Sunday, April 30, 2017

Moto Bazzi New Models!

Moto Bazzi New Models!
 
Every builder has a personal style to the vehicles they create.  I can see that style more in motorcycles, as opposed to other vehicles, and often just by looking at a bike, I can get close to pointing to who build it without looking.  RoxyCyn is one of those builders.  She's the real deal in RL and SL when it comes to bikes.  Seeing some of her creations, you'll know why.

During our hiatus from SL, we weren't staying up to date with many of the builders we have followed since this blog began.  Upon returning and tapping on the keys once more, I am making it more of a point to revisit some builders who have graced our pages in the past.  Roxy is one of those.  Aside from being a great builder, she is a pretty cool person too.


Recently, Roxy sent out a notice for some new bikes she built, the PhatTails and I had some time to visit her shop and see these new creations.  While looking for one bike, I found several more I had not seen before and they are some sweet looking rides.  Yes I'm lusting over a few of them.  The little Thruxton look a like was an eye catcher.


What I like about Roxy's builds are how unique they truly are.  They aren't always your typical retro rebuild.  Instead, they are more of historical representations.  These are bikes which are tied to the foundations of motorcycles.  From choppers to bobbers, she also has some really good European bikes, many resembling Café Racers.  I do love the Café Racers!


All of these bikes are so much fun visually.  I did take pictures of just a few of her newest models and you really should go check out the Moto Bazzi store because you'll find bikes which are very easy to love and just as easy to ride.

The detail is typical Roxy, exquisite and intricate. Like all of her bikes, they are fun rides and you can easily rip around a track all day long with ease making these great starter bikes but honestly, from the styling department, these are bikes which can be your "go to" ride when you want to stand out from the crowd.





I highly recommend a trip to Moto Bazzi.  Spend some time there getting to know these great bikes and as Roxy is often inworld, IM her, she loves to talk about bikes and I know few people more knowledgeable about motorcycles than her. 




Find us on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through our Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL" which you should absolutely join or on my Google+ page.   Lizzy and I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like us to review something that moves, send us a message. 

 
Robby
 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Legend Bikes Backstory: Collaboration Creates Magic



The Legend Bikes Backstory: Collaboration Creates Magic
 
Vehicle builders are a mystical bunch of people.  At least they are to me.  I'm a novice writer which is how I get some of my thrills.  I confess to not truly understanding what it takes to build a great bike, car, airplane or boat.  I'm only a consumer.  When I meet those who start from scratch by creating their own mesh or design artistic mastery with Photoshop, I get excited.  When two of these self styled artists collaborate....we get The Legend Bikes.
 
I've profiled a couple of The Legend Bikes already and while they can stand alone as a story, the real story is about the people who came together in creating these bikes.  Slatanic Mechanic's Eldiablo Claven, sometimes known as El, and Fisty Lowtide are the mad scientists behind The Legend Bikes.
 
 
Lizzy and I met El through Fisty and Zoey.  Now I do wonder who people are in real life and how they came about with their skills, El is no exception and I suspect he is more than a hobbyist.  The boy has some skills!  
 
Every time I've met him, I see a little more of the intricacies in his creations.  Many bike builders will buy parts from others or download mesh kits from external vendors.  They put the parts together, configure the scripts and splash some panache on the metal parts then voila, a bike is born.  El isn't one of those builders, he is the one buried in Blender or some other mesh creator tool designing parts from a blank page.
 
 
It was during one of these informal meetings when El showed us his knucklehead V-twin now used in some of the Legend Bikes.  I looked at the motor then back at El amazed that he created this work of art from scratch.  Those little details go a long way and set one bike or vehicle apart from many others.  The detail won't make the bike ride better or faster but it gives the bike a very unique look, one which cannot be found anywhere else.
 
 
Even in RL, we all kind of want our rides to be extensions of our own unique personalities.  If we didn't want this, every car on the road would be a white Honda.  Bikers are worse, they have to ride bikes which look like no other.  In SL, we can have that kind of personal style with bikes that will catch more than a passing nod.  No, we can have something specifically us.
 
