Bulletin Board
New products and press releases


Future Shock: Hyperpro 360, Ikon 3610 and YSS MZ366

 Hyperpro-Ikon-YSS

BMW K75 shocks

Some enthusiasts might scoff at the notion of including BMW’s 1985-1995 K75 triple in a classic motorcycle magazine, but the truth is, it has become something of a classic, and rightly so.

Introduced for the 1985 model year, the K75 was a smaller version of the revolutionary 4-cylinder K100 introduced just two years before, which featured a fuel injected, double overhead cam, water-cooled inline four – lying on its side. Except for its shaft drive, it was unlike any motorcycle BMW had ever made, and rumors quickly circulated that BMW had a smaller companion to the big four in the works. Nobody expected a triple, however, yet for all its visual and technical similarities to the bigger K100, the K75 proved to have its own distinct character.

The K75 range was successful, too, with almost 68,000 manufactured in K75, K75C, K75RT and K75S variants during the model’s 10-year production run. Built with typical BMW quality, they are long-lasting, high-mileage machines, a fact that means there are tens of thousands of them still running around. And that brings us to their “classic” status. While traditional riders may not see them in the same light as, say, a Sixties Triumph or a Seventies Norton, their ready availability — and the ready availability of parts for them – makes them strong contenders as everyday mounts. Straddling something of a line between old and new, they are an excellent option for commuting and touring. And with almost 35 years between introduction and today, their mid-1980s styling has acquired a dated yet comfortable old school look.

Every bike has its failings of course, and one of the K75’s biggest was the rear Boge monoshock. Softly sprung and under-damped, it was considered a poor performer when new, and today, any owner with a K75 still wearing its original shock should seriously think about replacing it. And while we’re big on OEM parts, this is one case where we wouldn’t even consider OEM as an option. At just over $500 from BMW, the stock shock is hardly cheap, and adding insult to injury, they don’t work any better than they did 30 years ago. Fortunately, there are excellent options on the market, three of which we tested: the Hyperpro 360, the Ikon 3610 and the YSS MZ366.

On board

The stock Boge has 3-position adjustable preload and non-adjustable rebound damping, typical of the era. In addition to adjustable preload, all three of the tested shocks have adjustable rebound damping, a desirable feature on any bike and essential in our opinion for proper performance on K bikes owing both to their weight – our 1995 K75 test bike comes in at around 515 pounds – and their shaft final drive. Shaft drive can induce so-called “shaft effect,” where hard acceleration causes the bike to rise and deceleration makes it fall, upsetting handling. The K bikes (even pre-Paralever models, a feature K75s never got) don’t exhibit the effect as badly as some, but the issue becomes particularly evident running poorly damped and under-sprung rear shocks. Fitted to our 1995 K75, the three shocks tested allow fine-tuning preload as well as rebound, mitigating any shaft effect.

Rebound adjustment on all three is a simple matter of turning a dial, located at the bottom of the Hyperpro and YSS shocks and at the top of the Ikon. Of the three, the Ikon’s was harder to adjust, but only because the shock mounting bracket on the K75’s frame partially obscures the top of the shock, making it hard to access the adjustment dial. This wouldn’t be an issue on many bikes, but it is a minor pain on the K75. At the same time, the Ikon was also simpler to tune, owing to its four-position rebound adjustment versus the Hyperpro’s 50-position and the YSS’ 35-position adjustment, which allow finer tuning while also requiring more experimentation to find that “just right” setting.

Although our tests were literally a seat of the pants assessment, we sampled each shock riding the same 60-mile loop of mixed condition, two-lane roads. In each case, we rode the first half with rebound set as delivered. Then, depending upon our assessment, we adjusted the rebound to tailor it to the K75 and the roads we were riding. Not surprisingly, all three of the tested shocks performed light-years better than stock.

Hyperpro 360

First up for our test was the Hyperpro 360. A relative newcomer to the category, Netherlands-based Hyperpro has been making shocks since the early 2000s. Initially focused on high-performance race and sport bikes, the company’s offerings have broadened substantially over the ensuing years, with applications for a wide variety of 1970s to the present European and Japanese motorcycles, and Harley-Davidson.

 hyperpro-360

Weighing in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces on our scale, the gas-charged Hyperpro 360 is about 3/4-pound lighter than the stock Boge. Fully rebuildable, its features include a stout 16mm shaft diameter, a progressively wound spring with a screw-collar for preload adjustment, and 50-position rebound damping adjustment. It comes with a five-year warranty.

