Sunday, August 31, 2008

Taxi! The Okada.

Pict by Michael Kamber for The New York Times

"Okada refers to commercial motorcycles in Nigeria, where motorcycle riders carry passengers for hire. It is one of the chief modes of transport in Nigeria and, by far, the most common form of informal transport system in that country. The popularity and widespread acceptance of okada has rapidly risen in recent years. Unfortunately, the rise of okada has been accompanied by increased levels of high-risk behavior and accidents on Nigerian roads; as a result they have come under heavy flak culminating in legislations restricting or prohibiting their operations in some Nigerian cities.

Okadas have adapted easily to the prevailing economic climate in a contemporary Nigerian society plagued by a dearth of taxi and bus services, hypercongestion, and the poor state of roads. Also, they have become a ubiquitous feature of Nigerian cities because of their low cost of purchase and fuel efficiency. However, they are usually more expensive for consumers than other forms of road transport.

Jincheng AX100 Kano-The Classic Okada Motorcycle Taxi.
Pict Via:
Shiraz Chakera's photostream

The survival of okadas during fuel (gasoline) shortages in Nigeria is preserved by their superior fuel economy. Motorcycle fuel efficiency benefits from the relatively small mass of the vehicle, compared to its passengers and to other motor vehicles, and subsequent small engine displacement. During fuel scarcity, okadas quickly become the dominant form of transport. This has led some to allude that they may be responsible, at least in part, for fuel crises in Nigeria. Furthermore, a weak mass transit system has spawned the use of these alternate means of transport. Okadas are also able to navigate and travel roads where no car has gone before - especially true in villages, and urban slums. Okada riding has been described as “a unique experience” by regular passengers and tourists. In the major cities e.g. Lagos, where traffic congestions (and inevitably, delays) represent an ever-present threat to businessmen, government workers, students of various schools and colleges, okadas come into play, with their smaller design they are able to weave through traffic, and literally rescue countless helpless customers from the organized chaos on Nigerian roads."

Great moments in motorcycle advertising.

Buy me that!

Youtube: Tunnel of Love.

Tunnel of Love, a 1997 short film that existentially captures the sexual empowerment embodied by a fast motorcycle. Former Sex Pistol Edward Tudor Pole plays the male lead, while the lovely Tamara Beckwith plays the female lead. Music is courtesy of Joe Strummer, formerly of The Clash. Watch out for a cameo appearance by Ace Café owner Mark Wilsmore, too. (link)

Its a living.

Game on-1978 Atari Space Riders Pinball.

pict via: xmission

Via: the lawleys

"I was over at an acquaintance's house one day and saw that he had a pinball machine in his basement. I thought that was pretty cool. His little kids were playing it, and I could see that it had a number of things wrong with it, such as flippers that didn't work, broken bumpers, etc. I didn't even take note of the name of it or anything.

One day I find out they are moving. I asked what the plan was for the pinball machine. I was told that it was now in the garage, as it was almost totally unplayable. After offering to buy it from him he said I could just have it. I didn't feel this was fair, so I gave him $25-Canadian.

I obviously came to realize it was an Atari Space Riders. One thing that impressed me right away was the manufacturer. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Atari. I was a huge Atari 800/600xl fan, and at one time owned a lot of Atari 8-bit computer stuff.

I never really knew much of Atari's pinball history though. However, after tinkering with my Space Riders, I started having flashbacks of this machine. I now recall having played it many times at a campground not far from where I grew up in Penticton, BC, Canada.

What makes Space Riders unique is that it has no electronics, not even scoring, in the head. The scoring is displayed near the bottom of the main box, just above the left flipper button. The backglass is just one big lit up mirrored picture of a guy and his girl on a motorbike. Actually the flyer calls it a "super motocross theme"."

Above: the groovy art for the Space Riders owners manual-Via: quarter arcade

On a Pale Horse.

Designers: Bjorn Ollner.

"Bjorn Ollner was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1947. He studied architecture at The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and became a registered Architect in 1975 with a special interest for free form concrete buildings.

In 1976 Bjorn came to Vancouver, Canada, to broaden his architectural abilities by working with movies and television.

