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.

Electronics Coming to the MV Agusta F4 in 2013?

06/20/2012 @ 2:27 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Electronics Coming to the MV Agusta F4 in 2013? 2012 mv agusta f4 635x423

Ahead of its yearly gathering of MV Agusta enthusiasts (this year marking 60 years of the famous brand), the Italian company’s CEO Giovanni Castiglioni sat down with Moto.it to answer some questions about the state of the company, the upcoming MV Agusta Rivale, and the future MV Agutsa F4. While Castiglioni confirmed the name of the company’s upcoming street-bike-meets-enduro model, perhaps the most interesting insight was the company’s philosophy on the F4 design, and what the next model year could hold for one of the industry’s most iconic motorcycles.

Comparing MV Agusta’s design philosophy regarding the F4 to that of car-marker Porsche’s 911, Castiglioni hinted that the MV Agusta F4 will go largely unchanged for the 2013 model year, though the addition of a robust electronics package is expected, especially since the MV Agusta F3 already boasts the aid of traction control, and other rider aids. As the lines of the 911 have remained fairly constant, so too will the lines of the F4, says Castiglioni, who insists the bike will retain its under-tail exhaust layout in the long-run, as well as its overall aesthetic.

MV Agusta isn’t the only Italian motorcycle company to take a page out of the Porsche handbook, as Ducati has often compared its product line-up strategy to that of the German automaker’s. MV seems to be taking a different vein from Porsche though, as Castiglioni’s thought process seems to be centered around the F4 keeping its fairly timeless design, as has been done with the Porsche 911 sports car — an issue we have pointed to when chastising MV Agusta for its current very conservative approach to design.

This is a stark contrast to the intrepid steps Ducati has undertaken in expanding its superbike-centered brand, into a house of models that range the full motorcycling gamut. With the advent of the MV Agusta F3, it is unclear if MV Agusta is willing to make the same bold model choices that Ducati has done with the Hypermotard, Multistrada 1200, and Diavel. The designs of the F3 and Brutale 675 stay very true to their larger predecessors, and the new MV Agusta Rivale concept is expected to stay close to the Brutale design ethos, with perhaps only longer-travel suspension being added, as well as other parts that are better suited for an on-road/off-rod split-personality.

While we remain very cautious about MV Agusta’s long-term prospects, it is at least interesting to see how the Italian company is positioning itself for the future. An up-hill battle to be certain, we presume that even the most tepid of MV Agusta fans still cannot wait to see what Varese is going to bring to EICMA in this coming November.

Source: Moto.it

Comment:

  1. Giova says:

    I hope Mv Agusta does well, because they make the best looking motorcyles in the world.

  2. AndrewF says:

    I think MV already have a very good, attractive and iconic design and they are right not wanting to mess with it. Nor do they have the resources to launch a dozen of completely new bikes. I think they should concentrate on getting the existing models out the door, in particular F3 and mini Brutale based on it (whatever the name of that one was supposed to be). Sort out the fuel map and get that sucker out the door in numbers! Once they generate some cash flow they can worry about new designs.

  3. MikeD says:

    I think Andrew more less nailed it. They just don’t have the money to do anything “forward-leaping” at this time…unlike Porsche…that even tho they refuse to mess with the 911 “Philosophy” they still march forward getting into new niches and bringing new products (Panamera, Cayenne, etc)…and then there’s the whole financial back-up of the VW Group and…

    A good model too would be to look at Triumph’s strategy…they have a piece of the pie in almost all sectors…it won’t be done from one day to another but it can be done…u have to diversify and xploit other niches…if are a motorcycle company and you wan’t to survive…selling only super expensive high end superbikes,supersports and sporty nakeds will only take u so far…i understand that MVs are not suposed to be for mass consupmtion…but drastic times call for drastic measures.

    MV should concentrate on getting their shiznit togheter on it’s current crop ( is the F3 on show rooms already ? In the U.S.A ? ) and refine and refine their bread and butter current products and sell as many as possible to stay out of the red, try to tap new markets, try to reach more to the “abundant” Joe Rider and it’s HARD EARNED cash dollars…and not so much to “scarce” Ricky Rich poser boy and it’s “non-existent anymore easy credit” and try to make a PROFIT…Keyword: PROFIT.

    I think a techno-loaded F4 won’t do any harm if done PROPERLY like Aprilia and its RSV4 Factory APRC.
    After all, electronic aids seems to be the new HP Wars of 2010-2020.

  4. TonyS says:

    They need to get their dealer network together. I live NYC, where the hell do I buy (and service) an MV Augusta?

  5. Jesze says:

    Good Bimota? :(

  6. MikeD says:

    @Jesze:

    ? Would u mind elaborate a bit more there ?
    Are u implying that Bimota is doing rather good compared to MV or ?
    I haven’t done any research about them…but i would venture myself and take an un-educated guess here and say that Bimota too must be in the “crapper” if not running towards it…u know, “oh shit moment”, lol…all these Boutique ITALIAN Brands are always “running around with their hair on fire” financially. Even Ducati that have been doing “good” lately they have a debt that VW inherited when they purchased Ducati.
    Seems like all these “hyper brands” their specialty is BLEED MONEY…sooner or later…shit, even the big dogs are suffering from it.

  7. SuryaD says:

    What MV needs to do is to evolve their designs and I am not talking about their looks because I find the older models are better looking for the F4 especially. Brutale, F3 etc MV have gotten it right. But then it’s time to look at the mechanicals. Sure everyone has traction control these days. MV needs to get their fueling and the electronics sorted. Period. Every magazine slams the F4 the new ones especially for having shitty fueling.

    That said I own an 07 F4 Senna 1000R. It still is the most visceral bike riding experience even over the new RRs. If they can keep that visceral raw feeling with lighter weight, sorted electronics and fueling, then job done MV.