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.

A&R Rubbies: The Best Races of 2009

12/26/2009 @ 2:03 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

A&R Rubbies: The Best Races of 2009 stoner sepang slide1 560x350

Part of being a motorcycle enthusiast in the United States means waking up at odd hours to catch live coverage of your favorite racing series. Whether it be MotoGP, WSBK, or AMA, every racing Sunday is more like Easter Sunday as we hunt through the channel listings looking for our beloved sport on the television, sometimes finding the disappointment that the coverage has been pushed far back into the week as far as Wednesday.

For the motorcycle racing fanatics, this sort of Easter egg hunt is a ritual intrinsically tied to our love of two-wheeled racing. Thankfully, 2009 provided us some worthy racing treasures for all our efforts, and it is in this post we celebrate those moments.

Best Race of 2009: Last Two Laps of MotoGP at Catalunya on Video
A&R Rubbies: The Best Races of 2009 Fiat Yamaha Catalunya Rossi Lorenzo 560x401

As was common with the 2009 MotoGP season, the competition split into two groups, with the same usual suspects leading the charge and breaking-away from the pack. Catalunya proved to be such a race, and under the Spanish sun fans were treated to some of the finest last few laps in motorcycle racing.

With Stoner dropping back, leaving the Fiat-Yamahas to battle for the lead, fans watched as Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi traded corners, and vied for the lead. The result would be a last-corner pass, and a three-way tie in the Championship standings. The race also set the tone for the rest of the season, as Lorenzo established himself as the man that could compete with The Doctor.

First Runner-up: WSBK Championship Goes Down to the Wire at Portimao
A&R Rubbies: The Best Races of 2009 Ben Spies WBSK Champion 560x372

It’s hard to pick-out just one race from the World Superbike series as standing out from the rest. The entire WSBK season was filled with close racing, and epic battles, but Portimao stands out simply because it’s where the series ended. The season-long battle between Spies and Haga had to end at some point, and it ended at the last venue. Both riders were equally deserving of the Championship, and Portimao was their last bid to claim their crown.

In the process of winning the WSBK Championship, Spies also took the outright record for the most pole wins in a WSBK season. But coming in to Portimao, the Texan rider was behind the gun, and would likely have to win both races in order to secure the championship. With a crash by Haga in Race 1, Spies just needed a modest finish in Race 2 to secure the Championship, and that’s exactly what happened. If you weren’t yelling at the television during these races, you weren’t paying attention.

Second Runner-up: Casey Stoner Returns to Phillip Island and MotoGP
A&R Rubbies: The Best Races of 2009 MotoGP Casey Stoner Phillip Island qualifying Australian GP 560x401

Casey Stoner’s absence from MotoGP racing caused a storm of controversy and confusion in the MotoGP paddock during the 2009 season, but his return to the racing series at Estoril didn’t compeletely silence his critics. With the Australian coming back to Phillip Island and his home turf, there were still a few doubters in the crowd, Wayne Gardner being one of them.

With a second place finish at Estoril, Stoner had something to prove at Phillip Island, and prove it he did. The Australian racer not only won the Australian GP, but he did it in style, sliding around the corners and putting on a show for the fans. At the end of the day, one thing was certain: Casey was back, and he hadn’t missed a step.

Comment:

  1. BRose says:

    Seeing Stoner slide the Ducati lap after lap was the whole reason why I love MotoGP. I was really upset they did not show more of it. What a show! After all, isn’t motor sports just a show! To be honest I was waiting for my home boy Nicky to do that! Everyone better watch out , Spies is coming and that Texas Freight Train is going to roll up to P 3 within 3 races!
    Can’t wait to watch it!

  2. Micah says:

    That Rossi v Lorenzo was a classic but for me the best race of the year was race one of the WSBK round at Assen. Seeing Spies make up that impossible amount of time in the last few laps then taking three corners side by side with Haslam and then passing Haga and holding him off in last few corners was a thing of beauty. This was when Ben truly elbowed his way into the world scene. Those passes are still burned into my memory (and my TiVo).

  3. Glenn Abbey says:

    Casey Stoner’s Physicle problems were put to rest, with his come back rides
    at Phillip Island show and the resto f the season

  4. SoCal Buell Rider says:

    I STILL haven’t deleted MotoGP at Catalunya from my DVR, though I only watch those last two laps. Hollywood couldn’t do better than that. Wait. I need a moment…

  5. Brammofan says:

    Hey, didn’t you have an “E-moto” Rubbie in the works? Would love to see that one.