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.

Erik Buell Racing Raises $20 Million from Foreign Investors – Plans to Build $20,000 Motorcycle

07/20/2012 @ 11:50 am, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

Erik Buell Racing Raises $20 Million from Foreign Investors   Plans to Build $20,000 Motorcycle erik buell racing ebr 1190rs american flag paint 07 635x423

It has just been announced that Erik Buell Racing has received $20 million in funding from foreign investors. A part of the federal government’s EB-5 program, the deal was brokered by FirstPathway Partners, a company that specializes in facilitating the funding of companies through wealthy individuals that are abroad. The announcement is a boon for EBR, as the company has struggled for financing since it began operations after the closing of Buell Motorcycles by Harley-Davidson.

The $20 million in funding will go towards building more affordable models, says the Milwaukee-based company. In turn, this news means that Erik Buell Racing will need to bring on more staff, and expand its facility for production at a greater volume (54,000 square feet says Buell). Erik Buell Racing hopes to start selling $20,000 street bikes once it gets its business in order for larger volume, with the expectation being that those models will be similar to the EBR 1190RS, though without such high-spec components.

With $100 million generally being the number touted to bring a full-scale motorcycle company into fruition (i.e. one with full-production, distributors dealers, support chains, etc), the $20 million raised by EBR is one step down a much longer road of financing, though a critical piece in the puzzle of finding more funds.

With the investor(s) not being named, one has to wonder about whom it was that invested in Erik Buell Racing. With Hero MotoCorp’s Managing Director Pawan Munjal talking to Bloomberg about his interest in acquiring Erik Buell Racing, India’s largest motorcycle brand certainly seems like a likely suspect for today’s transaction — especially with the partnership already in place between EBR & Hero, as well as Hero’s sponsorship of the Erik Buell Racing’s AMA Superbike racing effort.

Source: BizJournals & FOX 6 Milwaukee; Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Ton Up Jax says:

    So, H-D spends $20 Million to shutter Buell Motorcycles in 2009, and now Erik Buell scores $20 Million in foreign investment to continue building American motorcycles in America. Sorta makes Mr. Wandell and Co. look like real a$$hats, doesn’t it?

    Keep it up, Erik. At least you have the dream, desire, and ability to make America proud. Go kick some more a$$!

  2. RGR says:

    Already saving my pennies…

  3. Cpt.Slow says:

    I don’t need anymore bikes but if this ebr superbike is good (and under $20), I would seriously think about getting one!

  4. RJ says:

    Very happy for Eric and Co.

    A $20k Buell Superbike?

    If you build it, they will come…

  5. Adam says:

    This is great news. I have personally me Erik and owned a Buell. It was not the fastest bike on the planet, but I really enjoyed riding it. I will be taking a serious look at the new machine from EBR when it arrives.

  6. Rick says:

    Erik is my HERO! I ride #98 that raced Daytona 200 in 2009. Ride it on the street now. Luv ya man! ( :
    Congrats and Good Luck!

  7. Congrats to @ErikBuellRacing Way2GO #success!! http://t.co/H1fGIn9j @BrammoSays

  8. Brammo says:

    Erik Buell Racing Raises $20 Million from Foreign Investors – Plans to Build $20,000 Motorcycle http://t.co/X2FOF1og

  9. smiler says:

    So fortunately there is klike after being runover by a Hog. That is great. You see a Buell sometimes and they always make me smile. Innovative, sound great and can really go.

    That’s great.

  10. Ducman says:

    Congrats to Erik. The man is genius – getting 20 foreigners to invest a Million each in exchange for a green-card is absolutely brilliant. I could be wrong but I think with the EB5investment visa there is no guarantee that the investors will see a penny back, basically they have already been rewarded with a green-card.

  11. GeddyT says:

    So where’s he going to get the bikes? I thought EBR was using leftover 1125R stock as the basis for their new bikes and supporting racers who were riding the existing models, hence the high cost and limited numbers. I always was under the impression that this was a short term deal, as leftover 1125Rs wouldn’t last forever, and EBR is basically just a tuning and race support company for the 1125R.

    Doesn’t H-D still own the rights to the engine and chassis tech that Buell uses in the superbikes? So what does this new investment go to? If EBR actually goes “for real” and starts building new bikes, is he going to start from scratch with a new chassis and engine? And doesn’t H-D now own the patents on fuel in frame, perimeter brakes, etc. that you’d expect to see on a new Buell design? So how does he get around that?

    Maybe I just have the details of the breakup all wrong.

