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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dodge Demon Roadster Concept 2007

The Dodge Demon concept is a compact, nimble “roadster with an attitude,” a perfect balance of classic sports car proportion and simplicity blended with modern design and performance. The vehicle will be shown for the first time at the 77th International Motor Show in Geneva next month.

“While the iconic Dodge Viper is a dream car for many, the Dodge Demon is designed to be an attainable dream car,” said Jae Chung – Dodge Demon Principal Exterior Designer, Chrysler Group. “The exterior design is simple yet bold, featuring an energetic combination of curves and intersecting planes."

The bodyside of the Dodge Demon main character line flows up and over the front wheel, then drops diagonally to an angular color-keyed vent on the rear fender that directs cooling air to the rear brakes. In similar fashion, the compound rear fender surface curves up and over the rear wheel, sweeping into a broad diagonal plane extending to the taillamp.

The resulting muscular fender form projects boldly beyond the main body, underscoring that the Dodge Demon concept is a rear-wheel-drive machine.The rear surface of the body is divided into three planes with two chamfered outboard planes, dominated by long, tapering trapezoidal taillamps. The taillamps sport translucent red inset lenses that surround LED back-up lamps.

Up front, the signature Dodge crosshair grille is stuffed into an aggressive, menacing, trapezoidal opening that thrusts boldly forward.Set into elongated angled triangles, the projector headlamps, delineated by bright rings, are set into black chrome bezels, giving the front end mean-looking “eyes” that accentuate the grille opening. Encompassing the upper portions of the front fenders and sporting two recessed air outlets, the Dodge Demon’s hood is hinged at the front, adding a just-for-fun performance-car look and feel.

Featuring an open-spoke design, the wheels are pushed to the corners of the body for a dramatic stance and capable performance. The 19-inch brushed aluminum wheels are set into assertive, asymmetrical openings that reprise the body’s playful combination of curves and planes.

The beltline kicks up at the rear and into the higher deck lid contour, giving the lucky occupants an encapsulated, protective feeling.“In the manner of timeless British sports cars, the interior of the Dodge Demon is purposely functional, not frivolous,” said Dan Zimmermann – Dodge Demon Principal Interior Designer. “Everything relating to the driving experience is emphasized, while that which is not is made visually secondary.

“The well laid out instrument panel, for example, is familiar, yet modern. Everything you really need – the gauges, circular AC outlets, radio – is encapsulated in a cross-car brushed aluminum bezel that also accentuates the width of the cabin. Secondary controls and features, such as the HVAC knobs and the passenger-side glove box, are located below this bezel,” Zimmermann added.

In a similar functional manner, the floor console is deliberately not a part of, or attached to, the instrument panel. The console is dominated by the squat ready-at-hand silver and black manual shift knob, and its leather boot is set into a bright trim ring. The wide, brushed aluminum console bezel also incorporates the recessed emergency brake handle, with the window switch gear, softly lit cup holders and 12V power outlet organized into a graphically unified shape. The upper portion of the instrument panel, including the cluster brow, is accented by a stitched seam with contrasting silver thread.

The Dodge Demon concept is an affordable Dodge sports car which merges brand cues of bold design and powerful performance with an open-air “fun-to-drive” attitude.


Engine: 2.4-liter petrol World Engine

Maximum Power: 172 hp SAE (128 kW) @ 6000 rpm

Maximum Torque: 165 lb.-ft. (224 Nm) @ 4400 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed manualDrivetrain: Rear-wheel drive

Overall Length: 156.5 (3974)

Overall Width (max. @ body): 68.3 (1736)

Overall Height: 51.8 (1315)Wheelbase: 95.6 (2429)

Overhang, Front: 30.6 (777)Overhang, Rear: 30.3 (769)

Curb Weight (estimated): 2600 lbs. (1179 kg)Tire Size, Front/Rear: 58.7 (1491)

Wheel Size: 19 x 8 in.Outer Diameter: 25.2 (640)

Exterior Color: Bright Amber PearlInterior Color: Carbon Black

*Dimensions are in inches (millimeters) unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Embrio One-Wheel Concept

This hydrogen fuel cell powered, gyroscopically balanced, one-wheeled recreational and commuting vehicle provides an extraordinary vision of the kind of personal transport we could be using 20 years from now.

