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 Valkyrie — Your Valhalla of Power Cruisers?

11/20/2013 @ 7:11 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

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As our Bothan spies had predicted, Honda has unveiled a new power cruiser for the upcoming model year, the 2014 Honda Valkyrie. Thankfully dropping its F6C designation for the more iconic “Valkyrie” name, Honda’s new machine is based around the 1,832cc flat-six engine of the Honda Gold Wing, and aims to be a stripped-down cruiser alternative to Honda Gold Wing F6B bagger.

A model that first debuted in 1996, this new Valkyrie features an aluminum twin-spar frame, a low-seat height, and will tip the scales at the curb with 750 lbs. An anti-locking braking system (ABS) will be optional for the US market, though pricing is yet to be determined by American Honda. We think the cruiser market will like the new Valkyrie, how about you?

Since we have already covered this machine’s features and characteristics in our post two weeks ago, we’ll just leave you with the 2014 Honda Valkyrie’s big takeaways:

  • Powerful, fuel-injected 1832cc engine features a parallel two-valve cylinder head with direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation for extraordinary power and performance along with a smooth, sophisticated engine feel plus rugged dependability.
  • Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) incorporates two 40mm throttle bodies and six high-pressure programmed fuel injectors for excellent metering under varying conditions.
  • Low seat height of 28.8 inches, curb weight of 750 pounds and low center of gravity all combine to help give the Valkyrie impressive handling and brilliant all-around performance.
  • Spacious and accommodating two-piece seat with removable passenger seat.
  • Stylish tail section incorporates aluminum passenger grabrails which are removable for a streamlined look.
  • LED headlight, taillight and turn signals contribute to a distinctive appearance.
  • Fat 1-inch handlebar lends a custom look.
  • Multi-function digital LCD instrumentation.
  • 15 Honda Genuine Accessories will be available for the Valkyrie.
  • Optional ABS model contributes to consistent braking action under a wide variety of road conditions.
  • Transferable three-year limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.

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Source: Honda

Comment:

  1. jackie says:

    a little weird, but I kind of like it. I might prefer their bagger thingy a little more, unless this is priced not to compete with it.

  2. Norm G. says:

    Q “Your Valhalla of Power Cruisers?”

    A: not so much.

  3. kww says:

    The Kohler toilet of motorcycles….swoopy shapes that don’t mean anything.

  4. Jobie says:

    looks like some one “borrowed” a Suzuki B-King headlight…. just sayin’

  5. RAY says:

    @All–LOL!!! What a joke. That’s all we need — another “foot-roaster”. Why don’t they leave off all the garbage and install their new V-4 in it?!? In a slightly larger size, that is– say 112 cu. in?

  6. Jobie says:

    Have to give Honda some kudos though, they are trying…. Maybe not entirely new products, but at least switching stuff up.

  7. Paul McM says:

    So much raucous Hot Rod wonderfulness in the Evo6: http://p2m.mbike.com/000/003/641/65323057_d.jpg

    So much ‘meh’ in this Valkyrie…

    Honda… just give us the Evo6 as close to the show bike as you can make it!

    http://i402.photobucket.com/albums/pp104/KostasGazis/SEVO62007__D2.jpg

    Beautifully curved exhaust headers (with triple tips) on Evo6: http://thekneeslider.com/images/evo6tokyo3.jpg

  8. ksw says:

    Honda,

    Enough already. Yes this is a great motor but have you heard of such a thing as a 6th gear? I love this torquey beast, have owned both the GL1800 and Rune but unless you add a 6th gear so cruising can be relaxing you won’t get any mo’ of my $$. Stop beating this thing to death and add the dual clutch, a 6th or even 7th gear and a bloody cruise control. Cruise would probably require you to get rid of the vacuum system you use on the ‘Wing in order to fit it in the plastic, as you know. It’s nice that you dump hundreds of millions into MotoGP but the fact is the cruiser market makes you the money to pay for that so give back to those that matter, the riders buying the bikes and focus on updated electronics. Oversized rocker switches/buttons are last century as is that 5 speed tranny in this motor. Do we really have to wait for the over faithful elderly (primary buyers of this motor configuration) to pass before you make real changes?

  9. MikeD says:

    NO NO NO NO ! WTF HAVE THEY DONE TO AN ICON ? !

    This ABORTION of a motorcycle with the front end of a SILLY bagger and the rear 2/3 of that HIDEOUS FUGLY CTX Line.

    That front fender looks unnecesarely big for this application. Like they stole the damn thing from a RoadKing or C50 Boulevard.

    Honestly i thought they were going to go for the hot rod look, small front tire, SMALL hugging fender a la VMAX 1700.

    WHat a friggin dissapointment !!! Hey Honda, take this Turd and shove where the Sun don’t shine !!!

    This thing makes the cartoonish/farm equipmenT Rocket 3 look like a supermodel.

  10. MikeD says:

    1000:1 I Would take the F6B over this Turd and i don’t even like the F6B.

  11. Kevin U says:

    as the owner of a valkyre i think Handa have totaly missed the mark, this is not a valkyre its a wing that has no clothes on, a valkyre is big bars , big seat , big tank big …. and chrome chrome chrome the RUN is closer , this is a bagger that has no screen on it Honda have taken cheap easy way, i think lol

  12. Roganblomp says:

    Honda rules!! Im buying this beast if it comes to Australia. No motor can beat a flat six with its perfect balance and low COG. Advantage over other Wings is the bars can be easily customised, plus the weight reduction. I only see positives in this Honda masterpiece.

  13. Brian says:

    I really wanted to like this when it was first announced but…. Blue???

    Man this thing is ugly.

  14. paulus says:

    Looks like a B-King rear-mounting and assymilating an unsuspecting BMW tourer!
    No thank you.

  15. Wes says:

    Get rid of the plastic and dress the engine up ( cool valve covers etc ) – expose the exhaust headers too. – I love my Valkyrie but not to sure about this. I’ll cast judgement after the test ride.

  16. conchop says:

    Traded my wing for a Vic – I don’t think I want another wing anything – especially this thing – perhaps it would be better in person BUT this design is a bit long in the tooth …

  17. Cory says:

    I liked the “leaked” concept you posted a lot better. That version had a blend of classic and modern styling. A real challenge to the Diavel. This, not so much.

  18. Dean says:

    This looks like a big standard, not a cruiser. I have a street bob, that’s a cruiser. Five speed should be enough, this isn’t a Honda Fit trying to move a 2800 lb. car with 125 hp. This is a m/c weighing 750 lb. with a small foot print and 130+ hp. Look at how his legs are tucked in out of the wind. A smaller 14 inch fairing and some hand guards and you can go cross country.

  19. J- says:

    I want a bagger version. The rear end looks odd. If I could get the F6B rear end with the hard bags on this, I’ll take one in blue.