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.

First Shots of Valentino Rossi on the Ducati

11/09/2010 @ 6:33 am, by Jensen Beeler23 COMMENTS

First Shots of Valentino Rossi on the Ducati Valentino Rossi Ducati MotoGP test Valencia 635x455

Clad in only carbon fiber bodywork, Valentino Rossi made the mental switch from blue to red today, as he swung his leg over the Ducati Desmosedici for the first time — a moment Italy, and the whole of MotoGP have been waiting for the entire 2010 MotoGP season.

As such Rossi and his crew from Yamaha will not be wearing the Rosso Corsa just yet (the former Yamaha crew has instead elected to wear some very smart looking yellow sweaters), but Rossi’s yellow “46″ did make it onto the bike for the testing session, which is about all the branding that Ducati & Rossi fans need to see at this point to get in a fervor.

Promoting his VR46 line, Rossi is wearing special one-off Dainese D-Air leathers, which like the D16, is all black with yellow accents, while his AGV helmet has a question mark set between the Italian’s sun & moon logo. We wouldn’t be surprised if a replica version of these became available later this year. Video, lap times, and photos after the jump.

Day 1 MotoGP Test Times from Valencia (as of 5pm local time):

PosRiderTeamFastest lapPrev. GapLead. GapLaps
1Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing1:32.012--48
2Casey StonerHRC1:32.775+0.763+0.76344
3Ben SpiesYamaha Factory Racing1:32.878+0.103+0.86642
4Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team1:32.912+0.034+0.90035
5Marco SimoncelliSan Carlo Honda Gresini1:32.919+0.007+0.90759
6Andrea DoviziosoRepsol Honda Team1:33.190+0.271+1.17850
7Colin EdwardsMonster Yamaha Tech 31:33.513+0.323+1.50149
8Alvaro BautistaRizla Suzuki MotoGP1:33.558+0.045+1.54654
9Nicky HaydenDucati Team1:33.716+0.158+1.70454
10Valentino RossiDucati Team1:33.882+0.166+1.87056
11Randy De PunietPramac Racing Team1:33.914+0.032+1.90254
12Hiroshi AoyamaSan Carlo Honda Gresini1:33.953+0.039+1.94167
13Hector BarberaPaginas Amarillas Aspar1:34.110+0.157+2.09876
14Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 31:34.314+0.204+2.30259
15Loris CapirossiPramac Racing Team1:34.631+0.317+2.61971
16Toni EliasLCR Honda MotoGP1:35.058+0.427+3.04660
17Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing1:35.076+0.018+3.06449

Source: MotoGP

Comment:

  1. vr46 says:

    finally….thanks for the photo….what the main sponsor for the team? Marlboro, Fiat, Nastro Azzuro?

  2. John says:

    The Age of Aquarious has arrived….

  3. Sam says:

    No coincidence Rossi did 46 laps then :-)

  4. ML says:

    Its still Marlboro.

  5. georGe aka-VintageWrencher says:

    The former Yamaha crew members who have made the team switch are wearing black not yellow shirts per a deal with Yamaha. Or so I have read.

  6. Photos and Alex Briggs suggest otherwise. They are definitely out there wearing yellow sweaters.

    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/6sh69m

  7. Mickey says:

    The air wings on the GP11 are even bigger.

  8. kumo says:

    @ML Rossi is disagree with a tobacco brand as a sponsor. And, surely, with them Ducati could get other sponsors, like FIAT.

  9. gnmac says:

    Yes FIAT should be the lead sponsor now :) A&R, thank you for bringing Christmas to us early!!!

  10. Part of the reason (besides an Italian selling Italian cars) Fiat sponsored Yamaha was to get Rossi in F1 (either for promotions or after his MotoGP career). Fiat owns Ferrari, whose F1 team is sponsored by Marlboro….and Marlboro pays a HUGE portion of Ducati’s MotoGP bill. Marlboro’s dollars aren’t going anywhere, and I wouldn’t expect Fiat to be a sponsor just for kicks.

    That being said, I would not expect to see Fiat sponsoring Yamaha next year.

  11. CBR600RR 09 says:

    Whats with the rub my ass jensen on the still of the video before play starts?

  12. Ken Chang says:

    The day has come. Valentino Rossi on a Ducati. http://bit.ly/d93LT6

  13. ML says:

    @Kumo: Don’t forget he was sponsored by Camel on Yamaha.

  14. Doctor Jelly says:

    Is that the big bang version?

  15. BAD. ASS. ERY! http://bit.ly/cBc6ph (via @asphalt_rubber) #motorcycle #photography

  16. Will says:

    Who’s Jensen?

  17. vr46 says:

    Editor of Asphalt & Rubber

  18. RT @BlueCatMotor: A great article on Rossi testing in Valencia. http://fb.me/EZtDRYAM

  19. Gilberto says:

    Ohhh! VR/46 all the way!

  20. Keith says:

    OH MY GOD HE’S WEARING WHITE WALLS! sheesh, surprised noone else said it…oh and he ran both motors big bang and screamer during the tests.

  21. gnmac says:

    I wish he would run the SCREAMER!!!

  22. Gilberto says:

    Lol i love this dude, he roks!!

  23. Rock says:

    @Kumo. Who cares about Tobacco sponsorship. Are you that weak minded? Anyone who wants to sponsor a bike should be allowed, especially in this economy. You don’t see people jumping to sponsor anyone, and willing to spend all that money. So deal with it and hope that we don’t lose another bike on the grid.