Judging from some news reports, the electric motorcycle is about to take over the world. No doubt, the e-rides are getting a boost from the hybrid and electric car publicity.







Ebikes are also proving worthy in races.







However, they may not be everything that is promised.







NOT SO GREEN







To start, a lot of people think the electric motorcycles are better for the environment. Certainly, they produce fewer byproducts like exhaust fumes. But they are not 100 percent green no matter what anyone says.

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In the middle of WWII, the Russians created the Ural, a sidecar and motorcycle company.

The Ural is named after a range of mountains in West Russia. For the geographically minded, read more here.

These days, the Ural is made in a plant in Siberia. Wes Siler visited the plant and wrote about for RideApart. What he learned will probably make you shake your head. Rather than outsource, the factory makes pretty much everything.

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Few things beat cruising down a stretch of highway on two wheels. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Sooner or later, everyone is going to open the throttle to see just how fast that iron steed will move.



  



Top speed in commercial production motorcycles varies widely. Motor size and motorcycle weight are two major factors in setting the upper limit. Other factors in hitting top end are accessories, like a windshield, fairing and cowling and the weight of the rider.

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Finding 100 percent gasoline is hard and getting harder all the time. Efforts are afoot to turn the 10 percent ethanol blend into a 15 percent blend.

What is ethanol? Why is it used? Is it any good? Does it really harm engines? So what's the flap about ethanol?

Ethanol (CH3CH2OH) is not-aged alcohol. The only difference between ethanol and a shot of your favorite at the bar is filtering, aging and added flavors. That's it. The same corn that produces alcohol also produces moonshine. The factories that produce ethanol for addition into motor fuels are just giant stills.

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You are now entering the Twilight Zone.

Rod Serling may be long gone, but his visions of alternative reality live on. Alternate reality also lives in the motorcycle world. Here's a look at some of the weirdest motorcycles ever to hit the road.

HONDA CBX

Jalopnik puts the Home CBX at No. 10 on the top 10 list of odd bikes/ Why? How about six exhaust ports on the front and that's just the start. "Equipped a twin cam straight six with the crank in the middle, this Honda was the Hayabusa of the 1970s. No replacement for displacement, right?" If you want more info, check out Motorcycle Classics for a review of this short-lived bike.

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We hate this, with a passion! You lock up your precious motorcycle to come back to it and find that it has been stolen. No matter how strong the lock, thieves always find a quick way of disabling it.

But maybe now there is much better lock coming our way, the Skunklock!

As the name implies the lock acts like a skunk; tamper with the lock and it releases a very noxious gas, just like its namesake animal counterpart does. The gas is not lethal (too bad) but its effects are instantaneous; the criminal starts vomiting.

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If you have an electric start ride, you have a battery. Let's take a look at batteries, battery tech and who kind of battery you should have.

TYPES

Conventional

This is the cheapest battery. It also requires the most maintenance.

You'll be adding water, distilled water please, to the battery to maintain it. The caps do not seal the battery well enough to keep the liquid inside. When the battery warms up, the liquid insideevaporates.

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It's not illegal to ride a motorcycle. However, some of the Thin Blue Line do see a motorcycle as a valid excuse to stop the rider.

This is not every law enforcement officer, but enough of them do it to make this a concern for the motorcycle community.

Idaho is the latest state to see a bill before the legislature to stop motorcycle profiling.

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Ducati make some great motorcycles, and the dual-sport Multistrada is a fine example of this. The motorcycle is very versatile, powerful, fast and looks the business. But this 160 hp adventure seeking motorcycle has one big downside; it’s expensive – US$17,000 to $21,000.

But what to do if you want one just because it looks good riding a Ducati?

Well, Chinese knock-off manufacturer Motrac have been making “copies” of existing popular motorcycles for a while now. But they do a stellar job in the “design” and functions.

 

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What's going to happen to the Victory Motorcycle line now that Polaris is shutting down production?

The short answer is it's going away. Some bikes will become collector's items, a remnant of a time gone by. Some bikes will just wear out and be recycled.

The medium-length answer is, it depends. Polaris Industry's decision to shut down the Victory line can yet be reversed. Polaris may restart production in the future. The Victory line can be sold to another company.

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Most guardrails alongside roads are deadly for motorcycle riders. With large and a high space from the ground up, bikers that has been ejected from their motorcycle stands a big chance at best of serious injuries when hitting the pylons holding up the crash barrier, or at worst, being decapitated (which apparently happens more regularly than what you might think). 

The response from many governments is to place a barrier low on the ground preventing the biker from sliding through. It does work, and it’s better than nothing, but not the best solution. Until now…. 

 

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