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.

Up-Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR-M1

04/29/2013 @ 3:56 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 5 635x423

In case you missed our exhaustive coverage of the Grand Prix of the Americas, those fools at Dorna gave me pit lane access this MotoGP season. So while the whole paddock waits for the Spaniards to come to their senses, I don’t plan on wasting the opportunity to share with our readers our extreme access to motorcycling’s premier racing class. Accordingly, here comes another installment into our ever-continuing “Up-Close” series, featuring the very finest Iwata has to offer: the Yamaha YZR-M1.

Over the past few seasons, Yamaha has managed the power-deficit created by the Honda and Ducati machines by having ballerina like handling. Truly at home only when the machine was tipped-over to the extreme, the edge-grip and handling of the Yamaha YZR-M1 has been its counterpoint in the ongoing MotoGP-design argument.

A true GP bike, in the sense that it requires a riding style that has been cultivated from years of 125cc & 250cc two-stroke racing, the flowing lines of the M1 on the race track have been a stark contrast to the harsh point-and-shoot styles seen more so on the Ducati Desmosedici, but also more recently on the Honda RC213V as well.

However now with HRC having developed a seamless gearbox for the RCV, the battle of Honda’s motor vs. Yamaha’s chassis has changed. Where Yamaha riders used to beg the Japanese factory for more horsepower (they still do, by the way), they know find themselves asking for parts to combat the Honda’s ability to get on the power while still at extreme angles — an attribute once reserved only for the Tuning Fork brand.

Thirty 2000px-wide photos are waiting for you after the jump.

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 1 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 2 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 10 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 12 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 20 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 21 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 23 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 14 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 15 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Jorge Lorenzo Up Close 1 635x421

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 28 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 26 635x423

Up Close with the 2013 Yamaha YZR M1 Yamaha YZR M1 MotoGP Valentino Rossi Up Close 29 635x423

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

Comment:

  1. TexusTim says:

    very nice jason !…is that a pair of antenna stubs on the exhaust hanger ?

  2. Wil says:

    Any ideas on the arrow painted on the edge of the carbon front disc of Rossi’s M1? Seems to be pointing in the opposite direction to the wheel travel….

    The cause of the issue he suffered ? Or is that just too ‘conspiracy theory’ ?

  3. Wil says:

    Oh, AWESOME photos, by the way. Thanks from a big fan of A&R.

  4. The arrows are there to help the teams put the wheels and rotors on the bike for the correct direction (just about every motorcycle has these, if you look close enough). The arrow is following the correct path for the rotation of the wheel in all the photos (clockwise, when looked at from the right side of the bike).

    Thanks for reading A&R! Glad you like the photos.

  5. L2C says:

    Yep, love your work, JB!

  6. Mitch says:

    Interesting, all the ‘race’ aftermarket grips I see are the stippled pattern – but these look identical to OEM street bikes. I wonder what the functional difference is.

  7. TheSwede says:

    Awesome shots, these bikes are magnificent. I enjoyed the “Revs Your Heart” sticker, thanks for capturing that. It’s the little things..

  8. BBQdog says:

    The strange thing about the M1 is that it has actually a blank frame, while it looks like it has black anodizing on it. There is a black cover over the frame and you can only see it on certain areas where the cover is not nicely cut or fitting. The cover even contains some sort of ‘welds’. I first noticed this on the pictures of the Yamaha M1 2006 of Rossi.

  9. I’m not certain that’s the case…

  10. BBQdog says:

    Jensen, take a look at the 2006 pictures you published on your site. There are some pictures of
    the top of the frame and they have cut the ‘cover’ far more roughly than in this edition. On these picture
    here you can see that three ‘holes’ behind the clutch. One can clearly see that the larges of them is not nicely cut. Had it been machined it would have fit seamlessly. And on the gold anodized part below one can see the cover clearly separating the frame. You have to look close but I am 100% convinced this is the case.

  11. BBQdog says:

    Jensen, look for example at the picture published on A&R of the 2006 M1 called ‘ Valentino-Rossi-2006-Yamaha-YZR-M1-hi-res-08.jpg’. On that you can clearly see the cover had been very roughly cut with a k nife

  12. There are definitely tape “patches” in those photos, but it’s pretty obvious that the frame has also been powdercoated — to my eyes at least.

  13. BBQdog says:

    Jensen, just take a look at the 2006 bike.

  14. BBQdog says:

    What I mean is that for example on the 2006 bike one can clearly see the frame is not powdercoated or anodized as it is totally blank on the inside. Also all kind of cut outs in the cover are very roughly done. Look for example at those cut outs for those tiny hose connections on top of the frame in the middle. One could never cut a metal in this way. Look at those scratches made on the right side of the frame near the weld on top of the cover. That is some sort of plastic, not even carbon fibre. Why would Yamaha doe this:

    1) Commercial reasons as the road going supersports have black frames
    2) To hide frame technology from the opponent (place of the ACTUAL welds for example)
    3) To protect the frame

  15. foz101 says:

    These pics are excellent. Can’t beat a bit of detail.

    I tip my hat to you, sir.

  16. TexusTim says:

    jensen i looked for you at the race in Austin but I was working as a moto taxi driver and didnt get around too much….I had Marquez on the back of a yamaha after his high side in turn 19…i wonder if he noticed it wasnt a honda…lol

  17. Very nice! Thanks. Any chance you got up close with Moto3 bikes? Every GP bike is envious of those little bastards

  18. Tim, if you were the one that carted Marc back to the garage, then you saw me…you just didn’t know it. ;)

    I only shot a couple sessions from the track, and was either in the paddock or media center the rest of the time.

  19. pooch says:

    dang, i wish my bike was that clean…

    thing that struck me was how normal the grips looked. maybe it’s cause I just spent the evening cutting off the old half melted rubber from my 3 year old heated grips to put new rubber on it, has made me a little obssessed with grips for the time being, but they just looked like off the shelf numbers… was expecting something that looked faster :)