Heels & Horsepower Magazine

BMW Motorrad presents the new Ride & Style Collection 2023

When it comes to motorcycling, there is no such thing as weather that is too wet, too cold or too hot, it all depends on having the right outfit.

BMW was the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to present its own complete rider equipment. At that time the gear was made of impregnated cowhide, but was equipped with protective zones as well as safety reflectors to increase visibility at night. This proved to be the starting signal for an unprecedented success story.

The world’s largest range of motorcycle rider equipment.

In the following decades, BMW Motorrad consistently followed its goal to make motorcycling as safe and as comfortable as possible as well as fashionably attractive and stylish.

Today it offers an unparalleled range of rider equipment surpassing all motorcycle manufacturers – always driven by the developers’ urge to make existing products even better and to develop new innovative solutions to make motorcycle riding even more fun and carefree.

More than 100 new rider equipment products for the 2023 motorcycling season.

For the coming season, BMW Motorrad presents the Gear & Garment Collection 2023 with more than 100 new products ranging from helmets, gloves and boots to rider suits, jackets, trousers, casual wear, functional wear and accessories. Developed by motorcyclists for motorcyclists, with enthusiasm, passion and a lot of love for functional details and stylish design. 

BMW Motorrad Presents A Fred Kodlin Customized R 18 B HEAVY DUTY

Anyone who talks about the US customizing scene mentions Fred Kodlin almost in the same breath. For more than 40 years, he has dedicated himself to customizing motorbikes, and now, for the first time, Kodlin has customized a BMW R 18 B.

Anyone who talks about the US customizing scene mentions Fred Kodlin almost in the same breath. For more than 40 years, he has dedicated himself to customizing motorbikes, from radically modified creations to sophisticated new designs. He was the very first non-US citizen to be inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame; and now, for the first time, Fred Kodlin has set about customizing a BMW R 18 B.

BMW R 18 B: The perfect bike for customizing.

Featured at the 2023 Daytona Bike Week in Florida recently, the customized R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is a spectacular work of functional ‘art’.

Viewed from the side, the fly-line drops sharply to the rear from the chopped windshield taken from the Original BMW Motorrad Accessories range and finally runs harmoniously into the side cases made by Kodlin out of glass fibre-reinforced plastic and the low rear end.

From the top the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is characterised by a strong waistline in the seat area and a flowing connection to the side cases.

Finally, the technical chassis highlight is an air suspension system at the front and rear, supported by a compressor placed barely visibly behind the left side case. This allows the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY to be lowered and raised in a fraction of a second.

A front spoiler including a 3-colour underfloor lighting system and a front mudguard, are also made of sheet metal, with the mudguard fitting snugly around the 21-inch front wheel.

Kodlin also created a corresponding counterpart for the rear wheel from two R 18 B rear mudguards joined together, in which the rear and side indicator lights are integrated in a very discreet manner.

R 18 B boasts loudspeakers by Marshall and has an amplifier fitted inside.

The customizing job is rounded off by a seat made by Kodlin and an instrument cover with covers made of Alcantara and imitation leather, as well as specially made handlebars and a self-created exhaust system.

Elaborate paintwork by tattoo artist Marcel Sinnwell

Marcel Sinnwell has painted other Kodlin showbikes in the past.

For this project, the colour gradients were completely airbrushed with translucent paint. The inspiration for this was the mixing of colour pigments in the paint and especially the way they form streaks in the milky basecoat when first stirred. The result goes along very well with the Daytona Bike Week, where complex and colourful paint schemes are more than just good form.

Additional design touches on the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY are provided by hand-painted pinstripes and an airbrushed pattern on the rear mudguard that combines Kodlin and “100 years of BMW Motorrad”.

The brake callipers, gearshift and foot brake levers and footrests, however, are BMW Motorrad standard components that have been colour-matched.

Checking Motorcycle Engine Oil Through The Inspection Window

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fair-weather rider or a daily commuter, regular motorcycle maintenance is not just essential, but achievable at home.

If your bike is reasonably modern, it will often have an inspection window, low down on one side of the engine. You may have to get close to the ground to see inside properly, and we recommend doing this in daylight, so you can get an idea of the level and the condition of your oil.

The inspection window will have marks at the top and the bottom, and your engine oil level should be somewhere between the two. If the level is above or below these lines, you must act immediately to either drain a little oil away or to top off your oil level.

Just as importantly, you also need to assess the condition of the oil. It should be either green or yellow, as well as shiny and semi-transparent.

If your oil is dark brown or black and you can’t see through it, or you can see sludge deposits, it is definitely time for an oil and filter change.

Alternatively, if you can see metal particles in the oil, this can be an early indication of engine problems ahead; while if the oil looks at all milky, it can often indicate a coolant leak. In either of these two cases, you should consult a mechanic or repair shop to rule out or deal with serious problems as soon as possible.

7 Basic DIY Motorcycle Maintenance Tips

Motorcycle maintenance can be intimidating, especially for those of us who didn’t grow up tinkering with bike engines. 

The thought that you could do something wrong such as not tighten a screw sufficiently or forgetting where a particular bolt came from can be a huge deterrent to DIY maintenance.   Although we highly recommend having your motorcycle looked over by a professional, there are a few basic things you can do to ensure a safe ride

Use this motorcycle maintenance checklist to help keep yourself (and those around you) safe on the road.

