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.

Looks Like the Yamaha PES1 Electric Street Bike Is a Runner

11/20/2013 @ 4:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

Looks Like the Yamaha PES1 Electric Street Bike Is a Runner Yamaha PES1 electric concept 03 635x475

Last week when Yamaha debuted its electric street bike concept, the Yamaha PES1, we thought it looked like a well-though out concept machine that gave the tuning fork brand some street cred for thinking about a future with electric motorcycles. After all, the Japanese company was light on details, and certain parts of the bike seemed a bit more Star Trek than reality. Turns out we were wrong.

Releasing a video of the Yamaha PES1 testing on the track, it’s clear that the concept is fully-functional (just like Data), which means Yamaha has set its phasers to stun with this 100kg machine. From the cuts of this quick YouTube flick, Yamaha seems as serious as a Borg cube with its electric project, which only adds to the intrigue on when they could debut a proper production model.

Maybe with the rumors about Honda being behind the Mugen Shinden project, Yamaha didn’t want Big Red to get too far ahead in the EV game. Whatever the case may be, we like it…even more than Klingon gagh.

Looks Like the Yamaha PES1 Electric Street Bike Is a Runner Yamaha PES1 electric concept 01 635x475

Looks Like the Yamaha PES1 Electric Street Bike Is a Runner Yamaha PES1 electric concept 02 635x475

Looks Like the Yamaha PES1 Electric Street Bike Is a Runner Yamaha PES1 electric concept 04 635x475

Source: Yamaha

Comment:

  1. Paul McM says:

    Love it. Give me higher bars and make that donut-hole faux gas tank capable of holding gloves and a six-pack and you could have the ultimate city-bike. Interesting that a belt is used rather than a chain.

    This thing makes my DR650 look pre-historic. Hope it gets into production… with adjustable ergos and higher spring rates for North American riders.

  2. Paul McM says:

    Love it. Give me higher bars and make that donut-hole faux gas tank capable of holding gloves and a six-pack and you could have the ultimate city-bike. Interesting that a belt is used rather than a chain.

    This thing makes my DR650 look pre-historic. Hope it gets into production… with adjustable ergos and higher spring rates for North American riders.

  3. paulus says:

    Let’s hope it is released before the governments cut subsidies for electric vehicles… this would be a fun city bike.

  4. MikeD says:

    PEPSI BIKE ! . . . . oh, wait . . .what now ? ! (o_O)’

    I like it (and that’s saying a lot coming from a regular EV Hater), so . . . how much $ ?

  5. TexusTim says:

    whats cool about electric bikes is they have so much room to grow, this is the future and the best platform for electric locomotion is motorcycles..once these things can get around 200 miles on a charge and maybe a little larger then serious track days or hill country rides would rock !

  6. Gutterslob says:

    All these new electrics have such nice frames.

  7. RL says:

    Those wheels are the biz. Also, keep the low bars and the sporty look, Zero already makes all the boring, ergo-friendly e bikes we need. And no one buys them.

  8. FranktheTank says:

    Looks amazing!! Truely hope they make this and not stray too far from the concept design ( and of course keep the price …. reasonable ). I think EV bikes need a futuristic yet elegant designed bike to make them more appealing. I’m not impressed with many of the other designs out there now. This bike, if made, is going to be perfect fo me in Hawaii. Where I don’t have too much range anxiety.

  9. Gear lever but no clutch. Huh? Not entirely sure why we need a gearbox at all for something that does 60mph.

    Looks like fun. But can we please also have something that is properly aerodynamic. And perhaps recumbent. Think Akira, rather than Transformers.

  10. johnrdupree says:

    @Julian, for a bike like this, a lightweight city bike that tops out around 60mph, adding a bunch of aero would be counter productive. You wouldn’t get any benefit until you were above 45mph or so, and the weight of the bodywork would be a detriment every time you wanted to speed up. In this case, keeping it light is better.

  11. Jake F. says:

    Can we infer from this post that more ST:TNG references was a bullet point in the annual A&R development strategy session? Make it so, number 1.

  12. Richard Gozinya says:

    @Paul, Yeah, seems like a no brainer, this definitely looks more city bike/commuter than anything else, but for some reason they missed a pretty obvious way to improve functionality.

    @ RL, E bikes of any kind aren’t selling all that well, the reasons having nothing to do with ergonomics. They’re expensive for what they can do, and motorcycles aren’t really big among the hardcore eco-geeks, who are the primary buyers of EVs.

    As far as this thing goes, I’m skeptical. It’s either using some new super high energy density battery, or has a very short range. It’s just too light to have much juice if it’s using run of the mill lithium batteries. Depending on how much this thing costs, it could be a big success.

  13. Sam Adams says:

    Were there ever any doubts about Honda being behind the Mugen Shinden? Mugen was started by Soichiro Honda’s son and they’ve been tuning Hondas forever.

  14. Mosquito says:

    All I want for Christmas…

  15. Admiral Obvious says:

    @Sam Adams: Dude, I know. I don’t understand my people keep stating it’s a rumor that Honda is involved.

    If a mysterious car showed up at the ‘Ring with fuggin AMG stickers plastered all over it, would anyone in this planet believe that it’s not a Mercedes?

  16. Paul McM says:

    Quote: “Keeping it light is better” — John is dead on. I want to sit high and I don’t need a bunch of aero panels to scratch. I have a VFR800 and ST1100 and DR650. I pick the DR for almost all trips under 10 miles because it is light, easy to maneuver, easy to park, easy to lane-split. The suspension travel is actually useful in the city with potholes, speed bumps. I currently get by with a small tail pack, so one doesn’t need a lot of storage. Put hard sides and a locking lid on that fake tank and you’re good to go. My typical in-city mileage is under 15 per day. Something like this eBike would be perfect — if it is affordable.

    @johnrdupree says: For a bike like this, a lightweight city bike that tops out around 60mph, adding a bunch of aero would be counter productive. You wouldn’t get any benefit until you were above 45mph or so, and the weight of the bodywork would be a detriment every time you wanted to speed up. In this case, keeping it light is better.

  17. Singletrack says:

    Zero and Brammo’s days are numbered once the established brands take electrics seriously.
    The details on this bike are beautiful, and I would bank on the reliability and warranty of a Yamaha over Zero any day.

    Still, it’s just a 7/8 scale Moto3 bike, but a fun toy nonetheless. Now if Yamaha can bring the electric dirt bike to North America for around $5000, then you’d start to see a real market open up.

  18. Doug says:

    Recumbents are a really bad idea for the street unless you want to see how many times you get run over. On the track is different

    I really like the use of negative space.

  19. Ed Gray says:

    If that is the real sound I am jazzed. One of the bast things about bikes for me is the engine sounds. I have been dreading the eventual end of those sounds. However I think I could find the sound in this vid fairly exciting. The reduction of loud bikes on the street could do wonders for the impressions of the general public too. I have had my eyes opened on this topic recently. A young dude has moved in down the street from my house, who is constantly (yeah I know it’s an exaggeration) blasting around with his friends in their hot rod diesel pickup trucks. I am absolutely positive they think the trucks are the coolest thing in the world not annoying smelly noisy… you get the point we also can be annoying. They have no idea that also know exactly how slow they are.

  20. Richard Gozinya says:

    @Singletrack I think Zero and Brammo’s problem is that they’re trying to put out a big company product, on a small company budget. Zero has been especially bad with this, putting out a budget product at a premium price. A smarter move would be to put out a product intended more for the Ducati, or MV Agusta market, than the Honda market.

  21. Sam Adams says:

    @Admiral Obvious.

    Exactly.

  22. Congratulations to Yamaha for coming to the table with something cool looking and runner to boot. Brammo is happy to see the incumbent OEMs participating in the future of their industry… good strategy!

    However, I’m not quite shaking in my boots over a 60mph, 2-speed, 40-50 mile max range commuter bike that looks racy… They’re going to have to try a little harder to impress me. Or… they can bring that prototype to one of our races and prove to everyone what it’s capable of… Yamaha? Yeah… I’m talkin’ to you…

  23. Miguel says:

    It’s practically impossible (with today’s battery technology) to have an electric motorcycle weighing 100kg and doing more than ’60mph and40-50 mile max range’. The PES1 probably has a 3kW or 5kW motor (that’s about 4.5 to 7.5HP) and probably the size of a TZ125 (that’s also the reason it’s light, look how thin the tyres are). It’s practically a 50CC! And the range must be less that 15 miles in a circuit.
    It can’t just be compared to a Brammo and much less a Mungen. And the price should still be quite high (today’s electric bicycles with a 3/5kW motor cost more than 6000$…) compared to a internal combustion engine motorcycle.
    I have nothing against electric motorcycles, I would love to have a Brammo, a Mungen or a Mission.

  24. M&M Customs says:

    Hey BrammoBrian,
    How about that challenge to Richard Hatfield of Lightning motorcycles? I’m pretty sure he will take you up on that in a heart beat.

  25. M&M Customs,
    Ok. We raced against Lightning in the 2011 and 2012 seasons when we won our NA and World TTXGP Championships. You’d have to ask Richard why Lightning didn’t show up to any of the NA races this season. They were missed. We found some challengers elsewhere though as we raced gas bikes in AFM this season…
    https://www.brammo.com/blogs/?p=1916

  26. Bob says:

    @BrammoBrian

    “However, I’m not quite shaking in my boots over a 60mph, 2-speed, 40-50 mile max range commuter bike…”

    Aren’t those basically the specs of your Enertia bike?

  27. JimBob says:

    @BrammoBrian

    “However, I’m not quite shaking in my boots over a 60mph, 2-speed, 40-50 mile max range commuter bike…”

    Aren’t those basically the specs of your Enertia bike?

  28. yung says:

    @BrammoBrian

    Until they have Shelina…they lose!

  29. ^^ I LOVE this guy!!! :D #winning! Yung, you Rock!!

    and to Bob, yes, basically the Enertia specs, and while I absolutely love my Enertia for the fun factor…. my Empulse is definitely the “real” motorcycle. Better handling, power, range, etc, So… Yamaha has to come up with something better than Brammo’s “old” technology to be real competition.

  30. Keith says:

    There is a good reason for an electric motor to have a gear box and clutch…you can get more speed and more range that way. Like ICE engines electric motors suck more just the faster they spin. Hopefully they are being smart and NOT use a DC brushed motor. For efficiency and power you can’t beat a brushless AC motor. Mr. Tesla proved that over 100 years ago.