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.

Who Actually Owns Ducati? Lamborghini Paid €747 Million

08/01/2012 @ 10:43 am, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

Who Actually Owns Ducati? Lamborghini Paid €747 Million lamborghini ducati 635x347

Audi AG has released its 2012 Interim Financial Report, and in it the German automaker has released some interesting details about its acquisition of Ducati Motor Holding. Confirming our report that the Audi Group has bought 100% of Ducati’s shares, Audi however discloses that it paid much less for the Italian motorcycle brand than was previously reported.

Disclosing a buying price of €747 million ($980 million at the exchange rate at the time of sale), perhaps the most interesting news in Audi’s report is that Ducati was actually bought by Lamborghini, making Ducati a subsidiary of the boutique Italian car-maker. This news would explain Ducati CEO Gabriele del Torchio’s appointment to the Lamborghini Board of Directors earlier last month.

While Lamborghini’s ownership of Ducati is more of a formality, as both brands are still controlled by the Audi Group (read: Audi itself), the move does have two important aspects: one symbolic and one pragmatic. First symbolically, Ducati remains under some guise of Italian control, which in nationalistic Europe still counts for something…as ridiculous as it sounds to the rest of us.

Realistically, the move contains some significant business maneuvering, as Ducati’s inclusion into Lamborghini instead of Audi has some advantages in the eyes of the European Union. It is no secret that Europe is cracking down on vehicle emissions, with more stringent standards coming down the pipe in rapid succession. This has created significant problems for sports car manufacturers, whose large-displacement machines act as anchors that drag the fleet-wide emissions mandates well below the line of acceptability.

One method for getting around these regulations is to stack the vehicle fleets in creative corporate structures. This either means ostracizing a sports car brand by itself (and usually just paying the fine), or combining it with another brand whose vehicles burn fewer emissions, and thus offset the difference. Lamborghini meet Ducati, Ducati meet Lamborghini.

It is a shame the auto guys didn’t catch onto this when they were lambasting the deal, because now the whole acquisition is starting to look like very smart business, and not just some late-night spending spree. Funny thing, those Germans.

Source: Audi AG

Comment:

  1. F1 says:

    ,just a lame semantic excuse to keep the Ducati brand, Italian. Distance yourself from the German truth. ..yawn..

  2. Westward says:

    Jedi business tactics if you ask me, or was that Sith..?

  3. BBQdog says:

    “…as ridiculous as it sounds to the rest of us.”

    Well, if you see what BMW is doing to Husqvarna this doens’t sound so ridiculous to me.
    Don’t let Germans tell Italians how to design bikes. Maybe the Germans could do the
    building, but that’s all.

  4. Daniel says:

    In Italy italians (especially Ducati workers) are slightly happy for the acquisition of the brand by Germans. They know what does it means to have an Italian manager like Marchionne..
    The European Union is born just for things like this: let small italian’s firms produce goods (like motorcycles) under capable German’s control, then drive the moto in sunny places in Spain or let scandinavian guys travel from north to south without the needs for documents. and everything while the whole continent laugh at Britain’s automotive sector

  5. Greg says:

    Reall’t doesn’t matter one lick who “owns” Duc’ on paper… All that really matters is that Audi beat some serious urgency into Ducati’s MotoGP engineers – along with some cold hard German cash – so they can come up with a proper podium contender for The Doctor and The Kentucky Kid!!! Audi has dominated the greatest racing serious for over a decade now – force whatevewr makes them win @ Le Mans onto the Ducate GP squad, stat!

  6. BBQdog says:

    @Daniel

    If I read the remarks here about the advantages of an european union you just sound
    like our politicians. The reality however is that you just can’t throw everything in
    a melting pot and expect it to function within 10 years. The germans are getting very
    very sick to pay for the rest of (south) Europe. The mentality qua economy, saving etc are
    in the southern countries so much different that it won’t work. What’s the next thing,
    let germans cook spaghetti and the italians bradwurst with sauerkraut ???

