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.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs California Exhaust Bill into Law – Nothing Changes

09/29/2010 @ 2:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs California Exhaust Bill into Law   Nothing Changes California exhaust noise law 663x497

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has seemingly just terminated loud and free flowing exhaust systems on motorcycles in the Golden State of California. Affecting only motorcycles and aftermarket parts made in 2013 and on, the California’s law cracks down on noisy bikes by imposing fines  of $50 to $100 for first-time offenses, and fines of $100 to $250 for subsequent offenses.

The law’s passage has been a big issue for Californian motorcyclists, with the fires being fanned by both the MIC and AMA, who would like to state and national exhaust noise laws adopt an SAE standard. The reality though is that California’s law brings the state in-line with Federal laws on the issue, which already superseded California’s lax standards, which were widely unenforced by the state’s law enforcement officers.

With nothing changing from a legal perspective, it remains doubtful that California LEO’s will ramp-up their enforcement of the new provisions, considering how seriously they took the federal statutes.

Source: California Senate Bill 435 via Dealer News

Comment:

  1. Motorcycle Stop says:

    Bad for the Economy, This is not good for JOBS in a hurting economy. This not only effects the after market exhaust manufactures but also the folks that make power commanders and fuel optimisers and the fuel intake filters and distributers, Not to mention small shops that install and tune these fine American machines, won’t American Motorcycle Sales drop? what do you think?. These are multimillion dollor businesses. This only hurts are chances for recovery especially when you look at the opositions veiw its only a “nuisance” try to create a job with that. PLEASE VOTE “LIBERTARIAN” We can’t trust this Two Party System to Fix Anything!

  2. Greg says:

    Hey straight pipers, THANKS! A moderately “loud” bike that gets the attention of cagers is fine and not the problem here. It’s the straight pipe HD riders that are ruining it for everyone by being selfish and completely inconsiderate. Anything that causes hearing damage going down the street is completely absurd! I know, I live in MKE and deal with it all summer long. Hey str8 pipers, quit being a complete douchebag and get with the program! 99% of the population hates you, and sooner or later it will catch up to you!

  3. JSH says:

    By “American Motorcycles” I assume you mean Harleys. Harley Davidsons come from the factory with EPA and Carb compliant exhausts. Several years ago, Harley stopped selling illegal exhausts. If you look at their online parts catalog you will see that their Screaming Eagle exhausts are 50 state or 49 state compliant. This bill doesn’t effect Harley at all. The only business this will effect is those that have been selling or installing competition only exhaust on street bikes. As the article mentions this bill only makes California law match a 20+ year old Federal law. I have no pity for business that based their business model on breaking the law.

  4. “I have no pity for business that based their business model on breaking the law?”

    “99% of the population hates you?”

    Nice.

    I’m with Motorcycle Stop when he says “VOTE LIBERTARIAN.” There are too many laws. So what if someone is a douche? They’ll learn. It must be nice to be so squeaky clean, JSH. I guarantee you are a hypocrite and break the law daily. Drive above the speed limit… ever? I wager you do daily. The reason states don’t regularly enforce these exhaust loudness requirements is that cops have better things to do like ticket you when you’re jamming down a street 20 miles an hour over the speed limit.

    I posit that both you and Greg are the douchebags.

    Additionally, I am unaware that one of the ten commandments is “thou shalt not annoy people.”

    Some bikers like their bikes loud because they feel they are more “visible” to the cagers who wouldn’t otherwise “see” them. Instead, the car drivers hear them. If a jerk keeps revving his motor over and over, where are you? Out to dinner? Walking down the street? In a bar? At a bike rally? I live in a town that has one of the largest rallies in the nation and I could care less about the douchebags that rrr-rrrr-rrrrrrrev their motors one weekend a year. It’s a small price to pay to keep the government off my back.

    Let me ride. Let me be.

    Get a life.

    Oh, I’ve never owned a Harley.

  5. Greg says:

    Sorry trent, but straight pipes should be illegal and 99.99% people, animals, and plant life will agree with me. Can I legally go down your street at 2am with a blow horn screaming at 140dbs? (But if you give me your address, I’ll see how you like it) No. Can you legally drive a car around without a muffler? No. Should someone be able to inflict hearing damage to you when you’re walking down the sidewalk? No. It’s common sense and sooner or later, as you know with smoking bans, the majority will get their way, and minority douchebag element will be eliminated.

  6. Yes. You are sorry, Greg. A very sorry individual indeed.

    You reply with threats, “Can I legally go down your street at 2am with a blow horn screaming at 140dbs? (But if you give me your address, I’ll see how you like it)” Bravo, man. Your retort wouldn’t get you a spot in a middle school debate team. Your logic would involuntarily force Mister Spock to smack you upside your head it’s so bitter.

    Your 140 dBA (decibles A-scale, not “dbs”) is an egregious overstatement of the loudness of straight pipes. The Iron Butt Assn. (if you are unaware of their endurance rides, check them out) limit dBA to105. According to their site, “tests of motorcycles with straight pipes (no muffler) have produced noise levels of approximately 125 dBA.” Far off from your arbitrary 140.

    Their tests are done in compliance using SAE J1287 standards, the sound test procedure approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It is the same procedure employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Using this algorithm, an increase of 15 decibels to 140 translates to about seven times louder than 125.

    If I am to understand you, and I am scared to try, you are arguing that if you don’t like hot chili, you want to shove something seven times hotter down my throat to prove that the hot chili you already don’t like is bad. Are you the reincarnated soul of a Nazi scientist?

    Regardless, if you must come to my city of Austin to toot your horn (that’s funny) at 140 dBA to prove a point (seemingly the one on the top of your head), go for it. Ride down 6th street downtown where I work any time after noon and toot away. If you must do it at 2 a.m., be my guest. You will only be one more jerk we see every day.

    If you live in a neighborhood where guys are blowing by with excessively loud motorcycle exhausts, either 1) they know who you are and don’t like you – a strong possibility – or 2) you moved into a neighborhood filled with douchebags like you.

    No, I won’t be on the debate team either, but that is by choice. I am a smartass on purpose. You are just an ass.

    I’ll let you have the last word here, Greg, as I am positive you will only continue to come off as the ignorant and vengeful man you’ve shown yourself to be so far for reasons I do not care to discover. Have a good life. It looks like you need it.

  7. Greg says:

    So you called me an ass and a douchebag and say I’m “vengeful”?!!! Did I call you anything? Nope. And I’m the middle-schooler? Anyway, 125, 140dBA (didn’t look up the official abbreviation for decibels, sue me), what the hell’s the difference, it was a simple estimate based off a 1979 Who concert. Blah, blah, blah, you wouldn’t like a straight pipe bike going down your street at 2am, right? That was my point. Easy enough to comprehend?

    This is hilarious though…….

    “If I am to understand you, and I am scared to try, you are arguing that if you don’t like hot chili, you want to shove something seven times hotter down my throat to prove that the hot chili you already don’t like is bad. Are you the reincarnated soul of a Nazi scientist?”

    You just pissed away your entire argument, your straight pipes actually force hot chili down my throat, but simply by you riding past me is sure to cause hearing damage 125dBA. See the logic? Ever heard of Godwin’s law? Well, you are guilty of upholding it (not really something to be proud of), that is CLASSIC! Here you go, read up……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

    Also, you admit that straight pipers are douchebags?? Hmmm.

    Anyway, trent, I don’t think you’re a smart ass at all, actually.

    BTW I’ve been to Austin several times, great city. But with any place, there’s always going to be an asshole or two.