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 Honda VFR1200F US MSRP Set at $15,999

12/07/2009 @ 1:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

2010 Honda VFR1200F US MSRP Set at $15,999 2010 honda vfr1200f action shots 7 560x373

A few weeks ago we announced that the Honda VFR1200F would cost nearly €15,000 in the European market, and speculated that the price here in the US would be $15,000 +/- about a grand. Well it looks like we were right, as American Honda Motors has announced that the base model 2010 Honda VFR1200F will come with an MSRP of $15,999.

With this price point, Honda is pitting their new VFR squarely against the likes of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 ($14,995, $16,495, or $19,995 depending on trim level) and the BMW K1300S ($15,550, $15,800, or $17,800 depending on trim level). Since the VFR1200F appears to be more touring oriented in its sport-touring heritage, the up-tick in price seems to reflect the idea that this is a motorcycle meant to ridden across the country without sacrificing power and handling.

We still await news on the DSG equipped VFR’s pricing. More on that as we get it.

Comment:

  1. johnstarky says:

    Cool bike, but overpriced RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 2010 Honda VFR1200F MSRP Set at $15,999 – http://bit.ly/6ukw6o #motorcycle

  2. Hayabrusa says:

    Well, I guess some of them Honda people are a bit smarter than I give them credit for! I mean, yeah, they didn’t become the world’s biggest motorcycle brand by being dummies! But, as I squirmed, waiting for the VFR 1200 price, my personal thought was that $17k was too much and would turn off a lot of people. If a Honda costs as much as a BMW or Ducati, I’m buying European! So, Honda comes in at $16k – high enough to make me complain, but not so high that I rule it out entirely, ahhh the planning that must have went into that!! Luckily, I have 6 months to roll dice (to pick a bike) before it gets warm enough to ride one here!

  3. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 2010 Honda VFR1200F MSRP Set at $15,999 – http://bit.ly/6ukw6o #motorcycle

  4. 2010 Honda VFR1200F MSRP Set at $15,999 – http://bit.ly/6ukw6o #motorcycle

  5. honda car says:

    2010 Honda VFR1200F US MSRP Set at $15999: A few weeks ago we announced that the Honda VFR1200F would cost near.. http://bit.ly/5Xqtpv

  6. MarkF says:

    After loosing my 5th gen VFR (my 3rd) and my ST1100 (my 2nd) to a house fire I have been looking for a replacement(s). This gen of VFR had been high on my list since I was not a fan of the VTEC but had a strong desire for another VFR. What really turns me off here is the tank size. At 5 gallons this thing is in no ways a sport-touring bike. Touring just doesn’t happen with only 5 gallons on board. When going up against bikes like BMW K series, Ducati Multistrada 1200, Kawasaki GTR1400, and others in the same price ballpark you had better bring something equal, or greater, capabilities. I don’t see that here. Even ignoring the small tank other features that should be standard are missing (adjustable windscreen, side cases/saddlebags, heated grips, traction control, etc)

    As outrageous as it may sound, Honda needs to undercut the competition on price with this one if it wants to be competitive. I predict there will be plenty of 2010 VFR leftover next year to keep their DN-01 stablemates company in dealers backrooms.

  7. Rich Franklin says:

    16k It will have to be faster than my Blackbird to make that price fly

  8. Mike says:

    Ya ya ya . Thanks Honda!! I bought the yamaha Vmax 2009 which has a current 2010 MSRP of $19500. Luckily I bought first year for $1000 under msrp (17999). Best bike ever made.. V4 engines just Rock. I will buy this Honda because of the V4 and the fact that I can get it serviced anywhere!! The nearest Duc dealer is 72 miles away. The nearest BMW dealer 105 miles away. I wonder how far away the district guru who approves my warranty issue is? Thanks Honda for investing in my fun. Thats why I will buy Honda. Just for the record I own two aprilia motorcycles. I love them. The dealers suck. They have not invested in the computers or programs needed to service the bikes yet are allowed to sell them? Yes thats a question mark.. One of the dealers is a ford dealership/aprilia motorcycle dealer?? I go in and ask questions when I am in a bad mood just to watch them scramble..lol.. MSRP isn’t everything is my point!!!

  9. Jeff says:

    I second Mike’s comment about dealers. I have a Honda dealer 1/2 mile away and several others within easy driving distance. I am interested in a Mana 850GT. The only Aprilia dealer in my mid-western city of just under a million people doesn’t even have a service department. He has made arrangements with an independent shop. No Ducati dealer in town any more and the BMW dealer visits three days a week from another town 95 miles away to truck bikes back for service. The next nearest BMW dealer is one state away. So you dance with the one that brought you. Years ago when traveling across country I started keeping track of car and bike dealers in small rural towns. Ford and Honda show up where no one else sets up shop. Honda is expensive and sometimes their models go on too long and become long in the tooth. But they have always been there and will likely remain for years to come. Maybe their conservative ways make business sense. When American bikes begin to fade from the scene Honda kept the sport alive. And they do come up with great bikes every once in awhile.

    That said I’ve seen some rather ugly and/or strange bikes showing up on Honda show room floors. Rune and DN-01 for example. (My apologies if I stepped on someone’s toes) My dealer claims they sell but I have my doubts. I do sometimes wonder how Honda does it’s pre-production marketing surveys.

  10. Shadow says:

    16 grand?
    That’s horrid for a bike… -_-