TomTom announces new GPS for motorcycle riders

TomTom has announced a completely new TomTom RIDER sat-nav, designed to make every motorcycle ride more exciting. For the first time, bikers can choose the level of twists and turns they want to ride to create their own adrenaline-filled adventure. The new product will be available to buy in April 2015.


New features include:

  • Winding Roads: Find the most exciting winding roads and avoid the boring straights.
  • Hilly Roads: Stay at sea level or climb the highest peaks.
  • Round-trip Planning: Simply select where you want to ride and TomTom Rider will find the most exciting route.
  • Portrait View: Simple rotate to portrait view to see more of the bends ahead.
  • PC Route Planning: Pre-plan a touring adventure before leaving home.
  • Route Sharing: Share a route with other bikers before setting off or after you return home.
  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Ride with real-time traffic information for the lifetime of the device.
  • Audio Instructions via Bluetooth: Keep your eyes on the road with audio instructions delivered through your headset.
  • Track Support: Upload tracks (GPX format) and your TomTom Rider will show you the way.
  • Hands-free Calling: Call hands-free while you ride.
  • Weather-proof Design: As weather ready as you are.
  • Glove-friendly Screen: Use your TomTom Rider even while wearing gloves.
  • Sunlight Visibility: Make use of different colour options for different times of day.
  • Trip Recording: Record your trip and relive the adventure any time.
  • Trip Statistics: See how far, how fast and for how long you have ridden.
  • Fully Interactive Screen: Pinch, zoom and swipe to interact with the map.

“We believe that every ride is a chance for adventure,” said Corinne Vigreux, co-founder and managing director, TomTom Consumer. “So we have designed TomTom RIDER to give bikers more ways to create and discover exciting routes. From the freedom of cruising the open road, to the thrill of leaning into the tightest curve on the highest peak, with RIDER, bikers can create and ride their own perfect adventure.”

The stylish, yet rugged TomTom RIDER has been completely redesigned for life on the road.

An innovative rotating mount allows bikers to switch to portrait view to see more of the bends ahead. It has a glove-friendly, interactive screen to make it easy to find and explore new places. Bluetooth enabled audio instructions delivered to the headset or helmet, give bikers more freedom to just enjoy the ride.

Record sales for BMW motorcycles

BMW Motorrad sold more vehicles in 2014 than in the previous year, achieving a record sales figure for the fourth time in a row. With 123,495 vehicles sold in 2014 (previous year: 115,215 units), the manufacturer delivered more motorcycles and maxi scooters than ever before in the company’s history. This was an increase of 7.2% compared to an already very strong previous year. In December, deliveries rose by 10.9% to 7,032 units (previous year: 6,343 units).

BMW Motorrad Achieves Record Sales in 2014

Germany continues to be the most successful single market for the bavarian brand, with around one fifth of all units, 21,714 vehicles, sold last year. Once again BMW Motorrad was the segment leader in its home market with a market share of over 25%. The USA follows in second position with 15,301 BMW motorcycles sold, 1,201 more than in the previous year. The next largest single markets are France (11,600) and Italy(10,487). Brazil continued to perform strongly with 7,603 units.

In the relevant market segment of the 500 cc and above categories, BMW Motorrad remained the market leader not only inGermany but also in Italy and Spain.

Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad stated: “We are looking back on a successful year. For the first time in the company’s history, BMW Motorrad sold more than 120,000 vehicles. This is an increase of 7.2% compared to the already outstanding result of the previous year and is the fourth year of record sales in a row. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all our customers for the trust they have placed in BMW Motorrad.”

He continued: “In 2014 we launched no less than five new models worldwide. These made a major contribution towards achieving the positive sales numbers. The R nineT got off to a phenomenal start and leapt to fourth place in our bestseller ranking right from the start. This success exceeded our own expectations. BMW Motorrad also ushers in a whole new era in the area of urban mobility with the BMW C evolution. The electric maxi scooter is the first vehicle of its type for BMW Motorrad. It builds on the experience and innovations of the BMW Group and represents an integral part of our sustainability strategy. Almost 550 units have been sold since last May. The good level of acceptance by our customers shows that we have chosen the right approach with this first step towards electric mobility”.

The most popular BMW Motorrad models with over 40,000 units sold are the R 1200 GS (24,380) together with its sister model R 1200 GS Adventure (16.242).  The BMW R 1200 RT takes third place with 12,140 units sold. The R nineT sold exceptionally well. In its first year of sales already 8,488 units were delivered worldwide. This makes the roadster the fourth most successful model in the BMW Motorrad product portfolio.  With together more than 11,000 units sold, the S 1000 R and the S 1000 RR both achieved an outstanding sales result. The middle range models F 800 GS/GS Adventure (7,040/4,278 units) and F 700 GS (6,499 units) as well as the F 800 R (3,953 units) and F 800 GT (3,901 units) also remain very popular. The maxi scooters C 650 GT and C 600 Sport (6,391 units) were also well received.