The design brief for Bombadier EMBRIO Concept was to "create highly innovative, functional and exciting products to exceed people's recreational needs" and find the "next thing" in recreational vehicles. The result is a futuristic and minimalistic one-wheeler that is as about far away as you can get from the conventional image of a uni-cycle - a mode of transport normally associated with circuses and street parades.Balancing Act:The riding position will be similar to a motorcycle with a complex series of sensors and gyroscopes balancing passengers on the single wheel.
The rider activates a trigger on the left handlebar to accelerate and turns are made by shifting body-weight rather than actually steering. When the EMBRIO concept is at rest in "stand-by configuration", the front wheels deploy to the ground like landing gear on a plane to increase longitudinal stability. The landing gear retracts when the vehicle speed reaches 20 km/h but even without the landing gear, the EMBRIO would be stable when motionless because of the gyroscope.
The EMBRIO concept's main power source is a hydrogen fuel cell and additional advanced technologies including a high-performance braking system, active suspension, night vision, a digitally encoded key and robotic assistance would be incorporated into the design.
The Concept is constructed from lightweight materials including Polypropylene, Santoprene, nylon (injection moulding), aluminum (stamping, die casting and robotic assembly), magnesium (casting) and the use of fuel cell technology and recycling of aluminum and polyethylene is designed to make the Bombardier EMBRIO an eco-friendly design throughout its life cycle.
The Bombardier EMBRIO concept is one of several concepts proposed by Canadian based Bombardier Recreational Products and it received the Gold Award at the 2003 Annual Design Awards (Industrial Design Society of America & Business Week Magazine).

Sunday, June 17, 2007

BMW Announces the BMW HP2

A dream of many Boxer fans is coming true: BMW Motorcycles has presented a truly uncompromising, sporting and exceptionally light enduro - the new BMW HP2, a Boxer built for the off-road enthusiast and the most demanding tracks in the world.

Purist, but nevertheless stylish and perfectly equipped with the finest, carefully considered features, the BMW HP2 has everything it takes for unrestricted riding pleasure off the beaten track and is perfect as the "basic" machine for amateur enduro motorsport.

More than any other motorcycle, the HP2 capitalizes in full on rough terrain on the benefits of the Boxer concept with its low centre of gravity. But at the same time the HP2, with its almost playful handling, low weight, and high-performance power unit, offers supreme riding pleasure also on the road. So considering the many options it offers the rider, the HP2 is the most powerful and by far the best off-road Boxer of all times.
This brand-new model from BMW Motorcycles was developed by a small but highly dedicated team of specialists, engineers and mechanics fully committed to the Boxer and also dedicated in their private lives to off-road motorsport, working beyond the usual processes of series development under the simple and straightforward motto that "only an enthusiastic professional can offer another enthusiastic professional what he really wants".

In technical terms the BMW HP2 is based on the R 1200 GS. But tailored in every respect to the needs and preferences of the ambitious enduro rider, the HP2 is a completely independent, truly exceptional motorcycle.

The all-new lightweight suspension is based on ample experience gained by BMW in marathon rallies, with an air/spring/damper system on the rear wheel proudly entering the world of motorcycling as a world-first achievement. The engine itself has been optimized for minimum weight and the entire drivetrain laid out specifically for off-road use.

Consistent lightweight engineering was indeed the name of the game with all the components of the new HP2. As a result, overall weight of the motorcycle in road trim remains below the 200-kilo "sound barrier", with curb weight according to the DIN standard of 195 kg or 430 lb. Dry weight, in turn, is a mere 175 kilos or 386 lb.

In conjunction with the new machine's perfect ergonomics, this guarantees supreme agility and easy control even on the toughest terrain.

And combined with the low centre of gravity of the Boxer engine, unparalleled smoothness and powerful acceleration from the lowest engine speeds, as well as the motorcycle's excellent balance, the HP2 is in many cases superior to even the toughest single-cylinder competitors on difficult, slow trial tracks. The superior performance and riding stability of an enduro Boxer on fast sections of off-road terrain, in turn, are obviously beyond the slightest doubt.

To highlight the sporting enduro qualities of the new HP2, BMW Motorcycles supports and manages a private racing team which will be entering the HP2 in various off-road events such as the German Cross Country Championship (GCC).

