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.

A New Ducati Diavel Cometh?

02/26/2014 @ 11:53 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

A New Ducati Diavel Cometh? 2013 ducati diavel dark 635x578

According to users on Diavel-Forum.com, Ducati dealers have been telling customers to get ready for an updated version of the Ducati Diavel, which should break cover Monday, March 3rd.

The surprise unveiling for the 2014 model year will see the Ducati Diavel get a host of improvements, most notable the dual-spark Testastretta 11° DS motor. Other updates are said to include a revised headlight, new exhaust, indicators, and side panels.

If the reports turn out to be true, we should see the Diavel get a modest power boost from the Testastretta 11° DS engine (likely only in the mid-range, as was seen on the Multistrada 1200).

Expect a small premium for the model over the standard Diavel, with three trim levels being available, including a “Dark” base model and a high-end “Carbon” model.

Presumably the update to the Diavel comes about because of the release Monster 1200, as Ducati always pitched the Diavel as a more extreme version of the Monster line — the name “Mega Monster” was reportedly kicked around for a while as the name for the motorcycle.

Accounting for nearly 20% of Ducati’s sales, the Italian company has a huge interest in keeping the Diavel line fresh and relevant for customers. We called the Diavel Ducati’s deal with the Devil, as it pushed the brand farther away from its superbike roots, and in the hopes of bringing typically non-Ducati riders into the Bologna Brand.

Several years later now, we can see that the plan worked, with Ducati’s power cruiser bringing in a slew of new Ducatisti. Will this second-generation model continue the trend? We have only a few more days to wait.

Source: Diavel-Forum.com

Comment:

  1. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Why Ducati?

    Consumer society on the skids. First, it was–make everything disposable. Now it’s–sell out your loyal base of customers to attract the ones who care less what your company is about. And it’s everywhere!

    Next, MotoGP riders will be in puppet shows to increase their popularity with soccer moms.

  2. Diego Dominator says:

    That’s why Casey left!! it’s all a puppet show now and motorcycle manufacturers are BIG selllouts

  3. BJ Bad Bad says:

    Ok, so you’re mad because Ducati isn’t a boutique brand anymore and you don’t seem as cool when you tell someone you own one? Buy an MV then.

  4. eg says:

    MV is selling out to. go get a vyrus

  5. Richard Gozinya says:

    Vyrus is way too mainstream, get a Walt Siegl Leggera.

    On another note, I had no idea the Diavel was such a big seller. Kind of makes sense, given the way the economy is. It’s a bike for wealthier people, who by and large have faired a lot better in this economy. Seems like the only stuff that sells anymore is either expensive or dirt cheap, not much in between.

  6. Bruce says:

    How is expanding your product line a sellout to your original customer base? I could understand the accusation if they were replacing their sportbikes with cruisers, but they are not. Ducati still offers sport bikes for the traditional Ducatisti. And likely the Diavel brings in new money that supports the R&D of better sportbikes. And though I’m an Aprilia guy, I admire Ducati’s marketing and growth strategies from a business perspective.

  7. Jon says:

    The Diavel is an amazing machine. Most naysayers have yet to ride one in my experience. One test ride and my wife sold her Monster of 5 years for her Diavel. She chose the Strada for her needs and there is no other bike like it on the market. A perfect blend between a Monster and a Multistrada. A fantastic ride. We are not wealthy as one poster would suggest, but we are veteran riders and do not trifle with our motorcycle choices. Well worth the value in my opinion and nothing about this model cries “sell-out” to me. It is pure Ducati lust in an alternative flavor, but still boldly Ducati. The Monster, Multistrada, Hyper, and Diavel broaden their market but they are not chasing the masses as much as giving them a gift of excellence in design and execution no one else provides quite the same way. Thank you Ducati!

  8. L2C says:

    @ Bruce

    The Diavel is a cruiser. Thus the whole crossroads deal with the devil thing. And if you like cyberpunk, you can catch it on Person of Interest if you hang around long enough. Too bad about Carter, though. Show is noticeably flabby since she was killed off.

    Anyway, great looking bike. Definitely worth the drool.

  9. Gritboy says:

    Took an extended ride of the Diavel 2-years back. Well sorted out, but despite all the hype far less exciting than my FZ1. Not a fan of the styling either… but once behind the bars styling is less relevant.

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “Kind of makes sense, given the way the economy is. It’s a bike for wealthier people, who by and large have faired a lot better in this economy.”

    no kind of about it.

    re: “I could understand the accusation if they were replacing their sportbikes with cruisers, but they are not.”

    let’s see, 90V check, 4-valve water cooled check, desmodromics check, trellis frame check, SSA check, belt driven cams check.

    right then, if it walks like a duck…? and quacks like a duck…? IT’S A DUCATI. see what I did there…?

    re: “Ducati still offers sport bikes for the traditional Ducatisti”

    see entry for 1199, see entry for 899.

    re: “we are veteran riders and do not trifle with our motorcycle choices.”

    that’s damn right.

  11. arkangel says:

    @ JON

    “Well said, Sir” – I still found the DIAVEL’S clutch clunky – but the bike is an awesome ride..
    Test ride before you comment. I wish they also made a smaller version – that’s what I’d buy !
    But i’d also buy the MV 800 & An 899 & I’m waiting on the Ducati scrambler
    - as I live in Africa & there are cool off road places to visit on weekend rides
    ,

    Enjoy your bikes fellows

  12. JoeD says:

    Not impressed but to each his own.

  13. Jon says:

    @arkangel

    That Scrambler is going to be fun. I’ve never seen a company point itself in so many directions so quickly and achieve all their destinations so well. They are showing themselves to be a master of all trades.

  14. Westward says:

    Even the Wolverine rides a Diavel.

    My girl sat on a Diavel and liked that she could easily plant both feet firmly on the ground, plus she thought it felt lighter and easier to toss around.

    If I were into getting a cruiser, I’d no doubt get a Diavel…

  15. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    If Diavel makes money then it makes sense. …just so that they pour every penny back into their MotoGP program. Then ok.

    Don’t stop at cruisers. Can’t wait to see Ducati quads, lawnmowers, and weed whippers.

  16. Richard Gozinya says:

    @Chaz

    The Diavel, Monster, and every other non-sportbike that Ducati makes counters the financial blackhole that is their sportbike/MotoGP family. Though now that they’re owned by Audi, I’m guessing actual profitability might be required. The superbikes are neat and all, but they’ve been a financial loser for Ducati for decades, wouldn’t surprise me to see them stop making them entirely at some point.

  17. Smitch says:

    I dislike the Diavel more than most, and am firmly in the “no cruiser from Ducati” camp. But whatever, it’s like a Porsche Panamera in that it’s butt ugly but performs well and makes money. Necessary evil. I’ll still look smugly and subjectively down upon it! Ha!