Hi folks, and welcome to the second part of the "How to beat the heat" guide for riding in hot weather.
The first part of the guide went through the basic explanation of the processes that can occur in the human body when exposed to high temperatures during a motorcycle trip. The most severe effects of high temperature are dehydration, which can lead to multiple adverse reactions, and sunburns.
Dehydration is the starting point of many other negative effects that could impact the riding capability, and we're only bringing up the general discomfort caused by thirst, fatigue due to losing chemical balance of the bodily fluids, increased heart rate which struggles to keep the thicker blood pumping through your veins, and more.
On the other hand, sunburns cause a much more direct discomfort and in severe cases, they even need urgent medical treatment. Needless to say, it's so much better to be able to smile when you end the day, than to squirm in pain every time you speak, feel the sweat beads stinging as they roll down your forehead and be afraid to wipe them off.
Tips, tips, tips
Avoid sunburn. If you're on a long ride, we assume you're wearing your touring gear, which means boots, long trousers, a jacket and gloves. With such equipment, it's rather hard to believe there will be too much skin exposed in direct sunlight, save for the face and maybe the v-neck of the open jacket.
One of the best ways to stay safe from the sun's UV radiation is using sunblock products with a high SPF or Sun Protection Factor. Remember to re-apply it if the ride is really long, and try to keep your helmet liner clean: even if yours is removable and washable, it's better not to need such treatment when on the go.
⌕ Summer rides in the sunset… a dream so easy to transform in reality⌕ Sunblock products are a great way to avoid sunburn on exposed skin⌕ Top-notch helmets offer very good ventilation, despite the full-face designIf you're not into wearing denim or cordura or leathers as you roll by, a good sunblock is definitely a must. Even if your skin is not too sensitive to sun or is darker, this doesn’t mean that the sun won't touch you: you might be free from sunburn, but still, the UV could harm your skin.
Finally, remember that sun can (and will) burn you even through lightweight fabrics, so don't think a light shirt will help you too much.
During the hot summer days, you might be tempted to ditch your full-face helmet and go for a braincap or something like that. You don't need us telling you how the two helmets differ as far as protection against impact is concerned.
Wearing a helmet with good ventilation is very nice in the summer, especially as the head tends to sweat a lot, and the flow of air evaporating that sweat is a cooling factor. Remember to have all your vents and extractors open, including the chin intakes. In such weather, every square centimeter of open vent is a premium feature and you should take full advantage.
If you're wearing a modular helmet, riding with it open ensures excellent air flow. In some cases, depending on the motorcycle architecture and the type of helmet you're wearing, you might be surprised to find out that riding with a closed or full-face helmet is truly comfortable, provided its venting capability is top-notch.
Before you get aboard your machine to start the journey, you could use water liberally to soak the inner liner: as air starts flowing through your helmet, water evaporates and temperatures inside the helmet drop. It will not last too much, but this cooling method is great because all you need to do is pull over, add some more water, put the helmet on, and ride away.
Not everybody can afford buying a full summer riding suit, but if you can get it at least piece by piece, it's still great. Motorcycle protective gear designed for riding in hot weather comes with a lighter build, while retaining the protection factor.
However, the summer jackets and trousers have mesh panels for extraordinary air flow and many all-round pieces also come with zipped vents. It's really great to choose 4-season gear, as these clothes usually have a layered design that can go on and off as weather conditions warrant.
The 3-layer jackets are some of the favorite here: you get the outer cordura shell for protection against abrasion, debris, insects and whatnot, a detachable windproof and waterproof liner you can store in a pocket, while the third layer is the thermal one, shielding your body from the outer ones when it's cold.
Such a design may not be exactly the most carefree one as you need to stop and gear up before the rain, but when it comes to versatility, nothing beats it. Likewise, with both jackets and trousers sporting thigh, arm/forearm, shoulder, underarm and back vents in pretty much any combination you can imagine, it's easy to figure out how convenient wearing such clothes is.
You can wear your jacket fully zipped for the best protection, yet benefit from amazing ventilation with 4 front zippers and the rear extractor open. If you ride a lot during the summer, such clothing is the absolute best!
Some can't stand the external armors, and there is no way others could blame them: it's just a matter of comfort and looks. If you're riding to work or have various meetings, it's just impractical to wear such an armor.
However, if you fancy this type of protective gear, you must also take care of the UV and direct sunlight problem, as armors leave a lot of skin exposed. Knee, shin and elbow protectors can be, of course, worn over your casual clothes, in case you're not that keen to wear leathers for a recreational ride around the town in July.
Boots and gloves
While full riding suits for the summer are not exactly dirt cheap, boots and gloves don't cost a fortune.
