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.

2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Ben Spies Race Replica – For French Eyes Only?

05/12/2010 @ 6:30 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

2010 Yamaha YZF R1 Ben Spies Race Replica   For French Eyes Only? Yamaha YZF R1 Ben Spies race replica 560x315

In order to get ready for MotoGP’s stop at Le Mans in two weeks, Yamaha France has released a special promotional package and four (both in variety and total production) race replica motorcycles on its website. We’ve already seen the American Fiat-Yamaha R1 LE, with its race livery and fake Rossi signature, but the new race rep’s from Yamaha France will feature paint schemes from both the Fiat-Yamaha and Monster Tech3 Yamaha teams. For the added €1,000 price tag the race replica’s demand, they’re actually a pretty good value, especially when compared to the American YZF-R1 LE. More on that after the jump.

We here in the United States are pretty lucky considering the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 retails for only $13,290 ($14,500 for the LE), when in France the base model R1 retails at €15,990, (€16,990 for these LE’s). At the current exchange rate, that’s quite a pretty penny for sportbike, so obviously adding to that cost is going to hurt the pocketbook only more so. However for that added metric grand, you get not only a Yamaha R1 in one of your MotoGP rider’s race liveries, but also the following:

  • Bike seat cover with the official team colors bearing the number of pilot
  • Pair of YEC racing levers
  • Replica helmet of the MotoGP rider whose race replica you’ve chosen (which can be signed by that rider was well)
  • Official Yamaha team shirt,
  • 2 paddock passes paddock at Le Mans for the Moto GP weekend
  • “Wild card” track day with Yamaha instructors
  • Certificate of authenticity and a plaque attached to specific authentication framework makes these machines truly unique.

The bikes will also be hand-delivered at Le Mans by the four Yamaha GP riders, which is probably worth the price of admission right there. Clearly the promotion is a hit, as the Rossi and Spies replicas have been locked in already. Lorenzo’s bike has been reserved (we’re assuming only payment is pending), and the Edwards replica is still available (probably for only a couple more seconds). If only we could get these kind of promotions in the United States, maybe the Fiat-Yamaha R1 LE would look like a better bang for the buck.

We really hope that Yamaha brings the Spies/Edwards color combo out to the United States, where you know…Colin and Ben are actually from, which makes this probably the only time a bunch of Texan motorcycle racing fans will wish they were French. Touché France, you win this round.

Source: Yamaha France

Comment:

  1. Blake says:

    I think I might pass out if Spies or Rossi road up on the bike and handed me the keys. At least I could say one of the best had ridden my bike.

  2. 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1 Ben Spies Race Replica – For French Eyes Only? – http://aspha.lt/10f #motorcycle

  3. Voodoovaj says:

    Don’t forget that the French limit their motorcycle to 100hp. You would have to be monumentally impaired to buy a sport bike in France.

  4. Mickey says:

    French people buying japanese motorcycles with American flags on them. Who knew it could happen

  5. ludofrenchalpes says:

    argh 100ch maudit :( vous avez raison oui je suis français ;) nous avons laisser s éteindre une belle moto VOXAN , mais scorpa sherco ,je n’oublie pas la belle wakam ( moteur S&S ) , lazareth … tech3
    j’aime les buell …………
    je voudrais tant un C1 ( FULL)
    je pense que ce monsieur à le “chic” de comprendre une globalité et de vous faire comprendre celle-ci , point par point .
    oui , la moto ( quelle qu’elle soit pour la piste ) la sécurité bien-sur passe par la maitrise de tous les points . le plaisir est au bout !! parfois, le drapeau à damier est pour vous, les autres sont loin .
    il à déjà marquer son époque …

  6. BikePilot says:

    I can’t say I’m too fussed over it. The graphics scheme is really pretty dreadful to my eyes. The green monster logo really clashes with the otherwise straight, clean likes that are typical of Yamaha. I also don’t really get the aesthetic principle that makes purely cosmetic replicas popular – seems like yelling hey look at me, I’m a fake!

  7. declan88 says:

    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/bikes/2010-yamaha-yzf-r1-ben-spies-race-replica/

    Anyone tried the BT016s on their R1?

    I find them f’kin dreadful compared to the 014s which were sticky, warmed quickly, scrubbed in quikcly from new and were well planted round motorway/ autobahns at any angle and any speed. The 016s on the other hand are veeeery jittery on the same suspension settings, and slide with even a little too much breaking even in only mild damp. F’kin crap. Going back to to the 014s if at all poss after I’ve blistered the tread of these slippy rags. I was out on advanced course and the things slide 5 m at some red ligthts (straight line stop, not too heavy braking) and stepped out on a narrow country lane (admiteddly peeing down rain) and deposited me in a hedge. I may as well had a scooter at the rate I could go. Is the 016 an 021 in the middle, and and stickier things at the edges. (I tried an 021 once on the back. Never again. It was terrifying – no feeling of grip at all).