Royal Enfield café racer

La Royal Enfield è una di quelle poche moto che ha mantenuto quel gusto vintage che avevano le cafe racer degli anni gloriosi di quando erano le moto dei giovani ribelli che correvano lungo la North Circular e nonostante alcune modifiche apportate negli anni per rispettare le sempre più stringenti norme antinquinamento rimane invariato il suo fascino. 

   

photo by Jean Luc Letarnais 

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The Pikes Peak Hill Climb may now only appear in Gran Turismo games

Well this is disappointing. The racing game community rejoiced when the EA’s exclusivity license with Porsche finally expired after 10 years, paving the way for the prestigious manufacturer to appear in racing games other than Need for Speed. Now it looks as if it’s going to be a similar situation with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Gran Turismo.

[ai:grid size=4|classp=pull-right|class=img_margin]DiRT Rally Pikes Peak Hillclimb Audi Quattro[ai:endgrid]The news comes from a recent DiRT 4 preview by Eurogamer, which mentions that  "Gran Turismo now has sole rights to Pike’s Peak" when discussing DiRT 4’s impressive procedural technology. While it’s understandable that DiRT 4 won’t have the authentic rally special stages from the official WRC license, the omission of Pikes Peak is disappointing, considering that the grueling 12.42-mile long course has been making appearances in recent rally games such as DiRT Rally and Sebastien Loeb Rally EVO.

For reference, the Pikes Peak Hillclimb hasn’t been confirmed for Gran Turismo Sport yet, and it hasn’t featured in the franchise since Gran Turismo 2 way back in 1999, despite claims that it would be included in Gran Turismo 5. Rumours that the Hillclimb circuit will be coming to the series have been rife since Gran Turismo became a ‘Platinum Sponsor’ of the event a few years ago.

Still, so far there hasn’t been any official confirmation about the future of Pikes Peak’s racing game appearances, so don’t panic just yet. http://www.teamvvv.com/

Uber Plans to use Mercedes-Benz Vehicles in Self-Driving Fleet

Uber reaches a deal with another automaker in a continued effort to build a fleet of self-driving vehicles for its service. The popular ride-hailing company today announced it has secured a partnership with Mercedes-Benz and plans to incorporate the German automaker’s autonomous vehicles into their prospective self-driving transportation network.

There is no exclusivity in this deal, Mercedes can supply autonomous vehicles to Uber’s competitors and Uber can use vehicles from other automakers as the company opens up its platform for manufacturers to introduce their own self-driving cars. A timeline has yet to be announced.

Such alliances are starting to become commonplace due to the fact that Silicon Valley firms do not have the capability to produce their own autonomous vehicles. “Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars — and in fact, making cars is really hard,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in a statement.

However, in this deal, Uber is simply opening up its fleet to include Daimler models; it will not manage vehicles or assist Benz with its development of self-driving technology.

This is not the first automotive manufacturer that has partnered with Uber. Last year the San Francisco-based company reached an agreement with Volvo to test its self-driving technology on a fleet of XC90s in Pittsburg and Arizona. Ford Fusion Hybrid models fitted with Uber autonomous gear have been testing on the streets of Pittsburg as well. Fiat Chrysler has also been in talks with Uber, but those discussions are still in the early stages.

Sources: Reuters, New York Times

The post Uber Plans to use Mercedes-Benz Vehicles in Self-Driving Fleet appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Chevrolet Cuts Spark EV from its Lineup

The Chevrolet Spark EV has been officially axed from the automaker’s lineup, ending a U.S. sales run that spanned over three years.

According to The Detroit News, Chevy actually stopped production of the subcompact electric vehicle last summer. The automaker has also removed the Spark EV from its consumer website, leaving the Bolt EV as Chevy’s only electric vehicle in its lineup.

When General Motors unveiled the Bolt EV back in 2015, the company said it didn’t intend on cancelling the Spark EV, The Detroit News reports. Now, GM will instead focus its efforts on the Bolt EV.

2016 Chevrolet Spark EV side in motion

2016 Chevrolet Spark EV side in motion

“We’re excited to build on the great experience of our electrification program, including Spark EV, to introduce the first affordable, long range electric vehicle, the Bolt EV,” a Chevrolet spokesman told The Detroit News.

Chevrolet sold approximately 7,400 Spark EVs since introducing the electrified hatch in the U.S. back in June 2013. The Spark EV was offered in California, Oregon, and Maryland. Chevrolet plans to launch the Bolt EV nationwide.

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV was rated at 140 hp and a whopping 400 lb-ft of torque driving the front wheels. With a 19- kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Spark EV was EPA rated to travel approximately 82 miles in between charges. Meanwhile, the Bolt EV offers almost three times more range at 238 miles thanks to its 60-kWh lithium-ion battery.