⌕ Braincaps oofer the best ventilation but the least protection⌕ Gel vests are great for keeping wet and cool for a long time⌕ Armors cannot be worn in all situations and some look a bit overkillSummer gloves are truly great, and once you wear some on a trip, you're most likely going to stick with them in the hot weather. With perforations and mesh panels, summer or “air” gloves are exceptionally comfortable because your hands will no longer sweat and most of us will surely love this.
On the other hand, summer boots also have a special design for improved air flow and are way more comfortable in the hot season than your all-round boots. Or if you're not going on a longer vacation, short city boots are also a good choice.
Shaped like tall basketball shoes and sporting all the ankle, toe and calf protection, such shoes are also comfortable for walking.
Please remember that summer boots, (especially) gloves and other clothing with mesh and light fabric panels will NOT offer as much protection against abrasion and impact like the “full” gear does.
Finally, we have technology and research to thank for the plethora of “technical gear” specially created for helping riders cool down.
Some of the most used garments are special vests, which are made from moisture-wicking fabric and come with ventilation panels. Their nicest feature is that they control the water loss, thus reducing dehydration. Many armors and back protectors come with the same design and are suitable for the summer.
Special gel garments are also a very nifty addition to a rider's wardrobe. These clothes contain a gel that can absorb a lot of water and they will evaporate the liquid at a slow rate, ensuring many hours of wetness.
The principle is quite simple and the only secret lies in the water-absorbent material: basically, they will cool you the same way wearing a wet t-shirt does, but they will not dry as fast as your fav cotton t-shirt would. They're also very cheap: the Water Cooling Vest is $25 (€19) and it will stay wet for about 10 hours or so.
Cool suits are yet another way to lower your body temperature in the blistering weather. These full-body suits are designed to be worn underneath your leathers or other protective gear, and the very structure of the fabric helps air circulate.
With their wicking capability, such clothes are also enhancing the riding comfort as leathers will no longer stick to the rider's skin, while, by draining moisture away from the skin, they also help reduce heat build-up inside the body. Moto-D, Alpinestars and many other manufacturers are offering such suits.
⌕ Special undergarments are helping riders stay cooler and prevent leathers from sticking⌕ Summer gloves will keep your hands dry all through the hottest days⌕ Summer boots come with enhanced breathability and can be worn as casual shoesIce collars can be worn around the neck, as well, though many can't actually stand them: they sport a pocket in which a small zip-lock bag can be inserted after filling it with ice. Ice melts away and water will slowly drop on your t-shirt, keeping it wet and you cool.
In the end, if you're not willing to spend too much on such gear, you can keep wetting your t-shirt from time to time and be fine with that. Just remember that with each minute you're riding in the heat you're losing water and minerals, and drinking lots of water is the key element for beating the heat.
Check out the first part of the guide, for detailed physiological aspects of humans vs. heat. We really hope your summer rides will be cool and all right. Ride safe!
By Florin Tibu
Having just won Automobile Magazine’s Automobile of the Year and Motor Trend’s Car of the Year awards, Tesla couldn’t have picked a better time for a Model S price hike. The company recently confirmed that it will be raising the price of its all-electric luxury sedan, but did not say how much sticker shock buyers should expect.
Tesla said specifics will be released within two to three weeks, and that the changes would also affect option packages. Some items that are currently standard on the Model S will become extra cost options, the company said.
The increase in price will not affect customers who have already ordered a Model S, although Tesla says they will need to finalize their orders (i.e., choose paint and options) within a specified timeframe. Tesla will also give customers who deferred their orders a chance to pay the current price before the to-be-determined deadline.
As it stands now, a base Model S with a 40-kWh battery pack and 160-mile range costs $57,400. Buyers can opt for a 60-kWh battery, which increases range to 230 miles, for $67,400, and an 85-kWh model with a 265-mile range starts at $77,400.
On top of the biggest batter, buyers can order a Performance package that lowers the Model S’ 0 to 60 mph time from 5.6 seconds to 4.4 seconds. A fully loaded Model S Signature Performance currently stickers for $105,400. All models are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Tesla has at least 12,000 names on its waiting list, although only a handful of cars have been delivered so far. It hopes to sell 20,000 cars in 2013.
Although Model S buyers are getting a lot for their money, raising the price seems like an odd way to increase sales. Tesla did not say why it is doing so, but it may be in response to unexpected demand, which would give Tesla an opportunity to increase its profits, or a desire to increase profits regardless of whether more people are signing up for its EVs.
It’s hard to know exactly what is going through Elon Musk’s mind, we will know the specifics of the Model S’ revised pricing in a few weeks.
2013 Tesla Model S
Without any fanfare, the EPA has released its range rating for the second version of the Tesla Model S to come to market.
