Friday, June 25, 2010

Ducati for the Regular Guy

The Multistrada 1200, built around Ducati's most powerful motor, the 1198 L-Twin Testastretta, is capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph. But, unlike typical sportbikes, it was also engineered with the reality of urban roads and the needs of everyday riders in mind. Comfort was as much a stated goal as performance was.

Billed as "four-bikes-in-one," a push-button control provides instant traction, torque and braking adjustments, even while in motion. Pre-set modes allow the capability to go from a high-performance, quick-response ride to a more mundane commute.

Pricing starts at $14,995, with "sport" and "touring" option packages priced at $16,495 and $19,995.

TheStreet spoke to Michael Lock, chief executive officer of Ducati North America, about the launch and its significance for the company.

What is unique about the Multistrada?

Lock: This is a more rational motorcycle than what we've made in the past. We wanted to be able to deliver not just a fantasy product, but one you can use every day.

Sport bikes have become incredibly related to actual racing bikes because the Baby Boom generation demanded that authenticity of experience. But chances are that the typical superbike buyer is 48 to 52 years old, weighs 250 pounds and probably hasn't been to the gym in 20 years. These motorcycles, for someone like that, are actually a torture rack. So we have this growing gap in the sport-bike world between who the buyer is, what their aspirations are, and what actually will satisfy those aspirations. Producing bikes like the Multistrada, we used all the technology to make a comfortable, unintimidating motorcycle. You don't need to be a superhero to ride it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MIT Copenhagen Wheel


Smart, responsive and elegant, the Copenhagen Wheel is a new emblem
for urban mobility. It transforms ordinary bicycles quickly into hybrid e-bikes that also
function as mobile sensing units. The Copenhagen Wheel allows you to capture
the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need
a bit of a boost. It also maps pollution levels, traffic congestion,
and road conditions in real-time.


Controlled through your smart phone, the Copenhagen Wheel becomes
a natural extension of your everyday life. You can use your phone to unlock and
lock your bike, change gears and select how much the motor assists you.
As you cycle, the wheel’s sensing unit is also capturing your effort level and
information about your surroundings, including road conditions, carbon monoxide,
NOx, noise, ambient temperature and relative humidity. Access this data
through your phone or the web and use it to plan healthier bike routes,
to achieve your exercise goals or to meet up with friends on the go.
You can also share your data with friends, or with your city - anonymously
if you wish – thereby contributing to a fine-grained database of
environmental information from which we can all benefit.

The Copenhagen Wheel was unveiled on December 15 at the COP15
United Nations Climate Conference. The project was conceived and developed
by the SENSEable City Lab for the Kobenhavns Kommune. The prototype bikes
were realizedwith the help of our technical partner Ducati Energia and funding from
the Ministry for the Environment. Progical Solutions LLC provided technical
support for the iphone control of the bikes.

For more information and other inquiries, please contact:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Electric Bike

the zerotracer is an electric motorcycle that seats two people inside its exterior kevlar shell. the bike is the creation of four young swiss designers at designwerk who created the vehicle to compete in the ‘around the world in 80 days’ electric vehicle race. their design has some serious stats including a 350km range
with a top speed of 250 km/h. the bike seats two in tandem inside of the fully enclosed shell. an electric motor powers the bike from lithium ion batteries that can be fully charged in 2 hours. the bike’s design even features a set of training wheels that move out when travelling at low speeds.