Hummer HX Concept

HUMMER HX concept will be revealed at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show. HUMMER HX concept is an entry-level HUMMER designed to appeal to the younger buyer. The HUMMER HX is considerably smaller than previous offerings from the brand associated with oversized 4×4′s patrolling suburban neighborhoods, and is aimed at other “lifestyle 4×4′s” like the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota FJ Cruiser.

HUMMER HX Concept

All HUMMER’s bold styling cues appear on the HX concept including squared off wheel arches, the domineering chrome grille, removable slanted rear roof, and upright windscreen.

“The HX is HUMMER’s vision an agile, trail-ready, open-air vehicle that fits the lifestyles of everyone who needs or wants to drive off road,” said Martin Walsh, HUMMER general manager. “Of course, it carries exceptional off-road capability and the distinctive styling for which all HUMMERs are known.”

HUMMER HX Car

For an open air driving experience the HUMMER HX is able to shed its doors and roof to allow the elements in. The HX also was designed with several roof assemblies, allowing the vehicle to be configured as an SUT (with the roof assembly removed), a slant-back or a traditional, wagon-like design that offers a bit more cargo space.

The design of the HUMMER HX was driven by input from three young designers who were new to GM and the HUMMER design studio. As part of their “initiation”, they were charged with developing concept drawings for a smaller, youthful HUMMER and the HX is a direct result of their creativity. The HX concept is based on one of the designers’ original illustrations, but incorporates the best ideas and elements from the other designs.

HUMMER HX Concept Car Picture

The interior design of the HUMMER HX drew inspiration from aircraft interiors. “Aeronautical parts are designed to be both lightweight and strong, and that is the feeling exuded by the HX’s cabin,” said Stuart Norris, interior design manager. Furthering the aeronautical influence is the instrument panel, which uses an exposed, extruded aluminum cross-vehicle beam as its foundation. On the beam, the instrument cluster and other vital controls are mounted; and it also features a unique, removal top cover that provides significant storage capability.

HUMMER HX Concept Car

Mercedes S Class Noble RS-design by Carlsson

Mercedes S Class Noble RS-design has ben released by Carlsson tuners. The latest kit of Carlsson Mercedes S Class Noble RS-design features a new body kit that made from carbon fiber or polyurethane.

Based on the long version of the German model, Mercedes S Class Noble RS-design by Carlsson included with an integrated front apron & front spoiler lips, a rear apron & a rear apron diffuser, side skirts with stainless steel grille inserts, and also a rear spoiler.

Mercedes S Class Noble RS-design by Carlsson comes with a new exhaust system that included with heat-insulated end pipes, four-pipe sport end mufflers and double-walled.

Mercedes S Class Noble RS-design by Carlsson is available for the S 320 CDI, S350, S 450, S 500, S 600, S 63 and S 65.

Carlsson Mercedes S Class Noble RS-design

Press Release
Carlsson, the Merzig-based automobile manufacturer specialized in refining Mercedes Benz models, impresses with a new high-quality RS-design kit for the S-class in either real carbon, a material which is mainly used in the Formula 1 or in polyurethane (PU). The exclusive overall package gives the S-class long version (internal production name V221) an even more sportive and unforgettable appearance. Using the RS-design and therefore the most precious materials, guarantees an unsurpassable exclusivity and uniqueness of the Carlsson S-class.

Carlsson Mercedes S Class Noble RS-design Image

Carbon Design kit RS

The extended carbon kit for the S-class consists of selected components. The integrated front apron and the front spoiler lips enhance the sportive overall appearance. Moreover, the front view stands out for its stylish round Carlsson emblem for the front hood and characteristic grille insert. A set of especially curved side skirts with stainless steel grille inserts give the sides of the Mercedes an even more dynamic and stronger look. For road safety during day and night, there are four additional high-quality lights (fog lights and full beam). The rear section of the S-class is emphasized by its rear apron RS and a rear apron diffuser RS, crowned with a sportive rear spoiler made of real carbon. A four-pipe sport end muffler renders a sportive sound experience; it was especially developed by Carlsson with double-walled, heat-insulated end pipes and has a streamlined design made of stainless steel.

