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Basem Wasef

Basem's Motorcycles Blog

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2014 ZERO SR Review: The Hot Rod of Electric Motorcycles

Saturday May 31, 2014
2013 Brammo Empulse First Ride

How does 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds sound? How about double the torque of a Harley Iron 883? Well, on paper all that sounds pretty darn good, doesn't it?

But sometimes, things don't go as planned and things get glitchy-- though in the case of the Zero SR, the latest hot rod electric motorcycle from Santa Cruz, California, this became a tale of redemption, not failure, thanks to a software upgrade of all things.

What the heck am I talking about, and is this electric hot rod worth your hard earned dollars? Find out in my 2014 Zero SR Review.

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Photo © Basem Wasef

2014 BMW R1200RT Review: Growing Up, Growing Big

Saturday May 31, 2014
BMW R1200RT Review

BMW has been expanding and upgrading their lineup, and the latest bike to receive a makeover is the venerable RT sport tourer.

By inheriting the R1200GS's "precision" liquid-cooled boxer engine, the RT gets new life breathed into it-- not to mention some K1600GT-like amenities. But does it nip too closely at the heels of its six-cylinder big brother?

Read my 2014 BMW R1200RT review to find out.

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Photo © Basem Wasef; click for review

Michelin's "Frankentire" Combines Bias and Radial Ply

Saturday May 31, 2014
Michelin Frankentire

Traditionally, tires used either old school bias ply design (which overlapped plies for less overall flexibility), or newer radial arrangements which allowed the sidewall and tread section to operate independently of each other. Though some motorcycles had radial and bias-ply tires at either end, the twain never met in the same rubber hoop-- until now.

Michelin has unveiled a new "Frankentire" that combines bias and radial ply designs, which promise the stability of a bias ply design along with the handling and comfort of a radial setup. The "2AT" (dual angle technology) concept is explained in this YouTube video, and seems to work logically enough in theory-- but how does it play out in real life? I can't tell you yet, but as soon as I can put the rubber to the road and ride these newfangled tires, I'll share my impressions in a road test.

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Photo © Michelin

Could BMW's Badass Concept Roadster Become Real?

Saturday May 31, 2014
BMW Concept Roadster

We've seen it all before: A wild, sexy concept bike gets unveiled, but never sees the light of day (like this sweet looking Victory), or gets reinterpreted into more mundane version of itself (like this bizarre Honda V4 concept, which eventually became the VFR1200F).

But last year when I laid eyes on BMW's Concept Ninety at the Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza in Lake Como, Italy, just a few months later a similar R nineT production bike was revealed.

Fast forward to this year's Concorso, and I witnessed the Bavarian brand's newest concept-- the Concept Roadster-- which inspired me to ask BMW brass to level with me: Is this thing gonna become real? Read More...

Nikwax Visor Proof: Like Virtual Windshield Wipers For Your Lid

Saturday May 31, 2014
Nikwax Visor Proof

Sometimes you get the perfect meteorological opportunities to put a product to the test, like the time I rode a BMW R1200GS through a blizzard.

Other times? Well, not so much... Read More...

Bultaco is Back... With a Twist

Wednesday May 21, 2014
Bultaco

Most hardcore motorcycle buffs-- the dyed-in-the-wool ones who've watched the industry evolve over the decades-- will wax poetic about the Bultaco brand if given the chance. Praise for the Spanish brand comes easy; not only was it once a major player in the dirtbike and trials bike game, its styling and functionality typified the golden era of motorcycling that was so eloquently captured in the original documentary, On Any Sunday.

The Bultaco brand had a solid run from 1958 to 1983, but was just resuscitated with an interesting twist: Read More...

On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter

Wednesday May 14, 2014
On Any Sunday Sequel

Great films about motorcycling are few and far between. Sure, moto film history has been graced by legendary fiction (Easy Rider) and gripping documentary (Faster), but beyond a tiny handful of masterpieces, it seems that totally kickass motorcycle flicks are pretty much a lost cause.

And then there's this gem of a trailer that teases the sequel to Bruce Brown's seminal 1971 documentary On Any Sunday. The original documentary was game changing and set the bar high (Roger Ebert said it "does for motorcycling racing what Endless Summer did for surfing"), but the fact that the sequel was directed by Bruce's son, Dana could very well pave the way for further awesomeness.

Financed by Red Bull and KTM, the flick embraces a broad spectrum of two-wheeled racing and its colorful array of personalities, from Marc Marquez and Travis Pastrana to James Stewart and Kenny Roberts. The photography-- at least from what you'll see in the 2-minute trailer-- is gorgeous, especially when viewed in the bandwith-hogging 4K Ultra HD format in which the movie is shot (though you'll need a 4K screen to fully exploit the hyper-realistic resolution).

We won't know for sure if On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter has what it takes to become a true legend, but we can't wait to judge for ourselves when it arrives in theaters this fall.

Source: OnAnySundayFilm.com

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Photo © Red Bull

Which Would You Ride? (Three-Wheeled Edition)

Wednesday April 30, 2014
Which Would You Ride?

They've both got three wheels, but that's where the similarities end: the $30,499 BRP Can-Am Spyder RT (left) and $15,999 Ural Gear Up (right) are so dramatically different in philosophy, engineering, and execution that I couldn't help but make a "Which Would You Ride" out of these two polar opposites.

The Spyder boasts cruise control, heated grips, an electric windscreen, and a four-speaker stereo with iPod integration. The Ural? Well, fuel injection is kinda big news... and oh, it gets some mechanical enhancements including a steering damper that threatens to make right turns less terrifying.

So, given the choice, would you grab the technological power pack that is the Can-Am Spyder, would you opt for the unshaven, rugged, militaristic look and pick the Ural?

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Photo © Basem Wasef; click to enlarge

Motorycles as Art… No, Really

Wednesday April 30, 2014
Allan Gorman Artwork

No sooner than when I pressed the "Post" button on this piece about an artfully penned motorcycle did I learn about The Ready to Rumble Road Show, a traveling exhibit which takes oil painter Allan Gorman's photorealistic canvas work to a small slew of Harley dealerships in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Gorman's work fetishizes particularly attractive H-D motorcycle bits like primary engine covers and exhaust pipes--sweet stuff for anyone who appreciates the mechanical finery of two-wheeled steeds. As described in the press release, "Gorman's paintings are not the typical 'screaming eagle', or 'flaming skulls' art often associated with Harleys, but instead focus on the beautiful abstract shapes and designs found in the swooping tailpipes, reflective chrome and color contrasts seen when you look a bit closer."

This is great stuff if you're a fan of the photorealistic genre (and Harleys in general); see more at allangorman.com.

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Art © Allan Gorman; click to enlarge

2014 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited Review: Riding Triple

Wednesday April 30, 2014
2014 BRP Can Am Spyder RT Limited

Little did I know when I test rode the Can-Am Spyder ST-S that the updated three-wheeler wasn't exactly the most newsworthy item the lineup: Turns out that the sportier (and lower priced) model sported the 998cc v-twin, while the more heavily updated RT touring models benefit from a brand spanking new powerplant-- a 1,330cc inline three-cylinder-- and a few other improvements.

How does this $30,499 big boy ride with its hard bags and top case, especially compared to its smaller, nimbler stablemate? I've got the answer in my 2014 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited Review.

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Photo © Basem Wasef; Click for Review

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