Watts With Electric Motorcycles ?

Porsche 618 Concept

You probably know
that many of my
posts have been
inspired by conversations
I have with folks
in the gym….

I guess it’s
natural enough, right?

BMW LS-218

Ok –
so I’ll tell ya
what’s not natural…
for me, at least.

Electric Motorcycles.


Oh sure, according to
a gym buddy of mine,
they’re the next big

They’re sleek, smooth
riding, quick, light, and
simple to operate.

And there’s certainly
been some solid
entries in the category

Bultaco “Rapitan”

I saw a electric Lotus
motorcycle at a car
show, and it not only
looked like something
from outer space, but
it woulda been a bitch
to ride- offering so
much power to the
throttle instantaneously
you’d need to strap
yourself to it to
stay on.

(of course, they
weren’t giving
test rides, but
yoweeeee. )

Voxan “Wattman”

There’s a new
electric street bike
by Voxan they’re
talking about now;
the “Wattman” is
a 200 horsepower
beast that will get
you 0 to 100 mph
in less than 6 secs-
again, though, it
looks like you could
ride it to Mars.

Harley-Davidson “Live Wire”

fixin’ to release the
“Live-Wire” in
August, 2019-
which is supposed
to be blazing fast
(0-60 MPH in 3 secs) –
with a range that
averages about 120
miles per charge.
If you don’t look
hard at it, you might
think they brought
back the Buell, but,
still, the $30,000 price
tag is bound to
shock you.

Brutus V9

If you’re throwing around
that kinda money,
(you know, like for
a Christmas gift ) then
maybe the Brutus V9 is
more my speed, anyway –
it looks like a traditional
cruiser, has a top end
around 115 MPH, and
gets about 250 miles
per charge; chicks
not included.

Fuell Flow 1S

Oh, speaking of Buell –
well, Erik Buell
is back in the
motorcycle business,
and his electric Fuell
“Flow 1S” will become
available in 2
versions, a 15 HP
and a 47 HP .

And, if you’re
more into dirt
than asphalt,
the Zero FX

Zero ” FX “

can be had
for under
$10,000 – 44 horses of
pure voltaic power with
70 foot pounds of torque
driving only 280 pounds
of bike – which really
only means a faster
crunch and munch
to me.

Yamaha PES-1

Yamaha has one too…
it’s the PES-1, with a
readily replaceable
lithium battery pack.
No price on that, yet,
but it does look more
like an honest to
goodness dirt bike,

BMW’s street entry,
the Lightning LS218,
is a natural for the
Autobahn –
and the world’s
fastest production
electric motorcycle:

BMW “Lightning” LS-218

200 horsepower
means a stunning,
0 to 60 MPH in 2
seconds flat.

Now you see it,
now you don’t.

And that brings up my
main problem with
electric motorcycles —
they’re so quiet and
powerful that you can
become a rather
large bug-splatter

BMW ER-80 Concept

– on somebody’s pickup
truck who was changing
lanes unexpectedly
without the driver even
noticing you were there.

I want to be seen,
and I want to be heard.

I want that V-twin rumble
to be felt in any surrounding
cage driver’s bottom when
I’m sharing the road with

Honda Electric Concept

And all of these bikes
are almost noiseless
and vibration-free.

So, despite the
amazing speed,
simplicity, and
smooth glide;
at least for this rider,
electric motorcycles
are still a piece of high
technology that I don’t
want or need, thanks,

!!! HOY !!!


Yamaha Gen-Yu Electric Concept



Franco Mosca’s Scooter Art

our weekly
Saturday Car Post
hosts a series of
Lambretta / Vespa
images from the
venerable Italian
( Piedmontese )
poster artist,
and illustrator
Franco Mosca.


Mosca was responsible
for the art in the annual
Lambretta calendars in
the years 1951 and

— his work is still much
favored among the fans
of the genre.


Actually, “Scooter Art”
has become increasingly
popular in the 2010’s —

— it certainly has a
special kind of charm
that Mosca’s work in
particular tends to


As previously stated,
Mosca was a well
known poster artist,
and also created
adverts for:

BMG Bicycles,
San Pellegrino,
Sesa Detergent,
Binacrin Shampoo,
Simmentha Meats,
Paglieri Perfume,
Kendall Motor Oil,
CGE Radio,
Amonn Farm Products,
Zuegg Jams,
Oransoda and
Lemonsoda, etc.


Mosca used several
styles in his posters,
and that sometimes
makes his art harder
to spot –

— for instance, he
did a good deal of
work in a neo-socialist
realistic style that is
very unlike any of the
ladies he created for
his Lambretta/Vespa

An example of this
style can be found
at the bottom of
this post.


