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.

Roehr eSuperbike Revealed

07/16/2010 @ 7:15 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Roehr eSuperbike Revealed Roehr eSuperbike electric motorcycle 4 635x512

Since we broke the news on the pricing and technical specs on Roehr’s electric motorcycles, we’ve been patiently waiting for a glimpse at the machine(s). Built around a Hyosung chassis, all three Roehrs feature AC induction motor technology, with the eSupersport using a single-motor setup, while the eSuperbike and eSuperbike RR feature twin-motors.

The amount of LiFePo4 battery power on-board varies across the models, which will affect range; but since bigger is better, we expect the 7.7 kWh, 135+ MPH, twin-motor Roehr eSuperbikeRR to pique your interest the most. Check after the jump for a full model breakdown, along with more photos.

While a road-legal motorcycle, Roehr really intends for the eSuperbikeRR to appeal to riders and teams that want to race in the TTXGP and e-Power Championship series. All the bikes are built-to-order, and have a 6 week lead time, which means that if you want to race your Roehr at any of the US-based electric motorcycle rounds, you’re shit oughta luck.

Your mileage will vary on the eSuperbike’s aesthetics, just as our mileage on Roehr’s tech sheet varied as well. It would seem over the course of the months, the Roehr eSupersport, eSuperbike & eSuperbike RR saw adjustments in their battery energy capacities, with the eSuperbike’s drop from 9.6 kWh to 7.7 kWh, and the eSupersport going from 6 kWh to 5.8 kWh.

That’s roughly a 20% battery decrease for the eSuperbikes, which is going to affect their range both on the street and on the track (Roehr claims a 100 mile range for the eSuperbike, and a 80 mile range for the eSupersport…mileage will vary of course). With power on-board the eSupersport and eSuperbikes varying by only 1.9 kWh, the pricing between the models seems to really come down to whether you want the single or double motor configuration.

Considering that Roehr intends these bikes to live up to its performance bike brand image, we imagine most customers will be looking for the extra power gained by the dual-motor setup. However with a $10,000 price jump from the eSupersport to the eSuperbike, that’s a big premium to pay, but not as big of a premium as the $7,000 jump to the eSuperbikeRR, which just sees more performance-oriented suspension, brakes, and wheels added to the mix.

We loved the idea that Roehr was jumping on the electric bandwagon when we first heard about it, and we were initially impressed with the specs they were quoting. But now that the eSupersport and eSuperbikes are out, we’re not sure these ideas are fully baked.

In a sport dominated by hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers, a company isn’t going to succeed by offering a bike their customers can build themselves, for less money. To capture the market, you have to bring something to the table, and that doesn’t mean bringing a cheap commuter bike with a few batteries and motors wedged into it. You also have to bring your product when it’s relevant. In four weeks, electric motorcycle racing in the US is going to be over. Is a $35,000 electric motorcycle with 7.7 kWh on-board really going to be relevant this time next year? We think not.

eSupersport eSuperbike eSuperbike RR
Specifications: Single AC Induction Motor
48 HP
105 lb/ft of torque
Single speed Transmission
Twin AC Induction Motor
96 HP
210 lb/ft of torque
Single speed Transmission
Twin AC Induction Motor
96 HP
210 lb/ft of torque
Single speed Transmission
Suspension: 41mm inverted front forks
Single shock with linkage rear
43mm inverted front forks
Single shock with linkage rear
Öhilins 43 mm inverted front forks
Öhlins Single shock with linkage rear
Wheels: 3.0 x 17 Front
4.5 x 17 Rear
3.5 x 17 Front
6.0 x 17 Rear
3.5 x 17 Front
6.0 x 17 Rear
Tires: 110/70/17 Front
150/70/17 Rear
120/70/17 Front
185/55/17 Rear
120/70/17 Front
190/55/17 Rear
Brakes: 2 x 300mm front rotors
2 x 2 piston front calipers
2 x 310mm front rotors
2 x 4 piston radial mount front calipers
2 x 320mm front rotors
2 x 4 piston radial mount front calipers
Batteries: Large format Cylindrical Lithium-Iron phosphate
Capacity: 5.8 Kw/h
96 Volts / 60Ah
Large format Cylindrical Lithium-Iron phosphate
Capacity: 7.7 Kw/h
96 Volts / 100Ah
Large format Cylindrical Lithium-Iron phosphate
Capacity: 7.7 Kw/h
96 Volts / 100Ah
Battery management System: LVC, HVC, Shunt balancing
On-Board 10amp charger
LVC, HVC, Shunt balancing
On-Board 10amp charger
LVC, HVC, Shunt balancing
On-Board 10amp charger
Overall weight: 375 lbs. 500lbs 500lbs
MSRP: $16,965 $27,595 $34,495

Comment:

  1. Roy says:

    Damn, we’re going back to eighties – it resembles the ’88 gsx600f… just to make myself clear, that’s not a compliment… :X

  2. Brammofan says:

    I’m glad they included the outdoor photos. The other ones look like advanced CAD/Photoshop creations, not pictures of an actual bike. I know Walter hasn’t been working all these months on ones and zeroes, and I look forward to seeing this bike enter the fray… even if it’s not until the 2011 racing season.

  3. Ed Gray says:

    I agree with Roy. I was going to say it looks like a cross between the early 600 Katana and the Paso. Once again not compliments.

  4. Ok, the bike gives ugly a bad name, but I will say this: it does look very aerodynamic. Form over function perhaps?

  5. Deez Toolz says:

    $35k for a Hyosung frame?!?!!? How’s nobody made a bigger stink about that?

