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.

Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8

02/03/2010 @ 11:36 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 2010 Yamaha FZ8 1 560x420

The announcement of the 2010 Yamaha FZ8 left many Americans confused as to why the Japanese company would release a 800cc version of it FZ1 naked streetbike. While Yamaha hasn’t confirmed the FZ8 will be coming to the US in 2010 (all the information to-date has come from Yamaha EU), abroad the battle in the 800cc middleweight slot has become increasingly contentious, and more importantly Yamaha’s presence there surprisingly non-existent.

The Associazione Nazionale Ciclo Motociclo Accessori (ANCMA), which is the Italian equivalent to our Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), has posted some interesting numbers on Italian bike sales. Taking a quick look at the Top 10 (in the Big 1o use of the number), we see three 800cc class motorcycles, and a handful of other bikes that you could consider alternatives to a middleweight naked bike. These bikes account for the fat-end of the tail in sales distribution, i.e. where manufacturers make the most money, but until recently this has been a market segment devoid of the tuning fork brand.

Unlike here in the USA, our European brothers have an inclination for the 750/800cc displacement size, and they are apparently selling very well abroad. There is little dispute that the BMW R1200GS has been the best selling motorcycle in the EU and in the world for some time now. The success of the GS in its various forms even prompted Ducati to chase the older and better monied adventure bike market with its 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200. But the GS’s dominance seems to be coming to a close, at least in Italy (although other countries in the EU are likely to show similar numbers), and we can already see the rise of the 750/800cc naked class.

Part of the factor is certainly taste, but also consider that insurance abroad isn’t the same as it is here in the US. We Americans pay a pittance compared to our friends across the pond, and the deviation among motorcycle models and premium payment isn’t great. However find yourself in Europe, and you’ll pay handsomely for that litre bike, and you’ll pay out the nose if it is classified as a “sport bike”.

Considering the cheap cost up-front, and much more down to Earth pricing on naked bikes of a smaller displacement, the 800cc market provides a good mixture of performance and affordability to European riders. For these reasons, it makes the introduction of Yamaha to this market segment a logical choice, and the FZ8 a sure fire hit in the EU, but also these same reasons make the introduction of the FZ8 into the American market unlikely.

Considering the comparatively lower sales of the Ducati Hypermotard 796 and BMW F800R in the US expected for 2010, and the relative affordability of bigger displacement motorcycles, the FZ8 just doesn’t make the same economic sense here in the States. Yamaha is clearly entering into a hot market for the EU, but it remains to be seen if we’ll see the FZ8 domestically. Time will tell on this one.

001BMWR 1200 GSEnduro202
002KAWASAKIZ 750Naked196
004DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 796Supermotard127
005BMWR 1200 GS ADVENTUREEnduro123
006HONDAXL 700 V TRANSALPEnduro118
008DUCATIM 696Naked112
011BMWF 800 RNaked93
012HONDACBR 1000 RRSportive88
014KTM250 EXC RACINGEnduro85
015HONDA ITALIACB 1000 RNaked82
019KTM125 EXCEnduro75
020BMWS 1000 RRSportive74
021BMWR 1200 RNaked72
022HUSQVARNASM 125Supermotard71
023SUZUKIDL 650 V-STROMEnduro70
024KTM300 EXCEnduro69
025KTMEXC 450Enduro67
026BMWF 800 GSEnduro66
027BETAEVO 2T 290Trial63
028SUZUKIGSR 600Naked58
033APRILIADORSODURO 750Supermotard47
034SUZUKIGSX-R 750Sportive46
035HONDACRE F 250R HMEnduro44
036KTM500 EXCEnduro44
038HONDAVFR 1200 FSportive41
039TRIUMPHTIGER 1050Turismo40
040YAMAHAXT 660 Z TENEREEnduro40
041APRILIARSV 4 1000 RSportive39
042BMWR 1200 RTTurismo38
043SUZUKIGSX-R 1000Sportive38
045HONDACBR 600 RRSportive37
046KAWASAKININJA 250RSportive37
049APRILIARS 125Sportive36
052YAMAHAFAZER 1000Naked36
054KTMEXC 400Enduro35
057KTM1000 SUPERMOTOSupermotard34
058YAMAHAWR 125 XSupermotard33
060BMWF 650 GS NEWEnduro29
061HUSQVARNASM 510Supermotard29
062HUSQVARNATE 450Enduro28
063SYMXS125-K M.Y.08Naked28
067DUCATIHYPERMOTARD 1100 EVOSupermotard26
069HUSQVARNATE 250Enduro25
070KTM990 ADVENTUREEnduro25
072YAMAHAWR 450Enduro25
073HUSQVARNATE 510Enduro24
074APRILIARSV 4 1000 FACTORYSportive23
075DUCATIMONSTER 1100Naked23
077KAWASAKIKLX 250 SEnduro23
080BETAALP 4.0Enduro21
083KAWASAKI1400 GTRTurismo21
084YAMAHAWR 250 FEnduro21
085BMWK 1300 RNaked20
087HUSABERGFE 450Enduro20
088KTM690 LC4Supermotard20
093HUSQVARNASM 610Supermotard19
094HUSQVARNAWRE 125Enduro19
095YAMAHAXVS 950 ACustom19
097DERBIGPR 125 RACING 4TSportive18
099HONDACRE F 450R HMEnduro18
100HONDA ITALIACBF 1000Naked18

Source: MotoBlog.it


  1. mafiax says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 – http://bit.ly/c4dxCr #motorcycle

  2. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 http://bit.ly/c4dxCr

  3. John says:

    You say “Considering the comparatively lower sales of the Ducati Hypermotard 796 and BMW F800R in the US expected for 2010″, yet the F800R isn’t even offered in the US (neither is the F800S anymore, only the ST), unless you know something we don’t???

  4. Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 – http://bit.ly/c4dxCr #motorcycle

  5. Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8: Considering the comparatively lower sales of the Ducati Hypermotard 7… http://bit.ly/c7aOin

  6. Italian Sales Figures Show Insight into FZ8 http://bit.ly/90rSaZ

  7. Pat says:

    Another non-offering from BMW is the K1300R:

    “BMW has no information on the future availability of the 2010 BMW K 1300 R in the United States. However, BMW is dreaming of exciting ways to tempt and please its special customers. We are designing and building models destined to propel BMW’s brand of power and style to a new level of riding pleasure. We suggest staying in touch with us through our website…”

    I was told by one sales rep at the NY International Motorcycle Show that this was due to the poor sales of the K1200R here in the states.

  8. Nick says:

    I think one of the more interesting items in the list is the number of S100RRs sold- almost as many as the RSV4 (both) + the 1198(both).