The RS design kits are available for the S-class series S 320 CDI, S350, S 450, S 500, S 600, S 63 and S 65. For more information about the exclusive tuning kits for the Mercedes Benz S-class, please refer either directly to Carlsson in Merzig, the Carlsson distribution network or any Mercedes Benz dealer.

BMW Performance 3 Series

The first images and details of the BMW Performance 3 Series has been released by the German company after its previous new accessory pack video releases.

For both the sedan and Touring versions, the BMW Performance 3 Series comes with a new aerodynamics package which included with a new front apron, side sills, rear spoiler and diffuser which are also offered in carbon fiber.

BMW Performance 3 Series

BMW Performance 3 Series comes with a lowered ride height and new springs. And to make improvement on the chassis, BMW Performance 3 Series featuring a carbon fiber spring-strut brace leg, new brakes with ventilated brake disks, and 6-piston brake calipers.

BMW Performance 3 Series Image

BMW Performance 3 Series interior features a multi-function sport steering wheel, a new gearshift and gear lever knob, hand brake handle, shifting points, oil and water temperature, black Alcantara sports seats, and also transverse and longitudinal acceleration.

BMW Performance 3 Series Interior

BMW Performance 3 Series package will be included with a new air intake and a new stainless steel exhaust system.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any information yet about the BMW Performance 3 Series prices.

BMW Performance 3 Series Touring-Sedan

Citroen Hypnos Concept Car

Citroen Hypnos concept car has been announced by Citroen, and will be premiered at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

Citroen Hypnos concept car wants to merge the space of an SUV with the vitality of a coupe and also with the elegance of a saloon. Powered by a 200 bhp (147 kW) engine, Citroen Hypnos concept will delivers a 4.5 l/100 km fuel consumption and a 120 g/km CO2 emissions level.

Citroen Hypnos concept interior’s is aiming to make the technology more approachable by humans. More Citroen Hypnos concept’s photos and detailed informations will be available soon when it’s closer to the premiere date.

Citroen Hypnos Concept Car

Press Release
With the 2008 Paris Motor Show just a few weeks away, Citroen is unveiling Hypnos, a concept car illustrating a new take on the world of exceptional vehicles.

An elegant cross-over vehicle, Hypnos draws on a range of creative technologies to deliver outstanding performance and environmental efficiency, combined with subtle but powerful motoring sensations.

An elegant and spellbinding concept car

Hypnos is an impressive vehicle, combining the vitality of a coupe with the elegance of a saloon and the space of an SUV. Powerful, flowing and expressive, the exterior styling identifies Hypnos as a car to rouse the emotions.

The initial appeal of the exterior styling is confirmed by the cabin, with its original colors and its ability to make technology more human and approachable. A powerful sensory experience awaits the driver and passengers, taking them into the realm of pure magic.

Innovation serving the environment

The special hybrid technology used on Hypnos highlights Citroen’s commitment to the environment and shows once again that this strong ecological focus is always accompanied by driving thrills and efficiency. With its 200 bhp (147 kW) engine, Hypnos combines dynamic performance with low fuel consumption and emissions (4.5 l/100 km and 120 g/km of CO2).

Illustrating the advantages of hybrid technology through a high-tech approach, Citroen has designed a beautifully proportioned coupe with bold styling.

Citroen Hypnos Concept

Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck

Volkswagen Baja Touareg TDI Trophy Truck has been unveiled at Los Angeles Auto Show. Powered by a 5.5-litre V12 diesel engine, Volkswagen Baja Touareg TDI Trophy Truck may develops 550 hp and 625 lbs.-ft. of torque. The engine of Volkswagen Baja Touareg TDI Trophy Truck is coupled with a gearbox operated by steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Volkswagen Baja Touareg TDI Trophy Truck will race in its inaugural event at the 41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race in the SCORE Trophy Truck class.

Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI Picture

Press Release
The countdown to what is arguably the world’s most unusual rally is running: On 21 November 2008, Volkswagen will start to the Baja 1000 in Mexico with a specially designed Touareg TDI for the first time. Today, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board for Technical Development of Volkswagen, unveiled the spectacular prototype for the race at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles. “We’re extending our motorsport activities in North America by a pillar in off-road sport this way,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “By contesting the Baja 1000, we’re committing ourselves to yet another discipline within the circle of the world’s toughest motorsport events.”

If the Dakar Rally is the world´s toughest rally, then the Baja 1000 in Mexico is its most unusual event: 630 miles - a little more than 1,000 kilometres - without any interruptions, constantly against the clock, on the most brutal terrain. The rules of engagement: there are but a few. The field: it ranges from the production VW Beetle to the 800-hp Trophy Truck in the Unlimited Class, added to which are two-wheeled vehicles and quads. Mark Miller, who is also part of Volkswagen´s “Dakar” factory line-up, and his American compatriot Ryan Arciero will take turns at the wheel of the 550-hp off-road prototype - after all, 14 hours of driving time have been calculated for this distance.

Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI

The origins: Volkswagen marks the beginning of the Baja 1000

41 years ago, on 19 April 1967, the Baja 1000 started to its inaugural round on the Mexican peninsula Baja California. The first winners: Vic Wilson/Ted Mangels in the Meyers Manx Volkswagen, the forefather of all dune buggies. It took the two Americans 27 hours and 38 minutes to cover the distance, which broke the existing motorcycle record on the route from Tijuana to La Paz by several hours. This marked the beginning of two legends: the Baja 1000 evolved into America´s most important off-road competition, comparable to the later fame acquired by the Dakar Rally in other parts of the world. And it marked the beginning of a long, successful tradition of Volkswagen products and assemblies at the Baja 1000. The technology of the robust Beetle in the hand of privateers fighting for class victory has
since remained unrivalled as many as 13 times - and continues to make its mark to this day. No less than eight vehicle classes today are still open to Volkswagen chassis, engines or complete vehicles from any model year and, to some extent, even expressly prescribe the use of this technology. This is good reason for Volkswagen to complement its factory commitment by an attractive promotional programme: in November 2008 some 100,000 U.S. dollars in prize money will be offered to the best drivers of these traditional vehicle designs.

Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI Photo

The objective: “Clean Diesel Racing” on the important U.S. market

Volkswagen continues its motorsport tradition in the USA and, since 2006 with “Clean Diesel Racing”, has been proving its claim of technological leadership. In 2006 and 2007 production Touareg V10 TDI vehicles fitted with additional safety equipment contested the famous Pikes Peak hillclimb race and clinched class victory in 2007.

In June 2007, two “Dakar version” Race Touareg vehicles powered by 2.5-litre TDI engines tackled the Baja 500, the Baja 1000´s “little sister”. Without a refuelling stop, the two factory drivers Mark Miller (USA) and Giniel de Villiers (ZA) completed the 420-mile distance (676 km) and achieved a spectacular one-two class victory as well as places eleven and 16 overall among 273 vehicles in the field. 2008 saw the inception of a circuit racing programme featuring the Volkswagen Jetta TDI as the first diesel-powered one-make cup in the USA.

The development of the Touareg TDI for Baja off-road racing represents the new peak of the programme for a key region: along the U.S. West Coast, off-road or sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are extremely popular. There is also a sizable aftermarket for SUV accessories. The Baja 1000 on the Baja California peninsula has acquired cult status with off-road vehicle enthusiasts. This fame has been nourished across decades by the participation of many big names in the event: Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Sébastien Bourdais, Oriol Servià, Jimmy Vasser, Danny Sullivan, Michel Jourdain jr., Gunnar Nilsson, Roberto Guerrero, Parnelli Jones or Robby Gordon. The rally is so famous in the USA that in 2005 a documentary about the Baja 1000, entitled “Dust to Glory”, hit the cinemas.

Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI

The event: mammoth proportions, improvisation and an “invisible” rival

Whether the 24 Hours at the Nürburgring with the new Volkswagen Scirocco or the 14 days of the Dakar Rally with the Volkswagen Race Touareg: the Baja 1000 has a bit of both but is even more condensed, unconventional and, ultimately, does not compare with anything else; it is a unique and tremendously big challenge for man and material. The basic rule: the rival is not sitting in the next vehicle - the rival is the track itself. The extreme Baja route has to be overcome and finished, but this is managed by just very few. Year after year Sal Fish, who has been President of the organiser, SCORE, since 1973, and his team come up with a different route. It always starts south of California on the other side of the U.S. border. The rally is staged on the Baja California peninsula, which encompasses two federal states of the United Mexican States.

The track: scree slopes, washed out river beds, trial sections, sand. And silt, which is the worst type of soft ground of all: a powdery material which can put a pitiful end even to the propulsive power of 800-hp Trophy Trucks. Start and finish of the course are in the coastal town Ensenada. For the 629.74 miles (1,013.47 km), a maximum driving time of 31 hours has been set. This track distance equates to roughly two typical stages of the Dakar Rally. Stops in terms of interruptions of the timed classification (such as between the individual legs of the Dakar Rally) or established locations for service are not provided for. Every stop made for the purposes of refuelling, driver change or repairs is counted as overall driving time. There is no official time-taking at the six control points to be passed. This means that rivals often remain “invisible” - the positions of the contenders only become clear at the finish. The route in 2008 includes many sections which have not been used for the rally in two decades.

Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI Image

The challenge: to perform a masterful feat on the ground and in the air

Planning for the Baja is up to the teams themselves. The technical rules: in the Trophy Truck class vehicle development is almost unrestricted, only turbo petrol engines are prohibited. Sporting regulations: practice with so-called “pre-runners” (special practice vehicles) is permitted as soon as the route has been announced, service points along the route as well as chase cars on the rally tracks are allowed. Volkswagen uses eight Touareg vehicles as so-called chase cars - the robust production vehicle with superb off-road capabilities is ideally suited for transporting mechanics, tools and spare parts. The chase cars may follow the competition vehicle on the route in the direction of travel, but may not drive in the opposite direction.

Helicopters are permitted as well. Like all top teams, Volkswagen will deploy a helicopter. The aircraft are only allowed to warn and navigate but may not transport spare parts or mechanics. In addition, a night-time flying ban for helicopters is in effect in Mexico. The number and locations of the stops are based on the following factors: the range of one fuel tank filling, the exchange of worn-out spare tyres, the scheduled driver changes as well as any repairs. Another logistical challenge: access to the track is highly limited due to trying topographical conditions - many a rough passage cannot be overcome by any wheeled vehicle in the world attempting to access the route from normal roads. Instruments for navigation (compass, GPS) and communications (radios, mobile and satellite phones) - in stark contrast to the Dakar Rally - are not limited at the Baja 1000. However, a limit emerges in a completely different way: even the most advanced technology is useless in the frequently encountered areas without coverage.

Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI

The answer: the Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg with a V12 TDI engine

