Thursday, December 31, 2009

Voxan Hear its Death Toll

The 29th of January marked a sad day in the history of French motorcycles and leaves us with possibly the last notable death of 2009. Voxan motorcycles, the last hope and stronghold of the French motorcycle industry recieved the final nail in its coffin when the Clermont-Ferrand Court of Commerce rulled for the liquidation of the company.

Having not received the financial guarantees it was looking for to secure the financial turnaround of Voxan from its possible buyer Fil of Luxemburg, the court decided that liquidation was the only option. The future of Voxans employees as such, leaves nothing but an uncertain future.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Belgium Road Security Looks to Others

Here's a great idea for any countries road security gurus...instead of shooting from the hip and just making up policy to try and lower accident rates and the resulting injuries and deaths, how about taking a look around the world at other systems to see what works and what doesn't and take that into account when implementing you own securtiy. That exactly what Belgium has decided to do recently. The country sent of "scouts" om reconnassance missions to their neighboring countrys to find the good prevention ideas currently being used with the intention of importing them back home. Their goal is a center of knowledge and expertise on traffic circulation to be created by the police as early as 2010. The centers would among other benefits work towards improving personnel training directly linked to road inferstructure and would be composed of lawyers and strategic analysts.

Belgium has set an objective to become one of the three countries with the lowest roadway mortality rate by the year 2015. Seems they may have developed the perfect idea to reach that goal. Hopefully it keeps on track and works towards everyones benefits. Maybe other countries will jump on board with the same idea.

Source: Caradisiac

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TTXGP partners with UEM...

...announces eGrandPrix European Championship at Albacete

MC24 has broken news that the 2010 eGrandPrix race season will now culminate with a championship race organized by the European Motorcycle Union at Spain's Albacete circuit. The date has yet to be announced, but the addition of this championship gives the fledgling electric motorcycle racing organization not only four-race national series in the UK and Italy and three races in North America, but also a headline event at the Isle of Man TT and now an officially sanctioned European Championship event. That makes the FIM and its e-Power series look a little silly. After splitting with TTXGP and stealing its rules, the FIM is left with something it calls a "World Championship," but no participating teams and only a handful of tentative dates.

UEM was quick to support TTXGP, and particularly Silvio Manicardi (President of Marketing, Promotion & Industry Commission) has from the beginning been one of TTXGP its main backers. Manicardi is also a mechanical engineer, and has a very nice review of the situation for electric bikes in the UEM-magazine from earlier this year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Continental Circus: The Movie

I recently got a chance to view Continental Circus, an incredible documentary showing the sport before the intrusion of big business and big money. The racing careers and exploits of two contrasting characters are explored in this French documentary about grand prix motorcycle racing. No actors in the flic, only real people.  No tricks, the races are true races; footage includes Isle of Man and Spa among other circuits. One is the Australian Jack Findlay, a non-corporate sponsored ridre, who manages to stay in the game through sheer spunk, the help of his French wife and many friends. Throughout the course of the season he has a number accidents and sometimes must borrow even the machines he races with. You really get a feeling for what it was like to be a private motorcycle racer at this time. Giacomo Agostini, on the other hand, seems to be singularly blessed. As the reigning champion (in 1971) and a noteworthy playboy, he has all the sponsorship he could ask for, and wins his races without injuries or spills. He appears as a prefiguration of what we see today in most professional sports including motorsports. Great music performed by Gong is also heard throughout the film.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Paris

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Former Paris Tuning Show

The edition 2010 of PTS is changing its tune. Formerly the Paris Tuning Show, one of the larger and certainly most accessible event in France, has rechristened itself the Salon of Personalization, Technology and Sport. Taking place at Paris Le Bourget Parc des Expos the 19, 20 and 21 of March, the event is being host by a new group, Option Organization. Changes will in include a more innovative formula, a denser schedule (3 days instead of 5) and a higher focus on motorcycles.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Motorcycling History in Norway

It's not a country you tend to think has a lot going on when it comes to motorcycling but Rolf Ivar Jordbruen felt there was enough meat to make the subject worth treating. Unfortunately, as of yet there is no english version.

The idea of this book, On Two Wheels - Cubic Nostalgia was to show some of the history and versatility the motorcycle has had and stills has in the country. The author, who began motorcycling on the private road leading to his home at the age of thirteen in the 1980's, hoped to create a book that would evoke memories for older motorcyclists and interest among young people.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Decision on Voxan Turnaround Postponed

It seems there will only be one option left for troubled French motorcycle manufacturer Voxan. I just learned that SODEMO, the original developers of the Voxan powerplant have pulled out the proposal for a takeover. That leaves only the Luxembourg based real estate holding company FIL left to pick up the cards. Their completed file was presented court in Clermont-Ferrand on Friday.  After reviewing the propose, the court will offer its final decision on the bid on December 29.  Between now and then, FIL will have to secure all its financial guarantees in expectation of making its initial payment of 10 million Euros, 1 mil of which will be for the buyback of stock and the remained addressed at relaunching the marque.

