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Monday, April 27th, 2015

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Even Superheros Need To Get Around On A Motorcycle

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  Entertainment
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
click to see where USA is on the map
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You may be able to fly to other planets, jump over skyscrapers in one jump, climb tall building with your hands, but to get around town, you need a motorcycle. Even superheros....

Super Heroes On Motorcycle
© REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Reuters logo
Participants wearing superhero costumes arrive on a motorbike for the World DC Comics Super Heroes event in San Martin de Valdeiglesias, near Madrid, April 18, 2015. To celebrate the anniversary of the publication of the very first Superman story, DC Comics are asking fans to help set a new world record for the largest global gathering of people dressed as DC Comics Super Heroes. REUTERS/Andrea Comas


Via: News Yahoo & Reuters




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Friday, April 24th, 2015

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Top Internet Motorcycle Stories - 24 April 2015

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Web
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
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Top News icon
With a lot of travelling and when at home, lots of work being done on our new home, I barely have time to look at the motorcycle, let alone ride it. It looks so lonely out there in the garage, and that while the riding weather is near perfect. But sitting in trains, planes and automobiles gives me the chance to catch up on my reading. Here are a few interesting articles that you may have missed over the last week.




Enjoy

10 Must Have Motorcycle Accessories Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: Canada flag  Canada
Date: 20APR
Summary: What are the accessories you can not live without on your motorcycle?


2015 Argentina MotoGP Post-Race Round Up: On Rossi Vs Marquez, And Why You Shouldn't Believe The Pundits Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: Netherlands flag  Netherlands
Date: 20APR
Summary: A look at the last and incredible MotoGP race by the eminent race expert David Emmett.


Tucano Urbano Giacca Trip jacket review Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite: Overland Magazine Open link in a new window
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 22APR
Summary: Overland Magazine review the Tucano Urbano Giacca Trip jacket.


Would Warren Buffett Consider Acquiring Harley Davidson Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite: 24/7 Wall Street Open link in a new window
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 22APR
Summary: Why it would make sense (and dollars too) for Warren Buffett to buy Harley-Davidson.


Read related articles
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - Patent: Not A Bad Idea - LCD Panel On Motorcycle Handlebar

LCD Panel Motorcycle Handlebar
China flag
A Chinese patent that has some merit; the inventor is calling for one (or more) LCD panels placed on the handlebar of a motorcycle, at the grip level. This way you can show some vital information without cluttering the dash.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - Review: 2015 Honda CB 125 - The Queen of the City

Review 2015 Honda CB 125
Honda logo
A detailed translated review from a top French web site of the 2015 Honda CB 125 - The Queen of the City
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - The New Mash Cafe Racers - Old But New

Mash Cafe Racer 250
Mash logo
Chinese/French motorcycle maker Mash make some interesting retro-looking motorcycles. Another one of their latest are two Cafe Racers; 125 and 250. Nice looking and very affordable.
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 - French National Police - Results Of Airbag Vest For Motorcycle Cops

French National Police Airbag Vests
France flag
The French motorcycle police undergoes a gruelling and very difficult training. The National Police training center has adopted airbag vests for the trainees, and since they have had them, they have not had any serious injuries. On average, one airbag vest gets deployed EVERY DAY!
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - Review: 2015 Yamaha R3 - Double Game

Review 2015 Yamaha R3
Yamaha logo
A detailed and translated review from a top French web site of the 2015 Yamaha R3 - Double Game







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French National Police - Results Of Airbag Vest For Motorcycle Cops

Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under  France Uniformed Safety
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
click to see where France is on the map
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The French Law Enforcement is divided into different groups, with at the top of the pecking order the famous Gendarmerie, followed by the National Police, then the Municipal Police and finally the Rural Police. All use motorcycles to a certain degree, and all require their officers to be trained in the usage of the noble PTWPowered Two Wheel - motorcycles, scooters, mopeds (see related articles below).

French National Police Airbag Vests
The National Police train their candidate officers for 15 weeks, and even cops who have been accepted for the National Police Motorcycle Squads need to undergo recurring training.

And it's at these training that the students often crash, since during the exercises they are taken to the limit. It's a bit like watching the Free Practices at the MotoGP. Each racer takes their bike to the very limit so they understand how fast they can really go into a certain corner. It's the same with the police training. The trainees need to know what the absolute limits of the bike are. And as in MotoGP, the police trainees are equipped with airbag vests.

