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.

MotoGP: Mistakes Cost Several Riders at the Indianapolis GP

08/28/2011 @ 4:54 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Mistakes Cost Several Riders at the Indianapolis GP Casey Stoner Indianapolis GP

MotoGP racing action comes to us this weekend from the World Championship’s last stop in the United States for the season: Indianapolis. Though conditions were a little bit cooler at Indy than they were earlier in the racing weekend, riders still had to test the limits of their tires to go the full 28 lap race distance. With only 64,151 fans in attendance for the race, the stands at The Brickyard were a bit more sparse than in the past (there were 30,340 attendees on Friday and 40,275 Saturday for a total of 134,766 in attendance for the event).

Despite the turnout, all 17 MotoGP riders showed up for the Indy GP, as the MotoGP Championship was far from its conclusion this season. Looking to further secure his lead in the points, Casey Stoner started today’s race on pole, followed by Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa. With the Yamaha poised to disrupt the flow of the factory Hondas, most fans’ eyes were on the Texan as he attempted to mount a race victory in front of his home crowd. As conditions ripened for a record setting race lap, you’ll have to read after the jump to see who set it.

While for many MotoGP riders the Indianapolis GP wasn’t won and lost on the start, for Ben Spies it certainly was the case. Getting an abysmal jump off the line and drive into the first turns, Spies found himself mid-pack when the GP riders settled into place. Perhaps unsurprisingly Pedrosa, Lorenzo, and Stoner lead the early charge, with Pedrosa leading the first few laps, and then Casey Stoner walking away with the rest.

Though Stoner would go on to set Indy’s fastest race lap, many rider saw their progress suffer from front tire wear, the most affected of which was Jorge Lorenzo. The reigning-World Champion saw his teammate Ben Spies come back from his horrible start, and finally pass the Spaniard with 11 laps remaining. Though Lorenzo couldn’t explain why his tires wore worse than Spies’, he salvaged the day with a fourth place finish. That reconcilliation would not extend to the Ducati riders at Indianapolis though, as all of them suffered tremendously from front-tire fatigue.

The only man out on what Bridgestone calls its “medium” front tire, Hayden’s pace early on was quite good, as the Kentucky Kid quipped that for the first time this season he found himself being slowed up by a factory Honda (Dovizioso). As the race went on though, Hayden’s tire wore itself down to the carcass, and the American even had to pull in to the pits with three laps remaining to assess its condition. Getting back out to finish the race, Hayden grabbed a couple points for the Championship, but finished last.

Not finishing at all was Hector Barbera, who crashed on the last lap after losing the front-end. Also not finishing were the Ducati’s of Karel Abraham and Loris Capirossi, both of whom retired because of front tire issues earlier in the race. Valentino Rossi had issues of his own the tires, but had his results diminished even further by a faulty gearbox. Carrying the Ducati banner to a respectable eighth place finish was Randy de Puniet, though his Ducati too found its front tire worn down.

With virtually every rider happy to bid adieu to Indy and head to Misano for the San Marino GP next weekend, the issue as to whether we’ll see the Indianapolis GP on the 2012 MotoGP calendar remains open.

Race Results from the Indianapolis GP at Indianapolis:

Pos.No.RiderNationTeamDiff.
127Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda Team-
226Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda Team+4.828
311Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory Racing+10.603
41Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory Racing+16.576
54Andrea DOVIZIOSOITARepsol Honda Team+17.202
619Alvaro BAUTISTASPARizla Suzuki MotoGP+30.447
75Colin EDWARDSUSAMonster Yamaha Tech 3+39.690
814Randy DE PUNIETFRAPramac Racing Team+53.416
97Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNSan Carlo Honda Gresini+53.790
1046Valentino ROSSIITADucati Team+55.345
1135Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3+57.184
1258Marco SIMONCELLIITASan Carlo Honda Gresini+1’00.141
1324Toni ELIASSPALCR Honda MotoGP+1’02.169
1469Nicky HAYDENUSADucati Team2 Laps
Not Classified
8Hector BARBERASPAMapfre Aspar Team MotoGP1 Lap
17Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB Motoracing8 Laps
65Loris CAPIROSSIITAPramac Racing Team12 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Scott Jones Photography

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Use, Abuse & Time…all that new asphalt needs it pretty bad…then hopefully it’ll be a walk on the park for the riders.

    I don’t anything else can be done. I hope the riders realize it soon and quit their complaining.

  2. The track layout alone is entertaining from a fan’s perspective. Factor in the history & the on-site viewing access for fans and the track maintains a caliber stop on the GP calendar. Dirt track racing is also a big draw to the weekend.

  3. SBPilot says:

    Whether the riders like the track or not it’s not their call if they go back. It’s obvious the riders don’t like the track period, not just surface but layout. No elevations, tight and non flowing track.

    During the press conference this is how it panned out when they answered the question about if they like the track and if they should go back to it:

    Stoner: Honest – blatantly said he doesn’t enjoy it
    Pedrosa: Reserved – while smirking, talks about the Austin Texas track
    Spies: Politcally Correct as an American – had to say the right things being American

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  7. buellracerx says:

    @MikeD – dead on. Failure to condition the track surface prior to the weekend was an unforseen, yet damning, mistake on the part of IMS.

    Pretty cool venue, I’m hoping they come back.

  8. JoeD says:

    I watched the race at home on Uverse HD. What a boring track. At least it was not pre-empted by some Nascar crap. Does any one remember the old NFC/AFC games? Somehow the AFC teams had less polish and smoothness to the broadcasts. Like watching an 8mm film vs one in IMAX. That is the same feeling I get watching INDY and AMA/DMG. More amateurish than professional. MotoGP deserves better.

  9. LutherG says:

    As far as providing the fan with a quality viewing experience, Indy is dramatically superior to Laguna. At Laguna, nearly every decent view of the track is blocked by advertising, or a marshalls podium. Do the corner workers have to have the premiere view of the turn?

    At least some of the europeans, Rossi in particular, seem to get that snotty statements about a course have an affect on attendance. It is a real struggle to get people to go to the race in indy. The IMS does no promotion, and the locl news the day of qualifying didn’t mention the race–though they did tout the scores of 20 high school football games. Having smirking, snotty, shrimpy “furreners” criticize the track, justified or not, doesn’t help the plight of local fans.
    Oh, and Austin is a pipe dream. they will never find financing to finish it. Motor racing is in real trouble in the states, in both two and four wheel modes.