UClear HBC 200 Review

The "Force" be with you?  hmm...

The “Force” be with you? hmm…

The third law of Authur C. Clark is “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

I’m no Luddite, but I have to say that quote came to mind when I received the Uclear HBC200 boomless intercom to test.  Uclear released the first version of this model back in 2011 so boomless technology is not brand new, but hey, I’ve been hiding under a rock and haven’t had a chance to actually put it to the test.

Over the past couple of years I’ve tested several different intercom systems.   For the most part, I’ve been underwhelmed with the results.   All the “wireless” models use Bluetooth technology to transmit signals from each unit.  They also use the same technology to pair with a cell phone.

And they all have a big ugly boom that sticks in front of your mouth and is out there in front for all the world to see what a techno-geek you are.

And they’re not very clear, especially on transmitting your voice to the other person on the phone.

That was part of the reason I got a little excited when I received UClear’s HBC200 boomless model.

But, I couldn’t see how in the world it could work inside a helmet, especially going 60 or 70 mph.

I’ve had the unit now for about a month, and have tested it on about a half dozen telephone calls and all I can say is Clarke’s third law has been proven. I have no idea how it works, so it must be magic.

Actually, I called UClear’s technical guru dude, Rem Fox (obviously a wizard from another dimension or alternate universe) because as impressed as I was with the way the unit handled phone calls and music (from my IPhone’s Pandora feed) I wasn’t able to communicate with the second test unit via intercom.

After a few minutes on the phone, the high wizard RemFox was able to cast a clarity spell on me, (digitally through a site called YouTube)  and I understood immediately what I was doing wrong.

I’m telling you, there was some strong magic involved.

I’m heading out on a two week journey through the heart of the USA from Georgia to Tennessee and then to Nevada for a business conference.  I plan to use the unit to stay in touch while I’m on the road and to use the voice guidance from my Google Maps to stay on course for the trip.

I’ll let you know about the battery life when I return and try to explain some of the “magic” in this boomless technology UClear seems to have perfected.

 

VELOCITY TAKES ON MORE LEGENDARY BIKE BUILDS WITH LONGER EPISODES IN AN ALL-NEW SEASON OF CAFÉ RACER

velocity cafe racer- The Man Behind the Motorcycle, Mike Seate, Hosts Five All-New One Hour Episodes Premiering November 6 on Velocity -

(Silver Spring, Md.) – This fall, Velocity’s signature franchise CAFÉ RACER returns with an all-access look into the culture and creation of café racer motorcycles. The unmistakable elements of café bikes have made this two-wheeled subculture the home for Hollywood stars, underground builders and adrenaline junkies worldwide. Hosted by motorcycle buff, Mike Seate, each one-hour episode of the new season will now follow two bikes from start to finish for viewers to witness to passion behind the craft of these incredible builds. The new season of CAFÉ RACER premieres on Velocity on Wednesday, November 6th at 9:00 PM (ET/PT).

Now its 4th season, CAFE RACER is the only show on TV that peers into the unique culture and custom fabrication of café bikes. Born in the streets of England in the 1950s by a group of rebel bikers, café racer culture still thrives worldwide as motorcycles are made over to fit the look and feel of the original bikes. These rides are often stripped of excess parts, and their engines tuned for maximum speed, in order to achieve the holy grail of café racing: hitting the 100-mph mark, or “Doing the Ton”.

In this season premiere episode of CAFÉ RACER, actress Katee Sackhoff’s commissions a built that is later “De-Classified” when Jay Leno sneaks a late night peak.  Later in the episode,  The Brothers Bostrom mount a Moto Guzzi fit for a king.  Future episodes include appearances from, Olympic Bobsledder Kallee Humphries, Motocross champion Travis Pastrana and actor Giovani Ribisi (TED, Avatar).

FULL EPISODES DESCRIPTIONS 

 Episode One, Premieres November 6 at 9:00 PM

Classified Moto out of Richmond, VA makes no apologies for the elevated perceptions that others have of their back yard business.  John Ryland, a recently laid off Ad Man knows the ins and outs of marketing his start-up company and his sought after machines. Actress Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica and 24 found John’s story irresistible and commissioned Classified for a canyon carving Café Racer.  Jay Leno weighs in on Katee’s off-road Honda build. Alos in this episode: Bay Area builder Patrick Bell has dabbled in acting, photography, and music, but motorcycles are his true love. When Bell received a cold call from eccentric and eager finance manager Olaf Hoff to transform an ugly Moto Guzzi 850 T-3, complete with running boards for foot pegs, into a lean and light ton eating machine, he called Café Racer. Bell keeps his anxious client in the dark throughout the build and then hands the bike over to Ben and Eric Bostrom for a top-secret, fast and picturesque runway test ride that would make Maverick and the Iceman jealous.

