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 Suzuki GSV-R Spotted – The Inline-Four Cometh?

05/23/2012 @ 10:39 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

2014 Suzuki GSV R Spotted   The Inline Four Cometh? 2014 Suzuki GSV R MotoGP Cycle World

The eagle-eyed camera’s over at Cycle World have caught Suzuki conducting tests for its MotoGP project, and the early indications are that the Japanese brand has dropped its V4 motor configuration in favor of a more traditional transverse inline-four cylinder arrangement — at least for this present stage of testing.

Cycle World‘s sources say that while the cylinder configuration may be fairly standard, the 2014 Suzuki GSV-R is anything but your typical four-pot. Showing the makings of a crossplane crankshaft via the bike’s exhaust routing, it would seem Suzuki has taken a page out of Yamaha YZR-M1‘s playbook, with rideablility being the name of the game. If you are keen for a good read, checkout Kevin Cameron’s article on Cycle World for more pictures and his analysis of what they mean for Suzuki’s MotoGP prototype.

Over the past few years, Suzuki’s involvement with MotoGP has been tumultuous, to say the least. Downgrading its involvement from two bikes in 2010 to one bike in 2011, the Rizla Suzuki team then seemed set to run its 800cc GP bike in 2012 against the 1000cc motorcycles of its competitors, before finally dropping out of the sport entirely.

Struggling just to compete with the satellite prototypes, the decision to stay with the 800cc bike seemed like another blow to the “factory” racing effort, though that seems to be an unfair analysis now that all the cards are on the table, as it is unlikely that all the current factory bikes are using the full 1,000cc displacement (Ducati is very likely operating in the 900-930cc engine displacement range).

Good paddock gossip says that Dorna finally conceded the point to Suzuki, allowing the Japanese manufacturer to withdraw from the premier class altogether, rather than have the appearance of a “lesser” factory bike circulating the field with its 800cc displacement. This is even despite the fact that the Suzuki likely would have been fairly competitive this first GP season under the new rules, if for no other reason than it has more development time than its competitors.

With Suzuki currently out of GP racing, the company now hopes to return to the premier class in 2014 with some variation of the bike being tested here in these spy photos. Whether that bike will debut on race day in a V4 or inline-four configuration remains to be seen, though at this point we should all just be happy that Suzuki’s MotoGP project has any sort of life in it right now.

Source: Cycle World

Comment:

  1. SBPilot says:

    One thing is for sure, the bike looks dead sexy.

  2. Jaime Cruz says:

    Suzuki COULD just be utilizing the same loophole Aprilia is using, creating a “Factory” racing bike under CRT rules. The IL4 could simply be sourced from their WSBK effort…

  3. s2upid says:

    a little off topic, but i love the RS Taichi yellow /drool

  4. John says:

    Suzuki has demonstrated that it knows how to build competitive inline 4 race bikes. I anxiously await Suzuki’s return to MotoGP.

  5. CBRbie says:

    “One thing is for sure, the bike looks dead sexy.”

    only because it’s all black in black you know it

  6. CBRbie

    Let´s see with that Rizzla+ Suzuki Paintjob hahahahahahahaha

  7. MikeD says:

    I must say:

    First thing that came to mind when i saw it was CRT. Aprilia CRT at that. LOL.

    Anyways, i hope this is the “real deal” and not some Pedestrian GSXR1000 engine ON CRACK thinking is a Prototype just cause it wears a one off frame and Suzuki said so.

    As for the V4 & I4 deal ? I really wish they would go for what they SEEM TO KNOW BEST:

    That’s right, the I-4.

    Apparently they never had any business messing/bothering with a stinking V4, leave that to Honda and Ducati.
    I hope the SBC style crank works for them as it seems to be lacking the POWER of the FLAT Crank at times ( just ask Lorenzo when Stoner just walks away on the straights, LMAO).

    None the less, looking forward at them bringing out a true competitive Prototype and making the sport a bit more exciting to watch and give some hell to the other Manufacturers at the top of the food chain…

    Stay CLASSY Suzuki…I-4 and nothing less. (^_^)

  8. Tom says:

    Maybe its just me, but I’m just not impressed with professional motorcycle racing like i was when I was younger. Its all a race to conform to ever changing arbitrary rules instead of actually engineering the BEST motorcycle possible.

  9. JoeD says:

    Welcome back, Suzy. While you’re at it, the Rizla Girls need an upgrade as well. The cop hat bimbo porno outfit is more than a bit tired. I wish the costume designer from the original Star Trek was around. Now those were some sexy clothes. LOL.

  10. Ed Gray says:

    Tom all rules are arbitrary. There are just some that we are more used to, and some that have been worked around so much as to be noneffective. I wish I knew the solution to the electronics problem, I miss the sliding.

  11. Jonathan says:

    @ Ed Gray: The solution to the electronics problem will probably never happen imo. Manufacturers see electronic rider aids as a great way to “add value” to streetbikes (i.e. getting bike buyers to pay more). Legislators will agree and racing will be used to continue to showcase these gizmos. That’s my short answer, anyway. ;)

    There has been some suggestion that this may be a “factory CRT”, (a bit like the Aprilia). This would seem like a rather strange business plan for a cash – strapped manufacturer like Suzook. Remember that the Claiming Rule allows a rival team to claim for €20k any engine that they feel is against the spirit of the CRT regulations. It would seem to be hard to justify the development of a completely new motor just to sell a few racebikes at CRT prices. Perhaps (and this is just pure speculation) this bike (and a future racing effort) is the start of the development / publicity cycle for a new streetbike range (as opposed to Superbike where one homologates a streetbike first, and then goes racing).

    A final thought: Spy photos + sponsor’s stickers = “chinnee reck-on” (as used to be said in English schoolyards when someone was trying to pull a fast one. Spy photos, my eye! Suzuki wanted the world to see this bike – and talk about it. Fair play to them. I shall look forward to seeing ‘em back on the grid.

  12. Dr. Gellar says:

    I agree with MikeD…the inline-4 is the way to go for Suzuki. The V-4 (or rather, the GSV-R in general) in all it’s versions just never seemed to work for them. Hopefully, with whatever they ultimately bring, they return to MotoGP with a competitive package.

  13. johnrdupree says:

    Maybe they haven’t totally given up on the V4 yet. In one of the Cycle World pics (http://www.cycleworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2014-Suzuki-MotoGP-Prototype_006.jpg), there appears to be a V4 with tire warmers at the left edge of the door, directly under the “44″ sign. The safe bet is it’s an 800 being used for comparison, but you never know.

    ~jd

  14. MikeD says:

    @Johnrdupree:

    WOW…nice catch there. I guess i focused on the main bike too much…lol.

  15. motogpdr says:

    wow…maybe its me but its painfully obvious that suzuki quit GP and is coming back with an inline four……this isnt a news flash

  16. Runarpet says:

    Who would have sponsor stickers on there side if they where hiding from the media?

  17. 2014 Suzuki GSV-R Spotted – The Inline-Four Cometh? http://t.co/7I6AzSJN