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: KTM Moto3 Race Bike

10/06/2011 @ 6:52 am, by Jensen Beeler34 COMMENTS

First Look: KTM Moto3 Race Bike 2012 KTM Moto3 race bike 1 635x396

KTM has finally given us a glimpse into its Moto3 class race bike, showing renders of the bike to journalists assembled at the company’s Hangar 7 press event. The Austrian company also officially showed its Moto3 race motor, and for those expecting to see a repurposed SX motor for the 250cc four-stroke Grand Prix racing series, abolish that thought. For the inaugural 2012 racing season for GP racing’s entry-level series, the Austrian company has started from scratch when approaching its Moto3 development.

Developing its own Moto3 chassis in house, KTM must adhere to the Moto3 class rules that state the company must make the 250cc motor available to other chassis manufacturers and teams as well, with a retail price of €12,000. As such, popular Moto2 chassis builder Kalex Engineering will be making its own Moto3 race bike, featuring the KTM single-cylinder motor.

Weighing only 25kg (55 lbs), KTM’s new Moto3 motor is certainly light, though we’ll have to wait and see on the track how potent it is, and who can build the better chassis for it. It’s expected that the Moto3 race bike will give way to a street-going production version (rumored to be in the 350cc displacement range), and if these renders give any idea of how that bike will look, we’re very excited indeed about that prospect.

KTM Moto3 Race Bike Renders:

KTM Moto3 Motor:

Source: KTM; Photos: Buenos Dias / KTM

Comment:

  1. doug says:

    Build it for the street, build it for the street, build it for the street…..

  2. Keith says:

    oh sweet bejebusessss….put some lights on it, hobbs clock, throw in a pair of rebuild kits with the price and it’s perfect for the street. Then again I’ve got lolo pass and several other perfect roads within lunch time distance. track days are for chickens.

  3. BBQdog says:

    Agree with the comments above, please make a street version, would love it !!

  4. Hasmizal says:

    keluar untuk street production best jugak..

  5. BBQdog says:

    And what is that extra layer between cilinder and engine ???

  6. tedman says:

    confused by the front wheel… would love one in the garage though

  7. Westward says:

    Well count me chicken, cause that is exactly what I would use it for… I hope the new Ducati monster is similar, in that it too is a 350cc bike that one can easily convert for track use…

    The Ducati I ride now is my weapon of choice, and would not want to risk in on a track with all the added exuberance and passion to smoke everyone else like a heroin fiend…

  8. fazer6 says:

    Egads–wonderful

  9. The front wheel looks similar to a Roto Box wheel.

    http://www.rotobox.si/

    http://rbxracing.com/

  10. BBQdog says:

    Hmm, that ‘extra layer’ in fact is the cilinder (stupid of me) , but that seems very short compared to other KTM engines …..

  11. MikeD says:

    BBQdog says:
    October 6, 2011 at 9:40 AMHmm, that ‘extra layer’ in fact is the cilinder (stupid of me) , but that seems very short compared to other KTM engines …..
    “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

    Your eyes are lying to u. The stroke is short, no doubts…but the sleeve is actually longer than that and part of it resides inside the cases too.

    And on a side note: WTF is up with that front wheel ?! Is there some black voodoo science into its form that follows function that my eyes and brain “can’t get it” ?

  12. MikeD says:

    Is Moto 3 limited to single cylinder engines ? AAwhh Man….that blows. I would like to see baby I-4, V-4, I-3 making 40hp with 18k rpm redlines…so much for prototype racing.

    I guess it could be worse like THE HONDA CUP (Moto 2).

    Im loving that Orange Trellis.

    I would swing a 350-500cc street version of this little jewel. Make it a single (easier to work on ? and more streetable ?)… (^_^ )

  13. BBQdog says:

    @MikeD ” but the sleeve is actually longer than that and part of it resides inside the cases too.”

    Yes, I know, but even then it is shorter then standard KTM engines.

    “Is Moto 3 limited to single cylinder engines”

    The Moto3 ‘reglement’ is interesting to read and set up to make and keep this class
    affordable and compatetive. So no expensive Honda engines revving 22.000+ rpm

  14. Dr. Gellar says:

    I think the front wheel is some new type of hollow spoke carbon fiber design. Perhaps they are even lighter than standard carbon fiber wheels (???). I remember seeing an R1 endurance racer I believe with them on it.

