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.

2010 Ducati 848 Dark – $12,995 MSRP [UPDATED]

11/09/2009 @ 6:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

2010 Ducati 848 Dark   $12,995 MSRP [UPDATED] 2010 Ducati 848 Dark Superbike 560x358

UPDATE: The 848 Dark will be the same spec as the standard 848, photos now added.

We had expected to see a new Ducati 848 unveiled at EICMA this week, but the model we were expecting was a higher spec version of the bike, an 848S. Instead Ducati brings us the 2010 Ducati 848 Dark, which will retail a full $1,000 less than “base” 848.

Obviously drawing from the previous inceptions of the 748 & 749 Dark variants, were a little confused with Ducati’s pricing on the new 848 Dark as no visible downgrades have been made. We’ll get to see the 848 Dark up close tomorrow, and hopefully will have more answers then.

Comment:

  1. Sean Mitchell says:

    I hate the “dark” concept, it cheapens the line.

  2. BikePilot says:

    I prefer the look of shiny paint, but the idea of a less-expensive model makes sense to me. Especially in this economic climate.

  3. 2010 Ducati 848 Dark – $12,995 MSRP – http://bit.ly/2jQomL #motorcycle

  4. Bjorn says:

    When the Monster Dark was released, we recieved dealer information stating that the rationale behind the Dark was that so many people were heavily modifying the bike that a cheaper base model was being released as a platform to encourage this.
    The 600 Dark was a huge seller, serving as an introduction to Ducati for many riders.
    As to how many went on to be modified, I couldn’t say. But the number of people who want a nice bike without all the bells and whistles is legion. A lot of riders want to get on and ride their bikes; they don’t want to think about the compression damping on their forks or are not interested in paying for a carbon fibre mudguard that will reduce the unsprung weight.
    From Ducati’s point of view, cheaper models that allow them to compete with the big four on price can only be a good thing.
    With respect to Sean Mitchells opinion, styling the line up to look like their top of the line sports model has been a Ducati marketing technique dating back 50 years to the 85 Sport being styled like the 98 or 125 Sport.
    I don’t begrudge anyone buying a dark for financial reasons or because of a realistic assessment of their needs, personally I’d retain my illusions about my needs and spend the extra dollars for the S spec model.

  5. i have to say, i love the darks!
    -peter

  6. Snacktastic says:

    I read on another site that the dark will not have downgraded specs. Not sure how ducati was able to lower the price if this is truly the case.

    This bike has definitely piqued my interest. I’ve been shopping around for a new bike and have been very disappointed in what the big four have to offer in 2010. My choices will now be the 848 dark or the bmw s1000rr, maybe even the rsv4r…

  7. Ceolwulf says:

    Ducatis are supposed to be red :(

  8. Idiot says:

    uh…a CF mudguard will not reduce unsprung weight.

  9. Bjorn says:

    Dear Idiot,
    Let’s assume a carbon fibre mudguard weighs less than a standard mudguard, how can it not reduce the unsprung weight?
    Don’t forget that the unsprung weight comprises the wheel, tyre, axle, brake disc(s), brake caliper(s), fork lowers (or swingarm) and mudguard.
    Unless you are assuming the mudguard is mounted to the lower triple clamp as on a trailbike or you are talking about a rear frame mounted mudguard.
    I probably should have been more specific, but I was thinking about the carbon front guard fitted on the higher spec Ducati models.
    Hopefully I’ve made my point clearer to you. That said, if you still think I’m talking crap, please enlighten me.
    Bjorn.

  10. EC says:

    Lay your finger over the mudguard and it looks so much better!

  11. Jeremy says:

    I always wanted an 848. Think it is the purest of the Ducati superbike range. A true successor to the Ducati 748. Shame its not available in yellow.

    Found out through the Desmo Club, that you can rent a Ducati 848 in the South of France from a company called Columbus ( http://www.columbus-international.com ) in Cannes. Took their 848 out for a weekend and had the time of my life. The bike has razor-sharp handling and is pure joy on the twisties of the Provence hills. The engine is awesome with decent punch throughout the rev range. Not to mention the amazing looks! Only thing I didn’t like was the amount of heat this bike produces in stop and go traffic. It gets really hot for the rider. But I could live with that.

    Hope Ducati brings out a lightweight 848R. Would do this model justice instead of chasing after bigger and more powerful engines the whole time.

  12. Court says:

    Can’t the bike be bought and then painted red?

  13. Kooskia says:

    You can get it in red – but not at the “dark” price. I assume that the dark version is simply a marketing ploy. If you want custom paint, buy Sharkskinz bodywork and save your factory plastic for later.

    I have a white 848, with a couple of mods (the full track kit and a Ohlins steering damper) and think I have found the perfect bike for Northern California’s twisties – and this summer the occasional track day.

  14. Ryan says:

    love the matte black. and this time it’s not lesser-spec’d!

    What i really long for though, is the Streetfighter with an 848 engine.