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.

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Gets ABS & Other Refinements

10/02/2012 @ 4:46 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Gets ABS & Other Refinements 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC 05 635x463

While the 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC may look like the same dominant superbike that has been blowing the doors off at bike shootouts, but the company from Noale has made some subtle changes to its V4 street weapon, the most noticeable of which is a three-level dual-channel ABS system from Bosch. The ABS unit can be completely disengaged, should a rider feel it necessary to retain the ability to lock-up the newly added Brembo M430/M50 calipers (the same brake calipers as the Ducati 1199 Panigale), and brings the Aprilia RSV4 in-line with its other liter-bike competitors.

While Aprilia could have stopped there and called things a day, the Italian brand has made further changes to the Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC’s stock engine placement in the chassis, as well as other refinements in the RSV4′s exhaust and ECU. The result is a lower center of gravity, and a mild boost in peak horsepower and mid-range torque, which brings the revised RSV4 Factory up to 181.4hp at the crank and 86.3 lbs•ft of peak torque @ 10,500 rpm.

The RSV4′s APRC electronics package has also been improved upon, and continues to be the envy of the sport biking world. While accommodating the Bosch ABS control unit, the ergonomics of the 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC were altered and improved, and additionally the fuel tank capacity was increased from 17 liter to 18.5 liters (4.88 gallons).

No word yet on availability and pricing in North America, but the 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC is stickered with a €22,790 price tag at INTERMOT (up from €22,390), which could signal a mild price increase for the added braking and chassis refinements if/when it comes to the USA & Canada. More info as we get it.

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Gets ABS & Other Refinements 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC 04 635x423

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Gets ABS & Other Refinements 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC 06 635x423

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Gets ABS & Other Refinements 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC 07 635x491

Source: Aprilia

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    No Caponord ?

  2. The Italian OEMs are saving all the good stuff for EICMA.

  3. dc4go says:

    Wonderful bike with lots of character, sweat handling, wonderful motor and best exhaust noise (personal opinion) in the SBK market.. Favorite bike in my garage….

  4. Tedd Riggs says:

    Sweet ride ! Hope it comes to the US Soon !

  5. Michael says:

    I had a 2010 R model for about 18 months. Still regret selling it. What an amazing package. TERRIBLE street bike but amazing track tool (for an advanced rider). My favorite of the current liter bikes by a long shot. Will definitely buy one of these on the used market in a couple years. I also really like Aprilia’s approach to development. Small, yet meaningful upgrades every year or two. Even though the bike appears the same as the 2009 version I would bet a back to back ride on both would be quite a different experience

  6. Michael says:

    A couple things bug me about this one though.
    A) I HATE the gold wheels. Why??? Black forged OZ’s looked so much better on the 2010 bikes.
    B) Why even bother with passenger accommodations? Has anyone ever tried riding 2-up on one of these? I bet it would be absolutely miserable for both parties. Ditch the extra weight and leave them in the accessory catalog.
    C) Still no TTX rear shock? Seems like such an easy up-sell over the previous model year and many high end bikes are coming TTX equipped now. Even the Triumph 675R has one. Simply put the Factory is too expensive to not have top shelf suspension in the current market.

    If this is really the last year of the current RSV4, just think what next year will bring……. Electronic suspension? Lighter chassis? Full digital dash? GPS lap timer?

  7. dc4go says:

    Gold wheels are not my favorite neither is the bigger tank looks overweight!! As an owner of a 10 RSV Factory only complains are weight (dropped 20lbs. w/ ti exhaust system) and lack of aero protection. Adding a double bubble helped but at 6’2” im pushing it. Lastly the bike is a little twitchy compared to what Im used to but makes up for it with nimble handling. Awesome bike!!

  8. SuryaD says:

    I agree about the no TTX rear shock. For the factory…I have a 2012 I had that complaint. The Daytona R has NIX30 shocks up front too if I am not mistaken not to mention the TTX in the rear. And also the chain guards should have been carbon fiber as well. I wonder if the engine management is backwards compatible with the 2012 MY meaning if an ecu flash would do the trick. I still need to break in my bike. Only put 400 miles on it since July when I bought it brand new!

  9. Faust says:

    So the Ohlins forks up front and Ohlins racing monoshock out back aren’t good anymore? This bike does have top shelf suspension.

