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.

2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS Coming to the USA

09/27/2013 @ 6:30 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS Coming to the USA  2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS 04 635x421

While David is in Aragon, I am down in Laguna Seca for the World Superbike races (apparently AMA Pro Racing is here too, though you wouldn’t know it from their TV contract), and Aprilia USA just debuted and confirmed that the alphabet soup that is the 2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS will be landing on US soil starting in October 2013.

The naked version of the venerable Aprilia RSV4 R APRC ABS superbike, the Tuono V4 R is our hands-down favorite liter-class streetfighter, with its burly, yet smooth, power delivery, and industry-leading electronics package.

Keeping the machine inline with its competitors, Aprilia is now adding ABS for the 2014 model year , and thus has raised the bar a little higher with its next iteration of the Tuono V4 R. Helping seal the deal is the $14,499 price tag, which is $500 less than last year’s MSRP.

Making a number of changes to the Tuono’s 999.6cc V4 power plant, Aprilia now claims 167hp from the machine, while adding Bosch’s 9MP anti-locking brake kit. A second-generation APRC system is also onboard, while a larger fuel tank (4.9 gallons) and improved seat round out the finer details that have been modified from the 2013 model.

With the KTM Super Duke 1290 R and BMW S1000R set to debut in just a few weeks’ time though, it will be interesting to see how the bike from Noale, Italy stacks up against its Germanic competition. As always, time will tell.

2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS Coming to the USA  2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS 01 635x421

2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS Coming to the USA  2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS 02 635x423

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2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS Technical Specifications:

Engine:

  • Engine type: Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double overhead camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder
  • Bore and stroke: 78 x 52.3 mm
  • Total engine capacity: 999.6 cc
  • Compression ratio: 13:1
  • Maximum power at crankshaft: 167 HP (125 kW) at 11,500 rpm
  • Maximum torque at crankshaft: 111.5 Nm at 9,500 rpm
  • Fuel system: Airbox with front dynamic air intakes; 4 Weber-Marelli 48-mm throttle bodies with 4 injectors and latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management.
  • Choice of three different engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion: T (Track), S (Sport), R (Road)
  • Ignition: Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil” type coils
  • Start up: Electric
  • Exhaust system: 4 into 2 into 1 layout, single oxygen sensor, lateral single silencer with ECU-controlled bypass valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter (Euro 3)
  • Alternator: Flywheel mounted 450W alternator with rare earth magnets
  • Lubrication: Wet sump lubrication system with oil radiator and two oil pumps (lubrication and cooling)
  • Gearbox: 6-speed cassette type gearbox: 1st: 39/15 (2,600); 2nd: 33/16 (2.063); 3rd: 34/20 (1,700); 4th: 32/22 (1,455); 5th: 34/26 (1,308); 6th: 33/27 (1,222); Gear lever with Aprilia Quick Shift electronic system (aQS)
  • Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch
  • Primary drive: Straight cut gears and integrated flexible coupling, drive ratio: 73/44 (1,659)
  • Secondary drive: Chain: Drive ratio: 42/16 (2,625)
  • Traction management: APRC System (Aprilia Performance Ride Control), which includes Traction Control (aTC), Wheelie Control (aWC), Launch Control (aLC), all of which can be configured and deactivated independently.

Chassis:

  • Aluminum dual beam chassis with pressed and cast sheet elements.
  • Steering Damper: Sachs
  • Front suspension: Sachs upside-down “one by one” fork, stanchions 43 mm. Forged aluminum feet for radial calliper mounting; Completely adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping; Wheel travel: 120 mm
  • Rear suspension: Double braced aluminum swingarm; mixed low thickness and sheet casting technology; Sachs piggy back monoshock with completely adjustable: spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. APS progressive linkage; Wheel travel: 130 mm
  • Front Brakes: Dual 320 mm floating stainless steel discs with lightweight stainless steel rotor with 6 studs. Brembo monobloc radial callipers M432 with 4 horizontally opposed 32 mm Ø pistons. Sintered pads. Axial pump master cylinder and metal braided brake hoses.
  • Rear Brakes: 220 mm diameter disc; Brembo floating calliper with two 32-mm  isolated pistons. Sintered pads. Pump with integrated tank and metal braided hose.
  • ABS: Bosch 9MP, adjustable on 3 maps, featuring RLM strategy and disconnectable.
  • Wheel rims: Cast aluminum wheels with 3 split spoke design: Front.:3.5”X17”; Rear: 6.00”X17”
  • Tires: Radial tubeless, Front: 120/70 ZR 17; Rear: 190/55 ZR 17 (alternative: 190/50 ZR 17; 200/55 ZR 17)

