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Welcome To The World Of "Upside Down" Motorcycle Loans!

With the depreciation on motorcycles being so enormous after they are driven off the showroom floor, the potential for a buyer owing more on their motorcycle loan than the bike is worth it quite high. Owing more on your bike than it is worth is often referred to as the world of “up side down”.

Many people finding themselves in this situation discover that financial lessons are sometimes the hardest and most expensive to learn. Motorcycle loans of more than 48 months (especially without a down payment) put you in the position of owing more than the value of the bike.

Let’s take a look at this phenomenon.

First, the interest calculation your lender uses can make a big difference in your situation, especially in the first 18 months. There are two primary interest calculations, pre-computed (combined with rule of 78) and simple interest.

Pre-computed interest combined with Rule of 78, is typically the worst situation for a buyer because most of the interest is paid in the first 24 months. Therefore, in the first 24 months little of the monthly payment has gone towards paying down principal. If a buyer wishes to sell or trade in the motorcycle within this timeframe they will likely find themselves owing more than the bike is worth. Statistics show that the average owner trades in every 18-24 months.

Simple interest on the other hand, is much more favorable for buyers since interest accrues on the balance of the loan. However, buyers that extend their loans for greater than 48 months can still find themselves up side down with simple interest. This is especially true if a down payment is not made. The reason this occurs is that the motorcycle depreciates faster than the principal is paid; leaving the balance owed to the lender to be more than the bike can be sold for.

A common view that many people have is that they will just surrender their motorcycle to the lender if they are caught in an “up side down” position. If you are considering this option don’t! Your worries do not just end after your bike is surrendered or repossessed; in fact they are just beginning. The lender will sell your bike at an auction for much less than it is worth. You will still owe the difference between the amount you owed on your loan and the amount the motorcycle sold for at auction. So if you owe $5000 and the bike sells for $1500, you still are responsible for owing the lender $3500. To make it worse lenders may tack on hefty auction fees which you will owe as well. So the net result is that you are now responsible for making monthly payments on a bike you can no longer ride.

So what steps can you take to prevent from being caught “up side down”?

1. Find a lender that uses simple interest. Avoid lenders that use pre-computed / Rule of 78 interest calculations.

2. Always try to put money down on your purchase.

3. Try to avoid motorcycle loans that extend past 36 months.

A Short Course on Sea Glass

Sea glass is a beautiful example of recycling by Nature. A bottle; or too many bottles in many cases, tossed into the water breaks in the surf, and years later its shards have transformed into beautiful gems worthy of becoming part of a coveted piece of jewelry.

Sea glass forms partially as the result of glass rolling in sandy surf, but also because of a chemical reaction of the glass with salt water. The longer the glass is in the water, and becomes hydrated, the more of a patina, or “frost” it develops as a result of the lime and soda elements leaching out. Because a unique chemical transformation takes place, beach glass may one day achieve gemstone status. The patina sparkles like tiny diamonds in the light, one of the hallmarks of genuine sea glass; a trait that has yet to be achieved by simply tumbling or acid washing of glass commercially.

Sea glass can be found in a multitude of colors. The most common colors found today are clear, brown, and kelly green, the color of many beer bottles.

Uncommon colors tend be older glass from the sixties and beyond. One look and you can recognize that it is not the color scheme used commercially today. The uncommon colors encountered most are the soft green, amber, forest green, and lime green, though these too, are becoming harder to find. The glass pieces with a soft green shade that looks so ethereal were most commonly turn of the century Coca-Cola bottles.

Some beaches; many in the Caribbean, harbor extremely old glass shards from rum bottles up to 300 years old. Most of these are the lime green, forest green and brown glass shades that have darkened in the sun to the point that they appear black.

The rare colors are the blues and aqua tones that are truly a delight to the eyes. True aqua, periwinkle, teal, and cobalt blue shades originated as medicine bottles and home glassware.

The rarest sea glass colors are the grays, yellows and lavenders. The “champagne” to purple colored sea glass is often extremely old clear glass made circa WW1. Magnesium used as an ingredient is glass making at that time caused the glass to develop a purple color after long term exposure to the UV rays of the sun.

The absolute rarest sea glass find is orange or red, the prize of a lifetime for sea glass collectors. The oldest of these specimens originated from shipwrecked stained glass panels en route to the new world from Europe, and the most recent from old automobile blinkers and lights.

