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.

Pierre Terblanche Joins Confederate Motorcycles

03/12/2013 @ 1:28 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Pierre Terblanche Joins Confederate Motorcycles Pierre Terblanche Confederate Motorcycles 635x635

When we last caught up with Pierre Terblanche, the he had left a frustrating position with the Piaggio Group, that saw the South-African creating several intriguing concepts for the Moto Guzzi brand that never saw the light of day, and he was thus headed to work for Norton.

With work there being a non-starter, rumors pegged Terblanche coming stateside to work for Confederate Motorcycless, but with those rumors over a year old now, we assumed the thought to collaborate with the Southern marques had passed. However, our inbox today tells us that seems not to be the case, as Confederate Motorcycles has announced that Pierre Terblanche is the company’s new head of product development.

Noted for his work with some of Ducati’s most iconic v-twin motorcycles, many may remember Terblanche as the man responsible for the first-generation Ducati Multistrada & Ducati Hypermotard motorcycles, along with the iconic Supermono, MH900e, and Sport Classic. However, it goes without saying Terblanche is best remembered (for better or worse) for the Ducati Superbike 999, a highly polarizing street bike model that followed Massimo Tamburini’s superbike classic, the Ducati Superbike 916, and its progeny.

Love it or hate it, the 999 was undoubtedly a radical departure for the Bologna Brand (perhaps too great of a departure for many Ducatisti at the time), though its popularity with connoisseurs seems to grow with each passing year. Willing to take risks and push the envelope with his designs, we think Terblanche’s talents should be put to good use at Confederate .

“Terblanche is a rebel who by nature is dissatisfied with the status quo, and this is imperative in advancing Confederate’s iconoclastic design preceptsm,” said Confederate Motorcycles Founder & CEO, H. Matthew Chambers. “He’s also intimidatingly intelligent, fiercely courageous, and outspoken to a fault, so as far as Confederate is concerned, what’s not to like?”

The last time we talked to Chambers, he intimated some intriguing thoughts on the future technical and design trends for the motorcycle industry, which can only benefit from the touches of someone like Terblanche, and we are already excited to see what fruit may come from their labors together.

“As a designer, I’ve admired Confederate from afar for a long time, producing a series of motorcycles that have been truly groundbreaking and individual,” explained Terblanche. “It was too good a chance to pass up, to be involved in taking the company further forward, as it expands production but without losing one iota of its unique character. After working for large companies where you have to have a committee meeting before you add another bolt or washer, joining Confederate will bring real creative freedom to do some great design work in an unfettered, unstructured environment.”

“I’m relishing having the man who takes the big decisions being in his office just the other side of the factory floor from where I’ll be working,” he added. “Plus, in doing business, Americans have a refreshing can-do attitude where the glass is always half-full, and people here in the South are also extremely friendly and open, as well as courteous. Working here takes me back to my early beginnings in South Africa, where you just went ahead and got things done – I really believe that in a couple of years we’ll have some great new Confederate products out there, because this is a genuinely creative company focused on smashing the glass ceiling of convention.”

Source: Confederate Motorcycles

Comment:

  1. Gutterslob says:

    Confederate Supermono does have a nice ring to it, though I’d assume Confederate prefer more rebel-like names. Maybe something like Confederate Ronin.

    Then again, he could create another Multistrada, in which case it’d be called Confederate Shameful.

  2. Ceolwulf says:

    If they can get over the psychological imperative to make everything some variation on a “cruiser” they’ll be fine. Buell has proved it’s possible to make a not-cruiser in the US. A Confederate with a riding position designed for something other than fashion would be very interesting.

  3. Marc F says:

    I am and always have been a big fan of Mr. Terblanche, though unfortunately for him the 999 was too far ahead of its time. That every design of his I can think of has aged well, and are even more striking and beautiful in retrospect, is quite a testament to his vision (even the multistrada). I can’t wait to see what he does at Confederate and I hope that it is in “sporting” categories.

  4. Tcrook21 says:

    Wasn’t there about five comments that are suddenly not here?

  5. Andrew says:

    He’s done a lot of interesting stuff but like many inspired designers he is a hit and miss type. Personally I was very afraid of the things he was doing to Moto Guzzi… I think I will be more comfortable if he is messing with bikes like Confederate that I’d have no chance in hell of ever owning anyway.

  6. mudgun says:

    I love suspense…

  7. randy says:

    is there a link to a story about what went wrong at Norton?

    thanks!

  8. Colin says:

    I really liked most of his Ducati work and loved the Sport Classics and 999, beautiful bike in person. I also like Confederate for not following the norm and crafting rolling art. Motorcycles in this price range are not bought purely on their spec sheets but must be driven by emotion and someone like Terblanche may be able to give some good direction. I am looking forward to the results and will buy another lottery ticket just in case.

  9. anders eliasson says:

    Confederate bikes aren’t my cup of tea, but I like what this guy says in the last paragraph :^D …

    ACE

  10. Stephan says:

    The Wraith is the only iconic machine in Confederate’s stable. The other bikes are machinist masturbations lacking conceptual distinction or design presence IMHO. Very much looking forward to Terblanche take as clearly Confederate management agree future machines will need to much more innovative than the very disappointing Fighter.

  11. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Pierre may want to ring up Erik Buell to find out if he can borrow some notes on how to build a sporty, cutting edge, fun, or interesting bike around a giant hunk-o-crap American V Twin. I’d say it can’t be done…no, I’d say it shouldn’t be done based on what’s already been attempted.

    And could someone explain why it’s now written into law that this has to be the formula for an American bike?

    I went to the confederate motorcycles website. Is this satire? Is this a joke on rich people? $72,000 are you kidding?

    Two nagging questions: who would buy one, and why? I think we all know the answer.

  12. outriden says:

    this can only be good news for confederate. they really need help in the design department.

  13. Mr. X says:

    And the list of those who will drink the sweet Southern Kool-Aid continues to grow.