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.

2013 BMW HP4 Priced at $19,990*

10/02/2012 @ 12:55 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

2013 BMW HP4 Priced at $19,990* 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 119 635x423

Possibly the most lust-worthy sport bike of the year, the BMW HP4 has finally been priced by the Bavarians for the North American market. Clocking a $19,990 price tag MSRP, as usual, there is more to BMW’s pricing scheme than meets the eye.

While BMW plays its usual tricks, what is interesting is that despite all the add-ons, the BMW HP4 remains a relatively affordable premium sport bike. Punching just above the Ducati 1199 Panigale’s price tag, the German steed could easily justify its added cost with the inclusion of BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control, a semi-active suspension system.

Available in Q4 2012, the BMW HP4 comes with a variety of packages that significantly boost the HP4′s price into the mid-$20,000 range. We break down the cost of the packages and what you get with them, after the jump (mega photo gallery here).

BMW HP4 – Base Model ($19,990 MSRP): 

  • Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) semi-active suspension
  • Launch control
  • Akrapovic full titanium exhaust
  • Seven-spoke forged aluminum wheels in gloss black
  • Radial Brembo monobloc brake calipers
  • Race ABS with new IDM calibration
  • Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with new 14-step adjustability
  • Gear shift assistant

BMW HP4 – Standard Package ($20,525 MSRP):

  • All base model items
  • Pillion Rider Package that includes a rear seat and rear footrests to accommodate a rear pillion rider (priced at $285)
  • Heated Grips

The Premium Package ($24,995 MSRP):

  • All base model items
  • Competition Package (individually priced at $4,470):
    • HP carbon engine spoiler
    • HP carbon trim
    • HP folding clutch and brake levers
    • HP rider footrests – adjustable
    • Forged aluminum wheels in Racing Blue Metallic
  • Sponsor decal kit (not mounted)
  • Pillion Rider Package (described above)
  • Heated Grips

Optional extras: Heated grips ($250) & an anti-theft alarm ($395).

Source: BMW Motorrad

Comment:

  1. Afletra says:

    *jawdropped

  2. JCB says:

    wow. deal of the year. still fugly fairings.

    too bad I want my panigale R.

  3. Rich Melaun says:

    Amazing. If only I were young – and bullet-proof again.

    By the way, second sentence, second paragraph: “Punching just above the Ducati 1199 Panigale’s price tag, the German stead could easily….”

    I believe you mean, “Punching just above the Ducati 1199 Panigale’s price tag, the German *steed* could easily….”

    A steed is a horse. A stead is a person who takes the place of another.

  4. Afletra says:

    Even Panigale R looks lame when he face this alien. Ha.

  5. Bellini says:

    HP4 + Premium Package ordered… HA! :)

  6. richard says:

    No naked s1000rr announcement? I’m eagerly awaiting that.

  7. Jimmy Smith JR says:

    The color is horrible.

    Give us a tricolor red white blue!

  8. sburns2421 says:

    If $24,995 is “relatively affordable” (second paragraph), I guess I am more poor than I thought. Thanks for ruining my day.

  9. Bellini says:

    sburns2421,

    notice the use of “relatively” here. :)

    I guess affordable is not the right word… Perhaps “competitive” would have been better? The point is that, for what you get, the price is really aggressive and a great value.

    And man, that is easily one of the most stunningly beautiful superbikes ever made.

  10. Only an extra 300 bucks for a passenger seat and pegs, how sweet.

    Much as I appreciate what this BMW represents, instead of paying 24 grand, I think I’d buy an R1, then put 10 grand into the suspension, wheels, brakes, a race head and an exhaust system. Eat this Beamer for breakfast all day long, and then spend what’s left over on two years worth of gas :)

  11. Excuse me, that’s 25 grand, make that three years worth of high-octane gas for my 245 hp R1, that passes this BMW on one wheel at 200 mph with me waving as I go… bye-bye baby. :)

  12. Afletra says:

    @Aaron B. Brown
    Now that you mention it…I super-agree! Haha..

  13. Cobra says:

    @ Arron brown, I’m sorry but your comment about upgrading a R1 is a little far fetched. Lets say the R1 is $15k new out the door. Then the brembo mono’s are $3k, Ohlins Superbike forks (R/T Model) $10k or the basic ohlins $3k. Then full exhaust, filter, tune $2k. If you want internals engine mods the even more. Forged aluminum wheels $1.8 or magnesium $3k. So to get the R1 up to par cost more money. And you don’t DDC or the carbon parts. Bottom line is you can’t make things a cheap as the big manufacturer. Can you sell groceries cheaper than wal-mart? No why? Because they have leverage. However can you make a bike that is solely expressed by you thats different.

  14. choski says:

    Bellini! WTF! this bike may be incredible but it is FUGLY! The Panigale in red is a head turner, gorgeous, and will score chicks.

  15. William says:

    Where can I order this bike and whats the ETA on arriving in the states?