Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1971 01 13

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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- ... 0'1 M ~ W Z W ..J U > U DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE By C. Clayton, Dan Hanebrink and Brian littler The curtain goes up revealing the setting and props for Act One of the future. What kind of a world is it for the motorcycle operator to ride in? What skilled means and expedient devices will his machine embody to make this daring transportation safer, more satisfying, modem? Most important, what will it cos.t? Both in terms of cash outlay and the sacrifice of technical designs we are already familiar with. Without getting 'into the Oz world of exotice power pla!,!ts, we shall speculate on what a typical production motorcycle of the model year 1985 might look like, perform like and sell for. All of the technology. here employed already exists. Some is already slated for production by adventurous manufacturers. The rest may only corne if you, the public, demand it. With that though in mind, then, let us examine the machine you might be riding in the near-future. By 1985 only two transportation options are to be available to an individual: air or road transport. Twice as many mi les of paved roads exist as existed in 1970. Many of the main thoroughfares are double decked, with trucks on the lower level and auto and motorcycle. traffic on the top. Although petroleum fuel is still in use, alcohol and exotic ethers are popular because of their lower emission characteristics. Parking and highway space are so limited, with a population now approaching 300 million, that fully half of the personal vehicles on the road are motorcycles. Speed limits on the superhighways are 100 mph (minimum 75 mph) and vehicles are taxed by a formula involving their weight and the cubic area that they occupy. The 1985 Pred ictor was designed to weight under 500 lbs and sell in the medium price ($4,000 to $5,000). It features the comfortable prone riding position that makes non-stop, B-hour journeys possible without fatigue, and . reduces wind resistance fully half under' the old·fashioned, sit-up position, which is now used only on the low-speed chopper models and dirt bikes. The power plant is a supercharged, 3-cylinder 2-cycle engine with air bearings, coupled to a torque converter and driving the rear wheel through a sine-belt. The frame follows historical motorcycle- practice, using new alloys of Titanium that are strong!!" than steel and lighter than aluminum. Air-oil suspension is employed·, as is standard practice by now on all motorcycles. The wheels are extruded alloy, with built-in disc brakes, hydraulically - actu.ated. Body panels, streamlining and tanks are moulded resin components that damp .Probably soon the Black Box wiil be ruled a mandatory item, but it is still too expensive in 1985, to make everybody buy on. Besides, some riders - the very best - don't need it. Because what the Black Box does, is control the motorcycle the wayan expert would control it. Naturally, the device is illegal in racing, for it is a computer J U.S. Distributor has placed order for first shipment of this 303cc, Wankel-engined DKW!Hercules for delivery in late 1971. .The future may arrive sooner than we expect. mechanical sound as well as serving their primary functions. The baffled tank holds ten gallons of alcohol for a cruising range of 300 miles. Service problems have been eliminated by making the component elements of the u.nit replaceable in minutes by anyone of the helicopter service vehicles that can be summoned in case of breakdown by using a signal transmitter carried by the rider. The broken unit will later be restored to operation or junked, and the own!!r of the Pred ictor '85 will be billed for the damage via his credit card. . Optional equipment offered with the Predictor includes a Warm Air Canopy system, which circulates heated air over the rider's body in cold weather, and a Black Box. The safety features are all required by law, such as the strobe headlight that flashes when the throttle is released. the failure alert that signals when something critical needs mechanical attention, flat-proof tires and the anti-skid gyro that stabilizes the machine if it ever loses traction. programmed to ride the perfect lap without the rider having to do anything much more than start, stop and hang on. Along with the computer brain, the box contains sensitive measurinq cells which monitor all the forces that affect the motorcycle, a 3po.ctegree radar scanner and control relays that operate the steering, brakes, throttle and gyro via vernier outputs. All the fortunate owners of a Predictor equipped with a Black Box has to do when he wants to ride across the country or the state, :is set the

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