Motorcycle Reviews
Dennis Chepurnov

Dennis Chepurnov

While most of us think of May fondly as the month that gave us Cinco de Mayo, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds us that it is also the national Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. As part of its motorcycle safety awareness campaign, NHTSA implores drivers to be mindful of motorcyclists, and for motorcyclists to use DOT-approved helmets and not to ride while intoxicated. NHTSA’s mission with this campaign is to help reduce the number of motorcyclist fatalities, and I think all of us would agree that this is a worthy cause, all year around.

Given the spotlight on safety, I wanted to explore a few other ways we can improve survivability on the bike.

Bell and Ace Cafe London are partnering up for a run of limited-edition motorcycling gear. First in line are two limited edition helmets that meld the iconic insignia of London’s Ace Café with the unmistakable profile of the Bell lids.

Zero Motorcycles, one of the leading electric motorcycle manufacturers, has announced that it will compete in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race in partnership with the Hollywood Electrics Racing team.

We bought this 2010 Rocket III Roadster new in 2009, and it has been used as an all-season commuter bike. While the Rocket is not a daily rider, we do use it regularly, even during the cold winter months.

Samsung Electronics in collaboration with Yamaha Italy has introduced a concept of a heads-up display for motorcycle windshields. The technology appears to consist of a smart phone app and a wirelessly controlled projector in the windshield. Scroll down for the video from Yamaha.

I must admit -- living in the 21st century is pretty grand. Granted, when I was a kid, I thought we’d all have flying cars and vacation on Mars by now, but still, life is plenty sweet. My car may not be flying, but all my technology just keeps getting better, smaller, and more capable. And, the more I think about it, riding my bike is probably more fun than a flying car, anyways.

Rider protection technology, in particular, has become much more advanced over the last few decades. It seems that almost every piece of motorcycling gear these days provides some sort of patented tech to make riding more comfortable or to improve impact or abrasion protection. Of course, things could always be better.

These days, it seems like we are always connected and always within reach. Our “smart” phones, tablets, computers and even cars now bombard us with a constant stream of emails, messages, and updates demanding our attention. It’s no wonder that I’ve come to really enjoy those times when I can just roll-on the throttle and drown the noise of the world in the rumble of the motor and the rush of speed.

And yet, when you ride a lot, or venture on longer trips, being connected can become a valuable option.

Zero Motorcycles announced that LAPD has purchased three of their special ops electrical motorcycles to patrol the remote areas.

Virtually silent, the Zero MMX delivers 54 HP and 68 ft-lb of instant torque, which is plenty for a bike that weighs mere 276 pounds, taking it from 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds. The off-road form factor combined with the electric powertrain make this bike extremely capable in remote areas and allow it to forge water up to 3.2 feet deep.  With a top speed of 85 mph, this motorcycle can go around two hours before needing a re-charge. How much does it cost to recharge? Around 80 cents, straight from any wall outlet.

I know you want one, but unfortunately, general public cannot purchase one of these bikes. Not yet, anyways. For now, you can find out more and check out the full specs on the manufacturer’s site

Photo courtesy of Zero Motorcycles.