Built to order: Victory motorcycles
Victory motorcycles offer the unique service of allowing custom orders to build your dream bike. Manufactured by Polaris Industries, Victory motorcycles were first produced in 1998. They were the continuing chapter in the saga of quality machines that not only get you from point A to B, but also offer a moment of freedom.
The name Polaris was first used in 1954 to represent the company's line of snowmobiles as well as their location in northern Minnesota . In 1956, the first and second Polaris snowmobiles were produced and the second still remains as the oldest Polaris snowmobile still in existence. After venturing in to ATV's, Polaris decided to enter the motorcycle market and introduced Victory motorcycles.
By giving the customer the ability to design and customize his own motorcycle, Polaris Industries revolutionized the motorcycle industry. To add to the ability to customize your motorcycle, and because Polaris believes that you should not only have a great ride, but a great time, they also offer a full line of accessories, collectibles, and spare parts for their line of Victory motorcycles. These accessories and parts will and are guaranteed to fit and look better than anything you can find on store shelves.
Victory motorcycles have 50 years of engineering experience behind them and are always looking ahead to better serve their customers. By offering services such as factory customized ordering and a full line of parts and accessories, purchasing a Victory motorcycle is more than just purchasing a bike, it's creating your dream.
For more information on Victory motorcycles and Polaris Industries, visit the official Victory Motorcycles web site as well as the other resources linked below.
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Tips On Buying That New Motorcycle
You've made up your mind and you have finally decided to buy a new motorcycle! What a thrilling time this can be especially when you go into a dealership with a little bit of knowledge! It is important to know what you want, and to make sure your motorcycle fits your needs. Do your homework and understand completely what you're looking for before you talk to a salesperson. There is a great web site called http://CycleBuy.com where you can find out the dealer invoice price and obtain a report on each bike. Remember the dealer is in business to think money and he will try and make at least 10% profit on your sale. Some of the more common fees are set-up fees, documentation fees, destination charges and taxes. It is difficult sometimes to find out what a dealership's profit margin is, but it is somewhere between 5 and 15%.
Also know that the salesman will always try to sell you extra items including an extended warranty and all the accessories, because, as you may well know, the dealer makes money on this as well. You may not want any extras and if so, don't let a salesman talk you into anything you don't want.
If you are doing a trade-in, remember to do your homework. Check out this web site, http://www.kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book), as this will tell you what the price of the vehicle is when either selling it outright or trading it in. Try keeping mind that the dealer always wants to make at least 10% profit on each deal, so doing your homework means you may be able to talk them down quite a bit.
Most dealers like cash deals, however, if you are financing try to put down a good portion of that in cash. You may want to use a personal line of credit or get a pre-approved loan from a lending institution before approaching a dealer. Some dealers may have low percentage loans they can offer you on certain models, and this may definitely influence your decision. If you sell your bike privately rather than trading it in, you will usually get more for it. Remember, the dealer wants to work with you so play hardball with him. Give them some of your other business such as riding gear and accessories as this can be used as a bargaining tool. After you finalize the deal, you can almost always get them to sweeten it a bit more by throwing in the helmet or a jacket, since the salesperson has spent a lot of time and doesn't want to lose the sale.
Sintilia Miecevole, Administrator of <a href="http://www.hkmotorcycle.com" title="http://www.hkmotorcycle.com" target="_blank">http://www.hkmotorcycle.com</a> provides you with information or resources from motorcycle, motorcycle accessories, clothing and gear to parts, rallies, events and more. Be sure to visit <a href="http://www.hkmotorcycle.com" title="http://www.hkmotorcycle.com" target="_blank">http://www.hkmotorcycle.com</a> for further information.
Tricks to Purchasing the Perfect Motorcycle Helmet
Is it really possible to find the perfect motorcycle helmet, one that fits correctly, is the color you want and also made from strong sturdy material that will help protect you from serious injury? It may sound easy, but it's darn near impossible to obtain a perfect motorcycle helmet.
You cannot choose a helmet based on its size or the material it's made from alone. There are many things that need to be considered when purchasing motorcycle helmets. Sure, it's probably possible to locate a helmet that is the right color or that is made from the type of material that will satisfy your safety concerns, but when it comes to "proper fit" it opens up a whole new can of worms. It is so important to consider the "safety factor." Some motorcycle helmets are just not as safe as others and you should be aware of this.
Some of the more popular motorcycle helmet manufacturers are Icon, Arai, Shoei, Suomy, Erex, Bell, HJC and Nolan. The majority of their helmets are approved by DOT or Snell. There are many other makers, but these are some of the better known companies.
When it comes to safety there are two major concerns. One, how is your visibility? How is your peripheral vision? Can you see enough of the surrounding area to be safe? If your visibility is poor your chances of being in an accident can increase dramatically. And two, if you are involved in an accident will your head be protected as well as you'd like? Will the material that the helmet is made from stand up to the test, to the punishment?
Many motorcyclists or bikers look solely at the aesthetic qualities of a helmet and disregard safety when looking to purchase a helmet. But in reality it should be viewed oppositely. Safety should always come first.
The main options you have when searching for the perfect motorcycle helmet are color, shape, visibility and liners. Color is the easiest decision to make, right? Wrong. As far as the safety factor goes you should be able to be seen well by other drivers. Bright colors stand out and are very noticeable, even at night, while dull dark colors are not seen easily. It's very important to choose a bright color that can be seen easily by other drivers, even at night.
Another factor to consider is the shape of the helmet. Some people have tall slim oblong heads (egg shaped) while others have round or oval-shaped heads. Trying on helmets for a good fit is the only sure way to tell if it will fit your head properly and comfortably. Plus, you want the weight of the helmet to be distributed properly so that the head can support the helmet easily.