Source: The Detroit News

2016 Chevrolet Spark EV rear three quarter charge
2016 Chevrolet Spark EV front end in motion
2015-Chevrolet-Spark-EV-charging
2014-Chevrolet-Spark-EV-badge

The post Chevrolet Cuts Spark EV from its Lineup appeared first on Motor Trend.

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FlatOut 4 finally has a potential release date, new details emerge

You’d be forgiven for forgetting all about the upcoming demolition derby racer FlatOut 4: Total Insanity currently in development by Kylotonn Games. First announced back in August 2015, the game was originally slated for release in 2016, but was delayed to an unspecified date. We may now know the final release date, however – and it’s coming sooner than we thought.

[ai:grid size=4|classp=pull-right|class=img_margin]FlatOut 4 PS4 box art[ai:endgrid]According to French site JVFrance, FlatOut 4 will be crashing onto PS4, Xbox One and PC on March 10th. As well as sharing some new screenshots (including the box art, no less) which confirm that the driver-ejecting Stunt mini-games are back with a vengeance, the publication reveals that 27 cars will feature in FlatOut 4 with everything from muscle cars and monster trucks, to buggies and ice cream vans. There will also be four arenas, 42 challenges, 20 races, 10 game modes including an Assault mode, and online multiplayer for up to eight players. As well as vehicle damage, environments will also be destructible. 

Unbeknown to us, BigBen Interactive announced a publishing and distribution deal with Strategy First back in November, confirming the March window release for FlatOut 4.  "FlatOut 4 – Total Insanity marks the return of the franchise to the level of excellence that established its reputation with players, and we are sure it will win over the public in Europe and Asia," said Alain Falc, CEO of Bigben Interactive.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the belated comeback of FlatOut. The series often fell under people’s radars due to the popularity of Burnout at the time, and there aren’t very many combat racers on the market right now apart from Carmageddon Max Damage and Gas Guzzlers Extreme. That will soon change, of course, when BugBear’s Wreckfest makes its console debut this year. 

Just please, please be better than the write-off that was FlatOut 3 Chaos & Destruction. http://www.teamvvv.com/

The significance of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s immigration tweet

Dale Earnhardt Jr. proposed to his wife on a trip to Germany to study the family’s history. (Getty)

It says a lot about the current political climate that a simple tweet showing common sense and humanity from Dale Earnhardt Jr. is considered noteworthy.

When asked Sunday by a NASCAR fan in Indonesia about the controversial and perhaps unconstitutional immigration ban on people from seven specific predominantly-Muslim countries put forth by President Donald Trump on Friday, Junior had this to say.

Junior said Tuesday he wasn’t trying to get political with his tweet.

“I felt like I wanted to show him some compassion and I looked at his profile and saw he was a NASCAR fan, I just felt like reaching out,” Junior said at Phoenix during testing (video via ESPN). I wasn’t trying to inject into a political conversation — I wasn’t trying to attempt to get a bunch of attention there …

“It just really is very very interesting what’s going on in the world considering all the research I did on my family tree. It’s just incredible and I read a lot of news. Try to stay on top every day of current events and not that I’m an expert or understand everything that’s happening in the world or has been going on but it just — I don’t know how I ran across that tweet but it felt that guy needed somebody — he needed some compassion. Not that I understand what it feels like to be in that position but I certainly felt bad for the guy.”

There’s a pretty good chance your family, like Earnhardt’s, emigrated to the United States at some point throughout our country’s history. And even if that occurred generations ago, it’s impossible not to have empathy for everyone affected by the executive order enacted late Friday unless you’re blinded by the cult of personality currently occupying the White House.

And perhaps that noteworthiness says a lot about NASCAR too; its most popular driver showed compassion in the face of what a Republican president did. The same Republican president who was endorsed by the sport’s CEO (and other drivers) in February, and the same person who — it’s safe to say — a majority of his fans supported in the 2016 presidential election.

Though the simple act of compassion as being noteworthy goes back to the polarized way we view ourselves politically and in the way our political leaders act when disagreement can be viewed as “betrayal.” Don’t you think Vice President Mike Pence and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would restate their previous opposition to a ban against Muslims if someone from an opposing political party would have done what Trump did? Far too often things are viewed in the spectrum of acceptable and unacceptable purely based on political designation.

The frequency of the lack of conscience and consistency is why it can be refreshing to see a prominent sports figure show compassion and common sense. And why it’s rarely a bad thing when athletes mesh sports and politics with reason (unlike former San Francisco Giants 1B Aubrey Huff).

It’s not the first time Junior has sewn rationality with politics, even if he didn’t mean to wade into the waters over the weekend. In June of 2015, Earnhardt Jr. spoke out about his disdain for the Confederate flag, calling it “offensive to an entire race.” His comments came amidst discussion of the flag’s place at the South Carolina state capitol following the murder of nine black people at a church in Charleston. The flag was removed in July.

