I know we have mentioned before our love for endurance racing machines. The FIM Endurance World Championship just doesn’t get nearly enough play to soothe our appetite.
It is the last international motorcycle racing series that has a proper tire war; it has strong factory involvement that can see a number of brands winning on any given weekend; and it is also the only true “team sport” in motorcycle racing. What’s not to like, right?
Leading the pack so far this season is Team Kawasaki SRC, which won the season-opener at Le Mans, with riders Greg Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive, and Fabian Foret at the helm.
Team Kawasaki SRC has always been one of the stronger teams in the Endurance World Championship, and this year it looks like thing could finally come together for “Team Verte” – though we still have a lot of racing left to do.
Summer is right around the corner for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, so the obviously appropriate time to talk about a snowbike is now, right?
What the SnoPed lacks in seasonal appropriateness, it absolutely makes up for in super-villain stature, as the modern-looking snowbike looks like it rolled (is that the right verb?) off the set of a Hollywood spy movie.
The brainchild of American designer Joey Ruiter, SnoPed features a 90cc engine (out of a Chrysler Sno-runner) underneath its sculpted body, which isn’t exactly going to blow your socks off when knee-deep in the powpow, but is enough to scurry down a groomed cross-country trail.
I know what you are already thinking, everyone and their mom already has an action camera. To make matters worse, GoPro (the leader in this realm) has seen its stock price drop in what can only be described as a complete free fall for the past month, thanks mostly to lagging sales.
So, how can action cameras be the next, next big thing in the motorcycle industry? The answer is a simple one, if you will allow me to explain.
The next, next big thing for motorcycles isn’t the cameras themselves – those are basically already at commodity status for consumers – but instead the future for action cameras resides in integrated camera platforms for motorcycles, and other action sports.
There is a lot of business school “bullshit bingo” in that last statement, so let me break it down to you in human-speak.
Motorcycle brands need to realize how consumers are using their vehicles, and adapt to meet those needs directly. In this case, it means offering an integrated video recording solution with their motorcycles.
As the world of motorcycle racing has gone mad with speculation over who is to replace Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha, and by extension, either Maverick Viñales at Suzuki or Dani Pedrosa at Honda, focus has also turned on the World Superbike paddock.
There has been much talk of which riders could make the transition to MotoGP, and in turn, which MotoGP riders could try the switch to World Superbikes.
The one name that was consistently raised was reigning World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea. Given Rea’s previous experience standing in for an injured Casey Stoner in 2012, there had been much speculation that Rea had both the ability and the interest in making the switch to MotoGP.
Today, Rea put an end to any such speculation. The man from Larne extended his contract with Kawasaki to remain in World Superbikes for another two years. Rea will now be racing for Kawasaki until at least the end of 2018.
Even if most of it is just manipulating pixels, we are big fans of the work being done by the guys at Holographic Hammer, as they are bringing something fresh and unique to the industry, which is always a good thing.
That being said, we wanted to take a minute to talk about one of HH’s recent pieces: a café racer design based off of the Yamaha R1M superbike. The idea is sort of out there, but yet also makes a reasonable amount of sense.
In an effort to improve safety for motorcyclists, BMW Motorrad has developed what it calls an “Intelligent Emergency Call” system, which allows motorcyclists to call for help with the touch of a button on their motorcycle
The system is part of a larger push in Europe for an “eCall” emergency SOS program that would alert emergency personnel to a vehicle crash with greater expediency and efficiency.
According to the pan-European eCall trial, systems like BMW’s can bring emergency services to a crash scene 40% to 50% faster, and the European Commission estimates that an eCall system like BMW’s could save up to 2,500 lives each year (saving €26 billion in the process, as well).
The BMW Intelligent Emergency Call feature has been available on cars in Europe since 1999, and by will be mandatory for vehicles in the EU by 2018. To aid two-wheeled motorists, BMW Motorrad hopes to bring eCall technology to motorcycles by 2017.
We hope that you like rabbit holes, because Episode 21 is mystical journey that at times involves deep conversations about Jorge Lorenzo’s defection to Ducati Corse and chassis dynamics in motorcycle racing.
At other times though, the show includes non sequitur dissertations about Cthulhu, the EPA, men dressed like women, and tentacle porn. So buckle up, grab a drink, and hold on, dear listener – it’s just another day in the Two Enthusiasts Podcast world.
As always, you can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!
I know a fair number of photographers whose main body of work is covering motorcycle racing, and the one tune they all sing in perfect harmony is how difficult it is to cover the expenses of traveling to races and then make some profit on top of that.
Some of these photographers do outstanding work, as many of you have seen here on the pages of Asphalt & Rubber, and yet they are trying to survive in an economy where the supply far outpaces the demand.
The demand that exists doesn’t often pay a premium price for premium work, preferring instead to get photos as cheaply as possibly.
This is understandable given that many teams and sponsors in motorcycle racing are themselves operating on shoestring budgets, with some fighting on a race-to-race basis merely to stay involved at their current level of competition. In this, they share something in common with many photographers.
One friend of A&R is the first we know of to use a crowdfunding site called Patreon to help stay involved in MotoGP. Scott Jones is bringing some pretty cool new content to his fans who support him in this way.