As delivered (packed in a cool reusable plastic tote), our Hyperpro was sprung for an average 180-200-pound rider, with the rebound set in the middle, 25 clicks from the bottom (fastest rebound). A check of rear suspension sag showed the preload was properly set.

 hyperpro-rebound-adjuster

Ride quality on the first half of our loop was generally excellent, yet there was no question the rebound needed to be slowed, the rear wheel tending to bounce over washboards and road irregularities rather than roll over them. With a wide adjustment range as on the Hyperpro, it’s a good idea to make broad rather than fine initial adjustments to get in the ballpark; you’re more likely to feel the change and know if you’re going the right way. For the return ride, I slowed rebound by five clicks, which made a marked difference in ride quality. The rear wheel tracked cleanly and easily over washboards and road irregularities, greatly enhancing ride quality and control. A bit more experimentation showed that 20-click setting to be ideal.

Ikon 3610

Remember Koni shocks? They’re still available, they’re just called Ikon, a slight-of-hand name change effected when Australian shock absorber reseller Proven Products acquired the rights to Koni’s motorcycle shocks in 2000. In the years since, Ikon has continuously upgraded and expanded its line of shocks, with applications for everything from Aprilias to Zündapps.

 ikon-3610

The 3610 series was designed specifically for single-shock applications like the K75. Weighing in at 7 pounds, 4.6 ounces – almost 2 pounds more than the stock Boge – the fully rebuildable, gas-charged 3610-1009 is a stout piece, and looks it. Features include a 14mm shaft diameter, a progressively wound spring with a screw-collar for preload adjustment, and four-position rebound damping adjustment. It comes with a one-year warranty.

The Ikon came sprung for an average 180-200-pound rider, and with the rebound set at 1, its fastest setting. Checking rear suspension sag showed preload was properly set.

 ikon-rebound-adjuster

Ride quality was very good right out of the box, the rear tracking cleanly and delivering an almost plush ride, with little evidence of wanting to jump across washboards. Setting the dial to 3 for the second leg of the ride returned a firmer, more controlled ride, and without any loss in tire contact rolling over rough surfaces.

YSS MZ366

Based in Bang Phli, Thailand, YSS Suspension began building motorcycle shocks in 1983. Twenty years later, YSS was supplying shocks for more than 15 motorcycle brands, and is now one of the largest motorcycle shock manufacturers in the world.

 Yss-MZ366

The MZ366 slots into YSS’ 4G line of gas-charged, rebound adjustable shocks. Specified for monoshock applications, it weighed in at 4 pounds, 5.2 ounces, the lightest in our group. Fully rebuildable, its features include a 16mm shaft diameter, a progressively wound spring with a screw-collar for preload adjustment, and 35-position rebound damping adjustment. It comes with a two-year warranty.

As with the Hyperpro and Ikon, the MZ366 was delivered sprung for an average 180-200-pound rider, and with the rebound set roughly in the middle at 15 clicks from the bottom (fastest rebound). Checking rear suspension sag showed preload was properly set.

 MZ366-rebound-adjuster

Heading out for the first leg of our route it was immediately apparent the MZ366 needed slower rebound to provide the kind of controlled ride we were looking for. On the first leg of our 60-mile loop, the YSS returned a soft, under-damped ride that had the K75 bouncing on the worst washboards.

For the return ride, we dialed the MZ366 up five clicks, putting us at 20 of the 35 available. This provided a much improved ride, the back end feeling firmly planted and comfortable, smoothly tracking over washboards. At the end of the return loop, we experimented with slowing rebound just a bit more, settling in at 22 clicks from the bottom. This further improved the ride, suggesting the YSS has its most nuanced rebound control at the upper end of its adjustment.

All things considered

We’re not suspension specialists, so we didn’t go into this looking for an outright winner. Rather, we wanted to educate ourselves about available quality shock options and the differences we could perceive between them. The tested shocks are all high-quality units; much better than OEM, and in the case of the YSS, cheaper, too.  

We did come away with some conclusions that underscore the individual nature of shock manufacturers and their specific products. Namely, for two-up riding on the K75, and/or with luggage, the $600 Ikon 3610 would be our top choice. Built like a tank, our experience suggests it would accommodate increased loads well after fine-tuning both preload and rebound. If most of our riding was sport/solo in nature, we’d definitely lean toward the $569 Hyperpro 360, which we found easiest to dial in owing to its surprisingly sensitive response to changes in rebound. And if a good ride on a tighter budget was our main criteria, we’d look at the $389 YSS. Although rebound adjustment sensitivity wasn’t as good as on the Hyperpro, it’s a solidly built unit that seems more than capable of dealing with the K75’s heft, and like the rest of the tested units, miles better than the original.

