ETC: Russian motorcycle gets wood-power conversion

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Motorcycle, Humor, Russia

Ural Motorcycle on wood gas

Occasionally, we come across a technology that has just kind of been forgotten about. Take this Ural motorcycle. It runs on a substance called wood gas, which is the byproduct of incomplete combustion of carbon products like wood, hence it’s name. The fuel goes through a process called gasification in a wood-gas generator to produce combustible hydrogen and carbon monoxide. So basically, you’re burning wood to produce fuel.

This Ural has had a rudimentary wood-gas generator fitted, while an a number of other low-tech, scrounged items make up the rest of the side-car-mounted system. According to The Knee Slider, the top speed of the bike is a mere 80 kilometers per hour (about 50 miles per hour), while the fuel it runs on is quite bulky. Still, if you run low, just pack an axe and hope you run out of gas somewhere that’s wooded.

Wood-gas-powered vehicles might be uncommon today, but they were a normal means of transport in the past. Vehicles in Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, Switzerland and Finland were converted to run on wood gas during World War II due to fuel rationing, while wood-gas is still used in rural parts of the world today. Take a look at the wood-gas Ural in the gallery provided by English Russia.

Russian motorcycle gets wood-power conversion originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 24 Aug 2013 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Bare-breasted woman’s motorcycle crash caught on cop dashcam

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Motorcycle

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it now: it’s not that stranger things are happening now, it’s just that the interwebz allow us to spread them to the world at the speed of fiber optic light. The latest incident captured on America’s version of the Russian dash-cam, which is the policeman’s dash-cam, is a woman just outside Milwaukee riding erratically down the highway on a motorcycle.

Sure, that’s pretty thin. But this woman had unbuttoned her shirt, was screaming, her breasts bared, slowing down to 10 miles per hour and “kind of assaulting people with her motorcycle,” and speeding up again.

Not surprisingly, she got the attention of the authorities pretty quickly, who followed her until she crashed. Her only injury: a cut on the chin. Her only lapse: riding while under the influence of prescription drugs. For the second time, since she’d been busted for it before.

You can watch the video subtitled “Just another day in America” below. It is totally SFW.

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Bare-breasted woman’s motorcycle crash caught on cop dashcam originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: World’s Most Expensive Motorcycle has frame made from gold

Filed under: Videos, Motorcycle, Design/Style

World's most expensive motorcycle?

This motorcycle embraces two very different dynamics. On the one hand, it’s quite possibly the most expensive motorcycle ever built, with some experts speculating that the frame alone is worth $1 million. On the other hand, it looks old and beaten up, like a steampunk MadMax.

Designed by an extremely wealthy Turkish motorcycle fan, Tarhan Telli, the basics are include an 1801cc V-Twin with 125 horsepower, a six-speed transmission and a 700-pound curb weight. But what makes it special, aside from the frame that’s made entirely from gold, is the artistry. As Motorcycle explains, Telli wanted high-end materials, like the gold, but wasn’t looking for something shouty, opting for worn materials with interesting patinas. So, basically, he commissioned a bike with a frame made from gold, but didn’t want it to be too loud, so he went to further lengths to obscure the gold finish. This may be the world’s biggest humblebrag.

Telli has approached the Guinness Book of World Records to get his one-off creation certified as the world’s most expensive motorcycle. He isn’t revealing what it cost him to build, but if he spent a million bucks on the frame, we’d expect the entire bike might be a few times that. Scroll down for the video.

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World’s Most Expensive Motorcycle has frame made from gold originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 28 Jul 2013 17:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Jack Nicklaus’ grandson survives chilling motorcycle crash, caught on camera

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Videos, Motorcycle

Nick O'Leary motorcycle crash - bus dashcam video footage screencap

Nick O’Leary, grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus and starting tight end for the Florida State Seminoles, received a rather brutal lesson in the laws of physics. An inattentive Lexus driver pulled out in front of the FSU player while he was traveling along on his motorcycle. The resulting collision ejected O’Leary from his bike, sending him sailing down the road for an estimated 75 to 100 feet, and the whole thing was captured on video.

The motorcycle got the worst of the ordeal, fortunately. After the collision, it was catapulted into the windshield of a stopped bus. No one was injured in the Lexus or on the bus, which captured the footage, although one passenger was very lucky that he didn’t get off the bus a few seconds sooner. O’Leary, meanwhile, walked away, but was later taken to the hospital, treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released.

