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.

MV Agusta Rivale Production in the Second-Half of 2013

03/15/2013 @ 3:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

MV Agusta Rivale Production in the Second Half of 2013 MV Agusta Rivale 800 635x423

Breaking cover in November 2012, the MV Agusta Rivale 800 is the Italian brand’s newest addition to its motorbike family, and features a new 800cc three-cylinder engine, which also powers the mid-range MV Agusta Brutale 800.

Whereas most brands debut a model at the INTERMOT or EICMA shows in the fall, and then release that models in the spring of the following year, MV Agusta has a slightly different timeline, which could make things interesting for when the Rivale actually makes it onto dealership floors.

Our history lesson starts with the MV Agusta F3, which debuted after a long bout of teasing at the 2010 EICMA show. Slated to be available a year later, the MV Agusta F3 didn’t enter production until February 2012, and even then that was only the premium MV Agusta F3 Serie Oro. June would see the arrival of the F3 pushed back again in the USA, with bikes finally arriving in the early fall.

The MV Agusta Brutale 675 was a similar story, with the bike’s existence leaked in August 2010. Over a year later at the 2011 EICMA show, MV Agusta debuted the near-production Brutale 675 to the assembled press and two-wheeled enthusiasts. Now almost a year and a half later from that point in time, the 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 675 is set to hit US dealers in April of this year, though that arrival date could get pushed into the summer months, if history is any indication.

That brings us to MV Agusta’s latest announcement that the MV Agusta Rivale 800 will start production in the second-half of this year, which depending on what month that actually ends up being, could make the Rivale 800 a 2014 model for the Italian brand, though we suspect MV Agusta will have another new model at the 2013 EICMA show to distract us from that fact.

It’s not that MV Agusta makes bad motorcycles (though the F3 should never have been let out of the factory with its originally fueling issues), in fact that company is making some of the most compelling bikes in the industry right now. However, when you create a reputation of missing deadlines and producing vaporware, it only takes away from the forward-motion you have created. Other brands would do well to learn from this lesson.

Photos of the MV Agusta Rivale 800:

Source: MV Agusta

Comment:

  1. Gritboy says:

    Hid-e-ous! Many, I’ve seen prettier V-Stroms.

  2. Ganny says:

    ^ ^ vot r u saying maan..Dis looks amazing!!

  3. RGR says:

    Absolutely beautiful, with tons of eye candy all over the place. I think this might look very nice next to my F41000S :-)

    Gritboy, you dun lost yo mind…

  4. Gutterslob says:

    I’m with Gritboy here.
    Wouldn’t call it hideous, but it’s not exactly pretty either. I generally hate insects, so having a bike resemble one doesn’t help.

  5. Superlight says:

    I agree that MV should focus on doing each model right (including meeting stated production dates) before trotting out more new models. I’m not sure why they think the answer is to flood the market with models they won’t be producing for another year or so. That said, I really like my new F3 and would buy it all over again, even with the new Triumph 675R on the market (I like the engine/chassis improvements Triumph have made on the new model, but I thing they went backwards on design, which was inferior to the F3 last year).

  6. thebigpill says:

    I’m guessing they’re trying to keep potential customers from buying a different brand. If you’re thinking about buying a bike and for whatever reason MV is high on your list there’s a chance you just might wait for it especially if they’ve shown a near production ready prototype.

    What MV should be careful of is crying wolf too often. Eventually customers will expect it and spend they’re money elsewhere.

  7. Damo says:

    Bike is quite hideous.

    @Superlight

    Not sure what you mean by the Triumph 675R “inferior to the F3 last year”. I didn’t see any middle weight shoot outs that the F3 did better anything, other than looking better. Can’t take that away from the MV.