Kawasaki is celebrating an important milestone in their company’s history, paying homage to the 40th anniversary of its Z family of motor bikes.
The Japanese motorcycle brand has released the Limited Edition Z40 Chronograph, which will be launched at the Intermot Motorcycle Show in Germany on October 2, 2012. The watch bears some unique features, a lot of which were inspired by Kawasaki’s Z family.
The stainless steel composition of the Z40 Chronograph was made by Austrian manufacturer Hirsch. The design carries some inspiration from the 1972 Z1, complete with an iconic paint and graphic treatment. Even the face of the watch features Kawasaki’s original logo wit a Z1 DOHC side panel badge. On the other side, you’ll see a Z40 logo with the watch edition number, a true testament to its special edition designation. Last, the Z40 Chronograph also has a four-dial chronograph/tachymeter function and is water resistant up to 5 ATM.
Only 903 pieces of this watch will be made with each priced at €207.06 ($267.45 at current exchange rates). If you’re wondering why the ambiguous number, 903 represents the engine size of the Z1: 903cc. Each watch will carry a certificate of authenticity and will be made available exclusively to the European market.
Ever since "Back to the Future" brought us the “hoverboard” by Mattel and the flying Delorean, we have been absolutely obsessed with hover technology. As of late, the hovering market has taken a bit of a back seat to alternative fuels, but it’s still alive and well. Now, Aerofex has posted a video displaying just how serious the hover industry still is.
In this video, you get to see an actual working model of a hover bike. The term “working” in this case mean that it hovers, moves, turns, and has the necessary yaw control to keep it all in check. By the looks of the video – and the lack of audio – we can tell that this “working” model is very far from ever being a production item.
The lacking audio is the most telling item that this hover bike is a long way off. We are willing to bet our last dollar that this thing sounds like your standing next to a twin-prop plane at take-off. If you’ve never had the joy of hearing that noise, we’ll just assure you that it is damn near deafening.
Regardless of its likely inefficient noise control, it is still awesome to see a hovering bike that actually flies in somewhat of a controlled manner without spinning wildly out of control. Now all they need to do is master manufacturing those cool metal pads on the bottom of the hover board that made it hover and make that awesome “whoop-whoop-whoop” sound.
Check out the video and maybe add your own “whoop-whoop-whoop” for the real futuristic effect... If you’re at work or within listening distance of anyone else, we strongly suggest avoiding the sound effects, though.
Usually we talk about watches inspired by high performance cars, but this time around, we’ve come across a special timepiece that was inspired by Ducati’s line of motorcycles. The new Fastrider Chronograph was designed by Tudor and combines the traditional red and black colors of Ducati bikes with their time-tested chronographs. If anyone is interested in picking one of these bad boys up then expect to pay between $4,143 to 4,379, depending on the customization options.
The watch features a 42mm steel casing with polished satin finish, while the main movement of the watch is powered by the self-winding mechanism, which never lets time display lag behind. The watch offers a power reserve of approximately 46 hours. The winding screw is engraved with the Tudor logo, with another one being placed at the upper part of the dial. The watch also gets 2 totalizators; a 30 minute totalizator placed at the 3’o’clock mark, and the 12 hour totalizator placed at the 6 ‘o’ clock mark. It is waterproof to a depth of 150 m (500 ft).
The latest creation of 26-year-old designer Igor Chak is the hybrid motorcycle concept called the Izh-1. Inspired from the 1929 Soviet Izh–1, the 2012 bike retains nothing but a few styling cues from the original russian bike as the designer has considered an 849.40 ccm (51.83 cubic inches) V-twin engine, modern looks and all the possible gadgets for it.
Half built from heat resistant and highly reinforced plastic, the 140 hp engine should be light and even feature built in wiring and circuitry. The classic engine, which has a fuel-regulating system for better fuel economy, can be mated either to a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission. Electronics would control the throtle system, clutch and brakes.
What makes this a hybird is the additional 60kw electric motor found in the rear wheel. This one is fed from a Lithium Sulfide Battery and gets a two-speed speed gearbox.
