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.

Husqvarna Baja Concept Gets Closer to Reality

11/13/2012 @ 3:27 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Husqvarna Baja Concept Gets Closer to Reality 2013 Husqvarna Baja 650 concept 12 635x423

When Husqvarna debuted the at the start of this year, it was tipped that the Husqvarna Baja Concept, which was modern take on the Husqvarna Cross 400, could make it into production. We rejoiced. Eleven months later, Husqvarna has returned with the Husqvarna Baja 650 Concept at the EICMA show, and the design has gone a great deal forward from its avant garde angles, to something that is a bit more rounded.

Looking like a bike that is ready for production, it wouldn’t surprise us to hear that the German-owned brand will bring the Baja to market in 2013. Based around the same 652cc BMW engine that is found in the Husqvarna Strada, the Husqvarna Baja 650 Concept uses a steel tube frame for the chassis.

Front wheel suspension is taken care of by a USD forks, while the rear wheel is controlled by a dual-sided swingarm in conjunction with a “central spring strut hinged on a lever system”…mmk? The front wire-spoked wheel is 19 inches, while the rear wheel is 17 inches, which should make the off-roaders happy. Brembo is handling the brakes.

While we were very partial to the original concept, we have to say the new revisions change the Husqvarna Baja Concept a bit in our minds. That being said, the bike has an all-new appeal to us, and would be a real success if BMW management decides to pull the trigger on producing it. How will it fit in with the angular Husqvarna Nuda, Husqvarna Terra, and Husqvara Strada motorcycles? That we couldn’t say, but Husqvarna should pursue this aesthetic full-force.

Husqvarna Baja Concept Gets Closer to Reality 2013 Husqvarna Baja 650 concept 26 635x423

Husqvarna Baja Concept Gets Closer to Reality 2013 Husqvarna Baja 650 concept 43 635x951

Husqvarna Baja Concept Gets Closer to Reality 2013 Husqvarna Baja 650 concept 11 635x423

Husqvarna Baja Concept Gets Closer to Reality 2013 Husqvarna Baja 650 concept 17 635x433

Husqvarna Baja Concept Gets Closer to Reality 2013 Husqvarna Baja 650 concept 32 635x423

Husqvarna Baja Concept Gets Closer to Reality 2013 Husqvarna Baja 650 concept 36 635x423

Source: BMW Group

Comment:

  1. froryde says:

    Now how about bringing the Moab concept to life?!

  2. alex says:

    Yeah, the Moab is the bike I want to see. And preferably with that awesome number plate/headlight dealy!

    ditch the twin pipes and the headlight on this though, it’s a great start

  3. jackie says:

    Hooorrrible. Flashing back to the 70s in all the wrong ways. Bring us the Nuda in enduro form before this time machine afterbirth.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Remember that cute girl you went to school with? Now she’s turning tricks and getting slapped around by her fat German pimp. Heartbreaking.

    A quick recap:

    449 / 511: Gut – churningly ugly but capable dirt / supermotos built around BMW leftovers.

    Nuda: A gut – churningly ugly fun bike built around BMW leftovers.

    Strada / Terra: Gut – churningly ugly utility bikes built around BMW leftovers.

    Baja: Gut- Another churningly ugly BMW bitza, except that this one has no redeeming features whatsoever.

    I’m hoping that the fat German pimp will spend some of his ill-gotten gains developing a new 2-stroke Husky dirt bike to replace the worthy-but-long-in-the-tooth CR / WR range, but I get the feeling that he’s just going to blow it all on crack and ill-fitting Chinese bodywork.

  5. Singletrack says:

    The profile looks like something a 10 year old would create by mixing and matching parts from leftover Testors model kits…. 1/8 scale fuel tank and engine stuffed into a 1/12 scale chassis and wheels.

  6. MikeD says:

    @Alex:

    +1. I would rather Moab than Baja.

    I think the double muffler is just bob weight (make it a dummy one, hollow, a storage compartment, like the 2Bros Muffler kit for the 06-07 ZX-10R, LOL.

    Although, i have heard that MONOS are the hardest of engines to “shut up”… (something with no other cylinder to cancel each others sounds waves, etc ).

  7. starmag says:

    Sorry Husky, the barfy green number plate needs to go. How about real quality looking chrome panels on the tank? Dual exhaust on a single? Does the tank really need those angles? The 70 wr400 was a timeless beauty, no shame in coping it. I note that Triumph’s best selling bike is a near perfect replica of an old Bonneville that doesn’t have angles added to the tank. The 50ish guys who loved them don’t need hard to get loans. The tank angles aren’t going to suck in the “rad” crowd anyway. There is such a thing as timeless beauty. You Moab guys really like the front fender on that? It otherwise looks pretty much the same.

  8. Emptybee says:

    Instead of saying it is a modern take on a 400 Cross – which was a motocrosser – it’s more like the RT360, which was actually a dual-sport. Check it out here: http://www.enduro360.com/2010/09/04/featured/the-original-dual-sport-bike-husky-rt360/

  9. The Baja concept is supposed to channel Steve McQueen’s Cross 400, which was made famous by its SI cover shot.

  10. conchop says:

    Thank God, somebody in the ADV bike styling department is starting do get it. While needing more work, this bike is certainly heading in the right direction. The styling on most of these Euro ADV bikes is ghastly. They are like having a really well built high performance woman with an athletic body, BUT, with a face that causes train wrecks. This BAJA is breaking new ground.

    Anxious to see the styling on the new Buell AX [ if they ever get it out ]

    I wish them well in this venture – putting the BAJA right next to their other bikes will be the tale of the tape. I bet this would sell 2 to 1.

  11. Paul McM says:

    I love Huskys, being old enough to remember the original enduros. I had great hopes for this Baja bike. The idea of a dual-sport that wasn’t trying to be a motocross bike, but had sensible gas tank and a comfortable seat. Pair that with modern fuel injection, advanced lighting, counter-balanced engine, and you might really have something. But this has gone in the wrong direction from the earlier prototype methinks. To get me to part with my torquey, simple and ultra-reliable 360-lb DR650se I want something that really combines the best of the old with best of the new. Don’t think this Baja does that. This just looks like a retro-tarted Nuda/Strada. As others said, the dual exhaust really kills it for me. Oh well, scratch another off the list of bikes to lust for…