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.

2011 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC – WSBK Tech for the Masses

02/25/2011 @ 11:50 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

2011 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC   WSBK Tech for the Masses 2011 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC white 635x502

Fresh off its victory in the 2010 FIM World Superbike Championship, Aprilia is bringing its WSBK tech to the masses. Designated as Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC), The Italian company first debuted its 8-stage adjustable traction control, wheelie control, launch control, and a quick shifter package on the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC, which debuted at the 2010 EICMA show. Now the company from Noale is bringing that same electronics package to its more affordable Aprilia RSV4 R street machine as a standard feature on the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC.

Along with the added APRC system, the Aprilia RSV4 R APRC features an improved motor lubrication system, and the first three gears are spaced for better acceleration. The exhaust system has also been lightened by 2kg (just under 5 lbs).

The 2011 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC also comes with the same 200/55 x 17 dual-compound rear tire that’s found on the Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC. Other changes include lighter wheels, a fully-adjustable Sachs rear shock, better fuel consumption, and some new graphics. Pricing will be $16,999 in the United States, and £13,999 (exc. OTR) for our brothers in apex across the pond.

Putting the APRC system on the RSV4 R is a great move by Aprilia, and effectively sticks it to the rest of the liter bike manufacturers who don’t have a full electronics package available at this price point. For us here in the United States, this is mainly an assault on the Ducati Superbike 1198 segment position, which sits just several hundred dollars cheaper than the RSV4 R APRC, but without the launch and wheelie controls.

In the European markets though, the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC is increasingly more appealing when compare to the more costly Japanese models, which are still devoid of electronics packages like Noale’s APRC. Can it give the BMW S1000RR a run for its money in 2011? Only time will tell.

Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) cheat sheet:

  • Aprilia Traction Control (ATC) – the most advanced traction control system on the market. It’s the only motorcycle TC system that can be adjusted on the move instantly without shutting the throttle and automatically adjusts to suit if you change your tyres. Features 8 level settings, so you can turn it down for track use or up for wet road riding on the go.
  • Aprilia Wheelie Control (AWC) – Identifies the start of wheelie and controls it to maximise acceleration whilst keeping the front end down. Features 3 settings.
  • Aprilia Launch Control (ALC) – Optimises acceleration from a standing start. For track/race use, with 3 settings.
  • Aprilia Quick Shift (AQS) – for ultra-fast clutchless up-shifting.

2011 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC Technical Specifications:

Engine: Aprilia 65° V4, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder.
Bore x Stroke: 78 x 52.3 mm
Total displacement: 999.6 cc
Compression ratio: 13:1
Maximum power at the crank: 180 HP (132.4 kW) at 12,250 rpm
Maximum torque at the crank: 115 Nm at 10,000 rpm
Fuel system: Airbox with front dynamic air intakes. 4 Weber-Marelli 48-mm throttle bodies with 8 injectors and latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management. Choice of three different engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion: T (Track), S (Sport), R (Road)
Ignition: Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil”-type coils.
Starting: Electric
Exhaust: 4 into 2 into 1 layout, single oxygen sensor, single silencer with engine control unit-controlled butterfly valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter (Euro 3).
Generator: Flywheel mounted 420W alternator with rare earth magnets.
Lubrication: Wet sump lubrication system with oil radiator and two oil pumps (lubrication and cooling).
Gear box: 6-speed cassette type gearbox with Aprilia Quick Shift electronic system (AQS)
Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system.
Primary drive: Straight cut gears and integrated flexible coupling, drive ratio: 73/44 (1,659).
Final drive: Chain, Drive ratio: 42/16 (2.625).
Frame: Twin-spar aluminium frame
Front suspension: Sachs USD 43mm forks. Fully adjustable. Wheel travel: 120 mm.
Rear suspension: Fully adjustable Sachs shock absorber. Wheel travel:  130mm.
Front brakes: Front: Dual 320mm floating stainless steel discs with lightweight stainless steel rotor and aluminium flange with 6 pins. Brembo monobloc radial 4-piston calipers with sintered pads. Radial pump and metal braided brake hoses.
Rear brakes: 220-mm diameter disc; Brembo floating 2-piston caliper with two 32mm isolated pistons. Pump with integrated tank and metal braided hoses.
Wheels: Aprilia forged aluminium alloy rims, completely machined, 5 split spokes. Front: 3.5”X17” Rear: 6”X17”
Tyres: Radial tubeless. Front: 120/70 ZR 17 Rear: 200/55 ZR 17 (alternative: 190/50 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17)
Dimensions: Max. Length: 2040mm, Max. Width: 735mm (at the handlebar), Max. Height: 1120mm, Min. height from the ground: 130mm, Saddle height: 845mm, centre to centre distance: 1420mm, Trail: 105mm, Steering angle: 24.5°
Dry weight: 182kg
Fuel tank capacity: 17litres (4litre reserve)

