What if we’re doing it all wrong? What if the new gadgetry—virtual powerband, throttle-by-wire, and 600,000-euro seamless transmissions—are just aspirin that will never cure the underlying sickness? That sickness is the complete mismatch between the sudden, spikey power of a vibrating piston engine and the fragile grip of a rubber tire. There may be another [...]Read Full Post | Comments(17)
Question: I theorize that one of the main reasons we don’t have modern two-stroke streetbikes is that consumers prefer the sound and feel of a four-stroke. And when I look at the 40-year-old two-stroke technology of my three Kawasaki triples, I wonder what a truly modern two-stroke street bike would be like. If manufacturers used [...]Read Full Post | Comments(43)
So often you hear older riders deploring the lack of “character” in today’s motorcycles, yet it’s clear that the modern product is better in every measurable way than the product of the 1960s and ’70s. Is “character” to be dismissed as just oil leaks seen through rose-colored glasses? Or is there more to it? This [...]Read Full Post | Comments(12)
Question: Some years ago, a Southern California company (I believe it was Coates International) was making inroads with rotating spherical valves with promising results. Then, poof! No more info was available. What is your opinion on the potential of rotating spherical valves for internal-combustion engines? Jody Weston Submitted via Facebook Answer: Many alternatives to the [...]Read Full Post | Comments(23)
I have been thinking of Honda’s use of the term “mass centralization,” and it occurs to me that this is an entirely natural process that has happened by itself. Honda PR people just like the sound of it and adopted it. Motorcycles are naturally mass centralized because of the vertical “sandwich” of rider, fuel, and [...]Read Full Post | Comments(3)
Lunasee Press Release: In response to market demand Lunasee, LLC has expanded their side lighting safety system for motorcycles. The hi-viz wheel lighting system will now be offered in two models – The Lunasee 320 and the Lunasee Pro 1000. Both models will provide the low light driving visibility that Lunasee is known for, but [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Visiting Brembo Inside the research-and-development facilities of one of the best-known names in braking.
After the ceaseless round of the EICMA show, with its pounding music and impossible scheduling (interviews at 11:30 p.m.?), I was delighted to visit Brembo, the brake-systems manufacturer. Brembo supplies more than 90 percent of the MotoGP paddock, and our connection is Eugenio Gandolfi, the racing engineer from whom we have learned so much over [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
NUVIZ Motorcycle Head-Up Display Helmet-mounted accessory projects navigation and other info into rider’s field of vision.
In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with electronic information. Smartphones and computers are common for most people, but when you hop onto a modern motorcycle the informational data can explode: In addition to GPS and music menus, motorcycles can have traction control, electronic-suspension settings, ride modes, ABS settings, heated-grip levels, all sorts of things [...]Read Full Post | Comments(4)
Photographer : James Wirth
Here are 10 feast-your-eyes photographs of MotoGP hardware taken this year by James Wirth. One through six, plus nine, are from July’s US Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, while seven, eight, and 10 are from the Grand Prix of The Americas at Circuit of The Americas. It’s fun to look deliberately from one [...]Read Full Post | Comments(3)
In 1983, the magnesium engine cases on Freddie Spencer’s three-cylinder Honda NS500 were run 600 kilometers (372 miles) and then returned to the factory to be remachined so they could be used through a second block of mileage. After that, too weak for reuse, the cases were scrapped. Googling an assortment of metallurgical papers revealed [...]Read Full Post | Comments(5)