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Isle of Man Tourist Trophy racer and Scania truck mechanic Guy Martin is not only a talented rider, he’s become some sort of a biking world icon. Guy is rather obsessed with mechanical devices and the intricacies of manufacturing. Cut Media thought he’d be the ideal candidate for an Orange Bikes factory documentary.
In the centre of Halifax, Guy takes us on a tour of the manufacturing process, cutting, bending and welding aluminium, forming complex shapes to create a bicycle frame. Hand-built, properly engineered craftsmanship is a black art in today’s norm of sterile outsourced manufacturing. Watch the YouTube video for an entertaining look at something not often seen.
The Swiss Peraves MonoTracer promises low fuel consumption with protection from the elements.
The MonoTracer is a fully enclosed two-wheeler boasting a sporty, aerodynamic look and very low consumption. As a new version of the ECOMOBILE, a vehicle purely functional in design, the MonoTracer rounds off this unique class of machines by incorporating state-of-the-art design features. Peraves have built 90 MonoTracer prototypes called ECOMOBILEs and these have notched up, cumulatively over 12 million kilometres over the past 20 years. In 1996 10 ECOMOBILEs travelled from Atlanta to Montana and back, 11,000 kilometres in 3 weeks. The desert heat in Arizona and icy Rocky Mountain weather resulted in no technical problems for the ECOMOBILEs.
According to Peraves, the best motorcycle tires for highway use on the market today allow a lean angle of about 55 degrees. Apparently out of every 100 superbike owners in the GSX-R, Fireblade, Ninja, K1200S, R1 and 999R league maybe 20 have ever leaned their machines beyond 40 degrees. A maximum of 5 will regularly tip more than 45 degrees. Most of those sporty riders will limit their angle of lean by excessive “hanging off”, thus also limiting their speed in the curve. The MonoTracer with its “knee” (the retracted stabilizer tire) skimming the road, can lean to about 52 degrees and it has a turning circle and corner speed otherwise only achievable on a top-of-the-range sports bike. Of course, dry, clean and safe roads are an essential requirement for such antics.
Just when you think this might be the answer to skyrocketing fuel prices, comes the whopper price: 52,500 Euros (basic price) without VAT. I wonder how it will perform in traffic jams. Can it U-turn?
VEHICLE & BODY STRUCTURE
Self-supporting composite-monocoque made from glass-, kevlar- and carbon
tissues bonded by epoxy-resin reinforced with crash and roll bars. Engine frame,
steering head and stabilizer axles made from aircraft grade alloy steel.
Front suspension Marzocchi 50mm USD-fork, rear Monolever shaft swingarm.
Gull-wing-door with integrated sunroof, opening to the left.
Glazing made from tinted PMMA in aviation quality.
Baggage compartment of 200 Litres in the rear.
4 cylinder-in-line-BMW-K-engine 1171 ccm, 16 valves, liquid cooling.
Dry reinforced monodisc clutch. Sequential PG-gearbox with 4 forward speeds and
electrically unlockable reverse, shifted by push-button-selector on left handlebar.
Automatic clutch optional.
Reinforced BMW-shaft drive.
3 brake discs 320 mm Ø with 4-piston-hydraulic callipers, fully integrated
electronic ABS. Ceramic brake discs and brake pads, ASP anti spin control optional.
Electrical stabilizer servo system, computer-supervised with cycle-time < 0,5 sec.
Semi-automatic, hydraulically operated softmode system optional.
EQUIPMENT & ACCESSORIES
RECARO-contour-seats with 3-point-automatic-safety belts.
Interior covers in high-tech-tissues and sound proofing padding.
Airconditioned + heated ventilation system of ample flow with intake air filter.
Tempomat cruise control, frontal airbag, Bi-Xenon-lights, CD-players optional.
Motorcycle-type handlebars with extended functions. Clutch pedal left, gear- and
stabilizer-ops-switches left, integrated brake ops by pedal, aux-brake-lever and
Empty weight: 460-485 kgs. depending on options
Max. weight: 685 kgs.
Tank capacity: 50 ltrs. / 14 USG
Dimensions: L = 3,65 m B = 1,25 m
(Stabilizers up) 1,40 m (down) H = 1,52 m
Service: 25.000 km / 15‘000 miles or annually – whichever is first
Engine: 96 kW / 130 HP at 8750/min, max. torque 117 Nm at 6750/min
Acceleration: 0-100 kph = 5,7 sec.
Top speed: > 250 kph.
Brake distance: 100-0 = 43 m
Turning circle between walls: 8.5 m
Consumption(ISO 7118): 4,15 l/100km at constant 90 kph
5,05 l/100km at constant 120 kph
Basic price ex factory € 52‘500.- (+ local VAT)
2 years warranty / 25 years use guaranteed for composite + metal structures
Schuberth GmbH has announced that multiple Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher (reported to be racing on two-wheelers here) will be spearheading the firm’s development of sports motorcycle helmets.