The surprising success achieved with the “Dakar” Touareg sparked an ambitious programme by Volkswagen of America specifically geared to the Baja rallies. In close collaboration with the team of Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero an innovative prototype for the Trophy Truck class was created. For the first time, an automobile manufacturer dares to tackle this class with diesel technology. The rear-wheel driven Baja Touareg TDI´s power of more than 550 hp is supplied by a 5.5-litre V12 diesel engine from the Volkswagen Group. The efficient and fuel-saving TDI engine, together with a gearbox operated by steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, promises to develop its power in a clearly better, and thus tyre-saving, way than spark-injection engines do. Whereas the fuel tank capacity of the petrol-powered vehicles is unlimited and typically designed to handle 120 to 130 gallons, the diesel vehicles must settle for 65 U.S. gallons (246 litres). The chassis, with a tubular frame and a rigid rear axle with an enormous suspension travel of 75 centimetres, follows the typical principles of Trophy Trucks. The Baja Touareg TDI is prepared and fielded by Arciero-Miller-Racing in the USA; the engine is prepared in Germany. Visually, the Baja Touareg TDI will clearly resemble the production vehicle. However, in all of its proportions the prototype is slightly ten per cent bigger than its production role model; it is practically an XL-sized Touareg.

Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero are two proven experts in the cockpit. Both have won several Baja 1000 and Baja 500 competitions as well as off-road titles in the USA. 46-year-old Mark Miller from Phoenix/Arizona is navigated by 34-year-old Willie Valdez jr. from Los Angeles/California. Ryan Arciero hails from Los Angeles/California and is 35 years old. He comes from a family that has been active in racing for over 50 years and for whose teams the likes of Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Michael Andretti and other well-known names have driven. Arciero´s co-driver is 32-year-old Benny Metcalf jr. from San Clemente/California. The decision about the time and place for the driver change will be taken after the track inspection and strategy planning.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen and Clark Campbell, Motorsport Manager of Volkswagen of America, agree about the objective: “At the Volkswagen Touareg TDI´s maiden race we want to master the route of the Baja 1000 and reach the finish. At such a tough and unusual event this would be a first success and a promising starting base for the first full off-road season in 2009.”

Opel HydroGen4

Opel HydroGen4 has began real world testing in Europe. As have been announced by General Motors, the new Opel HydroGen4 will be tested on the streets by Nine Berlin companies of the German city: ADAC, Allianz, Coca Cola, Hilton, Linde, Schindler, Axel Springer, Total and Veolia.

Equipped with a 1.8 kWh buffer battery, Opel HydroGen4 is able to storing energy from the car’s regenerative braking system. Opel HydroGen4 also equipped with a 73kW-synchronous electric motor.

With a 440 single cells fuel cell stack that combines hydrogen and oxygen from the air that produce electricity, Opel HydroGen4 will reach its top speed at 100mph and have acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph in 12 seconds.

Opel HydroGen4 Photo

Press Release
The goal of achieving sustainable mobility with zero emissions came a step closer today when GM announced the European part of its biggest ever test program for fuel cell vehicles.

Nine companies will be the first to operate GM’s HydroGen4 zero-emission vehicles in the Berlin area as they go about their day-to-day business: ADAC, Allianz, Coca Cola, Hilton, Linde, Schindler, Axel Springer, Total and Veolia. This real-world road test will run under the umbrella of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), a German Federal Department for Transport, Building and Urban Development funded project focused on proving the day-to-day suitability of hydrogen as a fuel for road transport.

“We are delighted that these high profile business partners have joined us as we take zero emission fuel cell technology forward with the HydroGen4 program,” said GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster.

Opel HydroGen4

HydroGen4 on the Road

As an integral part of GM’s overall advanced technology strategy towards further electrification of the car, this fourth generation fuel cell vehicle is the culmination of more than 10 years development work with hydrogen and fuel cell technology. The HydroGen4 features improvements in everyday usability, such as performance and durability. Globally, GM deploys more than 100 vehicles of this type in its Project Driveway testing program in the U.S., Japan, Korea, China, and Germany.

In the U.S., more than 100,000 people have applied as mainstream drivers for the market test. To date, 3,400 people have driven the vehicles and 30 families have used the vehicle on a daily basis over a period of around three months. In total, the vehicles were driven almost 435,000 miles. Feedback from these demonstration activities not only gives GM engineers essential validation data, but also provides a valuable insight into the likely ownership and driving experience of future customers.

