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.

KTM 250 Duke in 18 Months

12/06/2010 @ 9:06 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

KTM 250 Duke in 18 Months ktm 125 duke black retro 3 635x350

Perhaps our only gripe with the 2011 KTM 125 Duke (besides of course that it’s not coming to America), is the too small for American roads 125cc displacement. With no graduated licensing programs to be found, unlike our European brethren, the 125cc learner format just doesn’t seem to work in our “can travel anywhere by car” society here in the United States. Not to fret says KTM though, as a 250cc or even 300cc version of the orange pocket rocket is under development at the Austrian company.

We think 250cc/300cc would be an ideal size for blasting from stoplight to stoplight on city streets, both for new riders and veteran hooligans alike, and it won’t take much to place the outwardly similarly sized motor in the KTM 125 Duke frame. Thinking along those same veins, KTM says an 18 month trail time is expected from the 125 Duke launch to when we’ll see the next larger iteration.

Talking to Cycle News, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer said that a follow-up bike to the KTM 125 Duke is in the works, which will allow riders to graduate to a larger displacement machine as they get older and more experienced behind the handlebars. “We’re working on a 250cc up to 300 cc single-cylinder engine, also four valves with twin overhead camshafts,” confirmed Pierer. “This has more or less the same external dimensions so we can install it in the existing 125 Duke model platform, and thus be able to offer the next level up in the model ladder to our customer as he gains experience, but with the same type of motorcycle.”

Don’t expected KTM to rest just on the 250cc/300cc upgrade either. While the company plans on having the graduated version of the KTM 125 Duke ready in 18 months, other larger models are also on the drawing board. “The 250/300 will come around 18 months after the 125 Duke, and the same concept we are doing on the 125/250, I later want to do in the 400cc and 600cc categories, too, as our younger customers and those in emerging markets move up the displacement ladder,” finished Pierer.

KTM seems to have a clear path that they want to carve out for young riders, which is clearly intended to bring new riders into the fold for KTM, and keep them in the brand throughout their lifetime. Helping leverage this move is KTM’s involvement with Bajaj, who helped make the 125 Duke, and recently took a larger stake in the Austrian company. So far we’re digging how Bajaj has influenced KTM, and we’ll be itching to ride the baby Duke when it comes to the US.

2011 KTM 125 Duke:

Source: Cycle News

Comment:

  1. BikePilot says:

    Seems a smart move to me. Maybe even one powered by a version of the RFS 530cc thumper motor wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable.

  2. k- says:

    Let’s hope that these are not the graphics!

  3. Ed Gray says:

    Let me get this clear this 125 is ok for countries with highways that have no speed limit but too small for our roads with a max speed of 65mph???? I think you are perpetuating our bigger is better US problem. There is really no honest excuse for anything over 600cc anywhere in the world, on public streets. As long as one has not been jaded by a more powerful bike any size seems great. There is a definite problem of getting jaded, however this is just a perceptual problem even a 125 is quicker than most cars off the line.

  4. Matt says:

    Yes!! I just wish it wasn’t an 18 month wait. We need atleast a 250cc anything less is useless.

    I would love to have one of these to commute the streets of Hollywood, the big duc is torture.

    Btw I do like the color schemes. Don’t forget it’s aimed at younger audience.

  5. monkeyfumi says:

    Stick the 300 two-stroke engine in it, then we’ll talk.

  6. monkeyfumi, can you guys still register a two-stroke for street use down in Oz?

  7. monkeyfumi says:

    Don’t know about new ones to be honest, the last Aprilia 125s and cagiva mitos definitely can. If they ever ban my rs250 there will be anarchy. Have certainly seen a couple of KTM 300 motards kicking about on the street.
    KTM have also said on a number of occasions that they would still pursue two-stroke engines.
    DI scooters and outboards have shown they can be cleaner than four strokes, so why not?

  8. The technology is certainly there to make a cleaner two-stroke, the question however is whether the laws and incentives are there.

  9. 76 says:

    Jensen Beeler says:
    December 6, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    “The technology is certainly there to make a cleaner two-stroke, the question however is whether the laws and incentives are there.”

    Its already being made, E-tec from BRP which employs the technology in both the Evinrude boat engines and Rotax engines for Ski-doo snowmobiles which are 2 stroke, clean and high performance

  10. Sean in Oz says:

    No probs registering 2 strokes in OZ. At least not in terms of being a 2 stroke.
    There is an issue with licensing for Learner and Provisional license holders due to power to weight for some 250 2 strokes.

  11. BikePilot says:

    Honda had an ultra-clean two stroke desert race bike for a short while. If not for the AMA’s decision to favor four strokes heavily we might still have predominantly two-stroke (though cleaner) off road bikes. Fortunately the performance is not lacking on the new generation of four strokes, though they aren’t able to offer that performance for anywhere near the same cost or complexity which is a shame.

  12. BikePilot says:

    Oh and there was the bimota v-due, which admittedly was mostly a failure, but came very close to achieving low-emissions two-stroke street bike nirvana. If undertaken by a company with a bit more capital or two stroke experience it could have been very successful I think. I still lust after one quite badly ;)

  13. BBQdog says:

    Great, this is what I am waiting for for a long time. Ideal for the little backroads !!