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.

Ducati’s First Valentino Rossi Branded Motorcycle

03/03/2011 @ 7:18 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Ducati’s First Valentino Rossi Branded Motorcycle Valentino Rossi Monster Art 1 635x396

Helping send off Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden on their 2011 MotoGP Championship season, Ducati is holding a big event in downtown Bologna on Friday night. Naturally of course the two MotoGP riders will need something to make an entrance with, and Ducati thought this would be the perfect time to tap its Monster Art program for some Rossi/Hayden GP replica paint schemes that take their cues from the duo’s Ducati Desmosedici GP11 race bikes.

The first of what is surely to be many Ducati motorcycles to have the yellow “46″ on them, we’re still having some trouble getting used to the neon yellow/Rosso Corsa combo, but we’re this will be the best selling livery in Ducati Monster Art personalization package. Wake us up when the Ducati Superbike 1198 Rossi Rep comes out.

Source: Ducati

Comment:

  1. Let me prefix this by stating I’m a big fan of Vale and I can’t be happier he’s joined forces with Ducati for this MotoGP season. Results thus far aside, the marriage is epic on its own. Also, I ride a Ducati myself (an S2R) and have always admired the brand as a whole.

    But seriously, this mix of VR46 graphics and the Monster lines couldn’t clash more. I’m happy how it’s turned out on the Desmosedici and I’m sure there will be livery available for the 1198-esque super bikes, but for nakeds like this, this isn’t working imo.

    .02′s

  2. keet says:

    ducati IS the italian harley-davidson… where merchandising matters more than the motorbikes.

  3. froryde says:

    Sad to say that I have to agree with Keet there. Ducati’s become such a brand whore over the last few years…

  4. Richard Gozinya says:

    Ducati might be a brand whore, but to compare them to Harley really isn’t fair. Ducati actually invests in R&D, improves their bikes, develops new tech, everything an actual motorcycle company does. Harley, on the other hand, well, we don’t need to go into detail on that one. They couldn’t even put the XR1200 on par with a Buell Lightning.

    As to the paintjob, the yellow parts make me want to vomit, but the white actually looks pretty good.

  5. Bones says:

    It was only a matter of time. I wonder why it took them so long to create the new graphics. Which in the case of Rossi’s 46 is rather appaling. Hope they change it further down the road

  6. BBQDog says:

    If you would want something like this go to the sticker shop and let them
    make someting like this. You can always take it off and it will safe you
    a lot of money.

  7. Nobody says:

    Looks like a McDonald’s Ducati. The Catsup and Mustard graphics might work on an 1198 (and help sell a few to those who need a good reason to buy the soon to be obsolete model), but on a Monster?

    Additionally, it would seem both more logical and more profitable to have Rossi tune a machine (different clip ons/ergos/suspension tweaks?) than to have him in charge of the graphics.

  8. ed says:

    almost as pukey as the Rever Corsa/Christian Audigier Monster “collabo”

  9. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    Boy the 69 looks great, but the Vale version is straight up fugly!

  10. mrbubbles says:

    I’m a fan of Rossi and what his contributions to the sport, as well as the bikes he helped develop and the technology that we end up benefiting from. However, every time I see the yellow and red combo, it reminds me of McDonald’s ,and I end up jonesing for super-sized french fries.

  11. Ducati's First Valentino Rossi Branded Motorcycle – http://aspha.lt/c4 #motorcycle

  12. MikeD says:

    Danm NoBody & mrbubbles, they beated me to it. lmao.

    Anyways, yes…whats with the McDonald’s paint colors combo ?

  13. Bones says:

    I think the real contribution of Rossi will become obvious with the next gen superbike they work on. And maybe there we’ll even see a “Rossi Button” with the settings of the champ. But I think the real context of cooperation between Rossi and Ducati will be the re-orientation of the italian machines, bringing them closer to “mainstream” –a “civilian” version of what he is now trying to achieve with the GP11. It will be a pity if the whole “Rossi Experience” proves nothing more than some expensive “McDonald” versions of existing models. But I remember Burgess saying that the Rossi – Ducati affair would last 6 years. If that statement was not an error, it means Rossi and the Reds will keep together longer than his racing with the marque.

  14. Other Sean says:

    Something MUST be wrong with me. I’ve been a vocal critic of these clashing colors, but for some reason I find it just shouty enough on this monster as to be kinda cool. It’s not too much, just a little bit. Maybe it works better for me on the Monster because there’s not miles of fully faired paint?

    I don’t know, but I authorize you all to flame me mercilously.

  15. Bones says:

    It’s not what I expected from Vale. Usually his graphics appeal to me, but maybe this time Aldo Drudi could not put his master craft to work

  16. mxs says:

    That looks silly at best. 46 on a street non-sport bike? Good that Ducati doesn’t make scooters …