  7. FeelGoodIncNI says:

    I would say this is 90% clever business to appease the European Union. Certainly, the Italians are a very patriotic people, especially when it comes to motors. Nearly every car you see in Italy is a Fiat for example but I would imagine that is a useful side effect of the emissions rules that the EU are stifling us all with. Ducati within Lamborghini is the perfect solution to it. High emission, high performance cars and low emission (relatively) high performance bikes=bellisimo!! And something I’m sure other companies wish they could do. Look at Aston Martin. They were forced to create the Cygnet “bespoke luxury commuter vehicle” or tarted up Toyota/Scion IQ. Well it does the trick and of course it will sell, indeed who knows where it will lead?!?! Aston 4 door econobox? Aston SUV? Aston Minivan? Who knows but it’s hard not to think that it is diluting the brand. Well played Lamborghini (VAG)!!!

  8. Daniel says:

    @BBQdog: you know it was a joke.. However I live in a north-east region of Italy. I’m part Italian, Slovenian and with German relatives. My family lives in a city that was under the Austro-Hungarian control for centuries before becoming Italian one hundred years ago.. But more important, we cook a lot of kartoffeln, wurstel and sauerkraut!
    You see, from my point of view (as a young) it’s unconceivable to think Europe as a bunch of divided nations. It simply make no sense. I define myself as European, and then as Slovenian or Italian…
    On the other side, I’m totally aware that in the EU there’s a great lack of democracy (e.g. limited european parlament powers and commission presence), burocratization etc. But still the EU can be reformed. Now it’s not working very well simply because it’s not really clear what this union is and what it is going to be. but 70 years of peace for a continent that fought almost uninterruptedly for the last two millennia, well I think is a good result. Or at least a good starting point.

  9. Daniel says:

    @FeelGoodIncNI: Uhm no. In italy less than a third of the annual car sales are Fiats (check on the net). Simply put, no one in Italy buy Fiat. There’s some reasons, but it’s a little too difficoult to explaine them to a non-italian. And the last time Italians motorcycles quota was bigger than japanese’s one in the italian market was in 1985 (“the great book of japanese motorcycles, 80′s era” by Giorgio Sarti)

  10. darre price says:

    So if audi own ducati that means its a VW. coz VW own audi

  11. Westward says:

    OMG !!! Does that mean I am riding a bike that is associated with Hitler..?

    It that Cool, or really Horrifying..?

  12. David Emmett says:

    Who Actually Owns Ducati? Lamborghini Paid €747 Million – http://t.co/fsT9q3pZ #motorcycle

  13. David Emmett says:

    Interesting piece of analysis of the Audi takeover of Ducati: http://t.co/jGDdyNuI (non-racing related, but still)

  14. a tom says:

    Um… Where did the Nazi reference come from? And, if you owned a yamaha:
    http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2007/06/19/the-german-roots-of-yamaha-motorcycles/

  15. smiler says:

    Would have thought technology transfer would also have something to offer Ducati. To late for carbon frame tech. Apparently Lambo are world leaders in it. Given the Sixth Sense car, that would seen to be true.
    Otherwise zee Germans are being clever.

    Reckon Bosch might as well buy the entire German car industry seeing as everything electronic or electrical on a German car comes from them not to mention anything with a blue dot that makes a noise and everything with three letter acroynm. They could do Ducati’s electronics now too.

  16. mr. q says:

    i’m glad that someone WITH MONEY bought ducati. it doesn’t matter if that someone is german, chinese, indian or from mars. don’t want that historic milwaukee crap or japanese stuff.

    european brands dominates the market.

  17. JD says:

    AAAHHHH FARGENUGEN!

    Everybody in their right damn mind know that Lambo will always be a Lambo. Ducati will continue to be 2 wheels and Audi will always have something up their very clever and advanced technological sleeve. Some things CAN NOT change…and I’m in California and I see it clearly from here. Pacific Daylight Time

  18. Cateran says:

    “which in nationalistic Europe still counts for something…as ridiculous as it sounds to the rest of us.”

    This from an American! (Who says they have no sense of irony?!)

