Motorbikes – Assembling and Testing.

If you respect motorbikes, generally speaking, you will be all right, but there is anecdotal evidence of people losing their lives in speed trials and other events. If you push your luck too much for too long, you’re asking for trouble?

If you just can’t wait to see what your new ride can do, and you decide to take it out on public roads you’ll have to contend with other forms of traffic. There is evidence that testers tend to ignore the posted speed limit of the roads. To be fair it’s hard to read the sign when you’re going that fast.

Manufacturers test on a closed loop, but not all new motorbike testing is done on a closed loop. Professionals also conduct road tests, which occasionally get out of hand. Although anecdotal reports of bikers testing their vehicles to 235 mph (in that case on a Vincent style motorbike) seem unlikely, it doesn’t stop motorcycle testers getting a reputation as a terror on the road. (Another report suggests the maximum was actually 150 mph but it doesn’t stop the job being a death trap.)

Motorbike Styles and Types

For the bigger names such as BMW the shaft, chain and belts differs between models. The biggest factor is the type of bike–off-road, sporting or a touring version. For those who like a bit of both, dual purpose bikes are available.

It can be a bit complicated for people to understand the various types but put simply the C series are maxi-scooters, the K series are four cylinder engines for the road and the S series are the sports series.

Working on Bikes

If you wish to rebuild an engine yourself you will need to examine its manual in minute detail, though you might need an extra manual such as those published by Clymer or the OEM service manual to get to the nub of the information.

You can only really know if you need something new, say a carburetor by taking it out and examining it. This is where the problems start as, if it’s fine, you’ll still need to know how to put the gaskets and such back.

Another thing to look out for especially with older motorbikes is rust; does it need to be cleaned off? The next mission is to look at the spark plugs and then after that look at doing an electrical check, it’s all a cerebral challenge for the novice.

There are stories of people moving from testing motorbikes to testing cars. So, promotion through survival?

You may have thought that choppers were bikes but there are a number of chopper motorbike enthusiasts who would argue that having two wheels doesn’t make it a motorcycle. To “chop” meant to strip the bike, get rid of the fenders for example.

Examples can be seen in the 1969 film Easy Rider.

Nowadays you can buy customized choppers which retail for tens of thousands of dollars. Which is one source of road testing instead of closed loop. Small custom shops are more likely to head out to the desert than rent a closed racetrack.

On your way to the desert you’ll need to navigate some regular roads with regular traffic. Of course, the first issue is if other drivers even see you. When you test on the Californian roads you may be looking at taking your life in your hands.

Aside from issues that all bikers face, there are some troubles that you might not think of. The problems may be due to the differences of bike available. Some are hefty Harleys, other are much lighter such as the Honda Fury. You really need to know your engine in order to be safe.

As well as testing new bikes you can test bikes for emissions and so on at garages. This must be a safer job because you aren’t travelling at speed. It probably doesn’t involve the same sense of thrill though.

Selecting a Merc

When selecting a Mercedes it helps to have a dedicated consultant. This one person who guides your client journey from the website to vehicle delivery. There is a backroom group of people checking that the car is the right color and age for you.

To help you when buying online it helps to be able to explore the exterior and the interior as well as being able to scroll over to change the design. The difficulty on buying online is you might be reducing the act of buying a car to deciding on the fuel type and the transmission-this can only be a starting point.

It helps too gaining information on the CO² emission and the transmission, but we’re not sure by how much. You can get confused by too much detail. The pictures tend to be what sell the car, ultimately.

There seems to be a big thing about having the selling price upfront. In other words, you can’t negotiate on the price. If you are buying online, it is hard to negotiate in any case, so it doesn’t seem that vital a selling point. Although it’s designed for help at the car dealership it might be construed as “we can’t be bothered to negiotate.” How upfront is the dealership being?

They may have a good argument. We associate negotiating with dodgy car salesman, even though you can negotiate with any retailer (not that you will always get the right result. It seems unusual for any retailer to advertise that you can’t negotiate, though many will advertise they accept buyers who lack good credit.

Still it shows that they are selling a premium product, which is presumably why it is on their website.

If you are looking for a vehicle which oozes style you require something like a Shooting Brake, SUV, Cabriolet or a Coupe.

But what exactly is a Shooting Brake?

The brake in the Shooting Brake isn’t a brake pedal but derives from an earlier form of brake used by horse-drawn vehicles when the chassis were used to stop the horses. It’s immediately clear how it is linked to this Mercedes specifically, but it does evoke an older style of vehicle and creates a feeling of individuality.

Shooting Brake

The name is used to distinguish Volvos and Scimitars from hatchbacks and wagons. A shooting-brake is a sleeker car than the run of the mill sedan and is more iconic in style. Unlike the sedan it’s not a family car, being a two-door vehicle but more of a car for the single man or for man about town.

