Two wheel drive off-road motor cycle.

How on Earth do you make a 2WD motor bike?i Well, the front wheel gets its power through a drive shaft that runs through the frame via a knot joint under the handle bars to a gear box right above the front fender. From there the power is distributed via a chain, just like the one on the back wheel. The Rokon bike is not like any other. It is a work horse without the fancy stuff featured on many other bikes. It has no speedometer, no odometer, no fuel gauge and no warning lights. Nowadays it has a spring loaded seat, but this was an option for many years. You start it with a pull string, like a lawn mower or an old outboard motor. On the other hand, the Rokon bikes have a bunch of other smart features. The front disc brake is placed behind the front light, hidden from dirt and moisture. The hitch (of course they can pull a trailer) is movable to allow the back wheel to be in contact with the ground at all times, and the wheels are hollow to allow storage of extra fuel or drinking water (between 3.17 and 4.5 gallons depending on wheel size. You could also cross a stream by letting the bike float across. The motor is a 6.6 hp four-stroke. It is not exactly a racer, but torque and power has been the priority, here. The Rokon is popular among hunters and fishermen, and it has also been used by US Special Forces in both Vietnam and the Gulf. Brazilian and Jordanian Special Forces have also acquired the bike. A Rokon Trail-Breaker is about SEK 60,000:- (plus VAT) in Sweden (That is about USD 9,000:-). More on Rokon USA.

Smart watering can won the Rusta Design Award 2007.

Jonas Forsman, with the Twin watering can above, won the Rusta Design Award of 2007. The jury, chaired by Alexander Lervik, thought that the can showed a playful design and that it was a multifunctional watering can, both decorative and practical. The can can be used in different ways depending on how you wish to do your watering. There is the usual narrow spout, and then there is a wide mouth that can be covered by turning the removable rose for soft watering. The Rusta Design Award is presented by Rusta (building materials firm) and Svensk Form in cooperation with the purpose of encouraging young Swedish designers. Besides the bragging rights, Jonas Forsman collected SEK 20,000:- (about USD 3,000:-) and the chance of more income if and when his design enters production.brbr

Hydraulic bike hanger.

A hydraulic bicycle lift like this would make it pretty simple to hang the bike on the wall. It appears to have been meant for garages or storage rooms, but it could serve just as nicely in the hall of our apartment. (We don’t like to leave our bikes outside overnight). Perhaps painted white. The hydraulics are supposed to be the same as is used in liftback trucks and cars. Found on Brookstone where it is USD 49:95. brbr

Double thermos for outings with both coffee and tea.

The twin containers in this thermos flask are completely independent from each other. This means you can bring something hot in one, and something cold in the other. Or a drink in one and food in the other. Or coffee and cognac. Or whatever you like. The thermos comes from Swedish Bozlé and it is made in stainless steel. It comes with two cups and two extra bowls plus a carrying strap and it is about SEK 390:- (approx. USD 58:-).brbr

Hands-on with the adjustable measuring scoop.

We have been waiting for the adjustable scoop to surface in Sweden, and now we have had the opportunity to try it out in our own kitchen for a few days. The fact that impresses us the most, is that the scoop is actually quite water tight when you wish to measure something liquid, like vodka for instance. It works equally well for dry stuff, like flour or sugar. The scoop comes from Swiss Dalla Piazza and is available in two sizes. The smaller one measures from 1/8 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons; the larger one from 2 tablespoons up to 1/2 cup or 1 to 4.5 oz. The small one- is about USD 12:- and its big brother- about USD 14:-.brbr

Two piece picnic cutlery.

Since you can take this cutlery kit apart, you can actually use both the fork and the knife at the same time. Besides the fork and the knife, the kit also sports can opener, bottle opener, cork screw and a spike. The black surface is made from a rubber-like material that is actually very comfortable to hold. The kit comes from Swedish Bozlé, and is about SEK 95:- (approx. USD 14:-).brbr

Energy saving pot helps getting dinner ready.

Well, it is not a pressure cooker, even though one might think so at first. But it is a clever system that helps cooking and saves energy at the same time. Here is how it works. You bring your vegetables, stew or whatever you want to prepare to a boil with the lid on. After that you reduce the heat to the lowest and let the pot sit for a couple of minutes. Then you put the pot into the insulating heat-retaining bowl where the food cooks using the heat already built up in the pot. The bowl can keep the food warm up to 2 hours, saving the energy that would have been spent keeping the pot simmering. It is called Hotpan and it comes from Swiss Kuhn Rikon.brbr

Coffee scoop and bag clamp – all-in-one.

We found this in the Danish design firm Brix’s stand. They sell all kinds of smart products and aids. This thing is really a mash-up of an ordinary bag clamp and a coffee scoop, but it is kinda clever to put them together. It is smart, it is simple and it is reasonably low-cost. The scoop/clamp is available in different sizes from tiny to LARGE, meant for sacks of dog food. The RRP in Sweden is SEK 29:00, (about USD 4:20).brbr

Garlic Zoom, the rolling garlic chopper.

Inside the transparent plastic top a number of sharp rotating knives is waiting to chop up your garlic. From one to 3 or 4 at a time of they are not too big. The power that drives the knives comes from the the wheels at the bottom, and to start chopping you just have to roll the chopper back and forth along the counter top, cutting board or your own arm. The whole thing comes apart for washing in the dishwasher. It is from Chef’n (we have mentioned them several times before) and it will be available in stores in the fall at SEK 159:- (about USD 23:-).brbr

Grater and collecting vessel all in one.

EvaSolo does not usually disappoint when it comes to kitchen tools and gadgets. Neither in form nor function. This new grater is both sleek and practical. The designers, Henrik Holbæk and Claus Jensen, who have created the entire Eva-Solo catalog, have again managed to think outside the box and have combined the classic grater with the collection bowl in something we are inclined to call grating beaker. It is made from stainless steel in one piece, needs no assembly, and has no moving or loose parts. Genius. Will be available in shops later this fall for about SEK 269:- (about USD 40:-).brbr