Aprilia Traction Control (ATC) explained:

Aprilia Wheelie Control (AWC) explained:

Aprilia Launch Control (ALC) explained:

Source: Aprilia

Comment:

  1. Vasili says:

    This is so cool. I only have a Shiver, if I’m gonna get a new bike – looks like it’s gonna be RSV4.

  2. BikePilot says:

    I think its a fine if unexceptional looking bike for the most part (but exceptional performance I’m sure). I’m not a fan of the tiny, pointy tail. The fancy electronics don’t mean much to me, but then I’m not trying to make a living by shaving hundredths off my laptimes.

  3. Westward says:

    Here’s hoping that Ducati matches with a full electronics package of their own… Nice going Aprilia…

  4. Other Sean says:

    Westward, I’m pretty sure the 1198 standard now has the quickshifter and the traction control, but not the wheelie control, launch control, espresso maker, and hellfire missles.

    Half of me really admires these electronics, but half of me thinks it’s just more expensive stuff to go wrong. I’m just a weekend canyon rider with the occasional ride to work though, so that must be part of it.

  5. Bemer2six says:

    This now put this bike for sure in my price range and within reach. It’s just to damn bad they didn’t stick a Olins suspension on it. I wonder what they’d want to upgrade?

  6. RSVDan says:

    Want. Badly.

  7. Chris says:

    “the more costly Japanese models, which are still devoid of electronics packages like Noale’s APRC.”

    And what about the 2011 ZX-10R?!?!? Traction control, ABS, wheelie control, different engine maps. It should definitely be included with the likes of the BMW.

  8. Good point Chris. Meanwhile the CBR1000RR only has ABS, while the Suzuki GSX-R1000 and and Yamaha R1 have nothing. BMW was the bike to beat in 2010, we’ll see who is top dog in 2011 (I’d put money on Kawasaki too though).

  9. BBQDog says:

    Still hope they sooner or later make a more affordable version of it, or a 750 or 550 twin.
    Like the looks of it very much. Am still in doubt to buy one. Have to put all the money
    on one card.

  10. froryde says:

    +1 what BBQDog saiod

  11. Westward says:

    @ Sean

    Like the others said, it raises the bar as to what people will expect for the amount of money they pay. I’m a Ducati Monster type myself., don’t really need most of it. Though if I pay anything like $16k for a new bike and it doesn’t have it, I would feel that the manufacturer is on the cheap, if another company can package that stuff and still make a profit.

    Ex. most cars today have power windows / doors plus AC. If you try to sell that stuff as extra, you may as well move on to another dealer, cause they are jacking you legal…

  12. SBPilot says:

    Quite the impressive package. I hope they don’t stick a terrible commercial to go with it, they don’t need it. BMW set the bar, Aprilia was keen on raising that bar by throwing every single electronic system at the bike it could and putting it on the market.

    Will be interesting to see how the companies respond. Kawasaki and Aprilia both responded to BMW, so time to see the rest respond…

  13. RT @James_Keen: 2011 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC – WSBK Tech for the Masses – http://bit.ly/gCxFZn @Asphalt_Rubber

  14. Aprilia RSV4 R 1 HP per kilogram. *drool* http://t.co/aAh78XqQ