  10. Michael says:

    Dont kid yourself. Just because it wears an Ohlins sticker does not mean its the same quality as the components you and I have to pay big bucks for in the aftermarket. Ohlins and motorcycle OEM’s know the power of a brand name and Ohlins is by far the biggest brand in suspension. I’m certain that the Ohlins parts on the RSV4 Factory are a step above the Sachs on the R model but there is still much room for improvement. When I see bikes like the 675 with higher spec suspension parts from the same manufacturer, I just have to scratch my head.

  11. Faust says:

    And don’t kid yourself into thinking that 99% of the people who buy this bike would be able to tell you the difference between those suspension components at all. For the few who ride sports bikes who even touch an adjustment on their shock(and lets not kid ourselves, most don’t), you can get the TTX shock for it. You can go buy a 675 if you want to, but the Daytona doesn’t come with an optional 999.6 cc, 65 degree V 4 and the best electronics package available on an OEM bike. At some point, price does become an issue, and putting the absolute best of everything on a bike would price it out of the market. Are lighter rims better? Hell yeah, so lets throw some carbon fiber rims on this beast. The absolute best suspension out there? Most people won’t use it, but hey lets do it anyway. And while we are at it, lets make the body panels from carbon fiber, and convert all the hardware to titanium. Then the bike will be so high priced that nobody buys it. I mean, accept some compromise somewhere. The fact that they added the top ofthe line M50 Brembos and a new Bosch system to control them is evidence they are looking out for the stuff riders actually make the most use of, ensuring they get the best bang for the buck. I can’t imagine someone riding this bike and complaining that the bike is all good except for the suspension. In fact, I’ve never read a review of the RSV4 which claims this.

  12. Damo says:

    @Michael

    Don’t kid yourself, living with extremely boutique Ohlins suspension on a bike you actually put miles on sucks as well. Talk to anyone who lives in a temperate area of the world and ask them how often they have to get the fork seals serviced. Or save the time and google it, don’t take my word for it.

    But seriously are we really griping about last generation Ohlins not being good enough, wtf? No one posting on this sight would know the goddamn difference, don’t kid yourself.

    Personally I care more about a dynamite braking system, because I’ll actually notice that EVERY TIME I use the bike.

    Maybe we have some cats on this site that drag their knee every time they go to the shops to get milk, but I doubt that is the case.

  13. DeezToolz says:

    Granted, gentlemen, this is a very track-oriented machine. As shown here: http://ti2tt.com/ti/ti2tt/content/FtKMk6vI.html I clearly care about the suspension. The OEM rear shock, although it is gold, does need a little TLC to do it’s job better, but the cost differential between that and a TTX is substantial. I was glad not to have paid it in purchase price, and instead spent half of it to get the OEM one dialed in for my needs.

    But I can’t fit milk into my suit.

  14. This remains my favorite L bike, first for the engine, second but by no means less important for the brakes, which are the best sorted in the business, significantly better than the BMW and the Ducati. Aprilia obviously has their priorities straight.

    It is certainly an imperfect package for daily street riding in an urban area, having a number of significant flaws, flaws which are for the most part a result of making it such a track orientated rocket. But for anybody who lives in a rural area with a lot of rolling hills, or in the subtropics to tropics with big wide-open highways, freeways turnpikes etc., I think it’s safe to say you’re going to have a lot of fun on this bike, and quickly grow to love it.

    I might prefer to live with the BMW on a daily basis, or the Ducati when I’m just want to be lazy about gearing and throttle, and still have a lot of fun. But when it comes to pushing it to the limit going through a giant sweeper at 170 mph, rolling on the throttle at the top of the rev range coming out of the corner, going full on the brakes into a corner that would put any other bike on the market out of shape, well perhaps no other bike out there today will give you the same satisfaction you will experience with this baby. When the others fade, and you’re left out there all alone in front, or that precise throttle opening that gives you the absolute perfect on the limit drive out of your favorite corner is your thing. If those are the moments you live for, this is probably your motorcycle.

    It’s all relative of course, everybody has their own preference, riding style, but in the context of that narrow area that constitutes the very pinnacle of what sport bike riding and racing are all about, this is the peak that everyone aims at, Aprilia is just a bit higher up Everest than the rest.

  15. The 2011 RSV4 Factory SE was the best looking Aprilia ever made ! They should have stuck with that color scheme !