  19. Michael says:

    Ducati motorcycles are Italian motorcycles not because they are made in Italy but because they are DESIGNED by Italians. I’m not speaking so much of the stylistic design (although Italians are leading edge stylists as well). I’m speaking of the way the machine works. Commonly, Italians grew up on small motorcycles before they owned a car and they understand the sporting nature of a motorcycle. This contrasts sharply with typical German and American design philosophy which tends to view a motorcycle as simply a car with two wheels. And this is why Italian motorcycles tend to be very balanced riding machines. Even their Sport-Touring motorcycles retain heaping amounts of sporting goodness. Americans think “sporting” means more horsepower which is why Milwaukee does not build any sporting motorcycles. Italians know “sporting” means more fun.

  20. wendy says:

    FOR BBQDOG AND GREG AND DANIEL

    FIRST OF ALL LAMBORGHINI AND DUCATI ARE TWO ITALIAN COMPANY INSIDE ITALIAN TERRITORY MADE BY ITALIAN ENGINEERS AND NOT GERMANS.

    THEN LAMBORGHINI ENGINE IS INVENTED BY ITALIAN GIORGIO BIZZARRINI.
    THE CEO OF LAMBORGHINI IS ONE OF THE ONLY GERMAN IN LAMBORGHINI THAT ANYWAY STUDIED AND GROW UP IN ROME FOR YEARS AND YEARS THAT’S ALSO WHY HE WAS SELECTED FOR THE POSITION. HE HAVE A VERY STRONG ITALIAN MENTALITY ABOUT CARS.

    DUCATI DOESN’T NEED GERMAN TECHNOLOGY SINCE GERMANS ARE NOT VERY BRIGHT AND EXPERT ABOUT MOTORBIKES LIKE THE ITALIANS, SEE “DUCATI, MV AGUSTA, BIMOTA, “NEW VYRUS THAT TOM CRUISE ORDERED FROM ITALY”

    DUCATI SOLD THE SHARES ONLY FOR INVESTIMENTS, THEY JUST HIT THE RECORD OF SALES IN THE PAST YEARS AND EVEN IF THEIR DEBT WAS HIGH THEY SOLD FOR INVESTIMENT MORE THEN FOR NEED.

    LAMBORGHINI WAS PART OF AN AMERICAN COMPANY FOR A DECADES, SO LAMBORGHINI EVEN IF IS ITALIAN IS ALREADY FROM LONG TIME A PART OF A FOREIGNER GROUP.

    WHEN A COMPANY SELL THE SHARES TO ANOTHER GROUP IT MEANS THAT THE PROFIT OF THE COMPANY WILL GO TO THE LARGEST GROUP INSTEAD THEIR WALLET ANYMORE.

    THE ONLY DIFFERENCE THAT HAPPENED WITH LAMBORGHINI, IS THAT LAMBORGHINI WILL USE GERMANS CASH INSTEAD ITALIAN AND THEIR PROFIT WILL GO TO VW INSTEAD THEM.

    ITALIANS DOESN’T NEED TO LEARN TECHNOLOGY FROM GERMANS SINCE ITALY IS THE LEADER FOR CARS AND MOTORBIKES IN THE WORLD
    SEE FERRARI,MASERATI,LAMBORGHINI,PAGANI ZONDA,ALFA ROMEO, NEW EVANTRA, SPADA CODATRONCA.

    Ferrari is the oldest surviving team in Grand Prix racing, having competed since 1932, and statistically the most successful Formula One team in history with a record of 15 drivers’ championships. As a constructor, Ferrari has 16 constructors’ championships.
    The Ferrari team has achieved unparalleled success in Formula One and holds many significant records including:
    Most constructor championships: 16
    Most driver championships: 15
    Most Grands Prix participated (all-time): 841
    Most Grands Prix started (all-time): 839[3]
    Most wins (all-time): 219[4]
    Most wins (season): 15 (shared with McLaren)
    Most podiums (all-time): 658
    Most podiums (season): 29
    Most one-two finishes (all-time): 81
    Most pole positions (all-time): 207
    Most WCC points (all-time): 5,016.5
    Most WDC points (all-time): 5,918.27
    Most fastest laps (all-time): 227
    Highest winning percentage (for teams with at least 10 wins): ~26%

    Ferrari is also the most successful F1 engine manufacturer, with 220 wins.