The vehicles are equipped with a wireless data transfer system that assists engineers by uploading vehicle performance data to a company server. Maintenance of the vehicles deployed in Berlin will be done at a regular Opel dealer equipped with the personnel and tools necessary for servicing fuel cell vehicles.

Opel HydroGen4 Image

HydroGen4’s fuel cell stack uses 440 single cells which combine hydrogen and oxygen from the air to produce electricity, with water vapour as the only by-product, and therefore zero emissions. The fuel cell stack provides the electric energy for the 73kW-synchronous electric motor, delivering acceleration of 0-62mph in around 12 seconds and a top speed of 100mph.

The electric motor’s instant torque characteristics also give the vehicle an excellent pick-up from low speed. The HydroGen4 is fitted with a 1.8 kWh buffer battery to store energy from the vehicle’s regenerative braking system and cover peak electrical loads. The three carbon-fiber composite tanks hold 4.2 kg of hydrogen at a pressure of 700 bars, sufficient for an operating range of up to 320 kilometers.

HydroGen4 can start and run in sub-zero temperatures, a considerable advance over the previous generation technology and an important benefit for everyday usability. It is designed to be as safe as conventional vehicles and includes unique hydrogen safety features in each of its major systems.

Opel HydroGen4 Picture

Volkswagen Scirocco R by MTM

Volkswagen Scirocco R (MTM) complete details has been released by Motoren-Technik-Mayer. Featuring a power upgrade, MTM Volkswagen Scirocco R will have a 272 hp and 380 Nm of torque.

MTM Volkswagen Scirocco R is equipped with rear skirt attachment, a 4-pipe exhaust system, 8-piston MTM Brembo brakes, and new sportive “bimoto” rims.

MTM Volkswagen Scirocco R also comes with MTM Clubsport running gear that includes sport shock absorbers and lowering springs that take the ride height down by 20-40 mm in the front and 10-35 mm in the rear.

MTM Volkswagen Scirocco R

Press Release
Just in time for the Essen Motor Show, the successful tuner mtm Motoren-Technik-Mayer introduces the MTM Scirocco R with its specially developed tuning components. The program for the VW Scirocco includes a performance enhancement of up to 272 hp, a MTM Clubsport running gear, a 4-pipe exhaust system with rear skirt attachment, a 8-piston MTM Brembo brake and also exclusive, sportive ”bimoto“ rims.

Introduction offer: control unit, lowering kit + exhaust half system with 4-pipe muffler and rear skirt attachment: Instead of a regular 3,479 € plus 828 fitting costs, now ONLY 2,990 € plus 828 € fitting costs.

MTM Volkswagen Scirocco R Picture

Racy ride with the MTM Scirocco R

An optimal interaction of the MTM motor electronics including MTM middle- and end muffler, the MTM front muffler as well as the pre-tube with a metal catalytic converter. The individually produced MTM exhaust system for the VW Scirocco is available from 2,255 €.

A performance enhancement up to 272 hp at 6,080 rpm can be achieved for the Scirocco. There are three different performance enhancements available: up to 245, 250 or 272 hp.

MTM Volkswagen Scirocco R Car

The Scirocco remains well-grounded

The high-performance MTM Clubsport running gear (from 1,489 €) which has been fitted in MTM Scirocco renders a better roadholding- and curve behaviour. The road grip is perfect and the driving dynamics significantly improved. The MTM Clubsport running gear consists of lowering springs and sport shock absorbers which allow lowering the car’s front axle by 20-40 mm and the rear axle by 10-35 mm. As a cheaper alternative, MTM offers the specially adjusted chassis springs. Not before long, also the MTM F-Cantronic will be available for adjusting the adaptive chassis regulation DCC.

MTM Volkswagen Scirocco R Photo

Best possible brake safety for the Scirocco

Amongst others, vehicle safety is ensured by the 8-piston MTM Brembo brakes with brake discs and steel flex pipes measuring 330×32 mm, 365×34 mm and 380×34 mm. Costs: from 3,462 €. The perforated brake discs which were especially produced for MTM immensely enhance the Scirocco´s appearance with their individually punched design.

