An oddball selection this week, with a Ducati x Lamborghini limited edition, an electrified Kawasaki G3, a Super73 e-bike given the BMX treatment by ICON, and a range of pet toys from … Indian Motorcycle. Let’s start with the most conventional news, which is the release of the new Honda Rebel 1100 cruiser.
Honda Rebel 1100 The rumor mill has been in overdrive about this bike for a while, and it’s finally broken cover. The biggest ever Rebel uses a modified version of the current liquid-cooled Africa Twin engine, and if you hate gearchanging, you can specify it with a DCT transmission rather than a conventional six speed ‘box.
On paper it, looks good. Curb weight is a reasonable 487 pounds (220 kilos) and the seat height is just 27.5 inches. Power output is a hefty 87 horses, cruise control is standard, and the price is a remarkable $9,299 for the six-speed manual. That’s $700 less than the Harley Sportster Iron 1200 and over $3,000 less than the ABS version of the Indian Scout.
The downside to the bargain? The styling doesn’t fit the established American cruiser genre, and that’s going to put some buyers off.
Honda knows it too: “Since the Rebel 1100 out performs just about any cruiser, we didn’t fall into the trap of just making it look like grandpa’s sled either. Forget the chrome-and-fringe bling: this Rebel is a whole new take on how a cruiser should look.”
It’s a brave move from Honda. The new Rebel will almost certainly be great to ride, and it’ll have Honda reliability as standard too. But will that be enough to convert image-focused Harley and Indian buyers? We’ll be following this one with interest. [Rebel 1100 product page]
Aaron Laniosz’s electric Kawasaki G3 A year ago, an electric Honda S90 conversion by Aaron Laniosz caught our eye. Built for less than $1,000, it won the global Deus Bike Build-Off competition.
Aaron didn’t rest on his laurels though. “As soon as I finished the S90, I was eager to start working on my second motorcycle,” he reports. “I wanted it to be much faster than the first. And it needed a similarly small frame, because I would be working again in my studio apartment!”
Aaron spooted a 1974 Kawasaki G3 going for $300 on Craigslist for $300, with brand new tires and tubes. He stripped the tank down to bare metal, cut down the rear fender, mounted a pair of Krator handlebars, and fabricated a custom cowl. The foot pegs are also mounted further back on the swingarm, to stretch the riding position.
The brushless DC electric motor is a Chinese-made QS138 with 3000W, widely available for around $500. The programmable Votol EM-150s controller can plug into a computer, to adjust settings such as throttle response—a big step up from the Honda in both power and sophistication.
“The programmable controller gives the bike the feeling of a hod rod,” says Aaron, but the original drum brakes and suspension are a weak link. “Any any speed over 50mph a thrilling feat!”
The 72V, 21Ah battery supplies just enough power for a spirited 25-mile trip, but that might change as Aaron develops the bike further. “It’ll continue to evolve as long as I own it,” he says, “an unfinished hot rod, in contrast to polished and perfect electric motorcycle projects.” Follow Aaron’s progress on his Instagram page.
Treat your pets with Indian motorcycle gifts We see some odd stuff in our inbox, but this one takes the [dog] biscuit. Indian has just released a range of canine-related gifts including bandanas, collars and leashes, plus playtime toys and a feeding bowl set.
There’s even a T-shirt, that staple of the moto industry. Indian has helpfully provided a detailed sizing guide to ensure that your mutt enjoys a flattering fit.
The most creative item in the range is a Pull Toy: a rope attached to a rubber Indian ‘tank’ that has little holes in it for hiding pet treats. Looks like Indian’s commitment to shaking up the American v-twin market knows no bounds.
Ducati Diavel 1260 Lamborghini In a week that finally saw the death of the mighty Yamaha V-Max, Ducati has just extended its power cruiser range. It announced a 630-unit limited edition Diavel, which will be sold for $31,995 in the US. The Diavel 1260 Lamborghini is a homage to the new Lamborghini Siàn FKP 37 supercar, itself a limited edition that will be available in only 63 units.
The hybrid FKP 37 is the most powerful Lamborghini ever produced, with 819 hp on tap, but the mods to the Diavel are mostly cosmetic. The bodywork and air intake on the Diavel have been tweaked to mimic the Lamborghini’s lines, the vehicles are finished in the same paint, and the wheels of both machines share styling cues too.
The two brands are both based in the Emilia-Romagna region, but the connection goes deeper in the financial sense because both are ultimately owned by Audi (and therefore VW).
Every few years, rumors fly about Audi jettisoning its Italian companies, and VW has recently hinted that the group might restructure its Italian subsidiaries. The obvious reason for that would be to spin them off. Which leaves us wondering if the Ducati/ Lamborghini hookup is a way to showcase the synchonicity between the two brands…
Super73-S1 by ICON Motosports The SoCal brand Super73 has sent a jolt through the electric bike scene. Since 2016, they’ve been making rugged little urban cruisers with a range of up to 75 miles and a top speed of up to 28 mph.
The bikes are inspired by the small motorcycles that were popular with West Coast bike builders in the 1970s, and Super73 now has an additional link to the mainstream moto scene: they’ve hooked up with our friends at ICON for a one-off called ‘Chromo Steezy.’
The ICON-modified bike is an S1 model, which means it has a removable 768 watt-hour battery, an LED headlight and brake light, and a rear cargo rack. The design is so minimalist, it’s hard to believe it’s not a vintage pushbike rehash.
The Portland crew have given it an 80s-inspired BMW treatment that goes beyond paint and powdercoating. They’ve moved the BB shell back about three inches, fabricated new head tube and fork dropout gussets, and installed a ‘seat tube.’ The grips are from ODI and the rubber is from Vee Tire Co.
“It’s the feeling of a smooth summertime ride and a fully charged battery,” the ICON guys report. They gave the bike to local rider Chester Blacksmith—watch as he takes us on a tour of Portland and hits all the spots required for a party rockin’ time.