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Honda go all in on Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles



Announcement today in partnership with General Motors pledges $85 million towards mass production of fuel cells.

Between them, Honda and GM hold over 2,200 patents with respect to fuel cell technology (ranking them number 1 and number 3 in the world respectively) and with their announcement today of the creation of a Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM) joint venture, it’s clear that both companies see the chemical energy production technology as the future.

Next-Generation Fuel Cell Stack Co-Developed by Honda and GM

The actual fuel cell revealed today doesn’t look like much. Indeed when men in suits pull a silk sheet off from what is essentially a grey, metal box it’s probably hard to get particularly excited, but the potential for our automobile’d future is immense.

“With the next-generation fuel cell system, GM and Honda are making a dramatic step toward lower cost, higher-volume fuel cell systems. The result is a lower-cost system that is a fraction of the size and mass.” – Charlie Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Business.

Honda began delivery of its ‘Clarity’ Fuel Cell vehicle to U.S. customers in December of last year following a spring 2016 launch in Japan.

The Clarity Fuel Cell received the best driving range rating from the EPA of any electric vehicle (without a combustion engine, so excluding range extending hybrids) with a range rating of 366 miles.

According to many reports, Fuel cell technology shows significant advantages with regards as in terms of range and efficiency when compared to both traditional fossil fuel vehicles and purely electric options. This is especially true when it comes to refuelling times and what Honda loosely refer to as the ‘experience’ of driving.

Naturally, there wasn’t any talk of motorcycles at this stage, but with the arrangement of fuel cells believed to be slightly more easier to manipulate than more traditional battery cells it can’t be long before we see this kind of technology at least appearing on a concept bike.

Perhaps on one that can balance itself?

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Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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