As far as safety is concerned the number one thing to consider is your peripheral vision. Some helmets simply do not allow a biker to see to their periphery well enough to be safe. With good visibility it's a lot easier to see when an accident might happen and have time to react to the circumstances and maneuver out of harms way.
Liners are the last item on the agenda. The purpose of a liner is for comfort, but it also is there to help you with a correct fit. If the liner is not a good fit for your head you will notice specific spots on your head that are receiving more pressure than others. Avoid these liners. Possibly the most comfortable liner is the skull cap. You will usually have less pressure in specific areas when using this type of liner.
Last, but not least, it is not wise to buy motorcycle helmets online unless you have tried that specific helmet on previously in a retail store. In most cases you will be better off trying one on in a store first. Then, once you know the brand, size, color and type of liner that you prefer it's an easy job to browse online for the best deals.
The biggest mistake most consumers make is locating a flashy cool-looking helmet online and then buy it solely because of its looks and for no other reason. Spend a little time shopping and you will likely end up with a product that you can be happy with for many years to come.
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Dirt Bike Jumps
Do I have to face dirt bike jumps?
If you ever want to ride on a motocross track you are going to have to learn to beat the dirt bike jumps. At first they are a very daunting affair, and riding at them with any pace seems almost suicidal but to get anywhere in dirt bike racing you need to face them and you need to beat them otherwise you won't get anywhere and you won't have any success. When you first start dirt bike racing you'll be lucky to get a couple or feet of air and stay upright when you land, but this will all change when you have a little experience and a little knowledge behind you. The only real trick to being any good over dirt bike jumps is to practise and keep practising.
The best way to beat dirt bike jumps.
It's true that there are no quick fixes to beat dirt bike jumps and the real key to success is to practise and keep practising. However, there are some basic guidelines that will increase you chance of success and it is these guidelines you should be practising.
Firstly, you posture should be that of a standing up position but crouched slightly and gripping the bike with your legs; if you don't grip with your legs you and the bike are likely to become separated and this will ensure that you can land relatively comfortably in a sitting position. It also stops the bike from kicking out sideways if you hit a bump on the way up the ramp.
As you approach the ramp you should know pretty much exactly where you want to be on the up ramp; finding the line on the ramp and keeping an even throttle all the way up. Again, this will mean less chance of the bike jumping if you hit a bump or a rock.
If you want to land with your bike upright and you on the seat, then when you've got air you need to be looking where you're going to land and amend your bike position accordingly so if you're landing on the flat lift your handle bars before you hit the ground; this way your back wheel will make contact first and will take most of the pressure of the landing. If, however, you are landing on the down slope then you need your bike to be at the same angle as the slope. To alter your bike's position, you can either rev while in the air which will drop the rear of your bike or you can let up on the clutch and apply the rear brakes giving the opposite effect.
The second before you land get straight onto your clutch, the revs will help your rear suspension take the blow and will give you good acceleration on landing. One of the hardest things about dirt bike jumps is having the confidence to pull it off. If you're confident then you'll stand more chance of doing everything as well as you can so practise and practise hard; don't get too carried away at first though, just take it at your own pace.
Dirt Bikes HQ, <a href="http://www.dirtbikeshq.com/" target="_blank">http://www.dirtbikeshq.com/</a>, for lots of information about dirt biking.
A Buyers Guide to Motor Scooters!
With so many different types of motor scooters available today buyers must do their homework before making a purchase. Vespa, Honda, Piaggio, big engine, small engine, gas, electric, mobility, foldable, seats, handgrips, where do I start?
Before the 1920s it was an easy decision, a foot-powered push scooter or none at all. But once Gino Tsai from Shanghai, Taiwan developed the Razor scooter it changed everything. His motor scooters became popular so quickly there were people waiting in line for six months before they could get one.
In the 1950s companies like Vespa in the UK started selling the first of their gas motor scooters. It was a big hit at the 1950 Motorcycle Show and quickly became a big hit in the UK as well. Vespa sold over 125,000 in the UK between the years of 1950 to 1958. Piaggio from Vespa and Lambretta from Innocenti started selling their models in Italy and France too, quickly becoming the vehicles that everyone had to own. By the early 1950s the sale of motor scooters topped 1 million a year in France alone. Because of its popularity other countries such as France and Germany decided to get in on the boom by manufacturing their own models.
Today, after more than 50 years since the first gas scooters appeared, there are many different makes and models. We have electric, gas powered, foldable, mobility and utility motor scooters dotting the globe. There are specialized scooters for just about every task. They have become a worldwide phenomenon because they are cheap to own, economical to operate, are very handy and functional, and most of all they are a lot of fun. But with all of the makes and models which one is right for you?
Let's start with the different types. Gas motor scooters are the fastest around. They will take you longer distances and reach higher speeds than any of the other varieties. There are smaller and lighter models that will be perfect for running errands around town while the larger and heavier touring models will take you on longer trips. Plus, the larger the gas tank the farther you can travel before needing to stop at a service station.
Electric varieties are a little more economical to run, but will usually travel only about 10 or 15 miles before needing a recharge. Their battery capacity has improved dramatically over the years, but they cannot be taken for long trips due to the fact that their batteries will need recharging periodically. However, for short trips around the city they are wonderful little vehicles. Plus, most scooters have a large storage capacity under the seat so they are ideal for trips to the grocery store or for other light shopping sprees.
The elderly or handicapped typically use what is referred to as mobility scooters. These are usually electric models and have 3 or 4 wheels for extra stability. These models give the elderly or disabled the ability to get about in their homes or around the neighborhood more easily. Without mobility scooters many of the disability-impaired would be confined to their beds.
Another very popular type is the foldable scooter. These are very small and are made for short trips around town. They are particularly popular among the younger crowds. The beauty of these models is that they are extremely compact and can be folded for storage in small places. If you work just a few miles from your home you can travel to work on your folding scooter and then fold it up and put it underneath your desk at work. Very handy.
There are also utility scooters which can be used for many different purposes. They can be used as golf carts or for hauling things. Many big businesses use these types for getting around their factories. Schools use them for driving through the parking lot, checking for cars that shouldn't be there. Major league sports stadiums use them to drive people from one place to another. These are wonderful vehicles that can be used for a variety of reasons.
Once you've decided which type is right for your needs the next step is to figure out what options, if any, you would like included on your vehicle. Of course you can choose from many different colors and designs, but there are other options available to you. You can choose from the many varieties of covers, locks (for security), cases or side bags for storage, helmets, seats, handgrips, windshields or windscreens, backrests for touring, chrome kits, rear luggage racks and many more options. The list of accessories can go on for quite some time.
As a rule of thumb first choose the type of scooter you want, whether it be electric, gas, foldable or utility. This is the easy part because the type you purchase will depend upon your needs. Once that decision has been made look at several popular models in your area and decide which one looks and feels right to you. Most have accessories that are manufactured for a specific model so accessories cannot be decided upon until you know which motor scooter you are going to buy. Once you've decided which accessories you want for the model you chose it's a simple matter of driving your scooter out of the dealership. And it's nothing but fun from there on out.
<a href="http://www.my-motorscooters.com">Cheap motor scooters</a> are lots of fun, which is why Larry Johnson is a motor scooter fanatic. He not only loves to ride motor scooters, but loves writing about them as well. For more information visit <a href="http://www.my-motorscooters.com">My Motor Scooters</a>.
Are Motor Scooters Safe? Yes and No!
Motor scooters, both electric scooters and gas scooters, are a style of motorcycle that have a step through frame and have become a very popular method of travel all over the world. They have been scooting out of show rooms at record speed. But what many people do not realize is that motor scooters are classified as motor vehicles when it comes to highway regulations. And although they are an object of desire for many they can also be dangerous for many.
They are typically regulated by state laws as either motorcycles or mopeds and are subject to many of the same regulations as other motor vehicles. With a careful and alert driver a scooter can be as safe as any other vehicle on the road. But accidents frequently occur when motor scooter drivers think they are exempt from the conventions that apply to automobiles.
Motor scooters (sometimes called mopeds or go peds) are commonly purchased for use by children and teenagers, most of whom do not even possess a valid license to drive. Licensed drivers have had a certain amount of training behind the wheel of a car, unlike many motor scooter drivers under the age of 16. Without proper training children and young teenagers can easily find themselves in positions that experienced drivers normally would not.
Darting in and out of traffic with little driving experience, on a motor scooter that is so small it cannot be seen by other drivers, poses a hazard to both the scooter driver and other motorists traveling the highway. To be safe a motor scooter driver must think of himself as being invisible to the other drivers making their way down the busy streets. A scooter driver cannot assume that other drivers will see them.
A safe approach for a scooter driver would be to assume that they are completely invisible to other drivers and then act accordingly. A motor scooter rider must be ready to maneuver out of harm's if another driver makes a sudden unexpected movement. Being safe means staying alert at all times. Being safe also means following the rules of the road and not making unnecessary or risky moves in traffic that would cause their moped scooter to dart out in front of another moving vehicle. Automobile drivers must have time to react to a scooter driver's movements.
There are many reasons to own a motor scooter. They are often used for traveling short distances around the neighborhood to perform errands. Due to their size, fuel-efficiency, weight, and typically larger storage room than a motorcycle, they are ideal in this situation. But in the hands of the youth, without any previous driving experience, they can be deadly.
The ATV, go carts, dirt bikes and mini bikes are other vehicles that are often owned and operated by younger drivers. ATVs are usually used off road along with dirt bikes and mini bikes. Go karts are typically driven on paved tracks specifically made for the go cart. The go kart, mini bike, dirt bike or ATVs don't usually get out on the open road where there are cars to contend with. Therefore they also avoid many of the dangers that scooter drivers must face.
Motor scooters are the latest craze, especially among the youth market looking for a quick, cheap form of transportation. These youths can be too young to own a driver's license, and the result is a dangerous situation. They are more popular than ever, but as their popularity grows, people's awareness of driving regulations has not kept pace, especially among the younger generation.
Kids often think of motor scooters as toys, not as adult vehicles. But a scooter is not a toy. It's a potentially dangerous motor vehicle subject to certain laws and regulations. Also, youth often think of themselves as being immune to automobile driving regulations and immune to accidents as well. "It won't happen to me" is a very common attitude among the youth. But it's precisely this attitude that can get them into trouble.
People need to be aware of the potential motor scooter dangers and take appropriate action. Scooter riders should pay special attention while driving, making sure not to drive erratically, but to be predictable and courteous to other drivers on the road.
Both kids and adults need training and experience before attempting to maneuver their scooters out in traffic. If parents will take a little time to train their children, making sure they are aware of the rules of the road before they are allowed to travel on them, it could make driving a pleasure instead of a danger. With a little training and some wise words of advice we can all make a difference in the lives of the youth. Give them some training and experience and their motor scooters may be an object of fun instead of injury.
