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.

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale

11/04/2013 @ 1:08 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 11 635x422

We already teased you with Pierobon’s newest creation, a trellis frame kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale, and now we have the full details of this Italian firm’s work…along with some tasty photos.

Pierobon says it wanted to build a chassis kit was to build a bolt-on frame that would replace Ducati’s “frameless” design, with a steel trellis creation.

The project’s main goal was to add no further weight to the svelte Panigale, but also to bring the chassis stiffness into spec with the parameters Pierobon has shown on its previous machines (Pierobon X60R & Pierobon F042).

Using 28mm diameter steel tubing for the trellis work, Pierobon says it design meets the project’s weight criteria, and computer analysis suggests that torsional stiffness is right on point as well with the Bologna firm’s goals. Now Pieorbon just waits to go riding on the track.

Building the trellis to include the swingarm pivot point, Pierobon’s design allows for engine swaps to be an easier affair on the Panigale, though the team had to employ some clever designing to make clearance for the side-mounted rear shock and to keep the weight of the overall frame down.

Pierobon also had to construct its own airbox for the trellis frame design, and the unit retains the same volume as the WSBK-spec Ducati 1199 Panigale RS13.

Another WSBK design is the rear subframe, which is of an aluminum-trellis design, and now connects to the main steel frame instead of the engine cylinder head.

For those not in the know, Pierobon is the designer and maker of Alstare Ducati’s recent trellis rear subframe, and has shown that the design, along with a reformed fuel tank, helps the weight balance of the Panigale race bike.

Other details include Pierobon’s own rearset configuration, made out of aluminum, which is a must-have consider how slippery the stock units are while riding aggressively.

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 12 635x422

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 10 635x422

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 01 635x422

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 03 635x422

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 04 635x954

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 14 635x422

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 15 635x422

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 18 635x422

Pierobon Trellis Frame Kit for the Ducati 1199 Panigale Pierobon trellis frame Ducati 1199 Panigale 21 635x954

Source: Pierobon

Comment:

  1. CW says:

    Holy hell, this would make for a stunning naked bike project. Can somebody more talented than me please get on this?!?

  2. K1200Rider says:

    Beautiful work! now for the elephant in the room.. the price for this kit? Obviously this is going to be a non street legal frame, correct? I am guessing his core customers are probably going to be rich track day riders..

  3. K1200Rider says:

    CW, you should have a look at holographic hammer, for his naked version of the 1199..

    http://society6.com/HolographicHammer/Moto-35_Stretched-Canvas

  4. Nick Brennan says:

    I want a seat with a litttle more padding than that.

  5. Norm G. says:

    this is the follow up article I’ve been waiting for. was so not expecting the bonus photo bomb. homerun Jensen…!!!

  6. philly phil says:

    i’m all for the frameless design. I think if ducati can optimize it, it’ll be the way of the future…
    but holy hotness, that add-on is still pretty hot.

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “now for the elephant in the room.. the price for this kit?”

    that’s not the elefant (see entry for cagiva). the “elefant” is, does this adapted trellis cut a better lap time than the ally front bone in a comparison test…?

    it won’t beat checa on an 1198 round imola (afterall not even grinner could manage that lol), but i’d say it’d at least match a half trellis desmo.

    re: “Now Pierobon just waits to go riding on the track.”

    hustle up.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: ” I think if ducati can optimize it, it’ll be the way of the future…”

    …or the past.

  9. Aj says:

    Really interested to see if it’s better than the stock frame. I have a suspicion that the monocoque was more of a cost solution rather than an engineering solution. Obviously, it isn’t a competitive advantage.

  10. RL says:

    This is the Panigale Ducati should have made in the first place. When will they abandon the frameless design on their superbikes? Especially now that the desmo has gone back to using a frame.

  11. smiler says:

    K1200. Think that is an 899, look at the swing arm. However take your point.

    It seems to share some ideas with the new Monster. Front trellis and the rear sub frame.

    This however really is a thing of beauty. Add the std rear seat and chop the upper fairing, job done.
    Might even do for WSBK. However Stacey Coner ruled out scaffolding for MotoGP, you cannot get the consistency. Having said that, given he could tell the difference between identical bikes, having the feedback seems to be 90% of the issue.

    That red colour is the colour of love.

    1199 with 15% premium – recycleable aluminium.

    They really do make some special bikes.

  12. Norm G. says:

    re: “I have a suspicion”

    more like a confirmation from yours truly.

    re: “Stacey Coner ruled out scaffolding for MotoGP, you cannot get the consistency.”

    PARROT ALERT…!!!

  13. Mormont says:

    Wow. Very impressive.

    $20 says we will see this frame on the WSBK Panigales sometime next year.

  14. BBQdog says:

    Just as I was about to say ‘bikes are indeed getting uglier and uglier’ (see Benelli, MV Turismo, new Monster) and then I saw this. Not bad at all.

  15. dc4go says:

    Well all we need now is a back to back comparison between this and a stock frameless design by a pro rider (Checa?). Same track, same tires, same rider see what works better..

  16. John D'Orazio says:

    Progress be damned! There is just something right about a trellis frame on a Ducati. It is my favorite feature of my MS4. I just love looking at it. I understand that the complaint from a racing point of view was that no two were exactly alike and thus bike No. 1 and No. 2 would perform differently with the same setup. But this level of engineering and build quality looks very promising. Pure art…

  17. Judge says:

    dc4go – Checa???

    I guess you didn’t hear he broke his pelvis? He’s history from ever racing again and will be a long time before he even thinks about riding again.

  18. dc4go says:

    @ Judge………. Checa will continue testing future Ducati’s . Lets face it a retired Checa is still faster than 99% of the world.

  19. Norm G. says:

    re: “I understand that the complaint from a racing point of view was that no two were exactly alike”

    right then, would you understand that 16 other riders with a whopping 28 championships between them have never once made this complaint in the past two decades…?