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Monday, March 2nd, 2015

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Honest Officer, That Is The Way The Snow Fell

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  France Funny Entertainment
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
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It looks like the snow god is a motorcycle rider, and does not like speed radars.

Snowed Radar Sculpture







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Friday, February 27th, 2015

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Top Internet Motorcycle Stories - 27 February 2015

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  Web
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
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Top News icon
Slowly but surely edging towards spring, but too slow for my taste. Still bloody cold and wet riding. But at least it gives me time to read motorcycle related articles on the internet. Here are a few I have been reading over the last week that you may have missed.





Enjoy

Alpinestars Logan Motorbike Jacket Review Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: UK flag  UK
Date: 21FEB
Summary: A review of the Alpine star Logan motorcycle jacket.


Buffett Buys Biker Company Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 21FEB
Summary: Warren Buffet invests in biker technology.


Intense Tech Turns Motorcycles Superbikes Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 23FEB
Summary: A look at the technology that is making motorcycles into super racing motorcycles.


Why Is Suzuki Helping Fund This Chinese Ducati Knockoff? Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 23FEB
Summary: What's going on between Suzuki and the Chinese motorcycle maker?


Meet the Eccentric Riders of Shanghai’s Motorcycle Sidecar Subculture Open link in a new window
ThumbnailSite:
Country: USA flag  USA
Date: 26FEB
Summary: A look at the restricted number of sidecars in Shanghai.


Read related articles
Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 - Ads: Mercedes Got Motorcycles Covered - Nice Ad

Ad Mercedes Benz Van Rear Mirror
Mercedes logo
Nice and well done advertisement from Mercedes-Benz, who are claiming that their blind spot monitoring system will 'see' motorcycles. Therefore safer for us. Well done ad.
Thursday, February 19th, 2015 - Spain: All Radars Will Be Visible and Announced

Spanish Radar matador
Spain flag
Spain is acting responsibly not like some other European countries. They really want to reduce road fatalities, so they are now going to make sure all radars, fixed and mobile, are very visible on the road, and they will even announce where there are. Even mobile check points. Great move.
Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 - France: Now They Want To Make Mandatory Dorsal Armor and Gloves

Total ATGATT
France flag
Now another group of politicians in France, the opposition party (UMP), want the spot light, and to hell with the consequences. They have proposed a new law that will make it mandatory for all motorcycle riders and their pillions to wear gloves and have dorsal protection.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - Review: 2015 Piaggio MP3 500 ABS ASR - The Ultimate Evolution?

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500
Piaggio logo
A detailed review from a top French web site of the 2015 Piaggio MP3 500 ABS ASR - The Ultimate Evolution?







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Review: 2015 Piaggio MP3 500 ABS ASR - The Ultimate Evolution?

Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under  Product Review Piaggio Scooters
Author: David Morcrette 
Location: 
Paris, France
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Since this is a translation directly from French, some of the colloquialism may seem a bit strange at times, for which I apologize. It's not easy to translate. Any mistakes below are mine, and mine alone.
Piaggio logo
Le Repaire des Motards logo
The 2015 Piaggio MP3 500 ABS ASR test report was originally published in French on the Le Repaire des Motards.com Open lerepairedesmotards link in a new window web site.

Click here to read the original review of the 2015 Piaggio MP3 500 ABS ASR Open Click here to read the original review of the 2015 Piaggio MP3 500 ABS ASR link in a new window (in French)
The Ultimate Evolution?

The Piaggio MP3 is a phenomenon in itself ... an idea at first, then a hole in the legislation that opened up big displacements to the owners of driving license formerly limited to 125 cc. 125 cc, Yourban, 300 cc, 400 cc, 500 cc ... After more than 70,000 sales in France alone, the MP3 is not resting on its laurels and continues to evolve with the 2014/15, slightly modified version of its looks and its share of technical developments and in particular the arrival of the ASR, for "Acceleration Slip Regulation," the homegrown anti-skid system. But with this new vintage, the Piaggio MP3 500 gains mostly front wheels larger by an inch. Enough to change radically and justify the change? Here is the review:


Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

Discovery

Should we still introduce the MP3, so much of them have invaded the French cities? This is primarily a three-wheeler, with its two front wheels and one rear wheel. And both front wheels offer a real extra stability, especially on the angle and at low speed. An old problem of these two front wheels, an overweight at the front giving heavy steering over traditional two-wheeled scooters.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

With this new vintage, Piaggio has reviewed the general line of the scooter to refine it, especially at the rear, while improving the driving position for the rider and adding space for the pillion. I must say that the old storage with double access via a back hatch has been removed in favor of a more traditional long saddle, mounted on a pivot. In the end, it gives a longer saddle and especially more storage space underneath the saddle.

