A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Video: This is How You Thank Your Sponsors

12/12/2011 @ 10:19 am, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

Video: This is How You Thank Your Sponsors Sylvain Bidart Luc1 Supermoto video 635x437

Winning the French Supermoto National Championship, Sylvain Bidart and the Luc1 team have a lot to be thankful for this year, and they of course couldn’t have achieved their victory without the help of their sponsors. So the French team put together a video, with some more-than-strategic product placement for the team’s main sponsors: Honda, Michelin, Ixon, & Intermarché. Is it a nine minute rolling advertisement for these brands? Absolutely. Did we watch it six times and giggle like little girls? Maybe…yeah, yeah we did.

But after riding the BRD RedShift SM Prototype and watching clips like this one (note the RotoR camera footage), it’s hard not to go buy a dirt bike and some 17″ wheels this very second. Serious fun on two wheels is being had here, and with our local karting tracks only charging $40 for a supermoto track day, the sport hits our wallet in all the right places. Hrrrmmm…

Source: MotoBlog.fr via Two Wheels Blog

Comment:

  1. napcae says:

    awesome and mind blowing!<3

  2. Brammofan says:

    Great fun! I’m trying to figure out how they got those ‘rotating camera around the head’ shots. I’d love to see the rig that does that.

  3. john says:

    @ Brammofan. I was wondering the same thing?

  4. bikepilot says:

    Just get yourself a ‘tard (and dirt bike) already Mr. Beeler!

  5. Daz says:

    Cool stuff. I want a CRF.

  6. BobD says:

    I think Honda should release a limited run factory CRF450 X or R that comes factory supermoto, with less offset triples, slipper clutch, and shorter, wider swingarm. Also make that bike street legal, but that comes also with racing number plate, tail and exhaust as extras in the kit.

    Play this advert, and then make a bunch of money! (also make a deal with cops to get a share of the wheelie and backing-it-in tickets)

    Also @Beeler: Get a mototard! learn to ride it! Learn to love it! once you go BrAAAp, you never go back.

  7. That’s the RotoR cam that I mention in the article. It’s basically a suction-cup base with a boom that rotates 360 degrees. At one end of the boom is a GoPro or similar camera, and the other end is a counter-balance.

  8. Brammofan says:

    Oops. Guess I should RTFA. Thanks Jensen.

  9. No worries Harry, it’s not like it was linked up or anything. *eyeroll* lol

  10. Bob, I definitely want to get on one. I’m kicking around this idea of a series that might go something like “Dirt Bikes for Asphalt Junkies” which will chronicle my epic journey from track day hero to dirt track zero.

  11. Steve says:

    I started racing Supermoto at 55. It made me feel 19 again. It is the most fun you can have without laughing. BrAAp!

  12. fazer6 says:

    I’m starting to hope Honda also replaces the CRF230SM with the new 250 liquid lump.

  13. fazer6 says:

    Although, I know, I know, it won’t be a REAL motard–But at least it’ll be affordable and street legal.

  14. Marc F says:

    Steve, I definitely laugh out loud every time I’m on a supermoto. It has demoted my R6 from “play bike” to “utility bike” status.

  15. This is so bad ass…supermoto hooligan fun http://t.co/T2q0njSC via @asphalt_rubber

  16. Greg says:

    Love it, although I think he probably got the idea from Ken Block’s videos. I think if more manufacturers would get involved in this kind of advertising they’d enjoy more sales. Very creative and entertaining.

  17. MikeD says:

    If only HonDuh built and sold something remotely close to thats race bike from it’s 250-450 Motocrossers.

    Or something close to this:

    http://www.yamaha-motor.eu/eu/products/motorcycles/street/xt660x.aspx?view=media#http://cdn.yamaha-motor.eu/product_assets/2012/XT660RSM/2012-Yamaha-XT660X-SUPERMOTARD-EU-Yamaha-Black-Studio-001_gal_full.jpg|ymeGallery1|

  18. MikeD says:

    Or for that matter anything like the line of street legal dirt bikes[EXC 450-530 & 690 Enduro R] that KTM offers.

