Motorcycle burnout - Simply Street BikesAlthough once a slow-growing pastoral city in 1880, Eden Prairie, Minn., has emerged as a home to more than 2,200 businesses. Not only is the city a place for retail companies, communications businesses, and healthcare organizations, but it’s now a major hub for tech. Here’s a list of four cool tech businesses thriving in this area of the Twin Cities.

3-D Printing Models at Stratasys

Stratasys has impressed manufacturers, the medical community, and top clients like NASA with its 3-D printing capabilities. This innovative company designs printers that don’t use ink. Its printers use think layers of plastic to create 3-D models for orthodontics, automotive parts, robots, and more.  This company is a leading competitor in the world of 3-D printing.

It also leads the way with the education of this new technology. The company has opened an institute in Ohio where new workers can learn how to master this new technology in state-of-the-art labs. Why has this technology taken off? It provides companies with a fast and cheap prototype to decide whether a product is worth taking to market. In a nutshell, it’s a cost-effective solution.

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Sport Bikes - Simply Street BikesWhen it comes to high-performance European and Japanese sports bikes, four manufacturers continuously win the race: Ducati, BMW, Kawasaki, and Suzuki. These motorcycles offer just about every bell and whistle a motorcyclist could want, but how do they stack up against one another? For those in the market for a high performance sports bike, here’s a comparison of four of the top bikes on the road: the Ducati 1199 Panigle, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, the BMW S1000RR, and the Suzuki Hayabusa.

Top Speeds

The Ducati and the Kawasaki have similar features, which translates to equally competitive performance standards. With an L-twin engine that achieves 195 horsepower at 10,750 rpm, the Ducati tops out at 177 mph whereas the Kawasaki’s 175 horsepower, 10,000 rpm inline four-cylinder engine hits the 180 mph mark.

The BMW answers back with an inline four-cylinder engine that easily achieves 193 horsepower at 13,000 rpm with an astonishing top speed of 190 mph. Equally as impressive, the Suzuki’s liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine hits top speeds of 186 mph by taking advantage of all 172 horses at 10,100 rpm.

Price and Fuel Economy

Cost is always a major factor for motorcyclists shopping for a new sports bike. The Ducati has an MSRP of $18,995 whereas the Kawasaki has a much lower MSRP of $15,995. The Suzuki comes in at the mid-price range with an MSRP of $17,500 and the BMW tops the price charts with a price tag of $20,750.

Price goes a long way, but fuel economy is an even bigger price point. The Ducati gets 30 miles per gallon even though it only has a wet weight of 420 pounds. The Kawasaki comes in at 443 pounds, but achieves 37 miles per gallon. The BMW has a wet weight of 458 pounds, but still gets an astounding 38.5 MPG and the Suzuki doesn’t disappoint with a wet weight of 592 pounds and 33 MPG.

Engine Specs

When it comes to high-performance sports bikes, the proof is in the engine. The Ducati has an 1199cc liquid-cooled Superquadro L-Twin four-cylinder engine and the Kawasaki comes up short with a 998cc liquid-cooled four-stroke, four-cylinder engine that’s still more than capable.

The BMW is head-to-head with the Kawasaki with a 999cc inline four-cylinder engine complete with titanium valves and overhead camshafts. But, the Suzuki takes the powerhouse cake with a whopping 1340cc liquid-cooled, 16-valve DOHC engine that shreds the road with 102 lb-ft of torque.

Safety

Sports bikes are notorious for being dangerous, but all four motorcycle manufacturers are doing everything they can to put motorcycle safety first by optimizing their braking systems. The Ducati has semi-floating disc brakes in the front and two-piston caliper ABS brakes in the rear, and the Kawasaki uses front and rear Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock brakes.

The BMW has four-piston, fixed caliper brakes in the front and single-piston floating caliper anti-lock brakes in the rear whereas the Suzuki uses radial mount disc brakes in the front and hydraulic disc brakes in the rear.

From price to performance, it’s plain to see that the European Ducati and BMW and the Japanese Kawasaki and Suzuki have their own distinct advantages when it comes to the comparison race. When deciding which brand is best, you need to test drive them and decide for yourself.

