• New Gladstone Motorcycles SE Bobber Unveiled

    The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE has been unveiled, and it looks rather nice. The company was founded back in 2012 by TV presenter and biking enthusiast Henry Cole as a bespoke British motorcycle brand. And the SE is the follow-up to their original model, the Gladstone No.1 bobber, which appeared in 2013.

    Although the SE shares some of the key components and features from the No.1, the SE changes things a bit. Designer Guy Willison describes it as a “slightly lazier, earthier version of the No.1. We wanted to build a bike where we didn’t have any customers for it – this is what I’d build for myself as a personalised bike on the road. No outside influence – just me and Henry building what we want to ride”

    The Gladstone Motorcycles SE
    The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE bobber

    It turns out what Willison and Cole want to ride is a bobber which features some Gladstone trademarks. Those include a Metisse nickel-plated rigid frame, a bespoke alloy petrol tank and fake oil tank, and a 5″ Smiths analogue speedometer.

    Gladstone Motorcycles SE Rear Three Quarters View
    The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE uses a rigid Metisse frame

    But there are some significant changes from the nine hand-built No.1s that the company previously produced. Most noticeable is the paint, with the new model adorned in Aston Martin Rosso Red. That’s a bolder look than the original model, which came in black.

    The Gladstone Motorcycles SE also swaps out the 750cc Triumph T140 engine of the No.1, which came with a 5-speed left foot gear shift. Instead, you get a refurbished 650cc 4-speed Triumph T120R motor, with a right foot gear shirt and single carburetor.

    Gladstone Motorcycles SE Triumph T120R Engine
    The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Triumph T120R Engine

    There are now Norman Hyde M-bars, rather than the flat examples from the No.1. And the Gladstone Motorcycles SE also gets shorter, 720mm Ceriani front forks. Another change is that a Norton TLS front brake replaces the Ceriani replica Grimeca 4-leading shoe drum.

    Gladstone Motorcycles SE Seat
    The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Seat in Alcantara

    Rather than the Monza design used on the NO.1, the SE gets a flush-fitting petrol cap. And there are Doherty levers, plus natural rubber Tommaselli handlebar grips. The Alcantara seat comes with red stitching to match the Aston Martin paint. And the headlamp and tail light get brass bezels.

    Gladstone Motorcycles SE Brake Light
    The Gladstone Motorcycles SE Brake Light With Brass Bezel

    As a bespoke British motorcycle manufacturer, customers get to tailor the Gladstone Motorcycles SE to their preference. Which means you can request changes to the colour finishes, grips, saddle and more. But you also need to be a little patient, as there’s a 12-month delivery time from when you order.

    Gladstone Motorcycles SE Side View
    The new Gladstone Motorcycles SE

    Following the release of the 9 Gladstone No.1 models, the waiting list started for the new SE. And it’s a bit of an investment, with prices starting from £40,000. Hence why the company describe their customers as ‘discerning hooligans’.

    Gladstone Motorcycles Designer Guy Willison
    Gladstone Motorcycles Designer Guy Willison

    But you do get something created with the iconic classic Triumph engine, a rather lovely frame, and numerous other hand-made and bespoke features for things like pipes, brackets and more.

    Gladstone Motorcycles Founder Henry Cole
    Gladstone Motorcycles Founder and CEO Henry Cole

    So if you fancy ordering the new Gladstone Motorcycles SE bobber, and you have the finances, you can contact the company via their website to get the building started.

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  • Peter Hickman Wins His Third Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix

    It’s a hat trick as Peter Hickman wins his third Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. The British Superbikes and road racing star led an all-British podium finishing ahead of team-mate Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp. The 2018 event was the 52nd time the event has been held, and followed wins for Hickman in 2015 and 2016.

    Peter Hickman Wins His Third Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix
    Peter Hickman Wins His Third Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, ahead of Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp

    The race on the 6.120 street circuit finished on lap nine of 12 after the race was red-flagged due to a crash involving Phil Crowe and Ben Whylie. The early leader had been Honda-mounted Michael Rutter, before Hickman was able to move past on the Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing BMW S 1000 RR.

    2018 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix
    The 2018 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix gets started

    Hickman was the pre-race favourite after claiming his first Macau pole start. And the Louth-based rider moved into the lead on lap 3. He began to pull away from Rutter and the chasing riders including Jessopp, Danny Webb and Gary Johnson until the race was brought to a premature end.

    Michael Rutter Leads The 2018 Macau GP From Eventual Winner Peter Hickman
    Michael Rutter Leads The 2018 Macau GP From Eventual Winner Peter Hickman

    A delighted Peter Hickman said: “Michael got a much better start than me which is usual as he is always good off the line. I was quite happy to just sit there and follow him to watch where he was strong and where he wasn’t. I could hear the Ducati behind me so realised Martin was fairly close so after the third lap I decided it was time to go and got my head down, passed Michael and began to pull a bit of a gap.

