Ever since the addition of electronic fuel injection and lightning-fast computers, motorcycles have become faster and more reliable than ever. The downside of this is that the simple days of “tinkering” are gone. Modern bikes are simply too complex for the average rider to tune in their garage, but while the ability to pull parts off your bike and manipulate them with a screwdriver has gone the way of the Dodo, the spirit of tinkering still exists — and Yamaha has some new tech that makes it easier and more accessible than ever. The source of this new-found, erm… power, is the new Power Tuner app from Yamaha, available for free on iOS and Android. The app allows owners of certain 2018 Yamaha dirt bikes to change the fueling and firing on their new rides directly from a smartphone. For those of you who aren’t gearheads, fueling and firing refer to how much gas you’re giving with the throttle and at what point the spark plug makes its spark. … [Read more...] about Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone
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Truck Yeah The trucks are good! You could buy a decent Jeep or 10 motorcycles for the price of a Can-Am Maverick X3. And those other vehicles can legally drive themselves to a trail. But once the pavement ends and the leashes come off, it’s the X3’s world, and everything else is just trying to get through it. (Full Disclosure: Bombardier Recreational Products, also known as the Sea-Doo people, needed me to drive this thing so badly they paid for my food and fuel and beer for a couple days in Baja, Mexico while I test-drove every trim of the X3. The company also footed the bill for off-road racing pro Bruce Anderson to be our tour guide down the peninsula.) Like a Polaris RZR or a Yamaha YXZ, The Maverick X3 is classified as UTV, which sounds like an ugly infection but actually stands for Utility Task Vehicle. Got a utility task? You need one of these vehicles. But this high-performance sports buggy has evolved pretty far from the humble agricultural workhorses that … [Read more...] about The Can-Am Maverick X3 Off-Roader Convinced Me ‘Street Legal’ Is Overrated
Previous Next 1 of 2 As part of efforts to broaden its business and fulfill its commitment to an all-electric future, General Motors has announced plans to enter the ebike market. The American car giant is developing not one but two pedal-assist electric bikes — one compact model and one that folds up. At this stage, it’s not offering any specs for the machines, opting instead to release a few photos of each of the bikes. Certainly, the casual designs seem geared toward city dwellers looking to speed up short journeys, while the foldable machine in particular could appeal to commuters looking for an easy way to zip between public transit and their home or workplace. “As an avid cyclist and urban commuter, I know how great it feels to get where I’m going easily and to show up sweat-free,” Hannah Parish, director of General Motors Urban Mobility Solutions, said in a release. “We blended electrification engineering know-how, … [Read more...] about GM is getting into ebikes and it wants you to help name them
If someone were to offer me a track day on Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha M1 MotoGP bike today, I wouldn’t have to think about my answer. I’m too old to go haring around a racetrack on an expert-level race-bike, I’m not even flexible enough to fit on it, and I couldn’t go anywhere near fast enough to appreciate it for what it is. So I’d say thanks, but no, thanks. In 1986 someone asked me a similar question and I didn’t have to think about my answer then, either. I said, “Hell yes!” (This story is an excerpt from Missed Shifts: True Stories, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies From a 30-Year Career in Motojournalism, which recounts the author’s long career riding bikes and writing about them for a living. If you want to know what it’s really like to be a journalist who covers fast machines, you should check it out. This chapter appears on Jalopnik with permission and very light edits. —PG) The bike in question was also a … [Read more...] about What It Was Like to Ride Yamaha’s Nastiest Race Bike of the 1970s
For techies out there, it may seem evident that the self-driving car promises unparalleled levels of safety for the 1.2B car commuters out there. We are in dire need of a solution to reduce the > one million deaths that occur on public roads every year. But with seven billion people in the world today (and an estimated nine billion by 2050) this begs the question “how then do the other six billion people get around, and how safe is it for them?” Over half the employed population of three billion people get from A to B every day on just two wheels, making motorcycling the most popular form of transportation worldwide. This may come as a bit of a surprise unless you’ve visited any of the one hundred largest metropolises in the world. How safe (or unsafe) is motorcycling really? This is where things get interesting. For every billion passenger miles traveled, there are 237.57 motorcycle-related deaths and 6.53 car-related deaths (and 0.02 aviation-related deaths, in … [Read more...] about Will self driving cars mean the end for motorcycling?