Too Quiet? Zero Emissions Race Bike Hits Man

I have never bought into the adage that “loud pipes save lives.”  However, the extreme quiet of one of the motorcycles involved in what is billed as the “World’s First Zero Emissions Race” may have contributed to an accident that seriously injured a 50-year-old bicyclist in Vancouver, Canada earlier this month.

The zero emissions race started on August 16th, 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland.  So far, the racers have covered almost 10,000 miles primarily through Russia, Kazakhstan and China.  Vancouver was to be the only stop for the race in Canada.  That stop, however, was more abrupt than anticipated.

One witness to the accident said, “We thought, ‘Holy crap they are going really fast down that residential street.’ There were cars parked along the side. Someone could have walked out on the street and not heard that vehicle — not like you would have heard a regular motorcycle.”  The victim of the accident was hospitalized with several rib fractures.

This will only fuel concerns that the silent operation of the new breed of “green” vehicles may be dangerous.  When you consider the speed attainable by many of these vehicles, especially the motorcycles, there may be a “quiet controversy” brewing.

The race is scheduled to make its way down the west coast of the US throughout November.

GreenCrash

Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG

Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Find the Right Bike Fit With a Very Cool Site

Bike fit is a tricky thing.  If you scour the Internet newsgroups and motorcycle related sites, you will see that there are countless treads soliciting information on the right bike for a certain frame.  There are those riders with very short legs looking for a super motard on which they can touch the ground.  There are riders with extremely long legs that want a comfortable fit on a sport-bike.

Now there is a creative, useful, and just plain fun tool on the Internet.  It’s called Cycle-Ergo, and it is an interactive tool that will allow you to see a virtual representation of your body frame-type on a vast array of motorcycles.  It is actually very fun, and potentially quite useful.

Personally, with a frame of 6’3”, I have had my share of issues with finding bikes with the proper ergonomics.  I plugged my oversized dimensions into the calculator and viewed the virtual “me” on a good sampling of bikes.  What did I find?  Well, the new Yamaha Super Tenere looked like a good fit for me, as did the big Honda CB1300.  However, I looked like a parade clown on the Aprilia Shiver 750.

What you get with this cool tool is the ability to see yourself in the riding position, and with feet on the ground.  You also get percentages for forward lean and knee bend.  Finally, there is even a function to compare 2 bikes and their relative ergonomics for your body type.

Go to http://cycle-ergo.com/ to see the virtual “you” on the bike of your dreams.

Ergo

Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

New ‘World’s Fastest Street Bike’ Record Set at Texas Mile

texas_mile Have you ever brought your bike up to 100 mph? 120? 150? What about 278.6 mph? If you aren’t Bill Warner of Wild Brothers Racing then I’m guessing you haven’t reached that speed.

Bill Warner set the World’s Fastest Street Bike record earlier this week at the Texas Mile, when he brought his 1299cc Wild Brothers Racing Suzuki Hayabusa up to 278.6 mph, breaking the old record by 5.3 mph.

The Texas Mile is held every year in Goliad, Texas, and includes the fastest vehicles on two and four wheels. Competitors start from a standing position, and have 1 mile to reach their top speed. They then have a half mile to slow it all down.

Bill Warner, who’s a tropical fish farmer and marine biologist during the day, was able to put in 5 runs over the weekend.

“I usually run four or five per day, so five passes in three days is not much time to get everything dialed in,” Warner said. “The early-morning pass on Sunday that set the record started with my best launch ever. The bike got squirrely, skidded side to side and then she finally hooked up. It felt like I was shot out of a canon! The bike stayed perfectly vertical for the entire run. It was so smooth it felt slow, if that makes any sense. Shutdown was tough, but fun, the bike screeching, sliding and hopping off the track.”

Wild Brothers Racing has records all over the country, including California, Maine, and now Texas. Wild Brothers developed the bike with the help of Larry Forstall, Steve Knecku, and Walter Kudron. The bike had numerous sponsors, including Brock’s Performance.

“The thing that strikes me, is that I didn’t know Bill before this year, but he came highly recommended,” said Brock’s Performance President, Brock Davidson. “With methodical, consistent, record-breaking runs, he’s proven his skill to the point where I sit back in awe and wait to see the next goal he sets outs to break.”

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Brammo’s 2011 Enertia Plus – An Electric Bike With an 80 Mile Range

Brammo_motorcycleThe biggest drawback to an electric motorcycle is the range. (That and the lack of rumble, speed, and testosterone. But mainly it’s the range.) But Brammo is getting close to solving the problem of range with it’s 2011 Enertia Plus.

The 2011 Enertia Plus will double the range of the 2010 model, and will be able to travel 80 miles before it needs to be recharged. So yeah, the electric motorcycle isn’t set for cross country touring just yet, but the Enertia has more than enough juice to get you to and from the office everyday.

The Enertia Plus even comes with optional GIVI hard bags, so you know that Brammo has their eyes set on long distance travel.

The 2011 Enertia Plus will be sold for $8995. Brammo is sweetening the deal by allowing people to place no money-down cancellable pre-orders. They will also pick one of the first 1000 pre-orders to win a free Enertia Plus.

The 2011 Enertia Plus will be revealed on November 2nd at the 68th EICMA in Milan, Italy.

You can find out more about the Enertia Plus at Brammo.com.

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com