Episode Two, Premieres November 13 at 9:00 PM

Seattle’s riding scene is strong and Twinline Motorcycles helps fuel it with classically inspired bike builds – they’re also not afraid to experiment. Their build features elements of a mid-70s Honda chassis stuffed with a 90s Kawasaki air-cooled engine, covered in hand-formed bodywork. The goal?  Increase the horsepower by 50% and put a smile on the faces of the Bostrom during an aggressive racetrack test. Also in the episode: Ry Siedler is out to prove Harley-Davidson wrong.  The American motorcycle manufacturer sold its interest in the Italian brand Aermacchi in 1978 to turn its attention to the home favorite V-Twin.  But don’t tell a guy from Detroit using simple tools and solid engineering that he can’t turn an outdated brand into something really cool.  Ypsilanti Michigan’s hard core, local watering hole and vintage hot spot, Café Racer Ypsi will decide who was right, Ry or Harley-Davidson.

 Episode Three, Premieres November 20 at 9:00 PM

Former national road racing champion Roland Sands is a bike building superstar with clients like Mickey Rourke and Brad Pitt. Roland has now been commissioned to resurrect a salvage yard Harley for professional skateboarder Lyn-z Adams Hawkins Pastrana.  Lyn-z is accompanied by husband and action sports legend, Travis Pastrana, who dismantles a 1200cc Sportster. The end result is a naked street tracker suitable for the dirt ovals of the Grand National Series.  Also in the episode: Analog Cycles’ Tony Prust marches to the beat of a different drum.  The percussion tech for alt-metal band Chevelle also leans to the alternative side of motorcycling.  In season IV Prust has accepted the challenge to build a Bimota DB3 into a slick Café Racer for Chevelle Drummer Sam Loeffler.  The musician had his say throughout the build, but the Bostoms will get the encore at Black Hawk Farms, a 1.95 mile private circuit racetrack outside Chicago.

Episode Four, Premieres November 27 at 9:00 PM

Trenton New Jersey’s Cycle believes bikes have a soul, and they plan to provide a final afterlife for a sedentary Indian brand.  The 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet has had previous lives as a road racer and a flat tracker, they believe it deserves one more shot at immortality. Looking to “Do the Ton” on a bike more comfortable doing the speed limit, New Jersey Cycles has recruited former Isle of Man winner Chris Hook to fire the Bullet and get to the elusive 100mph mark. Also in the episode: Austrian brand KTM debuts on Café Racer with an out of the box build.  Mace Livingston and wife, Ashleigh, are new to the café scene. What they lack in experience they make up for with expectations.  The KTM Dual Sport, known more as a pedestrian off-roader – when complete – will light up the blogs with opinions of love and hate.  9-time National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty and off-road legend Jack Penton will test this dangerously designed machine.

Episode Five, Premieres December 4 at 9:00 PM

Ever heard of a motorcycle called a Rokon? No worry, only Rick Doughty of L.A.’s Vintage Iron and a few on the lunatic fringe of motorcycling are familiar with the American brand that’s more popular on the snow mobile racing circuits. Rest assured old school charms have not given way to modern technology with the Rokon. It’s still a loud and fast two-stroke that features a chainsaw-like pull starter. We’ll see just how creative Vintage Iron can be with this eccentric build and leave it up to test rider Blake Kelly for a final yea or nay to the project. Also, six of the most popular retro streetbikes and café racers are set loose down the quarter mile in the hands of champion drag racers Rickey Gadson and Larry “Spiderman” McBride. The machines, representing 35 years of development and an assortment of engine configurations, include Triumph, Ducati, Yamaha and Harley-Davidson, all vying for the title of World’s Fastest Café Racer. The results will definitely surprise you.

For more information on Velocity, please visit Velocity.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VelocityTV or on Twitter @VelocityTV1

CAFÉ RACER is produced from Velocity by CBP Television. For Velocity, Dave Lee is executive producer and Shaan Akbar is associate producer. For CPT Television, Ed Coughlin is executive producer.

