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Wednesday, 03 August 2016


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I love the idea of the 80D review. And yes, it might offend some people. On the other hand, some ADD sufferers might get a laugh from it. I've had serious OCD all my life, and I was thrilled when "Monk" (the show about the detective with OCD) came on television. 'Hey, my condition's getting recognition!' Plus, it was funny.

Glad to see you've found the Curtiss museum to be fascinating. It is a gem.

Also, if you'd like to experience the ultimate in near-silent transportation head over to Harris Hill. Flying in a glider, circling the upward thermals like those turkey vultures you were watching earlier, is not exactly eerie, but it is unlike anything else you've experienced. You'll also have an excellent opportunity for aerial photography of the vineyards and lake(s). A virtually vibration-free platform for camera work.

No need to worry about offending those of us with ADD with your 80D review. We never get past the first paragraph anyway.

Your museum fact has made my day.

I hope you charged Zero for this.

The small local museums, usually run by unpaid enthusiasts can be lovely. Always well worth a visit in the UK and other countries I've been fortunate to visit.

As for all electric transport, with zero emission generation, the sooner the better in my book. My next car will be electric, as soon as the current lease expires. For both noise and climate reasons.

It's comforting to know that I'm not the only music listener with a very low tolerance for environmental noise - which includes music not intended for listening to. I was reading some research summaries the other day suggesting significant adverse health impacts of what are often considered acceptable levels of background noise.


Did he happen to mention how many miles per charge he can average on the motorcycle? And the charge time? We brought a Nissan Leaf home a few months ago and get approx. 70-80 or so miles per charge. The hills and heat (i.e., running A/C) require a lot of extra power. (Sitting in the garage after a full charge, the potential is ~100 miles.)

Also, that's from a scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, not Temple of Doom.

Since I shares his love for photography and motorbikes I hope to get some information regarding the bike and real life use.
A primary concern would be millage between charging on normal roads and normal ridig speeds.

I drive a Kawasaki ER 6 N myself and this could be a very good replacement for that bike. It would be interesting to import these over to Norway given that we currently have zero taxes on electrical vehicles, and very high taxes on those with petrol engines.

AND what about the TOP Museum ? ;-)

So strange it is about aspects of sound - or lack thereof - that seems to have no common thread among people in terms of what they like, dislike or perceive. I am VERY hard of hearing and yet "motorized" sounds are particularly irritating to me. The distant drone of automobile traffic or some vehicle very close to me making a racket - it doesn't matter - I hate them both!

I am thankful that in the small community of Arcata where I live, I'm blessed with a community forest large enough, and with such an extensive trail system, that I can daily escape into a "sphere" where there is virtually no noise louder than a mountain bike or someone's footsteps. And - like ice cream on a warm slice of pie - it it is also photographically inspirational!

What a coincidence. I was wondering about the feasibility of QUIET motorcycles just the other day. Perhaps like you, I am increasingly intolerant of noise, particularly for its own sake. The motorcycle would seem to be Exhibit A in that category, in addition to being a throw-back in environmental consciousness. But I recently wondered if a silent electric bike (Tesla-style) would sell well, since many people (guys) who buy motorcycles seem to want the associated noisy attention. This Zero bike gives me hope, albeit very thin.

Re: museums, yes, the WaPo story can be a real shocker. But, as is common with pop press reporting, the reporter did not really offer the underlying explanations for this bloom of museums. Certainly some folks just want to share their beer can collections (e.g.) with the world and make a (very) few bucks doing do. But many other relatively new museums can trace their inspirations, in no small part, to the U.S. tax code, particularly to estate taxation avoidance maneuvers. It's often a win for the public, who would never see such private collections otherwise. But, sadly, some of these "museums" are not really open to the public in any practical sense.

Maybe a bit too off-topic here, but I don't get the appeal of electric vehicles because, as I understand it, they are not zero emissions or even reduced emissions vehicles. Correct me if I am wrong (and I am sure someone will) but don't many parts of the country (and many countries around the world) still rely on coal to provide electricity? Coal is about as dirty a fuel as it gets. So you shift the emissions from the tailpipe to the power plant, but that hardly makes it emission free. The obvious exception is where nuke, water or wind provides electricity, but those have their own problems. So what gives? What am I missing?

