Wednesday, 1 October 2014
First 12 Ronin Motorcycles released for sale
Denver, CO – After several years in development, Ronin Motor Works announced today that it is releasing the first 12 bikes of their limited run of 47 motorcycles via their website http://www.the47.com
These limited production motorcycles are designed at the Ronin Motor Works factory in Denver, Colorado, using the latest in engineering software and design techniques. The Ronin motorcycles are produced to strict tolerances, and yet each motorcycle is crafted with honest, time-tested manufacturing principles. Each production Ronin features 11 cast aluminum parts, all poured and heat-treated within a short drive of the Ronin Motor Works factory. Castings are hand-sanded over countless hours before being painted and assembled onto bikes. Other components including the seat, carbon fiber air box cover and fenders, sheet metal parts, and wiring harness are all designed in-house and then sourced locally. The Ronin's design is as unique as its manufacturing process. The brake and clutch master cylinders and steering nacelle are all one integrated assembly ending with small bar end mirrors and LED turn signals. To achieve a light, clean aesthetic, cables, wiring, and fluid lines are routed inside the castings and under the air box cover and seat. Traditional motorcycle components are combined into unitized parts to save space and weight, such as the battery box that incorporates the rider’s foot pegs and the belt drive tensioner. Other advance design features of the Ronin Motorcycle include, RFID ignition key and solid-state rely module, custom-tuned ECU, high-efficiency stator and a newly designed high-flow exhaust system.
The first 12 bikes released will be in the classic Silver and Black color of the original Magpul concept bike. At $38,000 (USD) each, these bikes will be the most affordable of all the Ronin motorcycles released (and priced below the cost to produce them). The initial release of 12 will be followed by 10 all-black versions at an increased price. After that, there will be a release of 8, then 6, then 4, and then 2; each group will have different color schemes and features. The remaining 5 bikes will be one-off designs. Every bike is named after one of the 47 Ronin warriors from Japanese folklore, and each warrior's name is engraved on the bike and on the owner's toolkit.
Ronin Motorcycle History
In 2008, when the Buell 1125 was first released, there were press shots of the bike showing the engine, frame and swing arm with all of the body panels removed and the simplicity of the design was evident. Arguably, the production 1125’s most interesting engineering aspects were hidden under its skin. At that time Magpul Industries Corp. acquired two Buell 1125Rs to use in a design exercise to explore what sort of bike could be built around the revolutionary engine and frame. Eight months later, the resulting concept bike was revealed as the Magpul Ronin at the 2010 SHOT show in Las Vegas.
Later that year, Harley-Davidson announced the elimination of the Buell brand and with that, Harley-Davidson dealerships started liquidating their Buell assets. Based on the possibility of creating additional Ronin motorcycles, a number of stock 1125s were purchased and placed into storage. Because the bike was designed as a concept, it was not conventional in appearance or function. People either loved it or hated it, but enough interest was generated to investigate a limited production run of the Ronin design.
Since the concept bike was hand built, building more than a handful of bikes would require infrastructure to be put in place. As the concept was named Ronin it was decided that the number of bikes should be 47 as homage to the old story of The 47 Ronin from Japanese folklore. Taken from the Japanese word for a Samurai who lost their master, the name "Ronin" was chosen to signify Buell motorcycles that will continue on after the demise of the company. The Ronin concept featured a custom monoshock linkage suspension system, front-mounted radiator, unitized handlebar assembly, new ram air intake, cast aluminum tail section, and high-flow exhaust system. The features enhanced the bike’s ride while also decreasing the total weight by approximately 50lbs from stock.
From Concept to Production - Ronin Motor Works
In 2012, two of the Magpul founders came up with a plan to keep the project alive by individually funding a “pop up” manufacturing company dedicated to producing a production version of the Ronin motorcycle concept. They formed Ronin Motor Works in order to create an entity solely focused on the Ronin project, since the demands and specifics were somewhat different from Magpul’s main focus on a rapidly growing presence in its primary product markets. Ronin Motor Works secured a location in Denver and hired a small team of motorcycle design specialists. This team starting working on a 20 month long redesign of the Ronin, using the concept bike as a guide. Extensive engineering, design for manufacturability, ergonomics, and testing went into the final product.
In 2013 the production design was finalized and Magpul authorized Ronin Motor Works to use the “Magpul”trademark and logo mark on the production bikes under the name “Magpul Ronin Project.” In 2014 production began on the first group of Ronin motorcycles. These will be released in reverse serial number order (47 -1) in various, predetermined color schemes that will be more limited as each release is announced.