The National Police deemed that their students were hurting themselves too often and decided to protect them better. To do this, they equip each trainee with an airbag vest (from Helite). They opted not to use the electronic airbag vests, since the ones they use are mechanical. The reason for the mechanical is purely for logistical reasons (and probably also cost reasons). The training center has on average one airbag vest deployment PER DAY. And with wireless controlled airbag vests, once it has deployed, it needs to be sent back to the manufacturer.

Helite Airnest Turtle

Since they started using of the airbag vests, no injuries to thorax, trunk or abdomen have been recorded, nor have they had any broken collarbones, which used to be the most frequent and common injury.

So it looks like the airbags are paying off for the national cops. Hopefully these things will start dropping in price and become more common.

Read related articles
Thursday, July 28th, 2005 - The French Motorcycle Gendarme - Their Training

Gendarmerie
A look at the French Gendarme motorcycle training.
Monday, December 8th, 2008 - Video: French Motorcycle Police/Gendarme Gruelling Training

Video clip
I've written already about the grueling training the French motorcycle Police (Gendarme) have to undergo before they are let loose on the streets of France.

Between 5 and 8 months of training. Now you can see how intense their training is. Here's the video of the training, condensed into 4 minutes...
Friday, May 6th, 2011 - Dainese Equipping Italian Police With Air Bag Vest For Giro

Dainese D air street Italian Police
Dainese logo
Dainese is equipping 15 police officers of the Italian police with a new airbag vest, the yet not available D-air Street.

The 15 cops will be using the new protective vests when escorting the famous bicycle race, the Giro.


Via: L'equipement




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Not Much Use On A Motorcycle

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  Funny Entertainment
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
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That serves very little purpose on a motorcycle, does it? As decoration, or for electric motorcycles - maybe. But it is funny.

Not much use







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Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

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Review: 2015 Yamaha R3 - Double Game

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Product Review Yamaha
Author: Gwendal Salaun
Location: 
Paris, France
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Since this is a translation directly from French, some of the colloquialism may seem a bit strange at times, for which I apologize. It's not easy to translate. Any mistakes below are mine, and mine alone.

Click here to read the original review of the 2015 Yamaha R3 Open Click here to read the original review of the 2015 Yamaha R3 link in a new window
Yamaha logo
Le Repaire des Motards logo
The 2015 Yamaha R3 test report was originally published in French on the Le Repaire des Motards.com Open lerepairedesmotards link in a new window web site.

Click here to read the original review of the 2015 Yamaha R3 Open Click here to read the original review of the 2015 Yamaha R3 link in a new window (in French)
Double Game

Long heralded, the Yamaha YZF-R3 finally comes out of the wood and complements the sportsbike range of the Japanese manufacturer, midway between the YZF-R125 and R6. A nice little bike, accessible with the A2 license, which literally seduced us with its simplicity and efficiency!

It was in Spain, on the road and circuit, we have become acquainted with this new mid-size sportsbike, the designated rival of the KTM RC390 and Kawasaki Ninja 300, but also the Honda CBR500R, currently just a bit more expensive (300 €) . This in the absence of a hypothetical CBR300R that could, as in other European countries, replace the late CBR250R. Made in Indonesia, the R3 is not sold cheaply, and may even appear expensive compared to other A2-licensed models from the same manufacturer, such as the Roadster 689 cc MT-07, sold €5,999 without ABS. In fact, it is the entire category of mid-size sportsbikes that can appear somewhat overvalued in the less wealthy customers eyes, let alone young riders.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

Discovery

Descendant of a long line of Yamaha sportsbikes, the R3 had to take advantage of this relationship aesthetically, if only to be naturally part of the existing range. It therefore incorporates the aesthetic codes of the YZF-R family, with a beautiful sharp front dual optic headlight separated by an air intake and topped with a LED DRL, harmonious and prominent lines fairing, a long fuel tank and narrow, thin and raised rear, beautiful multi-line alloy wheels and lowered silencer.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

The level of equipment is very correct, but without excess. For the price, we would indeed like to benefit, as is the case for the YZF-R125, of a beautiful inverted fork (here a conventional telescopic 41 mm KYB fork) and a radial caliper brake (here a conventional one). Same observation at the level of the frame, tubular steel diamond-like rather than Deltabox, combined with a long swingarm, also steel and a monocross type suspension with adjustable shock preload. ABS is fortunately included as standard on this model, but it is not disconnectable.

