There is an unknown territory between cars and motorbikes which is lived by strange products of engineering: the so called: "Feet Forwards" or FF.
As the name explains by it self, the main issue is the rider's feet position. In FF feet must be ahead of the body instead of backward, as in the well known and classical "Head First" position.
To help you figure it out, you may think of many choppers which have the same rider's posture. Perhaps you would remember the semi-enclosed BMW C1, which has been one of the most famous and successful FF in Europe. Last but not least, even if they are pretty rare, is not impossible to bump into weird Feet Forward bicycles.
However, the body position is not enough to make a motorcycle legitimately part of the FF world. The other main rule is that the seat must be at not more than 20 inches from the ground, which is more or less the height of a normal car seat.
So, basically, the aim is to reproduce car's comfort and safety on a single-track style vehicle. But why? What is the point in all this?
FF supporters believe that, before the arrival of the Feet Forwards, normal motorbikes used to be just bicycles with an engine and that a proper single-track vehicle has never been developed.
Some specific reasons that leave doubtless FF lovers when choosing a motorbike are: first, the FF is all covered, hence it is safer in case of accident and much more protected in case of bad weather. Moreover, you do not need a helmet, or any other protective clothing to ride it. And the lower car-style seat is thought to be more comfortable too.
Then, there is the height of FF, which makes them more aerodynamic than normal motorcycles. The Head First bike develops vertically, to be fast and agile in traffic, but its height reduces its aerodynamic drag. Or this, at least, is what FF lovers think. This best aerodynamic, also, should be able to reduce fuel consumption.
Still there is a huge and interesting problem to face about Feet Forwards: how can you stand still on an FF? If at every traffic-light you have to put your foot out, the FF looses one of its main features, being unable to assure the rider a full-enclosure. For this reason, the outstanding Swiss-born MonoTracer, by Peraves, uses a different method. It mounts rider-deployed stabiliser wheels on each side, which operates when the FF is travelling very slowly or it is stationary.
So, we have covered that unknown territory where cars and bikes blend one into the other. Now check them out to make your own view point.
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D-air is an air-bag suit for riders - intelligent enough to know when you are in danger.
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