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 Gets 161hp & Dry Graphite Chain Lubrication

12/20/2011 @ 7:00 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Horex VR6 Gets 161hp & Dry Graphite Chain Lubrication horex vr6 concept drawing 635x444

Zie Germans are still hard at work this winter back in zie mother country, as the final production version of the Horex VR6 is coming together. Today, the German company has announced the official performance figures of its new street bike, and the base 1,218cc six-cylinder VR motor comes with 161hp on tap and 100 lbs•ft of peak torque.

Making its peak power at 9,000 rpm, the Horex VR6 also makes most of its torque extremely low in the rev range. With 66 lbs•ft of torque at 2,000 rpm, the German roadster reaches 74 lbs•ft of torque at 3,500rpm, which fits well with the company’s hope of making the VR6 easy to ride on city streets.

Perhaps more interesting that the performance figures is the announced constant solid-graphite chain lubrication system. As the name implies, the Horex VR6 will constantly lube its chain, but instead of using oil or wax, as is traditionally used, the German motorcycle company has partnered with specialists at the Schunk Group, who have created a system that constantly coats the chain drive with a thin layer of graphite.

Less messy, and not prone to being flicked off the chain by centrifugal forces, the dry chain lubrication system is an industry first brought to market by Horex, and sounds intriguing on paper. With claims that it increases maintenance intervals over standard chain lubrication systems, this is a feature owners will be particularly interested in seeing reviews of as the VR6 hits dealer floors.

“The testing was aimed at determining the final engine control settings for homologation. The performance results for our naturally aspirated VR6 engine are definitely impressive,” said Horex CEO Clemens Neese. “Our goal was to achieve an engine profile that delivers plenty of torque slightly above idle and then dynamically increases on a continuum up to the maximum torque output. And we clearly achieved this objective.”

“Our goal in developing the driveline was to combine riding comfort, i.e. stability and excellent front-to-back ratio, with low maintenance,” explained Horex Chief Engineer Robert Rieder. “A chain drive with a graphite-based solid lubricant system is the best possible solution.”

Horex hopes to have the base model Horex VR6 out in the Spring of 2012, with the supercharged version to follow later in the model’s future.

Source: Horex

Comment:

  1. Kurt says:

    BRAVO to Horex for some “Out of the box” thinking!!!
    Using dry graphite lubrication is hardly a new concept. I used it for the wheels on my Pine Wood Derby cars when I was in Cub Scouts back in the 80′s. To think that it took this long for some engineer with an idea to integrate a similar system in a real world application is just laughable. I’d love to see an aftermarket system similar to a Scottoiler or a Pro-Oiler offered with this technology. I’d be first in line to start fitting it to Chain Driven motorcycles and bicycles.

  2. clarence says:

    Hi Kurt,
    no problem – the system HOREX will use is also avaiblable as a kit version to mount on a number of bikes. More here: http://www.carbonforbikes.com/

  3. Alex says:

    Why is the rear rotor so large?

  4. Damo says:

    I truly love the looks of this bike and it looks like it might have some good performance too! Almost looks too nice to ride.

    I hope more “outside the box” production bikes like this start popping up. Ten dollars says it is much cheaper than one of those confederate pigs too!

  5. MikeD says:

    @Damo: I would take this “Piggy Roadster” over a Confederate any day of the week…(^_^)

    @Clarence:I find your link relevant to my “Complete Drive Chain World Domination/Oblitaration Grand Scheme”.

    Do u happen to know if at the moment they have a distributor of their product on the U.S.A ?

  6. John says:

    Do concept drawings need chain lube? You wanna impress someone? How ’bout producing a real, affordable motorcycle, not a series of “one offs”.

  7. MikeD says:

    C’mon John, be a good sport, there’s plenty of Ninja250, CBR250, TU250, GZ250, Eliminator125, WR250X, Vulcan500, GS500, ETC “affordable hardware” for decades now…is just that people here on the USA don’t really give a crap about it. Harsh and Simple.

    Let “Whorex” dream big and sell some of these Beasts. We all don’t want to ride “enviromentally friendly sensible HIGH MPG commuters”, do we ?
    If they are meant to go under they will on their due time…give time time.

  8. mxs says:

    What he meant was, why does concept drawing need lubrication …. a dig that there’s ton of concept filling bandwidth quotas, yet no so many bikes. Bikes are only as good as people can buy them and afford them.