Some sea glass has wavy irregular shapes as if it had been melted. The most likely cause for this formation is that it was “campfire glass”; bottles thrown into trash burning pits and bonfires by soldiers, workers, or even pirates many years ago. This glass has a very unusual look, though it is hard to set in silver due to its baroque edges. It often has grains of sand or sea plants embedded in it. Occasionally, pieces are bi-colored, from two separate glass shards fusing together. Very nice specimens similar to these can be found in areas where glass companies used to dump unused molten glass into the sea every evening. The “end of day” glass patterns are spectacular, and the edges are very smooth and unusual.

Each piece of sea glass undoubtedly has stories to it. Was the piece someone’s pop bottle in the sixties, or was it part of a sea captain’s liquor bottle hundreds of years ago? Perhaps some of that old Chesapeake sea glass came blasting out of a local cannon during the Battle of 1812. Maybe a few fragments of Caribbean sea glass carry the energy of pirates gathered around a fire, reveling into the night. Then there’s sea pottery, shards of broken china worn smooth by the sea. Who owned it? Was a teacup tossed purposely into the waves by a haughty aristocrat, or lost in a shipwreck? We can only speculate, but isn’t that fun!

The Art of Selling Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance has been around a long time and will continue to be sold for a long time in the future. Although the product itself is simplistic and easy to learn and get your arms around, there is definitely an art when it comes to selling final expense insurance.

Selling burial insurance is a process that requires and agent to build a need, want and desire for the product. Like any life insurance, everyone needs it but no one truly wants to buy and pay for it. As with other things in life we should have, if it was free, everyone would most definitely have it. Problem is… it’s not free so we need to create that need they can’t live without. So how do you do that?

First off, the client needs to see the value of having a policy and protecting the people they care about. Any life insurance I have I look at as an asset and not as a monthly expense each time I make a premium payment. It’s important you talk in terms that the client is creating an instant asset for their family and not an expense.

The second thing that is very vital to helping your client is don’t tell them they need final expense insurance but have them tell you. This is one of the biggest mistakes agents make selling absolutely everything. A successful agent does not tell a client they need the product, a successful agent has the client tell them why they need it and want it.

It is very important to ask probing questions to get the client to tell you. This is where most agents fail. Agents usually tend to do the telling in the selling process and by telling the client instead of having them tell you, in the end the client doesn’t take ownership to the sale and the sale is lost.

“Mrs. Jones, do you see planning for your final expenses your responsibility, or do you see it as your children’s responsibility?” The follow up question after Mrs. Jones answers it is her responsibility would be “Why? Why do you think it’s your responsibility and why wouldn’t you want to put this on your kids?” Sit back and listen to her tell you why she needs to buy your final expense product. These types of questions make the client take ownership and make the sale for you.

To be successful selling final expense, you need to create a need for your product since not many clients really want to purchase what you have. How you create that need is by asking questions that get your client to sell themselves and take ownership. Don’t make the mistake that 99% of all agents do and that is tell your client why they need final expense insurance.

Interesting Facts About Ostrich Farming

Decorative feathers, delicious and nutritious meat and strong, attractive leather are just some of the reasons to consider the lucrative business of ostrich farming. It can also be an aid for healthier eating habits.

Ostrich farming is currently conducted in over 100 countries across the world. From cold climates such as Alaska and Sweden to equatorial countries like Brazil and Indonesia, ostriches are being raised as livestock with high yields. Because of its hardy nature, virtually any area is adaptable for the ostrich. Its feathers provide great protection with their insulating abilities; keeping the bird cool in hot climates and warm in colder areas. Humidity does present a problem, not with the adults but with the chicks which are highly susceptible to diseases that can be present in those conditions.

There are several reasons why ostrich farming can be a good investment. One breeding pair of ostriches is capable of producing up to 40 chicks per year. One healthy male can breed with up to three females during the same season. The incubation time of the ostrich eggs is only 42 days, so it is conceivable that your flock of birds can multiply exponentially in the best of conditions.

Another reason many people consider the business of ostrich farming is that the meat and hide of ostriches are in great demand. The cost of raising ostriches is much less than that of many livestock, because the ostrich is a free range animal that requires virtually no care after the age of 4 to 5 months. Feeding the birds is a much lower investment than feeding livestock, as the weight gain is greater with less feed for the ostriches.

