IceCapades, with Brad Baker and FTR1200

Even if you’re not interested in watching Brad Baker ride an FTR1200 Custom Indian sideways around a frozen lake, you’ll want to turn up the volume to hear how the thing sounds. They keep teasing us and we keep taking the bait.

IceCapades, with Brad Baker and FTR1200 appeared first on News.

Velomacchi and Yamaha Collaborate to Build the Rural Racer XSR700

Head down to the Handbuilt Show in Austin to check out the newest build in the Yamaha Yard Built program. The Rural Racer XSR700 is a mashup from a handful of brands we at MO have come to use almost daily in some cases. We may have to inquire about a long-term test for our camera guy.

Begin Press Release:

Rural Racer XSR700 to be unveiled at Austin, TX Handbuilt Show (April 20 – 22)

Velomacchi and Yamaha Motors in collaboration with DJI Drones, Yoshimura, Champion, and Race Tech reveal concept bike that fuses American moto heritage with modern innovation.

Rural Racer XSR700

Hood River, OR (April 19, 2018) – The grand unveiling of Velomacchi and Yamaha Motors colab concept bike, the Rural Racer XSR700, will be displayed April 20th to 22nd at the Handbuilt Show in Austin, TX. The custom XSR700 designed and built by Velomacchi in collaboration with Yamaha Motors, DJI Drones, Yoshimura, Champion, and Race Tech will showcase state-of-the-art technology and performance with a flavor of vintage American garage-grown heritage. Every feature of the Rural Racer XSR700 is fully customized including front and rear Race Tech suspension, Yoshimura exhaust, and DJI drone technology.

Rural Racer XSR700

Inspired by the riding environment in the pacific Northwest, the Rural Racer Project celebrates backroad adventure, rural exploration, and speed. The bike is built around Yamaha’s legendary 689cc cross plane parallel twin engine, renowned for smooth and consistent power delivery, powerful torque and hard acceleration. The Rural Racer XSR700 features a specialized Yoshimura R&D exhaust with a newly designed catalytic converter that’s more powerful, lighter weight, and environmentally compliant in all 50-states.

Kevin Murray, Founder of Velomacchi, designed the bike for aggressive backcountry riding in variable weather and demanding terrain. Set in the small town of Hood River, OR, Velomacchi is surrounded by rugged fire roads and imposing hills that make up the Pacific Northwest. Of the overall design purpose, Murray says, “The XSR700 is an excellent platform for Northwest roads. The ease in which we could upgrade suspension, bolt on performance accessories, and modify the subframeto carry specific loads, made it incredibly versatile so we can “tune” the bike to meet the specific riding style, environment, and cargo of the rider.”

Rural Racer XSR700

Integrating modern technology in unique ways is a hallmark of the Rural Racer Program. The bike features drone technology from DJI that includes a drone mount on the fuel tank for rapid overhead deployment. The purpose of the drone is to help in scouting camping spots, analyzing riding stance, and locating riding buddies. The DJI Mavic Pro has a compact airframe, carries a 4K HD video camera, weighs in at 1.62 pounds, has an 8-mile range, and a max speed of 40 MPH. The modified rear subframe combines the fender, tail light, turn signals, and license plate holder into one detachable unit for additional carry space when an extra fuelcel, tool roll, and duffle are necessary. Aftermarket suspension leader, Race Tech, hand built the G3-S rear shock and front fork to accommodate aggressive backcountry riding and allow infinite flexibility to tune the ride by weight and environment.

Rural Racer XSR700

Shun Miyazawa, Yamaha Motorcycle Project Manager and Rural Racer Project collaborator commented, “Kevin and I have been talking about a heritage-inspired modernized rural race bike for years; our two brands share a lot of common values and we have both born witness to how this industry is changing. The Rural Racer XSR700 keeps the heritage-inspired vibe people love, while also delivering 21st century technology and unrivaled performance.”

The Rural Racer XSR700 debuted in February as a “work-in-progress” at One Moto Show in Portland, Oregon, and will unveil its grand completion Friday, April 20that the Handbuilt Show in Austin, TX.

More about Yamaha’s Yard Built Program:

More about Velomacchi: 


Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700

Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700
Rural Racer XSR700

Velomacchi and Yamaha Collaborate to Build the Rural Racer XSR700 appeared first on News.

Higdon in South America: Part 10

February 27, 2018
Potosí, Bolivia

Every morning for almost 475 years now the men of this town have trooped up to Cerro Rico and started digging. The smart ones come back down at night, cough the dust of a dozen minerals out of their lungs, and open a book. Education, with luck, could be the only thing that will save them from an early grave. If an accident doesn’t kill the average miner between 30 and 40, lung disease surely will. Today in Potosí there are seven women for every man.

It wasn’t always this way. It used to be much worse. Following Francisco Pizarro’s conquest of the Incan empire in the early 1530s, Spain’s efforts to control the hemisphere from central Kansas to the Straits of Magellan shifted into high gear. Here was a cash cow the likes of which had never been seen in the history of human civilization. And the udder on this cow was Cerro Rico – Rich Hill – in Potosí. By 1545, it was the largest city on earth.

There were not enough survivors of Pizarro’s campaigns to swing the picks on Cerro Rico, so Spain played the cards that it knew best: first the sword, then the Bible. It swarmed through the jungles and rain forests to the east in what is now Brazil, enslaved and converted millions of indigenous people, and sent them off to Potosí. There, some 14,000 feet above where they were used to living, they  experienced summer nights where the temperature averages 41 degrees F. They died like flies, eight to ten million of them over the centuries, or maybe they died wishing that they could die like flies. It wasn’t even over even when independence movements swept the continent 250 years later. Cerro Rico merely shifted from a Spanish killing field to a Bolivian one.

