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.

The Lineage of Honda’s Grand Prix Motorcycles

11/18/2013 @ 6:37 am, by Jensen Beeler28 COMMENTS

The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles honda rc211v 635x418

For the past twenty years or so, there is one manufacturer who has been above all others in the premier class of grand prix motorcycle racing, and that manufacturer is Honda.

Winning 12 of the last 20 World Championship titles, Honda’s recent domination in 500GP and MotoGP has been a sea change for the series, and the company’s winning total in this modern era of four-stroke and two-stroke machines is double the next nearest OEM, Yamaha (MV Agusta still holds the outright record, with 18 championships from the 1956-1974 period of four-stroke racing).

Part of Honda’s success has been the fact that the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has been able to attract some of the best riders ever to come to a Grand Prix race’s starting line, champions like Mick Doohan (1994-1998), Àlex Crivillé (1999), Valentino Rossi (2001-2003), Nicky Hayden (2006), Casey Stoner (2011), and now Marc Marquez (2013).

But also part of the equation has been the superb equipment that HRC, Honda’s racing department, produces for its riders, bike likes the Honda NSR500, RC211v, RC212V, and RC213V, which have widely been regarded as the best machines on the grid in each of their respective eras.

Looking down the pipe, as MotoGP adopts new rules and regulations, the RC213V and RCV1000R appear set to dominate their respective classes as the factory machines will be reduced to 20 liters of fuel for next year, and the open class machines are forced to use both the Dorna-supplied ECU hardware and software.

It would appear that Honda has a firm grasp on the next few years of MotoGP racing, and as a bit of an homage to this company’s fantastic two-wheeled craftsmanship, along with the racers who rode them, we give you wallpaper-sized photos of Honda’s Grand Prix motorcycles, from the 1995 to 2013 seasons.

1995 Honda NSR500 for Mick Doohan (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 1995 Honda NSR500 Mick Doohan 635x461

1996 Honda NSR500 for Mick Doohan (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 1996 Honda NSR500 Mick Doohan 635x461

1997 Honda NSR500 for Mick Doohan (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 1997 Honda NSR500 Mick Doohan 635x461

1998 Honda NSR500 for Mick Doohan (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 1998 Honda NSR500 Mick Doohan 635x461

1999 Honda NSR500 for Mick Doohan:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 1999 Honda NSR500 Mick Doohan 635x461

2000 Honda NSR500 for Àlex Crivillé:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2000 Honda NSR500 Alex Criville 635x461

2001 Honda NSR500 for Àlex Crivillé:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2001 Honda NSR500 Alex Criville 635x414

2002 Honda RC211V for Valentino Rossi (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2002 Honda RC211V Valentino Rossi 635x480

2003 Honda RC211V for Valentino Rossi (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2003 Honda RC211V Valentino Rossi 635x507

2004 Honda RC211V for Alex Barros:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2004 Honda RC211V Alex Barros 635x423

2005 Honda RC211V for Max Biaggi:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2005 Honda RC211V Max Biaggi 635x507

2005 Honda RC211V for Nicky Hayden:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2005 Honda RC211V Nicky Hayden 635x507

2006 Honda RC211V for Dani Pedrosa:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2006 Honda RC211V Dani Pedrosa 635x496

2006 Honda RC211V for Nicky Hayden (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2006 Honda RC211V Nicky Haydden 635x496

2007 Honda RC212V for Nicky Hayden:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2007 Honda RC212V Nicky Hayden 635x422

2008 Honda RC212V for Dani Pedrosa:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2008 Honda RC212V 2 635x423

2009 Honda RC212V for Dani Pedrosa:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2009 Honda RC212V Dani Pedrosa 635x457

2010 Honda RC212V for Dani Pedrosa:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2010 Honda RC212V Dani Pedrosa 635x466

2011 Honda RC212V for Casey Stoner (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2011 Honda RC212V Casey Stoner 635x423

2012 Honda RC212V for Casey Stoner:
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2012 Honda RC212V Casey Stoner 635x423

2013 Honda RC213V for Marc Marquez (Championship Winner):
The Lineage of Hondas Grand Prix Motorcycles 2013 Honda RC213V Marc Marquez 635x423

Photos: Honda

Comment:

  1. ross ewich says:

    neat, but all we’re mostly looking at is fiberglass (carbon fiber) skin. looks like six different bikes, painted 21 different ways.

  2. You could suck the fun out of a room filled with playpen balls…

  3. Corey S says:

    I wish I could I could take one of the older bikes for a spin. I love the look of the raw aluminum on the older bikes.

  4. sideswipeasaurus says:

    The differences are more than skin deep. Amazing how little they seem to change from year to year (NSR to RCV excepted) but over time how much they do. HRC has been so synonymous with winning that even getting a little plastic overflow bottle in a baggie marked HRC for my bike feels like something special.

  5. Ed Gray says:

    You are right about Honda appearing to have grip on the for sale GP bike market. It is rather odd that Yamaha has let this happen, they used to be the only thing to own in GP classes. Although Honda certainly took a healthy bite out of them in the 90s with the RS series.

