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Despre blog

ADVrider was launched in 2001 to provide adventure motorcycle riders their own dedicated online community. The site was debuted as an adventure riding forum and has grown to become the most visited website in the world for motorcycle enthusiasts. ADVrider currently has over 350,000 registered members who have submitted 33 million original posts. Read more about the story of how ADVrider came to be from our fearless leader, Baldy.
 

We have now expanded beyond ADV’s roots to become an industry leading media network for the moto community. In addition to the forum, this new ADVrider site will act as an editorial voice for the community and provide users free information on ride reports, bike & gear reviews, first-person rider stories and a variety of other content. We have some big plans and hope you will join us on this ride.

Check back daily.

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To celebrate its 15th anniversary and in honor of Earth Day 2021, Zero Motorcycles is launching a new limited edition DSR model.  The special limited-edition DSRs come in five “nature-inspired colors.”  The new colors are:

  • Green
  • Mojave (brown/grey),
  • Orange
  • Snow (white); and
  • Volcano (black).

Less than 100 specially painted machines will be produced.  Each special limited edition model gets its power from Zero’s Z-Force 75-7 electric motor, which is capable of 116 ft-lb of torque, 70 HP, a top speed of 102 MPH, and up to 163 miles of range per charge.

limited edition DSR zero

The orange limited edition Zero DSR.

Limited edition DSR and the National Forest Foundation

Even better is the fact that Zero will donate $500 from the sale of each of the limited edition DSRs to the National Forest Foundation.  The National Forest Foundation will use the donated funds to improve, restore, and make ecologically sustainable trail systems for powersports enthusiasts across the country.  Zero says that these types of projects align with its vision.  One that calls for increasing rider’s access to America’s public lands.

limited edition DSR zero

The Snow-color limited edition Zero DSR.

According to Zero, the DSR assists the rider to better experience the world around them.  The electric Zero DSR has no exhaust emissions.  And it has a much smaller noise footprint than its internal combustion-engined counterparts.   Zero believes that it’s this combination that makes a Zero DSR ideal for riding in and enjoying nature.

limited edition DSR zero

The Volcano color limited edition DSR.

Zero Motorcycle and National Forest Foundation comments

Commenting on the new Zero limited edition DSR motorcycles, Zero Motorcycle CEO Sam Paschel said:

“Zero was founded with a passion for off-road motorcycles that could be ridden inthe Santa Cruz Mountains.  It has been our mission to transform the riding experience with pure electric vehicles, and a passion for conservation is deeply rooted in our DNA.  Our bikes are an incredible way to experience off-road riding, including in America’s National Forests, and we stand with the National Forest Foundation in their mission to guarantee access to those lands for future generations.”

limited edition DSR zero

The Mojave color limited edition Zero DSR.

The National Forest Foundation’s Conservation Partnerships Director, Dayle Wallien, is excited by the partnership:

“We are excited and grateful to partner with Zero Motorcycles on projects to improve outdoor experiences and restore our National Forests.  Our public lands are amazing places to explore and recreate and we appreciate a commitment to help us steward them from an innovative company like Zero.”

Pricing

The special limited edition DSR lineup is available for order in limited quantities through all Zero Motorcycle dealers starting today.  Pricing for the limited edition DSRs starts at $15,495.

 

 

All photo credit: Zero Motorcycles


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advrider
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Just as it brings a new adventure bike to market, its most significant product launch in years, Harley-Davidson has been hit by an unexpected blow. The European Union has announced plans for a 56 percent tariff on all MoCo products, which would come into effect starting in June 2021.

It’s a big hike, one that will drive the price of Harley-Davidsons sky-high. It makes Harley-Davidson’s existing EU problem even worse. Currently, the European Union has a 31 percent tariff on American-built Harley-Davidson products, which has been climbing since 2018, when the EU put a 25 percent tariff on Harley-Davidson’s machines. H-D’s Euro sales took a hit then, and have been stuck in recovery mode ever since. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Harley-Davidson, as the company was looking to aggressively expand overseas. The EU tariff put a big dent in those plans, by making its motorcycles more expensive.

At that time, Harley-Davidson circumvented the EU’s tariff by selling bikes made in its overseas plants to Euro customers. Remember, Harley-Davidson has several overseas factories, making it easy to sell bikes from those plants in Europe, with a lower 6 percent tariff. Now, the EU says that loophole is closing. All bikes will be taxed as though they were built in North America.

Once again, the timing is terrible for the MoCo. Harley-Davidson is working on a bold new plan—a move into a whole new market segment, with the Pan America adventure bike. That’s potentially bad news for the European motorcycle manufacturing industry, which has been making a lot of money off big ADV bike sales for the past few decades. New made-in-America competition could make a dent in those tasty tendies.

Or maybe it’s all just a coincidence? Who knows, but if someone thought Harley-Davidson’s tariff problems would go away with the latest American regime change, it seems they were wrong.

Harley-Davidson is appealing the tariff, as you’d expect, particularly since the EU’s machines don’t face similarly high tariffs when coming to the US. Maybe that will change in coming weeks?


Vezi sursa

advrider
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The Santa Cruz Moto Film Festival is running ahead as planned for 2021. The mid-May dates are still a go, and you can now pre-order tickets with low-priced or even free options.

What’s the Santa Cruz Moto Film Festival?

The Santa Cruz Moto Film Festival is one of the Rev Sisters‘ projects to make the motorcycle scene a better place (read more about the Rev Sisters’ plan here). Originally, the idea was to have three in-person festivals in 2021, in Santa Cruz, the Black Hills and South Jersey. Alas, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, that plan didn’t quite work out. The Santa Cruz Moto Film Festival was canceled, and the Black Hills and South Jersey festivals went online-only.

The Santa Cruz festival is back on-track now, scheduled to run online May 14-30. Submissions have already ended, so what’s on the menu for this year? We haven’t seen a list of films, but the festival website says it’s “a broad platform to independent filmmakers who highlight all the various aspects of moto life: machines, adventure, travel, track experiences, dirt riding, moto culture and more.” So maybe a little bit of everything? Entries have closed at this point, anyway. No doubt we’ll see a list of featured films at the festival’s website soon.

This year, the festival has prizes for Best Ultra Short Film (under 10 minutes), Best Short Film (Between 10 and 30 minutes), Best Feature Film (30 minutes or longer), Most Inspirational and Viewers Choice.

Get yer tickets

Tickets  for the festival are very affordable—you can get a viewing pass for opening weekend for free. If you want extended viewing past opening weekend, it’s a highly affordable ten bucks! You can sign up for tickets and find more details here.

 


Vezi sursa

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Motorcycle theft stinks. But, don’t worry—SkunkLock has your back, because it stinks too.

The problems with existing bike locks

Existing motorcycle locks provide protection two ways. All locks offer some sort of physical impediment to theft, but there’s always a criminal workaround, Determined criminals can just team up to physically pick up a motorcycle with a disc lock. If a motorcycle is chain-locked to a solid object, the crims can cut through the chain, or whatever it’s chained to. Same for a U-lock.

