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.

Motus V4 Baby Block Gets $10,220 Price Tag

01/28/2013 @ 2:22 pm, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Motus V4 Baby Block Gets $10,220 Price Tag Motus KMV4 motor exploded 635x450

When American motorcycle upstart Motus Motorcycles first began its undertaking of the Motus MST sport-tourer, the company from Alabama made it clear that its 1,650cc engine would be the centerpiece of the bike’s design. Hoping to build off the tuner culture that developed around push-rod engines in the automotive world, Motus even went as far to say that the Katech-designed KMV4 engine (now without GDI) would be made available as a crate motor for hobbyists.

With the Motus MST nearly ready for public consumption, the American company is making good on its other promise, and has released pricing on its “baby block” engine. At a cool $10,220 of your hard-earned cash, the turnkey 165+ hp V4 motor can be yours (along with the engine’s ECU, ride-by-wire intake, engine harness, and fuse box). A pricy sum for the small peppy engine, pricing on the Motus Baby Block at least puts the $30,000+ price tag of the Motus MST in perspective.

Motus V4 Baby Block Features:

  • 1650cc (100ci), liquid cooled, cast aluminum 90° V4 w/ steel liners
  • Cam-in-the-block, 2 OHV
  • Splayed lifters for maximum valvetrain stability
  • Aluminum cylinder heads w/ splayed & canted valves for max. flow and combustion efficiency
  • Automotive-style low mass, low inertia roller rocker arms
  • Maintenance-free hydraulic roller lifters
  • 4340 forged steel I-beam connecting rods
  • 3-ring forged aluminum pistons with moly coating
  • Wet sump w/ integral pick-up, serviceable screen, magnetic drain plug
  • 4 bolt main bearing girdle for maximum strength and durability
  • Investment cast 4340 one-piece crank w/ automotive-style plain bearings
  • Gerotor oil pump, integrally cast internal water pump
  • CFD optimized, precision cast water jackets
  • Closed loop 250kBd multi-point fully sequential fuel injection
  • Ride-by-wire w/ electronic throttle control (ETC)
  • Cast individual runner manifold w/ 4 x 40mm contoured bore downdraft throttle bodies
  • 12 bolt bellhousing (9.5” bolt circle) for easy application adaptation
  • Spare bosses for alternate accessory drives and motor mounts

Source: Motus Motorcycles

Comment:

  1. Greg says:

    All I know is that this engine is gonna rock. Slightly more $ than an upper end air cooled V-twin, but way cooler. I’d love it in something like a small Ariel Atom type car or, even better, a UTV.

  2. zipidachimp says:

    Pricey, but it sounds terrific. like half a ‘vette!

  3. Stephen says:

    Where is the cooling system? Wait there’s more.

  4. Ed Gray says:

    How a bout a 3.3liter V8 for my Miata? It seems like the CAD work would be minimal.I wonder if the crank could handle it? Enough water pump flow? Get on it guys. How hard could it be?

  5. Greg says:

    Put it in a Caterham. If they could get one that zipped around with a Fireblade engine, imagine what something like this could do?

  6. Eddie says:

    6 speed box included?

  7. Jayson says:

    What does the engine weigh? thats important to know… does it include a transmission for the price? i guess if its not mentioned its a no?

    i really wished that they would have made it direct injection – maybe the next version?

  8. Damo says:

    Too much money, for too little.

  9. Dave says:

    Pushrod V4?? What century is this??

  10. Got word from Motus. The gearbox is not included in the price, though will be made available as an option.

  11. mkv says:

    I can get the whole version for less than half the price

  12. Jason says:

    @ Ed Gray: why add the weight to make it into a V8? Put this V4 into your Miata and slap a turbo on it ;)

    It already sounds amazing

    I want to see it under the hood of an original Mini !! Big rumble in a little go-kart!

  13. Jason says:

    @mkv: different applications, man. That big V8 isn’t right for every project… Sometimes you pay more for more specialized things

  14. Jason says:

    I’m imagining a rippin’ little lightweight two-seat long travel sand rail. Fun, maneuverable and quick, and makes that V8-like noise. Goosebumps… Want to build

  15. Kim says:

    Wow, this is the engine I have been waiting for. Compact size unobtainable with OHC, no mile long cam chain, all of the latest tech. You techies, keep your Over Head Cams. The only advandage of them is super high RPM, totally useless on the street. I’ll take this so-called old technology any day. Power to size and weight. Beat that with your Honda. Oh and OHC was used in the 1930s in Europe so don’t give me that BS about old V.S. new teck. This engine rocks!