How does US cities fare compared to the rest for commuting?
Traffic snarls. You feel so helpless, and the worst thing of all, you will not see the end of it. And when it does, you pray this will never happen to you again. But as you know, it always comes back to haunt you. 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.
Luckily for some of us, we ride on puny two wheels. Zipping through the congestion became a tad bit easier for us, and we take that little pleasure of happiness when we get to squeeze through tight spots to get in front of the line. Thank god for lane splitting.
Suzuki brings streetbike styling to the entry-level market with its GW250 family— also known as the GSR250 in Japan, and the Inazuma 250 in the EU. Displacement, weight and complexity is kept low, making it very user-friendly and a good trainer for folks inclined to go the naked/streetfighter/sportbike route when — or if — they upgrade.
Priced near the bottom of the spectrum, the GW250 is worth a look for folks unsure if the two-wheel life is for them or not, and with a price tag just over four grand this rides qualifies as a financially low-risk test vehicle for an exploratory foray into the wind. It’s also a good commuter since the small engine will get you a break on insurance in most states.
Since nearly every sportbike manufacturer has a comparable model — to include the rest of the “Big Four” in Japan — pressure is high on Suzuki to deliver because brand loyalty developed early on has a tendency to stick.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GW250.
Green is the word nowadays as manufacturers keep trending toward electric bikes. I don’t usually look at bicycles, and one could make the argument that a bicycle — which is by its nature green power — is made less green by adding an electric motor. However, adding that motor increases the usefulness and gives folks an alternative to scooters.
Ariel Rider is a company founded by two brothers to produce a means of transportation that is not only green/sustainable, but also fun. After studying areas with large bicycle cultures, the brothers started to design their electric-assist bicycles with an eye to form as well as function. What they wound up with has a certain sexiness, and looks to be a nice alternative to some of the purely pragmatic rides out there right now. Come check out the current lineup and you will see what I mean.
Continue reading for my look at the Ariel Rider models.
Ford Motor Company adds to its Smart Mobility program with the MoDe:Flex eBike prototype. The Flex joins its program siblings, the MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro, to add a one-bike-fits-all model for cyclists that enjoy road, mountain and city biking activities.
While technically the Flex looks like a straight-up bicycle, this look can be deceiving – a battery is hidden within the frame, and a small, gearless electric motor in the rear wheel hub makes it a de facto electric motorcycle, or possibly a moped, as it uses both a motor and pedals for locomotion. The suspension can be set up for whatever type of riding you wish to do, eliminating the need for more than one bike to meet your needs, and the disc brakes and fold-down feature, while interesting, are among the more mundane features.
Not so mundane is the electronic capabilities available for the bike – namely the MoDe:Link that uses your smartphone for real-time information on weather, traffic and public transportation schedules for “Bike and Bus” commuters. Health and fitness information, navigation and even a pothole detector are among the other functions of the MoDe:Link feature, as well as interaction with your cage (automobile) door locks for speed and convenience when loading the bike in your car. There is even a “No-Sweat” function that monitors heart rate and increases electric motor output to prevent perspiration while riding. I have no doubt that this may work as advertised in some areas, but I wonder how well it works in areas such as mine, where heat indices can reach well above 100 for much of the summer!
Continue reading for the full story.
Ford may currently have its hands full at the Geneva Motor Show, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point out that the company also made a recent unveiling that could change the way it’s perceived in the personal electric mobility segment.
On the shadows of everything that’s happening in Geneva, the American automaker took to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain to announce the expansion of its Ford Smart Mobility Program and unveil a pair of new Handle on Mobility electric bicycle prototypes.
According to Ford, the two prototypes are part of a larger plan that is to find new ways to integrate electric transportation into urban cities, creating a future dominated by electric cars, electric motorcycles, and electric bicycles.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand the benefits of these two new electric bicycles. Ford’s trying to promote a new way of commuting in urban cities without the hassle of using antiquated technology on bicycles while also ensuring that riders are as comfortable as can be when they’re out doing their chores or making their deliveries.
Hopefully, these two prototype electric bicycles lose their “prototype” labels and become actual production models in the future. Ford’s got something here and it would be foolish of them not to purse it. If the Blue Oval is smart, it’s going to let the market dictate what it’s next move should be, but if I were a betting man, I’d be surprised if the market doesn’t make the decision for the company.
Click “continue reading” to read more about the MoDe:Me and Mode:Pro electric bicycles.
As cities are getting crowdier every day, more and more urban electric concept vehicles emerge and this precise one called the E-TX Urban looks kind of good. Entirely electric, rechargeable via an AC outlet and powered by a Roadson Etronic 16 generator developing an impressive 132.5 kw, this is the kind of electric bike a wheelie lover would ride in the future.
French designer Bako claims a top speed of 150 mph, but that’s a bit unrealistic as the 2010 Zero Street, which is now being produced, tops out at 67 mph. That’s the big and important part that currently makes the E-TX Urban a concept vehicle.
As economists predict, 2009 will be a very hard year for all of us so spending a great deal of money on gas is the worst thing that a commuter could do. According Suzuki (and most of the motorcycle manufacturers), the best solution is to turn to motorcycling and get as much as 82 mpg. You do the math, but don’t forget to include the actual price of the motorcycle. Good luck and a Happy New Year!
I know, you’re going to ask what’s ASL? ASL stands for Advanced Stop Line, and consists of the area before a traffic light, after the solid white line, and the pedestrian crossing.
