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 KTM RC200 & KTM RC125 — The More the Merrier

11/07/2013 @ 7:36 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

2014 KTM RC200 & KTM RC125    The More the Merrier KTM RC125 KTM RC200 635x423

For the American market, its all about the 2014 KTM RC390 and its single-cylinder sport bike format. But for the rest of the world, especially emerging markets, the talk of the 2013 EICMA show is focusing on the KTM RC200 and KTM RC125 — the smaller siblings in KTM’s “Race Competition” line.

Like the RC390, the RC200 and RC125 share engine designs with their Duke model counterparts. Both bikes feature the same aggressive styling as the KTM RC390, courtesy of Kiska Design, and are ideally situated for markets with tiered licensing programs and heavily segmented small-displacement categories. For us, we just think these motorcycles look hot.

With all three RC machines being similar, the big differences come down to engine power and bike weight. For the KTM RC125 power is set at a very diminutive 15hp at 9,500 rpm, with 8 lbs•ft of torque. The RC125 also tips the scales at 297 lbs (wet) without fuel.

For the KTM RC200, peak horsepower goes up to 25hp, with 14 lbs•ft of peak torque. While nearly double the horsepower of the RC125, the RC200 adds only 5.5 lbs of heft, for a wet weight of 303lbs, sans fuel.

Both the RC125 & RC200 are fitted with ABS brakes, which is handled with a radially mounted caliper at the front, mated to a single 300mm brake disc, meanwhile a 230mm disc is fitted to the rear.

KTM says its steel trellis frame for the RC125 and RC200 is much stiffer than the one found on their Duke brethren, and the frames feature a more aggressive chassis geometry with a steeper steering head, lesser trail, and shorter wheelbase.

Suspension is by WP, and the brakes were made in cooperation with Brembo, and sport the brand’s generic marque Bybre. Track day enthusiast will enjoy the tires available for the KTM RC125 & RC200, as the Austrians have chose 110/70ZR17 & 150/60ZR17 tire sizes for their “Supersport” machines.

Expect to see the 2014 KTM RC125 & 2014 KTM RC200 be available in markets worldwide starting in March/April 2014, with pricing set at €4,500. No word on US availability, though we would expect on the KTM RC390 to make the jump over the pond. More info on that as we get it.

2014 KTM RC200 & KTM RC125    The More the Merrier 2014 KTM RC125 action02 635x422

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2014 KTM RC200 & KTM RC125    The More the Merrier 2014 KTM RC200 action 15 635x422

2014 KTM RC200 & KTM RC125    The More the Merrier 2014 KTM RC200 action 16 635x422

2014 KTM RC200 & KTM RC125    The More the Merrier 2014 KTM RC200 action 17 635x422

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2014 KTM RC200 & KTM RC125    The More the Merrier 2014 KTM RC200 action 21 635x422

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Photos of the 2014 KTM RC125:

Photos of the 2014 KTM RC200:

Source: KTM

Comment:

  1. Brian says:

    They look awesome but why no RC690??

  2. BBQdog says:

    Good question Brian.

  3. BBQdog says:

    I also see a massive opportunity for aftermarket screen and fairing manufacturers to bring out kits to improve the front looks !

  4. DAMN says:

    i dont like the bike, the front is so ugly!

  5. PD says:

    Why a 125 and a 200? Would they not compete for the same customers? With pretty much the same weight, considerably less power relatively speaking (with neither having enough to overwhelm a new rider), assuming that seat-height is about equal (if that’s a concern for a potential buyer), who would choose the 125 over the 200? The only thing would be a significant difference in price, but, if KTM does go that route, it would seem like an unjustifiable move.

    I guess if there are regional regulatory limits preventing a beginning rider from riding above a 125, that would be a legitimate reason. But are there such limits that would exclude a 200 while permitting a 125?

  6. paulus says:

    UK and other European countries have a 125cc learner limit.
    This is a HUGE market! Much larger than the 200+cc market in those countries.

    Asia also have 125/150 and 200/250 derivatives.
    The smaller bikes are (usually) priced as entry level machines and sold on cost

  7. MikeD says:

    HOT ! I could see myself FLOGGING the living daylights out of the 125. Nothing like wringing the neck of a small engine.

    Oh, wait . . . my neck of the woods is flat like a PanCake and no curves for miles at a time. Never mind.

    (-_-)’

  8. mak lampir says:

    the ugliest face