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 RC390 Details Drop with Photos

10/25/2013 @ 12:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler37 COMMENTS

2014 KTM RC390 Details Drop with Photos ktm rc390 635x457

The 2014 KTM RC390 has been a long-time coming, as news of the bike has been in circulation since a leaked slide at the KTM North American dealer meeting hit the internet over two years ago. Built off of the KTM 390 Duke street bike, KTM said the RC390 would have “Moto3 inspired” bodywork when it debuted.

We got our first glimpse of the machine earlier this year, when KTM took the covers off the KTM RC390 race bike, a cup-series machine based off the still unreleased street machine. Well now the wait is over, as we have our first glimpse of the new KTM RC390, thanks to a leak on the KTM Canada website.

The differences between the street and track machines are minimal, though we have to say that the underslung exhaust makes a tremendous improvement over the race bike’s traditional side-slung piece. Like on the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, KTM is really popping its frame designs, and exposing the trellis technique even for the rear subframe (actually, the RC390 chassis is one singular trellis frame, unlike the The Beast).

Power is 43hp, while weight without fuel is 147kg (324 lbs). This means the 2014 KTM RC390 is right at the limit of Europe’s A2 tiered-license scheme, though we think American buyers will just like a light and fun attractive sport bike to zip around on. Now we just have to wait and see what the price tag will look like.

Some horrible photos and technical details are below.

2014 KTM RC390 Technical Specificaitons:

Engine
Design1-cylinder 4-stroke engine, water-cooled
Displacement373.2 cm³
Bore89 mm
Stroke60 mm
Performance32 kW (43 hp)
Starting aidElectric starter
Transmission6 speed, claw shifted
Engine lubricationForced oil lubrication with 2 Eaton pumps
Primary gear ratio30:80
Secondary gear ratio15:45
Cooling systemLiquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
ClutchWet multi-disc clutch / mechanically operated
Ignition systemContactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment
Chassis
FrameTubular space frame made from steel, powder-coated
Shock absorberWP Monoshock
Suspension travel front125 mm
Suspension travel rear150 mm
Brake system FrontDisc brake with four-pot brake caliper
Brake system RearDisc brake with one-pot brake caliper, floating brake discs
Brake discs Front300 mm
Brake discs Rear230 mm
Chain5/8 x 1/4” X‑Ring
Steering head angle66.5°
Wheel base1,340±15 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded)178.5 mm
Seat height (unloaded)820 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx.10 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
Weight without fuel approx.147 kg

Source: Visordown

Comment:

  1. TheSeaward says:

    I just had the feeling when you fall in love after making eye contact across the room but better. KTM has received a lot of very needy emails from me about this bike and it appears to have paid off. Checkbook is ready gentlemen.

  2. Jay says:

    Tiny fuel tank is probably my biggest complaint. My Ninja 250 holds around 2 gallons more and the range is nice. It is also not as light as I think we all were hoping. The 150 rear is just for looks, and a 140 would suit it better. Overall a nice package; it is probably the nicest bike for a new rider to enter the sportbike world. I just wish it hadn’t been held back by the need to meet A2 licensing requirements. I wonder what KTM is really capable of in this segment.

  3. TheSwede says:

    This American is sold. I’ll take one ASAP

  4. Justus says:

    So gorgeous! Fingers crossed for good pricing.

  5. kostritzer says:

    I know that the Duke 390 has been confirmed for the U.S., but has this bike also been confirmed? I can see this bike being the next big thing in entry level racing.

  6. JJ says:

    What is the maintenance going to run on this little beauty?

    Why can’t Yamaha make something like this?

  7. Terrance says:

    I’m not thrilled with the need for premium fuel and the very small gas tank. It should be like 30 pounds lighter too. I like most of everything else though. I’ll wait for the others and see what happens. I guess I’ll manage with my 1999 CBR F4, but I really want to have a fuel inject bike though.

  8. Ray says:

    Holy crap. That thing is nice.

  9. Nick N says:

    Really happy to see this. Truly the first premium small displacement sportbike by a European manufacturer, or really any manufacturer. Looks like an awesome track bike!

