Thursday, October 28, 2010


Bonhams has announced the release of its catalog for the upcoming "Classic California" auction on November 13th at the Petersen Museum in downtown Los Angeles. A large number of personal memorabilia items from the Bud Ekins Collection will be sold, as well as many classic automobiles and motorcycles, including the Rossi/Riders for Health Yamaha R1. All net proceeds from the sale of the R1 will go to benefit the Riders for Health charity ( The R1 can be found in the catalog as Lot 439. 

The catalog can be viewed online at:

For information about the Rossi/Riders for Health Yamaha R1 and auction, log onto:


American Honda Motor Company’s Powersports Division has announced to its dealers the release of an all-new motorcycle designed for those entering the sport of motorcycling, one that’s sporty, fun, lightweight and affordable: the CBR250R.

“This is really an amazing machine we’re adding to Honda’s list of models for 2011,” said Powersports Press Manager Bill Savino. “The CBR250R is specifically aimed at new riders, yet it’s packed full of high-tech features and offers great performance, all in a lightweight, affordable package. This new model expands another segment of the market for Honda buyers.”

CBR250R: An Affordable Entry Into The Sport Of Motorcycling

The all-new 2011 CBR250R brings a fresh take on the fun side of motorcycling, one that especially suits riders entering the sport. Thanks to its extremely efficient 249cc liquid-cooled single cylinder engine—an all-new design featuring a sophisticated four-valve DOHC cylinder head, engine counterbalancer, and fuel injection—this dependable and lightweight machine delivers nimble handling, a broad spread of easily accessible power and low operating costs all in one. Whether the day calls for a commute to work, quick trips around town or all-day explorations in the countryside, the CBR250R is a great way to get acquainted with the many faces of motorcycling, all at an affordable price. Available in Metallic Black and Red/Silver beginning in Spring 2011. Also available with ABS. Pricing will be announced November 12, 2010. More detailed information and images of Honda’s model line can be found on or see your local Honda powersports dealer.

2011 Specifications

Model: CBR250R / CBR250R ABS

Engine Type: 249.4cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Bore and Stroke: 76mm x 55mm

Compression ratio: 10.7:1

Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder

Induction: PGM-FI, 38mm throttle body

Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance

Transmission: Six-speed

Front: 37mm fork
Rear: Pro-Link single shock with five positions of spring preload adjustability

Front: Single 296mm disc
Rear: Single 220mm disc
Optional ABS

Front: 110/70-17 radial 
Rear: 140/70-17 radial

Wheelbase: 53.9 inches

Rake (Caster Angle): 25.0°

Trail: 95mm (3.74 inches)

Seat Height: 30.9 inches

Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gallons

Colors: Metallic Black, Red/Silver

Curb Weight*: 359 pounds / 368 pounds (ABS)

*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.

Meets current EPA standards.

Models sold in California meet current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment.

Specifications subject to change without notice.

Honda Genuine Accessories

- Seat Cowl

- Carbon Fiber Tank Pad

- Cycle Cover

©2010 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This month's issue of American Motorcyclist Magazine includes a photo of my brother David on the front cover, as well as a full page story inside. He is one of 9 new inductees to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame that will be honored at the Hall of Fame banquet at the Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on November 19th. David, who died in a motorcycle road accident in 2003, was the 1977 AMA 250cc AMA National Roadracing Champion, among his many racing accomplishments.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


One of our magazine clients was in the news lately. Per Lindby, maker of the Lindbar engine guards, made the lead Local story in the Sunday, Oct. 17th edition of the Orange County Register about having his expensive Louis Vuitton luggage come up missing after a Delta airline flight...twice in a row! The luggage, which costs about $5,000 for two pieces, is apparently a favorite of the Delta luggage handlers at the John Wayne (Orange County) and other airports, because in the first flight when he was going to the Sturgis Rally last August, Delta cannot confirm that the bags actually ever made it onto the airplane! So after Per watched them go down the conveyor into the back room at the airport, and the airplane, some how they came up missing. On his next flight to the Parts Unlimited Showcase in Madison, his brand new replacement Louis Vuitton luggage was also reported as missed, although in this case they believe the set left Orange County and went missing at another location. In both cases, claims are in process, but it really has to make you wonder about airport security? With everything air travelers go through to get on a plane, yet in the backroom, you have baggage handlers going home at night with their "booty" from the day?

