Watts With Electric Motorcycles ?

Porsche 618 Concept

You probably know
that many of my
posts have been
inspired by conversations
I have with folks
in the gym….

I guess it’s
natural enough, right?

BMW LS-218

Ok –
so I’ll tell ya
what’s not natural…
for me, at least.

Electric Motorcycles.

No.

Oh sure, according to
a gym buddy of mine,
they’re the next big
thing.

They’re sleek, smooth
riding, quick, light, and
simple to operate.

And there’s certainly
been some solid
entries in the category
already.

Bultaco “Rapitan”

I saw a electric Lotus
motorcycle at a car
show, and it not only
looked like something
from outer space, but
it woulda been a bitch
to ride- offering so
much power to the
throttle instantaneously
you’d need to strap
yourself to it to
stay on.

(of course, they
weren’t giving
test rides, but
yoweeeee. )

Voxan “Wattman”

There’s a new
electric street bike
by Voxan they’re
talking about now;
the “Wattman” is
a 200 horsepower
beast that will get
you 0 to 100 mph
in less than 6 secs-
again, though, it
looks like you could
ride it to Mars.

Harley-Davidson “Live Wire”

Harley-Davidson’s
fixin’ to release the
“Live-Wire” in
August, 2019-
which is supposed
to be blazing fast
(0-60 MPH in 3 secs) –
with a range that
averages about 120
miles per charge.
If you don’t look
hard at it, you might
think they brought
back the Buell, but,
still, the $30,000 price
tag is bound to
shock you.

Brutus V9

If you’re throwing around
that kinda money,
(you know, like for
a Christmas gift ) then
maybe the Brutus V9 is
more my speed, anyway –
it looks like a traditional
cruiser, has a top end
around 115 MPH, and
gets about 250 miles
per charge; chicks
not included.

Fuell Flow 1S

Oh, speaking of Buell –
well, Erik Buell
is back in the
motorcycle business,
and his electric Fuell
“Flow 1S” will become
available in 2
versions, a 15 HP
and a 47 HP .

And, if you’re
more into dirt
than asphalt,
the Zero FX

Zero ” FX “

Stealthfighter
can be had
for under
$10,000 – 44 horses of
pure voltaic power with
70 foot pounds of torque
driving only 280 pounds
of bike – which really
only means a faster
crunch and munch
to me.

Yamaha PES-1

Yamaha has one too…
it’s the PES-1, with a
readily replaceable
lithium battery pack.
No price on that, yet,
but it does look more
like an honest to
goodness dirt bike,
anyway.

BMW’s street entry,
the Lightning LS218,
is a natural for the
Autobahn –
and the world’s
fastest production
electric motorcycle:

BMW “Lightning” LS-218

200 horsepower
means a stunning,
hang-on-for-dear-life
0 to 60 MPH in 2
seconds flat.

Now you see it,
now you don’t.

And that brings up my
main problem with
electric motorcycles —
they’re so quiet and
powerful that you can
become a rather
large bug-splatter

BMW ER-80 Concept

– on somebody’s pickup
truck who was changing
lanes unexpectedly
without the driver even
noticing you were there.

I want to be seen,
and I want to be heard.

I want that V-twin rumble
to be felt in any surrounding
cage driver’s bottom when
I’m sharing the road with
them.

Honda Electric Concept

And all of these bikes
are almost noiseless
and vibration-free.

So, despite the
amazing speed,
simplicity, and
smooth glide;
at least for this rider,
electric motorcycles
are still a piece of high
technology that I don’t
want or need, thanks,
anyway.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Yamaha Gen-Yu Electric Concept

 

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Pontiac’s Prototypes

1977 Pontiac Phantom

“Driving
Excitement ?

Sure……

I’ve always
had a
soft spot
in my
driving heart
(head)
for
Pontiacs..

1988 Pontiac Pursuit

… to me,
as a kid
growing up
in the 1960’s,
the “Wide
Track Sporty Pontiac”
was the image
of what an automobile
should be and would
represent in the future.

Fun, style, handling,
and power.

