Automotive

Automotive

What makes motorcycle culture so special?

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Let’s face it, there’s something alluring about owning a motorcycle and the coolest thing about it is that people who don’t have a bike themselves just don’t get it. It’s like an in-joke that only you and a few others know about.

Motorcycle

Motorcycle culture has often been a source of much inspiration for fashion, film, literature and music ever since bikes and their riders were first seen on the streets.

A biker rides his motorcycle in the same way that a knight used to ride his horse. Originally such an animal used to be a mode of transport, but then it became a status symbol. Gradually people were known by the horses they rode, just as motorcycles are today.

People come from miles away to ride alongside friends and club members and to feel a part of a team, but what helps to make it so special?

The history of motorcycle clubs

To get to the bottom of that, we must first look at the history of bikers. Motorcycles ceased to become a mere tool to get from A to B following the war as men in the US hankered for the comradeship seen in the forces. This development is where biker clubs originated.

It wasn’t long before rivalries began to develop between different biker gangs and they would hold rival views and sometimes even become territorial, especially the younger riders that weren’t involved in the military previously.

Hollywood’s role

Once trouble was brewing, it didn’t take long for Hollywood to latch on to the stories that were appearing in the press with more and more frequency. Before long, the roar of a motorcycle was synonymous with speed, drink and trouble.

This then spread to the UK and that caused friction among motorcycle enthusiasts over here.

What it means now

Thankfully, that sort of thing is no longer a problem in the UK or the US. While there are still Hell’s Angels and Outlaws that are fiercely loyal to their groups, they go about this in a peaceful way.

The British Biker Association was then established to bring enthusiasts of all ages together, regardless of what creed or society they were from.

Age holds no barrier to biking, nor does it recognise social classes, which is what helps to forge such a special bond between fellow bikers.

The wave (and other forms of etiquette that make the activity so unique)

One of the most common forms of manners or etiquette is the iconic wave between bikers. Much like with lorry or bus drivers, when you are riding along and come across other bikers, it is customary give them a wave or at least nod in their direction.

The wave shouldn’t be reserved for riders who are riding your brand of bike – it should be directed to any motorbike or scooter as a form of respect.

This might sound a bit silly, but when you see a parked motorcycle – even if the owner is right there – never sit on the bike. If you want to, then ask the permission of the rider and then you may sit on the bike if they will allow you to.

Check out all the latest brands at P&H Motorcycles.

Hunting down a smaller big cat: The new Jaguar XS

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Jaguar has been having a much better time of it since being taken over by Tata as part of the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) package. Profitability is good and the company’s reputation for quality has soared since the dark days of the 1970s and 1980s. The company goes up against stiff competition in the largely German premium sector, with the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes all lining up in opposition. If you look at the sales figures, you will see that Jaguar lags behind these marques by a distance. The company has stated it has no ambition to be the same size as these motoring behemoths, but it does want to compete on a more level playing field. That is where the new Jaguar XS comes in.

The new Jaguar XS
The new Jaguar XS

Enter the XS

One of the reasons for Jaguar’s comparatively modest sales is the absence of a compact entry level vehicle in the range. The German brands have options all the way down to supermini size, but the area where Jaguar wants to compete is the compact executive saloon market. The competition here is particularly fierce. In fact, BMW has the 3-Series, Mercedes offers the C-Class and Audi has the A4. Each has been around for a long time and is excellent in its own way. The Jaguar XS is slated for launch in late 2014, with the first deliveries in early 2015. So far, we have seen only heavily disguised ‘mules’ with XF body panels, but already there are some things we can expect from the new Jaguar XS.

No sneak peak for the new Jaguar XS

Usually Jaguar gives us a strong clue as to the appearance of a new model with a near production spec concept car preceding the launch. It’s not so this time, however, and Jaguar says that the first time we will see the new car, it will be the real thing. Observers are pointing to the Paris Motor Show in September as a likely venue for the big reveal. What we know now is that the Jaguar XS will have an all-new aluminium chassis. This ‘iQ’ chassis was first previewed on the C-X17 concept SUV and promises to be light, strong and dynamic.

Gathering the clues

Jaguar’s Head of Design, Ian Callum has given some clues as to the design of the new Jaguar XS. He says that it will not simply be a scaled down XF, but he does hint that the XS will have the distinctive ‘face’ of its big brother as Jaguar builds up its family recognition factor. It is also likely that the Jaguar XS range will feature coupe and estate variants at, or soon after, launch. The engines will include a frugal 2.0 litre petrol or diesel option and Adrian Hallmark, global brand chief of Jaguar, says that the range will extend to a sub 100g/km CO2 engine as well as a 186 mph monster. These engines could also include a hybrid version, and all will be built at the firm’s brand new Wolverhampton engine plant. Further rumours suggest an eight speed automatic gear box, rear wheel drive as standard and the option of four wheel drive.

This is not the first time Jaguar has launched a compact executive saloon. The late and largely unlamented X-Type was produced between 2001 and 2009 and was based largely on the parent company’s Ford Mondeo. This is no bad thing in itself but it was hardly the exclusive and prestige car that the company needed. The new XS is all Jaguar, on the other hand, and already looks like being the real deal.

