Alpinestars and Dainese taking motorcycle-jacket airbag systems to a new level: "Tech-Air 5" and "Smart Jacket"
Back in 2018, the MotoGP organizers Dorna and the FIM made a new call to make it compulsory for riders to wear a suit under the riding jacket that would expand with air upon impact. Just like the airbags in your car.
Much before that, the top tier safety gear manufacturers, Alpinestar and Dainese have been at it to develop safety equipment for riders across the world, including such airbag systems. For 2020, Alpinestar has released its brand new "Tech-Air 5", which is a “slim, self-contained wearable airbag vest” that can be worn under just about any riding jacket. Dainese, however, debuted its “Dainese Smart Jacket” system in 2019 itself.
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:
Harley Davidson files patent for Autonomous Braking
Harley Davidson, in a surprising PR stunt, has gone on record showcasing its future plans over the next five years in great detail. Blowing the door wide open, HD gave us a peek at all their new products coming in the next five years including new internal combustion engines (500cc, 750cc, 975cc and 1,250cc) that will go onto 16 new models and its Project LiveWire models.
Fresh information just came in with regards to a new patent filing by the Milwaukee brand suggesting ‘Emergency Autonomous Braking System’ in the event of a collision. The system will make use of multiple sensors to study the surroundings as well as the alertness of the rider before it intervenes to activate the braking systems autonomously.
Piaggio to fit its scooters with free tracking devices
The UK has been facing a notorious crime of motorcycle thefts. Things in London, however, is in a different level altogether. There were over 14,000 motorcycle thefts reported in London the last year, and 23,430 crimes were committed using motorcycles that were stolen of course.
On an average, 77 bikes worth are stolen per day and to crack this atrocity, London Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke about manufacturers incorporating better anti-theft measures into their products to make it difficult for people just to whisk away bike without authorization. And joining Honda UK in this effort, Piaggio has offered to equip all the new Vespa GTS 300s’ and Piaggio Beverly 300/350s’ with tracking equipment free-of-charge.
KTM Reveals Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection
Though still in development, KTM revealed its newest safety innovations in the form of Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection. The prototype systems installed on a 1290 Super Adventure S were demonstrated in Austria with the hopes of taking motorcycle safety to the next level.
Continue reading for more on KTM’s newest safety technologies.
Do You Know How To Buy A Used Motorcycle?
Now that tax season is over and you have that fat refund in your pocket, the warming weather of spring may well have you thinking about bugs in your teeth and your fists in the wind. All bike mechanics, and most experienced riders, will already be familiar with the following procedures, but first-time buyers looking to pick up a used bike should pay attention, The following checks may save you a lot of money and aggravation in the long run.
Continue reading for my presale inspection tips.
Theives in London face the wrath of ZERO Motorcycle’s new anti-theft device
Motorcycle theft is a growing criminal activity in certain parts of the world. Things in London, however, is in a different level altogether. There were over 14,000 motorcycle thefts reported in London the last year, and 23,430 crimes were committed using motorcycles that were stolen of course.
On an average, 65 bikes are stolen per day and the latest victims reported have been the folks at ZERO Motorcycles. And the irony is that the bikes were stolen from the back of a transporter van while they were on “theft tracking” tests.
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.
In a project aptly called as “Wheelie King”, Japanese Masaru Abe pulled off the longest wheelie on a two-wheeler creating a record that now stands at an incredible distance of 311 miles. It was done on a closed course, rather a pre-created track just for this feat under marshals and all safety factors are taken into considerations.
Then there is this guy, just like all spoilt brats out there attempting the wheelie on public roads – across Auckland’s Harbour Bridge exactly. It is apparently the ’world first’ wheelie across the span of the mile-long bridge. But he is, however, facing the heat from the authorities for this act.
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.
The Qatari desert has some of the world’s highest sand dunes where the adventure junkies meet up to run on Dune bashing sessions. You can find 4x4s, Quads, ATVs, and motorcycles pumping their adrenaline on the soft sands of the desert.
There are also freeride motocross sessions where riders hop onto their dirt trail bikes and race up a towering sand dune to jump almost up to 100ft in the air to finally land on the soft sand. One lad here was doing his usual runs where he built up speed and took the jump like business every day. But when he was about to land, his whole life must have flashed before his eyes.
For someone who is nicknamed ’Maddo’, this Australian stunt rider sure carries a million mad feats under his cap. He has already won numerous international FMX events around the world and has been recognized as one of the best FMX riders of all time. He also holds multiple motorbike stunt records and has acted in several action flicks as the motorcycle stuntman.
Now, Robert William ’Robbie’ Maddison has set his eyes on creating another record. He wants to become the first ever to surf an ocean wave on a motorcycle. And not just any wave, but one of the heaviest waves in the earth in Tahiti, a small island in the South Pacific.
Yes, you read that right. Riding a motorcycle through a wave, just like a surfer. Being a stuntman on land is itself a very tedious practice, and Robbie wants to now surf the wave on a motorcycle? That’s just bonkers.
