Monday, November 1, 2010

Old Bikes Good for Old Bones?

It's a stretch but the health benefits of motorcycles comes from our friends over at the Kneeslider:
 A daily dose of whole body vibration may help reduce the usual bone density loss that occurs with age, Medical College of Georgia researchers report. Researchers found vibration improved density around the hip joint with a shift toward higher density in the femur, the long bone of the leg, as well. Hip fractures are a major cause of disability and death among the elderly. Well, the study didn't specifically cite motorcycles, but what better whole body vibration machine is there? Combined with previous studies that show lifting weights keeps bones strong among older folks, this could be a nice boost for Harley Davidson, or any big bike for that matter, giving all of us Boomers a great new reason to fire up the big V-Twins for medicinal purposes and ride forever.

The UK Hondamatics

Here's a look back at the 1970s Hondamatics from Brit magazine Visor Down. Pretty cool to see how the UK bikes were set up different than the US bikes. Also interesting to see that only about 1,000 were sold.

A monumental step forward in motorcycling history. The Honda CB400 Hondamatic was the firm’s last foray into automatic technology. With a dizzy 27bhp propelling 200kgs of lardy, badly suspended rolling stock the performance was never going to be electrifying. ( )
Visor down's look back was inspired by Honda's attempts to reintroduce motorcycles with automatic transmissions in the US and abroad with the DN-1 (nicknamed by dealers as the Do Not buy One) and the VFR 1200 (UK version )

They like the transmission better:

In operation it’s amazingly good. Smooth, fast, drama-free, predictable and slick. On the track I tried really hard to assess the two automatic modes but, to be honest, as good as it may be, on a race track it’s crucial that the rider makes the gearshift decisions.
On the road, though – the DCT system really came into its own allowing more brain capacity to be used for absorbing everything going on around and about.
Which is the whole reason I like my old hondamatic...

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