And the rider starring in the BMW Motorcycles team for the GCC will be last year's winner of precisely this series, Finnish motorcycle crack Simo Kirssi. Outside of Germany, the HP2 will be entering both the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000 in California, and there are plans to participate in the prologue of the Erzberg Race in Austria. BMW Motorcycles is supporting private teams in these cases with the right kind of service, and naturally provides the motorcycles themselves.
The market launch of the HP2 will be in autumn 2005 worldwide.

HP2 AND BMW Back for Motorsport Action in 2006
Following a superb debut season of competition during 2005, BMW Motorrad’s motorsport team plans to race the HP2 Enduro at a wide range of international off-road events in Europe and the United States throughout 2006. Under the experienced management of team boss, Berti Hauser, the 2006 line-up has been confirmed and includes Christian Pfeiffer, Simo Kirssi and Jimmy Lewis – all of whom have raced the HP2 Enduro before and are hoping to build on a fantastic debut year with BMW.

2005 had been designated a learning year for this ground-breaking motorcycle, but even before the market launch of the HP2 Enduro had taken place, it was being tested and raced in extreme conditions alongside the best off-road riders in the world in events such as the German Cross Country Series (GCC) as well as several heats of the Austrian (ACC) and Italian (ICC) Cross Country championships. The legendary Erzberg Rodeo was also contested, as was the Whitsuntide 24-hour race held at Neiden, Torgau. Overseas events also included the Baja 1000, Baja 500 and Vegas-to-Reno races.

For 2006, BMW Motorrad’s HP2 development program continues and off-road enthusiasts will not be disappointed with a race calendar that runs from early March until mid-November and includes the following events:

just heard Jay Leno

We just heard Jay Leno say, “I’m the president of the more money the brains club”– and we’ve got sound-bites to prove it. With that said, we have to give him a light round of applause because we think endorsing a vehicle like the one we saw a preview of tonight is a nice gesture toward the future. Leno, eco-friendly, jet engines and GM weren’t words we ever imagined being in the same sentence at once– even though we knew Leno to be a big-time car addict. These shots are from the unveiling of his new brain child, the Eco Jet: 650 horsies, 583 lbs of torque, a Honeywell LTS-101 jet engine found in coast guard helicopters– all fueled by bio-diesel. In jest, Leno mentioned that you would only be able to drive this toy during peak harvest season in Kansas with bio-diesel availability where it currently stands; nevertheless, it is a concerted effort toward solid, environmentally sound design for GM– one of the foremost American car manufacturers. We had high expectations for what GM would unveil tonight (or else we wouldn’t have come to Vegas), but we were truly pleased with the array of crafty details that made this car stand out– from environmentally sustainable paint to a classic design nod at vintage F1 race cars. Jay presented the car alongside Ed Welburn, GM’s Chief of Design (interview with him forthcoming). Jay said, “We live in an era where liking cars and liking the environment don’t really seem to fit– especially high performance cars.” He not only wanted to disprove that, but wanted to inspire America’s youth to explore the possibilities and follow their dreams– this car for Leno started as a pipe dream, “and went from zero to here in seven months.” Although the Eco Jet was not designed to be a production car — and we may never see it for sale — after a few good conversations with folks at GM, we’re confident they understand innovations like these are crucial.
With all that said, we don’t want you to think we are gloating for GM– they have a long way to go. Seeing this unveiling and speaking to the GM executives and designers makes us wish that this transition towards eco-friendly performance vehicles could happen on a mass-market level sooner than late (before the ice caps melt). More candid shots after the jump…

by Josh Spear

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Motorcycle safety

Despite accounting for approximately 3% of vehicle registrations in Victoria, motorcyclists represented 14% of the road toll in 2005.
Motorcyclists have a high vulnerability to sustaining injuries on the road given their limited protection in the event of a crash.

Protective clothing

One of the most effective measures motorcyclists can take to avoid or lessen certain types of injuries is by wearing full protective gear.

One of the most common crash types involving motorcycles involves other vehicles. A proportion of these result from other road users failing to see the motorcyclist. The use of daytime running lights and bright coloured motorcycles and clothing can help to address this issue. Methods of improving the way other road users perceive motorcyclists on the road need to be explored and acted upon.

Riding demands greater co-ordination, balance and concentration than driving. Effects of alcohol are therefore far more dramatic for riders, even at levels under the legal limit of 0.05g/100ml.

Inexperience amongst motorcyclists is a contributing factor in many motorcycle crashes. As with car drivers, experience is critical in making motorcyclists safer on the roads. However, whilst inexperienced drivers normally fall within the age group of 18 to 25 years, inexperienced riders can be of any age. This is partly due to individuals taking up riding later in life and partly as a result of riders taking up motorcycling again after many years of not riding at all.

