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.

Officially Official: Laguna Seca Off the 2014 MotoGP Championship Calendar

09/30/2013 @ 3:32 pm, by Jensen Beeler35 COMMENTS

Officially Official: Laguna Seca Off the 2014 MotoGP Championship Calendar blake young laguna seca wsbk jensen beeler 635x421

Confirming one of the worst-kept secrets last weekend, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has made an official statement that says that the coastal Californian track will not host the MotoGP Championship in 2014. The track cites the two other US rounds, and the circuit’s not-for-profit status as reasons why the US GP could not continue at Laguna Seca.

Boiling down the reasons we already laid out yesterday, the simple truth is that Laguna Seca was unable to meet the demands and needs of Dorna, nor was the circuit able to compete against the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas; as well as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the motorsport capital of the world, which our sources say was “willing to do whatever it takes” circuit-wise to keep the premier-class of motorcycle racing at IMS.

To its credit, Laguna Seca hopes to return the MotoGP Championship to its facilities in the near future. We have heard talk of the California track alternating years on the MotoGP calendar, though it is too early to tell if that plan is what Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is referencing in its release.

The press release from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca can be found after the jump.

For 25 years, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has served as the “home” for Grand Prix motorcycle racing in the United States, having staged 15 world championship Grands Prix since 1988. Unfortunately, and in spite of loyal support from fans, sponsors and media, there will not be a 16th U.S. Grand Prix in 2014.

At this time, the U.S. is only able to support two MotoGP events. The support provided by the states of Texas and Indiana make it difficult for us, as a not-for-profit, to currently compete.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca extends its gratitude to all those whose combined efforts made the U.S. Grand Prix such an iconic event; it took all of you – fans, sponsors, motorcycle community, media, volunteers and, not the least, Dorna Sports. Our pledge to you is to work diligently to return the MotoGP World Championship to Monterey, Calif., in the very near future.

Source: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; Photo: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. AC says:

    Keeping Indy, one of the worst tracks on the calendar, and dropping Laguna. What the hell.

  2. Cameron says:

    THAT REALLY SUCKS…..Great, keep Indy of all places.

  3. JMart says:

    I love watching (on the tele) MotoGP at Laguna but it is such a short track. You blink and the race is already over. But there’s something special about Laguna… I feel CotA is more purpose built for F1 and Indy… ZZzzz…wake me up when it’s over. Is there any other track in the US that is worthy or willing to step up for MotoGP? Anyone? Anyone?

  4. AlexG says:

    It’s going to suck not going to Laguna next year, have been making the trip since 2006.

  5. james h says:

    Hopefully WSBK will stay as I had a great time. & learning it’s lesson from the MotoGP/2/3 experience, Laguna needs to accommodate WSS as well if they do stay. I know AMA needs the exposure, but there needs to be a compromise if track time & paddock space is an issue. Like they can do all of their racing on Saturday, while WSS & WSBK race Sunday.

  6. bemer2six says:

    very very sad news, wish there was some thing I could do I’m going to miss the ride AZ to CA. Guess I’ll be going to Austin in 2014…

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “At this time, the U.S. is only able to support two MotoGP events. The support provided by the states of Texas and Indiana make it difficult for us, as a not-for-profit, to currently compete.”

    and here it is. straight from the ex-pat’s mouth. didn’t think it would be laguna, but I’ve only said from the very beginning, there was never going to be 3 domestic GP’s for any length of time. truth be told, we can’t support 2 either.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “very very sad news, wish there was some thing I could do”

    whaddaya mean wish…? there WAS something you could’ve done, you and your compadres were supposed to stop bitching ad-nauseum about the cost of motorcycling, and come off the dime. but see you/we chose NOT to do this. welcome to the blowback.

  9. Slangbuster says:

    Sorry to hear this

  10. Matt says:

    This is complete bs! Dorna and the FIM, European or more directly Spanish companies are running the show. “At this time the US is only able to support two Moto GP events”. Really? Why does Spain need three races. Is Spain that big to warrant 3 races? You could probably take a dump in Aragon or Jerez and with the right amount of wind, smell it in Valencia. Hell, most of the euro races could be attended from the surrounding counties easily since they’re so close to each other, and let’s not forget their great train transportation. That looks more like the Spanish just not wanting us to have that many races, and because this track is a not for profit, they can’t make as much. Granted it’s also the fault of America or rather most of it for not embracing this type of Motorsport. Guess for anything motorcycle related to be interesting to the masses, it has to do stand up wheelies and burnouts, be on a stretched out chopper watching a father and sun fight over stupid crap, or have dirt bikes doing jumps with music and fireworks fitting for a monster truck show. If only America put as much effort into starting a farming system for kids to enter GP racing the way other already competing countries do. I believe it was Kenny Roberts Sr. who even pushed for that but couldn’t get any backing.

