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.

Hero Motors to Build Gearboxes for BMW Worldwide

05/03/2011 @ 12:52 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Hero Motors to Build Gearboxes for BMW Worldwide bmw r1200gs adventure 635x476

Hero Motors has just inked a deal with BMW that sees the Indian motorcycle manufacturer building gearboxes for the Bavarian brand not only in the Indian market, but also worldwide. The five to eight year deal will see Hero building gearboxes for BMW on a variety of motorcycles, and we presume scooters, though which models exactly remains to be seen.

The news is a boon for the Indian motorcycle manufacturing industry, as it adds further credence to the country’s technical prowess. The deal is also beneficial for BMW as well, as the German company will not only be able to build its bikes for cheaper, but we’re sure BMW is gaining a foothold on the lucrative Indian market from the transaction as well. BMW currently imports fully-built motorcycles into India, but with this news, we see that business practice changing in the near future.

“We have developed the gearbox ourselves,” said Hero Motors Managing Director Pankaj Munjal. “Usually, components such as engines and transmissions are made by the company itself, as they involve advanced technology. We have achieved the expertise. BMW Motorrad will source gearboxes from us for products it sells globally.”

That Europe is the best place for sourcing automobile components is not necessarily correct. The landscape is changing. Our transmission business, for one, has been growing over 70 per cent a year for the last few years,” he continued.

This isn’t the first deal like this for Hero, as the Indian company already does about $200 million in business making parts for Canadian outfit Bombardier Recreational Products and other components for BMW. However the contract to build gearboxes for motorcycles is a signal that more skilled and technical products are being sourced from India and abroad.

Source: BSMotoring via IndianCarsBikes

Comment:

  1. George Mastovich says:

    Guys and gals,

    Remember, when you write, that there is a motorcycle called Indian and the company and name has just been purchased by Polaris. It can get very confusing for us Olde Phartes :)).

  2. Other Sean says:

    I know it probably won’t dent BMW sales, but not all of the pipe and sleeper beemer boys are happy about their bikes being built in India. Parts of the G450X and maybe some other bikes are assembled by Kymco, if my memory serves correctly. And they weren’t really advertising that info.
    Again, probably a moot point, but thought I’d mention it.

  3. Andrew says:

    Indian made gearboxes? They might as well make them out of clay while they are at it… Indians have some brilliant engineers and software people, but their metallurgy and quality control leave much to be desired. Knowing such critical parts of the bike come from India would certainly affect my purchasing decision, especially when it comes to BMW who charge premium prices for their allegedly premium product. ‘Premium’ and Made in India’ just do not go together in my mind.

  4. MikeD says:

    New BMW Strategy:

    In order to divert ALL the bad mouthing they have got all these years from self grenading Final Drive Units, Engine dying when u come to a stop for no reason(I-4 1300 Bikes), Rods sticking out of the cases and locked up trannies while under way(I4-1200 KR-KS Bikes), monthly software updates(whats this, Windows Vista ?) they will be manufacturing their trannies on India.

    Another thing taunting-poking u on the back of your head wondering about when it will quit on u, where will u become stranded and how much it will cost u to have it fixed.

    PUN INTENDED. Flame Suit On. LoL.

  5. Damo says:

    Guess I’ll be going with that RC8R instead of the S1000RR…

  6. Jim says:

    Getrag, a German company, has manufactured BMW MC transmissions for years and before the problems with final drives the most complained about component on BMW’s was the transmission. Clunky, hard to shift, noisy, difficult to find neutral, many complaints. Its difficult to imagine that Hero will be worse.

  7. Donnie says:

    As long as this doesn’t end up the way the front forks on the 2001 – 2002 F650GS did, I imagine things will turn out well for them.

  8. Nikhil Shetye says:

    As an Indian I am rightfully happy about the deal but a bit concerned about the misinformed people regarding build quality in India….admitted that we did lack the build quality earlier cos we were obviously a poor nation due to the looting and plundering by the british for so many years, considering the fact that most international manufacturers source parts from India and that includes Ducati, Mv Augusta, Mercedes,Fiat Jaguar etc,I can assure you the build quality would be as per the best in Industry for a far less price…..Please readers of this site change your perception about India

  9. MikeD says:

    By the way, i was ripping on BMW, not India, want to make that clear.
    I don’t think one country is dirt and another one gold, we all have our own ups and downs…specially mine (USA).
    Im pretty sure with the proper means and training any country and human being can achieve great results and create high quality products.