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Motorcycle tire safety by FireStone in 1955. I wonder if Safti-Sured Gum Dipped Cord Body is something still used today.


BSA Single advertisement from 1955. Says model shown is a B33 30.50 OHV. "On the highway - over cow trails - in the rough - the BSA Single is tops in performance, reliability, comfort and safety." Can you ask for anything more?

1987 - 2018 Kawasaki KLR 650 / It finally happened.......
« Last post by smallengineshop on October 24, 2018, 05:05:42 PM »

Kawasaki discontinued the KLR 650?

The other day on CycleTrader I searched for Kawasaki dealerships still listing new pre-2018 Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycles. I noticed a dealership in California with several new 2018 KLR's priced at $4999. That's $1700 below the MSRP. My first thought was these KLR's are priced low to grab your attention, but once you sit down with a salesman and see the price after fees are added on it's not as good as it appears. That might be the case, but there could also be other reasons why a dealership would want to liquidate these motorcycles ASAP.

Last night I read some sad news about Kawasaki discontinuing the KLR 650 for 2019. I haven't heard anything official from Kawasaki, but it appears to be true. I don't know for sure why Kawasaki discontinued the KLR, but its probably due to new stricter emission standard's. Another factor could also be the absence of ABS. I think ABS is mandatory in Europe for street riding. In a few days Kawasaki will reveal new models for 2019, but nobody knows if Kawasaki will reveal a replacement motorcycle for the KLR. If they do reveal a replacement it could be a reason for some dealership's to get rid of their KLR inventory ASAP. Its very possible there isn't a replacement motorcycle and Kawasaki will discontinue the KLR indefinitely, or they could wait a few years before bringing back a new and improved version in much the same way they did with the KLX 250 from 2015 to 2017. The only difference is the KLX was still manufactured for other parts of the world while it was discontinued in the United States from 2015 to 2017. From what I understand the KLR will be discontinued every where.

At this point there are too many unknowns to know for sure what the long term future is for the KLR 650. It appears to be gone for 2019, but hopefully Kawasaki brings back a new and improved KLR in a few years. I wouldn't mind seeing a KLR 650 with fuel injection, ECU, taller 5th gear or added 6th gear, higher output alternator and improved horsepower and torque. Kawasaki might be forced to scrap the single cylinder engine for a twin due to emissions. I could care less about ABS and riding modes, but whatever added features there are on a new KLR, I just hope the old KLR characteristics of reliability, big gas tank, easy to work on, low cost and Do-All motorcycle remain.
It was a mistake for the CEO of Harley Davidson to say he would move more production overseas as a result of EU trade tariffs on American motorcycles in response to Donald Trumps trade war. Harley Davidson suffered their biggest drop in sales in 8 years. I hope its a wake up call for Harley Davidson.....Start hiring American workers again and support government policy to bring more jobs and manufacturing back to America. Every Harley Davidson motorcycle should be built in America, period! The American public should have zero tolerance for big business and gov policy that results in sending jobs and manufacturing overseas.

Harley-Davidson Suffers Massive Drop in Sales After Tariff Feud with Trump
You know a movie is not realistic when a Kawasaki KLR 650 is used as a get away vehicle. OK, I guess some movies are more believable than others. Movie moguls had Ryan Gosling riding a Honda CRF230L and Suzuki DR-Z400S as get away vehicles in the movie The Place Beyond the Pines, but those slower motorcycles fit with the story line of a down and out character who's occupation is a stunt rider for the globe of death. The movie Reprisal starring Bruce Willis, Frank Grillo and Johnathon Schaech has Johnathon Schaech's character, Gabriel, a high end thief with plenty of cash, riding a Kawasaki KLR 650 to transport himself to a heist and make his escape when the cops show up sooner than expected. The character didn't even bother removing the knobby tires for a journey that took place entirely on asphalt. Any motorcyclist who has ever ridden a KLR 650 knows its a slow motorcycle and a bad choice for out running cops or anything else for that matter short of an electric wheel chair. The movie also never uses KLR motor sounds. Everything was dubbed over with sounds coming from what I think is a higher performance thumper to make the movie motorcycle appear faster than it actually is.

