Fast Motorcycle Industry News

eBay Motors Launches Motorcycle Parts Compatibility. eBay is launching parts compatibility in select eBay Motors Motorcycle Parts & Accessories categories this month. With the Parts Compatibility feature, sellers can create one listing describing a single part and add a complete list of compatible vehicles. Listing with parts compatibility also helps get your relevant items in front of buyers via search – both on eBay and via off-site search engines like Google and Yahoo. It may save you both time and money on insertion fees. Parts Compatibility functionality is already available in two motorcycle categories: Motorcycle Parts – Exhaust and Motorcycle Parts – Body & Frame – Seats

Motorcycle Lane Splitting. Ok or Dangerous? “Lane-splitting” by motorcyclists is perfectly legal in California, albeit controversial. As a matter of fact, California is the only state that permits lane-splitting. In this state, a recent survey found that 53% of car drivers think splitting lanes is against the law, that 87% of motorcyclists do it and that 7 percent of drivers say they’ve tried to block bikers as they ride between lanes! It is estimated that there are more than 1.2 million motorcycles on California roadways today.

Zero Motorcycles Announces 240% Growth In First Quarter 2012 Results. Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in electric motorcycle manufacturing record growth for the first quarter of 2012 with year-over-year sales up 178% in number of motorcycles built and shipped. Overall revenue growth for Zero Motorcycles year-over-year is up by a staggering 240% in Q1. Zero Motorcycles is still a small company but recently passed the milestone of 1500 motorcycles delivered worldwide. Zero’s success are the world’s longest range, mass produced 2012 Zero S and DS ZF9 models. At 114 and 112 miles range respectively, both models received significant aesthetic and performance upgrades in 2012 In the past 12 months Zero has appointed more than 50 new Zero authorized dealers in North America alone.

28 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 Rick Lossner May 11th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Splitting Lanes …. every time I visit california and see that I think .. “man .. what a time saver” …. about as often as I think/say “WTF!” ..when a bike zooms up past me when i’m barely moving and didn’t see him coming… always have wondered how many guys have met their destiny when someone accidentally drifts over ( not to mention the 7% that have tried to block them!)

  2. 2 Luis May 11th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I’ve had enough close calls splitting here in CA but its better than sitting in traffic or trying to walk a 600lb object down the road. There are those riders who split when I feel its not needed. like when traffic is going over 25. I’ve see some guys split going 60+. I’ll do it on the highway when traffic is 15 ish

  3. 3 Michael May 11th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years and in my experience the 7% # is a joke, it’s more like the inverse of that percentage – not every car but I think nearly everyone has blocked at some time. Not because they are bad people, they are just so frustrated by the traffic and forget they can kill you and that you don’t have A/C.

  4. 4 CafeSportyTC May 11th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Micheal or a decent cooling system that will keep up with the heat produced by a stop-go-stop-go motorcycle. I lived in southern California, I hated when motorcyclists would split lanes because I didnt want to hit them, all it takes is a few seconds of inattention and bam you kill someone, something i don’t think most of us think about on a daily basis when driving our cages. Luis i Agree with you, splitting lanes should only be done at low speed, not at 50+mph.
    Every year during street vibes californians come up here and split lanes. i understand their used to it, but its not legal here. i saw a lady in a grand cherokee move over to block, the bike got around and punched the ladies fender leaving a big dent. did she deserve it… maybe , did the biker break the law.. yeah… both are at fault…

  5. 5 InterstateRider May 11th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I lived in SoCal for 40 years and spliting lanes for my entire bike riding life. I moved out of that state and I have never found lane splitting needed in anyother state. No other state I have rode in and the state I live in now splitting is never needed we don’t have the parking lot’s they call “freeways” in socal, I have always found that tooo many cagers try to block you and run you off the road while splitting lanes. I always felt uncomfortable splitting lanes on the 10 toward LA the the 60 was worse, I thought I was becomming a 2 wheel target, I was always overly aware of the cagers and I never split lanes when traffic was moving at 20 or more I always rode in the diamond lanes if at all possible. I will dissagree I believe 80% aren’t aware splitting is legal and they try to kill you. Anyways be safe if you are going to split lanes be aware of the idiot cagers who can’t drive anything bigger than a gocart 98% of them.