Bicyclists are expected to use this “box”, giving them an opportunity to leave on the green light first. However, in some countries, motorcyclists are now given the same chance. Notably in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), motorcycle riders can pass the cars and position themselves in first position. Test in Spain have (...)
Lemon Law Advocate Craig Kimmel explains the protections that motorcycle owners currently have under federal and some state Lemon Laws.
With an increase in motorcycle sales, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your motorcycle is safe and that you are not left out of pocket if you do discover your motorbike is a lemon.
For more information, head to http://www.lemonlaw.com or call 1800-LEMON-LAW.
Inventor of the Deux Ex Machina, Jake Loniak, also creates a video pointing out the futuristic machine’s qualities and the way it works. This way, the general public can make a better idea of the student’s invention and imagine how it would be to commute at 70 mph wearing it.
Most riders show themselves retained in what concerns approaching the electric alternatives that have been created so far, but maybe this last will make a difference as it is built to meet the best of both worlds. Still able of challenging you to skid your knees at every turn, but not polluting a bit, the AC inductance Yamaha R1 could make a career in this business.
Definitely not comparable with a Yamaha engine, the 550amp 84v electric engine provided by AC inductance manages to develop a decent 54HP and 81ftlbs of torque. Planned to be produced and expected to sell in decent numbers, the bike will rely on its 8.1 kW lithium iron phosphate battery pack which can keep it going for a range of100 miles.
With these numbers on the table, the electrically-powered R1 can do 100mph and comes as a green solution for riders who are willing to lose the emissions, but not a bike’s sporty feel. I do not see how that is possible as a bike’s sporty attitude is being generally given by its engine, but I have to admit and congratulate this significant step further.
After reading about how an Iranian student invented the tricycle that transforms into a motorcycle, here’s a video in which students from the St. Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team built an electric commuter motorcycle from scratch.
Their hard work has paid off as they took the bike to MIT this summer and won a $10,000 grand from the Leleson-Mit InvenTeams to help fund the project.
Nice way to start earning money, don’t you think? We’ll surely be seeing more and more such projects in the future, which is even greater.
Seyyed Javad Ghaffarian lives in Iran and its wonderful ideas could one day bring you the safety of driving a tricycle on the highway and the versatility of riding a motorcycle in future city congestions.
A student, Javad has created the “Magic Tricycle”, a machine designed to role down the highway on all its three wheels and then face the urban jungle as a motorcycle. How is that possible, you will wonder? Its left wheel can rotate around a longitudinal axis and be sustained on top of the cabin. This brings all the benefits of a motorcycle after keeping the thing steady as a car at high speeds.
After being lifted up, the third wheel opens up its helicopter tail propeller style blades which increase stability. Another unique feature consists in the seats which rotate in order to keep occupants in an upright riding position.
What is both unique and attractive at this bike and tricycle is how easy and simple it can take one form or the other and still look great no matter what. This was the main goal of the Iranian designer and it has successfully achieved it.
I don’t know what to say about the name though…Magic Tricycle? Couldn’t it come up with something better? What do you think?
The Segway was created to drive people faster at work and have them get fatter and fatter, so people doing this crash test considered a “sidewalk rush hour” situation in which a person moving on a Segway hits a walking individual.
As you can imagine, it is more dangerous to get hit by a person running then by one rushing on such a transportation mean, but the mouths of those most suspicious of you had to be reduced to complete silence through the video attached below.
Innovation has no limits, especially when it comes to designing machines that will solve human kind’s commuting problems. The tendency is to keep the thing, light, compact and green. This is also the case of the unicycle named NOAH.
A concept, the bike aims towards that perfect union between rider and machine, the first using the last as an extension of its body for strict commuting problems in comfort and without polluting. It so uses an electric engine, but what attracts our attention is (...)
What, did you really thought that scooters are the solution for today’s stressful commuting? No sir! Check out the Flying Motorcycle Helicopter and even consider buying one for $25,000. Isn’t this great? You can use the thing either as a motorcycle or a helicopter in your own best advantage, something that makes it as amazing as it is simple.
Learn more about it and about its inventor by playing the video below.
This new Yamaha Scooter Ad features the Maxam in the urban jungle doing what it knows best: helping people commute in comfort and reach their destinations with large smiles on their faces. A maxi scooter, the Maxam is designed to carry two riders and still not lose its agility and proper handling abilities. So it is good to see it is now properly advertised.
A concept of Elliot Ortiz, the Cargo Scooter tries to bring the miniature trunk in the world of scooters. And they don’t mean a front or rear basket, no sir!
The concept is inspired on the famous Vespa, the scooter that put the world on two wheels, but that is only when seeing it from the front. Take a look from the side and you’ll notice a gigantic square shaped hole having the purpose of carrying luggage or anything else that the modern scooter rider may be needed to carry.
DHL has even borrowed the concept, but I still have a feeling it will remain only at this level. The different loads that the scooter might be needed to carry could affect its stability and surprise the rider who after a fall he would have more than a few regrets related to buying the practical looking thing.
Times are tough with soaring fuel prices, and more and more people are using motorcycles and scooters for commuting. That’s true in the US, but also in other countries.
In the UK, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA - www.mcia.co.uk) have asked companies to provide better facilities for their employees who ride their motorcycles to work.
According to Craig Carey-Clinch of the MCIA “There are clear indications that people have had enough of sitting in traffic jams, getting nowhere very (...)