Some lockmakers have taken security to the next level by integrating a loud alarm into the lock, but even that only alerts people in the vicinity that someone’s messing with the lock. It doesn’t actually prevent the theft.

A smelly solution

With all that in mind, SkunkLock’s designers came up with a new design that doesn’t just physically secure the bike. If someone cuts the SkunkLock’s D-shackle, it releases a chemical formula, made of “fatty acids commonly found in rancid butter, parmesan cheese, and our very own vomit … effective as deterrent because of their extremely unpleasant and vomit inducing smell.” The would-be thief ends up repelled by the stench, in theory.

The noxious gas is pressurized inside the D-shackle, so you shouldn’t release the gas accidentally. This isn’t a smart lock, requiring periodic recharging. SkunkLock’s website points out the weaknesses of battery-based lock systems, and keeps its product simple by focusing on chemical/mechanical theft protection. See it in action below:

So while you can’t cut into this thing without getting covered in stench, you can still take a mini-grinder to it, if you don’t mind that risk! Or you could try picking the lock itself. The SkunkLock uses a  “top-of-the-line, pick resistant, and drill-resistant disc locking cylinder,” but of course, any lock can be picked if you have enough time and expertise.

For more information on the SkunkLock, head over to the company’s website. At $180, it’s not cheap, but then, neither is a new motorcycle.


Vezi sursa

advrider
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ATGATTEWS – All The Gear, All The Time, Even When Stealing – appears to have been the mantra of four thieves that rode off with four Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Indiana on Wednesday. Straddling a quartet of bikes neatly arranged in a row, the riders would not have looked out of place leaving the parking lot of a biker bar, were they not inside the showroom of Harley-Davison of Kokomo, dodging other bikes on the way to the front door.

The YouTube channel of WTHR Channel 13 of Indianapolis features security video of the theft, which took place at 3:20 am, apparently a fine time to ride a group of Harleys down State Road 931 in Kokomo unnoticed.

With all four riders wearing dark clothing, and helmets already donned, one of the perpetrators runs to unlock the front door, while the remaining three casually flip their kickstands up in preparation for their less-than-quiet getaway. The video has no sound, but anyone with an imagination can hear the potato potato potato in their heads as the bikes exit the premises, nearby neighbours briefly stirring before cursing the existence of the Milwaukee V-twin and falling back to sleep.

Stolen were three 2021 Street Glide Specials and one 2020 Street Glide Special, estimated value $95,000 according to police. Known as a “Bagger” in motorcycle circles, the Street Glide Special is a touring bike with a large displacement, 114 cubic inch engine, and a fairing to cut down on wind blast. MSRP on a 2021 is $27,099.

No word yet as to how the thieves were able to enter the building, no arrests have been made, and the motorcycles have not been recovered as of this writing. According to NBCNews.com, “anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 765-456-7017 or Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-262-TIPS. Tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward, according to police.”

Sources: nbcnews.com, youtube.com


Vezi sursa

advrider

The debate over mandatory helmet use for motorcycles will likely go on forever.  But the State of Alabama may be upping the mandatory helmet use ante if Alabama Senate Bill-357 becomes law.

Under the proposed law, not only would wearing a helmet remain mandatory, but the helmet must also “…be equipped with reflective features for high visibility.”  Even more concerning is the bill’s requirement for the Alabama Director of the Department of Public Safety to approve the reflective features for motorcycle helmets.

Senate Bill-357: Director of Department of Public Safety Approved List

This means that for a helmet to be legal in Alabama, the helmet would have to be on an approved list published by the Director of the Department of Public safety.  If this law is passed, it means that your DOT, ECE, and Snell-certified helmet would not be legal in Alabama if it were not on the Director’s published list of approved helmets.

Should the bill pass as written, one also has to wonder how the Director will determine which helmets are to be approved.  That’s because Alabama Senate Bill-357 does not have any parameters describing how much of the helmet must be covered with reflective material and how much reflectivity must be produced by it.

Sales of unapproved helmets a crime

But if you think that’s the end of the bill’s effect, you’d be wrong.  The bill also makes selling “unapproved” helmets a crime:

” No manufacturer, retailer, or other person shall sell or offer for sale motorcycle helmets that fail to comply with the standards established by the Director of Public Safety pursuant to this section.”

So when your dealer or online seller stocks perhaps hundreds of helmets, what are they to do with the helmets that are not on the Director of the Department of Public Safety’s list?  Are they supposed to eat the cost of the helmets?  Those same helmets that are perfectly legal in 49 other states and, with DOT/ECE/Snell approval, legal in most of the world?  How pathetic.

Political lunacy

Unfortunately, this piece of legislation is an embarrassing piece of lunacy.  Even if we agree that all helmets must have reflective material on their surface, there are no criteria with which to approve or disapprove the helmet.

Even worse, the legislation would not allow someone to modify their existing helmet to comply with the new law.  So let’s make up an example, shall we?

Individual compliance with Senate Bill-357

You agree with Alabama Senate Bill-357’s requirement that motorcycle helmets “…be equipped with reflective features for high visibility.”  And, you currently own an ECE/Snell approved $600 helmet that does not appear on the Director’s list.

reflective

You cover your helmet with rolls of reflective tape. It still won’t be legal if it’s not on the Director of the Department of Public Safety’s approved list.

So you take action to increase the reflectivity of the helmet.  You cover 100% of the helmet’s outer shell with Scotchlite reflective material.  The material exceeds the reflectivity required for road signs on interstate highways.  Then to increase the helmet’s visibility more, you attach a battery-powered light kit that illuminates you and a six-foot area surrounding you.  Think you now have a legal helmet?  Nope.  If it’s not on the Director’s list, it’s not legal.  Period.

Manufacturers’ Compliance

Let’s take our scenario one step further.  You’re a manufacturer of motorcycle helmets, and you want to comply with Alabama Senate Bill-357.  You will spend a lot of money to research reflective materials and make changes in production processes so that all your helmets comply with the law.

But there’s a problem.  There’s nothing in the law that defines how much or how little reflective material is necessary.  So just how is the manufacturer supposed to know what amount of reflective material and how reflective that material must be?  Apparently, that’s too much to ask from the Alabama legislators.

List updates

What about updates to existing helmets?  If a helmet manufacturer brings a new model to production that somehow meets the unspecified amount of reflectivity criteria, when will the helmet be added to the Director’s list of approved helmets?  Will the manufacturer have to wait a year before the list is updated?  When can the company expect to have its helmet reviewed for approval?

Law Enforcement

How are the police going to know whether your helmet is approved or not?  Will they have to carry an approved helmet card in their pockets?  With the number of helmet manufacturers and the different models that each manufacturer produces, it’s going to have to be a pretty big card.

Bill-357 reflective Hamurabi

How long will Alabama’s list of approved helmets become? Will police have to carry a giant list similar to Hammurabi’s code? Photo credit: Wikipedia

And how will the police identify the helmet’s make and model?  Most manufacturers put their name on the helmet, but what about the helmet model?

