Friday news round-up: helmet safety, all-electric bikes and impotence

A brief round-up of bike news as we head into the weekend...


BMW System 5 helmet: rates highly with SHARP

First up, the Department of Transport's Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) have released their safety ratings of the most popular 'flip-front' helmets on the market.

Twenty flip-front helmets were tested, and SHARP claims that the safety performance of helmets can vary by as much as 70%. Helmets were awarded a rating of one to five stars, broken down as follows:

5: BMW System 5, Caberg Trip

4: AGV Longway, Caberg Justissimo GT, Grex RF2, Lazer Granville, Lazer Revolution, Nolan N103, Nolan N102, ROOF Boxer, Schuberth C2, Shark Evoline, Viper RS RS 101

3: G-MAC Concept, Shark Openline, Shoei Multitech, Viper RS V121

2: Airoh Matisse RS

1: Duchinni D601, KBC FFR

Head injuries occur in 80% of all motorcyclist deaths. Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"If all riders wore the safest helmets available fifty lives could be saved each year. We started the SHARP scheme to ensure that all riders have the best possible independent safety information on which to base their helmet choice."

Full helmet ratings across all makes, models and types can be found at the SHARP site.


The TTX01 (picture Gizmag.com)

A prototype unveiling with a difference, as the world's fastest all-electric bike is revealed at the NEC show. The TTX01 is road-legal in the UK, 100% emission-free, and can apparently do 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds. A limited number will go on sale in late 2009, costing £20,000.

The TTX01 will compete in the TTXGP, the first emission-free race event of its kind, to be held next June as part of Isle of Man TT season.

The prototype on display in Birmingham is built into a regular Suzuki chassis, but production models will have its own lightweight carbon composite chassis design. Two battery-powered electric motors, weighing 11 kilos each, provide 86 bhp.

Travelling at a moderate speed on a full battery charge, the TTX01 has a range of around 50 miles. The battery can be fully charged from a standard plug socket in under two hours.



Finally, news of a study in Japan showing that men who ride motorbikes are at risk of impotence and urinary problems as the vibration of the engine damages nerves in their penises.

The study of 230 riders who ride their bike for around three hours every weekend found that almost 70% had problems with erectile dysfunction or their bladders.

Both the design of bike seats and the vibration from the engine is said to restrict blood flow to the penis, as well as causing a decrease in growth hormones in the bladder and prostate which affect bladder relaxation.

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