Here hoping for a Very Happy New Year 2010 for Voxan!

Source: Vadimof

Monday, December 21, 2009

Karl Lagerfeld Chanel Motorcycle Film...

...well yes and no. The bike was built by Momo Bikes to be used as a prop during Paris Fashion Week 2009. Now it can actually be seen motoring through Paris under power in a bizarre short film aimed at presenting the Chanel Spring/Summer 2010 Pre-Collection.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Hyde Harrier Jubilee Ready for Liftoff

You may have seen the prototype a few years ago when Triumph specialist Norman Hyde and Harris Performance first presented the Hyde Harrier Jubilee in early 2008. Testing has now been completed and kits are available to transform a modern Triumph Bonneville into the ultimate modern British cafe racer. The bike was originally conceived to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the original Hyde Harrier and the 50th anniversary of the Triumph Bonneville.

The basic Harrier kit, requiring a donor vehicle consisting of a 2000+ model year Triumph Bonneville (pre-EFI), includes new frame & swingarm, fuel tank, seat unit, rearsets, rear fender and kickstand, plus other necessary bits. As such, the donor bike contributes its headlight, instrumentation, forks, wheels, engine and exhaust system. Retails for is a reasonable £3995 +VAT, which might not sound so friendly for readers in the US given the current exchange rates, but certainly will offer a unique ride. Given that Bonnies are reasonable priced on the used market, the means needed to realize an exclusive modern day British café racer are not beyond the reach of the everyday Joe.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Parisian Racing Circuit : The Debate Over

After the announcement by the President of the Ile-de-France, M. John-Paul Huchon opposing the basic tenet of a circuit that could welcome motorsport events within the confines of the region, the French Federation of Motorcycling FFM questioned the motivation behind such a declaration.

In fact, it seems surprising taking into context a recent Ipsos poll, where the French by and large reaffirmed their devotion to motorsports, that certain political leaders declare this project in contrast to the principles of the 'Grenelle de l’environnement' or set forth accords on the environment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Electric Car and Motorycle Race in Paris

EMXGP (part of is delighted to announce its partnership with GP-Elec, the organisers of the first electric car race and electric motorcycle event taking place in the city centre of Levallois, Paris in June 2010.

M. Patrick Balkany, Maire of Le Levalllois (Paris) and MP of "Les Hauts-de-Seine was delighted to confirm yesterday evening that the city of Levallois (Borough of Paris) will host next June 4, 5 and 6 the GP-Elec event, the first electric car and electric motorcycle event in Paris.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Dainese D-Store in Italy

Italians, as well as travelers to Italy, now have one more place to stop to check out Dainese's latest in protective gear.  A new flagship D-Store has just opened on rue Stalingrado in Bologne. The newly inaugerated D-store is situated on the one of the principal passageways that link up the autoroute, trade expo centers and the central city. 

The new Dainese location was conceived as a reference space for all two wheel and dynamic sports enthusiasts in the region.  The exposition space, developed by Studio Dainese Design, occupiesf a surface of 250 m² and presents all the lines of the brand from Vincenza, Italy. 

The layout is arranged to allow easy browsing of the different collections including Motorcycle and Multisports, both winter and summer, in accordance with the concept characterized by all Dainese stores.  In addition to the focus on development of the actual store, Dainese also has a program of client assistance wherein customers will be able to benefit from the custom fitting service.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Voxan's Future: FIL Holding or SODEMO Eng.

The Issoire Commerce Tribunal was to have decided upon the future of Voxan motorcycles Friday, December 11th. Placed under judicial administration/reorganization since September 2 last, the corporation saw its hopes for a clear path pushed forward to this Friday, the 18th. The two potential rescuers presented incomplete files.

Among the two potential bidders is Luxembourg based real estate holding firm FIL. As their primary focus suggests, this organization is not really specialized in the industry but would have brought solid financial guarantees and according to the newspaper La Montagne, the offer was judged to be "extremely interesting". The rescuers would purchase shares of Voxan for 10 million euros and invest an additional 8 million euros per year for the next 3 periods. The current workforce would be maintained and eventually expanded by 10 personnel.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bimota Tesi 3D Biposto

According to the Spanish site of Solomoto, Bimota is preparing to unveil a new version of the Tesi 3D, making the bike more accommodating for regular use.  At the top of the list of evolutions for 2010 is the appearance of a passenger saddle

If the picture being dispersed through the Net  is more than a just a successful photo montage, it seems that Bimota has rethought the philosophy of their Tesi.  While the current model is doubtlessly a sportsbike with no concession, the version biposto for 2010 casts a reference more towards the side of a muscular roadster.  The ergonomics have been completely revised with a lowered saddle, the feet controls repositioned and a more upright handlebar.

To improve the passenger comfort, the Zard exhausts have been lowered to make room for an extra set of pegs.  The front suspension, originally developed for the Vyrus 983 2V, abandons its gas shock absorber laterally mounted under the crankcase for an Ohlins directly linking the front swingarm to the "oméga" frame.

