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Benefits of Motorcycle Riding Later In Life

When you picture your golden years, you might never have imagined that some of your best days would be spent cruising around on a motorcycle, but that is exactly what more and more people are doing later in life.

California Department of Motor Vehicles data shows that baby boomers make up 56 percent of the almost 1.4 million Californians licensed to operate motorcycles, while only 30 percent of Class M licenses are held by people ages 16 through 40. There are many factors that might contribute to the larger number of older riders.

Why Start Riding

After 40 is the time when most parents become empty nesters, which affords not only more time to enjoy hobbies like motorcycle riding but also the disposable income that can make owning a recreational vehicle like a bike or a trike possible.

After a decade or two of cruising around in family-friendly minivans and SUV’s from soccer practice to dance class and every other extra-curricular activity, motorcycles are a great way for a couple to reconnect and begin to explore the sites, scenery, and activities that they didn’t have time to enjoy when raising a family.

A Great Way to Unplug

For most people, a motorcycle represents freedom and even that little bit of rebellion that we all hope is still alive somewhere inside the responsible adults that we have become. Just taking a few hours for an afternoon ride can leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Riding offers you time to unplug from email, text messages and the rest of the world to focus just on what is around the next curve. And taking a long weekend just to explore and unwind can feel as good as any week of vacation that you can recall. There are actually some very simple reasons why bike enthusiasts experience this clarity after a ride.

Mental Benefits

Dr. Michael Russell has been riding motorcycles for over four decades and has witnessed many of the mental health benefits of riding over his career. He refers to riding as a meditative activity as he explained in an interview earlier this year.

“The attention needed to ride safely but with ‘energy’ requires near complete concentration,” he explains. “The mental demands of riding can help keep your mind clear and sharp, while the brotherhood that exists among bikers is very genuine. Riding with brothers (and sisters) provides significant psychological relief from excessive worry.”

Physical Benefits

In addition to mental health benefits, riding also offers some very important physical health benefits. Riders need to maintain at least a minimal level of physical fitness to enjoy riding. There is some walking involved, as well as the fitness level needed to get on and off the bike, don riding gear and to have the stamina for the ride itself.

Riding also requires a certain degree of strength and balance, which is used and practices with each adventure. And possibly the biggest physical health benefit is that motorcycle riders need to have quick reflexes to avoid possible dangers.

As mature adults, we all know and understand that staying in good shape will help to keep our reflexes faster which will also help to keep us alive in the event of a car suddenly stopping or swerving into our lane.

Making Smart Choices

And that same mature thought process is also what we all rely on to tell us when we have reached the time to make some changes in our riding or to close that chapter of our lives. It is critical that each rider be honest with himself or herself about both physical and mental capabilities needed to ride safely.

This can mean electing not to join the group for a ride on a cool day when a trick hip is giving you problems or when you are experiencing some vision issues. Or it could mean that it’s time to trade in two wheels for three.

Three-Wheeled Options

Trikes are the large three-wheeled motorcycles that many older riders are turning to for the added stability and comfort that they offer. In addition to the added comfort for riders, these larger yet still sporty vehicles offer a multitude of storage and cargo capacity as compared to a two-wheeler. This makes them a great option for an overnight trip or a long weekend.

The Can-Am Spyder and the Polaris Slingshot have also entered the three-wheeled arena as rivals to the trike industry leading Tri Glide and Freewheeler models from Harley Davidson.

Check Out the Market

What might surprise some riders who are considering the addition of a third wheel, is the cost of these bikes. The cruiser touring models of the Spyder line start at just over $26,000 while the Slingshots come in at about $20,000 for a base model. And as always, the Harley holds an impressive price tag at over $34,000 for a new Tri Glide Ultra.

To put this into perspective, the average sport touring two-wheel bike will run you between $10,000 and $15,000 in the states, while the superbikes are going to come in at anywhere from $15,000 to north of $30,000 depending on the brand and your need for speed.

Live the Dream

Regardless of the type of bike that you choose, the point is that just because you are a little bit older does not mean that you can’t become a motorcycle rider or continue to ride. Older riders simply need to be honest about both physical and mental capabilities and make smart choices about when to ride and even what to ride.

There are many options that can offer more comfort, easier maneuvering and require far less balance and strength sport bikes or large cruises. Riders just need to find the perfect bike to fit their needs later in life so that they can begin to continue to enjoy all of the benefits of motorcycle riding.

