2016 Motorcycle Week In Review, June 3
I love three-day holiday weekends. Not only do you get off on a Monday, you have a short week ahead of you, a nice little slice of lagniappe if you ask me. Memorial Day is now behind us and I have some info on a nifty new bike built especially for our Special Forces, as well as some racing news and legal jargon, but as always, safety first.
Continue reading for my look at the week ending June 3, 2016
Gold Wing Airbag Woes
Honda’s Gold Wing recall woes continue with the 2006 through 2010 airbag models adding to the already long-running GL1800 brake problem. According to the factory, the non-desiccated, Takata inflator modules used in Honda’s four-wheel and two-wheel creations alike can become unstable when exposed to moisture — a definite problem on a motorcycle.
In the event of a wreck, the propellant within affected modules can explode and throw out metal shrapnel. Just think of a grenade going off in your crotch and you will get the general idea of what Honda is up against. So far, no casualties have been listed for the Gold Wing airbag, but Honda’s car airbags have been linked to 10 deaths and over 100 injuries so far. ’Wingers can expect to receive a detailed recall package from Honda in the near future, but parts aren’t expected until the Fall, so don’t expect a quick fix. The more safety-conscious among you may well decide to park it for this riding season. I know I certainly would.
Marc Marquez and Honda
As bleak as the airbag woes might be for Honda’s ’Wing riders, its Repsol racing team fans have cause for celebration as Marc Marquez exchanged articles with the factory to extend his contract at least through the 2018 MotoGP racing season. And the peasants rejoice! Folks familiar with the sport will recognize Señor Marquez from his frequent visits to the podium and two World Titles he earned for the Honda Racing Team, so this is indeed a coup for the factory.
California Bill AB 51
Now for some legal news that is sure to spark lively, even heated, debate from both sides of the fence. California Bill AB 51, a document meant to clarify the rules pertaining to lane-splitting and filtering, has been floating around for a while now, and has finally hit the table. Widely supported by the AMA and lane-splitters all over the Golden State, the bill should clarify the rules for riders, cagers and police alike. Having never lived in an area with traffic like they have to deal with over there, and never will, I have never been able to identify with proponents of ’splitting, so you can go ahead and pencil me in as “just doesn’t get it,” and leave it at that.
Victory Project 156 vs Empulse TT
While I may not embrace lane splitting, the development of clean/renewable transportation is something I am wholeheartedly onboard with. So, it is with great anticipation that I announce Victory Motorcycles’ plan to race two of their products up Pike’s Peak on June 26th in this, the 100-year anniversary of the first race to the clouds.
The contest in question pits Victory’s Project 156, a bike built specifically for the task and named after the 156 turns along the route up the mountain, against the https://www.topspeed.com/motorcycle...Empulse TT, Victory’s all-electric streetbike. It’s simply amazing how far electric bikes have come in recent years, and the fact that there is any question at all as to which bike will win bodes well for the future of battery-bike models.
Honestly, performance isn’t what is holding electrics back, it’s the lack of infrastructure (read: charging stations) that is preventing them from being as convenient to use as gas models. Perhaps rubbing it in by beating a smoker-bike up the hill will add some impetus to that movement. Time will tell.
Military Stealth Bikes
While not totally electric, the next two bikes are actually hybrids that use a lithium-ion battery to power electric motors that turn both the front and rear tires for true AWD. Developed for the U.S. armed forces by Logos Technology, the “Silent Hawk” and larger “Nightmare” models self-recharge by way of the small, multi-fuel, internal-combustion engine that can run on gasoline, JP-8, JetA-1, propane or......wait for it.....olive oil, among other fuels.
The engines come muffled to roughly the level of a household vacuum cleaner, while the electric mode propels the bikes at about the same decibel level as normal conversation. Not only does it provide for stealthy scouting possibilities as well as reliable courier duty, the on-board generator can power field equipment, medical devices and even a small village, so these bikes are much more than “just” basic transportation, they can help save lives in a number of ways. In addition to all the above, it proves yet again that there are benefits to be had by getting away from strictly dino-fuel powered machines.
There You Have It
As always, keep it rubber-side down,
Source: California Bill AB 51