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.

The 2012 Honda NC700X is Coming to America

01/23/2012 @ 7:45 am, by Jensen Beeler30 COMMENTS

The 2012 Honda NC700X is Coming to America 2012 Honda NC700X 02 635x498

Unveiled for the American market at the New York IMS Show, the Honda NC700X is officially coming stateside for 2012. The more off-road oriented version (6″ of travel up front, 5.9″ of travel in the rear) of the boringly practical 2012 Honda NC700S, the NC700X features Honda’s new 670cc parallel twin motor, which was built with fuel consumption and rideability in mind. The numbers won’t blow your hair back, with Honda’s new urban motor making 47hp and 44 lbs•ft of torque, but at 65 mpg, more practically minded riders will appreciate what the NC700X & NC700S have to offer.

A more adventurous flavor of the old motorcycle standard, the 2012 Honda NC700X, together with the NC700S variant that shares many of the same features, hopes to redefine the urban all-rounder segment, which the motorcycle industry has moved away from in recent years. And with a $6,999 base model price tag, this Honda just might do that.

Of course the NC700X isn’t completely vanilla, as Honda has optionally fitted the urban-adventurer with its latest generation dual-clutch transmission (DCT), as well as its combined anti-locking brakes (C-ABS). These add-ons will cost you though, and together bump the Honda NC700X’s price tag to $8,999. Photos after the jump.

The 2012 Honda NC700X is Coming to America 2012 Honda NC700X 07 635x497

The 2012 Honda NC700X is Coming to America 2012 Honda NC700X 10 635x422

The 2012 Honda NC700X is Coming to America 2012 Honda NC700X 12 635x421

The 2012 Honda NC700X is Coming to America 2012 Honda NC700X 04 635x498

Source: Honda

Comment:

  1. yooperbikemike says:

    Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy — The US is getting this overweight, underpowered tarted -up scooter in adventure drag and not the lovely v-4 powered Crossrunner.

  2. Neil says:

    Ok…where’s the gas tank….?

  3. yooperbikemike says:

    Neil — The filler is under the flip-up rear seat.

  4. EM says:

    It is kinda ugly. I think a bit more motard styling would help it out.

  5. jamesy says:

    Bitchin, you can take it miniature golfing. Yaaawwwn

  6. gebeme says:

    Good God thats ugly!

  7. Grandprix34 says:

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Wake me up when it’s over!

  8. Steve Lang says:

    So the 800 pound guerrilla decides to throw another banana peel in it’s path then whine about it’s cooperate sales loss when they fall down and these things end up in the warehouse. “HEY HONDA”…Pull your head out of the opium den.

  9. WetMan says:

    Thanks for your replies guys. I thought I was alone in thinking this is a lemon as this contraption is being hyped as the solution for global warming and world peace…

  10. MikeD says:

    Oh c’mon…u guys are skinning the thing alive for no real reason… and this is coming from a Honda Hater.
    Get yourself out of the mind frame that every bike must be a fire breathing ANORECXIC beast and u’ll see the positives to this Cow.

    The only complaints i share with others is the location of the fuel tank cap…what if u have stuff strapped to your rear seat ? Take it off for filling ? Seems like a bother.

    ABS only on the DCT version ? Why ? Whats wrong with manual transmission and ABS Combo ?

    Yes, the thing screams BUDGET and BUILT TO A PRICE POINT besides DCT & ABS ( just look at that backyard made swing arm, 1960′s fork and single disc (i belief any bike over 350lbs should have dual disc set up front)… but it’s suposed to be like that. This is suposed to be CHEAP TO BUILD, a daily beater, comfy, good fuel economy, some cargo capacity, maybe easy to maintain ?
    Make life easier for those who always wanted a bike but were intimidated by manual transmissions and YET didn’t want to be part of the SCOOTER Crowd ?
    Maybe for the daily rider warrior that commutes on bumper to bumper hell ? (U know that clutch hand starts to hurt and get cramps).

    Im all for HP,lite weight, “Cat in a Rug ” Handling…don’t get me wrong…but this bike is not suposed to be “that”. That’s why they sell CBR’s.

  11. MikeD says:

    P.S: At least they didn’t kid anyone with a 19″ front wheel.

    IM LOOKING AT U TRIUMPH and that HIDEOUS 19″ Front Wheel on the road-biased Tiger 800 non EXC.

  12. MikeD says:

    …and all those other long legged overweight dirt-unworthy Winnebagos (S. Tenere, BMW GS, Honda CrossTourer, etc).

    Ok, i think im done for good now. LOL.

  13. Frank Lee says:

    I don’t know, with a different pipe and some accessories, it might not look so bad. Heck, people thought, and some still think, the original Multistrada was ugly, but I think it looks much better in person then in pictures. Like a previous poster opined, this is not for the serious adv rider, it’s for the person who doesn’t have 13K to spend on a Triumph or BMW and still wants the upright seating and the longer suspension. And I’ve had several street bikes, a ’93 Ducati 750ss for example, that came with only one front disk and stopped just fine. Any bike that attracts new riders gets more people into the sport can’t be all bad, can it?

  14. JOBIE says:

    Kinda like it. Like Frank said, with some new pipes and accessories, it would work.

