Crossbreed: A Cub x BMX hybrid with a motorcycle engine

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A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris
Little bikes are getting big love right now, and nothing sparks admiration quite like the Honda Cub. But we’ve just found something even cooler: a hybrid of a Cub and a BMX. If your inner child isn’t bouncing off the walls right now, check your pulse.

This cute little slice of whacky engineering is the work of Tom Dun. Operating as 56 Motorcycles out of Paris, Tom’s a half-French, half-Australian custom builder, and he specializes in Cubs and other small capacity Hondas.

A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris
Given Tom’s love for little Hondas, and his hobbies, building a mash-up like this was inevitable. He’s into everything from surfing to motocross and skateboarding. And skiing and ice hockey. And he’s been riding BMX and dirt bikes since childhood.

“I had the chance to ride motorcycles really young,” he tells us. “At four years old I was riding a Honda QR50, then an XR80, a CR80, and now a CRF450. All thanks to my dad, his brothers and my cousins.”

A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris
“I’ve always wanted to build a BMX with an engine. I remember as a kid, MBK and Peugeot had released a few…but they didn’t get the success they deserved. Two years ago, I finally had a bit of time to build one.”

At first glance, it looks like Tom has simply hung a small motor off a big BMX. But there’s a lot more to it than that. For starters, it’s technically not a BMX frame: it’s a completely bespoke unit, built from multiple parts.

A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris
Tom started with a piece of an old Cub frame and a section of a dirt bike frame, and then welded up the rest in steel. “I used the geometry of a Honda Cub for the lower bar,” he tells us, “and the rest just went naturally.”

The rear half is distinctly BMX-like, with triangular seat and chain stays, and a traditional bicycle seat tube. But the front end’s been designed to hold traditional Honda Cub forks, which have been reinforced with extra springs.

A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris
The frame top tube is also the fuel tank, holding a whopping capacity of 1.2 liters (about 40 fluid ounces). Tom added brackets lower down to hold the motor.

Even though the idea was to cross-breed a BMX with a Cub, Tom had a better idea in mind for the motor. So this scoot’s packing a YX 150 cc pit bike motor. And it’s been upgraded with a 28 mm Mikuni carb, a custom-made exhaust, and a snappier gear ratio.

A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris
Tom also added a Boyesen Factory Racing clutch cover—to show that the bike means business. Which it does, when you consider that it makes 15 hp but weighs a mere 66 kg (145 pounds). Sounds like fun, right?

The rest of the bike is delightfully minimal, and playful too. The wheels are 17” solid steel items, shod in Michelin supermoto rubber. Parts like the handlebars, foot pegs and side stand were all borrowed from pit bikes or MX bikes. The kick-start lever’s from a dirt bike, and has been modded with a bicycle pedal.

A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris
There’s nothing much in the way of handlebar controls, short of a generic throttle and a BMX lever adapted to function as a clutch. (The bike only has one brake—a simple drum unit out back.)

We asked Tom if the bike is street legal in France, and it’s not. “It could be with a 50 cc engine,” he explains, “but that’s not the goal at all. It’s really about having fun—like with a dirt bike or a BMX.”

A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris
Here’s the good news though: Tom’s already in the process of building more of these. New ideas include better brakes, better shocks, and a version that’s more dirt-focused. Sign us up!

56 Motorcycles Facebook | Instagram | Images by Guillaume Ducasse

A BMX with a motorcycle engine by Fifty-Six Motorcycles of Paris

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Five quick tips for making stellar Milky Way photos

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Like any other genre, astrophotography has its many challenges. And if you plan to shoot Milky Way and get the best of your shots, you should invest some time in planning, preparing and learning. In this video from B&H and SLR Lounge, photographer Matthew Saville shares five great tips that will help you take stunning Milky Way photos.

1. Use apps to locate the Milky Way core

The Milky Way core isn’t visible every single night of the year. So, use apps to tell you when and where to find the Milky Way core so that you can plan ahead and be sure that you’ll get your shots. Some of the apps you can try out are Sun Surveyor, PhotoPills (iOS/Android), and The Photographer’s Ephemeris (iOS/Android).

