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 Kawasaki Z1000 – So Much Sugomi

11/05/2013 @ 5:37 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

2014 Kawasaki Z1000   So Much Sugomi 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 03 635x476

We have seen the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 leaked and teased ad nauseam ahead of the 2013 EICMA show, but now we finally have the official photos and specifications of the Kawasaki’s new street-naked.

For the new year, Kawasaki says that the new Z1000 has a revised ECU setting, along with different camshaft timings and oval exhaust connectors between the header pipes.

Other improvements like connected cylinders (less pumping loss) and a new airbox design, help the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 reach 140hp (104.5 kW) and 82 lbs•ft of torque from its 1,043cc inline-four engine.

Equipped with radially mounted Tokico monobloc calipers, Kawasaki’s now signature petal brake rotors, and a radial-pump master cylinder, the stopping power of the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 has been enhanced over its predecessor.

The suspension too has been reworked, with the new Z1000 getting Showa’s Big Piston forks, with separate fork function — one fork handles rebound damping, while the other handles compression.

While everyone will surely be talking about the headlight on the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000, we doubt the discussion will center around the fact that the headlight is an LED unit, a first from a Japanese OEM.

You are either going to love or hate Kawasaki’s “Sugomi” design philosophy, but the new Z1000 certainly highlights the brand’s willingness to stray from the bland that often churns itself out of the other three Japanese OEMs, so kudos to them for that.

For our thoughts, we like the new design. It’s not for everyone, that is for sure, but it would suit us just fine as we explore the realms of one-wheeled motorcycle inversion. No word yet on price, but this machine is headed to the USA.

2014 Kawasaki Z1000   So Much Sugomi 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 15 635x476

2014 Kawasaki Z1000   So Much Sugomi 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 21 635x846

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2014 Kawasaki Z1000   So Much Sugomi 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 05 635x484

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2014 Kawasaki Z1000   So Much Sugomi 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 25 635x846

Source: Kawasaki

Comment:

  1. Jake F. says:

    Best looking Japanese naked bike to date. I’m a fan.

  2. Frank says:

    @ Jake F. – agreed. I liked the styling right away. It will be a love it or hate it kind of thing. I do like that Kawi goes for a more aggressive look to match what will surely be a fun, powerful engine.

  3. Jay says:

    Looks like a Jap anime monster!

  4. John D'Orazio says:

    Totally cool!

  5. Sentinel says:

    Do want! :o

  6. Agent55 says:

    Oh Kawi, always going flat-out bizarre with the Z1000′s. My opinion is this is the best one to date, except for the that headlight, yikes!

  7. brian says:

    butter headlight…

  8. Kev71 says:

    Love it! Kudos to Kawi for going a different route. Not a huge fan of the cans though, interested to see pricing and if it’s competitive to Euro Nakeds. This or new Super Duke…. Choices, choices!

  9. avsatishchandra says:

    When I first saw the picture I was horrified. Then when I saw the video it seemed tolerable and after having seen it many times I am beginning to like it. I mean how many innovations can people make to motorcycle design without doing something radical and controversial. Sugomi is obviously to shock people deliberately and in design terms its possible that Kawasaki has stolen the thunder from Yamaha about the “dark side”. This one looks like the Predator (movie) theme which was introduced on the last iteration of the Z1000′s face has now been taken to another level. Or I am saying all this because I am a die hard Kawasaki fan who has to reconcile to the direction the brand is taking. Whatever maybe the truth, the bike now doesn’t seem as bad as it did the first time around.

  10. renhan says:

    “deathly design”

  11. DAMN says:

    DAMN KAWA amazing bike!!!!!!!

  12. Tifo says:

    Ha ha ha. It’s the BMW S1000r before it had a stroke!

  13. Exunt says:

    The Reptile Queen is pleased with this bike.

  14. Pete in Florida says:

    I have to honestly say, this is a fantastic looking bike. I hope it runs as strongly as the 2012 model. Yeah, I know it has even more power, so it must be great! Keep it up Kawasaki, your are passing up the competition with this “Street-Fighter”. If I were going to buy a new bike, this would definitely be the one!

  15. p95 says:

    A swing and a miss

  16. Don Husibeg says:

    Some usual rizoma parts, a ixil exhaust and this kawa will be perfect. My new bike 2014 is ready to fly. :-))))))))))))))))