Neale Bayly in South Africa Day 2

Rode out to Cape Point along the eastern route. Heavy weather set in with rain and cloud for most of the day. The Cape was still spectacular, and still an amazing feeling to literally stand at the end of Africa. We took the obligatory pictures at the Cape of Good Hope and battled torrential rain back into Capetown. Still spectacular and between dodging baboons, and stopping in fascinating small towns to look for Penguins, there were no complaints when made it to our hotel. Hoping for a dry day tomorrow.  See Day One Photos

Bank Forecloses on Big Dog Property

Big-Dogs-Sheldon-Coleman

photo courtesy of Motorcycle-USA.com

The Wichita Eagle is reporting that Intrust Bank filed suit this month seeking to foreclose on Coleman and several of his corporate entities, saying in the suit that it is owed nearly $20 million on six different loans. The bank seeks to foreclose on the bulk of the former Big Dog Motorcycles property at the northwest corner of Douglas and Hydraulic.Big Dog Motorcycles shut down as a new motorcycle manufacturing business in April 2011 after five years of declining sales. Coleman restarted a much smaller business, BDM Performance Products, in one of the warehouses on the site.One of the provisions that Coleman negotiated with Intrust was to hold off on foreclosing on the property for two years so he could try to sell it.

The company saw annual growth as high as 80 percent. In 2005, at the height of its popularity, the company had more than 300 workers and more than $120 million in revenue. That year, Coleman bought 106 acres on Greenwich Road for a future plant but never built it.    Read the complete story

 

 

Motorcycle Racing Legend Ray Price Inducted into East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame

ray jean priceMotorcycle racing legend Ray Price was recently inducted into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in Henderson, N.C., by the Vance County Tourism Department. Ray and his wife Jean attended the 12th annual event, which was held Sunday, October 20, at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center. The East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame weekend has grown into one of the nation’s largest gatherings for drag racing cars, muscle cars, street rods and motorcycles.

“I’m honored to be inducted into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame and join so many drag racing legends,” said Ray Price, founder of Ray Price Harley-Davidson and Ray Price Triumph in Raleigh, and Ray Price Triumph/Ducati of Fayetteville.

The East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame and the Vance County Tourism Department promote the impact of hot rodding and drag racing, which has become a major motorsports industry with an estimated $1 billion impact on the nation’s economy.

Price also has been inducted into the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame, the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the National Motorcycle Museum, and the N.C. Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

About the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame
Formed in 2002 in Henderson, N.C., the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame was established by Nancy Wilson, director of the Vance County Tourism Department, along with a determined group of eastern U.S.-based drag racers, media members, and local professionals. The popular East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame weekend, held each year in mid-October, has grown into one of the region’s largest car shows. It closes down the main street of Henderson, forming a pedestrian mall that showcases hundreds of hot rods, muscle cars, antique automobiles, motorcycles and racecars. The weekend event attracts more than 20,000 attendees, including many retired racers who visit each year to re-establish friendships and past rivalries. The event also features a cruise-in car show that transports participants and the downtown blocks of Henderson back to the cruising scene of the 1950s and 1960s. Hall of Fame induction ceremonies take place at the Vance-Granville Civic Center.

About Ray Price Harley-Davidson
Throughout 2012, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company celebrates its 110th Anniversary. In Raleigh, N.C., Ray Price Harley-Davidson has been a big part of this American history for the past 30 years as the Southeast’s premier Harley-Davidson dealership. Staff has 950 years of combined Harley riding experience to provide award-winning customer service and education programs for beginners to expert riders. Ray Price was named 2012 “Top 10 Dealer” from Dealernews, the leading powersports industry publication. The dealership’s commitment to community philanthropy has resulted in more than $100,000 in donations to area nonprofits in recent years. Last month’s 9th annual Capital City Bikefest attracted 85,000 people to Raleigh for the state’s largest motorcycle festival. Learn more on the Ray Price Facebook page.

Ray Price is best known for his many successes in motorcycle drag racing with the International Hot Rod Association, and National Hot Rod Association, among others. He has been inducted into the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame, the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and the N.C. Drag Racing Hall of Fame. He is now an inducted member of the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame.

 

Neale Bayly In South Africa Day 1

* Note  Neale Bayly is on a 10 day charity ride in South Africa.  He’s sending us photos and notes from the trip.  We’ll post them as we get them.

Day 1.  Arrived in Capetown and picked up the bikes.
Spent the afternoon checking out the sights and enjoying the sights. We are just waiting for HGTV’s Anthony Carrino to join us tomorrow.
We will be heading for Johannusburg  with six of us riding BMWs. Anthony and I are on BMW R1200GS and the rest of the crew are on F800s and F700s. We will end up in Kruger National Park and a visit to a local orphanage before returning home on November 12th.  Neale   Day 2 photos