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.

“Bullshit Hipster Bike Videos” – A Tumblr Blog

02/07/2014 @ 12:06 pm, by Aakash Desai23 COMMENTS

“Bullshit Hipster Bike Videos”   A Tumblr Blog hipster trap 635x423

The “hipster” – legitimate cultural phenomena or overused punch line? As the young and the over-caffeinated discover ever more banal and superficial means of self-expression and fronting authenticity, the rest of society looks on in disgust.

Current trends indicate that the proliferation of hipsterdom has spurred on a parallel industry of bloggers, commentators, and inspired cynics to reaction. The quantity of rolled-eyes and judgmental stares is proportionally tracking the sales in raw denim and aviators.

Bullshit Hipster Bike Videos” is a relative newcomer to the cacophony of grumpy social critics incensed at the sight of the displaced café lumberjack. Since its inception in August of 2013, the author of the blog has excoriated these neo-café racers, amateur moto-philosophers, and urban aesthetes with their penchant for “classic” metal.

Motorcycling has provided fertile ground for the young, urban, and bearded (aka “Yubbies”) to enact their perennial fantasies of individualism, historical cultural authenticity and freedom.

For some unfathomable reason, the Yubbies have managed to fold in motorcycling as a natural ancillary activity to their preoccupations in crepe-soled leather boots, piercings, coffee, and toeing the contradiction between drinking working-class and/or craft beer.

I’m not really bothered with it all. If folks want to front a vintage style whilst filming their weekly city boulevard cruise, thinking themselves a hybrid of Brando, McQueen, and Paul Bunyan, then so be it; there are far worse things to fantasize about.

Comment:

  1. AdamK says:

    I love the image. Good shit, man!

  2. Gabe T says:

    Literally laughed out loud at that image….classic.

  3. billl murray perhaps you've seen me in some movies? says:

    you of course are not counted among these “amateur moto-philosophers” right jensen?

  4. Bluey says:

    alright, say what ya will about hipsters and their mc videos, hipsters are at least an open-minded bunch. actively searching for their own kind of ‘authenticity’ is cool with me.

    bring on all the stubbly faces and butter-smooth hands feigning biker legitimacy in slow motion videos posing beside someone else’s project cafe racer. bring it on! it’s cool enough to inspire real interest in motorcycling.

    for all those who can’t get over new faces and ideas within our beautiful lifestyle, get over yourselves. there’s room here for everyone.

  5. amateur moto-philosopher: one who attempts to find higher meaning – to life and existence – in the literal and elemental facts of motorcycles and motorcycling. Hence, we see titles such as “Blood and Oil” and “Iron and Resin.” These people also tend to randomly quote T.E. Lawrence to some how add significance to their “life-changing” hobby.

  6. B.D.McGee says:

    Three cheers for BSHV. I find it uproariously funny and accurate.
    Someone needed to say it.

  7. Hey thanks for the link you guys, we’re working on a non tumblr version. Too bad we didn’t have it ready in time.

  8. Banned says:

    2 possible annoyances –

    the cost of a cheap, knock around/get around town ride will shoot through the rough like what happened to Puch’s. They went from “FREE get it out of my garage” to a few grand on craigslist.

    The Dirtbag challenge will have to contend with both RUBs (because that’s already happening), and now hipsters turning it into some trendy event.

  9. meatspin says:

    i cant watch. The germans call it Fremdscham.

    Still, I’ve seen worse, and these folks showcased in these videos are completely harmless. They really do know how to keep their scene and their fun times going.

  10. Norm G. says:

    they’re at least riding ICE (ice baby) and not trying to sh!#t electrons if that’s worth anything.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “For some unfathomable reason, the Yubbies have managed to fold in motorcycling as a natural ancillary activity to their preoccupations in crepe-soled leather boots, piercings, coffee…”

    …and hair care products. god forbid you forget Paul Mitchell.

  12. smiler says:

    Anyone would think A&R have become British.

