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Ask MO Anything: Transverse or Longitudinal V-Twin?

Apr 12, 2017 - 12:09 PM - by

Dear MOby,

Excuse the noob question, but whatís the difference between a transverse V-Twin and a longitudinal one, and what are the advantages of each?

Navigational Ade

Dear Ade,

It has to do with the orientation of the crankshaft. Any engine, be it a V-Twin, V-Four, or inline-Four, is considered to be ďtransverseĒ if its crankshaft lies perpendicular to the motorcycleís wheels, i.e. across the frame, parallel to the axles. Most motorcycles have transversely mounted cranks, including all Harley-Davidson V-Twins, nearly all four-cylinder sportbikes like the Yamaha R1, Kawasaki ZX-10R, Aprilia RSV4, all Ducati V-Twins and V-FoursÖ including the Monster 797 pictured on the left, above.

Chain or belt drive to the bikeís rear wheel is simplest and lightest with this layout, and having the crankshaft spinning in the same plane as the rear wheel means power can be transferred through the gearbox and straight on into the drive chain and rear sprocket without making any power-sucking changes of direction.
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Donít Forget: April Is Check Your Helmet Month

Apr 10, 2017 - 2:37 PM - by

As the first week of April has now come and (almost) gone, we want to remind readers that this month is National Check Your Helmet Month. As such, donít forget that the average life span for a helmet is three to five years. Numerous times weíve seen riders wearing helmets far, far, older than five years simply because a visual inspection with their untrained eye deemed the helmet to be in acceptable working order.

A lot can happen in five years. Constant pounding from the sunís rays and a five-year buildup of sweat and oils from your head can take their toll on a helmetís internal composition, even if you donít see it.

'The number of motorcycle crash fatalities has more than doubled since 1997,' says Ozzie Giglio, Principal of Windy City Motorcycle Company. 'We know that helmets save lives and reduce health care costs. In fact, according to Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety, motorcycle helmets are currently preventing $17 billion in societal harm annuallyÖbut $8 billion in harm could be prevented if all motorcyclists wore helmets.'

'Itís not just enough to wear a helmet,' Giglio continues. 'You have to make sure that is functional, well-fitting and able to do its job properly. Additionally, itís important to be sure that riders properly maintain their helmets, otherwise they could greatly diminish its life-span and performance ability.'

Spring is the ideal time for this reminder, as Giglio says that many riders make unsafe choices about their helmets during the weather. 'Many people leave their helmets in their garage, but if you live in a place like the Midwest that has fluctuating climates, that can be terrible for your helmet. We can swing from 100 degrees in summer to -20 in the winter, and helmets integrity gets questioned as it swells and shrinks in the Midwest weather pattern.'
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Freeway-Jumping Motorcyclist Injured In Latest Stunt Attempt

Apr 07, 2017 - 1:33 PM - by

Remember Kyle Katsandris? Of course you do; heís the guy who jumped his Kawasaki KX450 over the 60 freeway in Los Angeles not too long ago, causing a buzz all over social media and the internet as a whole (and also sparked an investigation by the California Highway Patrol). Well, it appears that his internet fame has caught up with him, as his latest stunt didnít go so well.

According to reports, Katsandrisí latest trick was to jump over train tracks in Simi Valley, California, following the footsteps of Colin Morrison, who successfully completed the jump three times a decade ago, twice over a moving train. Except in Katsandrisí attempt, a bump at the lip of the jumped launched him over the handlebars, where he then crashed on the other side. Heís currently in critical but stable condition.
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2017 Honda Rebel 500 Review: First Ride

Apr 05, 2017 - 1:32 PM - by

Iím not sure if itís my naturally rebellious nature, being a man who microwaves his food still in the tupperware and even known to occasionally fill water cups up with soda (thatís right, bitch), that got me the chance to head up to Venice Beach, California, for the launch of the new Honda Rebel 500, but I think it might be because the rest of the staff (except Troy) is in the tin-foil reusing, cabbage-scented stage of life.

The Rebel was first introduced in 1985 as a way for Honda to target a younger generation, typically new to motorcycles, and broke. Which is especially true today where a coffee and bagel costs an hour of labor, and the idea of owning a home almost anywhere in California is a long-off and mystical dreamscape. With strange quinoa and farro dietary options on every corner, Los Angeles is the ground-zero dwelling of the hip Instagram demographic that Honda hopes to see straddling its extremely user friendly, affordable, and bare-bones styled new Rebel, which starts at a very reasonable $5,999 for the base model, and $6,299 for ABS.
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Top 10 Facts About Michelin MotoGP Tires

Mar 31, 2017 - 12:28 PM - by

This past weekend at the MotoGP race at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, I had the opportunity to tour the Michelin paddock area to learn some fascinating information about what happens to the Michelin MotoGP Tires on every race weekend.

In 2016 Michelin took over as the official MotoGP tire supplier after seven seasons of Bridgestone performing that function. The season was a huge learning curve for both Michelin and the riders. Michelin had to come to grips with how far the motorcycles had advanced in the seven years since it last made tires for GPís premier class, while riders and teams had to grapple with the best way to set up their machinery to get the most out of the Michelin rubber. This adaptation by the riders and their mechanics is best emphasized by the spate of front-end crashes at the start of the season that largely faded by the end of 2016 as Michelin, the riders, and the mechanics worked together to achieve their mutual goal. In MotoGP, the tire manufacturer has to be almost perfect because the safety of the riders depends on it.
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