2006 Yamaha R1: First Look

Motoring Channel Staff - 21/11/2005

Yamaha has released its 4th generation Supersport flagship motorcycle, the YZF-R1, or simply the R1 to those in the know.
Point-to-point, the R1 has been one of the quickest sports bikes on the market, often bestowed with a power-to-weight ratio that would scare off a lot of riders
And for 2006, the new model gets even more power from it's 5-valve-per-cylinder 998cc petrol engine and an even better handling chassis for 2006.
Yamaha is confident that these changes, along with some body styling revisions, will make sure that its legendary machine maintains it's position as the most exciting and desirable 1000cc supersport machine on the market.
The 2006 model R1 is also available in a special colour to celebrate Yamaha's 50th Anniversary. Yamaha explains that the 'Extreme Yellow' machine was inspired by the livery of the legendary World Championship winning bikes that dominated the 500cc Road Racing Championships back in 1978, 1979 and 1980.
For 2006 Yamaha says that it has focussed R1 development on increased engine and cornering performance and to achieve this goal, Yamaha’s engineers have boosted power by maximising intake and exhaust efficiency and optimised the frame balance by altering the main frame and lengthening the swingarm (connects the rear wheel to the frame).
The new R1 maintains the same liquid-cooled 4-stroke, dual overhead camshaft, 40-degree forward-inclined, 4-cylinder and 5-valve fuel injected engine format.
But taking last years engine as a base, the company has designed a new combustion chamber, installed new high-lift cams while a 12.4:1 compression ratio has increased intake/exhaust efficiency for a significant boost in power output.
A smoother intake port shape has also increased intake air volume. Max power has been raised by 3hp to 175hp at the same rpm level of 12,500rpm (or 183hp with ram air effect).
This equates to about 130kW - or 136kW with ram air effect, which is significant when you consider the bike weighs just 173kg dry (dry = no fluids, such as oil, petrol, brake fluid etc). Yamaha hasn't released any specific 0-100km/h times, but the 2006 R1 is expected to reach 100km/h from standstill in about 2.8 seconds.
In addition to the wild 1.0-litre engine, another of the R1's entrenched components return: the Deltabox V frame.
For the 4th generation R1, explains Yamaha, the frame has been further revised to achieve optimum rigidity balance for improved handling, developed using structural analysis and repeated testing based on the same concept as the MotoGP competition model YZR-M1.
Yamaha has revealed that the upper portion of the main frame, the engine mount bracket and rear arm bracket specs have been changed to optimise connection rigidity, while the rigidity and shape of the under-bracket for the front fork and the rigidity balance of the fork's outer tube have also been revised.
The combined effect of these changes is to provide the ideal balance for improved cornering performance. These updates also contribute to gentler acceleration/deceleration characteristics for excellent secondary steering qualities.
The upside down aluminium swingarm maintains the same controlled fill structure but is 16mm longer than the previous R1 generation. Yamaha explains that the resulting increase in distance between the pivot and the rear axle contributes to reduced interference to the chassis resulting from chain tension during cornering while also providing a good rigidity balance for increased traction. The longer rear arm also increases the chain adjustment range and the selection of tyre specs that can be used.
For the more experienced and discerning customers Yamaha has a real Supersport treat in the shape of the YZF-R1SP.
The Japanese motorcycle maker made it clear that this high specification "SP" version of the YZF-R1 is available in a limited run of only 500 units worldwide, with Australian getting about 30 of them - all of which are spoken for.
Fetching about $30,000 (Australian currency) the R1SP is closer in price to a swanky Italian sports bike, such as a Ducati 999 or Aprilia RSV 1000 R Factory, and comes with a range of high quality exclusive racing components that have been developed and tested specially for this machine made in close association with Ohlins and Marchesini. As the company assert, this is not your average R1.
And to support this exclusivity further the YZF-R1SP has a very special high quality colour scheme featuring a golden tuning fork. The R1SP is lighter, quicker and handles better at the limit thanks to a number of tweaks, including new Marchesini wheels which reduce unsprung weight and aid cornering and rapid changes of direction. Ohlins suspension components also contribute to the R1SP's abilities, ensuring on-the-limit stability and plenty of feedback.
2006 YZF-R1 Features: