Friday, 6 April 2018

Valerie Thompson

Thompson earns new record, walks away from 340 mph crash - at Australia’s Lake Gairdner World Speed Trials

Valerie Thompson survived a horrific crash in the Team “7” Racing Streamliner while attempting to capture the world’s fastest motorcycle title during the 28th Annual Speed Week and World Speed Trials competition at the Lake Gairdner dry lake bed in South Australia. 

Photo credit: FIM - Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme

While falling short of the ultimate goal to become the world’s fastest motorcycle, the team collected a new speed record and proved the superiority of leading-edge streamliner design by team engineers Denis Manning and John Jans.
Hosted by the Dry Lakes Racers Australia (DLRA), the 28th Annual Speed Week competition was open to cars, motorcycles and trucks. The World Speed Trials, a first-time event for motorcycles only, was held March 17-19. Thompson set a new streamliner record of 328.467 mph (528.616 km/h) during the Speed Week competition on March 15, earning her membership in the Dry Lake Racers Australia 200 and 300 MPH Clubs. She is only the second competitor to gain membership in the DRLA 300 MPH Club and was honored with the “Fast Lady on the Lake” award.
Thompson’s attempt to break the world’s overall fastest motorcycle record of 376.36 mph* (605.69 m/h) on the last day of the World Speed Trials went horribly wrong with a horrific crash. According to Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) reports and team video, Thompson had just passed the four-mile marker on a twelve-mile course when the rear of her streamliner rose off the racing surface, sending the vehicle airborne at 343.7 mph. Parachutes slowed the vehicle as it flipped and rolled multiple times, scattering wreckage for more than a mile across the Lake Gairdner salt flats. Thompson walked away with only minor bruises and lacerations.
“We had a singular goal of running 377+ mph to capture the record during the World Speed Trials. We used Speed Week to test and tune the bike, and I’m happy we set a new record and received the ‘Fast Lady on the Lake Award’,“ said Thompson.
“The wreck during the World Speed Trials was unfortunate, but we are not giving up on our quest for the new record. Most importantly, we proved the superiority of the moncoque carbon fiber design and safety features utilized by Denis Manning and John Jans.
“Without their dedication to high speed safety engineering, I would not have walked away - nobody has ever walked away from a 340+ mph crash on a motorcycle. I’d also like to thank the DLRA and all their race course workers who helped ensure my safety,” added a grateful Thompson.
“We’ve not determined what caused the problem - we’ll know more once we analyze the onboard data collection systems and review films in more detail,” said bike designer and AMA Hall of Fame member Denis Manning. “Valerie did an incredible riding job, doing everything she was supposed to and more. All of us at Team “7” Racing are relieved Valerie did not sustain any life-threatening injuries,” added Manning. A video by team member Lou Fischer is available at
Thompson is an eight-time land speed record holder on a variety of bikes ranging from Harley-Davidsons to BMWs and streamliners. She is a member of seven land speed racing 200 MPH Clubs, one 300 MPH Club and the first female to exceed 300 mph in Australia.

*The existing world record was set in 2010 by Rocky Robinson in the twin Hyabusa engined Ack Attack streamliner. It had previously been twice set by Flat Track race legend Chris Carr in an earlier iteration of the current “7” bespoke 3 liter 90-degree V4 engined streamliner. Both teams are engaged in a duel to put the record over the illusive 400 mph mark, with Team Ack Attack having gone to the Salar de Uyuni high altitude (12,500 ft) salt flat in Bolivia - the biggest salt flat on Earth (4,000 sq miles) in the same search for salt that took Valerie Thompson and her team to Australia. The record that Carr set in what was then called the BUB Seven Streamliner (at Bonneville Salt Flats in September 2009) was a two-way average speed of 367.382 mph to set a new FIM-sanctioned International and AMA-sanctioned National land speed record for motorcycles - Carr having piloted it to a 372.534 mph run on the way to that record. 


Yamaha reports all sectors up

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has announced its results for its full year 2017 with Net sales of 1,670.1 billion yen (an increase of 167.3 billion yen or 11.1% compared with the previous fiscal year), “with each segment reaching the highest level to date”.

