Earlier this week, Indian announced that it will participate at Baikal Mile Ice Speed Festival with the Appaloosa v2.0. The motorcycle maker only provided one photo of the racing machine, but it has now revealed more details about the collaboration and looks of the model.
The Baikal Mile Ice Festival is a drag-race focused event, in order to see which manufacturer can produce the fastest motorcycle that can run in harsh winter conditions with low temperatures and dodgy terrain.
This idea emerged from some Russians that thought if their country is not suited for tarmac racing, they managed to make a replacement of the salt lake (ahem, Bonneville Slat Flats) with an ice lake. This event had such a great success in 2019, so they decided to make an even better 2nd event with more racing and side action, like ice-drifting, motocross stunts, and many extra shows.
The IndianxWorkhorse racing team traveled a long way to reach the Baikal Lake in Russia to race at the 2nd edition of the Baikal Mile. Even Brice Hennebert, the Appaloosa creator said that “I can’t believe we are actually here. What an amazing place. I am so pleased to finally reveal the new Appaloosa after weeks of hard work to get here. I can’t wait to see Sebastien blast down the 1-mile strip.”
The qualifying runs were done on 27 February. Although problems appeared with the quick-shifter due to vibrations, they canceled the system in order to race. Also, winter studs were lost during the runs from the back wheel and destroyed the blades behind the wheel. Still, with all these mechanical problems, the team qualified for both 1/8 mile and 1 mile races.
Although the race has ended, no official results are yet available, either on the Baikal Mile official site or on the social media, but you can follow the IndianxWorkhorse trip and photos at hashtag #indianxworkhorse.
2019 was a big year for the nascent electric motorcycle niche, and it looks like 2020 is going to start with another shock to the system with Vancouver B.C.-based Damon Motorcycles announcing some eye-opening performance numbers and cutting-edge safety tech for their upcoming machine, called the Hypersport. A prototype Hypersport and specifications were revealed Tuesday morning at the 2020 CES electronics expo in Las Vegas.
Damon claims the Hypersport will be be capable of some fairly hyper numbers, including 200 horsepower, a 200 mile-an-hour top speed, and 200 miles of highway range, as well as 300 miles of range in urban riding. Additionally, the Hypersport will be bristling with technology heretofore unseen on most any motorcycle, including on-the-fly adjustable ergonomics and a car-like rider safety system.
Damon had previously sent out emails ahead of the CES reveal teasing the fact that “200” was their “magic number,” so while it might have been easy to deduce those figures, they still stand out against the specs of competing bikes, which often struggle to achieve half of those performance figures.
A run of 25 premium high-spec bikes with a price of $40,000 will be the focus of an initial Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, while a more mass-market Hypersport will come in at $24,995. The crowdfunding campaign will complement additional financial backing from Round 13 Capital, Techstars, Fontinalis, Extreme Venture Partners and Pallasite Ventures.
Ahead of CES, Damon CEO Jay Jiraud told Forbes.com the Hypersport will feature their exclusive on-the-fly adjustable ergonomics package, called Shift, and an extensive rider awareness/safety system they call CoPilot. The Shift ergo system will be able to change things like seat height, handlebar height and footpeg location, changing the riding position from a tucked-in sport posture to a more standard-style sit-up arrangement for more comfortable city riding. The bike itself has the form of a sleek sports machine. And while a specific torque figure was not released, Jiraud told Forbes.com the Hypersport will make a “s**tload of torque.” Some of the features can be seen in this video from Damon:
Forbes.com was the first publication to take Damon’s two test bikes for rides this past summer, including the shape-shifting Hypersport prototype and another test machine outfitted with an array of cameras, sensors and electronics designed to give riders a digital heads up on what’s happening around them via a sensor package not unlike what many cars now feature.
Jiraud explained that his vision is to give Hypersport riders more comfort, range and utility from the bike, while also introducing pre-collision safety features that, as of now, have been largely missing from motorcycles while they have gotten ever more sophisticated in cars.
