Category: Motorcycle News

Samsung Demonstrates “Smart Windshield” As A New Concept In Road Safety

Samsung Demonstrates “Smart Windshield” As A New Concept In Road Safety

Sometimes we can make our world a little too complex. Technology companies continue to innovate and bring us more ways to stay connected to all the things we feel are important to us. But sometimes I have to ask whether the technology is a step forward or a bad mistake. Samsung is the latest company to display innovative technology for motorcycles. The company has demonstrated a “Smart Windshield” fitted to a Yamaha Tricity 125 scooter. The display in the windshield connects to your smartphone through a Wi-Fi connection and a dedicated app. It can then display GPS and navigation information, which is probably the only useful thing a rider needs when riding. But the system also displays alerts for incoming phone calls, text messages and emails. Samsung is calling it “a new concept in road safety” and a “revolution for young motorbike riders”. The promotional video states that “it connects to your smartphone so you can keep both hands on the handlebars” (really!), and that “the windshield has been transformed into a safety device”. I like Samsung, but I love staying safe even more and would have to say that I hope this is an early April Fool’s joke. Distraction from mobile phones is now the biggest killer on our roads, and motorcyclists are our most vulnerable road user group. So surely making mobile phones more accessible to riders while they are actually riding is a seriously dangerous prospect. For ages we’ve all ridden with the phone tucked away out of sight, and so it should be. If it rings life still seems go on and we can deal with it when we stop riding. The same applies for emails and Facebook notifications. A panel in front of the rider will just encourage them to focus on the phone and not what’s important in front of them. Sorry Samsung, I agree that there is a safety benefit for making navigation information available to riders, but I’d seriously doubt the road safety benefits of receiving other text based information while riding. What can be so important? Maybe I’m wrong – I’d be keen to hear your thoughts?

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Honda’s Surprise Direction With CB Concept Type II

Honda’s Surprise Direction With CB Concept Type II

Honda has shown off it’s CB Concept Type II for the first time at last weekend’s Osaka Motorcycle Show. The Osaka show is not a major event, but Honda chose this show to give the world a glimpse of its direction with the CB1100. In a press release before the show, Honda announced the CB Concepts showed “a new direction in air-cooled CB models.” It was widely thought (and hoped) the Type II may be a revamped version of the CB1100R concept we first saw several years ago. The single seat CB1100R concept suffered from heating issues in its air cooled engine because of the restricted air flow behind the fairing. Reports were circulating that the issues were being resolved by Honda’s engineers. But the CB Concept Type II is in fact a near production ready retro bike closer in styling to a cafe racer. It does show how the somewhat sedate CB1100 can be turned into a much tougher looking bike and given a boost with some performance parts, but it’s left many of us disappointed. The CB Concept Type II runs 17-inch cast alloy wheels, upside down Showa forks, radial mount Brembo brakes, and Ohlins twin shocks on the rear. The styling sets this bike apart from anything else in the Honda range, and even from the original CB concept we saw last November. The retro styling goes as far as the Pirelli Phantom tyres that were popular in the 80’s. In fact the Type II suggests that Honda is going to market two variants of a new CB1100 – one to appeal to the retro market and one to target those buyers wanting a more traditional look. That would put the Type II up against the BMW R nineT, and the Triumph Thruxton. There’s now plenty of speculation that these two bikes are very close to production, and that the CB Concept Type II is already being track tested. The current CB1100 was originally launched in 2009 but is only available in a few markets outside of Japan, and by expanding the range it would be fair to assume that the bike will be sold into more countries and hopefully Australia.

