Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Dainese D-air motorcycle airbag

Airbags on motorcycles have been proposed and tested by several motorcycle companies, some versions put the airbag on the bike, others on the rider.

According to Boing Boing, motorcycle gear manufacturer Dainese has created the D-air safety system, fully equipped with airbags. The Dainese site features video of a the D-air in action.



Here is more video of the D-air airbags helping cushion the fall of another rider. While the airbags probably saved this rider from serious injury, that fall still looks like it left a mark.



The D-air system should be available to consumers around 2010, so make sure to ride extra carefully till then.

Source: Dainese and Boing Boing

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Follow your rides using the Trackstick and Google Earth

A device that can track your movements and display them in 3D detail on Google Earth might seem either nifty or scary. In the case of the Trackstick, it is an amazing way to record where you ride your motorcycle, especially if you are traveling cross country.
According to the Trackstick website...

The Trackstick is the perfect fit for personal GPS tracking. Bring it on vacation to keep a satellite scrapbook of all your travels and record your explorations. You can carry it along on all your regular outings from home to get a better sense of your daily surroundings through Google Earth’s cohesive 3D maps of your community.All Trackstick’s information can easily be downloaded to your computer via the USB port and quickly viewed on Google Earth’s 3D model of the planet. No monthly fees are required and all software needed to run Trackstick’s technology is included.
With Trackstick a computer screen can guide your family and friends on a virtual tour of your vacation. Take it fishing and mark the catch spots to discover feeding patterns over time. Find a good camping spot and leave it to Trackstick to remember where it is and the path you took to get there. It’s a fun and immersive way to show others where you’ve been.

Here's a short video posted by YouTube user gradusran showing the Trackstick at work.



Source: Trackstick

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ducati wins two top categories in 2008 bike of the year competition

Ducati's web site reports that their motorcycles have been voted by the readers of eleven European magazines as 2008 bike of the year. The statement from Ducati says that "Ducati devoured the opposition".

Now there's an image...a motorcycle with razor sharp teeth feasting on other bikes. The Ducati bike in the photo below appears to be lurking in the dark like a nocturnal predator. With those angry headlights glowing, it looks very hungry. Just don't make eye contact or it might think you're trying to challenge it.

According to Ducati...

The readers of eleven European magazines vote Ducati as “2008 Bike of the Year” in both the “Sports Bike” category and the “Trial/Supermoto” category.

Over 95,000 readers of eleven European magazines (including Motorrad, In Moto, Motociclismo, Toff, Moto Journal and others), expressed their personal preference by voting the most stylish and desired motorcycle of 2008. Once again, Ducati dominated the scene, picking up prizes and awards that confirm the world-wide success of the new ‘made in Borgo Panigale’ models.

Ducati were victorious in two of the most prestigious and important trade categories. Within the “trial/supermoto”, the Hypermotard confirmed the sensational result achieved last year, beating prestigious models such as the BMW R 1200 GS, KTM 950 Supermoto, Triumph Tiger and Honda Varadero. The Ducati vote was overwhelming with the Hypermotard taking first place in six out of eleven countries (Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Italy), second place in Poland and Holland, and third place in Switzerland.

Success in the SportsBike category was equally as impressive, and with a repeat of last year’s performance, Ducati devoured the opposition. The 1098 was first in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, second in France, Spain, Portugal and Croatia, and third in Holland.

Ducati’s leadership in this segment was further confirmed by the performance of the stunning and exclusive Desmosedici RR, the most voted by readers in five out of eleven countries (France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Rumania) and the second most voted Superbike in Germany, Poland and Italy.

In five out of eleven countries, two Ducati models were first and second in a category red-hot with competition such as the Suzuki GSX-R 1000, MV Agusta, Honda CB 1000 R, Yamaha R1 and other prestigious models.

Readers rewarded other important brand-related aspects of the Borgo Panigale machines, further contributing towards Ducati’s incredible success. They included best sporting brand, best designs, passion for the brand and above all, racing performance.

Source: Ducati

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Whirlygig Emoto - A Steampunk Motorcycle

What the heck is steampunk? According to Wikipedia, steampunk is a form of fantasy fiction set in the 19th century featuring imaginary steam-powered gizmos and technology.

A steam-powered motorcycle is the type of vehicle that would fit perfectly in the topsy-turvy world of steampunk, but artist Tom Sepe has actually built a real one...sort of...called the Whirlygig Emoto.

The Steampunk Workshop features an interview with Sepe, who built an electric-steam hybrid motorcycle. The boiler part of the motorcycle is just for show, with a propane heating water to give off a plume of steam from the back the bike. The real power that makes the bike go comes from batteries.

Here's video of the steampunk bike going for a ride. It makes a loud whistling noise, like a teapot.



You can see more of the Whirlygig Emoto on Tom Sepe's Flickr site.

Source: Boing Boing and The Steampunk Workshop

Friday, March 14, 2008

Orange County Choppers unveils the Viega Chopper

Here's a look at the latest bike from Orange County Choppers, built to promote Veiga, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of plumbing and heating technology products, and supplier of pipe products for OCC's new headquarters.



According to Viega...

Thousands of Orange County Chopper fans lined the streets of Wichita, Kan. on Feb. 6, to witness the guys from Orange County Choppers unveil their latest creation: the Viega Chopper. The famous Teutul family trio – Paul Sr., Paulie and Mikey, presented the custom-built chopper to Viega CEO Dan Schmierer, following a VIP reception and parade down Main Street in Wichita.

The Viega chopper is a one-of-a-kind motorcycle that reflects Viega’s dedication to the plumbing and heating industry. The bike features Viega’s signature colors of black and yellow, and incorporates copper and stainless steel Viega ProPress® fittings into its design. The Viega Chopper is a unique branding tool that will travel to trade shows across North America throughout 2008. In fact, next week, it will be at the CMX-CIPHEX show in Toronto, Canada.


Source: Viega North America

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Brittown documents the Southern California Britbike culture

Brittown is a documentary about the Southern California Britbike culture and underground mechanic and Britbike connoisseur Jeff "Meatball" Tulinius from the Hell On Wheels bike shop in Anaheim.

The film follows Meatball's life as he participates in vintage motocross races and rebuilds an old 650 Triumph Bonneville.

According to the Brittown press release...

Brittown delves into the rambunctious So Cal subculture that centers around building vintage Norton, BSA, and Triumph motorcycles and racing them on weekends.



Featuring Meatball from the Hell On Wheels bike shop in Anaheim, CA. As a master mechanic, vintage Britbike connoisseur and motorcycle racer, Meatball splits his time between family, his shop and his rock band Smiling Face Down.
Brittown joins Meatball for several months as he runs his old BSA in vintage motocross races, hits the desert with the No Gooders bike club, flies down the Willow Springs straightaways on his Norstar, and uses all his skill to rebuild an old 650 Triumph Bonneville motor into a blazing road-ready screamer.
From Scott Di Lalla and Zack Coffman, directors of the award-winning custom motorcycle documentary Choppertown.
Source: Brittown.com

Resources:

Monday, March 03, 2008

Which type of motorcycle insurance policy should you choose?

Before you climb on that shiny, new motorcycle for the first time, make sure you are properly insured.

The Progressive Insurance blog features as story on choosing the right insurance policy for your new motorcycle.

When insuring a motorcycle, you have choice between a motorcycle endorsement and a motorcycle policy. What’s the difference?

Motorcycle Insurance Endorsements attach a rider to your auto policy based on your current coverage, while a Motorcycle Insurance Policy covers your motorcycle separate policy.

Be sure to do careful research to find out which policy is best for you.

Source: Progressive Insurance