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 Yamaha Fazer8 ABS – Also Officially Official & With Anti-Lock Brakes

03/12/2010 @ 2:47 am, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT

2010 Yamaha Fazer8 ABS   Also Officially Official & With Anti Lock Brakes Yamaha Fazer8 ABS 635x476

Along with the 2010 Yamaha FZ8, Yamaha Europe has finally officially released the 2010 Yamaha Fazer8 ABS. The 800cc cousin to the FZ8, the Fazer8 gets the obvious anti-lock brake treatment as the name implies. Drawing on styling cues from the larger FZ1, the FazerOcho distinguishes itself by what lies beneath its exposed motor. As was rumored, the Fazer8 borrows from the FZ1′s 998cc motor’s stroke length, making up the smaller displacement with a smaller bore diameter (68mm down from 77mm). Check out the full technical specifications and photos after the jump.

Previous Fazer owners will probably find the Fazer8′s near 485lbs of wet weight as an unwelcomed change from their more slender 600cc counter-parts (450lbs wet), which this bike now replaces. However the Fazer8′s 50% more torque (Fazer8: 62lbs•ft, FZ6: 46lbs•ft) on tap should help quiet the restless souls who have just seen their favorite motorcycle discontinued.

Like the FZ8, the Fazer8 carries many elements over from both the FZ1 and FZ6. However while the FZ8 gets a nose job, the Fazer8 retains the bird/moth/grasshopper head of a front fairing. New for 2010 is the obvious addition of 310mm front disc brakes, which are grappled to a rolling stop by the new ABS system on board. This is done to not only help the bike stop better on uncertain road conditions, but it also seems that Yamaha is trying to segment the market between the two models.

While the FZ8 is geared more towards the performance enthusiast meets street hooligan, the Fazer8′s marketing material is clearly aimed at the sport-tourer inside all of us, making the Fazer8 the proverbial Swiss Army knife of the motorcycling world. The ABS brakes seem to play up this role, and position the bike as an “any situation” rider. Time will tell how that works out for the tuning fork brand. European pricing starts at €8,690, and the Fazer8 comes in white, blue, and black.

Technical Specifications of the 2010 Yamaha Fazer8 ABS:

Features
  • A design study in understatement
  • New 779cc engine
  • Instant torque meets slingshot horsepower
  • Aluminium frame
  • Semi-faired for comfort and sleek aerodynamics
  • Slim fuel tank and compact, roomy ergonomics
Engine
Engine type:Liquid cooled 4-stroke, DOHC Forward-inclined parallel 4-cylinder
Displacement:779 cc
Bore x stroke:68.0 × 53.6mm
Compression ratio:12.0: 1
Maximum power:78.1KW (106.2PS) / 10000 rpm
Maximum torque:82.0Nm (8.4kgf・m) / 8000 rpm
Lubrication system:Wet sump
Carburettor:Electronic Fuel Injection
Clutch type:Wet, multiple-disc coil spring
Ignition system:Transistorized coil ignition
Starter system:Electric
Transmission system:Constant mesh, 6-speed
Final transmission:Chain
Fuel tank capacity:17 L
Oil tank capacity:3.8 L
Chassis
Chassis:Diamond
Front suspension system:Telescopic fork, 43mm inner tube
Front travel:130 mm
Rear suspension system:Swingarm, link suspension
Rear travel:130 mm
Caster angle25º
Trail109 mm
Front brake:Hydraulic dual disc brake, Ø 310 mm ABS brake system
Rear brake:Hydraulic single disc brake, Ø 267 mm
Front tyre:120/70 ZR17 M/C(58W)
Rear tyre:180/55 ZR17 M/C(73W)
Dimensions
Length (mm):2,140 mm
Width (mm):770 mm
Height (mm):1,225 mm
Seat height (mm):815 mm
Wheel base (mm):1,460 mm
Minimum ground clearance (mm):140 mm
Service weight (kg)220 kg

Comment:

  1. Bill Smith says:

    Why do I get the impression Yamaha is attempting to better leverage the parts from the FZ1? This is quite exciting if you enjoy a five-year-old bike design with a modified fairing and new engine at an over-inflated price in a horrific economy. I own an FZ1 (2006) and have owned an FZ6 (2007) – I was assuming we’d see something new from Yamaha in the upright category.