American motorcycles have a reputation for being low-tech machines stripped down for speed. But there´s only so much a bike can do without. So Confederate Motor Company (confederate.com) replaced every metal piece possible with a lightweight carbon-fiber one. The company hired industrial design firm Foraxis to help fabricate the new parts and produced a bike that weighs a mere 375 pounds: the B91 Wraith. You´ll notice that there´s no teardrop gas tank crowning the frame; the fuel is under the engine in a molded carbon-fiber container to lower the bike´s center of gravity. A hollow carbon-fiber backbone arches from the steering neck to the rear shock and doubles as the oil reservoir. Connecting points cast directly into the backbone eliminate several pounds´ worth of fasteners. In front, the Wraith uses carbon-fiber blades attached to spring-loaded levers instead of typical-and heavy-telescoping forks. Want a ride? You´ll need to wait your turn: All 60 of the $50,000 2006 models are spoken for.
|BMW Streetguard 2 Jacket
The dye used to color this fabric jacket looks black but is light and reflective in the infrared spectrum. It bounces back up to 80 percent of solar radiation to keep itself cool on sunny days. $725; bmw-riders-gear.com
|Nonlinear Engineering Veypor
Using accelerometers and wheel-rotation sensors, this gauge analyzes and displays lap times, distance, horsepower, torque and target rpm. Download data to your PC via serial port or USB. $280; veypor.com
|TOMTOM RIDER NAVIGATION SYSTEM
The first Bluetooth motorcycle GPS system features an anti-glare touchscreen that responds even if you´re wearing gloves. Use the headset to listen to directions or talk on your Bluetooth cell. $1,000; tomtom.com
|Shok-Spotr Helmet Sensor
The helmet-mounted 0.25-ounce Shok-SpotR senses acceleration to monitor how much shock a helmet sustains. An indicator turns red to warn that your headgear could be compromised. $25; shok-spotr.com
|Dainese Bluetooth Headset
This helmet´s earplug and microphone are housed in a sound-insulating composite shells. Sync it with your Bluetooth mobile phone, or talk directly with others wearing Dainese Bluetooth lids. $650; dainese.com
|CARDO scala-rider Bluetooth Headset kit
This all-weather proof headset snaps on to any helmet and works well at highway speeds. It auto-adjusts the volume level and allows receiving, initiating or rejecting calls by voice control without the need to let go of the handlebar. $149; cardowireless.com
|Teknic Speedstar Boot
The kangaroo-skin outer shell offers more abrasion resistance than cowhide at about one third the weight. The boots fasten around your calf like ski boots to ensure a secure fit. The molded nylon heel cup and shin plates and the Carbon/Kevlar inner brace protect against impact. $400; teknicgear.com
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.