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2016 HCOTY Nominee: BMW Alpha

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When it comes to the Hooniversal Car Of The Year, boundless enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of me. My impatience causes me to prematurely nominate vehicles before they’re truly complete. Three years ago, I nominated Antti’s €60 ’86 VW Polo stripper long before it was roadworthy. (Antti himself nominated it for HCOTY last year, after it was up and running, garnering a similarly small percentage of the votes.) And now, I’m doing it again. I was going to bow out this year and bide my time with this sucker, but Jeff and Brad encouraged me to generate some damn content not to keep something so wild and awesome to myself.

So, gentlemen (and ladies), I present my choice for the 2016 HCOTY: the BMW Alpha. Even though it’s not complete, just the story thus far makes it worthy of nomination. The original concept was created by Turkish architect and designer Mehmet Doruk Erdem, who is a motorcycle enthusiast but not a bike builder. He never intended the concept to be more than a few fictitious 3D renderings. But here in the U.S., land speed racer and workshop wizard Mark Atkinson saw his work and concluded that turning Erdem’s futuristic fantasy into real, functional metal was just the sort of side project he needed, when he wasn’t busy prepping his LSR bike for Bonneville. He’s currently willing the BMW Alpha concept into existence in spectacularly jaw-dropping style.
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Classic Captions – Twin Triumphs Edition

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Welcome to another edition of the Hooniverse Classic Captions Contest, wherein we show you an old advertising or promotional photo, and y’all come up with witty, clever, and snarky — or in rare cases, profoundly moving — quips to accompany it.

Looking back at recent contests, I realized that the past six have featured women somewhere in or around the vehicle, half of them in swimsuits. Lest people accuse me of pandering the Hooniverse’s predominantly male readership and their tendency to go there in their comments whenever possible, I present you with this human-being-free photo of two ’70s Triumph roadsters in a bucolic glade surrounded only by God’s wild creatures. I am confident that nobody can twist this into something crass and unseemly.
…NO, WAIT! I didn’t mean that as a challenge, really!
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False Neutral #40: Our Fantasy Guest List

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First off, the three of us devote some attention to the 2017 Honda Rebel 300 & 500. We then briefly discuss a couple of other newly-introduced bikes that none of our listeners will ever buy, or likely even see. Finally, each of us names the motorcycle heroes — past or present — we’d most wish we could sit down and have a conversation with. Garrett’s Internet connection continued to have bandwidth issues in a few spots, but just convince yourself that he’s actually a cyborg; hopefully this will be resolved when we return. Speaking of which, we’ll be taking a break for few weeks over the Holidays. We’ll resume our regular weekly schedule on January 10th.

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False Neutral – Our Fantasy Guest List

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Classic Captions Contest – Tatra 603 Edition

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This week’s contest features a first-gen Tatra T603. The photo is undated, but a safe guess is that it’s circa 1959,  +/- three years, as production started in 1956 and a restyled 2-603 came out in ’62. (The original design is often retroactively referred to as the 1-603.) Inside its homeland — what was then Czechoslovakia — the big rear-engine sedan was only accessible to Communist Party big-wigs. A sizeable number were exported both within and beyond Warsaw Pact nations. It ranked among the most high-end and status-y of Eastern Bloc vehicles: sort of a cold war Czech version of what the Cadillac Escalade was to Y2K Atlanta. Despite the communist devotion to drab utilitarianism and rhetoric about the evils of Western decadence, this was one fancy whip, complete with a couple of primo biatches in skimpy bathing suits caressing the fender — also exactly like most early millennial Escalade photos from Atlanta.

If you’ve been looking for a slam-dunk captions contest, this week is it. From the contrastingly dowdy citizenry in the background, to the ’50s swimsuit styles, to Tatras’ notoriously tail-happy handling, this image is downright preggo with snarky comments that can run in myriad different directions. What are you waiting for?
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False Neutral #39: Bikes on Film

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In this episode Eric, Garrett and I look at how motorcycles are portrayed in Hollywood films. From the good to the bad and the ugly, we discuss what bike-related movie tropes get two thumbs up, and which ones make us groan. After a tangental side-trip into who does the biker wave to whom, and why, we get back on topic to close out with a list of our favorite motorcycle documentary films.

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False Neutral – Bikes On Film

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Classic Captions Contest – Amco Tops Edition

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The automotive aftermarket is a huge part of car culture. In an effort to keep things fresh, our Classic Captions photo this week is not from a car manufacturer, but from an ad for Amco replacement convertible tops. Unless you’re a #bradsport devotee, being able to raise the top on your convertible is a very welcome thing when rain starts to fall. Amco made factory fabric tops for Chrysler, but this young lady sure seems pleased, perhaps even smug about her choice of an Amco replacement top for her Fiat 850 Sport Spider. But there could be more to this than evident at first glance. What that might be is up to you, and your comments.
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Thanksgiving Turkey: Suzuki GW250 Inazuma

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As with cars, folks are fond of saying, “You can’t buy a bad motorcycle anymore.” Unfortunately, these folks are wrong, because you can buy the Suzuki GW250, and it’s a bad motorcycle. Let me make this plain: the GW250 isn’t just “less than the state of the art,” it’s outright bad. On multiple levels. It’s also my Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey of choice.
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False Neutral #38: EICMA 2016

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The new-bike show season continues, with another crop of new models just announced at the EICMA show in Milan. Eric, Garrett and Pete discuss the hottest (and in a few cases, not so remarkable) new models for 2017, plus a couple of concept bikes you may or may not ever find at your dealer. It’s no surprise that we disagree on a few of ’em, but we do so politely, of course. Bonus Galactica 1980 reference.

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False Neutral – EICMA 2016

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Classic Captions Contest – Hillman Imp Edition

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Most Classic Captions images are photographic, since that’s what car marketers have typically used in their ads and press materials. But this week we have a beautiful artist’s rendering of a Hillman Imp, dashing up a mountain road under the skillful pilotage of a chisel-jawed driver, to the delight of his three female passengers. A skilled artist can carefully accentuate the vehicle’s appearance to subtly suggest traits that a totally realistic photo might not depict: in this case, power, security, and not tumbling off a cliff. But whatever this image says to you, say it back in the comments section and you could win cash money fabulous prizes points in life bragging rights.
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False Neutral #37: Motorcycles & Music with Thai Long Ly

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Eric and Garrett welcome part-time bike tester, full-time motorcyclist, professional musician, and all-around cool guy Thai Long Ly to the podcast. Thai is not only a regular member of Motorcycle.com’s bike test crew but an accomplished bass player, songwriter, recording engineer and music producer. He eloquently speaks about the similarities between making music and riding a motorcycle. Garrett had some bandwidth issues that makes him sound like a cyborg in a few spots, but it doesn’t last long.

Hear Thai’s musical work on SoundCloud

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False Neutral – Motorcycles & Music with Thai Long Ly

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