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.

First Look at the Honda CBR500R Race Bike

11/13/2012 @ 4:47 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

First Look at the Honda CBR500R Race Bike Honda CBR500R race bike 01 635x432

With the debut of the 2013 Honda CBR500R street bike, Honda has somehow managed to get the 500cc parallel twin budget bike to be the weapon of choice in the European Junior Cup — displacing the KTM 690 Duke from its racing duty. A grooming series for World Superbike Racing, the EJC series is a cost-effective way to get young future stars on bikes and in front of the people that could make or break their careers.

Hoping to give the CBR500R a bit more performance cred, something the 47hp machine might need to appeal to new riders who have to adhere to the A2 License requirements, but still want a proper “sport bike” for their first ride. As such, the Honda CBR500R race bike was debuted at EICMA today, and even got a little star power from one Jonathan Rea. Photos and video after the jump.

First Look at the Honda CBR500R Race Bike Honda CBR500R race bike 02 635x423

First Look at the Honda CBR500R Race Bike Honda CBR500R race bike 04

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Photos of the 2013 Honda CBR500R:

Source: Honda Europe

Comment:

  1. Brian says:

    This is a HUGE step backward from the KTM 690 Duke they raced last season.

    690 Duke
    70 HP
    330 lbs

    CBR500
    47HP
    400lbs

    Honda must have put up a LOT of cash to make this happen.

  2. 2ndclass says:

    When everyone’s riding the same bike performance figures don’t matter much, and when you’re in a series that’s designed to showcase up-and-comers, being able to shine on an average machine will make a big impact.

  3. Gutterslob says:

    ^ I suspect it’s also partly to keep costs down. Not sure how much less (or more) this costs compared to the KTM, but am pretty sure racing parts will be cheaper. No one does race OEM like Honda.

  4. Damo says:

    @brian

    Note the race version of the CBR500 will NOT weigh 400lbs and I guarantee with out the road spec exhaust and ECU is wont be down that much on power from the KTM. It will also me more reliable a metric butt ton cheaper. (See the CBR250 cup bike as a platform reference)

  5. Cpt.Slow says:

    AAAHhh, damn it… would be cool to have this next to my tracked cbr2!

  6. Silas says:

    Can someone please explain to me why Honda makes these things with the handle bar position of an upright or non-faired bike? It looks totally ridiculous in my opinion to have a fully faired bike with a riding position of a naked or day to day street bike? It’s the same with the CBR125 and 250.

    Yamaha and Aprilia at least make their 125s as actual sport bike replicas. That used to be the way with the smaller displacement Honda’s (VFR 400) and Suzuki’s (RGV250).

    Honestly this CBR500 (and the 250 and 125) are the motorcycling equivalent of a Thai Ladyboy – at first glance everything seems normal but a millisecond later your minds going ‘get me the hell out of here!’

  7. Franxou says:

    The north-american cbr500 is supposed to make 54 hp (or rwhp?), the 47hp version is for licence-restricted markets. It’s true the 500 might be slower than the 690, but newbie-cups are usually budget-oriented to get as much people as possible on the grid and I can’t believe a 500cc honda would cost more than a 690cc KTM, right?
    Then you get to the race parts, preparation and maintenance, then again a honda is usually cheaper than a ktm… For a junior cup, they probably have made the right move, I don’t think honda had to spend much more than a fact-sheet explaining why their new 500cc would be better fot the organisation.
    This doesn’t stop anyone from putting up a ktm 690 cup for amateurs, right? It would be great if dealerships, enthusiasts and racetrack officials had a way of easily meeting each other and spreading news… My local bike club seems more disorganized than my socks drawer.

  8. SuspectAnalogy says:

    @ Silas

    Honda’s attempt to make sport bikes with more comfortable riding positions is a way to ease people into the sport bike segment. Much like the way Thai Ladyboys apparently work for you. Odd that you would make that comparison….

  9. James says:

    This is rediculous! Why would honda make a 1 off random bike with no equivalent competition? If the simply modernized the V4 RVF and VFR or even just resold the original production bikes maybe with EFi THEY WOULD SELL LIKE HOTCAKES and you would find most other manufacturers would get on board as they ALL (kwaka, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki) would all get on board as they already have the production capability! Best entry level class (and cost effective ) you could have!! BRING BACK THE RVF for 2013!!!

  10. TrueHondaFans says:

    @ Silas

    You have a funny way of comparison, but what you said was actually very true. You see a nice bike (cbr500r) looks cool and aggressive (sexy) with cheap price but once you take her out for track days your realize that she (cbr500r) is not made for track but only on streets or for show. Honda use European Junior Championships as a platform to tell people : ” hey this is a race bike!” to get more sales from racing lovers enthusiastic.
    I agree with James where are the V4 Honda where are the legends (VFR,RVF,MC28 and many more!) that you’ve built???
    There is only 2 way that cbr500r going to get high sales and that is phasing out the 600cc next year 2014 but I doubt it.
    Or HRC comes out with many products for (cbr500r) marking it up to 70bhp-80bhp then that can transform this ladyboy (cbr500r) into a real beauty.

    If not we will just have to call her the Honda’s Ladyboy bike!

  11. Franxou says:

    @TrueHondaFans

    I don’t think you are right about the 500cc killing the 600, they are completely different products for completely different buyers. A lot of people want a true racebike, good for them, cbr600/1000 it is, but an other lot of people want a cool looking and agressive (sexy) bike while having good manners in real-life situations, that is city, road, highway, parking lot and everywhere else. Pretty much anyone will know the instant they sit on the cbr500 that it’s not a racebike, the same way the ninja250/300 and ninja650 are not ninja600/1000. It’s absolutely possible to drive a porsche 911 gt3rs to the grocery store and come back with food but it would have been easier in a less twitchy and twin-storage compartmented porsche boxster, isn’t it?
    If the cbr500 was ever to replace the 600, it would not have a heavy steel frame, and it would not sell for that cheap either. It’s going to be sold alongside the other the same way a porsche boxter is being sold alongside the race-winning porsche 911 gt3rs.

  12. James says:

    Franxou did you read any of the above? The title clearly states “race bike” and it is being marketed as such in “junior cup” events, its aim is not a commuter at all. My main issue is that essentially it IS a commuter, but got (god knows how with a single front disc brake) an R classification. At best CB 500f is appropriate. What your suggesting us t

  13. James says:

    … Piece of shit phone… What IM suggesting is that they are trying to have their race bike cake and eat it too, which is bullshit, and rehashing old crap that there is no competition in the market for. Bring back the RVF with a new look and some EFI, and watch the Race classes fill up with them, and competition companies jump on the band wagon immediately. I simply have a problem with trying to make an everything bike and sell it to us like we are idiots.

  14. Franxou says:

    @James

    I agree with you that CB 500F would have been a better name, though I would have voted for CBF500 in order to get it aligned with the CBF600 and CBF1000.

    The thing here is that the “race version” of their CBR500R bike is probably nothing more than a race-prepped version of the stock cbr500r. Being a cheap honda bike, it is supposed to be cheaper for euro junior cup racers in the long run than the KTM and I think it is why honda got the gig. That and probably some endorsement money, business being business.

    It does not mean that the cbr500r is meant to be a race-winning bike, it just is a marketing move in order to give some race-cred to a bike marketed at new or young riders. It is in the same way Harley-Havidson had an 883-class and later a XR1200 challenge or that Dodge puts some Chargers in Nascar, the H-D XR1200 and Dodge Charger are absolutely not meant to be racers, they are volume sellers (not the xr1200 though) that benefit a little from race credential.