On the engine side, Yamaha introduces a new in-line twin with 321 cm3 and a power of 42 hp at 10,750 rpm for 29.6 Nm of torque at 9000 rpm. An engine with double overhead camshaft (direct drive) and 4-valve cylinder heads, which also features hardened rods, forged aluminum pistons (lighter) and aluminum DiASil cylinder with a high silicone content (20%). These cylinders are slightly offset (7 mm) to reduce the friction and the oil consumption. The crankshaft, single balancer, for its part positioned at 180 ° to minimize pumping losses and increase performance.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

In The Saddle

Easy access, with its 780 mm seat height, the R3 engages very quickly. The general size is fairly compact, with a content weight of 169 kg in running order (20 kg less than R6) and a relatively low center of gravity. The controls fall naturally in hand, but the brake and clutch levers are not adjustable in spacing.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

The high placed half-handlebars show, if necessary, the mixed sport / touring positioning of this Yamaha R3, like the saddle, which is lightly padded and the footrests a little remote that induces a relatively tilted-to-the-front riding position. If the apparent quality of the first (surface treatment) may seem a bit tight, the footrests and footrest plates, however, are of good quality, significantly improving the perceived quality of the whole.

The on-board instrumentation is compact and well designed with a large analog tachometer and a digital dial displaying lots of useful information (fuel gauge and water temperature, clock, gear indicator, tachometer, odometer and day trips, remaining range and average and instantaneous fuel consumption). An adjustable shift light is even provided, like on the the top sportsbikes.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

The rearview mirrors offers a convenient rearview and are easy to adjust, both in gap as in tilt. Carrying a pillion is of course possible, but the curved jump seat and the high position of the pillion footrest certainly does not fit all, especially as only a single saddle strap can be found to be maintain position. Note that a (very) small storage space is arranged under arrangement. The 14-liter tank for its part has a nice aircraft type cap hinge, which opens as usual with the ignition key. A headlight trigger is also available at the left index finger.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

In The City

Contact, starter, the Yamaha twin cylinder snorts with a discreet sound. Some light throttle openings are not enough to make him express his character, but turning the throttle more frankly open makes the melody much more gaudy and promising. Obviously, it's in the higher revs that it happens ... First gear, smooth takeoff behind our opener and off we went for a photo shoot in the city, followed by a ride of about 50 km in the direction of the hills and the Calafat circuit for a track session.

From the outset, the R3 is stable, neutral and homogeneous, very easy to navigate with a front well posed and providing good feedback to the handlebars. The riding position is more comfortable, with not too bent legs and very pronounced support on the wrists. The clutch is smooth and very gradual, gear changes stacked with rigor and precision, even without systematic use of the clutch.

The balanced weight distribution (50/50) and 25° angle column give the R3 good handling and excellent agility, but without sharpness. In town, you can enjoy a correct steering angle (34° each side) to get out without much effort of traffic and make a U-turn quickly if necessary.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

The Yamaha twin cylinder cruises readily, accepting a light throttle in sub-revs, from 1500 rpm in 4th, passed in 2000 rpm on all other gears, even in the 6th "overdrive" gear. It's good to move smoothly and quietly into the urban context, but not as well to get an acceleration or effective recovery. Like many "small" displacements bikes, the R3 requires a high engine speed to come out like a torpedo.

By staying longer in gear, the engine sound changes dramatically and we begin to see the sporting potential of the Yamaha twin. Linear but very deliberate in its ramp-up, he cheerfully climbs the revs to the ends of the tachometer's red zone and establishes himself between 12 500 and 13 500 rpm. Nice but not in town ... where we quickly adopt a wiser pace.

On The Motorways

Out of the urban context, we can finally push a little more forward our investigations and gear ratios. On the motorway, the R3 demonstrated a good stability at high speeds, his windshield and side panels provide the rider with an admittedly insufficient protection, not negligible. Suspensions assure their job properly, effectively absorbing the biggest shocks contributing to the driveability in this context. The R3 confirms here its versatility, demonstrating that it is able to swallow without too much discomfort average suburban trips on freeways and highways.

