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 BMW R1200GS – A Water-Cooled Icon

10/02/2012 @ 3:45 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

2013 BMW R1200GS   A Water Cooled Icon 2013 BMW R1200GS 284 635x476

Building off of three decades of tradition and 170,000 units sold worldwide, the 2013 BMW R1200GS has some big shoes to fill. Officially debuting today at the INTERMOT show, the Bavarians have kept most of what makes a GS a “GS” intact, while of course adding a much speculated, hyped, and rumored water-cooled boxer-twin motor into the mix.

The big push with the new model is its ability to meet stricter noise and emission standards, hence the move to liquid-cooling. Though, BMW says it also aimed to improve the R1200GS’s on & off-road performance, increase the bike’s safety, and of course continue the GS heritage that has basically defined the segment.

Using “precision cooling” derived from Formula 1, the 2013 BMW R1200GS only uses liquid cooling on the parts of the motor that need the additional heat exchange, thus allowing the engine still to use a high-degree of air-cooling, which BMW says helps justify the continued use of the boxer-twin motor design. Other changes include a wet slipper clutch and left-hand side cardan shaft drive. As we reported earlier, power is 123hp and 92 ft•lbs of torque at 6,500 rpm, while the curb weight is 525 lbs (238 kg) without fuel.

Other features include a ride-by-wire “E-gas” system, which has an integrated cruise control option. The 2013 BMW R1200GS also has five riding modes (“Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic”, “Enduro” & “Enduro Pro”), which affect how the Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Anti-locking Brakes System (ABS), and Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) semi-active suspension operate. Yes, the new BMW R1200GS gets the same semi-active suspension package as the BMW HP4 superbike, which should make it very competitive against the 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 and its Ducati Skyhook Suspension package.

The chassis of the R1200GS is new all-steel tube frame. It features a Telelever front-end, while an EVO Paralever setup is at the rear. The swingarm has been lengthened, and BMW has added 170/60 R17 tires to the rear, with 120/70 R19 tires at the front of the motorcycle. Radially mounted Brembo monoblocs do the stopping duties, with ABS being standard. BMW has added an LED running light into the mix as well.

2013 BMW R1200GS   A Water Cooled Icon 2013 BMW R1200GS 101 635x476

2013 BMW R1200GS   A Water Cooled Icon 2013 BMW R1200GS 103 635x476

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2013 BMW R1200GS   A Water Cooled Icon 2013 BMW R1200GS 107 635x476

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2013 BMW R1200GS   A Water Cooled Icon 2013 BMW R1200GS 124 635x476

BMW lists all of the features of the 2012 BMW R1200GS as the following:

  • Completely newly designed engine for top-level riding dynamics within the travel enduro segment.
  • Capacity 1170 cc, rated output 92 kW (125 bhp) at 7700 rpm and a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 6500 rpm.
  • Cylinder heads with vertical through-flow for increased efficiency and performance.
  • Compact air/water cooling for optimum heat management.
  • Basic engine with compact, light and yet rigidity-optimised crankshaft.
  • Vertically separated case in open deck construction.
  • 6-speed gearbox integrated in engine housing, including wet clutch with anti-hopping function and reduced lever operation force.
  • New intake system for optimum output and torque with 52 mm throttle valve diameter.
  • E-gas for improved ridability, running smoothness and special functions.
  • Innovative exhaust gas system with electronically controlled exhaust flap for optimum performance characteristics and an earthy boxer sound.
  • Freely selectable riding modes “Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic”, “Enduro” and “Enduro Pro” with three different electromotive throttle actuator settings in conjunction with ASC (Automatic Stability Control), ABS and ASC settings for off-road riding as well as different mode-specific Dynamic ESA settings (option ex works).
  • New suspension with torsionally stiff tubular steel bridge frame and bolt-on rear frame.
  • Optimised lightweight cardan shaft drive now running on the left-hand side.
  • Newly developed and optimised Telelever at front and EVO Paralever at rear for an even more precise ride feel.
  • Refined master chassis geometry data and long swingarm for excellent traction.
  • Optimised seating width and position, and adjustable handlebars for even greater comfort.
  • Optimised ground reach for rider (inner leg length).
  • Tyre/wheel dimensions of 120/70 R19 at front and 170/60 R17 at rear as a world first, tailored specially to the R 1200 GS.
  • Revised BMW Motorrad brake system with radially mounted Brembo Monobloc brake calipers at front and 2-piston floating caliper with enlarged brake disc at  rear (Ø 276mm, previously 265mm).
  • BMW Motorrad Integral ABS as standard.
  • Semiactive suspension Dynamic ESA (ex works option).
  • Main headlight with optimised light efficiency and LED daytime running light (ex works option).
  • World’s first motorcycle with LED main headlight featuring integrated daytime running light (ex works option).
  • New vehicle electrical system with partitioning of functions.
  • Extended electric switch units.
  • Electronic cruise control (ex works option).
  • Preparation for navigation unit with Multi-Controller to operate the
  • BMW Motorrad Navigator IV (ex works option).
  • Windshield with one-hand operation for excellent wind and weather protection.
  • Seat with multiple adjustment functions for perfect ergonomics.
  • Number plate carriers quick to dismount for off-road riding.
  • Increased ground clearance (+ 8 mm)
  • New instrument cluster with on-board computer as standard. PRO on-board computer as an option.
  • Four main paint finishes to choose from: Alpine White, Racing Red, Blue Fire and Thunder Grey Metallic.
  • Extensive range of special accessories and rider equipment.

