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 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT

06/01/2012 @ 8:00 am, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT pit 10 635x425

Making its debut at the 2012 Isle of Man TT, the 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc was unveiled  today, ahead of the first TT Zero practice session on Saturday. Campaigned again by the Segway MotoCzysz Racing Team, the 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc is based heavily off its 2011 counterpart, but with obvious aerodynamic changes, as well as subtle system improvements. Boasting 200+ peak horsepower and 14kWh of battery pack, the new MotoCzysz E1pc tips the scales at 525 lbs — a full 45 lbs lighter than its main competitor, the Mugen Shinden.

Defending his #1 plate, Michael Rutter returns to Team Segway MotoCzysz, as well as American Mark Miller, who has been with the squad since its first TT race four years ago. Unlike last year, both riders will be on the same spec race bike, as MotoCzysz is racing to be the first team to crack the 100 mph average lap speed barrier. The Isle of Man government has put up £10,000 to the first rider to crack the 100 mph mark, which nearly went to Rutter in the 2011 SES TT Zero race.

Noticeably apparent on the 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc are the aerodynamic fins and ducts, which the team has developed through the use of Solidworks, and hopes will help make the E1pc slip through the air on the Mountain Course with ease. Since wind resistance is a square-function in relation to velocity, a two-fold increase in speed results in a four-fold increase in wind resistance, and as such MotoCzysz has placed a high priority on aerodynamics for the 2012 season.

“We had to look for the areas that would be easiest for us to go faster,” explained MotoCzysz CEO and Team Principal Michael Czysz. “We’ve done a pretty good job of elevating the drive system, the chassis,and  the suspension. So we could go back and attack those things again, or we could work on the aerodynamics, which we’ve never really touched. We did little hints, and we tried little bits last year, but we really never studied it — we’ve just always had bigger problems to deal with first.”

Making refinements to the 2011 design, MotoCzysz returns with its under-tank suspension design, which uses two shocks with forward and aft linkages to facilitate the front forks and swingarm suspension duties. Other improvements have been made to the bike’s electric drivetrain, which include increased efficiencies, more accessible packaging, and better mass-centralization.

“We’ve done a lot of what we call connectivities and interconnections…they are all small changes, and that’s what happens. Look at it this way: let’s say we do 100, 102, or 104 mph this year. It is going to be hard to add another 5 mph next year, and another 5 mph the year after that. It gets more difficult obviously, and it’s the same thing we’re talking about with these components. It was easy the first couple of years to make big adjustments, but there weren’t those big obvious ones to make this year, just lots of little ones.”

“Physically the battery pack is slightly bigger, but that’s because we have changed some dimensions for other dimensions. We don’t have air flowing through it this year, so we’ve had to make up that cross-sectional area. We’ve also done a much better job of cooling our batteries, which has meant doing some thermal stuff inside the batteries.”

Though the 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc has been tested prior to its arrival on the Isle, tomorrow’s practice is the first chance Rutter and Miller will have to swing a leg over the machine. Talking to Michael Czysz about the TT fortnight, he said biggest hurdle will be setting up the bikes to each rider’s specifications in only two mountain passes. Helping the two Segway MotoCzysz Racing riders conquer the Mountain Course is an upgraded systems dash, which will better communicate the pace of the rider in relation to the course, and what is occurring on the 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc.

“We’re communicating to the riders very simple, clean, and efficient strategies on what they can do with the bike — and that’s on-the-fly as they go,” said Czysz. “This is really one of our secret sauces this year.”

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT pit 11 635x425

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT pit 09 635x425

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT pit 07 635x425

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT pit 04 635x425

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT unveil 05 635x425

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT unveil 06 635x425

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT unveil 01 635x425

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Breaks Cover at the Isle of Man TT 2012 MotoCzysz E1pc IOMTT unveil 11 635x425

2012 MotoCzysz E1pc Technical Specifications

Chassis
FrameTwin Spar Carbon Fiber Frame
Wheelbase1435mm (56.4in)
Rake22.5°
TrailAdjustable from 87.5mm-100mm (3.5-4in)
Head Angle22.5°
Front wheel travel127mm (5in)
Front wheelMarchesini 10-spoke magnesium 3.50 x 17
Front TirePirelli Diablo Superbike 120/70 R17
Rear wheel travel127mm (5in)
Rear wheelMarchesini 10-spoke Magnesium 6.00 x 17
Rear tirePirelli Diablo Superbike 190/55 R17
Front brake2 x 320mm full-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc calipers 4-piston, 2-pad
Rear brake220mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Dry weight238kg (525lbs)
Seat height800mm (31.5in)
Batteries
CellsDow Kokam Lithium Polymer
Energy14.0kWh
Voltage330V+
Motor
TypeProprietary Liquid Cooled, Permanent Magnet, Brushless DC (IPM)
Power150+kW / 200+hp
Torque220Nm
Motor Controller150kW Liquid Cooled
TransmissionSingle Speed Gear Drive

Source: MotoCzysz; Photos: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. ngads says:

    thats sick! i dig the SolidWorks sponsor sticker on there too :)

  2. Jimmy Smith JR says:

    Oh my Jesus. I think it needs another spoiler.