The coming season will see numerous innovative and emotional vehicles added to the product portfolio. The new BMW S 1000 RR will be available at dealers as of spring 2015. The next generation of the supersports bike offers increased engine output, a 4 kg weight reduction and even greater usability. With the new BMW R 1200 R and the R 1200 RS two new flat-twin boxer-engined models will be launched into the coming season. With the new edition of the F 800 R, BMW Motorrad is continuing its series of powerfully distinctive parallel twins.

BMW Motorrad is also launching the fourth member in the line-up of high-power motorcycles with straight-four-cylinder engines and a distinctly sporty bias – the BMW S 1000 XR. Building on the tantalising and unique mix of innovative technology, performance and safety already inherent to the existing models in this series, BMW Motorrad has taken the next step by bringing out the S 1000 XR, which offers this repertoire of core characteristics in a brand-new blend dubbed “adventure sport”.

Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad said: “BMW Motorrad continues on its growth course. We will win over new customers for the brand, enter into new segments and expand our portfolio further. Our aim is to achieve record sales again in 2015.”

motorcycle crash inforgraphic

Why do motorcycles crash?

This infographic highlights the main findings from the 2009 MAIDS (Motorcycle Accident In Depth Study) report which collected data from over 900 motorcycle accidents in 5 different countries. The report is an extensive, highly detailed analysis of the causes of motorcycle accidents and, let’s be honest, you probably don’t want to read it. Fortunately, Reddit user Shooey put the effort into summarising the most important information into this much easier to digest infographic. Click to embiggen…

Why are we crashing?

MV Agusta F3 675

RIP Massimo Tamburini – Ducati 916 designer

Sad news – the legendary Italian motorcycle designer, Massimo Tamburini, has died aged 70 following a battle with lung cancer. Tamburini was responsible for designing the Ducati 916, widely regarded as one of most beautiful motorcycles in history.

He had many other design credits, including the stunning MV August F4. After founding Bimota in the early seventies, Tamburini spent time working with Ducati, Cagiva and MV Augusta throughout a career that spanned nearly fifty years.

During his early career he focused on designing better frames for Japanese engines, an approach he turned into a business when he founded Bimota with three friends. The first bike Tamburini designed for Ducati was the Paso 750, while the final production motorcycle he created was the MV Agusta F3 675, pictured above. 

Describing his approach to motorcycle design, he said “The ideal one would be a 750 with the power of a 1000 and the weight of a 500. You don’t need a huge amount of power on a road bike, but it’s important to have light weight as well.”

His work had a massive influence on the world of sports motorcycles and with the 916 he certainly helped propel Ducati to new levels of success both commercially and in motor-sport. Those of us with a passion for motorcycles have a lot to thank him for.


2014 Honda CBR650F Preview

The best selling CBR600R used to be considered a great all-rounder, but over recent years has evolved into a more extreme supersports bike as the 600cc class became a dick waving contest between the big four Japanese manufacturers. All well and good, but not everybody wants, or can afford, a cutting edge track-focused bike – a lot of people just need something that they can use for getting to work during the week and the occasional bit of fun at weekends.

This is where the new for 2014 Honda CBR650F comes in. Although it shares the razor sharp looks of it’s sportier sibling, the new bike is designed to be a more affordable alternative better suited to every day use in the real world.

The bike will feature a steel frame, heavier but cheaper and more robust than the aluminium used in balls out sports bikes and the four cylinder engine is tuned to deliver more torque below 4000rpm. In another nod to practicality over performance, the CBR650F has also been designed to offer strong fuel economy while cruising at highway speeds.

Stopping power is provided by twin wavey discs at the front with dual piston callipers, and an ABS option is available.

With peak power in the mid-eighties, this bike isn’t going to win any races, but who cares? It’s not a track tool, it’s supposed to be practical, fun and affordable for the average rider, and we think it’ll sell extremely well.

More information from the Honda CBR650F page.


Is this the world’s fastest electric motorcycle?

What you’re looking at here is the 2014 Isle of Man TT Zero Challenge contender from Japanese motorsport powerhouse, M-TEC, racing under the name Team Mugen.

The TT Zero is a time trial class run over the TT course specifically for motorcycles that produce zero emissions, which pretty much limits teams to electric bikes. Bet you never thought an electric motorcycle could look so sharp.

The bike, named Shinden San, is uses a motor that is smaller and lighter, yet more powerful than that used in last year’s second-prize winning Team Mugen entry. The space saved has been used to house a larger battery.

