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ALL CLASS: BMW R80RT by Sol Invictus Motorcycle Co.

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Words by Steve Wong.

You know how the story goes… a guy’s father-in-law has an old bike in the shed. The guy wants to do it up, calls a mate and they hack at the seat, chop the frame and pop on some mirrors – bish bosh job done! Well, that’s not how this story goes. Stephen didn’t have much of a bike history but had always admired his father-in-law’s motorcycle laying dormant in the garage. The motorcycle in question was a completely stock 1983 BMW R80RT. Burgundy in colour with full fairings, panniers and the obligatory sheepskin seat cover. It was covered in dust and hadn’t been ridden in over 10 years, so Stephen plucked up the courage to ask his father-in-law if he could have the bike promising to “fix” it up for him.

The father-in-law said yes, but wasn’t aware of the plan Stephen had in mind. He called his mate John the owner of Sol Invictus Motorcycle Co to discuss the build. Armed with references from various build shops like Munich’s Diamond Atelier, a shop renowned for building dark, urban, yet minimalistic and aggressive bikes, the Sol team knew they were in for a challenge.

First came the teardown. The Sol team completely stripped the Beemer down to the frame finding the occasional rats nest amongst the chewed wires. Tearing a bike down gives a great insight to the way the engineers of the time solved engineering problems and cleverly designed solutions; and to say Beemers are over-engineered is no understatement.

Having been stationary for over ten years the motor was the first issue to deal with –  it was in need of some serio

2020 Triumph Rocket 3 R And Rocket 3 GT First Look

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The Rocket 3 GT and Rocket 3 R doing their mega-motored best to help rotate the Earth. They’ll be here in January.
The Rocket 3 GT and Rocket 3 R doing their mega-motored best to help rotate the Earth. They’ll be here in January. (Triumph Motorcycles/)

Triumph revealed the limited-edition Rocket 3 TFC in May, and all 750 units (225 for the US) were snapped up at their $29,000 MSRP. Now we have a full look at the regular production bikes, the Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT. Both feature the all-new three-cylinder engine displacing a massive 2,458cc, making it the largest production motorcycle engine in the world.

RELATED: Best Used Motorcycles With High Torque Engines

Yes, that’s a 240mm rear tire. Yes, we believed fitting extra-fat rear tires to motorbikes was passe. Its front tire, at 150mm, is as wide as a Sportster’s rear.
Yes, that’s a 240mm rear tire. Yes, we believed fitting extra-fat rear tires to motorbikes was passe. Its front tire, at 150mm, is as wide as a Sportster’s rear. (Triumph Motorcycles/)

An engine this big can't help but be the centerpiece of the newest Triumph, and it's an impressive-looking mill that has power numbers commensurate with its outrageous displacement. Triumph claims 165 crankshaft horsepower for the new Rocket, a modest bump of 11 percent over the previous 2,294cc triple that originally debuted in 2004.

But the key driver to the Rocket’s propulsion is its ridonculous torque: The purported 163 pound-feet of twist is more than any other motorcycle engine. Peak torque is achieved at 4,000 rpm, while max power is hit at 6,000 rpm on the way to the engine’s higher rev limit of 7,000 rpm.

RELATED: 1970 Triumph TR6 Trophy | ME & MY BIKE

Available lean angle in corners appears to be generous for bikes of the Rocket’s ilk. We’d like to round up a Ducati Diavel 1260 and a Yamaha VMAX for a musclebike shootout when the Rocket 3 hits our shores in January.
Available lean angle in corners appears to be generous for bikes of the Rocket’s ilk. We’d like to round up a Ducati Diavel 1260 and a Yamaha VMAX for a musclebike shootout when the Rocket 3 hits our shores in January. (Triumph Motorcycles/)

What’s new inside? Everything, including the crankcases and all internal parts. Piston bores go up from 101.6mm to 110.2, while their strokes narrow from 94.3mm to 85.9. Incredibly, Triumph claims the weight of the powerplant has dropped a ginormous 40 pounds.

