The uber-techs at Castrol have been hard at work perfecting a bad-ass robotic test "rider". Well, it doesn't really ride, but it can sit atop the motorcycle and do all the throttle, clutch, and shift actions that a human rider does.
Among the many stated benefits:
- Flossie can be fitted onto any bike or scooter for testing on a chassis dynamometer.
- Flossie can act like a new rider, learning how to operate all the controls, gaining proficiency over time.
- Flossie will perform the same gear change or the same acceleration time after time.
- Flossie doesn't get tired or saddle sore
- Flossie doesn’t mind the excruciating noise of the bike in the chamber as its engine screams away
- Flossie doesn't worry about riding in extremes of temperature
- And, most importantly, Flossie is a safe rider
Of course, I think this is complete bull. Castrol engineers built Flossie because it was just a wickedly-cool looking 'bot!
Here's a short YouTube video showing Flossie in action and one of the techs giving background details...
In an earlier story about the 2008 H-D sales slump, I wondered whether the then-current slump would extend into the 2009 (and possibly 2010) Harley-Davidson model year sales.
Well, I'm sure it won't come as much of a surprise in this economy: Harley-Davidson reports second-quarter profits are off by 91% over the same quarter in 2008. Revenue declined 27 percent to $1.15 billion. Hard times are expected to continue into 2010 as the economy remains weak.Click here to continue...
Troubled times for manufacturers and motorsports fans alike
Sources have reported that Kawasaki is set to announce its departure from MotoGP on January 5, 2009. If true, this leaves the Kawasaki MotoGP team riders (Melandri, Hopkins) looking for a new team in the coming season.
On the four-wheeled scene, Honda quit Formula One in December. Suzuki and Subaru are pulling out of WRC (See our related links, below.)
Things are tough all over. The economic conditions are likely to worsen before they improve, and manufacturers have a tough time justifying the expense of maintaining high-profile racing programs...
We'll be up at Infineon Raceway Monday, November 17 2008 for the Buell Inside Pass event.
Update 11/23/2008: I've posted our coverage of the Buell Inside Pass Track Day.last year's event (it was held at Mazda Laguna Seca) due to weather and work, but I decided to blow off the work thing this year -- taking some much needed vacation time, and the weather looks like it'll be perfect (I hope we can trust the weather forecasts.)
Click here to continue...
Has anyone seen these black, rectangular 'dots' taped to the road surface lately? They are located about a mile apart, on highway 16 between Plymouth and Sloughhouse in Northern California.
They aren't much of a hazard, but I wonder what the heck they are. They are all placed in the center of the travel lane. You will probably miss them if you are in a car, but if you are on a bike, you may ride over them.Click here to continue...
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Due to several recent inappropriate comments (which I've deleted) I've now enabled comment moderation - so if you aren't signed in to your roadcarvin.com account, new comments will not be visible to site visitors until they've been reviewed by a site moderator.
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