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.

Photos: Husqvarna 701 Concept – A Future Supermoto?

11/05/2013 @ 12:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Photos: Husqvarna 701 Concept   A Future Supermoto? husqvarna 701 concept 635x423

One of the more eye-catching things we saw today at the EICMA show (besides the Triumph Tiger 800 XC SE), the Husqvarna 701 Concept is an homage to the Swedish brand’s past, and a signal to its future. Truly Scandinavian in its aesthetic, the modern, yet simple, lines of the Husqvarna 701 provide a unique approach to the very cookie-cutter supermoto segment.

Featuring a 650cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, Husqvarna says that the concept is good for 75hp and “outstanding” torque. Built with a chromoly steel trellis frame, WP Suspension, and Brembo brakes, the real eye-catcher is the custom Akrapovic exhaust and its integrated bodywork shroud.

The seat is made of multiple materials, and is designed to have grippy spots for where the rider sits under braking and acceleration, and slippery spots for where a rider needs to move along the seat unimpeded. We aren’t huge fans of the LED headlight, but otherwise it is a nice concept by Husqvarna.

Will the folks at Husqvarna create an on-road machine in the future? Certainly not. A supermoto perhaps though? Time will tell. Photos of the machine, taken in-person by yours truly, are after the jump.

Up-Close Photos of the Husqvarna 701 Concept at the 2013 EICMA Show:

Photos: Husqvarna 701 Concept   A Future Supermoto? Husqvarna 701 Concept EICMA 12 635x421

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Photos: Husqvarna 701 Concept   A Future Supermoto? Husqvarna 701 Concept EICMA 8 635x421

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Source: Husqvarna; Gallery Photos: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Mike says:

    Damn, that’s hot. Except for the headlight. I swear manufacturers leave their headlight designs for interns to do on Friday afternoons.

  2. akaDan says:

    The more observant readers will notice that this is just a KTM 690 SMC that has been sci-fi’d up to look like a concept, and dressed in white and yellow.

    This is what KTM do. They take a KTM, change a few parts (sometimes only the colours of the bodywork) and call it a Husaberg. And now, Husqvarna too.

  3. Motogpdr says:

    The Swedes? Swedes haven’t been associated with a husky for years…..

  4. Motogpdr says:

    Swedes? What Swedes? Swedes haven’t had anything to do with husky for years…….

  5. mxs says:

    What’s the point of the bike??? Motive pls?

    None … because racers will never use plastic enclosed muffler etc. and there’s no street legal market for supermotos? So what’s the point here, I ask again?

  6. Jake says:

    There’s plenty of people that would love a 75hp Husky Supermoto. I don’t particularly care for the headlight or rear subframe plastic crap but to say there isn’t a market for it is plain dumb.

  7. paulus says:

    I think it’s nappy (daiper) needs changing.
    Looks a bit ‘back heavy’

    Badge engineering… this is the automotive influence.
    KTM 690/Husqvarna XXX – plastics and colours.

    That being said, KTM/Husqvarna 2014 off-road range is AWESOME!

  8. MikeD says:

    Pretty damn IRRELEVANT. (-_-)
    I guess they were just feeling left out and neglected so this is them “shouting” : Look at me, dang it.

    U can buy the same bike right now but wearing cast wheels.
    Is called KTM DUKE 690.

  9. 2ndclass says:

    Actually, no, it’s called the KTM 690 SMC-R and it has wire wheels.

  10. MikeD says:

    @2ndclass:

    INDEED. I stand corrected. I just couldn’t recall the fancy lettering so i had to settle for the nearest thing that came to mind.

  11. paulus says:

    the more models, the merrier!

  12. mxs says:

    @Jake

    Plenty of people? What does that mean? Are you talking about people who post here or other forums “I’d buy one after a release?”

    The proof is on the pudding as they say …. find out how many street legal supermoto bikes have KTM, Husky, Husaberg or Aprilia sold in recent years. It’s been dying for a decade …..

    You know who sold most of them … probably Suzuki … LOL For only one reason … it’s a cheap reliable commuter!

  13. Twan says:

    Okay! how does that neon green rad survive after a low side?

  14. MikeD says:

    Suzuki is Queen when it comes to AFFORDABLE SuMo. That’s the MOST plentiful bike that pops up every time i search on Craigslist for sumos.

    I wish Aprilia would have kept it’s awesome 450-550 twins and made them more street biased ( A LOT LESS service intensive ) + AFFORDABLE . . . yeah, i know better than using Aprilia and affordable in the same sentence. LOL.

    @Twan:

    You meant the Shroud ?

    Probably it does survive being that it’s what looks like plastic ? Of course it will be sporting/wearing a ton of damage. LOL.
    The Rad housed inside it ? Probably ends up looking more like a bundle of scrap metal.

  15. ScottInAustin says:

    wow, given how quickly the side-plate melted on my SM610 (for some reason, Husky didn’t think it necessary to even put any heat shielding on a plastic part that sat basically right on top of the cat), my immediate reaction was overwhelming, tear-inducing laughter.
    Knowing how dirtbike plastic tends to look after about 6 months even when it’s not white, or slapped up against engines/exhausts, I can only wonder what the heck they’re thinking.
    Glad y’all like it though, as I’d love to see Husky emerge from merger hell stronger than ever. That Husky was a sweet ride!