Although Coupes tend to be two-door, Mercedes Coupes have four doors. In addition, it has a sloping roof. The Cabriolet is the one with a roof that folds up.

For space you need to look at vehicles such an Estate or MPV (multi-purpose vehicle). If you are looking for both space and style you should look for something like an SUV. If you require a family car look towards a sedan or a hatchback. It all depends on what you want from your vehicle—which is why you should employ a guide to help your search.

Best of the Web: VW Bus

We’ve been digging up some vehicles from the past that are iconic in representing freedom and open road. Please enjoy some videos and facts about the VW Bus.

The Volkswagen Type 2, known officially (depending on body type) as the TransporterKombi or Microbus, or, informally, as the Bus (US) or Camper (UK), Pão de Forma (Loaf of Bread) (Portugal) is a forward control light commercial vehicle introduced in 1950 by the German automaker Volkswagen as its second car model. Following – and initially deriving from – Volkswagen’s first model, the Type 1 (Beetle), it was given the factory designation Type 2.

As one of the forerunners of the modern cargo and passenger vans, the Type 2 gave rise to forward control competitors in the United States in the 1960s, including the Ford Econoline, the Dodge A100, and the Chevrolet Corvair 95 Corvan, the latter adapting the rear-engine configuration of the Corvair car in the same manner in which the VW Type 2 adapted the Type 1 layout.

Unlike other rear engine Volkswagens, which evolved constantly over time but never saw the introduction of all-new models, the Transporter not only evolved, but was completely revised periodically with variations retrospectively referred to as versions “T1” to “T5” (a nomenclature only invented after the introduction of the front-drive T4 which replaced the T25). However, only generations T1 to T3 (or T25 as it is still called in Ireland and Great Britain) can be seen as directly related to the Beetle (see below for details)[citation needed].

The Type 2, along with the 1947 Citroën H Van, are among the first ‘forward control’ vans in which the driver was placed above the front roadwheels. They started a trend in Europe

An ambulance model was added in December 1951 which re-positioned the fuel tank in front of the transaxle, put the spare tire behind the front seat, and added a “tailgate“-style rear door. These features became standard on the Type 2 from 1955 to 1967. 11,805 Type 2s were built in the 1951 model year

What’s News: The E-Mustang?

Is the world ready? Here’s what we know so far…

Original story link

  • Ford has developed a racing version of its electric Mustang Mach-E crossover capable of 1,400 horsepower.
  • The automaker plans to use the prototype vehicle as a proof of concept for the performance of all-electric vehicles.
  • Ford is investing more than $11.5 billion in electric vehicles worldwide including the Mustang Mach-E, through 2022.

It’s a vehicle that should help generate continued interest in both the upcoming production version of the Mach-E, which is slated to be available later this year, and the $11.5 billion Ford said it’s investing in electric vehicles worldwide.

The car is a 10,000-hour collaboration of Ford Performance and RTR Vehicles, which builds upgrade packages for Ford models, such as the Mustang, F-150 and Ranger. The Mach-E 1400, which Ford called a one-off, was built off a Mustang Mach-E GT body in white at RTR’s facility near Charlotte, N.C.

Original story link

What Is A Minivan?

The cynical answer is that it’s the 90s answer to the station wagon. While its true that the minivan supplanted the station wagon for family transportation, to sum it up that way is doing it an injustice. To be blunt, most style conscious families have moved on to SUV’s for their large transportation needs. But unlike the station wagon, the minivan never completely died out. Something kept it around.

So what is a minivan?

A minivan is recognizable as a smaller type of van which can hold and transport passengers in two or three rows. They tend to be lower to the ground than normal vans. They have better fuel economy than SUVs as well as having a flexible interior, meaning you can move the seats around more.

They are surprisingly spacious given their size. With 370 cubic feet it is an ideal way to carry either luggage or groceries. (This is the large minivan, by the way). There are also minivans with power sliding doors and lift-gates, everything you will need to transport your family or a reasonably large amount of cargo.

Mini-minivans?

Confusingly though not all minivans have the same capacity. The UK’s Compact MPV is a small minivan, if you can describe something in such odd terms. Then the company went on to make the Mini MPV which is built around the hatchback style and even smaller than the regular MPV. As with most minivans it has seats which recline, fold flat and may even be removed.

Historically

It could be argued that the first minivan was the VW bus, which came out in 1949. Technically known as Volkswagen Type 2, we tend of think of the VW Bus as another type of vehicle. For one thing it was targeted more at recreation than as a family commuter car.

The Ford Aerostar was one of the earliest modern minivans which were built between 1986 to 1997, making the minivan about 34 years old. Their factories were in Hazelwood, Missouri. Originally built with rear wheel drive it was changed to all wheel transmission. It has a range of transmissions from 4 to 5 speed manual.

Although its predecessor was the Ford E series it had a totally different shape, more van-like. They had better fuel economy than the later SUVs. Another feature was the flexible seating which probably why later minivans contain this feature. It’s not a shock that components which work are continued in later models.

