Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Motorcycle Riders Gift Buying Guide


Do you have a motorcyclist in your family? Wondering what to get them this year for Christmas? This is a gift buying guide with some ideas for you. Gear is always a good idea. Just like clothes, I don't think you could ever have enough apparel.

You could start with safety combined with a gift by purchasing just the right helmet. You can purchase all different sorts of helmets. The various helmet styles include, full face motorcycle helmets, half motorcycle helmets, German motorcycle helmets, beanie motorcycle helmets, even motocross motorcycle helmets. With cool looking decals or graphics painted in just the right color, there is a great motorcycle helmet for anyone. Stylish protective eye wear is an idea too. Getting the right pair of sunglasses or motorcycle goggles for your loved one is a good choice. They come in a variety of shapes and colors, and the lenses are sometimes tinted yellow. The yellow tint has been proven to help reduce glare, and help improve vision at night.

A warm leather motorcycle jacket to keep the wind out is another gift, and one they can use all year long, not just in the summer. There are many styles to choose from when purchasing a leather motorcycle jacket. Denim motorcycle jackets are popular as well, although not worn in colder climates much. A decent pair of leather motorcycle chaps for the long ride home is a great gift for any motorcycle rider. These will go well with just about any other motorcycle apparel, and can be a great addition to any motorcycle riders wardrobe. Leather motorcycle boots and full fingered or half fingered motorcycle gloves made with leather and other materials are a great addition to the motorcycle leather jacket and motorcycle apparel that you buy them for a gift for Christmas.

Do they live in an area that receives a lot of rain annually? A set of rain gear to help protect all of that leather would be great as well. The most damaging effect to leather is rain, and with the right motorcycle rain gear, you can help protect their Christmas gift and your investment for many years to come.

If the motorcycle rider that you are buying a gift for is not in need of motorcycle clothing, then some gear for their motorcycle would be awesome. There are many different things you can get to add life to a motorcycle, without ever having to break the bank. The motorcycle canvas cover is a good choice, as is the motorcycle cable and lock system. Then there is the luggage systems available that make the storage and cargo area of a motorcycle morn than double, The most common type of system are referred to as motorcycle saddle bags. You can also get motorcycle tool bags that mount right to the handle bars, and a motorcycle sissy bar rack pack for storing bigger items.

No matter what type of motorcycle gear you buy as a gift for the motorcycle riders in your life, you can't go wrong if you just snoop a little and do some investigating before you buy.

About Guest Author: I have a Harley Davidson Sportster. I rides around Los Angeles to beat the traffic. I have been riding for so many year. Check out this website

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ducati 1198S wraps 8-stage traction control into a bargain package


January 29, 2009 MotoGP fans can argue all they like about whether Casey Stoner's 2007 World Championship was a triumph of Ducati electronics over rider skill - but the fact remains that traction control technology is certainly relevant to us lesser riders, particularly in an age where half the price of a family car can buy you a 180-horsepower, featherlight superbike missile at any dealership. Ducati's 2009 1198S packs a 170-horsepower, 97lb-ft L-twin, top-rate Öhlins suspension front and rear, 7-spoke Marsechini wheels, an upgraded data acquisition and downloading system - and the same 8-stage traction control system you'd find on Stoner's GP8 or Bayliss's 1098R. Oh, and if you paid USD$40K for the 1098R last year, you might be annoyed to find out that this year's 1198S, a virtually identical bike with just 10 less horsepower in stock trim, is going to sell for less than USD$22K. Ouch.

Ducati's 2009 1198 superbike is a pretty compelling machine in its own right, but as usual, the Italian firm has announced an up-spec sister model for those who are willing to spend extra money for top-shelf componentry where it counts.

The 1198S has the same engine as the 1198: the 1198cc L-twin used in last year's World Superbike homologation 1098R. Remarkably, with the 100cc capacity jump from the straight 1098 has come a 3kg weight saving on the engine alone, due to vacuum die-cast crankcases and magnesium-alloy valve covers. In the 1198 and the 1198S, the engine makes a claimed 170 horsepower - a staggering figure for a twin but just shy of the 180 horsepower claimed for last year's highly-strung 1098R. The 1198's 97lb-ft torque output at 8000rpm beats the 1098R's 90, so it's probably a superior road bike.

