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.

Video: Ducati 1199 Superleggera – The Power of Lightness

02/04/2014 @ 3:31 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

Video: Ducati 1199 Superleggera   The Power of Lightness 2014 Ducati 1199 Superleggera crop 635x424

I don’t have a good excuse as to why I want to post this video up on the site, other than the Ducati 1199 Superleggera is probably the most awesome motorcycle to come out in the past decade (apologies to any Honda DN-01 owners in the crowd).

An exercise in engineering prowess, which saw Borgo Panigale drop shed some serious weight from its venerable superbike, it should come as no surprise then that the 155kg (dry) Superleggera was a model put forth by Claudio Domenicali, a man who rose from engineer to CEO at Ducati Motor Holding.

That being said, I’m not sure we need a good excuse to fawn over the Superleggera. A magnesium monocoque frame, forged magnesium Marchesini wheels, carbon fiber rear sub-frame and bodywork (with integrated R-spec aero-kit), lithium-ion battery, titanium exhaust system with stainless steel headers, titanium bolts and fasteners…I’m sorry, what was I saying?

Studio Photos of the Ducati 1199 Superleggera:

Up-Close with the Ducati 1199 Superleggera:

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

Comment:

  1. Chad says:

    Wait… Why apologize to the Honda DN-01 owners? That bike is hideous am I missing something?

  2. Stephano says:

    Nice bike but I can clearly see many bolts in those pictures that are not made of titanium. I can build a better bike by far for around $45K and saying that, the bike will have FGR00 superbike forks on. And even more CF!!! That is after I’m done with knife edging the crank and lightening it! I would use Titanium fasteners across the entire bike and use machined from billet pieces instead of where you see cast parts.

  3. Stephano says:

    And did I mention a major head-work and lighter forged pistons with shorter skirts and higher compression? My God. You can build a beast that would look better than this Orange candy with $65K!!

  4. monkeyfumi says:

    Talk is cheap Stephano

  5. coreyvwc says:

    Of course you could build it lighter and more powerful yourself, but thats not the point here.
    This is a collectors item, plain and simple.
    No one wants to “collect” some custom race bike that you built in your garage, end of story.
    (Unless your name happens to be John Britten)

  6. Stephano says:

    It all depends who’s garage that is, I should correct it here! beside, are we still falling for these collectible nonsense that they keep feeding the not so knowledgeable public with? Last time I checked, A Desmosedici RR with only 480 miles on the clock and another $15K worth of upgrades sold for $52K. Now, how is that collectible when you lose over $30K and have not even put enough miles on the bike on such so called limited collectible piece of machinery? Or should I mention about the MV F4 CC that cost $130K back then and now can be had with no miles for about $50K? And who says that Ducati is doing a better job about building limited machines? I have 7 Ducs and 5 of them are highly built. The factory head job is garbage. The only modern Ducati that’s worth talking true conductibility is the 1996 955 (factory built, not Fast By Ferracci version) which unfortunately I don’t own!! This term “collectible” shenanigan is something in the past now. It’s not like you’re buying a Moto GP Yamaha M1…. Let’s put it this way; IT’S AN “WRITE A CHECK” BIKE.. Period!

  7. Stephano says:

    @monkeyfumi,

    And your comment is quite arrogant without knowing about one’s capability. Go and buy it then…

  8. monkeyfumi says:

    Stephano, I’m not the one claiming I can do better than ducati for less money, maybe you can, I’d be happy to see the results of your work.
    Did you ever think that they maybe wanted to make some money from making bikes? I beleive it is called “business”….

  9. I think I like it better with the bodywork off, what a beautiful piece of engineering.

    This thing is a freakin Tie fighter, it pulls up behind you and ya start hearing the Star Wars Darth Vader music and you know your ass is dead. :)

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “Nice bike but I can clearly see many bolts in those pictures that are not made of titanium.”

    a human XRF are we…?

    re: “And your comment is quite arrogant without knowing about one’s capability”

    stephano’s comment is quite arrogant with a guy like me lurking around. monkey isn’t the one claiming to have Niton gun power in his eyeballs.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “(I would) use machined from billet pieces instead of where you see cast parts.”

    translation: i’m going to change 3, maybe 4 parts (1 of which you can’t even see) tops. then I’m going to weight it and discover I saved ZERO lbs, and may have even made the bike heavier.

  12. Machined billet, are you serious? That’s like so 20th century, or for pretty boys who are doing nothing more than building pretty toys. If you need serious strength or loadbearing you go with forged alloy, casting is the best way to go for everything else, it’s just as strong or stronger than the best billet using modern techniques and metallurgy, it’s far far cheaper and doesn’t waste an enormous amount of resources and labor creating something that doesn’t do the job any better or lasting longer. And it would definitely be heavier.

    Save that crap for Harley riders pushing their thousand pound hogs by the side of the road, after the D grade billet they got suckered into buying cracks and the engine drops out. :)

  13. Stephano says:

    monkeyfumi,

    At $10K below the price they’re selling it for, they would still make quite a bit of profit! I claim that because I’ve dealt with building high performance Ducati bikes that have had many upgrades done to them, so it’s naturally obvious to me that at this price they are raping people. I don’t mind them making as much money as they can but within reason. I guess I’m barking up the wrong tree here as obviously many participants have become blinded by all the glitz… without offering any logic behind their opinions.

  14. Stephano says:

    Aaron,

    It just shows how knowledgeable you are about metallurgy! I feel sorry for myself even sharing these with you!! They can use less material and have even more strength than larger and heavier cast pieces. Go and study before throwing nonsense around. And that is at lighter weight!
    Aluminium alloy 7075 is an aluminium alloy, with zinc as the primary alloying element. It is strong, with a strength comparable to many steels, and has good fatigue strength and average machinability, but has less resistance to corrosion than many other Al alloys.
    7075 aluminum alloy’s composition roughly includes 5.6–6.1% zinc, 2.1–2.5% magnesium, 1.2–1.6% copper, and less than half a percent of silicon, iron, manganese, titanium, chromium, and other metals. It is produced in many tempers, some of which are 7075-0, 7075-T6, 7075-T651.
    Costing too much? Are you high? They are charging someone like yourself $65K for that bike.

  15. Stephano says:

    Norm G,

    OK, about the Ti bolts; Again, I was under this impression that I was soliciting with people that have prior experiences with metals, including titanium bolts, where I don’t have to explain myself over and over as to why some of those bolts in close-up pictures are not titanium. Ducati needs smart self assured people like yourself to stand up for them.. And no, you don’t need an X-ray vision to see that. You just have to be educated and have experience with those. Beside you can send a letter to Ducati and ask them to reveal the truth.

  16. Sean castigliano says:

    Ladies and gents of the jury!
    Let me shed some light tonight on this stupendous and marvelous piece of … Ehhh … Puzzling artwork …
    Naaaa.. Wasn’t talking about our infamous Sopa da legra here.
    It all depends on wether one justifies truth based on his opinion or opinions based on truth.
    And since no one amongst us is a sincere truthful man and all are lying self deceiving cons, (call ur selves sinners if you will or have religious tendencies) then I can conclude all opinions are worthless (including mine), regardless of wether you’re a manipulating lawyer or a motorcycle salesman working for DUCATI writing this,
    Or a rich man with loads of money needing infinite love to fill that empty void within.
    And all the excuse and attentions of why, why, why!!! Me me me!
    Did stephano spoil it for ya?,!

    Stephano has a point, perhaps the bike can be re-created with much less money.
    And our deliberating impatient crowd fails to observe the reality, rather need the prejudice of justification (to one self or the potential clients) while turning a blind eye.
    Nothing out of ordinary, showing politics are AT work EVERYWHERE!
    Vanity is always at work.
    Hail the Caesar!

    Now go home and ride whatever ya got in that corner collecting dust!
    Wether a Sopa da legra or an old scooter.
    All else is just blowing dust in your own face.

    Ok fine, continue the ranting… hehe… It’s too much fun to miss!

    GOD BLESS AMERICA.
    And all others…too!

  17. smiler says:

    The exhausts are made by Acrapovich and not Termignoni. Audi making their presence felt as Acrap are an Audi supplier. Difficult times for Termi perhaps.

  18. Twistnturns says:

    @ Stephano

    You are right, the bike could probably be built for less than the price-tag.
    But that is like any product on the market. There are chains of supply at work, Manufacturer–>subsidiary/importer/intermediary–>dealer and everyone of them makes a margin from the supply chain.

    Also, because of economies of scale i doubt you would be able to build it for less than a professional motorcycle company, since your “suppliers” would definitely charge you more for the parts/materials, but this would be open to debate depending on where you are and who you know (you may know people in the sector that can supply you with better prices).

    Having said this, personally I would not spend that much on a motorcycle, but being a collectors item you never know whether it will pick-up value over the years. Keep in mind that the D16 had a larger production run than the Superleggera so it is less “limited” than the SL.

    The fact is that for a manufacturer to make such a motorcycle is quite impressive, not because they can, but because they did. Honda would probably be able to make something impressive too (who knows if the production motogp racer will be marketed) but they have not. Nor have Yamaha.

    So let’s appreciate this engineering marvel.

    vrooommm

  19. Damn says:

    the weakness of non feeling.

  20. Stephano says:

    Twistnturns,

    Thank you for understanding exactly what I meant to say here. I appreciate that.
    And by the way, if you ever need those fancy so called unattainable parts, please let me know and I will have them available for you to purchase. All I was talking about and the moral of the story wasn’t so much as to how one can build it for less, in other words, I actually what I wanted to say is that I was expecting more for that $65K price tag that would/should include better parts.

  21. eg says:

    definitely not drinking this coolaid! bought a base and threw about 15k into it so far, my base next to an R and i’ll take my base any-day; now that’s a good cup of hot chocolate