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.

Up-Close with the Suzuki XRH-1 MotoGP Race Bike

11/13/2013 @ 1:15 pm, by Jensen Beeler44 COMMENTS

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 09 635x421

One of the advantages of actually going to the yearly EICMA show, as opposed to phoning it in like some other outlets do, is that you get see things that don’t find their way into a press release.

Take for example the Suzuki XRH-1 MotoGP race bike prototype that Randy de Puniet has been developing and Davide Brivio has been heading. On display at the Suzuki stand, it was perhaps the most technologically advanced motorcycle at EICMA, yet you would only know that if you went to Milan last week.

We have already seen the Suzuki GP bike testing in Japan, we have even published some of the first photos of the Suzuki XRH-1, all-the-while its absence was noted this week at the Valencia MotoGP test. Suzuki Racing had hoped to do some wild card entries for the 2014 season, but even that hope seems to have been extinguished, though the now-unemployed Randy de Puniet should still find some work test riding the Suzuki next year.

The Japanese OEM would be a welcomed addition to the current MotoGP Championship, and their return for 2015 is the cause for Eugene Laverty to sign with FIXI Crescent Suzuki for next year’s World Superbike Championship. In fact, many riders are hoping to bag a factory seat with Suzuki in 2015, which bodes well for the manufacturer, as long as it can come to grips with the 20-liter fuel restriction that is now in place.

Still using an ECU from Mitsubishi, Suzuki has more than a few hurdles to overcome before it is ready for the premier-class of motorcycle racing, and so the development continues. Taking a respite for now though, we get an up-close look at the company’s craftsmanship, and it is superb.

Finding an inline-four engine at its heart, Suzuki hopes to bridge the gap between MotoGP and street bike a bit with this entry, which is a good thing since the current generation GSX-R is going on its sixth model year. It appears until Suzuki re-enters MotoGP or builds a new superbike for the street, these photos are all we have to drool over from Hamamatsu. That will suffice…for now.

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 04 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 02 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 05 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 08 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 11 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 12 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 13 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 14 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 16 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 18 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 20 635x421

Up Close with the Suzuki XRH 1 MotoGP Race Bike Suzuki MotoGP race bike EICMA 01 635x421

Photos: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. KSW says:

    A little FYI for those who will be at Motorcycle Live in Birmingham next weekend like me, You’ll see the new Suzuki on display there as well unless my sources are wrong.

    Great job Jens, as indeed, we’d not seen this one before.

  2. TexusTim says:

    the bike looks sick ! man does it look like there ready right now or what ? why wait till 2015 damit

  3. Eric says:

    I would NOT kick her out of bed for leaky crankcases….

  4. HHMMMM says:

    Birmingham, AL or Birmingham England???? This bike is gorgeous. looks better than the Honda RCV214. Honda has to keep phucking with things. If its not broke don’t fix it. They did have the best looking GP bike

  5. KSW says:

    Hmmmm,

    England of course. Alabama? Since when is there a major show in Bama USA?

  6. Matt Higgins says:

    Dry clutch?

  7. n/a says:

    HHMMMM, I believe there’s no such thing as a Honda RCV214, yet.

    They’re still on the RC213V for next season.

  8. n/a says:

    Also, if Eugene Laverty gets to ride this Suzuki I’ll eat my hat(?)

    Suzuki need really good riders for this new attempt at GP, Bradl/Bautista/Smith/Pedrosa for example.

  9. Will says:

    I love the 3D effect number plate. Not to mention the bike. She’s a looker

  10. 2ndclass says:

    @Matt Higgins

    GP bikes use dry clutches so they can swap them out quickly without having to drop the engine oil, as they tend to take a pounding.

  11. 2ndclass says:

    And that top photo of the article instantly reminded me of this: http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/566906/Marvin+the+Paranoid+Android.jpg

  12. MTS Rider says:

    Dry clutches also don’t pollute the precious lubrication system with dust and other junk form the friction plates. They also tend to run a bit more efficiently as they are not subjected to the extra drag of the engine oil.

  13. Kev71 says:

    I agree with n/a. Suzuki will need riders with experience and relative success in MotoGP if they want to develop a winner. There will be some high-class free agents in 2015. I look in my crystal ball and see…. Pedrosa out with Honda, in with Suzuki and Bautista in as well (he was doing respectable on the Suzuki b4 they pulled the plug). Lorenzo and Rossi will stay with Yamaha (unless Rossi retires, then Pol will step in). Repsol with Marquez and Redding. Ducati with Crutchlow and whatever 2nd tier free agent is left (Dovi will be out). Anyone with their opinions? Mine as we’ll start the 2015 Silly Season early!

