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 Streetfighter by Hertrampf

12/16/2013 @ 1:31 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Ducati 1199 Panigale Streetfighter by Hertrampf Ducati 1199 Panigale S Streetfighter Motorrad Hertrampf 1 635x423

As soon as Bologna debuted the Ducati 1199 Panigale, the speculation was rife on if/when the Italian brand would bring streetfighter and supersport-class machines to market. We have already seen the Ducati 899 Panigale, which isn’t quite race-legal, though packs the superbike’s design philosophies into a more affordable package with a smaller engine displacement.

As for the Streetfighter, the debut of the Ducati Monster 1200 seems to confirm suspicions that Ducati has no plans to continue with a performance-based street naked. With the demise of the Streetfighter 1098, one can only wonder how much longer the Streetfighter 848 will remain in Ducati’s lineup. Surely when the smaller displacements of the Monster line move to water-cooled engine, the we will see the removal of the 848, much to our chagrin.

This still leaves us with some “what if’s” though, as some believe the monocoque “frameless” chassis design of the Panigale makes a streetfighter variant all but impossible. We would have to say that when the fairingless photos of the Ducati 1199 Superleggera that came out this year, our eyes searched for ways to tailor the Panigale’s naked body into some sort of Streetfighter, though it looks like some Germans have gone a step further.

The folks at Motorrad Hertrampf have built their own version of a Panigale Streetfighter, calling their work a 1199 S Fighter. The German Ducati dealer sees other models, both in 1199 and 899 form, being possible for customers who are so inclined. The styling is a mix of old-school European streetfightering, the genre that began the trend, and Italian design.

We imagine that tastes will vary, and you will either love or hate what Hertrampf has done here with the Panigale S. However we think the design proves one thing that those who said that Ducati’s new chassis and Superquadro motor were unsuitable for a naked bike are clearly mistaken in their belief. Thanks for the tip Thomas!

Ducati 1199 Panigale Streetfighter by Hertrampf Ducati 1199 Panigale S Streetfighter Motorrad Hertrampf 2 635x952

Source: Motorrad Hertrampf

Comment:

  1. ZootCadiilac says:

    Not too sure what to make of this. I’m not really a fan of the streetfighter concept, but I do like a naked bike.

    Interesting that German company would attempt this, these bikes don’t particularly sell well in Europe and indeed the streetfighter, at least from Ducati, is a particularly American product.

    It’s a change to see a bike with things being removed rather than one with more and more crap being bolted on to it. Another particularly American concept.

    At the end of the day they all look great but riding is a different issue. A humble Monster will batter you senseless on a typical windy day in Europe. I’d prefer the added protection on my sport bike.

    What do we mean by the 899 not being race legal Jensen? Is that particular to your local rules? It’s going to be raced in force by quite a few of my friends next season in an official British Superbike support capacity. I’m still considering buying one ( with a partner ) if I can find a rider able to not to crash it every week ;)

  2. Zoot, by that I mean it doesn’t fit into existing Supersport class rules. I’m sure there are certain “open” classes the 899 could be raced in at national and local levels.

  3. Ian John says:

    Anyway, back to the bike…….
    i like it, and if Ducati is not going to bring out a Streetfighter if you really want one, make your own.
    Clip’ons / risers and dabble in a DIY “fiber” kit or ebay bits.

    Correct me if im wrong, but from where i come from, Streetfighters came about after you crashed your bike. Before ebay and after market plastics / fiber, some couldn’t afford the crash bill.

    So, chuck all the OEM stuff back on when your ready to sell up.
    Ill have one in matte black thanks……

  4. jimmy smith jr says:

    Kill it with fire and pass me the eye bleach.

  5. ZootCadiilac says:

    Not sure if i’ve gone into some form of moderation. made a post that didn;t post. Told i can’t post a repeats of it and it’s still not appeared.

    I did have some comment about the 899 and racing next year. Ah well.

