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?

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

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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