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.

Recall: 2012 BMW S1000RR

04/27/2012 @ 11:33 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Recall: 2012 BMW S1000RR 2012 BMW S1000RR 635x475

BMW Motorrad is recalling 1,414 units of its 2012 BMW S1000RR superbike because of improperly manufactured connecting rod bolts. Due to a manufacturing process error, the connecting rod bolts could become loose during high engine temperatures and/or high engine operating speeds. If the bolts do come loose, the result could be a catastrophic engine failure (their words, not ours).

Affecting only bikes made between September 1, 2011 through April 10, 2012, BMW will contact affected S1000RR owners, and BMW dealers will replace the connecting rod bolts free of charge. This recall is expected to take place in May of 2012. Concerned owners can call BMW at 1-800-525-7417, while the NHTSA is available at 1-888-327-4236 and safercar.gov.

Source: NHTSA

Comment:

  1. And I thought it was being recalled because of the styling…

  2. Damo says:

    @Mark

    Yeah I detest the asymmetrical design. I personally don’t see what the S1000RR offers, other than for its owner to proclaim they have the fastest street bike ever made. You can get them stock with heated grips though….I guess that’s cool.

    It is literally on the bottom of my liter bike list in terms of appeal.

  3. Tyler says:

    Aw, the bottom? I don’t know about the bottom… The GSXR has been largely unchanged for years now.. BMW have done a solid job right out of the gate though, I have to admit (even though I’m an Italian bike lover myself).

  4. Nice Mark. Can I license that joke for April Fools next year?

  5. RIDER says:

    I half agree about the styling. I think it looks pretty fresh in that blue though. The styling isn’t what would keep me from buying it though, oddly enough.
    The RSV4..

  6. AlexOnTwoWheels says:

    Are you sure the recall is not related to the “causing erection” issues in your other post?

    @Damo, your comment makes it violently clear that you’ve never ridden one of these on a racetrack. The bike could be pink and shape like a F(*&^%ing cupcake and it would still be an amazing bike…. I’m guessing you don’t “see what it offers” because you don’t know how to ride it for what it is designed for.

  7. john says:

    does this recall have anything to do with the the erection court case? ;-)

  8. MikeD says:

    They need to make a Parody out of this one too like they did with Rossi, the GPXX, it’s many frames and Ducati.

    B.S aside, good for them to man up and take care of their costumers.
    I would love to know the dirty gritty details ( wrong alloy, wrong machining, someone forget the RED Loctite ? LOL )

    STYLING:

    I guess like with many things in life time takes care of it eventually:

    I’m cool now with the ODD plastics and the “WTF Face” Headlight…it makes it a BMW, with out it it would be another RELIABLE, cookie cutter, mass produced comodity from Japan Inc.

    P.S: I own Japan Inc Product.

  9. MikeD says:

    @Tyler:

    +1 on the Gixxer 1K…and some of the others too. Damn worldwide economy…(-_-)’

  10. Archer says:

    I always thought it was a tribute to Bill the Cat… Ack!

    Seriously though, it’s a fantastic bike. In RWB it’s even, dare I say, attractive. It is a true rush in the canyons, with much of the handling of a 600 and a l l t h a t POWERRRRR.

    It looks positively awful in blue in the flesh. Just awful. And cheap. I would even take the original mountain dew puke color over the blue.

    But when you’re on the thing. Whoa. Seriously.

  11. MikeD says:

    @Archer:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ackook/312627975/

    After watching that, i agree completely…….that’s one trashy looking, F-up looking cat…LMAO.

    I didn’t even know who he was. Bless Google.

  12. Damo says:

    @AlexOnTwoWheels

    Holy crap! I guess I know someone who bought an S1000RR. Don’t make judgements on my riding ability based on my comments. I personally don’t like the ergonomics, maintenance schedule or styling of the bike. I have actually physically touched the bike, have you? I know the type of performance numbers the bike pulls, but spreadsheet surfing isn’t my thing.

    If you have hung around this page for awhile you would realize that I am a high mileage street rider. I put 8,700 miles on my aprilia RSV1000 last year alone (and we have long winters in the North). Don’t worry about how I ride.

    You must be one of those people that have ridden every liter bike ever around Big Willow and know everything there is to know about sport riding.

    Besides if I wanted a bike to thrash around a track I would buy a used ZX6-R and save about $12,000. I’ll stick to torque heavy V-twins for my commute and twisty road blasts.

  13. Westward says:

    The number of people that bought this bike for the track is minuscule. Of those, they are most likely in one of two categories, those who can afford to, or those that are not very smart… The smart people buy a used 600cc or 1000cc bike to thrash about, or even a 250. Cause for most people its an economic issue…

    Anyway, I like the bike personally, style, design, and engineering. Though the only things that would stop me from getting one, would be the RSV4 or the Panigale…

    Oh and I forgot, the money, I would need more of it… I am also more fond of bikes in the 250-848cc range, those I might can afford…

  14. hear that? sounds like a fastener supplier getting the boot

  15. paulus says:

    Sh*t happens. They fix it and move on…

  16. Damo says:

    @Westward

    I with you 100% on that one.