There is now an adjustable windshield in three positions and LED daytime running lights. Beyond the fashion aspect, it is more efficient in electricity and lasts longer in duration. (and especially as changing light bulbs on a scooter requires a systematic dismantling of the body and it immediately takes more time). Under the windshield, there is the disappearance of the tie for a trapezoidal grille with the Piaggio logo.

The major change concerns the front wheels that go from 12 to 13 inches which is accompanied with new rims, more sporty. We do not forget the arrival of the ASR as on the X10.

Note the aluminum finish of the new pillion handles, more horizontal than the previous vintage.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

And even if all developments are not obvious for the neophyte, the old hands will appreciate them.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

In The Saddle

The seat height gained 5 mm to move to 790 mm. The 1.70M rider already could not set their feet flat on the ground. This has not improved with the new vintage with bits of feet barely touching the ground. Fortunately, the effect of the three wheels provides stability at standstill and therefore we feel less the need to have our feet on the ground. Moreover, with the roll-lock or locking of the front wheels, you can stop without dismounting! Admittedly, the manufacturer presents the system as a parking aid, so use only after we got off the scooter. But day-to-day, 90% of users of the MP3 engage the system when decelerating or at a red light ... with as side effect and the constraints on the system used in this way, aging faster than the original design had anticipated. However, the rider now has a little more room for the legs in the front and rear to lean against the back rest, which will facilitate the lives of the tall ones ... if it weren't only for this brake pedal, certainly required for by law, but which would be forgotten for everyday use so you can stretch your legs and feet forward.

The dashboard was already very readable. The new one does not disrupt the standards or habits but gains in visibility. We thus find an analog meter on the left and an analogue rev counter on the right, flanking a digital display including partial double trip, odometer, engine temperature, clock, outside temperature, instant fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, average speed, maximum speed ... the fuel gauge, accurate enough, fits inside the tachometer on the right.

Finally, some lights indicate the opening of the saddle, or the engagement of the tilting system or the disconnection of the ASR.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

There is still no storage compartment at the front. However, there is a location behind the windshield, which contains a USB socket and therefore can be used to charge a phone.

The mirrors provide excellent overall view and adjust easily, even while driving.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

Contact

The big single cylinder snorts with a discreet sound, almost electric. The steering lock is unlocked automatically when you turn the right throttle and go! And we actually appreciate immediately the contribution of the new front larger wheels with a handling that now approaches that of a motorcycle. Admittedly the front is always a little heavier, but not as significantly as in the past. The front does not commit more in the same way and this new maneuverability is instantly appreciated. We forget the seven kilos gained in the new version.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

In The City

Gas! Gas? Is this a 500 cc? Starts are crisp and allow you to easily extract yourself from the traffic. The response to the solicitation of the throttle is instant. But the 40 horses are just about right to tow the ... big 266 kilo. And so far, it is enough to nervously trigger the traction control on wet roads or on some cobblestones! And inevitably, in the city, it is in any case, too quickly, too fast. For if the MP3 500 remains in the back compared to a traditional two-wheeled 500 cc (or 530 cc) scooter, it can go promptly at illegal speeds in town, which requires regularly scrutinizing the counter, fortunately precise and easy to read.

The three-wheeler found its legitimacy on the first day of snow. For where a motorcycle would be on the ground in the first turn, the three-wheel triggers the traction control and if the steering is light enough to tilt the machine, we get to ride almost in peace when the road is icy and white and in a further peace of mind as soon as we find traces of a car. Experienced, tested, approved in January!

Despite its apparent plumpness, the MP3 slips very well into traffic, including and especially in lane-splitting with ideally placed mirrors and finally a one-size-fits-all guage. So, with three wheels, a surplus stablility, one begins to zigzag even more than a motorcycle in between the lanes, including very tight ones. It's great being a biker, you change behavior behing the handlebar of a large scoot, so good is the handling.

