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.

Dainese No Longer “Made in Italy” – Moves Remaining Italian Production to Tunisia

01/19/2010 @ 3:28 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Dainese No Longer Made in Italy   Moves Remaining Italian Production to Tunisia Dainese D Air suit 560x374

Italian apparel manufacturer Dainese, (who also owns Mavet and AGV) is shutting down its Molvena, Italy plant, and moving the bulk of its production to Tunisia. The move is presumably to help lower costs to the Italian brand, as sales have slumpped during the industry-wide economic slowdown. It’s unclear whether Dainese will open a new factory in Tunisia, or add the capacity to one of its two factories already in the North African country.

Dainese employs about 500 workers in Tunisia, and will like to have to increase that number by it is going to layoff nearly 80 of its 250 workers back in Italy. Dainese will keep on a small workforce in Molvena, who will continue to fabricate the company’s top of the line leathers, which are mainly provided for riders like Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, and Max Biaggi.

Helping ease the firings, Dainese has agreed to invest 2,000 in re-training its terminated staff members for other jobs. Molvena will retain Dainese’s R&D departments, which continue to work on the D-Air leathers that should be put into production at the end of this year.

Dainese Press Release:

Dainese S.p.A. has started reorganization of the Molvena plant, the historical premise of the company, which will now focus its operations increasingly on technological aspects linked to design and innovation.

Molvena is and remains the “heart” of Dainese which increasingly is the lynchpin around phases linked with research and development for products of future revolve through, for example, the creation of “pre-series” of innovative products.

However, this process requires transformations from a simple production plant to a design facility, as part of a strategy which has seen the group change over recent years from a simple manufacturing company to a company which has made research and innovation its guiding philosophy.

The company has dealt with the reduction in the workload of several departments at Molvena linked with sewing and tailoring and cutting of leathers (as a result of a fall in consumption and market demand) over the last three years without affecting employment levels: these losses have been reabsorbed by the company by cutting its profit margins and, since last May, also using the Redundancy Fund for employees.

This process, conducted in total agreement with the trade union organizations, is no longer sufficient for market conditions and the company unfortunately now finds itself forced to cut the workforce, which will affect around 80 employees.

The methods have been defined with the trade union organizations and the Vicenza Industrialists’ Association. All possible social mechanisms will be used. The program will start on January 16th, with use of the extraordinary redundancy fund for one year.

For the personnel remaining at Molvena, investment in training is planned, in order, as said, to change the face of operations at the plant.

The two production units opened by the company over the last two years in Tunisia, which are subsidiaries of the parent company, are responsible for performing the work previously assigned to third parties in other areas in Europe and Asia.

It is important to emphasize that production of competition leather suits will remain in Molvena and that all Research and Development activities will remain there as well.
In other words, the production lines at Molvena dedicated to products for which, due to the general crisis, there is no longer market demand, will be closed and not moved elsewhere.

The objective remains to confirm “Dainese” a role as leader in research in the sector of protective clothes for dynamic sports and of guaranteeing an appropriate level of competitiveness for a company which remains profitable, despite the demanding program of investments in technologies. In 2007, the acquisition of AGV completed the range of action and returned the production of a historical brand name in the world of motorcycling to Italy.

The group currently has a workforce of around 500 employees.

Source: Dainese

Comment:

  1. twinisier says:

    RT: Dainese No Longer "Made in Italy" – Moves Remaining Italian Production to Tunisia – http://bit.ly/90zOeX #moto… http://bit.ly/5hdWtD

  2. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Dainese No Longer "Made in Italy" – Moves Remaining Italian Production to Tunisia – http://bit.ly/90zOeX #motorcycle

  3. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Dainese No Longer "Made in Italy" – Moves Remaining Italian Production to Tunisia – http://bit.ly/90zOeX #motorcycle

  4. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Dainese No Longer "Made in Italy" – Moves Production to Tunisia – http://bit.ly/90zOeX [wow, sad]

  5. Dainese No Longer "Made in Italy" – Moves Remaining Italian Production to Tunisia – http://bit.ly/90zOeX #motorcycle

  6. RT @peterlombardi: RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Dainese No Longer "Made in Italy" – Moves Production to Tunisia – http://bit.ly/90zOeX #motorcycle

  7. RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Dainese No Longer "Made in Italy" – Moves Remaining Italian Production to Tunisia – http://bit.ly/90zOeX #sad #economy

  8. Johnson says:

    Sad. They should have choose the U.S.A. to manufacturer their wares.

    hwy94forum.com

  9. jarvis says:

    Move it to the U.S.? So their production costs stay the same, while lowering quality? I don’t blame them for not even considering the U.S.

  10. Johnson says:

    jarvis – So you consider Vanson to be lower quality than Dainese? I beg to differ.