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.

Vyrus 986 M2 Moto2 Race Bike Unveiled at Verona – It’s Time to Breakout the Kleenex

01/21/2011 @ 9:36 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Vyrus 986 M2 Moto2 Race Bike Unveiled at Verona   Its Time to Breakout the Kleenex Vyrus 986 M2 Verona unveiling 1 635x423

After covering the debut of new motorcycles for a little over two years now, I’d like to think I’ve become immune to the sheer product lust the occurs when seeing an exceptional two-wheeler. Well wheel me back to the insane asylum of discretionary consumer income, because the only thing I can think of today is this Vyrus 986 M2 Moto2 race bike, and what it’s street counterpart could look like if Vyrus green-lights the project.

I don’t care if the hub-steering design is truly superior to traditional fork suspension. I don’t care if a single team even picks up the Vyrus chassis to race in Moto2. And in fact, I don’t even care if this whole talk about racing in Moto2 is just a ploy to launch the 600cc sibling of the Vyrus 987 C3 4V Supercharged.

Looking at these photos (courtesy of our friends at MotoBlog.it), the only thing going through my mind is OMGWTFBBQ I Want One! Eloquent I know, but if you can handle your streetbikes being non-traditional is design, I think you’ll have a similar response after the jump when you see the Vyrus 986 M2, which was finally unveiled at the Motor Bike Expo at Verona today.

Source: MotoBlog.it


  1. Day says:

    That is gorgeous.

  2. Keith says:

    Oh hummina! But for the street I’druther the GSXR-600 motor. 8^) Been on suzuki’s for 30 years…it’s a habit.

  3. BBQdog says:

    Nice looking, but the front part never worked on a Tesi and I doubt it will on this one.
    Gives no feed-back under braking and cornering.

  4. RGR says:

    Where’s the dotted line I sign on???? droooool

  5. Ed Gray says:

    Well I think they bit off too much, for a racing program. It is going to be tough enough to sort the front end out, without adding the monkey motion rear suspension with the crackpot shock. Does look cool though.

  6. Patron says:

    Cool looking bike. But the picture of the front looks like it would have clearence issues. It looks like the steering mechanism would touch, albeit during extreem lean angle, but would still be close. I’m assuming that cant be the case, but I wonder how close it gets.

  7. If there is a motorcycle version of the spank bank, that bike belongs in it.

  8. Damo says:

    Looks pretty damn nice.

    I have been dying to test ride a bike with hub center steering. If anyone in the New England area has a Bimota Tesi 3D floating around, hit me up :)

  9. chrome says:

    So maybe one of the more experienced track riders might be able to sort this out for me: Concerning feedback. It seems to me that feedback is largely the vibrations, instabilities, and flexing the wheel and fork system experience during maneuvers. But if the HCS system eliminates the inherent flex and wobble of the fork design, then what information is there to feedback? There’s no feedback because most of the stuff that caused feedback ahs been solved. Seems like it would be a feature, not a bug. but I don’t have the experience, so someone correct me.

    And that bike is freakin amazing.

  10. Ed Gray says:

    No Chrome the feed back is information on the asphalt and rubber interaction. Go racing. Get experience.

  11. Hayabrusa says:

    I concur with most of the sentiments. I’m a bit behind on the texting world though, as I don’t know what the BBQ is at the end of the original rant. God, I feel so lucky to have been a biker the last couple of decades!!!

  12. Westward says:

    But where are the reflectors ?

  13. MrGone says:

    OMGWTFLOLROFLCOPTERBBQ I would whore myself out to a hundred thousand fat chicks just for a chance to ride that gorgeous beast.
    And BBQdog, the current Tesi/Vyrus design actually works quite well, the few teams that have raced them (one is currently racing in a British twin series I believe) all say the feedback is definitively there it just isn’t that same as the feedback you get from typical forks, its more through the frame and pegs than the bars but they all say that once you reconfigure your mind its very predictable and brilliant to ride.

  14. Allan Engel says:

    The front end isn’t (that) new. The Bimoto Tesi is well sorted. That bike was raced at Daytona, in the “twins” class more then ten years ago. Leon Haslam’s dad, Ron, raced a center-hub steering bike with a factory Honda 500 motor back in the 80′s. This was in GP’s against the best. The engineering is well sorted. That being said, the Elf Honda that Haslam rode did indeed have a problem with the front strut grounding at extreme lean angles. Good luck to Vyrus – I lover everything about the bike.

  15. PD says:

    Gorgeous. But:

    1. The same reason that Moto2 teams weren’t willing to stray from the conventional last season – that tight budgets/sponsorship limited ability to take risks on “unconventional” tech – still seems to apply to the 2011 season. As much I’d like to see this bike on the grid in 2011, don’t know how likely that’ll be.

    2. Don’t know if Vyrus has been able to overcome it, but the prevailing wisdom/shortcoming about the hub-center design had always been, as many here have already mentioned, lack of feel from the front-end. Obviously, this would be critical. On the other hand, this design is supposed to all but eliminate front-end dive under braking, so…

    3. Hard to tell without the fairings removed, but it seems like the engine is perhaps being used as a fully-stressed component of the “chassis,” in a way similar to the the Ducati GP10, GP11. While most, if not all, Japanese supersports are labeled as having their engines as fully-stressed members of their frames, they nevertheless all have conventional twin-spar (full-length) frames; none have just the headstock and swingarm pivot members a la the Ducs, with the engines entirely replacing the lateral spars. So, the question is, is the “stock” CBR600RR engine being used in Moto2 able to provide sufficient structural integrity/performance as a stand-alone mid/main frame if indeed Vyrus is using such a set-up?

  16. hoyt says:

    The lack of feel from the front-end comments aren’t giving the top racers in the world enough credit. These riders get on bikes that are complete one-offs so they are given new “stuff” all the time.

    The good riders adapt to whatever they’re riding at an insane pace. The great riders not only adapt, but provide accurate feedback to the engineers for improvement. Both types of riders will do just fine with this front-end.

    The frame seems to be a derivative of the Tryphonos (which was a derivative of the original Tesi). The Tryphonos used an i-4 motor & the frame goes underneath the engine and then upward (vice versa of the Tesi).

    Lean angle? Should not be a problem from a construction perspective as well as the above adaptation. Action photos of a Tesi twin:


  17. Anonymous says:

    Vyrus 986 M2 Moto2 Race Bike Breaks Cover at Verona – It's Time to Breakout the Kleenex – http://aspha.lt/8d #motorcycle

  18. Dave says:

    Sure is Purdy!!

  19. GeddyT says:

    Although these systems can completely eliminate dive under breaking, it’s my understanding that some brake dive can actually be tuned into the system.

    As far as the rear suspension, I don’t see a problem. It’s just a linkage turned sideways for packaging. Like with any shock linkage, if it’s designed right, it’ll work.

    The engine is stressed, but looks to be reinforced by machined billet side plates that incorporate the swingarm mounts.

    My big concern for the bike is with aerodynamics. Although I think this would make a beautiful street bike, that front end snorkel looks anything but slippery, and that’s going to be huge on the straights.

  20. Keith says:

    BBQdog: you would know it gives no feedback how? Ever ridden one? Me either, so until you sling a leg up on one or I do. I’ll trust the manufacturer over you. The build ‘em you just read and drool.

  21. berzerker says:

    and where may the exhaust exit be ?

  22. berzerker says:

    neverminnd.. found them…seem to double as a rear hugger….. gas tank/airbox “hump” must be brutal on the family jewels…

  23. froryde says:

    Wonder how they address the front tire change issue? To change a front tire on the Tesi 3D is at least a 2 hour job!

  24. BBQdog says:

    “you would know it gives no feedback how ?”

    First hand from somebody who’d driven a Tesi during many BOTT races …..
    And it was a person who has tested many of the best bikes around.

  25. Not that I have a horse in this race, but BBQdog that’s technically second-hand information.

    For what it’s worth, the reason you see riders from WSBK struggling with the jump to MotoGP is because the GP bikes react and give feedback differently than the Superbikes. Riders get used to what they ride, I think anyone who rides their bike on a regular basis, and swaps bikes with a mate have experienced this phenomena first-hand, now take it to another degree and you’ve got the problem with hub-center steering.

    You see this in racing too, where the engineers do the setup that the computer says will be faster, but the rider doesn’t like it and wants a different setup that THEY can go faster on instead.