Yet another benefit of ostrich farming is that you don’t need a great deal of land to get started. For a pair of ostriches, only 1/3 of an acre is needed for them to roam; ½ acre for a trio of birds. They do not require shade, so open land is perfect for them. A free water source is vital, however; ostriches require 1.5 gallons of water per day. These birds spend about 75% of daylight hours feeding. Green grasses and pelleted feed make up the diets of the birds, with most of their minerals and nutrients found in a good palletized food.

In ostrich farming, there is very little waste when the birds are slaughtered. This means more bang for the buck. The meat goes to distributors, the hide to leather producers, the feet to the Asian markets as an aphrodisiac, the feathers to automobile distributors as paint aids and the eyes are purchased by research clinics that study human cataracts.

There are many positive reasons to begin ostrich farming, including the profits from selling the meat, hide and other parts of the bird. It can be a rewarding venture as well; knowing that supplying a healthier product can result in healthier eating habits.

The Great Invention Called a Car

Can you imagine life without cars or vehicles? Just the thought of it is unbearable. The invention of cars is one of the most important milestones in the history of mankind. It is one of the most indispensable essentials of man. Long ago, our ancestors traveled by foot and it would take them days and even months or years to reach their destinations. Now, with the invention of cars, we can go from point A to point B in just a few minutes or hours. Isn’t that great? You can get into your air conditioned car and travel to your destination without feeling the heat of the sun and even without much effort.

Some people take for granted their automobiles and do not realize the importance of cars. Here are tips on how to keep your car in tip-top shape:

1. Wash your car regularly- It does not have to be on a daily basis, but washing it at least once in every two weeks is good enough. It is also a great way to burn those calories and to stay fit. When washing your car, be sure to use the right products. Do not use a harsh detergent or a rough cloth. You can go to your local store and look for a car wash shampoo and a soft cloth. This way, you are assured that your car will have no minor scratches and you are also protecting its paint and luster.

2. Check your car’s tires, oil, brake fluid, etc. Change your tires every 10,000 to 30,000 miles. Do not drive a wheel which has a thinning tread as this may cause accidents. These may be small details but it is still better to be travelling safe than be sorry.

3. To protect your car paint from the hazards of acid rain, dust, tree sap, and even UV rays, always use a coat of wax. A coat of wax is less expensive compared to the cost of having your car repainted. Aside from that, the application process is not that tedious at all.

The best way to keep your car in good condition is to take care of it like you would take care of your pet. It is important to have your car in top-shape all the time to avoid inconvenience for you and to prevent a huge amount of money from going to the auto mechanic just because of your lack of care for your vehicle.

Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business and Choosing the Best Portable Carpet Extractor

The carpet cleaning business continues to expand rapidly across America. Independents and franchisees are growing by large numbers. Carpet cleaning companies are cleaning carpet, tile & grout, boats, automobiles, furniture, drapes, walls, carpet dyeing and much more. Some specialized carpet cleaning companies have even branched out into the lucrative duct cleaning business and water restoration business. Although the residential carpet cleaning business is large, even larger is the commercial opportunity. Although running a commercial driven carpet cleaning business might require more equipment and might not be able to be run out of your home the opportunities are large. Hospitals, office buildings, hotels, warehouse facilities, retail outlets, restaurants, apartment complex common area’s, club houses and much more all need this service more than once a year.

It is because of this fast growing business that there are dozens of manufactures of carpet extractors to choose from. Over $100,000,000 in carpet extractors was sold in 2008! With this huge opportunity getting started requires choosing the best machine possible for your budget to begin. It is important to determine how much machine you would like. There are machines that do both carpet and tile & grout, though if you’re going to be cleaning mostly cars or lugging this machine up stairs often it may not be a machine you’d want because of its weight. The following is a quick summary of the different features to look for when choosing a portable extractor:

  • PSI – There are extractors that go from 50 psi – 1200 psi. If you plan to do mostly residential homes and upholstery having a machine that does is between 50-250 psi is usually sufficient. Too much pressure and you’ll get the common compliant that you’re leaving the carpet to wet buy homeowners. When cleaning upholstery typically you’ll only be at 50 psi and for most residential carpets you’ll be either at 100 or 200 psi. If you plan on doing a lot of tile and grout you’ll want high pressure of 1200.
  • Heat vs. No Heat – Hot water does assist in the cleaning process. It will help in breaking down the oil and debris in the carpet. Soil in the fibers typically will extract easily with no heat, though the oil in the fibers of a carpet are more easily extracted with heat. Heat will speed up the process, though with no heat agitating the carpet before will assist or a higher PSI will also assist in extracting without heat. The labor cost if running crews is much lower using heat than using only a cold extractor. Another option is pouring hot water in the extractor and pre-spraying before hand. The downside to heat is you’ll be using more electricity and risk tripping the breaker with some machines.
  • Tank Size – The bigger the tank the less stopping to refill when cleaning. If you’re going to be doing a lot of automobiles and upholstery a 3-6 gallon should be ok, though if you’re doing a lot of rooms you’ll want a larger tank.
  • Weight & Size – Remember you’ll need to load the machine in a truck or van. Some machines are terribly heavy, while others aren’t.
  • CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) – This is the air flow which will assist in the drying time for the carpets
  • H20 Lift – This is how much the lift is for pulling back up the water that’s been released into the carpet. The more you lift the dryer you’ll leave the carpet. A good balance between lift and CFM tends to be better.
  • Look for attachments you’ll need. Most portable carpet extractors aren’t sold as packages so you’ll want to make sure to purchase the vacuum & solution hose, wands, upholstery tool and crevice if needed. Packages are put together occasionally so make sure to check.

In conclusion it is essential to choose the best machine for your budget when starting a cleaning business. The better the machine the greater the saving are in time spent at each job site and quality that your customers will receive. Good Luck and always feel free to visit us online and chat with a personal account manager with further questions.

The Pros and Cons of Auto Detailing Clay

When detailing clays first came into the scene they were heralded as the answer to people’s detailing their cars as safely as possible, that is, without damaging their car’s paint work and removing the toughest stains that people used to have to seek the so called professional to deal with. Suddenly, it wasn’t such hard work anymore to remove nasty gunk that stuck to cars, just an application and a mere swipe no elbow grease, no possibility of having to scratch our car’s paint work and your car would have that show room brilliance again.

Clay bars have the combined effect of mild abrasives and powerful powdered detergent to effectively clean any car of almost anything. They have become the thing to have for people who are fussy about their cars. They can remove stains as stubborn as grease and tree sap; even tar that attaches itself onto the exterior. The great bonus is that they work just as well on other materials like glass and plastic removing the need to have different products for different parts of a car’s body. You can cut out most of all the other cleaning products you would need to keep the shine on your car, which means with detailing clays you get the effects that far outdo premium polishes and waxes for cars. The only other product you will need though is a lubricant, Clay bars tend to streak if too little lubricant is used and or stick to the surface. This sticking leaves a film of residue which looks chalky and unattractive on the a surface that should be shinny. If improperly used, clays pick up grease during the cleaning process and you don’t want that as you could easily transfer this grease to the entire car. No matter how good a particular brand of clay is said to be it will not remove oxidized paint nor will it fill in blemishes. The best thing to do for a car that has mild oxidization is to remove the oxidized paint by washing and polishing the car first. Most detailing clay kits have pre-wax cleaners that fill up minor scratches and can be used to pre-wash oxidized paint work

Auto clay bars remove mostly anything but not necessarily everything. There are some types of dusts that don’t come off as easily with clay bar. Moreover they should never be dropped on a dirty floor as that might just render them unusable that’s only because they are sensitive to dirt and because dust will still to your clay that is why most are sold with hardened plastic containers that you should really always use to store your clay bars if you mean to get the mileage you want to from them. There aren’t many cons at using clay bars, that’s why most car detailing shops always use them as the best method of cleaning the car exteriors, it’s a good thing that ordinary person can now buy their own clay an cut costs by detailing their own vehicles.

How To Cut & Buff Your Car Paint Job

OK boys and girls, I’m going to chat about cutting and buffing the paint job on your car, this subject is touchy with a lot of people, who think that this step in unnecessary, and this would of course depend on what you want the car to look like when it’s completed, a cut and buffed paint job looks completely different from a non cut and buffed paint job, and yes there is a significant risk to your paint job if the person who’s doing the cutting and buffing has no experience with the process, it can devastate your new paint job, and you don’t need to re-paint your car, so be sure that they know what they are doing.

The first step after you pull the car out of the paint booth should be to unmask it, and then I suggest re-masking the car with clean masking paper, but you don’t really need to do this if you don’t want to, cleaning the buffing compound off of the car will be a lot harder if you don’t mask it again, it just kind of depends on were you want to spend your time, in my opinion it should always be done.

