The TomTom VIO - Scooter-Specific Satellite Navigation

In an attempt to reclaim the satellite navigation industry from he smartphone companies TomTom has designed a scooter-specific GPS.

Over a decade ago, TomTom created its first satnav for cars; it later released TomTom Rider for motorcycles, and has now revealed the TomTom VIO, the world’s first smartphone-connected GPS for scooters owners.

Unlike other satnav units, the TomTom VIO can be used while wearing goves and gives the rider access to various phone functions. It’s waterproof display offers turn-by-turn navigation both on-screen and via a Bluetooth-equipped helmet audio system. If a phone call comes in, the TomTom Vio will display the caller’s image, giving the rider the opportunity to answer using the headset.

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Painting Plastic Use the Right Primer

Repairing the damaged plastics of a motorcycle is one thing; painting them to a satisfactory level is an altogether different matter. Unless you have the facilities to properly spray it’s arguably a job that is best left to the professionals.

However, should you wish to take the plunge and have a go there are almost limitless tutorials online that will take you through preparations, operating conditions, paint types and numerous other key areas. One thing to be aware of with plastics is getting the right primer; without this vital first step, paint is unlikely to adhere to the plastic properly.

The hardest plastic to cut in terms of paint adherences is anything regarded as a polyolefin. If the panels you’re working on look and feel like a washing up bowl then they’re almost certainly polyolefin in nature. Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are the most common and are typically found on step-through leg shields and mudguards.

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The New Michelin Power RS Sportbike Tire

Even though Michelin is involvement with MotoGP as the new spec-tire manufacturer has just entered its second year, Michelin is already looking to capitalize on that relationship by introducing a new flagship sportbike tire, designated the Michelin Power RS. Superseding the Michelin Pilot Power 3 as the company’s top-of-the-line sportbike tires, the new Michelin Power RS is primarily intended for road use while easily handling the occasional trackday outing.

Michelin is claiming that the new Power RS tire outdoes the competition in every dry pavement performance category, from grip to feel to flickability to stability and even average lap time.

Boasting new dual-compound technology derived from its latest racing exploits, the Michelin Power RS also has a new patented carcass construction that is claimed to allow excellent straightline stability as well as increased confidence at extreme lean angles. Interestingly, the new compounds and carcass have permitted Michelin to actually decrease the amount of ‘softer’ compound on the shoulder of both front and rear tire compared to the previous Michelin Pilot Power 3 tire.

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Rating: 1.00/5 (1 vote cast)

The Honda SH150i Scooter - Perfect Commuter for Bangkok

I’m usually a ponderer, taking weeks mulling over an idea before parting with cash, but after getting stuck in yet another traffic jam om my commute I snapped. Time to get an easy to ride two-wheeler.

I’m usually no fan of scooters following an embarrassing holiday mishap 10 years ago (the usual stupid tourist, never been on a scooter before, almost ending up down a cliff) but I thought I’d give one a shot and a one year old Honda SH150i, in shinny white color, caught my eye. With Givi 30 liter topbox and Honda’s reliability it was the ideal commuter. It even came with a Ermax wind shield.

A quick once-over revealed light scuffing on the fairing plus a crooked front brake lever. I had clearly had a minor spill and I’m pretty sure it was one of the contributing factors to the sale, although the owner denied all knowledge. With its recently fitted Yuasa battery the scooter started first time.

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Rating: 1.00/5 (1 vote cast)

The Moto Guzzi Multimedia Platform - The little black box

When the Moto Guzzi Multimedia Platform arrived for me to attach to the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber, I was delighted to find that it really is a little black box. It’s simple enough to fit behind a side panel and wire to the battery.

The idea is that your smartphone connects to it by Bluetooth, and your phone – which you mount to the handlebars – can than act as a supplementary instrument, letting you see a combination of revs, power, torque, acceleration and trip info.

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Rating: 2.50/5 (2 votes cast)

Victory Motorcycles The End

Polaris Industries, the giant American company behind Victory Motorcycles and Indian Motorcycle, have announced that they will immediately wind down the Victory Motorcycles brand.

Victory Motorcycles, founded 18 years ago, the Victory brand has been a strong presence in the market, and was number four in the North American market on market share, but global sales were only running at just over 10,000 units per annum. The process of winding-down the company start immediately, and is expected to be complete in 18 months.

