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 MV Agusta Brutale 920

12/21/2010 @ 11:18 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

2011 MV Agusta Brutale 920 2011 MV Agusta Brutale 920 black 13 635x423

After the news yesterday that the Canadian distributor for MV Agusta had posted pricing on its website for a new Brutale model, MV Agusta has quietly released photos and information on the 2011 MV Agusta Brutale 920, an entry-level version of its big street-naked motorcycle. With its four-cylinder radial valve 921cc motor, the MV Agusta Brutale 920 shares the same crankshaft as the Brutale 1090RR (55mm stroke), resulting in this over-square motor making 129hp with its 73mm bore. Available in matte black and white, we expect the new Bruatle to his US shores with a ~$14,595 price tag.

With 50mm USD Marzocchi forks, Sachs rear shock, Brembo radial brakes, and Marelli 5SM ECU, the new Brutale 920 has all the right parts to make it an Italian motorcycle. MV Agusta has also made its 8-level adjustable traction control system standard, and the new Brutale has two driving modes (normal and sport). Paint will come in either a matte black (shown), or a white color scheme that hasn’t been released yet.

New for MV Agusta, the Brutale 920 comes with a one-piece banana seat, which according to MV makes the bike comfier (it’s also lower and narrower than the other Brutale models), but to our eye just makes the whole package look a lot cheaper than its predecessors, which isn’t a great thing to achieve when building an “entry-level” model.

Based off the same chassis as the 990R and 1090RR, the frame is a trellis steel tube coupled to aluminum side plates. Not all is the same though, as the steering column has been modified so the stiffness is better suited for easy driving through city streets. The suspension also comes out of the box with softer settings, making for a more comfortable ride, but is fully-adjustable.

MV Agusta USA hasn’t posted pricing yet, but we expected the 2011 MV Agusta Brutale 920 to cost around $14,595 if MV’s international pricing schemes hold true. If you’re in the market for a slightly cheaper Brutale, this might be the bike for you, but personally we’d wait until the 675cc three-cylinder “Brutalina” comes out (hopefully next year). Bonus points to the A&R reader who can spot the photographer’s boom lamp in the shots below (twice!).

Source: MV Agusta

Comment:

  1. Damo says:

    No ones really seems to be able to get the headlight right on the naked bikes these days.

    With a Buell or Honda Hornet light swap this would be a nice looking (albeit overpriced) machine.

  2. BikePilot says:

    Awesome looking bike. I’m glad to see they kept the 55mm stroke and decreased displacement by bore only. This will give a wider power curve and more torque than doing it the other way around.

  3. BikePilot says:

    Oh, about those bonus points… How many does it take to win a MV? ;)

  4. Bobster says:

    I dont get it. A 990R seems to be quite a bit better for only $400 more if the pricing is right.

  5. ML says:

    I agree with Bobster.

    This bike is screaming for a seat cowl.

  6. hoyt says:

    MV needs to work on increasing mpg with their engines.

  7. BikePilot says:

    I’m all for efficient bikes, but somehow I rather doubt that mpg is a consideration for the vast majority of would-be MV purchasers. Even so, the decreased bore with the same, relatively long, stroke is a good start for improved mpg. I would expect it to be on par with most other bikes of similar performance.

  8. Odie says:

    The boom lamp is in pics 6 and 12.

  9. MikeD says:

    Yup, Banana Seat does look like a downgrade. Maybe a seat cowl like ML mentioned…still a “CHEAP looking” solution tho.
    It’s sahpe(tail) reminds me a lot of the new F3′s Tail.

  10. MikeD says:

    P.S: Is wearing Prelli’s Angel Tires.

  11. smith says:

    MV Agusta Brutale 920 the real street fighter

  12. BikePilot says:

    I think it’d also be nice if MV offered this model in a different color scheme, particularly one with the trellies painted perhaps a goldish/magnesium sort of hue.