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Trilobite Go-Up Jeans Hands-On Review


Trilobite Go-Up Jeans in 3 different poses

I really appreciate when a manufacturer engages with me in regards to a product that I reviewed. I’ll take the negative with the positive because the important thing is it shows they’re paying attention to independent and unbiased reviews like those we publish here at Web Bike World.

The story of this review you are about to read started with a phone call I received from Jason at Motonation. He informed me that Trilobite had seen my review of their Ton-Up jeans and that they wanted to send me a pair of new jeans designed around the comments in my review of the Ton-Up’s.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans packaging

I asked Jason to clear this with our editor and told him if all checks out I’d be happy to do this and that honestly, I was a bit flattered that they did this based on my comments. I received a box a few weeks later with a new pair of riding jeans as well as a couple of other pieces from the Trilobite catalog (reviews coming).

In addition to the gear was a letter from the CEO at Trilobite describing how they appreciated the review and how the enclosed jeans are the result of that review. So now that my head is getting almost too big for my helmet, I better get started on the actual review.

The Trilobite Go-Up Jeans

The Go-Up jeans are a study in simplicity, at least on the surface. The appearance is pure and simple blue jeans – dark blue denim with yellow-orange stitching, five* pockets, a button fastener, and a metal zipper. Except for a small metal Trilobite logo riveted to the coin pocket and ”Trilobite” embossed on the button, these jeans are stealthily giving no indication they are protective riding gear.

The packaging has a style all it’s own just like the Go-Up jeans do. A cardboard box with shredded paper filling the interior around the jeans. There is also a single newspaper-style page with info and “stories” about the Dyneema material and other features about their jeans. This is all in Czech so I’m unable to read it but it’s a neat touch nonetheless.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans package contents

There are also a series of heavy-duty card stock printed tags attached to the jeans which provide info about the features. One of the tags has a chart showing the abrasion resistance based on the ECE 13595-2 standard which as a reviewer I find helpful as I don’t have to hunt this info down.

Among the tags is a personalized tag from the individual who actually handcrafted this pair including a black and white photo, their signature, date, and serial number for this pair of Go-Up jeans.

Serial numbers on jeans? Yup!

That’s important as the jeans carry a five-year warranty so one should take a minute and register them (I need to do this!). It will help in case one needs to order replacement parts, not that there are many, and it does add a personal touch.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans serial number and care instructions


The main body of these jeans is made from a special blend of cotton and Dyneema ®. Dyneema ® is a UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) material that offers very high abrasion resistance, even in low concentrations as used here. For reference, this material is used for products such as industrial fishing nets, boat mooring ropes, and even snowboards. Tough stuff for sure.

In the case of the Go-Up jeans, the denim includes 14% Dyneema ®, 67% cotton, 10% nylon, 8% polyester, and 1% elastane. Despite the variety of yarns used in this denim it still feels much like traditional cotton denim albeit a bit stiff when compared side by side.


Trilobite Go-Up Jeans logo and stitching

Holding all this material together is some very straight and even stitching with not a single stitch or thread out of place that I could find. Even the interior stitches are properly trimmed and neat giving the jeans a quality finish to the overall garment. The main outside seams on the legs are triple stitched for extra strength and something I think should be standard on any riding jeans.

Belt Loops

There are five belt loop points at the waist with two loops at five positions. Unlike the Ton-Up jeans, the rear loop is also doubled. In my review of those jeans, I called out that the rear should be doubled as well in case one has a jacket that fastens to a belt. It is nice to see that they agreed and implemented this.

Button Closure

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans button closure

The main fastening point at the waist uses a large metal button riveted to the material. Below that is a metal YKK zipper with very smooth action which leads me to believe it is brass. There is an additional zipper in the “hidden” pocket (see below) which is unbranded and not a smooth acting as this one.


Trilobite Go-Up Jeans full view flat

Speaking of pockets, the Go-Up jeans have the standard five pocket arrangement and the pockets are all very large. Pretty much any mobile device should fit in these pockets with room to spare. The coin pocket is even large enough to fit the entire width of my hand. No worries about trying to retrieve a bike key from this pocket, even with gloves on.