Now that we have that out of the way, before yo mask the car you should wash it, and then blow it off with compressed air to remove the excess water, the car can’t be clean enough before you do this step, now before I explain to you the process of cutting and buffing, I’m going to explain the draw backs of cutting and buffing the car, the reasons why a lot of people don’t like to do it.

1. The potential to damage your new paint job, there are two big reasons why some people shy away from this step, the first reason is that an inexperienced person color sanding the car may go through the clear coat of the paint and in to the color coat, and this means a paint repair on that area where they went through, or a total re-paint of the car “Not Good”, the second reason would be that if they don’t go through the base coat of the paint there is a chance that the buffer can burn the paint job, when I was learning, I had both of these things happen to me, and neither one of them are fun to fix.

2. Is the extra time that it takes to do the cutting and buffing of the car, this can be up to 20 hours of added time, if your one of those people who is always in a hurry, then it’s obvious why you’d hate this process, you absolutely cannot be in a hurry, or those bead things that I talked about earlier with without a doubt happen.

The reason why I like the paint job cut and buffed is for the look, it looks completely different from a non-buffed car, the non-buffed car will look great, don’t get me wrong here, it will have a factory looking paint job, with an ultra shine, and it will be absolutely brilliant in the sun light, but will appear that the color is on top of the paint job, as where a buffed car will look deep, like you could stick your hand in the paint and swirl it around, the decision is all yours, but I will say that if you decide to cut and buff the car, make 100% sure that the people doing the work know what they are doing.

Look at some of their work to determine if you want this done, there are a lot of shops that have this down to a science, and you don’t need to worry at all if you find the right people, that being said, this is not a step that I think a beginner should attempt, although I’m about to explain the process, if you feel confident, then go ahead and give it a try.

The Color Sanding Process:

After the car has been re-masked, you should get a bucket with water and dish soap in it, or if you feel more at home using a spray bottle load it with water and dish soap also, and then your going to want to have some 1000 grit wet sand paper to start with, and you’ll be working up to 2000 grit by the time this process is done, first you’ll need to spray the car down with water, and it does not matter where you start to color sand the car, it’s just where you feel comfortable starting from, this is a long process, so don’t get in a hurry, if you do it will be at the expense of you new paint job, OK now you’ll want to have a decent selection of sanding blocks, a cut and buff is designed to create a smooth appearance over the entire surface of the car, and if it’s done right it does a very good job of that.

Now that you have sprayed the car down with water load up your 1000 grit wet sand paper on a sanding block, I usually use a 6″ hard flat block on the large flat surfaces of the car, you never want to sand or buff the crown of any panel on your car, I use a 6″ round hard rubber block in the curved areas on the panels, at the first it will look as if it’s not doing anything, but take my word it is smoothing the clear coat on your car, when you color sand you clear coat you need to pay serious attention to what you are doing, cutting and buffing will remove any dust or runs from you paint job and smooth the surface to a brilliant deep shine.

When you start to sand the car, if your using a spray bottle you’ll spray some of the contents from the bottle on to your painted surface, and then you’ll begin to sand the clear coat with 1000 grit wet paper, make sure that you sand only in one direction, as it will be easier to buff out in the end, do not press hard on the block, let the sand paper do the work, and if you hear a squeaking sound stop now, and run some water over your sanding block and the surface of the car, a squeaking sound means that you have a piece of balled up clear coat under the block, or dirt, in either case, you do not want it there so clean the block and surface of the car.

When your sanding your paint with the 1000 grit paper, your looking for the entire surface of the car to have a smooth and dull appearance, remember that you still have to sand the clear coat with 1500 and 2000 grit sand paper, so it does not need to be perfect at this stage of the game, just make sure that you’ve sanded the entire surface of the car before you move on to the next stage.

Now you’ll repeat the same process with 1500 grit wet paper, and then 2000 grit wet paper, after you have done this, you done color sanding or cutting the clear coat, during this process yo don’t ever want to see the color of your base coat on the sanding block, this means that you have gone through the clear coat, so pay attention to what you are doing.

The Buffing Process:

Now that the cutting or color sanding process is complete on your car, you’ll want to wash all the wet sanding residue from the car, wet sanding will leave a with powder type residue on the car, and you don’t want to put the buffer to this residue, so make sure that you wash the entire car again before you get started with the buffer.