Mr. Ollner specializes in conceiving ideas which include new and innovative thoughts, ideas that inspire! His strength lies in combining fun and fantasy with technical expertise.

Bjorn works with World Expositions, trade shows, science centres, museums, feature films and a variety of other organizations. He is a team player and a collaborator. Bjorn has a unique flair for putting magic and wonder into his work while keeping it practical, durable, safe and accessible.

Mr. Ollner's keen attention to detail and constant vigilance regarding his clients' goals have enabled him to produce projects of the highest quality. His creative vision, leadership and constant drive for perfection have contributed positively in many team work situations."

Sadly Bjorn does not give us any detail on his amazing Yamaha custom

The Art of Marta Istok.

"Marta Istok was born in November of 1950 in the small town of Ozd in Hungary. She practiced as a medical doctor for ten years until she moved with her husband and two children to the United States in 1988. There, she was no longer able to practice and assumed the role of a stay-at-home mother to her children.

Istok began painting in 2004 as a form of mental and spiritual therapy. Since then, she has produced over 250 paintings and recieved attention from all over the world.

Istok is influenced by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, specifically Gauguin and the work of Hundertwasser. All her paintings are done on canvas with oil paint."

Gallery: Daily Life in Cambodia.

Zen Moment-Buckley on the road.

William F. Buckley Jr. on his Honda Super Cub in downtown Manhattan-Via: njsupercub

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Youtube: Waffle Bike.

Waffle Bike is a fully weaponized waffle making device complete with call to prayer public address system. Film by Tom Sachs & Neistat Brothers. Editing by Brett Jutkiewicz.(link)

Complete with a mini-fridge, a cage for chicken to lay fresh eggs as well as components to hold ingredients like whipped cream, Pam cooking spray, and lingonberry jam.

The motorcycle in cinema-Vexille.

Vexille (ベクシル 2077日本鎖国 Bekushiru 2077 Nihon sakoku?, full Japanese title literally "Vexille: 2077 Japanese Isolation") is a 2007 Japanese CGI anime film, written, directed, and edited by famed Ping Pong director Fumihiko Sori, and features the voices of Meisa Kuroki, Yasuko Matsuyuki, and Shosuke Tanihara.

By the 2060s, robotics technology has advanced to the point that cybernetics have become plausible. World opinion begins to turn against robotics, leading to the U.N. declaring a unilateral ban on further research and development in 2067. Japan, being home to robotics pioneer Daiwa Heavy Industries, strongly protests this ban, but is unable to prevent its passage.

The original soundtrack and music to the series features an electronic, techno and trance theme, and features Basement Jaxx, Boom Boom Satellites, Asian Dub Foundation, Dead Can Dance, Carl Craig, The Prodigy, DJ Shadow, M.I.A, with singer Mink providing the theme song Together again and Paul Oakenfold handling the music.

Dr Low's Rocket Cycle.

Via: the vintagent

"Archibald Montgomery Low was a pioneer of rocket exploration, and is considered the father of radio guidance systems for rockets, planes, and torpedoes. He was a fascinating character; in 1904, when he was 16 years old, he invented the first 'pre-selector' gearbox. In 1914, he invented an early form of television (which he called TeleVista, or 'seeing by wireless'). In 1917, during WW1, he created an aerial drone plane for the Royal Flying Corps, which was radio controlled and intended as a guided bomb - during this experiment he also built the first electric/gyroscopic plane control system. Also in 1917, he created a radio-controlled rocket. In 1916, he published a book, 'The Two Stroke Engine, a Manual of the Coming Form of Internal Combustion Engine'. He 40 other books on technical matters, and a few sci-fi titles and held nearly 100 patents.

While the British military authorities thought him something of a crank, the Germans realized how dangerous his inventions could be... so after trying twice to kill him (first using an assassin with a gun, then a strychnine-laced cigarette), they used his research during the 1930's to create their 'V' bombs.

Low's scooter patent

In the 1920's, one of Low's projects which came to commercial fruition was a scooter, built by the Low Engineering Company, with funding from Sir Harry Norman (no relation to Norman motorcycles); several patents from around 1922/3 indicate that the scooter would have had a monocoque chassis of pressed steel panels possibly with 'sprung wheels'

Low was a Brooklands habitue in the 20's, and gave a 'Professor Low' cup for a 3-wheeler handicap race on July 29, 1922. He was Chairman of the ACU for 24 years.... certainly a fellow who deserves a bit more attention, or maybe a feature length film starring Russel Crowe."

flickr: Kinder Surprise.

"Kinder Surprise, also known as a Kinder Egg (Kinder being the German word for "Children"), is a confection originally intended for children in the form of a chocolate egg containing a small toy, often requiring assembly.

Kinder Surprise originated in 1972 in Italy. The manufacturer is Ferrero. The toys are designed by both inside designers and external freelancers (for example the French artist André Roche based in Munich) and manufactured by many companies worldwide (such as Produzioni Editoriali Aprile, a small company based in Turin, Italy, run and founded by two brothers, Ruggero and Valerio Aprile).

In Europe, their popularity has spread beyond their intended market, and they have become a minor cult phenomenon among discerning adults. There is even a thriving collector's market for the toys. This is especially true in Germany, where the manufacturer includes higher-quality toys than those available elsewhere."

Andreas Martin's “Beema”

Via: vhxn
“Beema” this is a new name to the motorcycle market. This motorcycle concept is revealed by Mr. Andreas Martin. He has designed this motorcycle to take on any obstacle like Chairs, Banks. We can ride this motorcycle in two different modes, to overcome the distance in the city stunt-riding mode is used and the cruise mode is used to relax in well-seated position. This on going project is cooperated with BMW motorcycles.

Serial Number 6218.

Illustrations by Kathy Kaiser
Via: michelle duff

"Serial Number 6218 is a true story about Michelle Duff's personal motorcycle. Everything in the book really happened all from the motorcycle's point of view, with an abundance of imagination. The last four digits of the actual serial number of Michelle's FZR 600 Yamaha, are 6218.

Back in her youth, Michelle saw a cartoon at the movies that showed the conversion of a Model "A" Ford into a hotrod, and transformed the sad, used Ford, into a happy, spiritied automobile once again. Since then, Michelle has believed that all things mechanical have animation, feelings, and personal goals, especially cars and motorcycles.

The model that 6218 is, was made in his year of manufacture more as a racing motorycle for production machine racing than as a road bike. Rules dictated that the model must be street legal to qualify for production class racing. Most models like 6218, were sold for racing, and few actually saw use on the street.

And, so it was when Michelle first bought 6218, she was riding out on the bus to collect him from the dealership, and she thought how annoyed he was going to be when he found out that he was going to be just another road bike, and not an important racing motorcycle. And, to make matters worse, he was going to be ridden by a WOMAN, and not a race rider. In Michelle's mind, the story grew from their first ride together to the growing respect and love they developed for each other, to the moving end to this chapter in 6218's life."

Blair Hasty’s bicycle designed for personal and community health.

By Sameer Kumar Via: ecofriend

"This started as a project for the class and is now in the shape of something that has both huge potential for future and definitely the design and structure that could be used by any big bicycle brand across the planet. This just goes to show once again how a young, creative and pressure free mind is a lot better at times than those who are working on paid research. The Commuter designed by Blair Hasty is a bicycle that promotes health over comfort and clean air over carbon emissions. I will take that combination any day for sure.

It is a known fact that most of the city commuters have short distance to cover and commute all alone in a car. This not only causes a problem to the traffic during rush hour, but also adds to the already alarmingly increasing carbon content in air. No wonder then that Blair turned towards a bicycle concept for his green design and it has surely paid off.

In traditional bike designs the rider’s feet are underneath them causing their torso to hunch forward in order to reach the handles. This results in unnecessary strain on the lower back, arms, and buttocks, not to mention poor aerodynamics. This bike eliminates those problems with its design and it also gives you that feeling that you are Lance Armstrong on the Alpine slopes during Tour De France. The new position of pedals behind the feet gives you a lot better position and better aerodynamics too.