We did a tour of the city’s main museum. It is dedicated to memorializing the mining, refining, and minting of silver, some 300,000 tons of the pure stuff during Spain’s remarkable run. Life-size manikins, from the ages of mule power through steam power, uncomplainingly operate machines designed to make other men rich. Nearly every one of the carefully restored grinding, pounding, or crushing machines brings forth the identical thought: How many minutes on average can this worker operate this device before it takes one of his fingers?

I do not recall seeing any female manikins operating machinery in the museum, but that is not to say that women had no role in the extraction process. Our guide took us to a section of the city lying directly below Cerro Rico. It was literally walled off from the rest of the town, a zone historically reserved for the indigenous population. As luck would have it, the location was convenient for everyone. Raw ore could be simply rolled down the sides of the hill and lagoons high on the hill could sluice water to follow along with the rocks. The women’s job was to scrub the ore before it could be passed along to the next phase of the refining process. Who knew – who even cared, really – that the rocks were suffused with mercury oxide, a biohazard of the first rank?

The hill is today a sinkhole, tunneled out to the point where you’d think nothing could possibly remain in its spectacular shell. But geologists say that while most of the silver is gone, 65% of the tin, zinc, lead, and other metals remains still. They’re trying to keep the entire mountain from collapsing under its own weight, but no one who has seen maps of the tunnels can believe in such Sunnybrook Farm hopes. And when it goes, it could take a fair share of the 15,000-20,000 men who enter the 500 access tunnels each day at dawn. Think of it as simply a variation on a theme, a dirge that has been playing for half a millennium.

We wound up in the town square at the end of the tour. In the distance the brown, denuded mass of Cerro Rico frowned down on us. Potosí’s fortunes have similarly declined over the years. No longer the center of the universe, today it is the fourth largest city in Bolivia. It can still reach out, however, and remind you who it once was.

I struggled in vain to find some shade from the midday sun. Two women in our group talked quietly near me. “Our guide’s a widow, you know? She has three small children. Her husband was killed up there. A miner. In Cerro Rico.”

The post Higdon in South America: Part 10 appeared first on

Ducati to Introduce Motorcycle Radar System by 2020

Ducati announced plans to introduce a front and rear radar system for motorcycles and to make cornering ABS available across its entire model range. The two initiatives are part of Ducati’s overall “Safety Road Map 2025” plan, the company’s strategy for motorcycle safety technologies.

Working with the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering at the Politecnico di Milano University, Ducati is working on a radar-based warning system to detect vehicles in a motorcycle’s blind spot. The system would alert riders of potential hazards, making for safer lane changes.

Ducati is also working on forward-facing radar with an unnamed technical partner to detect objects in front of a motorcycle. The forward radar system would be used for an adaptive cruise control system, automatically reducing cruise controlled speed when a motorcycle gets too close to traffic ahead. A forward radar system could also warn riders of potential head-on collisions.

Both forward and rear radar systems will be introduced on a Ducati model in 2020, likely a Multistrada (such as the 950 model in the supplied illustration). The Multistrada line has become a bit of a test bed for new Ducati safety technology; in 2014, Ducati worked with Dainese to introduce an integrated D-Air airbag jacket system on the Multistrada 1200 for European markets.

Ducati also announced plans to implement the Bosch cornering ABS system across all of its models. This process is already underway, with the addition of the Bosch 9.1 MP cornering ABS on the Scrambler 1100, which Ducati hails as an industry-first application of the technology on a retro “heritage” model. We can probably expect to see more models to come standard with cornering ABS on for 2019.

We can also expect to see other manufacturers adopt cornering ABS to more models, as government agencies, especially in Europe, push for increased safety technology for two-wheelers. The current Euro 4 standard, for instance, mandated ABS, daytime running lights and traction control systems for most models, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect cornering ABS, radar sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle communications to become standard in the future. In this regard, Ducati trying to get an early jump on safety technology.


The post Ducati to Introduce Motorcycle Radar System by 2020 appeared first on

Jacksonville, FL Powersports Dealership Cited for Flying Military Branch Flags

Jaguar Power Sports, a motorcycle and powersports dealership in Jacksonville, Florida, was cited by a city employee for flying military flags. On Monday, Melinda Power, a city of Jacksonville inspector, issued a warning citation for the display, saying the military flags were in violation of city code.

Jaguar Power Sports for years has been flying two American flags, a Jacksonville Jaguars flag and one flag for each branch of the military. To make matters worse, Power entered the dealership, and insulted and mistreated a customer who is an Army combat veteran, allegedly asking, “‘What did you do for this country?”

He replies, “I took three bullets to the leg. I almost lost my life for this country. I’m retired. I’m a veteran.”

Powers gets in his face pointing a finger and allegedly says, “You did nothing for this country,” and leaves.

The dealership’s owner posted a video to Facebook describing the situation, requesting and encouraging people to share it and make it go viral – and it did. Jacksonville’s Mayor, Lenny Curry, has since intervened and is allowing military flags to be flown and treated the same as the American flag. City inspector, Melinda Power, has also issued an apology – a rather insincere sounding one. Jaguar Power Sports will be allowed to continue to display their patriotism and fly the flags.

I don’t understand where someone like Power gets the idea that (allegedly) disrespecting a veteran like that is in any shape or form appropriate. It’s downright insulting and shouldn’t be tolerated in anyplace at anytime, in my opinion. She’s lucky the veteran handled it as seemingly calmly as he did. What do you guys think?

For the full story with the videos, check out the Action News Jax article here and ABC7 News’ coverage here.


Jacksonville, FL Powersports Dealership Cited for Flying Military Branch Flags appeared first on News.