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.

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 & Ducati Streetfighter 1198 Coming in September

07/27/2011 @ 9:25 am, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 & Ducati Streetfighter 1198 Coming in September ducait streetfighter light painting scott jones 7

Yelling at the top of our lungs words like “Scoop!” and “Exlclusive!” or the now more trendy “OMGLOLWTFBBQ” really isn’t our style, and let’s be honest, anyone with half a latte for a brain who had been paying attention to Ducati’s line-up the past few years could easily predict the Italian company’s next move with the Streetfighter line. That being said, we’ve gotten details from several highly credible sources that Ducati will debut to the public two new Streetfighters in September.

Replacing the Streetfighter 1098 is the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 1198, which as the name suggests, will get a 100cc displacement increase (full disclosure: an example of this motorcycle sits in my garage (said bike is shown above from a cool light-painting photo shoot that Scott Jones did), thus making me forever biased towards the original liquid-cooled v-twin wheelie monster from Bologna).

The catch however is that the new motor will not come from the leftover Superbike 1198 mills, and instead Ducati is using the Testastretta 11° motor (as seen in the Multistrada 1200 and Diavel) in the new Streetfighter 1198, meaning the motorcycle will by pass the bi-yearly Ducati tax (a valve job around here is roughly $1,000), and instead get hit with a perhaps more yearly 15,000 mile valve adjustment intervals (thank you Jesus!).

With the top-range Ducati Streetfighter now getting a bit more grunt between the rider’s legs, this opens enough of a gap in the line to bring in a lower-level model, thus the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848. Expected to use a de-tuned Superbike 848 EVO motor (so, does that make it just an 848 motor?), Ducati wants to capitalize on the HUGE sales success the Superbike 848 & 848 EVO have been for the company, and add another model that could be an entry point into the brand for new riders.

Perhaps disappointing is the news that both bikes will remain true to the current Streetfighter aesthetic, thus this is more of an update than a pair of completely brand new motorcycles, which isn’t all that surprising really as the jump Superbike 1098 to the Superbike 1198 didn’t involved an outward makeovers. Ducati has been holding off on the new Streetfighter 1198 & Streetfighter 848 until the debut of the 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199, which is slated for release in November. Perhaps not wanting that motorcycle to overshadow its naked siblings, Ducati for whatever reason has scheduled the Streetfighters’ release for before the EICMA show in Milan.

Source: Bothan Spies; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Ken C. says:

    I’m not really disappointed that they aren’t updating the aesthetic. Granted, they probably would have done something awesome, but the “old” Streetfighter isn’t exactly ugly to begin with. In fact, I happen to think it’s a work of art.

    In any case, sign me up for a 2012 Streetfighter 848! I’ve been waiting for that one. Thank you Ducati.

  2. Other Sean says:

    Agreed Ken C. Updating looks as often as the Japanese has never been part of the Ducati ethic, so I don’t see why anyone would be surprised/dissapointed.

    I do love the longer service intervals promised by the 11 degree engine. But I’m glad my “only an 848″ (read non EVO) engine isn’t the lump that’s powering 3 or more “different” models.

  3. mike says:

    If they can bring the 848 streetfighter in for less than $12K, I may have to bite the bullet.

  4. Other Sean says:

    Good point, the price will be interesting. Can’t imagine it costing less than $11,995.00.

  5. Marcel says:

    Pricing is going to be tricky:
    Monster 1100 Evo – $11,995
    Street Fighter – $14,995
    848 Evo – $12,995

    I’m guessing $12,995/13,495 for the SF 848

  6. DareN says:

    Any idea about electronics / sliper clutch?

  7. BikePilot says:

    Awesome!

  8. aaron says:

    i’m not sure that the 848 will be suitable as “another model that could be an entry point into the brand for new riders” is 120+ horsepower enough for a novice?

  9. Jeram says:

    sure it is, just in the same way that the street triple is for triumph

  10. LarryRacer says:

    all garbage bikes who cares

  11. Sentinel says:

    If they update the valve train of the 848 motor to extend valve adjust intervals I’d be interested, otherwise I simply am not…

  12. Cpt.Slow says:

    Pricing on all models could go up… word has it that [despite Ducati's best efforts] the next sbk will be more expensive.

  13. andrey says:

    Keep in mind that the US dollar is in the toilet (especially lately because the Gov’t cannot get its act together on the debt crisis) and thus prices will be under a lot of upward pressure across the board.
    (Of course American made products are also cheaper overseas now but nothing is made here any more!)

