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.

Benelli BN600 – Italy’s Other Street-Naked

11/07/2012 @ 5:49 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Benelli BN600   Italys Other Street Naked Benelli BN600 white 635x476

A Chinese-owned Italian brand, Benelli makes some of the most beautiful motorcycles we have ever seen (Benelli Tornado anyone?), but the company has been rather absentee since getting acquired by the Qianjiang Group. Sure, Benelli seems to walk out a new variation of the Benelli TnT or TRE-K just about every year or so, and the Benelli Due has been a work in progress since before the first Obama administration, but for the most part, Benelli has been phoning it in when it comes to its proper motorbikes.

That seems to be changing though, as at EICMA the Italian brand will debut the Benelli BN600 — an 80hp, 600cc, inline-four street-naked. Building off the same established Benelli road-bike aesthetic, the BN600 (we cant tell if that that is Mandarin for either ‘horrible motorcycle name’ or ‘Benelli Naked 600cc’) is an interesting new model from Italy’s other motorcycle manufacturer, as it adds yet another street-naked to the Benelli line, and is close in displacement to the 118hp Benelli TnT 899.

Featuring a liquid-cooled, DOHC, fuel-injected, four-valve, 600cc engine with 38mm throttle bodies, Benelli is making a move from its quirky triples to a more “Japanese” four-cylinder power plant. Not an overly high-performing motorcycle, the peaky Benelli BN600 makes 82hp @ 11,500 rpm, with peak torque being 38 lbs•ft @ 10,500 rpm. Wet sump, wet clutch, six-speed gearbox, Benelli says the BN600 will have a “really competitive price” — whatever that means.

The chassis is a steel trellis / aluminum plate design, with 50mm USD forks and 320mm radial brakes. Benelli’s info is a bit tough to understand, but wouldn’t expect too much adjustability in the stock suspension, as this has all the makings of a budget motorcycle. Rounding out the specs are the BN600′s 17″ wheels with 120/70 & 180/55 tires, front to back respectively. The fuel tanks is 3.92 gallons (16 liters), and colors will be white, black, and orange.

Perhaps a bit underwhelming, especially considering Benelli’s absense of anything substantively new in the marketplace, the BN600 is still a sharp looking machine. If the company is true to its word that the Benelli BN600 will be priced competitively, there could really be an exquisite looking budget machine to be had here…assuming you can get past Benelli’s dubious history with unreliability and non-existent dealer network. Set to be available mid-2013, we will have more details next week.

This is another story that has been broken by Asphalt & Rubber. Be sure to follow the rest of our EICMA news for the most comprehensive coverage from Milan.

Source: Benelli

Comment:

  1. Pete says:

    Lord…what are they doing over there.

    Benelli..heck even Gilera, Laverda, Aprilia have an oppurtunity to build a bike in which enthusiasts want but don’t know it yet…a 600cc V4.

    Come on people!

  2. toki says:

    WTF! Where is the Due 756?

  3. MikeD says:

    The engine looks any other W/C Japanese 600 I-4…but more so like a CBR600 knock off…as someone somewhere pointed out.

    WOW…is that 1 O2 sensor on each header pipe ? WTF…those things a frigging xpensive to replace when they die.

    50mm USD Forks.
    320mm rotors.
    Radial mount calipers, probably 4 pots.
    Easy to adjust side mounted shock.
    Too bad about that sky high redline…and weedy torque output…a triple would have done so much better.

    Overall a good looking bike and more less decent hardware…albeit a tiny bit behind in the styling department (undertail xhaust).

  4. Westward says:

    Lol, Benelli moves away from triples as MV Agusta embraces it with their new line of bikes… One company maybe moving backwards while the other is moving forward…

  5. froryde says:

    I’m with Toki on this – WTF is the Due? That was a pretty sharp looking machine and looked almost ready for production too…

  6. Damo says:

    I don’t mind the look of the bike, not beautiful by any standard. The bike looks like a nice practical sporty commuter, if that is what they are going for.

    The Benelli Tornado Tre 900 is one of my favorite unobtainable European machines (specifically in green and silver of course).

  7. Jaybond says:

    Benelli could have been another version of modern day MV Agusta- exquisite Italian motorcycle exotica, but the momentum of the last Tornado Tre 1130 superbike just died off, which is a big shame to say the least. The Chinese owner should be more willing to come out with the Tornado superbike successor, either in 3 cyl or 4 cyl engine. The brand won’t go anywhere without the flagship products.

  8. Craig says:

    Priced competitively better be at around 7-7.5 k for that lump.

    I mean real nakeds that say Street Triple R on the side sell for 84 – 95k here in the states and you get full suspension and a proven bike. Just sayin…

  9. MikeD says:

    @Craig:

    I don’t think we’ll see her around here.

  10. Gritboy says:

    Benelli is so lost. Once exciting bikes have been relegating to crappy production and confusing marketing.