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.

Report: More Details on the now KTM 390 Duke

10/25/2012 @ 12:17 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Report: More Details on the now KTM 390 Duke Ktm logo 635x381

Courtesy of the folks at Zigwheels, details about the KTM 390 Duke (previously of KTM 350 Duke & KTM 375 Duke fame) continue to emerge ahead of the EICMA show in Milan, including what is expected to be the official designation of the small-displacement motorcycle. Coming in a 375cc single-cylinder format, KTM continues its misleading numbering scheme for motorcycles with a “390″ designation, though we think you will forgive the Austrian brand, as its American-bound mini-Duke is said to come with 45hp and a 331 lbs curb-weight.

For those keeping score, that means that the KTM 390 Duke will have more power than the Kawasaki Ninja 300, and weigh less than the Honda CBR250R, making it a very formidable package in the small-displacement market. To be made in India by Bajaj (a major stakeholder in KTM’s public stock), the Indian company is expected to make its own version of the model, similar to what it has done with the Pulsar 200NS, which is based off the KTM 200 Duke.

A separate machine from the small-displacement v-twin project that KTM is currently working on as well, the KTM 390 Duke is expected to come to North America for the 2013 model year, with a full-fairing Moto3-inspired model making an appearance in 2014. With plenty of pep in its step, the KTM 390 Duke is set to be a class leader when it debuts, though it will be subject to two very important dimensions when it comes to market: price and dealer support.

With the Kawasaki Ninja 300 priced at $4,799, and the Honda CBR250R now at $4,199 for the 2013 model year (up $100 from last year), KTM will have to keep the price tag of the KTM 390 Duke within a reasonable distance of those two machines. Perhaps more important in the North American market will be getting KTM’s dirt-oriented dealership base to finally get on-board with the company’s street-going motorcycles.

Fighting a fight that is not that dissimilar to the one that saw the demise of Buell Motorcycles, KTM dealers by-in-large are focused around the Austrian’s brands core: its dirt bikes. Already a difficult brand to find in many locales, would-be buyers of the KTM 390 Duke could very well walk into a KTM dealership, only to find the model not on the showroom floor.

As KTM continues to push further into the on-road markets, in order to be successful, the brand needs to realize that it needs to develop more than just good motorcycle for the road, but also build a strong dealer support structure for its street bikes.

Source: Zigwheels

Comment:

  1. jackie says:

    Broken record here…KTM (or anyone), bring me a light handling, full fairing, serious race bike, in the spirit of Ducati’s Supermono, or Aprilia’s RS250, where handling is king above all else. 65-90 hp is fine.

    And please, I implore you, keep it simple, clean and purposeful. I dont need LEDs, traction control, various rider modes, or computer controlled suspension.

    Give me a stout motor, good brakes, a great chassis, a couple wheels, and a place to put some petrol. I’ll even kick start it if that will help. Hell, put a carb on it and let me get to, and adjust, the suspension without busting my knuckles…I swear I’ll buy two.

  2. sideswipe says:

    What he said above. I’ll buy a couple as well.

  3. Cpt.Slow says:

    I have cbr250r, I’m tracking this story as it develops…

  4. MikeD says:

    @Capt.Slow:

    Here, a small apetizer. I Personally think they look cheap and cheezy. Maybe because that’s their objective ? W/E.

    http://www.motoblog.it/post/79501/honda-cbr500-cb500x-e-cb500r-2013-avvistate-a-sulmona

  5. meatspin says:

    i like the idea of the bike- light yet powerful for it size, but KTMs arent really supported where i’m at and they are on the pricey side of the equation.

  6. John says:

    Piggybacking on jackie and sideswipe, I’ll also buy a pair. Maybe three.

  7. mxs says:

    And how much are you guys willing to pay for something like that? Be realistic, there’s a lot of “sign me up” crowd, but once they find out out how much this will cost when on the floor, the crowd disappears ….

    It cannot have carbs, because they would not sell a single one in Europe, so no savings there.

    I am more worried about the pathetic marketing and non-existence of KTM North America. It’s just atrocious …

    KTM 390 looks like a fine machine. Would I buy one? Maybe, if they have one day a real dealer network with something else then dirt bikes

  8. Tony says:

    There ain’t no way KTM will price that thing to be competitive with the CBR and Ninjette. Hell, you can barely buy their 50cc MX bikes for that.

  9. Shailender says:

    I just bought a KTM 200 a month ago and its sure is a terror on the tarmac in its category. If I had known about this elder sibling, I would have for sure held on and bought a 390, but heck yeah if this turns out to be the way I think, it would be apt to bring home the elder one. I just hope its grunts a lot more and has a bigger fuel tank – I trust Bajaj – KTM to deliver the rest.

  10. Shailender says:

    Its speculated that in India it would priced around $3700 which should put it just around the cbr 250 with ABS – but then its a speculation …

  11. Paul Gibbons says:

    This would be terrific, as long as it’s sans fairing. Insurance triples (or more) with plastic/fiberglass. I like the Duke!