Beginning with the ‘Schuberth Race’ helmet, Michael will continue to bring his wealth of experience to the Schuberth’s R&D department in order to develop new models. This arrangement continues a unique and extensive partnership between the German brand and the seven-time F1 champion who developed and used Schuberth helmets until he retired from the sport. During his excursions into the world of motorbike sports the most successful Formula 1 world champion of all times trusts in a Schuberth product, the specially developed “Schuberth RACE”. As head tester he is going to be involved in the development of the new Schuberth motorcycle helmets going forward.
Schuberth’s engineers have developed this new crash helmet in close collaboration with Michael himself. In true Schuberth style, the result is an extremely lightweight and aerodynamic helmet, filled with numerous technical and safety innovations.
Since leaving four-wheel competition, Schumacher has failed to resist his passion for all things fast and loud. The German’s longstanding love for motorcycles has seen him enter pro-amateur races in Europe, picking up a debut win in just his second event. Schumacher explains the continued relationship: ‘Throughout my time in Formula 1 I really appreciated just how fast and accurately the people at Schuberth were able to work. Attention to detail has always been particularly important to me, and I don’t intend to leave anything to chance in the future either.’
Let’s see some good results from this relationship as the former champ channels some of his perfectionism into the evolution of Schuberth products. Formula 1 and motorcycling technology have much in common – there is no margin for error in either. No further information on the price or availability of the ‘Schuberth Race’ helmet is available at this time.
For further information on the current Schuberth motorcycle helmet range check out www.schuberth.com.
Recently, custom chopper builder Jesse James has unveiled his West Coast Choppers CFL II frame. The ‘CFL’ in the name presumably stands for ‘Choppers for Life’. The CFL II frame is revolutionary as it is constructed from folded sheet steel, whereas conventional chopper frames are made from steel tubing, welded together. This is not altogether a totally new idea as motorcycles have used stamped steel frames in the past (BMW’s late 1920s ‘Star’ frame comes to mind). However, Jesse James has done something new for the world of choppers, where this frame is basically made from flat sheet steel, which is bent and welded together with strategically placed steel tubing, in a sort of ‘origami’ fashion. A departure from the rise of all the funky, but ultimately quite similar choppers we’ve been seeing over the past few years.
Austrian-based automotive consulting firm AVL (Anstalt für Verbrennungskraftmaschinen List), one of the largest privately owned companies for powertrain development, has developed a High Performance Diesel Motorcycle.
While the passenger car world has gained a lot of widespread acceptance in recent years as a result of CRDi (Common Rail Direct Injection) and intercooled turbos, providing better fuel economy and high torque output, the motorcycle world seems to have been left behind.
AVL put their engine and vehicle concept development skills to work as an internal R&D project, and the result was the world’s first high performance diesel engine specifically designed for motorcycles in terms of packaging and styling.
The AVL engine is a 4-stroke, water-cooled Diesel triple displacing 1331cc, with a state of the art 4-valve per cylinder DOHC head. It is turbocharged with a VTG (Variable Turbine Geometry) turbo, and an air-air intercooler. The injection system is CRDi and the pistons have oil jets for cooling. Balancers ensure that the bike’s vibrations are tolerable.
Maximum torque of 200Nm is available between 2000 and 3500 rpm and a peak power of 74 kW (100 HP) comes about between 4000 and 4500 rpm.
The AVL Diesel is packaged wonderfully in an attractive trellis frame
The AVL Diesel bike goes from 0-100 km/h in 2.96 seconds, faster than a Suzuki GSX1400 (3.0), Honda CB1300 (3.1) and a Kawasaki ZRX1200R (3.0). Furthermore emissions comply with EURO3 limits. It is not known if any motorcycle makers are working with AVL to bring this concept bike to production. Who’d be brave enough to do it? Triumph Motorcycles? Royal Enfield? BMW? Kawasaki (who’ve already got a military diesel based on the KLR650)? What’s your say? Comment below please.
Some of us may remember Akira, a 1988 Japanese anime film version by Katsuhiro Otomo, which was based on his original manga comic story. The story is about characters in post-nuclear war 2019 Tokyo, where Neo-Tokyo is filled with protestors, teenage bikers, soldiers and street gangs.
Central character Kaneda, a biker who attends reform school battles with his Capsule Motorcycle Club against the Clown bike gang and rides a really cool (how can he afford it!?) bike which has been the subject of the manga, anime and several attempts to produce 1:1 scale Akira-influenced bikes. Bandai also made a highly detailed model, which I recently acquired (and will review here later). McFarlane Toys had earlier made a plastic version whereas the Bandai version seems to have a metal subframe and lots of options to remove and add on bodywork.
In the anime, the sound of the Kaneda bike was produced by mixing the sound of a 1929 Harley-Davidson with the sound of a jet engine! The design was supposedly by a former Honda R&D engineer who left Honda to work for White House, a Japanese custom bike company. The manga showed the Kaneda bike with a Honda logo whereas the anime had a (sort of) BMW logo.
