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.

Broventure Update – Day Four: No Halfway Measures

09/10/2013 @ 10:08 am, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

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Tim and I are sportbikers through and through, having cut our riding teeth on the canyon roads that are just inland of Santa Barbara, CA. So while the main goal for this trip is to get our feet dirty on the off-road trails of Moab, we both have been looking forward to today’s stretch of our route.

Our course promises not only to have corner-after-corner of fast and clean sweepers, but also some epic views as we summit and decend the mountains, and cut our way through the rock desert. Utah did not disappoint in this regard as we left Bryce Canyon National Park and headed to Moab, Utah along SR-12, SR-24, and SR-191. The fourth day of our eight day trip, it was hard to believe that by the end of the day we would have halfway completed our trip.

Leaving Bryce Canyon, we got a jump on the rainstorm that was headed our way, and thankfully our route had us circumvent the thunderhead clouds that perpetually loomed in the distance. Full of sunshine, we put the GS and Ténéré through their paces on the pristine road that is SR-12.

Headed east, the calling to ride and get into Moab during the daylight overcame the need to document our, so I will apologize in advance for the lack of photos on this part of the trip. When we get back home, I will have to grab some stills from the ride footage on the GoPro cameras to give you all a full understanding of what we had the pleasure of experiencing.

If words will suffice, deep canyon paths gave way to forest-laden trails, and at one point the roadway straddling the back of a narrow ridge, with the ground giving way on either side of the tarmac — a strange and surreal experience, and only one of the many sights that makes this route one of the top motorcycling roads in the country.

Pushing onward, the forest slowly gave way to the desert terrain that predominates SR-24, a rocky desert that replaces the traditional stone with gravel. As we got farther from the biker’s paradise that is SR-12, and closer to Goblin Valley State Park, we shed our layers and pressed forward to I-70 and SR-191, the latter of which would take us into Moab, Utah.

At this point, the 100 degree heat again became unbearable, and we had already cleared a gallon of water between the two of us since lunch. So when we found a campsite along the Colorado river, off SR-128, it was like some great weight had been lifted off our shoulders. While our thoughts of swimming in its murky waters were dashed, with no access to be found from our campsite that rested just 10 feet from the water’s edge (heavy brush, blocked our way, seemingly on purpose), we changed into shorts and were thankful to have the day’s riding over.

Making camp, we rehydrated, and set-off in the late-afternoon for Arches National Park, which was just a couple miles up the road. It was nearing the end of the day, but the light provided enough opportunity to stop and explore some of the many sights along the park’s main route, and the cooling night made for a pleasant evening atmosphere.

Arches is full of tall red rock outcroppings, that seemingly rise from the ground at will at the most random spots. Getting its name from the archways scattered through the park, we had the chance to explore these great structures, which have been forged over the course of centuries of tectonic plate movement and erosion from wind and rain.

With the sun setting on another long day of riding, we checked the our mileage count on our bikes. 1,000 miles done, and now properly at the halfway point of our Broventure. Tomorrow we plan to tackle the off-road trails that flank the Colorado River, and see what this whole adventure-touring thing is about. With rain clouds in the night sky though, things could get interesting.

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Photos: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & RubberCreative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Elton says:

    I’ve been following this adventure since planning. I don’t like admitting envy, so let’s just say that I’m incredibly inspired! I am looking forward to touring all over this country one day… we have some amazing roads and scenery.

    Enjoy fellas.

  2. DeezToolz says:

    @Tim- Good Sonos plug.

    Because it’s wireless!!!! Oh, I kill me.

    I second Elton’s sentiment.

  3. Paulo says:

    Trust me…….go south on the main road thru Moab, make a right turn at the McDonalds and just keep going until you stop at chicken corner. It will only take the better part of the day and if you want to explore more you can also see Hurrah Pass. Remember, the road ends….literally at Chicken Corner. That will give you a good test of bike and man

  4. paulus - Thailand says:

    Looking forward to seeing the upcoming off-roading part of the adventure.
    Stay safe, have fun