The Metris, made by Mercedes Benz, are vehicles between small and mid-size. Van-like vehicles lack cargo space when compared to smaller trucks, though it’s better looking and better for passengers for something smaller? Still the Metris must be more than a delivery van which is how it is, somewhat rudely, described online.

The Dodge Grand Caravan is marketed as suitable for those on a budget. It’s a pity that it doesn’t have that many tech features, your children may require more USB ports for instance, but it does possess a 6.5 inch screen.

The Toyota Sienna has eight speed automatic transmission and has enough space for 57 average sized suitcases. It has emergency braking and lane keeping assist to its credit as well as all-wheel drive and adaptive cruise control (a system that controls the speed of the vehicle). In addition, it has 296-horsepower making it swifter than the usual minivan.

As seen from the examples above, the big selling point of the minivan is its versatility. It’s not just a family car it is also the perfect hire car, given that it can seat 7 or 8. It also makes a handy addition to the service industry even if a full-sized van will be able to store and transport more (though as said above the handling is not as good).

All combined, the minivan handles better than a full sized van, gets better gas mileage than an SUV, and halls nearly as much cargo as a small truck, but meets the needs of families—a dominant market niche. All told the minivan is likely here to stay.

Stars of the Car TV Shows

Bogi Lateiner

One category of “Reality TV” is car shows on cable. Although many people watch car shows just to see the latest vehicles, or to see some engineering in action, many are still drawn to the presenters and the reality TV stars of these shows.

How did they manage to wangle such a sweet job?

Danny Koker

Danny Koker the star of Counting Cars owns a recording studio called Count’s Customs, and a bar called Count’s Vamp’d Bar and Grill where he also performs. He is based in Las Vegas.

Bogi Lateiner is the star of All Girl’s Garage and Bogi’s Garage. Away from the show she teaches car maintenance to women across the country. Bogi is short for Boglarka, her Hungarian name but she is usually called Sarah.

Wayne Carini

Wayne Carini takes part in a documentary called Chasing Classic Cars. He owns a collision repair and restoration business in Connecticut and has always had an interest in vintage cars. He has assumed the role of grand marshals at the Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival over several years. He has also taken an active part in the charity Autism Speaks.  

Jesse James

The star of Monster Garage and Motorcycle Mania is Jesse James. James worked as a bodyguard before getting into welding and fabricating and also owned the Cisco Burger restaurant and even a girls’ fashion line called Jesse’s Girl. He also has appeared in the second season of Celebrity Apprentice.

Ray Evernham hosts the Velocity show AmeriCARna. As well as being a NASCAR race driver he has also worked as an expert in automobiles chassis. He created Evernham Motorsports which has since been sold.

Jay Leno

Jay Leno is best known for hosting Jay Leno, which had been the Tonight Show, where he got his TV big break guest appearing. Along with other TV and movie work, Jay Leno took part in a show (Jay Leno’s Garage) where he takes out one of his many cars for a drive along the California bays. Before Jay Leno and the Tonight Show Jay’s lifestyle was almost completely funded by his stand-up comedy. More recently he’s acted regularly in the show Last Man Standing, and along with his long time wife, helped a number of different charities.

John H Davis, the presenter Motorweek has a long history of motor journalism and has even won an Emmy. He helped found the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards and to add to that helped organize the Washington Automotive Press Association. Like Jay Leno he has a number of high performance cars in his garage.

Lisa Kelly appeared on the History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers, she was the first female trucker to appear on the series. She has also driven school buses and rode motocross bikes (becoming a freestyle champion). Kelly attended Cornerstone University in Michigan for a while but didn’t graduate.

Mike Brewer

Mike Brewer is featured in Fast ‘N’ Loud a strange reality show with added sketches. His early life had him attending motor shows and after that did a number of jobs from paramedic to firefighter. He has appeared in adverts for Dodge Cars as well as creating the Gas Monkey Bar ‘N’ Grill.

The moral is here is that there is no sure path to hosting a car show, but if you want to fund your service station or car collection get on television as soon as!

PS If you know of a sure path to hosting a car show, give us a call, let’s talk.

What’s News: 2021 Bronco

Finally some news we can sink out teeth into! This week has been on fire in the car industry.

Now Ford unveils their 2021 Bronco. This is bigger news than a normal unveiling because the ever popular Bronco hasn’t been around since… 1997

Naturally their are a few hiccups along the way. It seems that a tire option available on your new Bronco is the Goodyear Wrangler. As Wrangler happens to also be the name of the Bronco’s competition, Jeep Wrangler, it’s not a great thing to have labeled on the side of your new Bronco.

This one falls short of a true controversy in our book though. There is an easy answer–turn the tires around? That honestly seems to be what they’re doing.

Here’s a few nice pictures and videos to amuse you.