Dimensions
:

  • Max. length: 81.2 inches
  • Max. width: 31.4 inches (at the handlebar)
  • Max. height: 42.9 inches
  • Min. height from the ground: 4.9 inches
  • Saddle height: 32.8 inches
  • Wheelbase: 56.8 inches
  • Trail: 4.2 inches
  • Steering angle: 25°
  • Dry weight: 408 lbs
  • Tank: 18.5 liters (4.88 gallons)

Source: Aprilia USA; Launch Photos: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. yooperbikemike says:

    167hp. I just wet myself.

  2. MikeD says:

    @Yooper:

    I’m sure KTM and BMW are going to piss on Aprilia’s 167hp when they come out …………………………. I hope ?

    Pissing and sexual organ size measuring contest aside.

    SHE STILL UGLY AS EVER, UGLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY ! Has there ever been a good looking Tuono ?

    I still can’T comprehend how they botched a bike so good looking as the RSV4R and managed to turned into something that looks like dog’s barf, the phrase “lost in translation” comes to mind.

    Truly a shame, it seems she’s one heck of a kit by what testers and owners have said.

    Ok, i’m better now. Sorry for all that unwanted bitchin, my fellow readers.

  3. TheSwede says:

    LOVE it

  4. Mitch says:

    Love the specs, hate the face. Johnny 5 is alive!

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “I’m sure KTM and BMW are going to piss on Aprilia’s 167hp when they come out”

    “whatev”. noale will then commission a Calvin sticker showing him pissing on the KTM and Beemer’s exhaust notes. if there’s any one thing laymen are guilt of overlooking when simply viewing static pictures is… the SOUNDTRACK. key on, ignition on, piped V4 engine running and the picture changes DRAMATICALLY.

  6. coreyvwc says:

    Is there an option C.) ?
    It’s the best naked on the market, but no one has ever heard of Aprilia so who really gives a shit?

    (i’ve heard of them and would be greatly appreciative of a beta test model)

  7. ed says:

    Is that thing looking at me?

  8. MikeD says:

    @Norm G.:

    Indeed.
    Very few engines sound as distinctive as the Aprilia’s narrow V4.
    Specially now a days when almost all bikes are so close performance wise that what truly separates each other are details like sound, ergos, paint schemes, etc.
    Truly a pleasure to the ear right up there with the R1′s Crossplane and the last Ducati “long stroke” of the 1198.

    P.S: I still get a good laugh out of your comments over at Motorcycledaily.com, wich BTW i read daily , too bad they banned me for calling this a Sperm Whale with lip stick.

    http://spain.aprilia.com/es-ES/Model/97249/SRV+850+ABS%2fATC/Overview.aspx

    Sometimes the Administrator tends to be a bit too “sensitive” about people’s opinion.

    That’s why i love it here. (^_^). We go wild but keep it civilized (most of the times anyways). LOL.

  9. Slangbuster says:

    I’ve got to admit I was taken back by it’s looks initially as well, but after spending the better part of a day riding one at a local track here in CA, it was like dancing with an ugly girl who could dance like hell. It was absolutely one of the best motorcycles I have ever ridden that got better looking with each session. The actress in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” comes to mind. Oh, and did I mention the sound? Go test ride one…just leave your check book in the car.

  10. Grant Madden says:

    LOL if it transformed into a robot and started break dancing I would just grin and nod my head.But I bet that when you ride one all you do is feel the power and listen to that V4 sing.Very hard to see what you are riding unless you’re in town looking at your reflection in shop windows and if that’s your bag,be careful out there and watch out for parked cars and buses pulling out is all I can say.