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Loz Blain

Motorcycles

Ducati sets new torque benchmark with 205-horsepower, hyper-intelligent Panigale 1299

Aaaaaand ... as soon as Yamaha caught up to Ducati’s Panigale with the release of its new 2015 R1, the Italians announced they’d shifted the goalposts again on their home turf at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. The new Panigale 1299 is a fairly major makeover for the flagship Italian superbike, with a power boost up to 205 horses due to a bored-out, larger engine. It’s also about the smartest superbike we’ve ever seen, with an electronics suite that outguns both the R1 and BMW’s 2015 S1000RR by including lean angle-sensitive Cornering ABS, among other things. Interestingly, the frameless design stays the same, and visually you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the 2015 bike and the previous generation. But then, there was never anything wrong with the Panigale’s looks.Read More

Motorcycles

Yamaha unveils MotoGP-inspired, 200-horsepower R1 and R1M for 2015

Yamaha has fired all cannons in the latest instalment of the World Superbike wars with the release of the new YZF-R1 and R1M. MotoGP gods Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo made an appearance at EICMA Milan to pull the covers off what Yamaha is calling “the most MotoGP-inspired motorcycle ever” – and while we’ll leave it to others to debate whether Ducati’s Desmosedici RR already took that title long ago, the new R1 looks like a very yummy piece of kit.Read More

Space

Laser-propulsion could give space rockets a serious boost

Russian scientists have proposed a novel way to accelerate a spaceship while in flight – firing a ground-based laser up its backside. The new technique uses a plasma flow caused by laser ablation to increase the exhaust efficiency of a traditional rocket propulsion system, and could theoretically accelerate an aircraft beyond Mach 10. Read More

Pets

Hipster rehabilitation brace aims to treat hip dysplasia in dogs

Nothing can break a dog's spirit - but hip dysplasia can sure ruin your best friend's mobility and make life very painful. That's why the funky-looking Hipster rehabilitation brace could end up being such a significant product. It's designed to hold the hip in place to prevent further dislocation and injury, while providing resistance to strengthen the dog's leg muscles and connective tissue to the point where your pup doesn't need the brace any more. Read More

Electronics

AirGuard raises the alarm on cheeky tobacco and marijuana smokers

While it's not against the law to smoke cigarettes in most parts of the world, there are still a lot of places where smoking is prohibited – workplaces, hotels, public housing, college dorms, jails – and a whole lot of smokers who still like to sneak in a cheeky one on the sly. That could become a lot more difficult with the release of the AirGuard, a sophisticated smoke detection unit that can either be hand held or fixed to a wall, and that can send out a Wi-Fi alert when tobacco or marijuana smoke is detected.Read More

Good Thinking

[NSFW] The Handie simulates a quiet night alone for Tony Stark

Some machines are so perfect, so ingenious and so fit for their purpose that they endure, unchanged, for centuries. Millennia, even. The wheel. The bucket. The knife. The human hand. The hand is one of the crowning evolutionary achievements of our species. Its opposable thumb makes it an incredibly versatile tool, capable of grasping and manipulating complex objects. It’s also super grouse to grab and tug your genitals with, in a manner familiar to teenagers, Gizmag writers and lower primates alike. But that doesn't mean it can't be improved upon. Meet the Handie.Read More

Motorcycles

Motorcycle lane splitting: Better for riders, better for drivers, and safer than sitting in traffic

Recent research has confirmed what many motorcycle riders have known for years. "Lane splitting" – or riding in between lanes of traffic – obviously saves riders a lot of time, but it's also considerably safer than sitting in traffic and acting like a car, as long as it’s done within certain guidelines, and contrary to what many drivers think, it actually speeds up traffic for everyone else on the road. Riders, please pass this information on to the drivers in your lives.Read More

Aircraft

Ground tests complete as world's fastest flying motorcycle seeks racing competition

At the intersection of the motorcycle and the gyrocopter lives the flying motorcycle – combining the easy, cheap and safe flying abilities of the gyro with the loose road registration requirements of the motorbike. These quirky machines have been around for some time, but Californian inventor Dezso Molnar is trying to give the segment a kick in the pants. He's well into the development of his next-generation G2 bike, which is powered by a 162-horsepower GSX-R1000 motorcycle engine, uses a tilting two-wheel front end, and has been tested at a whopping 138 mph on the salt flats. On top of plans to get this thing airborne in the coming months, he's also looking at putting together a race series for flying cars and bikes, in the interests of accelerating development for all the different ideas out there.Read More

Motorcycles

Keanu Reeves' Arch Motorcycle Company presents its first bike: The KRGT-1

You hear plenty of stories about what a stand-up guy Keanu Reeves is when the cameras aren't rolling – and now it makes sense. Turns out he's a madly passionate motorcyclist, which in my books makes him a superior human being. Reeves isn't short of a dollar, so together with chopper whiz Gard Hollinger he's built the bike of his dreams, and started a company manufacturing them. Arch Motorcycle Company has just released its first bike, the KRGT-1, a US$78,000 chopper-inspired sports naked with a giant 2-litre S&S v-twin engine and a body that's basically all hewn from billet aluminum. No word on whether it explodes if you go less than 50 miles an hour, best keep the throttle open just to be safe.Read More

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