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.

200 Horsepower Lotus C-01 Hyperbike Breaks Cover

01/15/2014 @ 8:57 am, by Jensen Beeler40 COMMENTS

200 Horsepower Lotus C 01 Hyperbike Breaks Cover Lotus C 01 03

The first images of the Lotus C-01 hyperbike have hit the internet, MCN and has the “exclusive” on the 200 horsepower machine’s images. The first images are in fact renders of the final design, though they look the part and clearly show the Lotus C-01′s lines.

Said to have a KTM RC8R v-twin engine beneath its carbon fairings, the Lotus C-01 hits a lot of the right numbers on the technical sheets, though visually the machine it is less enthralling. This surprises us, since the bike’s designer Daniel Simon (creator of the new Tron Lightcycle, and author of Cosmic Motors), is one of our favorite designers.

The design grows on you a bit over time, but it is hard to say that when you think of a 200hp hyperbike, the images here come to mind.

With Lotus getting close to officially showing the C-01 to the public, we should have full specs and details shortly, until then we will have to examine these photos more closely. What are your thoughts on the machine?

200 Horsepower Lotus C 01 Hyperbike Breaks Cover Lotus C 01 02 635x410

Source: MCN

Comment:

  1. jimmy smith jr says:

    Ugh! Kill it with fire and pass me the eye bleach.

  2. vman says:

    Probably will look cooler with some better photos or in person, accompanied by a youtube vid of exhaust note. Its surprising how a good exhaust tone can make something look better .

  3. jimmy smith jr says:

    Looks heavy and slow handling. Colin Chapman is spinning in his grave. “No I said simplify and add lightness! This is not that!”

  4. Keith the verbose(and more than slightly annoying) says:

    what jimmy said. Looks more like a drag bike or something for the salt flats to me.

  5. Phil says:

    Stick to cars. That’s one ugly looking bike!

  6. kww says:

    looks like it was made for the 50+ viagra crowd who remembers when the Lotus company stood for something

  7. Jake says:

    Yawn. Why do people still make power cruisers? I suppose their target audience is the non-riding muscle car crowd, but then why Lotus?

  8. Stuart says:

    This is such a let down I was imagining a full fledge highly engineered sports bike or a huge beautifully crafted cafe race reminiscent of the Duc sport classic.

  9. Dewey says:

    It appears to be of monocoque construction and if it TRULY is a monocoque structure then it must look as it does.
    If that shell is in fact the chassis (as it appears to be) then this bike is right in line with Colin Chapman’s thinking and I suspect that it will be quite rigid and light.

  10. John Mith says:

    I thought Lotus was well known for lightweight great handling cars. Not fat bloated 200hp motorcycles that look like they can’t get out of their own way.

  11. Norm Fraijo says:

    I find irony in Lotus building a motorcycle, given Colin Chapman’s disdain for two wheelers. I think he said something along the lines of “How can you trust something that falls over when you walk away from it?”

  12. Dale says:

    I WANT ME ONE OF THOSE!!!! Although I’m not enthralled by the look either, I bet the first time you hit the throttle and let go of the clutch like the wrong end of a coat hanger at a weenie roast, you forget all about the look.

  13. PeteN95 says:

    I like it and hope it is in fact a monocoque frame. The rake seems a bit much and also seems to be missing indentations for the riders legs, but an interesting design. It seems to be a new catagory, “Enclosed Naked bike”?!

  14. Silas says:

    Doesn’t look like it will wheelie.

  15. Richard Gozinya says:

    That thing looks confused. On the one hand you’ve got what appears to be a monocoque chassis. On the other you have twin shocks out back and a long rake. If you’re going to go the monocoque route, might as well make it fully faired and aerodynamic. No point not to. This just looks like a mess of different things stuck together.

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “It appears to be of monocoque construction and if it TRULY is a monocoque structure then it must look as it does.”

    fair enough. but its V powered, we cant get the cross section down any smaller than that…? i could hide a GE90 in that nacelle.

  17. JoeD says:

    Love It!! The first thing that grabbed my attention was the signature ovalesqe intake area in front of the engine. That shape and the svelteness of it all says Formula 1 breeding and history. My only negative is the steering geometry looks slow. Too Cruiserish.

  18. Norm G. says:

    re: “The first thing that grabbed my attention was the signature ovalesqe intake area in front of the engine.”

    and there it is. I was gonna say, the design is meant to mimic the lines an F1 chassis. it’s the scoop over Kimi’s head, albeit turned upside down. I’m okay with it. they can go in any direction. it’s not like they are framed by any sort 2-wheeled history.

  19. John D'Orazio says:

    Crickets and bullfrogs…….

  20. Ian John says:

    as a cafe racer with a John Player Special paint job, yes please.
    call it a hyperbike, suggest any sort of performance in cornering and i call BS.
    Straight line / salt flat or cafe poser………

  21. sean says:

    The steering head angle says all we need to know.
    Moving on now.

  22. Dewey says:

    @Sean,
    Trail, far more than steering head angle, determines how a bike will steer.

    @Richard,
    Except for MX bikes, there is much to recommend dual shocks over a monoshock design.
    But style and perception can, and do, drive the motorcycle industry as much or more than engineering correctness.

  23. Bluey says:

    it’s a design exercise. i like it. it has stacks of style, and clearly isn’t meant for real world performance riding other than straight line speeding or looking/sounding cool. fine. sign me up. i don’t need another track bike.

    it’s a Lotus, whatever. their pedigree has been irrelevant for years.
    Apple will be making anything they can to turn a buck now that Jobs is dead.

    -B

  24. Bjorn says:

    Are we sure there are not 2 RC8 motors under that bulbous monstosity?

  25. ZootCadiilac says:

    Quite confused by this. It’s truly hideous but more importantly what’s the point of a 200bhp ‘hyperbike’ if it has the aero of a brick wall?

    And V-Twin? You could fit a V8 and 3 Kardashian sisters in that fat belly.

  26. Don Walsh says:

    Who put a 200 horse motor in Darth Vader’s urinal?

  27. paulus says:

    Dazed, Confused and dissapointed….

    I am a Hyper sports buyer/owner/rider. I usually love this catagory. Not this one.
    This is not a hyper-sports nor a Lotus… it is a Lotus licenced/branded product.

    It’s a very “USA” targeted styling. raked out and twin shock.

    I disagree with most… it does not look monocoque. It looks like a shell over a basic frame. The look is of panels all fastened into place onto something beneath.

    Definately not my cup of tea.

  28. Nick says:

    WOW!!! You can count on Lotus to bring fresh ideas to the motorcycle industry. The first sport bike to have a trunk! Built right into the chassis no less?? How convenient! You could keep a few spares, lunch, toolkit, and weekend bag in such a well thought out cargo space!

  29. Ren-Jr. says:

    I’m really interested with what they are trying to do with this. There’s gotta be something special about it, cause I never really thought of the folks at Lotus as a bunch of fucking idiots. I hope they prove me wrong…

  30. MikeD says:

    @Stuart:

    +1. The usual ” HYPE, HYPE, HYPE …. TADAAAAAAA !………. Nothing.

  31. Mariani says:

    Booo!

    I had my first post here at A&R because of rumours about this thing.

    I thought Lotus was going to make a 200 bhp Desmo-like actual hyperbike, and that made me a little frustrated. They were loosing their touch and blah blah blah…

    Now I wish they had done that instead of this power cruiser thing.

    Sigh.

  32. Damn says:

    UGLY. no sorry sorry. BUTT UGLY!!!!

  33. arkangel says:

    I’d love one !!

    The KTM motor is one of the most beautiful pieces of motorcycle art there is and the minimalism of this design – where everything is under wraps – is stunning ..

    I have no doubt it will handle sublimely..

  34. dmj says:

    Yep, pretty ugly. Seems they left the “motor” out of motor cycle. Lots need to be removed, fix that steering angle. If that motor is so ugly that they have to hide it, then start over. Less is more dudes.

  35. Brad Simmons says:

    More “branded garbage”. Sigh.

    What disgusting looking PIG of a motorcycle. The flexy bendy 1970′s dual shocks in the back. That rake and trail make it looks like it will be out cornered by a Hayabusa or a Harley. :/

  36. Grumpy Goat says:

    I love when stylists try to ‘design’ motorcycles. It tests their ability to problem solve and in this case, there’s suspiciously little problem solving evident. I.E., that hard body surface your inner legs will have to endure on the sides of the fairings. Beyond that, it’s got no freshness. Well, even Daniel Simon is mortal. Love his books and movie props however.

    Better luck next time. Fat and heavy doesn’t flatter this branding exercise.

  37. Please, please LOTUS – do not build this form-over-function folly. It has nothing to do with Mr Chapman’s quest for racing excellence and innovation, or for that matter, building a lightweight fuel efficient, true low carbon consuming roadster for the 21st Century and beyond. You should be putting your considerable resources into one of our super fast, super efficient monliner designs. We aim to be true to the ideals and legacy that Colin Chapman left the World of motorsports. We aim to be very different. See our website http://www.mono-liner.co.uk

  38. Stephan Park says:

    I can’t say I did better but I designed a monocoque electric bike two years ago based on a joke from a marine buddy with shotgun shell batteries. I clearly have a lot to learn but Mr. Simon should be able to do much better.
    http://s3images.coroflot.com/user_files/individual_files/original_546000_9jyhnvoxkkujppv3arjkxx0zv.jpg

  39. Stephan Park’s “monocoque” design is a very impressive looking bike, although like the LOTUS it ia not a true monocoque. Maybe LOTUS commissioned the wrong designer. I would certainly like to see some more from Stephan.

  40. Stephan Park says:

    Thanks Colin,
    On the monocoque label, I can’t tell from the render that the LOTUS is a monocoque. I’m guessing it isn’t since it has rivets and part lines in places where panels are attached in a conventional bodywork style. My guess is that it has a single piece carbonfibre upper main frame where some of the exposed frame is shaped to seamlessly blends with the body styling. As for my own design, it is technically a semi-monocoque as the septum ribs bio-mimic a nautilus shells internal structure.