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.

New Zealand Gives Us Something to Think About

01/07/2014 @ 2:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

New Zealand Gives Us Something to Think About new zealand speeding video 635x423

While trolling through the doldrums of social media, I stumbled across this advertisement from the New Zealand Transport Agency about speeding, and posted it to the A&R Facebook page. The message is typical, but the execution is masterful, and so I thought it prudent to post it here as well.

You would be hard-pressed to find a motorist who doesn’t travel a comfortable margin above the speed limit at times, and while we consider that offense a casual breaking of the law, this video reminds us that the consequences are potentially less casual. So the next time you’re doing a couple clicks over the posted MPH, give this ad a thought.

Source: NZTA

Comment:

  1. Conrice says:

    No. Speed doesn’t kill. It’s lack of awareness. When driving, you are always judging rate of speed at intersections. Think about it. You pull out of your spot in a parking lot and can navigate traffic in the parking lot, you turn into traffic in a 25mph zone – again, you’re judging the rate of speed differently than in the parking lot. When you turn onto the country road which is a 55 mph zone, you judge oncoming/ perpendicular traffic differently from slower zones. You don’t have to KNOW the speed limit in order to know when to go or not. It’s AWARENESS. It’s why sometimes you can notice you have enough time to enter because of a car going much slower. And you can tell the cars that are going much faster, too.

    It’s the responsibility of the guy entering the highway in order to judge when it’s safe to enter. The commercial plays on emotion, but ignores the facts.

  2. paulus says:

    I am with you on the awareness… but unfortunately not everybody has it.

  3. Andrey says:

    Conrice, Your comments naively assume that every situation provides sufficient visibility, time, viewing angle and all other necessary visual criteria required to accurately determine speed. There are countless conditions where drivers and riders make decisions based on an assumption of speed due to a limited number of visual cues available at the time. Close proximity to the crest of a hill with an approaching road that comes straight at you from the west, right at sunset, for example.

    Taking your point further you imply that someone doing substantially more than the speed limit is not the one at fault if an accident occurs; it’s someone else’s fault for not being “aware” of that speed and avoiding the intersecting trajectory. This is ass backwards thinking if I have ever seen it and typical of todays common desire to blame someone else and not take responsibility for their own actions. If I come screaming into a little country towns’ 30 mph limit over the crest of a hill on my StreetFighter at 100 +mph, and some guy pulls out in front of me I am the one that will be the cause of the accident. I’ll last 10 minutes if I think like you!

    Clearly the point of the video is to make people realize that if you do drive beyond someone else’s ability to assess your speed you will be the cause of an accident.

  4. Jackoat says:

    I’m with the awareness. You are not being ‘aware’ if you drive/ride over a crest not knowing what’s the other side. It’s about appropriate speed for what you do 0r don’t know what lies ahead, not whether you are doing 100 in a 30.
    BTW, keep the 100+ for the open road, where you know what’s ahead, and can slow/stop if you have to. Respect the limits in urban areas – most of it is there for a good reason.
    If I am pulling out of a ‘blind’ junction I always make that manoeuvre as quick as I can – just in case someone is in a hurry coming my way. Better safe than…..
    Speed per se doesn’t kill – it’s usually started by dopey drivers/riders.

  5. Kaw4Life says:

    Andrey – You naively assume that awaness does not include slowing down when conditions warrent. Sometimes the safe speed is 10 under, sometime the safe speed is 50 over. And if you think that 50 over is never safe then you have never driven thru Kansas.

  6. Norm G. says:

    wow, that’s a really slick PSA. whatever the name of the awards are they give for that sort of thing, they’re getting one. balloting closed. contest over.

  7. Daniel Croft says:

    I find it frustrating that so much energy is spent focussing on speed as the primary factor in safety. The primary factor is awareness which, as Kaw4Life said, includes being aware of your surroundings and adjusting your speed accordingly. The same piece of road can have very different safe speeds on different days and in built up areas, respect the speed limit.

