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.

Marc Marquez Leads MotoGP’s Penalty Points Tally

10/16/2013 @ 2:59 pm, by David Emmett9 COMMENTS

Marc Marquez Leads MotoGPs Penalty Points Tally marc marquez awesome mugello motogp scott jones 635x423

If there was any doubt that Race Direction in MotoGP is trying to impose a stricter code of behavior on riders in all three Grand Prix classes, the bumper crop of penalty points issued at Aragon and Sepang makes their intention clear.

At Aragon, three penalty points were awarded: One for Alessandro Tonucci in Moto3, for staying on the line during qualifying, and one for Sandro Cortese for the incident in the Moto2 race, when he touched Alex De Angelis, causing the Italian to crash.

The most discussed penalty was of course the one issued for Marc Marquez, who was penalized for the touch on Dani Pedrosa, which severed the cable to Pedrosa’s rear-wheel speed sensor, confusing the electronics and causing the unlucky Pedrosa to be ejected from his Repsol Honda.

Ultimately, Marquez had to wait until Sepang to be hear what the punishment for that incident would be, after Race Direction asked for more data.

At Sepang, a couple more penalty points were handed out. One to Pol Espargaro, for not respecting the newly instated starting zones, and cutting across in front of other riders waiting to do a practice start, and one for Maverick Viñales, for his excessively robust move in the run to the finish line, when he barged Jack Miller aside to grab 5th place.

Ten riders have now been issued penalty points, for incidents ranging back to Jerez. The two repeat offenders now lead the Table Of Shame, Marc Marquez leading Maverick Viñales, with Ricky Cardus on the same number of points as Viñales, despite only having committed a single offence.

Marquez has a total of three points, the single point issued for the incident at Aragon coming on top of two points awarded for the crash at Silverstone during morning warm up, when he ignored yellow flags and sent the marshalls scurrying for cover as they worked to clear Cal Crutchlow’s fallen bike, an incident that could have had very serious consequences.

Viñales’ two points came in separate incidents, one for the barge at Sepang, and one for pushing his bike the wrong way down pit lane at Mugello.

Only Marquez is in any real danger of suffering a penalty, however. The Spaniard’s total of three points brings him within a single point of being forced to start from the back of the grid. It would take only a relatively minor misdeed to handicap Marquez, and Race Direction are hoping that such a prospect will rein him in for the rest of the season.

Accumulating a total of four points will force Marc Marquez – or any rider – to start from the back of the grid. If a rider amasses seven points, they are forced to start from pit lane, ten seconds after the rest of the field has cleared. A total of ten penalty points means automatic disqualification from the next race.

Penalty points will be wiped clean at the end of the season, giving all riders the opportunity to start 2014 with a completely clean slate.

Top 10 Current GP Penalty Point Totals by Rider:

No. Rider Class Points Total
93 Marc Marquez MotoGP 3
88 Ricard Cardus Moto2 2
25 Maverick Viñales Moto3 2
4 Andrea Dovizioso MotoGP 1
29 Andrea Iannone MotoGP 1
8 Hector Barbera MotoGP 1
40 Pol Espargaró Moto2 1
11 Sandro Cortese Moto2 1
97 Rafid Topan Sucipto Moto2 1
19 Alessandro Tonucci Moto3 1

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. V says:

    So basically this is just a confirmation that these penalty points don’t mean anything. They’re so lenient that its basically completely pointless, no one cares about these points.

    If they really wanted this to actually mean something, these points should have significant ramifications, and not just from like 4-5 offenses, but right from the beginning. 1 point should basically force you out of q2, so you start with all the crts in 10th+ position, 2 points and you start from the back of the grid, 5 points and you get disqualified from the next race, if anyone somehow managed to get 10 points, which looking at it now seems like you have to ride like a complete idiot in every singe race, would just get you banned from racing for 1 year.

  2. paulus says:

    There should be points for recklessness… but this is racing. It is a substitute for battle!
    Sh*t happens; and it happens a lot faster and more often in war than in peace.

    Watch the 70′s and 80′s racing when it was tough. Tough guys taming wild motorcycles and battling each other for places. Huge grids, great racing. Even if only a few guys were at the front, it was an event.