Good intentions?

There’s an old saying that goes like this: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.  In the case of Alabama Senate Bill-357, Alabama legislators have created more than a road.  They have created a superhighway with wide, paved hard shoulders on both sides and no exit ramps.

If you disagree with Alabama Senate Bill-357, make sure your legislators know about your opposition and the reasons for it.

 


Vezi sursa

advrider

Since 1997, the Toyota Prius hybrid has been filling the gap between internal combustion engine and full electric drivetrain automobiles. With all-electric technology still in its relative infancy, coupled with the lack of charging infrastructure, hybrids like the Prius provide exceptional fuel economy and reduced emissions, while still allowing for useful range and convenient refueling options. More recently, ultra-high-performance supercars have utilized hybrid technology to achieve staggering performance numbers, using the instant torque of the electric motors to supplement their conventional engines. With a reduced need for large banks of batteries, a hybrid setup could be a similar stop-gap technology for motorcycles on the way to full electrification.

Kawasaki hybrid battery. Credit: CycleWorld.com

Kawasaki hybrid battery. Credit: CycleWorld.com

While motorcycle manufacturers have dabbled in hybrid technology, it appears that Kawasaki may be ready to jump in with both feet, judging by the numerous patents they have filed. The latest sheds new light on their proposed hybrid system, most specifically the battery to be used, and details about how the two powerplants will interact.

While a fully electric motorcycle currently requires a large number of battery cells to provide enough energy for decent power and range, a hybrid setup can use a much smaller battery, and instead rely on the internal combustion engine to provide extended range and recharging.

For open-road cruising, where gas engines are relatively efficient, the electric motor can stay off, with the conventional engine providing thrust while also recharging the battery. At lower speeds, such as in the city (where, in some cases, only low-emissions vehicles are allowed), the motorcycle can run on the electric motor only. When instant power is needed, like in sport riding situations, both powerplants can be used together to provide the desired torque in any situation. A YouTube video from November, 2020, describes a hybrid system that can use the gas engine for highway use, all-electric for inner city use, then combine them both for twisty road riding.

The hybrid battery is designed to fit under the seat, with a second, conventional battery that powers the internal combustion engine’s ignition, ECU, and the bike’s lights.

Ever-tightening emissions and fuel economy regulations have put the squeeze on the motorcycle industry, and fully electric motorcycles have not yet taken the world by storm. An in-between solution like a hybrid appears to be a decent solution until battery packs shrink in size and cost, and infrastructure catches up. Kawasaki may be on the right track.

 

Source: CycleWorld.com, CycleVolta.com


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advrider

In keeping with its Hardwire strategy, Harley-Davidson (Harley) is launching its “Harley-Davidson Certified™” program.  According to a Harley-Davidson press release, Jochen Zeitz,  Harley -Davidson’s Chairman, President, and CEO, says:

“H-D Certified is a strategic effort to strengthen our competitive position and is part of our new approach to the used motorcycle marketplace, aligned to the strategic priorities of The Hardwire, while supporting growth.  We believe this program will drive Harley-Davidson desirability and enhance the overall customer experience, allowing more riders to have access to our motorcycles and provide them with an added level of confidence in their purchase.”

Harley-Davidson Certified™

According to Harley, the program is designed to take the worry out of purchasing a pre-owned Harley motorcycle.  Each Harley-Davidson Certified™ previously owned motorcycle will be subject to a 110-point quality assurance inspection by certified Harley-Davidson technicians.  Dealers will also verify that the bike has no open recalls “…a blocked VIN”, has not been in a major accident, and that all scheduled service is up to date. Also, to qualify as Harley-Davidson Certified™, the motorcycle must be no more than five model years old and have less than 25,000 miles of use.

Interestingly, Harley says that motorcycles with aftermarket modifications to the engine or transmission or “major chassis or electrical modifications” will not qualify for Harley-Davidson Certified™ status.  But Harley also sells aftermarket engine and chassis parts.  Will motorcycles equipped with factory accessory parts qualify for Harley-Davidson Certified™ status?  Perhaps will revisit this question in the future.

Harley-Davidson Certified

Harley-Davidson Certified
Harley-Davidson Certified

Harley-Davidson is moving into previously owned motorcycle sales.

Also, a Harley-Davidson Certified™ previously owned motorcycle will be sold with a 12-month limited warranty on the engine and transmission.  Harley will also throw in a complimentary one-year membership in the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.).  It includes member benefits like roadside assistance and special financing rates through Harley-Davidson
Financial Services to qualified customers.

Harley notes that not all dealerships may participate in the new program.  The decision is up to each individual dealer.

Congrats to Harley for developing a plan that provides additional revenue streams through multiple channels for the same product.

 

 


Vezi sursa

advrider

With the Isle of Man TT race canceled for 2021, you may be thinking that “real road racing” in the UK is dead for another year.  But there’s news that this isn’t necessarily so.

You may have heard of the Isle of Wight TT – The Diamond Races.  The inaugural race would be held sometime in October 2021.  However, shortly after the race announcement, it was also announced that this race had also been canceled due to COVID.

End of road racing for 2021?

Many thought that announcement meant the end of the real road racing at the Isle of Wight in 2021.  But apparently, that’s not the case.  According to On The Wight, another race event is in the works, albeit a bit on the down-low.

The Isle of Wight Road Races (IWRR) may replace the Diamond Races with an event held from 20th-24th October 2021.  Although the exact plans are somewhat unclear, more information has come to light through the digging of On The Wight.

The IWRR will not be a time trial (TT) event.  In TT events, racers start individually and attempt to tour the circuit in the least amount of time.  On The Wight says that those who have been briefed on the IWRR say that the event will be a real road race if a circuit passes inspection.   If approved, 10 – 15 competitors will start at the same time.

While the circuit design is still subject to inspection, On The Wight has come up with a potential 8.27-mile route that starts and ends in the village of Tapnell Farm.

Event sanctioning

If the race earns approval, ACU Events (the commercial arm of the UK’s Auto Cycle Union – the governing body for motorcycle sport in Great Britain) will sanction the race.  Organizing the event are Josie and Rob da Bank.  They have organized the successful three-day Bestival music festival since 2004.

And meeting minutes from the Shorwell Parish Council show that the council is considering the IWRR, but first want to ensure the highest levels of safety.

Isle of Wight IWRR

An excerpt of meeting minutes from the Shorwell Parish Council on the Island of Wight.

Ultimately, it looks like the Isle of Wight Road Race has a good chance of being held in 2021.

 

Image credit: On The Wight

 

 

 


Vezi sursa

advrider
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If you’re looking for a coffee fix for campfire mornings, but you want to pack light, there’s a new product on the market that could be the most compact we’ve seen yet. And though the JoGo straw new to market, it’s actually a very old idea, just re-purposed into the world of coffee.

The JoGo straw, at its core, is a basic idea. Most coffee made from grinds needs some sort of filter, to keep the grinds out when you’re drinking (unless you’re drinking grinds-in cowboy coffee, or instant coffee). Whether you’re using a moka pot, drip filter, French press, whatever, you’re separating the grinds from the coffee itself.

