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.

“Kesh Angels”: The Fierce Females of Morocco

02/27/2014 @ 11:03 am, by Aakash Desai12 COMMENTS

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It’s always nice to get a firm slap in the face from somewhere in the world that contradicts our notions of what motorcycling is all about.

Toeing the line between the hedonistic expressionism of Western culture and the more austere conservatism of traditional Islamic culture, London-based artist Hassan Hajjaj aims to pull-apart the pretentious self-importance of both worlds.

More importantly, by using female subjects as the protagonists in his compositions, Hajjaj challenges numerous Western and Eastern stereotypes about gender roles in this context.

The poses are playful and challenging and the use of scooters and motorcycles cements the subjects in Moroccan two-wheeler culture as well as in the Western two-wheels-as-freedom narrative. A metaphorical straddling, if you will.

Titled “‘Kesh Angles”, Hassan’s compositions are bright, colorful and chock full of cultural references. The subjects embody bravado, aggression, sexuality and even normalcy in high fashion and hip-hop poses.

The transformation of the traditional abayas with brash designs and product trademarking points to the very real ways in which globalized marketing strategies eventually subsume and co-opt all forms of cultural difference.

Yet, is it possible to see Hassan’s project as a reversal of this Western co-optation of the East? I had a friend and badass Gramscian queer feminist, Ariel Cooper, take a look at the images. She saw the work as less of a negative referential critique and more as an active reappropriation of the female identity in Islamic culture and move in defiance of Western narratives of the Islamic female.

She thought that the work challenges the way people, and most notably males, in Islamic and Western culture normally view the female body; the way they, and we align it into specific roles or spaces for participation and exclude it from others.

“The image of women riding motorcycles is commonly seen as sexy and assertive in the ‘West’, even if it still unexpected, but what happens when this image is transposed into an Arabic, Muslim landscape?” she asked.

At the same time the Hassan’s female protagonists are taking the privilege of voyeurism, of surreptitiously viewing these female bodies, away from us. In this way Hassan’s frames are spaces where agency is removed from the viewer and appropriated by the subjects.

Missing, however, are the voices of our female protagonists who still must exist in a less creative and more concrete reality outside of the artist’s studio.

I want to hear from them about their thoughts on the project, their experiences riding on the streets of Marrakesh and their perspectives on performing gender at the meeting of fabricated or real cultural divides.

The exhibition can be viewed at the Taymour Grahne Gallery in New York City through March 8th.

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Source: Daily Beast; Photos: © 2010 Hassan Hajjaj — All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Doesn’t it embody repression of sexuality? right wrong or indifferent and to be as politically correct as possible…isn’t that the point of covering up every square inch of a woman except her eyes?

    I can practically hear in the background…”if you #@!! take this photo shoot any further (I’m talking to you reckless bandit who took that pornographic photo of knee-to-ankle bare leg) somebody is gonna get stoned!”

  2. Because, all Muslims are the same right?

  3. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Speaking to these pictures only and culture in Morroco Jensen. But thanks for your vile assumption. Let’s hope it kick stirs debate on something having nothing to do with this blog.

    Your comment Jensen is the intolerence everyone is tired of. Why do I have the feeling you nearly choked on your sandwhich running to the computer the nano second you saw a comment.

  4. I swallowed first (phrasing?).

    I doubt these photos are making waves in Morocco, which is a pretty liberal state, on the Islamic spectrum. There is a commentary being made, nonetheless though — I’m just not sure it’s about religion, sex, or oppression.

  5. Chaz says:

    Agreed.

    I didn’t want to be picked as anti or “ist” but keep it a little less heady.

    If you’ll excuse me now I’m gonna read the other stuff you posted about motorcycles now.

  6. JW says:

    This is art. Therefor I see no race, religion or borders.

  7. Flyingfox says:

    Well I think its farckin’ hilarious! Not exactly the Road Safe dress code but who cares……………….if the Kesh Girls want to ride Let em’ ride

  8. smiler says:

    Well done for bringing something different to the blog Mr Beeler.
    Given the conservatism of many muslim countries, top points for these girls for breaking the mould and dressing in a humerous manner.

    Everyone wears a uniform. the KKK in the states do not look dissimilar to these girls. American bikerboyz culture also cobers iteslf from head to toe in cotton, thoughn they do it volontarily, so do many women in the Muslim world.

    That manufactuer mototobecane – should read moto to be caned?

  9. paulus says:

    It is equally strange and staged/contrived as the other recent “women’s” piece.
    … but with a sense of fun.

  10. Starmag says:

    Yea! The Bandit Circus is in town!

  11. Matt Higgins says:

    Dem bitches be representin’ an shit!

  12. Wayne Thomas says:

    Too many Americans want to just hate on Islam without bothering to read our own cultural tome – the Bible and see just how misogynistic, brutal, and historically inaccurate it is. The Bible is not appreciably different than the Muslim piece of historical fiction, but our culture has far outpaced our book where many who profess to be Christian simply ignore the parts that they don’t like. Muslims do the same, but the problem Dr. Dawkins/Sam Harris/New Atheist Movement is not in or our mythologies. Our problems lie in ourselves.

    Blaming religion for the world’s ills is in no substantive way different from those who blame the devil.