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 Strada – Do We Need A Single-Cylinder Nuda?

11/29/2011 @ 10:06 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 03 635x423

Husqvarna apparently didn’t show all it had to offer at the 2011 EICMA show in Milan, Italy several weeks ago. Debuting the Husqvarna Strada concept at the Paris Motor Show today, the Swedish brand continues its expansion into the on-road market. While the business case is strong for why Husky is currently on a street-bike tear, excitement over the Strada might pale in comparison to the hype that surrounded the 2012 Husqvarna Nuda 900.

Based on BMW’s 650cc single-cylinder motor found in the G650GS, the Husqvarna Strada has allegedly been “breathed” on by the Italian engineers at Husqvarna. Details are still under lock and key, though Husqvarna says the Strada will tip the scales at less than 170kg dry (375 lbs). While the bike being unveiled in Paris is a concept, Husqvarna plans to go into production with the Husqvarna Strada in 2012, meaning what we’ll see on dealer showroom floors will look very similar to what we see here now.

“Targeted at youthful on-road motorcyclists,” we can expect the Husqvarna Strada to come in at a cheaper price point than the Husqvarna Nuda 900, and to be more of a starting point for street riders looking to get on the Swedish brand’s bikes. Looking every bit like the rest of the Husqvarna line, our biggest concern is that the Strada doesn’t have enough differentiation from the Nuda 900 to truly merit a place on the product range.

While price and overall tune will likely be used to set the Husqvarna Strada apart from its larger compatriot, at its core, the Strada has the same face melting maxi-motard ethos as the Nuda. While that’s fine and dandy for brand management, the product differentiation may not be as great in the eyes of the consumer. Bringing out one niche motorcycle, especially as a first offering in the street segment, was a well-played move, but Husqvarna may have made a misstep by rolling out a second bike that overlaps so heavily, and competes for exactly the same riders as its previously released model.

Hopefully the BMW subsidiary will truly expand its product range with the likeable Moab street-tracker/scrambler concept, and we can always hope that the BMW S1000RR motor gets tapped for Husqvarna’s next science fair project.

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 04 635x423

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 08 635x423

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 07 635x423

Husqvarna Strada   Do We Need A Single Cylinder Nuda? Husqvarna Strada Concept 11 635x423

Source: BMW Group

Comment:

  1. RSVDan says:

    Wake me up when Husqy churns out something other than a BMW re-badge.

  2. BBQdog says:

    Really like the looks. But 170 dry (!) weight for a single cilinder ??
    Will wait and have a look the the KTM Freeride 350.

  3. mxs says:

    Forget how it overlaps with the Nuda, but what about Husky SM630 which will be much closer to that than Nuda ever will be.

    Puzzling move to say the least.

  4. BikePilot says:

    A single really should be closer to 300lbs wet and ready to ride, 340lbs max (see e.g., KTM 690SMC at about 315 ready to ride, no gas and the 690 duke at a bit more than that).

    Also it looks to have too much rake out front and the wheels/tires don’t comport with its otherwise road-going design – it should have a tighter head angle (at least visually) and sticky 17″ rubber.

  5. Ervgopwr says:

    Agree with concerns about the excessive bulk. Why does a single need two exhaust cans?

  6. johnc says:

    do we need a single cylinder nuda? nope.
    do we need a twin cylinder nuda? nope.
    do we need a moab? yup!

  7. BBQdog says:

    … and I guess the seat is that high I need a ladder. Hope the far eastern markets will grow,
    people aren’t that long over there so manufacturers will be forced to make more adjustable and lower
    seats.

  8. PeteN95 says:

    Nice looking bike, but how can you delete a cylinder and only lose 10lbs?!

  9. Shawn says:

    It looks great to me. For those complaining about weight, its 65 lbs lighter than a KLR 650, so it sounds good to me. Price would be the main problem I see with it, if its a “premium single” versus the Nuda, which I’d also like to own.

  10. fazer6 says:

    Looks nearly identical to my x-country, which was a disappointing bike…tried to straddle the middle of the line between road and dirt, but didn’t do well at either.
    Give me a Moab!!!!!!!!!

  11. MikeD says:

    Naah, if i had to pick one to take to production the MOAB would be it(but with tube-less wheels/tires) a la SuperTenere.
    MXS makes a good point IMHO, i too feel this is not needed when they have that BAD ASS SM630 but i guess the world would be a DULL GREY place to be if we all wanted or thought the same, lol.
    Weight is ok with me, im used at riding bloated albeit low & stable Pigs (’82 GS1100G).
    Yes, they all should stop the silliness with the front 19″ tire/wheel combo on what fundamentaly is a STREET BIKE, a 17″ is far more ADEQUATE here and have a far wider spectrum of tire choices.
    2 Cans to have decent exhaust flow and yet keep it quiet enough that the it won’t bother “non rider” public ? Just saying…lol.

    P.S: That skinny not wider than (and as hard as ?) a school ruler dirt bike seat won’t help the cause if this thing is to become a “street bike” to ride for more than 1/2 hr. A nice wide padded seat goes a long way.
    The seat on my SV1000N is not as bad as this thing and i find myself wishing for something wider, softer and perhaps mode padded ?

  12. PeteN95 says:

    I currently ride an XR650R with a 19″ front wheel and tires similar to this, but it is about 90lbs lighter!?! I think it is a very fun bike for both street and dirt, but carrying another 90lbs would seriously hinder both.

  13. Ken says:

    This looks like a direct competitor to the Suzuki DR 650. Not as tall and rugged as the one lung Honda, not ment to travel the world like the KLR but a great all around bike. The problem with the DR was poor suspension (lack of adjustability), it was geared one tooth to big up front, was outfitted with “Death Wings” and the seat was shitty. Fix those things and it makes an amazing all around bike. While it was never nimble off road like my WR450, it handled single track just fine. Damn near a modern scrambler in use: Not to tall for the streets, bullet proof engine and trans, great ergos and good street handling. If they can address those things, they’ll have a winner.

  14. Teakwood says:

    I’ve owned about 20 bikes in my life and presently own a DR650, a Beta400RR and a DRZ400E. The DR is a great bike. It’s way more street friendly and with a custumized seat it’s quite comfortable for all day riding. Like Ken says, I dropped a tooth on the front sproket and mounted a pair of knobby tires and its dirt capability improved considerably. I imagine the Stada will be similar but with better suspension and more power, thus I could put up with the extra weight. I don’t think it’s comparable to the Nuda which is more like a big super moto with a parallel twin. They’re not in the same category, the Strada is a dualsport. It’s like comparing apples and carrots, they’re different, but I like both.

  15. Hodgmo says:

    Based on what I’m looking at here, this bike looks like something you could jump on and ride anywhere and everywhere. That’s a totally appealing concept to me. I would love to get my hands on one and ring it out.