Motorcycle Words

a motorcyclist's blog

Category: News (page 1 of 3)

Bosch Using Gas to Prevent Low-Siding

So yeah, the title doesn’t make much sense but I have to hand it to the boffins at Bosch. They have developed a system that can mitigate lateral loss of traction and prevent a low-side crash from occurring.  This report and video from CNet.com lays out the details and a demo of this system and it’s pretty slick (pun intended).

When sensors indicate the motorcycle is starting to slide laterally, the system fires off a blast of highly compressed gas. The thrust from the blast counteracts the slide and allows the rider to move past the debris causing the traction loss and remain upright. You can see this demonstrated in the video below.
(Keep watching the video until the very end and you’ll see the bike make the pass without the rig to hold it up)

It’s an interesting idea and seeing it work even in this “setup” demonstration definitely proves the concept has potential. Of course one has to consider the cost in both dollars and weight in order to get motorcyclists to buy into it. I think the same thing was said about ABS when it was first brought to motorcycles by BMW.

One downside that the CNet article mentions is that it is likely a one-time use countermeasure that is depleted after the single use and must be recharged or resupplied with compressed gas. Maybe a replaceable cylinder could be purchased or could be recharged at a dealership for a nominal fee? That may be putting the cart before the horse but I don’t think it is something that should hold back this concept.

What do you think?

Visorcat System Available at Aerostitch

In December 2017, I reviewed a hand/glove mounted helmet visor cleaning system from Visorcat. The Visorcat is a unique solution that allows one to clear road grime and other debris from their field of view. This system includes a sponge,  squeegee, and cleaning fluid all wrapped up in a neat little package.

At the time of the review the Visorcat was not available via dealers in the United States. That situation has now changed as Visorcat just reached out to me and let me know that Aerostitch is now a dealer for their product. At this time the system can be purchased at this link but so far it only includes the whole system. There isn’t a link yet for refills of fluid and the sponges but I will be looking into when these are expected to be available.

Full review at wBW here.

 

High-End Helmet Bag About to “Kick-Off” from Neo and Sons

Singapore based startup Neo and Sons has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new helmet bag they have been working on.

Dubbed “The Classic”, this helmet bag doesn’t look or function like your typical lid carry-all.  Most helmet bags I’ve seen are pretty simple affairs made from nylon, polyester, or a similar textile. The Classic is made from full grain leather (there is a waxed cotton version too) and uses quality hardware like YKK brass (or gunmetal) zippers as well as heavy duty D-rings.  The interior is lined with black twill cotton and an optional hounds-tooth pattern will be available for a bit of extra style on the inside.

The materials aren’t the only thing that set this helmet carrier from the rest. Neo and Sons make use of the empty space within the helmet for additional storage. I often carry my gloves in my helmet when I carry them around but this carrying bag has an integrated storage pocket that protrudes into the open helmet space from underneath.

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MotoAmerica Release Details About Twins Class for 2018

While covering the final round of MotoAmerica racing at Barber this past Fall, we learned about some of the new classes coming for 2018. This includes the new Junior Cup which replaces the KTM Cup which we are very interested to see but also even more surprising is the new Twins Class. This is very exciting to see as it adds a huge range of possibilities for both riders and builders.

The Twins class will allow for a lot of modification to the machines allowed to compete in the class which  comprises 600cc to 800cc displacement two cylinder engines. Plus this segment offers a lot of inexpensive and versatile places to start including Yamaha’s MT-07Kawasaki’s Ninja 650, and Suzuki’s SV650 (replacing the SFV650 for 2018).

      

Modifications can be applied not only to suspension and engine components but competitors will be allowed to modify ECU programming. This will be a boon to tuners looking to get the most out of these middleweight machines. These lenient rules are going to likely make for a very interesting and diverse  field of machines on the grids for 2018.

Read more about the new Twins Class at MotoAmerica’s website. You can also download the detailed technical specs by clicking here.

Bike 55 Ends Up Fire Number 3

Gilbert on the track the day before.

During Sunday morning’s warm up for the 600cc machines we had another bike on fire incident, this time involving Michael Gilbert (55). Gilbert had a low-side get off that of course wasn’t great for him, but not anything that likely would have prevented him from taking the track later in the day. However shortly after the bike was moved a fuel tank leak resulted in the motorcycle catching on fire.

