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        1. Discover the ICON Airflite Jewel helmet with MIPS

          Speed Read, 17 January 2021

          The latest motorcycle news and customsThis week’s selection is as varied as they come—from a new, ultra-modern electric motorcycle, to an eclectic BMW boxer with raw finishes. Plus we have two entries from Poland: a rough and ready Honda CB450 scrambler, and a Triumph Scrambler 1200 with supermotard style.

          Sondors Metacycle electric motorcycle
          The Sondors Metacycle electric motorcycle Any conversation about electric motorcycles inevitably revolves around the tension between price, range and performance. So when we heard about a new two-wheeled EV that promises an 80-mile range and 80 mph top speed, and costs just $5,000, our interest was piqued.

          It’s called the Metacycle, and it’s the first motorcycle from the established Californian electric bicycle brand, Sondors.

          Sondors Metacycle electric motorcycle
          It’s a looker too, built around a cast aluminum frame and swingarm that take advantage of the blank slate that EV technology offers. By opting for a rear hub motor, Sondors have managed to keep the overall design compact and uncluttered. But with adjustable upside down forks and Bybre brakes (a Brembo brand), the Metacycle feels like it means business.

          Sondors Metacycle electric motorcycle
          It also features a removable battery that’ll charge in four hours, and a wireless smartphone charging box with a clear lid. Oh, and it weighs a paltry 200 lbs.

          Claimed figures from the hub motor are 8 KWh of nominal power or 14.5 KWh of peak power, and 80 ft-lbs of nominal torque or 200 ft-lbs of peak torque. Of course there’s no way of knowing how that translates into the real world without a test ride, and the maximum range undoubtedly depends on your average speed.

          Sondors Metacycle electric motorcycle
          But the numbers do give us an idea of where the Metacycle sits in the current market.

          At $5,000 it’s pricier than smaller pedelec (pedal electric cycle) bikes, like the Super73 RX. But it’s less than half the price of a Zero S, and a sixth the price of a Harley-Davidson LiveWire. With stats that tick the boxes for most urban commuters, the Sondors might just become the Suzuki DRZ400 of the EV world. [Sondors Metacycle]

          Honda CB450 Nighthawk scrambler by JasinTom
          Honda CB450 by JasinTom Motorcycles There’s something endearing about bikes that are made to be beat up. This 1986 Honda CB450 Nighthawk comes from Tomasz at JasinTom Motorcycles in Warsaw, and it’s a no-nonsense build that’s sure to be ridden hard at every opportunity.

          Tom’s a fan of bikes made between the 60s and 80s, so the twin-cylinder Honda’s a relatively young donor for him. For this project, he’s built a rough-hewn cross between a flat tracker, a scrambler and a ‘Bratstyle’ bobber.

          Honda CB450 Nighthawk scrambler by JasinTom
          Before Tom got to the cosmetic work, he had to strip down the well-worn motor and treat it to a full rebuild. Up top is a vintage Honda enduro fuel tank, followed by a slim leather seat, perched on a custom subframe. Tom shaped up a pair of side panels with mesh inserts, and added a basic rear fender. The license plate and taillight sit on a custom arrangement mounted to the swing arm.

          Honda CB450 Nighthawk scrambler by JasinTom
          There’s a gratifying mix of old and new parts on this Honda. The headlight’s a modern LED unit, but the exhaust mufflers and rear shocks were repurposed from elsewhere. And the handlebars were welded up by Tom himself. The paint’s a simple military green affair that even extends to the engine cases, which have been treated to a distressed effect.

          Tom’s Honda might not be a polished, high-end custom, but it sure looks like fun. Plus it apparently sounds “like a storm” and “can go sideways.” And it’s hard to argue with that. [JasinTom Motorcycles]

          Triumph Scrambler 1200 supermotard by Unikat
          Triumph Scrambler 1200 by Unikat The Triumph Scrambler 1200 is one of few modern classic scramblers that can actually hold its own on dirt. But Polish outfit Unikat have taken this Scrambler in another direction, by turning it into a big retro supermotard.

          The Scrambler’s also one of a growing number of heritage-focused motorcycles that looks really good out the box, making it hard to improve on. So the changes here are subtle rather than radical—but they make a big difference.

          Triumph Scrambler 1200 supermotard by Unikat
          The most obvious change are the wheels; 17” tubeless wire spoke items from Kineo. Higher up is a full twin exhaust system from Zard, and out back the rear fender’s been trimmed right down. The seat’s been recovered in leather, and the factory taillight and turn signals have been ditched for an all-in-one LED strip embedded out back. (The license plate’s been relocated to a side-mounted bracket).

          Triumph Scrambler 1200 supermotard by Unikat
          The front end’s sporting a high fender, headlight cover and small fly screen. Smaller add-ons include Rizoma reservoirs, Motogadget bar-end mirrors and turn signals, and hand-wrapped leather grips.

          The lush blue paint’s been inspired by McLaren, and is echoed in the seat stitching and wheel spoke nipples, with a bunch of other parts done in black. Added up, it’s a clean custom that just ‘works’—and should ride as sharp as it looks, too. [More]

          BMW R100/7 by Woidwerk
          BMW R100/7 by Woidwerk We’ve seen the venerable BMW boxer customized in every style imaginable by now. But luckily there are builders like Woidwerk’s Ralf Eggl, who know how to think way outside the box.

          This eclectic BMW R100/7 is what happened when a client told Ralf he likes wood and leather, and left the rest up to his imagination. Ralf envisioned a cafe racer with a mix of raw material finishes and a measure of patina, and sketched out an idea the very next day.

          BMW R100/7 by Woidwerk
          High on the list was finding a slimmer fuel tank—so he turned to his client’s father, who has an extensive collection of old bikes. Digging through his collection, they found a gas tank from the now defunct German manufacturer, UT, and matched it to the BMW.

          Next, Ralf shaped up a sheet metal base for the tail, before carving out a rear hump from a solid piece of walnut. The seat’s covered in leather, and the ‘rivets’ at the back of it actually hide three fasteners; you can remove the wooden bit for a more bobbed look. There’s more leather trim on the grips, foot pegs and speedo, and Ralf even used leather bits to tie down the cabling.

          BMW R100/7 by Woidwerk
          The oversized fenders at both ends were made by hand, and the rear carries a license plate bracket, taillight and turn signals, to keep things street legal. Ralf shortened the front suspension a touch, and installed a new pair of rear shocks from YSS. There’s also a V-Rod headlight, ABM clip-ons, and a Motogadget speedo sunk into a walnut housing.

          The exhaust was made to Ralf’s specification, by a friend that works at a German exhaust specialist. And since Ralf’s client is a nature lover, he added a hit of green to the bike, while still leaving most of the raw materials exposed. [Woidwerk]

          BMW R100/7 by Woidwerk

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