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.

Aprilia Tuono V4 Street by Paris-Nord Moto

04/27/2011 @ 7:06 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Aprilia Tuono V4 Street by Paris Nord Moto Aprilia Tuono V4 R Street 635x418

On paper the Aprilia Tuono V4 R is a monster, boasting the most horsepower in its class, and coming armed with a sophisticated electronics package to help hook-up the 162hp on the tarmac. While all the early ride reports are positive about the new true-blooded streetfighter, and we’re sure the slightly watered-down naked RSV4 would paint a silly grin on our face, it’s the headshot of this bike that makes us cringe just a little bit — the RSV4 headlight just doesn’t work without the accompanying bodywork.

While your mileage may vary, at least one dealership in France appears to agree with us, and has taken matters into its own hands. Putting together what it calls an Aprilia Tuono V4 Street, Paris-Nord Moto has created its own special version of the Aprilia Tuono V4 R with a new headlight and half-fairing design.

Beyond the major aesthetic changes, the Aprilia Tuono V4 Street comes with a Zard exhaust, and various bits and pieces from Rizoma, rounding-out the Tuono’s appearance. Helping the Aprilia breathe is a RAM air system, you know…because the Tuono V4 needs more power.

Facelifts aren’t cheap, and neither is the Aprilia Tuono V4 Street. Tacking on an additional €5,000 to the Tuono V4 R’s MSRP, French riders can expect to pay €19,999 + VAT for this dealer custom.

Source: Paris-Nord Moto via Moto Revue

Comment:

  1. Shaman says:

    …. I’m really not feeling it. This doesn’t appear to be better in any tangible way.

  2. Ah… Vive la France!

    When I lived there (late 2002-early ’04) I was struck by the way they were naturally drawn to big naked bikes. V-Maxes seemed as common there as Harleys do here. And as with our Harley cult, everything’s customized or at least accessorized to the point where the rider can feel it’s his own individual expression of moto-ego. Several big shops over there (Paris-Nord is one of the biggest, though it’s nowhere near the physical size of a Top-100 dealer in the U.S.) contract with aftermarket bodywork suppliers to come up with their own models.

    The whole French scene is under-reported over here. For the last few years, I’ve been trying to get funding together for a documentary about it, highlighting the strong American connection to Rock n Roll, hot rod culture… If I’m ever successful, you’ll see a feature length film called, The Monsters of the Salt.

  3. duxBros says:

    It’s definitely a better face than the Tuono although the runners make for a beak that I’m not crazy about, but reshaping them would probably affect the horsepower. Speaking of which, isn’t there a 106 horsepower maximum for motos in France? If so, how do they drop 60+/- horsepower from the RSV4?

    @MG: Would certainly love to see your documentary dream realized! Assuming you’re the guy that rode the IOM TT, if you can do that, you can do anything!

  4. I don’t know, but don’t fall for the baguette in the tailpipe gag.

  5. Other Sean says:

    Just goes to show beauty is in the eye….I much prefer the stock cowl to this. The stocker looks like an owl, but this looks like a vulture.

  6. Sam Adams says:

    When I first glanced at it I thought it was a Honda Crossrunner with Aprilia stickers on it.

    Hate it. it looks bloated. No continuity in the lines of the bodywork.

  7. Damo says:

    I would settle for the stock Tuono and do a Buell mono-headlight swap. The bug front is the only thing that I don’t dig.

  8. RSVDan says:

    You don’t have to look at the bike when riding it and giggling like an Asian school girl in your helmet.

  9. RSVDan says:

    I’ll take the stocker over this. I’m really not seeing any improvement. I actually think the stock bike has better proportions and flows better. This definitely looks like a traditional “streetfight”; meaning a sport bike that has been written off, the plastics torn off, and an Acerbis off-road headlight zip-tied on to the triple clamps. Not very elegant.

  10. Nobody says:

    Suzuki B King Headlight on an RSV4. Soo sexy—NOT!

  11. luke says:

    that has definitely NOT got any better. Looks much more…common / cheaper?
    The factory versions lamps look a bit unique, even if it’s not everyones cup of tea. I suspect it will be a bike that is one you have to see in the metal to really decide. I was excited when I saw the pics post launch, lots of controversy usually means a bike that becomes a bit of an icon (one way or another). Lots of nasty stuff was bandied around when the honda cbr1000rr came out all bug faced, same with the streetfighter, diavel and so on… all iconic bikes of our times now.

    I think the only bikes that have truly gone wide of the mark recently are the 2011 speed triple and the 09 buell 1125cr. *dons flame suit.

  12. ohio says:

    Blech.

    With all that plastic, why not just throw the upper triple and handlebar from the Tuono on an RSV4? That one is at least good looking (plus has full power).

  13. MikeD says:

    I would dig it only with the new headlight and im not even that keen on it.
    All the other “tacked on” plastics just add nothing but weight and look out of place .
    And whats with the stupid beaks now a days ?

  14. Isaac Chavira says:

    Kill it with fire!

  15. Kirsten says:

    So much potential…and then they do that.

  16. Hugh Lyonsack says:

    That is uglier than the original by a long way – ouch – you gotta be kidding.