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.

IOMTT: 100 mph Barrier Remains after 2011 TT Zero

06/09/2011 @ 4:45 pm, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS

IOMTT: 100 mph Barrier Remains after 2011 TT Zero Michael Rutter Segway MotoCzysz TT Zero race 635x444

The second running of the TT Zero at the Isle of Man TT, made for the Isle’s third electric racing occasion on the Manx island. With 2011 being the 100th year of the Isle of Man TT running over the fabled Mountain Course, all eyes were focused to see if the fitting 100 mph barrier would drop as the electrics made their race today. Heavily favored were the bikes from the Segway MotoCzysz Racing team, which brought a modified version of its 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc that was being raced again by last year’s winner Mark Miller, as well as the company’s new 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc that Michael Rutter would swing a leg over. Also on the Isle was MotoCzysz rival Lightning Motorcycles, an entry from Japan, and a bevy of strong university teams.

Though the race was quietly made, the MotoCzysz crew was here to make an impression, and did so with its one-two finish. With Mark Miller starting off first, the race saw Miller’s teammate Michael Rutter quickly catch up to the American, as the pair continued down the course in tandem. Though you wouldn’t know it from looking at the 18 second gap that separated the two at the finish line, the MotoCzysz bikes could be seen drafting off each other down the course, trading places on whom was in front of the other.

Rutter would ultimately cross the line with a winning time of 22’43.608, making for a 99.604 mph average lap speed — just shy of the 100 mph barrier. Miller would finish a close second, averaging 98.288 mph over the Mountain Course, which was an improvement over his time last year. In total eight bikes would start the race, though only five officially finished.

Coming in third was the ION Horse 2011 / Kingston team with a 88.435 mph average speed, which also won the prize for being the top university team, beating out MIT who finished fourth. Rounding out fifth was the Japanese team of Team Prozza. Crossing the line under human power was Lightning Motors, which ran out of energy at the latter part of the course, and saw a heroic effort by rider John Burrows to bring the bike across the line for the American team.

When told he had not broken the record, Rutter replied: “99.6mph – that’s the story of my life. I tried to conserve battery life and stay smooth. It’s a totally different way of riding, but I really enjoyed it. We only saw the bike on Wednesday, so I think if we had more time there would be more to come set-up wise.” Meanwhile teammate Mark Miller was happier about the record standing, vowing to break it himself next year.

Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. UlyssesRider says:

    What piles of Shiite! They can hype them up all they want but electric bikes are sorry but clean compared to the much faster, allbeit carbon emitting, fossil fueled bikes. MotoCzysz gasoline powered bikes, namely, the C1 really were interesting to me. I had really hoped that the would go Moto-GP racing. Then, something happened, I am not sure what, but I am no longer interested.

  2. Richard Gozinya says:

    UlyssesRider, MotoGP changed the rules for displacement, so that the 990cc engine wouldn’t have been allowed. It was too expensive for him to develop a new engine to meet the arbitrary rule change, so he bailed on MotoGP.

  3. Westward says:

    MotoCzysz still expressed interest in MotoGP, now with the engine change, I sure hope they were one of the entries for the new Moto1 class…

    Electrics are not going to make the traditional motorcyclist happy, but for the new and future generations, I hope they come to know nothing different…

    Electrics are the future, unless we discover something else more efficient and eco friendly…

  4. BiteIsBigger says:

    Westward… Moto3 class, the 250cc series replacing the 125.

  5. BiteIsBigger says:

    Supposed to have a question mark at the end of that statement.. Sorry.

  6. The lack of competition at the sharp end of this small field does not bode well for the future of the TT Zer0 class.

    If Czysz had knocked off the 100+ mile per hour lap this year, I think it would have been the end of the electric class, at least for now; the 37.73-mile lap/race distance is, at this stage of battery evolution, too much for the electrics. I expect that TTXGP/FIM e-Power will shorten race distances even further, so that the gap between e-bikes and ICE-bikes can be closed up. As it is, I guess the IoM may bring the ‘Zero’ class back next year, just because putting up the 10k pound prize and then canceling the class before anyone has the chance to win it would seem churlish.

    What is a harbinger of things to come at the TT? Not one, but three demo laps for the Subaru car…

  7. Bob says:

    I love how people automatically discount electrics just b/c they’re not as fast as gas bikes. They need a few years to develop! Duh. You think the first gas bikes in the early 1900′s worked flawlessy out of the gate?

    But anyway, congrats to the Motocysz team. Bummer they barely missed the 100mph mark.

  8. Bjorn says:

    I wonder if Ulysses rider ancestor slagged off Gottlieb Daimler’s 1885 Einspur Motorcycle? “Nowhere near as good as a horse, only makes 1/2 a horsepower & can only go 7 mph an hour; what a pile of shite.”
    Ebikes have nearly cracked 100mph lap on only their second outing at the TT while it took from 1911 until 1957 for petrol engine bikes to lap the mountain course at over 100 mph. They are a new technology, so of course they look feeble compared to 126 years of development.
    I have to laugh when people shit on new technology in comparison to existing ones. If people didn’t strike out in bold new directions there would be none of the things we take for granted today, like 300+kmh stock motorcycles, mobile phones with more computational power than was used to put men on the moon and microwave popcorn. New stuff rarely eclipses the old, for a while and then it just becomes part of life.
    I don’t necessarily want an Ebike, but they will be a part of our motorcycling future despite the harsh words of hidebound old conservatives like UlyssesRider.

