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.

Product Lust: Photoshopped MV Agusta F3

03/01/2011 @ 2:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

Product Lust: Photoshopped MV Agusta F3 MV Agusta F3 desmoworks track bike 635x434

Our friend Anthony at desmoworks will probably be the first person in California to own the new MV Agusta F3 supersport motorcycle, which is expected to debut later this Fall as a 2012 model, but that hasn’t stopped him from photoshopping up some ideas on what to do with his F3 when it arrives. Mirrors? Headlights? Turn signals? Those are all well and good if you plan on riding on the street, but Anthony plans on putting his F3 to work.

Stemming from his track-oriented purpose we see he’s added GP-style belly exhaust, replacing the triple pipe outlet that you either love or hate on the new MV (admittedly, it’s growing on us). While we deride MV Agusta for constantly recycling the Tamburini aesthetic, this is going to be one hot bike, especially in race trim. Like what you see? Anthony is considering putting together a kit for F3 owners to achieve the same effect, and we imagine posting up in the comments would help make that opportunity happen.

Photoshop: desmoworks

Comment:

  1. Feelgood Inc says:

    Why couldn’t MV have though to do that with the pipe instead of that triple pea shooter monstrosity?!?! Good job that man!

  2. froryde says:

    Schwing!!! That is HOT! However, I kinda like the pea shooters too…

  3. fasterthanyou says:

    that ticks all my boxes

  4. Odie says:

    Oh…..that is nice.

  5. RGR says:

    The triple exhaust is killer and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. The belly exhaust looks cool too, but I want my 3 pipes. I’ve already got my down payment on one. :-)

  6. KTMx says:

    That exhaust is beautiful! The triple pipes are terrible.

  7. ML says:

    I’m still deciding what my next bike will be (most likely will end up purchasing the ZX-10R or the F3). With that said, I think my decision would be much easier if several items were changed on this bike.

    Since you all care about my tastes related to the new F3, here are some of the things that annoy me:

    1) I hate the color scheme (I hope they offer the F3 in a dark color scheme, like black and dark gray).
    2) The fork bottom looks cheap (probably because they are).
    3) Wish the production bike would come with true projector headlight(s).
    4) Will probably cost $15,000.00+ when it finally ships.
    5) Forks don’t look adjustable (related: see item 3).
    6) Wheels look ugly. Wish they were regular 5/7 spoke design, not pseudo 10 spoke.
    7) What ever else I forgot to mention.

    This is the color scheme I have in mind when I think of a good looking F3/F4:

    http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/75870_455557988852_366985198852_5447535_7198359_n.jpg

  8. Anthony says:

    @ML – I saw the bike at EICMA and the forks are adjustable for compression, rebound and of course preload. I highly doubt the bike will hit $15,000. In interviews they’ve already said it will be priced less than an 848 (and the official price has been announced for Europe, which is less than the 848).

    I think the fork bottoms look cheap as well. I’d like to see a set of R/T forks on there myself.

    Overall I’m really stoked on this bike. The cheaper items are easy to replace and I probably would have anyway to get the setup I like such as the rear sets, front fender, master cylinders, etc…

    The core of the bike sounds like it is done right though – the engine and electronics. If they hit their goals it will be the highest output and have the most advanced electronics of any bike in the 600cc class. The weight will most likely be impressive as well.

    I must say though – I like the silver/red paint scheme. I’ll probably do a carbon belly pan, rear fender and front fender, but leave the rest on mine.

  9. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Product Lust: Photoshopped MV Agusta F3 – http://aspha.lt/bx #motorcycle

  10. ML says:

    Yeah, the rest of the bike is awesome.

    Like you I’ll make many changes, too. Custom paint (unless stock paint comes in a color scheme I like), front forks, rear sets, upgrade to brembo clutch and brake master cylinders, BST carbon wheels, carbon rear hugger, and perhaps a carbon front depending on the bikes color scheme.

    Oh, and a GP style exhaust. At this point I should just buy a better bike. Hah!

  11. Anthony says:

    No doubt… but if you bought a better bike you’re probably do all the same to it too as even the best bikes don’t come setup exactly how you’d want! We sold a Biaggi Rep. RSV4 to a customer (the $70K track only version) and it still had quite a few things I’d upgrade on it. A very cool bike overall, but just not totally done up. It has the electronics done right though!

  12. Mike J says:

    “While we deride MV Agusta for constantly recycling the Tamburini aesthetic”

    Why deride MV for doing something that Ducati have been doing for far far longer?

  13. Other Sean says:

    And Porsche even longer? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’d like to see any of you design better!

  14. Other Sean says:

    To expand on that, I would argue these makes, MV, Ducati, Porsche like I mentioned, have a rare aesthetic that is tied to their image. Kawasaki redesigns all the time, and we see how ugly those have been recently.

    As for this photoship, it’s extremely well done. And while it looks good, I agree that the triple pipes give it part of it’s MV flair. This gp style doesn’t look bad but it doesn’t set it apart, looks like MANY other (japanese) bikes. Nothing wrong with Japanese bikes, but you buy Italian for a reason.

  15. Anthony says:

    I’m surprised you think of Japanese bikes with an exhaust like that. To me the RC8 comes to mind first and then Buell – neither Japanese. You’d better get used to this style exhaust on an Italian bike though – the 2012 Ducati 1200cc Superbike has exactly this exhaust stock!

  16. mxs says:

    Are you still within reasonable noise level (not sure if you have a bylaw to obey)? What about cat? There’s no free lunch, right?

  17. Mike L. says:

    I think they are broke and that’s why it’s not available….yet?
    Just seems logical to me, but I was wrong once before.

  18. kastone says:

    See http://www.daidegasforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=458024&page=8 for some nicely coloured Photoshop F3s if you don’t like the classic MV Paint Scheme.

  19. Ducracerx says:

    Looks more like the NEW 2012 Ducati superbike. You will see in November.

  20. Ducracerx says:

    @Anthony true, good post!

  21. Ducracerx says:

    @Other Sean you are on some serious drugs or live on another planet if you think the underslung exhaust looks like a Jap bike and is what the Japs do LOL!! KTM and Ducati did this 1st and others will follow in the future.