Having spotted the amazing opportunities that the electric powered motorcycles offer, Honda and Yamaha announce that they will introduce such two-wheeled machines for 2010, most lately 2011.
Yamaha’s electric motorcycle lineup is intended to be launched until the end of the year 2010. Expected to have a 60 miles range, to be easily rechargeable and very smooth and quiet operating, the environmentally friendly motorcycles will show other big manufacturers the way into the future.
Honda plans to introduce in 2011 motorcycle models which will base on lithium-ion batteries. Apparently, they plan on renewing Japan’s Post Service motorcycle fleet with their new bikes. With an order of 90.000 motorcycles (the number of motorcycles needed to be replaced), Honda will surely outmatch Yamaha, after getting a head start.
Prices of future electric Japanese motorcycles will start at $1900 and go as “high” as $3700.
It seems that lithium-ion batteries can make the difference in what concerns the performance of rechargeable cars and motorcycles, not only cell phones and laptops.
Companies such as Matsushita Electric Industrial, NEC Corp and GS Yuasa Corp have already established strategic partnerships with car manufacturers Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi, so the future has no color, but green…at least in the auto and moto industries.
A little over 30 years ago, a bright young man was working at a French coast resort town in the North called Le Touquet. In the summer things were very busy, since the beach is the closest beach to Paris (hence the area is dubbed “Paris Plage” - Paris Beach). Lots of things to do, with a big and wide beach full of sunbathing people.
But in the winter things are a bit dead. The young man was a passionate motorcycle rider, and together with some like minded friends, he decided to race on the beach. A couple of dozen of them started a beach race, just for fun. When they finished racing they noticed that they had drawn an immense crowd of people who were watching them.
The young man decided that maybe it was a good opportunity to breath some oxygen in a resort town that was as dead as a door nail during the winter months. So, he organized a beach race during the first weekend of February.
The young man was called Thierry Sabine, and after organizing the “Le Touquet” beach race (now called the EnduroPale), he went on and started another race which has become the most popular and toughest race in the world; the Paris-Dakar!
Both the Le Touquet and the Dakar earned him world fame. Unfortunately, he has not been able to enjoy the fame since he died in a helicopter crash during the Dara race. But both his legacies live on.
The EnduroPale has become “the” race to attend for February. 1100 motorcycle start (at the same time), and must race for the hole shot 7 kilometers away.
Usually, the hole shot winners are bikers with specially prepared motorcycles. KTM 950 and BMW HP2 have been previous winners, but the last year’s winner of the hole shot was a Honda 900 CBT Fireblade, specially prepared for deep sand.
Speeds reach 200 kph, and then the 1100 motorcycles are funneled through a bottle neck. They used to race through the sand dunes, but that got stopped several years ago due to environmental concerns. Now the first bottleneck is a narrow hill.
Of the 1100 motorcycles thundering, stumbling and crashing through deep sand over 15 kilometers, some 20 are professionals, 50-100 are expert riders and the remainder are Sunday riders who want to say they participated in the great race. Many have never raced on sand before.
For three hours, you see the professionals dodging falling motorcycles and crashing riders, jumping over motorcycles littered on the ground with exhausted riders next to them.
Since the spectacle is free, the “show” extracts record crowds. Some years, despite the cold, 500,000 spectators have stood alongside the beach front.
Many nationalities have participated from around the world. Big names like Cyril Despres, David Knight, Potisek brothers, Jean-Claude Mouse and Arnaud Demeester have been present.
There are a lot of prizes for the different categories, and recently, the organizers have even awarded a prize of the top foreigners.
This year the organizers are doing one better. The €242 registration fee will include a DVD of the race, so if you’re participating, you’ll see what you missed.
The guys from motorcops have just presented their latest offer concerning motorcycle safety for both officers and civilian riders. It consists in a 90 minute DVD which blends theoretical aspects with field training, making you a better rider.
I wouldn’t want to see the guy’s face when he wakes up to see that his apparently secure motorcycle is nowhere to be found and the only proof that it even was there is the chained rear wheel.
But why resume to that when we can go on and imagine the scenario behind this shocking experience. It is clear that the bike wasn’t fitted with any alarm system as the thieves took the time and unbolted the rear wheel, carefully removed the chain, probably stacked the bike between the rest of their prey, and went on to look for some rear wheels on eBay or something.
Do these guys follow up Roxette’s lines word by word? Was it the time to take a ride on that freeway in the sky? Well, I don’t know for sure, but I what I do know is that you don’t see this happening any more.
No more than approximately two decades ago, this would have been the picture on every circus placard and entire circus families would have been performing through the public’s craze.
The bikes were standard models of the time and the only modifications that they received were the tireless wheels and stiffed up suspensions. That was because when the rider didn’t carried any “passengers” underneath him, it could actually pop up wheelies and stuff.
Yes, it is possible. Just because it has two wheels doesn’t make it a motorcycle or a scooter. Back in the days that the cars and motorcycle were still in infancy, cars were being produced that had only two wheels.
