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 Terracorsa by MotoCorsa

10/02/2013 @ 3:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

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The Ducati 1199 Panigale is a formidable machine on the track, something I witnessed first-hand with the at the international press launch for the Ducati 1199 Panigale R at the Circuit of the Americas.

Between the Panigale’s frameless chassis design, high-revving Superquadro motor, and bevy of electronics, Ducati has refined its superbike offering to consumers, and really honed in on making the best street bike possible.

But what if your calling takes you off of the asphalt? Enter the Ducati 1199 Terracorsa by MotoCorsa — yes, the same crazy bastards that made the SeDUCATIve and MANigale calendar photo shoots.

The story goes something like this: MotoCorsa Bossman Arun Sharma and Ducati North America’s Quentin Wilson were prepping for their annual trip to Eastern Oregon. Instead of getting a couple ADV bikes, like a couple of sissies, the idea to do something with Sharma’s Panigale recently crashed track bike came up.

We can only imagine that alcohol must have been involved, as the product of the duo’s craziness was a 200hp dual-sport, complete with camouflage paint and luggage racks. What could go wrong? Thanks for the tip TheSwede!

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Source: MotoCorsa

Comment:

  1. Motoputs says:

    The picture of the mud encrusted rear end sells the story. Very cool project. Probably a hand full of road with its quick steering. if you have the time and money.. why not.

  2. TheSwede says:

    No credit for my tip on this a few days ago? :(

    This is my kind of insanity though. Sounds like something me and my buddies would think up, glad to see they put it through the wringer!

  3. Faster1 says:

    Darn shame that it would get dusted by every thumper that came along. The geometry and suspension would make it awkward handling as hell. Still, the cool factor is off the charts.

  4. Boom! There you go Swedey!

  5. David Freire says:

    That is the most awesome things ever.

  6. TheSwede says:

    Woo! Lol, love the site Jensen, glad I could contribute

  7. TexusTim says:

    ok how do you reach the bars over the top of the bag ? and how do you do that trying to wrestle it around the trees in the mud?…is this practical ? or is it not pratical and thats the point make a very expensive impratical bike ? and thats the new “cool”? I dont think steve mcqueen would ride it. I know you wont see it at rossi’s ranch bawawawawaw aha

  8. Sean in OZ says:

    Must be a VERY slow news day.

    I/we ride on far worse sand/mud/gravel/rocky tracks than that on stock sportsbikes with sports road tyres.

    People have travelled around the world solo through jungles, deserts etc on stock sportsbikes … without knobby tyres.

  9. Dave in Denver says:

    Well…I can think of a few things that might go wrong when jumping a fallen tree, crossing a stream, or navigating baby heads…hmmmm. Looks more like some Ducati Dessert Police bikes I saw in Saudi Arabia.

  10. ZootCadillac says:

    What a lovely thing. Probably totally impractical but I’d have one of those sat in the garage next to the new 1199 Superleggera. Oops, I’ve said too much ;)

  11. paulus - Thailand says:

    Pure PR hype… but if this convinces a few more motorcyclist to be more brave and take their road bikes off-road – cool.

    As others have said. Road bikes are already more capable than you expect and many a person has navigated the globe (on and off road) on pure sports bikes with no knobblies.

  12. TwoWheelLoo says:

    Portland PRIDE WHUT WHUT! I get all my gear from Arun and the guys! They’re just awesome people to chat bikes with.

  13. smiler says:

    Ducati engineers spent many months building the best sportbike they could. A new engine developing 195 BHP, with under slung exhausts and a very compact design to lower the centre of gravity and pull most of the mess to the centre. Oversized and high comp pistons with short stroke to increase revs. A release valve to allow a smaller starter motor. Aluminium frameless chassis to save weight. Electronics package allowing electrically modifided suspension and several ABS settings. New air intakes and LED lights. The result is the most powerful and lightest sportsbike Ducati has ever made. Winds best new bike 2012.

    Sold to an idiot who wants to use it as an enduro bike, because he is an idiot. What an utter prat.

  14. Minibull says:

    @smiler: MotoCorsa spent many months building the craziest offroad bike they could. Nice knobblies, luggage space, practical tankbag and a fitting paintjob to match. The result is probably one of the most insane/fun offroad bikes around that would be a hoot to ride. Wins a smile from most who saw the article in 2013.

    Commented on by an idiot who is really really jealous and has not the slimmest morsel of fun in his life, because he is an idiot. What an utter prat.

  15. Damn it Craig, you’re going to make me pick-up a phone and call some people now, huh?

  16. ZootCadiilac says:

    @Jensen. haha, please don’t. you might get me in trouble. Embargo and all that ;) I’ll send you something soon.

  17. @smiler – did you read the part about this bike originally being a crashed track bike? Or the part about a road trip to eastern OR?

    they took an unfortunate incident on the track & expanded their world. The rear luggage rack alone is marketable

  18. Gritboy says:

    My kind of “sport bike”!

  19. Looks cool, and if you lived in a place with a lot of big open smooth gravel roads, you could probably have some fun on it, until you hit a serious bump that is, and the triple tree comes up and knocks your brains out.