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.

EPA Document Lists a 636cc 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R

08/27/2012 @ 1:56 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

EPA Document Lists a 636cc 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 6R 2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 6R chassis 635x476

The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is set to return to a 636cc displacement, according to a spreadsheet released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With alleged spy shots of the new ZX-6R already hitting the press, the supersport-class bike noticeably takes a design cue from its liter-bike counterpart — a move that should surprise no one.

Listed by the EPA as making 129 hp (96.4 kW) at the crank, the move to have the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R be a 636cc displacement machine is interesting, as the EPA’s document does not list a 599cc Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6RR analog, something the Japanese brand did last time it bumped its middleweight’s displacement figure beyond the norm.

Not a true 600cc-class machine, Kawasaki will have a hard time racing the ZX-6R in any proper supersport class here in the United States, though we doubt it would be hard for Team Green to get the bike homologated for AMA Pro Racing’s Daytona SportBike class mash-up, but that’s not saying much.

Other pieces of information gleaned from the EPA’s document is that the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R has a 13,500 rpm red line, optional ABS, four-cylinders, and four-valves per cylinder. Expect the new 6R to debut this fall, at either the INTERMOT or EICMA show.

Source: EPA

Comment:

  1. johnny says:

    It’s great. Make a difference rather than stick with a defined category ;).

  2. DeezToolz says:

    13.5k redline? Are we going backwards? I thought the current iteration has a 15.5k redline?

    You sure they plan to make an I4?

  3. Bob says:

    I don’t get it. I know the major OEM’s don’t really care about their 600′s but what’s the benefit of going to a 636?

  4. MikeD says:

    @Bob:

    Trying REALLY HARD to be the 2013 600cc I-4 ODD Ball ?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    IMPO: 36cc more ? ! , MEH….BFD. Maybe if they went 650 or more…or TRIPLE…they used to make some wicked triples, albeit 2 smokes.

    If they are making that HP # at 2k rpm lower they have made some progress there. Can 36cc more really make such difference ? If so, impressive.

    ALSO, i hope they re-dress the whole thing cause the current bike looks horrible, wich i doubt after seeing the “spy shots” of the ’13 model. Liked previous generation style way better…it looked racy w/o hurting the eyes.

    I hope too they finally bring the Versys 1000 State side…looks like something i see myself riding in 5 years or so if i can’t afford me a lightly used Super Tenere…would like it better if it had a drive-shaft instead of that needy chain.

    Rumors of the current Ninja 250 growing to 300 ? Looking forward to it too…specially if EFI becomes standard and ABS an option.

    Can’t wait for October and November to get here.

  5. 2ndclass says:

    In terms of racing, I’d imagine Kawasaki will stockpile frames and engines of the current 599cc machine for teams to use. Just because it’s not the current model doesn’t mean it can’t be raced.

    ^^^And anyone who’s ever ridden one will tell you that the 36cc does make a difference. The old 636 models had noticeably gruntier motors.

  6. Frenchie says:

    I agree, if these numbers are true (redline 13,500 rpm, 129 hp) it seems that Kawi is going backwards, on the last 636 model (2005-2006) the redline was 16,000 rpm and power at the crank was 130 hp…

  7. MikeD says:

    @Frenchie:

    Going back on the Tach ? Sure

    But think again….less RPM + same HP output = more efficient/powerful engine and u don’t have to wring it’s neck as hard as before to get the same results.

  8. Damo says:

    @Frenchie

    MikeD is right. If you make the same power lower you have a much more usable powerband, which is the main issue with today’s rev hungry middle weights.

  9. Frenchie says:

    Good points.
    That would be a complete change of philosophy, going back to 636cc and playing on torque instead of adding 500 rpm redline and 2.7 hp at each supersport iteration.

  10. Just had a thought about the RPM and power figures. Does anyone remember what happened when the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R came to America?

  11. MikeD says:

    I hope they “made their homework and studied” this time around before handing in their test sheets.

    But….and that’s very unlikely….if they have put an “electronic lid” on it to keep it at lower RPM to comply with 2013 noise and emissions standards and the thing still produces the same power………THEN……..if u UN-CORK IT (higher RPM = more HP ) it will probably RAPE the other 600s. Is being said that the smaller the bike the more felt any performance increment ?

    Just thinking out-loud. Nothing but pure speculation and conjecture of my part.

  12. MikeD says:

    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/589/14124/Motorcycle-Article/2013-Kawasaki-Ninjas-Times-Square-Debut.aspx

    Jensen, i don’t know if linking is allowed in this case…please, proceed as u see fit. (^_^)
    Seems that Kawasaki will drop a couple of “NEW bombs” September 13 on NY Times Square.
    Maybe we won’t need to wait for Intermot or EICMA ? !

  13. MikeD…no worries on the links….you must have missed the follow-up article on the Ninja 300.

  14. 2013 zx6r says:

    Amazing what a bit of lighting an image will do. This is the 2013 zx6r, you can see the side indicators. Baby zx10r.

    http://i.imgur.com/4R7yK.jpg

  15. MikeD says:

    @2013 zx6r:

    Im gonna be the “Negative Nancy” here and say that’s the 300 and not the 636…i don’t think they woud “risk” xposing their pretty little refreshed 600 darling just like that.

    Hope im wrong………….because i sure as hell want to see new “stuff” start to leak by now.
    If both models are going basically with the SAME ZX-10R look my “claim” is total vaporware.

  16. Nick Fotopoulos says:

    I searched that EPA document and found zilch about the 636 in there. Maybe it’s changed since you first viewed it. The only ZX listed is the ZX-10R…

  17. Yup. One the news got out, the document got cleaned out of all the good bits.