We really appreciate the new steering, aided by the larger wheels, which provides real superior maneuverability compared to the old vintage and whether it is at low speeds or faster. Because the low-speed maneuverability is not taken away from high-speed stability.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

On The Motorway

he MP3 rushes vigorously on the motorway to tickle the 150 kph but descends to about 135 kph when a slight incline comes along. Weight and horsepower are lower compared to other maxi scooters, which do not make it the best friend of the motorways, even though you can take it in all safely, with again a surplus stability at maximum speeds, including in crosswinds or overtaking a truck.

The well positioned high windshield does not generate infrasound or spurious noise in the helmet and that is also good news.

On Secondary Roads

We find on county roads, the overall behavior of the previous vintage of the MP3 500. Stable, manageable, it quickly connects twisties, besides the fact that the scooter accepts nicely to be a bit pushed. A little slower when changing the angle then on a motorcycle, it's none the less daunting as soon as you pick up the pace. Only the overall weight tends to take a little from the riding and requires, when taking several curves quickly and too fast, to anticipate a little and improvise a little less.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

Brakes

Double 258 mm disc at the front (formerly 240mm), single disc but 240 mm in the rear, brake pedal at the right foot, in addition to the brake levers on the right and left, not to mention the ABS, the MP3 brakes strongly, precisely with power and feeling. You never need to use all force to stop quickly and safely. And if the ASR gets triggered quite easily once you ride on white road markings or when the road becomes wet, the ABS is meanwhile rather quiet and difficult to trigger in every day use. We welcome the progress of this system which has further improved on this version of the MP3, which has a version with three independent channels: the three wheels are truly independent for system actuation and is very comfortable in everyday life.

Comfort

With a long, wide saddle, the MP3 offers an excellent comfort and space for both the rider and the pillion. The footrests are now retractable and fit into the body to be forgotten and favor the overall style.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

Practical

There are no glove compartment in the front at the bulkhead level but there is a space protected from the rain behind the windshield with a USB socket for charging mobile phones.

The trunk welcomes two real full-face helmets (such as on the X10), a rare enough feature to report it. And who says two helmets, also says the opportunity to shop for food for the week (except water packs).

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

Fuel Consumption

If the onboard computer pretentiously announced 280 km of autonomy after refueling, the MP3 goes into reserve at 200 km, or slightly below, depending on riding style. The four main fuel indicator sections descend specifically after 50 km.

Review 2015 Piaggio MP3 500

Conclusion

The same but better? The MP3 500 has evolved and this new vintage, even fully justifies to sell the old to buy the new, and not only for the arrival of the convenient ASR, but also to improve the storage capacity making it more convenient in everyday life. This new version improves the overall esthetics as well as practical aspects while strengthening security and especially the improved driveability that makes it even more appreciated than its predecessor. The new MP3 confirms to be a smart choice for urban or even the extended urban with its ability to take the motorway to get to the suburbs. Only the user who frequently needs to travel long distances may regret a somewhat limited top speed, which could then look towards a more traditional but more powerful two-wheeler scooter.

Strong PointsWeak Points
  • Maneuverability, handling
  • Security
  • Brakes
  • Weight
  • Top speed


Via: Le Repaire Des Motards




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BMW To Make Motorcycle For New Star Wars Movie?

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  Funny Entertainment
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
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From this photo it looks like BMW might just be making the motorcycles to be used in the new Star Wars (like the Star Wars AT RTStar Wars AT RT). And if they aren't, they should....

2 Legged BMW







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Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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Video: Your Hood Is Not A Race Circuit

Posted 06:00:00 PM
Filed under  France Video Feeds Safety
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where France is on the map
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It's probably like this anywhere in the world; in big cities there are the "ghettos" - the low-income housing projects where underprivileged people are hidden - places were there is little respect for law & order, citizen's properties and lives. Much of the issues in these places is that the kids are bored, with very little to do expect either turn to crime/drugs or perform some high adrenaline-based activities - like racing motorcycles in the streets.

It happens anywhere where kids get together and dare each other to do stupid and dangerous stunts; all that in the street. The city of Nanterre in France is not exempt of this phenomenon, with a big portion of their city taken up with low income housing. To teach the kids the danger of street racing, they asked the kids themselves to make a video (with the help of some professionals). The result is actually very good, it's simple and the image carries a good and clear message.

