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.

55 Photos of the 2011 Benelli TnT R160

06/20/2011 @ 3:32 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

55 Photos of the 2011 Benelli TnT R160 2011 Benelli TnT R160 static 29 635x423

We brought you some of the first pictures of the 2011 Benelli TnT R160 all the way back from the 2009 EICMA show. Originally slated as 2010 model-year bike, the R160 has taken a while to make its way into dealer showrooms. The pinnacle of the TnT line, the R160 is presumably worth the wait with its 157.8hp, 88.5 lbs•ft of torque, and 474 lbs ready-to-ride curb weight. As with anything though, the devil is in the details, and the Benelli TnT R160 is no different.

There’s something about Adrian Morton’s design with the TnT that we’re drawn to like a moth to flame, nearly bringing one into this author’s stable of motorcycles (I wouldn’t mind a Benelli Tornado Tre 1130 too). Plagued with electrical issues though, the TnT line perpetuates the Italian stereotype of finicky and unreliable motorcycles trapped in otherwise gorgeous veneers. Seeing the Benelli TnT R160 in 2009, we were disappointed on the fit-and-finish of the bike, as the pitted and cloudy carbon exterior seemingly matched the interior: unrefined.

With the 2011 Benelli TnT R160 now ready for dealer showrooms, Benelli’s top streetfighter seems to have benefited from a better build process, and we hear that some of the electrical issues have even been resolved. While we’ll reserve judgment as to whether the bike can maintain a positive net charge at a stand-still, it sure is stunning in its final form. There are 55 high-resolution photos of the new Benelli TnT R160 waiting for you after the jump.

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55 Photos of the 2011 Benelli TnT R160 2011 Benelli TnT R160 action 5 635x422

55 Photos of the 2011 Benelli TnT R160 2011 Benelli TnT R160 engine 635x422

Source: Benelli

Comment:

  1. BikePilot says:

    That is the hotness!

  2. MikeD says:

    Ok…these are HOT, I would HIT THAT any time…

    Point made…BUT…I think they (Benelli) are starting to look as “FRESH” as MV AGUSTA…

    Benelli, get to it. Your bikes altough still good looking and decent performers and hopefully better reliability as of late have look the same for like what ? 5-10 years now ?

    They look and smell as fresh as a “one week old road kill in the middle of August in the Florida Everglades”….(x_x )

  3. Jaybond says:

    Just tired of all these naked bikes. Where’s the new Benelli Supersport machine ?

  4. Back in 2003 with the Benelli Tornado.

  5. MikeD says:

    @Jensen:

    Yes, that’s another Gem that they haven’t bother keep polishing…a real shame, it’s FRIGGIN SEXY…(^_^ ) Total FAP Material. LOL.

  6. Adrian does some good work, I mean just look at his latest creation: the MV Agusta F3.

  7. MikeD says:

    The Guy…he got talent…nuff said… (O_O )
    It did catch me by surprise he designed both…haaa, ain’t that a bee…(^_^ )

  8. froryde says:

    Nice, but what I want to know is where’s the Benelli 600 supersport with a hub center steered front end?

  9. Steve says:

    I love this thing and would own one today if I were sure it would get me home. It looks so good I almost don’t care. Had a good friend ride his up to Big Sur from L.A. last weekend and he said he had a great time riding it up there. He said he can’t wait to go back….to pick up his dead Benelli with a bad generator. Nice!

  10. MikeD says:

    @Steve:

    Yup, that’s one of the aches i have heard about…a darn shame…they gotta get their shiznit togheter.

  11. Rexr says:

    I’ve always liked TNT might be in a position to get one quite soon…….

  12. Nerve says:

    Tre 1130 owner here. Electrics isn’t an issue. Alternator shaft is. So when you pick yours up, have them show you the new shaft they put in, that’s it. All the rest/shiznit is bollocks, but of course, don’t stand still in LA traffic with a 163bhp SuperBike and think “oh they anticipated this in the factory, I’m gonna be all right”. As to new models, you’ve got a point there. But there are so few benellis around, they don’t tire. I’ve seen 6 benellis on the street (bar mine and those in the shop) during my life. And own the only Tre 1130 in my country – of 10 million people .. :)

  13. MikeD says:

    @ Nerve:

    Always good to hear a word coming from a real world user…would u mind telling more what is like to live daily with your Monster Tre ? What needs “fixing or improvement” to make it better ?

