Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under Ideas Author: Mike Werner | Location: Normandy, France
There are quite a lot of bikers out there that want to take their dog with them when riding their motorcycle. Some of them have dogs small enough to take along in a tank bag or even top case, while others have dogs that will remain in place behind them (but it's dangerous for everyone).
Obviously the best way of transporting your dog with you on your motorcycle is in a sidecar, but not everyone wants to have a sidecar. So here's the next best option, the canine motorcycle pod called Dog Saucer.
It's called Dog Saucer because it does look like a flying saucer, lights and all. It's currently a Kickstarter project, so they are looking for funding, quite a lot actually. In fact, trying to get $600,000 is way too much for such a project, but it's cute anyway.
The Dog Saucer is a trailer that hitches behind your motorcycle, and not only allows you to transport your favorite pet with you, but it is comfortable for the pooch. There's standing room and a clear bubble so your dog can enjoy the same sights you are enjoying.
There's even place for drinks and food. The only thing you need is some way for the dog to say that it's time to pull over next to a tree or fire hydrant.
The pod is equipped with lights and plenty of space. But even a dog lover like me would balk at the cost.
The basic unit will cost as much as a small (Chinese knock-off) motorcycle, US$4,000 while the fully loaded one will set you back US$6,000. But then there are people out there who are more dog crazy than me.
It's not the first such project, but it's interesting. See the related article below for other ones.
Many of us bikers love dogs, and wouldn't think of going somewhere without the pooch. But often it's not easy, since they don't always sit still behind you. So you end up buying a trailer for your motorcycle. But trailers are boring.... unless you make this ultimate motorcycle dog-house-trailer.
Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under TravelSafety Author: Mike Werner | Location: Normandy, France
The Belgium government, in the form of the Minister of Public Works, is planning to make the Wallonia region of Belgium safer for motorcycle riders.
Many bikers are killed on the roads of the French speaking part of Belgium, and to make sure the bikers understand their fragility he is installing 80 signs warning motorcycle riders of upcoming road dangers. But according to him, only 8% of accidents are caused by the road itself, 50% by the other driver and 37% by the biker.
He is printing 15,000 maps with all the danger spots in the area which will be distributed at biker events. The maps will be showing bikers were the danger spots are.
It's a good thing that the government is thinking about our safety but... and there is always a but...
1) instead of printing maps he should use & promote the Moto Smarty app to warn riders, and
2) instead of placing signs, how about doing something about the road itself?
Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under IdeasSpecial-Bikes Author: Mike Werner | Location: Travelling
It looks like design student Colby Higgins in Boston has combined several of his passions; design, steam trains and motorcycles. He has created a motorcycle that looks like a steam train. A perfect design, it's called Train Wreck:
Now if it could really work with steam, the bike could make a fortune during these tough times. With petrol costing an arm & a leg, imagine putting some wood or coals in the motorcycle and steaming away, like they used to do in the past.
But I have to say, the motorcycle looks very nice.
Sora looks like the love child of a Confederate Motorcycle and a Triumph Rocket III. In other words, it looks powerful, and surprise, surprise; it is powerful. It looks like a traditional motorcycle, but it's totally electric with its high-density lithium polymer batteries.
The Sora will accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in just 4 seconds, and it will top the speed scales at 200 kph. As far as range goes, it's a very respectable 300 kilometers (but at what speed?).
Like most electric motorcycles, there's no clutch, so no shifting. The bike has an integrated GPS and a touchscreen, allowing you to adjust the bike's parameters.
It's hooked up into the internet, so that when you plug in your Sora for a charge, when it's ready, Sora will send you an email saying it's done. Imagine an email coming to your smartphone that says "from Sora: You can come and ride me again".... priceless.
Your saddle is electrically operated, it changes according to your driving style. It goes between 750 and 850 mm (29.5 to 33.5 in.). The whole motorcycle weighs 240 kilos (529.2 lbs), but that's both dry and wet weight, since you don't take on any fuel.
It's an interesting concept, but it is, like most electric motorcycles, not going to come cheap. But at the end of the day, when you add up all the bills, over the life span of the bike, it will end up cheaper than gasoline powered ones. No gasoline, very little maintenance and no CO2.
I for one am looking forward to seeing more of this muscle electric motorcycle.
Have a look at the introduction video below (you can hear the electric motorcycle here);
Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under GPSGadgets Author: Mike Werner | Location: Normandy, France
I'll be the first to admit it, I am technology lover; I used technology whenever it becomes available. When decades ago the first portable GPS came out, I immediately took to it like a fish takes to water. The GPS was very simple, it just pointed to the way point you specified, but on a motorcycle, it was heaven sent. All I needed to do was try to stay on route to where the arrow was pointing.
A few years later, the GPS actually told you to turn left or right, making it even easier to use on a motorcycle. Now, GPS has 3D maps, traffic reports, speed camera locations, and where you can find the closest McDonald's.
Recently, you don't need dedicated equipment anymore, a smartphone with the right app will do the trick. So, I have become more and more reliant on this kind of technology, to the point of blindly trusting my GPS.
I run an iPhone with the Navigon GPS app (owned by Garmin). It has its quirks, and at times on rides it makes me go a "strange" direction, but usually no harm, no foul.
But that illusion just got shattered last week. I had to go from Paris to Utrecht in The Netherlands. It's an almost 4.5 hour journey.. no biggie, with plenty of time to arrive for my event. Unfortunately, my Navigon GPS app decided otherwise. When I programmed my destination the very small map showed the route, more or less. It's not easy to see what it is going to do in detail.
When I arrived at the Belgium city of Antwerp , with its dreaded ringroad, the GPS summoned me to move off the road. There were no traffic warnings, but hating the ringroad as much as anyone who has been on it, I thought that maybe a new road had been opened, so blindly I followed the GPS instructions.
2.5 hours later, the GPS took me 5 kilometers further from where I had left the road. So it took me 2.5 hours to do 5 kilometers. On top of that, I was now in the middle of the weekend rush hour, so painfully slow.
My 4.5 hour trip now took me 9 hours. That is what you get for trusting technology.
Needless to say, I have lost total faith in the Navigon app. I immediately purchased the TomTom app. It too has quirks, as they all do. I am just hoping that its most important aspect, navigation, works more accurately than Navigon.
But I'l not going back to paper maps, no matter what. But at least I know I'm not the only one. I'm not alone. Here's a sample of a few people who followed the wrong navigational instructions:
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