Wednesday, September 18, 2013

airless tire comes closer to reality

Hankook's i-Flex showcased in Frankfurt

South Korean tire manufacturer Hankook is the latest to take a whack at the airless tire - it's light (made of polyurethane) and never goes flat. I think that beyond the attraction of innovative technology, most people want to know if it will last longer, hold the road better, get you better mileage and does it cost less?

Back in June of 2005 - LLTek released an article on the "tweel" (similar to the iFlex) when it was rumored that Audi was making tests with the concept from Michelin. I'll take a dozen if it does all of things listed above. Read the LLTeK story on the tweel here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Eadweard Muybridge and Sallie Gardner revisited
all four off the ground
Photo taken September 1,  2013 at the Big Brome Fair - Click for detail

135 years ago photographer Eadweard Muybridge proved scientifically (through a series of photographs) that when horses run - all four feet are at times off the ground. It was an unanswered question at the time because the human eye couldn't isolate the event with a horse moving at 35 - 40 mph (58 km/h).

Leland Stanford, that nasty 1% capitalist guy, who funded the creation of - you guessed it ~ with his very own money - Stanford University, raised horses and wanted an answer to the question. He commissioned Muybridge to get it and Muybridge got it. The photo above is my take on it!

I've been taking pictures forever and knocked off the image above with a Fuji pocket model - I have given up on lugging the big Nikons around for my snapshots. You can use the image if you want - I release it to public domain. If you want to see the truly original stuff (copies of the original preserved images) you need to click through here for the wiki link

Here's a picture of 240 horses off the ground at the same time;
if you were there you wouldn't need a camera to know what was happening!
picture copyright eta beta wheels

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Citroën Auto-levelling Suspension from 1955

CBI Consultant Jane Should Have One of These

A concept illustration of the Citroen DS as it might appear in the near future.

"The Mentalist" is a popular tv crime series - and the protagonist Patrick Jane (played by Simon Baker) drives a vintage Citroën DS - enhancing his quirky not-middle-of-the-road personality. We don't see a lot of them on this side of the Atlantic but a fair number did get here - 38,000 over 18 years (especially popular here in Quebec). I have never driven one, but I was lucky enough to ride in two of them many years ago and I can vouch that the suspension (hydropneumatic self-levelling) was everything it was cracked up to be.

According to wikipedia, "The DS came in third in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, recognizing the world's most influential auto designs, and was named the most beautiful car of all time by Classic & Sports Car magazine." If it does get a second life because retro resurrections are still going strong (it was discontinued in 1975) it's going to need some extra horses; it topped out at 83 hp. I guess that would mean 0-60 in 23 seconds. What the heck - some want speed and some want style - at LLTeK we say "Why not have both?"

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Audi A4 B7 badgeless grille

No Rings, No Badge, No Problem

newly installed grille
quantum B7 ninja grille
bird's eye viewall shaved and shiny

Brian sent these images of his Audi A4 with a spanking new Quantum B7 grille installed and we want to say thanks because it's one thing to see an image of a grille on a website and something completely different to see the same thing
(in context) on a car.

He tells us the stealthy look was a bit of a glitch and not completely by choice. Apparently,  the whereabouts of the ring mount went AWOL at the installers; but  "aesthetics" are subjective unless one posseses master of the universe wisdom and powers. Adding insult to injury, after Brian posted the install pix at an Audi forum (which shall remain anonymous) a forum commentator suggested that a grille without the rings is a faux pas of galactic dimensions. I don't think the presence or absence of rings is anything anyone should get their shorts in a knot about - but I do know another ring mount is on its way; and if Brian puts the rings on we'd be happy to get a photo of that too.

We've never hung out at the forums, not because it's annoying to have someone frequently jump out of the closet at you, but because as Karl Popper once said, "
No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude."