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Old 08-29-2001, 21:18   #1 (permalink)
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Cheap BMW, sort of...

... as BMW takes design to extreme
IT is the Beamer of skateboards and comes with a price to match, complete with an all-aluminium design, high-tech suspension, a "responsive deck" -- and a user's manual.
And at around $800, you'd expect nothing less.
A BMW-designed skateboard, complete with BMW badge, could be available in Australia by Christmas as the company edges it way into the upwardly mobile extreme sport market.
The StreetCarver, launched in the US this month, is an all-aluminium skateboard which uses the same suspension technology as BMW's $100,000 5- series sedans.
It weighs 8kg -- five times heavier than a typical skateboard -- and is 75cm long.
Engineer Stephan Augustin, who developed the Carver, said a pendulum system of struts, bearings and brushings -- and high-tech suspension -- allowed the deck to tilt side to side.
The movement was similar to a car's, enabling the board to respond subtly to shifts in the rider's weight.
The red-rimmed wheels are twice the normal size of skateboard wheels and are lined with treadless rubber tyres.
They can be replaced when they wear out. There is even an owner's manual.
"It's not a skateboard -- riders experience the feeling of snowboarding and surfing on the road," Mr Augustin said.
BMW Australia spokesman John Kananghinis said the company was "working on a price" in Australia, but expected it to be about $800.
There are none currently in the country, with BMW executives hoping to fill their first order by Christmas and get it into the company's five Australian Lifestyle stores.
The Carver is marketed at people in their late teens and early 20s and those with a leaning towards extreme sports.
The Carver required less leaning to control and the suspension absorbs bumps.
Riders said it was great for "bombing" downhill but not so good for trick riding.
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