    Anything that gets more people interested in motorcycling, employing more people in the industry and promoting it is fine with me.

    Let’s face it most Hog riders are the same but worse.

    Oh and unlike the bikerboyz morons they do not intimidate and try to kill people who disagree with the puerile antics.

  13. jeram says:

    I was listening to a radio show about hipter-ism last week. was very interesting and informative as I, myself, am quasi-hipster.

    there is alot of poser hipster-ism present at the momment and the true meaning of being a hipster is slowly being lost as it is replaced by only the aethetic side of hipsterism.

    I know know that Hipster-ism at its core is a blend of sincerity and sarcasm.
    The sincerity includes logic steps to reduce our impact on the world though eating local foods and supporting community involvement.
    The sarcasm includes taking swipes at society mainly through aesthetics (clothing and consumables) and their attitude (‘stick it to the man’, 80′s punk style)

    I learnt alot during that hour segment and have a greater appreciation for hipster-ism now.
    Its just a pity that the true meaning is being being diluted now and that the ‘time of the hipster’ is coming to and end after 15 years and will likely be replaced by a pure sincere culture which is likely already in its grass roots stages (according to experts).

  14. tony says:

    norm? calling norm! come on ! be smart! be funny! dig deep- let em have it!

  15. SBPilot says:

    @Jeram: Like many other things that begin as grassroots, once it popularizes, it gets diluted and commercialized, eventually becoming social norm and mainstream.

    The Punk/Ska/Skater style back in the 90′s suffered same fate. The music, the brands associated with the sub culture etc. became diluted and eventually all went mainstream. Brands like Billabong, Quicksilver, DVS, etc. became available at your mall, where as before, they were unknown brands. Remember, all those mixed skate/board videos with ska music?

    Hipster is going through that phase as well, except, instead of skateboards, you have motorcycles, same over priced apparel, and even the edited motorcycling videos to go with it all.

    Many sub cultures go through this.

  16. Paul McM says:

    I want to give the creator of this BS Bike Videos Blog a medal. Daring to speak the truth, I nearly got tossed from Pipeburn after noting that one of the hipster bikes was completely unrideable, and all the customizations showed evidence of pathetic fabricating skills and bad aesthetics. The self-important videos are so laughable. Fashionista guys on ratty (but expensive) machines, wearing stupid helmets, acting like their lifestyle is somehow profound and rebellious and important. In fact they are just geeky poseurs who waste money on stupid stuff and, well, simply don’t seem to understand that stuff that works is better than “hip” stuff that doesn’t work.

  17. twoversion says:

    Saw an “artisan hand made” 1700 dollar motorcycle jacket today that had no armor of any kind and some Bell generic tshirts that were 30 for made in some other land and 40 for made in USA and I just thought WTF!?!

    But then again Vance and Hines released and Iphone interface that can reflash the factory ecu for Harleys so not all hipster driven things are suck.

  18. veetwin says:

    “toeing the contradiction between drinking working-class and/or craft beer”. So true.

  19. John Mith says:

    @tony

    Well played sir. I as well look forward to Norm’s commentary on this.

    I’m not a fan of the concept of defined subcultures and desperately conforming into them. Hipsters are just another group of people trying to fit in by not fitting in. There is something to admire of course with their not fitting in but that gets lost when they emulate one another so often and become so predictable. Of course it’s always worked this way. I’m sure many of us remember the Goths, Emo’s and countless other subcultures that emulated on another, inbreeding themselves into extinction.

  20. Andrew says:

    Awesome blog, thanks for sharing!

  21. paulus says:

    Motorcyclists – a multitude of individuals, many groups of sub-cultures… millions of individuals; each and every member of the sub-group all demonstrating how individual we are…. by dressing and behaving the same as our clan.

    Power ranger sport riders
    Flip front clad adventure riders
    Land pirates
    … now hipsters

    We are doomed. Best go ride to ease the pain.

  22. HenryJLittlefinger says:

    Congrats, HNasty.
    And thanks Aakash for spreading the gospel.

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