By Wesley SilerPosted 03.24.2011 at 4:07 pm 11 Comments
In November 2009, after spending three months recovering from a broken pelvis, Chris Yates, a motorcycle racer, engineer, and defense contractor, began staging his reentry into racing. This time, he chose a new niche, where his training as an engineer would be a particular asset: electric motorcycles.
Three motorcyclists competing in the final race of the international MotoGP circuit this month will have extra injury insurance, in the form of wearable airbags. Alpinestars's Tech Air Race suit uses an onboard computer to sense the subtle differences between regular track turbulence and the motion associated with an impending crash, and it fires fall-cushioning airbags on the shoulders and collarbone (an oft-injured area for racers) before the biker hits the ground.
Electric motorcycles no longer need be thought of as slow and boring. When the Brammo Empulse, successor to last year's Enertia, goes on sale early next year it'll be capable of reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph with an average range of up to 100 miles.
By Wes SilerPosted 06.11.2010 at 11:57 am 9 Comments
Update on the world's most advanced electric motorcycle: The 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc won the TT Zero electric motorcycle race yesterday, lapping the Isle of Man at a record 96.820 MPH, just shy of the 100 MPH goal the team was aiming for. The win is history-making for more than just electric motorcycles--it's the first time an American-made bike has won a race at the Isle of Man since Indian debuted a two-speed gearbox in 1911 and only the second time an American rider has finished first there.
On the eve of its first race--at one of the toughest and most dangerous motorcycle racetracks in the world--we take an exclusive inside look at one man's quest to engineer the ultimate electric race bike
This is the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc, a race bike built by a tiny Oregonian company focused on pushing the limits of electric performance to the absolute max. It packs 10 times the battery capacity of a Toyota Prius and 2.5 times the torque of a Ducati 1198 into a package that looks like something out of a 24th-century Thunderdome.
Tomorrow it will race in the Isle of Man TT, the toughest motorcycle race in the world. The technology at work is so advanced, so unprecedented, that we may be looking not just at the future of motorcycles, but of all electric vehicles.
Ducati’s electronic suspension helps create the first four-in-one motorcycle
By Matthew CokeleyPosted 05.06.2010 at 1:11 pm 0 Comments
Many of today's motorcycles use an electronically controlled suspension to make adjustments that used to require busting out the tool kit. Yet most of these systems can handle only minor modifications, such as softening the suspension to accommodate an extra rider. Ducati's electronic suspension system on the 2010 Multistrada 1200 S is the first that transforms the bike's entire personality. A button toggles among four customizable settings—Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro—that determine ride height, traction-control setting, throttle map, and horsepower setting (either 100 or 150).
Cokeley pilots the Multistrada through mountains of volcanic rock -- see the video
By Matthew CokeleyPosted 03.16.2010 at 3:02 pm 6 Comments
Motorcycles are an expensive hobby for most. Now, adventurous bargain-seeking riders can own four different bikes for the price of one. The 2010 Multistrada 1200 is infused with Ducati's major superbike technologies -- traction control, electronic suspension, and ride-by-wire throttle -- as well as many extravagant amenities such as GPS and keyless ignition, all of which result in a luxurious machine capable of flawlessly handling all manner of topography.
How to build a commercially viable flying car: first, make it a motorcycle. The idea of creating a personal transportation craft that can both take to the skies and travel along the ground has been alive as long as science fiction. But meeting both the FAA's regulations for aircraft while simultaneously meeting the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's guidelines for automobiles means compromises on both sides.
In 1989, François Knorreck took a long ride in the sidecar of a friend’s motorcycle and enjoyed it so much that he decided to build a rig of his own. Now, 20 years, 63 bodywork molds and innumerable headaches later, he has it: a handcrafted masterpiece that’s part motorcycle, part Lamborghini.