The rear pockets are small by comparison to the front but I would call them about average in size to most jeans. They do sit a bit low compared to some of my non-riding jeans and I wonder if this is a European thing. The Bull-it SP120’s I recently reviewed had the rear pockets in a similarly low position.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans rear view flat

Trilobite includes an additional “hidden” pocket on these jeans that open just ahead of the main seam on the outside of the left thigh. The Go-Up jeans had this pocket too but for some reason, it seems to blend in better here. I keep forgetting it is there and nearly missed it during my initial product photo session for the review.

This pocket is the right size for a wallet and even many mobile devices. My own Moto X4 (5.2” screen) fits in with a little room to spare for comparison. This zippered pocket makes a for a secure sport to store items like this during a ride.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans pockets

The zipper for the opening has a pretty fine pitch and isn’t waterproof so keep this in mind in case the weather looks iffy. The sliding action of this zipper isn’t as smooth as the main zip and combined with the fine pitch require a bit of effort to move. At the same time, this could be by design to make sure the zip stays in place once closed.

Protective Features

The Go-Up jeans are essentially one big abrasion resistant protective shell. The Dyneema ® infused denim is the protective feature of the jeans and there is no armor included or pockets in which to install any.

This goes along with the minimalist design to keep these jeans light, comfortable, and also keeps the cost down. The material is rated for nearly two seconds of slide time according to ECE 13595-2 which is certainly better than cotton denim which can shred away almost immediately.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans inside out

Of course one shouldn’t expect it to hold up to a long slide associated with high speeds and that’s not what these were designed for. These are more at home for the city/urban rider were speeds are much lower than those ones might reach on the highway.

The absence of armor might be a dealbreaker for some but Trilobite does recommend one wear strap on knee protectors like MX style protectors for best protection. This is something that I prefer and often do this when wearing most riding pants unless they fit very closely.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans inside out rear view

The straight cut of the Go-Up jeans easily accommodates my Shift Racing and Fox Racing knee protectors that I wear under my jeans and other textile riding pants. As I understand it they designed them this way based on what I said about this in my Ton-Up jeans review. Trilobite might even have their own option in the works for this very situation but I can’t confirm it at this time.

Unless one has some sort of armored shorts to wear, which I don’t anymore, there is still not an easy way to add hip armor which is something I feel strongly about having. Having a patch of hook and loop fastener inside the waist at each side would make it easy for one to place armor in the right position if desired. Several manufacturers have hip armor with this type of fastener already in place that could be implemented.

Fit & Comfort

Trilobite sent me the same size in the Go-Up jeans that I had received in the Ton-Up jeans I reviewed last year. However, these size 36 jeans were a bit loose when trying them on. Measuring waist revealed they run about a size large at 38 inches.

A belt allowed me to wear them comfortably enough and I should point out that these could be from a very early production run as they are a new product. Potential buyers may want to check with the sellers before ordering.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans inner waist labels

The denim contains a small amount (1%) elastane so it has a bit of stretch which works well for staying comfortable in the riding position. In fact, when wearing them I wouldn’t know I wasn’t wearing regular denim. They are a little stiff as they are still pretty new but I see them breaking in well over time.


Like a lot of high abrasion fabrics, denim in the Go-Up jeans will last considerably longer if it is only washed when needed. While the material stands up well to “physical” attacks, chemicals in detergents can shorten the life of the jeans.

There is a label in the waistband that recommends going “as long as possible” before washing. There are also places on the label for one to record dates of laundering to help keep track.

Trilobite Go-Up Jeans wash cycle calendar


The Go-up jeans are an interesting take on the motorcycle riding jean. Perhaps I’m a bit biased since they did take some of my own comments to heart when designing these jeans. The simple and straightforward design makes them very light and flexible making for a comfy pair of jeans.

The lower amount of Dyneema ® (14%) compared to the previously reviewed Ton-up jeans (52%) does mean they will be less durable in a crash situation. The same goes for the lack of armor since they don’t offer any impact protection on their own. Of course, the price is lower compared to the Ton-Up jeans so it is reasonable to believe the Dyneema ® content is partly responsible for the premium cost.

At $249.00, the Go-up jeans are still a little pricey but part of the cost is due to fees and taxes importing them to the USA. In Europe, the Go-up jeans cost 165,25 Euros which currently exchanges to about $186.00 as of this writing. Our European readers will likely see that as a pretty reasonable price.

In the final analysis, the jeans are a simple and durable solution for city riders who don’t plan on reaching highway speeds. I appreciate the fact that Trilobite took the time to make changes based on our feedback. Whether it was us or another source, the point is they are listening and that’s a good way to keep their customers happy.


