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.

Husqvarna & Husaberg Will “Reunite” After 25 Years Apart

05/16/2013 @ 3:47 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Husqvarna & Husaberg Will Reunite After 25 Years Apart husaberg husqvarna 635x423

Ever since Pierer Industrie AG bought Husqvarna from the BMW Group, there has been a great deal of speculation as to how the Italian-based Swedish-born brand would fit within the KTM empire. With zie Austrians needing another dirt bike marque like a hole in the head, it was curious to see KTM add a third off-road brand name to its stable of two-wheeled machines.

Adding even more intrigue to the situation, Stefan Pierer announced that he would discontinue Husqvarna’s pursuit of on-road machines with his acquisition, starting with the Husqvarna Nuda 900, and that he would also be closing down the bulk of the brand’s very beleaguered Italian operations, much to the chagrin of local officials and worker unions.

Now, the next chapter of Husqvarna is set to unfold, with the announcement of a new company, Husqvarna Sportmotorcycle GmbH, which unsurprisingly will be based in Mattighofen, Austria and will build off the technology that Husaberg has developed, while using the more recognizable Husqvarna name.

While no one has officially stated that this is the end of Husaberg as a separate brand, it is implied from the company’s actions and wordings in its press release (of course, we have attached the press release so you can draw your own conclusions on the matter).

Describing how the two brands would “reunite” in what they started 25 years ago, the presumed conclusion is a fitting one for the Husaberg name, which started life as an offshoot of Husqvarna after it was acquired by Cagiva, and several of its engineers declined to move to Italy, instead staying behind in Sweden.

Plans for a new 2013 line are already in place, and it is expected to debut to the public at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan, Italy.

Press Release from Husaberg:

HUSQVARNA AND HUSABERG REUNITED

“WE BRING TOGETHER WHAT BELONGS TOGETHER”

The year 2013 will be remembered in motorcycling history as the year that Husqvarna was reborn.

HUSQVARNA STARTS A NEW ERA OF GREAT SUCCESS
Following the acquisition of Husqvarna by Pierer Industries AG and after careful analysis and evaluation of all aspects, it was decided to reunite what came out of shared roots 25 years ago. In other words, Husqvarna will enter a positive new era by combining its own rich heritage with Husaberg’s state-of-the-art technology.

NEW HUSQVARNA MODEL LINEUP TO BE PRESENTED IN OCTOBER
The new generation of Husqvarna models is already in progress: a new line-up, with brand new exclusive design and the latest technology is being developed and will be offered in the segments Enduro, Motocross and Sportminicycles. There will also be exciting, newly developed products in the Supermoto segment – one in which Husqvarna has enjoyed a lot of success in recent years.

DON´T MISS THE PRESENTATION OF THE NEW HUSQVARNA OFFROAD LINEUP IN SWEDEN; PLANNED FOR EARLY OCTOBER 2013. The new line-up will be presented to the big fan community at the international EICMA show in Milan in early November.

HUSQVARNA SPORTMOTORCYCLE GMBH, OPERATIONAL AS OF OCTOBER 2013
As of October 2013, the new group company “Husqvarna Sportmotorcyle GmbH” based in Mattighofen, Austria, will be fully operational in the production and sale of the new model range to the Husqvarna network of dealers and distributors. Parts supply and Customer Service for all Husqvarna models up to and including Model Year 2013 are guaranteed for the years to come and will remain at the current business location in Biandronno (VA), Italy.

Source: Husaberg

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    Hmmm, what’s blue, yellow, red, white and orange all over? And which color KTMs will Graham Jarvis and Dave Knight be riding next year? Offroad motorcycling just got a lot duller. At least we still have TM, Beta, Gasgas, Sherco etc. here in Europe, but for how much longer?

  2. good dog says:

    Well, throw out all our speculations, it’s all a good ending for Husqvarna. I am saddened a little that we won’t see the Nuda ….. or will we…..

  3. BrianZ says:

    Huskaberg?

  4. shaller says:

    GOOD ENDING????????????????
    212-240 workers losing their jobs is a good ending????????
    Are you joking?
    BMW and PIERER/KTM are international thieves!!!

  5. Brett says:

    The overlay image is really cool, seriously.

  6. sideswipe says:

    The real question is/was would these companies be viable on their own in a declining moto market? I don’t think the consolidation is because they are growing and thriving independently. Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to merge them. Change isn’t necessarily bad. Husaberg came to be out of Husky for a reason and now are reabsorbed for a reason not simply as an evil plot to lay people off. I wonder how they will split the market segments between KTM and Husqvarna. KTM have been growing in larger and smaller street bikes for years now while Husqvarna is pretty much only a name in high performance off road to most. Interesting if they further go those directions with KTM for street bikes and Husqvarna for off road. ?

  7. paulus - Thailand says:

    Husqvarna was spiralling down the toilet when BMW then Pierer industries bought them out.
    There is no ‘KTM’ evil plan to lay off people… the blame for the lay offs lays firmly with Husqvarna management decisions and a global recession over the last few years.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Less choice for customers is never a good thing – it’s hardly like the offroad scene is exactly flourishing at the moment anyway. A “one make series” with a single company calling the shots isn’t going to help anyone who is interested in dirt as a participation sport / leisure activity (because there’s far more to offroad than MX and SX).r

    Perhaps (and I’m in serious wishful thinking mode here) one day the Japanese will sink a few yen into interesting and innovative dirtbikes and raise the bar a little. Much of the output from KTM (and Husky, to be fair) over the last few years ha been at best “adequate” rather than stellar, because it simply hasn’t had to be that good.

    And manufacturers selling underdeveloped, flaky, high maintenance competition derived bikes with plates has done immense damage to participation levels in dual sport and it probably hasn’t done a lot of good for the supermoto scene either:

    “Are you coming out for a ride this afternoon?”

    “No, I have to change my oil and filter.”

    “You did that last weekend.”

    “Yeah, but I don’t want to break another big end. And anyway, I’ve just spent $1000 on four new valves, so I have to check the clearances. And the poxy Magura clutch is dragging even worse than normal, so I have to look at that. Anyway, by the time we get back it’ll be dark and you know how useless my lights are…”

    etc.

    Riding a dirtbike is like a trip back to the 1980′s – and in a bad way. A giant rickroll. C’mon manufacturers – save the competition bikes for competition and give non – superhuman riders bikes that they can actually ride, because it’s clear that fewer and fewer people are buying the current hardware. [/rant]