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.

Up-Close with the Bimota DB10 Bimotard

11/14/2011 @ 12:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Up Close with the Bimota DB10 Bimotard Bimota DB10 Bimotard EICMA 111 635x476

Making its debut at the 2011 EICMA show, the Bimota DB10 Bimotard is the boutique Italian motorcycle firm’s latest creation. Borrowing from the Bimota DB6′s frame design, the DB 10 Bimotard takes the same 1,078cc air-cooled two-valve Hypermotard 1100 EVO motor, with its 95hp peak power output, and builds around this platform a compelling maxi-motard design. Perhaps better labelled as Bimota’s take on building a better Hypermotard, the Bimota DB10 Bimotard also promises the usual Bimota design and exclusivity, and helps bridge the gap to the Italian company’s latest off-road offerings, which are amazingly less-compelling, vanilla, and not going to grace the pages of A&R.

Carbon fiber, Marzocchi suspension, Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes, and Zard exhaust…all the usual suspects are present on this cleverly portmanteau-named Bimotard. The fit and finish in person is what you’d expect from Bimota: flawless. A part of me says that you have to praise the small Italian company for breaking from its recent tradition of glorified street-naked motorcycles a bit, and offering a motorcycle with a slightly different ethos. That being said, the Bimota DB10 Bimotard isn’t really that huge of a departure from the DB5, DB6, and DB8s that came before it. A Bimota DB6 with different clothes on, the DB10 is really more evolution than revolution, but it still manages to please us…just not wow us. No price yet, but “cheap” is a four-letter word here.

Leaving the Ducati lump relatively unchanged, sans some cosmetic pieces, the Bimota DB10 drops 8 lbs off the Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO’s bulk, making for a 168kg (370 lbs) dry weight motorcycles. Adding an extra liter of fuel to the hypermotard equation, the Bimota DB10 Bimotard has a 3.56 gallon fuel tank which should please the more road-warrior orientated motard riders. Lastly, in what will surely please the vertically-challenged riders in the crowd, the Bimotard’s seat is a whole inch shorter than the Hypermotard’s, with a seat height of 820mm (32.3 inches).

Up Close with the Bimota DB10 Bimotard Bimota DB10 Bimotard EICMA 103 635x476

Up Close with the Bimota DB10 Bimotard Bimota DB10 Bimotard EICMA 106 635x476

Up Close with the Bimota DB10 Bimotard Bimota DB10 Bimotard EICMA 112 635x425

Up Close with the Bimota DB10 Bimotard Bimota DB10 Bimotard EICMA 114 635x476

Photos: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Rob says:

    Beautiful but the plastic (non carbon) belt covers look out of place on an otherwise ‘bling’ bike.
    They’ll sell at least 3 or 4 of those bad boys. Very neat, but didn’t Ducati already do basically the same thing with the Hym1100? hmmm..

  2. R-Dog says:

    The red frame thing is becoming a bit of a cliché, no?

  3. Jeram says:

    Not another try hard wannebe motard! whats with that!

    if you want a real Bimota Motard, buy a BBX300 and put some marchesini wheels on it.d

    just like the hypermotard, this thing is for posers, I didnt know Asphalt and rubber was into that kind of thing?

  4. Jeram says:

    “and helps bridge the gap to the Italian company’s latest off-road offerings, which are amazingly less-compelling, vanilla, and not going to grace the pages of A&R.”

    I wouldnt exactly call bimotas first attempt (in a long time) at making their own motors “less compelling”…
    what planet are you from?

    also, not even a wisper about the Fuel injected OSSA300i, such a shame that this magazine only appreciates SQUID/Poser bikes and not true motorcycle advances in technology.

  5. BikePilot says:

    Its a nice looking bike. Not sure that it really offers much that an Evo SP doesn’t though. As for the poseur comments, maybe I’m missing something but I find these make fantastic street bikes. They are of course not supermoto race bikes, but they don’t even pretend to be, they are just really good city and tight-road street bikes.

    The Ossa has absolutely nothing to do with asphalt. Why should it be here? That’d be a bit weird. Maybe we need Dirt and Rubber :D

  6. Gary says:

    Very nice as long as there’s a material difference that would distance it from the Hypermotard, for what will likely be a sizeable price gap.

  7. jackie says:

    I never did understand the whole “poser” motard mud slinging silliness.
    They’re just bikes. And most recognize that this isn’t a dirt bike-turned-road-racer.

    It, like the Duc, KTM, and Aprilia are just inspired by them.

    In the end, a beautifully crafted bike is a beautifully crafted bike is a beautifully crafted bike.

    I have to laugh though, as this Bimota certainly looks a hell of a lot more advanced than my first race only, Husky 610smr.

    Assuming someone can afford one, at least it has, an oil filter, counter balancer, and electric start. It probably wouldn’t make someone’s dog’s dangles numb after 10 minutes in the saddle like the old husky did. Nor snap its header from vibration, or melt its plastic bits from the flames shooting out the exhaust on overrun. Not to mention, it’ll have the range to get you to your fave set of twisty bits. And you can probably get it tagged and registered on the street unlike those early motos (not that that stopped any of us from riding them there a decade ago). Seems pretty advanced to me. =)

  8. BikePilot says:

    FWIW no counter balancer. A CB is only really useful on motors that are not primarily balanced and 90-degree things are nicely balanced as they sit (and all duc twins are 90 deg motors). But it is smooth so the broader point is well taken :) Its range is still an issue, but CA cycle works sells a big tank for the duc hyper. The extra liter here is nice, but still not enough to make me happy.

  9. Jackie says:

    The 610 Smr, was/is a thumper…with no counter balancer, which made/makes it feel like your riding a chainsaw with wheels. which it kind of was. My point was that it (the husky) was rather crude. =)

  10. Jeram says:

    @bikepilot…

    the BBX and OSSA have nothing to do with apshalt… yet if you look over the few weeks prior to this article there is KTM freeride this and that and other things dirt related including even the zero dirt motorcycles.

    they are both only a set of wheels and brakes away from being asphalt terrorists