El's creations find themselves in many builders creations.  Parts and pieces put together and as a consumer, we pour out the lindens from our pockets waiting eagerly for the new ride to hit our inventory.  Then it is off to the skytracks.  We don't always think someone sat down one day, looked at a blank blender screen and days later, a part has been designed.
 
 
The "So What?" of all of this is when I started in SL almost 10 years ago, the best we had were sculpties and painted prims.  Things changed several years ago and we were able to have vehicles which closely mirrored what we would love to ride in SL.  The Legend Bikes are a product of this developmental evolution.  Two masters of their craft collaborating on bikes which raise the bar.
 
Things That Move admires all of the builders who work hard to make a great products and we have dearly enjoyed playing with their creations.  We have enjoyed more writing about them.  El isn't a celebrity.  He is a master designer and we're glad to know him and admire how he took an idea then built a business around it.
 

Find us on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through our Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL" which you should absolutely join or on my Google+ page.   Lizzy and I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like us to review something that moves, send us a message. 

 
Robby

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Legend Bikes: Dominator


FFM The Legend Bikes:  Dominator

When  builder captures the wind, we have to take notice.  Fisty Lowtide of Fisty's Fucking Motors has partnered with Eldiablo Claven, the one and only Slatanic Mechanic, to produce a new design of highly detailed bikes called, The Legend Bikes.  This morning,  a team of lawyers told me I couldn't mention the muse for The Legend Bikes Series.  If you've heard of West Coast Choppers, then you'll appreciate the late builder's designs.  (I'll claim this paragraph is just bad grammar than pointing to the connection and maybe it is bad grammar).  Maybe I should worry less about lawyers, the WSC dude might be nuts.


When you buy a new bike, you will want to pour all over it.  Bikes, at least to me, produce an emotional and psychological draw from their owners.  We know each weld, how the motor sounds, the feel of the grips and the warmth as the bike idles on a hot summer day.  A bike is an extension of the owner, it is the owner's voice.

The Dominator, a twin forked chopper, is artwork on wheels.  Detail exudes from the bike and it is only when you get close to admire your new bike that you can find something unique. 


There are a couple of parts I hadn't seen represented with such detail in bikes.  One is the carb/throttle body.  The next, I'm not sure I would be crazy about in RL, is the oil filler which is accessible through the solo seat.  It is those kinds of detail which make the Legend Series bikes to be admired.


Riding the Dominator is a rush.  These aren't your beginner bikes and I've said this about Fisty's motorcycles.  While they may not be for the beginner, it doesn't mean they are hard to ride.  Deezul is always my test track of choice and the bike was a performer. 


Like most choppers, I don't like taking them fast because what's the point?  What I did enjoy is how responsive and stable the bike was on the chicanes and corners.  Oh and I did enjoy the sound of the classic V-twin growling.  The downside might be the exhaust spitting some flames just behind my ankle.  Keep those feet forward on the pegs!

Once again, Fisty and El have delivered two wheel magic.  My recommendation to you is to give these bikes a try.  You'll find one you enjoy and what's more, I guarantee you'll have one of the best bikes under you on your next ride out!





You can learn more about Fisty's Fucking Motors at his Marketplace store but really, why go there first when you should actually visit Fisty's sim and get to know Zoey and Fisty as well as his bikes and cars.  I have a strong feeling you will want to stop by frequently because one ride in a FFM vehicle, that experience will be burning a hole in your mind until you put one in your inventory.



Find us on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through our Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL" which you should absolutely join or on my Google+ page.   Lizzy and I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like us to review something that moves, send us a message. 

 
Robby

Friday, April 21, 2017

JJ Cycles Big Dawg Bikes: The Lowboy and Street Beast


JJ Cycles Big Dawg Bikes:
The Lowboy and Street Beast
Finally Released!

Recently, I showed you the pre-release JJ Cycles Big Dawg Lowboy.  Jimmie had been diving deep into the mesh creation to improve upon his bikes.  The Lowboy was the first launch from his NexGen series of choppers.  As he promised, he has released the Lowboy for sale along with a swept bar, twin fork version called the Street Beast.