If you’re using the JoGo straw, you dump coffee grinds into a cup, add your hot water, stir it all up, and then start drinking directly from the cup via the straw. Thanks to a mesh filter system on the end of the straw, you won’t end up with teeth full of grinds.

The JoGo’s creators say the filter won’t clog up while you’re drinking, and they also include a cleaning brush. The straw itself is made of stainless steel, with a BPA-free silicone mouthpiece so you don’t burn your lips.

Along with its compact size, the JoGo offers at least one advantage over other coffeemakers; the straw means you won’t burn your lips drinking from a metal cup. That in turn means you can cut a porcelain/plastic/whatever drinking vessel from your cooking kit, making things even more tidy. You can drink directly from the vessel you’ve used to heat the water, without waiting for it to cool down. This won’t be a big deal to a GS rider with gallons of space for gear, but for a stripped-down enduro biker, it’s important.

As the opening paragraph said, this sort of drinking straw is not a new idea; some ADVers may have seen a similar device called a bombilla, while traveling in South America. There, it’s used for a drink called mate, which is basically dried holly leaves soaked in hot water to make a sort of tea (see more here). Like the bombilla, the JoGo straw could also be used to drink tea made from loose leaves as well.

Right now, the JoGo straw is featured in a Kickstarter campaign. With less than a month to go in the campaign, the inventors have far surpassed their fundraising goals; expect the straws to go into production later this year, as a result. Pay $17 US, and you can reserve your own on Kickstarter. Or, you could keep drinking instant coffee, or lugging your Aeropress, or drinking cowboy coffee (we hear a sock will actually work as a filter, in a pinch …). Of course, this design might not suit everyone, as there are many individual coffee making preferences as there are drinkers, it seems, but at least it’s a very compact unit at a not-too-silly price. More details on GoJo here.

 


Vezi sursa

advrider
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If you like adventure/overland movies, or if you’re a filmmaker in this genre, there’s good news: Overland Expo has confirmed it will run the Overland Film Festival at all three of its in-person events this year.

Overland Expo has had film screenings and festivals at its events before; Austin Vince and Lois Pryce presented the Adventure Travel Film Festival at the 2013 OX event in Arizona, and more recently, OX has run the Overland Film Festival at its events. That’s returning for 2021. As per OX’s latest press release:

We are happy to announce that the Overland Film Festival presented by Yakima will be happening at all three Overland Expo events, IN PERSON, in 2021! We have received a ton of great film submissions, but we are still on the lookout for a few short and long-form feature films to show on Friday and Saturday nights.

If you are a filmmaker and have a film that you think would be a good fit for the Overland Film Festival, submit your application. If you are simply a fan of a film and think other overlanders would enjoy it, you can nominate a film for the festival too! We will help secure the screening rights and you can even introduce the film at an event.

So, if you’ve been working on an adventure riding short film or feature, now’s your big chance to show it. You’ve had all sorts of time to get the edit done, thanks to COVID lockdowns, right?

At this point, the only films we’ve seen confirmed for the Overland festival is a selection of shorts from the 5Point Adventure Film Festival. You can see a write-up on those films here—they’re mostly very earth-friendly, kayaking/sandal-wearing/rock-climbing/etc type of films (but not all). With that in mind, a healthy injection of adventurous moto-films could be just what the Overland Film Festival needs!

For more details on how to submit your own film, see the festival’s website here. You can also nominate someone else’s film, if you don’t have your own work to submit:

We are always on the lookout for new films to feature during the Overland Film Festival. Apply for any show: West, Mtn. West, East.

As the filmmaker representing your own film, you can briefly introduce the film before the screening.

As a fan of a film, you can nominate it—we will help to secure screening rights. You will have the option to introduce the film and briefly explain why you love it.

This year, Overland Expo plans to run an in-person event in Loveland, Colorado on August 27-29. There’s a second event September 24-26 near Flagstaff, Arizona, the Expo’s original base. Finally, there’s an October 8-10 event in Arrington, Virginia. Before entering the events this year, OX requires medical screening to prevent the spread of COVID-19—see more about that here.


Vezi sursa

advrider

The self-driving automobile, or autonomous vehicle (AV), is slowly but surely creeping towards reality, with Honda releasing the first publicly available Level 3 AV in 2021. With only 100 made available to select customers in Japan only, the Honda Legend will allow drivers to take their eyes off the road in certain situations, with Honda’s Traffic Jam Pilot system taking over. Recent patent applications show that Honda’s motorcycle division may be working towards a similar goal of allowing the motorcycle to at least partially take control of steering duties.

Honds Steering Assist Patent Drawing. Credit: CycleWorld.com

Honda’s Steering Assist Patent Drawing. Credit: CycleWorld.com

Honda’s patent application drawings show a fairly standard GoldWing that is equipped with a servo setup that can actuate the steering via rods and Heim joints. Using information gleaned from the various sensors on the bike, such as the inertial measurement unit (IMU) and wheel speed sensors, the system could in theory work as a power steering assist (similar to one of Honda’s previous patent filings), but also has the ability to apply steering inputs independently. The system has sensors integrated into it to measure steering angle and force, adding more useful data input that the computers can use to decide what steering actions to take.

Fully developed, a computer-controlled steering system could prevent or control speed wobbles, keep the bike upright in situations where the wheels are sliding, or take full control of steering duties completely.

Motorcycle technology has, like it or not, followed fairly closely to automotive trends, adopting fuel-injection, ABS, traction control, and radar cruise control, once those advancements were widespread in the car market. With autonomous cars seemingly close to being a reality in the marketplace, how long will it be before the motorcycle follows suit? As the first car company to reach Level 3 AV status, Honda would be a safe bet as the first to bring the technology to two wheels, and their latest patent filings bring them one step closer.


Vezi sursa

advrider
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Nelson-Rigg just added another pair of useful ADV accessories to its lineup—a tool roll and an exhaust shield.

The new Rigg Gear Exhaust Heat Shield is nothing flashy, just a strap-on spacer that fits on your motorcycle muffler to keep soft luggage or your plastic side panels from touching, and melting or burning. Riders have been jury-rigging crushed aluminum pop cans into this role for years, which is perfectly functional until it falls out along the trail because it’s tough to secure properly. Also, it looks a bit hobo-ish. Most companies that offer soft luggage offer a tidy heat shield that attaches with a long hose clamp, and this is the Nelson-Rigg solution for those too fussy or tidy or lazy to do it the ghetto way. See it at the Nelson-Rigg website for $24.95.

Then, there’s the Trail’s End Tool Roll. Again, this is something you can jury-rig yourself, or even pick up a cheap Chinese-made solution from Harbor Freight or Princess Auto (depending which side of the 54-40 line you’re living on). However, having had a properly made moto tool roll for several years (from a Rigg competitor), I will say that a purpose-built roll is much more pleasant to use in the long run. It costs $39.95 at the Nelson-Rigg website; you can see it demoed below, as part of the demo for the Trail’s End Tool Bag set. The whole Tool Bag kit includes the Tool Roll, and is intended for UTV usage. No doubt some clever ADVers will see other potential uses for the product, so I’ve included the video of the whole set below.