2. Use a sturdy tripod and a fast wide angle lens

Two most important things for photographing the night sky are a sturdy tripod and a fast, sharp lens. There is a wide variety of sturdy tripods that you can buy and that will last you a lifetime. As for the lenses, Matthew suggests that you start with a 14mm f/2.8, but he notes that some photographers prefer a 24mm f/1.4. No matter the lens and the tripod you choose, it’s important that you go out and put them to use: practice, learn, and develop your personal style.

3. Scout your location before it gets dark

This is a very important step not just for taking great photos – but also for your personal safety. Arrive well before sunset, explore the location, set everything up and then wait for the dark.

4. Shoot the foreground before it gets completely dark

Matthew suggests that you photograph the foreground before it gets completely dark, and then shoot the starry sky later when the night falls. This way you can take two good exposures and merge them in Photoshop. If you shoot everything when the night falls, the foreground is likely to turn out underexposed and terribly noisy. But if you want to take your shots as single exposures, you can plan your shoot on the night when there’s moonlight to light the foreground.

5. Remember the 500 Rule

Finally, remember the 500 Rule. The Earth’s rotation will cause the stars to move in your photo if the shutter speed is too long, which will give you star trails. To avoid this, the rule is to take the number 500, and divide it with your focal length. This should give you the shutter speed that you can use and not have the stars move.

However, the number 500 doesn’t really work with the modern high-megapixel cameras. So, Matthew suggests that you use 200 or 300 and divide it with your focal length, which will give you a more reliable result.

So, other than the right gear, you need some planning and location scouting before you begin to shoot. Rely on the apps to help you plan, and use this video as a check list to guide you towards stellar Milky Way shots.

[5 Quick Tips for Amazing Photos of the Milky Way via SLR Lounge]

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A Simple Solution to Functional Furniture

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We’ve seen items of furniture that are capable of taking on different uses and forms before, however the breath-taking simplicity of O-Table allows it to stand out from the saturated market, and this grabbed our interest.

The O-Table has been designed in two size variants, small and large, which just increases its functionality further! The large variant makes for a striking table that would become a conversation piece in any room, or it can simply be rolled to become either a unique clothes-rack or a decorative poster-frame!

The smaller of the two tables has been designed to work in pairs, elevating pieces of wood that contrast against their industrial, black finish. By combining both the small and large tables in excess of 20 configurations can be created, each carrying their own unique, yet equally striking, aesthetic!

Designers: Jeongho Ko, Hyoungseop Kim, Heesoo Kim & Youngjik Lee

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Rotatable

Users can rotate the parts to transform the table for multiple functions. Also, the table can be easily moved by simply rolling it.

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Combination

The small O Table can be combined with the large O Table to form more than 20 shapes with different functions and silhouette.

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The 16 Best New Gear Releases from NAMM 2019

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year—for gear addicts!

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 2019 has just concluded.

Tantalizing announcements of upcoming gear and new music tech are flooding the news cycle and forums all over the internet.

But after all the dust has settled, there were some stand out trends to keep your eye on in the upcoming year.

Here’s the most exciting announcements—and the music-tech trends they represent—from NAMM 2019.

Modular and small-format synths

The budding modular craze shows no sign of slowing down. Major manufacturers debuted a slew of full or semi-modular designs at NAMM 2019.

Teenage Engineering OP-Modular

Teenage Engineering dug its heels in on the trend with the stylish OP-Modular line, showing off the strikingly coloured 400 Model.

Behringer Crave

Behringer provided a budget conscious take on the semi-patchable desktop analog with the Crave.

With circuit topology elements from various vintage reissues, Crave has a lot going for it at such a low price point.

With circuit topology elements from various vintage reissues, Crave has a lot going for it at such a low price point.

Moog Sirin

Moog stuck to the tabletop format of their popular desktop modules with their excellent Sirin synth, which promises to take the Taurus Bass platform into super fat lead territory.

Arturia MicroFreak

The modular spirit is making its way into the conversation in less tangible ways as well.