    The sad reality in the USA and Australia (haven’t driven in NZ) is that people lack awareness and respect for others. We focus on speed and not training. We’d have fewer accidents if people would treat driving as more than an inconvenience than if we reduced speed limits.

    That said, if you’re the type of driver who has a million other things to do while driving (sometimes distractions are legitimate – kids for example) then good awareness and training would have you slow down. Many don’t.

  8. Andrey says:

    Guys, your not paying attention!
    Conrice said:
    It’s the responsibility of the guy entering the highway in order to judge when it’s safe to enter.

    This was the point I was addressing.
    OF COURSE the speeding vehicle needs to have the situational awareness to keep their speed appropriate for the conditions, which is exactly what I said.

  9. Ken says:

    Thank you very much for that wonderful ad. Whatever you want to call it awareness, control, perception whatever. IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE

  10. Joe says:

    Andrey,

    It IS the responsibility of the vehicle entering to judge when it is appropriate to do so. Regardless of what the conditions are at the intersection, the person entering has to be aware of right of way.

  11. Conrice says:

    Andrey, unless there is a stop sign at an intersection, it IS the responsibility of the person entering the road to determine when it’s safe to enter, regardless of what the other vehicle is doing. That’s how police and insurance look at it.

    Awareness is everything, sometimes that includes speed, sometimes it doesn’t. But in the video commercial – speed was not the factor that caused an accident, it’s the person pulling out and not correctly assessing rate of speed of the other vehicle which as the right of way.

  12. arkangel says:

    It seems few of you have absorbed the commercial’s concept: “some people make mistakes” – you might be aware, but if you are traveling @ 1 kilometer above the speed limit – you are the murderer – even if the other guy makes a mistake – if you are not 100 % within the law – you are the killer.!!

    Watch the commercial again – where the father pleads for his life & the speeder says:
    “I’m sorry – I’m going too fast” – and then kills him!!

    Guys – “arrogance kills” !!

    Don’t be arrogant – please.

  13. Kaw4Life says:

    I think if we were all in the same room we would for the most part all be on the same page. A lot can be lost in the written word.

  14. paulus says:

    I Agree with Kaw4Life… we all agree that awareness and suitable actions are needed.
    After all, being ‘legally in the right’ is no consolation if you/others are dead.

  15. Kaw4Life says:

    arkangel – You scare me.

  16. Roost says:

    The focus of this ad is reducing speed. NZ has run hazard awareness adverts in the past . These ads have shown a grim looking guy with a spinning wheel, with all the outcomes of making the wrong decision at an intersection on it, and spinning it if the motorist takes off without identifying all hazards.

    Speed does kill. Australian studies have shown that in lower speed zones (50-60kmph) zones and increase of speed by 5kmph doubles the risk of involvent in a casualty crash.
    eg.a driver travelling at 65 km/h in a 60 km/h zone is twice as likely to have a serious injury or fatality crash as a driver travelling at the speed limit. Driving at 70 km/h in a 60 km/h zone, the driver is more than 4 times as likely to crash.

    Reducing speed allows more time to react, a lower impact speed and a shorter stopping distance (ie more room to avoid the impact).
    I think that both drivers are to blame in this ad. A 100kmph impact is still going to be almost as serious as a 110kmph impact. Reducing speed would just give the drivers a better chance.
    The driver that pulls out in the ad acknowledges that they are also at fault, they made a mistake, they did not assess the situation correctly.

    I agree awareness is also a key factor. It is great to see such healthy and positive debate.

  17. Bill says:

    I was recently rear ended while driving the recommended speed on an Interstate freeway. A woman driving in excess of 85mph simply drove into me resulting in some massive damage. Fortunately, not fatal. Who watches their rear view mirror, expecting to evade an incoming missile. In any accident, regardless of circumstances or who is at fault, speed leads to increased severity of harm and injury. If you are speeding, you are absolutely responsibility for the consequences of increased risk and injury. No different than driving intoxicated or texting on your phone. It’s a conscious choice to endanger others and yourself.