The new riding position helped solve the storage problem by freeing up plenty of useable space beneath the rider. In this newly acquired gap the rider can suspend a large bag for cargo. And as for the storage of the bicycle, after the destination has been reached and the cargo contained within the bag can be removed, it can be expanded and the bike can be folded and placed inside. The design surely is both a success in regards to the rider’s health and of course emission free commuting. It would be nice to see more such designs take center-stage and make a greener tomorrow."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Zen Moment.

The Lion King.

The Chopper Zombie.

The American dream: A boy and his Zombie Chopper.

"Designed by Russell Mitchell of Exile Cycles, and special effects artist Robert Hall from Almost Human. The ‘Chopper Zombie’ is from the new graphic novel created by Thom Beers.

The plot revolves around a motorcycle builder who refuses to sell his formula for a new superfuel to a dangerous corporation, but when a team of hooligans kill him, he arises from the dead to seek revenge eventually sabotaging their lives! This masterpiece certainly evokes the love for ghouls and ghosts a little more. It reminds you of all the creepy monstrous characters from games like Resident evil, House of the dead, Parasite eve, Doom. Truly a treat for the ones who love this sort of stuff, the novel is bound to release sometime next year. Future plans also include a movie."
External Link: Chopper Zombie

The motorcycle in cinema-Super Cub: The Movie.

Via: the scooter scoop (link)
"The most famous bike in Japan is the Honda Super Cub (with 60 million sold worldwide) Here a never before seen high-speed action Super Cub movie is born. Our hero delivers soba (Japanese noodles) to customers on his bike. Not only for his job, he also heats up his Super Cub for his friends.This tense action movie delivers love, friendship and Soba !!!The world was starving for such an unusual action movie !!!"

External link: Super Cub: The Movie

Gallery: The Discarded.

NYC bike rack designs by David Byrne.

Via: Make.

"David Byrne and the New York City Department of Transportation, in conjunction with New York art gallery PaceWildenstein, have unveiled nine unique bicycle racks designed by DB and installed in various locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. An avid bicyclist for almost 30 years, Byrne was invited to join the panel of jurors selected by the DOT to judge a design competition for outdoor and indoor bicycle racks. Inspired by the city's initiative, he submitted some original design ideas of his own named after specific locations and neighborhoods, which the DOT enthusiastically agreed to install for a period of 364 days."

"Doc" Hopkins Four-Tee-Five.

Steve "Doc" Hopkins and his wife Rhonda sit on his "Four-Tee-Five" motorcycle at Doc's Harley Davidson of Shawano County in Bonduel on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008.
Photo by Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette

via:green bay press gazette

"TOWN OF HARTLAND — It's one of those things that draws people over with a smile and look of awe.Or maybe it's bemusement.

The lanky vehicle isn't a run-of-the-mill motorcycle: Five seats and bars atop a quartet of vintage 1950s Harley-Davidson 45-cubic-inch motorcycle engines.

But for one Shawano County business owner, the unique motorcycle is not only a product of a desire to take on challenging projects, but it's also a tribute to the 105-year history of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.

"I didn't even know I was going to build this four-engine motorcycle," said Stephen "Doc" Hopkins, owner of Doc's Harley-Davidson, near Bonduel. "I knew I wanted to build something out of old flathead motors — something told me to do that. Then one night it struck me to put four of them in a row."

He considered putting eight people on the motorcycle, but decided that would make the bike cumbersome.

"I started with a pile of iron … and just started cutting and bending, welding and making the frame," Hopkins said earlier this week, standing in the dealership's shop with the motorcycle in front of him. "I had a pile of old motors I'd bought at a swap meet in … Pennsylvania, and I started tearing those apart and rebuilding them."

The motorcycle was built in about 17 days. Hopkins said he wanted to get it done in time for the 105th anniversary parade in Milwaukee.

"I gave Willie G. Davidson, the grandson of the original Davidsons, not really a promise, but my best shot that I was going to get this thing ready for his parade," he said. "I did it, and that's what drove me to do a lot of it."