  • Lightweight
  • Dyneema / cotton blend denim
  • Durable construction
  • Minimalist design


  • Price a little high in the USA market
  • Runs a size large (in this example)


  • Manufacturer: Trilobite
  • Price (When Tested): $249.00 (USD) / 165,25 €
  • Made In: Czech Republic
  • Alternative models & colors: Blue
  • Sizes: 30 through 44
  • Review Date: March 2019



Trilobite Go-Up Jeans Image Gallery

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Not your typical custom: A Kawasaki ER-6n from France

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles
Every time I consider getting myself a super-sensible daily runner, the Kawasaki ER-6n pops up on my radar. It’s cheap, makes decent power and handles well. Smiles for dollars, it’s hard to beat…if you don’t mind the looks.

Given the limited pool of ‘acceptable’ custom donors these days, the ER-6n is not a bike you often see. But Lionel at Duke Motorcycles in Nice, France, is a believer. Until recently, his commuter bike was a white 2011-model ER-6n. Then he bought a Ducati Monster 600—and wondered what to do with his middleweight naked Ninja.

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles
Lionel dragged the ER-6n onto the bench to service it, clean it up, and figure out his next move. Then, while waiting for the oil to drain out, he started tidying up his workshop. In no time he’d dug out a set of handlebars, some tires and a speedo—enough to make a good start on a custom.

An hour later, all that was left on the worktable was the frame and motor. And Lionel started transforming his commuter bike into the aggressive street fighter you’re looking at now.

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles
The first changes were all hidden tweaks. He removed the airbox, then fitted a set of pod filters. He also installed a Lithium-ion battery, and relocated a bunch of electrical components.

The ER-6n’s radical bodywork is a mix of custom and OEM bits. Lionel liked the tank, side panels and belly pan—so he kept those. But he ditched the bulky seat unit, fabricating a sharper aluminum piece to fit in its place.

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles
It sits on a custom-built subframe, and is capped off with an Alcantara saddle, upholstered by NMB Design. The stitching pattern is mimicked on the underside of the tailpiece, where Lionel also built in a red LED, with tiny holes for the light to poke through. It’s not the official tail light though—that’s further down, on the custom-made license plate bracket.

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles
There’s more metalwork up front—notably a new headlight cowl with integrated fork guards. And an LED covered by a striking aluminum grill. Both the custom front and back ends were shaped to complement the stock bits, resulting in a fluid design throughout the bike.

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles
That headlight grill is also a nod to the Bugatti Veyron. It’s a weird connection, but Lionel’s always liked the thousand-horsepower French supercar, and it spoke to the futuristic style that he was going for.

It’s also where he got the Kawasaki’s new livery from: the white and blue is a riff on Bugatti’s ‘white gold’ scheme. Lionel executed the paint himself, then redid the cylinder heads, crank cases and rear shock spring to match—and even the wheels.

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles
The Kawasaki’s suspension and brakes perform well enough out the box, so Lionel left them alone. He did refresh the brakes though, and upgraded the system with new braided hoses. The tires are Continental TKC80s.

Up top are a set of CNC Racing handlebars, new grips, a Koso dial, and a single bar-end mirror from Highsider. Lionel shortened the OEM levers, then engraved his logo into them. The bike’s also sporting new rearsets from Valter Moto.

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles
A new silencer from the Italian company Giannelli rounds out the package. It’s mounted on the stock headers, and yes—they’re wrapped in titanium pipe wrap. (But it’s such a neat job, we’re letting Lionel off the hook).

Street fighters aren’t usually our thing, but Lionel’s ER-6n hits all the right notes. And since even the most jaded of moto journalists tend to laud the naked Ninja as a rock-solid best buy, maybe it’s time we all started scanning the classifieds …

Duke Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Julien Giauffret

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles

Custom Kawasaki ER6n from Duke Motorcycles

electric motorcycles Gear Reviews Harley-Davidson Motorcycle News Other Motorcycle Blogs Web Bike World

Does Harley Have a Grand Electric Plan?

It Could Have a Large Selection of Electric Bikes

If you thought the future of Harley-Davidson and the motorcycle industry, in general, was all about high-powered electric motorcycles, you were wrong. I see speedy electric motorcycles as part of the HD portfolio for sure, but it will only be one part, and likely not the most important part. 