  3. Afletra says:

    Very futuristic bike indeed, but…it’s kinda more suitable for “movie-making” than a race bike…

  4. The secret of MotoCzysz is a conduit through which the air flows from the front to the back for to defeat aerodynamic resistance ????

  5. frogy6 says:

    If they have 200 bhp a 130 mph lap should be no problem.

    If they have more than 100bhp for the bike to last the lap I’d he surprised. No problem to stick something on a dyno and show big numbers if it doesn’t have to last any time

  6. Justin says:

    “Since wind resistance is a square-function when velocity doubles, MotoCzysz has placed a high priority on aerodynamics for the 2012 season.”

    My stomach just turned a little. Nothing wrong here, exactly, but sounds the idea wasn’t finished. Wind resistance is always a square-function, regardless of velocity. If velocity doubles then wind resistance increases four-fold.

  7. MotoJoe says:

    Whatever, give me the original C1.

  8. Tight deadline on this one Justin. Hopefully the update appeases your senses.

  9. ZeitgeistXiii says:

    Bike Porn for sure:) Good luck guys.

  10. Quentin Wilson says:

    Mmmmm, Secret Sauce!

  11. paulus says:

    Vaguely 80′s CBR1100 looking/Britten bastard love child.
    Proof will be in the running.

  12. Added 12 more photos from the Grandstand unveiling. Note Michael Rutter’s matching Puma sneakers. Enjoy.

  13. Sion says:

    Is that the Mugen guys looking on in the second-last picture? They look kind of worried! :)

  14. The ENTIRE Mugen squad was front and center for the unveiling. Lots of talking, pointing, and looking.

  15. adam s says:

    my god, that thing is ugly. looks like something out of Judge Dread. but things dont have to be pretty to go fast. we’ll see if all that stuff is worth while tomorrow…

  16. Dr. Gellar says:

    Niiiiice!! :-) I don’t think these new E1pc’s look ugly at all. Purposeful is more like it. I really hope this strategy of focusing on the aerodynamics of the bikes pays off in the race and proves to be effective.

    Best of luck MotoCzysz!

  17. Will says:

    Saw this bike being tested during the lunch break at a MotoCorsa track day in Portland over a month ago. Thing was fast and the sound kinda reminded me of a tie fighter flying by. Good luck guys! Kick honda’s, I mean mugen’s ass!

  18. Remus says:

    I’m assuming the aero was focused on cutting through air with less resistance, but what about side winds?

    I wonder how easy/hard it is to shift these bike from side to side when tackling corners. Aside from the obvious weight, I wonder if the “large” side profile would make it more difficult to bank from corner to corner… I remember Honda motogp started deploying “snub nosed” rc212v’s just for this phenomenon. Winglets also seemed to be abandoned by Ducati over the past year. And various motogp teams drilling holes in the fairings on windy circuits. Is the Island windy at all?

    That said, I appreciate the “out of the box” thinking and doing in this bike. Hope it works! Just wondering, why another redesign in the front suspension? What happened to the czysz patented “in the middle damper” used in the C1?

  19. The front suspension on the 2011 & 2012 models is an evolution of the C1′s suspension. Why put a 15 lbs shock on the nose of the bike, when you can move it farther back to the bike’s center?

  20. Oh no! Mugen Honda, run to the hills!!111!!!!!

    Haters gona hate Honda.

  21. Remus says:

    I didn’t know the new suspension is an evolution of the old previous designs… must have missed it :)

    It would be cool if you can do a feature on the bike’s suspension. And also get a feedback to the racers who are traditionally accustomed to forks.

    I really hope this thing breaks the 100mph barrier

  22. PD says:

    Egad. Looks like some early 80s Japanese future sportbike concept that wanted to wrap everything in plastic. Except much worse.

  23. Franxou says:

    It looks amazing! The presentation pic is just another photo of a TT bike, but the other photos when reading the article, it’s just amazing, it looks completely futuristic without being cheesy or cliché’d, I really like it!
    For the “electric motorcycle”, well it’s still not my cup of tea but I’m hoping them good luck, one day the technology will be viable for the masses and they are pushing the limits.

  24. Damo says:

    @ngads

    Nice to see the CAD sponsor show up! (I am a 11 year Solidworks user myself)

    Got to be good coverage for them. The bike looks sharp in a 1992 futuristic/cyber/anime sort of way. I dig it.

    Can they stop McGuinness on the Shinden though?

  25. Kyle G says:

    Any Idea where the radiator is on this guy? Looks like maybe in the belly pan, but its hard to tell

  26. Mike says:

    Well I, for one, am rooting for Flynn to vanquish Sark on that thing.

  27. ngads says:

    @ Damo

    Nice! I’ve used Solidworks and ProE for about 5 years now (i prefer Solidworks), just got my Bachelor of Engineering :)

    I think McGuinness will be hard to stop, but he has never raced in this category b4 and we don’t know how good the honda is yet. Cant Wait to find out!

  28. It sure is an interesting looking bike. I look forward to seeing how it performs on track.