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.

Spy Shot: Benelli 899 Cafe Racer Caught Testing?

10/26/2009 @ 9:13 am, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

Spy Shot: Benelli 899 Cafe Racer Caught Testing? Benelli 899 Cafe Racer spy shot 560x373

The French Magazine MotoRevue has a certain << je ne sais pas>> when it comes to finding the Benelli brood out and about before they hit the official press launches. This time around it appears they’ve caught a TnT 899 Cafe Racer going through its paces. While the new Benelli fills a whole in the 899/1130 parity, we’re still not sure about the rumors of this “little” bike. More after the jump.

A reduced capacity version of the 1130cc model, the 899 mimics the 1130 in just about every way, save for the fact it’s not available in the eye-catching Cafe Racer spec. Expected to come at a premium price over the base model of the 899 abroad, pricing in the US is hard to nail down.

Many dealers we’ve seen have not taken new stock of the Benelli line, some holding off for years as they continue to unload previous models (and then plan to close their support for the brand). With price-cuts happening around the country, we can’t imagine many people wanting to purchase a new TnT 899 Cafe Racer when they can pick up the 1130 version for less cash.

Until Benelli blesses us with the opportunity to try the new 899 out, we are also unable speak to the fact that the original TnT’s gremlins have been excised from the basic design. We know that headlights that cut-out at traffic lights due to over-heating is not something we look for in a premium class motorcycle, no matter how good it looks.

While we’re smitten with the over-all Benelli design, we’re still waiting to see if the Italian Chinese company can implement some better quality control, and improve its distribution channels with its new found financial backing.

Source: MotoRevue; Photo: Vincent Boyer

Comment:

  1. Matthew says:

    Yes, but why does it look just like a GSR600/B-King?

  2. Frog says:

    “<>”

    Stick to English if you don’t understand French…

  3. CarbonWarrior says:

    Matthew, If you’re not familiar with the Benelli TNT or it’s 1130 Cafe Racer, you should check it out. The styling has been similar since about 03 or so when the TNT came out as essentially a Naked version of their Tornado Superbike. I’m the first to admit that the design is a Love/Hate affair. Much like said BKing, it’s definitely aimed at the crowd who appreciates the styling of angular muscle wrapped around brutish torque. And as far as the “headlights that cut-out at traffic lights due to over-heating”… This author needs to educate himself on the finer points of the Benelli Design structure. The Headlight cuts out when the computer senses that the engine has been at an uninterrupted idle for in excess of 5 seconds. The headlight is then disabled to save charging voltage from the VERY limited charging system on the bike. As soon as the throttle is blipped or manipulated, the headlight comes back on, as the computer assumes you are now about to return to riding. Hope I’ve saved some face on Benelli… even IF they are an *ahem* ITALIAN manufacturer with CHINESE ownership. That’s like saying that Jaguars arent British any more because Ford owns them… Pish…

  4. Jenny Gun says:

    CarbonWarrior,

    I’m fully educated about the TnT, after nearly buying one for my personal transport. I’m EXTREMELY leery of a company that in my own words “paints over” a serious problem, and in the process creates another. The TnT does have charging issues, as well as cooling issues. In a prolonged stop the bike will begin to heat-up causing the fans to kick in, this draws power from the battery which isn’t being recharged sufficiently from the rectififier.

    So instead of fixing the charging issues, or the cooling issues (harder to do here because of the basic design of the bike), Benelli decided to half-ass it, and cut the headlight out when stop. Yes, it does come back on when you blip the throttle, but that doesn’t change the fact that at night your visibility is potentially reduced. It also doesn’t change the fact that you’re not address the underlying problem in the first place. That’s not good engineering in any book.

    For the amount of money one purchases a Benelli for, I hope one would expect a better quality product. I for one love the look of the Benelli, and wish they’d get their act together with their quality and the business side of their operations. But, I’m not going to give them a “get out of jail free” card because of it.

    This brand has amazing potential, but I’m still waiting to see if they can realize it with Qianjiang Motors backing them. I hope so, I really do.

  5. Nerve says:

    Educated about TNT’s you might be, but the backstab of the C word is pretty low class. Nobody called Ducati an american company when TPG owned them. You are right about the headlights cutting out, that is dangerous at night. But there is a fix available. My Tre 1130 has been reliable so far.

    I wish bike journalists stopped the tongue in cheek / “dont mention the germans” routine. In a different vain, Chinese put a man in orbit, a feat eclipsed only by their ability to feed all one billion of them in a time span of 20 years, famin having been the rule for millenia.

    They known they would kill their property if there was only a hint of fundamental involvement. Instead of moving engine assembly from Morini Motori to China, they moved it back to Pesaro. Shocks, calipers, chassis, engine … all are Italian, with exception of minor parts. What more can they do to stop the inuendo’s ?
    It’s a pity you didn’t buy the TNT. You would’ve loved it.

  6. terry norton says:

    I own a benelli tre-k and I am waiting for someone to get out of their car and hit me. this is due to the headlights going off when in traffic when the power is required to run the fans don’t believe that this done for your benfit as a rider this is so they do not have to upgrade the under powered charging system and battery as this only happens when the temp raises and the fan need to kick in . true they do come on when you turn the thottle but still not safe if headlights go out at night.
    build is cheap and cheerful love the bike but what a load of cheap skates build is worst than some of the bikes from china Em maybe that is where the problem lays 5000 miles rust appearing grips look like they have done 50,000 miles paint chips very easy love the bike but can see long term issues with the bikes appearancee see how it goes