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.

Your Personal Nitrogen Tire Inflator

06/16/2010 @ 9:07 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Your Personal Nitrogen Tire Inflator TireSaver 018 nitrogen tire filler

If you’ve stopped by your local car dealership recently, you’ve probably seen them using nitrogen to fill the tires on your car. This is because nitrogen has superior resistance to expansion as heat rises when compared breathable air. Also since oxygen eventually leaks out of tires, nitrogen-filled tires retain their pressure better over time.

The list of benefits goes on for nitrogen, but the downside has always been how one maintains their tires once you get home, not to mention the arm & leg some dealerships charge for filling your tires up with the most abundant element in our atmosphere. Of course the dealers can charge what they do because there aren’t that many people that have a N2 tank sitting in their garage…until now.

A new product from TireSaver, the TireSaver 018 wand, allows you to fill your tires up with nitrogen without the need of a bulky unit and tank. From what we can gather in the materials, the TireSaver 018 has an oxygen-rich membrane and magical unicorn filtering system that take the oxygen, CO2, and water moisture out of the air, leaving only nitrogen to flow into your tires. The membrane/filter element is good for over a 12,000 uses, and produces 95% pure N2, which conforms to some ISO standard that’s too complicated to mention.

The initial cost is a little steep, and TireSaver pitches the product more towards smaller shops. But at $998 for a ready-to-go unit, and $599 to replace the filter, the overall cost for filling up with nitrogen is pretty cheap over the aggregate…assuming you already have the required standard air-compressor, but what self-respecting do-it-yourselfer doesn’t have one of those?

Just think of all the free (as in beer) nitrogen fills you could do with this puppy. That’s a lot of six-packs my friends.

Source: TireSaver

Comment:

  1. Peter says:

    I’d rather get 78% nitrogen for free (from compressed air).

  2. Sean Mitchell says:

    Agreed. If you’ve got good wheels, Marchesini in my case, they’ll hold their pressure fine with regular air. Cool concept, rediculous price.

  3. Peter says:

    Well the thing about nitrogen is that it’s supposed to leak less than oxygen, tires are supposed to last longer due to less oxidation, etc.

    I just don’t really believe any of it. I regularly check my tire pressure, and I’ve never had a tire dry rot before it’s tread was used up.

    So…just don’t see the point of it. Plus, it’s extremely expensive for minimal gain. No thanks.

  4. John says:

    If you are replacing tires every 3,000 – 10,000 miles does it matter if they have less oxidation? I think most riders only go a few seasons at the most on a set of street tires, I don’t see the cost benefit to this. As Peter has posted, checking your tire pressure should be part of any riders’ pre-ride check, and is a good habit to get yourself into. If you “eliminate” the need to check your tires, you are going to miss catching the worn sprockets, leaking brake hose etc. Although, I find your theory on beer-conomics intriguing and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  5. MTS Lust says:

    Its not so much oxidation as more consistent tire pressure. Regular air expands and creates more pressure when it gets hot and shrinks when it gets cold (remember PV=NRT from highschool physics?). You can get more consistent tire performance with nitrogen.

    It leaks down more slowly because the molecules are larger and don’t fit though rubber tire casings as easily. This isn’t much of an issue on a bike where a rider should be checking tire pressure quite often anyway. Might be more helpful on a car that doesn’t see much maintenance (like say the BMW that gets attention only at major service intervals at the dealership).

  6. Den. says:

    “Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the
    human intelligence long enough to get money from it.”
    Stephen Butler Leacock

  7. CarpeDNA says:

    If you really wanted to do this you could do it relatively cheaply by getting a 2000 psi tank from your local gas supply for $50. It would last quite a while until you realized that it was superfluous and the fun wore off.

  8. Bill says:

    I use the theory that if I’m putting in 78% Nitrogen (confirmed by Wiki) from the start, and my O2 & CO2 is leaking thru the rubber, the more I fill it the closer I am getting to 100% pure Nitrogen. ;-)

    I can understand the benefits of Nitrogen but with such a high percentage already in the air, is that last little bit really going to make that much difference?