The electronics package on the 1198S includes the sophisticated DTC (Ducati Traction Control) system, an 8-stage piece of technical wizardry that's come straight out of Ducati's MotoGP and WSBK development programs. The system has been adapted from the racebike system found on the 1098R - which cut the spark to restore traction. This would have sent unburned fuel through the catalyzer and damaged a streetbike's emissions-compliant exhaust system.

Instead, the DTC unit retards ignition as the bike loses traction, and if you're really wailing on the throttle it alters fueling to get your rear-end grip back together. Eight settings between "terrified newbie on a wet road" and "super slide god hero" allow skilled riders to dial in as much controlled slide as they want for the conditions, using an easily accessible knob on the left switchblock. Initial testing has found the system to be effective, comfortable and non-intrusive on the track.

The DDA (Ducati Data Analysis) system lets you download a raft of performance data to your PC one you're done manhandling the throttle - so you can see, among other things, exactly where and how much you had the traction control system working.

While a step down from the R models, Ducati's S models always feature upgraded suspension packages. The 1198S is no exception - fully adjustable Öhlins units at either end provide about the best roadholding you could ask for. The brakes are just as outstanding - monobloc radial Brembo units the equal of anything going around, with a more progressive initial bite than the previous model for extra confidence when getting on the stoppers at high speed.

A lot of sportsbikes are sold these days as "racebikes with mirrors on" - but the 1198S proved its credentials emphatically at the world press launch, setting a lap time a massive 2 seconds under the Superstock lap record at Portugal's Algarve Motor Park - bone-stock out of the crate, mirrors and all. Of course, the rider may have had something to do with that - Ducati's retired current World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss certainly knows how to twist a throttle.

Considering that last year's 1098R cost a whopping USD$40,000, and that apart from a few engine tweaks worth just 10 peak horsepower, the 1198S is very closely specified, the retail price of $21,795 makes the 1198S an absolute steal. For that money you're getting a bone-shattering L-twin race-rep with massive power, razor-sharp handling, eye-popping brakes and a traction control system so good that people said it, not Casey Stoner, beat Valentino Rossi. So if you can't whip your buddies around the track on the 1198S, you'd best be creative with the excuses!

Source: gizmag.com @By Loz Blain

Sunday, May 12, 2013

TTXGP - electric motor company Agni blitzes in first clean emissions Grand Prix


Joint Indian-English company Agni Motors’s claim of making quality, high efficiency and high performance electric motors gained massive credence today when it clearly bested the world’s fastest electric motocycles to win the first clean emissions (AKA electric) motorcycle Grand Prix at an average speed of 87.434 mph. It’s place in history is assured by the landmark win, but it was the team’s dominance that was most surprising.

It averaged 10 mph faster around the 37 mile course than its closest rival and established itself as the first superstar company to emerge in a fledgling giant industry. India was the most prominent nation with bikes on the podium in both classes. Just as Renault, Daimler, Ford and Honda made their name at the dawn of motorsport, we suspect we’ve seen some new and significant global brands for the first time.

In 1959, ominously 50 years ago this week, a small Japanese team of three riders entered the famous Isle of Man (IOM) Tourist Trophy (TT) races on a motorcycle previously unheard of at world championship level - Honda. Though the team all finished, with the best result a courageous sixth place to Naomi Taniguchi, the establishment greeted the newcomers with polite amusement. They did not laugh for long.

The expeditionary Japanese riders of 1959 must have wondered what they had encountered. The IOM mountain circuit is a natural road course of 37.7 miles (60.7 km), comprising over 200 corners and is the oldest racing circuit still in use, having been first raced on in 1907 when average speeds were under 40 mph.

By 1959, 50 years of development had seen speeds rise dramatically - 125 cc four-stroke motorcycles were lapping at an average speed of nearly 75 mph amidst the curbs, stone walls, and unique terrain which 
stretches from sea level to an altitude of over 1,300 ft (396 m). With completely different weather conditions experienced regularly on different parts of the circuit during the same lap, the IOM TT races are the most lethal motor sporting event in modern history having claimed somewhere between 175 and 200 competitors in its 100 year running. It’s not the most dangerous – that dubious honor must go the Dakar Rally which averages two competitor deaths and an unknown number of spectator deaths (thought to be more than one) per event – but the IOM runs a close second and the inexperienced Honda contingent more than upheld its honor.

