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Electric Motorcycle Scene Heats Up
While we motorcycle enthusiasts may be eternally loyal to our internal combustion engines, we thought we'd take a look at what's been happening on the fast-emerging electric bike front.
The TTXGP (eGrand Prix) was launched in 2009 as part of the TT races on the Isle of Man to provide a high profile platform for the development of electric vehicles. TTX is now racing on 3 continents with the World Series Final coming up Oct. 19 – 21 in Daytona.
This might be the most practical application for electric motorcycles. Zero, Brammo, Electric Motorsports, Enertia, and Xtreme Green Products are a few of the U.S.-based start-ups making electric motorcycles suitable for commuting. BMW just unveiled it’s C evolution
scooter which boasts a 62 miles range from one full charge (it will charge to 70% in just 30 min.; 3 hours for a full charge); top speed of 75 mph, and some impressive styling to match.
The Zero DS Police Motorcycle was produced in response to increased interest by law enforcement around the world looking to explore more environmentally friendly vehicles. read more
Electric bikes (Zero XU) are now used in Motorcycle Safety Foundation training classes. Eliminating shifting, heat, exhaust, clutches, and noise, students can concentrate on acquiring the fundamentals of riding. Course operators enjoy lower costs for acquisition of training bikes, plus cost savings on maintenance. read more
Already passed in the House, the Senate Finance committee has approved the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, which would reinstate the 10% tax credit for electric vehicles, including electric motorcycles.
Read more about the Zero DS motorcycle and Lightning Motorcycle's consumer version of its race bike.
University students get in the act The BOLT, created by a team of undergrads at Virginia Tech, came in 7th overall and fastest on a TTX75 motorcycle at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (CA). read more
Two Purdue University engineering students converted a gas-powered Yamaha UZF600r into an electric motorbike capable of speeds of more than 120 mph and with a range of over 120 miles. read more
The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team (from Ohio State!) set an East Coast Timing Association speed record for electric motorcycles this past July with a speed of just over 144 mph, earning the team the title of fastest collegiate electric motorcycle. read more
The 2012 Cannonball Run - possibly the ultimate vintage test. Seventy vintage enthusiasts from all over the globe are riding from Newburgh, NY, to San Francisco, CA, over a two week span and on machines built in 1929 or before. They just rode through our neck of the woods, having crossed Lake Michigan on the high speed ferry and stopping in Anamosa, Iowa. view video read more
Illinois Motorcyclists can now show team spirit.
Cubs, Bulls, White Sox, Blackhawks, and Bears fans in Illinois who ride motorcycles now have another way to show dedication to their teams on their motorcycle license plate. A portion of the registration fee for each of the team plates will go to the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund. read more
A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a BMW R1200 GS when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop.
The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at his K1600GT when the mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?" The cardiologist, a bit surprised walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle.
The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I opened its heart, took the valves out, repaired or replaced anything damaged, and then put everything back in, and when I finished, it worked just like new. So how come I make $60,000 a year and you make $1.2M when you and I are doing basically the same work?"
The cardiologist paused, leaned over, and whispered in the mechanic's ear .....
"Try doing it with the engine running”
Safety Corner - Federal Highway Administration Motorcycle Crash Research Under Fire
Dr. Samir Ahmed, the researcher and engineer leading the latest motorcycle crash causation study for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has resigned citing "serious reservations about the value of this study". The study was to examine 1200 crashes but due to insufficient funding, the number was cut back to about 300, then to just 120 crashes. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) had raised commitments from its members to provide $3 million to the study but pulled out when the crash numbers were slashed. Further cuts reduced the number of locations to study from 3 down to 1. The reduced study began last year.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has voiced some serious questions about this study since its conception and elected not to lobby Congress to mandate the study. "It is no question that we need more information on why motorcycles crash, but with such limited resources in the motorcycle safety world we should be putting them toward proper motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness to prevent crashes," said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the MRF.
Crash studies or rider education and motorcycle awareness? What's your opinion on where limited funds should be spent? Click here to post your thoughts
Now that you're ready to ride here are a few upcoming events to check out. Click on the link to get details or go to www.LocalMotoHub.com for a complete list of local events.
Sat Sept 15 - Mods vs. Rockers Urban Hooligan Gallery Jump Start Opening Party, Chicago, IL
Wed Sept 19 - Bikes and Burlesque, Chicago, IL
Sat Sept 22 - Chi Vin Moto Vintage Motorcycle Show, Countryside, IL
Sat - Sun Sept 22 - 23 - Championship Cup Series Racing, South Beloit, IL
Sat Sept 29 - Acetoberfest, Chicago, IL
Sun Sept 30 - Victory for Veterans Memorial Ride, Highland, IN
Sun Oct 7 Fall Slimey Crud Run, Pine Bluff, WI
Organized event not your thing? Longing for the open road? Check out www.LocalMotoHub.com for ideas of places to ride. Here are suggestions from our members:
Looking for a GETAWAY? Ride along the Rock River on Illinois State Route 2 to Dixon, Rock Falls, and Tampico, IL and explore the birthplace and childhood home of Ronald Reagan. Read about this Getaway to Northwest Illinois.
For a Day Trip, member Windburn suggest riding to the Marti's Place on the Kankakee River in Hebron, IN.
Send us your day ride and overnight suggestions and we'll share them with fellow riders on our website and in this newsletter. If your overnight getaway is selected for publication, you'll receive a $100 gift certificate to any one of our sponsors. Send your day rides and overnight getaway recommendations to pam@LocalMotoHub.com.
To those of you who have visited the site recently, thanks! If not, please check us out - we continue to add new events, destinations, and ROADS every day.
Remember to "be careful out there" and keep the rubber side down!