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.

Video: EBR Nation Part 3 – “Made in America”

08/10/2011 @ 7:38 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Video: EBR Nation Part 3   Made in America 2012 erik buell racing 1190rs 635x476

Erik Buell Racing has another installment of its “EBR Nation” video set, with part three of the YouTube series focusing on EBR’s “Made in America” credential. Unlike the previous videos (Part 1 & Part 2), it’s hard to get behind this one, as Buell and his crew go back to the well with their “it’s made in America, so you should buy it” philosophy/sales pitch. The short clip starts out well enough, with Buell saying “over the last few years there was a feeling that the dream of America is getting away from us.” Whether you believe that is actually true or not, there certainly has been a movement expressing this very idea after watching the credit market collapse, and seeing someone like Buell trying to make something out of the ashes of the recession is a bit inspiring.

What isn’t inspiring is the same reused tagline that because something is built in the USA it is somehow automatically better that the competition. This sort of continued thinking its precisely what put Buell out of business the first time around, and like the reused action shots for this video (you may have seen many of these quick-cuts in Parts 1 & 2, and a couple are even used twice in Part 3), you get tired of hearing and seeing the same thing over and over again with no result.

The whole idea behind Erik Buell Racing was that it was a company that could flourish from outside Harley-Davidson’s thumb, and the whole purpose of the EBR 1190RS was that it was supposed to be an American superbike that we could appreciate on the merits. The fact that all of this is being done by Americans, in America, is all the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. Rant over. The video is after the jump.

Source: Rat Pak Records (YouTube)

Comment:

  1. spytech says:

    I really like this bike, just not for 40k. if they can build this bike with out all the bespoke parts and make it 90% of the way there for less than half the price, they would have a winner. i think the bike looks good. i would also not mind paying for an american made bike, i think thats great, but if its way over priced and does not perform, i am not going to buy no matter where its made.

  2. Points well made. The bike is has enough to brag about that EBR doesn’t need to pull on the “Made In America” strings.

    I understand that the message of the company being “free” to do what they want to do is very tongue and cheek (free from HD’s demands), but if you really want to be free, stick to the message from the first two videos of a kick-ass bike; brag about performance, something Buell’s big brother HD has never been able to do (just ask a HD salesman about horse power).

    “Made in America” has been the tag line for HD forever, and look how that’s working out for them…

  3. T.J. says:

    Hmmm. I agree with your opinion and do not agree.
    First of all, patriotism is not a bad thing. Maybe it will not sell the bike, but this card was pulled out just in the third video, after saying in the first two epizodes how great the bike is. I am even not bothered by the fact that the bike is not 100% competitive with eg. a Ducati 1198R – small company, first real sportbike. Most of sportbikes rarely reach the tracks anyhow…
    However, as spytech said, the pricetag of 40K is more than disturbing.

  4. Scruby says:

    Geoff May said”we make American muscle cars that go fast”.Yes,that’s true,but I can buy an entry level Camero V8 for $23K,not $40K,and the engine is made here too,not Austria

  5. Deeters says:

    About the $40k price: Remember this is a low production model being used to generate interest and money for the company. The standard version (without all the carbon fiber) is probably going to be around $20k from what I read. They posted pictures of it on Facebook, I’m surprised A&R didn’t pick up on them.

    That being said, I don’t think the “Hey guys, MADE IN AMERICA” in this was that bad. It’s always been a part of the company’s advertising.

  6. The standard version is $40k, the carbon package is an additional $4k (so, $44,000). When you’re only making 100 bikes, it’s a tall order to make them under $30k, let alone with the parts being shown here.

    My whole rant with the “made in America” message is that it shouldn’t be the company’s main advertising message in the first place. Sell me a bike on the merits. Build something that can compete on price, performance, and quality with what’s in the market.

    Companies need to learn that you can’t just sell something on the basis it’s made in America, and therefore somehow better than the competition. That’s just a cheap usage of the American brand for added value, and as a stakeholder in what the USA stands for, it offends me. Instead, make a product that I will be proud to see stamped with the letters U-S-A.

  7. supermoto84 says:

    Is everyone missing the fact that the majority of the parts on this bike are not manufactured in the USA?!! Most of the money spent on buying one these bikes eventually goes back into the overseas manufacturing companies and out of the US economy. What a joke!

  8. Peter says:

    The cheapest V8 Camaro is $31,070 by the way.

  9. Tom says:

    Patriotism is a cheap substitute for a lack of performance or even a lack of value. Looks like Erik didn’t leave everything behind at Harley. Harley has to market on patriotism because it has absolutely nothing else going for it, but unlike Harley and its so-called heritage, Buell doesn’t have anything to peg that $40k price tag on. We all here love dreams and the dreamers, but somewhere along the line, the numbers have to make sense. They don’t here……and the bike isn’t even really American anyway.