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.

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13

01/15/2013 @ 11:43 am, by Jensen Beeler24 COMMENTS

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 12 635x423

Ahh, now here is the genuine article. Relatively unchanged from the bikes raced at the Valencian GP, the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 has finally broken cover at the 2013 Wrooom event. Shown here we see the Ducati Corse bikes of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, which will race alongside the similarly-spec’d machines of Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone in the Pramac Ducati “junior” team.

Unveiled just moments ago on the mountain’s summit, we’re still waiting for Ducati Corse to drop the hi-res version of these photos in our mailbox, so more details and snaps as we get them. In the meantime, notice how the shots after the jump aren’t nearly as creepy as the ones released by Yamaha earlier this morning.

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 02 635x423

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 05 635x423

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 06 635x423

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 07 635x396

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 09 635x423

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 11 635x423

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 14 635x423

First Shots of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Nicky Hayden Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP13 Wrooom 29 635x952

Source: Ducati Corse

Comment:

  1. Adam K. says:

    What’s the name of that one Whitesnake song..

    I can’t remember the name.. .. damn.

  2. Aj says:

    I can’t lie, if someone was going to throw money at me to ride their bike in motogp, I would not care how bad the bike was.

  3. SuryaD says:

    That front fairing looks rather large. Also Dovi on a Ducati? I think his career his finished the Desmo will eat him up chew him and spit him back out because to my untrained eye it looks like he falls in to the category of smooth riders like Rossi and Lorenzo. I think the Ducati will suit riders like Spies and Crutchlow who are a bit more Stoner like I think.

  4. ted says:

    i liked the spoof pic better. livery is a bit of a letdown for 2013; hopefully, NH69 will return to kick ass and AD04 will maintain his T3 momentum

    I am not holding my breath

  5. Neilmatic says:

    Photos are focused on Dovi. Where’s Nicky? Hayden should be Ducati’s top rider in my book. I hope he and Spies do well and make this year’s MotoGP series less boring. I also hope Audi changes their
    mind about MotoGP and jumps into the fray sooner than later.

  6. irksome says:

    “Meet the new bike… same as the old bike…”

  7. “i liked the spoof pic better.”

    This.

  8. smiler says:

    Its the GP12 with 3 different number decals on it. Cannot see any differences.
    Can anyone else see any changes?

    Except the Ducati name appears to be raised onto a plastic strip. Perhaps so they can take it off and put the Audi name on.

    Fewer decals to save weight?

  9. Smitchell says:

    Also the lever guards, don’t forget those. Ducs get uglier every passing year, prod and proto alike. Why the hell am I still a Ducatista?

  10. nace says:

    @smiler
    We all know how stickers add massive amounts of horsepower to our bikes and cars, so in order to tame the beast’s power delivery, those clever engineers at Ducati have finely tuned the stickers’ surface area to provide a linear torque curve and maximize usable power during corner exit.

  11. Halfie30 says:

    @Smitchell: I’m assuming your a lady…? LOL

  12. Halfie30 says:

    *you’re

  13. MikeD says:

    I’m just glad it doesn’t look like Ronald McDonald’s bike anymore.

    Now…when are going back to being Ducati again ? U know what i meant (Trellis or CF Frame)…screw this whole TwinSpar Frame copycat effort.

  14. ZootCadillac says:

    Some interesting comments.

    First, well of course it looks very much like last year’s bike. How could it not? I expect the same could be said of all the other entrants. After all, how much of a radical change can be made? It’s a motorcycle. There is nothing wrong with the aero of the bike, it’s still the fastest in a straight line so very little can be expected to change on the exterior.

    They have made their radical change now with the twin-spar frame and although most would see that as an effort to placate Burgess and Rossi the fact is such a change was inevitable as the new rules regarding engines mean that the old design of trellis frame using the engine as a stressed member meant that any change in engine geometry needed a new casting for the engine casing and as such counts as a new engine. Plus engines have to be sealed in advance so the whole concept meant that necessary changes were often much later than when needed because of that process.

    Always talk about the V angle and yes, the Desmo is in the most basic of terms two L-Twin’s welded together and it’s traditional. I have no idea if Ducati have been working on a V-Four but it would not surprise me if a working group had been on something like that. However a new engine takes years from concept to finish so I’d not expect something to happen of that nature for a few years. I think that ‘tradition’ is not the only thing holding that concept back. After all, the engine is sound. It poses some geometry issues with being a little tall so lowering the centre of gravity has been an issue in the past. Slinging it in a twin-spar relieves a lot of that.

    “i liked the spoof pic better.”

    Was that the picture that was doing the rounds on twitter & social media that a few jumped to conclusions about and assumed it was this year’s bike? If so, that was a GP8 in 2012 tricolore livery, although it was a shoddy camera-phone picture that was very noisy it was clear to see that it had no twin-spar frame. Initially I thought it was a desmo RR with GP exhaust & track plastics for a moment as the GP6,7,8 are very similar bikes.

    @Neilmatic. Press photos released of the bike and from Wrooom 23 were just as focussed on Nicky as they were Dovi, it’s just that Jensen has chosen less than 50% of them to display in this article. You can see more here https://picasaweb.google.com/101385055228808648856/Wrooom2013#

    As for

    “Ducs get uglier every passing year, prod and proto alike”

    Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. I have two 999R’s and some say that’s the ugliest Ducati ever ( it does have a face only a mother could love ) but in full Fila replica trim to me they are beautiful.
    And anyone who says that the Panigale ( going on the waiting list for an 1199R this week) is an ugly machine frankly needs to see a head doctor. In my humble opinion of course :)

  15. Rudi Triatmonyet says:

    still the same shit

  16. anders eliasson says:

    What’s with the goofy pics in the snow? … :D

    ACE

  17. ZootCadillac says:

    !anders eliasson says:
    January 16, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    What’s with the goofy pics in the snow? … :D

    ACE!

    It’s Wrooom 2013. The annual Press ski meeting for Ducati and ferrari to launch their respective seasons. It’s in Madonna di Campiglio and yes, it’s snowing.

  18. JW says:

    None of us know what this bike really can do. The season will tell. I wish them the best.

  19. Isaac (Spektre76) says:

    Pramac’s bike looks better.

  20. gsp75 says:

    is it just me or does Dovi’s # plate look like S**T !!! looks like a bad General Lee copy ???

  21. “is it just me or does Dovi’s # plate look like S**T !!!”

    I definitely liked his 2012 number style better.

  22. Clay says:

    I love all GP bikes, race bikes are just so raw, purpose built missiles.

    This bike is not so different than last years, but what is different is Ducati has 3 new riders who are going to throw it all in this year. I suspect Dovi will lead the way, as Hayden is not going to be pushing the envelope on a bike he has come to believe is not a winner!
    As for Spies and crazy joe, I reckon they will have a year of many low sides…

  23. Chance Gray says:

    At least put a little thought into a cool paint scheme.

  24. Jean-Charles Delsol says:

    I hope there are some improvements in technology/chassis /engine, we do not see, but are there to improve the performances…because there so much a good racer can do if he does not have the top bike…or very very close to the top…and so far Ducati was behind Yamaha and Honda…
    j.c.