  14. Kevin says:

    Interesting…given the lack of sales success with the Streetfighter, I’m surprised that they’re expanding the line. My expectation was that they would eliminate it.

    I thought the 848 engine in a Monster frame, a la the S4Rs, was a good idea. Another Streetfigher though? Meh.

  15. Lewis C says:

    A valve job involves removing the head and resurfacing seats and valves. Adjusting clearances is a tune up type of deal. This has been true of any engine with valves for a long time.

  16. MikeD says:

    Let me know when they ditch the STINKING BELTS for GEARS on the WHOLE lineup and each and everyone goes 16k miles before needing a valve clearances “adjustment”.

    @Kevin: Yeah, i thought it was a gonner too…i have never seen one on the flesh (not even by mistake,lol).

    By what i’ve seen on videos and pics, the thing is just too “racy” and not street enough(ergos and what not). JMHO. And that shotgun exhaust is just AWEFULL…(-_- )

    It makes my 2K3 SV1000N look like a GoldWing.

  17. DareN says:

    @Mike D
    Obviously, you have not ridden one, othervise you would never compare it to SV…And the beauty is in the eve of beholder – I think it is the best looking bike out there.

  18. MikeD says:

    @DareN: Get real…the thing is a 1098 with a dirt bike handle bar MINUS plastics…of course that “torture rack” would never compare to my comfy SV.

    It sure outhandles, outpowers, out-w/e my current ride…but is not a better STREET bike. Put down the “RED” Kool-Aid…and check your feelings at the door.

    Looks, u said it. Is w/e gets your rocks off…(^_^ )

  19. john says:

    a 1198 s for my12 is nonsense! the sf will stay with 1098.

  20. DareN says:

    @MikeD – As I stated before, you obviously have not ridden one and you definately should!
    I do not understand what is wrong with liking the way your bike looks…and sv1000, with all the respect to its looks , is no competition to any Ducati,leave alone SF.

  21. Mike says:

    Have to agree, the SV1000 is ugly.

  22. MikeD says:

    @DareN & Mike: Opinions, Opinions…

    Mike ! You are Ugly! (I need a hug, someone ?…anyone ?) LMAO.

  23. john, I want to hear from you in two months. Put a reminder in your phone if you would. :)

    As for the SV vs SF argument: two completely different bikes when you look at who is/was buying them. The SV is a great bullet-proof bike, but it’s about 35hp down on the SF (which conversely is about $6000 more than the SV), and I don’t recall it winning any awards for styling. Neither bike flew out of dealers’ showrooms, but I’d say they have been enjoyed by the people who bought them.

    MikeD, come here buddy. I’ve got a hug for you.

  24. john says:

    jensen, i will do and come back to you, mate :-)

  25. DareN says:

    How about this:
    Streetfighter S – gone.
    New SF 1198 w/slipper clutch/TC/ABS – 15,999
    New SF 848 – 12,999
    It will make sense to me…

  26. john says:

    @DareN

    streetfighter s will stay for my 12 with 1098. the basic model will be gone next year.

    @jensen

    what about further details from your ‘several highly credible sources’? what about speed shifter, abs, riding modes?

  27. ricky t says:

    i am very intrested to see where this is going as i do like the current streetfighter range (just not happy to hear the standard is being dropped for next year) .

    I would love to know if ducati are planning a 1198 SF for next year if not the year after ,and the thought of a 848 SF is just amazing and i cant wait to see it in the flesh .

    Please someone get some hard evidence about either bike as its killing me as i want one

  28. arkangel says:

    guys
    I ride a 1098 street fighter & must tell you – forget disappointing sales figures blah blah
    - it is one amazing motorcycle / every time its out in the pack – it draws heads big time !!

    & come to performance – it shines

    so – for a smaller rider – the 848 is going to be all the motorcycle ever needed / especially as its not designed as a pillion podium at all – its a one up / one man’s moto ..

    I may down grade to the wet clutch 848 with traction control and slipper clutch – or just go balls to the wall – 1198 ..

    either way – what I have is sublime – and – what I could have – merely a wet clutch dream away …

    ride safe..

  29. john says:

    got today a dealer info of the 2012 1098 s streetfighter with revised ergonomics, new longer single sided swingarm and the color option red and new racing titanium both with red frame. engine still 1098 !

    jensen, now it’s your turn. maybe your sources would like to think about there engine statement… :-)