The 2013 Tesla Model S fitted with a 60-kilowatt-hour battery pack has a rated range of 208 miles.
That compares to 265 miles for the Model S version with the largest 85-kWh battery pack.
The new 60-kWh Model S has a higher efficiency rating (95 MPGe versus 89 MPGe) and uses slightly less energy to cover 100 miles: 35 kWh versus 38 kWh.
The Miles-Per-Gallon-equivalent (MPGe) rating measures how far a vehicle can travel on the amount of electricity equivalent to the energy content of one gallon of gasoline.
The 85-kWh Tesla Model S received its 265-mile range rating in June.
The new model’s 95-MPGe efficiency rating is close to the 99-MPGe rating of the 2012 Nissan Leaf, an impressive number for a larger, heavier, more capacious, and faster luxury sport sedan.
The differences in the two Model S versions may be attributable to the 60-kWh version’s lighter weight and some differences in standard features.
Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] will begin delivering the 60-kWh Model S versions early next year.
The final and lowest-range version of the Model S, fitted with a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery, will be the last to enter production–by March, Tesla has said.
That version has not yet been rated by the EPA.
Lots of car doors open when you have $50,000 to spend. A 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca and a base 2013 Porsche Boxster cost about $50,000, but if an electric-powered crossover is more your style, then you’ll also have enough to afford the Toyota RAV4 EV, set to go on sale later this summer with an asking price of $49,800, before credits.
Is that asking too much? Toyota doesn’t think so. Ed Larocque, Toyota USA’s national marketing manager for advanced technology vehicles, defended the RAV4 EV’s price point to WardsAuto: “All things considered, [including] what you’re getting with the product, we think it’s priced right for the market in California.” Following the initial launch in California, Toyota will decide what U.S. markets will get the RAV4 EV.
The RAV4 EV includes a powertrain developed with Tesla Motors. Toyota claims it will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds in sport mode and 8.6 seconds in normal mode, while reaching a top speed of 100 mph. Its lithium-ion battery pack will need about 6 hours to charge (level 2, 240V), providing a range of 92-113 miles, depending on driving modes and conditions. Standard creature comforts include navigation, heated front seats, and seating surfaces wrapped in Toyota’s new Neutron fabric.
Last but not least are the tax credits. Combining the federal tax credit of $7500 with California’s $2500 credit and the RAV4 EV’s price was knocked down to about $39,990. By comparison, the all-electric Nissan Leaf hatchback is $36,050 (before credits), while a fully loaded 2012 RAV4 Limited AWD V-6 is priced at $32,820.
Source: WardsAuto, Toyota
Tesla’s 2012 Model S rolls off the production line and into customer’s hands tomorrow, and we now know that those customer cars will get the equivalent of 89 mpg and have a 265-mile range on one battery charge.
The 2012 Model S had already been crash-tested and cleared for public sale, and we were waiting for confirmation from the EPA. Now we have it: top-spec Tesla Model S electric sedans with an 85-kWh battery will get the equivalent of 89 miles per gallon. That may be 10 fewer miles than the combined 99-MPGe figure of the 2012 Nissan Leaf, currently the country’s most popular battery electric vehicle, but the Model S does have a bigger interior and a lot more power: it hits 60 mph within 4.4 and 6.5 seconds, depending on specification, compared to the Leaf’s 9.7 second sprint.
While Tesla has long said that it was shooting for its 85-kWh models to travel a full 300 miles on one charge, the final EPA-estimated range is 265 miles. As we previously reported, Tesla says this is the result of differing testing methods: Tesla’s range estimates are at 55 mph, while the EPA’s methodology combines city and highway driving and is much more rigorous.
With the 85-kWh Tesla Model S getting an estimated 265 miles of range, it’s still anyone’s guess as to what less-expensive models will do. The Model S’ initial 1000-car production run will all be 85-kWh Signature Series models, but later models will have available 40- or 60-kWh battery packs that will allow the Model S to go a Tesla-estimated 160 or 230 miles, respectively. Neither Tesla nor the EPA have released those numbers, but expect EPA testing to temper those estimates a bit.
Still, the Model S easily takes the crown of the electric-only car with the furthest range, dwarfing the Mitsubishi i and Nissan Leaf, up to a respective 98 and 100 miles.
By Ben Timmins
With their first car, the Tesla Roadster, the Silicon Valley-based manufacturer claimed it was at its 2008 model was at least twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius. With battery technology, and EV related stuff in general, having come a considerable way in the last 4 years, the company’s new offering, the Model S sedan is expected to have a very good range for an EV.
