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.

Harden the F*ck Up America – Australia Knows How to Promote Motorcycle Safety

10/14/2011 @ 6:06 am, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Harden the F*ck Up America   Australia Knows How to Promote Motorcycle Safety the ride outdoor

You have to spend some time around Australians to fully appreciate the culture that has been fostered on the ass-end of the world. Having spent more years than I can count competing in sports against Australians, I already had an appreciation for the direct no-bullshit approach to personal communication that comes from the land down under. It is the same trait that gets Casey Stoner in trouble with fans, as when the former (and soon-to-be?) World Champion calls a spade a spade, well…it rubs them the wrong way, especially us Americans (case in point, the 2011 Indianapolis GP asphalt debacle).

You see, Americans in a broad-stroke generality don’t like to be told our babies are ugly, or that the Emperor has no clothes. Similarly, when it comes to our highway safety campaigns, we are coddled with cute public service announcements that do little to speak honestly about the reality of situations. That’s not the case in Australia however, as for the past month I’ve been assaulted with healthy & safety messages concerning motorcycles that do anything but mince words.

I’m not sure if this is an atypical period of time, where Australia is trying to drive the message home about rider safety, but the Aussies are doing a good job of blitzing Google, highway billboards, and TV adverts on the realities of riding recklessly on a motorcycle. The images aren’t for the faint of heart either, and the message is virtually everywhere you turn near Phillip Island, though I’ve seen the ads up north in Sydney with abundance as well. More shock than awe, the image of man with full-body road rash (seen above) is a common one in the campaign, but the piece that takes the cake has to be a TV commercial I saw the other night.

I can’t do the advert justice by describing it, so watch it below, and be sure to watch it all the way to the end. It makes Mothers Against Drunk Driving look like a bunch of old maids who sit around and play Parcheesi. NTHSA take note, and good onya TAC.

Source: TAC

Comment:

  1. AK says:

    We should have ad campaign like this in US.

  2. Scruby says:

    Good ad,but it will never air in the U.S.A.If it did air,the response would be to outlaw motorcycles.Just look at driver safety.There is never a mention about incompetent drivers causing accidents,the focus is always on building more crash resistant cars.Mercedes Benz even has an ad out now that “wakes up” a sleeping,or inattentive driver.Pathetic.

  3. Steve says:

    @scruby. I agree even though I’m from AU.

    The thing that gives me the sh irrits about reducing the risks, is that I’m responsible for all the morons out there.

    “Regardless of who’s fault it is”, “It’s up to you to reduce the risk” Shoot people on mobiles while driving? That’ll reduce the risk!

  4. Bob says:

    The problem isn’t Americans that need to harden the fuck up, it’s the politicians and lawyers who are so worried about the public being offended. The public actually can handle the gruesomness. There are plenty of good adverts that I’ve seen over the years, some even while I was a rider coach for the MSF that the MSF wouldn’t allow us to show and tell the class.

    Nothing wrong with a dose of reality so people will better understand the consequences of their actions. If there is a problem with Americans and safety (and there is) it’s that the country does not promote safer driving…only safer crashing. Driver education needs to be mandatory in the shool system.

    Also, auto manufacturers need to work with mobile device manufacturers to automatically wirelessly disable many functions within a certain proximity of the drivers seat…like texting, browsing, etc. Far too many people on their phones sending texts while driving and now I see more and more iPads being used while driving. There needs to be a way where these devices become useless from the driver seat.

  5. marky says:

    Straight up, fair dinkum…

  6. Doug S says:

    @Bob – the idea of disabling a mobile device within the driver’s seat is great – “The invisible fence for irresponsible drivers”. With studies indicating these types of distractions are worse than drunk driving (or, at best, the same, which isn’t saying a whole lot!), hopefully this technology is not far away. Which automobile company will have the guts to do it first instead of the other marketing tricks stated above?

    On the other point of this article – good reality check. This regional, blunt advert brought to me in the US by the world wide web….without the hysterics & finger-pointing that the non-riding public in the States would have as a result if something like this was aired in the States.

  7. AK says:

    what can you expect ??????? This is the nation who got offended by US flag flying in there neighborhood, and ban pledge of Allegiance in school.

  8. Keith says:

    Hey, this is an easy one you fools…the full body rash one. “This is what happens to people not smart enough to wear proper protective gear”. Short simple and even our fellow MORONS ACROSS AMERICA@ can figure out that the problem is not the motorcycle it’s the people who refuse to wear proper gear. Now don’t get me started on what is the most imporatant gear becuase most of you lost before you could even THINK of typing… ;^) I prefer getting someones attention with a kick to the groin as opposed to a stick in the eye.

  9. MrFancyPants says:

    great set of ads! it works in my world, but sadly what’s heard in America is people blaming others and not taking responsibility for their own actions. Instead we’ll see the driver blame the motorcyclist and vice versa so what will happen with an awesome-as-shit campaign like this is that you’ll have a small but loud group of douches using it as a reason to band lane-splitting or increase traffic enforcement on motorcyclist meanwhile ignoring other motorist on the roads infractions that are just as dangerous (if not more so)

  10. Shaitan says:

    Here’s what I want: Ads like this that show ALL types of vehicles here in the U.S.A. I want them to show busted, scraped and decapitated people mangled in their vehicles or as mangle messes on the road. Red Dead Asphalt should be mandatory PSO’s on TV that show all motorist doing dangerous/stupid things AND showing then examples of what to do. We show all this stuff on jackass video reels like it’s funny… so we make light of the ugly reality. I commend AU for being balsy about motor safety.