However, the CoPilot system will differ from the automotive systems in that it won’t have the ability to take over operation of the motorcycle; it only gives warning cues about possible dangers around the rider. The reason for the non-intervention is that a motorcycle is an inherently unstable platform, unlike a car, and unexpectedly taking control of the bike away from the rider in any way could result in a crash. Instead, the CoPilot system uses video screens, a rear-facing camera, multiple radar units and position sensors, small LED lights and handlebar vibrations to let the rider know what is happening around the motorcycle. Again, CoPilot does not activate the brakes or affect steering, although Jiraud did not rule out those features in some iteration much farther down the line as A.I. systems, vehicle interconnectivity and other technologies improve.
During a test ride of the system several months ago, I found the tech to be innovative and effective. While it does add some input to the rider while in operation, I found that even after a few miles, it became second nature to see, feel and understand the warning system’s cues.
Likewise, riding the sleek electric bike with the adjustable ergos was also interesting. While some modern bikes allow owners to tailor things like seat height, handlebar rise and footpeg placement, those adjustments typically have to be made with tools while the bike is stopped, and once made, riders are essentially stuck with them until they can be changed again with tools.
Damon’s Shift system works more like your car’s interior. Using a bar-mounted controller, the seat can rise and fall, the bars can move up and down and the footpegs will lift or lower. While the test bike had only two positions for the ergos, Jiraud said future versions would be more adjustable for a true custom fit. Best of all, the Shift system is adjustable while riding.
BlackBerry On Board
Damon CEO Jay Giraud has made some key moves to bring his vision of an electric bike with all the elements of the two test bikes rolled into one battery-powered package. A key development in the quest to get the data-hungry CoPilot system up to par performance-wise was a partnership with BlackBerry and implementation of the BlackBerry QNX suite to power and talk to the numerous sensors, radars and other tech involved in CoPilot. There will also be 4G cellular connectivity.
Once famous for their cellphones, BlackBerry has largely transitioned to a company that makes control systems that work behind the curtain in numerous data systems, with a focus on cars and medical equipment. The QNX system has been installed in over 150 million vehicles and is used by almost all top automakers worldwide, so it’s quite a coup for Damon to have them dip into the electric motorcycle world at this early stage.
Clearly, this is not Jay Jiraud’s first tech rodeo. While the Damon team was spooling up the Hypersport, Jiraud also added a key player in Derek Dorresteyn, from now-defunct but long-time electric motorcycle maker Alta Motors. Dorresteyn signed on as COO at Damon, which will need his expertise to tease out the promised performance figures for the Hypersport models. Even though both are legacy technologies, batteries and electric motors are two parts of a rapidly developing tech frontier that is seeing huge investments by both corporate and even state-sponsored players.
Jiraud told Forbes.com that Dorresteyn was in the midst of working on a “completely new” electric superbike powertrain system at Alta when the company closed up shop, and he brings a wealth of expertise to Damon. Among the bike’s tech features Jiraud talked about with Forbes ahead of CES was a 700-plus volt, liquid-cooled 20kWh battery pack for the Hypersport, which would be quite large for a motorcycle, but Jiraud says the Hypersports’ architecture can handle the battery pack and that the battery will not be the typical rectangular lump found in many current electric bikes. For comparison, the largest battery available on the class-leading Zero SR-F is just over 16kWh (the standard battery is 14.4kWh), with the bike tipping the scales at a tick over 500 pounds. Meanwhile, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire uses a 15.5kWh pack. Jiraud says he is planning on keeping the weight of the Hypersport under 500 pounds through design and weight-saving measures.
A Challenging Future
The transition of the motorcycle industry from gas to electric has lagged (with some exceptions) behind that of cars due to the challenges of design as well as the space and weight-sensitive platform a motorcycle presents, but battery and motor advances in the bike industry can also represent opportunities to the EV industry as a whole. With the addition of Dorresteyn from Alta, Blackberry’s QNX handling the tech and a clutch of investors, Damon may be in position to lead in terms of range, safety and power once the Hypersport arrives. But things can change fast in the EV world, so stay tuned.