    Another shot in the foot was not having the smaller GP classes there as well. I don’t pay that much to see AMA. Sorry but I feel like the rest of the world looks at our road racing program and laughs. I was at WSBK at Laguna this past weekend and was pissed they didn’t have WSS there, but they had AMA?! If Laguna wants to get it back, they’re going to need to not have any AMA events together with world scene racing. But that’s just my opinion…

  11. TexusTim says:

    so the california parks department finally showed there ass..they should sell the track to private company and run it like a track for profit not like a park that has to have a budget from the state…no wonder thay cant get it right!! so we lose one of the most iconic race tracks in the modern era…a lot of this has to do with telivision and the how the races are promoted in america and who can influence dorna with money not what the people want….I didnt see anyone ask us what we perfer…so let me tell you something about those spanish conglomerates that have there fingers in our pie.
    IN TEAXS THE STATE LOTTERY IS RUN BY A COMPANY FROM SPAIN THEY RUN AND SET IT UP FOR MANY STATES….THE NEW TX. DOT TOLL ROADS WE HAVE HERE ARE ALSO RUN AND MANAGED BY A COMPANY IN SPAIN..AND BOTH OF THESE COMAPYS PARENT COMPANY ARE FROM SPAIN..WHY IS IT THEY SEEM TO BE RUNNING THE SHOW ?=from media to gambling we have sold our profits to others for some damn reason….im sure at some point we thought this was a good idea….now not so much cuz now they tell us what and were to drive, gamble and watch there race series…yea there race series it’s not ours nor will it ever be…we have the glorious ama to comment about///um no comment…

  12. LanceBoyles says:

    Agree with you there Matt, I always thought they should cancel the DMG crap on the same weekend and bring Moto2 and Moto3 instead. Let NASBIKE have its own weekend…and I can tell you after living in Europe for a few years now, the rest of the world isn’t really aware of a national series in the US– that’s how little news it is making. Hell, they can’t even get it on TV anymore from what I hear.

  13. Matt says:

    That you are right sir. They didn’t televise the AMA events during GP because if I’m correct, the head of whatever TV company said it wasn’t worth it and even bragged about NOT televising it. AMA needs to be either exciting again with more than just 1 or 2 hopefuls to transfer to the GP scene, or just axed all together and have a whole new series and governing body that’s separate from anything dirt bike related. And if California needs a purpose built GP track, there’s more than enough open land about an hour east of San Framcisco where they could build a proper track, have multiple exits to the many highways leading to the various burbs or back into SFC. As for complaints about CHP, well what do you think all of Ca locals deal with? Just don’t ride like an asshat and you’ll be ok. And also, work out deals with local and a little further out burbs to not price gouge for hotel rooms, you’re going to have a no vacancy sign if you’re close to the track, I guarantee it. We all know it’s either going to have to be one of 3 outcomes for GP in Cali: 1) Laguna will have to change management and really work on making the track more accessible, easy to leave, and possibly change the layout by extending the track(I say get rid of what is currently turn 5 and make it a long straight with a few more turns leading back to the corkscrew.) Also with that management change, tell these douches who moved near a racetrack to quit their whining or move back to where they came from. The track has been there longer than you have and I know a few racers who would love to take those houses over, me included. 2) as I’ve said, build a whole new track. And 3) do how they’ve already done and just give up on it. Yay… Guess I’ll have to fly out to Texas next year. Now if only I could get them to have F1 and GP a week apart, that could be one hell of a week!

  14. Bruce says:

    Unfortunately, there is a lot more to hosting an international race than the configuration of the track. LS doesn’t have paddock infrastructure to handle all three GP classes, and the ownership structure is not prepared to make capital investment decisions quickly or effectively. The surrounding area does not have the hotel capacity to accommodate fans, meaning anyone coming in from a distance has to make reservations far in advance and get gouged on price. And then try to fly into an airport close to the track or drive out after the race.

    There is NO DOUBT that LS is the more enjoyable stretch of asphalt, so hold your flame throwers, but Indianapolis has plenty of hotels, you can book a room the week before the event if you want and pay $99 for the room. You can easily drive to the track on an interstate highway that drops you off within minutes of the track. You can fly in and take a ten minute cab ride to the track. Indy’s traffic control is so well coordinated, that when you leave after the race with tens of thousands of co-attendees, you barely get held up. Rush hour in many cities is worse.