The nitch business from Rimini seems set to propose a hi-tech alternative to their DB6 Delirio in addition to the Ducati Monster 1100 fro which the Tesi 3D borrows his its motor.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Classic 17: Vintage Racing Series

Just found out about a new races series being launch in France - Classic 17

MOTORS Events, based in Paris, has created "Classic 17", a new formula for vintage motorcycles of 19+ years sporting 17" wheels as original equipment. Dunlop has signed up to be a series partner and is offering a prime of 9,000 euros!

Two classes have been designated for the series:

* Class 1 or C1: 2 or 4 stroke machines with a displacement of between 240 and 600cc
* Class 2 or C2: 2 or 4 stroke machines with a displacement of +601cc

For motorcycles original spec'd with 16 or 18 inch wheels the ability to convert to 17  inch wheels will be allowed. The running of Dunlop tires is obligatory and rains tires are authorized should conditions merit.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Italian Motorcycle Collections

I happened to come by a list of motorcycle collections in Italy, on an Italian forum, open to the public, in most cases only by appointment. I've transcribed and translated the info here for anyone who might be heading to Italy and looking for an interesting experience.

Bruno Baccari Collection
Via Provinciale Faentina, 21
47015 Modigliana (Forlì)
Tel. +39 0546941215 or +39 0546940257
Visit by telephone appointment

Benito Renzo Battilani Collection
Via Poiano 1/B
40026 Imola ( Bologna)
Tel/Fax +39 0542640961
Display: Motorcycles from 1902-1945
Visit by telephone appointment

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Paton BIC 500 8V RU Classic Racer

I mentioned the other day the forthcoming Suter MotoGP bike being developed in conjunction with Moto Paton. Back in the sixties, Paton actually had some high placed results on the international race circuit with 250, 350 & 500cc machines. Nowadays, among other projects, Paton is offering new and updated version of their classic 500cc racer. For more background info on their history and specs of the BIC 500, check out Moto Paton, USA.

Monday, December 07, 2009

World’s Fastest Street Bike?

The fastest production motorcycle in the world, Asphaltfighters Stormbringer, comes from Germany and can accelerate from 0 to 300 km/h in only 13.9 seconds. And yes, it’s street legal!

Powered by an inline-four with 16 valves, the thing benefits from no less than 220 hp. Furthermore, at speeds in excess of 180 km/h, the engine can develop as much as 280 hp thanks to the performance admission system, which ‘pushes’ air directly into the engine above that speed. This function is limited to high speeds only because of traction problems and it only kicks in for short periods of time. It sounds suicidal to us, but the company will produce this in a limited series at their plant in Aalen, Germany.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

ThermaHelm Cooling Helmet Offers More...

Brain swelling is the immediate effect of head injury and it is a proved fact that the stopping of this effect can make the difference between life and death because of the pressure that the brain has to subdue when it meets the skull. This is precisely what paramedics are trying to prevent when applying a cold pack on the head of accident victims. So hearing about ThermaHelm having created the Brain Cooling Helmet, we started digging deeper into this potential life saving idea, only to find that the prototype stage is now completed and it should see production.

ThermaHelm’s Cooling Helmet works by storing separately gel or water and ammonium nitrate in a slim plastic packet positioned in the lining. During a serious crash, tiny spikes pierce through the separate compartments, causing the ammonium nitrate to mix with the gel or water, triggering an endothermic reaction that cools the brain, dramatically reducing the effects of the crash. Furthermore, it features an LED indicator that warns premature activation, small cameras that are able to record those crucial 60 seconds before a motorcycle crash, integrated Bluetooth headphones and fog-free visors. In other words, it brings helmets into the 21st century.

Press release and video are attached after the jump.

Friday, December 04, 2009

FIM Ride Green Eco Enduro

On 11, 12 and 13 of December, the first environmental friendly Enduro race for will open a new page of motorcycle history by registering electrical motorcycles only. The Eco Enduro is run during the COP15 - the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. The purpose and idea of the race is to show the world that mechanical sports can be environmentally responsible and is prepared to seek new ways and innovative solutions to reduce the sports negative impact on the worlds climate. The international competition is being organised jointly by Ivan Reedtz-Thott (World Champion Runner-up Rallies Quad - six entries (car) in the Dakar), Vivi Siig and Soren Clauding (owners of Scandinavian Racing Press), the Danish Motor Union (DMU) and has secured the support of the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme).

The FIM Ride Green Eco Enduro 2009 will be run on electrical motorcycles over a period of 3 days. For the first two days as a traditional enduro race in various terrain - but the final day the race will transform into a Super Motard / MX type race on a small circuit, build for the occasion, in the center of Copenhagen. Several world-class riders including the 5-time motocross World Champion Joël Smets, top-stars from Rally Dakar and of course also the Danish former Grand Prix winner, Brian Kjaer Jorgensen will be competing.