The Damon Hypersport prototype bike can be seen at BlackBerry’s booth at CES 2020. Deliveries are slated for 2021.
Top Gun 2 is set to release on 26 June next year. That is still a lot of months before Captain Maverick’s glory takes over our screens. So, until then, here’s a look back at the coolest Tom Cruise motorcycle moments that have been and well be.
Top Gun is about to relive on our screens soon and we can’t wait to see Maverick being nothing but magnificent behind the joystick of a fighter jet or behind the handlebar of a pretty iconic Kawasaki. Yes, Top Gun 2 movie trailers have confirmed that Kawasaki GPZ900 will be back on the silver screen. Tom Cruise is one of the most revered motorcycle people in Hollywood. The other hotshot motorcyclist would be Keanu Reeves but let’s just focus on the Cruise missiles for now.
Kawasaki GPZ900R – Top Gun
Tom Cruise has been doing it for decades – including motorcycles in his films. Years before a lot of us were even born, Cruise rode the Kawasaki GPZ900R for the big screen as Captain Maverick in Top Gun 1986. If you like motorcycles, this one is every bit of a celebrity as Mr Cruise is and we’ll also see it in the upcoming Top Gun 2.
Kawasaki H2 – Top Gun 2
Sticking with Top Gun 2. As the GPZ900R was the fastest production motorcycle back in 1986, Maverick had to ride the fastest production motorcycle in today’s day and age. Hence, the supercharged Kawasaki H2. The other good thing about seeing these motorcycles share the screen with Tom Cruise is that he does most of the riding himself.
BMW R nine T Scrambler – Mission Impossible Fallout
The chase scenes make up a huge of reasons why we love Mission Impossible films. MI: Fallout had Cruise riding a BMW R nine T Scrambler on the streets of Paris and around the Arc de Triomphe against the flow of the traffic. Fun fact: an electric bike was used to film the tracking shots of the chase scene.
BMW S1000RR – Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
This one was perhaps the coolest chase scene of all Mission Impossible films (if you’re not still swooning over 2000 Mission Impossible 2 Tom Cruise). Rogue Nation had a load of BMW Motorrads but we love the crooked-faced S1000RR doing high-speed corners with a Tom Cruise on it.
Triumph Speed Triple – Mission Impossible 2
We’re mentioning this one twice because we haven’t stopped swooning over it. This chase scene with Cruise on a Speed Triple and the baddie on a Daytona remains on the top of the list of MI film chase scenes. The dual ‘bug-eye’ headlamp design and polished frame gave the bike a strong streetfighter look that became the trademark of the series, especially the shot where Cruise emerges from a cloud of flames astride the Speed.
PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark. (KFSM) — The Prairie Grove Police Department was in a high-speed motorcycle chase that they ended because the motorcycle’s speed was deemed unsafe to continue.
At approximately 9:06 p.m. last night (Dec. 14), Officer Franks attempted to make a traffic stop on a blue “sport” style motorcycle.
The motorcycle had been traveling westbound on Hwy 62 at approximately 70 mph on a 55 mph zone.
The motorcycle passed the officer and accelerated rapidly to 80 mph.
Officer Franks turned on his lights and siren and the motorcycle began to pull over. Before the motorcycle completely stopped, it made a u-turn in front of the officer, flipped him off and sped away turning eastbound onto Hwy 62.
The high-speed chase then began with the motorcycle reaching speeds of an estimated 160 mph. Sargeant Belew immediately joined the pursuit and Officer Cluck joined soon after.
The motorcycle continued into Farmington where Farmington Officer Talley and Detective Collins joined to assist.
The motorcycle sped through multiple intersections driving around slower moving traffic with “no regard to safety or human life,” according to Prairie Grove PD.
