Friday, July 30, 2010

Motobi scooter

Came across this awesome Motobi scooter that a friend owns. Never seen one of these before. Looks very similar to a Lambretta LD, but with even more strange bodywork.

MV Agust F4

A close friend is finishing up the final touches on a project that's been in the making for several years. I went by Pipeworx today to see Matt and took a couple photos of the bike in it's current state. It's just waiting on couple small pieces of hardware but it's very close. This F4 has the most Carbon Fiber, Magnesium, and Titanium I've ever seen. Simply amazing.

I'll post more images after it's gets all put back together.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ducati new frame and engine design

Ducati's application for a US patent on their unique frame design has caused a bit of stir recently. While it simply looks as if they're putting a patent on their already existing frame design, sources inside the Bologna factory are claiming that a completely new engine and chassis are in the works for new models.

Does this mean the end of the Pantah era? Could be as their planning on going to a completely different engine design. I don't think they could ever get rid of the twin since it's one of the Ducati trademarks, but it's been clear for some time that their engine is at it's limits for racing. They can no longer get anymore reliable power from the design (a design they have been using since the seventies), and I doubt they will b allowed anymore displacement in WSBK to compete with the multi's.

the new frame engine combo bolts the very small frame front frame to the engine heads and uses the engine as a large part of the frame, bolting directly to the swingarm and subframe in the rear. The front frame will be made of Carbon fiber and contain the airbox. This will give tremendous weight savings and make the suspension an integrated better with the frame.

I just bought this Shark RSI helmet, finally buying a new lid to replace my Suomy Spec 1. I initially heard of Shark from a friend who has one and loves his (he has a Shark RSX). I did a little research into the company and found they had a good reputation and had been producing helmets for almost 30 years. All this seemed fine and normal for a good manufacturer, the one thing that really stood out was that they produced the entire helmet themselves. I like this because I didn't want a helmet that was just re-branded. I also found out it is the number one selling European helmet brand and only recently got into the U.S. Market (which would explain why I knew very little about them to begin with). I ended up deciding to go with RSI, I liked the Shark brand, and I liked the styling so I bought the helmet. I went to Sum of All Parts a reputable online retailer that was running a special on the Shark RSI and ordered it.

The guys at Sum of All Parts were awesome and they assured me if I had any issues I could call them and they would be able to help me out, also they told me the Helmets were in good supply and plenty of the accessories were available. I mentioned this only because I switch visors fairly often.

When I received the RSI I immediately inspected it and made sure there was no shipping damage, and of course it was fine. My first impression was the size of the vents on the top and bottom of the visor, they had huge inlets shaped around them, not sure if they're actually bigger or just appear that way. The Shark also had vents inside the liner which I've never seen on a helmet before. Ventilation is very important to me as I live in the south where the summers can be brutal on a motorcycle and air getting through the helmet is a must.

I put the helmet on and it felt great, perfect pressure around my cheeks and not too much on my forehead. I wear an XL Suomy so I bought an XL in the Shark, even though I had heard they run a bit small. So it felt good and looked great, time to take a ride.

First impression is the SRI is much more quiet than my Suomy, I don't usually wear earplugs (I know, I know) but I don't. While the vents looked much bigger on the Shark I didn't really notice additional air through the helmet, but I didn't have an ventilation problems (fogging up the visor or just getting too hot). I suppose helmet vents are one of those things that you only really notice when they're not working. The visor on the Shark was much less flimsy than my Suomy, I'm not sure if the material is stronger, the mounts are better, or if my old helmet was just worn out. Either way the SRI visor action was much smoother and easier. My riding experience with the SRI was very positive and I think the only real complains I have are aesthetic really. Nest one will probably just be a racer replica like the Guintoli.