Suter SRT 500 V4 GP two-stroke

The Swiss specialists from Suter Racing have teamed up with Italian builder Paton to launch on the market a MotoGP bike powered by a two-stroke V4 engine.

Suter Racing is highly experienced in building racing prototypes and they have even participated at the 2007 MotoGP World Championship with the Ilmor X3 prototype. Now, the Swiss are preparing their debut in the Moto2 championship with a new prototype. At the base of the company is Eskil Suter, an ex-Grand Prix pilot in the 250 and 500cc classes.

The Suter SRT 500 prototype was presented at Milano with the occasion of the 2009 EICMA show. The chassis is similar to that used on the Ilmor X3 and it is part of a real MotoGP bike that weighs 125 kg/ 275.5 lbs and benefits of precisely 200 hp developed by the two-stroke V4 of 500cc.

Suter says he went along with this project because "there was never really a proper 500cc V4 two-stroke people could buy," and they turned out with a prototype that “makes a MotoGP bike feel like a tractor."

Starting at $74,345, the SRT 500 V4 isn’t exactly for anyone, but it’s three times cheaper than any MotoGP bike. Still, customers are offered the possibility to add parts such as carbon rims, SBK forks and a titan exhaust system, raising the price to as much as $134,000.

Source: TopSpeed

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Karl Lagerfeld & Ruby's Limited Edition Helmets

Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to make sure that the scooter-riding fashionistas have something chic to wear while riding around town. For his fall 2009 namesake collection, Lagerfeld created, in conjunction with Les Ateliers Ruby, what are probably the most fabulous scooter helmets of all time [sic]. When they debuted, it was unknown when or even if the works of helmet art — complete with iPod hookups and precious jewels — would actually be available for sale. This actually makes the fourth installment of Ruby's limited-edition helmet series.

Multiple styles will be available, including a lady-like helmet in black and white tweed (a subtle nod to Chanel ?) and a couture-ish one embroidered in pearls. But the most obscenely luxurious headdress has to be the one covered in lustrous black mink — part urban barbarian, part futurist warrior. Find them at Colette in Paris priced from $1,800 to $6,800, but hurry, only 12 copies are being offered.

Source: Hint

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Motorbike 2050 Ver. 2 Runs on Nuclear Fusion!

Introducing a technology yet to be applied to alternative motorcycle design: nuclear fusion. French designer Romain Herment has dreamed up a motorcycle concept that harnesses nuclear energy as a power source for a two-wheeler. Christened the “Motorbike 2050 version 2,” the futuristic motorcycle also makes use of two inexhaustible natural elements, deuterium and tritium. Power is transfered through an electric transmission and consumption equates to only 1 liter of water per 100 km, while automony is projected to be 550 km. Best of all projected weight of the Motorbike 2050 is just 55kg.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

TTXGP UK Championship 2010 dates confirmed

Three events have been provisionally confirmed by the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) for the inaugural TTXGP UK Championship 2010. The series is sanctioned by the ACU and supported by the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF).

TTXGP UK Championship 2010 follows on from the TTXGP Isle of Man 2009, the world's first zero carbon, clean emission motorcycle race on the Isle of Man TT course. TTXGP North America Championship 2010 has also confirmed its first race at Infineon, California, May 14 – 16 2010. The highest placed teams from the TTXGP series 2010 will compete in a grand final in November (date and venue to be confirmed). The UK Championship events will be held at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire (3-4 July), Snetterton, Norfolk (17-18 July) and Castle Combe, Wiltshire (11 September).

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Book: Rebel Motorcycles Ltd

While checking out the cool designs at Kick'N'Start at Moto Legende, I got a chance to meet Laurent Bagnard, creater of Powerglide magazine in France. Powerglide spiced up the Hot Rod and Kustom enthusiast's press here while also covering a cross-over interest: music. Already the author of one awarding winning book, he's recently released his second work 'Rebel Motorcycles Ltd'.

'Rebel Motorcycles Ltd' is a hardcover, 144-page full-colour photography book. It's a selection of what Laurent Bagnard has been lucky enough to witness around the fast moving world of today's modified bikes, from Europe to Japan through the homeland of stylin' wheels: California!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kick'n'Start Apparel from France

Right then, another t-shirt company offering motorcycle inspired designs, just what you need. Ok, it's true there are an enormous number of companies doing tees, so it can get a bit tiring after a while. But when I happened by Kick'n'Start's booth at the Salon Moto Legende I really fell for the simplicity of their designs, plus the fact that they package their tees in 33" vinyl record sleeves! The company is an upstart collaboration between 6 friends, artists and above all motorcycle nuts. They are just getting started and hope to be expanding their line to include more products soon. Check out their website to get a closer look at the designs. It's easy to navigate but be forewarned, it's only in French.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mini Coyote V2...soon for bikers?