Have a look at the video. The first few seconds there's a message in French about the production of the video. During the video there's no spoken words, so I don't need to translate.

The video ends with the banner:

Your neighborhood is not a race circuit.
Think of your life and that of others.



Via: Le Repaire Des Motards




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Honda’s New and Beautiful Scrambler

Posted 02:00:00 PM
Filed under  Honda
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where France is on the map
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Honda logo
From these photos you'd think, and rightfully so, that Honda has jumped on the new and latest motorcycle fad; retro/vintage looking scramblers.

It is an enormous commercial success for the likes of Ducati and even Triumph, so you'd think why not?

And when you see the photos below, you know it would be a good idea - a winning one.

Click for bigger version of Honda CB1100 CBO Scrambler
Open image in a new window

But unfortunately it's not Honda corporate who made this one, but one of Honda's dealers in France called CBO Open CBO link in a new window (for Challenge Big One - a dealer in Boe, South of France).

Honda CB1100 CBO Scrambler

The beauty is based on the Honda CB1100 and transformed into a scrambler. I'd think that the bike would be a tad heavy for any off-road work, but then how many real scramblers actually do go off-road, not counting the parking lot in front of Starbucks...?

Honda CB1100 CBO Scrambler

The whole coloring scheme and design looks top notch. Almost production ready. Are we going to be seeing a real scrambler coming from Honda any day soon?

Click here to several more photos of the Honda CB 1100 Scrambler Open Facebook link in a new window.

Via: Honda France Facebook




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France: Fight The Paris Old Motorcycle Ban - Sign The Petition

Posted 08:00:00 AM
Filed under  France Protests
Author: Mike Werner
Location: 
Normandy, France
click to see where France is on the map
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FFMC logo
As you may have read, the Paris council has decided that all motorcycles made before the 2000 will be banned from entering or circulating the city (by next year). Furthermore, they intend to ban by the year 2020, all motorcycles built before 2015. You can read more in the related articles section below.

As you can imagine, a ridiculous state of affairs. It's not like motorcycles are the reason they have such a high pollution in Paris, but they are the easy escape goat (although there will also be a ban on older cars, they are allowed to be much older).

FFMC Paris Ban Petition

The French Federation of Angry Bikers (Via: FFMC), a truly combative and well supported motorcycle rights activist group, is calling for bikers (and non-bikers) to sign a petition.

Below is a link to the petition. It's in French, but there are only three fields; Nom (meaning family name), Prenom (meaning first name) and Email (meaning email ... ;-). There are two check boxes, but those are for being put on a mailing list for newsletters (in French).

Then press the button "Valider". That's it. Ten seconds of effort, and hopefully the misguided politicians at the Paris City Hall will get the message.

Please pass this on to anyone you know.

Click here to go to sign the FFMC petition against the ban Open Click here to go to sign the FFMC petition against the ban link in a new window

Read related articles
Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 - France: Now They Want To Make Mandatory Dorsal Armor and Gloves

Total ATGATT
France flag
Now another group of politicians in France, the opposition party (UMP), want the spot light, and to hell with the consequences. They have proposed a new law that will make it mandatory for all motorcycle riders and their pillions to wear gloves and have dorsal protection.
Sunday, February 8th, 2015 - France: The Anti-Motorcycle-Ban Protest Ride In Paris

FFMC Paris Protest
FFMC logo
On Sunday, the FFMC organized protest ride against the motorcycle ban for bikes older than the year 2000 from entering in Paris was followed by some 4000 bikers. Here is what happened.
Saturday, February 7th, 2015 - France: The Year 2000 Motorcycle Ban Gets Worse, Much Worse

Marie Antoinette
France flag
The ban on motorcycles built before the yer 2000 is bad, but it's worse, much worse. Already the Parisian police have vetoed the Monday 9th protest while the law is being voted, and this Mayor of Paris has already said she wants to ban in the year 2020 all motorcycles built before 2015. Yes, you read that right, 2015.
Friday, January 30th, 2015 - Paris: Biker Protest Ride Against Ban On Old Motorcycles

Paris Biker Protest 201404
FFMC logo
The French Federation of Angry Bikers to organizing a protest ride this February 8th against the ban for ail motorcycle built before the year 2000 from entering Paris. This should be a massively followed ride, blocking the whole city.


Via: F.F.M.C.




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