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.

Motus MST-01: Direct Injection, 2 Valves per Cylinder, 1650cc, 140hp, Made in America

01/16/2010 @ 6:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Motus MST 01: Direct Injection, 2 Valves per Cylinder, 1650cc, 140hp, Made in America Motus MST 01 635x392

Motus Motorcycles has trickled out a bit more information about its Made in America MST-01 sport-tourer, giving CycleWorld their obligatory first look. What do they have to report? A 1650cc V4 motor with two valves per cylinder that features direct injection, which sums up to equal 140hp. More on that and photos after the jump.

If you forgot everything you know about the Motus MST-01 to-date, and approached the motorcycle motor from a mechanic’s perspective, you might mistaken the V4 motor for half a Corvette. Laid out just like an American-built V8, the large reason for the similarities is because the Motus MST-01 motor was designed by Katech, makers of the Corvette Z06′s 600hp V8 powerplant.

For us, looking at the Motus spec sheet, with its two valve push rod design, forwardly located water pump, and longitudinal configuration, it’s exactly what we’d expect to see from a company that talks in car every day. Designed to be like a small American sports car, we see both strengths and weaknesses in this design philosophy.

Direct Injection has been around for ages, but just recently it’s become all the buzz in the auto industry. Refined by the American auto manufacturers, this method of getting fuel into the cylinder (the name really says it all) provides for greater efficiency in cylinder combustion, which crudely equates to getting more out of less. For instance, this translates into six-cylinders, which can now do the work done by larger eight-cylinders, etc.

Theoretically, Motus’ gasoline direct injection (GDI) system should allow the Motus MST-01 motor to make more power than a traditional two valve motor of similar size. However this doesn’t necessarily translate into comparisons against modern four valve motors.

Despite the MST-01′s nearly 413cc displacement advantage over the Honda VFR1200F’s four valve motor, the MST-01 makes nearly 20% less power. Of course maximum horsepower output is not the be-all end-all of judging the success of a motor’s design, and we have yet to see how smooth or torquey the MST-01 could be, but it’s an interesting insight into the Motus mindset.

The MST-01 will be the first production motorcycle to use direct injection, which is a technology you can bank on seeing trickled into the motorcycle industry over the coming years.

Is Motus (Latin for motion) moving forward or spinning its wheels in the past? With Motus squarely pegging perhaps the industry’s pinnacle of forward-thinking (at least in the ICE realm), the Honda VFR1200F as its mark to beat, the Alabama-based company certainly is setting the benchmark high. Time will tell if they meet that mark.

Comment:

  1. Motus MST-01: Direct Injection, 2 Valves per Cylinder, 1650cc … http://bit.ly/6ayueJ

  2. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Thanks for crediting CW! More details on the Motus MST-01. VFR killer? – http://bit.ly/8YhxXj #motorcycle #motus

  3. Motus MST-01: Direct Injection, 2 Valves per Cylinder, 1650cc … http://bit.ly/5oz39P

  4. Motus MST-01: Direct Injection, 2 Valves per Cylinder, 1605cc, 140hp, Made in America – http://bit.ly/8YhxXj #motorcycle

  5. More Details on the Motus MST-01 motor: 1650cc, 2V/cyl, direct injection, 140hp. VFR killer? – http://bit.ly/8YhxXj #motorcycle #motus

  6. eee says:

    1.65L and only 140hp?with DI!. either its not tuned yet, or they must be rating the hp at car like revs 5500rpm.

  7. SabreV4 says:

    I saw the 140hp projections and thought that was low, too, until I noticed the 120ftlbs of torque projected. that is what I’m talking about! MPG’s should be high since you can probably cruise at 80mph at 2000rpms. I want one!

  8. Will says:

    Good Lord, 1650cc’s and 140 hp?

    C’mon fer chrissake!, can’t we get away from this low-tech nonsense already?

  9. Maas says:

    It’s not about the HP in a touring bike, you want torque and 120 lb-ft is plenty.

    Stock Sport Bike:
    GSXR 1000 – about 75 lb-ft

    Stock Touring Bike:
    BMW K1200 LT about 86 lb-ft
    GoldWing about 106 lb-ft

  10. mmmmm, tasty, tasty torque, does a body good right?! ;)

    torque is king unless your aiming for un-legal speedy shenanigans.

    give me stop light to stop light over land speed record power any day.
    -peter

  11. Singletrack says:

    1.65 litres of displacement? I know motorcycles are illogical at best (what makes them fun) but c’mon. Do we have to keep getting bigger and bigger? I agree with Will, Why not focus development on lightwieght, hi-spec, efficient engines? I’d much rather see an 800cc with DI, pneumatic valves, 100 hp, good torque and 50 mpg (for long range sport touring) than yet another behemoth.

    Also, In this current economic era, I imagine a small company would have better luck getting capital to fund continued development with an economical, forward looking design.

    I’ve been fortunate to ride many, many bikes between 1996 and today, and 100hp (regardless of 2, 3 or 4 cyl.) and light weight ALWAYS provided the best smiles for miles. Namely Triumph 900cc triples; any 600cc sportbike, Yamaha TRX850, Honda VFR or Firestorm, KTM950 Adventure … the equation is always the same … pure enjoyment with the fewest limitations.

  12. Zimtok says:

    The American market is a funny thing.
    There are certain expectations that the majority of the buyers want in a “cruiser” type motorcycle. Big displacement, lots of torque, low rumble from the exhaust…. Most American motorcyclists don’t go for long touring rides so they don’t need fuel economy. They want to show off their wealth and status, Luxury items like a big, bad, motorcycle is what they want. This engine fits the major American market.
    (thankfully I’m not in the majority)

    I like my Triumph Thunderbird Sport 900 3 cylinder bike. It will blow the doors off my friends Buell. I find this engine interesting but it doesn’t fit me.

    Lets wait and see if it makes it to the market and if it does what will be the final production design….

    .

  13. Diego says:

    If they designed a v4 based on the Lancia masterpiece but with injection
    and modern pressure die cast technology then wed have something even
    more compact and worth raving about.