viernes, 17 de febrero de 2012
miércoles, 15 de febrero de 2012
Hammarhead Industries is growing fast. To date, they’ve sold five Jack Pines and a couple of Woodsmen, and they have a firm order for the Ural Solo X we revealed last month. But no one had ordered a Volta. “Then out of the blue we are building one,” says founder James Hammarhead. “We are back in the game with the electric bike, and I will probably build a ‘naked’ version in parallel to this customer order.” Yes, despite appearances the Volta is an electric moto (and only the seventh one we’ve featured on the site over the past two years). The current crop of electric bikes does nothing for me, but there is something interesting about the Volta. Probably because it’s the antithesis of what you’d expect.
It’s a collaboration with the EnerTrac Corp, and according to Hammarhead, “The bike is based on a Royal Enfield Bullet, with modified sub-frame added to support the battery. It’s a nice candidate for electric conversion—a solid, simple open frame that’s widely available on the used motorcycle market. And there’s a huge reproduction parts and accessories market that is affordable.” My electrical knowledge is limited to replacing lightbulbs, so the specs mean little to me. But for our more engineering-oriented readers, the Volta uses “BLDC 3-phase permanent magnet brushless motors”. These have a 10KW continuous output with a 30KW peak. Current top speed is 75 mph, with a range of 50 miles, but Hammarhead is shooting for a goal of ’100/100′. Bringing that within reach is extra capacity in the electrical system: The current battery pack is a 32-cell setup, but there’s room to expand to 36 cells for more power. And the bike weighs just 368 lbs—the same as stock. If an electric moto ever found its way into my garage, it’d probably be this one. Tempting enough for you?
You don’t always need exotic underpinnings or titanium sidestands to take home a trophy at a bike show. ‘Rat Racer’ has just won its class at the Biker Fest in Udine, Italy, and it’s based on nothing more exotic than a Royal Enfield Bullet 350. The Bullet is a stone-age air-cooled thumper—cast iron—and one of the few motorcycles still in production with front drum brakes and a right-foot gear shift. But with an anemic 20hp available from the stock engine, those brakes will not be taxed too hard. It’ll be a fun machine to ride and it looks remarkably good—good enough to hold its own against some very expensive competition. So full credit goes to builders Michele Gamberini and Breska of Alambiccus Garage, who were assisted by renowned custom builder Roberto Totti. Totti has built more than one Enfield 350 in his time, and it looks like his advice was well-heeded.
martes, 14 de febrero de 2012
In Italy, the Royal Enfield name is synonymous with the dealer Royal McQueen. The Bologna shop sells nothing but India’s finest, and it also operates a thriving custom workshop. Royal McQueen’s latest creation is the ‘SuperNaag’—an affordable reworking of the Electra 500 that’s designed to evoke the charm of 70s enduro motorcycles. And in a strange way, it works. SuperNaag (a loose translation of ‘King Cobra’, apparently) is fitted with many custom parts: only the lights and the exhaust pipe are off-the-shelf accessories. Royal McQueen’s very eccentric proprietor Andrea Fontana will build each €10,800 (US$13,800) SuperNaag, and you get to choose the color and detailing. The finishing touch? As with all specials built by Fontana, the SuperNaag displays Built With Aloha on the tank