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.

Mission R Spotted in Street-Legal Trim

03/01/2012 @ 10:31 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Mission R Spotted in Street Legal Trim Mission Motors Mission R headlight street legal 04 635x474

To be filed under the heading: “right place, right time,” I had the good fortune of catching Mission Motors’ Mission R out on the streets yesterday, as one of the San Franciscan company’s engineers took the bike out while doing errands at the SF Dainese Store. Stopping by the store myself to show off the Zero S that’s been camping in my living room for the last two weeks, I quickly found my thunder stolen by Mission’s two-wheeled masterpiece.

Of course, any opportunity to see the Mission R is a treat, as the electric superbike is not only a delicious dish in person, but it also happens to have no problem doing supersport lap times at Laguna Seca when Steve Rapp is on-board. However, what made this sighting of the Mission R extra special was the fact that Mission Motors has outfitted the Mission R with a headlight, mirror, and most importantly, a California license plate.

Other choice pieces include an Android-powered Samsung tablet that fills in as the Mission R’s digital dash, which is sure to tickle the fancy of our geekier readers. If you are an SF native, keep an eye out for the Mission R on the city streets, the rider you see might be a Mission Motors engineer, a Hollywood celebrity (we hear Ryan Reynolds has been jonesing for a Mission R like something fierce), or a Fortune 500 executive.

Mission R Spotted in Street Legal Trim Mission Motors Mission R headlight street legal 02 635x474

Mission R Spotted in Street Legal Trim Mission Motors Mission R headlight street legal 03 635x474

Mission R Spotted in Street Legal Trim Mission Motors Mission R headlight street legal 01 635x474

Mission R Spotted in Street Legal Trim Mission Motors Mission R headlight street legal 05 635x474

Photos: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Mission has been VERY smart in the execution of this product. After the disaster of the Mission One, they have seen the light. Never send an architect to do an industrial designers job.

    Now the only left to see is the price.

  2. Except they aren’t selling them…

  3. Maxx says:

    Isn’t Mike Czysz an architect.

  4. Matt A says:

    Fantastic. Got to see the race version in person day one last year at Long Beach IMS and was impressed. Any idea what the weight is these days, are they still in the 550 lb region?

  5. Smitch says:

    If they aren’t selling it, why is it in street legal trim? That headlight does not compliment an otherwise gorgeous machine…

  6. RSVDan says:

    Saw the bike rolling down Valencia yesterday in front of the shop. It looks damned good in person, I must say.

  7. Craig says:

    I think the light is awesome… more room for stickers. :)

    The whole bike really is nice… Simple and not to many angles and pieces to it like the R1 and present Suzuki.

    They will need an app tied to the throttle that sounds like a healthy V4 and then they will sell that thing. :)

  8. john says:

    are those speakers to the left and right of the android tablet dash?

    would be cool if they are speakers, so one could play ICM noise when riding the mission r ;-)

  9. Randall says:

    Seriously, something like this breaks cover and you dont take even one full on side shot?

    Come on man, get it together!

  10. Dr. Gellar says:

    Sooo…what is up with Mission these days?! Supposedly they are no longer in the e-bike business (focusing on electric drive-trains instead), but then this d!ck-tease of a motorcycle shows up! I imagine this street-legal Mission R was produced as a sort of “what the heck…why not?” sort of thing. Just makes me wonder…are they really done with motorcycles? Are they done with motorcycle racing? If they are not going to produce motorcycles, it would be cool to at least see them continue in e-bike roadracing, if for no other reason than to showcase their drive-train tech. By the way, the Mission R (whether race-ready or street legal) is one of the hottest looking bikes I’ve seen…electric, ICE or otherwise.

  11. MikeD says:

    @Randall:

    Thanks for pointing that out. I said the same when i came to see the pics.

    Im glad for the early adopters (if this thing ever goes for sale)…personally, i still don’t give a who about electric motorcycles…as i said before, maybe the day when it can be refueled anywhere as fast as an ICE bike and with the same range or better…wake me up when that happens.

    God Speed to the electron tamers and jockeys. (^_^)

  12. There are no side shots because the bike looked the same from the side.

    For those, you can try this page: http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/bikes/mission-motors-mission-r-infineon/

  13. Spiffster says:

    This thing looks so mother-fn trick it’s ridiculousness… if your not going to produce and sell them then give the blueprints to someone who will… “d!ck-tease” indeedz…

  14. Yikes. That is WAY drool-worthy.

    One thing about an e-sportbike is that it’s the perfect tool for carving up the twisties in stealth mode. They’re NOT gonna hear you coming on this thing. Even a little 250 on the cam at 13 grand is going to get some attention.

  15. Westward says:

    I thought they were working with Honda. I was under the impressions Honda either used them to developed their electric bike, or that Honda’s e-bike is essentially a rebranded Mission Motors bike…

  16. CBRbie says:

    in an apartment where electric bills are included, this may well be a no-brainer purchase for me

  17. @Westward Honda brought Mission in on a CR-Z race car project, and ever since there has been speculation (of which I am guilty) that partnership has/will continue in the motorcycle side. But nothing is know. Jensen may have a tip or two under his hat, but Mission is REALLY tight lipped about their projects.

  18. Eric says:

    …or vice versa, mr. uhlarik.

  19. Sid says:

    @Maxx – true, but while his bike is very nice, aren’t the batteries exposed to damage much more than an in-board design such as the Mission wrapped in very nice trellis frame? That doesn’t make much sense for the racing consumer or street consumer if he decides to sell street versions.

    Mission’s bike is the best looking e-bike and is perhaps the best performing. Why not sell street versions?

  20. Dr. Gellar says:

    @Sid The issue of the batteries being exposed to damage may have been the case on the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc, but not quite so much the 2011 version. Besides, all of the electric MotoCzysz machines are more or less one-off racing prototypes, and I could be wrong, but I don’t believe selling street versions is a concern for MotoCzysz at the moment.

  21. Bill says:

    @Maxx
    ” Never send an architect to do an industrial designers job. ”
    ” Isn’t Mike Czysz an architect. ”

    - Case and point.

  22. mxs says:

    Ge that ugly large tablet out of there? What’s next tweeting from red light stop????

  23. Sid says:

    @Dr. Gellar – one off racing prototypes or street machines…doesn’ matter. If the bike goes down, it could be needlessly more expensive than it has to be due to the exposed batteries.

  24. Dr. Gellar says:

    @Sid – I understand what you are saying, but again…take a look at the 2011 version of the MotoCzysz E1pc. It looks like MotoCzysz eliminated much of that issue with the 2011 machine, as the batteries aren’t nearly as exposed on that bike as they are on the 2010 E1pc.

  25. Cliff Eckstorm says:

    Typical…sigh…decent looking bike; but, I guess I will just have to build my own e-bike if I want one. Most of the time they are priced out of the realm of reality anyway and I’m gettin’ tired of waitin’…