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 F4R Corsa Corta – Varese Gets Cheaper Again

10/08/2011 @ 11:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

MV Agusta F4R Corsa Corta   Varese Gets Cheaper Again 2012 MV Agusta F4R 9 635x423

The raison d’être at MV Agusta should be abundantly clear by now, as the Italian company has added yet another “more affordable” model to its otherwise exclusive motorcycle line. After creating lower barriers to ownership in the Brutale line with the Brutale 920 and Brutale R 1090, we now see the F4 line getting the same treatment with the release of the MV Agusta F4R Corsa Corta. Dropping an “R” off the MV Agusta F4RR, the MV Agusta F4R is a lower-spec version of its 197hp counterpart (other publications will differ on this horsepower value, we’re sticking to the power fiure listed in kilowatts by MV).

Though featuring the F4RR’s shorter-stroke Corsa Corta motor, the MV Agusta F4R makes only 191hp (6hp less than the F4RR), due to a revised engine map and the lack of hand-ported cylinder heads. Still with plenty of power on-tap, not to mention 84 lbs•ft of torque, & full titanium cylinder valves, the 2012 MV Agusta F4R with its 423 lbs dry weight should make the spec sheet warriors happy. Other changes include lower-spec suspension, a MAG-welded frame, a revised traction control system, and a €18,800 price tag.

Replacing the Öhlins forks and shock from the F4RR, the MV Agusta F4R features fully-adjustable 50mm Marzocchi forks, and fully-adjustable Sachs rear shock. While the F4R keeps the monoblock Brembo calipers of the F4RR, the Brembo radial master cylinder has been replaced with a Nissin unit that has an integrated fluid reservoir. Similarly, the Öhlins steering damper from the F4RRR has been swapped for another maker’s unit on the F4R.

To further reduce costs, MV has even made changes to the F4R’s chassis, and has employed a MAG-welded chromoly steel tubular trellis frame (the F4RR uses a TIG-welded frame construction technique). The chassis also includes an aluminum single-sided swingarm, which the Italian company boasts weighs a paltry 11 lbs. On the electronics side of things, MV Agusta says it has improved upon its traction control system with a new algorithm, and the MV Agusta F4R will have two rider-selectable TC maps available to the rider via handlebar controls.

Pricing in Italy is set at €18,800 including VAT, though international pricing has not yet been set. We’d expect to see the 2012 MV Agusta F4R hit US soil with a $19,000 price tag, which should unsurprisingly put it right in competition with the base model Ducati 1199 Panigale. Let us know in the comments how the MV Agusta F4R tickles your fancy. Would you buy one instead of a Panigale?

Source: MV Agusta

Comment:

  1. Kurt says:

    I’m sold on the MV. Even with a lower price point, it still manages to sport some world class componentry. And, a “paltry” 191 HP still puts the bike squarely in the range of the S1000, Panigale, RC8R, RSV4, and most of the other big guns. As for the hardware changes and engine differences, I’m sure that MV isnt going to send out a subpar machine. I mean… come on now, they’re not some other half-assed Italian marque who floods their line with model revamps and half completed project bikes just to inflate their product line. Several brands come to mind, but… MV isnt one of them. I’m sure the performance will still be worthy of the name… and, I myself would buy one in the White and Charcoal scheme before I’d fork out for a Duc.

  2. Jake says:

    The only thing that bums me out is that MV should have come out with this instead of the 2010. It was already in the works and lets face it the market for MV is pretty small and mostly repeat owners. So after all their talk about being smarter they are making the same mistakes over and over that keep putting them in the red. Now they have basically 3 versions of the same bike to support. Not smart for a small company. I wouldn’t have purchase my 2010 MV if I had known this was coming out. I expected the usual MV “special editions” but not a new motor format. Guess it doesn’t matter to them because they already have my cash, but it does show me that I was wrong to go back to MV thinking they had learned from the past. So my current MV will most likely be my last

  3. Max says:

    It’s a fast and capable bike for sure, but as far as I’m concerned the first gen F4/Brutale were the real masterpieces. The 2010 redesign was a real letdown for me. They should have either left the original design alone and just upgraded the dirty bits OR they could have gone out on a limb with a complete redesign. Obviously the latter option is very risky as it would be very hard (impossible?) to top Tamburini’s originals, but what they ended up doing was just insulting. Slapping a bunch of half baked plasticky looking bits (F4 pipes, Brutale rad guards, etc..) on top of the originals and calling it a day is a complete travesty IMO. More power and TC is nice and all but that’s not the main reason most of us buy these bikes. They used to be rolling pieces of art you would never get tired of looking at. Sadly not anymore…

  4. dc4go says:

    How good is the dealer support with MV??? I have a couple of Ducs and an Aprilia so I was wondering…

  5. Simone says:

    @dc4go

    Dealer support is good