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.

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike

12/19/2013 @ 6:47 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally studio 06 635x423

Yamaha Racing has officially debuted its 2014 Rally race team, which is being spearheaded by Cyril Despres, the five-time Dakar Rally winner who was formerly of KTM fame. Despres hopes to defend his latest Dakar Rally win, despite swapping orange for blue, and today is our first formal viewing of the 2014 Yamaha YZ450F Rally bike with his livery.

This year’s Dakar Rally goes through Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile and will be a longer and tougher route than in past years. With KTM debuting a now purpose-built racing machine, the KTM 450 Rally, and HRC also fielding its refined Honda CRF450 Rally, Yamaha and Despres will have their work cutout for them in defending the Frenchman’s number one plate.

Team Blue has prepared itself though, taking many inputs from Despres and incorporating them into the 2014 bike’s design. We won’t know how it will go at the Dakar Rally course until January 5th, but from the pictures we have now, it sure looks the business.

“Right now we are in the final phase of preparations before leaving for South America and its pretty busy around here!” said Despres. “I have an intensive training routine that I have established with my coach and it takes up a large chunk of the day. Then there’s interviews to do, last minute details to sort out with the team, a million little details to attend to, not least of which is analyzing the 2014 route. Obviously we only get the road book the day before we race a stage so the info we have is limited.”

“It is clear is that the 2014 edition is going to be a particularly tough one. Marathon stages means no outside mechanical assistance at the bivouac and so on those days you try and protect the bike as much as possible. Bike only routes means that the organizers can take you places where the cars can’t go, so you know the riding will be more technical and usually more physically demanding.”

“The extra 1000km speak for themselves! And of course this year the bikes will go into Bolivia for the first time. On some of the other stages we have a pretty good idea of what to expect but for Bolivian stages we have absolutely no idea and even if we wanted to go and have a look we couldn’t because all reconnaissance is banned. What we do know is that they will be very demanding.”

“For a start some of it’ll be raced at 4000m and at those altitudes the air’s pretty thin. Then Bolivia is both ‘marathon’ and ‘bike only’, so doubly complicated. But demanding is fine by me. What attracted me to rally-raid in the first place is the challenge and the harder it is the happier I am.”

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally studio 02 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally studio 03 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally studio 05 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally studio 12 635x952

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally still 02 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally still 03 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally action 04 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally action 05 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally action 07 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally action 08 635x423

Photos: Cyril Despres & His Yamaha YZ450F Rally Race Bike Cyril Despres Yamaha YZ450F Rally action 09 635x423

Source: Yamaha Racing

Comment:

  1. paulus says:

    Best of luck Cyril, 2014… it’s a tough sport!
    Really tests the riders and equipment… off-road is awesome.

  2. Matt says:

    I’m curious if RedBull only allows a certain amount of bill curvature on the hats of their sponsored athletes? It might be a contractual thing?

  3. Kaw4Life says:

    Few years back, he got off course then got stuck in mud. Another rider got stuck right next to him, that rider helped the Frenchman out, hit favor was not returned. The guy stood there amazed as the French ride rode off.

    Later on race direction (mostly french) waved the time penalty of the French rider but not the Spanish rider fighting for the lead.

    My point …..

    I was never a big fan of Yamaha but now I am even less of one.

  4. Joe says:

    As a KTM fan, it’s a sad sight seeing Cyril on a blue bike.

  5. DR350 says:

    @ Kaw4Life:

    Sorry, but what you say is completely false: The way they edited the images together and broadcast them didn’t reflected how it really happened. Read more about it and you’ll see for yourself. No offense was taken from the Portuguese rider (not Spanish), as other riders had arrived and were helping him when Despres took off. And Paulo Goncalves (the Potuguese rider) wasn’t fighting for the lead (was running 10th overall at that time if I remember), but Despres was fighting for the lead. And Despres (as other riders) was compensated not for being stuck in the mud, but because the organisers had to change the route to avoid this mud bath that wasn’t indicated in the road book (due to heavy rain the night before), and that could have caused the following competitors a real nightmare. They were just following the rules…

  6. Kaw4Life says:

    @DR350

    Was refering to Coma being docked time. Don’t remember the details, just my impression from the time.

  7. 6330 says:

    @ DR350 You are correct.
    The stage was a washout.

    Go Cyril!

  8. DR350 says:

    @Kaw4Life

    You are right, Coma was leading overall when it happened. I’m not a fan of any rider or brand in particular, I just think this all “mudgate” was blown out a proportion, and Despres was wrongfully accused. The false story made the big title in the media, but as usual, when the truth came out, nobody talked about it… Shame on the person who did the video editing. ; )

    Maybe the compensation time given to Despres (and the other riders) was a bit unfair to Coma, but those are the rules…. And if I remember correctly, Coma did not played fair the year before, when he hid and illegally changed a tire during a stage… So fair is fair… Haha!!

    Anyway, the next Dakar will be exceptional I believe. Honda is 2013 rally world champion with a new machine and excellent riders, KTM is as strong as ever (R.I.P Caselli), and Yamaha has one of the very best rally rider today. If only they can provide him with a reliable machine… (2 nights with no assistance this year).

    Cheers!

  9. yamaha fan says:

    Is the cylinder head reversed?

  10. 6330 says:

    Sure is.
    2013 design.