J Larry Alan is an enthusiast of <a href="http://www.my-motorscooters.com">motor scooters</a>. He enjoys driving motorcycles and motor scooters. He also enjoys promoting scooter safety. For more information visit his site about <a href="http://www.my-motorscooters.com">gas motor scooters</a>.
Motorcycle Tire Basics
This is the first in a series of articles exploring motorcycle tire basics and various basic dynamic characteristics of the handling behavior of motorcycles. Overall this is a very complex subject and needs a good level of mathematics and physics to properly understand what's happening. However, in these articles I'll try and explain the basics with the absolute minimum of mathematics, but where this is unavoidable I'll not go beyond simple trigonometry. For those that are unhappy with any mathematics at all, don't worry, just skip those parts and the rest should still prove useful. I'll try and illustrate the mechanics with many sketches and graphs. It seems incredible that just two small contact patches of rubber, can support our machines and manage to deliver large amounts of power to the road, whilst at the same time supporting cornering forces at least as much as the weight of the bike and rider. As such the tires exert perhaps the single most important influence over general handling characteristics, so it seems appropriate to study their characteristics before the other various aspects of chassis design. When Newton first expounded to the world his theories of mechanics, no doubt he had on his mind, things other than the interaction of motorcycle tires with the road surface. Never-the-less his suppositions are equally valid for this situation. In particular his third law states, "For every force there is an equal and opposite force to resist it." or to put it another way "Action and reaction are equal and opposite." Relating this to tire action, means that when the tire is pushing on the road then the road is pushing back equally hard on the tire. This applies equally well regardless of whether we are looking at supporting the weight of the bike or resisting cornering, braking or driving loads. What this particular law of Newton does not concern itself with, is which force is the originating one nor indeed does it matter for many purposes of analysis. However, as a guide to the understanding of some physical systems it is often useful to mentally separate the action from the reaction. The forces that occur between the ground and the tires determine so much the behaviour of our machines, but they are so often taken for granted. tires really perform such a multitude of different tasks and their apparent simplicity hides the degree of engineering sophistication that goes into their design and fabrication. Initially pneumatic tires were fitted to improve comfort and reduce loads on the wheels. Even with modern suspension systems it is still the tires that provide the first line of defence for absorbing road shocks. To explore carcass construction, tread compound and tread pattern in great detail is beyond the scope of this book. Rather we are concerned here with some basic principles and their effects on handling characteristics. Weight Support The most obvious function of the tire is to support the weight of the machine, whether upright or leaning over in a corner. However, the actual mechanism by which the air pressure and tire passes the wheel load to the road is often misunderstood. Consider fig. 1, this sketch represents a slice through the bottom of a rim and tire of unit thickness with an inflation pressure of P. The left hand side shows the wheel unloaded and the right hand side shows it supporting the weight F. When loaded the tire is compressed vertically and the width increases as shown, perhaps surprisingly the internal air pressure does not change significantly with load, the internal volume is little changed. At the widest section (X1) of the unloaded tire the internal half width is W1, and so the force normal to this section due to the internal pressure is simply 2.P.W1 . This force acts upwards towards the wheel rim, but as the pressure and tire width are evenly distributed around the circumference the overall effect is completely balanced. This force also has to be resisted by an equal tension (T) in the tire carcass. The loaded tire has a half width of W2 at it's widest section (X2) and so the normal force is 2.P.W2 . Therefore, the extra force over this section, when loaded, is 2.P.(W2 â€" W1) but as the tire is only widened over a small portion of the bottom part of the circumference, this force supports the load F. The above describes how the inflation pressure and tire width increase produce forces to oppose the vertical wheel loading, but does not completely explain the detail of the mechanism by which these forces are transferred to the rim. The bead of a fitted tire is an interference fit over the bead seat of the wheel rim, which puts this area into compression, the in-line component of the side-wall tension due to the inflation pressure reduces this compression somewhat. This component is shown as F1 on the unloaded half of F1 = T.cos(U1). The greater angle U2 of the side-wall when loaded means that the in-line component of the tension is reduced, thereby also restoring some of the rim to tire bead compression. This only happens in the lower part of the tire circumference, where the widening takes place. So there is a nett increase in the compressive force on the lower rim acting upward, this supports the bike weight. The nett force is the difference between the unloaded and loaded in-line forces, F = T.(cos( U1) -cos(U2)) The left hand side shows half of an inflated but unloaded tire, a tension (T) is created in the carcass by the internal pressure. To the right, the compressed and widened shape of the loaded tire is shown. The in-line components (F1 & F2) of the side-wall tension are reduced by factors equal to the cosines of the angles of the side-wall. This reduction is greater with the loaded tire resulting in a greater compressive force on the lower part of the rim. This is the principle but not the only mechanism which passes force from the wheel to the ground, the above ignores the effects of the flexure stiffness of the carcass itself, in addition to supporting the tension forces as outlined, the side-walls also have some bending resistance which can resist small wheel loads without any internal air pressure. Suspension Action In performing this function the pneumatic tire is the first object that feels any road shocks and so acts as the most important element in the machine's suspension system. To the extent that, whilst uncomfortable, it would be quite feasible to ride a bike around the roads, at reasonable speeds with no other form of bump absorption. In fact rear suspension was not at all common until the 1940s or 50s. Whereas, regardless of the sophistication of the conventional suspension system, it would be quite impractical to use wheels without pneumatic tires, or some other form of tire that allowed considerable bump deflection. The loads fed into the wheels without such tires would be enormous at all but slow speeds, and continual wheel failure would be the norm. A few figures will illustrate what I mean:--Assume that a bike, with a normal size front wheel, hits a 25 mm, sharp edged bump at 190 km/h. This not a large bump. With no tire the wheel would then be subject to an average vertical acceleration of approximately 1000 G. (the peak value would be higher than this). This means than if the wheel and brake assembly had a mass of 25 kg. then the average point load on the rim would be 245 kN. or about 25 tons. What wheel could stand that? If the wheel was shod with a normal tire, then this would have at ground level, a spring rate, to a sharp edge, of approx. 