Operating income was 149.8 billion yen (an increase of 41.2 billion yen or 37.9% against the same period the previous fiscal year), ordinary income was 154.8 billion yen (an increase of 52.8 billion yen or 51.7% against the same period the previous fiscal year).
“Net sales increased thanks to the effects of yen depreciation and strong sales of motorcycles in the ASEAN region, outboard motors in the US and surface mounters and industrial robots. Operating income has increased thanks to increases in net sales and sales of products in the higher price range, along with improvements in profitability such as cost reductions through manufacturing methods of theoretical-value-based production, and development methods for platform and global models in the motorcycle business, which prevented rising expenses.
For its motorcycles segment, net sales were 1,045.2 billion yen (an increase of 115.1 billion yen or 12.4% compared with the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 68.8 billion yen (an increase of 32.9 billion yen or 91.4%).
“Unit sales increased in the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam, but decreased in developed markets and Indonesia. Unit sales across the entire business were approx. 5.4 million units, the highest year on year increase achieved since 2011. As a result, net sales increased, and operating income increased substantially thanks to increased sales of products in the higher price range and the effects of cost reductions in emerging markets such as Brazil and the ASEAN region.
“In the ASEAN region, we are continuing our product launches in order to demonstrate a strong presence in each market while maintaining increased profitability through platform models. In developed markets, we will create new demand by launching products that demonstrate the brand's distinctiveness and implementing marketing in the unique style of Yamaha”.

BMW Motorrad

BMW GS Trophy - Central Asia

The GS Trophy is heading to Mongolia in June 2018 for what BMW says “will be its biggest challenge yet. With three new teams joining the competition (Australia, India and a second International Female Team), and now with eight days of competition to allow for the huge distances, the sixth BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy, held in Central Asia, is set to break all records.

“For 2018, Mongolia will offer much more in just the one experience as the riders will venture from mountains to the desert via the vast Mongolian Steppe (high-altitude grasslands). The scale for this edition is truly epic”.
Mongolia is both huge (at 1.5 million square kilometres it’s about three times the size of Germany) and sparsely populated – with a population of just 3 million, you’d have to travel to Antarctica to find a less densely populated region.
From Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, to Munich (home of BMW Motorrad) is about 8,250 km by road and track, a journey that typically takes around three weeks, or 13 hours by plane. “It shares its southern border with China, while Russia (essentially Siberia) lies to the north. The plateau sits at an altitude of around 1,000-1,500 m above sea level, and while this will keep the temperatures cooler, the participants should expect anything between 0°C nights through to about 25°C during the day. Conditions can be extreme - high winds and dust storms are not uncommon. And while Mongolia is a surprisingly sunny country (averaging around 250 sunny days a year), summer is the rainy season”.
The Central Asia 2018 event is the sixth staging of the biennial GS Trophy, the previous races took place in South East Asia (Thailand) in 2016, North America (Canada) in 2014, South America (Chile, Argentina) in 2012, South Africa (SA, Swaziland, Mozambique) in 2010 and North Africa (Tunisia) in 2008. This edition will see 18 teams competing, comprising 54 riders. The event begins on June 1, 2018.

SIP Scooter Shop

SIP Dealer Day 2018

German Scooter parts and accessory specialist SIP Scooter Shop hosted more than 50 scooter retailers at its annual ‘Dealer Day’ in February at the all-new 6,000 sq m “Palace of Scooter Loveliness” that hardcore self-confessed Vespa aficionados Alex Barth and Ralf Jodl opened two years ago to house the business they started in 1994.

Initially created to answer their own frustration in finding the scooter parts they needed as enthusiasts, today the company carries more than 24,000 scooter parts and accessories, nearly 2,000 of them under their own SIP brand.
After the registration and welcome there was first a breakfast in the Italian themed SIPERIA bar that is integrated into the on-site showroom -  the “most travelled” dealer having come some 800 km to attend the event.
The German wholesaler hosted tours of the facility after some “welcome” words by sales manager Stephan Hufschmid; dealers were able to understand the logistics and management and quality control procedures that processes their orders, gain insights into the philosophy of the business and the range of parts available for use in their workshops and for sale in their stores, and see testing facilities such as the in-house dyno.
Brand new parts on show for the first time included SIP performance cable kits for Vespa and Lambretta that have never been available in volume before for the classic scooters, and new SIP performance ignitions for Vespa and Lambretta – ignitions with more than 110W and a flow and weight optimised engine fan wheel.

