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.

Brammo Enertia Plus: The 80 Mile Commuter

10/19/2010 @ 6:00 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Brammo Enertia Plus: The 80 Mile Commuter 2011 Brammo Enertia Plus 1 635x423

Brammo has another product announcement for us today, as the Oregon-based company is ready to reveal that it is adding the Brammo Enertia Plus to its 2011 line-up. Basically a Brammo Enertia with a power-pack similar to the Brammo Empulse 80, the Brammo Enertia Plus doubles the range of Brammo’s original model from 40 to 80 miles on a single charge.

This moves comes as Brammo attempts to address the “60-mile barrier” that Brammo believes is holding some customers back from pulling the trigger on an electric motorcycle. With 6.0 kWh on-board, the Brammo Enertia Plus still tips the scales at 324lbs like the original model, and pricing will start at $8,995 MSRP. More info, photos, and a video after the jump.

In doing further market research on customer behavior, or more importantly consumers who did not buy an Enertia, Brammo identified the 60-mile range figure as being a key requirement consumers had for their motorcycling needs. With rapidly changing battery technology occurring in the industry, Brammo has upgraded the Enertia Plus to keep pace and use the same battery technology as is found in the 2011 Brammo Empulse. As such, the 2011 Brammo Enertia Plus will share battery packs with the electric sportbike that differ only in dimension, but not in chemistry or performance.

Brammo has also made some refinements to the Enertia Plus from the base model, changing the bike’s riding geometry and steering locks slightly to allow for easier and tighter turning. The Enertia’s start-up and charge sequence has also been further simplified, with a rider simply needing to turn a key or plug the bike into an electrical socket to start or charge it respectively.

Despite the $1000 price tag difference, Brammo realizes some Enertia owners might feel like they just got hosed by the rapidly evolving pace of battery technology, so Brammo is instituting a rebate program for Enertia owners who buy an Enertia plus, giving a $2,500 rebate to these buyers.

With the Brammo Enertia Plus, the company is also launching optional Givi hard bags, which we can’t say add much to the design of the bike, but do make it more practical. Working on both the original and Plus, pricing on these starts at $350, while the optional center stand has pricing yet to be determined.

Brammo will begin taking pre-orders on the first 1000 Enertia Plus purchases, and one of the thousand pre-orders will get randomly selected to be a free purchase of a new Brammo Enertia Plus. The Brammo Enertia Plus will be available in four colors: Eclipsed Black (which came from a forum poll), Aluminium (pronounced in the British way), True Blood Red, (CEO Craig Bramscher is a big fan of the series), and our personal favorite Peace Keeping Blue (based on the UN’s trademark color).

Source: Brammo

Comment:

  1. Brammofan says:

    RT @asphalt_rubber: Brammo Enertia Plus: The 80 mile Commuter – http://bit.ly/dmTHkM #motorcycle

  2. Ades says:

    I would say one of the biggest reasons (that Brammo didn’t disclose) would be the complete lack of aesthetic design. If they want to move units they’re going to have to design it better than the current “Vietnamese livestock transporter” look they have got going on there.

  3. kevin says:

    It might not be the best looking bike but it is an advancement and I believe it will sell.

  4. johnrdupree says:

    So I guess he’s going to walk her to her car before heading home. Alone. Because there is no pillion pad.
    That’s a shame. Part of the point of an electric bike is to pull the crunchy birds.

    I apologize. I’m feeling silly today.

  5. patron says:

    def form following function w that one.

    I woder what your electric bill would increase a month with that bike as a daily commuter.

  6. deejay51 says:

    Top effort, BUT, these motorcycles need to look ‘appealing’. My immediate reaction is somewhat negative, needs color and style about it, even the side bags appear to be the wrong way round.

    OK I’ll say it, Craig Vetter where are you!!!

  7. Sean says:

    Id be wanting MUCH more than 12 months warranty. Here in oz we get 2 years warranty on ICE bikes and they have hundreds of replaceable mechanical parts. 12 months warranty on a bike with a small number (therefore high cost) of replaceable parts is a big financial risk.

  8. deejay51 says:

    Sean you make a extremely valid point there, if there is one area fully Electric Vehicles can shine vs ICE powered it is surely the area of reliability, limited servicing, (dare I mention tuning) and the like. Warranty duration should reflect these inherent features.

  9. Brammofan says:

    @patron – when I charge my Enertia with a battery that has about 20% reserve (after my daily commute), it uses about 2.8 kWh of electricity. At my current electric rates, that’s about thirty cents.

  10. johnrdupree says:

    @ deejay51, I think the styling is intentional. I remember reading somewhere that they wanted to make the bikes look less “bike” like to appeal to the non-biking consumer. This would seem especially important in a sales outlet like Best Buy. You’d want the bike to be as nonthreatening as possible, almost a transportation appliance instead of a motorcycle.

  11. patron says:

    @brammofan – thats pretty damn good. If thats the case why dont they advertise what the costs of use are more often?

    The Empulse seems to be on track style wise.

  12. MrBlistershifter says:

    I will never buy an electric car or motorcycle. If the electro-magnetic field is dangerous with a cell phone, just imagine having this between your legs ! Not enough range, dangerously quiet and no character at all. Welcome to ” I Robot ” land. If it doesnt shake, smoke or leak oil, im not interested.

  13. Brammofan says:

    @MrBlistershifter The weird thing is that ever since I’ve had all this electro-magnetic force between my legs, well, my wife (who, incidentally takes iron supplements) can’t seem to get enough of me. But for this strange inclination to always point north, life is good.
    As for your statement, “If it doesnt shake, smoke or leak oil, im not interested”, you’d probably be interested in my Aunt Ida. She’s got Parkinson’s, (the shakes), she still smokes, and she leaks oil… well, okay, it’s not oil, but she does leak. Two out of three ain’t bad. Want her number?

  14. We might have a winner for the “Best Comment Ever” award.

  15. MrBlistershifter says:

    @ Brammofan…….leave it to an eco faggot like you to come up with an offensive remark like that. Save your undersized magnetic prick for a three way with your wife and aunt Ida. Dont forget the WD40.

  16. Play nice, or don’t play at all.

  17. MrBlistershifter says:

    These are not motorcycles. They are electric scooters. Fun to zip around on, im sure, but i prefer real motorcycles. No offense to the other gentleman ( except Brammo)