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.

Spy Shot: 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc at the Isle of Man

06/05/2010 @ 10:36 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Spy Shot: 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc at the Isle of Man 2010 Motoczysz E1pc spy shot isle of man

UPDATE: We just got an email from Michael Czysz about the new E1pc, and the team’s progress so far at the Isle of Man. Read it after the jump.

Our Bothan Spies were hard at work this weekend, and have brought us this photo of the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc that will be racing the TT Zero at the Isle of Man TT. From the pictures, the 2010 E1pc is sporting a significantly smaller tail (no hidden batteries here!), and a bevy of battery packs.

From what we can gather, there’s 12.5 kWh of battery power visible, assuming Czysz & Co. are using the same packs from the eDD. The front-end is the same MotoCzysz-patented design, while the rear of the motorcycle looks to have a longer swing-arm and conventional shock placement.

The motor is attached to the “suitcase”, low on the bike (as seen in the eDD renders) facing the clutch side of the motorcycle. It’s then linked via chain to a concentric shaft off the swing-arm (similar to the MotoCzysz C1), with the final chain linkage on the standard right-hand side of the E1pc. More info and photos as we get them. Big thanks to our anonymous tipster!

From Michael Czysz:

Wow how the hell did you basterds get that photo (we have almost found out!)

Anyway it is NOT the finished bike! it is missing fairing parts : )

To day in Q1 we hit 122+ down sulby straight!  Some of the ICE bikes only hit 140(ish) Agni’s was 95(ish) with a top speed on course of 129.6.

Calibration mess up and we communicated to the rider via on board info that we had more power than we did.  We had a massive (confirmed from our spotter on course, can’t tell you the actual time but is was huge!) lead and our rider started using more throttle too soon and the bike ran out of bat 1.5 miles from finish (hauntingly familiar to last year except last year we also encountered failures, not this year)

Another calibration test tomorrow and another Q session on Monday- spirits very HIGH here tonight!!!

MC

And then in a P.S.:

Average throttle used for the entire lap 40%

Comment:

  1. skadamo says:

    Damn, that thing is serious.

  2. i.am.one says:

    Beautiful Motorcycle!!! I think this bike has a beautiful design but have defects distribution weights.
    We’ll see!

  3. Very cool. I like the “Britten-esque” front fairing. Best of luck to the team!

  4. i.am.one says:

    For me in this picture the bike has too long wheelbase. Little agility?

  5. BikePilot says:

    It looks very appliance-like to me. Not necessarily a problem for a race machine, but I don’t see a lot of beauty or styling going on there. The seat also looks to leave something to be desired in terms of comfort. At the very least streamlining those square battery packs might tidy things up a bit (and maybe improve aerodynamics).

  6. Doctor Jelly says:

    I have confidence that Michael Czysz has a little more knowledge on what he’s doing than us. That probably means that weight distribution is near on point (if I remember right the ’09 battery packs were around 8 lbs so that front end isn’t nearly as heavy as it looks, plus the 3 motors underneath, now hidden, evens out the weight load more than this picture reveals. Take a look at the last iteration of the E1PC), the wheelbase is not excessive, and streamlining is just fine (presumably it’s going to have those little half fairings similar to the ’09 version). A square front end is no different than current sportbikes with their mammoth radiators defying the air. Also, that seat doesn’t look any worse than most other race bikes I’ve seen, and the E1PC has been one of the better looking/finished bikes out there. I don’t think it’ll disappoint this year either.

    Take a look at the ’09 version, it was actually quite a good looking bike, and has been (on paper) the one to beat for awhile now.

    motoczysz.com/club/?p=258

    Presuming no gremlins this time, I think you will all see MotoCzysz dominate the race from beginning to end!

  7. The ’09 packs were definitely more than 8lbs, felt more like 15lbs in my hands when I saw them. For ’10 MotoCzysz is using a liquid-cooled AC induction motor of their own design. No more Agni air-cooled for them. The motor mounts direct to the custom eDD frame package, and is hidden in this shot (right-hand facing), but is low in the bike for mass centralization. Check our eDD article for more info on that.

  8. Doctor Jelly says:

    I was just thinking about that, I forgot they changed the motor setup.

    I don’t know why I have 8 lbs stuck in my head, I’ll try to find whatever article I read on it that I thought cited 8.

  9. skadamo says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Spy Shot: 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc at the Isle of Man – http://aspha.lt/125 #motorcycle

  10. Kevin White says:

    I think it’s gorgeous. Purposeful and poised, and it wears its alternative motivation proudly.

  11. love the new styling on the fairings!
    -pete

  12. Dr. Gellar says:

    SsssssWEET! Looking forward to seeing more pics of this machine as they come. I’m hoping the MotoCzysz team has some good luck and kicks some e-powered tail at the TT. May have to find my way to Monterey, CA in July after all to catch them at Laguna Seca…

  13. Just got an update from Michael Czysz with details about the bike, and the team’s progress at TT Zero, it’s been added to the article.

  14. Mike J says:

    “Today in Q1 we hit 122+ down sulby straight! Some of the ICE bikes only hit 140(ish)”

    The ICE bikes actualy hit 190-200mph down the Sulby Straight!

  15. Ray Boone says:

    Good luck, Michael! That’s an awesome machine.

  16. BikePilot says:

    Good to hear its missing fairing parts in the picture.

  17. Billy B.Tso says:

    Always pleased to hear news of performance improvements to e-powered bikes! And what a good looker too! well done guys! hopefully this technology keeps improving and we see them out perform ICE bikes! only a matter of a couple of years (and dollars) by the looks of the current pace and technology available.

  18. The tank padding makes the bike look like it has ripped abs.

  19. Astro says:

    Somebody give Michael Czysz an award for brilliantness.
    What an amazing bike !!!
    Engineering perfection.
    It make my brain get a stiffie.