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.

Confederate X132 Hellcat Breaks Cover

12/02/2011 @ 12:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler33 COMMENTS

Confederate X132 Hellcat Breaks Cover Confederate X132 Hellcat 06 635x715

It has been almost a year and a half since we first heard of the third generation Confederate X132 Hellcat, and today we get word that the “more affordable” Confederate has been finalized and is ready for pre-production orders. Borrowing on the namesake of its predecessors, the new Hellcat shares some of the basic characteristics of the original Hellcats, while still bringing a very unique look and style to the custom cruiser.

Set to begin production in January, Confederate is taking orders now with a price tag of $45,000 through February, though that price will go to $49,500 in March of 2012. With only 164 Confederate X132 Hellcats to be made, the Alabama-based company expects to make only two units a week.

At the heart of the X132 Hellcat is the machined aluminum engine case, which started life as two blocks of 6061 billet aluminum. “This new case unites America’s best V- twin technology and America’s superior powertrain technology into a singularity,” explained Confederate Founder & CEO H. Matt Chambers. “Although this is the most expensive material selection and craft methodology, it is simply the best approach for maximizing strength and guaranteeing permanence.”

Once fabricated, those two blocks of metal create a 2,163cc v-twin motor that puts out 132hp at the crank, and an entirely necessary 150 lbs•ft of torque. Mated to a five-speed close-ratio gearbox, the Confederate X132 Hellcat should have plenty of “go” to compliment its “show” and also comes fitted with custom 50mm forks by Marzocchi and a custom rear shock by Race-Tech. With other tasty bits like carbon fiber wheels, Beringer front brake calipers (Brembo rear calipers), and an LED headlight, the entire X132 package tips the scales at 500 lbs.

Like all Confederate Motorcycles though, what is going to grab your attention is all the detail work on the X132 Hellcat. We could probably spend hours looking at each part of the motorcycle, finding little signs of craftsmanship you wouldn’t find elsewhere in the industry. What strikes us immediately is the exposed labyrinthian chamber for the belt and cogs of the timing belt on the side of the motor. Beautiful.

Confederate X132 Hellcat Breaks Cover Confederate X132 Hellcat 08 635x635

Confederate X132 Hellcat Breaks Cover Confederate X132 Hellcat 04 635x423

Confederate X132 Hellcat Breaks Cover Confederate X132 Hellcat 01 635x423

Source: Confederate

Comment:

  1. Jugga says:

    I love the bike…but hat the seat design…there has to be a better way!

  2. Dave says:

    Dunno about paying over 50k for this( I estimated there is shipping involved) is a good idea, looks cool but with that mney I could buld at least 8 streetfighter projects that I have in mind. I only need 3k to finish my 97 ZX6r fighter the way I intended, 1200 if I wanted to get frugal. I guess you have to pay for the attention to detail and craftsmanship of a vehicle assembled by hand and machined in house.

  3. 76 says:

    Really like the whole bike for what its supposed to be (other than the seat), definitely the feeling & definition of the word “built”

  4. Dr. Gellar says:

    Is that Alan Cathcart testing the bike?!

  5. AndrewF says:

    Exposed belts and cogs just make me nervous.

  6. Minibull says:

    Dr. Gellar, I thought you were dead and frozen…:P

    So highly off topic…

  7. Daz says:

    Their design team must be blind, yet another butt ugly collection of metal.

  8. Sean in Oz says:

    It looks like someone took a heap of random parts from different projects and bolted them together. They may be finely crafted but they look like each part was designed in isolation rather than a series of parts designed for the same bike.

  9. @Dr. Gellar: Probably. Sir Allen get around, and I was busy that day.

  10. Dr. Gellar says:

    @Minibull

    No sir…I’m still alive and kickin’. :-)

  11. Dr. Gellar says:

    @ Jensen

    I thought so. He didn’t waste much time getting onboard this latest Confederate.

  12. Travis says:

    Sup Dr. Gellar, whats happning?

  13. Dr. Gellar says:

    @ Travis

    Not a whole lot…just enjoying the updates and the comments here this afternoon.

  14. Dexter says:

    Hi Travis, wanna help me find Dr. Gellar? Would be really great if you could help.

  15. jackie says:

    I always want to love this (and the earlier version of the bike), because all the individual parts are just so beautiful to my eyes. But the collection of them, just never feels right. I try though, I really do.

  16. MikeD says:

    I apreciate all the detail, hard work and labor into building these things…BUT…it doesn’t do it for me.

    I would take an “everyday garden variety, run of the mill, regular production 2009 and up VMAX 1700″ over this any day of the week if i wanted a “power cruiser/standard/streetfighter/u name it” class of bike.

    Maybe i just have bad taste and don’t know any better…LMAO…is just not my thing.

    That drive belt looks ” a little on the tight side” going around and hugging the crank sprocket.
    I wonder how long it will last…(0_0 )

  17. Rich Melaun says:

    Mechanically, it may be a great bike; however, as an aesthetic exercise, it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Perhaps their designers missed the lectures on integration as a major element of design ethos?

  18. bemer2six says:

    Not my cup of tea, but still a mean ass looking bike…

  19. Condition ONE says:

    Not a fan of the tank seam/lip.

  20. Jason says:

    It seems that the LED headlight is only an optional accessory. So apparently no, it doesn’t have an LED headlight. (although happily if you order it now you get the optional LED headlight thrown in, but according to the website it’s still just an option)

  21. Tom says:

    I like being different, but unless Confederate builds more volume, they are going to be nothing more than an esoteric coffee table book or a trivia question.

  22. Damo says:

    Yuck. Confederate builds another garage ornament. Another bike destined to never hit 10,000miles.

    Did their design team just quit when they got to the exhaust?

    Oh, and looks at this quote:

    “This new case unites America’s best V- twin technology and America’s superior powertrain technology into a singularity,”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Seriously folks?

    Next up is this:

    “Although this is the most expensive material selection and craft methodology” (When talking about 6061 Aluminum)

    There is absolutely nothing expensive or rare about using this material. 6061 is actually the most common form of aluminum used in all industrial practices. It is usually selected BECAUSE it is cheap and easy to machine.

    I wouldn’t mind the stuff Confederate designed, if they weren’t always so full of it, right out the gate.

  23. Jake Fox says:

    @Damo Yep. The Pepsi can sitting on my desk as I type this is 6061 aluminum. I think it might be worth a penny if I take it in to be recycled.

  24. Dave says:

    What you guys don’t know is that their 6061 is mined by elves that only run on the tears of oppressed north Korean orphans, therefore the rarity of it. The only issue I have with “factory fighters” is that, the fact that someone else designed , machined, assembled and built it for you. In the case of confedarate, they try waaaaaay too hard, Ducati released a nice factory fighter and all they did is get the the 848 naked and tweaked it here an there. Maybe this would be better if they stopped trying so hard, also there is the issue I mentioned before, the insane price tag.

    TL;DR: I rather build something cool and unique in my garage( or at least try) and not pay up the wazoo for a glorified paper weight( if I spend 50k on something, I wont even look at it the wrong way).

  25. TeeJay says:

    “superior powertrain technology” – WAKE UP!!!

  26. Lumengrid says:

    “This new case unites America’s best V- twin technology and America’s superior powertrain technology into a singularity,”

    Seriously!? A 138hp out of two liters? ( 2,163cc v-twin motor) Good Lord, what a stunning performance! ha ha ha ha… 1,198.4 cc (73.13 cu in) 4-valve desmodromic liquid-cooled L-twin in Diavel has 162hp not mentioning the price tag.

    Dont get me wrong, I think that Hellcat is stunning looking bike but why they are pushing all that crap about technology and “expensive alumininum” ? Who is suppose to buy this?

  27. Damo says:

    @Lumengrid

    You forgot the part where it also weighs 500 bills.

  28. Lumengrid says:

    @Damo
    True! Should I even mention exhaust?Guess not, you already said enough :)

    All being said I still think its beatiful bike but its not space-shuttle tech as the CEO would like customers to see it!

  29. DWolvin says:

    I guess my bike is stupid Euro-trash, but it’s got 160+ Hp from 1200cc… And probably better gas milage. Yes, that matters if you are putting a decent amount of miles on it.

    Oh well, to each their own.

  30. Mike L. says:

    I am so looking forward to seeing the rest of the bike.

  31. Straight to the top of my Fantasy Bike List! New Confederate X132 Hellcat http://t.co/T6tQ2SQl via Asphalt_Rubber #bikeporn #slurp

  32. Damo says:

    @DWolvin

    Anyone who buys one of these isn’t putting much in the way of mileage on it, don’t worry :)

  33. MP says:

    It needs more JT Nesbitt in it.