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.

Here Comes the “Lotus” C-01 200hp Hyperbike

06/24/2013 @ 11:31 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS

Here Comes the Lotus C 01 200hp Hyperbike Lotus Motorcycles 635x465

Perhaps one of the more interesting stories to break over the weekend, we get word that Lotus is making a 200 horsepower motorcycle…well, sort of. You see the Lotus C-01 is a venture between the tuners at the Holzer Group and the Kodewa car racing effort, with the design being penned by the very talented Daniel Simon.

Where does Lotus the car manufacturer come into all of this? Well, in name only, as it seems that the British marque’s only contribution to the project is lending its name to the motorcycle (it’s debatable as to whether we would be talking about the C-01 if the word “Lotus” didn’t come before the model designation).

Details are light at this point, with the press release drawing heavy lines between the C-01 project and Formula 1 technology. There is also mention of a 200hp figure , as well as the use of carbon, titanium, and “aerospace quality” steel.

If you haven’t figured it out already, we are rolling our eyes pretty hard at all the hype and marketing parlor tricks that are going on here with this Lotus motorcycle; however there does seem to be some hope for an intriguing machine to come from all of this.

If the name Daniel Simon doesn’t ring a bell to you, his most famous work, the Tron Lightcycle should certainly be familiar (he’s worked for some obscure car brands as well, like Lamborghini and Bugatti). It wasn’t too long ago that we were gushing about Simon’s work for the Tron: Legacy movie, as well as his own personal design project: Cosmic Motors (treat yourself, and buy the book). Having Simon on the project should mean for a very futuristic and fresh two-wheeled design, and speaking only for myself here, is enough to get me excited about the C-01.

The inclusion of Kodewa brings a certain technical and managerial expertise to the group, having run a bevy of racing teams for the past decade. Most recently, Kodewa has been in charge of the Lotus LMP2 effort, which runs races like the Le Mans 24-heure in the FIA World Endurance Championship, so there should be no surprise how it got included in the project’s effort, as it seems to be the most direct link to the Lotus brand.

Of a similar technical mind, the Holzer Group is known for its car-tuning prowess, which could bring some interesting developments from the four-wheeled world into the realm of two-wheels. It also goes without saying that Holzer knows how to build an engine or two, which will be the biggest hurdle in this project.

With all the partners in this joint-venture being heavy-hitters in their respective fields, and the simple fact that they must have some serious coin behind them to license the Lotus brand for their motorcycle project, it will be interesting to see what comes from the C-01. No doubt, the bar has already been set very high by fans of the British marque.

A performance-based motorcycle is an intricate machine to design and make, and this group is aiming to create perfection in its first try — not an easy task. Then again, if you were going to pick some names to undertake such a effort, we imagine the list would be short, and these folks would be near the top.

In a couple weeks’ time, Lotus Motorcycles plans to debut the first photos of the C-01, so until then. The group’s press release can be found below.

Press Release from Lotus Motorcycles:

“Lotus Motorcycles was established to design and build the first motorcycle of the iconic car manufacturer. The bike will be named Lotus C-01 and will be the most impressive appearance on public roads on two wheels. It will reflect a combination of lifestyle, design and high end technology.

Lotus Motorcycles is a joint project of Kodewa, car designer Daniel Simon and the Holzer Group. The Lotus C-01 will be a hyper bike with integrated racing technology.

It will be manufactured of materials like carbon, titanium and aerospace quality steel, which are also used in Formula 1. Safety, ergonomics and design are the most important factors the design team has put emphasis on. It will be a state of the art motorbike powered by an approximately 200 horsepower engine.

Kodewa has recently built the new sports car Lotus T128 LMP (Le Mans Prototype) and is running the Lotus LMP2 program in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team of Kodewa comprises of experts with a lot of knowledge and experience not only in endurance racing but also Formula 1, DTM and lower formulas.

The unique shapes of Lotus Motorcycles will be penned by renowned designer Daniel Simon. Simon, a former designer for Bugatti Automobiles, has lately been responsible for some of the most sophisticated concept vehicles in Hollywood film history.

Amongst his most recognizable contributions are the ‘Lightcycle’ in the 2010 Disney motion picture ‘Tron: Legacy’ and the ‘Bubbleship’ used by Tom Cruise in the recent Universal Sci-Fi hit ‘Oblivion’. The German was also designing the famous black and gold livery of the Lotus LMP2 sports cars.

Daniel Simon is known for his clean and holistic concepts. The designer says: “With the Lotus C-01, we have only one ambition: to create a unique state-of-the-art machine that carries its brutal forces with elegance and style, a high-tech monster in a tailored suit. The C-01, with all its top notch components and materials, is first and foremost emotional, heart-breaking, at times playfully retro, and always clearly a Lotus.

Lotus is a glamorous name with a rich history, and the C-01 celebrates it proudly: the shapes of the marvellous Lotus 49 were a main inspiration, and all colour schemes pay homage to iconic Lotus racing liveries, such as the dashing black and gold. The intersection of past and future never fails to fascinate, and so does the unique idea of the C-01.”

Within the Holzer Group, the Performance GmbH is involved in the development process. The components made of titanium, carbon fibre and aerospace steel will be produced by RPC GmbH, which is also part of Holzer Group and Kodewa.

Latest CNC machines linked with CAM workstations ensure highest precision and optimal workflow of the complex procedures. Because of quality inspections before, during and after the production process, a safety-related and faultless production is ensured.

In the next few weeks, images of Lotus Motorcycles will be released and will give a first insight into what to expect from the new Lotus C-01.”

Source: Lotus Motorcycles (Facebook)

Comment:

  1. Autolegend says:

    Petronas FP1. Version 2.0

  2. TexusTim says:

    Holzer Horex VR6 ? 15 degree 3 vavles per cylinder and supercharged ?

  3. Jay says:

    Carbon Fiber? Titanium? What bold choices! This surely will be a machine unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

    Seriously though, considering the sportbikes BMW and Ducati offer these days, the C-01 would need to be a seriously radical departure from the mainstream to look innovative. Britten radical. Hub center steering radical. And much as I would love to see some crazy motorcycle of the future come out of this, I really doubt it’ll be anything beyond a Panigale R.

    Prove me wrong Lotus!

  4. FafPak says:

    @Jay
    There is one item they didn’t list: Unobtainium! It most likely wont be cheap :)

  5. CTK says:

    So much wrong with this. For starters this is the company that completely abandoned a revitalization plan and ejected its CEO. OK so its not ACTUALLY that company, but it’s close enough in unsubstantiated hype to make that mistake.

    The folks building this bike have no motorcycle experience; just car racing. And they want to go up against the big boys in one go? Who is financing this train wreck? Thankfully we don’t need to put hope in this thing so it can come and go with no harm to anyone but Lotus’ already destroyed legacy

  6. Ren-Jr. says:

    Sooo…. Not one mention of someone who either works with, or has designed motorcycles before. This should be interesting… ;)

  7. Damo says:

    I am sure it will be fast, look cool, be massively overpriced and STILL not be able to out perform last years Fireblade around a circuit.

    Oh well the more people playing in the pool the better I say. It isn’t like Lotus doesn’t have a massive group of engineering talent to pull from. I am sure they will come up with something neat.

  8. paulus - Thailand says:

    “Safety, ergonomics and design are the most important factors the design team has put emphasis on. ”

    Safety is the most important factor… seat belts, roof, extra wheels for stability, more lights…. it’s a car! LOL
    Performance and function seem a long way down the list for a motorcycle.

    Strangely, looking forward to seeing what it is… but not having high expectations

  9. Norm G. says:

    as someone on MCN eluded:

    2 words… NORTON NEMESIS.

  10. smiler says:

    All they have to do is substitute the word C 01 motorcycle with the word Esprit and 200bhp with 600bhp. Then we would all be much happier with Lotus.

    As it is their cars are looking long in the tooth, their cannot pay their suppliers and Dani’s ambitious (at least) plan for Lotus has been shelved to make one off motorcycles, something they have never done and unless they make many or a decent range will do so for about a year.

    Daniel Simon the talented FILM motorcycle designer
    http://knstrct.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/CaptainAmerica_DanielSimon_T_HydraBike_01.jpg

    How do you make this look like a motorcycle without it looking crap:
    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/images/large/887-1.jpg

    It would be better if they were just doing some consulting work for the other 2 companies.

    Come on Lotus, new Esprit, Exige and a new dry sump twin turbo V6 & V8 please

  11. smiler says:

    Change name from C-01 to Esprit, add 2 wheels, change 200BHP to 600BHP and four cylinder to twin turbo V8. Everyone happy.
    Lunacy from a company that cannot afford to be doing this kind of thing.

  12. alexssss says:

    I’d trust a British super bike about as far as I could throw it, which after spontaneously combusting might be rather difficult

  13. Mariani says:

    I’ve been a regular on A&R ever since I got hold of Jensen’s remarkable “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” critic of Honda, but I never quite found any reason to post.

    That is, until now.

    I grew up liking cars, and I remained very much a car bloke until not so long ago.
    I am a purist [as any proper petrol head should be], and as such, I became more and more distant from the entire automotive scene the more I learned about it.
    And so, ‘not so long ago’ I just gave up on the whole thing and went on to the motorcycle world, the one that I aways had a secret crush on.

    The reason why I am saying this here, and now, is because of this travesty of a brand that Lotus became.
    In many ways it reflects what has happened to the entire performance car scene.
    The ‘driver’s car’ scene, if you will.

    When I call them a travesty, I’m talking about their plans to make more luxurious, heavier, hybrid cars [just what people would expect from an Elise] as well as them abandoning a F1 team for not performing the way they hoped to, and then painting racing cars in black and gold and calling those things a Lotus.
    Sigh.
    They have set themselves to trade substance for brand recognition, the kind of thing that pushed me away from cars in the first place.

    I know that you probably can’t be bothered to talk about such things on this particular blog, as all you do is bully the Japanese brands for not having plastic fins on it’s fairings and a whole lot of marketing to back it up [ha!], but, by seeing brands like Lotus coming to the very place I went in order to scape them, I feel like I’ve been cornered.
    Which is why I feel particularly hostile towards this.

  14. Norm G. says:

    tell ya what lotus, before you build ANYTHING, let me see several sketches (and dammit I mean several) of the bike. i’ll look them over, curse them or give them my blessing. THEN you can cut metal. and note, I only authorize 2 bikes be built (same as Suzuki) for the dog and pony show of promotions, so don’t go getting ahead of yourself. do that, then we’ll decide the next step.

  15. paulus says:

    Much like Norton’ss TT efforts… Lotus will supply the tank badges.