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.

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery

04/04/2012 @ 12:46 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 07 635x422

Since we are out in the Palm Desert testing the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 today, we figured we might as well post a bevy of photos of the tiny Fighter. Coming with Ducati’s traction control system (DTC), and an 848cc/132hp version of the Testastretta 11° engine, the Streetfighter 848 promises to be more than just a smaller version of the original specimen. Other changes include a refined chassis as well as the infamous Ducati wet clutch, which some say is better than the company’s iconic dry-clutch design (gasp!). While we put the Ducati Streetfighter 848 through its paces today, and see if all these rumors are true, enjoy the 40+ photos we have for you after the jump.

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 09 635x423

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 12 635x423

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 15 635x423

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 34 635x475

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 27 635x475

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 29 635x475

Ducati Streetfighter 848 Mega Gallery 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 31 635x475

Photos: Ducati

Comment:

  1. Max says:

    Man, they’re really pushing the yellow version aren’t they… It feels like it’s more because it’s novel than the fact that people actually want it.

    I’m all about the Matte Black version. I’d say the Classic Red would be a close second.

    Am I crazy here or do you guys like the Yellow as much as Ducati seems to think?

  2. luke says:

    pic 5 shows a guy popping a nice lil wheelie on a black bike with the red trellis frame. Now that is the colour combo that makes me juicy – however I don’t see that combo anywhere else – swapped the panels maybe?

    I agree with Max, the yellow is meh, black, then red then a different bike :)

  3. Max says:

    Hey @Luke, I think that’s the Streetfighter S version that comes in a Titanium Gray with red frame… Aaaamazing color scheme as well, right?

    I think you have me convinced to pick up a Black SF848… only question is, does that beat my Red Monster 1100. Definitely on horsepower, but not on l0w-end torque… so I’m torn!

  4. MikeD says:

    I still don’t like it, not her, not her bigger sister…maybe if i rode one i would change my opinion……..but based on looks, nouuh, still can’t swallow these ones.
    But what do i know about looks and style, this is the same guy that thinks the SuperTen and Versys 1000 look OK and would ride either one on public with no bag covering his face…LOL.

  5. irksome says:

    Nice pix, butt-ugly bike.

    I must be old; too many bikes look like Transformer toys. Anyone else miss rounded edges?

  6. ML says:

    @irksome: Nope!

    Love how modern bikes look more aggressive, meaner, and edgier.

  7. MikeD says:

    @irksome:

    I don’t really miss “round edges”(TL-S,TL-R,CBR900RR,RC51,Early Aprilia RSV 1000)as much as i have learned & come to apreciate it now a days with all these ANOREXIC body shapes and styles.

    Personally, i like the Origami/slate sides/stealth figther look of theeee….KTM RC8R or BMW K1300GT ? (i think these fit into the transformers gender too ?)
    Generally…….i usually like them all xcept for 1 or 2 really WEIRD ones…comes to mind quick the Duc Street Fighter and Triumph Tiger 1050…and then if given to me i still would ride them.

  8. MikeD says:

    OH…and each and every other Cafe Racer, Factory or Custom…I HATE THOSE with A PASSION.
    Xcept the Benelli one. That pretty Transform-ish looking…im cool with it.

    http://www.bikewalls.com/pictures/Benelli_Cafe_1130_Racer_2006_02_1024x768.jpg

  9. MikeD, if it makes you feel any better, I hated the Streetfighter when I first saw its photos. Seeing it in person though changed that perception. Now there’s one on permanent display in my garage. Go fig.

  10. 76 says:

    Hands down the best looking contemp. naked out. The mechanical eye candy on it is impressive, and not a small or anorexic bike by any means when it comes to nakeds.

  11. digfoto says:

    Like the SF 1098, an amazing looking machine!! I own a SF1098, and it won’t leave this garage without me on it, period. I think the new yellow color scheme is unique looking on this bike, as well. Matte black, c’mon, does everything have to look matte black these days. So tiring!

    I have not ridden the SF848, but have thrown a leg over it. Significantly different seat/handlebar/peg positioning than the SF1098. Not as comfortable. I swapped back and forth between SF848 and SF1098 models at the NY Show and felt uncomfortable on the SF848. Perhaps it’s ’cause I swapped out the factory handlebars for Rizoma handlebars.

