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.

Magpul Ronin 1125R – A Samurai Looking for a Master

01/17/2013 @ 3:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler34 COMMENTS

Magpul Ronin 1125R   A Samurai Looking for a Master Magpul Ronin 1125R 02

It has been some time since we saw the Magpul Ronin concept bike, a re-imagined Buell 1125R that was built by the folks at Magpul Industries — a company more well-known in the gun community than than in motorcycling. Making waves with the design though, Magpul setup a new company, Ronin Motorworks, to explore the idea further. Hiring a team of designers and engineers from the motorcycle industry, the result of this endeavor is the Magpul Ronin 1125R sport bike, of which 47 examples will be made, in honor of the 47 Ronin story from feudal Japan.

A fitting metaphor for the story behind the closure of Buell Motorcycles, the 47 Magpul Ronin 1125R bikes will be built from new Buell 1125 chassis that were stored from the original inventory. While a limited-production machine, one of the cooler details of the Magpul Ronin 1125R is that instead of a number plate scheme for the 47 motorcycles, Ronin Motorworks will name each bike after one of the samurais from the original story.

Ronin Motorworks will debut its first 10 bikes mid-2013, and those machines will come in the concept’s original black and silver paint scheme. Pricing will start at $38,000. Ronin Motoworks is expected to evolve the Magpul Ronin 1125R with each batch, with different specifications and price-points being released until the 47th Magpul Ronin 1125R rolls out of the company’s Denver facility.

Magpul Ronin 1125R   A Samurai Looking for a Master Magpul Ronin 1125R 03

Magpul Ronin 1125R   A Samurai Looking for a Master Magpul Ronin 1125R 01

Source: Ronin Motorworks via The Kneeslidder

Comment:

  1. Wayne says:

    How do they fit so much ugly into one bike? That takes talent.

  2. Luke says:

    reminds me of a creature from borderlands two. Needs black exhaust headers and maybe slightly less ‘pumped’ front legs, but I think there is some interesting design going on there. Love the tank / tail combo.

  3. ZootCadillac says:

    Ugly as sin. I grew out of wanting to be Judge Dredd one summer circa 1977. And Buell? I know you Americans will love your ancient tractor engines until the end of time but…..no.

    This should have never seen the light of day. or even the dark of a twisted mind.

  4. CycleBum says:

    I think it ROCKS. I love the minimalist design. Now if I only had $38k lying around.

  5. Jake F. says:

    I like it. But I can think of a lot of ways to spend 38k.

  6. jakes says:

    Fugly looks heavy…..
    Did I maetion FUGLY!

  7. CBR600RR says:

    Dear lord,

    I want this motorbike so bad, purely as a collectors item!

  8. Isaac (Spektre76) says:

    I can actually afford one they may receive a check from me this week if ‘the boss” (wife) approves. I don’t see an issue since I was going to plop down almost that much for a CVO Road Glide Custom with add on’s.

  9. Oh, I see what you did there…

  10. coreyvwc says:

    @ZootCadillac That engine is made by Rotax, in AUSTRIA. Pretty damn fancy tractor I’d say…

  11. Tom says:

    Wayne, I wish this site allowed a thumbs up option, because your comment most deserves it.

  12. MikeD says:

    @Jake F. :

    +1K.

    @Coreyvwc:

    Yes, all hail migthy ROTAX !

  13. Isaac (Spektre76) says:

    I believe Rotax makes Aprilia’s engines too =o)

  14. Alex MacPherson says:

    Design school dropout? The samurai it’s named after would commit seppuku again

  15. RGR says:

    The pics don’t really do the bike justice, they look much cooler in person. Just sayin’…

  16. Buellbafett says:

    @Wayne, +1

    I love Buells but… EEK! I see and can appreciate the design/styling approach to the symmetry of angles buuuuut, just not doing it for me. I like the forks, perhaps they could be thinned a bit to be made less visually heavy as ‘jakes’ noted. Appears to be a front fork shock – That should be made more visible. @RGR, I would HOPE it looks much cooler in person because it would be an even GREATER disappointment if it didn’t.

