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.

Video: In-Depth Look at the New 2011 Suzuki GSX-R750

01/18/2011 @ 2:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Video: In Depth Look at the New 2011 Suzuki GSX R750 2011 Suzuki GSX R750 635x452

Derek Schoeberle, our favorite Suzuki media personality, is back with a feature walk-through on the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R750 (catch his video on the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 as well). Like the GSX-R600, Suzuki continues to make improvements to its 750cc track weapon, namely in the form of weight reduction and mild aesthetic overhauling.

Rotating the 750cc motor backwards by 3°, Suzuki was able to shorten the wheelbase on the GSX-R750 by 15mm, and bring the front axle closer to the swingarm pivot point. With a bevy of small weight savings throughout the bike (including Brembo monobloc brakes), the new Suzuki GSX-R750 shaved 21 lbs in component weight from its bulk (a weight loss breakdown is after the jump), and tips the scales 17 lbs less than its 2010 counterpart.

The 2011 Suzuki GSX-R 600′s Diet List:

  • Lighter Frame — 3 lbs
  • Lighter Swingarm — 2 lbs
  • Lighter Front Forks — 2.3 lbs
  • Lighter Wheels, Brakes, and Rear Suspension — 4.5 lbs
  • Lighter Bodywork — 7 lbs
  • Lighter Exhaust System — 2.4 lbs

Source: Suzuki

Comment:

  1. Faster1 says:

    As nice as it is, I’m confused by ,, why it exists. There is no direct race competition,, I can not race it in any of the 600 classes and you wouldn’t want to race in the liter classes,, so aside from a rare 750 cup series, why make a hardcore race bike? Every component is designed for the track,, and at best, it’s a hugely compromised street-bike. How can it be anything other than a huge money loser for Suzuki?
    Again, I really like it, but unless YamaHondKaw make a hyper-sports 750 again,, it’s pointless,, and I would either go 600 of 1000, like most of the world.

  2. For starters the GSX-R750 has a huge cult following with track enthusiasts. And since the 750 is basically a re-sleeved GSX-R600 the two bikes share a huge number of components, making the 750 relatively cheap to mass produce.

  3. Nick says:

    Just like Jensen says – it is the perfect track bike for someone who doesn’t want a liter bike.

    You’d have to double the cost of the 600 in aftermarket tuning to get the HP of the 750… yet the bike is only a a couple of Ks more and weighs essentially the same as the 600.

    You’d have to be insane to buy GSXR600 over the 750 unless you were going to race it.

  4. Den. says:

    What’s an “axel” ?

  5. Trent says:

    Agree. The GSX-R 750 is a serious (maybe the ultimate) track weapon. On most tracks the 600 loses out to the 1000s on the straights, but the 1000 is really TOO much. The 750 is perfect.

  6. Steven Oliver says:

    I’d have to disagree that it has no competition. With the new onslaught of 800cc bikes from Yahama (albeit naked) this bike still presents an interesting alternative. Honestly I assume more competition is coming. I don’t expect this class to stay dormant for long. A naked 800 or a fully clothed 750?

  7. Damo says:

    One of my riding partners is 5’5″ and weighs about 130lbs soaking wet, he is a huge GSXR750 fan. He likes the near liter power of the 750 packed into the small frame of a 600. That is his reason anyway.

    I agree that Suzuki has to lose money on this bike, just due to the “middle-ground” location in the market demographic. I feel the same way about the Yamaha FZ8. Why the hell would you buy the FZ8 over the FZ1? It is almost the same bike at a very close price point.

  8. Odie says:

    I think bikes like the 848 and maybe the new MV Agusta F3 will be entering the niche occupied by the GSXR750. Seems to me the GSXR750 is solidly aimed at the hardcore trackday set. I don’t think the FZ8 is really in the same league as the Suzuki. At least on the track.

    I think there is a really big hole between 600s and liter bikes. I mean liter bikes are insane these days. 175hp for the detuned US ZX10R?!?!? Geezus!

  9. mdub says:

    I don’t think they lose money at all on the 750. They are the only producer of a 750cc repli racer so the market is all theirs. There are a growing number of people who know that a 1000cc is too much to start out with and you can outgrow a 600 so the 750 is the logical choice, and being the only one out there, the world is yours. I am willing to bet that Suzuki sells just as many 750′s as 600′s or 1000′s. They don’t have to be on the track to make money for Suzuki if they are all over the streets which they are including my 2005.