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Drive Life : May 7th 2010
1HERSA1 0007 The Sydney Morning Herald May 7, 2010 Drive Life 7 AIRBAGS FOR YOUR BIKE For years airbags have been saving lives in car accidents. Now the technology has been applied to help save motorcycle racers. Alpinestars, a leading provider of racing safety gear, has developed the Tech Air Race suit. While the company isn't the first to experiment with the technology in suits, it claims to have mastered the complexities of getting the suit to work fast enough in a racing accident. The company has created a series of algorithms that can detect the precise moment to deploy the airbags hidden inside the suit. The airbags are controlled by a central processing unit that gathers data from seven sensors embedded in the leathers. The airbags inflate in 50 milliseconds and stay fully inflated for five seconds. MotoGP riders Dani Pedrosa, Ben Spies and Mika Kallio have helped develop the suit, expected to cost $2700 more than ''normal'' leathers when it goes on sale in mid-2011. FROM RUSSIA WITH BULLION Dartz, the Russian car maker that made headlines for using whale penis leather in its SUV, is working on a new creation; a golden car. Not just painted gold, the eccentric Russians are trying to pack as much actual gold into the car's construction as possible. It appears Dartz management have seen too much James Bond, because they claim to have been inspired by the 1974 classic, The Man with the Golden Gun. The Dartz Prombron Car with the Golden Wheels (to give its official title) will, not surprisingly, feature gold wheels and will also have gold-coated windows (produced at a former soviet space industry factory) and the body will be finished in gold snake-skin vinyl. But if that's not enough, there's a real golden gun complete with golden bullets. The car will be unveiled at the Top Marques Abu Dhabi car show next year. STING FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING Car club cruises are a great way for motoring enthusiasts to get together and in some cases a great way for clubs to raise money for charity. But one such drive day in Canada recently turned out to be the perfect opportunity for the local constabulary to conduct a sting operation. Organisers of the local Mini car club contacted the Ontario Provincial Police ahead of their twice-a-year cruise to raise money for the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The organisers thought that because more than 30 Minis were expected to show up, informing the police of their numbers and route was the courteous thing to do. The police thought otherwise and set up an operation to intercept the Mini motorcade where the highway speed limit fell from 100km/h to 90km/h. But that's wasn't the end of the police plan. The officers also arranged for a local news crew to be on hand to film the operation. The TV "journalist" claimed that several Minis had been seized because the drivers were 50km/h over the speed limit and even claimed some of the speeding cars had children in them, resulting in the police calling children's welfare services. The TV report was actually far from the truth: three Mini drivers were booked for exceeding the speed limit by 25km/h and over and one driver had an illegal radar detector confiscated. Needless to say, the Mini club is now reluctant to inform the police of its future drive programs. A HUNDRED YEARS OF ALFA Despite the reputation for rust, Alfa Romeo has a large and loyal fanbase around the world. One of the biggest is German amateur racer Martin Kapp, who has commissioned his own one-off racing car to help the Italian brand celebrate its 100th anniversary. Kapp teamed with longtime Alfa Romeo coachbuilders, Zagato, to create the Alfa Romeo TZ3. This sports car is more than just a show pony , with Kapp to race it in selected events around Europe. Power comes from the same V8 engine found in the 8C Competizione supercar but the chassis and bodywork are all bespoke. Zagato crafted the car out of carbon fibre and aluminium, on a tubular frame chassis, to keep weight low. Zagato's history with Alfa dates back 90 years with such iconic cars as the 1500 6C and 1750 GS. But the most famous collaboration was the 8C 2300, the racer run by a young Enzo Ferrari in the 1930s before he decided to start his own car brand. Just quietly, great savings GRIFFITH Griffith City Motors 6969 5010 MAITLAND Hunter Honda 4999 6711 MOSS VALE Southern Highland Honda 4868 1477 NEWCASTLE Kloster Honda 4922 0520 NOWRA South Coast Honda 4422 0111 ORANGE Honda Auto Centre Orange 6362 7169 HN467/SMHF4 6492 2333 6652 3122 6884 6444 4947 5000 4324 5744 4821 3744 PORT MACQUARIE John Patrick Honda 6584 1800 SCONE Saunders Honda 6545 9822 TAMWORTH Woodley's Motors 6763 1555 TAREE Manning Valley Motors 6552 1088 WAGGA WAGGA Wagga Motors 6933 0100 WOLLONGONG Wollongong City Motors 4227 3799 For more details visit honda.com.au/offers at honda.com.au/usedcars Ask us about Honda Insurance. Civic Limited Edition $24,990 drive away† Limited Edition Features: Alloy wheels Bluetooth® phone system Rear park assist Fog lights Chrome exhaust finisher Deluxe tailored floor mats † Rec. price manual transmission Civic shown with non-metallic paint: metallic/pearlescent paint additional cost on this model. Bluetooth® is a trademark of Bluetooth® SIG, INC. Honda Australia/Honda Dealers reserve the right to change or extend these offers.
May 14th 2010
April 30th 2010