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 Suzuki Hayabusa Gets ABS & Brembo Brakes

10/02/2012 @ 8:08 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

2013 Suzuki Hayabusa Gets ABS & Brembo Brakes 2013 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R 07 635x418

It’s hard to believe that for over a decade, the Suzuki Hayabusa has gone relatively unchanged from its original form. Sure, there have been some updates — a nose-job here, a face-lift there, but let’s be honest, the engineer responsible for the Suzuki GSX1300R has mostly just been pushing paper around his desk since the Clinton administration.

That tradition has not come to a close for the next model year, though the 2013 Suzuki Hayabusa does get some massaging from the Japanese brand. Updated with an anti-locking brakes system (ABS), the 2012 Suzuki GSX1300R, as it name implies, joins the rest of the GSX-R family in getting Brembo Monobloc calipers.

While the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R / Kawasaki ZZR1400 got a revamp in 2012, Suzuki seems content to let the Hayabusa remain in its current form, which is now considerably different from the ZX-14R, though both bikes do now lay claim to ABS braking technology.

A bike with a very well-defined purpose when it debuted, it is not clear what the Hayabusa’s current raison d’être is now, or where it is headed in the coming years. As always, time will tell, but we hope Hiroshi Iio-san is busy envisioning Suzuki’s next great hyperbike.

2013 Suzuki Hayabusa Gets ABS & Brembo Brakes 2013 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R 23 635x421

2013 Suzuki Hayabusa Gets ABS & Brembo Brakes 2013 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R 22 635x419

2013 Suzuki Hayabusa Gets ABS & Brembo Brakes 2013 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R 21 635x421

2013 Suzuki Hayabusa Gets ABS & Brembo Brakes 2013 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R 17 635x417

Source: Suzuki

Comment:

  1. coreyvwc says:

    Oh but it does still have a purpose in 2012. It lets the world know that you have absolutely no taste and very small genitalia.

  2. MikeD says:

    This thing needs a “clean sheet of paper” update…AND while at it, Suzuki…how about using the platform for something else than a hyperbike ?

    Look at Kawi and their ZX-14R and C14 deal…make that precious R&D money and time that u threw away work for you…(^_^)

  3. dc4go says:

    I have to agree with both remarks what an ugly pile!! Suzuki has clearly lost it’s way lately….

  4. JoeD says:

    Ditto on all.

  5. Brett says:

    Recently saw, online, 2012′s were selling for $10,999. Another dealer had 16 Busa in stock, and only 2 ZX-14′s.

  6. Gutterslob says:

    Whatever happened to that B-King model? Wasn’t it based on the Hayabusa?

  7. Neil says:

    Well, no need to go to the dealer show in Vegas then…..bummer !!!

  8. WetMan says:

    Legend. Icon. There is no need to change anything… It’s a Hayabusa.
    And those of you who are thrashing it now, will pay big bucks in two decades or so for ‘an original’.

  9. MikeD says:

    @WetMan:

    Legend ? Maybe… Icon ? For sure……BUT………

    Don’t be such a close/narrow minded Busa fanboy. Personally i think there’s a space for this kind of motorcycle on every OEM lineup…they just have to strive to keep it “fresh” and make it more profitable….(make a sport tourer off of it too, it practically begs for it).

    Just look how “awesomely STAGNANT” is Suzuki’s lineup (on the USA anyways) after resting on the laurels for so long.

    If it were up to your way of thinking we would be riding wagons pulled by horses.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    @Gutterslob:

    The B-King took a hike for lack of sales. I blame the “too radical looks and ergos for a naked trying to look like a hardcore German streetfigther” as the culprit. That tail pointing to the moon, those outlandish cans, high pegs, u mention it.

  10. I’ve just never liked the looks of the ‘busa. All of those bulbous curves make it look like a really fat woman trying to squeeze into her old high school spandex clothing.

  11. “And those of you who are thrashing it now, will pay big bucks in two decades or so for ‘an original’.”

    ROTFLMAO! This thing is FUGLY! I’d be far, far, far more inclined to pay big bucks for a nice ’80-something ELR. If I’m going to lose my license, I’d rather it be on something with rugged good looks and a sweet-sounding Kerker. The Hayabusa — beautiful name notwithstanding — is a bulbous boob.

  12. Marc F says:

    I’m not a ‘busa customer, but I have a huge amount of respect for what was absolutely a successful exercise in engineering and product design. It was a bike created to beat the XX, and be the fastest thing on the planet. It managed that, while also being a supremely comfortable, surprisingly manageable all around motorcycle that could happily log thousands of maintenance free miles. On top of that, they managed to nail a completely distinctive and new design aesthetic that while not my taste has had a decade of appeal for their audience. I wish every new motorcycle was designed and executed with as much engineering rigor and sense of purpose, even if it’s not my purpose.

    I agree with some others, in 10 more years the first gen Hayabusa will be as iconic as some of the greats, maybe even the OG Katana.

  13. Ray says:

    I agree the busa needs a new direction like a 1400 power plant but the busa has been a lgend that last 10 years before kawi even caught up.I own a gen 1 busa and love it and would not ride anything else.I know of 2 buaa that have logged in over 100k on the lock and still ride and run great.

  14. MikeD says:

    @Ray:

    U said my good man. Im not knocking on the machine itself but rather it’s outdated looks.
    And even tho it looks is like the SR-71 BlackBird (Form follows function) i still believe it can be refreshed and and brougth to look out of the late 1990′s and more into the 2000-teens.

    1400cc ? Sure, personally i hate shifting, SOOOO…YES ! …more CC’s please. Suzukis engine wise they are pretty reliable…just look around and see how many squids that know squat about periodic maintenance own them….the things refuse to DIE.

  15. Walter Vail says:

    It always amazes me how many Wannabe Busa owners knock this bike, which in its own rite has revolutionized superbikes. They rarely even own a scooter no less One of the best Motorcycles ever made…if its looks you want maybe Kalvin Klein is more your style or Jordache jeans…

  16. Why would somebody knock a bike if they want to own it? I don’t think that’s a logical idea at all. We’re not 12 and punching a girl we like on the arm, ya know. ROTFL

  17. Hunter says:

    You guys have no glue. I been riding my busa anywhere and everywhere. Through the alps in Austria and Italy, the alps of France and to the Normandie. Travled entire Europe on my busa with no failure.
    I drove the highest Mountain passes in Europe including the La Bonnette, the busa is THE long distance touring bike. I tested the Kawa and …no thanks. The beauty of the bike…is unmatched. The perfromance in the alps and anywhere has simply no match. Get over it…

  18. Mike says:

    Hunter is absolutely correct. I have a Busa and love it. Yes, it is ugly. But that is part of the attraction. It is a wicked fun bike to ride, and has a great reputation to boot. Best thing is… nobody… NOBODY… messes with me on my daily commute. Love the bike.