Moderate clutch effort is promised by a torque-assist hydraulic clutch working with a six-speed gearbox. A hydroformed header arrangement looks butch and distinctive, routing exhaust gases to a collector that has three exits (one on the left side). A ride-by-wire throttle allows different riding modes and standard cruise control.

How do you tell a new Rocket from an old one without looking at it? Lifting it off its sidestand, you’d realize the Rocket 3 is some 88 pounds lighter than a Rocket III. Also</div>
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Motorcycle Shaft Final Drive Maintenance

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Shaft-driven motorcycles are often touted as having a maintenance-free method of delivering power to the rear wheel. In reality, they are low maintenance. Sure, you don't have to lubricate, clean, or adjust a chain, but there is some work required. Today on MC Garage, we talk about shaft final drive maintenance.

There are plenty of motorcycles out there with shaft drive, especially in any segment that has the word "touring" attached to the end of it. Some cruisers also use a shaft, and of course, Moto Guzzi forgoes a chain or belt drive. But usually most riders who think about shaft-driven motorcycles, a BMW with its paralever design comes to mind. And today we are going to be doing a final drive oil change on a 2019 R 1250 RT.

The list of required tools is short. You need an Allen bit, a container to catch the used oil, a funnel or squeeze bottle with a hose to get the fresh oil in, a torque wrench, and oil-resistant gloves. Used gear oil stinks and you don’t want the smell to hang around on your hands, even after you wash them. You’ll also need hypoid gear oil, a new crush washer for the drain bolt, and a new O-ring if you can remember to pick one up. I didn’t so I give you a warning on that a little later.

In this episode of <em>MC Garage</em> we show you how to maintain the shaft final drive mechanism on your motorcycle.
In this episode of MC Garage we show you how to maintain the shaft final drive mechanism on your motorcycle. (Bert Beltran/)

You need to use hypoid gear oil rather than just gear oil. Hypoid gear oil has extreme pressure additives to handle the extra heat and pressure between the ring and pinion gears in the rear end. BMW calls for a 75w-80 weight for its bikes, but as always, check your service manual for your bike’s oil and capacity.

Draining the oil is pretty straightforward. I like to drain the oil with the machine warm, as things flow a little quicker, but it’s not necessary. Start by loosening the drain bolt and removing it. I do this first because with the filler bolt still in place, the oil won’t come out quickly and flood all over your hands. After the drain bolt, pull the filler bolt and let things drain.

Once the oil is drained, check out the drain plug. It’s magnetic and will have some fine shavings on it most likely. Any big chips are a sign that you’ve got problems. Clean off the plug, but remove the O-ring first if you don’t have a replacement. Contact cleaner can cause the ring to swell and not seal properly. Install the plug with the O-ring and torque it to the proper spec.

Then you need to add the gear oil. This takes patience, the filling process will be slow going as the oil is thick. There are few special filler bottles, but a funnel will work if you’ve got the time. Just don’t rush it or the oil will go everywhere. Once the proper capacity is added, replace the filler bolt and torque to the proper spec.

That’s it. Follow the maintenance schedule and use the right lubricant for the job, and you should have a trouble-free, low-maintenance life with your shaft drive motorcycle.

An Upstate woman said the visiting Hells Angels motorcycle club members are helping keep her late son’s memory alive.

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CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) – An Upstate woman said the visiting Hells Angels motorcycle club members are helping keep her late son’s memory alive.

Christy Hubbard shared her experience on Facebook Wednesday, on what would have been her son, Clay Porter’s 21st birthday.

She said Clay took his own life in September of 2018 for reasons that the family still does not know or understand.

Hubbard said she set out Wednesday morning to “spread love and kindness in honor of Clay’s birthday,” so she went to Clemson, where she encountered a group of bikers, as the Hells Angels are in town for their annual summer rally.

Here’s what she said happened next:

If you know me… I am not intimidated easily and I literally think these guys were more worried about this crazy lady than I was worried.. Anyways I asked if I could talk to them for a second and of course they said yes, I gave them Clays card and a bracelet

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