We had an opportunity to test both bikes and being somewhat accustomed to JJ Cycles products, there is a progressive improvement in performance and handling over his earlier pre-2016 models.  The 2017 Big Dawg releases are a continuation in his product development.

After last year's Chopper Comparo, I have come around to appreciating the long lines of the long wheel-based choppers.  "Will I want to ride one in RL?" would yield a much different answer.  In SL, we can ride what we want.  What matters most is if the bikes can perform on the SL tracks.


I took both the Lowboy and Street Beast around Deezul, still my favorite place to test and ride, to get the feel of these stretched street slayers.  Like most of my JJ Cycles bikes, they handle well out of the box though Jimmie likes a lot more bank angle in his settings than I prefer.  He and I have talked about this but I think it's fair to mention if I'm also going to say how easy it is to dial back the banking to something resembling more real.  It is.

During my test, I decided not to push the bikes hard.  They're choppers not the sport bikes in my inventory I like to thrash (I'm still not that fast if you have seen my scores, who am I gonna fool?).   Even in the middle gears, the bikes were easy rides and would go exactly where I wanted them without any surprises. 


The improved design is more subtle to the eye.  By improving the design and mesh along with tweaking the scripting, the bikes are far more easy to handle than other bikes of their same class.  Riding is about having fun and if a bike can't be ridden, what is the point in having.

The Big Dawgs are every bit of fun as they should be.  Check out the new models of JJ Cycles and hopefully, if he isn't running his CIA missions or working a double at the banjo factory, Jimmie will start designing and releasing more new models.  We do love us some new bikes!!




About JJ Cycles

At the JJ Cycles Main Store you can try out different bikes on the test track and you might even meet Jimmie. Do ask him for his autograph.  You can also buy on Marketplace.  With so many great bike builders, JJ Cycles is one you need to look into.


Find us on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through our Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL" which you should absolutely join or on my Google+ page.   Lizzy and I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like us to review something that moves, send us a message. 

 
Robby
 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wolf Tactics - R1200 Police Bike


Wolf Tactics - R1200 Police Bike

Cop RP is a thing in SL.  I've done it and from those experiences, I have a lot of observations I'll share at some point in the future.  One of those observations I feel good about sharing now is pixel police love realism in their equipment.  Several months ago, I did a comparison of the two top police car builders in SL but did you know there is an equally high quality police bike?  There is!

Allow me to introduce you to Wolf Tactics R1200, a BMW inspired cop sport tourer with very realistic features and performance.   I picked up my R1200 set a few years ago so this is a vehicle which has been on the market for awhile.  The cool thing is it is a vehicle people generally like to use for their RP activities.  Having a correct police motorcycle to augment a fleet is a great idea.


What sets apart a decent cop car or cop bike from the others is mostly the emergency lighting systems.  Older scripted light bars weren't bright enough to compare to RL light bars and were more "cartoony" than realistic.  Additionally, when you're doing the pixel police thing, you need to have a decent HUD controller for your lighting and sirens.  Clicking the bike for the menu during a pursuit or call isn't efficient at all.

Customization is also a need for the pixel police departments as there is an industry in texturing vehicles to match the other vehicles in the fleet.  Someone who is adept at Photoshop can create customized textures for the R1200 to match their other department vehicles.  With the lighting system and the ability to customize the paint scheme, the bike needs to be able to perform in a laggy RP environment.


Now the WT/R1200 closely mirrors the BMW R1200RT.  Because the WT/R1200 does not have the boxer motor, the two bikes are not identical and the inworld model has a slight different fairing, still you can see BMW peaking out through LL DMCA standards without violating them. 
 
The R1200RT is my favorite RL bike and I do have a preference for the BMWs.  With the panniers and rear cargo box, you'll find it hard to distinguish the SL version between RL motor officer steeds. Local PDs deployed the R1200RT bikes for many years.  The bike is a great choice for endurance riding and has the performance riders need without being so extreme to be uncontrollable.  It is a sport tourer not a sport bike.  A cop riding a bike during a full shift needs some element of comfort and the BMW provides that.
 