The pursuit continued into Fayetteville where the chase led the officers northbound onto I-49. Once they hit the interstate, the motorcycle reached speeds that officers deemed unsafe to continue the pursuit.
They decided to end the chase near Porter Rd. exit and AR State Police were notified.
Inside the Rebuild of the BUB 7 Streamliner, as the Race for 400 mph Continues
“I’m still hungry, but I’m tired of chewing,” Denis Manning said with a laugh. The 73-year-old always seems to have the perfect one-liner to illustrate a point—in this case, his undying passion for building the world’s fastest motorcycle streamliner. “I knew when I was 15 years old that this was what I wanted to do,” Manning said. “And now, 55 years later!”
Fifty-seven years later, to be exact, the perfect moment was upon him and the Team 7 Racing crew on the salt of Lake Gairdner, Australia, at the 2018 World Speed Trials Australia meet. It was the final day of the meet, dawn was breaking and wind was at zero. It was the day the team and rider Valerie Thompson had been waiting for.
by Nicole Garcia Merida from https://moneyweek.com
The Honda Fireblade has been overhauled to deliver even more power and speed.
“It’s not the same bike with different colours, it’s not a facelift. The new Fireblade is a completely different beast,” says Cristian Predoi in DriveMag Riders. The CBR1000RR-R boasts an all-new, ultra short-stroke inline four-cylinder engine, which means the machine packs quite a punch, with a lot more speed and a lot more torque than its predecessor.
It looks like Honda really means business with the 2020 Blade, says Jordan Gibbons in Motorcycle News – it is “gunning for all-out superbike glory”. The engine delivers an astounding 215bhp, making it more powerful than almost all its competitors. (The only exception, the 988cc Ducati Panigale V4R, sneaks ahead with 217bhp.) And clever new technology and reworked engine details means you can “rev the engine like mad and achieve the big power figures they’ve clearly been chasing for track success”. It looks like Honda “got bored of being beaten by its rivals on road and track and pulled out all the stops to create a far sharper Blade”.
The new frame is designed to maximise feel for the rider. It is also far more aerodynamic, says Ben Purvis in Bennetts. “A trio of winglets hides behind the outer fairing panel on each side… The tank is shaped to let riders tuck in better, and the bellypan is more enclosed than any rival and runs right back to the rear wheel, where it’s shaped to deflect air and water away.” Honda has clearly not come to play with this version of the Fireblade. “When a Honda is named, every ‘R’ in its title means more performance.” The new model boasts an “R” more than its older sibling. Is it worthy? “Without a doubt.”
Jessi Combs’ fatal high-speed crash was caused by “a mechanical failure of the front wheel, most likely caused from striking an object on the desert,” according to the Harney County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. This information comes to us two months after Combs’ tragic accident on the dry lake bed of the Alvord Desert. Combs was 39 years old.
The investigation concluded that the front wheel failure “led to the front wheel assembly collapsing.” The sheriff’s department says this happened at speeds approaching 550 mph. Both the Harney County Sheriff’s Office and the North American Eagle Race Team collected evidence from the scene to come to this conclusion.
Her cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head, which happened before the vehicle was engulfed in flames. No other official information regarding the crash was released.
Combs was an extremely well-known racer, fabricator and a longtime host of Autoblog’s “The List” video series, and it is with heavy hearts that we convey this news to you today. The sheriff’s office concluded its release by passing on “its condolences to the family of Jessi Combs and the North American Eagle Race Team.”
The last bastion of high-speed driving freedom could soon be outlawed
There is a new plan to kill the Autobahn as we know and love it.
If a minority party in Germany’s federal parliament has its way, a new national 130km/h limit could replace the unrestricted sections of the Autobahn.
Currently there are 5353km of Autobahn which have the ‘unrestricted’ advisory speed limit.
The Alliance90/The Greens political party, often referred to simply as The Greens, is behind the move, and is pushing the lowering of limits as part of a package of new measures intended to reduce emissions.