    There is also more to attending the race than the race. Everyone knows the best vantage point to actually VIEW a race is on TV. We attend in person to enjoy a motorcycle related weekend. The city of Indianapolis throws out the red carpet for motorcycle fans. The Indy Mile runs, the downtown looks like Daytona Bike Week for sport bikes, except the police are not busting everyone’s balls. In fact, the Indy police pretty much look the other way at a lot of things.

    Lastly, IMS has promised to make track improvements and has the cash to do it. Organizers look at everything I just listed and they figure that it all outweighs the corkscrew.

  15. smiler says:

    At the same Dorna announced that a new round would be held at Albecete. Because that part of Spain is not currently covered by a MotoGP race.

    The Rookie Rule would also be reintroduced for any rider who is not Spanish.

    Dorna also announced that from now until the end of the Season, any motorcycle not sponsored by Repsol would not be allowed to win a race.

    It also announced that any tracks with character and not flat would also be taken off the calendar, like Laguna Seca, Brands Hatch, Spa and Nuremberg. Og they have already done that. These races would be replaced by dull or half finished tracks, mostly built by the same person. Dorna assured MotoGP fans that they were only thinking of the money not the racing.

    Start a pretition to get Bernie Ecclestone and Kevin Schwantz to manage Dorna and Hugh Hefner to supply the female talent, pleeeeeese.

    Back to WSBK again.

  16. L2C says:

    Perhaps what some enterprising organizer has to do is host a “Race of Champions Invitational” during the off season. Have all the best super bike and MotoGP riders duke it out on production models with no modifications. Have it promoted and televised so anybody can see it. Heck, even make it part of The X-Games, record it even so that it might be aired later in the year after the series kick off.

    I don’t know, it’s just a bunch of ideas – but since Laguna Seca lost the contract, it shouldn’t mean that we have to be deprived of the spectacle of the best racing on what is arguably one of the best and most unique motorcycle racing circuits in the world.

    I know I tune in.

  17. L2C says:

    P.S. I hate the keyboard on this thing.

  18. Damo says:

    There goes my vacation plans next year for a second visit to the GP.

  19. Ken says:

    MotoGP is still going? Yawn.

  20. Gabe says:

    If WSBK at Laguna continues, maybe that gives the track enough time to stay relevant internationally, and at the same time upgrade their facilities? The WSBK racing at Laguna is definitely more exciting.

  21. johnc says:

    awesome!!!! i am happy this happened, for the following reasons:

    1. laguna is a great track to ride … but sucks for spectating.

    2. SCRAMP is run like a poorly run HOA, and treat motorcyclists like shite at “motorcycle races”. e.g.: making motorcycles ride into the circuit on a goat trail of a back road, while cars are allowed to enter through the front gate. every year, there are a few motorcycle crashes on this goat trail.

    3. over the past 12 years of going to laguna for web and motogp races, it seems that the entire monterey county really hates motorcyclists, and only tolerates us long enough to rip us off by charging 3 to 4 times the normal rates for hotel rooms during that race weekend.

    4. laguna seca is not willing to fund adding more pit boxes for teams … so moto2 and moto3 support classes would not be added.

  22. Wendy says:

    SOOO Disappointing!!!! From what I hear Indy is just as HORRIBLE in person as it is on TV. My husband & I have been going to Laguna Seca every year since it came back in 2005. The track is unique (not designed by some computer) and challenging for the riders. It is so accessible to the fans as far as where you can watch the race from. What a truly sad, sad day in racing.

  23. Alex says:

    I’m with johnc on this one.
    Laguna’s facilities suck. It isn’t a fun track to watch at.

    After going to COTA for the first time this year… I won’t miss Laguna. Laguna
    has ONE RACE… the motogp. The “support races” are a joke
    At COTA, you have RedBull Rookie Cup
    Moto3
    Moto2
    MotoGP
    For the same price!

  24. Anvil says:

    I love Laguna as a race track. Never been there in person, but it seems fantastic and is fun to watch on TV (It’s great to race in video games, too). I’m sorry to see it go.

    That said, I keep hearing horror stories about the fan experience there. That’s actually what stopped me from going a few years ago. It has only gotten worse, apparently and attendance has been steadily dropping.

    Indy is not a great roadracing track and the facility is too huge. But I’ve been there for the 500 and the place is run like clockwork. The city is welcoming and affordable. They want the race there. With their recources, will and cash, they could build an exact replica of the corkscrew if they wanted to. Let’s hope IMS is thinking on that scale.