Now let’s get the buffer out and set the speed to about 800 rpm or medium speed on the speed selector, this may seem a bit slow, but you have less of a chance of burning the paint job with it set at a lower speed, and you can use water to help cool the paint as you buff the car if you want to, you’ll be starting with a heavy buffing compound and working all the way down to a swirl remover, yet another long process.

Get you courage up and your patience, and get ready to dive in head first, there is no changing your mind now.

Now put a little dab of the heavy cutting compound on the surface of the car where you want to start buffing the paint, and also I almost forgot, this needs to be done inside a garage, the sun will cause big problem with this process, what your going to do is put a wool pad on the buffer, and then pull the buffer trigger and begin to buff the heavy cutting compound off of the car, you’ll notice it starting to bring the shine up on the surface of the paint, when you run out of the heavy compound on the surface just keep adding more and moving in slow circular motions until the entire surface is buffed with the heavy compound.

You’ll repeat this process with medium cutting compound, and then light compound, and last but not least swirl remover.

When you change compounds you’ll want to have the appropriate foam pads for each step in the process, and make sure that you clean all the pads as they will get clogged with compound, you can can a pad cleaning tool from your local auto paint retailer.

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  • The Importance of Regular Car Maintenance

    Like any machine, cars need regular maintenance and care to operate properly. One of the greatest dangers to driver and passenger safety is a poorly maintained vehicle. Vehicles that do not receive regularly scheduled maintenance are unreliable and may malfunction while running, possibly causing an accident. When you decide to purchase or lease a car, make sure you know how often to check all parts and fluids for maintenance needs. Your owner’s manual will have a schedule of recommended maintenance, either by mileage or time.

    What’s the Big Deal?

    When a car is not properly tuned up, it could experience internal damage that puts the driver at risk. Even small internal damage could turn into a much bigger problem later on. A car has hundreds of parts that must all work together for the vehicle to run smoothly. An issue with one part could cause other parts to fail, leaving you stranded on a drive or causing a severe accident. Additionally, a small problem that may cause major internal damage will be much more expensive to fix later.

    When to Have Your Car Checked

    The time line for a checkup depends upon the part in question. Generally, it is recommended that you take your car in for a tuneup every 3,000 miles. Your vehicle’s oil should be changed at each of these tuneups, and other fluids such as brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid should all be checked for leaks or dirty fluid. Tires should be checked and rotated every 7,000 miles or so to ensure that they do not wear unevenly, which increases your chance of getting a flat or blown out tire. Consult your owner’s manual for other guidelines regarding maintenance.

    Many safety concerns will be checked yearly during your state inspection, but serious problems could arise during the year between inspections. Space out your car maintenance throughout the year to increase your chance of catching potentially big problems early and to make it more affordable. Preventative maintenance could save you from a costly car accident and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

    Shop Liability

    When you take your car in for a tuneup or inspection, the mechanics working on your car are responsible for ensuring that car problems are detected and that new equipment is installed properly. If you take your car in to have work done and then have car trouble that causes an accident, the auto shop may be liable for your injuries and damages. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney immediately to determine if you have grounds for initiating a lawsuit for compensation.

    For More Information

    To learn more about car maintenance concerns and accident liability, please visit the website of Sheboygan car accident lawyers Habush, Habush & Rottier, S.C. today.

    Aluminum and Magnesium Wheel Advantages for Automotive Performance in Luxury and Sport Applications

    Mark Lisnyansky, President of Magnesium Inc. notes that, “Wheel weight is very important to overall performance as it is key component in “un-sprung” vehicle mass. Generally, the accepted rule for thumb for predicting performance benefits from sprung vs. un-sprung weight reduction is a factor of approximately 4:1. For every pound of un-sprung mass eliminated a four fold advantage is gained in vehicle performance parameters. For example, forged magnesium, large diameter wheels ( 20″-22″) increase the weight advantage over aluminum by eliminating, on average, 70-75 lbs. un-sprung mass, which would provide the same acceleration time and braking distance benefit as eliminating 250-300 pounds from the vehicle engine, chassis or passenger compartment.” Mr. Lisnyansky goes on to say that, “By virtue of these lighter wheels, forged wheels are at least 20% lighter, sustaining equal loads with better characteristics, which is always easier on the car and its suspension. Lighter wheels also yield shorter breaking distance, which saves lives, shorter acceleration and reduces fuel consumption.”