Here in France and much of the European Union, radar detectors are not legal. But there is a way to get advance warning of speed traps. Coyote Systems of France is one of many manufacturers who produce GPS based speed camera alert units.

The information about existing speed cameras is delivered by Coyote either from fellow Coyote users or from the speed camera and speed limit information from the databases of our Partners. It is updated as soon as you turn on the device and the communication stays active throughout your trip so you can receive alerts at any time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FIM to Debut Electric Motorcycle Racing Series

rob_barber Photo: Ron Barber, winner of the pro class 2009 TTXGP: Flickr / SkyFire PDL

Electric motorcycle racing has hit the big time with the announcement that the organizers of MotoGP are launching an electric racing series next year.

There’s no word yet on who’s racing or what rules they’ll have to follow, but the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme has four races on the calendar and says more are coming. It says the e-Power International Series reflects its growing concern about the future of the sport and the need to promote alternative energy. “The FIM, as the governing body of motorcycle sport, must take into account current environmental problems,” FIM president Vito Ippolito said in a statement.

The series will be organized by the FIM’s Road Racing Commission. The first race is slated for April 18 during the Le Mans 24 Hours, with others scheduled for Sept. 12 in France and Nov. 14 in Qatar. The date of the fourth race, during the Albacete 8 Hours in Spain, is to be announced.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2010 Pinup Speedshop Calender

One the more surprising finds I came upon at the Salon Moto Legende was a great calender for 2010 featuring professionally shot vintage bikes and pin-ups. The calender is the work of a British photographer, Robert Schoehuys, who is actually based in Paris. To see shots of other months and for ordering info, head to Pinup Speedshop.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Salon Moto Legende Memories

Went to the Salon Moto Legende this past weekend in the Parc Floral of the Bois de Vincennes. This is the second year the event has taken place here since the closing of the nearby Montlhéry Racing Circuit. While the venue
itself may not be as cool as it's previous location, the event itself does not disappoint. In addition to the usual array of vintage British and Germany iron, surprising Italian creations and occasional American classics, you'll be treated to an amazing selection of vintage French motorcycles of every epoch, from the smallest single-cylinder motor powered bicycles to the largest full-bore bikes topping out at about 750cc's. This year Mark Wilsmore from the Ace Cafe even came down to hang with the local members of the 59 Club. Among the magazines present were Cafe Racer, a French bimonthly that covers, well, cafe racers, street trackers and an assortment of vintage bikes. In their stand, the owner of the magazine, Bertrand, was displaying his gorgeous Triumph street tracker put together by Glory Sales in Los Angeles, Ca. One of the most unusual displays was the center of attention this, a retrospective on the offroad machines used in African rallies such as the Paris-Dakar. If you happen to be planning a trip to Paris in the fall, this is a must do.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Gifts V

I'm going to round out my week long gift giving guide passing along one more company out of jolly old England. This time though, the gifts are a bit more specialized. Classic Bike Gifts focuses on offering the coolest items for enthusiasts of vintage British iron. So, whether your mate is a die hard Triumph, Norton, Vincent (or one of the many other fabulous old marques) nut, this is the place to pick up a unique goodie, that will be remember for decades to come.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Gifts IV

While you may think at this point that you've seen just about everything there is to offer your loved one, don't bet on it. Once again, I bring you another company from the motherland that has put together a unbelievable selection of treats when you need more than just the ordinary. Biker Gifts adds practical gifts, such as security and storage solutions and some highly sought after memorabilia and autographed items to the usual gift fare. They are also an official licensee to the Estate of Mike Hailwood and they support the Joey Dunlop Injured Riders Fund.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holiday Gifts III

Continuing on our gift shopping series, I've found a couple companies out of England that have a huge assortment of treats for obsessive biker nut. First stop is, the self titled A-Z Guide to the Perfect Gift for Bikers. In addition to the usual fare found on typical sites, they offer such unusual items as doorbells, sculptures, puzzles, bedding and beach towels.

Rather than going into detail on all the great products they offer, just go check them out and stop by tomorrow when I let you in on my other great find.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Gifts II

Looking for something a little different from the ordinary gift choices for that special motorhead? Check out Planet Motard, the specialist in personalized gifts for motorcyclists. They offer a wide range of clothing and textiles personalized with an embroidered image of your bike, logo, text etc...

But if that is not quite what you are looking for, you can also browse their wide selection of stickers, decals, key rings, miniatures, clocks, jewelery, anti-slip seat covers and much more. Of particular note is their collection of rare motorcycle products from the 1970's, all for sale at very reasonable prices. In short, they are certain to have something for just about any taste.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Gifts

Well that time is here again, when we are all shopping for the perfect gift for the holidays. So if you are looking for that special something for that special someone, (or you are tired of getting hum drum gifts and want to drop a hint) look no further than Boutique Auto Moto in Paris' 1er arrondissement. They have a huge selection of books, dvds, miniatures and models of all sizes. And every month they publish a new list of their lastest arrivals.