  14. Kev71 says:

    I agree with n/a. Suzuki will need riders with experience and relative success in MotoGP if they want to develop a winner. There will be some high-class free agents in 2015. I look in my crystal ball and see…. Pedrosa out with Honda, in with Suzuki and Bautista in as well (he was doing respectable on the Suzuki b4 they pulled the plug). Lorenzo and Rossi will stay with Yamaha (unless Rossi retires, then Pol will step in). Repsol with Marquez and Redding. Ducati with Crutchlow and whatever 2nd tier free agent is left (Dovi will be out). Anyone with their opinions? Mine as we’ll start the 2015 Silly Season early!

  15. Pete says:

    What’re the carbon fiber things that bisect the side spars?

  16. D19 says:

    Excellent photographs, Jensen- thanks for sharing them! I love the attention to detail that the factories have for GP bikes. Just curious, what kind of camera gear do you usually use? Apologies if this has been asked and answered before. Cheers.

  17. Norm G. says:

    re: “Pedrosa out with Honda, in with Suzuki”

    pedrosa/puig will NEVER leave the hedge of protection afforded him by Repsol (never not ever). unless Respol’s willing to spread the love (something they could realistically do)…? or bring back Telefonica sponsorship…? it’s Honda or retirement.

  18. Ray says:

    Holy Sh#@ that thing is beautiful. Why can’t the GSX-R look more like that?

  19. kww says:

    Interesting swingarm shot – no carbon disc on the back, rear wheel speed sensor, & a 2D inertial sensor (?) for suspension movement (6 axis?)

  20. Rad Rage says:

    Looks stunning, and I really like the shade of blue they went with.

    They might give Laverty the seat but he definitely won’t be the number one rider, he will play second fiddle to whoever they recruit from the current grid.

    Also, where is the gear shifter?

  21. Rad Rage says:

    My bad, work-strained eyes……… sucks.

  22. starmag says:

    Would someone please enlighten me as to why highly funded, technically skilled major manufacturers’ Motogp racing departments ( Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, etc ), choose to rely on an aftermarket exhaust manufacturer like Akrapovic? It seems absurd that they can’t weld up their own with all else they do. Branding someone else’s product? Weird.

  23. lampirs bike to the top. says:

    lorenzo shud move in to suzuki and push this bike to the top.i blv he can make a new history.

    suzuki shud take someone that can use the bike with aggresive, ist no point if has a good bike without good rider, and good rider but has a bad bike

  24. johnrdupree says:

    @starmag, my guess would be that the manufacturer designs the exhaust system and then an aftermarket company pays for the privilege of making it and having their name on the bike.

  25. John D'Orazio says:

    Wow! If looks won races… I would love to see the GSXR 1000 street bike take on this look and graphic design. I want Suzuki in now, but taking time to fully develop the bike will pay off in results.

  26. Norm G. says:

    re: “Weird.”

    Business.

  27. Norm G. says:

    re: “good rider but has a bad bike”

    lemme help….

    the phrase (law) you’re looking for is NATCORK

  28. Norm G. says:

    re: “Since when is there a major show in Bama USA?”

    the Barber collection, Leeds ALA, circa ’03.

    hey, you asked. :)

    http://www.barbermuseum.org/

  29. n/a says:

    kww says:
    November 14, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Interesting swingarm shot – no carbon disc on the back, rear wheel speed sensor, & a 2D inertial sensor (?) for suspension movement (6 axis?)

    To help clear this up – bear in mind I’m not an expert.

    I believe no current GP bike uses carbon rear discs, not exactly sure why they don’t. There appears to be a linear potentiometer for suspension travel kind of hidden on the left side of the shock if viewed from the rear. Also, the red 2D gyroscope(?) is for engine management/electronics, traction control for exampe.

  30. @Norm G.

    +1 about Barber’s museum, plus the Vintage Festival is quite the event. So there Brits!

  31. motoputs says:

    A carbon rear disk would never get HOT enough to work.

  32. phil taylor says:

    All they need now is a “GOOD” rider.

  33. Norm G. says:

    re: “the bike looks sick !”

    for once, we’re in full agreement.

    re: “man does it look like there ready right now or what ?”

    A: what.

    yes, it DOES look like that. however (comma) intelligence by now should dictate, we don’t judge books by their covers. this is one of mankind’s oldest and most prolific idioms.

    re: “why wait till 2015 damit”

    I recognize this is rhetorical, but it does in fact merit a response.

    A: ’cause right now what they’ve produced is unfortunately “still born”. since their departure, the goal posts have moved just as I (Normstradamus) predicted. the seismic activity is even more RADICAL than envisioned.

    1st, the “seamless genie” escaped from it’s bottle, or should I say BOX…? (get it, gearbox, see what I did there?) 2nd, the rules now mandate even less fuel capacity. 3rd, as if less fuel weren’t enough…? the rules SIMULTANEOUSLY mandate one less engine.

    that’s 3 strikes. with 2 strikes they could stay in the game, with 3 she’s out. from this point, no matter what Suzuki does, the “good ship XRH” will founder. (carpenter Andrews voice)

  34. Bicho says:

    To Starmag:Brembo,Marchesini,Ohlins,Bridgestone(to name a few)…………..They all know how to make better components than the big four,because they are very SPECIALIZED manufacturers.So is Akrapovič!They not only weld the exhaust systems,but do all the R&D,MAKE specific Titanium tubing in hous!!!,they have the highest quality carbon fiber pieces done(in giant autuclaves)in house,and recently they made theyr own Titanium foundry!!!!!!!!!Are you enlightened now?If your looking for poseurs……..Termignoni have put there stickers on Akrapovič items in MotoGP,for years!

  35. Crim says:

    Stoner + Burgess + Suzuki = 2015

  36. Bob K says:

    n/a says: I believe no current GP bike uses carbon rear discs, not exactly sure why they don’t. There appears to be a linear potentiometer for suspension travel kind of hidden on the left side of the shock if viewed from the rear. Also, the red 2D gyroscope(?) is for engine management/electronics, traction control for exampe.

    -Steel rear brakes per rules. The reason is the carbon discs require that constant heat be kept in them in order to work effectively. If they cool, they provide very little power. Carbon on the rear wouldn’t work since they rarely use the rear so the brakde disc wouldn’t ever have the required heat to provide any braking power.

    -The linear transducer (LVDT) is part of the 2D package.

    -The 2D package is a full on CAN-BUS data acquisition system that also includes the dash on the bike. Those litle red snsors are hidden everywhere on the bike. It is what they use to fine tune the bike for testing and race day.

    It measures everything from brake pressure, suspension travel and velocity, bank angle, engine functions, gps (so Dorna knows where you are on the track), acceleration, throttle opening, chassis pitch, distance and angle relationships between moving parts, speed, various temps, fuel levels, rpms and more stuff mortals couldn’t get their head around. The gps, while it can not be used for real time adjustments during a race is used in a time based fashion where all functions except suspension tuning can be pre-programmed for every inch of a given track. If lap times quicken or slow down, a reset button at each lap starts the program so the settings are back where they belong.

    -2D is also the exclusive supplier for ALL Moto2 bikes with Moto2 Specific programming and even flag indicators.

  37. Norm G. says:

    re: “They all know how to make better components than the big four,because they are very SPECIALIZED manufacturers”

    here’s my number. send me a text when any of those names sort complete ENGINES worth a damn.

  38. hmm says:

    Crutchlo would have been a good option

  39. Bicho says:

    To Norm G. That is,because they(the big4) are very SPECIALIZED in engine, frame,aerodynamics and electronics development-fabrication!So again, there you have the reason why its easier for them to outsorce most of the other components !………………..and any way, Starmag wanted some answers,i wanted to be of help,sorry if i was being rude.You see not so long ago,Akrapovič was considered by many,just a small third world fabricator that was showing off with some carbon fiber……the reality is they were and still are driven by perfection,just as Honda,Yamaha,Suzuki……………………..my 2c

  40. MikeD says:

    Thanks for the Pictures Mr. Jensen. Looking good so far. The details are very good , not to mention she’s a looker.

    Now i’m just waiting for the 23rd to see what ” The Queen of Bland & BNGC ” also known as Honda has in storage for us with the rumored GoldWing derived power cruiser.

    And then there’s Suzuki and their Turbo’ed middle weight scoot . . . hopefully. (-_-)’
    I’m still feeling pretty underwhelmed about EICMA.

  41. Norm G. says:

    re: “there you have the reason why its easier.

    close… cheaper.

  42. Norm G. says:

    re: “What’re the carbon fiber things that bisect the side spars?”

    access covers to the clamp screws holding the carburetors to the throttle bodies. oh wait, that’s yam’s mkI R6.

  43. Bicho says:

    To Norm G. Sorry, i dont understand.Do you really think ,the YAMAHA M1(for example) uses a cheap exhaust system,not the best possible one?Or,Are you saying that Yamaha makes the actual exhaust system and Akrapovič pays to have there logo on it?

  44. Norm G. says:

    re: “Do you really think ,the YAMAHA M1(for example) uses a cheap exhaust system,not the best possible one?”

    i’ll answer you’re question with a question. do you think Ross won 4 championships relying on the engineering expertise of Termignoni…? or did he rely on the engineering expertise of Furusawa, ie. the man who pioneered the crossplane, and his fellow Yama-boffins…?