  6. TexusTim says:

    @jimmy..you sure bout that?..it might burn for a minute or two.

  7. paulus says:

    I like it more than the panigale… although the images are of the side without the afterthought suspension.

  8. MikeD says:

    Terminator Salvation. There. I said it.

    Seriously, the cyborg head headlight has to go. Give me a 2 bug’s eyes a la Speed Triple, a single big shallow round one a la Suzuki GS1100E or a melting looking futuristic one like the FZ1 from the EU Market.

    http://s.tf1.fr/mmdia/i/09/0/yamaha-fz1-abarth-assetto-corse-2693090xckvo.jpg

    Belly Fairing must go too, too much plastic fantastic. I’m cool with exposing FUNCTIONAL PARTS, be it pretty or not.

    Any one sees a look alike pattern with this guy ? :

    http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/4/47192/869576-fig3.large.gif

  9. Conrice says:

    Zoot – not to be a jerk – but your first post is completely wrong.

    Street fighters began in Europe and are MUCH bigger and more popular in Europe than they are in America – especially in Germany. Many of the companies that make street fighter parts are german. You can look up companies like Fight Machines, Gemo Fighters, etc. Google Fighterama – the biggest street fighter show on the planet – it’s in Germany.

    Taking things off of bikes as opposed to putting them on is NOT an american thing – it’s a very big thing in Europe considering they berthed the cafe racer (which is a bare bones bike concept) along with the street fighter concept.

  10. arkangel says:

    I ride a 1098. S/f – with 40 000 kms on the clock

    Its a stunning motorcycle & after a 5 day trip in UK on a hired panigale – I’d swop my left testicle for a naked panigale S/F . Personally I don’t care if its American or Germans who do what to there bikes- but I’d be so happy if Ducati would release this bike as catalogue..

    Hopefully .. meantime love this version & matte black with tricolor stripes would make my heart sing.

  11. Mariano says:

    @ ZootCadilac, sorry but you got it completely wrong…..the Streetfighter/ naked market is an European (and Asian) market, unlike the US where naked bikes do poorly in sales. For example, the Kawasaki ER6n which sells great in the old continent, but was taking out of the US market after three of four years. As a matter of fact, as you probably know, Kawasaki offers its naked Streetfighter in two sizes in Europe, the Z800 and Z1000 ( with even special editions) Here Kawasaki offers only the Z1000, no special editions.

  12. Bart says:

    After seeing this I ‘m realy glad I bought my 848 Streetfighter Dark Stealth a month ago.

  13. ZootCadiilac says:

    Don’t wish to get into any argument with anyone and i don’t doubt that there is a healthy market for streetfighters in central Europe. I based my opinion on Ducati sales figures. Which I am very familiar with.

    @Conrice. You misunderstood my post. I was suggesting that it was refreshing to see bikes having things taken off rather than bolted on. The bolt-ons being something which i see as an American thing ( no judgement, just an observation )so you are essentially agreeing with me on that point.

    I have friends who can’t produce after-market carbon parts fast enough and it’s all going to California.

  14. veetwotls says:

    very nice looking streetfighter but looks a nightmare to work on. KTM1290 superduke R (race version) still for me.

  15. Norm G. says:

    I like it. 9x outta 10 the germans usually create abominations when they tackle this sort of thing. here they’ve finally showed restraint. less is more. they’re learning.

  16. Gutterslob says:

    Still too much visible plumbing for my tastes.

  17. crshnbrn says:

    @MikeD:

    “the cyborg head headlight has to go.”

    Agreed!

    “Give me a 2 bug’s eyes a la Speed Triple”

    I hadn’t thought of those, but I have always liked the dual round headlights of the previous generation Speed Triple. With the sharp lines of Hertrampf’s S/F the current Speed Triple’s dual headlights might work also. I was thinking keep it pure with a large slanted headlight from a Monster.

    Belly fairing can stay if left side is anywhere near as good looking as the right side.