In addition, there were several seminars from the product management of SIP, highlighting the latest parts in inventory and top-sellers, with the theme being “POS - additional sales in the workshop”.
Pirelli was on site with their Sales Manager Klaus Thönig and their current scooter tyres range, and there was also plenty of time to network while enjoying Pizza in the SIPERIA or later at a dealer dinner. However, Jodl points to the occasion being far from a one-way exchange as it gives SIP the invaluable feedback any business needs in order to better serve their customers and help move their dealers’ businesses forward in the next 12 months.


Husqvarna Factory Enduro team

The 2018 Husqvarna Motorcycles Rockstar Energy Factory Racing team will compete in the World Enduro Super Series, featuring official team riders Graham Jarvis, Colton Haaker, Billy Bolt and Alfredo Gomez. 

“Combining Hard Enduro, Classic Enduro, Cross-Country and Beach Racing”, the newly established World Enduro Super Series will form “an exciting new challenge for all four Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders. Spearheading the team’s efforts in this multi-discipline enduro championship will be Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis and Colton Haaker.
“A three-time Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble winner and holder of a record six victories at Romaniacs, Jarvis will make use of his hard enduro prowess in the hope of becoming the Ultimate Enduro Champion. As for Haaker, the two-time FIM SuperEnduro World Champion is determined to demonstrate his acute speed and riding skills in the fast approaching series”.
The team will be further strengthened by Billy Bolt and Alfredo Gomez (currently recovering from injury). “Up and coming 19-year-old Bolt is gearing up for what’s expected to be a thrilling inaugural season of WESS competition. Still recovering from his recent knee surgery, Alfredo Gomez is working towards making his competitive return to racing during the coming season of WESS competition”.
The World Enduro Super Series kicks off with the Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal on May 11/13, 2018.

Blackstone TEK

BST Rapid TEK innovation – “Technology made beautiful”

South African carbon fibre wheel specialist Blackstone TEK presents what Managing Director Gary Turner says is “the best bolt-on performance part in the world.


“Our elegant 5-split spoke Rapid TEK wheel has an ‘edgy’ new look, but also showcases BST engineering with its super light weight and the unique high pressure forged carbon hub areas.
“It’s a direct replacement for the OEM wheels, making it easy to use. Produced by BST from concept to volume production, these wheels have been subjected to the same rigorous testing as all the BST wheels. Our Rapid TEK carbon fibre conventional rear wheel offers interchangeable parts so that a rider can swap wheels when he changes his motorcycle. That’s a neat piece of engineering.”

BST’s ‘value proposition’ is simple: “It’s all about bang for the buck - this is the best performance enhancer available for your ride. The reduction in weight and rotational inertia gives instant gratification and a significant performance advantage through improved handling, later braking and quicker acceleration. 

“The enhancement to performance is greater than any other modification a rider could make to his or her motorcycle for the equivalent cost. The additional benefit of interchangeable hubs also increases the life span and value of the wheels.”
Gary goes on to say that they don’t only look great in their wide choice of available colourways, but that they are “extremely durable. The strength to weight ratio of carbon fibre is well known and is utilised to its fullest by BST. We apply the most stringent testing standards to both our OEM and aftermarket wheels.
“BST is the only carbon wheel manufacturer that is ISO 9001:2008 certified, audited by the German TÜV, and that adheres strictly to the JWL and DOT E specifications.
“The interchangeable hub means you will now be able to use your wheel on different motorcycles by simply replacing the brake adapter, and our new BST designed high-pressure forged composite drive side means you can expect only the best in performance.”

Terry Annecke, Operations and Marketing Director, at EICMA in 2017

The exceptional performance all stems from where the weight is saved and the high strength - the lighter rim lowers the moment of inertia; this results in quicker response and reaction to the rider’s commands, faster acceleration and quicker braking.
Sold with a 2-year factory warranty, the wheels are made in pre-preg carbon fibre with hubs in 6082 T6 aluminium and BST ultra high speed 90-degree aluminium valve stem and cap. The fronts are 3.5” by 17” (weighing 2.7 kg complete, with 388 kg impact and 155 kg static load rating), the rears are 6.0” by 17” (weighing 2.4 – 2.6 kg complete, excluding sprocket carrier and depending on fitment, with a 420 kg impact and 280 kg static load rating) and are available for selected BMW S 1000R/RR, Ducati models, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Yamaha and even the Bimota BB3.

