Friday, December 18, 2009

Could this be the future commuter vehicle?



During the Seattle Motorcycle Show, a company by the name of Compagna ( http://www.compagnamotors.com/) was showing off it's latest vehicle, the T-Rex. Powered by a 1400cc engine, the T-Rex puts out 197 horsepower, and can reach 144mph. Price starts at $52,000, which would probably be the biggest hurdle to my owning one - the other one being trying to fit into the vehicle. In any event, a very cool vehicle, and at least Aaron and I got to get a picture with the T-Rex!

11 comments:

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Lance:

There is an autobody shop someplace around here that uses a T-Rex as a promotional vehicle. I was out bomping around on my K75 when I came across this beast and followed it for a few miles. While I was initially fascinated by it, I couldn't see how this would be accepted by my group as a "bike," or even a trike. And at $52 grand, it is unlikely I will be faced with that problem.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Orin said...

The T-Rex is one of a long line of vehicles that feature the back half of a motorcycle attached to a 2-seat body with a car-like front suspension and steering. It makes life considerably easier for the manufacturer because legally it's a motorcycle, so there's no need to meet safety & emissions standards for cars.

Every review I've ever read of similarly-configured vehicles notes they're rather twitchy, even at moderate freeway speed. Given the incredibly low skill level of the average American driver, it's probably better that these things haven't caught on...

__Orin
Scootin' Old Skool

Conchscooter said...

I want a zero bike for commuting and at ten grand that seems a lot at the moment. especially as I can't get my feet on the ground from a seat height of 33 inches. I think the Bombardier three wheeler is preposterous at 20 grand with no weather protection but I see them all the time. People are weird. You too!You ride an air cooled vertical twin after all.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Orin (Via Lance);

There was a You-Tube video making the rounds a few months ago (yet these things appear timeless) that showed some Britrish television host putting a T-Rex through its paces in the rain. He snapped it though a couple of turns, on a very wet road surface, and then accelerated like the devil was after him.

I was amazed. But this is television, and you only see what they want you to. There was absolutely no traffic. In fact, he was road testing this on an airport runway. And while there seemed to be no handling issues, you would have to question utterly flawless stops and turns -- at speed -- executed by a driver alleged to have no experience with this machine.

As I stated previously, I followed one of these some miles locally here. The machine is pure sex appeal, but in truth, I did not witness it going more than 45 mph. And the model I looked at, had side bags on the back. I swear it had a full windscreen and a wiper too.

My interest in this machine was slightly more than casual. The way things are going, there is an expiration date on some of my joints. I was wondering if having a trike might extend the sensation of youth. I found myself looking a BMW trike conversion from Hannigan. Sex appeal is not offered as an option.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Orin said...

Jack, the video you mention sounds like a segment from BBC Top Gear. The three guys who host the show (Jeremy Clarkson and two others whose names I don't remember) are all very accomplished drivers with racing experience. If you watch the show, you'll see them doing lots of 4-wheel drifting and high-speed opposite-lock cornering, producing copious quantities of tire smoke.

Someone with that level of skill and experience will have no trouble at all dealing with a car that's nervous & twitchy. The average dolt sending text messages and trying to balance a triple half-caf mocha while driving down the freeway, not so much.

If you catch the show on BBC America, look carefully at the Celebrity in a Reasonably-Priced Car segment (someone famous does a hot lap at the airport in a Chevrolet Lacetti or Suzuki something-or-other). Notice how the Reasonably-Priced Car is grinding its front tires to dust because of the understeer its designers dialed into it. Better to have the punters crash going forward, they say...

__Orin

irondad said...

I don't care so much about the details. I just like the idea of riding / driving something called the T-Rex!!!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Orin:

Now that you mention itr, I think that was what I was watching. And I was amazed that the machine exhibited no adverse handling conditions in the rain. But I have to tell you, it is a pretty snappy looking ride.

Fondest regards,
Jack

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