1963 Pontiac Scorpion XP-758

No matter how
hard GM seemed
to try to wash
out the
distinctive
qualities of
the brand
over the years,
Pontiacs always
looked pretty
much LIKE a
Pontiac.

1959 Pontiac El-Tigre XP-92

The marque
was started
in 1926 as a
General Motors
stable mate to
a car make
called the
“Oakland”
(discontinued
in 1931) and was
outselling it within
months of it’s
introduction.

1959 El Catalina

Until the
mid-1950’s,
Pontiac wasn’t
really known
for it’s good
looks or it’s
performance,
necessarily…

1970’s Pontiac Banshee XP-833

It was simply
known
as a rugged,
dependable
and relatively
inexpensive car.

1956 changed
all of that-
along with
marketing
strategies,
lead engineers,
and even
a new general manager.

1956 Firebird II

Soon, a new 1957
Bonneville was selling
for more than a Cadillac –

– and their old fashioned
stodgy image was changed
almost overnight into
” America’s Number
One Road Car “.

And Pontiac designers
continued to set this
tone, well into
the early 1970’s.

1990 Pontiac Sunfire

That new emphasis
on style and engineering
meant the development
of several prototypes
to keep ahead
of coming trends —

— so, today’s post
includes several of
Pontiac’s most cutting
edge designs from that
prolific period .

!!! HOY !!!

1956 Pontiac Club De Mer

.

The Kaiser Aluminum “Idea” Cars

Not being a rich
tycoon myself,
I dunno for sure,
but I would think that
for a big business man,
it would seem natural
enough, I guess, to try
and find a way to expand
the market for your
product in anyway possible.

Such was Henry J. Kaiser,
of the Kaiser Aluminum Company –

starting in the late 1940’s,
Kaiser had challenged his
engineers and designers
to come up with automotive
concepts that were built
with almost 100% aluminum.

These were called “Idea Cars”,
and were intended to bring
Kaiser’s flagging Automotive
Division back from the brink,
despite a sense of real world
practicality that pervaded
this particular project.

Interestingly, Kaiser had
visited Hawaii in the late
1940’s, and bought a large
amount of property there-
he then chose to use
Hawaiian names for several
project cars – including 
“Heleakala”, “Panole”,
“Pele ” and “Waimea” .

Other concepts were called
“Golden Gate” ,” Grenada”,
“Piedmont” and “Del Mar”.

Although none of the
“Idea Cars” were ever
produced, their designs
certainly have a special
retro-futuristic look that
makes one wonder
what they really would
have been like to drive….

One inventor, named
Blake Larson, was so
inspired by a design
created by Kaiser engineer
Rhys Miller, the
” Waimea “, that he took
a 1960 Corvair Lakewood
Station Wagon and
converted it into ….

.. well, let’s just say his
idea of what one of these
idea cars would have
been like.

It’s builder called it a
” Corvair Futura ” —
and it was recently acquired
by a rich gleep car collector
who had very little nice to
say about it once he
actually had it in his garage.

Oh well…

as Mister Spock once
informed a fellow
Vulcan:
After a time, you may find,
that having is not so pleasing
a thing as wanting
.”

Man, I think you got
words to live by, there.

!! HOY !!

 

1956 Pontiac Club de Mer

Folks not of my generation
might just think of “Pontiac”
as a defunct line of cars
that were not unlike the
rest of the General Motors
stable of automobiles in
the 1980’s and later.

And for the most part,
except for several
exceptional stand-outs
that we will eventually
get around to talking
about here on the
Muscleheaded Blog,
it was true for that
time period.

But, at one time, especially
during the 1950’s and 1960’s,
Pontiac blazed a lot of it’s
own trail as far as styling
and performance were
concerned.

Obviously, General Motors’
influence/ownership still
meant the use of a lot
of cross-platform molds,
dies, parts, etc.

In the late 1950’s,
designers and Division executives
had determined to come up with
a sportier image for Pontiac –
and the cross platform issues
would be addressed using cutting
edge technology and futuristic
concepts.

In the past, Pontiac always had
certain special features that
made them stand out from
the crowd-

– take the “Silver Streak” found
on Pontiacs from 1935 to 1956 –

– five-banded, chromed
metallic trim pieces that ran
down the hood and trunk of
it’s various models.

