÖs new 600 and the special US version are responses in large part to inroads made by Triumph with its 675. How will the Japanese four respond to the entrance of Euro bikes into the liter racing fold and the associated customer base? Honda made a big European announcement earlier of its liter bike and the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 made an appearance earlier in todayÔÇÖs Morning Reads.

Stay tuned for more Alphabet Soup War coverage.

There is plenty of racing news at HUSQVARNA also.
Guillaume wins in the French Enduro Championship
Husqvarna and Si Wakely claim final 2008 BEC Podium
Husqvarna takes a double podium at Andorra Supermoto
Milan Hosts Supercross Series: Antoine Meo show at Assago Forum

roadracingworld.com: Part II ÔÇô Bonneville MV Agusta F4

autosport.com: Kubica is still concerned about BMWÔÇÖs lack of progress

formula1.com: Drivers prepare for the dark side.

Schumi Watch is back ÔÇô
motornieuws.nl: Schumacher test Honda Suberpbike


Cerberus wants the rest of Chrysler
Auto company loans pass congress

bimmerfile.com: BMWNA selling one of its corporate dealerships

The picture in the rss feed of the P1800 made me look.
classicrallies.com: Volvo cars at 2008 Classic Motor Show

autobloggreen.com: BMW wins ?ûkoGlobe 2008 award for thermoelectric generator

Look out BMW the tri-star is poaching.
leftlanenews.com: Hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz Classes spotted in the U.S.

newswire.ca: Honda opens new engine plant in Ontario


worldofbmw.com: River deep, mountain high

BMW Mobile Tradition presents a new book.
The BMW home plant in Munich

Thread: BMW Motorrad wants to hear from you. Survey link enclosed.



European safety regs are in the news again. Bikes in the Fast Lane is reporting by 2001 all, not just motorcycles, vehicles will be required to have daytime running lights on at all times. At the same time motorist.org has a piece claiming daytime running lights have no statistically significant effect of safety. Bottom line, headlight manufacturers may move from a hold to a buy in the near future.


Packers Blog ÔÇô jsonline.com
Packers.com ÔÇô News from the football shrine
Green Bay Post Gazette: Packer News, Commentary

Offical site of the Premier League

GasBuddy.com has gas temperature maps intended to let you see what gas prices are around the US and Canada. Areas are color coded according to the reported local average price for regular unleaded gasoline.

Bike Candy