If you are not local enough to drop in to their shop, BAM also has locations in Levallois Perret, Nantes and Le Mans or you can order online.

Friday, November 13, 2009

GAS & Honda to Produce New Clothing Line

Honda Lifestyle Collection, a new line of motorcycle clothing created by Italian designer GAS in collaboration with Honda, has been presented in Milan at EICMA 2009. For the uninitiated, GAS is a leading casual wear designer and long-time partner of HRC’s Honda MotoGP team.

The range gear toward motorcycle fans will offer a wide selection of items for men, women and children. Availability in Europe is scheduled for February 2010. Mario Nicosia, director of after sales for Honda Italy, said, “Honda and GAS are based in Italy, but the importance of the market in Europe convinced us to branch out there. The new Honda Lifestyle Collection is produced with the same production qualities, sporting design and detail of every Honda.”

Claudio Grotto, President of Grotto SpA, added, “GAS has always attached great importance to quality and to the values of its brand. For a long time I have admired the motorcycle world and Honda in particular, so I’m honoured that the company has chosen us to produce this clothing line. The experience and knowledge gathered over 25 years by GAS in the world of casual wear has created a very strong product, similar to Honda.”


Peugeot Hybrid3 Evolution Concept

Peugeot has peeled the top off their Hybrid3 concept which debuted at the 2008 Paris Auto Show to reveal an open-air scooter with three wheels and three separate motors to power them. While previous concepts from have included a minimal roof, the Peugeot's Hybrid3 Evolution just show at the 2009 International Cycle and Motorbike Show (EIMCA) is the first design that mimics the successful formula of the MP3 models already on the market from Piaggio and to a lesser extent Gilera. It represents the automakers latest attempt at bridging the gap between cars and scooters for the benefit of urban motorists and the most likely to make it to production.

Peugeot's three-wheeler has a supercharged 300cc petrol engine that offers 41bhp a the rear wheel, but makes use of additional electric motors on each front wheel, delivering a extra 8bhp.100kph is achieved in under 10sec and the motor, which includes a stop-start function, is as clean as a Toyota Prius emitting just 48g/km of CO2. Best of all, it can run in various modes employing petrol, electric or combined power and allowing for 10km of travel rolling solely on electric power.There’s no mechanical connection between the electric and gas drivetrains, and regenerative braking charges the lithium ion batteries. Estimated consumption is 2l per 100km. The drivetrain of the Hybrid3 was engineered by Peugeot Motorcycles, while Automobiles Peugeot was responsible for the exterior design.

Officially it’s just a concept, but since rival Piaggio has already confirmed production of its own plug-in hybrid three-wheeler, it seems inconceivable that the showroom ready-looking Peugeot won’t be available to the public before the end of 2010.

Source: Wired

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Circuit Carole Now...A Complex Management

Circuit Carole, located a stones throw from Charles de Gaulle airport is actually owned by the state, but under the guardianship of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis to allow access for motorcycles under secure conditions. It is the only circuit in France reserved specifically for bikes and is open to the amateur pilots everyday of the year except January 1st, May 1st, July 14th, December 25th and during officially scheduled races and events.  The circuit welcomes all two-wheeled vehicles, whether registered for the road or not, from 49,9 cm³ and up. 

In 1990, the department confided the management of this circuit to the SEMIPFA (Corporation of Mixed Economy of the Countries of France and Aulnoye) that manages public works and social lodging for the collective communities.  Since then, each year the department invests in a program of improvement of the welcome structures and security both for the competitive events as well as amateur use.  In addition to this work on the infrastructure, a program of learning, prevention and information and been put in place.  This was developed and organized in partnership with the FFM (French Federation of Motorcycling), the AFDM (Association of Formation Of The Motorcyclists) and professional riders to offer training for better piloting on the track and the street.  The circuit has also become available for businesses to host or organize events and for general training sessions.  In 1996, a motothèque was inaugurated offering an motorcycle information and documentation center.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Genesis of the Circuit Carole

After the changes brought on by the demonstrations of May 1968, a more 'socialized' France, begins to realize changes little by little. A crack windens between a population of which the eldest, advocating the respect of certain traditional values, are frightened by the liberal aspirations sought by a student youth too "boisterious" for their taste, trampling under foot these values. Motorcycles are one of the responses to a need for more freedom by this youth, not at all reassuring to the "proper-thinking" collective conscious, since their popularity is comparatively recent and demonstrates a growing fad.
The bike offers everything to be associated with the "enemy", being both a lot noisier than traditional vehicles and especially a lot quicker. An odd reaction in a country that built some of the first motorcycles and at one time or another supported approximately 250 manufacturers, albeit the majority producing infinitesimal quantities of small cc machines. In any case, the general appearance of motorcyclists, jacket and boots of black leather, dark pants, Cromwell and Climax helmets strapped on the head, did nothing to reassure the motorists that quickly rejected these new users. Refusing traditional conventions, and trying to develop a new solidarity among motorcycle riders, isolated and demonized by automobile drivers, a number of associations quickly developed.

