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Loz Blain

The 20120 Ducati Diavel

We love oddities and mold-breakers here at Gizmag. And in the motorcycle world, we're so used to seeing evolution rather than revolution that we get really excited when a new machine comes along that thinks outside the square. That's why we've been hanging out to throw a leg over Ducati's Diavel - it's the company's first foray into the cruiser market in recent years, and it takes a distinctly Italian approach to the genre. A laid-back musclebike style and enormous back tire make it look like a boulevard cruiser, but when you twist the throttle and unleash 160-plus horsepower through the screaming 1198 superbike engine it houses, you realize this is one right out of the box. Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan get to grips with the Ducati Diavel in the latest of our HD motorcycle review videos.  Read More

A sketch indicating what Monster Tajima's 2012 electric hill climb car may look like

He might look like a friendly old Japanese grandpa with a crazy giggle, but Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima is the undisputed king of the mountain that matters: Pike's Peak in Colorado. For the last six years, Monster has dominated one of the world's most spectacular and death-defying hill climb races in a series of ever-crazier souped-up Suzuki race cars. This year, it seems he's found one more mountain to climb: the 62 year-old has announced he'll be taking a fully electric race car to Pike's Peak in 2012. Could this be the year that a battery car beats the petrol brigade?  Read More

Ducati's Pangiale 1199 - an engineering masterpiece, but not the world's best looking bike...

Ducati has released a series of photos of its revolutionary Panigale 1199 superbike without its clothes on, showing exactly how the bike is held together in the absence of a traditional frame. But while the monocoque chassis is pretty fascinating to look at in the flesh, what strikes us most is just how incredibly compact the bike is - every component has been squeezed into the tiniest possible space. In fact, you can't even see clean through the bike at any point until you reach the rear hugger. This is mass centralisation and weight shaving taken to a whole new level… Good luck trying to service the thing yourself!  Read More

Porter & Davies' BC2 - vibrations travel up the spine via bone conduction and are heard as...

The thunderous punch of a bass drum is the time-honored foundation on which all of rock 'n' roll is built. That thud that hits you in the chest and moves your whole body … it taps into a deep and primal place in our subconscious. But while the crowd is enjoying the power of the bass drum amplified through huge sub-woofers, the poor drummer himself is usually hearing a poxy, paper-thin, bassless pop from a tiny onstage foldback speaker. Trying desperately to feel the bass, they often turn the onstage monitors up to ear-splitting volumes, but you just can't get that kind of low end out of small speakers. Enter the BC2 (formerly known as the BumChum) from Britain's Porter and Davies - a simple two-part system that takes the bass drum signal and literally shakes the drummer's butt with it through a vibrating stool.  Read More

Hublot's Antikythera watch - up for auction

Late last year we ran a story on the mysterious Antikythera mechanism - and Hublot's attempt to recreate it in wristwatch form. The article went on to be one of the highest rating Gizmag stories of all time due to its thoroughly remarkable subject and the fascinating adventure story that brought this piece of ancient genius into the modern world. The wristwatch version looked pretty snappy, too - and if you wanted to get your hands on one, here's your chance! Only four have been built, with three headed to various European museums, but the fourth is up for auction. We doubt it will go cheap.  Read More

Ghost Rider's 500-horsepower turbo Hayabusa - up for grabs

Of all the colorful characters in the motorcycle world, few polarize opinion as strongly as Sweden's mysterious "Ghost Rider." It's not hard to see why - with five DVDs full of heinous traffic law violations, including 300 km/h (180 mph) wheelies, police baiting and near-suicidal top speed time trials around the Swedish freeway system, he's probably the most famous flaunter of road rules the world has ever seen. And now, his most famous steed, a 499-horsepower turbocharged, naked Hayabusa, is being given away through a website lottery. Only ridden to church on Sundays, it's the perfect practical getabout to take down to the shops.  Read More

Magic Lantern's new HDR video feature - the blended image.

Those cheeky gear hackers at the Magic Lantern team have announced a very interesting upgrade to their custom Canon firmware mod. As of tomorrow, owners of 550D, 600D and 60D DSLR cameras will be able to use a very cool new tool to shoot video in HDR, meaning that you can capture scenes where the lights would normally be too bright and the shadows too dark to get a workable exposure level. Check out the demo video after the jump.  Read More

MT Tempera, one of the new class of double acting reversible ships, going backwards to act...

The Arctic North end of Russia is believed to hold as much as a quarter of all the world's oil deposits - an utterly monstrous economic prize, hidden in one of the toughest and least hospitable environments on the planet. Getting to this prize, and then transporting it back to refineries, is a monolithic task that requires one of the most awe-inspiring pieces of machinery man has ever built - the nuclear icebreaker. Purpose-built to the point of being almost unseaworthy on the open waves, these goliaths smash their way through 10-foot thick ice crusts to create viable pathways for other vessels - but fascinating new technologies could mean the days of the dedicated icebreaker are numbered.  Read More

The Abyss Board - decent, clean, safe fun

The watersports world has been a little spoiled in the last week with news of the Zapata Flyboard breaking - but even though that one's going to be very tough to top, we thought the Abyss Board was pretty unique and fun in its own right. Towed quite slowly behind a boat, this simple device lets you steer yourself around under the water. With separate control of right and left side wings, you can dive, rise, bank, carve and barrel roll your way through the water. As you're underwater the whole time, you don't need to be going fast to get quite a motion thrill - so in a way the Abyss Board is a reasonably eco-friendly rush. I tell you what though, I wouldn't want either of my brothers at the boat throttle while I was playing with this thing - and they wouldn't want me driving either!  Read More

The Zapata Flyboard: Aquaman meets Iron Man

We don't think Franky Zapata knows what's about to hit him. The French jet ski champion has just put together an absolutely insane leisure product, released a short video about it - and then took off on honeymoon, where presumably he's having about the least romantic getaway of his life as his phone and email inbox go absolutely bananas. And here it is: the Zapata Flyboard. This ingenious and deceptively simple device bolts on to the powerful motor of a jet ski, then routes the resulting water jet through a long hose that connects to a pair of jet boots and hand-held stabilisers. The arrangement lets you fly, Iron Man style, up to 9 metres in the air - or leap headfirst through the waves like a human dolphin. The best part? You can buy it for under 5000 Euro (US$6700). That is, once Franky digs his way out from under the avalanche of orders he's going to come home to.  Read More

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