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A Legal First: Charged with Sleeping while Driving Driverless: NMA E-Newsletter #632

By General Posts

In July 2020, a Canadian man was charged with dangerous driving and speeding in Alberta for allegedly sleeping in a self-piloted Tesla between Edmonton and Calgary. In the December 11th court trial, witnesses claimed that the driver Leran Cai and his passenger were asleep with their seats fully reclined, traveling 150 km/h (93 mph). His next court appearance was scheduled for January 29, 2021, but no information has yet been released on the outcome.

Tesla has a feature called AutoPilot, which enables autonomous driving on the highway, even though drivers are required to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times to take back control as needed. Drivers must apply a slight amount of torque on the wheel every so often to signal to the system that they are still engaged. Apparently, there are ways to trick that safety feature with weights so you can take a nap. It is unclear if that is what Leran Cai did in this case.

Falling asleep in a Tesla has made many headlines in the past several years. Here are just a few of the incidents:

Tesla announced in October 2020 that all future Tesla vehicles would have self-driving capability. Many articles were written about this announcement, but this headline from The Verge caught our eye: Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ Beta is here, and it looks scary as Hell. This post also has a subtitle, “Using untrained consumers to validate beta-level software on public roads is dangerous.”

At the end of The Verge post, Ed Niedermeyer, communications director for Partner for Automated Vehicle Education (a group that combines nonprofits with AV automakers such as Waymo, Argo, Cruise and Zoox) said:

“Public road testing is a serious responsibility, and using untrained consumers to validate beta-level software on public roads is dangerous and inconsistent with existing guidance and industry norms. Moreover, it is extremely important to clarify the line between driver assistance and autonomy. Systems requiring driver oversight are not self-driving and should not be called self-driving.”

In the United States, motorists and automakers still have no clear-cut autonomous driving guidelines. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently been criticized by the National Traffic Safety Board (who inspects these driverless car incidents) for not better regulating the autonomous levels of driving between full driver control, Level 0, and complete system control, Level 5.

Also, if you build the technology, does that mean consumers will buy it? Does self-driving technology really make everyone safer on the road? Many questions remain. It doesn’t seem that Tesla, or anyone else, has yet figured out how to make autonomous driving systems foolproof.

Let’s face it, automakers aren’t good at regulating themselves, and bureaucratic government agencies like the NHTSA often try to accommodate everyone and end up protecting no one—especially, in this case, drivers and passengers.

In the meantime, do you want to share a highway with a sleeping driver on autopilot?

Getting a Boom with Harley-Davidson Stage II Audio

By General Posts

I have had my 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide for a little while now and the one thing I wanted to change was the sound of the audio. Since I bought the bike, I had my eye on upgrading the fairing and saddlebag lids with Harley’s flagship Stage II Boom Audio speakers and amps.

I upgraded the fairing to Stage II recently and just want more.

Click Here to Read this Tech Solution on Bikernet.

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for February 2021

By General Posts

Gas powered vehicles, electric vehicle buyers, virtual reality, Daytona Bike Week, Americade, Route 66, motorcycle taxi
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

Click Here to Read the NCOM News on Bikernet.

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BUELL RETURNS TO MARKET

By General Posts

Buell is Back. Buell Motorcycles are back in production

Grand Rapids, MI – Buell Motorcycles is back in production in America. The new Buell® Motorcycles will launch 10 performance models by the 2024 model year. The exciting models will be representative of the superbike performance and handling expected of the legendary Buell brand. Exciting times ahead for fans of American Motorcycles.

“Buell is back!” said Bill Melvin, CEO. “We are excited to bring Buell back with this awesome assortment of superbikes and performance motorcycles. We start with the fastest American production motorcycles, hand built in the USA, so that’s a nice start! We’re building out those platforms for more touring & adventure models, then we’re expanding our displacements to be competitive with other global brands. The passionate Buell Nation can grow and thrive again.”

Buell Motorcycle upcoming models will include variants for dirt, dual-sport, touring, and cruisers while expanding the line up to include medium and small displacement motors. Buell is also in the initial exploration phases for a high-performance Electric model and is open to collaboration ideas with other companies. The models currently in production are built by hand in Grand Rapids, Michigan and based on the high-performance 1190 platform, known for the innovation of Fuel in Frame, Perimeter Brake Rotor, exceptional handling, and high horsepower.

