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.

MV Agusta F3 675 Details MVICS Electronics Package

11/02/2011 @ 2:54 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

MV Agusta F3 675 Details MVICS Electronics Package mv agusta f3 675 635x423

MV Agusta must be feeling antsy about the upcoming EICMA show in Milan, as the Italian company first teased its MV Agusta Brutale 675 in a video last week, and today it has released the final specifications of its upcoming 2012 MV Agusta F3 motorcycle. While we’re sure the 126hp 675cc three-cylinder motor, with its 52lbs•ft of torque, will please the discerning supersport purchaser, MV Agusta is betting that its MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) electronics package is what is really going to get you excited about the Italian machine (did we mention it looks gorgeous too?). Clearly reading our thoughts that electronics are the new horsepower, the MV Agusta F3 675 is now the only supersport to boast ride-by-wire & traction control, and also comes along with optional wheelie and launch control vehicle dynamics.

At the core for the 2012 MV Agusta F3 675 is of course its 675cc three-cylinder engine. With a 79mm bore and 45.9mm stroke, the sporty triple is sure to have a narrow powerband with its very over-square design, and 14,500 peak power output figure (15,000 rpm red line, with peak torque at a very high 10,600 rpm). Other engine features include titanium valves, 50mm throttle bodies, and dual fuel injectors for each cylinder. Throw in a 1.38 meter (54.3 inch) wheelbase, and a 173kg (381 lbs) weight, and all of this adds up to a formidable middleweight machine, but the real kicker from MV Agusta is the F3′s electronics package.

The full MVICS system includes four pre-set engine maps, with one user-customizable map, which work along the MV Agusta F3′s eight different levels of traction control. To unlock the full-potential of the MVICS package, F3 owners will have to buy some special optional parts, including a vehicle lean sensor that interfaces with the traction & engine control systems, a launch control module that also has anti-wheelie control, and lastly an Electronically Assisted Shift (EAS) quick-shift system. No word yet on pricing for these systems, but don’t expect them to be cheap.

Other components include fully-adjustable Marzocchi 43mm front forks, along with a Sachs piggy-back rear shock. Brakes are Brembo radial calipers and 320mm front discs mated to a Nissin radial master cylinder, while the wheels are said to be “ultra-light” for whatever that is worth.

The new MV Agusta F3 675 Serie Oro will be available in December, while the Italian company now says that the base version will be available in January. European pricing is set at €11,990, making the MV Agusta F3 a potent competitor for the Triumph Daytona 675. The F3 will come in the following three color choices: red/silver, pastel white, and pastel black/metallic anthracite.

Source: MV Agusta

Comment:

  1. Ken C. says:

    Do you think the F3′s price in Euros will translate 1:1 in US Dollars?

    €11,990 at today’s exchange rates is about $16,485 in USD. I don’t see that as a competitor to the Triumph Daytona 675 (at about $12,000 USD). :P

  2. Wil says:

    I dunno Ken, the Oro has been priced a little better than 1:1, so I’d imagine the regular would be as well. And according to one dealer’s website at least, it’s listed at $13,999. There will probably be some fluctuation in that with PDI and other charges.

    Fair enough; I’d pay 2K more for for the MV.

  3. Ricardo says:

    This is the only supersport with ride by wire?

    I thought the R6 had it since 2006.

    http://www.gizmag.com/go/4798/

  4. Shereef says:

    @Ricardo

    I think the article is saying with BOTH ride-by-wire and traction control as one package (R6 doesn’t have traction control -yet). Good looking bike though.

  5. JP says:

    If the bike really works as well in person as it does on paper, and MSRp winds up at $13,995 or less they will sell boatloads of them…

  6. JP says:

    Edit- boatloads by MV standards- not Honda ones!

  7. Quoted msrp to be $13,495 with first US deliveries in March but call that April. Oro will ship a few weeks earlier. Less than 30 coming over of 200 world wide

  8. ML says:

    depending on my april bonus, I’ll probably get this as my second bike. so far everything new I hear about this bike seems more and more promising…

  9. Corey S says:

    I would be tempted to buy one. My big concern would be if MV Agusta is going to be around long enough if something goes wrong or i need a part two years from now. I am curious about the stability of the company.

  10. MV Agusta F3 675 Details MVICS Electronics Package – http://t.co/LQEVFsIq #motorcycle

  11. MikeD says:

    @ Corey S:

    U pose a really good question … I do hope they stay around for a while.

  12. razer10r says:

    will it have a steering damper?