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.

First Photos of the Erik Buell Racing 1190RX

10/15/2013 @ 12:52 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

First Photos of the Erik Buell Racing 1190RX erik buell racing 1190rx leak 02

The Erik Buell Racing 1190RX is one of the sport bikes that we have been anxious to see this year, as it is EBR’s encore model to the EBR 1190RS superbike. A more consumer-oriented machine, the EBR 1190RX is an important release for the small American brand, and it is debuting this week at the inaugural AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida.

Leaking ahead of the show, we can see that the EBR 1190RX doesn’t stray too far from the lines of the EBR 1190RS, though it does feature a pillion and a slightly modified exhaust can. Minus the race-ready suspension, wheels, bodywork, etc the 2014 Erik Buell Racing 1190RX looks ready to come off the track and head for the street. We will know in due time whether the headlight has been revised, as EBR teased a very aggressive front lamp only two months ago.

At the show, we expect Erik Buell Racing to release pricing and full technical specs on the new EBR 1190RX. We also expect to hear more about Hero MotoCorp’s investment in Erik Buell Racing, which hopefully means that EBR is close to debuting a more robust dealer network as well a more complete model lineup — something the brand needs desperately to survive.

Along that vein, if we are really luckily Erik Buell Racing will release some more info on its EBR 1190SX and EBR 1190AX models, which are expected respectively to be streetfighter and adventure models that are based off the 1190RS platform. More news as we get it.

First Photos of the Erik Buell Racing 1190RX erik buell racing 1190rx leak 01

Source: BuellXB.com & Erik Buell Racing (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. jimboecv says:

    Fugly.

    America lacks ‘pop’ unless we wrap it in a flag.
    If you’re going to leak photos, make’em good.

  2. smiler says:

    Very glad to see EB surviving the attack of a company that produces bikes made from cast Iron & leather with a level of efficiency the USSR would be proud of to produce another good looking bike.

  3. TexusTim says:

    yawn,wont live up to the hype,will cost too much,and just were do you go for service? and what if it falls flat I mean there basing there whole consumer aproch from one sportbike ? Erik Buel should go to work for ducati there made for each other…there aproch is simular except ducti has money buell never has so he uses company to like harley then cries about there controll or lack of help and all those guys and gals on bueel blast…o waite there all parked becasue there a pos and never worked on the street or the track…they had to make a one off superbike for stupid money to be competitive..tell me how that is a long term stratagey?…I think it will go out the window in 5 years from now.sorry but a huge waste trying to do it “Eriks way” o lets put gas in the frame that way when the frame gets hot the gas will expand and cause vapor lock..seen it many times in texas just becasue it sounds cool or seem like new tchnology it;sflawed o=and really only happens to hepl sell bikes..those tricks didnt add up to any perfomance gain but hassle for anyone that had one..I think the only reason most get behind the man is its an american sportbike…to me its an embarrasment that here in the states this is the best we can do ?

  4. paulus says:

    EBR – good luck and best wishes of success.

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
    Theodore Roosevelt

  5. Superlight says:

    Texas, your comments are all negative and almost impossible to read. Where did you learn to spell? Oh, you didn’t.

  6. damn says:

    @Superlight. you can say thinks about nagative comments but “were did you learn to spell” whats that? maybe he’s from another country(land). its childisch. sorry for the wrong spelling

  7. paulus says:

    Guys… we are a botherhood of 2 wheels.
    We need support and encouragement for the whole industry :)

    Let’s get on and enjoy the ride :)

  8. anders 'ace' eliasson says:

    Do something different with the pipe & maybe then not so fugly … and maybe not canary yellow :^) …

    ACE

  9. Coreyvwc says:

    I personally think the EBR bikes look amazing person. Very clean and natural flowing lines reminicent of the original 06′ – 12′ Triumph Daytona 675′s, no harsh and overly busy angles that Japan seems to like so much.
    However: Yellow is just the WRONG choice…

  10. Jorge says:

    I’m a fan of buy American, I own a C6 GS for that reason (and the fact it can hang with cars twice the price at the track) but I don’t see anything to get excited about here. I wish Eric and his team all the luck but the design is dated and uninspiring.
    Love or hate Ducati, they are at least offering something interesting and their sales reflect that. The Panigale doesn’t move me like the 916 did but I appreciate the work that went into it. The 1190RX looks like it launched in 2003.