Some law enforcement agencies are switching to other marks because of the higher BMW maintenance costs, or so I am told by a Sheriff's deputy who wasn't shy about talking motorcycles with me.  Though having dealt with government procurements, the lower bid tends to win the day which more accurately answers why the BMW is facing competition.  


The HUD system for the WT/R1200 is very intuitive allowing the rider to control the lighting system, siren and radar (LIDAR). The emergency lighting and siren can be activated by clicking on the bike and accessing choices through the menu system as well.  Using the bike's menu is not efficient but again, with the HUD, your needs are met as well as they can be.

Yeah the picture quality sucks:  R1200CT lit up like a firefly
A friend of mine has a BMW R1200CT and he put on emergency lighting for a volunteer EMS organization of which he is a member.  What is remarkable about the R1200 series of bikes is they always seem big.  My friend's kids refer to his 1200CT as "the bus".  It is a big bike.  This opens the door to how bikes are built in SL.

Out of the box, the WT/R1200 will likely need to be resized as it is very small. I know some builders prefer to base their vehicles' size on the so called "standard avatar" but the size we're hatched with isn't the size we become.  Generally, male avis are considerably bigger than the avatar fresh off of help island (does that still exist?).  
 
Resizing the bike will require the owner to reset the poses and some of the geometry (knees, hands, feet), which cannot be changed, are a little less than optimal after the bike is resized but you can get close.  I'm sure a call or IM to the creator can get this resolved for you if the riding position is untenable.


Setup, out of the box, is probably more indicative of a builder who isn't as experienced using KCP script setups though maybe the setups were purposeful.  The settings are balanced, however, though they are set at the higher end of the scale.  You can determine if you want to go through the process of dialing back the control settings to the settings of you're other KCP based bikes.  I didn't find that was necessary at all as I mentioned, the settings were balanced.

Gearing is perfect for laggy ground level RP communities.  You need to be able to cruise at low speeds while overcoming lag spikes and skips with inworld PD vehicles.  It is a tough environment just walking, operating a relatively heavy scripted vehicle can be a challenge.  The KCP scripting is the right one for these communities and the gearing showed forethought.  From the description, I wanted to add, the creators claim to have low script impact which is good. 


Let's take a look at what you get because you get a lot.  This isn't one bike.  You'll get 8 models including United States themed bikes sporting RED/BLUE lighting systems and those with all BLUE or all RED lights.  You'll also get some Euro themed bikes with corresponding lighting systems (I think they tend to use blue lights).  In that mix is an unmarked version with the lighting system included so you can go undercover....on a bike.


One of the things that might turn off someone who isn't accustomed to the KCP camera view options, the WT/R1200 default camera setting out of the box is for the "sport view", at least it was for mine.  I kind of like it because it puts the gauges in view of the screen and you can still see the road in front of you.  However, most riders may prefer the "follow" setting because it gives you a greater range of view.  This setting is easily changed or changed back through the bike's menu setting.  With KCP or ACS  you can tweak any setting if you want to spend the time.

All in all, the WT/R1200 is nearly perfect when it comes to a cop bike in SL.  I've seen others which were okay but the lighting systems weren't as realistic to me and without a HUD, operating those systems was more complex than what I preferred. 

Wolf Tactics makes a lot of emergency services products and I've used some of their buildings but hands down, they have done a masterful and thoughtful job with this motorcycle.  There isn't a close second and I don't see anyone stepping up to offer a competitive option anytime soon.

You can get your Wolf Tactics R1200 Police Bike at their MarketPlace store.  I couldn't find an inworld store but if you're a pixel cop, you'll likely be familiar with other Wolf Tactics products.  The bike is worth a buy and you'll enjoy it!


Find us on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through our Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL" which you should absolutely join or on my Google+ page.   Lizzy and I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like us to review something that moves, send us a message. 