Source: BMW Group

Comment:

  1. Tedd Riggs says:

    Beautiful looking Bike ! Some great additions to the GS. Wonder if its nickname will be the “Wethead” :-)

  2. Damo says:

    I have never been a huge fan of the GS, I respect it as a machine, but never really got into it. The new model for sure is a step in the right direction, much more modern looking.

    At least they aren’t resting on their laurels and aren’t letting the Panigales and Tigers of the world eat their entire market segment.

  3. Sixty7 says:

    Very tough looking would consider one now…

  4. meatspin says:

    awesome bike. ADVrider must be buzzing.

  5. RobG says:

    Nice looking, nice improvements. Like others, I’ve never been a big BMW fan. Too much techno-wizardry and too much weight. I’ll keep my DR650, thanks, while saving for a Tiger 800XC. Besides, I thought this thing was supposed to be a 1250. What happened there?

  6. AK says:

    Awesome looking machine, will definitely consider getting one in future.

  7. 2013 BMW R1200GS – A Water-Cooled Icon – http://t.co/5bCvRyM4 #motorcycle

  8. MikeD says:

    Me gusta.
    Triumph…YOU got NOTHING to worry about……the damn thing doesn’t even come with standard Cruise Control and ABS included because it will be mandatory soon on the EU……BMW BEING BMW at it’s finest…..AGAIN. ROTFLMAO.

    @RobG: Yeah, i said the same…1170 ? ! W/e happened to “at least 1200″ that seems to be the norm for the full size D/S class now a days ? lol.

  9. Alex says:

    From the article – “Using “precision cooling” derived from Formula 1, the 2013 BMW R1200GS only uses liquid cooling on the parts of the motor that need the additional heat exchange, thus allowing the engine still to use a high-degree of air-cooling, which BMW says helps justify the continued use of the boxer-twin motor design.”

    Sounds silly – only cooling the heads so that you can justify still using the boxer layout. Still adding the extra complexity of water cooling but not using it to its full advantage just so you can justify the chosen engine layout. Sounds like marketing – I’m guessing many fans will not want water cooling so this is a compromise.

  10. MikeD says:

    @Alex:

    I said the same. Why not use it to it’s fullest ? Is already there ! They can keep the pretty cooling fins for all i care…plus they help more the cooling cause.

  11. Johndo says:

    Love the new design except for that ridiculous beak…I guess they shared the designer with Suzuki for the ugliest beak design award on the 2014 Vstrom 1000.

  12. Paul McM says:

    Technology marches on. But the more I see these big, heavy over-gadgeted rigs, the more I long for the original R80GS:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/BMW_R80GS_GENUINE.jpg

    Hopefully BMW lets Husky bring that Baja bike to market:

    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/wp-content/gallery/husqvarna-baja-concept/2012-husqvarna-baja-concept-9.jpg

  13. Luis Valentim says:

    Awesome will hand down my 2010 to my youngest son and will consider the watercooled gs.