The new aficionados of speed distanced themselves by gathering around la Bastille and especially at Rungis, where they came to seek comfort amongst themselves on Fridays evenings in the parking lots of the covered markets, on improvised circuits of which the principal characteristic was the total lack of security. In taking advantage of the victims of these wild runs, the racers sought to make an example of the situation in demanding adapted structures and denouncing the lack of proper facilities for this activity.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vermtematis 250 to Debut in Milan

The off-road motorcycles of the brand Vertematis, founded by the brothers of the same name have not known extraordinary commercial success, but merit an alternative consideration to the big brands and have now for 10 years. But after a long silence, it's good to know that a bit of a surprise from the brothers awaits us at the EICMA show in Milan next week. Their newest model will be propelled by a water cooled, single-cylindre 250 4-stroke and makes use of double overhead cams, 4 valves and electronic injection. The transmission and motor oil are separated, as on the Honda CRF. The biggest innovation is situated at the cylinder head, which is angled 180° in comparison with those found in "classic" configurations, inclined between 25 and 30° as on the new one 450 YZF. This very compact motor allows for a better centralization of the masses and a lower of the center of gravity in order to optimize nimbleness. The weight of the bike should not surpass 100 kg.

If the motor is inspired by the best technology coming out of Japan, the chassis can be compared what is being found on KTMs current crop of bikes. The frame consists of chromoly double beam and the rear suspension is similar to the PDS used by KTM. Rear suspension is directly connected between frame and swingarm without links. A couple of unique details include a shock absorber much longer than the norm and a kickstarter placed on the left side and more forward. Lastly, styling is by Fabrizio Ricupito of Ricupito Design.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Bande Dessinée

The French and the Belgians have a long tradition in comics and comic books, where they are known as BDs, an abbreviation of bande dessinée in French. La bande dessinée is derived from the original description of the artform as "drawn strips". It is not insignificant that the French term contains no indication of subject matter, unlike the American terms "comics" and "funnies", which imply an art form not to be taken seriously. Indeed, the distinction of comics as the "ninth art" is prevalent in Francophone scholarship on the form (le neuvième art), as is the concept of comics criticism and scholarship itself.

The "ninth art" designation stems from Claude Baylie's extension of Ricciotto Canudo's seven arts manifesto (television was viewed as the eighth art) from 1964. Relative to the respective size of their countries, the innumerable authors in the region publish huge numbers of comic books. In North America, the more serious Franco-Belgian comics are often seen as equivalent to graphic novels. But whether they are long or short, bound or in magazine format, in Francophone Europe there is no need for a more sophisticated term, as the art's name does not itself imply something frivolous.

While this all might seem so serious, BD's are actually a lot of fun. And if you'd like to get a sample of this art, while staying true to your motorcycle passion, check out the Librarie Moto du Motard at Accessoires Moto Online. They have a huge selection of BD's, plus traditional books, techinical manuals, dvd's and video games. French reading skills are required of course, to fully appreciate the story lines.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Worlds 1st Production Electric Superbike

The SEMA Show 2009 has witnessed the launch of the world’s first production electric superbike, which is touted to be a laptop on wheels. Developed by British company Mavizen, the TTX02 superbike, based on the Isle of Man TTXGP winning chassis, will be available as a limited edition beginning in April 2010.

Apart from being the world’s first zero-emissions superbike, the machine is also the world’s first motorcycle that sports integrated IP connectivity. It is also equipped with a USB-based system bus that allows a number of peripherals to be connected to extend the capabilities of this mean machine.

The stylish chassis, based on a KTM RC8 street bike, is kitted out with a lithium-ion battery and two electric motors, each delivering 22.5 kilowatts of continuous power (about 30 horsepower) and 36 kilowatts peak (48.2 horsepower) as standard. Mavizen is also offering two other swapable power configurations depending on the intended usage. The motorcycle was designed primarily for racing and is FIM homologated but it also comes stamped with a VIN for registration in your local jurisdiction. Just 50 bikes will be built by the company and you can expect a price tag of around $40,000 with a typical circuit configuration.

Mavizen is also evaluating a possible motocross electric motorcycle currently labeled the TTX03.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

New City: Consumer Exhibition of Urban Mobility

Mark your calendars now for the 8 & 9 of May 2010 when the Stade de France will host the first consumer exhibition of urban mobility, rumored to offer heavy motorbike representation. In fact, scooters and small displacements motorcycles, in addition to city cars and new modes of low impact transportation, make up the majority of vehicle sales in France. Baptized ‘New City’, this event should allow many industry players (manufacturers, distributors, insurers, etc..) of this booming sector to come together to present to the public the full range of urban vehicles, as well as allowing visitors to test and purchase at the event. In short, an all-in-one expo, dedicated to multiple ways of getting around town, especially on two-wheeler.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Italian Cafe Racer parts

The new hot trend these days, no matter where you are located, seems to be transforming vintage British and Japanese iron into modern day emulations of the cafe racers that ruled the byways of London in the 1960's. A great source for some unique and beautiful parts to transform your own machine is Motocicli Veloci out of Milan, Italy. They have just about everything you might need to make your ride look the part. Originally established as the firm Tronconi & Novelli in 1935, Motocicli Veloci has a historical tradition in the Milanese motorcycling sector.