While the accident happened at the beginning of May, the incident is just coming to light thanks to a report from TomahawkNation, which made a public records request. Florida State’s football coach, Jimbo Fisher, told the sports website, “he wrecked that daggone scooter and was banged up for about a month.” Yes, this is exactly the statement we’d expect from a southern-fried ball coach named Jimbo. Take a look at the full video below.

Continue reading Jack Nicklaus’ grandson survives chilling motorcycle crash, caught on camera

Jack Nicklaus’ grandson survives chilling motorcycle crash, caught on camera originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Low-rider Lamborghinis, motorcycle gangs and Yakuza make Underground Hero a must watch

Filed under: Japan, Videos, Lamborghini

Lamborghini video with Japan's Yakuza - video screencap

Japan’s Yakuza are some of the most dangerous and feared criminals on the planet, known for a disturbing level of commitment and honor. Just do some research on yubitsume to see what we mean.

Underground Hero: Love To Hate Me is a video from Luke Huxham, that takes a look inside Yakuza car culture, showing that these dangerous criminals aren’t all that different from normal enthusiasts when it comes to their cars. Focusing on Shinichi Moroboshi, owner of a modified Lamborghini Diablo and someone we wouldn’t be interested in angering, it focuses both on his life in the Yakuza and just what drew him towards the Diablo.

There’s also an interesting look at Japan’s modding culture, where neon chassis lighting is still alive and well. The effect it has on these cars, mostly from Lamborghini, is actually pretty dramatic, almost classy. The video also focuses on Bosozoku, in this case, Japanese motorcycle gangs. These aren’t your Harley-Davidson riding Hell’s Angels, rather, these riders lean toward tricked out Hondas and Suzukis (heavily modified cars are also a staple of Bosozoku culture).

Moroboshi-san’s story is a lot like ours, falling in love with a car during a chance encounter. At 17, the young Bosozoku was passed on the street by a Countach. The car and the sound it made left an impression on him that blossomed into a strong desire to own one of Italy’s finest products.

Take a look at the video below, and then head over to Jalopnik for an interesting commentary from the film’s director about just what it was like to work with the Yakuza.

Continue reading Low-rider Lamborghinis, motorcycle gangs and Yakuza make Underground Hero a must watch

Low-rider Lamborghinis, motorcycle gangs and Yakuza make Underground Hero a must watch originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 12:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reevu motorcycle helmet is first to feature head-up display

Filed under: Safety, Technology, Motorcycle

Reevu Intelligent Helmet

Reevu, that company that makes those nifty helmets with the built-in rear viewers has another innovation for those of the two-wheeled persuasion. Expanding on the idea of a rear viewer, Reevu seems to have integrated a display into the top of the visor.

The system projects information, according to the images, ranging from turn-by-turn directions to speed to lap times. We’ll admit, the information provided is quite thin. The helmet manufacturer apparently uses something called a multiple reflective optical system to display the information, claiming it won’t strain the eyes or cause distraction for the driver.

Limited info aside, the potential of an in-helmet head-up display is huge for people on two and four wheels. The same concepts that make this appealing for bikers would make it a must-have for any serious track enthusiast. Drivers could get everything from lap times and sector splits to emergency warnings if oil pressure were to drop. You can bet we’ll follow this one closely. Scroll down below for the press release.

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Reevu motorcycle helmet is first to feature head-up display originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Jul 2013 13:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: BMW working with Dainese to put airbags in motorcycle suits [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Safety, Technology, BMW, Motorcycle

BMW Motorrad racing suit jointly developed with Dainese features airbag protection.Addressing the safety concerns of its customers, BMW Motorrad is co-developing a rider suit with Dainese to feature something that’s much more common in automobiles: airbags.

Starting with Dainese’s D-air Protect System, which is made up of inflatable protectors that deploy in 15 milliseconds, the two companies will integrate the technology into a BMW Motorrad brand, one-piece racing suit, the DoubleR RaceAir. Later a different, street-oriented airbag system that can be retrofitted to bikes will be offered to Beemer riders.

The DoubleR RaceAir is expected to be presented at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in November, after all required crash testing has been completed.

In addition to the new racing suit, BMW Motorrad and Dainese have agreed to long-term cooperation to develop more safety gear.

Having proper safety gear equipped while riding a motorcycle is crucial, but the rider is the most important piece of the safety puzzle, so ride safely! Scroll down for the press release and to watch a video of the D-air airbag system in action.

