TopSpeed guide to prevent your motorcycle from getting stolen
The dreadful feeling of getting my dear motorcycle stolen or damaged has given me quite a few sleepless nights, especially in demographics I’ve traveled new to wander off. I’m sure most of you feel the same, and a few have already lost their motorcycle to petty witches of our society.
Motorcycle theft is a growing criminal activity in certain parts of the world. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles are the top five motorcycles, listed by brand, that were most frequently stolen last year. The top five states for motorcycle thefts were California, Florida, Texas, New York, and South Carolina.
The black market in motorcycle salvage is huge, and hence, only 45% of the stolen vehicles will be recovered. Here is our guide to help you secure your vehicle when left unattended and deter thieves from taking your motorcycle:
Motorcycle Braking Systems - Explained
Touted to be the most critical safety feature on a motorcycle, the brake systems are quite obviously the lifesavers. Woking by converting kinetic energy into thermal energy (heat) by friction, the brakes of a motorcycle are some of the most abused mechanical components apart from the tires.
Manufacturers have come a long way from ‘putting a foot out’, to using metal discs and pads, to taking the help of some brilliant electronic wizardry, all to bring a heaving motorcycle and the rider to a halt in the least possible distance and in a safe controlled manner.
This guide elaborates on the various types of braking systems being engineered and equipped on motorcycles and some new technologies for future products.
Motorcycle cooling systems decrypted
By burning the all-hail gasoline inside the combustion chamber, motorcycles power your body and soul on two wheels. The engines heat up drastically with every explosion of the fuel creating high temperatures, and the friction between the mechanical parts also contributes to the immense amount of heat that surrounds the motor.
This has been one of the significant issues to tackle ever since the birth of motorcycles, and manufacturers have been continuously shelling out millions to engineer the best solutions to deal with it. The consistent performance of the engine and its overall life depends on the efficient cooling system it has. In this guide, we discuss the different ways motorcycle engines are kept cool to get optimum performances.
Which motorcycles on sale today give the best mpg?
The beginning of this century saw the world views changing gradually towards climate change and the need to preserve the environment. This, along with stringent policies, has forced the manufacturers to develop motorcycles that can run cleaner fuel and extract the maximum economy from it, sometimes even at the cost of performance.
Bad news for people who seek the element of thrill, but a pretty good one for someone living in urban jungles where folks prefer commuting on a motorcycle rather thank a car for its practicality and frugal fuel-efficiency. Then there are us few who love the idea of putting serious miles on two-wheels and living the adventure.
We here have compiled a list to give you the best available tools for such situations and save some money on gas while at it.
Harley-Davidson is giving money and a free bike to write about them on social media
Harley-Davidson seems to be slowly shifting gears post its struggle to register any success stories due to its current downward trend in the market off-late. It has become a worldwide brand now after aggressive expansion that took place in the past decade, and to keep things from drifting away, the HR folks are busy setting up the stage for the brand and its social media presence.
Harley-Davidson USA in a bid to attract the millennials into motorcycling is giving a few guys an opportunity to intern with them to gain hands-on experience in integrated marketing communications. It will pay you to work with them for a period of 12 weeks, 40 hours a week, to ride its bikes and write about them on social media.
Four female riders will ride around the globe and attempt to break a world record
The 12th edition of the International Female Ride Day (IFRD) is happening on the 12th of next month celebrating female riders all across the world. This is the world’s largest and only women motorcycle rider event which is also synchronized across all borders and all countries.
On the occasion, a group of four female riders from four different nations will be attempting to break a record to be the quickest to travel around the globe on motorcycles. And they have been selected by none other than the record holder himself, Swiss rider Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita.
Top Five Things I See Riders Doing Wrong
I come into contact with lots of riders, partly because of my job, and partly because I enjoy talking to people about their bikes, riding experiences and the like. Most times, I get a pleasant conversation with “sea stories” added liberally thereunto. Sometimes, I come away genuinely concerned for the rider’s chances of surviving the trip home. Yesterday was just such a day, and it got me thinking about mistakes I see with alarming regularity. Before I get started on my little rant, I want to offer up this caveat: I’m not picking on any particular group, bike style or manufacturer. As far as I’m concerned, these mistakes are prevalent across the rider spectrum, with plenty of equal-opportunity fault to spread around. Some of the following is based on science, but for the most part, it simply reflects my own not-inconsiderable experience over the last 20-plus years of riding.
Continue reading for my list of things I see riders doing wrong.
This British lad to become the youngest to travel around the globe on a motorcycle
In an attempt to break a Guinness World Record, a British 22-year-old lad, Henry Crew, will travel around the globe on a motorcycle to become the youngest person to do so. His quest will take him 35,000 miles through 35 countries on six continents where he will be raising funds and awareness for the Movember Foundation.
It is a multinational charity that aims to raise awareness of and money for men’s health founded in 2003. It has funded more than 800 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, men’s health awareness and healthy lifestyles.