  17. JeCo says:

    This bike is ruined by the wonky fork / radiator design. Remove that front end and you have one of the best looking street fighter designs ever. That transition from frame to faux tank to seat is perfect.. Pizza slize gap exposing the shock is perfect. Exhaust is slim but industrial while maintaining a hot rod look. Its like the super hot girl you see from behind but when she turns you cringe at the sight of her face.. This bike needs a nose job.

    Best looking Buell is with out a doubt the pegasus typhon -> http://images.gizmag.com/hero/buell-1190-streetfighter-typhoon-16.jpg
    * would like to see the magpul tail on the pegasus.

  18. Jake F. says:

    All this hate is making me want one even more.

  19. Emilio says:

    How does that front suspension work (better or worse) compared to the common inverted fork? I agree about the tractor engine. As I tell Harley owners, they’re at an advantage in case they break down; they can get replacement parts at the tractor dealer (I live in farm country). My Aprilia V4 is definitely not made by Rotax btw.

  20. Faust says:

    @ZootCadillac

    Can you calm down the anti American hatred long enough to actually get a fact straight? The 1125 used in this bike is assembled by BRP-Rotax in Austria. You know, the same guys that made the engine for the Aprilia RSV 1000?

    @ Emilio

    Nobody said the RSV4 has a Rotax engine. they said Aprilia in general, since Aprilia used Rotax engines in the RSV, Tuono (the old one), the Aprilia RS125, and the Aprilia Loenardo and Scarabeo scooters. It’s just not a tractor engine in this bike, no matter how you let your bias try to cloud the issue. I would think a person who would purchase an RSV would know some things about Aprilia.

  21. lasermax says:

    If it weren’t for that hideous front end, the bike wouldn’t look too bad. Team of designers??? From where, third grade? Buncha yuppy wannabe trendy posers, go back to Walmart.

  22. Shawn says:

    The original concept looked much better. Should have kept the LED lights and the twin mufflers as opposed to the single unit on there now. Titanium headers with natural blueing would be sexier as well. Offer it as a kit, but $38K as a single unit to start? No thanks, not even for half that!

  23. ZootCadillac says:

    @coreyvwc My mistake. I make many. I obviously didn’t read it in the copy and certainly had no wish to do any research on the bike. Could not afford one anyway after just buying an RC45*. Just read ‘Buell Chassis’ and mad an assumption. My bad.

    @Faust I have no “Anti-American hatred” and even if that were the case I’d be foolish to attempt to display it here. I’d not last long. I do have a bit of an anti Harley thing but that’s a completely different story. That does not equate to any form of nationalism or xenophobia though. I’m not a fan of Yamaha either.

    Fact remains that to my eyes and therefore in my opinion, that this is an ugly bike. I dislike the lines, I dislike the shapes. One of the reason’s I dislike the KTM superbike effort is because it looks as though it was drawn with only a straight-rule. Their dirt and adventure bikes count as some of the best in the world however. It’s just opinion.

    *And FYI I think the RC45 is a pig ugly bike. Worst rear of that decade. But if you collect and the price is right ( in this economy it is ) then it’s not a bike you say no to, just for the history.

  24. MikeD says:

    OHHHH ! I Know u just didn’t call the Origami 1190R UGLY ! Did u ? ! How DARE YOU when u flaunt being the owner of a couple of 999….this guy got some nerve !

    Just kicking u on the ribs…lol. (o_~)

    I too happen to like those “ugly” 999, specially dressed in FILA replica.

  25. ZootCadillac says:

    Thanks MikeD :)

    Here’s a treat ( or not ) for you No’s 158 and 187 of 200 ever made :)

    http://twitpic.com/bjm5mw
    http://twitpic.com/budvb5
    http://twitpic.com/bcad1n
    http://twitpic.com/b7mm7r
    http://twitpic.com/b5q3a6

    sorry ;)

    but in my defence I also have these

    http://twitpic.com/b5kn78
    http://twitpic.com/b5q3lq
    http://twitpic.com/bvsdqs

    I’m not totally drinking the Ducati kool aid ( but there is an 1199R on order )

  26. ZootCadillac says:

    Mods, I’ve had a post in moderation since yesterday, likely because it contains a number of links to pictures. Please consider allowing this post. i think that your readers, especially MikeD above, might enjoy the pictures.

