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.

Horex VR6 Classic

08/14/2013 @ 4:52 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Horex VR6 Classic Horex VR6 Classic 02 635x423

Just the other day we were wondering what was going on with Horex, as we haven’t heard from the German brand in nearly nine months. Finally shipping its first bike, the Horex VR6 Roadster, Horex has now announced a second model that is geared more towards mass consumption, the Horex VR6 Classic.

A re-styled, and apparently de-tuned version of the Roadster model, from what we can gather from Horex’s press release, the big changes for the Classic are its new aesthetic and reworked motor, which produces 124hp compared to the roadster’s 161hp peak figure.

Other changes include connecting tubes for the bike’s 6-in-2 exhaust system, and a reprogramming of the VR6′s motor’s engine map, which according to Horex creates more low-end and midrange torque, with a peak figure of 88.5 lbs•ft.

On the visual side of things, wire wheels are easily noticeable, as well as the red paint with silver pinstripes. A premium leather seat has also been fitted to the Horex VR6 Classic.

Less noticeable is the switching of a Sachs rear shock, with preload and rebound adjustability, in lieu of the three-way adjustable WP unit that is found on the Roadster. Both bikes use WP forks with adjustable preload, compression, and rebound settings.

Pricing in Europe is €24,500 (€28,700 in Austria, and 28,900 CHF in Switzerland).

Horex VR6 Classic Horex VR6 Classic 03 635x423

Horex VR6 Classic Horex VR6 Classic 01 635x423

Source: Horex

Comment:

  1. Damo says:

    THAT is a good looking motorbike.

  2. AdventurePig says:

    I very much agree. Too bad it’s so pricey. :(

  3. Doug says:

    It is good looking, but the engine covers (3dots & that “v”) are awful

  4. proudAmerican says:

    I agree with the guys above. It has a very Moto Guzzi look, but with a much better engine. I’ve got a brand-new Honda CB1100 that I love, but that Horex is stunning.

  5. Shinigami says:

    USD forks with no protectors will mean tube scratches and leaks in a short time. Unacceptable in an $8000 bike much less a $33000 one.

  6. Doctor Jelly says:

    @Shinigami
    I believe a fair number of bikes with USD forks don’t come with protectors…

    @Doug
    I don’t know if the ‘V’ has a pratical purpose outside of styling, but the three dots are the plugs for the line drilled cam journals. They can’t be avoided, but the could have been done in black to be less standoffish…

  7. Damo says:

    “USD forks with no protectors will mean tube scratches and leaks in a short time. Unacceptable in an $8000 bike much less a $33000 one.”

    I just sold my 2005 RC51 with 20,000 miles on it and it had USD forks with no protectors and they were mint with no leaks.

  8. JoeD says:

    Smooth out the scratches with a Scotch brite pad. Sharp edges nick the seals. Sure, replace the seals that leak but the scratch, once smoothened, won’t be a prob. Only time it occurred to me was on the 74 Norton that was neglected resulting in pitted tubes.

  9. JoeD says:

    The radiator is a sore thumb. The Benelli Tornado design would look better.

  10. 1KPerDay says:

    Hurlex, more like.

  11. nerve says:

    Not sure what you mean joeD, owning a tre1130 myself, but i find it a shame this being a six and no exterior clues to that. Maybe u were referring tot Sei..

  12. Doug says:

    @Dr. Jelly -

    They’re both stylized poorly & I get the triple cam journals…that makes it more of a shame. That unique part of the whole bike is not represented well at all

  13. paulus - Thailand says:

    Another model on the road… well done and best of luck to Horex!

  14. Norm G. says:

    re: “That unique part of the whole bike is not represented well at all”

    +1, they are shortchanging their USP.

  15. damn says:

    thats an ugly bike.

  16. “thats an ugly bike.”

    I kinda find myself agreeing with that. That said, I don’t much like the CB1100F, either.

  17. Leon says:

    Is this the same publication that was knocking the EBR American Flag bike? Now you have the Homer Simpson bike of the future past. What?

  18. kdomino says:

    I’ve always considered myself a “form follows function” kind of guy. I figured is a machine is designed to work well it will by definition look good, too.

    This bike might work well, but I can’t get over how much I dislike the way it looks. Eye of the beholder, I guess, but I put this picture next to those of other bikes and it comes off as a caricature. The materials, the styling, the colors, especially the relative sizes and shapes. The pipes with the bung and bulge in the middle, the side covers that look like they belong on a WWII submarine hatch, the rear subframe that came off a 1930s tractor. Yikes. It makes me think that multiple (unfriendly) designers were put in charge of different parts of the bike.

    The Suzuki Madura 1200 has been dethroned as the ugliest bike in my mind.

    (full disclosure – I have a Madura in my collection. I love the motor and just avoid cameras and riding past stores with reflective windows)

  19. Reno says:

    If it’s looking nice or not – everybody should decide … so at least it’s not boring.
    The “forks with no protectors” – yes, bad idea but can be fixed with 10$ or 30$ in the preferred style.
    The materials and technology – wow! Looking at the detailes – home made and from suppliers shows that only premium parts are used.
    A mass bike? Definitly not – the founders of Horex just needed to find the right niche to survive. If they succeeded or not … let’s wait and see.

    I personally found it worth a try …
    Got the roadster version of series-1 #23. After 500 miles, I still love it. I’m anything but a hard core driver. So cruising around with this thing is just pure fun. And I can’t stop watching and touching. Looks like every single screw is designed and applied with great passion. Even the fixing of the license plate is done with titanium style screws. Again, others might see this compeletely different – and thats OK, as long as there are enough fans to secure the future.