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.

A&R’s April Fools Round-Up

04/01/2011 @ 6:59 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

A&Rs April Fools Round Up april fools bomb 635x508

If it hasn’t become apparent by now, we love us some April Fools here at Asphalt & Rubber, because like Christmas, the real joy in the holiday isn’t in the act of receiving, but in the act of giving. It’s perhaps at this time of year where the media side of the motorcycle industry reaches its zenith of creativity, producing eloquent prose, perfect press releases, and some of the most superb photo re-touches we’ve ever seen. We have in fact many maestros in our presence, and we wanted to share our Top 3 picks of the days festivities.

And our role in all this? Well we’re firm believers in the idea that if you’re going to do something wrong, then it’s best to do it right. Instead of trying to fabricate a story or two, and then convince you that they were real (that’s so 2010 by the way), we decided to switch things up and publish two stories (here & here) that we knew to be fundamentally true, and convince you that they were in fact fake. April Fools.

As for our favorite pieces of work from our colleagues, we have three that stood out in different respects:

Best Photoshop Work: OmniMoto.it – Scramblster 2011: pronta la tutto terreno Ducati

A&Rs April Fools Round Up ducati scramblster 2011 1 635x475

Perhaps one of the first stories we saw this morning, OmniMoto published news that Ducati would be unveiling a Scrambler version of the Monster 796, set to debut at WDW 2011. Including even an appropriate explanation of how the bike would be unveiled to owners of the vintage version of the machine, this is the type of April Foolery that you wish was true. The story was plausible, there were great details, and reasoning behind the event, but best of all there were photoshops that could pass as real McCoy. Top work, and whoever did the renders probably deserves a raise.

Most Humorous: Ducati News Today – Ducati Diavel Starbucks Special Edition

A&Rs April Fools Round Up Starbucks Ducati Gold Card thumb11

Oh we love us some Ducatisti bashing (easy in the comments section, there’s a Ducati in this garage as well…if you can’t laugh at yourself, then what can you laugh at?), and while we rather enjoyed our time on the Ducati Diavel, we can see why some Bologna Brand owners might not be as keen on the machine. Accordingly our friends at Ducati News Today held back no punches today, leveling a couple body blows at the Italian company, while getting in some jabs on its product partnerships as well. Add in a certain coffee making corporation to our rainier north, and you’ve got yourself a humorous recipe for some social commentary, motorcyclist style. The $162 Starbucks gift card, you know…for each of the Diavel’s 162hp, put things over the top, and had us rolling on the floor for a while. We’ll have to send DNT a bill for our keyboard replacement.

Best Satire: Canadian Motorcycle Group Online – Big Changes at CMG

A&Rs April Fools Round Up mbic issue1

If you’re not familiar with what’s going on with that other North American country, the Canadian government has seen it fit to bailout its print industry because magazines and newspapers up there, as is the case with those down here, have failed to catch on to the changing tastes of how people digest their information and media. The Canadian goverment’s actions are really only hindering web publications, like CMG, who have been onto this internet fad from the get-go.

Reinforcing the point that this is the wrong thing to do, CMG slathers on a layer of satire to the situation, stating that it would be reverting to a print format for its future news releases. The issue of how ridiculous the Canadian government is acting on this matter is eloquently done in the article’s ridiculous explanation for CMG’s supposed new focus, and making mention of an online version that consists of a PDF that makes a page turning sound, sound utterly absurd until you realize that’s exactly what some publications in this industry are actually implementing.

Throw in a couple references to another publication that was apparently not up or incapable of the creative task of participating in this April Fools Day, yet charged its readership for its inadequacies, and you’ve got a pretty spot-on piece about how silly some people can be about how the internet, information, and media all work together.

Comment:

  1. Wow we won an award Jensen? We are so humbled!

  2. Keith says:

    Who said that was a rendering of a Ducati? I’d buy it and then flog it on every gravel road in montana…idaho, wyoming. 8^)

  3. Dr. Gellar says:

    Sooo…Harley is seriously considering an electric-powered motorcycle??? While I find that intriguing if true, I never ever would have guessed they would even consider such a thing.

  4. So were the Electric Harley and the Mercedes Buying Ducati stories real?

  5. Jeram says:

    the dragbike.com april fools joke was OK

    until they busted out the worst photoshop Id ever seen

    “brock’s racing sold, brock now working for BMW on a new model the BMW 1600 DR (drag)”

    http://www.dragbike.com/dbnews/anmviewer.asp?a=6312&z=2

  6. 2ndclass says:

    Really disappointed that the Duc scrambler is only an April Fool’s ‘shop, that little bugger is damn awesome!

  7. Keith says:

    2sndclass, thankyour so very much for validating my sentiments.

  8. Thank you! As a note, the Ducati is not even made with Photoshop, but with Adobe Fireworks.