17-35 N/mm. The maximum force then transmitted to the wheel for a 25 mm. step would be about 425-875 N. i.e. less than four thousandths of the previous figure, and this load would be more evenly spread around the rim. Without the tire the shock loads passed back to the sprung part of the bike would be much higher too. The vertical wheel velocity would be very much greater, and so the bump damping forces, which depend on wheel velocity, would be tremendous. These high forces would be transmitted directly back to bike and rider. The following five charts show some results of a computer simulation of accelerations and displacements on a typical road motorcycle, and illustrate the tire's significance to comfort and road holding. The bike is traveling at 100 km/h. and the front wheel hits a 0.025 metre high step at 0.1 seconds. Note that the time scales vary from graph to graph. Three cases are considered: Â· With typical vertical tire stiffness and typical suspension springing and damping. Â· With identical tire properties but with a suspension spring rate of 100 X that of the previous. Â· With tire stiffness 100 X the above and with normal suspension springing. So basically we are considering a typical case, another case with almost no suspension springing and the final case is with a virtually rigid tire. Structural loading, comfort and roadholding would all be adversely affected without the initial cushioning of the tire. Note that the above charts are not all to the same time scale, this is simply to better illustrate the appropriate points. This shows the vertical displacement of the front wheel. There is little difference between the maximum displacements for the two cases with a normal tire, for a small step the front tire absorbs most of the shock. However, in the case of a very stiff tire, the wheel movement is increased by a factor of about 10 times. It is obvious that the tire leaves the ground in this case and the landing bounces can be seen after 0.5 seconds. These curves show the vertical movement of the C of G of the bike and rider. As in Fig 1 it is clear that the stiff tire causes much higher bike movements, to the obvious detriment of comfort. Demonstrating the different accelerations transmitted to the bike and rider, these curves show the vertical accelerations at the C of G. Both of the stiffer tire or stiffer suspension cases show similar values of about 5 or 6 times that of the normal case, but the shape of the two curves is quite different. With the stiff suspension there is little damping and we can see that it takes a few cycles to settle down. The second bump at around 0.155 seconds is when the rear wheel hits the step, this rear wheel response is not shown on the other graphs for clarity. Front wheel vertical acceleration for the two cases with a normal tire. The early part is similar for the two cases, the suspension has little effect here, it is tire deflection that is the most important for this height of step. As in Fig 5 the lack of suspension damping allows the tire to bounce for a few cycles before settling down. As in these curves are of the wheel acceleration, the values of the normal case are overwhelmed by the stiff tire case, with a peak value of close to 600 G compared with nearly 80 G normally. Again note the effects of the landing bounces after 0.5 seconds. This high acceleration would cause very high structural loading. As the tire is so good at removing most of the road shocks, right at the point of application, perhaps it would be worth while to consider designing it to absorb even more and eliminate the need for other suspension. Unfortunately we would run into other problems. We have all seen large construction machinery bouncing down the road on their balloon tires, sometimes this gets so violent that the wheels actually leave the ground. A pneumatic tire acts just like an air spring, and the rubber acts as a damper when it flexes, but when the tire is made bigger the springing effect overwhelms the damping and we then get the uncontrolled bouncing. So there are practical restraints to the amount of cushioning that can be built into a tire for any given application. Effects of Tire Pressure Obviously, the springing characteristics mentioned above are largely affected by the tire inflation pressure, but there are other influences also. Carcass material and construction and the properties and tread pattern of the outer layer of rubber all have an effect on both the springing properties and the area in contact with the ground (contact patch). Under and over inflation both allow the tire to assume non-optimum cross-sectional shapes, additionally the inflation pressure exerts an influence over the lateral flexibility of a tire and this is a property of the utmost importance to motorcycle stability. Manufacturers' recommendations should always be adhered to. The influence of tire pressure on the vertical stiffness of an inflated tire, when loaded on a flat surface. These curves are from actual measured data. Note that the spring rate is close to linear over the full range of loading and varies from 14 kgf/mm. at 1.9 bar pressure to 19 kgf/mm. at 2.9 bar. The effective spring rate when the tire is loaded against a sharp edge, such as a brick, is considerably lower than this, and is more non-linear due to the changing shape of the contact area as the tire "wraps" around the object. This spring rate acts in series with the suspension springs and is an important part of the overall suspension system. An interesting property of rubber is that when compressed and released it doesn't usually return exactly to it's original position, this is known as hysteresis. This effect is shown only for the 1.9 bar. case, the curve drawn during the loading phase is not followed during the unloading phase. The area between these two curves represents a loss of energy which results in tire heating and also acts as a form of suspension damping. In this particular case the energy lost over one loading and unloading cycle is approximately 10% of the total stored energy in the compressed tire, and is a significant parameter controlling tire bounce. Vertical stiffness of a standard road tire against a flat surface at different inflation pressures. This data is from an Avon Azaro Sport II 170/60 ZR17. The upward arrows indicate the compression of the tire and the 2nd