$300,000 for a motorcycle? That’s the price tag for Ecosse Founder’s Edition FE TiXX, from Ecosse Moto Works, Inc. (U.S.) where 15 artisans craft exclusive cycles like the TiXX that’s fashioned with a hand-brushed titanium chassis, and a 2.1-liter fuel-injected engine that cranks out 200 hp. And this 15-year-old firm isn’t the only one producing low volume, high performance, absolutely unique and stunning, state-of-the-art motorcycles, also known as superbike, (that are still road-legal) from sometimes exotic raw materials (like ‘raw aluminum’ that needs to be parked in a heated garage to stave off corrosion). Serious, well-moneyed bikers are driving the market for luxury machines that set them apart from the crowd. Continue reading “Magnesium, Super-Materials and the State of the Superbike”
Mr. Businessman/Ms. Exec. Family-on-the-go. Solo mom or dad. Weekend warrior. Whatever defines you. . .whatever you do for work or play, there’s a car out there with your name on it. From among the dozens of makes, hundreds of models, and thousands of options–sedate sedans to show-off supercars–choosing the right car can be overwhelming. How do you narrow down the selection to which one’s the best for you and your needs?
Autonomous vehicles are just around the proverbial corner, and when the technology hits the streets in big numbers it will bring with it revolutionary ideas about mobility, including educating drivers about how self-operating cars work and how to operate them safely.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is getting ready for that day when streets and highways see a mix of autonomous and conventional driver-operated vehicles as the norm, a situation that will require research and oversight on safety issues (for drivers and occupants), drivers’ tests, licensing, regulation, and more. Continue reading “Test Drive A ‘Self-Driving’ Car? Proactive NHTSA Can Help”
While the price of a new car means a considerable cash layout, financing, or a combination of the two, plus a projected cost-to-drive/anticipated maintenance, it’s smart to shop carefully before you select the make and model you really like and feel comfortable with–and that you can expect to provide reliable transportation for the long-term. In short, you want a car that’s “cool,” fun to drive, serves your driving needs, and will evidence the fewest problems versus the competitors. Continue reading “Buying a Car? The Key Word Is Dependability”
Modern society is a disposable society. We buy something, use it until it becomes old, and replace it with a new item. Repairing things isn’t fashionable. According to recent studies Americans buy, on average, 9.4 cars throughout their lifetime. This number was higher 8 years ago, before the economy fell into recession; U.S. car manufacturers used to count on people exchanging their cars every 3 to 4 years. But do you really need to shop for a new vehicle this often? What if you were to choose a car you’ll drive for the next 25 years? Continue reading “How To Buy a Car You’ll Love for the Next 25 Years”
“You can’t reinvent the wheel but you can put your own spin on it.” – Lauren Beukes
From the round slice of a log ancient people relied on some 5500 years ago — to the ultra-light high-tech magnesium alloy wheel deployed for modern Formula One cars, the wheels of yesteryear have certainly come a long way. Although no one has yet managed to invent anything better than a wheel for purposes of moving vehicles along ground surface, other than actually lifting vehicles up in the air, some of the world’s greatest engineers and technologists have over time achieved serious improvements in the wheels’ performance. The story of a wheel is the story of evolution backed by science and some great discoveries it brought about. So let’s analyze how the first wheels were made, how they are made today and how they might possibly be made in the future.
Invention of a wheel
If we knew the name of the person who invented the wheel, he would be one of the most famous innovators in history. But in reality archeologists are not even sure whether it was invented in Mesopotamia, Northern Caucasus or Central Europe. All we know so far is that the first transportation-oriented wheels were simply slices of log with a hole for the axle to fit through it. There is plenty of evidence to confirm that people in Europe and Asia were using four-wheeled vehicles back in the 4th millennium before Christ (around 3500 BC). However, this simple and powerful transportation mode was barely used, if at all, by African tribes and American cultures. Continue reading “The evolution of a wheel: how did we get this far?”