  15. jamesy says:

    43 rompin stompin ponies, be still my heart! I was getting 59 out of a somewhat tweaked ’88 NT650 Hawk that I raced, 66 from my STOCK SV650! I mean, how much gas mileage do I need??? Gotta keep from falling asleep on the damn thing dontcha? Numerous scooters have better storage and ergos AND power. This thing will disappear quicker than your girlfriends cherry.. just sayin

  16. I think this will certainly sell. Lots of scooter people and guys tired of stop and go traffic in the big cities will like the DCT. I like the trunk and the adventure ‘look’ inasmuch as I have a long inseam and would be glad for stretch-out room. IF it will really do 60 or 70mpg, I’d REALLY like it. 50hp is enough to keep me in traffic and out of the nosebleed-section as far as insurance, and for 7 or 8 grand, I really want to try one when they get to the dealers. Windshield, panniers, I’m very interested . . . . I would like to have ABS with the manual, I really would not want the DCT for me.

    I, too, wish we were getting theCrossRunner: Would love to still have Interceptor bits running around and available.

    I don’t understand 200+ hp Ninjas or 1000-pound BMW adv bikes . . . . but that’s just me.

  17. Damo says:

    @yooperbikemike

    I think you are the only person I have seen describe the Crossrunner as “lovely”, eww.

  18. Dman says:

    Finally–a worthy successor to Honda’s PC-800 Pacific Coast!

  19. motojc says:

    I was surprised to see it in the NY show. Love it!! 65mpg. storage for a helmet. baby crossover look. ABS (rep told me it will come standard). Options of electric plug in and heated grip. At $7k price!! I will sell my F8GS for it when it comes here (and have money to spare).

    It feels really light. One concern is, the seat is very slippery. You might fall off when trying to hang off or hang on. Other tings I would have liked done differently is tube wheels (it’s so much cheaper when you run over nails) and USD fork.

    But, happy enough as is. Good job Honda. June can’t come fast enough!!

  20. motojc says:

    oh, and the gas cap under the seat is the only really stupid thing they did.

  21. JP says:

    Weight?

    Lets hope a pipe and a big hole in the airbox can add some serious hp, I thought the 4X number was a joke. If they could get this thing up to 70+ it would have been a home run for the price. With any luck they choked the motor in order to boast the MPG figure, and some tweaks can get it to a reasonable number

  22. AK says:

    That is definitely a scooter replacement… seriously what the hell Honda is thinking???. I will give a chance to Crossrunner cause of engine and practicality, in the end Crossrunner is still Fugly.

  23. Jay K says:

    I like this bike. It’s competitive with the 2012 Moto Guzzi V7. The MG is lighter and has shaft drive. This Honda will be cheaper and probably get better gas mileage.

  24. MikeD says:

    Jay K says:
    January 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I like this bike. It’s competitive with the 2012 Moto Guzzi V7. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    SERIOUSLY ?! ROTFLMAO…ok, ok…we are all different, i understand…(O_O)

  25. MikeD says:

    People, again, this is not suposed to be a CBR600RR…is “TRANSPORTATION” (LOW HP, DECENT MPG, 0-60 under 15 sec ?)…with a side of ease of use and safety (DCT & ABS) and some lockable storage (FAKE fuel tank).

    But is ok…i too bitch “sometimes”(almost all the time) for no REAL reason(s). Is A BAD HABIT…LMFAO.

    P.S: Put away the pitch forks, torches and hanging rope…i too recognize is a bit TOO lame.

  26. JoeD says:

    Another model to be dropped after 2 years of flat sales. I thought “Scooter Frame!” when I saw the naked photo- you know how well those control flex. The front end looks as though it came from the same folks that did the GS/HyperMotard stuff.(Bandwagon Copyists) With all that raw power, you don’t have to worry about the 18 wheel juggernaught on your tag mount either. The gas cap idea actually came from the Honda Truck Division. Load that Sales Flop and then try to get to the spare tire and other items underneath the load. Another Guttless Wonder from the minds that gave us the DN-01. Our local dealer has lots of leftovers from years past except for ATV’s, Gold Wings and generators. Perhaps those are the items Honda needs to concentrate on and ditch the rest. How much time and money have been wasted over the years to “Be Everything to Everybody”?

  27. AK says:

    Mr. Jay K…. can you please elaborate how this bike is compared to Moto Guzzi V7 ?

  28. mxs says:

    Good long distance daily commuter, if that’s what a buyer is looking for. Great MPG and hard to get in trouble with a local law enforcement. i am sure they will sell quite a few of them.

  29. mxs says:

    I am just reading the other comments …. people really comment on this bike and use MG V7, Honda Crossrunner or DN-01 or all-in-one bike in the same sentence.

    Sometimes I really feel sorry for the manufacturers. They are trying hard to create bikes for different groups of customers. Yet the customers don’t bother reading nor thinking what was the intended purpose of the bike thought out by a manufacturer.

    If you think commuter, MPG, practicality and intended price point, don’t tell me you are surprised to see this bike. It makes perfect sense on paper and we will see whether they will sell them enough to make money.

  30. What a bunch of wannabee racers. You guys have not a clue. This bike has more HP and torque than myKLR650 and will be smother to boot. (With great gas mileage!) It has the same redline as an old school muscle car. It’s a great bike!