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.

Ducati to Cycle World: You’re a Bunch of Liars

08/05/2010 @ 8:33 am, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Ducati to Cycle World: Youre a Bunch of Liars Valentino Rossi Ducati Photoshop 560x397

On Tuesday night we were delighted to see that American print magazine Cycle World had gotten a chance to sit down with Ducati Motor Holdings CEO Gabriele del Torchio, and talk about the future of Ducati, the upcoming power-cruiser, and of course Valentino Rossi. To our surprise, del Torchio seemingly spilled the beans about Rossi moving over to Ducati, and so we, like many other sites, jumped on the news and published it.

This article of course has surprised the folks in Bologna, who have released a statement saying that the Italian brand has not signed Rossi, and that Cycle World‘s article “misreported” the facts. This is of course Ducati saying politely that Cycle World made the quotes up, which regardless if it’s true or not, is a sizeable issue for motorcycle publications and their readers.

The issue at stake is trust: either del Torchio said these quotes, or he didn’t, which means someone is lying to us the public. If Cycle World did indeed fabricate these quotes as Ducati is suggesting, it shows a major breach in journalistic integrity. It’s hard to believe how such an important story being published by the largest American motorcycle publication did not go through some sort of fact checking procedure, either by listening to the interview tape or checking with Ducati Motor Holdings. Considering how often print publications like to tout their journalistic integrity over say…web-based publications, this is perhaps the most glaring reminder that the medium doesn’t make publication (there is a certain irony of course that the article was publish on CycleWorld.com).

From what we know, Cycle World did not contact Ducati for external confirmation. A journalistic faux pas, but still this however isn’t terribly surprising considering the landscape that’s formed in the motorcycle industry. Without picking up the phone, Cycle World Managing Editor Matthew Miles likely already knew the response he’d get from Bologna, which is the same response we’re seeing the Italian company hand out now: Ducati has not signed Valentino Rossi.

This of course doesn’t absolve CW from publishing what’s panning out to be an untruthful story, but you have to at least consider the fact even if del Torchio did make those quotes, Ducati would likely still have denied the story. This is because the trust has been lost between companies and journalists, and the default protocol to handle a damaging story is to deny it, whether it’s true or not. With a story like Rossi going to Ducati, which has been touted in so many publications as done deal (including A&R), a denial from Ducati serves only to weaken the trust we have in communications with the company, since so many people believe the truth is contrary to what they are saying, and thus see that denial as being un-faithful.

In this specific case with Cycle World, the truth would be readily apparent if portion of the tape where del Torchio talks about Rossi was released, but it seems no such quote exists. The last we heard about the issue was that CW would be retracting the story, although it still remains, along with a blog post advertising the breaking news, on the Cycle World website. Trust is something that takes a long time to forge, but only moments to break.

Ducati Motor Holdings Press Release Regarding the Cycle World Article:

Bologna, Italy ( 4 August 2010) – Regarding the recent allegations attributed to Gabriele Del Torchio – Ducati CEO and President- Ducati states that no agreement has been reached with motorcycle riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden in regards to the 2011 MotoGP season, although our interest in these riders remains.  The recent report which has appeared on the US web site www.CycleWorld.com has been misreported and is attributed to the many rumors circulating as of late.

If and when an agreements are reached, official press releases will be issued.

Comment:

  1. skadamo says:

    Looks like CW yanked the text about Rossi.

    I have a really hard time believing CW made this up.

  2. johnson says:

    Cycle World:
    What
    A
    Joke

  3. Faceplanter says:

    Who gives a crap.

  4. @skadamo

    What posts are you looking at? I still see it here and here.

  5. Sean Mitchell says:

    OR he really did say that, but Ducati’s trying to save face due to their “gentlemen’s agreement” with Yamaha, and dragging CW’s name through the mud?

    It’s all quite rediculous, whichever side of it is true.

  6. Ducati to Cycle World: You’re a Bunch of Liars – http://aspha.lt/18v #motorcycle

  7. jamesy says:

    What’s important here is that Rossi will keep racing his butt off for Yamaha despite having no shot at the championship. And that is as predictable as his upcoming move. Burgess will be a big part of it as usual and I’m GUESSING its his contract $$$$$$$ that’s “not complete” giving Duc a way to save face.

  8. MikeL says:

    I find it more than mildly amusing that A&R publish a story about journalistic integrity that includes such defining statements as ‘From what we know, Cycle World did not contact Ducati….’
    Did you call Miles at CW and ask him? That would be journalism! I suspect that when Rossi is announced at Brno as joining Ducati, the hoopla will be such that CW’s real journalism that broke the story definitively will be forgotten. As for ‘web journalism’ I don’t see a lot of original material from so called ‘news sites’, but I do see a lot of sideline quarterbacking.

  9. JDW says:

    @MikeL – so true!

  10. Yeah. I hate it when A&R breaks news before it’s news. Like today for example:

    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/claudio-castiglioni-purchase-mv-agusta-imminent/

  11. skadamo says:

    @Jenson, I was looking at the link you originally used as a source. search must have failed me, my bad.

    @Faceplanter I care because CycleWorld needs to start breaking news online to stay relevant. Otherwise A&R will continue to overtake. :D Unfortunately CW, like all big visibility brands has a big fat target on its head. Ducati knows they can bully and muscle them around.

    I love seeing A&R / Jensen and crew kick ass but have been reading CW since I had the cash to buy a stack at a local garage sale. I would hate to see A&R to win without a fight. LOL. ;)

    If Cycle World pulled the information about Rossi I would say they might as well hang it up, shows over, enjoy the traffic Jensen, print can’t do web. Sorry, I can’t help love the drama.

  12. It’s actually really interesting to see how Cycle World handles all this. Looks like they’re content with keeping the quote up, and just putting Ducati’s press release at the start of the article.

    It’ll be a lot of fun when Brno is over, and everything that’s being said offline can finally come to the surface. The sad part is you’ll read it here almost immediately afterwards, and read it on CW sometime in 2011. Was that too low of a blow?

    In all fairness, this web thing isn’t that hard. CW and the rest just need to pull their heads out of their asses and ask the question: “Is it better for A&R to siphon off their readers, or CW-online?”

    I have a feeling that decision lies more in the hands of the publishing house, and not the individual publications.

  13. jamesy says:

    Hmmm, news about the news.. YAWNNN!

  14. Trelman says:

    Er, A&R, did you contact Matt Miles at Cycle World for “external confirmation” of your little scenario before prattling on about breaches in integrity? No? Oops, your own “journalist faux pas” is showing.

    You know exactly what happened here: Del Torchio was quoted correctly, he just spoke too soon, and cycleworld.com scooped everyone, including A&R. To pretend otherwise just to get a dig in at the competition is, at best, disingenuous.

    Before you call someone else a liar, best to have your own house in order…

  15. jamesy says:

    Could not be said better than that Trelman! And to think that it is ALL about those color pix blinking on the right hand column and the revenue therefrom makes it all the less pretty.
    Wheew!, Cant tell if thats sour grapes or doodoo I’m smelling…

  16. NoBody says:

    Isn’t there some new TV show about an “adult” moving back in with his parents because he couldn’t make a living blogging?

    Or are you already there?

    Ever see any references to Asphalt and Rubber (hence referred to as AsRub for brevity) on CW? There’s a reason for that.

    This site reminds me more and more of some punk at the elementary school playground making faces at the adults driving by. Yeah, his fellow children will twitter about how cool it is that they are making fun of the old people, but, in fact, they are irrelevant and are being ignored by everyone else making a living.