According to Tesla, we shan’t be disappointed with the new car’s range, as they claim that the 85 kWh battery pack can enable the car to drive on for 480km (300 miles) before recharging. The figure was achieved on a EPA approved 55% in town and 45% highway journey, driving at constant speed of around 80-100km/h (50-70mph), without using the climate control, with the windows closed and with tires inflated to the recommended pressure.
With even bolder (but not verified) claims of economy, Tesla officials say the car could even go on to drive 640km (400 miles) under the right driving conditions. They also say they’re planning a prize for the first customer to achieve this extraordinary range for the first time.
With its sleek design, very good proportions and design, excellent efficiency and performance, coupled with a 5-Series-rivalling price, there’s no reason for the Tesla Model S not to sell very well, and we actually expect it to do so.
2013 Tesla Model S
Few automakers have built a buzz around their products like Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA].
Like many other electric cars, Roadster and Model S owners and fans are a tight-knit community too, and a two-day users conference in July will bring even more owners together.
Called Teslive, Silicon Beat describes it as being along the lines of the Macworld expo, a conference for all things Apple.
Teslive is hosted by the Tesla Motors Club, while Tesla Motors itself will support the event. Planned for two days from Friday July 12th, the show will take over the Crowne Plaza San Jose in Silicon Valley, with exhibits and a network reception.
Saturday activities include breakout sessions and a Tesla Motors-sponsored party at the Fremont factory where Model S sedans are built, while Sunday will play host to a convoy of Roadsters and Model S in the Woodside hills.
It should be a great opportunity for owners to swap hints and tips on their cars, share stories and even learn about future products and services from the company.
The event is limited to only 300 attendees, but organizers hope it will become an annual event, growing in scope and size each year–and with Tesla’s user base increasing all the time, there’s no doubt it’ll grow in popularity too.
If you’re a Tesla Motors Club member the chances are you’ve already heard of the event, but those wishing to know more or register for the event can head over to the Teslive page.
While the exterior of the upcoming Tesla Model S looks normal, wait until you get inside and discover that the only physical buttons on the dashboard are for the four-way flashers and the glove-box.
Tesla is stepping into the future by ditching the old idea of having a center console covered with buttons, switches and knobs, and replacing them with one single 17-inch display that literally controls every feature of the EV.
From the moment you open the driver’s door, the high-resolution touchscreen powers on, enabling the driver to use or adjust every system of the car. The touchpad gives the possibility to adjust vehicle parameters, such as opening the panoramic glass roof, adjusting the ride height, lights, steering response, the amount of regenerative braking and more. Also it operates the infotainment systems. It controls the HD radio (classic or online), device connectivity, the GPS, phone and it works as an Internet browser too.
For simplicity, it has an iPad-like interface, with user-friendly design and lots of visual icons to make it comprehensive for every driver. Also, the top and bottom parts of the screen will never change, to solve the “muscle memory” issue and less distract the driver. Some functions can be used from the integrated buttons in the steering wheel for that matter.
We know that the Tesla Model S is a very quick car – one of the quickest cars in its class, that is. Exactly the same description could be used for the new BMW M5, and the two cars are actually very evenly matched. Automobile put the two cars head to head in a drag race, and the result may surprise some…
The challenge was a 0-100 mph (0-160 km/h) drag race, where the 560 hp BMW would try to keep up with the 416 hp Tesla – or is it the other way around?. However, with instant and seamless power delivery, the Tesla’s electric powertrain is a match to what the BMW offers.
While you may think that this is foregone conclusion, due to the power deficit that the Tesla has, but torque also plays a very important part in acceleration, so the 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) figure is definitely very relevant here, and while the BMW may have more of it, being rated at 680 Nm (500 lb-ft), it is not instant and seamless, and each gearshift puts the BMW slightly behind the Tesla.
So, which do you think will be the victor?
Tesla and Space-X founder Elon Musk has a well-deserved reputation for being somewhat of an iconoclast, doing things his own way, and not being constrained by convention or tradition. That approach to business also extends to his model of selling cars, taking a factory-owned store approach with Tesla, a relative rarity in the U.S. market, and in some states may be illegal, at least according to car dealer trade associations. The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association was so incensed at the building of a Tesla showroom in the Natick Mall, that it filed a suit against the electric car maker.
But Massachusetts Judge Kenneth J. Fishman dismissed the suit, stating “The court is unconvinced that the 2002 amendment to Chapter 93B expanded the purpose of the statute to protect the motor vehicle franchise system,” according to a Bloomberg report.
Musk addressed the legal victory by Tesla in a statement: “We are delighted by the outright dismissal of this case, and the validation that we are operating our business in compliance with the laws and expectations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
But the dealer association hasn’t given up its fight entirely, saying it is considering an appeal. “It’s just another bump in the road we have to address,” Robert O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the state dealer association said.