  25. mitch says:

    Laguna Rocks – Indy Sucks – makes total sense when its all about the $ and not about the racing
    Indy is a huge totally FLAT venue , and the 70-90K ppl that show up ratle around like the place is deserted
    Laguna is a cozy cathedral , with the corkscrew and other fabulous viewing points. You are up close and the place is packed all weekend.
    I think unfortunately with few exceptions has become incredibly boring anyway.

    “Lets add 15 riders to the grid that have no chance of truly competing week after week”

    most races are parades with very few position changes

    Dorna is out of touch with its fans and sees only $ , no shock here , just a shame

    WorldSuperBike is far better racing anyway

  26. Norm G. says:

    re: “From what I hear Indy is just as HORRIBLE in person as it is on TV.

    you heard that from an internet parrot. not from anybody who knows their ass from a hole in the wall. been to indy and laguna and both venues have their pluses/minuses. there are no perfect race tracks.

    speaking of imperfection. lets consider Austin for a moment. while i’m sure it’s a nice circuit and has nice facilities, they have the BLACK EYE of an on going financial row with schwantz. that’s a huge minus. to that i say fukk them and everybody who looks ‘em. until they settle up, they’re not seeing a dime of my money.

  27. Norm G. says:

    re: “Indy is a huge totally FLAT venue”

    you make it sound like there aren’t a 1/2 dozen European circuits that fit this definition…?

  28. Bruce Monighan says:

    Just read the news that there will be no Moto GP in 2014, what a disappointment. I attended the GPs in the 90’s and then when they stopped, all the WSBK events. I was pleased when MotoGp started again and I attended them all, even the difficult early ones. I was thrilled to see WSBK back this year but last minute complications had me missing that event.

    Hopefully WSBK will be back next year. If so I will be there for sure. No more MotoGp for me. I will not be traveling to Austin or Indy. Austin does not deserve a fans attendance based on their management snobbery and treatment of Mr Schwantz, and Indy, well it is just not a proper motorcycle track. Other may say it is about the show, but for me it is about the track and the racing.

    Yes it would be great if LS had more money and facilities so we could see all three classes. But racing got great this year with Marc and I was looking forward to seeing him again next year. To the TV I guess with fast forwarding. Dorna, screwing with the west coast is not a good idea. It is the heartbeat of racing.

    Laguna Seca has my heart and I hope for all of us we see a return of Moto GP in the future. My fan expereince has been great, even at the ealry troubles events. Riding in and out on a motorcycle has been easy as was camping in the aera, or on site. I will be there whenever they have motorcycle races.

  29. Norm G. says:

    re: “Yay… Guess I’ll have to fly out to Texas next year.”

    not if you’re a self-respecting motorcyclist with a shred of dignity.

  30. Norm G. says:

    re: “Indy, well it is just not a proper motorcycle track.”

    breaking news… there are no proper motorcycle tracks… every single one was built for CARS…!!! we’re just bikeworld beggars.

    that being said, do yourself a favor and attend indy. you seem rationale and level headed enough to appreciate the FULL fan experience. ie. the racing, the pagoda, the pit lane, the amphitheater SOUND from the grandstands, the low traffic, the ease of getting to and fro, the low cost, the security, the downtown, the great restaurants, the museum, the bikes on Georgetown and 16th, the bikes on monument circle, the jumbotrons, etc. btw, did I mention the SOUND…? oh that’s right… I did…!

    http://s62.photobucket.com/user/shamarone/media/indygp09123_zps4513df6c.mp4.html

  31. meatspin says:

    i dont know why indy gets slammed. It looks like a much nicer facility than Laguna Seca.

  32. Mariani says:

    @Gabe

    The WSBK racing at anywhere is more exciting! :-)

    Pity, though, that Laguna goes while the sterile Formula One track in Texas is kept.

    But hey, we all know how the world works!

  33. Donna says:

    As a resident of the Monterey Peninsula I do have to say after all of these years having seen all of the interesting and fun people during this event in our area I will greatly miss this event. I don’t agree with a few comments I have read that motorcyclist aren’t treated right here. People are excited to see all of the visitors who come to our area during the races. Great friendships are formed and fun memories are shared by many. I hope Monterey can get this event back in the future.

  34. Chriso says:

    Why does the US always refur to things as the best in the world or the World Series or capital of the world..until they made your new Texen track you guys have been way behind in quality tracks..hey I love Laguna seca but it just doesn’t have the facility’s for the motoGP show..ie fit in all the classes.but please stop with world this and world that..the world is much bigger than the good old US of A