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High Tech Helmet Concept Uses Cameras To Eliminate Blindspots

High Tech Helmet Concept Uses Cameras To Eliminate Blindspots

Can you imagine a helmet that warns you when cars get too close? US company Intelligent Cranium Helmets is said to be developing a helmet that can. The company’s helmet concept, the iC-R (the “R” stains for Rider Edition), is said to have more electronics and safety technology than ever previously imagined in a helmet. The helmet has twin colour head-up displays that not only display speed and other telemetry from the bike, navigation and phone functions but also show a video stream from twin rear facing cameras. The helmet also has a LiDAR rear collision alert system. LiDAR measures the distance to an object by shining a laser beam on it, and in this case the data is then used to warn the rider of a vehicle closing in from behind. It notifies the rider through a series of coloured LEDs inside the helmet and also with warning sounds and vibrations. The helmet has built-in Bluetooth communications and phone connectivity, and a solar panel to power the electronics. Intelligent Cranium Helmets was started by Ambrose Dodson, who says the idea came to him after watching some motorcyclists riding in front of him in traffic. He realised that to check the blind spots around them they needed to turn their heads to look, and in heavy traffic that meant the riders were constantly taking their eyes off the traffic ahead. The two rear cameras give a field of view of 210° helping to eliminate those blindspots. It sounds far fetched and ambitious, but a press release on the company’s website claims that ICH has entered into development agreements with a solar power company that has the capability to develop the entire power system for the iC-R helmet, and a prototyping company to develop the iC-R shell and other components. A crowdfunding program has also been set up to raise capital.

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Guy Martin To Attempt World’s Largest Wall Of Death

Guy Martin To Attempt World’s Largest Wall Of Death

Colourful motorcycle racer and TV presenter Guy Martin is no stranger to taking risks. He’s competed at the Isle of Man TT many times and was featured in the 2010 documentary on the race – TT3D: Closer to the Edge. Guy was also chosen to pilot the Triumph Rocket Streamliner in a land speed record attempt last year, but the run was postponed because of injuries he received in a crash at the Ulster GP Superbike race in August. His latest stunt is set to to be even wilder. Guy will attempt a record breaking assault on the largest “Wall Of Death” ever built on March 28. The “Wall Of Death” is a sideshow stunt where riders ride the vertical wall inside a barrel shaped cylinder that’s typically around 6 to 11 metres across. It dates back to the 1920’s and in England the master of the “Wall” is Ken Fox. Ken has trained Guy to ride horizontally on the wall. But in true Guy Martin style, this “Wall Of Death” is bigger than ever before at 120 ft (36m) diameter. That means Guy will have to rider at a much faster speed – and the whole stunt is being televised LIVE! The show will be aired live on Channel4 in the UK on Monday, March 28, at 7:15pm, but I’m sure we’ll hear how Guy goes!

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Honda Strikes Back In The Battle Of The 125cc Minis

Honda Strikes Back In The Battle Of The 125cc Minis

Honda has fired the next shot in what is quickly becoming a battle for buyers in a newly created 125cc market. Earlier this week Kawasaki confirmed it was bringing the Z125 PRO to Australia mid year to take on Honda’s recently announced Grom. Honda has returned fire by announcing pricing on the 2016 Honda Grom, a special introductory offer and a dedicated website. Until mid February this market segment was virtually non existent, but now the two manufacturers are fighting for buyers – and the bikes aren’t even here yet!! Both of the little 125s are known for being lightweight and fun, they make great commuters while still being capable of a weekend run. They remind us of the little mini bikes we had to run around on as kids, except these are fully fledged road bikes. The Grom is due here mid-2016 and Honda has announced a special limited launch offer of just $3,999 ride-away. That pricing applies to all Grom’s delivered before 31 July 2016, and pre-orders are being taken now. The mini-streetfighter is built around Honda’s well-proven and super-efficient fuel-injected 125cc engine. It is well equipped with a compact chassis that features a sturdy steel frame, inverted front forks, monoshock rear suspension and powerful hydraulic disc brakes on lightweight 12-inch wheels. The punchy little motorcycle will be available in Metallic Pearl Valentine Red, Lemon Ice Yellow and Matte Axis Grey. The Honda Grom is also known as the MSX 125 overseas and has already developed something of a cult following. More information including specifications and photos are at www.HondaGrom.com.au.

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