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.

LCR Honda RC213V Makes Its Debut

03/23/2012 @ 11:48 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

LCR Honda RC213V Makes Its Debut LCR Honda RC213V Stefan Bradl 09 635x423

LCR Honda may only be a satellite Honda team in MotoGP, but everything Lucio Cecchinello touches regarding the squad has an amazing attention to detail, and the teams’s 2012 launch is no different. After a disappointing last season with Toni Elias, LCR Honda has swapped in another Moto2 Champion, this time with German Stefan Bradl at the helm of the LCR Honda RC213V. Already showing tremendous progress in the big show, Bradl is an early favorite for the Rookie of the Year distinction, and the 22-year-old is certain to give some of the more veteran riders a run for their money this season.

Officially launching the 2012 LCR Honda squad in Jerez this week, the Italian MotoGP team always brings us some of the most artful studio shots from the paddock launches, and again Lucio and his crew don’t disappoint in this regard. If you like your photos warmed up and desaturated, we have got a treat for you, but sorry…no bunnies this time around.

“The first time I rode a motorbike my father had to hold me in the back otherwise I would have fallen down,” explained Bradl. “I was only 4 and it was a Honda QR50 cross pocket bike. It took me a while to get it out of the garage because I was scared of the noise from the engine. Maybe I was born to do this ”job” and now that I am racing in MotoGP my father does not hold me in the back anymore but he is still a very important support to me. You can not even imagine how strong this Honda RCV is and every corner and every gear is a real fight.”

How can you not like a kid with an attitude like that?

Technical Specifications of the LCR Honda RC213V:
Engine features: Four-stroke liquid-cooled pneumatic-valve engine, V4, DOHC4
Displacement: up to 1000 cc
Maximum Power: over 250 HP
Maximum Speed: over 350 km/H
Gearbox: Six speed seamless cassette type gearbox with alternative optional ratio
Clutch: Fully adjustable multi plate slipper clutch
Exhaust: Arrow Titanium line
Overall length: 2050mm to 2070mm up to circuit lay out and specification
Overall height: 1125mm
Overall width: 645mm
Weight: 157kg
Fuel: 21 litres capacity ELF
Oil: ELF
Chassis Features: Aluminum twin spare frame, Fully adjustable steering and geometry, & Fully adjustable HRC magnesium triple clamp
Suspensions: Front: Fully adjustable Öhlins TRVP25 diam 48mm upside down, Rear: Fully adjustable Öhlins TRSP44
Tyres: Bridgestone
Wheel: OZ
Brakes: Front: Nissin 4 pistons caliper 320mm Nissin carbon disc Rear: Nissin Twin piston caliper 196mm Yutaka steel disc
Screen: Rama
Grip: Progrip
Sprockets: PBR
All accessories: Rizoma

LCR Honda RC213V Makes Its Debut LCR Honda RC213V Stefan Bradl 03 635x419

LCR Honda RC213V Makes Its Debut LCR Honda RC213V Stefan Bradl 01 635x472

LCR Honda RC213V Makes Its Debut LCR Honda RC213V Stefan Bradl 04 635x415

LCR Honda RC213V Makes Its Debut LCR Honda RC213V Stefan Bradl 06 635x952

Source: LCR Honda

Comment:

  1. BBQdog says:

    For some reason those photographs don’t look very sharp at all, like
    some old scanned negatives. Not like 2012 studio shots.

  2. AndrewF says:

    Sorry, it’s just not the same without the bunnies.

  3. JW says:

    Your right, its better w/o the bunnies

  4. MikeD says:

    250hp + …. (^_^)… SWEET MOTHER OF V-4…LOL.
    Meehh, then again the others could be lying about their numbers to keep on the safe side…bahh…matters not….we’ll see on the first long straight drag race.

    @BBQdog: Indeed, pics do look shitty.

    Some one posted a very valid question in another Blog.

    How come Honda stays faithful to the V-4 architecture on the Highest form of bike racing and then sell street bikes with I-4s ?
    I understand they made the first I-4 street bike for mass consumption(wrong?) and just have too much on this side of the fence to just toss it away like it doesn’t matter or existed….BUT…same goes with the V4.

  5. Cpt.Slow says:

    V anything cost more (/complex)

  6. mxs says:

    Prototype = build whatever (within rules obviously) you think will win you a series
    Production = build whatever will sell and you make money at the end

  7. LCR Honda RC213V Makes Its Debut – http://t.co/hfOEpWwG #motorcycle

  8. MikeD says:

    I see…I see…seems plausible (scratches chin)…(O_O)

  9. BBQdog says:

    >>How come Honda stays faithful to the V-4 architecture on the Highest form of bike racing and then sell street bikes with I-4s ?

    Because the japanese have (also) become lazy. They rather sell the UJM (universal japanese motorcycle= 4 in line) then developping something new, something one can really use. But this is a trend in the whole of the motorcycle industry, including dealers. Selling 1 big fat bike is easier then selling 5 smaller bikes. But if you see how many smaller bikes are sold today in the new countries (far east, south america) then the times they are a-changing.

  10. Jake says:

    1st, Honda does sell V-4 motorcycles (Shamu)

    2nd, they are more expensive to produce (2 separate heads)

    3rd, Honda really needs to make a good high end sport bike with a V-4 to set them apart from the crowd like they used to. Honda has been so boring this decade it’s sad. Maybe with the Mugen electric stuff coming down the pipe they’ll become relevant again.

  11. MikeD says:

    @Jake:

    Shamu SCHMUUU…it’s engine might be a new family, DCT Capable, bla bla bla and all that good stuff…but compared to the RSV4 powerplant it look PEDESTRIAN, OVERWEIGHT.

    Honda being Honda im sure they have a DOHC 1000cc “race” version of it with every bell and whistle on the market today waiting to be unleashed “sometime this century before we run out of fossil fuels” and organs to be able to afford one when it happens…that’s what i was implying on my first post…something of that caliber and pedigree…but until that happens…all they have is a FAT RED MANATEE of a bike and it’s powerplant…V-4 wise…the CBR-RR line seems to be fairly “up to snuff”…shame it’s an I-4 breed.