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: It’s Multistrada 1200, Not Stradaperta

10/18/2009 @ 9:00 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Rumor: Its Multistrada 1200, Not Stradaperta 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 dirt jump

UPDATE 2: Get the latest news on the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 here.

UPDATE: Ducati has officially announced the Multistrada 1200 name, no word on model variations.

The usually accurate folks at SoloMoto have broken an interesting plot twist to the ever unfolding drama of the soon to be released Stradaperta, and that is the bike is to be called instead the Multistrada 1200. Taking the nomenclature of the machine it replaces, Ducati is allegedly hoping to build of the reputation and brand that the Multistrada motorcycle has made in the industry. With this break, also comes news that four variations of the motorcycle will be offered. More on that after the jump.

Still unconfirmed, the name change has been popping up on a few sites that are usually well informed, and according to SoloMoto the Multistrada badge has all but been confirmed by Ducati. We can see from a brand point-of-view why this move might make sense, leveraging an existing mark instead of creating a new one. However, given the Multistrada’s love/hate reception, stepping away from the MS name might do more good than bad. Who knows what the thought process in Bologna is right now, maybe they have a lot of extra “Multistrada” shirts laying around that they want to sell. We however, would prefer to see a 180 on this decision by the time the bike is debuted at the EICMA show in Milan.

SoloMoto30 is also rumoring that the Multistrada 1200 will feature a single injector per cylinder (down from the 1198 powerplant’s usual 2 injectors per cylinder), and will thus make 130hp. This is also a 180 in the news we’ve heard about the new Ducati adventure bike. Originally rumored at 1200cc’s, subsequent news has pegged the bike to follow in the footsteps of the Streetfighter, taking on the leftover 1098cc motors from the 2008 Superbike line. A 1198cc isn’t completely unreasonable from a product parity perspective, since the BMW R1200GS comes in a similar size. Additionally, the motor choice could make sense from a supply-chain perspective if Ducati is able to finish out its run of 1098cc motors with the Streetfighter line-up through 2010. Ducati can still enjoy a large common parts bin with the 1198cc motor in the new Multistrada, and what we suspect will be a 2011 Streetfighter 1198.

The big news coming out of this rumor though is the suggestion of a four model line-up. In standard Ducati form, there is almost certainly going to be a base model, and an “S” model, which features more carbon pieces, perhaps more power, and the ubiquitous Öhlins suspension. It also seems certain that the “S” model will get the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) system, Ducati Data Analyzer (DDA), and a disengageable anti-lock brake system (ABS).

Adding to these models though are two others: the “T” (touring), and “R” (rocks) models. The “T” model will come with two or three hard saddle bags standard, a larger windscreen (possibly adjustable), and other touring options found standard in the industry (plugs for heated garments, etc). The “R” model will be the last of the models to be released, and may feature a 19″ front wheel instead of the 17″ wheel we’ve seen in the Multistrada’s off-road photos. The “R” model will also include parts to help protect the bike further from dirt, rocks, and debris.

Needless to say if you’ve read this far, there are a lot of rumors being thrown out here. We’re not certain on how much of this will turn-out to be truthful, but if anything else, it is illustrative of the number of niche markets Ducati can possibly fill with their new adventure bike, regardless of what they call it. We think there would be a bit of confusion in Ducati’s naming convention if the “R” version stood for “rocks” and not “racing”, also the idea that a separate model needs to exist for a touring option seems confusing, when a robust accessories selection could just as easily fill the need. Maybe not the best rumor we’ve heard lately in plausibility, but the name change does seem to have some grounding in truth. As always, time will tell on this one. See you in November Stradaperta Multistrada 1200.

Source: SoloMoto 30

Comment:

  1. Rumor: It's Multistrada 1200, Not Stradaperta http://bit.ly/4ETtBd

  2. Rumor: It's Multistrada 1200, Not Stradaperta – http://bit.ly/GwP7J #motorcycle

  3. This is perhaps the most laughable rumor I’ve heard so far. For a start the 1198 range only has a single injector per throttle body (save for the limited edition 1098R) so Solo Moto isn’t looking too strong on this one. My rebuttal is below.

    http://www.ducatinewstoday.com/2009/10/ducati-multistrada-not-dead-afterall/

  4. Jenny Gun says:

    Mark,

    I would probably agree with your argument, save for the fact there seems to be a lot of suggestion the Multistrada name will live on with this bike.

  5. Jenny,

    You are right about the speculation. It seems that Ducati has truly not yet made up its mind yet!

  6. I have to eat humble pie, Multistrada 1200 it is. Ducati is now officially teasing the new bike.

  7. Jenny Gun says:

    It happens to all of us Mark. Nice job breaking the story!

  8. Aaron says:

    Some slightly enhanced stills from the video give a better look at the front end… http://tr.im/DDbH
    It’s errr… visually interesting. I guess it does live up to the Multistrada name.

  9. julzczar says:

    Woow ,Woow freakin wait a min!!! Ducati is makin a 1198 Streetfigher whats the truth % rate on that …. ? and can you please give me specifics // details adout when u can start putting in your orders…. seriously??????

  10. @julzczar: probably this time next year? there has been no official announcement, but we have good sources stating that Ducati sees an 1198 powerplant in the SF’s future.

  11. It is a certainty that the SF will gain the 1198 engine since the Multistrada used it. It means the 1098 powerplant is end of life