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Thursday
Sep142017

Tempus Electric Bikes

Tempus Electric Bikes is a manufacturer of electric bikes, founded by two twenty year old entrepreneurs. As a result of two years of hard work and building four prototypes in their apartment, the CRT1 was born. What makes their bike worth writing about on this blog is the design of their bike. The CRT1 is modelled after vintage cafe racer motorcycles, making it one of the first of its kind.

The CRT1 is a premium electric bike, starting at $2999 USD however; with this one, you get what you pay for. The bike is crafted with high quality parts and offers a lot more than other similarly priced bikes out there. To complete the look and feel of a motorcycle, it is equipped with front suspension, a front and rear LED, and a leather motorcycle seat.

One of the things that Tempus prides itself on is the fact that they do not exaggerate their specs. They do not inflate the range of their bikes, claiming that it can get some distance only possible with a 135lb rider pedaling the entire way time. Rather, their range is based on how far you will get on a regular ride, being fully throttled most of the time without pedaling.

It’s not quite as fast as a motorcycle, but the CRT1 has a top speed of 45km (28mph) and can take you from 40km (25 mph) to 60+km (37+ mph) with moderate pedaling. The bike weighs 75lbs and is equipped with a 52V 16.5Ah battery, which gives it significantly more range than most other e-bikes available for the same price.

What drives Ikenna and Xavier to wake up everyday is their passion for speed and design. The two do not want to just make another e-bike; they want to share their passion with the world. “Riding an e-bike is unlike anything else. Between the instant thrust of speed you feel every time you hit the throttle and being able to weave through traffic ever so smoothly, it just never gets old. We are not here to just make another e-bike and then disappear. We want to continuously push the standard of design in all electric transportation. The CRT1 is our first step towards that.”

On to the big question: where and when can you buy one? Tempus is just about to begin their first production run, expected to be delivered between October and November.

To follow them on their journey, you can follow them on social media: 

Facebook: TempusElectricBikes

Instagram: Tempusebikes

Twitter: @tempusebikes

Or

If you would like to place a pre-order, you can do that on their website: https://www.tempuselectricbikes.com

 

Thursday
Aug242017

Vanderhall Venice Review

“Thrill rides” come in all shapes and sizes. They present themselves in different forms, but all create a visceral, seat-of-the-pants impression that earns the title. Although calling the Vanderhall Venice a motorcycle might be a stretch, “thrill ride” is a perfectly suitable moniker.

 

Technically classified as a motorcycle, the Venice is a three-wheeled, front wheel drive, automotive 180 hp, turbo-boosted 4-cylinder GM drivetrain, that’s wrapped in the barest of essentials to provide a driver and passenger a place to sit as the gravitron of the motorized world holds its passenger contents in place through seatbelts and sheer gravitational force. This motorcy..car…thingy is truly something we two-wheeled diehards may be missing out on.

My California canyon route is familiar to me on two wheels and provides what some have come to know as a bit of motorcycling heaven on earth, forcing even novice riders to bend it like Beckham into the sharpest of corners. But could this motorcycle imposter conjure up the same thrills for me? The simple answer is Yes! Yes! Yes!

 

Weighing in at 1,950 lbs, the Venice achieves an impressive 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Although the speed off the line can be described as quick, the stability and handling are where the Venice leaves its driver begging for more time in the cockpit. Every corner provided yet another smile and outcry of excitement muffled by the gratuitous turbo blow-off with every shift of the electronically-controlled sequential box that is commanded through a perfectly-weighted and sprung-polished gear selector for just the right amount of analog in a digital age. 

As I approached my remote destination and parked the Venice to take in the body lines from afar, I found that my new love had yet another admirer: a grizzled man of a certain age, chomping on a cigar yet to be lit. As I approached to introduce myself and fend off any ignorant inquests, he said, “Now, this is beautiful. I have two three-wheeled cars myself.” My lesson was quick - book cover judgments have no place in the canyons.

 

What fun would a ride like this be without sharing it with another enthusiast? As we launched out of the parking lot, my co-pilot voiced above the glorious noise, “Let’s see what this baby can really do!” What happened next I can only assume would prepare me to qualify at a formula one race (OK, maybe not, but WOW)! Although I had to return my new friend to his truck, I think he is still out there somewhere in the canyons reliving the G-force-induced joy ride, compliments of the Vanderhall Venice.

In a day and age of motorcycles fetching north of $30,000, the Venice provides a stunning value (in my humble opinion) for an American-born rocket ship built in Utah that can be placed in your garage at just $29,950. Well played, Vanderhall… well played indeed.

 

Words by Brice Cooper, a Cafe Racer XXX contributor and friend.  He is also a former AMA XR-1200 series rider and owner of the Tiny Mule Creative Agency.

Friday
May122017

The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show 2017

I showed up to the Fair Market venue a few hours before opening time, expecting only to pick up my press pass. Upon receiving it, I took the opportunity to walk the floors to capture some images while it was virtually empty save for the dozen or so Handbuilt Show workers milling about prepping for opening alongside some of the bike builders helping to position their bikes this way and that. 

