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 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc

06/04/2011 @ 2:00 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Up Close with the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc Jurby 635x480

MotoCzysz was out at Jurby Airfield yesterday, turning a wheel for the first time on the Portland company’s 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc electric superbike. With TT Zero’s first practice session tonight on the Mountain Course, the team has been busy getting ready to field two bikes for riders Mark Miller and Michael Rutter.

While Miller will ride the updated 2010.5 MotoCzysz E1pc, Rutter will be on MotoCzysz’s new machine that features the 200+ hp MotoCzysz D1-11 VDR D1g1tal Dr1ve electric motor. With more power at the motor, more battery on-board, and a lighter overall package, MotoCzysz has its eyes on the 100 mph mark, and the £10,000 check the Isle of Man TT has put up as bounty for the milestone. Photos after the jump.

MotoCzysz has made obvious aesthetic changes to the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc, with the race team sporting the blue, white, and silver livery of sponsor Segway. However, it’s the technical changes that impress us the most, as the new E1pc has a stronger motor, more battery power, and a overall lighter package. As expected, the MotoCzysz six-axis fork system is up front, though it has been revised from the previous version, and sports a new linkage design. The rear suspension has also changed, as all that is visible is a carbon fiber strut that connects the swingarm to the shock, which is located under the faux-fuel tank.

Nestled in-between the carbon fiber frame, which looks gorgeous by the way, are two enclosures that house Dow Kokam battery packs. Czysz is not saying how many kWh are on-board, but we’d guess about 20% more over last year’s E1pc. We’ll get a chance to see today how the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc fares on its first run around the Mountain Course, while Mark Miller’s 2010.5 MotoCzysz E1pc is already a veteran of the Isle of Man TT. With improvements to its motor design and software, MotoCzysz is confident that the 2010.5 bike will crack the 100 mph mark, while the untested 2011 bike has great potential to blow the TT Zero competition away, though there also exists reasonable uncertainty about the until-yesterday-untested package. For how that plays out, we’ll have to run our tried and true phrase, and say that time will tell.

Up Close with the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 32 635x425

Up Close with the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 8 635x425

Up Close with the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 23 635x470

Up Close with the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 24 635x425

Up Close with the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 36 635x425

Up Close with the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc 10 635x446

Photos: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. supersic says:

    great pics. the bike looks out of this world! i hope everything can get sorted in such a short amount of time for Rutter to tear the TT roads up.

  2. Brammofan says:

    Great coverage, Jensen!

  3. Ah… Jurby airfield. I remember her well. Best of luck to all the competitors! Any signs of the elusive Lightning bikes? Are Agni there this year?

  4. shallwedance? says:

    I’m going to be there for that race,and Rutter will win it

  5. Keith says:

    Very pretty, now knock my bawlz off with how it does on the track. Especially with range/power.

  6. Mark says:

    I understand that the Lightning bikes were stuck in customs and only arrived this morning, but the batteries are still in London, and are to be delivered tomorrow.

    Apparently Lithium batteries are considered a hazardous material and require special shipping arrangements. I wish Lightning all the best in getting things together in time, as it should make for a great battle between them and MotoCzysz.

  7. Hugo says:

    Well it seems Mr.Czysz reads the Bottpower website because we worked on such a concept some 7 years ago ;)
    http://bottpower.com/eng/?p=3

  8. Brammofan says:

    Up-Close with the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc http://bit.ly/mUCT34

  9. djam says:

    I will just say this! Michael is a genius and I’d love to be a part of the think tank that redefines the motorcycle. Simply Brilliant!

  10. Rob749 says:

    Good good, its beautiful. And it seems we’re really pushing the envelope on performance too. If they all keep this up “Electric Motorbike” will no longer be dirty words.

  11. Matt says:

    When do we get some video?

  12. Ian says:

    What kind of rear shock is that? Doesn’t look anything like a conventional shock.

    Does he have oval fork stanctions and lowers too? Wonder how he got those.

  13. Bill says:

    I noticed he removed the Trail Adjustability from his forks, and it doesn’t look like the batteries are “swapable” any more. But I guess both of those help contribute to the “lighter overall package”.

  14. Shoya says:

    Fantastic. Best of luck with the 2011 bike at the TT!

  15. Frenchie says:

    In qualifying Rutter was less than 1 minute away from the record and was over 106 mph after the first half of the lap…did he slow down to make it more spectacular on race day?

    Miller was second, Lightning motorcycle was in between the 2 Motoczysz but they did not complete their lap.

  16. The first half of the course is relatively flat, whereas the latter half of the course includes the mountain. Naturally the average speeds start dropping after Ramsey.