Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Next Bike?

Kaneda's bike from Akira for sale - Hell For Leather
akirabike.jpgYes, that's right. While we were all daydreaming about how awesome we would be if we had a ride like Kaneda from the anime cult-classic Akira, the Japanese started an entire subculture of custom builders. We're not talking about full-scale models — that would be utter lameness. These folks are building and selling legitimate, licensed machines. Suddenly, we don't feel so cool anymore. We don't speak Japanese, but we're betting these replicas feature somewhat less than two ceramic rotor drives on each wheel.

I could kind of see it... really... well maybe if they toned down the red a little...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

HJC Wind Light

This looks like a great idea I might have to get... Afterall, I'm dork enough to rarely ride without a helmet anyway. Just as well look like a complete and total dork.

Bikes in the Fast Lane - Daily Motorcycle News
Called the HJC Windlight LED Helmet Light, it's a small gizmo that you glue on top of your helmet (any manufacturer, it doesn't have to be HJC). When you start riding your motorcycle, above 40 kph, the wind blows through the Windlight, and powers powerful LED lights. In fact, the faster you go, the more light it emits. There's very little wind drag, since the unit is aerodynamic.


Just wanted to let everyone know that I actually did get one of these. The weather hasn't really been such that I've been able to try it out very much so there may be yet another follow up here at some point but here are my first impresstions:
  • Build quality is decent
  • The LEDs flash which I wasn't expecting
  • The LEDs all face backwards and sideways, so don't expect this to help someone see you head on.
  • The instructions warn the the unit isn't supposed to be used in inclement weather. Now I don't know about you but I don't switch helmets when it rains so... could be that these lights will short out in short order. That would be disappointing.

Here is what it looks like on my helmet.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Great New Helmet Idea from Givi

Bikes in the Fast Lane - Daily Motorcycle News
Normally, you have 4 different types of motorcycle helmets; jet, half jet, modular (flip-up) and full face. Italian accessories manufacturer, Givi Open link in a new window, have produced another one. The full face interchangeable X.01 helmet. The X.01 is full face, i.e., you can't flip it up, so it's homologated as full face, integral, but what you can do, is change the front bit.
I just got a new helmet part way into last season, but I'm not sure I can resist this one. What a great idea! I haven't yet read whether it will be imported into the US or not. However, my recent helmet purchase is a Roof Lemans which is also not imported here so that shouldn't be too much of a barrier for me to overcome.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Another Cool Trike... Custom this time

Bobster Trike by Zeel Design - The Kneeslider

I'm not much into conventional trikes... yet. Maybe as I get older that will change. But here is one I love and would love to have here and now!

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Huh, so that's what lane splitting is

Here's a video about the cons and mostly pros of lane splitting done by

Motorcycle Lane Splitters

The thing is, I have to admit up until seeing this, I had the wrong idea about what lane splitting even was. I thought it was two motorcycles riding side by side in the same lane. But now that I know better, I'm still not sure that I agree about lane splitting being safer. Particularly when space between lanes is as tight as it sometimes is. Of course, I don't deal with this sort of traffic while on my motorcycle either.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

News Release about the M109R

News Releases
The Suzuki M109R was chosen the winner in this category for setting a new standard of performance at an affordable price. This bike could have easily been nominated in both the Engineering and Styling categories. The new 109-cubic-inch (1783cc) engine features the largest bore of any street legal, gasoline powered engine on the planet – bike or automobile. As such, it is also the only oversquare V-twin powerplant to be found on a maxi-cruiser type motorcycle with a 112.0 x 90.5mm bore and stroke arrangement. Suzuki is claiming 123 horsepower at the crankshaft! And the futuristic hot rod styling leaves no question about the machine’s performance aspirations. The look of this bike says “get the h--- out of my way.” But with a MSRP of $12,399 it is the only 100-cubic-inch class cruiser to be had for less than 13 grand, which earns the M109R our pick as the best value in big-bore cruiser land.
Its nice to see my bike of choice getting some love from the motorcycle press. Seems like most of what I've read is... "mixed" I guess would be the term for it. In part though I think its so because the M109R defies classification. Personally, I've started referring to it as a "muscle bike" because I see it as reminiscent of sixties and seventies muscle cars. I see the M109R as the ultimate "toy" motorcycle. Fast, stylish, responsive... capable of the occasional distance run though not dedicated to the task. Something I didn't think about in my selection process was "value." Frankly, I only thought about affordability in terms of my ability to make the payments. However, if my choice proves to be heralded as a shrewed purchase, who am I to argue?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Why not English or exotics?

Last time I talked about shopping for my return to motorcycling bike, I talked about the Moto Guzis of my dreams. Along with Guzis, I also have a fondness for any bike just a little off the beaten path. For instance, when Yamaha first released the 920 Virago as one of the first non-Harley cruisers, it became quite popular. However, my interests ran towards the sports styled version that was much more rare back in the day and I never see used today. I liked English bikes too with a particular fondness for Norton Commandos. I secretly lusted after a basket case Triumph Trident I helped work on with a couple friends but really didn't have much interest in the Gold Wings both of them bought afterwards. So why didn't I go for something a little more unusual or finicky like an English bike now? Simple. I'm not a wrench by any means and wanted something I could ride more than work on.