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.

XXX: Ducati 1199 Panigale Naked

12/27/2011 @ 12:45 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

XXX: Ducati 1199 Panigale Naked Ducati 1199 Panigale frame CAD 04 635x397

The 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale represents a huge step in motorcycle design, mostly due to its frameless chassis or monocoque design. Using the engine as an integral component to the Panigale’s chassis, Ducati’s hallmark achievement was building an integrated headstock/airbox off the front cylinder. With the seat and subframe built off the rear cylinder, and the swingarm bolting directly to the motor, the Ducati 1199 Panigale was able to not only shed 22 lbs of its predecessor’s design, but also continues the Italian company’s new design trend of having components that take on multiple functional roles.

Being sure to keep the fairings on the Ducati 1199 Panigale fastened at all times, we have very little insight as to what Ducati’s new chassis looks like underneath its clothing, and after hounding Bologna for the past few weeks over the issue, these four renders of the Panigale’s frame are the best we can muster for our readers. The black background makes the black frame components hard to see, but the CAD drawings do provide at least some insight as to how the 1199 comes together. If the Panigale goes as well on the track as it does on the spec sheet, you very well could be looking at the future of production motorcycle chassis design.

XXX: Ducati 1199 Panigale Naked Ducati 1199 Panigale frame CAD 01 635x396

XXX: Ducati 1199 Panigale Naked Ducati 1199 Panigale frame CAD 02 635x396

XXX: Ducati 1199 Panigale Naked Ducati 1199 Panigale frame CAD 03 635x397

Source: Ducati

Comment:

  1. Mr. Crowly says:

    Can it win?

    Without special rules to help it?

    We’ll see.

  2. John Magnum says:

    Bob the Builder can you fix it!
    i just keep thinking crash bill, head light / taillight track crash, everything hinges off the motor. Even a little road bingle hitting an object on a slide……
    this thing is like a supermodel wearing a summer dress with no Reg Grundies (Australian for underpants)

  3. John, there must be a cultural difference here. I’ve never complained about a supermodel in a summer dress with no knickers on….

  4. 76 says:

    John I think this Duc just might fair alittle better than the XX98 / Streetfighter frame design in regards to the street. Remember the existing frame included tabs off the frame in which the rearsets mounted to, these tabs are extremely easy to bend in a simple lowside or crash. The catch thats part of the frame, your insurance company totals the frame that second. This means in most cases the bike is totalled. Honestly in the event of any normal crash on a Fully faired Ducati its going to be tough not having the bike as a complete writeoff because of the bodywork cost alone.

    Interesting the air looks like directly through the headpipe area in the center, strange because the intake in the fairing are split like the xx98 under the headlamps. Normally the most direct method is the most efficient. I again agree this is the direction of production streetbikes of the future. When the 2nd most expensive element of a production bike is removed or reduced like this and integrated in existing structures it means reduced cost, the Japanese are watching closely. Whether it will race remains to be seen, just remember there are plenty of models that dont need to race.

  5. Jeff says:

    I’m torn between liking the Buell-like practicality of the low exhaust and the traditional “twins under the tail” as on my 1198 SP, what I have long considered a signature look for Ducati. One thing for sure, the seat temperature should improve with the 1199.

  6. Grant says:

    I wonder what Rossi has to say, he had an incredible year with its big brother….

  7. MikeD says:

    76 says:
    Interesting the air looks like directly through the headpipe area in the center, strange because the intake in the fairing are split like the xx98 under the headlamps. Normally the most direct method is the most efficient.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yes, u gotta thank for that all the “traditionalist Ducati critics” affraid of “too much change to handle at once on our little bike darling”.
    They couldn’t possibly handle/cope with so much “Averting from the righteous traditional path” in one “swift total redesign”.
    Silly cry babies.

    I still say, SCREW FORM…GIVE ME FUNCTION & THEN BEAUTY…(think Concorde airplane) unless we are talking about girls or else.

    I too would like to see on the future how “the others” take on the “frame-less” Saga unfolds and new ideas they bring to the table.

  8. MikeD says:

    P.S: 3 isuess i see here…

    How big is the filter going to be, where xactly it goes and AirBox HEAT Saturation anyone ?
    Someone help the blind guy…me. LOL.

  9. bemer2six says:

    Get it to the US put it in the dealerships gives a test ride we’ll talk then…

  10. bobob5511 says:

    I’m a little concerned about the clutch line that appears to be running right through the rear shock mount(reference picture 2)….oops :P. Damn draftsman!

  11. That’s a “feature” ;)

  12. bobob5511 says:

    Yes- its a lubricated shock bushing! genius

  13. For those that appreciate a little nudity… http://t.co/kH3VTZHz

  14. dc4go says:

    This is for Mr. Crowly…. last time i checked the 1198 beat the inline fours straight up in SS. By the way the twins WSBK carry more weight , intake restrictors, and a stock motor unlike the four cylinders machines with reworked heads with more compression. Yes the twins run 1200cc but with two less cylinders only advantage the Duc. has is rideability, great front end and Carlos Checa!!! Look how good Nori and Fabrizio did on factory against the 4′s.. P.S. im a racing fan with a 999R, a Desmo, RSV4, and a GSXR600… Last thing i want is a bunch of inline fours racing each other … love to see KTM, Triumph and Benali back in WSBK…

  15. For those that appreciate a little nudity… http://t.co/kH3VTZHz

  16. buellracerx says:

    beautiful engineering through & through on this bike. it would be interesting to see how this mantra of frame design would apply to I4′s…

    @Jensen – the headstock appears to pull off both front and rear cylinders, with the subframe mounting to it and the rear cyl. +1 on the supermodel…must be an Aussie thing

    @MikeD – Airbox heat saturation would certainly be an issue I’d address with liberal use of aluminized fiberglass insulation on a frame-up AMA racebike build (1/2 hp just ain’t worth the effort at the club level), but on the street it may not be as much of an issue. Seems like a tradeoff between heat soak & airbox volume

  17. John Magnum says:

    @Jensen,
    my reference to a supermodel with no undies was to imply, that a hot supermodel which the 1199 is and no undies meaning she’s much more likely to get fucked quite readily…..a pun of sorts.

  18. Gpaul says:

    I don’t understand how this “design” is really all that different from the 851/888 bikes besides the obvious difference in material used for the mainframe. same for the monsters too, only the engine case connects the steering head and the swingarm pivot—-there really is nothing new under the sun