    AUDI AND VW DOESN’T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE ABOUT MOTORBIKES AND THEY BOUGHT THE SHARES OF DUCATI ONLY FOR LEARN FROM ITALIAN.

    ARE ALWAYS GERMANS THAT STICK THE NOSE INSIDE ITALIAN YEARD, IF THEY ARE SO GOOD WHY THEY DON’T MAKE ITALIAN COMPANY GO BANNKRUPT INSTEAD HELP THEM TO BECAME MORE STRONGER…
    GERMANS NEED TO LEARN……AND THE ONLY WAY TO COMPETE WITH ITLAIANS IS TO BUY THE SHARES FROM THEIR COMPANY.

    WHY THE GERMANS OWNER OF VW DREAMED OF DUCATI,LAMBORGHINI,ETC ETC FOR YEARS .LOL

    BUGATTI MADE 300 MODELS AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN SOLD HALF OF THEM, THEY REPORTED THAT SOON THEY WILL STOP THE PRODUCTION OF THE VEYRON.

    PORSCHE WAS SAVED FROM VW LAST WEEK SINCE THEY WERE READY TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY

    ABOUT YOUR COMMENTS ON EUROPE,SOUTH AND NORTH

    ITALY NEVER GOT A DIME FROM NOBODY IN EUROPE, ITALY IS THE THIRD LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR AT YEAR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION, THIRD LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE EUR,SECOND LARGEST MANUFACTURER INDUSTRY IN EUROPE,SECOND LARGEST EXPORTER,THIRD LARGEST GOLD RESERVE IN THE WORLD.

    BY A CREDIT SUISSE REPORT ITALIANS OWN 12.7 TRILLIONS $, MORE THEN 80 % OF ITALIANS ARE HOMEOWNERS WHILE GERMANS ARE 40 %

    BY THE LAST STATISTIC MADE BY THE EU THE WEALTHY OF THE ITALIAN FAMILY ARE EQUAL TO 175%, GERMANS 126%,BRITISH AND AMERICANS UNDER 100%.

    ITALY CONTRIBUTE TO THE AID OF IRELAND,SPAIN,GREECE AND PORTUGAL WITH THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY THAN FRANCE AND ONLY A LITTLE LESS THEN GERMANY,SINCE GERMANY HAVE 81 MILLION PEOPLE AND ITALY 58.
    ITALY MAKE UP 17 % OF THE EUROPEAN ECONOMY, MORE THEN AUSTRIA,NETHERLANDS,SWEDEN,FINLAND,ETC ETC

    ITALY IS MEMBER OF THE G8 AND G20 MOST POWERFUL AND INDUSTRIALIZED NATION IN THE WORLD

    BEFORE TALK ABOUT CARS YOU NEED TO LEARN ABOUT THEM

    I WILL LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:

    GO TO CHECK ON YAHOO “ITALO FERRARI TRAIN ON CNN NEWS”

  21. wendy says:

    FOR BBQDOG AND GREG AND DANIEL

    DON’T EVEN TRY TO SAY WHY PAGANI USE A GERMAN ENGINE. SINCE FERRARI,LAMBO OR MASERATI WILL NEVER SELL ENGINE TO COMPETITOR AND FOR PAGANI THE ONLY CHOICE WAS TO BUY FROM MERCEDES

    IN THE CONTRACT OF DUCATI AND LAMBORGHINI WERE THAT BOTH COMPANY CANNOT BE MOVED OUT FROM ITALY AND MUST TO KEEP ITALIANS PEOPLE

    ITALIANS ARE NOT STUPID TO SELL THE SHARES OF THEIR COMPANY TO GERMANY LIKE THAT .