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: Ducati 1199 Panigale

06/20/2012 @ 9:30 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Recall: Ducati 1199 Panigale Ducati 1199 Panigale 635x423

You know what they say about first-generation Italian motorcycles…Yes folks, the superbike of 2012, the Ducati 1199 Panigale, is having its first technical recall. Ducati North America is recalling 375 units of the Panigale because of an incorrect screw was used to attach the rear swingarm to the rear suspension linkage. The faulty screw could cause the swingarm to detach from the linkage, which would in-turn could cause a catastrophic suspension collapse.

Such an occurrence has obvious dire consequences for the bike’s rider, and as such Ducati North America will be contacting at-risk Ducati 1199 Panigale owners. Ducati dealers will inspect the bikes, and as necessary replace the incorrect screw, free of charge. Concerned owners can contact Ducati North America at 1-800-231-6696. As always, the NHTSA is available at 1-888-327-4236 and safercar.gov. Ducati’s safety recall number is RCL-12-004.

Source: NHTSA

Comment:

  1. Jake F. says:

    Thank goodness it’s nothing too serious ;)

  2. irksome says:

    @Jake: “That’ll buff right out.”

  3. Nerve says:

    Yeah Jake, like chipped paint ..the catastrophy !

  4. Gutterslob says:

    At least it wasn’t something like “Might burst into flames at the stoplights for no reason” like with Ferraris from the 80′s.

  5. JayDub says:

    Legendary Ducati Quality at it’s finest!

  6. Grant Madden says:

    Imagine suspension collapse on the freeway infront of a big Truck!!Now thats a catastrophy!!

  7. MikeD says:

    @Gutterslob:

    Apparently u never heard of the fairly new 458 Italia catching fire for “no aparent reason”.

    Of course there was a reason but i find it hard to understand how it never showed itself during ” road testing” on “Prototypes”……. YES, legendary Italian Q.C. indeed. LOL.

    Is cool tho, they know there’s a problem and are working to fix…it happens even to the best of us.

  8. balzr says:

    Stay away from these POS Italian motorcycles!!!!

    Dec 7, 2011 126,000 Honda Goldwing motorcycles recalled for brake problems. The company has identified an issue with the motorbikes’ secondary brake master cylinders that may cause the rear brakes to drag, increasing the risk of a collision. Riding a motorcycle with a stuck rear brake may also generate enough heat to cause a fire.

    MAY 21, 2009 HONDA IS RECALLING 12,894 MY 2008 CBR1000RR MOTORCYCLES. A COOLANT HOSE CLAMP LOCATED ON THE WATER PUMP COVER MAY BREAK DUE TO FATIGUE CAUSED BY VIBRATION GENERATED AT CONTINUOUS HIGH ENGINE SPEEDS. IF THE CLAMP BREAKS, HOT COOLANT CAN SPRAY ONTO THE RIDERS LEFT LOWER LEG CAUSING SCALDING TO THE RIDER.

    FEB 23, 2011 Suzuki says 73,4276 motorcycles are being recalled.
    Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
    • SUZUKI / AN400 2008-2009
    • SUZUKI / DL1000 2008-2009
    • SUZUKI / GSF1250 2008-2009
    • SUZUKI / GSX-R600 2008-2009
    • SUZUKI / GSX-R750 2008-2009
    • SUZUKI / GSX1300B 2008
    • SUZUKI / GSX1300R 2008-2010
    • SUZUKI / GSX650F 2008-2009
    • SUZUKI / SFV650 2009-2010
    • SUZUKI / VL800 2008-2010
    • SUZUKI / VLR1800 2008-2009
    • SUZUKI / VZ1500 2009-2010

    Suzuki says some regulator / rectifier assemblies were produced with insufficient adhesion between the power module (circuit board) and the rectifier case that contains a heat sink to dissipate heat. Due to the insufficient adhesion, heat generated on the power module circuit board can cause the circuit board to deform, and lift off the case. This condition causes excessive heat on the circuit board and uncontrolled electric current output which can result in insufficient charging current being provided to the motorcycle battery.
    This can cause the discharge of the Suzuki motorcycle’s battery, which can lead to stalling or a non-start condition; if the motorcycle’s engine stalls, it could increase the risk of a crash.

    APR 19, 2012 BMW is recalling 1,414 model year 2012 s1000rr motorcycles, manufactured from September 1, 2011, through April 10, 2012. Due to a manufacturing process error, the connecting rod bolts may become loose during high engine temperatures and/or high engine operating speeds which could result in catastrophic engine damage. In the event of engine damage, escaping oil could cause handling issues, increasing the risk of a crash.

    FEB 17, 2012 Kawasaki is recalling 20,544 model year 2008-2011 ninja zx-10r, and 2009-2012 ninja zx-6r motorcycles manufactured from December 14, 2007 through July 26, 2011. Due to a manufacturing error, the regulator/rectifier may insufficiently charge the battery.
    If the battery discharges, the motorcycle may stall without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.

  9. Merc says:

    No good throwing stones at Ducati, my 4th generation BMW S1000RR is also subject to a recall, all conrod bolts must be replaced…

    The good thing is that manufacturers are admitting to it, recalling bikes and making good…

  10. Donald Martino says:

    The phone number for DNA is wrong. That is the number for Ducati’s dealer locator. Does anyone have a better phone number for Ducati. I realy would perfer not to wait until I get the letter – or until the swingarm falls off my 1199.

  11. Kevin says:

    Call your dealer Don, we’ll take care of you.

  12. Dave says:

    I’m not a big Ducati fan but motorcycles are like everything; Every once & a while you get a bunk part on them. This applies, too, to humans. If, after tens of thousands of years, humans are still born with defects, how do you expect them to make a prefect machine? People who are sitting here slagging Ducati should also include their favorite manufacturer in the deal because I’m sure your BMWSUZUKIHONDAKTMYAMAHAHARLEYBUELLVICTORYKAWASKIHODAKATRIUMPHAPRILIAF’NWHATEVER has had a recall. I’ve been around motorcycles for a long time and it’s tough to get it right the first time. Ride more, whine less, get on with your lives. I’m pretty sure the sky isn’t falling.

  13. Ben says:

    the old ducati didn’t do recalls, they just sold them the way they are.
    this is a new kind of ducati

  14. Well, at least they will replace the incorrect screw free of charge. Might as well inspect all the bikes before someone gets hurt.