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MOTORCYCLING is an inherently dangerous form of transport, making accident prevention extremely important. RiderScan has developed a single, convex mirror that fits on the inside of a touring-type screen to give the rider a 180-degree view of the traffic beside and behind. We’ve fitted one of these mirrors to our long-term test bike (see page 116) and will comment on its effectiveness in an upcoming issue.
HEAT-SINK F1 WHEELS?
The 2013 F1 season will be remembered for the myriad tyre-related problems experienced by the teams. Tyre degradation and even structural failures were a common occurrence throughout the season, with the main culprit being overheating.
If you are not satisfied with the braking performance of your new Porsche 911, you can always opt for the Porsche ceramic composite brake (PCCB) upgrade at R130 000.
A team that has bounced back markedly in the latter part of the season was Mercedes. The reason? Special new wheels with cross-cut patterns on the inside. These wheels are forgings produced by supplier company Advanti and they resemble heat sinks that are used in the electrical industry to dissipate excess heat. Another reason could be that the airflow on the inside of the rim is forced into turbulent flow around the rim surface to lessen drag (think dimples on a golf ball). There is currently no FIA rule preventing such a surface on the inside of the rims, so expect other teams to follow suit.
WATERLESS ENGINE COOLANT
The specific heat (the energy needed to raise a unit mass by one degree Celsius) of water is one of the highest of the common fluids, which makes it a suitable liquid for cooling purposes. Unfortunately, internal-combustion engines suffer freezing and boiling, corrosion and system pressure associated with the use of water. By adding antifreeze (an alcohol mixture with additives), some of the problems are eliminated, but not all. Evans has developed a new waterless coolant that consists of patented, synthetic non-toxic liquids blended with a non-aqueous proprietary-inhibitor package. The freezing and boiling point of the Evans coolant is -40 and 190 degrees Celsius. The company claims its coolant prevents corrosion of the cooling system. For more info, visit www.evanscooling.co.za
EXTERNAL SIDE-IMPACT AIRBAGS
Airbags are an integral part of passive occupant protection and have saved countless lives since the introduction of the technology. Last year, Volvo became the first carmaker to offer a pedestrian airbag when it launched this system on the V40. TRW, an automotive supplier company, is working on an external side airbag that deploys from the door sill in a side impact. The trigger mechanism uses cameras and radar detection before the airbag is deployed, although TRW admits there is still some development to do before this airbag technology is available to automakers. We wonder if this type of airbag will reduce body-panel damage in case of an unfortunate car-park incident? Then again, the replacement cost of such an airbag probably exceeds the repair cost.