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.

2014 Honda RC213V Debuts at Rain-Soaked Aragon Test

06/18/2013 @ 1:34 pm, by David Emmett19 COMMENTS

2014 Honda RC213V Debuts at Rain Soaked Aragon Test 2014 honda rc213v 635x423

Honda’s decision to skip the MotoGP test at Barcelona has so far not paid off. The first day of its three-day test at the Motorland Aragon circuit was an absolute washout, with torrential rain forcing the Honda riders to spend almost all day in the garages.

Only Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista put in a few laps, Bradl shaking down the 2014 version of the RC213V, which Honda has brought to the test, and Bautista checking a few things from Barcelona. Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez did not venture out on track.

Instead, Honda took the time to introduce the 2014 version of the RC213V it is planning to test in Aragon. The bike is completely new, including a new engine and chassis, the engine ready to managed the reduced fuel allowance (cut from 21 to 20 liters) to be introduced at the request of the MSMA from next year.

The plan is that if Pedrosa and Marquez prefer the bike to their current machine, they could get the machine early, perhaps as early as the next race, at least as far as the chassis is concerned.

HRC’s technical director Takeo Yokoyama spoke to MCN‘s Matthew Birt at Aragon, to provide more details. The full story is here, but the most worrying revelation is that the new engine produces more power and has improved power delivery, despite the reduction in fuel consumption.

Improved throttle connection at the bottom end and mid range had been important, Yokoyama told MCN. Like Suzuki, Honda have not yet started using the Magneti Marelli spec-ECU, but work has already started on porting software from HRC’s proprietary ECU to the Magneti Marelli unit.

The weather forecast for the rest of the week is looking a little more promising, with a chance of rain on Wednesday but the prospect of a dry day on Thursday. Suzuki and Yamaha have already arrived at the track, and will join the on track action – should there be any – from Wednesday. Below is the press release from HRC.

Rain prevents testing on day one in Aragon

Wet weather prevented the Repsol Honda Team from testing on the first day in Aragon. Instead, Team Technical Director Takeo Yokoyama took the opportunity to present the 2014 RC213V prototype machine to the press that attended the event.

Hopefully the weather will improve tomorrow so the team can begin work on their test programme.

Takeo Yokoyama Technical Director

“This is the prototype of the 2014 machine. It is a complete new bike, both in terms of engine and chassis. Our plan is to test it now in order to be able to do, eventually, some changes before the post-race test in Valencia in November. Anyway, if Dani and Marc find something in the bike that they feel is a really big improvement compared to their actual RC213V, HRC will do its best to provide it already later this season as we already did last year”

Source: HRC & MCN

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. CTK says:

    A bit of an overreaction to J Lo’s recent 1-2 I think….

  2. FafPak says:

    @CTK

    Very little to do with Jorge’s recent winnings, albeit if Dani and Marq find something they like in the new chassis then HRC will port it over to the 2013s. This was planned way before last Sunday.

    In any case these new bikes sport engines tuned specifically for the 20 liter fuel limit with the up coming 2014 regulation changes in mind.

    Per Takeo Yokoyama (HRC Technical Director):
    Normally they do testing in the middle of the season at Bruno or Mugello and then follow up with modifications in Valencia. But this year there is no testing scheduled for the middle of the season. The only test available later would be the Misano test and that will not allow for any time to tweak before Valencia testing.

  3. kidwarthung says:

    may i know, what materials that they used to build the cover set of the bike? fiber glass, or what?

  4. alexssss says:

    that seat goes against ever instructor who claims you need to get your ass off the seat in corners – its like a dinner tray size

  5. twoversion says:

    “Beside the “all new” marketing speak, the new bike certainly displays some interesting changes from the current bike. The first being a wider and more rounder rear seat pad for the rider, presumably to keep them tail down for longer in corners and provide more grip once they are fully tipped over.

    Another being some very subtle changes to the aerodynamics of the bike with wider and deeper side vents to promote better cooling along with a 45 degree angle on the side fairings leading into the ducting there for additional cooling. Also a recessed splitter in the air tract presumably to reduce buffeting and improve velocity. Capping it off is a smaller Yamaha like windscreen.

    A subtle change to the foot control design and peg angle in the test bike may just be for now including a redesigned and larger heel guard. Which may combine to adjust the rider position to match what looks like a slightly redesigned fuel tank to improve overall traction and COG.

    Other obvious differences include the massive increase in rotor surface area and the introduction of Marchesini Racing wheels”

  6. L2C says:

    About those bikes. Darth Vader would approve.

    Oh my goodness…

  7. TexusTim says:

    someone should have tucked the bum stop back in place before they snapped the photo ..lol…. if they need “motorcycle fluffer” I am available…o no.

