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 Honda Goldwing Gets Minor Tweaks

02/21/2011 @ 2:27 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

2012 Honda Goldwing Gets Minor Tweaks 2012 Honda Goldwing 1 635x581

There must be a new rule in the tourer market segment where “all new bikes” consist of minor revisions to existing machines, as Honda has apparently taken a page out of Harley-Davidson’s playbook, and done an exciting upgrade to the 2012 Honda Goldwing. While rumors were overly-hyped that an all-new Goldwing would be making an American appearance, it appears instead that the Honda engineers have gone on to further improve upon their design of the legendary touring motorcycle.

No longer built in America at Honda’s now defunct Marysville, Ohio plant, the Japanese produced 2012 Honda Goldwing comes with a slightly larger price tag, but boasts some improvements to justify the cost. Revamped bodywork, larger capacity luggage pieces, improved built-in GPS with iPod/MP3 player support, and revised suspension complete the changes for the new Goldwing. It’s hard to impress sport bike guys with a big bike like the Honda Goldwing, but if you’re interested in buying the gold standard (no pun intended) of motorcycle touring, things just got a bit more appealing we imagine.

Honda is asking for a $300 premium on its base price for the 2012 Goldwing, which with the upgrades to the base model is still a pretty good deal at $23,199. If you want to get real crazy with navigation, ABS, and airbag options, you can max out your Goldwing to a tune of $28,499, which is $400 more than the 2010 model year with similar specs.

Honda lists the changes to the 2012 Honda Goldwing as the following:

  • Fresh styling cues produce a more integrated appearance along with a sporting edge, adding to the premium touring visage.
  • Redesigned fairing adds extra wind protection, especially to the lower body and leg areas.
  • Larger saddlebags add approximately 7 liters of additional storage space, upping total capacity to well over 150 liters including the trunk and fairing pockets.
  • Handy central storage pocket added to models without airbag.
  • Revised suspension settings front and rear yield added compliance for a better ride and more comfort.
  • Urethane seat material and cover material give added comfort.
  • Re-shaped taillight adds a distinctive appearance and aids visibility.
  • Wheels are now clear-coated for easier cleaning and a great, long-lasting look.
  • Updated instrumentation styling lends a high-performance touch.

Source: Honda America

Comment:

  1. Andrey says:

    If there ever was a bike that looked like a lounge sofa seat on wheels this has to be it.!

  2. Andrey says:

    And that luggage capacity is bigger than the fridge at home.

  3. Steve says:

    Great bike but for gods sake, it looks like a bowling shoe.

  4. BikePilot says:

    I’ve never ridden one, but am told (by a fellow sport bike guy) that they are surprisingly sporty and entertaining to ride.

  5. Steve Guanche says:

    Honda did freshen the bike up but in my opinion it was not enough. In comparason, look what BMW did, say good bye to the LT and new from the ground up the GT and GTL. Folks from an outsider looking in, has Honda done any homework to find our why the BMW’s share of the market has grown far and above all the other Japanese OEM’s. Every e-magazine and print media well have a hay day when they do a comparason test between these two competitors. With the Middle East in crisis and gas prices starting to go up, the Honda can haul and tow but not with a great miles per gallon numbers to claim any efficientcy. BMW now has a power plant to compete, with a motorcyle that weighs 200lbs. less than the Wing. Both bikes are top of the line touring machines and when released the proof will be in the pudding. Happy Trails.

  6. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: 2012 Honda Goldwing Gets Minor Tweaks – http://aspha.lt/b2 #motorcycle

  7. Other Sean says:

    In 20 years when I’m getting into the demographic for this pipe and slippers davenport, I’m getting an old Ferarri or Porsche instead. Death to ugly old guy stuff!

  8. wayne says:

    @BikePilot: A friend let me borrow his 2008 model for an evening trip and I was quite surprised at how agile a bike it is. There’s no doubt you’re riding 900lbs of bike that takes up a lot of real estate but because the CG is so low and it is so well balanced, it never FEELS like the luxo-barge it is. If I had a spare 10G+ and room in the garage, I would go for a low-mileage, used sample in a heart beat. The wife absolutely loved the passenger accommodations which really isn’t too surprising since her basis for comparison is my 2002 SV650S. If your local dealer does so, I would highly recommend you schedule a test ride.

  9. This is the gold standard of long-haul touring bikes. BMW, Victory’s Vision, and more are all after a piece of this thing’s market. It really is a 2-wheeled Cadillac convertible, and feels like you’ve stepped onto a Prevost Tour bus after getting off most other motorcycles. Not real crazy about these trim styles, but they were certainly eye-popping in the bright yellow from a few years back.

    After the automatic transmissions Honda is running recently the NEXT GW will be very interesting, and I don’t imagine it’s far off.

    And oh yes, it’s ‘quick for a big man’: A motorcycle officer friend has one of these as his personal ride. One afternoon, he’s two up with the wife on a local interstate bypass. Kid on a 600 sporty pulls alongside, lets my friend know that he thinks he can smoke them: The wife pokes him in the ribs, so he wheelies the thing at 70, drops the wheel back down, drops two gears and he’s waiting for the kid at the bottom of the next exit. Brainless pulls up and wants to know ‘where’s the nitrous bottle?’

    Every time I think of a GW I always get the same mental picture: I always seem to see them out on the interstate, usually a two-up older couple, matching helmets, etc. . . . . and they always look really happy. Can’t ask for more than that, and if I had to ride a LONG way, there’s nothing better.