I recall music playing, but I think I was having sensory overload to be honest, as I remember it ever so faintly in the backdrop of my mind as what seemed like hundreds of incredible bikes filled my sights. I began hitting the shutter button incessantly, attempting to capture the artistic vision and individual one-of-a-kind details these bikes all bared. To be in the presence of bikes built by such renowned builders, bikes that I had only seen through a computer screen or a mobile phone– it was humbling to say the least. From Mark Atkinson’s sleek shark like BMW Alpha build, to Maxwell Hazan’s gorgeous 1978 Turbo Ducati 860GT Racer, amongst so many other notable builds, it was hard to not freak out. The incredible thing is that just when you think you’ve already seen everything about a bike and you start to walk away from it, some other mind-bending minute design detail of the bike catches your eye and you’re stuck marveling at it for another 10 minutes. And that’s impressive, being that I have the attention span of a gnat. 

Eventually, I made my way outside the venue to check out American Motor Drome Co’s “Wall of Death” tent. There I found amongst red, white, and blue painted vintage Harleys on the lawn, none other than the Wall of Death showmen themselves, Charlie Ransom and Lightnin’ Jay enjoying some downtime ahead of the show. We chatted for awhile about California, various bike related things and I snapped some pictures of them as they talked. They kindly offered to let me shoot from the center of the motor drome that night, and I could barely contain my excitement as I babbled an incoherent “YES” in response. 

A few hours later that evening, I checked off one of my long time bucket list items as I stepped through the small entryway and onto the star spangled floor of the Wall of Death. Soon after, in the company of Charlie Ransom, Reckless Reda and Hobo Bill, Lightnin’ Jay fired up his 1927 Indian Scout, and within a few loops of the floor, he was quickly spiraling his way up the wooden 15 foot walls. The roar of his engine loudly filled the air as Jay twisted the throttle and was interrupted momentarily only by the occasional backfire and the excited cheers of the crowds above, as he upshifted until he was in 3rd gear. The sights, sounds, and smells from my place at the bottom of that dome could be likened to no other experience in my life. Charlie performed his death defying acrobatic acts of riding side saddle, hands in the air, and snatching dollar tips from the daring hands of the spectators at the top; Hobo Bill deked his bike along the wall in an insane swooping motion and lastly, he and Reckless Reda shared the wall as they raced their bike and go-kart side by side. As soon as the show had started, it ended, along with my rush of adrenaline. This however was only the beginning of the weekend for the Wall of Death crew – they were to perform every hour on the hour 20 more times throughout the weekend. The notable part about the AMDC crew is how genuine and humble they are, and how they always made time to sit and talk with the numerous fans of all ages that swarmed them after each show, regardless of how tired they were from repeated sessions of risking life and limb for the show. 

By end of opening night, I myself was already exhausted from running around and capturing all I could. One day down, two more to go. As I said before, there was always so much more to capture at the Handbuilt Show, such as the excited fans, the many small intricate customizations of these two-wheeled labors of love, or the smiling, familiar faces of the many like-minded moto people I consider myself honored to call friends. It would be an understatement to say that I can’t wait to return to Austin for the next one. Hope to see you there too.

Many thanks to Sasha @CRXXX for the opportunity, the Revival crew for putting on an incredible show, and to all the builders for traveling from all over to share their work.

 

- Words and Photos by Erik Jutras, Guest Contributor for Cafe Racer XXX

Tuesday
Jan172017

MotoBailey Shoe Review

The MotoBailey boot was going to be right up my alley from the very start. I loath having to buy a different shoe for every different occasion; I find it wasteful and I have a hard time finding U.S. made options. MotoBailey makes their boots in the US with imported materials, which I appreciate. The fact that I can wear these boots in the studio, at my storefront, at client meetings, and on my motorcycle means I have one less thing I have to purchase and worry about.


These boots are the ultimate twofer for urban riders. While I am more of a rural rider, living in the hinterlands of Northern California, I am also a professional and a business owner, which means I have to look presentable throughout the day. Having to haul around an extra pair of shoes for meetings with clients is the last thing I want to deal with. What a pleasant experience to have the safest boot in my wardrobe also be the most stylish.

MotoBailey proves you can have it all, and why we don't see this more often I don't know. They line both styles of boots they offer with Kevlar. Hats off to them for thinking dynamically. The price point on these boots is reasonable and because they combine two kinds of foot wear they can potentially save you as much as they cost. Where I ran into some concern was the boot laces and gromits (or lack there of). While I can't say what will happen after a lot of use, because I just got these boots, I can say that some metal grommets would make me feel like the lace-holes won't wear and stretch or break. The shoe laces themselves seem a bit thin and delicate. While Moto Bailey wants to have a swankier-looking boot than the normal motorcycle boot (and they do) I worry that the delicacy of the laces and the gromits might be a problem down the line.

 

My father is a local blacksmith and I was envious of the grommets on his work boots which I think MotoBailey might want to consider.

There's metal eye on the top lace-hole but I strongly feel that each opening should have one. If Moto Bailey wants these to be your go-to, everyday boot they need to be able to withstand some abuse. I look forward to finding out if these stylish boots can stand the test of time and wear.

 

 

Words and Photos by Trinia Jean, guest writer for Cafe Racer XXX and cofounder of Hinterland Empire