MTM Volkswagen Scirocco R Image

Sportive rims “bimoto”

The design is perfected by the rim set “bimoto”. The rims which were created by MTM-technicians measure 19 and 20 inches and are available in “shiny silver”, “titanium” and “diamond cut”. The “bimoto” rims can be bought at MTM, starting at 1,876 €. In addition, MTM offers a complete wheel with the “bimoto” rim “shiny” and sportive tires by our tire partners Michelin or Continental (235/35 19) from 3,166.50 €. Optionally, MTM also offers a gauge extension of 20 mm per axle incl. wheel bolts for 104.70 €.

BMW LoRider - A Factory Custom From BMW?



BMW LoRider concept motorcycle

BMW unveiled their brand new LoRider concept motorcycle at EICMA in Milan, Italy and they’re looking for feedback. Would you consider giving this bike a spot in your garage? They put together a very basic motorcycle, 100hp 1200 Boxer engine in a 440 pound package with upside down forks, 6 piston calipers, spoke wheels and naked bike looks. But, then, they took a page from the Harley Davidson playbook and offer a full range of factory optional configurations.

BMW LoRider concept motorcycle

The optional choices cover things like exhaust, which can be twin shotguns on the side or a pair under the seat; 3 seat configurations from simple single perch to 2 person, streetfighter lighting or classic circular headlamps, 4 fuel tank paint finishes and 3 engine paint finishes plus lots more. After you’re done choosing the pieces and configuration you like best, you have an individualized bike that’s still genuine BMW.

Any new model encounters buyers who will like one part and not another, but BMW offers so many possible configurations they took care of many of those objections right from the start. If you like the style of a naked standard motorcycle, the LoRider shows you a lot of ways to fill in the picture. BMW has been moving a long way from their staid conservative image over recent years and coming up with designs that, not many years ago, would have been unthinkable. The LoRider could work. I like it. How about you?

BMW LoRider concept motorcycle

A few possible configurations:
BMW LoRider concept motorcycle
BMW LoRider concept motorcycle

Japanese Customs by Gravel Crew



Japanese custom by Gravel Crew Custom Service of Japan

A comment on another post led me to Gravel Crew Custom Service. These bikes are stunning. After looking at some of the new bikes coming out this year and then looking at these, there’s just no comparison. (Like, for instance, the Ducati streetfighter, …) Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, these are absolutely beautiful. Clean, simple, functional, just plain nice. With the cold weather setting in for those of us in the northern climates, these sure could get the creative juices going for the start of some garage projects, don’t you think? Wow!

Japanese custom by Gravel Crew Custom Service of Japan

Japanese custom by Gravel Crew Custom Service of Japan

Japanese custom by Gravel Crew Custom Service of Japan

Japanese custom by Gravel Crew Custom Service of Japan


XS650 Cafe Racer and Street Tracker Conversions



Yamaha XS650 cafe conversion

Where are all of the nice, smaller displacement motorcycles that look good and are fun to ride? They’re everywhere, you just need to do a little work. If you’re looking for inexpensive options to a vintage British cafe racer, especially if you like the idea of building your own, you can start with a lot of different models, the Honda CB750 always gets a lot of attention but the Yamaha XS650 is another great choice. I noticed this one for sale on eBay and it looks like the owner went through the bike completely, added a few parts plus some nice modifications and the result is a subtle, clean little beauty that anyone would be proud to own. It would get a lot of attention at bike night, too.

Yamaha XS650 cafe conversion

The old XS650s are pretty easy to find, the problem is many have been hacked and chopped into some unfortunate mess, not a problem if you only want the engine but if you’re looking to do what this guy did, you’ll want a nicer one to start with.

