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 of the Husqvarna Nuda 900R Makes Us Feel…Bleeh!

07/06/2011 @ 12:44 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Video of the Husqvarna Nuda 900R Makes Us Feel...Bleeh! husqvarna nuda 900r 635x422

The straw vote in the A&R office is that the jury is still out on the recently unveiled Husqvarna Nusa 900R. We like that BMW is setting up Husqvarna to be the more edgy on-street brand in its two-wheeled house, and the maxi-motard is a safe street entry for the otherwise dirt-based company. A narrow, fairly light, and peppy twin should be fun to blast from stoplight to stoplight, lane-split between traffic-packed cars, and generally just hoon about town. Price of course will be an issue for the Nuda 900R, as its components don’t suggest a cheap price tag, of course we don’t think Husqvarna (read BMW) is too concerned with that issue, as they’re likely focusing on the more exclusive side of the market continuum.

Speaking of select target markets, the looks are not the most generally palatable, with our office’s spectrum of reception ranging from drool-worthy praise to motions of people hanging themselves with their belt (and not in that good auto-erotica asphyxiation sort of way). One thing we can agree on, as far as promo videos go…this one doesn’t really achieve any of the goals we’d think Husqvarna would set out for its first street bike.

Imagine a rider lazily riding around (read: hopped-up on enough Valim to kill a small elephant) on what looks like a homey supermoto road course that’s in desperate need of some landscaping. Bored, tired, and perhaps miffed that he can’t take this undulating course at full-tilt, he stuffs the Nuda 900R into third gear and just let’s the bike putt along at the 15 mph or so it looks like this director filmed the sequence at. About ready to off himself, or join Teach for America, our protagonist lofts the front wheel purely for a change of scenery, or perhaps forgetting that this isn’t a KTM commercial. The Husqvarna Nuda 900R obliges with pleasure, which of course only embeds further our rider’s disappointment at what could have been a fast-paced, no-holds-barred, wheel-spinning torque monster of doom video.

If Husqvarna really wants to offer bikes that differ from the BMW code of conduct (and go after a certain Austrian company that’s already about 5-years into this process), it’s going to have to start making videos that break away from the German look and feel. For a Swedish brand that’s owned by a German company with an Italian HQ, we need less Hans and more Luccio…and maybe a little bit more cowbell from Husqvarna.

Source: Husqvarna

Comment:

  1. Shaitan says:

    Yawn.

  2. 76 says:

    it wasnt that bad but shit, a motard and no backing it in? They pull plenty of wheelies but they also make the bike look like it dosent turn, that must be in part 2 I guess.

  3. fazer6 says:

    Probably a fairly accurate portrayal of how they’ll actually be ridden.

  4. Andrew says:

    Interesting reactionss of BMW’s first official sneak peek.

    Has everyone become so used to Chris Pfeiffer or ‘Teach’ balanciing the F800 on the edge of sky scrapers or the blades of a moving helicopter that seeing a bike being ridden in a pure, unshowy way now just seems dull?

    I know I’ll never ride a bike like the Chris’s and seeing what they can do with the F800 doesn’t make me want one, it just makes me feel unworthy. I found this first look vid to be very appealing, showing the bike being ridden in a way I can relate to, and it is also the first bike since the Megamoto that has me twitching the corners of my wallet.

    I’d want to see it in person to be sure. The Daivel for instance is stunning in the flesh, but doesn’t photograph so well. This thing looks great in pictures, but will it look as good in reality? I think it’ll be a hard sell against the Daivel or the Hypermotard if they price it at 15 or higher, but at say $13,500 or so I’d be a buyer.

  5. AndrewF says:

    Tough crowd! Here’s an modern, individual looking, not silly, but usefully powerful bike and you are complaining… about what, exactly? If only someone slapped a Ducati or Triumph badge on the same bike you’d be wetting your pants – and the proof of that lies no further than the next item on the front page, about Radical Ducati!