line with the downward arrow (shown only at 1.9 bar for clarity) shows the behaviour of the tire when the load is released. The shaded area between the two lines represents a loss of energy called hysteresis. This acts as a source of suspension damping and also heats the tire. (From data supplied by Avon tires.) The lateral stiffness of the same tire measured at two different pressures. In both cases the tire was loaded vertically with it's maximum rated capacity of 355 kgf. The lateral spring rate is less than half that of the vertical rate at 7.7 and 7.3 kgf/mm. at 2.9 and 2.5 bar respectively. It is interesting to note that at the higher pressure the tire saturates or loses adhesion at the lower figure of 460 kgf. compared to 490 kgf. at the lower pressure. Saturation is indicated when the curve more or less becomes horizontal, this is when the tire cannot support an more lateral force and it displaces or slides sideways, with an approximately constant force. The contact patch area and pressure produced at the lower air pressure has allowed more static grip. However, these tests are done with the artificial case of an upright and non-rotating wheel and hence it would be risky to extrapolate this grip characteristic to a moving machine. Although not shown, the lateral deformation would also be subject to some hysteresis and this damping and the lateral flexibility exert an important influence over the weave stability. Lateral stiffness of the same tire shown in fig. 9. The vertical load was constant at 355 kgf. and the wheel was kept vertical. As expected the tire is somewhat stiffer with the higher inflation pressure but loses grip or saturates at the lower lateral load of 460 kgf. compared to 490 kgf. at the lower pressure. (From data supplied by Avon tires.) Contact Area The tire must ultimately give it's support to the bike through a small area of rubber in contact with the ground, and so "contact patch area = vertical force Ã· average contact patch surface pressure". This applies under ALL conditions. The contact patch surface pressure is NOT however, the same as the inflation pressure, as is sometimes claimed. They are related but there are at least four factors which modify the relationship. Carcass stiffness, carcass shape, surface rubber depth and softness, and road surface compliance. If we have an extremely high carcass stiffness then inflation pressure will have a reduced influence. Let's look at this in a little more detail and see why: If a tire was made just like an inner tube, that is from quite thin rubber and with little stiffness unless inflated, then the internal air pressure would be the only means to support the bike's weight. In this case the contact patch pressure would be equal to that of the internal air pressure. For an air pressure of 2 bar and a vertical load of 1.0 kN. Then the contact area would be 5003 sq.mm. If we now increased the air pressure to say 3 bar the area would fall to 3335 sq.mm. Let's now imagine that we substitute a rigid steel tubular hoop for our rim and tire, the area in contact with the ground will be quite small. If we now inflate the hoop with some air pressure, it doesn't take much imagination to see that, unlike the inner tube, this internal pressure will have a negligible effect on the external area of contact. Obviously, a tire is not exactly like the steel hoop, nor the inner tube, but this does show that the carcass rigidity can reduce the contact surface area as calculated purely from inflation pressure alone. On the other hand, let's now imagine that we cover the previous steel hoop with a layer of thick soft rubber. Now, the actual contact area will be considerably increased and the average contact patch pressure will be reduced. Substitute this mental picture back to a real tire and we see that the tread layer of rubber will give us a greater contact area and lower contact pressure than that of the inflation pressure alone. It is this compliance of the surface rubber that gives us more contact with the road when we increase tire width and diameter, but this must be balanced against the opposing effects of the carcass stiffness. Radial and bias or cross ply tires exhibit quite different characteristics in this regard. The properties of the road surface are also important, a soft surface, mud and sand for example, will obviously give support over a wider area of the tire and so reduce the contact pressure. On a hot day with softened tarmac, even a normal road will deflect significantly enough to affect the contact patch. To get a feeling for the degree of departure of the contact patch pressure from the inflation pressure, consider a completely flat tire, in this case the rubber area will probably be no more than 3 or 4 times, at most, the area when inflated correctly. Based on the notion that rubber pressure = inflation pressure, we would expect the rubber area to be much higher, infinite in fact. Another extreme case to consider: Imagine a knobbly tire with very few knobs such that only one knob supports the bike. In this example the rubber pressure is simply the weight divided by the area of the one knob, this is regardless of the inflation pressure. These are extreme examples of course but should still demonstrate the lie in the proposition that rubber contact pressure = inflation pressure. The following describes some simple measurements that I made to check out the actual relationship between load, inflation pressure and contact area. I did 2 sets of tests. For the first I kept the tire inflation pressure constant at 2.4 bar and varied the tire load between 178 and 1210 N. (allowing for the weight of the glass and wooden beams). Secondly, I keep a constant load of 1210 N. and tried varying the inflation pressure between 2.4 to 1 bar. Even with a generous allowance for experimental error the effects are clear. The graphs show that the results appeared to fit reasonably well to a smooth line, there wasn't much scatter. Point (1) on the curve with constant inflation pressure, shows how the actual contact patch pressure is lower (just over half) than the inflation pressure, or in other words the contact area is greater. This is due to the rubber surface compliance, thus this is more important at low vertical loads, whereas carcass stiffness became more important as the load rose as shown by points (3) to (6) where the actual contact pressure is higher than the air pressure, i.e. reduced area of contact. Measurement setup. Various weights were placed on the end of a beam, which also loaded the tire via a thick plate of glass. The beam was arranged to apply the load to the tire with a 4:1 leverage. So a 25 kgf. weight would load the tire with 100 kgf. By tracing over the glass the contact area was determined. Tracings of tire footprint for different loads and pressures. The numbers relate to the data points below. The top plot shows the measured contact patch pressure at various wheel loads for a constant inflation pressure of 2.4 bar. The lower curves show the contact pressure at various inflation pressures for a fixed load of 1210 N. The