ADDENDUM - As if fate needed to remind us of the TT's deadly heritage, John Crellin, who finished third in the historic TTXGP in the PRO class, died that very afternoon racing in another event. He was doing what he loved. Motorsport remains the most costly sport in terms of human life . RIP John.

Honda learned its lessons well from that first attempt. It recognized that to conquer racing at world championship level with the unique cultural, language, experience and skills necessary, it needed faster bikes and seasoned riders and went about providing both for the 1960 season.

Just twelve months later Honda had redesigned many aspects of its machinery, produced a lot more horsepower, given the bikes a lot more grunt out of corners and had hired some of the best riders in the world. Suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, Honda machines were beginning to take podiums in both 125 and 250 World Championship events and the Honda name was introduced to the world via the reliability and speed of its machinery at the highest level. Just two years after its debut, it won both the 125 and 250 world titles, and five years later, it swept to victory in ALL classes 50, 125, 250, 350 and 500cc. Its machines were technological masterpieces - a five cylinder 125 and a six cylinder 250 were amongst its finest engine creations.

The well-worn motto of “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” proved true for Honda on an entirely new level to that enjoyed by the European marques it obliterated. In 1959 when it first announced itself to the world at the IOM TT, Honda sold 285,000 motorcycles in the entire year. By 1961, it was selling 100,000 units a month, and went on to become the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer in short order.
Agni's hands-down win in this historic first races positions it extraordinarily well for the next phase - it has now comprehensively demonstrated its world-leading capabilities and millions of sales will flow directly from this win.

Congratulations to Azhar Hussain for having the vision to create the event, and the explosion of innovation which will surely follow. Brammo, Electric Motorsport and Mission Motors joined Agni as the first global brands of excellence and knowhow in a new era.

Rob Barber is the man whose name will go on the outright trophy in the first race - congratulations to Rob. Your descendants will read your name in the history books a thousand years from now.

A much bigger event took place for society with today's race. Azhar Hussain has validated clean emissions transportation as viable. A new industry was kickstarted with the running of this race and the win-on Sunday, sell-on-Monday message that propelled Honda to global dominance in the motorcycle industry was not lost on Electric Motorsport’s Chris Heath.

As Heath accepted the trophy as the winner of the OPEN class, for machines built for less than UKP30,000 he made sure the world knew where to buy a TT-winning machine capable of averaging 66 mph. “It’s a TT-winning bike, it’s a production bike, come and buy one. Electric Motorsport!” That's right folks - you can buy one.

Source: gizmag.com @By Mike Hanlon

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Can-Am Spyder gets a trio of fully-faired touring versions

Bombardier Recreational Products has had a remarkable success with its three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder since the roadster’s launch more than two years ago, and the big news is that the Spyder is to be developed into two streams – one for sports riding and one for touring. The existing GS model will now be designated the Spyder RS (roadster sport) and the new touring range will be designated Spyder RT (roadster touring). There’s also a new special edition Spyder RS-S model, with a host of additional features as standard, three RT models and a purpose-built 622 liter trailer.

Firstly, the RS-S comes in a limited edition color, Pearl White, has 6-spoke wheels, a special stitched seat, comes with its own travel bag, and can only be purchased with the semi-automatic SE5 transmission, and not the manual SM5 transmission.

The RT will come in three models: the RT, RT Techno and RT-S. The entire Can-Am Spyder RT roadster range will be powered by the Rotax 991 engine with Electronic Throttle Control optimized for touring, making it smoother and quieter, and with a broader mid-range with 80 pound foot of torque, compared to the normal engine’s 77 lb.-ft. The extra mid-range is at the expense of overall horsepower, with the RT motor dropping from 106 bhp to 100 bhp and maximum torque now at 5500 rpm. The engine is also now driving a 650W magneto to power all the additional electrics.

The ergonomics of the RT are far more upright for the rider and pillion than the RS models, and the windscreen can be adjusted electronically at the press of a button to ensure you find a comfortable position without wind roar and head buffeting at any speed. There’s a full complement of accessories normally found on a big touring motorcycle, including electronic cruise control, an electronic command center, and a color LCD screen which can be reconfigured at the press of a button to give you the information you’re seeking. Similarly, there’s more lighting aboard, LED turn lamps, and a new shaped-exhaust system.