(Please understand, I am all for greener energy - I am just not sure if electric vehicles are providing it.)

Mike, as revenge for your posting on the Morgan 3-wheeled car … which I could actually afford (sort of), for which I now lust, and which I need like I need another hole in my head, may I draw your attention to the up-coming release of the electric-powered Morgan EV3: http://www.morgan-motor.co.uk/ev3/

So, saving up for a new camera, were you?

[Your words have no effect, nyah nyah, because I have already been daydreaming of that. :-D

I'm safe, though, because I *cannot* afford it. --Mike]

Regarding quiet motorcycles, they needn't be noisy, and usually aren't as they come from the factory. Problem is, owners change out their stock pipes for noisy ones, many claiming they are safer. (If you must disturb all your fellow citizens with your optional activity, perhaps you should rethink your choice?) Many times I've driven up on a stock BMW bike and had people come up to me to say, "I didn't know a bike could be quiet."

The problem is enforcement of noise regulations. California, where I used to live and a place with lots of motorcycles, was known for no enforcement of the noise law. I don't know why though; perhaps the cops have better things to do, and they probably do, or if it is simply impossible for some other reason.

You might enjoy this movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425308/.

I may be wrong but it seems to me that Harley buyers all seem to put on straight exhausts to maximize the noise from their bikes. I have noticed that quite a few in these parts (Ottawa, Canada) like to downshift and really rev their engines under bridges and overpasses to make as much loud echoing noise as possible. I've seen them do it too often for it to be coincidence.

In the rest of the world, motorcycles and bicycles are modes of transportation, while here in north america they seem to be toys.

My wife and I moved to a rural area over 15 years ago, because of ever increasing traffic noise. City life just isn't worth the aggravation for this former Philadelphian.

Seeing a Tesla take off from a light will make you a believer in electric vehicles.

Glad to see you took my advice! You remember when I suggested going there, right? (Even though I did brain-fart on the Rockwell Museum.) Back in the comments to this post: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2015/09/open-mike-at-the-cmog.html.

Thought so. You're welcome!

[I *DID* remember, and thank you! --Mike]

Lovely photograph Mike. Please tell me you didn't use Photoshop to remove the preceding numerals in the top, left-hand corner in order to just leave the zero. ;-)

—Tony McLean

I both ride a motorcycle and hate noisy motorcycles. The truth is these companies have figured out how to tune the noise so that they pass inspection, but yet are still "throaty" when given gas. Car companies have done it too. All that before any exhaust modification by the user, which with some brands is close to 100%. I sometimes see little kids plug their ears when they see me coming, waiting for the blast they are used too. Makes me sad.

Mike, I'm amazed. I thought you were a stick shift four-on-the-floor sort of chap, if that's the right phrase.
Me, I love my BMW i3 which can be jackrabbit fast from the lights, almost silently, and without any skill or shifting. Or economical on electricity, but not both at once.
Here we can choose to buy only renewable juice, or make our own from the roof. I choose to do both.
For those who say that my electricity actually comes from whatever the UK's power plants are supplying at the time, the best refutation I've heard goes like this:-
When I withdraw cash from an ATM, the actual notes (bills) might have been deposited by a thief or other criminal, but the ATM will only dispense them if my employer has legitimately paid my wages/pension/etc.

Great post Mike, Now I want to go see this Curtiss Museum. I love stuff that is mechanical.
As for Electric Vehicles, I am all for them, as others have said the torque is amazing. When they can build me a truck that can weigh 15 tons or more, carry all I need to carry, go 65 MPH for 300 miles on one charge, plug in and be ready to go the same distance tomorrow I am all ears, until then purely electric cars are not that useful to me. I am 52 and truly hope I live to see that day, it is possible perhaps.

Quiet is one nice thing, but consider that I (among possibly many others) was almost hit and potentially seriously wounded or worse by a perfectly quiet motorized scooter while walking at night in a small Chinese city of less than 10 million. They are quick and stealthy. It is possible that those things are too quiet.

To Ken, who makes a valid point that many sources of electricity are not "green" so therefore electric vehicles do not have a small carbon footprint: please bear in mind that electric vehicles may be the tail that wags the dog of electricity production.