Nelson-Rigg also has new Road Trip Saddlebags this year (intended for the cruiser market, at $249.99) and Commuter Tank Bag (priced at $104.95-$124.95).

With the addition of the new tool roll and heat shield, the Rigg Gear line continues to expand, with gear aimed at both the enduro/dual sport scene and the ADV scene. Check it out here.


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Honda is recalling certain 2021 CBR 1000 RR-R motorcycles.  The Japanese manufacturer says that there may be a problem with the bike’s suspension.

According to the recall notice, the CBR 1000 RR-R, Honda’s “highest performing” version of its street-legal superbike may have a suspension component incorrectly installed.

As per Honda’s notification to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

During the assembly process, the rear cushion connecting plate may have been installed incorrectly with the counterbore side facing the wrong direction (reverse), improperly securing the plate to the chassis of the vehicle. With continued use of a vehicle in which the rear cushion connecting plate was incorrectly installed, the plate may break suddenly, causing a drop to the
vehicle height, and increasing the risk of a crash or injury.

What this really means is that one of the rear suspension links may be oriented incorrectly.  A bolt head may be attached in reverse.  This could cause the link to break and the suspension to collapse increasing the risk of a crash or injury.

CBR 1000 RR-R

An illustration of the affected parts and potential improper part orientation.

Honda is not certain how many motorcycles may be affected.  However, the total number of bikes subject to this recall is 89 units or less.

Honda is also issuing a stop-sale notice.  Dealers must perform a visual inspection of the affected parts and correct the defect when appropriate.

Honda will notify owners and dealers will inspect and as necessary, replace the affected parts free of charge.  The recall will begin on June 7, 2021.

In the interim, owners may contact Honda Powersports customer service at 1-866-784-1870 and cite recall KL9.   Owners may also contact NHTSA at 1-800-424-9153 and cite NHTSA Campaign Number 21V249000.

 


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MONDO-SAHARA.jpeg

It’s here! After months of tinkering with background work, selecting a video platform, finding appropriate movies and acquiring the streaming rights, the Toronto Motorcycle Movie Festival has now launched its video-on-demand service. The new “Netflix of motorcycles” is here.

Wait—why it a movie festival building an online streaming service? In case you missed our previous articles on the TMFF’s plans, this is basically happening because of COVID-19, at least indirectly. Festival director Caius Tenche has been contemplating the idea of a video-on-demand service for a while, but had other things keeping him busy—including the festival itself, which ran at Toronto’s Revue Cinema. When the coronavirus pandemic meant the festival couldn’t run at the theatre, the organizers moved the films online for the 2020 event, allowing viewers to tune in from all over the world. Using the expertise gained with those online screenings, Tenche and his cohorts have now launched a video-on-demand service.

What can you watch? Many of these movies were screened at previous festivals, and there’s a wide range of work here, including features and shorts from all over the world. There are several ADV-focused films, including Austin Vince’s Mondo Sahara, which is well worth the rental.

The TMFF also has ADV classic Somewhere Else Tomorrow up for screening:

And 1 Map for 2, and Blue Mountains in the Arctic, and lots, lots more. You can see a list of films currently available here, but more will be added in the weeks to come.

Almost all these films are not geo-restricted, so you can watch them from anywhere in the world; in Canada, pricing is $6.99 for a feature, $3.99 for a short, plus applicable taxes. Once you pay, you have five days to start watching, and once you start, you have 48 hours to finish the film; you can watch the film as many times as you want during those 48 hours.

If you want to watch something, but you’re broke because you put all your money into new tires, there are some free-to-watch options on there now, and on April 21, the TMFF will screen comedy film How to Be Deadly for free, to celebrate National Canadian Film Day.

 


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triumph-SOS-app.jpeg

Triumph has released a new mobile app that provides crash detection for motorcyclists, alerting emergency services if that happens.

How does it work? The Triumph SOS app uses your smartphone’s built-in accelerometers to determine when a crash happens. Then, you have a 30-second window to cancel the crash alert. After that, the app will notify emergency services that you’ve crashed your bike, prompting the authorities to call your phone. If you don’t answer the phone, then (in theory) emergency services will send an ambulance to your location to check and make sure you’re OK. At least, that’s how it will work in the UK and Europe.

Supposedly, the system is very foolproof, and rarely sends out false alarms to emergency services. At least you have a call from the ambulance dispatchers before they actually send the meat wagon to check up on you.

Note that Triumph isn’t the first company to offer an app like this. EatSleepRide first offered an app like this more than five years ago; BikerSOS and REALRIDER and other apps also have similar functionality. Go through the Google Play Store, or the iOS App Store, and you’ll see options.

Obviously, the app is dependent on cell phone data; if you’re riding in the woods, far away from 4G reception, you’ll be on your own.

The Triumph SOS app is free for Triumph owners for three months; then, it costs per month. US riders pay $4.99 monthly, Canadian riders pay $5.99, UK riders pay £3.99. It’s not restricted to Triumph owners; anyone can download the app and try it, and you can cancel at any time.


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A recent patent application shows that Harley-Davidson (Harley) is working on an automated emergency braking system (AEB).  It’s not like the adaptive cruise control that other manufacturers are bringing to market.   It’s more like the AEB systems found in many cars and works automatically only in emergencies where a crash is imminent.

Harley’s AEB system uses multiple sensors, which could potentially “talk” to an adaptive cruise control system.  But it’s the type and number of sensors that are significant.

AEB

A drawing from Harley-Davidson’s AEB patent application.

Not only is the bike sensing forward, but it is also sensing backward.  For example, a camera on the dash looks back at the rider keeping tabs on him/her.  There are also sensors in the handlebar, grips, and seat.  A helmet-mounted camera will track the rider’s eye to assess which direction the rider is looking.  The idea is to ensure that the rider is focusing on the road ahead.

If you’re wondering how the system will interact with the rider, it will use a series of warning lights, haptic (vibrating), and audible warnings to alert the rider.  If the rider does not respond, the system will apply the bike’s brakes until it stops.

AEB

Your bike is looking at a lot of things, including you!

Finally, some sensors track braking force and add more if it deems that the rider is not applying enough.

Should a system like the one Harley is working on come to market, would you be interested in having it on your bike?  Or is it just too much “Big Brother” like for your taste.  Let us know in the comments below.

 


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A spokesperson is walking back some of Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kim McGuinness‘s earlier statements.  In an email response to ADVRider.com, the Commissioner’s representative said:

“The PCC was suggesting some thought should be given by the government to ways in which people who commit anti-social behaviour on certain bikes, or use them illegally, can be deterred. There have been many cases recently of people using motorbikes in an irresponsible way in some neighbourhoods.