  19. Hollywood says:

    I got 10 seasons doing supermoto, it’s awesome, but it’s harder than it looks, as for putting a CRF on the street, the maintence will eat you out of house and home

  20. MikeD says:

    @Hollywood:

    True, but…it doesn’t have to be the fire-breathing beast the CRF450F currently is…u know, something less HP and with 10,000 valve check intervals ?

  21. Dawg says:

    If you don’t have a Supermoto in your garage you are seriously missing out on a whole lot of laughs.

    I’ve had one for three years and quite a few mates are now buying them after seeing how much fun they are. Our rideout routes have got narrower and more interesting now too! At least we avoid the speed traps on the fast roads and have found some real hidden gems of country lanes. They are also ideal machines for riding in town with quick steering and supple suspension.

  22. Supermotard fun ! belle manière de dire merci aux sponsors ! http://t.co/PEnLzKFu

  23. bikepilot says:

    Bob, I suspect that the CRF would need a ground-up redesign to be street legal from the factory. Some fool would take it and run it down the slab at 80mph for hours and blow it up. To make it survive street squids and big miles honda would have to do what yamaha did with the WR250R/X — ground up new machine with the end result being a bike that’s 50lbs too heavy to be any good on the track. I think there is a market for a good ~450cc street ‘tard, but when and if it comes out it’ll be more WRR/DRZ than I suspect and competitive SM’ers will still be converting MX bikes or buying euro bikes.

    Jensen, sounds like a fun article topic, I’m always available to show you motorcycling’s dirty side =p One possible way to do the article would be for you to compete in (or at least try out) every major form of off road riding. Go do a dirt track race, a trials competition, a MX race, a desert race, an east-coast enduro, a hare scramble race, etc. I think asphalt-only riders tend to think of dirt riding as one sport when in reality there’s probably more similarities in road racing and dirt track than there is between dirt track and trials–you could really open up the diversity of unpaved 2-wheeled motorsports for the uninitiated.

  24. Westward says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed that video, best part was, showing the guys cleaning up the tread marks off the floor at the Honda facility… That was hilarious…

    Bravo

  25. Hollywood says:

    mine makes 60+ and is a time bomb, as for making them slower and 10k valve adj’ments wheres the fun in that? Supermoto is a very specific sport, think of them as long travel roadrace bikes you motocross, foot out not knee out, Schwinn Stingray style!!

  26. MikeD says:

    Hollywood, that’s just being selfish.

    Some of us just want to ride as often as possible, not ride and wrench as often as possible and worriying about the time bomb making a gazillion HP at the verge of destruction.

    Besides, it wouldn’t hurt to get more “regular”(as in NOT Mechanics) people involved on this class.

    U got the skills, cool, u can do ur wrenching, cool…just don’t try to measure everyone with the same stick…u are just “too hardcore”. LOL.

    Where’s the fun of 10k miles valve check intervals u say ? In not having to check it for 10k miles and just ride the piss off of it. Clear as day-light.

  27. Hollywood says:

    lol, you got a point, but once you’ve ridden a real supermoto it’s hard to go back, that being said I would love for more people to come out and ride. We lost our pro series due to Ama incompitence, but more bodies on the am grid would awesome, come out to Infineon Kart Track sunday and check it out, Footout!!!

  28. MikeD says:

    @Hollywood:

    Would love to, but…im on the other side of the country(S.Florida).
    That been said…they do have something similar around my neck of the woods.

    Here: http://305motard.com/

  29. jeff_williams says:

    Just go out and get a used DRZ SM for $3k and ride the crap out of it. I was bitten by the sumo bug almost 4 years ago and now I can’t imagine wanting to ride anything else. Even when it’s raining I ride the supermoto just because it puts a grin on my face.

  30. Phil says:

    Oh yeah, those product placements were REAL subtle!!!