numbers at the data points correspond with the contact area tracings in the previous sketch. The plain line on each plot shows the case of the contact patch pressure being equal to the inflation pressure. The carcass stiffness helps to support the machine as the air pressure is reduced, the contact patch pressure being considerably higher than the inflation pressure. It looks as though the two lines will cross at an air pressure of about 3.5 bar. (although this was not tested by measurement), at which point the surface rubber compression will assume the greatest importance. This is as per the steel hoop analogy above. We can easily see the two separate effects of surface compliance and carcass stiffness and how the relative importance of these varies with load and/or inflation pressure. These tests were only done with one particular tire, other types will show different detail results but the overall effects should follow a similar pattern. Area Under Cornering Does cornering affect tire contact area? Let's assume a horizontal surface and lateral acceleration of 1G. Under these conditions the bike/rider CoG will be on a line at 45Â° to the horizontal and passing through the contact patch. There will a resultant force acting along this line through the contact patch of 1.4 times the supported weight. This force is the resultant of the supported weight and the cornering force, which have the same magnitude, in this example of a 45Â° lean. The force normal to the surface is simply that due to the supported weight and does NOT vary with cornering force. The cornering force is reacted by the horizontal frictional force generated by the tire/road surface and this frictional force is "allowed" by virtue of the normal force. Therefore, to a first approximation cornering force will NOT affect the tire contact area, and in fact this case could be approximated to, if we were just considering the inner tube without a real world tire. However in reality, the lateral force will cause some additional tire distortion to take place at the road/tire interface and depending on the tire characteristics, mentioned above, the contact area may well change. Another aspect to this is of course the tire cross-sectional profile. The old Dunlop triangular racing tire, for example, was designed to put more rubber on the road when leant over, so even without tire distortion the contact patch area increased, simply by virtue of the lean angle. Next month we'll look at other aspects of tires, such as friction, grip, drifting, under- and over-steer, and tire construction and materials. by Tony Foale http://www.CarsNet.com/motorcycle
Ray Taylor is the owner of the real world San Diego Car & Cycle - Show & Swap. He also owns www.CarsNet.com and www.SanDiegoAutoSwap.com
The Secrets To Getting The Best Motorcycle Insurance Quotes!
Protecting your property from theft and damage is a very important part of life. Why? Quite simply because you have a lot of time, money and love invested into them, and so securing them (at least from a financial perspective) makes a lot of sense. So, buying insurance should be one of your main priorities each time you add a home, change jobs etc.in your life. Equally, it is not just your home and life that needs insurance. That little (or big!) two wheeled beauty sitting on your driveway also needs it. Motorcycle insurance protects the investment that you make in your new Harley or other bike so that you can drive it down the road and park it in your garage without worrying about wrecking it or having it stolen. It also can stop you from experiencing punitive financial problems if you involve someone else in an accident. So, whilst getting a bargain on your motorcyle insurance is not a topic that will neccessarily be as 'Gripping' as riding the bike. It is nevertheless an essential aspect of owning a motorbike.
Motorcycle insurance can usually be purchased from the same company that insures your car, home, etc, which can help to make the process a little easier. Many times, you can get a discount by buying all of your insurance from one company (home insurance, life insurance, medical insurance etc - You can find more general insurance resources at http://www.insurancerebel.com). But you should still research the cost with other specialist vehicle and motorcycle insurance companies to make sure that you are getting the best price available. Here are some things you need to know when you purchase your motorcycle insurance.
1/ Make sure you know who is underwriting the insurance.
The underwriter is the guy (or gal! ;)) who pays up if you need to use the insurance due to a wreck, theft, or vandalism. So you will want to ensure that you have a dependable underwriter for your motorcycle insurance. If your underwriter is not dependable, you could end up with no motorcycle to ride and no money to replace it!
2/ Compare rates as well as policy details.
Just because one insurance rate is cheaper than all of the others does not necessarily mean that you are getting the best deal for your money. Check your state and local laws to learn exactly what insurance coverage you need to purchase for your motorcycle. In this way, you will not be paying for coverage that is not needed and you will have at least the minimum of what the law requires. You may want to get coverage that includes yourself or another driver, passengers, custom equipment, collisions, uninsured motorists, and medical payments. Ask your insurance provider what they offer in motorcycle insurance and compare them against several different companies to find the best price and insurance for you. Be sure to compare like with like in this area. Cheaper is not always better.
3/ Many insurance companies offer a discount on motorcycle insurance if you take an approved motorcycle safety course.
Ask if your company does. There may also be discounts if you purchase other insurance from them as I mentionned above. It never hurts to ask what kind of discounts that a particular insurance company offers, as it may just save you some money! The worst they can say is that they do not offer any discounts. In which case you are no worse off anyway.
A few things that come into consideration when you are getting a quote for motorcycle insurance are your age, riding experience, driving record, and details about your bike, such as value, power, age of bike, modifications, and where it is kept at night. Be honest about the questions that the insurance company asks you. If you do not tell the truth and something happens, then your claim can be denied later on down the road! So be careful. Be prudent. Tell the truth!
Motorcycle insurance is the easy way to protect your bike and yourself from any number of things that can happen in life. It can protect you from financial ruin if you have an accident and cause property damage or other damage. And it also covers you in the event that your bike is stolen or damaged.
So Don't be a Helmet Head! Get some Motorcycle Insurance sorted out TODAY!
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How to Purchase electric scooters online?
