Here’s a story that’s got all shades of weird going on. Think of Australia. Nice place, right? Even if they do talk a bit funny. Does it sound like the sort of place you’d flee, and claim refugee status?
Yet that’s what ex-bikie hangaround Stevan Utah (not his real name) has done. Utah was an informant on the Australian arm of the Bandidos biker gang for many years, and involved in all sorts of shady stuff, until his cover was blown and he had to leave the country in fear of his life. His solution? The former one-percenter has come to Canada, and here’s where it gets odd: he’s claimed refugee status here, and after months of battling, has been granted his claim.
(Why he’d come to Canada, we’re not sure, as it’s not as if we don’t have our own fair share of biker miscreants running tons of drugs around our country).
Utah certainly isn’t your stereotypical starved or war-scarred Third World refugee, so it’s no wonder border security staff were skeptical of his claim—and here’s where it gets even more weird. Now that he’s been approved and Canada has taken him in, Utah is suing the government and a pair of border patrol officers for the delays along the way (it took from 2007 until 2015 to settle his case). He claims he’s owed $2.55 million for his troubles.
It’s an odd tale, and we’re sure we haven’t heard the last of it yet, as Utah is reckoned to be the first-ever refugee from Australia. And we also reckon he has bucked a very long-standing trend: criminals and their associates used to be sent to Australia by the justice system, not the other way around …
Adventures with Ed
It’s been a good long time since we’ve caught up with Ed March. Here’s the mad Limey’s latest video update from his trip through Mexico! Try as he might, he still hasn’t convinced us the C90 is the world’s best adventure bike — but he’s certainly gaining converts. Maybe he should register as a religion?
… And adventures with Bixby Moto
It’s literally been years since we last had an update from the hecklers over at Bixby Moto. Alas, this video clip is more about them dressing like clueless hipsters and infiltrating the infamously redneck flat track scene, and less about them taking their sweet, sweet Z50 sidecar sideways around the track, but there is some of that. One can only hope they return to the days of $100 offroad scooter challenges …
Keep your cool
Do you get tired of sweaty helmet head? Well, whether or not you do, inventor Steve Feher thinks there’s a problem to be solved there. So, he’s developed what he’s calling the world’s first self-contained, air-conditioned motorcycle helmet.
Although you’re probably not familiar with Feher’s name, you might be familiar with his technology, as he’s previously designed thermoelectric cooling devices that keep your butt nice and chilled while you drive a luxury car; he’s invented cooling seats for Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, and other companies.
Now, he’s taking his talents to the world of motorcycles, where he’s just announced the Feher ACH-1 helmet. According to his website, the ACH-1 has an onboard cooling unit which “intakes ambient hot air and applies thermoelectric technology to cool the air. Then, in combination with Feher’s patented Tubular Spacer Fabric and the ACH-1 fan system, filtered cooled air is evenly distributed around the top of your head …” Supposedly, the helmet’s design will keep your head 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the ambient air temperature.
Brilliant! Alas, there are no traditional vents on the ACH-1, so if for some reason the cooling system stops working, you’re going to cook in traffic, unless you try the old-school method of flipping open your visor. But hey, motorcycle accessories never stop working, right?
Pricing for the ACH-1 starts at $599 US, and the helmet meets US DOT FMVSS218 and ECE 22.05. The Battlestar Galactica styling is just a free bonus.
Made like a machine gun
The more, uh, “experienced” CMG readers might remember the days when Royal Enfield used the tagline “Made Like A Gun” to advertise its motorcycles, harking back to the company’s days in rifle production. Well, it seems that Royal Enfield might soon have to abandon that tagline to the Russian competition.
Here’s why: These days, every giant of industry with a PR department has announced it’s going to get into EV production, and that now includes Kalashnikov, which is talking about getting into electric motorcycle manufacturing, having just unveiled another pair of battery bikes. The Russian arms manufacturer (best-known for producing the infamous AK-47 rifle and its derivatives) announced it was building electric motorcycles for police a few months back, but we never heard much about it after that initial statement. Now, the gunmaker is saying it’s not only building bikes for police use, but also military and even possibly civilian customers.
So, given Kalashnikov’s manufacturing history, what sort of bike could we expect? If it’s anything like the company’s classic machine guns, it would have a fully automatic transmission, of course, and probably have a crude finish. But most importantly, if the Russians emulate the former Soviet arms policy, they’ll distribute these bikes all over the developing world in an attempt to create trouble for democratic governments. You can bet Third World warlords are already eager with anticipation!