“One option would be trackers fitted by manufacturers on certain bikes, or bikers encouraged to use one voluntarily, to help with recovery of any stolen bikes and deter their use. This was not a suggestion for all bikes. This talking point was in the very early stages – it’s about exploring the idea, consulting with experts and opening up conversation, which has certainly been done.

“Hopefully the biking community has other suggestions, which the office would be happy to hear. For information, we’re also looking at trialling drones to track the small minority of people using motorbikes dangerously on pavements in residential areas and are exploring the idea of a dedicated off-road riding area to give people a specific course to use instead.”

McGuinness’s green light for trackers

However, according to the Northumberland Gazette, the Commissioner was urging Policing Minister Kit Malthouse to give them the green light to allow for tracker devices to be fitted to all motorcycles so their whereabouts and speed can be monitored.  Even the Northumbria PCC’s own website previously indicated that trackers should be fitted to all motorbikes.  This webpage has now been taken down.

Northumbria

A screengrab of the now removed Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner’s website stated, “Kim is urging Policing Minister Kit Malthouse to give the green light to allow for tracker devices to be fitted to all motorbikes so their whereabouts and speed can be monitored.”

New backdated webpage

Replacing the now removed webpage is a new statement on the Northumbria PCC’s website.   It is dated 25th March 2021, although it was not posted until 15th April 2021.

New webpage content

Previously, the Northumbria PCC’s website clearly stated that Ms. McGuinness wanted trackers on all motorbikes.  But that position now seems to have changed drastically, although the new one is still quite troubling.

The new webpage now says:

The Commissioner recently issued a press release calling on the Government to explore the idea of trackers being fitted to off-road motorbikes. This would help certain high risk bikes be recovered if stolen and deter misuse.

This move could help tackle growing motorbike misuse and anti-social behaviour throughout the region, and beyond. The problem is putting people in danger and is causing great concern within many communities.

These proposals caused concern to some law-abiding bikers, and we’d like to make clear that we are now working with motorcycle groups to look at more acceptable proposals.

The Commissioner is pleased that this has opened up conversation with the relevant parties and is now looking forward to working with them in finding solutions to tackle bike related ASB caused by  a very small minority of bike users. Anyone with ideas and suggestions that will help cut this crime and keep people safe is encouraged to contact the office.

Northumbria PCC

A screengrab of the new webpage on Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner’s website is still dated 25th March 2021 and is a drastic departure from the page taken down by the PCC.

Change of position

The new webpage is drastically different from the page it replaces, and many might argue quite misleading.  It is quite concerning that a governmental agency charged with policing would backdate a position that is so drastically different than what was previously posted.  That the date was not updated is very suspicious.

Northumbria Kim McGuinness and Northumbria Winton Keenan

Northumbria PCC Kim McGuinness and Northumbria Chief Constable Winton Keenan.

Looking at the changes

With that being said, it does seem that there has been significant movement in the Commissioner’s stance on “trackers.”  Several things have changed, so let’s take a look at them, starting with the email provided by Commissioner McGuinness’s representative.

The Commissioner recently issued a press release calling on the Government to explore the idea of trackers being fitted to off-road motorbikes.

Unfortunately, it’s clear that Commissioner McGuinness was not “exploring” the idea of trackers being fitted to only off-road motorbikes.  Their own website and many news outlets reported that Commissioner McGuinness directly urged “…Policing Commissioner Kit Malthouse to give them the green light to allow for tracker devices to be fitted to all motorbikes so their whereabouts and speed can be monitored.”   That’s in no way an exploration of an idea to fit trackers, it’s a direct request to a higher-level official who could be in the position to influence legislators.

“…explore the idea of trackers being fitted to off-road motorbikes.”  This would help certain high risk bikes be recovered if stolen and deter misuse.

Off-road bikes only?

Based on this new PCC position, it appears that the Commissioner now only wants to fit trackers to off-road motorbikes.  And their main use would be to help “high-risk bikes be recovered if stolen.”

Well, that’s quite interesting.  The Commissioner’s original position was that the use of trackers was warranted because of:

“…resident concerns of bike-related anti-social behavior.”

Now it appears that her first concern is with the return of stolen motorbikes and the anti-social behavior is only secondary.  Hmm…

ADVRider.com’s questions answered?

As for the list of questions we submitted to the Commissioner, we received a “non-answer” reply. Although cordial, the response provided no answers to our questions.

The Commissioner’s representative said:

Thanks for the email. Your questions seem to be based on the tracking suggestion becoming a law. These are not firm proposals, just talking points, and I can’t give you a line by line answer I’m afraid.

Some of the coverage I’ve seen so far seems to be speculating that the PCC is about to introduce these measures. This is not the case, the PCC has no power to do this.

McGuinness can’t make law

According to the Commissioner’s representative, the Commissioner’s statements are merely talking points.  And, he states that the PCC does not have the power to create law.

Yes, we understand that she does not.  But we also understand that Commissioner McGuiness asked the Minister for Crime and Policing for authorization to install trackers.  When that happens the Minister for Crime and Policing has the opportunity to influence the legislative process.  And that’s quite concerning.

Any good news?

If there’s any good news coming from the Northumbria PCC, it’s that they now say they are working with motorcycle groups.

“…we are now working with motorcycle groups to look at more acceptable proposals.”

Frankly, consulting motorbike groups is something they should have done before making their tracking request.  The political grandstanding taken by Commissioner McGuinness should never have occurred.

But at least for now, the Northumbria CPP may have heard us.  If we take them at their word, they say that potentially only off-road bikes will be tracked.  Still, it’s an unacceptable “solution” for the stated problem.  They need better solutions and we should help them arrive at them.  Because it’s clear, the Northumbria PCC does not understand the motorbike community.

Followup

We’ve once again reached out to Commissioner McGuinness and the Northumbria PCC to clarify their new position.  We will let you know what they say if they respond.  In the interim, it’s important to carefully monitor what the Northumbria PCC plans to do going forward.

 


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Kawasaki-Quick-Shifter-Patent-Drawing-Credit-CycleWorldcom.jpg

According to patent filings, Kawasaki is working on a new type of quick-shifter for street bikes. Traditionally, quick-shifters were designed for racers looking to eke every fraction of a second from lap times without the potential damage from clutchless shifts. Designed to work at the upper reaches of the rev range, they worked by momentarily cutting the ignition during the shift. Kawasaki’s system is designed to work similarly at high revs, but can also automatically actuate the clutch for smoother shifts and lower engine speeds. As such, the new system will be very well suited to normal street riding, and not just high revving track work.

The patent drawings feature a modified Ninja 1000 SX, proof that the system is meant more for street duty. A separate computer (distinct from the ECU) decides when to use the clutch and when to use the ignition cutout by taking into account engine speed, throttle opening, gear selection, gear lever pressure, vehicle speed, and other external factors.

The patent also describes a hybrid electric version, with an all-electric mode, electric and internal combustion mode, and internal combustion only mode, with different shift strategies for each.