The motorcycle is heading for Milwaukee today and will be part of the anniversary parade. Hopkins said the bike will be displayed at the dealership afterward.

Plans for the Four-Tee-Five, as the motorcycle is named, were sketched out on a pair of white pieces of paper with pen. Hopkins opens the folded pages showing a design that looks like the finished product.

Written on one of the plans are the words: "Yes … We can do it!"

"I just enjoy building things, and people like to stop in here to see what's next," the Algoma native said. "I like the challenge. I didn't do this to become famous or anything, I just did it because I enjoy the challenge."

Hopkins added a reserve fuel tank, a small Hamm's tapper keg, to augment the three gallons of fuel stored in the frame.

"I don't care if you're a doctor, lawyer or some Joe working in a factory; it doesn't matter who you are or what you do we treat you all the same," said Hopkins, who pointed out he is more concerned about keeping customers happy and employees working than growing the bottom line. "We bend over backward to help each person as much as we possibly can."

Aside from motorcycles sales and service and a riding school, the dealership on Wisconsin 29 also houses a classic car and motorcycle museum, a zoo, Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast and pirate ship — which Hopkins also built."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Youtube: Leeds Met.

Moral of the story: leave the pigeons alone (link)

Toy Soldiers.

Zen Moment-Rat Fink.

The BVSA Rocket Bike.

By Sonia Zjawinski Via: wired

"It may take NASA decades to finish construction on a shuttle, but it only took the Bay View Space Program a weekend to build its BVSA Rocket Bike. It was originally made so founder Jason Broemmel (who also built the Golden Gate Bridge Bike) could attempt to jump over Islais Creek in San Francisco for a bike rodeo. (He fell straight into the water.) The ride features rockets on either side that are powered by highway flares, illegal fireworks and propane. Broemmel's next project: a five-wheel bike capable of hauling two kegs of beer -- every astronaut's dream."

The World's Second-Largest Single-Cylinder Motorcycle.

Pict via: Top Speed
Via: inventorspot

"When we think of today's motorcycles, most people will automatically picture a V-Twin on a sunny afternoon. We sometimes forget about the hard hitting single cylinders. However, Franz Langer has come up with something that should bring the spotlight back to single cylinders for at least a while.

Mr. Langer is a German Engineer who has always been most interested in the single-cylinder design, rather than the more common V-Twin. While he was working, he filled his garage with 600cc to 700cc motorcycles. After he retired, he began building his own outrageous rides.
The cream-of-the-crop came when he decided he wanted to build the worlds largest single-cylinder engine on a motorcycle. For a long time that benchmark was 1000cc. It then made a jump to 1500cc. To be able to top that, Franz began with an airplane engine, single-cylinder of course, that displaced 1440cc. The next step was to enlarge the engine and use a larger yet lighter cylinder. The final result was a 2000cc monster.

He then mounted his oversized engine onto an old NSU Konsul. Soon after everything was complete, his name was added to the Guinness Book of World Records for building largest single-cylinder engine on a motorcycle. The only downside to the whole design, it's a kickstart. Anyone who weighs less than 150lbs might need some help."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Great moments in Scooter advertising.

Monowheels: The Beijing Light Wheels.

Via: treehugger
"Hopefully bike and monowheel fans caught sight of the 60 rather spectacular "Light Wheels" spinning around at the 2008 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony in Beijing.

(...and these weren’t the only homage that the Olympics paid to the bike. It was the first Olympic Games where BMX (bicycle motocross) was a sport in its own right.)

The official, somewhat overwrought, description of the bikes goes: ‘With a diameter of 2.008 meters, the "light wheel" gives off romantic and pure fluorescent light, resembling the structure of the Bird's Nest. When it revolves in the stadium like a beautiful light circle, it shows the collision of time and space and the human spirit of constantly surpassing oneself and never giving up.’
Jeff Gross/Getty Images from NYT

Everybody loves Donuts.

Exhibition: Being There, Burlington Arts Centre (Documentation of Donut Machine Demonstration)
Via: Steven Laurie's photostream

Steven Laurie's new and improved Donut machine.