Continue reading BMW working with Dainese to put airbags in motorcycle suits [w/video]

BMW working with Dainese to put airbags in motorcycle suits [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 19:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Suzuki

Motorcycle land-speed record holder Bill Warner died yesterday after crashing during an attempt at setting another record. The 44-year-old was clocked at 285 miles per hour on the runway of a former air base in northern Maine, before he lost control of his modified Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle and veered off the runway.

It is not known what speed he was traveling when things started to go wrong and unclear what caused the crash, which happened shortly before 10:00 AM. Warner’s crew suspect there were mechanical difficulties on his last run, in addition to a slight breeze, according to the video news report. Warner was conscious and able to speak after the crash but died an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou. The event and runway were closed for the rest of the day as police investigated the incident.

Warner was participating in “The Maine Event” at Loring Air Force Base in an attempt to reach 300 mph in one mile. Warner’s best land-speed record, set in 2011, was 311.945 mph in 1.5 miles on the same runway, according to the Loring Timing Association, a record that still stands today for open-cockpit motorcycles. After that run, Warner said the scariest part was stopping the bike before the end of the runway. Be sure to check out the video news report after the jump.

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Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Lotus getting into the motorcycle business

Filed under: Lotus, Motorcycle, Racing

Lotus Motorcycles emblem

Lotus founder Colin Chapman is famously quoted as saying something to the effect of “Simplify, then add lightness.” We’re a bit amazed that it took this long, but someone appears to be taking that message to heart at the British marque, losing a couple of wheels, a clutter of bodywork and a whole mess of weight. No, Lotus isn’t planning another spindly Seven-style trackday racer, it’s getting into motorcycles.

Well, sort of. As an automaker, Lotus apparently isn’t directly behind this two-wheeled effort, but it does appear to have officially lent its brand and logo to a new company, Lotus Motorcycles, which counts former Volkswagen Group designer Daniel Simon, Germany’s Holzer Group and auto racing team Kodewa among its partners. The latter builds and races Lotus’ T128 Le Mans Prototype in the World Endurance Championship series.

The new company is touting an as-yet unseen motorcycle, a racing-inspired “hyper bike” called C-01, releasing only the image above – a carbon fiber fuel tank trimmed in Lotus’ trademark black and gold livery. Details are tough to come by, but the project is said to include a powertrain good for around 200 horsepower and construction involving titanium, carbon fiber and aerospace-grade steel.

The C-01’s shape will come from Simon, a designer who has not only worked at Bugatti, he’s also credited with a few Hollywood fantasymobiles, including the Lightcycle from Tron: Legacy and more recently the “Bubbleship” spacecraft used by Tom Cruise in Oblivion. The company promises that the legendary Lotus 49 racecar was a “main inspiration” in its conception, and “all color schemes pay homage to iconic Lotus racing liveries.” We can’t wait to see more, but we’ll have to – at least a little while. The company says we can expect further images and information in “the next few weeks.” For more, check out the company’s statement released via Facebook by scrolling below.

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Lotus getting into the motorcycle business originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Jun 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: LiveMap develops augmented reality motorcycle helmet

Filed under: Safety, Technology, Russia

LiveMap Helmet

While mobile navigation for cars has evolved into a staple, in-cabin feature, motorcyclists have been stuck with paper maps and aftermarket solutions for years. A new Russian company is out to change that with a helmet that boasts integrated nav. LiveMap uses a microphone, light sensor, ear phone and micro display to convey pertinent travel information in full color that the rider can control using voice commands. The system works just like the heads up display found in modern fighter jets.

The system projects directions in the center of the rider’s visor rather than in the upper right hand corner as with Google Glass. The team behind the development says this actually safer since the light sensor keeps the directions transparent no matter what the time of day. It also allows the rider to stay focused on what’s ahead of the bike. An integrated gyroscope and digital compass keeps the projection oriented correctly even as the user tilts his head or leans the bike. Very cool.

The LiveMap helmet is supposed to offer up to a day’s worth of use thanks to a pair of lithium-ion batteries, though a USB charge plug can provide extra juice when necessary. Right now, LiveMap is sourcing funding through Indiegogo. The company is looking to raise $150,000 to create a working prototype. After that, production models could cost around $2,000. That’s steep, but hopefully the cost could come down over additional generations. Check out the introductory video below for more information.

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LiveMap develops augmented reality motorcycle helmet originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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