How is this different than other motorcycles with computer controlled clutches, like the Yamaha FJR1300? The fact that the system still uses a more conventional “ignition cut” paradigm for shifts at high revs appears to be the biggest differentiator. It is not a dual-clutch system like Honda’s, either. But the Kawasaki patent drawings show a lack of a clutch lever, which might indicate that the system operates similarly to the automatics in the Yamaha and Honda stables.

Source: CycleWorld.com


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Back in 2015, a Chinese company called Ninebot purchased Segway.  Yes, that Segway.  The one that produced the self-balancing mall conveyances.  And they are now working on other personal mobility vehicles.  One of those vehicles is causing a bit of a stir.  It’s a hydrogen-powered concept motorcycle called the Segway-Ninebot (Segway) Apex H2.

It is Segway’s latest vision for two-wheel transportation solutions.  What sets the Segway Apex H2 apart from other electrically powered motorcycles are its hydrogen fuel cells.

Apex H2 Segway

Is the Segway Apex H2 more than just a drawing?

Segway first introduced the Apex concept in 2019.  Meeting some skepticism, Segway later showed off the bike riding around on a closed circuit.  And it was still met with skepticism, particularly for the way it was ridden around the track.  And now, it seems that the Apex H2 concept is a follow-on to the original Apex.

Apex H2 different

The Apex H2 concept is significantly different than the original Apex.  The Apex didn’t use hydrogen.  In addition, the original Apex sported a conventional suspension configuration.  The new H2 brings a completely different setup.

Segway-hydrogen-fuel-cell.jpg

The Segway Apex H2 uses hydrogen-filled fuel cells.

Instead of a twin fork tube and conventional swingarm, the Apex H2 uses twin single-sided swingarms.  The new concept is quite “Tron” looking.

Segway says that the bike’s motor will provide about 80 hp.  It will is able to go from 0-60 MPH in less than four seconds and has a top speed of 93 MPH (150 km/h).  Unfortunately, they say nothing about its range or the time it will take to swap out the hydrogen fuel cells.

The details on how the hydrogen powers the machines are quite slim.  Some reports say that the bike will be a hybrid with an internal combustion engine supplying power to the batteries.  Other reports say that the hydrogen inside the fuel cells is somehow converted into electrical power.  Let’s just say that the power details are “sketchy”.

Interestingly, Segway says that the Apex H2 will be ready for production in 2023.  They even go so far as to set pricing.  In the U.S., the Apex H2 will be priced at $10,700.

With the available data, my BS meter is just about pinging off the upper end of its range.  What do you think about hydrogen power for motorcycles?  Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

All image credit: Segway-Ninebot

 


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advrider
TIM-COLEMAN-3.jpeg

Australian Hard Enduro hero Tim Coleman is on the road to recovery after his very serious crash in March, but he and his family need help. So, there’s a new GoFundMe set up to give them assistance with their bills at this time.

Coleman isn’t exactly a household name in North America, but true keeners in the enduro/hard enduro scene should recognize him. He’s big into that trials/trails hybrid riding style that Traction eRag is promoting, and he regularly pops up on the Cross Training Enduro YouTube channel, or other Internet coverage of the hard enduro scene, particularly from Australia.

In early March, Coleman was competing in the Tenterfield Terror round of the Australian Hard Enduro championship when he had a life-threatening medical episode—severe heatstroke, the doctors think. He had to be airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital, and he’s been in the ICU ever since, although they’re hoping to get him out soon. As per his wife’s latest updated on Facebook:

Tim’s doing really well after the last surgery! His lungs seem to be behaving themselves and getting a little better each day ☺️ Still in ICU for now, they are just waiting until they can take his last chest drain out and for his heat rate to slow down and then he should be off to a ward in the next day or two.

He’s lost a lot of weight (and he didn’t have heaps to lose!) so we are trying to smash him with calories and protein and keep up the physio. He still has a fever and his body’s working really hard so he’s burning energy really fast 🔥

But he’s getting a bit stronger each day and has started doing some walks with a frame down the corridor 💪 He’s about as slow as a snail 🐌 and a 20 meter walk wipes him out, but he’s determined to get there! 🐯☺️

Coleman’s health care is free, but the rest of his expenses are not. He’s been unable to work for weeks, while in ICU, and will continue to be unable to work for months. So, there’s a GoFundMe set up to help with the family’s expenses. As per the page, the idea is to raise money for accommodation bills while the family are in Queensland, food/fuel/car expenses, flights, medical/rehab costs, and the family’s ongoing mortgage/water/electricity/etc. bills. The crowdfunding effort has already raised more than $80,000 AUD, but they’ve upped the efforts as the Coleman family is obviously in for difficult months ahead.

See the GoFundMe page here.


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GENSTOVE.jpg

These days, most riders are packing a phone, GPS or other electronic gadget with them on their road trip, and that means they’ll need recharging eventually. Obviously, on-the-bike charging is ideal, but sometimes that’s not possible. The new Viva Plus Genstove is aimed at instead recharging your batteries while you cook your dinner.

The Viva Plus Genstove is designed to convert the waste heat from cooking into energy. The idea itself is not new. The BioLite stove does much the same thing (and there have been many ADVrider threads about it, with inmates reviewing them and sharing their likes and dislikes—see here for a list of forum mentions).

However, the BioLite stove is a wood-burner. This is good if you want a romantic smoky campfire, or cheap fuel, but woodstoves come with a set of disadvantages too, including bulk and vulnerability to weather.

The Viva Plus Genstove is designed to run off gas canisters instead, burning butane or propane to cook your food and charge up your gadgets. This means it should be quick and efficient to use, but you’ve also got to travel with fuel canisters. Butane canisters, at least, are fairly compact, although they’ll never be as affordable as good old-fashioned Coleman fuel. But, a Coleman stove won’t recharge your phone, will it?

Speaking of which, the Genstove designers claim the stove should recharge most phones at a rate of 1 percent a minute, roughly. Electrical output is 5V x 1A, approximately, and the built-in battery is 3.7v x 3200 mAh. It also comes with a solar panel, for charging when the stove is not running. Viva Plus also includes a “light box,” an array of LEDs that can illuminate your campsite while running off the stove’s output. Supposedly, a 230-gram butane canister will run this light box for 12 hours.

Viva Plus is a Korean startup, and currently, the company is trying to raise money on Kickstarter to build the Genstove. Pricing looks to start around $200 US, before factoring in shipping and other fees. See more info on the Genstove at Kickstarter, or the company’s website.

 


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In a rather unnerving move, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness is calling on the Government to “urgently introduce” a law that would make the installation of tracking devices mandatory for all motorcycles.  She believes that the trackers must be fitted to motorcycles so “their whereabouts and speed can be monitored.”

Understanding the Commissioner’s recommendation

On the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s website, Ms. McGuinness is quoted as saying:

“There have been some positive results lately but I want us to be able to do more. We need to think differently if we are going to put a stop to the problem once and for all and this is where trackers could come in. Our police are confident they could make a real difference.”

