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 Honda CB650F — A2 License Optional

11/08/2013 @ 4:44 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

2014 Honda CB650F    A2 License Optional 2014 Honda CB650F 10 635x423

Of course where there is a new Honda CBR650F at the 2013 EICMA show, there is a new Honda CB650F as well. Based on its fully-faired sibling, the 2014 Honda CB650F features the same brand new chassis and motor that is found on the 2014 Honda CBR650F sport bike.

Accordingly, peak horsepower is 86hp with the CB650F tipping the scales at 454 lbs at the curb (458 lbs for the ABS-equipped model).

Like the CBR650F, the CB650F is geared for younger riders, and accordingly Honda will have an A2 license machine available that will make 47hp and have ABS as a standard option.

Other features and characteristics are in-line with the 650cc CBR model, making the CB650F a practical street naked, that has some design chops as well. Would you rock it?

2014 Honda CB650F    A2 License Optional 2014 Honda CB650F 11 635x423

2014 Honda CB650F    A2 License Optional 2014 Honda CB650F 01 635x423

2014 Honda CB650F    A2 License Optional 2014 Honda CB650F 02 635x423

2014 Honda CB650F    A2 License Optional 2014 Honda CB650F 08 635x475

2014 Honda CB650F    A2 License Optional 2014 Honda CB650F 12 635x423

Source: Honda

Comment:

  1. SteaminSteven says:

    Steel main frame section….was this a cost cutting move, cause it sure seams to be a lot heavier than the out going CBR600F with the aluminum frame….. still like this byke a lot, though only 86hp is kinda a bummer again as the out going CBR600F was nearly 100hp….

  2. Jimbo says:

    Dont think people will be happy that the 100bhp Hornet is being axed to make way for this 86bhp bike that looks just like the CB500F!
    They already have on of those why do they need two!!

    The Hornet was a cracking bike shame to lose it….

  3. Bastiaan says:

    Pretty cool design, but I agree about the power, it doesn’t make sense to drop it that dramatically, they could keep it at 70 kW and still make the bike A2-suitable. If there was more torque then it’d be somewhat acceptable, but there’s less than the Hornet. More displacement, less power, less torque, what gives? The non-USD forks also make it look like a budget bike.

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “Would you rock it?”

    +1, i’d hit it…!!!

  5. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    this looks just like the bike the guy in Brazil was riding when bandits rode up and stole at gun point…which ended when the gun-toting bandit was shot down by an undercover cop.

    Anyone who saw that video–is it the same bike? Is this something they already have in Brazil?

  6. SteaminSteven says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I like how it looks (a lot actually) and the conventional forks aren’t a deal breaker for me and neither would the hp power dropping. I assume the torque and power come on earlier and I would think the price would be lower than the current hornet. overall something will fill the spot left over by the outgoing hornet, maybe a beefed up version of this byke here, with USDs more power and better breaks…..

  7. SteaminSteven says:

    So which is the better machine, the new Yamaha MT-07 or this…? I’d like to find out :)

  8. It looks cool, and I would’ve loved it when I was 15. But what’s with the old-fashioned forks, is that a cost-cutting measure, because it definitely hinders performance, and that’s not cool. If you’re going to go this cheap part route, then sell it as an economy model, for like $3500-$4000, at least some kids can afford that.

    Also I don’t like the under slung exhaust systems on any bike, blazing hot exhaust coming out anywhere near your legs is never fun or safe. And if you’re going to continue that design, why not come up with something innovative that actually improves performance, something practical like splitting the exhaust into two pipes with wide elongated openings channeling hot exhaust directly onto both edges of the rear tire, warming them up for better cornering traction. Yeah, that’s the ticket. :)

  9. KSW says:

    Not bad. As simply as the very clean looking engine is hanging in that frame I bet it would do equally well in a custom frame for a cafe bike or other. Nice how they show cased the exhaust and you could seriously alter the sound with a simple change in which two you pair and how. I bet you could strip that down another 100 lbs.

  10. Anvil says:

    From what I read, this bike and the CBR650F were designed with a much broader spread of torque in mind. The peak torque numbers might be lower, but if Honda is to be believed, there should be more available everywhere.

    I agree that they might have lopped off a bit too much horsepower, at least for perceptions sake.

    The steel frame is likely be heavier but might work better than the backbone frame used on the current Hornet.

    I find this bike much better looking than the 500F. Try to get a look at some of the shots from different angles. And the CBR version is really, really nice looking.

    The 650 models were designed by a new team of younger folk at Honda. As far as I’m concerned, they should have had some input on the original CBR250, the CBR500, VFR1200 and the new VFR800 which all share a somwhat simalar frumpy look.

  11. Sentinel says:

    @ “Jimbo”, perhaps when we get to see a comparison of the actual power curves and peak torque values from some dyno graphs we may find that things have been enhanced and shifted further down the rev-range a bit to offer a better spread of more “usable” and readily accessible power. Personally I’d bet that’s the case.

  12. Norm G. says:

    re: “Nice how they show cased the exhaust”

    nicer still is that’s actually a styling cue from their heritage. ie. Honda CB5xx from the 70′s iirc. gotta know what you’re lookin’ at. i contend this bike was designed by a true “Hondaphile”. likely someone who’s not even Japanese…? yet knows Soichiro’s history prolly better than some who had the privilege of greeting him with a bow.

    re: “The 650 models were designed by a new team of younger folk at Honda.”

    that’s what i’m screamin’. who got fired…? or retired…? and who got hired…? it seems pretty clear to me Elvis and the old guard are no longer in the building. or at a minimum, they been “reassigned” (ahem) to other divisions like Audi did with Gobmeier. (I want him manning a radar tower in Alaska by the end of the day, just mail him his clothes.)

  13. MikeD says:

    I would totally rock it and then some.
    Looks like a small fun bike to ride around town.
    Paint job helps A LOT.
    Love the header’s waterfall, the multi spoke gold wheels, the modern look, the aluminium swing arm (unlike the crappy cheap square steel tube ones on the 300, 500 & 700), the wavy DOUBLE front rotors, the under slung exhaust, ER-6N headlight, available ABS, easier (by the looks of it) to adjust shock . . . yeah, i like it, LOL.

    Steel frame ? Old school fork ? I guess we can’t have it all. That’s life.

  14. mxs says:

    I would agree with the people who thing it is a good looking bike. I’d totally see myself getting one … well depends on the price, but I have a feeling that Honda will ask for their typical premium they normally do on their I-4 units.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “I have a feeling that Honda will ask for their typical premium they normally do on their I-4 units.”

    just pay it. you can’t take it with you.