  11. Craig says:

    Yes, Yellow reminds me of the Triumphs of 10 years ago or more…

    Black / Porsche Red and maybe a Ford Grabber Blue…

    If I ended up with a yellow one… I’ll just have the plastics and tank professionally wrapped in 3M Carbon Fiber vinyl. :)

  12. Doug Wells says:

    Texas Tim makes some solid points. Also, cosmetically speaking, this bike from Buell brings nothing new to the table. It looks like it could’ve been designed 10+ years ago. And what will the price be for this? I’m sure north of $20k. Yeah, I know it’s easy to critic, but I’d love to see Buell succeed. The market is hot right now for retro-cafe bikes and scramblers. Maybe Eric should head into that direction. There is no way his race bikes will ever compete with the factory Japanese, Italians, et al.

  13. Pat says:

    I saw this bike this morning at the show and in my humble opinion it looks fantastic in the flesh. TexusTim has an uneducated out look on this. There are great performance gains to having the fuel in the frame by keeping weight low and central on the bike, and if you’re in a hot climate put some heat reflective material on the inside of the frame, Like I did in Florida on my 1125R, it’s quite easy and simple, and took me all of an hour.
    They also are NOT basing this whole thing on one sportbike, if you read the article properly there are three bikes, all off the same platform, a quite ingenious way for a relatively small company to operate, I think.
    The price point will also be south of $20K, not north, from what I was told.
    I have ridden the 1190RS, and that bike was phenomenal, I’m sure the RX will be similar too.
    Best of luck to the only guy with the passion to build an American made Sportbike, and the balls to do it too.

  14. Doug Wells says:

    Pat,

    The fact that you had to put heat reflective material on the frame makes a strong point, which is the bike has a problem running in hot weather, and the manufacturer should address that, not the buyer.

  15. John D'Orazio says:

    I would love to see Erik Buell succeed. More competition breeds better bikes. The difficulty here is that the press seems to have a love affair with Mr. Buell that facts won’t support.

    Harley Davidson bailed on Buell because the bikes did not sell. Period. Tests of Buell motorcycles routinely pointed out poor quality control across all platforms. I remember reading a Cycle World test where plastic parts actually melted during a test and brakes completely failed after on track day. I understand that the brand was somewhat hamstrung by being sold in Harley shops rather than against other sport bikes, but there were clearly manufacturing issues.

    Mr. Buell also seemed to insist on doing things to be different, rather than for sound engineering reasons. The ‘zero tortional load” front brake is a good example. Used nowhere else, it seems to me to be one more thing to be explained where a conventional, proven brake system would have been accepted without the need for discussion.

    What we have here looks like more of the same. I admire the effort, but measured against other sport machines, this bike comes up short.

  16. Pat says:

    Doug,
    I’m absolutely sure if there was a problem that it would have been addressed had the Company not been closed by HD. It can’t be easy developing a bike in Wisconsin and somehow know how it will react on a blindingly hot Texas summer day.
    I did mine because it was a good way to keep the fuel at a lower temperature on my race bike as a cooler fuel will make a bit more horsepower. I did not actually experience any vapor locks with mine, so it was purely for a performance advantage that I did mine.
    It’s just hard for me to sit back and see people slam a product they seemingly know very little about.

  17. Peter D says:

    I miss my 1125R. That bike was a lot of fun and (relatively) comfortable for a sport bike. If I can free up some garage space, I may pick up another one.

    I think if EBR can price this in the $16-18K range and can have a couple of dealers in most of the major metropolitan areas, they will be on their way.

  18. Interested Party says:

    The Buells were tested in AZ while still part of H-D.

    These three models are all based off the same platform that was designed in roughly 2010-2011. While I don’t like some of EB’s design elements such as some of the fairing styling, this bike (at least in person) could easily be mistaken as a GSX-R or other Japanese model.

    Regarding some of the things that Erik has done “to be different” such as oil in the swingarm, gas in the frame, or the underslung exhaust: the exhaust in particular has now been adopted by nearly every manufacturer and even those luddites in MotoGP for its obvious benefits. Many innovations meet with much resistance, if not outright rejection, by the very people who should know better, but don’t because of their vested interests. They are also met with skepticism by people who don’t know shyte. I believe that someone else on this site already correctly identified the benefits of lower center of gravity/weight distribution of the other innovations.

