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.

Video: Suzuki MotoGP Development Report, Part 1

01/02/2014 @ 11:58 am, by David Emmett17 COMMENTS

Video: Suzuki MotoGP Development Report, Part 1 suzuki motogp test 635x423

When Suzuki decided to move their return to MotoGP back a year, from 2014 to 2015, questions were raised over just how serious they are about actually coming back. The odds appear stacked against them: the bikes were some way off the pace, over 1.8 seconds at Misano.

Suzuki is still working with their Mitsubishi electronics unit, not yet having moved to the Magneti Marelli unit which is compulsory from 2014, and coming to MotoGP in 2015 would leave them just two seasons before a new set of regulations is to be introduced, likely to include a rev limit and compulsory spec software. Suzuki face an uphill task.

Despite the challenges, they seem determined to come back to motorcycle racing’s premier class. One sign of their intent is the launch of a new four-part video series on the progress made on the MotoGP project, the first video of which was released yesterday.

Though the video does not provide a huge amount of detail on their testing program, it does give a nice insight into the reality of testing in motorcycle racing: far away from the glamour of international circuits and thronging fans, a small group of people grind out the miles and spend their time pouring over data looking for improvement.

The most intriguing detail thrown up by the video is their justification for a return to the class. With the switch from a V4 to an inline four engine layout, Suzuki hopes to gain more data for their road bikes, including the GSX-R1000.

Why do this in MotoGP and not World Superbikes? WSBK limits the factory in how it can change chassis geometry and design, the rules dictating that the production chassis should be the starting point.

In MotoGP, engineers can experiment freely with chassis layouts, weight distribution, frame thickness, even modifying the positioning of the various gearbox and engine components with respect to each other, in pursuit of better balance and better mechnical grip. Suzuki’s MotoGP program appears to be aimed at improving the GSX-R 1000 as well.

Source: Suzuki Racing

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

Comment:

  1. Bill says:

    I hope they come back and do well. I also hope that trying to rein in costs does not destroy the prototype class. When you have too many rules in the way of new developments you get no development that would actually trickle down, just ways to break the rules.

  2. jet says:

    I love an Under Dog,I’ve alway’s ha a soft spot for the older street machine’s,good luck to the team..

  3. Stanford Crane says:

    Gee it reminds me of the Red Bull F1 development center, lol.

  4. Phil says:

    1.8 seconds off pace but don’t forget who they have testing it. They need a big name to really test its speed not RDP! He’s good and world class but not good enough to get podiums.

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “Suzuki face an uphill task.”

    welcome to Everest, please keep all hands and legs inside the car till we reach the summit. thank you.

  6. Funnyman6869 says:

    The perfect scenario…….Ben Spies comes back to MOTOGP on a Suzuki……Reunited & it would feel so good.

  7. You’re crazy. I like you, but you’re crazy.

  8. damn says:

    Im with phil! RDP is totaly not the man too provide any usefull data or info. he’s to slow to provide vital info for improvement. if you can’t ride a bike as hard as needed for info you will only work backwards. Suzuki needs a rider like stoner, rossi(even if he’s not as fast as he used too be) dani, or dovi. hrc said dovi gave very good info for honda.

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “I’m with Phil! RDP is totally not the man too provide any useful data or info. he’s to slow to provide vital info for improvement.”

    NATCORK. he’ll be fine.

  10. smiler says:

    Odd word to use – suspension, when it left MotoGP because it had not won a single race since the change from 500′s.

    Ad for Spies – should go back to AMA or WSBK. There is no way he will get a ride in MotoGP.

    Interesting that the effort to rejoin MotoGP is focused in improving the GSXR. Like Porsche rejoining Le Mans. Racing improvies the breed.
    personally I don’t thinkm they will do it but another manufacturer and De Puneiet back will make The Såpanish Championship less boring.

  11. Conrice says:

    Spies needs to stick to cycling and his small private business in Texas. He’s lost the drive and interest in motorcycle racing. Fans need to realize he wants do other things with his life. He owes the sport and us nothing.

    As for RDP – ehhh, we’ll see. I think he was a solid motogp Racer. We’ll see how the year off and testing goes for him. Hopefully he doesn’t lose too much speed with the down time.

    I’m pretty sure it was my eyes playing tricks on me (and I know they said I4), but I could have sworn I saw 5 exhaust pipes when they showed in between the fairings. I just hope the Suzuki is competitive next year.

    Maybe they’ll catch a break next year when Honda bows out (because of the Spec ECU rule) – sarcasm

  12. Scruby says:

    Maybe they can beat Ducati,maybe not,but that will be about it.

  13. sburns2421 says:

    Smiler, Chris Vermuelen won at Lemans on the Suzuki, 2007 IIRC.

    Otherwise I have trouble getting excited about this bike. Suzuki seems to always do it on the cheap and it shows. Their GSXR is ancient in sportbike years and marginally competitive (Laverty will have a long year in WSBK!). Why not spend the time developing the greatest production bike rather than flushing millions for a few points each race?

  14. Terry says:

    That test track does not look safe.

  15. Is it just me, or did that clip say absolutely nothing? Also, where do these script writers learn English, some of the language used was total rubbish! Other than that….it sounds O.K.

  16. Pete says:

    Suzuki should bring Bautista back into the fold. He’d be a proper test rider instead of RdP. Though, with a lucrative and competitive Gresinia Honda deal it’d be hard to lure him away. RdP has spent too many year developing the CRT which doesn’t seem a good match for a factory effort.

  17. Bisho says:

    I guess the next production gsxR,will be a rocket…………..well i hope so.Go SUZUKI!!!