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: Ducati 799 Supersport for 2013?

01/09/2012 @ 4:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

Rumor: Ducati 799 Supersport for 2013? Ducati 1199 Panigale aerial 635x449

Now that the 2012 model year motorcycles have debuted (though we still expect a few mid-year releases), the speculation can now begin for the 2013 model year machines. Wasting no time in this process, the Italian press is afire with rumors of a Ducati 799 superbike model to compliment the recently released Ducati 1199 Panigale.

A rumor of this nature, this early in the year, is certainly an interesting one. There should be little debate over the fact that Borgo Panigale has a supersport variant of the 1199 superbike already figured out, tested, & ready for prime time, and our Bothan spies confirm just as much to us. The details of such a bike though, now that’s where the devil resides.

According to the rumors out of the Italian press, the Ducati 799 will have a 750cc displacement, make 145hp, and tip the scales under 160kg (353 lbs). The move to the 750cc displacement apparently comes as a bid to race the mini-Panigale once again in the World Supersport Championship, and of course the 749 designation has already been used.

If true, such a move would be a marked departure from the current Ducati 848 Superbike, which has been a top-seller for the Italian company here in the United States, and according to our notes was top-selling motorcycle for Ducati North America. Showing that 848′s have no problem selling without a racing pedigree, Ducati is seemingly getting back to its roots with the rumored 799, and putting an emphasis on production racing (not that its prototype racing effort has been going swimmingly well).

While there is very credible pattern of Ducati’s middleweight superbike design following its liter-bike compatriot within a one model year window, there has to be some pause regarding this news, since it is coming so closely on the heels of the Panigale’s launch. A radical departure for Ducati, the 1199 is shaping up to be a monster of a machine, but the v-twin superbike still comes with the asterisks that its MotoGP-inspired chassis design has yet to be actually proven in MotoGP racing.

While Bologna expects to hit the ball out of the park with the Panigale, the Italian company could surely hold off on the Ducati 799 (or whatever it ends up being called), if sales for the 1199 Panigale are stronger than expected (releasing the 799 too early could cannibalize sales from the 1199, which will surely will have a higher profit margin).

True, the Ducati 848 Superbike has been long in the tooth for some time now, and has already been EVO’d in 2010 and Special Editioned for 2012 — two clear signs that a model revamp is coming down the pipe, but there does seem to be some cause to refrain from jumping on this rumor’s bandwagon so early in the year, especially when we haven’t even seen the Panigale in the hands of the public. Stay tuned Ducatisti.

Source: Two Wheels Blog

Comment:

  1. Smitch says:

    Only in the press are bike designs ever referred to as “long in the tooth”. The 916 design was around longer than any of them, but nobody in their right mind complains about it. That said, of course it will be time to roll out a replacement for the 848, but I wonder if the “799″ will be as good a road bike. I would imagine it be more peak-ey if you can refer to a twin as such…

  2. Really? They can’t reuse the 749 number. I don’t think anyone is going to confuse a 749 Panigale, with a 749. New customers won’t even know what a 749 is. Arrggg, Italians.

  3. Ax1464 says:

    Regarding the possible name: 1199 -> 799 shows the relationship between the two bikes better than calling it a 749 or whatever.

  4. Lumengrid says:

    @Smitch

    Well Twin will be more “peak-y” – torquey :) but if they map it right it will be let just say more civilized and Ducati’s are sport bikes and from what I gather from the text above it will never be a road bike like VFR1200, anyway that is what I call roadbike in mine dictionary.

    Knowing Ducati, it will be sporty, it will have killer looks and it will make you want it ride faster and harder,.

  5. Leo says:

    Ummm… Why not just call it. “750″ ???

  6. Jake says:

    145 HP and 353 lbs? Yes please. That’s 50 pounds more than my supermoto with more than triple the power.

  7. Westward says:

    I don’t know how much cannibalizing a 799 would have on the 1199. I always run into people who think anything less than a 1000 is an affront to their manhood…

    I think I will hold off on the MV Agusta F3, and see how this rumour pans out….

  8. mxs says:

    Just avoid them, don’t run into them .. .they have no idea.

  9. MikeD says:

    Give me the most comfortable reclining chair u have on the first row and hand me some pop-corn.
    I can’t wait to see that anorexic screaming biotch…LMAO.

  10. Bryan says:

    I am absolutely waiting for this bike. There would be little reason to buy an 848 this year. The dark model no longer carries a $1000 discount that it had in 2011. I think that to conversion to chain driven cams alone is reason enough to come out with the 799 in a year. It eliminates the major maintenence issue of replacing belts every couple of years. Less weight and just a little more power would make it perfect for my purposes. I just hope they keep the price point close to the same.

  11. Grant says:

    Production racing is what ducati is all about It would be good to see ducati mix it up with the supersport grid.

  12. MaxAR15 says:

    First, there is no reason for me to buy the 1199 because here in Jersey it would rarely get out of the lower three gears and still be legal. I know some would say all that power would be great and you would be right but it would only be useable on a track. I’m not racing.

    Second, at 62 my reaction times are no longer as sharp as they were when I was in my 20′s. My ego is alright with that too.

    Lastly I wish Ducati would made a Super Mono again as the size would be perfect for me however, I could suffer so nicely with a 750 size Panigale.

  13. patrick says:

    damn! Im a little dissapointed with ducati. dont get me wrong, I interned with ducati north america. but as a racer and a purist I hate to see the trellus frame go away. without it the bikes lose thier individualism. in truth im a little bias. as a racer in 600 class the 848 has been wonderfull. I really hope this new bike will still be permitted for supersport. does anybody have any insight.