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.

Ducati 1199 Panigale Leaks Ahead of EICMA

11/07/2011 @ 4:44 am, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

Ducati 1199 Panigale Leaks Ahead of EICMA 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S leak 635x355

Asphalt & Rubber is in Milan right now, and in a few hours we’ll headed over for the official launch of the 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale. However, we might as well stay in the hotel and do grappa shots until our eyes bleed, as the sport bike of 2012 has already unsurprisingly leaked ahead of its official debut. Not only do we get our first glimpse of the new flagship Ducati, but it looks like the Ducati 1199 Panigale will have optional anti-locking brakes (ABS) and Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES).

While it was only a matter of time before Ducati put ABS on its Superbike line, the electronic suspension package on the Panigale (note the wires going into the top of the fork tubes), which originally made its Ducati debut on the Multistrada 1200, is the first time the technology has made its way onto a sport bike. Expect full-details and photos in a couple hours, until then salivate after the jump.

Ducati 1199 Panigale Leaks Ahead of EICMA 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale rear leak

Ducati 1199 Panigale Leaks Ahead of EICMA 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S leak 2 635x476

Ducati 1199 Panigale Leaks Ahead of EICMA 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S leak 5 635x356

Source: Ducati.org

Comment:

  1. AK says:

    wow… awesome bike with weird looking mirrors… look like they are functional this time :)

  2. frod says:

    looking at this pic reminded me the first time I saw the 1098, I was really impressed (it was love at first site) but I can’t say the same thing on the 1199

  3. 2ndclass says:

    What makes you so sure it’s got ABS? Those wheel speed rings would be used for the traction control (Not saying it doesn’t, there’s just not anything there saying that it does).

  4. Rexr says:

    @ 2ndclass
    U can just make out the abs ring through the wheel………but to honest it’s not much of a looker, like the easy to get to rear shock and I like the rear light.

  5. MotoMojo says:

    I can’t weight to see its real whp at the dyno… Its hard to believe that ducati can pull that much power from a stock bike, 195 crank hp should be in the neighborhood of 175-180 whp…

    AK…. I agree, those mirrors are fuggly, probably the ugliest I ever seen on sportbike.

    I am very curious about the geometry of the rear shock and its effect on the overall geometry of the bike… I think ducati went out of its skin with guts by introducing a lot of new ideas , it looks like it’ll be either HIT or MISS , I hope it HITS this time.

  6. wreckah says:

    i really like the agressive front and rear lights, but there are many things not very clean IMO…the exhaust loop, the position of the rear shock, the hole in the fairing on the left side, the fuel tank is not ‘attached’ to the fairing, etc etc

    all in all not a bad looking bike, but a long way away from an instant classic…the design is just not pure enough, more so, it is actually very cluttered.

    surely a fantastic riding bike, and a powerhouse, but the design is deffo not there.

  7. fazer6 says:

    Cluttered is a good descriptor–Too much design by engineers, nothing flows, there’s no overall ‘fit’.

  8. Other Sean says:

    I agree with frod and wreckah.

    I own an 848, and remember falling in LOVE with the 1098 the minute I saw it. This, I’m not in love with. There are very cool elements, but on the whole it’s a bit of a mish mash.

    Kind of a relief, for my finances! I’ll happily hang on to my 848 without being jealous of the new model. She’s fast enough for me anyway.

  9. RJ says:

    Ducati have done it again. It’s hard to be a true-blooded sportbike fan and not be attracted to their machines. Still, I want to see how their new chassis concept fairs in competition first before I make a final judgement call…

    I’m really digging the looks though…

  10. Craig says:

    You know… it’s hard to tell everything, but I kind of like when bikes step out of the norm and drive a little function over design. I think just years and years of new plastics on the same kind of suspension, frame, etc does nothing for the future. That said, I also don’t want a great handling bike that is super ugly either. If the functions works on this bike, the years ahead will be making it look better IMHO.

    As a naked bike fan, I am glad to see things exposed… just saying. Good Job Duc… let’s see if she runs stronger than her apparent looks are catching on…

  11. phs says:

    Some pretty interesting comments made about the looks. I see nothing wrong with some of the bike being exposed and the lines on it such as the tank supposedly being unattached from the fairing. I think the bike is great looking and differentiates itself from anything else (especially Japanese sportbikes) which appeals to owning one. I actually like seeing the exhaust curl up and around, as it adds to the appeal of the bike. Seeing the bike in person will probably sway those that are not fond of it’s looks from these blurred photos alone. It sounds as if the bike should be quite a performer too.

  12. MikeD says:

    I’m sorry … This just ain’t doing it for me. That friggin tank looks like a RED BLOB of an after-thought WHEN THE REST OF THE BIKE looks “kind-o-SHARP”… and the front for some reason looks HUGE, BMW K1200GT SLATE Fairing HUGE while the rear looks just too minimalistic.

    Unbalanced, i think thats the word i was looking for here.

    THE WHEELS , THE NASTY CHEESE LOOKING WHEELS , WHATS THIS ?! Are they seriously trying to copy Japan Inc and their NASTY 3 Spokes Staple ?! DUCATI, SERIOUSLY ?!

    Maybe i just need to see GOOD PICTURES w/o a bunch of journos ALL OVER gropping and oogling the danm thing… LMAO.

    So much that the Black Mules they had been using for testing look 10x better than this.

    Im cool with all the “new tech” … I just don’t like the NASTY WRAPPING they used over it.
    Ducati has been infected… so much for UNIQUE Italian Design.

    Not to be too picky, if only they re-shape that NASTY BLOB of a gas tank the bike would like a gazillion times BETTER.

    And to think that people had the nerve to BITCH and MOAN about the 999.
    Looks at it now, the 999 is becoming a friggin classic, it has aged beautiflly if i don’t say so myself.

    P.S: Sorry about the rant, LOL.

  13. Will says:

    999 a classic…that’s funny.

  14. wannabe says:

    Meeeh.

    “Safe-don’t wanna risk-stuck in 916 headlight theme” AnyBrand superbike.
    Tail looks nice though.

    999 is way more interesting.

  15. R-Dog says:

    It has a much more utalitarian, generic look than most Ducatis past. I prefer this more “stripped down” appearance – it isn’t beautiful in the conventional sense, but in engineering terms it certainly is. Beauty is a very subjective issue anyway. I’m more interested in a supreme level of function, and the idea that they can make a twin cylinder engine produce that level of performance is enough to sell it to many, even if they can’t aspire to use it. An 800 with similar engine technology would be a realistic prospect to mere mortals such as I.

  16. Westward says:

    The front end reminds me of a cross between the Honda Fireblade and Aprilia RSV4…

    They definitely need to do something about those mirrors, I’m sure they could have improved on the previous design for those. I like the underneath exhaust, I think it’s choice…

    I just want to see how this thing does in WBSK…

  17. Shawn says:

    From the side, the tail section looks like it belongs on a GSXR. Too bad, looks like Ducati is also entering in the Japanese Manufacture’s race of who can make the ugliest bikes! :(

  18. Nobody says:

    Wow, sounds like a bunch of girls complaining about the new fall Mervyn’s collection!

    Hands down this will be the most awesome sportbike ever produced for the consumer. Sure, there’s a few odd bits about it, but other than the paint, it appears Ducati went with function over fashion and I see that as an awesome indicator that the performance engineers behind this bike got their way and the designers came second.

  19. weldoid says:

    As an owner of a 996s and 1098s, I’m disappointed. These photos remind me of a Benelli Tornado! (barf)
    I hope it looks better in race trim spinning laps in the sunlight. I’m also hoping it grows on me after viewing some proper photos (and some interesting tech specs).
    Its making the BMW S1000RR look better though……

  20. MikeD says:

    @Nobody:

    Hey hey hey… listen here, if u don’t care about what motorcycle u wear that’s up to u.

    Us “motorcycle fashion nazi police” are always right… (^_^ )… in a few words, SHOOOSH, U Sir don’t know what ur talking about, LMAO.

    @Wil:

    C’mon Dude, impress us, whats “your classic bike”… some frigging brittle antique ? LOL.

  21. MikeD says:

    @Weldoid:

    HOW DARE U ?!… DO NOT mess with The Tornado, DO NOT. Specially it’s belly busting tank shape…lol.

  22. weldoid says:

    @MikeD
    I guess the tornado would be good to have if you had to cross a body of water; what with the propellors and all lol
    I bet George Jetson would (will) dig it.

  23. MikeD says:

    I must say, it does look a lot better under way and with a rider on top.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVKLl-ZBUwg&feature=player_embedded

  24. 58 says:

    check out the new videos on youtube, that thing is bad ass, too bad i’m not a superbike guy

  25. Damo says:

    The front profile looks great, nice lines and I don’t think the tank it too “blobby”.

    The rear end, however, kinda looks unfinished. The under slung exhaust almost looks like an afterthought.

    I need to see full high rez pictures before I go off on a tangent, but so far I am not sure how I feel.

  26. Sidekick says:

    I can only imagine what that rear cylinder is gonna do to the seat at the rev limiter.

  27. walker says:

    Hahaha sidekick… my exwife twice experienced orgasms just by riding on the rear seat of my zx6r (u know how they seat on the bike and normal engine vibrations ) hahaha thats why ninjas are just unbeateable