Kevin Schwantz Tests Suzuki XRH-1 MotoGP Bike at COTA, While Randy De Puniet Matches Pace of Open Bikes

Suzuki’s MotoGP test team took advantage of the presence of the MotoGP paddock at Austin to plan a test directly after the Grand Prix of the Americas. Under the watchful eye of team manager Davide Brivio, the team planned to have test rider Randy De Puniet put in three days of testing at a circuit, as the team had not yet tested the Suzuki XRH-1 at COTA, in a bid to gather more data ahead of their return to the series in 2015. Unfortunately for Suzuki, very heavy hail and thunderstorms made testing extremely difficult on Monday, leaving the track very dirty and much slower than it had been for Sunday’s race.

Isle of Man TT Gets TV Deal for Australia & USA

Want to watch the Isle of Man TT from the comfort of your non-British TV, but haven’t been able to in the past? A new TV from the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will do just that. Inking a new TV contract with North One TV, the Isle of Man TT will be televised in the American, Australian, and of course British markets, making it easier than ever to watch the iconic road race. With a five-year contract with the Velocity Channel in the US, the American cable channel will show seven one-hour race shows. Each segment will air within 24hrs of each race, and be tailored for the American market.

Castiglioni Denies Fiat Buyout of MV Agusta Is in the Works

After reporting 22% growth in Q1 2014, Giovanni Castiglioni had some closing words about the rumors that Fiat could acquire MV Agusta — a popular rumor that has been swirling around in the press the last two months. Denying outright that MV Agusta had, or was in, talks with the Fiat-Chrysler group about an acquisition (some reports linked even MV Agusta to being bought by Fiat-owned Ferrari), Castiglioni said the Italian company solely was focused on building growth, and building motorcycles. “Moreover, I’d like to take this opportunity to deny rumours circulated by the media over the last few days concerning supposed negotiations vis-à-vis the sale of a share of MV Agusta to the Fiat-Chrysler Group,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, the President and CEO of MV Agusta.

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.

Brain Teaser: The BMW i3 Electric Car Will Have an Optional Gas-Powered Motorcycle Engine in It

01/23/2013 @ 4:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Brain Teaser: The BMW i3 Electric Car Will Have an Optional Gas Powered Motorcycle Engine in It BMW i3 concept 10 635x475

Electric vehicles are finding a bit more traction in the four-wheeled world than in the two-wheeled market (see what I did there?), and as such we are starting to see more plug-in electric cars from established OEMs hitting the streets already or within a model year or two of being ready for public consumption.

One of the largest global OEMs, BMW is not keen to miss out on the next movement in people-moving, and thus  has been teasing its BMW i3 project for some time now. A plug-in electric with roughly a 100 mile range, BMW’s tests with the Mini E project show that most automobile drivers travel less than 100 miles in a day, but still a significant number of would-be buyers are put off by the low-range figures and daunting uncertainty about charging.

Following in the footpaths of cars like the Chevy Volt, the BMW has announced that the i3 will have an optional gas engine in it as well, serving as an electric generator to recharge the BMW i3′s battery pack. With BMW tipping that the engine will “come from the BMW family” and be in the 600cc range, we don’t have to rack our brains long to realize that BMW will be cross-polinating its electric car program with a motorcycle engine from BMW Motorrad.

Said to be a two-cylinder engine with SULEV properties, the prime suspect for the i3′s motorcycle transplant is sadly not the S1000RR, but instead the 647cc parallel twin of the C-series scooter. Revising the motor for automobile use, the engine will be fitted with an auto-stop feature, and be configured to run as undetectable as possible. Aside from ailing the fears of range-anxious buyers, the range-extender (REx) package will nearly double the BMW i3′s range, with an approximate 190 mile figure.