  6. 6 CafeSportyTC May 11th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    +1 InterstateRider… well said

  7. 7 GuitarSlinger May 11th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    On one hand I understand why CA riders want the right to split lanes . The term ‘ Freeway ‘ IS an oxymoron in California . On the other I can also see why when in a car its distracting , unsettling and down right annoying as all _____ when M’C’s do so , especially as far too many , in SoCal specifically do so at ridiculous and well over the limit speeds as well as when there’s no good reason other than showing off to do so .

    But here’s a small tid bit for all you Pro Lane Splitters to consider ;

    Any racing/defensive/performance driving – riding school teaches you one simple , elegant fact about human reactions .

    99% of the time you WILL turn your vehicle in the direction you are looking , especially when startled .

    So …. think about it . You come up the split lane blasting along , with loud pipes no doubt …. your pipes and/or action gets the attention of a driver … who turns to look .. and the automobile driver turns into you . BECAUSE that is the nature of human reactions !!!!!

    I’m not say that a few don’t turn into you intentionally . But I can guarantee you the majority do so automatically and without realizing why

    Which …. is why the other 49 States do not allow Lane Splitting . Common Sense . Something La La land is sadly lacking in I’m afraid , having done my share of time living there

  8. 8 Kirkland May 11th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    “As a matter of fact, California is the only state that permits lane-splitting.”
    Really? I live here and didn’t even know that for sure. Maybe have that notice on a Hwy. Billboard instead of an ad for “Seagram’s 7, 90-proof, Scotch Whiskey” or, “Watch for Motorcyclist” and “Lane Splitting is Legal in California”. Something like that.

    On the Replica Harley Parts scene, I recently received a request from V-Twin Mfg., Inc. to, search for and delete, a statement I made that quoted a confidential source as saying that V-Twin® had no quality control in either it’s point of manufacture in Taiwan or New York.
    I don’t know how they find these gems, but I found the statement in question and deleted it to their satisfaction.
    Point being that, rarely do they make such requests and when they do, and still remain bon vivant after the fact, then somethings up, and I begin adding-up facts to arrive at decisive assumption.
    1. They ceased making M/C frames in Delaware in 2011, and moved the entire operation to Taiwan – and will have them constructed with fewer, if any, mistakes.
    2. The 3.5 fuel tanks they make now, come boxed in numbered cartons, unopened, with the distinctive, thin, brown-tinted packing tape. The top and bottom shut-off seat holes are properly aligned.
    3. Taiwan is the new “Japan”.
    4. They have quality-control in Taiwan now. Most probably Americans living in Taiwan.
    5. Expect to see Q.C. stickers on big ticket items in the future. I’ve never seen a Q.C. sticker on an import M/C part.

  9. 9 Kirkland May 11th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    And the original reason for allowing lane splitting in California is?

    Answer: Air-cooled motors overheating at idle.

  10. 10 GuitarSlinger May 11th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    @ Kirkland

    Dost I detect a wee modicum of sarcasm in the Replica Harley Parts part of your post ? 😉

  11. 11 GuitarSlinger May 11th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    What’s kind of interesting in Kirkland’s post about Harley replica parts is the ” Taiwan is the New Japan “quote . Interesting because all our friends and associates in Taiwan have been saying for the last three years , that like Japan , manufacturing is leaving Taiwan in droves for the Chinese mainland , Vietnam etc
    due to cost of labor , energy etc . Who knows what’s really going on anywhere these days ?

  12. 12 Kirkland May 11th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    “for the last three years , that like Japan , manufacturing is leaving Taiwan in droves for the Chinese mainland , Vietnam etc
    due to cost of labor , energy etc . Who knows what’s really going on anywhere these days ?”
    Imo? 🙂
    An extension of the “American invades a country peacefully or otherwise and establishes an infant democracy and then 20 yrs. later they kicked us out, but they had a better standard of living after, than they did before we got there” phenomenon.

