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.

700cc Honda Integra Motor for Mid-Sized Motorcycles

09/26/2011 @ 4:27 am, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

700cc Honda Integra Motor for Mid Sized Motorcycles Honda Integra motorcycle motor 1

Someone at Honda must have forgotten that the company has already used the Integra name, as Honda Motor Co. has released details on its new mid-sized motorcycle motor. A two-cylinder 700cc four-stroke lump, the Integra motor promises to be a class leader in fuel-economy for the Japanese brand.

Boasting 40% greater fuel efficiency from other “sport” motors in the 500cc-700cc class, the Integra motor can do 63 mpg (US) according to our rough calculations of Honda’s consumption figure of 27km/L. Perhaps more interesting than its fuel economy, Honda has also stated that the new motor can be coupled to the company’s second generation dual-clutch transmission, the first generation of which can be seen on the Honda VFR1200F.

Honda plans on having the Integra motor showcased on three different concept motorcycles, which will debut at the 2011 EICMA show in Milan, Italy later this year. One of those models will surely be along the same vein as the Mid Concept scooter we saw last year, as that bike is nearly ready for production.

While we don’t know very much more about these concepts, we do know that the Integra motor is designed to be mounted with a 62º forward lean on the cylinder heads, making it lean very far forward — nearly parallel to the road. Expect to see both a DCT variation and a six-speed manual transmission configuration of the Integra at EICMA.

Main Features of the Honda Integra Motorcycle Motor:

Higher combustion efficiency and lower friction

  • A wide variety of low friction technologies that aid better fuel economy are incorporated: To improve fuel efficiency through better-controlled combustion while realizing a powerful ride in the low- to mid-rpm ranges, the bore-stroke ratio is set at 73×80mm. An ideal combustion chamber shape and optimum valve timing also contribute to achieve stable combustion. Resin coating is applied to the pistons, and lightweight aluminum material is employed for the first time in a motorcycle in the friction-reducing roller rocker arm.

Uneven-interval firing and uniaxial primary balancer

  • Adoption of uneven-interval firing with a 270° phase crank and uniaxial primary balancer help realize an engine with a pleasant throbbing feel that also reduces vibration.

Branch intake port inside the cylinder head, valve timing

  • The layout of a branch intake port inside the cylinder head was chosen to have only one intake channel for two cylinders. This design creates deliberate interference between the two cylinders’ intake processes to achieve precisely calculated changes to combustion timing. In addition, to change the valve timing between the two in-line cylinders with one camshaft, the specifications provide for a cam with two timing routines for the intake valve. Through these measures, subtle combustion changes can be generated to give the engine a delightful, pulsating feel.

Exhaust emission purification system

  • To maximize the efficiency of exhaust emission purification so that the catalyzer, a three-way catalyst, can be started promptly after the engine starts, the catalyzer has been placed directly beneath the exhaust ports. This design lets the combustion gas pass through the catalyst while the gas is still hot. In addition, a combination of measures, including the adoption of an electronically-controlled fuel injection system (PGM-FI), allows the engine to achieve an emission level approximately half the European emission standards (Euro 3). The resulting environmental performance is ranked among the top in the world without compromising powerful, smooth output.

Second-generation Dual Clutch Transmission

  • The Dual Clutch Transmission, developed for the first time by Honda for motorcycles and installed on the VFR1200F, is now lighter and more compact through a simplified hydraulic circuit and other design enhancements. A learning function has been added to each selected running mode to detect a variety of riding environments from city streets to mountain passes and automatically performs the most suitable shift control. Although it is an automatic transmission, the Dual Clutch Transmission delivers fuel economy on a par with manual transmissions as a result of its excellent transmission efficiency.

Source: Honda

Comment:

  1. BBQdog says:

    And now lets hope they are not gonna stick this engine in a 220+ kg bike as they usually do
    but a midrange weighting bike about 150 kg dry. Stick it in a CBR 250 R frame for example.

  2. Damo says:

    @BBQDog

    That would be too awesome to actually happen. I love Honda, but often they are too conservative for their own good.

  3. BikePilot says:

    Make mine one with an efficient, small turbo and a 270 degree crank please. I’d like it stuck in a chassis something like a hyper/smr990/buell ulysses sort of thing (ideally the comfort of the buell, beauty of the hyper and raw performance of the SMR).

  4. fazer6 says:

    boooring

  5. jim smith says:

    And Honda continues its slide towards irrelevance. The world lets out a collective yawn.

  6. Bob says:

    There is a standard bike that this very same drivetrain resides in. Should be a nice commuter and then some with some soft bags. Supposedly there will be a lightweight adventure style bike with this drivetrain as well. No pics yet.