Initially they were one of the major official Moto Guzzi dealers, especially for trikes. These days they distribute high quality parts and accessories for the best teams and riders of classic racing bikes. Each part is produced according to the original pattern with the aid of the most modern technologies. Great consideration is given to selection of materials, dimensions and functional details. Moreover the firm's great flexibility in production allows them to satify any customers request, ranging from a single piece to a entire series.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dakar 2010

In 2010, for the second consecutive year, the Dakar, formerly known as the Paris-Dakar, will take place in South America amid the equally sumptuous and sometimes hostile nature offered by both Argentina and Chile. The course will consist of a 9000 kilometer (5593 mile) loop through the two countries and will include a long stay in the Atacama Desert. Incidentally, Argentina and Chile will jointly celebrate the bicentenary of their independence this coming year. The race will ultimately culminate in a podium finish the 17th of January in Buenos Aires.

After the popular success experienced last year with the local public, the number of "national" motorcycle and 4 wheel vehicles applicants have tripled. Of course the influx of competitors from every other part of the globe will not be underrepresented in this adventure either. The race against time has begun, particularly for European fans who must prepare their vehicles for boarding between the 25 and 26 November at Le Havre, France. Nearly 200 bikers are expected to start the rally in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 1st of January. The twice winning rider in the bike category, Cyril Desprès, has confirmed his participation, hitherto uncertain. He will be at the handlebars of a semi-official factory KTM 690, detuned as required by new regulations.

To see the course of the 32nd running of the Dakar, click here:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2010 Honda CB1100...Don't Hold Your Breath!

The Honda CB1100 was presented in "grand style" at the Tokyo Motor Show 2009 a few weeks ago in person by Honda President Takanobu Ito. You’ve probably all seen this retro bike that exhibits a truly basic vision in comparison to more recent offerings by the marque. The CB 1100 was envisioned to surf the vintage wave passed on from the auto world to the motorcycle community, from Tokyo to NYC...but not to us. Along with the CB 750 KO, issues with homologation will be restricting these two bikes from importation.

Apparently, the air-cooled, four-cylinder 1100 cm3 will not easily meet Euro 3 emission standards and since manufacturers are already looking on to Euro 4 standards, it makes the effort to meet these standards that much less interesting. In addition, the high level of finish will make the price unattractive. Big disappointment then after all the pomp that the CB 1100 will not be available here. Unless of course, a huge number of requests begin streaming into the various subsidiaries (Italy, Germany, France ...). Too bad, as this retro ride with its narrow tires and delicious engine offer everything to please...and had already conquered the hearts of many. It seems then that the future of beautiful air-cooled motors is becoming more and more dim.


Friday, July 24, 2009

To Late for Scorpa

If you've read my previous post, you now know there is a little know French motorcycle industry that actually still manufactures motorcycles. If you step back far enough through the decades, you'll find there was a pretty significant number of company's here doing just that. Now barely a handful of small producers exist including Voxan, Wakan, GIMA, Sherco and Side-Bike. Up until last week there was also Scorpa.

Founded in 1995, the corporation based in Alès garnered a strong reputation within the dirt bike world and certain models, such as the T-RIDE 250F (single cylinder), were extremely capable machines. Looking towards the future, Scorpa had even delved into the two-wheeled electric market establishing Scorpa Electric Vehicles (S.E.V.) in 2008. The E-Tricks was a combination mountain bicycle and off-road motorcycle. At feather weight 88 lbs. and offering 30+ miles of autonomy, it had received a fair amount of interest.

Help the French Motorcycle Industry: Moto Gima

Yesterday was all about an unique design from the past. Today it's about a bike that resembles many of the French motorcycles produced from the 1920-60's, but its design is actually a direct descendant from a manufacturer little known outside the Hexagon. GIMA (Groupement Industriel Métallurgique Automobile) is an acronym that signifies nothing for the majority of bikers; only a few old timers and collectors will remember this marque. But once upon a time, in 1949 to be exact, GIMA was the talk of the town having just won the championship in the celebrated Bol d'Or motorcycle race in the 125 category.

Today GIMA is under threat. This superb project reviving the quality, craftsmanship and legend of a classic marque is threatened by the economic crisis on one hand, but more so by administration on the other. A project has been launched by the Voxan Club of France to defend this personal and industrial venture. The principle: to protect jobs and allow the company to pursue a long-term project. If you care about not losing another motorcycle company to history, sign the online petition which will be sent to the Tribunal of Commerce of Clermont-Ferrand, the Ministry of Industry and René Ricol, the mediator appointed by President Nicolas Sarkozy.