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.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

Video: Behind the Scenes with the BRD RedShift

09/21/2011 @ 5:51 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

Video: Behind the Scenes with the BRD RedShift BRD Redshift Dainese SF Launch Jensen Beeler 635x948

Dropping us an email from across The Bay, the guys at BRD sent us this cool video by Sam Erickson, which follows the BRD team as they got ready to launch the BRD RedShift electric supermotard. Following the San Francisco company over July & August, we get a glimpse of the finally design and assembly of the Redshift, along with the bike’s launch in San Francisco (bonus points if you can spot my face during the unveiling).

We’ve been following BRD pretty closely the past few months, and while we can’t share too much of what we’ve seen and heard (rumors of a helium-filled front wheel are probably only slightly exaggerated), CEO Marc Fenigstein tells us that Monday next week will see the startup release the BRD Redshift’s final technical specifications, along with the retail pricing. As for the video, it’s well very well done, and captures the small team at BRD hard at work bringing ICE parity to the EV space. Check it out after the jump.

Source: BRD (Vimeo); Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. RJ says:

    Can people please stop posting their videos through Vimeo, it’s the worst video hosting site ever…

    The BRD products are cool, but there is still a problem. I understand that the EV companies are choosing the light-weight dirt/supermoto segment to debut their products due to the weight advantage needed to make the available power these things make relevant to performance. Yet, thats probably the least appealing market for a start-up bike manufacture. Out of all the motorcycles sold every year, what percentage is supermotos, 3%? Dirtbike riders wont take EV seriously until its reliable enough to do what they are suppose to do, which is be abused beyond the capabilities of a “normal” motorcycle. Remenber the Zero bikes that broke frames from just a simple jump??

    Instead they should probably focus on the one market segment that most manufactures have ignored, but still appeals to the general sporting motorcycle market. The segment is small 125-250cc-sized sportbikes. The BRD would be A LOT more appealing if it was a 250GP size lightweight sportbike. Then the E-motor would be utilized in an innovative manner, and EV’s would have a market almost all to themselves…

    Hey EV companies! Are you listening????

  2. Marc F says:

    RJ – we’re listening!!!111!!!one!!

    On durability – our frame is designed for professional supercross. The bike in the video has already been cartwheeled across pavement and survived just fine.

    A lightweight sportbike is in the roadmap but there are a lot of good reasons we’re going after MX and SM initially. First, MX and SM are established race formats where electric can compete with gas (and win) on gas’s home turf. The numbers don’t yet work out for a Moto3-type bike. We weren’t interested in building a bike if it wasn’t going to win conventional races. Likewise, on the street, our supermoto has the potential to be the fastest street legal bike in it’s category – only an Aprilia SXV will come close (when you’re not changing the oil). In the sportbike category, as fun as 250s are, they are the little brothers to 600 and 1000cc bikes. Finally the distances traveled on SM and MX bikes is much shorter than sport bikes. We wanted to build a bike that fit the existing usage/range, not force our customers to adapt.

    With all of that said, I WANT a 250 equiv high performance sport bike. If I still had an income, I’d be on the waitlist for an NRS250. When battery densities improve, I promise you, we’ll build one.

  3. KillerKW says:

    A small road racer type electric cycle would be pretty cool, and probably a lot of fun, but that doesn’t really work for the streets of San Francisco. Having passed through the city only once (during rush hour of all times), I believe an electric supermoto would be a much better tool for carving up the traffic. It seems these guys are looking to sell to the kind of guy who wants slick transportation for lane-splitting in a big city and picking up eco-conscious babes at the coffee shop/used book store (not a bad life).

    Its certainly hard to accept that a company isn’t necessarily looking to sell to you at this given moment with a given product, but if you find yourself not liking what they offer, that is probably the case. Plain and simple, if you think there is a market for something, go out and build it, maybe they will come.

    Finally, cheers to all those out there building, right here in the US of A, the commuters of tomorrow, electric motorcycles. I’d take one any day over the crappy little chinese scooters all over my town.

  4. Marc F says:

    Correction (to my reply): NSF250R, not NRS250. Do. Want.

  5. Frenchie says:

    In addition to the reasons listed above by Marc, I would add that MX and especially enduro style EV offer another big advantage which would not be one (quite the opposite) for road racers: silence!

    This way you could go almost anywhere, any trail, any woods without disturbing families, hikers or the wildlife. Without this noise pollution, enduro could be much more popular amongst the non-bikers population. And I think being considered less of a nuisance is a HUGE advantage for this kind of usage!

  6. Bruce Monighan says:

    At the end of the video, the bike leaving the garage looks suspiciously like a Trials bike..width, foot pegs, rear tire width, standing position, handlebar/ arm orientation. Comments BRD?

  7. BobD says:

    Wow, props for making a gorgeous SM in house! If this thing could last 3 hours on a charge for a full day of SM practice and the batteries were hardy enough to do that for atleast 2 seasons. (because id hate to buy one, have the bike be able to run for three hours the first year and then next year can barely do an hour)

    I would be down or getting one. question: could you incorporate engine braking (regenerative brakes) to do the same as backing it in does on a 4T when you downshift a bunch of gears and feather the clutch to let the rear come around a bit before an apex.