All the RTs feature the same BOSCH-engineered Vehicle Stability System (VSS) as found in the Spyder RS roadster, which includes Anti-lock Brakes, Traction Control and Stability Control systems. The VSS, coupled with the inherent stability of the roadster’s ‘Y-architecture’ and overall ease of use reinvents riding for enthusiasts of all skill levels. The Spyder RT Techno comes with several additional features over the vanilla RT, including an integrated audio system with AM/FM radio and full iPod integration, not to mention the mandatory (for a motorcycle) speed compensation system which makes the audio louder the faster you go.
The Techno also gets heated passenger hand grips, which is a standard feature for the rider on all RT models. There’s also analog fuel and engine temperature gauges, an electronic front hood release to get to the additional front storage area.

The top-of-the-range RT-S comes with special edition trim, a premium audio package with extra speakers and features, electronically adjustable rear suspension with seven settings, and an auto leveling feature.
The RT also comes with an intercom, though you’ll need to purchase the optional color-matched and wired helmets to be able to use it – if you do, the whole thing is plug and play, so you can have a clear and uninterrupted conversation with your pillion between listening to the music.

Given the stability of having three wheels, the industry-first RT622 trailer package, which can be purchased as an option with the RT, provides an additional 622 liters (22 cu. ft) of storage, designed specifically for the Spyder RT roadster and significantly, it’s compatible with the vehicle’s stability system. Finally, BRP has done the whole job with the range, and there’s a complete range of accessories including travel baggage that fits snugly inside the luggage recesses, covers, clothing – it’s a fully featured range of optional creature comforts and clothing all color matched and beautifully fashioned to offer personalization to your tastes.
The Spyder RT roadster will be available for trial at authorized BRP dealerships this fall. Consumers currently have the option to pre-order Premiere Edition Spyder RT-S roadsters for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Source: gizmag.com @By Gizmag Team

Thursday, May 2, 2013

E is for electric: The BMW C1-E concept scooter

When BMW released their original C1 scooter in 2000 nobody had seen anything like it on the road. And not many C1s were seen on the road after it was released either. In the three years that BMW produced the scooter-with-a-roll-cage, only about 12000 were made. The riding public didn’t quite know what to make of the C1 and BMW never sold as many as it had hoped. Now BMW has brought the urban runabout back as the C1-E concept vehicle with an electric drivetrain. Could it be the C1’s time has come?

The C1 may have been ahead of its time when it first appeared, but the times and fashion may now work in its favor. The C1-E looks right at home on the street with other modern scooters such as the Piaggio MP3, Piaggio USB concept, and Peugeot Hymotion hybrid. The C1-E also crosses over into the ultramobile four-wheeler category with vehicles such as the Nissan Land Glider, VW L1, and Renault ZE.

Where BMW’s old internal-combustion models offered a 125 cc, 15 bhp four stroke engine (later a 176cc capacity with 18 bhp), the C1-E features an electric motor and components from the Vectrix scooter company, powered by a lithium-ion battery. Although Vectrix filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, new investors may resurrect the brand. No matter the outcome, BMW hopes the C1-E will demonstrate the viability of an electric powertrain in a safe, urban commuter vehicle.

Like the original C1, the BMW C1-E is designed with an emphasis on rider protection with its front-to-back roll bar and energy-absorbing impact material in the nose. Unlike the C1 however, the C1-E also features a seat-belt for the rider. According to BMW, the scooter is the only motorized single-track vehicle that is exempt from mandatory helmet wearing in almost all European countries

The C1-E design also provides for rider comfort and convenience. The roll cage has mounting points for both a windscreen and a roof to provide wind and weather protection. In addition, there is luggage space behind the rider.

BMW Motorrad developed the C1-E concept as part of the European safety project eSUM, which stands for European Safer Urban Motorcycling. eSUM is a cooperative project between major urban European motorcycling centers and motorcycle manufacturers. The goal of the project is to develop and demonstrate ways to take advantage of the benefits of two-wheeled transportation in easing traffic flow in urban locations, while also increasing the safety of motorcycles and scooters in the city. Participating cities include Paris, Rome, Barcelona, and London; and the manufacturers are BMW and Piaggio.

The C1-E will remain a concept for now. BMW says that series production is currently not planned but that findings from the project will find their way into other future developments in the field of single-track vehicles.

Source: gizmag.com @By Alan Brandon