  27. Slartibartfast says:

    I normally don’t like this kind of bike, but it is interesting. Does anyone know what the bike is in the background in the last photo?

  28. Johndo says:

    I think it would look awesome if it wasnt from the frame, swingarm and front forks. Oh wait, thats half the bike…

  29. Richard Gozinya says:

    That thing’s nearly as expensive as an NCR M4, and nowhere near as cool. You can pay that kind of money to a decent custom builder, and get something way way way better. Or, and I know this is a shocking concept, do it yourself. There’s nothing on this bike that’s all that technical, that Magpul is responsible for. About the only thing that doesn’t look like shit is the exhaust.

  30. MikeD says:

    @Zoot:

    You Sr., i want to make very clear i envy you from the bottomless bottom of my guts, let that be known. LOL.

    I don’t want the Desmo, u keep that……..im happy with only the FILA Rep. That thing looks STUNNING.

    That R7 didn’t hurt either.

  31. Rich Fitz says:

    Remember the Ronin was a concept motorcycle developed as a design experiment for I.D. guys in an unrelated industry (firearms). If it looked and functioned like every other bike out there then we would have considered the concept a failure.

    As it was the Ronin caused enough purists heartburn as well as having enough people here fighting over the single prototype on the weekends that we decided to build the limited number announced.

    In the end the production bike is a direct representation of the original concept bike with the rough edges knocked off. It sounds awesome too. The exhaust is built by us but internally it is based upon a Ducati 999r exhaust.

    The Ronin is still is one of our favorite bikes to ride for fun.

    Updates and more pictures on our facebook page…

    http://www.facebook.com/RoninMotorworks

  32. ZootCadillac says:

    @MikeD

    Thanks fella ;) Don’t be too envious, they are just bikes. In this economy buying homologation specials from people who need the cash is a better return than leaving my cash in the bank :)

    There are actually 2 999R Fila reps there. if you notice one has the stock clutch cover and the other has a John Hackett Performance competition slipper clutch fitted. They still have a face only a mother could love but boy, what a ride. Quite possibly the best bike I’ve ever ridden. And yes, the R7 ain’t too shabby. You won’t see many of those on this side of the pond ;) Nori has promised to sign it when I can get them together.

    @Rich Fitz.

    I’ve probably done you a disservice.I’ve definitely been a little rude. I wish you well with your projects and fully understand that concepts have to break the mould. I was saying to Jensen last night that it probably rides like a dream but that I still can’t get over the looks. Call me old fashioned. Call me a purist. Call me whatever you like, I probably deserve it ;) but I have to be honest, it’s not the sort of bike I could consider adding to the stable. Don’t stop pushing the envelope because of people like me.

  33. Joe says:

    Cool bike. I’m a fan of modern girder suspension but I think they blew it on one design point
    That could have made this bike less of merely a show piece .
    The decision to incorporate the radiator into the girder has 2 performance drawbacks :
    1). Increased unsprung weight
    2). Increased steering inertia
    Both are not an improvement on the old Buel.
    Their posts claim about the same steered inertia with or without the built-in radiator
    But I can’t see it .
    Had they not done this, they could have exploited more fully the inherent benefits
    Of the girder’s superior compliance adding to it equal or reduced suspension weight.
    My 2 cents.
    Joe

  34. Dark Angel says:

    I LOVE it…and so wish I could buy the very first one released! My daughter’s name is Aprilia (named for a very badass and sexy bike, obviously). My son’s name is Ronin (originally for it’s Japanese significance); I am so f***ing excited that a bike now shares the name as well!!! Especially since its engine is made by the same company as the Aprilias (a very freaky coincidence since MY Ronin and Aprilia are made up of the same DNA).