The movie bike is primarily blacked out but with dark gray (i might be color blind) paint on the fairing and sides of the gas tank. Its a second generation KLR 650 with the decals completely removed. The exact model year is difficult to determine because all KLR 650's from 2012 to 2018 look very similar. The second generation KLR 650 began in 2008 but in 2012 through 2018 Kawasaki blacked out the swing arm, forks and rims, and in the latter half of 2014 Kawasaki upgraded the KLR 650 seat by changing the cushion and using a different color pattern for the seat cover. The movie bike does have blacked out rims, swing arm and forks, but the seat cover looks stock and uses a pre mid-2014 color pattern. That would narrow down the model year between 2012 through mid-2014. In 2014 Kawasaki manufactured a KLR 650 which seems to match the paint used on the movie bike, so I'm guessing the Kawasaki KLR 650 used in Reprisal is a 2014 model before the new edition came out. I could easily be wrong. Its hard to see details of motorcycles in movies because their usually shown in action scenes and the clips are short and the lighting doesn't favor seeing details.

Johnathon Schaech pushing a Kawasaki KLR 650 in the movie Reprisal.

You can see the blacked out rear rim and swing arm on the KLR650 in this photo.

The Kawasaki KLR 650 cockpit.

The Kawasaki KLR 650 and Johnathon Schaech being chased by cops.

You can see the different colors of the gas tank used on the Kawasaki KLR 650 in this photo.

This is the best image I could get of the seat cover after zooming in and playing with the levels in Photoshop.

The only photo I could find of a 2014 Kawasaki KLR 650 with the correct paint is a new edition model.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson rides a Kawasaki Versys 650 LT in his latest movie, Skyscraper. The scene supposedly takes place in Hong Kong, China. The Rock's character, Will Sawyer, finds the motorcycle in the street lying on its side after a Hong Kong police motorcop takes a spill. Sawyer picks up the bike and rides off to escape being shot by movie villains.

The motorcycle scene is short and filmed at night so it limits how much detail about the motorcycle you can see. However, there a few things that stick out and fans of the Versys motorcycle can probably ID this bike much faster than I did. For one, the unique shape of the saddle bags is a good clue that this is a Kawasaki Versys motorcycle, and the absence of a protruding muffle from the side and rear of the motorcycle indicates this is a Versys 650 and not the 1000 model. Other clues were the overall shape of the motorcyce, chain final drive, hand gaurds, wheel rims, fairing design, headlight shape and shape of plastic shrouds seen when the bike is lying in the street. There have been two generations of Kawasaki Versys 650 motorcycles and this bike is definitely a second generation. The second generation was first manufactured in 2015 and continues to this day. I don't know what year Versys motorcycle they used in this movie because all 2015 through 2018 Versys 650 LT motorcycles are pretty much identical except for paint, and the bike in this movie does not have stock paint. My best guess is this Kawasaki Versys 650 LT is a 2016 model based on how long I think it takes to produce a movie from writing to an actual product seen in theaters.

I searched online to find actual motorcycles used in Hong Kong for police duty, but none of them were made by Kawasaki. They were mostly Honda and BMW motorcycles, which makes me wonder if this movie was actually filmed in China, and if it was, did the film crew use a motorcycle used by the Hong Kong police? The Rock is a big person so its understandable why the film people wouldn't want him seen riding a Honda CB300 and might create their own Hong Kong police motorcycle based on the Kawasaki Versys.

I actually saved clips of this movie to make a video, but I'm not sure what the rules are about using movie clips in YouTube videos. I guess there is one sure way to find out.....

The Kawasaki Versys 650 LT lying in the street after a Hong Kong motorcop crashes the bike.

The Kawasaki Versys 650 LT left side. In this picture you can see how bad the lighting is for seeing detail. However, you can make out the wheel rim design, saddle bag shape, overall bike shape and chain final drive.

The Kawasaki Versys 650 LT hand guards.

The Kawasaki Versys 650 LT rear shot of the motorcycle. Notice you can't see a muffler.

The Kawasaki  Versys 650 LT and The Rock riding off into downtown Hong Kong to escape being shot by movie villains.

The following photo's are different Kawasaki Versys 650 LT year model motorcycles from 2015 to 2018:

The 2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT

The 2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT

The 2017 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. Notice the position of the reflector on the front fork is different in this photo.