The cornering frequency is 38.1 Hz for the front and 36.9 Hz for the rear; front wheel torsion is 529 Nm, 1,030 Nm rear; bending is 514 Nm front and 719 Nm rear for 1m cycles; front bending stiffness is rated at 1,483 Nm/degree, front, and 1,636 Nm/degree for the rear; rotational inertia is 40,300 mm3 for the front and 37,300 kg mm3 for the rear.


What Is Carbon Fibre?
A carbon fibre is a long, thin strand of material about 0.0002-0.0004” (0.005-0.010 mm) in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in microscopic crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fibre. The crystal alignment makes the fibre incredibly strong for its size. Several thousand carbon fibres are twisted together to form a yarn, which may be used by itself or woven into a fabric. The yarn or fabric is combined with epoxy and wound or moulded into shape to form various composite materials.
Carbon fibre-reinforced composite materials are used to make aircraft and spacecraft parts, motor cycle structural elements, wheels, racing car bodies, golf club shafts, bicycle frames, fishing rods, automobile springs, sailboat masts, and many other components where light weight and high strength are needed.
Carbon fibres are classified by the tensile modulus of the fibre. The English unit of measurement is pounds of force per square inch of cross-sectional area, or psi. Carbon fibres classified as “low modulus” have a tensile modulus below 34.8 million psi (240 million kPa). Other classifications, in ascending order of tensile modulus, include “standard modulus,” “intermediate modulus,” “high modulus,” and “ultra-high modulus.” Ultra-high modulus carbon fibres have a tensile modulus of 72.5 -145.0 million psi (500 million-1.0 billion kPa).
As a comparison, steel has a tensile modulus of about 29 million psi (200 million kPa). Thus, the strongest carbon fibres are ten times stronger than steel and eight times that of aluminium, not to mention much lighter than both materials, 5 and 1.5 times respectively. Additionally, their fatigue properties are superior to all known metallic structures, and they are one of the most corrosion-resistant materials available, when coupled with the proper resins.

The effects of inertia By Gary Turner

Lightweight wheels are without a doubt the best performance product that can be purchased for a motorcycle. Instant performance is gained in all major areas - it's something the rider feels immediately – it's instant gratification.
When comparing wheels and weights, it is not always the overall weight that matters, but rather the weight distribution in each particular wheel which affects the performance of the wheel. A lighter rim means better performance. Carbon wheels generally have much lighter rims and carry the bulk of their weight in the hub – and the hub has little effect on the performance of the wheel.
But weight is NOT the only consideration. Lighter wheels will make a major difference to the handling of a motorcycle, but they will also improve your acceleration and deceleration (braking).
This is because the weight of the wheels isn’t at work in isolation. What is even much more important is the rotational inertia of the wheels, namely how much weight is close to the axle and how much weight is further away from the axle.
Clearly the energy needed to turn wheels obviously comes from the engine. If you need less energy or power to turn your wheels, the available power accelerates the wheel quicker and you will end up with a higher maximum speed.
The lighter the wheels, the less your unsprung mass. This means that your suspension has to work less to dampen the wheels, and it will therefore track the ground surface much better, giving better control and performance.
It is more difficult to move or steer a rotating mass than a stationary mass (try to move a spinning bicycle wheel). If you reduce the mass, and specifically the rotating inertia, the force required to move or steer the mass is reduced significantly. Putting lighter wheels on a motorcycle will reduce the steering forces significantly and therefore have a positive influence on driver fatigue.
No other performance-enhancing product gives the same benefit/price ratio.


Surflex T-Max high performance OE replacement clutch kit

Italian clutch specialist Surflex has released a new clutch disc kit for the various patterns of Yamaha’s T-Max maxi scooter.