He was a prolific
artist, living and
working well into
his 90’s, and is
in part for his
“Vespa Art”.



Just in case you’re
not familiar with
the Innocenti
(Lambretta) and
Piaggio (Vespa)
lines, both brands
were inspired by
American made
Cushman scooters
(used by G.I.’s)
after World War II
to create popular
economical small
rugged motorbikes,
and they became
ubiquitous throughout
Europe in the 1950’s
and 1960’s.

Lambretta production
has been discontinued
at present, but the
Vespa brand scooter
is still made today
at their plant near
Pisa in Tuscany-

— their most
popular markets
are in Italy,
and Southeast Asia.


! Ciao !


Franco Mosca – 1939 – Fiat 500











The Norton ES-2 Motorcycle



Today’s Car Post
is about one of
my favorite

– in this case,
a British made
rocket called the
Norton ES-2.


Similar to the
Norton Model 18,
in everything, that is,
but with springs on the
rear suspension and the
overhead valve engine
configuration, the ES-2
had a girder forked frame,
and used a single cylinder
500 cc engine.

It was an
extremely popular,
durable and versatile
motorcycle –


– for
the 36 years that
Norton built it –
between 1927
and 1963.

The machine
was especially
well thought of by
riders and mechanics
alike for it’s ease
of maintenance
and simplicity
of design.


Alec Bennett won
the winner’s podium
at the Isle of Man TT
in 1924 on a Model 18,
and the ES-2 was even
better and more nimble.

It’s top speed was
about 90 MPH –
– not bad for a single
cylindered 500.

The last real ES-2 rolled
off the assembly line
in 1963.

1965 MK2

( in 1965 , the parent
company of Norton,
AMC, produced
a “ES-2 Mark 2” based
on a “Matchless” frame
badged as a Norton. ) –>


!! HOY !!

1948 Norton ES-2

Muscleheaded’s Top Four Classic Motorcycles

motI always love to
make our wonderful
Muscleheaded readers
happy if I can…

Today, I had a
unique opportunity
to do that in
this post.

And me, too —
’cause I LOVE to ride, —

You see,

sidecarthis is a post on four —

(count ’em- four!)

(and which probably
explains the ridiculously
long title)

— it’s about gorgeous vintage (old) motorcycles.

One of my readers
had sent me an email
mentioning a post I did
some time ago called:

fastThe Best of Vintage British Motorcycles“.

The writer asked if I liked any other kinds of sleds other than Brit ones….

and, further inquired what I thought of German ones,

since she was …

… well..,

from Germany.

And truthfully,
although I’m obviously a
huge fan of English and American bikes,

— my all time favorite bike
was made in Germany, in the 1930’s.

Here it is.

Motorcycle of the Week -- 1934 BMW R-7 Concept

It’s called the 1934 BMW R-7.

This one-of-a-kind concept bike was made by BMW in 1933, and designed by the renowned German engineer Alfred Böning.

It’s striking appearance draws from the Art Deco movement, with it’s aero-dynamic wrap-around body,

——– but it’s beauty was much more than skin deep.

It featured a pressed-steel frame, and the first telescopic forks ever featured on a motorcycle.

r7The power plant, based on a 800 cc Boxer engine with hemispherical combustion chambers, made only about 40 horsepower,

….but could reach speeds of almost 100 miles per hour.

An automotive style shifter, controlling a four speed gear box, was mounted under the right handlebar.

The design was so cutting edge, that the bike is still winning awards today…

Perhaps, that’s because until 2005, the bike had been sealed in a container in the BMW warehouse…

It hadn’t been seen by the public since before World War II.

It had been a prototype for a new model, and with all the ‘excitement’ going on in Europe during the time, it was ‘put on ice’ until later.

Like, much later, man.

It’s currently valued at over 1.2 million dollars,
……. and resides at the BMW museum near Munich.

Nice, huh?

It’s a damn shame I won’t get to ride it…

A bike that doesn’t get ridden, especially by ME, isn’t really living up to it’s cosmic potential, but it sure is pretty, anyway.

I’m sure there’s other stuff I could say the same about, now that I think about it.

Next !

My second favorite is kind of singing the same tune as far as aerodynamics is concerned….

But it’s a British design
from the late 1950’s.


This motorcycle, called the 1958 Ariel Leader, was a beautifully thought out machine, with wrap around panels that concealed much of the workings, and had an ultra-modern sleekness to it –

The modernity extended even to the finishing touches,

For instance, it came with full advanced instrumentation including a clock, and an integrated windscreen.

