Thursday, October 11, 2018

BMW's Riderless Motorcycle

A self-driving motorcycle sounds - if we’re being blunt - insane. But lucky for all of us, BMW’s new riderless motorcycle isn’t designed to hit public streets. This creepy looking model has been created solely for safety research, and we’re all for that.

BMW’s motorcycle division recently showed off their self-driving prototype (a converted BMW R 1200 GS) and the model can accelerate, navigate curves, and brake all on its own. BMW’s team has been working on the prototype for more than two years, and their efforts are not going unnoticed. Safety is, and will always be, a major concern in the motorcycle industry - which is why, we imagine, the manufacturer has stepped up to the plate to help tackle major safety issues. The self-driving model was designed to test out technology that will help motorcycles have more stability in critical riding situations. Just as modern vehicles are incorporating automatic braking and lane keep - BMW is trying to figure out if similar features could work on motorcycles. Adding these car-like features could be a challenge, because as we know, braking suddenly on a motorcycle is a lot different than braking in a vehicle.

BMW’s main goal for the prototype isn’t to create a fully automated motorcycle, because what’s the point in that? They are aiming to study the bike and to integrate what they learn into safety and driving systems for human-driven bikes. It seems like there’s a long way to go when it comes to the prototype, but we are interested to see the research that comes from this fascinating bike.

Check out a video of the prototype in action below.

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Motorcycle Superstitions Explained

With Halloween just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to cover the most common motorcycle superstitions and myths. We’ve covered the Legend of the Bell, but there are a ton of interesting superstitions you should know, especially if you’re new to riding. We’ll hit you with a few of the more common ones below.

Green Motorcycles - Supposedly green motorcycles are bad luck - but why is green so unlucky? There are two sides to the story. The origin goes all the way back to WWII. Army green painted Harley-Davidson WLAs were used in the war and some say those riding the bikes were sitting ducks and easy targets for sharpshooters. Others say these green-painted Harleys were sold after coming back from overseas and broke down incredibly easily. The color green in general usually gets a bad wrap, but would you still take a green motorcycle for a ride?

Riding With Your Rear Pegs Down - Many bikers avoid riding with their rear pegs down if they don’t have a second rider because they think that will invite evil spirits or motorcycle gremlins to come along for their ride. One of the exceptions to this superstition is if you’re riding in a funeral procession for a rider that has passed away. Some bikers will put their rear pegs down so the fallen rider can have their last ride.

Don’t Drop Your Helmet - In the riding world dropping your helmet is considered to be very unlucky, and this is a superstition we can get behind. Helmets are so crucial while riding, so it’s kind of a no-brainer that dropping one would be considered unlucky, but accidents happen. Some follow the tradition of if you drop it, buy a new one. We think that might be a bit unrealistic at times if it’s not a destructive drop - but to each their own.

No Hand Me Downs - As legend goes, it is apparently bad luck to ride a motorcycle that has belonged to someone who has passed away. The thought behind this myth/superstition is that when a biker passes his/her spirit still clings to the bike and they might knock the current rider off.

So, do you believe in any of these motorcycle superstitions? Do you have any superstitions or rituals you do before taking a ride? We’re curious. Leave us a note in the comment section below.
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In Case You Missed It: October Moto News

October is here and that means it’s time to hit you with this month’s top motorcycle-related headlines. There were a ton of interesting stories this month, so get ready for an action-packed edition of “In Case You Missed It”.

Suzuki Unveils KATANA and Additional 2019 Street Models - Suzuki recently revealed their KATANA model at the INTERMOT Motorcycle Expo in Cologne, Germany, and also announced the other models that will be included in their 2019 street model lineup. The new models are ideal for riders of all skill sets and experience levels. Many of the new models have classic looks with a twist, and of course, awesome updated features. You’ll want to see these new models for yourself. Read More.

Image: Powersports Business 

Ducati Presents New Color Scheme for XDiavel- Ducati has announced that they are revealing a new lineup of models for 2019 at Intermot and EICMA AND they will preview an all-new color scheme for the XDiavel, and trust us - it’s bad ass. The new color is Matt Liquid Concrete Grey that pairs perfectly with the model’s black chassis and engine. This new color scheme will be available in Ducati stores in November. Read More

Image: Powersports Business

Miami Police Brings “Batmobile” to Life - The Miami Police Department has added a new set of wheels to their fleet - a white and black three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot “autocycle” that’s equipped with police lights and a siren to be exact. Polaris Slingshot donated the model to the police department and the Slingshot slightly resembles the Batmobile. The model will be used as a promotional tool in the community, and will ideally be an icebreaker for police officers to interactive with the public in a new way. We are huge fans of this idea and wonder if it will spread to other police departments. Read More

Image: Powersports Business

Indian Motorcycle debuts FTR 1200 and FTR 1200 S - Indian Motorcycle recently revealed the FTR 1200 and FTR 1200 S. The models were inspired by Indian’s history and success in flat-track racing, and the style and design sprout from the championship-winning FTR750 race bike that has dominated American Flat Track. Both models have updated technology and we can’t wait to see them on the road in the spring of 2019. Read More

Image: Powersports Business

We are in the thick of show season, so expect more new model updates in the next edition of “In Case You Missed It”, and you’re attending AIMExpo in Las Vegas, make sure to stop by our Cycle Trader booth (booth #1008 from Oct. 13-14). Let us know your thoughts on the stories above in the comments below.
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