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.

Boxer Design SuperBob Concept is all Turbo and Monocoque

11/29/2011 @ 4:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Boxer Design SuperBob Concept is all Turbo and Monocoque Boxer Design Superbob 18 635x383

Carbon monocoque frame, turbo-boosted v-twin motor, single-sided swingarm, duolever front suspension geometry, and premium components — that’s what French firm Boxer Design’s SuperBob is made of. You’ll either love or hate the SuperBob’s general aesthetic, but you have to admit up close, the details of the sport-naked are superb. Based around an 88° 997cc v-twin motor that was developed by French firm Technologies (the same company behind the stillborn Inmotec MotoGP project’s motor), the Boxer Design SuperBob massages its peak power output to 158hp, thanks to some light turbo work (6-9 psi).

440 lbs ready to ride (385 lbs dry), the SuperBob is a fairly light twin, though heavier than you’d expect (the Ducati 1199 Panigale, with its aluminum monocoque frame, tips the scales 20 lbs lighter). Adorning the French motorcycle are all the usual suspects: Brembo, Öhlins, Marchesini, etc. Making 92 lbs•ft of torque at 8,000 rpm, Boxer Design envisions the SuperBob being more well-suited for city duty than the track, though we imagine some crafty owners could figure out ways to coax more boost from the motorcycle’s turbocharger.

Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show as a concept, Boxer Design says the bike could be ready for production within two years. We don’t know if the monocoque frame fade will be heating up or fizzling out by then, but hopefully the French firm gets a few units to market sooner than that timeframe. No word on pricing, but “not” and “cheap” come to mind.

Boxer Design SuperBob Concept is all Turbo and Monocoque Boxer Design Superbob 12 635x423

Boxer Design SuperBob Concept is all Turbo and Monocoque Boxer Design Superbob 27 635x423

Boxer Design SuperBob Concept is all Turbo and Monocoque Boxer Design Superbob 26 635x423

Boxer Design SuperBob Concept is all Turbo and Monocoque Boxer Design Superbob 2 635x423

Boxer Design SuperBob Concept is all Turbo and Monocoque Boxer Design Superbob 5 635x423

Source: Boxer Design

Comment:

  1. luke says:

    fu*king amazing styling.

  2. JR says:

    Nice suspension!

  3. RSVDan says:

    Love it. It’s far from cookie cutter both in design and engineering. They are reporting 17k pounds over on MCV, which is not out of the norm for a machine like this. Let’s hope it’s just not more vaporware.

  4. Westward says:

    Looks like a cross between a Diavel and Monster. I’m all for radical design, can’t wait to feel one in person…

  5. 76 says:

    elemental, progressive and a nice balance of detail, even more importantly, a bike that actually looks and hopefully feels like a motorcycle… cheers to the designer on this one for finding the right mix, looking forward to more cocktails from who ever did this one

  6. Andrew says:

    Love it, first bike thats wowed me in a while!!

  7. Skeptical says:

    Carbon Monocoque frame had a bad reputation in “feeling the front” from GP11. Add to that duolever front end which eliminates all the feel if there left any. Apart from all that, 158 horses with that gigantic sprocket at the back?? That should be made for stunter fellas!

    But anyways, none of which may hide how much effort and courage to put bringing up this sexy concept.

  8. AK says:

    I think people need to stop comparing GP bike with road going bikes.

  9. Damo says:

    @AK

    Agreed.

    The way people talk I fell like I should walk outside and see people taking 120 mph 90 degree turns everywhere! Knee dragging on the way to Dunkin Donuts, yeah!

  10. johnc says:

    like … but would like more, if they had called it “Super Dave”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Dave_Osborne

  11. Westward says:

    +1 @ AK

    I have never seen a MotoGP racer ever really drag his knee. Their knees are usually tucked in so tight, as to achieve a maximum lean, that it may scrape, as there is no more space between the bike and the ground. Every time I see an ad or a pic of a guy dragging his by throwing it out with the bike tilted, I can’t help but think to myself, what a display of ambition with no talent…

    The only time I have ever seen a pro racer drag his knee, was in an attempt to save himself from a crash.

    Want to really impress, don’t drag anything, scrape elbow like Stoner, Spies and Hopkins…

  12. 76 says:

    +1 AK says

    why keep comparing a bike that one of the most definable features of it is its tires (bridgestones) that no body in the motorcycle public can buy period. Manufac cant even buy those tires, they have to be part of the series to receive their predetermined allocation.

    On top of that, its a exclusive naked, much more of a street affair type concept, how many people are turning in on the street on the limit while trail breaking?… and if you are well good luck cause it wont be for long

  13. Tom says:

    It’s not that large of a sprocket considering it has a belt final drive. Look at the Buell, my 1125CR has a 76t rear sprocket. They just can’t handle the small radii that chains do.

  14. RIDER says:

    That strip of leather or whatever it is running over the tank is fresh. Looks to be useful as a tank protector as well.

  15. MikeD says:

    Is nice looking if anything BUT no grounf breaking at anything.
    Initially i got a bit xcited thinking they went the different(most efficient way) with the turbo’s location AND HOW the xhaust was feeded to it, but after looking hard at other pictures online it seems the heads are conventional flowing pieces instead of the reverse flow kind that i had wished they used here ( a la latest BMW M5 S63TU 4.4L V8 )…no ugly xposed right side header pipes, just a down pipe and very little to no turbo LAG…(o_O)
    Meh, what do i know…i don’t built custom motorcycles for a living anyways…lol.

  16. Jake Fox says:

    I really like it! Gorgeous!

  17. Alex says:

    This front suspension not duolever, that Hossack suspension!

  18. Duolever is the commercial name for the Hossack/Fior suspension design.

  19. Doug says:

    @Skeptical – test riders of the Vyrus state they have only experienced one other bike that stops as impressively as the Vyrus, the BMW K13ooR which has a doulever. Front-end “feel” is circumstantial & one front-end design works better in some circumstances than others. We have the benefit of watching teles and alternatives improve.

    Will Ducati use an alternative front-end on future versions of the Panigale in their quest to reduce weight even further? remember the Aprilia FV2 concept.

  20. Bob says:

    Doug, thanks for the memory refresh on the FV2. That was a gorgeous bike I’d gladly choose over the new Tuono RSV4 any day. I believe the FV was simply a parallelogram linkage, not much different that some mountain bikes had 10 years ago. The Hossack style, while physically not as strong, is better at optimizing geometry during turning and braking.

  21. Doug says:

    Yeah, the I don’t think the FV2 has the Hossack steering mechanism, but it does have a similar “frameless

  22. Doug says:

    (phone was not cooperating)…

    the FV2 has a frameless chassis where the two sub frames attach to the engine

  23. Motosblog says:

    hi !
    my firsts words was “impossible is not french” when i saw this Bike in Paris Motor Show.
    About the price i would like to say the same thing because it’s quite cheap if we look at the price of 19 900 euros announced by Thierry Henriette(Boxer Design Boss)

    so … yes France love mootrbikes and now, we have a so good one to ride …

    bye