On our featured car today,
you can see a different version
of this feature – running in
double bands down the front
of the hood, representing a
new era for Pontiac.

This is the XP-200-
or as it was known to
car enthusiasts,
the 1956 Pontiac Club de Mar .

It was a ‘one-of’, purpose-built
experimental 2 door roadster
designed by Harley Earl and
built for the 1956 Motorama,
with a stainless steel unibody,
a rear mounted transaxle
and a brand-new engine – the
soon to be legendary overhead
valved V-8 “Strato-Streak”
( 287 c.i. ) making about 300
horsepower with twin 4 bbl carbs.

A lot of this set-up went into
future Pontiac models,
like DeLorean’s 1961 Tempest .

(whose body wasn’t stainless
steel, but was a monocoque
like the XP-200, and it had the
same 4 wheel independent
suspension system and transaxle.)

The car was beautiful, powerful,
and expensive to build –
and the corporate suits at GM
saw in the XP-200 too much
competition for the Corvette –
so, the Club De Mar was
relegated to the world of
retro-futuristic project cars
never to see mass production.

However, several attempts at
recreating cars from the
original design have been
made over the years, so don’t
be totally shocked if you see
one at a car show or such.

Just remember – the original
was a victim of GM’s infamous
‘kill order’ – in which cars like
these were crushed after their
useful show life was over.

!! HOY !!

The Story of the 1948 Streamliner

1

How does a car go from one of the most beautiful cars in the world, to JUNK,

— and then, somehow rise phoenix-like
from the desert?

This is the fascinating story of the 1948 Buick Streamliner,
…………..  otherwise known as the ” Norman Timbs Special ” .

This is one of those rare auto stories that will either drive the car nut in you to distraction, or just plain crazy.

SO, you may ask….

How does a car go from one of the most beautiful cars in the world, to JUNK, and somehow rise phoenix-like from the desert?

Well, here’s the story.

In 1948, a mechanical engineer named Norman E. Timbs decided to build a car without all the style extravagances of the time.

You know the kinds of elements I mean.. like bulky fenders, huge bumpers, and sweeping tail fins.

He was looking for something a little more… well, streamlined.

Tibbs had worked on the Blue Crown Specials for the Indy 500…
… he knew the value of lighter weight, more aerodynamically rounded shapes.

The car he came up with — the Buick Streamliner
……… is more a work of ‘art-o-motive’ than automotive —-
— and it is certainly an amazing piece of engineering.

2

It was on the cover of Motor Trend that year, and had several features written about it in Popular Mechanics, Motor Life, etc.

The body alone cost around $8000- and was created by metal-worker Emil Diedt by hand-hammering aluminum around a wooden frame.

The main chassis utilized five inch steel tubes, with a modified 1947 Ford leaf-spring suspension.

The Streamliner’s Buick Inline “Super-8” engine developed about 200 horsepower, and could get the car up to around 120 miles per hour.

One thing you probably noticed from the picture right away — no doors.

The entire back part of the body swung up on hydraulic lifts for access to the rear mounted engine.

When it was finished in about 18 months, it had cost Timbs about $10,000 to build, and he toured it on the show circuit for the next several years.

Now, here is where the pathos in our story comes in.

In 1952, the car was sold to a Jim Davis of Manhattan Beach, California… who would tool around in it for the next several years… even getting a photo spread for it in Motor Life.

After that, history lost track of the car completely.

Well, that is, until it was discovered in a California junk yard out in the desert.

3

In 2002, the Streamliner was sold at auction to Gary Cerveny, who had the car meticulously restored by Custom Auto of Colorado.

It was difficult, and complicated…. not to mention expensive.

But when it was done, the Streamliner looked like her old self.

That car—-
Timb’s Buick Streamliner lovingly restored —
………… then went on to win the Trophy for Best Open Car at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance !

And what a sight to see, it is.

What lines, what curves !!

Poetry in motion .

Mmmmmmmmotorcar perfection.

4

 

Christmas in July

alligatorbagHey…

It’s that time again, my friends —

It’s Christmas in July.

