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.

Benchmark by Walz Hardcore Cycles

01/01/2013 @ 11:46 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Benchmark by Walz Hardcore Cycles Benchmark Walz Hardcore Cycles 05

Regular readers will know that I am not a big chopper guy, but every now and then one comes along that tugs enough on this sportbiker’s heart strings that I feel compelled to post about it. Such is the case with the Benchmark by Walz Hardcore Cycles, whose close proximity to the F1 course in Hockenheim, Germany certainly must play a factor.

I am fairly confident that the Öhlins superbike suspension, carbon fiber wheels, carbon/ceramic disc brakes, and debadged Akrapovic exhaust can aren’t going to really make the difference on this low-slung S&S-powered motorcycle, but they certainly do add to the bike’s sporty lines.

The streamlined sporty-chopper look has always worked well on me, and the Benchmark is no different with its brushed aluminum metal bodywork and carbon fiber accent pieces. I can’t say that I am a fan of the Ducati Monster headlight though, a design element that kills the donor machine for me.

With pricing that starts at €124,900 (€149,900 for the bike shown here), there is a hefty dose of sticker shock that comes with the Benchmark as well. So, we doubt one will find its way into your garage anytime soon, but for now it is something nice to look at, even if the chopper thing isn’t your bag of two-wheeled fun.

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Source: Walz Hardcore Cycles

Comment:

  1. RGR says:

    What a waste of some nice parts and pieces…

  2. dagoof says:

    Fugly and unrideable…

  3. NOCHnoch says:

    Nobody who buys a bike like this will ride it, but that has more to do with the frame than the cost.

  4. bemer2six says:

    Never has been and never will be my bag. It just baffles me why some body would put that kinda money in to a bike like that but then its what you want I guess…

  5. TexusTim says:

    I like alot of the work done, although choppers and cruisers are not for me, but the can tacked on to the end of the u bend looks wrong it should start lower and have an upswept angle to the can….just that part makes it look fumbled together when the rest looks well thought out. sorry but this is what we have in the off season…it will get better.

  6. Wayne says:

    It may not be very practical but it is a work of art. Beautiful!

  7. MotoSoup says:

    It hurts my lower back just to look at it.

  8. Marc F says:

    That lower triple clamping surface is downright terrifying. Art is great and all, but human safety should come first on something that may actually roll down a highway someday.

  9. meatspin says:

    looks cool but I’m still trying to visualize how I would sit on this bike and be able to operate all the controls.

  10. Paul McMenamin says:

    Nice metal work. But come on… €149,900 so I can burn my leg on the right side exhaust? A front “spoiler” that will bash into the first obstacle on the road. This is a styling exercise (and an ergonomic nightmare — unless you have arms like an orangutan.) I’d rather have a Mule Motors custom at 1/10th the cost!!

  11. Craig says:

    Yeah… this is beautiful, but just impractical for riding if I had the $$$. That said, today’s BPF (forks) that come on sport bikes would be plenty on this ride since you won’t even hardly use the forks and then it has to be raised up or you will rip that chin fairing right off… at least where I live you will.

    But for BLING purposes.. VERY nice lines – WOW!

  12. H.P. says:

    I want to meet the douchebag who can afford £149k for a bike this ridiculous, punch him, and then take his money. He might as well get robbed from someone who could teach him the idiom, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

  13. Krylov says:

    What a caricature of a motorcycle – and ridiculously overpriced at that!

    Shame that this unridable contraption is such a waste of top-notch
    suspension equipment….
    To me this “bike”(?) just represents all that is oh so wrong with
    the so called “custom builder scene” and their possible customers.

  14. adam says:

    like a solid gold toilet. a complete mismatch of materials/components vs intended usage.

    yeesh.

  15. BBQdog says:

    In detail some of the finish looks a bit crude ….

  16. hoyt says:

    Have you heard of BTR Moto?
    Among the R6-powered hill climb bikes & trackday singles, they build a sportbike using an HD Twin Cam motor.

    The hot rodding capabilities of the big twin (vs. the air-cooled Buell motor) can yield 120+ ft lbs. of torque. Even more if someone wanted to use a Jim’s 130 c.i. motor.

    Anyway, here’s a video of the builder explaining the chassis & his own transmission, which allowed him to build the bike with a geometry that is the same as the current 4-cylinder liter sportbikes. The weight is comparable too. The bottom link is footage at Thunderhill.

    Jensen – I bet he would be willing to let you ride it at the next track day for a ride review if you’re interested. He is in the east bay.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HGTqWGJyLI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  17. John says:

    I like all kinds of bikes, but I really do not get this mess at all. Clearly unrideable. As a design exercise it makes to sense to me either.

  18. David says:

    Almost $200k and the welds look like a blind 6 year old did them.

  19. Ben says:

    You would need arm like a monkey to hold the handle bar. Must look so funny! Or maybe the seat is for the co-pilot :-D