Coffee Shops in Eden Prairie  - Simply Street Bikes

Image via Flickr by adactio

Eden Prairie, MN, is home to some lovely neighborhood coffee shops, each with a unique vibe. Whether you consider yourself a foodie looking for the next hot trend in java, or you’re seeking some true old-fashioned comfort and a warm nest, these coffee shops will delight.

1. JJ’s Coffee Company and Wine Bar

This romantic spot on Mitchell Road is perfect for the beginning or end of the night. JJ’s doubles as a coffee shop, specializing in hand-crafted coffee drinks by day and a romantically lit wine bar by night. They also serve delicious food throughout the day and boast a good choice of beers as well.

Cruise the drive-thru for coffee, and you’ll miss the warm ambiance, the immense stone fireplace, and comfy leather club chairs. From the individually built booths with adjustable lighting, to the charming outside patio seating, JJ’s Coffee Company is somewhere you want to sit and rest awhile.

JJ’s Coffee Company and Wine Bar won the Sun Newspaper’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Wine Bar 2011-2013.

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Sport Bikes - Simply Street Bikes

Image via Flickr by ronsaunders47

When it comes to buying a sport bike, how do you choose the best fit? Two of the most popular high performance sports bikes come from Europe and Japan, each has its perks and drawbacks. So, which is the better ride for you?

Top Speed

While cars tend to be built for technology and automation, sport bikes are designed for speed and power. What makes a bike impressive is either its super speed, or its luxury. The Kawasaki Ninja model is one of the fastest sports bikes on the market for Japan. The current model reaches speeds of 186 mph, making it the fastest consumer bike available.

Right behind the Kawasaki is the Italian MV Agusta F4. This Ferrari model was meant to be a luxury bike, but ended up being popular for its speed, reaching up to 185 mph.

Fuel Economy

Honda’s NC700X gets up to 64 miles per gallon, making it one of Japan’s most fuel-efficient models. Thanks to Honda, the automatic bike keeps the low speeds/high RPM to a minimum, extending the length of time before you have to fill up the tank. The German’s BMW model, F650GS is a little on the boring side as far as looks, perks, and features, but it does get the gas mileage of a smaller bike at 63 mpg.

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Crotch Rocket - Simply Street Bikes

Image via Flickr by Stephen Durham

Crotch rockets, also known as sport bikes, are a type of super-fast motorcycle. Usually loud and flashy, these bikes are perfect for riders who want to get noticed. If you’ve just purchased your first bike, these steps will help you get acclimated to the world of motorcyclists.

Grab Your Riding Gear

Ideally, you invested in riding gear before you took your sport bike home. If you’ve been too busy admiring the shiny surface of your bike to think about your own hide, put this at the top of your to-do list. All motorcycles are dangerous, but crotch rockets, built for speed and daredevil driving, pose some of the highest risks.

Cover as much of your skin as possible when you’re on the road. Bikers don’t wear leather pants and jackets just for fashion. Having cow hide instead of cotton between your skin and the road will come in handy if you’re in an accident. You should wear boots, pants, gloves, a helmet, and a jacket. Invest in quality stuff and choose a look that you like. You’re more likely to wear the gear if you know it was expensive and you feel great in it.

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Street Bikes - Simply Street Bikes

Image via Flickr by Official U.S. Navy Page

Summer is the season of the motorcycle. While ripping over the roads on your street bike offers limitless thrills, it also puts you in a more dangerous position than if you were enjoying a cruise around the county in a car. What can you do to stay safe while you’re on your street bike?

Know Your Vehicle

If your bike has inhabited the garage for the last several months, make sure you take a little time to become reacquainted with your bike. Get to know the feel of your bike, what it can do, and know its limits. Keep a humble attitude—if you’re unsure if you or your bike is able to do something, don’t try it.

