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.

Moto Morini Going Back into Production January 2012

12/01/2011 @ 4:20 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Moto Morini Going Back into Production January 2012 Moto Morini Scrambler 635x423

The Moto Morini emblem may be an eagle, but today it might be more fitting if the Bologna-based company used a phoenix instead. Coming out of the ashes of bankruptcy, Moto Morini was auctioned off for €1.96 million earlier this year. Now the company says it will be going back into production in the new year, almost a year after its purchase. Initially offering the 9 ½, Corsaro 1200, Granpasso, and the Scrambler models, Moto Morini says it is poised to release a fifth new model in the spring of 2012.

From reports, it sounds like Moto Morini already has a core management staff in place, and will soon be bringing a production crew back into the factory. Business operations are seemingly being run out of Milan, while production will continue out of the Bolognese factory. There is no word yet on what sort of volume Moto Morini will be working towards, nor how the company’s new owners plan on revitalizing the Italian manufacturer into a profitable brand.

What piques our interest though is this mention of this new model. With not so much has a concept sketch, spy photo, or any other indication made about its existence, we’ll be very surprised if it is ready for production by early next year. Though, we’ll be very intrigued to see what sort of concept Moto Morini does bring forth. Until then, let’s welcome back one of Italy’s oldest motorcycle brands.

Source: Motoblog.it & Moto.it

Comment:

  1. Shaitan says:

    Yeehaw!!! I love MM bikes!

  2. MikeD says:

    A BLOOD SACRIFICE, THIS EVENT DEMANDS A BLOOD SACRIFICE TO THE MOTORCYCLE GODS.

    All B.S-ing aside, GOD SPEED to MotoMorini and may they someday sell this on the U.S.

    http://www.ultimatemotorcycling.com/files/2010_Moto_Morini_Corsaro_1200_Veloce_Wallpaper%201.jpg

    plus many more different models…c’mon MM, give Triumph and it’s Speed Triple some hell. LOL.

  3. Jason says:

    Hi, I’m ringing to get a cam belt for my Moto Morini 250

    There’s no Moto Guzzi 250, do you mean 750?

    No, Moto MORINI. The 250 V-twin.

    Never heard of it, you’ll have to go back to where you bought it.

    I bought it from you.

    No, I mean the people who sold it new, not second hand.

    I bought it from you bran new 2 years ago.

    Oh, well, you might have to find out who the Australian distributor is then, we don’t carry any spares for them.

    You are. You’re the Australian distributor and importer.

    Well, mate, as I said, I’ve never heard of them and we don’t have any spares.

  4. Moto Morini Going Back into Production January 2012 – http://t.co/EHGhg2gy #motorcycle

  5. Damo says:

    @MikeD

    BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!

    Random comment: I have actually never in my seen a Moto Morini in my travels and certainly not up here in New England.

    They look like tasty little bikes too.

  6. s2upid says:

    WHAT IS THAT BIKE AND WHERE CAN I BUY IT >:(

  7. Bob says:

    Has MM ever been profitable? Not seeing the point of continually resurrecting something that is never successful. Perhaps they should transform into a small custom shop and build by the order based on a few basic designs with a talented skelleton crew. The Italian OCC.

  8. Max says:

    That is fantastic news, here’s to hoping they finally get the $hit together and bring MM to the States. I’ve been drooling over a Corsaro for some time…

    P.S. Does anybody know where I can buy a set of Corsaro headlights and windscreen? They would look awesome on my naked SV!

  9. Kiwi9nhalf says:

    Simply too good a motorcycle for this to happen eventually. Even with mininal development the 1200 is one of the world’s great motorcycle engines. Right – off to celebrate with summer blast on my MM..

    (and Max: wait and get the Corsaro lights/screen attached to the real thing..)

  10. wayne says:

    Great looking bikes, but I’m with Bob–why keep bringing back stuff that apparently doesn’t sell well enough to support itself? Smacks of Indian to me rather than OCC, but what do I know–I’m just a guy who reads bike news websites. In all seriosity, I do hope they do well but I have my doubts.

  11. nick b says:

    Despite having a great power plant (especially in Veloce guise) the Lambertini V2 was not enough to save the last incarnation of Morini. Even their importers had difficulty making sense of a range which at one time had seven models of similar displacement using the same motor. Since MM were tiny, that kind of sales approach was insane, resulting in total confusion all round.

    The problem with this resurrection is the way the company is structured, with split ownership of offices and plant.
    It looks to be a recipe for conflict. If they can radically pare down and re-structure output, based around say three variants of the big V2 – Veloce, Avio (lower spec Veloce) and Scrambler – they might have a chance.

  12. corsaro chris says:

    Well, I run one of the new Morini, and it’s great to hear that they may be back in 2012. In the UK it may have been a small operation (as it was in Australia and NZ), but in Spain, Germany and Italy they brand was doing well. They did have plans in getting in to the States, but wanted to do it “properly” – I guess that means covering off all the product liability issues?

    One engine with a range of differnt states of tune and styling is a good way for a small maunfacturer to start out; it’s what Triumph did very well – and Morini were just trying to do the same (as were Voxan – remember them?). Perhaps they’ll succeed, but in the meantime try to ride one if you can; after all, the new Ducati seems to borrow at least some ideas from Lambertinis’ engine…