Lindby, by the way, admits the pricey luggage is some "stupid stuff" people buy sometimes, but says they make a pretty decent living and can afford it.

Oh, and after losing the luggage twice, when he then had to fly to Daytona Beach for Biketoberfest, he went to Walmart and bought a suitcase for $30 and it made it there fine.

Lessons I get from all this: Buy cheap luggage, and don't fly Delta airlines.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Two authors that I know well have recently had new books hit the market from Motorbooks. 

Norm DeWitt's "Grand Prix Motorcycle Racers. The American Heroes" is a great overview of not only those American racers with the greatest amount of success in Grand Prix racing, but also the Pioneers who opened the door for Americans to go to Europe, and the Contenders who went over, but didn't become a world champion. Norm shares the stories told to me by Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Kenny Roberts Jr., Nicky Hayden and more. Price is listed at $27 and the ISBN is 978-0-7603-3468-3.

Dain Gingerelli collaborated with photographer Randy Leffingwell to produce "Harley-Davidson Museum Masterpieces." The full color, softbound, 240 page book highlights 51 of the 450 motorcycles in the Harley-Davidson collection at the newly opened, 130,000 square foot, Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Price is $19.99 and the ISBN is 978-0-7603-3894-0.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


The "Born to be Wild" motorcycle exhibit at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California will be coming to a close soon. I've received some nice comments on my Floyd Emde Replica Indian 648 Big Base Scout that has been a part of the exhibit and I thought people would be interested to know how the bike came together. Working from two rare Indian Big Base Scouts that I was able to locate and purchase, I worked with veteran restorer Steve Huntzinger to produce as close of a replica that we could achieve of the Indian as-raced by my father in 1948. I was then able to take the bike to Daytona in 2008 for the 60th anniversary of his Daytona 200 victory. 

Floyd races down the beach in 1948. He led the race from start to finish.

Bike and rider look fresh after 200 long miles.

A Firestone Race Win Ad.

Delivering a Big Base Scout to Steve Huntzinger that I bought at an auction in Kansas City.

A second Big Base Scout came up for auction the same year in Daytona. There were less than 50 of this model made by Indian, so finding two to work from was pretty amazing.

The engine getting ready to go in the frame.

From some original photos I have, we noticed a non-stock air cleaner that was sealed better than the stock Indian filter. And Floyd added a tool bag to the gas tank mainly to give him some support when he was tucked in on the 2-mile long straights.

Look down on the frame behind the front wheel and you can see the extra quart of gasoline Floyd had strapped to the bike. With the pits at one end of the track, he was afraid that if he ran out at the other end he would be out of the race. He never needed it during the race, but did have the can on there.

Here's the finished product, showing the air cleaner and extra quart of gasoline.

We included his pit sign codes that were on the original bike.

Tom Seymour at Saddlemen Seats made this tool bag working from photos I gave him to work with.

We even had replacements custom made of the decals that were on the original bike.

March of 2008 and the project is complete. This is at the Daytona 200 monument on Daytona Beach which honors Floyd and the 11 other winners of the Daytona 200 beach races. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I was one of the 195,000 attendees at last week’s Intermot motorcycle show in Cologne, Germany. After a few days to reflect on everything I saw and heard, here’s an overview of my impressions.

Adventure Bikes

For sure, one of the most noticeable categories of machines on display was Adventure bikes and the riding gear and accessories to go with them.

The Suzuki V-Strom outfitted with factory equipment.

BMW has a complete line of GS Adventure models.

KTM is a big player in the Adventure bike market.

My favorite bike of the whole show was this concept version of the Yamaha Tenere dubbed the “1200 World Crosser.” It looks like it could do it.

Dirt Track Look

There were a number of displays featuring the look of our American Flat Track bikes. There is a growing fascination of Flat Track racing in Europe, fueled in my opinion, by the worldwide press coverage of Kenny Roberts’ TZ750 exhibition ride at the 2009 Indy Mile.

A modern Triumph trimmed down to resemble 1970s Triumph TT bike. Well done!

This customized Kawasaki W800 twin looks just like the Flat Trackers of old.

The future of e-Bikes

Battery-powered bikes are gaining momentum and there was a whole hall at Intermot showing off various new market entries. But quietly “lurking” in exhibits of the major “gas and oil” makers were some cool looking machines that appear to be biding their time. Once the market moves past the “Early Adopters” phase, watch for a flood of market entries from names we are all familiar with.