Volkswagen Golf R | ABT Sportsline

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The ABT Sportsline is a tuners house, which enhances both mechanically and cosmetically models group VW. One such case is the Golf R. The external appearance of the VW Golf R has become much more aggressive and that’s because being undertaken by ABT Sportsline. In front of the car discern an additional spoiler, which was placed at the bottom of the bumper and grille has received a slight modification and fixtures have been used brows to be more aggressive. The ABT will offer and side sills, rear spoiler and a sporty diffuser at the rear of. Closing piece of external upgrade, noting that it has particularly caps, which are placed in the exterior mirrors and the wheels are painted in black color.

Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R

If you move the mechanical upgrade, there we find the familiar turbocharged 2 liter engine of 300 horsepower, which after receiving a strong dose of adrenaline 70 hp and reached a total of 370 horsepower and 460 Nm of torque. 0-100 is completed in 4.5 seconds and the top speed now reaches 265 km/hr.

By Nicole P.

London plans to develop cycle tracks over the railroad tracks

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London officials discuss plans for the construction of a road network for bicycles over the railway tracks in the British capital. The bicycle is a popular mode of transport in London and the Government says it supports it. There are a considerable number of places where you can rent bikes, many people go to work on two wheels and even the London mayor prefers this type of transport. However, London is one of the few European cities where cycling today literally means struggle.

In early December, hundreds of cyclists staged a protest in the British capital. They lay on the sidewalk in front of the building transport control to show their opposition to the failure of the authorities to protect the bike lovers. Lately in London accidents have increased in which a car hits a cyclist and most of these cases end in death. Now authorities are working on the project SkyCycle. It is a route of about 219 miles. The first phase includes the journey from East London to Liverpool Street Station. Its cost will be more than 200 million pounds.

Cycle Road
Cycle Road

If this project is approved, 10 trips over the existing railway lines, the work will take about 20 years to complete. Each of these routes would have the capacity to transport 12,000 users per hour. “To improve the quality of life for all Londoners and to foster a new generation of cyclists we have to make sure the project is completed” is what British architect Norman Foster said on an interview at BBC. Meanwhile, the company that operates the rail network in the UK, Network Rail, said it supported the project. “We are always willing to help improve travel and transport in London. Work with all involved to develop this innovative plan” said a spokesman for the agency.

The platform of the new Mercedes GL Aston Martin SUV

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At the presentation of the V-Class, the head of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, noted among other things that the new partner of the German group will be Aston Martin, which has the right to borrow platforms from Mercedes, such as the platform of GL, which could be used in the luxurious english SUV, which is ongoing.

Aston Martin SUV
Aston Martin SUV

Specifically, he said that the new Aston Martin SUV reentered the game. Construction and proceeds to create it, as after the presentation of the sitter concept Lagonda at Geneva in 2009, Aston Martin was stunt shots for the launch of such a crossover.

Aston Martin SUV
Aston Martin SUV

He also stressed that such a model could bring V8 engines built by Mercedes, there could be fitted with electric motors since Mercedes is open in collaboration with Tesla and electric technology.

Aston Martin SUV
Aston Martin SUV

Finally, Zetsche confirmed that the new Aston Martin SUV, if all goes according to schedule, will be presented in two years, while the launch is expected in 2017.

By Nicole P.

Various Types of Bicycles

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Various Types of Bikes

How to buy the perfect bicycle?

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How to buy the perfect bike

The Nissan Leaf hits the 100,000 sales mark

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If anyone had doubts that electric cars had a sustainable future they may need to revise their opinion as Nissan have now sold their 100,000th Leaf since the global launch in December 2010. In addition to reaching this milestone the Leaf also experienced its highest annual sales in 2013 and figures have increased year on year since its initial release.

In some countries the electric car has actually surpassed conventional car sales and in Norway the Leaf was the bestselling car for the month of October. The lucky 100,000 Leaf owner hails from the UK and is a dentist by the name of Dr Brett Garner who has also embraced the idea of greener travel and a more sustainable transport option.

Technology and auto manufacturers have recently focused largely on creating greener, more eco-friendly options and the Leaf is a prime example of how when a company commits to a project it can cause a revolution. “Mobile casino sites and other mobile services have also been the focus of green technology and people are being encouraged to adapt their lifestyle to include more sustainable forms of entertainment and travel. Nissan is planning on expanding their EV range into the commercial market and the launch of the e-NV200 is set for release in 2014.”

Nissan’s focus has gone beyond traditional petroleum and fossil fuelled products and the success of the Leaf has shown other car manufacturers that the consumer market is ready for an alternative energy option. The Leafs low running costs and style is appealing to many and its 84-mile EPA-rated range is more than many other EV cars currently available. Nissan touts the Leaf as the ideal car for everyday commutes and many drivers have applauded its virtues and said not only is it an eco-friendly, sustainable transport option, it is also comfortable and stylish inside.

The Leaf is now on sale in 35 countries across the globe and Nissan is expecting sales of their EV car to continue to rise as environmental consciousness increases globally.

Nissan Leaf