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.

Aprilia USA Slashes Prices on 2012 RSV4 & Tuono Models

01/31/2013 @ 2:38 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Aprilia USA Slashes Prices on 2012 RSV4 & Tuono Models Aprilia Tuono RSV4 R Jensen 635x422

Aprilia is getting serious with its sport bike offerings here in the United States, as we just got an email from Aprilia USA announcing massive price reductions on its 2012 model year Aprilia Tuono V4 RAprilia RSV4 R APRC, and Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC, to the tune of $2,000, $3,000, and $4,000 respectively. That’s right, you can get a Tuono V4 R for $12,999, an RSV4 R APRC for $13,999, and an RSV4 Factory APRC for $18,999 MSRP. Boom goes the dynamite.

Called the Aprilia V4All program, the latest pricing on the RSV4 and Tuono V4 is a very aggressive move from the Italian brand. Despite having segment-leading motorcycles in the RSV4 and Tuono machines, Aprilia has never shown much sales success for its efforts, and the fact that there are enough 2012 models still sitting on dealership floors to warrant this program in the first place is a telling sign into the sales troubles the brand has had in the US.

Hoping to tackle the problem with its price point, Aprilia USA hopes that buyers will give the Italian a second-look when buying a new sport bike this year. We suspect that the new price points will likely slot underneath the pricing on the 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC ABS and SBK Special Edition models, which presumably will be announced tomorrow by Aprilia USA.

Source: Aprilia USA; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Johndo says:

    I’d buy this over an R1, zx-10, Gixxer, any day. You get the performance, the looks and better ergonomics. And quite exclusive on top of that.

  2. Steve says:

    What Johndo said. You have to ride one to understand. Awesome bikes.

  3. MikeD says:

    Great for those on the market. Break a leg, guys…do it for those of us(me) that are too broke to ride this “train”. LOL.

  4. Potreroduc says:

    It can’t hurt. But man, the awesomeness of Aprilia’s bikes (and KTM’s for that matter too) is just not matched by their USA distribution, marketing, sales, and support. There’s just much lower brand awareness of Aprilia compared to other European makes (esp. BMW and Ducati).

    Some of this has to do with achieving a critical mass of bikes out there, so people simply just see more of them on the road. Hopefully this incentive will help with that.

    I’ve got to say that they have no one to blame but themselves for taking as long as they did to get the new Tuono to the US. A full year after Europe had it! That can’t be much of a help to sales. Those British bike mags that got me all excited about the Tuono were well on the bottom of the pile (or in the recycle bin) by then.

    In contrast, Ducati announces the Panigale in Nov ’11, and has product in American dealerships 5-7 months later in time for the riding season. That makes a huge difference!

    Also thinking that KTM is blowing it big time as well by not getting the new Adventure here this year.

  5. paulus - Thailand says:

    Aprilia’s are great… until you ditch it, or something goes wrong and you have to wait months for a part.
    No thanks… not even with the discounts.

  6. Johndo says:

    Theres a dealer near here, great service (they sell Suzukis and Moto Guzzi too). I wouldn’t be worried with an Aprilia like I would with an MV Agusta (heard nightmare stories about MV parts..never about Aprilia).

  7. Bob says:

    We (Pro Italia) sell and support Aprilia. They are fantastic bikes and we have minimal issues supporting them (and we sell quite a few). Hopefully this decrease in price will result in more people riding them and finding out just how good they are.

  8. Chris says:

    I’ve owned a 2011 RSV4-R since July, 2011. I’ve had one warranty issue which admittedly did result in a 1-month wait for a back-ordered part. I could be frustrated, but there’s an upside to the experience:

    When I called Aprilia USA customer service to express my concern, Terry was happy to confirm the delivery date of the back-ordered part into the US inventory from Italy, the date it was ordered by the dealer and he asked me to follow-up the following week. When I did, he confirmed the arrival of the part and provided the tracking number for the shipment to the dealer.

    Ive had other dealings with Aprilia USA on a different machine also, and I can say that that experience was also exceptional.

