Welcome to Friday Fudge. If it’s weird, funny, or strange motorcycle news, or it just plain won’t fit anywhere else on the site – you’ll find it here.
It’s never a good time to rob someone, but you’re a true heel if you rob a dying motorcyclist. You’re a true idiot if you do that while you’re videotaping yourself with your own dashcam.
But, that’s what a Connecticut state trooper did back in 2012, and now he’s going to do time for it. Aaron Huntsman is expected to serve around 16 months in prison for the whole sleazy incident, which started when he responded to a motorcycle accident. The bike had crashed into a truck and the owner lay dying. Huntsman cleaned the rider’s pockets out, turning most of the stuff in later, but somehow forgetting to hand in an expensive gold chain and a bundle of cash.
The rider’s family wondered where the money had gone to, and it was found under the dash of Huntsman’s patrol car. Unbelievably, he’d done this while standing in front of his cruiser’s dashcam, which was still recording.
For some reason, the ex-cop was allowed to cop a plea bargain that doesn’t admit his guilt (under that state’s Alford Doctrine), meaning he won’t serve as much time. It’s too bad. This is one guy who deserves to share a cell with a bunch of biker gang cons.
Source: CT News
Carleton University has a clean-cut image, but have you heard of the underground biker culture there? No, no, it’s nothing sketchy like a group of one-percenters acting out scenes from ’70s films like The Savage Seven. Nope, what happened was some dude decided to rip around the campus’s underground tunnel network on his motorcycle, and post a film of his stunt to YouTube.
Most articles reporting the incident have been full of ballyhoo, saying those tunnels are packed with students and staff during the school year. Before you too wet your bed with fear, note the tunnels are empty, as it seems the video was shot in the middle of the night during the summer break.
Still, university leaders were rather unhappy with this incident. They say the suspect (supposedly an Alberta resident) could face fines or suspension if he’s a Carleton student, while the police are looking into laying dangerous driving charges. How they’ll make those stick, if the rider wasn’t on a public road, is a bit of a mystery. They’re also talking about mischief charges, which might work, but if they were going to lock people up just for being mischievous, well, they’d be pretty busy.
You can check out the video of the tunnel ride below, on CTV’s website. The original video was yanked from YouTube.
Up, up and away
Decades ago, the sci fi writers told us we’d be driving flying cars. Or is that flying in flying cars? In any case, it seems they were wrong, as our cars seem to be distinctly terrestrially-based, despite their optimism.
Flying motorcycles, though – that actually seems to be just around the corner, if PalVco have their way, with the new Pal-V One Gyrocopter. Technically, it’s a three-wheeler, not a two-wheeled motorcycle, but it seems as if it leans.
The Gyrocopter looks like something from a 1930s pulp novel, but it’s supposedly the real deal and can be yours if you’ve got the money ($396,000). It’s made in the Netherlands, and powered by a 230-hp four-cylinder motor. It needs about ten minutes to prepare for takeoff, so you can forget about using it as a getaway vehicle from the cops. Check it out below.
But wait, there’s more!
The folks at Malloy Aeronautics are also working on an airborne cycle, although theirs isn’t roadworthy. Their hoverbike works on the same principle as those remote-controlled drones people are using to take GoPro vids. Except, this one takes a person instead of a camera. You can see their Kickstarter pitch below – they’re trying to raise the money for scaled-down test version production now. If you’re worried about safety, well, there’s no cause for concern – their Kickstarter page says all their drones will be tested before shipping.
Here’s another airborne motorcycle. It seems this guy’s stunt routine was inspired by the ending of the Apollo moon landings (which were filmed by Stanley Kubrick, don’t kid yourself!). It looks like something that would be plenty of fun to try, but not so fun if things went wrong.
Keep your head up
So, motorcycles can be difficult to move around. That’s why you’ve got to use your head.
The state of Yates
A while back, we told you former electric superbike racer Chip Yates has turned his attention to the world of aviation. But Mr. Yates isn’t content with just flying around, his head in the clouds. As it turns out, his plane is already faster than its gas-powered counterparts, although there’s a catch …
Yates has managed to set five aeronautical speed records in his battery-powered Rutan Long-EZ (Yates’s modified plane is known as the Long-ESA). He’s still aiming for a trans-Atlantic record, but he’s got a big problem to overcome: Although his plane has set speed records, it runs out of battery power quickly. He’s working on a plan to recharge his plane in flight now. That’s probably a good thing, if you’re in danger of running out of juice before you reach Ireland.
The winds of change
The political scene in Thailand is chaotic, with coup after coup in the country’s recent history. But some onlookers say there’s a new force for change on the scene, one that’s not packing a machine gun.
According to journalist Richard Bernstein, motorcyclists are gaining a strong political presence in the country. We’re not talking about a bunch of first-world yuppies going out on charity rides to raise awareness of the country’s troubles, though – we’re talking about taxi drivers.
See, like much of the developing world, Thailand has a lot of motorcycle taxis. If you want to get around in Bangkok, then hail a two-wheeled taxi and the world’s your oyster. According to Bernstein, there are hundreds of thousands of moto-taxis in Bangkok, mainly comprised of people from rural regions who’ve settled on life as a cycle cabbie to pay the bills.
Those cabbies have strong ties to the political forces allied with former billionaire prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra; when he was in power, the PM started charging the taxi drivers for licenses. No doubt some were unhappy at first, but apparently he told them that this actually meant the government was working for them now. And, they believed it; in the past few years, they’ve increasingly become tied to the Red Shirts political movement, since they’ve started to see their tax dollars flow back towards the lesser-privileged members of society. The moto-taxi business is even losing some of its stigma as a job for losers.
So, next time you hear a Canadian whining about their political leaders, tell them to shut up, and just go out and open a two-wheeled taxistand. Hey, if that’s what it takes to fix this country, we’re all for it.
Source: NY Books