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 Lands West Coast Dealerships

05/29/2012 @ 3:15 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Motus Lands West Coast Dealerships Motus MST factory 635x423

When Motus released the final details on its inaugural 2013 Motus MST motorcycle, we were shocked to see that the Alabama company did not have any dealerships lined up for west of The Rockies (surely the bigger shock felt by others was the $30,000+ price tag). Well that has changed now according to Motus, which has signed up four West Coast dealerships, one in California, one in Washington, and two in Nevada. Sorry folks, the price is still the same though.

Not knowing the dealerships in Washington and Nevada, we have to say the choice of dealers in California is a bit interesting, as California Speed-Sports in Livermore has gotten the nod from Motus to service the Golden State. Not exactly convenient to one of the largest motorcycling markets in California, you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the region who would refer to Livermore as “East Bay” as the press materials imply, as Livermore is a good hour’s drive from San Francisco and well inland.

Still, a dealership in Livermore is better than no California dealer at all, though Southern Californians will still have to suffer with the lack of a SoCal dealer (and despite Las Vegas being close in proximity, importing a motorcycle from Nevada to California is not worth the headache). Such are the growing pains of a motorcycle upstart, which perhaps sheds some light on some of the more creative distribution plans we saw tried in the electric motorcycle sector.

Considering the demographic of rider that Motus is initially going after, we imagine the kind of people who drop thirty-large on a motorcycle won’t mind a little heartache in getting their exclusive hands on a Motus MST or Motus MST-R. Hopefully in time though, we will see Motus represented by more shops along the West Coast of the United States.

Source: Motus

Comment:

  1. johnc says:

    motus… isn;t that latin for “costs the most”?

  2. chrome says:

    Livermore is totally East Bay

  3. Mike says:

    Where is the WA dealership? Can you give us Seattle readers a town?

  4. Gawd, that thing is drop-dead sexy. May I have a tissue, please? I need to wipe the drool off of my chin.

  5. Earl Shives says:

    “East Bay” is Pig-Latin for “Beast”

  6. Chrome says:

    Earl, you simultaneously make me laugh (cause that was awesome), and ashamed because I grew up in livermore and never thought of that.

    Earl wins at Internet today.

  7. ZeitgeistXiii says:

    Lots of whining about the price. I really do not see what for. Mass produced bikes are now in the low to mid 20s like a BMW K1600GTL, 23k for a Goldwing, 20k for a ST1300. For a little bit more you get something different and unique. everybody talks about buying American and all that but few realize what a task it is to start up a company from the ground up. We have “Walmarted” ourselves in to the lowest common denominator of price is king, quality and uniqueness are lip service.

  8. Franxou says:

    @ZeitgeistXiii
    Apart from exotism, you won’t get more than on a ST1300, Goldwing or K1600GTL, in fact you get a lot less!
    Those pre-cited bikes are fully-dressed all tourers, complete with equipment ranging from ajustable windshield, heating grips, probably heating seats too, bags, radio, I’m pretty sure you get a GPS in some of those.
    With a motus, you get a nice bike, seems like a sport-touring one and I don’t know what will come with it. I’d be tempted to compare it to, say, Yamaha FJR, Triumph Sprint, for technology’s sake let’s add a Honda VFR. All of these bikes are at least $10000 less and should offer a similar experience and similar equipment from stock, the VFR even has a V4 too.
    There is a lot to whine about the price, it’s probably a great bike bu next to no one will be able to shell out the price of two motorcycles in order to buy only one.

  9. Mike says:

    +1 ZeitgeistXiii

  10. ZeitgeistXiii says:

    @Franxou

    All these bikes are also down 10 to 30Hp on the Motus roughly, also factor in servicing and all the other things.This bike you can service yourself for the most part its easy to work on and reach things from what I have seen.

    Do I need a GPS, radio and CB on my bike? Nope, I have a phone that does all that and syncs with my system in my helmet. Most now will still work as a GPS and music even without cell signal. Heated grips easy enough sure, but when was the last time your butt got cold? Wearing appropriate gear negates most of those things. You will feel Gerbings heated vest and chaps under your leathers or Aerowhatever more than sitting on a seat and trying to heat a bunch of padding. If your riding that long and hard your in it so deep your going to buy the stuff anyway.

    But to get 160HP reliably out of a K1600 BMW would require more than the difference in these two bikes. So give me the HP up front keep the nanny systems for the cars and leave the riding to the riders. Is this bike for everyone nope no bike is. We ride what we ride because we like them that is 90% of the decision in biking. This has been proven in just about every study of buying habits in motorcycles.

  11. Damo says:

    @ZeitgeistXiii

    I am with Franxou on this one. This bike doesn’t offer a whole lot other than exclusivity and I highly doubt that an extremely small production run bike will be any easier to work on than a production bike, I know which one the parts will be easier to find on. (And I do all my own work personally)

    Just to point something else out, if you want a fast and comfortable bike for under $17k buy a KTM RC8R. It has fully adjustable seat heat, foot pegs and bars right out of the gate, will absolutely smoke the Motus in any type of sport riding scenario AND it is almost as comfortable as VFR1200.

    I am glad there is an American company trying to innovate, but I think they are barking up the wrong tree.

  12. chrome says:

    I think anyone can talk a big game about wanting to bring manufacturing back to the US, and not ship jobs overseas, and made in the USA, etc. But when it comes down to putting our money where our mouths are, we find out quickly that we dont care if it was made in the USA or not. In that sense, a niche bike does make some sense because its a niche of people who are willing to fork out for “made in the USA.”

    I also think that trying to justify the cost on a tangible value proposition scale is a losing game because as has been mentioned so many times before, you can get more farkles at half the price. In my view, it misses the point. Why would anyone buy an Electra Glide when they can buy a Goldwing or a K16GTL for ~$5-10k less? In terms of a bulleted list of features, the HD gets stomped. And yet, many are still purchased. Why? There is something else that tips the value scale besides the tangible features. Those who don’t connect with whatever that is like to proclaim that the Motus is too expensive for what you get (a valid conclusion given the value calculus they perform in their own minds). Then there are people like me who can listen to a rational agrument about features and relative value and be totally gone daydreaming about riding that beautiful machine.

  13. Gritboy says:

    Nice bike, but hence why it’s just another exotic motorcycle few can afford, or justify, since dealerships/service are too sparse for it to be your everyday ride.

  14. Stacius says:

    Mike, the Seattle dealership is HENSHAW, out in Auburn.

    A place they wanted to charge me $4000 for a five year old ZRX with 17k on the clock.

    Ah well.

  15. Well put chrome.

  16. ZeitgeistXiii says:

    Bump Chrome:)

  17. Richard Gozinya says:

    It’s not in my price range, or a type of bike that particularly interests me, but for those ragging on it over features, maybe you should look them up first. Further, not all hardcore touring riders care about a ton of features. Some of the most hardcore go touring on bikes like the R1200R, V11 LeMans, Harley SuperGlide, and even ancient bikes from the ’70s. Bikes that are decidedly not packed with features. I’m guessing there’s going to be plenty of takers for this bike, enough to justify manufacturing it in the first place. As for its direct competition, how many of them have 165 hp, 120 ft/lbs of torque, and come in at 530 lbs wet? This is a bike for people who want crazy power, great handling, and enough comfort to be able to go for 10 hour stretches, wherever that may take them. Not for people who want CBs, floorboards, bluetooth, hifi stereos, reclining backrests and air conditioning.