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US - Stage 1 - Car/Bike - Stage Summary... by Dakar

The 35th running of the Dakar Rally began its official start yesterday in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina and ending in Valparaíso, Chile, some 800 miles over some of the roughest, most unforgiving landscape traversed in modern motorsports. Sunday’s race is only the beginning, representing the first, yet longest stage in a 13-stage race. The total distance traveled will be over 2,600 miles over 14 days through three countries in central South America.

Racing each stage are four classes of vehicles: bikes, quads, cars, and trucks . Each is highly modified and capable of handling the extreme terrain. The cars, for example, look something like a cross between a Baja 1000 truck and a Rally America racer with massive shock absorbers, knobby tires, all-wheel drive and a fearless driver. The truck, or Lorrie class, includes cab-over-engine trucks weighing over 7,716 pounds and look something like a Mercedes Unimog .

Continuing today through January 18th, the Dakar will snake its way through Argentina up to Bolivia, then turning south again for Chili. Separate routes are mapped out — one for the motorcycles and quads, the other for the cars and trucks — keeping the race circuit more suited for the vehicle types.

A live feed is available on the official Dakar website, along with more photos and videos of the action. The results for each day’s finishers are posted there as well.

Click past the jump for more videos of the Dakar Rally

Unlike the One Lap of America race, which recently ended, the Houston Half Mile Shootout is a brand new race for 2012. This year it was run in conjunction with the 4th annual Aeros & Autos event at Ellington Airport in Houston, TX.

This race is much like the Texas Mile, as it is purely a top speed-style of race, where your goal is to reach the highest speed within the half-mile-long track. Simple enough, right? Well, driving in excess of 200 mph is never simple, but rules sure are.

This inaugural run includes cars and motorcycles, both street legal and off-road only, which makes for some really intense speeds, but also some utter disappointment. The biggest disappointment that we see is Mario Williams, an NFL Linebacker, running his Aventador down the half-mile track and only hitting 167 mph in the above video. C’mon, man, open her up a little. That’s just getting that $400,000 supercar warmed up.

On top of that, event organizer John Hennessey shows that he is not a football guy, as he calls Mario Williams an “All Pro defensive player from the Houston Texans,” but Williams signed with the Buffalo Bills in March, oops. We have to give Hennessey a pass though, as the video was taken on March 5th and Williams was still a free agent at the time, but he certainly was not a Texan at the time.

Fortunately that was just a warm-up lap, as we saw much more speed as the event went on.

Click past the jump to read more about the event, cool cars and highlights.

It’s rather obvious that we love cars, duh… But do you know what we love more than normal old everyday cars? We love custom monsters that make us go “what the?” What we love even more than that are factory-produced models that give us those same feelings, like the Morgan 3 Wheeler company.

Morgan manufactures three different 3-wheel cars – Standard, Bespoke, and Superdry Edition – and each one is cooler than the one before it. The standard Morgan 3 Wheeler is pretty slick on its own, featuring a 1,990 cc V-twin engine that propels this three-wheeled contraption to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 115 mph.

It’s sweet enough to just talk about these beasts, but it’s even more fun to watch them in action. We don’t mean a leisurely Sunday cruise with grandma and the kids. Nope, we mean screaming this bad boy through Goodwood hill, breaking the ice land speed record, and doing a massive burnout. Okay, the first video is, in fact, a more leisurely Sunday drive, but it has some awesome V-twin audio and some really nice shots of the car to compensate for the lacking adrenaline.

Regardless of the video type, any car/motorcycle buff will not only love these videos, but will likely need a tissue to wipe the drool from his or her computer screen. What’s best about these awesome machines is that they are actually fairly affordable, as the Standard model bases out at just £25,000 ($40,345) plus VAT.

So crank up those computer speakers and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Click past the jump for three additional videos.


Okay, I have worked in many repair shops in my day. During my tour as a service manager, I came across a fair share of “Mountain Man Mechanics,” which is the politically correct thing to call them. These guys love taking the strangest vehicles and creating monsters out of them.

There was one mechanic that took a 1980s Honda Civic hatchback and dropped a 1300 cc Hayabusa engine in it, thinking it would increase the Civic’s performance. He didn’t quite grasp the logic of torque-to-weight ratio and ended up with only a really cool sounding Civic .

Another monster that sticks out in my mind is when a mechanic tore apart his unwilling wife’s mid-1990s Mitsubishi Mirage and dropped its body on a self-shortened S-10 frame. He then dropped a 307 cubic-inch Oldsmobile engine in it and connected the Olds engine to the transmission and transfer case on the S-10 frame. It actually looked and sounded mean when he was done, but instead of re-welding the frame together, he used several bolts to secure it. Guess what happened...

What’s my point here? Well, a new monster has recently come to our attention, which is for sale on Craigslist. The owner has dubbed this machine a 2007 Willys Trike. This trike has a stretched Jeep CJ-2 body with a motorcycle wheel on the front. The body sits on a custom frame – hopefully it’s welded – and has the rear independent suspension from a T-bird.

Instead of having the old Jeep CJ-2 engine, this beast has a Chevy 4.3-liter Vortec engine, which is good for around 190 horsepower, if it is stock. Plus it has a four-speed transmission connecting the engine to the rear wheels.

The handle bars for the motorcycle wheel span all the way from the front of the vehicle through two slots under the windshield. We bet this thing is a scary animal to maneuver at high speeds. But anyways, this “Mountain Man” monster can be yours for “just” $11,000. We bet this thing sits on the market for a while.

Source: Craigs List
Posted on by Shrawan Raja 3

General Motors has announced that it will build a cheap city car for EUR 8,000 using motorcycle parts. This measure will keeps costs down and also make it easier for the manufacturer to put the car together in the assembly stage. Tata Motors were also at some point of time, thinking along those lines during the Nano’s development stage, but the plan was subsequently dropped.

Opel is presently in the "discussion and examination phase" of the project and it will be long before the rear-engined, entry-level car rolls out of their factory. Opel will outsource the parts from either a scooter or motorcycle manufacturer and is also looking at Asian suppliers to help them out. The car is expected to carry a drive train similar to a motorcycles’ and will be ready within a few years time.

Source: Just Auto
Posted on by Mike Husleag 1

As part of research activities on future regulation systems, a motorcycle test vehicle has been created under the umbrella of BMW Group research and technology. This vehicle has a very high engine output and lightweight construction technology and is designed to test highly dynamic processes in engine and driving dynamics management under extreme conditions. BMW Head of Devel Devel opment Prof. Burkhard Göschel said that the choice of a motorcycle to study fundamental technological developments (...)
Posted on by Mike Husleag 1
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son, Patrick, received minor injuries Sunday afternoon in a motorcycle accident near their Brentwood home, the governor’s press secretary said in a written statement. The low-speed collision occurred about 3:15 p.m. as Schwarzenegger was riding his Harley-Davidson with his son, Patrick, in the motorcycle’s sidecar, according to Margita Thompson, the governor’s press secretary. As the pair were riding north on Mandeville Canyon Road, a car backed (...)

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