I’m not sayin’ that you should run out and buy presents for all your friends and relatives, though.

(Although, I could sure use some stuff –
— but none of this crap.)a3

All I’m just sayin, is that:
should that gift-giving desire hit you —

Why not consider something that will fully express that sick sense of humor of yours?

It’s a great way to find out just who likes you,

— and who thinks you’re just a big weirdo.

If they laugh and enjoy it, they like you.

(That doesn’t change the fact that you really ARE a big weirdo)

Those people are keepers.

If they just look at you and go:a2
What the hellllllllllllll ???? “,

—-then you know you can scratch them off your REAL Christmas list.

But it’s worth it, either way —

Because we both know that joke gifts are always better when given to someone completely lacking in the sense of humor department–

Especially at the office.

You can only hope to get that singularly sublime blank “I don’t get it” look—

carnfused…. that makes spending thirty bucks on a bacon flavored pillow or a rubber duck that yells “Don’t Shoot!” when it’s put in water well worth the money.

What makes it so great is that you’re just bringing out the real person inside–

—- for everyone around the office to see, share, and enjoy.

And joke gifts have come a long way from the old stand-bys like poo-poo cushions and singing fish plaques.

You can now go totally high tech with your joke gift, and make everyone around know that you, for one, take such mundane trivia very seriously indeed.a1

One look at the wireless magnetic dinner napkin retriever ($79.99) and people will understand that, here, is a gift-giver of distinction and taste.

Or,
one of these indispensable T.P. dispensers — only $49.99.

And hell,

you coulda just wasted your money on things like food, medicine, and clothes otherwise.

Go fer it, man.

a4The most essential element of good gag-gifting is understanding your vict…. errr…. I mean….. your recipient.

Every office has a Mister know-it-all, for instance.

Now, I’m not saying knowledge ain’t a good thing,

—- especially when it comes to high falootin’ stuff like grammar, math, and science.

But since I don’t know anything about any of those,

—- it kinda pisses me off when somebody in the office does,

and then uses that superior knowledge to correct me.

Here’s a perfect gift for one of them guys. quiz

It’s a Science Challenge Clock.

And what you gotta do is solve the problem, before you can know what time it is.

Or you can kinda just look at the hand position—

…. but believe me, with a Mister Know It All, that just won’t do.

This gift sorta serves two purposes…

One, it gives the recipient something useful to do, other than to sit around and correct YOU.

Two, it tells the world — or maybe warns the world — about just what kinda guy you got here.

One of them.

And I know you got one of those wise-guys at work who always has to have the latest computer gadget or electronic gizmo — ain’t that right?

I bet he don’t have one of these.

aaaYet .

Yes, it’s a toaster that you hook up to your computer’s USB port .

The local fire marshal is just bound to love this little item, so why not save it until right before he visits your office next time?

Then, just hook it up to your lucky recipient’s computer, and watch the fun.

Guaranteed to cause bewilderment, befuddlement, and downright discombobulation.

Sure that’s a fucking word. Look it up.

Alrighty,

Well, let’s deal with that irritatingly vegetarian macro-biotic-voodoo vegan who does nothing but whine about meat and people who are fortunate enough to have a taste for it.

I’m sure this gift will communicate the message you’ve been itchin’ to send–
aa
… despite being,

well, pretty much a waste of an awful lot of valuable TV commercial time….

It’s called a Bacon Bowl Maker….

…… and it’s so worthless that even the Huffington Post doesn’t like it, and they’ll swallow just about anything.

But in this case, I think you’ve found the perfect use for it.

Yeah.

mistletoeMistletoe to Go.

What can I say about this product ?

But, as I’m fully aware of the fact that Christmas in July is just a state of mind,

and that the real Christmas has thankfully long come and gone,

I just want to remind you that the ‘space invader’ in your office is still very much present and accounted for.

You know who I mean….

That guy or girl in your office who loves to hug you and always wants to feel your biceps …

…… or other stuff.

Oh sure, there’s always a pretext.

It never makes any sense, but there’s always a pretext.

So why not give ’em one.

At least you can see ’em coming now.

yodel