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.

Nine Questions with Tomohisa Ichimaru – The Man Behind the Upcoming Suzuki V-Strom 1000

07/05/2013 @ 5:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

Nine Questions with Tomohisa Ichimaru   The Man Behind the Upcoming Suzuki V Strom 1000 Suzuki V Strom Concept09 635x423

I am not going to lie to you, after the jump is a set of very “marketing-heavy” videos from Suzuki about the upcoming Suzuki V-Strom 1000 adventure-touring bike. But since A&R readers are a clever bunch, and well-versed in smelling out the industry bullshit, I thought we would post these videos up anyways, since there are some interesting things going on with the new V-Strom concept.

Featuring nine questions with Tomohisa Ichimaru, the Product Planner in charge of the 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, we get a sense of where the Japanese factory is coming from with its first proper modern ADV bike, and the lengths Suzuki has gone to ensure it meets the expectation of the existing devout Strom fan base.

Involved with the V-Strom 650 project, as well as wee-Strom owner, Ichimaru-san seems like the perfect choice for the person to guide the V-Strom 1000 project. We have heard plenty of stories coming out of Suzuki about the new V-Strom, so it will be interesting how closely the concept machine that debuted at EICMA is to the production model (expected to debut at this year’s EICMA show).

Price will be key for Suzuki, who will already have to compete for the non-BMW mindshare with the very stout Yamaha Super Ténéré.

Photos of the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 Concept:

Source: Suzuki (YouTube)

Comment:

  1. smiler says:

    Itza Tliumpf Tiga weely.

  2. JoeD says:

    Give it a better name please!!? V Strom sounds like scientific nomenclature for a skin condition.

  3. Ryder M. says:

    Wow, aften several years of heavy benchmarking and copying they finally created a budget (but probably not light) version of a last genertation KTM 990 . This is no reason to celebrate, this is alarming.

  4. Richard Gozinya says:

    Seems like new bikes just get uglier and uglier. It’s those mufflers. Those giant cans are just wrong, in every way. Those hideous things make electrics look better and better by comparison.

  5. JoeD says:

    “We are not a nation of copyists.” Soichiro Honda

  6. Paul McM says:

    Yes it is derivative, but I like the idea of a GS-style bike that might be $7000 less than the German version, with parts that won’t cost an arm and a leg if you break something. I also like the idea of a narrow engine that doesn’t require 20 lbs of steel crash bars so it doesn’t get smashed if you fall down. Some suggestions:

    1. Go with a two-section seat. This allows front section seat height adjustment (pretty important), and allow the removal of Pillion for a gear rack (Tenere offers this). I doubt that many Americans will be using this two up. I can’t remember when I’ve actually seen a GS owner with someone on the back.

    2. Get rid of the extra beak below the headlight. That’s just copying some dumb BMW styling. This thing already has a tire-hugger front fender.

    3. Hey it’s 2013 already. Give us LED low beam and HID high beam. Lights will last longer, consume less power, toss out more lumens.

    4. Redesign and relocate the can. It looks like the muffler location is cutting out at least a third of the capacity of the right read pannier. That’s just dumb.

    5. Make the top of the tank flatter and have a thin steel insert so magnetic tank bags will work. IMHO magnetic bags are way, way easier to deal with than snaps or straps.

  7. TexusTim says:

    the exhaust hanger look like a bbq grill

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “Give it a better name please!!? V Strom sounds like scientific nomenclature for a skin condition.”

    yeah, like “Gladius” did for the SV650… oh wait.

  9. Michael says:

    doesnt anyone else think this thing is a direct MultiStrada rip-off?

  10. FafPak says:

    @Paul McM
    | 1. Go with a two-section seat…
    This will drive the cost up. Manufacturing separate rider and pillion seats would be near x2 the cost of a single seat unit.
    |2. Get rid of the extra beak below the headlight…
    The “beak” stabilizes the bike at higher speeds and in some cases (BMW GS) channels air to cool components.
    |3. Give us LED low beam and HID high beam…
    Despite the benefits of LED, this will drive initial cost of the bike up. There is always aftermarket
    |4. Redesign and relocate the can…
    An under-seat exhaust would raise the center of gravity of the bike, a negative. Any lower and the elements would invade the exhaust canister. Compared to all other adventure bikes out there and it would seem the can is in the optimal position.
    |5. …flatten tank…magnetic tank bags…
    I think this is a matter of preference, but most of the snap-on panniers detach/attach in seconds, lock and double as suitcases.

  11. jeram says:

    Looks like a hybrid of a Multistada, a GS1150 BMW and the over complicated aethetics of a Suzuki GSXR

  12. TexusTim says:

    overcomplicated gsxr HA ya ya you dont know it till you go to take it apart and then its whaaat? what were they thinking, I bet theres 20 pounds of uneccessary brakets and such just to make a gsxr look like that….I have a k7 600 and the sub frame is an anchor ? then theres the bracketry to hold the fuel tank cover to the tank…btu I see no resmeblence to the mutli V stromada….lol?

  13. Paul McM says:

    |2. Get rid of the extra beak below the headlight…
    The “beak” stabilizes the bike at higher speeds and in some cases (BMW GS) channels air to cool components.