    And yes I am aware that it is not an accurate comparison between the 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc and Gottlieb Daimler’s 1885 Einspur Motorcycle, but I’m sure most if not all readers are smart enough to understand the point I’m making.

    Enjoy the future.

  9. deejay51 says:

    I’m at the TT, I witnessed the TTZero race and have closely examined the TTZero racing machines, then I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Czysz and his father Terry.

    Never, never have I been so impressed by the quality of machinery but most importantly the PASSION Michael has for his Motorcycles. Well done Tony Rutter and Mark Miller, form finish!

  10. Westward says:

    @ BiteIsBigger

    Yes… To your question…

    As for the MotoCzysz team effort, Rutter said he was conserving energy, I wonder, if he just went for broke would it have lasted…

    I think/hope it would have…

    Too bad Mission Motors did not try it’s hand and at IOM…

  11. Isaac Chavira says:

    @Bjorn

    Well said sir, well said. I think eSBK’s are amazing machines! I am willing to bet than within 5 -10 years of development, they’ll surpass ICE bike. I too love the high wind of an I-4 or the snarl of a twin but you have to give these guys props for doing something different. Not to mention at the rate they are doing it.

  12. Isaac Chavira says:

    @adrian

    Why SPAM the blog with a link to itself?

    BAN PLEASE.

  13. Bjorn says:

    Thanks for the compliment Isaac,

    For Ebikes to surpass ICE bikes will take a leap in power storage and reduction in recharging time of an order of magnitude . I’m impressed by your prediction of 5-10 years and wonder if you are aware of advances in battery technology that are not yet public knowledge. Or is your prediction just an educated guess based on the current rate of the evolution of technology?
    Ebikes are already competitive with ICE bikes for commuting and given time and the advances I mentioned, they will be competitive across the board.
    It all comes back to the energy density of fuel Vs electricity. I’m not a physicist, but I don’t believe there is any theoretical restriction that precludes a similar (or better) density of energy for electricity over fuel. Any physicists out there in Asphalt Rubber land who can enlighten me?
    I’ve always had a bit of an issue over the lack of bark from Ebikes, but the sound of them whizzing around the IOM circuit touched a little Star Wars nerve inside me and I think I believe.

  14. Robert Williams says:

    It’s hardly fair to diss the efforts of the electric bike teams. They are pushing the technology every day whereas the designers of gas bikes must be a bit jealous as 90% of possible improvements were made to their class some 50 years ago. Besides really if they use the same chassis the only difference between the two are the engines and how they carry their enery source with them:

    Engines – Due to many things (including laws of thermodynamics) electric motors have for some time been superior to gas combustion engines in weight, max power and efficiency. Only chemical rocket engines surpass them.

    Energy source – No question, oil rules. It can hold > 100x more energy per volume than the current best battery or flywheel. But that is hardly something to crow about since humans just suck the stuff out of the ground, it’s not the result of a string of geniuses and hard working inventors like the development of electricity over the last three centuries. Maybe it will be 50 years until electricity can be stored as well as crushed plants but it will happen.

    Personally I’d love to be an engineer where I have to come up with ideas and solutions that no-one in history has thought of rather than how can I crank an extra 0.5% out of a 100yr old combustion engine design.

  15. IOMTT: 100 mph Barrier Remains after TT Zero – http://aspha.lt/lz #motorcycle

  16. matt says:

    I thought Rutter broke the 100mph during one of his practice runs on Tuesday. I know it does not count, however it did happen. Did anyone else see that?

  17. Robert R says:

    Breakthrough in Battery Technology could revolutionize electric vehicles:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/06/09/breakthrough-in-battery-technology-could-revolutionize-electric-vehicles/

  18. Jeram says:

    @ Robert R

    I think that technology is useless…

    what on earth are they going to do with billions of tons of used sludge each year, it did not mention in the article that it would be reusable!

    Nano tech capacitor ‘batteries’ are the future…

  19. shallwedance? says:

    I told you Rutter would win it

  20. Bjorn says:

    @ Robert R. Thanks for posting up the link Robert that is a fantastic development. If the weight is not to extreme, then Isaac Chavira’s prediction of Ebikes achieving parity with ICE bikes in 5-10 years may well be realistic.

    @Jeram. The fluid known as “Cambridge crude” is rechargeable and apparently can give comparable range to an ICE. The pumping out and changing of the fluid is simply to give the kind of fast change-over of batteries that people want so they can continue to drive big distances without time consuming recharging stops.

    Another link http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2011/06/13/cambridge_crude_may_charge_up_e_cars/

  21. Chris says:

    UlyssesRider – well, DUH!