Already fitted with a compact 168hp / 184 lbs•ft electric motor, the BMW i3 boasts a 7.9 second 0-62 mph time, and tops out a 93 mph. Able to be recharged in to full in six hours (with a special high-speed charger, the BMW i3 recharges to 80% in one hour), the BMW i3 is more of a around-town vehicle, though as the charging infrastructure changes, longer trips could be made effortlessly with some careful recharge-point planning. Price? Roughly $35,000 base…or one BMW S1000RR superbike and one BMW HP4 überbike.

Brain Teaser: The BMW i3 Electric Car Will Have an Optional Gas Powered Motorcycle Engine in It BMW i3 concept 02 635x475

Brain Teaser: The BMW i3 Electric Car Will Have an Optional Gas Powered Motorcycle Engine in It BMW i3 concept 03 635x475

Brain Teaser: The BMW i3 Electric Car Will Have an Optional Gas Powered Motorcycle Engine in It BMW i3 concept 05 635x475

Brain Teaser: The BMW i3 Electric Car Will Have an Optional Gas Powered Motorcycle Engine in It BMW i3 concept 06 635x475

Brain Teaser: The BMW i3 Electric Car Will Have an Optional Gas Powered Motorcycle Engine in It BMW i3 concept 07 635x475

BMW C650 Engine:

BMW i3 Concept:

Source: Car and Driver & BMW Motorcycle Magazine; Photos: BMW

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Way better than any pure electric vehicle, although a diesel engine would make more sense on this application…it would give it more needed range (never a bad thing on any EV of late, LMAO).

    Maybe the diesel is a bit too noisy for this application ? Perhaps even not “clean” enough for the USA market ? Is a fact the USA DOES NOT FAVOR Diesel cars…no matter how clean they have become.

    IMO, i think this is the way to go until batts can be recharged as fast as pouring gas and give the same range…on cars anyway.

  2. Mike, I think the gas vs. diesel debate likely came down to how long BMW foresees EVs needing on-board generators to ease consumers. BMW doesn’t have a small diesel engine at the ready, so they’d have to design one and build an assembly line for it, for how many years of use?

    From what they’ve seen in the Mini E project, I bet BMW is counting on EVs needing generators for only the next few years. It’s already only an option, and as the range anxiety wears down, fewer and fewer buyers will want it. Diesel might be marginally better in this application, but it’s not cheaper to implement for BMW.

  3. MikeD says:

    @Jensen:

    Fair enough. Specially since diesels are more $$$ wichever way you look at it…from planning to regular periodic maintenance.

    P.S: What a shame, after taking the time to write my comment for the GP13 Specs article i found it was closed…i know some of the guys got a bit too serious in it but closing it was a bit overboard. Maybe ?

  4. TRL says:

    Love the rear glass. Finally a manufacturer that understands that some of us don’t want to feel like we are riding in a tank, we actually like to look out the window to see the world around us and maybe the occasional motorcycle in our blind spot… extra bonus more glass in the back makes rear passengers more comfortable even though the space is small.

    @MikeD, yer right, we’ve made a mess of diesels. I’ve got a urea pumping one now and I love the torque but the math says that between the urea, DPF, and every other damn device hanging off it along with the maintenance of all of the aforementioned, the next one will be gas. Too bad, in Europe where the emissions are arguably stricter but with a slightly different focus, the same engine gets 15-20% better mileage.

  5. Shawn says:

    When I read the headline I was hoping for the K1600′s inline 6. That engine could make a nice little i3 without the electric motors though, so it was really only wishful thinking to use it in a city hybrid.

  6. MikeD says:

    @TRL:

    Indeed, diesels have gone from simple reliable workhorses to uber complicated powerplants, even heavy truck builders and it’s engine suppliers are having a tough time with all ever increasing emission requirements. A darn shame.
    I like my air clean as much as the next guy but some of those emission laws are just not realistic.

    @Shawn: HEY…that’s a great idea but maybe a bit MUCH to power this thing.

  7. MikeD says:

    P.S:

    TRL, good observation. The lower belt line at the rear windows is a welcomed trend bucking change.

  8. Alex says:

    “Aside from ailing the fears of range-anxious buyers”

    Shouldn’t that be “allaying the fears?”