  6. dave says:

    blablabla. poor written article…

  7. buellracerx says:

    husky really just needs to find some celebrity stunt or s-moto rider, give them 2 bikes, let them beat on them w/ plenty of cameras on + around the bikes. aesthetics will have to grow on me, not a bad first taste, though.

  8. Jeram says:

    A&R

    I think your missing the point,

    This bike is not built to be a racer motard; where a racer commercial would be appropriate
    If someone wants a performance motard they will go out and buy the thoroughbred SM husky.

    This bike is built primarily to be a commuter and for a blast in the hills, it will mostly be ridden by those wanting a sportier BMW 800 to commute on, wannabe street supermoto squids and people wanting an something a little different to ride to work and on weekends.

    I think the commercial represented a perfect display of balance… they sneaked in a little bit of hooliganism while keeping the bike looking composed which appeals to the broader commuter market.

  9. mark says:

    I fear this bike is just the first sign of BMW’s destruction of the Husqvarna brand.

    Husqvarna is and has always been about dirtbikes. They’ve been making excellent enduro machines since long before the first R80G/S was a gleam in BMW’s corporate eye. And suddenly BMW wants to turn them into an edgy street brand? That’s the last thing we need, as there are already plenty of them. They should let Husqvarna concentrate on doing what they do best: building great dirtbikes and dual sports. Let them build a mid-sized ADV bike that has significantly more dirt focus than the F800GS, not a stripped-down, bored-out F800R.

  10. Tyler Sanborn says:

    Still, it’s a freakin cool bike for ‘Husky’ (uhhhh, BMW)… 6 months ago if you asked me whether or not I would ever think about buying a Husqvarna, I would have thought you were completely nuts….. after seeing the Nuda 900 (worst bike name ever, by the way), I actually want one!

  11. mxs says:

    Amazing … people think that a boring video teaser will negatively affect a bike launch or sale???

    Must be really slow in the news desk ….

  12. There’s nothing about this video that says “this is a fun bike to ride” which is exactly what the Nuda 900R is supposed to be about. I don’t suggest a trackday video sequence, or a Chris Pfeiffer montage, but something more than riding gingerly on a closed circuit would have been nice.

  13. Dirty Dave says:

    I like the concept of the bike. I think it fits a viable niche.
    Let’s see about the price.
    If all they did was bore it out to 900cc, will that make the motor snappy enough?
    Personally, I don’t like searching the stratosphere for the powerband.
    I think the vid shows the bike in realistic use. (non jailable offense riding).
    We shall see.

  14. Scruby says:

    Cool looking bike but a so- so video.I want to see some backing it in shots,and some dirt action would be nice.Scotty Parker,totally sideways,at 100mph,on a Utah gravel road.Now that would be fantastic….Tyler.The worst name ever.Hodaka Road Toad.

  15. mxs says:

    “There’s nothing about this video that says “this is a fun bike to ride” which is exactly what the Nuda 900R is supposed to be about. I don’t suggest a trackday video sequence, or a Chris Pfeiffer montage, but something more than riding gingerly on a closed circuit would have been nice.”

    Give them time it will come I am sure. Not that I need to see someone wheeling it or backing it in to like the machine, but perhaps others will do ….

    KTM had quite a few “fun” videos for 690SMC, but it didn’t lead to massive sales, did it? My point is that the people who are into these kind of bikes don’t need to see a fun video teaser.

    Show me specs, price it well and let me demo ride it … is all I need to speak with my banker.

  16. I don’t get all the haters here.

    This bike fills the same niche as the Triumph Bonneville, only better as it has more power and will probably weigh less. It is a sporty, yet comfortable bike for commuting, having fun with on the weekend, and doing just about anything else that you want to with it. Throw on some soft saddlebags and it’s a sport tourer. The bike will probably be light enough to do some light dirt road riding.

    I agree that a lot will depend on the price. But the projected power will be right in the proper range, and barring a screw-up (like how heavy Triumph made the Bonnie) this bike could appeal to just about everyone from beginners to baby boomers and everyone in-between.