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.

Who is the World’s Third Largest Motorcycle Manufacturer?

05/21/2012 @ 5:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Who is the Worlds Third Largest Motorcycle Manufacturer? third largest motorcycle manufacturer

Let’s play a game for a minute. Who is the third largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world? One of the Big Four maybe (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, & Yamaha), that is after all what their name implies, right? Maybe you think it is a European manufacturer, like BMW or Triumph? If these were any of your answers, thank you for playing, but please try again.

With Japanese manufacturers closing their books on the 2011 fiscal year, the counting of the bikes sold worldwide has closed, and Bajaj Auto is now officially the world’s third largest motorcycle brand by volume. Behind only Honda (the world’s largest motorcycle brand) and Hero MotoCorp (India’s largest motorcycle brand), who are first and second respectively, Bajaj sold a total of 3.8 million units in 2011.

Make no mistake that its domestic market is a critical, large, and growing, but Bajaj’s success is not limited to India alone. Exporting 1.27 million units abroad, that figure from equates to over one-third of Bajaj’s sales coming from other markets, which helps Bajaj account for 10% of all motorcycles sold globally.

Leading these sales is the Bajaj Dream, which sold 1.5 million unit last year. Also helping the bottom line is Bajaj’s 47% ownership of KTM, which continues to find traction outside of its European borders. Looking to expand in the coming years, Bajaj hopes to account for 30% of the world’s motorcycle sales, and already is the market leader in 12 of the 35 countries it exports into.

While the American market continues to bicker over Harley-Davidsons vs. Metrics, Indian motorcycle manufacturers like Bajaj and Hero are quietly positioning themselves to be the next industry leaders worldwide.

Source: Bike Advice

Comment:

  1. Kevin D says:

    …. and this is why I’m seriously considering a Bajaj Pulsar 135LS for my next bike.

  2. BBQdog says:

    And I am considering the Bajaj, ehmm KTM Duke 350.

  3. Tony says:

    I had a Bajaj 200cc bike while living in the Philippines. It was reliable and handled well and although the styling left a lot to be desired it was an excellent commuter and about $2000 brand new!
    If they could start selling in mature markets and keep the price low…………….

  4. JoeD says:

    I’ll take quality over quantity. Even Honda festoons their bikes with cheap plastic chrome panels and covers while using rust prone fittings. One can almost see the rusting occur after a wash. Much like the 24 inch rim crowd- it must look good because there is no substance on the inside. I left for Europe long ago.

  5. irksome says:

    They’ll never thrive unless they add an archaic v-twin in 47 different iterations of the same bike…

  6. Who is the World's Third Largest Motorcycle Manufacturer? – http://t.co/5hE8tHRS #motorcycle

  7. Westward says:

    Electric manufacturers take note… Sell a bike for $3000, sell millions, sell one for $18,000 and sell fifty…

  8. helmets says:

    way to go bajaj. get that money.

  9. Vinod says:

    Hero motor corp and Bajaj sell their bikes mainly in India at affordable prices. The average selling price is $1000 per bike. They are mostly 100 to 125 cc bikes and are purely commuter bikes with focus on mileage. These bikes will give you a mileage of approximately 136 miles per gallon. So they sell like hot cakes. Here only Indian companies dominate this segment. In-fact Here motor corp’s bikes use Honda’s motors including the scooter motor. Hero and Bajaj do not have engine capacity more than 225cc. Lets see how they fare if they upgrade to bigger capacities.

    But if you come to 150 cc segment, there are equal offerings from all the manufacturers. Right now the hottest offering is from Yamaha, its called FZ-16 & FZ-S. Its a very successful model in India and outshines every other 150 cc bikes in India. You can check the link below,

    http://www.yamaha-motor-india.com/product/fzs/index.html

    http://www.yamaha-motor-india.com/product/fz16/index.html

  10. Grant Madden says:

    The early Japanese bikes looked like crap and were cheap and reliable to start with too.Lets see where this will lead us eh?