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.

Photos: Building the KTM RC250R Production Racer

02/20/2013 @ 12:33 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Photos: Building the KTM RC250R Production Racer 2013 KTM RC250R production racer build 06

Just a couple ticks off the KTM RC250GP raced in the FIM Moto3 Championship that we saw built in time-lapse last week, the KTM RC250R is perhaps one of the most potent 250cc four-stroke production racers money can buy…and it takes a lot of money to buy one.

“The differences [between the RC250GP & RC250R] come through some little details,” says Head of KTM Customer Racing Wolfgang Felber. “The GP bike for example runs with the regulation enforced Dell’Orto electronics unit, has a different Akrapovic exhaust system, magnesium wheels, and modified brakes as well as WP factory suspension parts, which help to save some more weight.”

Only 67 of these machines will be made for the 2013 season (40 for sale, 27 for the Red Bull Rookies Cup), which posed a problem for the KTM. Too big of a production run to be hand-made by racing engineers, and yet too small (and perhaps too important) of a run to be built on one of the four general assembly lines, zie Austrians instead opted for something in between, and built the bikes on the company’s #5 “training” line.

A behind the scenes look at this limited production run, if you weren’t in love with the KTM Moto3 race bike, you might be after this. Want one? You better come up with €45,000 to afford this price tag…that’s $60,000, or a moderately equipped Mercedes-Benz E-Class, with today’s exchange rate.

Photos: Building the KTM RC250R Production Racer 2013 KTM RC250R production racer build 07

Photos: Building the KTM RC250R Production Racer 2013 KTM RC250R production racer build 09

Photos: Building the KTM RC250R Production Racer 2013 KTM RC250R production racer build 15

Photos: Building the KTM RC250R Production Racer 2013 KTM RC250R production racer build 19

Photos: Building the KTM RC250R Production Racer 2013 KTM RC250R production racer build 20

Technical Specifications of the 2013 KTM RC250R Production Racer:

DRIVE


Engine: Single cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC
Displacement: 249.5 ccm
Bore/Stroke: 81/48.5 mm
Power: min. 37 kW (50 PS) at 13.000 rpm
Max. torque: 28 Nm at 11.000 rpm
Compression ratio: 14,5
Battery:  12 V / 0.8 Ah
Gear box: 6 speed cassette gear box, 2 optional ratio versions
Intake system: dual injector throttle body, oval, Ø 50 mm equivalent
Cooling system: WP water radiator + WP oil-water heat exchanger
Generator: 12 V / 70 W
Lubrication: semi dry sump, 1 pressure pump, 2 suction pumps
Primary drive: straight teeth gear drive
Valvetrain system: chain drive, intermediate gear, radial valves, DLC-coated finger followers
Clutch system: multi disc wet clutch
Motor management/ignition: GET by Athena ECU, GET by Athena Software MAYA EVO. Adjustable motor brake, traction control, launch control, fuel mapping, ignition mapping, pit speed limiter and quickshifter. Interface for data recording.

CHASSIS


Frame: tubular steel trellis frame with adjustable headstock and swingarm pivot
Subframe: Wethje carbonfibre composite, monoblock
Swingarm: Upside down shaped, welded aluminium
Handlebars: clamps milled from billet aluminium, changeable handlebar tubes
Front suspension: WP USD fork RCMA 3548 / Ø 35 mm, adjustable spring preload, adjustable compression and rebound damping, 20 clicks
Rear suspension: WP rear shock BAVP 4618, adjustable shock length, hydraulic preload adjuster, adjustable High-/Low-Speed- compression damping and rebound damping, 20 clicks
Triple clamps: milled from billet aluminium, adjustable, 28/30 mm offset
Front brake: Brembo single disk, 290 mm Ø, Brembo radial caliper and radial master cylinder
Rear brakes: Braking, disk 190 mm Ø, Formula radial caliper and Formula master cylinder
Front/rear wheel: OZ forged aluminum 2.5 x 17’’
/ 3.5 x 17’’
Front/rear tire: Dunlop 95/75-R17 / 115/75-R17 / Moto3 M Slick
Secondary drive: 415 chain, sprocket options 16 – 18T, rear sprocket options 34 – 42T
Exhaust: Akrapovic full titanium system single silencer, 107 dB, additional 100/103 dB killer
Steering head angle: ± 1° adjustable with optional headshock inserts
Swingarm pivot: ± 4 mm adjustable with optional swingarm pivot inserts
Wheel base: 1210 mm ± 35 mm
Ride height: adjustable ± 6 mm
Seat height: 760 mm
Tank capacity: approx. 10.5 litres
Dry weight: approx. 82 kg (without fuel)

ORIGINS

GP125: geometry, ergonomic, aerodynamic components
MOTOGP engine: layout cylinder head and throttle body
RC8 R SBK: electronic, frame knowhow, materials processing
MX: lubrication system, transmission, clutch, kinematic valve gear

Source: KTM Blog; Photos: Marcus Erlmoser / KTM – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. jackie says:

    Yes please. I’ll take two.

  2. Alex MacPherson says:

    Love it! If only I could reverse engineer those engine specs to mod my CBR250R….

  3. BBQdog says:

    I want a job there, even if it is only sweeping the floor. Can’t wait for the road legal version.

  4. BBQdog says:

    And one further remark: these pictures will hurt at the Aprilia racing department. This is what they did untill about 2 years ago. I miss Aprilia in the Moto3, like Yamaha. And what about small Ducati desmo. Dreams dreams ….

  5. Mikeg81 says:

    A much more tasty version of the Honda RS125 I used to ride. I’d love to ride one of these.

  6. Alex MacPherson says:

    @BBQdog

    I am with you on that. I will be the first in line for the KTM 350 Moto3 in 2014.

  7. BBQdog says:

    @Alex MacPherson: already tested the Duke 200 (too linear power curve, bit boring) and am working on a 390 Duke. All as a step up to the Moto3 road version.