    Umm, if anything, if British magazine BIKE is to be believed, the useless upper fender actually destabilizes the bike. A simple vent is all that is needed to cool that engine. Witness the other models. This is a nonsense, ugly, unnecessary styling wart.

    |3. Give us LED low beam and HID high beam…
    Despite the benefits of LED, this will drive initial cost of the bike up. There is always aftermarket

    HID might raise cost, but LED is cheap. I doubt if it would add more than $20.00 to the price of the bike if produced in volume.

    |4. Redesign and relocate the can…
    An under-seat exhaust would raise the center of gravity of the bike, a negative. Any lower and the elements would invade the exhaust canister. Compared to all other adventure bikes out there and it would seem the can is in the optimal position.

    Not advocating underseat exhaust, but surely the can could be reshaped to take less of the available pannier space.

    Re tank bags — if you think straps and buckles work better than a magnetic tank bag, well I suppose you’ve never used a magnetic tank bag. I’ve used both (starting with strapped tank bags way back in 1978!) and I can tell you the magnetic attachment is much preferrable for a small-to-medium sized bag. Better by far.

  14. FafPak says:

    @Paul McM

    |2. British magazine BIKE
    Could they have gotten it wrong? Regardless, simple solution would be to remove it. A lot of GS boys and gals do that. Funnily enough, some actually get beak extensions to reduce mud sling. Matter of preference.

    |3. LED is cheap
    The tech might be cheap, the R&D that goes into matching/superseding the automotive requirements and regulations that filament headlamps meet, not necessarily else we would have them on more automotive applications for primary illumination (daylight running strips don’t count)

    |4. “…if you think straps and buckles work better than a magnetic tank bag…”
    Never said that. I said matter of preference, and depending on the application (you stated size in your case) each has its benefits. However, if you haven’t looked at some of the modern detachable pannier systems because of a bias formed from a long time ago, then you might be doing yourself a disservice.

    | “…well I suppose you’ve never used a magnetic tank bag…”
    Hint: I’m a super-sport commuter :)

  15. Scott says:

    Remember suzuki’s DR800 BIG? No, you don’t, if you did you’d realize that Suzuki did independent INVENT THE BEAK…..I like how they planned the luggage, instead of offering yet another afterthought badge marketed aftermarket luggage system, as on the dl650. Hope Suzuki redesigned the clutch basket and bearing to prevent the dreaded “chudder”.

  16. TexusTim says:

    shutter maybe?…or is it clutch shudder or clutchchum.even combining the words you get clutshudder…stroclutshutter thats the bike and the problem ok ?

  17. JohnnyS says:

    Does it have ABS? If so, can it be switched off for gravel roads?

  18. carboncanyon says:

    @Paul McM and @FafPak
    LED’s (and projectors) have a fundamental challenge on motorcycles: not enough spread (too directional). It’s fine when you’re going straight and the bike is upright. Where they fall apart is when you turn and can’t see anything above the razor-thin fan of intense light. Works great for cars (because they don’t lean) but sucks for bikes.

    BTW FafPak is right: LED’s you see at Radio Shack are cheap; LED headlamp’s are not. LED headlamps put out a lot of heat as well, so factor in a heatsink (cost, weight, size).

  19. 76 says:

    There are big problems when the product planner is being used as the “man behind the bike”.

  20. an other shock says:

    Looks like Suzuki and Yamaha decided to compete for the ugliest ever bike award with their V-Strom and FZ-09. Bike design level is rising every day and companies start to produce uglier and uglier unprofessionally designed bikes which shows exactly how unprofessional is the hiring competence in the factories as all over the industry and why we get worse and worse products from everywhere. Stylist is not designer first of all even he paid million for his poor education.
    KTM recent row of designs is good example of same process where completely non motorcycle, very young and cheap people have started to “design” something. LC8 is a catastrophe like we all know already and it will never give any competition to the BMW now, train is gone. But sure this V-Strom is truly a massive laugh! :)))) Are they blind in Suzuki or what happened !? :)))))) What is wrong with you people? Hopefully Ducati will sell more here from and they have money for their MotoGP project ;)

  21. meatspin says:

    Beaks look more appealing to me on a motorcycle than the blunt nose as seen on the Tenere and the Adventure. Its also nice to see luggage that actually looks like it was designed to belong to the motorcycle and look less like an afterthought.

    I like this bike. If it was in my garage, I’d call it the Woodpecker.

  22. Tony C says:

    When you have a small budget to redesign a budget-friendly bike, you just can’t afford to hire the biggest and brightest designer out there. You do what you can whether it be stealing, copying, or revising what is working and leave the innovating to the boutique/exotic brands.

    The new V-Strom, IMO, is a much better looking bike than the current model. But it still looks like a bastard child from an orgy with Mulitistrada, GS, and a Triumph Tiger.

  23. MikeD says:

    SCRAP THE WHOLE THING, start with a clean sheet of paper.
    The damn thing is HIDEOUS. The Tenere looks like a superbike next to it.

    I don’t care how good it rides, if i can’t look at it on the drive way or the garage then is NOT GOOD ENOUGH to pay for and own it.