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.

Video: Horex VR6 Gets Up and Running

06/22/2012 @ 11:30 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Video: Horex VR6 Gets Up and Running Horex VR6 635x422

After seeing the production schedule of the Horex VR6 pushed back several times now (let’s not even mention the DOA-status of the supercharged version of the bike), it looks like the revival of the German brand is nearly ready for primetime, as Horex has released a video of the VR6 scooting about (sans its triple-pipe exhaust). The aptly named Horex VR6 features a 15° VR-shaped six-cylinder motor, which with its 1,218cc displacement produces a stout 161 bhp.

Built with classic roadster styling, Horex has been tight-lipped on the bike’s pricing, though we expect that it will be well north of $20,000 when it reaches American shores. While we’ve already heard the supercharged Horex testing on the company’s engine dyno, this is the first we’re heard from the naturally aspirated model. Check it out after the jump, and let us know if you think it was worth the wait.

Video: Horex VR6 Gets Up and Running Horex VR6 production 01 635x952

Video: Horex VR6 Gets Up and Running Horex VR6 production 02 635x423

Video: Horex VR6 Gets Up and Running Horex VR6 production 03 635x423

Video: Horex VR6 Gets Up and Running Horex VR6 production 04 635x952

Video: Horex VR6 Gets Up and Running Horex VR6 production 06 635x423

Source: Horex

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    “Horex has been tight-lipped on the bike’s pricing, though we expect that it will be well north of $20,000 when it reaches American shores.”

    Expect to pay the equivalent of $17,617 for a 2012 Honda Fireblade here in the UK. And don’t even ask how much “proper” motorcycles cost in Brazil!

    The Horex? Interesting motor, but the whole package isn’t exactly inspiring. It’s so “German” that it could almost be one of those new Husqvarnas (and I’m saying this as someone with German heritage!). The Motus does the whole “two wheels and the biggest engine you could imagine” thing so much better imo.

  2. gildas says:

    Why the stupid stupid elevator music? I want to hear the bloody bike… Darn kids.

  3. MikeD says:

    @Gildas:

    +1 on the damn music so loud when you are trying to hear that sweet engine growl.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I still like, i still can’t afford it…sure as hell would love to own one.
    Im positive it would sound 1000x better with a FULL 6-1 system instead of that silly 6- 2 european shotgun arrangement…maybe even as good or better than a piped K1600GT or a CBX1000 with a 6-1 Megaphone system.

    I think this thing with ~160HP and such an “apparently” short wheel base must be a handfull to accelerate HARD both from 0 and rolling…i can’t see how the supercharged version will be any better…(blasphemy, i should eat my words, i know)….i guess im getting older ? lol.

    Really wishing they don’t turn out to be the German Version of Moto morini, MV Agusta or Benelli…(^_^).

    OFF Topic: What’s with some of the latest offers (this bike and the new Trophy for example) coming shod with Pirelli Angels ? I would take PR2 or 3 over those phony Angels any day.

  4. AndrewF says:

    I think it sounds great. And you know what? I think it is actually better without supercharger. 160bhp is already plenty enough, IMO there comes a point where more power just gets in the way,

  5. Sounds great, not much of a looker. I guess it is very heavy right?

  6. AndrewF says:

    Looks are a matter of opinion – I think it looks great because it is understated, simple and conventional in design. Not trying to be a stealth fighter, transformer or any other nonsense. it just looks like a motorcycle. I like that!
    As for weight, it is widely quoted at 240kg. Which is heavier than 1000cc bikes, but I think still quite reasonable in the grand scheme of things… Just compare it to the weight of that Triumph Trophy in the article above!

  7. Alex says:

    Anyone else notice the close up of the mudgaurd hitting the radiator at 0.54!? And at the end it looks like he stalled it but they sped it up for a second to try cover it up? Not sure but thats what it looks like.

  8. AndrewF says:

    They speeded up a couple of sections, also the bits where he gets off… so I wouldn’t read anything into it. But I also noticed that bit with the mudguard – if it didn’t hit the radiator, it sure came awfuly close!

  9. MikeD says:

    AndrewF says:

    Just compare it to the weight of that Triumph Trophy in the article above!

    I think it looks great because it is understated, simple and conventional in design.
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    LMAO. Hey, fat chics need love too… \(^_^)/

    +1 on the looks comment.

    Alex says:
    Anyone else notice the close up of the mudgaurd hitting the radiator at 0.54!?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yup…that was/is pretty close for comfort…looking from that angle anyways.

    Mark Morrison says:
    I guess it is very heavy right?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Not really, by the specs sheet it seems but so was the 1982 GS1100G i used to ride ( 550lbs +, 89HP, “FIRST BIKE too !” ) but once she was moving it’s mass magicaly dissapeared. If they have done their homework on this one im sure it will be the same sensation.

    I guess i depends on the persons size and fitness ? Im only 180lbs 6′-2″, I have never stepped inside a gym in my life and it never gave me trouble to ride it and put it on the center stand (although there’s a technique to it, lol).

  10. JoeD says:

    Would I ride one? YES. It looks almost Retro with the rear fender/seat/tank layout and the engine exhaust headers will get attention. “What, a six cylinder no wider than a four ??!!” I am currently accepting donations.

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