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.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Fuel or Electronics? Where Are Nicky Hayden & Scott Redding Losing Out on the Honda RCV1000R?

The news that Honda would be building a production racer to compete in MotoGP aroused much excitement among fans. There was much speculation over just how quick it would be, and whether it would be possible for a talented rider to beat the satellite bikes on some tracks. In the hands of active MotoGP riders, the gap was around 2 seconds at the Sepang tests. Nicky Hayden – of whom much had been expected, not least by himself – had made significant improvements, especially on corner entry. The difference in performance and the big gap to the front has been cause for much speculation. Where are the Honda production racers losing out to the Factory Option bikes?

BRD RedShift SM Breaks Cover with Gas Parity

08/03/2011 @ 5:00 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

BRD RedShift SM Breaks Cover with Gas Parity BRD RedShift SM alley 635x423

We’ve been following the guys at BRD since the beginning of the year, and this scrappy San Francisco company has finally busted out of stealth mode with its first electric motorcycle line: the BRD RedShift. With a goal of meeting or exceeding parity with gasoline-powered two-wheelers, BRD’s first foray into the motorcycle industry is an interesting one, as the RedShift line brings true 250cc four-stroke power to the electric realm. Producing 40hp from the company’s proprietary water-cooled AC motor, the BRD RedShift SM produces more power than a Honda CRF250R while tipping scales at less than 250 lbs in supermoto trim (less than 240 lbs in MX-spec).

The RedShift line is BRD’s first line of motorcycle, and will feature three different purpose-built trims. The Supermoto (SM) model will be BRD’s on-road city bike, while the MX model will be the company’s enduro offering. BRD has also factored fleet sales heavily into its business plan, and will have a vehicle, designated as the RedShift PD, that will be available for government and private fleet usage. Point of sale and warranty work will stem from a standard dealer model, which will be aggressively built out over the coming months, and plays back into the company’s mantra that electric vehicles don’t need to be different from gas bikes, just better than them.

“We just want to make faster motorcycles,” said CEO Marc Fenigstein in the company’s press statement. “We’re a team of riders and racers with high-performance gas machines in the garage. We’re building the bikes we’d rather be riding.”

With 5.2 kWh of battery pack on-board, BRD is estimating about a 50 mile range, based off other manufacturers’ claims, though the company is quick to point out that it doesn’t want to quote an exact figure until the RedShift’s performance specs have been fully-vetted. Another part that has intrigued us about this project since its inception is BRD’s proprietary machined-aluminum chassis design, which is absent of any welds, meaning that its production can be done in the company’s SF office for virtually the same price as anywhere else since its cost structure is dependent on machining time.

BRD RedShift SM Breaks Cover with Gas Parity BRD RedShift SM side 635x445

Attaching to the aluminum frame is a self-supporting plastic tail and seat section — yes, you read that right. When we first saw that design and inquired with BRD about the use of plastic for its subframe structure, the company explained that the high-strength polymer material was rated to significantly above the amount of force that is required to break one’s back from spinal compression. This means that the BRD tail section is not only extremely light, but your back will break from a big drop well before the tail unit does (this is all of course pre-production, with durability testing still needed to confirm the plastic’s use in the production model).

About the only thing that the BRD RedShift has that’s sub-par to its gasoline equivalents is the price, with early murmurings suggesting a $15,000 price tag (nearly twice the comparable ICE machine). With that much more power on-board (almost double the 3.1 kWh Brammo Enertia and the 4 kWh Zero S), BRD was sure to strike a hefty price tag with current battery costs.

Because of that reality, the company hopes to meet its sales goals with strong fleet sales, offering local governments and other public entities a motorcycle that can meet their green mandates without sacrificing performance by using an electric drivetrain. For the mainstream public, BRD, for now, will remain a premium, but attainable, motorcycle offering, and will come with high quality components not currently seen in the space (we hear rumors of OZ providing a special new wheelset to BRD’s on-road effort).

With OEM efforts like KTM’s Freeride now just a year away from hitting US soil, BRD is entering the market ahead of the wave of entrenched motorcycle companies. As OEMs enter the space, it will be interesting to see what sort of platforms they put together. As it stands now, BRD is the leader in the electric SM/MX class with its power-to-weight ratio.

