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.

Horex VR6 Delayed Until Spring 2012 – Supercharged Version Later

09/21/2011 @ 3:05 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

Horex VR6 Delayed Until Spring 2012   Supercharged Version Later Horex VR6 test photo 635x435

German upstart Horex has announced that production of the Horex VR6 will be delayed from its planned start later this year, and instead will start production in Spring 2012. Citing part supply issues, particularly with the bike’s supercharger unit, Horex will first make available its 160hp normally-aspirated version, while the 197hp supercharged version will start production in late 2012.

The supply chain issue stems from the rebounding of the European OEM parts suppliers industry, who have lately been inundated with parts requests. Getting reportedly shuffled to the back of the queue, Horex does not have parts in the quantities it needs to make a proper production run, and thus has pushed production back further.

“We wanted to have the new Horex on the market in time for the 2012 season,” said Horex CEO Clemens Neese. “Therefore, we decided to move up the production date of the planned, non-supercharged model. The supercharged version of the bike will appear on the market somewhat later.”

On top of the production delays, the German company also announced that the Horex VR6 will instead come with a chain final drive. Horex says that the company’s original plan to have a belt drive had to be nixed, as the belt system did not perform as expected during road trials.

Using an extremely narrow 15(degree) cylinder head offset, Horex’s first motorcycle model takes its name from the bike’s VR6 engine configuration. With 1,218cc of cylinder displacement, the German roadster will have plenty of power in its natural form, though the company has also had a forced-induction version on the cards since Day One.

This announcement from the German company is a bit interesting as it is the first we’ve heard of a motorcycle company citing supply chain issues for its production capabilities. Normally when there is an issue of a motorcycle company with a parts supplier, it stems from the motorcycle manufacturer not having sufficient capital to pay for the parts in advance, as is rumored to be the case currently with MV Agusta.

We’ll get a chance to see the Horex VR6 up-close at EICMA later this year, and hope the company can make its 2012 production deadlines.

Source: Horex

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Oh…that’s Uber B.S. How’s the belt not rigth for this Model ?

    Why? Because It didn’t get all CAKED UP on GREASE AND ROAD GRIME and it DIDN’T HAVE TO BE ADJUSTED everytime i fart ? Who da hell is going to be changing final drive ratios on this Killer Whale ?

    Im sure $$$ was the main determining factor here, as with almost anything these days. I doubt a modern day belt can’t put up with the Pojected 200hp Target.

    DEATH TO DIRTY HIGH MAINTENANCE CHAINS!

  2. MikeD says:

    P.S: This thing is looking better and better by the minute now that i saw it rolling and someone riding it. (^_^ )

  3. MikeD says:

    P.S.1: I was going to say about the MASSIVE Can but that is an easy fix..{albeit xpensive} with the aftermarket.

    Maybe Ducati should talk to Horex and copy their front end set-up(neat looking by the way). It could be the “end all, cure all headaches” Ducati is having with their GP Bike handling…lmao.

  4. Bob says:

    A belt definitely can handle 200 RWHP. I’ve done it myself. There’s more than enough tensile strength in the belts to handle 400 HP. Keeping the teeth on it, long term, might be an issue. I’m a big fan of belts. I have little need to change final drive ratios on a street bike. Even less of a need when you have so much HP at your disposal.

  5. Johndo says:

    Christmas wish list updated.

  6. Damo says:

    @MikeD

    Funny I have had nothing but chain bikes my whole life and I don’t recall ever being troubled with excessive maintenance.

    First off try using a high quality paraffin based dry chain lubricant, works much better and nothing sticks to it.

    Second buy a decent chain and it wont stretch so much. I routinely check mine every 700-1000 miles and I haven’t had to adjust mine in over 2,000 miles. Having to chronically adjust your chain is pure rubbish.

  7. Damo says:

    @MikeD-2

    I agree the thing does look great though. Still curious about the price tag. It is a seriously unique machine.

  8. Shawn says:

    I totally agree with dumping the belt. Damo is right, a good chain lube and chain and you’re good to go. And I’d rather be making decisions on if I’d change the final drive, not some guy posting a comment on news-story on the anonymous internet.

  9. Ed Gray says:

    UUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH!

    Could I possibly care less………………………………………………….Nope!

  10. MikeD says:

    @Damo:

    Im gonna give it a go to this Paraffin lube u mentioned…who makes it ? I have a can of BellRay Chain Lube(dark-tacky)…im affraid is not what ur talking about.

    Price…probably will be more than a V-MAX or an MT-01 or Carbon Diavel.
    The idea of riding a narrow v-six with the size of an I3 and Tons of power on tap sure is aluring. Call me Greedy…and foolish…i don’t care. lol. Too bad im too broke to even dream about it. (^_^ )

  11. MikeD says:

    @Bob…go figure…after all we don’t wear fancy white lab coats and have a degree in a atom splitting nor own and manage our own motorcycle company and it’s R&D Department..
    …chain, no chain…im not the target costumer so is W/E.

  12. joe C says:

    $28,000. projected price maybe $22k-$25k without supercharger on the first production run.
    Merry Christmas