Bolstered by the fact that green electricity is becoming easier and cheaper every year, the carbon footprint of electric vehicles is continually shrinking. I've recently read a number of articles about places in Europe that have so much "green" electricity that they practically give it away.

Here in Quebec, more than 99% of our electricity is generated by hydro (essentially zero carbon emissions) and wind. This is a great place for electric vehicles! Nearby Vermont has statistics showing it's one of the greenest states in the union for electricity (although that's almost entirely because of the amount of electricity they buy from Hydro Quebec).

So yes, on their own, and in some places, electric vehicles are not greener. But things are changing, and changing quickly. And electric vehicles are not waiting in the wings for electricity production to "green up." They're ready now, and by being there they might be encouraging the move to greener production methods.

I have to agree with Robert Roaldi. Here in Australia the only really obnoxious, noisy motorbikes are Harleys. Most Japanese bikes are pretty quiet unless revved to 10 000+ rpm (which I have to admit to doing in my younger days). I do know a guy with an electric motorbike though and they are impressive, especially in my not-so-younger days!

One side effect of having a Prius with dead AC(in Memphis, in August, Lawd help me) is that I get to drive a silent car - it's really a lot of fun:) I could get very used to the lack of engine noise...

In my part of Australia (Victoria), we burn a whole lot of brown coal for electricity, which is about as ungreen as one can get. But even so, an electric powered vehicle is far less polluting (I understand by about 50% for a car - don't know about a bike) than a petrol (gasoline) or diesel internal combustion engine simply because the delivery of the dirty brown power via electricity wires is so much more efficient than delivering liquid fuel to a vehicle - which of course uses fuel, and a lot of it. (Of course, the equation might change if the fuel were delivered by (say) underground pipe, but that isn't the case here.)

DC electric motors of the type used in the Zero motorcycle produce maximum torque at zero RPM

As do steam engines!


> the lack of noise is kind of cool

Yeah it is. No doubt about that. On the other hand, carelessness and inattention by both myself and drivers has twice now nearly seen me cleaned up when walking in parking areas.* Maybe when they become more common, pedestrians will learn to look by looking, rather than look by listening.

* trying to be fair and balanced here, but really, it was the idiots behind the wheels, and it makes me wonder how often disaster is avoided because we can here the idiots coming

Tell John that if his motorbike was all that super cool, it would have been named the Zero K. Oh yeah.

And say Hi from Arg. I know John from the Micro Four Thirds forum, mu-43.

You really had me baffled for a while there Mike - how on earth could 80D sound like A.D.D.?
Then I remembered that you Americans have a habit of pronouncing "T"s as "D"s. eighTy D, OK?

Considering a well known wet plate photographer named Ed Ross was killed over the weekend while his motorcycle was beginning to pass a car when the driver absent mindedly also pulled out to pass at the same time.... loud pipes save lives.

I'm scared of elderly medically-marijauna-enhanced enviro-geezers in their silent Priusii....

[Emphatically no sale here on "loud pipes save lives." Total BS. Often said by the very same people who adamantly insist on their right to not wear helmets. They just want to be loud because they like it. Nothing to do with safety at all, really. --Mike]

In the countryside with small, one-lane, twisting roads, I can actually totally understand the 'loud pipes save lives' stickers. If you hear it first, you're less likely to hit it. And they come off far worse than the person in a car if you hit them. It's as simple as that. I know it's often a choice based on taste, but it's also deliberate and considered. There's nothing worse than the sound of something plastic-covered with what sounds like a chainsaw engine. But if you hear it, it's done it's job I suppose...

Eugene Burton Ely, not Curtiss, is credited with the first flights from and onto a ship, although the aircraft was a Curtiss. Eek, it would appear I have become an aviation nerd!

I hope John is ready for Photokina in a few weeks so that we get his take on all the megapickles on http://newcameranews.com

I too hate noisy bikes and virtually all are Harleys. BMWs are quiet, as are most Japanese bikes. Ducatis are not particularly noisy, although their young drivers tend to drive them at high revs. The noisy Harley seems to part of the Harley uniform: leather waistcoat, late middle age, beer-gut, German-style helmet, bandana etc. As Jim Morrison said "everyone is wearing a uniform."

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