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.

Bimota BB2 – Where Retro Meets the BMW S1000RR

11/14/2012 @ 2:34 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Bimota BB2   Where Retro Meets the BMW S1000RR  Bimota BB2 EICMA sak art design 04 635x454

Our favorite news from the 2012 EICMA motorcycle show has to be the one where Bimota announced that it has entered an agreement with BMW Motorrad to use the BMW S1000RR motor in its rolling pieces of moto-art.

Using an almost exclusive diet of Ducati motors for its most recent creations, it only takes a quick look at the Bimota DB7, DB8, DB9, & DB11 to see that the boutique Italian bike builder has hit a bit of rut with its design inspiration. Our hope was that the partnership with BMW would change that.

Getting our first glimpse of the Bimota BB2, courtesy of sak_art design, the folks behind the machine, we can see our prayers haven’t gone unanswered. A clear homage to the Bimota BB1, the BB2 has some of the now-retro lines that distinguished Bimota so well in the early 1990′s.

Perhaps it is not the obscene hyperbike some were expecting when the S1000RR was tapped for duty, but there is an interesting blend of new and old in the Bimota BB2. Photos after the jump.

Bimota BB2   Where Retro Meets the BMW S1000RR  Bimota BB2 EICMA sak art design 11 635x372

Bimota BB2   Where Retro Meets the BMW S1000RR  Bimota BB2 EICMA sak art design 06 635x372

Bimota BB2   Where Retro Meets the BMW S1000RR  Bimota BB2 EICMA sak art design 10 635x468

Bimota BB2   Where Retro Meets the BMW S1000RR  Bimota BB2 EICMA sak art design 17 635x372

Source: sak_art design (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. 2ndclass says:

    I’d say it’s got more of the latter SB and YB models DNA (particularly the SB8, sans the V-twin obviously) than the BB1.

  2. Motogpdr says:

    Please explain how this pays homage to bb1? I own both a bb1 mono and biposto and I fail to see any resemblance . Maybe I’m missing something? Lovely machine but I fail to see bb1 in it.

  3. Motogpdr says:

    Now that my knee jerk reaction is over and I’ve looked more closely at the photos I am thinking how boring this is. It’s likely the first bimota that I have thought is boring since the mantra. Should have /could have been an extreme sport hyper bike. What a shame……

  4. froryde says:

    Or could’ve been something like this:

    http://www.motociclismo.it/cache/gallery/4/9/1/2/5DM30484%20(1).JPG_630_490.jpg
    http://www.motociclismo.it/cache/gallery/4/9/1/2/5DM30480%20(1).JPG_630_490.jpg

    Bimota seriously needs a new designer – this SAK Design stuff is doing the brand injustice!

  5. Motogpdr says:

    As the owner of 27 bimotas I feel I am humbly qualified to say that I agree w froryde…….SAK sucks if this is what they produce. My plain Jane BMW s 1000 is miles ahead of this ugly duckling. Bimota used to be something that we all knew ultimately was no better of a bike than most of the donor engine models, yet was pure eye candy. This machine ends that notion for this bimotisti of thirty years. And btw A and R is by far the finest EICMA coverage anywhere….thanks Jensen!

  6. Thanks! I’ve got a buddy in Australia I need to introduce you to…

  7. Ted says:

    What is that red gem in the 4th photo down!?

  8. Ted says:

    Red gem on the left…

  9. Jake F. says:

    I like it…a lot actually. I’d need to see it in person but so far it pushes all the right buttons. When is pricing information released on all these exotics?

  10. L2C says:

    Seriously, if I could choose between the HP4 and this, the BB2, I’d choose the BB2! There’s no way I’d reject this bike! Not one infinitesimally, thinly sliced sliver of a chance exists in the known universe that would be at odds with me choosing this machine.

    Ah, man, it is so damned retro-futuristic and it reminds us that we still have yet to witness that future it anticipates. When do we get that future? Bimota appears to say that we can begin to experience it right now.

    What a heartbreakingly beautiful machine that BB2 is. Man…

  11. L2C says:

    And I thought Honda’s 2013 CBR600RR gave a nice nod to old, yet futuristic designs. This BB2 however… Jeez. It really is heavenly.

  12. L2C says:

    And to Sak_Art Design, please continue to do more of what you’re doing. Your Syd Mead influenced designs are very much appreciated by me. More, please!

  13. RGR says:

    Personally I really like it. It’s a truly beautiful sport bike. Maybe not what Bimota is typically known for (hence all the ruffled feathers among the Bimota guys), but if you take a step back and just look at it as a motorcycle, it really is gorgeous. I would never buy the S1000RR because of its looks (well…maybe the HP4…) but I’d buy this in a heart beat.

    Bimota, please give a raise and a promotion to whomever designed that paint job. Beautiful!

  14. John says:

    27 Bimotas? I want your life, Motogpdr…

  15. Slow Rider says:

    A S1000RR engine to a bike like that? Are they kidding? I was expecting a new Superbike to replace the outdated DB7-DB8.

    Unfortunately, maybe because they are facing economic problems in the last years, Bimota has been specialized to built “franksteins”. They are creating new bikes mixing parts from the current models and adding some details to disguise that.

    It’s a real pity for a motorcycle company with a beautiful history.

  16. Tim M says:

    Count me among the disappointed. Way too busy, with the black, red, and white elements crisscrossing all over. I’m not a fan of the asymmetrical lights on the BMW but this headlight design is not a whole lot better. They need to enlist the design skills of the “TA” in Bimota. However, I’m sure it’ll have Bimota’s impeccable handling and engineering expertise.

  17. sburns2421 says:

    BB2 looks far better than the other bike that has that engine in it.

    But then again, the S1000RR is possibly the ugliest bike available today if you don’t count several Kawasakis.

  18. Clay says:

    that tail unit looks borrowed from a zx10