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.

Bimota Now Swiss Owned?

09/12/2013 @ 9:40 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Bimota Now Swiss Owned? 2013 Bimota DB8 Italia 03 635x421

Known just as much for its exotic motorcycles, as its tumultuous relationship with financial solvency, Bimota as a company is a bit of a quagmire. The Italian motorcycle house showed its racing chops with the Bimota HB4 Moto2 race bike, debuted a bevy of Ducati-powered models last year, and the Italians have branched out with the BMW S1000RR-powered Bimota BB2.

Now announcing a change in its ownership, Bimota has seemingly been bought by a still-unnamed Swiss financier. With production expected to stay in Rimini, Italy and with Italians said still to be managing the company, it seems that Bimota has just found a deeper wallet to extract cash from. At least, that what appears to be the case from Bimota’s bizarrely worded press release.

Rimini, September 12, 2013 – It’s been 40 years since the brilliant Massimo Tamburini and his partners Bianchi and Morri founded the legendary Bimota. 40 years of successes, defeats, tenacity made to serve an Italian dream, down to the known difficulties at the end of the last century. In 2002, a brave businessman from Milan took the lead of this tailored reality, uplifting it from its own ashes and giving it a new life. A new life marked by many victories and the development of cutting-edge motorcycles.

Now in its 40th anniversary Bimota makes a further step forward: picks up the baton a new management for Swiss Company name, but Italian for the people in charge, and is prepared, with extraordinary enthusiasm to continue the journey in the history of Bimota. Bimota, with Italian passport, will remain illustrious citizen of a nation known and appreciated for his passion and expertise of motorbikes. In few days will be issued an official statement where will be presented the new property.

Source: MCN

Comment:

  1. Phil says:

    Tis a shame they don’t produce their own engines

  2. Dewey says:

    Bimota became largely irrelevant once the Japanese manufacturers figured out how to actually build a chassis. The bikes that made the Bimota name a legend were the the HB1 and 2, the KB1 and 2, the SB and YB5. These bikes used the supremely reliable and powerful Japanese engines, housed in chassis that the Japanese lacked the experience/specific expertise to build at that time. Japanese reliability with Italian handling and style, at the time Bimota were the ONLY way to get all that in a streetbike. There was a reason beyond simply style to want a Bimota back then. Now, ALL manufacturers know how to build bikes that handle so the only thing that Bimota have going in their favor is exclusivity. For the people that seek true two-wheeled exotica and exclusivity (sit down, Ducati owners) they truly are the Ferrari of the bike world.

  3. paulus says:

    The Press release:
    A great example of why Google translate is just not quite there yet…

    I agree with Dewey, Bimota filled a requirement that is not there anymore. Chassis for poor handling sports bikes. However, their Vyrus model is a thing of beauty.

  4. Mr.X says:

    To invest in a small Italian Motorcycle company is to burn money.

  5. Damo says:

    The Bimota SB6 is still one of my favorite looking motorcycles of all time. Oddly enough you can actually find a few in America.

  6. Pedro says:

    Don’t care who owns it, just drop that hideous logo! Please!

  7. Dewey says:

    @Paulus:

    The Vyrus (any version) is indeed a beautiful machine but it is not a Bimota, it is sold by Vyrus, a company independent of Bimota and headed by one Ascanio Rodorigo. The Vyrus 984 (2-valve) is the same bike as the Bimota Tesi 2D. This is because the Tesi 2D is (was) actually built at the Vyrus facility, making it the only badge-engineered Bimota.

  8. Con says:

    I can think of worse ways to burn money.

  9. @Dewey – “For the people that seek true two-wheeled exotica and exclusivity (sit down, Ducati owners) they truly are the Ferrari of the bike world.”

    NCR seems to have more exotica than Bimota, even if NCR has less models.

    While the apparent lack of management involvement is alarming, companies with Bimota’s fundamental mindset are necessary in a relatively slow moving industry. Only until the Panigale was there a significant focus to drop weight. e.g. a 1993 CBR900RR had 124 hp & weighed 408 lbs; a 2009 BMW 1000RR has 193 hp & weighs 403 lbs. This is a 55% increase in hp, while the weight has only been reduced 1.2%. Hopefully, Bimota sees this as their next way to lead via FFEs