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.

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 Spotted in the Wild

08/08/2011 @ 12:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 Spotted in the Wild 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 yellow

It didn’t take long for a “spy photo” of the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 to emerge from Bologna, and it looks like Ducati wants to tease out the yellow paint job it plans to bring to the smaller displacement Streetfighter. The five-bolt arrangement on the rear-wheel hub is a give away to the fact that an 848 motor lurks in the Streetfighter shown, as the current Streetfighter 1098 uses a six-bolt pattern because of the more powerful 155hp motor. With the Ducati Superbike 848 EVO motor making 140hp (and also sporting a five-bolt rear hub pattern), we can expect that the Ducati Streetfighter 848 to lose 10-15 ponies from its superbike compatriot.

The Streetfighter 848‘s components appear to be the cheaper Brembo radially-mounted calipers and the Marzoochi USD forks, both seemingly coming out of the Monster 1100 EVO common parts bin. As we predicted, Ducati is keeping the styling of its Streetfighter update the same, and is merely bringing the new motor options into the fold. We haven’t seen photos yet of the Ducati Streetfighter 1198, though it will look virtually the same, sans the fact it will need a valve adjustment only half as often as the current Streetfighter, thanks to its Testastretta 11° v-twin motor.

Of course there has to be a purpose for a spy photo, and in this case it would seem to be Ducati testing the waters with its Racing Yellow color scheme. Certainly a departure from the red, white, and black colors we’ve seen Ducati release in the past, we imagine the Bologna brigade wants to test the interwebs for some feedback on the new color option, so it doesn’t have to kill off a color choice after its been released to the public (like the company did with the white Diavel option, replacing it with the Ducati Diavel Diamond Black after pitchforks came out from Ducatisti).

Source: Ducati.ms via Ducati News Today

Comment:

  1. AK says:

    Naaaaasty Yellow !!!

  2. BikePilot says:

    Not a fan of the color, but the bike looks like it’d be huge fun!

  3. G.Irish says:

    Ducati could be testing reception to the yellow, but it’s not like plenty of other Ducatis haven’t come in yellow.

  4. irksome says:

    The bike isn’t the news here, it’s the fact that someone in the world still wears a forward-mounted fanny pack.

  5. Daniel Croft says:

    Can anyone see if it has ABS?

  6. Greg says:

    Fanny packs are still all the rage in Europe….

  7. Balzaak says:

    @irksome forward pack would be a fanny pack in the UK, that’s why it’s such a dirty word there but good call! I also question the mans cargo pants and wonder if he’s just not a tourist who didn’t have a clue what he was walking by

  8. Simosardo says:

    goooooooooddddd !!!!version girls!!!

  9. Yes! 848 Streetfighter. http://t.co/0JCKnsJ Via @Asphalt_Rubber but @DucatiUSA lets ditch the Yellow. #Motorcycles

  10. loki says:

    @ Daniel Croft: the Monster 1100 Evo, which is a bit more docile and is oriented towards the same type of use as this, does come with ABS, so there’s every reason to believe that this will have ABS as well. And I’m sure that the upcoming 1198 Streetfighter will also have ABS. And the Superquadrata will have it too, yes.

    Speaking of the 1100 Evo – won’t the SF 848 simply eat it’s market share? Because I can clearly see someone who wants a streetbike with a bit more grunt – without looking for the present Streetfighter’s overkill (and that would have been, up to this point, tempted by the 1100 Evo) going straight to this SF 848… Ok, it’ll probably cost a bit more than the big Monster, but I don’t see this difference being more than 1000-1500 €, otherwise it’ll simply be too expensive.

    I can only see the 1100 Evo appeal to the most faithful, though I don’t think there are enough of them for Ducati to make a profit out of that model.

    What do you guys think?

  11. Daniel Croft says:

    @loki – I own an M1100 EVO and want a bike with ABS so the base streetfighter wasn’t an option for me. If the SF848 had been available when I bought my bike, I’d have seriously considered it but I’m not sure they’re exactly matching in terms of sales but there’s obviously a fairly substantial overlap. I’m not sure how Ducati plans on managing that. I’ve also owned an S4RS and know from experience the different characteristics of the liquid cooled as opposed to air cooled motors. Also, the ergonomics of the bike are quite different. I’ve wanted a mid sized liquid cooled monster for a long time, if there’d been an SF848 w/ ABS (don’t care about DTC too much) I’d probably have got that but I don’t think everyone has that mindset. I think the engine numbers will be the inverse: lower torque/higher HP.

  12. BikePilot says:

    I think there’s room for the 1100 and 848 – maybe sorta similar overall performance, but a very different approach. I think most folks will want one or the other without too much cross-cannibalization. I could even imagine having both:) the 848 fits nicely as a superbike derived, modern-styled naked 4-valve, liquid cooled, relatively high-revving performance machine. The M1100 is a classically styled (somewhat), low-revving, high-torque air cooled 2-valve machine that’s quick, but less about performance than an overall aesthetic and visceral connection.

    I think ducati should be careful to retain the classic, gorgeous styling of the monster and not let the monster trend too much toward the droopy, angular “modern” street fighter look else they will become less differentiated (imo the current monster deviates from the classic too far, but not irreparably so – a better headlight would work wonders).

  13. kevin says:

    @BikePilot

    I agree. Though there may be some performance overlap these two bikes go about their business in very different ways. The SF, like its bigger brother, will be a high revving screamer while the Monster is more torquey.

    Also the riding position of the Monster is more relaxed when compared to the more aggressive seating position of the SF.

    I could also imagine having both (or maybe replace the SF848 with a BMW S 1000 RR).

  14. MikeD says:

    Screw this anemic scrawny 848 chic…i want to see a bare bones naked FULL BLOWN 1199 SuperQuadrata…(Bad)Bitch…lol.

  15. JP Canton says:

    Don’t forget the scooter with roll cage/roof across the street!

  16. Westward says:

    Ducati has a complete stable of excellent choices, what they really need to work on is maintenance costs, it seems like racketeering when it costs more to do the standard maintenance on a Ducati than it does a Mercedes or BMW… I’m mostly talking about bikes with 848cc’s or less, though I suspect those with higher displacements feel the same too…

    I’m a peacock, I just want to fly!!!