  14. Nerve says:

    rearsets are slippery, robby moto has adjustable Tre rearsets. Lose the dunlop 207′s /50 and replace with Rosso2 180/55. Remove cat. that’s the easy stuff. Harder is a cure for injection on/off : difficult pointing to apex and hitting it coz when you ‘chain up’ inside the corner, it runs wide. I’m having a suspension specialist look a the rear shock : i’d like it to carve the road more, bike is seriously front biased and twitchy mid-corner on those occasions when u change your mind a bit :)

    Triple sound is addictive, triumph can’t hold a candle in that department, they sound like jap fours.

    youtube “benelli tnt hpe” for an accurate sound bite. She’s a keeper.

  15. Joe says:

    My daily ride is a TnT Cafe Racer. Benelli Officine exhaust and PC III. Denso alternator warranty replacement with shaft and gear was done at 5200 miles and now have almost 10k in 14 months. Absolutely the most thrilling, fun and fast bike in my garage. (Two Guzzi and a Norton Commando). The handling is perfect with a proper set up and tops out at 167-170, depending on conditions. You NEED this bike!

  16. Jeram says:

    my mates got a TNT, I really hope theyve ironed out all the bugs in this years model!

    bike wont hot start as the ambient temp sensor is right near engine, so ecu thinks its riding on the SUN

    engine gears bind when hot causing damage to the engine

    and other miscellaneous electrical gremlins!

    the day they sort theyre riliability issues out will be the day I go and ride one back to back with a speed triple and take one of the bikes home with me.

  17. MikeD says:

    Thanks Folks…always nice to hear from the REAL users not some paid{sponsored} motorcycle rag and some of their squid testers…

    Jeram, when u say engine gears: Are u referring to the primary drive off the crankshaft or the transmission gears ?

    I heard in some of the complaints some primary drives failing due to poor metalurgy and or alloy.
    {i think like chewing each others cause the metal was too soft ?}

    The ambient temp sensor is no big deal…most probably it can be relocated{then again, when u pay that much for this class of bike u think all this gremlims are non-existent…guess not…live and learn ?}

    @ Joe & Nerve: Thanks for sharing your xperiences.

  18. Nerve says:

    Jeram is referring to the alternator shaft thing. It does need to be replaced, but is the only structural thing. From 2008 it is not an issue any more. Saying things like “soft metal” is what really kills a brand. The subcontractors that Benelli uses are the same as the rest in their industry employs. RSV & Tre share switchgear. Do you really think someone goes like “hey, its benelli, lets make some money and use an inferior alloy, or that benelli says: our engines need to last only 10k, go easy on the topgrade. You think benelli has it’s own furnace, and machines its own axles ?? You think the ducati factory in thailand will source its lumps in italy ?
    When hot, metal expands. An engineer made a mistake of a few micromillimeters. Can u say “TL1000″ ?
    The factory doesn’t argue with you : they replace it, even beyond warranty. Your dealer takes a picture of the broken axle and attaches it to the spare parts email, that’s what happened with mine. Unlike ducati, benelli is a lot more lenient when it comes to warranty, both in terms of period and content. It’s the responsability of first owners to look into the alternator shaft thing. Second hand buyers need to have this checked, in writing, before they put their money down. That’s it.

    Enjoy this while you wait for yours : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEQtkQA_EBw

  19. MikeD says:

    Ah, that sweet sound….Come’on Lottery….(^_^ ) lol.

    Thanks for pointing the specifics about it and what to look for and what years and what not.
    I will say this tho…there’s a lot of STIGMA regarding this brand…specially for being chinesse owned but still designed and operated in Italy.

    Don’t kill the messanger…just saying…and since i don’t own one i have to rely on what others say and choose what to believe from all the “comments”.

  20. JoeD says:

    Actually, the alternator check is part of the 600 mile Dealer Service. The change is to a Belleville Washer , new shaft with larger diameter bolt and gear. Sometime during the 07 model year the upgraded parts were factory installed but no specifics. Mine was one of the early ones with the old setup–a tab washer that loosened and a DENSO alternator with a broken shaft. I was working at a Benelli Dealership and did the inspection and all was well. 5000 miles later the failure occurred. A few days later, the parts arrived and it took about 30 minutes to fit while in my driveway with basic tools. Try that with a Jap vehicle. It is a shame that some feel there is something inherently wrong with the brand but my experience has been overwhelmingly positive and you sure get some looks as well. Not for sale. Ever.