The trend of buying the items through the internet has widespread globally. This new revolution has helped people stop going around shop to shop to select an item they exactly look for. The online buying concept helps the customers select the exact item they want and buy the items after paying from home or pay when the item is been delivered at home. This concept has helped even the sellers earn more business without investing money in establishing the retail selling premise in the market areas. Even the manufacturers have started selling their product directly to the customers through online selling. Earlier, the customers never had the knowledge of types, brands and price variation of the item they wanted to buy, because the customers would at the most visit few dealers of a particular area and possibly those dealers would not have a particular item a customer would be looking for, as a result the customer would compromise buying a substitute item. Even if one of those dealers had the exact item the customer would look for, then possibly that dealer would take the advantage of the item being available with him only within that area, so would charge the price more than the price of those dealers in the other areas. The electric vehicles have also mingled with the online sold products and have become the part of the online community. Many manufacturers and dealers have now started selling the electric vehicles including electric scooters directly to the customers through the internet. The online selling system has made the customers smart and alert. Now the customers do not have to go round dealer to dealer looking for the exact item and compromise buying a non-standard or substitute electric vehicle, or pay more to the dealer just because the dealer has the monopoly of a particular brand of electric scooters in particular area. Now the customers can browse through different sites of the companies and dealers dealing in electric vehicles including electric scooters and choose a particular brand or type or design, whatever, they look for in an electric scooter. They also have a wide choice to select from after thoroughly studying and understanding the features of each of the electric scooters. The customers can now gain knowledge of the brands and types of the electric scooters manufacturers and available and also the prices of the types of the scooters so the customers would now not get cheated. When a person thinks of buying an electric scooter or any other electric vehicle for him/herself or for him/her son/daughter, then first of all s/he has to wait for the next week-end. Secondly, s/he has to prepare a plan of where to go to buy the electric scooter and at what time, keeping in mind that his/her other week-end programmes or commitments are not disturbed. Then, if going by car, s/he has to find out whether there is any parking place and also find the route to get to the electric vehicle market. If the person decides to go by public transport or by train to the electric vehicle market, then s/he has to get the information on were to get the bus/train, where to change and were to get down and how long s/he has to walk to reach the market after getting off the public transport. Obviously, such buying would cost delay in buying an electric scooter, time and physical stress. Instead, if a person decides to get an electric scooter for his/herself or for any of his/her beloved ones, then s/he could immediately start browsing the websites and search for the electric scooters. You may also visit the website of www.bernsonev.com and choose one from the wide range of electric scooters the site sells online, of various popular brands at unbeatable price. The online buying facility can save up to 75% of the time and buying cost of the buyers.
Search for Motorcycle Information
With the advent of internet a person can get a significant amount of information about motorcycles. Online motorcycle information includes various prices at which motorcycle is available, discounts on certain models, sale of used motorcycles, insurance, motorcycle parts, free price quotes, motorcycle dealers, latest models. Some of the useful websites that provides information related to motorbikes are: www.bizrate.com, find bargains on motorcycle parts and accessories and other automotive products. Get tax and shipping information, merchant ratings, and professional product reviews at this website. You can also find motorcycle parts, apparel, accessories, over 74,000 aftermarket parts, apparel and accessories. motorcycle parts, seats, repair online. Dennis Kirk (www.denniskirk.com) offers a complete line of motorcycle parts and accessories. They stock over 800 brands for all makes. Same day shipping and guaranteed satisfaction is provided by them. You can also easily find information about motorcycle insurance online - GMAC Insurance and Rider Magazine have partnered to provide insurance for cruising and touring bikes.
Lee is well known author who writes for autos for more information visit to www.411autos.com
How to Buy a Pocket Bike
A pocket bike is getting to be more and more popular for people. With so many of the manufactures bringing new ideas to the bike trend, there are so many bikes to choose from to fit your style. When you are buying a pocket bike, you have to do a little research before you agree on one certain kind. One of the most important facts about buying a pocket bike is to find a high quality product at a great price. You want to get the most for your money and have a bike that will last a long time for anyone to have. There are gas and electric pocket bikes to choose from. You need to determine what style and brand that you want and then do the shopping to find the best prices around. Do not let anyone pick your pocket bike for you. This is something that you want to use and you should pick the right one for you. You want to check how powerful the bike is going to be. If the bike is for you or another adult, then the more horse power the better. If it is for a child, then you may want to tone it down a little bit more for safety. Think about how heavy the rider is going to be and where they will be riding it. The atmosphere is so important to the size and the kind that you decide on. Make sure that the bike is made from durable materials and put together in sturdy way. You should inspect the bike thoroughly so that you do miss any imperfections or mistakes. You want your ride to be as safe as possible. You should also check the store where you are buying he pocket bike. Think about their creditability and how safe it is. If you are buying online, you should do a lot of research on the company to make sure that you are buying from a store that has a good reputation. Also check the return policy of the store where are buying the pocket bike. Make sure that you can return the pocket bike if it does not meet your expectations. You should ask about this policy before you decide to purchase the bike. Understand all of the fees that you may be responsible for if you do decide to return the bike. Check to make sure that you are allowed to ride the pocket bikes in your area. Do this before you purchase your bike because it may not be legal for you to ride your pocket bike and you will not be able to return it later for this reason. You will have to decide on the bike that you want. Do not buy one just because it is the cheapest one for you. You should make sure that you are happy with the bike so that you can enjoy as much time on the pocket bike as possible. This is your investment and you will be the only one to determine the one that you want. Once you choose the perfect pocket bike for you, you will have nothing but fun riding it.
Copyright 2006 - Ivar Rudi. Ivar suggests you find great market for less by shopping online today. For more information and resources about this subject check out: http://www.pocketbikes-guide.com/ and also: http://www.mini-chopper.org/