The team also picked up second place in its first entry into the class in 2012, and this year is considered a clear favorite to win. Riding for Mugen this year are veteran TT racers, John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey. The event takes place alongside the main TT in May and June.

Here are the official specifications:
·Machine Name : SHINDEN SAN
·Overall length / width / height (mm) : 2,125 / 680 / 1,130
·Wheelbase (mm) : 1,485
·Ground Clearance (mm) : 130
·Seat Height (mm) : 840
·Total Weight (kg): 240
·Tyre (Front) : 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
·Tyre (Rear) : 200/55ZR17M/C (78W)
·Frame : CFRP twin-spar type
·Motor Type : Oil-cooled, 3-phase, brushless motor
·Maximum Output (kW [ps]) : 100 [134]
·Maximum Torque (N·m [kgf·m]) : 220 [22.4]
·Battery Specification : Laminate-type Lithium-ion
·Battery Output Voltage (V) : 370 or more



TomTom Rider v5 motor cycle GPS review

The newest version of TomTom’s GPS navigation device for motorcycles offers even more features to appeal to riders, but is it worth the price?

As you’d expect, the device is heavily ruggedized in order to cope with the rigors of daily use on the road, and is also resistant to rain and UV sunlight damage. Another key feature of the TomTom Rider is that the 4.3 inch touch-screen can easily be operated while wearing thick motorcycle gloves. The screen size is significantly increased from the previous model’s 3.5 inches, which makes viewing maps and other on screen information much easier to do with a quick glance, so you take your eyes off the road for less time.

Other than the larger screen, the biggest new feature for version five is the ‘Winding Roads’ option which enables you to find more interesting twisty roads on your route. There’s also integration with the route planning service, Tyre, which enables riders to create and share their favorite itineraries. Lifetime map updates are included in the purchase price.

The TomTom Rider comes supplied with a good quality motorcycle mounting kit from RAM, which has a proven track record in this area.

Power options include a six hour internal battery, which can be charged via a microUSB socket like most cellphones, as well as a wiring kit to connect the device to your motorcycle’s battery.

The TomTom Rider does not have a built in speaker, so if you want to get audio navigation instructions you’ll need to use it with a Bluetooth headset in your helmet. It’s unlikely that this will be a problem for most riders, since you’re not going to be able to hear the instructions from a built-in speaker over the wind and engine noise.

When compared against its main competitor, the Garmin zumo 390lm, the TomTom Rider seems a little bulky and offers marginally fewer features. However, it’s still a pretty good navigation system for motorcycles and, as of the time of writing, it’s available for $330, which is a lot less than the Garmin’s $600 price tag.

The real question is whether the Garmin offers enough benefits over the TomTom to justify an extra $270.

Product Name: TomTom Rider v5
Our Rating: 4/5
Amazon Link: TomTom RIDER Motorcycle GPS Navigator


Put some awesome on your head: The 8 Best Motorcycle Helmets for 2014

A motorcycle helmet not only keeps you safe but it can make the ride (not to mention your look) all the more awesome! Let’s take a look at what some of the top companies are offering new for this year!  – by Adam Louis.

Icon Airmada

The intimidating shell is home to industry leading intake and exhaust to help you keep a cool head on your hot ride. The moisture-wicking interior makes for a breathable, comfortable and safe space while a breath deflector keeps your line of sight clear as day (or night).


shoei_rf1200_motorcycle_helmetShoei RF-1200

This sleek and stylish slice of perfect protection offers superior aerodynamics, wind noise reduction while still allowing the rider to hear “informative sounds,” and a state-of-the-art ventilation system that combines cool conditions and silence. Combine that with a fits-like-a-glove interior, and it’s everything a rider asks from a high-end helmet and more. Shoei Solid RF-1200 Sports Bike Racing Motorcycle Helmet – get latest prices from Amazon

Bell Arrow

Simple, inexpensive and a hit with bikers everywhere, the Bell Arrow may be low in price, but it’s high in quality. Its lightweight shell, no-hassle anti-scratch shield and adjustable ventilation system helps keep the elements out and the comfort in. Starts at about $60. Bell Arrow Turbine Helmet on Amazon

Arai Signet-Q

Arai’s done it again, taking it’s gold standard RX-Q and creating a long-oval shape for a wider range of riders. The Signet-Q is every bit the perfect protection its younger brother is. It offers an advanced all-over ventilation system, peel-away temple pads for extra comfort and customization and spring supports to keep the helmet on and at the perfect amount of pressure. Starts at about $550.

