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 Moto Morini Granpasso & Scrambler Get Price Cuts

02/12/2013 @ 12:35 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

2013 Moto Morini Granpasso & Scrambler Get Price Cuts 2013 Moto Morini Granpasso 1200 Travel Yellow 03 635x423

After a tumultuous bankruptcy, Moto Morini is alive an kicking in 2013, albeit with a very familiar model lineup. Touching some new paint to its models, and adding some “human components” accessory pieces, Moto Morini has created three special offerings so far for the new year.

Calling its new pieces the 2013 Moto Morini Scrambler 1200 Military Green, 2013 Moto Morini Scrambler 1200 White Queen, and 2013 Moto Morini Granpasso 1200 Travel Yellow, Moto Morini is obviously trying to move some bikes and clear out its inventory with some factory specials.

While you will either love or hate what Moto Morini has going on with the aesthetics of its Scrambler and Granpasso bikes, the bevy of free gear (both for the bike and the rider), along with the new lower price points (€12,500 for the Granpasso and €10,900 for the Scramblers), are two points that are certainly going to be attractive to would-be owners.

Will the fresh paint and low prices help get Moto Morini back in black? Only time will tell. However, leave a note in the comments if you think the Italian brand should bring its wares across the pond.

2013 Moto Morini Granpasso & Scrambler Get Price Cuts 2013 Moto Morini Granpasso 1200 Travel Yellow 04 635x423

2013 Moto Morini Granpasso & Scrambler Get Price Cuts 2013 Moto Morini Scrambler Military Green 04

2013 Moto Morini Granpasso & Scrambler Get Price Cuts 2013 Moto Morini Scrambler White Queen 04 635x423

Source: Moto Morini

Comment:

  1. The Scrambler is kinda funky in a good way, but I’d rather see it done up as a naked street bike than as a scrambler. Put street rubber on it, remove the wonky dirt bits and it has some appeal.

  2. Jeram says:

    @Trane Francks

    if they did that what they would be left with is a Vtwin Triumph speed triple lookalike.

    Not a good thing for a small botique brand, they need to stand out from the crowd.

  3. Maybe, Jeram. I just think the Scrambler offers an answer to questions that North American riders just don’t have. :)

  4. Jaybond says:

    What Moto Morini really need is a full fledge sportbike model – perhaps starting with a V-Twin 750cc Supersport bike.

  5. Damo says:

    That Scrambler in green with the brown bags is poster worthy!

    As an American, I would love to own one of these as a second bike. I would be tempted to run it down some fire roads, but the prospect of sourcing parts for it makes me cringe.

    Beautiful bike though, just gorgeous in a minimalistic way.

  6. John says:

    Unfortunately, these bikes are too pricey for the American market right now. What’s more, while cool, they would be of limited appeal meaning that dealer support would be very limited in this country.

  7. Max says:

    From a business perspective, it would be a terrible idea for MM to come here while they are on such shaky footing back home. But despite all that, I would LOVE to ride the Corsaro Veloce. I have been obsessed with that bike for so long… will definitely try and find one for rent next time I’m in Italy.

    http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/2010-moto-morini-corsaro-veloce-1200-review-89558.html

  8. Jon says:

    As with Max, I think Morini are missing out by not putting more focus on the Corsaro line. It’s known throughout the press (the only people who seem to ride them) as one of the maddest, baddest streetbikes ever created with an absolutely insane monster of an engine. A Speed Triple for those who’ve a few less marbles.

  9. Johndo says:

    The military green Scrambler is freakin sexy, and i’d buy one if there was a good dealer network in Canada and that I wasn’t worried of the company closing.

  10. mark says:

    If Moto Marini brought these bikes to the US with good prices, I would be sorely tempted to pick up that green Scrambler. Drool.

  11. Hayabrusa says:

    I would LOVE to see Moto Morini export their bikes to the US. I’m not a huge fan of the yellow pain, but I would love to have a GranPasso! The world needs more Italian bikes (doesn’t it?)!

  12. Patrick says:

    I have one of these in Black and it’s just brilliant. Engine packs plenty of power and the bike is super comfy and so cool. People just stare at it everywhere we go. Mine has road tyres which it came with which will be swapped for some on/off rubber when the time comes. Only 5 of these in the UK. Spares have been easy to get and the bike overall is fairly simple to work with. I can’t recommend this enough. What a thrilling bike. Sold my Ducati 600SS (which I miss) to get the Morini. Would I offroad this bike? Non! I have a Yamaha TTR250 for that. Would I go long distance? Oh yes…Off to Scotland this summer from London.