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.

Official: 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R Gets 750 RPM Redline Reduction Because of EPA Noise Laws

10/08/2010 @ 3:58 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Official: 2011 Kawasaki ZX 10R Gets 750 RPM Redline Reduction Because of EPA Noise Laws 2011 Kawasaki ZX 10R EPA noise law 635x423

We just got off the phone with Kawasaki HQ, and it’s official: the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R will inadvertently get a power decrease when it comes to the United States because of the EPA’s regulation of noise pollution, confirming earlier rumors from this week. The issue surrounds the EPA’s new methodology for measuring exhaust noise levels, which now involves taking the measurement at a percentage of the total rev range, instead of a specific rpm value.

The result is that the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R passes the Euro III standards, but fails the EPA standards in its unadulterated form. To come into compliance with the EPA’s Noise Control Act, Kawasaki has lowered the rev-limit on the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R by 750 rpm in order to meet the new criteria. The byproduct of lowering the rev-limiter will reduce the new ZX-10R’s maximum power output, but Kawasaki isn’t saying by how much.

Kawasaki says its the redline for American 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R’s will be 13,750 rpm, and sources outside of Kawasaki say the drop in peak power could be by as much as 10hp at the crank. Kawasaki insists that nothing is mechanically different from the European model and the American model (the EU model does have an ignition disabler, but that’s not really relevant), with the differences between the two bikes residing in their computer software. While they won’t specifically state how they are changing the bike’s ECU firmware, we can assume that some sort of software rev-limiter is being employed to bring down the maximum rpm figure.

This news will probably disappoint spec-sheet racers, but the practicality is that riders looking for the 197 crank horsepower from the ZX-10R won’t have to look far as modifications and aftermarket products are sure to hit the streets immediately after the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R’s debut here in the USA.

Comment:

  1. Andrew says:

    This story bothers me for two reasons. First, the fact that Kawasaki can get around the noise regulations by lowering the maximum RPM by 750 shows how the formula for determining the vehicle noise isn’t very good. Unless the EPA is taking the measurement at 94.8% or greater of the max revs then this bike will still be able to hit the level that was previously ruled too loud and will likely be ridden at those revs just as often. In effect, this change makes the bike no quieter (not that I’m saying that is a bad thing). Second, assuming that the engine has been changed in no way other than lowering the limiter, cutting out the last 750 RPM will change the riding experience in no way unless the rider plans to operate the motor beyond 13750RPM. (Sure that might matter on the track, but I’m sure there will be a mod that will allow the additional revs since a lot of things are done to a track bike that aren’t street legal). Additionally, the loss of 10hp is a worst case scenario and would only happen if the peak hp was realized at 14500. Basically the only thing this affects is how this bike’s specs rank against its competitors, so Kawasaki should be more concerned than us.

  2. AB says:

    I completely agree with Andew. Well said. For the track, none of this would probably matter as I’m sure aftermarket parts and engine maps would nullify this change. For the street, the noise impact has not been lessened at all, the sound levels will still be reached at the RPM levels where the test had failed prior to lower the Max Revs.

  3. MikeD says:

    Well, that was short lived. Way to go EPA…AND Kawasaki for not seen this one coming(they kind of deserve it).

    Like the article said, there will be ways around this minor setback and beyond soon enough to restore w/e is been lost and gain some on the process.

    This reminds me of something i read today about their own new Ultra 300X JetSki. Dealers that rode it at Lake Havassu are going off the hook saying how great it is (Holeshot, Acceleration,u name it) but someone pointed out it was Pre-Production Units most probably not restricted=The Old Trick of Bait and Switch [SHOW THEM TURKEY BUT FEED THEM CROW]…suposedly making 70+mph (US CoastGuard have all manufacturers limited to 65Mph)… Kinda looks the same here.
    The Nany State doing its thing, screwing the Lamb each and everytime it can.

  4. ML says:

    Lets complain about power 99.9% of us will never be able to fully use. ECU reflash/Power commander anyone?

    Get over it…

  5. Hamza says:

    750 RPM? Really? Get over it! It’s not going to change peak power on this bike at all, chances are that peak power is going to be below the redline anyway!

    All this hype for nothing!

    SMH

  6. MikeD says:

    ML & Hamza: Is not about that at all, is all about “MINE IS BIGGER THAN YOURS” specially on the good old U.S of A and the SIDE EFFECTS of OVERPROMESSING and UNDER DELIVERING. Allow me…

    Squid#1 with some money and no brains at all: Yo, that Kawi that just came out got mad power, 197hp YO!
    Squid#2:True da, but not anymore, it got its Balls cut YO! Now it “ONLY makes 190″…Less than the BImmer…(or w/e happened to be fastest at said time)
    Squid#1:Screw that, im getting the Bimmer…

    Small oversigth(failed stupid Decibel test) turned into Big Fuck Up(Lost Sales).
    We all know we don’t need bikes as transportation (1Ks cost as amuch as a Compact Car with A/C now a days) and buying one is more about emotional impulse than logic or w/e.
    WHY settle for good(190 made number) when there’s better(197HP Bimmer,More POWAAAAAAHHH). Thats how NEW bikes buying Squids see it, almost positive.

    And to a lesser Xtent every regular JoeSchmo who likes Motorbikes.
    At the risk of sounding like a TOTAL SQUID im gonna say: I know i would…even tho I can’t use a fourth of it, it is good to know is THERE…POWAAAHHH! (O_O )’

  7. gnmac says:

    F*** THE EPA!

  8. CBR600RR 09 says:

    MikeD.

    I am sure everyone on this forum feels stupider for having read your illiterate spew.

    Please be kind to us and make sure you spell and grammar check before you post again.

  9. MikeD says:

    Dear CBR600RR….: I don’t feel like doing such task, if it bothers you so much Copy and Paste my “Iliterate Spew” (wich i’m aware just how wrong is) with all that’s wrong Fixed. Do us all that Favor. The World will be a better place and less “Dumb”, i’m positive.

    Out of all things that someone could b!tch about my lousy/lazy typing was it, LOL, go figure.

  10. CBR600RR 09 says:

    @ML & @Hamza: It is not about that at all, it is all about “MINE IS BIGGER THAN YOURS”. Especially in the good old U.S of A and the side effects of promising too much and under delivering. Allow me…

    Squid#1 : Yo, that Kwakka that just came out got mad power, 197hp YO!
    Squid#2: True dat, but not anymore, it got it balls cut YO! Now it “ONLY makes 190″…Less than the Beamer…(or whatever happened to be fastest at said time)
    Squid#1: Screw that, im getting the Beamer…

    Small oversight (failed decibel test) turned into a big fuck up (lost sales).
    We all know we don’t need bikes as transportation (1Ks cost as much as a compact car with A/C) and buying one is more about emotional impulse than logic or whatever.
    Why settle for good (190 made number) when there’s better (197HP Beamer, more power).
    That’s how new bike buying Squids see it, almost certainly, and to a lesser extent every regular Joe who likes Motorbikes.

    At the risk of sounding like a TOTAL SQUID i’m going to say: “I know i would…even though I can’t use a fourth of it, it is good to know there is…Power”

    Enjoy

  11. MikeD says:

    CBR600RR:

    Ur a Gentleman and a Scholar. Job well done.I feel smarter already.

  12. Westward says:

    I can’t believe I read that twice, with the same amount of dread. I think I just lost a couple of IQ points…

  13. MikeD says:

    @ Westward: LMAO…Priceless.

  14. Super Ultra Mega says:

    Kawasaki lists peak horsepower as coming at 13,000 rpm, as per their company documents accompanying the release of the ZX-10R.