 

“Buell is known as the American brand for high performance, innovation, & adventure. Fast is fun again on a Buell. We will continue and expand on that,” said Melvin. “We have already launched a dirt bike with Cipala Racing that won an AMA Championship and Buell will be dominating at NHRA this year. Follow us Facebook and Instagram where we’ll showcase passionate fans, new developments, as well as racers and riders having fun on a Buell. The future will be fast and fun on a Buell.”

 

EBR Motorcycles acquired the Buell brand in early 2020 and began developments to bring Buell back. Buell will be present at Daytona Bike Week 2021 at J&P Cycles Destination Daytona Mega Store. Visit the Buell booth for gear, to view current models, and learn about the developments of the fast and fun American Motorcycle brand.

 

Buell is back and racing to the future!

 

Website: www.BuellMotorcycle.com

Daytona Rocks in 15 Days

By General Posts

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!
Bike Week Rolls into Daytona Beach in 15 Days
If you haven’t made your plans to attend the 80th Anniversary Bike Week in Daytona Beach on March 5-14, what are you waiting for? Scenic rides, championship motorcycle racing at Daytona International Speedway, and of course, 23 miles of wide, white-sand beaches await your arrival. Don’t miss out on all the sun, fun and racing action — book your Bike Week getaway today!

This 1962 Harley-Davidson KRTT Last Raced at Daytona 1968 Is Fully Original

By General Posts

by Bogdan Popa from https://www.autoevolution.com

If you’re in the market looking for a small piece of motorcycle history, this is probably the best thing you’ve seen in a long time.

Because what we have here is none other than a super-rare 1962 Harley-Davidson KRTT Road Racer motorcycle that last raced at Daytona in 1968.

Unfortunately, we’re only provided with just a couple of pictures showing the bike, and while it’s listed as a “barn find,” the seller says the KRTT was with the previous owner since 1969. Currently at its third owner (so you’d be the fourth), the Harley has never been restored, so it’s fully original. It comes with the same set of tires and even the original paint it sported when it left the factory.

“Never been apart. Everything on this bike came from factory with it. Probably the rarest bike that left the factory all of its original parts. Never been restored [because] they are only original once,” the seller, which claims they’ve owned the bike for 27 years, says in a post on Craigslist – Click to See it here.

This bike allegedly finished second at Elkhart Lake, and given that it comes with a full history since new, everything is fully documented, so you should be able to determine if these details are accurate quite easily. And there’s no doubt you should do this, as everything sounds a little bit too good to be true.

The KRTT is Harley’s KR version built for road racing, quickly becoming one of the names dominating every competition. The standard model was produced between 1953 and 1969, with its successor being none other than the super-popular Harley-Davidson XR-750.

It goes without saying that such a rare bike can’t go cheap, and this Harley really doesn’t. The seller says anyone who’s willing to pay $80,000 for the KRTT can take it home, and serious buyers are encouraged to check it out in person in Marion, Ohio.

Ducati Dainese Smart Jacket Now Available as High-Tech Airbag System

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Following a bunch of novelties on the motorcycle front over the past few months, Italian carmaker Ducati expands the scope of its business with the introduction in its 2021 apparel collection of something it calls the Smart Jacket.

The product, developed together with specialized company Dainese, uses the so-called D-air airbag technology, specifically adapted and branded to use with other Ducati gear.

According to the Italian bike maker, the device can be worn over or under any other motorcycle jacket, and it needs no physical connection to the bike to work.

The airbag system has everything it needs to function embedded in itself. It runs on batteries that can keep it alert for 26 hours at a time (recharging is made using any available USB plug). An electronic control unit is on deck, looking at available data 1,000 times per second to predict sliding, high-siding, rear-end collisions, or impact with other objects in front.

When such a scenario takes place, the control unit automatically tells the jacket to inflate along the entire surface, wrapping the rider in a soft shield that prevents them from being seriously injured. According to the specs, the protection achieved using this system is “equal to that of seven level 1 back protectors, without having any rigid protector inside.”

