Jonathan Rea Profile Bio

Superbike racing is a real test of how man can harness the abilities of a machine – many would say no more so than the illustrious Moto GP, which is faster but perhaps less testing. Jonathan Rea is one of the stars of the Superbike field and one of those sportsmen who have graced the scene for a number of years due to their prodigious talents. Still only in his mid-twenties, Rea’s career could be about to really take off.

Rea cultivated his talents on the Motocross circuit where he learned the invaluable arts of balance and handling – essential in managing a bike’s varying dynamics. A move to the racing circuit was inevitable for a rider of his talents.

He competed in the British Superbike Circuit where he achieved 2nd place overall in 2007 and was named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year in 2008. Rea competed in the final race of the World Supersport calendar that year and in 2009 he moved on to complete a full season in in the World Superbike Championship.

He took two wins in his first proper season and an impressive four wins the season after. He’s been a steady presence in the World Superbike field since then, and a much respected member of Pata Honda’s team.

2012 was a good year with Rea finishing fifth in the World Superbike Championship and won the Suzuka 8 Hour. Rea goes into 2013 as a confident and more experienced rider and has already taken a victory at Silverstone. He’s well placed to compete for a top 5 finish, chasing after the breakaway pack of Guintoli, Sykes, Laverty and Melandri.

Rea rides the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and is a stable mate of the legendary Casey Stoner. Because of the recent rider test ban in Moto GP, Rea worked on the testing of Honda’s 2011 RCV which Stoner rode to victory in that season.

There are firm links between the worlds of Moto GP and Superbikes as the two sports move technically closer together. Anyone who admires the Moto GP season would do well to watch the exploits of their Superbike counterparts. Valentino Rossi is a known enthusiast of the sport.
Like any sporting talent, Rea is much in demand when it comes to sponsorship. Honda, RedBull, Oakley, and motorbike insurance specialists Carole Nash, are all proud to back one of sport’s most promising talents.

You can catch Jonathan’s blog on the Carole Nash website for an insight into his character and all round profile: http://www.carolenash.com/insidebikes/bikers-blog/jonathan-reas-first-insidebikes-blog.htm

  

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Steve McQueen’s 1946 Indian Chief to be auctioned

Legendary badass Steve McQueen was known for more than just his film career. The “King of Cool” was also known as a truly talented and highly successful racing driver. He loved cars and motorcycles and accumulated quite a collection over the years, many of which have been auctioned off to collectors.

Now his 1946 Indian Chief motorcycle, which was completely restored in the 1990s, will be auctioned of in Los Angeles from August 1-3 by Auctions America. Check out the photos above. The auction will be covered live by NBC Sports and Jay Leno will be a guest commentator.

  

Ryan Dungey gunning for 2012 MX Championship repeat

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Photo credit: Chip Kalback

Ryan Dungey is sheer class. Every sport witnesses a wide range of talents that pour their lives into the fragile hope of one day reaching the top, yet rarely do young phenoms storm the scene and rack up the kind of success that Dungey has already seen.

After a string of noteworthy performances in the amateur ranks, including a victory in Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championships, a promising young Dungey was pleasantly surprised by an offer from Team Suzuki to join their factory team, and in 2006, made his professional debut at just 16.

Feeding off the tutelage from motocross elite Ricky Carmichael and Roger DeCoster, accolades continued to roll in, including 2007 AMA Rookie of the Year. Despite these successes, it wasn’t until 2009 that Ryan really layed down the hurt on his competition, sweeping the 250 Motocross and Supercross Lites championships and gaining a victorious momentum that steamrolled into 2010, where he accomplished what only one other rider has: win the 450 Supercross and Motocross championships in a rookie season.

2011 saw Dungey’s talent continue to thrive, and despite landing on the podium countless times and bringing home the win for team USA in the Motocross of Nations, he fell just short of overall victory in both the Supercross and outdoor seasons.

A new team and machine were no doubt risky moves for Dungey coming into 2012, yet it didn’t take long for him to put the hammer down and bring Red Bull KTM its first ever Supercross victory. A broken collarbone sidelined the champion for a large chunk of the remaining Supercross races, yet he still managed to win the final two events. During the outdoor season, Dungey rode away from his competitors and into the books as being the first rider to win a 450 Motocross Championship for KTM.

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Scootering Around Roma: The best way to see the Eternal City is on two wheels

Last month, my wife and I went on a mini European tour for our honeymoon that comprised of stopovers in London, Paris and Rome. But this story starts a little earlier than that, roughly two weeks before we were scheduled to leave, when I suddenly got the itch to research Vespa tours in Italy. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but for some reason, failed to include in our original plans. Thankfully, after trading a few emails with the wonderful couple that runs Scooteroma Tours, they graciously agreed to take us around Rome to experience what makes seeing the Eternal City from a motorino (that’s “scooter,” in Italian) so extraordinary.