As Cycle World points out, the recent purchase of StaCyc hints that Harley has grander plans for its lineup. One that hits multiple ages and multiple areas of the market. Gone are the days of HD catering to one specific area of the market. The company seems to have learned its lesson.

Harley-Davidson StaCyc
Image from Harley-Davidson

The publication lays out a groundwork for Harley to have bikes at four different levels in the industry. The first level is for little electric bikes for kiddos (StaCyc), the second level is for electric bicycles for adolescents and adults (think your typical e-bike), third level is for lower-powered electric scooters and small electric motorcycles, and the fourth is for machines like the LiveWire (but hopefully much better than the LiveWire).

It’s an idea I stated when the news of Harley buying StaCyc. If Harley can get a kid riding a Harley electric bike when he’s young, he’ll want one when he grows up, too. Cycle World doesn’t discuss what would happen to its gasoline-powered bikes. I would assume those would stick around for quite a long time. People won’t want to give up on gas bikes, and Harley will still make a boatload of money selling them.

With that said, the future is electric. Harley-Davidson could be setting itself up for success. It needs to, too, with the way its bike sales are currently going.

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Cardo Systems Gear Reviews JBL Motorcycle News Other Motorcycle Blogs Web Bike World

Cardo and JBL Launch Preorder of 45mm Audio Set

Improve Your Audio Experience

Cardo makes some of the best communication systems for motorcyclists. We’ve discussed and reviewed the company’s products in the past. Recently, the company reached out to us to let us know that it opened preorders for the new 45mm Audio Set.

Cardo and JBL teamed up to produce what the companies call “the highest quality audio experience for motorcyclists.” We’ll have to test that before we can believe that claim, but JBL’s quality is well-known and with Cardo’s communication systems being what they are, we wouldn’t be surprised if the 45mm Audio Set was legitimately a high-quality piece of technology.

The set will work with Packtalk and Freecom systems. It provides users of those products with JBL’s cutting edge Sound Processing and Equalizer Sound Profile technologies. The sound processing part of the technology helps make the sound appropriate for the 45mm setup. The equalizer sound profile tech lets you customize the audio settings.

You get three different sound profile settings: standard, bass boost, and vocal. It’s pretty obvious what each does from the names. If you want to be among the first riders with the new JBL audio set, you can head over to Cardo’s website and take advantage of the preorder availability.


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Gear Reviews Motorcycle News Other Motorcycle Blogs Royal Enfield Royal Enfield Bullet Trials Web Bike World

Royal Enfield Unveils Its Bullet Trials Off-Roader

A Killer Scrambler-Style Motorcycle

We recently reported on the teaser that Royal Enfield sent out. Now, it seems the motorcycle is truly part of the company’s lineup. The company has a 350 and a 500 version of the bike, just like we thought it would. The bike isn’t quite as crazy of a scrambler as some other company’s bikes. Royal Enfield went the minimalist route. The bike looks like just enough of an off-road machine to be interesting.

The frame, engine(s), and most of the rest of the bike have stayed the same. For the most part, the Bullet Trials is just a Bullet. What’s changed is the headlight design, handlebar design, upswept exhaust, and Cleat tires on a 19-inch front wheel and an 18-inch rear wheel.

I find it surprising that Royal Enfield didn’t upgrade the suspension in some way, but I don’t expect many people to really take these bikes too far from the road. The styling will sell, but few people who buy these bikes are going to be beating on them as adventure riders do.

If you’re wondering about power output. As I said above, it won’t change from the regular versions of the Bullet. The 350 makes about 20 hp and the 500 makes about 27 hp. The bikes get disc brakes with standard dual-channel ABS. 

As I said above, these bikes are mainly about style. With that said, I could see cruising down a fire road on one, or slinging some stone around on a gravel road. They’re cool little bikes, and I hope Royal Enfield decides to bring them to the U.S. 


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BikeExif cafe racer Custom Motorcycles Motorcycle sidecar Other Motorcycle Blogs Triumph cafe racer Triumph motorcycles Triumph Scrambler

A Triumph sidecar built to deliver cold brew coffee

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
We love sidecars, but they’re usually sedate rather than sporty. And a classic café racer with a chair? That’s even more rare.

So we love the look of this most unusual combination from sunny Queensland in Australia. The ‘Cold Brew Cafe Racer’ comes from Tom Gilroy of Purpose Built Moto, and it’s built around a Triumph Scrambler.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise

The project started like many others: A couple of blokes meeting up for a beer at their local haunt. Tom’s favorite spot is the iconic Sandbar restaurant in Surfers Paradise, on the famed Gold Coast stretch of Queensland.