The Kaneda bike has become something of a motorcycling icon, despite being a work of fiction! Thousands of moped riders in Malaysia and elsewhere proudly placed ‘Akira’ stickers on their helmets, and the bike has embedded itself in the psyche of bikers everywhere. In addition to the manga, anime, toys and DIY replicas, an upcoming live action movie is in the works. More on that later.
Dainese has been working on its air-bag-equipped for about 10 years now and are set to release in 2010. The Dainese D-Tec system is the first airbag suit from a major protective bike clothing manufacturer, although small companies have released airbag equipped jackets. Watch the two YouTube videos below to see it in action.
The HFT-equipped DN-01 (exhibited at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show)
I just reported that Honda Motor Co., Ltd. recently launched the DN-01, which was equipped with the new Honda Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT), a new automatic transmission system for motorcycles using Honda’s own infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission. Easy to operate, the HFT provides outstanding relaxed riding comfort, riding feel with direct response and excellent transmission efficiency. The HFT was first installed on the DN-01, which was unveiled at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in 2007.
HFT, the infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission system
But just how does the HFT work? The HFT is Honda’s own infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission. This innovative new transmission comes in a lightweight and compact configuration, which makes it ideally suited to motorcycles. To meet a wide range of rider needs, HFT offers a selection from two fully automatic shifting modes:
a) D mode for ordinary riding
b) S mode for a sporty riding experience
c) 6-speed manual mode, which gives riders the option of riding with a manual transmission feel
The HFT provides easy operation, from relaxed, laid-back riding right up to nimble and sporty riding with direct throttle response. Being something of a pioneer in the automatic transmission motorcycle arena, Honda launched the Super Cub C100 in 1958, equipped with an automatic centrifugal clutch mechanism, which allowed riding without the need of clutch operation. The 750cc Honda Eara, released in 1977, was the first large-sized motorcycle featured a torque converter in Japan. In 1980, the Honda Tact was released, a machine equipped with the Honda original continuously variable transmission, the V-Matic. The HFT is the latest in this line of innovative automatic transmission offerings for motorcycles.
CHARACTERISTICS OF HFT
HFT configuration – who would have thought stirring up oil would control torque and speed?
HFT powertrain – now it becomes so clear
The HFT is a compact and highly efficient infinitely variable transmission system, with a wide range of functions in a single unit. These encompass functions for starting, power transmission and shifting, all on a single shaft. The basic configuration of the system consists of an oil pump for converting engine power into hydraulic pressure, and an oil motor for converting the hydraulic pressure back into power for output. Both are made up of multiple pistons, a distributor valve and a swash plate for piston operation, while the cylinders are integrated into the output shaft, forming the characteristic structure of the HFT. Honda believes its HFT has the worlds first lockup mechanism for an infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission. The lockup mechanism minimises transmission efficiency losses when cruising, contributing to better fuel economy.
Automatic transmission motor scooters have now become commonplace, you could even say the norm these days. Also, since the advent of the Aprilia Scarabeo, lots of scooter/moped hybrids like the Yamaha Ego, and more recently the Honda Click have begun to flood South-East Asian markets (This begs the question – Mo-Oter or Scoo-Ped?). These scooter/moped hybrids are all equipped with CVT (Continuously Variable) transmissions. Are we now seeing the same thing happening with larger capacity motorcycles?
Brycen Spencer, an engineering student has created the Wireless Impact Guardian (WIG). The WIG works by beeping upon impact, and if not turned off, it sends a signal to emergency services. For crash victims who need help which often arrive too late, the WIG could actually be a lifesaver. Imagine crashing on a winding country road with no help around for miles and miles. Even a mobile phone would be useless as you wouldn’t be able to operate it.
Spencer has invested US$2500 of his own money and has won US$2500 prize money. He is convinced that his idea has arrived at the right time and could take off soon. His invention has been nicknamed the “OnStar” of the motorcycle world, which is an apt description.
Imagine sticking this into your exhaust, being able to cook your lunch and save money by not wasting gas or electricity. Design Boom organised a design competition, and the ‘Exhaust Burger’ was on of the designs entered by an Iranian team comprising of Roohollah Merrikhpour, Mina Mirzahossein, Narges Alam, Hani Saghaiyan, Elmira Manafnejad, Sanaz Ghaem Maghami and Navvab Bahreyni.
The designers describe the device as a ‘mobile barbeque’ and in their own words: “Your car exhaust is a barbeque now.. Stop the car when you are hungry, install the device to the exhaust and back to drive,, You’ll have a hamburger in no time. This way you don’t need fuel for cooking while commuting and a large amount of energy would be saved.”
I first spotted this on The Scooter Scoop. As far as safety is concerned, I’ll leave it to the Ministry of Health to decide.
SOURCE: DESIGN BOOM
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