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.

AMA Making Forward Progress: Reduces Corporate-Elected Board Member Positions

02/18/2010 @ 11:51 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

AMA Making Forward Progress: Reduces Corporate Elected Board Member Positions AMA Logo 560x420

The American Motorcyclist Association has announced its plan to reduce the number of corporate-elected seats on its board of directors. If you’re like this author, and don’t follow the politics of the AMA, you’re probably saying to yourself, “there’s corporate-elected seats on the AMA?” Yes, now doesn’t that explain some things? Previously there were six corporate-elected seats on the AMA Board of Directors, which meant that motorcycle companies controlled 50% of the Board’s voting power. This new measure, which was ratified on February 13th, will reduce that number to four seats, or 33% of the voting power.

The two new open seats will be “at-large” member positions, which mean they are open to members of the general public. The remaining other six positions will continue to be filled by individual and regional representatives.

This restructuring sounds like a positive move by the AMA and a chance for the association to distance itself from corporate involvement, and to try and correct the organization’s slow decline into Dante’s lowest circles of hell. Talking about the changes, Jim Williams, Vice Chairman of the AMA Board of Directors said the following:

“Allowing a relatively small number of corporate members to control 50 percent of the Board was simply not in the best interests of the 240,000 individual members of the AMA. With the reduction from six to four seats, the corporate-elected members continue to provide input, guidance and expertise to the oversight of the AMA, but we believe greater representation by the directors selected by the individual members more clearly reflects the AMA membership.”

It would seem the entire board is aware of the influence the corporate-elected members were having on the direction of the AMA. Williams is a corporeate-elected board member, and represents Kawasaki’s interest in the AMA, but he was the person behind the proposal, which was unanimously voted into action, even by the other corporate-elected members.

The AMA Board of Directors’ is currently comprised of the follwoing six corporate-elected members: Jim Williams (Kawasaki), Jon-Erik Burleson (KTM), John Ulrich (Roadracing World), Andy Goldfine (Aerostitch/Riderwearhouse), Michael Lock (Ducati), and Scott Miller (Harley-Davidson), who has been recently appointed to replace Erik Buell. Both Michael Lock and Andy Goldfine are coming to the end of their terms. It would seem logical that it will be their positions that get replaced by the “at-large” Board seats.

Source: AMA

Comment:

  1. Brammofan says:

    WOW! Sounds like a COI to me. Better tell Jensen so he can crack this one WIDE OPEN. Does the FIM have corporate-elected members? If the answer is “yes,” then what’s next? The downfall of Western Civilization, that’s what. Lionesses whelping in the street. Dogs and cats, sleeping together. Etc.

  2. mafiax says:

    RT @Asphalt_Rubber: AMA Making Forward Progress: Reduces Corporate-Elected Board Member Positions – http://bit.ly/chrsx3 #motorcycle

  3. Harry, I feel like you’re mocking me here.

    Regardless, the GP Commission has a similar arrangement (FIM, Dorna, MSMA)…having all the stakeholders are at the table. The AMA is no different, but I think what we’ve seen in the past with the direction the AMA has taken, the corporate voices were given a louder microphone than the other parties, and that pushed the association from doing what was best for the motorcycle industry.

    Let’s not forget, the corporate side of Motorcycling is still very important to American Motorcycling.

  4. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: AMA Making Forward Progress: Reduces Corporate-Elected Board Member Positions – http://bit.ly/chrsx3 #motorcycle

  5. Brammofan says:

    “Mocking” is such an ugly word. It may be apples and oranges but I wonder why you haven’t been as critical of FIM or GP or AMA about the possibility of a COI when the manufacturers are part of the sanctioning body. Why give them a pass and be so hard on TTXGP?

  6. This is the AMA, not AMA Pro Racing.

  7. Brammofan says:

    Oh. (This is where I retreat to my “newbie” status) So there’s no overlap (no manufacturers) in the executive level of AMA and AMA Pro Racing? Or FIM or GP Commission? I honestly don’t know the answer… just curious.

  8. Carbon Warrior says:

    You two are acting like kids. Just exchange phone numbers and sort your differences without the full attention of the internet audience. What the general public wants to know is how these decisions are going to affect their favorite teams in the coming race season. Now… if either of you happen to have some perspective to share with the rest of the readers concerning these or other consumer level concerns, I’m sure a portion of the internet audience will indulge your rants. As is though… I’ve wasted enough of my limited cranial capacity indulging the two of you. I bid you both a good day, and keep the breeze between yer knees.

  9. AMA may be making progress; reduces # of corporate-elected officials http://tinyurl.com/ycrl2mx