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.

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R

11/08/2013 @ 1:41 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 05 635x423

While the talk of the Valencian GP will be the on-track action between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo, the off-track chatter is about HRC’s open class race bike for private teams, the Honda RCV1000R. This is the machine that Nicky Hayden, Scott Redding, and Karel Abraham, with other riders expected to be added, hope will close the gap between factory and private teams.

Like its predecessor, the 2014 Honda RCV1000R uses a 999.5cc 90° V4 engine, and while there are many similarities between the two bikes, there are major differences as well. Specifically, the Honda RCV1000R uses conventional steel valve springs, instead of the Honda RC213V’s pneumatic valve springs; and a conventional gearbox, instead of the factory bike’s seamless gearbox design.

Still the RCV1000R is an impressive machine, and in the hands of Casey Stoner the bike lapped within 0.3 seconds as the RCV213V on the same tires. When shod with the CRT-spec Bridgestone rubber, Stoner was within 0.17 seconds of his factory bike lap time. What the will translate to on race day remains to be seen though.

Costing around €1,200,000 for the first season, and €500,000 for the upgrade package in the second season, teams are still paying quite a bit of coin for a GP bike, especially since HRC is barring them from making their own modifications to the engine. Still, the Honda RCV1000R is a much cheaper option to the satellite-spec RC213V. We just think it looks great — a bevy of high-resolution photos are after the jump.

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 16 635x407

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 02 635x422

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 03 635x423

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 04 635x422

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 06 635x422

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 07 635x422

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 08 635x423

XXX: 2014 Honda RCV1000R 2014 Honda RCV1000R MotoGP 10 635x422

Source: Honda

Comment:

  1. smiler says:

    Well it is certain that it will not be as fast as either the Factory or satelite bikes under any circumstances. Presumably it will form the basis of the new Blade and WSBK replacement as well. Good idea that.

  2. Your images nearly makes me lick my monitor…they’re just yummy as always :)

  3. shumy27 says:

    whooo….I’m horny..!! though its not as fast as rc213v :-)

  4. Shawn says:

    1.2 million, and you don’t even get a cover for your traction control wire? I wonder if that’s part of the 2nd season upgrade package? ;)

  5. JoeD says:

    Looks tasty but less than 100% competitive vs. full tilt factory machines. Prove me wrong, please.

  6. Sixty7 says:

    Pure filth…..

  7. Looter says:

    So HRC wil sell you the bike outright but the teams can’t fiddle around with the engine? I guess nothing beats the factory upgrades. But it would be neat to see independent tuners’ different takes on trying to eek out more hp. Cool bike nonetheless, hope it rubs off on Honda’s V4 superbike.

  8. Johnnymac says:

    Would be nice to get one of these to ride down the driveway to get my mail.

  9. n/a says:

    Shawn, that cable has a cover over it.

    This is the third time I’ve saved these pictures, removing old ones, saving new ones. Trying to find the highest resolution possible.

  10. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Why not include the seamless gearbox and the pneumatic valves?

    If the answer is “then some other rider could beat our factory guy”–then the next answer should be: then hire THAT guy.

    However, if the name of the game is to advance your technology doesn’t it make better sense, especially from a lab-coat-scientific-standpoint, to put more bikes out there that have all the same tech and inovate from there using that as your starting point?

    The only aspect of the Ducati program that made a lot of sense to me was their idea to essentially run four factory bikes. Because of that idea they now can say with certainty their bike is crap. haha.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “So HRC wil sell you the bike outright but the teams can’t fiddle around with the engine?”

    not that you’d be able to out engineer HRC anyway, but that’s a good trick innit…? must be some kind of force field.

  12. Norm G. says:

    re: “However, if the name of the game is to advance your technology”

    well there you go. you have your answer. advancing one’s technology ISN’T the name of the game.

  13. Nice to see they’re still using a CBR400RR NC23 kill switch from ~1989

  14. Because kill switch technology has advanced greatly in the past 20 years or so…

  15. Ren-jr. says:

    Also interesting to note that the previously shown oval intake opening has been changed to one that mimmicks the factory bikes.

  16. Ed gray says:

    I do not see how they can enforce their engine mod ban, unless the upgrade includes an engine swap. If Honda is requiring the customers to service the engines with Honda I don’t really see how this differs from leasing.

    How many engines does it come with? If you are not allowed to open the engine, what happens if you have an engine failure. The rules give you a limited number of fresh engines. Hows this going to work?

  17. Gary says:

    And beautiful to the eye. Thank you Honda. (all others please take note)

  18. Jaybond says:

    Based on the info from Honda, the RCV1000R’s engine produced around 230+bhp @ 16,000 rpm. If indeed, the new Honda V4 Superbike is based on the Production GP machine, one should expect around 210+bhp for the street machine (detuned for longer engine reliability), that ‘s a potential of making the new Honda V4 Superbike the new king in the superbike category.

  19. Donovan says:

    Does anyone know if the €1.2mil price is for lease or do the teams take ownership of the bike?

  20. nick says:

    Apart from the valve springs and gearbox, it gets control software for the ecu. Full factory bikes get to write their own, and this is a crucial distinction. Dorna’s obsession with cost cutting at GP level just means you end up with two or even three races in one, as I suspect will be the case next year. They don’t understand that the fans want the best riders on the most competitive bikes fighting it out, no one cares about the rest of the field: as long as GP’s are competitive at the sharp end, it doesn’t matter if you have just ten bikes. Dorna could easily subsidise full fat protoypes for sat teams, not least at the expense of encouraging also rans. They should concentrate instead on cutting WSBK costs which would have the effect of making that series much closer to what is supposed to be – proddy racing. Fans love watching racers wrestle a close to stock machine around. On Dorna: http://bit.ly/HJ9tH0