  10. Anvil says:

    Probably the best looking KTM to come out in years. If the price isn’t too high and you can reasonably squeeze some more horsepower out if it, it’s very tempting. Oh, and hopefully it doesn’t vibrate the fillings from your teeth.

  11. meatspin says:

    i’m hoping early reviews says it sucks so I wont have to buy one.

  12. meatspin says:

    i still dont get the subframe. Is it not modular? that would suck if it isnt

  13. duke690 says:

    Now just make a 690 version so I can buy one.

  14. kostritzer says:

    meatspin says:

    i still dont get the subframe. Is it not modular? that would suck if it isnt

    I agree, that’s the one thing I don’t like about the bike. Crash at the track and you have to replace the entire frame? At least the frame is steel, should be easy enough to modify or repair.

  15. 2ndclass says:

    Any word on a release date?

  16. I like it. One of the more exciting bikes to come out in a while. It’s great to see something interesting in the smaller displacements.

  17. Mike says:

    Yup they (KTM) are really the only company giving the small displacement fans any hope.
    At least proper suspension and a good shot at lower weight. Now if it were just a twin.
    But still happy to see it & hope price is good.

  18. froryde says:

    Brembo brakes? All I see is “BYBRE”. Probably works just fine, but would like to brand name quality components still.

  19. Title photo is now super high-resolution. Enjoy.

  20. @froryde:

    ByBre is at least owned by Brembo. Not top drawer, for sure, but at least you can take comfort in ByBre being a part of the Brembo group.

  21. Awesome looking motorcycle.

    Sure got me drawn! Now i need to decide between DUKE 390 , RC 390 & GT 650 R :D

  22. mxs says:

    If price is <7K that could be my next track bike.

    I am shocked that this leaked through KTM Canada web site ….. I mean country where there's hardly any KTM presence, especially as far as street bikes are concerned. So this to leak through KTM Canada makes me scratch my head ….

  23. Halfie30 says:

    Looks like its time to sell the TL and get a lower horse power bike again… This thing looks tops!!!

  24. jackie says:

    Make it a 690, give it some real suspension and brakes, fix that headlight, and give me a removable subframe.

  25. scoop says:

    My money is ready and waiting but I have contacted several dealerships in the Pacific Northwest and not one said they know if they will be getting this. Some actually said no…???

  26. Lars says:

    Similar specs to the 1972 Kawasaki S2.

  27. BBQdog says:

    95 RON is premium fuel ?? Is the lowest you can get here in Europe anyway.
    And that horrible see-trough plastic cover can be fixed with a paint job.

  28. Shawn says:

    ” BBQdog says: 95 RON is premium fuel ?? Is the lowest you can get here in Europe anyway.
    And that horrible see-trough plastic cover can be fixed with a paint job.”

    91 RON is the highest you can get in California at the pumps. So this could knock/ping/pink or we’ll need a different compression ratio or timing.

  29. California pumps are not measured in RON, but instead use the (R+M) /2 rating formula, which is just an averaging of RON and MON. Rule of thumb on RON: Subtract 4-5 octane points and you have close to the US octane rating. No surprise, that’s 91.

  30. Shawn says:

    Ahhh, thanks for clearing that up. So our premium IS ~95 RON.

  31. kww says:

    questions:
    What is the oil change interval on these and is the top end gonna need rebuilds every 5000 mi. like a dirtbike 4s?
    Does a 6′ tall person even stand a chance with the ergos on this bike?

  32. Jake says:

    Looks great and I bet it’ll be a hoot to ride. That said, there are some negatives here that would prevent me from buying it unless it comes in way below my price expectations.

    It’s too heavy, especially with the little motor. This thing needs to be under 300#s
    Would be a lot more practical with a 500-650cc thumper.
    No subframe?? I can think of no reason why they would make the frame and subframe one piece.

  33. Wes says:

    I really wanted one of these when I saw the photos of the RC390 Cup bike…

    Now I really, really want one!!!

  34. Yusef says:

    How did you email them? i want to email them about this bike. Make sure they know there is demand in US for them!

  35. Rich says:

    If you make the 390 you MUST make a 690 Supermono.. Must…