Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Motorcycles: Let's Do Some Numbers

The March 2014 edition of Lubes N Greases magazine had a column by Steve Swedberg on the motorcycle market called, Two-wheelers Love Oil Too!  He begins with a little history and the numbers are revealing.

One hundred years ago, when World War I broke out, Indian was the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the U.S., producing 20,000 bikes a year. The war resulted in an increase in production with the young Harley-Davidson selling half of its products to the army.

But it's the current numbers that are especially fascinating. In a single recent year China built 27 million motorcycles and India another 15.4 million. That amounts to more than 116,000 motorcycles a day between the two countries. By way of contract, the U.S. built 500,000 units, or 1369 a day.

The author primarily uses the numbers to set up the real purpose of his article, to discuss the lubrication requirements of motorcycles and, more specifically, the differences between motorcycle oil and oil for cars. 

One of the new kids on the block as far as U.S. manufacturers are concerned is Erik Buell Racing (EBR) of East Troy, Wisconsin. For the past 30 years, one thing has remained constant in Erik Buell's life: his drive to create motorcycles on his own terms. The end result was the astonishing new EBR 1190RX that Buell and his new company unveiled in October at the American International Motorcycle Exposition (AIM Expo) in Orlando, Fla.

The new superbike is the culmination of decades of dedication, innovation and teamwork. Said Buell,  “We have been working to create a pure rider’s machine and a true world brand. From the heartland and the heart of America, these are extraordinary motorcycles that discerning riders everywhere will be passionate to own.”

Because this was his first production engine design he felt it important to make a statement about innovation. “There is a package of technology in the powertrain aimed at making it a very ‘green’ superbike,” said Buell. “The results are a high-horsepower engine that also has a wide and flat powerband, with huge torque, yet very smooth and easy to ride at part throttle, gets 51 mpg on the EPA drive cycle, makes only 25 percent of permitted HC+NOx exhaust emissions and, incredibly, only 6 percent of CO emissions. These are spectacular numbers.”

Earlier this year the new EBR 1190RX was featured on the cover of Sport Rider magazine. It's also the top prize in the AMSOIL Building Legends Sweepstakes. By year's end someone will be the proud owner of the remarkable piece of two-wheel technology. Here's the link to our entry form.

Stay current with news about Erik Buell Racing here at amsoilracing.com.

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