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 Triumph Adventure Teased – Tiger Cub Cometh?

07/07/2010 @ 6:16 am, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

Triumph is announcing a new adventure bike model on its dedicated website and Facebook page today, which for now is dubbed the Triumph Adventure. Presumably based off an sub-1050cc three-cylinder motor, the 2011 Triumph Adventure is expected to debut at the 2010 EICMA show, and come in two varieties: street and off-road.

Tackling the lucrative Adventure tourer market, Triumph seems to think there’s space to grow into with a more middle-weight offering, choosing not to compete head-to-head with the best selling BMW GS, newcomer Ducati Multistrada 1200, and the soon-to-arrive Yamaha Super Ténéré.

According to its website, Triumph plans on releasing more videos every 28 days with more information on the engine coming out on August 7th, information on the chassis September 1st, and clothing and accessories on October 6th, with the final unveil being at Milan in November. More information as we get it.

Source: Triumph

Comment:

  1. bikepilot says:

    How is the existing 1050 Tiger not competing head to head with the other big adv-touring bikes? Its been in production since the early 1990s (in various displacements) and until the latest iteration has been quite similar to the big GS (19″ front wheel, longish suspension, large fuel tank, spoked wheels until about ’06). The later one went more the route of the MTS and now defunct XB12X with a more street/sport nature.

    Their 675cc motor has been very popular in the street triple and there’s been clamor for a tiger-cub for a long time. I’d imagine that if they could stroke the small block triple a bit for more low-mid torque without loosing too much peak power that it’d make quite a nice mini-tiger. If they stay with the sporting street nature they’ll have a bit of a niche with really on the versys to compete with since the BM W 800s have more of an off road bias and tall skinny tires that negatively affect street manners.

  2. 2011 Triumph Adventure Teased – http://aspha.lt/154 #motorcycle

  3. BP, How many Tigers has Triumph sold? (rhetorical question). I wouldn’t call that “competing” in one of the hottest segments right now.

    It does remain to be seen how this bike will add to, or replace the current Triumph Tiger. Time will tell.

  4. bikepilot says:

    I’ve no idea, but probably more than Ducati has multistradas – certainly in the aggregate, perhaps even in recent years. In any event, not nabbing an equal market share doesn’t mean they aren’t competing, it just means that they are smaller or not winning the competition, but I seriously doubt that’s a choice. They’ve chosen to produce the tiger every year for the past 2 decades or so and the bike is more or less a direct competitor for the GS (at least until the 1050cc version). They may have chosen to compete and not been wildly successful, but they haven’t chosen not to compete with either Ducati or BMW in the general market.

    I think there is a good argument that the 1050cc version with its 17″ wheels was a decision to move away from the “off road” (really more like dirt road) biased BMW and toward the Ducati and Buell, but if we are to lump bikes with stick 17″ tires in with knobby 19″ tires then they are all in the same market I think. The big tiger serves a nice niche in being the only non-exotically priced, sporting open class adv-ish bike. The v-strom is cheap, but lacks the sporting chassis and quick turning, sticky 17″ tires. The Buell was a bit more expensive and is now defunct and the ducati starts at $15k. If anyone wants to spend about 10-11k for something in this niche, the tiger is their only option. Maybe its a smallish niche, but I think its real and will be enduring, especially when combined with the essentially unique triple (Benelli hasn’t made a big dent in that niche yet I think).

    In any event, I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with, but will probably buy a MTS1200 sooner or later :)

  5. Ron McElroy says:

    The 800 tiger will be a great seller but I do question why the 900 scambler hasn’t reached higher with mods like a 21″ front wheel, hard aluminum panniers, suspension upgrades ect… ?