BRD RedShift SM Breaks Cover with Gas Parity BRD RedShift MX render 635x355

Asphalt & Rubber will be seeing the BRD RedShift launch in person a couple hours after the timestamp on this article. Stay tuned for more pictures and an up-close analysis of the new electric machine in the coming hours.

Source: BRD; Photos: Todd Tankersley / www.toddtankersley.com

Comment:

  1. TonyS says:

    Wasn’t it an OZ wheel that shore itself from the hub on that Ducati during a race earlier this year? Just sayin.

  2. Jake says:

    OZ wheels have run on hundreds of thousands of bikes with no problem. They also happen to be really feckin’ nice too.

    Ohlins and OZ’s, can’t go wrong on a bike (except for that one on TV).

  3. ossiesteve says:

    and wasnt that the cause of the nuts etc. not being tightened or screwed on at all?

    but seriously this looks like a pretty sweet bike except fort he price which makes it unatainable for most. KTM’s will prob be better in everyway and cheaper so i wouldnt be buying shares for this company

  4. Brammofan says:

    “As it stands now, BRD is the leader in the electric SM/MX class with its power-to-weight ratio.”

    Even I, as the electric motorcycle pimp extraordinaire that I am, choked on that one. On behalf of Zero and Quantya, who actually have bikes in production, and Brammo, who has fully-operational pre-production prototypes, I’m calling “puffery.”

  5. Because you know all those puff-pieces I write Harry. BRD’s prototype is fully-functional btw. KTM’s Freeride after currency exchange will be just under $15k, judging from the components they have on their bike (Arsenal), I’m not sure it will touch BRD in price, power, or pounds.

    The unfortunate part about the electric space is we see a lot of vaporware and over-promises, so when something comes along that’s the real deal, everyone is a cynic (I was as well, until I saw who was behind the company). Time will tell.

  6. Beary says:

    Well, I’ve got wood. What a gorgeous looking electric bike.

    Hopefuly performance and range follow if so, this is a Big Win.

  7. Greybeard says:

    102 degrees fahrenheit here yesterday.
    In two months it wouldn’t be impossible for it to hit 32 just before dawn.
    The hoped-for 50 mile range is gonna take a hit under either of the above circumstances. Question is, how much of a hit.
    (And where’s the damned amp-hour robbing headlight/taillight/turn signals?)

  8. Shawn says:

    It doesn’t appear the side fairings function as a cooling system for the bike. It’s funny how this was kept on there to resemble what we know as dirt bikes/SM. Otherwise, I see this as a negative on aerodynamics. As for the lights, I’d guess LEDs.

  9. Marc F says:

    Hi, all. CEO of BRD here. Quick answers to some of the comments and questions. It’s absolutely true that we’re not in production yet. Huge compliments to those that are, because as you can imagine, we know what that takes and it’s no small feat. The bike above is a pre-production unit (looks like, works like, and is mostly built like a production bike), but we still have quite a bit of work to do to deliver bikes for the 2012 season.

    On the “shrouds,” those are air scoops. The bike features a centrally-mounted radiator. There is nothing on this bike that isn’t functional.

    Thanks, everyone, for the interest.
    -Marc

  10. Brammofan says:

    Hey Marc – I was getting on Jensen’s case, not yours. You can’t declare BRD the “leader in electric SM/MX class” any more than you can declare Brammo’s Empulse the leader in the 100 mph/100 mile range sportbike class. It’s premature. The time to declare leaders is the day the first production bike gets delivered to the first non-dealer end-user/customer. At least, that’s my criterion. Based on the pics of your bike that are coming out (not the renders), you’re well on the way to that benchmark.

  11. TRL says:

    Thank you BRD for making me feel something when I look an SM/MX electric bike. This is what you get when you have someone around with design skill, not just the title “Designer” in their email signature. Very appealing. Hope the bike lives up to the promise of the design. Good luck.

  12. Shawn says:

    Wow, replies from the COE. Very Cool!

  13. Marc F says:

    Shawn, what can I say… I check A&R almost daily and I’m not about to skip over the comments section on our own bike.

    We’re trying really hard to be both humble and realistic about the bike. We know what it SHOULD do, but until we can verify that the production bikes WILL do (and when), we’re keeping the details to ourselves. I hope that the public can bear with us on that.

  14. Nice plug Marc, your check is in the mail.

  15. John Kirby says:

    @garrettnelson Yes, it is a very modern, tech filled bike – http://t.co/JSz9yy8j