    It’s an F’ing extruded box rear swingarm, for crying out loud! At 135mph, that little turd is going to be flexing all over the place leading to the most vague-feeling.

    Roy said it right. This thing screams bikes from my childhood Hotweels collection. I knew Roehr was famous for ripping off other designs, based on their MV/CBR/1098 looking 1250 creation. But this thing looks like the Korean take on the new Kawi Ninja EX250 on steriods, with a GSXR headlight glassed in.

    Wait, wasn’t this how George Lucas got his start with Star Wars? Take a bunch of models, spill the parts on a desk, and start assembling something else. I guess it worked for George in the long run. Maybe I should take it easy on these guys. Everyone starts somewhere….

  6. EnvironMoto says:

    Ooh, paint the windscreen red and it’s a warped Paso/Terblanche-era Supersport mashup. Not everyone is as concerned about aesthetics (unfortunately) as Moto Czysz. Hopefully this is a reflection of their technical commitment (powertrain, not chassis) over styling prowess. On the bright side, there is plenty of real estate for racing sponsors.

  7. Roy says:

    @jensen: the only function i see is to hide what is familiar and to make sure they only have to ehhh.. well design seems an inappropriate term here .. the fairing (left and right side chunks.. put together like it’s chinese crap if you don’t mind me saying) and make a mess of what’s in between.

    looking at the lack of detailing; the extruded swing arm, the yokes.. I think it’s a very poor and simple marketing attempt to ride the e-bike trend and score some attention. This just isn’t an e-bike.. its a regular bike fitted with electronics like an rc toy.

    building an electric bike opens up possibilities as 80%-90% of the appearance of regular bikes is determined by the technology used. (intake, airbox, fueltank etc.) Substituting that technology for a bunch of batteries opens up huge possibilities for designers.. none of that is used here..

  8. Mark says:

    I really don’t understand why everyone here is so negative about this bike. As a designer myself, I think it looks fantastic! It’s clean, smooth and very well proportioned, it has a very organic quality to it not dissimilar to a consumer electronics product which is what it really is.
    I applaud the effort in pushing the envelope in alternative design rather than playing it safe with a more conventional looking design.

    I also think the use of an existing rolling chassis is a smart move. It provides reliable, proven, and inexpensive components to be sourced that dramatically reduces the cost of the overall product. Individual components that aren’t up to the job can easily be upgraded as they seem to have done, Ohlins shock, Brembo calipers, and full Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes on their RR version.

    Would you rather pay $70-80K for a Mission One or MotoCzysz bike that most likely won’t perform much better, especially on the street? I think not, and neither do they, that’s why they are not selling any products yet.

    I my view, this bike is a great effort to bring a performance electric bike to the market for those that want one.

  9. JC says:

    That is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. It looks like a pregnant cow, and just about as maneuverable. Gross.

  10. Roehr eSuperbike Revealed [Photos] – http://aspha.lt/168 #motorcycle

  11. skadamo says:

    Some new pics. Good spec list. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Roehr eSuperbike Revealed [Photos] – http://aspha.lt/168 #motorcycle

  12. froryde says:

    @ Mark: it won’t look so bad for Roehr (not that its looking any good to start with) if it were not for this: http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/racing/brammo-official-racing-laguna-seca-e-power/

    As a designer (especially), I hope you’re being facetious when you say the design is anywhere near acceptable!

  13. Mark says:

    @ froryde: I’m totally serious. I think the design is very good. Why do you think an electric motorcycle needs to have it’s guts exposed. Would you prefer having exposed wires, capacitors etc. hanging out of your iPhone or computer? Perhaps you would prefer that your toaster or coffee maker was designed with it’s internals exposed. Electric motorcycles are a new ball game and it’s nice to see the designers understand that, and move design paradigm forward. Maybe most are not ready for that and insist on more of the same.

  14. Roy says:

    @froryde: or this http://green.autoblog.com/photos/maarten-timmers-vertigo-electric-motorcycle-concept/#2136513

    @mark, there’s a middle way in exposing technology and just covering it up in a large plastic lunch box.. the brammo indeed proves that also the technology can be shown in a neat way. I get from your comments that you agree on moving away from the established image, however.. i feel that roehr moved into the wrong direction, instead of a synergy of beautifully crafted parts they make 2 large fairings to hide everything underneath from sight. (which is kinda where we came from in the past) and ehh… there is just no excuse for that horrible GS500 swingarm (totally out of proportion)

  15. augsxr750 says:

    Who builds a modern day “sport” bike without radial brakes? Agree that’s it’s beyond ugly as well. Maybe the RC car motor will be more reliable than the Harley junk they used on previous rip off designs.

  16. froryde says:

    @ mark: I didn’t say anything about having wires exposed – I simply think that it’s a poor design. I’m not a trained designer, but I know it simply does not appeal to me as a motorcyclist and a consumer. The proportions are all wrong, the design looks very flat and there’s no flow at all.

    For your reference, the Bimota DB1 is one of the first fully enclosed designs and it is one of the most beautiful bikes ever. If Bimota can do it back in 1986 with an ICE, why can’t Roehr do it in 2010 with an electric drivetrain?

  17. fazer6 says:

    That is one ugly sucker.
    Also, too heavy and too expensive.
    Kudos again to Brammo for their much better effort.
    I’m disapointed Roehr.

  18. Jack says:

    Hmmm….little bit strange in design