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.

Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – Christmas Comes Late in Italy

01/12/2011 @ 4:57 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS

Ducati Desmosedici GP11   Christmas Comes Late in Italy Valentino Rossi Scream Ducati Desmosedici GP11 635x423

If you are a Ducati owner, Valentino Rossi Fan, Italian, or have more than a passing interest in MotoGP, then today is the day you’ve had marked on your 2011 calendar (with perhaps the Valencia test being the date of 2010). Finally released from his contractual obligations with Yamaha, Valentino Rossi can officially begin his duties working for Ducati Corse this week, and Ducati has already capitalized on the moment by showing off Rossi’s new leathers to great fanfare. Now the pièce de résistance and the end to our torment, Ducati has finally debuted the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 at the 2011 Wrooom media event, a joint launch event between Ferrari and Ducati held in the Dolomite Mountains.

The styling straight from the 1980′s comes courtesy of Aldo Drudi (the same man that does Rossi’s helmets), and is “colorful” when said politely, and may be responsible for already causing a seizure when viewed in-person. With 70 engineers toiling away in Ducati Corse’s sequestered part of the Italian factory, the Ducati race team has been hard at work to improve upon the GP10.

Neon paint aside, the most noticeable change is the refined fairings, which are more aerodynamic and have noticeably smaller winglets than last year’s GP10, but the bulk of what sets the GP11 apart from the GP10 lies beneath the fairing, in a motor that has to be announced as either the “Big Bang” or “Screamer”. “The main changes are in the engine, they are internal and external and are designed to achieve a more favourable, flatter torque,” said Team Boss Filippo Preziosi. “The aim of the changed aerodynamics is to reduce friction, therefore improving the maximum speed while reducing the lifting of the front wheel.”

Ducati Corse has also been playing around with a variety of new chassis setups, and have developed a bevy of carbon fiber frames that vary in rigidity and torsion strength. Ideally different frames will suit different tracks, and will allow for more adjustability on the GP11 as it gets developed in the off-season, and during the racing schedule. “With the chassis we have a different rigidity and torsion, and a swingarm with a different stiffness too. We are making a new fork for Sepang, adapted to the suspension for 2011.”

“In terms of electronics we are mainly working on anti-wheelie and traction control. We will be at Jerez from January 17th-19th with Franco Battaini and Vittoriano Guareschi, who will be on track.”

Talking about Rossi’s contributions to the Desmosedici GP11, Preziosi said that “[Rossi] is telling the technicians a lot of very precise information, the most surprising thing is how he is able to put everyone in a very calm mood and ready to work and analyse all the data. This is something very difficult to do when you are under pressure. We are also very happy because Jerry (Burgess) and the other guys have linked very well with our guys. They have great experience and we are trying to add our experience together to make a better bike.”

“I want to thank Yamaha again because they allowed Valentino to test, which was really important for us because we had a lot of priorities to work on. After that we could put them in the right order, so now we are working on the parts that we decided were priorities.”

Technical Specifications of Ducati Desmosedici GP11

Engine : 4-stroke, 90 degree V4, liquid cooled, desmodromic double shaft overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder.

Displacement : 799cc

Maximum power : Over 200hp

Maximum speed : Over 310 km/h

Transmission : 6-speed extractable Exchange, with alternative gear ratios available. Clutch Dry multiplate slipper clutch. Chain final drive.

Supply : Magneti Marelli indirect electronic injection, four throttle bodies with injectors above butterfly valves.Throttles operated by EVO TCF (Throttle Control & Feedback).

Fuel : Shell V-Power Racing

Lubricant : Shell Advance Ultra 4

Ignition : Magneti Marelli

Exhaust : Termignoni

Final drive : Chain

Chassis : Carbon fiber.

Suspension : Öhlins 48mm upside-down and Öhlins rear shock, adjustable for preload, compression, and rebound damping.

Tires : Bridgestone, Front and Rear 16.5 “

Brakes : Brembo, two 320mm carbon front discs with 4 piston calipers. Single stainless steel rear disc with dual-piston caliper.

Dry Weight : 150kg (330.1 lbs)

Source: Ducati

Comment:

  1. buellracerx says:

    is it just me or does the in-person hot pink/fluorescent yellow look better than tv red/yellow?

    …oddly reminiscent of winston cup paint schemes from the early 90′s, though(??)

  2. ahpek says:

    ayoyo pink color aaaaaa…..

  3. jake318 says:

    Has Ducati witched to a carbon fiber frame/chassis or are they talking about prototypes ?
    Ducati had problems with the carbo fiber swingarm to the point in which they went back to a traditional billet aluminum unit later going back yet again to the carbon fiber swingarm .
    the point is it took roughly 2 years to develop.dont get me wrong, I love to see new designs comming out and build radical race bikes myself . But at tis time I cant see taking on the juggernaught of trying to develop th first CF chassis ( motorcycle chassis design is 10x harder then auto design due to many more forces at many more angles ) When Ducati hasnt even fixed its front end grip problem on the traditional chassis AND right now being the world has there eye on Ducati success is criticle

  4. KK says:

    i thought AMG was supposed to be a major sponsor? looks like they one tiny little sticker on the nose, hmmmm

  5. KK says:

    oh and the smaller one on the side, none the less

  6. Fernando says:

    Ducati has had the carbon fiber frame running for at least 2010 i dont remember before, i do remember the swingarm rpoblems but i know they switched to a frame.

