Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Loz Blain

The Honda RC213V-S prototype: a MotoGP bike for the road

My keyboard is smoking as news continues to stream out of EICMA Milan – this time it’s Honda that’s just debuted two new concept prototypes. The True Adventure is Honda’s vision of its next round-the-world Dakar-style adventure bike, and the RC213V-S is a road-going replica of the MotoGP bike Marc Marquez has just conquered the world with. It looks a little odd to see it with mirrors, indicators and a number plate mount, but could it be a precursor to the V4 Fireblade we’ve been waiting on for a decade now?  Read More

BMW's S1000XR sports adventure bike: should be an absolute pearler

Next in the flurry of new bikes from EICMA Milan 2014 is BMW’s answer to the magnificent Ducati Multistrada – the S1000XR. Featuring the same wild-eyed 1000cc, 160-horsepower, inline 4-cylinder engine that scared the wrinkles out of my undercarriage in the insane S1000R nakedbike, the XR is a fire-breathing, road focused light adventure bike with as much potential for long-range touring as it has for blowing the mirrors off sportsbikes in the twisties. It also features this year’s latest must-have gadget – lean angle-sensitive ABS Pro, as well as BMW’s wonderful cruise control unit to round out an impressive electronics package.  Read More

Ducati wrings a ludicrous 205 horsepower out of its V-twin Panigale 1299 superbike

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

2015 Yamaha R1M - in action on the racetrack

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

Scubus S - scuba mask with integrated camera, HUD and communications

Development is well underway on the Scubus S, a diving mask that integrates a flashlight, a video camera, a heads-up display and a diver-to-diver communication system into its waterproof housing. It's designed to make diving safer, as well as more fun.  Read More

Firing lasers up the backsides of rockets could accelerate them faster without requiring e...

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

The Hipster rehabilitation brace provides support and important rear leg exercise for 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

AirGuard is designed to catch tobacco and marijuana smokers in the act, and ratting on the...

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

The Handie ensures you're pleasuring yourself consensually by making you make the 'OK' ges...

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

Motorcycle lane splitting: faster and safer for riders, plus it makes the journey quicker ...

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

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