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.

Officially Official: 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

11/01/2010 @ 9:48 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Officially Official: 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 side 635x459

After first making the 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200′s owner’s manual available to Aprilia owners, then showing a photo of the Dorsoduro 1200 during Piaggio’s HQ launch in Milan, along with a subsequent video, Aprilia is now ready to officially tell us about its 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200. Available with Aprilia Traction Control (ATC) and anti-lock brakes (ABS) as an option, the Dorsoduro 1200 makes 130hp and 83 lbs•ft of torque with its 492lbs curb weight (a figure Aprilia conveniently leaves out of its press release). The maximoto to the Shiver’s street-naked, the Aprilia’s 1197cc liquid-cooled platform is under-powered and over-weight when compared to the other bikes in the 1200cc category.

While Aprilia positions the Dorsoduro as a maximotard, we’re not sure how the lack of umpf and extra heft will go over with the sporty crowd. With rumors of a Shiver 1200 still circling about, and an early glimpse of the Tuono V4R already showing a 162hp machine, we’re still not sure how this 1200cc street-only motard fits into Aprilia’s model line-up, and how it will differentiate itself to potential buyers.

At the heart of the 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 is Aprilia’s new 1197cc 90° v-twin motor. With ride-by-wire and a three-way user-selectable engine mapping, the Dorsoduro 1200 is a highly over-square power plant with its 106mm x 67.8mm bore and stroke. Dual-throttle bodies get the fuel into the cylinder, while a dual spark plug configuration ignites the hotness. Like its 750cc predecessor, the 1200′s motor has two intake and two exhaust valves.

The Dorsoduro 1200′s Sachs 43mm forks feature 6.3″ of fork travel, and both the forks and Sachs rear shock come standard with adjustable pre-load, compression, and rebound settings. Braking comes courtesy from the obligatory Brembo radial calipers up front, with a single-piston caliper in the rear. The optional ABS can be adjusted and turned off by the rider, with a dual-channel configuration allowing for the rear and front tires to be independently set. Along with the ABS comes the ATC system, which has three levels:

  • Level 1: for an extreme riding experience and maximum fun and adrenaline, when curbing the incredible power of the engine is the last thing on your mind.
  • Level 2: for total control in all terrain conditions and maximum thrill factor.
  • Level 3: ideal for tackling challenging conditions, such as slippery roads where grip is poor.

The 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 will come in either black or white paint schemes, pricing and availability hasn’t been announced yet.

2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Technical Specifications:

Engine type: Aprilia four-stroke longitudinal 90° V-twin, liquid cooled, double overhead camshafts with mixed gear/chain timing system and four valves per cylinder.

Fuel: Unleaded petrol

Bore and stroke: 106 x 67.8mm

Total engine capacity: 1197 cc

Compression ratio: 12.0 ± 0.5: 1

Maximum power at crankshaft: 130 hp (96 kW) at 8,700 rpm

Maximum torque at crankshaft: 83 lbs.-ft. (115 Nm) at 7,200 rpm

Fuel system: Integrated engine management system. Injection system with triple map Ride by Wire throttle management: Sport (S), Touring (T), Rain (R)

Ignition: Digital electronic ignition integrated with injection system

Starter: Electric

Exhaust system: 100% stainless steel 2-into-2 exhaust system with dual catalytic converters and oxygen sensor

Alternator: 450 W/6000 rpm

Lubrication: Wet sump

Gearbox 6 speeds, drive ratio: 14/36, 17/32, 20/30, 22/28, 23/26, 24/25

Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch, hydraulically operated

Primary drive: Straight cut gears, drive ratio: 40/69

Secondary drive: Chain. Drive ratio: 16/40

Chassis: Modular tubular steel frame fastened to aluminium side plates by high strength bolts. Removable rear aluminium subframe

Front suspension: 43 mm Sachs upside-down front fork with fully adjustable compression and rebound damping and spring preload. Wheel travel 160 mm.

Rear suspension: Aluminium alloy swingarm - Piggy-back design Sachs hydraulic shock absorber with fully adjustable compression and rebound damping and spring preload. Wheel travel 155 mm.

Brakes Front: Dual 320 mm stainless steel floating discs. Brembo four-piston radial callipers. Metal braided brake hose.

Brakes rear : 240 mm stainless steel disc. Single piston Brembo calliper. Metal braided brake hose. Two channel Continental ABS with Aprilia Traction Control (ATC) (specific version)

Wheel rims: Aluminium alloy

Front: 3.50 X 17″ Rear: 6.00 x 17″

Tires: Radial tubeless tyres; front: 120/70 ZR 17; rear: 180/55 ZR 17

Dimensions: Max. length 2248 mm

Max. width: 925 mm (at outer edges of hand guards)

Max. height: 1205 mm (at instrument panel brow)

Saddle height: 870 mm

Wheelbase: 1528 mm

Trail: 118 mm

Steering angle: 27.3°

Tank: 15 liter (including 3.5 liter reserve)

Source: Aprilia

Comment:

  1. bikepilot says:

    This is the bike they should have made from the start. I hope its not too late to salvage the attempt. I would have liked to have seen a bit more fuel capacity. Lets hope the weight is competitive.

  2. Gorgeous, overweight and confused: Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 http://bit.ly/a1paHX

  3. Faster1 says:

    “lack of umph? that’s crazy!
    With 99 out of 100 people buying this bike for daily street fun, 130HP is more than enough for a few giggles. I’m sure that it will power wheelie it’s way into many hearts. Looks like a great bike and a viable alternative to the Ducati.

  4. MikeD says:

    One cool looking and fun to ride motard for sure…(^_^ ), Another nice replacement if something “BAD” where to suddenly happen to my beloved K3 SV1000N.