  12. Tom says:

    Whether or not you like Buell or his bikes, one thing is for certain. You cannot call Buell a shit talker. He is a doer who makes things happen. In a world of so many talkers, he is a breath of fresh air.

  13. Halfie30 says:

    @ Geddy. You are miss informed. The 1190RS is not an 1125R. While all the tech is similar, in order to dodge the patents from Harley they “revamped” the chassis, and the engine was built by Rotax. Harley does t own anything Rotax does, and Again the engine has been modified to dodge Harley anyway.

  14. meatspin says:

    the new superbike looks good. All that stuff he built b4 looked too goofy and I would not have bought any of them. Expensive too.

    maybe buell finally learned something instead of having a cry when HD pulled the plug.

  15. Ton Up Jax says:

    meatspin- Do a little research and you’ll discover the truth that came out after H-D killed Buell. The “goofy” design elements were a direct result of H-D micromanaging Erik and insisting on things Erik did not want to do. H-D never understood the Buell philosophy, or actual performance for that matter, and through their actions became Buell’s biggest roadblock to success. The high prices were just one example of “Harley thinking”- heck, H-D charged Buell retail price for the Spotster motors used in Buell models. Buell Motorcycles didn’t need an enemy as long as they had Harley Davidson. Good riddance. Just look at the success Erik Buell is having without the limitations imposed on him by H-D. Finally, Erik is able to make a world-class motorcycle America can be proud of. It’s a shame H-D held him back so long, but now he’s free to use his genius to its fullest. These are exciting times!

  16. MikeD says:

    Good luck to this man. He deserves it. NOW…….about that motorcycle for $20k…i don’t know about that…sounds still too $teep.

    Make a Superbike for 15k or less, a naked for less that 10k and smaller fries 500-800 in the 6-7k and maybe some kind of Ninja 250 CBR250R competitor and maybe he’ll have a line up more edible by the regular underpaid Joe…not just the few well heeled Schmocks ?

    Otherwise he will remain some NICHE Builder for the rich crowd…and i would rather buy something cheaper, proven and reliable alltogheter.

    I hope to see a future Ligthning and Ulyses againg and why not explore some other genres too while at it ?
    Screw the whole superbike crack pipe dream, they ain’t selling like HOT BREAD anymore….it’s 2012, NOT 2007 or before.

  17. Damo says:

    He’s getting closer. Once he makes a bike below the $16k mark, I’ll line up for that one.

  18. BikePilot says:

    Any chance we’ll see a superbike dressed up as a reincarnated Uly? My Uly might just be worn out by the time this show gets on the road…

  19. Brammo says:

    Erik Buell Racing Raises $20 Million from Foreign Investors – Plans to Build $20,000 Motorcycle http://t.co/AAEcDJkd

  20. Paul McM says:

    I have great respect for Buell as an innovative, forward-thinking designer/engineer. But a $20K bike? Come on… When Honda can’t give away VFR1200s for $11K? If Buell is serious about building a marketable product (and not just raising cash for his racing program), I think he should look at building a high-performance standard, along the lines of a street-tracker. Nobody offers such a thing. Light-weight chassis, torquey motor, high bars, decent seat/seating position, optional bikini fairing. The Ducati Monster is getting old now, it’s high-maintenance, and it’s uncomfortable for a lot of people. The market is saturated with sportbikes, cruisers, and ridiculous 600-lb “adventure bikes” that will never go off road. Go back to the basics with a bike that looks better than a triumph, can hang with supermotos without the torture seat, and fills a market need.

    Note to Buell, take a look at what Richard Pollock is doing over at http://mulemotorcycles.net. Build me something like this, http://mulemotorcycles.net/p7hg_img_14/fullsize/Oz1020-237_fs.jpg , with turn-signals and and injected motor, and I’ll be the first buyer.

  21. X-10shooter says:

    Paul, you are totally missing the point of why Honda can’t sell those VFR’s. It’s not a Buell, it didn’t come from America and it’s not the underdog in the cycle world. The 1190 has become an icon for those of that prayed that an American company would do something other than some dogged out push-rod v-twin from the 40′s or a failed attempt at making a super bike that did not perform to expectations. It’s new, fresh and no B.S. thanks to a CEO that believes in something. The Duc’s and had their place in time and it was in the past even though they sell plenty of bikes and I really do love them. We all knew that the 1190 wouldn’t blow anyone’s doors off but, Mr. May currently resides in 5th in AMA points on a bike that has seen the track for just over a year. Tell me Mr. McM, when is the last time Honda or Duc developed something that did that?.. Oh. Sorry they don’t even participate in AMA superbike except for Honda which will show up at Laguna.