Archive for the ‘Motorcycles’ Category


Wednesday, 10 January 2007; 12:25

Every once in a while, The Distillery finds something done quite right. For example, if your firm is determined to use rehashed TV commercials as its online multimedia content, then let Hardee’s show you how to do it–put them on TV! Even The Distillery cannot complain when such a novel approach is taken. Look and learn.

Beyond that, we find a wealth of other engaging content. Register to win a Harley-Davidson–in return for your e-mail address and future spam. You’ll find Paris Hilton’s phone number. (Not really, I suspect.) Play games, either Burger Time or Burger Invaders. And, there are dollar-off coupons for a couple of Hardee’s food products.

In sum, Hardee’s has a superb, engaging, and content-rich site. The firm is clearly in step with its fairly wide range of target audiences. You’ll find a little something for everyone, and all done quite well. Congratulations to a firm originally from my own home state of North Carolina. (One more thing as a lesson for others–pay attention to the little sounds throughout the site. Although many are just barely audible, they make a huge perceptual difference.)

Home page: Hardee’s



Friday, 25 August 2006; 15:22

Do you live and breathe NASCAR? Do you like the internet? If the answer to both of those questions is “Yes,” then head on over to for your daily NASCAR fix. Not only will you find NASCAR videos, but also other racing videos, including motorcycle and F1 Grand Prix.

The site is superb for automotive racing fans. It is well-designed and includes message boards, chats, and fantasy racing. You will also find competitive online drag racing in the game, PINKS. In sum, Speed TV is the place to get all of your NASCAR news, commentary and video.

Home page: Speed TV (
Video player: Speed TV

Mark Martin photo graphic

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14

Monday, 24 July 2006; 18:03

Zero to sixty in less than 3 seconds? A top speed approaching 200 mph? One hundred, seventy-five horses strapped to only 560 pounds? It sounds insane, doesn’t it? Well, I want one! Those are some of the white-knuckle specs for Kawasaki’s new Ninja ZX-14 motorcycle.

Unfortunately, the ZX-14’s mini-site by Kawasaki does not convey the sense of seemingly unbridled power and speed of the street-legal beast it is advertising. That is not to say the site isn’t very nicely done, but it lacks the raw emotion that even the mere numbers outlining the motorcycle’s specifications generate. In other words, after hearing and reading about the ZX-14 beforehand, the online promotion is a disappointment.

In fact, a glance through Kawasaki’s primary web site for its motorcycles reveals videos for other motorcycles that are far better at making one want to run out and buy a Ninja than those for its new flagship model. Maybe the bike will sell itself. Maybe it’s designed for a very small market that needs no selling. Maybe it will fly out of showroom as quickly as it gets you down the road. (And, maybe you should buy a coffin to go along with that magnificent speed demon.)
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 graphic


Monday, 24 July 2006; 14:15

I find it very ironic that a pre-computers brick-and-mortar firm such as Caterpillar “gets” the internet more than Silicon Graphics, a firm that all but owes its existence to the internet. How can that be? There are mysteries of the universe (and business) still not understood.

Let us see the sizzle at Caterpillar by starting with its Caterpillar Cat Chopper. In fact, Caterpillar even gives the big yellow hog its own mini-site. Yes, that’s a lot of yellow sizzle and we’ve yet to even see or smell the steak. (Are you paying attention, SGI? Jeesh, beat by a bunch of guys and gals that move dirt instead of pixels? Yes SGI, you’ve fallen very, very low.)

And here is the steak — videos for Caterpillar’s Cat Lift Trucks and mining equipment. There is the Cat Lift Truck mini-site that has a focused eye on multimedia presentations, such as this demonstration. Elsewhere, we find a video for the AccuGrade Laser Grade Control System. And there is more — a video for the 930G Wheel Loader.

We then find content like that which The Distillery expected to find at SGI, but did not. Have a look at this superb 3D fly-through of the 420D Backhoe Loader at the Caterpillar Model Explorer. (Important: You will need to begin at the Caterpillar 3D Showcase to download and install the requisite Active X plugin.) Given all that has been easily found, there is likely more rich media at Caterpillar, but the point has been made. Even B2B and industrial markets should be able to smell and hear the steak before they actually see it.

A high level of customer service has always been a Caterpillar selling point. I don’t know about the present, but at one time Caterpillar guaranteed the delivery of any parts to any place on the planet within 24 hours. And should that not still be the case, they certainly do not follow Microsoft’s example of kissing goodbye to customers who own older products. Have a look at heavy equipment history with Caterpillar’s Legendary Service Literature Catalogs (not multimedia).

And last, here is something (not multimedia) for the little boy [or girl] in us who once marveled at big heavy equipment and hopefully still lurks within us somewhere. Can you identify each piece of Caterpillar’s heavy machinery simply from its silhouette?

Home page: Caterpillar

Cat Lift Truck graphic Caterpillar Cat Chopper graphic


Friday, 7 July 2006; 14:31

Somebody got this one right. Who cares if you’re really not doing anything?* It’s like that air guitar you have over there in the corner. (If you can honestly say that you don’t have one in a corner somewhere, you might wish to check in with reality.) And, it’s Friday. Take a ride on Can-Am’s Bombardier ATV. When you finish, download yourself a video. Now, go home.

* For some truly inane and silly fun, and if you have a fast computer and a fast hand, click back and forth between Film, Return To Glory, and Historical Timeline for a weird and slightly trippy ride.

Can-Am vehicle


Thursday, 6 July 2006; 16:50

I learned a great deal from touring the Michelin site. First, there is the history of Bibendum, the Living Tire (non-multimedia) — Michelin’s well-known spokesman. (I never knew he actually had a name.) Then there is the equally well-known Michelin Guide, which began its publication in 1900 with a bold declaration on its very first page: This guide has been launched with the new century and will last just as long. Overall, I must say Michelin has one of the finest corporate web sites I’ve seen, even when there is no multimedia content.

But let’s get back to The Distillery’s real focus — multimedia. We discover Michelin in video where we find videos about The [Michelin] Groupe, Bibendum, Products and Innovation, and Michelin TV commercials. The first of those links leads directly to video content and the others to pages with two or more video clips. You might especially enjoy the silent and early-1900s animation of Bibendum’s birth from a stack of tires. After that, head on over to the North American Virtual Newsroom where you will find pages and pages of video clips. Wow! And again not multimedia, but one does find the expected map or two at the site, also.

Now on to the fun stuff. Let’s play Michelin [Formula 1] Pit Challenge. I initially found the game a tad confusing, so I’ll give you a hint. After clicking on each member of the pit crew, one must then click on the tires and give one to each pit crew member. After that, it’s pedal to the metal! And although the game is simple, it’s still quite fun. It may even keep those aging brain cells from dying off too quickly, or so says current research regarding such tasks.

And last, but certainly not the last of everything one will find at Michelin’s site, is its revolutionary Tweel. Now that’s something really different. I can’t wait to see them on the highways. Talk about double takes!

Oops, I missed something I would like to include for now (but we’ll return one day) — multimedia at the Michelin 2 Wheel web site. Yes, Michelin’s site seems to go on forever with goodies. As I said, it’s one of the nicest corporate web sites I’ve seen to date. Kudos, Michelin.

Bibendum graphic

Michelin Tweel graphic

BMW Motorcycles (1200 Series)

Thursday, 27 April 2006; 13:53

Why don’t you start with a video for BMW Motorcycle’s R 1200 GS? And from there, enjoy the many other videos. (Be certain to click on any stills to the right of the video frame for additional videos within each series.)

BMW motorcycle lifestyle