• Jul 31 2012

    Olympic debut for Metzeler’s new Feelgreen tire


    Munich, 27 July 2012 – The new scooter tire from Metzeler, our ‘Feelgreen,’ has already been chosen by BMW as original equiment for its electric C evolution scooter, unveiled today at an international press conference. The C evolution will be used by some journalists to tour the Olympic events.  The new scooter from BMW will wear 120/70 R15 and 160/60 R15 (rear) Feelgreens.



    There are many factors which affect the fuel consumption on a two-wheeled vehicle.  The tires play a crucial role in conserving energy. The new Feelgreen was designed to guarantee low energy dissipation. Our engineers worked hard to reduce the weight of the tire by 17% and were able to reduce rolling resistance by more than 25% compared to its predecessors. The rolling resistance figure could be even higher once the final development tweaks are completed. The Feelgreen maintains the characteristic elements that Metzeler products are famous for: quick warm-up and excellent handling, both indispensable for city riding.



    When a tire is in motion, the structure tends to deform normally and the elements that make up the tire—such as the compounds, tread, carcass and profile—tend to dissipate energy. Feelgreen was designed with Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and uses the concept of “cooperation” between these elements, and defines the best combination of deformation state, material choice and geometries to ensure the least possible dissipation of energy.


    A significant result was obtained, in part, from a high silica-content compound, a new tread pattern and a new profile, specifically designed to favor a reduction in rolling resistance.


    The innovative tread pattern was designed to favor rolling, and the geometry and position of the longitudinal and lateral grooves is such that maximum safety is guaranteed even in wet conditions.



    The new Metzeler Feelgreen will be available from 2014 as original equipment on the BMW C evolution electric scooter and will be available in stores then as well.


    For more information regarding the entire range of Metzeler tires visit our website.


  • Jul 27 2012

    Ducati 1199 Panigale manhandles a 911 GT2 RS on the strip


    Porsche’s flagship 911, the GT2 RS, is no slouch. In fact, it’s a bruiser, with 611 bhp, colossal brakes, and big, meaty gumballs at each corner. Around the Nurburgring, it rinses the 911 Turbo and even the mighty Corvette ZR1. Still, it’s no surprise that down the dragstrip, Ducati’s Panigale 1199 has the measure of the GT2 RS.


    Chris Harris got hold of the Duc and the Porsche on this week’s episode of Drive, and pitted them against each other at the Santa Pod dragstrip in England. The video contains some beautiful footage of the Panigale, and Chris notes that both brands are now owned by Volkswagen. Strange stuff.



    The Panigale is a seriously quick bike. Last week, we had the chance to ride a Diavel, which is about 100 lbs heavier and 30 bhp weaker than the Panigale. It felt monstrously quick, but the guy who was on the Panigale walked away from us during an acceleration run. We’d love to have had a go on the Panigale, though it did look a bit compromised for street riding.


    Results (from two intermediate drag racers):


    1199 Panigale: 10.6 139.5 mph
    911 GT2 RS: 11.75 129 mph


    Eventually, of course, the 911 would pull ahead, as the Panigale would have trouble cracking 180 mph. Both car and bike lovers happy, then.


  • Jul 25 2012

    A rebel motorcycle gang of Syrian rebels


    Dayr al Zawr, Syria – During the conflict in Syria, motorcycles have been a common method of transport for the Free Syrian Army rebels. Most obviously, it’s because motorcycles are cheap to own and operate, and probably plentiful, but they’re also easy to stash away when they’re not being ridden, so they can’t be sabotaged, damaged, or stolen, the way cars can might be.


    The Free Syrian Army is trying to drive the Syrian military out of the country—this video shows army defectors and civilians riding through the streets.


    Click here to see the video


    The Syrian Civil War began nearly eighteen months ago when protestors demanded Al-Assad’s resignation and the end of the regime. Al-Assad had the army fire on civilians, and executed those soldiers who refused to do so. Defectors and civilians formed fighting units which became the Free Syrian Army.


    Between twenty and twenty five thousand people have been killed so far during the conflict.


    Video from Flickr

  and Jalopnik


  • Jul 24 2012

    A clean bike is a happy bike


    We spent Saturday afternoon cleaning our bikes with water from a gushing NYC water fountain.  As we scrubbed them down with Simple Green we noticed a few things out of place—a disconnected carburetor drain tube, and a broken oil cooler mount.  We also had a chance to lube the chain and check its tension, and lube the sprockets.



    The broken oil cooler mount may have had the potential to cause much bigger.  Its demise meant more stress on the mounting bolts and the steel lines that feed it, which could—over time—have led to an oil leak.  We also noticed that the drooping oil cooler could possibly (depending on how the oil system works) have lowered the oil level in the sump, and led to oil starvation in the motor.


    We ordered a new set of rubber oil cooler mounts from our local dealer, and in the meantime zip-tied the oil cooler to the horizontal cylinder’s valve cover.  The setup held for a spirited 170 mile ride on Sunday, so it should be fine until the mounts come in.



    After that, we applied some wax to the bike, oiled the chain, and reconnected the carburetor drain tube.


    Everyone says a clean bike is a happy bike, and that’s in large part because of the attention the mechanical bits get during a thorough cleaning.  Feels good to catch stuff before it causes problems on the road.


  • Jul 21 2012

    Kevin Schwantz on the elephant in the room: sportbike impracticality


    Owning a bonafide sportbike is one of the great pleasures in life—even in the most boring business meeting, the key in your pocket reminds you that a fire-breathing monster is asleep downstairs waiting for you to get off work.  Modern bikes are so hideously fast that they can not only reach 300 kph, but they feel like they shouldn’t be for public consumption.  While a two-stroke dirtbike feels like the most awesome piece of farming equipment ever,  riding a four-cylinder sportbike feels like strapping into a wingless jet.


    For the street, they’re overkill, and not always very comfortable.  Is the success of adventure-touring bikes really the result of older guys wanting comfort but not to be seen on a Goldwing or a Harley?  Supermotos, certainly, are possible to ride near the limit on the street without going too terribly fast.



    Motorcycle news decided to find the best bike to ride after you’ve “outgrown” sportbikes. They had a Tuono, a Harley, a VFR, a Triumph, and a Diavel. They then went straight to Kevin Schwantz to get his opinion.


    Which do you think he’d like? The most powerful, sportiest of the lot, right? Indeed, he picked the Tuono. It’s got enough power to spin up the rear wheel, can do stoppies and wheelies, but has a more relaxed riding position than most sportbike. Still, it’s not much more relaxed.  Old habits die hard.