“I rolled up on my GS550 to see my mates Jake and Rich, who threw an idea my way,” Tom recalls. Jake’s family own the Sandbar, and the idea was to build a sidecar rig to deliver Vittoria Cold Brew Coffee to the coastal community.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
A deal was done: Tom would build the rig as a creative collaboration with the coffee company and the restaurant. And all agreed that the bike had to perform with and without the sidecar.

“When it’s not delivering a morning boost to Gold Coast residents out walking their trophy dogs, it has to handle a fast-paced Sunday afternoon run over the mountains!” says Tom.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
The donor was a 2009 Triumph Scrambler, with the air cooled 865cc parallel twin—and a 270-degree firing interval for that famous exhaust note. A Cozy sidecar would be attached, mimicking the style of the vintage Steib 350 and 500 series sidecars.

“I was glad to do something different with a Triumph,” says Tom. “They’re such a staple for custom builders—and with a sea of bolt-on parts available, it’s easy to blend into the crowd.”

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Tom wanted a timeless look that never grows old: “A bit like a vintage Rolex.” While he set to work on the bike, he sent the sidecar body to a friend for a cleanup.

The brakes and suspension were top of the to-do list. Tom’s given the Scrambler hefty 54mm polished USD forks and twin disc brakes from a Triumph Tiger, and a custom triple clamp. He’s also lowered the forks 40mm and rebuilt them to suit the ride height with the sidecar attached.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
The rear suspension was treated to a set of all new K-Tech Bullit shocks, a spring-less system that offers an incredible ride. (“I was a little apprehensive on this one but the product over-delivered and presents a really tidy finish.”)

New wheels were the next big ticket item: specially machined alloy soft lip rims, 17” x 3.5” at the front and 17” x 5.50” at the back, laced up to the existing hubs. The massive rear wheel was wrapped in Shinko Stealth 003 rubber and required sprocket offsets to fit.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Up top, Tom’s built a short, hooped tail with a flowing cowl and integrated lighting. And since the color scheme was to be white with metallic highlights, he decided to integrate a few touches of brass into the design. “But you have to be careful,” he acknowledges. “It’s easy to go overboard with such details.”

Look closely at the tank, and you’ll notice a subtle raised edge following the top line. “I’ve seen a lot of chopper builders using round or flat bar to add a 3D aspect to the tank design,” Tom explains. “I like the concept, so I’ve adapted it to this café racer design with 6mm solid brass rod, hand-shaped and welded to the tank and tail sections.”

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
TIG welding brass to mild steel wasn’t the easiest feat, but after a few runs and stuff-ups, Tom got the hang of it. And then he added other brass details like custom-turned EFI choke and idle controls, EFI caps and a billet brass fuel cap.

The final piece to finish off the silhouette was the front cowl, which is a 2017 Thruxton piece—modified to fit the front end, and housing custom PBM Speedhut gauges. Clip on bars are finished with new levers and PBM’s own minimalist button switches. The Tarrozzi rearsets are a very neat upgrade too, because Tom has repositioned the master directly above the right foot brake, eliminating the need for a clunky linkage.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Tom has been dabbling in building exhaust headers, so he was determined to craft one for the Triumph in-house. He’s used a single sided 2-1 design with the collector placed just before the muffler—so the headers could frame the triangular stator covers. “When you hear it fire up [in the video below] you’ll see why we all love it so much!” says Tom.

Marios at DNA Performance Filters made a one-off set of custom brass filters, laser etched with a PBM logo. “Paired with the color-matched EFI body, brass caps and polished bowl (albeit a fake one) they look incredible. Most importantly, when on the tuning bench at Dynomite Moto they opened this torquey Triumph motor nicely.”

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Tom gave the Triumph to his friend Jake for a shakedown run, minus the chair, on the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. “While he was out testing the bike, I was in the shop tinkering away on the sidecar.”

Tom pushed the sidecar opening back 400mm to achieve a bullet shape, and braced and hinged the body. This allowed room for a custom-built cooler to serve the bottles of cold brew.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
He also trimmed down the fender and installed new mounts, so the fender now moves with the wheel and hugs it tightly for a cleaner look. Extra lighting went in: a PBM 4.5“ LED headlight and a twin stack of prototype PBM Orbit Mini LED brake lights at the back.