  15. Dr. Gellar says:

    OK…I could be wrong about the hollow spokes. But here is a link to the manufacturer…they are called Rotobox.

    http://rotobox.si/

  16. Motoputs says:

    They are hollow spokes, I have seen the wheels in person. They had a booth at Laguna Seca during MotoGP

  17. Dr. Gellar says:

    Thanks Motoputs…indeed they are. I’m curious to see if these start showing up on more roadracing bikes in the near future.

  18. MikeD says:

    I see what they’re trying to do here but…u know…the minute everyone is running the same hardware IT STARTS TO STINK LIKE NASCAR TO ME.

    Just wanted to put that out there…LOL.

  19. MikeD says:

    Oh…and thank u guys for the wheel info…i must say im not fond of its looks but if it works better than traditional design carbon wheels then u can’t go wrong.

    Function over form…hell yeah.

  20. Anonymous says:

    First Look: KTM Moto3 Race Bike – http://aspha.lt/ve #motorcycle

  21. MikeD says:

    I took the time to read some of the rules that apply to Moto3.

    One of them: Only Magnesium and Aluminium Alloys WHEELS.

    So yeah, no fancy Carbon Wheel for KTM or anyone else for that matter.

    Probably they’ll be using the same type and style as the back wheel…i think.

  22. Dr. Gellar says:

    @ MikeD

    I finally caught that too about the wheel regulations…that sucks. Myself…I kinda like the look. It is different, that’s for sure…but it’s growing on me.

  23. Bjorn says:

    I like Moto3 compared to Moto 2. It has room for all manufacturers and works on a similar principle to the old 2 stroke classes. A cylinder size the same as that of the premier class is a splendid thing, as a new manufacturer can develop their engine from a single to a multi in stages while utilising the smaller engine’s development at every level.
    Now they just need to dump the Honda Cup and introduce 500cc twins with a maximum bore of 81mm from any manufacturer.

    Is there a bore restriction on the 1000s next year?

  24. MikeD says:

    @Bjorn:

    I think is the same “dimensions” like Moto3, just add more cylinders.

  25. BBQdog says:

    Desmo is allowed, so Ducati, why not make a nice 250c ???

  26. One of the least aerodynamical parts of a motorcycle is the front wheel. This design simply looks like it’s trying to fix that problem, and I suspect in Moto3, as it was in 125GP, aero’s will pay a huge dividend for teams.

  27. BBQdog says:

    Carbon wheels are not allowed, but it is not against regulations to stick some sort of circular ‘spoiler’ to the front wheel.

  28. mxs says:

    Street version please now …. my wallet is slowly opening …. LOL

  29. Bob says:

    I only have one beef with the rotobox wheels…you need to use more air.

    1. People often forget that pressurized air adds weight. These hollow spokes add more volume that must be filled. This is more unsprung mass.

    2. It also means that when a tire deforms against the pavement, creating a contact patch, the displaced air has more room to move to. What this means is that the tire carcass can deform more at the same psi than it would with an enclosed rim that has a smaller air volume, creating a situation where the carcass may become overstressed and possibly be prone to failure. To combat the excess deformation, you need to add a little more air and hence more unsprung weight. But this also means that since you are better controlling deformation when you hit a bump, the contact patch is smaller under smoother pavement conditions.

    3. Tire warmup will also be slower and it will be more difficult to keep heat in the tire. All racers know your traction sucks when you’re not running at the ideal tire temperature.

  30. jackie says:

    If only they would make a street version. One can dream.

  31. MikeD says:

    @ Bob:

    All good points. Now we just need some scientific testing to see if the pros outweight the cons or the other way around. Any one up to the task ? lol.

  32. BBQdog says:

    Just seen the Honda Honda NSF250R in the flesh. Very nimble. Exhaust pipe is running from the
    back of the cilinder down to the left side of the engine downwards to the silencer.

  33. dc4go says:

    The Honda is 28k at American Honda… hopefully KTM sells it for a more affordable price. Moto 3 is limited to single cylinder motors and a RPM cap… Does that mean Aprilia has to build a new motor since the have V2 in their dirt bikes??