This was the third motorcycle to catch on fire during this weekend races here at Barber during the final round of MotoAmerica’s season. David Anthony and Josh Hayes also ended up with their own machines in flames the previous day. Needless to say it has been a rather dramatic weekend so far.

Michael appeared uninjured when I spoke with him a but later on after the crash but I know this was a big disappointment for him.  It was for me too as I’ve been following his progress this year and was hoping to see him on the podium in person this weekend instead of reading about it later. With any luck I’ll get to see Michael on the podium next year as he told me he will be coming back. Looking forward to seeing you there again soon, Michael.

The sad aftermath of Gilbert’s (55) bike after catching fire.

 

Greetings from Barber Motosports Park

We’re off to a cloudy start this morning here at Barber for the final round of MotoAmerica road racing this weekend. Kevin and I are here to get some photos and capture some interviews (and watch some motorcycles go roundy roundy).  This is always a fun weekend for us as we get to be right in the thick of motorsport and get the view from behind the scenes behind our favorite sport.

Here Kevin contemplates the object in front of him. Yes, it is a motorcycle Kevin! Good job 🙂

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Barry Boone Passes Away

It is with a heavy heart that I pass on the news that Barry Boone, the voice of AMA Racing, host of Talking Motorcycles, and all around great guy has passed away. Barry was an incredible advocate of everything motorcycle and was one of the most down to earth people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. I had the good fortune to hang out with Barry and friends after a day of covering the racing at Barber Motorsports park and it was great to hear him share stories from his past.

Barry took the time to talk to us “small potato” media types and even was kind enough to give a shout out to our site during a race weekend at Barber. He even took the time to talk with us on camera for an interview (see below).

Heading to Barber this weekend will be bittersweet as even though Barry had stepped away from the mic since the start of MotoAmerica, I still hear his voice echoing throughout the facility when I’m there.

RIP Barry, you will be missed.

webBikeWorld.com Under New Management Today

After eighteen years running the independent review site webBikeWorld.com, Rick Korchak is stepping down from helm of the popular news and reviews site. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Rick over the past eight years as a contributing writer and while I’m sorry to see him go, I know he’s looking forward to a break before he gets into a new project (I’m sure he won’t sit idle long).

Spanning nearly two decades, webBikeWorld.com has racked up nearly 1,800 reviews of motorcycle accessories, apparel, and related products. Rick’s mission with webBikeWorld was to provide unbiased and fair reviews to the motorcycling community and he could not have been more on target with the results of his labors.

Here’s to you, Rick! You created something very special that grew from a humble start to an internationally recognized source for motorcycle related news and reviews! Sit back now and take it easy as the new team presses that inside bar and looks deep into the next corner of wBW’s ride.

-Brandon

For my part I’m  honored to have had my articles published on webBikeWorld (over 90 reviews!) and take pride in having contributed to Rick’s vision. I’m looking forward to seeing how the new management team plans on growing wBW going forward. Hopefully I’ll be asked to continue my role as a contributing writer.

Happy Ride to Work Day!

Today,  Monday June 19th, is international Ride to Work Day and hopefully many of you were able to get out and make the commute on your bike today. Here in Nashville is was still wet and a little drizzly from our overnight rain but precipitation was pretty minimal at 6:30 this morning. Still, I saw many riders on the streets  this morning on my way into town from Brentwood.

If you’re not familiar with Ride to Work Day, it is more than just a day to commute on your ride. Ride to Work is a 501 c4 non-profit organization, advocating and supporting the use of motorcycles and scooters for transportation, and providing information about everyday utility riding to the public.

You can get more info over at www.ridetowork.org .

VW/Audi Considering Sale of Ducati?

Reuters is reporting that Volkswagen might be looking to sell Ducati. In the wake of VW’s diesel emissions scandal, the automaker has been working to streamline its operations and reduce costs as it prepares to pay out hefty fines and compensate owners of affected vehicles.

As part of this streamlining effort, there is speculation that Ducati might go up for sale. Nothing is concrete but there are indicators that this could be a thing. Volkswagen AG owned Audi purchased the Ducati brand back in 2012 for over 900 million (USD) so it makes sense that if the right buyer comes along, this could really help boost VW’s bottom line .

Read the full story over at Reuters.

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