    I’d like to counter this ad about lane splitting. I know here in California it’s legal (within limits) because it’s been shown to be safer at least according to studies. Are the CHiP/insurance stats wrong? Dunno.

    On an unrelated note, but regarding accidents… I wish that if you got busted without insurance and are at fault, you should be in indentured servitude until you pay off what you owe, so we stop floating cheap-ass morons driving/riding anything.

  11. Keith says:

    Mr.FanacyPants, that isn’t hard to fix. You just be louder, more polite and take their daughters/sons out for rides on your motorcycle. ;^) BUT if they aren’t wearing boots, armored pants, gloves, helmet, jacket (textile/kangaro) they don’t get to ride and you be REAL loud about that.

    ATGATT or stay the hell off my motorcycle shall be the law of the land. Oh and aamof lane splitting / filtering IS safe, period end of discussion. IF somebody tries to tell you otherwise ask them to back it with facts. They can’t, but they will LIE like a rug about it.

  12. Pietro says:

    Actually there’s some ads like this for texting while driving here in the US. One where you hear parents talking about where their kids are and you see one of them with his eyes open dead in his car with his cell phone in hand.

    Pretty straight to the point without the wham! factor this one has. They both sure shook me up.

  13. Alexontwowheels says:

    Hardcore. Anyone ever see the one they did for kitchen oil fire awareness, with a chick that had her face horribly mutated? I couldn’t agree more, Americans are like 14 year old boys, act all tough and hard, but are actually giant pussies that bitch about exactly everything!

  14. Bjorn says:

    Here is my favourite ad for protective gear.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bl68iB38GQ&feature=related

    A little reminder for for the “Scooters are much safer,” crowd.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=s-o9FD7Kf5A

    And we do them for car drivers as well, this one’s 22 years old.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bl68iB38GQ&feature=related

    I point these out to my kids 8, 7 and 5 to show why mum and dad wear proper gear when we ride and the consequences of doing the wrong thing. Then there was the graphic example of them coming out with the trailer to collect my smashed motorcycle, while I was fine due to my (now) torn up leathers.
    It’s great to have ads like these on TV, but it’s even better to have families educating their children about the importance of taking responsibility for your own personal safety.

    The U.S.A, Australia & most of the first world need to Harden the Fuck Up and take responsibility for our own well being, rather than allowing our freedoms to be eroded by those we have delegated that responsibility to. Being in the right when you are injured is OK, but surviving uninjured is better.
    I’m done ranting.

    Just as an aside, Australia’s most famous modern criminal, Chopper Reid, is credited with coining the phrase “Harden the Fuck Up.” It was then made famous by a very warped and very funny comedy show called the Ronnie Johns Half Hour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unkIVvjZc9Y

  15. Jake Fox says:

    The solution to distracted driving is to make cars impossible to drive without your full attention. Get rid of all the driver aids of the last 60 years, power steering, automatic transmissions, stability control, etc. and make the whole experience as frightening as flying a Cessna in a thunderstorm. Then people will start paying attention to what they’re doing at the wheel.

  16. Bjorn says:

    @Jake Fox: A motorcycle journo posed the question years ago, “Would you drive more safely in a car where you couldn’t be hurt, or one with a steel spike inches from your head?” I agree with you in essence; all of those driver aids theoretically make driving safer, but in reality simply reduce the amount of attention people pay to the task of driving.

    The road safety campaigns in Australia are split roughly between personal safety and responsibility to others. The first ad in my post above makes the point perfectly as do most of the others; no matter whether it’s your fault or someone else, it’s you that gets hurt. I completely approve of dealing with the poor driving behaviour of others, but we need to take personal responsibility for our own safety. Anything else is delusional.

  17. Tom says:

    Don’t Australians know that loud pipes save lives?

  18. Tom ! says:

    As an Australian, I can tell you that motorcyclists here don’t appreciate these ads. Don’t be fooled – this is not an organisation that is trying to look after us, the TAC has had it in for motorcyclists as a motoring group for years. They’re not interested in keeping us safe so much as reducing their expenditure in order to maximize profits – they’re our compulsory personal accident insurance provider you see.

    While some of these messages have merit (wear the appropriate gear, be aware of the risks), the agenda behind this campaign is not in our best interests. Notice that they put the entire burden of safety onto the motorcyclist. What does this say to the other road users? “If a bike crashes, it’s only their fault.” There’s nothing about the need for other motorists to be aware and look out for us, nothing about dangerous driver behaviors such as distracted driving.

    There’s been only negative media coverage of motorcyclists in Australia for the last 5-10 years – this is intentional as part of an ongoing (and documented) social engineering campaign. Ultimately, motorcyclists are already aware of the risks – we face them everyday. All these ads do is paint us in a bad light with the rest of the population, re-enforcing an already negative stereotype.

  19. Beary says:

    While on the ride down south to Phillip Island this year, I saw this ad about a billion times on TV, on billboards, and it was playing on the superscreens at Phillip Island all day, every day. And I totally agree with Tom, here in Australia, TAC has always taken the view that the safety issue rests with Motorcyclists, never once do they tell car drivers to do a proper head check – and not just glance in your mirrors. Never once do they mention training for safety awareness – for either car drivers, or motorcycle riders. No, this stupid, laughable ad shows irresponsible riding behaviour, people wearing incorrect gear, and riding with no consideration to 1/other road users 2/ pedestrians 3/ themselves.

    TAC is considered worse than a joke here. Their print and road ads to absolutely nothing to effect change – as Tom has already stated they simply reinforce the old and outdated stereotype that motorcycle riding is a dangerous activity done by risk takers.

    TAC – you keep getting it wrong. I look forward to the day you actually get someone with brains on your advertising panel and not just shock-jocks.