Of course,
arielthe wrap around enclosure panels themselves were not new to English motorcycle design-

(and the Germans had pioneered the idea in the R-7 …. )

Vincent’s “Black Prince” had also used a very similar setup.

But, the Ariel promised a sharper, sleeker look, and offered an interesting array of colors, including red or blue offset with gray two tone paint schemes.

This bike might have done well
if plans for models with larger
displacement engines had come to fruition…

…… as it stood, it won the award
for 1959 “Motorcycle of the Year“.

It was a really cool look .

I can’t help but think that a
1000 CC size “Leader” would
have taken the American
market by storm, if it could
have been marketed and
engineered properly….

Which brings me,
….. to this bike.


You probably think of Ducati
as a manufacturer of exotic Italian racing bikes.

And, despite my pick isn’t
a crotch rocket, you’d still be right .

This one, although it doesn’t
look like it, I guess, would
literally accelerate until the
tires came off.

Developed to directly compete
with Harley Davidson, especially
in the United States market,
it never made it into mass production…..

The bike–
the full name of which was the:
1964 Ducati Berliner 1260 Apollofestival

— packed a 76 cubic inch (1250cc) 90 degree V-4 punch—

and it would actually accelerate faster than it’s tires would tolerate…..

Yep… to over 120 mph

…… at a time when motorcycle
tires weren’t sturdy enough
to take speeds over 90.

Yoooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeee — that’s for me, man.

Only two were made before
the whole project went up
in black smoke.

( Is that rubber burning, or
are you just happy to see me ? )

Now, I know a couple of my fellow
1%ers are responding to my choices
so far with some skepticism and
probably more than a little profanity
about the lack of an American bike
on this list.

Hey, so be it, shovel head….
I’m getting there, brother,
I’m getting there.

Don’t rush me, s’all.

‘Cause my last choice is sure
to make the whole read worth it.

No, it ain’t a 1929
Henderson Streamline K-J
or a 1930’s Super-X —
— too hard to keep in tune for
an incompetent mechanic like me.

No, it ain’t a 1945 Harley Davidson
WLA , although I’d kill for one of them.

No, it ain’t even an Indian,
………… and I’m a huge fan,
especially of the Indian Chief.

It’s this bike, right t’yere.


A 1937 Crocker Hemi 91 cubic inch V-Twin

For fifty years, it was the largest displacement motorcycle engine to ever have been produced… up until 1993.

It was available in three colors– blue, red or black.

You did have three choices in trim color too….
…. black,
or ,,,,, ummmm… lessee….
oh, yeah, black.

It was built at 1436
Venice Blvd, in Los Angeles, USA–

… by the Crocker Motorcycle Company, crocker
a year after they
started making V-Twins,
and only four years before they went belly up completely.

Their production of motorcycles had, at one time, been third behind Harley Davidson and Indian,

But now, even
simple parts for them,
like gas tanks–
—- are very expensive,
and even harder to get than a
date in the lobby of the V-D clinic.

You don’t see one of these bad boys
running on the road very often,
…. and when you do, the waxer
that’s riding it has got more
money than Elvis.

Which kinda ruins it for me, but still.



(Art by Enoch Bolles )

The 1964 Ducati Apollo


You might consider
yourself an expert vintage motorcycle aficionado,
and still,
you may not
recognize this sled….

………….. if not,
I quite understand.

You see, this Ducati, developed
to directly compete with Harley Davidson,
especially in the United States market,
never made it into mass production.

And you’ll probably just
love the reason why.

This bike– the
full name of Image result for 1964 ducati apollo berliner
which was the
“1964 Ducati Berliner
1260 Apollo
– packed a 76 cubic inch (1250cc)
90 degree V-4 punch—

and it would actually accelerate
faster than it’s tires would tolerate…..

to over 120 mph

…… at a time when motorcycle
tires weren’t sturdy enough to
take speeds over 90.

It would literally go
until the wheels fell off.

Two prototypes were manufactured –
– one still survives.

So, if you wanna ride one,
well, you might think
that you’re outta luck.

But I’m told the 2011 Honda
VFR1200 used much of the same
technology, including a powerful
V-4 configuration.

And you can probably find one
of those bikes for about 7 G’s
on Craigslist, sitting under 2
inches of dust in some
yuppie’s garage.

Or, you can go to the Ducati
museum in Kyushu, Japan
where the surviving Apollo is
and beg.

A lot .