Petersen Automotive Museum Presents, The “Custom Revolution” Motorcycle Exhibit

The Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the world’s premier car enthusiast destinations. Located in Los Angeles, the museum showcases automotive culture from around the world while celebrating Southern California’s rich history of automotive innovation, competition and design. The Petersen features exhibits primarily revolving around four-wheeled vehicles, but due to popular inquisition and demand, in addition to the vision and wealth of knowledge from the exhibit’s guest curator and motorcycle historian, Paul d’Orleans, the “Custom Revolution” exhibit was born.

“Custom Revolution” celebrates the visionaries who push the creative edges of alternative motorcycle design. Using both new and old engines, past and present chassis concepts, and unique styling, a group of 25 individual builders were hand selected to display their one-off motorcycle art creations.

Petersen Automotive Museum "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit

Built and owned by Mark Atkinson, a professional machinist of North Salt Lake, UT, “BMW Alpha” is a salt flats racer that started its life off as a 1991 BMW K75. The concept was originally sparked by one of Mehmet Doruk Erdem’s sketches. Erdem is a Turkish industrial designer who creates computer-generated motorcycle concepts. His sketches are so convincing it is difficult to tell whether they are photographs or real objects (click here if you’re interested in seeing more of his designs). Mark Atkinson turned one of Mehmet’s drawings into reality. The frame is completely custom fabricated and the bodywork is constructed of handmade carbon fiber. The motor is turbo-charged and the Alpha’s pilot essentially lays on the motorcycle. In the rear, you can see two stirrups for your feet, and shifting and braking is actuated by the pilot’s knees – crazy. (more pics in the gallery below)

“At the Petersen, it is our utmost goal to embrace and foster creativity – especially when it comes to automobiles,” said Petersen Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Because we’ve built exhibits around the art of four-wheeled vehicles many times, we believe it’s the perfect time to recognize a global phenomenon in the form of the custom bike revolution. This new exhibit will celebrate the international trendsetters of this movement while delivering a definite nod to LA culture.”

With 360 days of sunshine each year, Southern California is no doubt home to one of the world’s biggest custom culture scenes, exhibiting an endless variety of different types of vehicles on the road (amongst a sh*t-ton of Priuses). However, with a constantly growing population and increasing congestion on the roadways, more and more people in Southern California have been turning to motorcycles for their transportation duties. Being the cosmopolitan, fashion-forward city that LA is, it’s no surprise many of the city’s motorcyclists choose to style-out their bikes too.

Petersen Automotive Museum "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit

All the way from Hamburg, Germany, the “Speedster” is one of Uwe Ehinger of Ehinger Kraftrad’s creations. It’s a speedway-inspired build using a 1937 Harley-Davidson UL side-valve bottom end with CAD software-generated Knucklehead cylinders and OHV-heads which feature an open valve train and rockers machined out of a solid block of aluminum. The frame is one-off and the springer front end has been narrowed. Additionally, Uwe fitted Beringer calipers to a custom dual-disc deal inside the already narrowed front end which also serves as the wheel’s hub – so gnarly (click the photo above to zoom in). Another cool feature is the hidden oil tank inside the ’70s style banana seat (more pics in the gallery below).

Of the exhibit’s 25 builders, 10 are based in California, with seven from the LA area and the other three from farther north, in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The remaining 15 come from  other parts of the States as well as Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Vietnam and Spain.

The motorcycles on display in the exhibit aren’t what you’re used to seeing at your local bike night. These 25 bikes take motorcycle customization to a whole new level, with truly innovative and original thinking – the type of pioneering that big-time OEMs take notice of and often times inspire their own future designs.

Petersen Automotive Museum "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit

Not sure where to start with this one, but it definitely caught my eye. Originally a 1967 Honda Super Sport 125, Bandit9 Motorcycles out of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, transformed the 125cc, four-speed, air-cooled, four-stroke into a “retro-futurist” motorcycle that resembles a pistol or jet in profile. Bandit9 calls it “L-Concept.” It weighs 297 lbs and is capable of a 68 mph top speed. Check out those handlebars and rear suspension though!

We were invited to attend the “Custom Revolution” exhibit’s opening night, and it was an experience we won’t soon forget. “Custom Revolution” is currently open and the exhibit will be displayed in the Richard Varner Family Gallery on the second floor until March 2019. The pictures here are only a taste of what the exhibit offers, there’s way more cool stuff. We highly recommend visiting the Petersen Automotive Museum if you happen to find yourself on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax in LA. You won’t be disappointed.

Petersen Automotive Museum "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit

Petersen Automotive Museum "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit
Petersen Automotive Museum "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit

Petersen Automotive Museum "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit

Petersen Automotive Museum "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit

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Indian Sees Modest Growth in Q1 2018

Indian Motorcycle saw a small growth in sales and market share during the first quarter of 2018, according to Polaris Industries’ quarterly financial report. The modest increase was enough to offset a decrease in Slingshot sales and increase Polaris’ motorcycle sales by 9.3% to $131.6 million.

Polaris reported a low single digit percent growth in Indian sales and a mid single digit decrease in Slingshot sales. The industry, as a whole, saw a drop in the mid-teens for heavyweight motorcycles (900cc and up) during the quarter, leading Polaris to claim an increase in market share for both Indian and Slingshot.