They didn’t look like motorcycles, they looked like cars. The two wheel cars did have four wheels, but two were used to stabilize the car at low speeds or when it was stopped. Once it reached gyroscopic speed, the two side wheels were retracted.
Notable in this design was the French Monotrace. It was built during the 1925 to 1928.
The engine was a single cylinder 510cc engine.
It looks like it came straight out of a Donald Duck cartoon.
Click here to read more about this amazing motorcycle car.
Another one built in 1912 was the enormous Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo, with a V8 engine and weighing 3500 pounds! Even the Honda Goldwing does not weigh that much!
Several other two wheel cars exist, but not many were made in large numbers. All date back to the days that there were as many manufacturers as there were bicycle manufacturers. Eventually, things got more clear, and the demarcation line between cars and motorcycles got defined.
We’ve already presented to you the first video created by Golley Slater in an attempt to alter the behavior of British troops returning home from active service, but now the second one was created and, from my point of view, it will have an even greater impact. It touches a soft spot in such a brutal way, that if I was a soldier, I’d buy a cruiser.
What I do not understand is why they circulate on the right side of the road if they want to make us thing that the action takes place in Great Britain? The funny soldier’s accent helped and the fact that it left the base on the left side of the road also made it veracious, but it seems that the crash itself couldn’t have taken place like it did… at least not in Great Britain.
Duck Motorcycle season is open in the UK. Motorcyclists in the county of Essex in the United Kingdom have been warned. They will most likely be picked up from the sky if they ride dangerously.
Distinctive signs have been placed at strategic location on the roads in Essex warning riders. Police helicopters have been equipped with a special Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) device, that coupled with the a digital speed radar can detect motorcycle traveling in excess of the speed limit from as high as 700 feet above the ground.
The helicopter is equipped with high tech GPS, thermal imaging hardware and a set of loudspeakers that would make Mick Jagger proud.
Initially used for cars, the Police force has now turned their undivided attention towards bikers. Since there are more and more motorcycles on the road, bikers have become easy targets.
According to Norman Hume, Chairman of the Essex Casualty Reduction Board ”We are seeing accidents in Essex dramatically reduced in as a result of our intervention and education campaign but we need to make more of an impact on motorcycle accidents. There is a perception that it is sometimes easier for motorcyclists to evade detection of offenses because of the speed they travel at. We feel that signs warning of the likelihood of detection by air will be an extra incentive for particularly motorcyclists, but all motorists, to drive safely and help us to reduce accidents further.”
Traffic Management Officer from Essex Police, Adam Pipe, said: “Use of the force helicopter will enable officers to obtain video evidence of offenses including excess speed plus support specific Road Safety Operations providing information and intelligence to officers on the ground in addition to the helicopters ability to disrupt and detect traveling criminals.”
So now we’re traveling criminals? What’s next... Gunships against motorcycles?
This is not something you’ll not read very often, probably never. The State Minister in the African nation of Uganda has told “Boda Boda” motorcycles to overload their bikes!
A Boda Boda is nothing more than a taxi-motorcycles. Riders (often with no traffic rule knowledge, experience nor safety gear) hire the Boda Boda from companies and ride around the city looking for passengers. Since fares are low, and there aren’t that many motorcycles around, the Minister has allowed Boda Bodas to take on 2 passengers! (Note: read more about Boda Boda → http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boda-boda)
Unfortunately for the Minister, she didn’t tell the cops about the new law. The local Police have been fining Boda Bodas for carrying more than one passenger. After some discussions, the Police agreed to allow the cabs to take on more than one passenger. Then the local law enforcement recanted, and are back fining the riders. The Minister had not passed a law, so the Police are following the letter of the law.
What a mess!
God knows where they’re going to put them, and we’ll probably see a dramatic increase of accidents, but at least so far the operators are happy.
Fisherman stories are always hard to believe and if you’re now expecting to hear about “the one that got away” I must disappoint you. This one didn’t get away. In fact, the nets seemed pretty heavy when it was lifted on board, only to discover a rusted motorcycle instead of a record catch.
The amazing experience was lived by a group of four fishermen off Mandapam Coast in the early hours of the morning. Apparently, they set out to sea yesterday morning on a mechanized boat, but never in their lives expected to find a bike caught in their nets.
Not knowing what to do with the damn thing, the group head back to the coast in order to hand the capture over to the Custom officials. This is how the story reached the ears of the local press who also received a plausible scenario for the bike being there.
Because the number plates were too rusted to identify it, officials suspect that the motorcycle had fallen into the sea at the beginning of the summer while being smuggled to Sri Lanka. There, the Tamil rebels are the more likely recipients so the find raises a few question marks on how well state security agencies do their job.
Who knows, maybe in the future, motorcycles which are known to be exported to areas where they can follow the same trajectory in life, will be fitted with secret floating devices which will help at being recovered faster. Yeah, like somebody would want to help the rebels…but it would be interesting to hear somebody comes up with such an idea. Or am I the only one afraid of the water, but with a strong passion for motorcycles?