Scorpion EXO-500

Scorpion is on the rise with the EXO-500. This top-notch helmet creates a sleek profile and features a retractable sun visor, perfectly engineered polycarbonate shell and element-fighting KwickWIck 2 liner (for warm or cool weather). Starts at about $210. Scorpion Bio-Metal EXO-500 on Amazon.

speed and strength ss700Speed and Strength SS700

The Speed and Strength SS700 boasts the perfect price tag for beginning riders while offering high-end quality. The aerodynamic, tough outer shell hosts a fully removable moisture-wicking liner, excellent air flow and a fog resistant, wide visor for optimum field of vision. Starts at about $90. Speed & Strength SS700 on Amazon


AGV proves just because a helmet’s low in price doesn’t mean quality is sacrificed. This tough, lightweight has become a reliable industry standard. High on comfort and low on noise, this helmet features a high-resistant thermoplastic resin shell, standard Street 8 clear face shield, a micrometric adjustable chin strap and much more! Starts at about $170. AGV K3 Icon Helmet on Amazon.

LS2 FF386

Not only will you feel awesome pulling on this high-tech helmet, but you’ll be ready for the long haul! The flip-up chin bar allows for open-face riding when you want to feel the wind and a closed helmet when the going gets tough. Its wind-cutting design reduces rider fatigue and keeps you cool (or warm) behind a wide, sratch-resistant eyeport and precision-fit inner padding. Starts at about $170.

What helmet revs you up? Discuss in the comments below!

(Header photo credit: Richard Stowey)

Polish ladscape

How to prepare your motorcycle for a long journey

If you are planning your first motorcycle trip, your might be prepared but it is important that your bike is also ready for the journey. Regardless of whether you are going abroad or just wanting to see another part of the country you need to ensure your bike is in good shape.

You might be up to date with your bike maintenance already, but just incase it is important to make sure that you have had a recent service. For a long trip it would be wise to ensure that you have had an oil change. This will ensure that your engine is running smoothly, remember a happy bike means a happy trip. Next, check that your brakes are up to the task if you are taking a major trip it would pay to bleed those brakes ahead any expedition.

If you have been using the bike for daily commute check those tires ahead of any trip. Take a good look not just the pressures but the tread depth. If they are looking pretty worn and approaching the tread depth it would pay to change them. Remember that when tires start to get the minimum tread they wear faster, a lot faster. Most touring tires give a great mileage without sacrificing performance.

Of course check cables, lights and everything else. It is often a good idea to wash your machine, not just so it looks good for the trip but it is the best time to spot any obvious faults or damage to the machine.

If you are taking your bike overseas you need documentation. Take original copies of your documents, especially the registration papers. It would also be wise to check for any regulations that would apply. If you are going to be driving on the opposite side of the road then you are going to need headlight deflectors for your machine. This is a legal requirement as without these you will be dazzling incoming traffic.

Finally, check everything and then take your machine on a test ride with the luggage that you are going to be carrying. This is to get used to the machine with extra load (this will certainly change the handling a little), and check your luggage. Make sure those panniers aren’t damaged.

Once you are happy, you and your bike are ready for a trip of a lifetime!

Photo Credit: Tomasz Kustrzynski


Ducati Monster 1200S – Review Roundup

“Cleverly updated Italian icon that blends traditional Monster style and V-twin character with much improved performance, comfort and refinement.”
Rating: 4/5
Daily Telegraph – March 2014

 “…the air-cooled engine has been switched to a large, liquid-cooled 1198-cc twin derived from the same powerplant found in Ducati’s Diavel and Multistrada. Output eclipses the outgoing 1100 EVO model by a wheelie-popping 35 hp (or 45 hp with the S model). “
Popular Mechanics – February 2014

” It is the strongest, probably the best, and arguably the most beautiful ‘roadster’ in a long line of Ducati nakeds and most Monsteristi will once again fall for this newest iteration.”
Asphalt & Rubber – February 2014

 “The engine has linear power delivery, low vibration levels and a feeling of refinement. Engine surge and excessive drivetrain lash are evident only if you hunt for it, by, say, keeping it under 2,500 rpm in top gear. “
Cycle World – February 2014

“Driving out of corners, it nearly doesn’t matter how high a gear you’re in. A gentle throttle hand draws the power like water from a deep well. The wide bars make it easy to stand up quickly as the road unravels. Then you nail it and the power builds and builds and keeps building.”
Visor Down – February 2014

“There’s loads of mid-range and low-down grunt, and it sounds fantastic for a standard bike. The handling on the S model is excellent, just as happy on road or track, and light and easy to ride.”
Rating: 4/5
Motorcycle News – February 2014

“It doesn’t look dramatically different at first glance, but the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 S gains a slew of modifications that make this naked bike’s personality much closer to its menacing moniker than ever before, while still maintaining an air of civility.” Motorcycles – February 2014

“Ducati has improved every aspect of its naked bike, making it faster, more comfortable and better handling. I expect the existing and new Monstertisti will fall head over heels for the 2014 Monster 1200S in short order.”
Motorcycle USA – February 2014