You’ll notice that empathy is at the core of both Junior’s comments about the Confederate flag and Friday’s executive order. While it’s profoundly human to have feeling for the plights of others, it’s a trait that can commonly get overlooked in an environment where compromise can be seen as a sign of weakness.

But thankfully, as the weekend showed both in tweets and protests, empathy and compassion still exists. Maybe we can all start finding it within ourselves on a regular basis without needing controversial political actions to remind us of our capabilities.

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Eurosport TV deal in the UK saved at the last minute

Sky and Discovery, the owners of Eurosport, have come to an arrangement at the last minute which means the channel, which is the sole broadcaster of the World Touring Car Championship in the UK, will continue to be on the Sky platform for the foreseeable future.

Discovery had threatened to pull its channels from Sky in the UK as negotiations over a new deal broke down, with Sky understood to have reduced the amount it planned to pay for the network’s TV stations.

The US-based broadcaster staged a social media campaign against Sky, encouraging its viewers to voice their dissent with the service over the last few days.

Sky hit back with a statement saying the decision to pull the channels was Discovery’s choice, and that they believe they’d made a fair offer, while Discovery countered that they felt Sky’s offer was unreasonable.

“Sky pay us less now than they did in 2006,” said a statement. “We have asked them for a few pennies extra per year for each Sky household. We would never choose to come off Sky and abandon our viewers who we value enormously.”

On the eve of the channels being pulled from Sky, the UK’s largest pay TV service, a deal has been struck which means live coverage of two of the FIA’s World Championships, the World Rallycross and Touring Car Championships, will continue to be available on Sky via the Quest and Eurosport channels in 2017

“We can confirm that Sky will continue to carry the Discovery and Eurosport channels,” said a release from Sky.

“We wanted you to be the first to know that we have reached an agreement which means all your favourite channels and programmes will be staying on Sky,” said Discovery on its social media platforms.

“We couldn’t have done it without you.”

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Chrome & Rubber Shifter Peg

Big Bike Parts® has updated its market leading shifter peg cover to allow fitment to not only 7/8’’ peg shifters, but also to shift levers with either an 8mm or 5/16’’ screw mount as used on Harley’s and Victory’s. The oval shaped chrome cover has six rubber contact straps and securely mounts with set screws to improve your shifter peg lever. The 5/16’’ #21-558 is ideal for Harley fitments for FLH, FLS, FXD and XL, while the 8mm #21-557 is ideal for the Victory Kingpin, Vision, Cross Country and New Indian Chief and Roadmaster. The original 7/8’’ #21-556 fits the GL1800, VT750 Ace/Spirit, VT1100 and VL800. This is a quick and inexpensive way to improve comfort and looks of the shifter peg.

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THE JEEP® BRAND AT THE 2017 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

We just wrapped up another 4×4-filled week at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.  While the vehicles on the showroom floor offered plenty for Jeep enthusiasts to be excited about, it was a few key announcements about future product plans that had off-road fans and the press alike talking. Before we touch on that, let’s take a look at a few of the iconic Jeep brand vehicles that were on display.

1

The All-New 2017 Jeep Compass, shown here in Trailhawk trim in Spitfire Orange.  Coming this spring, the 2017 Jeep Compass will continue the brand’s tradition of off-road dominance with best-in-class 4×4 capability.*

2

The new 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Winter, shown in Billet Silver.  This new special-edition Wrangler model is equipped from the factory for winter action with standard features including BFGoodrich KO2™ tires wrapping 17-inch mid-gloss black wheels, premium off-road rock rails, heated front seats and all-weather slush mats.

3

The 2017 Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk, shown in Mojave Sand.  The limited-edition Renegade Desert Hawk adds to the Renegade Trailhawk model’s off-road performance with a unique look topped off by the exclusive map hood decal.

4

The 2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, shown in Hydro Blue.  Style and capability were on full display in this Cherokee Trailhawk with its best-in-class 4×4 capability and available 17-inch Black painted aluminum wheels.

And about those announcements … the Jeep brand kicked off NAIAS with exciting news, confirming the addition of three new models to our future lineup: a new Jeep pickup truck and the return of the legendary Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer nameplates. While we can’t give away much more than that right now, stay tuned to the Jeep blog for updates on all future and current Jeep vehicles, and visit www.jeep.com to learn more about the entire 2017 Jeep lineup.

* Based on Compact SUV segmentation. BIC 4×4 capability based on the All-New Jeep Compass offering low-range power transfer unit (PTU) with 20:1 crawl ratio, low-range 4×4 capability.

†Based on Jeep Cherokee offering 2 speed power transfer unit (PTU) with rear locking axel, low range 4×4 capability, exclusive Jeep Selec- terrain with 5 settings (including snow).

The post THE JEEP® BRAND AT THE 2017 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW appeared first on The Jeep Blog.

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