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 Honda Crossrunner

11/02/2010 @ 2:53 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

2011 Honda Crossrunner 2011 Honda Crossrunner 2 635x476

Finally unveiled, this is the much-hyped 2011 Honda Crossrunner that Honda has been releasing sketches of for the past month. A 782cc 90° V4 that’s derived from the VFR800 series, Crossrunner’s liquid-cooled, DOHC motor makes 102hp and 54 lbs•ft of torque. Honda hopes the Crossrunner will fill in a gap that is a cross between a naked street bike and an adventure bike, but has been very clear that it intends the Crossrunner to be a road-only machine (the Honda Crosstourer Concept should fill the off-road need just fine).

Sans a shaft-drive, the Honda Crossrunner will come with a chain final drive, uses an evolution of the VFR’s VTEC valve system for its 16 valves, and features Honda’s combined-ABS braking system. Road warriors get excited because the 2011 Honda Crossrunner comes with a 5.68 gallon tank. The only downside? The Honda Crossrunner is 530lbs when its on the curb. Photos and technical specifications after the jump.

2011 Honda Crossrunner Technical Specifications:

ENGINE
TypeLiquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC 90° V-4
Displacement782cm3
Bore x Stroke72 x  48mm
Compression Ratio11.6 : 1
Max. Power Output74.9kW/10,000min-1 (95/1/EC)
Max. Torque72.8Nm/9,500min-1 (95/1/EC)
Idling Speed1,200min-1
Oil Capacity3.8 litres
FUEL SYSTEM
CarburationPGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Throttle Bore36mm
AircleanerOil-permeated, cartridge-type paper filter
Fuel Tank Capacity21.5 litres
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Ignition SystemComputer-controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance
Ignition Timing8° BTDC (idle) ~ 50° BTDC (1,200min-1)
Sparkplug TypeIMR9D-9H (NGK); VNH27Z (DENSO)
StarterElectric
Battery Capacity12V/11AH (YTZ-12S)
ACG Output386W
Headlights12V; 55W x 1 (low) / 55W x 1 (high)
DRIVETRAIN
ClutchWet, multi-plate with coil springs
Clutch OperationHydraulic
Transmission TypeConstant mesh 6-speed
Primary Reduction1.934  (64/33)
Gear Ratios1    2.846 (37/13)
2    2.062 (33/16)
3    1.578 (30/19)
4    1.291 (31/24)
5    1.111 (30/27)
6    0.965 (28/29)
Final Reduction2.687  (43/16)
Final DriveO-ring sealed chain
FRAME
TypeDiamond; aluminium twin-spar; pivotless
CHASSIS
Dimensions (L x W x H)2,130 x 799 x 1,243mm
Wheelbase1,464mm
Caster Angle25° 45′
Trail96mm
Turning Radius2.8m
Seat Height816mm
Ground Clearance140mm
Kerb Weight240.4kg  (F: 115.2kg; R: 125.2kg)
SUSPENSION
TypeFront: 43mm cartridge-type telescopic fork with stepless preload adjustment, 165mm axle travel
Rear: Pro-Link with gas-charged HMAS damper, 7-step preload and stepless rebound damping adjustment, 145mm axle travel
WHEELS
TypeFront: 6-spoke cast aluminium
Rear: 5-spoke cast aluminium
Rim SizeFront: 17M/C x MT3.50
Rear: 17M/C x MT5.50
Tyre SizeFront: 120/70 R17
Rear: 180/55 R17
Tyre PressureFront: 225kPa
Rear: 250kPa
BRAKES
TypeFront: 296mm dual floating hydraulic disc with 3-piston calipers, C-ABC and sintered metal pads
Rear: 256mm hydraulic  disc with 2-piston caliper, C-ABS and sintered metal pads

Comment:

  1. Odysseas says:

    This is not just ugly. It is unbearable.

  2. bikepilot says:

    That may be the most unattractive bike I’ve ever seen. Even heavier than the old viffer, didn’t think that was possible :( Honda may be the only mfg to have managed to take a bike that was brilliant 20 years ago and slowly make it worse with each “evolutionary” step.

  3. kevin says:

    That looks like a hot mess.

  4. Dabber says:

    I like it! This new class of bikes from various bike companies is the future. People are too critical. There are plenty of styles for everyone, at least it’s not a new cruiser.

  5. Maas says:

    I just can’t find anything nice to say…

  6. Nobody says:

    For anyone unfortunate enough to see one in a parking lot, Honda should offer bolt-on puke buckets as an option.

    Honda–in an effort to increase sales you should design your scooters to look like motorcycles, not the other way around.

  7. 2011 Honda Crossrunner – http://bit.ly/b81yXD #motorcycle

  8. brij says:

    A little disappointed!! Although the idea of the cross runner with a the V4 engine is good! the styling department really lags behind. At least a saving grace would be some USD forks and a lighter more agile chassis. Come on Honda you can do better than that!!

  9. larlok says:

    Too heavy. Too complex. Too busy. Too ugly….tiger 800 looking better and better.

  10. MikeD says:

    I like it, im just dissapointed that they kept the V-TEC Gizmo on this sweet Mill, keeping it’s valve adjustments still xpensive and complicated.

    Belt drive like a BMW F800ST could have been nice too…and a Center Stand(doesn’t have one?) for good measure and to ease flat repairs, chain cleaning, lubing and adjusting.

  11. Bikerdad says:

    You’re looking at the replacement platform (1-2 years) for the NT700. Buh bye to the Dullsville. Honda will sell both side by side until the inventory of the Dulls are gone, and then “poof”, slap a larger screen and standard bags on this.

    BTW, it’s lighter than the Dull, and has lots more power. But I gotta agree with y’all, the styling doesn’t work for me.

  12. mike says:

    It reminds me , not in a good way, of a scooter, you know the big wanna be motorcycle ones !

  13. PorscheBob says:

    December 15, 2010

    FIRE THE FAIRING/BODY DESIGN DEPARTMENT !

    It’s not ugly, it’s oogly (worse).

    It hurts my eyes ~

    I’ll keep my ’98 VFR800.