“A speed limit would be a commandment of reason for an enlightened society in the 21st century,” said Green politician Cem Özdemir.
It’s claimed that enforcing a 130km/h limit would lower Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions by between one and three million tonnes per year. In 2018, Germany produced 725.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Lowering speed limits to 130km/h on the autobahn is supported by the German police union, with the head of the federal trade union Michael Mertens stating: “For us, a speed limit for transport policy reasons is urgently needed”.
A vote on the proposition will be held in Germany’s national parliament, the Bundestag, on October 13.
The federal parliament has 709 seats, with the joint Union alliance, made up of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDP), holding a majority with 398 members. The Greens hold 67 of the 311 seats in opposition.
The Union has previously defended the unrestricted speed limits on the Autobahn, including when they were attacked earlier this year.
In January a leaked report from a government-appointed committee called the National Platform on the Future of Mobility suggested capping speed limits nationally at 130km/h.
The committee’s edict was to look into how Germany could better fall into line with European Union emission targets.
Germany still has 7640km of motorway with speed limits, and the national transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, claimed that adding limits to the remaining unrestricted sections of motorway would struggle to reduce Germany’s national emissions by 0.5 percent, adding that the push “goes against all common sense.”
“Whoever wants to drive 120 can drive 120, and those who want to go faster can do that too,” he told Bild am Sonntag. “Why this constant micromanagement?”
Measurements in 2006 in the German state of Brandenburg showed that the average speed on a six-lane section of the autobahn, in free-flowing conditions, was 142km/h.
If the new plan to kill the Autobahn’s unrestricted speed limits is successful, it would see the end of unrestricted highways globally.
The Isle of Man would stand alone as the remaining jurisdiction in a developed country with no speed limits, with the self-governing British Crown dependency’s 1107km of paved rural roads often having no posted limit.
City transport officials said after a meeting with scooter providers that they’ll designate special on-street parking zones for the battery-powered vehicles
BERLIN: Berlin plans to stop electric scooters from being left haphazardly on sidewalks and other anti-social behavior that’s drawn the ire of residents in the German capital since the vehicles were made legal two months ago.
City transport officials said Wednesday after a meeting with scooter providers that they’ll designate special on-street parking zones for the battery-powered vehicles, which are popular among tourists and young people.
Berlin police will also step up patrols to prevent illegal behavior such as doubling.
Police say seven people have been seriously injured and 27 suffered minor injuries in scooter accidents since mid-June, saying most were due to riders behaving carelessly.
In Paris, where about 20,000 scooters roam the streets , authorities recently proposed limiting speeds to 8 kilometers per hour (5 mph) in areas with heavy foot traffic.
Google has reportedly introduced a new features in Google Maps which will offer preview of users’ commute with a map as soon as they get into the car.
Tech giant Google keep on introducing new features in its navigation app Google Maps in order to enhance the user experience. Recently, the company rolled out the speed camera and accident alert features. Now, Google has reportedly introduced a new features in Google Maps which will offer preview of users’ commute with a map as soon as they get into the car.
According to a report by Android Police, Google is working on a major improvement which will offer advance notification including a small preview of the route that the Maps suggest the user to take. This will offer a better idea to the driver as they will get to know about the traffic congestion in advance.
The company will be using the same colour codes to inform about the traffic condition. The blue area will suggest the clear route and the orange will highlight the slow traffic movement. The roads which will appear red indicate heavy traffic.
In order to access the preview users just will have to expand the notification which they will receive before their morning and afternoon commutes. The report also adds that the update consisting of the new feature has started rolling out as a server-side update and is yet to reach the Android users.
Recently, Google Maps were updated with features like report a Crash, Speed alert and traffic slowdown. While the first one lets the app know about a possible crash and show others a different route, the second one alerts them about upcoming Speed Traps on the way. However, the team is rolling out the third ‘Add a report’ option in the app – Slowdown.