Things I liked about the Shark RSI helmet:

* Well ventilated and no issues with fogging
* At 1500g it's lighter than almost every other helmet
* Micro-fleece liner, and chin strap make it very comfy
* Carbon composite shell design makes sure it does it's main job
* Quick release visor so I can switch from clear to smoke quickly
* Price, I saved about $300 from Sum of All Parts sale

Things I didn't like about the Shark RSI helmet

* Holograph stickers on the side didn't do it for me
* Visor latch is a bit small and I missed a couple times

Overall I rate the Shark RSI 9 out of 10. It surpassed my expectations and while I only have about 100 miles on it right now I know it will continue to perform. As time goes on I'll try and update this post, certainly if I notice any problems from use or age, if not you know I'm out enjoying it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lorenzo on pole at Laguna Seca!

Jorge Lorenzo takes the pole position at Laguna Seca this weekend for MotoGP.

2nd Casey Stoner
3rd Andrea Dovizioso

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How the magic Guinness can works

Most beers are carbonated with carbon dioxide (CO2). When the beer is in the can some of this CO2 is dissolved in the beer and some is at the top of the can. The CO2 that is dissolved in the beer is what makes it fizzy. When the can is closed the pressure inside is higher than the pressure outside, so that when you open the can the sudden drop in pressure and the agitation of pouring causes some of the CO2 to bubble out of solution, forming a head on your beer.

A stout like Guinness has a creamier, longer lasting head than a canned lager beer. In addition, Guinness is less fizzy than a regular lager beer. Guinness is canned with a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Nitrogen is not absorbed into the beer nearly as well as carbon dioxide, so even though a can of Guinness may be at the same pressure as a can of lager, it contains less CO (and is therefore less fizzy) because the nitrogen makes up some of the pressure.
Guinness Widget
The Guinness Widget. Note the cavity near the center of the ball, the tiny hole is located within the cavity.

Because a beer like Guinness contains less dissolved CO2, if you poured it from a can with no widget, the head not be very thick because most of the CO2 would stay dissolved.

The purpose of the widget is to release the CO2 from some of the beer in the can to create the head. The widget is a plastic, nitrogen-filled sphere with a tiny hole in it. The sphere is added to the can before the can is sealed. It floats in the beer, with the hole just slightly below the surface of the beer.

Just before the can is sealed a small shot of liquid nitrogen is added to the beer. This liquid nitrogen evaporates during the rest of the canning process and pressurizes the can. As the pressure increases in the can, beer is slowly forced into the sphere through the hole, compressing the nitrogen inside the sphere.

When you open the can, the pressure inside immediately drops, the compressed gas inside the sphere quickly forces the beer out through the tiny hole into the can. As the beer rushes through the tiny hole, this agitation causes the CO2 that is dissolved in the beer to form tiny bubbles that rise to the surface of the beer. These bubbles help form the head.

Giving you a great pint of Guinness every time, and often resulting in a better pint than you would get from a bar on tap.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bramo Production Electric Motorcycle

they are making two version currently the Enertia and the Empulse. The empulse seems the only way to go right now, much longer life and higher top speeds (100mph and travel for about 100 miles). The batteries used in them are inherently extremely safe and can withstand temperatures without decomposing and, unlike other batteries, can be topped up at any time.

The Brammo uses six batteries and the on-board computer ensures that they maintain an equal charge. This prevents total battery depletion and maximizes energy storage on the powercycle.

This means you can charge the Brammo powercycle anytime: at home, work, anywhere there is a socket. You will save time, money on maintenance, and you will never have to worry about forgetting the charger because it's always on board. Plug it in at work and pay nothing. This is a great commuter bike for the masses. not quite up to the level of performance most current motorcycle riders would enjoy, but not far off.

No list on pricing yet, still in the pre-order stage.

Harley XR1200X

Harley announces XR1200X will be released in the U.S. Originally designed for the European market this flat track replica bike is by far the best looking Harley made right now. A huge demand from US fans was finally heard and they will make a model specifically for us now.

With a tank and tail section designed to evoke the legendary Harley-Davidson XR750 - the king of the gritty American flat-track scene. Wide flat-track bars and rearset footpegs position an assertive rider for active control. This is a very odd departure for the US company and it looks great!