  8. Westward says:

    That is a good looking machine…

    However, for all of HRC advancements, only makes Yamaha pilots seem more skilled for holding their own against them. Also, it says a lot about Yamaha’s direction in technology, that they can have their machines near the top, even with Cal over the factory supported bikes of Bradl and Bautista…

  9. meatspin says:

    it looks like its grinning

  10. CTK says:

    @FafPak I was just joking.

    I think the biggest reliability issue separating Honda and Yamaha’s engines is the issue of balance. Yamaha’s crossplane motor is not balanced and requires a power sapping balance shaft to keep it all together. On the street, who cares? Most folks will prob never hit redline more than 2-3 times on their liter bikes, at which time they will be scared and put them up for sale. But I digress. At the ragged edge, like in any MotoGP duty, that little difference can become a big one over time. It’s already costing Yamaha a couple of MPH on the straights.

    As much as I love love love the crossplane sound, it might be time for Yamaha to abandon it for a conventional inline 4. This will still need a balance shaft (and still have a slight disadvantage to the Honda + Ducati V4s), but it will be for a secondary imbalance rather than the primary one of their crossplane motor now. While it’s true that the crossplane has better inertial torque, traction control has made that irrelevant. The crossplane crank debuted long before traction control IIRC so such a measure was a necessary strategy. Now however they can use electronics to put the power down. They won’t have the drive of Honda but that has more to do with the seamless gearbox than the V4 (which itself up till recently had a balance shaft).

    By lowering the balance shaft losses, smoothing the intake/exhaust pulses and dropping rotational and stationary engine weight (needed to stabilize the crossplane crank) I think Yamaha can regain some lost ground to Honda. Besides, the M1 sounds boring. Doesn’t have anywhere near the high pitch of the RC. A regular inline 4 would scream and add some excitement for spectators and be easier to make a connection to with road bikes. The issues with the crossplane engine are exacerbated with the R1- it’s down a good 20-30HP from its conventional competitors.

  11. FafPak says:

    @CTK
    | it might be time for Yamaha to abandon it for a conventional inline 4

    That would be a step backwards. A conventional inline 4 has a non linear power delivery curve that gets exponentially worse higher up the power band. Yamaha crossplane configuration simulates the linear power delivery benefits of the 90 degree V4 configuration by “misfiring” during the sequential ordering of the piston compressions. While the misfiring reduces maximum attainable hp output (and this is where Honda and Duc 1 up Yammie), the linear delivery plus narrower I4 ( better weight distribution than a V4) configuration of the crossplane allow faster cornering speed vs the stop-point-shoot alternative.

    Assuming all TC implementations from the big 3 are close at this level of competition, then with a traditional I4 configuration (and 240hp) the rear wheel would just spin more and more higher in the powerband, relative to the V4 configurations, and acceleration would be retarded as the algorithms felt a greater discrepancy between front and rear wheel spin. Relative to the other bikes and their configurations, the Yammie would be stationary out of the corner.

    Even Kawasaki implements a variant of the Yamaha pioneered cross plan tech at this level of competition for the CRTs (not sure about WSBK). An inline 4 just wont cut it at MotoGP level.

    These vids explain the misfiring for the lay man
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8VmFP6vGPc (part1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUNaVoGgNwM (part2)

  12. CTK says:

    Thanks @FakPak

  13. Faust says:

    Fafpak

    Kawi does not have the ability to experiment with different firing orders in WSBK because they must remain exactly as they are in the production homologation model ZX-10R.

    FIM 2013 Rulebook Para 2.4.8
    “The sequence in which the cylinders are ignited (i.e. 1-2-4-3), must remain
    as originally designed on the homologated model. Simultaneous (*) firing of 2
    cylinders is also forbidden if not adopted on the homologated motorcycle.
    *up to 5 degrees firing difference in 2 cylinders is regarded as ‘simultaneous’
    firing.”

    The only bike that could run crossplane in SBK was the R1.

  14. FafPak says:

    @Faust

    Ah yes, completely forgot about the homologation rules..silly me :).

  15. CTK says:

    @Faust they do in MotoGP. The Kawi CRT bike sounds like a parallel twin lol.

  16. Faust says:

    CTK

    I know, I was responding to Fafpak where he mentioned they did in gp, but that he wasn’t sure about sbk. I was only commenting on sbk rules. That doesn’t apply in the prototype class.

  17. Faust says:

    That does sound great though. I happen to have a soft spot for parallel twins thanks to my old ninja 650, lol

  18. CaptnQrtrs says:

    Why aren’t anybody referring to this chassis as RC214V ????

  19. Because the ’13 in RC213V doesn’t refer to the year of the bike. The 990cc RC was the RC211V, the 800cc RC was the RC212V, and now the 1,000cc RC is the RC213V.