Annie, the self-titled Scooter Maven, was unfortunately unable to join us on the tour due to a bad case of bronchitis (though she stopped by the meeting point to introduce herself anyway), but her husband and business partner Giovanni arrived with one of their many other English-speaking tour guides, all of whom have years of professional experience in the tourism and hospitality industries. As a couple of Yanks with only a phrase book-sized knowledge of Italian, I can’t begin to explain how much of a relief it was to have tour guides who not only spoke English, but spoke it fluently. (Annie herself is American-born, but you can read all about how she came to live in Rome here.)

With the pleasantries and introductions out of the way, it was time to hop on the back of a Vespa and get to scootering. While Giovanni drove a newer Vespa model (red and shiny, and clearly the pride and joy of the Scooteroma family), his cohort Stefano arrived on a gorgeous vintage Vespa in order to give us a taste of what it would be like riding on both. That’s because Scooteroma offers a variety of different tours, as well as different ways to experience them. In addition to their half- and full-day tours, the company also does vintage Vespa and foodie tours, as well as a few other non-scooter variations. You can also either rent a scooter (up to two people per bike) or chose to ride on the back along with a guide, and although driving might sound like a lot of fun, it was actually much more enjoyable just to sit back and soak up the sights as Giovanni and Stefano zipped around the busy streets of Rome.

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Harley-Davidson starts the celebration for its 110th anniversary

The countdown clock had begun at the command of Willie G. Davidson, the grandson of the founders of Harley-Davidson. The year-long party to celebrate the 110th anniversary was officially underway in typical Harley-Davidson style with an appropriate blowout in the heart of Milwaukee and Bullz-Eye was invited to attend. This included the launching of the festivities and a review of the 110th anniversary Harley models and the evolution of this true American icon.

We arrived at the Iron Horse boutique hotel, which offers dream accommodations for bikers. This 5 star hotel resides in a converted 100-year old warehouse and was designed to cater to motorcycle enthusiasts by offering top-notch business services with never-before-seen rider amenities. Loaded with memorabilia and located across the river from the new Harley-Davidson Museum, it served as the perfect home base for enjoying the planned festivities.

At the unveiling of the new anniversary models we saw the new and very eye catching Hard Candy custom paint scenes that we recently saw in the new Seventy-Two Sportster model now available as an expanded option in the Dyna and Softail family of bikes as well. The Street Bob now as been restyled, with awesome factory options, and Harley’s own in-house custom division, CVO, launches a new and very radical Breakout model. The Softail, Dyna and Sportster family of bikes will see the exclusive 110th anniversary editions, with cool, rustic badging included. In the CVO family, models with the 110th package include the Road King, Road Glide and the super top of the line Ultra Classic Electra Glide.


Harley-Davidson CVO Breakout

The next day we were treated to a remarkable factory power-train tour where all the engines are made for every Harley sold world-wide. It’s hard to describe the massive size of this amazing factory, with 750,000 sq feet, equal to 17 football fields, under one roof. Clean, automated and fascinating, the tour is a must-see while in Milwaukee, and the basic tour is free, so you can’t beat that!

Returning downtown we arrived at the remarkable Harley-Davidson Museum, the largest museum in the world devoted to motorcycles. This is the Mecca for any HD enthusiast, from the first HD bike made in a shed to fascinating 3D interactive areas and rider emersion activities. A half day can be spent here easily; it’s that big. You can see a photo of the East Rider Harley in the slideshow above. The museum also featured the “Worn to be Wild” leather jacket exhibit that celebrates the iconic black leather jacket. They had over 50 jackets on display, ranging from rare historical examples pulled from both the HD archives and private collections to those worn by celebrities.

We were able to interview Harley design directors who commented that “freedom, independence and an attitude about life is pretty universal” and that “we want to put a big underline under that with everything we do” throughout the company. “The idea of Harley is universal – it’s not just an American idea.” And they want to bring the experience to everyone. This is also being showcased by Harley on several global “Epic Rides” including ride events to Tibet and through Europe for the next 12 months. They commented “it’s about the individual . . . to live freedom and spread the idea globally . . . each ride of course has its own party!”

We also had the honor of meet with Willie G. Davidson and he commented that “we know how to party with our customers . . . it has a lot to do with loyalty.” He continued, “We work continually on these (parties), this one we started (planning) five years ago . . . we are more internationally focused on our markets and our parties.”

He was quickly ushered away by security to the 10,000 gathered outside. As the huge crowd cheered Willie on with the start of the countdown clock the Harley stunt riders burned 110th in to the museum sidewalk with a massive cloud of smoke. Willie definitely knows how to party, and you can join in or just follow the fun over the next year. Just check the Harley-Davidson website for the Rumble Heard “Round the World.

  

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