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 Two: A Little Late

09/06/2013 @ 2:45 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

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It is a good thing that Tim has roughly a decade of experience in what can be only described as my “lucid understanding regarding the passage of time.” Or to put it another way, when on Thursday morning I said, “I want to be on the road by 8am,” what I really meant was 11am…ehh, maybe 11:19am. So much for our early start out of Las Vegas, and any hope of avoiding the brain frying heat, but our spirits were high, and ultimately, our timetable is self-imposed.

Getting on the road, the miles went by considerably fast…as least as fast as they can when it is again 104 degrees outside. Despite this though, we just couldn’t overcome the setbacks created by our late departure. Instead of the 270 miles to Bryce Canyon, we had to settle for a much shorter 180 mile trip to Zion — not that we are complaining though.

Coming out the beautiful canyons in Arizona, along I-15, we crossed into Utah. We quickly diverted our route to a town called Hurricane, and onto State Route 9, which true to reports, was absolutely picturesque. If we hadn’t been under pressure to get into the Zion and get a campsite before they filled up, we easily could have spent a couple hours photographing the ten miles or so to the park entrance. Our rush was probably unnecessary, as the post-Labor Day crowds were non-existent in the park, but another long-day and ride into the night wasn’t something Tim or I cared to repeat.

After grabbing food from the local market, and setting up camp, I made my way back out to SR-9 in hopes of catching some of those missed shots, along with some aspiration that the sun setting against the mesa walls would provide even more spectacle. I was wrong in that endeavor, just as I was wrong about the balance point on the BMW R1200GS.

You see, while perfecting what I am sure will be the next great photography style while mounted on motorcycle (helmet and gloves still on), I shifted my weight to abruptly and tipped the GS over to the ground. The cylinder heads show a bit of bruising for my efforts in photography, but those marks are nothing compared to the bruises on my ego. Tim isn’t likely to let me forget it anytime soon as well.

Getting our first night under the stars, the weather is still hot and slightly humid. That is all supposed to change though, as cold and rainy weather awaits us. It sounds refreshing now, but like the rain in Mojave, we know it can be its own curse.

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

Comment:

  1. paulus - Thailand says:

    Looks great!
    Remember, if the bars didn’t touch down it not an ‘off’. ;)

    Advice on reducing the amount of heat experienced… start riding 15 minutes before sun up. Late morning starts are draining.

    Enjoy

  2. TexusTim says:

    Nice.looks like fun…any word on how the WSBK ducati test went with nicky hayden ???..thanx

  3. bemer2six says:

    my God man what is that you have in that red bag on the back of your bike does that expand in to a 2bed room home some thing? Lol You are going to get WET I just came back from around where your going the rain felt good tho. and don’t worry about the heat you’ll get used to it I live and ride in it every day. any way good luck have fun ride safe.

  4. KSW says:

    bemer2six,

    I know Jens will sleep anywhere for a story as I’ve been at the Isle of Man TT and he had not even a room.
    I’m betting its a 4 man tent and king size air mattress with more clothes then necessary.
    Jens send me the raw files when you get back and I’ll make them look amazing for the BroVenture Book. : )

  5. gabe says:

    Already dumped the bike? who are you, Wes Siler? bwahaha

    Living vicariously through these reports

  6. David says:

    WTH……you guys can’t get your ass going before 11AM!

    And then you can’t even knock out 270 miles to try and stay on schedule?

    So you settle for a measly 180 mile day. That’s nothing.

    You fooled me all this time. Your actually a photog/journalist and NOT a motorcycle rider.

    But that’s okay……you at least are making an effort at a motorcycle adventure. I give you credit for that.

    Just change the title to……N00B Broventure……please.

    Still…..I’m enjoying the updates.

    Good luck out there…..but please…..no pics of the monkey butt!…..if you happen to actually ride further than 200 miles in one day. :)

  7. Even in the great outdoors, we still encounter “that guy” on the internet. Glad you’re enjoying the trip updates David, it makes all the extra work/gear seem worthwhile.

  8. itksome says:

    Not to be “that guy” on the interwebs or anything but my wife is up and ready 5hrs before you when we go camping.

    And she puts on makeup!

    Anyway, keep up the good work. And be sure to check out Valley of the Gods. I had it all to myself in the Fall, back in 1988.

  9. nerve says:

    Valley of the Gods +1

    Arches is spectacular, but Mesa Verde was even more of a mind trip. Anasasi were sophisticated people.

    I love the United States, next time i’ll hire a bike.

    Enjoy the trip mr W , and be safe !

  10. nerve says:

    mr B, is what i meant ;)

  11. Andrei says:

    LOL! You guys are goofy. Nice job at dumping the GS… I moved to the Mormon state more than a decade ago from San Diego and this only confirms my opinion that these guys are hogging the prime real estate… :-) Utah really is an incredible place to ride…

    Make sure you hit HWY 12. And if you have some time in the future, hit up Mote Cristo Rd… 55 miles of Rad that puts Palomar and anything in Borrego in the sorry closet… :-)

  12. Peter D says:

    I don’t get this fixation on high mileage days as making it a true adventure ride. I recently took my SuperTen on a loop through WA-ID-WA. On two of the days I did 350-400 miles per; two of the days I did much less.
    On the longer distance days I kept riding by places that looked interesting but said nah I’ve got to keep going to point B. On the shorter mileage days, I actually made some turnoffs and explored a few nooks and crannies (and got dirt on my tires) . Guess which days I enjoyed the most? Does that not make me a real motorcycle adventurer?

  13. "That Guy" says:

    Looking forward to day 3 and seeing how your thin skin is holding up to the torture of this Broventure. :)

    Seriously…..enjoying the updates and the pics.