  7. gildas says:

    The problem with alu is that it degrades over time and the problem with carbon is that you always have suprises (CAD simulation has it’s limits)…

  8. RSVDan says:

    Ducati introduced the carbon “frame” in 2009 with the GP9. While they did momentarily switch back to an aluminum swinger in an effort to fight the pumping issues the bike was having on acceleration, I believe only Nicky ran it, and quickly switched back to the CF unit. What I find interesting is the mention of running different headstocks and swingarms to vary the flex at individual tracks as needed. I don’t believe that has been done in the past. Not something you could easily do with a conventional twin spar aluminum frame.

  9. RSVDan says:

    And for those freaking out over the hot pink livery, I am fairly certain that is down to the phone used to record that. Look at the rest of the colors in the video. The are all off. Either that, or everyone in that shot is the walking dead. Take a look at the studio photos and you see it is still a fairly traditional red.

  10. David says:

    Am I the only one who sees Peanut Butter Cups?

  11. Ades says:

    Anyone notice that Nicky’s bike is different to Rossi’s? Have a look at the rear cowling and intakes. From on angle, the back end of Rossi’s bike looks like it is shorter by a couple of inches. When you look at where each bikes back lines up with the rear tyre, they are different. The intakes either side of the rear cowling are much smaller on Rossis bike as well.

    Also the angle of the front screen on Nicky’s bike is steeper than Rossi’s.

    I’m pretty sure Nicky will have noticed this………

  12. AMG is the official car sponsor. People blew that announcement up because Fiat was rumored to be leaving Yamaha (which then actually happened). Because it’s never advertised, it often goes overlooked that Marlboro is the title sponsor of the team. AMG was never going to supplant them in that role. Same goes for Diesel and Acer who have also recently signed onto the squad.

  13. pokheng says:

    jensen:
    so who then will sponsoring team Yamaha(lorenzo+spies)?Yamaha didn’t make any statement about that…is it Air Asia??

  14. gnmac says:

    SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!!!!

  15. Tom says:

    I simply cannot believe that this team is not sponsored by McDonald’s.

  16. Jake Fox says:

    Ahh, that explains the Diesel logo on the front of Rossi’s windscreen.

  17. RGR says:

    pokheng – you must have missed this one:

    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/banter/jorge-lorenzo-rockstar/

    Lorenzo is now a Rockstar.

  18. MikeD says:

    The Yellow Portions look tacky… i don’t care if that’s “his” color, IT don’t blend. IT looks like a super fast and furious STEAMY PILE of Shiznit.

    Nicky’s is way cleaner… but still not feeling the wide lower white stripe ( like a fat chic on a white loose dress ) doesn’t help at all to make it “seem” slim.

    I think someone mentioned the “new” paint scheme looks retro………yup, im starting to see it too.

    Then again, beauty is on the eye of the beholder…lol.

  19. 76 says:

    I’m all good with the new bikes, your not going to miss that on the track that is fore sure. Does its job well but nothing revolutionary. Next up Yamaha, lets see where they take the M1

  20. 76 says:

    BTW, is it me or does Rossi need a tan? Looking alittle pasty my friend

  21. ML says:

    If Marlboro is still the title sponsor, where is their logo?

  22. @ML Tobacco advertising laws do not allow Marlboro’s logo on the bike. Traditionally the team has run the barcode logo for Marlboro, but even that is being cracked down on this year (Marlboro was down to just a white stripe in Formula 1, and I believe now that’s even gone).

    @ RGR It looks like Rockstar is a personal sponsor of Lorenzo’s, not a team sponsor.

  23. tingtong says:

    who knows what Japanese word’s mean at the right side of Rossi’s bike?

  24. tingtong says:

    Yamaha still doesn’t have any sponsor yet from other brand….
    poor them…
    this thing happen to the team that is defending champion 2010 ..
    so strange i think..

    this is absolutely show that how big is Rossi’s influence in Motogp..
    unable contested by any riders…
    he’s the legend….

    for me, Ducati team are very auspicious with Rossi in their camp…
    not only for the race, but also in motorcycle marketing…
    they can use Rossi’s magic touch to build a superbike that more powerful than Japanese..
    of course, their sales will be rising ………..
    it show how big Rossi’s influence to the superbike world…

    Honda and Yamaha doesn’t know how to appreciate people that give huge contribution in development of their bike…
    they also doesn’t know how to take advantage by Rossi in their camp with develop and produce superbike that get Rossi’s magic touch beside they do it with person that never get achievement that could be proud…

    i hope Ducati do not make the same thing as Honda and Yamaha.

  25. Sean in Oz says:

    Rossi and bike look like they should be racing for some team weve never heard of in Moto2.