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.

Video: Honda NRS 250 Moto3 Contender Teaser

12/27/2010 @ 10:52 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

Video: Honda NRS 250 Moto3 Contender Teaser HRC NRS 250 Moto3 video 635x407

Perhaps as a belated holiday treat, Honda has finally seen it fit to give a better glimpse of its HRC NRS 250 Moto3 contender. With a few quick cuts and some blurry shots, HRC isn’t completely giving away the 250cc single-cylinder GP bike, but the footage does give us a better idea of what the final shape of the Honda will look like, and perhaps more importantly what it will sound like. If you’re a four-stroke fan, you’ll love the video after the jump…two-stroke fanatics, probably not as much.

Source: Honda Japan

Comment:

  1. HondaCBR600RR says:

    Holy crap that thing sounds SHIT!

    And I ride a Honda CBR600RR 09….

  2. 7point62 says:

    Like the world needs more gutless thumpers. :(

    I’m sure this marque will be the saviour of GP racing.

    Or maybe it just exists to get kids in the far East to buy 4-stroke scooters with fuel injection.

    Excuse me while I go out to my garage and stick pins in my eyes.

  3. irksome says:

    LOVE it, but I’m biased; my first road bike (living in Boston, back in the early ’80s) was a ’78 SR 500 thumper I bought at curbside for $500. Saw it, waited for the owner and rode it home. I built the sh!t out of that thing; Wiseco piston, bored it out, stiffer valve springs, White Bros. pipe, Supertrapp, bigger carb, gas shocks, stiffer front end, clubman bars, made my own rearsets… I made it mine and in the city it went like stink. Slap 20 or 30 discs on the muffler and there was no more beautiful sound in the world.

    I’ve had a bunch of bigger bikes since then and my current Speed Triple is the greatest thing since pre-sliced cheese but sometimes I yearn for the simplicity of that thumper and the pure joy of backing off the throttle just to HEAR it.

  4. Dave says:

    Sounds like an XR, definitey not as sexy as a chainsaw though it looks fun to ride…

  5. 7point62 says:

    @ irksome: I’m not knocking thumpers – I love ‘em (I have two – a Husky enduro and a Kawi tracker that sings like a bird thanks to it’s Supertrapp) but to me MotoGP is supposed to be the pinnacle of two-wheeled racing and so there should be no place on the grid for bikes built around lawn mower engines. There are already plenty of very enjoyable race series based on real-world hardware.

    If Dorna want to make GP a bit more affordable then perhaps they should make an effort to rid the hospitality areas of some of the political hookers and pimps that add nothing to the sport. But I digress…

  6. Odie says:

    @7point62: Interesting thing is that there used to be a number of lawnmowers that used to be 2-strokes.
    I’m just saying…

    Not sure if this will really be MotoGPs savior but they gotta do something.

  7. Hellmutt says:

    I guess this is considered progress. I will stick to my 2 stroke road bike Honda NS400R. There just isn’t the rush and unpredictableness in the 4 stroke classes. It’s still racing!

  8. irksome says:

    @7point62: This series serves as the introductory farm team to develop young riders. The 250 two-strokes they’re replacing weren’t the pinnacle either; I just hope the little bastards can still drag their elbows on the 4-strokes.

    I used to shoot the AMA series for American Road Racing magazine, back in the ’90s. The race at Laconia was always on Father’s Day and, since there was little call for shots of the 250s, I’d call my Dad while they were buzzing around and tell him how bad the black-flies and mosquitoes were that year. It was our little joke. Even though two-strokes have become more “environmentally sound”, the EPA will probably never make them street-legal again and, since the US is the Great Consumer, it makes monetary sense for manufacturers to eventually fade them out world-wide. Rightly or wrongly isn’t actually relevant unfortunately; that’s just the nature of capitalism.

  9. Bob says:

    Great, now sell us a street legal version. We are sadly lacking any small displacement race replicas in North America.

    It would be great to see the manufacturers make Moto3 race reps for consumers. It could be a competitive class just like the 600′s and 1000′s. A race replica that anyone could have a blast on.

    They could sell them alongside their budget bikes like the ninja 250 and cbr250. People could decide whether the want a cheaper, easier to ride learner bike, or a top notch 250 race rep (which would also make a great learner bike).

    I think a ton of people would buy a Moto3 race rep… They would be the coolest bikes to have for younger riders, and in my opinion, a lot of older more experienced riders would want one too. As for the track, they would be great for beginners to learn on, and awesome track toys for experienced riders.

    These bikes would use premium components and wouldn’t be cheap, but i’d still buy one. I bet you could have just as much fun, if not more, compared to a bigger bike. Lightweight, high corner speed, and you could rev the heck out of it without being jailed :)

    Just my 2 cents…