  19. TexusTim says:

    so the oil in the swingarm got disrupted and foamed the oil.so that was out.the gas in frame ..out. he didnt invent the underlsung exhaust but his had ground clearnance problems…..I would like to see an american sporbike that is priced right and competitive..it’s not often you see a buell in a club enviroment and when they are they never finish well…if there were so badass they would be all over the track..mostly all his old bikes are parked in garages or used for weight for a trout line…cmon they didnt work no matter whos fault hd or his..there is a systemic issue that never finds a fix..who was the other guy that was going to have the bad superbike ? didnt he give up and get on an electric bike and founf more succsess?..
    sorry I cant spell better but it is usualy the small minded people that use that to lash out at soemone’s oppinion that differs from them or the “aproved accepted logic”
    I may be a scepetic..there should have been some of us in the nasa launch room a couple times…my point is there should allways be room for a sceptic..and I am positive when the moment calls for it but I do hate the power rich that make poor decions based on illfounded logic that leads to false gains or hype to sell bikes….if his bikes were good he would have sucecceded by now

  20. doug Wells says:

    A bit off topic, but google Shaw Speed and see what they’re doing with the XR1200. Perhaps that should’ve been the path EB took.

  21. Anvil says:

    Let’s remember that the H-D-era Buells were not sold or marketed as true race or supersport bikes. I’m pretty sure Erik new that with the limitations they had, it would certainly be a losing proposition.

    Did they race some of them? Sure. But that was never the primary role of any of the early tube-frame bikes, the XBs or even the 1125.

    And it seems pretty clear that H-D did in fact handicap Buell in several ways, so their issues were certainly not all Buell’s fault.

    Does some of the Buell technology fall short of claims? I’m sure it does.

    The earlier ZTL brakes on the first XBs lacked feel to me. They stopped fine, but didn’t feel very progressive. But while they should have performed at least as well as conventional brakes, let’s also remember that the benefit wasn’t necessarily better braking. It was lowering the mass of the front wheel.

    The underslung exhaust might not have been perfect, but it’s pretty obvious that Buell’s use of it caused the other manufacturers to take note.

    Fuel-in-frame is a nice idea. Is it worth the trouble? I’m not sure.

    As for the current EBRs, the RS is quite a nice looking bike in the flesh. It’s also supposed to be very good. This one seems similar, but I’d have to see it in person. It seems to look at lot like the Barracuda II concept, although the color and my memory might have something to do with that. I hope it does well.

    I have to agree that yellow is the wrong color. And the graphics look dated.

  22. Greymatter says:

    Boy oh boy, would you look at that! Some guy named TexusTim has all the answers now doesn’t he. I have a handbook for completing sentences I used in 5th grade if you would like to borrow it there Timmy. Anywho.. you folks need to remember that this is the first real mass produced “superbike” that is coming from the US.
    Even with backing from Hero, his “shop” is creating a mass produced product which no American company has accomplished and HD cannot be included cause they’re still floundering with their pushrods, producing mass qauntities of chrome bits and leather chaps. This is a huge accomplishment for EBR no matter if the chassis is a couple years old. I don’t see how it’s outdated while other brands have been using variants of the same chassis for years.
    The ZTL brakes had some major groing pains but EBR has perfected them as shown on the AMA circuit where Danny flatout trounced everyone in corner entry last year. This is the most advanced bike Erik has ever built and for a small company like EBR to compete in the world market is a huge undertaking in the least.
    If any of you commenters actually followed EBR in racing and it accomplishments in the last 3 years and knew who they have on-board back in Wisconsin, I’m damn sure you’d be more than surpised. Erik has slowly poured ten gallons of tallent into a 5 gallon bucket and it’s bursting at the seams.

  23. Gonzo says:

    YAAAAAWNNNNNNN….Nothing new to see here. Looks like any other sportbike out there, but at an undeserved mark-up.

  24. Phwx2 says:

    I have never been big on buying a performance vehicle based on its looks. I own a 1125cr. The CR is god awful ugly, but not when I’m riding. The CR has superior handling and I can’t image that with an extra 40+ hp. These are great times for bikers regardless of what you are looking for there are so many options. This one is worth my time to explore based on his prior products – regardless of the …. color (really you give crap about the color?)

  25. BobR says:

    Well I give a crap about the color Phwx2 because I’m still riding one of those Triumph’s from 10 years ago that Craig commented about. The shame!, The embarassment!The remarks behind my back by friends and family!, I can’t take it anymore!! I can’t even find a brown paper bag to wear over my head because the stores only carry plastic!