    On a slightly different topic I sure wish Dorna would open up the Moto2 class to other engine suppliers. They would have to follow the exact same pricing, sealing and availability rules as currently. I don’t know, maybe no manufacturers have shown any interest. I sure would like to see Yamaha back in there, and any/many others as well. The Moto3 class seems to show what is possible. I know KTM is subsidizing the price of their best engines, but to me that doesn’t break even the intent of the rules. As far as I am concerned GP racing in it self was never supposed to directly make a profit for the manufacturers. The “slow” bikes they sell to the privateers sure, but I want to see the best they can come up with under the fastest riders. All this cost saving crap drives me crazy. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. We have gone through low mfr interest periods in the past, why do you think MV has so many titles. Here I am spitting into the wind again. Fat chance.

  6. Jimmy Midnight says:

    Can we go back to 92′ so we can check out the Rothman’s colors and the Big Bang motors. Now that would be something to go for a spin on!

  7. TexusTim says:

    very nice..thank you !!

  8. MIke says:

    Wow!
    Thanks that is too cool!

  9. Gray says:

    Can someone shed some light on to why Doohan’s ’97 and ’98 do not have rear brake foot levers?

  10. Claudia says:

    He may have been using thumb brakes those years.

  11. Clive says:

    Hey Jensen
    why only go back to ’95 and not to the Spencer, Gardner & Lawson Hondas?

  12. Ray says:

    Looks like Aprilia got the RSV4 tail design from the 2007 Honda. I think the 1998 bike looks the best.

  13. L2C says:

    Hi, my name is L2C, and I approve of this message!

  14. B-ry says:

    Always the best looking bikes too! Love the Repsol colors.

  15. The 2-smokes look the best. They have great proportions but obviously function is paramount.

  16. Dinesh says:

    If Wayne Rainey did not have that career ending crash and Kevin Schwantz not retiring the same year Honda/Mick Doohan would have not got the streak of five titles. When Wayne and Kevin parted there is no competition for Doohan and no riders were matching him even when the Yamaha machinery was close to Honda’s.

  17. TwoWheelLoo says:

    The most radical one I would say would be the ’07 RC… my personal favs are the ’98 and the ’11.

  18. SuperDuck says:

    You can tell which ones were design by computer, the older ones look a lot better than the newer ones.

  19. Faust says:

    I notice all these bikes have carbon front discs with the exception of Rossi’s bike from 02. I wonder why.

  20. Norm G. says:

    re: “looks like six different bikes, painted 21 different ways.”

    pfft, laymen.

  21. Ed Gray says:

    @Gray, Mick had a terrible crash that caused significant damage to his right leg. It is nearly a miracle that he still has a right foot at all. Faced with a right foot that was not mobile enough to use the usual rear foot brake, he and his team developed the famed left thumb operated rear brake. This was such an interesting idea that quite a few with completely functional right feet made use of thumb operated rear brake.

    @Faust, all the teams have steel/iron brakes ready for use in wet conditions. These bikes were clearly put together for beauty shots and may not be machines as raced. For some reason when this machine was built (remember these machines are torn down and built back up from scratch on a regular basis, and not necessarily from the same parts) they pulled metallic discs. Maybe the disc manufacturer needed them all back for analysis before the shoot.

  22. Edward K says:

    Why not show Rossi’s wild yellow NSR…?

  23. Claudia says:

    @Gray, I completely agree with the cost saving aspect of it. Isn’t that why we have super stock. I would like to see them put all their change from their pockets on the table and really build something spectacular.

  24. Gray says:

    @Ed Gray, Thanks! I’ve only been following MotoGP for a few years, so my familiarity with past events and tech is somewhat lacking.

    @Claudia, I think you meant to reply to Ed Gray.

  25. Mariani says:

    This gallery makes me lament not watching motorcycle racing back in my teens.
    But then again, I don’t think I even had any form of coverage available in my household.

    Anyway, my pick would be Hayden’s 07 model. The pointy tail and all the exposed aluminium are to die for.

  26. BBQdog says:

    LOL @ Jensen but ross has a point ;-)

  27. MikeD says:

    Thanks for the EYE CANDY !

    Personally i think the 2 smokes look better then the 4 strokers (of wich the 07 i think looks best ).

  28. Norm G. says:

    Q: “Why not show Rossi’s wild yellow NSR…?”

    A: because the takeaway here has nothing to do with Nastro Azzuro and everything to do with REPSOL.

    more specifically, REPSOL being grandprix’s (nay motorcycling’s) one and only “durable” sponsor that Honda has had all to their lonesome, thus reaping the benefits of having a great portion of their racing costs deferred year after year, going on almost 2 decades now (savings that that was most certainly redirected towards R&D). meanwhile, no other team has even come close to enjoying this kind of financial stability.

    re: “Part of Honda’s success has been the fact that the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has been able to attract some of the best riders ever to come to a Grand Prix race’s starting line”

    close. see entry for NATCORK.