New brass rods shaped onto the sidecar body match the highlights on the bike, and there’s new upholstery inside—coffee brown leather and stitching.

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
The final piece of the puzzle was the intricate sidecar alignment. “Having read through a few manuals on geometry and functionality, I figured I needed some advice from those who had done it before me,” Tom admits.

“The answer was to set up some straight edges and calculate three key running factors—the toe-in, lean-out and axle lead. It took me a few rounds of fine-tuning.”

Triumph sidecar by Purpose Built Moto of Surfers Paradise
Tom reckons that riding the Triumph without the sidecar is an equally pleasurable experience, thanks to the suspension mods, dyno tuning and bellowing 2-1 exhaust.

“Due to the quite weighty sidecar mounts, the bike alone isn’t the nimblest performer—but you can have the time of your life leaning into some nice mountain corners, with power on tap at a slight twist of the wrist.”

Sounds like the best of both worlds to us. We’ll drink to that.

Purpose Built Moto | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Nathan Duff | Video by Electric Bubble

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Utah Legalizes Lane Filtering

Another State Does the Right Thing

California is still the only state that allows all-out lane splitting, and many people oppose that, but the movement to add lane filtering to more states is growing. In Utah, a recent bill passed that allows lane filtering. This is different than lane splitting but works under some of the same principles.

When the speed limit on a road is 45 mph or less and car traffic is stopped—like at an intersection— then you can filter through traffic. This will move motorcyclists more easily through congested urban areas. It’s a win for motorcyclists and something that more states should consider.

With all that said, there are some rules riders need to abide by to properly lane filter. First off, you must be on a motorcycle (no trikes or reverse trikes). Second, there must be two lanes of traffic at least. Third, as I mentioned above, the speed limit must be 45 mph or less. Fourth, you can’t ride faster than 15 mph while lane filtering. Fifth, you can’t filter lanes if the cars are not stopped.

The Utah law, HB0149, will expire in 2022 if the legislation doesn’t take further steps. Also, the law leaves a gray area. It says you must filter lanes in a safe manner. What people consider safe varies, so that may be a point of contention between motorcyclists and law enforcement.

As Common Tread pointed out, other states such as Connecticut, Maryland, and Oregon have similar laws in the works. It will be interesting to see if they shake out in the same manner that Utah’s did. I certainly hope so. While I can understand people’s concerns with lane splitting, lane filtering just makes sense. Also, it’s not like you have to do it. If you’re not comfortable with it, just wait with the cars. No harm there.

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Mugen’s E.Rex Electric Dirt Bike Is Pretty Similar to Honda’s CR Electric

Similar But Not the Same

Mugen revealed an updated version of its E.Rex electric dirtbike at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show. We reported on the electric superbike Mugen showed off there. We thought it’d be best to highlight the E.Rex, too. The E.Rex appears to share much of its powertrain with the Honda CR Electric that debuted at the same show. Seeing as how Mugen and Honda are closely tied together this isn’t very shocking.

The Mugen bike may have similar bones to the Honda, but the styling and aerodynamic elements are different than Big Red’s bike. As MoreBikes points out, the Mugen E.Rex takes cues from the Shinden Hachi electric superbike whereas Honda turns to its CRF line.

Mugen E.Rex

Unfortunately, Mugen didn’t release technical specs for the bike, so all I have to go off of are the images floating around the web. The bike gets some knobby Dunlop tires, Showa front suspension, and the same style twin-spar aluminum frame as Honda’s machine.

Mugen is known for its Shinden superbike, among other things, so it will be interesting to see if the E.Rex ends up racing. I wouldn’t put it past the team to enter it into some hardcore off-road races down the line to show just how impressive this machine is.

I’ll keep an eye out for technical specifications in the future. I’d be interested to know the power figures for the E.Rex’s powertrain. It looks different than the previous prototype, and that could mean Mugen has made some leaps forward with the technology.


The post Mugen’s E.Rex Electric Dirt Bike Is Pretty Similar to Honda’s CR Electric appeared first on Web Bike World.

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Motorcycle Legend Arlen Ness Dies At Age 79

Arlen Ness on his bright yellow custom bike

The King of Custom Motorcycles left a big mark on the industry

Legendary motorcycle designer Arlen Ness has passed away. The customizer influenced the arc of custom motorcycle design over his lifetime.