“It’s important for me to be clear.  I don’t mean our law-abiding bikers here – I’m talking about trouble-makers, often young people riding un-roadworthy bikes, which in some cases have been stolen.  It’s their own safety that is at risk here too – worryingly there’s a real lack of awareness of the consequences. A tough approach needs to be taken and I fully back our force with this, especially when engagement and education isn’t getting through to those responsible.”

However, according to Police Professional:

Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner wants ‘trackers’ to be fitted to all (emphasis added) motorcycles to help tackle the problem of bike-related anti-social behaviour.

Kim McGuinness is calling on Government to “urgently introduce” new bike laws that would make their use compulsory and act as a “real deterrent” to reckless riders.

And, it seems that the Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner’s website says that trackers should be attached to all motorcycles.

Northumbria

A screengrab from the Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner’s website.  Note that it says “tracker devices to be fitted to all motorbikes.”

Position still unclear

So it’s still unclear what the Commissioner’s point of view is.   We don’t know whether she wants the trackers attached to all motorcycles or merely those adjudicated as having committed an offense.  That’s unfortunate since the requirement to attach a tracker to all motorcycles has far-reaching consequences.

It’s not difficult to see the privacy issues this measure would have in the US.  However, it appears that in the UK, this type of legislation may not run afoul of individual freedom protections.  And if that’s the case, the Commissioner’s recommendation may be well within the bounds of UK law.

Reaching out to the Commissioner

To better understand the Commissioner’s recommendation, we’ve reached out to the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner for answers to the following questions:

  1. Must ALL motorcycles be fitted with the tracking device?  Please provide a yes or no answer at a minimum, please.
  2. When should the trackers be fitted; at the time of purchase or sometime after?
  3. Who pays for the cost of the tracking devices and their installation?
  4. When and how will the motorbikes be tracked?
  5. Who will provide law enforcement if a violation is deemed to have occurred?
  6. Who (which agency) will be responsible for the maintenance and security of the tracking data?
  7. What will be done with the tracking data?  Will it become available to the public?
  8. If the tracker is required for all motorbikes, what is the penalty(ies) for a person who does not install, removes, or tampers with the tracker?

We’ll let you know if we receive an answer to our inquiry.  Until then, it’s clear that riders in Northumbria should keep an eye on this bit of potential legislation.

 

All image credit: Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner


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YAMAHA-ELECTRIC-MOTOR-3.jpeg

Yamaha continues its sideways approach to electric vehicle development, with announcement of a new electric crate motor that puts out a massive 475 horsepower (350 kilowatt output, according to the press release). It’s just a prototype right now, but Yamaha is already taking orders from customers.

Just to be clear, this new motor is aimed at cars. The concept drawings show a motor that’s far bigger than the hub units used in most wimpy electric step-throughs. It also appears to be larger than latest-generation electric motorcycle powerplants, like the one in the Triumph TE-1. However, considering its massive output, it’s still quite compact, partly because it integrates multiple components into a single purpose-built housing. Yamaha says “The main feature of this newly developed electric motor is its compact construction that treats the mechanical and electrical components as a single entity, integrating the gear and inverter into one unit.

That sounds a lot like Triumph’s recent TE-01 update, where development partner Integral Powertrain Ltd. said the company’s new motor reduced bulk and improved efficiency by integrating the motor and inverter into a single unit. Indeed, this sort of design is likely going to be the “unit construction” of the 21st century.

Who would buy such a massively powerful electric motor?Yamaha’s press release says “This unit is aimed at use in hyper-EV models and other offerings in the high-output mobility segment.” No hints there, then, but it goes on to say “It was also developed in anticipation of installation and use of multiple units on a single vehicle.”

In other words, if 475 horsepower isn’t enough, you can daisy-chain a few of these motors together for even more mad power.

Yamaha’s new powerplant is officially an “Interior Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor,” with oil cooling, operating at 800 volts.

If this sounds like something you need, Yamaha says it’s going to start taking orders this month (April, 2021).

A look at the future?

This engine didn’t come out of nowhere—Yamaha’s been working on electric “crate engines” for  months now, ranging from 35 to 200 kilowatt output, or roughly 47 to 268 horsepower. This is just the next big step in that program. Earlier motors in this program were aimed at motorcycle application, and no doubt someone will try to build a bike around this motor as well.

Taking a step back, it’s a lot more than an interesting technological development: It’s a look at where the industry is headed. As the moto industry techs up, we’ve seen Bosch basically take over the market for electronic safety gadgets (ABS, traction control, adaptive cruise control, etc.). Now Yamaha’s making an aggressive play on the electric motor market. Maybe Honda, or BMW, or some other company will in turn make a play to dominate the battery market?


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lane-splitting-motorcycles-flickr.jpg

Is it possible the motorcycle lane filtering legalization dominos are starting to fall?  Now, Oregon Senate Bill 574 aims to allow lane filtering.  And it’s gaining speed with proponents and the legislature.  If approved, the bill will allow motorcyclists to move back and forth between very slow-moving traffic on Oregon’s multi-lane highways.

While similar legislation has been a topic of discussion since 2015, this time it’s different.  There are clearer definitions of when lane filtering is legal.  Under the Bill, traffic must either be stopped or moving less than ten miles per hour for lane filtering to be permissible.

In particular, lane filtering would be legal under the following conditions:

In situations where traffic is either stopped or has slowed to a speed of 10 miles per hour or less, a person operating a two-wheeled motorcycle may pass the stopped or slowed vehicle under the following conditions: they travel no more than 10 miles per hour above the speed of traffic; they do not impede normal movement of traffic; and they merge with regular traffic flow once the speed of traffic exceeds 10 miles per hour.

The exemption applies only on interstate highways or roads with designated speed of 50 miles per hour or higher
with two or more lanes in a single direction, and does not apply in certain school zones. The measure also does
not permit operating a motorcycle on the road shoulder (to the right of the far right lane), or on the center line (to
the left of the left-most lane)

This time around, there are advocates on both sides of the political spectrum.  And, the Governor’s Motorcycle Safety Advisory Committee has withdrawn its opposition to the Bill, paving the way for more positive action.

Lane filtering benefits

The Bill’s proponents point to three benefits they say motorcycle lane filtering would promote:

  • Reduced congestion
  • Reduced emissions
  • Enhanced rider safety

While some might argue that lane filtering does not increase rider safety, several studies say that it does.  A University of California at Berkeley study found the following about lane-splitting motorcyclists:

 Of the almost 6,000 collision-involved motorcyclists we studied, nearly 1,000 were lane-splitting at the time of their
collision. When we compared motorcyclists who were lane-splitting with those who were not, we could see that the lane-splitting riders were notably different.

Compared with other motorcyclists, lane-splitting motorcyclists were more often riding on weekdays and during commute hours, were using better helmets, and were traveling at lower speeds.

Lane-splitting riders were also less likely to have been using alcohol and less likely to have been carrying a
passenger. Lane-splitting motorcyclists were much less often injured during their collisions.

They were considerably less likely to suffer head injury, torso injury, extremity injury, and fatal injury than riders who were not lane-splitting.

If you would like to see the text of Oregon Bill 574, you can find it here.


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