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 Speed Triple – Johnny 5 Lives!

10/05/2010 @ 3:20 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

2011 Triumph Speed Triple   Johnny 5 Lives! 2011 Triumph Speed Triple official 5 623x415

As children of the 1980′s, we grew up with movies that promised us a future where tracked military robots would learn what it means to love and be human in a humorous yet adventurous manner. While we doubt we’ll see Johnny 5 unveiled at the Intermot show in Germany this week, Triumph is trying fulfill this need of ours as best they can. Officially showing its 2011 Triumph Speed Triple (photos of the bike leaked ahead of Intermot when it was shown on the Triumph’s accessories page), the British company has completely re-worked its larger streetfighter offering, and is slowly winning our hearts.

The biggest improvement for the new Speed Triple is the bike’s all-new aluminum frame. Initially reported to drop the 2011 Triumph Speed Triple’s weight by 40lbs, the bike tips the scales at 471lbs with a full-tank of gas, which is only several pounds lighter than the 2010 model’s curb weight, but that doesn’t mean Triumph has been lax in its revisions. More details and photos after the jump.

For the true Triumph fans, modest weight savings won’t be a deal-breaker, although the Speed Triple could use a more stringent diet. Still the 2011 Triumph Speed Triple’s revised 1050cc motor should make up for things, with its 135 horsepower figure (up 7hp from the 2010 model). Torque has also been increased from 76 lbs•ft to 82 lbs•ft, making the three-cylinder bike just that much more fun to rip-around town in. Additionally riders will enjoy Triumph’s optional ABS package, which will fit anti-lock brakes to the road-oriented streetfighter for those “oh sh!t moments”.

With a new riding geometry and new Showa 43mm fully-adjustable forks, the 2011 Triumph Speed Triple gets a more aggressive handling characteristic, and caters to rider preference more adequately. The seat height has been lowered to 32 inches, which should please shorter riders, and triumph also boasts nearly a pound has been lost from each wheel, which should mean for quicker turn-ins from the reduced rotating mass. Helping things slow-down are 320mm radially Brembo calipers up-front, per usual.

Triumph is saying that the new 2011 Triumph Speed Triple will be available in December 2010 at all Triumph dealers in Europe, it’s not clear at this time if US dealers will receive the bike under a similar time frame.

Source: Triumph

Comment:

  1. motojc says:

    sweet!! come here for christmas please!!

  2. RGR says:

    Man am I glad to finally see these pictures and some specs. The new bike is nice but not improved enough to make me want to sell my ’07. The new headlights look okay from the front but the assembly looks like an afterthought from the side. I’m not very fond of the piece of plastic at the front of the tank either. I noticed the bike has a 190 rear, I wonder if this will be standard for the production model?

    Looks like I’ll still be waiting for the “Super” Speed Triple to come out…my baby is safe!

  3. Sean says:

    Not bad, I like it more than I thought I would. Painted front cowl is the way to go, and arrows of course.

  4. Otter says:

    Awesome picture!

  5. Shaitan says:

    Schweeet! Definitely like it better with the flyscreen. Can’t wait to see when it, and the new Triumph adventure bikes hit the streets.

  6. Seth says:

    I like it BECAUSE it’s a Speed Triple but I really wish they didn’t go so overboard with the “updated look”. This is what can drive me nuts about the Motorcycle Manufacturer – Motorcycle Press relationship. The last couple years the press has been really knocking the fact that triumph hasn’t made any radical styling updates to the S3. My .02 is that one of the things I really like about the S3 is that it has a timeless look, I mean really how can you update the look of a bike that is really just a tank, a frame and engine. The bug eye headlights were, to me, the s3′s signature and should not have been messed with. So I think Triumph may have gone a little crazy with trying to shut up the Moto Journalist by overstyling the new s3. I think it’s BS that in comparos they would give a negative mark to the S3′s “dated styling”. Maybe I’ll come around to the new look though, Triumph has done so much right I aint mad at ‘em:)

  7. rliddell says:

    My initial response was set back by it’s goofyness. Then I thought, thats what the speed triple is all about. Perfect.

  8. irksome says:

    RGR: The wider tire is due to an inch wider rim. I wonder how that and the new head geometry will effect handling. Sounds like they made it twitchier.

    I’m still madly in love with my ’98, smaller motor and all. Losing the bug-eyes is a mistake; they’re the primary styling cue. Then again, I’m none too fond of the stubby rear section and the up-swept pipes either. 12 years down the road my bike still gets a variety of comments from riders as well as non, mostly favorable. It always has been a matter of taste but these changes make the bike more in line with other manufactuers, to Triumph’s detriment, imho.

    My bike has been a solid performer and stone reliable since day one. At 52, I’ll be looking for a cruiser soon; the new Thunderbird might do the trick. But not for a few more years. I ain’t dead yet.

  9. irksome says:

    RGR: The wider tire is due to an inch wider rim. I wonder how that and the new head geometry will effect handling. Sounds like they made it twitchier.

    I’m still madly in love with my ’98, smaller motor and all. Losing the bug-eyes is a mistake; they’re the primary styling cue. Then again, I’m none too fond of the stubby rear section and the up-swept pipes either. 12 years down the road my bike still gets a variety of comments from riders as well as non, mostly favorable. It always has been a matter of taste but these changes make the bike more in line with other manufacturers, to Triumph’s detriment, imho.

    My bike has been a solid performer and stone reliable since day one. At 52, I’ll be looking for a cruiser soon; the new Thunderbird might do the trick. But not for a few more years. I ain’t dead yet.

  10. irksome says:

    Pardon my stutter…

  11. RGR says:

    Irksome, thanks for the feedback. Maybe they’re going to the 190 to help stabilize the bike’s short wheelbase a bit. I agree with you and Seth about losing the bug-eyes being a mistake. I wish they would have kept them, but powder-coated them black.

    By the way, you don’t need to become a Cruiser Loser just because you get old. Lots of really sweet standards coming out with amazing performance and handling…and comfort. If I get to the point where I don’t want a bike for the fun quotient, I’ll just stop riding and buy a friggin’ car.

  12. MisterGone says:

    Well now the uk site has the specs up and it looks like the 2011 weights in at 481lb wet compared to the 2010 277lb wet, how is it gaining weight with a new lighter frame and .5 liters less gas? I’m really hoping someone screwed up the stats, this isn’t making any sense at all.

  13. Johndo says:

    The more I look at it, the more I find it’s lines to be a bit feminine, don’t know why but it makes me think of the Suzuki Gladius, aint an ugly bike, but isnt a bike with high levels of testosterone for sure (at least in it’s looks) like the previous version was. Im sure with time I’ll get used to the akwardness of those eyes, but I would certainly never buy one, I’d shop for a 2010 way before looking at these.

  14. irksome says:

    RGR: … ‘scuse me, did you just call me OLD?

  15. Tim says:

    “No sir, I don’t like it…”
    -Horse

  16. Keith says:

    Y’know, I read all these people complaining about how a moorcycle looks. Makes me wonder what kind of freaks all y’all are! Sheesh only thing I’ve EVER seen of a moorcycle whne I’m riding is maybe the top of the tank, the tach/speedometer, top of the head light(s) and MAYBE the mirrors. How it rides is all that matters anything else is just a bonus. sheesh…get out and ride don’t sit there checking how well you waxed the thing, you kids these days have yoru priorites all fracked up.
    p.s. billet rules chrome drools.