    The sport is becoming sanitised and packaged for TV/marketing of brands/riders… it is losing its edge and its flavour.

  3. jkedsnake says:

    Pretty soon passing on turns will be banned…

    If Lorenzo had his way…

  4. smiler says:

    Dorna introduced the Rookie rule to ensure that the kind of antics that occur in Moto2 and MotoGP do not occur. Apparently the kinetic energy the MotoGP 100cc bikes have is 30% up on the previous year.

    Marguez, a Spanish rider, riding for a Spanish Sponsor and riding for the manufacturer that spends more than anyone else. Yamahaha surpassed Honda’s record and has 16 championship wins. After Rossi left in 2002 they have only won twice. Nicky Hayden in 2006 (the lucky one) and Casey Stoner who rejected Honda and MotoGP after winning.

    The Rookie rule was set aside for Merguez, who for a top flight has more penalty points and offs that the rest of the top 5. This has clearly annoyed Lorenzo, Pedro and some other riders.

    You could argue that the injuries suffered by Pedrosa and Lorenzo this year are a result of promoting Merguez. Certainly the fact that Pedrosa is in 3rd and not 2nd because of the 25 missed points in the last race. That is racing and Honda could have designed it better, then again you do not expect your team mate to stuff you. Not in motorcycle racing anyway.

    Spain is 5th in the listing of nationalities to win MotoGP. Lorenzo providing their only winner in rcent years. Clearly Merguez is a better bet, being much younger.

    So why was the Rookie Rule dropped for Merguez?

    For Dorna
    For Repsol
    For Honda

    Sure as hell not for the racing.

  5. BBQdog says:

    Ah, penalty points ;-)

  6. Tigre says:

    Bets on Marquez getting another point and pulling a back of the grid win out of his ass like he did in 125s? ;)

  7. Frank says:

    @ smiler:
    ‘Sure as hell not for the racing.’ Really?! I’d say it’s pretty easy to argue that MM in the premier class has made the racing better. Maybe the decision on the rookie rule was political/geocentric or whatever people say about it – I’m too ignorant to say. The one thing I know is the racing has certainly gotten better. Marc is making everyone else actually RACE.

    And yes.. Spain bla bla bla. The future?…Red Bull Rookies finalists going at it this week for entry into the series next year:
    18 Italians, 16 Spaniards, 5 Americans. Give me Beaubier in Moto2. AMA needs to get its stuff figured out. That’s the reality for myself- an American moto fan. I accept this and sit back and enjoy these young talented riders, Spanish or otherwise, do what I wish I could do on a motorbike. I don’t find it productive to relentlessly lament the fact that Spanish riders are dominating right now because talent certainly has a lot to do with it from what I’ve seen. But hey- Jack Miller, Scott Redding, Nakagami. There are a few non-Spaniards to get excited about in the immediate future! Now let’s enjoy the rest of the season and hopefully more talent will come in through Asia, USA and all over in the coming years.

  8. Gritboy says:

    That seems just fine since he’s also in the lead. Being #1 doesn’t mean being meek or safe… Marquez is a breath of fresh air in the stale MotoGP grid. Only Simoncelli was more exciting… was.

  9. TexusTim says:

    Marco (rest in peace brother) had a personality and sence of humor, marquez has been a bomb in the gp class and now is feeling the strain and asking himself why no one likes him other than rossi and crutchlow but hey if I were only getting invited to those trailers after the race that would be ok with me..would love to hear there party jokes…lol “TABLE OF SHAME” bawawawahahah thats a good one.
    I think dorna has done a good job trying to keep the peace in the premier class,if you watch the press confrence at sepang when lorenzo gets up and walks off you see marquez looking at him as if to say “what did I do ?why dont you like me anymore? ”
    maybe they disolved the rookie rule to take a shot at spies crying about it as if to say they let him in and left me out for the factory ride in the rookie season even when he was fast tracked with all the good stuff and did get the ride he diodnt get his game on and you can say Mr. Marquez wether you like him or not has his”game” on everyweekend…you dont see him texting away in the pits or have a headset on and thinking about the next burger restraunt…a shame a real shame he didnt take this more serious but spies backround indicates money his his achilles tendon when would up with too much he loses motovation then on come the headsets.