 
Robby


Thursday, April 13, 2017

ATX 72 EG Aircraft


ATX 72 EG Aircraft

There are reasons I don't write much about aviation in SL.  It is one of my first loves in RL and I've enjoyed flying in SL.  Maybe my expectations are too high.  With ground vehicles, it is easier to delight the customer.  Boats, well the physics of SL water and the related scripting makes the experience feel more realistic.  Aviation though, SL physics and aircraft scripting don't really emulate real flight on a consistent basis.   However, when I find a great aircraft, my attitude toward SL aviation is adjusted.


Erick Gregan has been making SL aircraft for many years.  I remember buying some of his airplanes, the C-421 and the Aero Commander in particular.  My recollection is these were prim attached aircraft.  The kind you would rez the base transparent aircraft with a couple of poseballs and then attach the fuselage and wings to your avatar.  Hey it was a long time ago and that is the best we all had at the time.


While hopping around looking at different kinds of vehicles, I stopped by Erick's shop and tested some of his fighter aircraft.  They are a lot of fun I might add.  I'm not a enthusiast of flying military aviation compared to my interest in flying general and civil aviation aircraft.  Sure in RL, I did sit in the right seat of Fifi while it was in a hangar in Midland, Texas and have broken through walls to look up at a different sounding fighter jet or WW2 radials grumbling overhead.  Plus I earned my ticket on single engine Pipers and Cessnas. For my own flying, I have had enough fun in a Warrior or even an Ercoupe.

Operational Cockpit
We have limits in SL when it comes to aviation.  There are just a few makes of civil aviation aircraft, you know, the people haulers.  The ATR is one of those, branded as the ATX-72 inworld, we can put in operation to fly from airport to airport.  This aircraft represents a step up from what was but it comes at a price....size and complexity.  This mesh aircraft does not require any attachments either.  Walk on and walk off, it is ready to go when it is rezzed.


The ATX is big and it is complex in comparison to most of your other SL string bag bug smashers.  With it's rather hefty size, the ATX more closely approaches realism.  These are not small planes in RL.  I had a tower controller give me a "caution wake turbulence" while I was following a SAAB 340B to final.  The 340B though larger than the Cessna 172 I was flying, it is smaller than the ATR.  Here's another price that must be paid to fly this aircraft, you can only fit it into certain airports.  The grass strip isn't going to cut it all!  Second Norway or Hollwood will be just fine.  Fruit Islands Frozen Banana sand strip won't work at all.  This isn't a bad thing, it is positive in fact.  With realism, you're not going to land an ATR at the glider port and if you could, it isn't likely going to take off.

Ready for the Mile High Club - No animations.
I love the realism.  You can start the aircraft with clicks to the panel or use the HUD for a quick start.  The overhead panel flow is somewhat intuitive and reading the manual can get you to a point where you're pointing out landmarks to your passengers when you're not forcibly removing them from the aircraft.  All the primary systems management is accessible in the cockpit.  You don't have painted panels looking the part, you have a panel which is functional.  It is also possible to fly in mouselook which I prefer.  I would like to have a way to adjust the camera view but that is a little deal to me.  Maybe you can which is an admission that I have not fully read the manual...or Pilot Operating Handbook POH.


With a plane this size, you're not likely going to be barnstorming your private sim.  Sure you can get the plane up and down within the dimensions of a sim but what's the fun in that. Take this thing out to the bigger parts of the grid and do some sim crossings.  A nice segue...sim crossing are not bad at all especially for something this large.

A great landing starts with a great approach.  All approaches are planned from the entry into the airspace until you pull the power over the threshold.  I would take the ATX and make my approaches a couple of sims (or more) out.  My whole flight was planned from start to finish anyway because my more than brave CFIs, Justin, Ryan and some old codger who almost got tossed out of the right seat, taught me well enough.  Especially with a newer aircraft, I want to know how the systems function before I make short final when stuff goes south in a hurry.  Besides we all know how twitchy SL can be, setting up the approach to final before that last sim crossing will make the transition easier.