The 2018 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. The reflector is missing on the rear saddle bag.

The automotive industry has been eliminating the old style mechanical key and lock on new vehicles for years and now the same thing is happening in the motorcycle industry. Harley Davidson replaced the mechanical ignition lock and key on new 2018 Softail models with a key fob or fob that provides security using  radio signals to communicate with the motorcycle. The motorcycle's computer can communicate with the key fob and knows when the rider is carrying the correct fob assigned to the motorcycle. The ECU or computer can either disable or allow the motorcycle to start based on the key fob. If the rider shows up with the wrong key fob or no key fob at all, then the computer will disable the motorcycle.

In remembrance of the good ole days I thought I would post a key blank application guide for Harley Davidson models. The motorcycle industry doesn't get the same attention as automotive, so some information may be incomplete. I don't think any of these keys will fit the Aermacchi model Harley Davidson's from the 1960's and 70's. You might need to do some extra research and ask questions to determine the correct key for your motorcycle. I included different manufacturer key blank numbers when it was appropriate.

Harley Davidson Model    Year    Key Blanks
Dyna (FXD, FLD series models    1991+    HYD14, 1137B
FX Wide Glide (FXWG)    1985-1986    HYD12, X226
FXR series (FXR Super Glide, FXLR Low Rider)    1994    HYD13, X234
Softail (FXST series models)    Early 1984    B1
Softail (FLST, FXST series models)    Late 1984-1995    HYD12, X226
Softail (FLS, FXS series models)    1996+    HYD14, 1137B
Sportster (XL, XR series models)    1994-2011    HYD13, X234
Sportster (XL, XR series models) ("B" code series)    2012+    HYD15
Sportster (XL, XR series models) ("A" code series)    2012+    HYD16
Sportster (XL, XR series models) ("D" code series)    2012+    HYD17
Sportster (XL, XR series models) ("C" code series)    2012+    HYD18
Street 500, Street 750 (XG500, XG750)    2015+    HYD19
Touring (FL series - all models)    1941-1979    B1
Touring (FL series - All Electra Glide models)    1980-1982    B1
Touring (FL series - Some Tour Glide models)    1980-1982    B1
Touring (FL series - Some Tour Glide models)    1980-1982    X133-X136, X141, X142
Touring (FL series - Some models)    1983-1984    B1
Touring (FL series - Some models)    1983-1984    X133-X136, X141, X142
Touring (FL series)    1985-1992    X133-X136, X141, X142
Touring (FL series)    1993+    HYD14, 1137B
Trike 3-wheeler    2009+    HYD14, 1137B
V-Rod (VRSC series models)    2002+    HYD14, 1137B
Off Topic / Evolution takes faith
« Last post by smallengineshop on September 21, 2018, 09:00:39 PM »
Anyone who has ever designed and built anything knows things just don't come together and work on their own; it takes much planning and work to see an idea come together and produce something useful and productive. How can any builder honestly believe that life is the result of genetic mutations or mistakes? That the life we see all around us somehow appeared out of nothing and nature managed to change a single cell into the plants and animals we see today using genetic mutations. To look at any system in nature and reach the conclusion that there is not an intelligent force that encompasses a designer, artist, engineer, mathematician, scientist and builder behind it takes much faith. It requires so much luck that it becomes impossible, but the theory of evolution is protected and taught to everyone as if it is the golden truth. How many people have lost their faith in God because of it?

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

They should dress up a headless manikin and let it drive itself around the local town/community.

BMW is teaching this motorcycle to drive itself so it can help save lives
American V-Twin Motorcycles / Countdown To The Harley Davidson Pan American
« Last post by smallengineshop on September 13, 2018, 08:43:32 PM »
This is an Adobe flash countdown app to the 2020 release date for the Harley Davidson Pan American motorcycle. You might need to click on the image and give your computer/device permission to run the flash app before you can see it. I don't think flash will run on the iphone using Safari. There is probably a work around, but I don't use an iphone so I don't know what the work around is.

<a href=" davidson pan american/timer.swf" target="_blank" class="new_win"> davidson pan american/timer.swf</a>
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