Change the oil
Just as you need clean fuel, you also need to change the oil and replace the oil filter before you take your bike out for your first ride. Neglecting this step can affect the performance and longevity of your motorcycle.

Check the battery life
Some riders disconnect their motorcycle batteries and only recharge them every month or so; but once you reconnect the battery, you’re probably ready to roll. However, if it’s been sitting for a few months, you might have a dead battery. If it’s a fairly new battery, charging it is fine, but if it’s three or four years old, you may find it doesn’t keep a charge, or you might have a hard time charging it. In that case, you’re probably better off purchasing a new battery and playing it safe.

Check your tyres
Tyres are an important part of any vehicle, so they deserve your time and full attention. Check their air pressure to make sure it’s at a safe level for riding. You’ll also want to check the tread to determine if the depth offers you sufficient traction. If your air pressure and tread are all set, then your next step is to look for any cracks or bulges in the sidewall of the tyres before straddling your metal horse and revving down the road.

Inspect your chain
Your bike’s chain is one of its most critical components, but constant exposure to the elements can cause it to deteriorate or become loose. Check to ensure it’s still tight and well-lubricated. You may need to clean the chain and reapply lubricant.

Get plenty of fluids
Oil and gas aren’t the only fluids your motorcycle depends on. Brake fluid and coolant are important for motorbike maintenance, but they can sometimes leak if your bike is left standing for a long period of time. Double-check your levels and refill or top them up. Or, flush out the old fluids and replace them with fresh fluids.

Don’t forget your cables
Oil and grease in your cable housing can dry up over time and that can affect the performance of your clutch and throttle. Inspect your clutch, brakes, throttle, choke, and any other cables to ensure they’re still responsive and not frayed.

Make your bike shine
As a final step, make sure you give your motorcycle a thorough cleaning. Not only does it protect your paint and make your bike look fantastic, but cleaning your bike frequently keeps it in better working condition.

Tip of the Week: Here’s Why It’s Hard To Spot Motorcyclists

By H&H Admin

There are many reasons why motorcyclists are not always visible to other road users; the main one is that too many motorists drive distracted.  

Another relates to the simple fact that human vision has limits and cannot easily detect small objects moving at high speed.  

If motorists had vision similar to that of a hawk, humans would be better equipped to identify small, fast-moving objects from afar, which would go a long way towards reducing incidents between cars and motorcycles. 

The thing is, a motorcycle takes up very little space on the road compared to a car, bakkie, truck, or bus. Coupled with speed, motorcycles not only take up a small portion of space on the road but also takes up a small portion of a motorists’ vision.  

If a rider is travelling at high speed, a driver may not register the rider’s presence until it seemingly ‘pops up from nowhere’.

The answer is for all road users to be vigilant at all times and aware of their surroundings.  Using Bluetooth and indicators (yeas, those stalks on either side of your steering wheel), go a long way towards keeping the road a safe space for motorcyclists, and other motorists.

Get Ready for the 2022 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy

The International GS Trophy is an event that celebrates the “spirit” of the legendary BMW GS models. It offers everything that a GS motorbike was made for: riding fun, adventure and challenges.

“Explore the unexpected” is the motto of the eighth edition of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy, which will take place in Albania in 2022.

The International GS Trophy is an event that celebrates the “spirit” of the legendary BMW GS models. It offers everything that a GS motorbike was made for: riding fun, adventure and challenges.

The International GS Trophy is not a race but a team competition in which an international line-up of off-road enthusiasts compete together in various special stages. Not all of these tests are purely designed as riding tests. It is also about knowledge and teamwork. As the competitors spend a lot of time together and also sleep in bivouacs, this adventure event also promotes a feeling of togetherness. It is not uncommon for friendships to be made here which last a lifetime. In this way the GS Trophy connects people, cultures and motorcyclists from all over the world in the same way as the GS motorbikes do.

One team can already look forward to participating in the Int. GS Trophy 2022, being the Chinese Team 2020

The participating nations look forward to exciting, but also work-intensive times as they organize the qualifying events and select their teams for this unique adventure competition. Twenty-two international teams and, for the first time, six international women’s teams will be selected in the coming months. 

The Southeast Europe Event 2022 is the eighth edition of the International GS Trophy.

Qualification events for the int. GS Trophy 2022 Southeast Europe have been confirmed in: 
  • Brazil
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • Latin America
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South East Asia
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

One team can already look forward to participating in the Int. GS Trophy 2022. The Chinese Team 2020 received a wildcard because it could not participate in New Zealand due to the COVID-19 restrictions in force at the time.

The Southeast Europe Event 2022 is the eighth edition of the International GS Trophy.

Previous editions were held in 2020 in Oceania (New Zealand), 2018 in Central Asia (Mongolia), 2016 in South East Asia (Thailand), 2014 in North America (Canada), 2012 in South America (Chile, Argentina), 2010 in South Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique) and 2008 in North Africa (Tunisia). In the current edition 22 teams compete with 60 riders from all over the world. The field of riders is accompanied by the GS Trophy Marshals, media representatives, doctors, sponsors as well as a photo and film crew.

Based on the experience of the past GS Trophy events, the most successful team will be the one that prepares the best, has the best teamwork and rides most skilfully, while having heaps of fun and enjoying the great feeling of international camaraderie.

We will share details of the GS motorcycles which will be used, the equipment that will help the participants master the event and more information on the participating countries and selected teams as soon as we receive.