As a final note, proper spring preload adjustment is critical to good shock performance. To learn more about setting sag, go to MotorcycleClassics.com/sag.

2019 Andy Tiernan Classics Calendar

 Tiernan-Classics-Calendar

The 2019 Andy Tiernan Classics calendar showcases great postwar British twins, with stunning lead pencil and water color artwork by Mike Harbar. Featured bikes include a 350cc 1951 Douglas Mk V, a 650cc 1962 BSA Rocket Gold Star, a 650cc 1959 Triumph Tiger 110 and more. Important dates in the U.K. classic bike scene are noted, and all proceeds from calendar sales go to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, a non-profit ambulance service that has saved the lives of many motorcyclists. $13 (approx.).

Compass Touring Jacket by Vanson Leathers

 Vanson-Touring-Jacket

Massachusetts-based Vanson Leathers is known for its top-quality leather gear, but the company has expanded its offerings with a line of fabric jackets. Made in the U.S. of 10.10-ounce breathable, water-repellent Army Duck waxed cotton, the Compass Touring was designed with warm weather riding in mind, yet its included Streamliner Vest means it’s still perfect when the weather suddenly turns chilly. Easy to maintain, it can be hosed off and air-dried, and the hip-length cut ensures riding comfort. Available in tan (shown) and black. $549.

Parts Washer by TP Tools

 TPTools-parts-washer

TP Tools is best known for its extensive line of media blast cabinets and related accessories like HVLP paint systems and air compressors, but the Ohio-based company also carries a wide selection of quality shop accessories like this 5-liter bench-top parts washer. Measuring 5 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter, it’s perfect for soaking small parts, and its closeable lid allows you to leave parts soaking without worrying about spillage or contamination. Features a removable bottom screen and fire safety link. $39.

The Real Chiefs of the Mountain

Rachael Clegg
Black Hut, one of Rachael Clegg’s art photographs from her series, Milestones, illustrating the history of the Isle of Man TT. Photographer, Ian Parry/Artist, Rachael Clegg.

It’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m standing on a plinth, naked, 1,400 feet above sea level. It’s freezing and my Indian head dress is seriously itchy. But it’s worth it: The light is beautiful and I’m near the highest point of the Isle of Man TT course.

My name’s Rachael Clegg. I’m an artist, classic motorcycle journalist, and daughter and granddaughter to TT racers Noel and Tom Clegg. Indeed, the TT course is my spiritual home. But we’re not here to talk about that …

The image Black Hut is part of an on-going series of art photographs, Milestones, that illustrate the TT’s 111-year history. Black Hut (which is the name of the location at which the image was shot on the mountain section of the TT course) celebrates one of the most important moments in motorcycle history: Indian’s victory at the 1911 Senior TT and its technological dominance of the mountain section.

Move to the mountain

The Isle of Man TT started in 1907 and initially took place on a fairly flat, 15.5-mile course. By 1911, the event had grown in size and stature, with entries from across the globe spanning dozens of motorcycle marques, from AJS to Zenith.

For the 1911 TT, organizers decided to incorporate the 1,400-foot climb (from sea level) to the top of mystical Snaefell mountain. This ascent would present a huge challenge to man and machine — a challenge that would hasten motorcycle development and profoundly shape its future forever. Indian was already ahead of the game, however, and the 1911 Isle of Man TT was dubbed “the Indian Summer” for good reason: You’ll see why as the story unfolds …

In 1911, the majority of motorcycles were belt-driven; as riders changed gear, the belt would lose tension and often slip. Furthermore, engine oil would leak onto the belt, causing the belt to slip even more.

Indian, however, had an all-chain drive and a 2-speed, countershaft gearbox — which eliminated the risk of slip and thus proved pretty handy over the IOM TT’s mountain section. The combination of the two was hugely advanced for its day and countered most of the problems associated with ascending hills on two wheels.

The challenge wasn’t just the increasing gradients, however, or the pressure to be the fastest (and survive): Road surface conditions were horrendous for both man and machine, as Frank Applebee, who won the 1912 race, explained. “The dust and the general roughness of the course made the race a terrific strain for the competitors — I think it was a far greater physical endurance test, even at the comparatively low speeds of the period. At the end of the race many competitors had to be lifted from their machines and held up,” he said in Geoff Davison’s 1947 The Story of the TT.

