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100 Biker No. 253

100% Biker is the leading grass-roots custom bike magazine in the UK. It is the Bible for all things custom bike in Britain, covering the best from the custom bike and biker event world. It features traditional choppers and bobbers, streetfighters, rats, cafe racers, cruisers and custom bikes that don't easily fall into any definable category.

United Kingdom
Jazz Publishing
Back issues only

in this issue

3 min

In the first twenty-five years of the 20th century, there were more than 350 motorcycle manufacturers listed in the United Kingdom (and probably a similar number in America). These ranged from those who would last for decades—Triumph, Norton, BSA, etc—to those unknown names of which no examples survive. The number of firms setting up to manufacture motorcycles is breath-taking and, while some only produced one or two machines and lasted months rather than years, many firms did actually continue in business for several years, most put out of business by the Great War as much as by market forces. While you have probably heard of New Imperial, do you, for example, know of New Era, New Henley, New Courier, New Coulson, New Comet, New Bowden or New Gerrard? While we often refer…

2 min
indian motorcycle gets a new heart

The all-new motor is an 1769cc,108 cubic inch, liquid-cooled V-twin and there will be those among you who have just said to yourselves, ‘But that’s less displacement than the Thunder Stroke 116’. Indeed it is, but it’s all about torque. Despite being a smaller motor, the PowerPlus 108 delivers 128 ft/lbs of torque, compared to the Thunder Stroke’s 126 ft/lbs. Indian doesn’t issue a horsepower claim for the Thunder Stroke 116, but at a guess it’s less than the 121 horses produced by the new PowerPlus. The PowerPlus will be fitted—initially at least—to the new Indian Challenger, the fixed fairing bagger that will be the highest performing American V-twin ever. We know, a bagger. What can we say? “We challenge our engineers with the notion that anything less than best-in-class design…

1 min
zero goes looking for adventure

So far there has been no official confirmation that the Long Way Up will be an electric trip, although Charley Boorman has referred to this journey as being ‘non-traditional’, but it would be—as Grav pointed out in last month’s Tailpiece in 100% Biker #252—a remarkable marketing coup for Harley. However, what is more surprisingly is that, if MacGregor and Boorman have chosen to undertake their next adventure on electric motorcycles, that they have chosen the LiveWire and not a model like a Zero which would appear to be more suited for the purpose. (The answer is probably that Harley’s marketing and publicity budget is way, way bigger than that of Zero Motorcycles. Its tea and biscuits budget is probably bigger than Zero’s PR budget.) Zero has already staked its claim to…

2 min
the police go electric

Across the world, the forces of law and order have been among early adopters of the new generation of electrical motorcycles. In America, well over one hundred police forces use electric motorcycles and industry leader, Zero Motorcycles, has been supplying exclusive models to the police for the last nine years. Now that revolution could be coming to the thin blue line in the United Kingdom. Zero’s new SR/F has recently been tested by West Midlands Police’s Road Harm Prevention team as part of a programme aimed at education drivers, improving motorcycle safety and reducing the number of accidents in which a motorcyclist is involved. An unmarked Zero was riding by a police officer in plain clothes who was wearing a body camera. Over a period of two weeks, that camera was…

1 min
muller hydro clutch

Müller Motorcycle AG has a sterling reputation in the aftermarket clutch industry, established over more than twenty years. It was a quarter of a century ago that the Müller Power Clutch was first launched and now the German company has unveiled a similar revolutionary device for hydraulic clutches. Since the new Harley-Davidson models are known for their impressive torque, they require a healthy clutch. Therefor the use of strong clutch springs is essential, resulting in a rather strong force required to pull in the clutch lever. This can be awkward and tiring, especially when riding in busy and aggressive city traffic, stuck in a traffic jam or on curvy, mountain roads. So Müller Motorcycle AG has developed a new clutch controller which significantly reduces the force required to operate the clutch…

1 min
livewire goes dead

In the middle of October, Harley-Davidson closed down production of its long-awaited electric motorcycle, the LiveWire. Quite why no-one is too sure—and Harley isn’t telling, saying; ‘Temporarily stopping LiveWire production allowed us to confirm that the non-standard condition identified on one motorcycle was a singular occurrence.’ It appears to be a quality issue and quite likely to involve the model’s charging system. Production was shut down for almost a week while the problem was identified and the company issued a statement saying, ‘Customers may continue riding their LiveWire motorcycle and are able to charge the motorcycle through all methods,’ which is a little curious as the first LiveWires have yet to arrive at dealer showrooms.…