  7. Jason says:

    Put this into a decent chassis and it sounds like a nice lump…

  8. frogy 6 says:

    I wonder at the power figures. Sounds like everything is geared for economy and emissions doesn’t bode well for power

  9. Jake Fox says:

    Performance: 0-60? Yes.

  10. Damo says:

    I will get excited when they finally come out with a supersport/liter bike with the DCT. I am curious to see how that will work.

    Could be awesome…or aweful, but change is always painful.

  11. Billy Jones says:

    Let’s not forget that Honda has used the same names in cars and bikes before. Can you say, Hondamatic?

  12. 2ndclass says:

    I often wonder why Honda bothered with developing a DCT, given the type of gearboxes bikes already have. Surely the easier option would have been to fit the electric/hydraulic clutch and shift actuators to a normal gearbox and implement a blipper-box. Would weigh less than a DCT too.

    Then I remember: it’s Honda.

  13. Damo says:

    @2ndclass

    Classic example of a clueless comment. How is the hell do you think a standard gearbox with “electric/hydraulic clutch and shift actuators” is going to weigh less than the DCT?

    Do you work for Honda? Do you have experience designing transmissions? If you did you would realize that on the average a DCT usually comes with a weight savings. Just because the current Honda DCT is tied to a porky sport tourer doesn’t mean shit. Also if you took the time to test ride it you would probably eat your words.

    I still find it odd that so much baseless Honda hate floats around in elitist motorcycle circles.

  14. Random says:

    Humm… “the specifications provide for a cam with two timing routines for the intake valve.” Is this a V-tec (variable valve timing) of sorts? Maybe some performance if you ring it out?

    I may be outnumbered but I like when some big bike manufacturer takes the time to design an engine that will make me spend less money and stop less times for gas. But this could me only me and my “bikes as transportation and other bikes as toys” philosophy.

  15. 2ndclass says:

    How can two clutches, gearbox shafts, and actuators for both weigh less than one of each?

  16. MikeD says:

    http://www.motociclismo.it/gallery/moto-scooter/scooter-integra-e-motore-di-700-cc-da-honda-all-eicma-2011/motore_Honda_700_cambio_doppia_frizione_DCT_dual_clutch_trasmission_02?gpage=1&ipage=1

    Seems like the xhaust manifold is now built into the head casting(like Chrysler’s PentaStar V6)…check the size of the Catalytic Coverter and the O2 Sensor Bung right before it.

    Screw and lock-nut valve adjusters, one TB for 2 intake runners, no more silly synch-job.

    Is that fly-by-wire Throttle too(cruise control an option?)?

    270* Crank to mimic a 90* V-Twin power pulses, balancer…by looking at the die marks it appears that the crank is forged or cast like a 360* unit then twisted to 270* set up(that can’t be good for the grain and strenght of the metal in that section)

    Plugs location on top of the xhaust runner(thru the front and not in the valve cover)
    Aluminium RR arms(fancy). W/P driven off the camshaft like BMW or Husqvarna.

    Is a given that this thing is gonna cost major $$$, SO ! why go thru all the trouble of putting all these “high technology” into one assembly…and then:

    Using A CHEAP SQUARE TUBE SECTION Swing arm that looks like a $5 Part ?

    Is like wearing a $1000 Armani suit with “10 Pairs for a Dollar” Flip-Flops.

    I heard some noise that the VFR1200F would be getting an improved DCT Box…after reading this i migth think it could be true…hopefully along with a 5-6gal fuel tank…that should stop some of the complaints(or so i hope)…lol.

  17. MikeD says:

    P.S: How come the USA Press gets so little material and yet the Europeans get it all ? What the hell man ?! What’s with the discrimination ?

    Same happened with the 2012 CBR1000RR(FireBlade).

  18. Richard Gozinya says:

    MikeD, in this case it’s simple. The Europeans will be far more interested in this engine than Americans will. American riders, by and large, either want super insanely fast sportbikes whose full potential they’ll never utilize, or massive cruisers. Not a whole lot of middle ground in the American market between those two, unfortunately.

  19. Bill Ong says:

    I think the Americans will welcome a smaller engine lighter bike as we have a large group os us moving into our golden years. But, I don’t think an engine alone will make a bike popular. Honda in some respects is still building dark ages bikes. Non adjustable seats that are too high, a windscreen that is too low and not adjustable, turn signals that go on forever (I really miss my PC800), and very little in the line of options such as cruise control, and satellite navigation. If they made a good looking bike or scooter like this they would have customers taking numbers at the dealers doors. I don’t want a bare bones bike or scooter, I want a loaded one. I wouldn’t buy a bare bones automobile or scooter/bike.

  20. Damo says:

    @2ndclass

    You obviously have no concept of how to do research. Google is your friend, look it up don’t take my word for it

  21. sp33dwagon says:

    love to see this in a new reimagined VFR700 type bike. with mileage like that i’d bite.