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Schuberth_PlantA typical DOT approved motorcycle helmet has only three.  A Formula 1 helmet has 18!

I’m talking about Carbon fiber layers.  Over the years I’ve noticed more riders abandoning “beanie” helmets in favor of full-face.  I know from experience that “rain riding” with a full-face is more comfortable than a beanie.  And in terms of impact protection, the performance of a full-face carbon fiber helmet remains unsurpassed and can protect a motorcycle rider from serious injury in case of an accident.

Schuberth1Now helmet manufacturer Schuberth, based in Germany released the T-1000 helmet.  Millions of tiny fibers, woven into 18 of these carbon fiber layers, the T-1000 represents the current state-of-the-art in helmet development.  It was designed for Formula 1 and is presently the world’s most impact-resistant carbon fiber helmet and can withstand the heat of a welding flame (approx. 900 degrees C) positioned an inch away for 45 seconds.

The helmets also have a special acoustic collar which limits stress-inducing noise and a titanium chin strap clasp which weighs 6 grams less than the steel clasp to provide neck muscle relief over an extended period of time.  Eye protection consists of a four millimeter-thick, impact-resistant poly-carbon panel capable of stopping an approaching particle travelling at 310 mph!  The visor can be heated if desired for cooler weather conditions.  Schuberth specialists spent about 3,000 hours and had a 6-figure development budget while working on the design of the Formula 1 helmet with the goal to provide the very best in head protection technology.

Cost?  Not including the exemplar generated scans to adapt the helmet to your head – about $14,000.00.  Significantly more than a Shoei Multitec at $490, but talk about “bragging rights” in the Motel 6 parking lot over a good cigar…

Photo courtesy of Schuberth.

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In one of my Paradise HD drive-by’s I noticed a bike angled up on a 45 degree ramp with charcoal carbon fiber fenders on display near the front windows.  I was transitioning out of the building at the time and the $75,000 price tag made me laugh so, I didn’t think much more about it until I read an article on some high-priced ‘super’ exclusive bike that Eddie Van Halen purchased for $70K.  Then I became curious. 

It turns out that Mr. “Danc’n with the Devil” himself bought a bike similar to the one on display at Paradise HD.  The bike is manufactured by Confederate Motorcycles.  They are based in Birmingham, Alabama.  The bike is a F131 Hellcat.  A hand-built, 490 pound rocket sled with exhaust systems embedded into the swing arm and carries cooling engine oil in the frame.  It has a 2147cc (131-cu.-in. V-twin engine), 150-horsepower engine.  Confederate has a small two product line with a third planned for later in 2008. With prices starting in the new home down payment “land” no one will be buying those machines out of necessity. The dudes buying them are all about garage parties to show off their one-of-a-kind styling and “look-at-me-and-how-much-money” I can spend.  The Hellcat doesn’t come with a passenger seat…but, you’re likely divorced after buying the ride!  Besides the gauges look like an oversized TAGHeuer chronograph and are so bling’in out there you’re obviously living the celeb fantasyland and “all we ever want is more” theme. 

The motorcycle has carbon-fiber wheels, 300mm dual front brakes and beefy 50mm inverted front forks, attached to a proprietary chassis and swingarm.  The design is all about the ability to track corners and bring it to a very speedy but non-skid halt. The “blue-hair” group will appreciate the twin Zenon high intensity headlights to illuminate their driveway.  You won’t see these light up any road trip, but it’s sure to impress your neighbors while checking symmetry of the landscapers’ handy work the previous day.  Even the exhaust system is wrapped in and around the swing-arm within its carbon steel frame.

This is part of a minimalist trend where dark, gritty, edgy, stripped down bikes reach out to the Skateboarder’s rather than gray bearded guys trying to relive misspent youth.   

Lastly, if that motorcycle price has you bummed during this economic downturn…not to worry.  The confederate “Destroyed” t-shirt is on sale for $75.  Cool huh?

Photo courtesy of Confederate.

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