    In total, I’ve owned 3 Aprilias over the last 6 years, one totaled, one traded the the current bike. I’ll say they’re no better or worse than any of the other 10 bikes I’ve owned from Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and KTM. The trick is to know what quirks they might have and to have realistic expectations.

    I’ve got over 16,000 miles aboard the RSV4, and there’s nothing on the market I would consider trading it for except possibly a Tuono V4 – I had a chance to swap with a local owner and it gave up very little to the RSV in exchange for a much more street-friendly ergo.

  9. Dan says:

    Well the pricing sold me (Pro Italia helped here)! I have waited for Honda to give me what I wanted since purchasing a used 2002 VFR800 years ago…a modern, high end V4 sport bike! I just hope Aprilia ships quickly!

  10. Ben says:

    Looks like we’re getting ripped off in Aus! Even without the discount mentioned above. Bit over 30,000 to buy a Factory here from memory. Bit odd given the Aussie dollar’s been stronger than the US dollar for ages now.

    I was keen a couple of years back to try to buy an RSV4. Asked the local dealer about a test ride. He said it couldn’t happen. At about the same time my local Yamaha dealer arrived at my place one morning on his R1 demo. I rode it and sent him back to the shop with my requests for pipes etc. Picked it up a few days later. Hard to beat that salesmanship!

    Was no way I was going to buy a new bike that I couldnæt ride forst.

  11. Faust says:

    This has completely frozen my plans to get a 2013 848 Corse SE. I can get an RSV4R APRC for less money? I have some rethinking to do…

  12. DeezToolz says:

    As an existing owner who has far less electronics on my bike than the current model(s), I feel like my bike is doing what my house is doing. I owe more than it’s worth. Damn you, aprilia!

    I love your bikes, but you’re the only company arrogant enough not to capitalize your own proper name!

    The difference is that at least my house’s value should return in time.

  13. Viceroy_Fizzlebottom says:

    We have a whopping ONE Aprilia dealer in the state of Illinois. And it’s all the way down in Peoria, which is about 3 hours from Chicago. Not a single Aprilia dealer anywhere near Chicago land area which is where the majority of Illinois’ population resides. They need to fix this if they want to sell bikes in the U.S.

  14. Slangbuster says:

    I have some experience riding these on and off the track and would say without pause, that the Tuono is the best “all around ” motorcycle out of the box, I have ever ridden. If you are remotely in the market for something like this, go ride one….but leave your checkbook in the car.

  15. BBQdog says:

    Over here in Europe I know a dealer who bought 10 RSV4′s in 2011 and still got 6 of them unsold.
    They are piling up over here.

  16. Draganee Racing says:

    I bought a 2010 for the same $14k.. with no superduper electronics….a 2012 for the same price wiht all the good stuff, is unbelieveable….btw, i have flogged mine on the race track since new ( strickly a race bike) with no issues… thank you AF1 for assembling a fantastic race platform….

  17. MikeD says:

    @Faust:

    DITCH THE LUMPY DESMO !!!…………………..GO WITH V4 LE FOU !!!!!! \(^_^)/ Come to the darkER side, u know u want to !!!

  18. Certainly worth it just to get that engine. But I can understand those who don’t want to put up with the lack of dealership support like you get with the Japanese motorcycle in the US. Of course most Japanese bikes don’t need anything more than routine maintenance. I’ve never had a warranty issue on a Nippon manufactured bike, nor have I ever had a major part or engine failure. Nor have I even know anybody who’s ever had one, beyond those who’ve pushed the limits of engine performance beyond tolerances. Not sure how these Italian engines hold up when power is increased by 20%-30%

  19. Damo says:

    @Aaron

    I am with you on that. I have own several Japanese bikes and even the ones I ignored the regular maintenance on (I was young and lazy) NEVER had anything approaching and issue of any kind, aside from the occasional dead battery.

    That being said, these prices are a deal and a half! If I was in the market for a new Italian bike I just couldn’t justify paying more for an 848 than a shiny new RSV4 or a Tuono that cost less than a Streetfighter!