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.

Rumor: New Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Coming in 2013?

06/27/2012 @ 6:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Rumor: New Kawasaki Ninja ZX 6R Coming in 2013? 2011 kawasaki ninja zx 10r 635x476

If you believe the motorcycle rumor mill, the now long-in-the-tooth Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is set to get an update next model year. Now four years old, the ZX-6R has long shared a common thread with its 1,000cc brethren, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. With the ZX-10R now two-model-years-old though, the clock has been ticking as to when Kawasaki would give the ZX-6R a similar makeover. While still simply an internet rumor, there does seem to be some logic to the idea that we could see a new Kawasaki ZX-6R by the end of the year, though nothing can be for certain.

With the sport bike market in Europe almost completely falling out, and sales here in the United States just now starting to show some growth (though still way down from pre-recession figures), there is ample economic incentive for companies like Kawasaki to hold-off from updating their sport bike offerings, especially if break-even volumes haven’t yet been achieved in the current production runs.

A lesson could be learned from brands like BMW and Ducati though, both of whom continued to update their lines during the economic downturn, and were met with very favorable responses from sport bike buyers.

With the Japanese OEMs taking a conservative approach, and scaling back production, deliveries, and new model schedules for the recessionary times, we are now heading into a period where brands like Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha will begin announcing and releasing the bikes they have been brooding over for the past few years. Stay tuned sport bike fans.

Source: Moto Revue

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    I like to think is closer to fact when we are talking Kawasaki here…it seems to me that from the big four they are the ones pushing THE MOST new models or at least revised ones with more factory farkles at a more constant rate.

    Non the less, i wish for it…but don’t take nothing for granted until December when “all” the cards are laid on the table…(if that’s even possible with Motorcycle Manufacturers as of lately)

    I pray is not a TOTAL EYE-SORE like the current model and it’s big sister…GOD they are HIDEOUS, great machines…..but FUGLY.

    I know, i know……u can’t see her when you are riding it but i would feel bad the minute i park it and stare back at her….im a very shallow visual person…LOL.

    Remenber guys, that’s just some guy’s opinion on the internet…don’t burn him on the stake for such words.

  2. David says:

    The time has come for japanese motorcycle manufacturers to update all sport bikes across the board. The CBR 600RR and 1000RR for example has not changed much since 2008, save for ABS and some minor style updates. That’s five years. Likewise, the R1 since 2009, 4 years and the GSXR1000 since 2009 also. What about the GSXR 600/750 you ask? Pretty much the same as the 2006 model, no significant changes really. And dont get me started on the R6…still the same as the 2006 R6. That’s close to 7 years. I think it’s about time we saw some big changes in motor, suspension, design and new electronics. The only Japanese company putting out continuous updates was Kawasaki, releasing the latest in 2009, and the latest zx10 in 2011. Not bad Kawi. It’s for this reason that Kawi is currently the shoot out winner for liter bikes, because they are the only ones who made significant changes and brought about a new bike. Who has been the 600cc shoot out winner? You guessed it, the zx6r.. It’s held the title since 2009. And that’s because nothing has changed since then. The 600 cc bikes have changed relatively little. My 2 cents. Hope everyone agrees with me here..

  3. Adam says:

    It’s OK Mike, they did miss the boat on the last few models in terms of styling. not sure why Kawasaki and Yamaha have gone to this “bug” like styling? have you seen the front end of the R1? mind you the R6 does look good in race trim! it would be nice for them to make a fresh cleaner look like the Honda CBR1000. but they do have to differentiate them selves from others and create their own brand image. but who am I to say what looks good I ride a black 749 and hum to my self “na na na na na na na na na na na na batman”!

  4. JohnMc says:

    I hope the next zx10 has green white and blue color scheme and hover tubes in the tank!

  5. JohnMc says:

    @Adam

    The projector beams on the R1 make it look like a lobster. There is nothing like a bottom feeding saltwater crustacean to stir a mans senses…blarghhg!

  6. Westward says:

    The R1 leaves very little to be desired style-wise. It’s like a really hot model wearing some crazy avant-garde ensemble.

    The 749 in my opinion is a very cool looking bike, it was and still is a unique animal in the wild…

    The Kawasaki Zx-6 and the Yamaha R6 are the best looking japanese bikes, and if I were so inclined, one or the other would be my choice…

    The next update from the Japanese manufacturers I want to see, would be more along the lines of the bike I saw in the beginning of the most recent Star Trek movie…

  7. JasonB says:

    With sportbike volume in the US, and around the world, down considerably the scale of economy that kept the offerings from the Japanese companies inexpensive is now pretty much gone. Arguably the most expensive R&D product in motorsports its no surprise that sportbike updates and new models aren’t as frequent the last few years. Give the customers what they want, new models every year, and then they’ll complain about the prices being too high. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  8. MikeD says:

    @Adam:

    I can’t wait for most of them to go back to headlites using lenses instead of projectors…although that didn’t stop Kawasaki at F-Up their latest ZX-10R front end. LMAO.

    The R1 specially, doesn’t look bad at all with the racing front end (no googly eyes poking out).

    AH! The CBR1000RR u said, i HATED the previous PUG FACE front end with a passion, it totally ruined the looks of A great performer…now the refreshed one…WHAT A LOOKER ! She don’t look like was hit in the face with a cast iron frying pan anymore !

    Sir, ur current steed is a classic…take it from a former 749-999 hater, the twin sisters have grown on me, to the point that if they didn’t use DESMO and belts there would be one on my back porch…
    Keep it up and dare to LOOK DIFFERENT every day, don’t forget to wear your anti-hating visor.
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    @JohnMc:

    +1 x 1k. I must say i had to google “hover tubes” ( i haven’t been around motorcycles that long, lol ) OR to be more accurate i have seen it before just didn’t know what it was called.
    Together with twin round-ish headlights on old-school sport bikes…instant classic landmark.

    http://joelord.com/images/zx7r-2.JPG

    http://www.sportbikez.net/bikepics/114/medium/1140941162.jpg

    I love those Tanks…and im not talking about the fuel reservoir. LMAO.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    @JasonB:

    True story.