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.

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi-Res

11/13/2012 @ 7:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV R ABS 15 635x423

We already told you last month that the 2013 Aprilia RSV4 would get a bevy of revisions, not to mention the inclusion of ABS brakes…yet for some reason we had to wait until today to tell you that information again. Yes, it is completely bizarre yet completely normal situation to encounter when dealing with Italians, and especially so with the Noale company. Honestly, it is just one of the perks of working in the motorcycle industry, or not in it, as American Honda seems to think.

What is perhaps more newsworthy than these thinly veiled rants are these first photos of the Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in matte black, which is drop dead sexy in any language. Aprilia is keen to remind us that the RSV4 topped many of the superbike shootouts this year, besting machines like the Ducati 1199 Panigale and BMW S1000RR (we’d be keen to try an RSV4 Factory against the new BMW HP4 though).

Selling the RSV4 has never been a problem of product for Aprilia. The RSV4 is superb, and in its second year of racing, Max Biaggi took it to win the World Superbike Championship. The Roman Emperor repeated that feat again this year, though we doubt it will move that many more units in North America for Aprilia, which sells RSV4′s by the hundreds, not the thousands, in the largest sport bike market worldwide.

If there was ever a brand you wanted to see get its act together, Aprilia, and the Piaggio Group as whole, has to be it. Until that happens though, we will have to view the photos after the jump with a taste of foreboding. Like Eve’s apple, Pandora’s box, and Lindsay Lohan’s driving, the treat is tantalizing, though the headache is probably not worth it. Le sigh.

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV R ABS 14 635x393

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV R ABS 13 635x497

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV R ABS 16 635x481

The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory ABS for Good Measure:

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 01 635x423

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 02 635x463

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 03 635x495

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 04 635x423

Photos: The 2013 Aprilia RSV4 R ABS in Matte Black Hi Res 2013 Aprilia RSV Factory ABS 05 635x509

Photos: Aprilia

Comment:

  1. Angus McFangus says:

    Why do you always talk about photos ‘after the jump’? There’s no jumps…the pics are directly afterwards. In fact, the only jump is your text saying the photos are after the jump. Why are you trying to make my life so difficult and confusing?

  2. motogpdr says:

    I have to say that I’ve been glued to my seat this week on the internet searching for EICMA coverage. A and R is by far the best!!!!

  3. Angus, it’s the small things that make this whole blog thing worthwhile for me. Making your life difficult and confusing is one of those small perks. Sorry for partying.

    motogpdr, why were you searching the internet? Just come here each time. :)

  4. Spektre76 says:

    Drool worthy bike. I can’t imagine how much better next years beat will be!

  5. dc4go says:

    Rubbing my hands already waiting for the 2014 model.. hope they don’t make it any smaller cause at 6’2″ my current RSV4 factory is a tight fit…

  6. apriliaboy14 says:

    Awwww, dammit. I feel a midlife crisis coming on. Always wanted an RSVR, and my ’07 Tuono is getting close to 60K… This might be a great 50th Birthday present to meself. At least SWMBO would like it better than a blonde girlfriend!

  7. Silas says:

    Just do it apriliaboy!

    I am in a love hate relationship with my RSV4 Factory right now because I want a new ride but the Aprilia is just too good. Having never owned a bike for more than 2 years, it’s looking like the Ape will take me to the 2014 RSV4. I’ve tried almost everything, including the Panigale (actually defaulted on my deposit after I rode it). There is just nothing out there that makes you feel more like you’re riding a real superbike.

  8. DareN says:

    No place to buy it and no place to fix it (coming from former Aprilia owner)

  9. Tyler says:

    Well… I have a 2010 RSV4 Factory with 14,000 miles on it… and it has only had a couple very minor issues, all being covered by warranty (2 year warranty, unlimited miles…).

    I would not stray away from Aprilia, especially if there is a dealer nearby. It is the best pure sport bike on the market right now.. simply amazing. I hope Aprilia continues to grow in the USA – their chassis are second to none… it is too bad they are competing in the other MotoGP series as they once dominated in the 250GP class…

    The RSV4 is essentially a 250GP chassis with a V4 motor inside it… <3

  10. Tyler says:

    They are *not* competing.. oops

  11. DeezToolz says:

    Tyler- I’m also a 2010 V4 Factory owner, and all minor issues have been tucked into the warranty.

    Personally, this flat black is the scheme I have lusted after since Day 1. It mimics the flat-carbon (from a distance) prototypes that they had first released spy shots of, and it’s just so CLEAN. Understated class. True lust.

    This gives me a reason for a second set of fiberglass fairings. Might have to give the folks at Racers Edge in AUS a buzz, see if they still make that set with the black gelcoat. Perfect base for this project…

  12. “Why do you always talk about photos ‘after the jump’? There’s no jumps…the pics are directly afterwards.”

    I’ll spoil Jensen’s fun, Angus: The jump comes from reading the article spoiler from the front page and “jumping” to the full article proper by clicking the Continue Reading button. Those of us who read via e-mail subscriptions go directly to the full article.

  13. This remains my favorite superbike. The old V twin Aprilias were awesome, but once they went with the V4 engine, they moved into another level of performance.

    For an overall daily rider, the BMW may be the preferred ride, but for those who want to experience the ultimate in superbike rocketship scalpel on the edge performance, this is the bike to go with. If you live near an open expressway, or any place with roller coaster rolling hills, this bike offers the opportunity to dive into the hyper realm of performance, a place most humans will never experience in their lifetime.

    As the old saying goes, life begins at 170 mph, and on this bike you’ll hardly notice when you blow past that mark, because all you’ll be doing is watching the road in front of you disappear, and hearing the sound of that molto molto Bene engine singing to you as she hits her sweet spot at 13,000 RPMs, and the shift light comes on.

  14. Tim says:

    Hello Jensen,

    Why is this? “North America for Aprilia, which sells RSV4′s by the hundreds, not the thousands, in the largest sport bike market worldwide”.

    With all of the positive Media reports and reviews it’s a great bike. What I have noticed that I still have not seen a RSV4 Factory up here in North California/Alice’s/STP and only 1 white RSV4. In your opinion is it because of pricing, reliability or?

  15. Lack of a dealer network, and worse…dealer support. Gone might be the days of waiting months for a part from Noale if you had an issue with your bike, but things are still far from perfect.

    This is the same company that hires “journalists” from “publications of record” to do their marketing and PR work.

  16. DeezToolz says:

    Hahahaah. That WesT Publication sure has come Apart a few times and had to make a few OEM parts replacement orders from Noale, hasn’t he?

    On the other hand, I find my dealer in Thousand Oaks to be very supportive. Tim- I know a few fella’s from the AF1 Forum that live in NorCal and occasionally ride out to Alice’s, but you’re right, there aren’t many.

  17. BBQdog says:

    @Tyler: “…. as as they once dominated in the 250GP class”

    They also dominated the 125 class. It’s a pity they don’t partitcipate in Moto3.
    And I would love a street RS4 250.

  18. Tyler says:

    Luckily my dealer in St. Pete, FL has been very good to deal with. Quickness of parts delivery is another thing from Italy..