‘This was an incredibly difficult decision,’ said Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. ‘We have invested not only resources, but our hearts and souls, into forging the Victory Motorcycles brand, and we are exceptionally proud of what our team has accomplished.’

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Rating: 2.80/5 (5 votes cast)

The Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer - The Cafe Racer with a Touch of Modernism

The first thing that popped into my mind when I first saw the Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer from the Italian manufacturer was Well, another company that tries to woo nostalgic hipsters and baby boomers. Yes another variation of the retro coffee racer theme. A small fuel tank, a beautiful almost rectangular and flat saddle, rolled up handlebar, the whole package.

But I also remembered that Moto Guzzi is a brand that pays an almost obsessive attention to details. They have been building this kind of motorcycles for a long long time.

Sitting on the Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer and lifting it from its side stand, I found myself in front of a simplified cockpit but with an obvious touch of modernism. The different control buttons are… simply beautiful. Funny to say it struck me. The emergency stop switch is not the usual big red button but instead a nice little push button. Everything about the Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer is a modern nod to the past.

First the simple, slightly rolled up and chromed handlebar brings the grips just under the hands naturally. This feels not only natural but also ensures no pressure is felt under the hands. The weight of the rider’s upper body then rests on the buttocks rather than on the shoulders. A big plus for longer rides.

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Rating: 3.17/5 (6 votes cast)

KTM Joining the MotoGP Season 2017 Paddock

In 2015 KTM announced officially that they would be joining the master class of MotoGP racing in 2017 season. The KTM RC16 was unveiled to the public at the Austrian Grand Prix in August 2016 and after a full year of private testing, it was time for the KTM team to measure the progress made in actual race conditions. A wild card entry at the last race of the season in Valencia would determine the level against the competition and expose weak points to be addressed over the winter stop before joining the MotoGP paddock full time.

The KTM RC16 MotoGP machine, with development rider Mika Kallio at the controls, cam a bit short of the expectations put on the project. He was some 3 seconds behind the fastest time on the first day of practice. The earlier test that KTM did at that circuit had suggested a smaller gap to the front; Kallio was almost a full second faster in similar conditions.

Solving rear grip issues that they had not encountered a few weeks earlier helped some but the gap to the front-runners was a significant 2.6 seconds in qualifying. Fast riders going faster (Jorge Lorenzo dropped 0.6 second from his previous lap record) and problems that materialize with no sensible explanation is what you get when you go racing.

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Rating: 2.80/5 (5 votes cast)

The Drumcharger - The Budget Forced-Induction Solution

Drumcharging, according to the patent rights holder, is the future of supercharging for motorcycles. And if the Italian-based firm has its way, it’s the future of small cars, tractors and stationary engines, too. Because in these days of increasingly stifled emission controls, which in turn are strangling engines and their output, manufacturers are being forced to find more grunt more efficiently.

If the motorcycle industry looks to the car world, it seems forced induction is where it’s at. But superchargers and turbochargers are not only bulky items to squeeze into compact motorcycle-sized architecture, they also add significant and unwanted cost.

AlterEgo Hardware is all about smart, simple and low-cost engineering and it says its drumcharger may just be the answer. While the drumcharger only offers a fraction of the boost that a conventional supercharger or turbocharger would, it can be produced at a fraction of the price.

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Rating: 1.00/5 (1 vote cast)

Fixing the Wind Screen with Plastic Polish

I’m coming up tp three years as the owner of my secondhand Yamaha YZF-R1 and it’s still pretty mint; if anything it’s better than it was when I bought it. But last month, on of those infuriating slip-ups happened that has you cursing. When we were swapping the brake fluid on the YZF-R1 during the master cylinder test, we spilt a bit on the screen and by the time we noticed, it had market the plastic.

It was only a small defect but, a bit like someone else’s hairy mole, once you spotted the mark you couldn’t stop looking, so it needed sorting. A new one wasn’t the answer – I waned the standard look for the motorcycle and the stock screen on the motorcycle was mint, so no double-bubble. Also, Yamaha stopped supplying OE screens for my model year.

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Rating: 3.00/5 (2 votes cast)


How many times have you crashed your motorcycle in the last three years?

  •  Never
  •  Once
  •  Twice
  •  Three times
  •  Four times
  •  Five times
  •  More than 6 times
  •  More than 10 times
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