    After half distance he began to gain ground on me and was only 0.7s behind so thought I had better get my head down again and pull the gap back out again. I looked at the TV screen at Lisboa and saw that I had pulled away again but unfortunately the red flag came out. I really hope the boys involved are ok, which is the main thing to be honest. It is fantastic for myself, the Smiths Racing crew, (I had my usual team around me) and Aspire-Ho Bathams who are the sponsors for the team, to give them a win here is absolutely brilliant.”

    Peter Hickman on the Bathams BMW at the 2018 Macau GP
    Peter Hickman on the Bathams BMW at the 2018 Macau GP

    Hickman has achieved wins in every international race in 2018, along with qualifying for the British Superbike Showdown. That includes victory in the Superstock and Senior TT at the Isle of Man TT, along with the fastest lap record of 135.452mph. Plus victories at the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix.

    Behind the podium finishers of Hickman, Rutter and Jessopp were Danny Webb (BMW) and Gary Johnson (Kawasaki). Horst Saiger took sixth ahead of Davo Johnson, Derek Sheils and Davey Todd. Completing the top ten was the returning John McGuinness.

    Davey Todd, Didier Grams and Michael Sweeney - 2018 Macau GP
    Davey Todd, Didier Grams and Michael Sweeney – 2018 Macau GP

    In total, 24 riders completed the race, with Craig Neve the final classified finisher. Only Davy Morgan and Didier Grams failed to finish, as the red flag meant Wylie and Crowe were included in the provisional results in 15th and 16th place. Fortunately the reports are that Wylie was taken to hospital with injuries understood to not be serious, and Crowe was pretty much unscathed. The crash occurred at Fisherman’s Bend as Wylie struck the barrier on his Bimota before Crowe collided with the fallen motorcycle.

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  • Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich

    German BMW parts specialists Wunderlich must like the BMW R nineT. They’ve already built 10 custom versions of the bike using the products they make. And now the Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich is the eleventh, and probably most radical, creation.

    Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich

    The bobber style means plenty of changes to the stock BMW motorcycle. And it will all be something you can potentially achieve for your own bike in the future. Wunderlich is developing the individual parts that were custom made to be on sale from around Spring 2019. And there’s possibly also a complete Bobber kit in the works, although it hasn’t been confirmed yet.

    Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich Bars and Risers

    The Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich starts with raised, wide handlebars. And lowering the Wunderlich suspension by 25mm. The challenge was to then convert the style of the bike without losing the defining elements of the BMW.

    Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich BST Wheels

    Head of Product Management and Development, Felix Wunderlich: “We wanted our bobber to be more powerful and lighter while at the same time emanating an air of nonchalance. The challenge was a demanding one, as traditional bobbers are usually based on transversely installed two-cylinder V or in-line engines, which present far fewer structural and design restrictions than the BMW Boxer due to the arrangement of the footrests alone”

    Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich Dash Close-Up

    The Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich gets a minimalist dash display, which streamlines the front of the bike. And fits nicely with the new handlebars. And the dark blue metallic paint, which along with the black finish and saddle, gives a fairly subtle and classy look.

    Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich Footpegs Close Up

    The fully adjustable footpeg system will help to make sure you’re comfortable in the new saddle position. Which has now been relocated with a tubular loop frame. That means the rear light and indicators are incorporated, and also cleans up the rear of the bike above the new rear mudguard. The mudguard itself was custom-made to accommodate the BMW swingarm, and wider Bobber rear tyre.

    Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich Seat Close-Up

    Frank Hoffmann, Wunderlich Managing Director: “Our portfolio of concept bikes ranges from the Wunderlich G 310 GS, which we are giving away here during the Intermot, to our Pikes Peak hill climbing motorcycles. With the WunderBob we are presenting the first Wunderlich Bobber, which also represents our eleventh R nineT conversion. Anyone who knows us, knows we thrive on difficult challenges – indeed we go looking for them! Half-hearted solutions are frowned upon for us. Especially half-hearted retro! We have transformed the R nineT into a bobber that is a contemporary reinterpretation of the Bob Jobs of the 40s and 50s, while losing nothing of the R nineT‘s iconic appearance.“

    Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich Tail Unit Close-Up

    So the Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich gives you a mix of retro and modern style. Plus you get German reliability underneath it all. And the BMW badge has become a pretty familiar part of the modern custom motorcycle world.

    As mentioned above, if you want to create something very similar, you should be able to buy the parts individually from early 2019. And Wunderlich might also offer a complete conversion kit if there’s enough demand.

    So what do you think of the modern BMW Bobber? Good, bad or indifferent? Drop a comment below to share your opinions…

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  • Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

    The British Superbike grid is being confirmed for next year, as Bradley Ray stays with Buildbase Suzuki for the 2019 BSB series. The 21-year-old rider from Kent has taken two race wins to secure a place in the end-of-season Showdown in 2018. And it means he will stay with the team, and the Suzuki GSX-R1000, for a third year in a row.

    Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

    It’s been a mixed season for the Lydd-based rider with two wins at the opening British Superbike round at Donington. He’s racked up three more podiums, but suffered some non-finishes in the middle of the season. Currently sixth in the standings going into the triple-race final weekend at Brands Hatch, Ray can at least focus on the track action knowing his place is secure for 2019.

    Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

    Ray made his debut in the British Superbike class with Buildbase Suzuki, taking a podium in his first year. It followed several seasons in the MotoGP Rookies Cup, British MotoStar championship, and in the CEV Moto3 series. In 2016 he took third in the British Supersport championship before moving to the top national class.

    Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

    2018 saw Ray take part in the Suzuka 8-Hour race with Yoshimura Suzuki. And the team were able to recover to 10th overall, after dropping to 48th due to a crash. He also appeared as a wildcard for his first outing in World Superbikes at Donington Park, taking 14th and 15 place finishes.

    Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

    Bradley Ray said, “I’m really happy to be staying with the team and with Suzuki for another year. I’ve got a great relationship with everyone and we enjoy working together, and that should only give us a head-start next season. This year was only my second year on a superbike and the second year of development for the new GSX-R, and we’ve won races, been on the podium, and made it into the Showdown, so we can only be happy with that, and I’m confident that will continue next season. It was good to have everything signed and agreed nice and early. We’ve now got one round to go and I can focus on my riding and to try to finish the season strongly at Brands.”

    Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

    Buildbase Suzuki team manager, Steve Hicken, added, “Continuing our association with Bradley next season is really important for us. Like many, we recognised his talent early on, and when he was in the supersport class two years ago we wanted to get him onto a superbike as soon as possible. He’s one of the most natural young talents in the country, so of course we’re really excited to be able to announce that he’ll again be on a Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000R for a third season in 2019. While we’ve got one round to go and are aiming to finish the season strongly, having everything signed and confirmed means we’ll be going into the winter with a clear focus on building for a title assault next year.”

    Bradley Ray Stays With Buildbase Suzuki For The 2019 BSB Series

    The full line-up for Buildbase Suzuki in 2019 hasn’t been confirmed yet. Current team-mate Richard Cooper is making his debut at the Sunflower Trophy at Bishopscourt in Northern Ireland this year for the team. The races traditionally end the Irish season, and occur on the weekend following the end of the British Superbike season.

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  • Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day

    You never know who might turn up for a quick blast at a track day. As demonstrated when former Grand Prix and World Superbike legends Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi ride at an Aprilia track day along with the regular attendees. It happened at one of the Aprilia Racers Days 2018 events, with the 16th date of the calendar taking place at Mugello in Italy. So you can imagine the Noale-based motorcycle manufacturer invited the two stars along.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day

    Capirossi is currently the Safety Advisor to Dorna Sports for MotoGP. He won two 125cc GP titles, and a 250cc world championship with Aprilia in 1998 before switching to the 500cc class, and then MotoGP until his retirement in 2011. Now 45 years old, he was joined by Max Biaggi, who he often raced against. Biaggi dominated the 250 world championship from 1994 to 1997, taking four titles, and three of those were on an Aprilia. He arrived in the top class in 1998, and competed until 2005 before switching to World Superbikes. Riding again for Aprilia he took two WSB titles in 2010 and 2012, before ending his competitive international career in 2015.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day Capirossi Pits

    The former GP rivals were riding at Mugello on both an Aprilia RSV4 RF and an RSV4 which had been fitted with a Factory Works kit and then tuned by Aprilia Racing. So the normal track day riders had a bit of an excuse when their lap times didn’t quite match up.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Biaggi Action

    In addition to enjoying the Mugello track, the pair also chatted with riders and fans. Along with photo opportunities, they were able to suggest bike set-up advice and how to set a good time around the circuit.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Biaggi Cornering

    Max Biaggi: “Fantastic! Of course, the things we did when we were racing cannot be repeated, but with this bike you really go fast and Loris still has his style, so it was like taking a ride down memory lane. This RSV4 is a bike made for the track. It felt like I was back on my SBK. You really go fast and it is a lot of fun. An experience to repeat.”

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Capirossi Action

    Loris Capirossi: “Having the track all to ourselves and precisely here at Mugello was an emotional experience. As always, Max never gives in and he really opens up the throttle. I enjoyed the RSV4 very much, especially in the Factory Works version. At Mugello, power and torque count for a lot and I truly had a lot of fun.”

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Max Biaggi

    The Aprilia Racers Days take place throughout the year, and allow enthusiasts to test the top models in the Aprilia RSV4 RF and Tuono V4 1100 Factory ranges. The ‘season’ takes place on 18 dates at a variety of top tracks in Italy, including Imola, Vallelunga, Misano and Mugello. Although this particular event was the 16th, and the calendar is winding down, apparently Biaggi and Capirossi have already promised to return in 2019.

    Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi Ride At An Aprilia Track Day - Pits

    Given the fact that two top Italian rivals were on track, perhaps the biggest surprise was the lack of incidents on track. But you never know who might turn up on your next track day, and it’s best not to underestimate a pair of Italians in their mid-to-late 40s if you happen to see them rock up on some Aprilias…

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