At a steady speed, here 120 kph maximum, the twin Yamaha distills however insidious vibrations at the handles and footrests. The needle of the rev counter moves between 7000 to 9000 rpm depending on the selected gear, 6th overdrive mostly, 5th when it comes to getting a more effective stimulus to handle overtaking. On the famous German highways, not limited in speed, colleagues would have reached 187 kph in 6th to over 12,000 rpm, which seems more than plausible.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

On Secondary Roads

By taking the tiny winding roads of the hinterland, the R3 seduces by its homogeneity and as intuitive as reassuring behavior. Easy and accurate in the sharp curves, it does not require significant effort to move quickly from one corner to the other and easily accept a rate of sporty riding.

Pushed to the max, the Yamaha twin comes out of this exercise with honors, present at the slightest touch of the accelerator, as the needle of the rev counter moves above 7000 rpm. The first gear of the short gearbox contributes favorably, with a second screaming in the curves and a third upset when a long straight stretch comes up. No time to be idle on these performances...

Still forcing the pace, the heading accuracy is good, but you start to feel the work of the frame when under a constraint or when you put too much stress on the handlebars during a sharp angle change. Fortunately the suspension works well and allows the R3 to keep a precise handling and good traction when opening the throttle again. The ground clearance is excellent, especially since the Yamaha technicians selected to remove the pins from our footrest.

Despite some suspicion in the first kilometers, we must recognize that the choice of the Michelin Pilot Street tires as original equipment is not incongruous. These tires, which would according to Michelin increase longevity by 30% compared to competitive models (Bridgestone Baltlax BT90, Pirelli Sport Demon ...), have indeed responded rather well to our repeated assaults and residual moisture on crossings at an angle. They of course had some small loss of grip here and there, but never suddenly nor without warning.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

Comfort

Halfway between a road and sportsbike, the R3 hopes to offer the best possible compromise between these two worlds. The result is pretty good on the rider's side, with a driving position that is not too restrictive, the handlebars at the right height, comfortable suspensions of good quality and a relatively comfortable seat due to a well-padded saddle. The pillion will be less satisfied however with its narrow and curved seat, or its perched high footrests and the few proposed retention possibilities.

Circuit

Arrived at the Calafat circuit (3250m track), we put on our leather for two sessions of twenty minutes at the handlebars of our standard R3. We thought we could try the Cup version, with an Akrapovic racing line and various accessories, but it was not present on site. It will be sold to the participants of the European R3 Cup, the 7 events will take place very soon in France, from May to September, 2015.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

After two reconnaissance laps of the circuit at a moderate pace, the mutts are released, some more voracious and eager than others, more cautious by nature. The pace increases from turn to turn, the grip limit of the Michelin Pilot Street tires becomes easier to identify, obvious to some ... However, these road tires profile are nonetheless effective in this context and accept generous angle taking without lifting too suddenly when flirting with the limit. Frankly, it does it well and there is much to have fun without hurting yourself on the circuit.

Manfully balanced from one angle to another in the curve sequences, the R3 calmly undergoes our insults. Barely hardened in preload of the shock absorber, it retains a good discipline in the sequences and the angle. The bike's frame limits are discernible but you simply adopt a more easy-going riding style to stay in the rhythm and not cause a fault. The space devoted to the rider allows to quickly change the riding position in terms of the track, wiggling and on the front in the curve, and lying down hard on the fuel tank on long stretches in search for speed.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

Brakes

Provided at the front with a 298 mm floating disc with 2-piston caliper and at the rear, a 220 mm disc with single-piston caliper, the R3 may seem to some slightly under equipped and missing some teeth. Yet we must recognize that this configuration has proven to be effective enough in this review, even on the circuit.

The front brake indeed presents a good feeling at the lever and delivers a convincing power when pulling the lever frankly without much accidental triggering of the ABS. The power actually happens gradually, proportional to the pressure exerted on the lever.

The rear brake pedal is as often is the case, difficult to dose, with an earlier intervention of the ABS if you press too hard, but you quickly get used to it, which helps to balance the braking when seeking optimum efficiency.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

Fuel Consumption

As often in these short tests, we can only rely on the average consumption indicator to assess the consumption of the Yamaha YZF-R3. This indicates an average of 4.7 liters / 100 km at the end of our road test, we can estimate the autonomy of the R3 to nearly 298 km, reserve included. A fairly reasonable consumption, which is accompanied by a handy automatic chain tensioning system and a control valve clearance pushed to 42 000 km.

Review 2015 Yamaha R3

Conclusion

Well born, despite the absence of an inverted fork that would have given him a little more appeal, the Yamaha YZF-R3 richly deserves interest. Versatile, it is indeed able to ensure your daily commute as well as your Sunday rides, while providing very good quality road performance and on the circuit to please thrill seekers. Only its price, yet close to those of its direct rivals, will be able to make hesitate a young A2 license-holder, eager to have a more powerful bike and hardly more expensive, constrained to initially 35 Kw but releasable later without great cost.