Off in the corner of the BMW exhibit was this Mini e-Bike. 

Suzuki had a pretty racey e-machine on display.

A future Yamaha e-Scooter?

Impressive 2011 Models to Note

There were not as many exciting new model introductions as we’ve seen in the past, but a few makers did unveil some cool new models.

The 6-cylinder BMW 1600 looks to be going right after the Honda Gold Wing crowd. 

Triumph’s all-new Speed Triple was a big hit.

Kawasaki had a couple of new models with some very modern styling lines.

Ducati’s new 1198 in black trim. It also comes in red, of course. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


L-R: Rob North, Ace Cafe proprietor Mark Wilsmore, Gary Nixon and myself at the Ace Cafe last July.
This past summer legendary racer Gary Nixon, frame builder Rob North and myself traveled to England and Wales for a vintage motorcycle event relating to our days racing BSAs and Triumphs. After landing at Heathrow Airport we had a chance to stop in for lunch at the historic Ace Café in nearby Stonebridge.

If you haven’t ever heard of the Ace Café, it just sounds like maybe a good place for a burger and fries (which it is). But to the motorcycle sport, it really is much more. It is the birthplace of Café Racers that are currently coming back in style around the world.

The original Ace Café opened in 1938 on North Circular Road in London. Planned as a transport cafe for truck and lorry drivers, it quickly became a place where motorcycle riders gathered. It was badly damaged in the air raids of World War II, but it was rebuilt and in the early fifties it became the destination for a new breed of bikers. The post-war generation, bored by old values and conventions and confronted with social changes, were searching for their identity. There were two significant influences: Rock n' Roll and motorcycles.

Leather jackets and jeans were worn, creating the black leather rebel cult. They lived on the fringes of society and were generally ostracized even by conventional motorcycle enthusiasts. The young bikers, known as “Rockers,” developed their own identity and with it a tremendous group feeling. They met in cafes and Rock n’ Roll clubs, arranging races on London’s North Circular Road. They burned up the road doing “The Ton” (100 mph) through the city streets of London. They were daring and dangerous. From this powerful fusion of motorbikes and Rock n’ Roll came “Record-Racing,” where they would “drop the coin right into the slot” of a juke-box and then race to a given point and back before the record finished.

As with any form of racing—legal or otherwise—riders seeking success would search out ways to improve their performance resulting in a dramatic increase in new motorcycle accessories developed specifically for “Café Racers.” The motorcycle world soon took notice and it became a hot trend worldwide in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Economic conditions forced the Ace Cafe to close in 1969 and it sat dormant until 1994 when new proprietors Mark and Linda Wilsmore reopened at the same historic location. Based on the rich heritage and traditions of the 50’s and 60’s, the “new” Ace Café still embodies the same values as when the original Rockers called it home. It really is much more than a place for a burger and fries. To many, it defines their entire motorcycle involvement.

Ride safe.


I was at the Sturgis Rally this year and my head is still full of thoughts and ideas about the event and the industry following my trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was all very upbeat and positive there this year and worth the trip just to get the batteries charged in my brain!

The weather was great. Warm, but mostly dry. The crowd began to really grow about Tuesday and before long we were hearing reports of long traffic delays in downtown Sturgis and in various parts of the region. I know that traffic jams are not normally considered good news, but everyone there in the industry knew that meant we were in for a big week.

And the best news is that not only were there lots of riders in town, but they were spending money to boot. One friend’s description was: “The old Sturgis is back!” I know business hasn’t fully recovered from coast to coast, but for sure it did at the Sturgis Rally!

When I attend an event I try to pay attention to see if any new trends are emerging. What I saw were predominately Baggers, but there were more Trikes than I remembered from previous years. If anything could be called a new trend in the V-twin industry these days, Trikes is it.

Ride safe.

P.S. We’re very excited this month to announce a new publication we’re launching for the Parts Europe dealers. It’s called (what else?) Parts Europe Magazine and our first issue will debut at the Intermot Expo in Cologne, Germany in October. The quarterly publication will cover both the metric and V-twin markets, so any interested Drag Specialties vendors can contact myself or our Sales and Production Manager Joanna Kaczmarek and we’ll get you more information on it.