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.

Brammo Eyeing an Electric Sportbike?

06/03/2010 @ 6:01 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Brammo Eyeing an Electric Sportbike? Brammo Sport bike rumor 560x420

What on Earth could possess electric motorcycle manufacturer Brammo to buy a BMW S1000RR, and then sell it on eBay after only putting 700 miles on the bike? Was Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher not pleased with what’s being hailed as the Sportbike of 2010? No, that’s not the case, Bramscher apparently heralded the bike as the best motorcycle ever made (besides the Brammo Enertia of course).

With a lime green (naturally) BMW S1000RR sitting outside of Brammo HQ not too long ago, and now an eBay classified ad selling said bike, we’re left to wonder what could be in the works. Could a Brammo electric sportbike be peculating in the minds of the Ashland, Oregon volt-heads? Only time will tell.

Comment:

  1. i.am.one says:

    Brammo will at TT Zero racing ?

  2. Brammofan says:

    I don’t think Brammo will be at the IOM this year. If they do appear, it’s one of the best kept secrets (at least from me).

  3. i.am.one says:

    Why Brammo and Mission Motors don’t run in famous races for example IOMTT?

    there are significant media returns in these events! Sponsors , partnership ect……

  4. Brammo Eyeing an Electric Sportbike? – http://aspha.lt/11x #motorcycle

  5. Brammo Eyeing an Electric Sportbike? – http://aspha.lt/11y #motorcycle

  6. Brammofan says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: "Brammo Eyeing an Electric Sportbike? – http://aspha.lt/11y #motorcycle"

  7. marshall says:

    The reason Mission and Brammo aren’t racing much is probably because they are past the “get as much attention as possible while developing the first couple prototypes” phase and into the “okay, if we are actually going to be a profitable company (and get desperately needed investment money) we need to manufacture and sell some bikes” phase. I think the resources required for racing are just too great for small companies who have already managed to get some media attention, and are at a point where they must begin production to prove their profitability. It’s a shame though!

  8. i.am.one says:

    Brammo and Mission perhaps are famous because they have much invested or their image?
    Brammo and Mission perhaps have they too muchi invested in image?

    they have ran one race seems very little to return the image and especially to develop the product.

  9. MTGR says:

    I would argue that Brammo and the others need to keep racing now more than ever. They need to show clear proof they are still advancing if they ever intend to draw any of the grassroots motorcycle people over.

    I was an early supporter of electrics simply because I saw them get out there and innovate at the track, far moreso than most ice models can anymore with their rigidly ruled race classes. The less I see the electrics competing the less interested I am in their products; it just suggests to me that they have no idea how to improve and are afraid it will show.

    If Brammo really did compare performance with a BMW I suspect the only outcome would be a sudden realization of just how tall the mountain is and how close to the bottom they still are. Could explain the quick turn-around of that model, one ride was likely enough to realize they were nowhere close.

  10. marshall says:

    I don’t think Brammo bought an S1000RR to compare its performance to an electric bike; as you say, they would be nowhere close.

    Attracting grassroots motorcycle people to electrics is important for attracting investors’ money, but so is proving that electrics can be profitable in the long run. I doubt either company will have trouble selling initial small batches of their bikes at very high special edition prices.

    I’m willing to bet all electric bike companies can – and are fully aware of their ability to – improve their products/prototypes quite a bit. Even without jumps in battery technology. The problem is that they are pioneering an effort to develop a very new machine with unique (but not insurmountable) engineering problems, but they do not have the staff and money to develop the product, race it, show off to investors, etc. all at the same time. It’s a balancing act.

    What will really be interesting in the next couple years, in my opinion, is what will happen to the pioneers as the big manufacturers start to get into electrics. Will their head start and ability to rapidly develop the bikes keep them ahead of the the slower, but better-equipped established motorcycle companies? Should be interesting.

  11. MTS Lust says:

    Interesting. Of course it could be that Mr. Brammo bought an S1000RR, didn’t like it and is now getting rid of it. I’m sure its a brilliant machine, but its certainly not universally appealing with its demanding ergonomics, and ultra-high rpm powerband. Or maybe there are aspects of the chassis that are relevant to Brammo R&D.