    Now it’s a “musical Chairs” of world resources available, and while benefiting from cheaper labor and materials, etc., democracy brought better stuff for everyone involved. I think clothing mfgrs. “shop countries seasonally” for labor rates and cotton availability.
    The same item of Patagonia or L.L. Bean clothing has been made in Vietnam for the last couple years, and before it was made in Bangladesh, and once in Costa Rica, and both were the exact same quality as made in the USA.
    So, it’s the jobbers that go in and set-up these factories with the logistics and machines, then draw from a “pool” of experienced seamster(tress’s). No training necessary, they know their way around a Brothers® Twin-Foot™. So,like a traveling Circus around the globe. A drought in North Africa could send work to Peru, etc. Who knows?
    Taiwan produces hardened parts (pistons, knuck & pan cylinders). No problems. We use them. We even bore Taiwan cylinders (74 cu. in.) out to 0.020″ o.s. (mine pan jugs are).
    But China? I don’t know any M/C mfgr. that uses China’s hardened parts. I don’t think knuck & pan mfgrs. will be Made in China anytime soon, especially V-Twin’s, who got established in Taiwan early and after 30+ years have a “networked” factory compound.

  13. 13 golfish May 11th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I like ebay, thier doing great things these days..

    I live in So Cal, I ride a chopper and splitting lanes can come in handy sometimes……problem is most of the knuckleheads that ride don’t know the ins and outs about it and wind up splitting thier heads rather then lanes….

  14. 14 nicker May 11th, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    The difference between “Lane Splitting” and “Blasting the lane divider” is like the difference between a careful driver and a reckless driver. It’s like the difference between night and day.

    So, when your in 5-10MPH stop & go traffic and its 95 outside you Split Lanes.
    And that’s exactly why CA allows it.
    End of story.


  15. 15 Rodent May 12th, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I learned lane splitting when I was living, riding and selling motorcycles in Manhatten. Traffic in NYC is always gridlocked somewhere and if one wanted to head out to the Island on the largest parking lot in the world (Long Island Expressway ) one practiced lane splitting. One caveat was that the cars were either stopped or crawling along slowly. It was illegal but so what, the cops couldn’t chase you and they really didn’t care.

  16. 16 JG Hardtail Choppers May 12th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    As far as I know , my shop is the only company in America reproducing quality steel or stainless frame castings . American parts made here at home and priced lower than the import copy’s . If your in the market for hardtail frame castings . Or Custom raked cast necks ,

  17. 17 The Supreme Team May 12th, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Kirkland…you made an AMAZING point whether you meant to or not.

    In So. Cal, we have an abundance of idiots on crotch rockets, running through traffic at 45-50 when we’re in our cages doing 5MPH. It is frustrating whether or not you do ride, though I tend to think “Damn I wish I was on my bike right now”.

    On that note, we also have a notification system across most of our major freeways for the Amber alert system, traffic notifications, etc. I believe ABATE had gotten into the state’s heads and we now see a “Look Twice for Motorcyclists- Share the Road” posted up on them when there isn’t something more urgent to be announced.

    Putting something on those signs to the effect of “Don’t be hatin’ while you’re stuck in traffic waitin’-Lane Splitting is LEGAL”…that could be a VERY big help with informing folks out here.

    I honestly hope somebody who was involved with the other signage can do something similar…even if they ran those like that on a Thursday (heaviest traffic day) for just 5-6 weeks, you would reach hundreds and hundreds of thousands of folks.

  18. 18 Kirkland May 12th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    JG got me thinking about the “elephant in the room” with his offer of casted parts. If you make a ’48-64 headstock with the anchor pin boss, then can you please just cast the anchor pin boss by itself, with a flat bottom so it can be welded to a knuckle (boss-less) headstock.

    As is, I know everyone has been worried sick over my dilemma and struggle to braze-weld a pin boss on my ’41-45 knuckle frame, liberating the frame and handling from the heavy burden of a spring fork, whereby it is replaced by the popular Hydra-Glide front clip.

    Your new pin boss won’t help me, I’m already committed to the configuration I’ve created, but for those that will follow, once they see how good a juice fork looks with upswept & level shotguns and KH mufflers.

  19. 19 Kirkland May 12th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    V-Twin’s not going to make this fork damper anchor pin boss (aka “the shoe”) ….. so you da’ guy. 🙂

  20. 20 Kirkland May 12th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Actually looks more like a “boot” than a shoe.

