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.

Clearer Photo of the 2012 Ducati Superbike

06/01/2011 @ 4:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Clearer Photo of the 2012 Ducati Superbike 2012 Ducati Superbike street version spy photo 635x476

One of the great things about the online media format is that it allows our readers to provide instantaneous feedback to stories we publish (try doing that with your print magazine), so we’re eternally grateful to A&R reader zampetti for dropping off this capture of the new 2012 Ducati Superbike (seemingly shot out of an Italian magazine) into our comment section yesterday.

Clearly a photo of the street-going version of the Superquadrata (or will it be called the 1199?), this is a stark difference to the Supersport class bike we showed you yesterday. Other sites will probably try and pass this photo off as there own, but they saw it here first (it’s nice to know they read our comments though). Keep the tips coming guys!

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    Mmmmm, looks comfy – poor guy looks like Tron on acid. All of us over 5’6″ will prolly struggle with this one! Will look sweet when it’s done though (I just wish I was the same size as Stoner!)

  2. IXIVI says:

    Is that an underslung exhaust?? Hmmmm… I remember an American guy once put exhaust down there and everybody said WTF? Now they all do it. Even the almighty Ducati. Looks good, hope they keep it down there. And look at the ever growing circumference of the rotor too. The closer to the perimeter you get, the bigger Erik’s smile grows…. This one looks promising.

  3. Jeram says:

    cant exactly claim ‘saw it here first’ when the photo you published is a photocopy from a magazine lol

  4. DucracerX says:

    Test rider is 5’11″ like me. Anyone over 6’0″ is in trouble on this bike!! Don’t buy it. its NOT for you.

  5. s2r says:

    it looks like an rsv4 to me

  6. 76 says:

    Something is strange about this rider setup, it looks as if the tank has a “launch angle” instead of a “square off” like a race bike and all ducati’s before had. Thats a huge move, seeing as every factory racebike puts a square off or more of one on their tanks even if its not on the production unit trim.

    The other thing is I am questioning the height of the tank and if thats part of the camo, it simply looks to damm tall and the rear of the seat looks really high. Look at the clipons and draw a line back it seems in line with the seat, that would be a super aggressive riding position, no bike in stock trim does this OEM at the moment.

    The bike is under heavy braking it seems, which again makes me wonder why both shots of 2 different bikes have this in common, to further distort the proportion and geometry I guess. Ether way some things are not as it seems with this bike, I look forward to seeing what they have tricked us with

  7. Shereef says:

    From this image, I think the silhouette of the bike is quite cool. It reminds me of my 2007 R6 from the tank region back to the tail. I’m 5’9″ and I really enjoyed the ride position on the R6 (albeit hard on the neck on longer trips). I’m quite thrilled so far to say the least. My one fear, as with all Italian bikes, is the price. Hopefully they will go into production alongside a smaller engine formula (like the 1198, 1098 and 848). If there is a 848ish version of this bike that revs higher (say 16 – 17K redline) than its big brother, I’m definitely going to consider trading in my Yamaha.

    Cheers.

  8. loki says:

    IXIVI – I don’t see the brake discs getting bigger from the 1098/1198′s. From what I see in these first pics, these are the exactly same 330mm discs. And why should they get bigger? The 1198′s braking capability is almost overkill. OK, the Superquadrata will probably be a bit faster, but then again it will also be lighter, so the circle is closed. Besides, if you *really* need more stopping power, go for carbon front discs and you’re done! As for the exhaust, I really hope it doesn’t stay there (though, sadly, it probably will). The underseat Termignonis *cannot* be replaced.

    Shereef – it will still be a V2. It highly unlikely it will rev as high as 16-17.000 rpm. That’s the whole point and character of this engine: constant power delivery from the bottom to the top. If you like to rev your engine to get the power out of it, you should stick with the Japanese inline fours.

  9. Damo says:

    @loki

    The 20lb weight reduction Ducati keeps claiming is probably a direct result of getting rid of the dual under seat Termignonis. Under slung exhaust can trim a ton of fat.

    @Johnathan

    I agree and said the same thing: “Looks great, way to freaking small for me!”

  10. DougD. says:

    Begs the question of how a print magazine beat a blog to this rumored motorcycle, no doubt. Anyway, on with the discussion of specs!

  11. 76 says:

    A print (Italian) magazine beat a blog because its a intentional leak not a spy shot

  12. That’s an easy one Doug, spy photos are not accidents.

  13. Dorian Gray says:

    Looks like this bike is designed for short twerps. Seems Ducati has decided to continue their trend of turning its back on real men (i.e. Anyone over 6′)

  14. Peter says:

    The bike looks sweet. Tall riders will be fine on the bike. It will allow a tall rider to get his/her body out of the saddle.
    My good friend is 6’6″ and rides a 996 on the street and races an 848. No problem no complaints.

    My biggest concern with this bike is that it is modeled after the motoGP bike and they have been having significant issues with front end feel. Both Vale and Hayden have the same complaint and I am concerned that it is a design flaw that can not be adjusted out of the bike. I also hope that not too much torq is sacrificed in an effort to go after lofty HP numbers. The online 4′s are leaky Ducati is supposed to have a more linear power delivery with lots of grunt to drive the bike out of the turns.

    Can’t wait to see it in person!

  15. Peter says:

    The bike looks sweet. Tall riders will be fine on the bike. It will allow a tall rider to get his/her body out of the saddle.
    My good friend is 6’6″ and rides a 996 on the street and races an 848. No problem no complaints.

    My biggest concern with this bike is that it is modeled after the motoGP bike and they have been having significant issues with front end feel. Both Vale and Hayden have the same complaint and I am concerned that it is a design flaw that can not be adjusted out of the bike. I also hope that not too much torq is sacrificed in an effort to go after lofty HP numbers. The inline 4′s are peaky Ducati is supposed to have a more linear power delivery with lots of grunt to drive the bike out of the turns.

    Can’t wait to see it in person!