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.

Official Photos of the MV Agusta Dragster 800

01/31/2014 @ 9:43 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Official Photos of the MV Agusta Dragster 800 MV Agusta Dragster 800 635x425

It’s been a long tease with the MV Agusta Dragster, with Giovanni Castiglioni hinting at the machine’s debut as far back as the 2013 EICMA show. We still expect the machine to debut any day now, but MV Agusta has dropped some more details by adding scenes to its “Metallica” promotional video.

A few official studio photos have also leaked out of Varese, which if nothing else confirm the lines we have been seeing these past few weeks.

Borrowing heavily from the Brutale 800 platform, the Dragster 800 defines itself really with a lower seat height, a chopped tail section, and it 200 width rear tire. Will those differences be enough to distinguish the Dragster from the Brutale? We don’t think so.

As fanciful as the turbo rumor was, it at least created a reason for the Dragster to exist alongside the Brutale. It’s an attractive motorcycle, like all MV Agustas, but we suspect that it will serve only to cannibalize sales from the Brutale line.

The only logic in that move would be if MV Agusta has seen Brutale sales drop, in which case the Dragster could hardly do any damage to the line’s sales, and instead could serve to get a few more Brutale platforms out of the factory door, in their new Dragster aesthetic.

Considering the heavy overlap in components, it likely didn’t take much of the Italian manufacturer’s resources to develop the “new” model, so there’s a plus.

Leave us your thoughts on the MV Agusta Dragster 800 in the comments. Would you take a Dragster over a Brutale 800?

Official Photos of the MV Agusta Dragster 800 MV Agusta Dragster 800 02 635x425

Official Photos of the MV Agusta Dragster 800 MV Agusta Dragster 800 03 635x425

Source: MV Agusta

Comment:

  1. Mike says:

    I wish a Japanese company with a history of reliability and availability would buy the MV design department. Whether this steals sales from the Brutale or not, it is much more attractive than the er6n, FZ9, etc.

  2. iakai says:

    stock bar end mirrors, clear rear with nothing hanging. awesome looking exhaust pipes. Design of this bike is stunning. This is the best looking naked bike ever. step aside ducati street fighter.

  3. Norm G. says:

    re: “It’s been a long tease with the MV Agusta Dragster”

    yeah it has.

    re: “we suspect that it will serve only to cannibalize sales from the Brutale line.”

    I meant to comment in the other thread, I like this bike. but it reminds of BMW car side and how the 6 series looks the 5 series successor simply brought forward a few years. same with the new 4 series and current 3 series saloons. wait, what…? exactly.

    while car world might be able to get away with this, bike world can not. the brutale will go away, if not by committee, by natural selection. honestly I never really warmed up to it styling.

    re: “200 width rear tire”

    more akin to the 200 section Pirelli developed in Ital-SBK and fitted OEM to the 1199R and RSV4 factory APC, less so to what’s fitted to the Diavel which is a 240.

  4. ADG says:

    Style and form over function Norm……..(Trading Places) sell! sell! sell!

  5. Bluey says:

    it’s a Buell XB12s, 10 years later.

    Buell really was ahead of his time.

  6. lucasgsxr says:

    Nice looking bike but to expensive its 800 cc at the end of the day and cost nearly as much as new tuono v4

  7. MeatyBeard says:

    So basically its a Brutale 800 with a Rivale tail. I see no point to this. Looks great though, but so do the Brutale and Rivale, which I already thought were too similar as well. MV is trying to make as many bikes as they can with as few components as they can so they can have a “full model line.”

  8. KSW says:

    I guess if you’re going to do something in house rather than hire Satya Kraus of Kraus Motor Co. or Roland Sands to do a redesigned “Custom” that’s what you do. Personally having seen some of Satya Kraus’ private work others haven’t Satya is the hands down winner. Keep an eye out for the future is clear, close and bright.

  9. Everyone pay attention to what Meaty just said.

  10. te5 says:

    Looks great. I like the new headlamp, its flat, different from the bubbly Brutale-headlamp.
    Unfortunately theres ne thing that just makes me not liking MV Agusta: the quality in general.
    I´ve seen the new brutales in real and i was a little bit shocked. It´s plastic all over. curved plastic as fenders, ok thats common. Cockpit completely made of plastic, looks cheap. even the exposed parts (the air intakes frames, cockpit cover+windshield) made out of that material. The triple exhaust pipes look great but unfortunately the covers look really cheap, theyre plastic of course. The MV-emblems on the fuel-tanks were just stickers, you can feel the edges if you swipe over it, theyre not even clear-varnished… . To me it seemed like they are not even trying and are just relying on their famous name. Very dissapointing to me. At least they are affordable now, but so are japanese bikes, and the quality of workmanship is often greater. Also they are presumably more relyable.
    Back to the Dragster:
    Only thing i dont get is why that “clear rear” should be better than an usual license plate-holder mounted under the tail. That cover over the rear tire looks just unbeleavably disgusting. First thing i´d do would be changing the position of the plate-holder and indicators and place them under the rear-end.

  11. te5 says:

    They could have at least used higher value plastic, the one i´ve seen on the current bikes just looks cheap. Or at least make some parts out of metal, like the “headlamp-frame” (the silver part arround the headlamp). Most parts of the fender id not seem to be mounted well. You could bend parts of the fender easily and it made poor “cracking” noises.

  12. Adrien says:

    Norm G. said everything.
    Design of the Brutale is now a bit old. The new Dragster just arrived at the right time.
    I hope it will come with good quality components and building.

  13. ADG says:

    As is if anyone of you could use it to it’s potential.

  14. Mariani says:

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that they could have launched this as a ‘new’ Brutale.

    @Mike

    Yes! The new Z1000 hurts my eyes.

  15. Allez Allez says:

    This motorcycle shows what a genuine, proud & brave (super)model Ducati’s Diavel is.

  16. mxs says:

    Nice design … too much money and I wonder whether the fuelling issues have been solved? Every respectable review I have read so far concluded that the fuelling is one of the worst on the market right now …. the money they need from customers to keep the show going should not deliver flawed fuelling.

    Maybe they should focus on making the exist models work first and then expand the line?