    The forged aluminum and magnesium wheel manufacturing process is critical to wheel strength. They are produced by applying extremely high forces to base material in a contained die. The forged wheel blanks, or “pre-forms”, undergo very beneficial changes in metallurgical grain structure during this process. The more random grain structure found in standard cast wheels becomes a more highly organized and aligned grain structure when wheels are forged. More importantly, forged wheel metallurgical microstructure in both aluminum and magnesium can be further oriented in the forging process to provide the highest material strength exactly where wheels see the highest loading from road surface hazards or from lateral and other loading generated by the vehicles own inertia. Going one step further, today’s advanced computer aided modeling techniques allow the wheel manufacturer and the automaker to collaborate in optimizing a specific forged wheel geometry and design for the utmost strength and safety on the vehicle.

    SMW Engineering, a division of Magnesium.com is a leader in developing magnesium wheels. Engineers at Magneisum.com acknowledge another important feature of forged wheels over low pressure cast wheels is the integrity of surface finish achievable. Most final wheel styles and finish combinations are enhanced by the density and uniformity of cosmetic surfaces on forged wheels. This is particularly important on higher-end vehicle applications where a bright wheel finish is desired but chrome plating is not an alternative due to mass, cost and environmental considerations. Forged, bright polished wheels certainly make a dramatic addition to the vehicles appearance and aesthetics.

    While forging processing cost is higher than the standard, low-pressure casting process used on wheels that come as original equipment on many vehicles, even the most cost-conscious auto manufacturers do install forged wheels on their highest performing vehicles. By optimizing wheel strength through process and material choices, the many benefits in overall vehicle performance will make forged magnesium wheels one of the key milestones in upcoming production vehicle refinement, performance and safety improvement.

    Technology in forging magnesium wheels is always advancing. With the new technologies come new applications in forging and coating. SMW Engineering and Magnesium.com are researching and testing new design methods regularly. The racing world, automotive and motorcycle, has for some time adopted magnesium wheels as efficient tools for weight reduction, better handling and increased performance. Luxury car and bike manufacturers are now meeting consumer interest and demand for not only high-performance magnesium wheels but exclusively designed and coated magnesium wheels.

    Magnesium.com recently announced the introduction of one-piece, forged magnesium wheels for street use in North America. The wheels are 20 to 30 percent lighter than forged aluminum and offer increased safety and performance.

    “The U.S. wheel market is quite formidable and we intend to supply a smaller but very important segment of the 100 million vehicle wheels used in North America,” said Mark Lisnyansky, President of Magnesium.com. “We will provide the best-in-class wheels that automakers can offer as an option on new vehicles and consumers can add to their present vehicles.”

    The magnesium alloy wheels are initially available in 20 and 22-inch sizes, and are treated with a high-tech anti-corrosion coating. The company will also be developing wheels in various sizes and compositions for specific North American applications.

    “Steel wheels are becoming nearly obsolete and the prevailing trend is toward cast aluminum wheels. While most people are not familiar with forged wheels, performance car enthusiasts know that forged wheels offer significant advantages, and forged magnesium wheels, which are lighter and much stronger than their aluminum counterparts, are the next logical step in optimizing vehicle performance.”

    Magnesium wheels offer consumers improved safety by shortening braking distances and delivering higher acceleration rates as well as improving gas mileage. There is also the dampening factor of magnesium, which allows for vibrations caused by road imperfections to be absorbed six times more effectively.

    Mr. Lisnyansky added that along with the safety aspects, “forged magnesium wheels will also provide appreciable impact to vehicle performance by decreasing un-sprung mass, an important performance factor.”

    Using specialized aviation industry equipment, the company has been producing Superbike and Formula One competition wheels for many years. The wheels are forged in Russia by a subsidiary and then machined and finished in Italy.

    Why not build a finishing line in Russia? “Prospective customers, primarily automotive original equipment manufacturers, often require the comfort level of having their suppliers’ wheels produced locally, even if the forging itself arrives from Russia,” Lisnyansky said.

    Magnesium.com recently held a “Best New Wheel Design” competition, and is negotiating with several large distributors to establish a joint machining and finishing facility in the U.S. The company is considering an acquisition of or a joint venture with a local wheel company with an existing high-end market presence and brand name recognition.