An unusually cold and wet spring over much of North America also had a negative impact on sales. Outside of North America, Polaris saw better results, reporting a 42% growth in motorcycle sales internationally.

Polaris credits demand for the Scout and Scout Bobber for some of Indian’s first quarter growth. Demand for the Jack Daniels Scout Bobber was especially high, with Indian selling out the limited edition run in less than 10 minutes.

Polaris’ motorcycle business reported a gross profit of $16.6 million over the quarter, compared to a loss of $19.8 million over the same quarter of 2017. That sounds like an impressive turnaround, until you remember a big part of last year’s loss was due to wind down costs for shutting down the Victory Motorcycles brand. Polaris will continue taking a hit on that decision to the tune of $80 million to $90 million through the end of 2018, for disposal of assets, cancellation of supplier agreements and support for Victory dealers in selling what’s left of their inventory.

As a company, Polaris Industries reported overall first quarter 2018 sales of $1.297 billion, a 12% increase over the same quarter in 2017. The company recorded a net profit of $55.7 million in the first quarter compared to a $2.9 million loss in the first three months of 2017.

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AMA Legends Champions Weekend Celebrates Motorcyclings Best Dec. 7-9

AMA to celebrate all things motorcycling in America.

Begin press release:

The American Motorcyclist Association will celebrate the past, honor the present and build for the future at the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, Dec. 7-9, at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris in Columbus, Ohio.

AMA Legends & Champions Weekend honors history’s motorcycling legends and today’s amateur champions. It also includes the annual AMA Congress, where AMA Competition Commission members debate and vote on the rules governing amateur motorcycle racing in the United States.

“Not since the last AMA Legends & Champions Weekend in 2011 has the AMA had a singular celebration of American motorcycling with such a scope as this,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “With the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the AMA Championship Banquet and AMA Congress converging on one location, this event will welcome hundreds of motorcycling ambassadors, champions, visionaries and their family, fans and friends to Columbus in December.”

On Friday, Dec. 7, AMA Congress will convene at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris at 8700 Lyra Drive in Columbus, Ohio. AMA Competition Commission members will meet to propose and debate rules governing AMA-sanctioned competition.

That evening, the Polaris Grand Ballroom will provide the setting for the 2018 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where the Class of 2018 will be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The Class of 2018, which will be announced this summer, will be chosen from individuals who have excelled in motorcycle design, advocacy, engineering and business, as well as those who have made lasting contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of motorcycle racing.

On Saturday, Dec. 8, AMA Congress will conclude with its annual General Session. Then, the 2018 champions of AMA national and regional series and championship events will have their moment in the spotlight at the 2018 AMA Championship Banquet, also in the Polaris Grand Ballroom.

The following day, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, will host an open house in honor of the Class of 2018 and to install their Hall of Fame nameplates and representative motorcycles or memorabilia in the Hall of Fame museum.

“The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will showcase so much of what makes motorcycling so great,” said AMA Board of Directors Chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw. “We invite all motorcyclists to join us at the Columbus Hilton/Polaris and at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum on Dec. 7-9 as we spotlight motorcycling’s legends and the top talent of AMA racing.”

Tickets for the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions weekend will be available soon.

Reservations at the Columbus Hilton/Polaris are available now at a special group rate at the following link: Guests also can call (614) 310-2229 and reference the group “American Motorcyclist Association” or “AMOTOA.”

The Columbus Hilton/Polaris is an amenity-packed, award-winning hotel located adjacent to Columbus’ expansive Polaris Center on Columbus’ north side. A complimentary shuttle serves a 5-mile radius, which includes Port Columbus International Airport. It features a day spa, a fitness center, indoor pool and whirlpool.

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Upcoming Motorcycle Events: April 24 May 22

Upcoming Motorcycle Events: April 24 – May 22

Here’s our weekly guide to the upcoming motorcycle events and rides that are happening within the next month. Don’t see an event that’s happening in your neck of the woods? Leave a comment to let us know.

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Yoshimura RD Celebrates Wes Cooley With Throwback Apparel

Some of you may not know or remember Wes Cooley, but he was rocking the number 34 before a certain Kevin Schwantz made it cool. Now Yoshimura are celebrating one of its original riders with some throwback apparel.

Begin press release:

One of the pioneers in Superbike racing is 2-time Superbike Champion Wes Cooley. When Pops Yoshimura was testing race parts back in 1973, Wes was a young local test rider that helped develop Yoshimura performance and eventually came to be the race icon he has become.

As we celebrate 40 years with our race partner Suzuki, Yoshimura embraces the “throw caution to the wind” spirit of what Wes has brought to the sport. Introducing the Wes Cooley limited hat and tee. Wearing the iconic wheelie and the large patch podium hat will give you the experience of hearing the roar of the GS1000 speeding by you! Not really, but it will get you excited when you put them on.

Available now for a limited time.

Wes Cooley Apparel Info

Wes Cooley limited 78 Tee $24.95 retail
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Wes Cooley limited Snapback Trucker hat $29.95 retail
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For more information, visit the Yoshimura website.

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