Probably the most interesting thing about this concept is the fact that it features a dual airbag, one to protect the rider and keep it on the bike and the second, mounted just above the front wheel, should take about 50% of the force of impact and also keep that rear wheel on the ground while doing so.
The bike would work in three different modes – sport, comfort and manual – and be fitted with traction control, ABS as well as a proximity regulating radar system front facing on-board camera helping riders maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead if these happen to brake suddenly.
Apart from featuring a GPS navigation system, the Izh-1 is compatible to iPhone, Windows, Blackberry, Symbian, Android etc so that riders would stay connected all through their journey.
These are just some of the bike’s most important features. The designer covers the whole thing, so go to http://www.igorchak.com/conceptual/ to find out more. Also, click past the break for this concept’s video.
This is Steve Jobs in his late twenties pictured riding a 1966 BMW R60/2 motorcycle for a National Geographic Magazine feature on Silicon Valley. The picture was recently brought back in the attention of public by Jalopnik titling "Decades Before The iPad, Steve Jobs Rode A BMW".
So the obvious question just pops: what does Steve Jobs ride now? The answer comes from the same source now saying "No, Steve Jobs Does Not Ride An iPad," but still they’ve come up with a photoshopped picture indicating the contrary. See Jobs riding the iPad after the jump.
I believe we can finally say the first air conditioner for motorcycles (one that will actually end up being produced) was invented. The company behind the inventive idea is EntroSys, which’s motorcycle air conditioner offers almost the same thermic comfort as when traveling in a car, meaning that it can cool/heat the rider’s body depending on the climate.
The company plans to take this into full production and has released a video showing how easily their system can be used, we reckon on most kinds of motorcycles. Watch it and, if you have experienced heat and/or cold while riding motorcycles, you’ll be hooked.
The original Honda Cub has to be one of the greatest motorcycles of all times simply because it was affordable, easy to maintain and very practical. That small motorcycle helped put the world on two wheels, so you can understand our joy of hearing that Honda is planning to revamp the extremely popular model. The biggest news about it is that it will have two-wheel drive and benefit of power coming from a small, electric engine, while the exterior design is reminiscent of that first late 1950s model.
2WD enhances traction and stability around corners, allowing riders to control the already highly maneuverable motorcycle with the greatest ease. This is not a Honda breakthrough as Yamaha and KTM have also flirted with the idea, but Big Red will present the EV-Cub at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show and it is expected to hit dealerships by the end of 2010.
Honda also speaks about one of their latest gadgets called LOOP and supposed to enable riders to communicate with one another during long rides. This should make Honda’s stand even more interesting.
Terminator Salvation gets a new trailer from which it is hard not to notice the Mototerminators. Created by Skynet, these seem perfect for patrol purposes on the roads in the future as they are narrow and handle like nothing we’ve seen before, not even at the Batpod.
No, we’re not saying that Batman star Christian Bale is French, but when he straps on the Batpod, the actual person riding this motorcycle is French.
Let’s go back to the beginning. When the writers came up with the idea of using the Batpod, they produced a motorcycle that was not drivable by mere mortals. Despite the fact that the engine of the Batpod is a Honda 450 CRF, the bike is heavy, almost impossible to turn (there are no handlebars, you need to shift your weight) and no brakes!
Several stuntmen tried, but it was proving impossible. So the producers called the help of one of the most famous motorcycle stuntmen alive, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Goy.
Goy became famous when he did the stunt in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, jumping over a helicopter on his BMW R1200C Cruiser. That was an actual stunt: he did jump over the helicopter on a standard R1200C and even had a pillion passenger!
When Goy arrived on the scene for the Batman movie, he said he was impressed by the Batpod. It’s enormous. He had to ride this vehicle at 60 mph, with cars coming at him at 60 mph. Avoiding them without handlebars was a challenge on its own, but he also had a wear a 100 pound Batman suit! According to Goy, the Batpod could barely ride straight and he had to turn it contentiously.
