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?

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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

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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.

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 – 132hp – $12,995

09/27/2011 @ 3:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848   132hp   $12,995 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 635x475

Ducati has released pricing and power specs for the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 here in the US, and the fighter’d version of the Superbike 848 is interestingly priced at $12,995 MSRP, the same price as the Superbike 848 EVO “Dark” or $1,000 less than the colored Superbike 848 EVOs, which retail for $13,995. Making 8hp less than the current Superbike 848 EVO, the Ducati Streetfighter 848′s motor makes 132hp and 69 lbs•ft of torque on Ducati’s dynos, just 23hp shy of the current Streetfighter 1098. Additionally, the Ducati Streetfighter 848 will tip the scales at 373 lbs dry (439 lbs wet), the same weight figure quoted for the current Ducati Streetfighter 1098.

As we stated when the Ducati Streetfighter 848 first broke cover, the positioning on the smaller Streetfighter was going to be critical and difficult for Ducati. The Bologna brand not only has to balance the the Streetfighter 848 against the Superbike 848 EVO, but also against the Monster 1100 EVO as well, which retails for $11,995. With the Streetfighter 848 getting lower-spec suspension and brakes compared to the Superbike 848 EVO (along with a presumably smaller airbox resulting in less power), Ducati seems to be hoping that the standard traction control on the SF848 will help distinguish the Streetfighter from its Superbike compatriot, which has no Ducati Traction Control (DTC) option.

The Monster 1100 EVO of course comes with DTC, but its less powerful air-cooled motor, and less aggressive styling presumably suit a different buyer as well. The same can also be said between the Streetfighter series and the Superbike series, as the two bikes tout different purposes of riding, and generally attract riders of differing two-wheeled aspirations. All of this of course makes a three-way titter-totter, which Ducati hopes it has evenly balanced between the three models.

Perhaps more interesting than Ducati pinning its hopes on leveling the seesaw wtih the Streetfighter 848′s traction control system, is what we have yet to see from the Italy. Gearing up for the EICMA show in Milan, A&R knows for certain that there are still some tricks left in Ducati’s bag, especially when it comes to the larger Ducati Streetfighter and the Ducati Superbike 848 EVO. With the way the Euro is performing in the currency markets, especially against the dollar, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some price adjustments as well from the Italian company as well. Stay tuned.

Source: Ducati

Comment:

  1. Toby says:

    Current Streetfighter 1098 is 23 hp more than the SF848, not 13.

  2. Damo says:

    Kinda pricey for that level of performance. Not outrageous, but mildly overpriced.

  3. Cpt.Slow says:

    Nice, not the yello… personally.

  4. Jason says:

    Apparently this has a baby version of the Multistrada/Diavel engine, an 849cc Testastretta 11deg. People like the smooth power delivery of the big Testastretta 11deg, I’m curious to see what people think of the baby one. Hopefully it helps the bike make more sense at low speeds…

  5. MikeD says:

    SO, does it comes with the 15k miles valve check intervals like the 11* 1200 ?

  6. >> the Ducati Streetfighter 848 will tip the scales at 373 lbs dry (439 lbs wet)

    Really? There is a 66 pound difference between the wet weight and the dry weight? That sort of gives a whole new meaning to “leaded fuel.”

    They must have gotten that weight with all fluid removed from the cooling system, the crankcase, shocks, forks, and hydraulic brakes. Even then it’s hard to believe that there is this large a difference.

  7. Damo says:

    @MikeD

    I believe is does come with the long valve check intervals, which I think is the best part about the Testastretta. I am surprised Ducati isn’t using that more in their advertising.

    This is like the practical Ducati sport naked. Kinda weird that they still make the Monster and the Streetfighter, now that I think about it.

    The 1998 era Monster is still one of my favorite bikes Ducati made.

  8. akatsuki says:

    Clear sign that the new 1199 and 849 or whatever are going to be a lot more expensive. Still a crap deal since you’d be better off just picking up an 848 Dark instead.

  9. Rob says:

    The 848 Stealth will get a $1k bump in MSRP for 2012 to separate it from its naked brethren. So basically all 848Evos will be 13.9k and the SF848 will be 12.9k

  10. 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 – 132hp – $12,995 – http://aspha.lt/ut #motorcycle

  11. buellracerx says:

    Well I just hope they’re not trying to justify this price with that paint job, holy ugly.

    take away the TC, I can handle 135hp…

  12. Giova says:

    If you compare the perfomance, price and the service intervalas between the Monster 1100 and the 848 SF it is not a bad deal. $1k more than the Monster 1100.

  13. hoyt says:

    Having “a three-way titter-totter” is smart. There are distinct riders for the Monster & Street Fighter, but there are those that could go either way. The cost of manufacture for having this variety shouldn’t be that great if they can use a good % of parts at least between the SF range.

  14. DareN says:

    I think that yellow is a bad choice for Ducati. They should have gone further and do the neon green, like the BMW 1000RR. I ,personally, have hoped that they will still have white, which looked grear with dark frame / engine.

  15. So if I have a 2009 Monster 1100, does it make sense for me to upgrade to this or is the jump not sufficient? It was just knocked over and I’m replacing the broken parts with Rizoma gear. Should I cancel that?

  16. Steven Oliver says:

    @Max Zuckerman
    I’d keep your monster. I see no reason to trade down.

  17. @Steven Oliver, thanks man! Why do you see it as a trade down? Just because of the engine displacement or is there something else you’re referring to?

  18. MikeD says:

    @Max:

    Get your Monster straight and rolling…then try the SF 848 when a demo becomes available…nothing like a test ride to tell if it’s for u or not.

  19. @MikeD You’re totally right, I’ll keep it for a bit and get an SF848 demo when it comes out. It probably isn’t helping that I made the new stealth matte black model my desktop background, haha.

  20. john says:

    @jensen

    you asked me to come back to you in two months about the announced 1098 sf replacement. i think you have to find more serious sources in the future before shout out assumed facts ! ;-) the replacement you meant is something for my 13/14…