Strong PointsWeak Points
  • Fierce engine
  • Versatility
  • Maneuverability
  • No inverted fork
  • Vibrations
  • Price


Via: Le Repaire Des Motards




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Two Deserving Crowd-Funding Project: Hues of my Vision and MotoMatters

Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under  Ideas Web
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
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Most projects submitted to crowd-funding sites are abysmal; badly conceived, not feasible or just fraudulent. But sometimes there are some projects that are submitted that are deserving, even noble, and do merit your money, or at the very least, your attention.

Here are two ideal projects that will benefit many.

Hues of my Vision


This project is run by Ara and Spirit, two motorcycle riding adventure seekers, who have been on their motorcycle sidecar for 9 years now, roaming the corners of the USA. Ara is not only the rider, but also an accomplished photographer (and chef, but that's another story), while Spirit (his faithful companion dog) is the photogenic model.

Ara started by writing a journal of their travels (The Oasis of my Soul Open The Oasis of my Soul link in a new window), followed last year by book entitled "Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash: A Dog, His Man, Their Journey  Open link in a new window". Many people who have been following Ara and Spirit's travels have asked Ara to publish a coffee table book with his wonderful photos.

Hues of my Vision

But publishing coffee table books is a very expensive business. A single on-demand print will set the reader back US$90 or so, way too much for most readers.

So Ara decided on another avenue; he has started a Kickstarter project to bulk make the book. By pre-selling 1000 copies of the book, he can get a lower volume price. So if 1000 people pledge money, it will be sold for US$40 per book, a much more reasonable price for such a great book.

The idea with Kickstarter is that you only "give" the US$40 if 1000 people pledge money. If there are less, then no harm, you don't need to give your money. This way you are sure that it's going to only cost you 40 bucks.

Have a look at the (funny) video from Ara and Spirit below that explains the project in detail.

Click here to access Hues of my Vision project page on Kickstarter Open Kickstarter link in a new window (and pledge money for this deserving project)



MotoMatters


MotoMatters Open MotoMatters link in a new window is the MotoGP and World SuperBike racing coverage website hosted and narrated by the eminent David Emmett. MotoMatters has won many awards for their coverage of MotoGP and WSB races, and with the top motorcycle-racing photographer Scott Jones, the site is an excellent reference for the world of MotoGP and World SuperBike racing.

MotoMatters GoFundMe

But travelling to these races around the world requires a lot of money. Even taking the cheapest flights, staying in cheap places, walking miles to get there and eating the cheapest local food requires money. But not going means no detailed reporting and in-depth analysis of the races, racers and teams, and that would be criminal and a loss for motorcycle racing fans.

As the best and top MotoGP/WSB racing site, David needs an injection of cash to be able to continue, despite being a top site. With millions of site visitors, he can barely pay for the cost of running a successful site, let alone travel to these destinations. And he needs to be on the circuit to be able to bring you his famous analysis.

So if you are a big fan for the MotoGP world in general, and MotoMatters in particular, why not head on over to GoFundMe and donate some money so David and Scott can keep on marvelling us with the MotoGP background stories and photos. It's well worth it.

Click here to access the MotoMatters GoFundMe page Open Gofundme link in a new window (and donate as much as you can spare)






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France: Bus Drivers To Be Able To Fine Motorcycle Riders et al

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  France
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Travelling
click to see where France is on the map
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In Paris, in sharp contrast with many other big cities in the Europe, motorcycles are not allowed to ride in the bus lanes. Although the government claims to be trying to save lives, they will not let bikers in the bus lane despite those lanes being much safer for us. Go figure.

Anyway, the Parisian public transportation company, RATP, is fed up with not only bikers in the lane, but also cars parking in the lane. So the RATP are looking into placing video camera inside the bus that will film bad behaving cars and motorcycles, and then process them at a later stage to send a fine.

Motorcycle in Paris Bus lane

Of course this brings on another set of problems; First of all, the unions do not want this, and secondly, legally only a cop can fine you. So they would have to swear in the bus drivers as "assistant" cops. And then the next evolution will be buses that will record you speeding, running red lights or going over a solid white line. Because as we all know, the government needs your money.

Via: Le Parisien




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