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.

Concept: Harley-Davidson Brawler

08/02/2010 @ 9:39 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Concept: Harley Davidson Brawler Brawler concept Travis Clark 8 560x401

Centered around capturing a younger demographic, the Brawler is the latest concept from Travis Clark. Hoping to engage younger riders with an actually sporty Sportster, Clark’s Brawler, in its finest trim, combines the high-powered Porsche designed motor in an attractive package that speaks more to a younger generation than anything that’s come out of Milwaukee…and it looks good too.

While Harley-Davidson has certainly been gaining some traction in younger markets with its different Sportster offerings, like the new Forty-Eight, the company still needs a major youth infusion. Clark thinks that his Brawler is the the ticket with its more modern design and performance-centered operation. Designed to come with two different suspension packages, the base Brawler features inverted forks and an 88ci air-cooled HD power plant, while the high-end brawler comes with the V-Rod motor and leading link front suspension.

There are some cues to the original VRSC, but Clark’s Brawler also has hints from other designs. For instance, the high-mounted scrambler-styled exhaust is a welcomed change from the down and low pipes we’re accustomed to seeing from the custom crowd. With other manufacturers interested in the performance cruiser segment, it will be interesting to see if Harley-Davidson picks up designs like the Brawler.

Source: Coroflot via The Kneeslider

Comment:

  1. RGR says:

    Very cool. The first Hardley I’d actually consider buying. I love that they used the Speed Triple as a mule for the seating position since that’s the bike I currently own. It would take a lot to pry the Speed Triple out of my hands but if the Brawler had more power, similar (or not much more) weight, and had excellent handling capability I’d certainly consider it. If any of those marks were missed, they’d lose me. I’d just wait for Triumph to come up with a “Super” Speed Triple.

    This would have made a very cool Buell… :-(

  2. joe says:

    Why shitcan buell if your gonna make this?

  3. Ecosse says:

    i like it. but why hide the leading fork with the ugly plastic? it’s a technology showpiece.

    hd will never build it.

  4. Isaac says:

    This is an H-D I’d actually buy. I’m a little skeptical of such a huge rear brake rotor. All-in-all, this is what they need to appeal to guy like me in thier early to mid-30′s.

    This is like a sportier modernized version of the XR-1200. I can definitely see some club racing done with this bike. Maybe with some vintage looking oval number plates on the side.

    I’d still prefer a water cooled twin vice the ACT they have now.

  5. Concept: Harley-Davidson Brawler – http://aspha.lt/18n #motorcycle

  6. Doctor Jelly says:

    *facepalm*

    Sporty? Buell did what he could with their poor old motors but they just aren’t on par with today’s engine designs… The Revolution engine is exponentially better, but is still weak in comparison to competitors. As far as I know HD retains the Helicon design, and if they haven’t destroyed or sold off the tooling they could get the Buell Barracuda back on track (under the HD logo of course). It was a much more conventional sportbike look and had it’s power beefed up a bit over the original 1125 (or perhaps they could stick the 1190 in?). Either way, this is not the direction their ‘young crowd’ bikes need to head (doubtful that Wandell is going to let it happen within the next few years anyway)…

  7. irksome says:

    A curse upon HD for killing Buell. And why oh why would anyone even consider an air-cooled V-Twin?

    I suppose it’s good they based the ergonomics on my Speed Triple. Remind me again why I’d ever trade it for this thing.

  8. Bike EXIF says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Concept: Harley-Davidson Brawler – http://aspha.lt/18n #motorcycle

  9. doug says:

    Great concept, but that’s about as far as it goes for me.. I will never buy a H-D as long as it is offered with ancient engine/transmission design. If you can stand the noise roll down your window while sitting at a stop light and listen to the rider engage the transmission… It will make you cringe and then peek under the bike for gears falling out of the cases.

    Design a modern, smaller, lighter, more powerful V-twin with a modern smoother transmission and H-D will attract a whole new crowd. Maybe they should create an off-spring and model it after Bimota. Buy proven power plants and put them in H-D designs like the Brawler.. Or they can continue making the current offering and die a slow death….again.

  10. Matt says:

    It isn’t like HD would allow this to be affordable enough to gain any traction in that desirable younger demographic anyway. There is more at work here other than just how “cool” it is to market a bike like this successfully.

  11. dave says:

    meh. I’m in my early 30′s and I’d buy a sportser 48 or nightster (and bob it) over that any day. if i wanted a futuristic bike, there’s plenty to choose from.. this isn’t something i’d expect from HD.

  12. It’s an updated Buell S1W. :-|

  13. BTB says:

    What the hee-haw youth market are they after. Looks like a V-rod crossed with a Confederate and something from the old Sic-Fi Tron movie. How about building a performance style standard or cafe style. HD marketing is way out of touch with any any demographic except the baby-boomers.

  14. Michael says:

    What “youth” market? How are the Generation x/y/whatever going to be attracted by a bike with an engine and transmission design that is older than their grand parents? The Youth of today hardly has use for a 6 month old smart phone, much less a 80 year old engine design! News Flash! This is a old hog in a new sack! How much is it going to cost, 15-20K? H-D could not sell Buell, how do they hope to do better with this thing? H-D is NOT about Sport Bikes or Winning Races (except where allowed by AMA rules) You tell me how a kid with a GSXR, CBR or other sport bike is going to be attracted to this so called “sport bike”. How is this going to attract younger riders who have ridden REAL sport bikes that REALLY perform? This is akin to asking a champion jockey to ride a mule in the Kentucky Derby! Looks like more Jesse James/Orange County Choppers to me! Looking at the concept drawings I can see about 100 things wrong when it comes to bringing the concept to reality! It is one thing to draw up a bunch of “Cool” pictures and totally something else to ENGINEER a really great motorcycle that really performs! Hint to H-D, Leave the sport bikes to those who know how to build them!

  15. BikePilot says:

    I like the general idea of a naked big bore v-twin, but fear it’ll end up poorly suspended and way over weight. If they can get the weight down to something even sort-of close to the Ducati Streetfighter and put on quality, adjustable suspension and enough fuel to actually be useful I’d consider buying one.

  16. akatsuki says:

    I think they should maybe try a cafe racer first.

    They seem to be allergic to sport, first with Buell and now selling MV Agusta.

  17. Neil says:

    The main problem with Harley is who passed me the other day on a backroad, big group of Harley riders, no safety gear, tattoos, mean looks on their faces, half helmets, minimal sunglasses, no response to my wave, despite me riding my very cool Suzuki TU250 retro single. The dealerships are the same way. The 60′s are over. Come into the 21st century. This bike would be a start, but, they have to get some normal human beings to ride it. If everyone looks like they are pissed off at the world, then young people, who are optimistic, will not come into the dealerships. – The other thing is where Harley is located in the MidWest. People on the coasts are more modern and more with it. They ride all manner of modern technology bikes. A friend in FL just bought a horizontal engined Husaberg. Forward thinking. I like this Brawler design though and I know the Porshe engine is nice as well, having ridden a V Rod.

  18. frizzanz says:

    SCREW HD!! I’m a proud Buell owner, and HD is as f*cked up as it gets concerning its aging and irresponsible management. Both Buell and Augusta suffered for it, and NOW what are they doing?? Harley needs to completely restructure itself and get the old out, and bring the ‘young’ in. HELLO ROTAX!!

    /rant