PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 March, 2008, 12:00am

Electric bike stock arrives

We liked the look of Richburg Motors' Vectrix electric scooter. The American bike (right) plugs into 110- or 120-volt mains, hits 96km/h in 6.8 seconds with up to 65Nm of torque and tops at 100km/h, says the dealer's chief executive, Eric Wong. The US$11,000 bike is fitted with a Marzocchi telescopic fork, Sachs twin shocks and plenty of commuting storage. Its nickel-metal hydride battery has an estimated life of up to 10 years based on 8,000km per year, Richburg says, and is said by Vectrix to take a couple of hours to charge to 80 per cent capacity. The bike can travel up to 110km on a single charge at an average speed of 40 km/h, and a throttle-activated regenerative braking system helps to extend its range by up to 12 per cent by redirecting energy back into the battery during braking, Richburg says. Strathclyde police are quoted to say the Vectrix is 'smooth', stable and manoeuvrable in their patrols of Glasgow airport and Richburg has imported 20 machines and is discussing the Vectrix with the local police force, Wong says. The dealer also says the 'emission-free' bike could also be used at large factories and marathons.

Collectables steal safety spotlight

The Collectors Club of Hong Kong lined up 21 lovely classics and the police showed off their big Saxon armoured car, but we had to look hard for life-saving advice at last Sunday's Central & Western District Road Safety Campaign Carnival on Chater Road.

The club enlivened Central with an exciting lineup of collectibles (left) that ranged from a huge 2001 Hummer H1 to a teeny 1971 Vespa and sidecar. The biggest crowds formed around the 1926 Rolls Royce Phantom I, pink 1978 Panther Lima, yellow 1985 Reliant and Victor Ma's shiny 1924 Vauxhall LM14/40. But our car of the event was the 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SL, a metallic-green beauty. The carnival's road safety aspect was disappointing. We expected to be bombarded with road safety leaflets scaring us with the perils of tailgating and reminding us again that our cars are not phone booths. We were not. We also searched in vain for a speedgun, breathalyser kit or even a set of those goggles the Hong Kong Automobile Association used at a Motorcycle Show to highlight the frightening distortion of a drunk's vision. And maybe we missed any references at the carnival to the folly of owning a 200km/h fastie in a city of 275 speed cameras and where urban traffic is said to crawl at just 26km/h.

So, how would you promote road safety in Hong Kong?

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