  8. Marc F says:

    Bruce, good eye. We didn’t stage any of these shots – Sam had to work around us and capture what he could from actual R&D and build – so the tail section was off for that particular test ride. Also, Derek was dodging a palette of material. No trials version planned in the near future, but lack of clutch/stalling makes low speed maneuvers so easy it’s like cheating.

    BobD, we will be more certain as we rack up test hours this Fall and Winter, but right now the range looks to be about 50 miles or 2 hours of clock time for rec trail use. I’ll be the first to say that’s not enough for a full practice day, though it IS enough for a race itself. We’re exploring fast charging to make a full practice day possible but that won’t be ready with initial production. As for longevity, the pack is engineered for 1000hr life and we expect about 500hrs in real world use. At that satge the pack still has full power and 80% capacity. Most MXers don’t last past 200hrs, and the cost of battery replacement is less than the cost of 4T engine rebuilds you would have gone through after 500hrs.

  9. Alexontwowheels says:

    Badass video. Nice work. Wasn’t sure if it was a promo video for the bike, or the tourism board for San Francisco…. but either way, really nice. clap. clap.

  10. Dr. Gellar says:

    @ Marc F

    I’m quite excited to know that you guys want to make a 250cc equivalent electric sportbike (once the battery technology gets there, as you say). In the meantime, does BRD have any plans down the road to create a TTXGP racebike on which such a sportbike might be based?!

    The Redshift looks superb, the best-looking electric production bike of any kind I’ve seen yet. Purposeful, yet elegant. I’d love to see you guys do, if you end up making an electric sportbike, something along the lines of a neo-cafe racer. But that is just me.

    Can’t wait to see your products stack up against ICE machines.

  11. Dr. Gellar says:

    I meant to say… “Can’t wait to see how your products stack up against ICE machines.”

  12. KyleG says:

    I really really like what you guys are doing. Maybe you’ll be hiring once I graduate :D

    Awesome video and looks like an amazing product you have here. I’m excited to hear or see more details on the electric guts. Good Luck to BRD

  13. mxs says:

    I hope that the current battery density/price ratio will allow you to stay in business long enough. This to me is single handedly the biggest problem. Too much money for too short run time. My supermoto fun rides are around couple of hours, I cannot be sweating bullets every time I go out. Spare battery will cost fortune as well …

    Having said that, I love the design of the bike. Just the darn batteries …

  14. Marc F says:

    MXS, I hear you and believe me I have the same hopes. Right now we are squeezing about as much range out of a 250lbs bike as is physically possible, but we know it won’t work for everyone. For those that fit the range, it’ll be the most fun thing they can throw a leg over; for those that need more range, you’ll have to wait a few (several) years.

  15. CJ says:

    I like the supermoto. Nice job on the styling. It is probably a lot of fun to ride!

  16. Bob says:

    The video was cool and all, but how about some substance along with the fluff? Talk about your bike’s capabilities, specs, why you’re a company I’d buy from…etc.

  17. RJ says:

    Thanks for the response Marc!

    It’s great to hear that you guys really are looking into other applications for your powertrain technology. Trust me when I say a 250GP EV bike would be a perfect track-day tool. Efficient, light-weight, and especially (nowadays) dead silent. Also range isn’t a problem at a track-day.

    I understand your want to get into racing via MX/SM configurations, and I’m totally down for it. I’m from the “racing improves the breed” school of thought. Unfortunately everyone knows that until the big OEM’s start taking EV’s seriously they’ll never be more than a side-show, even on an basically even playing field performance wise, though thankfully because of committed companies like yours this gets better everyday. Why the OEM’s won’t step out of their fossil fuel mentality’s is a whole other cup of soup I’m not even going to get into here.

    Yet, I still don’t see how the numbers “don’t work out” for a moto-3 type road/track bike. Power is not the key here, or range, but rather riding enjoyment and chassis prowess. 50hp and 280lbs dry would be a hell of a lot fun, and none-to-shabby in the quickness department. I also don’t agree with the views that small displacement bikes are the small brothers of 600′s and 1000′s. That’s pidgin-holing an awesome motorcycle segment that gets little love here in the states. Unfortunately we came to an era in motorcycling a few years ago where a lot of bike could be bought for not a lot of money and this kinda distorted peoples views in a way. Still, small-displacement sport bikes should be viewed as a niche of their own, with handling merits bigger bikes can only dream of. It’s up to companies like yours to educate consumers on their merits vs bigger bikes. If you’ve pegged your market right consumers will always adapt if the trade-off is a positive one. Heck most modern liter bikes will barely get 90-100 miles out of a tank is ridden as intended and EV range is getting realistically closer to that target everyday!

    I don’t think EV’s are developed to the point yet of making them an only-choice option for commuters. So why not embrace that and focus on making products for pure sport enjoyment?

    It’s worth really thinking about it in that sense.

    Those NSF250R’s are sweet….. ;)

    I look forward to the keeping track of your company’s future developments and wish you guys all the best in the future!

  18. Mariela Birman says:

    Awesome website! Where’d ya get your background? Hopefully you update it daily so I can read up on more of your posts ^^