Mule Motorcycles Yamaha XS650 street tracker

Richard Pollack of Mule Motorcycles, who builds fantastic Sportster based street trackers, also creates some of the nicest XS650 based street trackers around, he takes the complete hand built custom route and the results are amazing, not cheap by any means, but really, really nice.

Mule Motorcycles Yamaha XS650 street tracker

Right now, a lot of folks are trying to be a little careful with their money so a new bike may not be in the cards, but, maybe something based on a Yamaha XS650 would fit in the budget. With much of the U.S. getting a bit chilly, how about a winter project? The bikes shown here might give you a few ideas. Just a few more examples to show, riding a cool bike is always possible.

Warbird 191 Cubic Inch Continental Radial V-Twin



Warbird 191 cubic inch radial based V-Twin

Ian Douglas sent me a note and thought we might like to see his answer to the Gunbus 410. No, it’s not built to the outsized proportions of that monster but the engine is based on cylinders and heads from a Continental radial engine. This isn’t one of those little Rotec radials used by Jesse James or JRL Cycles, these pieces are from a full size aero engine. The 2 cylinders, with a bore of 5.125″ and stroke of 4.625″ yield 191 cubic inches (3130cc) and mate to a crankcase designed by Ian himself. He designed the patterns, a local foundry made the casting.

Everything was built by Ian in his garden shed. He designed and built the boardtrack style hardtail frame with sufficient size to hold the engine while keeping it proportioned so someone can actually ride it. I like the aero touches like the nose art, applied by local artist, Jennie Persak and if you look closely, you’ll even see a pitot tube for the airspeed indicator. How cool is that?

The bike looks pretty neat but it’s the engine that catches your eye, I think the heads, especially, look great. Is the bike practical? Not really, though it certainly looks rideable, it’s just one of those projects that starts when a builder comes up with an idea and sees it through. Anything with an engine that looks that good gets a thumbs up from me.


Warbird 191 cubic inch radial based V-Twin

Warbird 191 cubic inch radial based V-Twin

Hailwood Motorcycle Restorations



Hailwood Restorations Egli-Vincent

Hailwood Restorations Vincent engineWhile reading Cafe Racer: The Motorcycle, I came across a bit of business information I missed earlier this year. The very well known John Mossey Restorations is now Hailwood Motorcycle Restorations, named after its new owner, David Hailwood, son of Mike “The Bike” Hailwood.

Hailwood Restorations is the kind of shop I wish were somewhere around my neighborhood, if for no other reason than to stop by and ogle the bikes for sale and undergoing restoration. Their shop offers new Egli-Vincents, new Norvins and if you want to build your own creation or repower your old Black Shadow, you can purchase a new Vincent engine, too.

As long as shops like these exist, we’ll be sure to see the old machinery running and inspiring new generations with a style less often seen, these days. If you like the old classic British iron you might want to check them out.

Ritmo Sereno Japanese Style European Customs



Moto Guzzi LeMans III custom by Ritmo Sereno

Moto Guzzi LeMans III before imageIf the Japanese style customs of Bratstyle or Gravel Crew get your juices flowing, here’s a look at what another Japanese company is doing with European bikes like Moto Guzzis, BMWs and even old BSAs and more. Ritmo Sereno is the place and from what I can tell (the site is all Japanese) they both manufacture their own parts and source a selection of proper pieces to turn your Euro bike into a beautifully customized cafe racer. You can purchase parts individually or they can put a complete bike together for you. Their bikes are built for both street and track.

They have a huge selection of photos in their custom file section. The before and after shots are what get you, from very ordinary beginnings to a refined and sleek machine. All of those plain jane used bikes for sale everywhere suddenly take on a whole new look when you see the possibilities, the Moto Guzzi LeMans III shown above is a great example.

I can’t help but think if you filled a bike shop with work like this, you wouldn’t be able to keep any on the floor for very long. Subtle and classy!

More photos below:

Moto Guzzi custom by Ritmo Sereno

BSA custom by Ritmo Sereno

BMW custom by Ritmo Sereno

Ritmo Sereno