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.

The Honda CB1000R You Won’t See in America

09/07/2009 @ 10:09 am, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

The Honda CB1000R You Wont See in America 2010 Honda CB1000R 23 560x373

Take a good look at the Honda CB1000R, because you won’t see it here stateside. That’s right, its de-tuned CBR1000RR motor, single-side swingarm, and streetfighter looks will be staying on the other side of the pond, and we think we’re the lesser for it.

Honda might be the lesser for it as well. With no fairing-less sportbike in its arsenal, we have to wonder what the folks in Japan were thinking on not making the CB available in the US. The only conclusion we can come to is that they just don’t like being competitve in the largest motorcycle market in the world worried that the CB would cannibalize on VFR sales.

But, seeing as how we all know the Interceptor as we know it won’t exist in 2010 (and is slated to fill a different hole in Honda’s line-up), we still have a hard time wrapping our heads around this strategy. Apparently at Honda, sportbikes must still have fairings in order to his US soil. We guess us American riders will have to somehow manage with the Tuono, Streetfighter, Z1000, FZ1, & B-King’s available to us…or move to Europe.

None-the-less, with its Fireblade heritage the CB1000R has impressive performance characteristics and go-fast parts. Stopping its 123hp/73lbs•ft motor, are radial brakes up front, that with the optional C-ABS package, are linked to the rear brakes for maximum applied stopping power. We imagine with some modest modifications, CB owners will be able to get the full CBR pep out of the engine bay, and create a real street-scorcher that looks great too.

If the bike looks familiar, then you have a good eye. Borrowing from the concepts of the VFR1200 we’ve seen, the 2010 CB1000R has the same exhaust and swingarm aesthetics. Setting it apart from the VFR though is the bikes color palette, which includes paint schemes in:  Pearl Nightstar Black, Matt Vanguard Beige, Metallic Pearl Siena Red/Pearl Nightstar Black, and Pearl Cool White, all of which are available on both the standard and C-ABS model.

We’ll see the CB1000R at this year’s EICMA convention, expect more photos then. Until then, watch the drool.

Technical Specifications of the 2010 Honda CB1000R:

EngineLiquid cooled, four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder.
Capacity998
Bore x Stroke75 x 56.5 mm
Compression Ratio11.2:1
InductionPGM-F1 Electronic fuel injection36mm throttle bodies
ClutchWet, multiplate with coil springs.
Ignition / StartingComputer controlled digital transistorized / electric
Max Power123.4 hp 92 KW @ 10000 rpm
Max Torque100 Nm 73.8 ft-lb @ 8000 rpm
Transmission / Drive6 Speed / chain
Gear Ratio1: 2.538 (33/13) / – 2: 1.941 (33/17) / – 3: 1.579 (30/19) / – 4: 1.363 (30/22) / – 5: 1.217 (28/23) / – 6: 1.115 (29/26)
FrameMono-back born coast aluminous
Front Suspension43mm Inverted HMAS cartridge type telescopic forks, with stepless reload, compression and rebound adjustable, 120mm wheel travel.
Rear SuspensionMonoshock with gas charged HMAS damper rebound adjustable, 128mm wheel travel.
Front Brakes2x 310mm discs 3 piston calipers
Rear BrakesSingle 256mm disc 2 piston caliper
Front Tyre120/70 ZR17
Rear Tyre180/50 ZR17
Seat Height828mm / 32.6 in
Dry-Weight217 kg
Fuel Capacity17 Litres
Consumption average18.3 km/lit
Standing ¼ Mile11.3 sec
Top Speed228.6 km/h

Comment:

  1. this is a very bad omen in regards to the u.s. availability of a v4 naked, if ever one should actually appear… :(

    it’s very frustrating, but sales are sales, if we had a market like france, with z-750/z-1000 sales the way they are, we would definitely see this bike on our shores; but alas, faired sports bikes, harleys, and bmw’s rule the americas.

    also, i liked the “Matt Vanguard Beige” (aka tan) from the get-go.

    great write-up man, and yeah, i definitely need a bib.
    -peter

  2. Gary says:

    This is an awesome bike, perfect for the US market, and I can’t believe Honda isn’t willing to bring it here. I never quite understand those decisions – there must be costs involved to make it legal for the US market that they don’t want to take on…?

    This bike is right up my alley and I would seriously consider one. I guess I’ll have to make due with my lighter, more powerful Triumph Speed Triple! :-)

    I can’t imagine they wouldn’t sell more CBs than Furies (Fury’s?). Bad decision Honda.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Alas Honda seems to understand that naked sport oriented bikes that seem to thrive in other markets tend to wither and die in the US.

    I love nakeds (streetfighters), I also still think they are more suited for street duties than any repli-racer I know of. But in the US market the choices made by those that buy bikes are rather myopic. Dirtbikes, Fared bikes (race, sport tourers, tourers), cruisers. The minor smattering of others often struggle to remain viable and often are found at large discounts as they are found rusting and taking space on the dealers sales floor. (B-king, z1000, even the 919 before retirement, FZ-6 and FZ-1 isnt a common as they deserve to be either. Euro streetfighters likely because of their size seem to have a more agreeable economy of scale, I dunno but they seem to survive okay..’Il Monstro’ is Ducati’s bread and butter right?

    A consumers eye tells them that a naked bike should cost lest (significantly) than a fared bike here in the US, just because of the perception of ‘less bike’. Often they are awfully close in price or a tad more. I see the added efforts that go into painting the engine cases, routing of cables, components to visually clean things up that you can get away with not doing so well if you have a faring covering things but there you go.

    I have $12k at the ready and I’m gonna look at a CBR100rr with it’s power, specs, faring, my peers riding in squadrons on hot summer days and I’m going to say …nah..let me get the lower powered, non-clip on, ‘softened’ streetbike and lose is a straight line every time by any liter race bike out there. I understand the narrowminded silly-ness of that thought as I swear by nakeds and own one (Speed Triple) and love it but it’s a hard cookie for others to break here.

    It’s almost like you have to be older and wiser to make sense of it. Europe and Asia also tend to have more densely packed and environments more suited for naked streetbikes. The USA has wide open spaces, crazy amouts of super-slab and for me the simple truth about a faring-less street bike at speed is that the sustained windblast can be a chore at times. Motorcycles are generally not primary means of functional transportation in the US, more than not they are our ‘escape’ and ‘toy’. If you add a faring..the mini-farings seems often slighty efeminate versions of what is possible when compared to a race-ready look of the repli-racer..and the half-fared bikes are…”well why not go full faring”..always seeking a reason to compare it with not going for the full repli-racer it seems. It’s a shame..

    Once you ride a naked bike it seems that you get to understand it and experience what is so great about them but test rides are generally not available for anything other than Triumphs, BMW’s, and Harleys. Under 30-males are not so individualistic as they might proclaim, the riding season is evidence of this…glaringly so.

    I suggest Honda have a fleet of purely demonstration models that dealers are instructed are solely for test rides (give away test rides to licensed, insured and ‘waver signed’ riders over 25 yrs old) and allow them a couple of hours to take a significant spin. Have models that are carried to every bike event (like Can-Am did for the Spyder pre launch), the specs on the bike are already out there, lots of folks express an interest but expression doesnt always translate to purchase as we know, but give away seat time, give it freely, build the buzz.

    Jeez I can prattle on when given a chance….Let me put a plug in it…just my meandering thoughts here…

  4. Ricardo says:

    Ugly.

    Don’t bring it.