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.

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr

02/21/2012 @ 11:46 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto2 Khairuddin 1 635x444

The KTM Moto3 racer is a thing of beauty, and for bonus points, it comes in two varieties. One is the orange-trellis framed factory-built KTM, which will be campaigned by the three-rider factory team of Sandro Cortese, Danny Kent, and Arthur Sissis for 2012.

The other variety is the one engineered by Kalex Engineering, which features the same 250cc KTM motor as the factory version, but takes the German company’s prowess at chassis design, and uses a twin-spar aluminum frame instead of the factory team’s trellis variant. The venerable Team Aspar is one of the teams signed on to use the Kalex/KTM, and will have riders Alberto Moncayo & Hector Faubel aiming to beat the factory KTM squad at their own game.

With no Americans in Moto3, the entry-level GP series won’t get too much attention here in the US, but the machinery certainly looks pretty good to our eyes. Still clad in carbon fiber for the testing season, the KTM and KTM/Kalex machines are like tiny pieces of motorcycling art.

Though some are lamenting the passing of the two-stroke era, and its unmistakable buzzing sound on the track, we think the newest four-stroke GP class will please motorcycling’s audiophiles. Listen to the KTM Moto3 race bike warm up after the jump, and enjoy some eyecandy.

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Binder 1 635x444

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Cortese 3 635x444

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Cortese 4 635x444

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Faubel 2 635x476

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Faubel 4 635x444

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Kent 3 635x444

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Kent 8 635x444

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Moncayo 2 635x444

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 Sissis 2 635x444

Listen to the KTM Moto3 Race Bike Purr KTM Moto3 pit 4 635x444

Photos: F. Weisse / KTM – All Rights Reserved; Video: superouleur via derestricted

Comment:

  1. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Moto3 Officially Killing Two-Strokes in 2012 – http://aspha.lt/19u #motorcycle

  2. save the 2strokes says:

    sounds like a lawnmower…

  3. mikelew says:

    Sounds great, actually. Man I wish KTM would release a basic (read: less expensive) version of this in the states as a club-racing/track-day bike. Does KTM plan to do this?

  4. irksome says:

    For the pure of heart, there is no sound more beautiful than that of a thumper.

  5. MikeD says:

    Jense, i don’t know who’s leg ur humpin but these Pics are terrific. Quality of detail (RESOLUTION ?) is friggin sweet.

  6. MikeD says:

    Call’em weedy, call’em scrappy but these little guys are just as serious looking,put togheter, quality of components,etc as much as the big 1000cc GP Hardware.
    Stunning to say the least.

    For crying out loud, these things have a bigger downpipe diameter than my 90* V-2 at 500cc a cylinder !
    They are moving gas…LOTS OF IT ! out of a measly 250cc cylinder…whats a rough gesstimate about HP output on one of these little works of art ?

  7. MikeD, I get around. Thanks.

  8. Jon says:

    @MikeD…I think the manufacturers claim around 50hp.

  9. MikeD says:

    @Jon:

    Not bad, thats a lot on my book coming out of one “little” [by today's standards anyway] 250cc engine.
    I hope their 2013 Moto3 replica makes 35-40hp out of the planned 350 that’s suposed to power it.

  10. monkeyfumi says:

    50hp eh? That’s only like 10% down on the engine half the size that they’re replacing. Progress indeed.

  11. MikeD says:

    Upon doing some Math…THAT’S 200HP PER LITRE !…NOT BAD AT ALL ! (O_O) for a Mono i think is awesome.
    Do any of the heavy hitters motocross singles (any cc’s) have this kind of efficiency ?

  12. Dr. Gellar says:

    Both of those bikes (the factory KTM and the Kalex\KTM) are beautiful. Sorry…I won’t be missing the 125cc 2-strokes much.

  13. I miss 2-strokes from the way they ride, but a good 4-stroke is awfully fun, too. I think the Moto3 class has a lot of potential. Certainly, Moto2 has turned out to be some of the best racing I’ve seen in years.

  14. BBQdog says:

    I am drooling. Really hope KTM creates a road going 350 version of this !

  15. Damo says:

    @BBQdog

    Would love a super light 350cc road going race replica!

  16. BBQdog says:

    @Damo: they announced a roadgoing 350cc ‘Moto3′, I hope already next year alongside the Duke 350.

  17. dimitri says:

    A&R is showing 2 different bikes in the pics. One is the factory (kalex) ktm bike and the other the kalex ktm bike from Aspar. The latter is definitely the better looking bike.

  18. Dr. Gellar says:

    @dimitri

    The factory RedBull KTM bikes are 100% KTM. There is nothing Kalex regarding those particular entries.

  19. Minibull says:

    They should have made 4 cyl 250′s…super screamers…

  20. MikeD says:

    @Minibull:

    Noooo, that would be too badass…and xpensive and…u know…it would never happen.

  21. Afletra says:

    I wonder if the rear tire is really 120…

  22. The Power of the motors doesn matter at all no one will go beyond 70-80wK power, the batteries will be drained in half the race… check out Charge -Movie… it doesn’t even matter how much torque you have… Oxford Yasa’s in Ecotricity had 700nm but it didn’t make any sense in the road race( different results on the track tho)…. its the Battery pack…. anything less than 12-13kW is nt suitable and more than that is of no use…. Everything at the end depends on what package you are having… Motoczysz’s bike weighed a lot even if it was mostly 3D printed….they could have managed 100mph if they had less weight and more batteries…