But the Indian machines, and their riders, passed the endurance test with flying colors. Indian’s twin-cylinder machines (with engines scaled down to the new 585cc limit imposed by the TT’s organizers that year) finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd, with Oliver Godfrey, Charles Franklin and Arthur Moorhouse in the saddle, respectively. Indian’s technical developments had paid off in dividends.

Steve Menneto, the president of today’s Indian Motorcycle, said: “Winning the 1911 Senior TT was a significant achievement for an American motorcycle company, an event dominated by European brands, and our racing heritage is a source of inspiration for all of us at Indian Motorcycle. The original founders, Hendee and Hedstrom, had a strong commitment to performance and racing. Their mindset of innovation and constantly moving forward would have given them a significant advantage as they developed a two-speed transmission to master the challenging climb of the new mountain course.”

Indian’s victory at the 1911 Isle of Man TT is one of the key moments in motorcycle history, now immortalized in Black Hut, one of 12 images in the 2019 Milestones Isle of Man TT calendar. It’s available for £25/$30 at rachaelclegg.com

Travels Into Philanthropy: Neale Bayly Rides Keeps On Riding!

Neale Bayly  and child

Adventure motorcycling mixed with the kind of feel-good stories the world needs more of is the domain of Neale Bayly, a longtime journalist and photographer who is using his skills as a storyteller in video form.

“As a motorcycle journalist, I liked the idea of showing motorcycling in a positive light,” explains Bayly. My idea was to bring people on amazing journeys through the developing world to really experience the true beauty of these countries from the saddle of a motorcycle, to really challenge them to step outside of their regular life,” says the effervescent ex-Brit who now lives in North Carolina.

“And then, when they felt comfortable with their new surroundings, bring them to an orphanage or place of need to see how they could benefit those who struggle with far less than what they have. I wanted them to see the beauty in the children, not the dirt,” Bayly underscores.

If you don’t recognize Bayly from the pages of countless print — including Motorcycle Classics — and online magazines, you might identify him from the TV show Trippin’ On Two Wheels, a program that illustrated the fun and adventure to be had when traveling aboard motorcycles. Following that experience, Bayly developed a program of his own, called Neale Bayly Rides, as a mechanism to promote adventure motorcycle travel and raise money and awareness for the abandoned children of the Wellspring International Outreach foundation.

TV executives were skeptical of Neale’s good-hearted ambitions with his concept and his desire to show motorcycling in a positive light. He wanted to show motorcyclists as giving, caring and adventurous. “It was a tough sell in America,” Bayly relates. “I had 13 network rejections in 18 months, complaining that it was, ‘too soft,’ ‘too fluffy.’”

But Bayly’s dedication to philanthropy could not be stopped, and the show aired on Speed a few years ago, then was later rebroadcast on MAVTV. The heart-warming adventure can now be seen on the Neale Bayly Rides YouTube channel.

Neale Bayly Rides: Peru, Episode 1

Neale hopes the motorcycle community will get behind the show, as he intends to continue his mission to show adventurous motorcyclists traveling to exotic locations to help those in need.

“I can’t say too much at the moment,” says Bayly somewhat cryptically. “We are back on tour in South Africa in November riding to raise money for the Wellspring foundation, and again in Peru next April and May.”

Bayly’s format remains the same: Riding motorcycles in beautiful places in the world to benefit those less fortunate than ourselves. Do motorcyclists and the world a favor and subscribe to Bayly’s YouTube channel to support an authentic philanthropist who wants nothing less than to help those in need.

For a glimpse into the cool bloke that Bayly is, check out this brief video on YouTube, Neale’s Deal.

For more information, contact Neale at nealebayly@yahoo.com.

Sierra Dry Saddlebags by Nelson-Rigg

waterproof saddlebags

California-based riding gear specialist Nelson-Rigg claim their Sierra Dry Saddlebags are 100 percent waterproof, a claim we can back up after a long ride in torrential rain. Our riding gear was soaked, but everything in our Sierra Dry Saddlebags was perfectly dry. Made to last with aircraft-grade mounting hardware, they feature removable stiffeners to hold the bags' shape when empty and zippered liners to make packing/unpacking a breeze. Each bag holds 27.5 liters. Lifetime warranty. Available in black or yellow/black. $199.95.







The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds