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 Gets Street Legal

04/23/2012 @ 4:51 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Vyrus 986 M2 Gets Street Legal Vyrus 986 M2 05 635x474

One of our favorite bikes to debut last year, the Vyrus 986 M2 continues to be developed by the small Italian firm, and pictures of the 600cc, omega-framed, hub-center steered motorcycle have been uploaded to the Vyrus Facebook profile page, and show the Moto2 hopeful in its street-legal form.

Breaking cover back in January 2011, Vyrus had hopes of racing the 986 M2 in the Moto2 Championship, as well as selling a street and kit version of the motorcycle to consumers. At €25,000 ready to roll (€50,000 for the race version), the street-going Vyrus 986 M2 might be one of the most expensive supersport-class motorcycles on the market, but honestly, wouldn’t you want to own one these bay boys instead of a comparably-priced liter-bike? We know we would.

Since its debut, the Vyrus 986 M2 has undergone some changes, most notably the hub-center steering design now has a direct steering column to the rider, likely the help increase the steering feedback. While hub-center steering benefits from separating the steering, braking, and suspension forces from each other, in practical application the design has had an uphill battle winning over riders who have grown accustomed to how a conventional fork front-end operates.

With established riders literally growing up on modern fork suspension technology, companies like Vyrus have to contend with riders having to re-learn how to race a motorcycle (an issue similar to the one in MotoGP, where riders have to relearn how to ride using carbon fiber brakes and the unique Bridgestone spec-tires). From an engineering perspective, the mechanical setup of most hub-center steering systems also adds to the problem, with multiple linkages usually involved in transmitting the rider’s inputs at the handlebars to the front wheel.

With this revised front-end design on the Vyrus 986 M2, the Rimini-based company looks to be using a steering column that directly applies the force from the handlebars to the front wheel, while the hub-center swing arm sill does work from a suspension and braking point-of-view. Perhaps not as visually stunning as the original release, it should function much better on the street and especially on the track.

Considering that the street-legal Vyrus 986 M2 was supposed to be ready by Septemeber of last year, it looks like Vyrus is a bit behind on its schedule. Though, we think you will agree that the Vyrus 986 M2 is going to be well worth the wait. Now where do we leave a deposit?

Vyrus 986 M2 Gets Street Legal Vyrus 986 M2 04 635x850

Vyrus 986 M2 Gets Street Legal Vyrus 986 M2 02 635x850

Vyrus 986 M2 Gets Street Legal Vyrus 986 M2 07 635x474

Photos of the Vyrus 986 M2 in Street-legal Trim via Facebook:

Photos of the Vyrus 986 M2 in Racing Trim via MotoBlog:

Source: Vyrus (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Akira ain’t got shit on me with one of these.
    Lame remarks aside, i would like to try “someday” one of these “wierd” front ends and see by myself what’s all hoopla doopla all about it.

    This is right up there with the Tesi. Too much bling and too much coin. If i had the doug no doubt i would burn it on one of these or a Tesi.

  2. Jeram says:

    Im more interested in that rear shock set up :D

    seems like a simpler solution to the re birthing of the twin shock in GP racing that is currently going on.

  3. MikeD says:

    Indeed, the rear shock setup is pretty tricky.

  4. WetMan says:

    Well if you choke on your chewing gum, you just have to brake shaply and the tank will perform the Heimlich maneuver on you.

  5. Westward says:

    Is the MSRP reflective of the cost of technology, or the the ambition of profit? What is the point of alternative technology if it can’t compete in pricing…

    I like it, but the commercial price is still too much for the experience…

    However, for racing in Moto2 it’s a steal…

  6. Jaime Cruz says:

    A direct steering tube to the hub center front wheel? Hmmmm… did anyone ask James Parker what HE thought of this idea??

  7. mxs says:

    What kind of engine is in this bike? I hope it’s not a standard cookie cutter 600cc I4. For the money, better not be, but something tells me that it is … :-(

  8. Of course it is (Honda CBR600RR motor), the bike is supposed to be Moto2 ready.