Although digital, Arturia’s innovative MicroFreak features a conductive keyboard similar to the note input of the iconic Buchla Music Easel.

Korg Minilogue XD

Though not exactly small-format, some of the biggest synth hype at NAMM came from Korg’s XD update to the popular Minilogue synth.

Featuring a new digital engine and updates to the filter, the XD update turns an already impressive modern analog into a hybrid beast.

The XD update turns an already impressive modern analog into a hybrid beast.

Synth pedals

Judging by the offerings this year, guitarists want in on the synth action as well.

Judging by the offerings this year, guitarists want in on the synth action as well.

Following the success of the wildly popular Meris Enzo, pedals that partially or fully transform your guitar signal into a synth were on full display.

Electro-Harmonix Monosynth

Effects juggernaut Electro-Harmonix debuted the Monosynth pedals for guitar and bass.

Drawing on the transformational technology of their -9 series pedals, the Monosynths don’t require any special accessories to turn your guitar into a fat sounding monosynth.

Pigtronix Restoron

Meanwhile, the Pigtronix Resotron brings the iconic sound of the Prophet 5’s filter section to guitar pedals.

It’s pitch tracking envelope and oscillator section let you go full synth axe as well.

It’s pitch tracking envelope and oscillator section let you go full synth axe as well.

Robert Keely Synth-1

Veteran boutique builder Robert Keeley also ventured into the synth waters with the stylish Synth-1 pedal, which he refers to as a “chaos creator.”

Impulse response tech for guitarists

Convolution techniques for modelling guitar speaker cabinets are taking off in the tone-o-sphere…

Two notes C.A.B. M and Audient Sono

Veteran IR brand Two notes maintained a strong presence with it’s micro form-factor Torpedo C.A.B. M IR loader and also bundled their IR technology with Audient’s new Sono interface.

Aimed at guitarists, Sono features an onboard tube-amp style preamp as a plug and play solution in combination with the built-in Two notes power amp and speaker emulation.

In addition to that, users get the full suite of Audient interface goodies, including the excellent preamps and conversion the brand is known for.

Revv D20

Traditional amp brands are starting to take note of the IR revolution too. Canadian builder Revv amplifiers new Revv D20 features an onboard load and cab sim—also from Two notes.

Traditional amp brands are starting to take note of the IR revolution.

This approach promises a one-stop shop solution for plugging a real tube amplifier directly into a PA system or recording interface.

Suhr PT15IR

Suhr is taking the concept to the extreme with the revolutionary PT15IR amp designed in collaboration with Pete Thorn.

The PT15IR is a three channel amplifier with selectable IRs per channel—essentially allowing you to switch between different cabinets for each different setting. It’s a big development in amp design!

It’s a big development in amp design!

Interfaces everywhere

Some might say the audio interface space is approaching saturation. The sheer number of options on the market today is already a bit staggering.

But that didn’t stop manufacturers from debuting more audio interfaces in all shapes and sizes.

IK Multimedia AXE I/O

IK Multimedia debuted a guitar-first interface called the AXE I/O, that capitalizes on its mature Amplitube emulation technology.

NI Komplete Audio 1 and 2

Native Instruments expanded its Komplete Audio line with the small-format Komplete Audio 1 and 2.

Arturia Audiofuse

Arturia grew its Audiofuse lineup with the Audiofuse Studio and Audiofuse 8pre.

AKAI Force

Speaking of well established paradigms, AKAI unveiled the AKAI Force.

Promising to combine MPC and Push style workflow in a standalone hardware package, the Force could be the best-of-both-worlds solution beatmakers have been waiting for.

Get excited for the year of gear and the possibilities for your own setup!

Wham bam, thank you NAMM!

There were more exciting product debuts at this year’s NAMM show than we could possibly cover.

The gear industry moves fast and manufacturers are always competing to bring the biggest and most useful innovations to the table.

This year’s offerings were no exception. Now that you’ve seen a taste of what’s coming up, get excited for the year of gear and the possibilities for your own setup!

The post The 16 Best New Gear Releases from NAMM 2019 appeared first on LANDR Blog.

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