Check out the skill Robbie has learned guys. Robbie just broke boundaries.
Travis Pastrana will jump over Caeser’s Palace fountain, 14 buses and 50 cars
As part of the TV channel History’s ‘Evel Live’ event on July 8, Travis Pastrana and his crew will go on a live-transmission show to perform three bike jump attempts recreating Evel Knievel’s stunts that put the word ‘famous’ suffixed to his name.
They will include the recreation of the Knievel’s jumping across the fountain at Caesars Palace, a jump across 50 cars and a jump over 14 buses. The event is being organized by Nitro Circus, Pastrana’s extreme sports company that conducts adventure series live shows around the world.
Seeing the title image should tell you how. Idiots or no, four rich Brazilian guys calling themselves as the ‘Rainbow Bikers’ are upto some appalling stuff with their liter-class sportbikes. In a quest to create rainbows at their pool party, they decide to use their bike’s rear wheel do the job for them.
With four BMW S 1000 RR, all costing upwards of $15,995 a piece, they decided to dip the rear end of the bikes into the pool and hang them in balance at the exhaust belly panel. The tire is in contact with the water and by hitting the rev limiter, huge amounts of water gets displaced to form a big arc of water steam that ends up creating a rainbow in the sunlight.
Valarie Thomson suffered a crash while attempting to set the motorcycle land-speed record
“America’s Queen of Speed” Valerie Thompson and her All American Team "7" Racing crew traveled 8,500 miles from her hometown in Scottsdale, Arizona, all the way to Southern Australia with the BUB Seven Streamliner to break the all-time land-speed record of 376.363 mph. With conditions all ideal and as anticipated, the team set to reach the 400 mph mark and Valerie took off.
Just when she reached the 4-mile marker, the BUB Seven Streamliner crashed at 299 mph and along with it smashed Valerie’s dreams to break the record. Fortunately, Thompson walked away from the stunning wreck with only minor injuries to her leg.
Ducati’s Panigale V4 goes up in flames. Owner gets a replacement immediately
Nitrouz, a happy Canadian customer of Ducati’s new fanboy flagship, the Panigale V4, never must have thought even in his wildest dreams that his machine would go up in flames instead of burning asphalt.
A stroll on a busy street in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nitrouz smelt something burning, and a gaze down made him see his baby literally on fire. Reacting quick, he parked it off the street only to see the bike engulfed in flames. Luckily, folks at North American Ducati came to his rescue quite immediately and offered him a new V4 and an extended warranty.
Roads in India are notorious. Jaywalkers, stray animals, vehicles coming from the wrong direction is all the norm there and people have even learned to just live with it. Law officers cannot help much even, considering the number of people and vehicles that ply on the roads.
There is an accident always bound to happen on Indian roads, and this is one such incident that was caught by a GoPro action camera mounted on the helmet of a Royal Enfield rider.
Motorsports is dangerous. High powered machines need a great amount of skill to control them, especially when the throttle is fully open and the rider is demanding full power. The torque produced at the rear wheels of these machines necessitate the bike’s front end to lift and the rider ends up with a “wheelie”.
Not a bad thing if you ask me, but one has to know that they have perfected that skill with loads of practice. Letting go of the throttle at the right time is very important for not overdoing it. Luckily riders these days have electronic wizardry like Launch control and Lift control helping them stay safe.
But when blokes go racing, all electronic features will be turned off and the rider has only his skill to prove. But sometimes, in an attempt to get ahead of the pack, riders go overboard and try a little too hard, and when their stars don’t align for the day, then end up falling off the bike without being able to control it.
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.
Video: The wanna be stuntman who forgot his math
We all want to jump off a ramp and feel weightless with our bike. Doing that may sound dead easy, but it involves a lot of things in play. Ramp angle, approach speed, bike weight, fuel mass, rider mass, and some basic mathematical solutions to land you safe back on the ground.
This guy here on a Harley thought he could pull off a Travis Pastrana jump. He did get a few things right though: two ramps, a bike and himself. Unfortunately, he must have left his brains hanging in the backyard and forgot to pack it.
Boston and Massachusetts State Police have finally had it enough of millennial riders recklessly riding around town on their illegal off-road machines like dirt bikes and ATVs’ and causing a nuisance to the general public. These machines neither have license or insurance nor the riders wear any gear.
Last week, the state troopers tried to contain and block off a part of the Massachusetts’ I-93 freeway to apprehend a large group of such idiots, only to assure of a chaotic situation. At least three injured, seven arrested, and 20 seized off-road machines was the outcome of this.
Everyone has their good days and bad ones. Being at the right place at the right time can sometimes do wonders and change a person’s life for good. But this guy right here had all his stars aligned that day, and probably nothing could go wrong for him. Not even when his bike wobbled out of nowhere, and he lost control of his motorcycle, went on to crash and go under an articulated trailer truck.
I’ve seen multiple crashes in my riding life and trust me when I tell you that this one is the luckiest crash I’ve ever come across. This might be a one in a billion chances of survival. Watch it for yourself: