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.

Moto-Grip: Because Not Everyone Has Love Handles

08/10/2011 @ 3:15 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Moto Grip: Because Not Everyone Has Love Handles Moto Grip harness

I’m on the fence with this product. There’s an element with the Moto-Grip “passenger safety harness” that strikes you with one of those “now why didn’t I think of that” moments. The idea is a simple harness that a rider wears, which provides hand grips on the rider’s chest and back that a passenger can hold onto as they are performing their various pillion duties. Looking like one of those baby backpacks that helicopter parents employ to lug their child around in, the Moto-Grip is fairly straight-forward with its $179 design.

My other inclination with the Moto-Grip is that it’s an expensive piece of kit that one could approximate with about $10 of hiking webbing, but before I’d even get that far, I’d have to ask the question of efficacy. Your pillion preferences may vary, but I generally try and avoid having a passenger holding directly and solely onto my body. While everyone likes a snuggle bunny on the back of their bike (Mama B probably tolerates my motorcycle habit purely because it’s an investment in her future of having grandchildren), under braking the last thing I want is 100-something pounds or so crashing against me.

To help relieve arm strain, not to mention body parts crushing against the fuel tank, I usually have passengers wrap their arms around me, and brace against the fuel tank with their hands. There are different schools of thought here (though Jason Pridmore and I are in agreement), but if you haven’t tried it, give it a go on your next two-up ride. That being said, the Moto-Grip puts a pillion in the exact position you don’t want them to be in for the same ball-crushing reasons.

I suppose a passenger could do a hybrid hand-hold switch maneuver, but I have a hard enough time getting a non-rider to look over the right shoulder when cornering on two wheels. That being said, I do like the idea of some filly’s hands running all over my chest looking for a hand grip, and then all over my pants looking for the fuel tank…Wait, this may be the single-best invention ever!

Source: Hatch Ventures

Comment:

  1. Will says:

    $179!?! Go down to your local army surplus store and pick up some old combat webbing, which can’t be that much. This rates right up there with the bar end cup holder I saw at cyclegear for $20.

  2. Balzaak says:

    it’s pretty expensive for something that sounds awesome and will end up just being an annoyance

  3. Adam says:

    Saw this hardware on a bike in the UK:

    http://www.vinxxgrip.ch/?lan=en&view=2100

    Seems like a pretty good solution to me

  4. Bruce Monighan says:

    http://www.vinxxgrip.ch/?lan=en&view=2100 ….. now that is cool, excep it would only work on a sportbike. Nice design though

  5. Shaitan says:

    What ever happened with people simply clasping their hands around someone? If you’re that scared to ride on the back get the f* off.

  6. Steve says:

    Unless my pillion was blessed with Orang-utan arms (although some have Orang-utan faces), there’s no way they could use the tank these days. I do have a buddy belt with loops in it for pillions to hang onto and it cost a lot less than $179. Usually when I have a pillion on the back my riding is sedate enough that I can hardly feel them when braking or accelerating. (It’s trying to convince them that the bike isn’t going to fall over when corning is the problem as they try and pick it up for me so I tell them “keep your spine in-line with mine”).

  7. Bern says:

    I was also able to pick up the Buddy Belt before they stopped producing it. My 9-y/o son rides with me quite a bit and found this to be a much better solution. It gives him the ability to hold on at either side of my waist or right at my lower back (4-handles total) if he wants to rest his arms. We’ve also used it when riding PWC’s. Versatile and a whole lot cheaper than the Moto-Grip.

  8. Dman says:

    Not sure what makes this a safety product. There’s nothing about it that prevents a bike from going down or protects the rider/passenger. The woman in the pick would be better off investing the $179 in a riding jacket instead of a cute little t-shirt.