Showa Big Piston Front fork (BPF) eliminates many of the internal components used in a cartridge-type fork, resulting in lighter overall fork weight. The large-diameter of the BPF internal piston allows a reduction in damping pressure for outstanding feedback and smooth action. Rebound and compression damping may be fine tuned with adjuster screws located on top of the fork bolts. The spring pre-load is adjusted with a M5 hex screw on the axle holders.
Showa rear shocks feature 36mm pistons with piggy-back nitrogen charged reservoirs. The compression damping may be adjusted with a knob on top of the reservoir. Rebound is adjusted with a thumb wheel on the lower clevis. Rear spring pre-load is also adjustable.

It still uses the outdated XL1200 Evo engine but at least it's fairly narrow.

Type: air-cooled 45° Evolution v-twin w/oil-cooled heads
Displacement, bore x stroke: 1200cc, 88.9mm x 96.8mm
Valve train: pushrod-operated OHV w/hydraulic lifters, 2 valves/cylinder
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Fuel system: EFI
Transmission: multi-plate wet clutch, 5-speeds
Final drive: Belt

Overall length: 87.6 in.
Wheelbase: 60.0 in.
Wet weight: 573 lbs.
Seat height: 31.3 in.
Rake/trail: 29°/5.2 in.
Wheels: Black, 3-spoke cast
Front tire: 120/70ZR18 M/C Dunlop D209
Rear tire: 180/55ZR17 M/C Dunlop D209
Front brake: dual 292mm discs, dual 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear brake: 260mm disc, single-piston floating caliper
Front suspension: 43mm inverted fork, 4.92 in. travel
Rear suspension: twin shocks, fully adjustable; 3.5 in. travel
Fuel capacity: 3.5 gal.
Instruments: Digital speedometer w/dual tripmeter and clock; analog tachometer

Engine torque(claimed): 73.91 ft.-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Economy (claimed): 38/53 mpg (urban/highway)

Moto Czysz win IOM TT Zero

Narrowly missing out on taking the first ever 100-mph lap on an electric bike at the Isle of Man was MotoCzysz from Portland, Oregon. Aboard their E1PC bike rider Mark Miller was able to complete a lap around the mountain course in just 23 minutes 22.89 seconds to take a victory in the one-lap TT Zero Race

Monday, July 19, 2010

Soup :: Roberts, Rainey & Lawson On the Grid For Laguna MotoGP :: 07-19-2010

Soup :: Roberts, Rainey & Lawson On the Grid For Laguna MotoGP :: 07-19-2010

Miller Balsamo

A friend recently let me ride his Miller Balsamo. An immaculate bike made for the Moto Giro. Until riding this I had never even heard of this company before, I found this info:

a historic Italian motorcycle brand, was founded in 1921 by Ernesto Balsamo and Edgardo Mario Balsamo, based in Milano. They were initially importers of the U.S. brand Excelsior and the British Ariel.
In 1921 they produced their own motorcycles with a 123 cc two-stroke and 173 cc models with a Moser or Python kopklepmotor. In 1924 they launched the Excelsiorette cycle with an auxiliary engine to the market, which was not a success. Later, there was a 248 -, 348 - and 498-cc model with four-valve kopklepmotoren by Python and from 1934 a 98 cc Sachs-block, and an addition of an own 246 cc kopklepper engine.
During the Second World War, Miller-Balsamo apparently produced in those years a 98 cc and 200 cc model. After the war, they added more models, 123 cc to 246 cc and a 249 cc kopklepper. After 1950, no more new models were added, except a moped that appeared in 1957. The factory ended up closing in 1959.

It was fun to ride albeit tiny, certainly made for the small Italian.

Rossi to Ducati:

It looks like it's a foregone conclusion that Valentino Rossi will ride for Ducati in the Moto GP world championship in 2011. I don't think I'm alone when I say I can't wait. Not just because I bleed red, but the competition between Rossi and Lorenzo looks to be the best we've seen in years. Add that Stoner will move to Honda as well as Dovizioso finishing so well, and we a series where at least five riders are able to win at any given race. This makes for very exciting racing no matter who you support. We'll see as this season draws to an end and then see which riders make changes for next season, but for now enjoy the rivalry already going on.