Some in SL aviation are bent toward combat and combat specific aircraft.  More power to them if they found their niche.  It isn't mine.  I enjoy flying from point to point and all which goes into that...the navigation, planning, making approaches and perfecting my landing technique.  The closer I can find, in SL, realistically functioning aircraft that are realistically sized and behave as they would in RL, the happier I get.  The ATX fits that bill almost perfectly.

I don't know Erick Gregan and I've never spoken to him.  What I do know is he has been around SL for many years and he builds some fine aircraft.  His ATX is a solid contender in the very small market of regional commuter turbo props.  The ATX, it is definitely worth a look and worth every linden.  You can get your own ATX and other aircraft at Erick's shop/airport or find what he has to offer at his MarketPlace store.

We'll wait at the gate while you get your ATX into operation.  


Find us on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through our Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL" which you should absolutely join or on my Google+ page.   Lizzy and I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like us to review something that moves, send us a message. 

 
Robby


Monday, April 10, 2017

The Legend Bikes "Retro Black"


FFM The Legend "Retro Black"
 
We hadn't a chance to talk with Fisty lately.  Sometimes life catches up pushing us into other directions and we lose touch with people close to us.  Lightning strikes and we all start up where we left off.  It was one of those occasions when lightning did strike and we saw a special bike coming to life. 
 
 
Fisty's Fucking Motors Legend Bikes are spawned from a collaboration between Fisty Lowtide and Slatanic Mechanic's Eldiablo Claven.  Knowing both of these guys and being with them when they are together, you have a meeting of two of the most creative minds.  I mentioned lightning and with Fisty and El, we have a thunderstorm of biblical proportions.  The outcome, born from fire, light, wind and rain is The Legend. 
 
 
What has been missing in SL is a true knucklehead.  I've seen panheads, EVOs, parallel twins and a cacophony of inline fours.  Until recently, I hadn't seen a perfect version of the fabled knucklehead.  Why is this important?  This particular motor is very much part of the genesis to modern motorcycle V-twins.  The Legend features the best knucklehead I've seen in SL.
 
 
Like El, what Fisty does best is his attention to detail which sets his bikes and cars apart from the others on the market.  The Legend hasn't been spared his artistic touch.  The scroll work on the heads and throughout the motor will push anyone over the edge.  Everything about this bike screams retro and every part fits with the theme.  From the venturis grabbing air into the throttle body, the brass knuckles kick starter and the tricked out tank...well the bike is next to perfect and one I would drool over in RL.
 
 
The Mona Lisa is a boring old girl.  After you stare at her, all you see is DaVinci's smile. Getting close to The Legend and examining the detail, you're going to miss some more of the magic of this retro chopper.  Kick the motor to life and the sound hitting your ears is like no other you've heard.  This custom idle is unique to this bike and you'll hear the timing fight to keep the motor running as you quickly grab the throttle to give it a little more juice. 
 
 
Yeah but how does it ride?  I tore up Deezul's Challenger track, my favorite place to test bikes and it should be your favorite place to ride.  While it isn't the fastest bike, its a chopper.  Why do you want to go fast?  I'll say this, it is fast enough and a helluva ride.  It was just a little hard to ride well because I kept looking at the bike not the road.   I did okay though. 
 
 
When Fisty showed us his new bike builds, I was hoping I would get a chance to try one out.  We hopped on some of his other releases and they're always fun rides.  This one was different.  The Legend is a mammoth entry into today's bike market.   Fun is a special experience with a bike that looks like this.  Maybe you ought to give one a try.
 




You can learn more about Fisty's Fucking Motors at his Marketplace store but really, why go there first when you should actually visit Fisty's sim and get to know Zoey and Fisty as well as his bikes and cars.  I have a strong feeling you will want to stop by frequently because one ride in a FFM vehicle, that experience will be burning a hole in your mind until you put one in your inventory.



Find us on Facebook

You can get updates and new reviews through our Facebook group "Things that Moves in SL" which you should absolutely join or on my Google+ page.   Lizzy and I review bikes, boats, cars and aircraft.  If you would like us to review something that moves, send us a message. 

 
Robby