    I’d rather take a chain on a real world bike … nothing to do with 250cc bikes.

  9. MikeD says:

    U guys(MXS & John) are too pesimistic and thinking “too deep”…my head hurts.
    There’s plenty of fish ALREADY for “your hooks” in the “motorcycle sea”…let the others hope and dream for “different fish”… even if it is the elusive “800 lbs $250,000 Blue Fin Tuna”(Horex VR6).

    Unless u guys live on “a different paralell universe with no recession where money comes out of your “lowest back” everytime u take a dump” u won’t be getting all those “real bikes” ur hoping for…anyway, there’s more bikes ALREADY than u money to afford them all.

  10. Randy Singer says:

    “A chain drive with a graphite-based solid lubricant system is the best possible solution.”

    I dunno. An X-ring chain, with a hit from a $5 can of DuPont Teflon Dry Lube
    http://www.amazon.com/Dupont-Multi-Use-Lubricant-Aerosol-D00110101-C/dp/B0009LSXOA
    every week to two, is inexpensive, easy to maintain, completely clean, and just about ideal in all respects.

    I’ve used graphite-based chain lubes and they tend to make the chain black, and if any of your apparel rubs against the chain it gets badly stained. Graphite isn’t a clean chain lube at all.

  11. Lumengrid says:

    @John and msx:

    The concept needs the lubrication as according tot he article the final production is coming toghether and also we are talking here about “Zie Germans” building a bike here…of course they have to have every angle covered (strongly recommend watching a short film how Bugatti Veyron was designed it will help you understand how german engineers think :) )

    @MikeD: You are hunder % right. There is plenty of “affordable hardware” out there. Only if BMW were making some handsome devils like the one above altought they have a plus in my books for the S1000 RR

  12. MikeD says:

    @Randy:

    I had totally forgotten about that product u mentioned, someone said something about it some time ago but like with a lot of things it totally went under my radar’s scope…(^_^).

    Im going to try to source it locally. I wonder if my “local” cyclegear store carries it.

  13. Randy Singer says:

    @MikeD

    There are several versions of DuPont Teflon Lube. There is one specifically made for bikes, and you can get it at any Wal-Mart in the auto department. I don’t like that version as much, as it is rather thick. I prefer the “multi-purpose” version that comes in the blue can. It is thinner, so it penetrates your chain better, and it sets up dry almost instantly. You can get it at any Lowe’s hardware store.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_213197-39963-D00110101_?PL=1&productId=1059839

    I’ve been using it for several years now, and my chain and rear wheels still look like new! I’ve never had to clean either!

  14. MikeD says:

    @Randy: Thanks my good Sir, i did a little digging and came up with this little chart from the DuPont products website.

    I believe ur talking about the first can left to right ? (the one u prefer that is).

    http://www2.dupont.com/Consumer_Lubricants/en_US/assets/downloads/DuPont_Teflon_Lubricants_and_Greases_Product_Availability.pdf

    U are right on the $$$ about where to get it.
    As soon as i kill my FREE current can of Bell-Ray i’ll buy & try it like the world’s coming to an end…(im a CHEAP SKATE, i can’t be helped) lol.

  15. MikeD says:

    P.S: Thanks for the real world feedback from a real user…(^_^)

  16. MikeD says:

    @LumenGrid:

    They(BMW) already have a jewel of A foundation to make something AND BETTER than Horex…The K1600GT and it’s core hardware(powertrain & frame)

    They just need to switch from the “TOTALLY makes sense both economically, everyone on the board gave it the thumps up and we gonna make tons of money out of it frame” mind set to the “Ahhh WTH! , WE ARE BMW, JUST ‘CAUSE WE CAN, I THINK IT WILL SELL, LET’S BUILD THIS B*&%” one.

    Maybe one day they’ll kick out a kick-ass K1600R…just because…lol.
    And before anyone goes preaching that it will be totally useless and overkill…all i have to say is…go get yourself a CBR250 and set the world on fire. LMAO.

  17. JoeD says:

    I have used the DuPont stuff from new on the Benelli and after 13000 miles, the sprokets look new and I have a lot of adjustment left on the chain.

  18. Jake Fox says:

    +1 for the DuPont Teflon Dry Lube. It works!