Tank Slappers, steering wobbles, shimmy, speed wobble, and even death wobble are all names of the same dangerous situation that can happen to any motorcycle rider, especially for all the sportsbike fanatics. That is not at all a nice feeling when out of nowhere your bike starts wobbling like a maniac and there is very little that you could do.
It needs a lot of skill to get back your bike in control and a huge load of luck. But then there is a magical device does all that work for you: Steering dampers.
KTM’s life saving electronics deciphered
A rider is not born but is made. There is absolutely no harm in accepting that you are not the best rider and that there is always a better rider out there. But, that does not mean you don’t try to improve on it. The more you ride, the more opportunity you will find to try and match synergies with your motorcycle.
The same also applies to motorcycles. There is always a better one out there. So manufacturers and engineers come up with new technologies and innovation that make that same motorcycle perform better and safer than before. And KTM is one of those who is world renowned for giving us bikes that loves walking on the edge of performance and handling.
Helping them do that is not just their mad mechanicals, but some really smart electronic wizardry. They tap into multiple parameters to give the rider the optimum control of their bikes without losing the joy of riding.
Suzuki’s new patents show laser projections alerting other road users
In a bid to make motorcycling safe, manufacturers are foraying deep into embedding technology and innovation into their products to help riders stay safe on their bikes. Motorcycle accidents are close to 30 times more than those of cars, and Suzuki is in an effort to minimize that as much as possible.
The Japanese manufacturer has patented a complex laser lighting system to improve the active safety of motorcycles when in operation. According to the patent images, these dynamic laser lights surround the ground around the motorcycle helping other road users become aware of the motorcycle and rider intentions while on the move.
Honda and Forever 21 team up to bring out fashion inspired from the ’80s and ’90s
Inspired by Honda liveries of the ‘80s and ‘90s, US high street chain Forever 21, teamed up with the Japanese manufacturer to bring about a fresh new collection of clothing and apparels priced between $3.90 and $ 58.00.
The Forever 21 x Honda capsule collection is probably our most unexpected collab to date! Taking inspiration from motorsports, the collection features bold primary colors and powerful statement graphics.
Europe will mandates emergency SOS call system for motorcycles
Emergency call systems for cars have been around for a while, with brands like GM having OnStar that automatically dials emergency services if the device installed in the vehicle detects a crash or a break-in. This acts as a quick-response service in case of accidents and there is no one around the crash site to call in for help.
Christened as the “eCall”, this European initiative intended to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision will be mandatory in all new cars sold within the EU from April 2018. And a few industry sources say that this might come in handy when they mandate for motorcycles as well.
Counter-steering: The number one steering technique every rider should master
You are blazing through the bends of a hill, leaning away in glory across all the sweeps and turns. But at one blind corner, you see a huge truck approaching in the opposite lane, and all red flashes in your brain. It subconsciously tells you to turn the handlebar right to steer right, and when you do that, the bike swings right back to the left, and you go crash the truck.
Unfortunate, but this is exactly what happened to a bloke running a mountain course. Whose fault was it? The blind-spot? The speed? The rider? Well... it is all of the above.
Every rider must know to slow down at a blind spot. You never can predict whats on the other side. Nonetheless, there is a sneaky little trick that if the rider had known, could have avoided the crash. And that is Counter-Steering and a bit of going against your intuition.
Wheelie through London traffic
NOTE: We do not endorse/promote stunt riding on public roads. Keep yourself and other road users safe. Always consider safety first and wear a helmet and all riding gear.
Getting stuck in traffic. We are always in shock and denial, and even though we knew it was coming, we always find ourselves amazed at the hour-long standstill line. Then there is this guy who beats it on his two-wheels.
And he just doesn’t ride it through small spaces but does it in his own style.. pops a wheelie.
SWM Motorcycles announces its future plans
SWM is not often a spoken manufacturer. During the EICMA 2014, SWM announced to the world that they are coming back to the two-wheeled universe with the help of a Chinese investor - Daxing Gong, owner of Shineray Group.
The ambitious plan set the wheels turning and within 9 months motorcycles started rolling off the assembly line. The company offers 125cc - 650cc single-cylinder motorcycles in enduro, supermoto, dual sport and classic segments.
Now, the firm announced its plans to build V-twin motors and develop new models to take on the fierce competition.
After ’Bronx’, Harley Davidson registers ’48X’ and ’Pan America’
A couple of weeks back, we learned that Harley has begun registering new names as part of their new strategy to add 100 new models in the coming decade. Harley-Davidson has already introduced 10 new ones this year: nine new Softails and the Street Rod.
With 90 more to come, the job of giving them names also becomes a big part of their appeal. No one wants to buy a Harley Davidson named "Fluffy." New information tells us that Harley has gone ahead and registered two new names for their new motorcycle models: ’48X’ and ’Pan America’
The ones that made motorcycle headlines in 2017
This is the last working day of 2017. And this is also the last article I will be penning down for the year. So I thought ’why not revisit all that has happened over the past twelve months which has a direct impact on the future of the motorcycle industry?’
Here is a list of every major news and launches that has coursed the path in the industry: