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.

More Video Goodness of the Ducati Superleggera

10/10/2013 @ 10:48 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

More Video Goodness of the Ducati Superleggera ducati 1199 panigale r superleggera tease 635x424

Sure to be the talk of EICMA, the Ducati 1199 Panigale R Superleggera is slowly leaking out from Borgo Panigale. We already broke the news about the Superleggera’s 220hp crank horsepower, and the “superlight” superbike’s insane weight trimmings. Looking at the special parts that comprise the Superleggera, it is not hard to see how Ducati dropped 40 lbs from the bike’s mass.

A magnesium frame/headstock, a carbon fiber rear subframe, magnesium wheels, titanium bolts, tungsten inserts on the lightened crankshaft, titanium/carbon fiber exhaust cans…we could go on with our pairings of motorcycle parts and elements from the periodic table.

Ducati hopes to whet our appetites with this machine with a proscribed trickling of information and media. We don’t like that idea too much, so here are eight unreleased teaser videos of the Ducati 1199 Panigale R Superleggera from Ducati’s invite-only microsite. Don’t ask how we got them.

Source: Bothan Spies

Comment:

  1. smiler says:

    Good to see no one has messed with Ducati’s marketing department. In hyperbole mode as usual.

  2. Andrew says:

    I really don’t like this ‘teaser’ business in general, but it seems particularly pointless here. it’s Panigale – it will look like Panigale, just with a few carbon bits and different colour scheme. Big deal!

    Now what I really would like to see is that Scrambler…

  3. philly phil says:

    all i wanna know is when we’ll see them racing with it! it’s 500 units for WSBK homologation right?

    SO will we see someone on it next year?

  4. MikeD says:

    Those wheels may be lighter than Helium but they are FUGLY AS SIN. The 1198r wheels looked much better. YMHO.

    @Andrew:

    Well said.

    The Scramble . . . meh, i don’t care about it.

  5. eg says:

    Ducati better put their money where their mouth is because with all these number they are calling, it better be faster and better than the s1000rr and other liter bikes in everyway. Would be a damn shame if they fell short that’s for sure.

  6. Norm G. says:

    re: “it’s 500 units for WSBK homologation right?”

    wrong.

    re: “SO will we see someone on it next year?”

    yup, your neighbor.

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “We don’t like that idea too much”

    oh you love it. that and the server traffic. :)

    re: “Don’t ask how we got them.”

    so, how did you get them…? >:(

  8. Hmmm says:

    Tungsten is a very precious strong light metal. I’m surprised no motorcycle manufacturer has used it before. My wedding band is tungsten.

  9. Hmmm says:

    @MikeD the best looking wheels they have are on the 1199 base model. IDK why they didn’t freaking make a magnesium version of those!! so dumb.

  10. Judge says:

    What a bunch of nothing. Let your imagination fill in the rest I guess.

  11. MikeD says:

    @Hmmm:

    Yes, the base model wheels look better than both the S & R . . . BUT NEVER better than the 1198R wheels, : P

  12. Matt Cusumano says:

    It is a Homologation special, just like the 2008 1098R was. Yes you will see it in WSB next year, and you probably, or I will say DEFINITELY will NOT see your neighbor with it, especially since it costs over 65,000 in the USA, and more than that in the UK. The U.S. is getting approximately 175 units. The UK will get a maximum of 50. The rest of the world will get approximately 125 and the remaining 100 units will go to Ducati’s racing department, which will dole them out to their factory racing team, and other factory supported racing teams, and then to other non-factory supported racing teams. They did this exact same program before in 2008 and indeed, this bike’s unique parts are included on the bike for 1 reason. To allow the race team to utilize the best parts for their WSB race bikes. This is why the specifically WSB limited parts are made to WSB specs. For instance, the crankshaft with Tungsten slugs (the 2008 1098R had a works crank with Tungsten slugs as well), the valve gear (cams, followers, and valves, seats, etcs) are of true WSB racing spec..Dell West Titanium Valves are very different than the intake only titanium valves you find on the S Model Panigale, and the Diamond Hard coatings on the desmodronic valve actuators & the valve seats (made of a trick Berylium allow). Titanium Con rods, and the Engine Cases & Monocoque of Magnesium…. Just like the 1098R had a very trick frame, that looked like the standard frame but was made of varying steel thickness to provide better flex qualities….things like this would never be included in any street bike if it were not a Homologation special…why would a street bike need such a specific frame, when a street rider, no mater how good could every notice, or appreciate it? This bike is going to be a real race machine, and street guys will never even notice the difference!

  13. Matt, if that’s the case, then where is Ducati going to come up with the additional 1,500 units or so it needs for homologation in WSBK?