“This kit can satisfy the demands of all users who require a perfectly effective clutch, and of all riders who take part in maxi scooter competitions on the circuit and desire to have an agile, reliable set-up - a clutch that is reliable and agile on the street, but powerful and responsive enough to be a winner on the circuit”.
The trimmed discs have a die-cast aluminium plate with model and application specific friction material coating formulation specified for very particular demands of T-Max applications. The friction material mix is composed of “ecologically friendly” fibres with the latest high-tech, durable resins to deliver all the engine power to the rear wheel by being able to handle the high temperatures generated without ever getting “bulges”.
“This kit means you can have both burning starts and modular clutches, keeping the power delivery constant even when the clutch is subject to long duration heavy stress cycles. The kit is a straight replacement for the OE clutch and is sold complete (all discs), or with trimmed discs only”.


Oxford Products

From Oxford to the world

International distributor Oxford Products played host to its dealers late last year, and following a massive new product programme in 2017 there was plenty for the delegates from 26 different countries to discuss.

Always a prolific innovator and developer of new product ideas, Oxford offers one of the broadest ranges of high volume and speciality products available to dealers in Europe - helmets and apparel, security, luggage and advanced accessories - with thousands of them detailed in the new, biggest-ever 468-page catalogue for 2018.

Oxford’s feature rich, award winning Montreal Textile Jacket is an adventure jacket with waterproof drop liner, incorporating Rainseal technology.
For 2018, the updated version 3.0 features a tall, Amara lined, multi-adjustable collar with neoprene edging to give a good seal with maximum comfort and reflective panels at the front, top and back for 360-degree visibility. It has Ripstop and CE armour in the shoulders and elbows and the external pocket for the armour in the elbow is designed to move less in the event of an incident. 

The design includes Oxford’s intelligent adjustment in the arm using elastic straps for extra flexibility and comfort when riding; soft Amara on the cuffs plus a large adjustment gusset. Two large box pockets at the front are expandable, water resistant and include hand warmers.
There are generous accordion stretch panels on the rear, deep cutaway on the front hem, plus a ‘Continental Cut’ (extended tail) for extra weather protection and rear box pocket on the rear. It has airflow vents front and rear, hard wearing spear-toothed enduro main zip, thick thermal liner, Oxford’s Rainseal hood is enclosed in the neck and there is provision for an optional back protector.
To match the jacket, the Montreal 1.0 glove features a full leather palm, 100 g Thinsulate liner, moulded knuckle protection, adjustable cuff, baked on 3M reflective material, accordion stretch on all four fingers, extra protection along length of pre-curved fingers and suede visor wipe.

The “stylish and versatile” Digby short boot is a CE Level 1 Certified “genuine rider” in leather with a waterproof membrane, reinforced sole, toe, heel and ankle protectors, heavy duty tread design and  anti-hyperextension sole. 

Seen here in ‘Tech Grey’, Oxford’s Quebec 1.0 adventure style jacket features a waterproof drop liner, which includes Rainseal technology, tall collar with two adjustment points, neoprene at the edge and spacer mesh in the collar to make the whole jacket breathable. 

There are reflective panels at the front, top and back for 360-degree visibility, ripstop on the shoulders, upper arms and back of the arms for better protection, CE armour in the shoulders and elbows with the external armour pockets at the elbows designed to make the protection less likely to move in the event of a fall.
It also includes Oxford’s intelligent adjustment in the arm adjustment straps for extra flexibility and comfort when riding, soft Amara on the cuffs, large adjustment gusset, two large Napoleon box pockets and two water resistant box pockets, deep cutaway on the front hem, a ‘Continental Cut’ (extended tail) and box pocket on the rear, air vents, 100g thermal liner and back optional back protector provision.


Oxford’s Drystash waterproof travel bag is made from a durable 600D Polyester with weather-proof closure system, fully taped seams and padded shoulder strap with Oxford’s unique Oxford safety attachment system. The bags are available in 25, 30 and 45 litre capacities.

The Screamer XA7 alarm disc lock is a 110dB alarm siren with 7 mm locking hardened pin, long life lithium battery, motion and shock sensors and a water resistant keyway cover with three high security keys. Additional disc locks from Oxford include the Alpha, Quartz and Scoot XA. 

Oxford retro-fit HotGrips are an easy fit heated grip solution in a choice of lengths and styles that come with a weatherproof intelligent heat controller (with LEDs) for nine heat settings, heat setting memory and battery saving mode.


Available in a choice of designs, Oxford silicone tank clamps and grips with pre-moulded cut lines are oil, chemical and temperature resistant paintwork protectors.