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San Francisco, CA
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Motorid.in was created to share my continuing adventure and love addiction to all things involving motorcycles. 

Motorcycle Tech

Dirt Bike Surfing Waves... And it's Real!

Bryan Burnett

Just released today is probably one of the most incredible motorcycle videos I've seen in a long while. The cinematography, landscape, and visuals would be stunning in it's own right, but the actual feat of riding a motorcycle on water is insane. Throw in some some surfing at the end and it's damn near jaw dropping. Here's the tech angle below,

Maddison’s early attempts involved a Honda CR500R, outfitted with two skis: one beneath the front wheel and a larger one that extended from beneath the frame back to the rear wheel, which was outfitted with a paddle tire normally used for dune riding. With no existing “water bike” projects to learn from, Maddison and his team experimented with a wide range of options, including dozens of different ski and tire options, and even a booming KTM 450 SX-F four-stroke. “Contrary to what you might assume, the overall power output of the bike didn’t have that much effect on its ability to ride across the water,” says Maddo’s mechanic, Buddy Morgan. “Instead, it was the shape and angle of the skis and the number of paddles on the rear tire that made the most difference.” As one might think with such a project involving so much trial and error, sinking the bike was a very real part of the learning curve. “I’d say that through the entire project, we sank the bike 30 to 40 times,” explains Morgan, who was faced with a five-hour workload every time the motorcycle was submerged. Thankfully, switching back to a two-stroke for the final setup—a KTM 250 SX—simplified the teardown and rebuilding process.”
— TRANSWORLD MOTOCROSS

Apparently at the end of the video, that 20ft wave wiped Robbie out, losing control of the bike he was stuck by the bike underwater. Fortunatly he was fine and was able to recover the bike after about 90 minutes when the on-board flotation device was deployed. 

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1, the digital future for Motorcycles

Bryan Burnett

The new R1 isn't just updated body work, frame, suspension, etc. That you tend see released year to year from motorcycle manufactures. This new 2015 edition is best described as a "video game on wheels", which doesn't have to be a bad thing. 

I firmly believe that motorcycle riding can be a very zen and analog experience without all the aids of techno "what'cha ma'call it's" and so forth. But the trickle down effect of MotoGP that has led to some pretty brilliant advances. Tires that have different compounds of rubber, ABS, traction control, wheelie control, etc. All of which help us normal people keep the tire part on the ground and the shiny parts blissfully upright. 

So when I first heard the R1 was going to have telemetry from it's own Inertial Mesurement Unit (IMU) it had me scratching my chin, yes it will be cool to see all this data, but is it necessary?  Maybe not... But damn does it look awesome in this video below. 

Watching the lean angle, acceleration, braking, all in real time was pretty neat. But I really loved seeing how they laid it out in editing with the graphics. If i could hook this data into a Augmented Reality helmet, it would make me so happy. 

In the end motorcycles are going to get more and more advance, it's the only way to harness all the power these machines are capable of. The best examples are BMW's S1000RR HP4, and Ducati's Panagali 1299. Both make 200hp and would be un-ridable if not for these electronics, and they come equipped with electronically adjusting suspensions. I would like to point out I don't want electronics to replace any of the natural "skill" that it takes to ride, but we all want to ride fast, have fun and be safe. The future for Motorcycle Tech is looking bright.