The producers were planning to have him ride on a road on his own, and then later digitize the cars into the picture, but Jean-Pierre Goy wouldn’t hear of it. He said he’d do the stunt with real cars driving at him.
Goy spent 6 months working on the stunts (for several minutes of movie scenes...).
When Jean-Pierre Goy is not playing as Batman, he runs a stunt show and a riding school. Goy also holds the world record of the longest wheelie on a motorcycle (137 miles!) and the longest stoppie (383 feet).
High tech gizmos aren’t limited to the motorcycle itself. Yes, it’s great having the latest injection systems, engine management, LCD display, USB cards for telemetric data, you name the technology. But for the riders, improvements have been made as well. One of them is the use of wireless transmissions. Bluetooth is a wireless transmission standard created for the PC world. It allows peripherals to communicate with each other. Keyboard, mouse, pointing devices can all talk to each other without wires.
Using the same Bluetooth technology, helmets can communicate as well. In the old days, if you wanted to talk to your pillion passenger, either you shouted, or you carried an intercom that consisted of bits of wire, either connecting the rider with the pillion, or via a central hub mounted to the motorcycle.
You could often see a motorcycle ride up to a gas station, and the pillion dismounting and walking to the service area, forgetting that he/she was tied to the motorcycle or rider. Ouch!
Those days are over. By installing a Bluetooth helmet kit, you can now not only talk to each other, but also listen to music, GPS instructions and even talk on your Bluetooth equipped mobile phone.
The first versions of Bluetooth had more limitations. Version 1 of Bluetooth, drew more power (therefore your batteries could not last that long), the sound was in mono and the reach limited 10 meters).
Along came A2DP, a standard that allows for full stereo sound. The most used Bluetooth version is currently 1.2, but version 2 and 2.1 are more and more widely available. Version 3 is in the works, and will give less power usage and more range.
Range can play an important role, since it could allow you to talk to your riding buddy who is also equipped with Bluetooth. Typically, the range is 150 meters for those that have that capability. It will therefore function as a bike-to-bike communication system without the need of a walkie-talkie. Communication is secure, since no one can hear you, or interfere with your communication.
Fitting the Bluetooth kit on your helmet shouldn’t take too long, since most kits have stick on, or screw on mounts (not permanent). Once fitted, you need to introduce the Bluetooth gear to each other (called “pairing”). The only downside is that you need to use the same manufacturer’s gear, you can’t mix & match.
Usually, the Bluetooth gear is intelligent. If you’re talking to your pillion, and the phone rings, it will interrupts the intercom and switch to the phone. The same is applied to GPS instructions.
A wide range of equipment is now available. Helmet manufacturers are selling helmets pre-fitted with Bluetooth (BMW, Schuberth, Nolan, Vemar, NZI, Momo, Givi, Dainese, Airoh and Caberg to name a few).
If you already have a helmet, or want a communication unit that can be moved from helmet to helmet, a growing list of third party manufacturers exist. Some use the same equipment but sold under different labels (such as CellularLine Interphone, Blueant and SuperTooth), other have their own (Albrecht, Scala Cardo, IMC, JM, Motorola, Spyball and Voltronic).
There are also Bluetooth equipped units that do not function as intercom. For example the Parrot SK4000 is a wireless unit that functions as radio, mobile phone interface and MP3/iPod interface. But it can’t be used to talk to your pillion.
At the top of the range are the hub & spoke units. They consist of a central hub mounted to your motorcycle, and Bluetooth receivers fitted to your helmet. The hub interfaces with a wide range of products, including walkie-talkies. Manufactures include AKE, Baehr and Dimton.
Not all units can communicate with all sorts of devices, you need to check carefully. Motorcycle GPSs like Garmin Zumo and TomTom Rider are equipped with Bluetooth, but have in the past proven unreliable with communication links dropping. Always make sure that you have the latest firmware installed in your GPS if you want to use it with your Bluetooth communicator.
But then there are a lot of rides out there who don’t want to be bothered by the pillion, a mobile phone or music. They just want to hear the wind and engine roaring.