    Bottom line… if you’re considering a SF848, compare it to a SF1098 to see if you agree.

  12. Damo says:

    @Jensen

    Same thing here. I never bought into the look of the SF, until I went to a local dealer and swung a leg over (no test rides unfortunately!) and I really liked the look and set up.

    @MikeD

    I am with you on the RC8R. Bike is such a departure from the norm, yet comes across awesome in person. Plus the ergos are great for a superbike.

  13. JoeD says:

    MikeD, thanks for the thumbs up on the Benelli. I am 54 and grew up with Standard Style bikes. My first effort to customize was a 400 triple two stroke-clubman bars, rearsets, port and polish with a stock(crap) frame. The Cafe Racer type screamed performance. Over the years, bikes got bigger and better. Factories have always tried to capitalize on racing success and our “Modern” sportbikes are the proof. I see the Streetfighter as the old CR theme in modern clothes. Stripped down, raw and edgy. Some, like the new Honda, miss the mark. Others, like the Benelli, hits squarly between the eyes. I have the Guzzi Sport 1100 with the rounded shapes and the Benelli Cafe Racer with it’s angular style. Both are georgeous in different ways. The new Ducati looks a bit high in the arse to me but still desireable. I’ll have one in black, please. It would fit nicely next to the Commando.

  14. killcity says:

    I just cant get into that headlight…i think the italians are spending too much time in japan.

  15. DareN says:

    It is the most amazing bike I have ever ridden (SF 1098). Feels little strange seeing nothing over the handlebars,just an empty space. Hey,guys – can you post some new photos – thes have been on Ducati site for the last 6 months…

  16. Adam says:

    I love that Ducati makes the matte black bikes, I bought a 749 dark because I loved the look. I still have the bike and love it still. I am happy Ducati for now is keeping the trellis frame on these models, well all of them other then the 1199. but blacking out the beautiful frame is a shame it should be a showcase on the bike and displayed not hidden in the endless black.

  17. Neil says:

    I will take one in “Yellow” and put it next to my “Yellow” 748S

  18. Shawn says:

    I think the yellow is super hot, but that headlight is ridiculously ugly. I’d consider one though, especially if there was a high quality way to swap out the headlight for a round one. I hate the bug eye look of the newer triumphs too, and loved the dual roundies.

  19. DareN says:

    Round headlight does not make sense with the design – sharp, angular body has to have light like this.

  20. jamesy says:

    DID YOU SAY WET CLUTCH?? I’m getting warmer, uh oh, that’s usually expensive.
    Thanks for the GREAT pics. I’ve loved pearl yellow ever since the V-Max of ’94 was it?
    But then each of those fab pix was flawed by the shield of the “Heartbreak of America”, I almost expected it to leak oil like their stupid cars do… quick get the driveway cleaner!!!

  21. jamesy says:

    Ready for some sacrilege?? I’d do the frame in nickel, polish out the wheel lips, do the spokes in yellow and get a nice cibie round light for it.. sort of techno- meets- retro-chic.
    Whew, good thing I cant hear you kids hollerin ;-)

  22. MikeD says:

    @Jamesy:

    Big deal, that’s just making it look “right” if anything a bit different in “some” areas. LOL.
    I’m down with your sugestion.

  23. MikeD says:

    @Jamesy:

    I guess it comes down to each individual and his/her priorities….BUT….what wrong with a WET clutch ? Ducati Sacrilege ? LMAO.

    I haven’t had any personal xperience with a DRY Setups…only hear gossip about it, like :

    They burnt rather easy if u beat on it unlike a wet set up.
    Last shorter (Finicky ?)
    Rattle (i have seen it working, noisy fuc%*$#) , Down to personal preferences.
    Smooth like an ON/OFF Switch ?

    Something POSITIVE that does come to mind is not having all that clutch material floating on my oil ALL THE TIME eating slowly but surely at my engine’s internals…the filter can only do so much.
    Able to use really slick oil with super fancy friction reduction additives ? (No more worries about if the clutch will slip) = more engine protection = longer engine life ?

    Sorry for the hijack, guys.

  24. jamesy says:

    I guess I wasnt that clear on the clutch issue. Wet = good imho. I DO have dry clutch experience, they heat up and start to grab and change adjustment. Noisy! Wear fast! Suck!