Thursday, July 21, 2005

Honda Going Hydrogen

For those of you interested in alternative fuels and motorcycles, Honda announced yesterday that they are going ahead with plans to produce hydrogen powered motorcycles.
By 2009, the company expects to be leasing fuel cell-powered motorcycles, and is also looking to boost the overall efficiency of its hybrid systems during that time by combining it with more efficient engines.

Honda is also looking to maintain its position as a leader in the development of fuel cell technology in the coming years.

News of the fuel cell motorcycles initiative came as the company announced its expectations for the coming months and years.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Art of the Motorcycle

I had the good fortune today to attend the Memphis, TN version of The Art of the Motorcycle, a groundbreaking art exhibit first featured by the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Although the exhibit was, sadly, not the same put on by the Guggenheim, it was a dream come true to tour the historic event in the belly of the Pyramid Arena in Memphis, TN.

Unless you've been living in a cave for the past 7 years (I'm speaking to motorcyclists here), you know all about The Art of the Motorcycle. If you have been living in a cave, here's a blurb on the Memphis incarnation from the Daily Mississippian.
MEMPHIS - In the history of motorcycles, some images are enduring: Marlon Brando astride his 1950 Triumph Thunderbird in "The Wild One," or Peter Fonda gripping the ape hangers of his stars-and-stripes Harley chopper in "Easy Rider."

But who remembers Lucius Copeland and his revolutionary Star steamer?

In 1884, Copeland strapped a steam engine to a Star bicycle – the kind with the large main wheel and a much smaller support wheel – and roared off at speeds up to 12 miles per hour.

"It wasn't very practical, though. You had to keep a fire going," said Steve Masler, a curator who organized "The Art of the Motorcycle," an exhibit at the Memphis Pyramid through Oct. 30.

The show, modeled on a 1998 exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, considers the motorcycle as a work of art and an icon of style.
While our Memphis show is different than the show at the Guggenheim, I am proud to say that our 92 bikes fair very well against New York's 114 bikes, and many of the bikes at our show were the same as those up north (and in Bilbao, I might add).

It was a dream come true to see the Captain America replica, the MV Agusta F4, the Britten V-1000, and the Aprillia Moto 6.5. There's absolutely no substitute for seeing these bikes in three dimensions. There's nothing like leaning in close to catch a detail and smelling oil, seeing a touch of grime, and knowing that you're inches away from history.

I'll be going back soon. I can't wait to see all of those bikes again. I hope that if you've got the time and the cash, you'll come visit the exhibit in Memphis. It's well worth the ride, well worth your time, and it's an experience that you won't soon forget, biker or not.

Wednesday is Ride to Work Day!

I should have posted earlier, but of course, this post is not for those who need a reminder, is it? Wednesday, July 20th is the 14th Annual Ride to Work day.

So ride 'em, keep the shiny side up, and show the world what we're made of.

I'll see you out there on my '01 Connie.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

US MotoGP Merch Online

Didn't get a chance to go see the US MotoGP at Laguna Seca? Neither did I. Want some MotoGP souveniers from the event?
MONTEREY, Calif. (July 13, 2005) – Due to the high demand on official souvenir outlets during last weekend’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, online event merchandise sales will be available while supplies last at Official event T-shirts and hats are being reordered, and a limited number of souvenir programs still remain.

Because long lines and merchandise sell-outs prevented a number of spectators at the event from getting the items they had hoped for, all shipping charges will be waived for Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix merchandise within the continental United States through July 20. Merchandise will still be available for sale after that date while supplies last, but shipping charges will apply.
Here's the direct link to the souvenier page, as it's not exactly easy to find.

Make sure to check out the poster if you haven't yet. It shows Rossi leading Hayden through a turn, which while expected, never happened.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

MotoGP Coming to Barber? reports that the US MotoGP may end up at the Barber Motorsports Park as early as 2007. Better yet, we may end up with GP two races here in the States!
The success of last weekend's US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, the first Motorcycle Grand Prix held in the United States since 1994, has reignited the interest of Barber Motorsports Park in hosting a MotoGP race.

The Alabama circuit had previously been named as the most likely venue for MotoGP's return, until funding problems saw it superseded by Laguna Seca - which will also host next year's race. However, Barber's promoters are now looking at either taking over the US GP from 2007 or, more likely, of holding a second event.
Sadly, I wasn't able to make it to Laguna Seca for this year's event, but I could sure make it to Birmingham.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hydrogen Powered "Motorcycles"

Via USA Today:
While attention has been focused on developing pollution-free hydrogen-powered cars, Intelligent Energy and some others have turned instead to two-wheeled transportation.

The firm, which is relocating to Los Angeles from London, says the motorcycle's fuel cell develops the equivalent of eight horsepower, good for speeds up to 50 miles an hour. The cycle has a range of about 100 miles on a tank of fuel. Currently, a hydrogen fill-up would cost about $3, says the cycle's project director, Andy Eggleston.
8 horsepower with a 100 mile range? No, thank you.

Hat tip Fark.

UPDATE: Here's a related site that Mike Werner found on electric motorcycles. Lots of info there about hydrogen bikes as well. Again, no, thank you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Kellen Winslow Surgery, Consequences

Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. had successful surgery Tuesday to repair the right knee ligament he tore in a motorcycle accident.


Winslow, who will miss the 2005 season, was already at home recovering, the Browns said. He will begin a rehabilitation program immediately. Typically, players with Winslow's type of injury take nine months to recover.

On Monday, Winslow disclosed for the first time that in addition to the knee injury, he lacerated his liver and kidney, bruised his right shoulder and cracked a bone in his upper right leg in the crash.
Winslow will most likely have to return a portion of his signing bonus as a result of breaking the "dangerous activities" clause in his contract.

If you think about it, that's not that high a price to pay. He should thank his lucky stars he's not up for this year's Darwin Awards.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Alice Sexton Blogs Across the Nation

Via Motorcycle Misadventures I learned about Alice Sexton's excellent Vroom! blog, a daily recounting of her trip from from Los Angeles, CA to Wierton, WV for the Moto Guzzi National Rally.

She's a brave woman, making the trip on a Moto Guzzi Breva 750 and pulling about 500 miles per day. It's currently Day 5 of her cross country ride (she's made it to Nashville, TN in one piece). Get over there, catch up on her ride, and wish her luck.

Not that she needs it. Alice is a veteran rider who, according to her bio, "commutes to work daily in Los Angeles on a 2000 Suzuki SV650, races a 1987 Cagiva Allazzura with WSMC, and takes her 1978 Moto Guzzi Lemans for touring and weekend rides."

Now that's a woman. I wonder, does she have a sister?

Suzuki Boost King Rumors

Via Motorcycle Daily.
There are now reports that Suzuki is nearly ready to introduce a production version of the Boost King... without the boost. Likely to feature a normally aspirated 1300cc Hayabusa motor, rather than the turbo engine used in the concept, it will still pack plenty of punch for naked-bike enthusiasts. If it shows up as a 2006 model from Suzuki, expect an announcement in the September time-frame.
The Boost King (or Boost Earl, I guess, without the turbo...) is one hell of a good looking naked, but the Darth Vader of motorcycles? Nah. Looks more like a Cylon to me.

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