Before you hit the road, give your bike a quick inspection. Allstate recommends that you:

  • Test the brakes, lights, and turn signals
  • Position mirrors correctly
  • Check fluid levels
  • Make sure the cables aren’t frayed or worn
  • Adjust the chain according to the manufacturer’s instructions

Take a Safety Course

Quoted on consumerreports.org, one Honda representative said, “There is nothing we could say or advise more than to go find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course in your area. That’s critical, absolutely critical.” Even if you’ve taken such a course before, it doesn’t hurt to go back and brush up on your skills.

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Ducati 1098 S - Simply Street Bikes

Image via Flickr by Keith

Navigating today’s street bikes is no easy thing, with choices that can go from 0 to 60 faster than many popular roller coasters, and achieve mind-blowing speeds of over 200 miles per hour. Whether you’re looking to invest in a new racing bike, or you simply want some gorgeous choices to drool over, these picks are some of the fastest options on the market today.

Ducati 1098 S

The Ducati 1098 S features a liquid-cooled Desmodromic engine and L-twin cylinder with four values per cylinder. This bike produces 160 hp, 9750 rpm, and over 90 pound-feet of torque. First introduced in 2007, it’s still a favorite. It goes from 0 to 60 in just three seconds and reaches a top speed of 169 mph.

BMW K 1200 S

The 4-cylinder liquid cooled DOHC horizontal in-line engine of the BMW K 1200 S helps it to achieve an impressive 174 mph. This bike goes from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. Featuring nearly 165 hp and 10250 rpm, this bike offers an exhilarating ride and smooth handling. If you’re planning on maneuvering around sharp corners at high speeds, this is the bike for you.

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How to Buy a Motorcycle - Simply Street BikesWhen you’re in the market for a motorcycle, it’s easy to get caught up in the process and go for the biggest, baddest bike you can find. Unfortunately, that usually leads to buying a motorcycle that you can’t afford in the long run. It’s important to start the process by figuring out exactly what you can afford. You could have the best bike in the world, but if you’re struggling every month to make your payment, you’re not going to enjoy it much. Even worse, if you can’t make your payments, you’ll lose your bike AND you’ll kill your credit.

Take a good look at your monthly income and your budget for expenses. One of the easiest ways to figure out what you can afford is to add up all of your expenses and then subtract that total from your net income. Take 35% of the resulting number, and that’s how much you can afford to spend on your new motorcycle.

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Motorcycle in Traffic - Simply Street BikesYou’ve been riding for years, so you don’t have to worry about this sort of stuff, right?  Wrong – most of the time, long-rime riders are complacent and forget to think about the basics.

Think about the last time you were riding in heavy traffic. Cars and trucks surrounded you, got too close, maybe even cut you off. You’ve got to watch your speed, pay attention to the speeds of the cars around you, watch for street signs or traffic lights, all while trying to guess what pedestrians might do, or what the guy next to you on his cell phone might do…

Even seasoned riders can have a tough time in traffic, but think back to your first time riding a motorcycle when the traffic was really bad – it was an absolute nightmare. Here are 12 tips to help deal with heavy traffic. If you’re a new rider, these tips will be a huge help – and if you’re a veteran, having them fresh in your memory could be the difference between a safe ride and an accident.

Check mirrors and heads

The best way to anticipate a sudden move from a car is to pay attention to the driver’s head movements. You can keep an eye on drivers around you through windows and mirrors. Drivers will almost always move their head in the direction they’re going to lunge BEFORE they actually steer their car in that direction.

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We’re excited to be one of the sponsors for the Y Ride? Ride for the Youth. All proceeds from this event benefit YMCA Youth Intervention Services.

Taking place on August 10, 2013, this event begins with a group ride from Simply Street Bikes in Eden Prairie to ERX Motor Park in Elk River. Ride tickets are only $20 and that includes admission to the TerraCross Event at ERX Motor Park. Scheduled events include: Whisper Performance Stunt Show, mini-bike races, silent auction, giveaways, and more!

The Motley Crews Heavy Metal Grill Food Truck will be on site serving up delicious food and refreshments. We’re going to have a lot of fun for a great cause!

Y Ride Event Poster - Simply Street Bikes