  17. Chas R1 says:

    I own an R1 09 has been riding it since 04, I ride on the track and on the streets hard!, I rode the BMW 2011 stock and my only complaint was that the throttle response was not as responsive as my R1, but then again my R1 has an unleash ECU and the BMW still has a catalytic converter and stock exhaust. The BMW has a super slippery clutch, ABS is outstanding, the Quick shifter is not as smooth and neither is the Traction control compare to the 2012 model, overall the BMW is an AWESOME bike!!

    The complaint I have about the Panigale is that $24,000.00 with ABS when you sit on the bike the rear shock and the spring will rub with your leg when you are waiting for the traffic light. So I think that for $24000 that should have never happened……just my 02cents.

  18. Kevin says:

    I ordered my BMW s1000rr on April 11, 2012, I have owned 3 kawasaki’s and I never will purchase another one because the dealership left my bike out in the rain with the intake off of the bike, and denied it completely about 2 years ago so I called corporate Kawasaki and the said they have no way of making the dealer fix my bike…… The bike hasn’t been running for 2 years now so I completly advise anyone to buy anything but Kawasaki! Another thing I looked at was a Ducati 1198s but then relized it cost $27,000… My BMW s1000rr cost $16,700 fully loaded with heated hand grips, abs/dts, shift assist, and an alarm system. But then with the taxes out the door cost is $18,188.00. You have to relize also if you get a Jap liter bike @ $13,999 and get the extended warrenty for it + $1,500=15,500, and I say the warrenty because the BMW comes stock with 3 year/36000 mile warrenty do what is another $1,200 for better power+quality+optimum options? To me it was worth it but I suggest to anyone test ride all of the bikes then go home and do your homework, and sleep on the decision for 1 week before you commit to a purchase. Ohh also on my Kawasaki I paid 295/month @22.99 interest rate though HSBC. With BMW my payments will be 327/month at 5.75 interest, and my Kawasaki was just an 07 zx6r not even a liter bike

  19. Damo says:

    @Kevin

    I stopped listening after you said “jap liter bike”.

  20. Kevin says:

    just simply said “Japanese” an obriviated version….. i dont understand why you got upset but i’m still sure that you finished reading my post even though you said you didn’t. who read 1/2 and article and finds something they don’t like and stop reading it. pretty much ajust a handful of people who will remain ignorant, because they are not willing to keep an open mind.

  21. Damo says:

    @Kevin

    Ask a Japanese person how they like being called “jap” then get back to me. Ironic that you would make comments about being open minded.

    But yes I did read the rest of your post, I was just being a turd. Also the base Ducati 1198 was only $16,480 last year.

    But all political correctness aside, how the F did Kawasaki rope you into a 22.99 interest rate! That is absurd.

    You can buy a brand new CBR1000RR at 1.1% right now for 60 months, on a $13,800 loan AND
    Honda financial will give you back $800 instantly on the bike. That is $222.78 a month with no money down.

    Although I do agree that BMW has a nice warranty, albeit a limited one.

  22. Kevin says:

    I do all the time honistly, my buddy cotto was born and raised in japan, just never relized it had a negative meaning until i googled it when you mentioned it, when i bought the kawasaki i was 20 and got financed through HSBC and didn’t read anything before I signed for it… I know stupid move on my part. Kawasaki will rape you any way they can! Ya im sorry, I was looking at The 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale comes with a two-year warranty and costs $17,995; the “S” version lists for $22,995; while the Tricolore goes for $27,995. & I doubt the base model will have the 183rwhp, plus that is no options on it. I got to admit I love Honda quality but I wanted something that stood out from the crowed and know I have something capable of beating most bikes out on the roads.

  23. Damo says:

    @Kevin

    The BMW is for sure more unique than the Honda and I do agree BMW did a great job making a new sport bike from scratch.

    I think the base Panigale comes with the horsepower, just not the suspension and brake upgrades. I could be wrong though.

  24. Judy says:

    I was told today by the Los Angeles BMW dealer that BMW is not making any additional 2012 S 1000 RRs other than the 1414 recalled units. The existing 1414 recalled units will be rebuilt either at dealerships or at the factory. I have the option of either buying a rebuilt recall unit in 2012 or wait until 2013 for a new model. Can anyone confirm this? Thanks.

  25. kevin says:

    @judy
    I don’t believe this is true, they are probably trying to get rid of their old inventory instead of doing a new special order. I had a dealership tell me my credit app was good for 10 days and i would have to reapply after my 10 days, so i went to another dealership and they told me that is not true they are just trying to get me to close on a deal, and a app is good for 90 days. if i were you i would go to a different dealer and ask them.