  21. 21 Kirkland May 12th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    JG, I looked at your steel headstock casting and see that it’s not drilled for the anchor pin. 19/64″ is the correct bit for the job. The stock pin diameter (after the tapered leading end) is 5/16″ for a driven-fit. The pin can’t rock and HD even made an o.s. pin back when.

    If you can drill the 19/64″ hole and cut the top off a (steel) steering head, in front of the top tank mount (behind the forge-mark and “32”, in the second pic down on my site) and also include the “upward slope of the casting” towards the neck, I can grind the base and ends to blend with my OEM frame.
    Today, the frame sits with a flat surface area for the pin base to sit on. No air gaps. I can grind your new, cast base to the correct pin angle (so the yoke will move up and down 1/4-1/2″ without binding).
    Now is the time for us to test your castings and my theory for the first time since 1948.
    Use a reject casting with a blow-hole in it, and let’s do it now, because I’m finishing up on a project and the knuckle-glide is my next job. 🙂

  22. 22 Kirkland May 12th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    The 2nd pic down does look like an M/C boot kicking the neck doesn’t it? Wild.

  23. 23 Kirkland May 12th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Ok, I looked at the pic again. What I need (and I’ll pay something for it) is the entire boot (where the toe touches the neck) and the pin boss, and then, encompassing the “32” and DIF forge embossment (area) stopping at a drop-line that’s plumb (up and down) with the front tank mount casting cliff. That slug. That boot. Drilled-out 19/64, if you please. 🙂

  24. 24 Vince May 13th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I spent many years as a motorcycle messenger in So-Cal. I rode on the average of 300 miles a day, 6 days a week. I was damn good at my job and managed to do it without getting knocked off.

    I will continue to share lanes both on the freeway and in the city. Biggest thing a lot of people argue about is the Loud Pipes Saves Lives issue. 90% of the messengers will tell you that a quiet bike not only allows us to move through traffic much easier but also does not piss the cagers off.

    California does not have lane sharing on the books, They allow us to do it because if they dont let us then the Motor cops are stuck in traffic. Its up to the officer whether or not you are doing it in a safe manner. Kinda like Montanabaun.

  25. 25 reyn mansson May 14th, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I lived in California for many years, for several years I commuted from Los Gatos to San Francisco and about half the 60 mile trip was done between cars. When I moved to Texas I just kept doing it. Austin in the afternoon can be every bit as bad as the 405. I had a few cages try the squeeze play and some horn honking and one sheriff turned on his lights once but I was never stopped and mostly ignored. After splitting lanes several days a weeks down I35 I started to notice more riders doing it and now you’ll find lane splitters in most big Texas cities during rush hour. There was a bill to allow lane sharing before the Texas legislature 4 or 5 years ago but the ABATE types killed it because it required a helmet to do it and they couldn’t let anything pro-helmet get passed.

  26. 26 PapaH May 14th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Funny thing … you all assume that “Splitting Lanes” in California was a law that was passed for Motorcycles (so did I). The fact is, that the law applies to any vehicle. I know this because I asked the question of a CHP Officer while in a driving class. He stated that sharing a lane was legal in CA for anyone, as long as it is done safely … he also admitted that “safely” is a term that is really determined by the individual officer viewing the practice. He also stated that if you have two lanes and one is wide enough for two cars to be in, it’s legal to split that lane using another car.

    While I admit that I do it on my motorcycle when needed, I have not done it using the car. In addition, the law also states that you CANNOT pass on the curb side or drive down the middle of the double yellow lines defining the car pool lane, which quite a few motorcycles do.

  27. 27 Kirkland May 14th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I rode my ’57 Pan on the I-5 south to the 52 east to the 15 south and split lanes for the first time. Rode slow bopping-along in first gear (after making sure there weren’t any “bug-bike go-fasts” behind me. The guy I bought my ’59 tanks from had a big dent above the left tank emblem. “Junkert” ran an external throttle on ape hangers and the cable got caught on a truck mirror and pulled him into it.
    It’s not much fun. Neither is the freeway or the handling of a rigid Panhead at over 60 mph, but it would be an “impossible” ride using a rocker clutch and jockey shift without lane splitting.

  28. 28 Ben May 15th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Like at least one of you said, lane splitting is not explicitly legal in CA. It is simply not illegal. Like PapaH said though, there are some things you can’t do that limits lane splitting.

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Cyril Huze