And it’s practical, too. “Ducati Smart Jacket is an extremely light and practical garment, which, once you get off the bike, can be easily folded and stored in a side bag or backpack,” say the Italians.

“In addition, another technological innovation introduced by Dainese allows the protective bag on the chest to be folded, to occupy a smaller area and thus allow the passage of air through the fabric of the vest.”

Ducati does not say anything about pricing for the jacket but reveals they are already available at dealers, in both men’s and women’s versions. Important to note is that the use of this equipment requires registration and activation.

 

San Francisco International showcases early American motorcycles

By General Posts

by Colleen Morgan from https://www.moodiedavittreport.com

An exhibition exploring the history and development of motorcycling has opened at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The SFO Museum exhibition, in the International Terminal Departures, started on 11 February and will run through 19 September 2021.

According to exhibition organisers, early American motorcycles “reflect a bygone era of mechanical innovation and bold industrial design”. They are prized by collectors around the world and displayed on vintage rides, endurance runs, and at special events.

The exhibition presents fourteen ‘exceptional’ examples made prior to 1916, along with a collection of rare engines and photographs from the pioneering era of motorcycling.

It follows the development of the motorcycle – “one of the earliest and most exciting applications of another new invention, the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine” – from the 1890s until 1915. The exhibition highlights the progress of motorcycle technology during that period and the evolvement of riding “from a novelty, to a hobby, sport and a reliable source of transportation”.

As the presentation points out, “motorcycling in the early twentieth century was always an adventure”.

“Road conditions were generally poor and hitting a pothole or other hazard on a motorcycle supported by a primitive, stiffly sprung suspension could easily throw a rider off the bike”.

It also underlines the need for “athletic ability” to start and ride these machines and that motorcyclists had to be mechanically minded to keep them in working condition.

Early American Motorcycles is one of several exhibitions which are running for limited periods at the SFO Museum. Others include Hair Style, Instrumental Rock ‘n’ Roll, Paula Riff, Amelia Konow   and Alternative Process by the San Francisco University School of Art.

The airport also offers a strong line-up of permanent exhibitions which include Pan American Airways, Harvey Milk ‘Messenger of Hope’ and Spirogyrate, an interactive children’s exploration area featuring artwork by Bay Area artist Eric Staller.

The SFO Museum,  a division of San Francisco International Airport, is a multifaceted programme with rotating exhibitions on a wide variety of subjects and interactive play areas featured throughout the terminals.

Its mission is to “delight, engage, and inspire a global audience”; to collect, preserve, interpret and share the history of commercial aviation, and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport.

Harley-Davidson Removes Branded Merchandise From Amazon

By General Posts

by Brendan Menapace from https://www.goprintandpromo.com

Harley-Davidson Removes Branded Merchandise From Amazon, Prioritizes Its Own E-Commerce Initiative

Harley Davidson CEO Jochan Zeitz said his company will no longer sell branded merchandise on Amazon, instead choosing to prioritize its own dealers’ e-commerce efforts.

“We want to have a fully integrated, digital e-commerce business with our dealers,” Zeitz said, according to The Detroit News. “Amazon was not really something that got our dealers into the mix.”

It’s not hyperbole to say that Amazon dominates e-commerce. But there has been pushback against the site through initiatives such as Small Business Saturday and from big brands such as Nike, which previously announced it would stop selling sneakers and apparel on the site.

For Harley-Davidson, the concern is that Amazon is cutting into branded merchandise revenue from its dealerships. This is particularly pressing after Harley posted fourth-quarter losses, with Zeitz looking to steer the bike toward growth after years of declining sales in the U.S.

That plan, which Harley is calling “Hardwire,” will include premium apparel and accessories as a means of strengthening its brand as more than just a motorcycle company.

The decision to move away from Amazon is also a direct reversal of a previous plan to boost the company, after former CEO Matt Levatich debuted the “digital storefront” on Amazon in October 2018.

If selling on Amazon didn’t work, maybe becoming more autonomous in its e-commerce offerings could help. Consumer habits have changed, and the simple convenience of buying from Amazon isn’t always more popular than being able to buy directly from a company.

We might not see a mass brand exodus from Amazon any time soon, but between Nike and Harley-Davidson, we’re seeing a few major brands testing the waters of e-commerce without Amazon involvment.