Three-Wheel Thursday: New 2015 Can-Am Spyder F3


Back around the middle of the month, some camo’d spy shots showed up on the Internet, showing what appeared to be a new Sypder model from Can-Am. Then on the 18th, some crisp, non-camouflaged photos surfaced that clearly showed Can-Am and Spyder logos on the bodywork. Two days later, (assuredly because of the news leaks), Can-Am hastily announced that the new machine is, indeed, headed to production as the Spyder F3, and should show up in dealers around October as a 2015 model. Other than releasing a single official photo (the lede image above) with the tagline “New muscular design. Our boldest ride yet,” Can-Am is otherwise still holding their cards close to the chest. While details on the new machine are still sketchy, we do know it will have the same 3-cylinder inline engine and six-speed transmission that debuted in the 2014 Spyder RT.

The new machine is definitely a different direction for Can-Am.

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Bike [Accessories] You Should Know: Vetter Windjammer

A Vetter Windjammer fairing on a Moto Guzzi

Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.

For roughly a ten-year period, from the early seventies through the early 1980s, if you wanted a touring motorcycle, the formula was very straightforward. You: 1) bought a motorcycle, and 2) installed a Vetter Windjammer fairing on it. It was as simple as that. Never has a single accessory so defined the motorcycle market. This bolt-on part was a more powerful influence in the evolution of the motorcycle than any number of motorcycle models.
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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: “Euro-Warts”

Car makers must adapt cars sold worldwide to meet the specific requirements of different markets. One way that Eurozone and North American regulations differ is the ECE requirement for “side repeaters,” which are turn signal lamps mounted on the front fender behind the front axle. North American cars have no such requirement. Sometimes, manufacturers install the repeater lamp, which is allowable as a non-required option. In other cases, they stamp different fenders with and without the repeater hole (mostly true of domestic American cars). But it’s often cheapest and most efficient to simply replace the lamp with a dummy plug that snaps into the existing hole — a “Euro-wart.” These can masquerade as an intentionally designed emblem quite convincingly (I’m thinking of one captive import in particular), other times they look like, well, an obvious plastic filler plug.

So, prepare to take up your position as a braincell in the commentariat hivemind. Today’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica task is to come up with all the North American cars that have worn these useless fillers badges of overseas exploits. (For those of you residing beyond our continental shores, feel free to point out examples where far-far-away-spec hardware was kludgily deleted for your home market — or anywhere else for that matter.)  Remember, the list is first-come-first-served; read through the existing comments before posting and refrain from making duplicate entries.

DIFFICULTY: I fear you are underestimating the sneakiness, Sir.

Bikes You Should Know: Yamaha DT-1


Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.

With certain motorcycles in this series, the casual observer can easily understand why they were were revolutionary just by looking at them, even with modern eyes. It is harder to grasp exactly what made the DT-1 such a milestone without a bit of explanation. After all, there were dirt bikes and “street scramblers” before 1968, and gobs of small, street-legal dirt bikes have come along since. But the DT-1 is the reason why “dual-purpose” and “dual sport” have become common terms. It was the first bike that was designed to be equally at home on the street, on a motocross course, or casually exploring dirt trails. And people went crazy for it.

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Quick Shifts: An Impossibly Perfect Car Ad

Tanshanomi August 18, 2014 Quick Shifts

This clever ad popped up in my Facebook feed. What immediately jumped out at me is that the Honda Element SC pictured is available in front-wheel-drive only.

What memorable car ad mistakes stick out in your mind?

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Single & Double Cam


This week’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica entry changes things up a bit: we’re not looking for cars, we’re looking for engines. Specifically, we want motors that were available in both single-cam and twin-cam versions, either concurrently or a design that was revised over time. What we don’t want are engine designs that were simply replaced with a different one of similar size from the same manufacturer. These should be different versions of the same basic architecture.

As always, remember to read the existing comments first. Duplicate mentions are bad form.

DIFFICULTY: Some low hanging fruit, but overall one for the gear geeks. 40,000 points for naming an engine with OHV (cam-in-block) and DOHC versions.

IMAGE SOURCES: Wikipedia, hotrod.com

Bikes You Should Know: Brough Superior SS100


George Brough was a paradox. He was a consummate publicity hound, but “…did not allow his vision to be confused by the demands of experts, the trade, or the press. He built the machine HE wanted to ride…” [The Brough Superior Club's History]. From the time he broke away from his father’s Brough Motorcycle works in 1919 until his company became a part of the unsalvageable wreckage of World War II, George Brough (rhymes with “gruff”) wanted to be known as the man who built the indisputably greatest motorcycles in the world. He accomplished that by actually building the indisputably greatest motorcycles in the world for twenty-one years.

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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Both Sealed Beam & Aero Headlights


For nearly half a century, cars in the United States were required by law to have sealed beam headlights. Automobile designers were restricted to the use of no more than four rigidly prescribed, standard headlight configurations. But in other parts of the world, car makers were free to get all freaky and aerodynamic with so-called “architectural” headlight shapes that could be custom-shaped for each individual model. Then, in 1984, Ford convinced the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to chuck the outdated U.S. restrictions, and we yanks were soon enjoying a flood of freshly sculpted aero facades.

Your assigned task for today is to list all the cars that were available with both aero and sealed beam headlamps. This could be cars that had either different versions for American and overseas markets prior to 1984, or USDM cars that got a mid-cycle aero refresh for once the aero prohibition ended. (Just to be clear, we want two versions of the same actual platform, not just a common model name.)

Remember, read the comments first, because posting duplicates is a most distasteful breech of hoonetiquette.

DIFFICULTY: Low. Tumble Dry, Do Not Iron.

Image sources:

Bikes You Should Know: Yamaha V-Max

Tanshanomi August 5, 2014 Two-Wheel Tuesday


“One Must Be of One’s Time” — Honoré Daumier

Certain motorcycles resonate with the market and take on a significance beyond their function. Today, the original Yamaha V-Max is remembered much differently than the contemporary models it competed against in dealers’ showrooms. They’re just old, outdated bikes; the V-Max still inspires awe and respect. It was exactly the right bike at the right time. Now, don’t get me wrong, at its introduction in 1985 the V-Max certainly was the most powerful production motorcycle ever sold, but the reasons it became legendary have more to do with image, marketing, and emotion than outright performance.

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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Unusual Spare Tire Placement


Cars typically stow their spare tires under the floor of the trunk. On wagons and hatchbacks, that location ends up below the cargo floor. If an SUV’s big tire won’t fit in the wayback, it usually hangs on the rear tailgate. A pickup truck’s spare is probably trussed up under the bed on a cable, or if the truck’s old enough, bolted to one side of the bed between the cab and rear fender. But some design teams go their own way and put the spare tire someplace else, someplace nobody else would have considered. Maybe it’s with an eye toward convenience, or greater packaging efficiency, or maybe the dang thing just wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Today, Encyclopedia Hoonatica is looking for all the non-standard spare tire locations the commentariat hivemind can come up with.

Remember, read the previous comments first and don’t post duplicates.

DIFFICULTY: Semi-sweet (55% cacao)
[Actually, this one is super easy. If your favorite example has been taken, there have been several previous Hooniverse Asks posts you can mine for ideas.]

Image sources:
BringATrailer.com (again)


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